Sick of being the victim of narcissistic abuse? Tired of being manipulated? Hoping you can stop feeling afraid of not being good enough? Wishing you could give the narcissist a taste of their own medicine?
If so, you’re not alone. Narcissists are found in all corners of the world and leave many victims in their wake.
If you’ve got a narcissist in your life, you’ll want to know how to handle them.
Dealing with narcissists can be emotionally taxing and even jeopardize your mental health if you’re not careful. As such, it’s essential to know how to approach them.
Remember that narcissists are skilled manipulators and are not easy to catch.
Still, it’s not impossible to deal with a narcissist. Dealing with them is a skill you can learn, and just like any other skill, you can get better at it with practice and time.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to manipulate a narcissist in your life.
We’ll offer some tips on how to protect your mental health and well-being while at the same time offering some tips and tricks to turn the tables around and deal with the narcissist.
Remember that using manipulation tactics is a narcissistic trait, so don’t get lost.
These tips are here to help you give the narcissist a taste of their own medicine but remember to prioritize your health and well-being before trying to play any games.
Before we talk about how to turn the tables on a narcissist, let’s develop a better understanding of narcissism.
It more commonly refers to people who don’t have full-blown NPD but show a lot of narcissistic traits in their behavior. These traits include:
- A grandiose sense of self-importance
- An overarching sense of entitlement
- A lack of empathy
- Avoidance of personal accountability
- Constant blame of others
- A need for excessive admiration and adoration to feel safe and secure
- Manipulation of others for personal gain
The traits above make it incredibly hard for non-narcissists to deal with narcissists.
Everyone has these narcissistic traits to some degree – sometimes, we blame others when we mess up, act as though we’re the center of the universe, and seek admiration, respect, and adoration from others.
However, narcissists take these traits to the extreme, where their need for a grandiose self-image and flawlessness blinds them to empathy and humility.
Narcissistic relationship pattern
Narcissists use their romantic relationships as a means to feed their egos.
A narcissist’s ego is delicate, and the intimacy, affection, and love characteristic of a romantic relationship help to keep that ego inflated.
When one partner cuts off that supply, the narcissist tends to become controlling. They use manipulative behavior such as gaslighting, blame, shaming, and deception to regain control and keep you under their control.
They need you to feed their ego and feel threatened and afraid if they sense that you’re catching on to their tactics.
If you realize that you’re in a relationship with a narcissist and eventually leave them, the narcissist is unlikely to learn their lesson.
Instead, they’ll take up their charm and confidence and find a new partner to indulge them.
Narcissists tend to cycle through relationships and rarely remain friends with exes.
Instead of facing their own demons, accepting their insecurities and fears and integrating them, and practicing healthier ways of relating to others, they seek another person, someone more naïve than you, who will give them the attention and adoration they need without realizing that the relationship is toxic and manipulative.
How to manipulate a narcissist
If a narcissist has manipulated you, you may want to get your revenge.
No one likes to be manipulated or taken advantage of, and it’s normal to want to give the narcissist a taste of their own medicine.
It is possible to manipulate a narcissist, but you should do so carefully. Setting boundaries to prevent narcissism from negatively impacting your life is better than manipulating.
Still, a narcissist can be extremely challenging to handle, and sometimes you need to play the game.
1. Cut off their narcissistic supply
Narcissists thrive off their narcissistic supply – the supply of attention and admiration they need from those close to them.
Deep down, narcissists are incredibly insecure people. Their grandiose behavior or self-image is often a mask under which they feel shame, guilt, and insecurity for not being the amazing, confident, and the successful person they project themselves to be.
They need the narcissistic supply to maintain that self-image.
The narcissist panics if they can no longer feed their egos. They try to regain control of the situation by trying harder to control you, but if that’s not possible, you’ve got them in the palm of your hands.
If you reduce or cut off the supply, you may notice that they’re extra nice to you. They put on their best behavior and go out of their way to help you.
2. Offer plenty of compliments
Compliments, admiration, amazement at the beautiful person they are, and all their success are elements of the narcissistic supply.
Instead of cutting off that supply, you can manipulate a narcissist by feeding that need.
Using compliments and admiration, even though they’re false, can reduce the level of emotional abuse a narcissist will engage in.
One may go so far as to call these false compliments ‘talking shit’, and they’re not wrong. You may even mean those compliments, but it’s ‘talking shit’ because you’re just offering them to satiate the narcissist’s ego.
Fortunately, narcissists are often so caught up in that ego that they won’t notice your ingenuity.
Instead of finding someone to blame, putting others down, or engaging in emotional or mental abuse, a narcissist whose supply is plentiful will focus on their sense of superiority.
Compliment them by pointing out their skills, talents, and positive traits and satiate their need for attention, reducing their need for control and abuse.
