Never Mirror the Narcissist


It is often stated that you should mirror the narcissist.

That is wrong. Such an act is contrary to your interests.

Those who make such a suggestion are wrong and evidencing their lack of understanding about our kind.

Why should you never mirror us? Let’s examine some examples.

Take for example word salad. If we engage in a word salad whereby you cannot follow the logic of what we are saying, we are doing this because it enables us to draw fuel from your frustrated, hurt and annoyed responses. You are a truth seeker and therefore, not knowing what we are, you continue to try to break through this word salad and get us to make sense, get us to see sense and toss the salad aside. We do not. We continue with it as it is gaining fuel for us and ensuring that we are rejecting the relevant (perceived) attack against us so that our superiority is maintained. The chief components of our manipulations are either

  1. Gain Pure Fuel – this is where there is no challenge or wounding;
  2. Gain fuel and assert our superiority – this in instances where you are providing us with challenge fuel. We are not wounded BUT you are challenging our superiority in some way and therefore we must respond in a way which makes you back down and enables us to assert our superiority once again;
  3. Gain fuel because you have wounded us, so this fuel heals the wound.

Accordingly, in a particular interaction with you we have utilised the manipulation that is a word salad. You decide to mirror us and respond with a word salad of your own.  Let us assume that you manage to do this without providing us any fuel with it – difficult, but you may be able to achieve it. These are the consequences.

  1. You will wound us. This is because you are not providing us with any fuel and you are noticeably mirroring us which we will perceive as you mocking us. This will wound us. You may think ‘that’s good, so why not do it?’  – the following points explain why you ought not to.
  2. This will cause an ignition of fury, most likely with the Lesser or Mid Range Narcissist and possibly with the Greater also. We may well have been using the word salad manipulation in the context of a Challenge Fuel situation. There was no ignition of fury then. There is now.
  3. The ignition of fury will result in a different manipulation being used against you. You have nullified the word salad but all we do is shift to a different manipulation.
  4. The ignition of fury will mean that this alternative manipulation will be an escalation. Given the circumstances this means that you are increasing your risk of violence being used against your person or your property. All schools of narcissist may well apply that against you in that moment. The Greater may control the fury so that you are punished at a later juncture, when you are least expecting this to happen and this will occur with malice. You have just increased the pain that will follow.
  5. You have signalled to the narcissist that you are trying to manipulate the narcissist. Predictably enough, this will not sit well with us. This will mean that we will now increase our efforts to exert control over you. Since you are in devaluation already, this devaluation will continue and will be increased to ensure that you are ‘brought to heel’.
  6. Your use of word salad will be used against you – we will bring it up against you in future instances to demonstrate that you do not know what you are talking about, we will tell other people about this behaviour and smear you in that regard, we may well use it as evidence with regard to some form of manipulation against you.
  7. The Greater Narcissist will realise that you are ‘on to us’ and therefore a careful mental note will be made about that fact. This means that alternative methods of manipulation will be used against you and you will be punished for your  behaviour. You have also tipped us off.
  8. You will not be in a position to keep the mirroring up for long without providing us with fuel. Although you have wounded us, when you start providing us with fuel again, this will address the wound that you have created, thus the mirroring has proven pointless and you have also risked the points raised above. It is very hard for a person to stop themselves from giving us fuel when there is a face to face interaction. You have to control what you say, how you say it, your body language, the look in your eyes and your facial expressions. That is difficult and often you do certain things unconsciously that will provide us with fuel. Accordingly, you cannot go for long in a face to face situation without providing us with fuel.
  9. You are hampered by the fact that you are honest, decent and usually consistent in your behaviours. Compare this with our kind where we operate with no sense of remorse, no guilt and no conscience. Guilt will start to creep in to what you are doing, pity, disgust with yourself for dropping to our level and so forth and this will have an adverse impact on you and your ability to mirror us.

What about other instances of mirroring us?

