A narcissist always thinks that he is a very influential person, specially in the life of somebody, whom he has been trying to manipulate. But it’s all in the narc’s mind. If you are not mentally strong, then you might get influenced and manipulated, and begin to think how and what the narc wants to show you about yourself, both positive and negative, depending upon his wish and demanding circumstances. One thing to keep in mind is that it is very rare when a narc does something good to the other person that nobody gets to know about. Generally, at least one person knows what ‘good deed’ the narc is doing, so that that person can back up the narc’s innocense and goodness whenever it may require in the future and those good deeds will be related to the person whom he has been manipulating or trying to manipulate secretly. You will really feel something creepy about a comment coming out of nowhere. That in a way gives a shock to the person’s psyche if that person is not well educated in this topic. The more the shocks with such instances, the easier it is to confuse that person. But if you are strong minded and know who you are, you may get shocked for a while but will return back to your normal pretty soon knowing that it’s just a technique of projection or maybe pure hatred or jealousy for you. Also, keep this in mind that if the narc is well educated in this topic, then it is highly difficult to point out at his techniques because the narc generally can easily prove his controlled group that the victim is the narc and is projecting it onto him. In short, the narc makes victim the narc.
So, how to recognize who is actually the narc and what to do about it??
1. Do not trust anyone easily. Observe the behaviour closely. Always keep the proof whenever anything suspicious happens like a hateful comment or gesture. Getting or keeping proof is not feasible always because you cannot measure anyone’s actions towards you all the time. Just be alert after ignoring such instances a couple of times, and then either take screenshots, if it’s happened online or drive somebody’s attention instantly towards that person if it happens through gestures.
2. Talk about it. Talk about it, even if you think that it is only your doubt. Somebody else may be knowing better about your situation. Take professional help if it goes out of control i.e. if it has begun putting stake at your mental proper functioning.
3. Know yourself and stay assertive about it. If you don’t know yourself, your general and specific traits and behaviour generally and particularly then it is very easy to brain-wash you into judging yourself as the narc wants you to see yourself. Know yourself really well. Do not take either praise nor criticism to your heart and head easily. Do not give the narc the satisfaction that his action affected you otherwise it will surely repeat. If you can get swayed with praises, you can get shocked with criticism, and a narc always praise you a lot in the beginning phases of interaction to put you on a padestal so that when he discards you he can shock you with his criticism all along, and in such a condition, you won’t be able to believe yourself and would rather believe the narc’s criticism because once he had put you on a padestal, with a doubtful thinking that maybe he is right and you must have done something wrong that you could not infer. Be assertive about your truth. Preferably, keep a journal about the doubtful person’s actions too.
4. Try to run away from the ‘Testing situations’. A narc will always try to test you in front of others. You will realise that it will happen in the set created by the narc, be it online or in real. There will be somebody or some people reading your conversation or (in real) watch your actions. It will sound very casual to those people. But the narc knows that he is testing you. He will ask you questions that only he knows that are going to put you in trouble or going to create a doubt about you in some sense. That motive is also known only to the narc or maybe one or two close allies (called flying monkeys in psychology). Always remember that the set has been created by the narc and if you are not having anyone on your side, then you have to leave the situation as soon as possible rather than proving your point because in other words, the victim does not need to prove a crime to the criminal and his accomplices, the victim needs to run away from the situation to get the help from the right people. Never try to prove the narcissism of the narc to the narc, because first of all, a narcissist does not see any fault in his behaviour, so he may say that you are projecting your insecurities onto him. And, even if he becomes apologetic about an obvious wrong behaviour, it may again happen to you in a different setting and after an interval of time but you will know that the same thing is happening to you. Actually, the narc does not change his ways; he just changes people and situations and settings and time (victims as well).
5. Ignore as much as you can. It is also possible that that person is not a narc, and is just another occasional or chronically toxic person. Some toxic empaths also behave like a narc. You need to ignore this kind of behaviour for a few times in the beginning, while still confiding about it to somebody highly trustworthy. And secondly, when everything is said and done, it is your neccessity to ignore the narc completely if that person is still bothering you or interfering in your life. If your life is getting influenced because of any kind of manipulation, then call out, otherwise keep it in mind that when that person becomes meaningless for you, that person’s actions also become meaningless.