Narcissists do their best to elicit reactions from their victims. It doesn’t matter to them if the reaction is positive or negative, so long as it’s a strong reaction.
If you react positively to a narcissist, this provides narcissistic supply because it builds up their ego. They see your reaction as proof that they are the awesome, amazing person they want people to think they are. This means they will pursue you fervently in order to gain more of that precious supply you provide.
If you react negatively to a narcissist, this also provides narcissistic supply. In the mind of the narcissist, it proves they are incredibly powerful. After all, only a powerful person could elicit such a reaction, as far as they’re concerned. Or, they can portray themselves as your victim, which is another great way for them to gain supply. This situation also means they will pursue you fervently, because they want that narcissistic supply.
Narcissists really are experts at creating “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenarios, aren’t they?
As difficult as it seems, you need to avoid both scenarios. The more narcissistic supply you provide, the more the narcissist will demand of you. They will not hesitate to drain you of anything & everything you have- money, possessions, your time, energy, etc- to gain that supply.
To avoid providing a narcissist with supply, you need to stop reacting & start responding.
Reacting is that knee-jerk reaction, that thing that just happens automatically, without thinking. Responding, however, happens after you take time to calm down & think. Responding is what you need to do when dealing with a narcissist.
Responding isn’t nearly as easy to do as reacting, but it is possible, even when face to face with a narcissist. To start with, pray. Ask God for help responding & to keep your reactions in check. You also can pray Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (KJV)
Remind yourself how important it is to stay calm. Remembering why you need to behave this way can be helpful. Also tell yourself that you can do this, you are well able to remain calm no matter what. Remember Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:…” (KJV) If you tell yourself such things, you will be able to do them.
Another trick I learned is to stop for a second & take a deep breath, then release it. This act forces you to calm down because of the breathing. It also gives you a second to think of a response or ask God for help.
If you are no longer in a relationship with the narcissist, & they are either harassing you (themselves or via flying monkeys) or creating a smear campaign, I still would urge you to remain calm.
If the narcissist is harassing you, block her every way possible- on social media, email, your phone- & ignore her completely no matter what. If she sends you something via postal mail, before you do anything with it, pray. Some narcissists see returning mail as contact, thus it provides them with supply, & encourages them to continue harassing you. Others may not see it that way. You need to pray about this before you accept or return their mail. You also may need to get a restraining order (talk to a police officer in your area for more details). In many cases, narcissists know about stalking laws & stay just barely legal. This means you can’t get a restraining order since they haven’t broken the law. Even if you can’t, document everything they do. Save emails & texts. Take screen shots. Save voice mails. And, save everything in a safe place, such as online storage, so you won’t lose it no matter what. This way, if the narcissist does break the law at some point, you have evidence that their behavior has been awful for a long time. This can help you with the legal system.
If flying monkeys are harassing you, also remain calm in their presence & respond, don’t react. Any reaction on your part just proves to them that the narcissist is right about you & may encourage them to continue abusing you. Change the subject. Tell them you don’t wish to discuss the narcissist with them. If they ignore your boundary, tell them this subject isn’t up for debate & if they continue, you will leave/hang up the phone. Follow through on your threat. If the flying monkeys approach in other ways such as via email, ignore the email.
If you’re the victim of a smear campaign, ignore it. Let your true character shine. I know it hurts when you hear the horrible lies being told about you, & when people you thought cared about you believe them, & I’m sorry for that. Unfortunately, people are going to believe what they want to believe. Some people are so determined to be right, they will ignore all evidence to the contrary. Let them. Smear campaigns, as painful as they are, are also a good way to find out who your true friends are. True friends will question the person saying awful things about you & defend you. Those people are gems that you should thank God for placing them in your life.
Lastly, you will need to release all the anger & hurt the narcissist has caused you once you are away from them or their flying monkeys. Prayer is incredibly helpful. Sometimes you may not feel like talking & journaling is a great way to cope during those times. I think of my journal entries as talking to God in writing since He & I are the only ones who read my journal. Talk to a safe friend or counselor. When you’re able to release the negative emotions, be sure to let it all out. I admit it- I’ve used awful language & called the narcissists in my life terrible names during those times, but it helped me to purge myself of all the awful feelings. Not once have I felt God judged me for it either. Not like He hasn’t heard those kinds of things before!
Whatever your situation with the narcissist in your life, Dear Reader, you can handle it. I believe in you! xoxo