Updated: Mar 18
One of the quickest ways of identifying if you are dealing with a narcissist or someone who has strong narcissistic traits, can be through intellectual conversations, involving critical thinking and research, reasoning and understanding. This is where you may notice a lack of consistency or correspondence. You may experience disagreements in any relationship, but when you disagree with a narcissist they become very emotional. They have to protect their false image so that they can portray themselves as being superior to you. They have to be right and because of their desperate need to be right at all times, it is very easy to enter a meaningless, unintelligible conversation with a narcissist. It is very easy to enter a conversation that is unable to be understood or comprehended.
They were often react in a way that is difficult for you to understand, because it's based on their out of control emotions. They will often talk in circles try to argue a point, by repeating the same thing again and again. They will use specific language that is intended to have a persuasive or impressive effect, but it is lacking in sincerity or meaning, it is lacking logical reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity. They have a limited control over their emotions and very poor communication and interpersonal skills. They lack the ability to get along with people in general and this is due to their poor listening skills and their lack of empathy. They lack the ability to understand and share the feelings of another and this has impaired their ability to function appropriately in a social setting, it often results in antisocial behavior.
They disregard other people's thoughts feelings and desires, because they don't understand how other people think or feel. Even if they did, it wouldn't help much because they also have poor emotional intelligence. They lack the ability to manage and control their emotions.
When you see the narcissist engaged in a social setting, that's easy for them to do. They have the ability to maintain it at a certain rate or level for a short period of time. They can play a role in an environment where they are not required to attend to anything. You might see them at a social gathering and they can be the center of attention, it appears as though they are getting along with everyone. Narcissists are very good at that, because there's no expectation of them, they are not required to do anything.
They are very good at attracting people's attention, by flirting or using their charm. They enjoyed attracting or fascinating people. They like to behave as though they are sexually attracted to someone, but this is always done playfully, rather than with serious intentions. This is how they control their targets, this is how they get their attention They are known to express their thoughts or feelings unselfconsciously and without restraint. This can often seem as though they are representing freedom or something natural, as though they are without embarrassment and as though they are opposed to control. But what you don't see is that this behavior is actually designed to control everyone around them. It may seem like fun initially, but as you get deeper in with them you begin to see that there is a much darker side to this, especially when it is then turned on to you. But this is how they attract people. It's very shallow, it doesn't have any deeper meaning it, it doesn't require any serious thought. But when you're covering all bases the narcissist runs for cover, because this isn't something they expected to deal with, when they targeted someone who they assumed to be relaxed and composed. They didn't expect you to challenge them.
If you do try to prove or justify something with them, or you do try to dispute the truth or validity of something they've said... maybe you just want them to verify something... they will take whatever you've said and twist it. They will distort or misrepresent the meaning of your words and then become very defensive. They will deflect, they will cause whatever you're saying and it's intended meaning to then change directions and deviate from its intended purpose. Even if you're just asking them to verify something, this can often turn into them shouting at you or talking over you.
Deep down they know you've done nothing wrong, but they're feeling the heat, they're starting to feel very uncomfortable in this situation, because you're questioning or confronting them. That is something that they were not prepared for, so to try to take the heat off they will say that you're being mean to them or they will just talk over you. They will start shouting at you or they might try making fun of you. It's deflection, they're trying to make you feel like there's something wrong with you. They might even bring up something that you have done wrong, whether real or imagined and if they can't find anything that's happened recently, they will dig up something from the past. They will do whatever it takes to get the heat off of them, because they cannot deal with logical reasoning. When you question or confront a narcissist, they can't deal with it, they can't handle that because you're about to expose something embarrassing or damaging about them. They are very sensitive to any confrontation, they can dish it out and they will be quick to call you sensitive, but they can't take it back, because they're more sensitive than anyone else. They are quick to detect any slight changes, signals or influences because they have to protect their false image or false self. But the false self will not allow them to accept criticism, it will not allow them to accept logical reasoning if it is unfavorable to them or if it portrays them in a negative light.
