Why Are The Arguments Never Resolved


Disputes between people always arise. You might label it a debate, a discussion, a reasoned exchange of views, an argument, a fight or a blazing row. That label depends very much on the participants in the exchange.

When one of the participants is one of us, a narcissist, it always seems to be the case that it is never resolved, at least, not to your (the non-narcissist’s) satisfaction.

Let’s start however with a dispute between two people who are not narcissists. Person A states that person B owes him £ 50 000. Person B denies that he owes anything. If they cannot resolve it between themselves, they will have to resort to other means to achieve an outcome, which would invariably mean going to court with the attendant cost in time and money. The dispute is however capable of resolution because of the mind sets of the two participants.

Person A’s mindset is – “I would prefer £ 50 000 but I recognise that in order to reach a resolution I will have to accept a lesser sum. So long as this lesser sum is within a certain range, the problem will be solved.”

Person B’s mindset is – “I would prefer to pay nothing but I recognise that in order to reach resolution I will have to pay something. So long as this something is within a certain range, the problem will be solved.”

You can see from this that there is potential for the parties’ mindsets to align. Neither will be out and out happy but the dispute will be resolved and they can get on with other matters. If they agree at £ 30 000 Person A has made a recovery which is less than he desired but more than nothing. Person B has made a payment which is more than he desired but less than everything. The two people have mindsets which can and do align and thus there is resolution.

This non-narcissistic example demonstrates precisely why there is never any resolution (or at least it seems that way to you as the empathic victim) when engaging with our kind. The reason is that there is no alignment of interests.

Take for instance a situation between narcissist and victim. The victim does not know that they are in a romantic entanglement with the narcissist. The victim is an Intimate Partner Primary Source and the narcissist is a Mid-Range Narcissist. The two attended an event in the afternoon. The narcissist felt ignored by the IPPS and this ignited his fury and now the narcissist, in order to provoke and gain fuel has accused the victim of flirting with a member of the opposite sex. The victim knows that she did not do so and is upset by this accusation as well as bewildered. An argument about this ensues.

What is the victim’s mindset?

  1. As a truth seeker establish the truth that she did not flirt with anybody and the narcissist accepts she did not.
  2. The narcissist apologises for the false accusation.

What is the narcissist’s mindset?

  1. Gain fuel;
  2. Assert and maintain superiority over the victim

Both parties have entirely different aims.

Can the victim’s requirements be fulfilled by the narcissist?

The narcissist will not admit that the accusation was a lie because issuing the lie is causing the victim to be upset, to be angry and thus is providing fuel. Accordingly, the narcissist will maintain the lie in order to preserve the supply of fuel.

The narcissist will not apologise because that is ceding superiority to the victim by admitting that the narcissist is wrong. It will also bring an end to the victim’s hurt/upset/anger and thus the fuel ends.

There is nothing for the narcissist to gain in fulfilling what the victim wants.

Can the narcissist’s requirements be met by the victim?

Yes, but not in an intentional way by the victim. Owing to the fact that victims do not know what they are dealing with, that they do not know they are engaging with one of our kind, that they do not understand the concept of fuel or that we have a different perspective to them, the victim cannot decide to keep giving fuel nor can she decide to give superiority to the narcissist.

Instead, she remains bound by her own mindset and desires which are as a consequence of her perspective. She sees this as the ONLY outcome which is right, because from her perspective she did not flirt, therefore she cannot understand why the narcissist cannot accept that this is the case. She cannot understand why he will not apologise when he is wrong. She does not know that he needs to keep extracting fuel from her. She does not know that he needs to assert and maintain superiority over her.

Accordingly, she keeps trying to get the narcissist to see her perspective and to achieve the apology. This will not happen. She does not achieve the resolution she wants. Moreover, she is bewildered as to why the narcissist cannot achieve this resolution when it seems so obvious (to her) that she is right and he is wrong.

The resolution will not occur on her terms because they are not aligned with what the narcissist wants. Instead, the resolution will only occur when the narcissist is satisfied with the fuel received (thus the wounding has been healed and the ignited fury of the narcissist abates) and that his perception of superiority has been attained. He then halts the argument by walking away, changing topic or even completely perplexing the victim by suggesting going out for dinner together. This rapid switch from argument to suggesting something pleasant, when (from the victim’s perspective) there has been no resolution leaves the victim puzzled and open-mouthed at this sudden switching.

