How to Make a Narcissist Pay

Mmm, it’s delicious to think about sometimes, isn’t it — making that mofo writhe in misery to pay for the pain and destruction he’s caused. It’s justice, with flair and attitude. And, how hard can it be? Spraypainting “assclown” on the side of his car, lobbing dozens of eggs at his house, or getting him drunk and, when he falls asleep, drawing daffodils on his forehead with permanent markers. Tying him down and tattooing “I hurt people” across his clavicle. Posting unflattering pictures of him in the post office with the FBI Most Wanted, or in public restrooms with “Pervert” written on them.

Ahem. Not that Aunt Alex spends much time daydreaming about such things. (This is true. I’m usually thinking about Italian food.) But it’s perfectly healthy thought-play, orchestrating revenge scenes in your head, and the more elaborate and creative, the better. He hurt you, and you’re allowed some justice-dreaming.

But what I encourage you to think about doing is very, very different from what I encourage you to actually do. Your wanting the narcissist to suffer is completely understandable, and it’s wonderfully fortunate that the best way to make him suffer is also the best thing for you. See, all that stuff above feels good to us as revenge, but he’ll actually love your retaliations because it’s just more attention directed his way. The technique to make him really suffer is — wait for it — ignore the living daylights out of him.

Shun him. Obey the “No Contact” rule. Sit shiva for him, so that he’s dead to you. However you want to put it, the plan is for you to have nothing to do with the narcissist. This leaves YOU going on with your life and putting the pieces back together, and HIM squirming in his toxic juices.

This is the BEST way to make a narcissist pay, and the BEST thing for you, but it’s not perfect. The missing will be excruciating. And the ignoring him will make him try really, really hard to get your attention. Resisting these efforts on his part will be monumentally hard for an emotionally generous person. It’ll be a giving person shutting out someone she’s loved, who says he wants to get back together — a pretty dangerous situation. For that reason, shutting him out won’t be fun, or easy, or likely to be successful the first time. If he catches you in a weak moment, it’ll go like this:  you’ll shut him out, he’ll beg to come back, you’ll allow him back into your life, and he’ll be just as destructive and assclowning as before (if not more so). This isn’t a bad thing, because then, when you ignore the crap out of him the next time, you’ll KNOW what you’re in for if you let him back. Experience is a great teacher.

That putting your life back together part doesn’t get talked about much, and it’s critically important to keep from being vulnerable to another narcissist. Beefing up boundaries is a mandatory part of recovery. And letting all the air out of his tires while he’s at a bar meeting another woman, releasing a box of snakes in his house, and posting his picture and a detailed list of his mental and physical shortcomings on the “news” page of your town, are perfectly splendid ideas best left unexplored.

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29 Comments

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29 responses to “How to Make a Narcissist Pay

  1. Case

    This is a difficult one. I consider myself a person of action, so surrendering to the art of inaction is challenging. I understand that it is the most effective way to move on, and to bother them, but it is like fighting against my nature to do it. The first few days of “no contact” is hard, then ignoring the urge to respond to them when they contact you is even harder. But what are the options? To be miserable and abused or to “suffer” through no contact until I am ultimately free from the N? I choose temporary suffering for a lifetime of happy, but I just wish it wasn’t so darn hard! Thanks, Alex!

  2. You make a great point, and I know of what you speak. One thing that works for some folks who feel the push to do something, is to turn nothing into something.

    Here’s what that means. Toad-boy calls your cell. Leaves a voice message. “I miss you. Was hoping we could talk soon.” Instead of saying, “I’m not gonna call him back, I’m gonna try not to call him back”, tell yourself, “I’m on a mission. Holding the course. Staying active at staying clean and sober and OFF the toad-toxin.” I know, it’s weird, and the “clean and sober” thing isn’t for everyone, but it works. This is because instead of trying to sit on your hands and restrain yourself, now you’re trying to actively do something ELSE — something that’s way cooler and a reminder that what he has to offer is indeed a toxin.

    And it always will be.

  3. Case

    Thank you for the great suggestion, Alex! I just need to think of it differently…not witholding something from myself, but encouraging myself to be free. The “clean and sober” concept works for me. I will make a conscious decision to move on and away. I like it.

  4. e

    When you are still addicted the “toxin” is your drug. It is sick. I am almost free but I have suffered tremendously for over eight months trying to break the spell.

