Ways to stay ahead of the narcissist’s games.
Leaving the narcissist, removing them from your life and going No Contact is always the best option. Sometimes this isn’t possible for those who wouldn’t be able to see their other family members if they were to cut contact with the narcissists or if you have children etc. So we have to learn how to handle ourselves around them.
What they do and what you can do.
1. Provoke. They want to provoke your emotional reactions.
Why? Because a Characteristic of the disorder is narcissists carry a sense of entitlement to be deserving of special attention, positive or negative, to them, attention is attention. A narcissist will most often be trying to provoke you in some way, to cause you trouble. They seem to thrive off drama, especially when bored. Or they’ve done something they understand others would perceive as bad, or they fear if you were to find out about something they’ve done, your response might not be to their liking, so they will provoke you to get you to React so they can then blame it all on you. They provoke, so once we react, we doubt our own reactions and not their actions. A narcissist only wants to discuss your reactions to their abuse and never the abuse itself. They happily initiate￼ problems for you. The problem is they’ll often do something to distract us from what they are really doing. A narcissist will always be misleading and misguiding you. They are usually lying and manipulating. They will give you bits of information, and while we’re trying to work out what they are doing, they are doing something else behind our back. They come at us with one thing, we get frustrated, and we actually drive ourselves crazy trying to work out what they are up to while they Gaslight us saying we’re crazy. We are not the crazy ones. Once we recognise their games, life becomes easier. Once we know what they do, it easy to read them. Most people want answers, understanding, closure or solutions, come to an agreement, even if it’s to agree to disagree, to meet in the middle and work the problem out. A Narcissist. However, wants to win and to win at all cost to those around them. So while we try to put the puzzle together and figure that out, they will be removing pieces elsewhere.
They always gaslight us with, “If you did this if you hadn’t have done that.” When the truth is that doesn’t even matter, even if we had done that for them, to them we would still be wrong, as you may already know all too well, the narcissist gets you to conform with one thing, then they up their games. Whenever you start thinking of giving them an inch, don’t do it because they will take a mile.
You have to stick with your beliefs, your Boundaries and your instincts and do what’s right for you. Narcissistic people are takers and only give if they know they’ll get something in return.
You have to observe their words and watch their actions, don’t take it personally as it’ll just upset you. It’s nothing you have or have not done. It’s who they are. Never absorb their words or take to heart what they are saying about you. That’s why they are saying it, to bring you down. If someone is insecure, a person who cares will try to make them feel less insecure. A narcissist will make people feel more insecure by taking any insecurities which most people have and using the very thing we feel insecure about against us to provoke those emotional reactions, to make us weaker and depend on them more, so they can further their control over us.
Those who seek to bring you down are not the people to ask for advice or clarification from. You have to seek that from within yourself, which can be difficult when left with so much fear and self-doubt that they are instilled deep within our subconscious. Why we have to create that distance to think clearly, often taking to those who’ve lived similar experiences helps bring us clarity.
2. Invalidate. They want to use your strengths and weaknesses against you.
Why? Because they want to be in control, the trait of the disorder is their arrogance and envy, they seek power and dominance. They want to be loved or be feared, as they control those around them through that love or fear that we have for them, the love through the trauma bond, or the fear of what they will do if we step out of line. The trait of the disorder that they are jealous of others strengths, which means through envy, they want to take people down by Invalidating those around them.
Stop letting them know anything about you. They have no interest in seeing you do well, helping you or even their own children, parents or friends, the traits of the disorder that makes them feel superior with their lack of Empathy. Usually means whatever they do is only ever for their own gains, they don’t want to see their children do well unless they can take credit for it, they feel Envious and Jealous of friends and family members achievements, and if they see you’re doing well, they’ll want to bring you down to their level. When they know your plans, this keeps them one step ahead of you, as they’ll come up with a method to ruin those plans for you, disrupt your life and disrupt your plans. Narcissistic people sabotage themselves and want to sabotage all those around them. The whole stay humble is great around narcissistic people. Not everyone needs to know our business. Some will be glad it’s us, some will just not care, others will want to take us down, and some will be pleased for us, strengths or weaknesses, the good times or the bad, choose wisely who you share your thoughts with.
If the narcissist is getting information about you, tell each of those Flying Monkeys you suspect a different story about your life now and see which one that narcissist finds out about, you have you’re Judas to add to your blocked list.
Narcissist want to argue with you. The trait of the disorder is that they believe they are special and they are preoccupied with power and success, therefore to a narcissist rules one. They are always right, rule two. If they are wrong, rule one applies.
