How to Respond to a Narcissist's Text

16 Tips! How to Respond to a Narcissist’s Text & Disarm Them

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Narcissists are slippery suckers. They can easily throw you off balance and shoulder their way into your world with the simple flick of a button. You might be trying to figure out how to respond to a narcissist’s text in a way that gets them off your back as well as keeping yourself protected.

Without being armed with the tools and knowledge behind why narcissists do the things that they do, it’s too easy to fall into their trap.

Oftentimes, the best response is no response at all.

All of the tips here on how to respond to the narcissist’s text messages are designed to empower you so that you can avoid handing your precious life force over to them.

It’s important to note that you will never get any genuine remorse, apology or closure from a narcissist. If you’re hoping to find the right words to help them see your point of view, you’re fresh out of luck. There are no words in any of the human languages that will see the narc authentically look at their behaviour and take due responsibility without years of therapy… and we all know that ain’t gonna happen!

The aim here is to free yourself from the narcissist’s web of deceit, lies and projections.

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What’s Really Behind a Narcissist’s Text?

Narcissist Text Message

There is only ever one reason why a narcissist does what they do and that is for self-gain. They do not care about others and have no desire to genuinely give to others. It’s all about what’s in it for themselves.

Everything with a narcissist is purely transactional.

Narcissists are a false self, with their ego being their puppet master. For that ego to remain in existence, it needs constant feeding.

The ego’s food comes in many forms, such as attention, admiration, arguments and drama. It’s through the attention and chaos that the narcissist gets you to direct your energy towards them so that they can plug into your life force and take it from you.

Deep inside, that narcissist is an empty black hole, devoid of any real humanness. They do not have the ability to truly experience compassion, empathy and unconditional love.

To try and fill that void, they need to seek validation from outside of themselves to confirm that they do actually exist in some way. This is why they are on the constant hunt to steal the life force energy from other beings who are whole.

Life force energy is the drug. The narcissist is the addict.

The problem is that the empty void inside of them can never be filled, it can only ever be temporarily abated. In turn, the narcissist is left running on the never-ending treadmill of self-medication, just to feel some relief from who they truly are inside… a fractured being who utterly despises themselves.

The narcissist behind the mask is filled with shame and self-loathing, which they refuse to acknowledge. Therefore they have allowed themselves to be overrun by their ego, which has created a completely False Self as a vessel to get through life.

The False Self has created such a warped reality that it genuinely believes itself to be superior, perfect and God-like. This is why narcissists think they are above others and that the world revolves around them. Because they think they are God, it means that they are answerable to no one and that the universal and karmic rules do not apply to them (or so they believe).

So, next time you’re wondering how on Earth the narcissist can be so cruel without any regard for how that impacts other people, this is why. They do not have a conscience and they think that they’re above the laws and rules of our very reality.

In order for the narcissist to feel validated, admired and in control (hence gain supply to feed their ego), they will use all sorts of manipulations and tactics in their texts to get what they want.

Here are some examples of narcissist text messages:

  1. Love bomb/ hoovering texts
  2. Mixed message texts
  3. Selfish texts
  4. Devaluing texts
  5. Guilt texts
  6. An overload of messages
  7. Gaslighting texts
  8. Midnight texts
  9. Weird emoji texts
  10. Stonewalling texts
  11. Text fighting
  12. Ghosting texts
  13. Fake caring texts
  14. Word salad texts
  15. Demanding texts
READ: Examples of Narcissist’s Texts
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How to Respond to a Narcissist’s Text

Narcissist Text Message

How to respond to a narcissist’s text will depend largely on your situation and what you wish to gain from the interaction.

Do you need to still communicate with the narcissist because you’ve got shared custody of the children? Maybe you work with them or they are a family member who will continue to be in your life regardless of what you think of them.

Or, maybe you want them out of your life for good so that you can finally be free!

Let’s go through some tactics for how to respond to a narcissist’s text message (or barrage of messages!).

Set Your Boundaries

Now is the time to get really clear with yourself regarding what you want and then be willing to hold firm and stand your ground with your boundaries.

