10 Ways to Unnerve a Narcissist

  • Nov 16, 2023
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How to unnerve a narcissist

Narcissism is a mental health disorder that is characterized by the presence of feelings exacerbated self-love that is reflected in excessive care of body image and the skills that they have. As a general rule, these people believe they are superior to others and try to highlight the differences through mistreatment and pejorative comments. Likewise, narcissists try to dominate the situations they experience through manipulative acts that are intended to satisfy their own needs. feelings and present a lack of empathy that prevents them from putting themselves in other people's shoes and understanding their feelings, thoughts and behaviors. In other words, they do not have a record of the family, social and work environment, which is why the link with this type of personalities can be extremely complex and bring a series of difficulties that interfere with the development of life everyday.

In this Psychology-Online article we will explain how to unnerve a narcissist.

You may also like: What is the worst thing you can say to a narcissist?


  1. Impose limits
  2. Request evidence
  3. Show security
  4. Avoid it
  5. seem distant
  6. Use irony
  7. Take center stage
  8. Confront it with your own words
  9. surprise him
  10. Laugh at unexpected moments

Impose limits.

Narcissists are people who intend to dominate situations according to their own interests. To achieve what they want, they usually use specific strategies. However, these manipulation tactics can be countered if imposed clear and concise boundaries.

In this sense, it is important to be firm in your decisions to avoid manipulations.

Request evidence.

Narcissists tend to control situations in ways that work in their favor. Sometimes, they seek to achieve goals without any basis to support their statements or actions. For this reason, it is essential demand proof about what they are saying or doing.

If the narcissist's response is ambiguity or uncertainty, it could be a clear sign of bewilderment on their part.

Show confidence.

Narcissists often try to pressure and manipulate people who reflect insecurities. In this way, the lack of confidence that appears in victims is a vehicle for the narcissist to highlight their virtues. Given this, one way to counteract the negative consequences is show confidence, an attitude that can disconcert the narcissist.

If you need help with this aspect, here we explain How to improve self-esteem.

Avoid it.

Instead of confronting a narcissistic person who won't give in to his ideas, it is preferable to choose to avoid it. Distancing yourself from this type of personality helps you have your own thoughts and not fall into the narcissist's manipulations. In turn, setting clear boundaries and maintaining emotional distance can be essential to protecting yourself from the toxicity that often accompanies interacting with narcissistic people.

This approach not only preserves peace of mind, but also facilitates the building of more authentic and enriching connections in other areas of life. In the following article you will find information about How the narcissist feels about no contact.

How to Unnerve a Narcissist - Avoid It

Appear distant.

In most cases, these people seek constant approval of their image and actions. When they get a favorable response, this increases their self-esteem and they become dominant individuals. However, appearing distant implies avoid comments that highlight your values and/or reject the activities they propose.

However, it is important to keep in mind that emotional distance is not always easy to maintain, since Narcissists often look for ways to reestablish their influence and regain the attention they believe deserve. In this sense, set clear boundaries and maintaining assertive communication can be crucial to preserving emotional autonomy and protecting yourself from narcissistic manipulation.

Use irony.

Irony is a response that contains a sarcastic tone about some event, situation or person. On some occasions, it involves expressing the opposite of what you want to communicate. In this way, the use of irony avoid direct confrontation with those people who cause discomfort. In the case of narcissistic people, this resource usually disorients them significantly.

In the context of interactions with narcissistic individuals, this resource tends to disconcert them significantly.

Take center stage.

Narcissists feel vulnerable to the loss of control in any situation they face because they see their integrity threatened and fear that their insecurities will be discovered. Although they give an image of bravery and confidence, they are generally fearful and doubtful people.

For this same reason, steal the limelight To a narcissist it can be another way to noticeably unnerve him.

Confront it with your own words.

If the narcissistic person is talking about a topic that gives him security and some inconsistency arises in his words, another alternative is to make him notice what he has mentioned. In this sense, confrontation is a tool feared by them because can expose lies and manipulations What do they use.

On the other hand, it is an implicit way of marking a mistake, which causes them to lose the central axis in life.

Surprise him.

In these situations, surprises are not aimed at generating joy for the narcissist. On the contrary, the main objective is to disorient the planning that may occur in the face of some events that happen.

When a narcissist is blindsided by a plan that threatens his preconceived ideas about how to dominate a situation, he will experience a loss of control. This lack of predictability It generates confusion and discomfort, causing you to lose direction in your decisions.

Laugh at unexpected moments.

When the narcissist relates an event that is intended to distress another person, one of the most effective answers It's laughter. In general, this tends to destabilize him and plunges him into a state of restlessness. In other words, when faced with situations that should generate anguish and/or discomfort, choosing to laugh is a way to defend yourself from the narcissist's attacks.

On the other hand, here we explain How to treat a narcissistic parent.

This article is merely informative, at Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to unnerve a narcissist, we recommend that you enter our category of Personal growth and self-help.


  • Serra Undurraga, J. K. TO. (2016). The diagnosis of narcissism: a rational reading. Magazine of the Spanish Association of Neuropsychiatry, 36 (129), 171-187.
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