The Five Reasons To Argue (And What You Can Do About Them)



It is often said that our default setting is one where we are on a war footing, ready to lash out and savage anybody who ventures into our sphere of influence. Our ability to argue is extensive and people may well remark, not knowing what we actually are, that we are capable of starting an argument in an empty room. Of course, an empty room is no use to us for we are reliant on others or the perception of others regarding us, giving us emotive attention. Our ability to argue over seemingly anything and nothing, without diminution or retraction is a fearsome attribute. It is frustrating, upsetting and often causes those around us to wonder why on earth we must always be red of tooth and claw. Surely it would be easier not to argue? Is it not tiring always being on the attack, aggressive and belligerent? Would life not be so much sweeter if we were not so war-like and bombastic? You may think that from your perspective, but as ever, I am allowing you to understand our perspective. You may not agree with it but if you understand why we are like this then you will be in a better position to do something about it and be less likely to be trapped by confusion and bewilderment. Here are five reasons why arguing is central to our way of living.


  1. To Provoke

You are a tanker full of fuel. Our aim is to prod, poke and assail you until your shell is breached and the fuel begins to pour from you. Your emotional responses to our argumentative stance is what we want. It does not matter what we are arguing about, whether it something trivial or something major, the subject matter is not the issue to us. It is the need to make you angry, make you frustrated, make you upset or make you fearful. So long as you keep reacting to what we are saying, then we shall keep arguing. Indeed, you are fuelling us and making us feel powerful so that this enables us to sustain this course of conduct – you are the one perpetuating the argument by reacting, it is not us. Disengage and halt the emotional responses and you will take away one of the fundamental reasons why we love to and have to argue with you during devaluation. We know however that you will not do this. We have cranked up your emotional response level that you cannot help but keep going, you are haemorrhaging emotion and we are lapping it up. Your desire to have us accept the reality (your reality) keeps you going and you fall into our trap of trying to make us “see sense” when we will never do this. We are not interested in an outcome or a resolution on your terms, the argument is about us attaining what we want.


  1. Control

You do not like to argue. You prefer peace and harmony. Discord is an environment which sustains us but not you. You want the quiet life, everybody to get on and for things to run smoothly. If you want that then you are going to have to keep giving up more and more control to us, otherwise you will face the fury of an argument. We do not want you to go out and enjoy yourself with other people. This means your attention is elsewhere and you are depriving us of fuel. It also means you may be susceptible to the influence of other people. We do not want our hold on your weakened in any way as we may lose you as our primary source of fuel and this will mean that we have to find a new one – this takes time and energy. Accordingly, we want you by us as often as possible and isolated from the treacherous influence of other people. If you want to do something which is contrary to our desires, then we will create an argument. It is often not even about the thing you wish to do and we wish to stop. Not at all. We will pick something out of the air and create an argument with you so that you are made to feel upset or frightened. This may cause you to no longer feel like you want to go out or have friends round after being involved in such a confrontation. Thus our control over you has been achieved. We may be more direct and cause the argument to be about the very thing you wish to do so that you end up backing down in order to keep the peace. Our ultimate aim is to cause you to alter your behaviours so you stop doing what you know is contrary to what we want beforehand so the argument can be avoided. Causing an argument is a weapon of intimidation, the threat of which becomes a method of achieving control over you. It is difficult, especially in the face of such hostility, but by refusing to engage and continuing with your planned course of action you are sending a signal that this method of control is ineffective. We will no doubt shift to a different form of manipulation, but the fact you have stuck to your guns and done what you want, provides you with a victory.


  1. Exhaustion

Our capacity to argue is almost limitless and powered by your provision of fuel we can keep going and going. We adopt our method of circular arguments, leading you towards a supposed resolution and then starting the argument up again much to your exasperation and disappointment. By keeping an argument going and going over the same ground repeatedly we aim to grind you down, tire you our and exhaust you. This method of creating battle fatigue is effective in reducing your defences, your ability to cope and your ability to evaluate. You cannot be bothered to put up a fight any longer and let us have our way. It becomes self-perpetuating as once you no longer wish to fight back then we exact further manipulations against you to exhaust your even more. The steady erosion of your energy levels is a method of wearing away your defences before launching a salvo of different manipulative attacks against you. They key to avoiding this draining situation is to avoid engaging in it in the first place. By recognising what arguments are being used for, you should make your point and if not accepted leave the matter there. You have said your piece, you know that and can take satisfaction from that. Do not try and have the last word. We know that your kind are often desperate to do that and we will goad you into trying to achieve that as we continue to wear you down. You need to avoid getting sucked into these ever decreasing circles in the first place and recognise that this is a chief aim of arguing.


