How To Deal With Narcissistic Mother In Law?

How To Deal With Narcissistic Mother In Law
How to Deal With a Narcissistic Mother-in-Law

  1. Understanding & Acceptance.
  2. Strengthen Communication With Your Spouse.
  3. Set & Hold Clear Boundaries.
  4. Guard Your Own Emotional Sharing With Her.
  5. Stay Genuine With Her.
  6. Identify & Lean on Your Support Network.
  7. Figure Out How to Keep Yourself Calm in Stressful Situations.

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What happens when you ignore a narcissist mother in law?

Ignoring a narcissist will enrage them because of their fragile egos – This is because narcissists have incredibly fragile egos (also though they seem quite large because they are overcompensating). They’ll feel humiliated and lash out against you to protect themselves.

True narcissists are unable to see the needs of others and don’t truly care if the’re exhausting another person. However, this can be dangerous for the person involved with the narcissist. The best thing you can do to start to disentangle yourself from a narcissist is to go full no contact. No calls, emails, texts, and especially no in-person meetups.

Related: Unfortunately, this will not cause a real narcissist to change. They will move on and find another source. But you will be free. Related: Dr. Priya Chaudhri CEO, If you have been unfortunate enough to have gotten involved with a narcissist, you’re no doubt very emotionally damaged from experience. Being in a relationship with someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) can break your spirit. As the victim trapped in the you have unwittingly supplied the fuel that they fed off.

Is my mother in law a covert narcissist?

Plays the victim – Rather than being honest and direct about their opinions, narcissistic mothers-in-law will disguise their put-downs as (backhanded) compliments or as a way to “help” you. Narcissistic mothers-in-law tend to play the victim when you call them out on their inappropriate behavior or remarks.

They may even pretend to be mentally or physically overwhelmed by your “accusations.” They may act shocked, distressed, and appalled when you defend yourself in response to these remarks, eliciting pity not just from you, but the whole family. As a result, you may find yourself feeling simultaneously degraded, confused, and disoriented.

You may attempt to sympathize with them and meet their needs while forfeiting your own or feel further scapegoated as other family members seem to support them.

What Your silence does to the narcissist?

The Purpose of the Silent Treatment – Essentially, the point of the silent treatment is to make the victim feel confused, stressed, guilty, ashamed, not good enough, or unstable enough so that they would do what the manipulator wants. It is to make the victim acquiesce to self-erasure and scramble to meet the needs of their abuser, however unhealthy or damaging those may be.

How does a narcissist react when they can’t control you?

Narcissists also gaslight or practice master manipulation, weakening and destabilizing their victims; finally, they utilize positive and negative emotions or moments to trick others. When a narcissist can’t control you, they’ll likely feel threatened, react with anger, and they might even start threatening you.

What the covert narcissist fears most?

Narcissists’ Greatest Fears How To Deal With Narcissistic Mother In Law Source: Just Dance/Shutterstock

  • Although narcissists act superior to others and posture as beyond reproach, underneath their grandiose exteriors lurk their deepest fears: That they are flawed, illegitimate, and ordinary.
  • We know from research and foundational theory about narcissism that narcissists develop a “false self” or “as-if” to hide their fears and failings.
  • Narcissists who grew up over-empowered come to expect that the world will treat them as special as their parents did, without them having to do anything to merit such treatment.
  • Narcissists who grew up under-empowered live on a treadmill of self-aggrandizement, seeking to cover their shame for falling short of the impossibly high standards their parents placed on them.
  • In either case, narcissists live behind an endlessly-under-construction facade designed to procure and special treatment while obscuring failings and weaknesses they dare not confront.

Narcissists are frightened, fragile people. Rejection,, and even the tiniest of defeats can shake them to their core. This leaves narcissists wholly focused on their image. They believe that how they are viewed by others, and how they view themselves, will shield them against realities of life that few of us like but most of us come to accept. Realities such as:

  • None of us is perfect.
  • We all have our limitations.
  • We can’t get everything we want.
  • There will always be someone younger, prettier, richer, or more successful.
  • Ultimately, we all age and die.

How To Deal With Narcissistic Mother In Law Source: Eskemar/Shutterstock Loath to acknowledge such universal truths, narcissists rarely admit, let alone embrace, that to be human sometimes means having doubts, feeling lonely, making mistakes, and living with despair. To narcissists, such experiences are seen as weak, which they cannot allow.

  1. As a result, narcissists live constantly on guard, viewing everyone as potential competitors.
  2. Narcissists’ strategies may differ—they may become blowhards, exhibitionists, charmers, or martyrs—but the are the same: to prevail every single time while always avoiding loss of face.
  3. Ensconced in spinning a version of reality most favorable to them, narcissists tend to lie and misrepresent so readily that they become convinced that whatever they utter in the moment is true and right.

