How to communicate with a Narcissist? Dealing with a Narcissist is next to impossible as it can be an overwhelming process.
A Narcissist is someone who is often characterized and peculiar regarding their trait of being self-absorbed. They hardly think about others. They always prioritize their own self and their needs above others.
Thus it can be concluded, that narcissists only care for themselves, their needs and desires, and their wishes.
Even while dealing with them, everything they say is true, and the others need to verify what they have to say as they would be sooner or later proven incorrect by the narcissist. Narcissists believe that they are always correct, their points are valid and other people’s opinions do not matter.
Narcissists can be daunting, demoralizing, and intimidating. They may manoeuvre the conversations in circles and may never directly get to the point. If you want to have “The Talk” that may include your concerns, issues with them, or topics that they have been avoiding then be ready to be gaslighted, ignored, or distracted by them. Thus if you plan to have a rational conversation with them, you may need to be prepared for anything or everything.
Talking to a narcissist may seem like a tedious task especially when you have to communicate with this person on a daily basis like a co-worker, a spouse, a parent, or a family member.
To have a fruitful conversation with a narcissist, you may first need to recognize that you are having a conversation with a narcissist. So how do you figure that out?
Let us discuss how you may figure out signs of Narcissistic behavior while having communication with someone you may be reckoning as someone with a narcissistic personality.
Signs of Narcissistic Behavior During Communication
Narcissists can manifest their manipulative behavior during conversations in many ways and you may be just unaware of their manipulative ways. Thus here are a few signs that may help you recognize Narcissistic Behavior during Communication,
When you have a conversation with a narcissist the topics may always divert to their needs, their thoughts, their viewpoints, their accomplishments, their interests, and everything related to them. When you have a conversation with a narcissist, everything is always about them due to their self-centeredness.
A narcissist may involve a third person or have third-party conversations to divert attention from their wrongdoings and focus on the third party to create conflict, competition, or difference of opinion just to avert attention.
Narcissists may manipulate situations, distort the reality of the situation by menacing them with half-truths or warped facts, or deny accepting responsibility. They may make statements that may compel their victims to doubt their own sanity.
Narcissists get hold of situations or may punish you by withholding information from you. They may also make you feel insecure, anxious, and desperate to communicate with them. They may avoid talking to you or might not reply to you when you ask them something. This is how they manipulate you through silent treatments.
Narcissists may use guilt to inflict blame on you for something that you may have not done. It is a form of verbal or nonverbal communication where guilt is used to make the other person feel responsible for some wrongdoings or such guilt-tripping situations.
Interrupting or talking over others
Narcissists may interrupt others while talking or talk over them to divert attention to them to discuss everything related to them. They always disregard other people’s opinions to establish what they have to say.
Narcissists often dominate conversations, and back to themselves just to gain attention, adoration, and validation from others. They may always steal the limelight while socializing by discussing their achievements, successes, and growth in life.
A constant need for validation
Narcissists bag compliments, praise, and applauds for themselves to be the elephant in the room and establish their superiority and power.
Narcissists may make exceptional lies just to cater to compliments and praises to boost their ego.
Undervaluing their victims
Narcissists may try to break their victims’ confidence by badmouthing them or discussing other people to devalue them. They may discuss such topics that may make you feel undervalued or lacking.
Knowing signs is just not enough to communicate effectively with a narcissist, one must know ways to communicate with the narcissist to talk with them defiantly.
How To Communicate With A Narcissist?
There is no limit to the manipulative and abusive tactics when you are dealing with a narcissist. They may always resort to their own ways and just discuss themselves. Here below are some effective ways to deal efficiently with a narcissist without redirecting the conversations,
Focusing on the main point of the conversation that you want to have
Do not let the narcissist side-track the main conversation and find ways to focus on them. Stick to your points clearly. When the narcissist makes an effort to divert the conversation, either try to circle back to what you want to say or smartly chip in with a point that may divert back to the initial topic.
Narcissists may try hard to go off-topic and discuss themselves. But do not let that happen by constantly gaining focus on the main topic of the conversation.
Make it clear that you may not tolerate any sort of verbal abuse in the form of rage or shouting
Narcissists have their way of making their point about the conversion by raising their voices and insulting others. They may also incorporate anger and outrageous statements and try to have their way by using violent statements.
For instance, when they start to yell at you, you can state, “I will leave if you do not stop shouting at me.” or “I will talk to you when you calm down.” This may immediately divert the conversation back to square one.
Ask instead of making demands
While dealing with a narcissist, you should expect little to nothing in return and thus always ask for less. They tend to respond to properly being asked rather than making demands. They may also get offended when you pressure them to answer quickly and profoundly.
Being vigilant to read between the lines, or make your way through conversions is the ultimate need to communicate with narcissists effectively. There may be a lot more about them than about you in the conversation so be prepared and vigilant with your ears and eyes.
Maintain clarity in the conversations
Mentioning the specifics and staying focused on what you need from the conversation is a prime aspect of having a conversation with a narcissist. Narcissists are experts at making their own interpretations and finding their own meaning to either divert the topic or harm you with your own words. So having clarity in what you want to discuss is a must while conversing with the narcissist.
Keeping low expectations
You should expect the least when you have to discuss or convince them regarding something. They may not tolerate you for a long time, so keeping your hopes down and expecting the least from them is a way to communicate advantageously.
If you have to make agreements with a narcissist, then always choose written agreements over verbal agreements as narcissists have a tendency to change their opinions suddenly and your efforts to convince them may be in vain. Narcissists are experts at twisting words so take everything in written format.
Narcissists may be pissed at you as they may not want to get involved in anything that is fixed and decided by others. They always like to have their ways.
Be careful with providing feedback
Narcissists are not good at accepting criticism or negative feedback. They may also trick you into providing them feedback, as they might be finding ways to turn down what you have to say and blame you for criticizing you and thus divert conversations.
Narcissists may directly accuse you of things, but when you do the same they may get offended. They might abuse you verbally and you may have to face their rage. To escape such situations they may altogether avoid having feedback as it may harm their image.
Do not engage in gossip for the narcissist’s contentment
Gossiping with the narcissist and badmouthing others may prove that you are siding with the narcissist and may agree with what they decide. They may try to be friendly and make you accept their ways.
Do not use critical language
Make sure that you do not incorporate rough language while having conversations with that narcissist. Doing so may only enrage them and worsen the situation.
Instead of a critical tone, try using flattery with them. Narcissists love compliments, and praise and thus they may engage more in the conversation and listen to what you have to say.
Control your emotions
Controlling your emotions around the narcissist is a must as they may use your emotions to abuse you and may convince you to agree with them by involving emotional blackmail. Narcissists may target your weak spots and attack you by making statements that may require you to be emotional.
Stay calm and focused solely on the main topic without getting diverted. Do not allow emotions to off-track the conversation.
Do not allow the narcissist to bully you into agreeing with them
Narcisists may always create diplomatic situations that may compel you to side with them but do not be afraid to put your point thoroughly. They may try to intimidate you by questioning you, but stay put on your opinions and do not be afraid. Do not allow them to bully you into agreeing with them.
Dealing with a narcissist is difficult, especially when communicating with them. It can be a frustrating experience and may also involve unwanted topics, emotions and blame games when you try to make them listen to you.
Using the tips mentioned here, you can increase your chances of making your point or getting your point across. Hopefully being here, is a fruitful endeavor for the readers and they have the answers that they may be seeking.