When you’re thinking about telling the narcissist that they’re a narcissist, please don’t do it.
Do this instead.
I have dealt with narcissists in my life, and a couple of them are very close to me. I know narcissists firsthand. Unfortunately, I’ve learned the hard way and I’m here to teach you, tell you, and show you. I have resources, and I want you to have the benefit of what I have learned. So, if you are ready to shift that power dynamic and actually be on the offensive, instead of defensive.
I know you feel like saying, “Oh my God, you are such a narcissist.” But I’m telling you, anything that you tell them, and anything you plant in your brain, they’re going to turn that around, and they’re going to say, “That’s what you are!” and that’s what you’re going to become. They love to project onto you what you call them. They love to project and deflect. So, not only are they going to start calling you that, but they’re also going to tell everybody that that’s what you are. They’re going to go on this tirade. They’re going to gaslight you, manipulate you, and come after you. They’re going to have a full-on meltdown because they have no sense of self. They are extremely sensitive.
They love to dish it out, but they can’t take it. Do you know that old saying? So, that’s them, but on steroids.
They will go after you. They have that narcissistic injury. So, when they get triggered, they’re going to have that narcissistic rage come flying out and will go after you or go after everybody else. You know how they are, you’re either for them or against them. If you are against them, then you become public enemy number one. For a narcissist, everything is black and white. You’re either wonderful or you’re horrible. They either love you or they hate you. And once they start to lose control, it can get nasty.
Once they start to realize that you’re calling them names, they begin to think, “Oh my God, they’re onto me,” and now they’re going to start to go into that Discard phase and that’s when you begin to see the birth of this smear campaign. That’s when they start to line up their flying monkeys and tell their friends that it’s not going to end well for you. At no point will they ever go, “You know what? Maybe you’re right.” That self-reflection, “Oh, maybe I have been too hard on you. Maybe I didn’t treat you the way that I should.” That’s not going to happen. It’s just wasted effort, wasted breath for you. You’re not going to have that closure. You’re not going to get that apology, not the real one. Not the one that you think that you want. You’re not going to get that.
So, here’s what you should do instead.
These techniques will get you what you want, which is so much better, especially when you’re negotiating with them:
Focus on the End Game. That’s really the critical part. I know it would be great to get them to say I’m sorry, to have them feel remorse, to have them self-reflect and feel what they did to you. But it isn’t going to happen. You need to focus on the end game. What is it that you want other than that, other than having a lobotomy and having them replant into a different person? Is it money? Is it your children? What do you need to have to have your situation resolved? Focus on that, create your vision, create your outcome. What do you need? Focus on that.
Throw Them Off the Scent.
If it’s a negotiation, ask for more than you want, back into getting less than that. Throw them off the scent of what you want. If you tell them precisely what you want, then they’re certainly not going to give that to you. And if you think that you’re going to say, “Oh, look at me, I’m going to be nice. I’m going to give you your retirement plan,” and then have them think that you’re giving them some capital, that they’re going to recognize that, acknowledge that, and believe that you’re nice – No, they’re not. They’re just going to take, then it’s going to be gone, and they’re going to expect more. Don’t give up your leverage, especially at the beginning. Hold onto it because you might potentially use it down the road when you need it.
If you’re trying to get them to do something, what you want to do is something that I call Narcissistic Bartering. You fluff up their ego to get them to do something that you want them to do, like, “Oh, can you take care of the books, mow the lawn? You’re so much better at it than I am”, or “you’re so much smarter than I am,” or “you’re so much better at painting.”. Whatever it is, you fluff up their ego so that you can get them to do something. And you make sure that you don’t have any tone in your voice, no sarcastic tone. Make sure that you’re very careful not to say anything about your abilities or that you’re good in any way because they don’t want to hear about that. This is giving them something that they desperately need, which is adulation, that narcissistic supply. Narcissists are driven by one thing and one thing only, and that is narcissistic supply. So, if you want to get something from them, you have to give them something.
So, these are all things that you can do instead of calling them out and saying, “Hey, you’re a narcissist.” Because by doing that, you’re honestly just cutting off your nose to spite your face, and it will come back at you. It will come back to bite you. It will not serve you. It will not get you what you want. It’s not even going to get you any satisfaction. It will hurt you way more than it will serve you.
So, instead, use these techniques that I just gave you, especially if you are going to negotiate with them, because that will get you further down the road of where you want to go.
And remember to keep your vibrational energy high, keep your mind where you want it to be, create those boundaries, keep your vision, stay where you want to go.
By Rebecca Zung, Attorney