Exposing The Narcissist: Should You Do It
If there's one thing that is frustrating about dealing with pathologically narcissistic people, it's the fact that, in many situations, other people either cannot see or don't understand what kind of person the narcissist really is. It can be maddening to deal with someone who is extremely abusive and toxic to you but who seems compassionate and caring around everybody else. Many people want to expose the narcissistic person for what they really are, and people often ask if they should.
This is of course up to the individual, but the question a person needs to ask themselves is, how much are you willing to risk to do it? Exposing a narcissist can be dangerous. Don't forget, their very survival depends on keeping that false image of them in place. As you may have already found, anyone who threatens that very quickly becomes the narcissistic person's enemy. And as you also may have found, anyone who becomes the narcissistic person's enemy is severely punished. You could be risking your job, your family, your freedom or even your life, because narcissistic people who have been exposed in this way have lost their means of survival. They've lost their protective coloring, so to speak and if the exposure is devastating enough, they may feel they have nothing left to lose. People with this mindset can be very dangerous. Prisons are full of narcissistic people that came to this conclusion.
Narcissists are angry people and they can hold grudges for a long, long time. Many are above nothing; there is nothing they would not do, no level they would not stoop to in order to get revenge. If they are this abusive and destructive when you've done nothing to them at all, imagine what would happen if you actually did do something. If you have evidence or proof of something that you can use to legally stop a narcissistic person from actively harassing or stalking you, you probably should do that. But if it's just personal or in a social context, it may be better just to ignore the situation as much as you possibly can. Getting in a pissing contest with a narcissist usually doesn't end well. You have limits, and lines that you won't cross. They don't.
Another factor in the equation is the fact that the people you try to expose the narcissist to may not listen to you. For example, let's say you want to expose the narcissistic person to their new partner. Whether the reason is because you fear for this person's safety and genuinely want to warn them, or because you want to ruin the narcissist's new relationship out of hurt, ask yourself what the odds are that this person is going to believe you. They probably have not seen what you would be describing. Chances are, they are seeing the exact opposite of that, as a matter of fact. They may or may not have heard that you are a crazy stalker who can't let go or any number of other untrue things. What are the chances that this person will even listen to you, let alone believe you? Ask yourself if you would have believed it. Everyone says that they wish someone had warned them, but the truth is that many people probably would not have believed it even if they were warned. How can anyone, when what they are seeing is the diametric opposite of what they are being told?
It is of course up to each person what they decide to do and if the danger to the other person is worth the potential harm to themselves, but if you do try to expose the narcissist to other people, you need to know that not only do you put yourself at risk, you run the risk of looking like exactly what the narcissist has told them you are: a person who is trying to hurt or smear and ruin them. It's usually not worth it. Everyone has to learn exactly the way you did. Narcissists come into our lives to teach us things, and other people have lessons to learn as well. We cannot control the lives or actions of other people. Everyone is on their own journey and most of the time, unfortunately, it has to just play itself out.
There are of course exceptions, such as a situation where someone is in physical danger. For example, if the new partner has children and the narcissist has a provable history of harming children. But even then, you can only do what you can do. There is no guarantee anyone will listen to what you are saying. It's important in this situation, too, that you be really honest about your motivations. Are you genuinely trying to protect someone? Or are you trying to hurt the narcissist because you are hurt? Both are understandable but only one is really justified, and stooping to the narcissist's level is not going to make you feel good about yourself. In fact, it may just make you feel worse.
The truth is, as tempting as it may be, and as much as they may deserve it, you probably don't need to expose the narcissistic person in your life. They will expose themselves eventually. It's impossible for them not to. No one can play a character 24 hours a day for their entire life, especially when the person is a smoldering cauldron of self-hatred, denial, hypersensitivity and rage. It's just not possible to keep it hidden for very long. Eventually it will come out and the people around them will see it, just like you did. If you want the narcissist to be exposed, usually all you have to do is wait.