5 Ways to Make a Narcissist Feel Bad for Hurting You

As a rule, narcissists only care about themselves, so they will never feel bad for hurting you as long as they get what they need from the situation. 

When a narcissist hurts you, it makes them feel better than you. It proves to them that they’re in control of the situation, and your emotions, which feeds their need for power. 

If you want to make a narcissist feel bad about hurting you, you need to employ some ingenious techniques, like using reverse psychology or playing to their inflated ego. 

While some of these tactics might work in certain situations, be warned – it can be very dangerous to try to manipulate a narcissist, and if they catch you out, they’ll make you pay!

5 Ways to Make a Narcissist Feel Bad for Hurting You

I want to explore some of the tactics you can use to make a narcissist feel bad for hurting you, what reaction you might expect, and what alternative methods you can use to cope with a narcissist’s hurtful behavior. 

5 Ways to Make a Narcissist Feel Bad for Hurting You

Repeatedly telling the narcissist how badly they’ve hurt you won’t have any effect.

They won’t listen, and they don’t care. Instead, you need to approach the situation differently, using their narcissistic traits to your advantage. 

#1 Play to their Ego 

play to their ego

In this scenario, you feed the narcissist’s ego to make them comfortable enough that they reveal some vulnerability. 

Open the conversation by saying,

“You know, I was just thinking about our disagreement the other day and realized how much I value our relationship. The thought of hurting someone as important as you hit me hard.”

“I want to avoid situations like that in the future and find a way for us to navigate our disagreements better.”

“Your opinion matters to me, and I value your insights. What do you think we could do differently next time to avoid any misunderstandings?”

In this scenario, you first feed their narcissistic supply by highlighting their importance to you and seeking their guidance.

Once you’ve got them feeling comfortable, needed, and powerful, you can express vulnerability and concern to create an opportunity for them to share their thoughts and insights. 

Although the narcissist’s unlikely to feel bad for hurting you, approaching the topic in this manner at least creates the opportunity for them to self-reflect and engage with you on a deeper level. 

While this may not lead to deep vulnerability on their part, it creates a more open dialogue and lays the groundwork for discussing sensitive topics.

Furthermore, narcissists love feeling important and special, so if you can make them feel that way, they’re more likely to respond positively to your requests or needs.

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#2 Blame Yourself 

Blame yourself

I know blaming yourself usually plays in the narcissist’s hands, but in this scenario, we’re doing it to trigger his automatic need to prove you wrong. 

Imagine the following scenario: 

You: “I’ve been thinking about what happened between us, and I can’t help but feel like I might have contributed to the issue.

Maybe I wasn’t as understanding as I could have been or didn’t communicate my feelings clearly enough. I’m really upset with myself for not handling things better.”

Narcissist: “Well, it’s not all your fault. I think there were things you could have done differently, but it’s not like you’re solely responsible.”

You: “You’re right, I definitely could have done better. But I also noticed moments when I felt hurt by some things that were said.

Maybe I misunderstood, but it did affect me. I guess it’s just a reminder that we both have our parts to play in these situations.”

Narcissist: “I guess I could have chosen my words more carefully. I didn’t mean to upset you that much.”

In this example, you blame yourself so harshly to open a door for the narcissist, inviting them to disagree with you.

When they do, they find themselves in a position where they can admit to their role in the issue without losing face or showing vulnerability.

They also get to prove you wrong, which means they maintain their sense of superiority. 

#3 Use Reverse Psychology

Use Reverse Psychology

The following scenario illustrates how you might use reverse psychology to make a narcissist feel bad about hurting you: 

You: “I’ve been thinking a lot about what happened between us. At first, I couldn’t understand why I felt so hurt by your actions.

But then I realized maybe I was wrong to expect better from you. Maybe I should have known that you’re incapable of being the person I thought you were.”

Narcissist: “Wait, what do you mean?”

You: “I mean, I probably gave you too much credit. I thought you cared about me and our relationship, but I guess I was mistaken.

Maybe I should have realized that I can’t really expect empathy or consideration from someone like you.”

Narcissist: “Hold on a second, that’s not fair.”

You: “Isn’t it? I mean, it’s clear now that I must have misunderstood your intentions.

I thought you were someone who could understand and appreciate my feelings, but maybe that was just wishful thinking on my part.”

Narcissist: “No, you’re twisting this around.”

You: “I’m just trying to be realistic. I don’t want to put unfair expectations on you anymore.

I should have known that you operate differently. It’s actually quite liberating to finally understand that.”

Narcissist: “I didn’t mean to hurt you that way.”

