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Dealing with a narcissist is no easy feat. Narcissists are individuals who have a personality disorder that causes them to be selfish to the extreme, lack empathy, and develop unhealthy relational behaviors.

They are often abusive in nature and do not mind trampling over anyone who stands in their way if it benefits them. Unlike a typical mood disorder, the symptoms of the personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder are not only nearly impossible to treat, but they also tend to stick around throughout the narcissist’s life. Due to that, they have to be handled correctly, if you want to ensure your own safety. (Mentally, and otherwise.)

Here are 8 steps for dealing with the narcissist in your life.

1. Understand what narcissism is.

A narcissistic personality disorder is a cluster B personality disorder and can be tricky to treat. While it is not impossible for a person who has the disorder, who wants to get better to find help, it is most certainly difficult. Why? Because the very nature of the narcissist is to protect their own intentions and agendas.

2. Build your self-esteem.

Narcissists tend to prey on the self-esteem of those closest to them. They will belittle you and tear you apart. This requires someone who is trying to deal with one to make sure they are strengthening their own.

3. Stand up for yourself and set clear boundaries.

Whenever you notice the narcissist is trying to trample all over you, be assertive, not aggressive. If you get aggressive back, you are giving them what they want. Instead, assert your boundaries and call them out on their BS.

4. Don’t react – detach.

When they start treating you badly or try to start a fight, do not react. That is what they want. Instead, detach and move away from the situation.

5. Confront abuse.

In situations of emotional or other abuse, you may need to confront them. However, be prepared for them to gaslight you or your project.

6. Have a support system.

A narcissist’s biggest ally is an isolated victim. That is why those who end up in relationships with them, tend to become isolated. Instead of allowing them to isolate you, have a huge support system and lean on them.

7. Require action, not promises.

When the narcissist acts up and begins treating you badly, do not allow them to make false promises. Instead, provide an ultimatum that requires action. If they do not act, leave.

8. Know when it’s time to move on with your life.

There will come a time in which you will have to decide if the narcissist is worth the pain they are causing you. If they are, then it’s okay to try to help them to seek out counseling. However, just remember to keep the rest of the steps in mind. If the narcissist never follows through with action to correct their mistakes and if their abuse continues, it is time to cut ties.