Ep 418: How to Negotiate with Narcissists with Rebecca Zung



If you tell a narcissist what you want, they will ensure you don’t get it. Rebecca Zung is a negotiation expert specializing in the seemingly impossible task of negotiating with a narcissist.

She is a top attorney with a huge personal brand, empowering people in tricky dynamics to strategically navigate the process of getting a fair deal.

During today’s conversation, she shares insights from her two published books, Negotiate Like You M.A.T.T.E.R. and Breaking Free, and offers a glimpse into her upcoming release, Slay the Bully.

Our conversation is filled with valuable tips to maintain your integrity and find a reasonable solution as you dissolve your connection to a covert, overt, or malignant narcissist.

Whether you are dealing with dissolving a personal relationship or negotiating the end of a business partnership, today’s guest is here to tell you that there is a way to emerge with your peace intact.

Tune in today to hear all this and more!


  • Introducing top attorney and influential negotiation expert Rebecca Zung.
  • Defining the spectrum of narcissism, from healthy narcissism to full-blown disorder.
  • Narcissistic supply and its dark underbelly.
  • What causes a narcissist to have no empathy for others.
  • Rebecca’s personal story of starting a family at 19, going back to law school, and working in high net-worth family law.
  • Her experience encountering a narcissist in an entrepreneurial capacity.
  • How her book Negotiate Like You M.A.T.T.E.R. explains how to negotiate with a narcissist.
  • How narcissistic injury turns off rational thought and turns on the limbic system.
  • The narcissist’s unconscious need for control and manipulation.
  • Using the SLAY acronym to navigate negotiations with a narcissist.
  • Why it is so important to determine exactly what you want.
  • Determining what is most important to a narcissist in order to succeed at negotiating with them.
  • Why you have to act offensively in order to win.
  • Three different types of narcissists: covert, overt, and malignant.
  • Why it’s so important not to defend yourself and to stay on the offensive.
  • Choosing your own mindset and defining your own value.
  • Responding to the narcissist’s tactics.
  • The ‘fluff for favor, vomit later’ technique.
  • Using the element of surprise and setting your ego aside.
  • Acting like a ‘grey rock’.
  • Where to find Rebecca’s upcoming book: Slay the Bully.
  • Advice for anyone feeling discouraged.
  • Three steps to deconditioning yourself from a narcissist’s manipulation.


“Most of the time, when you’re on the other end of a narcissist, you’re an empathic person.” — @rebeccazung [0:28:14]

“There are three types of narcissism I like to talk about, which are covert, overt, and malignant. They each act differently in negotiations.” —@rebeccazung [0:28:56]

“They are going to try to trigger you. They are going to try to get under your skin. So you have to stand firm. You have to stay calm.” — @rebeccazung [0:29:22]

“100% of winning is your mindset.” —@rebeccazung [0:32:37]

“You and you alone define your value and people will think what you tell them to think.” —@rebeccazung [0:35:15]

About Rebecca Zung

Rebecca Zung is one of the Top 1% of attorneys in the nation, having been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Lawyer in America”, as “Legal Elite” by Trend Magazine, and recognized by her peers and the judiciary as AV(c), preeminent rated in family law, the highest possible rating for an attorney by Martindale Hubbell. But her journey wasn’t always easy. Married at 19 the first time, she had 3 children by the age of 23 and then was a divorced single mom when she decided to go back to law school. She went from being a single mom, college dropout, to becoming one the most powerful lawyers in the country at the helm of a multi-million dollar practice. She is now committed to sharing her secrets and empowering others to live their lives at their optimum level of success, professionally and personally.

She is the author of the bestselling books, Negotiate Like You M.A.T.T.E.R.: The Sure Fire Method to Step Up and Win (foreword by Robert Shapiro) and Breaking Free: A Step-by-Step Divorce Guide for Achieving Emotional, Physical, and Spiritual Freedom, and is a sought after major media contributor.

Her perspectives are in high demand by television and print outlets, as she has been featured in or on Extra, Forbes, Huffington Post, Newsweek, Time, Dr. Drew, NPR Talk Radio, Good Day New York and CBS Los Angeles among others.

Now, Rebecca remains a partner in Long, Murphy & Zung, and is based in Los Angeles and Florida. She is continuing to serve through her incredible on-demand programs such as S.LA.Y. Your Negotiation With a Narcissist, and the Divorce Delete-Alt-Control Masterclasses. She is also the host of the popular show Negotiate Your Best Life™ which is available on YouTube and as a Top Podcast, and also is a frequent keynote speaker.


