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7 Tips to Outsmart a Narcissist in Any Conversation

Dec 31, 2022

If you're looking to outsmart a narcissist, I have seven tips to help you do just that. By the time you're done reading this, you'll understand how to come face to face with the narcissist in your life. And instead of you walking away confused and frustrated, the narcissists will do that for you.

Now that's a win!

Tip 1: Limit communication

Keep your communications limited with this person. If you've decided this is somebody you still need in your life, keep your conversations simple. Talk to them only about the things you must talk about. Try not to take it any further.

Don't ask any questions about their life, and don't answer any questions about your life. If you have to answer, keep them very short and generic. 

Tip 2: Understand the narcissistic personality

Narcissists lack whole object relations. To put it simply, they have a very black-and-white view of those around them.

They can't have positive and negative feelings about you simultaneously. To them, you're either all good or all bad.

Also, narcissists lack emotional empathy, so they're not a good match for somebody who cares about others.

These are not people you want to have drawn-out fights with because they'll stop at nothing. If you start looking for revenge, you can easily get caught up in a never-ending cycle. You do something, then they'll retaliate probably worse than what you did. In turn, you are even more driven to take revenge.

This is why a foundational understanding of narcissism can help you outsmart the narcissist. You need to know what you're dealing with before you can learn to protect yourself.

Tip 3: Distance yourself from the narcissist and the people close to them

Tread very lightly -not just with the narcissist- but with anyone who they are friends with. Some of these people can be two-faced and play nice with you to get information to bring back to the narcissist. 

If the narcissist has turned some important people in your life against you, the best thing you can do is just let it go until the dust settles. You can rebuild those relationships after you've done some healing and there's been some distance between you and the narcissist.

Tip 4: Do not give a narcissist what they want

Narcissists are very likely to say things that either bait or trigger you. They will say something they know you have an emotional tie to, whether it's good or bad.

If they're saying nice things, your response to that thing should be very dry. You can respond with something like, "That's very kind of you to say." If it's something negative, you can say something like, "I'm really sorry you feel that way."

Tip 5: Take the power away from what they're saying

If the narcissist brings up something you're self-conscious about, and you want to respond to it, take the power away in that moment. You can either say, "That's something that I used to really struggle with, but I've come a long way." Or you can use two very powerful words: "So what?" If you're not concerned about the issue, it instantly deflates their entire argument.

Their opinion of us does not matter. And even though we all know we're not perfect, we can accept our flaws and work on them... without the narcissist.

Tip 6: Highlight the ugliness coming out of their mouth

If they say something ugly or hateful, ask them what they mean. Even if you know what they mean, still ask them. You can also call them out on their anger. Doing these will make them have to defend themselves. Just be sure to remain calm. If your emotions escalate, then you haven't outsmarted them. 

On the other hand, when you force them to look within themselves instead, it will cause a narcissistic injury. This isn't something you want to do if you fear the narcissist, but it can work very well if you do not.

Tip 7: Keep a close eye on your emotional state

Imagine you're wearing a heart monitor and every time you get emotional, either angry or sad or hurt, imagine an audible beep going off. This is the danger zone because you are highly likely to react.

Responding in an emotional way to the narcissist is not going to do anything to help your current situation. It may help you feel a little better in the moment, but you will get into a back and forth argument. So it's really better just if you can keep it in and walk away.

Those are seven ways you can outsmart a narcissist in conversation. If you have to have a narcissist in your life, keep the upper hand and prevent them from controlling everything. Just a warning. If you see a narcissistic injury coming up, that might be a good time to exit if you can.  

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