Hey, the narcissist is all about playing games with your head. It’s what they do. So, how do you screw that up? What’s “anti-game” when dealing with a narcissist?
That’s easy. It’s like this…the narcissist watches you very closely and picks up a lot of clues about how to manipulate and confuse you from watching your language and conversation, your emotional reactions, and your body language. Narcs are masters at reading people. So, that’s what you disrupt.
Now, keep in mind, with a narcissist, there is nothing authentic and it’s always a chess match with the other person, and the narcissist plays to win every time. But, his Achilles heel is that the narcissist MUST play the game since they know of no other way to deal with people. So, with the narcissist, things are never as they seem.
This is where the “gray rock” method is so invaluable, that is, having the same facial expressions, emotions, and body language as a gray rock….nothing…nothing at all. Whoa…this is VERY unsettling to a narcissist because it’s like them putting a blindfold on and trying to drive….the N doesn’t know what to do or where to go with what the N sees.
This means keeping your wits about you. If you don’t have children with the narcissist and don’t have to interact, then don’t. If you do have to, then gray rock is the way to go. Gray rock means you need to “center yourself” because the N will definitely try to get some reaction out of you, because to the N, any reaction, positive or negative, is still supply, and the more you gray rock the N, the harder the N will try, for quite some time, and then, the N may drop off but occasionally try again.
Now, it’s important to understand that we’re not talking about how you feel at the time….you may feel angry, frustrated, hurt, afraid, or a million other things….but we’re talking about WHAT YOU SHOW THE NARCISSIST, in what you say or don’t, what your facial expression is, and how you act. Personally, I limit my reaction to a stony face and flat, monotone speech, that’s very business like. At best, if the N gets huffy, I might raise an eyebrow….very imperceptibly, but say nothing.
When I used to play penny ante poker, long before it was well known, I knew, as did most experienced players, that inexperienced players gave off “tells”, that is, when they get a card, they reacted to that card via facial expressions and body language, and perhaps even verbal language. A good player “keeps their cards close to the vest”, meaning, never shows any expression at all. It takes practice, but you can get the hang of it.
Now, the narc knows well how to elicit a certain response…how to make you angry, or how to hurt you, for instance, but doing “gray rock” distances you from the N emotionally and personally and takes away the N’s game. It’s great to them if the N can make you get out of control so they can call you crazy, right? Sure. So, the N pushes your buttons and watches you go. So, then, one day, the N pushes your buttons and nothing happens at all. Hmmm. What’s that all about?
It’s about not giving the N any ammo they can use against you. Think of it as a ping-pong game…the narcissist keeps hitting the ball to you, and you just stand there and never try to hit the ball back…never. How fun is that for the narcissist? It isn’t, and that’s the whole point
The narcissist is all about power and control over you, so the N dominates you or tries. You can’t beat the narcissist at their own game…they’re much too clever for that. But, you can frustrate the heck out of them BY REFUSING TO PLAY AT ALL. That way, the narcissist can’t twist your mind into knots or play on your emotions.
The narc wants power and you offer the N….nothing, nothing at all, ever. That’s a game the N doesn’t want to play…nothing in it for them. My wife’s NarcX still, rarely, takes a shot at it, but now, very rarely since it never gets him anywhere. That makes a narcissist feel powerless, and they hate that.