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.
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?
- 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.
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?
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.