How to Communicate with a Narcissist

20 Things I “Should” Have Said to Narcissists in My Life…But Didn’t

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~ by Ven Baxter

Wondering how to communicate with a Narcissist?  We’ve all had those times when we thought:

“Man! I should have said _______! I wish I’d thought of it then!”

This is a tongue-in-cheek list of comebacks that a (hopefully former) target of Narcissistic abuse might wish he or she had said after a Narcissist has just thrown down the latest red flag, or a deal-breaker.

These are meant to entertain (and maybe facilitate healing and recovery for) folks who have been there.  I’m not suggesting in any way that anyone should actually say any of these to a real, live person!

These are NOT problem-solving communication strategies (which don’t work for very long with Narcissists anyway)—and, depending on the situation, any or all of them might be dangerous to say to an easily enraged person.

In real life, the best thing to say to a Narcissist or Borderline is as little as possible, before and after carefully and peacefully making one’s exit. Leave the talk therapy to the talk therapists, who are trained to do it, and tend to your own well-being.

So, just for the fun of it, these are humorous but empowering comebacks that I personally might have said (but didn’t) in real-life situations with various Narcissists and Borderlines I’ve been close to over the years, in response to things that they have actually said or done.

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I would never say most of these things to a Narcissist or Borderline in person. There’s just no point in it, and no need to. In real life, I would simply end the conflict by removing myself from the situation with as little conversation (drama) as possible.

——–

1 – What’s that? I’ll never find anyone who will love me as much as you do, sacrifice as much as you have for our relationship, or give up as much as you have to be with me? It sounds like you’d be way better off without me. Let’s make it happen, starting…now!

2 – I’m sorry to cut you off in mid-rant, but I don’t spend my time with people who call me those names, speak to me at that volume, or use profanity with that much poison. Especially not all three, like you’re doing now. Goodbye.

3 – If you really cared about my relationship with my kids, you’d stop calling and texting me with drama and emotional chaos when I’m spending time with them. See ya!

4 – No, I’m really not the cause of all of your problems. But let’s find out. Later, gator.  I’m sure everything will be better for you tomorrow.

5 – If you think you “might” have multiple personalities, I think I “might” believe that either 1) you do, 2) you’re crazy, or 3) you’re just trying to manipulate me. Either way, I only date one person at a time, and I require that they be both sane and decent. Happy trails!

6 – I see that you’re trying to bully me right now. Let’s see if you can do it all by yourself. Ciao!

7 – You say that you (destroyed my stuff/told lies about me/said horrible things to me) because you were upset? I say you’ve shown me that you have no self-control and I should probably fear for my life around you. So I’m done being around you now.

8 – I’m sorry. I wasn’t paying attention to your tirade. I was blocking your number before I go, in case I forget to do it after I leave—that is, leave you—for good.  Like, right now.

9 – I know you seem very humble right now, and your apology sounded very sincere. However, since this is like the 20th time you’ve played this game with me, I’m going to start playing a new game. It’s called “Life Without You.” So long!

10 – Wow. I’m amazed that one person can tell so many lies in such a short time. I think I’ll tell you a lie now: I’ll still be here with you in one minute.

11 – I’m glad that you felt the need to confess that you went through all my Facebook and text messages while I was (gone/asleep) the other day. I have a confession to make, too. I don’t date people who have such disregard for my own personal boundaries and privacy, so I’m going to stop dating you immediately.

12 – Sure, I’ll throw out all of the notes I saved from high school and the photos that were lying safely in my keepsake box in the closet while I was at work and you were sitting in my apartment with nothing better to do than rummage through my personal things. I’ll do it right after I throw you out of my life. Oh, and yes, I’m actually keeping my old notes and photos instead of you.

13 – Thank you for accidentally dropping your mask so I could see what a spiteful, vindictive person you are underneath that sexy exterior. I’m going to go home now and enjoy a night to myself—the first in a long string of many nights alone that I’m frankly looking forward to after enduring your crap for so long.

14 – That’s such a delicious (meal/dessert/treat) that you (cooked/bought) me to try to make up for dumping me last (week/month) and screwing your ex. I hope you like it, because I’m eating an entire pizza by myself tonight and watching 300.  With my phone off.

15 – If you were speaking Chinese, what you just said wouldn’t bother me. However, you were speaking English, so I’m just going to forget you exist. Bye!

16 – I appreciate you confessing that you drank too much at a party and had a sexual encounter with your ex while I was out of town.  Looks like it’s time for me to move on now.

