Overwhelmed by constantly getting manipulated? Learn how to take control away from a narcissist, reclaim your power and rediscover your happiness.
Handling yourself in a narcissistic relationship can be daunting and draining. Narcissists control you in ways that you may not even realize.
They are to blame for your fragile emotional state, but you won’t realize it until it’s too late. When you do, you could be alone and trapped.
So, if you suspect a narcissist is dictating your life, move urgently to stop the abuse, before you become too helpless and powerless to stand up for yourself.
Taking control away from a narcissist is not easy, but it is definitely possible to do so.
Fight with the right strategies to overpower their hidden manipulations.
How to take control away from a narcissist?
Let’s explore some proven ways to help you take back control from a narcissist, and regain your sense of independence and self-worth.
1. Stop giving in to their demands and stand your ground.
Stop yielding to their wishes and stand your ground when dealing with a narcissist, even though it may be a very tough task.
Set the six key boundaries with them; it is one of the most proactive keys to taking control away from them.
Boundaries are the limits you set for others (and yourself) to protect yourself from being manipulated, disrespected, or hurt.
Figure out what behaviors and actions you will not put up with from the narcissist. Tell them clearly about these boundaries, and that you will enforce them from now on.
When narcissists see their control over you fading, they may react by testing and pushing your boundaries. But you must stay strong and maintain your position.
Keep enforcing these limits to send a message that they can no longer control you. It might even make them fear you, as they realize they can’t push you around.
Remember, they are always waiting for breaks, so you have to persist.
If you continuously keep your boundaries up, they will eventually learn to respect them. But if you are careless, they will exploit your porous boundaries, claiming that you had invited them to do so.
Here are some examples of boundaries you can set to take control away from them:
- No personal attacks: “I won’t tolerate personal attacks or disrespectful language. If you engage in such behavior, I’ll immediately end the conversation and let you know that it’s unacceptable.”
- Only use facts: “Let’s keep our discussions focused on facts and avoid emotional manipulation. If you try to twist the conversation or use emotional tactics, I’ll firmly redirect the conversation back to the facts and won’t engage in manipulative behavior.”
- Physical boundaries: “I need my personal space, and I won’t tolerate any unwanted physical contact. If you disregard this boundary and invade my personal space, I’ll remind you of your encroachment, warn you not to repeat it, and if you do, won’t I will not hesitate to involve your colleagues, bosses, and even your mother to remind you to respect my space.”
- Communication limits: “I prefer that we communicate only during specific times and through certain channels like email or text messages. If you try to contact me outside of these times or modes, I won’t respond, unless it’s a dire emergency.”
- Time limits: “I am going to set time limits for our interactions, and our calls and meetings will be time-limited from now on. If you try to extend the conversation beyond the agreed-upon time, I’ll remind you of our time limit and end the conversation.”
2. Stop using vague and passive language
To take control away from a narcissist, stop using vague and passive language.
Narcissists often manipulate and use tactics like gaslighting or blame-shifting to make you feel like you are the problem.
To counteract this and reclaim your power, avoid indecisive and unclear speech. Be mindful of expressing your thoughts and feelings without resorting to “I” statements or placing blame.
Be clear about what you expect from the narcissist. Stay focused and stop letting them derail the conversation.
By not using vague language, you show them that you are not willing to be controlled or manipulated any longer.
This might make the narcissist uneasy and feel like they’re losing grip on you.
When they can’t control you, they may even react negatively (narcissistic rage), so always have a safety plan.
While you might not always get the truth from a narcissist, speaking clearly and directly can force them to face that they cannot control you any longer.
Do you know about high-functioning psychopaths, who hide among us but do not show violent tendencies except when under extreme pressure?
3. Stop being a narcissist pleaser
A powerful way to take control from a narcissist is to stop trying to please them.
Focus on your own needs, thoughts, and feelings. Use clear, assertive language that emphasizes your own perspective.
By prioritizing your stand, you show your independence and make it harder for them to manipulate you. This raises your safety fence and protects your interests.
Expressing your feelings confidently and not bending to their whims, shows them that you cannot be intimidated.
Keep in mind, narcissists may react poorly when they cannot control you. They enjoy feeling superior, so when you refuse to be their pleaser, they find it extremely hard.
By not seeking their approval before speaking up, you might fray their nerves.
This can make a narcissist wary of you, and make them feel threatened, causing them to back down over time.
Staying calm, and making no demands while making your perspective, may make them give out their true intentions.
Make rules, and strongly defend them against the narcissist’s constant trampling.
Safeguard your emotions. Focus on how to keep yourself healthy and happy.
4. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated
One key strategy to take control away from a narcissist is to refuse to let yourself be manipulated by them.
Narcissists are experts at manipulation since they have practiced all their life to get people to bend to their wishes.
Never forget, you have the power to say, “This far and no farther.”
Learn to say “no” to them more frequently and more courageously. When a narcissist realizes that they can’t get you to do things tamely, they may start to react defensively or even aggressively.
However, steel up and maintain your position. You don’t have to tolerate any emotional or physical abuse any further.
Seeking help from friends, family, well-wishers, support groups, or a therapist can be a good way to regain control of your life.
Show the narcissist you are strong and assertive, making them wary of you.
Techniques like confident body language, questioning their behaviors, and constantly pushing back can make them blurt out their true intentions.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but feeling fear and taking action regardless.
Keep reminding yourself that your courage to prioritize your emotional well-being is a part of taking back control from a narcissist.
