Why don’t narcissists listen to your thoughts, feelings and opinions? Why do they dismiss your thoughts, feelings and opinions? Why do they only ever hear what they want to hear?
When having a conversation with narcissists, if it doesn’t refer to them, if it doesn’t match their thoughts, feelings or opinions, they’re not interested. In the beginning, in the idealisation stage, a narcissist will listen to everything you’re saying so they can best pick and choose the information they can use against you, from mirroring you to future faking with you, to sell you an illusion of who they are, based on who you are, they’ll like the same things as you, share the same dreams as you, want the same things as you, so you are led to believe you’ve met someone who seems to truly understand you as you do think you do them. Or later on, using your biggest insecurities and fears against you. Once they have you where they want you, they’re no longer going to be listening to you.
Narcissists aren’t interested in a two-way conversation when they come to talk to you about their day, their woes in life if you try to agree with them. “Oh yes, I know how you feel about this.” They’re not interested in what happened to you, they’re not interested in a two-way conversation, they’re not looking for advice on what helped you through, they’re looking for soul attention, they’re not interested in your opinions or solutions to help them, they’re identity is based on that pity play they’re selling you to gain attention for themselves, To a narcissist, nobody has ever achieved as much as a narcissist, and no one has ever suffered as much as a narcissist.
When you think of a method to help them with something, they’re not listening because it’s not their idea. They’re more bothered that they didn’t think of it themselves. You might see them using your advice further down the line. Yet, they’ll come to tell you about the day they were having or the woes, yet they’ll tell you this amazing idea they came up with, looking for praise as you stand there thinking that’s the exact solution you gave them, that they dismissed a few weeks ago. This can leave you utterly dumbfounded. As they stand telling you, they thought of your idea that they once criticised. A Narcissist wants to be better than thou no matter what the cost is to you.
As a narcissist lacks empathy, in a conversation, they’ll be highly dismissive. They will dismiss your feelings, opinions, ideas, and memories. If you’ve achieved something, they’ll dismiss it or twist the conversation onto how you couldn’t have done it without them, how you should thank them, and how you should be eternally grateful towards them for your achievement. Or they’ll discuss how their achievements are better than yours, how their role in the family is more important than yours, how their job is more important than yours.
Narcissists aren’t interested in your success. Often they’re envious of your success because they feel inferior within themselves. It’s nothing you’ve done or could do. It’s their personal issues that, if they are aware or not, they will find a scapegoat to blame for. The narcissist being envious of your success is them telling themselves that they don’t feel adequate, that they don’t feel good enough. Not that they want to admit this to others, let alone themselves. Instead they want to make you feel inadequate.
If something isn’t about a narcissist, if the narcissist isn’t getting their own way, they’re not interested in listening to others.
You can find yourself repeating information to them, such as an upcoming important family event or about something their children are doing. If a narcissist doesn’t want to be involved because it’s not about them, they’ll keep forgetting, yet claiming you didn’t tell them or you know what their memory is like. As this feels rational, a narcissist swiftly with ease passes responsibility over to you for them being a no-show for other people’s special events, even events that include their children. They’ll find a way to sulk or twist it onto how it’s someone else fault the narcissist was a no-show. A narcissist will shame another to avoid their own inner feelings of shame. As to a narcissist, anything they do wrong or anything perceived as wrong is always someone else fault. A narcissist seldom listens to anything if it doesn’t involve themselves in a way that suits the narcissist.
When a narcissist isn’t listening to you, they’re devaluing your thoughts, feeling and opinions. They’re invalidating you to feel better about themselves.
Some narcissists, when you are trying to discuss important things, will change the subject. Others will provoke feelings of frustration within you or distract you. Some narcissists will pretend to fall asleep or fall silent in a way it seems they’re thinking and about to respond to have a two-way conversation. However, they either stay silent, invalidate you or change the subject on you. Or you can start a conversation off, you speak, a narcissist will keep interrupting you, to frustrate you so that they can gain a reaction out of you, so they can blame your reaction for why they’re not listening to you.
It is very confusing talking to a narcissist when you don’t understand the games they play. You’re often left fearing speaking out because you are led to believe by the narcissist who apparently cares for you that people don’t listen to you, your subconscious thought is trained into believing what you think or feel isn’t of importance when genuine people would be interested as you’re interested in others, it’s self-entitled narcissistic people that are not interested because they’re only interested in themselves and getting their needs met.
It’s very invalidating being around or trying to communicate with a narcissist due to how a narcissist communicates. You’re the one left feeling like you’re not enough, like what you have to say isn’t important.