To many around them, such conviction can be persuasive unless you spot the underlying man-behind-the-curtain dynamic. If such an existence sounds lonely and exhausting, it is. But narcissists, like many species of sharks, cannot stop moving or they will perish.

  1. Recognizing their terror of being unmasked can help us understand why their can be triggered by the most benign of events.
  2. Understanding their of being seen as ordinary may help explain their inability to meet others on an even playing field or seek win-win solutions.
  3. Yet having compassion for and understanding of narcissists does not take away from our responsibility to protect ourselves from manipulation and abuse.

When you interact with narcissists, ask yourself what the costs are. Consider whether those costs are worth spending a minute more than necessary around an unhealthy narcissistic person. Narcissists will nearly always find others to feed their egos. You don’t have to be the meal.

  • Your time, attention, presence, emotional health, and are precious gifts.
  • Bestow them wisely.
  • Copyright © 2020 Dan Neuharth PhD MFT An earlier version of this post appeared on References Kohut, H.
  • 2009.) The Analysis of the Self: A Systematic Approach to the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorders.

(Rev Ed.) Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Deutsch, H. (1942.) Some Forms of Emotional Disturbance and their Relationship to Schizophrenia. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, ( 11) 301-321. Winnicott, D.W. (1960). The Maturational Process and the Facilitating Environment: Studies in the Theory of Emotional Development. How To Deal With Narcissistic Mother In Law

: Narcissists’ Greatest Fears

How does a narcissist treat their in laws?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Most people don’t excitedly jump at the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their in-laws. However, your relationship with your in-laws can be increasingly complicated when personality disorders are involved. And, this is especially true when you’re dealing with narcissistic personality disorder,

Difficulties with your in-laws can severely damage your marriage, causing large amounts of resentment and frustration surrounding even the most petty issues. The best way to protect yourself and your marriage from an in-law with NPD is knowing the symptoms and knowing how to deal with the inappropriate behaviors in a respectful and effective manner.

According to the DSM-5, narcissistic personality disorder is a “pervasive pattern” involving an excessive need for admiration, grandiosity, lack of empathy, and extreme sense of entitlement. An in-law suffering from narcissistic personality disorder may have unrealistic expectations of you and your spouse.

  • They may feel as though they are entitled to personal or financial favors.
  • They may expect you to spend every holiday with them, or drop whatever you’re doing to help them.
  • If you refuse their requests, an individual with NPD may react with excessive anger.
  • The most honest answer to this question is maybe.

However, though a person with NPD can change, it isn’t possible for you to change them. It’s also not your responsibility to “fix” an in-law with narcissistic personality disorder. Dramatic personality disorders, such as NPD, are often deeply rooted and frequently stem from childhood trauma.

Those suffering from narcissistic personality disorder often need professional help in order to change. Instead of worrying about getting your parent in-law help, you will probably have better luck focusing on protecting yourself and your family. Personality disorders typically manifest in early adulthood.

Therefore, if your mother in-law or father in-law is suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, they’ve likely been this way for a very long time and will unlikely be very receptive to change. This means that you need to find ways to work with their limitations without enabling their inappropriate behavior.

Understanding narcissistic personality disorder will give you a better idea of what you can expect from your in-laws. Creating boundaries is the absolute best thing you can do to minimize the negative effects of a person with NPD. Because people suffering from NPD feel an extreme sense of entitlement, they may feel they have the right to call at any time or stop by whenever they feel like it.

Instead of allowing this behavior to continue, it’s important that you calmly but firmly ask your in-laws to schedule visits in advance. If they are the type to call at inappropriate times, do not feel guilty about letting it go to voicemail. When setting boundaries with people suffering from NPD, remember that “No.” is a complete sentence.

  • A person with narcissistic personality disorder may attempt to manipulate you by pushing your buttons or attempting to provoke you.
  • It is important to remain calm and collected in all your interactions with your in-law; this is especially true when they are intentionally pushing your buttons.
  • It may be necessary to remind yourself that your in-law’s behavior is part of a personality disorder and has nothing to do with you personally.

If narcissistic personality disorder has already damaged your marriage, CoilLaw is here for you, Our dedicated attorneys are uniquely experienced with protecting clients from family members with NPD. If you are beginning the divorce process with a spouse who’s suffering from NPD, call CoilLaw today to find out how we can protect you and your family.

What is the GREY rock method?

The grey rock method is a tactic some people use when dealing with abusive or manipulative behavior. It involves becoming as uninteresting and unengaged as possible so that the abusive person loses interest. Some people anecdotally report that it reduces conflict and abuse.

  1. The idea behind the technique is that abusive people, especially those with narcissistic tendencies, enjoy getting a reaction from their victims.
  2. Refusing to give them this reaction makes interactions less rewarding.
  3. There is no research to confirm that it works.
  4. This article examines the grey rock method in more detail, including what it is, how people use it, and its risks.

