recovery from narcissistic abuse

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Find Support: This may only include one or two people you trust. Confide in someone who will validate and believe you.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

Snag your free healing toolkit!


  1. Suzy

    This is all sound advice but what if the victim has no support system (narcs are notorious for isolating their victims so they have no-one to turn to) and is also financially dependant on the narcissist. What does one do then?

    1. Kim Saeed

      Hi Suzy, if you aren’t able to leave right away, then a good plan of action is to find a way to bring in some income of your own and/or visit your local domestic violence center and see if they can start a case for you and what resources they can offer you. I was in that position at one point in time, and I made it my mission to find a way out of it. Wishing you the best…


  2. Mary

    I am so happy to know you Kim. I Felt like I was swimming around In a very dark Pool before I read your comments. You truly do know about this and you truly have validated my feelings. I have been suffering for 28 years By living with a man who is a covert, malignant narcissist. He has used every behavior to get his supply from me. And I have been too much in “love” and practicing cognitive dissonance until I couldn’t do it anymore. To make matters worse I am a therapist to and I was living in denial and had blinders over my eyes because I didn’t want to believe what might possibly be true. I thought he was in my knight in white shining armor when I first met him and he did everything to prove that he was . I could talk forever about the things he did and what happened but the main point here is that I am out of that relationship now four months. And thank you once again for all of your support and knowledge. I love you Kim.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Awww, thank you for your sweet words, Mary! I am so happy to know you realized you deserve happiness and are out of that awful relationship.

      Don’t feel bad about being a therapist inside of your situation. I have worked with many lovely souls like yourself who are very learned in psychology and have licenses to practice, but still fell prey to these individuals. It goes to show we cannot think our way out of it, and in fact, I believe having a vast amount of knowledge of psychology actually makes one stay longer because we tend to over-empathize with narcissists. Mainly, because we know – in most cases – they were wounded as children. Once we accept we cannot help that long-gone wounded child, then we can finally move forward into breaking free and healing.

      Big hugs to you. Love back at you 🙂

      Kim XoXo

  3. I need to go No Contact with a narcistic brother, but he knows where I live and work. As mentioned so many times, telling a narc to leave you alone when they know where to find you is of little use, and this individual has been known to get physically abusive when things do not go his way. Getting the police involved for stalking/harassing is the next option, but then will people start wondering why there are police in our place of business (and we are in an area that people are already concerned about)? We can’t just shut down the business and move out of the house. Thoughts?

    1. Kim Saeed

      Hi Albert, if you get a restraining order, it will offer you legal rights and protection. I would consult with a lawyer in your state as they will know precisely what options you have to get a restraining order going. This is probably your only option, as it was mine once upon a time.

      I think whatever drama might occur from the police being at your place of business would be small compared to what drama could occur if you leave yourself without protection.

      Wishing you the best.


  4. Thank you for helping me and supporting me by having this website. I thought i was the only person suffering from abuse from a narcissistic abuse. I was with my ex for 8 years, suffering emotional and physical abuse. It took me two years to leave him. However i had to see him last week to get my belongings. i thought i was strong enough now not to let him hurt me again but he did. NOW i have to be strong enough to go no contact again. as you helped me see what he really is and i deserve so much more than this. It will always hurt but it wont be killng me any more. Thanks

  5. Kimberly

    This is very helpful info…glad im able to read up on some information even tho I haven’t joined because of financial reasons but I plan on joining soon.

  6. I had to reread this newsletter again because what you have always said about these types of people. It’s a shame to have people out there in this world like this that seek out to destroy another person life just to get what they can from a (supply) not because we are stupid, but because we have a giving heart and a kind soul that want the good out of life but unfortunately we all have stumbled across a Narcissist (man or woman). Not getting what the Narcissistic really needs in life, they hurt and mistreat the one with the giving heart and kind soul and then go out and seek what they want. But they still don’t win because once you go through Narcissistic abuse and decide that you are worthy as a person, believe that person for who they really are, you have to go through the process to get to the other side and you do have to completely go no contact(unless kids) because of what I have been seeing with the ones I know (Narcissistic) there life is not doing good because they got what they wanted and now it to hard to get out.

  7. Renee

    My child is a victim of sexual and domestic abuse from the narcissist other parent for 5yrs. I had lost custody and visits thru court manipulation. My child is now with me going thru the grief process and blaming me for it all. My child who just turned 18 acts like a Narc at times. Completely opposite of their behavior growing up in their 12 years with me. Is my child a narcissist?
    I went grey rock awhile ago just by my own learning process. The Narc hasnt contacted me since my child moved in. Im assuming my child was the new source as well as victim to his sick shit.
    I have read that people are born this way. I dont know if my child is just mimicking the Narcissist perpetrator or was one all along and it came out from living with the narc. I love my child so much but am not sure how to handle this. Yes, a therapist is being seen but im still being blamed for all of this. Fortunately…i hope…my child will be learning life lessons as they joined the marines and will ship out Jan 2019.
    How do i know if my child is a narcissist? Or just brain washed by one?

