How the Narcissist Evades When Questioned




You are not allowed to question us. To do so is an affront to our notion of superiority and lack of accountability. Your questioning of us may be deliberate, in that you want to know why we have rolled up half-drunk at 3am or it may be perceived by us as you questioning us in a critical fashion, even though you have not intended this, for example you politely ask us where we have been. We regard this as you suggesting to us that we are not allowed to do as we want and that we are somehow accountable to you.

If you engage in Deliberate Questioning, it is usually the case (until such time as you become fully acquainted with what we are and know how to approach dealing with us) that your methodology will be one that provides us with fuel, even though you are challenging us. You will ask in an annoyed fashion where we have been, or express irritation when you ask why we have not moved the rubbish outside. When there is Deliberate Questioning, we do not like you challenging us but because you do so at the same time as providing fuel, our fury is not ignited. Instead, we recognise your challenging behaviour and identify that this must be addressed and our superiority exerted but at the same time we also see that there is an opportunity for us to gain more fuel from.

You might think that since our fury has not been ignited that we could accept the fuel provided and admit that we are in the wrong, explain what has happened and allow the matter to be resolved. A normal person may do this and you, as an empathic individual, would say your piece and with the agreement and resolution being achieved, you will draw a line under it and move on. Such a scenario is no good to us. You have challenged us and whilst the fury has not been ignited we must still maintain our superiority and this means rejecting your challenge. This rejection also presents us with an opportunity to draw fuel from you, by denying your assertion and so forth. Thus we assert our superiority and gain fuel.

If you engage in Perceived Questioning this invariably ignites our fury because you will do it in a fuel-free manner so that the perceived criticism arising from your questioning wounds us, our fury ignites and we lash out in order to demand fuel to heal the wound caused by your criticism. You may have asked us a question but you did so without any agenda attached to it. We do not see it that way, your simple query of

“Oh, where have you been?” is interpreted by us as suggesting that we are not entitled to do what we want without your approval first. It is delivered without fuel and is critical, thus the wounding occurs and the ignition of fury occurs. We must strike back, once again in order to assert our superiority but also to gain fuel from you.

Accordingly, whether you raise questions of use in an emotional manner, whether you ask them in a straight-forward way, whether you are demanding we explain our selves or that your question is innocuous, you are always going to find that we respond in a manner which provokes an argument.

We do not want you questioning us, whether it is Deliberate or Perceived. You are not permitted by our rules to do so. Once you do, we must reject your challenge, assert our superiority and gain fuel (either because we see the opportunity to do so or because we have to heal the wound). What is the result of this? The deployment of evasion tactics.

This is why you are never able to have a reasonable discussion about something that is concerning you or why we fly off the handle after a seemingly innocent question you have asked us which you find both alarming and bewildering. This is why you find your concerns are not resolved, that you are pushed to a state of heightened emotion, confused, annoyed and frustrated as we point blank refuse to answer what you have asked us. These responses on our part are largely instinctive, a reaction to your challenging behaviour and the prospect/necessity of fuel. The Greater of course will delight in adding to these instinctive responses by layering them with further manipulation and game-playing.

So, what are these evasion tactics? There are many but below are eight which you will no doubt be familiar with. Now you know that these responses, hitherto unexplained and perplexing, are instinctive responses designed to counter your challenge to our superiority and to cater for our need for fuel. No longer will you scratch your head at why we do these things when you question us and instead you ought now to realise how you are only falling into a trap every time you try to engage us.

Why do you fall into this trap? It is because of your innate empathic traits which cause you to be drawn into our machinations through the evasion tactics. You fall for this because you continue to engage with us for the following reasons:-

  1. You need to secure the reality of what has happened. (The Truth Seeker).
  2. You want us to see your point of view. (The Need To Fix.)
  3. You want to be heard. (The Need to Be Honest To Yourself).
  4. You want resolution. (The Need To Be Decent).

These traits of your cause you to become entangled every time we deploy the Evasion Tactics, of which eight are now detailed.

  1. Drown You Out

We will talk over you, we will shout over you, we will hurl insults at you in a blitzkrieg response which is designed to result in the fact that since you can no longer be heard then you can no longer challenge us. Hearing is challenging, we do not want to hear you any longer and instead we shall draw fuel from your gestures and expressions as your blanketing response draws your frustration and anger.

2. Other People

We shift the topic of conversation on to other people in order to deflect from your attack against us. We will explain how a colleague works similarly late and never receives any flak from his spouse in order to make you appear unreasonable. We will triangulate you by explaining how a previous partner never made such a fuss about our spending habits. By comparing you to other people we engage in our classic act of triangulation, aiming to belittle you and cause you to talk about those other people rather than continuing your attack against us.

3. Delivery But Not Content

We will repeatedly interrupt you as we demand to be allowed to finish, we accuse you of not allowing us to speak our mind, we tell you that you are judging us before we have been able to state our case, we remind you not to interrupt us, not to raise your voice at us, demand you lower your voice or change your tone. None of this of course addresses the content of what you are wanting to discuss with us but instead we deflect by getting you to defend yourself by saying you are not interrupting, that you are not raising your voice and so forth. Your challenge becomes lost as you are caught up in these sideshows and all the while the emotion pours from you.