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RV (00:00): I am so excited to introduce you to somebody who is a friend a client of Brand Builders Group, and somebody who is really becoming a mentor in many ways, because she teaches a very specific topic that I’m so excited to introduce to you. So, you’re about to meet Rebecca Zung, and she is a, a negotiation expert and specifically an expert on negotiating with narcissists. She also has a huge personal brand. So she’s a YouTuber. She’s got, you know, she got over a hundred thousand subscribers in 10 months when she launched her YouTube channel. But really before she was a personal brand. She was one of the top 1% of attorneys in the nation. So she was actually recognized by US News and World Report as a best lawyer in America. She has written several books on this subject, so negotiate like You Matter and then Breaking Free. But her new book that is coming out now is called Slay the Bully, how to Negotiate With a Narcissist and Win. And I’ve just been really captivated by Rebecca’s content and her intelligence in terms of how she’s built her business. And then also we’ve gotten to work with her a little bit and get to know her behind the scenes. But I thought, Hey, we got to have this topic of negotiating with narcissists on our show, because it applies to all of us. So anyways, Rebecca, welcome to the show. RZ (01:33): Thank you. I, you were actually one of my favorite people, is you are so brilliant. I’m really actually in awe of you, so thank you. Thank you for having me. RV (01:43): Yeah, well, thanks Fran. And I RZ (01:45): Don’t say that actually very easily. Let me just tell you that it’s, it’s, I, I don’t suffer fools very easily, so I have to tell you, I’m really, really impressed by you. RV (01:57): Well, thank you. Thank you. Well, and I genuinely am impressed by you. I mean 40 million plus views on YouTube, several hundred thousand followers on Instagram and social. You’ve built this, this massive email list, you know, well into the six figures and hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook. You know, but you know, before all of that, you were a true expert. I mean, you’re just like the, the epitome of who we like to work with, that brand builders group, this, this person with deep expertise who really solves a problem in the world. And I have to tell you, and, and my very first question I want to ask you about is such a fundamental question, which is how do you define a narcissist? Because honestly, that term wasn’t even on my radar until I met you. And then, you know, I started following you and like seeing all the stuff and going, wow, so many people are resonating with your content. So apparently there’s a lot of narcissists out there in the world, and, you know, maybe my eyes are just being open to that. So can you like start there and, and tell us what that is? RZ (03:04): Yeah, I actually wouldn’t have been able to define it myself either, even though, you know, I probably came a across a lot of them in my practice and even in my personal life as well. So the way I like to define it is, is really in layman’s terms, and in my book, of course, I, I give the DSM five and all of that because I, I, you know, I felt like I needed to, which is what the professionals, the mental health professionals use. But I like to use layman terms because I think it’s easier for all of us to understand. And, and it is a, a spectrum. And, and so if you go all the way to the end of the spectrum, there is a legitimate personality disorder there sitting at the end of the spectrum, which is narcissistic personality disorder. But obviously as you get closer and closer toward the end of the spectrum, you’re gonna get closer and more and more and more of, of the characteristics, right? RZ (04:00): And all of us, of course, have some characteristics of being narcissistic at times, and there is a healthy version of narcissism, by the way, too. Interesting. Okay. Yes. Yeah. So, but what narcissism is, is a person who has no feeling of, of value, and I say they don’t feel valuable because obviously all human beings are inherently valuable, but they don’t feel any sense of internal value. And so what they do is they go around trying to get feelings of value from external sources. And so the way it’s described is narcissistic supply, and that’s the, what everybody call refers to it as is narcissistic supply. What I have done is actually tier that and, and, and tier it into diamond level supply and coal level supply. So they, they get this, you know, external diamond level supply from anything in, in how they look. So it could be big houses, impressive friends, lots of money, all the things that you think of as the best things of how they look to the world, you know, puffing themselves up by making themselves look good. RZ (05:25): And then there’s what I call the dark underbelly of narcissistic supply, which is put, you know, making themselves feel better by pushing other people down. Mm-Hmm. Which is degrading people, controlling people, manipulating people, making other people squirm. So that’s what I call coal level supply. But what they do is they, they suck you dry of energy because they’re trying to make themselves feel better, but it’s a black hole and it can never be filled. So you are left feeling totally and completely depleted, yet they’re still starving and, and it, they’re like desperate for air, gasping for breath, and it’s, it’s scarcity to the utmost extreme. And it can never be healed. And it can never be, you know you know, it’s like a salve that they’re trying to put on themselves and they can never get enough. And so you are there and, and, and feel totally compl depleted. They’re still starving, and, and there’s this black hole and it’s goes on and on and on and on. And, and that’s why they have no empathy. That’s why they have no empathy. It’s like they’re in pain all the time, and it’s deep shame. RV (06:47): Interesting. And so that’s, that’s part of