15 Ways to Confuse a Narcissist

Does someone in your life treat you like their own personal entertainment? 

Are you fed up with the narcissist’s grandiose behavior?

It can feel overwhelming, especially when there is no escape from their constant need for attention. 

The key to dealing with a narcissistic person is by outsmarting them.

So, if you are looking to gain the upper hand and fluster the narcissist in your life, then these 15 tactics will definitely confuse the narcissist in your life. 

Come explore these little tricks that may just make all the difference!

What Does It Mean to Confuse a Narcissist?

Confusing a narcissist means doing something that causes them to become frustrated or disoriented.

It could mean making them doubt themselves, disrupting their expectations, and showing them how little control they have over the situation.

Confusing actions can range from something as simple as changing the subject abruptly when they start bragging about their achievements to more complicated tactics like refusing to comply with their demands. 

Confusing them makes them feel uneasy, which takes away their sense of control and power over you or your relationship.

Is It Good To Confuse a Narcissist?

It’s so tempting to confuse a narcissist, especially if you have a thing for revenge and karma. But before jumping into the revenge bandwagon, consider the potential risks and rewards of your actions. 

Here are some points to keep in mind:

Why it might be good to confuse a narcissist:

  • To help you regain power and control of your relationship or the situation at hand.
  • To temporarily disrupt their manipulative tactics and give yourself a brief respite.
  • To reveal the narcissist’s true character and motive to those around you.

Why it’s not a good idea to disorient a narcissist: 

  • It could backfire on you, resulting in the narcissist further manipulating and retaliating against you.
  • When a narcissist feels threatened, they often become extremely volatile. This leaves you at risk of emotional, physical, and psychological abuse. 
  • Flustering them only exacerbates their desire for control, leading to more intense manipulation tactics.
  • Confusing a narcissist may be a short-term strategy, but it won’t solve the underlying issue of their NPD and may even make it worse in the long run.

CAUTION: While you may feel momentarily good after confusing the narcissist in your life, it’s essential to weigh the potential risks and benefits before doing so to avoid potential harm to yourself or those around you.

15 Ways to Confuse a Narcissist

Do you want to disorient and fluster your narcissist? Here are 15 expert-approved tactics that you can use to disarm them:

1. Refuse to Engage in Arguments or Debates

Narcissists flourish on getting into heated debates and arguments just to feed off your reaction.

When they do this, they often know that you will likely cave and give them the emotional reaction they’re looking for, giving them control. 

married couple talking intensely in their white couch how to confuse a narcissist

Instead of having an emotional reaction, remain calm and avoid arguing with the narc. When they start an argument, simply walk away or change the subject.

This will throw them off as they won’t be able to feed off your emotions or manipulate you.

2. Remain Calm and Composed, Even When They Try to Provoke You 

Are you dealing with a narcissist in your life? If so, you probably know that they thrive on attention and control.

They use drama, provocation, and manipulation to evoke emotional reactions from the people in their lives. It also helps them maintain a sense of superiority over others.

But when you remain calm, composed, and collected in their presence, you deny them the emotional reaction they seek. You’ve refused to engage in their game, which leaves their tactics ineffective.

Additionally, staying composed makes you look more confident and in control of the situation, further undermining their sense of power and superiority.

It can also help you to think more clearly and make rational decisions, which is 100 times more difficult when you are emotionally triggered.

3. Change the Subject Abruptly

Narrowing down ways to throw off a narcissist can be difficult, but this simple tactic might work wonders.

When they start talking about anything related to how amazing they are, switch the conversation abruptly and start talking about something else.

Say something like, “Oh, I almost forgot, what happened to our plans for tonight?” or “Hey, how about that new restaurant we wanted to try?”

Abruptly changing the subject will disrupt their current thought process, leaving them momentarily confused and disoriented.

4. Mirror Their Behavior

Mirroring someone’s behavior involves reflecting their actions and words like a mirror would. Try imitating their tone of voice, body language, and communication style.

When done correctly, mirroring can baffle a narcissist as it goes against what they’re expecting from you.

The goal here is to make them feel heard and understood while showing them how their behavior looks from a different perspective.

This will definitely challenge their sense of superiority and control, leaving them feeling uncomfortable and exposed.

girlfriend looking up while man tries to talk to her how to confuse a narcissist

However, it’s essential to use mirroring judiciously and in combination with other techniques. Remember, using this tactic excessively can escalate the situation and make the narcissist more aggressive

5. Never Take Their Criticism Personally

“Can’t you see that you’re too fat? Why don’t you put that piece of pie down and get yourself a gym membership?” or “You will never get a job if you keep dressing like that.”

No matter how harsh or mean the criticism is, NEVER take it personally. Remember, most narcissistic people often use their sharp words as an emotional weapon to manipulate and put you down.

It’s their way of feeding their inflated egos by making themselves feel superior. Do not be a puppet in their game; consider the source and the intentions behind the criticism.

Remember, their criticism is often a projection of their insecurities. So, it may have nothing to do with how they feel about you. 

6. Use Sarcasm and Irony to Convey the Opposite of What You Mean

Narcissists often use sarcasm when talking to their partner (or anyone they want to control). Most of the time, they use it in a condescending way to belittle you.

But you can flip the script by using sarcasm and irony to convey the exact opposite of how you feel.

So, when they make a snarky comment about how you’re always late, reply back with: “Yeah, I’m so reliable and punctual that it’s almost a superpower.”

man in the background observing blonde woman how to confuse a narcissist

Responding with sarcasm makes it clear that their words do not affect you, forcing them to think twice before making their next insensitive remark. 