It also provides other strategies for dealing with abuse, along with support resources.

How do I tell my mother-in-law to back off?

Download Article Download Article Does your mother-in-law try to run your home like it’s hers, criticize your every move, and barge in unannounced? If you’re fed up, discuss your feelings with your spouse. Come up with clear boundaries, and have your spouse discuss the problem with their mother.

  1. 1 Learn to pick your battles. It’s not worth getting upset every time your mother-in-law asks about something personal or gets on your nerves. Try to stay calm and ignore minor grievances. Save your energy for when she oversteps boundaries in more significant ways.
    • For example, if you had her over for dinner and she says, “Well the chicken’s alright, but I would have seasoned it more,” just let it slide. Tell her, “Thanks for the tip!”
  2. 2 Enforce your boundaries calmly and firmly when necessary. Stick up for yourself, but don’t be disrespectful or shout. When you need to tell her to back down, try to keep your tone neutral and matter-of-fact. Do your best to keep your cool to avoid escalating the conflict.
    • Suppose she keeps asking about personal topics, such as why you don’t go to her place of worship or how many exes you have. Tell her, “I’d rather not discuss that topic. Let’s talk about something else.”
    • If she comes over without calling ahead, tell her, “Now isn’t a good time. We’ve talked about calling ahead to make sure it’s convenient, and you’ll have to come over another time.”


