Going To Court Against A Narcissist.
Narcissists simply lack the emotional empathy to care about anything other than themselves. If children are involved, most narcissists, not all, will happily drag you through the family court system, with all their charm to make out you are the crazy one, that and with all the mind games they play with you and your children. This can take its toll on you, so some helpful tips to get you through.
Three reasons you may have to face a narcissist in court, although there could be other reasons.
You are getting a restraining order against them.
All the narcissist wants from any of these proceedings is to win, to get your attention and to try and destroy you, to get a reaction from you any way they can. They will also want to smear your name and win over all the judges, solicitors and anyone in the courtroom. To cause you more frustration, pain and anger, so when you have an emotional outburst because no one can see through the narcissist’s lies, it matches the story the narcissist tells, which is ”You’re crazy, bitter, jealous.” Any court case to a narcissist is just another opportunity to exploit people. To get their needs met, to make it all about them, for them to take centre stage, in the script they want to write, where they can play the victim or the hero and paint you out to be the villain.
If they are the one that has taken you to court, they will resent you for taking their power and control over you away. They will believe you are to blame, and that you have forced them into court proceedings, costing them money and taking up their time.
If you took them to court, they will not see any part they played as to why you would take them to court, to a narcissist, it will be all your fault, as to a narcissist they did nothing wrong, they believe they are entitled to do as they please and they are arrogant enough to think you are beneath them and should just do as they say.
When in court, they will want to win at all costs to you. They are not interested in finding a compromise or agreeing only if it is in their own best interest.
They believe they are special even in the courtroom and will not accept anything that goes against them, unless they can look good by doing so, usually meaning that any bit of information that goes against them means nothing to them, or if they believe you have great evidence that could destroy them, for example, with a restraining order, if they know you have hospital records, photos, text messages etc., they will simply not contest it, yet happily turn it around with things like. ”Whatever they need to feel happy with so we can move forward in life.” The narcissist will not accept accountability, so they will do this in a way that they’ve been friendly towards you, but they did no wrong in the first place, they will happily play the victim. They also enjoy using the courtroom as a place to intimidate you in any way they can. They also find court a great place to try and hoover you while you are there. Some will also be a no-show, even if they started the proceedings. If things aren’t going their way, they’ll no longer show up. Yes, some can go to the silent treatment, the disappearing act in family court proceedings.
Most narcissists in a courtroom if given enough rope will act out in rage and hang themselves.
What can you do so the truth outs against a manipulative liar in a courtroom?
Make sure you get a lawyer or solicitor that has dealt with a narcissist before, has an understanding of cluster B personality disorder Or has knowledge of gaslighting. If not, the narcissist could manipulate them into thinking they are a decent person, and that you are an emotional wreck that’s impossible to deal with.
Make sure police officers or child psychologists know what a narcissist is.
You can not call them a narcissist; you can describe their behaviour.
Refresh your memory of all the manipulative techniques the narcissist uses so you can spot them, see what they are doing, then don’t react, do not fall for their manipulative games. Then the narcissist will feel criticism, they feel ignored, and this can trigger narcissistic rage.
Arrive at court early and get settled. Make sure you can have a chat with your solicitor if you have one beforehand.
Take a supportive friend with you to act as a barrier so the narcissist can not talk directly to you.
If you can request separate waiting areas, do so. If not, the narcissist will try to make eye contact with you, make gestures at you, or even come over to talk to you. If the narcissists’ solicitor invites you to join them, say no, if you join them, the solicitor will use this against you in the courtroom. A narcissist could try to do this in the courthouse, they have the arrogance to walk straight up to you, sit next to you, ask what has made it come to this, and try to show you photos of the good times. Give one-word answers or no answers. continue looking at your phone or a friend, and do not make eye contact with them.
If the narcissist wants to get you on your own and have a heart-to-heart with you to work it out, do not do this, they are not looking to play nice, to compromise. They are looking to take you off guard. It’s just another manipulative tactic for them to win.
They will have manipulated their lawyer just like they manipulate everyone.
Give them as much as you can, so they hang themselves in the courtroom. The way to achieve this is to ignore them at all costs, do not react, do not give them any attention, as this is what the narcissist is after, they feel in-depth criticism when they are not getting the attention they believe they deserve from you.
Have as much written or photographic evidence as you can.
They will be doing all they can to provoke you to react. Narcissists will lie and manipulate in a courtroom as they believe they are right. They want to bait you into reacting, so they can show the court it’s you, not them, as they stand calm, collected and in control. Judges and lawyers that know about narcissism will see through this. Those that don’t will not. Ignore the narcissist and stay calm and in control of your emotions at all costs. You need to let them show both sides of themselves in the courtroom. Any evidence you have to give, just look at the judge. This will make you calmer, do not look at the narcissist or the narcissist’s lawyer when giving your evidence. Do it as a matter of fact if possible try not to show the narcissist any emotion as the narcissist and lawyer will use this against you. When you’re giving evidence, do not challenge the narcissist or their lawyer.
If you don’t understand ask them to repeat the questions. Take your time in answering.
Try to show evidence of a lie the narcissist doesn’t want exposing, as the narcissist will go all out to gaslight the courtroom, recognise what the narcissist is doing, they will tangle themselves up in their web of lies.
When you’re telling the truth, you don’t have to remember your lines.
They will try to make eye contact with you. They will try to get this at all costs to get some attention from you, by not making eye contact with them, and will often anger them as they feel they are superior and deserve special attention, the narcissist being angry in the courtroom will help you, resulting in their mask slipping in the courtroom and revealing their true selves.
Your whole attitude should be to act as though the narcissist doesn’t exist as this will cause that anger within themselves, they want to be the star of the show, watch out for any so-called friends the narcissist has got inside to try and get to you, ignore them too. Some will bring the new supply to try and get a reaction from you.
You will feel frustrated with how the narcissist is behaving. These are normal emotions. Stick to no reactions.
Do not give in just to make the matter go away. The longer you stick to what’s right, the more likely the narcissist will get angry or storm out of the courtroom.
The more you ignore them in court, the more they will try to get you to react. Stick to your boundaries and don’t give their games any attention. After all the silent treatments they’ve given you over the years, just think of it as they’ve taught you well.
Gather as much evidence as you can, and let the facts speak for themselves, do not interrupt to get the truth across. Speak to the judge when spoken to.
Don’t go in with all messages or emails. Take a few, and let the judge know you have more if needed.
Afterwards, give the narcissist plenty of time to leave before you do so, they can not get to you.
Remember to take good care of yourself in the build-up to court cases. It can be emotionally and physically draining, don’t be hard on yourself, set aside time when you’ll deal with court stuff, and time for you to do something to relax. Keep going. You’ve got this.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.