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How to Outsmart a Narcissist

I used to be married to a narcissist. Now happily single, I don't let anyone control me anymore.

Do You Know a Narcissist?

Have you ever had the misfortune of being around a narcissist? You can usually pick them out because they are the one who cannot stop talking about themselves. I am not referring to the basic human trait of being proud of a job well-done. I am referring to the person who thinks the sun rises and falls on them, the one who thinks everything is always all about them.

If you have ever had to deal with a narcissist, then you know what I am talking about. These people are annoying, at best. They are egotistical and grate on people's nerves. These are the types of people I try to avoid. If you can't elude them, you'll need to outsmart them to avoid falling prey to their tricks. Here's how.

Narcissism Defined

Narcissism (as defined by the Free Dictionary):

  1. Excessive love or admiration for oneself.
  2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.
  3. Erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one's own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.
  4. The attribute of the human psyche characterized by admiration of oneself but within normal limits.

Other similar words include conceited, self-absorbed, egotistic, self-centered, selfish, self-loving, vain, stuck-up, and prideful.

Identifying a Narcissist

A narcissist is not hard to spot if you know what to look for. You can't always tell right away, but it is only a matter of time before this beast rears its ugly head.

Here are some notable narcissistic characteristics which are quite funny (and irritating) for the people who are subjected to them:

  1. They are the life of the party. They are charismatic, funny, charming, talkative, and tell the most interesting stories. They talk like they have microphones in their hands. In their charming anecdotes, they play the role of hero, leader, genius, savior, and guru. They know all the right people, say all the right things, and can do no wrong. It's like they're on stage reading really well-written scripts, all the time.
  2. They are always right about everything. It does not matter if the sky is blue. If a narcissist sees green, he will be right, even if you show him proof in a science book. They dominate everyone and everything. They believe their ways are correct and are so narrow-minded that no other way could possibly be right.
  3. Everyone else is always wrong. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that they are always right about everything. And if all the evidence indicates that they are wrong, they will insist that the evidence was invented and planted by the enemy. They find happiness making everyone else aware that they are inferior. And since they're always right and you're always wrong, if something goes wrong between you, it's always your fault.
  4. They are rarely happy. And it's your fault they're not happy, too. They will whine and complain about every tiny injustice they feel has been done to them. My theory is that narcissists think they are so wonderful they cannot figure out why they can never live up to their own expectations.
  5. They never forget. If you make a mistake, a narcissist will not let you forget about it. They take everything personally and feel that every mistake is directed right at themselves. You cannot escape their wrath.
  6. They have no conscience. Rules don't apply to them. They can appear, at first, to be extremely nice people, until you get to know them. If they make a mistake, they will be sure to blame it on someone else. They are incapable of taking responsibility for their actions. They say one thing and do another.
  7. They will twist everything you say and do. Honesty means nothing to them. You can be honest with them about your feelings, but they will use the information as ammunition against you. If you choose to feed the narcissist, plan to enter into a battle zone.

Narcissists can be verbally abusive, maybe even physically, and will throw a tantrum if you dare to challenge them.

How to Deal with a Narcissist

Choose one or more methods from this list:

  1. Don't. You'll never change them and they'll never admit to their issues, so you're better off without them. If this isn't possible, then at least...
  2. Know what you're dealing with. First, know that they are a narcissist. Second, determine precisely what kind you're dealing with: a vulnerable narcissist (aka "shy" or "covert," the emotionally wobbly, often defensive type that swings back and forth between feeling superior and inferior) or a grandiose narcissist (aka "arrogant" or "overt," the more shameless type). Third, read everything on this topic you can get your hands on. Knowledge is power.
  3. Adjust your expectations. You'll never "fix" them or get them to join your team. They'll always be righteous and self-centered and they'll never do anything for you, for team spirit, or for the greater good. Still, narcissists have their strengths. Learn to recognize them for what they are and modify your expectations accordingly.
  4. Get what you want out of it. If there's something in the relationship for you, then know what that is and make sure you get it. Just remember that you're most likely to get what you want from a narcissist only when they want something from you.

Avoiding the Narcissist

Word to the wise: There is little you can do to help, change, or fix a narcissist, so focus on yourself. I have learned you will never make him happy, so stop wasting your time. For them, it's all a game of cat-and-mouse and they'll jump on each and every chance to play cat. If you are in a relationship with them, they will give love and take it away as a way to control you. It will not help to rationalize their behavior or try to figure out why they do what they do. That's what being in a relationship with a narcissist is all about.

Dealing with one can be challenging, nerve-wracking, and downright exhausting. You will nod your head in agreement just so they will go away so you can finally roll your eyes, take a deep breath, and exhale.

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My suggestion? Avoid them, if you are able to. Don't start relationships with them. If you see one, run the other direction. If they try to draw you into their webs, make it clear from the start that you won't play their games. Set clear boundaries. Earplugs are a fantastic way of blocking out sound as well as make a subtle point.

Sometimes, they are unavoidable, and sometimes, you realize what they are too late. You may be working with one, for example. If you are married to one, I am very sorry. You are a stronger person than me. I chose divorce over being subjected to the constant abuse.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Cat Shaw on September 13, 2018:

I'm living with one. I'm very sick and pretty much dying and he still is very abusive. I lost my entire family support system and all my friends cuz of this man. I have no one who can help me. I don't know what to do. I have heart failure and respiratory failure. I know he is drugging me. I really don't know what else to do or how to get away from him. I have no income and I'm pretty much stuck. I don't want to live the rest of my life like this.

Mark on June 11, 2018:

The seven points listed describe almost every self-identifying 'social justice warrior' I have ever come across. Maybe all except the first point. Literally, it even sounds like this was written about them:

1. They are the life of the party. They are charismatic, funny, charming, talkative, and tell the most interesting stories. They talk like they have microphones in their hands. In their charming anecdotes, they play the role of hero, leader, genius, savior, and guru. They know all the right people, say all the right things, and can do no wrong. It's like they're on stage reading really well-written scripts, all the time.

