Breakups are difficult. There’s no two ways about it, they’ll almost always suck. But the anxiety felt for initiating the split, especially for non-confrontational people, is extremely difficult. If the soon-to-be ex is a narcissist, well, the task is extremely daunting and the path treacherous.
But Dr. Joseph Burgo is a psychotherapist and he’s laid out the best steps to ending the relationship with a narcissist. He’s even written a book titled ‘The Narcissist You Know’.
Burgo reckons that maybe honesty isn’t the best policy here.
“No matter how careful you are, if you reject a narcissist, they will feel humiliated,” Burgo told Health.com. “They’ll likely become very hostile and attack you in return, no matter how kind you are. If you no longer want to be in a relationship with them, they may feel that you’re saying they’re a ‘loser’ and will try to turn the tables, turning you into the loser.”
But let’s backtrack. Burgo advises that if you know the breakup is coming, you’ll have to start ensuring your mutual friends understand why you might want to be backing out of the duet.
“Prepare your friends in advance,” Burgo says. “Don’t trash your ex to your friends, but help them to understand your decision to break it off.”
Now that you’re ready to get into the actual breakup, Burgo lays out what to do.
“As cowardly and deceptive as it may seem, being direct and honest is never a good option when confronting a narcissist,” says Burgo. “Approach it as if you’ve been trying to decide what’s best for you both. Sentences like, ‘I don’t think this is working out for either one of us’ work better than ‘I can’t take you anymore.’”
Lastly, Burgo says not to attempt to remain friends. Rip the bandaid off. Don’t slowly take it off, hair by hair, ciphered social media post after ciphered social media post. Remove them on everything, and try to cease all contact.