Taking Your Power Back From a Narcissist

Jennifer March, MS

The greatest weapon that a narcissist has is power — take that away and they have nothing

I sat across from them at the kitchen table, my foot nervously tapping on the ground. They sat across from me, eyes cast downward and a stern face with a hint of a menacing grin.

In a quick utterance, they said, “There is going to be issues around your car with the family — the fact you have even used it is an issue — so the best option is for you to put the title of your car in my name — and take your name off of the title.”

My cheeks flushed, my stomach dropped into my knees, and I felt as though my heart was going to stop.

“What happens if I don’t?” I managed to squeeze out in between breaths. I needed to be strong.

They glanced up at me for a moment and dropped their eyes, “Well, we don’t know what other family might do if they found out that you have been using your aunt’s car this entire time.”

I became enraged. I never took my aunt’s car — she gave it to me! Ever since I was a child, my aunt told me she would give me her car because she loved me. Why would he think I took it?

“I understand, but I did not take her car; it was a gift from her. She always wanted me to have her car.”

The narcissist repeated, in an eerily calm voice, “Just take your name off the title.”

After a few weeks of doing the same dance, I realized that I was not required to do anything. The ownership is in my name, not theirs! I have control over my own property, and that car is my property.

Who are they to tell me what to do?

I never took my name off that title, and I never, ever will.

Understanding narcissism

From my research, I learned that narcissists believe that they are so powerful that they need others to believe it too.

The narcissist will hold some type of power over you, whether it be money or acceptance — it’s anything that can be used to manipulate you. Not every narcissist will be the same, but it is important to understand that not every narcissist is the same.

By taking that power they have over you, and ignoring their commands or threats will make their power fade.

Narcissists are only as strong as they build themselves up to be.

Ignore The Narcissist

After I realized my own rights, and that my property was my own, I stopped engaging with the narcissist. They tried harder to get my attention, anything at all to get me to crack. The narcissist even went as far as to spreading slander about me to other family members.

I wanted to apologize and not hear about this anymore. I wanted everything to be fine and not painful. I didn’t want anyone in my family to be mad at me. I know I hadn’t done anything, but the narcissist was making it seem like I had.

But I held strong and made sure not to go crawling back.

I began to understand narcissism a little more. I was hopeless and stuck, and I needed a way out of this situation.

When I began ignoring my narcissist, they became meek and quiet and turned it around to portray me as the villain. They know my triggers are my family, and wanting to do anything to help, and they played on that to get a rise out of me.

Disarm them

To disarm a narcissist, it is best to break any ties or connections with them. In some circumstances, like mine, cutting off the narcissist was a challenging task. But once I stopped participating taking their bait or when they are trying to get a rise out of me, I simply ignore it.

The narcissist in my life wasn’t able to take a hint too quickly, so I had to be straightforward with them. I stopped engaging and told them, “Please, leave me alone.”

I’ve found that talking to the narcissist does no good. Of course, do not be rude, but set up clear boundaries. You have every right to control how much communication you have with someone — no matter what.

I was looked down on any time I was in their presence and made to feel like a complete failure. I was so petrified of their wrath and making sure their needs were always met that I was scared of them.

But now, I look them dead in the eye and tell them what needs to be said.

When being direct with a narcissist, it is important to stay polite and respectful. As hard as this was for me, I tried my best to still be courteous to them. Stooping to a narcissist’s level only makes the situation way.

If you have to talk with them, keep it short and simple. Do not try to explain yourself, do not accuse or point fingers back at them. As good as it may feel about telling a narcissist off, it is important to remember that if you already feel unsafe around them, you don’t want to push it.

Narcissists are dependent on others for their self-esteem — without people to control, they are helpless.

Prepare for backlash

Dr. Nancy Lee from Upjourney details what can potentially happen when a narcissist is ignored:

“If you ignore a narcissist and deny them their source, they may become enraged and try even harder for your attention — especially in ways that can be toxic or abusive. Ignoring a narcissist will enrage them because of their fragile egos. They’ll feel humiliated and lash out against you to protect themselves.”
-Dr. Nancy Lee on Upjourney

Upsetting a narcissist can feel like putting a bullseye on your forehead. You will be their focus, and they will get increasingly more bold in order to get a rise out of you.

They will try to hurt you in some way. Narcissists know your triggers and your soft points and will use that for their benefit.

When I faced him, he was furious; they stated some horrible things to me, threatened to call the police, and shunned me from the family.

The silent treatment was terrible. The narcissist would pretend not to notice me and even go as far as to exclude me from talking with the rest of the family.

And for what? I can’t share much else, but I can sum it up fairly well: money.

Money and greed go hand in hand, and my narcissist was a shining example.

But I did not let up. Slowly over time, their image cracked and cracked further.

It seemed that the more people he lost that he could control, the weaker he got.

Dealing with a narcissist is a challenging task that can drain the life right out of you. You never what the narcissist will do next, or what their true motives are.

Next time you face a narcissist — or anyone with a superiority complex, remember that their power is an illusion.

No one can control you but YOU. It is your life to control, no one else can take that from you. Use this to empower yourself to stand in the throws of anything that comes your way.

Please note that narcissism is not a word to be used lightly. Narcissists show a distinct pattern of abuse that is done through fear and manipulation tactics.

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Psych nerd turned freelance writer | MS in Psychology | Mom of two cats and some house plants | #MentalHealthAdvocate #BeKind

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