5 Conversational Derailments


We don’t do conversations. That suggests that it is an equal process where we listen to you and your opinion is respected and deemed as valid. During seduction our conversations are both information gathering exercises and monologues which are there to showcase our brilliance. Once we devalue you, our conversations with you are tirades, imperious and haughty speeches, vicious diatribes against you where we speak and you had better damn well listen. All conversations must be controlled by us. Our need for control is considerable because if we every allow you to hold centre stage then we are losing out. We risk losing fuel, we are allowing our innate superiority to be undermined and we are ceding control to you. This is why we must never allow you to think or even achieve some kind of dominance, even if slight, during a conversation over us. The conversation is a mechanism for our use, not yours. It is for us to shine, to avoid blame, to lash out at you, to hoover you back in and enable us to achieve what we want. It is our conduit and you just happen to be involved but on the receiving end. Achieving such domination and control of the conversational arena is absolutely necessary and to maintain such a position we engage in numerous manipulations. There are many which are deployed and here are five of the most popular ways we will derail a conversation for the purposes of maintaining or seizing control.

  1. The Blame Shift

If you are trying to accuse us of something or pin the blame on us in the course of a conversation this is against our rules. We will not allow this to happen. We are unaccountable and especially so to somebody like you. If you can hold us to account through a conversation, then this reduces our superiority and allows you control. In order to prevent you from achieving this will engage in a blame shift. Whatever you are accusing us of will be your fault. It does not matter if there is no logical link (in your world) between what you have accused us of and our response. These conversations are not governed by your logic but by ours. Our logic is that we must maintain control and therefore shifting the blame on to you, by any means, is a logical method of achieving this. There is the logic for you. Understand this and you begin to understand why we act as we do. Accordingly, you might accuse us of the following and be met with the response in bold.

“You have been seeing another woman, I can smell her perfume on you.”

“I’m not having an affair but if I was who would blame me? You never show me any attention or affection. You cannot smell perfume; you are just making that up.”


“Why haven’t you remembered to switch the oven on?”

“Why do I have to remember to do that? It is your job. If you spent more time getting on with what you are supposed to do, rather than trying to pick fault with me, this wouldn’t happen.”


“Why are you always trying to tell me what to do?”

“I don’t do that. You are over-reacting. I just suggest things for you because let’s face it, you aren’t really capable of making the big decisions yourself are you? That’s not me being horrible, that’s a fact, you are poor at decision-making. You should thank me for helping you.”


  1. Projection

This favourite method of derailing the conversation is so effective because it takes your breath away. By accusing you of doing the very thing that we are accused of (and invariably we are doing) you are so astonished at our bare-faced cheek, our audacity and our brass neck, that you lose sight of what you are talking about and end up focusing on the counter-allegation that we have just flung at you. You hate being thought of in an incorrect manner and because we project with such conviction, you are immediately drawn into engaging us on this point. You will fail to press on with your accusation against us and instead be side-tracked into discussing your own behaviour in a fruitless effort to try and persuade us that you have not done any of the things that we accused you of. You let your emotional response to such allegations take hold of you and this is entirely deliberate. Expect to hear comments such as these: –

“If you didn’t drink so much, you might begin to realise just how horrible you can be, but you can never remember because of your drinking.”


“You always take the last can of soda without replacing it. It is so selfish.”


“Me flirt? Have you seen the way you go on around Harry? Only last week you were all over him like a rash. It just wasn’t me that saw it and commented on it either.”


“You never turn up on time. I find it disrespectful.”


“You spend too much time thinking about your work and not enough concentrating on our children.”


  1. Interruption

You will not be able to finish what you are saying because of our repeated tendency and need to interrupt you. We do not consider anything that you have to say as having any value. You are inferior to us therefore anything which comes out of your mouth must be inferior too. We do not recognise or respect boundaries and therefore we regard it as perfectly acceptable to talk over you and interrupt what you are saying. Our sense of entitlement means that we are always to be heard and if this means cutting across you, so be it. This can reach even childish extremes where we will say one word so you stop and then we stop. You try to speak again and we repeat the trick. We keep doing it, halting you from speaking until you continue talking and we speak over you or you storm off in frustration. You can expect to hear phrases such as these: –

“If you would just let me speak.”

“If I can get a word in edgeways.”

“Why don’t you listen for a change?”

“This is important.”

“I want to have my say for once.”

“If you actually listened you might understand.”

“No that’s wrong.”

“No, you are making this up.”

“I have to stop you there.”

  1. Topic Shift

We love to deflect and distract. We also exhibit a considerable capacity for moving the conversation away from what you want to talk about and thus have control, onto something we want to talk about. It might be espousing our virtues of having a go at you instead, but we will hijack the conversation and wrench it over to our preferred topic. You must not protest for if you do you will be accused of trying to monopolise the discussion and failing to listen to us. We are brilliant at talking about ourselves or finding some topic which we can take round and round and round as you feel yourself falling into a stupor. We rely on your innate empathic nature of politeness, good manners and being a good listener so we can abuse this and prevent you talking about something which matters to you. Nobody is interested in what you have to say. Expect shift comments such as these: –

“That’s all very interesting but let me tell you about….”

