If you have ever dealt with a narcissist, as a partner, family member, friend, or at work, you know the feeling of frustration, anger, and hopelessness. They are impossible to deal with and always seem to get their way. But what if there was a way to make a narcissist fear you?
This article will teach you how to make a narcissist fear you and get what you want from them. Using psychological tricks and tactics, you will be able to dominate any narcissist and get them to do your bidding.
Sounds interesting? Let’s start by understanding how a narcissistic mind works.
What Is a Narcissist?
The American Psychological Association (APA) has listed the criteria for narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5. The most prominent among them are the need for admiration, lack of empathy, and a pattern of grandiosity.
However, all narcissists are not diagnosed with NPD. Many of them display behavioral traits similar to those diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The sense of grandiosity, overinflated ego, constant need for attention and praise, and a host of negative behavioral traits are the most common among undiagnosed narcissists.
A manipulative narcissist feels an overwhelming urge to wield power over others and keep them under their own control. Other notable character traits are the sense of entitlement and manipulative behavior. They suffer from a superiority complex and firmly believe that they are far better than others. This makes them conceited and arrogant. They won’t value or respect people around them.
In our patriarchal society, men tend to display narcissistic behavior more, though women are not immune to it. No matter what their gender is, dealing, or worse still, living with a narcissist can be an emotional catastrophe. It may even lead to mental health issues.
Is a narcissist bad for your mental health?
It is comparatively easier to get into a relationship with a narcissist as they are actively searching for their next victim. They want someone to play their games on. A narcissist wants a partner to seek validation and boost their self-esteem. The relationship with a narcissist is never balanced or healthy and tends to be superficial.
A narcissist is keen on finding partners who are weak and vulnerable. Such as empathetic individuals or those who are rich, influential, talented, or with high standing in society. Money, status, and power are immensely attractive to a narcissist.
Some narcissists are drawn in by their need for validation, attention, and sexual satisfaction. A narcissist will do anything to get into a relationship with such individuals and stop at nothing to get what they want.
A narcissist can be at their charming best to make you fall head over heels in love with them. They will lure you with their wiles and guiles. And once the unsuspecting you drop your guard, they pounce on you and grab you by your throat. Then, there is no easy escape for you.
The list of narcissistic abuses is pretty long and terrifying. Depending on the character traits of the narcissist, abuses differ. From simple lies, intimidation, manipulation, and blame games, this can progress to severe forms of psychological abuse. Gaslighting is a typical form of narcissist abuse.
The prime purpose of all forms of narcissist abuse and aggression is self-satisfaction and keeping you under their control by making you feel worthless and doubting yourself. The health fallouts of such abuse are anxiety, irritability, fear, mood swings, depression, and post-traumatic stress.
19 Ways to make a narcissist fear you
Even as a narcissist tries to impress others with their confidence and courage, deep inside, they are always struggling with self-doubts, confusion, uncertainty, and indecision. They try to hide all their insecurities behind a fake bravado.
If you are searching for a narcissist’s weak spot, this is where it is. You should train your guns to destroy their phony fearless facade. Once you manage to invoke the feeling of deep fear in them, it is easy for you to reclaim control over your life.
Here are some suggestions on how you can go about instilling deep fear in a narcissist.
1. Understand how a narcissist takes over control of their victims
This is the most important first step to make a narcissist fear you. This is what it means when they say, knowledge is power. Having a better understanding of how they work and their tactics will give you more confidence and ammunition to plan your attack.
Experts in the field list the most common tactics employed by a narcissist to take control of their victims. These include gaslighting, breadcrumbing, word salad, stonewalling, gift bombing, love bombing, and predator listening.
As victims have a front-row seat to the abuse, all they need to do is keep their eyes and ears open to become aware of their tactics.
2. Ignore them
This is a suggestion that can be helpful in the initial stages and not when it is too far gone. When you feel that the person you are getting involved with is a narcissist, run as far away from them as possible.
