Thoughts on this post? Share them with me on Facebook, join the SPANily or Tweet me at @angieatkinson. ~Angie

So, you want to know how to expose a narcissist in your life, right? And my guess is that you feel this way because you want to show everyone around you that it’s really NOT you – that you’re not the crazy one.3 steps to expose a narcissist

You’re tired by now, am I right? You are tired of being the one who everyone “worries about” or “feels sorry for,” or worse – the one everyone thinks is pure evil, thanks to the lies and half-truths the narcissist spreads about you.

You’re tired of “taking the blame” from the narcissist for everything that goes wrong, real or imagined, and you’re tired of covering up for his lies, indiscretions and general bullshit.

Maybe he’s been on a smear campaign and you’ve just had enough.

Smear Campaigns: Why does the narcissist lie about you to everyone?

He does this, of course, because it helps him to isolate you and gives him more control. He constantly puts your credibility into question with his gaslighting, manipulation tactics, smear campaigns and even with the use of his various flying monkeys.

So listen – I feel you. I have been right where you are – heck, I have even felt the need to give a narcissist a taste of his own medicine now and again. Who hasn’t, right? We’re all human, after all.

But, before we get into the thick of it, let me just put this out there: sometimes, the best solution is to just walk away – the narcissist will eventually expose himself to anyone he allows to be close to him. You’ll see the tell-tale eye rolls, feel the tension and hear the strained tones and fake cheer in the voices of anyone who has been exposed to his true self.

Even his flying monkeys might have their moments of weakness in which they reveal the level of manipulation to which he has subjected them.

Still, if you’re looking for the most effective ways to expose a narcissist and force him to show his true colors to those around him, look no further. These are exactly the steps you need to take to help others see the true face of the narcissist.

How to Expose a Narcissist in 3 Steps

Here are the three fail-proof steps to expose a narcissist.

1. Expose a Narcissist By Understanding What You’re Dealing With: Educate Yourself on Narcissism.

I always say that knowledge is power – and in this case, that couldn’t be truer. You need to understand the concept of toxic narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder before you can expect to help anyone else understand who and what you’re dealing with. So, educate yourself on the symptoms of NPD, the causes, the effects of narcissistic abuse on its victims, the longer-term and more serious ones included.  Find out how doctors diagnose NPD. Learn what manipulation tactics are common to most narcissists, and take some time to understand how to manage and cope with those behaviors.

While you’re at it, make sure your self-esteem is unbreakable, because if you know anything about a narcissist, you know that they fight dirty, and they don’t concern themselves with the emotions or well-being of others, especially when it doesn’t serve them to do so. And if anyone threatens their illusion and inflated sense of self, as you’re about to do when you expose them for who they are, they’ll stop at nothing to get what they want.

So be prepared.

2. Expose a Narcissist by Stopping Helping the Narcissist Hide: No More Excuses.

You probably don’t even realize that you’re doing it, but after you’ve been involved with a narcissist for awhile, you fall into certain co-dependent habits. You find yourself coddling him, accepting certain conditions and behaviors out of habit. So one simple way to make a narcissist show his true colors is to literally just stop helping him hide them.

Don’t make excuses when he flakes out on your plans with others, and don’t cover for him in any way when the mask begins to break away. You may find this incredibly uncomfortable at first, but it’s a very effective way to open the eyes of the people around the narcissist.

3. Pull the Trigger on Exposing a Narcissist By Being Honest: Telling It Like It Is.

This one’s really pretty simple. In order to expose a narcissist, you simply tell it like it is. Just say something that triggers narcissistic behavior and don’t take it back. That’ll cause him to expose himself, because he won’t be able to hold back if you don’t do your customary two-step around the issue to help him save face.

Tip: Be strong – you’ll need a will of steel to be able to stick it out here – especially if you’re in a toxic codependent relationship.

But if you’re going to do it, do it right. Think about what kinds of things typically trigger the narcissist’s rages and boldly use those to your advantage – but be fearless or it won’t work. Don’t feel bad about it – this is literally you turning his own behaviors back on him. How often has he said and done these kinds of manipulative statements to you?

