Narcissists are master manipulators, and they have no qualms about using all of their tricks to get you to give them what they want.
If they don’t immediately get what they want when they are with you, they will immediately change tactics and try again.
They are constantly searching for ways to make you see things their way and make you a pawn in their game.
They know that if they can make you a slave to them, it will make it much harder for you to leave them.
It can be difficult to spot them and to stand your ground against them.
However, with the right knowledge, you can learn how to outsmart a narcissist and keep them from getting to you.
Read on to learn more about the top strategies and the ways you can use them to your advantage if you ever find yourself wanting a relationship with a narcissist. Let’s jump right in.
1) Feed the ego
One of the best ways to outsmart a narcissist and make them feel dependent on you is to feed their ego.
Narcissists feel entitled to everything and they think they deserve the best, no matter what.
They are always looking for validation that they aren’t just anybody, so you can use this against them.
One example would be if you have to decline one of their requests.
Instead of telling them “no,” tell them what they will receive instead. For instance, you could say, “I’m sorry I can’t do that today but I’ll do it tomorrow.”
Or if they ask for money and you don’t want to give it to them, offer something else in return like an hour of your time or a favor to be named later.
Narcissists need constant validation so taking the time to give it to them will either keep them happy or take up their focus on other people’s needs so they might not even notice when you deny their request.
2) Make the narcissist feel special
Narcissists are often bested in a battle of wits and intelligence, so engaging in this type of conversation will make them feel dependent on you for attention.
They love to be the smartest person in the room. If you can make them feel like they are superior, they will want to spend more time with you.
This is because they want people to respect and admire them.
You can also try to project your intelligence onto them by complimenting them and listening to what they have to say.
Narcissists need praise constantly, so you can use this as a way to make them feel good about themselves and keep them coming back for more.
You can also give in on some things that might seem trivial at first but will help make them feel accomplished.
For example, if you go out on a date with someone who is really into fashion, then you could agree to wear something from their favorite designer or show interest in their favorite style of dress so that they feel validated about themselves when it comes to these things in particular.
3) Try to control the narc
One of the most effective ways to outsmart a narcissist is to try to control them and make them need you.
Narcissists are the masters of control, but they don’t like anyone trying to be the master of them.
They will do anything it takes to maintain their control and if you make it clear that you’re going to defy them or try and take control, then they’ll stop manipulating you.
Your goal with this should be just to make your intentions as clear as possible. Tell them that you’re not going to let them manipulate or control you anymore or that you never want to see them again because they won’t get what they want from you.
If they know that you’re not playing into their game anymore, then it’s likely that they’ll stop trying.
While the points in this article will help you deal with keeping power over a narcissist, it can be helpful to consult a coach for more advice for challenging narcissistic behavior.
Relationship Hero is a website where highly trained relationship coaches are available to help you deal with specific issues, like the subversive, abusive, and manipulative tactics that are specific to narcissistic players.
After going through difficulties with my narcissistic ex-boyfriend, I reached out for their extra help and they gave me tailored advice on how to deal with his overbearing qualities.
I am confident that they can help you find some strategies as well.
4) Talk negatively about exes and only praise their current partner
Narcissists often bring up past relationships to make you feel sorry for them and you can use this information to help make them feel safe around you.
They will use this tactic to make you think they are a victim or that they are not capable of making their own decisions.
This is sometimes known as a pity ploy. By saying things like, “All of my exes have cheated on me” or “I only get hurt because I let people in”, the narcissist is trying to gain sympathy and make you think that no one else is willing to put up with them, so you should be grateful for what you get.
The best way to combat this pity is to also talk negatively about your exes and only praise your current partner.
5) Don’t let the narc have any privacy
One of the key ways to outsmart a narcissist is to take away their privacy so that they feel open and vulnerable around you.
They are very good at creating an image for themselves and knowing how to manipulate people so that they get what they want.
The problem is that, when you strip them of their privacy, it removes the one thing they have going for them. It takes away their power.
The best way to do this is by making sure that, you take notes, and photos and document as much of your interaction with them as you can.
This will make it much harder for them to hide who they are and prevent them from hiding anything from you.
Remember, the little things can add up and become big problems later on. You can even use texts and photos and agreements against them if necessary. Make sure to get things in writing if need be.
6) Make them feel insecure
Narcissists thrive on feeling like they are better than everyone else, so if you feed this they will feel needed by you.
They might feel like they have to be perfect at everything they do and that they are the most interesting person in the room.
To make them more dependent on you, you can try making them feel insecure about their accomplishments.
This will make them want your approval, which will mean that their self-confidence levels will depend on how well you approve of them.
If you can make them feel this way, it will also make it easier for you to negotiate with them because they will need your approval more than anything else.
It could be used as a bargaining chip when negotiating with them about something as simple as what movie you two should watch together tonight or what restaurant you should go to for dinner.
