The Empath’s Riposte Grenades




There are occasions when you have been on the receiving end of one of our conversational narc grenades which has been thrown at you as we then walk away from the ensuing carnage, sucking up the fuel and marvelling at our own brilliance. There will of course been times when you wished that you had something which you could lob at us in order to make some kind of impact, a comment or a gesture which does not take much effort but manages to land a blow on us. The problem is, until such time as you have received the benefit of my mentoring I should imagine that your responses to your particular narcissist have been along these lines:-

Shouting and hurling insults at us as you lose your temper

Crying as you call us as many names as you can think of

Throwing something at us with a yell of frustration

Banging a door shut in annoyance

Telling us what you think about us as you bristle with anger

Of course as avid students you will know that all of these responses and more besides have no impact on us other than to provide us with fuel. You can call me as many insults as you can think of but if you do it as you scream at the top of your voice in anger or with tears spilling down your cheeks, the savage words merely fuel me. Now, for the purpose of extracting more fuel and providing me with something to go and complain about to other people (thus gaining more fuel and smearing you into the bargain) I will provoke you even further. Once you have lost yourself to emotion, we will keep pushing, prodding and provoking in order to make you deliver even more fuel to us. We will feign that we are hurt, we will pretend to be angry in response, we may even mimic being frightened of you. It is all fabricated and is just designed to draw more fuel. Accordingly, you should not respond in this fashion. Instead, when deploying these ripostes, you must do so without showing any emotion. If you do, the intended effect will fail. If you do these without expressing any emotion you will not provide and fuel and the effect will be that we will feel criticised and this will wound us. Be aware that when wounded our fury will be ignited. This may mean we withdraw, we may unleash a cold fury (silent treatment) or a heated fury (insults, violence) and therefore you should proceed with caution. You are best performing these ripostes when you are departing so you are leaving your own empathic riposte grenade behind to explode and wound us. In some instances, departure may not be possible and therefore you need to consider carefully the type of narcissist you are with and their likely reaction to criticism. Caveat out of the way, here are the ten critical ripostes for you to use against your narcissist.

  1. Point and Laugh

Point at us and give a hollow laugh. A slow, hollow laugh which is repeated will provide no emotion. Alternatively, point and just say “HAW ha” in an exaggerated manner, akin to the Simpsons’ character, Nelson Muntz. We will not know why you are laughing and the fact you are pointing at us but giving what is a derisory laugh will feel like a significant criticism to us.

  1. “You are big on emotion, low on substance.”

We like to think we are important and of considerable substance. You are the emotional one, not us, even though of course we are the ones which thrive on your emotional attention. To suggest we are emotional (when of course we have a limited range of emotions) implies that we lack control. To suggest we have no substance (which hints at our need to adopt the characteristics of others and also impugns our importance) adds to the criticism. The Lesser will be wounded by the suggestion of being emotive and unimportant, The Greater, knowing what he is will be wounded by the massive hint at knowing what we are, alongside the suggestion of lacking control and lacking importance. A double whammy.

  1. Feign sleep when we are talking

There is no emotion in closing your eyes and emitting a gentle snoring as you are sat down or lying down and we embark on one of our lengthy monologues. Once we realise you are not paying attention the criticism will wound.

  1. “I have to be elsewhere.”

If this is said without emotion you are telling us that our presence is not magnetic and commanding enough. Make your exit and leave us to our ignited fury at this wounding remark.

  1. “Jim has one only his is better.”

Useful for when we are crowing about some material possession. “Jim” may be somebody known to us both or you may make him up, the key thing is to point out that whatever we have, then “Jim’s” is better. It may be that his is a nicer colour, or his if larger, faster, more spacious, tougher, more durable. Whatever it is it will wound us. You can even keep rolling out the fictional Jim on repeated occasions and it will soon dent our crowing and have us wounded.

  1. “I wasn’t listening; can you repeat what you said please?”

