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46 Secrets to Deal with a Narcissist, Break Them & Handle their Petty Games

If you want to know how to deal with a narcissist, it’s definitely not easy. But if you use these tips, you at least can try to make life a little easier.

how to deal with a narcissist

Narcissist is a common word we hear a lot of these days. Before we talk about how to deal with a narcissist, you need to keep in mind that this is a term that’s also thrown around quite a lot, and unnecessarily too. 

It seems that if someone shows one slight narcissistic trait, they’re labeled a narcissist. 

However, it’s important to understand that we’re all a little selfish from time to time and we all do things we wish we hadn’t – doing those things occasionally doesn’t make you a narcissist.

If you have someone in your life who has narcissistic traits, it’s important to handle it in the right way. 

Learning how to deal with a narcissist is all very well and good, but if this is someone you’re in a friendship or romantic relationship with, it’s a far better option to walk away.

That might sound harsh, but spending an extended amount of time around a narcissist will not end well for you. [Read: How to tell if someone is a narcissist and recognize them instantly]

What is a narcissist?

A narcissist is someone who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder *NPD*. But what does this mean exactly? 

Basically, a narcissist is someone with an excessive amount of interest in themselves. In other words, they love themselves much, much more than they care about anyone else. 

Narcissists don’t give a damn about their lover, best friend, or literally anyone else in the world unless they’re getting some form of attention from them. [Read: 16 signs and tactics real manipulators use to manipulate everyone in their lives]

The definition is derived from Greek mythology, where Narcissus fell in love with his own image in the reflection of water. 

Do you get where we’re going with this? Their heavily inflated sense of self-importance and feelings for themselves are so extreme that you’ll never be a priority. 

They need to be fed with admiration from others or else they’re not satisfied. This doesn’t sound like someone you’d want to hang around with, right? [Read: What causes narcissism? The facts & theories to read a narcissist]

It doesn’t stop there. A narcissist will use manipulation to get what they want from you. 

They’ll use and abuse and stamp all over your heart. They have zero empathy in their soul, so it’s not possible for them to love in the same way that you would.

If you end up in a relationship with a narcissist, you need to get out. They’re never going to love you the way you want them to. They’re never going to change. [Read: 16 characteristics of a narcissist that give them away instantly]

How are narcissists different from the rest of us?

A narcissist has an inflated sense of self and assumes that they are the very best at everything, and anyone who disagrees is wrong.

Describing a narcissist is difficult because it sounds like you’re describing a cartoon villain. However, when you’ve spent any amount of time around someone who is truly narcissistic, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. 

It’s a draining, confusing, and manipulative feel and it’s something that is extremely unhealthy on both sides. [Read: 15 signs of a taker in a relationship – are you a giver or a taker?]

When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, you can’t truly class it as loving and genuine. Narcissists cannot love in a regular way. They can control and they can manipulate, but they can’t give and experience love in a way that will make you happy. 

Instead, you’ll be controlled and you might not even realize it’s happening because they’re so good at covering their tracks, turning on the charm when they think you’re figuring them out, and also manipulating you into doubting your own thoughts.

You might love them, but the sad truth is that there is no happy future in your relationship because a narcissist won’t change. [Confession: Loving a narcissist and what it really means to be in love with one]

17 things a typical narcissist does or has that make them so different from other people

To help you identify a narcissist in your life, let’s identify some common narcissistic traits. Before you can learn how to deal with a narcissist, you have to know one when you see one.

1. An inflated sense of self-importance

Narcissists believe that they are the most important being on the planet and you should drop everything and do whatever they ask you to do, and also be a mind-reader when it comes to their needs.

2. Their opinion is fact and yours isn’t necessary

The opinion of a narcissist is the law in their mind. If you try to voice your own opinion, it will be pulled down, belittled, or even laughed at.

When learning how to deal with a narcissist, you need to hold onto your sense of self, to avoid feeling less than you are. [Read: How do narcissists end a relationship – the ways to predict their mind]

3. Needs constant validation and admiration

Despite their arrogant front, narcissists are actually very easy to hurt and they require constant validation and admiration from those around them. If they don’t get this, they can become very moody and withdrawn.

