Understanding Word Salad


What is word salad?

Why do narcissists use it?

What does it sound like?

How do you deal with it?

This provides you with a comprehensive example of word salad and then detailed explanations about its use and how you may tackle it.

Toss the word salad here

84 thoughts on “Understanding Word Salad

  1. Showna says:

    Can you explain fuel or supply

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I can. Read the book ‘Fuel’.

  2. Lauren says:

    Hi, HG.

    Which type of narcissist uses language like this? “absolutely stunning and glorious humans”, “magnanimous person”, “tumultuous”, and “stupendously appreciative”? I read online that this is called flowery language that sociopaths use. It seems that any word that isn’t used often that ends with a “ous” and ly before regular words is part of their language to confuse and manipulate. So, is this a sociopath’s language or a narc’s or either or?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Both. It is a manifestation of grandiosity.

      1. gabbanzobean says:

        Yep!!! Mine did this all the time! It was like conversing with some high and mighty encyclopedic dictionary.

      2. Lauren says:

        Oh okay. Thank you, HG.

  3. Brian says:

    The story of when you met your girlfriend at the bar and you were late.
    Was that an example of word salad?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes with other manipulations too. I wasn’t late by the way, she got the time wrong.

      1. Lisa says:

        PMSL!!! 😂

      2. Brian says:

        Oh OK. Can you remember the most ridiculous or longest word salads you have ever done?
        They must be legendary.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Oh it can go on for hours, it’s entertaining.

          1. Brian says:

            Yes, looking back I have wasted many hours explaining my opinions on things, over and over. Then getting illogical talk as a reply.

    2. ava101 says:

      Entertaining … good to know.
      So, HG, without the emotions connected to the words, it’s low energy?? Why isn’t it getting tiring for you?! Or too ridiculous to go on?

      Brian, I think my exnarc once went on for about two hours before my neurons short-circuited. Other discussions could be longer, but pure circular talk & non-sensical talk/contradictions in one single session was about two hours. Till I had a friend talk to my exnarc instead, which resulted of course in him being manipulated through sweet-talk by my ex-narc, suddenly being very charming and logical.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        I don’t understand Ava101. What is it that you are referring to? What is it that isn’t getting tiring for me or too ridiculous to go on?

      2. ava101 says:

        When my exnarc engaged in circular and contradictory talk with me, I found it incredibly exhausting and tiring.
        –> Why isn’t it for you?

        I realize that the purpose of this kind of verbal exchange isn’t communication but to get your fuel … but still, you have a creative mind and you are very eloquent, therefore it must become tiresome to repeat and twist things?

        How is (the victim) getting tired and frustrated translating into fuel?

        I can see how it’s fun for like 15 minutes (like I enjoy annoying my mother for a short while), but not for hours.

        I just think that my exnarc could have gotten better and more rewarding things out of my mind.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I don’t find it tiresome because I am getting powered by the fuel and it amuses me to twist the victim around this way.

      3. Brian says:

        Was it a one-way monologue? I was amazed when Melanie Tonia Evans said her ex-husband was talking at her for about two hours without her even saying anything.
        In my experience that’s one thing female narcs don’t do.

      4. ava101 says:

        I know, this was irony, HG, but I’m still wondering in earnest; as long as I didn’t know what my exnarc was doing, it wasn’t so funny to me.

      5. ava101 says:

        Thank you, HG! Always good to know that one is such an excellent toy.

        Brian: no, it wasn’t a monologue. I kept trying to make sense of his initial statement and asked questions, kept finding solutions and making suggestions.

  4. VFH says:

    Hi HG, thank you for such a comprehensive answer.

    Leads me to a couple more questions if I may….re:

    2) Is the “tremendous good” you do all about the healing your readers do via this and your publications? Or is there a more subtle art also at work (that I alluded to during my slight meltdown over the easter weekend relating to your Personal Jesus post? If I need to expand here please do let me know as I recognise you are not filling your time contemplating your navel or pondering only my questions to you)

    4) thank you for sharing that, there are times when I don’t really know what I am either. Onwards and upwards though. Not downwards for me thank you.

    How do you know it is not repressed anger that causes the presence of the Fury? By suppressed anger I mean the type that you’re not even aware exists because your mind has not processed it, been able to name it or, therfore, deal with it.

