How To Go Toe-To-Toe With A Narcissist

By JH Simon

Beating the narcissist

Table of Contents

When a person is centered, they feel at home in their body, confident in their intuition, and able to adapt and grow into the future. They remain ‘in flow’, and seem to have sixth sense for the ‘right’ way to approach life. A centred person is truly a force to be reckoned with, and cannot be easily manipulated or controlled.

A narcissist knocks you off centre using various methods: ridiculing you, judging you, questioning you, flattering you, ignoring you or pressing your sore buttons. All of these strategies aim to create spikes of emotions which challenge your homeostasis.

If you have childhood wounds around specific triggers, the emotional intensity will hit you like a Category Five storm. Your ability to reason, to observe and to be conscious is lost. You are in a reaction mode, jumping out of your skin because your emotional state is so uncomfortable.

If you do not catch on to what is going on, you will be vulnerable to manipulation for a painfully long time. Worse still, each ‘episode’ stacks onto your already existing core wounds and makes it easier to manipulate you in the future.

The Tools For Immunising Yourself From Narcissistic Abuse

The first step is awareness. You need to understand what being in a calm state is like, and then you need to feel the transition from this state into one of being triggered. You need to notice the emotions arising in real-time. Oh, that’s shame. That’s doubt. That’s anger. That’s sadness. That’s confusion. That’s dysregulation. That’s neediness. And so forth.

The next and most difficult step, however, is to create a container around those emotions. Can you relax your body and welcome the feelings? Can you remain aware and calm, even though every cell in your body is screaming in agony? Can you observe without reacting, even though your entire being is telling you to do something!!? If so, then you are becoming skilled in creating a container.

When triggered and unable to remain present and firm, you lash out, you defend yourself, you become lost in confusion, and you become so weakened that the narcissist can easily control you. To play the narcissist at their own game, you need to undergo training in holding the tension that your triggered state creates. This requires that you expand your consciousness and become skilled at allowing complex and intense emotional states in your body without any initial reaction.

Building The Skill To Immunise Yourself From Narcissistic Abuse

But how to build this skill? There are many ways in daily life, but when starting out, it is through meditation that you can create an environment to practice.

A simple exercise is as follows:

  1. Sit cross-legged on the floor. Prop your torso up with a meditation pillow (or stack up some towels) and place something soft under your knees. The aim here is to have as straight a posture as possible while remaining comfortable.
  2. Place an object in front of you, such as a glass cup, a ball, or something without details. You do not want to give your mind something it can get lost in.
  3. Set a timer if you wish. 5 minutes is plenty to begin with.
  4. While breathing normally, focus on the object and see it. Truly see it. Truly seeing it means that you notice it. It does not become an abstraction or a fuzzy background image. It remains within your focus and awareness. As long as you do this, you are anchored in the present moment. Your Higher Self is activated, and you are present with your entire being.
  5. Your mind will draw you back. The purpose of having the object is to notice when you stop seeing it. This is an indicator that your mind has taken over again. Gently bring your focus back to the object. In a typical session, you will switch back and forth dozens of times. This is normal. Losing focus is not a failure, but an indicator for you to gently bring that focus back.

When Game Day Comes

As you will discover, this meditation is difficult. That is because being anchored and focussed in the present moment creates tension. Your muscles may ache, or anxiety may flood your body. Any emotions you have been ignoring will also rise up. Shame. Guilt. Fear. Panic. Sadness. It will all come.

However, far from being a catastrophe, this is your chance to a) undergo releasing of these stored emotions, and b) practice holding a container around the emotional tension.

This is the skill you will need when face-to-face with a narcissist who tries to pull you from your source of strength; your True Self. They will look at you with their dead eyes after making their covert or overt attack, and they will wait for you to lose your cool and react to their assault.

If you have practiced with tension, you will notice the trigger go off but will remain calm and stare right back at the narcissist. It is at this moment that you have regained your power. You are centred, present and firm. Sure, you have some emotions going through your body, but you are skilled and spacious enough to hold them.

Of course, going toe-to-toe with the narcissist creates discomfort and tension, but you are a master in this realm. Tension is becoming fun now, because that is where the power is. The narcissist will witness all this and they will be the one to react. What happens after that is where it gets interesting.

Want to learn more about narcissism? Check out How To Kill A Narcissist and How To Bury A Narcissist for the definitive resource on overcoming narcissistic abuse.

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Further Reading