Responding to a narcissist’s text message can be tricky. On the one hand, you don’t want to give them the satisfaction of getting a reaction from you. On the other hand, ignoring them completely might just make them escalate their attempts to get your attention. The best course of action is usually somewhere in the middle.
The Internet and social media have afforded the public the anonymity to do or say whatever they want, hiding behind a mask. This has brought to life the narcissistic personality in most of us.
However, dealing with a real-life narcissist is altogether a different matter. Those with narcissistic personality disorder are on a plane of their own, unimaginable to the rest.
Often you don’t know their narcissistic traits until it is too far gone and you have already engaged with them. By the time you realize their true colors, you are already too invested in them to back out.
Dealing with a narcissistic person in person is bad enough. Things may go from bad to worse when a narcissistic person decides to text you. When the conversation is happening over text messages, it gives the narcissistic person the extra advantage of not having to face you.
Texts from a narcissistic may sound illogical and disconnected to you because it is so. Their sense of logic is alien to a normal person. Trying to make sense of these texts can be hard but responding to them is harder. You don’t know what will end up triggering them and drawing them into further such texts.
That doesn’t mean you can play safe by ignoring the texts. That may incite them further. But there are times when silence is the best response.
If you are finding yourself in such a dilemma and unable to figure out how to respond to a narcissist’s text message, read on. In this article, you will find everything you need to know about texting a narcissist. Here, you will also get to know how to identify narcissist texts and how to deal with them.
Examples of narcissist text messages
Unless you are aware of their narcissistic personality disorder, it is often hard for a regular person to identify narcissistic tendencies from a single text message. Here are some tips to help you do this.
You feel anxious and on the edge, while texting a narcissist. You may want to block them, but sadly that is not an option for you.
A narcissist chooses every word of the text carefully to give themselves an ego or an image boost. Their texting style tends to be fake or manipulative. As texting gives them enough time to come up with the kind of response they want, texting a narcissist can be immensely challenging.
Ghosting, gaslighting, and relentless bombardment are typical texting patterns of narcissists. They are known to often play cat and mouse narcissist texting games with their victims. They are skillful enough to create an alternate reality for themselves as well as you. The trouble with engaging with a narcissist is that you may lose track of your own sanity and reality.
Besides being incoherent and rambling, narcissist texts are often overloaded with extreme emotions. Even though they are the ones seeking your validation, they are cunning enough to make you feel anxious and jittery.
These examples will help you understand various ways a narcissist may try to trap you using text messages.
Bombardment: “Hey!” “Are you there?” “Why aren’t you responding?” “What is happening?” “OMG! ARE YOU GHOSTING ME?” (texts coming at 10-second intervals)
Declaration of true love: “Nobody understands me as you do.”
Overly dramatic: “I am feeling like shit. How are you?”
Order you around: “Come and pick me up now.”
Insults: “How do you manage to stay in that dirty house? Do something about it or move out. If you want help let me know. I am ready to do anything to get you out of that s**thole.”
All caps: “I AM DONE WITH THE BOSS AND THIS JOB. YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED TODAY. I DARE YOU TO GUESS.”
Make you feel bad: “We should have a serious conversation about your eating habits. If you are hell-bent on continuing the same, the gym membership is a waste of money. There is no easy way of saying this. You need to do something drastic to get into shape.”
Playing ping-pong with emotions: “I love you to the moon and back.” “My body is aching for you.” “I need you now!” “Tone it down. I am busy. Switching off the phone.”
Word salad: “Hey babe! I saw a lovely couple today and it got me thinking about us. I know I have made some mistakes. Sorry. I have never been with someone as sensitive as you. I promise to be more careful in the future. You know that I want to grow old with you. I may have trouble adjusting to your lifestyle and trusting you at times. I am trying hard to be a better person. I do feel jealous when you spend time with others. I know, I should accept you as you are. Maybe both of us need to change for the better. Can you do this for our sake? After all that I have been doing for us, at least meet me halfway. I am sure we can be the envy of our friends.”
