3 Strategies When a Narcissist Won’t Let Go | Toxic Relationships (2024)

Having a relationship with a narcissist can be extremely traumatic. By definition, a narcissist is someone who has a very inflated sense of self-importance. They can demand an excessive amount of admiration, disregard others’ feelings, be self-entitled, and struggle with taking any form of criticism. Even if you have already severed ties with them, a narcissist may still take every opportunity to disrupt your life. If you have a narcissist ex-spouse who just won’t let go, we have some advice that may help. Below are three strategies to help you deal with your narcissistic ex. Reach out today to discuss with a dedicated family law attorney.

Don’t Show Emotion

First and foremost, it’s important to avoid any kind of emotional interaction with your ex. Narcissists want to stay emotionally engaged with you, no matter the circ*mstances. Seeing you move on may feel like they are losing control, which is something narcissists have trouble tolerating. They may send you nasty text messages, emails, voicemails, disparage you to your friends or children, make false allegations against you, and make you feel like you are crazy or incompetent. Reacting in a defensive manner can only make things worse, as this is exactly what a narcissist wants. Instead, remember to disengage and stay calm throughout your interactions with them.

Change Your Communication Style

When dealing with a narcissist, it’s best to disengage as soon as possible. Defending yourself or making snide comments about your ex may be tempting, but it will only give the narcissist what they want: an emotional response and drama. Instead, keep things short and professional. It may be helpful to imagine yourself as a journalist simply reporting the facts of a story. Steering the conversation to only address facts and information that you need to discuss, such as logistics on financial matters and parenting children, will help you disengage.

Maintain Firm Boundaries

Setting boundaries for yourself and the narcissist in your life is key to moving on. Narcissists tend to believe that the only rules they need to follow are their own, while everyone else must bend to their will. It is important to remain vigilant with your boundaries to keep a sense of control and order in your life. Responding to your ex right away is not something you need to prioritize, unless it is a time sensitive issue. Don’t let a narcissist manipulate you into inconveniencing and disrupting your life just because they say so.

Dealing with a narcissist is challenging but implementing these strategies when you need to communicate with them can help bring some semblance of normalcy to your life again. If you are having trouble with a narcissistic ex, whether during the process of a divorce or a child custody case, contact Moskowitz Law Group LLC to see how our attorneys may be able to help.

3 Strategies When a Narcissist Won’t Let Go | Toxic Relationships (2024)

FAQs

How to take back your power from a narcissist? ›

Narcissists crave attention, so by refusing to give them what they want, you can take away their power. They often try to provoke and trigger you, but by remaining unaffected and unresponsive, you can disarm them. Don't fall into their bait; instead, retain your composure and watch them lose control.

What are the 5 things to never do after breaking up with a narcissist? ›

The 5 things to never do after breaking up with a narcissist are: engaging in communication, stalking their social media, isolating yourself, rushing into a new relationship, and neglecting professional help.

What is the GREY rock technique? ›

The grey rock method is a technique used to help manage narcissistic and toxic behavior. The idea is that when a narcissist tries to provoke you, you disengage and remain as boring and neutral as a grey rock. Narcissistic people tend to feed off of their victims' reactions and crave attention.

How to drive a narcissist insane? ›

11 Ways to Drive a Narcissist Nuts. 1 Ignore them. 2 Offer constructive criticism. 3 Set and enforce your boundaries.

How do you finally outsmart a narcissist? ›

9 little-known psychological tricks to outsmart a narcissist
  1. 1) Establish your boundaries. ...
  2. 2) Reflect, don't absorb. ...
  3. 3) Use the 'grey rock' method. ...
  4. 4) Practice mindful observation. ...
  5. 5) Stay focused on your needs. ...
  6. 6) Practice self-compassion. ...
  7. 7) Seek supportive networks. ...
  8. 8) Keep communication clear and concise.
Mar 14, 2024

What angers a narcissist the most? ›

Potential triggers include giving direct criticism or feedback and escalating conflicts that could lead to personal harm. Don't try to use logic or get into a debate with the person or try to argue that they are overreacting.

What bothers a narcissist the most? ›

What Triggers Narcissistic Rage?
  • Their Self-Esteem or Image Has Been Harmed. ...
  • They Do Not Get Their Way. ...
  • They Are Criticized. ...
  • They Are No Longer the Center of Attention. ...
  • They Are Exposed for Their Behaviors. ...
  • They Are Asked to Be Accountable for Their Actions. ...
  • They Face a Setback, Disappointment, or Conflict.

What makes a narcissist panic? ›

The less you're exposed to their negativity, the less damage they can inflict. This decrease in control can often make a narcissist panic as they fear they're losing their power over you.

What hurts a narcissist after a breakup? ›

Therefore, if a narcissist feels heartbreak, it's mainly about the loss of supply, rather than the loss of the person. "They're sad to lose something that worked for them," Cole says.

Do narcissists cry after a breakup? ›

While people with narcissism aren't devoid of emotions, their motivations may be self-focused. They can know they're hurting your feelings, but as long as it elevates their status, they may not care. Someone living with narcissism does cry. They can feel regret, remorse, and sadness.

What brings a narcissist back? ›

Compliment them. Feed their ego with compliments to reel them back in. It might seem counterintuitive to compliment the ex you're trying to make jealous, but for someone with a huge ego who lives on praise, it's a great way to show them what they're missing.

What is yellow rocking? ›

The yellow rock method is a spin on the gray rock method. It involves adding some niceties to gray rock communication. Its name comes from the idea that a yellow rock appears friendlier, warmer and more inviting than a gray rock.

How to make a narcissist lose interest in you? ›

  1. Don't seek them out. ...
  2. Don't have any lengthy conversations. ...
  3. Watch your tone. ...
  4. Don't share with them anything about your life. ...
  5. Go to anyone else but them for positive reinforcement. ...
  6. Stay calm and unobtrusive. ...
  7. Let it be an acting challenge. ...
  8. You want the narcissist to stay cool.
Oct 5, 2021

How do you hurt a narcissist deeply? ›

Focus on you

If you really want the best revenge, focus on yourself. The narcissist wants you to obsess about them, but when they see you happy, hanging out with people, laughing, and enjoying life, that's when they feel truly miserable.

Can a narcissist ever be heartbroken? ›

Narcissists have a type.

Therefore, if a narcissist feels heartbreak, it's mainly about the loss of supply, rather than the loss of the person. "They're sad to lose something that worked for them," Cole says.

How do you beat a narcissist emotionally? ›

  1. Educate yourself about NPD. ...
  2. Build your self-esteem. ...
  3. Advocate for yourself. ...
  4. Enforce clear and consistent boundaries. ...
  5. Practice skills to keep calm. ...
  6. Find a support system. ...
  7. Insist on immediate action, not promises. ...
  8. Understand that a narcissistic person may need professional help.

How do you make a narcissist regret hurting you? ›

You can't make narcissists regret or feel guilty for the things they have done to you because they know they have hurt you intentionally. Narcissists believe you deserve to be punished for not doing their way. Narcissists want power, control, and authority over you in a relationship.

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