the characteristic is no empathy for others because they’re just consumed with basically trying to satisfy this, this void, which is impossible for them to fill with external stuff, which is impossible for them to fill. RZ (07:03): Correct. Uhhuh RV (07:05): . Correct. So, so let’s back up a little bit. ’cause Your personal story is you know, inspiring and fascinating. I was raised by a single mom and who sold Mary Kay. And that’s always like, part of my story. Oh, RZ (07:18): Did she have the pink Cadillac? RV (07:20): She never got the pink Cadillac. She did have the, the red Grand Am for a minute, for like a hot minute. Oh, okay. So she did it more of like a side hustle than like a career, but I still learned a lot of like, personal development principles from sort of being around like the Mary Kay culture and the events and stuff that she had. But anyways, can you take, tell us, like, I’m curious, how did you become one of these top attorneys? And, and you know, you’ve been on Extra, and I know you’ve had like, some very high profile like divorce cases that you used to be involved in. And I know you’re, you’re, you’re still like a partner in your firm, but like, how did you, how did you get into all of this stuff? Like, tell us your personal story. RZ (08:03): Well, interestingly enough you know, I’m actually first generation Chinese on my dad’s side and second, second generation German on my mom’s, you know, I’m so half Chinese and half German. So I, I always joke that I have no fun genes whatsoever. , you know, it’s, it’s all like very, very serious and extremely organized. But my dad came over from China when he was 15. He was from Shanghai. He went to Columbia undergrad medical school. My mom was an operating room nurse, and my dad was an anesthesiologist. So, you know, I, I graduated second in my class from high school. And then my version of re re of Rebellion was to drop out of college and get married at 19 and have three kids by the time I was 22. And so my parents were just loving that, I’m sure, you know, just RV (08:56): Devastated. I mean, nine, you dropped outta college, got married at 19 and had three kids, and you’re 22 years old. Mm-Hmm. RZ (09:04): . Yeah. And then I got divorced still in my twenties. And, you know, my, my parents were like, you are done with us fi, you know, they didn’t gimme any more money at that point. Like, that was it. I mean, they still loved me and all, but it wasn’t, you know, like it, you know, in those days you know, at, at this point it’s like, you know, late eighties or whatever it was like that, they weren’t like 90, 19 90 or whatever. It was like, they weren’t like, oh, you know, we’re gonna give him money or whatever. At that point, you know, like, this is, you RV (09:36): Were on your own, you were an adult, you were out there on your own, RZ (09:38): You’re done, we’re done. You know, or no, I used say this was the nineties by this, this time, it was the nineties. And so they were like, okay, you know, you can do whatever you’re gonna do. And so I got divorced and went back to law school. This is definitely in the nineties already at this point. And I, I met my husband in law school, and we you know, still in my twenties at this point, right. And, and we have now been married for 23 years, and we have a 20, 21 year old daughter. And I, you know, at, but that point, I mean, I, I still made law review. I went to University of Miami Law School at night, and I mean, they don’t even have a night program anymore. I mean, so, you know, it was a crazy time in my life. RZ (10:38): It was crazy. And so we you know, I, I ended up starting at a law firm where the partners were, you know, top family law attorneys in the country. Okay. You know, my, my, they were both members of the academy, the international academy. My, one of the partners that I worked for she had been, you know, president of the American Bar Association for the, the country. And, you know, so I just, that’s where I started, you know, and, and high net worth family law is a very, very specialized area of the law. You have to know, you know, tax law, estate planning, law, business law, you know, trust law. I mean, there’s, it’s a very, very high you know, highly specialized area of the law. So that’s where I started right from the beginning. And I came up through, through that. RZ (11:40): They, they retired. I ended up starting my own practice and continued on, you know, I was in Naples, Florida, which is a very affluent area. At one point, when I had my daughter, I stopped and I ended up going to Morgan Stanley for a few years. I did wealth planning there for a little while, just like two years. And I had my series seven in 66 for a little while. And then I went back and, and had my own practice. And then just, you know, I wrote my first book in 2013. I had John Gray actually wrote the four, or he wrote an endorsement for me. And from there, I actually started to get some television work. I started doing, you know, T M Z, and, you know, some things like that. And that was when I started to think, you know, maybe I wanna do something a little bit more entrepreneurial. RZ (12:36): You know, it was like I didn’t have to even step outside my firm anymore to do any networking. You know, it was like hamster wheel, you know, from my practice. And I just started to feel like you know, let me do something else. So in 2017, I merged my practice with two other guys who were both members of the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and my husband and I moved to Los Angeles, and I was going back and forth, and we started, I, that was when I started learning about funnels. And I just started like teaching myself some things. And I got involved with this other person at that time who turned out to be a narcissist. And that’s when I started to, RV (13:25): In the business RZ (13:27): Not, she wasn’t a, you know, it wasn’t a law firm. No. But it was an entrepreneurial endeavor that, you know, RV (13:37): And so that’s when