5 Phrases To Get Narcissists and Toxic People To Back Off

Sometimes you just need a narcissist to get off your back and back the heck up from trying to play or mess with you. Here are some handy phrases that may help when a narcissist is deliberately trying to confuse or disorient you.

“What did you mean by that?”

Say this nonchalantly and directly when a narcissist attempts to issue a covert put-down or make a cruel joke to goad you into reacting. Bonus points if you are able to say it in front of other witnesses. This will leave a narcissistic person scrambling to justify and explain themselves and give them a helpful reminder not to come for you again lest they want to be interrogated and come prepared to feign plausible deniability with a believable tale. When they do try to explain themselves, simply nod, smile, and walk away.

“I don’t see it that way, but you do you” or “We will have to agree to disagree.”

Do this only when you are able to safely walk away from a narcissistic person or through text where it can be documented during a crazymaking argument. Remember that narcissists can escalate if they feel slighted so it’s important to keep your safety in mind.


This phrase should be used primarily through text rather than in person, because with an aggressive narcissist, it can cause them to work even harder to get your attention and they may fly off the handle in rage. But it is a good phrase to wield when you have no interest in furthering the discussion, do not wish to defend yourself against their ridiculous accusations, projection, and gaslighting and it is recommended you block them from contacting you further after using it.

“Got it!” Or “Understood!”

This is for those who prefer a friendlier route. It is a gentle phrase that can be used with anyone, not just with narcissists, to conclude a discussion so they will be unable to decipher your tone and may feel satisfied enough with your answer to back off momentarily.

“I’ve got to go now, but let’s revisit this another time.”

This is another “friendly” phrase that can subdue the narcissist so long as you follow it up with a believable excuse. It helps you avoid entrenching yourself into one of their provocative conversations and is neutral enough where they won’t feel motivated to keep bothering you. By the time they realize you’ve transported yourself to another galaxy to get away from them, they’ll be none the wiser and you’ll be in a safe place, on a planet far, far away.

For more tips on how to resist gaslighting, check out the article 11 Gaslighting Phrases Used by Narcissists – And Powerful Responses To Shut Them Down.

About the author

Katerina Lolita

Wild women are the most dangerous. Check out my favorite tips on dating here and my favorite article on what it means to be a high-quality man here.