How To Leave A Narcissist

You don't have to stick around.

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When you're in a relationship with a narcissist, they can make you fall in love with them so hard that it feels like you’re giving up a part of your heart to leave them.

And what a narcissist does at the end of a relationship can be tricky, as they'll use every manipulation technique in the book to get you to stay in an emotionally abusive relationship with them.

On the surface, narcissists can seem charming, intelligent, caring — knowing how to entice and lure their way back into your life. But once they reel you back, they revert to their egotistical selves.


That's why breaking up with a narcissist is no easy feat.

RELATED: Breaking Up With A Narcissist Is Hard, But These 8 Steps Will Help

Their motto will always be “Me first!”

Everything’s all about them. They have a grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement, crave admiration and attention.


They can also be highly intuitive, but use their intuition for self-interest and manipulation, sometimes worsening to the level of narcissistic abuse.

Narcissists are so dangerous because they lack empathy and have a limited capacity for unconditional love.

Sadly, their hearts either haven’t developed or have been shut down, possibly due to early psychological trauma, such as being raised by narcissistic parents, a crippling handicap both emotionally and spiritually. Hard as it may be to comprehend, these people have little insight into their actions, nor do they regret them.

To find out if you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the person act as if life revolves around him?
  • Do I have to compliment him to get his attention or approval?
  • Does he constantly steer the conversation back to himself?
  • Does he downplay my feelings or interests?
  • If I disagree, does he become cold or withholding?

If you answer “yes” to one or two questions, it’s likely you’re dealing with a narcissist. Responding “yes” to three or more questions suggests that a narcissist is violating your emotional freedom, maybe even to the point of abuse.

RELATED: The 8 Stages Of Emotional Pain You Go Through When Breaking Up With A Narcissist

Narcissists are hard nuts to crack.

With these patients, the best I can do is align with their positive aspects and focus on behaviors that they agree aren’t working. Still, even if one wants to change, progress is limited, with meager gains.


My professional advice: Don’t fall in love with a narcissist or entertain illusions they’re capable of the give and take necessary for intimacy. In such relationships, you’ll always be emotionally alone to some degree.

If you have a withholding narcissist spouse, beware of trying to win the nurturing you never got from your parents; it’s not going to happen. Also, don’t expect to have your sensitivity honored. These people sour love with all the hoops you must jump through to please them.

If you're thinking of breaking up with a narcissist or trying to figure out what a narcissist does at the end of a relationship that keeps you with them, use these methods to get your power back.

1. Don’t fall for their manipulations.

They will use every trick in the book to get you back, so be prepared. Narcissists are really convincing. When you are ready to leave, stick to your convictions and move on to a more positive future filled with real love.


2. Set limits and boundaries.

Since narcissists have no empathy, nor can they really love, so you must leave them cold turkey and endure the pain. Set limits and say “no” to them. Then gather all your strength and keep walking into the unknown towards something better.

3. Focus on the future.

Once detached from a narcissist, it is extremely important that you focus all your positive energy and thoughts on doing good things for yourself and the world. Don’t let your mind wander to the past or to what he is doing.

4. Be kind to yourself.

Treasure yourself. Be very kind to yourself and know that you deserve a loving relationship with someone who can reciprocate that love.

My view on life is that every person we meet along the way, loving or not, is meant to help us grow.


Do not beat yourself up for getting involved with a narcissist.

But please learn what you can from it, including setting healthy boundaries and saying “no” to abuse, so you don’t repeat this lesson again.

It is very emotionally freeing to heal any attraction to abusive people so you can have more true love in your life.

RELATED: 11 Steps To Follow When Breaking Up With A Manipulative Narcissist

Judith Orloff, MD, is the author of The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which her articles are based. Her work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, the Oprah Magazine and USA Today. She is a New York Times best-selling author of Emotional Freedom, The Power of Surrender, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive Healing.