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31 Responses — How to Respond to a Narcissist Text

My friend James asked me a question about the NPD personality the other day. He said, “Ryan, do you know how to respond to a narcissist text in a way that kind of shuts them down?” Well, I definitely do. Unfortunately, you might be experiencing a heck of a lot of manipulation right now. It’s time to push back!

The core issue with the NPD is that they tend to live in their own reality. Their reality is one that only thinks about themselves. So don’t be surprised when you get a text from them that furthers that idea.

For you, it will only really cause frustration and hurt. Do you really want that for yourself? You have to make a choice… But if you’re engaging in text messaging with the narcissist, try to follow some of these rules.

narcissism spongebob gif

Rules for Texting a Narcissist

—How to respond to a narcissist text

1: Think about yourself, too

The NPD is only thinking about themselves. The best response to this is to simply treat them like you want to be treated. Or decide that you only want to treat them the way they treat you.

That’s when things usually become toxic. Or when the relationship really becomes unhealthy—when you decide to stoop to their levels.

2: You can always shut the conversation down

A great way to make sure that you don’t get hurt is to simply disengage. You don’t have to have a conversation with them. That choice is up to you.

What makes this especially hard is that the NPD knows exactly the topics to talk about that is going to get a rise out of your emotions. You’ll need to control these emotions the best you can.

classic narcissist gif - how to respond to a narcissist text

3: Don’t give them any emotional response

The emotional response is WHAT the NPD is looking for. It shows them that they control you. If you don’t give them that, usually—the attacks continue.

These attacks will take a toll on you. And will make you feel somewhat “crazy” as well. The only way to really feel NOT crazy is to control yourself.

See also: Do narcissists know they are narcissists?

4: Step away from the relationship if you need to

Setting boundaries is the key to a successful relationship with a narcissist. In most cases, you won’t be able to do this well. It’s simply too much if you don’t suffer from the same mental issues.

The likelihood is that you’ll end up wanting to distance yourself from that person.

Know that it’s absolutely okay to do that. Remember that it’s okay to do that: both physically distance yourself as well as do it through text message.

31 Responses to a Narcissist Text Message (Examples)—How to Respond to a Narcissist Text!

Here are examples of how to respond to a narcissist by text message!

Being concise

—How to respond to a narcissist! Be concise!

Sure, that works.

Something that doesn’t engage and tells them how it is.

sarah silverman gif on narcissist people

Okay, yes.

Go ahead and repeat this message over and over, it’s okay!


This says, “I’m not really willing to text with you.”

That works for me.

No emotion, that’s a good thing!

Expert advice: According to a study by Nicholas J.S. Day, Michelle L. Townsend, and Brin F. S. Grenyer—screened participants described those with narcissistic personalities as having “grandiosity.” Or “having a requirement for admiration, showing arrogance, entitlement, envy, exploitativeness, grandiose fantasy, a lack of empathy, and self-importance.”

That’s okay.

You agree. And that’s all that matters. Everything else is simply not important to discuss.

Thanks for asking.

Appreciate you doing the right thing. That’s exactly what this text message reply says to the narcissist.

Appreciate it.

I’m willing to be a good person. You don’t have to be, though.

Not giving any emotion

—How to respond to a narcissist! Don’t give them any emotion!

I’m good about that.

You’re confirming that you’re okay with something… Bottom line.

If that’s the plan, okay.

Thanks for thinking about me—that’s what this text message portrays.

I don’t want to talk about that right now.

I’m not comfortable with this. That’s what this polite text message reply says to the NPD personality in your life!

See also: How dating a narcissist changes you

I’m busy and can’t talk right now.

Please show me the respect that I deserve. That’s what this text message says to the other person.

It’s not the right time to discuss that, sorry.

You just simply won’t engage in the games—that’s all this is about.

Expert advice: Being in a narcissistic relationship can be very damaging. You may start to lose respect for others. Or certain behaviors of others that the narcissistic personality doesn’t value. Typically, the narcissistic personality will only appreciate those who serve them, not a mutually beneficial relationship.

not today narcissist

Setting boundaries

—How to respond to a narcissist! Setting the right boundaries.

This conversation isn’t respectful to me.

I’m telling you what is and isn’t okay with me. That’s the best way to text the narcissist.

I’m not willing to discuss this with you.

You are crossing a boundary with me, and I’m telling you in a polite way.

This goes beyond my boundaries, sorry.

Something is really not okay with me here. I’d like for you to take another look at what you’re describing.

The idea you’re proposing really crosses a line with me, sorry.

You are hurting me right now. That’s what this text message says to the NPD!

Not defending yourself

—How to respond to a narcissist! Don’t defend yourself!

I can see you’re trying to hurt me, I refuse to engage in that.

You don’t need to defend yourself or your feelings. Only you are the one responsible for that. This is a great way to say “no” to them.

We’re not engaging in this gameplay any longer, sorry.

I’m onto your games—that’s what this text message says, here.

This seems like you want to play a game; I’m out of the game.

You can do this to yourself as much as you want. But I don’t want to do this to myself!

Is this how you treat people?

Make them feel ashamed for how they are treating other people.

Why do you treat people this way?

You’re confused about why they would be treating someone in this fashion. So tell them that!

Why didn’t you just tell me this sooner?

Give the NPD the opportunity to change their behavior. They probably won’t, but that’s okay!

Staying on topic

—How to respond to a narcissist!

Why did we just change what we’re talking about?

Stop trying to manipulate me. I’m not willing to be manipulated.

This sounds like I’m being manipulated. That’s a no thank you.

I’m telling you straight up. That is “no thanks” when you behave this way.

No thank you, I’m not interested in this conversation.

It’s my choice to spend my time here or not. And I’m choosing not to spend my time on it.

I can’t follow what you’re saying.

You’re not engaging with the twisted reality that the NPD lives within.

Could we talk in person and show the relationship some respect?

Make them feel ashamed. It’s okay!


Fact checked:
Board reviewed by Marianne Tomlinson, LCSW (Couples and Family Therapy). Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Learn more.

About the author

Ryan Sanderson (LCSW) Ryan is a game and relationship enthusiast who enjoys all things quizzes, games, fun, love, relationships, and family. He's a licensed social worker and helps families, couples, and children in need. He's spoken about love and relationships on Salon.com, Forbes, and Mirror, to name a few.

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