You: “I appreciate you saying that even if it’s just now sinking in for me. I guess I need to adjust my expectations moving forward.”

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In this scenario, you’re telling the narcissist you expected too much of them, which will make them defend themselves. 

By downplaying your own hurt and instead focusing on their limitations, you indirectly prompt the narcissist to question their actions.

This might make them feel bad about hurting you or at least make them aware that their comments were upsetting.

#4 Appeal to their Aspirations

Appeal to their Aspirations

Pointing out how a narcissist’s hurtful behavior conflicts with their aspirations may shock them into recognizing their flaws and even admitting to hurting you. 

Picture the following scenario: 

You: “I’ve always admired your ambition and drive to succeed. You’ve always talked about wanting to be a better person, to achieve great things, and to have positive relationships.”

Narcissist: “Yeah, that’s true.”

You: “I think that’s why I was so surprised and hurt when things went as they did between us.

I thought you were committed to personal growth and building meaningful connections.”

Narcissist: “I am, but sometimes things just happen.”

You: “I get that, but I couldn’t help but think about how your actions don’t seem to align with the person you aspire to be. It’s like your goals are in conflict with how you treated me.”

Narcissist: “I didn’t mean to hurt you that way.”

You: “I believe you, but it made me question whether you’re truly aware of the impact of your actions on others. I thought someone with such high aspirations would be more considerate and empathetic.”

In this scenario, you’re appealing to the narcissist’s goals and aspirations by pointing out how their hurtful behavior contradicts their desire to improve and achieve great things. 

By framing their actions as inconsistent with their aspirations, you encourage the narcissist to self-reflect and potentially feel remorse for their behavior.

#5 Validate Them 

Validate Them

Make a point of telling the narcissist how much they mean to you and how you value their opinions and feelings so much that the things they say have a huge impact on you.

Making them feel powerful and important will help to disengage their defense mechanisms, making it easier for them to feel remorse.

Narcissist: “I can’t believe you’re making such a big deal out of this. It’s not that serious.”

You: “I understand that you might see it that way, but I want you to know that your opinion and feelings are important to me. I value our relationship, and when something like this happens, it genuinely affects me.”

Narcissist: “Well, I didn’t think it would matter that much to you.”

You: “It matters because you matter to me. I care about how you feel and how your actions impact our connection.

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When something hurts me, it’s not just about the incident itself, but also about how it makes me question our relationship and the bond we share.”

Narcissist: “I didn’t realize you felt that strongly about it.”

You: “I think that’s why we must communicate openly and honestly. That way, we can avoid misunderstandings and prevent unintentionally hurting each other. I want us to have a relationship where we both feel respected and valued.”

In this scenario, you’re using validation to make the narcissist feel bad for hurting you.

By emphasizing the importance of their opinions and feelings to you, you create a sense of responsibility for their actions.

This can lead to the narcissist feeling remorseful and motivated to improve their behavior to maintain a positive and respectful relationship with you.

Alternative Strategies for Coping with a Malicious Narcissist

Alternative Strategies for Coping with a Malicious Narcissist (1)

Thinking about the possible consequences before you attempt to get a narcissist to feel bad for hurting you.

Narcissists are very sensitive about criticism and are liable to fly off the handle if they feel attacked. 

If you don’t feel confident trying any of these methods of making a narcissist feel bad, take a different approach, and create strategies that empower you and help you maintain your emotional well-being. 

Consider these alternative approaches:

Establish Boundaries

Set and communicate clear boundaries that take some of the power away from the narcissist and reduce the risk of them hurting you again in the future.

Prioritize Self-Care

Rather than trying to make the narcissist feel bad, focus on making yourself feel good by focusing on your own well-being and emotional healing.

Practice Detachment

Limit your emotional investment in the narcissist’s reactions so you’re less affected by their manipulative tactics.

Avoid Reacting

Remaining calm and composed can deny the narcissist the satisfaction of getting a reaction from you, limiting their control over you.

Use Consequences

Instead of trying to make a narcissist feel bad, please focus on the consequences of their actions.

For instance, if they hurt you in a certain way, you might limit your interactions with them.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

Cultivate positive relationships and activities that uplift you. The more you focus on positive aspects of your life, the less the narcissist’s behavior may affect you.

Educate Yourself

Understanding narcissistic behavior can help you navigate their tactics more effectively and empower you to take control of your responses.

Remember, the goal is not to change the narcissist but to empower yourself to handle the situation more healthily.

Making them feel bad is unlikely to result in meaningful change, so focusing on your well-being should be your top priority.

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