Communication Formula & Useful Statements when Dealing with a Narcissistic Personality Disordered Person

Robyn Finley
4 min readMay 29, 2021

It can be a difficult task to communicate with a Narcissistic Personality Disordered (NPD) Parent. I hope this communication formula will provide you with some basics in communication; especially if you care to continue a relationship with the NPD parent in your life. However, it is a necessity to set boundaries with your NPD parent. Utilizing a concept formula can assist you in avoiding drama.

Formula:

  1. Quick but soft start up to the conversation
    2. State your position in a short BUT clear manner
    3. Validate the NPD’s feelings and Verbalize Gratitude where you can find to do so
    4. Remember AND respect the NPD’s emotional limitations
    5. Do NOT argue, or try to change her mind or her position; Instead, empathize and validate her feelings regarding her position (i.e. “It makes sense that you feel that way;” “I can see why you would see it that way.”)
    6. Repeat your main point as often as needed while being mindful to not get off track
    7. Be prepared for a guilt trip or “attack” BUT do NOT EVER engage or counter-attack.
    8. Respond to guilt trip statements with an empathic and/or validating statement. Providing the NPD with too much information will bite you.
    9. Do NOT over-explain your position
    10. Remember that you ARE in control and responsible for ONLY your feelings, and position.
    11. Do NOT expect or try to get her/him/them to respect your position or agree with your feelings or position.
    12. Repeat your decision (main point), as often as needed without swaying.
    13. Be prepared for the NPD to enlist the “Flying Monkeys;” (i.e. have dad/mom/friend/Sympathetic Family Member to call to guilt you or state the NPD’s side).
    14. Should the NPD send out the flying monkeys, utilize the same communication. NEVER provide a flying monkey with more or different information. Stay consistent with all monkeys in the exact same way you did with mom.

Mock Conversation:

  1. Use a Short but Soft Start-up Intro:

Example of a Short but Soft Start UP: “Hi Mom.”

2. Quickly transition to the main point- NOT giving the NPD time to start conveying any information about “How hard I am working on Thanksgiving arrangements,” “I miss you so much, and I can’t wait to see you,” etc.

Example of a SHORT Main Point:

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Robyn Finley

Marriage and Family Therapist, Ed.S; Functional Nutrition Counselor- Specializations: Infidelity Recovery, Mental Health & ALL things Sex.