4. Uses passive-aggressive behavior or the silent treatment when things don’t go their way

If something doesn’t go quite how the narcissist wants it to, you can expect them to move into angry outbursts, passive-aggressive behavior, or for the silent treatment to be used. 

These are all methods of controlling a partner or friend because they know that the other person will respond to them in order to pull them out of their negative mood. [Read: How to respond to silent treatment and stop being power-played by a narcissist]

5. Exaggerates everything they do to make themselves look better

Narcissists will often exaggerate everything to make themselves appear richer, stronger, and more successful than anyone else around them. This can be frustrating because it’s simply not possible for them to just be who they are.

6. Has to have the very best of everything

The best car, best phone, best partner, best house, best job, they have to have the very best of everything and they will show it off to the max. 

It’s not unusual for a narcissist to seek out the most attractive partner and simply use them as a trophy. [Read: Signs you’re a trophy partner and being used only as an ego boost]

7. Often hangs around with people in power or importance to make themselves appear in the right circle

Narcissists often try to attach themselves to those who are famous or in power, because this makes them appear important by association.

8. Uses gas-lighting techniques to manipulate

Gas-lighting is a very common technique used by narcissists and it makes the victim start to question their own sanity. 

For instance, a narcissist will tell you they will meet you at X restaurant at X time. When they don’t show up and you call to ask where they are, they’ll tell you they never arranged that with you and call you crazy. [Read: How to spot gaslighting in a relationship and shut it down for good]

You then start to question whether you really did make it all up. It’s effective because the more it’s done, the more you start to believe it.

9. Belittles and pulls down those around them

Because the narcissist has to be the most important person in the room, they will belittle everyone else to make themselves appear better in every aspect possible. It can be very difficult to watch and even harder to experience when it is happening to you.

10. Can be quite bullying

A narcissist is a bully, whether they appear to be or not. There are several different types of narcissism. [Read: What are the different types of narcissists you should be on the lookout for]

For instance, a vulnerable narcissist appears to be lacking in confidence, but underneath it all, they’re just using that façade to pull you in and make them feel better about themselves. 

Bullying isn’t always straight-up name-calling, sometimes it can take different forms. Still, a regular type of narcissist will certainly go down the old-school bullying route, for sure.

11. Lives in a bit of a fantasy world

The world that a narcissist lives in is totally made up in their own head. It’s a world where they’re the best of everything, and they’re in charge. [Read: Feeling trapped in a relationship? Should you stay or break free]

Of course, when they get a reminder that this isn’t real, they start to lash out. 

12. They assume everything should just fall into their lap

When it comes to knowing how to deal with a narcissist, you need to understand that their sense of entitlement is huge. 

They expect everything to work out for them without any effort. And when it doesn’t, they sulk and find it hard to express or control their emotions. [Read: How to stop giving the narcissist the attention they crave]

13. Works to isolate friends and lovers to keep them in “their place”

When someone is in a relationship with a narcissist, they’ll probably end up isolated from their friends and family members. 

A narcissist wants their partner to be totally reliant upon them and that means pulling them away from any outside influences that could cause a problem or call them out. [Read: 21 big signs of emotional abuse narcissists use to keep you isolated and alone]

14. They expect you to do everything they want

When learning how to deal with a narcissist, you’ll quickly find that they expect you to do whatever they tell you or whatever they want. 

And they will not react kindly when you don’t do it. They are the best in the world as far as they’re concerned, and that means you should do whatever they demand.

15. Can’t appreciate that other people have feelings or needs

Narcissists can’t experience empathy and that means they’re not able to appreciate how another person may be feeling or that they have needs and wants too. [Read: 24 signs of people who lack empathy to know they don’t care what you think]

This is one of the single reasons why being around a narcissist is so difficult – everything is about them. 

