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What personal experience with a narcissist brought you here looking for “ammunition” to finally put them in their place? There's never a dull day around narcissistic individuals. I'm pretty sure you have enough stories to compile a bestseller.
I was once ensnared by a vulnerable malignant narcissist who fits most of the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
The American Psychological Association (APA) outlined the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5. To make him fear me and remove him from my life, I had to skillfully strategize to beat him at his own game.
You'll agree that a narcissist isn't good for you in any way, shape, or form. To get out of their snare, you have to know how to make a narcissist fear you, and I'm about to share 17 effective tactics with you.
What Is a Narcissist?
A narcissist is someone who displays behavioral traits that align with similar traits in people diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). The mental disorder, sometimes called narcissism, is characterized by a lifelong pattern of specific negative behaviors, particularly an overinflated sense of self-importance (grandiosity).
Other notable characteristics include an excessive need for admiration, power, and control, a sense of entitlement, and a lack of empathy.
Narcissists are frequently described as self-centered, arrogant, and manipulative. In short, they believe they are better than everyone else, and won't hesitate to disrespect you.
While women display these traits, one of several studies finds that men are more likely to exhibit narcissism. Regardless of gender, it's quite difficult to establish and maintain a healthy personal or work relationship with anyone who possesses those traits.
Why Dealing with a Narcissist Is Bad for You
People who exhibit narcissistic traits or tendencies establish relationships that are largely superficial and primarily intended to boost their low self-esteem. Perhaps this explains why they have a pattern of attaching themselves to vulnerable targets, such as empaths, and individuals with status or unique abilities.
Empaths are typically caring and compassionate and often go to lengths to please others. These traits serve as a supply of premium “fuel” for the narcissist. Attention, validation, money, sex, and social status are other types of narcissistic supply, and they would stop at nothing to exploit those from you.
The narc appears charming at first, but that's only a tactic to make you drop your guard as they groom you for exploitation. Once they have you in their grips, they'll launch into full-fledge narcissistic abuse using gaslighting, lies, blame-shifting, intimidation, and other manipulation tactics. These are forms of emotional and psychological aggression that cause you to doubt yourself or feel unworthy.
Post-traumatic stress, fear, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and depression are some of the other effects of narcissistic abuse. The behaviors of narcissists in the home may also leave your children traumatized.
17 Ways to Make a Narcissist Really Afraid of You
The secret of how to make a narcissist fear you is to create narcissistic injuries by targeting things they hate or fear and by taking away their narcissistic supply. Narc supply is anything you provide that makes them feel worthy.
You can achieve this mission with the following scare tactics. Most importantly, be consistent and keep reinforcing each of these until the exploiter wishes they never met you.
1. Don't give them your attention
These attention-seekers will do anything to be noticed. Your attention is a premium narcissistic supply, according to Melanie Tonia Evans, founder of the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program. Whether it's positive or negative attention, they'll take it, since fuel is fuel for the narc.
They'll hover and fish for compliments, hoping to boost their false self-esteem. Act unamused and uninterested when they come hoping you'll offer admiration and validation for something they're saying about themselves.
This non-verbal defensive move will cause them to feel deflated and unworthy. They'll wonder why you aren't paying them any mind and will dread losing supply.
2. Starve them of empathy
Empathy is the ability to understand and be sensitive to the needs of those around you. The narc knows you're an empath and it's why they targeted you, to begin with. As an empath, you're a prime source of narcissistic supply. They're empty shells that feed on your positive energy.
They preyed on you by pretending to be victimized by everyone in their life, so you could feel sorry for them and offer love and support. Take away your loving kindness. The lying, cheating, manipulator doesn't deserve it. They'll become fearful because they can no longer manipulate your emotions to get their selfish needs met.
3. Show strength and confidence
Appearing emotionally weak and easily triggered around the narc convinces them they've got you under control. Rebuilding your self-esteem by repeating affirmations and interacting with confidence will frighten the egomaniac away.
They despise it when you emerge strong and confident after they try to break you, and will start feeling jealous, insecure, and enraged. Fear will arise since the risk of losing you is higher now that you've caught on to their schemes.
4. Ignore them
The self-centered individual might create a facade that they're respecting your boundaries if they still see you as a good source of narcissistic supply. Add salt to their wound using the ignore method, which is different from the silent treatment tactic they use to punish you.
Your goal is to drive fear and get the respect you deserve. Be warned, they'll become furious and will do things to garner attention. Flowers and gifts might show up at your door (love bombing).
Don't fall for the hoovering. It's a cunning ploy to suck you back in. As soon as you acknowledge them, they'll go right back to their nasty ways.
5. Set and enforce boundaries
The energy vampire doesn't like or respect boundaries. How else will they control and manipulate you? So, what better way to make me fear you than by throwing up strong defensive walls? Boundaries!
Clearly state what you won't tolerate. Let them know your boundaries aren't negotiable and consequences will follow if they disrespect them. Reinforce set boundaries each time they try to break them and create new ones where they find loopholes. They will finally respect your rules out of fear once they realize you've had it with their bs.
6. Say no
Narcs are used to getting their way through dishonesty, deflection, and control. Tell them “No,” “Not today,” “I won't do that,” and watch them squirm. They'll try to charm or bully you into providing their wants and needs. Stick to your gun!.
