Last updated on May 31, 2022 byAlexander Mayor
One of the most toxic people you will meet in family court is the narcissist.
When it comes to a divorce case, the narcissist is often pitted against a person with very low self-esteem.
Narcissists are usually at the root of this low self-esteem, as they have eroded their partner's self-image in various ways throughout the marriage.
In court, the narcissist will present themselves as confident, calm, and secure, while their victim will often come across as stressed, frustrated, and not at all confident.
The victim may be willing to give up almost anything just to get their own life back. She may feel that she is not a suitable mother for her children since the narcissist made her feel unsuitable.
Dealing with someone suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) in the family court system is a daunting task. It won't be easy, but you can consciously choose to be a survivor instead of continuing to be a victim.
Knowledge is power, and being educated and prepared can mean the difference between winning and becoming a victim again. The trick to beating a narcissist in court is twofold.
FIRST ONE Catch them in a lie when they're on the stand.
But you must have absolute, incontrovertible proof of the lie, proof admissible in court by rules of evidence or by incontrovertible testimony.
When confronted with the evidence, narcissists will react with anger, lie more (which will be visible to everyone but them), and actively discredit themselves.
Second, your attorney should structure the narcissist's cross-examination in a way that allows the narcissist to magnify their grandiose self. Sometimes just letting the narcissist be himself is enough.
How to deal with the narcissist in court?
Narcissists are often vindictive, and they often stalk and harass. There are two ways to deal with vengeful narcissists:
1. Scare them
Narcissists live in a state of constant anger, suppressed aggression, envy and hatred.
They are paranoid, suspicious and fearful. Scaring the narcissist is a powerful behavior change tool.
When scared enough, the narcissist will break away, give up everything they've fought for, and sometimes even make amends.
Reading recommendation: How do I get custody from a narcissist?
For this to be effective, you must identify the narcissist's weak spots and deliver repeated, escalating hits until they are put off.
If a narcissist is hiding a personal fact, use it to threaten them.
Drop cryptic clues that there are mysterious witnesses and recently revealed evidence.
The narcissist has a very vivid imagination; let his imagination do the rest.
The narcissist may have been involved in tax evasion, malpractice, child abuse, or infidelity—there are many avenues, all of which offer a rich potential for attack.
If done wisely, non-emotionally and escalatingly, the narcissist will disengage and go away.
You don't have to do much other than utter a vague clue, make an ominous allusion, and suggest a possible turn of events.
The narcissist's imagination and paranoia will do the rest for you.
All of these activities must be conducted legally, preferably through the good offices of law firms and in broad daylight.
When done wrong, they can constitute extortion or extortion, harassment, and a host of other crimes.
2. Curl them
The other way to neutralize a vengeful narcissist is to offer them continued narcissistic supply until the war is over and won by you.
Blinded by the lure of the narcissistic supply, the narcissist is instantly tamed, forgets his vengefulness, and triumphantly takes over his "property" and "territory."
Under the influence of the narcissistic supply, the narcissist cannot recognize that they are being manipulated.
You can get a narcissist to do almost anything by offering, withholding, or threatening to withhold narcissistic supply (vilification, admiration, attention, sex, awe, subservience, etc.).
8 tips to beat a narcissist in court
- Prepare for the litigation: Many communities offer free divorce workshops, support groups, or clinics through the courthouse. Spend a day in the courtroom to which you have been assigned and become familiar with the style of the judge or commissioner, courtroom procedures and the strategies of the attorneys.
- Prepare: Prepare for the reality that many of your friends will fall for itThe narcissist's smear campaign. Since the general public is unaware of the NPD, many will fall for its evil tactics. Remember, you too once believed what he told you. Narcissists will not accept that they were involved in the marriage's demise. Take the main road and eventually the narcissist will show everyone their true colors.
- Document Everything: Keep a journal of daily occurrences and write down every event, no matter how big or small. An example would be: "Documentation: August 15, 2013 - No show for visit" or so on.
- Get Organized: You need to find a system that works for you. Although there are a variety of ways to stay organized, the binder method is the most common. Have a folder for each year and keep things in chronological order.
