Knowing the Narcissist : You Must Not Question The Narcissist
You are not allowed to question us. To do so is an affront to our notion of superiority and lack of accountability. Your questioning of us may be deliberate, in that you want to know why we have rolled up half-drunk at 3am or it may be perceived by us as you questioning us in a critical fashion, even though you have not intended this, for example you politely ask us where we have been. We regard this as you suggesting to us that we are not allowed to do as we want and that we are somehow accountable to you.
If you engage in Deliberate Questioning, it is usually the case (until such time as you become fully acquainted with what we are and know how to approach dealing with us) that your methodology will be one that provides us with fuel, even though you are challenging us. You will ask in an annoyed fashion where we have been, or express irritation when you ask why we have not moved the rubbish outside. When there is Deliberate Questioning, we do not like you challenging us but because you do so at the same time as providing fuel, our fury is not ignited. Instead, we recognise your challenging behaviour and identify that this must be addressed and our superiority exerted but at the same time we also see that there is an opportunity for us to gain more fuel from.
You might think that since our fury has not been ignited that we could accept the fuel provided and admit that we are in the wrong, explain what has happened and allow the matter to be resolved. A normal person may do this and you, as an empathic individual, would say your piece and with the agreement and resolution being achieved, you will draw a line under it and move on. Such a scenario is no good to us. You have challenged us and whilst the fury has not been ignited we must still maintain our superiority and this means rejecting your challenge. This rejection also presents us with an opportunity to draw fuel from you, by denying your assertion and so forth. Thus we assert our superiority and gain fuel.
If you engage in Perceived Questioning this invariably ignites our fury because you will do it in a fuel-free manner so that the perceived criticism arising from your questioning wounds us, our fury ignites and we lash out in order to demand fuel to heal the wound caused by your criticism. You may have asked us a question but you did so without any agenda attached to it. We do not see it that way, your simple query of
“Oh, where have you been?” is interpreted by us as suggesting that we are not entitled to do what we want without your approval first. It is delivered without fuel and is critical, thus the wounding occurs and the ignition of fury occurs. We must strike back, once again in order to assert our superiority but also to gain fuel from you.
Accordingly, whether you raise questions of use in an emotional manner, whether you ask them in a straight-forward way, whether you are demanding we explain our selves or that your question is innocuous, you are always going to find that we respond in a manner which provokes an argument.
We do not want you questioning us, whether it is Deliberate or Perceived. You are not permitted by our rules to do so. Once you do, we must reject your challenge, assert our superiority and gain fuel (either because we see the opportunity to do so or because we have to heal the wound). What is the result of this? The deployment of evasion tactics.
This is why you are never able to have a reasonable discussion about something that is concerning you or why we fly off the handle after a seemingly innocent question you have asked us which you find both alarming and bewildering. This is why you find your concerns are not resolved, that you are pushed to a state of heightened emotion, confused, annoyed and frustrated as we point blank refuse to answer what you have asked us. These responses on our part are largely instinctive, a reaction to your challenging behaviour and the prospect/necessity of fuel. The Greater of course will delight in adding to these instinctive responses by layering them with further manipulation and game-playing.
So, what are these evasion tactics? There are many but below are eight which you will no doubt be familiar with. Now you know that these responses, hitherto unexplained and perplexing, are instinctive responses designed to counter your challenge to our superiority and to cater for our need for fuel. No longer will you scratch your head at why we do these things when you question us and instead you ought now to realise how you are only falling into a trap every time you try to engage us.
Why do you fall into this trap? It is because of your innate empathic traits which cause you to be drawn into our machinations through the evasion tactics. You fall for this because you continue to engage with us for the following reasons:-
- You need to secure the reality of what has happened. (The Truth Seeker).
- You want us to see your point of view. (The Need To Fix.)
- You want to be heard. (The Need to Be Honest To Yourself).
- You want resolution. (The Need To Be Decent).
These traits of your cause you to become entangled every time we deploy the Evasion Tactics, of which eight are now detailed.
- Drown You Out
We will talk over you, we will shout over you, we will hurl insults at you in a blitzkrieg response which is designed to result in the fact that since you can no longer be heard then you can no longer challenge us. Hearing is challenging, we do not want to hear you any longer and instead we shall draw fuel from your gestures and expressions as your blanketing response draws your frustration and anger.
2. Other People
We shift the topic of conversation on to other people in order to deflect from your attack against us. We will explain how a colleague works similarly late and never receives any flak from his spouse in order to make you appear unreasonable. We will triangulate you by explaining how a previous partner never made such a fuss about our spending habits. By comparing you to other people we engage in our classic act of triangulation, aiming to belittle you and cause you to talk about those other people rather than continuing your attack against us.
3. Delivery But Not Content
We will repeatedly interrupt you as we demand to be allowed to finish, we accuse you of not allowing us to speak our mind, we tell you that you are judging us before we have been able to state our case, we remind you not to interrupt us, not to raise your voice at us, demand you lower your voice or change your tone. None of this of course addresses the content of what you are wanting to discuss with us but instead we deflect by getting you to defend yourself by saying you are not interrupting, that you are not raising your voice and so forth. Your challenge becomes lost as you are caught up in these sideshows and all the while the emotion pours from you.
4. Early Resolution
This is a classic tactic of both the Lesser and the Mid-Ranger. The Lesser, lacking the articulate nature to continue the verbal sparring decides to call time on the “discussion” and thus end the attack. He will announce that the discussion is at an end and will sign off with one last act which will draw a sudden surge of fuel from you. He may push you and bellow that the matter is over, or possibly lash out with fists and spit in your face that he has enough of talking and your shocked and hurt response providing that jet of fuel that he requires and he then withdraws, satisfied he has asserted himself and has instinctively avoided any further wounding. The Mid-Range will declare
“There is nothing more to discuss.”
“I have made my point and that is the end of it.”
“This ends now.”
He will then withdraw and dole out a silent treatment, gaining fuel after the event and having protected himself, perhaps when he felt that the situation was slipping away from him, by withdrawing from the continuing challenge or criticism.
5. The Shift
We will turn the discussion onto something else completely. We may talk about some issue arising at work, point out that the exterior of the house needs a lick of paint or that we are thinking about buying a new car. You will try and shift the topic back to what you want to discuss but we will keep tugging it off topic again as we demonstrate our control over you and your emotional responses provide us with fuel.
6. The Outgunning
You think we have done something wrong? Luckily for us we know of plenty of other things which you have done (in our minds) that are far worse and therefore we will commence our own inquisition of you about your behaviour in order to demonstrate that you are the one who is in the wrong and should be subjected to questioning, not us. You feel the need to get to the truth of the matter and therefore you are derailed from advancing your questioning of us as you are forced into defending yourself.
7. How Could You?
How could you treat us in this manner after all that we have done for you/after the week we have had at work/knowing that our dog has just died/our football team lost the final. We will roll out one of the typical pity plays by pointing out that we have either done so much for you and this is the thanks that we get and/or you are a heartless cow who is kicking us when we are down. Either way, it prompts you to justify your approach and deflects from what you have been trying to discuss.
Why won’t you leave us alone? We just want a simple and quiet life (oh the hypocrisy) but you just wont let us will you. You have to keep pestering us with questions all of the bloody time, just shut up and leave us be. This is often used when you engage in Perceived Questioning as our abrupt response to you just asking “how are you” leaves you upset and bewildered.