7. Give Them a Taste of Their Own Medicine

Be creative in your approach and use the narcissist’s tactics against them. Instead of engaging in confrontation or pointing out their hypocrisy, practice your commanding presence and charm.

You can do this by swiftly and confidently reframing the conversation with humor, compassion, and poise.

Narcissists are notorious for trying to one-up you at every turn, so ensure that your responses are positively understated – let them think that they have won without actually giving anything away.

If done correctly, a narcissist may not even realize you were giving them a version of their own medicine.

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8. Try Grey-Rocking

Grey-rocking is a great way to deal with a challenging person like a narcissist. It involves creating a dumb and boring response or attitude so the narcissist doesn’t want to interact anymore.

Grey-Rocking could mean no heated discussions, intense listening, heated debating, or any other kind of engagement. Instead, listen to what they’re saying without taking it personally and respond only with short, simple answers.

Ensure you show no emotion and act like a robot that just wants to get through the conversation as quickly and quietly as possible.

This will help you avoid giving the difficult person the attention they want without seeming rude. It’s the perfect way to remain neutral and protect your energy from all the drama.

9. Proactively Set Boundaries

Every relationship, whether healthy or unhealthy, need boundaries. Setting proactive and clear limits about how you want to be treated is necessary for your mental health.

Unfortunately, narcissists only take boundaries as suggestions and will continue to push them until you set clear boundaries and consistently enforce them. Just like toddlers, they will always test your boundaries to see their limits. 

So, ensure you are clear, firm, and consistent with your boundaries. If you show them you are serious about not tolerating their drama, they will eventually back down and stop trying to manipulate you. 

10. Be Unpredictable in Your Responses

The narcissist views you as their “yes-man.” You’re always willing to bend over backward to please them and fulfill every one of their requests.

It makes them feel in control, giving them a false sense of superiority.

So, if you want to frustrate them, try being unpredictable in how you respond and react to their stories, criticism, and even requests. 

For example, if they expect you to react angrily, try responding with kindness or a joke. Or if they expect you to be submissive, try standing your ground and kindly explain how you feel. 

Being unpredictable will show them that you’re not a pushover, which will definitely throw them off their game. 

11. Pretend that You Don’t Understand What They’re Saying

Pretending you don’t understand what a narcissist is saying can effectively disarm and bewilder them. It’s like hitting the pause button on a conversation they are dominating, giving you a chance to regain control. 

This approach requires careful timing — wait until they have come to the last of their manipulative cycle when they expect a reaction before you adopt an ongoing tone of confusion. 

The beauty of this approach is that it often catches them off guard and leads to an amusing exchange full of unexpected twists.

With every ‘huh?’ or inquisitive look, an air of curiosity replaces their agitated state, making it harder for them to continue with their manipulation tactics.

Before long, they’ll be too distracted or confused to focus on how they want the conversation to end. 

12. Go No-Contact

Going no-contact with a narcissist is a great tactic that can leave them feeling disarmed and perplexed. That’s because it cuts off their access to their most important resource—YOU!

It can also be incredibly empowering for you! Think about it: when you cease to engage on the narcissist’s terms and instead remove yourself from the equation, it pretty much renders them powerless.

Suddenly, they don’t have someone to react to, so their usual tactics lose their potency and become totally ineffective.

On top of this, the shock of suddenly losing their main source of narcissistic supply can throw them into a chaotic state that leaves them disoriented.

Without access to you, they have to find other ways to get their fix. They might even start questioning themselves, something they definitely hate doing.

13. Say “No” to Everything

Practice saying “no” to everything the narcissist proposes. They want you to skip class today so you can hang out with them. Say no. Do they want you to lend them some money? Say no.

Let “NO” become your new favorite word.

It’s the best way to throw a narcissist off balance. Refraining from saying yes perpetually thwarts the narc’s efforts to control you and manipulate your opinion.

The longer they must work at trying to convince or cajole you into agreeing with them, the more frustrated they will become, which is sure to make for an amusing show.

Not only that, if you remain committed to your “no,” the narc’s go-to tactics for getting their own way will eventually fail, leaving them confused and (hopefully) humbled. So why not give it a try?

14. Never Tell a Narcissist Your Goals in Life

If you’re wondering how to confuse a narcissist, start by never sharing your goals and aspirations with them.

Keeping them guessing is an excellent way to disarm and confound them. It’s like taking away their mic and putting them in the back seat – they won’t know what hit them! They lose their power over the situation without being able to control, plan, or manipulate you.

By withholding your goals and plans from a narcissist, you can leave them constantly guessing your next step. Doing this creates an element of the unknown and puts you in the driver’s seat so that you can determine when and how you share your plans.

15. Practice Self-Care

Practicing self-care is a powerful way to combat narcissists. Taking care of yourself shows that you are confident, assertive, and unafraid – three qualities that any narcissist hates! 

Plus, it won’t give them anything new to criticize you on. By practicing good self-care habits, like keeping up with personal hygiene, eating healthy meals, and exercising regularly, you’ll feel better in your own skin, which will only add to your confidence.

If nothing else, try going for a walk once in a while or getting a hobby that makes you happy. Treating yourself with love and respect is the best way to steer clear of those exhausting interactions with people who think only about themselves.

Are You Ready to Disarm That Narcissistic Person in Your Life?

Using a combination of the above strategies can help you effectively confuse and disorient a narcissist, leaving them off-balance and powerless.  

This will be scary or uncomfortable at first, but with practice and commitment, you will learn how to protect yourself.

Remember, the key to success is how well you can stick to your guns!

There are quite a few ways not to let a narcissist get control over you. Like confusing them. Here is how to confuse a narcissist.

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