It can take a long time to learn how to use techniques such as the Gray Rock Method, Yellow Rock Method, No Contact Method, Low Contact Method, or Firewall Method to protect yourself against narcissistic abuse. In the meantime, learning how to manipulate a narcissist is a temporary, yet an incredibly effective alternative that you can use to stay as safe as possible.

In order to manipulate a narcissist, you must strategically use admiration to become a sufficient source of narcissistic supply and reassure their vulnerabilities and insecurities so they value your support more than the gratification they get from abusing you.

While manipulating a narcissist is a temporary solution, the information in this article will help you work towards using more permanent forms of protection such as the Gray Rock Method, Yellow Rock Method, No Contact Method, Low Contact Method, or Firewall Method. Remember, the goal isn’t to be toxic, it is to protect yourself from narcissistic abuse.

A Short Video About How You Can Get “Revenge” On a Narcissist From Our Interview With Licensed Professional Counselor Angela Avery!

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How to Use Narcissistic Supply to Manipulate a Narcissist

Everything that a narcissist does is designed to accumulate as much narcissistic supply (i.e. validation, admiration, reassurance, power, and control) as possible. This supply plays a massive role in their emotional stability because they use to construct a positive self-perception and suppress all of their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Despite being their prized possession, narcissistic supply is actually a narcissist’s biggest weakness! With the right approach, you can use their dependence on narcissistic supply to temporarily protect yourself from narcissistic abuse by turning yourself into a sufficient source of supply.

Suggested Reading

Once you understanding the “engine” of a narcissist (i.e. narcissistic supply), you’ll have a much better chance of protecting yourself and healing from narcissistic abuse. Our articles What Is Narcissistic Supply?andWhat Happens When a Narcissist Runs Out of Narcissistic Supply? have a ton of information that can help you have a successful healing journey.

Use Admiration to Turn Yourself Into a Sufficient Source of Narcissistic Supply

When turning yourself into a sufficient source of narcissistic supply to manipulate the narcissist in your life, it is really important that you don’t put yourself down in the process. For example, a form of admiration that you shouldn’t use is:

A man talking to a narcissist

This type of admiration will only add onto the negativity that the narcissist in your life projects onto you and could severely damage your self-perception. In addition to this, narcissist’s need admiration to come from a “worthy” audience. 

Meaning that from a narcissist’s perspective, admiration needs to come from someone who they believe to be important, but not more important than themselves. If you were to just devalue yourself to give them admiration, they would view you as an “unworthy” audience.

One of the ways that you can use admiration to turn yourself into a sufficient source of narcissistic supply, and remain a “worthy” audience, is by subtly reassuring them of their “greatness” when they give you any type of feedback. In a short video (see below) we’ve put together two examples of how this can be done.

A Short Video That Shows You How to Manipulating a Narcissist With Admiration!

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In the examples in video, you clearly put yourself in a position of importance from which you can provide the narcissist in your life with admiration while remaining a “worthy” audience.

In the first example, this is done by informing the narcissist that the supervisor asked you to lead the project. In the second example, this is done by informing the narcissist of your success with your business.

In addition to this, you avoided causing them to experience a narcissistic injury by asking the narcissist for their “expert” advice. This made them feel more important than you which is really important if you are to successfully use admiration to manipulate the narcissist in your life.

Suggested Reading

The abusive/manipulative behaviors that narcissists subject others to are a product of their narcissistic injuries. Having a clear understanding of narcissistic injuries is important because it will help you get out of harms way (the narcissist) more often. Our articles What Causes Narcissistic Injuries? and 5 Examples of a Narcissistic Injury will help you learn a lot more about narcissistic injuries.

Use Narcissistic Supply to Support the Narcissist’s Fantasies and Belief They Are Special and Unique

According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), narcissistic personality disorder is defined as the following:

  • A grandiose sense of self-importance
  • A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • A belief that he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions
  • A need for excessive admiration
  • A sense of entitlement
  • Interpersonally exploitative behavior
  • A lack of empathy
  • Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her
  • A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes

Once you successfully present yourself as a “worthy” source of narcissistic supply to the narcissist in your life, you can take this a step further by using your position to support their fantasies and belief that they are special and unique!

A simple example of this would be comparing the narcissist in your life to a celebrity.

A victim of narcissistic abuse comparing the narcissist in his life to a celebrity

While this technique can be incredibly effective, for it to work, you must use it wisely and be as sincere as possible. 

