This article is designed for educational purposes only. If you have been affected or been the victim of narcissistic behaviour or abuse, please speak to somebody you trust or seek professional support. The points made in this article are pointers which may help you take back a sense of control as there are no permanent solutions to being involved with a narcissist. The solution would generally be to remove yourself away from them and have little contact with them, however this is not always easy and has to be your choice.
Anybody who has fallen victim to a narcissist or who understands the ‘ways’ that narcissistic behaviour works, known that they are smart, manipulative and will not give up on achieving what they want to.
Outsmarting a Narcissist is a considered to be science; you can’t use rational logic because unfortunately the narcissistic brain is pathological. Narcissist brains don’t work the same as our brains. We have to understand what makes the narcissist tick; what they are looking for in interactions with us and how their brain works (Kay, 2018)
This article explores ways to outsmart the narcissists by making yourself the focus rather than putting yourself on the same level as them.
1. The very best way to outsmart a narcissist is to heal yourself.
Whether this is healing the emotional damage caused by a narcissistic abuse in a codependent relationship or due to a dysfunctional upbringing, getting those behaviours under control you will alter your life totally and leave the narcissist behind in the dust (Kay, 2018). You do not need to put a time constraint on your own healing. Allow yourself time to understand what happened and have a period of reflection. Once you take the step to heal, also commit to look further than this relationship and understand why part of you allowed this to happen (Goddard, 2020).
2. Take precautions to reduce narcissistic supply.
If you respond with an emotion of defence or empathy because anything like that, will be feeding them narcissistic supply (Kay, 2018). Don’t try to defend the narcissist but instead mirror the narcissist. By doing this you reflect their anger back onto them where it belongs and they do not like it (Kay, 2018).
3. Don’t react and go ‘no contact’
Going ‘no contact’ may be difficult, but in the long term, it will remind you what it was like before you the narcissist in your life. Often, people find that inner peace that they have been longing for.
4. Use the ‘grey rock method’ if you can’t do no contact.
Any communication you receive, take a step back and don’t react. If you can ask someone to read your emails, letters, text messages and any form of communication (Goddard, 2020) then this will save you from having to be exposed in that situation.
4. Agree with them.
This may sound contradictory but there is method to the madness! Narcissists tend to take pleasure in shaming people; for example, a narcissistic parent may shame you for how strict or lenient you are with your own children. If they say this, agree with them. You will take the wind out of their sails (Kay, 2018). Often, they won’t know what to say or how to respond. This is the power of nonresistance; as you mirror their words back to them and show their behaviour for how it really is, there is very little that they can do about it.
5. Keep your cards close to your chest.
Don’t show your cards to a narcissist. As hard as it may be, don’r try to explain your reasons when they attack you for something as you cannot rationalise with a narcissist. The more you try to explain yourself the weaker your position becomes (Kay, 2018).
6. Challenge your own thoughts and situation.
Remember that narcissists are very fragile and insecure people, and they use other people to fill their hole. They blame-shift, it wasn’t them and they project their incomplete or missing parts on to you saying you have a problem (Goodard, 2020). Challenge yourself and ask yourself if this is true. If the answer is no, then you may start to see your situation with eyes wide open.
7. You need to remain very calm.
Do you feel like you have lost friends and family because you have remained in a narcissist relationship? Do you feel helpless or that you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel? In these situations, it can be hard to remain calm but if you freak out in the presence of a narcissist, then you lose the game that they are playing with you and fall into their trap (Kay, 2018). When the narcissist accuses you of being angry, respond using a calm, unemotional voice. Do not say anything more do not try and explain yourself in anyway (Kay, 2018).
8. Find ways to disengage
One of the best things to do, is to separate yourself from the clutches of their power games. Narcissists will often victim-blame and use their stories to gain sympathy from you. The more attention you give them, the more they thrive and feed, just like a vampire needs blood. Any attention is better than not attention to the narcissist so if you can find ways to disengage from their fairy tales, the better it will be for you and you will zone into a new sense of reality.
9. Refuse to play.
Remember, if you are involved with a narcissistic in any way, you are immediately part of the game. If you imagine your relationship to be like a game of chess; the challenge is to see how many pieces they can remove off the chessboard and you are one of these pieces. Narcissists lack empathy and do not form emotional attachments; therefore will not care how they beat you and will take no shame in taking you out piece by piece. You can change the outcome by making simples moves and taking yourself out of the game. This will remove the power their hold over you.
10. Listen to your body.
Narcissistic abuse can leave emotional and internal damage. Emotional abuse can leave trauma inside the body so one of the best things you can do is listen to you body. Using techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, visualisation techniques can help reduce the emotional triggers and stress (Goddard, 2020).
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you have found it insightful. If you or somebody you known have experienced narcissistic abuse, then reach out and speak to somebody you trust.
Watch this space for the next article. Take care of yourselves and stay safe!
Goddard, E. (2020). How to outsmart a Narcissist. Retrieved January 20, 2021, from thriveglobal.com website: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-to-outsmart-a-narcissist/
Kay, D. (2018). 11 Ways to outsmart a narcissist. Retrieved January 20, 2021, from Daylight Out of Darkness website: https://www.daylightoutofdarkness.com/11-ways-to-outsmart-a-narcissist/