  5. Stine

    Thanks for this – I have been played by a Narcissist but I have still kept in contact therefore have extended my pain because yes…. He texts me when he hasn’t heard from me, then when I text him back – No response. Still a TOXIC TOAD. This is it. It’s over and I’m on my mission.

  6. Angie

    How do you ignore a narcissist boss when you’re his secretary?!

  7. chele

    Staying away from the toad toxin is excrutiatingly painful. Its killing me. If I survive “this” and beat it, I can definately quit smoking lol

  8. Eve

    My sociopath is so talented…..he didn’t have to take every penny I had, make me commit a crime I went to jail for while he was free, ruin my good credit and reputation….but he did. What the hell was wrong with me??

  9. Dawn O.

    I tried 3 times to leave my toad, and always got sucked back down into his dark, subterranean, sunless universe where he was God and I was there to worship him no matter what he did. Finally I had him investigated and got incontrovertible proof of the rest of his life. The other women. The other victims. And an STD. That pretty much made me decide to come back up into the air, and light, and LIFE. After I got myself back on the path to health (it was bacterial, thank GOD — the REAL God), I put a block on all his e-mail addresses (and there were several I hadn’t even known about). I changed my phone number and limited distribution of the new number to people he didn’t know, but who were good friends of mine. I then received a number of written messages left on my property – these, too, were returned to his last known address, unopened. What did they say? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I packed up EVERY SINGLE ITEM I HAD EVER RECEIVED FROM HIM (many of which, I learned from the investigator, had actually been gifts to HIM, –and even stolen– from other women, which made me realize that so many things I had given him had mysteriously vanished over time – now I know why) and returned them to his last known address – did they reach him? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I “CLEANSED” my home of every vestige of his memory. I could not, and refuse to move – this is MY home, purchased with MY money, and I love it. But I’ve repainted it and done a number of other things to reclaim it – it’s MINE. But if you can move, do it. I have also engaged local law enforcement and explained my situation to them. If he comes on my property, I won’t deal with it – they will. Will he get arrested? I don’t know, and I don’t care. Finally, I enabled him in a subtle way to know how much I now know about him, and that if he makes any further effort to contact me or my loved ones, I will not hesitate to share that information with others in his world. This is something the Narcissist fears above everything else – being unmasked to those who are still drinking his Kool-Aid.

    So far, so good. Hope this helps guide others. And I am NOT looking back. I’ve read everything I can find about what Narcissists “look” like when I first meet them, and I’m already learning new skills about weeding out these soulless animals within 10 minutes. I may spend a long time going through chaff, but one of these days I’ll find that golden kernel… And if I don’t, that’s OK too. At least I’m not living under ground, eating the toad’s worm leftovers while he uses my home as an operating base and my money to woo and bed everything that looks like a trophy and has a pulse…

  10. Catharine

    Hi Alex, ive been reading some exerpts from your book Toads and the Women who Kiss Them and its fantastic. I havent been able to download it as my mac doesnt have the latest kit and I dont have a kindle. Would I be able to download it some other way or perhaps get a paperback version? Im absolutely dying to read it having just come out of a “relationship” with a very nasty toad indeed xx

  11. Hey … Love this ….
    I really hadn’t realized what was happening to me …
    And I am shocked, stunned and unable to tal to anyone …
    This has helped ease the pain ..
    Thankyou so much ..
    Lots of Love

  12. Thanks for your interest, Catharine. Toads… will be in print in about a week.

  13. Jami

    Why do we even want them back? Why do we want the hurt? Why do they call and say things to you when you have been apart and you have done what they asked?

  14. greatful

    It is extremely hard at first to ignore them, but as time goes on it gets easier. I tried several times only to let him get me back and do it all over again. Well this time I’m really done. I did a good deed for his dead relatative then he cut me off. Go figure! You don’t have to step on me athousand times before I know it hurts.My advice, move on. Life is too short!

  15. Carmen

    I would love to see him crawl back…….just to kick him in the teeth again. No just kidding, I wouldn’t dare. He is too dangerous. But it’s nice thinking about it.
    NC for 8 weeks now!