Narcissists are charmers. They are very good at making you fall for them with their slick behavior. Even when you find yourself falling for them, your intuition will be sounding alarm bells. Listen to your intuition. When you feel something is wrong, often this is true.
Rejection is another dreaded word in a narcissist’s vocabulary.
3. Deny them empathy
Empathy is one of the traits that makes you vulnerable to a narcissist. Once you identify them as a narcissist, turn off the tap of your empathy. They don’t deserve your kindness, compassion, and consideration.
A narcissist will feed on your positive energy and milk you dry exploiting your empathetic nature. Deny them this opportunity. By putting up a solid defense against the manipulative ways, you can make a narcissist fear you.
4. Learn to say “no”
The word “no” from you is something the narcissist is really afraid of. It is not part of their plans for you. However, from your perspective, this is not an easy word to say. Having access to a support system will give you the courage and confidence to utter this word.
When a narcissist realizes that their manipulative tactics are no more working with you, they may leave you alone. They are interested only in those who always say “yes”.
5. Punish them for violations
If you are already completely under their control, this is not an option for you. But if you find yourself falling prey to a narcissist and want to put up a defense against them, this is a good tactic to adopt. Include punishment in your rules and impose it for every violation.
This can be hard for a narcissist to tolerate. Being punished would be a big blow to their self-esteem and ego. You can expect them to put up a good fight but stand firm. You might even manage to escape from their clutches.
6. Don’t hold back your criticisms
Criticism is a word a narcissist dreads. Though they exude confidence, they are, in fact, thin-skinned. Even if the criticism is constructive, they find it hard to handle.
Every time you notice a mistake, make sure they know about it. This will make them angry. You can expect them to lash out at you. Have your tactics ready to handle this onslaught. By criticizing a narcissist, you are crushing their ego, over-bloated self-image, and self-esteem.
7. Set boundaries and enforce them
This is easier said than done. Even though hard to implement, this is a vital step for a victim to regain control of their life. Don’t expect this to happen overnight. Take small steps. Be patient and persevere until you succeed.
Even when you are forced to interact with them, try to make it as boring as possible. When there is no scope for melodrama and spectacle, a narcissist will slowly lose interest in you. However, you may have to go against your natural instincts to make this possible.
There is nothing narcissists fear more than losing control of their victims.
8. Detach and disconnect
Another major fear of a narcissist is being abandoned and all alone in life. Limiting your interaction with them helps in triggering this fear. You can make a narcissist fear you if you can control your reactions.
By taking these steps, you are cutting off the fuel supply to a narcissist. Their basic survival depends on your vulnerability, lack of boundaries or inability to enforce them, and your dependence on them. You may think of these as signs of love and affection but when you are dealing with a narcissist, with these, you are letting them wield their power over you.
9. Break free from the bond
A narcissist will keep you in bondage by blowing hot and cold alternatively. In psychology, this is termed intermittent reinforcement. This is a method of delivery of reward at irregular intervals. They are nice and abusive as and when they want. This will keep you hooked.
The simplest way to break free from this situation is to have no contact with the abuser. If this is hard to carry out, you can do your best to limit your contact. By limiting your involvement and display of emotion, no matter whether they are nice or abusive, you can make the interaction boring for a narcissist.
10. Use facts and figures
If you decide to confront them, instead of making unsubstantiated accusations, stick to facts. A narcissist has created an imaginary world and image for themselves. Narcissists fear when they are shown the mirror.
Do remember that they are capable of turning the tables on you. So be careful when attempting this. Just go with facts and avoid emotions.
When you attempt this, be careful to keep the focus on the narcissist even if they try to shift it to you. Be ready for this maneuver. Also, a narcissist may hit back by accusing you of lack of affection and loyalty. Don’t take the bait and turn defensive. Keep your voice neutral and lowkey.
