14 clever comebacks that instantly disarm a narcissist

We’ve all encountered them, those people who are so absorbed with themselves that they often disregard others. They’re narcissists, and dealing with them can be extremely challenging.

But, what if you had a toolkit of clever comebacks at your disposal to instantly disarm them?

Let’s delve into 14 clever comebacks that instantly disarm a narcissist. 

This might just be the game-changer you’ve been waiting for. 

1. “I appreciate your perspective”

Now, this may seem counterintuitive at first. After all, a narcissist’s “perspective” is often the root of the issue.

But hear me out. By acknowledging their viewpoint, you’re not necessarily agreeing with them. Instead, you are simply validating their right to have an opinion.

This not only disarms them but also opens up room for dialogue without escalating the situation.

Dealing with a narcissist often requires a delicate balance between validating their feelings and standing your ground.

2. “Let’s focus on the facts”

Narcissists have a knack for twisting reality to fit their narratives. They might exaggerate, downplay, or completely ignore certain facts to suit their interests.

When you find yourself in such a situation, it’s key to gently steer the conversation back to the facts.

By saying “Let’s focus on the facts”, you’re subtly challenging their distorted view without directly confronting them. It’s a clever way of taking control of the narrative without causing unnecessary friction.

3. “You’re right”

At first blush, this might seem like you’re feeding into their ego, but it’s a strategic move.

Narcissists thrive on conflict and disagreement, so agreeing with them can often take the wind out of their sails.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should agree with harmful or damaging assertions, but in minor disagreements, conceding the point can stop a narcissist in their tracks and diffuse tension.

It shows them that you’re not interested in engaging in fruitless debates, and most importantly, it helps maintain your peace of mind.

4. “That’s one way to look at it”

Narcissists often assume that their viewpoint is the only one that matters. They expect everyone to agree with them without question.

However, you can subtly refute this by saying, “That’s one way to look at it”.

This statement acknowledges their opinion but also implies that there are other valid perspectives.

It’s a polite yet effective way of reminding them that they don’t hold a monopoly on truth or insight.

5. “I understand you feel strongly about this”

Narcissists often use strong emotional reactions to manipulate situations.

They might raise their voice, use dramatic language, or exhibit intense emotions to sway the conversation in their favor.

In such scenarios, instead of matching their emotional intensity, try saying, “I understand you feel strongly about this”.

This statement acknowledges their emotions without getting drawn into their drama.

It also establishes that while you recognize their feelings, it doesn’t mean you’re swayed by them.

6. “We’ll have to agree to disagree”

This classic phrase is a useful tool when dealing with a narcissist. It’s a polite way of ending a contentious discussion without allowing the narcissist to dominate or manipulate the conversation.

By stating “We’ll have to agree to disagree”, you’re asserting your stance and indicating that you’re not willing to continue arguing.

This approach respects both parties’ viewpoints without giving in to the narcissist’s need for control.

7. “I value our relationship too much to keep arguing”

At times, the best way to disarm a narcissist is to appeal to the relationship you share.

By saying this phrase, you’re subtly reminding them of the bond between you.

This statement conveys your unwillingness to let disagreements tarnish your relationship.

It’s a compassionate, yet firm, way of drawing a boundary and maintaining your emotional health while dealing with a narcissist.

8. “I won’t tolerate disrespect”

Narcissists often resort to disrespectful behavior to assert dominance.

It’s crucial to set boundaries early and firmly, which is what this phrase does. 

It tells the narcissist that you value yourself and won’t allow anyone, including them, to treat you poorly.

This approach may not always yield immediate results, but it sends a powerful message about your self-worth and dignity.

9. “Let’s discuss this when emotions aren’t running high”

Narcissists often employ emotional manipulation tactics to gain the upper hand.

When emotions are running high, they may try to bulldoze you into submission. In such situations, defuse the tension by suggesting a later time for discussion.

By saying, “Let’s discuss this when emotions aren’t running high”, you’re taking control of the situation and setting the stage for a more rational conversation once the emotional dust has settled.

10. “I need some time to process this”

When confronted with a narcissist’s manipulation or aggression, it can be hard to find the right words in the heat of the moment.

A simple yet effective response can be, “I need some time to process this”.

This statement gives you a chance to step back, gather your thoughts, and respond when you’re ready.

It also prevents the narcissist from rushing you into a response that you might later regret.

By taking this step, you’re asserting your right to think things through and respond on your own terms–a powerful weapon in dealing with a narcissist.

11. “Your opinion is noted”

This comeback is perfect for moments when a narcissist is imposing their views aggressively. By saying,

By using this phrase, you acknowledge that you have heard them without agreeing or getting dragged into an argument.

It’s a neutral, calm way of saying, “I hear you, but I don’t necessarily agree.”

This can be especially effective when you don’t want to escalate the situation by directly opposing them.

12. “I respect myself too much to engage in this”

This phrase is a powerful assertion of self-respect.

When a narcissist tries to belittle or provoke you, responding with, “I respect myself too much to engage in this,” is a clear and strong statement.

It shows that you value yourself and refuse to be pulled into negative or harmful exchanges.

This response also subtly hints to the narcissist that their behavior is unacceptable, without directly confronting them in a way that might lead to further conflict.

13. “I’m focusing on the positive”

Narcissists often dwell on negativity, criticism, and their own grievances.

When faced with this, responding with “I’m focusing on the positive” is a way to shift the conversation’s tone.

It’s a subtle hint that you’re not interested in engaging in their negativity.

This phrase helps you steer the discussion away from their self-centered narrative and towards a more constructive and less confrontational topic.

14. “That’s an interesting point, but have you considered this…?”

Narcissists typically want their opinions to be the center of attention and unquestioned.

By saying, “That’s an interesting point, but have you considered this…?” you’re doing two things.

First, you’re acknowledging their statement, which can soften their defensive posture.

Then, you’re introducing a new idea or perspective, encouraging them to think beyond their own viewpoint.

This can be a tactful way to challenge their narrative without directly confronting or invalidating them, potentially opening up a more balanced dialogue.

These responses not only help in diffusing potentially volatile situations with a narcissist but also empower you to maintain control over the conversation’s direction and tone.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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