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Engaging in an argument with a narcissist can be draining, frustrating, and counterproductive. Narcissists often use deflection, gaslighting, and other manipulative tactics to dominate conversations. To counteract their tactics and establish boundaries, using specific phrases can be effective. Here are 15 such phrases that can help you stand your ground.

For further reading and understanding, “The Narcissist’s Playbook: Understanding and Disarming the Narcissist in Your Life” is a helpful resource. It offers strategies for dealing with narcissistic behavior in various types of relationships.


Close up portrait of a man with duct tape over his mouth

“I understand your perspective, but I’m entitled to my own beliefs.”

This affirms your own feelings without directly challenging theirs.

“I won’t be spoken to this way.”

Set clear boundaries about the respect you deserve.

“Let’s stick to the facts.”

Narcissists often rely on emotional manipulation. By sticking to factual information, you take away this power.

“This isn’t productive. Let’s discuss this when we can communicate respectfully.”

This puts the onus on them to adjust their behavior for a more effective conversation.

“I need to walk away from this conversation now.”

Taking a break can prevent escalation.

“I won’t tolerate being spoken over.”

This stops them from trying to dominate the conversation by raising their voice or interrupting.

“That may be true for you, but it isn’t for me.”

Reassert your own experiences and feelings without invalidating theirs.

“Your behavior is your responsibility, not mine.”

A reminder that they need to own their actions and reactions.

“I’ve heard your opinion. Now, I’d appreciate it if you’d listen to mine.”

This establishes equality in the conversation.

“This topic isn’t up for discussion.”

There are certain boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed.

“That’s your interpretation, not a fact.”

Distinguish between their opinions and actual facts.

“I’d suggest reading ‘Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed‘. It provides insight into such behaviors.”

This offers a resource to better understand and address narcissistic behavior.

“Let’s consider getting guidance from a professional like a therapist or counselor.”

Suggesting a neutral third party can be beneficial.

“I’d recommend ‘Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers‘ as a useful read.”

Another book suggestion that educates on the impacts of narcissistic behaviors.

“This isn’t about winning or losing; it’s about understanding and respect.”

Reiterate the goal of a meaningful conversation.

Equipping yourself with the right phrases can be empowering when dealing with a narcissist. And if you or someone you know is dealing with a narcissistic individual in their life, considering resources like the book The Narcissist’s Playbook: Understanding and Disarming the Narcissist in Your Life can be incredibly beneficial.