When I was in the thick of all the custody battles, endless court dates, and co-parenting, I would literally Google, “How do I disarm a narcissist?”
If you’re like me, when you left the narcissist, you may have felt like you were swinging from one end of a pendulum to the other.
On one end, when you were living with them, you put up with so much to keep the peace and protect yourself and your kids.
I felt completely silenced to the point where I didn’t know what I thought or felt. It was like trying to speak with a filter on my brain and my throat.
I never spoke anything against what he thought and never put up any boundaries.
Once I left, it felt like I swung way over to the opposite end. The filter was off and I suddenly wanted to tell him everything I thought! (Psychologically, that’s a healthy response to having been silenced and abused for a long time.)
Maybe that’s where you are right now. You want to be completely unfiltered and you don’t want to have to strategize in communicating with him anymore.
I get it! I lived through 24 years of strategizing with him and I just wanted to be DONE.
I started to put up boundaries but I would explain to him why I was doing it. BUT! By doing that I gave him a ton of fuel to turn it all back on me to hurt me and use it as a smear campaign!
Spoiler alert: Narcissists thrive on (emotional) fuel.
We teach our kids to ignore bullies on the playground, right? Because if you show the bully that you’re not really bothered by what they’re saying, they will most likely leave you alone.
It’s the same with a narcissist. So, if you’re on the other end of that pendulum swing and you’re feeling like, “I am woman. Hear me roar!” then you roar, girlfriend!
Just roar in a safe place like your journal, in prayer, out loud in your car, or to your other friends.
Not to the narcissist.
This all sounds reasonable, right? You may have learned how to keep from giving details and not be offended at his little jabs so he doesn’t see that he’s made you upset. You might be following the gray rock or yellow rock method.
However, a narcissist is on a constant hunt for fuel.
Any tiny piece of information you give him can and will be used against you!
Remember: They’ve mastered the art of manipulating and weaseling their way back into your good graces.
Example: He picks up the kids from school when you’re sick. You think this is great! He did something normal and compassionate, woo hoo!
But, then he starts a normal conversation with you about sending the kids to camp. He thinks it’s a great idea and you should go ahead and make the plans.
Next he sends a casual text: How’s your mom?
Your last few interactions with him were calm and almost pleasant. You might forget and actually answer the question. Now he’s got information about your mom and he will use it against you later!
Even when he appears to be turning things around and it looks like he’s going to do the right thing, his resume proves otherwise. Do not trust it, sister.
My encouragement for you is to always - in every situation - stand your ground and not give the narcissist fuel of any kind.
When he’s being agreeable, that is a huge red flag! Remember his tactics.
As you uphold this boundary you will feel stronger and you will stand in your own power. Once you learn to never give him fuel in any situation, he will lose his power.
If you're wanting help in this area, enroll in The Co-Parenting Course. I know you will find peace, boundaries, and freedom with the videos, workbook, and group coaching.
For more information, and to see if this course is right for you, click below.
God made you for this!
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