Getting a narcissist to leave you alone can be one of the most complex parts of managing narcissistic abuse.
You may have tried many different strategies, but narcissists are persistent and relentless regarding having control.
Sometimes, rather than dealing with their drama, giving them what they want feels easier than standing up for yourself.
Getting a narcissist to leave for good indeed requires being incredibly consistent. You can’t back down from your intentions.
You have to be firm with your efforts to end the relationship, even if they try to lure you back in with false apologies, grandiose promises, or feigned crises.
Having support can help, and staying clear with your boundaries is essential.
Getting a narcissist to leave you alone can be daunting, but it’s essential for your well-being. In this article, I will provide practical strategies for managing the Narcissist to leave you.
#1 Set Clear and Consistent Boundaries
Getting a narcissist to leave you requires you to set firm limits. It’s no secret that narcissists hate boundaries- they rarely respect them and often perceive them as a personal attack.
You should expect the narcissist to protest your boundaries and become angry, hostile, or outwardly upset.
They might directly ask you why you’re being so “cruel” or “over-the-top.” They may also try to guilt you for not caring about them.
If you want a narcissist to leave, your boundaries must focus on preserving your emotional integrity. These types of boundaries may range from:
- Having very minimal communication (relevant if you have children or other obligations together)
- Requiring basic respect when talking
- Setting limits around finances and money
- Redefining emotional limits and other relationships
- Cutting all contact
Remember that you are always entitled to have boundaries- this applies in every relationship, and it’s a basic human need. You may need to remind yourself of this rule often.
#2 Go Low-Contact (If You Need to Stay in Contact)
Some relationships with narcissists are unavoidable. For example, you might want a divorce, but if you have children with a narcissist, you may need to co-parent together.
Or, you might want to stop spending time alone with your narcissistic mother, but you don’t want to avoid all family interactions where they might be present.
If you work with a narcissistic boss or live near a narcissistic neighbor, you can’t shut them out entirely.
Low contact with a narcissist generally means limiting communication as much as possible.
When you talk to each other, keep conversations brief and to the point. Avoid emotional topics and engage in controversial content as much as possible. If the narcissist tries to antagonize you, don’t take their bait.
In other words, going low-contact means embracing a very surface-level relationship.
By now, you probably know the narcissist’s emotional triggers. While you can’t prevent them from flaring up entirely, you can do your part by remaining calm, neutral, and somewhat disinterested when interacting.
You don’t need to tell the narcissist about your plans to change how you communicate. Doing so can cause more harm than good (because they’ll unlikely respect this essential boundary).
#3 Block Them on Everything
If you’re ending the relationship for good, you need to end all forms of communication (or even potential communication).
With that, don’t give the narcissist any access to know your whereabouts or life updates.
This may mean changing your email or number. It also means unfriending/unfollowing them on social media and blocking them from viewing your accounts.
Remember that narcissists will often make extra accounts to track people- take some time to review your privacy settings. When in doubt, make things as private as possible.
If you two have many mutual friends, it’s essential to be mindful of what you post. You never know if the narcissist relies on someone else to give them relevant updates.
#4 Keep Ignoring Them
Even though this suggestion may sound cliche, it’s worth noting. You will have to keep reminding yourself that ignoring is the best option.
Once a narcissist suspects you’re ignoring them, they’ll often double down on their efforts to connect you. You can expect them to hoover you back in by:
Threatening you: Narcissists aren’t afraid to make bold statements like, “I’m going to get full custody of the kids,” or, “I’ll ruin your reputation and expose you for who you are!”
These threats can feel scary, but they’re meant to draw you back into their lives. The best response is no response, even if you feel scared.
“Accidentally” running into you: Narcissists don’t like admitting they miss people, but their actions can speak otherwise.
Now is the time to consider changing parts of your daily routine. If you don’t, you can expect the narcissist to coincidentally be at the same coffee shop or cafe you tend to visit.
Grandiose promises: If narcissists can get a hold of you, they’ll often try to promise you the world. “I’m ready to get married!” “You’re right. It’s time to start thinking about having children.” “I’m sorry for being so difficult. I’m going to be meeting with a therapist this week.”
Whatever you have ever suggested wanting, they’ll probably promise to give it to you.
Recruiting the flying monkeys: Flying monkeys refer to mutual friends or loved ones who enable narcissists.
These ‘monkeys’ often have narcissistic traits themselves, even if those traits fly under the radar.
They get lured into the narcissist’s attempts to hurt someone else and may engage in gaslighting tactics, threats, or other forms of guilt-tripping on behalf of the narcissist.
Asking for closure: Narcissists love drawing things out, so some may politely “accept” your departure.
But they’ll also ask if they can talk to you just once. Keep in mind that healthy closure with a narcissist is a myth. They will use this time to manipulate, gaslight, or guilt you into giving them one last chance.
Smearing you: An angry narcissist often becomes a vengeful narcissist. At this point, they might try to ruin your reputation by smearing you. As painful as this can be, fighting back often makes things worse. You need to stand firm, plant your feet in your truth, and avoid fighting back.
Completely discarding you: Some narcissists don’t engage in any hoovering tactics.
They go straight to the final discard phase. When this happens, the relationship is over, and there’s no attempt to resolve things. They often quickly move onto another person, which can be just as painful as any hoovering technique.
#5 Seek Legal Action
You have a right to seek legal protection against stalking and harassment. If you’ve continued telling someone to leave you alone, and they won’t listen, you may need to escalate the situation.
At that point, consider speaking to local law enforcement about the situation and filing a restraining order. You can also consult an attorney to obtain a cease and desist letter.
Make sure that you document everything that’s happening. Narcissists are known for being tremendously challenging to deal with in court (and they’ll do everything they can to charm a lawyer and judge). You need to arm yourself with as much data as possible.
Why Is It So Hard to End a Relationship With a Narcissist?
Narcissists rely on manipulating others to maintain a sense of closeness. This makes it hard to end the relationship.
You might feel guilty about hurting them or fear how they will respond to you leaving.
Narcissists also chip away at someone’s self-esteem. With that, you might worry that you won’t find anyone better.
Why Do Narcissists Keep Hoovering After a Relationship Ends?
Narcissists thrive on having power and control, and relationships can maintain a constant source of narcissistic supply. This applies even when the relationship ends.
Any attention- even when it’s negative- can be validating. In addition, some narcissists hoover because they want to punish you for leaving.
To them, your decision represents an ultimate betrayal. And even if they know their tactics are annoying, they get a rise from getting under your skin.
Will a Narcissist Get the Hint to Leave You Alone?
Some will, but most won’t. Narcissists often gaslight others, which might sound like, “Oh, I had no idea you were serious about breaking up!”
In all cases, you will need to be firm with your boundaries. Skirting around the issue or hoping the narcissist will read between the lines only sets you up for failure.
How Do You Leave a Narcissist When You Have a Child Together?
You’ll need a solid plan because many narcissists will try to smear ex-partners in court.
They use children as pawns. It’s crucial to establish a legal co-parenting plan, tap into local legal services, and always maintain strict boundaries.
When Is the Best Time to Leave a Narcissist?
There isn’t a “right” time to end a relationship with anyone. Leaving may be difficult, but it’s the first step toward regaining freedom over your life.
You can get through this tough time- and come out on the other side- but the longer you wait, the more stuck you will feel.