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

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

3 steps to expose a narcissistSo, you want to know how to expose a narcissist in your life? 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.

Why would you want to expose the narcissist? 

You might have a few different reasons to expose the narcissist. Maybe 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 manipulative behaviors.

If you suspect someone has narcissistic personality disorder, you may want to warn close friends and relatives. You may want to have evidence of the narcissist’s behavior in case you need it.

Maybe the narcissist in your life has 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 a while, 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 of 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 themselves? What were the results? 

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Did you know? Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

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7 Types of Terribly Toxic Narcissists (#5 is scary!)

7 Types of Terribly Toxic Narcissists (#5 is scary!)

There’s a whole “spectrum” of narcissism, beginning with the healthy kind that looks a lot like self-esteem (and coexists with empathy) and rounding out with the most toxic of the types – the extreme narcissist.

Often, those who might be diagnosed with NPD, the acronym for narcissistic personality disorder (but aren’t because they don’t think there’s anything wrong with them) are the worst – and many times, we see some predictable patterns among them.

With that being said, there are a number of ways that these behaviors and toxic patterns can manifest themselves in people.

So, while it might seem pretty logical to assume that narcissists are all alike since their behaviors seem so similar, they can sometimes slip by even the most trained eye – and that’s because there are various personality types within the so-called spectrum of toxic narcissism.

Today, I’m going to define seven primary types for you – but please note that just like the rest of humanity, no two narcissists are exactly alike – and yours may encompass one or more of these qualities. So let’s do this.

Seven Types of Toxic Narcissists (And How to Deal With Each)

1. The Know-It-All Narcissist

While the know-it-all narcissist might really know a lot, she’s also very pushy with her opinion, which she’s all-too-happy to shell out – no matter if she’s been asked for it (or not).

This narcissist will lecture you all day long – and as long as you don’t expect to actually have a two-way conversation, everything will be fine.

But don’t expect her to listen to you – because though she might be quiet while you talk, she’s just thinking about what she’s going to say next.

How to deal: Politely acknowledge her advice, thank her an then go ahead and do whatever you feel is best. Don’t take anything too seriously, and don’t let yourself feel offended by her uppity behavior – yes, she does think she’s better than you – but in reality, you should probably feel sorry for her.

2. The Daydream Believer

I like to call a narcissist who has the whole “grandiose” thing going on a daydream believer. That’s because he will almost always see himself as someone who MATTERS more than other people.

He figures he’s more important, somehow, and expects other people to recognize that and treat him accordingly. He will always exaggerate his own accomplishments and loves to think people are envying him or admiring him.

He believes that he is meant to be something BIG, and if these qualities are combined with a certain amount of charisma and a strong sense of ambition, he may actually succeed on some level – and you might find yourself very drawn to him.

How to deal: The daydream believer might bring out your sense of competition or sense of justice – don’t let yourself get caught up in it. If you do, he will just increase his desire to be better than you and his efforts to match. Don’t let yourself be too affected by his charms – they will quickly drop once he’s got you in his clutches. Remember that he won’t do anything to help you unless there’s something in it for him – and don’t allow yourself to become dependent on him if you can avoid it – he’s one who will discard you like last year’s pumps – and without a second thought.

3. The Seductor/Seductress

The seductor or seductress is a very different kind of toxic narcissist. (We’re going to use the feminine form here from this point forward, but please note this can manifest in males as well).

She’s the kind of person who makes you feel amazing about yourself at first – she seems to admire you, and even to sort of idealize you.

The seductress will make you feel like you’re someone important – someone special who matters. But the dark side of this one is that her intent is to seduce you into feeling that way about HER.

She knows that when you love her and depend on her a little bit, you will support her. You’ll grow to admire her. She will use blatant admiration, physical affection and flattery to get what she wants – but once you’re no longer useful to her, she will drop you like a hot rock.

How to deal: Enjoy the flattery if you must – but know what it really is. Don’t allow yourself to be swayed by the seductress – even if it feels really good at first. Keep your eye on how she treats people around her – such as those she might feel competitive with. You might find that watching how she treats them gives you a glimpse into your potential future, who knows? And listen to how she talks about her exes – if she swears they’re all crazy/stalkers/evil – there’s probably something to be concerned about. Narcissists are great at victim-playing to get what they want – especially the seductress.

