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So you want to learn how to control a narcissist or someone with borderline personality to control a narcissist

Maybe it sounds a little sneaky, trying to teach you how to control a narcissist, but the fact is that if you’re in a relationship with one, you might need to figure out how to control him or her, especially if you’re the victim of gaslighting or narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury. 

But while you can pretty much rest assured that you’ll never be able to fully control or predict the narcissist’s actions and behavior, you can occasionally use certain tactics to temporarily deal with a situation and potentially avoid arguments or further manipulation. 

How to Control a Narcissist: Use His Narcissism Against Him

The benefit of having studied narcissism and those affected by narcissistic personality disorder for me is that it helps me to both write for you and to deal with the narcissists in my own life. And today, as you’re reading this, the benefit is that I’m going to teach you how to his narcissism against him in order to get what you want from him.

Stroke his ego like it’s a well-groomed cat. 

So, if you’re able to understand how a narcissist’s mind works, you can use his weaknesses and strengths to get what you want from him. For example, every narcissist needs to feel admired and “better” than everyone, so one way to get what you want from a narc is by stroking his ego. 

Related: Learn more about how a narcissist’s mind works. 

One simple way to do this on a consistent basis is to NOTICE every time he does anything that helps you in any way and to act like it made him your hero – then lavish compliments on him. This will make him feel pretty warmly toward you, at least for the moment, so that’s a good way to get what you want from him. 

Point out people who could make him feel threatened. 

Another option is to point out the competition. Since a narcissist needs to feel like he’s the best at everything, if you want him to do something better, you could point out how well another person does it.

For example, if your narcissist refuses to help around the house, you could point out how much your neighbor’s man seems to do around their place and how much she brags on her helpful hubby. 

Done carefully and under the right circumstances, this kind of technique could trigger your narc to, at least temporarily, step up his game. 

But that temporarily part is the key – when it comes to a narcissist, you’ll have to accept that his motivations are different than yours. If you stay in a relationship with one, you’ll need to be prepared for the extreme highs and painful lows that come along with it. 

Want to detoxify your life? Read Take Back Your Life: 103 Highly-Effective Strategies to Snuff Out a Narcissist’s Gaslighting and Enjoy the Happy Life You Really Deserve.

Kiss his proverbial butt at all costs. 

When it comes to a relationship with a narcissist, the truth is that no matter what you do, he’s always going to find something wrong and something to rage about. 

He can’t help it – it’s just part of what makes him who he is. So, if you want to get something from a narcissist, do your best to walk on eggshells during the time leading up to your request. Kiss butt, do whatever you need to do. 

(I don’t know about you, but this all seems like way too much of a pain in the butt to deal with! I’d much rather learn how to snuff out the gaslighting in the first place, assuming I can’t just walk away.)

You might have to live with it, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to accept it – there are plenty of ways to deal with the manipulation and abuse that comes with these kinds of relationships. The most highly-recommended, of course, is the whole no contact thing – but that’s not always possible for everyone. 

So, what about you? Are you in a relationship with a narcissist, and if so, do you deal with these kinds of manipulation? How do you get what you want from your narcissist, if you do? Share your thoughts below – I’d love to discuss this with you. 

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23 Responses to Take Back Your Life: How to Control a Narcissist

  1. My tactic is the “no contact”. My sister is the narcissist in my world. My dad was Peter pan syndrome narcissist and he passed away in July. What a relief, as my sister had him totally in her clasp! She lived with my dad so I did see her at times but I would not speak to her so I could avoid her web. I can’t have a relationship with her children either as she has them all wound up in her web. She has many people convinced that I am a horrible person so I try to lay low and avoid her world. I’m ” jealous” of her according to her. Ahhhhh!
    We got along fairly well until greed set in for her. She wanted dad’s house and her narcissism spiraled exponentially after that! There was the 3 of us and 7 step siblings that she had to get around so she gaslighted our parents. Dad would take her word over the 10 of us! Now dad is gone and mom is in a home for dementia, so we have little to deal with her and hers now. Big relief. But very sad. Her 15 year old almost succeeded in a suicide attempt last year which can be attributed to gaslighting. Very sad.

    • sounds very familiar! I have an ex and share a child with him> He’s turned his wife and her family against me. Now my 10 year old that is involved. My ex is making him “a Minnie me” so to speak. I continuous get questioned about my life. And trying to turn my son against me. I continue to keep speaking to my child but I feel like he is buying into material things. I am at a lost sometimes!