2. They are always right about everything. It does not matter if the sky is blue. If a narcissist sees green, he will be right, even if you show him proof in a science book. They dominate everyone and everything. They believe their ways are correct and are so narrow-minded that no other way could possibly be right.

3. Everyone else is always wrong. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that they are always right about everything. And if all the evidence indicates that they are wrong, they will insist that the evidence was invented and planted by the enemy. They find happiness making everyone else aware that they are inferior. And since they're always right and you're always wrong, if something goes wrong between you, it's always your fault.

4. They are rarely happy. And it's your fault they're not happy, too. They will whine and complain about every tiny injustice they feel has been done to them. My theory is that narcissists think they are so wonderful they cannot figure out why they can never live up to their own expectations.

5. They never forget. If you make a mistake, a narcissist will not let you forget about it. They take everything personally and feel that every mistake is directed right at themselves. You cannot escape their wrath.

6. They have no conscience. Rules don't apply to them. They can appear, at first, to be extremely nice people, until you get to know them. If they make a mistake, they will be sure to blame it on someone else. They are incapable of taking responsibility for their actions. They say one thing and do another.

7. They will twist everything you say and do. Honesty means nothing to them. You can be honest with them about your feelings, but they will use the information as ammunition against you. If you choose to feed the narcissist, plan to enter into a battle zone.

Hannelore on May 04, 2018:

Wow , it took me a few months to figure out , I did not feel comfy at all.

I filed for divorce after only five months , and am not sorry. I learned a lot I did not choose to learn.

I relate to everything I am reading here ,and what a relief that I am not imagining things.

I was not the crazy one.

I feel like damaged goods , and hope to help others from my short experience and second marriage.

I just got my divorce and feel free , but have not figured out the "NO Contact" !

There must be some fringe benefits ??

Kade on March 22, 2018:

I must assume that this article has been written with an ulterior other than just to inform, but rather, to vent slightly, after a long period of emotional recuperation. Your ex might have shown and was very overt in his narcissistic tendencies and I must extend the benefit of the doubt that you gave all that you had. You footnote very few academic research and studies to back this information. I must regretfully conclude that this is more of a recount and testimony disguised as an informational piece. Please do excuse my scrutiny, I am a student who is exposed to such rules and regulation concerning written pieces and my rigorously critical mind.

In the final paragraph, you describe the narcissist as a "him" and a "he". Narcissistic tendencies and narcissistic natures aren't only restricted to men. I have had many encounters, even to this very day, I encounter narcissistic women in the city alone. I must critically conclude that while you have taken a considerable amount of time and effort to write this piece, I can only take it as an introductory documentation of experience from an individual perspective.

I am sorry that you had a bad relationship with the man you have described, however, this piece of writing cannot be taken seriously.

C. Peterson on March 21, 2018:

Definition of triangulation is not correct.

shekerah on February 27, 2018:

To my chagrin, I fell in love with one, not knowing at the time that she was a narcissistic. In the beginning I was showered with attention, and random acts of what I perceived of a true love. A mere few months in the relationship, she began to making insulting and demeaning comments and arguments over the smallest things became regular. She always had to be right and when I did not agree with her, she would withdraw and invoke the silent treatment. To make a long story short, my life with her has been miserable for the past two (2) years and includes recurring patterns of verbal and emotional abuse. She lacks the ability to feel empathy, and is constantly arguing about something or somebody and how they wronged her. She has no gratitude when people are helpful to her, and feels that the world owes her. My love for her is turning to a cold dislike for her because I find it abhorrent how she exploits people, including me, for her own selfish ends. She projects herself as a nice person, but deep down inside resides a self centered, self serving demon who has not compassion nor respect for the feelings of others.

jessica on February 16, 2018:

Life is super difficult living with the narcissist for over 21 years. I didnt even know what his issue was till my daughter taking college psyc classes told me to look it up. Life is miserable and everything is my fault. He is physically and emotiobally abusive. Ive been scared to get a divorce and waiting till the last kid is out of the house. I dont know if i can survive another 8 years. Im starting the papers and will pkace a restrainging order for protection before he gets served. Hes broken several of my bones when i challenged him. Learning what his mental problem is has helped me feel less worthless and justifued all my feara. I wanted a divorce since 6 months after our marriage but stayed to protect my sons. I knew he saught revenge and that was scarry he lied and lies very well. He had me believibg he was a totally different person while we dated. He is the devil himself

T on January 25, 2018:

Catherine I have 3 beautiful daughters and my oldest(24 in July) acts just like your husband. Now that she has a son and is getting divorced she is really on a pedestal. She uses my grandson to her advantage. If I don't do this or say this or act like this I don't get to see him. I watched him for over a year and all I heard is "he ask all the time if we can come see you" I know he didn't just forget me. This behavior has gone on long before her marriage and my grandson birth. Its behavior pounded into their heads via narcissistic manipulative compulsive lying father and step-mom. They don't care how much I'm hurting. I have a granddaughter coming in 3 weeks(not allowed to see touch hold know her name nothing)because I told her Bf mom the truth about her(she was telling lies about me so that family wouldn't like me).

southernstyle8 on January 05, 2018:

Anju, I too am stuck with my husband. Our adult son is very ill and on dialysis in our home. I have been married to my husband for 41 yrs. He is a covert narcissist; goes back and forth between always being right/judgemental and feelings of inadequacy. Once I realized I no longer loved him it got easier. I just pretend he's the guy that lives here and helps out around the house. He can be very amiable at times. He has learned that this makes him look good. I will endure until my heavenly father tells me it's time to kick him out. I will know when because God will reveal it to me. I'm listening hard now. I wish you good will.

Anju upadhyay on January 04, 2018:

Stuck with my husband with no way to go

Jess2717 on September 25, 2017:

Catherine- do you mind sharing your husband's name? I might be dating the same guy. Good mornings and good nights every day and he wanted to get me pregnant after two weeks of meeting me.