16. Can’t handle criticism of any kind and often results in outbursts of anger

Criticizing a narcissist will never end well. They’ll probably shout and go into a rage, give you the cold shoulder for a very long time, or use passive-aggressive behavior to try and get you to apologize and go back on what you’ve said. 

Narcissists believe they are the best but they also have a desperate need to be validated. When that doesn’t happen, they really don’t like it. [Read: Narcissistic rage and ways to handle the angry backlash of a cornered narcissist]

17. Often swings from one emotion to another

Narcissists have issues with emotions. They can’t feel nor process emotions in the same way as those who aren’t narcissistic. That means they often have emotional swings which they can’t process and that results in difficult and challenging behavior.

Do narcissists know they are narcissists?

People who are narcissists truly believe that they are better than other people. And since one of the major characteristics that defines them is a lack of empathy, they don’t see a problem with treating other people with disrespect.

They are highly critical of other people, and their behavior shows it. Believe it or not, they genuinely think it’s alright for them to do absolutely anything in order for their own needs to be met. [Read: Lessons to deal with judgmental people]

So, their moral compass doesn’t point anywhere – because they have none. They probably know that other people don’t like them very much, but they don’t take any personal responsibility for it.

Instead, they just feel like other people just don’t understand them or are unworthy of their time and attention.

So, to answer whether or not narcissists know that they are narcissists, most of them are quite aware that they are and have that kind of reputation. They just don’t care. [Read: Why narcissists ignore texts and do the selfish things they do]

You see, narcissists would rather be admired than liked. It doesn’t matter to them if people like them or not. 

They would rather make amazing first impressions so that people are enamored with them in the beginning. And when their real self emerges, they don’t care what the other person thinks mostly because they do better with short-term relationships.

Why you need to be strong and firm with a narcissist

When setting boundaries, understand your own limitations. Identify what you will and won’t put up with and then tell your partner. [Read: What it really means to love a narcissist]

Be firm! Tell them, “If you do that again, I will walk away.” If they do it, you need to grab your things and go.

Of course, it might not be that drastic. You could say that if they do it again, you’ll just walk out and not talk to them. 

In that case, if they do it, you have to follow through with what you’ve said you’ll do. If you don’t, they’ll call your bluff time and time again. [Read: How to hurt a narcissist – subtle counterblows to hurt them hard]

It’s all a game to a narcissist in many ways. Be firm and stick to your intentions.

The more you do this and do what you say you’re going to do, the less likely your narcissist will carry on with that particular prodding behavior. 

Of course, they might find another way to test you, but you’ll simply repeat the process and almost train them to not do it. [Read: Verbally abusive relationship – 31 signs, dos, don’ts, and ways to get out ASAP]

In some ways, understanding how to deal with a narcissist is the same as teaching a child the difference between right from wrong. You are not wrong in what you’re doing. 

You’re not going insane when they tell you that they never said something and you know they did and that you’re not going to be manipulated by gaslighting techniques. 

Be firm. Be strong. Always remember that if you need to walk away, you can. [Read: How to know when a narcissist is gaslighting you]

How not to deal with narcissistic tendencies

As you probably know, it’s incredibly difficult to deal with a narcissist. So, before we talk about how you should do it, first let’s talk about what you should not do.

1. Confronting a person with NPD

You might think that you should defend yourself from a narcissist. And theoretically, you should because they treat you disrespectfully. But when you confront them, they won’t change. They will just get angry and might even become violent.

2. Attempting to fix a person with NPD

One thing you really need to understand is that you can’t change anyone – especially a narcissist. [Read: Should I give up on him? 25 signs he won’t change or be a good fit]

Sure, you have a good heart and think that you are helping them be a better person. But they definitely don’t want any help. And they definitely won’t change for anyone.

What should you not say to a narcissist? 

Not only should you avoid confronting or trying to fix a narcissist, but there is also something that you shouldn’t say to them. And that is the phrase, “You make me feel…”

The reason you shouldn’t use this phrase with a narcissist is that you are giving away your power to them. [Read: Narcissistic victim syndrome – what it is and how to escape the mess]

So, if you say something like “When you say that, you make me feel guilty” or “When you do that, you make me feel sad,” you are telling them that they have power over your feelings. And they love that.

