How to Break a Narcissist’s Heart: Revenge Made Easy (2023)

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1Do what makes you happy.

2Flaunt how well things are going in your life.

3Set boundaries to protect yourself.

4Ignore their forms of manipulation.

5Deny them what they want.

6Stay calm when they try to upset you.

7Cut off all contact with them if you can.

8Be leery of future love bombing.

9Love yourself instead of loving them.

10Build a support system for yourself.

11Don’t take on blame or guilt.

12Focus on healing.

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Co-authored byJay Reid, LPCCand Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA

Last Updated: July 16, 2023ReferencesApproved

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Narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD, is characterized by a lack of empathy, an overinflated ego, and a sense of entitlement.[1] Only a qualified psychologist can diagnose someone with NPD. However, if you think someone in your life has narcissistic qualities and they've hurt you or broken your heart, we totally understand if you're feeling a mix of sadness, anger, and betrayal right now. Living your best life really is the best revenge. We’ll help you take control after a breakup so you can heal and move on.


Do what makes you happy.

  1. Go after what you really want, without worrying about their opinion. When you’re with a narcissist, they might try to undermine you and make you think you can’t trust yourself. They want you to feel like you’re less important than they are, but you’re just as competent and capable. Make the choices that feel right to you, and avoid giving them any control over you or your life. The best thing you can do is move on.

    • You might go after the job you want, even though they said you wouldn’t be good at it. Similarly, you may decide to start a new hobby even though your ex said it would be a waste of time.
    • Learn to follow your intuition.
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Flaunt how well things are going in your life.

  1. Seeing you happy will make your ex regret losing you. Some narcissists don’t have the emotional capacity for true happiness. They can only play games and try to put others down.[2] Show them you’re living your best life without them, and they’ll experience their own version of heartbreak. You could:

    • Post photos on social media of you having fun with friends or family.
    • Brag to your mutual friends about your accomplishments or progress on goals.
    • Go on a few casual or group dates to dip your toes in the dating scene.
    • Give yourself a post-breakup makeover.


Set boundaries to protect yourself.

  1. Boundaries help you move on. Establish boundaries by figuring out what you need from this person. Then, tell them your expectations for them. Be honest about what you’re willing to accept from them, and what you won’t allow. You might say things like:

    • “Please stop contacting me.”
    • “Don’t share my photos with other people.”
    • “I won’t talk to you when you’re yelling.”
    • “I’m ending the conversation if you call me names.”
    • “I’m only going to talk to you about the kids.”
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Ignore their forms of manipulation.

  1. Narcissists may play games to manipulate you, but you don't have to buy in. They might have a whole slew of games they use to control you, such as love bombing, gaslighting, and revenge. Avoid playing their games, and just ignore them when they try to manipulate you so they don’t have control anymore.[3]

    • Don't argue with a narcissist because they might just keep escalating things until they get their way. Someone with NPD is incapable of seeing things from your point of view. Just ignore them.[4]
    • Revenge is actually one of the narcissist’s games. When they feel slighted, they may spread rumors about you, destroy your stuff, or get violent. In some cases, they'll pursue revenge over a long period of time.[5]


wikiHow Quiz: Am I Dating a Narcissist?

Only a mental health professional can diagnose Narcissistic Personality Disorder), but there are plenty of red flags you can look out for. Take this quiz to find out where you stand.

1 of 12

How did they act when you first started dating?

Super lovey-dovey. They thought our relationship was written in the stars!


Deny them what they want.

  1. Focusing on your needs shows them what they’re losing. Many narcissists are users. They expect you to be there for them, but they have no intention of reciprocating.[6] Start saying “no” to them, and focus on what you want instead. They’ll get super frustrated and realize how great a partner you were for them.

    • Stop returning their phone calls and texts.
    • Don’t react to anything they say or do.
    • Refuse to give them compliments.
    • Stop doing favors for them.
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Stay calm when they try to upset you.

  1. Narcissists need a reaction from you to be fulfilled, so don't give them one. They want you to get mad, distressed, or apologetic. Any type of reaction will make them feel like they’re winning, whether it’s lashing out, crying, or apologizing. Even though it’s hard, do your best to be calm and not react.[7] Try:[8]

    • Taking several deep breaths.
    • Counting to 10.
    • Repeating the word “relax” to yourself.
    • Imagining a calm scene.
    • Stretching.


Cut off all contact with them if you can.

