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.


36 thoughts on “Never Mirror the Narcissist

  1. SN says:

    Dear HG,

    What would you say happens if somebody mimics a narcissist, instead of mirroring?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Challenge Fuel.

      1. windstorm says:

        And sometimes you get back heated fury.

        1. SN says:

          Thank you for your answers. It was cold fury, then some sulking hulking, and back to more or less normal eventually.
          I wouldn’t say I’d recommend this to everyone but sometimes it’s just impossible to take all the gaslighting with a straight face.

  2. Yolo says:

    I absolutely love this post. I’ve done this and it’s very effective if you are seeking a respite if full no contact is not an option.

    It literally made him crazier. No word play there. Crazier than bat sh&t. He knew physical violence was not an option for him. ( funny how boundaries are respected when weapons could be involved).

    I’d been there and done that. I said some off the wall imbecile crap. He did the puppy head tilt . 😊 I followed it up with he didn’t like my mom.

    The initial conversation was about exercise and proper nutrition.

  3. LYNN says:

    Well we could now educated pretend to be smitten when not. Then we have no fear of loosing you. That’s the big card your kind have when you have made us fall in love. If we only pretend none of the emotion will work we can enjoy the mirror and then just cut you out and take the wind from your sails. We won’t care. we are acting like you. It would be fun and we will have won because we are not wounded but you are. so you can go off and get your supply elsewhere and we don’t care.
    We could do it all now and win but the thoughts are do we want to waste our valuable time and energy just to win one of your kinds pathetic little battles?? no we have much better things to do but if a narc hurts one of my friends in the future and he doesn’t know me then I might try it to punish him for hurting a friend.
    Thank you for these insites HG. very valuable.
    Would love to have your words HG on how to mend a broken heart. Of course you’d only be guessing the pain and strategy as you cannot know how it feels but would be interested to hear your guessed advice xxx

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I am not a healer Lynn.

      1. LYNN says:

        Thing is HG you do a great job showing us the traps and the way we have been fooled. You give us great warnings to stay away which is all commendable but then when we chew over all your education and know we are now resilient we are still left for a period of time with PTSD. An educator must not leave us just smarting and quivering with trauma. Maybe you should try and learn about healing. I guess our PTSD is like your deprivation of fuel so you must see our needs? You go running off for more fuel but what do we do HG ? any suggestions?
        Lynn x

    2. Michelle says:

      you just reminded me of this song.. ..
      How can you mend a broken heart by Al Green

      I think of the heart like a plant. It needs the right environment to grow, and the right nutrients and enough water and light…..

      The figurative heart can heal if given the chance. It’s the mind however that takes a longer time. The mind is stubborn. The mind develops patterns and strategies in order to not get or feel that same hurt again. It puts up barriers and makes us guard our heart fiercely.

      There is a bible scripture Proverbs 24:3 that says: “Above all things, guard your heart, for out of it are the sources of life”

      And then Jeremiah 17:9 says: “The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate…..”

      So basically we cannot trust our own heart. As what HG says: don’t rely on your emotional thinking… But empaths use their heart a lot, and we are very much guided by it, so in this case I say…..

      Become a Vulcan! 🖖

      1. Windstorm says:

        😝😝😝. Loved your advice! I’ve always loved Mr. Spock, but then he was half human.
        Live long and prosper.

      2. LYNN says:

        Thank you Michelle
        I have a big heart and want to love but also I know I’m messed up from childhood neglect as I felt i loved him more when he rejected me. so screwed up. All about trying not to loose and relive those old childhood wounds.
        Almost like the ultimate for an empath is to fight not to be rejected and then keep them in a loving relationship forever like the best love is the love you had to win. you then feel you won that parental love too, yes very screwed up. xxx

    3. Lynn I Think H. G. Know,s All About BROKEN Heart,s. Especial His Own As A Little One 🔡🔤😭😪😅..

      1. LYNN says:

        Yes Sharon we are all singing from the same hymn sheet so shame HG with all his power and intelligent could not divert that prowess into healing instead of hurting his fellow sufferers.
        He is doing great work for us though and I have told him this, he is very valuable in the acceptance process and also the educational process.
        Thank you HG but you have to go that next step and turn away from the evil.
        Love to you all xx

  4. Lisa says:

    Damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

  5. Chihuahuamum says:

    Two wrongs dont make a right…

    1. HG Tudor says:

      They do if we say they do!

      1. Chihuahuamum says:

        Oh thats right narkies law 😄

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Ha ha.

      2. Sharon Marinucci says:

        Only In Sex , Right Hg ?

