How to Short-Circuit a Narcissist
Narcissists are brilliant, and they how to keep one step ahead of you at all times. It’s hard to surprise them or make a move that they don’t expect.
If you want to get from out of their control or even take back some of your power, you have to get them when they’re feeling out-of-balance and unsteady.
One of a narcissist’s survival techniques is fighting dirty without it looking harmful or mean. Let’s say your narcissist cooks you a fabulous dinner and serves it to you on a beautifully decorated table.
It looks to the outside world as if the narcissist has done something kind and thoughtful, but that’s not true.
You recently decided to stop eating meat, which the narcissist knew they still get angry when you don’t eat the steak they prepared, and the kind gesture is revealed as an aggressive act.
Here’s how you can strike back at the narcissist. Once you get them off their game, you’ll have a great chance at striking them where it hurts the most — their ego.
Let them know they’re not popular.
Many narcissists have worked hard on their personalities to appear charming, charismatic, and likable, so when you let them know that people don’t like or trust them, it can be a shattering blow to their self-esteem.
Since they have little self-awareness, it will come as a complete shock that the people they consider close friends are onto them and see them for their manipulators.
When a narcissist realizes how alone they really are, it will be hard for them to employ their usual bag of tricks.
While it’s unkind to kick someone when they’re down, when dealing with a narcissist, that’s exactly the time to take action on extracting yourself from their life.
Give them the silent treatment or answer in monosyllabic words.
The silent treatment is one of the narcissist’s go-to weapons. If it’s useful for them, it may work for you too.
When you only respond with one or no words, it demonstrates how you’re no longer buying what the narcissist is trying to sell you on. You’re showing with your lack of conversation that you’re not interested in having a conversation with the narcissist and would rather have no communication at all.
Point out how their mistakes.
Narcissists believe that they’re rarely wrong and that they hardly ever make a mistake. They’re geniuses at spin and will take a past mistake and turn it into a win — even if it’s in their own mind.
The more you remind them of their failures, the harder it is for the narcissist to deny them.
Deep down, the narcissist has a great deal of self-doubt, which they cover up with bravado. If you can chip away at the fake self-esteem that protects their fragile ego, you might get the opportunity to see a glimpse of the narcissist’s real personality.
The more you know about the real narcissist, the better you will be well-equipped to fight them.
When they get emotional, stay rational.
If you have a heated argument with a narcissist, keep your cool. Narcissists don’t know how to react if you refuse to match their intensity level. It makes them feel self-conscious and out-of-control.
Staying calm gives you the upper hand, which is hard to get with a narcissist.
If they make a wild claim or promise, ask for evidence.
Narcissists are gifted at the art of Future Faking. Future Faking is when the narcissist promises you the things you want most in the world. They promise to take you to Hawaii, move in with you, or finalize their divorce but rarely do those things ever come to pass.
The narcissist is only telling you what they think you want to hear. They have no plan in place or any way to make those promises materialize — they’re lying to you and setting you up for disappointment.
The best thing you can do is to nicely ask them to forward you the confirmation email or take you with them when they sign the lease — any kind of back-up which proves they are going through with their promise is acceptable.
Call them on their bluff and watch them scramble to not look like the world’s biggest liar.
When they run, don’t chase after them.
Narcissists love the feeling of a good chase, but if no one chases after them, their good feelings fizzle out.
Not going after them sends the message that you’re indifferent towards them and that they’re losing their grasp on you.
Give them constructive criticism.
Narcissists do not like being criticized ever. They think they’re perfect and they do everything right, so when someone has notes for them or suggestions on how they can do better, it bothers them big time.
Oh, don’t worry, when you criticize the narcissist, they’ll start to negate your words almost immediately — you don’t know what you’re talking about, or you’re wrong, but it still agitates them.
When you go out, you only have enough to pay for yourself.
Narcissists believe that they shouldn’t ever have to pay for themselves. The fact that the narcissist is spending time with you at all should be payment enough.
When you mistakenly forget your credit card at home and only have enough cash to pay for your own meal, it’s confusing to the narcissist, and they can’t wrap their head around it.
Is it passive-aggressive? Yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective.
Don’t engage with them no matter how much they insist.
The need for attention is one of the narcissist's greatest motivators, so when you don’t engage, it frustrates the sh*t of them.
However, not responding to them when they’re being kind and charming or even trying to push your buttons isn’t easy. They’ve perfected their winning-personality for years, so they know how to charm and coax.
Stand tall and don’t give in. Remember that the more you refuse to interact with them, the more they’ll start to doubt themselves.
Gratitude is frightening to narcissists, and they don’t know what to do with it and will run the opposite way. They see gratitude as a sign of weakness and as if they’re signing over their power the moment they voice their appreciation.
If you can get them to feel gratitude, you have a shot at making them feel as if they’re no longer on solid ground and as if they owe you something.
Narcissists can be too rigid with how they deal with people. The only way to get an honest reaction out of them or reclaim your own independence is to shake them up and make it so they can’t rely on their regular thought-processes or behaviors.