From the narcissist’s perspective it is entirely logical. He has gained fuel and healed the wound, thus the ignited fury abates so he has no need to continue the provocation in the argument. He feels he has asserted his fury because the victim is upset, looks dismayed or dejected. He has achieved his aims which the victim (unintentionally) has fulfilled. He thus ends the argument. The victim is puzzled because from her perspective nothing has been resolved. If she presses on, she is likely to provide Challenge Fuel ( seeFuel, Fight or Flight ) and thus the narcissist will respond to this by deflecting, denying, projecting and a whole host of other manipulations.

Accordingly, whenever a victim argues with our kind, the victim never feels like there is any resolution because their aims are never fulfilled. Even when the narcissist’s aims are achieved and he halts the manipulation, the victim still understandably believing the matter to be unresolved, keeps going. This causes the narcissist to respond to the challenge and then the narcissist sees the victim as maintaining an argument unnecessarily.

It is only when the victim understands that they are engaging with a narcissist and that we adopt an entirely different perspective, which alters the aims we seek from the argument, that the victim can achieve an alternative outcome. Armed with this knowledge, the victim can either:-

  1. State their case once so they know they have, offer no reaction and withdraw;
  2. State their case once, offer a positive reaction to fuel the narcissist whilst avoiding feeling dismayed and hurt in trying to achieve an outcome they cannot ever achieve; or
  3. Withdraw, preferring not to engage and save themselves the aggravation of being subjected to repeated manipulation because of the different agendas of victim and narcissist.

Once you become empowered with this understanding of why you never reach resolution with us, you will approach such entanglements in a completely different and edifying manner.

43 thoughts on “Why Are The Arguments Never Resolved

  1. loveyourselfnowgirl says:

    One of the many things that baffles me when arguing with a narc is when I apologized for my part in the mess, he would always say “oh you don’t have to apologize.” And in return I would always say “yes, I do, apology is part of taking responsibility.” I always wondered if he meant that HE didn’t have to apologize… because after the golden period he never did. Oh, wait, once he offered me a “universal apology” (whatever that is) for all the suffering I endured with him” which I told him to shove it up his assets!

    I can’t count how many times he would say “let’s go for dinner, or let’s do xyz activity” 3 minutes after a heated argument. Are you nuts? Why yes, how could I forget? You ARE nuts.
    HG, do they really live in the moment to that extreme? Or is it just an avoidance and gas lighting tactic? Or both?
    Whatever it is, it’s bloody annoying and minimizing and nothing ever fucking got resolved. From our very first argument 4 years ago… I still have no clue what the problem was.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is about the moment and all of the various manipulations and behaviours enable that.

      1. loveyourselfnowgirl says:

        I knew things were doomed when he had read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. Took that book to the extreme, and drove me nuts with quotes from it. It gave him justification to not deal with anything because “we have to live in the now.”
        I like the book. When used in balance it does allow a person to let go of the past. He used it to literally never resolve a bloody thing.
        I am appreciating getting this knowledge and really soaking it in, but it is also bringing up a lot of anger, because I doubted myself, when I was bang on 95% of the time.
        I think the anger is going to motivate me to never repeat this pattern again. I’ve been reading more of your books, and every one of them confirms what I thought all along yet doubted myself and stayed. I really should exercise some of the compassion I had for him and apply it to myself. Thank you for all of your writing… I will keep reading as long as you keep churning it out. You must know that you’re helping so many people… be fucking proud of that because most narcs wouldn’t be that generous.

  2. K says:

    What a fiasco, Ali! Sorry you are going through all of that. I remember thinking similar thoughts about my MMRN and his (narc) niece, they lived in a constant cycle of destructive behavior. We see a nihilistic loop; they see fuel.

  3. Ali says:

    I called him out on everything, he hated it, turned it on me. I took solutions I could into my own independent hands and he would say I emasculated him (I guess that is why he now pretends to be a woman online 😉 LOL I guess I turned him bi/gay 😛 or so he can claim). Thinking back on it, his ignoring the issue and pretending it was all me messed with my head for a while, only for a while because I broke free of it. Gaslighting & word salad only works up to a certain point. Then he had to change tactics because there was no more fuel forthcoming. Oh how he hated it once I took resolving certain issues into my own hands because he would tell me what I wanted to hear only to shut me up a while and still not bother.