4. Early Resolution

This is a classic tactic of both the Lesser and the Mid-Ranger. The Lesser, lacking the articulate nature to continue the verbal sparring decides to call time on the “discussion” and thus end the attack. He will announce that the discussion is at an end and will sign off with one last act which will draw a sudden surge of fuel from you. He may push you and bellow that the matter is over, or possibly  lash out with fists and spit in your face that he has enough of talking and  your shocked and hurt response providing that jet of fuel that he requires and he then withdraws, satisfied he has asserted himself and has instinctively avoided any further wounding. The Mid-Range will declare

“There is nothing more to discuss.”

“I have made my point and that is the end of it.”

“This ends now.”

He will then withdraw and dole out a silent treatment, gaining fuel after the event and having protected himself, perhaps when he felt that the situation was slipping away from him, by withdrawing from the continuing challenge or criticism.

5. The Shift

We will turn the discussion onto something else completely. We may talk about some issue arising at work, point out that the exterior of the house needs a lick of paint or that we are thinking about buying a new car. You will try and shift the topic back to what you want to discuss but we will keep tugging it off topic again as we demonstrate our control over you and your emotional responses provide us with fuel.

6. The Outgunning

You think we have done something wrong? Luckily for us we know of plenty of other things which you have done (in our minds) that are far worse and therefore we will commence our own inquisition of you about your behaviour in order to demonstrate that you are the one who is in the wrong and should be subjected to questioning, not us. You feel the need to get to the truth of the matter and therefore you are derailed from advancing your questioning of us as you are forced into defending yourself.

7. How Could You?

How could you treat us in this manner after all that we have done for you/after the week we have had at work/knowing that our dog has just died/our football team lost the final. We will roll out one of the typical pity plays by pointing out that we have either done so much for you and this is the thanks that we get and/or you are a heartless cow who is kicking us when we are down. Either way, it prompts you to justify your approach and deflects from what you have been trying to discuss.

8. Pest

Why won’t you leave us alone? We just want a simple and quiet life (oh the hypocrisy) but you just wont let us will you. You have to keep pestering us with questions all of the bloody time, just shut up and leave us be. This is often used when you engage in Perceived Questioning as our abrupt response to you just asking “how are you” leaves you upset and bewildered.



108 thoughts on “How the Narcissist Evades When Questioned”

  1. My first encounter with an elite narc. He constantly tells me I am too questioning, too curious, “when I ask questions he shuts down”, “pulls back”. That I am like Pandora!
    Simple questions like how is your dad? Do you miss your Mother? He put me into a state where I don’t ask anything. Hence I don’t know anything unless he offers it up. He likes to talk. Hence he does reveal a little at a time. He serves these crumbs as delicious treats and I am left feeling grateful that he has chosen to share them with me.
    Mthfker! I’m on to you. Always was but he is smarter than anybody I have encountered before so I second guessed myself.
    He also told me he had Aspergers – similar traits to npd!
    He has a doctorate, 3 MBA’s and a MD. This guy is the real deal narc. I hope none of you ladies have been a victim of his and never will be.
    If I had not followed my instincts and intuition I would not have uncovered the level of his deception 7 days ago. I found I am the ISSP having just uncovered a IPPS. I am pretty sure she has no idea what he has been doing.
    As it is, it has been two years of incredible pain and confusion. Just coming to terms with his reality and starting to look for clarity and closure. (Not from him).
    This site and HG is better than any therapist. No one would understand what we have dealt with better than HG.
    The shock, pain, sadness, loss – is being replaced with my plan to get the hell away.

  2. HG, I am married to a narcissist. Not a clinical one. We have a relatively good life except for the times when I challenge him to understand where he comes from, but you explained that I need not get into his other compartments, so I get it. I stopped. Can a nar love their spouse, or do they just love the fuel they get (good or bad)? Learning more and more about this “kind” makes me question their ability to be sincere in love. Do they “feel” love? Or they just “do” love?

  3. I am learning to hate my recent ex narc more and more everyday. Thank you. I am no longer upset or sad.

    1. I can’t really say I hate him, but thanks to HG I’ve been able to leg go, of him, the upset, and the sadness.

  4. Have you delved into the areas in yourself of why you always have to feel superior? Is it possible that it is in reaction to actually feeling inferior on some deep unconscious level?

  5. I’ve been putting up with this BS for 15 years! I moved home & was done 3 years ago, had my 8 year old son & a PO! He convinced me not to use it, he’d never cheat again. I never moved back, now my son stays there all the time. He was coming and bringing gifts, doing chores, but I blocked him 2 days ago!! Bastard can get fuel elsewhere! However, he has vandalized my things to sweep in and fix or replace them. I sleep with things in front of my doors, but, if he breaks in, he won’t live. Ur words were VERY enlightening!!

