Q: I divorced my abusive narcissist five years ago. If I show up anywhere he is (stores, gas etc.) He loudly tries to talk to me like i’m a child. I do ignore him. Each time he is bolder. How do I shut him down on the spot. Can you help me.
A: Is this new behavior or has he been doing it for 5 years? Sometimes it is trial and error finding the right behavior to get him to leave you alone. For most narcissists, if you truly ignore them they do eventually go away. Sometimes it is a long wait. Up to several years in some rare cases. To truly ignore him means not replying in any way back to him, not making faces, not getting visibly annoyed, etc. If you are doing any of those types of things then you are still giving him feedback which he interprets as narcissistic supply (supply can be negative attention as well as positive). If that is the case, then you need to begin to truly ignore him-give him Nothing. Act as if he were invisible. If this is new behavior- wait it out with true ignoring and he will find his supply elsewhere. If this has been going on for 5 years, I would venture to guess that you are giving him some kind of attention perhaps through a show of embarrassment or annoyance. However, if you are truly ignoring him and have been ignoring him for 5 years…it is time to try a different tactic. Some people have found success in humiliating their ex (you have to know a real,strong insecurity of his for this to work); it has to be something that causes him to feel shame. He may react with anger initially but will avoid you in the future. Occasionally using humor to laugh AT them will work. I would love to hear other successful strategies from my readers–please write and I will post them. Note: do not try these last 2 strategies if he has ever been physically aggressive with you in the past.
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