SWEET RELIEF TIP #5: Have Phrases to Say When You Don't Know What to Say

There are basically two sorts of scenarios where stock phrases can be useful. One is when you need to provide some sort of positive feedback but don't really want to or can't think of anything. The other is when you are upset or angry and your thinking has gotten cloudy.

Positive Feedback

By now, you're probably pretty clear on the fact that positive feedback is important to a narcissist. You also probably understand that it's useful to you because it keeps things smooth and calm, maybe even pleasant. The thing is that sometimes it can be hard to find things to compliment. So having prepared ahead of time some things you can say is really useful.

Some ideas for positive feedback are:

"Wow, that's really something," or "You're really something."

"Interesting, I never would have thought of that."

"How's that renovation project coming along? I love that patio idea you were working on."

"What happened with...."

"I'm happy for you that...."

Another option is to compliment something that involves the narcissist rather than being positive about the narcissist himself. For instance, if the narcissist is particularly proud of his car, or his home, or his body or his hair or whatever it is - say something nice about that, or remember to inquire about it. If all else fails, compliment an item of clothing!

Creating Time to Think or Calm Down

If you are talking with a narcissist, it's not unusual to find yourself responding quickly, or getting upset, or having your habitual reactions hijack you and take over. Your thinking can get muddied, or your tendency to accommodate can replace your other preferences. In order to be prepared for these situations, again, it is useful to have some phrases in your back pocket ready for use. Preparation stands you in good stead, so that less thinking on your feet is necessary while your mind is cloudy.

Here are some ideas to help you create time to think or calm down:

"That's interesting. I'll have to think about that."

"I'll get back to you."

"I'm not sure what's going to work. I'll let you know later."

So, Tip #5: Develop some things to say when you need to provide positive input or need to buy yourself some time to think.

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