3. Stay calm
Staying calm and grounded in the face of narcissistic behavior is one of the most challenging aspects of dealing with a narcissist.
Still, it’s crucial to learn how to do so.
When you lose your cool in front of the narcissist, they see your vulnerability and play with it.
They want you to react and lose your cool, making them feel superior.
It also offers yet another opportunity for them to manipulate you because you don’t think when you get triggered.
Narcissists don’t like it when you stay calm because they feel they have no control over you.
Initially, their attempts to control will intensify. If you can remain calm, the narcissist will become frustrated. At that point, the ball is in your court.
4. Understand their insecurities
As mentioned earlier, narcissists tend to be insecure people deep down.
Their bravado, overconfidence, grandiosity, and perceived superiority mask deeper feelings of low self-worth and self-esteem.
It’s easy to vilify narcissists, but very often, they grow that way due to their upbringing.
So, knowing that narcissists are insecure beneath the surface, use that to your advantage. Help the narcissist feel safe by letting them know they are worthy of love, that you see them for who they are, and that you’re not trying to change them.
This might sound like condoning bad behavior, but in reality, you’re just touching on their need to feel loved and accepted. It’s manipulation on one level but simple care and compassion on another.
If you can help the narcissist feel loved and accepted for who they are without telling them to change or implying that they’re inherently wrong for being who they are, you’ll reduce their need to engage in behaviors that cause further harm to others.
Why should you manipulate a narcissist?
Manipulation is not a nice thing to do to someone.
It seems justified when dealing with a narcissist, but, like the narcissist, you will ultimately have to deal with the personal consequences of manipulating others.
Still, narcissists are notorious manipulators, and sometimes the only way to deal with them while keeping your sanity is to use what you know about them to make things easier for everyone.
Although everyone has some degree of narcissism, many of us contain it. We may notice that we feel superior or crave attention and adoration from someone, but we don’t let it drive us toward behavior that hurts others.
Narcissists don’t have that same filter on their behavior and may even be unaware of the degree to which they are toxic people.
People who find themselves in a relationship with a narcissist often feel surprised, not only about the narcissist’s behavior but about their lack of awareness of that person’s mental and emotional abuse of others.
Once this realization comes, it’s hard to close your eyes to such behavior again.
Given their lack of empathy, narcissists can be incredibly dangerous people. The mind games and abuse they are known for can deteriorate a person’s mental health to the point where they lose their sense of identity and feel confused.
Narcissists can make you doubt yourself and cause feelings of low self-worth and self-esteem if you’re not mindful.
In more extreme cases, narcissists can become aggressive and violent when they sense losing control over you.
Therefore, it’s important to know how to handle a narcissist. Don’t manipulate them for your gain because doing so means you’re stooping to their level.
If you want to manipulate a narcissist, let it be because you want to protect yourself and others from their abuse.
How to recover from narcissistic abuse
If you’ve been affected by a narcissist, whether they’re a romantic partner, a friend, or a family member, know that you’re not alone.
If you’ve been targeted and manipulated by a narcissist, there’s nothing wrong with you, so don’t get stuck on self-blame.
The best thing you can do if a narcissist abuses you is to forgive yourself.
Practice self-compassion, forgive yourself for not catching on to their behavior sooner, and focus on your health and well-being.
Even if you try the manipulation tactics we’ve included above, don’t rely on them.
The best tool in your arsenal against narcissist abuse is a strong sense of self, the ability to set boundaries, and a sound support system of personal relationships in your life outside of the relationship you have with the narcissist.
If your mental health has been affected by a narcissistic partner or you’re worried for your safety, please don’t hesitate to reach out for support.
Therapists and counselors can help you come to terms with your situation and offer compassionate support and guidance to help you recover.
In narcissistic home abuse cases, feel free to call the national domestic violence hotline.
Some people consider that an extreme or last resort (especially the narcissist who tells you you’re over-reacting), but it’s essential to protect yourself and reach out for help if you feel like you’re in danger.
Dealing with narcissists is emotionally exhausting.
If you don’t know how to handle them, they can take over your mind and make you feel like you’re going crazy. They lie, gaslight, and abuse those susceptible to their powers, destroying their victim’s self-esteem to make them even easier to control.
Hopefully, the tips and advice outlined above will help you deal with that narcissist in your life.
Remember that your main priority should be your health and well-being despite how much you want to manipulate and control the narcissist to give them a taste of their own medicine.
Many of us want to ‘win’ against the narcissist, but stooping down to their level is a losing game. They are far more skilled at manipulation and control than the average person, and if you play their game, they may try even more extreme tactics.
Instead, focus on yourself.
Check how you feel about yourself, your confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, and overall well-being, and make whatever changes you need to improve yourself.
If that means cutting that narcissist out of your life completely, then so be it.