17 – If you wake me up in the middle of the night to fight with me one more time, I’m going to leave and go sleep in a hotel room for the night.  No, wait.  Once was enough.  Enjoy having the house all to yourself from now on.

18 – You said I’m a what?  Oh, you must have me confused with somebody else.  I’ll just go now so you can find that person.  I don’t want to mess up your search for the perfect partner.

19 – Ah, yes.  It’s all about you.  Everything revolves around you.  You’re the judge, jury, and executioner.  What you say goes.  You’re the boss.  If I had seen this in you sooner, I would have left just as fast as I’m about to leave now.

20 – No, I don’t understand.  I know and see that your behavior over time took a nose dive from angelic to suck, and I hear you justifying it now with excuses of being (drunk/hurt/angry/scared/etc.) to me now, but I don’t feel or act that way.  I can’t relate to it.  Frankly, I don’t want to.

I’d rather just be a decent human being than try to twist my mind to accept that the rules don’t apply to you and that you have a free pass to do whatever you want, without consequence or accountability.  Guess what?  You don’t.  Let me show you by removing myself from your world.

Author Bio – Ven Baxter lives in Florida, where he works as a canoe outfitter, teaches, writes, and enjoys being father to his three children.  You can find this article on his blog, Ven Baxter – Go deep into the nooks and crannies of life and the human experience…

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12 comments
Shannon says April 9, 2020

I have been married for 30 years to a man that I have in the last 5 years or so realized is a narcissist. Unfortunately for me I also have ODD (oppositional defiance disorder) and anger management issues that were diagnosed when I was very young. I am fully aware of and do attempt to control MY issues. It has taken until the last year for me to recognize that although I and a select few others know he has issues he will never admit to them. In the past six months I have begun reading up on narcissism and although I am not clinically trained have come to realize what his real problem is. I have explained all this to you so you could understand me and why I have done what I have done. I realize that you wrote these come-backs in humor and expect no one to actually say them… I have! To his face! Repeatedly! The only part I left out was the “I’m leaving” statement. Trust me, you’re right. It does not change them or their behavior. It however does make one feel better and, on the very rare occasions when he wasn’t prepared for it, the look on his face has been PRICELESS!!! I do not at this time know what my future holds but thank you for helping me realize that I am not “just being a bitch” and I’m not the only one out there having these thoughts about their significant other

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Holly says August 23, 2019

I told mine, “I’m sorry I wasted 42 yrs of my life with you.” It was true and correct. Did it hurt him, doubt it. It did take him back a bit. Should have said it yrs earlier.

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Teresa says September 25, 2018

Kim, what does a person do when I’ve been with this man for 32yrs. & he is now in very bad health? His behaviors have gotten even worse & more dangerous. I thought for the last 10 yrs. it was better to stay for the kids, but I now see that was a terrible mistake. But, I believed the lies during the first 20 yrs., I honestly thought he was telling me the truth and others were lying to me. But for the last 10 yrs. things have become painfully clear and now I’m to my breaking point and 50 yrs. old & feel like I ‘ve wasted my life with someone who never really loved me at all, but he is in bad health and I feel like I’d be a terrible person & Christian if I leave now. Although I have already had to leave and go to the sheriff’s dept during a terrible incident where he was threatening to kill me and our oldest child who is an adult but has had to have major surgery and is in no condition for this. On my way back to check on my child he tried to hit me head on to stop me and told me if I tried to call the sheriff’s department back I’d be dead before they got here. I have never been so scared in all my life of this person I once loved with all my heart and soul. My delimma is what to do with the situation and his current health. Ironically, I think it was his stroke and health situation that made him not so good at covering his tracks anymore and exposed the truth to me, but it sure didn’t change him for the better. You can respond to my email privately if necessary.

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Jodi says September 23, 2018

Love You as Always ???

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Mandy Carroll says September 23, 2018

I actually have said many of those things to the narc. It was better than therapy. And every time I think about it I can’t stop smiling.
I said these before going no contact. I let them know I knew what they were and it was done.

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    Kim Saeed says September 24, 2018

    Hi Mandy, it really does depend on the level of narcissism in the other person. I always get a little chuckle when reading this article. Ven (the author) truly knows what it’s like 🙂

    Kim XoXo

    Reply
Jodie Lee says April 8, 2017

Explaining my story has seemed crazy. Part of my healing will be to educate others. I have been a victim of abuse before and yes I should have known better has been said to me. It’s my own fault ect. This bloke even convinced me to stop taking my medication for anxiety and try a natural form instead. Marijuana. He seeks his pray and said I was a nobody. Wrong! I have a voice who will speak out for those who feel they can’t. He is still trying to control me because he has realised. He is sick and needs real help.

