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The Art Of Beating A Narcissist At Their Own Game

Updated on December 20, 2014

When No Contact Is Not An Option

People who are dependent on or incapable of immediately cutting off contact with a narcissist may feel stuck, vulnerable and helpless.

Narcissists are referred to as "emotional vampires" because they arouse and feed on negative human emotions. Some victims of narcissistic abuse don't realize what is going on. They cannot understand why someone would intentionally toy with them. Narcissists target sensitive, empathetic people because those who feel empathy cannot relate to those who do not.

The most rational advice to someone who is exposed to mistreatment from a narcissist is simple: "Get Away!"

However, the solution is not always this simple for people in this predicament. Examples of situations in which a person cannot always just pick up and leave include employment settings, marriage, minors living at home, disabled people who are physically dependent on a narcissist or certain family relationships. In most circumstances, there is a way out with enough effort, but cutting off contact may take some time and planning.

Get Educated On Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Know thine enemy, know thyself...

Part I: Know Thine Enemy:

If you suspect you are being targeted by a narcissist and you want to learn how to "beat" a narcissist at their own game(s), first things first: get to know who, or shall I say, what you are dealing with.

Research narcissism as much as you can. Learn what the traits are and what their common patterns are. Get to know the enemy! Accept who you are dealing with. They will not change. They are incapable, because they will never accept that something is wrong with them. You cannot educate them and help them.

Great sources about narcissistic personality disorder:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Part II: Know Thyself

After researching Narcissistic Personality Disorder, if you believe you are dealing with a narcissist, move on to research narcissistic abuse. If you identify with the symptoms, find others to identify with. There are forums, YouTube channels, Facebook pages with others who have and who are suffering from narcissistic abuse. Find support, even if the only support you can find is online. If possible, find a therapist. If you were abused by a narcissist, you may also have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, especially if you were abused as a child.

Narcissistic abuse resources:

Narcissistic Victim Syndrome: What The Heck Is That?

Signs You've Been Abused By A Narcissist

Facebook Page: Freedom From Narcissistic Parental Abuse

YouTube Channel: Narcissism Survivor

YouTube Channel: Ollie Matthews


Should You Confront The Narcissist?

After learning more about how narcissists operate, identifying with others who have experienced similar treatment and realizing what the problem is, you may feel tempted to confront the narcissist. Before doing this, first consider what you hope to gain and then consider what the risks are. Can you completely cut off contact or will you risk shaking up your life a great deal? Is it worth it to confront them?

If not, next consider how you will maintain contact and work to gain peace despite having to interact with the narcissist.

Some techniques that will help you defend against the narcissist and regain control:

1.) Remember that you are not dealing with someone who operates on compassion and decency. Therefore, you will need to put a wall up around them. Do not let them in. Do not trust them. At the same time, don't stoop to their level by compromising your values or doing anything that would go against your internal beliefs.

2.) Narcissists want to feel better by getting a reaction. Don't give it to them. Now that you know what they are, you know they do what they do to disturb and upset you. Don't give them your emotion. One of two things will happen. They will either leave you alone and move on to the next target or they will dig their own grave. No matter what, don't give them your emotion.

Do You Have A Relationship With A Narcissist?

See results


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    • profile image

      15 months ago

      I have been with a women for twenty years and experienced a lot of the typical behavior of the N. Having no knowledge of ND I rationalized her behavior. She pulled her little Houdini silent act from year one. But now I know! When you "LOVE" someone it's amazing what you put up with. (Stupid me) Educating myself has made a world of difference. I have been receive the silent treatment for a month now however she's not getting the normal results. I have tons regarding this disorder. I am done with her I can't take it. Best of luck to those being abused......educate yourself about the ND. Makes a world of difference good luck.

    • profile image

      Anonymous 19 months ago

      You have to know the tricks they use to manipulate people, here is a useful link:

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 19 months ago from Philippines

      This is very good advice about how to deal with a narcissist. It is practical, doable and well explained.

    • heatherlund profile image

      heatherlund 20 months ago from Tacoma, WA

      The more I read about NPD the more I realize that I have been duped by many a narc. Good hub and an informative read.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 2 years ago from California, United States of America

      You are absolutely right that narcissists target sensitive empathetic people who don't operate on that same level so don't suspect them. You're also right that a person must become fully aware of what the narcissist is and how they operate and what the abuse feels like, to adequately deal with narcissistic abusers. Good advice on dealing with them too.

    • loveaches profile image

      Miriam Micheals 2 years ago from United States

      Lynda, unfortunately you are correct. It's very hard when a person first realizes that they've been abused for years. There are so many emotions that come and go. I agree, there is no working it out. I feel for those married to or living with a narcissist. The only thing you can really do is just put up a guard all the time and try to get out, make a plan and take the action to get away. I was raised by a malignant narcissist and just came to realize this recently. It has been an emotional rollercoaster, but I know the only answer is to heal and cut contact. Thankfully, there are so many resources and networks with others who have experienced this torture; there is validation for victims. Thank you for sharing.

    • lyndapringle profile image

      Lynda Pringle 2 years ago from Austin, Texas

      I found your last poll amusing: "No, I am a narcissist!" LOL!! As if they would admit such a thing to themselves!

      Confronting the narcissist about his behavior is ill advised because they will take delight in your distressed reaction. Remember that these people thrive on control and they win if they can get a reaction out of one. Also, there is no reasoning with them as they are never wrong in their world and do not have the capacity of feeling guilt or empathy which are key traits in being able to reason with people. There is also the danger of gaslighting if you try to confront them. Once again, they may be clever enough to have you second guess your emotions, making you believe that you are the unreasonable or crazy one and the problem with the relationship.

      If you definitely know that you are involved with a narcissist, there is no working it out as there's no cure for the condition. Get out of the relationship immediately. Don't even bother to explain why, or even tell him that you're leaving because he's a narcissist. Any explanation you give will lead to lengthy discussions causing you once again to question your choice. Don't even break up in person as it will give him or her the chance to weasel his way back into your life. Just send him a text or voice message (when you know he won't be available) simply telling him that the relationship is not working out, wish him well and urge him to not contact you again.

      Being a narcissist, he may also very well be a stalker so if he persists in trying to reach you, change your telephone number, don't walk to places alone for a while and stay with friends for a couple of weeks while he gets over it. Hopefully, his attitude will be that "he can do better anyway" and move on.