Monday, 18 November 2013

How To "Play" A Narcissist in Robot Mode



I titled this post “How To Play A Narcissist” because based on the most popular key search words listed in my blog stats, that’s what people want to know – how to fuck with a narcissist, how to mess with a narcissist, piss off a narcissist, squash a narcissist, get back at a narcissist, destroy a narcissist, drive a narcissist insane, and beat a narcissist at his own game.

The general public isn’t searching for information on how to “relate” with a narcissist because narcissists don’t relate – narcissists play games. Every interaction with a narcissist is about mind control and manipulation. In every interaction, the narcissist is calculating formulas to come out on top. Figuring this out - that a “normal” human interaction/relationship with a narcissist is impossible because you are merely a chess piece in the game a narcissist is always playing and must always play to win - is the first step. The second step is playing the game by NOT playing the game. THAT’S how you mess with a narcissist, that’s how you “PLAY” a narcissist. At least it’s one way, and it will be the focus of my post.


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29 comments:

  1. I consider their lack of affect another form of gas lighting. If they do exhibit emotions it never pairs up with the emotions we expect from normal people in the situation is at hand.

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  2. I agree. They give us nothing, it's confusing and when they give us any reaction or emotions it is usually ass backwards which is shocking and confusing. Any way you slice it, they're gas lighting us.

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  3. I also like the effect of either smiling and laughing when they say something mean, or saying 'that's interesting that you would think that'.

    "well, how is YOUR life going?" [negativity rolling off in waves]
    "OH MY GOD it's so GREAT!" *GRIN* I am LOVING my life! thank you for asking! [do not reciprocate the question. Turn to another family member and start talking about celery.] this really pisses them off, they were hoping you were suffering.

    "that fat person must be so miserable"
    "It's interesting that you would think that" [this throws them off for a good minute or two]

    You're right - they are looking for the reaction they have trained you to have. Hurt, surprise, defensiveness - they will search your face for it. So either giving them something COMPLETELY different which shoves them off balance, or giving them the Robot Face (that is brilliant) - really denies them of what they're starving for. Drama. They want drama, and denying them that reaction is SO satisfying.

    (the positive energy that comes off of you when you exclaim "I love my life!" or the equivalent is absolutely abhorrent to them. it's very funny to watch their face. But it's also baiting them - you have to be willing to take it to 11 with this path. they may reply that you are sickening and you have to go even further "I know! but I'm just giddy with how great everything is!" it's fun acting but exhausting nonetheless...)

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  4. I think that if I were to encounter a narcissist now, I would definitely be able to get into Robot Mode and have a few quick lines to throw them off track. But in the past, I've dealt with someone whom I really let get under my skin, and it still irks me to think about it. This person's preferred mode of attack was to attack other peoples choices. As soon as someone didn't like something about her or had an issue with her, or if the person got nervous and said something that wounded her ego, she would go into attack mode about the person's choices and try to make the person feel like the biggest screw up. I tried to confront her about an issue, and ended up feeling like a fool. She had that classic smirk that you've mentioned before, too. I've never encountered someone like that before, and I've been around my share of of people who've displayed less than stellar qualities but weren't pathological.

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  5. Gladys, you crack me up, and I love your approach! "smile or laugh when they something mean, or say "that's interesting you would think that."

    When I was younger and out of the N family home, and went to visit my MN mother, she would always be mean and condescending. I mimicked her exactly a couple of times and that didn't work. I remember looking over at her to see if I had pissed her off, and the bitch had her trademark MN smirk smeared across her face, her eyes had rolled back into her head and she look like she was high. She got a drug rush from my reaction. All I know is that Narcs, like dogs, love a squeaky toy. They want to play with us, bite into us and hear us yelp.

    Oh, and how they hate it when we experience and express happiness. My MN mother's and sister's reaction to my happy moments growing-up was to yell: "God! Would you shut-up!"