you really started diving in specifically to negotiating with narcissists. ’cause I think as I think about the people listening to this show, I think you go, you know, you might be negotiating fees with clients, you could be negotiating customer service issues with like, people trying to like, cancel or get a refund. You could be negotiating something with a business partner, right. In terms of we hear a lot of those stories, right? A lot of our clients have had very tumultuous, tumultuous, we’ll say, separations from business partners and joint ventures and things like that. RZ (14:19): And yeah, well, I had, I ended up having that. I mean, I ended up having that, you know mm-hmm. because, you know, I, I mean, and, and they always start out the same, these narcissists, you know, very charming, very perfect. You know, I had this idea for a business, and I had really kind of started the process with it, and it had my name on it. I don’t wanna give too many details because I don’t wanna be, you know, giving like, oh, this person coming back, you know? Yeah. But I had an idea. And, you know, it was, RV (14:59): But you, basically, the short of it is you had this experience where suddenly you were tied up with a narcissist. And I guess ultimately what I, what I would, what I’d love to hear is how do, so how do you negotiate with the narcissist? Like yeah. Knowing, knowing now what some of their characteristics are and why, which is super helpful to understand the reason they are the way they are is because they’re starving. They’re searching for basically love and importance and to feel valued. And that’s a really scary place to go, oh, you know, nothing I can do is ever gonna make them feel that way. So they continue going, which means I’m gonna constantly feel drained. So, you know, I always feel like when I think about negotiation and the way that I approach negotiation, like, I don’t think of negotiation as a battle. I’ve always thought about negotiating. I think of negotiation as collaborating and going, how do I help you get what you want, and you help me get what we want? And we all, we all win together. But if somebody doesn’t have empathy, if they don’t care, they go, I have zero interest in helping you get what you want. That, you know, how do you, how do you negotiate with that person? RZ (16:08): Yeah. And therein lies your problem right there. So right behind me, I’ve got a book that I wrote called Negotiate Like You Matter. Robert Shapiro wrote the Fore. And, and in that book, I talk about how both sides wanna feel, seen, heard, and know that they matter. And if you don’t walk away with both sides getting some amount of value out of it, the deal’s gonna fall apart. And I have participated in thousands and thousands and thousands of negotiations, and I know what it takes to get a deal to stick. Okay? Here’s the problem, when you’re dealing with a narcissist, okay, let me explain something about how a narcissist ha was formed. And this is actually was, it blew my mind when I was doing the research for this book. RZ (17:02): How a narcissist was formed during childhood is actually a result of trauma to the brain. So when we are dealing with trauma as adults or as human beings, we are presented with when we’re, you know, feeling like we are under fire. We feel like we need to fight or, or flee, right? Fight or flight. And when that happens, our brains emit chemicals to allow us to prepare to be strong or to run faster. So it’s adrenaline or whatever it is. Right. You know, to, to be able to, you know, so it’s the sweat glands go and all of that. Mm-Hmm. , RV (17:52): Cortisol, all that stuff. RZ (17:53): Yeah. Cortisol, all of that. Exactly. So when that happens on a continuous basis though, it actually can start to cause damage within the limbic system of the brain, especially for children. And it can actually cause arrested development to that area of the brain. And what that is called is called narcissistic injury. And when that happens for a narcissist as they grow, while the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is the thinking area of the brain, can continue to develop that limbic system, part of the brain as it continues to, as they grow when they’re presented with situations where they feel like they need to be back in survival mode again. And it doesn’t mean it’s rational to you, it means it’s rational to them or reasonable. So it could be an eye roll, it could be a tone, it could be anything, anything where they feel slighted or they feel like they need to, to be back in there and they’re triggered, then that narcissistic injury is triggered, and that limbic system comes back into play and takes back over. And now you’re not dealing with rational, now you’re not dealing with reasonable anymore. You’re dealing with that limbic system, part of their brain. And what I learned in my research is that sometimes they don’t even remember what they have done during that period of time. And what happens is it’s actually called splitting, meaning RV (19:47): Phenomen, they don’t remember or what happened to ’em when they were young, or meaning they don’t remember the irrational stuff, what they’ve done, stuff they did to you, RZ (19:53): They’ve what they’ve done to you. Okay. RV (19:55): Wow. And RZ (19:55): Yeah. And it’s, it’s actually phenomenon called splitting. And so they actually, they actually will say, I didn’t do that. That didn’t happen. We didn’t have that conversation. That’s not how it went. And, and so, you know, you’re not dealing with rational, you’re not dealing with reasonable. And, and so here’s the other issue. Here’s the other issue with that. These narcissistic people, narcissists not, you know, they are, let me go back to this other conversation that we started with, which is the narcissistic supply conversation. Remember that conversation we had, right? Yep. We’re, okay. So when you were having this conversation about where do we wanna go with this? Most people think, well, narcissists