  6. Star says:

    there is such truth to this! i remember being advised of ” mirroring back the behaviour” DISASTER! Not only would he up the game but he would use the opportunity to point out how crazy and insane i was, proving I needed ” help” ( I did, but not in the way he was making it) The days following he would just behave worse and worse, becoming physically and verbally abusive, breaking things, crazy making, the list goes on. “Mirroring” him became impossible for me. I just didnt have it in me. Dont get me wrong, i can holler just as loud as the next person and hold my own. But im not capable of physical, mental, emotional cruelty or destroying another persons property. The end result, i would revert to being submissive to appease him.Just to make it stop, and I would hate him and myself even more. I dont miss those days at all.

    1. IAM says:

      My last word dual ended with me saying Checkmate. I won, temporarily becuz of course I was promptly smeared, but that’s just one of the risks I took when I ‘fell in love’ with the arsehole.

      1. Twilight says:


        Ha ha my last word to him was checkmate….it should have been check cause he came back and definitely put me in a checkmate position.
        I can laugh about it now cause I am finding humor that was my situation even thou at the time I was drowning.
        Lesson learn never play chess with someone who will take things where you will not.

  7. purpleinnature says:

    So in other words, “Don’t try to play our games. We have a lot more practice and we will beat you every time.” So true. Also – when you actually have remorse and compassion, you will only stoop so low. They will stoop lower and there you have it… You lost.

  8. Windstorm says:

    This post brings up a lot of memories! I had to learn this rule the hard way. And I can totally agree that no good comes from mocking a greater narcissist! I’d imagine mocking lessers would be very physically dangerous. I’m sure it’s dangerous to mock any of them, but I’ve gotten away with mocking midrangers – but still no good came from it.

    But mocking a greater doesn’t just have the initial explosion of fury. It has several bad consequences that seem to come up out of nowhere when you least expect them – sometimes over a considerable period of time. They don’t want to get even. They want to crush and devastate you so badly there’s no way you’ll ever try it again. And if you have any sense, you won’t.

    1. purpleinnature says:

      Oh yeah. This reminds me of the one time I mocked my lesser. Wow! The rage was terrifying, but I was so angry at him. He was whining about how unfair life was after he had broken into his grandparents home and robbed them, cheated on me, continued hard drug use, financially ruined us, staged a robbery in our home, lied about having a job, I could go on and on and on. Hearing him whine made me so sick I said, “Oh, you poor baby…” I thought he might kill me. I never did that again.

  9. Michelle says:

    I don’t understand this very well. I’m not sure what “word salad” is…. And I was always under the opinion that if you mirror a Narc in say ignoring them, as they are you, how can that be a bad thing, as then they can just get fuel somewhere else. They usually have more than just one person they can go to other than their IPPS, they have secondary and tertiary sources, so it’s not a big deal if they can’t get fuel from a certain appliance, unless they relied on one specifically I guess.
    Maybe I’m not understanding it correctly – sorry!

    1. Windstorm says:

      Word salad is when you’re trying to talk to them about something important to you and they just say nonsense back to you or they say something that doesn’t apply to the situation. The purpose is to confuse you and get you off track trying to understand why they just said whatever it was and therefore to stop your original questioning.

      Often it’s safe to respond to a silent treatment with your own silence, especially if the narc is not physically present. They’re not thinking about you (they’re off with other supply), so your silence is actually helping protect you. The danger is when you try to “fight fire with Fire.” Since they have no empathy and they see winning as essential to their own survival, they can and will be harsher and more violent than we can or would ever be willing to be.

      Star described it very well in her last comment in this thread.
      “Mirroring” him became impossible for me. I just didnt have it in me. Dont get me wrong, i can holler just as loud as the next person and hold my own. But im not capable of physical, mental, emotional cruelty or destroying another persons property. The end result, i would revert to being submissive to appease him.Just to make it stop, and I would hate him and myself even more. “

      1. LYNN says:

        yes Windstorm it’s so infuriating lol I didn’t have the choice about mirroring when my narc did that I used to yell with rage. I would so love to go back in time and play word salad with him now but not in response to his play but randomly when it wasn’t expected 😂😂 crying laughing just thinking about it , I could never keep a straight face, probably would lead to immense trouble xx

    2. SMH says:

      Because eventually they will punish you for mirroring them, Michelle. ‘Word salad’ is just stringing a bunch of words together to sound like something makes sense when it doesn’t. Schizoid personalities do this too, apparently, which doesn’t surprise me because mine was like two different people. Mental disorder.