- Eliminate or limit communication: If you cannot eliminate communication, keep it short and emotionless. While zero contact is best when ending a relationship with a narcissist, it's impossible when you have children together. Set personal boundaries and don't deviate from them. Not once. Narcissists feed on control, intimidation, and evoking emotions. Don't satisfy their twisted and selfish hunger by giving them what they ask for.
- Practice acceptance: You must accept the fact that in a narcissist's mind you will never win. They won't be able to change their distorted thinking no matter how many times you remind them of the true version of the story. You have to accept that you are not dealing with a rational person; Acceptance is the key to moving forward.
- Stay Calm in Court: Stay calm and focused, and keep your emotions out of the courtroom. The narcissist will project all the problems and their shortcomings onto you. Feel free to respond to false accusations with credible, factual information. Don't defend every petty accusation, no matter how tempting it may be to set the story straight. This is the time to choose your battles wisely. It is very easy to get upset by dishonesty and manipulation while listening to testimony. Listen quietly and take notes. Don't get distracted and upset. Stay focused and stay calm at all times.
- Make Reminder Notes: You need to remind yourself that you are dealing with a narcissist. If needed, write a Post-it note that says "Reminder: I'm dealing with a narcissist" and stick it on the front of your binder. Don't expect a narcissist to obey any law, rule, or protocol of any kind. Expect lies, malicious attacks, bizarre behavior and the unexpected.
What happens when a narcissist loses in court? In summary, the best way to deal with a narcissist in court is to keep your cool and let them hang themselves by their own rope.
Narcissists will make outrageous claims and high demands. Let them curse and rage...the worse their behavior, the better for you.
Keep your cool, show the court and judge how rational and sane you are and how demanding and bullying the narcissist is. Most judges are excellent surveyors of human nature and can see narcissists for who they are.
However, remember that ultimately family courts are not interested in the emotional aspects of your divorce.
Most states are no-fault divorce states; Despite the fact that judges are human and have emotions, they are usually interested in numbers and custody issues.
Judges are skilled at ignoring all the drama, but if you can get a narcissist to lie under oath, they lose credibility with the judge.
- How does a narcissist react to divorce?
- How do you tell a narcissist you want a divorce?
Narcissists are accustomed to loss. Their obnoxious personality and intolerable behaviours makes them lose friends and spouses, mates and colleagues, jobs and family.How does a narcissist react to defeat? ›
Any kind of public embarrassment will cause them further anger, further rage, further attacks, further unethical comportment, and unprecedented incivility. If the narcissist is going to be brought down, they will also seek to bring everyone else around them down to vindictively make them suffer.What happens when a narcissist is exposed in court? ›
Being exposed, especially in front of people they want to impress, will trigger the narcissist's rage. Family law professionals will witness a distinct personality change and have proof that the narcissist's words don't line up with their actions. The narcissist will be careful not to directly malign you in court.What happens when a narcissist loses power over you? ›
A narcissist is likely to be enraged when they begin to lose control. They may lash out at you, go on a smear campaign, or purposefully ignore you. They may also lovebomb you to reel you back in. Their main goal is to get your attention, provoke a response, and regain power.What does God say about the narcissist? ›
1 Corinthians 7: 15 tells us that if an unbeliever (this includes a narcissist [you can read my article about whether someone is a believer here]) can't live with you in peace, then let them live without you.What happens to narcissists in the long run? ›
According to Julie L. Hall, author of “The Narcissist in Your Life: Recognizing the Patterns and Learning to Break Free,” narcissists become more extreme versions of their worst selves as they age, which includes becoming more desperate, deluded, paranoid, angry, abusive, and isolated.How do you become strong against a narcissist? ›
- Educate yourself about NPD. ...
- Build your self-esteem. ...
- Speak up for yourself. ...
- Set clear boundaries. ...
- Practice skills to keep calm. ...
- Find a support system. ...
- Insist on immediate action, not promises. ...
- Understand that a narcissistic person may need professional help.
- Criticize them.
- Take authority away from them.
- Say “no.”
- Go “no contact.”
- Expose their behavior in public.
- Succeed in areas they want to dominate.
- Make them jealous.