    Thank you for your blogs God bless.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Hi Renee,

      I’m sorry for your situation. I wish I could be of help, but I can’t diagnose your child as a narcissist. What I can say is that in most cases, children who grow up with a narcissist in the home either become a narcissist themselves, or codependent. Some people are born that way, but more often, it’s a defense mechanism that forms due to adverse childhood experiences during a child’s early formative years.

      By the time a narcissist has reached adulthood, there is usually little that can be done to correct their condition. But, that still doesn’t mean your child is necessarily a narcissist. It may be too soon to tell. Some of their behaviors could be due to extreme emotional neglect as a child as children who grow up in toxic environments do not learn emotional resilience like their peers who grow up in non-dysfunctional homes.

      The best thing you can do is be there for them, offer your love and support, and see how things unfold. Try not to invalidate their experiences. Acknowledge how much pain they’re in.


  8. June

    When I first came to California, I was appalled by how rude and crude people are here. How abusive most of the people around here acted. When I saw it over and over again from people all around my life, the question I asked myself was, do they teach them that in school here? It is so prevelant it seems more a stereotype. I have lived here in CA for thirty years, having moved here to attend a specialized school where the student teacher ratio was 1:5. And there was a narcissist among us. I didn’t understand the word narcissism that much, I only understood that behavior as bullying and what that is. I did a lot of reading on the inet about bullying, spending days and nights trying to understand that. When I moved to CA, my neighbor was just that. And now lately I have discovered what that is is narcissism. Now that I have studied the scope of what that all is, I know the people I have met and known here are just that. I can’t believe how prevalent that is. It wasn’t until I became a volunteer here at the local hospital did I realize that this is the only place in my life where I’m treated with decency and respect and they were patients. Laying there feeling vulnerable and many of them alone, I was quick to connect in an interpersonal way that I had never felt in the thirty plus years I have lived here. People I called my “friends” really couldn’t care less. One I have known for thirty years is a true epitome of a narcissist. I always knew something was awry. The way she mildly insulted me in front of my friends, in front of her friends, I would invite her to lunch with a common friend and she would just sit there hogging the entire time while leaving me out of everything to where I just get up and leave. The next day she “senses” that there is something wrong and to come over for coffee. That done, not a word said about it. She being sweet and nice and accommodating. I took that as a subtle apology. So I’d let it go. It has been nothing but this push pull relationship for years. I would support her when she was down about something. But when I needed support she would smear it in my face. Slowly but surely I have been pulling away. She knows it, too. Of course it’s all my problem. She knows almost everybody in town as she was a down town business owner for many years. She would invite me over for dinner, then someone passes by on the sidewalk and she invites them over and gets out some nice cheese and a beer and spend the entire evening talking to that person. She has rudely done this time and time again and when I say something about it, she treats me like a big baby, fault shifting it. I pull away and she comes back. Time and again. I mean this could go on, me writing this stuff til your head falls off. When I discovered this site I was reading a book called, the boy who was raised as a dog, (in caps), about children who were abused as young children, which was something I need to learn and understand more about it. There was a term in that book that I didn’t understand so I looked it up on the inet. And lo and behold in the column there was a topic that read, do you know a narcissist. It wasn’t until that moment that what I was a “friend” to is the epitome of a narcissist. I mean she fits the mold! And my question is, is this learned? Is it intrinsic? Inherent? Do other narcissists Teach them through their examples? Is it a survival mechanism? Something protective of a hurt soul? Is it genetic? Do narcissists know they are? My own rationale was, if she knows she’s doing it, then she is aiming it at me. If she doesn’t know she’s doing it does that mean she is doing it to everyone else she knows? Or is it just a phoney “good behavior” so she can ensure herself and others that it is I with the problem. This is a very complex issue and I hope that I don’t have to know everything about. I think it would overwhelm me. Her friends treat me like dirt that I never deserved. So she’s putting me down everywhere else, too.
    So lately I have been really depressed, staying home, not seeing anybody, I sleep all the time and I don’t care. So when I got this birthday card from her earlier this month I left on the porch for a couple of weeks, then threw it away. This afternoon I erased every one of her families and her phone numbers and erased her number from my speed dial. I don’t have a phone except for a land line and don’t do social media so I don’t need to worry about that. It took so long as I had to think it through and now I know indeed that I have done the right thing. I blew her off like this before and she worked to get it back, til the same stuff was happening. This time I really don’t care and she’ll have to live with whatever comes. And she probably doesn’t even care. In fact I know she doesn’t.

