How to Disarm a Narcissist During Divorce or Custody Mediation
Written by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert and Coach
Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine
Have you ever noticed how the goal post keeps moving when dealing with a narcissist? The rules, expectations, behaviors, and conduct are consistently inconsistent.
Narcissists use random and varied tactics of fear and confusion to condition their targets. The objective is to keep them from ever achieving a state of equilibrium; to render them defenseless, compliant, and therefore controllable.
It is impossible to beat narcissists at their game. If you fight them you will lose. All attempts will be futile. You will be decimated every time.
You cannot beat them at their game but you can easily learn to play it. You can level the playing field once you understand what motivates them.
Narcissists are by far the most unoriginal species on the planet. They are not complex beings and are not motivated by the same things non-narcissistic people are; pain and pleasure. The false-self of narcissists does not allow them to feel either. Narcissists are motivated solely by adoration, admiration, and attention, otherwise known as supply or fuel. They spend every waking hour pursuing it. Tactics of manipulation, abuse and control are used to solicit it, maintain it and possess it.
When planning to face a narcissist in divorce mediation, the best approach is the one taken directly from the narcissist’s playbook: keep him or her off balance. This is achieved by strategy shifting throughout the mediation process.
The first step in mediation strategy planning is to identify your options. Though you likely feel defeated, as if you’ve hit a wall in your defense and that your opponent has already won, step back from your standpoint to gain a different perspective. Understand that there are always options. Take back your power.
Read carefully through the narcissist’s allegations and complaints. Find areas where your opponent contradicts his or her self and/or makes ludicrous demands that aren’t relative to the objective. Highlight all the lies that are being told about you and then come up with simple statements you can make to expose them.
Preparation and execution are equally important. Throughout the mediation process, keep reminding yourself that it doesn’t matter what the narcissist says. It only matters what you know.
The tips shared in this article are tried and true. They can truly be game changers.
- React to anything the narcissist says, no matter how triggering
- Show fear, frustration or anger
- Act fidgety or nervous
- Accuse or name call
- Act defensive about anything you are falsely accused of
- Blame shift
- Cry or get hysterical
- Bring up irrelevant facts or allegations you never made before, to strengthen your position
- If the opponent has an attorney present, don’t argue with him or her.
Randomly shift the following strategies (in no particular order):
- Just say “NO” to things you refuse to compromise on. No explanation. Just simply say “NO”.
- State facts in a non-emotional way.
- Speak very slow. This drives narcissists crazy.
- Use flattery. If you have never done this or have not done it in a while, don’t be concerned. You will be amazed. Narcissists eat this stuff up!
- Say “you know that’s not true” or “that’s not true” to lies. No explanation or argument required. Just say those words.
- Turn off your emotional tap. Give no supply at all.
Disarm the narcissist by keeping the strategic target moving. Your narcissistic ex or soon-to-be will not expect these types of behaviors from you and will lose his sense of equilibrium. The calmer you remain and the slower you speak, the more agitated your opponent is likely to become, subsequently revealing her true nature.
It’s important for you to understand that everything about narcissistic abuse is counter-intuitive. Any decisions made with your logical mind or based on a lay person’s advice will take you in the wrong direction. For unparalleled support and to achieve the best outcome possible, enlist the help of a narcissistic abuse coach and/or a divorce coach. The experience and wisdom they can offer you are invaluable and well worth the cost, which in relation to the benefit is minimal.
Randi Fine is a narcissistic abuse expert and coach to clients worldwide. She is the author of the groundbreaking book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing, the most comprehensive, most well researched, and most up-to-date book on this subject. In addition to helping survivors recognize their abuse and heal from it, this book teaches mental health professionals how to recognize and properly treat the associated abuse syndrome. Ms. Fine is also the author of Cliffedge Road: A Memoir, the first and only book to characterize the life-long progression of complications caused by narcissistic child abuse.
Join Narcissistic Abuse Expert Randi Fine and Certified Divorce Coach Susan Shofer on Clubhouse every Tuesday at 3pm ET in the Divorce Club group as we answer your questions about “Divorcing a Narcissist”. Men and Women welcome!