3 Ways to Repel (Rather Than Attract) a Narcissist


It’s not uncommon, once a person experiences a relationship with a narcissist, to vehemently want to avoid or prevent a repeat. So what best guarantees a relationship will not turn into a dance of codependency and narcissism?

In part, success has to do with identifying certain red flags that help you understand what narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is, a few secret insights into a narcissist’s worldview, and what codependency traits unwittingly supply energy to narcissism.

What best repels narcissism, however, has to do with certain practices that persons who are committed to living and connecting authentically to life cultivate.

These consist of a set of authentic ways of relating to self and other that, unlike codependency, naturally neutralize or cut off what supplies energy to narcissism, such as the following practices that allow you to:

1. Connect to own mind and body

Persons who repel narcissists are authentically transparent and happy in their body and own skin; they have a visceral connection to their inner resources, they know what they want, and most importantly, they know who they want to be and how they want to show up in relation others, and foremost to themselves. This allows them to live, to breathe and, thus, to respond to the narcissist’s tactics, as they would to other life promptings, primarily, from a place of wisdom and love — and not fear. Narcissists are repelled by those they cannot emotionally diminish or crush with crazy-making antics, such as gaslighting. They have no power in this case because authentic persons do not need anyone else’s permission to be themselves … and this also frees them to let others (the narcissist) be themselves.

Both of these factors deprive a narcissist of the low-energy power of instilling others with fear and shame, which they depend on to operate; thus, their false self has no where to plug in. A person who knows how to remain authentically grounded in their own mind and body — and consciously cultivates this learned capacity — naturally neutralizes the false sense of power the narcissist depends on to feel worthwhile.

2. Seek to know and understand self

When a person is authentic, they make getting to know themselves a lifelong labor of love, and see this as vital to understanding other human beings, life and relationships. As a result, they are happy with who they are in general, not in an arrogant way, rather in a genuine way that allows them to fully accept themselves as they are, warts and graces, yet also seek to become ever better versions of themselves, on a path of growth and transformation. When someone authentically connects to life from within, they grow a compassionate understanding of self and others, as human beings, with shared yearning to matter and meaningfully connect.

The narcissist, however, recoils at the thought of being regarded a mere mortal, and regards emotional sharing as something weak creatures do. The power of their fear-based tactics is neutralized by the authenticity of another because they cannot find gaps and holes to work in their deceit, instill fear, make them feel crazy, and so on. Their worst fear after all is having their “false-self” image tarnished by being discovered as “emotionally” weak — and thus “crazy”! Nothing is more disgusting to them than falling in the same category of those they deem “inferior” due to how easy it is to take advantage of their inclinations to be kind and caring of others’ feelings. In other words, a narcissist takes pride in not have anything to do with authentic practices, and regards these as threats or risks to exposing their false image and illusion of power. (This is why they quit therapy or anything they cannot control.)

3. Have an inner-locus of control

An authentic person knows that a happy, fulfilled life is an inside-out job, and in practice this mindset allows them to have the peace of mind and presence they need, accordingly, to respond with emotional detachment to the problems and issues that, they realize, are the narcissist’s alone to own and heal. As a result, they can separate what is their own stuff to own and heal, from what is the narcissist’s. They also have learned how to self-activate their body’s relaxation response to disallow upsetting emotions from unnecessarily activating their survival system. After all, the narcissist can be expected to make every effort to keep those around them in fear-mode! NPDs are stuck in old emotionally arrested patterns of reacting to their inner pain and wounds in ways that project them onto others, and ultimately, prevent their healing, for example, by:

  • Blaming others, especially those they hurt … who complain.
  • Behaving as if the world constantly owes them.
  • Portraying themselves as victims.
  • Feeling entitled to mistreat others as they please.
  • Making others feel ashamed/guilty for own unhappiness.
  • Accusing others of what they in fact do.
  • Expecting to be treated as infallible and above reproach.

Based on the narcissist’s past record, an authentic person is real enough with themselves to expect the NPD to continue to behave like a toddler, and responds accordingly. Try as they may, the narcissist fails to activate the survival response of an authentic person. Narcissists look for easy prey, those who will collude with them, to prop up their false-image.

When someone remains emotionally detached from “needing” to alleviate a narcissist’s suffering, or to gain their approval, the narcissist shrinks back. The wounded ego of a narcissist is too fragile to withstand the solid evidence an authentic person presents, for example, that the narcissist: Isresponsible for their actions, and it’s not okay to mistreat others; is capable of handling and healing own pain (in healthy ways); is fully equipped and can choose to learn how to empathize and treat others thoughtfully. The narcissist needs to be held responsible for seeking professional help to heal hurtful behavior patterns, for example, their “neediness” to punish others for not pleasing them; and to come to understand behaviors that push loved ones away as ones that also cause the narcissist to suffer.

Read more ways to repel a narcissist HERE.

Written by  | PsychCentral