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    1. Lisette, if you have any old photos, take the time, to look at them with an objective eye. I only have a few dozen, but when I went NC, I took a very careful look a them. My NM would smile at others, but never smiled at me ever in any of the photos. The smirks, or looks of disgust were right there for the viewing. There is even one photo where I painted her a picture frame for a gift, and she is holding it and I remember taking the photo, and there is no smile on her face, just this dead-pan expression of "this present is below me". I know whenever I got angry or sad, mine enjoyed it. I really became a stranger over the years, as I had to shut down so much, it affected all the family relationships in a negative fashion. Both my N parents would up the abuse when I was happy, be careful of letting an N know you have some happiness, they'll do what they can to ruin it!

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    2. FHPP, I have no family photos, not a one. Like everything else, MN mother and sister got them all. In fact, MN sister stole from me my only family photo album I ever had. It was made especially for me by N parents and filled with special memories of MY childhood. She also stole my high school year books, all signed by my friends and class mates. MN sister has also hoarded my dad's photos of HIS family of origin. He received no family photos in the divorce from MN mother, and she stole his FOO photos. MN sister has claimed ownership and control of ALL the family photos and films and she has been feeding my dad crumbs of photographic memories in lame home made greeting cards, all the while trying to pass herself off as so sentimental and considerate. For example, when my dad's brother died she sent him a homemade condolence card with a photo of his brother on the cover as a young man. She deludes herself in thinking she's so caring and thoughtful. Meanwhile, she's hoarding and controlling HIS childhood and family memories that she has no right to. Just as she is doing to me. It gives the pathetic MN bitch a power high to tightly control the distribution of other people's memories. Her hoarding all the photos is just another weapon she uses to control and manipulate others all under the guise of her being "family oriented" and sentimental. If someone was to ask me to produce a photo of myself from childhood, I couldn't do it. Unless of course that evil MN sister gave me back what is mine. I have asked for my photo albums and yearbooks back and her response was I should just be grateful to her for not throwing them out. And into the warehouse they go, with all the other stuff she hoards.

      Her pathetic game of keep away will never end.

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  6. This is great advice but it's also something I find hard to practise for any length of time. I was with a narc yesterday for a few hours and I needed to be as they had some information I wanted. I had to pretend it (the information) wasn't important to me or it may have been withheld but I got it. The point is, I find the amount of energy required to stay emotionally detached and fully aware hard to maintain and find myself unconsciously slipping back into 'normal' mode and treating the narc as a 'normal' without realising it until they sniped at me. It's only then I realise I'm out of robot mode and let my defense down. Then it's 'Damn, I let them back in!' Maybe it gets better with practise? I still find the best approach is to just stay away whenever possible because they always seem to get me in the end.
    Family photo 1978 is just hilarious. Thanks for that. I haven't laughed so much in ages.

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    1. The family photo 1978 really captures the dead-eyed, thousand yard stare often seen in real-life family photos.

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    2. I know what you are talking about, the NCs force everyone on emotional lockdown. I agree with the commenter above that the energy to stay emotionally detached was too much. The emotional strain was too much.

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  7. Lisette,I can just picture your experience with your NM after you mocked her. I tried that with the person that I mentioned in my post, and she got angry and saw herself as the victim, even though she had been subtly tormenting me for months up to that point. Their reactions to slights plus their smirk is creepy, Some of them really don't get embarrassed if you laugh at their behavior or give them a dose of their own medicine, but they will have that smirk to let you know that they are laughing at you, since they see themselves as the victim plus they are being amused by your behavior. After this person's angry reaction to me plus being generally uncaring about her own behavior, that's when I realized that people like that are psychologically dangerous to be around and whomever is dealing with them is having a one way relationship, because it's always going to be about the MN and his or her distortions. Which comes back to the point about going into Robot Mode with them because then you aren't giving them anything at all, just an indifferent attitude, and that's what may get them off guard, since they want that attention.

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  8. Lisette - I had searched endlessly on how to handle Ns and am I ever so glad that you posted this! I swear, a sense of peace and serenity came over me after reading your blog post, because I told myself, now I'm one step ahead of these soul murders. Now I have tools on how to deal with them. Finally, I've been given the answers I was searching for! I'm off to hug my toaster now, lol! Susan

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    1. I just hope I don't end up the crazy toaster lady. I'm already picking out names... toastina, extra crispy, bobby broil...

