Coping with the presence of a narcissist in your life can be hard. You find yourself at the receiving end of the blame for everything that goes wrong. You get smeared, manipulated and it takes every ounce of your energy to survive to be with them. Of course, at some point, you’d want to call them out behavioral tendencies that qualify as emotional abuse. Be warned, exposing a narcissist isn’t easy. They’ll use every trick of manipulation they have mastered over the years to pin the blame on you.
So, arm yourself with all the information you need for exposing and publicly humiliating a narcissist.
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Who is a Narcissist?
It is important to understand what are the traits of this personality type before you start contemplating how does someone exposes a narcissist. That’s because narcissism is often used as a generic term to describe anyone who is even borderline self-indulgent or self-absorbed.
We see a person post too many selfies on social media or meet someone who likes to blow their own trumpet, and we quickly label them a narcissist. Often, this description is misguided and acutely inaccurate.
That’s why to be successful in exposing a narcissist, you need to be aware of how to identify one.
A true narcissist is a person who suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) – a psychological condition characterized by the following behavior traits:
- An inflated sense of self
- A compulsive need for attention
- A tendency to thrive on admiration
- Complete lack of empathy
- Difficulty maintaining long-term or initmate relationships
- A belief in being superior to others
- Sense of entitlement
- Being jealous of others’ success
- Or constantly feeling that people are jealous of them
- Fixation with notions of success, brilliance, beauty, and power
Like most personality disorders, NPD also cannot be characterized as black and white. It usually is a broad spectrum of grey. This means that a narcissist may display all or only some of these behavioral traits.
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To ascertain whether you have a narcissist in your life – either as your partner or a colleague, friend, sibling, or even a parent – look for the following signs:
- They’re adept at hogging the limelight and making everything about themselves.
- Narcissists have an undying need for appreciation and thrive on compliments.
- They are highly critical of you.
- A narcissist gaslights you repeatedly.
- They dislike labeling relationships.
- Are incapable of apologizing.
- They panic at the thought of being left behind.
If the person in question checks are a majority of these boxes, you can claim with certainty that they are narcissists. To break free from the grip of their manipulating ways, you now have to work around exposing them.
Your Guide to Exposing a Narcissist
The question ‘how does someone expose a narcissist?’ is a pertinent one because you risk coming across as the irrational or crazy in the process. That’s why exposing a narcissist requires a strategic, well-thought approach. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
1. Pay attention to behavior traits
When a relationship is new and fresh, we tend to overlook a lot of red flags just because we’re not ready to accept that this honeymoon phase is not going to lead to a happily ever after. No matter how strong your emotions, always pay attention to the other person’s behavior.
Don’t brush the things that bother you under the carpet. The sinking feeling in your gut that tells you something is off is almost always right. So pay heed.
2. Call them out from the beginning
Once you’re certain that the person displays certain unsavory behavioral tendencies, start calling them out on it. Set clear boundaries to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of. And most importantly, stop making excuses or covering up their narcissistic tendencies.
This is a small but crucial step toward exposing a narcissist. When things begin to spiral out of their control and they see that they cannot manipulate you, you’ll get a peek into what it is like to be a vulnerable narcissist. That is when bringing out their real face to the world becomes easier.
3. Don’t put up with the toxicity
All the manipulations and lies put you at the receiving end of continuous toxicity. This is a form of emotional abuse that can take a toll on your mental well-being. So, before exposing a narcissist, it is important to stop putting up with their toxic behavior and focus on healing yourself.
Otherwise, when you do act on your intent to expose them, they will capitalize on your weaknesses and triggers and project you like the crazy one.
4. Don’t fall for the ‘I can change’ façade
When you start resisting a narcissist’s behavior, they are going to counter it with the assurance of making amends. ‘I can change’ is the oldest lie manipulators have been using to keep their victims under the thumb. Don’t fall for this trap. You’ll only expose yourself to more toxicity.
Narcissism is a personality trait ingrained in a person’s fabric. They cannot overcome it by sheer will of the force. Neither is it your job to turn a narcissist into a ‘good person’
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5. Use Facts for exposing a narcissist
While you’re laying the groundwork for exposing a narcissist, arm yourself with facts that can bring out the truth about them. Then, make your final move by either exposing a narcissist on social media or in real life. Or both. Don’t let sentimentality or emotional overtures sway you at this point.
