Why Are The Arguments Never Resolved?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the victim’s mindset?

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

What is the narcissist’s mindset?

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

Both parties have entirely different aims.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

29 thoughts on “Why Are The Arguments Never Resolved?

  1. christinebeth says:

    Thank you so much for your insights. I could really use your thoughts and perspectives if you have time. I left my narcissist husband just over a year ago; I harbour no hard feelings towards him, but no love either. I have been trying to resolve things legally, but he refuses to participate in the legal process, refusing to provide information, stonewalling and repeatedly switching lawyers. How do I approach this from a legal perspective to get him to do what is legally required? I have not had communication with him of any sort for over 6 months, everything is done through lawyers, but he doesn’t seem to answer anyone. He has moved on and has a new girlfriend and set of friends and refuses to acknowledge his children, which is actually a blessing. I thought the new girlfriend would have made him happy and wanting to be done with us completely, but the opposite is happening. I don’t know why he refuses to do his share to just end this.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome. Court proceedings require me to convey a lot of information to you and also receive a lot of input from you. I can assist you and I advocate you organise an audio consultation with me.

  2. Christopher Jackson says:

    Hg what does it mean when the narcissist doesnt wear their wedding ring does that mean that the ipps is in current devaluation? Or is there a video that you have made for this?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. More than likely; or
      2. Insurance scam.

  3. Rebecca says:

    HG, how does a Midranger respond if the current IPPS engages in one of the withdrawal choices you suggest? Would he rather provoke her, provoke his previous IPPS with whom he shares a child and who called him out, or both?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      He may well do both.

  4. Julia says:

    Good afternoon. Thank you so much for the insight once again. It would be great if you could give me your opinion to my situation. I was discarded by my ex narcissist shortly before Christmas and finally the day before new years evening. I suffered a nervous breakdown when he broke up the last time which he didn’t care about at all and just threw me out of his flat. He also became slightly violent by pushing me around etc. After that I didn’t bother him anymore as it was clear he once more didn’t want to ever hear from me. However,I I couldnt find an item and I asked him if it was at his place. He answered that he’ll send it to me via mail and even gave me a specific date. Usually I never agreed to receive my things via mail,but I was so mentally exhausted that I just gave in and accepted. Unfortunately I still didn’t receive the package which I should have received around 2 weeks ago… Do you maybe have any insight on why he told me in the first place that he’ll just want me out of his life because I am the worst thing ever happened to him but then doesn’t send my belongings after he suggested to do so? I thought he might forgot about it and I might should remember him but I am insecure to contact him.. Nice regards from Austria.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Julia of Austria, how is the snow?

      1. He send he wanted you out of his life because he disengaged, you were painted black and he most likely had a new IPPS who he wanted to focus on and he wanted you to stay away and not interfere in that.
      2. He did not send the parcel because he felt no obligation to do so even though this is inconsistent with what he stated. When he said he would send the package it suited him to state that then, but when it came to acting on it, there was no perceived benefit to him doing so and this coupled with his lack of obligation meant he did not do it.

      1. Julia says:

        Hey HG! The snow is amazing currently, the landscape is so beautiful and romantic right now! 🙂
        Thank you so much for your answer. Unfortunately you were right, 3 weeks passed and I still got nothing. When I asked once more for it,he gave me another specific date but again, didn’t send it and just blocked my number. What I don’t understand is that he would get a huge benefit from sending it: I wouldn’t have a reason anymore to communicate with him. But I assume he just threw it away and I won’t ever see these belongings anymore.Or do you think is there anything I can do to make him return it? Again, thanks for your answer, your work is really helpful. Nice regards, Julia

        1. HG Tudor says:

          His perspective means he sees a greater benefit in keeping it, remember he does not see the world the way you do. I don’t recall the nature of the item, Julia, so dependent on whether you really need it/it is expensive/it has sentimental value, either leave the matter or get someone else to recover it or if it really is necessary go to law.

      2. Julia says:

        Thank you so much for your responses! 🙂 I annoyed him twice now with emails asking for my stuff and even if he was bothered, he finally agreed to send them tomorrow. Hopefully he’ll do it this time. I hope you’re having a nice day, HG 🙂 Nice regards, Julia

  5. Mercy says:

    HG, in the first years of my relationship when we would argue I’d get a silent treatment. The argument never took off. He would immediately shut me down with silence or leave. The last few years was like your examples above. Why didn’t he seek negative fuel with a fight in the beginning and why did it change later?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I suspect you provided Challenge Fuel therefore he was already fuelled and his shutdown with silence was his method of asserting superiority over you (as opposed to arguing or some other manipulation) in order to quash your perceived ‘rebellion’.

      1. Mercy says:

        Thank you for answering HG. Does this mean he felt the only way to gain superiority over me at the time was with the silent treatment?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Correct, Mercy.

          1. Mercy says:

            Thank you

  6. Christopher Jackson says:

    Damn the arguments usually never resolved now I know why I always walked away the next day wondering what the hell just happened and realized that I didnt get an answer

    1. Mercy says:

      Christopher, your answer made me remember something. I use to wake up every morning and my first thought was to take stock of where I was with the narc that day. Was things good? were we fighting? Talking? Every day I’d have to recap the day before. I never just woke up and went on with my day comfortably.

      1. Christopher Jackson says:

        I remember those days waking up beside mine wondering ok what stance am I supposed to take o nah yea we good we didnt argue last night that was the other night…so we good lol

  7. Leslie says:

    This is good. And definitely remove yourself to avoid the inevitable provocations.

  8. Rebecca says:

    My goodness. So exactly spot on.. even the ‘ shall we go out to dinner?’ In the midst of the confusion and false accusations. Pretty much exactly what I have experienced multiple times.

  9. Johanna says:

    Not that simple, HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Actually it is.

  10. BetterwoNarc says:

    I had a similar occurrence with a probable narc and it was the biggest thing that tipped me off that he was definitely not healthy. It was astonishing and I ended up being the one to apologize for something he completely made up.

    1. Mercy says:

      BetterwoNarc, haha yep that sounds familiar!

  11. mommypino says:

    This is another excellent advice. Amazing article comparing the different aims of the narcissist and the empath/normal and thus illustrating very well why there will never be any resolution. I never got a real apology from my narcs. My MRE sister told me one time when I strongly challenged her that she was sorry that I took it that way because she was just joking. And it’s so true about them switching behaviors after their fuel needs are met which makes everything even more perplexing. The three courses of action to take are definitely the best way ti deal with this. This is so useful and helpful.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

  12. CRISTINA RIDER says:

    This is so sick in that the narcissist gains fuel from sucking the energy out of a truly genuine and loving individual. It’s demonic to thrive off of agitating someone simply to gain a feeling of superiority.

  13. MB says:

    These “real life” type examples are very helpful for my understanding.

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