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  10. This reminds me of when I used to go on family visits to my NM and then gear myself up NOT to show any emotions. I'm NC now with NM and Nsis and have been for 6 months. I used to tell myself, "I must keep my face blank." and show absolutely NO EMOTIONS, it was like training for emotional boot-camp. She would leave me alone, no insults, no nothing but then barely say a word to me which I guess is preferable then having been abused. They do use emotions against people, big time. When I went NC I didn't even say a word, to my NM, it took every ounce of self-control in me. I just went poof! and wrote one sentence to her on FB "I want no further contact". She couldn't feed off my pain then.

    http://fivehundredpoundpeeps.blogspot.com/2013/06/my-mother-and-me_23.html

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  11. My husband told me to stop reacting to the narcissist. He knows as his mother is one. I would love to get the "poker face" down. My ex friend and sister in law are both narcissists out to get ME. I ended the relationship with my ex friend and she quickly befriended my sister in law and now for almost two years they have worked together to destroy my relationship with my family. My ex friend is now a major part of my brother and my narcs sister in laws lives and ideally are trying to get everybody against me. In fact everybody in my family was invited to their church to see my niece sing BUT me or my husband. Also, what do you do when the ex friend tries constantly to push your buttons using social networking(Facebook)? If I block her, she knows it bothers me...sigh...her sole purpose in life has become a mission to destroy me and make my family her own. She is demented and doesn't stop.

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  12. I resorted to showing no emotion before I went NC. It was from being worn down to a nub. I could tell it infuriated my mother and what I was really shooting for was for her to just leave me the fuck alone.

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  13. When no emotions doesn't work just yell out random vegetables: CABBAGE! BROCCOLI! BEAN SPROUTS!

    It shuts down telemarketers.

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  14. OMG -- this was so helpful. I was on the right path, but I needed this to show me I did better than before with her. Please keep writing the blog. I need the lessons!

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  15. I just read this article and comments over for the second time. Lisette, you have such great experience, and can really articulate your thoughts well. I am benefitting so much from you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I thought I was on the right track in dealing with my NPD mother. Now I'm certain of it. You not only validated what I thought, but you fleshed it out even further. I laughed and laughed about the toaster oven, because it is so TRUE! THANK YOU !

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  16. I just practiced my Robot skills for the first time at Christmas this year ^__^

    I hated having to censor myself but then I realized it was better than showing any emotion and the emotion I did show, was exaggerated or the opposite of how I really felt. I did slip a few times, I showed some confusion over an inappropriate gift but I knew she was watching me. She even had her camera ready but I saw it in her hand so I did my best to give her nothing but deadpan. I'm her daughter, of course I know how to look & act dead, I studied the master!

    It helps to visualize your interactions with them as if it were a videogame. They are all very much the same, you arm yourself with the best tools and suits/abilities, drink a power potion and get ready for the level. Slay the beast and you win a new ability! Put it in your tool belt and get ready for the next challenge.

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  17. Am reading your blog backward, slowly as time allows, and you are a breath of fresh air, Lisette!

    The "robot" process you detail so clearly and with dead-on humor is what I call "playing them while they think they're playing you". My sixty years has been full of character-disordered types both in private and work life. I would love to share but am paranoid. Would love to start a closed facebook group for letting the proverbial hair down if I only knew how.

    Just the other day while checking out at a thrift store, what I call a "pure" psychopathic type (20s male, neck tattoo, that strange P energy was literally sparking off him) immediately took exception to my aura and started messing with me. Couldn't help himself. These stranger types usually don't try anything when my husband is with me, such is the sexist world we live in, but this one couldn't help himself. Took a phone call and started two separate conversations with others around us in order to avoid focusing on us at checkout. I mentioned senior discount and he aggressively said "Prove it". That type of thing tends to make you go very quiet. I've trained myself to lean in and did so, also touched his hand as he handed back change. It was small but it was all I had to get him a bit off balance. I call it "shifting energy".

    They literally drain energy from us (does anyone else experience that?); however your posts, Lisette, and several commenters' posts, re-energize -- and I'm grateful for that. You go, girl!

