5 Narcissist Types: Their Top Tactics and How To Stop Them

The Narcissist's Types and Tactics and How To Stop ThemExplore the different types and tactics of narcissists and discover effective strategies to stop their manipulation. Dive into unconventional methods, from CBT and NLP techniques to persuasion psychology, ensuring you’re well-equipped to handle any narcissistic encounter.

You know how ice cream comes in many flavors? So do narcissists – although they always deliver the same bitter aftertaste.

If you want to avoid and disarm a narcissist, it helps if you can recognize what type of narcissist they are – and what kind of tactics they might try to use against you.

In this article, I’ll be breaking down the top 5 types of narcissistic abuse – to help you identify which ‘flavor’ you might have unfortunately encountered. Plus I will provide tools to understand and neutralize their tactics.

I’m writing this article because I am a bestselling relationship author of Prince Harming Syndrome (a book which earned me a relationship column on Oprah).

Plus I’m also the founder of the therapist-recommended Broken Heart Recovery Course – and I’ve coached thousands of people through the labyrinth of emotional recovery from a narcissistic partner.

Basically, I’m an expert of narcissistic abuse and passionate about delving into the nuances of narcissistic behaviors and their impact on their unsuspecting victims.

So let’s get started!

The 5 Narcissist Types

Here’s a breakdown of the different types of narcissistic abuse – to help you spot which you might’ve had the misfortune of dealing with.

1. The Overt Narcissist:

The one most people think of — arrogant, attention-seeking, and openly manipulative. They’re grandiose and always crave the spotlight, making sure everyone knows how amazing they think they are.

2. The Covert Narcissist (or Vulnerable Narcissist):

The silent but deadly type. Instead of shouting about their greatness, they whisper, “Woe is me,” while sneakily expecting the world to revolve around them.

3. The Seductive Narcissist:

A real charmer. They make you feel on top of the world, just so they can enjoy the view when they push you off later.

4. The Vindictive Narcissist:

Cross them, and you’ll be added to their revenge bucket list. They hold onto grudges like it’s a limited-edition collector’s item.

5. The Cerebral Narcissist:

Book smart, people stupid. They’ve probably read all the classics and won’t hesitate to remind you of that, especially if they sense you’re intellectually threatening them.

Each type of narcissist has specific tactics to manipulate and control. Recognizing these can be a step towards healing — understanding that their behaviors were not reflections of your worth, but rather their strategic tools of control.

The 4 Narcissist Tactics: Who’s Vulnerable and Why?

narcissists suck quoteLet’s play a game of “Who’s Most Likely to Attract a Narcissist?”

But first, a preface: Narcissists aren’t randomly selecting victims while blindfolded.

No, they’re a bit savvier than that.

They’ve got a sixth sense for sniffing out certain folks – usually the ones with generous hearts or a few unresolved issues in their back pocket.

1. The Empaths

Ah, the tender-hearted souls. Empaths feel emotions in high-definition and surround sound.

Think of them as walking, talking emotional sponges.

To a narcissist? They’re a four-course meal served on a silver platter. Empaths’ compassion often gets turned inside out, weaponized by those who should cherish it.

For instance: Emily, ever the empath, was convinced her love could fix her partner. But her partner? He used her heart as an emotional Swiss Army knife, twisting it for every little whim.

2. People with Past Traumas

Did you have childhood trauma? Maybe you endured childhood neglect or other emotional traumas. If so, those who’ve danced with dark shadows in the past might, sadly, find comfort in the familiarity of a narcissistic waltz.

Case in point: Jake, conditioned by a childhood of emotional breadcrumbs, found himself going after partners who kept the bread basket just out of reach.

3. The Pleasers

These folks would rather swallow a cactus than face confrontation. They fear being left so much that they tolerate anything, even at their detriment. Narcissists, ever the opportunists, know this and treat boundaries like mere suggestions.

Example: Lisa despised conflict. Any hint of tension and she’d wave the white flag, even when she wasn’t in the wrong. Her boyfriend? He saw this not as compromise, but as a chance to get away with murder (figuratively, of course).

4. The Low Self-Esteem Battlers

For those already on shaky self-worth grounds, narcissists have a knack for turning cracks into chasms. They toggle between superficial flattery and subtle jabs, keeping their partner always on uneven footing.

Case in point: Alex was never the poster boy for self-confidence. His partner would say things like, “You’re looking good, but maybe skip dessert tonight?” That’s not love; that’s a psychological diet.

How To Stop A Narcissist: 4 Unconventional Strategies

Narcissist's Types and Tactics and How To Stop ThemNarcissists, despite their self-centered nature, can be disarmingly manipulative. To counter them, sometimes you need strategies as diverse and unique as they are.

Here are four unusual tips, inspired by fields ranging from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to the techniques used in high-stakes kidnapping negotiations:

1. Reframe, Don’t React (CBT Inspired):

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) emphasizes the importance of understanding our thoughts and subsequently modifying our reactions.

Instead of reacting defensively to a narcissist’s comments or accusations, reframe your perspective.

See their actions as reflections of their own insecurities.

By recognizing this, you detach emotionally, giving you the power to respond calmly and rationally, rather than impulsively.

2. The Power of Pacing and Leading (NLP Technique):

how to stop a narcissistNeurolinguistic Programming (NLP) introduces a method called “pacing and leading.”

Begin by mirroring the narcissist’s tone, language, or even their body language (pacing).

Once you’ve established this rapport, you can then subtly redirect (lead) the conversation or situation to a more positive or neutral territory.

This technique can create a subconscious bond, making it easier for you to steer the narrative.

3. The ‘Yes Ladder’ (Persuasion Psychology):

This tactic is all about getting the narcissist to agree with you in small increments, building up to a larger request or statement. Start by making statements you know they’ll agree with.

Once you’ve gotten a few ‘yes’ responses, they’re more likely to agree with a more substantial statement or request. This can be especially useful when trying to persuade a narcissist to see things from a different perspective.

4. Emotional Anchoring (Kidnapper Negotiation Technique):

Kidnapper negotiators are adept at building emotional connections quickly. They often employ ’emotional anchoring’—associating oneself with positive feelings or safety. When dealing with a narcissist, aim to anchor positive emotions to your presence. Compliment genuinely, listen actively, and exhibit empathy.

Over time, the narcissist will associate these positive emotions with your presence, giving you more leverage in interactions.

Remember, the key isn’t to manipulate but to protect yourself and create a healthier dynamic. Use these techniques wisely and ethically.

Recap: Narcissist’s Tactics, Types and How To Stop Them

Recognizing your vulnerabilities isn’t an exercise in self-flagellation. It’s a roadmap. If you’ve been ensnared by a narcissist, it doesn’t highlight your deficiencies but your depth. I hope this article encourages you to reroute your vast well of love and understanding inward – so you forgive yourself for the pain you’ve experienced.

If you want a deeper exploration of how to heal your heart after a post-narcissistic relationship…

Think happier. Think calmer.

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