      • I know exactly what you are dealing with its hurtful and very frustratkng. I was the only employed one for the first 6 years with the father of my two youngest he was stay at home dad where i worked didnr have short term disability so a week after delivery of my daughter at age 35 and diabetic back to work i go she passed away at 6 weeks old from SIDS exactly year later gave birth to youngest son same senario we had to move to bigger house my little house would let us have any space it was my house my father bought for me and my oldest shen moved out sold it on contract my mothers name on contract cause ger name on deed we were gonna use paymdnt for our rent that was 500 on other house but it went to my worthless brother for a new pickup and camper cause he gets depressed so found baby daddy a job 25 miles from where we luved really good job i was currently enrolked in nursing school and doing well life was looking up he didnt have liscence for first year he was there so i drove him back and gorth he was employed through temp agency so pay was thaf great but was to geg full time at 75000 soon he worked overtime every day i was ran ragged he got his liscence back got full time and moved in with his coworker theh are getting married tgis year theg both make 75000 i was diagnosed with breast cancer and did extensive chemo been unemployed no money at all cant find job because my sister and her clone have sZBotaged the last two they also portray me as such horribld person ive worked 2 jobs my entire life in the community and am very respected everyone that would post on my fb during my fight my sister would seriously staulk them to let them know i was a loser and I facked cancer to get a boob job and i was stealing money from my mom and needed to get a job she assajlted me in public my oldest son wentbto live with her cause he was abused but yet the 3 year old and I were still together no body questions jer whatever she says they believe she cant tell the truth to save her life she tells wveryone everytime she get caught in her lies that all of us kids sre jealous of each other its in our dna!!! That tells ya her intellegence! Dont get child support yet due to incompitent lawyer and he says dont iwe me anything i was just a place to land till he got back on his feet!!!!! Im sure glad I paid it forward for him and now he is happy and throws 100.00 at miken when he actually dies spend time with him and i cant even take him to the movie hes getting to where he throws fit when comes home makes me feel horrible when did pepole geg so damn self centered and mean us 6 kids used to do everything together as a family and the memories are great until dad died gm gpa and my brother committed suicide and the stuff that broughg to surface is not even right about our mother and his childhoox that i had never heard before he was my best friend the family has been so torn theres mord but its not even digestable i cant take much more of my sister im to tired of overcoming her evil genius ways

  2. After awhile it becomes too much work. At least it did for me. No matter what I did or tried it was never good enough. I was not allowed to love him, which left me empty and feeling less than. I was left feeling is this what my life would be like forever….it was constant egg shells. I hated my children seeing me in a constant state of confusion. God, is not the author of confusion I had to constantly remind myself of that and to strengthen my weaknesses and my brokenness. Eventhough, a lot I want to blame him for I had to figure out what was going on with me to allow myself to be involved with someone who treated me so badly for so long. Instead of constantly working to build him up I worked on building myself. When I stopped living in the darkness, Satan could not live in my light.

  3. My husband, in our earlier married life, was accusing me of sleeping with other men when I was 9 months pregnant with twins since I would not have relations with him. Go figure! Every night it was the same argument. He even followed me into the shower with his accusations. Something told me to agree with him. So I told him “Yes I am, so stay home tomorrow and I’ll introduce you to all the men I’m having affairs with during the day before your get home. He never accused me ever again. So yes, my agreeing worked that time.

  4. This is great.
    Much advice around narcissm is how recognize it and how to leave that person. However, if they’re related to you you need tactics.
    If you have a child with a narcissist you tread a difficult path of needing to pass on coping tactics, while helping the child avoid traumas to the ego which can lead to the child becoming narcissistic, and not create distancing traumas between that child and their parent. The complexities no doubt go on and on. So thankyou for writing this. coping is number one. Then learning. teaching if you’re lucky.

  5. I see the disclaimers, but it’s dangerous to raise hopes that one can control anyone else, let alone a narc. The point about the neighbor’s hubby may provoke anger & distancing rather than stepping up if you deal w a covert narc. An overt would likely just dismiss & call the guy whipped. My ex was a covert NPD, & didnt have close male friends, just less attractive gaming buddies who had no life. He had unstable female ‘friends’ that over-shared about relationships so he could swoop in or appear perfect. I guess my point is, a true narc only steps up if there’s a supply reward thats more than worth the trouble. Honestly the only thing that works now that we’re divorced coparents is to 1) boldly call him on his crap and 2) dismiss the discussion and 3) have zero tolerance for further BS.

    • I agree. I remind mine he has a diagnosis, I don’t. I have 2 sons. My oldest 17 has seen through him since he was 4. My younger son 14, has been a victim of gas lighting and I’ve only figured out recently to what degree. I have a strategy – therapy, changes in the way I talk to my son etc – but what would you recommend?

  6. I am interested in receive information about how to deal with narccisistcs and borderlines

    • me too , i fall with both , wife is borderline, and her mother is narcissistic , so please help me how to deal with them.

  7. I am pretty sure I am involved with a narco path. I feel like everyone’s story is so similar to mine. The love bombing, the devaluation, and I think we’re pretty soon going into the discard phase. We have broken up a few times and ended up getting back together mostly because I went looking for him. But each time that I went back he was worse. Now he is blatantly disrespectful to me constantly tries to tear me down and then with the blink of an eye tries to show me love and affection. All the while letting me know that I brought this upon myself because of how I am and the things that I do. I found myself apologizing 4 things that I know I didn’t do just so that I can stop arguing. Unconsciously I have been trying to control the situation by stroking his ego. he is a police officer a detective to be exact comma and it was interesting how he would use certain techniques when he is talking to a criminal or a perpetrator to try to get him to confess things and using the same tactics in our relationship. the times that we have broken up has left me absolutely a broken mess And I confuse this with being so in love with him. Now that I have done some research are narcissists and Psychopaths and borderline personality I realize that my Brokenness has nothing to do with how much I love this guy or I should say not totally. My broken this is more due to the fact of feeling like I’m going through post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety and a whole bunch of other feelings because of the abuse. We are still together right now, but I am going to fight my way to be free. I feel I need to save myself. Because I am slowly dying inside. And we’ve only been together two years.