For example:

  • A statement or fact that contradicts the narcissist’s inflated perception of his/her grandiose self. (i.e. “I thought you said you got a promotion – I’m shocked you’re still driving that old beater! You must really have a lot of expenses.”
  • Any open criticism, disagreement or blatant exposure of fake achievements, made up stories or other lies and deceptions.
  • Belittling the “talents and skills” the narc believes or pretends that he has (i.e. “your rap skills need to go back to the 80s!”).
  • A statement that would indicate that he’s “less than,” somehow “not good enough,” in any way controlled, owned or dependent upon someone else – even you (i.e. “I don’t know what you’d do without me!”).
  • Describe the narcissist as average and common, “just like all the others “(i.e. “You’re a typical woman. All women are crazy” or “Men are pigs – you’re just another oinker in the pigpen of life.”)
  • Any indication that the narcissist is weak. (i.e. “Oh, let me help you! You’re clearly in need. You’re (insert adjective here – weak, slow, lazy, in any way not perfect)! Poor thing!”)

Why This Works to Expose a Narcissist

See, the narcissist literally believes he is different and better than everyone else – that he is so special, in fact, that other people should recognize this and treat him accordingly. So, while he’s really good at making people believe he’s cool, fun, laid back, or whatever he’s trying to make them think, the truth is that the best possible way to expose him is to simply make him do it himself.

When you use the three steps I outlined above, you will almost definitely expose the narcissist and make everyone see who he really is – and fast. But be prepared for the very strong reaction that is sure to come from the narcissist – it will come and it will be unpleasant. But if you’re prepared, you’ll be able to handle it.

Related: This free toolkit might help – it’s called PERK: Post-Emergency Gaslighting Kit.

One Last Thing: Before You Try This At Home

Honestly, while exposing the narcissist to the people in his life may help some of them to get a clue and stop allowing themselves to be his narcissistic supply, it’ll only temporarily slow the narcissist down.

In fact, it’ll give him the proper fuel he needs to get his next supply on the line – his very own savior. Because, of course, in his version of the story, you’ll be just the crazy bitch who was so mean and hateful to him and who tried to make his family and friends hate him.

You feel me? It’s a cycle.

Exposing the narcissist is not worth it – it will only further serve to make you miserable.

The best and only solution to dealing with this kind of person and remaining or becoming happy in your life is to take back your power and choose to create the life you really want, with or without the narcissist – most likely, without. Going no contact or low contact is statistically the most successful way to do it and the only “sure-thing” kind of answer you can find.

Here are some helpful videos on exposing a narcissist to their family and friends.

What do you think? Have you ever made a narcissist expose himself? What were the results? 

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14 Responses to How to Expose a Narcissist: 3 Easy Steps to Bring Out a Narcissist’s True Colors

  1. Yes. I ‘exposed’ my narc mom – who for years, since I moved away from home – far away – has made up lies about me; gossiped about me; tried to turn my own twin brother & older sis against me! However, it has not worked! I still love my sis & bros. & we love each other….period. But, I DID get HIT when I made the ‘intentional’ comment while visiting relatives that ‘I didn’t feel Loved as a child’ by my mom…..SHe got ‘wind of this’ – as I KNEW she would – (my relatives are mostly dysfunctional) and LOVE to gossip….So, I knew it was only a matter of time – then, the S****t hit the fan…..She complained LOUDLY to my sis….crying how I am an ‘ingrate’ for all the sacrifices she has made on her my behalf as a child, etc. I am NOT buying into the ‘rage’ this time….I have gone “No Contact’ & feel I am healing – despite the horrible memories & pain of emotional abuse & neglect on a support basis….all my childhood. Oh, I was fed properly, dinner each night w/family, etc. But LOTS of gaslighting, scapegoating of me….ALL my childhood. I cried alot…And, she would say, ‘Oh, you’re too sensitive’ or some such. Which I now know to be ‘gaslighting’ techniques….I am so glad I have read/researched this – as I am not as affected as I used to be….but, re-gaining my whole self has not been easy…..Still a work in progress! But, now I love me & know my true worth~

