The Only Guaranteed “One Crazy Trick” for Dealing with a Narcissist

For narcissists, the emotions, energy, and attention of people around them are their substances of choice, and you've got what they need.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Not all narcissists are flagrant and boisterous with their abusive and manipulative behavior. Many are quiet and subdued around people who don’t know them very well.

In fact, that’s often how the narcissist lures you into their trap…

You ignore the red flags, console them (even when they’re to blame for whatever problem), and assume they will correct their negative behaviors. But nothing changes.

That’s because you’re not dealing with a typical person — you’re dealing with a narcissist.

Narcissists don’t process and experience emotions the way average people do and this is reflected in their abusive behavior. As such, you cannot respond to a narcissist the same way you might respond to other people.

Here’s how to shut down a narcissist and understand their pattern of behavior.

Dealing with a narcissist and their supply-demand mentality

In order to understand how to shut down a narcissist, you need to understand how they experience, process, and react to emotions, energy, and everyone in their immediate environment.

Imagine someone suffering through substance abuse. They crave a fix — whether it be drugs, alcohol, or food. Their substance of choice gives them a rush and satisfies them for a bit so the cycle continues as it gets worse.

For narcissists, the emotions, energy, and attention of people around them are their substances of choice. You’ve got what they need: sympathy, validation, reassurance, and even physical energy.

If you don’t give up your attention voluntarily, the narcissist will create the material conditions for it to happen.

How many times has the narcissist lured you into a fight? Overreacted to minor inconveniences or transgressions? How many times have you tried to confront the narcissist about their disrespectful behavior only to end up apologizing to them?

The only method for dealing with a narcissist that actually produces results

Not everyone’s situation is the same. Spouses often find out they’re dating, living with, or even raising a family with a narcissist after quite some time. In other cases, you’re dealing with a narcissist in your family or work environment.

When you decide to finally go “no contact,” a lot of people may not believe your experience. That’s okay: They don’t have to because you know the truth.

Still, cutting a person out of your life isn’t easy — especially one clinging to you for life. Here are some tips to start dealing with a narcissist the right way:

  1. Block everything: Phone numbers, social media accounts, email addresses, carrier pigeons. If you leave a loophole for the narcissist to contact you, they will exploit it.
  2. Find support: This may only include one or two people you trust. Confide in someone who will validate and believe you.
  3. Consider a PPO: You don’t know how the narcissist will behave once you cut them off. They may become violent or stalk you, your family members, and friends.
  4. Let people know: Tell mutual friends you don’t want them to relay any messages from the narcissist – no need to explain why if you aren’t comfortable. This will close every last channel and thoroughly shut down a narcissist.

Nope, they won’t change. “No contact” is the only way to shut down a narcissist.

Many narcissists have always been this way, generally back to their teenage or childhood years. If you’re dealing with a narcissist, you cannot and should not expect them to change their behavior now or ever.

Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder often involves things like cognitive behavioral therapy. In many cases, a narcissist may also suffer from other mental illnesses like depression or substance use disorder. (You’ve probably heard extensively about these problems too when the narcissist needs your sympathy or someone to blame.)

Despite this, there is little evidence to suggest therapy actually works for narcissists as personality disorders are notoriously difficult to treat. The first step to getting help is to admit a problem exists — the narcissist will never believe they have or are a problem. “No contact” is the only option.

Trust in yourself and your support system. Because once you get to the other side and stick to “no contact,” you’ll be amazed by all the amazing things you can accomplish.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Was I Really Raised By A Narcissist?

by Christina Beck
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Are You In a Relationship with a Narcissist

by Kamini Wood
narcissists and their victims BY Teyhou Smyth

Narcissism, When Ego Turns Abusive .

by Dr. Teyhou Smyth

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.