You have to remember that no one else has control over your emotions other than you. Sure, a narcissist can do bad things to you, but you have the power to choose how to feel about it. [Read: Why am I so emotional? Emotional stability and 27 secrets to balance life]

When you say, “You make me feel…” then you are in a victim mindset. You are telling the narcissist that you no longer control yourself – they do. And there’s nothing that makes a narcissist happier than that! 

So, instead of saying “You make me feel…” you can say different things to get the same point across. For example, you can say things like, “I understand. And yes, this is a difficult situation. And right now I feel…”

This is a subtle yet meaningful difference because you are owning your feelings and standing strong in your power. [Read: How to recognize emotionally unstable people for less drama in your life]

Using “I” language like this is empowering because you are taking ownership of your feelings, beliefs, and behaviors.

When you take ownership of yourself, then you take away a trigger that a narcissist can use against you. That doesn’t mean that they still won’t gaslight you by trying to invalidate your feelings. But you don’t have to fall for it.

How to deal with a narcissist 

First things first, are you sure you’re actually dealing with a narcissist? Remember, we all have times when we’re a little mean to people we love, usually because we’re dealing with stress or some other issue in our lives. [Read: Emotional shutdown – what it is, why people feel it, and how to help them]

Just because your partner was slightly narcissistic once doesn’t mean it will be repeated. If you notice signs of narcissism on a regular basis, you need to kickstart your coping mechanisms into gear.

It’s a good idea to do some research into the different types of narcissism. Find out where your partner’s trigger points are.

For instance, a vulnerable narcissist is someone who actually deflects compliments. They do it so you’ll give them another one. In this case, they have a real self-confidence problem and rely on others for self-validation. [Read: What types of narcissism should you be on the lookout for?]

However, a regular narcissist is someone who believes they’re the best of the best, and anyone who disagrees is just downright wrong.

There are also dangerous types of narcissists, such as malignant narcissists. In this case, just leave. Don’t try to handle them, just go. You will not leave this relationship in a good way if you stay.

Assuming you’re dealing with a regular or vulnerable type, it’s important to set boundaries. The reason is that they will push you and test your limits. [Read: How to set boundaries in a relationship – 39 rules for healthy love]

When they understand where your limits are, they’ll pull back, and try to prod you closer to the edge again. They’re doing this to work out how far they can go. When you reach the end of your tether, they’ll likely turn back into the charming person you met and reel you back in.

The only way to get around this, if you choose to stay, is to set boundaries. [Read: A relationship with a narcissist and what it means to love one]

Of course, you should just cut your losses and move on. But if you feel you need to work your way out of the situation first, let’s cover some things you can do in the meantime.

1. Understand narcissism

You need to know the traits of a narcissist well enough to identify them in the person you want to beat. It is important to remember that everyone, including narcissists, is different. Therefore, they expose different traits from one another. 

Typically, narcissists lack empathy, use fear to control others, cannot admit faults, have negative reactions to criticism, and exploit others. [Read: 23 secret signs of narcissism people overlook until it’s too late]

Power is in knowledge, so make sure that you do as much research as possible about narcissism. Use all the links you find here in this feature and they will help you to figure out what is going on behind the scenes.

2. Know you can’t change them

This is the first thing to realize and fully accept. If you try to change a narcissist, you’re wasting your time. [Read: What causes narcissism? The facts and theories to understand a narcissist]

First of all, you’re not their therapist. Secondly, this person doesn’t want to change. They’re in love with themselves. 

Have you ever tried to convince your friend that the person they’re in love with isn’t good for them? Yeah, exactly, it’s impossible. [Read: Emotional manipulation – ways people mess with your mind]

3. Avoid the illusion – it’s not true

Know that the fantasy of what the narcissist has designed is just a ruse. They will appear charming, funny, loving, sensitive, and successful – but it’s simply not true.

