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What drives narcissists?

15 Typical Examples of Narcissist Text Messages & How to Respond

Anne Duvaux

Confused by the text messages you’re getting from your partner? Do they leave you feeling empty and hollow? If you’re constantly walking on eggshells and trying to second guess them, you could be dealing with examples of narcissist text messages.

What are some text habits of a narcissist?

You might not win with narcissists, but you can refuse to be disrespected. You’ll know when that’s the case because examples of narcissist test messages show them up as who they are. There’s no running away from words once they’re sent.

As psychologist Nina Brown explains in her book Children of the Self-Absorbed, narcissists are “immature, unrealistic and completely self-serving.” Sadly, narcissism is often passed through families as a defense mechanism against trauma. So, narcissist texting habits revolve around them as the central topic.

Narcissists need your love and attention to make them feel important. Without this, they either get angry or charming to bring you back. So, relationship texts from a narcissist may often flip between being overtly amorous to nonexistent.

As they are incredibly self-absorbed, narcissists have no empathy for your feelings. This makes them seem arrogant and demanding or simply cold and distant. As you can imagine, this comes through examples of narcissist text messages.

The impact on you is both damaging and disheartening. Even worse, they make it sound like it’s your fault, meaning that their narcissist texting style leaves you doubting and even hating yourself.

It’s worth noting that narcissism exists on a scale, and a healthy amount of narcissism gets us out of bed. After all, we need to believe in ourselves to get through, for example, job interviews.

Nevertheless, while only around 1% of the population suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, around 1 in 25, or 60 million people, experience narcissistic abuse . The article, reviewed by a psychologist, explains that you can heal with the right therapy and self-help.

What is a conversation like with a narcissist?

Any conversation with a narcissist, including examples of narcissist text messages, feel one-sided. They’ll constantly interrupt you to talk about themselves or their way of doing things. Essentially, their narcissist texting habits revolve around telling their stories.

On the flip side, you get the covert narcissists who appear silently superior. With these examples of a narcissist, text messages will feel as if from out of the blue, without context.

In general, a typical conversation with a narcissist might focus on superficial or material things on the one hand. On the other hand, they judge you or try to manipulate you into their way of thinking.

Although, let’s not forget that narcissism hides a tremendous amount of pain and insecurity underneath it all. As quoted in this article on why narcissists hate themselves, psychologist Ramani Durvasula reminds us that inside, narcissism is about self-loathing and not self-love.

Can this help us find empathy when reading examples of narcissist text messages? After all, it’s much easier not to react when we feel compassion for someone else’s pain and suffering.

Understanding the true meaning of narcissist word salad example

Psychologists use the term “word salad” to refer to a mental condition called schizophasia that people with schizophrenia often suffer from when they confuse words. The Merriam-Webster article further explains that the term has become mainstream to mean unintelligible language.

Essentially, a “narcissist word salad” is a jumble of sentences, often with a circular argument. Sometimes this can include narcissist text games, but these tend to be more premeditated.

A “narcissist word salad” portrays the knee-jerk flip-flopping that narcissists experience. They both want to be adored and charming while also in power. So, they use the word salad to manipulate you into doing what they want and adoring them.

Word salad examples based on a mental disorder include “squirrels swimming car lunch.” When the phrase is colloquially used to refer to narcissists, they tend to mean gaslighting , blaming, or going off on a tangent.

In those cases, examples of narcissist text messages either force you to accept their reality or, in other cases, shame you. You’re left confused because the messages are filled with lies and distortions.

Woman smudge on smartphone

15 examples of narcissist text messages

When dealing with narcissists, you won’t just be facing a narcissist word salad example. There are several different tactics they use to exploit others for their benefit.

1. The “me, me, me” message

The narcissist texting style is such that it’s all about them. In this case, examples of narcissist text messages could be “call me now,” “I’m amazing because I bought the groceries,” and “why aren’t you calling me – did I do something wrong? Don’t you love me?”.

2. Bombardment

Narcissist texts come in different formats. A typical example is when they need you right this instance. They’ll then send you a flurry of texts saying precisely the same thing. They might even call you 15 times in a row without appreciating that perhaps you’re busy.

Examples, in this case, could be “can you call me now please?”, “I need to talk to you,” “what’s wrong with your phone,” “call me now,” and so on.

