Six ways to take power away from the narcissist

You probably know all too well that narcissists thrive on maintaining power and control. When they have control over you, they feel superior, which feeds their fragile egos.

They’ll go to great lengths to stay in power, and you’re probably aware that they have an arsenal of games they can play to stay in control.

You might think that you’re stuck in this dynamic, destined to be the narcissist’s puppet forever, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

The truth is that you can take your power back. The narcissist has you convinced you’re small and powerless, but this is just part of their game.

Strategies for Taking Power Back

The reality is that figuring out the narcissist’s games is not rocket science. You can probably pick up on their patterns pretty quickly. 

Once you do, taking your power back is easy. You just have to stop participating in their games. 

Let’s look at some key strategies below.

#1 Set Boundaries

You are not by any means to blame for the narcissist’s bad behavior. However, it will go on for as long as you allow it to. 

So, one of the best ways to take power away from the narcissist is to set boundaries and stick to them.

Be clear about what behavior you will and will not allow. 

How to Set a Boundary 

For example, you might tell them you won’t communicate with them if they use name-calling or other degrading language toward you.

Set this boundary, and when they violate it, you must hold strong. Exit the conversation as soon as they get nasty.

Walk away, and tell them you’d be happy to talk when they’re ready to be respectful. 

Now, the narcissist is no longer in control of the conversation; you are!

#2 Emotionally Detach

The narcissist loves getting an emotional reaction out of you. They may even purposely push your buttons to see how you react.

Don’t give them this pleasure. Recognize that their manipulative tactics are an attempt to get you heated, so they can feel superior. 

When they get an intense emotional reaction from you, they feel important. They must be so special, if they can get you to cry, yell, or show disappointment!

Pulling Away From the Narcissist 

Realize that this is all a game, and refuse to participate. When the narcissist tries to upset you, simply do not react.

It might be easier said than done, but when you realize that the narcissist is just orchestrating a theatrical performance, it’s easier to detach.

Turn off your emotional responses to them. If you’re struggling, practicing self-soothing strategies, like counting to 10 or taking some deep breaths can be helpful. 

#3 Learn the Art of Gray Rocking

Gray rocking is one of the best tactics you can use to put an end to the narcissist’s power games. A gray rock sounds like a pretty boring object, right?

That’s the whole point of gray rocking the narcissist. Be as boring and uninteresting as possible. 

How to Gray Rock

If they try to start a fight, give one word responses.

Better yet, change the subject. Perhaps they bring up an emotionally charged topic or hit you with a ridiculous accusation or criticism. 

Don’t play the game. Smile, nod, and then bring up the weather. They’ll be so bamboozled by this behavior that they won’t know how to act.

When you don’t offer any strong opinions, the narcissist gets no satisfaction out of you. You’re no longer fueling their ego, and they lose all of their control over your emotions. 

#4 Practice Self-Care

When the narcissist has all the power and control in the relationship, it’s easy to sacrifice your own needs. You’ve probably spent so much time caring for the narcissist that you take no time for yourself.

You’ve probably convinced yourself that you’re simply not allowed to meet your own needs, or take time for things you enjoy.

This is what the narcissist wants you to believe, but it’s not true!

Making a Habit of Self-Care

You’re a human being with needs, rights, and preferences, just like them. Stop giving them control of your time, energy, and well-being.

Instead, make time for self-care. Get plenty of rest, eat nutritious foods, and find time for physical activity.

While you’re at it, don’t feel guilty about setting aside time for something you legitimately enjoy. Don’t worry about the narcissist; they can take care of themselves.

When you stop letting your life revolve around the narcissist, and start caring for yourself, you take back the power that’s rightfully yours. 

#5 Educate Yourself About Narcissism

Knowledge is one of your greatest allies when you’re dealing with a narcissist. If you don’t understand their behavior, you’ll likely fall victim to their power trips.

Don’t be a victim; learn everything you can about narcissism. Learn about the key signs of narcissism, and the common tactics they use to control victims.

Once you know, you can identify and counter manipulative behavior.

For example, you won’t fall for these games anymore when you learn that they use tactics like gaslighting and blame-shifting to make you feel like you’re in the wrong. 

Armed with knowledge, you’ll be able to see the narcissist for what they are. Rather than blindly giving in to them, you’ll be ready to confront their bad behavior.

#6 Believe Your Truth 

The narcissist will make every attempt to convince you that your version of events is wrong. They want you to believe that you’re the problem.

You’re too sensitive, your expectations are too high, or you simply remember things incorrectly. 

The narcissist needs you to believe these things so they can continue to treat you like the servant they believe you are. 

The Problem With Believing the Narcissist 

When you’re constantly told that you’re wrong or to blame, you’ll question yourself. The problem is that once you believe the narcissist’s version of reality, they’re in control. 

Stop believing the narcissist’s version of events! They live in a different world than the rest of us.

In their world, they’re superior, and you’re just a puppet who fills their needs and feeds their ego. Letting them get away with convincing you that you’re always wrong leaves them in power. 

Rather than accepting their truth, see them for what they are: cold, callous manipulators.

It’s much more likely that your version of reality is accurate. Trust your gut, and stop accepting their twisted narrative. 

The Bottom Line

Narcissists love power and control games, but you don’t have to play. Recognize these games for what they are; you’ll be more than willing to sit out. 

If you can, it’s also helpful to distance yourself from the narcissist as much as possible. The less access they have to you, the less power they maintain. 

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