When you’re dealing with a narcissist it is important to have an understanding of how they operate so that you do not get baited into their traps. They intentionally set traps and lure you in with bait. They do this because they realize that if you’re emotionally discombobulated they can get you into their web. Their web of control, lies and usery. This is the worst place to be! Especially if you have a big heart. Your heart can devote more time and energy to them than yourself and this is never a healthy space to be in, in any relationship.
Understanding how narcissists operate is important because this helps you understand their mind, how they think, how they feel and how they operate with their convoluted thoughts and feelings. We covered multiple quotes, sayings, baiting tactics and more that are used by Narcissists here on GreenLivingTribe.com that can be very useful to you if you’re dealing with a narcissist in your life. If you understand how narcissists operate you don’t have to get baited into their web in the first place.
The truth is that narcissists aren’t that creative. They’re crafty. There’s a difference. Creative would imply that they are doing something new each time, which they might be! However, if you look closer you will recognize that it is simply crafty behavior. It’s the same old tricks that are brought back into the mix.
Today we’ll be exploring how to support and build a defensive mindset against narcissists so that you can defend yourself properly from their attacks without having them land in the first place. We’re hoping that with these methods you can disengage with the narcissist in your life before they get going on their tirade and start running circles of confusion, deception, shame and guilt around you.. like they’ve typically done in the past. Without further ado, here are seven strong comebacks that you can use with narcissists in order to properly defend yourself against their attacks.
7 Comebacks That Put Narcissists Back in Their Place
It’s strange to think that the word no, simply stating it is a comeback. But to a narcissist it is and will take them back. They are used to people acting in a codependent manner around them. Saying no, or choosing to refuse/reject their demands is one very simple way to stand up for yourself. Develop a backbone and muster up the courage to say no if it feels wrong or incoherent with your spirit. It’s your life, and your relationship. You have a say too! If you say yes all the time you’ll simply be feeding into their narcissistic behavior patterns. Say no ans stand your ground, no matter the ‘consequences’ or fits they throw your way.
2. I Am Not Afraid
Narcissists use fear and manipulation tactics to control with fear. Fear is their currency of control. The more you play into their fear the more control and power they have over you. When they try to threaten you or use fear against you simply state “I am not afraid of you” or “I am not afraid of the repercussions” etc. Letting them know that if you stand your ground you mean it and that fear has no place or business pervading your consciousness. They will no longer use fear against you to control your will. Be brave, take a deep breath and let them know you’re not afraid of what they think, what they’ll say or what they’ll do. You need to put your foot down and stand your ground. You can do this and be firm with them but not turn your back on them or treat them like trash. You can have respect, let them know that fear doesn’t work and face them the entire time to assert your truth.
3. Don’t Change The Subject
Narcissists are high level operators when it comes to deception and usery. Their main goal is to control the situation, the narrative, the dialogue and ultimately the outcome. They feel that if they have control they won’t get used, hurt or abandoned like they did before they stepped into their narcissistic behavior. Control is deceptive because we don’t really have it. We are in charge, but we are not in control and there’s a big difference. When a narcissist in your life begins to push control on you and changes the subject or flips it back on you and what you said you need to hold your ground and say ‘Don’t change the subject’ we’re discussing this right now. You need to let them know that they cannot skate around the issue and point their finger at you every time. A sure sign of a narcissist is someone who points the finger all the time. Someone who refuses to take accountability and responsibility for their actions is definitely a narcissist.
4. I Am Assertive And Clear
Narcissists will get in your head and tell you that what you think or your feelings do not matter. They may point out the emotional breakdown you’re having right now or that you’ve had in the past and use this as ‘evidence’ as to why you are emotionally fragile and not rational. In these moments it’s not your job to defend yourself against their attacks. Your job is to not accept their attacks in the first place. Simply stating “I am assertive and clear” about _______ (fill in the blank) whatever it is. This let’s them know that just because you have thoughts and feelings does not mean that you’re not assertive and clear about the situation at hand. You’re clear that there is a problem and healing needs to occur if anything will improve and if it doesn’t, I cannot stay in this toxic situation.
5. The World Does Not Revolve Around You
Just a bit of a forewarning on this one, narcissists hate hearing this one because it’s the truth in the form of a dagger. They fully live like the world revolves around them. Their time, their energy, their money, their desires. Think of a narcissist like a toddler that says my or mine all the time. This is the mode their brain is stuck in, unfortunately. Telling them ‘The world does not revolve around you’ will feel like a bit of an attack to them. Even though it’s the truth and you’re well aware that the world does not revolve around you, they don’t see it that way. If you want to deliver this in a lighter way and have it be more open-ended ask them a simple question like “Name, do you think that ______ (me/them) might want to be a part of this also? What about others?” and then just stop after the question and wait in silence. If you deliver a question that delivers the message to shine the spotlight on others, beyond yourself even, that may be more effective.
If you try this questioning method multiple times in different ways referring to others or yourself and being more inclusive and they still don’t get the message it may just be time to tell them “Karen, the world doesn’t revolve around you!” and then promptly ask, why do you think it does? It would be nice to open this up into a dialogue to try to get them to recognize that hey, maybe caring about others and extending my empathy has value because narcissists do not see it that way. It’s not your job to ‘heal’ or ‘fix’ a narcissist though, so keep that in mind.
6. Please Slow Down
Narcissists are master manipulators and use speed to their advantage. They use speed in conversation, with their actions and even with your response, or lack of it. They will speed ahead creating expectations and demands, and pushing assumptions on you. Have you heard what assuming does to you? How it makes you look? Ass-u-me? It makes an ass out of u and me! So don’t assume! When a narcissist starts rambling and going on a tirade of speed ask them to please slow down, ask it two or three times if necessary to get them into a calmer pace where things can be described more rationally. Slowing down allows you to actually be in a conversation with them instead of bantering and bickering back and forth. Narcissists need to be held accountable and responsible, by slowing down and taking one thought or point at a time this can occur.
7. I’ll Believe it When I See It
Narcissists once again are master manipulators and will use this to their advantage whenever they can. If you simply state to their sky high promise ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ they’ll know that you mean business and have shifted your energy from listening to their words to listening to their actions. This is a powerful transition and step that you need to take anyway, all the time. Words speak louder than actions and if words do not align with actions than you need to begin distancing yourself from this individual as it will only leave you emptier and emptier over time. Why wait?
These are just a handful of cognitive and verbal approaches that you can utilize to protect and defend yourself against the attacks of a narcissist. Remember, you do not have to stay in a relationship with a narcissist. There is no obligation or pressure that you have to stay other than what you give yourself. I understand that if you’re married, and have children, this can be incredibly challenging as there are more parts to the puzzle.
There are tools, techniques, practices and solutions for healing and reversing narcissism but humility is a prerequisite. If a narcissist is not willing to humble themselves and are constantly pointing the finger, blaming and playing the victim this will not happen.
To better equip yourself on how to deal with the toxic behavior patterns of narcissists be sure to read the articles below: