Should you ever try to out-narc your narc?

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DISCLAIMER:

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.

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Finally...

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).

Further reading:

Grey Rocking: If You Can’t Go No Contact

 

 

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3 childish and infuriating things narcs do to make you shut up.

There are two variations of the Silent Treatment that are common in narcissists (and bratty children, who narcissists resemble).

Your Narc ever do either of these things to you? My MN sociopathic ex used to do these things ALL the time whenever I was trying to make an important point and/or defend myself from his abuses. Whenever he did either of these things, I wanted to shove his face through a wall.

1. The Sing-Song Game.

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If I was trying to tell him something important, he’d actually stick his fingers in his ears and sing “LALALALALALA!” Like the Silent Treatment, this tactic is an effective way of making you feel not heard, with the added advantage of implying that your message is unimportant or stupid enough to attract such a childish reaction. It’s infuriating–and of course that’s the intention.  They’re trying to get a reaction from you, because an emotional reaction (even a negative one) gives them an easy fix of narcissistic supply.

2. The Echo Chamber.

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Echolalia (repeating everything you just said) might be even more infuriating than the Sing-Song Game. It’s another thing both children and narcissists love to do to cut down anything you have to say. You say or ask something, and they repeat it. You ask them to stop, and they repeat that. And on into eternity. They may even mock your tone of voice while doing this or your mannerisms. My ex also did this all the time.

You: “I wish you’d chew your food with your mouth closed.”
N: “I wish you’d chew your food with your mouth closed.” (said with mouth full of food)
You: “I asked you not to do that.”
N: “I asked you not to do that.”
You: (sighs)
N: (exaggerated sigh)
You: “Do I have to leave?”
N: “Do I have to leave?”
You: (becoming angry): “STOP IT!”
N: (exaggerating your angry tone of voice): “STOP IT!”

If you respond with silence at this point, you’ll be met with silence too. After all, this is only a variation of the silent treatment. The best thing to do is leave. Nothing you do or say is going to stop them, until they become bored.

3.  Smile!

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Sometimes, when you’re trying to talk about a serious subject, the narcissist will smile or even giggle inappropriately. Oh, they know you’re being serious, but again this tactic is meant to undercut the seriousness of what you’re trying to say and is intended to annoy or anger you.  It’s a simple but effective weapon to kill communication.

Can you think of other infuriating, childish things  narcs do to kill communication?  I may add them to this post.

The Silent Treatment: weapon of control.

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The silent treatment is a psychological weapon all narcissists use, even those lacking the cunning or Machiavellianism to successfully use more complex weapons like triangulation or gaslighting (I’m not sure they really require intelligence since it’s probably programmed into them and I’ve known plenty of dumb narcissists who are great at controlling and manipulating others in these ways–they are like trained monkeys).

We’ve all been victims of the silent treatment.  We might have even used it ourselves on occasion.  It’s not exclusive to narcissists so is probably not a good red flag, but all narcissists use it–and they use it a lot more frequently than other people do.

If you’ve been a victim of the silent treatment (also known as “stonewalling”) you won’t forget it.  You know the drill. It’s when they just stop speaking to you or even acknowledging your existence.   Usually, it’s in response to an insult of some kind.   You tell a narcissist their new haircut looks nice, and they get mad at you because you didn’t say it makes them look like a runway model (that’s how sensitive some of them are).   But they don’t tell you what made them mad.  No, you’re supposed to be a mind reader!  Instead, they don’t talk to you.   No matter how many times you ask them to tell you what upset them, their tongue is locked up like Fort Knox.   You beg and plead and soon find yourself apologizing even though you don’t even know what you’re apologizing for.   Anything to get them to talk to you!  It’s torture.   But it’s supposed to be–you are under their control and just where they want you to be.  It’s a brilliant psychological weapon and requires nothing from the narcissist other than a refusal to speak.

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While the silent treatment is most often used in response to an insult of some kind, this isn’t always the case.  Sometimes a narcissist will use the silent treatment for seemingly no reason at all.   I remember a man I dated for a short time before he devalued and discarded me and moved onto a new victim.  We were driving around New York City in his car, and having what I thought was a good time. The radio was playing and we were laughing about something or other.   Suddenly, for absolutely no reason, he went silent.  No matter how many times I begged him to tell me what was wrong, he wouldn’t.  In fact, my questioning seemed to piss him off.   It was weird. One minute he was laughing and had his arm around me, the next he was silent and stony faced.  I didn’t get it.    But he wasn’t done with me yet.  Suddenly, he pulled the car over, and told me to get out.  It was nighttime and we were in a terrible neighborhood.  I reminded him how dangerous this area was at night, and asked him for money for a taxi. “No,” he said coldly. “Take the subway to your bus stop,” he said callously, practically pushing me out of the car.  I managed to get home without being raped, robbed, or killed, and the next day this jerk called me and wanted to see me again.  He acted like nothing had happened.   I didn’t dare ask why (I didn’t accept his invitation though).   In retrospect, I think he did what he did because he could.  It was fun for him, and while he was doing it, he felt big and powerful and in control.