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Anonymous says April 3, 2017

Or simply stated. “You are a such a huge disappointment
To me”. And with that I was gone. 37 years. Done.

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Nikki says April 3, 2017

It’s a waste of time to tell them any of these things. Just cut them off and never look back.

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Mindy says December 26, 2016

This was a great article! Yes, we wish we would be able to say these things! For the past year, I’ve been doing enough research to know what not to say. And most importantly, how to recognize them, “test” that they are, in fact, toxic towards me and thus, eliminate them (no contact) from my life. Or recognize when I come upon one and not allowing them to attach themselves to me.
I’ve been practicing self-care, consciously building my confidence back up and decreasing my co-dependency and people-pleasing personality that I adopted after I lost my husband. It was my depression and desire to find my path without him that turned me into one, falling back on how I was made into a people-pleaser in my childhood.(My husband was wonderful and I gained a tremendous amount of confidence, skills and independence with him for 30 years).
I would love to tell my on-going story somewhere, in order to share how I was raised by a Narc, how my two sister’s and brother became Narc’s (one is a sociopath). How, in becoming a widow eight years ago drew the narcs and sociopaths from my husband’s family towards me (two are sociopathic narcissists). How my neighbor started harrassing me, preying on me, exposing himself to me and destroying my property after my husband died (and he still does weird things all the time…usually ramping it up around October every year, which is when I lost my husband). Why I started to research the changed behavior of his family towards me, trying to figure out why they would ALL be this way towards me (starting off fantastic, then several years later being made to feel left out, alone, unwanted and excluded, only to find that it meant I was the scapegoat of his disfunctional family). I really want to tell about the subtle words, behaviors and signs that in looking back, were actually red flags.How they do things premeditated and thought out for the worst impact on you, playing your emotions, changing you from a happy confident person into a depressed, anxiety filled shell (which is actually what they are).
This past Thanksgiving, I realized that they are my dead husband’s family. They have no power over me. And I was a free bird on the wind! No one could dictate what I could do in life! Normal family loves and supports your happiness. They don’t suck it out of you in jealousy. Why would I want to be around people like that or around people that believe the smear campaign or people who enable the rotten treatment of me? So I let the “good” family members know that I wasn’t going to be celebrating the holidays in a party atmosphere. We have been getting together one-on-one instead.
And since I didn’t go to the Horrible Family Christmas party this year, one of the narc sociopaths got so pissed I wasn’t there (so he could do the discard, once again, this year) and that I changed the locks on my house without his permission (he is my nephew of all people) that he started texting me these weird little texts starting at 1:30 this morning. I changed the locks because he, and several other family members, have a key, I had tested him in October to make sure he was a Narc Socio and sure enough, he passed with flying colors, huffing off in a narcissistic rage. He was now a great danger to me.
I am so relieved, as of this morning, to have “broken up” with him…my nephew, as well as other Narcs in my family, finally doing the No Contact completely. I now have, on my phone, the pathological weirdness in writing that I could easily show the “good” people in my family, if I so chose.
My story is long. Longer than this narrative. And I have survived everything from being beaten and locked in a closet by an old boyfriend, lewd and threatening behavior by my neighbor, smear campaign, the weird-to-watch word salad/gas lighting and the narcissistic rage/discard. I would love to tell people how I gained strength and knowledge, and not only survived an actual infestation of Narc’s, but have taken my life back from them. I’m still going through daily voice mail messages and texts from the narcs, even today, trying to get me back as their supply. But I know one thing: I don’t have to respond. They are not important to me, they have no say in what I do, zero power over me and they don’t have feelings to hurt if I don’t call them back! I simply ignore them.
If you know of any places where I can or should write my story, so that I can help pass the word and empower people, I would love to help. Even if it’s one type of “situation” at a time…each way I survived each Narc in my life. It’s that or I may write a book. I’ve been documenting all of my experiences in a self-diary. Something I highly recommend people do…kinda like this article! No one will ever see it but yourself, but it’s very cathartic writing it all down. If anything, it helps with the cognitive dissonance. Thank you.

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    Ven says December 26, 2016

    Hi, Mindy. I’m glad to hear that you’ve found journaling as a pathway to be healing, as I also discovered many years ago.

    Congratulations on deciding to take your life back! As you know, knowledge is power! 🙂

    Reply
    Anonymous says September 22, 2019

    Very well written and relatable.

    Reply
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