When you expose a narcissist, you show to the world a vain and fraudulent person behind that mask of superiority.
A narcissist’s mask makes them into the person they want the rest of the world to see them as. It is the key to their relationships, charm, and success.
Narcissists are great at getting you to trust them and get dependent on them. To keep up the ruse, they will intermittently give you crumbs of love and attention. The worst one among the six types of narcissists is the malignant narcissist.
They are deceptive people and will use you until you keep supplying them with praises and compliments. They lie, cheat, and abuse to look and feel great about themselves, and to make you believe they are better than anyone else.
By unmasking them, you will be saving yourself from wasting a lot of your mental resources, emotions, and time.
How to unmask a narcissist?
Narcissists can also be difficult to spot because they’re good at hiding their true selves. But there are some telltale signs that show up in their behavior patterns.
There are different ways to unmask a narcissist.
1. Identify the narcissistic behaviors
The first step to unmasking a narcissist is to identify the behaviors that are common among them. These include:
- A grandiose sense of self-importance.
- A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, or beauty.
- Believing that he or she is special and acting accordingly.
- An expectation of constant praise and admiration from others.
- Having an unreasonable sense of entitlement, e.g., expecting special favors without reciprocating.
- Taking advantage of others in order to achieve his or her own ends.
2. Embarrass them to trigger narcissistic rage
You can embarrass a narcissist by pointing out the lies they told you, by providing evidence of when they slipped up.
You see, a narcissist has a lot of lies behind them. So they have to stay alert about what lies they have already told you and be careful about what versions of the same lie they might blurt out to others.
Moreover, they change their stories so much that they can’t keep up with their own lies.
When you call them out with a lie that they told you, they may initially stonewall you or silently express how much hurt you are causing them. They might also try to explain their behavior with some outrageous explanation, such as they were under threat from the FBI.
When you repeat your unmasking effort a few more times at other times, they cannot stop themselves from showing that narcissistic rage.
In that rage, they might blame you for not understanding them why they did it, instead of having a rational discussion about the issue.
This can get extremely dangerous at this point. Stay close to the exit if you want to unmask them by triggering narcissistic rage.
3. Lay a well-planned trap.
Gather undeniable evidence of their fraud or lie, get them into a situation where other people who know you are present, and confront the narcissist with the facts you learned.
Make the situation so foolproof that they have no way out other than to accept it.
Being among others helps keep you safe for the time of unmasking.
Decide beforehand what consequences you are ready to accept – an apology with assurances of no repeat offense, or a clean break.
4. Wait for time to pass.
They say that karma is a dish best served cold. Let Time serve it to the narcissist tormentor in your life.
Narcissists always unmask themselves eventually. With the passage of time, the narcissist will be so tired of wearing their mask in front of you that they will carelessly unmask themselves.
Truth always seeps through and time always brings everything to the surface.
With time, they start to feel they have total control over you so they can stop pretending to be a good person. Initially, they may let the mask deliberately slip a few times to check your reactions.
Once they feel emboldened, they go to their original vile self, without bothering about whether you are shocked or not.
They are not as smart as they feel they are. The bulk of what they say or do is a lie, an untruth, or some other type of misrepresentation. Nothing they say ever actually adds up. They repeatedly contradict themselves. This always came back to bite them.
Hopefully, you are away from them by the time they are exposed by Time.
What is behind a narcissist’s mask?
What lies beneath a narcissist’s mask is a self-centered person with no empathy who seeks constant admiration. There is a person inside who suffers low self-esteem, fears being exposed or abandoned, and is full of bitterness and revengefulness. The paranoid within is a master manipulator, pathological liar, and habitual gaslighter.
They can be very charming in the early stages of any relationship, but quickly become controlling.
You can bet that no matter how many helpful deeds and sacrifices you do for them, they will always remain ungrateful and take it that you did them for your personal gain.
They have an insatiable need for admiration and attention.
That is the way they interact with all people. So, even if they hide their dark personality features from you, you are better off unmasking them and saving yourself a lot of hurt down the way.
What happens when you unmask a narcissist?
When unmasked, a narcissist first tries to deny it, and then becomes enraged. Their rage comes from the fact that you have exposed their manipulativeness, and now they have become vulnerable to the rest of the world.
They are scared that you might share their true nature with the people around them, and they will no longer believe their fake stories of glory.
Finally, they discard you. They know that they cannot keep fooling you any more.
How to deal with a narcissist after unmasking them?
The first thing, stick to your truth. Be firm enough to not let yourself get swayed by their explanations and sob stories.
The best way to deal with an unmasked narcissist is to reduce their rage by agreeing to their point of view on whatever they say so that the situation does not escalate.
However, when it comes to doing what they say, tell them you cannot do so and remove yourself from the situation before telling them you don’t need them in your life anymore.
What damages a deserted narcissist the most is seeing you happy and satisfied with your life.
Never feel bad for their sorry plight after you leave them. Never carry regret for having abandoned them.
Why not reveal a narcissist that you know?
Many advise that you need not reveal to a narcissist that you know they are a narcissist.
- First, because they will never accept their slipup, and find ways to blame you back.
- Second, they will try to insult and harm you in more direct and unobvious ways and make you feel worthless.
- Third, they will discard you when you are at your most vulnerable.
Unmasking and exposing a narcissist is quite risky because they are so good at keeping a loyal band of fans perpetually conned that your attempt to unmask them could easily backfire, with you looking like the envious and lying one.
When you unmask a narcissist, you find a dark and disturbing person lurking inside. Is that someone to hold on to, lavish your love on, or sacrifice your energies and resources on?
A dumped narcissist may love-bomb you to get you back.
They can offer fake apologies and make promises about changing themselves. In all probability, without valid therapy, they are not likely to behave any better.
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes on mental health, happiness, positive psychology, mindfulness, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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