7 Ways to Disarm a Narcissist
Hey Optimist Minds!
Are you struggling with a narcissist in your life? It could be someone in your family, in school, or at work.
Narcissists are highly obnoxious people with a tendency to be entitled, self-absorbed, and exploitative. Their lack of insight prevents them from realising their problematic behaviour. Consequently, anyone involved with the narcissist starts experiencing issues with their mental health and wellbeing.
If you, too, have found yourself in this position, this video can be of help. We’re going to talk about seven ways to disarm a narcissist. These techniques can reduce the impact of abuse and maybe even encourage the narcissist to leave you alone.
However, keep in mind that these tricks are insufficient to recover from narcissistic abuse fully. Therefore, we recommend that anyone dealing with a narcissist should consult a therapist for better healing.
Now, let’s begin.
Don’t take the bait.
When a narcissist is upset, regardless of the cause, they’ll try to displace their negative feelings onto others. For example, they might blame you for what they are feeling. Alternatively, they may even try to project and accuse you of what they’re guilty of.
To interrupt this attack, simply don’t take it personally. Instead, understand that the narcissist is only attempting to trigger you so that you give a reaction. They’re doing it to distract themselves from their own feelings of guilt and shame.
So, if you take a deep breath and count to ten before responding, you can stop yourself from falling for their trick. When they don’t get a heated reaction from you, they’ll attack more viciously.
Stand your ground and avoid retaliation. Eventually, they’ll leave you alone.
Redirect the conversation.
If you voice your concerns to the narcissist, they will deflect it and bring up something irrelevant or a countercomplaint. Notice when they do that and proactively bring the focus back to your original topic.
For example, you pointed out how the narcissist’s behaviour hurt you and then they responded by saying you too had hurt them a while back. You can respond by saying, “I can see that this issue has affected you, and we should talk about it further. But since I started talking about something first, let’s finish that and return to this.”
Try the grey rock method.
The grey rock is a contemporary technique used to avoid intriguing the narcissist or giving them supply. Supply is what the narcissist wants from us, which is either a way to inflate their ego or ammunition that they can use against us.
If we respond to the narcissist without much thought, we might give them material that makes them feel superior. If we reveal something about ourselves, they might use it for manipulation. But instead, if we only reply in bland, uninteresting terms, they don’t get any supply.
This method is called so because we need to sound boring and dull like an insipid grey rock.
Observe; don’t absorb.
Author of the book ‘The Human Magnet Syndrome’, psychotherapist Ross Rosenberg often speaks of the observe-don’t-absorb method. This can also be described as emotional detachment from the narcissistic abuse.
In this method, you choose only to observe the narcissist’s behaviour instead of letting it affect you. It sounds a little like the first method we described, but a fundamental difference lies in the observe part.
When you avoid taking the bait, you might only focus on not giving the narcissist supply. But in observe-don’t-absorb, you’re also clinically observing the narcissist’s behaviour.
When you recognise patterns, the narcissist stops being scary and unpredictable. Thus, observe-don’t-absorb allows you to neutralise the abuse, stop seeing yourself as a victim, and understand the narcissist’s psyche.
Compliment if you can.
Giving the narcissist praise keeps them at bay. This can seem a little phoney when you start, but it is a useful tool to avoid narcissistic rage. It’s better to say it like you mean it because they’ll know immediately if you’re faking it.
A few examples of effective and possibly genuine compliments are:
“Don’t be modest, you’re so great at this”,
“I have learned a lot from you”, or
“Your ambition is very inspiring.”
Record whatever you can.
In case complimenting them isn’t something you’re okay with, another way is to keep track of all their misbehaviour. You can maintain a log of everything bad that they do to you with the date, time, and details mentioned. It’s a good idea to keep photographs and audio or video recordings if possible.
If you live with the narcissist, it also helps to praise good behaviour and hold them accountable for mistreatment.
Maintain strong boundaries.
Finally, you can disarm a narcissist by asserting your limits and sticking to them. For instance, you can tell them that there will be a negative consequence if they continue hurting you. Then, when they inevitably ignore your threat, follow through with the repercussion.
Narcissists normally don’t know what to do with people who have firm boundaries. That’s why they seek targets who have their boundaries blurred.
Did you find these tips to disarm a narcissist useful? Are you aware of any other ways to protect yourself from narcissistic abuse? Do tell us in the comments as the Optimist Minds community would love to hear from you.
A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.
Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.