If you’re having trouble with a narcissist, there’s a good chance you’ve been feeding them.
Feeding a narcissist is giving them supply in any form, and that’s not something we want to do. Why? Because when you feed a narcissist, they’ll come back.
In today’s blog post, we’re going to talk about a few ways you may be feeding a narcissist in your life and how to stop.
Let’s dive in.
Have you ever heard of shark chumming? It’s a practice that’s illegal in some areas becuase it can be dangerous. Chumming is when people throw bloody fish parts into the water to attract sharks for tours or cage dives. It can put people at risk because the sharks come to associate people with food.
In the case of a toxic person, it’s not so different. These people feed off things like drama, attention and emotional reactions. And if you offer these things freely, they will come looking for you when they need supply.
Emotional Reactions: Become a conscious observer
If you’ve already identified someone as a toxic influence in your life. Maybe it’s a coworker you caught gossiping about you or a family member who drops subtle landmines to set you off whenever there’s an audience, think of yourself as an ob629server. You’re here to observe this person’s behavior, kind of like you’629re a sc6293ientist studying human behavior. Realize that everything they do and say is a reflection of who they are and not who you are, so you do not have to react. An emotional reaction would provide food for this person, and we’re not feeding the narc today.
Engaging in their smear campaigns
A toxic person will almost always put you on the defensive — because regardless of whether you’re guilty or not, when you start trying to build a case for yourself, you look guilty. This is another source of food for a narcissist. They plant a seed of doubt and watch you self-destruct. Again, take the role of conscious observer. Recognize what they’re doing and do not engage. This can be difficult if it’s at work. If someone is accusing you of something you actually have to defend, stay calm and have a rational conversation that’s
limited to the people who absolutely need to know your side of the story. Don’t take the bait to air your business to the world just because the toxic person is inviting you to. If you need a moment to collect yourself first, take it.
Don’t fall for the love bombing
Love bombing can happen in friendships, work relationships, family relationships and romantic partnerships. And it happens often with toxic people. You know there’s that one person who has caused you a lot of harm. They’ve trampled your name, tossed you aside for their personal gain, or done any number of things narcissists are notorious for doing. THEN, as if out of nowhere, they’re back acting like your best friend.
If it’s a family member or work colleague, it’s tempting because you suspect your life might get easier if you’re in this person’s good graces. If they call off the flying monkeys and your life can go back to normal again. Or if it’s a romantic partnership, you may long for the days when things used to be good and hope for the future you had planned together. In either scenario, that future is fake.
This person is coming back looking for supply. If they can get you to trust them again, they can abuse you all over again. And you become a continual source of supply.
How to Stop Feeding the Narcissist
I want to be very clear about one thing, though. I am not advising you to go out of your way to inflict pain on a narcissist or anyone else. This is about self-preservation. You’ve decided the person doesn’t matter to you and now it’s all about getting away.
Think of your relationship with this person in terms of energy. They have been feeding off of your energy. There’s a reason why people like this are called energy vampires. And now, all your efforts are going towards energy preservation with this person.
A narcissist will feed off of your energy, whether it’s positive or negative. There’s nothing better than praise and adoration for a highly narcissistic person. And in the absence of that, they will thrive on chaos. This is why chaos seems to follow them around wherever they go.
If you’re dealing with a truly toxic person, don’t praise them and don’t argue with them. Don’t let them see you upset if you can help it at all.
What this boils down to is this: If you want a narcissist to leave you alone, treat them as though they are insignificant. Treat them as though they don’t matter in your life, as much as you can. Obviously, this is going to be tough if the narc is your boss or spouse, but you can create as much distance and cut off supply as much as you feel comfortable with in those situations.