Fake emergency: “I don’t feel well. Just letting you know.”
Juicy gossip: “You won’t believe what I heard. Wait until we meet next time.”
Midnight drama: “Hey! Are you asleep?”
Create trouble: Disturbing images and videos of abuse or violence or things you dislike
Ghost in the middle of texting: They stop responding in the middle of a conversation so that you will express your concern. After a while, they will be back saying, “Got busy with stuff. What’s up with you?”
Wrong recipient: They will send personal or even seductive texts only to come back later with “Sorry! Wrongly sent”.
15 Ways to Respond to a Narcissist Text Message
As each narcissist and their narcissistic traits are different, it is hard to generalize the response to a narcissist’s text message. However, here are a few tips and suggestions that you may find helpful.
1. Figure out their reason
If you know them well enough, you may be able to identify the motive behind their texts. Then, you can frame an appropriate response.
2. Decide whether to respond
There are times when no response is considered the best response. There are times when you respond, it will make matters worse for you. Don’t feel compelled to respond to the texts.
3. Maintain positivity
A narcissist tends to look at the worst aspect of anyone or any situation. Instead of agreeing or disputing, you can point out the positive side of it. If this is not a choice, keep neutral. The “it is what it is” attitude.
4. Set your boundaries
Don’t allow a narcissist to dictate how quickly you should respond to their texts. Also, don’t let them bully you into being available for them 24×7. Being a narcissist, they would expect you to make expectations for them. Stand firm on the limits.
5. Keep your emotions in check
A narcissist will try to bait you by playing with your emotions. You should resist the urge to take the bait and play right into their hands.
6. Respond to a message at a time
When you are being bombarded with messages, no matter the content of the messages, respond to only one message. Make it as simple and short as possible.
7. Try to avoid long discussions over text
A narcissist may use texting to escape the need to say things to you face-to-face. Don’t play along or allow them this opportunity.
8. Disengage if they are vying for a conflict
Narcissists often use texts to start an argument. They are too cowardly to say the same in person. If they want to indulge in narcissistic abuse, go silent.
9. Stick to “yes” or “no”
When a narcissist is trying to draw you into an argument or a lengthy discussion, respond with either “yes or “no”. Single syllable replies are very helpful in keeping the situation under control. However, you need to control your urge to explain.
10. Don’t explain
Even when a narcissist demands an explanation from you, resist your tendency to relent and explain. If you do this, you will get dragged into deep waters that you may find difficult to get out of.
11. Disregard love bombing
A narcissist may try to lure you with nostalgic memories of happy times. They may do this to get you back after a breakup. If you don’t want to reconcile, ignore the advances.
12. Return the compliment
A narcissist may try to order you around, asking you to do things for them. You may do the same with them but without letting them know that you are wise to their plans.
13. Don’t respond to dramas, games, and gaslighting
There is no way you can respond to narcissist texting games correctly. Anything you say will land you in trouble. Avoid this by keeping silent.
14. Don’t react
A narcissist is always keen to get a reaction from you and draw you into the conversation or argument. Your silence is also taken as a reaction to the text. Keep calm and keep your response short and to the point.
15. Block their number
This is the last resort. If you think you can’t handle them or you don’t want to have them in your life, blocking them is the best choice for you. It will give you a respite from their relentless texts.
You need to combine your knowledge about the person with your common sense to figure out the right response. In case you decide to stay silent, they may feel enraged by this and their text assault may go up in intensity and volume. Or they may make you feel guilty. Narcissistic abuse comes in various sizes and shapes.
In worst-case scenarios, a narcissist may use common contacts or other means of communication to continue the conversation. Then, it is up to you to draw the line firmly.
No matter what happens, don’t blame yourself for the turn of events.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends! And if you want to continue taking power away from a narcissist, check out our article, How to Take Control Away from a Narcissist: It’s full of tips and tricks to help you regain control.
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