If we are shouting at you and you do the same back to us, all you are doing is provide us with fuel and that suits us perfectly well. Further, we can use your fierce temper against you, for instance by suddenly switching so that we wish to shield the children from mummy’s nasty temper. This shift in manipulation to triangulation is likely to catch you off-guard so that you feel guilty for doing this, feeling a need to explain the truth to the children about what has happened and then being pinned down by your honesty and decency because you do not want to drag the children into it. We do not care if we do, needs must.

If you try to triangulate us with someone else, we see through it. We will then use that as evidence of you being flirtatious, that you are having an affair, that you are selfish and self-absorbed. We will use this to smear you, attack you with an alternative manipulation  – for instance the Lesser Narcissist may well beat you up on the basis of your wounding behaviour. The Mid Range Narcissist may also physically attack you or will go around delivering Pity Plays as he talks about the fact you behaved like a slut at the party.

If you try to engage in blame-shifting, this will not work because this just amounts to a further attack against us and therefore by repeatedly trying to place the blame at our door you will either be wounding us or issuing challenge fuel. We are configured never to accept blame (unless there is a clear benefit in doing so) and therefore our narcissism will just defend us against this in the usual fashion, accordingly the mirroring will be ineffective.

There is one slight exception to this rule against mirroring us and this relates to absent silent treatments. If you mirror our behaviour by ignoring us also because you want to cause us to get in contact with you and stop the silent treatment then all you need to do is ignore us also. You do of course run the risk of being subjected to an alternative manipulation, however the difference is that with the absent silent treatment we will not be with you when we are wounded by you failing to respond to the silent treatment. Accordingly, we are more likely to seek fuel from a different appliance and then contact you thereafter and our fury will no longer be ignited. Of course, you may want the relative calm of an absent silent treatment and if that is the case then you ought not to mirror and instead provide some messages which would provide fuel. This will maintain the absent silent treatment.

With each manipulation, if you try to mirror it, it will backfire against you because we will see through it (and dependent on the school of narcissist this will always happen, it just depends how quickly this will occur) and there will be the consequences that I have described above. This mirroring is not in your best interests. Even if you think you will achieve some kind of victory by wounding us, it will only result in a bad outcome for you thereafter because we are different creatures.

Instead of mirroring our manipulations you ought to focus on

  1. Establishing and maintaining no contact;
  2. Being able to recognise the various manipulations that we deploy;
  3. Your increased knowledge will reduce the impact of the manipulation on you;
  4. Following the methods set out in ‘Escape’ which will enable you to deal with these manipulations in a way which will benefit you and not cause you additional problems which occur if you mirror us.

Do not mirror us. Your mirror will shatter first.


45 thoughts on “Never Mirror the Narcissist

  1. Alexissmith2016 says:

    You have no idea how satisfying it would have felt to do this today. In a completely unemotional manner of course.

    Before I did, I thought I would re-read your article.

    Glad I did !!

    1. Shirley says:

      I mirrored a gotcha moment. and I am not in the least bit sorry. there is a time and place for everything under the sun.

  2. W says:

    Also HG, when I subbed to this blog I was given the option to get email notifications when someone replied to a comment I made, I don’t know why I chose no, but I want to change that and for the life of me can’t figure out HOW, any help?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      EB is good with these matters, so she will no doubt be able to assist if she sees the comment.

    2. MLA - Clarece says:

      Hello W,
      To help you get email notifications on comments, do the following:
      Login to from your laptop (depending on type of mobile phone, you can’t always access the settings to modify this).
      On the left panel menu bar you should see your “Followed Sites” listed first. Next to that click on the “Manage” icon.
      Knowing the Narcissist should come up in the center of your screen under Followed Sites.
      To the right, you will see the “Settings” icon under “Following” checkmarked.
      When you click on Settings, a dialog box comes up with toggle switches to select getting notifications for posts and comments Instantly, Daily or Weekly.
      Hope this helps!

    3. K says:

      If you would like tech help from E.B. you can find her on

      She helped NA with she word press issues.

