So you need to deal with a narcissist or a toxic person? To avoid losing to them, remember these 5 key ideas (watch the video here):
They want something from you. But they also want to save face. Use this to your benefit. Create tension, show them that “if I give you want you want, you’ll lose face.” Or better: “the fact that you want this gives them impression you’re…”
Create more tension: “I could do what you want, but if I do that, then people will think…”. Or “I’m worried that if I do this, then people will…”
For example: “You want me to cancel my plans with my friends and make up an excuse. But I’m worried that if I do that, it won’t seem credible and they will think you’re just being insecure. Then that would be really embarrassing.”
They’re trying to talk you into something. But if you act confused, they have no grip. “So you want me to do what? Oh, I’m sorry, that just sounds really confusing.”
And walk away.
They are NOT a judge. They’re just a person with an opinion. Be curious about their opinion. Don’t argue against it. Look for the logic. Nearly all of us have flawed thinking. Healthy people want to uncover flaws. Unhealthy people get angry when you do. Shine the spotlight onto them.
Just repeat it, change words if you want. “So you would like me to cancel my evening with my friends and make up a reason for cancelling?” Spell out exactly what they’re asking from you.
Then you can follow-up with a time saving manoeuvre: “I’m sorry, I’m not comfortable deciding now.” or “I see, I need time to think about that.”
For this to work, you MUST be willing to have them attempt to start a conflict. This is a time saving technique, very hepful.
They do it, learn this game too. Agree and find a reason to disagree.
Cancel with my friend? Yes, but then they’ll think you’re insecure. Tell them you’re not? Yes, but they won’t believe me and it will make you look even more insecure. And if they ask, I’ll have to tell them. I could like? Yes, but I’m a terrible liar and I don’t feel comfortable doing that.
So, you’re asking me to cancel with my friends and tell a lie? I’m sorry, I’m not comfortable telling lies.
Why would you want me to cancel anyway in the first place? Because you need my help tonight? But we can’t do the thing tomorrow? I’m sorry, that sounds really confusing.
Listen, I’m really confused, I need time to think about this. Yes, I know I’m meeting them in 2 hours. I just don’t have space to process this right now. So you’ll be upset if I go? Why? Don’t you want me to keep healthy relationships with my friends? I’m sorry, that sounds confusing.