There are occasions when you have been on the receiving end of one of our conversational narc grenades which has been thrown at you as we then walk away from the ensuing carnage, sucking up the fuel and marvelling at our own brilliance. There will of course been times when you wished that you had something which you could lob at us in order to make some kind of impact, a comment or a gesture which does not take much effort but manages to land a blow on us. The problem is, until such time as you have received the benefit of my mentoring I should imagine that your responses to your particular narcissist have been along these lines:-
Shouting and hurling insults at us as you lose your temper
Crying as you call us as many names as you can think of
Throwing something at us with a yell of frustration
Banging a door shut in annoyance
Telling us what you think about us as you bristle with anger
Of course as avid students you will know that all of these responses and more besides have no impact on us other than to provide us with fuel. You can call me as many insults as you can think of but if you do it as you scream at the top of your voice in anger or with tears spilling down your cheeks, the savage words merely fuel me. Now, for the purpose of extracting more fuel and providing me with something to go and complain about to other people (thus gaining more fuel and smearing you into the bargain) I will provoke you even further. Once you have lost yourself to emotion, we will keep pushing, prodding and provoking in order to make you deliver even more fuel to us. We will feign that we are hurt, we will pretend to be angry in response, we may even mimic being frightened of you. It is all fabricated and is just designed to draw more fuel. Accordingly, you should not respond in this fashion. Instead, when deploying these ripostes, you must do so without showing any emotion. If you do, the intended effect will fail. If you do these without expressing any emotion you will not provide and fuel and the effect will be that we will feel criticised and this will wound us. Be aware that when wounded our fury will be ignited. This may mean we withdraw, we may unleash a cold fury (silent treatment) or a heated fury (insults, violence) and therefore you should proceed with caution. You are best performing these ripostes when you are departing so you are leaving your own empathic riposte grenade behind to explode and wound us. In some instances, departure may not be possible and therefore you need to consider carefully the type of narcissist you are with and their likely reaction to criticism. Caveat out of the way, here are the ten critical ripostes for you to use against your narcissist.
- Point and Laugh
Point at us and give a hollow laugh. A slow, hollow laugh which is repeated will provide no emotion. Alternatively, point and just say “HAW ha” in an exaggerated manner, akin to the Simpsons’ character, Nelson Muntz. We will not know why you are laughing and the fact you are pointing at us but giving what is a derisory laugh will feel like a significant criticism to us.
- “You are big on emotion, low on substance.”
We like to think we are important and of considerable substance. You are the emotional one, not us, even though of course we are the ones which thrive on your emotional attention. To suggest we are emotional (when of course we have a limited range of emotions) implies that we lack control. To suggest we have no substance (which hints at our need to adopt the characteristics of others and also impugns our importance) adds to the criticism. The Lesser will be wounded by the suggestion of being emotive and unimportant, The Greater, knowing what he is will be wounded by the massive hint at knowing what we are, alongside the suggestion of lacking control and lacking importance. A double whammy.
- Feign sleep when we are talking
There is no emotion in closing your eyes and emitting a gentle snoring as you are sat down or lying down and we embark on one of our lengthy monologues. Once we realise you are not paying attention the criticism will wound.
- “I have to be elsewhere.”
If this is said without emotion you are telling us that our presence is not magnetic and commanding enough. Make your exit and leave us to our ignited fury at this wounding remark.
- “Jim has one only his is better.”
Useful for when we are crowing about some material possession. “Jim” may be somebody known to us both or you may make him up, the key thing is to point out that whatever we have, then “Jim’s” is better. It may be that his is a nicer colour, or his if larger, faster, more spacious, tougher, more durable. Whatever it is it will wound us. You can even keep rolling out the fictional Jim on repeated occasions and it will soon dent our crowing and have us wounded.
- “I wasn’t listening; can you repeat what you said please?”
You should always be listening to us. We are important. Any suggestion that you are not amounts to a criticism and if you actually tell us that you were not doing so, then it is even worse.
- Fall asleep when we are having sex with you
To impugn our Olympic sexual mastery in this way is a massive criticism. It need not be full sexual intercourse either. If you are touching us, drift off or vice versa. Best used with a Mid-Range as they tend to go off in a wounded sulk rather than erupt in a rage.
- “It is just not that interesting to me.”
Any suggestion that we are dull or boring when we are demonstrating something to you or regaling you with our latest tale of brilliance will constitute a wounding criticism.
- “Let me know when you have finished.”
This can be applied to so many different activities. We expect you to either be a willing and enthusiastic participant or a delighted spectator. If you make this remark when we are showing off about something and then walk away we will be wounded by this criticism.
- “No that does not make sense.”
Remember how frustrated you become at our circular conversations and inability to understand the point you are making? Well, this is your chance to turn the tables. You probably do understand but by suggesting we are not articulating ourselves clearly when delivered without emotion will amount to a criticism. We may try and explain again. If so repeat the comment. You can then walk away as our fury ignites and no doubt we insult you for being stupid and thick but who is the one who has just been wounded?