Narcissists enjoy getting one over on you while they hide their true intentions from you, so you can not work out what they’re doing to you.
There are a few reasons narcissistic people use the term “I’m only joking.” to hide their passive-aggressive behaviour, and some of these are.
1. Expressing their feelings while keeping them hidden.
A narcissist can delight in getting their feelings out of their system while causing you to feel similar emotions so that they can release themselves of feelings they don’t want. So when a narcissist feels criticism because they feel like you’re not giving them the attention they believe they’re entitled to, a narcissist will provoke feelings such as hurt or self-doubt within you. When you call them out, the narcissists will claim, “I’m only joking.” Or “you can’t take a joke.” “What’s wrong with you.” to pass their feelings over to you so they can feel better about themselves. While they’ve left you feeling how they felt initially, you’re then left questioning yourself as to whether they meant it or not. At the same time, the narcissist accuses you of “being too sensitive.” If you were to try and express or communicate your feelings with them because they didn’t want to express their true feelings with you.
Narcissists provoke emotional reactions to twist the story to shift the blame.
2. Envious of others.
When a narcissist is envious of another’s ideas, they can mock them. Narcissists lack empathy to care for peoples feelings, so they will invalidate them. A narcissist will invalidate anything they don’t agree with or anything they’re envious of. Your opinions, Job, hobbies, dreams, relationships, possessions, the car you drive, the places you go, and where you live, it can be as severe as everything about who you are and what the narcissist is feeling resentful towards you having. Hence, they seek to punish you, to sabotage you or take away from you what they are envious of. If a narcissist is envious of your happiness, a narcissist will sabotage your happiness. If they’re envious of your friendships, they’ll make fun of these relationships at your expense. They seek to destroy them through triangulation and isolation. If you call them out, they might claim “they’re only messing. You’re overreacting.” To create that self-doubt within your mind. If a narcissist is envious of an idea, they’ll dismiss or make fun of you or your idea, then later down the line. They come up with it like it was their idea.
3. Anger and resentment.
When a narcissist feels criticism in some way, fears exposure or fears they’re not getting their own way, they can become angry and rageful, so they use hostile humour to hide their resentment while getting one over on the person the narcissist is angry at. They might tickle you too hard. Then when you let them know it hurts, they’ll accuse you of being “boring, grumpy, no fun.”
4. To make themselves feel superior.
Narcissists use passive-aggressive humour to make someone else feel inferior so the narcissist can regain control of their feelings of superiority. A narcissist will happily make a joke at your expense, then when you try to express how their joke made you feel, the narcissist claim, “You can’t take a joke.”
Signs of a narcissists passive-aggressive humour.
1. The narcissist’s sarcasm.
Where a narcissist is looking to mock you, so if you tell them something they disagree with, a narcissist might parrot what you said straight back at you in a sarcastic tone. When you try to discuss something with the narcissist that they don’t want to take responsibility for, the narcissist might claim. “Stop taking everything so seriously. I was only messing. If you think I’m the one arguing, perhaps you should stop talking.” So the narcissist can shut down the conversation while leaving you doubting your very valid feelings about their hurtful behaviour, Or “there’s just no talking to some people.” As a narcissist doesn’t want to communicate with you, they want to talk at you while blaming you for not communicating with them, even though that’s what you’re trying to do, communicate with them. If you disagree with them, then to a narcissist, you are wrong, and they are right. They could roll their eyes or just walk away singing to themselves, causing a build-up of frustration within you.
2. The narcissist’s subtle insults.
The narcissists might use subtle insults such as. “At least your not overreacting this time.” So they’re not accusing you of overreacting, however, if you say. “So you think I’m overreacting.” A narcissist will shut this down with. “Did I say that? Now you’re just putting words in my mouth.” So they’ve indirectly insulted you, and when you call them out, they shift the blame over to you. Sometimes we would be better off responding with, “what do you mean by that?” However, when a narcissist has no direct answer to work in their favour, they’ll go all out to further confuse, gaslight and punish you.
3. The narcissist talking down to you.
A Narcissist might tell you, “calm down. It wasn’t that bad.” So they can downplay their actions while exaggerating your reactions. A narcissist can do this in a sarcastic tone or make out they’re trying to help and support you when they’re actually trying to manipulate you.
4. The narcissists “I’m only joking.”
When the narcissist is sarcastic, when they insult you, shame, blame, criticise, judge, or belittle you, they’re not joking. They’re trying to manipulate you into thinking you can’t take a joke so that the narcissist can get away with insulting you, mocking you, and being disrespectful towards you.
What can you do.
Recognise their passive-aggressive behaviour when you have different perspectives, ideas or opinions when two people are willing to have the compassion to see it from the other person’s point of view, meet in the middle, agree to disagree, they respect each other for who each other are when one person is only willing to see it from their way and is willing to shame, blame, criticise, humiliate you, they are a narcissistic individual who is never wrong, and that behaviour is on them not you, recognising who they are and leave them to their reality. At the same time, you stay in your own reality. You’ll not be able to help them see your point of view when they’re hell-bent on destroying yours.
Learn your values and beliefs, then set your boundaries appropriately; if they’re unwilling to respect your boundaries, it’s a sign you need those boundaries.
Don’t take what they say personally, recognising it as their thoughts, feelings and opinions, not yours.
Excuse yourself from the conversation, walk away, and leave them to be who they want to be while you go live a much more peaceful life without those who seek to humiliate you.
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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.