Before getting into this article, we want to make one thing very clear!
This article is not referring to being mean or abusive to the narcissist. This is about protecting YOU from someone who you know has this mental disorder – because being a victim of someone with a disorder doesn’t make you a hero and it doesn’t help them. It only hurts you and has long-lasting effects on YOUR mental health.
What is a narcissist?
If you look up the dictionary term for a ‘narcissist’, you will read, “An extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance. A person who is overly concerned with his or her physical appearance”.
(Read about it: “What Is a Narcissist? Breaking down What Narcissism Really Is“)
But when you first meet the narcissist, they usually seem amazing! They are fun and conversational, even seeming generous and compassionate.
But sooner than later, their narcissistic personality always shows itself.
The mask gets ripped off! What first appeared to be good character qualities turns to total self-obsession.
Every single narcissist runs on something called “narcissistic supply”.
This means that they feed their self-obsession by hoarding the attention and admiration of those around them – no matter what it takes!
(Read about their tactics: “11 Things Narcissists Say to Manipulate You“)
It is their #1 priority to make sure that everyone in their circle of influence confirms their belief of superiority and entitlement.
By nature, a narcissist doesn’t care about anyone but themself.
A narcissist cannot be reasoned with and they will go to any lengths to get what they want.
If you want to cut off a narcissist, you need to “starve” them of narcissistic supply.
Below are 7 best tips on how to starve a narcissist!
1.) The Best Option – Go “No Contact”
If at all possible, go “No Contact”!
This means severing ALL contact with the narcissist.
You do not call them or take calls from them. You do not email, text, or talk about them on social media. You delete, block, and never look back!
By taking this route, you are completely removing yourself from any further emotional and mental abuse.
When you take this route, expect initial push-back! They will try to get your attention by using one of their “usually successful tactics”.
Spreading lies, blaming you, playing the victim, issuing fake apologies, giving you the silent treatment and then coming back at you, and using different scare tactics. All shameless manipulation!
Going “No Contact” will give you the necessary space to start healing from their narcissistic manipulation.
When you have suffered abuse and injustice from someone, you absolutely need to take care of yourself and put an end to their ability to bully you.
Getting them out of your life 100% is the only way to do this.
However, this isn’t always an option for some people. Keep reading.
Related Article: 7 Steps to Successfully Remove Toxic People from Your Life
2.) Show No Emotion
The narcissist thrives on getting an emotional reaction out of someone! It can be a good reaction or a bad one, it doesn’t matter.
Once they realize you have figured them out, you will become the enemy.
When they come at you with all their manipulation, don’t give them an emotional reaction.
Do whatever it takes to remain calm and act like their behavior has no effect on you.
Don’t roll your eyes, sigh, shake your head, glare, raise your eyebrows, make a face, or show any type of emotion. Go completely blank!
This way, you will give them absolutely NO narcissistic supply – because they will see that they can’t get under your skin or effect the way you see them.
By not giving them the one thing they want, you are starving them of the attention that they so badly desire.
Related Article: 13 Catch Phrases That Narcissists Use on Their Victims
3.) Make Your Interactions Very Brief
If a narcissist has to remain in your life for the time, try to make your interactions with them as brief as possible.
Say as LITTLE as possible to them within the time you see them.
Don’t explain yourself, don’t respond to their manipulative comments, and don’t give them any details about your life!
If you must, answer with one-word responses, end the conversation immediately, turn around and walk away.
Make it brief! This way, they get as little information about you as possible.
4.) Walk Away or Hang Up
If they are pulling out the good ol’ manipulation and guilt-tripping tactic, just walk away.
As the rage builds and the tears start flowing, look right through them, and walk away mid-sentence.
Or if you are on the phone, hang it up!
If you want to make a short statement, you can say, “We will have this conversation when you have settled down. I am walking away.” (Say that with zero emotion in your voice.)
The narcissist will never change. There is no such thing as “reasoning” with them.
For your own well-being, be confident and walk away!
5.) Don’t Talk About Them To People Who Might Report Back
Narcissists love to have informants – little minions who bring them the latest gossip and details on people.
You might have no clue who these people are, but you will find out very quickly.
The narcissist digs for details and will go to any lengths to get “dirt” on you if you are no longer giving them narcissistic supply.
Don’t talk about them negatively to anyone you don’t trust. Don’t talk about the on social media. Don’t give off any suggestion that they are making your life miserable.
Again, if you are not in a position where you can get them out of your life 100%, don’t give them any reason to believe that they have any influence on your life.
Related Article: 9 Ways to Know If Someone Is a Real Friend or a Fake Friend
6.) Set Your Boundaries and NEVER Back Down
A narcissist never listens to boundaries. You can voice them all you want, but it’s like you never stated them at all.
Once you set your boundaries and tell them how things are going to be, don’t let them push you an inch.
Stand by what you said, through thick and thin, through every manipulation they throw at you. Don’t you budge!
Because the second you change your mind or you lift a boundary, they got what they came for – YOU.
It’s never about you – it’s always about them.
Related Articles: What Does The Bible Say About Cutting People Off (Going No Contact)?
7.) Work on YOU – Be happy despite them
The best way to starve a narcissist is to be HAPPY without them.
A narcissist purposefully targets your deepest triggers. If you were ever at a place where you “let in” a narcissist and showed them your weaknesses, that is where they will strike the hardest!
You can’t control a narcissist, but you can absolutely work on YOU.
Work hard on healing your triggers, so you will feel less and less emotional pain from the way they treat you.
You need to reach a goal where they have zero negative influence over you! When they see that they have no effect on your life, they will often move on and focus on someone else.
The absolute best way to do this is to go “No Contact” with them and give yourself some TIME to heal. However, this is not always possible.
What is the end goal? To come to a place where the narcissist has ZERO influence over you.
When you hear about something they said or did, you don’t have an angry reaction. (You just feel bad for them because they live such a pathetic, selfish existence.)
You don’t feel bad about the Silent Treatment. You welcome it.
You understand that YOU have nothing to do with it. They are self-obsessed, manipulative individuals and all you can do is protect yourself.
It is NEVER you. It is always them.
- Why It’s Okay to Cut Toxic Family Members Out of Your Life
- 11 Things Narcissists Say to Manipulate You
- What Does The Bible Say About Cutting People Off (Going No Contact)?
If necessary, go to therapy or get into a support group. A narcissist can make you seriously unhealthy – emotionally and mentally.
Work on YOU!
If you can’t get them out of your life, you are going to have to learn to live a full life not allowing them to dictate your feelings.