Narcissist and Psychopath Coping Techniques

Uploaded 10/8/2010, approx. 5 minute read

I am Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

This is the third video in a series about coping strategies and techniques with narcissists and psychopaths in intimate relationships. Be sure to watch the rest of the series.

Today, we will map out techniques of coping with narcissistic and psychopathic abusers.

Not all these techniques apply to all abusers. Watch the other videos in this series to decide which technique to adopt in which situation.

Right now, we are just going to map the territory.

The first technique is to mirror the abuser's behavior. Mirror his actions. Repeat his words.

If, for instance, he is having a rage attack, rage back. If he threatens, threaten back. Incredibly try to use the same language, the same content. If he leaves the house, leave the house as well. Disappear on him. If he is suspicious, act suspicious and jealous. Be critical, denigrating, humiliating. Go down to his level.

The other technique is to frighten him.

Identify the vulnerabilities and susceptibilities of the narcissistic and psychopathic abuser and strike repeated escalating blows at them.

If a narcissist is a secret or something he wishes to conceal, use your knowledge to threaten him. Of course, do so legally and only after you have consulted an attorney.

Drop cryptic hints that there are mysterious witnesses to the events and recently revealed evidence. Do it cleverly. Do it non-committally, gradually, in an escalating manner and, of course, again, in a legal way.

Let his imagination do the rest. You don't have to do much except utter a vague reference, make a nominous allusion, delineate a possible turn of events.

Needless to add that all these activities have to be pursued legally, preferably through the good services of law officers and in broad daylight. If done the wrong way, they might constitute extortion or blackmail, harassment and a host of other criminal offenses. They can also backfire and provoke the narcissistic and psychopathic abuser into violence and aggression.

I repeat, not all coping techniques are applicable to all situations and to all abusers.

Listen and watch the other videos in this series to make up your mind which technique applies when and to whom.

The next technique is to lure the abuser.

Offer the abuser continued narcissistic supply. You can make a narcissist do anything by offering, withholding or threatening to withhold narcissistic supply, adulation, admiration, attention, sex, all subservience, or even the appearance of being fearful.

Play on his fears of abandonment is the next technique. If nothing else works, explicitly threaten to abandon your abuser.

You can condition the threat. You can say, if you don't do something or if you do do something, I will desert you.

The narcissist perceives the following sentences as threats of abandonment, even if they are not meant as such.

He perceives every confrontation, every fundamental disagreement or protracted criticism as a sign of abandonment. He perceives abandonment when he is completely ignored or when you insist on your boundaries, needs, emotions, choices and preferences.

When you retaliate, for instance, when you shout back at him, all these in the narcissist's mind equate abandonment.

Finally, this is the technique that I recommend the most and always.

Refuse all contact. Be sure to maintain as much contact with your abuser as the courts, counsellors, mediators, guardians or law enforcement officials mandate, but no more.

Do not contravene the decisions of the system.

Work from inside the system to change judgments, evaluations or rulings, but never rebel against the system, the courts, the police, never ignore them. You will only turn the system against you and against your interests and you will be labeled the abuser instead of the victim.

But with the exception of this minimum, mandated by the courts, decline any and all gratuitous contact with the narcissist or psychopath. Dopsychopath.

Do not respond to your abuser's pleading, to romantic, nostalgic, flattering or threatening email messages. Return all the gifts that he sends you. Refuse inventory to your premises. Do not even respond to the intercom. Do not talk to him on the phone. Hang up the minute you hear his voice while making clear to him in a single polite but firm sentence that you are determined not to talk to him ever again. Do not answer his letters. Do not visit him on special occasions or in emergencies when he is sick. Do not respond to questions, requests or pleas forwarded to you through or via or by third parties. Disconnect from third parties whom you know are spying on you at your abuser's behest. Do not discuss with your abuser your children. Do not gossip about your abuser. Do not ask him for anything even if you are in dire need and dire straits.

When you are forced to meet your abuser, do not discuss your personal affairs or raise them. Do not discuss his personal affairs or raise them as well.

Relegate any inevitable contact with him when and where possible to professionals, to your lawyer, to your accountant, to the police, to judges or to court officials.

But is there anything you can do to avoid abuses and narcissists to start with? Are there any warning signs and identifying marks, rules of thumb to shield you from the harrowing and traumatic experience of an abusive relationship?

We have a special video which deals with these issues. Be sure to watch it.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Narcissist's Victim: NO CONTACT Rules

Professor Sam Vaknin advises victims of narcissism and psychopathy to maintain as much contact with their abuser as the courts, counselors, evaluators, mediators, guardians, or law enforcement officials mandate. However, with the exception of this minimum mandated by the courts, decline any and all gratuitous contact with the narcissist or psychopath. Avoiding contact with the abuser is a form of setting boundaries, and setting boundaries is a form of healing. Be firm, be resolute, but be polite and civil.

