If you’ve ever met a narcissist, you’ll know that not only do they have a ridiculously overinflated sense of self, but they also tend to be unable to see things from a perspective other than their own. You cannot expect to have a genuinely open and honest relationship with a malignant narcissist. The narcissist’s lack of self-awareness compounds the issue significantly. That’s why, when asked certain questions, a narcissist is more likely to deflect them or walk away than to actually engage.
What are the questions that a narcissist can’t answer?
What does the narcissist have to avoid answering and why? Ask a narcissist any of the following questions, and prepare to be met with silence or some other seriously evasive response.
What is love?
Since narcissists love people in the same way that most people love their smartphones, they really don’t “get it.” In other worse, they don’t understand the concept of real love, so they can’t answer this question. They don’t know what love is, and they don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like either.
What makes you happy?
Narcissists can’t define happiness for themselves, let alone for someone else.
How do you feel about me?
If you ask the narcissist how they feel about you, you’ll get one of a few answers. These boil down to either a flurry of idealized qualities that you may or may not actually have, the runaround or they’ll give you a whole laundry list of things they think are wrong with you – depending on which phase of the toxic relationship cycle you happen to be dealing with in the moment. If you ask them what they love, they’ll say something you do for them – the way you rub their back or the fact that you pay all the bills – whatever it happens to be. The truth is that the narcissist doesn’t tell you exactly how they feel about you because they’re not even fully aware of who you are; instead, they care about what you do for them and how much narcissistic supply you can provide for them. So, when you’re away, they miss your acts of service, your money, your attention – not the things that make you yourself.
Who hurt you?
More often than you might expect, narcissists report that they’ve had the same kinds of childhood trauma and experiences that their victims share. They’ve just manifested their trauma differently. And, while a lot of narcissists tell sob stories to gain narcissistic supply from the people around them, they can’t always see the forest for the trees. What I mean is that by nature, narcissists avoid introspection. They hate having to deal with themselves, and even if they do share genuine stories about how people hurt them in their lives, they can’t usually admit the issues that surround their pain. If they could, they wouldn’t be likely to fall into the narcissist category – they might actually resolve their core wounds.
Why won’t you ever admit you’re wrong?
Why do you blame others for your actions and decisions? Narcissists don’t take responsibility for their mistakes, ever. They will, at every opportunity, either completely deny the things they’ve done wrong, or shift the blame to someone else. And if they are caught in the act of making a mistake, they’ll blame you for being the reason they did what they did – somehow you’ve caused it, they’ll swear.
Why do you care more about what strangers think than the people you claim to love?
Narcissists see strangers as potential new sources of supply, and they are happy to reel them into their trap. Think back before you knew your ex narcissistic partner. They were impressive to you, too, right? But they care less about what you or anyone else who is close to them thinks – they’re already thoroughly enmeshed and feel they’ve learned everything there is to know. So like any object, sometimes the narcissist puts you in the closet until they want to play with you again.
Why does it bother you so much when we don’t like the same things?
Ever notice how narcissists tend to get upset if you don’t like the same restaurants, television shows, or books that they like? It seems ridiculous when you think bout it. But narcissists cannot put into words why they find your differences so threatening. They will easily skirt away from the question and tell you that you are ridiculous for thinking that way. The truth is, they do find your differences threatening because they lack empathy. They cannot understand how you would not like the same things they do or have different beliefs. Therefore, this threatens them.
What do you need to change about yourself or your life?
If you ask a narcissist this question, they will either tell you there’s nothing they need to change, or they’ll give you answers such as they need to make more money, or they need to get a better car or move into a larger home. They will never acknowledge that there is room for improvement within. They stay away from self-reflection of any kind, so the answers they give you to this question are faithful to them. If you asked anyone else this question, they would tell you that they could eat better, exercise more, meditate more, and create a gratitude journal, be better organized, and so on.
QOTD: Does any of this sound familiar to you? What would you add to my list? Share your thoughts, experiences, and ideas in the comments section below this video.
Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Resources
- Which Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program is Right for You? If you aren’t sure which program you want to utilize to facilitate your recovery from narcissistic abuse, this self-assessment will help you decide.
- The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this to be the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. Offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
- Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups – We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery, as well as some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
- One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
- Find a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist – If you’re looking for a therapist for narcissistic abuse recovery, either because you cannot afford coaching and want to use your health insurance or because you have additional issues you need to address that do not fall within the realm of coaching, you will want to find the right therapist for you – and as far as we’re concerned, that therapist must understand what you’ve been through. This page offers assistance to help you do exactly that.
- Get private, one-on-one narcissistic abuse recovery coaching or counseling.
- Get a therapist who will work with you online. Don’t forget your health care professional can also point you in the right direction to get help for PTSD. Check out our guide to finding a therapist or psychologist who understands narcissism and narcissistic abuse.
- Where Are You in Recovery? You might not be sure exactly where you fit in and what level of recovery you’ve achieved. If that’s the case, you’ll want to check out this self-assessment to help you determine exactly where you fall in the stages of recovery from narcissistic abuse. Once you finish and submit the assessment, you will be given resources for your own situation, along with recommendations of which groups to join.
- Join one of our private small coaching groups!
Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy.
She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at QueenBeeing.com and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.