A Narcissist might ask you to do something for them. When they do, they can swoop in with an offer that’s too good to be true. When dealing with narcissistic people, anything that seems too good to be true usually is too good to be true. As it’s too good to be true, you can just sense something feels off. You might not want the conflict or arguments, as when we don’t do exactly what a narcissist wants us to do, or when we disagree with them when we say no to them, they take this as criticism and throw an almighty tantrum, they can be very persuasive, very intimidating, very dismissive, they can be extremely argumentative. Yet, they claim they don’t want to argue with you. Once they’ve baited you into that argument, they’ll blame you for the argument, so you might say, “I’ll think about it.” To give yourself time to retreat, rethink and only respond if you need to do so. When you think “no” and explain to them, it’s a no. A narcissist is going to want your explanation. Suddenly they’re going to want to listen to you. Suddenly they’ll ask why, which is a trap, we might explain as we are led to believe we might finally be heard. However, that narcissist is only going to listen to what they can use against us to further manipulate our thoughts and feelings for their gains. Some will even say, “What’s changed? You agreed.” when all you did is said was “ok I’ll think about it.” All a narcissist hears is ok.
Narcissists are very insincere people who offer you things that are too good to be true, then justify, rationalise, blame or shame you into getting you to explain yourself to them, so they can use your sincerity against you to serve themselves, to provoke you, to frustrate you. Narcissists never want to know why to find a middle ground to compromise. They want to know why so that they can twist everything you say and use it against you. Narcissists want to provoke you to get you going to get you to react to them so that they can blame you for your reactions to distract you from their actions. So the narcissist can feel better about themselves. When you learn to no longer communicate with them, and you no longer respond to their why or you just repeat your original answer, A narcissist is then going to get offended. At that point, they come at you and claim that you already agreed to something you didn’t even agree to, to bait you into an argument with them so that they can make you feel bad so that they can, guilt trip you so that they can manipulate you to get their own way with you.
The less you give in to them, the more they are going to accuse you of being awkward, of being selfish, of causing the arguments so that you’re the one that’s left feeling bad, and they can continue exploiting you.
In a conversation with a narcissist, they will only hear what they want to hear. They will only listen to what works in their best interest and what works in their favour. Because they believe they are special, they believe they are entitled. They believe that they are above others. They believe that rules don’t apply to them; however, they believe those rules apply to you.
When a narcissist offers you something too good to be true, they believe you should be lapping that offer up. A narcissist takes it as criticism when you recognise that the offer is too good to be accurate and say no to them. The narcissist will then get offended. The narcissist will then seek to punish you, and whether you communicate with them or not, they will only hear exactly what they want to hear. They’re not going to listen to what you are trying to explain to them. They’re not going to hear or see your point of view simply because they’re not interested in your point of view but interested in getting their own way.
A narcissist will not listen to you, but they’ll argue the point of what they wanted to hear you say by claiming you said something you didn’t. To get you on the defensive, so you start trying to explain to them you didn’t even say it. They can then begin to claim that you’re the one that’s losing your memory. You’re the one that’s losing your mind to confuse you.
A narcissist wants to get you to rationalise, justify, explain and defend yourself to them, so they don’t have to, to you, all because you didn’t give them the answer that they originally wanted when you fall into the trap of explaining yourself to a narcissist a narcissist will then use any bits of your explanation they can against you. to emotionally manipulate you to guilt-trip you to blackmail you to get you to question and doubt yourself so that the narcissist can get their own way.
A narcissist wants to invalidate you. They want to put you down. They want you to feel worse so they can feel better about themselves.
When you tell them something of importance that’s not important to them, it might be something extremely important to their own children; however, if it’s not relevant for the narcissist, the narcissist is not interested. a Narcissist will then claim that you never told them so that the narcissist can pin all the blame on you so that they can escape the responsibility of who they are as a person and what they do to others.
When you have to communicate with a narcissist, especially over things like children, it’s best to do things via email or message to have it written down. Recognise within yourself that the narcissist is still going to only read the parts that they want to read.
A narcissist will only ever interpret A message, an email, or a conversation as to what they want to hear.
There’s nothing you can do to get a narcissist to see your point of you. If it doesn’t match there’s, then they’re not interested in yours.
A narcissist is not interested in listening to your point of view. They’re interested in hearing their own point of view. They’re interested in being right, they’re interested in being in control, they’re interested in getting their entitlement, they’re interested in getting their unreasonable expectations met, and they lack the empathy to care for how their behaviour affects you or those around you.
So when it comes to a narcissist, they are listening to you; however, they’re only listening to what they want to hear. Anything that doesn’t match the narcissist’s narrative will be ignored, criticised, judged, dismissed, and invalidated. They will come at you and claim you said things that you never even said, deny that you said something that you did actually say. Which is narcissistic gaslighting, and it’s extremely confusing when you don’t recognise what they’re doing.
When it comes to dealing with a narcissist, retreat, rethink and only respond if you need to do so. Recognise they’re not going to hear your response in the way you meant and said they’re only ever going to hear it in a way they can use it against you, so respond once and once only. The best way to deal with a narcissist is don’t deal with a narcissist, go no contact and go and live your best life not always possible, in which case it needs to be limited contact and grey rock you don’t have to take part in every argument you’re invited to.
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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.