And that’s what the silent treatment is all about.  Control.  You are completely at their mercy, bewildered and confused–and they love that.    It makes them feel powerful.  If they’ve suffered narcissistic injury, giving you the silent treatment restores their equilibrium.   It’s also a handy way to punish you.  But sometimes they do it just because they can and there’s no way you can fight back.   If a non-narcissist uses the silent treatment, it’s a reaction to legitimate anger or hurt.   They are so upset they don’t want to speak to you for the time being.  But it isn’t being used to manipulate or control you.  They will talk to you about it later.  With a narcissist though, you will probably never know what upset them–if anything at all did.

A “new” personality disorder?

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I’ve heard of Passive Aggressive (Negativistic) Personality Disorder before, but it’s not currently recognized by the DSM. I think it should be added because I know people like this. In many ways it resembles narcissism, but some of the well known traits of narcissism are lacking, such as arrogance and grandiosity. It also resembles Paranoid Personality Disorder in some ways, without the schizoid traits. Passive-aggressives can be quite manipulative. They are well known for giving the “silent treatment” and sabotaging others. A person who complains constantly, is never satisfied, always sees the glass as half empty, and openly envies the more fortunate would probably qualify.

Negativistic (Passive-Aggressive) Personality Disorder
From “Personality Disorders Revisited” (450 page e-book) – by Sam Vaknin

Negativistic (Passive-Aggressive) Personality Disorder is not yet recognized by the DSM Committee. It makes its appearances in Appendix B of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, titled “Criteria Sets and Axes Provided for Further Study.”

Some people are perennial pessimists and have “negative energy” and negativistic attitudes (“good things don’t last”, “it doesn’t pay to be good”, “the future is behind me”). Not only do they disparage the efforts of others, but they make it a point to resist demands to perform in workplace and social settings and to frustrate people’s expectations and requests, however reasonable and minimal they may be. Such persons regard every requirement and assigned task as impositions, reject authority, resent authority figures (boss, teacher, parent-like spouse), feel shackled and enslaved by commitment, and oppose relationships that bind them in any manner.

Whether these attitudes and behaviors are acquired/learned or the outcome of heredity is still an open question. Often, passive-aggression is the only weapon of the weak and the meek, besieged as they are by frustration, helplessness, envy and spite, the organizing principles of their emotional landscape and the engines and main motivating forces of their lives.

Passive-aggressiveness wears a multitude of guises: procrastination, malingering, perfectionism, forgetfulness, neglect, truancy, intentional inefficiency, stubbornness, and outright sabotage. This repeated and advertent misconduct has far reaching effects. Consider the Negativist in the workplace: he or she invests time and efforts in obstructing their own chores and in undermining relationships. But, these self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors wreak havoc throughout the workshop or the office.

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People diagnosed with the Negativistic (Passive-Aggressive) Personality Disorder resemble narcissists in some important respects. Despite the obstructive role they play, passive-aggressives feel unappreciated, underpaid, cheated, and misunderstood. They chronically complain, whine, carp, and criticize. They blame their failures and defeats on others, posing as martyrs and victims of a corrupt, inefficient, and heartless system (in other words, they have alloplastic defenses and an external locus of control).

Passive-aggressives sulk and give the “silent treatment” in reaction to real or imagined slights. They suffer from ideas of reference (believe that they are the butt of derision, contempt, and condemnation) and are mildly paranoid (the world is out to get them, which explains their personal misfortune). In the words of the DSM: “They may be sullen, irritable, impatient, argumentative, cynical, skeptical and contrary.” They are also hostile, explosive, lack impulse control, and, sometimes, reckless.

Inevitably, passive-aggressives are envious of the fortunate, the successful, the famous, their superiors, those in favor, and the happy. They vent this venomous jealousy openly and defiantly whenever given the opportunity. But, deep at heart, passive-aggressives are craven. When reprimanded, they immediately revert to begging forgiveness, kowtowing, maudlin protestations, turning on their charm, and promising to behave and perform better in the future.

