Interacting with a narcissist feels like you are one step away from total disaster. You are never sure what to say that will elicit the reaction you want or don’t want. This is why it is important to learn language and techniques that are effective in communicating with narcissists.
We are going to see eight phrases that turn off narcissists. They are effective in everyday conversations and are based on many common situations. These are phrases that disarm narcissists and hopefully make them pack up. From there, you can set boundaries to make sure they stay out of your life in the future.
But before we get there, here are some common phrases that are usually used to “shut down” a narcissist:
- We are both entitled to our own opinions.
- I’m sorry you feel that way.
- I don’t like how you talk to me.
- I can accept how you feel.
Do any of these sound familiar? They are stock phrases that many articles encourage you to use in conversations with high-conflict people. But they are not effective when you want to disarm a narcissist. They are ridiculous and silly for a narcissist and could turn them on even more.
Some narcissists, when you say things like this, they don’t know how to react because it’s not their way. They are not thinking in diplomatic or civil terms. So using these phrases makes you seem a bit weird and weak in the eyes of the narcissist.
The only caveat here is that if you are in court or in a legal setting where you are being monitored, these phrases can be seen as diplomatic and civil. Otherwise, they will cause the narcissist to chuckle.
Well then that’s what No to do. Here are eight real phrases that disarm narcissists, causing them to repel and shut down.
Narcissists love their sad stories. They will say what they need to strike a chord with you to extract some money due to a bad situation like job loss. But job loss or other financial difficulties aren’t just because they fell on hard times, but because their personality doesn’t allow them to hold down a job!
This is the type of narcissist I call The Moocher.
If this particular narcissist manages to hang on long enough to earn a college degree, he eventually becomes worthless because The Moocher destroys all opportunities in his field due to an incomplete employment history and propensity to quit at the slightest provocation.
They struggle to stay employed because they cannot tolerate authority figures, and view any kind of constructive criticism or comments as a personal attack.
Therefore, they are not responsible enough to hold a job, take care of their home, or complete their financial responsibilities. So every time you talk about sharing bills or paying your share, they will get shut down.
Many narcissists will just take off on this kind of news. They are not the type of people who want to stick around and help you through a health crisis.
However, there are some who might be left hoping that you are sick enough to pass away. They could then benefit from your assets through inheritance. So this news can prompt them to start planning what they are going to do.
However, based on my history of working with victims of abuse in my coaching practice (and my own experiences), it is clear that they will not be there in their time of need. So if you share bad medical news, it will completely disarm and repel them.
Like phrase number one, many narcissists are repulsed by talking about financial responsibility. However, some narcissists are fine and use their money to control or manipulate people.
Others manage to live by exploiting and robbing people. If you use this phrase with this type of narcissist, it indicates that they will have to look elsewhere for financial support – they will need someone else to exploit!
Narcissists are not only terrible parents, but they also don’t want the responsibility of caring for a child. This type of responsibility is not something that most narcissists are looking for.
However, if you end up having a child with a narcissist, be prepared for your child to have a life full of trauma. Additionally, narcissistic parents often spend obscene periods of time grooming and tricking their own children so that when they grow up they can turn them against the other parent. So when you see narcissists appearing to be good parents, even though they are generally horrible human beings, it’s nothing more than grooming, gaslighting, and conditioning.
What does the holidays mean to a narcissist? Commitment. And the very idea of commitment repels narcissists, they are not interested! Therefore, a vacation is often not something a narcissist will enjoy, because it indicates too much commitment, mainly because it takes away the preparation of their other supply.
However, if you’re in the middle of the love bombing period of a new relationship with a narcissist, you might just put on a happy face over the holidays. They can work to make it wonderful. But, once the love bomb period is over, they will leave you and become indifferent.
narcissists love be in the limelight. So, if you tell them your sick parent is moving out, it’s a sign you’re not available to care for them 24/7 – you have other priorities. This will result in the narcissist not being able to get what he is looking for and he may want to move on.
An exception to this is if the narcissist believes that their ailing parent might soon pass away. If this is the case, they may start plotting and planning, trying to find a way to get money out of the situation.
But since this isn’t the most common scenario, a narcissist won’t be happy with a new arrangement that takes the spotlight off of them.
Narcissists are not here to help, they are here to take, exploit, and manipulate. So if you call them to help you they will just shut down in response. They may give you a hackneyed and cliché response, but they won’t be emotionally invested in helping you.
Helping others takes energy, and narcissists are already directing their energy toward their schemes and betrayals; they usually can’t shift gears and help you.
This is a sign for no relationship that something is happening. But it specifically signals to a narcissist that you will confront him. Perhaps you have caught them in a lie, betrayal, or affair. Or, they have not kept their word to pay the bills or get a job. Whatever you need to talk about, this is one of the most effective phrases that disarms narcissists.
This phrase means it’s time for damage control: they need to cover their tracks to maintain their sources of supply. It may be too complicated or difficult to do, so they may give up at this point.
These eight phrases are very effective in real conversation because they are, well, real. They reflect the challenges and difficulties narcissists have in maintaining their act. When you use these phrases, you disarm them and even repel or repel them.
By using these disarming phrases for narcissists, you are showing them that you will no longer give them exactly what they want, which will drive them away. Narcissists are always scheming how to keep their supply – if they no longer get it from you, they will leave and try to find it elsewhere.
But here’s the thing: narcissists almost always come crawling back. So while these phrases may initially set them back, it’s up to you to set boundaries to keep them out of your life. It’s important to do more than just talk to a narcissist, you should also Act. Combine these phrases with tangible action steps to eliminate them from your life forever.
How to stop the cycle of narcissistic abuse?
Now that you’ve identified some key patterns, what do you do next? How do you change the cycle of your life?
First, learning to recognize narcissistic patterns is essential.
Even if you’re tempted to “move on,” you probably haven’t developed a solid narcissism radar. Insight is the best step forward. Are you really aware of your triggers? Do you recognize yourself in any of the reasons mentioned above? If so, take some time to reflect on how you can improve those weak points.
Personally, when I left my last toxic relationship several years ago, I forced myself to be alone for a long time. During this period, I did a lot of healing work that I describe in The break-free program. I gave up and accepted that I hadn’t been willing to walk away when the red flags started to appear. I learned my coping schemas and figured out how to overcome my triggers. I did energy healing, both alone at home and through energy healing practitioners. I overcame the financial PTSD I had developed from losing my finances and being forced to start over.
These are the same steps you can take.
Then, once I integrated all of the initial healing work, I went further in rebuilding my inner identity, learned to be comfortable setting boundaries and saying ‘no’, and finally began to honor myself enough that if the red flags they will jump in the future, I might walk away and mean it. (That is how the THRIVE program was born).
With this work, I watched old beliefs and negative energies melt away as I watched all my deepest desires manifest in real life. I finally felt motivated to embark on new adventures, allowing my story to unfold instead of just dreaming about it. I’ve learned to love who I am, allowing myself to attract the most caring people into my life while staying away from drama lovers and feeling pretty good about it.
And I promise you that even if you have experienced horrific trauma and abuse, you can still heal your life. You can learn to stop betraying yourself and acting out of alignment with your own integrity. You can learn to be comfortable setting limits without feeling guilty. Like you, I once felt hopeless and fearful that I was doomed, but once I did the inner work and implemented everything I had learned, my life began to transform in ways I never thought possible.
This can also happen to you.
As always, I sincerely hope to answer your questions and comments below.