just wanna win, right? They wanna win, they wanna look good, they wanna be come out the winner. That’s not necessarily true. That only takes into account one form of supply. And that’s diamond level supply. RZ (21:06): It totally discounts and forgets about coal level supply, which is manipulating you, seeing you squirm, making you sw sweat, controlling you. They love that too. They need that too. And so when you’re dealing with them in a negotiation, both things are at play constantly. And they don’t even realize that sometimes. Sometimes it’s, it’s actually subconscious on their part. And so you are sitting there going, well, how can we rationally and reasonably come to a conclusion here? How can we figure out a resolution? The, the very question that you asked at the outset of this is what a rational and reasonable person would ask. But that is not the question that they’re asking. So what your motivation is, and what their motivation is, is completely different. When you sit down at the table, totally different. Their motivation is, I, I wanna control you. I wanna see you squirm. I enjoy seeing you sweat. I enjoy manipulating you. And so they will gameplay, they’ll constantly move goalposts, they’ll change their own deal. You’ll come back and say, I accept every single one of your points. And they’ll say, oh, deal’s already switched. It’s already changed. ’cause You took too long because I don’t like your face anymore, because you parted your hair on a different side today. RV (22:47): Yeah. That’s so frustrating. I mean, it’s so frustrating. Like, and so, so you have this acronym slay, which is sort of like, okay, so if you’re in this situation, and that’s super insightful. I’ve been in this situation before to go, what they really wanna do is not only win, they want to bury you. They want to like, they want to hurt. You just RZ (23:09): Bury, you RV (23:10): Just play with you. Like, they just want thank you, you to, to feel, they want you to feel awful and horrible. And, you know, controlling is the word. Like, they’re able to to control you, so RZ (23:21): They’ll take themselves down to take you down. RV (23:25): Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. That’s fascinating. So then what do you do? Is that what Slay is about, is slay basically what, what you’re supposed to do to deal with all this. Yeah. ’cause This is very discouraging and very, like, what you’re describing is so real. It’s like, you know, RZ (23:42): That’s why what I do works, but that’s why what I do works. That’s why I literally have thousands of testimonials from people who said, I’ve saved their lives. That’s why what I do works. That’s why I have 40 million views on YouTube. . RV (23:58): Yeah, yeah. Is RZ (23:58): What I, what I do works, because I understand this. And RV (24:02): So talk us through slay, like, walk us through that. Yeah. RZ (24:05): Yeah. So strategy, leverage, anticipate, and focus on you. So strategy is you have to have a vision. You have to understand where you’re gonna go. You have to have a G P S, you have to, you know, because you’re on the offensive, I mean, you’re on the defensive so much when you’re dealing with these people that you’re just like, oh my God, I I can’t think anymore. I’m paralyzed. I’m, I’m powerless. I can’t, I cannot think. And most of the time when people are at the other end of this, they have cognitive dissonance. They have C P t, SS d, they, you know, they can’t think straight anymore. So the first thing you gotta do is know where you’re gonna go and have a very specific vision about it. Right? You talk about so beautifully about, you know, having a, a, a thought conceive, believe, achieve, knowing where you wanna go, make it specific, same principle, right? Understanding where you’re gonna go, have a very specific vision. So that’s number one. Then creating that action plan, that’s all part of my strategy. Having an action plan, knowing exactly where you’re gonna go. RV (25:07): So, and does that mean knowing what you want? Is that what you mean by just being clear of like, this is what I want to have happen? Yeah. At the end of this? RZ (25:15): Yeah. I mean, so many times when I ask people what it is that you want, the first thing they’ll say is, I just want them to leave me alone. I just want it to stop. I just, that’s not a want. Mm-Hmm. RV (25:26): , RZ (25:27): You know RV (25:28): You’re saying like, specific outcomes that you document that you go, here’s what a win, here’s what a win in this scenario looks like for me. And just getting the first step is getting clear on that yourself, RZ (25:41): Getting clear on that yourself. At the end of this partnership, I wanna take over my company, I wanna buy them out. Here’s how much I think the company is worth, you know, whatever it is. Or I, I want them to buy me out, or I want, you know, the company needs to be sold, or, you know, what’s the specific outcome for you? Mm-Hmm. , how do, and how does that look? How does that happen? You know? Okay. I mean, what does the partnership agreement say? You know, half the time when I ask people that question, they don’t even know if they have a partnership agreement. You know what I mean? So, you know, there’s questions that need to be asked. Then what are the steps that need to happen to make that happen? All right? So that’s number one. Number two is, is l that’s your leverage. RZ (26:27): And many people wanna go straight to leverage. You can’t have leverage. You can’t get to that point unless you’ve developed a strategy first. Okay? You need to know what’s motivating these people. So here’s your, your diamond level supply versus your coal level supply. So, so diamond level supply, what’s most important to them, what is most important to them? And, and you know, how, as far as what they look like to the world, it’s gonna be different for every narcissist. But, you know, it’s basically every narcissist has something that, you know, is, you know, most important to them as far as how they look