Don’t you wish you knew some ways to shut the narcissist in your life down & make them behave? Well, I can’t promise you some magical words that make narcissists behave, but there are some things you can say to shut them down temporarily…
- Don’t let the narcissist change the subject. When you need to discuss something important to you such as the narcissist’s bad behavior, you can count on her changing the subject in an attempt to avoid being called out. As frustrating as it can be, keep changing the subject back to what you want to discuss.
- Let the narcissist know she doesn’t scare you. Narcissists love to intimidate their victims, but truthfully, most of their “intimidation” is nothing but smoke & mirrors. In typical bully fashion, narcissists often make threats they won’t follow through on in an attempt to scare victims into doing their will. What is the worst this person can do to you? Chances are when you think about it, you’ll realize it’s not really a lot.
- Use logic. Ask logical questions. “So you think I should do what you want even though I don’t want to do it. Why? How does doing that benefit me? Seems to me it benefits you & hurts me.” “You think I’m fat? You know I weigh 110 pounds. Unless a person is 2′ tall, that’s not fat, & I’m taller than that.” “How is it my fault you lost your job?” Doing this in a calm way calls the narcissist out in such a manner that she can’t get mad at you without looking foolish. Often, they simply change the subject when a victim does this. End of nasty comments!
- Do not allow the narcissist to make decisions for you. Any decisions that the narcissist makes for you gives her a bit of control over you, even if it’s something as simple as what you order for dinner. If she tells you to try the soup, order a sandwich. Simply say something like, “No thanks.. I want to do/try this instead.” in a calm manner & follow through.
- Do not take orders from the narcissist. Narcissists do love to control others, don’t they?! My mother used to bark out orders to me like I was the hired help. I found a way to put a stop to it when I realized just how much she enjoyed doing this. When she told me to do something, I would do it but add in a comment like, “Of course! I’d be glad to do it since you asked so nicely. You’re welcome!” The first time I did that, the look of shock on her face was priceless. But, it did change her behavior for a bit. When she slid into her old habits, I said the same kind of comment & she behaved again for a while. Or, if it was something I didn’t want to do, I’d nicely say, “Nope. Not gonna happen.” & change the subject. Usually a small narcissistic rage followed both of these, but it was very small usually consisting of a few snarky comments.
- Say, “no” without any explanation. This might just make the narcissist’s head explode.. lol There isn’t one narcissist alive who is ok with being told no, but especially sans a good explanation. You owe no one any explanation, especially a narcissist who will just twist your words around to make you look & feel bad, so don’t give them that opportunity. Honestly, doing this can kinda be fun too.. if you’ve read this story of mine before, I apologize for the repeat but it’s such a good example! Years ago, when my husband & I were at his parents’ house, my mother in-law said she wanted me to do something for her. I didn’t want to, plus I had an appointment on the day in question. Although I could’ve rearranged things, I opted not to because she was so hateful to me. “Quality time” with her was not something I wanted. When she told me I could do this thing, I said no, I couldn’t. She said, “Oh. Well it must be awful important if you won’t help me because of it.” I gave a non committal “hmm mm.” As the visit wore on, she kept bringing it up. “You must be doing something for your parents that day.” “Nope.” I forget what all she asked me, but each time, I either said no or didn’t respond at all. By the time we left her house, I was surprised her head didn’t explode! She was dying to know my plans & couldn’t get mad at me for not sharing them without looking like a jerk to my father in-law & husband! It was amazing!!!
Although nothing can stop narcissists completely, doing these simple things will help you to keep your sanity & make them behave better even if only temporarily. I wish you the best in your situation!