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Experts share red flag phrases which could mean you’re arguing with a narcissist

Experts share red flag phrases which could mean you’re arguing with a narcissist

It might be a good idea to cut the cord

If you’re in a toxic relationship, it’s possible you’ve wondered whether or not you’re spending your time arguing with a narcissist.

Having ‘an unreasonably high sense of self importance’ makes you a narcissist, The Mayo Clinic states.

“They need and seek too much attention and want people to admire them. People with this disorder may lack the ability to understand or care about the feelings of others,” the clinic adds.

So, while it may not always be easy to conclude whether or not you’re dating a narcissist, with the help of expert guidance it can be easier to work out who you’re truly dealing with.

Narcissists will always find a way to frame themselves as the victim.
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Speaking to HuffPost, social worker Monica Cwynar, psychotherapist Manahil Riaz and somatic trauma psychologist Justine Grosso gave a list of phrases that narcissists turn to when in the midst of an argument.

“I can’t believe you’re attacking me, I always get blamed.”

Narcissists will always find a way to frame themselves as the victim in a situation.

Cwynar said that for narcissists, this is because of ‘their deep-seated sense of entitlement, fragile self-esteem and lack of empathy for others’.

The social worker continued: “They may use their perceived victimhood as a tool to elicit support or to shift focus away from their own problematic behaviour.”

And as a result, they'll shift the blame.

“You should have known I was upset.”

Trauma psychologist Grosso explained that narcissistic people often insinuate others should read their mind, and expect the other person to be able to anticipate their emotions.

Narcissists often say condescending things.
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Grosso said: “A phrase like this may lead the other person to feel hypervigilant, like they’re walking on eggshells.”

"I'm not angry, you're angry."

Narcissists are known to often say condescending things, especially during an argument.

This phrase is a form of projection. It’s used as ‘an unconscious defence mechanism’, Grosso noted, before adding: "As those with pathological narcissism deny their vulnerable feelings because of toxic shame and emotion-phobia."

"You're overreacting."

A narcissist ‘may repeatedly dismiss, deflect, or invalidate your concerns or hurt feelings in order to avoid taking accountability for their impact on you', according to Grosso.

Phrases like this can be used to control the narrative, Cwynar added.

With a narcissist, “there’s typically no negotiation".
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“If you loved me, you would do this.”

Narcissists often lean into manipulation - especially during arguments, Cwynar said.

Emotional phrases such as this can make it extremely difficult to stand up to a narcissist. This gives them the upper hand.

Long-winded expressions without a point

Riaz said: “There’s this concept called ‘word salad’ where they just might say things that don’t make sense.”

The result is that you may forget why you’re even arguing in the first place.

The psychotherapist continued: “They may spout statements that don’t connect just to confuse you.”

Riaz concluded that when arguing with a narcissist, there is little to no negotiation.

When arguing with a typical person about cleaning up, for example, that person will then concede and agree to clean up more.

With a narcissist, 'there’s typically no negotiation because their patterns are just so disagreeable', Riaz explained.

“You need to set boundaries so that you can maintain a healthy relationship with the person,” Cwynar said.

Riaz added: “If you can walk away, I would definitely say walk away.

“Either we can walk away and do no contact, or we can have really strong boundaries and have low contact.”

Featured Image Credit: Olga Rolenko/Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images

Topics: Mental Health, Sex and Relationships