You should always be listening to us. We are important. Any suggestion that you are not amounts to a criticism and if you actually tell us that you were not doing so, then it is even worse.

  1. Fall asleep when we are having sex with you

To impugn our Olympic sexual mastery in this way is a massive criticism. It need not be full sexual intercourse either. If you are touching us, drift off or vice versa. Best used with a Mid-Range as they tend to go off in a wounded sulk rather than erupt in a rage.

  1. “It is just not that interesting to me.”

Any suggestion that we are dull or boring when we are demonstrating something to you or regaling you with our latest tale of brilliance will constitute a wounding criticism.

  1. “Let me know when you have finished.”

This can be applied to so many different activities. We expect you to either be a willing and enthusiastic participant or a delighted spectator. If you make this remark when we are showing off about something and then walk away we will be wounded by this criticism.

  1. “No that does not make sense.”

Remember how frustrated you become at our circular conversations and inability to understand the point you are making? Well, this is your chance to turn the tables. You probably do understand but by suggesting we are not articulating ourselves clearly when delivered without emotion will amount to a criticism. We may try and explain again. If so repeat the comment. You can then walk away as our fury ignites and no doubt we insult you for being stupid and thick but who is the one who has just been wounded?

49 thoughts on “The Empath’s Riposte Grenades

  1. 19.19 says:

    I do this instinctively without realizing it. I was raised by a narcissist so I think it just came natrually.

  2. kew says:

    During my devaluation (by mid ranger) I used 8 of these instinctively, I had no clue about narcissists then. I also employed grey rock, shifting the blame (to where it belonged), silent treatment and manipulation, again all purely by instinct. All in all I just got on with my days and acted like he barely existed looking back at it now. One day, he blamed me for stealing his wallet and I knew from recent experience a flounce was brewing…So I took his house key of his bunch, walked out of the front door and awaited the drama. Upshot was, he left, furious I’d outwitted him (by taking his key) and homeless to boot. I told him that day that he was some sort of psychopath and I was done, he tried a few pity plays in the first few weeks but I cut contact completely 9 months ago. A year on and it’s all making sense now, a lot down to your writing Mr. Tudor 🙂
    H.G. if I may ask you a question please? I have a feeling I went supernova on him, is there enough info in my post to ascertain this please? I do beleive I terrify him…

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There is not enough in your comment to evaluate that, no.

  3. BurntKrispyKeen says:

    Oh, HG, thank you for these little nuggets! I’m mainly referring to your exchanges between WS2. 😜 But the grenades are good as well.

  4. Twilight
    October 16, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Hello persephoneascending1

    If any relationship isn’t working why stay?

    I have left my narc on my own twice, and been thrown out numerous times, and he forced me to empty my pockets and leave all money and keys.He fully expected me to return on my own, but on his schedule when I was thrown out, and Hoovered me ceaselessly when I left.
    It ain’t over until the Narc says its over. And they will never LET it be over.
    Not till he is dead, or you are far enough removed from his spheres of influence to not enter his mind.

    October 16, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    What about MY dignity, Persephone?

    Well, if it was attacked, I would respond in the same manner – “It seems we don’t work together” and finish the relationship.

    If something doesn’t work, no need to prolong the agony and stress. It is a win-win situation for both partners, because the psychosomatic pathology is not an empty threat. “My Narcy man” would tell me “thank you” for saving his own health. Lol.

