Figuring out how to talk to your ex as a co-parent can be pretty tough. This can only get harder if you’re dealing with a narcissistic ex. While it might feel impossible at first, there are ways you can make it a bit easier for yourself when you have to talk to them…
Narcissistic Ex: How To Communicate
Don’t take the bait
One of the trickiest parts of talking to a narcissistic ex is how they like to change the subject. Often times, they might try to steer the conversation towards themselves or what they’re doing, in order to show off. Or, they might make jabs at you to try and get under your skin.
When this happens, it’s important to not take the bait. They want to get you upset, and in turn make you lose focus of the conversation’s original goal. Do your best to ignore those comments and stick to what you need to discuss. If they refuse to focus, then disengage and tell them you’ll talk at a later time.
Stick to “yes” or “no” answers
If a narcissistic ex tries to ask you questions, especially over email or text, they tend to make them not as straightforward as they should. For instance, they might include some kind of backhanded comment or brag about what they’re doing. While you might feel the need to correct the record, the best response is to keep your answers brief.
Ignore all the stuff they included that isn’t relevant to what you have to do as a co-parent. Single out those questions, and make it clear you’re only replying to that part of the question. For example, if they ask if you can watch the kids, but try to insert a brag about themselves, just say “yes, I can watch the kids” and leave it at that.
Set your boundaries
A narcissist, especially a narcissistic ex, loves to poke and prod at your boundaries. They want to push your buttons, find out what you’re doing, and figure out a way to either put you down, or lift themselves up. That’s why it’s important to keep your boundaries firm. Don’t give them any room to work with, and if they don’t respect the boundaries, then you know your conversation isn’t worth continuing.