  9. Sharmila

    It’s working. Not answering backbthe stupid emails texts and just going through the lawyer. It’s costing us both more money now but in the long run my mental and our kids mental well being is more important than money.

    Thank you.

  10. Shirlee

    Once you let them know what they are and who they are the will cut and run. As long as you are giving them what they want, they will continue. One I read to the narcissist what I experienced with him, he stopped contacting me and that was what I wanted. He pulled a no contact with me because he could not get supply with me and now he is one to the next unsuspecting woman,

  11. Kim is so right on about the only way is NO CONTACT. I went no contact with my ex narc 2 years ago. Once I decided, I didn’t answer his calls or texts. Once I realized what he was, he had to go. He tried for almost a year to get me to respond but I held strong because we were together for 14 years and then he realized that all his old ways of getting me back didn’t work. Leaving angry voice messages and texts but I didn’t care about him, I started caring about my self. I had to go no contact with some close family members also. After learning about Narcissism, it open my eyes on what I always knew wasn’t right, I just couldn’t put my finger on it and I’m grateful for you Kim. Going no contact was the best thing I could ever do for myself.

    1. Kim Saeed


      I am so happy to learn that you discovered your worth and took steps to make sure you’d not be mistreated by this person again. That took a lot of courage and discipline. Wishing you all the very best in your path forward.

      Kim XoXO

  12. It has been over 30 days no contact and my life is expanding into such warmth and possibility. Reading these posts daily have helped so many times. I find I ‘forget’ how awful it was and consider contact? Then i get here read a post and feel fully reminded, validated and clear again. thank you for all you do. I wish you much light. hiy hiy

  13. Mary Jo Peterson

    I married a narcissist. I am now getting divorced after only 2 and a half years. He was the most wonderful man I had ever been with in the beginning. The night in shining armor. Only 6 months after being married he had a affair with our married next door neighbor witch where our best friends. He turned to her after I caught him in a huge lie. I found out he owed the bank 60 thousand dollars for the house from his last marriage. Take it I was debt free my house was paid off. I got very angry with him for that. After that the four of us had a come to Jesus meeting and we all agreed to no contact. Than I get a phone call from his x wife telling me he was using his 15 year old son as a go between him and her. She sent me the message off his phone. When I confronted him he said it was only twice to call it off. A few weeks later some how these backed pictures of him show up on my phone in this text me now app. I confronted him again. Now he tells me he is addicted to pron and pron chat sites. I found out he was talking to her when the pictures where sent. He agrees to not have a cell phone anymore and go to a therapist. after that he has to give and get back some things from the next door neighbors. He goes over there and is there for about a hour. So I go to get him and they all 3 gang up on me. There is alot more to this story. I kicked him out because I found out he was not going to work and staying out for 10 to 11 hours at a time that was less than 2 months ago. He is now living with his new victim and telling her what a bad person I am. This man must have read the text book on how to be a narcissist because it is word by word him. To all out there you can not do anything to help them. I treid for about a year and all I did was torcher myself. Get out while you have a soul and your sanity left

  14. Davette Armstrong

    I have gone No Contact, blocked his number & he got a different number. My therapist doesn’t really know much about NPD but acknowledges I’m greiving. There have been no friends or groups for support. He has started Love Bombing. I slipped & intrepidly text him. He is holding back too.
    His friend has become involved & moved closer to him. I’m hoping he will take my place as the new supply.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Goodness, Davette, I hope you’ll consider my online program, The Essential Break Free Bootcamp. Not only will you learn how to break free for good and start healing your life, you will get tons of support inside our private FB group. Here’s the link if you’d like to look it over: The Essential Break Free Bootcamp

      Hugs, Kim XoXo

  15. Bryan McClintock

    Oh so true! My Narc is so hell bent on always being right and never owning a thing that she has never even tried the fake apology route! Even said “I didn’t do ONE thing wrong in 6 years!” Heck, even Harriett Nelson and June Cleaver couldn’t claim that! Like a friend said to me “When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE THEM!” And like Kim has said before “Nobody ever got closure from their one last conversation with a Narc!” My Narc has moved on to other supply. Good riddance!

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for quoting me, Bryan! That made my morning 🙂

      I agree, any time we can leave a toxic relationship, it’s definitely good riddance. Wishing you all the best on your path forward.


  16. Karen

    My narcissistic ex husband of thirty years married his affair partner but continues to text me all the time it’s very difficult for me to go no contact even though I know I should

    1. Kim Saeed

      I think we can all relate to that, Karen. I don’t think it’s easy for anyone, but it’s the only way to move forward in life. Wishing you the best.

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