in the world. That’s gonna be the most important to them. And they will protect and defend that at any cost, at any cost. That diamond level supply, they will hang onto that more importantly and most preciously than anything. And that’s the thing that you have to threaten. RZ (27:27): You have to threaten a source of supply that’s more important for them to keep than the supply that they get from jerking you around and then, and then threaten that source of supply. But you can’t actually take away that source of supply, because if you do, then your leverage is gone, obviously. All right? And so, and then you’ve gotta come up with like 40 different ways that you kind of like have the guns pointing at it, you know, so what does that look like? Summary of their lies, an inconsistent statements, or, you know, potentially, you know, deposing, I call it deposed to expose, you know, so potentially deposing their new source of supply, you know, their new paramore maybe, or their new business partner, or all of the people in their new company, or, because, you know, when you, a lot of times you’re breaking up in a partnership, they go to take half the clients with them. RZ (28:23): So, you know, are you gonna go depose all the new clients? Are you gonna, what are you gonna do in order to potentially expose them and have this conversation? I call it ethically manipulating the manipulator. These are all very legal things that you can do. I’m not talking about blackmail, I’m talking about things that you can do. These aren’t, but, you know, these are offensive strategies. Most of the time when you’re on the other end of a narcissist, you’re a, you’re an empathic person. You’re a person that goes, ah, I don’t wanna have to do that. It seems cringey to you. You don’t wanna do that, then I hope you enjoy the, you know, being a, you know, on the other side of a steam roller, because that’s what’s gonna happen to you. You have to be offensive when you’re dealing with this, because, you know, they have to feel like the hammer is gonna get dropped on them, you know? RZ (29:21): And then a is anticipate, anticipate what the narcissist is gonna do, and be two steps ahead of them. What are they gonna do? Well, first of all, there’s three different types of narcissists that I like to, you know, sort of talk about, which is covert, overt, and malignant. They each act differently in negotiations. And in my book, I talk about how they act because they’re each different, which is, you know, we can’t really get into all of that right here as it’s kind of long. But, you know, they do act differently in negotiations. But the one thing I do wanna talk about here, just briefly, is that they are going to try to trigger you. They are going to try to get under your skin. So you have to stand firm, you have to stay calm, don’t take the bait, don’t go, don’t allow them to go fishing, and you end up with a hook in your mouth. RZ (30:18): You know, like, don’t defend yourself. Don’t explain, don’t justify. They’re gonna say stuff to you like, oh, you’re you know, like for you, Rory, you are a person who prides himself on being, you know, a person of integrity, a person who’s honest, a person who does what he says he’s gonna do when he says he’s gonna do it. So for you, what would be the first thing you’re gonna do? You are dishonest. Mm-Hmm. , you are a liar. Mm-Hmm. , you are not a person of integrity. You, you’re a, you know, you’re a horrible father. You never show up for your kids. So they’re gonna say tho those kinds of things to you first thing, because they’re gonna know that that’s the first thing that would bug the crap outta you. Mm-Hmm. RV (31:12): And make you squirm. That’s the, like, what can I do to just like, control you and manipulate you and see you just be completely off kilter? Yeah. yeah. That’s amazing. And when you say, don’t, you know, like, don’t defend yourself. I mean, so this is, I’ll, I’ll share this. One, one of the very, like, the very first time that I was in like a real lawsuit, and this is like a piece of legal advice that, that I, I wish somebody would’ve told me, like, the one thing I wish somebody would’ve told me was don’t read their letters. Like, I read, I read their letters and it was like, this letter is outrageous. This is a flat out lie. This is un like, unbelievable. How are they even saying this? And it’s like, that’s the point of the letters. Yes. like, like, there’s no legal substance whatsoever to the, it has nothing to do with what is accurate. Yes. It’s, it’s literally for the purpose of getting riled up. So Yes. You know, in subsequent lawsuits I’ve been involved in, I just throw the letters away. I don’t even look at ’em. Right. I just give them, give ’em, to give ’em to my lawyers and say, you know, like, go ahead and RZ (32:18): Go through this. And they always come at four o’clock on Fridays, by the way, RV (32:22): . Yeah. And your birthday on their birthday. Yeah. There’s a anniversary or something like Uhhuh. Yeah. They do it on, they do it on purpose. Yeah. Yeah. Which is, it’s funny ’cause it’s, it’s a very predictable RZ (32:34): Right. That’s why I say anticipate what they’re gonna do. Mm-Hmm. And, and don’t defend yourself. Never explain, never justify, you know, RV (32:43): Honestly, RZ (32:43): Pretend like you’re reporting in the news. RV (32:46): Yep. Once you ha, once you have the perspective, you go, oh my gosh, this is hilarious. Like, it’s such a predictable, immature, like what would somebody that just, just to, just for no other reason to try to hurt you, and you’re like, oh my gosh. Like, it’s yeah. So that’s interesting. And not justifying, like if you’re justifying you’re win, they are winning, you’re doing exactly what they want. If you’re defending yourself, you’re, you’re doing exactly what they want to do. RZ (33:11): Exactly. RV (33:13): Fascinating. Okay. So is that, so that’s anticipate, that’s RZ (33:16): A, yep. And then, and then y is the you. And so I, I split you into two sections, which