What is Narcissism?
In order to get back at a narcissist, it’s vital that you understand how they operate.
The most basic, yet most important thing to note is that Narcissist’s have no inner sense of value. Narcissists rely on what we call narcissistic supply to gain a sense of value. In addition, Narcissists have no empathy. Lack of empathy is the second layer of narcissism that is often forgotten.
Narcissism falls on a continuum or spectrum. All humans want to feel seen, heard, and feel a sense of importance. What separates Narcissists and Narcissistic Sociopaths from the everyday person is that they strive for validation at the expense of others. Their lack of empathy keeps them in a never-ending quest for what we call Narcissistic Supply.
Narcissistic Supply can come in the form of a plethora of things. Some examples of “positive” narcissistic supply are: adulation, compliments, money, a fancy car, etc. Supply can also come in the form of what we call “negative” supply. Controlling, degrading, and devaluing another individual would be good examples of this.
So now that we have a basic primer on what narcissists are, we can begin to figure out how to get back at them. Here’s what you should do.
STOP Going Above & Beyond
If you are currently in a relationship with a Narcissist, you have probably been going above and beyond to keep them happy. It’s time to realize that you have done enough for these people. You have given them not only your mind, body, but also your soul. It’s enough already! There is nothing you can do to ever change the dynamic so just spare yourself the time, energy, and heart-ache that comes with going above and beyond. Stop giving them love. Stop giving them care. Stop giving them attention. Narcissist’s are going to take as much supply as they can from an individual before bleeding them dry. Once this happens, they will just search elsewhere for that supply. Save yourself and stop giving them what it is that they will never have enough of and that you only have a limited amount of!
Remain Calm, Cool, and Collected
Imagine that you are watching a toddler have a temper-tantrum on the floor. Not reacting to them is going to drive them crazier until they exhaust themselves. This is what you have to do in order to beat them at their own game. Remember, the Narcissist is trying to acquire supply from you. You have to remain as unemotional as possible in order to refrain from giving them what they want. Your reaction is their supply. If you cut off this supply, you will definitely be “getting back at them.”
Some suggested responses are:
“I can see that you’re upset.”
“Are you okay? It looks as if something has triggered you.”
“Perhaps we should have this conversation later when you’ve calmed down.”
If you do decide to use any of the above responses, it’s important to remain calm even amidst the possible discussion and/or interaction. You must also refrain from ANY sarcasm when using these responses – or in general.
NO Sarcasm – Not Even a Little
Narcissists are like dogs with dog whistles when it comes to sarcasm. If there is even the slightest bit of sarcasm in your tone, they will detect it. When communicating with a narcissist, you must be incredibly careful in making sure that what you’re saying is purely objective.
Be Objective and Non-Reactionary
If you communicate with a Narcissist in a way that is reactionary or emotional, you are jumping into the mud with them with little chance of getting out unscathted. If a Narcissist says something that is mean, hurtful, and often just simply untrue – they are only doing so to get Narcissistic Supply from your reaction.
The normal instinct might be to defend yourself. When you are the target of this type of behavior, the best way to get back at them is by remaining calm, cool, and collected all while simply stating, “I hear what you are saying. I don’t agree with you; however, you are certainly entitled to your opinion.”
Do NOT Bad-Mouth Them
As much as you might want to shout from the rooftops how horrible this person in your life is, it is vital that you never badmouth them to anybody. Attention is one of the biggest forms of Narcissistic Supply – even if it’s negative attention. If a Narcissist finds out that you have been talking about them, even in a negative way, they are getting supply from you. The best way to get back at a narcissist is by acting completely neutral about them – especially amongst your mutual community. Narcissists like to compile a team of what we call “flying monkeys.” They do this so that, in the event that something goes wrong within their narcissistic relationship, they will have your friends, family members, coworkers, etc.. all on their side and under their control. Talking negatively about them, or about them at all, will most likely come around to haunt you if you are truly with a Narcissist.
So, the best way to get back at them is by disappearing them from your life all-together. The best way to do this is by going completely no-contact with them.
The most effective way to ensure that you are “getting back at the narcissist” in your life is to completely cut off all contact with them. This means blocking them on all forms of digital communication (phone number, social media accounts), filing for a restraining order might be a beneficial route to go down, cutting contact with mutual friends, etc. Acting as if they don’t exist and never existed is the best way you can possibly go about getting back at a narcissist.
If this person is still in your life and, for whatever reason, you simply cannot have zero contact with them then you need to have super strict boundaries. If you are co-parenting with a Narcissist then you might need to utilize a court-approved co-parenting app so that communication is limited. The less attention, time, and energy you put towards the Narcissist- the more control you will have in that relationship and in your life.