8 Ways to Survive the Narcissist (ENGLISH Excerpts)

The lecture is divided into two parts, with the first 15 minutes outlining the eight proven ways to manipulate a narcissist, with the most effective being no contact. The other seven techniques include gray rock, deflection, mirroring, shared psychosis, high-grade narcissistic supply, withholding, and intermittent reinforcement. However, the speaker warns that these techniques can lead to the development of narcissistic and psychopathic behaviors in the victim. The lecture concludes with an invitation to explore the narcissist's mind.

Coping with Stalkers: Psychopaths, Narcissists, Paranoids, Erotomaniacs

Stalkers come in different types, including erotomaniac, narcissistic, paranoid, and anti-social or psychopathic. Coping techniques suited to one type of stalker may backfire or prove to be futile with another. The best coping strategy is to first identify the type of abuser you are faced with. It is essential to avoid all contact with your stalker, but being evaded only inflames the stalker's wrath and enhances his frustration.

Avoid Mentally Ill: No Families, Relationships

Mentally ill people want to be normal, but it is a lie that therapists and psychologists tell them that they can be cured and lead a normal life. Mental illness is a lifelong condition that is part of a person's identity and cannot be cured or healed. Mentally ill people should be managed, regulated, and isolated to prevent them from causing harm to themselves and others. Instead of seeking normalcy and intimacy, mentally ill people should focus on their areas of high functioning and accept their limitations.

Destroy the Narcissist in Court: Divorce, Custody, and Aftermath

In summary, to effectively handle a narcissist in court during divorce and custody proceedings, it is crucial to remain calm, composed, and fact-based. Focus on exposing the narcissist's grandiosity and vulnerabilities by challenging their self-perception and accomplishments, while avoiding appearing vengeful or malicious. Provoke the narcissist indirectly by hinting at their shortcomings and mediocrity, ultimately leading them to lose control and expose their true nature. Maintain a holistic strategy that takes into account both the legal aspects and the narcissist's off-court life.

Narcissist and Psychopath Coping Strategies: Submissive Posture

In this video, Professor Sam Vaknin provides advice on how to survive a relationship with a narcissist or psychopath. He explains that not all abusers suffer from a personality disorder, but abuse is a multifaceted phenomenon. Abusers react with disproportionate wrath and rage, so it is important never to openly and repeatedly disagree with them or contradict them. The abuser seeks to subjugate their victims and transform their personal space into the exact opposite of their real life. The only way to treat an abuser is not to treat them at all, to disengage, and go away.

Mentally Ill: Bail Out, Save Yourself - Not THEM!

Mentally ill people often emotionally blackmail others into becoming their rescuers, and once they have, they want to infect them with their illness. This is because they want to share their pain and feel accepted. However, mentally ill people do not want to be helped, and they have strong resistances and defenses against healing. Therefore, it is important to harden your heart and walk away from mentally ill people to save yourself.

Expose Narcissist’s Secret Speech

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses how narcissists use code and a cipher to manipulate others, including various techniques such as counterfactuality, victim language, projection, gaslighting, and passive aggression. He advises ignoring the hidden message and not responding to the occult message when communicating with a narcissist. He also discusses the evasiveness of narcissists and psychopaths, their competitive nature, and their use of alloplastic defenses to shift blame and deny responsibility for their actions. Finally, he explains that mentally ill people cannot be reasoned with, and their speech acts and decisions need to be deconstructed.

Love Addiction: Craving Infatuation, Limerence

Love addiction is a complex and relatively new topic in psychopathology, characterized by an individual's maladaptive and pervasive interest in romantic partners, often leading to a lack of control and negative consequences. Love addicts often fall in love with fantasies or complete strangers, and their addiction leads to extreme emotional dysregulation and unboundaried behavior. The role of fantasy in love addiction is significant, and it is closely related to codependency and other issues. Treatment for love addiction is still limited, but cognitive behavior therapy and support groups like Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous may help some individuals.

Erotomanic Stalker

The erotomaniac stalker believes they are in love with their victim and will go to great lengths to prove their devotion, including making legal, financial, and emotional decisions for the victim without their consent. They ignore personal boundaries and intrude on privacy, and may even force themselves on the victim sexually. Coping strategies include ignoring the stalker, not responding to any communication, returning gifts, and avoiding any contact with the stalker. Any contact with the stalker is seen as a sign of love, so it is best to avoid them completely.

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