  5. VFH says:

    Few questions for you to mull over today HG, whilst you’re being driven from job to job….

    Do you like being thought of as evil?

    Do you think you are?

    If yes, then is it a case of you think and act it, ergo you are it? Or, you’ve been made to feel it (matrinarc et al) therefore you’ve become it?

    If not, what alternate word would best describe you? Misunderstood? (I can almost sense your rolling of eyes btw but if you could just give a straight answer that would be useful, thank you)

    If not Evil, does it ignite your Fury to have people not ‘get’ you? As in what you ‘really’ are.

    But then again, you’re not really sure what you are, are you? And that’s why you have so much repressed anger isn’t it?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello VFH,

      Your opening comment amused me. I prefer to drive myself but I am driven on some occasions.

      1. Yes.
      2. Yes but I also do tremendous good because of my evil.
      3. I am intrinsically that way and before anything could be done about it, it was unleashed and intensified.
      4. It isn’t repressed anger, it is fury and whilst I would never admit this in my private dealings, you are partially correct. There are times when I do not know what I am.

  6. CB Smith says:

    Not really sure where to post this question. I have been binge watching, reading for the last couple of days.

    I am wondering if someone in the military would display their disorder differently. Those in the military are accustomed to giving and receiving orders. They demand respect, and usually offer the same to others, (as you have stated, your kind are pleasant to the outside world and to others, for the most part).
    High ranking military people with NPD would to me, just ‘fit in’ with the other servicemen who are instructed to not show emotion, etc. In other words, it is easy to conceal themselves amongst the others who look and act just like them. The degree of ‘masking’ is flagrant in the military environment, and thus encourages and maybe even instructs, the NPD in his endeavors.

    I would like to know your thoughts, if you have any experience with those in the military on either continent.

    Thank you.

    PS. I can understand why you are in a job field/career where you see ‘blood and gore’ on a daily basis: without empathy, you can do your job well without the emotional attachments and visceral emotions most people will eventually feel working in that environment. However, having experienced the same carnage in my career, (not the military) I can say that if you ever want to truly ‘heal, change, or whatever term’ your good doctors are using these days, I believe you will eventually have to walk away from that. It plays on the ‘psyche’ in a detrimental fashion and feeds into your NPD. I speak from experience. To me, it actually explains a great deal about you that others might not understand.

    Respectfully yours,

  7. Lisa says:

    Holy bloody dooly! Word salad. WORD SALAD?? Drove me nuts!! One partucular word salad argument sticks with me. It was about a pair of gloves I lost (I knew he took them) YEARS ago. They eventually turned up in one of HIS boxes, in his fathers shed. No denying that now is there? But ohhh no!! Deny deny deny mixed with word salad, word salad, word salad.
    Ive since tried to use word salad myself (just to see) if I can do it. But nope. Impossible!! Never again!

    HG. Off topic somewhat, but could you explain please about ‘normal’ people so to speak, in comparison to us Empaths. Its the amount of narcissism in each type that makes us who we are(CD/E/SE), but what of a normal person? 50/50??? How does that work? Or please lead me to the blog if already written. Thanks heaps. 🙂

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Lisa,

      It is not so much about strict percentages, because it is a combination of the number of traits and their strengths

      1. CDs have very few/very low narcissistic traits and many/medium to strong empathic traits
      2. SEs have numerous/moderate to fairly strong narcissistic traits BUT numerous/strong empathic traits
      3. Es have few/low narcissistic traits and numerous/medium to strong empathic traits
      4. Empathic (but not empaths) people have some/low narcissistic traits and some/low-medium empathic traits
      5. Normals have few/low narcissistic traits and few/low empathic traits
      6. Narcissistic (but not narcissists) have some/low-medium narcissistic traits and some/low empathic traits
      7. Narcissists have many/strong narcissistic traits and no empathic traits.

      1. Lisa says:

        Ok wow!! I think Ill read that one quite a few times, just to get my head around it. Interesting….
        I appreciate your explanation HG, and time spent doing it.
        Thanks a heap. 🙂

        1. HG Tudor says:


  8. Angelic says:

    makes my ” blood” sparkle and bubble…

  9. Mona says:

    Cutting people up: HG,dead people or alive?

