Here’s how to stop attracting narcissists into your life.
A Narcissist’s Prayer: That didn’t happen. And if it did, it wasn’t that bad. And if it was, that’s not a big deal. And if it is, that’s not my fault. And if it was, I didn’t mean it. And if I did… You deserved it.
A narcissist is a vampire. They want to suck your blood. And not shimmery “Twilight” vampire. We are talking Bram Stoker, Dracula, vampire.
The kind who plots to gain access to your most private spaces, and travels through mysterious fogs of deception and sleight of hand.
Their pasts are murky, and subject to change depending on the environment they are trying to suit. Narcissists are out there, and more numerous than you think.
But why can’t a narcissist keep to themselves? Didn’t Narcissus (of the Greek myth to which the term narcissism is coined) perish staring into the reflecting pool, content to be alone?
The answer to why narcissists can’t keep to themselves is because they seek more.
More approval. More reinforcement. More examples of conquest and influence to add to their limited supply of confidence (“Abnormal Psychology Explained”).
The narcissist appears confident and secure, but this is a lie. Narcissists live on the edge of peril and must work tirelessly to make sure the baselessness of their confidence is not exposed.
They develop playbooks of influence with the people they encounter, and selectively pursue only those who appear vulnerable to their charm.
If you have never felt the discomfort of living under a narcissists gaze, that is probably because they are not interested in you.
It is the individuals who are too open, too admitting, and too forgiving, who fall under the narcissists spell.
A narcissist may be employed in your company, they may be a client. They may even be a spouse or a family member.
To effectively repel their advances, here are some common traits of the narcissist and how you can prepare yourself.
Just like a vampire, a narcissist cannot cross the threshold if you do not first invite them in.
Every time they hurt you, they love you even more for letting them hurt you. You’re amazing to them. They need you, they can’t live without you
Here’s five things to consider as you attempt to rid yourself of narcissistic lovers. Focus on the traits and behaviors. Do any of these ring a bell?
1. “We have so much in common. This connection is so rare!”
Upon meeting a narcissist, they will seek information. They are listening for vulnerabilities in your personal history through which they can inject a lie or deception.
This may come in the form of a story, a shared hobby, or a common acquaintance, presented only to bring you one step closer to trusting them. We tend to trust who we feel we know.
To be protected from this, do not over-share (about your life, interests, dislikes, etc.).
A narcissist builds familiarity quickly while going out of their way to keep the focus on you (and revealing very little about themselves).
This is a common trait of con-artists who are motivated to say exactly what you want to hear.
And while it feels like such a relief to be talking with someone who is interested and shares so much in common with you, the first of many deceptions is taking root. If you find yourself doing all the talking, establish some balance, or keep on walking.
2. “You can fill in the rest.”
When a narcissist isn’t lying about their past (or present), they are offering vague and difficult to prove personal information that encourages the listener to fill in the blanks.
Given that many people are willing to offer the “benefit of the doubt” (we are wired to see the best in others), a narcissist’s odd claim or use of murky details can easily be dismissed as a lapse of judgement or common mix up.
Incorrect. The vague language is intentional.
Narcissists push for their targets to emotionally invest in the conversation by personally creating explanations for the other’s behavior.
This makes any future questioning or mistrust of the narcissist very difficult because to question the narcissist would be to question one’s own judgement.
Beware of your tendency to provide positive spins on misbehavior. If someone is acting strange (trust your gut!), be comfortable questioning their motives.
Acknowledging gaps and inconsistencies just may be enough to drive the narcissist away (“”).
3. “I cannot believe they would do that to you – That’s proof of no respect”
A narcissist is quick to put down your family and friends. Listen carefully to how people in your life deliver feedback regarding friends, family, or coworkers.
To the narcissist, others are treating you badly and you should be upset about it. Better yet, you must see them for the bad people they truly are and cut them out of your life all together.
The narcissist positions themselves as the only one who knows what is best for you. And this can be done in very subtle ways.
Highlighting negative features, revisiting negative examples, and sometimes even personally offering their (manufactured) bad experience only reinforces the narcissist’s goal: to put distance between you and the people you care about.
The goal of the narcissist’s behavior is to discredit anyone who may speak poorly of them.
To counter this; keep lines of communication diverse. Seek second and third opinions. And never rely too heavily on one biased opinion (haven’t we learned what biased news sources can do by now?).
4. “Can you believe people do that? At least I am not THAT bad.”
A narcissist will speak harshly of individuals who drink or act out of anger, but have no problem justifying their own drinking or bouts of rage.
Other people drink because they have a problem and can’t control it. The narcissist only drinks when they have a good reason and could choose not to drink if they wanted to.
Being unable to admit personal flaws is a form of self-applied manipulation used to strengthen the narcissist’s bloated sense of self.
Again, the narcissist expects to receive the benefit of the doubt from those they are close to, and will spend their time convincing others of their good instead of admitting to any wrong.
If they do happen to be called out on their poor behavior, the narcissist will cry betrayal and manufacture emotional distress instead of admitting to any wrong.
5. Interview with a Vampire
The most important lesson to learn about interacting with narcissists is that you are a prop used to feed their inflated sense of self.
I’m telling you, you will never be seen as an equal. And once you have been manipulated to offer every reassurance you can give, the narcissist will coldly move on.
The narcissist preys on our willingness to help (as all humans are inclined to do from time to time) and exploits how helping behaviors can make us feel good about ourselves.
What could be more human? If I am told that I made someone’s day, or that I understand someone better than anyone else has before, I immediately feel empowered, confident, and like I have a purpose in the world. And I would be motivated to feel that way again.
But with a narcissist, I could endlessly chase that reward, giving and giving and giving, and come away empty handed.
Meanwhile the narcissist becomes bored with my eventual frustration and just move on. The vampire seeks a new host.
At its core, relationships with narcissists promote unhealthy, even addicted cycles of need-fulfillment that end in one person crushed, and the other in staunch denial of any wrong-doing.
Against the narcissist, honesty and truth are your best defenses. Not allowing half-truths, calling out discrepancies, and demanding clarity on yes/ no questions, will demonstrate to any narcissist that you are not a desirable target.
Follow this advice and you can be saved from seemingly endless confusion, and eventual disappointment. There’s no need to soak up negativity like a sponge.
And although you may not be able to change a narcissist’s ways (there are no “silver bullets”), by applying truth and honesty to your everyday life you can avoid joining their destructive dance.
Like a clove of garlic, practicing daily honesty with your relationships can keep these vampires at bay.
To learn more about healing from narcissistic relationships and abusive people, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Psychopath Free (see Amazon). You will find this book to be a powerful resource to help you steer clear of people who are emotionally unhealthy.
Thanks for stopping by.
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