The reason being, when it comes to confusing a narcissist, doing so strategically can send a very clear message early on. A message that says you are not going to be a good target, a good and reliable source of narcissistic supply. You are not easy prey. And this, in itself, will be destabilizing for a narcissist. Narcissists like to be in control, and a confused person is definitely not in control. They won’t be in control of you or the dynamic, and a narcissist is likely to find that so uncomfortable that they’ll be forced to go elsewhere for narcissistic supply, which results in you being left in peace. It also makes it much easier to sidestep what would otherwise be energy-draining and sometimes even soul-destroying fights and arguments. It’s a very good way to help you gain control while remaining calm and rational, which of course helps you to remain empowered and stop giving your power away.
Now, that said, keep in mind that confusing a narcissist isn’t something done out of spite or revenge, but rather a specific and deliberate action or non-action intended to lead to more positive results, preferably for all parties involved. But if not for everyone, then at the very least for you. Also, keep in mind that some of these tactics may anger the narcissist as well as confuse them, so use wise discernment and caution, especially if your personal safety is in question.
So now that you know the why, let’s talk about the how.
Number one: be quiet. That’s right, start there.
Confuse the narcissist with your silence. Choose to be quiet or choose to listen to someone else instead of the narcissist. Say very little, if anything at all. More often than not, we talk more than we listen when we’d be much better off listening more than we talk. Furthermore, we can have a tendency to talk too much when we’re anxious, and few things are more anxiety-inducing than perpetual exposure to destructive narcissists. So learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable silence and be quiet. And I’m not talking about stonewalling or using the silent treatment as a means of passive-aggressive manipulation, control, or punishment the way a destructive narcissist does. Rather, I’m talking about using silence as a means of holding your cards close to your chest and remaining empowered. It’s about consciously choosing not to engage and therefore giving the narcissist very little to work with where you’re concerned. Speaking when you could otherwise remain silent gives the narcissist ammunition they’ll later use against you. Being quiet, on the other hand, confuses the narcissist. So be still and keep them guessing.
In doing so, you become that girl or guy that makes them feel unsure about themselves. Your silence disrupts their confidence. It’s destabilizing, a pattern interrupt. They just don’t know how to get at you. You don’t give them any ammunition. And as the old saying goes, silence is the best response to a fool. And the reality is, you don’t necessarily have to respond to anything they say if they intend to provoke a negative reaction from you. Just leave them in silence and let your actions or non-action do the talking for you. Smile inside and let them struggle trying to figure you out.
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