I don’t recommend trying to out-narc a narc unless you feel up to playing such wretched games, or if there’s no other choice. If you can’t go No Contact right away, a technique known as grey rocking is better and won’t violate your conscience or morals . But grey rocking works best with people you aren’t that intimate with. In a very intimate relationship, such as a marriage, out-narcing the narc could prove more effective. Always keep in mind you are not as skilled a player as the narcissist in your life. You’ll know if it isn’t working. Then STOP.
Out-narcing my narc.
After years of codependency to my MN sociopath ex, always skulking around like a frightened church mouse and not daring to defy him (but inwardly seething the whole while)– and about a year before I finally got a restraining order and finally made him leave–I started to get mean. In other words, I had learned his games (hey, I had the best teacher!) and decided to use them against him.
I think when our rage rises to a certain level, or has been building up over a long time, there’s a pressure cooker effect, and you either explode–or if you can keep a measure of control, you can mirror the narcissist in the most negative way possible — by reflecting back to them the nasty and evil things they have been doing to you. In other words, you can “out-narc” the narc.
It can be hard for abuse victims to out-narc the narc, because we don’t have as many allies (they’ve all been turned against us), and anyway, we don’t recruit flying monkeys to make sure our commands are carried out. We also have a stronger conscience and some empathy, maybe a lot of empathy. If we’re really empathic, we might be much more prone to try to “rescue” the narcissist from themselves rather than give them “tough love”–forcing them to taste their own nasty
medicine. poison. If we have compassion and especially if we still love the narcissist, we don’t want to see them suffer at our hands. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this or it goes against your morals then you shouldn’t. Grey rocking is a nicer alternative.
But if you get mad enough, the anger might override your compassion temporarily. It did for me, for about a year, until he as served the restraining order. Mostly I gaslighted him (told him coldly he was imagining things when he accused me of something I didn’t do, etc.), verbally abused (insulted him), using what I knew were his buttons (things he was sensitive about) against him, and most of all, I gave him the silent treatment. (If you’re not all that skilled in narc tactics, the silent treatment is one of the easiest to use). I don’t recommend using insults–they’re not very effective (they will be turned against you) and likely will enrage the narc. So try not to use them, unless they’re very subtle or you have the ability to be sweetly sarcastic. Then, if he picks up on it, you can tell him, “oh, you must have been imagining things!”
I hated to be this way to anyone–it just isn’t me–but my survival at the end depended on it. The narc had zero sense of boundaries, and my seething rage and fear with no way to vent it was destroying me. Out-narcing him for a short time made me feel stronger and readied me to do the (at he time) unthinkable: kick him the hell out. While rage shouldn’t become a permanent place to live (in fact, it’s downright dangerous to you if you can never move past it), righteous anger when you’re going no contact is perfectly justified.
My narc-mirroring definitely turned my ex a lot colder toward me, but it also made him stop trying to suck the lifeblood out of me and stomp all over my boundaries 24/7. He learned, and rather quickly, that I wasn’t having it anymore, and I also think he recognized himself in the way I treated him. It didn’t make him remorseful or ashamed and it didn’t bring self-awareness either, but it made him STFU and leave me alone until I had the courage to file a restraining order on his sorry ass.
If you do decide to a out-narc your narc, don’t do it for an extended length of time because after too long, it will take a toll on your spiritual and emotional integrity. It should only be used for the short term, when you simply can no longer tolerate the N’s behavior, but going No Contact isn’t possible yet (but will be–start saving money now if you have no place to go).
Grey Rocking: If You Can’t Go No Contact