  • What type of behaviour will you no longer accept from the narcissist?
  • What type of language and communication is a simple “No” from you?
  • What do you feel is respectful vs. disrespectful conversation?
  • What hours of the night are way too late for texting?
  • Is it your responsibility to solve their problems, jump when they have an ’emergency’ or pick up the pieces of their self-created messes?

As we well know, narcissists do not like boundaries. They feel entitled to you and do not think that any boundaries should apply to them.

Write down a list and title it ‘Self-worth Boundaries.’ If the narcissist crosses any of those boundaries (and they will), that’s when you disengage from the conversation. They will learn over time what you will no longer tolerate and they’ll have no choice but to change their tune if they wish to continue interacting with you.

You may choose to walk away and not respond at all when they’ve crossed a boundary. Or you might prefer to send a final text to close the conversation and then not respond to their pushback.

Examples of boundary-setting texts:

  • “I won’t be engaging with you anymore if you continue to use that language.”
  • “Until you can talk to me respectfully, this conversation is over.”
  • “If you are choosing to belittle me, then I’m choosing to not respond.”

Ignore Disrespectful Texts

Narcissist Text Message

If you’re wondering how to respond to a narcissist’s completely disrespectful text, my best advice is to not respond at all.

When a narcissist is being disrespectful there may be a few reasons behind it. They could be projecting their own inner feelings of disrespect for themselves onto you, or maybe they just want to assert their power over you and get a reaction, which will feed them energy.

Ultimately, other people are just objects for the narc to push around as they see fit. They are incapable of respecting others because they believe everyone else is beneath them.

Either way, if you retaliate with a heated reply, they’ll essentially achieve what they’d set out to achieve and receive narcissistic supply from you.

This is the perfect instance to practice your boundaries with the narcissist. If they choose to be disrespectful towards you, then you will choose not to interact with them.

If you really feel like you must respond to their text, use one of the boundary-setting responses from above, then walk away.

READ: 72 Weird Things Narcs Will Say

Don’t Reply Instantly

I learnt pretty quickly after leaving my narcissist ex that taking time between text messages was highly beneficial for me.

His texts would be full of word salad and hoovers, all designed to confuse me, throw me off guard and get me to agree to something that he knew damn well I wouldn’t actually want to say yes to.

Taking the time to process a narcissist’s message is extremely important. It stops you from responding with a knee-jerk reaction and gives your brain the time it needs to analyse what the narcissist isn’t saying.

With time comes clarity.

What do they really want here? What’s their game? If you think about their previous patterns and behaviours, you’ll probably be able to figure out what their angle is and preempt the timeline before it happens.

Narcissists are incredibly predictable creatures once you know how to read them.

Another benefit of letting some time lapse between messages is to train the narcissist that you are not available at their beck and call.

In the past you probably did reply as soon as you could, just to avoid the abuse that would come from them if you didn’t.

Now, if you’re free from the relationship (gosh, I hope you are), you don’t need to dance to their drum anymore.

Keep Your Information to Yourself

Calm, At Peace

When you’re dealing with a narcissist it’s imperative to remember that they are like walking data-collectors. Every piece of information you hand over to them gets stored away somewhere in their manipulative brain. To them, it’s information to be used against you if need be in the future.

They will stop at nothing to get whatever they want and will drag you through the mud to justify their shitty behaviour in getting there. If that means putting some of your deepest, darkest secrets on the chopping block, they will not hesitate!

Information should be earned, not simply handed over.

Something I’ve learnt after my multiple narcissistic experiences is that people should earn your information over time in a healthy manner, as genuine trust is built.

However, a narcissist will work to get you to commit to them quickly and hand over all of your information before you’ve even had a chance to think.

Moving at such a fast pace is a huge red flag!

Avoid handing over your information when responding to the narcissist’s text messages. Think of your information as your precious intellectual and spiritual property, which they do not deserve to have access to. They simply cannot be trusted no matter how much they fake it.

Stick to the Facts

Not giving the narcissist any info besides the bare essentials for the interaction is especially important if you share children, property or business.

If you’re going through a separation or divorce with the narc, they will feel completely entitled to everything, regardless of the facts or details. It’s just what they do.

Protect yourself by not entering into any conversations with the narcissist and by sticking to the barest of facts. If they do not need to know something (no matter how insignificant it may seem), do not share it with them.