    As for the neighbor I am now stuck dealing with, she is getting none of that precious fuel. Only narcissistic injury. She’s gotten fired from her job, her utilities were shut off and so she felt entitled to connect to my meter. Was caught, confronted calmly, it pissed her off that her attempts at blame shifting failed… then she would flip my circuit breakers off in the basement (multi apartment building) when she felt like it. She had caused other issues as well. Then she spray painted my mailbox lid to remove my name and apartment number from it. She stopped a while… then had someone install another link to steal my electricity again. Got caught again. not confronted. She stole my mail and apparently shut of the water to the other apartment (possibly thinking it was mine but she’s been giving them grief as well). Landlord disconnected a lot of the power grid for my meter and removed her link to it. She got angry but now she cannot do it anymore and has not been back since attempting to block the basement/back door access, flipping my breakers of one last time, shutting off their water supply and stealing my mail which we saw. This was this past Saturday. I think she’s merely gone to plot and plan her next move. I know better then to think she’ll stop until she’s evicted and access to the building is no longer possible for her.

    when I think about how she could use all that effort / energy fixing her life instead of wasting her time causing us issues because she is petty and has no heart/soul, she would have a great life LOL but I guess she is stuck in that pathetic mindset. She may get thought fuel but not much else. Good luck to her, I will keep blocking her BS and not responding when she chases us around yelling.

    1. Ali says:

      update on the neighbor situation – could it have been as simple to stop her being petty as asking on a note left on the circuit breakers “Am I really that important in your head?” because she didn’t bother to flip them off last night or this morning, so far…

      1. loveyourselfnowgirl says:

        If these characters would apply themselves in positive pursuits, they could be lawyers and doctors. My narc brother would put so much energy into getting a reaction it made me sad. So brilliant minded yet so misguided.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          They are often are lawyers, doctors, politicians etc…

  4. 12345 says:

    My beloved would not allow arguments. He would hang up or leave. Quietly and politely. His favorite phrase “it is what it is.”

    1. Jenna says:

      12345, my ex-mid’s favorite phrase is the same. And similarly, he would withdraw if the argument would go on for too long (longer than 15 min).

      1. Windstorm2 says:

        Thinking of favorite sayings, my exhusband’s was always, “Life is hard and then you die.” Although he often shortened it to, “Life is hard.”

        1. Jenna says:

          Windstorm, looks like fav phrases might b a habit for some narcs. Hg, do u have a fav phrase?

          1. HG Tudor says:

            Whichever one the victim loves/hates to hear.

          2. Jenna says:

            Smarty pants…

  5. Just Me says:

    Damn you’re good,HG. First, I was thinking a board game like Monopoly, but realized the N would be entitled to all the property, all the money, and every roll would send me straight to the loony bin without passing go.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you Just Me, yes you are correct.

  6. Just Me says:

    Actually, arguing with a narcissist would make a great drinking game. Projection…. take a drink. Guilt trip…. take a drink. Deny or justify if they can’t rewrite history… take a drink. Bold face lie, intimidation, called you crazy, it’s all your fault… take a drink. No resolution, just a hangover.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Trouble is, you would soon end up drunk and therefore our smearing of you as an alcoholic would be made all the easier.

      1. Windstorm2 says:

        Ha, ha! 😝

  7. Tappan Zee says:

    I. died on every mountain. This is a script verbatim from his playbook. And I wasn’t privy to the fact it was a game. This hurts like hell to see in black and white. Sort of reopens the wounds. Reminds me of those accusations. Makes me feel the shame and guilt all over again. Only now with regret that I had no clue. I was set up. I feel so sorry for “her” aka me that I abandoned to him.

  8. analise13 says:

    HG, you have so clearly explained the differences in thinking between us, empaths and the narcissist. No wonder we give so much fuel, we erroneously think we can get resolution from the narcissist, in the way we seek it. This is so helpful. Thank you.

    I have been reading your blog for over six months, I previously posted on your fb page and decided finally to engage here with you, on your blog.