Share the facts depicting their narcissistic behavior with people integral to your equation. At this point, the narcissist will do everything in their power to twist these facts and find an angle that works in their favor.
Things can get ugly, so we need to develop a thick skin for exposing a narcissist. Don’t let the pressure get to you. Committing yourself to the line of truth is your only way out from this vicious circle of trauma.
How to Expose a Narcissist In Court
Following these steps to a T becomes even more important if you’re seeking legal recourse and want to know how to expose a narcissist in court. At this point, saying that the person displays narcissistic tendencies is not going to be enough. You need hard facts and evidence to back your claims and a calm demeanor to sit through what follows.
Narcissists have a special penchant for making people crumble into compliance through intimidation. So, don’t address them or their lawyer directly. Make your case to the judge/jury.
Maintain adequate distance from them before you say your piece. Don’t engage in conversation outside the courtroom. Once inside, don’t make eye contact. They will do everything they can to rattle you.
Your calm, detached approach can disarm them and leave them triggered. This is exactly what you need to make them spiral out of control, and put their delusional tendencies on display for the world to see.
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Ways to Expose a Narcissist In the Workplace
Personal and professional relationships are markedly different from one another, and that’s why you need a distinct approach when trying to expose a narcissist in the workplace. For that, pay attention to their modus operandi.
In the professional realm, narcissists tend to follow a ‘divide and conquer’ policy. They cozy up to different groups of people, making them feel as if their allegiances are sworn to them. Then use this proximity to create an atmosphere of rivalry. This suits their constant need for attention and appreciation.
Another key trait of a narcissist in a workplace is that they shirk responsibility and are always looking for the next fall guy to pin the blame of their incompetence on.
Creating an atmosphere of transparency is the best way to expose a narcissist in the workplace and put an end to their toxic pathologies. Once again, facts are your biggest ally in this battle. So, make sure you document details such as damning conversations, proof of their incompetence, or scheming ways.
Do not let the narcissist get a whiff of it. Also, do not confront them on your own, even if you’ve enough evidence against them. They will turn the whole situation around and make you look like the bad, crazy, or paranoid person. Remember they have a lot of allies to back them up.
Bring these facts out in front of a group of co-workers, preferably in a formal meeting with seniors and subordinates present. This way, all their triangulation tactics will go right out the window and they’ll have nowhere to run for cover.
Brace yourself for some mudslinging and pathological projections when you expose a narcissist in the workplace. Make sure you are prepared to see this battle to its logical end. Going down this path takes courage. But it’ll be worth it in the end, and you’ll do your organization and co-worker a world of good.
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How Does A Narcissist Tend To React To Being Exposed?
Now that you’re past the ‘how does someone expose a narcissist?’ stage, it’s time to prepare yourself for the next part of the process – that is the inevitable backlash. For that, you need to know how does a narcissist tends to react to being exposed.
You have freed yourself from all emotional dependencies on the narcissist in your life. They will, in turn, punish you for it. This is primarily because they are control freaks, incapable of remorse, care, empathy, and sensitivity. Irrespective of how they have been treating you all along, the narcissist will end up feeling wronged and betrayed by your actions.
To get back at you, they will first desert you and then make themselves needed.
Their way of settling the score is to hook you in so deep that you cannot break free from their toxic patterns even though you understand them well. Releasing yourself from all ties, be it emotional, financial, or logistical, is crucial to bouncing back. At the same time, cut loose the people in your life you believe their version of the truth over your hard, cold facts. Such people aren’t worth your while anyway.
Once the person realizes that they have truly lost the power to manipulate you or hurt you in any way, they will lose interest in having you around. You’ll truly have freed yourself from their clutches.
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Final Thoughts – You Can Survive Exposing a Narcissist
The trauma of exposing a narcissist can seem a lot more overwhelming than putting up with one. When you’re with them, there is an ebb and flow of these toxic tendencies and abuse. But once they feel cornered, a narcissist will go to great length to bring you down. That can be hard to cope with. Keep reminding yourself that this phase will pass and you will emerge from it forever free.
Exposing a narcissist doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, perseverance, and patience. Hang in there.