  1. To Close the Wound

An argument is often a heated fury response to you having criticised us. When you deliver a criticism to us (whether real or more often perceived by us) which is free of emotion, it wounds us. In order to repair this wound we will either withdraw, apply cold fury or lash out with heated fury. The manifestation of the ignited heated fury includes causing an argument with you. By creating an argument, we provoke an emotional response from you which provides us with fuel. We use arguing to gather fuel in any event, as I have described at one above, but we also use it to gather fuel when it is desperately needed to repair the wound which has been caused by your criticism of us. You provide fuel and this allows the wound to be closed. We will then continue the argument to gather more fuel to make us feel powerful as well. One way of countering this would be to avoid criticising us in the first place. Unfortunately for you, many criticisms are perceived rather than actual. This is why they wound more are the perceived criticisms are usually emotion free because they have been unintended by you. Accordingly, your prospects of avoiding criticism based on perceived criticism are slim. The alternative is for you to avoid responding to the argument in an emotional manner. This means that you will not provide us with the fuel that we need to close the wound. Accordingly, we will try harder to get it from you, but if you maintain your resolve, do not engage and do not provide an emotional response then we will be forced to withdraw and seek the repairing fuel from another source. You will have brought the argument to a conclusion sooner than usual by forcing us to go elsewhere.


  1. Superiority


We need to maintain our sense of superiority. We need to ensure you remain inferior to us, beneath us and worthless. We are desperate to generate a sense of self-worth which does not come naturally to us through our arguing with you. If we can annoy you, frustrate you, put you down through the auspices of an argument that we gain a sense of self-worth. We remain in our elevated position, we are the top dog, we are better than you. By keeping you downtrodden through the power of an argument it follows that we are superior and therefore we have achieved our aim. To counter the perpetuation of an argument for the sake of us gaining a sense of self-worth, you may consider just accepting what we are saying (this is often easy because what is being argued about may actually be (in your world) completely trivial) and therefore you are giving nothing away by conceding. If you agree with us, tell us we are right and concede in such circumstances the need for the argument has evaporated. If you reinforce our superiority through praise and admiration it will have a similar effect. You are giving us that sense of self-worth that we crave.


It may appear that we always want to win the argument. That is not the case at all. We have no interest in winning the argument. What we really want is to achieve one or more of the five above.


42 thoughts on “The Five Reasons To Argue (And What You Can Do About Them)”

  1. I always refused to argue because I had better things to do even if it was just to not argue. If he didn’t stop I would shut off my phone or if I was with him I would gather my things, get in my car and leave without saying a word.

    The one time he caught me leaving without saying good bye started a road rage vehicle chase while he texted me with threats. He endangered himself and others on the freeways and luckily gave up after 20 miles (I lived 35 miles away).

  2. seeing perplexed narc watching You walking around the house happy singing along to some song… and thinking : wtf? Why is she so hot happy and confident? And I haven’t even caused that !

  3. This has nothing to do with your excellent post (which was so relateable for me and I “see” this truth often…don’t get me started!)
    I just checked in and immediately noticed you changed Malignarc to HG Tudor. It is very preferrable to me…I dislike labels. Silly, but much nicer for some reason.
    I can see I have a few posts to catch up on that have peeked my interest. I’ll have to make time for more truth and subsequent healing. And, continue with your books. I have many on kindle. I just need to find the time and energy. Thanks HG 😊

    1. Indeed CE, other than my new friend Yo who has his/her own epitaph for me of defective person, everyone else addresses me as HG so I changed it. It doesn’t mean I have gone soft though! I look forward to your further observations CE.

      1. Yes, I had noticed they referred to you as such (“defective person”)….

        Whilst, I guess, it’s somewhat a kind of affectionate term of some commenters here… HG “humanizes” you; so is most likely preferrable to us “empaths/co dependents”. (I prefer your term…my kind)
        It’s use is sensible, on your part, to promote your personalized status as an author. (Useful for amazon searches to find your books etc for everyone, in any case)
        I never thought you would be any way other than how you preferred to! (soft or otherwise… at any given moment) Such is your design in your seemingly necessary, controlled world. 😊

        I have certain labels attached to me by others also, and I can assure you, I am not soft either…unless I choose to be. Perhaps, “soft” is a term that is open to definition… I can certainly be a little fireball, as you put it with MLA/MLF, when I set my mind to something. I just like to prefer to think of it as being passionate. Time has taught me to be more outwardly passionate.

        We all adjust to our surroundings and as adults are in fact all ultimately responsible for “our worlds”. Perhaps not so much in the short term, but we all need to learn that when someone shows us who they really are, that we should believe them and make adult choices for ourselves, and deal with the consequences…or not. Being soft (as a partner etc of an N) may be defined as staying and enduring/actively participating in the “dance”, by some, and by others, running away/giving up or letting go is seen as being soft. There are strengths and weaknesses to both.
        I prefer HG, and the terms, “your kind and my kind”, nonetheless.

