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.



51 thoughts on “How the Narcissist Evades When Questioned”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

      2. With the Greater there are instinctive responses still but also a lot of calculation.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 .

  11. #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.

      2. 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

      3. 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.

      4. 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

      5. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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??

  22. 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.


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