  3. 3 Assert your authority politely if she tries to run your home. If she tends to take over whenever she visits your home, ask her to sit and relax. Thank her for wanting to help, but stress that you have everything under control.
    • For instance, if you invite her over for dinner and she tries to take over in the kitchen, say, “Thanks for offering to help, but I can handle it! Have a seat and relax. I don’t like to put company to work!”
    • If she insists on helping, you could give her a simple task to keep her out of the way, like chopping veggies or making the salad.
  4. 4 Stand up for yourself if she repeatedly disrespects you. If she continues to criticize you, pester you about private topics, and invade your personal space, tell her to stop. You still shouldn’t shout or get angry, but make it clear that you won’t tolerate further disrespect.
    • Say, “We’ve discussed this before, and I’m not comfortable with the way you continue to interfere with my household. I’ve tried to be cordial, and I want to keep the peace, but this has to stop.”
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  1. 1 Explain your feelings to your partner. Respect your spouse’s relationship with their mother, but explain your needs for personal space and autonomy. Make your needs clear, and name specific issues that need to be addressed. Keep your tone positive, and remind your spouse that you don’t blame them for their mother’s actions.
    • For example, say, “I understand you’re close with your mother, and I don’t want to get in the way of that. However, I need boundaries. It’s not okay for her to come over unannounced or criticize my parenting skills.”
    • Bring up your feelings as soon as possible. You’ll have an easier time handling issues without conflict if you address them sooner rather than later.
  2. 2 Tell your spouse you understand they’re in a tough position. Let your spouse know that you get how rough it is being in the middle of the conflict. Emphasize that the relationship between you and your spouse is separate from the conflict between you and your mother-in-law.
    • Say, “I get that you’re in a tough position. I don’t want you to feel like you have to choose between me and your family. I love you, and these issues shouldn’t drive a wedge between us.”
  3. 3 Work with your spouse to come up with clear boundaries. In addition to explaining your needs, ask your spouse how they envision their mother’s role in your lives and how best to deal with the issues you are facing with them. Work with them to find middle ground that satisfies you both.
    • For example, your spouse might not mind if she pops in unannounced, and wants her to be a close part of your lives. You could have her over for weekly dinners to satisfy your spouse’s needs, and require her to call ahead before visiting.
    • Compromise with your partner, but make your needs clear. Tell them, “I’m happy that you’re so close with your parents, and I want to support that. But I’m your partner, and I need your support, too. Maintaining our privacy doesn’t mean you can’t have a close relationship with your mother.”
  4. 4 Ask your spouse to have a conversation with their mother on their own. Once you’ve come up with solutions, your spouse should have a talk with their mother alone. Bear in mind it’s your partner’s responsibility to address problems with their parents. If they’re hesitant, explain that they need to take the lead, just as you would if there were an issue with your parents.
    • Say, “You need to be the one to tell your mother to give us some space. If you ever have an issue with my parents, then I’d need to take the lead. Be assertive but respectful. Tell her that we’re not shutting her out, but we need to set boundaries.”
  5. 5 Remind your spouse that they need to have your back. From establishing boundaries to handling criticism or disrespect in the moment, your spouse should defend you. Married partners’ primary loyalties are to each other.
    • Make sure that your spouse takes the lead in enforcing boundaries and responds to their mother before you have to. This may be more effective than you saying something.
    • If your mother-in-law puts you down, your spouse should calmly say, “Please don’t insult Sam like that. When you disrespect my spouse, you disrespect me, and it’s not okay.”
    • If your partner doesn’t have your back, tell them, “We’re a team, and I’m hurt that you didn’t defend me when your mother insulted me. I don’t want to put you in the middle, but you need to stick up for me.”
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  1. 1 Tell her that all friends and family need to call ahead before visiting. You and your spouse could tell your mother-in-law that you have a “call ahead” rule for all guests. Phrasing it in general terms could make her feel less targeted and help you avoid a conflict.
    • Your spouse could tell her, “You shouldn’t feel like we don’t want to spend time with you. We just prefer that our friends and family call ahead to make sure it’s a convenient time to visit.”
  2. 2 Use specific times and dates when you plan visits. If your mother-in-law tends to overstay her welcome, specify start and end times when you make plans. When time’s up, let her know politely but firmly that it’s time to go.
    • For example, say, “You can come over for lunch at noon, but Sam and I have to run errands after 3 p.m.”
    • Meeting on neutral turf is also a good way to prevent in-laws from overstaying their welcome. Instead of having them come over, meet them at a restaurant or park.
  3. 3 Don’t loan money or accept support from your in-laws. Staying out of each other’s finances can prevent conflicts over money. Furthermore, if you borrow money or accept support from your mother-in-law, she might seize the opportunity to exert authority.
    • For example, suppose you borrow money to pay for something for your child, such as tuition. Your mother-in-law could bring that up when you ask her to stay out of your parenting decisions.
  4. 4 Explain your parenting rules to her clearly, if you have kids. When she babysits, let her know what and when your kids should eat and when they nap or go to bed. Tell her which TV shows, movies, and other media are off-limits, and note if they need to do homework or any other tasks.
    • Since they’ve already raised kids, in-laws sometimes don’t respond well to long, detailed lists of instructions. Try quick, relevant guidelines, such as, “Please don’t let the kids watch TV or play video games unless they’ve finished their homework,” or “Billy needs to take his allergy medication at 7 p.m. Please make sure he takes it.”
    • Keep in mind your mother-in-law might not always stick to your parenting style. It’s best to brush off minor issues, such as if she feeds your kids ice cream against your wishes.
    • If you have a disagreement about parenting, make sure the kids aren’t within earshot. Don’t allow your mother-in-law to verbally undermine your authority in front of the kids.
    • Giving her opportunities to watch your kids can help her feel needed. If she feels that she plays an important role, she might back off from trying to take over other aspects of your life. However, if she frequently goes against your wishes when handling the children, then you may not want to have her watch them anymore.
  5. 5 Spend time with her only if your spouse is present. Keeping the peace doesn’t mean you need to be best friends with your mother-in-law. Limit your contact with her when your spouse isn’t present, especially if she routinely belittles or criticizes you.
    • For example, if you’re dropping off your kids at her house, say hello and be cordial, but don’t stick around all afternoon. Say, “Well it’s been nice chatting, but I’ve got to get going. I should be back for the kids around 5.”
  6. 6 Avoid complaining about her to your children or other in-laws. Venting to your husband or a trusted friend is one thing, but don’t talk badly about your mother-in-law to your kids. Additionally, don’t complain to any siblings-in-law or any of your spouse’s other relatives.
    • You don’t want your mother-in-law to hear that you’ve been talking about her behind her back. Your siblings-in-law might complain to you about their mother, but it’s wise to avoid contributing the conversation.
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  • Question How do I say no if my mother in law asks for money? Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011. Professional Counselor Expert Answer
  • Question How do I deal with a mother in law who holds grudges? Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011. Professional Counselor Expert Answer Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. Be yourself. If you do not hold grudges, continue not holding grudges. You cannot control the behavior of someone else, but you can control how you handle the way they behave with you. Rise above it and resist the urge to get upset if your mother-in-law holds a grudge against you.

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  • Do your best not to get angry. Try to empathize with your mother-in-law, especially if her intrusive behavior isn’t malicious. Maybe she just wants to help or is afraid of losing touch with her child.
  • Asking your mother-in-law for advice from time to time could help her feel important. If you satisfy her needs by asking for advice, she might stop overstepping your boundaries.
  • Put her in her place. Be firm and let her know when she’s crossing the line.

Advertisement Article Summary X To deal with an intrusive, needy mother-in-law, set healthy boundaries that you and your spouse agree on. If your mother-in-law tends to pop over unannounced, tell her that you have a “call ahead” policy for all guests to make sure it’s a convenient time for a visit.

  • Explaining that you ask everyone to do this can help you avoid conflict.
  • When planning visits, use specific times and dates, like telling her “You can come over for lunch at noon, but we have to run errands around 3.” Another way to keep healthy boundaries is to avoid accepting or lending money, which can lead to power struggles and conflicts.

