Narcissists simply bait you with many conversations in an effort to constantly manage you down and keep you confused. Just with a normal conversation it almost seems like they are testing you or even mocking you. They are gauging your reactions to see just how far they can push you to get a chaotic reaction. They want you to react emotionally and after they bait you to get a reaction they will tell YOU to calm down, or say you are overreacting and make you internalize their disappointment with you.
They want the upper hand always to feel in control so the whole point of this is to get you unhinged and they can and will get down and dirty to achieve this. Conversations are always a competition with them just like everything else with a Narcissist. Think of it like this, it is like the Narcissist purposely punches you in the face and then gets angry at YOU for reacting to that punch!
They will use actions as well to drive their point home with you. Suddenly they are not paying attention to you, or they are very eager to get you off of the phone. They will cancel a plan or just disappear without an explanation – basically isolating you and silencing you for no apparent reason. This sucks you RIGHT BACK IN and when they return you calmly confront their actions and receive a resounding “I’m SICK of always arguing with you – WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??” Well you never started an argument in the first place, you were only reacting in a manner to create some sort of cohesive understanding AND peace, but the Narcissist hones in on your confusion (and reactions) and labels them as arguments. They have successfully manipulated you right into their game to make you believe that YOU are to blame and a defective person. They will more than likely verbalize this to you as well!
So how do they do this? Let’s use the example that they cheated on you or they are just being cruel to you. They won’t directly address the truth or reality of the situation but instead they will bring up something totally unrelated from the past that YOU have done wrong. It is sort of like a comparison to divert from their actions and basically justify what they have done. It is their way of keeping score, but they are always the winners because they are the scorekeeper. Perhaps you sincerely admitted to something you had done wrong in your past and you shared it. They will hold you hostage to this and accountable to whatever it was YOU did (even if it didn’t concern them) and then whatever they did really isn’t all that bad compared to your actions. So don’t you even DARE to hold them accountable or complain about what they did because they are going to bring up your indiscretion(s) from the past! This is not normal resolution this is deceptive manipulation on their part to shore up their lies and actions and a Narcissistic DIVERSION.
Again all of this is done in an effort to put YOU on the defensive to avert all responsibility and accountability. In any situation where they are threatened by exposure of the reality of what they are the Narcissist has to SHAME you in a manner to stay in control. They have no shame for their actions though and I mean NONE whatsoever. They only transfer their defective qualities onto and into you and basically create strong labels that they attach to you that justify WHY they do what they do. This is really projection. They are transferring their own flaws onto you as well as seeking a reaction that basically confuses or confounds you to drive the point home. They HAVE to respond because they can’t just sit there and allow what they feel are blatant attacks ON THEM because they do NO WRONG! They HAVE to force you into submission so you internalize their attacks as reality of who YOU are. You are not any of this – AGAIN this is part of their extreme manipulation techniques – and one of many!
If you were able to pull yourself out of the confusion when they are doing this you would clearly see that their reactions are so delusional and a huge defense mechanism to hide the very truth from themselves and everybody else. Educating ourselves about the truth of what a Narcissist is AND does is one of the most important aspects of recovery. It is the bridge that takes us to recovery. To heal we must understand, we must expel everything that we internalized from the manipulative Narcissist and their abuse. We have to realize that these are non-functioning individuals that are predators. There NEVER was a relationship with them, there NEVER will be a relationship with them, AND they are NOT capable of having a REAL relationship with anyone!
Along the same lines they do not change after we depart from them. The first revelation we must ABSOLUTELY accept is that the Narcissist will never give you any satisfaction with any question as to ‘why’ or any closure as well UNLESS they want something more from us and it will only be more distorted manipulation. They probably ran off to new supply to do what they do best and basically that is extort the next person that will be in your same shoes one day so let them be where they are. You will need to let go of thinking that you need them to understand what you are going through or that you will be successful at changing them in some manner and get that validation – NO they will only manipulate you more and use more projection to always make YOU out to be the person at fault. They are securing new supply and you reached your expiration date. ANY attempt at a connection would pull you right back into the trauma that you are trying to heal from as well as giving your power away and setting yourself up for more abuse! The Narcissist is not any part of your recovery as looking to them for anything to help the process along. No/minimal contact to truly get the clarity you need to move forward! Greg