Keeping Your Family Strong--Even Through Divorce

Tips For Dealing With A Narcissist In Family Mediation

by Kristen Wright

Are you about to start the family mediation process during a divorce but you fear it will be difficult because you will be dealing with your spouse who is a narcissist? If so, it will help to know some tips to make it through mediation and still deal with their attitude. 

Generate Leverage Against Them

It is possible to settle a case in mediation with someone that is a narcissist, even if it feels like it is going to be impossible. The key is to know that you are not just going to talk things through and resolve issues in mediation. That's because they purposely want to make the process difficult for you. Unfortunately, they are not a reasonable person that wants to settle the case as quickly as possible.

You'll want to work with a lawyer to build leverage for yourself prior to going into mediation. You likely know the things that they want out of mediation, so you need to withhold those things until the very end. Agreeing to the things that they want early on will only cause them to use the things that you want against them.

Use The Threat Of Litigation Against Them

A narcissist wants to make the divorce difficult for you, but they still care about how they look in front of other people. Mediation is private, but litigation in court is going to be public. This can give you back some control because you can use the threat of going to court to resolve problems. Chances are that a narcissist is not going to want to look bad in front of a judge and be on public record acting the way they are, so they will try to avoid this when possible. 

Remain Calm At All Times

Part of the reason why a narcissist is the way that they are is that they want to get a reaction out of you during mediation. That's why it's so important that you stay calm during the mediation process and don't give them the reaction that they want. As long as you still have your leverage, you can stay calm knowing that you still have an advantage during mediation.

If worst comes to worst, you can let your lawyer handle mediation so that you are not there at all. Removing you from the in-person mediation means that they may react differently since drawing out mediation is not getting the type of reaction that they want.

Talk to a mediation attorney for additional help.