Catherine on September 02, 2017:

I am 20 and met a very handsome, wonderful man. He was so attentive and made be feel like a princess! I fell in love. After only one month he asked me to marry him immediately and I said no. He was so wonderful ... he talked me into it. One month after I met him, we went to the courthouse and married. He told me not to tell my family or friends to keep this a secret. Even though I wanted a real wedding ... I gave in.

Shortly after we moved in together the abuse started. He said I was too emotional and started putting me down. I got to angry, that after 4 months I left and removed my furniture and belongings from the apartment. After a few weeks, I wanted to come back. He said he was so hurt by my actions that he didn't know if he could ever forgive me. Although he had been texting me every morning and every night with" "good morning"and good night. I would ask him if we could have dinner or date ... but the answer was always ... you did this to yourself. I will let you come over in 2 weeks. Then it was I will let you come over in another week. If I would cry or get upset, he was say, see... this is why I can't see you. You''re too emotional. This has been going on for 3 months now. It is so hard, but so abusive. I hope I can move on and find love with a normal, loving man.

Anita on August 30, 2017:

I'm married to one

I need helpful info on August 29, 2017:

I married a Grandiose, believed all the charm and learned quickly something was wrong.

I already moved out to safety from mental and physical harms way.

Where do I find info on the best way to deal with this type person from here forward?


Jaime morrison on August 22, 2017:

I need help coping and dealing with my ex fiancé and his new wife as his narcissistic behaviors are affecting every aspect of my life and our five yr old twins and he keeps taking me back to court drained me every dime financially lost three daycare preschools since last dec due to behaviors and bullying by himself and wife. Manipulation of our kids pouring on material things anything to lure them away from myself and their older siblings who they look up to dearly, we had a temp agreement til Jan of 2018 he isn't following any of his part he agreed yet I am and now he has retained another atty and trying to take the kids away again I'm upset sacred and do not know where to turn. He shows up at places attempting to stir up things along with his wife and her mom frequently n them blames me and records confrontations , he has turned me in to Cps three times obviously unsubstantiated but why n how can I get help or stop this it's wearing on me help!!! 812-6862373 any help or recommendations highly appreciated

mike meyers on August 21, 2017:

she love bombed me she was married, adored me, used me for sex (which was unreal, better than 50 shades of grey), gaslighted, grandoues, then would ghost, have numerous alibis, always wanted to meet my friends, (her body language gave it away), and knew she was pretty and desirable, has the coolest personality. she bored easily, FLIRTS 24/7, cant live without it. yes abusive to keep me on my heels. she is a major drunk, but she is gone im sure she is still triangulating, in her "bar Setting" saying band things of me........

dee on August 16, 2017:

I have a step daughter. we have been handling it for 18yrs but she lost her job. and now she has gone nuts.

Angel on August 15, 2017:

The book Living With A Passive Agressive Man is very helpful!

mike meyers on August 08, 2017:

she wanted a relationship, under the cuff, she's married, and felt she missed out. every time she goes out, 1000am its like cloak and dagger. never explains and has an alibi for everything. So I got loved bombed, im the best ever happened to her, where have I been, she would say your so ADORABLE, hot, the best. then the gaslighting, then She wanted to meet my friends, ( for future relationships), to isolate me, be little, and control me. I fell hard, but my intuition, kicked in, didn't know this was a condition called NPD. Classic, NPD, all of it. Not my fault =, turn it around, wont admit to anything unless caught red handed. Super cool personality, flirts openly and doesn't care, and cool as a cucumber, when need be, very intoxicating, very pretty, and knows it!

SHakesMcGee on July 26, 2017:

Yeah, no. Where's the meat here? It's not even fluff - just a waste of time.

Jen on July 13, 2017:

Hi, I need some advice. My ex boss gets off lying constantly to everyone, especially clients. He sexually harassed and degraded 3 different women, abused company funds for his hunting trips, golf outings, expensive restaurants, was chronically late, blamed everything on everyone else! On top of that he has credit card debt out the yin yang he is trying to hide. He called everyone stupid, worthless, inferior, and useless on a constant basis! Then claimed to be a church goer and Christian. He got cheating on his wife on more than one occasion. He likes playing cat n mouse games, he is bothering previous employees and showing up everywhere they eat or go out for a drink? Is this sociopathic or narcissist behavior? Tku!!

Lola on July 10, 2017:

To Val.... Don't respond. I know it is hard but the basic niceness is a ploy. When we go silent, narcs aren't getting their supply from us and will play considerate because we fall for it too easily.

Get busy with life affirming things and uplifting people.

As I said, I know it is hard. The narc in my life is family and I have to try to make distance while being diplomatic so other family isn't disturbed. Tho, she is trying character assassination now and people fall for it. I once fell for it.

My point is, keep distance, remember all the bad times and try not to fall for the abusers game.

Good luck

Val on July 04, 2017:

I am a little torn. After several months he sent a text to wish me a happy holiday. He said hopefully not to hinder your progress. I haven't responded. Is this correct?

Marybeth Competti on June 30, 2017:

Google Grey Rock Method

When dealing with a Narrcicists

Smokie T on June 29, 2017:

How can I protect loved ones from a narcissists attacks? I have been the target of the smear campaign for years and I know the ones who really matter don't buy the crap she serves. The problem is, she has 2 new targets and I don't know how to protect them. The narc is one of my sisters and the new victims are her daughter and our mother. The court system deemed her an unfit mother when my niece was still a newborn. Never making an attempt to have a relationship with her daughter for most of 17 years she talked my niece into moving in with her at age 17. That lasted about 2 weeks and when things turned violent, my niece packed her bags and left. My niece wanted to finish her senior year in this area and asked my mother if she could move in with her. Once my mother said yes the campaign against both her and my niece started. My sister told mom that her daughter was crazy and needed mental help and told her not to support her in any way. She constantly called my niece telling her if she didn't learn some respect she would destroy her. She went to the place my niece was working with several of her friends and convinced the owner to fire my niece immediately. She left a very threatening voicemail on my nieces phone telling her that her and her friends had places were a body would never be found and at the end of the voicemail she said "We will f&ck you up. When my niece when to the police to get a restraining order against her mother she was visited by one of my sisters acquaintances who happened to be a police officer in a town about 60 miles away. The officer tried to talk my niece into dropping the restraining order. She didn't and it remained for a while. My sister continues to blast my niece on Facebook and around town saying she is crazy, dangerous and a slut. Since mom didn't obey her order to kick my niece out, mom is being attacked saying she losing her mind and should be locked up in a nursing home. My mother currently lives in the home that her and dad build many years ago. After dad passed away, mom didn't think she would live much longer and worried about the possibility of eventually needing to go to a nursing home. To protect the family assets she consulted a lawyer and with a quit claim deed turned ownership over to all 4 of her kids with a life estate so she could remain there for the rest of her life. So my narc sister is using mom's fears against her and claims that since the house does not belong to her, she can't have my niece live with her.

It breaks my heart to hear my mother say things like, "I'm just glad I won't live much longer" and seeing her so depressed.

unbroken spirit on June 28, 2017:

I just survived a physical assault from my Narc. He cheated last year and when I gave him a chance to fix our family. He was very nice and committed at first. Trying to reflect me my own compassionate and kind soul until he got hold of me. He became upset when I learned about his lies from his friend who was drinking with us that time. Then he just hit me and won't stop saying I should submit to him and not embarassed him. I have to beg for my life for our daughter. I managed to escaped, I went to the police. From where I am, it's a criminal case to assault a woman. I saw him kneel and beg at the police department but what I saw wasn't remorse when I got hospitalized with head trauma and sever blood clot eyes, all I see was a man afraid of prison. There was no ounce of remorse for what he caused and it's effect to our family, no conscience, fake tears, toddler tantrum when I didn't drop the charges and was blackmailing me as soon as police will be out of sight. That time I realized I need to cut him out of my life. I curse him and how he ruined us. I have an amazing and wonderful daughter with him and despite all the love and the gift family, it wasn't enough for him. Nothing is gonna be good enough for a Narc. I filed the case and this time I'm gonna fight back to keep him out of our life forever. I didn't feel that paralyzing pain of betrayal anymore compared to his last infidelity, I guess my sould knew deep down that he is fucked! So to all women out there, don't wait till it's too late. And it's never too late to get out and have a narc-free life. God bless and you are not alone. Stand still and stay strong!

Jad on May 11, 2017:

Is there a medical term for women that are attracted to the sexual modonna/whore syndrome? With her being the whore, and him always responding to fithly texts, but never to regular ones. The idea that she knows how to sexually torment him to keep the sex as good as it was when they met. And she knows she is only an object, as is he. We both hate each other....

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on April 12, 2017:

Rich or not, it still hurts like hell to get punched in the balls. Way to go on standing up for yourself in the workplace! I've seen some dirty stuff done by bosses over the years.

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on April 12, 2017:

I hear you there. I was in love with an idea of how I wanted things to be, not the relationship itself. It took me a long time to realize that the ONLY thing I need to direct me in life (aside from my Higher Power) is my gut instinct. My gut is never wrong, and if I have a gut feeling about an individual, I steer clear of them. I don't have to see certain behaviors before I run. I only need to feel that gut feeling.

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on April 12, 2017:

Be patient. You're aware of the signs of narcissism. That should help to weed out future ones that try to weasel their way into your life.

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on April 12, 2017:

Wow. Sounds like a friendship I just cut off recently. He said the same thing, that I was a sh*tty friend (even though I'm caring for his house and dogs while he's out of the country).

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on April 12, 2017:

Families are difficult to blend, that's for sure. Hope things get better.

porkythepig on March 04, 2017:

I Physically separated from my Bipolar/Narcacisst Business Partner 1.5 Years ago.

I was suspicious of them by about 2 months into our Partnership.

No harm has come to me as I protected myself from his tactics.

We do not speak and the only communication we have is by Email. But that is not necessary at this time.

I found out he was a total Fraud.

We do have One Important issue yet to settle.

Here is what I did:

I hired a Beautiful Attorney who contacted him offering his help to resolve this remaining issue.

They Connected ! (or so he thought) He Trusted Her in what would be best to do.

He wrote up a Lifelong Contract that stated that I would try to satisfy he wants.

He signed the Contract Immediately (probably without reading it carefully.)

They way it was worded was very Crafty.

I am only required to pay him a Very Tiny amount of money each month.

I had 3 other Attorneys review the contract before I signed it.

They all agree that I have Full Control and that there is Nothing he can do but accept the Tiny Amount of money monthly.

Try to sue me,LOSE. Nothing he can do.

I knew that this monthly payment would Frustrate and Aggravate him Big Time. And it has.

It is causing him to be there to sign for the payment but he never knows when it is coming.

Makes it hard for him to Plan any day.

He emailed me and asked me to just mail him that check because it was causing him Much aggravation and that he is frustrated by this.

I will not do this because I need to make sure he gets the check by a certain day otherwise I violate the contract.

He also now says "He trusts me" to just send a Check he does not have to sign for. NOT A CHANCE.

Well I got news for him. I Don't Trust Him !

I know him well enough that he can't stand to be Frustrated and Aggravated every month.

All I will say about the "Issue" is that it involves a pretty good sum of money. A Debt that he alone is responsible for (business)

He is now backed into a corner 100%.

He has tried to con me for a Long time and tried to get me to pay the debt. NOPE. I don't have to.

His only choices now are:

Pay off the Debt or

Be Frustrated and Aggravated Constantly about this. This I know he can't live with.

This dispute has been going on only a few months and is driving him crazy.

He served me the Dinner and now he has to eat it too !

Your thoughts/comments would be appreciated.

Thank You


It is yet to see what he will do.

Don Reynolds on February 24, 2017:

I cannot control my desire to control all the stupid woman out there

brownin329 on February 02, 2017:

This was entitled "How to Outsmart a Narcissist". I see nothing here about outsmarting anyone.