They’re not charming, they’re just able to turn on their charms when it suits them. And they’re certainly not funny when they’re belittling you. They can’t love you in a regular way. And they have no idea what sensitivity really is. 

Successful? That’s probably an illusion too. It’s normal to want to be with someone who appears perfect but a narcissist is far, far from perfect. [Read: Why do narcissists ignore texts and do the selfish things they do]

4. If you can’t leave them, learn to handle them

In some instances, you won’t be able to just beat a narcissist or drop them out of your life. Maybe it’s a family member or a co-worker. If this is the case, help them by developing their empathy. 

This means refraining from criticizing them. Instead, encouraging them to feel compassion helps them reduce their narcissism.

5. Challenge their behavior in your own mind first

When something happens or they say something to you which is hurtful, take some time alone to challenge the experience and put it into perspective. [Read: 42 signs and ways to see manipulative behavior and stop being used by people]

That will stop you from being manipulated quite so easily.

6. Know that your needs will never be tended to

You have to come to the very firm conclusion that in this relationship/friendship/situation, your needs will never be a priority and will never be attended to. 

You will always come far, far down the list of priorities, and that’s simply not something you should ever have to put up with. [Read: 24 sad signs and consequences of emotional neglect in a relationship]

7. Don’t play the game

There’s a game they play, and up until now, you played it. But if you want to know how to beat a narcissist, change the way you do things. 

Yes, you can help them. First, though, make sure you stop playing their game. 

Help them, be their friend, but be aware of the tactics they use, and make sure you firmly resist playing their game. [Read: How to make a narcissist miserable and make them burn with rage]

8. Put yourself first

Remember, if you want to help someone, the most important thing is to put yourself first. It’s easy to lose yourself in the idea of helping someone else. Don’t forget that they’re a narcissist. Yes, help them, but always remember they look for what they gain from you.

9. But, if they’re a full-blown narcissist…

Then even though you may be saying the right things, there’s little chance they’d reduce their narcissism with just your help. [Read: Hoovering and the games narcissist play to suck you back in]

If this is the case, they need professional therapy. Even then, the odds of reducing their narcissism are limited.

10. Set boundaries and stick to them

It’s vital that you set healthy boundaries, that you voice them, and above all else, that you stick to them and do whatever you say you’re going to do. 

If you tell the narcissist that if they shout at you one more time you’ll just walk away, you have to do so. Expect your boundaries to be tested, it’s a narcissist’s nature. [Read: Healthy relationship boundaries – how to talk about them and set them]

11. Don’t take whatever they say or do personally

A little earlier, we mentioned challenging words and actions in order to keep them in perspective. In addition, you have to avoid taking things personally because that makes you a prime manipulation snack.  

12. Avoid arguing… You’ll never win

Just don’t bother. Seriously, save your breath for something more interesting if you want to know how to handle a narcissist without losing your mind. 

You’ll just tie yourself up in knots and feel extremely frustrated. [Read: How to stop giving a narcissist the attention they so badly crave and cut their narcissistic supply]

13. Look for support from those around you

You don’t have to do this alone. When learning how to deal with a narcissist, you need to have those around you on board. 

If you’ve become isolated from them, reach out, they’re probably waiting for you to do so. Then, you can work out a way to get your life back on track, with their help to make you feel stronger.

14. Focus on yourself

By turning your attention to yourself, you’ll feel stronger and more in control. This means the narcissist will find it harder to manipulate you. [Read: How to break a narcissist’s heart and why it’s almost impossible to do]

15. Do not reveal your emotions

Narcissists feed off of the information of others. They use information about you to get into your mind, create fear, and manipulate you. 

So, before you spill your heart out to them, revealing all your deepest, darkest secrets, don’t. 

The only thing they do is gather information about you and figure out ways to exploit it for personal gain. [Read: What is the worst thing you can do to a narcissist to hurt them?]

16. No matter what you feel, detach yourself from them

Listen, as much as you don’t want to admit it, you’re attached to them. It’s nothing to blame yourself for. They’re very charming people, so it’s easy to fall for them. 

