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Why Communicating With A Narcissist Won’t Work

You might have someone in your life who is a very toxic person, an addict, or a narcissist and now you are struggling to deal with this. It’s affecting your mental health because you feel like everything is out of control.

You may decide you need to confront this person.

It makes sense to you. You know you should always do your part and if the problem is addressed, the narcissist will finally see the light. You just need to address it, you think.

Sadly, it doesn’t work. When it doesn’t work, you may say “Well, I was probably irritated when I said it. I should say it differently.”

Many of the people I’ve worked with have been here.

The conversation may be, “I need more help with the kids”.

And the response is, “Why can’t you just relax more? You are always so tense. Stop trying to please everyone by always having a clean house.”

Or you ask, “I want to know who you keep texting.”

Response: “You don’t trust me? I swear to God! You text people all day and I’m not asking you!”

Or, “I need you to be on time because I have things I need to get done and my time is important, too.”

Response: “My boss asked me to stay late; that isn’t my fault! Don’t you remember that time last week you were late?”

Or, “I would really like it if you didn’t drink during the week/around the kids”.

Response: “I work hard all day and I deserve to chill in the evenings. How is it different than when you eat chocolate or ice cream or whatever to calm down?”

The bitter pill is facing that this person isn’t interested in what you have to say. So you keep trying to communicate it in new ways and giving the benefit of the doubt maybe because that is easier to work on than accepting that they aren’t invested in resolving this topic.

Many people don’t have a framework for the fact that another person isn’t able to see their perspective. Read that again. You may not have the tools to see that other people don’t have the same kind of empathy you do. Without an appropriate framework (tool box), how could you possibly see them clearly? The same goes from them to you. Without an empathic framework, they may find it impossible to see you clearly. Instead of having a soft, kind understanding of what you are saying they instead view you as a hinderance to what they really want to do.

Narcissists often know how to make it look like they are listening, but then… sadly they revert back to their old ways and again it has you questioning their genuineness. It’s dumbfounding, a real mental maze, and gut wrenching. They said they understand, but now they are doing the same thing again.

And so you may go back to try communicating with them again.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been awarded the first place ribbon for the most effective, non-aggressive communication. A narcissist doesn’t let it in because empathy is foreign. It’s like their playbook is in black and white and yours is in color. They are focused on getting not giving, control not communion, winning not compromise.

In short, they want what they want when they want it.

It’s a difficult situation and you deserve to be heard. Good luck and find some support if you can. Read and watch everything you can on this topic. See the books and YouTube channels below. Hugs!


Books on narcissism:

Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist.


YouTube channels:

Dr. Ramani

Surviving Narcissism with Les Carter

Learn More


Free Clear Mind Therapy provides in-person therapy in Fishers & Indianapolis and online therapy across Indiana. Specializing in anxiety therapy for teens, adults, and kids.

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