Anonymous on January 26, 2017:

Thank you for the incite this article is very informative. And actually you did the best you could have done by divorcing the person. I think that you are stronger than staying with the NP (in my opinion). You have love and respect for yourself which is something they can't take away from you.

Michael on January 14, 2017:

I'm dealing with one at work that thinks my job is somehow better than his. . I'm constantly attacked with sarcastic jokes about how weak and venerable I am.. This article tells me nothing other than the fact he fits every discription.. how to deal with this person hasn't been covered other than avoiding them!?

Dawn on January 04, 2017:

Been married to one for almost 16 long years... Never realized there was a name for what he does AND no one would believe me anyway as everyone really likes him. I nearly left a year ago... Rented a place etc and he talked me out of it, romanced me for a couple months and then right back to his old ways. I'm ready to be done as soon as I get my affairs in order!!! Enough is enough!

Spice Girl on January 03, 2017:

OMG !!! Now I know what my partners adult daughter is. It's all about her and I made the tragic mistake of asking her to clean up after herself after two days of mess. It was like waving a red flag to a bull and now to annoy me (how dare I 'challenge' her) she intentionally leaves a mess. No wonder her relationships don't last and she destroys everyone around her, including my partner. Her mind games and manipulation are something to behold. Parents, take heed. DO NOT give your kids everything so they go on to think that everything is a right for them. It doesn't matter what you think or want for yourself and your life, the narcissist daughter takes control and it's all about her. They destroy your soul and if you're anything like my partner, go back for more. I'm over it but unfortunately she has come across a formidable opponent!!! What she uses to benefit herself are lies, manipulation and control. I have loyalty, courage and strength to keep me going ( and a bit of Scorpio on my side). As the article says, don't engage them unless you have to and that way you don't fall into their trap. How DARE I not think she is adorable like everyone else does in HER mind........Little does she know, ha ha !!

Dianne on December 21, 2016:

You are very right about Narcissists. Running away is the best way to treat the situation.

Maz on December 04, 2016:

These people are dangerous, toxic, unforgiving, vampires. They will if you let them suck your very soul from you. They are horrible, inhuman, and I don't really care what happened in their formative years treating people like shit is not on. They are not worth your time, your energy, your love. Try your very best to get away from them before they destroy your life because believe me they will. Mel xx

Edith Hellyer Felker on November 18, 2016:

A narcissist from a number of top families in America has been stalking me for ~40 years. He has tools he has no right to have access to and uses them to abuse me. People gladly join him because of who he is, and he uses them and discards them. I pray daily to be released from this devil-creep. I refer to what he has done to me as a "life rape"...Andrew Luster, except he likes to watch and rape your brain and every aspect of your life. He has a number of enablers around him protecting him and his cronies legally because they fear I will sue. I want to, but have no idea how to do this. I cannot even press charges because he uses high-tech.

Mohammadfm508@gmail on September 28, 2016:

A close relation of mine is a narcissist. She is a mouse disguised as a lioness. Not only that, she looks at herself in a looking glass and saying "What a beauty." She never forms deeps ties with people around her. Mamad

Annie on September 04, 2016:

I married into a narcissist nest...not knowing of course the hell that I was walking into. Thank you Jen for living through it and showing us that you can get out! My step daughter is a covert narcissist and her mom is an overt. My wonderful but codependent husband is doing his best but he is now being demonized by both his eldest daughter (covert) and the overt ex. My heart breaks for him as I realize there is nothing I can do to help him. It is his journey and he found the strength to leave the overt, so I can only support and love him as he finds the strength to deal with the daughter he now doesn't recognize because he triggered her narcissistic rage by demanding that she account for her awful behavior. As for me, I could walk away from her and her mom in a heartbeat. She never accepted me as I dethroned her in her eyes when I married her dad. I have tried everything to reach her but I am done with the subtle emotional abuse, staring, dark energy, victimization, no apologies, no accountability and no empathy. Unfortunately, she is dead to me. I will not let her drain my soul anymore. Maybe someday she will wake up and clean up the devastation she has caused, or more likely she won't. May everyone who has encountered this unfortunate being, be healed from the tremendous psychic, emotional and physical pain they inflict.

kim on August 13, 2016:

narcissists rule the world now. we allowed it

Kristy on August 05, 2016:

I was in a friendship with a narcissist. I attempted to end it and all hell broke loose. I was called all kinds of names, and told I was a sh*tty friend. I blocked this person from everything my name was attached to. Until one day I somehow get messaged and informed that they had something of mine that had been in my family for over 40 years. Precious pictures that I would never be able to get back. She claims she will mail it to me, but it has been a few weeks. I am honestly to the point that it isn't worth worrying over. I am sure my property is damaged so I have decided I am taking back that power from her to determine my happiness or sadness. Either way I still will and she can be miserable.

Veetha on July 10, 2016:

I'd been in two relationships with narcissists. One was grandiose narcissist. The second one was vulnerable. Both are the same. Only the later is more insecure. While the first doesn't show his insecurity. They both don't want to be blamed and constantly seek admiration from others. The grandiose one is promiscuous type. He doesn't want any commitment. The vulnerable one is constantly asking me whether he is handsome and sexy? Very insecure. But he also doesn't want to be blamed why he got divorced with his wife. He blamed it all on her. I don't buy it. But that's the way he is. I am done with narcissists. I hope I find a humble man someday.

Donna on May 05, 2016:

You are brilliant the first empowering article I've read yes they are clowns repetitive predictable boring and redundant it got to the point he amused me and I started messing with head installing paranoia criticized him til he couldn't take being ridiculed he discarded me realizing I saw right through him such a bafoon he will attach himself to another person be it girl guy whoever promises to attain his delusion of becoming a famous actor , know something with these monsters, gender and age is not an issue they can play any role gay straight whoever can help them attain their ridiculously high beyond the realm of fantasy goals,once you are rendered useless he will find another victim he can use abuse and drop my moron thinks he'll get a big part in a movie without working at it as a big time director will take one look at him and will realize he will be a star he deluded himself into believing celebrities were his peers and I wasn't , that I was a nobody, hahaha you have to laugh they're such clowns, whatever... Once you realize that you'll be free, I did tell him I never loved him, I just said it to see the idiotic thing he'd do next that I found him amusing...I lied but he believed me and I kind of believe me too, I was In love with who he pretended to be not who he was...