You should equate a narcissist getting narcissistic supply to Popeye the Sailor Man getting a can of spinach, the more they get, the stronger they become. So, you shouldn’t go overboard with the admiration, it must be used in moderate proportions. 

Secondly, narcissists are extremely sensitive to feedback.

If a narcissist were to sense that the narcissistic supply, in this case it is the comparison to a celebrity, wasn’t sincere, the likelihood of them going into a narcissistic rage would be incredibly high.

With that being said, we completely understand that validating, admiring, and reassuring a narcissist isn’t easy.

In fact, some of our community members have mentioned that the mere thought of it makes them sick to their stomach. If this is true for you but you still want to use it to turn yourself into a viable source of narcissistic supply and protect yourself from abuse, try using this technique through instant messaging instead of a face to face interactions!

A Quote From One Of Our Community Members!

I tried to use this technique in face-to-face interactions but I couldn’t get the words out. The thought of me sucking up to him like this was a big no-no for me. What worked for me was sending all of the supply I could over text, and then avoiding as many face-to-face interactions as possible.- Randolf

Use a Narcissist’s Vulnerabilities and Insecurities to Manipulate Them

Narcissists are some of the most vulnerable and insecure people on the planet. They struggle with many painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions such as a sense of inadequacy, being unlovable, unwanted, worthless, and weak, but they’re too emotionally incompetent to manage them through healthy forms of emotional regulation.

Instead, they rely on narcissistic supply, their falsified identity, and their grandiose self-perception to suppress all of their painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions deep within their psyche. All this does is make their sense of inadequacy, being unlovable, unwanted, worthless, and weak even more profound and causes to become incredibly vulnerable and insecure.

Suggested Reading

Having the ability to spot narcissistic abuse before it even happens is incredible. It will help you protect your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs from the narcissist in your life. To develop this skill, you must grasp a comprehensive understanding of a narcissist’s vulnerabilities and insecurities. Our article How Are Narcissists Made? can help you do this.

Play Into the Narcissist’s Vulnerabilities and Insecurities by Coddling Their Painful Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions

The overwhelming amount of vulnerabilities and insecurities that narcissists have gives you a really good opportunity to manipulate them by acting as a reliable source of reassurance that they can rely on. Remember, you aren’t trying to be toxic here, you are just trying to protect your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs.

To do this, you are going to want to play into the narcissist’s vulnerabilities and insecurities by coddling their emotions. This will place you in a position from which the narcissist believes that your “support” is much more valuable than the gratification that they would get from abusing you. By no means is this guaranteed to work, but if you’re out of options, it is worth a try!

A narcissist getting supported by others

6 Phrases You Can Use to Coddle the Narcissist’s Emotions!

1. I can’t believe that your boss doesn’t see how amazing your work is! 

2. You were so powerful out there! They couldn’t stop you!

3. Oh don’t worry about it, people just can’t take a joke these days.

4. The only reason that (blank) is acting like that is because he/she is jealous of you. He/she knows that without you it would all fall apart.

5. I can tell that you’ve been working out, you look fantastic! 

6. What you did for (blank) was amazing, you are truly the most inspiring person I’ve known.

What Should You Take Away From This Article? 

Using manipulation to reduce the level of abuse one may experience in a narcissistic relationship is not for everyone and it is not guaranteed to work. If you do decide to use this technique, you have to remember two things. 

First, manipulation is not a technique that should be used to exact revenge on the narcissist. Surviving narcissistic abuse is an intellectual process, it is not about exacting revenge.  

Second, those who use manipulation to reduce the amount of abuse in the relationship must commit to the sincerity aspect of it all. Narcissists really good at spotting insincerity, especially when it comes to narcissistic supply, their falsified identity, and their grandiose self-perception.

When done properly, manipulating a narcissist can temporarily protect you from abuse and give you the time needed to place yourself in a position from which you can set and maintain firmer boundaries with the narcissist such as the Gray Rock Method, Yellow Rock Method, No Contact Method, Low Contact Method, or Firewall Method.

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All of the content that Unfilteredd creates is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for clinical care — please visit here for qualified organizations and here for qualified professionals that you can reach out to for help. This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

References

Green, Ava, and Kathy Charles. “Voicing the victims of narcissistic partners: A qualitative analysis of responses to narcissistic injury and Self-Esteem regulation.” Sage open 9.2 (2019): 2158244019846693.