10 Ways To Make a Narcissist Respect You

Being in a relationship with a narcissist is fraught with drama and emotion. You probably struggle with their inflated sense of self and inability to show respect. 

Unfortunately, it’s tough to maintain a healthy relationship without mutual respect, and gaining genuine respect from a narcissist can be an uphill battle, given their self-centered nature and inflated ego. 

You’ve probably started to doubt both the relationship and your self-worth, so you’re looking for an answer: how do you get a narcissist to respect you?

To make a narcissist respect you, set firm boundaries, confidently assert yourself, challenge their ideas tactfully, celebrate your achievements, maintain self-respect, educate yourself on their interests, remain calm, show selective empathy, and value yourself.

If they persist in showing disrespect, consider ending the relationship.

10 Ways To Make a Narcissist Respect You

In this article, I’ll show you how you can slowly carve out a path to earn their begrudging respect by showcasing your knowledge and expertise, engaging in intellectual discussions, and valuing yourself.

10 Ways To Make a Narcissist Respect You

#1 Set Clear Boundaries


Respect begins with you, which means behaving in a way that garners respect from those around you, even if they are narcissists!

People worthy of respect are decisive, show self-confidence, and take control. Setting boundaries will help you achieve all these goals. 

Refusing to be pushed around shows self-confidence, while asserting your own needs proves you’re decisive. 

Setting boundaries also helps shift the dialogue to a more open and constructive space, so you can communicate what you expect from your partner and what behavior you will tolerate. 

A narcissistic partner might disrespect you and your commitments by asking you to cancel your plans so you can spend time with them instead.

They might say,

“I don’t care what you planned with your so-called friends – I’ve made a reservation at that cool new restaurant in town and want you to experience it with me.”

This is the perfect opportunity to set your boundaries. Instead of pandering to their needs, respond by reaffirming your boundaries, saying,

“I understand that you want to spend time together, but I also value my relationships and commitments outside our relationship. I would love to go out for a meal with you, but not today. Could you reschedule for later in the week?”

By responding this way, you avoid conflict while refusing to compromise your needs to facilitate theirs. 

#2 Be Confident


Maintaining your confidence when a narcissist is constantly niggling at you and trying to undermine you is challenging. Still, it’s essential when it comes to how to get a narcissist to respect you. 

If your narcissistic partner is determined to prove their worth by saying things like,

“You know you depend on me. You’re lucky to have someone as successful as me in your life. You’ll never find anyone else who loves you like I do.”

Respond by saying,

“I appreciate that you’re successful and a loving partner, but I also know my worth. I contribute much to this relationship and want you to recognize that alongside your achievements.”

This will give the narcissist a lot to think about. By complimenting them while promoting your self-worth, you show them respect while similarly demanding some for yourself. 

Your confident response also asserts your independence and reinforces your boundaries, challenging the narcissist’s need for control and superiority.

#3 Call Them Out

confront them

Narcissists can be intimidating, but you won’t win their respect by letting them walk all over you.

If a narcissist disrespects you, make them aware of it and make sure they know how it makes you feel and how you would like them to behave instead. 

If a narcissist disrespects you by saying,

“You should dress differently. Your style is so basic and unimpressive,”

respond with the words,

“While I appreciate your opinion, I have a sense of style that makes me feel confident and comfortable. By saying that, you make me feel self-conscious, and you know how you hate feeling like that. If you want to influence how I dress, why don’t we go shopping together and find new styles we both like?” 

A response like this enables you to assert your autonomy and hold your partner accountable for the negative comments they made. 

By expressing the importance of individuality and setting boundaries around personal choices, you challenge their attempts to dictate your appearance to suit their preferences. 

This response emphasizes your confidence in making choices and reinforces the need for mutual respect in the relationship.

#4 Challenge Their Ideas

challenge their ideas

If you’re trying to find solutions to the problem of how to get a narcissist to respect you, try challenging them. 

This takes a lot of nerve, so pick your battles carefully. You don’t want to challenge them on everything, but you do want them to understand that your opinions are just as valid as theirs and worth considering. 

Let’s say you’re at home, discussing a recent development in the political arena, when your partner says, “I’m always right about politics, and I’m smarter than you, so you should listen to me.”

Challenge this assumption immediately by saying, “I admire your confidence, but I also think we all have the potential to further our understanding of these issues.

We can learn from each other by sharing our perspectives on the issue. I want you to value my insights as I value yours. That way, we can engage in respectful dialogue that broadens our perspectives.”

By respectfully challenging their opinions and promoting open-mindedness, you demonstrate your ability to think independently of them and encourage them to consider alternative viewpoints. 

This approach fosters a healthy exchange of ideas, mutual growth, and the potential for a more balanced and respectful dialogue.

#5 Be Assertive about Your Achievements


Narcissists admire and respect individuals who exhibit qualities they’d like to see in themselves.

As narcissists want to be successful, good-looking, and popular, you’re more likely to win their respect if you emphasize those traits in yourself. 

If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, chances are they’re using you to boost their self-esteem and validate their sense of importance.

You will only be useful in this role for as long as you have qualities the narcissist values, so keep working at your achievement and ensuring your partner recognizes and respects you.

Imagine you’ve just received a job promotion and come home bursting with the news.

You immediately tell your partner,

“I received a job promotion today! I’m so proud of this accomplishment, and it’s a great opportunity to grow in my career and contribute even more to the company.”

Your partner responds disparagingly, saying,

“Oh, well, I guess that’s good for you. But it’s not a big deal compared to my achievements.”