4. The Bully

You know the bully, right? He’s probably the kid who beat you up after school back in third grade, all grown up. But he might also look a lot like the mean girl from high school, or the jock who gave everybody wedgies when he felt saucy.

As an adult, he might look like a regular person, but he needs to elevate himself by humiliating others and making them feel bad about themselves. Sure, he might also be a daydream believer or a know-it-all, but he’s also something else: a big jerk.

Yeah, I said it. The bully will treat people around him with disdain and contempt when he doesn’t get what he wants – and he is NOT nice when he asserts his superiority (which, of course, is as often as possible). He needs you to feel bad about yourself because it’s the only thing that helps his ridiculously low self-esteem feel less painful – but he would never admit this, even to himself.

Where the seductress will use sex and her charms to get what she wants from you, the bully will push you, pressure you, and downright threaten you to get what he wants. In extreme cases, he may even threaten (or actually use) physical harm* if you refuse to comply.

He will relentlessly mock you and belittle you to the point that you might start thinking you’re not even worth the oxygen you’re allowed to breathe – he will do a number on your self-esteem.

*Important: If you’re being physically or sexually abused, you’re not in the right place right now – so stop reading immediately, visit this page and get some help – not kidding. Run, don’t walk!

How to deal: If you’re not in a position to go no-contact (an ideal solution), then your next best bet is to shine this guy on. So don’t do anything that would injure his ginormous ego – don’t directly challenge him. If you’re going to withstand this guy’s attacks, you need to be very strong in your sense of self-esteem – and you need to know that you don’t require validation from the outside of yourself. So, if you’ve got to deal with a bullying narcissist on the regular, work on your pokerface and practice your gray-rock technique. Just be careful to take care of yourself so you don’t end up dissociating.

5. The Evil One

Okay, so a bullying narcissist, up to this point, has been our most toxic in the list. But now we’ve reached the pinnacle of all narcissists – one I’m calling “the Evil narcissist,” and this one’s the kind that you should avoid at all costs.

The evil narcissist is a whole other kind of animal. While she may have qualities of all the other kinds of narcissists listed above, especially the bullying narcissist, the evil one will literally attempt to destroy you if you somehow pose a threat to her.

Maybe you made her feel like you were challenging her “superiority” somehow, or that you’re succeeding in some way she isn’t – or she’s just threatened by you for some reason or another.

Even if you’re never made aware of her feelings, she may proceed to methodically and intentionally try to ruin your life.

She’ll spread lies about you to everyone you know, and she might even attempt to cause trouble for you at work. If you’ve been married to her and have kids together, she’ll do anything she can to turn them against you and keep them from you – or she’ll walk away without a second thought.

How to deal: If you can, get away as quickly as possible. The evil narcissist isn’t capable of any sort of healthy relationship and the longer you stick around, the higher your chances of having your life completely ruined will go. A scary thing about the evil narcissist is that she’s often a better actor than the rest – so many people in her life will have no idea who she “really is,” at least when it comes to who she is behind closed doors – and this can even include family members, who might also be used as flying monkeys – so beware.

Important to Know: In the case of the evil narcissist, you can’t be too careful when it comes to the legalities of it all – so keep copies of all toxic emails, texts and other kinds of communication. And keep in touch with anyone who might have seen the narcissistic behavior in action – you may need them to make a statement on your behalf if the evil one causes any legal problems in your life. Don’t be afraid to lawyer up, and early, if necessary.

6. The Addict

The addict narcissist is exactly what he sounds like – he uses drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, sex – or whatever else he finds pleasurable – to find fulfillment.

This kind of narcissist will often encompass other qualities listed above, but not always – sometimes, they’re just openly selfish, and other times, they’ll willingly steal from, trick or otherwise scam people who love them so they can get their drug of choice.

This is a dangerous narcissist because the addict often deals with dangerous people – and because he doesn’t care if you get your rent paid or feed your kid – he’ll steal your last dollar if it means getting a “fix” of whatever makes him feel good. A lot of co-dependent issues arise when an addict narcissist is involved.

