If there’s someone toxic in your life, it can be almost unbearable. Learning how to talk to a narcissist can be one of the most difficult tasks you will ever experience.
My entire life has been engulfed in a narcissistic fog. My parents, my friends, and my romantic partners have all exhibited narcissistic behavior around me. Now, I even see some of those traits in myself. I would surmise that some of my own traits came from a traumatic childhood, while some of them developed over time as a defensive measure. One of the most difficult things I am trying to learn is how to talk to a narcissist. Because let’s face it, there’s just too many of them and total escape is impossible.
Learning how to talk to a narcissist
When talking to a narcissist, there are things you should do and things you should avoid. If you don’t learn how to talk to a narcissist in the correct manner, you will compromise your mental health and self-image.
One of the most important things to remember is to not let the lies of the narcissist decide who you are. Let’s look at a few ways to deal with and talk to a narcissist to avoid losing yourself. Forgetting who you really are is the last thing you need to do.
1. Call them out
Okay, before you do this, I need you to remember that calling a narcissist out will make them angry, act confused or quickly deny your statement. So, depending on what sort of narcissistic relationship you have, this will determine if this step is right for you.
Please read this whole post before using this subtitle and jumping in a narcissist’s face about a lie or issues. Yes, they lie, and no, they probably will not admit it either. But if the mood seems peaceful, then calmly tell them that you know they are lying, and then say no more.
The narcissist might ask you something like, “What are you talking about?” or something of this nature, but it’s quite alright to say nothing more. The important part of this step is to let them know that you know.
Remember that a narcissist’s intention is to make you believe every bit of toxic syrup that flows from their mouths. Your job is to let them know that it doesn’t work…that’s all.
2. Get to know the truth
One way to effectively know how to talk to a narcissist is to get to their root. As many people know, narcissists act the way they do because they secretly have a poor image of themselves or they have a deep well of emptiness within them. To those who don’t see and understand this, the narcissist will appear to have elevated self-esteem, but this is a well-practiced cover-up.
Pay attention to the neediness and the desire for attention that is always at the forefront of the narcissist’s mind. These needs are designed to fill a space that can never be filled in this manner, hence the intensity of their actions.
Even though understanding them will help you converse with them, you should never use their problems as a reason to let them abuse you. Knowing these things about them just helps you remember your own worth is not based on how they act.
3. Set boundaries
This is important to remember when talking to a narcissist. No matter what’s going on between you and this toxic person, keep your boundaries in mind. You must uphold solid boundaries when talking to them so you can be kind to yourself.
Now, here’s the most difficult part: When you understand your boundaries, you must also understand what you absolutely will not do in a relationship with a narcissist.
When you discover what those things are, then under no circumstances should you compromise those boundaries. That’s because these boundaries were made to remind you of your worth, and also remind narcissists that you cannot be controlled.
While boundaries might not make them happy, they will see their manipulation is not working.
4. Use extra caution
When learning how to talk to a narcissist, you must be especially careful during the conversation. A narcissist will seem as though they are having a normal conversation, and then suddenly, say something ridiculous. Sometimes they do this to gauge your reaction and see how much they can get away with. They are actually testing those boundaries you set from above.
Once they have breached your boundaries, they will do it over and over again. This is why you must carefully think before you speak to them, and never let them take advantage of you when you converse.
If you have set strong boundaries or if you have standards you wish to uphold, DO NOT let them undermine or discredit you because of what you believe. They may also criticize you and make you angry. Try not to fall for the trap and hold your reserves.
5. Stop oversharing
I think one of the worst things we do with narcissists is telling them everything about ourselves. Now, don’t beat yourself up if you’ve done this because narcissists have a way of sweet-talking others into being more open. They want walls down and defenses gone. This is so they can learn secrets to use against you.
The best thing to do is stop sharing too much about yourself. Learn to control what you tell other people like this. If you stop over-sharing, the narcissist will learn that they are not in control after all. Yes, eventually they may grow tired and leave the relationship, but you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life anyway.
6. Be strong
The most important thing to remember when learning how to talk to a narcissist is to be strong. A narcissist will try to bring you down in order to lift themselves up. It’s just how they function, honestly.
Just keep in mind that you are beautiful, strong, loving, generous and filled with so much life. Do not let a toxic person like this tell you lies about who you are.
Watch out for brazen insults, transferred blame, silent treatment, and other covert actions. Do not believe the things they say about you until you understand any of these things to be true.
When you are insulted by the narcissist, just let the insults fade from your mind. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! Learn to recognize when the narcissist is attempting to put you down and remember that it’s because they cannot lift themselves up without doing this.
When all else fails…
Unfortunately, times come when getting away from the narcissist completely is the only way to have a normal and healthy life. I wish that this trait could be easily changed, but it’s not that simple.
It’s rare that a narcissist will completely change their ways, and so you have to learn how to deal with it without compromising yourself, or you just have to cut all ties.
I hope this has helped you understand the narcissist, and I wish you the best in dealing with these individuals in your life. Be happy and be well!