  16. dadda

    Just don’t let him again in yor life when he comes back after disappearing… He comes back like a little lamb, and will use subtle methods to make you recall good moments together. Let him telephone and talk, and just observe , look at what he does ,like watching a moovie, and not your life. You will see the absurd, and the manipulation. Pay attention to his voice, in which there is no interest for you but for revenge and satisfaction. Don’t be in a hurry to push him away.. But keep tightky closed yoor door, be conscious that you will never open your life to him because it’s dangerous for your mental safety.It steels power from your heart, and emotional peace. And it will take a long time to recover He is not evil, but he has a serious deseas, and nobody can dela with. Only therapist. Love doesn’t cure him. And then think that if a narcissistic felt into your life is because you didn’t love yourself sufficiently, strong women would have locked the doors after three days

  17. kemoi

    A narcissist is a loser,he/she may be surrounded by wonderful people but he/she choses to play them what a shamed.
    Once you are informed they narcissist is gone. The best thing to get revenge is to stript him/ her from your love, your attention your care. and even he / she tries to get you back give him ZERO chance and show no interest in whatever he /she says or does, its all fake and lies.

  18. cam

    No contact people. If you can swing it do it. I am a shrink for kids… 11 degrees and certs…. mine- he was with me from 38 to 49… i am now 50… we are both conventionally good looking……the end started Dec 11th 2011 for me I am slowly out of the huge FOG… he was and is covert and sneaky.. it takes all of my will power not to drive to his apartment and icepick him to death… lay him out on his little patio … dry him like jerky and them eat him… he is 6′ 4″ 225 lb… but i am sure i could keep to that kind of low carb diet.. as he would have said jk…if one is being driven insane ie.. on meds like a bit of an anti-depressent or anti-anxiety/sleeping pill… one may not have a choice… one suffers and the N just is…that is how one knows who is giving this terrible gift and who is receiving… get free, I am, yes they make you feel special and the withdrawal is terrible( and I am no wilting flower)… but get free…face the unknown… loneliness… whatever…it will be better than the ultimate price.. you and your complete brain..and yes people…GOD has left my house… the all knowing all being God….only his name is not Jesus…no joke and I am a hard core scientist…to all of you youngsters out there.. if you are not in a legal commitment,,, do not have kids……runnnnnnnnnnnn.really…. run………..it is not good and it is not healthy

  19. Bonnie

    I agree with ignoring them. It’s given me more strength having the decision to leave. Hard? Yes, and necessary. I filed for divorce and will show in court how he lied on his affidavit and disclosure. He will be held accountable legally even if he would never admit his lies to me. My patience with not responding to every manouver he’s tried to seek revenge on me is further making it easier for me to get through e-mails, angry voice messages the proof I need. Hurting his ego by no longer responding in ways that’s worked for him in the past. Simply by ignoring him, making HIM feel insignificant.

  20. I tried to break it off with my toxic toad but he did not want to. He begged, cried, refused. It just got worse and worse. He was really good at the “poor me” game. The final dramatic curtain call involved him threatening to kill himself with a knife, threatening me with the knife, and damaging my home. He had committed a felony. His female “friend” who was at my house called the police. I have not spoken to him since then thanks to a court ordered no contact. Honestly, had this situation not occurred, I may still be suffering and would not have known that he was an N. I only learned the truth after he went to jail and his own mother finally informed me of his NPD. The No Contact will remain in place for at least 18 months. My eyes became wide open to do many things post incident. Hindsight is 20/20. I had been completely duped by this monster. It’s a miracle that it turned out the way it did. I was so deeply under his spell, I could have allowed my life to be completely ruined.

  21. Judy Lindsey

    I was blessed to find out about my toad … just a few months into our marriage . Non the less very painful and expensive . I wish the ou look for them wasn’t so blik . I’m very happy I am not the toad … but sad to say a very hard lesson that such evil people live among us .
    Thankful for my freedom – Judy

  22. Molly

    Another brilliant post! I’m in stitches right now. Funnily enough, I have actually fantasized and discussed a few of these ways to get revenge with my friends- in particular the spraying of ‘assclown’ on his precious car (can’t believe we used the same word!), egging his house and posting a list of everything he’s done to me on a website (or to his employers!)

    Just to note: I haven’t done any of these things. They are just spoken about with friends and dreamed about in my head.

    I am obeying the NC rule completely but my ex-N left me for the last time and never contacted me since. I suppose I’m lucky, but it still hurts!

    They say the best revenge is living well, so that’s what I’m trying to do. And yes, leaving him in his toxic juices sounds oh-so-lovely!

    Thanks for the post Aunt Alex!!

  23. Dear Alexandra,
    Thank you for your post. I work with women with histories of domestic violence, and have been victimized by some of the worst “narcissistic” offenders. I look forward to sharing with them your formula for healing the heartbreak that comes with loving someone who hurts the people who love them the most.

