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?

32 thoughts on “The Empath’s Riposte Grenades

  1. Jackie says:

    Thank you for this HG! Please keep writing ways we can fight back. It is so helpful. I will definitely use these.

  2. Brandy says:

    HG! So I’m hoping I tried this!
    @230p I called to inform him our dog went To surgery
    @245p he responds via text “working”
    I didn’t engage any communication
    @645p he finally calls back
    @720 I respond via text “I got something going on I’ll call you later”
    @721 he says “whatever”
    @820 I cAll and he sends me to voicemail
    @822 he sends me a text “I’m busy I’ll call you when I can”
    I gave no emotion, no reply or communication back

    Did he send me to voicemail and send that text to piss me off?
    Did I respond appropriately?
    Ek!!!!’ I’m trying!!!

  3. NarcAngel says:

    I have used a few of those and they are effective.

    I recall one of them talking about their car. I asked what color. Brown was the answer (not brown but the actual name of the color of course). Suits you I replied. He asked: what does that mean? Now what I wanted to reply was: its the color of shit, but instead I responded with the more ambiguous: neutral and understated. He suddenly cut off the conversation and had to go.

    Another time, I was staring out the window and he announced that I seemed not to be paying attention. I remained fixed and replied: forgive me for not hanging on every word-there are a lot of them.
    Then there were none of them lol because it was followed by a silent treatment.

    Its like HG says: Love them, hate them, but never ignore them.

  4. JenniferJ says:

    Thank you HG. Very helpful. I will memorise these so they roll off the tongue at the appropriate moment.

  5. Hurt&Confused(but it's becoming clearer) says:

    would you consider this as faulty thinking on my part that is likely to leave me vulnerable to further manipulation?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      What is “this” ?

      1. Hurt&Confused says:

        I was referring to my previous comment which is moderation. I wanted to add this question to it, So pressed reply to that comment…If that makes sense.

        1. HG Tudor says:


  6. Brandy says:

    HG these are awesome! Can you recommend to all of us some we can use through text when we need to use it. Such as when they cuss us, say they don’t have time to talk/phone off, etc!
    Thank you

  7. Mercy says:

    I told him today that his ex cheating was a big fat “W” for every girl in his past and every victim in his future…then I told him if I didn’t hate her I’d high five her…too much emotion? It felt good.

  8. Jasmine says:

    On #7 “Best used with a Mid-Range as they tend to go off in a wounded sulk rather than erupt in a rage.”
    … yeah.. I’m not certain I’d do ANY of these. Fear the rage!! Unless I was totally backed into a corner. That’s different though. We have rage too sometimes. Mine always takes me by surprise.

  9. Hurt&Confused( but it’s becoming clearer) says:

    What about calmly stating the truth and pointing out their lies? The truth is like kryptonite to those who deal in lies, is it not?
    My intention was not to wound, but to cleanse the wound that was already there.
    I do not hate him. He is most likely motivated by fear, shame and loneliness. He understands that something is wrong, but he is too afraid of the truth. Of being exposed to those squirmy feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety, and inadequacy. That feeling of being utterly exposed and naked, with nowhere to hide. To be utterly vulnerable. It’s easier to become friends with your demons rather than fight them. That’s his choice.
    My choice is to keep fighting. I will achieve my peace through honesty and sincerity. I will not hate myself, or anybody else for that matter.
    Those words that would have utterly humiliated him, I held those back. I was tempted to let them go, but I’m glad I did not. No, I will not become a hateful person. No.
    Good luck to him, I hope that he will one day find peace.

  10. All out of Fuel says:

    “Alternatively, point and just say “HAW ha” in an exaggerated manner, akin to the Simpsons’ character, Nelson Muntz.”

    Good article but you just had to give a Simpsons reference didn’t you? Damn everpresence.

  11. Reba says:

    These are some fun examples–thanks HG! Just so I’m clear, is any criticism said, provided it is said in a matter of fact manner to deprive of fuel, enough to wound? Or is it seen as forcing us to engage and therefore still provides fuel?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      If states without emotion, in a matter of fact manner it will wound.
      If with emotion, it will be Challenge Fuel.

