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The Narcissist's Indirect Communication Mode

Indirect communication is the opposite of direct communication. Indirect communication gathers information from in between the lines. Instead of asking a question or commenting on a situation, the narcissist who uses indirect communication will go about in a round about way. The narcissist makes hints or acts out, rather than directly saying what they are thinking or feeling. When they are not being catered to, they might try to make everything difficult while saying or acting as though nothing is wrong. When they don't get their way, they might take twice as long to get anything done. They might use passive aggression, which involves expressing their anger or hostility in covert ways to even the score or gain an advantage over you. It can be very covert, where they will often target your individual senses. They might communicate with you through your vision by using facial expressions, gestures or placing objects in certain places, doing certain tasks in front of you. They might communicate with you through your hearing by changing their tone of voice, making noises or using music to emotionally manipulate you, whether in a positive or negative way.

They might communicate with you through your sense of smell by spraying perfume or cooking certain food, maybe something that remind you of an event in the past. They might communicate with you through touch, by touching you in a certain way, maybe in a way that someone else once touched you. Or they might intentionally touch you in a different way, to make you think that they have been intimate with someone else. When they are doing this, there is a message that they are trying to communicate to you. In their minds it makes perfect sense, but then their minds are based on emotions, rather than any form of logic or reasoning. The narcissist uses indirect communication because they want your attention, but they are very cowardly and lack courage. They lack the strength that is required in the face of pain or grief. The goal of their indirect communication is to get your attention and then provoke an intense emotional reaction from you. They hint or act out their feelings rather than saying them directly, to avoid consequence or humiliation. They may also want to avoid conflict, where they may not have a valid argument or anything logical or reasonable to say. When the narcissist is using indirect communication, they are in their feelings. They are trying to project their emotions on to you and get you to express them, so that they can then regulate their own emotions. They also want to see how you are going to react to whatever they are indirectly communicating to you. They will then use this to analyse you even further, construct their own language and then feed this back to you through more indirect communication. They use this manipulative code that is indirect, well-crafted, but makes no logical sense. It can also be very confusing. Both the narcissist and yourself may feel uncertain or confused about what is actually being communicated. Because the communication is delivered in such an unfocused or imprecise way, you both have only ideas or possibilities about what the other person is trying to communicate.

Both the narcissist and you may often find forks in the road, where you have multiple ideas or possibilities. The odds are that more often than not, you will discover ideas or possibilities that are different than what the other person was trying to communicate. When the narcissist uses indirect communication, it can feel like a puzzle that you can never solve. Even when you do think you have solved the puzzle, you can still feel uncertain, as there is no one to validate whether you have made the correct interpretation. This is where it becomes very confusing, until you may then feel as though you have just ended up back where you started. At the beginning, knowing nothing about them. All of the years of indirect communication meant nothing and everything you thought you had learned about them may have been your own thoughts and ideas which arose from the confusion, or a misinterpretation of what the narcissist was trying to indirectly communicate to you. This might make you reflect and think why would they go through all of that time and effort to indirectly communicate with you, knowing that you may never be able to interpret or understand what they are trying to communicate or suggest to you. I don't think they initially intended for you to be confused or uncertain about what they were trying to communicate or suggest to you. But even as they began to notice you becoming more and more confused, this was giving them supply too. At that point it didn't matter whether you understood what they were trying to communicate or not, it was still giving them supply. Seeing you confused made them feel powerful and in control, it made them feel as though they had some level of control over your thoughts and emotions. It was a mixture of having the ability to confuse you and keep you guessing, while also being able to emotionally manipulate you. This combination of gaslighting and control is a very potent source of supply for the narcissist. It can be very difficult to communicate with the narcissist, they do not perceive things they way that we do. When you are trying to communicate with them, you are trying to reason with pure emotion. Emotion is unreasonable, it is not based on facts or logic.

This is why you will often feel so disconnected from them and unable to understand what they are trying to communicate to you. There is no rhyme or reason when you are dealing with emotion. Imagine you are dealing with a toddler who is having a tantrum. You wouldn't try to reason with them, because you know that they are not going to understand. The toddler only understands what they want and what they need. They have tantrums and scream because they do not have any other skills or tools to get their needs met. They only have overwhelming emotion, which is what you will see in the narcissist when their needs are not being met.

They shout and scream because they cannot meet these needs themselves. When the narcissist is trying to use indirect communication, don't give it any attention. Detach emotionally from what they are trying to suggest or display to you. Be unpredictable, don't always be where they expect you to be, at the time that they expect you to be there. This makes it more difficult for them to plan or schedule their indirect communication. If you can, go no contact. You will never reach a mutual understanding or a resolution with the narcissist.

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Elizabeth Graham
Elizabeth Graham
Nov 03, 2023

Completely on point 👉 👈 👇 👌

Attempting to delineate meaning out of a narcs indirect communication is like squeezing blood from a stone...the only blood you'll get out of it, is your own. 🥵🪨🩸⚠️


Bravo! Nailed it..! Ty

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