    No Name,
    I doubt that he would thank you for anything. LOL! It’s just not their way.
    As for the effect on his health, well they don’t want or need the same thing an empath or a normal does in a relationship.He is actually reveling in the psychosomatic pathology he causes in you. He gets power and not any sort of physical, mental or emotional discomfort at all.
    I told mine so many times that I don’t need or want to be anywhere where I was hated.
    That’s when he had so many bullshit excuses for why he treated me in such a vicious manner: health, stress,my being cruel to him, (my jaw just dropped on that last one, i could never figure out just what cruelty I had unintentionally done to HIM), but he would reassure me that he didn’t hate me… he loved me so,so much, if I could just be kinder, less demanding, more understanding, more forgiving…boy do I hate that word,now.
    The the Golden period would recommence…until he needed me off balance again to distract me from what he was doing.
    So, no, You may gain a brief respite, or an actual silent treatment, but they will be back, with the just friends now routine, or I should never have left you for psychobitch, because well, you are wonderful. But the Narc truly is not.
    Just picture Terminator and remember:
    “I’ll be back!”

    1. Yolo says:

      Welcome them back once we have been weaponize with knowledge. But, never underestimate the tactics of your opponent especially if it’s a great or higher mid. Don’t try this until you view them as dead and aren’t hoping for resurrection.

      We are working on emotion regulation this week in DBT therapy. Imagine THAT ‘ . Heart breaking to see how therapist respond to participants when they tell them how confused and how hard they are trying. Self blaming, lack of support from friends or family, and shame.

      Omg, they the tools they use doesn’t apply when dealing with narcs. I am kinda limited as what I can say. The person I have the book was withdrawn in the beginning however, this for the first I saw the idgf attitude. Acknowledged, her shame for not being able to identify but also living in it.

      Thanks HG, and all the wonderful people here that share their experiences. ❤❤

    2. Noname says:


      “I doubt that he would thank you for anything. LOL! It’s just not their way”.

      Lol. I know. It was just a figure of speech. I expect nothing from anyone.

      “He is actually reveling in the psychosomatic pathology he causes in you. He gets power and not any sort of physical, mental or emotional discomfort at all”.

      Yes, some of Narcs are really reveling when they cause your unhealthy condition.
      No, they get a lot of psychosomatics also (real mental diseases, heart pathology, etc.).

      The unhealthy relationship always damages both partners. That’s why I think it is better to finish it before it is too late. For both sake.

      “I’ll be back” situation handles pretty easily if you develope the real internal indifference toward them.

      1. Yes, I do have expectations, I’m learning to let that go.

        I thought my narc was sick from bad health habits. LOL He kept saying he wouldn’t live past 35. He made it to a miserable 61, and it still took cancer to take his ass down.

        I knew he was making me sick, but I was surprised to be pretty well physically recovered with in about 6 months.

        I really wish I had not been so ….what I don’t know. I don’t know how or why I stayed 35 years when I never wanted to be married to anyone in the first place. But I’m learning and I’m lucky he can’t hoover anyone any longer.

      2. Noname says:

        You mentioned the intetesting thing, Persephone. The exact age when your man thought he would die.

        I noticed, that many narcs “knows” when they are going to die. It is always the young age – 21-35 y.o.

        My first husband liked to say “Live fast, die young”… He though he would die at the age of 33 (like a Jesus lol).

        My second husband thought he would die at the age of 21. “I didn’t see myself older than 21 at all”.

        My cousin thought he would die at 30. “The life ends after 30”.

        Forever young. Even in death.

        1. Windstorm2 says:

          I have noticed that too. Several younger narcs who think they will die young. I always thought it came from the fact that they had such a huge ego they could not imagine themselves becoming old and decrepit. I had a cousin who loudly and often proclaimed that “no one should live after 30.” My husband and I often laughed that he no longer said that after he turned 30. 😝

  5. dickforlong says:

    Absolutely wonderful. This article almost makes me want to be hoovered by the greater I left 8 years ago — just so I can try them out. I wish I had been smart enough to know how to unbalanced him then.

    He once sadly exclaimed “I am absolutely exhausted from trying to make you happy.” I was bent over choking and crying with laughter while he stood blinking and confused.

    This site allows me to laugh at myself and demystifies the insanity I’ve endured from many narcs. It is empowering.

    1. Caroline says:

      That’s funny! Mine once straight out said, “Nothing works on you.” (Dude, depends on what you’re trying to do!).

