How to Break Up With a Narcissist

Written by erica starks
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How to Break Up With a Narcissist
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Often charming, friendly, and level-headed on the outside, narcissists hide an emotionally damaged interior which renders them incapable of truly feeling empathy. This lack of regard for other's feelings can result in depression, confusion, and co-dependent behaviour in partners of narcissists. If you find yourself in a painful, unfulfilling relationship with a narcissist, it may be time to step away from the situation for your mental and physical well-being.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Arrange a meeting in a safe place. Many narcissists become enraged when faced with losing something or someone they felt belonged to them. Having family, friends, or even law enforcement nearby will help ensure your safety.

  2. 2

    Be honest yet firm. Break-ups are never easy, but being honest about your thoughts and feelings as opposed to giving nebulous reasons will help both of you begin to make peace with the end of your relationship.

  3. 3

    Don't get drawn into a fight, physical or otherwise. Narcissists often use aggression as a means regaining lost control, and this behaviour only escalates when the person they disagree with stoops to their level. Remain calm no matter what.

  4. 4

    Set boundaries. After your initial break-up, you might experience second thoughts. This is normal; however, remember that you ended the relationship with your narcissist ex for a reason. Make it clear to them that any attempts for reconciliation via phone calls, unscheduled meetings, or otherwise are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

  5. 5

    Get help. While this isn't true for every person formerly involved with a narcissist, the verbal and physical abuse you endured may hinder you from fully recovering after a break-up. Contact abuse helplines, support groups, and counselling centres for individualised information on how to begin your healing process.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't feel guilty for taking care of your needs. This is something your narcissistic ex was unable or unwilling to do, and is why you had to end the relationship.
  • Spending your time with loved ones who love you back is one of the best ways to regain your self-worth.
  • If your narcissistic ex demonstrates particularly destructive behaviour towards you, seek legal help in the form of restraining orders.

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