But now if you want to beat a narcissist, accept that you’re attached to them and detach yourself from them. Use emotional detachment to stop the manipulation of a narcissist. [Read: How to emotionally detach from someone and stop them from hurting you]

17. Be gentle, no matter how hard it is 

We know this sounds weird, but act in a gentle and kind way toward a narcissist if you’re unable to cut ties. Remember, narcissists aren’t necessarily horrible people, as many of them came from childhoods that didn’t provide support.

Allow them to feel the importance of relationships through kindness and love. 

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of the manipulative tactics they show along the way. [Read: 15 off-putting and obnoxious symptoms of narcissism in a person]

18. Use empathy prompts

Psychologists found this the most successful way to reduce someone’s narcissism. Empathy prompts come in two components: revealing your emotions and stating the importance of your relationship with them. 

Again, this doesn’t mean you reveal deep secrets, but instead, you would say “You matter to me,” “You’re important to me” or “I care about you very much.”

This provides reassurance. If you’re trying to beat a narcissist into submission, use your empathy. [Read: How to be more empathetic and forge emotional connections]

19. Use “we”

Narcissists highly focus on the “me” thoughts and sentences, so it’s time you switch it around and start using “we” phrases. It helps them to think about relationships. Most importantly, show them your love for them.

20. Reward good behavior

Yet again, we know this sounds a little bit like training a dog but it’s not… Well, kind of… Never mind. [Read: How to show your appreciation for someone and express your gratitude]

The point is, if you focus a narcissist’s attention away from themselves, reward them when they actually achieve that. When they show compassion or concern for others’ happiness, reward them with positive compliments. 

21. When you exhaust all options, run

We’re sorry to say this, but if you tried everything there is in the book to beat a narcissist or to help them overcome their narcissistic tendencies, and they’ve been to therapists, but nothing works, it’s time for you to leave. 

It sounds harsh, but nothing is going to change. Your emotions and feelings will continue to be used for their personal gain. [Read: How to deal with a narcissist in the best way you possibly can]

22. Make a plan to get out of the situation

Make a plan and stick to it. If you’re going to leave a lover, work out what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, and make sure you cover all options so that you don’t have to go back for anything. 

Your friends and family members will help you with this. [Read: How to break up with a narcissist and fly out of their gilded cage]

23. Cut contact with them

It’s not going to be easy. They will keep you in their grasp for as long as they need you. 

Thus, if you cut contact before they used you completely, they’ll try every trick in the book to get you to stay. But cut contact, it’s that simple. Cut all the ties. 

Remove them from all social media and refrain from replying to any of their advances for attention. [Read: 17 signs of a narcissist and ways to break up with them]

Can narcissistic personality be corrected? 

While narcissistic tendencies can improve if they seek treatment, it takes a lot of time, effort, and patience. And they will have to want and be ready to change.

But how do you know if a narcissist is ready to change? If they are displaying some of these signs, then they might be ready. If not, then they’re not.

1. Acknowledges the feelings of others

For many narcissists, empathy isn’t completely absent. Sure, it’s lower than most people, but they might have a little bit inside them. [Read: How to teach a narcissist to change for the better]

This is most likely to happen when they can take on the perspective of a person they see as similar to themselves. Or, when considering the experiences of their children or others who idealize or value them. 

So, if they are now showing affection or concern for certain people, they might be able to change with more therapy.

2. Finding interest in their behavior

If the narcissist is wondering why they behave the way they do, then they might be open to going to therapy for help. [Read: Am I a narcissist? 24 narcissistic personality disorder causes and big signs]

It could come about after reading articles or books on narcissism or when someone points out their narcissistic tendencies to them.

Many narcissists function pretty well in daily life. They might be intelligent and have the drive to succeed, and this can fuel an interest not only in their own behavior but the behavior of others too. This can help them see people as equals and not as their inferiors.

