The best way to break up with a narcissist

Most of us have been there at one point or another. A relationship that seemed perfect at the start begins unraveling. If you're lucky, the breakup is easy. A few tears might be shed, but you resolve things like adults and go your separate ways. But what happens if your soon-to-be ex is a narcissist

Breaking up with a narcissist requires a bit more strategizing, not only so that they'll get the message but also to protect you throughout the breakup process. Since narcissists are masters of manipulation, you'll need to stay strong in your resolve to leave what you know is a toxic relationship

"On the surface narcissists can seem charming, intelligent, caring — knowing how to entice and lure their way back into your life," Dr. Judith Orloff wrote in Psychology Today. "But once they reel you back then they revert to their egotistical selves." 

Dr. Orloff urges those breaking up with narcissists to remember that narcissists don't feel empathy. If they try to charm you or guilt trip you, don't fall for it. Narcissists will often attempt to manipulate you into staying in the relationship. As convincing as they may seem, it's important that you keep a clear head and remind yourself why you decided to end the relationship.

You also need to set clear limits. When you say no, mean it. Remember that a narcissist doesn't truly love you — narcissists only love themselves. Leaving might be hard, but the best way to get out is to completely cut ties with your ex, cold turkey. 

After you're officially out of the relationship, focus on the future. By putting your energy into something positive, you not only begin to construct a life without your ex, but you will also be too busy to be tempted to get back with them. 

Most importantly, practice some self care. Breakups aren't easy, even if your ex is a narcissist. "Treasure yourself," said Dr. Orloff. "Be very kind to yourself and know that you deserve a loving relationship with someone who can reciprocate that love."