They don't pay attention; they don't make an effort to hear what you're saying. They don't respond to your advice or request. They are very inattentive; they are unable to attend to your comfort or wishes. They are very inconsiderate; they thoughtlessly cause hurt or inconvenience to you. No matter how clearly you speak to them or how valid your opinions may be, it feels like they are incapable of hearing you.
When you speak to the narcissist, it may seem like they are listening, it may seem like they are taking notice of what you are saying. They might even be looking right at you, but then they respond to you with something that has nothing to do with what you just said. It's like you're having two completely separate conversations. This is a real problem for people who are in relationships with narcissists; it leaves you without any opportunity to state your case.
The narcissist could not hear you, so you feel as though you're never being heard, you feel as though you don't even exist in the relationship. Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality; it is the state of being known or recognised. When you are left without an opportunity to state your case to a narcissist, when you're not being heard by them, you lose that ability to interact with a physical reality. You feel as though you are not known or recognised, like you don't even exist.
When the narcissist is unhappy, disappointed or worried, this will determine how much they are able to listen. If they are really upset, there will really be no point in talking to them, because they will be completely unable to hear you. You may think that this is done consciously and intentionally, and sometimes it is, but it's also because their emotions are so overpowering that it blocks and denies everything else.
Sometimes it may seem like they're trying to change the conversation, where they're trying to ignore what you're saying. Sometimes they will do this if you're not validating their false self or the illusion that they are trying to portray. But often they are not even hearing what you are saying, they are not even capable of listening to you because their emotions are so overwhelming. Which then leaves you unable to state your case, it leaves you unable to be heard.
If you look closely into the narcissist's eyes, you may notice that they're not even paying attention, you may notice but they're not even listening to what you're saying. It can often seem as though they are listening to something else that no one else can hear and that's because they are. They are listening to their own irrational inner critic or inner dialogue and the intense emotions that come along with it. They can not hear what you are saying and they cannot listen to you. Because what you're saying is unimportant, what you're saying doesn't have any significance to them.
What does have significance and importance is their feelings, they see their feelings as facts. They cannot view their feelings in a way that is not dependent on the mind. They can not view the situation in a way that is not influenced by their personal feelings or opinions. They cannot identify that they feel temporary reactions that may not be logical or reasonable. That is why they see their feelings as facts. However they feel, that then becomes the truth, rather than reacting emotionally to the facts, their emotions become the facts.
An emotionally balanced person would not feel unhappy, disappointed or worried until something has happened or until something has been done to them, but the narcissist already feels this way. That is why they believe that you must have done something to them, you must have done something to them to cause them to feel that way. This occurs because they have spent their entire lives dissociating from their feelings, they've spent their entire lives avoiding any self reflection and denying how they really feel. This was something they used as a coping and defense mechanism. Rather than owning how they really feel, they chose to project their feelings onto someone else, so now they see their feelings as coming from other people.
However they feel about themselves, that's how they think you feel about them. If they feel hatred towards themselves, they see it as though you hate them. They cannot identify that their feelings were already there, they cannot identify that their feelings have nothing to do with you or the situation. This is why they become triggered so easily; this is why they are so easily offended, because any little thing you say or do could potentially arouse feelings or memories that are already there. It's not because of anything you have said or done, it's because what you're saying or doing is associated with a past traumatic experience of theirs. But then they blame you for making them feel that way, although that's how they already felt, it's just that they were denying those feelings.
If you bring a fault or mistake of theirs to their attention, the shame that they already feel will then fall through their denial. And even though their feelings of shame have nothing to do with you, it may then trigger them to lash out at you. But they don't see it as though they're attacking you, they don't see it as abuse, they believe that it is justified. They believe that they are acting in self-defense, because in their minds you were trying to hurt them, you were trying to make them feel bad. This is all going on in their minds; it has nothing to do with reality and it has nothing to do with what you said, it's because of their shame.
You might have meant no harm by saying what you said, maybe you thought that by bringing it to their attention it could be helping them. But once you have brought that deep-rooted shame to the surface, there is no persuading them. There isn't going to be an understanding, they're only going to listen to what their feelings are telling them. They see their feelings as facts. They're not concerned with any evidence that conflicts with their feelings, they're not interested in anything based on or in accordance with reason or logic. The only thing that has any significance or importance to them is their feelings. It's no different to an emotionally immature toddler, they are very weak, fragile people.
They don't want to deal with the truth or reality of the situation. They would rather exist in the safety and security of their own little fantasy world, where they can use their imagination to use objects, actions and ideas to represent other objects, actions and ideas. They assign roles to people and inanimate objects. They live in their own little bubble, where people and things could be whatever they want them to be and anything that does not validate their fantasy is bad or beneath their consideration. Anything you say or do could potentially pull them out of their fantasy world; it could potentially pop their little bubble of magic and make-believe and that is when they become hurt and offended.
However they feel dictates their reality, rather than their reality influencing how they feel. Since all they ever feel is misery and pain, that's all they ever experience in their reality. It's an ongoing cycle that never ends and they can't figure out why. Everything is interpreted through their feelings and your actions and motives will be reframed to suit however they feel about themselves. This is why they always assume that you're against them, they always assume that you were going to do something wrong to them. They're very suspicious of people; they have the idea or impression that someone is questionable, dishonest or dangerous, because they take things so personally and they believe that everyone is out to get them. This is why they will often accuse you of hating them or wanting to hurt them. There will accuse you of things that you didn't say or do. But you cannot argue with them, you cannot give them a cause, explanation or justification for an action or event. Because they do not think, understand or form judgments logically. Their thoughts, understanding and judgements are formed by their emotions.
They cannot hear what you're saying, all they care about is their own feelings, that's all that really matters to them. Most of the time they don't even understand what they're saying, so how could they possibly understand what you're trying to say. When you're arguing with a narcissist, you're trying to talk them out of their feelings, but their feelings are not based on any logic or reasoning anyway. It is not possible to talk a narcissist out of their feelings, even if you try, they will only feel as though you were trying to manipulate them. They're not going to believe you, they don't see you as being reliable or truthful. They cannot put themselves in a position where they could be tricked, they cannot put themselves in a position where they might be wrong. They have to completely block out whatever you're saying and at that time it can seem as though they're completely delusional.
You could have all of the evidence in the world, but they will still twist it around as though you are the bad person. Evidence does not matter to them, logic and reasoning does not matter to them, all they really care about is their feelings. They are very weak, fragile people who would rather live in denial than to accept that they are wrong. That is why they cannot hear you, that is why they cannot hear anything you say that invalidates their false self or the illusion that they are trying to portray.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be very confusing. You will often feel as though your opinions and ideas do not matter. You will often feel as though it doesn't matter what you think or how you feel. It's like the only thing that matters is the narcissist's way of seeing things, and this could be very invalidating to you. You feel as though you're not being heard, you feel as though you don't even exist in the relationship, because it's not really a relationship. A relationship is the way in which two people are connected, but they're not connected to you, they're not connected to your thoughts or feelings, your opinions or ideas. They don't listen to you, they don't care about what you want or how you feel, because they're self-absorbed and they lack empathy.