3. Willingness to self-reflect

Most narcissists are not very capable of self-reflection. The reason for this is that it damages their fake façade of perfection. [Read: How not to be a narcissist – self-reflecting steps to change yourself]

One of the most notable characteristics of narcissism is the inability to see the mix of positive and negative qualities that all people have. Instead, they only see people as only entirely good or entirely bad *themselves included*.

So, if the assumption of their own perfection is challenged, they might lash out and start to hate themselves and feel ashamed. But if they can start to examine and reflect on their negative behaviors, then they might be ready to change.

4. Other issues need to be fixed

It’s not uncommon for narcissists to have other problems going on. For example, they might have depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, or substance abuse. [Read: How to help someone with anxiety and not say or do the wrong things]

If they do have one or more of these problems, then they might be more motivated to seek therapy. The desire to relieve their emotional pain and try to be happier might compel them to try to change.

When to seek help

If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, then the best time to do something about it is as soon as you begin to notice their traits and tendencies. That’s the best time to get help.

You probably can’t fix the relationship yourself because the narcissist won’t talk to you about it. So, you can suggest couples therapy if they’ll agree to it. If not, you can always go by yourself. [Read: Reasons couple’s therapy isn’t working for you]

Of course, some narcissists are actually dangerous. They can be emotionally unpredictable and potentially abusive to their partners. So, if they start to exhibit narcissistic rage, then you should seek help immediately if you feel you are in any kind of danger.

It’s unlikely for a narcissist to agree to therapy because there are major gaps in self-awareness that don’t allow them to recognize that they need to change. And a person can’t change what they don’t acknowledge.

So, at the end of the day, all you can do is save yourself. Love yourself enough to put yourself first and keep safe. [Read: Love yourself first – where people go wrong, 36 whys, and how to do this right]

At the end of the day, a narcissist will probably never change

It’s hard when you care for someone and they act in a way that’s totally unacceptable to you. The truth is that narcissists are great at disguises. 

They’ll pull you in with the charm offensive, only to show their true colors when they think they’ve got you where they want you. 

That’s their true face and that’s what you have to remember. [Read: What types of narcissism should you be on the lookout for?]

For sure, we all act a little narcissistic occasionally, but a real narcissist has a personality disorder that forces them to act the way they do. 

They have no empathy and everything is about them. They don’t care who they trample over to get what they want and to look as good as possible. Even if that means breaking your heart and then making out it’s no big deal, they’ll do it. 

You can’t change a narcissist. Even if you’re the most wonderfully perfect person on the planet, you cannot change them. [Read: Malignant narcissist – 24 scary traits and what makes them the worst kind]

For a narcissist to change, they need to accept their diagnosis of NPD and have professional therapy. 

So, you can try to beat a narcissist, but in the end, ask yourself why you’re even bothering. Cut your losses and get away. [Read: How to respect yourself – 37 secrets of self-respect, self-belief, and self-love]

Knowing when to walk away

Part of how to handle a narcissist is also about knowing when enough is enough and you need to walk away. 

If your relationship wears you down, you become isolated from friends and family, you feel like less than yourself, or you doubt your own sanity, recognize the signs, and get out of there. [Read: How to set boundaries with a narcissist and weaken their hold over you]

Yes, it will be hard. You will question your decision time and time again.

Yes, they will come running to try and change your mind. 

You have to be strong. Break free clinically, i.e. delete and block, take your things, and go. Do not be tempted to call them or see them one last time. They will only drag you back.

It’s important to remember that if you reach the end of your tether, the relationship is not going to change. [Read: No contact rule – what it is, how to use it, and why it works so well]

They can’t change because narcissism is part of their personality – unless they’re prepared to admit fault and admit that they need help, then follow through and get it. 

There is very little hope for the relationship. Very few narcissists actually ever admit they’re wrong, so admitting they need help is not likely.

Take yourself out of the situation by realizing you deserve better. Then, go out and get it.

[Read: The red flag signs you’re dating a narcissist and you need to get out now!]

Learning how to deal with a narcissist comes down to understanding the traits and knowing that it’s not about you. Then, you need to work out what is best for you and remove yourself from the situation as quickly as you can. 

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...