Great, you’ve ended things with a narcissist and are moving on to healing yourself from the trauma.
But narcissists will always be who they are – individuals with massive egos who refuse to accept that they’ve lost. They may continue their cycle of manipulation, even after you’ve decided to break up.
Watch out for some of these common tactics that narcissists commonly use at the end of a relationship.
Make sure that you’re not coerced into doing something you don’t want to.
1) Guilt trip their partner into staying
Your ex may have already done this. Narcissists will attempt to manipulate their exes into continuing the relationship through guilt by positioning themselves as the victim.
They may say things like:
- ‘I will kill myself if you leave.’
- ‘I’m going to hurt myself.’
- ‘You’re the only one who understands me.’
Through emotional blackmail, they try to gain control of their exes’ feelings and influence their decision-making.
They may become even more controlling than when they were in the relationship. They’re trying their best to protect their egos and aren’t concerned with how their actions affect others.
Stand firm on your decision and remember why you decided to end things in the first place. Remember the hurt that they’ve caused you and avoid being swayed by their manipulative tactics.
2) Make empty promises
Another tactic that they use is to make promises that they will change.
You may have tried to break up with them previously, but they responded with assurances that they will change for the better. You end up staying in the relationship and while they may seem to improve, eventually, they revert to their cycle of abuse.
So now that you’ve put your foot down, don’t turn back.
Narcissists aren’t able to take losses well, so they will try their utmost to get you back.
As your ex starts to flood you with promises that they’ll do better, remember the times that this has happened. Do not get stuck in an unfulfilling and worse, abusive relationship based on empty promises.
If someone truly loves you, they will aspire to become a better version of themselves and actually work towards it.
Your ex may start buying lavish gifts, showering you with a lot of attention, and sending you the sweetest messages.
Ask yourself if this is out of character.
If it is, they may be using a tactic called ‘love-bombing’ to rekindle the relationship and win you back.
Sure, the gifts may be flattering and make you feel good.
But these acts of affection are not sustainable and will cease after they have successfully won you over.
Once again, remember why you decided to leave. No amount of holidays, expensive gifts, or heartwarming messages can erase the trauma that you endured during the relationship.
4) Blame the other person for the end of the relationship
Your narcissistic ex may even blame you for ending the relationship.
Their egos aren’t able to handle the possibility that they’re at fault. They refuse to take responsibility for their actions which led to the end of the relationship.
They may say things like:
- ‘It’s your fault for not wanting this enough.’
- ‘I don’t understand why you’re being so sensitive.’
- ‘You were asking for too much.’
- ‘You never considered my feelings.’
Rather than acknowledge your hurt, they completely invalidate your feelings and turn the situation against you.
You may not be able to control what the other person says about you, but you can control what you do next.
It’s going to be difficult, but please, cut off all contact with your ex. This way, you prevent these lies from messing with your head
5) Spread rumors about their former partner
If they don’t get to you, they may start spreading rumors about you in a bid to get a response from you. They may create their version of the story and spread it around.
They will try their best to paint you as the bad guy and garner sympathy from anyone who will listen.
By doing so, they try to improve their self-image at the expense of your reputation.
You’ll have to be prepared that there will be people who will believe your ex. They may even perceive you negatively and refuse to contact you afterward.
The thing is –‘ those who know you well, people who are your true friends, will know who you really are. And that these rumors your ex is spreading, are lies.
So it’s important to know who you are and stand your ground. Keep those who are close, closer. The good part is that you’ll also get the chance to weed out those who aren’t your true friends.
6) Seek revenge
Remember that if this causes physical harm, report it to the authorities. Narcissists may end up stalking or inflicting harm on their former partners.
Ensure that you’re safe by having people you trust close by.
They may also leak personal data or videos that were taken in confidence, to ruin your reputation.
Depending on the severity of their actions, try seeking legal assistance or help from the authorities.
7) Make their partners jealous
You may have come across their social media profiles and found out that they’d just gotten together with someone else, and have posted photos of their new partners with really sweet captions.
This may be an attempt to make you jealous as a way of getting back at you. They want to show you that they’re doing much better than you and make you regret ending things with them.
Once again, we aren’t in control of the things people do, but we can control how we respond to them.
You may start feeling insecure, and guilty, and this may influence you to do things to get back at them – just to make yourself feel better.
What you should do instead, is heal. Don’t let their actions rob you of your opportunity to finally be able to take care of yourself.
So please, just block them.
Ending a relationship with a narcissist takes a lot of effort. The amount of emotions one goes through is immense, especially because of the effects of abuse and trauma from the relationship.
But when you finally let go, it’s going to also take a lot of effort to remain apart from them.
Remember that focusing on your needs is priority number one. Take time off to heal and surround yourself with positivity and a strong community that you can lean on.
Things will get worse before they get better, and you will go through periods of difficult emotions.
Don’t go through this alone. Speak to someone you trust, or a professional, to help guide you through this process.