LauraE on March 27, 2016:

I work for a narcasist, he loves cat and mouse and pitting 2 supply's against each other. My narcasist is married, his wife worked around the corner, she thought we were having an affair but it was my coworker who was having the affair. I was not willing to give him my body for cash but it seemed my coworker was willing to go the distance and was sleeping with him. My co worker felt this gave her transferred work authority, she began trying to be the boss and dividing staff, still she was the sexual ego supply. I felt her wrath as she was aware I was an obstacle. To stop her upon one of her fits I reported her to the narcasistic boss, he began covering up and let me know he was aware of the damage I could do and warned me as such, knew it was time to stop this office power game, I went around the corner and told the spouse everything I knew.

Days later he got the news and withdrew his role in the complaint.

This triggered a defensive mode in which he stole love letters from my computer and tried to buffer himself for war. I ended up disclosing his vulgar actions to HR, it was time to fully disclose the terror he was subjecting me to for over 2 years. Keep in mind he is rich and powerful so I needed to hit this narcasistic man where he lived, all info was tru but he was good at victimizing. I now will be going back to work and he is there until matters are resolved. I will be his focus of a fury of humiliation and fury!

diogenes from UK and Mexico on February 16, 2016:

Hi JenJen: Just shows you, good hubs remain evergreen, one way or another.

Reading your article again...I wonder how much of narcissitic behavior is due to lack of intelligence and masochism? Perhaps we are all narcissists at heart? I mean, the old balance twixt ego and super-ego and the old id. But narcisism is neurosis pure and simple: the more enlightened realize this and control the "me, me, me" syndrome....? They realize they get more satisfaction and happiness by a give and take transaction - but it might be said they "love themselves" as much as any narcisist? But, then, everyone benefits from these 'together characters!

Just a fun comment! (and not to detract from the often violent side of this malaise).

Regards, Bob x

Molly on February 16, 2016:

I have a beautiful daughter with one , I am doing my best to hold it together for her sake but I really do not know what the future holds for us .

Kaya on March 05, 2015:

The answer is you ignore the narcissist for the rest of your life. No response in any way. Just like he does not exist. They put themselves above God and there is only one God. Ignoring them is the best "punishment". Go no contact. I divorced my cheating husband of 20 years. I hired the best attorney and ignored him. Best decision I ever made. My life is happy and peaceful now. Thank God.

Meridith C. on January 25, 2014:

Conscience, not conscious. I don't know if you can edit this late in the game. Conscience is what you describe, conscious is whether or not they are mentally alert.

Also, I didn't see any tips on outsmarting them. "Avoid them" doesn't really qualify, does it?


But the information was helpful. It's all accurate.

Sanctuary on January 17, 2014:

Sometimes the best solution is to lead them to their own fate. Make them own their self gratification and play along when it crashes on their head. After all how could they blame you if you agreed with them? Oh your game was such a good idea how could it possibly go wrong? The key is to make them own it and then keep making them own it. See that shovel, keep digging it deeper. What eventually happens is this person will eventually become invisible in your presence. Accountability is everything such people as these will always seek to avoid. Give these people no power in your life but always give them theirs. Their power is always over the top and they produce their own results. Just make them own it.

Gail Meyers from Johnson County, Kansas on December 22, 2013:

You hit the nail on the head with your description of some of the behaviors. That video made me cringe!

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on March 21, 2013:

Sometimes, they are unavoidable. Imagine having to work with one, and you know you can't quit your job to avoid them. Ear buds should be allowed in all work environments...they make great ear plugs!!

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on March 21, 2013:

Thanks! Yes, there are a few of them out there. They are so burdensome to deal with at times, that's for sure...

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on March 03, 2013:

Oh my. I have known quite a few. You think they would grow tired of talking about themselves, yet they don't. Thanks for the tips. I normally just RUN :)

Michelle Liew from Singapore on March 03, 2013:

Oh, Jennifer, I have known more than a couple of these folks in my time, some being close members of my own family! Thanks for the reference guide to cope. Sharing!

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on September 25, 2012:


MeMan on September 23, 2012:

Why is this not about me???

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on August 13, 2012:

Hey, thanks Docmo! Narcissists can be extremely annoying and tiring to deal with. I am glad that my hub was helpful for you to deal with.

Mohan Kumar from UK on August 12, 2012:

Highly insightful, relevant in these days of social media where narcissists have unfettered access to social contacts and may even sound charming at first pass util it all unravels. You have really given a set of useful pointers and strategies to avoid/spot and deal with such destructive narcissism. Well written and useful!

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on July 18, 2012:

Your welcome, Lisa. It sounds like your step-daughter is a lot like my ex step-daughter. Everything had to be about her. Every day, we would have to drop what we were doing to watch her kids so she could go grocery shopping, to the doctor, to make her car payment, to see her friends, and she had no respect. She would lie about things just to get people to feel sorry for her and turn on me.

I am also glad I know longer have a relationship with her, just because life is peaceful. We stayed in each others' lives for years after I divorced her dad because her mom had died when she was little. But, when you spend two days cleaning the house for HER daughter's first birthday party with no help from her, and also get assaulted and swung at as soon as the party had ended, I put my foot down and walked away and had to sever ties with my grandchildren, too.

Her father is one of the worst narcissists I have ever met. When I wrote this story, all I had to do was close my eyes and think about the three years were managed to stay married.

Thanks for taking the time to read my hub.

