You sit down at your computer.
You’ve had something on your mind and you need to share it.
You head over to your email account, hit “compose” and enter the narcissist’s email address.
Or, maybe you initiated an attempt at No Contact, but didn’t really block the offender. After sending an emotional email to the narcissist and checking your inbox or phone for days straight, you finally get the “I miss you” text, but when you respond back…crickets.
So, instead of pecking around on your iPhone, you sit down to write a come-to-Jesus email to the narcissist in your life.
It doesn’t matter which scenario foreshadows the event, what ensues is the email tsunami from hell.
You know what I’m talking about…the frame-by-frame depiction of all the pain and suffering they’ve put you through. Your rapid succession, chapter-length emails aimed at giving them lessons on being a decent human that always seem to get lost in cyber-space.
Then, after pouring out your heart and soul for hours straight, you finally get their reply:
“I think you should see a therapist”
“Oh sorry, just got this”, with zero acknowledgment of the messages you sent, much less your emotional state.
You’re not dealing with a typical person – you’re dealing with a narcissist
Makes you feel kind of high strung, doesn’t it? That’s how I always felt when I sent email tsunamis to my narcissistic ex. I must have sent thousands of them before finally ending the relationship. And with each one I wrote, I lost more of my power…until I just didn’t have any fight left.
Being a writer, an INFJ, and an Empath, words mean everything to me. To my ex, they were either fodder for his entertainment or ammunition to use against me later.
I know you want them to understand. You want them to “get it”, but you’re just wasting your precious energy while giving away your power with every email you send to them.
Narcissists absolutely love it when we send email tsunamis. It means we’ve been worked into a feverish frenzy over something they said or did. They don’t care about how we feel, but they sure love knowing they have such an enormous effect on us.
In fact, sometimes they enjoy our hateful emails even more than the loving ones. If they’ve pushed us far enough to feel that we hate them, it means their mind-games have finally come full circle. And it usually provokes them to treat us worse, because, by the time we start with the email tsunamis, it means we’re trauma-bonded and brainwashed. They are able to infer this because they’ve been getting these same emails for years from everyone they’ve been in relationships with.
To us, our emails are an attempt to make them see the light because we have feelings and want to make the relationship work. Or, at the very least, induce a modicum of empathy in them. For the narcissist, it’s a green light for them to tap into their underground crazy.
Narcissists don’t process or experience emotions the way average people do and this is reflected in their abusive behavior. As such, you cannot respond to a narcissist in the same way you might respond to other people and expect a similar outcome.
How Narcissists Feel About Goodbye Emails or That ‘One Last Conversation’
If you’ve had the “last conversation” with a person in your life due to their relationship crimes, this is a clear sign you are dealing with a narcissistic manipulator.
How many “last conversations” do you plan to have with them? Nothing will be accomplished by that last cup of coffee, the last email tsunami, or sending them long paragraphs about how much they hurt you. It only shows them how much power they have over you…and makes you feel “had” in the end.
Think of it this way…you know those word search puzzles where someone says “pick out the first three words you see” in a box of random letters? This is (literally) what the narcissist does when you spend all that time and energy writing to them. They scan for words like ‘hurt’, ‘pain’, ‘can’t breathe’…and then they go about their day feeling smug that they can very likely insert themselves back into your life whenever they want to.
You’re giving them the blueprint on what they should continue doing in order to keep you hurting and trauma-bonded…in other words, consider it a war and you are giving them your position.
If it helps you to write the email tsunamis or the long paragraphs, then do it…but, for the sake of your dignity and your future, don’t send them to the narcissist.
How to Make a Real Impression With a Narcissist: Concrete Steps You Can Take Right Now
Not everyone’s situation is the same. Abuse victims often find out they’re dating, living with, or even raising a family with a narcissist after quite some time. In other cases, you’re dealing with a narcissist in your family or work environment.
When you decide to finally break free, a lot of people may not believe your experience. That’s okay: they don’t have to because you know the truth.
Still, cutting a person out of your life isn’t easy – especially one clinging to you for the delicious supply you’ve been offering them. Here are some tips to start dealing with a narcissist the right way:
- Block Everything: Phone numbers, social media accounts, email addresses, flying monkeys, carrier pigeons. If you leave a loophole for the narcissist to contact you, they will exploit it.
- Find Support: This may only include one or two people you trust. Confide in someone who will validate and believe you.
- Consider a PPO: You don’t know how the narcissist will behave once you cut them off. They may become violent or stalk you, your family members, and friends.
- Let People Know: Tell mutual friends you don’t want them to relay any messages from the narcissist – no need to explain why if you aren’t comfortable. This will close every last channel and thoroughly shut down a narcissist.
No, They Won’t Change. This Is the Only Option
The narcissist will not suddenly see things your way. Don’t believe the conflicting information you might see from other websites or therapists – the narcissist will never change.
Studies suggest that over 6% of the population has Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Narcissism is part of the dark triad. The dark triad falls under dark psychology, which looks mostly at insidious behaviors and analyzes manipulation, deception, mind control, and other malevolent schemes. The other two personalities that fall under the dark triad are psychopathy and Machiavellianism. Narcissism has been found to have a significant correlation with psychopathy.
Further, studies have suggested that on average, those who exhibit the dark triad of personality traits engage in a game-playing romance style. These same traits have been identified as part of a fast life strategy that appears to be enacted by an exploitative and opportunistic approach to life in general.
Anything less than cutting them out of your life will give you a mental and emotional breakdown.
No Contact is the Only Way to Shut Down a Narcissist
Many narcissists have always been this way – even as far back as their teenage or childhood years. If you’re dealing with a narcissist, you cannot and should not expect them to change their behavior now or ever.
Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder often involves things like cognitive behavioral therapy. In many cases, a narcissist may also suffer from other mental illnesses like depression or substance use disorder. (You’ve probably heard extensively about these problems, too, when the narcissist needs your sympathy or someone to blame.)
Despite this, there is little evidence to suggest therapy actually works for narcissists as personality disorders are notoriously difficult to treat. The first step to getting help is to admit a problem exists – the narcissist will never believe they have or are a problem.
No Contact is the only option.
Trust in yourself and your support system. Because once you get to the other side and stick to No Contact, you’ll be amazed by all the amazing things you can accomplish.
To summarize, each time we engage in email tsunamis, we give away pieces of our dignity and self-respect. Save your emotions for your journal, your therapist, or your cat. The narcissist just doesn’t care.
Recovery involves rewriting everything you thought you knew about yourself. It requires rebuilding your identity – or in many cases building an identity for the first time. A narcissistic abuse recovery program can help you avoid relapse by learning about yourself, habits, and triggers.
The Essential Break Free Bootcamp may be the missing piece of the puzzle.
I know what you’re going through and I’m here to help. Learn more about the course and see what my students and neuroscience experts have to say about it.
Vernon, Philip A.; Villani, Vanessa C.; Vickers, Leanne C.; Harris, Julie Aitken (January 2008). “A behavioral genetic investigation of the Dark Triad and the Big 5”. Personality and Individual Differences. 44 (2): 445–452
Jonason, Peter K.; Kavanagh, Phillip (October 2010). “The dark side of love: Love styles and the Dark Triad”. Personality and Individual Differences. 49 (6): 606–610
Jonason, Peter K.; Webster, Gregory D. (March 2012). “A protean approach to social influence: Dark Triad personalities and social influence tactics”. Personality and Individual Differences. 52 (4): 521–526