Now it’s time to defend yourself – “While I appreciate you’ve achieved a lot, I also believe that celebrating personal achievements is important for growth and motivation.”

Reinforce your position by saying,

“It’s not about comparing or belittling each other’s successes. I value your support and encouragement, which have helped me achieve my goals, and I hope I can rely on you to continue that support as I embark on this new stage in my career.”

This is a much better approach than downplaying your success or seeking validation from the narcissist.

It means you acknowledge your achievements and express how they make you feel while showing your partner respect by recognizing their contributions.

#6 Boost Your Self-Respect

self respect

You can’t expect respect from anyone else if you don’t respect yourself, and the best way to establish self-respect is through nurturing your self-esteem and prioritizing self-care. 

You might decide to take an early-morning walk to get you ready for the day or spend some time meditating before bed. These techniques will boost your self-respect and help you contribute positively to the relationship. 

Inevitably, your narcissistic partner will probably challenge you, saying,

“Why are you always spending time on yourself when you should be dedicating more time to us?”

Explain to them that you must invest in your well-being and happiness to bring your best self to the relationship, which you both deserve.

Point out that taking care of yourself gives you the energy and focus you need to bring greater fulfillment to your life together. 

You can even go one step further by saying,

“Maybe focusing more on your development and self-care would enhance our connection even more.”

This approach will boost your self-respect and encourage your partner to respect your decisions and respect you as an individual rather than just an extension of themselves. 

#7 Empower Yourself With Knowledge 

empower knowledge

If your partner has a deep passion for architecture, immersing yourself in the subject can be a powerful way to earn their respect and foster meaningful conversations. 

By dedicating time and effort to becoming an expert on architecture, you not only broaden your understanding but also demonstrate your commitment to personal growth and intellectual engagement.

As you deepen your knowledge, share your insights and discoveries with your partner. Engage them in discussions about architectural marvels, innovative designs, or the societal impact of architectural projects. 

By showcasing your expertise and genuine passion for the subject, you compel your partner to acknowledge and appreciate your intellectual growth.

Not only does this endeavor enhance your relationship with your partner, but it also allows you to develop confidence and a sense of fulfillment in your abilities. 

Becoming knowledgeable in an area that matters to your partner demonstrates your dedication, adaptability, and capacity for growth. 

It positions you as an equal participant in intellectual conversations, inviting respect and admiration from your partner as they recognize your genuine effort and interest in their chosen field.

#8 Stay Calm and Collected

stay calm

Narcissists thrive on drama; when you respond to their provocations, you lose power and respect. If your partner challenges you, saying,

“You’re always so sensitive and easily triggered. Can’t you handle a little criticism?” 

Respond calmly but confidently, saying,

“While I appreciate your perspective, criticism is only precious when it’s constructive. Let’s see if we can’t find a more positive way of communicating that enables us to address our differences and come to a mutually satisfying conclusion.”

Staying cool and composed demonstrates emotional stability and a refusal to be easily manipulated.

Your response sets the tone for a more productive conversation while clarifying that you won’t engage in heated exchanges or allow their attempts to upset you. 

This approach can challenge the narcissist’s tactics, as they realize their attempts to provoke emotional reactions are less effective against your composed demeanor.

Whether it will be enough to secure their respect depends on the type of narcissist you’re dealing with. 

Studies show that “romantic partners who feel compelled to maintain a grandiose perception of themselves through disparaging others are less likely to respect, honor, approve of, or show interest in the person they’re dating.”

If you’re lucky, your partner will be more inclined toward building themselves up to feel respected, as this makes them more “inclined to show respect to their partners.”

#9 Show Empathy (Sometimes)


Narcissists battle with empathy, and it’s not something they naturally feel, but that doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate it when it’s shown to them.

If the narcissist is experiencing self-doubt or concerns about their image, address them with genuine empathy instead of dismissing those concerns. 

Let’s look at an example:

Your narcissistic partner comes home from work deflated and disillusioned. A project they were on has failed, and they fear that everyone now thinks they’re incompetent. 

Give them genuine compassion and understanding instead of invalidating their feelings or reveling in their failure.

For example, you could say,

“I understand how disappointing it feels not to achieve the results you were hoping for. It’s natural to be concerned about how others perceive us. Remember, setbacks happen to everyone, and it doesn’t define your overall competence. I’m here to support you and help you find ways to learn from this experience and improve.”

In this situation, showing empathy can earn you respect, but that’s not always true. Use your heart carefully, selecting only a handful of problems where appropriate. 

Showing empathy will encourage the narcissist to think only about themselves and take advantage of your kindness.

It won’t make them respect you unless you set boundaries and are selective about when to empathize. 

#10 Value Yourself and Walk Away if Necessary

walk away

Whatever happens in your relationship, your well-being and self-respect should always be a top priority.

Sometimes, your best efforts to navigate a relationship with a narcissist might fail, leaving you to struggle with a disrespectful, toxic, or unhealthy dynamic. 

When all other strategies have been exhausted, and it seems impossible to maintain a healthy balance, it might be time to consider walking away.

Walking away from a relationship with a narcissist is not an easy decision, but it can be a courageous and empowering step toward reclaiming your happiness and self-respect. 

By prioritizing your needs and setting boundaries, you send a powerful message to the narcissist that their behavior is unacceptable and that you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

This decision to walk away is not a sign of weakness but a testament to your strength and self-worth.

It’s about recognizing that you deserve to be surrounded by individuals who value and appreciate you for who you are without constantly undermining your self-esteem.

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