Anyone who's ever had a narcissist in their life knows how much of an evil they are. They can upend someone's entire life, carving them out and leaving them a hollow shell of what they once were. It's an experience none of us would wish on anybody.
And yet, they appear in our lives anyway, try as one might to avoid them. If you have to face a narcissist frequently, know that you can stay ahead of their game, so long as you use the right techniques.
This free, short audio can help raise your confidence levels to heights unseen, elevating you to a whole new plane you never thought you'd reach. Start the journey today and see where your new boldness will take you!
Setting Up Defenses
Dealing with a narcissist is a nigh impossible task. This is by design, too. They wear people down until it becomes too tough, too tiring to keep resisting their manipulation, until people willingly give into the life of lies they spin.
But what if you could continue to ward them off without them even knowing? Let them think they've won while playing your own game? There are ways you can fool narcissists into thinking they've got you, all the while you're fully aware of their deceit, and are ready to leave as soon as the opportunity arrises.
1. Don't Share Your Insecurities
Guard your vulnerabilities. Narcissists and psychopaths twist your disclosed traumas and weaknesses into weapons against you. Anything you share will fuel their skewed narrative. Don't let anything slip that they can exploit, no information about other relationships (not necessarily romantic ones) and nothing too in depth about your personal life.
If they incessantly dig for dirt on you, offer up a minor insecurity to gauge their reaction as a hidden test. If they begin to dish out jabs or digs at that fake insecurity, you know their true intentions. Don't feel bad about lying either. These manipulators don't care about morals, so why should you?
2. Lie About Aspects Of Your Life, As Protection
Related to the previous point, it's important to keep your cards close to your chest when dealing with narcissists or psychopaths. Just as you should avoid sharing anything too personal, you should also avoid sharing any struggles you're facing like seeking love, recovering from toxic relationships, financial worries, health concerns, or social disconnections. These vulnerabilities are their entry points for manipulation.
Narcissists thrive on appearing to offer ideal solutions to your issues so you'll want to stick around them. Instead, hint at a protective circle of family, loyal friends, and legal support. Portray a history of healthy relationships with strong boundaries. Whatever tale you spin, cast yourself as unbreakable. They'll hesitate to target those who have strong lines of defense. What they're unaware of can't harm you, only shield you from their schemes.
3. Always Fact Check Their Statements
Shield yourself from a narcissist's accusations. Their gaslighting thrives on your self-doubt, so make fact-checking your armor. If they claim nobody faced their issues, connect with their exes to expose the lie. When criticism stings, recall the praise you've received from others. Ground yourself in truth while they remain busy twisting reality.
Don't let go of your worth and strengths, don't let them wring those out of you. That's your essence, not their warped portrayal. Internalize your truth, not their fiction. You're more than their projections; you're resilient against their manipulative play.
4. Pretend You Don't Know About Their Narcissism
Narcissists often reveal their true colors when they least suspect scrutiny. Rather than confronting them head-on about their traits or the warning signs you've observed, especially during initial interactions, it's wiser to stay quiet. Act as if you're oblivious to their strategies while plotting your eventual exit. Study their conduct patterns and disengage strategically.
They tend to let their guard down when they believe you're falling for their facade. When you eventually break free, they'll remain bewildered, and the added benefit is that their obliviousness to their own tactics ensures their continued exposure to others. This aids in curbing manipulation for the future.
5. Learn As Much As You Can Upfront
Navigating a narcissist in co-parenting, work, or school requires strategic thinking. Assess interactions like a cost-benefit equation. First, secure what you need from them before they tighten their grip. If it's the ex taking the kids, hold off on confrontations until they commit. For a co-worker's signature on a contract, secure that before offering critiques. Need an unenthusiastic classmate's input? Get it before you give yours.
It's not manipulation on your end, it's just waiting, understanding their toxic tactics, and adapting smartly. Work the game, know their moves, and play accordingly.
6. Document Everything
Against a narcissist, documentation is gold. It's not just for divorces or custody battles, but a lifeline against abuse, stalking, and gaslighting too. If you're seeing that toxicity on the rise, start archiving screenshots, texts, voicemails, whatever you use to communicate with this person.
This isn't only legal ammo, this proof also helps you remain grounded in reality when their lies start to make you doubt yourself. You'll have constant proof and ready reminders of their true behavior. Your records expose their tactics and secure your truth.
7. Flatter Them, Within Reason
Flattery should be the final move in your playbook. When you can't dodge a narcissist and need their cooperation, play to their ego. Trick them into thinking that not only are you falling for their front, but you're really engrossed in their presented personality.
Stroke their need for paise as a means of keeping yourself safe. While not ideal, it might lessen their focus on you. Not to mention, narcissists are transactional, so you can find ways to link your needs with their wants. Use flattery as a strategic tool, making their ego serve your purpose, and secure your goals while managing their selfishness.
8. Ditch Them Quietly
If you're in a situation with a narcissist that needs escaping, such as a romantic relationship or roommate agreement, don't tip your hand to them that you're leaving. Reveal your exit strategy, and they'll launch into love-bomb mode, trying to reel you back into the cycle. Alternatively, they might escalate to aggression, threats, and sabotage, determined to thwart your plans.
Escaping a narcissist safely requires a strategic approach, ensuring your freedom is solidified. There are multiple effective ways to disentangle yourself and secure your independence. As you figure these out and turn to friends who can help, keep your intentions under wraps. Let them remain in the dark until you've successfully made your exit.
9. Plan For Justice In Secret
Survivors crave retribution after enduring a narcissist's torment, but the justice either needed or desired is unique to each journey. Compensation or growth might satisfy one victim, while another wants to expose their narcissist for all they've done. The path varies, yet discretion remains paramount.
Divorcing a narcissist? Prep with an attorney and financial planner in stealth. Justice often unfolds silently. It's less dramatic, sure, but it's safer too. Your victory, earned in shadows, becomes your emblem of strength, and makes it all the more satisfying when you're able to bounce back from all they put you through.
Don't Lose Heart
Even with all these tactics and all the self-awareness in the world, dealing with a narcissist is tough. Being in defense mode against them all the time is exhausting, and though you may be outsmarting them, there's no denying that their comments can still affect you.
So remember to do things that keep yourself sane while you're remaining one step ahead of them. Practice copious amounts of self-care, check in with yourself frequently, and take care of yourself with tender kindness. You don't just want to survive this period, you want to keep living through it.