  10. Geminimom says:

    HG are you a surgeon?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No GM IM not, although I am good at cutting people up.

      1. gabbanzobean says:

        Will you ever share your profession with us? That is your job outside of writing the blog?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Yes, when I stop doing it.

          1. Indy says:

            Your job or your blog?

            Hmmm, a lead high level criminal investigator, like UK FBI. I mean, there is authoritarianism that smacks of military, detail oriented, excellent human behavior profiler, and you see blood on not shudder. And you understand criminal behavior. Hmmmmmm

          2. HG Tudor says:

            My job.

          3. Indy says:

            Oh man, that is gonna take a while!!

          4. NarcAngel says:

            Top level International Human Rights. Oh the irony.

          5. HG Tudor says:

            Damn, rumbled.

      2. VFH says:

        Have you ever suggested anyone go into a store and ask for a long wait HG?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Along with tartan paint, a spirit level bubble and a left handed screw driver.

          1. VFH says:

            Indeed. And a skirting board ladder.

          2. VFH says:

            Did you have “indigestion” at 3.30am btw and need to go to the fridge for some milk? Whilst checking your phone for fuel potential…..

          3. HG Tudor says:

            No, I was awake and had just finished my writing for the night.

      3. You see you proved it twice today, with this comment and the chilling Eyes Wide Shut ending! You totally proved that you are very evil. I told you you were very evil…

  11. gabbanzobean says:

    “The Mid-Range engages in it and whilst he may recognise some force in the comments of the victim, his need to remain holding the whip hand in the discussion results in him immediately continuing to behave in this manner without being fully aware of what he is doing. The moment he might start to reflect on what the victim has said with regard to his conduct, his reflection is overruled by the need to deflect and deny and thus the word salad continues. If the victim makes reference to the behaviour once again, the reflection may start but as soon as it does, it is pushed aside by the need to deflect.”

    Holy damn, this is exactly how my mid-range acted. At times he appeared to understand my view point but then like a rubber band snapping he went right on back. He even threw in an “I am sorry Gabrielle” in there for good measure. Why bother apologizing and then just go right back to it?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Because you expect an apology and your response to this will provide fuel.

  12. Ms brown says:

    attorneys use this technique as well…and highly effective

  13. LA says:

    My narc husband was a pro at circular conversations. We never resolved anything. I also received a history lesson of everything I ever did to him when we argued. He says his anger is as justified today as it was 20 years ago. He would never “just let it go.” I’m still hearing about shit I did in the 90’s, like it literally just happened. The word salad examples you describe were used by him like a professional. Good thing I left, I was tired of eating green vomit.

  14. Patricia says:

    This is one of your writings which cause me to be unsure which level Narc I last dealt with. At the beginning of our relationship my ex Narc explained to me how effortlessly he did this in certain business dealings and how brilliantly he could manipulate a situation in his favor through these verbal tactics. He was well aware of what he was doing and so very proud of his skill and yet I was thoroughly baffled when he started doing this with me!

  15. What would the different schools of Narcissist do (Say, the Greater for argument’s sake) in the above scenario if the woman decided she had become aroused by all this tossing (of the word salad) and wanted some pork?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Sounds like she would need a butcher.

      1. foolme1time says:

        So you are a butcher also HG? Is there anything you can not do?👅

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Oh I’m the Butcher alright.

          1. Ms brown says:

            salami sandwich anyone?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            I am just slicing it.

          3. Ms brown says:

            thanks for that image, HG..

      2. I think the sight of blood and raw flesh would actually make you ill. I had you down as more of a pillow smotherer, with a penchant for metaphorical ‘stump fucking’.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Blood and raw flesh does not make me ill. I see them regularly.

          1. In your mind, you mean, when you are fantasising about the unfortunate decapitation of some moron who’s pissed you off?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            No. I have witnessed this repeatedly. It is linked to my profession.

          3. Sarah says:

            Animal or human blood and raw flesh?

          4. HG Tudor says:

            Both, but usually human.

          5. Sarah says:

            Have you ever gotten involved?

          6. HG Tudor says:

            In what?