    • Wow! What you wrote almost mirrors my experience! I’ve very recently gone into No Contact mode with my NPD ex. It took me a long time to get to this point. Firstly, I had to stop lying to myself. I’m here, if you’d like to talk.

      • just realizing my baby dad is a narc. I have just started the whole no contact thing seeing how my kids are 6 mos and wont ever have a memory of him and hes already said he wants no part of the situation which is fine but I still have my moments of total despair and loneliness … been going to therapy every two weeks that has been helping I just want myself and my happiness back I just had to stop myself from contacting him today out of anger… I feel lost

  8. i often told parasitic narc husband that i wish i’d known i was playing a game. Because thats all
    it was-like a chess game-every thing i ever did or said was checkmated by the master player.
    No amount of praise or affection or attention mattered-it wasnt enough. i wasnt acting right-
    i was the cause of his multiple cheating flings-everything i did was turned against me. As i said-
    if i knew what the discard phase was i wouldve let it lie long ago. I only recently began to truly
    understand the type of personality i was dealing with. He has sucked every bit of life out of me-
    so much so that i feel like a shell of the person i was when we met. We have been married just
    over 7 years and it has been a freakin nightmare for the last 3. Constant cycles-no peace in
    the house-which is his and he will not leave. I have a little ssi and all my money goes to bills-
    so i have none for myself. Until recently- just over 2 months ago-right before my major
    surgery- found more than one girl hes been with-so i started hoarding away monies like
    my life depended on it-because it does. Im on heavy meds to deal with the stress.
    So, even tho it turns my stomach to even look at him-am playing nice to get what I want-his
    money. Gosh-that sounds horrible but he has left me with nothing many times so i
    know a civil divorce/division is out of the question. Anyway-figure am about 2 months
    out from having a nice stack of his money and my credit cards paid off. Then on the day i
    leave-he has agreed to divorce-im going full no contact with a TPO. Hate him thinking
    that i still want to be in this chaos any longer-he really has no empathy for the things hes
    ever done or said-and can be quite abusive-shattered one of my bones just over a year ago.
    I know i have to hang on just a bit longer-and it will be over. Def gonna need some serious
    therapy after all is said and done. Prolly makes me sound horrible to play this game-
    and i fight with my own integrity everyday, i just want to get what i think i fair-no more
    or less.

  9. I’m in a relationship with a narc, he supports me and he’s a multimillionaire. I’m trying to figure out how I can move on and get a job or keep manipulating with his own insecurities then leave him until I can figure things out. He’s easier than a job. Just saying, if I can get past the anger when he attacks, I will have it made.

    • Sounds like misery Jules. Has long has you have your own life, you’ll be alright. I’m dating a Narc I believe because he was so attentive at the very beginning of our dating phase. He tends to get bored easily and careless about my life. He lies about caring and I see through the bull. He treats me well with paying for everything and taking me places. The not so fun part is listening to him go on incessantly about himself. When I mention things in my day, I barely get a response from him. The other day I told him I only received 0.02 in my paycheck because insurance/taxes came out. He hardly gave me an answer, no outrage or laughter at how silly. He was just completely void of a legit response.

  10. All I can say is amen to the first few posts. And thankyou for being so articulate in sharing.

  11. Hi I was abused for 15 years and I had 7 kids not by choice but my x still gets to control me and I can’t find a way to fight back

  12. Well, I’ve been handling this one all wrong. I don’t complement or thank my MIL when she tries to “help” thinking it will only encourage her. Most of what she does feels more like control and judgement than actual help.

    I have thought about the fact that maybe she is craving ego strokes, but I hate giving fake gratitude. I truly don’t feel grateful, because she insists on doing things I would rather do myself, and ghosting on me when I request actual help. The upside is, it’s the quickest way to get rid of her. Just give her a task. This doesn’t feed her ego, because she is not in control. Since she is SO much smarter than me, she needs to be always in the lead.

    The fact that she complains so much about other people behind their backs, is what really clues me in to her motivations.

    I guess I’m stuck in this. I can either learn the art of the suck-up, or continue to be the bad, ungrateful DIL.

    Would love to hear other’s experience. Does the “helping” get worse if it’s rewarded?

  13. How do you control a narcissists, I’m only 24 and we have a four year old. I want to help him and better my daughter’s life and find happiness. Is this real or am I crazy?

  14. I’m an empath. I attract narcissists. I’m just learning this. I have a narcissistic coworker who I’m trying my best to interact with as a compassionate person, while deflecting her “poor me” energy.
    I’m a massage therapy instructor. I love my job and I adore my students. I cant quit my job to escape this narcissist. I won’t.
    Any advice in this situation would be greatly appreciated.

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