A person with a narcissistic personality disorder has a set way of thinking and they expect others to agree with them. Something they absolutely hate is for them to be wrong and for someone else to be right. If that someone happens to be their partner, their anger will turn into rage and boil over.
A narcissist will find innovative ways to pull you down and keep you under their control. No tactic is too low and underhand for them to achieve this. They will disagree and argue with you just to pick a fight with you and spoil your mood. They will mountains to prove that you’re wrong.
There is a long list of negative strategies used by people suffering from narcissistic personality disorder to keep their victims tied down. Manipulation, gaslighting, self-admiration, and controlling behavior are the most common forms of emotional abuse used by narcissists.
As a victim, you may want to confront or lash out at your tormentor. However, your precarious situation may not allow you the freedom to do this openly. But that doesn’t mean you cannot turn the tables on a narcissist at all. If you want to exact your revenge on your narcissistic partner, read on.
This article explains how to turn the tables on a narcissist. Here you will find strategies you can use to figure out the narcissist weak points and exploit them to your advantage,
6 Ways to turn the tables on a narcissist
Imagine arguing with someone with a narcissistic personality disorder. You may say something and the narcissist will repeat the same but disagree with you. This may leave you confused. As far as you can see, both of you are saying the same thing, but the narcissist seems to disagree with this contention.
You try repeating your argument. This is when a narcissist brings out their true talent. They will repeat the same argument and follow it up by paraphrasing your argument. Unfortunately, your argument is not the same as what you said. If you interrupt them, they will fly off the handle and will begin to mock and deride you. They will manage to paint you as an ignorant and brainless person.
Ultimately, they will “prove” that they are right and you are wrong. This is an example of typical narcissistic behavior.
Let’s see how you can control the narrative of this episode and turn the tables on the narcissist.
1. Borrow their strategy and use it against them
Even when a narcissist realizes that they are wrong, they are not going to admit it. They may find themselves in a position where they have to admit that you’re right, but they will do so in such a way that they come out on top.
“This was exactly what I suggested a month back.”
“Oh good! Happy I could help you understand it.”
“This is what I have been saying all the time. Glad you agree with me on this.”
When you’re dealing with such a person, you can beat them at their own game. All you need to do is anticipate how they will react to any given situation and adapt your response suitably well in time. Use their desire to always be right and prove you’re wrong.
“I know you may not agree, but I strongly feel …”. When you present your argument this way, you are putting the narcissist in a fix. They have to either agree with your perspective or agree with your statement that they may not agree with you. Even before the narcissist gets a chance to say their destructive comments, you are owning both sides of the argument.
You’re borrowing the manipulative ways of the narcissist to turn the tables on them. But there is a huge difference between you and the narcissist using manipulative ways. you‘re using it for self-protection, while a narcissist uses it to control you.
2. Strengthen your mindset
Often it is your weaknesses that a narcissist exploits to keep you under their control. Seek them out and work on eliminating them. Take steps to make yourself feel confident and secure. Narcissists typically stay away from people with strong mindsets and those who put up resistance.
If you have a defeatist attitude, you cannot blame a narcissist for taking advantage of you. When you decide beforehand that you can never win a war of words with a narcissist, what are your real chances?
Believe that a narcissist is merely an exploitive and negative human being. You have no reason to fear them or allow them to take charge of your life. Believe that you’re strong enough to stand up to the narcissist. You can turn things around in your favor if you really want to.
Believe you can do it. Believe in yourself.
3. Learn to control your emotions
A big no-no is to allow emotions to influence your response. It’s all about thinking with the head and not the heart. When emotions play a role in how to respond to a narcissist’s manipulative ways, you are giving them more ammunition to trap you and keep you in check.
In discussions, arguments, negotiations, or just casual everyday conversations, a narcissist will try to bait you into an emotional reaction. They understand you so well that they know how they can trigger you to do this. They know exactly where your buttons are and how to push them.
You can counter their manipulative ways by keeping your eyes and ears open and being fully aware of what is going on. A narcissist succeeds in riling you up because they know you inside out. To prevent them from carrying out their dirty tricks on you, you need to be self-aware. You should know your own strengths and weaknesses.
This doesn’t mean you need to be strong always or cannot let your guard down ever. Don’t do this in front of a narcissist. Show them only your powerful persona. You may cry, scream or bawl your eyes out in private.
Believe you’re strong and powerful.
4. Do your research
A narcissist knows more about you than you do yourself. They know how you are going to react to any situation and use this information to manipulate you. You can turn the tables on a narcissist only when you have inside knowledge of your mind as well as theirs.
You can do your research by observing how everyday conversations happen between you and the narcissist. Listen to it as a third-party observer. Even in casual and short comments, there are hints and deep undercurrents that you can absorb and store away for later retrieval.
Knowing yourself and the narcissist thoroughly will help you to be well-prepared for all kinds of manipulations and negative behavior. You will feel more confident and powerful, ready to face anything that comes your way. You will feel less concerned about facing the narcissist.
Being prepared will help you anticipate every move of the narcissist and counter it in the best way possible.
5. Learn to use the language of power
The language you speak and the tone you use in the conversation matter a lot when you are dealing with a narcissist. They have highly developed senses to detect any of your weak spots and use them to their advantage. So, even if you aren’t feeling very confident, practice putting up a brave face when you’re with them.
Learn to speak your mind when you are dealing with a narcissist. The more submissive and adjusting you are, the more they will try to push you down. As narcissists are good at twisting your words and theirs, paraphrase to reiterate your stand and drive home the point. It’s always better not to leave room for maneuvering.
With practice, you can destroy a narcissist with words.
6. Practice powerful body language
If you haven’t yet realized the importance of body language in guiding the conversation, it’s high time you did. Invest some time and energy into learning how to dominate a conversation or relationship using the right body language.
If you aren’t used to it, you may find it hard to practice. But with time and experience, you will be able to master it. When you’re dealing with a narcissist, you should try not to miss any tricks available at your disposal. You can drive a narcissist nuts with this approach.
Final thoughts on how to turn the tables on a narcissist
A narcissist is used to your docile behavior and submissive ways. The first time they see you put up some resistance, they are sure to be taken aback. They may write it off as a one-off episode and continue their emotional abuse.
However, when they see you gaining in confidence and becoming more and more self-assured, they will strategize and come back at you with more venom. This is what you need to be well-prepared for. Make sure that you don’t flinch at their assault and don’t give in an inch.
When you turn the tables on a narcissist, it is one of the most satisfying experiences you will ever have. If you can keep this up for some time, you can make a narcissist panic and lose interest in you. Ultimately, they will leave you alone.