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
- Gain Pure Fuel – this is where there is no challenge or wounding;
- 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;
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Establishing and maintaining no contact;
- Being able to recognise the various manipulations that we deploy;
- Your increased knowledge will reduce the impact of the manipulation on you;
- 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.