I remember my eyebrows being raised, in disbelief. I was frustrated to the point of wanting to scream at my phone. Oh technology of modern days, how you aid and abet the narcissists in their misdemeanors as well as their felonies. In today’s class, we’re gonna touch on the subject of Narc Speak.
Words are the narcissist’s greatest tools for Manipulation. With their words they can beat you quite easily. This is one of their favorite games. But how do they do it? Let’s take a look at a typical text message conversation!
Me: I feel really hurt by what you did, regarding those women. I don’t wanna talk to you anymore.
Hero: But I’ve already explained to you, it was nothing, a joke. You’re making things so difficult, when we could be having the greatest time right now. You’re such an angry person. Me on the other hand, I’m always happy.
Me: (Insulted) What? Of course you’re always happy, I’m never going behind your back. If you want to talk to me ever again, you’d better apologize and come with an explanation so I can understand why you acted like that. How am I ever to trust you if I don’t know what caused your behavior?
Hero: The thing you’re talking about was ages ago. I’ve already apologized (no, he hadn’t). What more can I do. The truth is, if you hadn’t looked at my phone, this wouldn’t be an issue.
(A few more texts back and forth. Hero finally understands that I’m serious. He apologizes. He admits it was wrong of him to talk to other women in that way. He writes that he can understand it hurt my feelings and he never wished that. This feels genuine – yay, we’re getting somewhere!).
We go on to text back and forth, I ask why he did what he did. Hero evades.
Hero: Do you wanna go see a movie?
Me: What? No, I want to understand why this thing happened, and what you think you can do to help rebuild my trust after all this.
Hero; But none of this would be an issue if you hadn’t looked at my phone. (Putting the blame back on me, and in effect retracting his previous apology).
Me: But.. you apologized before? And now the whole thing is my fault again? I just don’t have the energy for this, I give up!!
Hero: Please let go of your anger and you’ll be happier in life. Just look at me.
Me: What the hell is wrong with you? Why can’t you understand I have the right to be angry after what you did? And that if you wanna keep me around, you have to take responsibility for the things you did!
Hero: You’re actually scaring me, with that anger, sometimes. (total manipulation; I have never done anything that could possibly scare him. I’ve raised my voice a bit, and cried, but no previous men have been “scared” of that).
It all ended with me so infuriated that I turned my phone off for the night.
This was an example of what I like to call a circular argument. Round and round you go until you’re exhausted. Simply a horrible situation where the narc blames you for being “over-sensitive” etc, after they mistreated you. They can throw in fake apologies, or create diversions from the topic at hand. This circular argument is toxic and very hard to let go of, in the moment! Cause it is infuriating and crazy-making!
It’s like it’s not only an attack on you personally, but the way they use words to deflect and confuse, is also an attack on the very moral foundation that human interactions are built upon. This is appalling to a person who thinks moral values are important.
I, who had never encountered a person that, (to this degree), tainted human decency; accountability and remorse, felt almost obligated to make this person see the error of his ways.
This is a mistake, it only gives them more narcissistic supply to see you struggle like this.
Trapped In Narc-Land, Without Dictionary: Small Survival Guide
I wrote a list on how to try and avoid being pulled into circular arguments:
- If someone is telling you that you don’t have the right to feel the way you do. Don’t argue with them. End the conversation. And then think on, in peace, what your next step will be.
- If you feel someone must apologize /explain themselves, for you to trust them again: Let them do so of their own accord, don’t “convince them” of this. If they don’t willingly and genuinely apologize, take a step back, evaluate.
- If someone’s acting in a confusing way in a conversation, calmly state that you can’t carry on the conversation right now. Don’t explain yourself, as that gives the (supposed) narcissist more material; to create new manipulations. If you want to attempt the conversation another day, try, and see if they’re more open to a fair discussion then. Refuse to argue through texts/e-mails. Talk face to face.
I hope this might help someone in the world, who has dealt with a narcissist, to see that you are not crazy!