1. Don’t react to them
This may seem too simple to work, but this is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to get back at your narcissist. Narcissists love to get an emotional reaction from their victims. The moment you stop reacting to them is the moment you stop feeding their feeble egos. When you decide to stop being your narcissist’s emotional puppet, you gain back power for yourself. When you don’t mirror them any longer, you can better control your own thoughts and emotions. You can strategically and carefully analyze their behavior and point out their flaws when you stop reflecting and reacting to their moods. As narcissists are unable to feel any real emotions of their own, they feed off yours. By not reacting to them, you can make them emotionally starved and protect your mental and emotional health. That’s one great way of how to outplay a narcissist.
So the first and most important step is to realize that you cannot change a narcissist and see them for who they truly are. “The first step in dealing with someone who has a narcissistic personality is simply accepting that this is who they are – there’s not much you can do to change that,” suggests author Ann Pietrangelo. Stop giving them any importance or feeding their ego. Identify when they are lying or making up stories and clearly tell them they need to stop making excuses. Be assertive and don’t be afraid to say “no” whenever you feel like it. You don’t have to flatter them repeatedly.
For some narcissists, this may make them react more aggressively and abusively, but have the strength to stand up to them. However, some other narcissists might look for attention outside the relationship, while others may start showering you with love and use love-bombing to gain your attention. They may even play the victim and appeal to your empathic nature to help them. But see them for who they are. Do not fall for their charms and lies. Let them be desperate for your attention while you plan your exit. This is the simplest way of how to outplay a narcissist.
2. Manipulate them back
If you don’t mind playing some mind games, then you can use the narcissist’s own manipulative tactics against them to give them a taste of their own medicine. This simply means that you mirror all the positive things about them. Love bomb them, praise them, adore them, tell them how important and valuable they are to you. Drown them with love, praise and affection. Build them up and put them on such a high pedestal that they develop vertigo. Become the perfect narcissistic supply that they have always dreamt of. However, never lose focus from your true goal. Plan how and when you want to leave them without giving the narcissist a single clue. And when they least expect it, walk away without giving any explanation and be unapologetic about it. Although this method is completely opposite of the first method, this is also an effective option of how to outplay a narcissist.
However, this method can be risky and dangerous, as you are an empathic and caring person whose nature is to love and help your dear ones. Being two-faced and manipulative doesn’t come naturally to you. You are an authentic person capable of feeling deep emotions. So living a false relationship and going against your true nature can affect your mental and emotional wellbeing. However, if you are unhappy in this narcissistic relationship and desperately want to leave it for good, then this method of how to outplay a narcissist can be helpful.
Things you must remember
There are certain things that you need to keep in mind when trying to manipulate a narcissistic person. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Keep the focus on yourself, not on them
- Avoid the temptation to fall down to the narcissist’s level of toxicity
- Focus on being strategic, avoid being vengeful
- Use your emotional intelligence as your strength, not as a weakness
- Realize that you’re not responsible for their emotions
- Remember that you’re not a bad person or an abuser. It’s not your fault.
- Do not use negative emotions or give any negative attention or ultimatums
- Expect them to react in a negative way
- Build a support network and ask for help from trusted loved ones when needed