Narcissists Lacking in critical thinking skills.
When it comes to communication with a narcissist, be it your parents, partners, siblings, boss, friends, co-workers or trying to co-parent. Fear and panic can hit, and they can hit hard. Learning how to Stand up for yourself and speaking your mind to them, to be yourself around them, then when you do try to get your point of view across, enforce your boundaries, it can be one of the most emotionally draining, hurtful, confusing and at times scary experiences.
Conversations with a narcissist at times are impossible. You can communicate with them. All we have to do is open our mouths and talk. That’s communication, yet having a conversation with them about something they have done, finding a compromise finding the middle ground, trying to work through issues together is virtually impossible. One of the best methods to recover from this kind of emotional abuse is no contact.
In some cases, this isn’t always possible, and in some cases, they are on the lower end of the spectrum. These are when it’s best to learn how they work and how to handle yourself around them. So you don’t end up feeling angry, hurt and confused. When you feel yourself going, it’s always best to retreat, rethink and then respond if you need to do so.
A conversation with a narcissist is crazy-making. They will provoke you. Switch the topic, talk over you, play the victim. Gaslight you, Triangulate or fall silent. Anger and rage, especially when they don’t get what they want or what they believe they are entitled to.
This could be learned behaviour from their childhood or it could simply be they do not understand why we don’t see it their way. Just like we don’t understand to begin with how they don’t understand ours, yet we are capable of learning. As they don’t sometimes understand a simple conversation, they can take things as criticism if it doesn’t match exactly what they think, Provoking their defensive mechanics and creating rage and anger in them, even though that’s not our intentions, or when you just want them to say Sorry, give you closure, yet they are either unwilling or unable. Now some are highly toxic and dangerous, these are more the narcissistic sociopath or narcissistic psychopath, only you know the kind of narcissist you are dealing with, but the more you stand your ground with them, the more all hell seems to break loose. You are left constantly on the lookout for their next game.
Here’s a little more information on why a narcissist can not just see your point of view and always seems to work against you, as it’s always their way, or you will suffer way. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can lead them to think something was their idea, true to narcissistic form if they believe it’s their idea they will go with it, if they believe they are in control, have the upper hand, most will go for it, yes this seems manipulative, so long as your doing it, so your relationship works better with your parents, boss, children’s parent, so long as it’s not out of spite to cause hurt or pain, you’re doing it to see healthier results all round not to be hurtful.
New research shows that narcissists are less likely to use critical thinking and are lacking in cognitive reflection skills. This is good news for those of you that question am I a narcissist? Which most of us do when we first learned about the disorder? Another reason you’re not when you overthink and over reflect and question so much from your past, also another reason why narcissists act on impulse and can simply walk away, taking everything with them without a glance back.
Grandiose and Vulnerable narcissists differ in their cognitive reflection skills. The grandiose narcissist is the type most people think about when they hear the word narcissist, arrogant, superiority, entitled and come across as having very high self-esteem and extroverted to the outside world. Fragile or Vulnerable Covert narcissists can come across as insecure to those closest to them. They are more defensive and often yet not always more introverted. Most narcissists do act on impulse and are unable to reflect on what they did wrong, while others are more calculated, and once they’ve made a choice are still less able to reflect on that choice. Both the grandiose and the vulnerable narcissist are self-centred. They can be highly impulsive, even if they don’t act on impulse all the time. Once they’ve made a choice they stick with it and don’t have the ability to reflect correctly, see it from another viewpoint or change their mind. Once they’ve set a plan into action, they just roll with it and stick to their truths, their false reality. A vulnerable narcissist is most likely to reflect temporary but only in a process that is namely me, myself and I, and not usually for the benefit of others.
Most narcissists seem to lack the ability to make a choice based on critical thinking skills. Even when they are wrong, lacking in cognitive reflection means they are not as able as those not on the spectrum to reflect on the choices they have made adequately.