is you staying on the offensive, which I, you know, just sort of addressed a moment ago. And then y the other part of why is a hundred percent of winning is, is your mindset. And, and you, and you alone define your value. And you know, I used to say 80% of winning was your, was your mindset. And then I interviewed Bob Proctor and he corrected me on my own podcast. I will have to tell you and . And then I was like, you know what? He’s right. And so I I I, I like to tell this story about your value. And, and that is that I actually was, I, I told you a moment ago that I had been practicing law for about eight years, and then I went and was a, a broker at Morgan Stanley for a couple years, you know, my daughter was little at the time. RZ (34:17): And then I decided, yeah, a friend of mine was leaving Naples and decided to give me her law practice. Basically. She was like, I have a, you know, about, I don’t know, it was like 15 clients or something. And she’s like, I have these clients. I’m gonna just basically dump ’em in your lap and you can, you know, start a law practice with them. And I was like, okay, nobody’s ever gonna be giving me a law practice ever. So I, this is my chance to start a practice. And so I did that, and I had a business coach at the time who’s still somebody I go back to often, and she’s one of my very best friends and one of the smartest people I know on the planet. And I said to her, I said, oh, I’m so worried that the people of Naples are gonna think that I’m such a flake that, you know, she was a lawyer first and now she’s back. RZ (35:11): She was a, a financial person and she’s back to being a lawyer. And I, I was so nervous that the people of Naples were gonna think I was such a flake. And she said, people will think what you tell them to think. She said, you can tell them to think that you’re a flake, or you can tell them to think that you are the only F law attorney in town that has, has a financial background, so therefore you are actually more qualified than any other family law attorney in town. Which story would you like to tell? RV (35:49): Hmm. RZ (35:51): And I said, oh, maybe I’ll tell that story . And so I, that’s how I went ahead and branded myself, by the way. Mm-Hmm. and I within two years I had clients like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s goddaughter, and I was traveling in Europe with him and all kinds of, you know, I, I represented the founder of melting pot restaurants and all kinds of, you know, amazing clients and, you know, people who very clearly weren’t gonna be hiring a flake. And, you know, I, I think that had I held myself out and was apologetic and said, oh, you know, I’m a flake and, you know, that sort of thing, that’s what people would’ve seen. And so I always say that you and you alone define your value, and people will think what you tell them to think. So, you know, you have to believe it though. You have to believe it first. It’s not the other way around. It’s not like, you know, once people believe in you, then you’ll believe in yourself. It has to come from you first in any negotiation or any in anything that you do. RV (36:59): Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. I love that. That’s, that’s a great, that’s a great, a great point and true about the mindset. And, and what’s interesting is whatever you, whatever you tell yourself is what becomes true, right? Like, you basically get to author your own future with just whatever, whichever story you tell yourself. The I wanted to go, I, I did wanna ask you, I wanted to go back to the leverage for a second because you, you basically said, you know, there’s these two types of supply, the diamond supply and the coal supply, and you said if we threaten, you know, threaten the diamond supply, figure out what they care about most, basically figure out where they look good and, and talk about how you could threaten it. How would you attack the coal supply if they wanna manipulate you and control you? Do you basically, would you wanna play into that and make them think they’re controlling you and make them think that they’re winning? Or would it be the opposite where you go no, like show them that what they’re doing has zero impact or on you whatsoever? RZ (38:02): Yeah, I have two answers for that. So one is, and that’s a great question by the way. I love that question. So I have a couple of different ways that I go into in the book for that. One is that I tell people that they can either and, and it kind of depends on what’s going on in their situation, but, so if there’s something that they want from them, for example, I, I tell them that they can use a tactic that I call fluff or favor vomit later . Okay. So you know, it’s like fluff up their ego, you know, because that’s what they want. They love when you fluff up their ego and, and that diamond level supply is, you know, is always, you know, in, in play. So, you know, you can say something like, oh, you know, if you’re, if they’re great at QuickBooks, for example, oh, can you, can you handle the QuickBooks this month? RZ (39:01): You’re so much better at it than I am. And it’ll be done so much faster if you do it. You’re so much more efficient at it, you know, and, and you know, something like that. And, and, and you just, you make sure you don’t say anything good about yourself or anything like that. No tone. Because I always say narcissists hear tones, like dogs hear whistles. Like even if there’s no tone, they hear tone. So, you know and then, you know, I always say, if you have to go shower or vomit later, that’s fine, but, you know, get them to do something for you. So fluff or favor vomit later. So that’s one thing. The other thing is that I say you know to, to use, it’s wise to use the element of surprise. So, you know, never let on what it is that it, that you’re up to, what it is that your leverage is nothing. RZ (39:58): You know, I would act like they’re winning. I would act like you don’t know what’s going on. I mean, even