Click here to read about passive aggressive bureaucracies and collectives: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/personalitydisorders36.html#pacollect

More family drama.

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My son with a huge telephoto lens The Parasite sent him.

The Parasite (my ASPD/malignant narc ex) is now giving my son the silent treatment. A few days ago, flush with all his new money, he sent my son a very expensive, professional quality Nikon camera and various photographic accessories. It was nice of him. But there were strings attached: my son was told not to tell me The Parasite got his $31K from the government or tell me about the expensive photographic equipment he received. The Parasite must have known he would tell me though, because my son has always been honest to a fault. He’s honest even when he shouldn’t be.

So my son called the other night and told me, and that’s how I knew. He could tell I was upset even though I was happy that at least he’d bought my son a camera. He then told Parasite that he’d told me, and his father went ballistic, and has now blocked his calls and blocked him on Facebook and told my daughter he doesn’t want to ever speak to him again.

I know it’s temporary; he’s played these narc games before. My son being The Parasite’s second favorite scapegoat (after me), is used to being emotionally abused by his father. Growing up, there wasn’t much I could do to stop it.

But now the wonderful gift my son got is tainted. I know it would bother me a lot to look at a gift given to me by someone who days later blocked me and refused to speak to me just because I was honest. Especially if I was honest to someone I loved as much as my son loves me. The Parasite knows my son prefers me to him (even though my finances limit me to cheap gifts) and that enrages him. It just makes me so sad. I hope he’s still able to enjoy the gift.

On a happier note, my daughter got her engagement ring! I think they have the date set for April 20th (4/20, lol). She will have just turned 23. That’s young, but not too young, and her fiance is 4 years older. This is what she wanted so I’m happy.

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Who’s “too sensitive”?

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“You’re too sensitive!”

This seems to be a phrase many ACONs have heard their entire lives. And yes, many of us are more sensitive than the average person, which is why we were targeted, scapegoated, and bullied in the first place.

Narcissists know being sensitive means we can see the truth about things, that we can see through bullshit and lies. They don’t like that because it exposes them for what they really are, so they turn a quality that gives us intuition and insight into something that makes us seem weak and defenseless.

If our parents were narcissists, we were trained to be ashamed of this quality and turn it against ourselves, rather than learn to refine it and develop it into the powerful gift it really is. Society doesn’t help much with that either. Sensitivity is generally thought of as a weakness rather than a strength. It’s not something you would want to admit on a job interview when the interviewer asks you what your “worst quality” is. I actually did that once, and was shown the door. They want to hear “I’m too impatient” or “I’m too greedy,” or “I obsess too much about power and control,” not “I’m too sensitive.”

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I think narcissists also like to pull out the “you’re too sensitive” card because they’re projecting what they see as a fault in themselves onto us. They’re good at that. Narcissists are incredibly hyper-sensitive–but only about themselves; no one else ever benefits from their hypersensitivity.

It’s my opinion that narcissists, before they adopted narcissism as a defense mechanism, started out life as extremely sensitive children and in some cases even had the potential to be empaths. Abuse and neglect turned them into narcissists. Narcissism is an elaborate defense mechanism that obscures, buries and eventually can nearly destroy the sensitive true self. It almost would take an act of God for a narcissist to ever shed their swagger and their “I’m a big mean unfeeling badass” mask and let their sensitive true self come to light. Most of them couldn’t do it even if they wanted to.

But narcissists can’t hide from themselves–not completely. Most of them have exquisitely tender feelings and are easily hurt. It’s very easy to insult a narcissist. They have no sense of humor about themselves and are unable to take a joke at their own expense. They are big crybabies who will whine, sulk and complain loudly should you hurt their feelings (and it’s almost impossible not to). Most will show their hurt as rage–because raging makes them seem big and tough, something they really aren’t but wish they were. Or they will retaliate by ignoring you, abandoning you, cutting you off, or giving you the silent treatment–because those things make it look as if they don’t care. You’d be wrong though. They care alright, and when you have caused them narcissistic injury they are off licking their wounds in silence where you can’t see. Or loudly complaining to others about how
mean and narcissistic YOU are.

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They call us too sensitive because they’re unable to own their own hypersensitivity. They turn it into a bad thing because they know they have lost that part of their sensitivity that would have made them able to feel for others and empathize. They’re crippled people. They can’t ever feel sorry for someone else–but as far as self-pity goes, no one can beat them at that.

The silent treatment.

This is a common ploy narcissists use to control, manipulate or punish their “prey.” It can be as crazymaking as their other tools of trade, such as gaslighting, Hoovering, projection, blameshifting, boundary violation, and triangulation.

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