Discover the DEEP technique and learn how to effectively use it to stop a narcissist and protect your well-being. This technique works better than arguing with a narcissist or trying to make them understand your perspective.
The DEEP technique involves boundary-setting strategies with narcissists. It helps you protect yourself from the narcissistic behaviors of those around you. DEEP is an acronym that reminds you to define your boundaries, express your feelings, expect consequences, and protect yourself.
Dealing with a narcissistic individual can be emotionally draining and challenging. They’re often self-centered and aim to hurt others. The DEEP technique can help you protect yourself and ease the impact of their detrimental behavior.
Narcissist Behaviors That the DEEP Technique Can Help Stop
You can recognize narcissistic behavior by watching for common characteristics, including arrogance, lack of consideration, and a need for attention. Some of the specific behaviors the DEEP technique helps with include the following:
Narcissism leads to someone behaving like everything is theirs or their opinion is the only correct one. They may act like everything should be given to them even when they haven’t worked hard to earn it.
Someone with this mindset might feel cheated if they don’t get what they want or need, even if others work harder. They’ll expect privileges and special treatment without offering anything in return.
A narcissists is a master manipulator
Narcissist behaviors often include manipulation, leading to the person using communication and interaction to reach their goals. They use others and manipulate them so they feel powerful and worthy.
One way to handle manipulation involves staying rounded. You aren’t responsible for the narcissistic person’s behavior. Don’t let them manipulate you and confuse your reality. Trust yourself and avoid letting their emotions sway you.
Narcissistic people want to make everything about them, so they want the conversation to focus on them. They may want to do all the talking or have the conversation about them, but either way, they’ll find ways to dominate.
A narcissist obsesses over their appearance
Wanting to look good and feel your best is fine, but narcissists often take it to the next level. They’ll be obsessed with their appearance, spending extra time looking their best, even when running late. They may even spend money intended for something else for their appearance, putting their looks before responsibilities.
People who become overwhelmed with envy might be a narcissist. Watch for them to make negative comments about people’s property, lifestyle, or good fortune to identify narcissism. They might also believe others are jealous of them, even when they aren’t.
If a narcissist in your life shows jealous behavior, avoid engaging with them. Don’t respond to their comments or try to reason with them, and avoid going along with their antics. Instead, ignore it so you can protect yourself and your mental well-being.
If someone constantly blames others for their problems might be narcissistic. They won’t own up to anything and pretend they’re perfect while everyone else causes issues. When this happens, stay calm and collected to avoid giving them the reaction they’re looking for.
If there isn’t anyone else to blame, they’ll blame it on other external factors. They’ll behave as if they had no control over the situation, even when they were directly responsible.
A narcissist has a lack of empathy
Someone might be a narcissist if they can’t identify with other people. They won’t be able to relate to their feelings or views because they can only focus on their needs. Research shows they aren’t attuned to others, making them see things differently.
This lack of empathy leads them to take advantage of others regardless of the situation. It sometimes manifests as being rude, offensive, or psychologically abusive when they don’t get what they wanted or thought they deserved, including special treatment.
Behaving as if everything revolves around them
Narcissists don’t typically consider other people’s feelings or needs. They believe that theirs are the only ones that matter, and it doesn’t seem to cross their mind that it may not be the case. You might also notice that they don’t seem to recognize or understand how their behavior impacts others.
Fantasizing over success, power, or recognition
When someone often talks about their fantasies in this regard, it could indicate narcissistic behavior. They’ll discuss material items they want or other shallow desires.
Needing constant admiration or praise
Someone with narcissistic behaviors will likely need validation from those around them. They’ll do whatever it takes to gain admiration or praise, often bragging about or exaggerating their accomplishments.
When someone behaves this way, avoid feeding their ego. They have an inflated self-esteem that makes them feel more important than anyone else. If you give in to their need for admiration or praise, they’ll continue behaving that way. Not feeding into it can help you avoid their negative behavior and give attention to other people.