The narcissist is intentionally laying down the groundwork for you to hand over your precious information, which they will somehow twist around for their gain.

Their texts may seem innocent enough, “Hey, how did the kids go at school today?” But I cannot reiterate enough how important it is to keep your word length to a minimum and not deviate from those simplest of facts.

You are well within your rights to respond with a simple “yes” or “no” without elaborating. If they accuse you of being an awful person for not handing over more information, ignore their attempts at getting a reaction from you.

READ: Common Narc Divorce Tactics

Imply that You’re a Busy Person

Busy, unavailable

If a narcissist is trying to get back into your life or wants to be way more involved than what you’re comfortable with, you need to make yourself unavailable.

Let them know that you’re busy and over time they’ll get the message that you’re not available as a source of narcissistic supply for them. Because, let’s be honest, that’s all they want. It’s not like they’re looking for a deep and genuine connection.. they just want to feed.

Examples of “I’m not available” texts:

  • “I’m not going to be able to catch up on Saturdays anymore. I’ve got sporting commitments with my teammates.”
  • “Gosh, I’m just so busy with work. Life is hectic!”
  • “I’m really loving this new art course I’m doing, it’s created a whole new project for me that’s taking up all of my time and focus.”

Don’t Encourage ‘Word Salad’

Narcs are masters at twisted, convoluted discussions, which take you down a rabbit warren of topics, completely unrelated to the last and designed to leave you dazed and confused.

When someone is confused, they start to question their own version of events and are much easier to manipulate.

A word salad text bounces from one topic to the next and is filled with false compliments sandwiched between insults. They will be subtly telling you that you need to be accountable for things that they should actually be taking responsibility for (but refuse to).

You know you’re receiving a word salad text when you feel the need to defend yourself against accusations of things you’re sure you’ve never done. There will intentionally be ten different points throughout the text that the narcissist will be trying to get you to address.

If you’re not sure how to respond to a narcissist’s text that is a long-winded storybook, the best way is to not even acknowledge their web of well-spun BS.

They are usually trying to shift the focus off one singular topic that you were originally trying to discuss. It’s all one big grand distraction.

Take it back to that original topic, keep your word length short and stick to the facts.

If they refuse to look at the original topic and continue to hit you with word salads, end the conversation. You’re not playing their game.

Examples of how to respond to a ‘word salad’ text:

  • “None of that is relevant to the topic we are talking about.”
  • “Back to the actual topic we’re discussing.”
  • “If you are choosing to avoid staying on topic, we’ll have to discuss it another time.”

Leave it as ‘Unread’

Narcissist Text Message

Given that narcissists expect everyone to be available for them at all times, letting them know that you’re not one of those people is extremely powerful for you.

If you don’t want to engage with the narcissist or have them see that you’re available, you can simply not respond to their message by leaving it as ‘unread.’

If you’re still in low contact with the narcissist, you can read it later when it suits you.

If you’re in No Contact with the narcissist, just leave it as ‘unread’ forever more. The fact that they’re not getting through to you will infuriate them because they will have completely lost control over you.

Do Not Defend or Justify

Throughout a relationship or friendship with a narcissist, we are primed to feel like we always need to defend our position or justify ourselves against the narcissist’s false accusations and blame-shifting.

The truth is, you do not need to defend or justify yourself in any way to the narcissist. You do not owe them a damn thing.

If they throw accusations at you, do not even address those topics. They aim to get you caught up in their false reality where they can lump all of the blame onto you, effectively avoiding any accountability themselves.

Not happening Jan!

Start with a Compliment

Texting a Narcissist

If you absolutely must remain in contact with the narcissist (maybe they’re a boss, coworker or parent of your child), you might find yourself in situations where you need them to be on board with you.

If you were to just outright ask for their help, they couldn’t be less interested unless there’s something in it for them. This is why you need to phrase the text in such a way that they immediately feel adored (please pass the spew bucket…) and important.

In these types of scenarios, as icky as it can feel, starting the conversation with a compliment will flatter the narcissist’s ego and make them much more pliable to your needs.

