SWEET RELIEF TIP #3: Avoid Ownership of Ideas ("I" statements)

In the narcissist’s mental map of the world, you are there to help provide for his needs and wants. That is his natural order of things. Any statements you make that run contrary to this mental map (like you want to play the radio when he wants silence) will not be well-received.

The problem for you is that you do exist and want things and have opinions. And, what you want or think may not always align with what your narcissist wants or thinks. Declaring your preferences can lead to conflict because it invites the narcissist to attempt to reassert control.

To reduce conflict consider avoiding declarative statements starting with the word “I.” If you avoid direct ownership of ideas, you leave room for maneuvering that can be surprisingly successful. Although it may seem as if you're selling yourself out by avoiding these sorts of phrases, it's truly just a tactic to allow you to stay present and be more likely to have the experience you want.

The key is to find other ways to say things. There are tons of options.

Instead of "I want" consider:

"It might work to..."

"It might be best to..."

"What about..."

"What do you think if we did..."

Instead of "I think", try:

"It seems like...."

"Maybe...."

"What about..."

So, Tip #3: Find ways to express yourself that don't involve using "I" statements. Create some phrases to keep in mind and try them out.

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