Narcissus was a Greek hunter who was known for his beauty and his disdain for those who love him. He was so self-involved that the Greek goddess Nemesis, a deity responsible for vengeance against those succumbed to arrogance, caused him to fall in love with a reflection of himself. He stared at his own reflection until he died.
A Narcissist is a selfish, self-absorbed and arrogant individual who craves admiration and attention. They use their physical beauty and natural charm to manipulate others into fulfilling their desires. These desires are usually superficial and short term. A Narcissist cannot hold a relationship for very long, perhaps a few months, before they are bored and will seek attention elsewhere.
A Narcissist knows he or she is a jerk and just doesn’t care as long as they are admired. They don’t care about you and don’t really like you, after all, there is only room for one person in their heart, and that spot is already taken by their own outrageous self-love. So what do you say to a Narcissist who is trying to manipulate you into serving their needs?
Here are 9 comebacks for dealing with a narcissist:
It is ok to say no if you don’t feel comfortable with someone. It is ok to say no if you don’t feel good doing something. It is ok to say no if you don’t feel comfortable with the way someone is treating you. It is ok to say no. You are the captain of your life, not someone else, and you alone are the master of your own fate.
2. “Stay on topic and don’t change the subject.”
A narcissist will use any argument to make it about themselves, and about some mistake or hurt in the past that you have inflicted on them, whether real or perceived. They will try to steer the subject away from their own selfish actions and toward something that they feel will make you feel guilty. Don’t let them. Keep the discussion on topic and moving where you want it to go.
3. “I will believe it when I see it.”
Narcissists have a bad habit of over-promising and under-delivering. Don’t get your hopes up if they make outlandish promises or overstate their importance, influence, wealth or skills. They will promise you the moon just make sure you see the deed in writing and get it notarized by two people first. They will make these promises to emotionally manipulate you so keep your emotions and expectations under control until they deliver on their promises.
4. “I’m not overly emotional. I am assertive, strongwilled and impassioned.”
Don’t let someone else define your emotional state (unless they are a licensed medical professional). A narcissist will try to undermine your faith in your own emotions and rationality. Keep calm and focused, and if you do start to lose your cool, just walk away for a bit until you are thinking clearly.
5. “I have learned from and moved on from my mistakes.”
Learning from your mistakes is the key to being successful in work and in life. Everyone makes mistakes, and you are no different. A narcissist will try to damage your self-esteem by constantly bringing up your failures or mistakes. Own your mistakes, learn from them and no one can use them to hurt you or cause you to doubt yourself.
6. “I refuse to be afraid.”
Fear can be a powerful tool of manipulation, and a narcissist will wield it like a sword. They will cut you down and render you helpless. One of the most powerful and empowering things you can do in your life is to face your fear. Fear can cripple you physically and emotionally, or it can drive you to success and greatness. Look your fear in the eye and draw strength from it.
7. “Slow down there, Speedy.”
Narcissists and other manipulators want to rush you into a bad decision that benefits them. The ultimate pushy salesperson. Recognize when someone is rushing you, and tell them to slow down. Don’t ask them to slow down, tell them. This is your decision, take your time and look at all the angles. Is this what is best for you? Or them?
8. “I am not the bad guy here.”
Narcissists will try to flip any argument or disagreement into why you are the bad guy and they are the sad little victim. In reality, it is the other way around. If you point out a mistake or deficiency in their work, they will play the victim and make it into how you are persecuting them. Take control of the narrative and refuse to accept the blame for their mistakes. They made the mistake; they need to own up to it and fix it.
9. “The world does not revolve around you and your needs.”
Narcissists are the center of their own universe, but they are not the center of yours. Relationships are definitely about give and take and doing things together. But if the only thing you do is whatever they want to do and never what you want to do, then you need to get out of their orbit and explore your own universe. Do your own thing, live the life you want.