The best way forward after any kind of narcissistic relationship is no contact, which is not always easy and not always possible.
A narcissist isn’t going to learn how to treat us right. Only how to manipulate us by treating us right when they want something from us; therefore, when we can’t go no contact, we need to learn just how to handle ourselves best when around them. Limited contact is always best after no contact.
So rule 3 for dealing with narcissistic people is don’t.
Do not deal with them. At all costs, avoid them, avoid seeing them, avoid spending time with them, avoid communicating with them, avoid their games, avoid their traps, avoid eye contact especially in a court situations, avoid the narcissist, and act like they’re not in the room, they don’t exist, direct all answers to those who are asking if the narcissist is asking, direct answers to the judge and look at the judge.
Avoid dealing with narcissistic people at all costs to protect your psychological health.
Narcissistic people can be some of the most self-entitled people you could ever meet, that with their exploitative behaviour, willingness to manipulate situations in their favour, the narcissist seeking adoration and lacking empathy to care for others, you do need to be careful when no longer dealing with narcissistic people, they can take your lack of attention as criticism and seek to punish you.
When it’s one person in a friendship group you don’t often see, one family member that you might only see at another family member’s special occasion, it’s going to be easier to implement the don’t deal rule.
When it’s someone you live with, you need to be careful as those with high characteristic traits of seeking adoration, exploration, entitlement, and lack of empathy you need to be extremely cautious around. As sometimes, when you stop dealing with a narcissist, the narcissist will double down. They’ll escalate their games to get something from you.
Narcissists require attention from others to fill their own perceived inadequacy’s. As the narcissist is struggling internationally, which you can not help them with, they need to help themselves. However, they don’t want to. They seek to help themselves to other people’s stuff. Narcissistic people help lift themselves up by tearing others down. Therefore due to the narcissist’s own internal struggles, they require that attention, adoration, recognition and praise from outside sources of supply, and they learn what supply they can gain what attention from.
Narcissists aren’t interested in how you’re feeling. They’re interested in how they’re feeling, so if you have a special occasion coming up that the narcissist isn’t going to be the centre of attention of, feels envious of, they’re going to seek to extract negative emotions from within you. They’re going to seek to frustrate you by delaying you, anger you by taunting you, invalidate you by mocking you, hurt you by ignoring you, confuse you by humiliating you, and make you feel insecure to destroy your confidence.
When a narcissist isn’t happy, they’re going to go all out to make all those around them feel unhappy. Then once the narcissist has got you there, they’ll suddenly be ok again and ask. “Are you having a bad day?” “Wow, you’ve got a temper.” To further frustrate you, yet the more you feel worse, the happier the narcissist becomes as they’ve passed all their negative feelings over to you.
A narcissist will play the hero to gain admiration. They’ll be your saviour, to later down the line use those very things against you, “after all I’ve done for you?” A narcissist will play the victim to a reality they created to gain that compassion and sympathetic attention “if it wasn’t for them.” To pull on people’s compassion.
A narcissist will be controversial for controversies’ sake just to create an argument between people. They will blame, shame, ridicule, and judge others to feel better about their own insecurities. Their own inadequacy also to creat self-doubt within those around them, then a narcissist can scapegoat one person to take the fall for the narcissist’s behaviour, so the narcissist can get away with their behaviour or getting everyone to talk badly of one person, it creates a smugness within the narcissist. The narcissist feels superior when they get away with their behaviour.
A narcissist will exaggerate, they will exaggerate achievements to gain adoration, they will exaggerate traumas to gain compassion, and a narcissist will guilt trip others to get their needs met by others.
A narcissist will go all out go create drama, conflict, and absolute chaos and then they’ll stand back and watch the show.
A narcissist will bait, provoke, and goad people, a narcissist will do all they can to get people going, and once the other people have lost all control of their manipulated emotions, the narcissist will act all calm and smug.
They will lie, cheat and steal, then deny or knowledge or shift the blame over to you or those around you.
A narcissist will go around complaining about anything, everything and simply nothing at all just to find something to complain about. Food too hot, too cold, too hard, too soft, too early to late, whatever you do, it’ll not be enough, and it’ll not be right.
As one of the criteria of narcissism is seeking excessive admiration, the best way to deal with them is don’t. The more you give, the more they want, the more you don’t deal with them, and the more likely it is they’ll leave you alone. If they’ve got what they wanted in the past, they might double down with their manipulation. The longer you don’t fall for it, the sooner a narcissist will leave you alone.
Those who suffer with eczema, they might need, different diets, creams and oils, but if they leave the eczema well alone, it usually heals on its own, depending on the severity; however, eczema can be extremely irritable as soon as you give into the itch and start scratching, it gets progressively worse until you treat it the right way and leave well alone. Just like a graze, leave it, and it heals, give in to scratching the irritating scab. It can bleed, get worse and take longer to heal. Scratching at an itch gives temporary relief. However, it makes healing longer. Reacting to a narcissist gives temporary relief. However, it makes breaking free longer.
