As most of you know, it’s extremely difficult to communicate with someone who doesn’t want to understand you, someone who says, “I don’t want to argue.” Before the conversation begins, or “why do you have to make things difficult.” And those “it’s not all about you.” Or the “you’re crazy.” When they are the very person who, if it’s not going their way, baits you into an argument or a reaction, who believes that they are right and you are wrong, they are good, and you are bad, someone who sets the stage to bring out the worst in you, then stands back to watch your confusion.
It’s always advisable to go no contact with a narcissist and cut off your supply of attention to them, not always possible, in this case, learning about the disorder, so you know what you’re dealing with, can recognise their pattern of behaviour and stay in your truth.
The narcissist personality disorder is on a spectrum. However, communication seems impossible with them all. We can open our mouths to talk. Their level of understanding is the language barrier as they only understand if it’s about them in a good way, anything not about their sense of entitlement or questions their grandiosity, or anything they don’t see as ideal to them, or the belief they are special, they take this as criticism, anything that goes against their grandiosity that they are superior, they will do all they can to gain the attention they believe they are entitled to, why merely walking away from some can cause them to rage, it’s ironic how a narcissist will tell you they don’t want to argue with you yet do their best to set the atmosphere and bait you into defending yourself to them. At the same time, they twist everything you’re saying to confuse you, upset you, create that drama and the argument.
So how do you communicate with the narcissist get your point across correctly without an argument? If you still live or work with a narcissist or someone that’s not a narcissist but has some traits, or you’ve left the narcissist, they’ve left you and especially if you’ve got children together, what can you do.
First, heal, know that other people’s opinions of you are not for you, especially the opinions of those who only wish to bring you down, to feel better about themselves.
Remember, Narcissists, love adoration if they can not get that. They love attention. Above all else, they want to be in control. If they’re not in control, or even just because they feel that way out, they will bait you into none productive arguments to gain whatever attention and emotion they can from you. It’s just programmed into them for lots of reasons, from manipulating you, controlling you, getting a reaction from you, spoil your day, to the fact they believe they are right and you are wrong.
With their lack of empathy, they only care about themselves. It’s a case of it’s my way, and that’s it nothing, and nobody else matters.
In the narcissist mind, it’s all about them, and you’re in the wrong. If they did something wrong, of course, it wasn’t actually them. To them, you made them do it, and they’re not accountable. It’s you that made them act that way. They don’t reflect. They just project any faults, flaws, weaknesses, mistakes over to you to escape accountability for the things they actually do.
With a narcissist, it’s all tactics and gameplay. Anything and everything they do is to keep them in control of those around them. They will get control with persuasion and manipulation with their tone of voice and the words they use. All else fails. They will go to passive-aggressive manipulation of those silent treatments/ the sulks, and /or aggression rage, violence. They are stubborn and have a closed mind if it’s of no benefit to them; they simply do not care. The worst thing you can do is argue with them. They love the emotional reactions you give them. Once they get your reactions to them, it’s game on I’m winning, and they’ll keep going. You can not win an argument with a narcissist by arguing with them. As to them, their opinion is correct, and they’ll go whatever way they have to. So you believe them, or to bring you crashing down.
To us, an argument or disagreement isn’t to win. It’s getting the point across while staying true to ourselves. We understand people have other opinions, to have a two-way conversation and at least reach an understanding if not an agreement. Narcissists do not, so they will happily keep it going.
If you think you can go to a narcissist, to explain your thoughts or feelings, why you’re doing something, why what they did has hurt you or their own children, believing you can explain it to them, it’s not going to happen, they’ll either see criticism which they hate, or they’ll just not think your opinion matters as they’re always right. They believe they are superior, and no one will be able to change their mind. The narcissist has a lack of empathy towards others. So if they have hurt you or your children, they don’t care. They don’t see it. They just feed off emotions. Positive or negative.
A narcissist only thinks their own way. They will never take others opinions on board as to them. If it doesn’t match theirs, you are wrong. They don’t want or need to understand others. They also hate to think you feel competent within yourself. Whatever you think, say or do that doesn’t match the narcissist. They just believe you’re an idiot. However, they believe you should understand them.
If you do engage with a disagreement with a narcissist, they will twist everything with words “ who told you that, that not true, how stupid do you have to be, where did you come up with that stupid idea who on earth told you that, they’re an idiot, it’s not me that’s got the problem it’s you, I think you need some mental help” remember the words they use are tactics to drive you crazy and confused. To cause you self doubt. To make you feel stupid, wrong inadequate and foolish words like. How can you not remember? I told you that last week, I’m sure you’re losing your mind.”
