When it comes to narcissistic people due to the characteristics of the disorder the best approach is to go no contact and leave them to go and live their life while you go and live yours, however, with some narcissistic people this isn’t always possible as they try to sneak back in, or for various other reasons such as sharing children you might not be able to go no contact. In which case we need rules to deal with a narcissistic person, these shouldn’t ideally be used long term as narcissistic people will up their games. Escalating their manipulation to try and gain what they want from you or to try and sabotage you, so no contact is always best, if that’s not possible, limited contact.
Rule 7 of dealing with a narcissistic person is never take what they say or do personally, never adjust yourself to meet their requirements, stay humble around them to protect yourself, don’t outsmart them in front of them to protect yourself, don’t outsmart them to meet their needs, stay humble to protect your goals, ideas, dreams, celebrations. By no longer falling victim to the narcissist’s insecurities, narcissistic people are incredibly envious, self-entitled, exploitative people and they lack empathy which is a dangerous combination, therefore if they believe you’re getting one over on them they’re going to seek to punish you, if you stay humble around them you’re not going to fall prey to their insecurities, to their character traits, meaning you can protect yourself around them.
Narcissistic people will personally attack you and it is intentional especially when they don’t have a valid argument against you.
Narcissists will go after the things that matter to you the most, as these are the things you’ll most passionately defend and they can then play the victim to the reality they created.
They use the things you’ll take personally so you go try to justify and explain even defend yourself to them, to which they’ll then accuse you of attacking them.
When you try to defend yourself from a narcissist it often serves the narcissist, they can either believe you’re attacking them to gain flying monkeys and enablers to their side or wind you up, get you going to gain that reaction to blame you, you explaining yourself to them makes them feel like they’re important to you.
By telling a narcissist how you feel, give the narcissist more ammunition to use against you.
The fact they’re making personal attacks towards you, shows that they lack the empathy to value your opinion or care for your thoughts, they lack the ability to understand your point of view, and they just want to get at you or get one over on you.
They don’t care for how their behaviour affects you, therefore defending, arguing, rationalising, explaining or justifying yourself to them, is going to work in their favour, you’re meeting their requirements for attention, they’re getting the information they so desperately need from you, they’re getting the reactions they need from you, the attention they need from you, they don’t care for your feelings, or your explanations, so stop giving them what they want from you, by never taking what they say to you personally, recognising that it’s their insecurities, issues and problems, that they’re trying to make yours, so that you communicate more with them, give more attention to their problem, while they make out you’re the one causing all the issues.
It is incredibly challenging not to take things personally that are a personal attack on you, narcissistic people are going to make it personal as that’s their best defence against how they feel.
If a narcissist has done something that they shouldn’t have done, which is morally wrong and you try to call them out, not only will those cause a narcissistic injury, potentially leading to narcissistic rage, and placing you in danger, they’re going to attack back, if you’re doing something or if you are something that a narcissist is envious of, they’re going to purposely attack you, if you’re stepping away from a narcissist they’ll go after the things you care about to draw you back in, to gain those reactions from you, to punish you for daring to leave them.
Narcissists don’t want to see other people being happy, unless they’re the reason for that happiness so you feel grateful and obligated to them, often giving them the praise and recognition they’re so desperately seeking from you. They can use empathy to guilt trip you, to exploit you, to make you feel bad, to get you to change your mind, so you don’t stop communicating with them. Narcissists know exactly what emotional buttons to push within you to trigger emotions that will best serve them, and you need to stop adjusting yourself to meet their needs and start adjusting yourself to meet your own.
Narcissists use personal attacks as leverage to get one over on you, you’ve got to start using their personal attacks on you to become a better you, you’ve got to start using their personal attacks as leverage for yourself, narcissistic people are going to attack your character, they’re going to attack who you are as a person, and they might start off small, they might start with the things they know you’re insecure about and then create insecurities you knew nothing about. They’re looking to cause that self-doubt within you, don’t defend, argue, rationalise or explain, don’t take it personally, recognise it’s their personal attack on you, because they’re feeling envious of you or they want something from you, they lack the empathy to care about you and work on being comfortable with the characteristic they’re trying to attack about you. To prove to yourself that what they’re saying about you isn’t true, don’t prove it to them, prove it to yourself, stay humble around them, and let them think whatever they want to think about you, as they’re going to anyway.
