WARNING: Satire alert
With so many articles written about how awful, mean and self-absorbed narcissists are, and how to leave them and go no contact, I thought it would only be fair if I wrote an article that would help the narcissist in his/her efforts to stay in a relationship with a codependent. Although the tactics are as endless as the narcissist is creative, here are just a few examples to help the narcissist completely decimate their “significant” other, (in quotations because we all know no one is significant to the narcissist except for, of course, the narcissist, but that is the societal term and the one I will use moving forward), while simultaneously manipulating their “significant” other into staying and taking more abuse.
Tell your “significant” other that they should change their appearance. Never mind that they actually look “good”. You can’t have them out-classing you! Twist your face into a snarl when you see their new hairdo/outfit. Tell them they overpaid and should get their money back. When they cry and say you hurt their feelings, laugh and tell them they are too sensitive and that you are just trying to help so that they don’t walk around looking stupid/ugly. Tell your “significant” other that they need to lose weight. If they lose weight, tell them that they look flabby. If they’ve been lifting weights, tell them that they look like a man (if they are a woman), or that they look like a meathead (if they are a man). Accuse them of only going to the gym to pick up people/get attention. Remind them how much money they are wasting on a gym membership.
Join a gym for the purpose of picking up people and getting attention.
Instead of emptying out the clean dishes from the dishwasher, put the dirty dishes in with clean. When your “significant” other complains, tell her or him that those dishes looked filthy and they should have done a better job of rinsing off the dishes in the first place. How were you to know? Complain about how you are always “doing the dishes”.
After watching your “significant” other clean the house for over an hour, remark about how filthy the house is and threaten to hire maids.
Leave a pile of your toenail clippings/pube hair/beard shavings in a pile on the floor or in the sink. As you walk away, say to your “significant” other, “I’ll get that later.” Don’t get it later. When your “significant” other finally gets tired of stepping in it/walking over it or looking at it and picks it up, yell at him or her: “I WAS GOING TO DO THAT!”
Same tactic, different scenario. Leave a random mess, like stack the garbage a foot over the top and don’t bag it up. Walk outside and as you are leaving, say to your “significant” other, “I’ll get that when I come back.” When you come back and he or she has already bagged it up (of course, because you know they will have done it), scream at them: “I SAID I WAS GOING TO GET THAT!!!” And then yell at them all night for usurping your authority, for being bossy and pushy and accuse them of having OCD. This is actually a GENIUS move where you get to avoid doing housework AND you also get to tear down your “significant” other for doing it for you.
Flirt overtly with other men/women in front of your “significant” other. When your “significant” other calls you out on it, tell them that they are imagining things, that they are jealous/insecure, and that you cannot be in a relationship with someone who is so controlling.
Accuse his or her friends of making passes at you. For instance, tell your wife that her best friend Alicia tried to kiss you and you fought her off, but now you feel so guilty about it that you must “confess.” Of course, Alicia will deny it when confronted because it didn’t happen. But this will plant a seed of doubt in your wife’s mind. And you don’t like Alicia anyway because she punched you in the nads when you tried to kiss her.
Tell your “significant” other about all the people who tried to get you to go up with them to their hotel rooms when you were hanging out in the hotel bar during a business trip. When he or she suggests you shouldn’t be hanging out in hotel bars, accuse them of being jealous and insecure and remind them that you have to go out of town to MAKE MONEY and remind him or her of how much money they paid for that awful hairdo and do they think money grows on trees? Give them the silent treatment for two days. During those two days, text constantly with the person you hooked up with at the hotel bar.
FINALLY, and this might be the most GENIUS manipulative move of all time… confess to something horrible you did that would definitely make your “significant” other leave you. But confess that someone else did it. For instance, confess that when you went on a “business trip” to a South American country, that Tony (hypothetical name, of course) hired hookers to come to the room and service everyone there, EXCEPT FOR YOU. This way, if “Tony” ever decides to inform your “significant” other of your misdeeds, your “significant” other will have already heard your version and think that Tony is lying out of spite. You don’t like Tony anyway. Tony took the best looking one for himself.
Pam McCoy is a writer, author and co-host of Crazybusters.