  6. This is all so familiar, an now convinced that am married to a narc. For a long time I have tried to have meaningful conversion with my husband but every time we end up just arguing with him accusing me of disrespecting him or that he’s no longer interested in the conversation anymore. Am always left feeling confused and frustrated because we don’t seem to resolve anything.

    1. Hi Zuba
      This sounds like every single conversation I’ve ever had with a N in my private life. “We don’t seem to resolve anything”… No. It never happens because we want resolution but they don’t.

  7. HG- Thank you for listing the 8 ways/tactics used to evade questioning. My Narc ex-husband does a variation of these regularly. We were ordered by the court to only engage in writing through a monitored program for the children’s benefit, regarding children’s matters. Of course he can’t be told what to do so he did not comply for the past five years, and it became volatile. He recently found himself subject of a trial to explain his threats and insults and control – and lack of coparenting. I used to feel hurt and fear and confusion for much of the same reasons you have described empathetic people feel. I don’t seem to feel any longer and I rarely contact him. I have practiced and practiced and taken out the emotion of the necessary inquiries. However, I want him to go off on me again – only to demonstrate his capability. Am i foolish? Is there a button I can push? I’m thinking possibly challenging him on a decision he has made?

    1. This is your emotional thinking wanting you to engage with him. What is the decision you wish to challenge? If it is a vital one (say in court proceedings) you can do so but this would need to be done in a particaulr way, blatant challenge and defiance does not serve your interests. I would recommend consulting on this issue.

      1. Yes, you are right. I plan on consulting very soon. There is a court proceeding coming up. I will email you.

      2. I want him to go off on me so I have recent documentation of abuse for upcoming court proceedings. He was foul and threatening to hurt me and harrassing me for five years, and now that our court date approaches, he is quiet.

  8. Can you explain, please, how it’s possible for narcs to be using the same playbook so to speak? We, non-narcs, are so different, individuals, that it’s difficult for me to grasp why narc behavior is so similar. Thank you.

    1. You are looking at it the wrong way around. It is not the case that because someone is a narcissist that means they use similar methods and have similar behaviours. It is the fact that those who behave in a similar way are narcissists, it is the behaviour which achieves the classification, not the other way around.

  9. With the most recent narcissist in my life, I tried to have a conversation with him about my fear of him disappearing from our correspondence by ghosting. He responded with a string of snowman emojis. In hindsight that’s when I should have known what I was dealing with.

  10. It’s like you have a video of my marriage and what it’s like to talk to my husband. Blown away how spot on this is. Thank you for being my voice.

  11. HG, is it possible for a very experienced Clinical Psychologist to be a covert Narcissist? Thank you – Grace.

  12. I have been trying to breakup with my narcissistic boyfriend for over a year. To give u some insight into our relationship: We had many friends he started off telling them that I was strealing his 401k money. A couple of our friends pulled me aside and told me. Of course he swore they misunderstood. Then a couple we were friends with they were married 31 years. She put my “man” on a pedestal. She started texting “She is crazy” I am here for you BFF” I LOVE MY BFF”. including all of the emojis 💕😘😍❤. At this point he started using this to discard me. He was mean and cruel. He ended up letting her move in when her husband saw all the text. At this time I was living 25 minutes away. He denied any physical relationship. All of our friends sttod by me. When the truth came out in divorce court that the were having an affair. Everyone was sickened but my narcissist denied it. Everyday he text me his love and apologies. I try to go no contact but then i feel sorry for him because he has no one. He swore he had no contact with her, and not to be mean but she was no prize. He loved the way she worshipped him and I did not. How can a person sleep with one of his best friends wives? How can he tear apart a family? How can he turn his back on his friends and lie to them about what was going on? And Why do I feel sorry for him? He was mean, cruel and heartless. He lied and lied about lying. He cheated and lied about cheating.

    What is wrong with me? I am smart. I have a good job. I pay my on bills and I think I am nice looking. Why do I get sucked into his drama? All of the friends that we had are only friends with me now. They tell me to get away from him. They tell me he other things that they tell me things that they notice now in hindsight that tell them that he has been down grading me for years. I know what I need to do and I pray for the strength to fo it. I know i deserve better.

    1. Hello Ann, you are addicted to narcissists and your emotional thinking drives you to keep engaging with our kind. I recommend you organise a GOSO consultation to address this (see the menu bar for more details).

    2. Hello Ann,
      Likely because he used affection to reward, and withdrawal of affection to punish. Intermittent reward timing is more likely to reinforce behaviors (like caretaking him, engaging him etc). Also trauma bonding (terrorizing you and isolating you, but then comforting you when you were at your lowest). Gaslighting to confuse you and make you wuestion your reality. Lovebombing you during hoovering. As far as how to prevent this from happening again, or coping as you experience intense emotions in his absense, watch some of Alan Robarge on youtube talk about attachement injuries/traumas, emotional congruence and relationships, love addiction. He’s free and I’ve found him extremely helpful. Grew up with a borderline mother who I managed to break free from at 15, and extricated myself from a 4 year relationship with a narcissist husband at 33. Also get connected with a counselor and social supports. Use the psychologytoday search tool to locate a counselor with preferably a phd. Also can connect social supports by calling a domestic violence hotline, they’ll connect you with one in your county.

