30 tips for communicating with narcissists. Too much is too much! Dealing with narcissists.

When communication might be a little easier ...

Communication with narcissists


Tips for dealing with people who are overly in love with themselves, with narcissists. They can radiate charm and seem quite nice at first glance; narcissists. Many of them are eloquent, humorous, self-confident, and attract attention. But as good as the first impression may be, narcissists expose themselves as egomaniacs. With their unhealthy self-love and egocentrism, they then strain the nerves with their allure. Usually, there is no valuable content behind the packaging, but this is vehemently concealed. How to communicate and deal with narcissists without despair.

Dealing with narcissists


Yes, they can radiate charm and seem quite nice at first glance; narcissists. Many of them are eloquent, humorous, self-confident, and attract attention. But as good as the first impression may be, narcissists expose themselves as egomaniacs. With their exaggerated self-love and egocentrism, they then strain the nerves of their fellow human beings with their allure. In most cases, the content is not worth the effort of packaging, but it is deceived. 
The beautiful appearance is deceptive and the façade collapses, all just a show. As long as a few admirers can still be found, narcissists won’t stop. They can be entertaining at short notice. Unfortunately, too many people let themselves be deceived, which is why narcissists too often manage to get into positions where they can do some damage.




Narcissists have an exaggerated desire for recognition


The exaggerated desire for recognition and admiration is caused by disturbed self-esteem. For such an ego, any stage is too small to be shared with others. Other people have only one right to be present anyway; as admirers!

Narcissists do without empathy. They also renounce any form of feedback towards you. The exception is praise, which is perceived as appropriate recognition. Dealing with narcissists is rarely a joy.

It is a great advantage to recognize such contemporaries at an early stage and to avoid them. However, it may be that a situation requires you to communicate with a narcissist. Therefore, here are some recommendations that can sometimes save you a few gray hairs.

30 tips for communicating with narcissists



1. Recognize narcissists


The first step is to recognize narcissists as such. Even if a person feels particularly attractive, intelligent, or special in some other way, he or she does not have to have a narcissistic disposition.

A healthy portion of self-love, the ability to recognize and consider one’s own needs, self-confidence, and self-esteem belong to a sovereign personality. To a reasonable extent, these characteristics are neither harmful nor pathological. The quantity makes the poison.

The most negative characteristics of narcissists are often not recognized as such in the beginning. Only with time and more frequent contact, they become visible. Narcissists do not want to be perceived as mean, violent, mean, malicious, ruthless, or sadistic people. That is why they also press their aggression into socially acceptable forms. Narcissists present themselves from their best side before they turn out to be such. They hide their true intentions behind the façade. And they are usually very good at that.

Narcissists have a disturbed relationship between altruism and egoism, respect and ruthlessness, sensibility and hypersensitivity, especially their sense of self-worth and external value is disturbed. Thus the importance of one’s person is completely overrated, while all other persons are largely meaningless. They overestimate themselves and derive an unrealistic claim to the world from it. They constantly seek admiration, but react hypersensitively to criticism they receive. Empathy towards other people is unfamiliar to them. They think that they are not attacking, but are convinced that they are rightfully defending themselves.

To make it easier for you to recognize narcissists, here is a list with 33 references to a narcissistic personality.




2. Be very vigilant with eyes and ears


Be ready to listen a lot and very carefully. While narcissists prefer to talk about themselves, use your ability to read between the lines.




3. Frustration tolerance


Expect a low frustration tolerance. Narcissists are hardly capable of criticism and if they express understanding for other people, then it is often only disguised and comes back to you later. Narcissists react very quickly with anger because it is often part of their strategy.




4. Clarity


Be very specific with what you want. Offer as little leeway as possible for interpretations that can harm you.




5. Keep the focus


Don’t let the show distract you from what you’re about. Narcissists like to impose their rules on their surroundings. So that you do not spend yourself on trivialities, clarify your needs and priorities well. Keep an eye on your goal of the conversation.