Here are some hands-on tips to fight their manipulation and gaslighting:
- Document your interactions with them, noting actions and words
- Maintain a log of their communication, including texts and calls
- Record any significant interactions or conversations
- Keep track of conversations they have with others
- Use a paper or digital diary to chronicle events
- Record phone calls and monitor text messages
- If needed, report their actions to authorities
- Capture photos or videos as evidence
5. Don’t engage in arguments
When dealing with a narcissist, remember that arguing with them is often pointless.
They tend to see themselves as always right. They can defend their opinions and ideas, however biased, with extreme ferocity and even twist the truth or lie outright.
So, instead of trying to convince a narcissist about their faults and flaws, disengage from any arguments they start.
Stop letting the narcissist provoke you. Don’t stoop to their level. By refusing to argue, you deny the narcissist the drama and power they crave through conflict.
A small but crucial step to regaining control from a narcissist is to not give them the satisfaction of your attention by engaging in arguments.
Say a curt “Okay” and move out of their field of vision to tell them you won’t take their b***s*** anymore.
6. Don’t offer too much information
When trying to take control away from a narcissist, be extremely mindful of the information you share with them.
They can defame you without feeling guilty or remorseful. They have no emotional empathy.
Sharing too much information may enable the narcissist to use it against you. They may twist or cherry-pick your words to share them indiscriminately with others.
Narcissists are not your pillows to cry on.
So, instead of giving them your vulnerable details, keep the conversations brief and focused.
Stick to discussing only the necessary facts, and avoid revealing too much personal information.
Remember, the less the narcissist has on you, the less power they have over you.
So, to be on the safe side, limit your exchanges to only the absolute bare minimum.
Minimal disclosure can protect your future self from being blackmailed or used. And keep your control long after you lose contact with the narcissist.
7. Avoid getting drawn into their games
A crucial strategy for taking control away from a narcissist is to avoid getting drawn into their games.
Narcissists thrive on drama, gaslighting, word salads, manipulation, and control, and use many tactics to maintain their power over you.
They may try to provoke you into arguments, guilt-trip you, or gaslight you into doubting your own rationality or sanity.
By refusing to engage in their games, you take away their control and keep your own fortress.
Try setting sequential boundaries.
Whenever they do something intolerable or even irritating, tell them you are raising a boundary against their doing it. And stick to it, refusing to react emotionally to their triggering behaviors or situations.
When the narcissist sees you won’t play their games, they may become frustrated and may lash out even more, but this ultimately shows them that they cannot control you.
8. Stop giving them priority and instead, put yourself first
When dealing with a narcissist, self-care should be your top priority.
Never attempt to change or fix them, as your efforts will ultimately prove fruitless and may even backfire.
Narcissists often manipulate and control by making you feel guilty or worthless, even convincing you their needs matter more than yours.
By refusing to prioritize the narcissist’s needs and demands, and putting yourself first, you’ll be stronger and better equipped to claim your control back from them.
Focus on your physical and mental health, and learn to say “no” when needed, without feeling guilty or being rude.
By not giving them priority, you signal to the narcissist that you are out of their controlling hands and minds.
You must also stay ready to dismiss their “flying monkeys” who might try to manipulate, threaten, or attack you on their behalf.
Of course, you must be wary of a narcissist’s angry and aggressive reactions when they see their ploys to control you are failing.
Self-care, self-love, and self-empathy aren’t just buzzwords.
They genuinely help you recognize and heal from the damage a narcissist has caused you with their lies, abuse, and torture.
Your entire existence should not revolve around keeping the narcissist happy. Choosing to put yourself first lets you establish that truth.
Don’t let the narcissist’s tricks make you feel bad about yourself. You deserve kindness and respect.
Believe in yourself. Always remember you are valuable and important.
A quick recap of “How To Outsmart The Controlling Narcissist”:
- Avoid taking their bait, as it boosts their ego.
- Never try to change or fix them; it won’t work.
- Don’t run, but set boundaries with the narcissist.
- Remember, your self-worth does not rely on them.
- Steer clear of conversations about the past, a common deflection tactic.
- Seek professional help if required, but keep it from the narcissist to avoid backlash.
- Preserve your independence and individuality, but brace for drama and manipulation.
- Stay positive and upbeat; when they can’t use you anymore, they’ll leave you alone temporarily.
How do you take power away from a narcissist?
To take power away from a narcissist, you need to set firm boundaries, refuse to engage in their mind games, and prioritize your mental well-being. By staying strong, maintaining your independence, and focusing on self-care, you can regain control and reduce their influence over you. Consistency and persistence are key to successfully taking power away from a narcissist.
What to say to a narcissist to shut them down permanently?
It is almost impossible to shut down a narcissist permanently with just a few words, as they don’t take instructions tamely. It may be better to assert yourself, set boundaries, and avoid engaging in their manipulations. Try saying, “I won’t continue this conversation; I deserve respect, and won’t tolerate this behavior.”
Get help and support from others. Talk to your family, friends, or support groups to help you deal with the challenges of a narcissistic relationship.
Feel free to ask a professional therapist or counselor for advice on how to take back control of your life from a narcissist.
For more on taking back control from your narcissist, see these:
- How To Make A Narcissist Respect You
- How To Detach From A Narcissist Word Salad
- How To Trick A Narcissist Into Telling The Truth
- How To Handle Narcissistic Projection (With Examples)
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Author Bio: Researched and reviewed by Dr. Sandip Roy. His expertise is in mental well-being, positive psychology, narcissism, and Stoic philosophy.
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