    3. Jess says:


      It tips them off that you are manipulating them. Then they need to regain control/superiority and will be more extreme or switch to a malign tactic to punish you. They are the manipulators and won’t stand for being manipulated.

      Once, after days of stranger mode, I mirrored the indifference. My MMRN started asking what was wrong. I told him that I was giving him what he had been giving me…nothing. I foolishly admitted that I was disturbed by his personality change. The shark smelled blood in the water. I was accused of being “immature,” “crazy,” “Imagining things” He kept my 6 yr old up until 10:30 pm on a school night. I told her it was time for bed and was ignored . They whispered and joked at my expense. This caused me to break (no easy feat.) I was made to feel like the outsider. When I firmly confronted them he stormed off and sulked. I ignored him for days and got a respite period for one date. The stranger setting ( The Void) went on for weeks. He provoked me by cancelling plans, showing up late when he was always on time before, showing up to our regular meeting spots when he knew it was time for me to leave, triangulating me with his phone by playing games and only talking to me about his kids. He was on the hunt and complaining about me to every SIPSS that would listen. This was painful and I wasn’t able to maintain indifference for any amount of time. I’ve been no contact for 7 months.

    4. purpleinnature says:

      Michelle – There is a post on this site about word salad you can look up. It’s basically when you are trying to resolve a legitimate problem, or trying to identify a problem, and the narc keeps changing the subject, turning things back on you, saying things that don’t make sense and basically driving you insane as you try to actually solve a problem. They do it in a way that makes it look like they’re also trying to solve the problem, but nothing ends up making any sense and the problem is never resolved. It’s crazy making at its best. My mid-ranger’s word salad was the one thing that made me consciously aware that something was very wrong with him and it ultimately lead to my break-through and discovery of ALL the narcissists in my life. Word salad is probably my least favorite narcissistic trick.

      1. Michelle says:

        Yes I’m familiar with these tactics, as my father used pretty much all of them on me for many many years. I just have only learnt it has a name.
        But that’s cool, something else I’ve learnt….

      2. LYNN says:

        Yes P I totally agree it used to make me hopping mad and I used to get even more mad with myself for reacting and letting him win. I knew it was a red flag but still I continued that’s the crazy thing that made me realise I had a problem too so the 2 wrongs do make a right because as harsh as it is it makes us seek help and learn and eventually find the road to understanding, healing and dealing with the abuse and neglect. Narcs are our dark knight of our soul that we have to endure to find the light.
        Be a White Knight HG they are far gorgeous handsome fascinating and sexy and they they ride a stallion
        of peace love and joy, try and saddle up in white one day darling.
        Sorry P I will never stop being cheeky with HG and trying to change him, its only because in a strange way I kind of love him, he’s helped alot in a morbid way and I think its changing him naturally anyway he just doesn’t realise it yet.
        Lynn x

      3. purpleinnature says:

        Lynn – Lol. I think’s that’s called “malignant optimism”, but I guess it doesn’t hurt anything to wish it for HG. Hey HG! Have you decided to change yet?

        And in a strange way, I am grateful for the word salad. After almost 40 years of all different types of narcissistic abuse, the word salad is what finally made me stop and say “What exactly the fuck is wrong with this person?!?! (Pardon my language) Lol. All the other friends, family and partners, I blamed their behavior on their childhood, their self-esteem, their insecurity, their fear of intimacy, insensitivity, ignorance, anger issues, blah blah blah. But the word salad… that’s when I knew something special was happening, and it couldn’t just be happening to me.

      4. LYNN says:

        yep P malignant Optimism though I did heat HG say on his radio show that he was under the ‘good doctor’s’ trying to change as he didn’t want to loose his family, but those weren’t his actual words but to that effect. Strange but now when he’s asked he says he doesn’t want to stop his behaviours.
        HG can you confirm about your words on the radio show?
        P yes the Word Salad is them thinking they are so fucking smart with their sidestepping, diverting deflecting. The very fact that it’s nonsenible shows they aren’t that smart, it’s an easy trick for anyone to talk back a load of non relevant mumbo jumbo An imbicil could do it.
        Yes P absolutely is the the big in-site into the fact they are dysfunctional and complete wind up merchants and your wasting your time with them.
        lol I’m still angry but that’s better than sad think it will start to dilute to indifference soon.
        How are you P?
        Love Lynn

      5. purpleinnature says:

        Lynn – I’m moving along, thanks for asking. Some days the pain feels like an endless lava flow burning my insides and some days I’m just numb, but I can tell I’m healing. Ultimately, I’ll be stronger, smarter and more confident than I was before, but man does this suck bigtime. How are you Lynn?

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