  4. i get it now.. he was picking fights.. both of us are bullheaded… both of us are stubborn like mules.. either of us was going to back down.. in the end i told him.. no fighting.. (argue) .. he can pick fights with some one else.. not me.. then i would ignore him for a few days.. after a few days he would come around and say to me.. you said no fighting.. oh now im picking a fight because i ignored you…. you do not bite the hand that feeds you your fuel.. that hand can smak the silly smirk of your face my darling.. smak smak..

  5. Reading this made me physically sick. I understand all of these concepts and what gives my narc fuel but it is so damn hard to keep quiet. I know that he wants reaction all of the time and i of course keep giving it to him.

    1. And so the wheel keeps turning Marie. The emotion which drives you is what causes you to struggle to remain quiet and of course we know this.

  6. Bravo! This is amazing dear defective person, how u r able to monitor ur own feelings and analyze the reasons. Monitoring is the 1st step to be able to control/manage it.

  7. He never argued. He’d always walk away and say “I can’t talk to you when you’re like this. We’ll talk when you’ve caned down.” Very passive-aggressive.

  8. I don’t know if I was raised by one but I divorced one And jumped Rt back in bed with a more dramatic one. Tested to my limits I inderstand, feel, see and crave the fuel transference. It’s actually a beautiful experience. the bastard snuffed my light out I was able to break free. Now I need to know do u “people” actually have control when u are in ur blind rage. Do u know when u are actually going to kill someone and just stop. Or do some of u accidentally take it too far.

    1. The lesser lack control whereas the greater can exert control, hence why we tend to use physical violence far less (we also are aware of the ramifications of such evidence also)

  9. Again Bingo ! Had to deal with all of them but I usually am very patient to ” constructively discuss” but its true pretty exhausting 😖. Thanks for the tips 😘

  10. Now I never mirrored my mother’s narcissistic behavior back to her, but when I was younger I thought I had to be like her to get any respect from others, so I behaved like her towards others.

    1. Our parents are our blueprint for behavior when we are little sponges soaking up all they have to show.

  11. So what becomes the back-up plan when one realizes they are getting caught up in an argument and they start to pull back? I am notorious for wanting to get the last word in with a confrontation (some days it’s an asset, some days not, lol). What is your next move if provoking or trying to frustrate the person is losing its effectiveness and you still want them to build your self-worth? What comes out of the tool kit next?
    On a side note, on a recovery site, I was reading about different stages of recovering from the abuse. One step was called “Mirroring” which was explained does not happen to many people, but it does to some. It was explained that when you mirror the Narcissist’s behavior back at them, it effectively scares them off. It allows some to siphon off their anger and project it back to the person who caused it.
    Have you ever experienced that or have the doctors ever discussed that type of scenario developing?

    1. There are a whole host of additional manipulations that could be applied as per those in the Devil’s Toolkit which are designed to reinforce our superiority and undermine you.
      I don’t subscribe to the mirroring. If I shout at you and you shout back at me, you are giving me fuel. If I do not speak to you and you do not speak to me but I can see the hurt or the fuming resentment in your eyes it is fuel. If I triangulate you with somebody and then you do so with me, you are allowing me a shot at you for your treachery and by drawing someone else into our dynamic I will extract from fuel as well. Mirroring what I do to you does not scare me off because of the emotional content which you attach to it.

      1. Maybe it works with lesser ones? I just had never come across that terminology before. You would see the transparency in it though, Master Sith Lord.
        It caught my eye because I remember an exchange with my Narc last fall in which I called him “It” the whole time like you had done to Lesley. Clearly that never scared him off as I got his lame apologies last week again.

      2. Lolll, well it’s all perspective. I’d say I was giving him a dose of devaluing. You’d probably say every sentence was dripping with liquid fuel. Haha I say dishes, you say crockery…

  12. I almost couldn’t read this entire post…I was so confronted with the reality I have been living. The N that I am dealing with is an Attorney, which makes the arguing even crueler and more horrific. There is NEVER a resolution to any argument we have ever had. And we NEVER argued before my discovery of three years of his cheating with dozens of women. Always during the day or when I was out of town. He has been a hurricane of fury and rage for the entire last year that we have futilely tried to repair this damage. I am done now. I DO NOT deserve this continued abuse. Thank you for helping me to realize that I do not need to continue this insanity. I am now in control of my destiny. No Contact. Period.

      1. Isn’t it?

        the thing is…

        oh, never mind. The story is too long.

        But the bottom line is I’ve known my fair share…more than I ever care to! Many are on the N spectrum. Some I bet are malignant. The law has nothing to do with the truth thus I observe them selling their souls in the name of winning.

        Are you an attorney HG?

      2. I have an aunt who was judge of the criminal area ( sorry I dont have the technical vocab) and she was the one to condemn people to so and so many years of prison. She made it to the local newspaper as the woman of iron who did not blink even when she had to condemn single mothers of small babies etc 😭😭😭.
        I suppose she belongs in the spectrum. 😓 But not all lawyers are Ns I would say.. Not even the majority.

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