We have to stop trying to out-argue them, as they genuinely want us to argue with them. They want to Twist it all around, project and blame it all on us, which often leaves us angry frustrated, and full of resentment. They want our reactions. They’re not interested in the argument. They’re not interested in our opinions. They are interested in getting reactions from us. They are not interested in our point of view, they’re not interested in what’s right or what’s wrong, they are only interested in themselves, they are only interested in gaining attention and staying in control, and they will do so many hurtful manipulating things to stay in control when you’re left thinking. “Why can they not just?” They have you left thinking about them, and the puzzle they give that will never be completed as they’ve removed some pieces to keep you confused. You can not argue your point with a narcissist ( technically, you can, but they’ll not see it, and we often end up feeling frustrated.). We will not get them to see our point of view. They are only interested in themselves. If you feel the need to be heard, respond once and once only, do not react, do not give your time or attention to their twisted arguments, they are trying to pull you in to leave you drained, frustrated and confused, once you’ve made your point then leave them be, it’s not your job to change how they see things, it’s not your job to explain yourself to those who either don’t listen or don’t understand. Keep your standards high of behaviour you will and will not accept from yourself and those around you, but lower your expectations of them, with their lack of empathy, and their self-entitlement, with their added ability to manipulate and exploit those around them, they are incapable of genuinely caring for others feelings, or takings others opinions on board.
4. Control. They want all the control.
Why? The trait of the disorder, which is Power and dominance, and the belief they are special, and the trait of the disorder where they lack empathy and exploit others for their own gain. A narcissist has to believe something was their idea for them to do it, as they believe they are special. Above all others, they want the credit for things, they want the attention, or they will seek to destroy. Even when something is their idea, they can still change their mind later on or change it all around on you. When things start to work, they will start to sabotage.
5. They want you to comply.
Stop trying to reason with them, explain or Communicate. You probably tried countless times just to be left even more frustrated, angry and hurting, and that’s precisely what they want.
6. Gaslighting. They want to distort your reality.
Why? To brainwash you into believing theirs. Through Gaslighting .” That didn’t happen. You’re imagining things. You’re insecure. You’re crazy. If only you. It was only a joke.” and all the others. To cause us to doubt our own beliefs, our own instincts and our own judgment, so we dismiss our thoughts and feelings and become more reliant upon them. So we no longer know our own reality and feel daft speaking with others, so we turn to the narcissist who’s also often Triangulating us with ”They don’t like you. I don’t trust that friend.” to further secure that self-doubt they place within our subconscious, so we don’t reach out for support and get that reality check. Remember, if something doesn’t feel right, it most likely isn’t. Write things down to give yourself your own reality check.
7. The silent treatment. They want to hurt you.
Why? To get us to conform to their demands, causing us to choose more carefully our words and our actions In the future. The Silent Treatment. is a form of psychological manipulation that causes pain in the brain, just like physical pain would. Remember, the silent treatment is about them throwing a tantrum because they’re not getting their own way. The silent treatment is to break down our boundaries, destroy our self-esteem, make us doubt ourselves, question ourselves as to what we did wrong ( the silent treatment says more about them than it ever will you.) still we question what we did, search for those answers within ourselves, then beg and pled to make it up to them. Thus giving them the attention they believe they are entitled to. If someone wants to fall silent, let them, it’s not our job ( unless we genuinely accidentally or not did do something to offend someone.). It’s not our job to make it up to those who never make it up to us. People make mistakes, yes. Narcissists manipulate. It’s a pattern of behaviour. It’s who they are and not who we should be around. Let them be silent, and find things to do that you enjoy doing for you until they want to get over it, and if they don’t, leave them to it. We can not help people who never see any wrongdoing within their own actions.
A narcissistic personality disorder is on a spectrum. Some we can learn who they are and manager ourselves around them. Others we have to walk away from and let life educate them.
For those who are currently in lockdown or isolation with one. If you can pick a safe window of opportunity to leave, then leave. If not, make sure you delete your browser history, your safety comes first, and this is unknown territory, personally depending on the narcissist you’re dealing with, purposefully walking on eggshells around them right now, don’t bring things up that might cause a reaction from them, trying to agree where you can, not to the point where they’ll get angry. Also, letting them start and control the conversations, it depends on the narcissist you’re with. If you’ve got to take the walking on eggshells approach, remember the long game, to stay as safe as you can until you can find a safe way out. It’s not easy leaving these people, so I get just leave will not help right now, however if you can, please do.
Remember, a narcissist is of no value to you. Only you have things of value to them. When you continue to engage with them, continue to go back and forth with them, when you absorb their words, put in your emotions, thoughts and efforts, try to help them, try to please them, try to compromise with them. Put your time and enjoy towards them, react to them. They are draining you mentally, emotionally and physically. A narcissist is not interested in anyone other than themselves. You don’t owe any explanation for being you or what you do, as they’ll never explain anything to you.
A narcissist wants what they want, and they care not for those who stand in their way.
Be who you want to be for yourself, and not you who think others think you should be for them.
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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.
Detach your thoughts.
Don’t argue with a narcissist.