How to respond to a narcissist
Relationships & Dating Advice

8 Ways to Respond to a Narcissist and Get the Upper Hand

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If you are living with a narcissist but don’t know what to do, learn how to respond to a narcissist in this post.

Who is a narcissist?

Narcissistic abuse is a type of emotional abuse that involves exploitation. It is also a form of psychological manipulation. Narcissistic abuse can be difficult to identify because it can be hard to see the abuser’s behavior as abusive.

A narcissist is someone who has an inflated sense of self-importance, needs admiration from others, and has little interest in empathizing with others. They are often described as arrogant, selfish, and demanding.

Narcissists are not always easy to spot because their behavior often looks normal on the outside. They may have good social skills and come across as confident and charming when they want something from you.

Narcissists can be found in all walks of life and are not just limited to celebrities. There are many ways in which you can identify a narcissist including the following:

How to identify a narcissist

1) They will talk about themselves in an exaggerated way as if they were the most important person in the world.

2) They will not be able to handle criticism well and may react with anger or shame.

3) They tend to have a high opinion of themselves and their abilities while being overly critical of others.

4) They will take advantage of other people without feeling any guilt or remorse for their actions.

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8 Ways to respond to a narcissist and get the upper hand

How to respond to a narcissist

1. Stay Calm

The best way to respond to a narcissist is to stay calm. It is important not to get angry at them or show any signs of weakness because that will just make them want you more. Avoid them by staying busy with activities that do not involve them. When you’re in a heated argument, they will try to provoke you, but don’t react.

2. Focus on Your Needs

Focus on your own needs and desires, and don’t let the narcissist’s behavior make you feel guilty or bad about yourself. You can’t control the narcissist, but you can control how you react to them. Focus on what you need and want to do in order to feel good about yourself, rather than what they want from you.

The first step is to recognize that the person is a narcissist. It’s not easy because they often come off as charming and likable at first. But once their mask starts slipping, it becomes clearer that they have little empathy for other’s feelings or needs.

Related: Signs of love-bombing

3. Build Up Self-Confidence and Emotional Boundaries

We can’t control what other people think of us, but we can control how we think of ourselves. This is where self-confidence and emotional boundaries come into play. We need to be able to recognize when someone is trying to manipulate us, and then set up boundaries in our lives that will keep them from succeeding.

Narcissists are masters at manipulation. They know how to push your buttons and force you into a corner where you feel like you have no choice but to submit to their demands or desires. The first step in building up your self-confidence and emotional boundaries is recognizing the different types of manipulation narcissists use so that you can better protect yourself from them.

There are three main types of manipulation that narcissists use: guilt trips, silent treatment, and abuse. The guilt trip is when the narcissist manipulates their partner into feeling guilty so they will do what they want or stop what they are doing. This can be done through comments such as “you are always so busy,” “I’ll be home soon,” and “You know I don’t like it when you do that.”

The guilt trip can lead to the silent treatment with abuse, in which the narcissist yells and screams at their partner and puts them down, or refuses to be around them. When they are done with this they may apologize or attempt to make their partner feel better.

The silent treatment with abuse is when the narcissist manipulates their partner into feeling bad and resentful so they will be compliant. This can be done through comments such as “I told you not to do that,” “You need to learn to respect me,” or “I never asked you for anything.” etc.

Related: How to deal with a narcissist

4. Avoid Arguments or Trying to Debate With Them

Arguing with a narcissist is not going to do any good. They are not going to change their mind and they will always find a way to turn the argument around on you.

The best thing you can do is avoid them or disengage from the conversation as quickly as possible.

5. Show Interest but Remain Objective

Narcissists are experts at manipulation and gaslighting. They can convince you that you are the problem, that you are crazy, and that your concerns about their behavior are unfounded.

The best way to get out of this situation is to cut off contact with them. This will help protect you from being manipulated and gaslighted any further. But if it’s not possible for you to do this, there is a way to get support from other people who have been in your position before.

Related: Signs of an abusive man in a relationship

6. Be Honest but Compassionate With Your Approach

Narcissists are the people who can’t take a hint. They don’t know that they’re hurting you, they don’t know that they’re being rude, and they don’t care. This is how you should talk back to them:

Be honest but compassionate with your approach. Show them empathy and be kind in your words. You want to aim for a “no-fault” approach where you’re not blaming either party for the situation. You want to show them that you understand their feelings and why they might be feeling this way without making it about themselves or making it personal.

Related: Signs of a toxic relationship

7. Keep Your Reaction Consistent with Your Values & Morals

The next step is to establish boundaries and keep your reaction consistent with your values and morals. For example, if the narcissist wants something from you, tell them that you’ll do it tomorrow. If the narcissist criticizes you, tell them that you’re not their therapist and their issues are not your responsibility.

The thing about narcissists is that they push boundaries constantly, so you can’t let your guard down and relax too much. It’s also important to explain to the narcissist why what they said or did hurt your feelings.

8. Take Some Time Away From These People & Make Yourself Happy

Spending time alone without a narcissist is not easy. But it is necessary.

In order to maintain your sanity, do not allow the narcissist to invade your space and time. Spend some time alone without them and make yourself happy.

Final thoughts

Narcissists can be difficult to deal with, but it’s important not to let them get the better of you. You need to learn how to set boundaries and stand up for yourself in order to protect your mental health.

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I am Onwe Damian Chukwuemeka, the brain behind this blog. I'm a passionate writer who loves everything about relationships, quotes, and self-improvement tips for personal growth.

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