till the very end, I mean, I would throw out decoys about what it is that you actually want in, in a, in, in, in a negotiation. Because if you tell them what you actually really want, then they’re gonna want make sure that you don’t get that thing, you know, because they don’t want you to win. They don’t want you to have that thing, you know? And at the very end, you know, at, if you end up with, you know, the thing that you wanted or the, the settlement that you wanted or whatever, I would act like, oh my God, they, they really got me, or whatever. You’ve gotta take your ego out of this thing because if, if they think that they got you or, or didn’t get you or whatever, it, it’s like, at the end of the day, if you can walk away from this thing and be done and you know, and, and, and, and have, you know, not have to look back and, and have them outta your life, that’s what you want. RZ (41:10): Because especially the more malignant that the narcissist that you’re dealing with, the worse it’s gonna be. I mean, you know, I know for me with my, my narcissistic business partner, I was just like, gray rock. So, you know, that’s another term that they have. And that was one of the other things I wanted to mention to you. The more you can just have no reaction to the types of things that they’re trying to do and that try to get a reaction out of you, the more you can just not take their bait, the better it’s gonna be for you, you know? Oh, that’s interesting. Oh, that’s, that’s really you know, great feedback. Thank you. Thanks for letting me know mm-hmm. you know you know, so I actually, you know, in my slay program I’ve got, you know, 50 key phrases for disarming narcissists, you know, so that, you know, people told me that they print ’em out, you know, they keep ’em by their computer, they use them for emails, things like that. RZ (42:16): Because, you know, I I, I mean, another phrase that I really like is I agree with you. You’re like, I agree with you. That’s what you think, you know, I agree with you that that’s your opinion. You know, I agree that I, you know, I heard that’s what you said, you know, I mean, you’ve agreed to nothing when you said that , right? But they heard you say, I agree with you, or I understand, or I hear you, you know, that sort of thing. I mean, you know, just however you can keep the conversation, like there, here, RV (42:52): Mm-Hmm. , yeah, that’s, that is really, really, really powerful stuff. Really fascinating to, to hear this. Like so you mentioned the book a couple times. So Slay the Bully is the new one that is coming out. Where do people, where should they go if they want to pre-order or order a copy of it, depending on when they’re hearing this? RZ (43:15): They can get [email protected] and it’s, you know, it’s, it’s available wherever books are sold, but slay the bully.com is the best place to go check it out and get all the bonuses that come along with it, which is, you know, a lot of really cool stuff, including, you know, access to my private launch team and bam. Yeah. And, you know, masterclass with me and, you know, early access to the manuscript, depending on, as you said when you’re hearing this and all kinds of really other cool stuff. So. RV (43:48): Yep. I love it. So we’ll link, we’ll link that up in the show notes and you can check that out. The last little question I’ve got for you, Rebecca, is just what advice would you give to somebody who’s really feeling discouraged right now? You know, like I said, I’ve, I’ve been in this spot before and you can, you can be acting like the Gray Rock. I think that’s really great advice. I wish I would’ve had that advice. You can be doing this stuff and in, in reality, deep down you can still feel quite a lot like crap. Like you are being manipulated, like you are dealing with someone who’s unreasonable, like you are losing, like you are, they’re getting their way with everything. And there is just, it’s just comp. You just feel like it’s completely unfair. And what would you, what would en encouragement would you give to somebody that is in that spot right now? RZ (44:41): First of all, I’m gonna tell you, they don’t attach themselves to you because you have so little value. They attach themselves to you because you have so much. Hmm. RZ (44:50): That’s one of the first things I tell you all the time. They don’t want the clearance rack item , they want the thing that has, they want the bright shiny star, right? They’re hitching their wagon to a star. So remember that. And second of all, baby steps. So in order to course correct, I tell you step one, don’t run. Step two, make a u-turn, step three break free, because, you know, they didn’t condition you overnight and it was a conditioning that happened. You know, it’s a conditioning, so to decondition yourself, it, it’s not gonna happen overnight either. So the, you know, you’re, you’re basically making a whole full on u-turn with this. So the very first step with that step one don’t run is that very first step. The only thing that you feel like you can do today in, in making that first step is drawing a boundary, one boundary. And if that first boundary that you, you feel like you can do today is just saying to yourself, you know, what my boundary today is gonna be, I’m not allowing myself to be spoken to disrespectfully anymore. And that’s what I’m gonna, you know, start today, then that is a great way to start. And I [email protected], I have free phrases that you can download for for disarming narcissists, and, you know, they’re free. So, you know, feel free to go get those too. RV (46:30): Yeah, that’s great. Well, thank you so much for this. It feels empowering to have a, a little bit of insight to what’s going on and how to navigate away through this. And we’re so excited about the book and, and wishing you good luck with that. And we just wish you all the best, my friend. RZ (46:46): Thank you. You are the best too. You are the bomb.

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