Remember, this is not about handing over your life force energy to the narcissist, it’s simply about making the transaction easier and safer for yourself.

Examples of compliment text messages:

  • “You did such a good job with that project last week. I was wondering if you could weigh in and lend some of your expertise to my team?”
  • “The kids really love it when you go swimming with them. Are you able to take them to their lessons again this week?”

No Contact!

Above all else, my most favourite way to respond to a narcissist’s text is to go No Contact.

At the end of the day, the narcissist will never ever change. They will never see things from your perspective and they are incapable of having any type of authentic relationship with anybody.

Because of this, they will continue to walk through life gaslighting, invalidating, manipulating and smearing others to prop themselves up.

If you hope to achieve any kind of real or trustworthy connection with the narcissist, you’ll be sorely disappointed and crushed every single time.

If you do not need to have a narcissist in your life, I highly recommend removing them. While the narc is still in your sphere, they will continue to try and extract your precious life force energy, which they do not appreciate, let alone deserve.

Release the Fear

Release Fear, Freedom, Let go

When we’re in a relationship or friendship with a narcissist, it’s normal to fear the wrath of their reactions if you don’t behave exactly the way they want you to behave. Heck, half the time you don’t even know what it is that they want! The goalposts are forever moving, just to keep you on your toes.

However, the most amazing thing happens when you no longer have them in your life in any position of significance… you don’t need to fear them anymore.

Narcissists rely heavily on tapping into people’s biggest fears and insecurities and use those very wounds to control them.

Once you are free of the narcissist (and even if they are still in your life for whatever reason) I highly recommend turning inward, meeting your deep traumas and releasing them. By you releasing your inner wounds, narcissists will no longer have any fodder to work with.

As you begin to shift the stuck energy out of your body, you will notice that your fear of the narcissist and what they might say or do to you will start to wane. The more inner work you do, the less you fear the narcissist and the less power they will hold over you.

You don’t even need to say a word to the narcissist, everything will shift on an energetic level. They will feel that you’re no longer available for them to plug into for life force energy and they will have to trot to find another source of supply.

This is the single most successful way I’ve been able to truly reclaim my spiritual sovereignty and lead a life of true unconditional love and freedom. I still have a narcissistic mother and a narc ex, who’s the father of my children. But, they no longer own or control me due to the energetic work that I’ve done.

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Narcissists and Texting

Text replies that will disarm the narcissist

If you need to reply to a narcissist’s text, the most powerful thing you can do is to keep it simple and stay fully detached from any emotionality around it. Because, it’s within that emotion that the narc can hook you, pour salt into your wounds, manipulate you and spit you out the other end. Don’t allow them that pleasure.

Please be aware that none of these phrases will get the narcissist to see things from your perspective. That will never happen and you have to let go of the need for recompense. This isn’t about closure or recognition, it’s about setting firm boundaries and not playing into their hands.

Say a few factual words, straighten your crown and walk away. Don’t let them reel you back into their web with the insults and accusations they may hurl back at you.

Here are some text replies that will disarm the narcissist:

  • “We can agree to disagree.”
  • “That is not my concern.”
  • “You’ll have to talk to [insert appropriate person/ authority] on that matter.”
  • “I disagree, but we both have the right to our own opinions.”
  • “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
  • “I can see that you thoroughly believe that, however my belief is different.”
  • “I hear what you’re saying.”
  • “I recognise that you’re feeling sad/ hurt/ angry.”
  • “I’m happy to listen to what you’d like out of the situation and I’d like for you to do the same for me.”
  • “Thanks for letting me know.”
  • “We will have to have this conversation another day once you’ve had the chance to calm down.”
  • “I won’t carry on with this conversation if you choose to continue putting me down/ calling me names.”
  • “How you choose to react is not my responsibility.”
  • “Your anger is not my responsibility.”
READ: 13 Things that Make a Narc PANIC!

Why do narcissists ignore texts?

Narcissist Ignoring Texts

Isn’t it funny how narcissists will often ignore texts from other people, yet all hell breaks loose if they are ever ignored?

Narcissists are the epitome of “do as I say, not as I do.”