  13. This is my experience too. #4 classic ending of any discussion in which I wanted to be heard and to resolve an issue in a mature and respectful way with ex-N was him saying in grumpy voice “I’m going to bed”, & hanging up on me. Didn’t matter that I’d set time aside to talk on the phone in the evening. Nothing was ever resolved. I was 50% of the people in the relationship but had no say, he would talk over me, take all the air time, then shut it down.

    This was the same painful dynamic I’d had with my abusive sister all of our adult lives. It was so familiar. She is a textbook covert victim narc, with matching codependent enabling husband, who she sets on me like an attack dog, and who she constantly triangulates me with.

    With regard to the ex-N, my emotions feel like roadkill, trampled on, bloodied, gored, mauled and savaged, after he raped me on Easter Monday this year. I am so crushed that I am unable to confront him. I was assertive at the beginning, but have been utterly trampled on and squashed. It’s been embarrassing to explain this to the police, but they can see from my text messages with him how this has played out.

    I’m starting sexual assault counselling this week. I have just had the 3-month STI all-clear, but the emotional pain has been excruciating at times. I’ve wanted to die.

    I also explained to the police that having sex with ex-N was not where we were at in this short relationship; for all of the above reasons enumerated by HG, I was trying to see whether a relationship was even possible with him, whether we could even TALK. To me this didn’t meet bare minimum requirements for a friendship, let alone anything more.
    I was looking to see what substance there was to his “I care about you”.

    He’s made that abundantly clear.

  14. I have been dealing with a boyfriend like this for 3 years. Every time I try to end it he comes back saying he has changed. He hasn’t. For a long time I thought I was in the wrong or crazy.

      1. I recently told him we want different things from a relationship. He said I was right but now I am waiting to see what happens. In the past I have had a broken cell phone and a broken window. Wish me luck.

  15. I am in a situation that needs the truth from my Narc. His behavior caused me to check around and after Googling an email I found of his, I found he has used an alias a few times who is connected to a group of people who are dangerous to me. To explain, the alias (real person living 4 states away) is related/works with a leader in a sex trafficking ring that I turned in years ago. I had to relocate and change my life to get away once I turned in the ring. So finding a connection to my Narc really scared me! When I shared the info I found with my Narc, at first he was kind and said he must have been set up some how and would get back with me. Loves me etc… Then a couple days later told me he has someone he is seeing and doesn’t want HER hurt and how his life is so great and he doesn’t need any of this crap. He said not to contact him in any way and he would contact me with an explanation when he found one (He had “gone dark” like this as he called it before, hence leading me to having him checked out). I wrote him again weeks later and he angrily reminded me that I am not allowed to speak to him until he tells me to and one more word and he is blocking me. I wrote him and told him that while he is trying to say all of this is upsetting to HIM and how HE doesn’t need me doing this to HIM in his perfect life, it is ME who would be affected by this if it is true! He in turn blocked me and deleted me on everything. It has been almost a year and I never heard anything and none of the coincidental info I have found has been changed on line. I still have no answers. I haven’t told anyone and am pretending nothing happened. My Narc has disappeared from every group and I hadn’t heard anything…. until a couple weeks ago. I just found that he has a fake Facebook page, and name, and has it blocked to where I can see it but not add him or write him. Apparently he has been around this entire time. Gone on with his life while I panic and wonder about the “coincidences” tying him to my past. I guess my biggest question is: Is he a Narc who played the game, or is he tied to the Ring I turned in and I caught him having a fake personalty trying to con me some how? And how can I find out?

  16. Im so thankful for people who take the time to write about the narsisst…aka my boyfriend. I KNOW I’m not the crazy one or wrong one ALL OF THE TIME, so reading this helps to validate that for me a lil bit more. Thank you!

  17. Thank you H.G. So spot on . Reading this reminds me of my captivity , Like an axe to the base of a strong tree, each chip of wood removed is a piece of our very being, until , if the N is successful, the empath is felled and he moves on to the next sheltering, life giving oxygen creating clueless empath.

    Your words are life saving, thank you.

  18. Wow that was some serious flashing back and now understanding why I could never have a conversation with my ex.

  19. Lois Budrose
    Not many people know about NPD so I am making it my mission to spread the word. One letter, curriculum or conversation at a time. And I will never stop until it is mainstreamed.

    1. I had to laugh when I saw #8 PEST. My former narc. boss used to call me a pest but I was doing most of the work so he wouldn’t fire me. (I eventually found a better job and left.) One of our clients once asked me, “What does HE do around here?”.