The narcissist personality disorder is on a spectrum. Hence, there is those that might be able to, yet that’s often rarely to never. They often revert back to their original way of thinking when their needs are met, often why you get the false apology, that’s usually blamed on something you did, then once their needs are met, they revert back to their negative ways.
Narcissists are far less likely to use critical thinking, which is important to make good sound decisions and the ability to solve problems.
Cognitive reflection is a person having the ability to reflect on something they might have done wrong, mistakes they have made. However, narcissists don’t reflect, Instead, they override any thought that they could, in fact, be in the wrong as they can not reflect on their own actions, if others perceive them as wrong, they will cling on to the fact that they are right as they are unable to reflect and find ways of making their actions or behaviour correct.
Which is why no one can throw a bigger tantrum than a narcissist being shown facts and evidence of something they definitely did do, yet they don’t want others to think they are wrong. The whole, That didn’t happen, and if it did, it wasn’t my fault, and if it was, then you made me do it.
Critical thinking is having the ability to analyse facts to form a judgment, the ability to think clearly and rationally, then understanding the logic between ideas, or actions, the ability to engage and reflect.
No one thinks all of the time critically, especially when our self-control is affected by anger, pain, resentment, grief or joy, or we are just being single-minded, which even those of us who are not narcissistic can slip into in various situations. However, a narcissist rarely uses critical thinking for the good of others, only temporarily to serve themselves.
This is why when you are trying to reach a compromise with them over something, they can not see it from your point of view. They can only see it from their own. You might as well go blue in the face discussing things that matter to you, you’d get better results talking to a brick wall, as if your thoughts, feelings or opinions are not the exact same as the narcissists they are not listening, if they are. They don’t agree with you. The more you push the subject, the more anger they feel that you don’t see it their way, the more they act on an impulse to cut you down.
When narcissists are show facts, they struggle to use critical thinking skills instead of going for gut instincts resulting in impulsive behaviours.
The grandiose side of their personality disorder overrides their ability to critically analyse facts.
So with some, it could simply be they are genuinely incapable of listening to what you are trying to say. They are merely stuck within their own mindset without the ability to think differently.
If you can not go, no contact, which I always advise as best, as their thinking skills, mixed with a lack of empathy and remorse. It makes for some of the most hurtful, toxic people there is, so with most, it truly needs to be no contact. Yet there are those on the lower end of the spectrum, or If you can not go no contact, here’s a few ways to deal with them in conversation.
Always look calm and collected, looking just over their shoulder and try not to make direct eye contact when they come at you with the word salad.
If it’s face to face and you feel a need to respond, do not react to the vile things they are saying to provoke you. Remember who they are, observing them, knowing they are only saying things to provoke you, passing their own insecurities off onto you, do not absorb the words, don’t take them personally, don’t defend yourself. That’s what they want and why they are doing it. Instead, say things like. “You seem upset all the time. Are you ok?” Or “you seem negative all the time. Are you ok?” And leave them to it, don’t continue a conversation, just hit repeat of what you said, as they will try to twist it and turn it onto you. If you repeat the same thing, you’ll watch them get more frustrating that they can not draw the reactions out of you that they want from you.
Shut them down by not reacting to what they are saying. If it’s messages, don’t go off-topic, do not respond to whatever they are throwing at you, say it once and leave it. So if it’s things like. ” kids have something on, they’ll be ready at 6.” And they come at you with. “That’s just like you.” You’ve said all that needed to be said do not explain yourself you already have, and they didn’t listen the first time. They’ll not listen the second. Or when they bring the children home late, pick up late, again act to them like it’s not bothered you.
Other phrases are. “Why would you think that.” Or “you’re entitled to your point of view, and I’m allowed to have mine.”
When you do say these things make sure your face stays straight and keep your emotions hidden. Always look calm and collected. When they are not getting what they want from you, they get angry, and they make themselves feel better by making you feel bad.
Once you learn to do it, you’ll know their games, and it’ll no longer affect you. It takes practice.
At the start, you may need to get your reactions and emotions out, just do not do it to the narcissist.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.