      Poor things… so worn out from all that toiling and plotting and scheming to fake us out — and us hindering the stupendous effects of all their dastardly deeds. Lol.

      Love the laughs on this site too… we need it, and I think it’s empowering too.

  6. HKGirl says:

    I used to fall asleep during our arguments.. my therapist said it was part of my C-PTSD. He’d tell me that if what he had to say was so unimportant to me, then he wouldn’t bother me further… then not speak to me for who knows how long.

    He used to FaceTime me and if, by some stroke of cosmic insanity I got the floor (even just day to day normal conversation) he’d burp or fart loudly while I was speaking. I’d just sit there.. disgusted. Then Mr Doesn’t Give A Shit Anyhow would demand the floor back and start talking about himself, his job, his life, his woes… our therapist would call him out on it and asked him once if he was raised by cavemen. He left the session and never returned to THAT “disrespectful bastard.”

    The man I was dating before my ExH-Narc is a retired Lt Commander in the Navy. EOD Intelligence. Brilliant man. Sexy as hell. My ExH is a retired Chief (Reserves) in the Navy. HUGE sore point with him. He could cheat, bring his late wife up and throw her in my face anytime he wanted, compare me to her, etc.. but if “J” was mentioned or tried to contact me, he would lose his shit.

    FWIW, “J” wasn’t hoovering. He is a lovely man that had a Narc ex and he got custody of their 2 kids. He’s a devoted single Dad and I haven’t physically seen him in 5 years. However, he “knew of” my exH and would check on me about every 6 months. Just a quick text or email asking how I was doing. When He heard I left him, he said “as soon as you stop hating men, find a couple of losers to date.. then call me. I want a real chance this time.”

    I always… ALWAYS ran from the NICE ones.

    There’s a meme that says “I know when I meet a guy I am attracted to that he is likely a giant ass-hat… just because I am attracted to him.”

    That’s me to a T!

    1. K says:

      Did your therapist know or figure out that your Ex was a narcissist? If he was burping and farting, he may be an LMRN or an ULN. They think it is hilarious to behave like cavemen. My MMRN was a narcissist but he had manners.

    2. narc affair says:

      Hi HK girl…i had a giggle over the caveman comment from therapist lol im guessing your rx narc was a lesser.
      I think thats the core of the problem is to identify why we pick these types. Usually its unresolved issues from childhood playing out. My narc gives me intermittant validation which i recognize as the validation i craved from my mother also a narc. He gives me the fake validation i never got growing up.

  7. K says:

    Once during 2015, I remember triangulating with the computer when he was blathering on about something, and after he finished I said these words, “What did you say? I wasn’t listening.” He got wicked pissed and said, “You never listen to me.” I responded with, “I was paying bills on-line and I can’t pay bills and listen to you at the same time.” He left for work in huff after that. Payback’s a bitch.

  8. Sillyolperson says:

    Dear Mr Tudor,
    I love these!
    In the end, I used to excuse myself to go to the bathroom and then come back and say, “sorry, what were you saying?” I hope that had an impact on him !

  9. narc affair says:

    The falling asleep during sex one ive not done lmao that one takes the cake 😂

  10. narc affair says:

    Ive used a few of these with my narc and my narc mother.
    My narc is very passive aggressive and likes to drop subtle bombs to throw me off.
    We were in a halloween store and the lady there said i reminded her of the actress who is sabrina the teenage witch. I laughed and we carried on. Later that day my narc posted an anti aging type facial exercise tutorial on my facebook. I knew right away where it was stemming from. He hates when people mistake me as younger than my age and it makes him insecure. I was embarressed by his post deleted it and posted on his a wrinkled up old man and said but youre only 61 😂 it felt good to send him a retort poking fun at his age bc of what he did on my facebook. Im many years younger than him. Narcs hate, loath you poking fun at them. Poking fun is the equivalent to holy water on the devil ….it burnssss …😄

    Another tactic is to take something theyve already told you about themselves and play stupid like you dont remember or theyd said something else. A bit of reverse gaslighting and it bruises their ego bc you didnt take interest in them.