  20. I spent 43 years enduring this type of relationship not knowing what it was. Lies, silent treatment, empty promises. Now I just got out, he threw me away when he realized I was on to him. Unfortunately, the divorce didn’t get me anything from him, he was a ponzi schemer and owed everyone big time. I still suffer because he is badmouthing me and blaming it all on me, but our son sees through it all and is in my camp. Still doesn’t make it any easier, people don’t get it and he is so charismatic they believe I am the person who is wrong. 2% of the people suffer from autism, 10% suffer from sociopathic personality disorder. All know about autism, but how many know or care about SPD or narcissistic pD??

    1. I finally got it after sons have grown. Having them away has given me the opportunity to see with real eyes, learn, and grow. This has taken much courage.

  21. I get numbers 3 and 5 usually, but now that I know his game I keep on until I get the answers I seek from him, even if he doesn’t realize that he’s given them to me. So much projection. So much denial.
    So many answers in every question he refuses to give me a straight answer too.
    Last time we argued I tore him to shreds. He hasn’t wanted to argue since.

    1. I am in the same boat with my husband. Maybe you can give me some pointers on how to get answers and or win at his game!!!

      1. there’s no way to get legitimate answers im afraid as these people aren’t going to give you what you want as this would also give closure and that means you’d have the answers and in the brain of a narc this could all lead to you becoming wise to their game of ‘destroy the one that loves you’ which not only would reveal their nasty plan but in turn could cause you to leave and their game is over, not about to happen!! there’s no winners in this game but there is always a survivor and the loser (narc)….get out of the mess while you can still think straight as ultimately to him it really is just a game..

    2. I am so done with these games. They became astonishingly apparent since I’ve been left crazy and hopeless. I’m gaining strength through education and help.

    3. My ex-husband also knew better than to go toe-to-toe with me verbally. I’d whip out a bunch of multi-syllable words that confused him and he scattered like a roach. Now when I have to ask him something he doesn’t like, he just ignores me.

  22. This post is everything. My ex participated in all of these and now looking back I see how much FUEL I was giving him. I was turned into a pathetic desperate little puppy. I would follow him around, crying, begging for answers, for attention, for a response. He would retreat and/or do all of the above. My eyes have never been so open to his utter BS than they are now.
    Now, how do I get thru this?

    HG- it’s been almost one year. I am still having issues with no contact. Why is no contact so hard. I feel like every time “this will be the last time” but it hasn’t been and Im losing myself.
    How does one make it actually stick?
    It’s not as though I can up and sale my home. I could change my phone number but he is blocked. I deleted my social media.

    how does this work???? why is it so difficult. I feel like im just waiting for his next surprise attack.

    1. When you are my age and look back at the life with them, realise what you went through. You will wish you had not wasted your life on them. DON’T BE THAT PERSON.

  23. It was exhausting just reading this. I needed frequent naps when I was involved with my Narcster. He needed high drama all the time. Drama, chaos, and five fires set far enough away from one another that you were left running around. From my perspective he looked like a heart attack in the making.

    1. I endured a major silent treatment for over three months early last year and the end result? Yep a heart attack! When I asked the surgeon if stress could be the cause he said definitely not. I would say definitely yes as no one else in my family has experienced it, nor, as far as I know lived many years with a narc.

  24. I still don’t know how to handle it. I’m walked all over as I get so far and then give up so he gets away with it every time. If I do push it and show irritation, upset or anger I really get it in the neck, so I end up hiding as his fury is real (and way over the top for a small question). The house is becoming more and more silent as I think ahead of what to say and invariably say nothing.

    A while ago I helped a friend of his and he found out and said I’d only helped to show him up. I didn’t even know he’d find out, it was between his friend and me. Later I found out that he’d been telling his colleagues at work what I’d done, saying he was really bothered by my actions and thought others should know the sort of person I was and to gain their feedback as he thought what I did was so strange. I was horrified as it then created a really awkward situation where his friend thinks I blabbed about something private. They’ve unfriended me from social media and I’ve been excluded from their get togethers ever since. Oddly enough I am tamping down my eagerness to wade in to help anyone ever again but I suppose that might backfire as my partner is now saying how selfish I am. Help!

    1. Katie
      Thank you for sharing your experience with us. You words are nearly identical to those in my journal.
      I understand your increasing frustration: the N corrals you and each week the perimeter fence is brought into a closer circle. The saying nothing because there’s no point, the avoiding triggering his over-the-top fury, the slapping, stinging betrayal of being misrepresented to third parties with unsubstantiated and damaging lies…
      It’s slow suffocation under piles of BS.
      There’s no room for you at all fairly quickly in the relationship. Not the real you.
      I wish you success in following the only path open to you now:
      Get out, stay out.
      Escape and survive.

  25. When bringing up suspicious behaviors, mine would say, “You’re insane.” This article is one I’m going to read a few more times. Thank you for this information.

    1. Hi BKK
      They love to shut you down and discredit you by slapping the mental illness label on you, don’t they? They have no evidence for it, neither do they have any qualifications in mental health. Doesn’t stop them.
      So disrespectful.
      So dysfunctional.

  26. I am familiar with all of the above. LOL! I’ve been through he’ll and back again by the grace of God. My husband has used every tactic. I’m learning to grey rock him. He used to threaten to leave me but since he’s on probation with a suspended license, he’s trying to hang in there. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was plotting. But that’s OK. He’ll be someone else’s problem.

