If you listen closely to what people say, how they say it and the words they choose to convey the message they are trying to deliver, you will immediately understand the pivotal art of discernment between facts and fiction.
It is wise to listen and paraphrase immediately after a statement is made, particularly after you’ve had an interaction with a narcissist.
Narcissist sugar coat, generalize, deflect and minimize important issues into casual, unimportant and dismissive conversations so that the other party in the interaction feels crazy for even asking, insinuating or bringing up a matter that appears important to them.
It is absolutely essential to quiet your emotions and your resistance when interacting with a narcissist so that you handle the interaction like an attorney rather than an emotional counterpart.
Narcissists lack human emotion and empathy so interacting with them from an emotional perspective will serve you no leverage whatsoever.
Approach the narcissist like they are your business partner, not your lover. For example, ask direct question, “Why did you tell me you would pay the phone bill but you didn’t?”
The narcissist will respond, “You never told me to pay the bill, you asked me if I would and I never gave you a direct answer. The problem is you always make assumptions and put unrealistic expectations one me. Why didn’t you just tell me to pay the bill?”
Before you act emotionally, dissect what the narcissist just said carefully.
“You never told me to pay the bill, you asked me.”
This is a deflection, if you respond to a deflection it will bring you down an unproductive rabbit hole. Do not respond to that statement.
“The problem is you always making assumptions.”
This is the narcissist attempt to deflect the responsibility on you. Another form of deflection which does not deserve a respond.
“You always put unrealistic expectations on me.”
This is an accusation not rooted in reality which is another form of deflection. Do not take the bait! Do not respond to this statement directly.
“Why didn’t you just ask me to pay the bill?”
This is the ultimate form of deflection. A manipulative person who dodges personal responsibility puts the nail in the coffin when they ask a question that deflects blame from them to you. If and when you answer, you officially took the bait and you will find yourself explaining yourself instead of them explaining why they didn’t do what they were supposed to do.
So how do you respond when you can’t respond to anything they said because it’s full of deflective statements and questions?
You don’t respond to anything the narcissist said.
You simply re-ask the same question you originally asked. Using the example above you would ask, once again… “Why didn’t you pay the phone bill after you agreed to pay it?”
The narcissist will then accuse you of deflecting by not responding to their original statements. Don’t take the bait!
Instead, ask them to pay the bill now by saying, “Can you pay the bill right now?”
One of two things will happen, they will get angry and storm off or they will defend their stance by stating they never agreed to pay the bill so their not paying.
Either way, you probably won’t win if your dealing with a narcissist but you will certainly not have to defend yourself against something they did. In this case, I’d pay the bill and move on with my life… Without the narcissist in it!