3. Love bombing

Other examples of narcissist text messages can be charming if a little over the top . It’s fantastic when someone calls you amazing, beautiful, and that they can’t live without you.

Generally, when someone can’t live without someone else, they have deep self-esteem and self-validation issues. As psychologist Timothy Legg explains in his article on emotional dependency , it’s unhealthy to rely entirely on your partner for all your emotional needs.

4. Drama

Narcissists love drama because it makes them the center of attention. They might call you in the middle of the night for some crisis, for instance. Although, the most typical narcissistic responses to crises are to play the victim.

In this case, you might expect examples of narcissist text messages such as “I’m in the hospital, but I’m ok now,” “I can’t feel my arm, but I don’t think I should worry, should I?”, “I’ve had some bad news, but there’s nothing you can do about it.”

5. Demands

Remember that narcissists need the world to revolve around them. Sadly, this means that narcissist texts can be both arrogant and demanding.

Examples of narcissist text messages that demand things from you could be, “I need $300 now, but I promise I’ll pay you back”, “pick me up from the airport tomorrow,” and so on.

As you can guess, you’ll never see the money again, and they will probably not pick you up at the airport in return.

6. The word salad narcissist

As mentioned, a “narcissist word salad” is both confusing and often a distorted view of reality. This is different from how psychologists use the term.

Nevertheless, you can expect examples of narcissist text messages to go along the lines of, “you’re too stifling, but I love you, and you need to make more effort to be there for me to get along better.”

Essentially, the aim is to blame you , and the best way to respond is to stick to the facts or ignore them.

7. Reeling you in

Many examples of narcissist text messages are meant to charm you into their inner circle. They love keeping you on tenterhooks.

You can expect messages like “you’ll never guess what just happened” or “I can’t wait to tell you what I just bought.” In isolation, these might look harmless, but when you add them to all the other examples, they could be to reel you in.

8. Messages to enrage

A narcissist’s text sometimes tries to spark your emotions, whether good or bad. They might send you a controversial statement, about politics, for instance.

When you don’t respond to a narcissist’s text that’s designed to start a debate, they might fly into a rage. You’re only adding fuel to the fire if you’re also angry. Instead, it’s best to ignore them or tell them you can talk later.

9. Leave you hanging for days

Emotional abuse of narcissist text messages will play on your mind. With time, you’ll feel like everything is your fault. They make you believe you caused their misery.

In this case, examples of narcissist text messages could swing from hot to cold. One minute, they’re all about love and charm. Next, they go off the grid for days or even weeks. The idea is to get you to come begging back to them.

10. Passive-aggressive

Let’s not forget the covert narcissist text messages. These are more subtle but equally damaging. They still want attention but get it by acting like wounded animals.

For instance, they might say, “you don’t love me anymore,” or “it hurts when you ignore me.” Although, you’ve done nothing to ignore or hurt them.

11. Putting you down

Texts from a narcissist often shame and belittle you. They might criticize your clothes or even your friends. This can go as far as threatening and insulting you.

In this case, examples of narcissist text messages are about coming to your rescue. Basically, “you don’t know how to manage your life, so you need me.”

12. Gaslighting

The emotional abuse of narcissist text messages such as gaslighting can drive you mad. That happened to the wife in the original film Gas Light, released in 1938.

Of course, not everyone will go to those extremes. Nevertheless, typical narcissistic responses when you don’t do what they want often involve gaslighting . That’s when they distort the truth and tell lies so that you look bad.

If you’re confused about whether you’re being gaslighted or simply arguing, then have a look at this video:

13. Showing off

Have you received messages that tell you how amazing they are? Perhaps something like, “I showed Tom I was right in that conversation last night.” Alternatively, they boast about their car, house, or other material things.

When you don’t respond to a narcissist’s text showing off, you might first get repetition followed by anger. They need you to adore them, and they need instant gratification.

14. Caps lock overload

There’s no need to use multiple caps lock. No one likes to receive messages such as “CALL ME NOW” or “I’M FED UP.” Again, it’s a cry for attention and the need to be the most important person in the world.

15. Intermittent ghosting

Narcissist text games sometimes include ghosting you. They block you and cut you off social media for no apparent reason. Then weeks later, they might reconnect and love bomb you.

You might then see narcissist text messages such as “I’ve had some time to myself, and I now know I love you and need you. You’re the most amazing and beautiful person in this world.”

