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  • Lynn Catalano

How to Navigate an Argument with a Narcissist

Arguing with a narcissist is a completely different experience from regular disagreements with non-disordered people. These people suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, (NPD).  They are disordered.  They don’t conduct themselves with any sense of normality.  When you’re in an argument with them, it’s like no other experience you’ve had.  There is no resolution.  It leaves you with more questions than you began and lots of confusion. 


Why is arguing with a narcissist a different experience?

  1. Everything is a competition to a narcissist. When arguing with a narcissist, know that they are more interested in winning than in the truth.

  2. Narcissists refuse to take responsibility for their actions. They love shifting the blame.  They shift the blame for everything that goes wrong to you in order to avoid feeling bad about themselves.  

  3. Narcissist argument tactics are a bit different.  They don’t really care about you very much, so they have very little incentive to back down.


What’s the #1 Response from a Narcissist When you Confront Them?

“Don’t you know how much I’ve done for you?”

Why do they always do this?  Narcissists can’t exhibit empathy or actual love.  Everything is conditional for them and what you can do for them. When you realize this and you realize this is a toxic relationship, then you confront them. Then they revert to after all I've done for you. Because it was always about their control and everything they do for you is conditional.


What’s Word Salad?


This is the term for the tactic narcissists use during an argument.  When you confront a narcissist with a problem, their response will be lengthy, circular, and confusing.  They often bring up irrelevant or unrelated facts not pertinent to the argument. They do this intentionally to manipulate and control you.  Their position completely lacks logic and uses projection and blame to force their hand.


Deny, Deflect, Lie

Typical narcissists exhibit certain behaviors on repeat – deny, deflect, lie.

Whether the narcissist is a parent, a boyfriend, a spouse, a sibling, or a boss; they love-bomb you and praise you to get you to do something. But if you go off their script, they go back to “Don’t you know how much I’ve done for you?”


Top 5 reasons why you can’t win an argument with a narcissist

1)    They will never learn & change

2)    They must have the last word

3)    There’s no reasoning with a liar

4)    They will use whatever you say against you

5)   You don’t have a relationship worth fighting for or saving. 


I wrote about this in my book Wrecking Ball Relationships: How to Identify, Live With or Leave the Narcissist in Your Life.”  


“Notice the Narcissist offered a “non-apology apology” where they really don’t take responsibility for their actions.  They say, “I’m sorry you think I hurt you,” when they should say “I’m sorry I hurt you.”  This will sound very familiar if you’ve ever been in an argument with a narcissist.

Refusing to engage in another argument is a way of controlling the situation and protecting yourself. It’s important to practice self-care and relaxation techniques. Make sure you have an outlet for yourself both as meditation and a support network comprised of friends and family. Don’t let the narcissist isolate you from them.”


Narcissists are never wrong, it’s never their fault and they will never take responsibility for their actions.  They’d rather gaslight you to believe their lies.  They so believe their own lies they are now part of their false reality.  They will never apologize.   .


Stop waiting for closure.  They can’t change.  You need to. This is why it’s so critical for you to talk to someone. 


This hurt will bleed into other aspects of your life until you work through it. You need to talk to someone. But not just anyone. Someone who gets it. I get it.


You see, I didn’t get here by accident. I didn't set out to become a narcissistic abuse recovery coach. But after I’d suffered this kind of abuse, I realized that my story and my experience could help so many people who’ve suffered similarly. 


Often, we stay in these cycles of abuse because we don’t believe we deserve something better. I kept trying to make our relationship work, but he didn’t want me in his life. It took me a long time to understand that I deserved better.


You deserve better, too.


If you’re ready to change how you think,

If you’re ready to change how you feel,

If you’re ready to change your path,


You can find my book “Wrecking Ball Relationships” on Amazon,, and









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