Thank you Maggie McGee for the great article!!
It takes a while before we cotton onto the fact that there’s something not quite right when in an abusive relationship with a narcissist. Sadly, that initial view we formed of the narcissist based on the mask of perfection they presented to us during love bombing, takes a great deal for us to overturn.
There are a multitude of reasons for this, key among these being that the abuse itself imperceptibly leads us into a state of confusion and anxiety, where our default position is to doubt ourselves, rather than the narc.
Recognising the signs that are hallmarks of pathological narcissism will help you turn the corner to reclaim your truth and self-belief, and ultimately your freedom.
So, what lies behind that mask of perfection? Well, an individual with a personality disorder.
And what does this mean exactly? Setting aside definitions found within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the term ‘disorder’ means mess, disorganised, disarranged, muddle, jumble, derangement, shambles.
The interesting thing is that there are things palpably apparent that reflect the inner chaos of the narcissist once you know what to look for.
The ‘word salad’ is one such thing.
Also known as ‘narc speak’ it is quite literally, disordered speech, a lack of semantic fluidity. And this is how you can detect it…Educate Yourself and Learn More Here!
1. Complete lack of logic
The first most overt sign of ‘narc speak’ in action, is unsurprisingly the nonsense that issues forth. It is the very epitome of verbal chaos.
You’ll find a bunch of unrelated words and concepts all smooshed together, including contradictions and disjointed phrases, or random irrelevant and impromptu comments thrown at you.
The effect and very deliberate purpose of this is to leave you entirely unable to follow the narcissist to throw you off your game in following YOUR logic and holding them to account for their behaviour.
2. Circular conversations & repetition
It’s not just about absurd semantics as it relates to words, it’s also about being caught in structural hell completely reflective of their disordered mind.
Linearity is something the narcissist assiduously avoids in discussion, particularly so when a topic is raised that is in some way challenging them or seeking to hold them to account for their behaviour.
By frustrating the logical progression of a point of view from A to B to Z, the point is never made and accountability a non-event. The key tactics used are repetition and circular conversations that lead NOWHERE.
This strategy is also used not only to frustrate your argument, but to frustrate you into submission, relinquishing further attempts to resolve the matter at hand.
As well as communicating to you that YOU are the problem, otherwise the poor exasperated narc would not need to keep stating the same things they have already told you!
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is marked by a set of pervasive behaviours which are underpinned by certain cognitive errors. One of these is the tendency to overgeneralise which is due to their black and white thinking resulting from something called ‘splitting’.
Splitting is the inability to comprehend that people (and things, events etc.) are usually made up of strengths and weaknesses, positive and negatives. The pathological narcissist cannot intellectually integrate these two concepts into the one whole.
This means that their world view is one of extremes. You will be familiar with this with the stark contrasts of idealisation vs. devaluation and discard, for example.
Within the context of the word salad, you’ll cop a bunch of ‘you always…’ statements, because for the narc, if you do something once, they draw the conclusion that you always do so and assign you a label. You know the ones: ‘you always take things too seriously’, ‘you’re always so sensitive’ etc.
4. Projection & blaming
Projection is evident when the narcissist handballs their flaws onto you. Whatever is unacceptable within them is attributed to you. You know it’s happening when their very own traits are being flung at you. ‘You’re so selfish’, ‘all you do is lie and deny’, ‘there’s something wrong with you, you are mentally unstable’ etc.
Similarly, any relationship difficulties must be the fault of others. Specifically, yours.
They go to any extent to construct a reason, or excuse as to why ‘the thing’ is your fault. No matter how completely bonkers their finger pointing may sound, you are blamed for everything.
‘It’s your fault I’m yelling at you, you’re making me do it’, ‘of course I’m sleeping around you are not attractive enough for me’ blah, blah, blah…
5. Denial & gaslighting
There is no concrete evidence solid and indisputable enough that the narcissist in their hubris will not deny its existence.
They make bold statements one second, and in the very next sentence proclaim, ‘I never said that’.
Before your very eyes they undertake an act only to hold your gaze steadily and pronounce ‘that never happened’.
You may look at irrefutable proof like a written document in their own hand, or even footage of them busy at something, and they assert ‘it wasn’t me’.
Denial is all about protecting themselves from reality due their inability to cope with who and what they really are.
It’s also gaslighting in action. Repeatedly denying fact has the pleasing effect of having you question your take on reality, and whether you are indeed the problem.
6. It’s all about winning & losing
Listen to the language used by the narc with as much detachment as you can.
There is NOTHING that will issue forth from their mouth that is about finding solutions and relationship building.
Their verbiage will centre on establishing they are right, and you are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Every interaction for the pathological narcissist is a matter of competition.
No matter what you say, they will engage in a duel of words to establish you are wrong.
They’ll do this on EVERY utterance you make, even about completely inconsequential things, because to their minds if you they make you wrong about everything, you must also surely be wrong about any concerns you have about their behaviour.
Not only this, but clearly this is also classic supply. By making you always wrong, they believe this authenticates that they are always right.
7. Narc rage
This bad baby is horrifying.
In the true sense of narcissistic rage, it is the fury that is sparked by being unmasked. Being found out. Of realising that another sees them for what they really are…and more than this, it is their own flash of insight that underneath their denial, they are the very opposite of superior, always right, omnipotent and always in control.
And this moment of comprehension is the narcissistic injury that flips the switch on white hot fury expressed from verbal through to physical aggression.
So, here’s the thing. Narcissistic rage is a very real thing.
Remember though that the narc’s survival is built on cunning and manipulation. They’ve learnt the impact this rage has. And like any bully, they will also feign narc rage to intimidate you into submission.
How to overcome the rot of the word salad…
Although I introduced this within the context of ‘disorder’, please don’t confound this with this being a symptom of illness as it would be say, for schizophrenia. For the Narcissistic Personality Disordered individual, it is not.
The ‘word salad’ is used intentionally by the pathological narcissist to manipulate you as a form of gaslighting so that you question yourself, rather than continue questioning them.
Recognise gorgeous one, that no amount of questioning or discussion with a narc will ever lead to positive outcomes.
The only way forward, is to stop questioning yourself. Hold your truth close and free yourself.
© Maggie McGee 2018
Maggie McGee is a qualified strength-focused coach with a Masters in Psychology, and is the founder & lead writer at http://www.narcwise.com. She specialises in empowering people to break free from domestic/family violence, narcissistic abuse, and co-dependency. Her passion is to help people reignite self-love and self-belief by recapturing or discovering for the first time, the magic that is within them.
She knows first-hand the disabling effect of the fog caused by narcissistic abuse, and how important clearing this is to reclaiming freedom & joy. Her approach is ‘straight-talking’ to cut through the manipulation and lies victims are fed & to provide practical solutions and kick-start recovery. Sign up for more articles at http://www.narcwise.com, join the Narc Wise Community Facebook page for support, and get your daily inspiration on Pinterest. Begin your healing journey now!