  2. Folks, just know there is a ‘light at the end of the freakin’ tunnel’….

  3. These are very good tips, I believe they also help break the co – dependent reactions. It helps re affirm what a NARC truly is. I had a situation where my N raged in front of one of his employees, I simply responded ” he does that when he doesn’t get his way”

  4. Yes I did this on Friday night!
    He’s been cheating on me for the last year!
    I moved out in Nov but we still stayed in contact as he helped me.
    We fell out just before Xmas as he went to see my friend whose ex he used to be friends with but when his friendship went down the pan, he decided he would befriend his ex wife instead and bearing in mind, this ex friend is the one I stood by all the time she was struggling when she left her husband and even had an impact on my relationship at the time because of them being friends (if that makes sense)
    Anyway!
    Just before Xmas, I caught him cuddling this young woman on his sofa so I went and told her bf who was at home babysitting HER kids! Obviously he wasn’t too keen on believing me but I must have planted some seed in his head because he called her straight away and she went home!
    My ex was furious with me but I didn’t care because all my suspicions were true!
    Anyway, NYE I felt sorry for him so invited him out with myself and some friends.
    It didn’t end great because he got beaten up by somebody and all because he provoked him twice!
    I spent all night at A & E with him and then even offered for him to stay at mine until he was feeling better!
    When I went to his house on NYD to feed the cat and get some bits, I noticed the presents this woman had bought him! I was shocked!
    She had bought him an aftershave gift set, a cushion that had arms to hug him and a masturbator!!!
    Anyway, to cut a long story short, he knew how it made me feel and reassured me he wouldn’t see her again!
    Two weeks later on a Saturday, he told me he had popped out and was ignoring my texts! I discovered he was out with her again while her partner was at work!
    I told him I didn’t want anything to do with him!
    Last Thursday, I saw this old friend of his outside the pub!
    He was informed by someone that they had seen us and I git so much abuse that night!
    He kept demanding that I tell him why I met him and what we talked about!
    He even told my friend that I had met her ex husband and she fell out with me. She told me how it had ruined our friendship because I met her ex that mentally and physically abused her!
    So I calmly reminded her that she has stood by my ex the whole time so what difference did it make for me to be talking to her ex for 10 minutes and who I didn’t have a friendship with!
    On Friday, I decided to tell my fb where my ex’s family are in there still, that this girl bought him A masturbator for Xmas!
    He obviously found out and was outraged. He put on his fb that I wasn’t to be trusted and that I was saying nasty things about him and if people had us both as friends then to delete one of us!
    Out of 30 odd family members, only 2 deleted me!
    He turned up here that very day wth his mum ( their relationship had repulsed me for years), they dumped all my stuff outside my house and even she was very angry but yet 15 years after she split from her husband (he cheated on her) she is still the most bitter person you could ever meet!
    Somebody showed me what he had put but I was quite amused by it because all these people were complete strangers, he’s never met them for a drink and he’s never talked about them. Even when we were friends on fb, these people never commented on anything so I wasn’t upset because these people didn’t know me or anything about me or my relationship with this cretin.
    His family are totally aware of what he’s done because they know he’s done it before, they’re happy for me and that I’ve moved on!
    He has blocked me on his phone, WhatsApp and fb so I have blocked him too and also on instagram and twitter!
    I’m thinking he won’t contact me again but I can’t put anything past him but I know for me, justice has been served.

  5. I was in a relationship with a narc for over 5 years. He would stop at nothing to have control….stalking, accusations, physical and emotional abuse and name calling. My torturer is 57 years old and has a good job in sales. He puts on the charm for his clients, but to those closest to him….me,his ex, his kids….look out. He is always the victim, while at the same time, the person making the threats. He started showing up at places I didn’t expect him recently, which really scared me.

