Helpful Tactics For Dealing With Narcissists

As anyone with experience with narcissists knows, you can’t avoid them entirely.  Try as you might, they are everywhere.  Because this is a sad fact of life, everyone needs to have some effective weapons in their arsenal.


Below is a list of things that can help stop narcissists in their tracks.  While I always recommend prayer as the best place to start, these are some useful tactics I have found that can be helpful as well.


  1. Show no emotions when in the presence of a narcissist.  Narcissists feed off the emotions of their victims.  If you act happy, they will do their best to make you unhappy.  If you’re sad, they’ll try to make you sadder.  Angry?  They will push your buttons to attempt to make you even angrier.  In the presence of a narcissist, show NO emotions.  You aren’t happy, sad, angry or anything.  You simply are.  This gives them nothing to work with.
  2. Ask the narcissist, “How does that make sense?”  It is best to ask this question logically, minus any signs of emotion aside from confusion.  Narcissists are highly illogical beings, so when you ask them to explain their actions, it can stop them in their tracks.  It also can cause a narcissistic injury, but not one they usually react to with narcissistic rage.  They know if they do, they’ll end up looking ridiculous, & that fact stops them in their tracks.
  3. “No.”  Simply, no.  No explanation, no excuses.  If they continue to try to pressure you for more information, simply continue saying no.  Narcissists don’t know what to do with this, especially when you refuse to explain your no.  They may try to intimidate you with their anger or make you feel guilty for your no, but if you stay dedicated to your no while showing no emotions, they will give up fairly quickly.
  4. Make eye contact.  People who have nothing to hide or are honest have no problems making eye contact.  Narcissists have plenty to hide & are very dishonest.  Eye contact will freak them out.  They don’t know what to do with a person who meets their gaze.
  5. Let them know that the world doesn’t revolve around them.  Narcissists expect the world to center on them.  If you let them know this isn’t the case where you are concerned, it will fluster them.  To do this, you can refuse to do something for or with them because you have other plans at that time.  “I can’t.. I have plans that day” without any explanation is a perfectly acceptable response.  “Oh” when they cry to you about how mean someone was to them also works.
  6. Let them know they don’t scare you.  Overt narcissists in particular love to intimidate their victims.  Intimidation means a victim will do whatever you want, & overt narcissists rely on that fact.  But think about it- what can this person do to you?  Chances are, not much.  If that person belittles or criticizes you, remember that narcissists project their flaws onto their victims & do their best to tear a person down.  That doesn’t mean what they say is true!  If you remember that & show no fear or even act a bit bored, you aren’t showing fear.
  7. Let them know their guilt trips don’t work on you.  If the narcissist is a covert narcissist, rather than try to intimidate you, chances are very good they will use guilt.  Guilt can be difficult to fight.  Instead of accepting their guilt trips, ask yourself if what they say makes sense.  Should you feel guilty for what they say you should?  Was that truly your responsibility?
  8. Show your self-confidence.  I adopted a chow chow mix dog in 2002 for my husband for his birthday.  What I didn’t know about Bear at that time was that chows are known for having a very dominant nature.  Combine that with the fact he obviously had been abused, & it was a recipe for disaster.  It took a lot of work to turn him into the wonderful, loving, kind dog he turned into.  The main thing that helped was to let Bear know he was NOT in charge.  Dominant dogs need a very strong leader or they will take over, & Bear was no exception.  Narcissists are much the same way.  If you show any sign of weakness, narcissists will take over.  If you refuse to believe the awful criticisms they say or be manipulated, & make your feelings know, narcissists will back down.  Bullies are at their heart cowards, & since narcissists are usually bullies, this applies to them as well.


Nothing is guaranteed to stop any narcissist from abusing you for good, but using these comments can stop them at least temporarily.  They may even stop the narcissist for good on specific topics.  I wish you the best with the narcissists you face, & hope these tactics help you!


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

6 responses to “Helpful Tactics For Dealing With Narcissists

  1. These are all excellent suggestions. I’d add one more: never allow them to manipulate you through others. I never respond to anything that comes directly from my NM or her flying monkeys. So she turned to my mother and father-in-law, two wonderful, kind, loving people with whom I have always had a great relationship. When she tried to convince my in-laws to advocate for her and pressure me into breaking NC I could have told them about all of the things she’s said and done to hurt me over the years. But that would have meant that I’d allowed her to control my actions. So as tempting as it was to defend myself I just said that, although I respect their right to have a relationship with anyone they choose, I didn’t want to hear about it or anything she said to them. I took a chance doing this, that my relationship with my in-laws would change. But ultimately the 33 years they’d had to get to know me won out and, if anything, we’re closer than ever. But even if it destroyed that relationship I wouldn’t regret denying my mother the power to make me do what she wants me to do.


    • That’s so true, Suzanne. They do try to get others to advocate on their behalf & it’s important not to give into that.

      HAHAHA! You ended up closer to your in-laws than ever! I do love it when a narcissist’s plans backfire!

      Years ago, my mother called my in-laws & trashed me to my father in-law since he was the one who answered the phone. (Thank God he did- my mother in-law would’ve jumped on the bandwagon since she always hated me) He defended me to my mother & refused to tell my husband what she said because it was so vile. After that, even though I’ve been out of contact with their family since 2002 (a few years before her call), Eric often says his dad asks about me & cares about me. If we were in a relationship, I’m sure he & I would’ve gotten closer after her game too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is satisfying when the schemes and plans of a N fail. And it’s even better when they backfire and result in good things for their target. I don’t want vengeance, but I do long for justice. And vindication is just.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Helpful Tactics For Dealing With Narcissists – AyaShehata85

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