Advice on dealing with vengeance
Needless to say, Dr. Burgo counsels us to try to avoid direct conflict with the vindictive narcissist if possible but he also rightly points out that we’re not likely to recognize him or her until after conflict has already begun. (Yes, this is very true.) If you aren’t able to avoid further communication, he suggests a legalistic approach. Following are suggestions drawn from his book:
- Keep written records of all your interactions. Dr. Burgo suggests that a diary-style log of those interactions can be very helpful, especially in court proceedings.
- Be prepared to “find yourself painted a villain.” Dr. Burgo counsels that you not retaliate in kind but continue to hew to the truth. In time, the vindictive narcissist’s consistent behaviors will betray him or her.
- Rather than responding to taunts or smear campaigns, picture the narcissist as he or she really is: a scared, defensive, shameless bully.