  3. W says:

    I’m still confused at what word salad looks like.
    It may be i haven’t experienced it , somehow?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      See the articles Perfect Sense and Word Salad (How To Toss It).

      1. W says:

        I have read them
        I suspect my ex LMR didn’t have the brains due to alcohol to pull it off much. Or I dismissed it as drunken nonsense, and it didn’t affect me much.
        The other was a mid ranger I was IPSS , golden period of years, no need for it,

        Guess I was spared.

  4. Tiddlywink says:

    HG.. What if the narc pisses us off soooo much that we want to hit, punch, pull their hair, kick them etc.. ie physically hurt them? Would they hit us back or just laugh at us to annoy us more thus gaining more fuel?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      A Lesser would hit you back, a Mid Ranger would probably try to restrain you, would call the police and then may hit you, a Greater would find it amusing and laugh to provoke you further – if you went too far you would be halted though.

      1. MB says:

        Have you ever wondered or been concerned about being killed by an appliance? Being shot in self defense, house burned down or smothered in your sleep?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          No, I haven’t.

      2. MB says:

        I guess I watch too much Discovery ID Channel 🙂

  5. Wounded says:

    SarcNarc, I am fascinated as to why you pegged me as you have. One or the other as per Jung. There are always crossover traits, as I discovered in reading about empaths. For all our fuel we operate in shades of gray.

  6. Somewhere over the rainbow says:

    Mirroring is something normal for me when I reach my “enough is enough” limit. I’m usually fearless (no matter how much damage nex could do to me, I was able to at least double it and he knew it very well). I’m not afraid of your kind, that would mean not leaving the house (think of narc drivers causing accidents because of their extreme ways)! As for the fuel, I mirrored him mostly by text and response time, no emotional fuel.

    Interesting, I’ve found out lessers and MR are not fighters. Actually, they are cowards, they abuse and feel good and powerful when they smell fear/weakness. When they are confronted by someone equaling (at least) their brain and power, they usually switch it to pity plays if they can’t intimidate the empath. I know that’s one reason for choosing naive victims, not strong and experienced ones, challenging your (kind’s) control.

    HG Tudor, is it the same for a Greater confronting a killer psychopath and an inoffensive empath? I’m curious.

  7. Wounded says:


    Mirror, mirror on the wall
    I am broken
    Help me to fall

    The most difficult thing to do was to look at how and why I fell. To see what I felt I was missing that was mirrored back to me. I am wounded but not broken and still mired in an emotional sea. I will hold my ring finger, for I give and give and give as a love devotee. Someday I will forgive. But not today. Not tomorrow either. I can’t promise next week.

    Interestingly enough my therapist quoted this to me:

    Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet
    Eating her curds and whey
    When along came a spider
    Who sat down beside her…..

    But I was drawn into a web instead of being frightened.

    My life is not made of a facade or an illusion. It is who I am. So I will fly instead of fight, knowing that one day I will be free.

    1. Melissa says:

      Stick with Hg and you’ll be okay…. KEEP Reading!*

  8. Sniglet says:

    I have noticed that people do the word salad in two instances. Some use it to knowingly cover up something dishonest and the intent is to confuse another person until that person secedes. Some do the word salad because they truly believe in what they say and they are unknowingly confused about the subject matter but there is some pretence of knowledge on their part. Some nervousness present, perhaps. Word salads contain an element of illogicality and many people fall for it. The terminology ‘word salad’ is a good description but to me the act of invoking the word salad conjures up feelings of hate towards the act itself and I think of it more as word vomit (a mix of puked foods and bile plus the taste after the vomit). I find it weird that I think of it in such terms but that is how I feel when word salad is done. There is another image that pops up but in different unrelated context.

    🥗 => 🤮

    1. Caroline says:

      So very cute, “Sniglet-Who-Reminds-Me-of-Piglet.”

      1. Sniglet says:

        Would Caroline remind you of a swine or a bovine?