    I have found your writing so insightful to my understanding and healing.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Welcome Analise and thank you for reading. This is where I have the most interaction so I encourage people from the other platforms to come here for interaction.

      1. analise13 says:

        Yes and my pleasure, HG. I did notice there was not as much interaction on Facebook. The blog must be your home base.

        1. HG Tudor says:


          1. RS says:

            Yes indeed!!!

  9. Bliss says:

    Thank you for explaining. Wish I could print all these and plaster them all over my walls as wallpaper. Or is that a little psychotic?! 😄

    I find that as soon as I apply some logic and change how I react or take action, and somehow manage to get a step ahead of him, he immediately changes tactics and I’m back where I was. Don’t even start with greater, I tried everything (even though I can read his mind and emotions) still he always won because I loved him too much. Changing subject yet again, the mid ranger has reinstated golden.. umm.. bronze period for me. Such is life when acon are involved. HG, would you be so kind as to write some blogs relating to children with narcissists where going minimal contact is absolutely impossible as they have won in court and he is still in my life nearly all the time (once again due to winning in court)?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Understanding is not psychotic.

      I have made a note of your request Bliss.

      1. Bliss says:

        Thank you, HG.

  10. K says:

    So true that after never reaching resolution, we begin to approach situations in a completely different manner. Oftentimes, that manner comes from a place of apathy. In my case that indifference made him worse….but there did come a time when his nastiness became nothing more than pathetic and comical. I reached this place before ever realizing that he was a N.

    Now that I have an awareness, I wonder if he has the intelligence to understand that his lack of accountability lead me to where I ended up. And while I’ve thanked you before, HG, I will thank you again for helping me make sense of the nonsensical. It’s such a liberating feeling – kind of like being a bird set free from a cage.

    1. RS says:

      So well put. . . I agree 100%!

  11. Survivor says:

    Very useful article. Thank you.

  12. MyTrueSelf says:

    This explains quite a bit of behaviour-
    Raging and discard at 3:30 in the morning, then waking up excited and gung-ho about taking me on a nice day out.
    Telling me he never wants to see me again, then he cooking me dinner. He said that I needed to say ‘sorry’ more often and some begging and pleading from my side would often sooth tantrums.

    Periodically he’d be like a loose cannon and emotionally dysregulated at the drop of a hat. I’ve read BPD and NPD have co-occurring conditions. I would felt exhausted doing a constant dance trying to keep even keel.

    1. Merripen says:

      MyTrueSelf, I feel for you in the toxic, tired dance you had with your narc. I experienced the same exhaustive footwork in a fruitless effort to keep my upper mid-range cerebral narc balanced. He would swing from a days-long hypomanic fixation (on whatever topic or endeavour caught his laser-focus), to a days-long dysphoria of recovery. After showing support and patience for his fixations, I then tried to lift him back up by shoveling sunshine into a grumpy dark hole that bit me for my efforts. So much wasted energy. It is very liberating and hopeful to now have the intent of directing our massive powers at a future that will bear fruit.

      1. RS says:

        I then tried to lift him back up by shoveling sunshine into a grumpy dark hole that bit me for my efforts.

        You write so colorfully. I so admire your style.

        1. Merripen says:

          Thank you RS. I have also enjoyed your incredible statements of survival and defiance to the narcissist. You express a spunk that is a two finger salute in his face. I’m drinking that in, because I am so very tired at this place in my recovery. I have only JUST stopped drowning in the emotional ocean every day. You all are giving me such hope. It’s amazing how impotent I have been these last 3 years to express anything of any colour or eloquence. He denied me that and I allowed him to. Thank you for feeling what I hoped to share in my words and thank you for responding.

          1. RS says:

            “A two finger salute in his face”. . . I love that! 😂

            “It’s amazing how impotent I have been these last 3 years to express anything of any colour or eloquence. He denied me that and I allowed him to.” It truly is tragic the things we allow them to strip from us. They take the very best parts of us for themselves, trample the rest under their feet, then laugh as they walk away. I am so glad you have retrieved your beautiful gift and are sharing it with us here. I so appreciate those who write well, and YOU truly have that gift. 💞

  13. Sandra says:

    Rhetorical fallacies: Non Sequitor, Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc Red Herring, Ad hominem, and Appeals to Emotion, Straw Man, and my favorite: Argumentum ad Lapidem (Appealling to the Stone, or “Dismissing a claim as absurd without proof of its absurdity”)

    Just run, like your hair is on fire.

