how to beat the narcissist at his own game

Tired of the narcissistic behavior?


Want to learn how to beat the narcissist at his own game?

The best way to do that is to get out of the game.

Sounds simple enough, right?

But let’s talk a little more about that before we talk about the rules of the game.

On the outside, narcissistic behavior seems to be all about self: how the narcissist wants to be perceived, how the narcissist wants to feel, and how the narcissist wants you to behave in the relationship.

It seems to be all about him.

Going a little deeper though, we find that the narcissist many times can be perceived as a generous or self-less person, which would seem to be contradictory.

(Unless, of course, you’re familiar enough with your narcissist to know that strings are always attached).

One type of narcissist may be quick to anger, while another type will simply shrivel up when unhappy, and force you to figure out what it is that you did that wounded them.

(In either case though, you’ll be made to pay, as we discussed in the narcissistic injury page).

Sometimes your narcissist may play at being ‘victim’, needing you to reassure and console, and at other times he may take center-stage as the ‘rescuer’, to be admired and praised.

And while you are trying to keep up with the narcissist as he changes roles in this game, you also have to continue to change roles, in an effort at self-preservation.

When he is the victim, you must be the rescuer. When he is the rescuer – he needs someone to rescue.

You must seemingly always play the flip-side to his narcissistic character of the moment.

Rules of Engagement

Actually, self-preservation is less of a ‘flip-side’ to narcissistic behavior, and more of a matter of degrees on a scale: too little self-preservation and we end up as continual victims; too much self-preservation and we ourselves end up exhibiting classic narcissistic behavior.

When we continue in a relationship with a narcissist, we usually end up sliding along that scale from one degree to another, from one extreme to another, without realizing that it’s a game.

The roles may be fluid, but the objective of the game never changes, and that is this:

Simply to keep the game going.

And to keep the game going, it is imperative that both parties participate.

Another simple rule of the game is this: you will never win.

Okay, so those are the rules of the game so far.

To recap:
1. keep the game going
2. both parties must participate
3. you never win

Some game, huh?

face questions

But the conundrum of the game is this:
If you want to win the game, get out of the game.

If you’re still interested in beating a narcissist at his own game, read on to learn how.

Next: the Drama Triangle

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