Stop being played! It took you awhile to figure out the narcissist in the crowd, but now you can learn how to beat a narcissist at their own game.
Sometimes, we don’t always notice another person’s true colors until we’re in too deep. Sometimes these narcissists can be people we love like a close friend or a boyfriend/girlfriend. But you finally realized this person is what they’ve always been: a narcissist. And now you want to know how to beat a narcissist at their own game
But before we even get to how you defeat them because you will defeat them* let’s just give ourselves a quick reminder of what a narcissist actually is. I’m not saying you don’t know what it is, but this word gets tossed around so much that sometimes the definition becomes blurry. [Read: What it really means to love a narcissist]
How to beat a narcissist
A narcissist is someone who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder *NPD*, but what does this mean exactly? Basically, a narcissist is someone with an excessive amount of interest in themselves. In other words, they love themselves much, much more than they care about anyone else. Narcissists don’t give a damn about their lover, best friend or literally anyone else in the world, unless they’re getting some form of attention from them.
I mean, the definition is derived from Greek mythology, where Narcissus fell in love with his own image in the reflection of water. You get where I’m going with this? Their heavily inflated sense of self-importance and feelings for themselves are heavily inflated. They need to be fed with admiration from others or else they’re not satisfied. Doesn’t sound like someone you want to hang around with, so let’s get you going with ways to beat them at their own game.
#1 Know you can’t change them.
This is the first thing to realize and fully accept. If you try to change a narcissist, you waste your time. First of all, you’re not a therapist. Secondly, this person doesn’t want to change. They’re in love with themselves. Have you ever tried to convince your friend that the person they’re in love with isn’t good for them? Yeah, exactly, it’s impossible. [Read: Emotional manipulation: 14 ways people mess with your mind]
#2 Learn the traits.
You need to know the traits of a narcissist well enough to identify them in the person you want to beat. Now, everyone, including narcissists are different. Therefore, they expose different traits from one another. Typically, narcissists lack empathy, use fear to control others, cannot admit faults, have negative reactions to criticism and exploit others. [Read: 23 secret signs of narcissism people overlook until it’s too late]
#3 Do not reveal your emotions.
Narcissists feed off of the information of others. They use information about you to get into your mind, create fear, and manipulate you. So, before you spill your heart out to them, revealing all your deepest, darkest secrets, don’t. The only thing they do is gather information about you and figure out ways to exploit it for personal gain.
#4 Detach yourself from them.
Listen, as much as you don’t want to admit it, you’re attached to them. It’s nothing to blame yourself for. They’re very charming people, so it’s easy to fall for them. But now accept that you’re attached to them and detach yourself from them. Use emotional-detachment to stop the manipulation of a narcissist. [Read: 17 signs of a narcissist and ways to break up with them]
#5 Cut contact.
It’s not going to be easy. They will keep you in their grasp for as long as they need you. Thus, if you cut contact before they used you completely, they’ll try every trick in the book to get you to stay. But cut contact, it’s that simple. Cut all the ties. Remove them from all social media and refrain from replying to any of their advances for attention.
#6 If you can’t leave them, learn to handle them.
In some instances, you won’t be able to just drop them out of your life. Maybe it’s a family member or a co-worker. If this is the case, help them by developing their empathy. This means refraining from criticizing them. Instead, encouraging them to feel compassion helps them reduce their narcissism. [Read: How to teach a narcissist to change for the better]
#7 Be gentle.
I know this sounds weird, but act in a gentle and kind way towards a narcissist if unable to cut ties. Remember, narcissists aren’t necessarily horrible people, as many of them came from childhoods which didn’t provide support.
#8 Empathy prompts.
Psychologists found this the most successful way to reduce someone’s narcissism. Empathy prompts come in two components: revealing your emotions and stating the importance of your relationship with them. Again, this doesn’t mean you reveal deep secrets, but you say “You matter to me” or “You’re important to me” or “I care about you very much.” This provides reassurance.
#9 Use “we.”
They highly focus on the “me” thoughts and sentences, so it’s time you switched it around and start using “we” phrases. It helps them to think about relationships. Most importantly, show them your love for them.
#10 Reward good behavior.
I know this sounds a little bit like training a dog but it’s not… well, kinda. Nevermind. Point is, if you focus a narcissist’s attention away from themselves, reward them when they actually achieve that. When they show compassion or concern for others’ happiness, reward them with positive compliments.
#11 Don’t play the game.
There’s a game they play, and up until now, you played it. But now, change the way you do things. Yes, you can help them. First, though, make sure you stop playing their game. Help them, be their friend, but be aware of the tactics they use, and make sure you firmly resist playing their game. [Read: The 14 signs of a narcissist playing mind games with you]
12 Put yourself first.
Remember, if want to help someone, the most important thing is to put yourself first. It’s easy to lose yourself with the idea of helping someone else.
Remember, they’re a narcissist. Yes, help them, but always remember they look for what they gain from you.
#13 But if they’re a full-blown narcissist.
#14 When you exhausted all the options, run.
I’m sorry to say this, but if you tried everything there is in the book to help them overcome their narcissistic tendencies and they’ve been to therapists but nothing works, it’s time for you to leave. It sounds harsh, but nothing is going to change. Your emotions and feelings will continue to be used for their own personal gain.