Narcissists – what they do, and how to avoid them

Things narcissists do

There are different types of narcissists that might use different types of tactics. Some might be aggressive and domineering, some might play the victim to get people to feel sorry for them. These are just examples. There’s no guarantee a particular narc will use all of them.

  • They tell you what you want to hear, to make you feel good about them, so that they can get you to do something for them.
  • They do favours for you and then hold it up as evidence that they’re generous and helpful, to pressure you into doing something for them.
  • They twist blame around to make other people seem like the bad guy, and cast themselves as the victim, even if whatever happened was their own fault.
  • They exaggerate and even completely make stuff up to support their arguments, and then act like you’re insane for not believing them.
  • They point out negative things about other people. If they draw attention to the flaws in other people, it makes them seem better in comparison. Especially when they get you to agree that “those other people” are bad. They get Supply from this.
  • They completely ignore boundaries. They might insist on talking about something right now even though they know you don’t want to. Even if you tell them you don’t want to. They just continue regardless. They act like your feelings just don’t matter (to the narcissist, the only purpose of your feelings is to provide Supply for them).
  • They might bring up some really dramatic topic at the worst possible time, and then insist that it needs to be talked about immediately.
  • They show off. They might brag, or be really competitive. They have to make themselves seem impressive somehow.
  • As long as you’re doing something that they find useful, they’ll encourage and compliment you. But as soon as you want to do something for yourself that won’t benefit them, they’ll react badly, punish you, freak out, sabotage your plans, blackmail you, etc.
  • They might call you selfish for wanting to do things that are good for you!
  • They will shower you with affection sometimes. This is called “love bombing”. Narcs are good at showing affection on the surface. They’ll give you what you need and be what you want so that you get attached to them.
  • They will confuse the hell out of you with their inconsistent behaviour, alternating between love-bombing you and verbally abusing you.
  • They might conveniently forget bad things that they did to you and act as if it never happened. Whether they genuinely have forgotten these things, nobody is sure. Perhaps their protector parts are preventing them from accessing the memories of what they did so that they can continue to believe that they are good, because they need to be able to believe that.
  • They control you by helping you – they convince you that you can’t do anything without them, that you need them. This is especially terrible if the narcissists are your parents.
  • They make you feel responsible for their feelings, but if you ever get upset with them, they’ll act like it’s entirely your own fault.

Imagine having parents with this disorder. Lots of people do, unfortunately! I think I might, too, but there’s no way in hell they’re going to willingly get themselves to a psychologist for an evaluation, so I guess I’ll never be entirely sure what disorders they have. It doesn’t really matter, though – the point is that they lack genuine empathy for me and others, and for this reason alone, I need to severely limit my contact with them because they’re literally bad for my mental health.

In most cases, narcissists are not aware of what they are. It’s all subconscious – they don’t know that they need this thing called Supply, and they don’t realize that they’re being manipulative. They actually believe their own bullshit, basically. There are a few rare narcissists that are self-aware and know what they are and what they need and why – look up the writing of HG Tudor to learn more about that. He’s a diagnosed narcissist and psychopath, and he writes about why he is the way he is, and why he does what he does. It’s truly fascinating and disturbing at the same time. (Don’t read it before bed like I did, it makes it harder to sleep!)

Narcissists can’t respect you as a fellow human being, to them you are just a source of Supply.

How to deal with a narcissist


You cannot reason with these people. You cannot tell them that they’re treating you badly and expect them to empathize with you and change their ways. You can’t even talk about your feelings in 3-word sentences, such as “I feel hurt” and expect them to empathize and understand. They literally cannot understand this. According to them, everything is someone else’s fault, they can do no wrong. They will not apologize unless it’s part of a manipulation tactic to make you think that they’re actually sorry and capable of changing, to give you false hope, to make you stick around longer.

Yes, they are like this because they have been deeply hurt as children. Yes, they are not okay. It’s okay to care about them, and to want them to heal and be better and happier. You’re most likely an empathic person who cares about others. That’s a good thing! But care about yourself, too! Get away from a narcissist and stay away. You cannot help them or fix them. You simply cannot.

If you’re temporarily stuck with a narcissist for one reason or another, use the Gray Rock method when you have to interact with them, BUT! You absolutely must also be planning your escape as well! Don’t let them convince you into staying, forgiving, giving them another chance. Don’t believe their promises that they’ll make things better. They won’t. They can’t.

You deserve better.

How to avoid narcissists

If you have good boundaries, and a good sense of self-worth, you might notice narcissists actually leave you alone. Why is this?

To a narcissist, a person who isn’t useful to them isn’t worth their time. Useful in this case could mean that the person is either a source of Supply, or is useful in some other way, such as financially etc.

Narcissists will actually avoid “useless” people such as this. So, it’s actually a good thing if a narcissist sees you as “useless” – it means you’re a lot safer from them.

I’ve noticed that as I’ve been working on setting and maintaining boundaries, I get a lot less attention from certain “friends”. Interesting, that.

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