The Mating Grounds

Navigating Conversations with Narcissists: Understanding Their Tactics and Avoiding Being Manipulated

Have you ever had a conversation with a narcissist? If so, you probably found yourself going around in circles and feeling confused and hurt.

It can be challenging to communicate effectively with someone who is emotionless, cold, distant, illogical, and lacks empathy. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of a narcissist, the mistakes to avoid when conversing with them, and how their manipulative behavior can show up in relationships.

Characteristics of a Narcissist

Narcissists are individuals who have an inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement. They take pleasure in being admired, attracting attention, and being put on a pedestal.

They believe they are superior to others in every aspect and rarely admit to any wrongdoing. The following are some typical characteristics of a narcissist:

– Lack of empathy – Narcissists do not have the ability to understand the feelings of others.

They are usually uninterested and indifferent to your needs, wants, or feelings. – Emotionless – They have difficulty showing emotions or being vulnerable.

In fact, they will avoid it at all costs. – Cold and distant – Narcissists may act aloof and withdrawn in social situations.

They can come across as unapproachable and may seem uninterested in others. – Illogical – Narcissists often have irrational thinking.

They may think that they are always right and everyone else is wrong, even if there is concrete evidence to the contrary. – No empathy – They do not understand the difference between right and wrong, and they lack sympathy, compassion, and remorse.

Inability to Reason with Narcissists

The difficulty with attempting to reason with a narcissist arises from their inability to empathize with other people. If you attempt to reason with them, you will more likely find yourself going around in circles, trying to make them understand the problem from your point of view.

But unfortunately, it is impossible to make the narcissist comprehend your perspective. They have their own agenda, and that is to gain control and avoid anything that makes them look bad.

Engaging in a logical argument with a narcissist will only lead to feelings of confusion, frustration, and hurt.

Mistakes to Avoid in Conversations with Narcissists

It can be challenging to communicate with a narcissist, but there are a few pitfalls you can avoid:

– Disagreeing: Trying to disagree or convince a narcissist will only lead to defensiveness and arguments. They see any disagreement as an attack on their ego, and they will do everything in their power to undermine your argument and point of view.

– Trying to Prove a Point: Trying to prove a point to a narcissist is pointless as they are only interested in winning the argument. You will waste your time providing evidence and facts to support your claims as they will ignore them in favor of their version of truth.

– Being the Victim: Playing the victim card and succumbing to their manipulation is a grave mistake. Narcissists prey on individuals they perceive as weak or vulnerable.

They will use your vulnerability to gain control and power in the relationship.

Narcissistic Manipulation in Relationships

In relationships, narcissistic behavior often manifests itself in love-bombing, maltreatment, and confusion. Narcissists target those they find appealing, and once they’ve hooked them, they shower them with affection, gifts, and attention.

Once they have you head-over-heels in love with them, they begin to show their true colors. The following are some of the traits of narcissists in relationships:

Differences in Mindset

Narcissists and healthy individuals have fundamentally different mindsets. Health individuals possess empathy, the ability to understand, and to share the feelings of others.

Narcissists, on the other hand, do not. Therefore, they do not grasp the importance of communication, mutual respect and trust in relationships.

Narcissists leading Verbal Attacks

It’s not uncommon for a narcissist to shout or be verbally aggressive during an argument. They use intimidation to get their way and have a tendency to escalate arguments to the point of verbal or physical abuse.

They may use cruel comments to put you down and diminish your self-esteem.


In a nutshell, engaging in conversations with narcissists requires tact, care, and sensitivity. Even with these, you may find that getting through to them is difficult.

It’s essential to remember that narcissists view the world differently and are usually uninterested in others’ feelings and perspectives. If you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist, it’s time to reassess your situation and seek professional help if necessary.

Remember that you deserve love and respect, and the right relationship will flow naturally, without the manipulative behavior that often accompanies a relationship with a narcissist.

Tactics of a Narcissist in Conversation

Have you ever found yourself in a conversation with someone who turned it into a one-sided monologue that left you feeling frustrated and powerless? It’s possible that you were talking to a narcissist.

Conversing with a narcissist can be a daunting affair, as they are known to be skilled manipulators. Their self-centeredness and lack of empathy for others can make them difficult to connect with.

Here are the common tactics that narcissists use in conversation:

Reverse Projection

One tactic that a narcissist might use in conversation is to reverse projection. It involves the narcissist interpreting compliments as insults.

For instance, if you tell a narcissist that they look nice, they may interpret it as an insult and accuse you of mocking them. The narcissist may also play the victim by accusing you of being insensitive or hurtful.

This approach helps to redirect the conversation and put the narcissist in a positive light while making the other party feel guilty.

Steering Conversation in Another Direction

Another tactic that narcissists use in conversation is steering it in another direction. If a topic comes up that makes the narcissist feel exposed, they can change the topic to something that they are more comfortable with.

They may also bring up past issues to deflect attention away from themselves. This tactic can be frustrating and unproductive, leaving the other person feeling unheard.

Playing the Victim

Narcissists often play the victim to manipulate others. They lack empathy and will blame the victim for their problems.

They may exaggerate their distress to elicit sympathy from others. This tactic is often accompanied by emotional manipulation, as the narcissist will try to evoke an emotional response from the other person.

The Silent Treatment

The silent treatment is a commonly used tactic by narcissists in relationships. It involves the narcissist blocking communication with the other person.

The purpose of the silent treatment is to control and punish the other person by withholding their affection and attention. The following are the hallmarks of the silent treatment:

Emotional Abuse

The silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse, as it can be used as a means of control and communication. The narcissist uses the tactic to punish the other person and make them feel unloved and unwanted.

This tactic can lead to feelings of abandonment and loneliness for the other person.

Blocking Communication

Narcissists use the silent treatment to block communication between themselves and the other person. They may refuse to talk or engage in any communication, limiting contact between the two of them.

This tactic can lead to the other person feeling isolated and helpless.

Narcissistic Behaviour During the Silent Treatment

During the silent treatment, the narcissist may require apologies from the other person before resuming communication. They may assume the role of forgiver to reestablish communication.

This tactic can make the other person feel guilty for their actions and may lead to self-doubt.


In conclusion, narcissistic individuals are skilled manipulators. They use various tactics to control conversations and people, steering them in whatever direction suits them.

Conversing with a narcissist can be a frustrating and futile experience. It’s important to recognize the tactics of a narcissist and learn how to assert oneself in these situations.

Silent treatment is emotional abuse, and it’s important to create healthy boundaries within relationships. Communication is essential, and it is necessary to share the experience with someone one can trust.

Recognizing and calling attention to the behavior is a protective measure against manipulative tactics. If you resonate with any of the tactics discussed above, it may be beneficial to seek professional guidance.

In conclusion, understanding the tactics and behaviors of narcissists is essential in protecting oneself from emotional abuse. It’s important to recognize the key traits of narcissistic behavior, such as their lack of empathy, manipulative communication styles, and use of emotional manipulation.

By identifying the signs and learning to assert oneself in these situations, we can fortify ourselves against the psychological impact of narcissistic abuse. It’s important to remember that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity in all relationships, and recognizing the tactics and strategies of a narcissist is a step forward in creating a safe and healthy environment for ourselves.

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