7) Go to a healthy place together
Taking a break and going to a healthy place together is one way to get someone to feel dependent on you. They will feel good, and uplifted and associate it with you.
A narcissist thrives on chaos, so if you can go somewhere and be at peace, they will not be happy. They will look to you for support.
This can help you get back into your power and make them feel like they have lost their control over you.
8) Confront the narcissist about their abusive behavior
If you suspect that the person you’re in a relationship with is a narcissist, confront them about their abusive behavior so that they feel like they need to be honest with you.
Narcissists are master manipulators and can come up with all sorts of excuses to explain their behavior.
They may try to brush off your concerns or insist that they’ve been misunderstood. If they don’t want to hear what you have to say, they may be narcissistic.
9) Hold them accountable for their commitments
If you find that your partner is continually breaking promises and commitments to you, then you may be with a narcissist.
Having them stick to their word will force them to show that they are not lying and that you need them.
Narcissists are notorious for not holding up their end of the agreement in relationships.
A narcissistic person will make promises to do something and then find a way to get out of it.
They don’t care about their word or about honoring commitments to others, whether it’s someone they’re dating or their spouse of 20 years.
10) Notice if the narc’s sources of information are the same
If you notice that your partner only hears what they want to hear, or they only talk to certain people and they won’t listen, it may indicate that they have a narcissistic personality.
If you call them out on the reality of what was said, you can challenge their version of reality and make them feel accountable to you.
They will tend to surround themselves with people who will tell them what they want to hear and speak highly of them.
The narcissist has no interest in learning from others and is likely to believe that everyone else is stupid but them.
11) Make them feel like they are a part of something
Narcissists thrive off of people who will make them feel right, and this makes them feel dependent on you.
They need to have their victims believe that they are the most amazing and talented people in the world.
This is because, as you already know, narcissists view themselves as better than everyone and others tend to agree with them on this.
You can use your charm or personality to make them feel wanted and needed, even if it’s not true.
This can be especially damaging if you are doing all the work on your end and your partner is just taking from you and giving nothing back.
12) Don’t look to them for support
If you are looking to the narc for support, they will find a way to make you feel as if there is no problem. By keeping your independence, you will out-power them.
You can use this against them if you want by telling them that they need to be supportive of you through a difficult time.
If they are abusive, they will likely try to underplay it and make it seem like it’s not that bad. But by keeping your support system and power, they won’t be able to affect you so deeply by withholding their presence and support.
13) Keep your friends and family close
Narcissists are master manipulators, so it’s even more important to have strong relationships with other people who can see through them.
This will keep you in a state of power and make them want you closer to them.
They thrive on making others feel insecure and second best, which is why it’s important to be around people who believe in you and support you.
When you’re with these people, the narcissist will not have as much power over you.
14) Take what they say lightly
Never take what a narcissist means as truth or reality to keep your sense of power over the situation. Instead, look at their action, not their words.
They could say that they love you, but then do the opposite by hurting you and not considering your feelings. So watch what they do.
To make them feel like they are not lying, don’t take their words seriously. If you take it seriously, it will make them feel as if you will be more willing to listen to what they want.
15) Challenge your partner’s behavior
If you notice that the person you’re dating is not being truthful with you, challenge them.
Narcissists are highly sensitive to criticism and will not take kindly to it. If you don’t believe them, they will feel as if they can’t trust you.
This is more damaging than anything because of how sensitive narcissists are to criticism.
When they feel like they cannot trust you anymore, they will be in a constant state of anxiety.
Set and keep your boundaries for what you are willing to do
Narcissists tend to abuse their relationships. You can’t out-power a narcissist, but you can make them depend on you.
Overall, setting clear boundaries helps you to take back power and make your partner feel as if they need to respect you.
They will learn that it doesn’t matter how much they manipulate you because the reality is that you set a boundary and are not going to change it.
The more clear and firm you are, the more they will depend on you for closeness and respect. They know they will have to win you over and that you will be a challenge unlike any other.
It can feel so hard to stay firm and clear in your relationships.
I’ve been there, and I know how it feels.
You can keep doing what feels right, but you might fall into common traps of manipulation that narcissists excel at.
Or you can seek some help from someone with a clear perspective from the outside.
When I was at the worst point in my relationship with my narcissistic ex, I realized that they just don’t behave in a way I would expect. I needed help.
I was surprised at how the coaches at Relationship Hero could easily prepare me for stages of narcissistic patterns.
They also helped me deal with deeper issues brewing inside, like wanting to feel wanted and not being able to say no.
They helped me understand why I wanted to be so agreeable and put my own needs aside for someone else.
What I’m saying is that they provide solutions, not just talk.
Every relationship is a chance to grow and learn.
Sometimes we can be too embarrassed to reach out to others for ideas on how to navigate them.
But a new approach can be a place of learning.
And isn’t that the only way to find change?