“That’s not important right now, but this is….”

“That is irrelevant, now let me tell you..”

“Oh I must tell you this, it is hilarious….”

“I have to tell you this before I forget….”


  1. Silent Treatment

The old favourite. If we do not like the way, the conversation is going then we will either walk off or sit in silence. This is often done when there is a conversation going on in a group setting as well where we are failing to dominate the discussion. We want to bring it back to us and therefore by sitting silent and sulking we hope to engender some sympathetic reaction that causes someone to comment on our silence or invite us to speak. When done in a one-on-one situation this is designed to ignore what you have to say, treat it as unimportant and make you feel uncomfortable. You will be forced to ask us what is wrong and then chase after us as we remain sullen and silent. Your comments are forgotten as the spotlight returns to us again and the conversation has been successfully derailed.

Do not be derailed




HG Tudor´s work, works!

9 thoughts on “5 Conversational Derailments

  1. Dr. HQ says:

    When I see a conversation, debate, or argument is going nowhere I just clock out. There’s no point in furthering the interaction. I might repeat the same question a few times if they continue to try to derail me but after a certain point i will shut down. Once I’ve hit a certain point my voice becomes monotone my face becomes expressionless. We are done with expressions of empathy, hurt, anger, frustration. Now… the person gets nothing. They will get the nothingness they give me.

    They can continue to talk but I’ll just remove myself. If I can’t leave I space out and look at them dead faced and express my boredom. It doesn’t matter if they think they are right or wrong. I actually don’t even care what they think at that point because I realize I’m talking to a wall.

    Let them carry on the conversation (more like monologue) with themselves since they already have a narrative. Sure, they will search for your reaction – don’t give them one. They might even say your silence means they must have won. That’s fine. Why? Because it doesn’t actually matter.

    If you find yourself dizzy in the head after conversing with someone or have asked direct questions and walk away realizing you never got any answers or real responses it’s because it’s bullshit.

    Take control back by your lack of response. Take control back by saying this conversation is over. Take control back by removing yourself. Freeze them out. Understand that you need to have confidence in your thoughts and beliefs and that’s the only thing that matters at that point because you they will not validate you or acknowledge your perspective (most of the time).

  2. lickemtomorrow says:

    The best derailment I ever experienced relates to projection.

    My allegation: cheating.

    His response: “I’ve sensed you were looking for a ‘way out’ of this relationship” (the bare faced cheek of him!)

    My counter response: “How is that? I’ve only looked to deepen the relationship, and I waited patiently again today to do that.” (sucked in, chewed up, spat out …)

    Classic scenario that aligns with the description given above.

  3. CL-E says:

    And perhaps another one is just outright refusing to discuss anything …”not now” or “we’ll talk about it later” …? ? My husband established control by insisting we could not communicate, which meant I could never say anything he didnt want to hear, without all of the above behaviours coming into play, blamed on my inability to communicate with him.

  4. janna leonard says:

    It sounds so exhausting to play these games.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Because you’re not us.

    2. Alexissmith2016 says:

      Janna, so true I think all empaths think that. Probably not just empaths either, everyone who is not an N.

  5. FYC says:

    HG, This is such an important post. Most people are not aware of precisely how impactful communication can be. In itself, communication is not manipulative, but a person can use communication to manipulate. Awareness empowers us to identify the manipulation and that awareness avails us more choices by way of response. It is very commendable of you to reveal these common derailments. I have witnessed all of these conversational tactics in every Ns I have dealt with, but I see and understand them far more clearly, and I am better off now having that insight. Thank you!

    1. Rebecca says:

      Took me far to long to realise this. I would start talking about something that happened at work. I get halfway through & says “oh before I forget it” completely changes the subject. He was acting weird speaking often of a youger girl at work & how she always gets him his lunch. I went snooping & found him on many single sites. When I confronted him. His words were “Im a stalker & not spontaneous enuf” and vanilla. Had a really good laugh at that one. Projection of his own behaviour. Not more than a week later he is telling me “I am the best he’s had sexually & match his as he puts it “freak” He’s on & off like a tap. Sometimes he can go more than a mth & not be interested at all to go anywhere near me. This started about 14 mths in to our relationship. We are 6 yrs now.

  6. Empath007 says:

    The first few lines made me laugh out loud.

    I am a person who really enjoys deep conversation, to the point most people can find me uncomfortable to be around because they are not used to the amount of honesty and depth I not only bring to the conversation but that I can bring out in them. They find themselves telling me things they’ve never told anybody else.

    The narcissist can feign this in the beginning as you say… so it sets up this “wow, someone just like me!” eventually though I began to realize my narcissist was really quite boring, because, he in fact hated conversation. I would try and have conversations about art and travel and he would pretend to fall asleep hahahahahaha.

    I am not overly hopeful, but I do wish to find a man I can have great conversation with one day. I think above all this is what I would want the most in a partner.

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