  14. Diva says:

    The narcs I knew used to withdraw from me once I got going……but there was little point in them even being there in any event…….I would have got more satisfaction arguing with myself. I quickly realised that arguing with a narc was a pointless bizarre exercise (although I had no idea at the time I was dealing with a narc.) Less is definitely more when arguing with a narc……I found that raising an issue or responding to an issue, in a somewhat humourous teasing way was far more conducive. It is difficult to explain but I have it down to a fine art. Unfortunately however, on certain occasions, this method evaded me and then I resembled a defective smouldering firework that had been lit, but had not yet erupted……… Diva

  15. RS says:

    Thank you. I hope I never have to deal with one of your kind again, but if I do, it’s good to have this solution in the back of my mind.

  16. ANM says:

    I have come to find, that the Upper Midrange Narc in my life, doesn’t so much want to resolve an argument, as much a he likes to win. His idea of winning is to always bring a third party into the situation. When we were in a relationship, and felt I did him wrong, he always had to find an audience to back up that I was in the wrong, and would therefore justify that he needed a break from me, and he should be entitled do whatever he wanted to do, and I needed to treat him with the highest of regards. We are not together anymore, but whenever we have family or legal issue to work out, me being the Magnet Empath that I am, will often try to feed him a line from the Godfather or such to see if there is any reasoning to be offered, such as “I hoped we could come here and reason. Being that I am a reasonable person, I am willing to do whatever possible to find a peaceful solution to these problems.” Nope, he doesn’t budge. He tells me how it is going to be, and what will happen, etc. It often turns out that things do work in my favor somehow, a majority of the time, but he is never satisfied with the outcome unless he can successfully smear me to at least one person, and he can rub the end result of the smear to my face. I am so surprised the smear thing works for narcissist. I never let the Narcissist smear the people he knew to me. That was a big issue. He had to find that benefit somewhere else. I only offered positive benefits. But he has made a life for himself of doing this, smear is his game of choice.

  17. Windstorm2 says:

    I use numbers 1 and 3 all the time. Show no emotions and withdraw. Takes the wind right out of their sails and shuts them down.

  18. Jaemz says:

    Executing the three options at the end of the blog would only mean that a victim submits and agrees to being with a narcissist…essentially accepting this type of abusive treatment. And depending on the range of the narcissist, the victim would only incur more of his wrath, most likely the silent treatment, cold or hot. The three suggestions you mentioned, HG are of those how a ‘normal’ people would handle the situation. They would never have continued to engage in this behavior as they would find it unacceptable. An empath or co-dependent would just prolong their agony being with a narcissist. BECAUSE OF YOU, HG I have been able to find the strength in fully committing to No Contact, going so far as having moved out of state, changed my phone number and deleted my email. You are a dark angel but an angel nonetheless. Thank you and please continue doing what you are doing. And for all the other victims… You MUST accept that your relationship with your Narc is/has been only an illusion and view them as subject matters, a new specimen found and only to be examined. Look at yourself being in the relationship with the Narc from a 3rd perspective only. You will see that most if not all of what Tudor details is more than evident. And accept the apple of your eye for what he/she is and move on. To this day having been discarded twice and hoovered over and over again after 2 months of No Contact, therapy, HG Tudor’s help and the care of friends I am much better. The triangulation was the worst!!! His wife, his kids, his cell phone, his car… There is light at the end of the tunnel and you, too can heal and be free. But as HG alludes to, they will always stick in the very, very corner and recesses of your mind. HG – Is is funny or strange to hear victims write about your kind and therefore you? Do you find it contradictory helping those you seek to destroy by writing about your very nature yet continue to do so? Is it compulsory? Please elaborate on this.

  19. K says:

    Shit! I am just a bucket load of fuel. Challenge Fuel Heavyweight Title suits me well. I didn’t win as many fights as I had hoped. Fuck me! Although, my MMRN would jump into his car and flee sometimes, and I considered that a win. And some narcs would apologize; very rare (ersatz sorry). If I want to take some narcs down to China Town, I am gonna have to start tackling them. Being a fuel-filled appliance really sucks!

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