Without giving in, it helps to ignore some statements and to react objectively instead of emotionally. Narcissists want to destabilize through provocations and enforce their rules of the game.




6. Motivation


Be aware of what your narcissistic interlocutor wants to achieve. Make it clear to him what his benefit is. Address the ego. The things that make narcissists so exhausting can also be used to steer them. Although narcissists themselves are extremely manipulative, their arrogance makes them comparatively easy to manipulate.




7. Expectations


They’re not gonna make narcissists right for long anyway. You can be tolerated for a short time. You should not expect more.




8. Beware of meanest things


Narcissists are constantly trying to prove that they are the best and greatest in the world. Even that is not enough for them. To appear even bigger, they don’t tolerate competition next to them. So every supposed competitor is fought. In case of doubt, the narcissist will preventively hurt competitors wherever he can. By devaluing other people he wants to appear even bigger and more unique.




9. Pay attention to your good mental condition


Make sure you have a good mental condition. This does not directly improve the conversation but reduces the risk of massive attacks. So smile as relaxed as possible and show a lot of patience without making involuntary concessions.




10. Written agreements


Opinions can change suddenly with narcissists and the whole effort is lost. Make agreements in writing. Write down everything you require so that you can use the protocols as needed. Narcissists are often very good at twisting things afterward. Therefore, you should confirm agreements in writing. You should not be surprised that you are not met with any sympathy for this.




11. Victim attitude


Communication at eye level? Forget it!

Narcissists are never to blame if something goes wrong. And they find more or less creative surprising reasons why others are to blame for something. Don’t let them manipulate you!




12. Unilateral rules


What rules? Narcissists act in the illusion that rules do not apply to them. They, on the other hand, have rules for other people, which they often change for their purposes if necessary.




13. Pay attention to your independence


Protect your position and take care of yourself. Narcissists are eager to expand their power to impose rules on you.




14. Praise


Narcissists are very receptive to praise. Praise when it is appropriate and the narcissist will treat you more kindly. Only he may not have the impression you are exerting influence thereby.




15. Therapeutic offers for narcissists


How dare you? Narcissists are perfect, they have no problems, other people have problems. So why should a narcissist be grateful if you want to help him with his behavior? So don’t try to offer narcissists psychotherapy, otherwise, you’ll need help yourself soon.




16. Ask instead of demanding


Ask little, expect little. Narcissists are more likely to respond to requests than to demands or even threats. Especially the easily offended type reacts extremely allergic to pressure.




17. Be careful with feedback


Direct accusations against narcissists usually end conversations immediately. Even narcissists react to harmless and cautious feedback as if they were harsh attacks. They react offended and insulted because it scratches their self-image. Then it rages internally and doesn’t calm down for a long time. The anger can lead however also easy to clear aggressions.

To escape such unwelcome feedback, they like to surround themselves with submissive people, with flatterers who stabilize their illusions.




18. Don’t count on forgiveness.


Narcissists have a good memory for perceived offenses. They don’t forget them for the rest of their lives, and they are looking for revenge. This can make narcissists very dangerous even after a long time.




19. Emotions


Apart from the negative emotions typical of narcissists, be vigilant when expressing emotions. Then I recommend caution. Narcissists are very good at pretending emotions when it serves their purposes. Body language is a means of manipulation for them.




20. Apologies


You can submit to the narcissist with proven apologies, he will not make a serious apology. Narcissists do not make mistakes themselves.




21. Feelings of guilt


Narcissists are anxious to make other people feel guilty. This unsettles other people, silences them, and makes them easier to manipulate. Despite the importance of self-reflection, be careful not to get self-doubt installed.




22. Envy


Are you happy about success? Whether you have achieved something idealistic or material, narcissists react with envy. If you achieve something, you could distract the audience from the magnificence of the narcissist and that will not be tolerated.




