People unlucky enough to be surrounded by a narcissist understand that they’re tough to get through. But those who’ve dealt with them before are here to help with tips on how to throw off the narcissist in your life.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: Poker Face
One person who has experience dealing with narcissists says the best way to confuse them is to wipe any physical expression off your face when they try to provoke you. “They are only ever as good as the intel they gather,” they said. “The less you reveal, the less room they have to maneuver.”
2: Blindfold On
A narcissist gets confused when you keep them blindfolded (figuratively speaking), one person said. “If they don’t know, they can’t hurt. Suddenly, you take the steering wheel of your own life without counting on them.”
3: Better Off
When you’ve separated yourself from the narcissist in your life, make sure to thrive in your new life on your own, one person advises. “Work on your recovery, do things only you like, get social again, LAUGH when the sky is blue and also when it’s raining, AND make sure they somehow get to know how well you are doing without them.” That’s a surefire way to confuse them.
4: Stay Silent
“Cognitively, they are an adult. Physically, they are an adult. Emotionally, they are a toddler,” one commenter said about narcissists. They agree that the best reaction to confuse them is none at all. “Narcissists are confused, thrown off, and have no idea what to do with the person who does not react to them.”
5: Get Back
If you can’t beat them, join them. At least, according to one person who’s dealt with narcissists. “Find out their insecurities and subtly strike at their insecurities, just like they do to you.”
6: Do the Opposite
One individual said after they stopped trying to reason with the narcissist in their life, they found a few ways to confuse them. “One was being completely nonreactive, as in gray rock,” they said. “Another was providing the exact opposite reaction from what he wanted – smiling instead of looking scared or upset, for example.”
7: Stand Up
“Let the narcissist think you are easy to manipulate and control, but when they try to control you, show you are impossible to control,” one person suggested. That said, their biggest suggestion to people suffering from a narcissistic relationship is to walk away and go no contact, if possible.
8: Be Kind
One person said narcissists are often mean and negative, so being kind as can be to them can be very puzzling. “They might try to argue or complain later, but it’ll also confuse them because they usually have low self-esteem.”
9: Stay Strong
Harsh words from narcissists can sting, but one person says the best strategy is not to let it get to you. “You could even agree with them. Like, if they say you’re silly, you can say, ‘Yep, I sure am.'”
10: Don’t Defend Yourself
“It might sound strange, but narcissists get confused when you stop defending yourself,” one person said. They explain that narcissists enjoy making you feel like you have to defend yourself, so when you don’t, it’ll throw them off.
11: No Laughing Matter
Narcissists don’t understand humor, according to someone who remembers an explosive moment someone told an unintentionally funny story. “Everyone burst out laughing at this story, and she completely became dismantled and withered. The way she reacted was so bizarre. Then she got angry and started to verbally attack her husband, me, and my 8-year-old child.”
12: Switch Things Up
One surefire way to confuse narcissists? “Unpredictability,” one person said. Never let them know your next move.
13: Wake Up Call
Meeting the narcissist in your life with a healthy dose of reality and honesty will confuse them, one experienced communicator said. “They live in a fantasy world of their making and expect everyone else to be as foolish and dishonest as they are.”
14: Move in Silence
“Confusing a narcissist is when they can’t read you and when they don’t know what your next move is going to be,” one person said, driving home that silence is the most powerful tool.
15: Be Yourself
According to one person, let your personality shine and do your own thing to confuse a narcissist. “They can’t relate. Wear your cap to the side, or paint your nails all different colors. Wear two different socks. They won’t be able to focus on anything else.”
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