I had a conversation with a narcissist yesterday. Narcissists have this curious habit of believing they’re the center of the universe, but not realizing that’s what they believe, and in fact actually thinking that they’re philanthropists. They are utterly fascinated with every aspect of themselves and constantly build themselves up and trash everybody who doesn’t do or say what they want. And they truly feel badly done by.
Accountability isn’t in their vocabulary. They’ll pay lip service to it, because they want to avoid looking bad in their own eyes. Get your head around that one.
Of course you can’t have a real conversation with a narcissist, because they don’t care to hear what you have to say, they just want to talk about themselves and how incredible they are. The more they speak and don’t want to know about you, the smaller you get until you’re hardly there at all.
Do I hear you asking the question – why do you bother to listen? Why don’t you just get off the freaking phone? Hmmm, let’s just say this person is somebody I yearn to be loved by and it’s proving a wee bit difficult to accept that it ain’t going to happen. I know, I’m thick as a brick.
However, do I get some kudos for at least saying after half an hour of feeling blitzed by the narcissist’s insatiable ego “it would be nice if you wanted to ask me how I am”? Unfortunately not. Picture a runaway train’s screeching emergency brakes. For a second there I thought the narcissist (horrible word to type, by the way) might get a glimmer of self-awareness.
Silly me. “But why? Can’t you just understand that I need somebody to talk to? That it’s my way of cheering you up and helping you be positive?
All I could say, and it does me no credit, was “why don’t we try doing it the other way round, I talk about myself non-stop for half an hour and see how you feel at the end?”
It was hopeless. Because it wasn’t just the talking that was hurtful, it was the emotional dump that was part of the equation. And when I tried to very gently and subtly bring it up good old Denial, capital D, stepped up. And along came Victim and Self-Pity to join the party. Just lurking under the surface was Menacing Anger.
I extracted myself as soon as I saw what I was doing. Trying to get a narcissist to be self aware, and to allow you to be as important in their head as they are, is an oxymoronic occupation.