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    1. Hello Oneheart and welcome. You are definitely going in the right direction by reading the blog backward (beginning to end). Thank you for the positive feedback. I find narcs drain my energy because they are unsafe and my body is in fight or flight mode when I am around them. I can never relax in their presence. Having to be constantly on guard causes chronic fatigue. As far as the ones we come across on a day to day, they create the same feeling in me and my body, I just try not to react and I don't let them intimidate me. Most of them want to pick a fight and I refuse to engage. How you handled that tattooed creep is perfect. He probably wanted to get you all riled up, and you did the opposite. I also believe that when women are out alone they are prime targets for abusers. I have experienced situations that never would have occurred if I had my boyfriend or a friend (a witness) with me.

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  18. Once you start "getting it" about narcs they seem to be everywhere. Day 1 after finding this site I was driving to the grocery store. I couldn't turn into the entrance cuz this couple was seemingly unaware that their kids were running around wildly in the street instead of just crossing the damn street. (Safely. Duh?) So I stop in the middle of the turn-in and wait. A mere flicker of irritation must have flashed across my face, because suddenly the Dad screams at me at the top of his lungs, "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I then rammed my truck right into the whole idiotic family. JUST KIDDING! I put on my robot face. What's interesting about this is that it can actually promotes inner calm. I detached, even when the little budding narc kids scowled at me. All I could think was, "Hell, it's like a raging war out here with narcs shooting up like weeds." I then treated myself to a very expensive freshly baked cookie at the upscale bakery. You gotta reward yourself for not giving it up. Practice makes perfect. Why the hell should I let some random narc ruin my gorgeous day? Free at last!

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    1. "I then rammed the truck right into the whole idiotic family...." HAHAHA! Try being stuck on a plane with one of these oblivious, entitled families. I spent the better part of one flight sitting in the attendant's single seat by the bathroom just to get away from this family who thought nothing existed beyond them and their precious children,,, oh, the children. The children bouncing on their laps and banging and shaking the seat in front of them etc.. The disruption this family caused was unbelievable, but they saw it as their right. It IS a war out there, and they are shooting up like weeds. Robo face all the way.

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  19. Lisette: I've been reading everything you've done old and new, and this post is still my favorite. The M-narcissist IS making conscious choices, and fighting back means we have to have a game plan, and be smarter than hell. Even if laws were made, at this point in time, there would not be enough space to lock up ALL MN's. Systemic societal problems require grassroots movements and revolutions, That said, the fact is that Contact triggers hyper-anxiety. My adrenal exhaustion is intense. I propose retreat and self-care when needed...and, NC with those who keep coming back for blood muffins (narcissistic supply) and who are violent. Act,,,call out and expose, or robo face...whatever the situation requires. Dark humor? YES! I've been ruminating on this. For all their outward charm and superficial jocularity MN's are depressives. Dark (and/or simply authentic) humor disarms them. One time an MN said to me, "No man will ever want you and I'm going to tell you why. And it's going to really really hurt you." I'm thinking too fat? too old? bad dresser? not rich? After a dramatic pause the MN says, "Your mouth. THE MOUTH. You can't control it. It's yada, yada, Ms. Bookworm save-the-world know-it-all. Her highness THE MOUTH.That's why your divorced. THE MOUTH." HAHA! I laughed so hard I rolled on the floor and couldn't stop laughing. Let's take them down one MN at a time. Do you know that in France marital verbal abuse has been made a crime? Yes! A crime! So, it can happen. I prefer the grassroots approach. We can level up, and I have decided I can make a conscious choice to both be happy AND fight the Blight of narc abuse. Problem is, there's always someone else around the corner handing out more blood muffins. Getting the word out rocks, even if people's stories are bleak. Chas ps I'll quit being a space hog.

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  20. Chas, I agree that fighting the blight of narc abuse and living a good life are not mutually exclusive. The victims of Ns have always been the ones pathologized and used as fuel for the mental health machine and that pisses me off. Unfortunately, I think it's getting worse as victims of abuse who are labelled this or that are the ones who are having their freedom taken away, NOT the narcissists. The "no talk" rule that exists in any dysfunctional system is breaking down with social media, but that just means the narcs are armoring up.

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  21. Trying to leave a narc abuser and just barely understanding what the hell has been happening to me and who he is. This has helped so much! Thank you

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