      1. Jasmine says:

        Challenge fuel? Is this in “Fuel”? I’m reading it right now. Fascinating

        1. HG Tudor says:

          No, it is in the article “Fuel, Fight or Flight” – thank you for reading the book.

          1. Jasmine says:

            You are most welcome. Thank you for providing the insight. I have several and am currently reading 3 of them.

          2. Jasmine says:

            Question with regard to the book: Could it be that you rank negative fuel higher because these are feelings you can relate to?

          3. HG Tudor says:

            There may be some merit in that observation Jasmine, it is primarily because it is harder to draw negative fuel from an empathic person and therefore being able to do so reinforces our notion of power and thus it is of increased potency.

          4. Jasmine says:

            Slow to boil
            burns brighter than oil

  12. Insatiable Learner says:

    These are great, HG. They appear very effective in wounding the narc. Unfortunately, I would not be able to use these. Despite the narc’s mistreatment of me, I would care about his feelings too much to do this.

  13. Bekah B says:

    I cringed at all of these.. Gaasshh!! I could not imagine saying all of these to my narc.. I swear I would be able to feel the heat rising in his cheeks and the hurt running through his body if I said these, verbatim.. The only thing I have said is “Let Me Know. . .”, but it did not end with “When You Are Finished”.. I’ve said that recently, just to place the ball back into his court as far as him requiring my attention and assistance, rather than me being proactive about what he requested.. Otherwise, I know I have criticized my narc in other ways.. But these are indeed GRENADES.. I don’t wanna wound him in these ways..

  14. Excellent follow up to ’10 Spoken Narc Grenades’!
    When I read this last time, i laughed at how many of these I had done inadvertently. If only I’d known then what I know now……it’d be on!!!!

  15. geyserempath says:

    These are fantastic, HG. Thank you for the ammunition to add to the “Anti-Narc Arsenal”!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  16. Bibi says:

    These are great, HG.

    I have an example of my own. While arguing with the narc, (this was before I knew anything about the disorder, etc.) something told me to respond aloofly, coldly and without emotion.

    I can’t recall the specific words, unfortunately, but I just spoke to him in a very cold, patronizing tone, similar to the way he spoke to me.

    His response? ‘Now you’re being as cold as you’ve accused me of being!’

    What a reaction. That is GOLD. I win!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Indeed and his response was one of deflection, blame-shifting and suggesting you are a hypocrite.

      1. Bibi says:

        To take it further, at this point I was aware of his manipulations, albeit I assumed it was due to him being ‘extremely passive aggressive.’

        Being a Mid-Ranger, that was the behaviour I searched. Of course, I had yet to stumble upon the real source of the problem.

        So I was actually testing him at this point, to see how he would react.

        I backed down and went submissive.

        “It is clear that you are going through a lot right now, so I just want you to know you have my support blah blah and if you need me for anything blah blah.’

        Of course, what he didn’t know was that I didn’t really mean that, as I was wanting to gauge his response, which was:

        ‘Now that’s the Bibi I know and care about!’

        My thought was, ‘My God, all he wants is a doormat.’

        I very much took note of this and added it to my growing list of toxic observations. It wasn’t long after when everything came to a head and that our contact had to end.

        1. Jasmine says:

          “I very much took note of this and added it to my growing list of toxic observations.” – Bibi

          I think that is extremely important in these relationships.

      2. Bibi says:


        Though it is safe to say that when you begin Googling behaviour patterns and words like, ‘toxic’ and ‘extreme passive aggression’ and ‘silent treatment’ coupled with verbal experiments as what I demonstrated, the relationship has not only reached the crapper but has been there for some time.

        1. Jasmine says:

          Indeed it would! I was so focused on the alcohol addiction aspect, that I failed to analyze the abuse. Of course my little friends Denial & Excuse played a big part in my staying.

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