Lisa on July 18, 2012:

Great articles! We have a narcissist in our family, my step-daughter, who has alienated herself from the entire family. I have read articles by countless professionals who have said that 9 times out of 10, it's the step-daughters, not sons, who cause the problems and have the narcissistic disorders. My step-daughter has even physically attacked me. It's so sad, but you cannot help them. They have to want to help themselves. Now she's gone off to use and abuse her mother and step-dad, that is until they have enough of it, too.

In the meantime, I am happy staying away from our narcissist. She only brought heartache and misery to our lives. While I know at times it must be hard for my husband to not see her, it is so much better for our family AND our marriage. No matter how hard I tried with her, it was never good enough. Life does go on, though and we are happy. You can't let a narcissist rule your lives. Thanks again for the informative articles.

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on July 16, 2012:

Ken, it sounds like you should have wrote this story. I like your analogy on narcissists. Hopefully, your current employer makes up for what you went through.

I also wish you the best, too. Take care.

Ken on July 16, 2012:

You are welcome!

They are very vindictive, aggressive if you cross them and the abuse ramps up, is revealed even more so, especially when they think they will not be able to use you anymore, that you have become useless, so you cannot expect it to get any better.

They are not forgiving to slights, have strange logic, will demonstrate it, and hold memories and their attitudes for a long time.

As a pattern that recurs, they continuously seek out co-dependents and will assess and use everyone they see as of value throughout their lives.

You broke the system they follow; broke the tie, he cannot help himself in trying to re-attach.

Mine tried to get me to go back.

No apologies at all, just cold talk.

Remember, they are like organisms following a methodology.

Best avoided as we painfully know.

All the best!

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on July 16, 2012:

Very true, Ken, very true. No, I'm not going to tag his name, but there have been times I have been tempted. His PPO expires next month, and I will definitely be getting it renewed. Two years we have been broke up, and he still harasses me sometimes, sends verbally abusive text messages. It's like, because he can't find a new woman that wants him, he has to punish me for breaking up with him.

I guess it's a good thing he has no idea where I bought my house and moved to. I am glad this county's website for property owners is a pain in the rear to get

Thanks for the chats and advice. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

Ken on July 16, 2012:

I know about the micromanaging. It is very fine and thorough. Nothing above comment. Began right away....

Eventually, he wanted to have meetings in which we would discuss our goals as individuals - involving all aspects of our lifes. His aim was to try to change us to make us as employees more productive for his benefit. Sick.

I would get legal advice re what you are proposing re tagging his name. Also prior assistance in the form of an opinion from a medical peson qualified to know what a narcissist may do if you proceed. There is danger for you in any event. They do not like to be challenged or exposed and the anger and evil feelings of power and the capability to be very forceful to get what they want, would make me think twice and be cautious. You may be just baiting the bull. The rage I saw on occasion was totally unstoppable and had to play out and there is of course the danger throughout this "losing it".

Please be careful as I do not think you can really change them easily. If my conclusion that they are truly dangerous is true and there is no way to know how far they will go, if in their mind they are pushed or whatever, well draw your own conclusion.

Yours is a tough situation, I wish you the best.

I think they are "on" all the time, so watch out.

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on July 13, 2012:

I totally understand what you're saying Ken. Dealing with narcissists is absolutely frustrating, especially if he/she is your significant other. My ex was so bad that he would sit next to me when I was in school (online college), as if after a year and a half, I needed his help to get my schoolwork done. He couldn't stand the fact I had other obligations that weren't about it. That made getting my homework done ten times harder.

[ also didn't like the fact that he wanted me to go with him everywhere he went. He would complain one day about not wanting to cook, but if I cooked for him, he would pick apart everything he thought was wrong with the meal (I didn't cut the potatoes small enough, for example).

I am grateful to be independent, owning my own house, and not having to deal with the mental stress anymore. I fixed him, though. The last time he was abusive with me, I made sure my computer was recording, as I did not want to go to jail again. He is now on YouTube. He keeps harassing me (been broke up for 2 years, and he still won't leave me alone), I am going to tag his arrest video with his full legal name.

Then, hopefully, he won't be able to beat on women anymore...

Ken on July 13, 2012:

I spent thousands of hours around this man and that was bad enough. I cannot imagine living with one. Certainly there are complex and hard to define forces and needs at work within these relationships to initiate and sustain them. So the fault is not yours.

Only after I departed this job, did I understand the beginning charm he projected, then understand how he had taken me in, then figure out how he had tried to mold me and use me, but all of this and much more came to me only after I learned what narcissists are about - saw the list of 9 ways to recognize them.

He fit them all. That list saved me. The bell literally rang in my head. He was mentally ill! More reading just gave me more insight.

Otherwise in the job, in my mind, there had been just an ongoing sense of frustration and being bewildered by what he was. At times, anything said one day, seemed forgotten or ignored the next. Many days, all I got was a grunt on his entrance and then waited to see what he might want. It was an up and down ride. So much stress, so much negative tone coming from him.

He was not the only one, there was another involved and he was almost as bad, in ways worse and more eruptive, less controlled, but in some ways he had a true heart, some warmth. I think he was just mirroring the one with the true illness as he had to, to try to keep him happy, to survive himself. It was a bad scene, the one you read about, hidden from the public most of the time.

While I may have gone through hell, however it would appear that you lived it.

I too began to fear some form of physical violence closer to the end. He got more surly, abusive. Certainly I did not want to be on the end of his anger which made you feel useless and helpless. It was demeaning, degrading.

The rage moments are truly unbelievable and shake you up badly. Physical assault, that is one really losing it. I think they do not normally go there because it puts them at risk of greater authority and they do respect that as they know when they cannot win and fear looking bad. He talked of reputation, did not not want a bad one. That is one way I can see they can be controlled.

I am sorry this illness happenned so close to me in my life. It has been my worst life experience. I feel for anyone who is in contact with these sick people.

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on July 11, 2012:

I agree with you 100%, Ken. Having been married to a worst-case narcissist and the fact my last relationship was with one, I have had my share of dealing with them.

