What Happens When a Narcissist Can No Longer Manipulate Their Partner?

When you finally learn how to start pulling away emotionally, a narcissist’s world can come crashing down

When a narcissist can no longer manipulate their partner, the center of their universe – themselves – faces the unthinkable: being ignored and discarded.

I want to delve into the surprising reactions and manipulative tactics narcissists express when their partners gain strength. No longer devoted – panic sets in!

Discovering the lengths a narcissist will go to reclaim control can be pretty scary, and a scorned narcissist will try anything.

Starve a narcissist – expect anger!

Losing Control – The Narcissist’s Downfall

Narcissists have many downfalls. They are so far removed from perfection that they can’t even comprehend what perfect looks like. It takes a second to take a narcissist’s spirit; they work so hard and so well at keeping their partners under control, after all.

As soon as you notice you are no longer able to be manipulated – it’s game over for the narcissist. Mistakenly, people think they can remain in a relationship at this point, but it’s impossible.

It won’t work.

The dynamics have to be:

“I am the narcissist, and I am in control of you. If you obey me, we’ll get along just fine.”

Uh, well, guess what? Now you have your eyes wide open, and you have the understanding. 

They can do nothing to undo this – and they will soon start to crumble. 

A Narcissist’s Struggle with Power Loss

It’s a real struggle, too. It’s not just a little disgruntled person having to adjust to new perspectives or situations.


The narcissist knows the old you has gone, and a stronger, updated version of yourself has replaced you.

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The upgrade. 

The 2.0.

For the narcissist, the rug feels as though it’s been pulled out from underneath them, and while they don’t want to waste a single moment on you any longer, they also don’t want to walk away silently. 

Not without a fight.

That’s what happens after all. The narcissist won’t want to hang around. You will be dropped before you can have time to think.

Manipulation Blocked!

As you block all the ways the narcissist used to manipulate you previously, you might see yourself building boundaries.


You could be: 

  • Saying no more – forget it! You have to let them know if something doesn’t make you happy. You’ve started not to take any of their tactics to heart and stick to your guns.
  • Refusing to argue with them – their need for conflict is no longer washing with you. You aren’t engaging in the tug-of-war, and you’re happy to be walking away.
  • Standing strong in your reality—the gaslighting is no longer working. Steering clear of all the ways they try to confuse you will keep you knowing your truth and refusing to budge. 

Narcissists Caught in Crisis

Oh, and what a crisis it is. You’ll notice a few things about the narcissist when they are no longer able to manipulate their partner. If this is you, look out for these delightful signs:

#1 They try harder to fight back

It’s the first thing the narcissist will do. In a blind panic, you’ll see them almost desperately trying to battle for your attention. They want it so they can use it against you, but don’t fall for it. 

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You might notice them being more argumentative than usual. They’re doing it to get a rise out of you, so they can blame you for being the argumentative one. 

Don’t bite.

#2 They try their usual tactics

The silent treatment, followed by trying to draw you into negative conversations about others, or relaying good times you had in the past.

They’ll tell you how you’ve changed, and you’re not the person you were when you first met. (You know, submissive, agreeable and too forgiving…) Suddenly, your strength will be a problem to them.

#3 You’re discarded completely

Knowing they can do nothing to revert you back to the person you once was, the narcissist will happily discard you for good. There will be no hoovering down the line this time. How can there be? Hoovering is the ultimate form of manipulation, and you aren’t going to buy it.

You’re no good to them anymore. 


#4 They talk about you to others, saying how impossible you are

Then comes the punishment for daring to go it emotionally alone. Your name will be held up as if it were up for public debate. The narcissist will want to tell everybody what terrible things you have said or done.

Make no mistake – these will be things the narcissist has actually done, but will not take the blame for. 

Why would they, when they can blame you instead?

It’s your payback for gaining a backbone, and it isn’t pleasant, but it’s par for the course.

#5 Soon enough, maybe even immediately, they line up their next victim

Before you have even had a chance to adjust to this new level of strength, the narcissist is missing your supply. They miss the satisfaction that came with controlling you, and being able to manipulate you. 

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Now what?

Now, they have to find somebody else to get their supply from. Lucky for them, they’ve always got a little list of people they can turn to.

Their next victim is going to suffer everything you did, and right now they’re blissfully aware of the damage ahead.

The good news is … it’s not your problem. 

You are in a better place now, and you will no longer allow manipulation to cloud your days.

The Tides Turn: When Manipulation No Longer Works

When you reach the point where you cannot be manipulated, you’ll see through the narcissist’s lies. Nothing they say will ever have the same power over you again. When they try to goad you, you’re already a step ahead, because you’ve seen it so many other times. 

It no longer appeals, and it no longer baits. 

You’re over their games. You have outgrown the negative feeling that comes with how they treat you. 

It’s an empowering moment, and should never be discredited by the narcissist’s initial attempt to cause you pain for daring to stand up and defend yourself. 

Narcissists live in a fantasy world, where they think people owe them a constant stream of supply. In actual fact, what accompanies this supply is the assumed validation that it’s okay to take what doesn’t belong to them.

It’s not okay.

Their supply equals your energy. In detonating their manipulation, you now can live how you want, without having to answer to them. 

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