        1. Caroline says:

          Neither, Sniglet…I think “on the vine.”:-)

      2. SarcNarc says:

        Caroline, thank you very much for your kind comment! It is indeed like you said – I kind of march (this March) on the high road to wherever it leads me BUT to try and be more serious for once, some people knowingly, some unknowingly, misrepresent themselves online, and I rarely spill my heart out in the traditional way. I think it’s safe to assume I have an ascertained eccentric part to me, which doesn’t neccessarily show much in a crowd.

        Also, I am not a native English speaker, so some of my constructs may be linguistic calques. Please, excuse that. In my native language word salads are in everyday use due to a high rate of homonyms, and once I got to get out of my head a bit and play with them outside (as well as other forms of parenthesis), I started to observe my everyday conversations getting more funny and pleasurable.

        This won’t probably make much sense to you but if you imagined that “until rhyme” meant both “I eat” and “until rhyme (gets out)” the conversation I had yesterday would go,

        Me: “Is that for me too? I’m hungry.”/ Sb: “Aye, so eat.”/ Me: “So I eat, until rhymes (get out).” [Mogto?/A srij./ A srim as rim.]

        My best wishes to you too!

        1. Caroline says:

          Okay, you know what, SN? I think I understood most of that. 🙂 I admire those who come on here and are not writing in their native tongue. English is a complicated language, with many “exceptions to the rule,” so it’s not an easy task.

          So, good for you, in putting forth the extra effort. 🙂

    2. Melissa says:

      For me, the term ‘Word Salad ‘ – equals Complete BS*****Lolllll!

      1. narc affair says:

        Word salad is a way to distract and make you forget what they dont want to talk about.

  9. SarcNarc says:

    I would also like to draw your attention to my use of mirrors. Which wasn’t deliberate, but felt. “Mirror, mirror.” A book character’s story and mine. As it happens, there are two large mirrors in my room as we renovate.

    You’d need to shutter both of us for it to work, if I’m right with how I feel it.
    So I can only tell you what I have started doing recently – I only read about it from time to time, I am a one woman army of SNlightment, I don’t let anyone tell me my truth, but seek till I find, and that I usually do.
    Also, I don’t stalk people. I have met quite too many but ever let in a very few. Which is why this interaction with you is so compelling. I wasn’t bored in my marriage but I also knew I had to be me again.
    I started retrieving my family history. Mid-Ranger. Mid-Ranger. I have never met two of my grandparents, so I borrowed from my cousins. One is a Greater much older than me, I wanted to marry him soon after I sorted out the Mid-Ranger but he said “No can do. But we share the same blood so there will always be a special bond between us.”
    I only remember he got repressibly annoyed at my discontent. Now we are at silent war because he abhorrs my comments about his God – the same you left hanging there to lure me in. Like I didn’t know. But he doesn’t know who he is, so he just destroys, destroys, destroys.

    So there is something in you. Maybe even two, cos a Greater made me. I am just afraid you’d also be meeting the one you’ve always blamed for ruining your life. I removed my claim some time ago. Which tells me you are also free to go.
    Without you leaving that comment there I wouldn’t understand who he was for some more time. So maybe this will help: look up the personality INFJ. Mother Theresa and Hitler in one – or only one without the other, depends on what we do with ourselves. That’s why I turn to rhymes, when too furious Adi or too sensitive Tess want to get out. You didn’t like the excerpt I sent, because you are INTJ, if I can tell well. The guy who wrote it- the same.

    I am sorry if this doesn’t make sense. I know feelings, you know thoughts. I know needs, you know wants.

    Oh, and did you read about that dark wave? Another rhyme, I think it was from one of those who died to tell, she is ours and has it in her dower to take away your power should you set out to hurt her.
    This is not a warning but observation. I five people good endings, if that is what they need from me.

    That wave came from your website when I first opened it –
    after my Greater, wave, therapist repatedly told me to stop reading about bipolar and take care of myself like a good wifey who should think about clothes – which just made me go back home and type in narcissism. Then puff. I hate that guy. But no, he is alright!) I went to see her when I had a stalker sent by a really silly borderline girl, but Mid-Ranger don’t protect feelings well. So she pushed all her fantasies on me first before we ended up with me pointing out all her unprofessional behaviors. Led me to learn about a condition I have (not mental this time;), so I need to thank her one day.