- Trick them into doing you a favor.
The narcissist is injured, and responds with anger. Being on the receiving end of this rage can produce feelings ranging from anxiety to downright terror. Therefore, it is extremely important that your response does not trigger more anger from the narcissist.How do narcissists survive in court? ›
- Don't Engage. Narcissists love to argue and get you to acknowledge that they are right. ...
- Shield Your Kids from the Conflict. ...
- Don't Expect Mediation to Work. ...
- Document Everything. ...
- Be Prepared to Explain Narcissism to the Judge.
When confronted with facts, the person will likely allow their true nature to come out. A judge can see firsthand the combative, abusive, and controlling nature of the narcissistic parent.How do you annihilate a narcissist in court? ›
- Remain calm.
- Communicate in a manner the judge expects of you.
- Deal with the counter-parenting of the narcissist.
- Avoid the legal pitfalls in custody and contact cases.
- Force the narcissist to expose their true, abusive personality to the judge.
- Avoid counterclaims of Parental Alienation.
As a narcissistic abuse survivor, you will likely have symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Your brain will be on high alert, looking out for danger. This is because the traumatic events triggered a fight or flight response within you. As a result, anything associated with those memories can trigger an anxiety attack.How do you overpower a narcissist? ›
- 1 Go limited or no-contact if you can.
- 2 Stay calm when they're trying to upset you.
- 3 Use “we” language to get them on your side.
- 4 Give praise and compliments to neutralize them.
- 5 Say something nice before you give criticism.
- 6 Let them feel accomplished to minimize drama.
During a narcissistic collapse, the narcissistic defenses that keep them confident are no longer working. In a narcissistic collapse, they feel extremely anxious, depressed, ashamed, and may be unable to keep functioning.How does the Bible handle narcissists? ›
Treat them with kindness and mercy, and model Christ-like behavior in all that you do. Keep in mind that in the Bible, of all the things that God hates most, “haughty eyes” are listed first (Proverbs 6:16-17). Pride is a dangerous sin to fall into, so make sure you're not fighting a narcissist's fire with fire.What is the spiritual purpose of a narcissist? ›
The belief that your spiritual wisdom makes you more special than others is also known as spiritual narcissism. It can be used to shield yourself from criticism, to impress others, or to enhance your-self-esteem and feel good about yourself.Does the Bible talk about narcissist? ›
Often narcissism is not mentioned in Christian theology, sermons, or Bible Studies because term is not explicitly found in the Bible. Yet, the concept of narcissism and the dangers it poses to the human community is fundamental to scripture.What happens to narcissists at the end of their lives? ›
In general, it may involve intense emotional reactions and a tendency toward vindictive behaviors, but it could also lead to depression and withdrawal. Narcissistic collapse isn't a permanent occurrence once it happens. Typically, the emotional pain will decrease and the person may return to feeling their usual.Does narcissism worsen with age? ›
Summary: For most people, narcissism wanes as they age. A new study reports the magnitude of the decline of narcissistic traits is tied to specific career and personal relationship choices. However, this is not true for everyone.
Long-term relationships are boring to narcissists. They are drawn by the chase and may idealize the partners they can't have. They may appear to be charming, generous, and caring at first. But when they have you, they begin to get bored and to look for your faults.What to say to a narcissist to shut them down permanently? ›
- 1. “ ...
- “I Can't Control How You Feel About Me” ...
- “I Hear What You're Saying” ...
- “I'm Sorry You Feel That Way” ...
- “Everything Is Okay” ...
- “We Both Have a Right to Our Own Opinions” ...
- “I Can Accept How You Feel” ...
- “I Don't Like How You're Speaking to Me so I Will not Engage”
Disconnect from the narcissist's emotional energy. Be vague and don't argue back: “That's interesting.” “I understand how you feel.” Sometimes no response is very powerful and will upset them. Insist on calm, respectful tone and words. Leave if they become angry.How do you beat a narcissist at its own game? ›
Don't React to Their Abusive Tactics
Your reaction is exactly what they want. So, don't accept the narcissist's gaslighting phrases as your truth. They will try everything to demean and discredit you. Practice positive affirmations to undue blame and maintain healthy self-esteem.
