Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The pleasures of a conversation with a narcissist

One way narcissists play the Teeter Totter Game is to deny you the credit you deserve for anything. They withhold it.

You will notice this constantly in conversation with those narcissists who avoid paying attention to you by monopolizing a conversation (as opposed to those who avoid paying attention to you by never gracing you with their presence so that you can talk with them). Conversation with such a 90-mile-an-hour mouth is always a contest. The narcissist is contrary and contradicts every thing you say, butting in to do so and going to absurd lengths to find some exception to take to whatever you say. You feel like a soccer or hockey player trying to score a goal against the defense determined never to let you make a point.

The narcissist won't even let you complete a sentence.

That's a form of withholding. A refusal to listen, to pay attention to you.

To do this, a narcissist picks at absurd little details to object to. the object is to deny you any credit for ever being correct about anything.

For example . . .

PERSON remarks that Republicans buying the votes of the wealthy with promises of handouts is no different than Democrats buying the votes of the poor with promises of handouts. And that both manage the law to keep their constitueancies dependent on their handouts, thus securing the existence of that special-interest voting block into the future.

NARC can't allow PERSON to make a point. PERSON must get no credit for ever being right about anything. NARC has gotta have it all. So, NARC just flatly denies the truth of this without stating a reason. She just stubbornly shakes her head and says, "No" like a three-year-old would.

Now, for the sake of example, this NARC happens to be a liberal, a lifelong Democrat (though it could easily be the other way around). She insists that there IS a difference. Democrats are acting for principled reasons and have never written the law so that people on wellfare didn't dare take a job: only Republicans do such diabolical things to manage a voting block.

PERSON states the facts of welfare law before the Republican majority took over in Congress, but NARC just keeps stubbornly shaking her head. PERSON demands a REASON for NARC's contrary opinion. Finally NARC gives in and says that her reason for insisting that Democrats don't do that is that they aren't that smart.

Then those "evil" Republicans are? A typical example of a narcissist's mouth getting ahead of her brain: she left-handedly praised the wrong side.

Plus, how's that for a self-flattering reason? These world-famous, powerful people aren't as smart as she is, eh?

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7 Comments:

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family narcissist also refers to his supposedly superior intellect when he needs to excuse some dirty deed he committed to take advantage of someone. He likes to say, "You're no better than me! You'd have done the same thing, you just weren't able to think of it!"

 
At 7:18 PM, Blogger puglette said...

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At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Political "discussions" with NH are so frustrating that I have taken to pretty much ignoring the bait when he gets on his soapbox. He describes his pitbull-like attacks on my political party as being passionate about his beliefs. He says he can't talk politics with me because I get too upset when he doesn't believe the same things I do (which perfectly describes him, not me). He just doesn't want to do the work of trying to persuade me with well thought out arguments--he wants to sway me with passion alone.

This actually worked when I was younger and more impressionable, which is why we got along so well back then. It was when I started thinking for myself and questioning him that things started going downhill.

The political soapbox is probably the most unpleasant day-to-day aspect of living with him currently (now that I'm no longer emotionally attached to him and have let go of the expectations of a normal relationship). He just won't let things be, and he can't be talked to, either.

I was wondering the other day why I keep coming back to his politics as something I really can't stand about him, when it's the emotional abuse that should be front and center. It occurs to me that the way NH discusses politics exposes how he thinks about and interacts with the world, and I can see how much BS he slings about, and how little regard he has for other viewpoints. Then I draw the parallels to how he thinks and feels about me and about life in general, and it is not pretty...

 
At 3:30 PM, Anonymous kathy k said...

When politics is the topic, a narcissist's refusal to reason, choosing opinion by preference (often just a preference for whatever is contrary) stands out as more glaringly inappropriate than when talking about day-to-day matters. Normal people just don't do that. If they disagree, they cite a REASON for doing so. It's often invalid, but at least they feel compelled to at least FAKE having a reason for their opinion. Narcissist's don't. They see no need to.

It would never dawn on a normal person to maintain that the earth is flat just because that's what they prefer. It would never dawn on a narcissist that he shouldn't do just that.

Talk about politics is adult talk. Narcissists are incapable of it. One might as well try to discuss politics with an informed three-year-old. Being informed makes no difference, because he's mentally three and hasn't yet attained the Age of Reason.

 
At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Political discussion, became an all out war, or rather his war against the world. He knew dates times in history which nobody could refute or understand because they just didn't know, so that allowed him to hold court for ever, and nobody could get a look in and were exhausted just listening. Don't talk about the war (Iraq) cos he would go off again verbatim from the previous time with whoever could be captured, whether he knew them or not. I used to sit there and my fury would engulf me at times, with his sheer bombasity. And the boredom. Once he started he could not stop, like an automatic machine gun that never ran out of bullets. He would blitz everyone in sight!!

 
At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It goes without saying that he made up some of those facts, on the spot, didn't he? I recently had a narc try to tell me that "they" say the Daily Kos was started by Republicans to split the Democratic Party and get Senator Lieberman's seat for the GOP.

Lieberman's? Really? No kidding.

It did no good telling her that the Daily Kos has been around way too long for that to be possible.

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger puglette said...

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