Understanding the DEEP Technique:
Using the DEEP technique communication strategy when dealing with narcissists can help protect yourself. It promotes boundary setting that prevents or eases the detrimental aspects of narcissistic behavior. Here are some tips for seeing it through:
D – Define Your Boundaries:
Defining personal boundaries is the first step of the DEEP technique and requires communicating clear expectations. It also involves self-assertion because you should establish non-negotiable limits.
Setting boundaries isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it to prioritize your limits and well-being. Once you clarify your expectations, you’ll likely feel empowered, making it easier to enforce your limits.
When setting boundaries, avoid justifying, explaining, or defending yourself. Defending yourself won’t help when dealing with a narcissist and gives them things to use against you.
You don’t have to share everything, and it’s easier to enforce your limits when you remain assertive and share minimal information.
Clarify specific consequences that will occur if the narcissist doesn’t respect your limits. It helps them recognize that you won’t sway and ensures you know what to do if they try to cross a line. Specific consequences promote non-negotiable limits because you clarified up front so everyone knows what to expect.
E – Express Your Feelings:
Assertive communication, including I-statements, is essential for conveying your emotions to a narcissist when using the DEEP technique. You can clearly define your feelings and involve emotional expression so they know your concerns and frustrations.
I-statements emphasize your feelings, needs, and thoughts rather than highlighting their flaws. A narcissist will respond better to these phrases because it doesn’t place blame on them.
As you express your feelings, focus on staying calm and consistent. Don’t belittle them or treat them how they treat others because it could worsen the situation. Instead, respectfully advocate for yourself by sticking to your position despite their attempts to change your mind.
Discuss facts while avoiding blame, defensiveness, and over-explaining. You’ll also want to avoid arguing with them because it’s often a narcissist’s goal to win an argument.
Additionally, consider addressing your needs and comfort level. If the other person knows what to expect and understands your limits, they can’t make excuses about why they didn’t follow them.
E – Expect Consequences:
The third step of the DEEP technique involves expecting consequences for actions and enforcing boundaries. Accountability is essential for ensuring the narcissist understands the importance of respecting your boundaries.
Prepare for negative reactions from a narcissist because they don’t like to respect boundaries. They might become angry or defensive, and it’s common for them to guilt-trip or try to manipulate you to get their way.
When you stay firm and hold them accountable, they might attempt to turn others against you or gaslight you by making you question your reality. Despite their pushback, please stick to your boundaries and enforce them to protect yourself.
When you enforce your boundaries, a narcissist may refuse to apologize or take responsibility, and they might even refuse to respect your limit. If this is the case for your situation, it might be time to walk away. Walking away is hard but can help you prioritize yourself and your other healthy relationships.
P – Protect Yourself from the Narcissist:
Protecting yourself is the fourth step of the DEEP technique. It involves prioritizing self-care and maintaining your emotional well-being. You’ll also want to focus on saying “no” and enforcing boundaries to prioritize your needs and comfort levels.
Self-protection sometimes requires establishing distance or limiting contact with the narcissist in your life. It helps protect you from manipulation because it doesn’t give them as many opportunities to target you.
You can also protect yourself by learning more about narcissism so you know what you’re dealing with. It can help you identify their tactics and help you avoid getting roped in.
Final Thoughts on Employing the DEEP Technique for Dealing With a Narcissist
The DEEP technique is an effective strategy for protecting your well-being from a narcissist. It involves defining boundaries, expressing feelings, expecting consequences, and protecting yourself. If you have a narcissist in your life, you shouldn’t let them dictate how you view yourself or manipulate your reality.
Consider using the DEEP technique when interacting with narcissists by prioritizing your emotional health and well-being. If necessary, seek additional support to help you with stopping narcissistic behavior. You can turn to a therapist, trusted friend, family member, or other loved one.
These tips can help you prioritize yourself and live a healthier life. You deserve loving, fulfilling relationships, so don’t feel bad for implementing the DEEP technique.