As you can see in the video, they are even more obnoxious when they're drunk. And, the amount of abused heaped on others by these types is horrendous. Instead of taking it, I pushed back until I couldn't deal with it anymore. I chose to use what happened to me (video) to show others what a "poster child" of domestic violence is.

To date, the video cannot be found under his legal name, so he has no idea it's on YouTube. He still harasses me (two years later, after our break up), so I have been contemplating tagging his real name to the video and save future women from his abusive tirades.

Not to mention, renewing the PPO against him next month. Yes, it chills my spine, too...

Ken on July 11, 2012:

Thanks, I had absolutely no knowledge of what a narcissist was, so when I first met this one, I just was taken in by the huge confidence and arrogance he displayed, his openly showing or posturing that he could handle anything that came his way.

Since for me it was about a new career opportunity, a new field, I had to listen and accept what boundaries and practices he set as ones that seemed positive to lead to success. He was the authority. Little did I know they were really reflections of his illness and involved abuse based on the structure of his illness; how it operated. In this, I think you could say that the illness has a methodology. It is a form of adaptive, living illness or organism within the person with the illness. It responds to the world around it and is shaped outwardly by the environment and life experiences of the one who is ill. I could of course not see this complexity, but still was being played or manipulated skilfully as part of this illness.

Overtime, but slowly, I began to question what he did as being too extreme, but much operational detail and thinking was kept hidden from me, my involvements limited, so it took a longtime to really accumulate insight and to formulate an opinion of him, which was closer to the truth - that there was more wrong than normal for the type of business operation it was, that these difficulties were of his own making, not mine as he seemed to think on occasion.

However it turned out I realized later, after leaving, that I was joining on the end of what I think was a long list of efforts by him to keep his luck in life going. He was taking me as fresh fodder and hoping I could do a job much bigger than anyone could realistically pull off for him with my background.

As he paid me little, in the end I was no risk as it amounted to cheap labour and anything I delivered was a plus. I was used but in a slave-like way, lots of control, little freedom. Commissions a promise that never arrived....

When I saw that what I delivered for him was not recognized or appreciated financially, I saw that no matter how I grew expertise-wise, I would not benefit, so when he even wanted more effort and created direct stress with underlying threats of eventual dismissal for failure to produce by his own stupid formula, I got out.

This all related to his confusion of entitlement, grandiosity, selfish greed, meaness and laziness.

He was incredibly bright, appeared to have an amazing memory with large capacity and therefore was very difficult to challenge on any concept. Since to cross him brought instant pushback and anger, one just shut up and tried to do the job. It is impossible to deal with white-hot rage.

They drive you away, the illness causes this ending.

If I had known more, been less subservient in my effforts to succeed as a businessman, I would have seen it more as human abuse, not business method and I like to think I would have escaped earlier.

But in my readings since, I think something is still missing in our understanding about this illness. Each person's insights are different because their experiences are different but if the pyschiatrists could just sum up in a more succinct list how to recognize one and go from there then I think that would be an improvement for our communities.

I agree they are hard to change, their relief is even more success or finally old age and death, causing damage to others throughout.

This is what chills my spine, knowing what I went through.

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on June 29, 2012:

Wow, Ken...nice response! I am no shrink, and this hub was written solely on my personal experiences being married to one, lived with another, worked for a few, and the good old dictionary.

The best way to tell a narcissist doesn't come from a book. There are so many ways a narcissist can get into our lives, whether it be from a job, relationship, friendship, or some other way. Narcissists seem to good to be true in the beginning.

A good portion of our narcissists are likely going to be our abusers, I would think.

And the worst part about narcissists? They're always right, so how can you point out to one that he/she is indeed one?

Oh, and by the way, they do have highly qualified professionals. They are called psychiatrists. But, then, we're back at square one, yet again. A narcissist is always right, so what do they need a shrink for? Guaranteed his/her spouse is definitely seeing one, to find out what is wrong with their own head for staying...

Ken on June 29, 2012:

Worked for one, it was terrible; this article is quite good in capturing some of the nuances of what they are and what they will do, how they react to rebuff or pushback.

They are truly ugly people to be around, stress you beyond belief, do not give up trying to use you and abuse you as a result. Escape is your goal somehow, even if fleeting. I agree they are predatoiry monsters.

If you fight them or oppose them, they just blow up or back-pedal and almost grovel. It is sickening to be part of. They just want to survive to fight another day, in the way they see as necessary for themselves. Watch out!

It seems to me that all articles on them view them or define them a little differently, have different insight, but I am wondering now if everythig we read is somehow to be found eventually in all of them: that their vast, hideous complexity, in fact, takes time to see and assess, to define, but in the end will reveal itself in all its glory and be common to them all.

If this is the case, we need some highly qualified professionals to define what this complexity is in total, so we as an unknowing public have a solid standard to identify them, to root them out, to enable us to better protect ourselcves.

NPD is a powerful disease and needs address, because if you are involved with someone who has it, is a malignant narcissist, you are being manipulated or used in some capacity or fashion, I think most of the time, if not all of the time.

When you are with one, you will get or develop a sense, a feeling that you just cannot reach this person, that you are up against a wall, that you cannot move, influence, or change them. If you think you have made an impact, you will find the next day or even sooner, that you have not, they will display the same thinking and actions, they will re-emerge. They are like the first Terminator, they do not die easily.

They look to change us and that is only part of the damage they do!

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on February 17, 2012:

Oh, I do. I have learned sarcasm, mixed with humor at the narcissist's expense, can quiet one pretty quickly. Do that in front of their friends once or twice, they sometimes learn. If not, at least you put on some great laughs for the others that have to endure the

protechno on February 16, 2012:

Just one day? Seriously!


I didn't know they existed in that above model all-in-one exactly. I'm glad he's your ex in that case.

Way to go girl, keep those punches coming :)

Jennifer McLeod (author) from Battle Creek, Michigan on February 16, 2012:

Thanks, protechno. All I had to do was think about one day of marriage to my ex-husband to come up with this article...might need to add to it soon.

protechno on February 16, 2012:

The fact that I have one such individual as described h