Once your relationship with a narcissist comes to an end, you may want to expose them to others. There could be many reasons why you would want to do that:
- You may want to warn others because they may be unknowingly serving as the narcissist’s supply.
- You may want revenge.
- You may want to prove others you aren’t a crazy person.
- You may need a proof of abuse to use against the narcissist in court.
- You may want to expose a narcissist in your workplace because they bully others and take credit for their work.
Exposing a covert narcissist isn’t an easy thing to do because they don’t just gaslight their primary victims, they gaslight the public too.
Once you fought your way to freedom, it may be very frustrating to find out that your common friends, some family members and even colleagues are on the narcissist’s side no matter what. Narcissists are great actors and know how to silence any stories that may compromise their carefully built image.
The first question you should be asking yourself is: Is it worth it? In most cases, trying to expose a narcissist to others isn’t a good idea for several reasons:
- Your energy is better spent working on rebuilding your life and recovering from the abuse you had to endure.
- Some people may not believe you, which will bring you a lot of additional emotional suffering.
- Even if they do believe you, many narcissists are good at faking remorse and can be easily forgiven by others.
- Attempting to expose a narcissist is likely to worsen the situation because he or she will want to make sure your reputation is ruined.
- Even if you succeed, the narcissist will want to take revenge. Whether you had a personal relationship or a professional one, they could find many opportunities for retribution.
Some blogs teach how to provoke a narcissist in public by saying something that is likely to trigger narcissistic rage, such as belittling their talent or skills or openly criticizing them. However, this approach goes against the victim’s best interests and can be very dangerous.
Even if it does force the narcissist to expose themselves, the public will likely judge both the narcissist and the victim. By ruining the narcissist’s reputation, the victim may ruin their own image as well. People may alienate, shame and blame you for speaking out and “being weird”.
Even if you win that one battle and have the upper hand just this one time, you will have to deal with serious potential consequences — a lifelong emotional struggle with someone who is better at this game than you. They are someone who will never accept their loss or feel remorse or apologize. Instead of building your new narcissist-free life, you will continue wrestling with the abuser, which can be emotionally, physically and sometimes financially exhausting. The question is: Do you really want that?
The best revenge is to move on and live your own life. The best revenge is not to give the narcissist any attention, not even negative attention. By trying to expose them or ruin them, you will be stimulating them even more. They will become even more abusive and manipulative, which goes against your goals.
Whenever we decide to seek revenge, we get stuck in the situation longer than we otherwise would. Because we constantly ruminate about the issue, we end up feeling even worse. Focusing on your own recovery, seeking support, working with a therapist, meeting new people is a much better way to release hurt and emotional pain. In the narcissist’s mind, the worst thing you can do to them is to ignore them. Breaking free and ignoring them is the ultimate revenge.
The only time you should be worried about how to expose a narcissist to others is when you are facing the narcissist in court, in which case you should be documenting abusive incidents. It could be
- text messages,
- in-person conversations,
- medical reports of injuries,
- pictures of injuries from the abuse,
- broken objects,
- any other relevant information.
It’s important that the narcissist doesn’t know about the documentation. Keep it safe at a friend’s or family member’s house or at your workplace.
Depending where you live, laws may differ about what type of evidence is permissible in court. It’s wise to talk to a legal advocate or an attorney to prepare your case properly and stay safe.
- Exposing a narcissist can be counterproductive and dangerous.
- Do not provoke the narcissist in public — you will only stimulate their ego!
- The best revenge is to ignore the narcissist and live a successful and happy life without them.
- If you are going to face the narcissist in court, you need to collect evidence of abuse without the narcissist knowing.
- Consult an attorney or a legal advocate to find out what type of evidence is permissible in court.