What to Say to a Narcissist to Shut Them Down

Shutting a narcissist down seems like fun, right?

Imagine that one overly inflated person who has got under your skin for so long now. You want to wipe the smile off their self-centered faces…

…Yet you don’t want the drama. 

Is that even possible?

Well, yes and no. You can shut them down without drama, but not always.

I want to offer you ways to do so that promotes peace (after all … you deserve it for what you tolerate!)

“I Need You to Listen to Me”

Narcissists. Don’t. Listen.

Beyond the fact that they don’t listen, they can’t listen. They don’t know how to. But also just to clarify, they don’t want to hear what you say. It’s either going to be wrong or boring.

When a narcissist is physically told to listen to you, to them, you’ve stepped way out of line. You can be considered crass, abrupt, or even petulant if you dare assert yourself this way.

In truth – it will shut the narcissist down, because they simply won’t know what to do with themselves when you take charge this way. 

“We Will Talk When You’ve Calmed Down”

The beauty here is, the longer the narcissist plays up and protests, the longer they will have to wait. Wanting to converse with you in this kind of heated moment usually means they have a lot to say about you.

Cutting them off in their tracks means they get nothing from you. No rise, no supply, nothing to fight against. 

And guess what? You’re in control.


‘No’ to a narcissist is one of the worst things they like to hear. You’re cutting them from something they want. If it’s you answering back, they won’t get it. They’re left with nothing if it’s wanting you to do something you don’t want to do. 

Narcissists are entitled – they expect everything they want handed to them on a plate. It’s an almost automatic assumption that this will be granted, and when it isn’t, they’re left stumped.

Shutting a narcissist down with no means you get to end something on your terms, not theirs. 

“What Exactly is it You Want Me to Know?”

Watching a narcissist cuss and criticize you, or mock you for something can lead to a great deal of sadness and frustration. You caught them in a certain mood, and you’re the one having to tolerate it. 

What if you dug a little deeper to really find out what’s going on? Stopping the narcissist from the game they’re trying to play by asking them to cut to the chase will shock them. With shock usually comes the inability to know what to say or do.

They know you have them figured out. 

“I Don’t Deserve to be Spoken to This Way”

Knowing your worth reminds the narcissist that they can’t determine it. It’s a power we all have, but rarely find the confidence and self-worth to exhibit. Narcissistic people sometimes run others down to the point where they can barely stand. If you were to speak in alignment with what you deserve – you’ll certainly shut them down.

I would know that you aren’t trying to sound better than the narcissist, but they won’t. They will assume you are trying to annoy them, but let’s think logically. You’re simply changing how you respond.

The narcissist will be used to speaking to you how they want, regardless of how it makes you feel. This way, you get to remind them that you won’t put up with it any more. 

“I Have Said What I Want to Say, and I am Not Longer Willing to Discuss This.”

Narcissists love to go over and over the same thing, because they know how effective it is to run you down with repetitive behavior. The enjoyment they get from watching your frustration grow is second to none – but you can stop this, and shut them down.

Refusing to repeat what has already been said is good. It leaves room for new discussion that the narcissist may not be keen to have. That’s the whole point!

It’s a real boundary to apply when you say you’re unwilling to continue engaging. It tells the narcissist you think the conversation is a waste of time and completely rips them of all power. 

“I Know How I Feel”

Even though they won’t like to hear it, reminding them you know how you feel will do a few things. 

First, it’ll send them the clear message that you will not be a victim to gaslighting. They can try and shift your reality to suit them – but it won’t work – and you will let them know it.

The second is that you will be reminded that you feel how you feel. Confirming it out loud will give your feelings strength – something the narcissist hates.

“I am Aware We Don’t Share the Same Opinion”

Healthy people know that differing opinions are good. If we all thought and acted the same, the world would be a dull place 

Narcissists, however, like you to dance to the beat of their drum. They want you to change your mind or agree with them because by agreeing, you’re complying. 

By reminding the narcissist you don’t share something, it reiterates that you are your own person. 

Exactly as you should be.


Uh-huh is really golden to use when communicating with a narcissist. You’re there, you’re in the room, you’re responding – but minimally.

Narcissists don’t like minimalism – they want loud. They want tears. They want drama. They want to gossip. They want to lap it all up.

There’es nothing to lap up with a ‘uh-huh.’ By default, you’re completely shutting them down. 

…Nothing at All…

Say something!

Um, how about no?

The silent treatment, when used by the narcissist, is extremely cruel, don’t get me wrong. But if you are the person being silent, it’s for different reasons. Let them moan and groan and whinge about you or their day. You carry on doing what you’re doing. If need be, a little nod to let them know you aren’t totally trying to antagonize.

Narcissists want you to be on their side, agree with them, tell them they’re right.

They also love it when you answer back, so they can put you in your place. 

By staying quiet, you’re giving them no supply at all. Without it, they cannot function properly, so you end up leaving them high and dry…

…And one hundred percent shut down. 

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