Want to know how to use boundary tools to shut down narcissists and get back your power? Here are some helpful ways to protect yourself from toxic people.
Are you presently dealing with a narcissist – someone who is wreaking emotional havoc in your life? If so, you cannot expect to change who they are at their core. But you can thankfully set up stronger boundaries to protect yourself from the craziness they create.
Today I will be sharing some simple strategies and practical boundary tools to shut down a narcissist and take back your power, self esteem and happiness.
I’ve used these boundary tools to shut down narcissists – and they work.
Unfortunately I’ve endured I a few trouble making narcissists (in work, family and love) – who I now have thankfully protected myself from.
These various crazy makers each met the description of “Narcissism” presented by The American Psychological Association – which describes narcissism as “a personality disorder that causes people to have a delusional sense of self-worth and lack of empathy.”
Character traits of narcissists…
- needs excessive attention and admiration
- lacking in empathy
- unable to put anyone before themselves
- cannot fully regulate their emotions
- displays a grandiose sense of self
- has a tendency to exaggerate accomplishments
- will exploit people for their own gain
- unable to consider the impact of their actions on others
- tries to win arguments by cleverly twisting your words and facts
- feels comfortable with drama
Most people with narcissistic tendencies are highly charismatic and sexy!
They can charm you – and make you wonder if you’re overreacting to their bad behavior – or somehow at fault.
However, not all narcissists have grandiose personalities.
Some can show up as insecure and quiet. Yet somehow they can wind up manipulatively controlling you – and making you feel bad about yourself.
One thing narcissists share in common:
- They will try to give you hope that things will get better.
2 reminders about shutting down narcissists:
- No amount of you trying to get a narcissist to change who they are at their core will ever create longterm change.
- It’s best to try to steer clear of these people – for your own sanity’s sake.
Admittedly, sometimes you cannot simply remove the person from your life.
They might be the father or mother of your kid(s) or a family member or work colleague or neighbor.
But it’s essential you do what you can to take back your power – and take the power away from the narcissist – so you don’t allow their crazy making behavior to ruin your life.
With this in mind, here are…
5 Boundary Tools To Shut Down Narcissists!
1. Do what you can to avoid taking their bait – and giving bait
You must do what you can to avoid engaging with them. If there’s a way you can stop seeing them at specific events or for as much time, try to avoid and limit these encounters.
They will be angry when you pull back – because they will be upset that they don’t have you at their disposal as much to bully around.
Do not take their bait!
Always respond calmly. You’re allowed to give logical, factual reasons to explain your absence. You do not need to explain your emotional reasons for keeping away.
Be sure to use boundary tools to shut down narcissists cleanly and firmly…
When and if they try to bait you – be aware that the narcissist thrives on getting an emotional response from you! Do not give them that thrill. Try your best not to give them the emotional response they are craving. Instead, stay in your full power of “calmness” and “facts” and “logic.”
Refuse to accidentally give them any bait.
- Be selective with what you share with a narcissist.
- Don’t give them too many personal details or emotional statements which might fuel a strong emotional reaction from them – or give them ammo to use against you at some point.
2. Clearly communicate your needs and set boundaries – in writing if possible.
Take some quiet time by yourself to figure out what you will accept and won’t accept from your narcissist. Become clear about the boundaries you need to set to shut them down.
Next, clearly communicate your boundaries to your narcissist – in writing – so there’s no denying that you expressed what you expressed.
Print out and post a copy of your boundaries somewhere you can read them – often!
Your new mission for your boundary tools to shut down narcissists:
Drill your boundaries deeply into your mind! Be committed to shutting down narcissists.
If your narcissist tries to bust through one of your boundaries, then respond to them in writing – so you can express how you feel – shut down the narcissist – without them interrupting or trying to confuse you.
Clearly and simply describe what steps you plan to take should they try to bust through your boundaries again.
Be sure not to write something you won’t be able to follow through with. If your narcissist discovers you’re bluffing, they’ll just become more enraged and try to test your limits even further.
Boundary Tool Reminder:
Your total commitment to sticking to your boundary tools around narcissists is your super power!
3. Prepare an if/when list
Take some quiet time to write down every challenging thing you predict your narcissist might do or speak. Then, while you’re calm – and in your full power – write down how you plan to respond – or not respond.
Fill in these blanks:
“If they do/say ________ then I will do/say_____________.”
Preparation is another one of your new super powers to shut down narcissists and maintain your boundaries!
4. Believe you deserve better – so you stop apologizing to them
Stop apologizing so much to your narcissist.
Know this now:
Apologizing will only backfire on you! Firstly, it’s bad for your self esteem to constantly make yourself wrong – and not stand up for what you deserve! Plus, when you apologize, you are simply feeding your narcissist’s ego. They will simply hear that you are telling them that they are perfect – and in contrast, you are flawed, insecure, and a yummy target for more of their manipulation!
So what’s your super power to get you to stop apologizing?
Build up your self esteem! Recognize that you deserve better! Examine what you tolerate!
What you put up with, you end up with! What you allow simply continues!
Take some time to reevaluate your worth! Once you learn to appreciate your worth, you won’t tolerate someone treating you poorly.
5. Accept you cannot change them – so you’re less surprised and less frustrated
Let me be clear:
I am not telling you to accept a narcissist’s terrible treatment. I am simply telling you to accept that you cannot change someone with a deeply seeded personality disorder – so you don’t take things as personally – or as hard.
There’s a famous expression about this:
“Don’t spend time beating on a wall trying to turn it into a door.”
Although you can’t change a narcissist, you can thankfully change how you respond to them – by sticking to your boundary tools.
There’s another famous expression:
“Don’t let toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent – and kick them out!”
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