Narcissists tend to be incapable of something called “object constancy.” This means they struggle to have positive feelings at the same time as negative ones.
For example, once they are fired up for a fight, they can be incredibly cruel, because all they can comprehend in the moment are feelings of resentment and anger.
As a result, an argument about the smallest of issues can escalate quickly and fiercely. Something you may have thought of as unimportant, or even irrelevant, has been blown into a relationship-ending level row.
Narcissists have spent your entire relationship working out how to push your buttons, and they will use everything in their power to make you feel insignificant and small.
If the narcissist is physically abusive, the tiniest inconvenience can cause them to throw things or even strike their partner.
- Narcissists struggle with having positive feelings about someone while they are mad at them.
- This means they get incredibly fierce and cruel during arguments.
- For many people, the best thing to do is to leave a narcissist and cut them out of their life.
- If this isn’t possible there are some tactics you can use to stop the argument escalating.
- But it won’t be easy.
Narcissist Personality Disorders can be very delicate, depending on what sub-type they are. They can easily become offended, often accusing their partner of being “disrespectful” or “selfish” if they dare to do something for themselves.
The world should revolve around them in their eyes, so focusing on anything else is taken as a direct attack.
They are wired to be abusive because they’re so hypersensitive and completely lack empathy, so they are primed to take offense and misunderstand someone else’s needs and points of view. You can see just how hard it is for them to have a relationship without getting nasty.”
There’s no point trying to figure out who is “to blame” for something, as narcissists will never admit fault. They want to blame you for any negative emotions they are feeling, because they utterly rely on the image they are portraying as being faultless.
If you are with a narcissist in the first place, you probably already have a lot of empathy. But even the most caring people struggle to see the sense of having it for someone who is hurling insult after insult at them.
There’s no chance of the narcissist admitting to any wrongdoing or apologizing. This includes asking them to process what really happened. A narcissist will not be comfortable with the idea that they started an argument over something trivial, so it’s best to just move on.
Narcissists love talking about themselves, or expressing just how much more they know about something than you do. So, ask them about a topic that interests them, so you can dangle a new topic in front of their face to veer the conversation away from conflict.
This might not be that effective in the midst of a fierce row, but if you do it after some time has passed, the narcissist will probably take the bait. Another similar solution is to ask for advice. This may look like a slightly less transparent way of changing the subject, because it will make the narcissist feel like they are the only person you can go to, and make them feel superior.
In all likelihood, one day you will be able to move on with your life without the narcissist holding you back. But in the meantime, using these methods to de-escalate a narcissist who is on a roll can help get you out of upsetting, and potentially dangerous, situations.
Business-Insider / AA-Magnum Analyst News 2018.