5 Ways to Set Boundaries With a Narcissist

Man with crossed arms

Dealing with and having relations with a narcissist can be a lot.

It is probably easier to avoid narcissists.

This may not be possible as they could be your family members like your spouse, parents or siblings, your colleagues or friends.

You may need to develop ways in which you can relate to them better. It is necessary to set boundaries with narcissists.

This helps to guide your relationship with the narcissist.

Boundaries are foreign words to a narcissist as they will constantly try to override your decision and make you feel powerless.

Narcissists refer to persons with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

NPD is a mental health condition.

Truthfully, support for narcissistic people is encouraged as they are people like us, and they do not also have it all rosy for them.

They may not intentionally keep trying to be malicious.

They just do not know how to respect your boundaries due to their issues.

Setting boundaries in your relationship with a narcissist may not be easy but it is encouraged.

Ways to set boundaries include defining the limits, prioritizing yourself, and having an exit plan.

In setting boundaries, you need to know the limit and what lines can and cannot be crossed.

Always prioritise yourself as narcissists are used to always having their way at the detriment of others.

Also, be ready to leave the relationship if it is unhealthy and hurtful to you.

Also, being calm and being firm and assertive in your relationship with narcissists are ways to set boundaries with a narcissist.

You need to know how to be calm and when to ignore the narcissist. Silence could douse the narcissist's rage.

Also, do not allow the narcissist to overshadow your views and preferences. State your opinions and stand by them.

The following are ways to set boundaries with a narcissist.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Dr. Michelle Palmieri, DSW, LSW

Dr. Michelle Palmieri, DSW, LSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021

Define the Limits

Identifying your limits is the first step in setting boundaries with a narcissist. Define what is and is not acceptable.

You also need to be staunch with your boundaries.

You also need to know yourself and how much you can be stretched.

Decide what behaviors are acceptable to you and those that are not acceptable.

You would also need to prepare for a situation where the line you've drawn is crossed.

You do not owe the narcissist an explanation or a reason for your boundary set.

Setting boundaries would not go well with the narcissist.

They may call you more names, argue with you, or try to convince you that you are overreacting or being unfair.

They would try to make you feel guilty or intimidated.

Establishing good boundaries may make you feel safer, stronger, and calmer.

Prioritize Yourself

If you are not comfortable with a request, please feel free to say no and always choose your happiness.

This is one of the ways to set boundaries with a narcissist.

It is common for narcissists to prioritize and make unnecessary demands.

However, make a conscious effort to prioritize yourself and say no if the request is going to be detrimental to you.

Learn to focus on yourself.

Prioritizing yourself is a way to set boundaries when you are in a relationship with a narcissist.

If you do not prioritize yourself, you can be easily swept under the non-ending demands of the narcissist.

If a narcissist talks down to you in any way, either through name-calling, or passive-aggressive comments, stand up for yourself.

If you do not like their comments, call them out on it and express your displeasure.

Most likely, they would not make such a comment next time.

Also, feel free to ask for personal space if you feel choked.

Have an Exit Plan

This is one of the ways to set boundaries with a narcissist.

This may be quite difficult because the narcissist maybe your family member or close friend.

It is possible to have a healthy relationship with a narcissist.

However, over time, interaction can become difficult and toxic, and there may be a need to leave the situation.

An easy way to leave a toxic conversation is to create an illusion that you must be somewhere else.

It can be a fake call or a fake appointment.

Always have an exit plan for when you need to remove yourself from a situation.

Having an exit plan will help you to be prepared to end the interaction if the conversation feels unhealthy.

You do not owe an explanation or permission to leave.

Just excuse yourself once you are uncomfortable with the conversation.

Get Matched to the Right Provider

Complete this questionnaire to discover service providers that match your requirements! No need to provide contact information.

Get Matched

Be Calm

Always remain calm in your interaction with narcissists.

To ferment peace when interacting with a narcissist, learn the grey rock approach.

This approach means that you choose to respond in a flat, calm, emotionless manner.

You can choose to be blank, and unresponsive to the rage of the narcissist.

A show of vulnerability or emotional reaction to a narcissist may increase the risk that they will put you down even more.

If you do not have the bandwidth at that point in time, better to excuse yourself, change the subject, or set your reaction aside until you can deal with it later.

In enforcing your boundaries and in your interactions with narcissists, it is necessary not to become too emotional or angry.

Your reaction may either fuel the conflict further instead of reducing it.

The person may be trying to get an emotional response out of you, so the grey rock method is a useful tool to keep your cool and uphold your boundaries.

Always try to be calm.

Be Firm and Assertive

In your interactions with narcissists, be blunt, firm, and assertive about what you need and expect.

This is definitely one of the ways to set boundaries with a narcissist.

You may have to put your foot down in your interactions with narcissists as they are notable for always wanting to have their way even at the detriment of others.

Don't let them gaslight you into thinking that you're being overly dramatic.

Also, be direct in your interactions with narcissists.

This is because if they sense that you are trying to be passive-aggressive or indirect, they may use it against you.

To avoid confusion or misinterpretation, it is advisable to be direct regarding your boundaries.


Setting boundaries in your relationship with a narcissist may not be easy, but it is advisable.

Also, support for narcissistic people is encouraged as they may not intentionally keep trying to be malicious.

Ways to set boundaries with a narcissist include defining the limits, prioritizing yourself, having an exit plan, being calm, and being assertive.


Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
July 14th, 2024

overcomers counseling logo

Explore local counseling and psychiatry services to find the tailored support you require. Embark on a journey towards resilience and become an Overcomer with the right professional assistance by your side!

Contact Us

5585 Erindale Dr. Ste 204
Colorado Springs, CO 80918 mailing
(719) 345-2424 office
(719) 888-5022 text
(855) 719-2549 fax

Business Hours (Provider's hours may vary)

 Sunday   Closed
 Monday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Tuesday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Wednesday    8:00am - 5:00pm
 Thursday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Friday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Saturday  Closed