  1. Communicating with your ex gives them power, so take it away. They may try to use lines of communication to weasel their way back into your life. On the other hand, going no contact makes them feel your loss.[9] Block them on your phone and social media, and try to avoid places they’ll be.

    • You might have to keep talking to them if you have kids together or if you work with them. Try to keep your conversations limited to talking about your children or your job.
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Be leery of future love bombing.

  1. Avoid their attempts to suck you back in to keep control over your life. Some narcissists use a tactic called love bombing to draw you in, They may treat you like they did in the beginning of your relationship—charming and sweet. They’re hoping to draw you back to them, which is called “hoovering.” However, this change is temporary, and they’ll often be back to their narcissistic behavior again once you lower your defenses. Brush off their efforts and you’ll come out on top.

    • They’ll likely shower you with compliments and tell you how much they miss you. They’re only going to keep this up until you come back, and then they’ll be back to their games.


Love yourself instead of loving them.

  1. Use your energy to feed your own ego to prove that you're important. Instead of showering them with love, focus your efforts on meeting your own needs. Additionally, go after your hopes and dreams.[10] Seeing you shine will drive a narcissist crazy and show them once and for all that they have no power over you.

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Build a support system for yourself.

  1. Rely on people who care about you as you recover. You deserve love and support, and there are people out there who truly value you. You might even make some new friends who don’t know your ex. That way, you’ll have people who are totally on your side.[11]

    • It’s possible that a narcissist will try to turn some people against you. This experience can be super painful, but it has nothing to do with you. Eventually, most people will recognize that your ex is the true problem. In the meantime, spend time with people who see your truth.


Don’t take on blame or guilt.

  1. Narcissists may try to blame you for everything, but you’re not responsible. If your ex insulted, gaslit, or lied to you, their behavior is not your fault.[12] When you start to feel critical of yourself, remind yourself that you aren’t responsible. Additionally, talk to someone you trust who can offer you encouragement.

    • Tell yourself things like, “I did everything I could to make our relationship wonderful,” “I can’t control anyone else’s actions,” and “I gave 100% to my relationship.”
    • Vent about your experiences to someone you can trust. Unfortunately, talking to a narcissist may only make them work harder to make you feel bad.
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Focus on healing.

  1. Narcissists may try to steal your power by criticizing you, so focus on self-empowerment. Their insults can damage your self-esteem, and they may have even made you doubt yourself. The truth is that you’re very worthy of love, and you have lots of wonderful and unique qualities that make you special. Take some time to remind yourself what makes you amazing.

    • Consider working with a therapist to help you rebuild your self-esteem after this toxic relationship. They can help you heal from narcissistic abuse.

Community Q&A


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  • Question

    My husband and I have been married for 5years, and we have two kids. He seems to be a narcissist. I have caught him cheating several times. He always promises to change. What should I do?

    How to Break a Narcissist’s Heart: Revenge Made Easy (15)

    Haley Peng

    Community Answer

    Leave him! If he has cheated on you several times, he is a player. Stay away from him! He doesn't deserve you.

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      • Since true narcissists need constant attention, they often hop from relationship to relationship. Expect them to move on quickly, but don’t let it get you down. They’re just desperate to replace you.[13]


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      How to Break a Narcissist’s Heart: Revenge Made Easy (16)


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      About This Article

      How to Break a Narcissist’s Heart: Revenge Made Easy (31)

      Co-authored by:

      Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

      This article was co-authored by Jay Reid, LPCC and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA. Jay Reid is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in private practice in San Francisco, CA. He specializes in helping clients who have survived a narcissistic parent or partner. Treatment focuses upon helping clients identify and challenge self-diminishing beliefs as a result of narcissistic abuse. Jay holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MS in Clinical Psychology from Penn State University. This article has been viewed 348,115 times.

      13 votes - 100%

      Co-authors: 5

      Updated: July 16, 2023


      Categories: Relationships

      Article SummaryX

      If you’ve had a bad breakup with a narcissist, you might be tempted to get back at them. The most important thing is to set strong boundaries for yourself. This will not only protect you, but it will also frustrate the narcissist, since they want to feel like they can control you. Let them know you won’t tolerate certain behaviors and establish clear consequences. If possible, cut off contact with them and don’t answer their calls or texts. If they try to manipulate or upset you, calmly ignore them or tell them “no.” Focus on caring for yourself and living your best possible life without them, which will let them know that you don’t need them to be happy and fulfilled.

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