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Beat A Narcissist at Their Own Game
The narcissist likes when they can control and manipulate someone else without the other person even knowing. They have to put in less effort to control the person, which allows them time to focus more on themselves. Knowing that the narcissist will choose someone who is easy to manipulate is the first step to beat a narcissist at their own game.
Normally when you think of beating someone at their own game, you think of staying one step ahead of them through calculated moves. You think of what worked before, what didn’t, and what your advantages are at this time. You study that person and learn their strengths and weaknesses so you can use them to your advantage. Finally, you move in and make a move, hoping to be the winner, or at least get the upper hand.
We have all played a version of this “game” with someone in our lives. Be it your sibling, parent, friend, or co-worker, the goal is to have fun in getting what we want, or get back at someone who we are upset with. While the intention of the game is not always well-placed, it none-the-less happens with everyone and is a normal part of healthy competition.
Narcissist at Their Own Game
But what about a narcissist? Is it possible to beat them at their own game and gain the upper hand in their game of control and manipulation? It depends on what game you play with them. If you play a game of trying to guess the narcissist’s next move, or outsmart them in what your next move will be, you will likely lose. Every move the narcissist makes is calculated and is often not predictable because the narcissist doesn’t operate in relationships where two people have equal footing. The narcissist works alone and thinks only of themselves. There is no mutual play in their game. They don’t anticipate their next move based on what someone else is doing; it is always about them.
The narcissist is manipulative and has a personality style that allows the manipulation to come easily and flawlessly. They have spent their entire lives playing the game of one-upping everyone around them to ensure they can protect against narcissistic injury. For non-narcissists, not getting what you want can be disappointing and frustrating, but for the narcissist it is a matter of survival. Every opportunity for someone to get an upper hand is an opportunity for their true selves to be exposed and they will protect against this at all costs.
Narcissist at Their Game
If the narcissist believes they are losing control, they will quickly change their game play to ensure they do not lose. They have many tools to chose from, to include love bombing, rage, silent treatment, and many other tactics that help them achieve their goal of control. The narcissist also lacks empathy and they have nothing to lose by making you upset. They can play their game as long as they need to because they don’t care how you feel. and They won’t stop engaging in a behavior because you are upset or because they worry about how you feel. They stop only when they have gotten what they want.
With all of that being said, it sounds like it is not possible to beat a narcissist at their own game. That is only partly true. If you play with a narcissist as you play with others, then you will lose. There is no mutual give and take in the game of control and manipulation with the narcissist.
But it is possible to win against a narcissist. The best way to win is to disengage and give the narcissist nothing to use against you. Go no contact and don’t give into their love bombing or fauxpologies. If you can’t go no contact, then grey rock.
When you engage with the narcissist in a way they have designed, they are not only keeping the upper hand, but also getting new information to use against you. They are calculated and actively listen and look for ways to maintain their abusive behaviors. To beat a narcissist at their own game, you need to play a game they aren’t interested in playing and that game is you deciding what information, if any, gets presented to them.
How to Beat the Narcissist At Their Own Game
Do you want to learn how to play the narcissist’s game so that you can beat them at it? We’ll get to that…but before we do, let me ask you something.
Would you agree that the narcissist cares just as much about how they’re perceived as they do about how YOU behave inside your relationship? Is he or she always the one who calls the shots – whether directly or indirectly?
When I say directly, I mean by literally setting the rules; or indirectly, by manipulating every situation to his or her advantage. So, inside the relationship, the narcissist is controlling, often of every single aspect, to say the very least.
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Would you agree that it’s always ABOUT the NARCISSIST?
Assuming you would, let me ask you another question: would you agree that people who don’t know the narcissist as well as you do may see him or her as a very generous, selfless, or fun-to-be-around type of person?
That’s what you call the narcissistic conundrum – sort of their secret sauce – the “duel personality” thing.
They’re one person at home (or in private) and another person in public or around “outsiders.” They are the type who’s nicer to strangers than they are to the people they love.
Playing the Game: The Rules of Toxic Narcissism
The apparent objective of the game is self-preservation – but there’s a twist! (Isn’t there always?)
The twist is that you’ve got to discover the tipping point between self-preservation and self-destruction when it comes to this game.
If you focus too much on self-preservation, you may find yourself exhibiting certain classic narcissistic behaviors. But if you focus too little on it, you find yourself being a typical “narcissistic abuse victim.” (See how I didn’t say “SURVIVOR” there?)
During the course of a relationship with a narcissist, especially a toxic one, you’re going to find yourself sliding back and forth on a sort of track between the two extremes.
So, the actual objective of the game is to simply keep spinning, stay on that sliding track and inside of the narcissist’s so-called harem. To just simply KEEP THE GAME GOING.
Another super-fun fact about narcissists? They like to play both sides; that is, one day, they might play a victim who needs rescuing (damsel in distress, anyone?) while the next day, they’ll find center stage by becoming someone’s savior.
The Players in the Narcissist’s Game
Your role as a player in the narcissistic game is fluid – sometimes, you’ll be the victim who needs to be rescued. And when the narcissist wants to be rescued? You’ll be the hero.
Either way, don’t try to steal the narcissist’s spotlight. They won’t like that one bit. But then again, sometimes, the narcissist will need to crush someone’s soul – and guess what friend? That’d be your role, too – the crushee, of course. That’s because you’re at least part of the little “harem” of people that feeds them narcissistic supply.