If your spouse doesn’t help you enforce these rules, remind them that they have to have your back. To learn how to stand up for yourself if your mother-in-law disrespects you, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 364,905 times.

Do narcissists care if you ignore them?

How will a narcissist respond if they are ignored? – What happens when you ignore a narcissist? Is it ever a good idea to ignore a narcissist? How do you know that you are defending your worth? How do they feel when you are ignoring a narcissist text? It’s indeed difficult to deal with someone who has this persona.

  • They will have a violent, excessive, and disorderly reaction to the rejection.
  • In a nutshell, they want and will try to create a scene.
  • Simply put, narcissists hate being ignored.
  • They probably want to make you feel ashamed, regretful, and rattled.
  • They want to be in control and will go to any length to keep feeling empowered.

It’s critical to understand that a narcissist will not leave you alone the first time you ignore them. This is the usual narcissist reaction to being ignored. They will treat everything like a game, and they will be ready to conquer and win. If you’ve previously tried to ignore them, they’ll almost certainly use the same tactics to capture your attention again.

What happens when you block a narcissist?

How Does a Narcissist React to Being Blocked? 11 Reactions

  1. Most narcissists will view being blocked as an act of aggression. A blocked narcissist won’t have any ability to silence or control you, which is very important for them. This is highly likely to be an overwhelming and scary feeling for them. As a result, a narcissist is very likely to view your behavior as a deeply serious transgression and a call to arms.
    • Go all the way with full no contact if you’re going to block a narcissist.
    • If you only block them on social media or on your phone, they’re likely to act up on whatever platform they can access.
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  1. Most narcissists will struggle to keep their cool in response to this. They may hurl insults at you, or show up at your house to confront you in person. If they’re really incapable of controlling themselves, they may even threaten you. This is why it’s generally not a good idea to let a narcissist know you’re going to block them ahead of time. Avoid the confrontation by just blocking their number and social media accounts and move on.
    • Don’t respond to any insults or threats. Remember that it’s not your fault that this is happening—you’re doing nothing wrong by cutting them out of your life.
    • If you ever feel like you’re in danger, do not hesitate to contact the police.
  1. If they have a grandiose personality, there’s a chance they’ll dismiss you entirely. For the “I’m better than everyone else” narcissist, being blocked may be extremely confusing. They may think you’re crazy for not wanting them in your life or be lost on what happened to make you cut ties. For these folks, they’re likely to detach from you, pretend they never knew you in the first place, and move on.
    • This is probably a best-case scenario. If you’re dealing with a narcissist who thinks they’re the greatest person of all time, blocking them may be the way to go.
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  1. If you don’t give in, they’ll deny you ever mattered to them. This is a narcissist’s way of avoiding their true feelings about what happened. They may tell people they were only your friend because they felt sorry for you, or refuse to admit that you two were ever close in the first place. This dismissiveness makes them feel better about themselves.
    • At this point, you can take solace knowing they’re probably giving up.
    • They know they have no power over you, so they’re doing the only thing they can—denying.
  1. For a narcissist with poor self-esteem, they may do anything to keep you around. However, any change you see in their behavior is very likely to be fleeting. A narcissist who needs you to worship or adore them will scurry to do whatever they can to keep you around, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to change who they are. You may see a temporary improvement, but don’t bet on them changing for real.
    • For example, if you’ve got a narcissistic friend who yearns for your attention by always playing the victim, they may stop for a week or two.
    • Unfortunately, whatever change they make is highly likely to be short-lived. They’re very likely to start complaining soon enough.
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  1. Narcissists often deflect by trying to turn things around on others. If you’re blocking them after you’ve tried addressing their behavior, they may accuse you of doing the very same thing you’re blocking them for in the first place. Narcissists project their issues on to others when they don’t get what they want, so expect them to start complaining about your behavior once you block them.
    • For example, if you’ve talked to a narcissist about not criticizing your life choices and you block them, they may start telling people you’ve got a problem criticizing others.
  1. Do not expect a narcissist to stay quiet about what went down. You’re very likely to start hearing some lies about yourself. When a narcissist doesn’t get what they want, they’ll look elsewhere for validation. This will usually involve playing the victim card with others by spreading misinformation about how poorly you treated them.
    • They may do this in an effort to draw you out into contacting them. Don’t give them what they want.
    • For example, if you cut off a narcissist because they refused to stop lying to you, they may hop on Facebook or Snapchat and go on rants about you’re a compulsive liar.
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  1. An especially vindictive narcissist will try to turn others against you. They’re not going to be happy about you blocking them, and they may try to convince your friends and family that you’re toxic (or even narcissistic yourself). This may hurt, but if your mutual friends or family members are understanding, a simple explanation may put an end to this.
    • If you prefer, you can just let friends and family know that you’re putting a moratorium on any questions about what happened with the narcissist.
    • If you don’t want to get a ton of questions about what happened, you may want to consider cutting off mutual contacts whom you aren’t close with.
  1. With an especially vindictive narcissist, they may try to get back at you. If you work together, they might file a claim with HR to try and get you fired. If you go to the same school, they may try getting you in trouble with your favorite teacher. As hurtful as this behavior may be, try to remember that this says more about them than you. If their claims are unfounded, don’t worry. Nothing should come of this.
    • The trick here is to refuse to engage. Let them make themselves look petty and silly by making false accusations and refusing to let it go.
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  1. If they don’t have an angry reaction, they may get desperate. Cutting a narcissist off may cause them to start pleading and begging. They might promise to change, or offer to get you a gift or something like that in exchange for not cutting them off. Don’t buy it. Stick to your guns and refuse to let it go—any promises they make now are just going to be empty.
    • This is often a last-ditch effort to keep you around, but they’re unlikely to keep their word here.
    • If their initial reaction to being blocked is fury and now they’ve suddenly changed their tune, it’s an especially big sign they don’t mean it.
  1. Blocking a narcissist is not the move if you want them to improve. If your goal here is to get the narcissist to realize what they’ve been doing wrong, blocking them is unlikely to work. Instead, your best bet is to set healthy boundaries, address their behavior empathetically, and try to get them some support.
    • This isn’t to say that you should 100% never block a narcissist—that may indeed be the best option for your mental health and overall happiness.
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Ask a Question Advertisement Co-authored by: Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor This article was co-authored by and by wikiHow staff writer,, Jay Reid is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in private practice in San Francisco, CA.