Looking at a narcissist as an irritant and as much as you want to react towards them, it might give you temporary relief, but it’ll give you long term grief.
It’s instinct, human nature to scratch eczema, scratch the scab, it’s difficult to stop ourselves at times we might do it without realising, it’s human nature to want to defend and react to narcissistic people who are irritating us, it’s tough to step away.
We have to learn to give a narcissist no reaction, no response. When a narcissist is coming at you with those verbal attacks, you need to take your attention elsewhere. You’ll often find with a narcissist when they don’t get a rise out of you. They’ll repeat that little dig they’re making towards you. When you don’t acknowledge them the first time, they’ll keep repeating the same thing. You might hear them speaking to someone else, “I don’t think they’ve heard me.” Or “have you seen how rude they are.” As the narcissist doesn’t see their words as an issue, they see your lack of response as the issue.
Do not let them know anything about you. The less is more approach, the less they know about you, the less they have to use against you.
Don’t try to outsmart the narc, don’t try to outshine a narcissistic person, know your truth yet act naively. Sometimes the best way to approach a narcissist is not to outsmart them. Outsmart them in your mind, know their games, know your reality, know your truth, let them think you don’t know, let them believe they are getting what they want, let them think they know more, let them think they’re getting their own way, it saves triggering a narcissists insecurities to the point where they’ll make you a victim of their insecurities. Sometimes around narcissistic people, you’re best playing dumb to get them to leave you alone.
Don’t take things personally. When they’re attacking your character, recognise it says nothing about your motives and capabilities and everything about their insecurities. When they’re playing the victim, don’t try to rescue them. The more we try to save them, the more they learn they can manipulate us the less they learn to be honest with themselves. When they are playing the victim to a reality, they created, step away. If you need to respond, it’s the narcissist’s words of “I’m sorry you feel that way.” as the more you help a narcissist, the more they’ll exploit your helpfulness, support the right people they’ll appreciate you, help the wrong people and they’ll exploit you. The right people wouldn’t ask too much from you and would respect you if you had other things you needed to do, a narcissist will sulk at you for not putting them first, and they’ll expect more from you. They’ll be offended if you’re too busy.
If they’re being controversial, don’t engage if you have to one-word answers. “Ok.” “I see your point.” just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean you can’t see. In your own mind, stand in your truth. However, you don’t need to defend your truth to a narcissistic person, as they’re usually being controversial to draw you into that non-productive argument with them, step away.
Don’t people please, don’t give in. However, when they’re coming at you with a controversial topic, just nod your head, and take your attention elsewhere, don’t agree or disagree, leave them to it. If you disagree with a narcissist, they take this as in-depth criticism, and they seek to punish you. Don’t let them draw you into non-productive arguments, so they learn that the topic is not going to get under your skin. When they don’t get under you, they might try to get one over on you again. Give them nothing until they learn it’s not going to work with you. Some might repeat because they need you to pay attention to it. The more you take your attention away from it, at some point, they will stop repeating because they’re not getting the reaction they want from you. Stay safe if you live with them, as some will escalate their behaviour
When they’re blaming, shaming, criticising, judging you or others, don’t give them any attention, don’t defend yourself, don’t explain yourself. As soon as you start explaining yourself to them, they’re going to use those explanations against you to hurt you all the more. The only person you need to explain and justify yourself to is yourself. Genuine people who are willing to communicate with you, yes, narcissistic people who are going to use your explanations against you, no. Once we’ve explained ourselves to someone once, and they’ve used it against us, that’s our lesson not to explain ourselves to them again. Disengage from the conversation, disengage from the situation. If it is a family event or with a group of friends, and you’re in a group conversation, and the narcissist is escalating, excuse yourself and go talk to someone else; it doesn’t matter what they think of you. It’s what you think of yourself.
Don’t take the bait, recognise the game, just like that scab on your skin, recognise it wants you to scratch it because it’s irritable. Still, you need to find something to take your mind away from the irritant, something to soothe the irritation, and the best way to soothe yourself around an irritating narcissist is by taking yourself out of the conversation, out of the situation, and leaving them to it, recognise the game they play, recognise what they’re trying to bait you into and step away, acknowledgement to yourself that you know what they are doing then finding something to do that creates happiness within you. Ignore their insults and recognise it says more about their character than it ever will yours.
The more you don’t respond to a narcissist, the sooner the narcissist learns they’re not going to get the attention they want from you, and unfortunately, they go to seek that attention elsewhere.
Once you can recognise who the narcissist is and what they are doing, leave them well alone. The more you engage in conversations and give emotional reactions to the narcissist, the weaker this makes you. The more you disengage from communication and disagreements with a narcissistic person, the more it weakens them because, the less knowledge they have about you. The less attention they get from you, the more you disengage, the weaker they become. Yes, some will escalate their games, so you need to stay safe; however, most at some point will realise they’re not getting what they want from you and, unfortunately, move on to someone new
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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.