          7. Sarah says:

            In whatever my sordid mind is conjuring up right now

          8. HG Tudor says:


  16. amynm101010 says:

    Ugh, Word Salad. If I could describe the way my ex Upper Narc communicates, it is either Silent Treatment, or Word Salad, not much in between. When we were in a “relationship”, and I was in the Loooong devaluation phase, we lived 5 min from eachother, but I would recieve these 7 hour long words salad text, followed by 3 days of silent treatment. Now some years later, I am court ordered to communicate. He still tris to use Word Salad when an Ignitor of Fury has been ignited. I have learned to keep each email conversation to a few emails and it never ends with a solution to his problem. I know if I let him, he would play word salad as long as I give him the time.
    HG, you say it is low energy, but it takes so much of the Narc time. Does it not make more sense to use that time gather better quality fuel from somewhere else? It has to be draining for the narc as well, no?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Words do not take a huge amount of effort and the fuel from an IPPS who is being devalued is potent.

  17. Brandie says:

    Reblogged this on Speak Out 4 Others.

  18. Kathy says:

    Oh yeah. I beat my head on a wall for a long time with this one. I would be like ‘do you hear yourself? On what planet does that make sense?’ His answer would always be something equally nonsensical. In the beginning, I just figured he had too much to drink. As time went on, I realized he would do it even if he hadn’t been drinking. I had never experienced this before, despite knowing some pretty ‘disordered’ people. Mind blown. On the up side, it was this behavior that made me realize that I was dealing with a ‘horse of a different color’. Imagine my surprise when I found out that there was actually a term for this behavior. I still shake my head some days when I reflect on our relationship.

    1. Ms brown says:

      amazing skill right?

      1. Kathy says:

        It’s something alright… Lol

  19. Indy says:

    I am so glad you followed the last article with this! Great advice too. I took your advice one year ago this month. It really is the only way. Walk away and treat yourself to disconnecting your phone and a nice drink.

    I am also glad you made reference to the fact that “word salad” can occur in other disorders as well. We use it in the psych field primarily when talking about those with psychosis and to see that version of word salad is mesmerizing and confusing and at times scary. It is literally as if all the words in the dictionary were thrown in the air and land as they may—very random words that sound like sentences, but they are not at all…like “The cat erupts with tacos”.

    The skill in which narcissists use words…I would almost wish to call narcissists the Chefs of the Word Salad because you do it with more skill and less random haphazardness. It has intent and it is almost an art. Perhaps the Salad Wizard. I don’t know. It is impressive though being on the other side of someone that is really good at it.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you Indy. I have witnessed the “nonsensical” manifestation of this also, the kind you referred to with your cat and tacos example. Of course I have engaged in the other variety as part of my manipulations and as you identify this is more intentional (either calculated from the Greater or instinctive self-defence mechanism with the Lesser and MR) than a haphazard occurrence.

      I know in our variation it makes sense to us from our perspective and I imagine that in those with psychosis it makes sense to them from their own perspective too.

      1. Indy says:

        The nonsensical in your kind as well?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Well it will appear nonsensical to you because it won’t adhere to your perspective, but it makes sense to us because it achieves our aims.

          1. Indy says:

            I get you, though, I am asking from a clinical perspective now. Could a narcissist present with nonsensical sentences in word salad? Like “My train tucked my blue sheets in with Alfredo” ?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            I take the view that this could very well manifest as a consequence of a fuel crisis.

          3. Indy says:

            Ahhhhh, ok. I follow. Yes, I have seen this in severe Bipolar Psychosis, Prodromal states, and in severe detox/intox. Good to know that a fuel crisis may show as this severe. Thank you HG.

            *And, just as an aside, I get what you mean by the person with psychosis thinks it is logical. This is the case. We are slaves to our perceptions and perspectives. What is real is debatable at times, no? 😉 *

          4. Ms brown says:

            Indy.. (not to intrude)… so then life IS an illusion? It’s all about perception? Is that reality or magical thinking?
            Your opinion for me to ponder?

          5. Indy says:

            No worries, intrude away. I do all the time with others 😉 These questions are always so much fun at midnight with good friends. Anyone got “Scooby snacks”? lol

  20. NarcAngel says:

    The title. Youre hilarious. Truly.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Whatever do you mean ?!!

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