Narcissists will attack your motives, your reason for doing something, when you say no to them and they start accusing you of being awkward, recognise it’s because they’re not getting their own way, therefore they want to accuse you of having motives you do not have to make you feel bad and change your mind to serve them, due to how you have to handle yourself around narcissistic people, it’s normal to feel like you’re being awkward, you can not compromise with those who are unable or unwilling to compromise with you. They’re going to take advantage of your willingness to compromise with them, so you have to stand your ground with them, give a narcissist an inch, and they will take a mile. You have to stick to your values and beliefs and say no, to which a narcissist will accuse you of being awkward, to use your emotions against you, to get you to do what they want you to do. To get you to meet their requirements, therefore don’t take it personally. Recognise what your intentions are and don’t explain them, if they want to believe you’re awkward let them believe it. Know your truth and leave them to it.
Narcissistic people will attack your feelings, they’ll accuse you of being insecure, being too sensitive, recognise they’re incredibly insensitive people who’ve usually done something to personally attack you due to their insecurities, the narcissist’s projection, when you call them out they lack the valid argument, they don’t want to take responsibility, and choose to try and play the victim, when you try to call a narcissist out, they don’t take responsibility, instead, they blame you, so they can avoid taking responsibility and avoid any consequences for their actions, they need you and those around you to question your feelings, so people don’t question their behaviour. Don’t take it personally, personally recognise the emotions they’re pulling out within you and their behaviour that’s causing that emotion, then use that as leverage, as guidance as to what you need to do, to meet your requirements to keep your emotions protected around them.
Narcissistic people will go all out with their smear campaigns to attack your reputation, they want to damage your character, they want to influence other people’s opinions of you, and paint you in a bad light, narcissistic people usually do it in a way where you then take it personally, “why is this happening to me, why are they doing this to me, what can I do about this.” You might then start defending yourself and explaining yourself to protect yourself, which usually plays straight into a narcissist’s hands, because they’ve already set the game up before you even knew the game was going to be played, they can usually twist your explanations and reactions in their favour. The best way to handle a narcissist attacking your reputation, is don’t take it personally, which can be very challenging when their smear campaigns are ruining your life, and your livelihood, recognise they want you to ask them to stop, they’ll not stop, they know they’ve got you, when you step away and no longer play, they get bored and eventually leave you alone. The narcissist is often concerned that you could expose them, therefore they’ll try to ruin you first so your truths aren’t believed by others and their lies are. The best approach to a smear campaign is to leave them to it, recognise why they’re doing it and prove by your actions that what they’re saying about you isn’t true.
With some narcissists the more you stand your ground, the further they escalate their games, however, when they’re getting nothing from you most give up, they’ll still blame you.
A Narcissist will personally attack your abilities, they’re envious of others, therefore they don’t want to see others doing well, they want to sabotage and see others fail. A Narcissist will go all out to find many underhand methods to sabotage you, your skills, your talents, and your attitude, they’re going to personally attack these to cause that self-doubt within you, this is when you’ve got to use those personal attacks as leverage to prove to yourself that you can do something if you start with the mindset of “I’m going to prove them wrong.” Then use that as leverage to get you started, to prove yourself, every time you’re having a bad day, remember that person who is waiting to see you fail, remember that person who told you, you couldn’t and show you, you can. Don’t show a narcissist, don’t outsmart a narcissist, by showing the narcissist they seek to destroy you, don’t outsmart them by showing them you can, outsmart them by not giving them the privilege to that information about you, by proving to yourself they can’t take you down, as you’ll just get back up and become better than the person you were before. Don’t take their attack personally, use it as leverage to help you achieve the things that you’re capable of doing, remember if they cared for you, they’d be supportive towards you, and they’d help you through your mistakes not create your mistakes. When they’re discouraging you, they are envious of you and lack empathy to care for you.
Narcissistic people will attack your choices. “Are you sure you should be doing that?” “Do you really think you can do that?” “As if you’re capable of that.” they often sell it to you as though they have your best interests at heart, but they don’t have your best interest at heart they have their own best interests at heart, they want to personally attack your choices, so that they can have the control over your choices, so when they say “you sure you really want to do that.” say “I’ll go and think about it.” and then when you’re away from them don’t let the self-doubt creep in, recognize they’re trying to sabotage you and do it for you.
Use the narcissist’s personal attacks against you as motivation to adjust yourself to your requirements for you, be humble around a narcissistic person, and let them have a low estimate of your capabilities because the less they think of you the less they’ll attack you, have a high value of yourself and the things you can achieve with a strong desire, some drive and determination. When a narcissist is telling you you’re not capable, use this as leverage to prove to yourself you are.
Going to someone who lacks empathy, who is envious, to show you did something they said you couldn’t, might make it so they seek to destroy it for you, they might seek to punish you, so do it for you and not for them,
Never personalise their personal attacks on you, recognise their behaviour for what it is, and leave them to it. Limited contact, if possible no contact.
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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.