  • He specializes in helping clients who have survived a narcissistic parent or partner.
  • Treatment focuses upon helping clients identify and challenge self-diminishing beliefs as a result of narcissistic abuse.
  • Jay holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MS in Clinical Psychology from Penn State University.

This article has been viewed 44,697 times.

  • Co-authors: 5
  • Updated: June 6, 2022
  • Views: 44,697

Categories: Medical Disclaimer The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional before starting, changing, or stopping any kind of health treatment.

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 44,697 times. : How Does a Narcissist React to Being Blocked? 11 Reactions

Will a narcissist ignore you if you ignore them?

Why a Narcissist Ignores You: They Enjoy It – Another reason why a narcissist ignores you is that they enjoy it. Narcissists seek validation and praise. This is called narcissistic supply. And, a narcissist’s need for supply can never be filled. They will continue to seek it and find means to get it.

They often start by lavishing you with attention and praise and enjoy the feeling of receiving it in return. As your relationship with them lengthens, they will continue to escalate their behavior to get that supply from you. Ignoring you is one of these tactics. They want a narcissistic supply by you chasing them, asking for forgiveness, and being upset about their behavior.

Your reaction to being ignored brings them pleasure. These are all forms of narcissistic supply and feeling this way is why a narcissist ignores you.

What happens when a narcissist realizes they can’t control you?

Download Article Download Article Since narcissists crave control, you may be worried about how they’ll react when they lose it. It’s time you take your power back, and we’re here to help you. We’ll tell you how a narcissist typically reacts when they can’t control you, as well as how and why they act controlling.

  • A narcissist is likely to be enraged when they begin to lose control. They may lash out at you, go on a smear campaign, or purposefully ignore you.
  • They may also lovebomb you to reel you back in. Their main goal is to get your attention, provoke a response, and regain power.
  • Lean on family, friends, and support professionals if you need help leaving a relationship with a narcissist.
  • To maintain your own power, go no contact or use the grey rock method.
  1. 1 They’ll likely lash out in anger. When you pull away, a narcissist sees it as an act of aggression. In response, they’ll often fly into a narcissistic rage. It’s totally unfair to you that they’re acting this way, so try not to take it personally. Protect yourself by keeping your distance from this person.
    • They might yell or call you names.
    • If they send you aggressive text messages, block them if you can. They’re just saying whatever they think will hurt you.
  2. 2 They’ll often go on a smear campaign. Narcissists are happy to spread rumors and lies—even if they know the stories aren’t true. When they realize they can’t control you anymore, they’ll may decide to punish you by ruining your reputation or turning people against you.
    • Tell people your side of the story so they have both perspectives. They might not believe you right away, but people may eventually see through the narcissist’s lies.


