A narcissist will delay things in order to keep your mind at bay. As a narcissist wants to prevent you from causing them any problems, a narcissist will try to control you by them delaying taking action on something they once promised to do for you, or a narcissist will avoid giving you an answer to a question giving the narcissist more time to gain an advantage over you.
Covert narcissism is when a narcissist will play many underhanded games to keep their intent hidden from you. They often do this in passive-aggressive ways where the narcissist will indirectly neglect or punish you so that the narcissist can maintain control over you, as one of the criteria for the narcissist personality disorder is envy, so a narcissist will seek to exploit you which is another criteria, or they seek to sabotage you as a narcissist lacks the empathy to care for you.
Narcissists use many different, passive-aggressive behaviours to avoid taking responsibility for their words or actions. A narcissist’s delay tactics are done to make life as difficult as possible for you often while the narcissist projects and claims, “why do you have to make everything so difficult.”. Hence, you question and doubt your intent and your motives and not that of the narcissists, who will be doing their best to smear your name in the process.
The Narcissists Procrastination.
Something those with the narcissist personality disorder can do and those not with the disorder can do. The difference often lays in the intent. Those going through difficult times often put off and avoid doing things, making choices that would help them. Therefore they sabotage themselves. A narcissist’s procrastination is usually done while exploiting others to sabotage others. If they want to go somewhere, they’ll be up, ready and out of the door, often moaning at you for holding them up, even if you’re ready before them. Yet when they agree to do something with you, they’ll lay in, ask you to look for something of theirs while you’re getting ready, start messing around, hiding things from you, gaslighting as they’ll be claiming you lost them, then as soon as they get you going. You react to their childlike behaviour. A narcissist will then play the victim with all those “well, if you don’t want me to go.” “Wow, what put you in a mood.” “Think I had better stay here.”
A narcissist will expect you to be on time for them. However, they’ll happily turn up late for you.
Narcissists procrastinate to delay, stall, postpone or avoid purposefully.
The narcissist’s forgetfulness.
We are human. We can all forget things, and when around a narcissist, all that stress can play with our minds and memories, so we end up questioning and doubting ourselves all the more.
A narcissist will promise to do something you may or may not have asked. Either way, they’ll say they’ll do something, like grabbing something on their way home, only when they turn up without it. Instead of saying I’m sorry I forgot, they’ll claim. “I never said that.” or, “you said you would.” or “it is your fault you didn’t remind me.” anything to avoid taking responsibility, it could be an important event that you’ve written on the calendar and mentioned many times. Yet, they’ll claim you never told them, and they’ll have something else to do.
A narcissist will give you just enough hope to hang onto absolutely nothing.
The narcissist taking twice as long.
A narcissist will put off till tomorrow what they said they would do today, especially if they feel like they’re not getting their own way. Tasks are never started or completed, yet if you dare ask them, they’ll twist it all around onto you. A narcissist will be the hero, or they’ll play the victim. They’ll never take responsibility or admit fault.
The narcissists stonewalling.
This is another narcissistic defence mechanism when they’ll stall answering a question by asking you a question to get you to explain yourself to them, so the narcissist doesn’t have to explain themselves to you.
They might outright refuse to answer a question, completely change the subject, start to gossip about someone else or fall silent on you.
The narcissist will refuse to compromise. It has to be their way, and they’ll play many mind games to force your hand or bait you into a battle of psychological warfare, and as you want peace, they make it extremely difficult for you to create and stick to your boundaries. Narcissists create games for them to win, so as soon as you say or do one thing, you’ve walked straight into a trap of their next game.
Narcissists refuse to listen if your opinion doesn’t match theirs. A narcissist isn’t interested. If you need to discuss plans that are not all about the narcissist, they’ll not be interested when it comes to narcissistic people. It’s all me, myself and I.
The narcissist could just walk off humming and singing away to themselves once they’ve had their say, to cause that resentment and frustration within you, then when that resentment turns to anger, and you rage out at them, they’ll play the victim with you. “See, this is why I don’t want to discuss things with you. Look at the state of you.”
The narcissists withholding.
A narcissist exploits, a narcissist will promise marriage to delay the wedding, then use your imagination to get you to romanticise about a future that will never be, which creates a strong enough desire within you to work harder to please them, the narcissist will create the future event of a wedding to future fake with you, to get their needs met in the present, either to distract you from how painful it is in the present or to get their needs met if you’re unlucky enough to end up married to one, the narcissist will withhold as much information in the divorce as possible, to delay the divorce so the narcissist can keep control over you.
Narcissists shower you with attention when they want something from you, to neglect you when they seek to punish you.
Narcissists withhold financial support for their own children as a form of control and because the narcissists feel entitled to do so, often scapegoating the innocent parent, smearing the innocent parent’s name so the narcissist can avoid taking responsibility for their own hurtful and destructive actions.
The narcissists broken promises.
A narcissist will promise you things in the future to get their needs met in the present. However, they often claim they want it too. Then once their needs are met, they fail to deliver, and when you ask, it’s all those excuses to justify their letdowns.
The narcissist’s excuses.
A narcissist will always be looking for ways to justify and excuse their behaviour, so they’re not held accountable, “I would have, but you didn’t.” or “you misunderstood me.” As a narcissist isn’t willing to listen to you, you often find yourself reminding them of things they forgot. At the same time, they claim, “you never told me.” as the narcissist turns into the victim with those “I’m always the last to know, nobody tells me anything.” then you end up feeling like the narcissistic one as you say “I told you last week, I wrote it on this calendar, how can you not remember.” a narcissist is always looking to twist so they don’t have to take responsibility while they find another to blame so the narcissist can remain in control while gaining the attention they believe they’re entitled to.
How to handle?
Stop playing. They have every right to live their life, and you have every right to live yours.
Distance yourself from them, no contact if possible, if not emotionally distance, limited contact and grey rock.
Know your intent so well the narcissist can not twist your thoughts or feelings.
Don’t engage in communication where the narcissist is putting you on the defensive, as then they have you right where they want you. Don’t defend yourself to them. Recognise their delay tactics and walk away. A narcissist is looking to delay to keep you at bay. If they want to keep delaying things, walk away.
Don’t take it personally. How they treat others says everything about their sense of entitlement, their exploitative behaviour, their lack of empathy and nothing about you.
When dealing with emotional manipulators, take your emotions out of the conversation.
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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.