Understanding Narcissistic Tendencies

Communicating with someone who has narcissistic tendencies can be a challenge. Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a persistent need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. Narcissistic individuals have a deep-seated belief that they are superior to others, and they often lack the ability to accept feedback or criticism.

The Traits of Narcissistic Tendencies

Narcissistic tendencies can manifest in numerous ways, and it can be challenging to spot these traits at first. Here are some common traits of narcissistic individuals:

  • Arrogant and boastful behavior
  • An excessive need for attention and admiration
  • An overwhelming sense of entitlement
  • A disregard for the feelings and needs of others
  • A tendency to exploit others for personal gain
  • A lack of empathy or concern for others
  • A belief that they are special and deserve special treatment

How to Communicate with a Narcissistic Individual

Communicating with someone who has narcissistic tendencies can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are some tips for communicating with someone with narcissistic tendencies:

1. Set Boundaries

It’s essential to set clear boundaries when communicating with someone with narcissistic tendencies. Narcissistic individuals often have a difficult time accepting feedback or criticism, and they may become defensive or hostile when confronted. Be clear about what you are and are not willing to tolerate in your interactions with them. Narcissistic individuals may attempt to push boundaries or manipulate situations, so it’s critical to be firm and consistent in enforcing them.

2. Speak With Confidence

When communicating with narcissistic individuals, it’s important to speak with confidence and assertiveness. Narcissistic individuals often respond better to individuals who are confident and assertive, rather than individuals who are submissive or indecisive. Speak calmly but firmly, and avoid becoming emotional or reactive.

3. Avoid Triggers

Narcissistic individuals may have certain triggers that set off their egos, such as feeling criticized, rejected, or humiliated. Try to avoid triggering these individuals when possible, as it can lead to hostile or defensive behavior. Be mindful of your tone and language, and avoid using overly critical or negative language.

4. Use “I” Statements

When communicating with narcissistic individuals, it can be helpful to use “I” statements rather than “you” statements. “I” statements help to depersonalize the situation and communicate your emotions without placing blame or criticism on the other person. For example, instead of saying, “You always make me feel ignored,” try saying, “I feel ignored when I’m not given the opportunity to share my thoughts.”

5. Validate Their Feelings

Although it can be challenging to empathize with individuals who lack empathy themselves, it’s essential to validate their feelings. Narcissistic individuals may have deep-seated insecurities and fears that underlie their behavior. Validating their emotions can help to defuse the situation and build trust.

6. Don’t Expect Change

It’s essential to remember that you cannot change a narcissistic individual’s behavior. Narcissistic tendencies are deeply ingrained and often resistant to change. Instead, focus on managing your interactions with them and being firm in your boundaries.

When to Seek Help

If you’re struggling to communicate with a narcissistic individual, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you develop coping strategies for managing interactions with narcissistic individuals, and they can provide a safe space to discuss your emotions and frustrations.


Narcissistic tendencies can be challenging to navigate, but it’s not impossible. By setting clear boundaries, speaking with confidence, avoiding triggers, using “I” statements, validating their feelings, and not expecting change, you can manage your interactions with narcissistic individuals. Remember to seek professional help if you need additional support.


FAQs About How To Talk To Someone With Narcissistic Tendencies

1. What are narcissistic tendencies?

Narcissistic tendencies refer to a pattern of behaviour that is characterised by self-centeredness, a lack of empathy, and an excessive need for admiration. People with narcissistic tendencies may exhibit grandiosity, a sense of entitlement, and a belief in their own superior abilities.

2. How can I communicate effectively with someone who has narcissistic tendencies?

It’s important to approach someone with narcissistic tendencies with empathy and an open mind. Try to understand their perspective and validate their feelings, while also setting healthy boundaries and being assertive when necessary. Avoid confrontational or critical language, and instead frame your communication in a constructive and positive way.

3. Should I seek professional help when dealing with someone who has narcissistic tendencies?

If you find that you’re struggling to communicate with someone who has narcissistic tendencies, or if their behaviour is causing you significant distress, seeking professional help can be beneficial. A therapist can provide you with strategies for managing difficult conversations, setting boundaries, and maintaining your own well-being in challenging situations.


1. Campbell, W. K., & Miller, J. D. (2011). The handbook of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder: Theoretical approaches, empirical findings, and treatments. John Wiley & Sons.

2. Ogrodniczuk, J. S. (2019). Working with narcissistic personality disorder. Oxford University Press.

3. Stalder, D. R. (2014). Narcissistic personality disorder: A guide for the essential information, symptoms, and treatment. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.