If you try to question or confront a narcissist it will cause a narcissistic injury. It puts them in a perceived life-or-death situation, because the life of their false self is at risk. The false self was constructed from other people's ideas or opinions, rather than any of the narcissist knowledge or personal experience. It's just someone else's opinion, it's someone else's experience. The narcissist hears stories from other people and repeats them back to you, as if they were their own. When you hear what they're saying to you, it can often seem as though they are intelligent and so they do know what they're talking about. But they have no knowledge or personal experience of their own, they're just repeating the information with no personal experience of the situation. This is where they often get into trouble, because if you ask them for more information on their experience, if you ask them for a fuller version or account, they go on the defense they become resistant. They will become very anxious to challenge or avoid criticism, because you're not accepting what they've given to you.
If you pay close attention, you can tell the difference between someone who is speaking from experience and someone who is not. You can tell when someone is just repeating information without analyzing or comprehending it. When two intelligent people who are being true to themselves are having a conversation, they can be respectful of each other. They don't have to hurt the other person to make them understand what they're saying, they can be considerate. When two intelligent people are having a conversation, they can come to a mutual understanding, without the need to give a detailed explanation. Even if they do have a disagreement, they can still present an argument based on logic and reasoning and this can then prove their angle of considering the matter. Once this is established, they can then choose to agree or disagree. They don't need to become defensive, they don't need to respond more emotionally or forcibly than is justified. They can still continue the conversation while being sensitive of your opinion, they can still maintain good etiquette or decency. But you don't get that from the narcissist.
The narcissist's disagreement is based on weak, inconsistent facts, contradictory statements and sometimes their disagreement isn't even based on anything. Sometimes they're just deflecting a fault or mistake on to you and it is nothing to do with a disagreement at hand. They're just deflecting on to you by using statements that have no meaning or significance, no purpose or reason. All in an attempt to express how they feel, they always find a long complicated way of expressing how they feel about something. They have poor communication skills, they have great difficulty in getting their point across. They just go round and round in a wordy way without ever getting to the heart of the matter. They often ramble on about something they don't like or something they're not happy with, until they've become so confused with their own story. They don't even remember their own points anymore, they don't even remember what the argument was about. Because the argument was never the problem, it was never of any real significance.
What is significant to them is their feelings, feelings that often have nothing to do with you.
When you get into an argument with a narcissist, all you're going to see is a bunch of defense mechanisms, because that's all the narcissist really is. They have no personality, they have no reasoning or understanding. They're made up of coping and defense mechanisms, their entire existence revolves around them coping with situations and trying to defend against how they really feel about themselves. They want you to acknowledge these feelings, they want you to identify with them, when all you're really looking for is facts. They are highly sensitive, so they believe that their feelings should determine the facts, when really you just want to know the truth.
When you are dealing with a narcissist, you can often identify this through conversation. They are very superficial, they only care about things that exist on the surface. Things that lack character and understanding, things that only appear to be true or real until they are examined more closely. You might struggle to even have a conversation with them, because they are very shallow. They engage in conversations about things that aren't really important. They don't like to talk in depth about anything, they don't have deep conversations. They have to avoid anything deep, incase they disagree with you on anything. They can't give you any reasons why, they don't know why, they just want to be right at something, they just want to win an argument. But they cannot go into depth on anything, because then that might reveal their lack of knowledge and experience. They haven't developed their knowledge from experience.
If you do have the experience you will be able to dispute the truth or validity of what they are saying and you will be able to reveal the true objectionable nature of it. People who have intelligence, good sense and sound judgment will be able to challenge and expose the narcissist. But because of this, you will experience constant arguments with them, because you're not simply agreeing with them or accepting that what they're saying is true.
Pay attention to the narcissist during conversations, how they deliver the conversation to you, what kind of topics they tend to discuss and you will soon discover if you're dealing with a narcissist.