  24. A. Non

    Ladies, I feel your pain. I never felt as low or alone as those first six months after I cut her off. I followed the no-contact rule and eventually she stopped trying, but it was incredibly hard. I later met the married man she was seeing before me (I was divorcing when I met her). He left his wife for her, she left him for me, but he didn’t know what she was and she played him just like the literature says. I knew none of this at the time, and it was so strange to meet this guy and to discover we had shared the same experience right down to the the intimate and seemingly personalized things she had said to us. The only healthy thing you can do is ignore them and try to find the gift in the experience. For me that gift was coming to understand why I had allowed such a destructive being into my life. I don’t believe that everyone is vulnerable to a narcissists game. Consciously or by instinct, she targeted me because she sensed that I had a particular vulnerability that fit her particular needs. I think, for me at least, that an underdeveloped relationship with myself was part of the reason I was so intensely drawn to and obsessed with this woman. She filled a void in me that I think people with a less chaotic and confusing childhood than I had, fill for themselves. Understanding that concept was what I spent those months afterwards on, and what allowed me to eventually have a real and healthy relationship. I wish you good luck and healing, you deserve it.

  25. Bonnie

    Reading about the pain is the key to turning the love you give someone who doesn’t appreciate what they had (have) and giving it back to yourself.

    Being away from a narc. I see so much more clearly. THEY ARE SELF DESTRUCTIVE! They will pull down the closest people to them. If not you, then the next person. They are too cowardly to deal with life alone. Misery needs company. Good people deserve happiness. Leaving is the only alternative.

    I had some nasty e-mails sent to me yesterday. However now I read them and feel sorry for him. How angry he is inside. How much hatred he has for life. ANYONE how really hates themselves will make another feel horrible about themselves. LEAVE THEM. It’s not worth your life.

  26. Layla

    So my 11 year long distance relationship with my narcissist was ended by him at the end of September. I never heard from him again. Before I started researching and learned about narcissism I stupidly sent him a couple emails and a snail mail. Last email said goodbye. Of course no reply.

    The last phone call he told me he had started dating a woman where he lives. Of course he hadn’t told me he stopped dating me. Well after the initial shock/agony, the revenge bug set in. He’s 1500 miles from me. The woman he left me for happens to have a professional webpage for her business with her email. And I emailed her his still active (active the whole 11 years we were together I discovered) Adult Friend Finder profile with his dirty little secrets in it. With a short note just telling her that I wasted 11 years, told her to look up narcissism, and said she had the opportunity to get out while she could.

    I don’t know if they are still together but I checked tonight and his 11 year active profile is no longer active….so I’m guessing there was a little discussion there about it. And I would have liked to be a fly on the wall when she “hit” him with it. And if they are still together, she’s going to always be watching now, I know I would.

    Now, would I have done this if he didn’t live 1500 miles away? I doubt it. He has guns and a bad temper. But do I feel some satisfaction tonight? You betcha. He first said he thought he was better off alone and I’d love it if I made that happen for him.

  27. IWILLSURVUIVE

    My N bf just broke it off 3 days ago because I caught him cheating. I am done Im glad I learned about this illness. He went as far as to compare me to my sister saying I need to play my part n our relationship how my sister plays her part in here,lol. He called me dumb, said I was the dumbest person he ever met and that he would never marry me. We were together 5 yrs and he just really broke my spirit. I am going thru recovery now.I know he will contact me in the next week, but I will never contact or reply to him again! I will pray for him though….

  28. poisoned_soul

    I don’t know how to get the weight off my chest

    two successive relationships, the first one lasted 8 years. 8 years of abuse, physical and psychological abuse. I nearly lost my life twice, he almost threw me off the window…another time he grabbed me from the neck and tried to strangle me…I saw death with my own eyes, I was 22.

    Now i’m a 31 years old woman…very attractive woman, if I believe my second N.

    After a painful divorce, with horros of all shapes and forms…I met what seemed to be my redemption, my saviour. Then out of nowhere!! The circle started closing up again, this time psychological mind-games and torture beyond repair. My heart aches, my pain is unbearable. I am so tormented and low. Here he is, dating other girls pretending to be a prince charming. But only I know his ugly face.

    I hold myself, and try not to think about the hereafter…I think I need help. Why do these silly tears never dry up?

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