    As a piece of advice, I will tell you what I did…I walked away. I went to my local police and let them know what was going on. They told me that I should write a letter of no contact…:send certified…then provide them with the letter and proof he received it. If he contacts me, they will arrest him. I had to be specific in my letter that he was ordered not to contact my employer, ex boyfriends, my parents, etc. as he would stop at nothing to damage my reputation with others in order to make himself look good.

    When he received the letter he immediately violated the no contact by calling me and threatening my reputation. This is what narcs do when their control is taken away.

    He said he wanted his engagement ring back, which I had no problem with because it was the last thing he could hold over my head. I said I would meet him at the police station and give it to him with them as witnesses. This drove him crazy. He atarted threatening me with legal actions, mentioning a specific attorney. I dropped the ring off with the police, they logged it in as evidence for him to pick up, and I promptly wrote a letter to the attorney he mentioned, including the receipt from the police and there whole text conversation in which he kept threatening to have the constable show up at my work to get his ring. This attorney is someone he dealt with for work and I suspected he hadn’t retained him to come after me for his ring. I just got a formal letter saying that he wasn’t being represented by the attorney on this matter, and everything was copied to the narc. Talk about sweet revenge that shows what a true liar he is.

    By the way, I warned the police that when he came to pick up the ring, he would put on an academy award winning show….and he didn’t disappoint. He was crying, telling them he loves me, asking them to tell me he loves me, and could they possibly transfer the ring back to me as “I deserve to have it”…fortunately they said no, you wanted it, here it is.

    A weight has been lifted, truly, and I’m sure he is suffering.

  6. How can you tell going no contact from narcissistic silence? In other words, how to resist a narcissist without becoming one?

  7. I truly believe the best way to get back at a narc is through exposure. Record and document everything especially if you’re getting a divorce or going through a nasty break up.

  8. Wow, seriously? Exposing a narcissist by being one yourself? The three pieces of advice this article recommends are straight-up abuse. Don’t continue the cycle

    • You’re deluded and obviously a narcissist if you think the 3 items this article recommends are “straight-up abuse.” It never fails to amaze me how narcissists can be so ignorant.

  9. Exposing a narcissist will lead to peace.
    Peace in your life and peace in your mind.
    I was dating one for 4.5 years and one day I finally snapped. The flood gates opened and I pulled off ALL his masks.
    He is now a shell of a person and at times I feel bad then I remember how bad I felt all 4.5 years he was in my life and I smile.
    Karma is real and it really comes when you least expect it.
    Be sure you tell them they are delusional and have a warped perception of reality, be sure to tell them they are lazy, selfish and have never accomplished anything great in their lives. Compare them to ‘the everyday Joe’ and watch them wither up and die.
    They will be scarce once you call it like it really is but you need to be at a point where you MEAN it, don’t just talk the talk, rip the mask and walk away.
    These guys are beyond worthless, empty vessels of bullshit and drama.

    • i Totally..agree..i did expose her narcissist behavior, 2 year after no contact she’s was hoovering me for 2 years…that’s work ..she stop calling me ..and even better she blocked my phone number..it does work
      they..narcissist.. don’t like to be exposed…

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  11. NPD Ex said “I would be a great Financial Advisor.” I said “Who would listen to you, you have bad credit.”

    “Your not God” or “Not above God.”

    “I am not on your schedule, give me the exacttime.”

  12. Please please is there anyone out there who can help me? I got a non molestation order last year , it’s due to run out and am frightened! I signed my house over to him, I gave him every single thing in my home because he urinated over all my clothes I did not want anything that he had touched, there were knives and weapons all over my house (I have photographs) I have witnesses. I am now homeless staying with 3 different friends and family he continues to follow me doing horrible scary things , ive been to police but “not enough evidence” because I was alone, he has sworn at me in the street (I have a witness) also reported this to the police awaiting investigation! Please can someone help me to find somewhere to live , I need to move on I have no bed am sleeping on sofas nearly 1 year on, I am classed as disabled and to add insult to injury I have no money as the benefits were in his name…. I could go on forever but desperately need a friend and some help help help…..

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