Skip to main content

Dealing with a narcissist in an argument can be challenging. Their manipulation tactics, lack of empathy, and constant need for admiration make conversations difficult. Yet, by employing specific phrases, you can effectively shut down a narcissist and take control of the situation.


In this article, we’ll explore 15 such phrases and understand their impact.

1. “I understand your perspective.”

Acknowledging their viewpoint doesn’t mean you agree. It shows you’re listening, but not necessarily conceding. Navigating Difficult Conversations: A Comprehensive Guide on Amazon provides techniques to handle such tricky situations.

2. “Let’s stick to the facts.”

Narcissists often use emotions to manipulate. By sticking to facts, you prevent them from turning the argument into a personal attack.

3. “This isn’t about you.”

Highlighting that not everything revolves around them can be a reality check. The Art of Humility: Understanding the World Beyond Yourself offers insights on cultivating a more humble perspective.

4. “I won’t tolerate disrespect.”

Setting boundaries is essential. This phrase asserts that you demand respect and won’t be belittled. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No is a great resource for setting and enforcing limits.

5. “We can continue this when you’re calmer.”

Delaying the conversation denies them the opportunity to feed off your reactions. Check out Emotional Intelligence 2.0 on Amazon to understand and manage emotions better.

6. “That’s your opinion, and I respect it.”

Reinforce that their viewpoint is just an opinion, not a fact, allowing you to maintain your stance without escalating tensions.

7. “I’m confident in my decision.”

Asserting your confidence makes it harder for a narcissist to shake your resolve. To build decision-making skills, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work is an excellent read.

8. “No.”

Sometimes, a firm “no” without justification is the best response. It sets a clear boundary they can’t argue against.

9. “Let’s discuss this with a mediator.”

Introducing a neutral third party can deter manipulative behaviors. Mediation Mastery: Effective Conflict Resolution offers insights into this process.

10. “I hear you, but I need space to think.”

This phrase gives you an exit from the immediate situation, allowing for reflection and a break from the narcissist’s pressure.

11. “I’m ending this conversation now.”

Sometimes the best way to deal with a narcissist in an argument is to walk away. It’s a sign of strength and shows you won’t be manipulated.

12. “Your behavior is not acceptable.”

Calling out unacceptable behavior firmly and assertively can stop a narcissist in their tracks.

13. “I have nothing more to add.”

Shutting down further avenues of discussion shows you’re in control of the narrative.

14. “I appreciate your input.”

Acknowledging them without necessarily agreeing can de-escalate tensions. For more on effective communication, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High is a valuable resource.

15. “This will be my final response on this matter.”

Setting a definitive end to the discussion prevents them from dragging it out and reaffirms your control over the situation.

In conclusion, dealing with a narcissist in an argument can be draining. However, with the right phrases and understanding, you can take control and navigate the situation effectively. These phrases, combined with recommended readings from Amazon, will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to stand your ground.