Dealing with narcissists can be torturous, daunting, and at times, discouraging. Narcissists have a way of making you feel like you’re doing everything wrong and like you’re failing at respecting yourself, as well as respecting your rules. Now, what’s the tea on how to make a narcissist respect you?
Narcissists lack the ability to respect you, but there are tips and tricks you can use to get them to back off. We tend to throw the term ‘narcissist’ around like it’s nothing, but real narcissists suffer from a mental health disorder that makes it difficult for them to respect others around them.
People who suffer from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) display an exaggerated sense of self-importance, self-confidence, and entitlement. What that means is that narcissists find it hard to respect people around them because they’re too busy demanding respect from the same people.
What you need to know about narcissists is that, while it’s incredibly challenging to build a healthy relationship with them, it’s not impossible. With the right tools and information, you can learn how to live (or coexist) with a narcissist without losing your mind every single day. We’ve got your back!
We’ve rounded up 10 powerful tips and tricks on how to make a narcissist respect you, so you can feel empowered to take back control of the situation and reach a healthier place in your relationship.
Our top tips on how to make a narcissist respect you
1. Be aware that they lack the ability to respect you
We already mentioned that people with NPD aren’t necessarily able to respect you the way you want to be respected. Narcissists tend to think that they’re better than everyone and that prevents them from truly seeing the value that other people bring to the table, too.
Needless to say, that’s one of the reasons why people can’t stand working with narcissists (or cohabitating with them). When you’re trying to figure out how to make a narcissist respect you, make sure you’re mindful of the fact that showing respect can be challenging for people with NPD.
2. Keep your distance
Making a narcissist respect you might be tricky, but that doesn’t mean that you need to devote all your time trying to play the same game they’re playing. One strategy that seems to work for everyone might be to simply keep a certain degree of physical and emotional distance.
Of course, you want to keep them close enough to keep the peace between the two of you, but not so close that you give them the opportunity to blatantly disrespect you and your rules, regulations, and boundaries.
Don’t let them close until you’re sure you can trust them – but remember that narcissists are great at gaslighting, manipulating, and even love-bombing you, too.
3. Keep your independence
Whether you’re dealing with a narcissistic family member, a colleague, or even a romantic partner, it’s imperative for you to keep your independence – both for your mental health and your game plan to get a narcissist to respect you.
Narcissists tend to value people based on what they bring to the table, whether that’s because they admire them or because they’re threatened by them. When you’re financially or emotionally independent, you’re more valuable to them, which means you’re worthy of respect.
When you become needy and dependent on them, that’s when they start treating you with disrespect and disregard.
4. Be confident, assertive, and self-assured
In order to make a narcissist respect you, it’s important to understand what it is that they value the most. If you possess the traits that narcissists admire, you might be able to get them to admire you, envy you, or even respect you.
Narcissists typically admire the traits they want to possess, too – so, you need to be confident, assertive, and self-assured to get a narcissist to notice you. If you happen to win a narcissist’s attention with these traits, though, know that you need to keep up with them, well, forever.
A narcissist’s attention is oftentimes temporary, and their loyalty is arguable.
5. Show them that you have something they don’t
A narcissist will always appreciate someone admirable, valuable, and adored because that’s who they want to be associated with. When you’re trying to figure out how to make a narcissist respect you, remember that narcissists believe that they’re special, superior to everyone else, and worthy of respect.
After all, one of the best ways to get a narcissist to respect you might be to figure out what makes them respect themselves. Show them that you have something they don’t, and they’ll fight to get your attention, spend time with you, and learn from you – without blatantly admitting that to you, of course.
We do need to warn you that it can be difficult to distinguish between genuine respect and manipulation.
6. Put yourself first
Whether you’re dealing with a narcissistic relationship at work or home, putting your own mental, emotional, and physical health should be something you don’t compromise on.
Whatever the nature of your relationship might be, understand that you can treat a narcissist with respect and empathy without stomping all over your rules, regulations, and boundaries. Never hesitate to make decisions that protect you solely because you’re worried about disrespecting or disregarding a narcissist.
Work on your relationship with other people, set aside some time to work on yourself, and always remember your worth. While you might get a narcissist annoyed or aggravated by putting yourself first, chances are you’re going to earn their respect for standing your ground and sticking up for yourself.
7. Set clear boundaries
Make a narcissist respect you by setting clear boundaries and sticking to them. Setting boundaries with a narcissist can be challenging, but that shouldn’t stop you from thinking of your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Narcissists will disregard everyone’s feelings if that’s what they want to do, but there are ways in which you can make sure your wishes are being heard.
Make your expectations and limitations crystal clear. Communicate your boundaries calmly and directly. Let them know what’s going to happen if your boundaries aren’t respected. Persevere.
8. Pick your battles
With narcissists, you win some and you lose some. Knowing when to give up and protect your sanity can make a world of difference when you’re dealing with a person suffering from NPD. Tracking their mood shifts and choosing your days can help you avoid outbursts, conflicts, and unwanted situations.
If you’re willing to take things a step further to get them to respect you, you can track their good days and bad days to know when to strike.
Whether they’re having a good day, you can get them to do you favors, treat you better, and notice your efforts to gain their respect. When they’re having a bad day, you can keep away from them to ensure you don’t step on their toes and ruin your progress.
9. Treat them with respect
Although that can be incredibly difficult, you should always prioritize treating people with NPD with respect. By not feeding into their toxic behaviors, getting into fights with them, and disrespecting them when they’re at a low point in their life, you can earn their respect – or at least their version of respect.
When you acknowledge their struggles and grievances, for example, you can disarm them and make them more likely to listen to you and respect you.
10. Don’t let their toxic behavior get to you
While you might be tempted to show them their place when they start attacking you, manipulating you, or gaslighting you, you’re better off maintaining a sense of control. When you recognize their toxic behaviors, make sure to ignore them, disengage, and remove yourself from the situation.
Maintain emotional distance when you need to and remember to avoid getting into arguments with them, trying to prove them wrong, or spending hours and hours trying to prove your point. Learning to spot damaging or unhealthy behavior will give you an upper hand and earn you respect.