Can One Narcissist Control Another Narcissist? Exploring the Dynamics of Narcissistic Relationships

When it comes to dealing with people who’ve narcissistic personality disorder or tendencies, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of control and autonomy. Narcissists are often skilled at manipulating others to get what they want, whether it's attention, admiration, or control over a particular situation. One tactic that they might use to maintain control is called triangulation. This is a process in which the narcissist creates a situation in which one person is pitted against another, with the narcissist acting as a mediator or go-between. In some cases, it’s possible for one narcissist to control another through triangulation, and this can make relationships with narcissistic individuals even more challenging to navigate.

Can a Narcissist Manipulate a Narcissist?

Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, and a need for excessive admiration. Narcissists are known for being manipulative, controlling, and often end up in dysfunctional personal relationships. When two narcissists come together, it can be quite a volatile situation.

One of the ways in which a narcissist can manipulate another narcissist is through mirroring. This involves reflecting back to the other person aspects of themselves that they desire or admire. By doing this, the narcissist is able to build rapport and establish a sense of trust with the other person.

Another way in which a narcissist can manipulate another narcissist is through competition. Narcissists thrive on being better than others, so when two narcissists are competing with each other, it can be a never-ending cycle of one-upmanship. This can result in a lot of tension and conflict, but it can also be a way for the narcissists to continue to validate their own sense of self-importance.

A skilled narcissist can also manipulate another narcissist by playing into their own insecurities. Narcissists may seem confident on the outside, but they often harbor deep-seated fears and insecurities. By tapping into these fears, the manipulative narcissist can control the other persons behavior and actions, ultimately gaining the upper hand in the relationship.

It’s essential to understand that, in any relationship involving narcissists, there will always be a power dynamic at play. Both parties will be seeking validation and control, and there will be constant competition and manipulation.

Yes, narcissists can manipulate other narcissists, and it can be a dangerous and destructive situation. It’s crucial to recognize the signs of a toxic relationship and to seek help and support if you or someone you know is in this situation.

When two people with narcissistic traits enter into a relationship, it can become a battle for power and control. Both individuals may attempt to manipulate the other, creating a dynamic that’s fraught with tension and competition. It can be difficult for either person to acknowledge that they’re being manipulated, as their narcissistic tendencies may lead them to believe that they’re unbeatable. However, the reality is that a relationship between two narcissists can lead to destruction and chaos.

Can Two Narcissists Manipulate Each Other?

These individuals may be skilled at manipulating others, but when it comes down to it, they’re also vulnerable to being manipulated themselves. It isn’t uncommon for two narcissists to end up in a relationship together, as they’re drawn to each others traits of confidence, ambition, and assertiveness. However, in a narcissistic relationship, the power dynamic may shift frequently as each partner tries to gain the upper hand and control.

Therefore, one partner may try to manipulate the other to maintain a sense of control. This can lead to a power struggle where both partners vie for control of the relationship.

Without empathy and the ability to truly understand each others needs, desires, and emotions, the relationship can quickly become destructive. It may be difficult for either partner to acknowledge their role in the manipulation and control, leading to an endless cycle of blame and defensiveness.

While two narcissists may be drawn to each other initially, it’s unlikely that a healthy and fulfilling relationship can be sustained without both partners undergoing significant personal growth and introspection. Without addressing their underlying issues of insecurity, lack of empathy, and desire for control, the relationship can quickly become toxic. Ultimately, it’s up to the individuals involved to recognize their own behavior patterns and work towards more healthy and fulfilling relationships in the future.

Source: Can two narcissists hurt each other?..

However, it’s not just clashes between grandiose and vulnerable types that can occur. Narcissists may also find themselves in power struggles with other narcissists, leading to intense rivalry and one-upmanship. But how do these battles play out? Let’s explore further.

Do Narcissists Fight With Each Other?

While narcissists are often associated with being self-absorbed and obsessed with their own image, they aren’t impervious to interpersonal conflicts. In fact, narcissists may be more prone to engaging in fights with others, particularly with other narcissists. This is because narcissists often seek validation and affirmation from others, and may feel threatened when others challenge their sense of self-importance.

It isn’t uncommon for two narcissists to engage in a power struggle for dominance. The grandiose narcissist, in particular, may be more likely to assert themselves over a vulnerable narcissist in order to prove their superiority. They may belittle, criticize, and dismiss the opinions and feelings of their counterpart, which can exacerbate an already tense situation.

On the other hand, the vulnerable narcissist may respond with anger and defensive behavior, as they attempt to protect their fragile sense of self. They may become defensive, argumentative, or even aggressive when challenged, which can escalate the conflict further. These types of interactions can be detrimental to both parties, as they reinforce unhealthy patterns of behavior and can lead to emotional abuse.

Despite the potential for conflict, it’s also possible for narcissists to form alliances and engage in supportive relationships with other narcissists. They may bond over shared interests, mutual admiration, or a desire for power and control. However, these relationships can be volatile and may eventually devolve into competition and conflict.

