Monday, January 22, 2007

The Holy Grail

Here's an excerpt from a new article on the Main Site:

If you can't get a narcissist to stop relating to you as your judge, you can try this: Every time he or she relates to you inappropriately (i.e., as your judge or by abusing you in any way), take away the mirror.

Read the rest here.
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At 9:35 PM, Anonymous gh said...

Yes! I've been trying this strategy for a few weeks/months now. It's rather interesting. Without a mirror, a reaction, he'll sometimes just go away.

Other times, it's clear that withdrawing the mirror pisses him off. He'll go away, come back with something more hateful to say, go away again, come back again -- like a caged animal who can't find a way out. At those times, it takes a great deal of discipline to withhold the mirror, to not get drawn into the battle. But when I do, I can guarantee he'll eventually just go away.

At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's exactly the way my sister treats me. She uses exclusion too as she has spread poison to all of my family thinking that since I am out in the cold and everyone believes hers side of things, that I'll have no choice but to accept a lie about myself in order to be accepted by my family again. I prefer the cold to being drawn back into that web.


At 10:50 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

It's just negative reinforcement of inappropriate behavior toward you. But you have to know what a narcissist is up to to know that. When we do things that would negatively reinforce a normal person, it backfires, because that's exactly what an N wants.

And it will work best if you then come around to be polite the moment he relates appropriately to you. Then you positively reinforce appropriate behavior.

You're just training him, like he trains you. This is no panacea. But it's good for your self-respect, because you aren't submitting docilely to play the role of the inferior and to take abuse. Plus, with any luck, it will get you somewhat better treatment. Without pointless arguments that go nowhere.

At 11:09 PM, Blogger Kathy said...


I bet she'll continue to do that as long as she thinks you're dying to get back in. And she will work hard to pretend that you are dying to get back in. It can take a long time to disabuse a narcissist of this notion. But once you do, the change in them is amazing.

At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are sharing your strategy!! Thank you for all your help and support.


At 12:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm sure that is what she is counting on. As the sin eater in the family, it has always been up to me to reach out to all the others to make amends. No one else has to say they are sorry because they have always had me to do so for them. At 50 it is very hard to break old habits but I'm trying hard to replace "I'm sorry" with "I'm saddened". My husband and my sons are doing their best to help me stay strong and stand my ground. They will have to find a new sin eater.:0/

I think I need electroshock treatments to erase them from my brain so I can quit thinking about it. I'm really sick of trying to figure it out. This probably sounds weird but I'm thinking of divorcing them so that I can have some kind of formal closure.



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