23. Be careful in your choice of words


In your formulations, you can orientate yourself on non-violent communication according to Marshall B. Rosenberg. The model helps to keep communication as peaceful as possible. Narcissists, however, always tend to find annoyance, even when there is none.




24. Adjournments


If you don’t make any progress on communications, you’d better adjourn. Don’t let tantrums force you to make promises. You would regret that later.




25. Professional quick-wittedness


You also don’t have to make it unnecessarily easy for narcissists to have the last word. Maintain your quick-wittedness. Professional quick-wittedness tends to de-escalate and clearly shows limits, without a participant necessarily having to lose prestige.

The wrong form of quick-wittedness can, however, lead to lasting disturbances in the relationship.




26. Avoid narcissists if you can!


This is the most important hint: communicate with narcissists when it is not necessary. The otherwise praiseworthy human endeavor to bring about improvement through communication has little chance of success here. With narcissists, you may expect to be insulted, insulted, and embarrassed. You fantasize, create confusion to distract you and narcissists can become very aggressive so that you learn through pain to show the expected one-sided respect.




27. Important conversations


Prepare important conversations carefully. If the conversation can have significant consequences, professional help is worthwhile. I have often helped to prepare communication with narcissists. A lot of feedback reminds me of how good this helps. For legal aspects, please ask a lawyer.




28. See the good aspects


Within certain limits, narcissists can be very helpful. Their assertiveness can also be used for good projects. But even then, the price that the environment pays must not be too high. Be careful!




29. Detecting manipulations


Narcissists are masters of manipulation. To avoid their influence it is helpful to recognize their tricks. In my articles, I deal with how you recognize the most common manipulation techniques and how you recognize manipulators.




30. Superficiality


Narcissists orient themselves on their benefit and are otherwise rather superficial. Do not expect unselfish interest that is not part of a selfish intention.

Help in dealing with narcissists (no legal advice!)


If you wish professional support for your decision-making, communication, or because you suffer emotionally from narcissists, then we can arrange an appointment.

Either you come to me in Berlin or we organize a telephone meeting or use the Internet with a video conferencing system. All these possibilities work very well and have already helped many people.

It's urgent? Thanks to an immediate bank transfer, it is also possible to organize sessions at short notice, often even on the same day.

In any case, you can orient yourself by reading the list with fees. Often a telephone call of 60 minutes is enough.

Every day, I get many inquiries. Some have only one question, others send long question lists, some even call me at night. As much as I would like to help voluntarily, my calendar doesn't allow that anymore. I know, that not everyone has the financial means for professional help. You can then at least use the comment function to discuss issues with other people. Sometimes I also answer questions in the comments. However, the day is full at some point and I ask for your understanding. I am aware of the psychological strain that often results from contact with narcissists.

Preparation of important conversations and negotiations


Communication can be very easy. But often it is not. Sometimes we say things and then later notice from the reaction of our conversation partners that they seem to have spoken to someone completely different. I didn't say that with the best will in the world. - Or did I say that after all?

More or less consciously, conversations are about convincing other people of something - be it a special offer, your personality, a perspective, or a necessity. If this doesn't happen fast enough and above all not exactly to the point and descriptively, the person we are talking to quickly loses interest, and we lose the hoped-for opportunity. — Conversation failed.

You can let me support you in the preparation of your conversations and negotiations (to be on the safe side: no legal advice!). Find out how you and your message are perceived (arguments, body language, language, voice, and much more). I will familiarize you with effective tools and communication strategies. Develop your psychological skills, learn to stay calm, act confidently, remain authentic, and finally convince.

Just ask me personally


Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.



What experience have you had with narcissists?


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As you can recognize narcissists:

 I have suffered, Jesus Christ has also suffered.
 But now I am well again. - Karsten Noack

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: January 2, 2012
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: October 1, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/zu-ist-zuviel-umgang-mit-narzissten/

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