How narcissistic people manipulate conversations.
When you’ve had a narcissist within your life, you’ll know a conversation with one can leave you completely confused with no idea what just went on—utterly stunned that they had no clue to what you were talking about, and it ended up being about something you did. Or you were talking to a brick wall, banging your head against a brick wall. That in reality, you’d have probably got more sense from a brick wall.
Conversations with a narcissist are crazy-making, often leaving you feeling like you’re the crazy one. You usually end up questioning your sanity and your reality, blaming yourself for things that perhaps never even happened. Narcissists are exhausting to be around or communicate with, as we are often left feeling significantly emotionally drained. The thought of a conversation with a narcissist can be nerve-racking. Usually, when you decide to start one, you’re left wishing you’d never started the conversation, doubting your very own instincts and wondering what on earth just happened.
The problem is some of us are born into narcissism, even on the low end of the spectrum, so we don’t always truly learn what true unconditional love is then. As we grow and make friendships, we get into a relationship, we accept the behaviour as normal, that we should have never accepted, making excuses, rationalising and ￼reasoning their odd behaviour away. The problem with those excuses is they can be extremely valid within our minds, often validated by the narcissists gaslighting, “If you hadn’t, I wouldn’t. It wasn’t that bad.”. With all their manipulation giving us those self-doubts, it makes us all the more susceptible to further emotional and psychological abuse. We trust the words and actions of others as we don’t go around manipulating others.
Narcissistic people don’t feel, think, act or do as we do. We give them our genuine qualities, and when they don’t respond like we would. As genuine, caring, kind, empathetic people would, we become confused, hurt, disappointed, angry and, with the narcissists carefully chosen words, blame ourselves and work harder to please them. At some point, the narcissist will then play nice, which then reinforces our self-doubt that it’s us that are at fault.
Nothing you or anyone ever does deserves this kind of manipulation or abuse in any way, shape or form. They are the ones with the problem. You were never to blame for their toxic, hurtful, negative behaviour or actions towards you.
These are examples of tactics narcissists use for crazy-making conversations, so if you still need to communicate, you can recognise the manipulative game they are playing, not get drawn into it, and begin to see just how predictable they genuinely are.
Some are dangerous, so no contact is a must.
1. Interrupting you.
In the beginning, it might be all about you. This is just another of the narcissist’s manipulation tactics to get to know your likes, your dislikes as they can Mirror you, and learn about your insecurities, so further down the line, they can use all these against you. After The Idealisation Stage stage of the relationship, suddenly, the conversations will be all about them; they just love to be the centre of attention and talk all about themselves. They will have no interest in holding a two-way conversation. If you try to get a word in and it contradicts or criticises the narcissist, they will ignore you, talk over you, raise their voice, or dismiss you, While people with ADHD and other mental health troubles can struggle with conversations and interrupt people. The narcissist will intentionally interrupt you to bring the conversation straight back onto all about them. They believe they are correct and superior, and you should accept trust and believe in everything they say.
Narcissists feel like they are superior and have to remain in control. So they do this by dominating conversations. They have no interest in compromising no interest in other people’s thoughts, feelings or views. To them, it’s my way, or I’ll make it my way. They will monopolise most conversations. They will interrupt and bring it back onto them. They will discredit anything you do say and use it as evidence against you. They will take control, avoid talking about any genuine issues and avoid any accountability.
How to disarm if they keep taking you off-topic, bring it straight back to the original point, observe if they blame shift, provoke, talk over you or rage. Stop the conversation when they do, never react, only respond, and you only need to respond once. If they don’t want to listen, they’ll not. You do not need to respond if they take you off-topic, as they’ve not responded to the situation at hand.
2. The silent treatment.
This is one of the narcissist’s most common methods for emotional manipulation of those around them. When they feel criticism or they are losing power and control over you, most go for The Silent Treatment. They will do the present silent treatment for hours, days or weeks when you are at the home, so you’re Walking On Eggshells. They will do it when you’re with friends on purpose, entirely leaving you out of the conversation, or the disappearing act, where they up and leave for days or weeks, all to keep dominance and control over you. They will demand a perfect apology from you for things you don’t even know you’re apologising for. They would do this if you didn’t accept their point of view to avoid discussing important issues. To avoid taking responsibility or accepting accountability for things they have done. To get you to do as they ask, and when you do, they’ll reinforce your self-doubts by playing nice with you again, just to bring you crashing down again.
The silent treatment is used against you so you feel insignificant, Invalidated, insecure, vulnerable, and unloved, to make you question and doubt yourself, they usually make it so you can not get hold of them with the disappearing act, or so you’re walking on eggshells from the present silent treatment.
How to disarm. There’s no better way to recover from narcissistic abuse than taking the first step of No Contact. Narcissists use silence to hurt you. You use no contact to leave them in the past, to heal yourself. Don’t try to reason with them, don’t try to work out what’s wrong, write down and focus on your reality, no longer beg, pled or apologise, leave them be. They can not play if you’re not playing with them, they can not fight if you’re not fighting, and they can not control if they have lost control of your mind.