  27. What does it feel like to a narcissist when they need fuel? What happens if there is no fuel available and you can’t, for whatever reason. seek out more?

  28. What about the silent treatment? Any time I ask a question or make a comment that my sister deems challenging, she responds with implacable silence. She literally will not say a word, just stare at me with that rigid, blank face, and usually leaves. Occasionally she will recover and act like nothing has happened, but usually even this is a countdown to the big leaving.

    1. Her response is to provoke you into providing fuel and to assert her perceived superiority by saying nothing more. Do not respond, do not press her further, drop the matter and give her no response.

  29. my narc was an expert at this…to the end. she really really was a shit. i just wish i had left her long long ago. and i wish i’d have told her how crazy i believe her to be.

  30. Me – where are you going?
    N – why?
    Me – no, I said where, not why!
    N – why do you want to know?
    Me – your fathers ill, I may need to contact you!
    N – other friends will know, you can ring around them
    Me – enjoy your secret trip then


    Me – who are you texting?
    N – why do you want to know?
    Me – er, cos I’m nosey?!
    N – well you’ll never find out

    How should I be replying to this silliness? I’m not handling it at all well!

  31. This one takes the cake I was reaming him last night for every time he ever hurt me when he decided to inform me that he lost or is losing his grocery store and didn’t want to tell me before but had to tell me since he’s under so much stress and that’s why he’s treating me bad what about the last two years so of course now I felt like a major shit for yelling at him if its really true but so help me god if he’s sick enough to make the whole thing up just to avoid acknowledging my pain I swear I’ll burn the place down

  32. #8 was often the way it was.

    He texts: “My plane is about to take off.”
    Me: “Where are you going?”
    Me a few hours later: “Where did you go?”
    No answer.

    Would drive me insane.

    Now he texts: “It’s so cold here, etc.”
    Me: “That’s great, stay warm. Talk to you later.”

    If I don’t ask him anything, he engages with me. It’s so maddening but it took me long to figure this out.

    1. OMG! Yes! That is what I used to refer to as the dreaded “caveman texts”. My mind would immediately turn to…
      Why are you texting like you want to start a conversation, then drop off?
      Did someone else reply with a spicier answer so they get to engage?
      Who even does this?
      Why can’t I know where, what, why if you just started to tell me?
      Why are you such a f*cking bleep, bleep, bleep…

      1. Clarece
        My Moron in Munich would do that too. It always annoyed me. So wonder what was the reasoning? Just to feel the power of being able to make us respond? Like pulling puppet strings? That more than anything else is why I cut him totally off.

        1. I guess it’s like HG says, they do it to see how / if we respond and how that ranks in the fuel matrix for the day. Nothing to do with genuinely caring about what I am up to. Lol

      2. Exactly, Clarece! I never understood why he would even mention it if he was going to be so secretive.

        I think he knew I would be left wondering why he wasn’t telling me, if he was mad at something I had said or something totally unrelated.

        Just to torture me.

        1. Hi Nina,
          Then they throw in your face that all you do is over think everything and that you draw delusional conclusions and that’s why they don’t tell you anything in the first place. Sat thru that rodeo enough times… Lol

      3. Clarece,

        My rational side would think that I hadn’t done anything to warrant his lack of response.

        But inside, my emotions would be churning. What if I had inadvertently hurt his feelings or offended him. And if I had upset him, why could he not at least discuss it.

        He did this often, always keeping me off balance.

      4. LOL @ “caveman texts”
        I lacked a phrase for it but I’m using this one!
        Like a caveman, they also really fear that drying up of fuel, being alone. They need those things to survive in their dark cave!

  33. Good post. I never understood why my narc would find my simple conversation of questions so annoying. Example, we would discuss going on a bicycle ride on the weekend. Maybe the following day We would would talk and I possibly if disussing other plans i would say OK so blah blah blah we’re going for bike ride Saturday right ? I would be reprimanded by her saying we already discussed this why are you bringing it up again and I was like it’s just kind of Smalltalk and going over plans. And the narc would do this all the time with little tiny things and I would say well I’m a double checker. Therewas just no comprehension and i was always explaining why i asked something innocuous. Ughhhh assholes all of them- no value on the planet .

    1. This is interesting. I am also a person who likes to make sure I understand the other person and double check plans. The response I often get is “I already told you this, why can’t you ever remember” or “You never listen to anything I tell you” I would talk about the situation – well try to – and in the end realize its an attempt for me to feel less than and them to fell greater or to get the pity party from … oh you don’t pay attention/don’t listen – from my emotional response. so now I just double check and get a bad attitude and rude remarks. I respond, “either I can double check or do something else you don’t like since you don’t want to just talk about it. its your choice.”