In any case, it’s important to recognize the potential for narcissistic individuals to engage in harmful behaviors towards one another. Rather than enabling or encouraging these negative patterns, it’s important to address them head-on and seek help from mental health professionals as needed. This can help to mitigate the potential for future conflicts and promote healthier interpersonal dynamics going forward.

How to Identify a Narcissist in Your Personal or Professional Life

  • They’ve a constant need for admiration and validation from others.
  • They lack empathy and often disregard the feelings and needs of others.
  • They’ve a sense of entitlement and believe they deserve special treatment.
  • They often exaggerate their achievements and talents, or make up stories to make themselves seem superior.
  • They’re quick to blame others and unwilling to take responsibility for their own actions.
  • They may be charming and charismatic, but it’s often to manipulate and control others.
  • They struggle with criticism and will become defensive or lash out if their ego is threatened.
  • They may have On-Off relationships and may have been physically or emotionally abusive to these partners.
  • They’ve a tendency to gaslight or manipulate your perception of reality, which can cause confusion and self-doubt.
  • They may devalue or discard people who no longer serve their needs, without remorse.

While changing a narcissist may seem like a daunting task, it isn’t entirely impossible. With a willingness to change and a commitment to self-reflection, a narcissist can transform their negative behavior. However, this process requires a certain level of accountability and empathy which may be difficult for some narcissists to embrace.

What Can Make a Narcissist Change?

However, there are some effective approaches that can be taken to help them change. One important step in this process is to help the narcissist recognize the impact of their behavior on others. They may have difficulty with empathy, but by showing them the consequences of their actions, they may begin to understand how their behavior affects the people around them. This can be done through gentle, honest communication that avoids criticism and focuses on facts.

Another important factor in helping narcissists change is to encourage them to seek therapy. Narcissism is often a result of early childhood experiences and trauma, and therapy can help the individual explore these experiences and work through them. In therapy, narcissists may also learn new strategies for coping with negative emotions such as anger and shame, which can reduce the frequency of their harmful behaviors.

Finally, it’s important to set healthy boundaries with the narcissist. This means establishing clear expectations for their behavior and enforcing consequences when those expectations aren’t met. By doing so, the narcissist may begin to understand that their behavior is unacceptable, and may be more motivated to change.

While changing a narcissist is no easy task, it’s possible with the right approach.

Dealing with a narcissist can be a challenging and draining experience. However, by understanding their behavior and learning how to outsmart them, you can regain control of the situation and protect yourself from their toxicity. In this article, we will explore some effective techniques that you can use to outsmart a narcissist and take back your power.

What Is the Correct Way to Outsmart a Narcissist?

When it comes to dealing with a narcissist, it’s important to remember that these individuals have an inflated sense of self-importance, lack empathy, and often manipulate others for their own gain. It can be exhausting and emotionally draining to interact with a narcissist, but there are ways to outsmart them.

One approach is to cut off their narcissistic supply, which means removing yourself from their sphere of influence. This could mean ending a romantic relationship, quitting a job, or simply distancing yourself from toxic individuals. By removing their source of attention and validation, you take away their power over you.

Once you’ve separated yourself, it’s important to take time to heal. This could involve therapy, journaling, or pursuing hobbies and interests that bring you joy. Narcissists often leave a trail of emotional damage in their wake, so it’s crucial to prioritize your own well-being.

Another key factor in outsmarting a narcissist is taking responsibility for your own behavior. This doesn’t mean accepting blame for their actions, but rather acknowledging your role in any conflicts that may have arisen. By approaching the situation with empathy and respect, you may be able to defuse their anger and prevent further escalation.

It can also be effective to act unresponsive around a narcissist. If they sense that they can’t control or manipulate you, they may lose interest and move on to an easier target. Disengaging from their conversations and interactions can also help to minimize their influence on your life.

Setting clear boundaries is essential when dealing with a narcissist. This means communicating your expectations and limits in a firm but respectful way. It’s important to enforce these boundaries consistently, as a narcissist may test them repeatedly in an attempt to regain control.

Separating yourself to cut off their narcissistic supply, taking time to heal, taking responsibility, reacting with empathy and respect, acting unresponsive, and setting clear boundaries can all be effective tools in dealing with this challenging personality type.

How to Recognize Early Warning Signs of Narcissistic Behavior in Relationships or in the Workplace

  • Seeking constant attention and admiration
  • Lack of empathy towards others
  • Belittling or criticizing others
  • Exploiting others for personal gain
  • Extreme self-importance and grandiosity
  • Difficulty handling criticism or rejection
  • Manipulating or controlling behaviors
  • Difficulty with boundaries and respecting others’ boundaries
  • Exaggerating achievements and abilities
  • Putting down others to make oneself appear superior
  • Frequently interrupting or talking over others
  • Displaying arrogance or entitlement
  • Threatening or punishing others when they don’t comply with their demands


In conclusion, the question of whether one narcissist can control another narcissist is complex and doesn’t have a straightforward answer. While both individuals may have tendencies towards manipulative behavior and a desire for control, their interactions are likely to be fraught with power struggles and conflicts. Narcissistic triangulation, a tactic commonly employed by those with narcissistic personality disorder, can further complicate these dynamics by creating situations in which one-on-one disagreements become two-against-one scenarios.