How to Communicate with a Narcissist
How to Maintain an Awareness of Narcissistic Behavior So That You Are Not Being Manipulated
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is defined as “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts.”
As the world shifts from a tactile lifestyle to a more virtual and individualistic one, being able to recognize traits of narcissistic personality disorder is important when human interaction is limited as a new reality of modern day society.
It is necessary to understand that people with narcissistic personality disorder perceive the world through a lens that is excessively self involved and they crave copious attention and praise. People that have this condition typically have a low capacity for showing empathy. As a result, strained relationships with friends and family develop due to their controlling and manipulative nature.
Due to these factors, nearly all cases of people with NPD tend to be depressed or unhappy because of deficient attention and praise.
Excessive Control of Conversation Time
As it goes, the conversations between neurotypical people that are capable of maintaining healthy relationships are balanced in equal contributions from each person. Ideally, each person involved is speaking and listening. Due to the self-natured aspects of a narcissist, the conversation will be dominated by them throughout various interactions with them.
Throughout your conversation with them, even if you are able to make your point clear, what you say will be disregarded in the favor of their opinion or feeling.
Dominating Topics of Conversation
Due to the self-centered nature of narcissistic personality disorder, the amount of time they take up in a conversation colates with their domination of the topic of conversation. They focus on what they want to talk about, the mood and manner in which they speak, and converse with minimum to zero regard as to outside views or points. Even if it appears that they have been listening, or that they may acknowledge an outside perspective, the subject may be directed back to how they wish the conversation to proceed.
Frequent Interruptions of You or Other People
No matter the medium in which they communicate, a narcissist tends to be very open about how they wish to project their view. They will not be shy or cautious to interrupt you. By interjecting, they wish to direct the focus of the conversation back to them. By forcefully bringing the attention back onto them, they assume domination in the social interaction, and act as if correcting, judging, minimizing, or invalidating your position as a result of a false sense of their own entitlement.
Empathy is the capability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Developmentally, empathy is vital to the growth of how somebody creates relationships throughout their life. It requires experiencing another person’s perspective above your own. Empathy acts as a driving factor in helping factors that occur by choice rather than force.
A relationship built on empathy will allow one person to confide in another if at one point either person needs to be emotionally available. Simple changes in a plan, due to your priorities shifting because something sudden has occurred, a person with narcissistic personality disorder may become irritated due to your shift in interest. As a result of this, a narcissist will be unable to create necessary healthy and genuine relationships
Dignifying Material Wealth or Self
Despite there being many ways by which people can communicate with one another, the behavior of a narcissistic communicator is not changed on the web or through social media. Due to the self centered nature of a narcissist, bragging or aggrandizement of material wealth is a common tool to essentialize their false sense of superiority. Sometimes bragging is very overt, and in other cases when narcissistic communicators boast, it can be meant to be seen as humble from an outside view.
Noteworthy life achievements tend to be brought up often, and in many cases, the achievements of a narcissist are exaggerated as a way to make those around them envious. They bring attention to drama in their lives and often present it as theatrical. The status of how worthy relationships are formed also tends to be a talking point, and speak of the people that they view as equal as if they had been collected by them.
Social interactions often turn out to display the characteristics of a narcissistic communicator. Contrary to the frequent boasting, what they are driven by is a hollow, deep seated insecurity and fear. The boosting of this fragile self-esteem tends to be a compensating factor to an emptiness in how a narcissistic communicator functions.
A False Superiority Complex
Without much thought, it is easy to assume that narcissists tend to be some of the most toxic people you can have in your life due to their intense conceitedness. The false superiority complex that develops because of an inflated ego. Most people they interact with tend to be people they view as inferior. Often these people will face the worst parts of a narcissistic communicator. Narcissists can frequently act in a way to cover the deep inadequacy they feel about themselves. Frequently, narcissists will put other people down to briefly fulfill this dependency to keep their egos floating.
Overly Conceited and Unwelcome Advice
The side effects of a superiority complex often includes the belief that a person is better in every single way. To feed the importance of their self image, they claim to provide the best advice. Often this advice is facetious, and almost never asked for by another person. Overly conceited and unwelcome advice is another aspect of a narcissistic communicator that helps feed the cycle of maintaining the ego at a brief but sustainable level for them to function.(1) The cycle of feeding their self-worth by bringing other people down to reaffirm their insecure needs is known as the narcissistic supply.
Another key trait of people with narcissistic personality disorder is that they are manipulative. As far as narcissistic communicators go, the element of their personality tends to be the most destructive. Narcissistic manipulative communication tends to come in two forms: manipulation with positive reinforcement and manipulation with negative reinforcement. Factors of positive reinforcement often include flattery and promises that they are not willing to fulfill.
Negative reinforcement often is more severe. They tend to shift various amounts of blame onto another person. Others will often face various amounts of criticism and shaming. They will tend to deceive you, and make various excuses for false promises and dishonesty. Often narcissistic communicators will play the victim and bait other people into admitting guilt. They are hostile and will find a way to abuse or take advantage of other people. If they gain any sort of leverage over another person, they will find a way to either intimidate or coerce that person into getting what they want.
Narcissists view other people as extensions of themselves. Any kind of person described as a chronic narcissist will set out to use anybody that could be useful to them.
In short, an awareness of the characteristics of a narcissistic personality is an important part in understanding the ways in which you communicate with them. Maintaining a consciousness about narcissistic behavior will prevent other people from being hurt or manipulated.