And to add the charm, they’ll send you a link to Bruno Mars’ Grenade’ song. Who doesn’t want to hear that someone wants to die for them? Then again, who’s the narcissist in the Grenade lyrics ?

Woman relaxing

Ways of dealing with narcissist text messages

Examples of narcissist text messages are so easy to create. It’s almost as if this era of social media and instant messaging is designed for narcissists. Nevertheless, there are things you can do to stay sane.

1. Set boundaries

Whether you’re dealing with overt or covert narcissist text messages, you must be clear on what’s ok for you. Of course, this assumes you’ve accepted that you’re dealing with a narcissist.

To give you ideas, you can also quickly tell them only to text you outside regular working hours. Again, you can politely tell them that you don’t want calls in the middle of the night.

2. Postpone conversations

Many examples of narcissist text messages want to draw you into some debate. While this is tempting, the best thing you can do is to keep texts short and tell them you can talk in person. Alternatively, you can tell them that this is not a subject you want to discuss.

3. Ignore and walk away

Regarding extreme narcissists, most therapists agree that a relationship with them is complicated. It isn’t impossible, but the emotional ride can be very tough.

It’s a huge decision what to do with a narcissist. So, work with a therapist who can guide you through the lies and gaslighting you can expect with relationship texts from a narcissist. Together, you’ll discover the best way forward for you.

Parting words on managing communication with narcissists

A typical conversation with a narcissist is one-sided, self-absorbed, and generally lacks empathy. This is an emotional and mental drain for anyone.

Whether you’re dealing with a narcissist word salad or any other examples of narcissist text messages, make sure you take care of yourself. This could mean working with a therapist or, at the very least, establishing solid boundaries.

From there, you can decide if you want to keep this narcissist in your life. As Sufi poet Hussein Nishah once said: “Letting go of toxic people in your life is a big step in loving yourself.”

17 Clever Tactics to Drive a Narcissist Nuts and Save Your Sanity

woman in red with a man in background how to drive a narcissist nuts

Do you know the saying, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game”?

When figuring out how to mess with a narcissist, you’ll need to hate the player too.

You’ll also need to tap into a tougher side of yourself while pushing your actions into uncomfortable spaces.

While we aren’t going to stoop to his level, we will lean over them and give them a taste of their own medicine, all to help you escape a narcissistic abuse cycle.

What’s In This Post:

  • What Drives a Narcissist Insane?
  • How to Drive a Narcissist Nuts: 17 Clever Tactics to Try
    • 1. Talk to Someone, Anyone Else
    • 2. Call Him Out On a Lie
    • 3. Be Vague About Where You’ve Been
    • 4. Celebrate a Milestone Relentlessly
    • 5. Diffuse the Love Bombs
    • 6. Abruptly Change Your Behavior
    • 7. Do What You Want
    • 8. Offer Some (Any) Criticism
    • 9. Delight in the Discard
    • 10. Don’t Be Impressed
    • 11. Trump His Victim Card
    • 12. Terminate Triangulation Attempts
    • 13. Set Fierce Boundaries
    • 14. Use Exaggerated Body Language
    • 15. Delay Your Responses
    • 16. Desensitize Yourself to His Abuse
    • 17. Agree With Everything He Says
    • Final Thoughts

    What Drives a Narcissist Insane?

    Narcissists see themselves as entitled and beyond repercussion while ruling their world from their pedestal. Anything that threatens to knock them off their pedestal will piss them off.

    • Indifference: A narcissist needs to control you and get your attention, whether it’s praise or a pissed-off rant. Absolutely nothing is worse than indifference (real or faked).
    • Gloating: Since a narcissist needs a supply feeding their superiority, even celebrating your own win without giving them full credit for the victory will unravel their poorly-sewn ego.
    • Independence: If you aren’t a puppet on his toxic strings, he doesn’t have control or the ability to manipulate you.
    • Self-Love: There’s only room in this relationship for one person to be adored—him! If you take time for yourself and by yourself, he’ll feel exposed as the weakling he really is.
    • Dismissiveness: If you don’t host a parade for him completing household chores, he’s irate. Don’t you know he’s the chore champion?

    How to Drive a Narcissist Nuts: 17 Clever Tactics to Try

    Sometimes, you just exist, and it makes a narcissist nuts.

    Only use these tactics when you’re trying to figure out how to trick a narcissist into leaving you alone. Do not use it as a way to win them back.