  34. Another #4. “That’s enough (now/dear).”
    For #6 it was always me “criticizing” him. By asking to take the garbage to the chute? Ok.. hindsight is 20/20 of course. But luckily for him, since I was being accused I was reminded of actual criticisms and didn’t see any point holding those back so gave those accordingly. Then he’d go to #1 and silence. Which gave me time to figure out that something was seriously wrong with him. Lose Lose. Not everything is meant as a fight. Sometimes the garbage is full or just starts to smell funny and if standing yet not doing anything and the other is busy it’s assigned accordingly in a utilitarian manner. It’s not personal. Funny how such a thing was one of the things that repeatedly woke me up to his actual views vs whatever nonsense spewed from his lips. The chute is literally like a 30 sec walk each way. I actually thought he was joking by how upset a simple request made him

    1. Catlady
      I have that problem with midrangers, too. All my life when they’d say something ridiculous (like your garbage thing), I’d just assume they were joking and laugh at them. That never went over well! I realize now that laughing at a narc when they’re not trying to be funny is a massive criticism. In my defense, they’re very sarcastic and say things they don’t actually believe all the time, and I could never tell as a child (or even that well now to be honest) when they are joking.

      Now I just try to not talk to them at all, or as little as possible. But that seems to be perceived as rudeness, especially by all the family non-narcs (who often are lieutenants, flying monkeys, etc.). To quote my narc mother, “I just can’t win for losing.” Luckily I can usually avoid them altogether and just wipe them out of my mind. Which is the very best thing to do with midrangers, whenever possible! 😉

      1. Agreed. Once the reality of his seriousness set in and ww3 ensued I spiraled before remembering that despite his claims I maybe didn’t have to put up with enduring his shit. I mean questioning his claim that I did and wound be ruined without him was just a logical progression in context of the mounting frequency and audacity of his lies and reactions to the silliest of things. I reached out to get a 2nd opinion on whether I was overreacting, that led to a safe plan if needed but I stood my ground, began playing covert hard ball like he was (what’s in it for me was one of his favorite lines and I had to start utilising it in kind but as covertly as he did) while also attacking directly with criticisms (perceived by him) and actual criticisms by anyone elses standards as a way to contrast the 2. I don’t recommend it for most ppl, it takes a certain level of resiliency and you better be correct in assessing your level of risk but I’ve experienced much worse by more overt aggressors and knew he’d crumble when push came to shove (pun intended, not trying to be insensitive at all just these asshats are only strong in words – double speak, fake sweetness, promises built on sand, ad can never give concrete details – it’s all baseless bullshit). Within 3 or so weeks of realising what he was doing to me and planning options A and B, I kicked the idiot out after one lie too many as excuses for stealing from me yet again while I worked, and his admission that he just doesn’t care to even think of not doing that despite numerous times being told not to take things without replacement. The threat of a restraining order and police escort out was the thing that got him out the door in the end though, wouldn’t want to tarnish his nice guy facade any.

      2. so a question for you. being married to a narc with kids the little spats all the time are getting to me daily and I am sure are getting to the kids to. Would your advice be do the best I can in the situation for the kids to have two parents in one home or leave and have a stable home and a narc home> i guess to put it that way.

    2. This is where I have been many many times. Thinking where in the world is this coming from and feeling completly taken off guard by the reaction. I deal with kids so I react in the same way – if you act like a two year old throwing a fit because you dont want to clean up a mess or respond to questions or yell .. then shit. I just respond the way I would to a two year old. I say you can talk about how you feel but there isn’t need for those words or yelling. It isn’t ok to treat people rude. haha now he hates the word rude!

  35. I can see all 8 being good reasons why they want you isolated , no witnesses to the madness !

  36. So how do you get a truthful answer from a narc? Please share insights to outmaneuver him into telling the truth.

      1. Trying to give a short well used answer here.Not trying to belittle the questioner. Hope you’re not taking offense.

      2. Blondie – no offense taken. I like your sense of humor! I guess I knew the answer but was hoping for something, anything. In the real world with normal people, I’m much smarter than my narcopath ex. I just hate that I can’t get the upper hand when it comes to handling his lies and manipulations because my brain doesn’t operate in darkness and deceit like his does.

    1. I tried literally everything for 2 years. HG is right. Don’t waste your time trying. It will only leave you making your own stories and excuses for him. His actions are telling you everything you need to know. Listen to your gut.

  37. How should I deal with this, HG?
    Let you evade?
    Walk away and brush it off (that won’t work in the long-term)
    Leave, right then and there. Never return.
    Is there ANY avenue open where we can communicate together?

  38. Is the truth then an elusive, yet captivating, concept that evolves over time according to the level of sophistication of both the Narcissist and the Empath? Most intriguing!

      1. May I ask, is a Greater’s perspective always based in reason? Or if logic is momentarily lost will it then return in due course? My worst fear is that time will render me malignant, despite my best intentions, but it also hardly seems possible if my perspective is of my choosing. I am not yet experienced enough to know for sure.

        -NL (Issue of a Mid-Ranging mother & Lesser father)

  39. Well that sounds just like my greater narc ex boyfriend. At times I thought he was truly CRAZY, but I guess he was just playing me all along. That’s why I am NO CONTACT and will remain so.