How to deal: Watch your back, and don’t even give the addict the illusion of trust. If you can, go no-contact, and fast. There’s almost no fixing the addict unless he manages to actually work on recovery and get some serious therapy. If you’re co-parenting with an addict, keep records and document everything – and get some counseling and legal representation while you’re at it. Protect yourself and your kids.

7. The Victim

The “victim” narcissist is also called the “covert” narcissist. He’s a master manipulator, but he differs from other narcissists because he seems to be almost an introvert.

Sadly, for a “poor me” kinda narcissist, it all comes down to one thing: he actually hates himself. He thinks it’s going to be possible to hate himself BETTER, somehow.

Though he continues to demonstrate the behavior that he loathes, the covert narcissist is powerless to control his thoughts – and his deep inner conscience is NOT okay with the person he is or has become.

He judges HIMSELF more harshly than he judges anyone else, and usually, more harshly than he judges anyone else – but he certainly has what he considers a high standard for his life.

He quietly sticks to this unreasonable standard to the best of his abilities, happy to secretly look down his nose at the people he deems “lesser” than he. Learn more about the covert narcissist.

How to deal: As with any narcissist, watch your back and go no-contact if possible. If not, be prepared to ignore the quietly judgmental gaze and superiorist attitude directed your way – and then just keep doing what you do. If you don’t feed their narcissistic supply, like the rest, they may just get bored and move on.

Do you recognize someone you know in these types of narcissists? Take this quick toxic relationship self-assessment to find out if you are dealing with a narcissist in a toxic relationship. You’ll be given resources for your situation at the conclusion of your test. 

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This is the Big Secret About Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

This is the Big Secret About Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Your version of yourself or a narcissistsSo you’ve made the choice to end your relationship with a narcissist. Or maybe the choice was made for you. I want to tell you to feel amazing about that right now. But first, let me tell you this – I know it hurts. And that’s okay; it’s going to get better. I promise you.

However the relationship ended, you’re working on recovery from the narcissistic abuse you’ve been suffering.

From gaslighting to playing the victim to flying monkeys and beyond, narcissists know only one thing: they want what they want when they want it, and nothing else will do.

Related Reading: Gaslighting, Love Bombing and Flying Monkeys: The Ultimate Toxic Relationship Survival Guide for Victims and Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse

Research proves that narcissists, regardless of their classification and level of extremity, all share four basic traits – they lack empathy, they are self-centered, have a serious disregard for other people and they are selfish.

I polled several of my narcissism support groups and they agree that this seems consistent with their experiences. How about you?

Back to you: Starting the Healing Process

How to Identify Narcissistic Personality DIsorderThe first thing I want to tell you, whether you’re already gone or you’re planning your escape, is congratulations.

I know that might seem inappropriate at this moment, but try looking at it a new way.

Imagine the level of freedom you can now enjoy. Imagine how you’ll be allowed to make your own decisions, to be the person that you truly want to be.

The Big Secret: Deep Down, You Really Are Who You Want to Be

See, the truth is that the person you want to be is secretly who you really are – so the best way to begin to find yourself and figure out your life after narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship is to indulge in the things you love, the things that make your soul feel alive.

That’s going to help to discover yourself and bring that “true you” up to the surface.

But what if I love to do something I’m no good at? What will that serve?

First of all, you’ll never know until you try.

Plus, you don’t have to be “good at it” to enjoy it; but about now, I’d love it if you could stop feeling like you’re not good enough.

You being “not good enough” is simply a lie you’ve come to believe thanks to the mind-numbing experience of being involved with a narcissist.

A toxic relationship with a narcissist can literally kill youIt’s a narcissist’s nature to tear down the people who are closest to him or her. The narcissist must feel in control, and they must obtain what he considers the appropriate amount of admiration and attention from their various sources of narcissistic supply.

When they get it, he feels validated and he might be the best guy you’ve ever met – or she might be the coolest girl.

Note: Narcissists come in all shapes, sizes, colors and sexes. I’m going to use the “he” pronouns from here on out simply because statistically, narcissists are slightly more likely to be male  (and for ease of reading).

But when the narcissist finds himself spending too much time alone or with a lack of attention and admiration, or he’s directly defied, he becomes a whole other person.