You know full well they didn’t. All these words slowly spin around in your head, questioning yourself. Gaslighting is another favourite of theirs, to change your reality, so you question your sanity. Anything to make you feel like you are crazy, and you rely on them to lead you and your thoughts.
As the narcissist will not see anyone’s opinions as valid if it doesn’t match their own, the best thing to do is leave well alone. No contact or limited contact. Get on with your life and what’s best for you. With children, sometimes you may have engaged in a disagreement with a narcissist, the best place to start is within your own mindset. You need to stay as calm and as emotionless as you can. Best offering no emotion.
Before approaching them to start with your own minds set.
Ask yourself if you really need to communicate with them, or can you leave them to it while focusing on you? Ask yourself if your truth needs stating, or you can just recognise your truth for you.
If you can retreat and leave them to it, if they came at you, the same, do they make sense? If not, that’s on them, do you have to explain yourself? If so, explain once. If you made sense, don’t explain again, as they will take you off-topic, retreat, rethink and only respond if you need to do so.
When you do talk to them, remember a plain calm voice with zero emotions, practice grey rock. Don’t try to convince them or persuade them. Just stick to your truth, the fact and the point. Do not start defending yourself when they try to twist it around onto you, which they always do, do not get drawn into it, do not go off-topic, remember they’re just trying to maintain control any way they can. The more you try to defend yourself, the more they’ll provoke you. Do not say any emotional words to them such as ”You made me feel.” this gives them to control when they know how they made you feel they will pick those feelings apart to make us feel worse, they might have made us feel, however, we have the power to step away and no longer allow then to treat us that way. When we tell them how they hurt us, they will twist that straight back at us. It’s not our job to get them to see. It’s our job to open our eyes and see them for who they are. It’s not our job to change their opinions. It’s our job to change our perception of them away from the one that keeps us trapped in the hope. If we just say this, just do that, they’ll treat us right and recognise that’s who they are. It’s our job to stay true to who we are and keep to our boundaries.
One example when you have to discuss children.
Narcissist love to use children to try and keep control of you. Letting them down at the drop of a hat, changing days and times. If you’ve set up a routine for your children, stick to it. Children thrive on routine, even more so if the other parent is a narcissist. Suppose the narcissist wants to mess it around simple answers. Again message are best as everything is written with no emotion.
Stick with the facts and what’s going to happen.
“The arranged time is midday. The children will see you then.”
If the narcissist disagrees, then that’s their problem, not yours. You know you make sense. You know you’re doing your best for the children. You know the narcissist doesn’t care, likes to mess things around, so it’s the narcissist problem if they don’t agree to something already agreed. Stay true to yourself.
Yes, you’ll get all the “ you’re keeping the children from me.” They often play the victim.
Stick to what you said. Be assertive.
Do not get drawn into this. That’s not your problem. They can get them on days times already set in the routine. If they don’t want to, that’s not your problem. It’s theirs if you’ve explained to them before why there is no room for adjustment, no reason to do so again, even if this was six months ago.
Stick to facts, don’t get drawn off-topic, don’t allow them to offer a false compromise then to cause feelings of anger and resentment in you.
When they start invalidating you, putting you down, insulting you, remember most often it’s their projection, and they are in one way or another telling on themselves, know your truth, if you have to respond. ”Your opinion of me isn’t for me.” remember, you define yourself.
When they accuse you of doing things you haven’t, feeling something you don’t, again remember you wouldn’t need to explain yourself to those who care for you if you’ve done no wrong those who love you would accuse you, narcissist accuse you of things you’ve not done to escape what they do. They provoke emotions in you, to get at you, to hurt you, to cause that doubt. No response is the best response if you need to respond. ”what you think of me isn’t my responsibility.”
When they are twisting the story, gaslighting you, stand in your truth and give nothing if you need to respond if they’re trying to bait ” we remember things differently. ” when you know something happened and they claim it didn’t. ”I have no right to control your reality.”
When they hurt your feelings, then say. You’re too sensitive. know they are your feelings, recognise what those normal feelings are telling you if you need to respond,” I can see why you think that.” As a narcissist will only see your emotional reaction to their abuse as the problem, they don’t see their behaviour as the problem and your emotions as a symptom of their hurtful ways.
When they claim you’re stubborn or awkward, recognise what boundary of yours they’re trying to take, why they are throwing a tantrum. Stick to your truth. If by saying yes to them is saying no to you, say no to them. Recognise if it’s their projection and they are not comprising yet they expect you to. If you need to respond. ”That’s you’re perception of the situation.”
Narcissist control tactics.
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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.