There's no need to worry, though—disarming and outsmarting a narcissist is definitely possible, as long as you have the right tools in your arsenal. We've put together plenty of tips and suggestions to help you get started, so you can put plenty of space between yourself and the narcissist in your life.How do you beat a narcissist argument? ›
- Don't argue about 'right' and 'wrong' ...
- Instead, try to empathise with their feelings. ...
- Use 'we' language. ...
- Don't expect an apology. ...
- Ask about a topic that interests them. ...
- Don't take the bait yourself. ...
- Remember to put yourself first.
- Become familiar with NPD.
- Seek therapy for yourself.
- Avoid triggering a reaction.
- Call 911 if the person is a threat.
- Know you aren't to blame for their behavior.
- Stay calm and set personal boundaries.
Sadly, the answer is no. A collapsed narcissist is not able to recover and be normal, because they do not understand that they are a narcissist or why they have become a narcissist. In other words, they almost completely lack self-awareness, at least when you compare them to non-narcissists.Can a narcissist be Traumatised? ›
Victim Identity. Feeling always like the victim comes up in both CPTSD and narcissistic personality disorder, but with CPTSD, there really was victimization. For the record, a lot of people who have narcissistic personality disorder were also traumatized as kids.How do you tell if you are a victim of a narcissist? ›
- Always Walking On Egg Shells. ...
- Sense of Mistrust. ...
- Self-Isolation. ...
- Loss of Self Worth. ...
- Feeling Lonely. ...
- Freezing Up. ...
- Trouble Making Decisions. ...
- Feeling Like You've Done Something Wrong.
You can trigger narcissistic rage by putting the narcissist in a position of looking bad. Narcissists do not take criticism well. Gather witnesses who have seen your narcissistic ex behaving badly. This could include family, friends, co-works, teachers.How narcissists use the courts to continue their abuse? ›
Narcissists will often beat their opponent to court by falsely projecting their issues onto the opponent. This false accusation forces the opponent to be on the defensive and causes the court system to frown when the opponent makes a similar charge against the narcissist.Do narcissists ever feel guilty? ›
Unless they have had a lot of successful psychotherapy for their NPD, they do not feel guilt, shame, or self-doubt so long as their narcissistic defenses hold. This means that they do not think there is anything for them to regret, no matter how hurt you feel.How do you beat a narcissist in family court? ›
- Document everything with facts, dates, and copies of any communications.
- If other people witnessed your spouse's behavior, tell your lawyer immediately.
- Remain calm during each court appearance or meeting involving your spouse.
First, with proper cross-examination, judges can usually tell when a person is being dishonest because people often lie without thinking about it all the way through. As a result, in my experience, it is generally easy to poke holes in a person's story.How do you protect yourself from a narcissist in court? ›
- Expect the Unexpected. While this might sound a bit cliche, you never know what a narcissist might try during a divorce. ...
- Set Clear Boundaries. ...
- Don't Engage in Self-Defense. ...
- Document Everything. ...
- Consult With Your Attorney.
If you want to cut to a narcissist's emotional core, make them look bad in public. Try challenging their opinions, ignoring their commands, or laughing at their misfortunes and they'll fly into a narcissistic rage.How do you break a narcissist trauma bond? ›
- Physically separate from the abuser. ...
- Cut off all lines of communication as far as possible. ...
- Acknowledge you have a choice and can choose to leave the relationship.
Narcissistic traits have been linked to structural and functional brain networks, including the insular cortex, however, with inconsistent findings. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that subclinical narcissism is associated with variations in regional brain volumes in insular and prefrontal areas.Do narcissists have memory problems? ›
DISSOCIATIVE GAPS AND CONFABULATION. Narcissists and psychopaths dissociate (erase memories) a lot (are amnesiac) because their contact with the world and with others is via a fictitious construct: The False Self. Narcissists never experience reality directly but through a distorting lens darkly.
Narcissists are the masters of emotional manipulation. They will try to control your thoughts and desires. Making future promises and emotional blackmail are two forms of manipulation but gaslighting is most common. Manipulation causes confusion, low self-esteem, anxiety, shame, and guilt.
