For the Sake of an Argument

for-the-sake-of-an-argument

Would you like to know what is going through my mind when we argue? Thought you would.

I do enjoy an argument. I love to start a squabble, a contretemps and escalate it to a quarrel through to an altercation, a fight ! By now I am sure you have realised that the reason I do this is twofold. First, I am provoking an emotional reaction from you which gives me fuel. Secondly, it enables me to put you in your place and control you by being abusive towards you. I keep it within the realms of stinging and barbed verbal abuse but there are those of my brethren who do like to let their fists do the talking. That is not my style but we cannot shy away from the truth of what is being done in the name of “a discussion”.

I know from experience and also from reading numerous comments and observations that you regard arguing with me akin to banging your head against a brick wall. You cannot understand the stance we adopt in an argument. Surely we must recognise that what we are saying makes no sense? Do we not realise that our position lacks logic? I will endeavour to enlighten you. I recognise two types of argument. The first is created by me. The second is created by you. What they both have in common is you are at fault.

In the first type I generate an argument out of nothing. You find this disorienting and confusing. In fact,I will often do this after we have just done something delightful together (throwing you from a height is all the more delicious – see Get Ready To Drop). I will invent some offence (why did you just look at that man across from us, when you did not) or I will seize on something utterly trivial (thanks for taking that last drop (and it was a drop) of the sauvignon blanc). I will level the accusation at you. You will at first be stunned because everything was going swimmingly. You will then be perplexed as my accusation is either untrue or so minor to be negligible. Why is he getting so het up over nothing? Indignance will then rise inside you as your inner self questions whether you are just going to sit and take this unjust accusation. I am shouting at you now and you either run away or fight back. It might go something like this.

“Oh thanks for taking the last of the wine, I wanted that. I have hardly had any.”

“Sorry? There was only a drop left.”

“But you didn’t ask me if I wanted it did you?”

“I didn’t think to, there was just a dribble.”

“You didn’t think? That’s the trouble with you. You never think.”

“Oh come on, besides you’ve had plenty of wine anyway.”

“Are you saying I have a drink problem?”

“Woah, where did that come from?”

“You. You are always doing this. You do something selfish and then turn it into an attack about me. Just because you cannot stand for someone to point out when you have done something wrong.”

“Good God, what are you talking about?”

“That’s it, try to dismiss me when I am making a valid point.”

“I only poured a drop of wine into my glass. It is not big deal. Here, if it troubles you so much, have what is left in my glass.”

“No, it’s too late. The damage is done. You are trying to make light of when I am pointing something out to you.”

“This is ridiculous.”

“Oh I am ridiculous am I, well that’s rich coming from someone who drinks a bottle, at least one, a day.”

“Where do you get that from? No I don’t.”

“Yes you do. I am concerned about your drinking, have you ever considered getting some help?”

And on it goes.

When I start an argument like this I am not interested in proving what I am saying is correct. I am already right in my mind. You should note that ‘right’ and ‘correct’ are not necessarily the same thing. The whole purpose of this type of argument is for me to upset you and turn an otherwise pleasant experience into a horrible one. This is about exerting control so that you become wary about upsetting me. Next time you will always ensure you offer to pour me a glass of wine before tending to yourself for fear of causing an argument. Of course,, the next time I will be arguing about how you took the last profiterole instead even though I had eaten five more than you already.

The second type of argument is where you level a complaint or accusation at me. Invariably what you say is correct and you have valid grounds for raising it. You will also do so in a calm and level-headed fashion because that is your style. When you do this I do not hear what you are actually saying to me. The validity of your argument is meaningless to me. The piece of paper that documents your point may as well be written in Sanskrit for all the notice I will take of it. All I hear is you criticising me and I hate that. I absolutely hate it. How dare someone like you, who is inferior to someone like me, have the audacity to suggest I have done something wrong. I do not hear your words, I do not see the video recording you are playing back, all I hear is an unjust and scathing attack on me. Your words are drowned out by the raging fire that surges through me. The noise of the flames renders me deaf to your cool logic. I will deflect, deny and launch my own attacks (usually predicated on inventions) in order to beat you back. I am not interested in the correctness of what is being argued about. I am only interested in stopping the burning sensation I feel from your criticism and to do that I have to extinguish you. This is when I lose control and lash out. I will hurl savage insults at you and I will smash items of property (in my mind I am smashing you, just another object in front of me when I do this) and some of my kind will engage in physical violence. You will try to make me see that I am wrong (any healthy person would do this) and you are utterly flabbergasted as to why I cannot see what you are saying to me. Now you know. I cannot see because of the fiery rage that has erupted.