    1. Talk to Someone, Anyone Else

    A narcissist wants to be your sole source of information, conversation, and socialization. If you’re giving any attention to someone else, that’s a supply of attention he’s not getting.

    When you’re under his control, you might go get his favorite drink and not look at anyone else.

    woman smiling wide while holding a cup how to drive a narcissist nuts

    Make him seethe when he sees you smiling at the bartender or complimenting the tie of another man in line.

    2. Call Him Out On a Lie

    You need to play this one carefully because you’re not showing jealousy. You are showing you aren’t the idiotic weakling he assumes everyone else to be.

    If you know he went to happy hour with the Instagram influencer from his office, tell him. Repeat it. Work it into every conversation.

    When he throws the gaslighting, projecting, and blame-shifting at you, remain emotionally distant. Bonus piss-off points if you add, “Did your social media influencer tell you to say that?”

    3. Be Vague About Where You’ve Been

    Since a narcissist is your social warden, you need permission to go anywhere.

    If you “go to happy hour with coworkers” and “it was fun,” he’s going to assume you are lying (because he does it) and flirting with other people (because he does that, too).

    The more he probes, the less specific you should be. For extra credit, let him know his name didn’t even come up at happy hour.

    Then casually mention how much fun you had. Let him catch you smiling in the mirror as you brush your teeth.

    4. Celebrate a Milestone Relentlessly

    When someone else gets engaged or moves into a new (bigger than his) home, it’s cause for healthy, supportive people to celebrate. For a narcissist, it’s a reminder that he’s inferior and that stuff has to stop.

    They are known to start fights before big events to draw attention back to them.

    He’ll be most peeved if you go to the housewarming party without him or offer to host the engagement party in your backyard.

    5. Diffuse the Love Bombs

    A frustrated narcissist will go back to what worked initially—showering you with gifts, compliments, and affection.

    Don’t let him woo you and get a sudden headache before bedtime. Treat gifts as the pathetic attempt to manipulate you that they are.

    Emphasize this by not sharing emotional overshares to really throw him for a loop.

    6. Abruptly Change Your Behavior

    He can manipulate you because he knows your every move. He’s watched your habits and likes to hit your triggers.

    Even if he lists off body-shaming barbs while you’re getting ready for work, and that usually ruins your day, tell him you love your body and will rock this outfit with four-inch heels.

    man holding his head while looking at the walking away person how to drive a narcissist nuts

    Be like a fly buzzing around the house that he can’t catch up with, and it will drive him bonkers.

    7. Do What You Want

    He’s the Norm of his own version of Cheers, and every Friday night, you go to hear everyone tout his accolades. Get under his skin by “surprising” him with a trip to a new Asian Fusion restaurant.

    Bonus if he doesn’t know how to use chopsticks and will fumble through the meal. If he refuses to go? Kiss him tenderly and then go without him.

    If you can time your new yoga class with a night he doesn’t come home on time, you can add insult to injury by saying, “Oh, I didn’t even notice you weren’t here.”

    8. Offer Some (Any) Criticism

    His false exterior and inflated sense of self believe he can do no wrong. Too often, you’ve sat back and praised the Emperor’s New Clothes. Now, let him know his socks don’t really go with that outfit.

    Correct his form on the golf course. Tell him it’s pronounced “Keen-WAH,” not “Kin-OH-uh.” Once his eyes are slivered and his breath is swift, you’ve gotten under his skin.

    Better yet? Add a pathetic sigh and go to the dresser to get the socks you want him to wear.

    9. Delight in the Discard

    At some point, he will be fed up with your insubordinate behavior, and he’ll disappear, ghost or outright leave you. This is usually your cue to beg him to come back.

    Let him go, and seriously hope the door hits him on the way. Post how happy you are on social media and that a “weight has been lifted.”

    When he tries to love bomb again, treat him like a door-to-door salesman and just say, “No, thanks!”

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    10. Don’t Be Impressed

    When he starts boasting about his achievements, great or small, channel your inner Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney, and don’t be impressed. Bonus if you do the little mouth shift to the side to punctuate it.

    You don’t even need to be rude. Even just saying, “Very cool. What are you making for dinner?” is dismissive enough to make him downright deflated.

    11. Trump His Victim Card

    Narcissists love to draw attention back by playing the victim. Your sense of compassion draws you to this to fix it and nurse him through whatever feigned attack he endured. Use crazy things like logic and reason to point out all the ways he’s not a victim.