- Tactic #1. Know your enemy. ...
- Tactic #2. Call them out on their “bs” ...
- Tactic #3. Tell them, “No” ...
- Tactic #4. Hit them with new boundaries. ...
- Tactic #5. Hold them accountable. ...
- Tactic #6. Set consequences. ...
- Tactic #7. Hit them with facts and evidence. ...
- Tactic #8. Shift the spotlight onto yourself.
- 1 Ignore their forms of manipulation.
- 2 Flaunt how happy you are without them.
- 3 Set boundaries to protect yourself.
- 4 Deny them what they want.
- 5 Stay calm when they try to upset you.
- 6 Cut off all contact with them if you can.
- 7 Be leery of future love bombing.
7. Hostile blame and rage. When a narcissist feels defeated, they have nothing to lose. Not everyone gets the blind rage but if they do, it's usually because they are so overwhelmed at losing their fantasy world.What does narcissist rage look like? ›
This rage may take the form of screaming and yelling. Selective silence and passive-aggressive avoidance can also happen with narcissistic rage. Most episodes of narcissistic rage exist on a behavior continuum. On one end, a person may be aloof and withdrawn.What happens when a narcissist can't control you? ›
Narcissists also gaslight or practice master manipulation, weakening and destabilizing their victims; finally, they utilize positive and negative emotions or moments to trick others. When a narcissist can't control you, they'll likely feel threatened, react with anger, and they might even start threatening you.Do narcissists recover from collapse? ›
Narcissistic Collapse presents itself as a massive mental breakdown after which they become withdrawn and isolated. They struggle to face themselves, and as a result can't face the world. Narcissistic Collapse is generally permanent – the narcissist never recovers for the rest of their life.Is Narc discard permanent? ›
You point out all their flaws and deflecting onto you is exhausting for the narcissist, so they give up. The discard is permanent because you don't allow them to use their narcissist tactics on you. So now that the narcissist is finally out of your life, now is the time to not allow them back in.What is the devalue stage of a narcissist? ›
The devaluation stage, also known as the depreciation stage, comes next. It often starts slowly. The narcissist will start dropping subtle hints that you've done something wrong, that you've forgotten something important, or that you've hurt their feelings. You'll start to feel insecure.What triggers Narc to devalue? ›
Devaluation occurs if for instance you start to make some comments to the Narc about something that they do that you do not like, or you do not agree with their point of view or opinion.
- You don't care anymore. ...
- You don't hate them. ...
- You feel no guilt for speaking the truth. ...
- You don't look at their social media. ...
- You don't feel bad about what happened to you. ...
- You no longer fear them.
During a collapse, an introverted narcissist might say you hurt them through a specific action or words, but they won't explain why it hurt them or how to work through it. Doing so would requires true vulnerability, which is a narcissist's greatest fear, Malkin said.What happens when an empath leaves a narcissist? ›
Eventually a narcissist will start to move on from their relationship with an empath. They will likely find someone else to spend their time with or boss around and let their previous partner go. This can be a good thing for the empath, since they won't have to be concerned about this mate any longer.Does a narcissist discard everyone? ›
Though typical narcissists do not discard people because they crave attention, covert narcissists may go to extreme measures to permanently discard you.Do narcs always come back? ›
Do Narcissists Come Back to Relationships? Yes, they often do come back to relationships. A narcissist will repeat their cycle of abuse as long as they need you as a supply. Even their distressing discard performance will leave you in a firm belief they're done with you; a narcissist will come back.What is supply for a narcissist? ›
Narcissistic supply is a form of psychological addiction where the narcissist requires, and even demands, limitless special treatment, admiration, importance, or validation to feed their sense of entitlement and self-centeredness.What is something a narcissist would say? ›
"You're a bad person." "Nobody else will ever love you." "I'm the best you'll ever have." "Have fun being alone for the rest of your life."Does a narcissist know they are a narcissist? ›
Key points. Narcissists are fully aware that they are narcissistic and have a reputation as such. Narcissists would rather be admired than liked. Narcissists are masters at making first impressions, leading them to do better with short-term relationships.