When Narcissistic Rage and Narcissistic Injury Set In

Narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury will set in and the person in the line of fire is most likely to get the brunt of the narcissist’s rage.

In fact, narcissists know very well how to manipulate you; often they’ll play the victim in order to get you on their side (narcissistic injury).

When you fall for it, they might just inadvertently recruit you to become one of their toxic flying monkeys.

Or, if you don’t, you can probably expect the injury to become rage.  And then if you don’t finally comply with serving his needs, the narcissist will likely send a flying monkey your way to do his manipulative bidding.

When you feel weak: How to stay strong in the face of a love bomber

We all know that when a narcissist feels like he’s lost (or might lose) something he wants (yes, I said something, because to a narcissist, people are things), he goes into love bombing mode.

You know, that’s when he places you on a pedestal and makes you feel like you’re perfect and amazing and like no one can compare? And where he suddenly seems humble and sweet and you start thinking maybe he really can change, after all? And then before you know it, he’s back in and you’re back to trying to figure out how to deal with his gaslighting?

Yep. And remember how crazy-making it can all be? Remember that life?

Good. Now You Remember Why You Left.

When you feel weak, you have to remember why you left. Or why you’re planning to leave.

Related: This is why you haven’t already left your narcissist

The gnawing feeling in your stomach when you hear the names you’re called or the horrible way he seems to see you as a person, maybe.

How your entire being, your character and your integrity were called into question for every little “infraction” of the ridiculous  (and often unspoken) rules and double-standards he required of you?

That’s why you left. Or maybe its why you’re leaving – or maybe, it’s just one reason you can stop crying about the narcissist who left you. 

Because now, you are the one who decides what happens. Now it’s all about what you want, what you choose, what you say is best.

ABOVE ALL: Don’t scare yourself into staying

The narcissist is going to try to make you afraid and insecure. They want you to think you can’t live without them and that you can’t do better.

Don’t let that scare you – I know that being in full control of your life might be a little freaky after having been under someone else’s thumb for awhile, but you will very quickly find yourself feeling light and happy in a way that you can’t remember feeling before.

You can do better. I don’t care if your overweight or you’re frumpy or you’re very, very shy – no one deserves the mental and emotional abuse of a narcissist. It’s pure torture and you can do better.

Know that. And remind yourself when you feel weak. You can do this. You can be who you want, and you can take care of yourself. KNOW IT!

Change is hard but you will come out so much happier and more fulfilled.

While your initial reaction to any sort of change is going to be difficult sometimes, this is especially true when it involves separation from someone you’ve spent many years or even months with.

That’s because a lot of times, you literally sort of forget who you are – you’ve become so enmeshed and codependent with your narcissist that you literally don’t know who you’d be without him.

REMEMBER: Your situation and what you’re dealing with now doesn’t make you wrong, less than anyone else or stupid; it makes you human.

People who have not experienced the hell of narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship have absolutely no idea how incredibly it takes over everything in your life.

Before you know it, you are literally putting every single word you say and choice you make through the “narc filter,” which is your understanding of what will and will not upset the narcissist.

Removing the “Narc Filter” From Your Self-Identity

So now that you’ve made the choice to leave, it’s time to begin to shed the narcissist’s version of you and start to create your own perfect version – what you consider the be the best possible version of yourself.

If that means you need to spend a bit of time getting over your relationship first, fine – but set a time limit and stick to it.

And then, you can get on about the business of deciding who you are after you end a relationship with a narcissist.

Ready? Let’s get started together. Here are some resources we can dig into.

Articles & Info on This Site

Books

 

Are you ready to get started on your narcissistic abuse recovery? Let’s Discuss It. I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences and questions on this stuff.

  1. Have you been in and escaped from a narcissistic relationship?
  2. Are you still in one?
  3. What advice would you give someone who is doing what you did (or plan to do)?

Share your thoughts and experiences in one of our narcissistic abuse recovery support groups.

Is your new guy a narcissist? Find out now.

Is your new guy a narcissist? Find out now.

Whether you’re just beginning a relationship with a new guy or it’s just now getting serious, if you’re here reading this article, there’s a chance that things aren’t perfect just yet.  (more…)

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