  40. I give my narc credit for this he always outmaneuvered me brilliantly when I questioned him he used all of the tactics above and many more. I Could see what he was doing but he still was damn good at it

  41. This is by far the realest post…that mirrors EXACTLY 98% of my experience…to the TEEE! Absolutely amazing. It’s like one demonic personality broken off in pieces to all narcissists. The SAME set of responses and behaviors. Always deflecting by triangulation and comparing. “So and so never cared about that, why do you have a problem with it”. I was even told once after being called stupid that other women never had a problem with it and that I was the ONLY one who did. The fuel he hoarded that day was enough to put a 1000 18 wheelers on the road. Because I was beyond flabbergasted. I never miss this man when he is gone. And this post is much of the reason why.

  42. You need to secure the reality of what has happened. (The Truth Seeker).✅

    You want us to see your point of view. (The Need To Fix.)✅

    You want to be heard. (The Need to Be Honest To Yourself).✅

    You want resolution. (The Need To Be Decent).✅

    It still floors me this only MY view. B4 I was blinded by it. Now I feel gifted by it and blown away others don’t construct their views this way. So my futile attempts are over.

    Outgunning was my x favs. It really sounded like “neener neener” play ground mentality. You suck more type of deal. Now I’m like wtf. Then too only stuck in the endless loop of futility.

    All good (not good) stuff.

  43. Here in the southern US, common greetings are to say things like, “what r you up to? Where you headed? What are you doing tonight?” They mean nothing. They are simply greetings. There is no need to actually tell your plans. “Not much, no where or nothing” are all acceptable. Even the narcs respond to these without blowing up in anger, unless they are totally mental.

    Apparently these type greetings are not common in Germany. I don’t know how many times my Moron would blow up like a small, spoiled child when all I was doing was saying “hello.” Even after I explained the custom to him, he just couldn’t deal with it. He had to blow up or lecture me about how I had no right to question him about anything, anytime.

    It left me thinking what a total thoughtless loser he was. Why would a woman want any type of relationship with a man who had a fit like a small child when she tried to talk to him? I still haven’t been able to figure out what reason he thought I’d be willing to put up with him. My love may be unconditional but my tolerance is not. Could he be that delusional? He is a midranger.

    1. Windstorm
      I picture your Moron in Munich as your Narc-in-the-box. Him trapped in your phone or tablet and you peering in on your little experiment after all these years as one would at an ant farm lol. I admit I started out hating them and thinking they were all the same, but grew to find them fascinating (until they got abusive or bored the crap out of me) so I would engage them just to see what they would say or do next, and yes, a simple question or comment could cause an incident as HG has outlined here. I used to say: oh here comes the silent treatment before I even knew they had copyrighted it (which likely extended my S.T and makes me laugh now).

      1. NarcAngel
        Yeah, I think your analogy is good. I’ve never really understood ants either. The idea of a hive intelligence is hard for me to get my mind around.

        I think what’s hardest for me with narcs is when they literally have nothing really going for them, but they’re still egotistical and cocky. They’re not handsome, not witty, not smart, not charming, not polite, not intelligent, not wealthy, not successful – but still think they’re Gods gift to the world! What on earth do they base this on? Have they no logic? Maybe that’s the root of my problem. A man just has to have logic and intelligence to have any attraction for me.

        My Moron was a golden child. He had a practically Oedipal relationship with his mother. Maybe that’s where his comes from – delusions put in his mind from his mother. God knows his opinion of himself is not based on actual superiority. But he can’t be totally stupid. He has a doctorate in economics, for goodness sakes!

        One of my other narc friends has a doctorate in literature. She has always amazed me in that she has so little common sense. She’s not logical at all, either. I remember when she got her masters, she spent over a year of her life and time studying and writing an entire book on “comparisons in the endings of 16th century Spanish poetry.” Boy did all my Kentucky narcs get a laugh out of that!

        Maybe it’s the somatic element? She and my Moron are both mixed types, very caught up in their bodies. Maybe the somatic part shorts their brain out somehow? Don’t know. I’ll just continue to observe.

    2. Every time when I read “my Moron in Munich” phrase, I smile. It sounds so funny, like a some sort of caress. Lol.

    3. Could he be that delusional? He is a midranger.

      Yes. Mine was lol I thought he was joking until I knew he wasn’t. Toddler meltdowns. Literally the toddler makes better sense. At least they can feel something comforting in the end. Not him that just made it worse and honestly who wants a manbaby? My cat has a million times better logic and emotional depth than ex mid midrange.

      Mine was also very body focused but mostly when feeling lack of attention when I was becoming numb to his tantrums and fake sweetness. I think that meant he was seeking new sources. It was his signal in a way. But unfortunately for him he was putting on weight from being a lazy assclown and sadly has a retreading hairline, before even turning 25, so he always came back like a sad puppy with his tail btwn his legs. If I felt sorry for him we were on a few days. If not the Silence games began.

  44. Omg #1 I am verrry familiar with! HG which class of narcissist uses this tactic the most? Thank you!

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