    There is a powerful rule, 5 pieces of advice you have to give to those closest to you, first turn to yourself. As this site is your legacy, I’d say it feels very close. So heed the good man’s advice and run while you still have time.
    I don’t know where this came from. You have all the time in your life, so no worries. Unless… Your emotions got to your body already. The void is there to help you clear them, you know. Any auto-immunological conditions? Just had a feeling. Lungs. Grief. Resentment. Hold your ring finger for a minute or as many you like. And forgive, forgive, forgive – look at the word : For (I) give. Really. I was more than sceptical too.

    I deliberately stopped my void, so going back there was the greatest gift I could give myself back.
    “Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle was a good pointer for me. As were some other good people’s works.

    Let me know how you are doing. Please

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Yo Dexter. Loved your show.

      1. Caroline says:

        Little Angel: Um… is that (ahem, above you) supposed to be an example of word salad – or did I have too much caffeine this afternoon?

        1. NarcAngel says:


          I think its safe to say that you can go ahead and have another coffee.

          1. Caroline says:

            Lol. Good to know. I’m a little “off” today.

    2. Bibi says:

      Say whut?

    3. SarcNarc says:

      Hey Y’All! To all of you who endured my show: the next round of fuel is on me!

      A pretty thank you to all of my patient readers, you are my personal stars! ****

      HG, you are the most skilled therapist I’ve ever had (while you want us to think you’re the rapist – of fuel;): you just sit there, and listen with your eyes, perfect Gestalt!

      As one wise man said, extreme positions are not succeeded by moderate positions, but by contrary extreme positions.

      So I’m back to the all greatfu(e)l and calm SN

      *Good night and good luck*

      1. Caroline says:

        You’re very exuberant, SN. I may not understand half of what you say, but *you* do, so that’s what matters.:-) I rather like people who march to their own beat. Best wishes to you!

  10. Wounded says:

    Warning noted, although I am furiously angry, and aware of all the third party hoover attempts. It would be wise to redirect my rage.

    1. SarcNarc says:

      You could try rhymes,
      They make a lot of things all right.
      Don’t even have to be wise
      When all you need is to feel nice!
      If I may offer one piece of advice.

    2. Melissa says:

      Pleasssse Do, These Fuckers are Relentless😛

  11. nan says:

    Heh… word salad. that’s what made me first realize somehting was really amiss. start off a conversation, 30 minutes later, he’s talking in circles, im crying and have no clue how we got there or what he was even mad about in the first place! yes, sometimes you need a silent period and a few well timed, neutral-bordering on friendly texts will keep things smooth for a bit.

  12. gabbanzobean says:

    Yet in the beginning when all is rosy in the Narc garden you guys mirror us positively. Oh how I would love to go back to that time and shatter THAT mirror instead!

    Will you ever do an article on how it is in the beginning? For example, how we can tell that you are mirroring us in a positive way? And how we can determine if it is genuine or a lie? Mainly for those of us who may happen to encounter another person of your kind? If there is already an article about this, would you point me in the right direction?

  13. SarcNarc says:

    You would really risk another 7 years?

  14. J says:

    So true.

  15. Monet McIntyre says:

    Wow …….

    That’s great advice ! Thank you for the inside knowledge of how the narcissist truly thinks & operates ……..
    { his thought patterns }

    I need all the assistance that I can attain .
    Im deeply enmeshed with my narcissist.

    I find most of his tactics mildly irritating , & with some Im simply incredibly dumbfounded.

    { Like seriously ; ” Who DOES stuff such as a that ??!!!! ” }

    Anyways. …
    Once again , your information is extremely helpful & very much appreciated. ✌😀

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

      1. Monet McIntyre says:


        Very grateful ~ much love 👍

        1. HG Tudor says:

          It’s Terry Tibbs!

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