There are several types of narcissism in the world, with research finding more and more specific types. Four major ones are the overt type, the covert one, the communal, and the malignant. (Read about these types and more at PsychCentral.com)
The overt narcissist is loud and boisterous; the covert is quiet and miserable; the communal seeks power through helpful acts; and the malignant is vindictive, aggressive, and dangerous.
It doesn’t matter which specific group a narcissistic individual falls into, they all have similarities. For one, they’re entitled. Secondly, they constantly need praise and admiration. Thirdly, they are envious of others and feel another person is out to get them, to name a few.
When you find yourself befriending a person with narcissistic traits (unknowingly), you may want to help them. You may pity them and find yourself bending over backwards to please them and be a good friend. Little do you realize that the help you offer is not welcomed. These narcissists don’t want your help. They just want your time, attention, and energy, with no reciprocation.
The more time you spend with them, the more you start to notice that you become the “bad guy” and they’re the “good guy”; They start accusing you of “attacking” them or “making them miserable” because you are going against their mindset (See, the 9 Traits of Narcissism to understand their mindset); the more you realize they’re not listening nor being attentive towards you.
That’s because a narcissist does not view you as a friend. And they do not want your help. Instead, you are competition to them. They want to do and be better than you. And eventually, they’ll make this very clear to you, if not right away.
And you may be scratching your head, questioning what you did to deserve such treatment. There is a silent competition that they’ve dragged you into, and you’re wondering if there’s an end to the race so you don’t have to deal with these narcissistic individuals anymore.
Thankfully, there are three things you can do to defeat narcissists at their game.
3 WAYS TO DEFEAT THE NARCISSIST:
- Set Boundaries
The name “boundary” is literal and metaphorical here. You want to draw a line between you and the other person. This boundary line tells you what you will and will not tolerate from the other person. According to Dianne Grande, Ph.D, a licensed clinical psychologist of Choosing Therapy, setting boundaries minimizes the harm caused by the words and actions of a narcissistic individual. Such boundaries could be: they cannot call you after a certain time in the night (to talk about themselves), you will not have dinner with them if they give you a last-minute invite, you will change the topic if all they want to do is have a pity party, and so forth.
- Use the Gray-Rock Method
If you look at the 9 Traits of Narcissism, it’s clear that a person with such traits thinks only about themselves. Because of this, they talk only about themselves. And this may make it difficult to be around them–if not draining–because we all want to connect with someone who can ask about us and our day. Therefore, you’re going to need to gray-rock them. Think about a rock–it just sits and does nothing. It’s a rather boring companion, and you really don’t want to interact with it. If you do the same thing to a narcissist, they’ll get bored of you too and find someone else to talk at. If you’re lucky, you’ll never have to interact with them again, and your relationship with them can just fade away.
- Go No Contact
This last alternative is extreme, but it may be necessary. (I’ve had to use it on “friends” and family.) If you find your mental health deteriorating from pleasing the narcissist and getting no reciprocation year after year, it may be time to go no-contact. This means cutting off all forms of communication. No more phone calls, text messages, even visits. You are cutting off the already-one-sided-relationship and finally choosing just yourself, not them anymore.
There are several types of narcissism in the world, with researchers identifying more specific types. Such individuals can be loud and boisterous, quiet and miserable, helpful but deceptive, and aggressive and dangerous. Yet it doesn’t matter what traits they exhibit, these individuals do not view you as a friend. You are competition, and they will do whatever they can to bring you down. To help yourself get out of the contest you didn’t not sign up for, use these three proven tactics to remove the narcissist from your life and defeat them at their own game.