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When a Narcissist Calls You Toxic: 8 Ways to Deal

by | Mar 21, 2023 | 1 comment

The term “narcissism” on this blog is used to describe a specific set of personality traits. It is not intended to be used as a professional diagnosis.

TINY - Pins - Short (1)Narcissists are masters of projection: They project their own faults onto other people.

This can be incredibly frustrating – especially when you realize that this person doesn’t truly care about your feelings or well-being and is just trying to justify their own bad behavior by putting it on someone else.

But no matter how much they try to make themselves seem sane and reasonable, narcissists always have a hard time dealing with criticism from anyone, even family members or friends.

So in most cases, they will try to paint you as the toxic one!

And when a narcissist calls you toxic, it can be extremely frustrating.

If you’re dealing with one right now, here are some ways to keep yourself calm while also making sure they know that they’re wrong:

Why Do Narcissists Call Other People Toxic?

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When a narcissist calls you toxic, it could be a tactic they use to manipulate and control you.

Narcissists often project their own negative qualities onto others, and they may use the term “toxic” to shift the blame for any problems in the relationship onto you.

Narcissists have a distorted sense of self-importance and entitlement, and they may view any criticism or disagreement as a personal attack.

They may also use tactics like gaslighting, belittling, or stonewalling to make you feel like you’re the problem in the relationship.

If a narcissist is calling you toxic, it’s important to recognize that this is likely a tactic to deflect attention away from their own behavior.

It’s important to set boundaries and prioritize your own well-being in any relationship with a narcissist.

Consider seeking support from a therapist or counselor who can help you develop coping strategies and identify healthy relationship patterns.

How to Cope When a Narcissist Calls You Toxic

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1. The Narcissist Isn’t In Your Life For You

It is important to remember that this person is not in your life for you. They are there for their own benefit, and it does not matter if they are hurting you or others in the process.

The truth is, if someone truly cared about your well-being and happiness, they would not use these tactics against you.

It is also important to know that narcissists struggle with empathy – most can’t feel any sympathy or compassion towards others because they lack the ability to put themselves into someone else’s shoes.

Therefore, when a narcissist calls you toxic or accuses you of being selfish or self-centered, it’s probably because they have been called toxic themselves many times before.

Maybe it was by you or maybe by other people in their life.

Either way, please don’t take this personally.

When a narcissist calls you toxic, it’s likely that they are feeling desperate because they realize that the mask is slipping and you are seeing them for who they truly are.

2. No Matter What They Say, You Are Not Toxic

Remember that no matter what they say, you are not toxic.

You are not a bad person, and you did not cause their problems or make them feel the way they do.

You cannot change the way another person feels or acts. Only they can do that for themselves.

Remembering this will help you avoid taking on responsibility for things that aren’t yours to own or fix, and it will also remind you of how important it is to take care of yourself first!

Even if you find you have lashed out against the narcissist, this doesn’t mean you’re toxic either.

This is called reactive abuse, and it’s actually a defense mechanism your brain uses to protect you from the abusive way they treat you.

Learn More Here: Am I the Toxic Partner? Things You Need to Know About Reactive Abuse

3. Don’t Give Your Energy to This Person

When you’re dealing with a narcissist, there are a few things you should never do.

First and foremost, don’t give your energy to this person.

Whether it’s arguing with them or trying to explain yourself further, don’t waste your time on someone who doesn’t care about anyone but themselves.

If someone calls me toxic, I know they’re not interested in having a real conversation because they would rather make assumptions than listen to what I have to say.

Some of us may feel like we need to defend ourselves against toxic labels.

However, you can only control your own behavior and actions – never let anyone else define who you are as an individual!

4. Find People Who Will Always Support You

When a narcissist calls you toxic, it can be difficult to know who is telling the truth and who is just trying to hurt your feelings.

In order for you to move forward in life and get out from under their control, it’s important that you have people around who will always tell you the truth, even if it hurts – and support you during hard times.

If you are interested in joining an online group for those dealing with narcissists, especially when it comes to parenting, check out my FB group below:

5. Know That This Isn’t Your Fault!

This is not your fault, and this is not your responsibility.

This is also not your problem to fix, and if you take it on as such, you’ll only be doing more damage to yourself in the long run.

You can’t fix the narcissist because they will never admit that they are the problem.

And you certainly shouldn’t try to fix yourself because you think you are toxic – because you’re not!

You didn’t do anything to deserve being treated this way by the narcissist, except maybe offer them love and support because you thought you could encourage them to change.

All you can do now is learn how to protect yourself from narcissists by doing things like looking for red flags and establishing boundaries in your personal relationships.

6. Set Boundaries

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If the narcissist is making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, it’s important to set clear boundaries to protect yourself. This may mean limiting contact with the person or ending the relationship altogether.

Setting boundaries with a narcissist can be challenging, as they often have a difficult time respecting other people’s needs and boundaries.

However, it’s important to establish and maintain clear boundaries in any relationship, including those with narcissists.

One of the most important boundaries you can set is not engaging in their drama.

Narcissists thrive on drama and attention, so it’s important to avoid engaging in their drama or getting drawn into their games. Stay focused on your own boundaries and needs, and avoid getting sucked into their drama.

Check It Out: How to Shut Down a Toxic Person and Establish Your Boundaries

7. Validate Your Own Feelings

It’s important to acknowledge and validate your own feelings, even if the narcissist is trying to make you feel like you’re overreacting or being too sensitive.

Remember that your emotions are valid and real.

Validating your own emotions means acknowledging and accepting them as legitimate and real, even if they may be uncomfortable or difficult to experience.

Here are some ways to validate your own emotions:

  • Recognize your emotions – Pay attention to your own emotional state and identify the specific emotions you are feeling. Name them and describe them as accurately as possible.
  • Give yourself permission to feel – Accept that it’s normal and healthy to feel a wide range of emotions, even if they may be uncomfortable or difficult to experience.
  • Don’t judge yourself – Avoid judging yourself for feeling a certain way or comparing your emotions to other people’s experiences. Remember that your emotions are valid and real, regardless of how others may perceive them.
  • Express your emotions – Allow yourself to express your emotions in a healthy way, such as through journaling, talking to a trusted friend, or engaging in a creative activity.
  • Practice self-compassion – Be kind and compassionate to yourself, especially when you are experiencing difficult emotions. Treat yourself with the same level of care and compassion that you would offer to a friend in need.

Remember that validating your own emotions is an ongoing process that requires practice and patience.

It can be helpful to seek support from a therapist or counselor who can offer guidance and support as you navigate your emotional experiences.

8. Set Realistic Expectations

Narcissists are unlikely to change their behavior, so it’s important to set realistic expectations for any future interactions with them.

This may mean accepting that the relationship may never be healthy or fulfilling.

Setting realistic expectations with a narcissist can be challenging, as they often have a difficult time accepting responsibility for their behavior and may have a distorted view of reality.

Just remember to set your boundaries and stay calm and assertive. Avoid getting emotional or defensive, as this can make the situation worse.

You Are Not the Problem

You never were! Because narcissists project onto other people, calling you toxic is really them recognizing somewhere in their subconscious that they are the toxic ones.

So when a narcissist calls you toxic, let it roll off your shoulders.

They are not worth your time when it comes to trying to set them safe or defend yourself!

Let me know in the comments how you deal with your narcissist when they call you toxic or any other names.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Just happened to me few hours ago.. After three days break, my husband called me that I’m a toxic and narcissistic and when I asked him why it’s all about me? And he said “then who else..?” I’m glad that I’ve found this article! Deepest thank you!

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