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How To Starve A Narcissist: 11 Ways To Starve Them

Navigating relationships with narcissistic individuals can be emotionally exhausting and detrimental to your well-being.

Whether it’s a partner, family member, friend, or coworker, dealing with narcissistic behavior requires a strategic approach to protect yourself and maintain your sanity.

In this article, we’ll explore seven effective ways to starve a narcissist of the attention and validation they crave, empowering you to reclaim control over your life and thrive.

Understanding Narcissism:

Before delving into strategies for starving a narcissist, it’s essential to understand what narcissism is and how it manifests.

Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.

Narcissists often manipulate and exploit those around them to fulfill their own desires, without regard for the well-being of others.

Recognizing the Signs:

Identifying narcissistic behavior is the first step in protecting yourself from its harmful effects. Some common signs of narcissism include:

  • Self-centeredness: Narcissists often dominate conversations and steer them back to themselves.
  • Lack of empathy: They may disregard or belittle the feelings and needs of others.
  • Manipulation: Narcissists use tactics such as gaslighting and guilt-tripping to control those around them.
  • Need for admiration: They crave constant validation and attention from others.

Now, let’s delve into some strategies for starving a narcissist of the attention and validation they seek:

11 Ways To Starve A Narcissist

1. Set Clear Boundaries: 

Establishing boundaries is like drawing a line in the sand, indicating what is acceptable and what is not in your interactions with the narcissist. These boundaries could be emotional, physical, or even logistical.

For instance, if the narcissist tends to invade your personal space, you might establish a physical boundary by maintaining a certain distance from them.

If they belittle or disrespect you, set an emotional boundary by refusing to engage in conversations that make you feel small or invalidated.

It’s crucial to communicate these boundaries clearly and assertively, letting the narcissist know that certain behaviors will not be tolerated.

Remember, boundaries are not about controlling others; they’re about protecting yourself and preserving your self-respect.

2. Practice Self-Compassion: 

Dealing with a narcissist can erode your self-esteem and leave you feeling worthless or unlovable.

In these moments, it’s essential to cultivate self-compassion – treating yourself with the same kindness, understanding, and acceptance that you would offer to a friend in need.

Recognize that you are human and deserving of love and respect, regardless of the narcissist’s attempts to diminish your worth. Be gentle with yourself, especially when you make mistakes or fall short of your own expectations.

Self-compassion is not about self-indulgence; it’s about recognizing your inherent worth and treating yourself with the care and compassion you deserve.

3. Validate Your Own Feelings: 

Narcissists excel at invalidating the emotions and experiences of others, leaving their victims feeling unheard and insignificant. Take back your power by validating your own feelings and experiences, even if the narcissist tries to gaslight or dismiss them.

Trust your instincts and acknowledge the validity of your emotions, recognizing that they are legitimate responses to the narcissist’s behavior. You don’t need external validation to know what you’re feeling is real and valid.

By honoring your own feelings, you reclaim control over your emotional well-being and assert your autonomy in the face of manipulation.

4. Limit Emotional Investment: 

Narcissists thrive on emotional reactions, using them as fuel to feed their insatiable ego. By limiting your emotional investment in their manipulative tactics, you deprive them of the validation and attention they crave.

Practice emotional detachment by observing the narcissist’s behavior with curiosity rather than getting swept up in their drama. Refuse to engage in arguments or power struggles, choosing instead to focus on maintaining your inner peace and stability.

Remember, your emotions are precious resources, and you have the power to decide where to invest them.

5. Cultivate Independence: 

Narcissists often seek to control and dominate those around them, leaving their victims feeling dependent and powerless.

Reclaim your independence by focusing on building your own identity, pursuing your interests, and cultivating relationships outside of the narcissistic dynamic.

Rediscover your passions and hobbies, reconnect with old friends, and invest in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

By nurturing your independence, you break free from the narcissist’s influence and reclaim your sense of agency and self-worth.

6. Reframe Your Perspective: 

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the narcissist’s seemingly omnipotent facade. However, it’s essential to recognize that beneath their grandiosity lies a fragile ego and deep-seated insecurities.

Reframe your perspective by seeing the narcissist not as an all-powerful tyrant but as a wounded individual lashing out from a place of pain. Understand that their behavior is a reflection of their own inner turmoil and does not define your worth or value as a person.

By shifting your perspective, you diminish the narcissist’s power over you and reclaim control over your narrative.

7. Practice Assertiveness: 

Assertiveness is a powerful tool for setting boundaries and standing up for yourself in the face of narcissistic manipulation. Speak your truth with clarity and confidence, expressing your needs, opinions, and boundaries assertively.

Use “I” statements to communicate your feelings and avoid blaming or accusing the narcissist. Be firm and consistent in enforcing your boundaries, even in the face of resistance or pushback.

Remember, assertiveness is not about aggression or confrontation; it’s about advocating for yourself and asserting your rights with dignity and respect.

8. Engage in Self-Care: 

Dealing with a narcissist can be emotionally draining and exhausting, so it’s crucial to prioritize self-care to replenish your physical, emotional, and mental reserves.

Make time for activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul, whether it’s practicing mindfulness, indulging in a favorite hobby, or spending time in nature. Set aside regular periods for relaxation and rejuvenation, allowing yourself to unwind and recharge.

Self-care is not selfish; it’s an essential investment in your well-being and resilience.

9. Seek Support: 

Narcissistic abuse can leave you feeling isolated and alone, but you don’t have to face it alone. Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or support groups who understand your experience and can offer validation, empathy, and encouragement.

Share your feelings and experiences openly, knowing that you are not alone in your struggle. Seek professional help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in narcissistic abuse if needed.

Surround yourself with people who uplift and empower you, helping you to navigate the challenges of healing and recovery.

10. Educate Yourself: 

Knowledge is power when it comes to dealing with narcissistic abuse. Take the time to educate yourself about narcissism, its tactics, and its effects on victims. Understand the patterns of manipulation and control employed by narcissists, as well as the impact of long-term exposure to their toxic behavior.

Arm yourself with information and resources to help you navigate the situation more effectively and make informed decisions about your own well-being. Remember, knowledge is the first step towards empowerment and healing.

11. Focus on Growth: 

View your experience with the narcissist as an opportunity for growth and personal development. Channel your energy into self-improvement, learning from your experiences, and cultivating resilience in the face of adversity.

Reflect on the lessons you’ve learned and the strengths you’ve gained through your journey. Focus on your personal growth and empowerment, knowing that every challenge presents an opportunity for transformation and self-discovery.

Embrace the process of growth and evolution, knowing that you are becoming stronger and more resilient with each passing day.

12. Set Realistic Expectations: 

Accept that you cannot change the narcissist or force them to acknowledge their harmful behavior. Let go of the desire for them to see the error of their ways or offer a genuine apology.

Instead, focus on setting realistic expectations for yourself and your interactions with the narcissist. Recognize their limitations and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Acceptance of the situation frees you from the frustration and disappointment of trying to change the unchangeable, allowing you to focus on what is within your control – your own thoughts, feelings, and actions.


Dealing with a narcissist can be challenging, but it’s not insurmountable.

By setting boundaries, practicing detachment, limiting contact, prioritizing self-care, cultivating your support system, reframing your perspective, and seeking professional help if needed, you can starve a narcissist of the attention and validation they crave while reclaiming your power and thriving in your own life.

Remember, you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and you have the strength to create a life free from toxic influences