10 Ways to Make a Narcissist Respect You

Rebecca Zung
5 min readJun 20, 2023

By Rebecca Zung, Esq.

If you’re living with a narcissist, then the odds are that respect is something that’s been lacking in your relationship. Whether it’s through brutality, humiliation, or simply ignoring your words and feelings completely, narcissistic abuse can be incredibly difficult to overcome. In this blog post we’ll discuss 10 powerful techniques for how to make a narcissist respect you so that you can feel empowered to take back control of the situation.

#1. Stay Distant from Them. Making a narcissist respect you is a tricky business. One strategy that seems to work is keeping a certain degree of emotional distance. You want to stay near enough to keep them interested, but not so close that they uncover your weaknesses. This is particularly useful for those who haven’t yet entered a relationship with a narcissist. Don’t let them get close until you’re sure they are deserving of your trust.

#2. Stay Independent from Them. To make a narcissist respect you, it’s important to maintain your independence. If you’re not financially dependent on them, and you’re not emotionally dependent on them, they’ll often respect that from you. On the other hand, when you become too dependent or needy, that’s when they can start to withdraw or even give you the silent treatment. This dynamic can be tough to navigate, but it’s important to remember that relationships should ideally involve mutual support and respect. By maintaining your independence and setting healthy boundaries, you’ll be more likely to find genuine connection with those who value and appreciate you.

#3. Continue to Have Something of Value. In order to make a narcissist respect you, it is important to understand what it is that they value the most. This could be prestige, a supply source such as attention or validation, or even the optics of being associated with you — perhaps due to your money, influence, or popularity. If you still possess this trait or quality, you may be able to regain their admiration. However, it is essential to remember that for a narcissist, appearance is everything. So if you happen to win their favor back with your looks or image, keep in mind that it may be fleeting. Ultimately, trying to curry favor with a narcissist may not be worth the effort, as their attention is often short-lived and their loyalty questionable.

#4. Understand Power. In dealing with a narcissist, it can be useful to understand the dynamics of power and how it affects their behavior and your relationship with them. If you hold a position of authority, such as being a judge in a case, a boss, a CEO, or a leader in a group, the narcissist is more likely to respect you because they recognize your power over them. This recognition of power can help you establish rapport and build trust with the narcissist, which can be key in managing conflicts and building a positive working or personal relationship. By understanding the ways in which power dynamics influence the behavior of a narcissist, you can position yourself in a more favorable light and gain their respect and cooperation.

#5. Let Them Believe That You’re Not Onto Them. Dealing with a narcissistic person can be a herculean task since they are seldom amenable to constructive feedback. One possible approach that can be used is to make the narcissist believe that you are not yet aware of their true identity. However, once they perceive that you have seen through their façade and have labeled them as a narcissist, things can take a turn for the worse. Narcissistic folks tend to view the world in a binary fashion, where they create a rigid boundary of loyalty and opposition. You’re either with them or against them. Therefore, it is crucial to tread cautiously when dealing with a narcissist and approach the situation delicately.

#6. Show Your Value. If you’re dealing with a narcissist and you want to earn their respect, one surefire way is to show them that they need you. This could mean that you demonstrate your value to them in some way, whether it’s by providing financial support, social status, or any other form of validation that the narcissist craves. By consistently proving that you add value to their life, they’ll fear losing you and in turn, they’ll respect you. Remember — the key to success is consistently reminding the narcissist of your importance in their life.

#7. Be friends with people they Respect. Building a friendship with someone who is a narcissist can be challenging. One approach that can work is to befriend individuals whom they admire. By developing relationships with these people, the narcissist may start to see you in a more positive light and may even begin to respect you. Remember, respect is something that is earned and cannot be demanded. Therefore, to win the respect of a narcissist, it’s important to put in the effort and time to develop relationships with the people they deem important.

#8. Make them Look and Feel Good. It can be effective to stroke their ego by highlighting their positive attributes or achievements, particularly in public settings where others can witness their success. By doing so, the narcissist is likely to want to keep the person around, leading to a potential relationship of mutual gain. However, it’s important to make sure that this is done with authenticity and only in cases where it serves a greater purpose, rather than simply manipulating the manipulator for personal gain.

9. Respect Yourself. If you’re dealing with a narcissistic person, remember that respect is a two-way street. Respect yourself, your values, and your boundaries. By doing so, you communicate your confidence and self-assuredness. Staying calm and non-emotional can help you effectively handle the situation, avoiding any escalation that may lead to animosity.

10. Stand in Your Power. To gain a narcissist’s respect, it’s imperative to portray authority, confidence, and self-assurance. When you stand firmly in your power and know your own self-worth, no one can hold sway over you. Believe in yourself and let your actions speak louder than your words. Remember, you are capable of earning respect, and you deserve to be respected.

Respect is a two-way street. The most important thing to remember when dealing with narcissistic people is that the better you understand yourself and your needs, the better equipped you will be to tackle any manipulative behavior they throw your way. Focusing on improving yourself and enforcing boundaries, while finding creative solutions to communicate effectively are key steps in earning respect from a narcissist. Showing genuine concern for their wants and needs can also help foster an environment of mutual respect, as can taking responsibility for your own emotions without projecting blame onto others. With practice, patience, and the right strategy in place, it is possible for anyone to create relationships full of mutual respect and understanding.

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Rebecca Zung

She is a Top 1% attorney, narcissist negotiation expert, YouTuber & creator of the SLAY Your Negotiation w/ a Narcissist program. www.rebeccazung.com