Here are some of the reasons narcissists ignore texts:

  • They’re punishing you for behaviour they do not like
  • They’re busy with other supply and don’t deem you or your text as being of any importance
  • There’s nothing in it for them
  • They want to remain in the position of power
  • They want and expect you to chase them
  • They’re withholding communication from you so that when they giveth back, you’ll feel such relief that everything is ‘okay’ again, you’ll forget/ ignore any bad behaviour on their part (read more about Trauma Bonding below)
READ: Why Narcs Won’t Give Closure

What happens if you ignore the narcissist’s text?

Interestingly, one of the narcissist’s biggest wounds is ‘fear of abandonment.’ Their ego will see being ignored as a direct rejection of self, which it does not want the spotlight to be shone on.

Since they absolutely refuse to look at their deep inner wounding, they will immediately project their wounds onto the outside world, as a way of avoiding the very existence of said wounds.

When narcissists project, they superimpose their own negative feelings and actions onto someone else. In their distorted reality, they now see you as the cause of any hurts and pains, rather than recognising that it’s from within themselves.

So, when you ignore the narcissist, a narcissistic injury will be triggered within them, which they will then project onto you.

It’s all your fault!

Get ready for all sorts of negativity to come hurtling towards you, because now the narcissist needs to justify to themselves exactly why you are the cause of this, rather than taking responsibility for themselves and their own actions.

Here’s what can happen when you ignore a narcissist’s text:

  • Silent treatment – they’ll proceed to ignore you, expecting that you’ll go crawling back to them
  • Fury – they’ll send you angry messages, expecting to know where you are and why you’re ignoring them
  • Invalidations – they’ll feel the need to devalue you and chip away at your self-worth in order to punish you
  • Arrive unannounced – they may come your house or work without warning and put you on the spot
  • Fake worry – they’ll pretend to be really concerned about you, using guilt to get you to stop ignoring them
  • Entitlement – they’ll use the whole “how dare you do this to me” tactic
  • Smear you – they’ll rewrite the storyline by smearing you to all and sundry so that no one will believe your truth
  • New supply – if you’re not available anymore, they’ll move on to a new supply because they cannot go without their drug
READ: What to Expect if You Block the Narc?

How can you tell if someone is narcissistic over text?

Unfortunately, narcissists don’t show their true colours until you’re well and truly hooked and unable to leave. That is purely by design my friend.

However, once you know what you’re looking for, some telltale signs will be a dead giveaway of the narcissist behind the phone.

How to tell if someone is narcissistic over text:

  1. Selfish conversation – it’s always about them. They’ll rarely enquire about how you are and even if they do ask, they won’t respond to what you say.
  2. Push/ Push – they’ll be hot and cold with their interactions with you. One minute they’re all encompassing and pulling you in, the next minute they’re pushing you away and you have no idea why.
  3. Feigned care – they’ll pretend to care, yet their words do not match up with their actions.
  4. Ghosting – they’ll ghost you randomly, then pop back in as though nothing happened.
  5. Invalidations – half compliments backed up beside passive aggressive put downs, intentionally destined to hurt you.
  6. Over the top – when narcs are overcompensating or trying to hook you in, they’ll be sickeningly over the top. It’ll just feel like it’s too much.
  7. Too fast, too soon – slapping a label on your relationship or making moves that are wayyy too quick.
  8. Make you do all the work – they’ll make you do all of the chasing and not reciprocate.

I hope you’ve been able to gain some clarity on how you can best respond to a narcissist’s text messages for your circumstances. It’s not easy, given how infuriatingly manipulative narcs can be.

The most important thing is to be able to stand strong in your truth, knowing that if things don’t feel right with someone else, they’re not right. It all comes down to self-worth and what you will and won’t accept in your life.

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3 thoughts on “16 Tips! How to Respond to a Narcissist’s Text & Disarm Them”

  1. “I’m sorry you feel that way”, is not an apology, as echoed by many psychologists who specialize in NPD/Cluster B personality disorders. Suggesting to use this as a response to a narc, is something you may wish to reconsider for your readers, as that is “narcish” as well.

  2. I understand your point, however, the idea is not to apologise to the narcissist, as we have nothing to apologise for. It’s simply a way of acknowledging their words but closing down the conversation with them and no longer engaging with their mind games.

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