3. The topic switch.
You could happily be discussing something, then you either don’t agree with their point of view, they feel criticised, or you’ve asked them about something they don’t want you to know about. So to gain control and win, as that’s what narcissists wish to win and be in control. They’ll suddenly switch the conversation onto something else. Usually, something you’ve done wrong in their eyes, or something you haven’t done for them, or they will chip away at one of your insecurities. They spew out loads of word salad to Provoke you, confuse you, hurt and upset you. Suddenly you’re in defensive mode, and the original conversation has disappeared, and then you get blamed for everything for defending yourself. Or you’re reduced to tears, and they’ll sit back, almost looking pleased and watch you cry while still blaming it all on you.
How to disarm. Observe what they do and what they switch it onto, and bring it back to the original conversation. If they don’t want to, then leave them to word spew on themselves and take no part in the conversation.
4. Blame shifting.
Which they do with everything and anything. When you question them, or they feel criticism in some way. They, as above, change the conversation or interrupt you or silent treatment you. They will use any of your insecurities and any they’ve drilled into you against you, so you go into the defensive. They take your attention away from the original point, and then when you react, they blame it all on you. They have to escape accountability, so their lousy behaviour disappears like magic, and you’re tricked into defending yourself and taking on all the blame.
How to disarm. Don’t play, Don’t question them. They’ll never give you an answer if they do. It’s a lie or somehow your fault. Instead, find the answers from within yourself. Remember, they don’t want compromise or your opinions. They want to win at all costs to you.
Another tactic a narcissist loves to use on others is Projecting what they have done, think or feel onto you. The things they do and the things they say to one person when no one is watching are entirely different to when others are watching. If you listen to their character assassinations of others, this is actually, most often, the real truth of who they indeed are. They will discredit credible people, accuse people of cheating who are not cheating, accuse others of lying who are no liars, accuse people of being insecure who are trying to listen to their instincts, accuse people of being crazy who they actually drove that way, accuse people of keeping their children from them when most of the time they don’t even pick up the children.
Narcissists do this when they are defensive, and they project all their faults onto others. They annihilate and destroy people. Genuine people take responsibility, and genuine peoples comments resemble the truth of the other person. They are not outright lies.
How to disarm, if they are smearing your name, leave them to it rise above, if they are doing it directly to you, observe those words, don’t take them on as your own, take them as a verbal confession of who they indeed are.
6. Turning up the volume.
When they overtalk you when they get angry and feel as though they are losing control of the conversation, they will turn up the volume. They do this to shock, confuse, intimated and basically bully you into submission. This is because when you feel intimated, your defence is weak. They are using more physiological warfare against you. This is when they lack intelligence over the conversation. So they have to talk louder and over you to dominate the conversation and take back control.
How to disarm. Stop talking. They are not interested in your point of view, they want to scare you into taking on their opinions, turn your ears off, go into your own mind and focus on your own opinions and thoughts.
7. Playing the victim.
When they’re not playing the hero, they will pity play into the role of the Victim. They will never be the villain. They do this to avoid accountability, to avoid responsibility and to avoid their actual abusive behaviours and cover them up. They know others are kind, caring and compassionate. They play on that to further their advantage over people, gain Flying Monkeys and control others opinions, all while hiding their true selves. If you’re upset over a broken promise, or something they have done, they will play victim and project something you haven’t or have done that hurt them more, how you don’t give them the empathy or sympathy, how you’re insecure or selfish. When in reality, it’s you that needs it, not them, yet you end you lowering your boundaries, feeling sorry for them, forgiving them. Whatever happens to you, they’ve always had worse happen to them.
How to disarm. Remember why the conversation started, stop listening to them and focus on the original discussion, the original problem, don’t look to them to emphasise or help. Look to yourself and what you need to do to stop the situation. Look to good people who will reassure and help you.
Their manipulation tactic to psychologically manipulate your mind, it’s an insidious form of abuse. They will purposefully not share information, they will rewrite history on you, either something that did happen they’ll tell you it never happened or something that didn’t happen they’ll let you know it did, then accuse you of “losing your mind.” This is used so you doubt your own mind, question your reality, doubt your judgement and go to them for a reality check. They might even hide or rearrange your Belongings.
How to disarm. Always keep things via messages and email. If it’s in-person, keep a diary, take notes and go to those for your own reality check.
When they talk about what someone else has done, to get you to break down your boundaries and do it for them, they will lie about what others have said about you to dived and conquer and get you isolated from all support.
How to disarm. Know your worth and your boundaries. Just because someone else would do something doesn’t matter. You are not them. Any lies try to get the third person and the narcissist together, then ask them about it.
Communication with a 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.
Your Not Crazy Video.
Why Not Argue With A Narcissist.