The Only Guaranteed “One Crazy Trick” for Dealing with a Narcissist
Not all narcissists are flagrant and boisterous with their abusive and manipulative behavior.
Many are quiet, subdued, and put on an innocent face around people who don’t know them very well.
In fact, that’s often how the narcissist lures you into their trap.
You ignore the red flags, console them (even when they’re to blame for whatever problem), and assume they will correct their negative behaviors. But nothing changes.
That’s because you’re not dealing with a typical person – you’re dealing with a narcissist.
Narcissists don’t process or experience emotions the way average people do and this is reflected in their abusive behavior. As such, you cannot respond to a narcissist in the same way you might respond to other people and expect a similar outcome.
Here’s how to shut down a narcissist and understand their pattern of behavior.
Why Is It So Hard to Shut down a Narcissist?
Narcissism isn’t just a cute reference to Greek mythology – it’s a personality disorder (narcissistic personality disorder). Narcissists don’t think, speak, feel, or behave the same way average people do and you shouldn’t expect them to.
The narcissist believes their behavior is normal. The manipulating, self-victimization, and exaggerated self-importance: they honestly believe they’re always in the right. Everyone else is the problem.
But this isn’t a blog to help people suffering from narcissistic personality disorder – it’s to help people dealing with a narcissist. Unlike many other personality disorders and mental illnesses, the narcissist leaves victims of devastating abuse in their wake.
Dealing with a Narcissist and Their Supply – Demand Mentality
In order to understand how to shut down a narcissist, you need to understand how they experience, process, and react to emotions, energy, and everyone in their immediate environment.
Imagine someone suffering through substance abuse. They crave a fix – whether it be drugs, alcohol, or food. Their substance of choice gives them a rush and satisfies them for a bit so the cycle continues as it gets worse.
For narcissists, the emotions, energy, and attention of people around them are their substances of choice. You’ve got what they need: sympathy, validation, reassurance, and even physical energy.If you don't give up your attention voluntarily, the narcissist will create the material conditions for it to happen.Click To Tweet
How many times has the narcissist lured you into a fight? Overreacted to minor inconveniences or transgressions? How many times have you tried to confront the narcissist about their disrespectful behavior only to end up apologizing to them?
The Parasitic Relationship is a Two-way Street
The narcissist’s behavior is in no way your fault. No one deserves to be manipulated, used, and abused. (Although, the narcissist will often make you genuinely believe it is your fault and you do deserve it.)
That said, it’s crucial to recognize that the relationship is a two-way street. The parasite cannot function without its host. Without blaming yourself for your situation, you’ll want to do some self-reflection to figure out what you’re getting from this relationship.
In some cases, your physical home or family might be at stake. But in other cases, the narcissist’s infatuation with you might be somewhat comforting – no matter how destructive it gets. Maybe you like certain qualities or have fond memories with them. Maybe you still believe they can change.
Whatever emotional vulnerabilities you’re carrying, evaluate them before moving forward so you can shut down a narcissist for good.
The Only Method for Dealing with a Narcissist That Actually Produces Results
You might have read along nodding your head in agreement at everything above – but now we’re getting to the hard part.
The only way to completely shut down a narcissist is to cut them out of your life in every way, shape, and form. You can’t respond with understanding and kindness. You can’t move across the country and continue to text them. You can’t “take a break” and see what happens in a few weeks or months.
They need to go.
This might sound harsh – especially if you’ve built a family or close relationship with them – but it’s the only way. You need to acknowledge that this is an abusive situation with a person who will never understand that their behavior is wrong.
Even if you’ve known or lived with them for years, it may be that you’ve never experienced the narcissist’s true self.
Everything the narcissist says or does is a ploy to extract certain reactions and emotions from others. Sometimes the narcissist wants you to feel sad and sorry for them. Maybe the next day they’d like it if you felt guilty or worthless. To the narcissist, the weekend is a perfect opportunity for a nice long fight with every emotion possible thrown around.
Always Stand Your Ground
If you want this cycle to stop – and for good – you’ll want to stop supplying the narcissist with what they want.
When dealing with a narcissist, the only thing you can do is stand your ground. Refuse to have that weekend argument – walk away or run for the hills.
But don’t ever get visibly angry: that would feed their ego too much.
It won’t be easy at first and the narcissist will react with a range of emotions very similar to the grieving process. They might tease or gaslight you at first. Maybe later they’ll call you in tears and threaten suicide (which they’ll, of course, say is your fault). If none of that works for them, don’t rule out violent behavior.
Narcissists can get very angry when their manipulation tactics stop working. But for you, that means everything is going as planned.
Keep standing your ground and do whatever it takes to get away from them and cut off all communication. Don’t give them a chance to shift the blame, become the victim, and make you feel sorry for them.
How to Shut Down a Narcissist: Concrete Steps You Can Take Right Now
Not everyone’s situation is the same. Abuse victims often find out they’re dating, living with, or even raising a family with a narcissist after quite some time. In other cases, you’re dealing with a narcissist in your family or work environment.
When you decide to finally break free, a lot of people may not believe your experience. That’s okay: they don’t have to because you know the truth.
Still, cutting a person out of your life isn’t easy – especially one clinging to you for life. Here are some tips to start dealing with a narcissist the right way:
- Block Everything: Phone numbers, social media accounts, email addresses, carrier pigeons. If you leave a loophole for the narcissist to contact you, they will exploit it.
- Find Support: This may only include one or two people you trust. Confide in someone who will validate and believe you.
- Consider a PPO: You don’t know how the narcissist will behave once you cut them off. They may become violent or stalk you, your family members, and friends.
- Let People Know: Tell mutual friends you don’t want them to relay any messages from the narcissist – no need to explain why if you aren’t comfortable. This will close every last channel and thoroughly shut down a narcissist.
No, They Won’t Change. This Is the Only Option
The narcissist will not suddenly see things your way. If they ever do, it’s – a) for a fleeting moment and b) to use against you later. Don’t believe the conflicting information you might see from other websites or therapists – the narcissist will never change.
Studies suggest that over 6% of the population has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Personality disorders are much different than mental illnesses.
With a mental illness, a chemical imbalance in the brain causes different disturbances that manifest as depression, anxiety, and many others. Although complex, mental illnesses tend to respond well to medication because it targets the physical root of the problem: a chemical imbalance.
Personality disorders occur because of a repetitive stimuli-reward environment. At some point in their life, the narcissist realized they could elicit specific reactions and emotions from people – and it felt good and helped them achieve their self-fulfilling agendas.
Anything less than cutting them out of your life will give you a mental and emotional breakdown.
Nope, They STILL Won’t Change. No Contact is the Only Way to Shut Down a Narcissist
Many narcissists have always been this way – even as far back as their teenage or childhood years. If you’re dealing with a narcissist, you cannot and should not expect them to change their behavior now or ever.
Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder often involves things like cognitive behavioral therapy. In many cases, a narcissist may also suffer from other mental illnesses like depression or substance use disorder. (You’ve probably heard extensively about these problems, too, when the narcissist needs your sympathy or someone to blame.)
Despite this, there is little evidence to suggest therapy actually works for narcissists as personality disorders are notoriously difficult to treat. The first step to getting help is to admit a problem exists – the narcissist will never believe they have or are a problem.
No Contact is the only option.
Trust in yourself and your support system. Because once you get to the other side and stick to No Contact, you’ll be amazed by all the amazing things you can accomplish.
If you’re ready to shut down the narcissist in your life, grab your free Beginner’s Healing & Empowerment Pack below! And please let me know your thoughts in the comment section!