Not complying with their demands for your time, resources, or some narcissistic supply will drive this tantrum-throwing human nuts.
Saying no is interpreted as rejection, and boy do they hate rejection. It creates narcissistic injury and sends a clear message that they cannot control you.
7. Challenge them
Knowing that narcs are innately arrogant, you can turn this against them and make them fear you by becoming a challenge yourself. If they purport to be good at a certain game, challenge and beat them at it. They hate losing and will throw a tantrum like a child.
Challenge their opinions. Use facts and evidence to prove they don't really know it all. Expose their lies and exaggerated stories about their accomplishments and back them up with proof. Uh-oh! They're going to quickly realize you're not one to mess with.
8. Hold them accountable
These entitled individuals dislike being questioned, having to explain themselves, and admitting their mistakes. Knowing they're wrong and having to apologize shatters their false view of themselves as always right and better than everyone else.
Ask questions and hold them accountable when they try to shirk responsibility for failing to do chores or for unacceptable behavior. Soon enough, they'll start getting their act together to avoid the consequences.
9. Implement consequences
Take things a step further and enforce consequences for boundary violations and disrespect. 10 out of 10 times, if you impose limitations on a narc, they will cross them. Number one, they don't respect rules. Number two, they break them to make you get angry, so they can say you're “overreacting” or “crazy.”
Those terms are commonly used to gaslight you. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse designed to make you question your own sanity.
Don't be fazed. State the boundary violation and move ahead with the punishment. The risk of punishment or falling from your grace instills fear. I kid you not, they will think a few times before making that mistake again.
10. Expose their narcissism
Isn't it time you stopped playing nice and called out the narc? Let them know you know they're a pathological liar and cheater who uses gaslighting tactics to convince you that you're paranoid.
Expose their multiple aliases designed for scams and deceit and living double lives. Presenting them with findings will bring their false world crashing down. They'll feel ashamed, powerless, and afraid that you may tell everyone that matters what a vile person they are.
11. Take back control
The manipulator has a way of gradually and systematically relieving you of control over your life. You may not realize what was happening until they've taken your money, planted themselves in your home, and dominated various aspects of your life.
Make them fear you by seizing control and becoming more assertive. They hate losing control because it means they can no longer manipulate and emotionally abuse you.
12. Strengthen your support network
To successfully manipulate and control you, a narcissist needs to isolate you from people who love and support you. As such, it's frightening when they see you banding together with friends and loved ones who have your best interest at heart.
If possible, limit your interaction to when your peeps are around and can stand up for you. It's more difficult for the manipulator to exercise control over you in this setting. In fact, they'll act nice but feel afraid you might expose them and cause shame and embarrassment.
Rejection causes major narcissistic injury and is one of the top 10 things narcissists fear the most. They can't handle it, even if it's a tiny slight. Remember, they have a sense of entitlement and pride themselves on being the ones who reject and discard their victims.
Reject everything, from their ideas, opinions, gifts, and feelings to their requests to spend time together. They'll feel inadequate, inferior, unlovable, and invalidated. When used consistently, this strategy can be a powerful weapon to scare them away. They won't be able to survive the constant bruising of their inflated ego.
Even though they give the impression they're invincible, narcissists are really thin-skinned. Not only can they not handle rejection, but they also loathe criticism, even when it's intended to help them improve.
Offer constructive criticism whenever they may make a mistake and they'll immediately get defensive or lash out. Criticism crushes their self-esteem only because they perceive it as a threat to their false superior, all-knowing self-image.
15. Public humiliation
Instill panic and dread through public humiliation, something they fear greatly. They'll do anything to protect the public facade they create. Taking them to court (for legitimate reasons) is a legal and effective way to shame them.
Exposing the chameleon publicly means people will finally get to see them for the devious, deceitful, calculating individuals they are. That's an incredible blow to their fragile ego and will evoke feelings they're deathly afraid of—shame and embarrassment.
16. Go no contact
No contact is a strategy used to physically and emotionally distance yourself from anyone who is toxic. Narcissists fall into the category of toxic people, therefore it's fitting to end all contact to recover from the trauma of abuse. The narcissist will be biting his nails out of fear, especially if you suddenly cut him off.
He will interpret this as rejection and abandonment. These are two things that cause severe narcissistic wounds, according to PsychCentral. There's a sense of loss from not knowing if they'll hear from you again.
And it isn't because they love and care for you. Losing you means they're forced to search for narcissistic supply elsewhere. They hate it since grooming another target takes time and requires their resources.
17. Block, delete, bye!
If the narc isn't your parent, child, or someone you have children with, then you should be able to easily execute this move. Block them on your phone, apps, and social media accounts.
This is your ultimate discard of the narcissist who prides themselves on devaluing and discarding their targets first.
Blocking them out of your life turns the tables and makes it difficult for them to hoover and suck you back in. It's the ultimate way to make them fear you and never return.
Final Thoughts on How to Make a Narcissist Fear You
I've successfully applied these tactics to induce fear in a narcissist who wouldn't leave me alone. Target what they fear and despise. Starve them of the things (the fuel) that makes them thrive around you – things like attention, validation, admiration, love, and money.
Do this and not only will they be fearful of you… but starvation will cause them to shrivel up, wither, and die. Learn more about the 8 Weird Things That Narcissists Do to Manipulate People to further protect yourself. You are not alone, and you don’t have to put up with it anymore!
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.