    Another narc ouchie is to disregard something theyre saying to you and change the subject either midway in their sentence or pause briefly and start a whole new conversation.

    One ive used on my mother is to devalidate something shes saying. When she starts in on one of her “they say this or they say that” speeches i say no thats not true. Then when she argues it i deflate by changing the subject or become busy with someone else or something im doing.

    It seems harsh but taking back that power really feels good and gives you a burst of energy and sometimes a good laugh too!!

  11. I’m pretty sure I pissed off my ex husband with 6, 8 and 9.

    1. In fact, now I do it on purpose. 🙂

  12. Patricia J says:

    Burping while they well also. I used Nonsense alot..When they are going out the Door quickly.

    1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

      Well that’s one I haven’t heard of before lol!

    2. Caroline says:

      Too funny, on the burping!

      Not as a tactic, but I choked on a piece of steak at a restaurant while he was talking once, and he got an irritated look on his face. Uh, excuse me, kinda dying here – sorry to have interrupted you, your highness. That really should have been enough for me. But I was only 18, and he was significantly older than me. If I knew then…

    3. Patricia J says:

      Also yawning….Hey if a Narc can be a Actor, why not do it back.

  13. Noname says:

    Dunno…To do and to say all of this means to humiliate the person’s dignity. Better to say “It seems we don’t work together” and finish the relationship.

    1. Twilight says:

      I agree with you.

      1. Hi No Name & Twilight.
        In a normal relationship, yes that would be best.
        But when is it finished with a Narc?
        IS it EVER finished?
        What about YOUR dignity? It didn’t matter to them. This is not normal, even if this has been your lifelong experience. You must do what works. You will have to think like a narcissist in believing the ends justify the means.
        You do not have to do this to anyone who is not acting like a Narc.

        1. Twilight says:

          Hello persephoneascending1

          If any relationship isn’t working why stay?

      2. Noname says:

        What about MY dignity, Persephone?

        Well, if it was attacked, I would respond in the same manner – “It seems we don’t work together” and finish the relationship.

        If something doesn’t work, no need to prolong the agony and stress. It is a win-win situation for both partners, because the psychosomatic pathology is not an empty threat. “My Narcy man” would tell me “thank you” for saving his own health. Lol.

  14. I have actually done some of these inadvertently. #3 actually did fall asleep, and was beaten awake with a pillow, and then he stormed out. #s 4,6, and 10, was just being honest. Got temper tantrums and storm outs.I wasn’t actually looking to hurt him, but they did.Wished I’d had the whole list and a little malicious intention, instead of always trying to keep peace.

    1. Windstorm2 says:

      I always tried to keep the peace too. And also while I did all these things, many were just instinctive, not meant to hurt. I grew up watching my family narcs doing most of them and probably just absorbed them as what to do.

      For number three, actually going back to sleep was my defense against sleep rape. Didnt mean it as a criticism, it was just my way of coping. When he’d wake me back up angry, I’d just keep my eyes shut and say, “trying to sleep…get it over with.” Didn’t take too many times till he gave it up and stopped doing it. 😴

      1. Ah, I had forgotten about the Sleep Rape since it’s been so long for any at all.I didn’t feign sleep, but did join in, even though when he did this, he was often drunk, and not up to par for him. When I’d ask why he didn’t wake me first, he would say when he pulled the bed clothes back and saw me, he got too excited to wait. Pretty weird for someone who usually acted like a “Director”.

    2. K says:

      My MMRN sleep raped me and I stayed for another 7 years.

      1. K,

        It’s amazing that they have this ability to do such disgusting things and get away with it, But it is why they choose certain partners over others. To be able to dive deep into the shit bucket, and still come out smelling like a rose.