11. Reclaim your power
Another suggestion that looks good in theory but is hard to implement. That doesn’t mean you should not try. Even moderate success is good enough as a first step. Slowly, claw back control over your life.
A narcissist is happy and content as long as they can wield power over their victims and control their lives. The moment you start putting up resistance to this, fear will start building in their minds. You are hitting the ego of a narcissist with this.
You can start with disregarding their orders, taking your own decisions, and doing what you want. In the next stage, you may disagree and confront them.
12. Expose them publicly
Attempt public humiliation only if you are confident of carrying it through. If you have public support, it helps. But be warned that this can backfire on you.
Narcissists are always seeking approval and validation from everyone around them. When you call them out in the presence of others, especially people they hold in high regard, it is humiliating for them. You are putting them in a position they can neither agree, defend or keep quiet. Public humiliation will create cognitive dissonance and psychological distress for them.
You may feel sympathy for the narcissist. It would help to remember the abuse you suffer at their hands.
13. Force them to live in reality
A narcissist lives in a make-believe world of their own. And, they are good at convincing others that this is the reality. Call them out on this and ground them in the real world. That is something they really fear.
This, again, is not easy to implement. Then, who said escaping from a narcissist is?
This is where your in-depth knowledge of the narcissist will come in handy. You need to plan this move well in advance. Think up a strategy about how you can manage this.
Once you burst their bubble and they can no longer live in their fantasy world, it will be easy-going for you.
14. Hold on to your reality
Even when you try to expose the fake image of a narcissist, you need to make sure that you are back in the real world. When a narcissist sinks their claws into their victim, they transport their victims to their own imaginary world. You should get a grip on reality.
It may be confusing for you to know what is real and what is cooked up. Take help from someone you can trust to get back in touch with reality. Once you are grounded in reality, you can do a better job of grounding a narcissist.
15. Surround yourself with supportive people
While this can help you become aware of the real world, regain sanity and take back control of your life, it is also a narcissist’s worst fear. When a narcissist identifies you as their potential victim, one of the first things they do is to cut you off from help and support. Getting this back is not something the narcissist would like.
You may expect all kinds of resistance to your move. When you get back in touch with your support system, you may feel more confident and secure.
16. Encourage your support system to be truthful
Now that you managed to get back in touch with your support system, make it clear that you want them to be truthful even if it hurts. Often they may go easy on you because you have been through so much.
If people in your support system also continue to keep up the illusion, you would find it extremely difficult to get back into the real world. Truth and facts are things narcissists fear the most. Stick to them and you are well on the way to recovery.
17. Take an emotional break
The best choice is, of course, a total break and going no contact. But for most people, this is not a viable option. Instead, you may opt for a mental break. You can define what this means.
For most victims, this means a short break away from their tormentors. Even a night out with friends would be good enough. If you can manage longer breaks, it is better. You can also encourage the narcissist to take a break and spend time with their friends.
18. Choose to cut ties
Making a clean break from the relationship is one of the best choices but hard to implement for most people. If you can manage this, that will be the end of the story.
Rejection and abandonment are the most feared developments in a relationship for a narcissist. Before you make this move, ensure you have a good support system and you are ready for the backlash.
19. Go legal
Depending on the kind of relationship you have with the narcissist, cut ties legally if need be. You can also initiate legal action to restrict their access to you. Since this is a huge step, be well-prepared before attempting it.
You can expose the insecurities and vulnerabilities of a narcissist by forcing them to stay away from you. Without their victims, they are weak and powerless. They have been exploiting you until now. Now, it’s time to return the favor.
Narcissists are often described as the real wolves in sheep’s clothing. Escaping from a narcissist can be extremely traumatic and difficult, at times even dangerous.
With their volatile personalities, you will find it hard to predict their reactions. Before you make your move, spend some time studying and understanding their behavioral patterns. Use this knowledge to come up with a plan to break free.
Believe that nothing is impossible if you really want something. You can make a narcissist fear you and break free from their clutches. All the best!