Crystal Wright | December 12, 2021 | Divorce
Many factors can influence the outcome of a divorce or family law case. One is the ability of those involved to make the right impression on the judge.
Just because someone can sway the judge’s opinion, doesn’t always mean they deserve an outcome in their favor. For example, perhaps you’re in the middle of divorce proceedings with a spouse who is a narcissist. One common characteristic of narcissists is an ability to charm someone easily.
You don’t want the judge siding with your spouse merely because they have a unique ability to make someone like them. That’s why it’s important to understand how you can get a narcissist to reveal themselves. Your goal is to ensure the judge sees beyond your spouse’s ruse.
There are several ways you can potentially achieve this goal. Noteworthy examples include the following:
Don’t Diagnose Them
Some people use the term narcissist informally to describe anyone who has an inflated sense of self-worth. However, real narcissists have a personality disorder.
You might be tempted to show up to court or a mediation session with a list of symptoms in an effort to “diagnose” your spouse with this condition. Don’t make this error.
Attorneys and judges are often suspicious when a party tries to diagnose their own spouse. You could make the wrong impression if you try to prove your spouse is a diagnosable narcissist. Instead of telling the judge or mediator that your spouse is a narcissist, aim to trigger their unpleasant behaviors and characteristics.
Reference Real-World Issues
Choosing the right line of questioning is one way to get a narcissist to reveal themselves. The line of questioning you and your attorney choose should be rooted in problems that have been consistent throughout your relationship.
For example, maybe both you and your spouse are vying for custody of your children. You might know you deserve custody for several reasons, one of them being that your spouse fails to participate in your children’s lives.
You could base a line of questioning around this particular issue. For example, you and your attorney could start by asking your spouse if they love your kids. Your spouse will likely affirm that they do. You could then proceed to ask if your spouse agrees that loving parents should play active roles in the lives of their children. Your spouse will again state that they do.
Now you can ask if they were present at certain key events, such as birthday parties, sports games, medical appointments, etc. You should ask about events that you know your spouse was not present at.
This may crack their facade and get them to start showing their irritation or anger. However, that may not be enough to show a judge they are a narcissist. You need to keep in mind that your spouse could always lie.
Gather Documentation and Keep Your Composure
You need to arrive prepared with signed statements from relevant parties (such as teachers and doctors) who can confirm that your spouse was not present at your child’s events. If the judge knows your spouse is willing to lie to get what they want, they will be less likely to take their side going forward.
Additionally, narcissists often place a high level of importance on looking good in front of others. If you prove that your spouse is a liar in front of the judge, you will likely spark their anger. They may overreact, further demonstrating they are a narcissist. This will benefit your case, especially if you keep your composure.
You should discuss this topic with your lawyer before planning your strategy. Proving your spouse is a narcissist is not the only way to secure a favorable outcome in your case. You and your attorney must collaborate to come up with a strategy that’s best-suited to your particular circumstances.