A narcissist’s proneness for argumentation is a complex behaviour rooted in their insatiable need for attention and control. This article explores the reasons behind a narcissist’s inclination to argue and offers strategies on how to deal with them effectively.
First and foremost, a narcissist craves attention and praise. They constantly seek validation and admiration from others to maintain their fragile self-esteem. When they are unable to receive positive attention, they do not hesitate to provoke negative reactions. To them, any kind of attention, whether positive or negative, is still attention. This explains why they can effortlessly initiate arguments over anything and everything, even if it seems trivial or inconsequential. By causing an argument, they can manipulate and twist the situation to make it seem like the other person is at fault, thus asserting their superiority and controlling the narrative. This manipulative behaviour leaves individuals feeling upset, frustrated, angry, and filled with self-doubt.
It is important to understand that a narcissist is not interested in considering other people’s opinions or taking them on board. They are incapable or unwilling to empathise with others, which impedes their ability to engage in meaningful dialogue or compromise. Their sole objective is to elicit emotional responses from their targets, which they use to bolster their own self-worth. By refusing to be baited into reacting, individuals can undermine the narcissist’s power and take back control of the situation.
One reason why narcissists argue is to provoke their victims. They often start arguments out of nowhere, aiming to break down their target’s emotional defences and trigger an emotional reaction. Their goal is to get a rise out of the other person and make them feel angry, frustrated, fearful, or confused. By eliciting these emotions, narcissists gain a sense of power and control over the individual. The key to disarming this tactic is to remain strong and not give in to their manipulation. When one reacts to a narcissist’s provocation, they are inadvertently feeding into the narcissist’s desire for attention and power. Refusing to engage in the argument will frustrate the narcissist and deny them the emotional response they seek.
The narcissist’s tendency to argue intensifies when they perceive themselves to have been criticised. They have an extremely fragile ego and cannot tolerate the slightest hint of disapproval. Even if the criticism is unintended or nonexistent, they will readily start an argument to defend their self-worth. To mitigate conflict in such situations, it is best to avoid criticising the narcissist altogether. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that most of the time, victims have not actually criticised the narcissist, as their insecure and paranoid nature often leads them to misconstrue harmless remarks. If one feels compelled to respond to the narcissist’s accusation, it is crucial to keep the response brief, unemotional, and focused on objective facts.
Control is another driving force behind a narcissist’s inclination to argue. They seek to assert their dominance and maintain control over their victims and the surrounding circumstances. Narcissists often create arguments to manipulate others into submission and compliance. By initiating conflicts, they can coerce individuals into giving up more of themselves and their agency. The more one submits to the narcissist’s demands, the more control the narcissist seeks and expects. This gradual erosion of personal boundaries and surrendering of one’s own desires only serves to reinforce the narcissist’s power. Breaking free from this cycle requires individuals to recognise the narcissist’s tactics and adhere steadfastly to their own boundaries and values.
Furthermore, narcissists argue to instil a sense of worthlessness in their victims. By engaging in arguments, they aim to keep their victims subordinate and maintain their own feelings of superiority. The narcissist possesses little true sense of self-worth and derives their self-esteem from exerting power over those around them. The more they degrade and belittle their victims during arguments, the more empowered they feel. Understanding this dynamic is crucial for individuals to reclaim their self-worth and not allow narcissists to manipulate their emotions.
Exhaustion is yet another method employed by narcissists in arguments. They have an endless capacity to argue and can engage in lengthy discussions, tiring out their victims to the point of submission. This exhaustion not only weakens individuals’ resolve but also impairs their ability to navigate day-to-day life. To safeguard one’s mental and emotional well-being, individuals must not allow themselves to be worn down by the narcissist’s relentless arguments. By refusing to engage, individuals can prevent themselves from succumbing to weariness and the gaslighting tactics that often follow prolonged arguments.
In conclusion, narcissists’ affinity for argumentation stems from their insatiable need for attention and control. They seek to provoke emotional reactions from their victims, maintain superiority, and degrade the self-worth of others. Understanding these motivations is crucial in effectively dealing with narcissists. By refusing to engage in arguments, setting and maintaining personal boundaries, and focusing on one’s own self-worth, individuals can transcend the narcissist’s manipulative tactics and reclaim their power and autonomy.
Click the links below to join, Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media, for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.
The online courses available by Elizabeth Shaw.
For the full course.
For the free course.
To help with overcoming the trauma bond and anxiety course.
All about the narcissist Online course.
The narcissists counter-parenting.
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.