        Till someone comes along and hands us a wipe to clean our spectacles.

      2. Windstorm2 says:

        I just thought sleep rape was what husbands did. Mine used sex to intimidate and control in many ways. It was often painful and never pleasant. I thought that was just normal and all wives had to put up with it.

        I remember one evening he was complaining about me and said that he wished that I would be the one to initiate sex some of the time. I just burst out laughing. I thought he was making a joke! Oh my God, the look on his face!

        I was afraid he was going to lose it and blow up, so I tried to explain by calmly telling him that I didn’t mean to upset him, but surely he saw that it was just unreasonable to expect me to initiate something that was so unpleasant for me. He just turned away and left the room. He never mentioned it again.

        I’ve thought about that many times over the years. I’ve often wondered if he really thought that being bullied, forced, ridiculed and humiliated was actually somehow pleasant for me? Could he have actually thought that since he enjoyed it that I must enjoy it too? Maybe he really was clueless since he had no empathy.

      3. K says:

        Yup, they know exactly what they are doing by picking an empath and they get away with it, too. I had never heard of sleep rape till I came here. This site is the “wipe” that cleaned my spectacles.

      4. K says:

        My boyfriend used sleep rape, too. When things got stale he needed to change it up, I guess. He started to call me a whore during sex and he would slap my ass and position me, like I was a rag doll. And he told me he enjoyed hurting me during sex. I think that the only thing they focus on is their need for fuel, power and control, so our feelings really do not matter. We are just objects to be used to satisfy their needs. I was very lucky, my MMRN was not really violent or intimidating at all, until our last year together. But after the GP I was not allowed to initiate sex ever. He completely controlled it. Man, when you laugh at them, watch out! They do not like it at all. It is very comforting to know that you and others have been through this. Thanks for sharing.

        1. Windstorm2 says:

          You’re welcome and I totally agree. It has really helped me being here on the blog and hearing the stories of others who have experienced similar things.

  15. Vicky says:

    I wish I knew this info before!

  16. Caroline says:

    These are great! Too bad I won’t get a chance to use them (NC).

    #5 made me laugh, as I thought it was going in a whole other direction… yeah, never mind.

  17. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

    Well that explains why I always got him so mad lol. I’ve done all of those things but the making it look like I’m sleeping and saying someone has something better.

    The laughing one wasn’t difficult because I found his nonsensical shit so ridiculous I couldn’t help but laugh. I used to taunt him when he would try and gaslight me lmao. The “are you finished” is a line I have always used. The “that doesn’t make sense” is another one that I used to say all the time lol……

    Another favorite is “this conversation is boring me”… because it was.

  18. Suzie says:

    I preferred walking out the door, not coming back for a few days and only to bring a couple of big strong movers to carry my stuff out. Everything went right into storage. When my check came to his house a couple of days later he said I couldn’t get it. So I let him think he was hoovering me back in, got the check then dumped him for good. Now that is outsmarting him at his own game!

  19. Windstorm2 says:

    Oh this was very refreshing, HG! I’ve been doing all of these since I was a girl! Nice to know when I’ve been doing something right!

    Do you like the Simpsons? That’s one of my all-time favorite TV programs. I identify most with Maggie. Always ignored and quiet in the background, listening and watching – but no one knows how smart she is or what she’s capable of.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      The Simpsons is not something I regularly watch but when I have seen it I can see why it is popular.
      What you really mean is you like to suck on a dummy (pacifier) don’t you?

      1. Windstorm2 says:

        Maybe, never tried one. 😉 Let’s just say I like to amuse myself in the background while I watch everyone else like they are performing in a play.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          So you are the voyeur at the orgy WS2, I understand you!

          1. Windstorm2 says:

            Ha, ha, HG! Yes, you probably do! I am an insatiable learner who has learned how to observe drama without getting caught up in it. I do enjoy seeing skill and intellect in action.

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