How do you deal with me in these two types of argument? Well, I am saving that information for another time. In the meanwhile, see if you can piece together that ornament I just have hurled against the wall.

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16 thoughts on “For the Sake of an Argument”

  1. This used to drive me crazy, now I just silently stare. And, you can clean up your own mess. He starts fights with the cats now. I find it entertaining.

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  2. I cannot believe how very true is of the last year plus of my life with Brian K…It’s like reading his bible….

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  3. You are very accurate again, HG! I definitely heard many of the phrases you wrote as examples. However, what I realize now is that every time I would say he was acting in a weird manner or being nasty, he would react this way. I learned that this was an indicator that I was kind of correct about the complaint. “Where did that come from?” was his favorite one. But, guess who always would apologize to end the argument: Me, of course! :-/

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  4. DGMB to funny to be drinking tea reading “the cats win every time” now time to make another cup
    Good morning to all!

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  5. An excellent description of what I went through. These posts are so helpful, especially since Narcs put so much effort into making others feel as if they are crazy or out of line. Thank you, HG.

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  6. DGMB,
    Oh my goodness, hahahahha
    Mine threatened to kitten nap mine after I left. Yes, my cat would tot win in that battle! Cute and fuzzy with razors on its toes.

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  7. Yes this is spot on. I wish I had this insight 10+ years ago. Thanks HG a true gift for us indeed that have been entangled -and for me still entangled (mine appears to be mid-range with a side of ADHD). ..planning to untangle and somehow protect children involved in the process.
    HG a couple of questions if I may.
    How did little HG respond or cope with Narc parent in arguments?
    What advice for children in general when I’m not around and arguments are started?
    And one additional comment: after a peaceful or rare moment of bliss..the hurling accusations or malicious attempt to argue is always followed with “why are YOU always ruining a nice time and starting fights”

    I’m wide awake and ready, thanks again for the order in the chaos.

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  8. How you deal with it is…how I learnt (eventually) to deal with it. Say “Oh yeahhhhhh”……”Ohhhhhhh yeahhhhhhh” at everything he says.

    So H would say “You never think that’s just the problem with you….” and I would say “Oh yeahhhhhhh” and laugh.

    Yes, it is like banging your head against a wall arguing with a narc. don’t do it. Ignore.

    H used to be able to start an argument in about 5 minutes. We would all be sat in a car driving from our house to his parents house….I would make a general remark about a place we had visited. He would ask me “What ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT”? “Oh nothing, just an observation” I would say….”No, repeat what you said”!! He would say. I would look out the car window thinking …..here we go again……..”It doesn’t matter, forget it” I would say. “Yes, it does matter…what did you say”? within 5 minutes it was world war III

    so I learnt just say “Oh yeahhhhhhh” to absolutely everything.

    Two can play a game Mr Narc.

    I used to tell him “I will take you down before you take me down”

    Hey…I did.

    He is good now. Oh yeahhhhhhhhh
    LOL

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  9. Do you also enjoy secretly creating a chaotic situation where know one else knows you are the reasoning behind it and watching everyone react to the situation ?

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    1. Sometimes, where the downside of being associated with the chaos outweighs the upside of being associated with it, otherwise I prefer for people to know that I am the architect.

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  10. I know this topic isn’t funny but I am cracking up over the wine story! hahahahahahha…. I cannot tell you how many of those types of arguments have come up with the narcissistic men I have encountered in my life. What is amazing Is the wasted effort and wasted energy used for what?? To you it makes sense and is necessary , to me its ridiculous and also comical to see in writing. Fascinating.

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  11. The first is created by me. The second is created by you. What they both have in common is you are at fault.*

    *Done and Done ✅

    READING THE N’s PLAYBOOK. I am out and it’s hindsight. Fascinating. But tragic. At least my eyes are starting to open. SLOWLY. Then warp speed. Some days I really hate. The Truth. I seek it. Then shy and deny. It burns us/me too.

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