  3. 3 They’ll lie about what happened and blame you. A narcissist is incapable of accepting responsibility for what they’ve done. Once they realize you’re done with them, they’ll tell everyone that you’re the one who messed up. They may even blame you for things they did. You can’t control what people think, but trust that the people who care about you will be there for you.
    • A narcissist might blame you for stealing credit for a work assignment, even though they’re the one who took your idea.
    • They might claim that you make everything about you, when they’re the one who’s always making it about them.
  4. 4 They’ll probably try to trigger you. Narcissists love to provoke an emotional response in you so they can make it look like you’re the one who blows up. They’ll lie to you, call you names, or set you up for disappointment, hoping that you’ll explode. They want you to yell or storm off, so don’t give them the satisfaction. Instead, count to 10, breathe deeply, or go to your happy place,
    • They might ask you to meet at 2:00 p.m. but show up at 3:00 p.m. so you’ll be frustrated and upset.
    • Similarly, they may tell you something they know will upset you, hoping you’ll boil over.
    • When they do these things, they’ll usually stay calm so that it looks like your anger is unwarranted. In reality, they’ve pushed all of your buttons.
  5. 5 They might love bomb you to get you back under control. Narcissists won’t tolerate you walking away from them. Because of this, they may try to lure your back by switching up their tactics. When they love bomb you, they’ll shower you with compliments, idealize you, and focus all their attention on you. Just ignore their efforts to suck you back in because they’ll just mistreat you again.
    • If they try love bombing you, they’ll suddenly be really nice to you. They may even say things like, “I really care about you,” or “I can’t imagine life without you. I’ll do anything.” They don’t really mean it, though.
    • They’ll usually stop trying to charm you after you go back to the way things were before. They just want to feel in control again.
  6. 6 They may try to humiliate you publicly. Embarrassment is a common way narcissists punish. They’ll be happy to share your secrets with others, and they’ll enjoy making cruel jokes at your expense. When you get upset, they’ll say something dismissive like, “I was just joking,” or “I’m only teasing.” Instead of getting upset, ask them to explain why the story or joke is funny to keep them on their toes.
    • “I don’t get the joke. Why is that funny?”
    • “Wow, I never saw that as a funny story. Why does it amuse you?”
  7. 7 They’ll probably try to ruin special moments, like holidays. A narcissistic family member, friend, or partner can wreak havoc on your special occasions. They’ll start fights, show up late, and spread gossip. They may even pretend to forget your birthday or might refuse to give you your gift. If this happens, consider spending the holidays without them.
    • Gather with your other friends or family members.
    • Plan a special holiday or birthday trip for yourself or your friend group.
    • Spend your birthday at a spa.
  8. 8 They may ignore you and pretend they don’t care. Attention is super important to a narcissist, so they may decide that pulling away from you is the best way to punish you. They may focus their attention on other people as they pretend that you’re not in their life at all.
    • Deep down inside, it’s driving them nuts that you’re taking back your control. They want to make you upset, so try not to let their antics get to you.
  9. 9 They might try to break your confidence. Narcissists don’t want to see you strong and independent. Because of this, they might increase their insults to make you feel bad. They could even tell you that people are gossiping behind your back. You already know this person is toxic, so dismiss whatever they tell you because it’s probably not true.
    • You might nod and say, “Thanks for the tip,” or “I hadn’t heard that.” Then, change the subject.
  10. 10 They may even threaten you. In some cases, narcissistic rage can get dangerous. You might not need to worry, but take their threats seriously and put your safety first. Here’s how you might handle the situation.
    • A family member or friend: Limit or cut off your contact with them. Additionally, tell your family and friends what’s going on with this person, and notify the police if you think they might act on the threats.
    • A partner: Make a safety plan with your family and friends. Then, start taking steps to get out of the relationship,
    • A coworker: Talk to your supervisor or human resources representative about what’s going on. You might say, “I’m feeling unsafe because Alex sent me this disturbing text message,” or “I’m worried because Sami just threatened me.” They can help you stay safe at work.
  11. 11 They might resort to stalking you. While it’s less common, narcissists sometimes retaliate by following and harassing you. Not only will they show up to your favorite places, they’ll also send you tons of texts and leave you messages. They may even post your private information, including revealing photos, online.
    • Report this type of behavior to the police immediately so you can keep yourself safe. They can advise you on the laws in your area.
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  1. 1 They start by love bombing you, but then they pull away. At first, a narcissist showers you with attention and possibly even gifts. They’ll compliment you to make you feel wonderful. Once you get used to the high they give you, they’ll withdraw that affection. When this happens, you’ll do anything to get the love bombing back.
    • In a relationship with a narcissist, the initial stage of idealization is very intense. They make you feel incredibly flattered, and convince you quite quickly that you are soulmates.
    • They’ll say things like, “You’re the most wonderful person I’ve ever met,” or “You’re the only one I’ve ever truly loved.”
    • Anyone can fall for a narcissist because love bombing is so seductive.