    Remind him of the times he’s played the victim before, and it wasn’t true. Rub salt in the wound by showing how he’s actually the attacker, not the victim.

    12. Terminate Triangulation Attempts

    Narcissists like to play both sides off of the middle to gain control and attention. They will create conflict between two people while being the only source of communication for each angled person.

    If you have good conflict resolution skills or can face conflict head-on, you can skip past the middle man (the narcissist) and address the person on the other side directly. Now the narcissist is exposed and enraged.

    If you don’t know the other person in the triangle, ask for an introduction and watch his eyes grow to the size of golf balls.

    13. Set Fierce Boundaries

    Narcissists don’t like any boundaries, but new ones are especially annoying. Since they see themselves as above any rules, those boundaries are certainly meant for someone else.

    Give this a one-two punch by attaching “supply” (attention) to the boundary.

    For example, “You always interrupt me when I’m telling you about success at work. If you do it again, I’m going to spend time with someone who will support me.”

    woman pointing her fingers at the man how to drive a narcissist nuts

    Stick to the boundary relentlessly, even if spending time with someone else means getting a Starbucks coffee and reading a book by yourself.

    14. Use Exaggerated Body Language

    This works especially well if you use a lot of gestures and facial expressions by nature. You can’t just be around a narcissist when they are lauding themselves; you must be a participant.

    Give blank stares, eye rolls, and smirks—maybe throw in a facepalm. Anything but clapping, hugging, and needy touching will drive them up a wall.

    This can also work the other way around if you are gesture-prone. Keeping your arms down like you’re on a rollercoaster and your face as frozen as a statue. He’ll be miffed if you aren’t moving more to his windy rants.

    15. Delay Your Responses

    By a certain point, the narcissist has you trained to answer texts immediately and never let a call go to voicemail. You’ll really send him into a tailspin if you don’t respond. No, this isn’t cruel.

    He isn’t worried that you’ve been in an accident. Even if you were, he’d make it about how hard the recovery is on him.

    Overachieve this tactic by setting your phone to display text messages as READ. When he confronts you about it, be dismissive because you were too busy to respond at that time.

    16. Desensitize Yourself to His Abuse

    The manipulative tactics of narcissists are meant to get a reaction out of you. He doesn’t care if it’s crying on the counter or submitting to the fetal position in the closet.

    The emotions you offer are a sign of control. If you can “fake it until you make it” during his outbursts and just stay stoic and stubborn without saying a word, he’ll be irate.

    NOTE: This will get worse before it gets better, but the sweeter the victory for you.

    17. Agree With Everything He Says

    Add a dose of sarcasm to this for the full effect. He says you are crazy? Yep, you are. You’re being too sensitive? Yep, because you’re a human being with emotions, and he’s being insensitive. This only works if you’re still desensitized.

    For the final nail in the coffin, when he thinks you’re going to cry or have an emotional outburst, laugh hysterically.

    If he does this in front of others, use it as a way to put the spotlight back on him in a critical way. “Yep, I’m letting myself go because I wore yoga pants tonight. At least they are Lululemon yoga pants!”

    Things You Shouldn’t Do to Piss Off a Narcissist

    In full transparency, you shouldn’t do anything to really piss off a narcissist or push his buttons. You have a healthy limit of how far you’ll stoop.

    He doesn’t. Just because you haven’t seen physical abuse (yet) or the worst of his behavior, it’s best not to poke a sleeping bear.

    • Don’t tell him he’s a narcissist. You’ve done all this great research, and you’re armed with great words like “gaslighting” and “love bombing.” In this case, the truth doesn’t set you free. It actually makes him want to tighten the chains.
    • Don’t smear his name. He knows more about your skeletons than you do about his, and he’s not above some photoshopping and doxing. Emotional scars can heal. Your internet presence, no matter how fake he makes it be, is there forever.
    • Don’t embarrass them publicly, even if they’ve done it to you. You’re already at DEFCON 2 if you insult him behind closed doors. Do it publicly, and you’re at DEFCON 1, and he has more nuclear weapons.

    Final Thoughts

    Only someone who survived narcissistic abuse can truly understand the battle cry of “Just walk away.” It goes against everything in your fierce soul to fight back.

    The only way you can truly piss off a narcissist for good is to live a happy life with absolutely no contact with them.

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