7 tips For Communicating With Narcissists

Narcissists love being difficult to communicate with. 

One of the best moves of a narcissist is to move their goalposts, so you constantly fail to score a goal. Sometimes that goal can just be having a conversation, or securing an answer from them that you need.

A narcissist will make it difficult for you to communicate because they like to watch you stutter and stumble.

If, like many, you’re completely sick of the gaslighting and the attempted power, there are some tips I have handy to help you.

Some of them will require work from you… so roll up your sleeves and let’s get to it.

No Contact

Extreme?

Yes.

Sometimes necessary?

Absolutely!

No contact is a last resort, and I’m not telling all of you just to cut that narcissist out. However… If the time has come where you just cannot have them clouding your days and denting your identity any longer, going no contact is an option for you.

Now, you might think, “Well, not being in contact with them isn’t exactly communication.” 

You’d be wrong to think that.

Communication can be walking away. In fact, it can be the biggest form of communication possible. To consciously decide that they have stolen too much of your time and energy, so you won’t tolerate it any longer. 

No contact is just that – nothing. No calls, no meet-ups, no texts, no cards on holidays, no polite “Hellos” in passing. As far as you’re concerned, you move on and start building your life up and they go on with theirs.

The narcissist won’t like you going any contact, and there will be consequences for you – but that doesn’t stop a lot of people from taking that brave leap.

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Low Contact

If no contact isn’t an option for you, low contact is the next best way to communicate your need for distance with a narcissist. 

You don’t have to tell them, and announce you’re stepping back. Just do it. Will it annoy them? Probably! They will wonder what’s changed with you, and why you’re suddenly less available, but that’s only because they need your supply.

Not having it will mean they have to go on a search for it from somebody else. 

Low contact is a way to control those moments where you have to see them completely. Maybe it’s a family event. Maybe it’s a co-worker and you decide to move desks or work different hours to see them less. 

If it helps you – it’s necessary. 

Grey Rock

Grey rock is one of the most effective ways to shut down a narcissist. It is a form of communication that speaks loud and clear – without actually speaking loud and clear at all!

To go grey rock means to blend into the background. Where you once may have reacted to their comments, you now shrug and mumble, “okay.” When they criticize you at the dinner table, you nod and continue eating. 

Giving the narcissist nothing will eventually lead them to realize they cannot provoke the dramatic response from you they so crave. So now what? They might pick at you, disgruntled in your emotional absense but hey – you’re communicating the need for less.

Less drama.

Less toxicity.

Less conflict.

This all comes from grey rock. 

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Yellow Rock

Imagine that little grey rock of yours with a new, happier twist. The idea of yellow rock is to add a smile with what you say as you grey rock the narcissist. 

Instead of simply shrugging and giving them next to nothing, you do it with a little compliment or smile. You’re a little warmer. You give them less to be mad about. YOu invite them into a little secure place, all the while not really giving them anything once they get there.

Yellow rock is a little like a pacifier for narcissists. It keeps them quiet and subdued, and completely off your back.

And it works a treat!

Fire Walling

Imagine your entire life and character as a computer filled with various files that are so important to you. All your work, pride, time, energy – it’s all on there. I’d even go as far to say precious memories, photos and videos too. 

Now, imagine a dangerous cyber attack, and it opens up on your computer and wipes everything, one by one, bit by bit.

Eventually, there’s nothing. It’s all gone.

The virus wins.

What did you need for this to be prevented?

A fire wall!

Firewalling a narcissist is a strong communication to them they can’t get past you and steal from you. What is yours is not theirs for the taking, no matter how hard they might try. 

Communicating that you have strong walls of protection around you is a way to keep the narcissist and their behavior at bay. Knowing they can’t get in means you get to protect everything about you, and not let that infamous narcissistic ‘chipping’ occur. 

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This involves knowing who you are and being sure of yourself and what you want. When you know what you want, you can decipher what you don’t want – from that comes your firewall. 

“Business as Usual!”

While it may not be the most effective option – it is an option for those who just don’t feel ready to dive in and make those changes necessary to keep the narcissist at bay. Business as usual is just how you keep doing what you’re doing. You read the room the way you always have and change nothing.

By staying here, you will not improve communication; you will continue with the status quo.

If anything – it can be looked at as biding your time until you’re ready to communicate more in ways that enhance growth rather than continue to feed the narcissist. 

Do. Not. Engage.

Sometimes, the clearest message to the narcissist is that you aren’t willing to engage in their games. 

They can prod you for a reaction as much as they want, the fact is – it won’t work. 

You walk away from potential conflict with your head held high. The narcissist becomes confused as they don’t see your usual defense mode activated. They can no longer confuse you with their own distorted version of reality.

Refusing to engage is a way of speaking without words. It isn’t about the silent treatment, it’s about allowing yourself to cut away from the usual pull of the narcissist. They may bait you, but today – you aren’t going to bite.

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