  2. 2 They’ll lie and gaslight you, Narcissists will say anything to get what they want. They’ll often use lies to make you question yourself and your sanity, which is called gaslighting. By lying, they can draw you into their world and make you doubt your own thoughts. Once this happens, it’s easier for them to manipulate you.
    • They might say things like, “That didn’t happen,” “No, what I said was this,” or “You’re overthinking things.”
    • You shouldn’t feel bad about believing a narcissist’s lies because it can happen to anyone. They’re taking advantage of your good nature.
  3. 3 They’ll often belittle you to lower your confidence. A narcissist wants to keep you coming back to them, and they want to feel like they’re superior to you. To achieve this, they’ll make fun of you, reveal “flaws” they’ve noticed in you, and call you names. They’re trying to make you feel like they’re the only person who will care about you, which is just not true.
    • They’ll say stuff like, “This skirt really slims out your wide hips,” or “I don’t know why people think you’re annoying. I like you.”
    • Reach out to your friends or family so they can remind you how amazing you are.
  4. 4 They’ll use guilt and shame to wear you down. A narcissist sees the goodness inside of you, and they want to exploit it. They’ll try to make you feel sorry for them so you’ll give them whatever they want. All of this is part of their game to keep you under their control. Try to remind yourself that you aren’t responsible for anyone else, especially not someone who’s using you.
    • They may say, “You weren’t there for me when I needed you,” or “You made me cry last night.”
    • You could respond with, “I’m sorry that happened.” Then, change the subject.
  5. 5 They might throw a tantrum when they don’t get what they want. You might feel like you’re dealing with a toddler when a narcissist is disappointed. They’ll call you names, accuse you of things you didn’t do, or claim that they’re having an emotional crisis. All of this is meant to make you shift into a defensive mode so you’ll give into them. Instead, offer them some quiet time to calm down.
    • “I can see you’re really upset. I’m going to give you some space to work through your feelings.”
    • “I understand how you feel. Let’s take a break so you can process this.”
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  1. 1 They see you as a character in their story. Narcissists live in their own world where they’re the star. Because of this, it feels natural for them to manage your life and emotions. They don’t see you as an independent person with your own hopes and dreams. Instead, they regard you as a “second class” person relative to themselves.
    • When you take back your control, it’s a threat to this world they’ve created. That’s why they lash out so much.
  2. 2 They feel entitled. Narcissists think they’re special, which means they deserve VIP treatment. They expect to get everything they want, so they’re shocked when someone tells them “no.” It’s unthinkable to them that you wouldn’t just give them whatever they want.
    • Narcissists even expect you to know what they want even when they don’t tell you. They set an impossible bar to meet.
  3. 3 They’re afraid of abandonment. While narcissists often seem confident, deep down inside they worry they aren’t good enough. They fear losing everyone, so they manipulate people to stay in control. None of this is your fault, but they may try to make you feel guilty.
    • Ironically, their behavior is pushing people away. It’s really sad, but that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice your own happiness for theirs.
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  1. 1 Go no-contact if you can. It’s very unlikely that a narcissist will change, so protect yourself by cutting off all contact. Stop going to places you think you’ll run into them, and block them on your phone and social media accounts. If you stick to it, you’ll be able to quickly regain your independence from them.
    • You may need to block mutual friends if they start to talk to you on the narcissist’s behalf.
  2. 2 Go grey rock with people you can’t cut off. You may not be able to go no-contact with someone if you share kids with them, they’re a close relative, or you work together. With the grey rock technique, you act really boring so the narcissist gets tired of you. Here’s how you do it:
    • Keep your interactions short.
    • Keep your face neutral.
    • Hold your arms at your sides.
    • Stop sharing personal information.
    • Only talk about required topics, like your kids, an upcoming holiday, or a work project.
  3. 3 Set boundaries. Your boundaries are your expectations for a relationship—what you will and won’t accept. Sit down with the narcissist and tell them what you want them to stop doing, as well as what will happen if they violate your boundary. Don’t worry about explaining yourself because you don’t need a reason to ask for respect. You might set these boundaries :
    • “If you call me names, I’m ending the conversation.”
    • “I’ll only talk to you if you speak at a moderate volume.”
    • “I’m going to end the meeting if you bring up my personal life.”
    • “I only want to talk if it’s about the kids.”
  4. 4 Make your own decisions. Narcissists love to make choices for you, but they don’t have your best interests at heart. You don’t need approval from anyone but yourself. Do what makes you happy and decide what’s right for you because it’s your life.
    • If the narcissist tries to convince you otherwise, say, “This feels right to me,” or “I hear you, but I’m going to stick with my original decision.”
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Some narcissists can become cruel or dangerous when they go into a narcissistic rage. Always put your safety first and distance yourself from someone who’s abusive.

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How does a narcissist react when they can’t control you?

Narcissists also gaslight or practice master manipulation, weakening and destabilizing their victims; finally, they utilize positive and negative emotions or moments to trick others. When a narcissist can’t control you, they’ll likely feel threatened, react with anger, and they might even start threatening you.