It’s Narcissist Friday!
First, narcissists don’t really argue, do they? No, they attack. If you don’t understand that the only goal of a narcissist in an argument is to win, you will find yourself at a terrible disadvantage. He doesn’t really care to understand your opinion or your ideas. He just wants you to shut up in humiliation, especially if you dared to challenge his idea.
Too strong? Not really. Those who have lived or worked with narcissists know what I mean. In fact, this may be the first time you have heard anyone state it as strongly as you have experienced it. Very often it is during an argument when the true colors of the narcissist can be seen.
Yesterday I wrote about ad hominem arguments. The narcissist is often a master at this fallacy. In fact, he may do it in a way that you don’t even recognize as such. When he says, “But is that wise?” he may be suggesting that you are too stupid to get his point. When he says that he understands how you could think that, you wonder if he just disrespected you. Or he may do it in a way that seems gross and unfair. He may remind you of some foolish decision you made or say something about your parents. This tactic will change the argument, probably even end it.
Why does he do this? Because he is insecure. When the narcissist is challenged, he must win using any method necessary and as quickly as possible. He will also try to win decisively so the topic won’t come up again. He cannot afford to look foolish or wrong and he simply won’t take the chance.
Most people simply give up arguing with their narcissist. It costs too much and it never ends well. I would suggest that this be considered a tactic of control, rather than a position of defeat. By refusing to argue, you disarm the narcissist. He or she will be frustrated to realize that you are not overcome by his thinking. Just be prepared to listen to a long one-sided argument.