How To Outplay A Narcissist & Avoid Their Abusive Traps

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How To Outplay A Narcissist & Avoid Their Abusive Traps

People with certain personality traits tend to attract narcissists more often. If you're one of those people, there are a few ways you can learn how to outplay a narcissist, especially while dating.

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Attraction may not always work in your favor, especially if the person you're in a relationship with is a narcissist.

Everyone knows the type — the person who makes everything about them.

The person who places their feelings above all others, steps over boundaries to deem their views and their ways superior to all others. They deliver the eulogy for their elderly uncle only to spend most of it bragging about that time in high school when they scored the winning touchdown in the championship game.

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you: the narcissist.

Narcissism and narcissistic personality traits can manifest in a relationship in all kinds of ways.

Your partner might openly boast (and inflate) about his accomplishments. He might need to be the center of attention at all times, growing angry or sullen when he’s not. He might turn things around in arguments.

If you tell him you’re upset about something he did, he might only focus on that one time you slighted him back in 1989.

So how do you wiggle free of this narcissistic trap? How do you stop attracting narcissists once and for all?

Some women tend to attract or be attracted to partners with narcissistic traits more often than others.

If you have a tendency to take responsibility for other people's emotional experiences, have a hard time setting boundaries, or have a general people-pleasing disposition, you are the perfect bait for a narcissist.

Does this mean you need to change your entire personality in order to learn how to stop attracting narcissists? Of course not.

But, there are 3 ways you can outplay a narcissist so you can have that healthy relationship you deserve.

1. Notice where you have poor boundaries

If you're susceptible to co-dependence and have a tendency to feel responsible for other people’s feelings, you’re a narcissist’s muse.

People who feel like they need to fix things or that everything is their fault are ideal people for narcissists to shift blame onto and use to inflate their own sense of self (and sidestep any semblance of their own accountability). You’re already primed for manipulation.

Watch out for this: If you identify yourself as a "fixer" or a "healer" or you see potential in the person you’re dating (and it’s up to you to help them reach it), you’re waving many red flags.

Slow down and be cognizant of the areas where you are assuming responsibility that isn’t yours to assume. Be careful so that you're not in a relationship with who someone could potentially be, but rather in relationship with exactly the way the person is right now.

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2. Pay attention when you are getting love-bombed

Narcissists have a tendency to hit you with a love bomb. This weapon of sorts manifests as lavish attention, unyielding loyalty, and undying adoration — all for you! It feels good, right? Of course, it does! You’re only human!

The problem with love bombing is that it will eventually blow up in your face. The way to sidestep the blast is to channel the band Queen: identify early on in your relationship if this is "real life"or "just a fantasy."

Being showered with affection feels so awesome that it can actually alter the chemicals in our brain and leave us to ignore (or entirely miss) warning signs.

Does something seem too good to be true? Then, yes, it probably is.

Stay grounded, take things slow, and watch how your potential partner responds to the boundaries that you draw about moving at your own pace. But, if they object vehemently or throw a myriad of accusations your way about how you need to be more open, this is a massive red flag.

If they can't respect your boundaries now, don't expect this pattern to change as you go deeper with them.

3. Be with yourself

Being with yourself is more about noticing yourself. When you come into contact with someone, how often are you with yourself and how often have you gone across the aisle to their side?

This is a good practice anyway, practicing paying attention to ourselves in the presence of others and when we’re alone.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • "Can I be with myself and my feelings, fully and completely?"
  • "Can I respect my own boundaries and own opinions?"
  • "Can I voice my preferences?"
  • "Can I pinpoint what I really want?"

Being able to answer these questions stops you from becoming a chameleon, which is what those who are narcissistic are after. If you’re shape-shifting to meet the other person’s needs while abandoning your own, then you’re walking right into a relationship in which you will never be satisfied.

Healthy relationships take some inner work. So, get to know yourself, what you want, and what you deserve in relationships. Once you do that, you’ll spot narcissists coming from a mile away. They don't even need to carry a mirror to tip you off.

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Clayton Olson is an International Relationship Coach, Master NLP Practitioner, and Facilitator. He delivers private virtual coaching sessions and leads online group workshops. Register for his free webinar that reveals the 3 Keys to Attracting and Keeping a High-Quality Man or grab his free guide 8 Secrets To Create A Rock Solid Relationship.