Understanding the arguing techniques used by toxic narcissists: 7 arguing tactics narcissists use to confuse conversations
Ever feel like you were losing your mind after having an argument with a toxic narcissist? If you have, you’re not alone! The fact is that narcissists are known for their irrational behavior, including their unwillingness (or inability) to have discussions and resolve arguments in a healthy way. In this video, I’ll share with you 7 arguing techniques narcissists use to confuse conversations (and to confuse YOU in the process). We’ll cover everything from word salad to deflection and projection – and we’ll cover flying monkeys, smear campaigns, triangulation, gaslighting and more.
The first thing you need to remember here is that there is no level to which a narcissist won’t stoop – nothing is off-limits for them. Here are a few ways narcissists might engage in hoovering you.
Finally saying that one thing you’ve been dying to hear. Narcissists are infamous for holding things over your head and for feeling justified in not giving you what you want and need in a relationship. For example, if you were dating a narcissist for 10 years and you just wanted them to pop the question, they might hoover you with a diamond ring and a proposal. Or if you were married to the narcissist and always wanted a baby, they might hoover you with an offer to try to get pregnant.
Future faking you.
Narcissists are known for their future-faking ways – where they promise you an amazing life together and never follow through. Many narcissists will use future-faking as a way to suck you back in. They will promise you the world – maybe they promise to buy you a house, or to finally go to couples counseling, or to really stop cheating on you this time. Most often, they fail to deliver, but use this future-faking in order to get you back into their clutches – and into the relationship.
Getting you involved in their drama.
As someone who has struggled with codependency, you’re especially susceptible to helping someone in need. The couldn’t be more true for someone you love or have loved. So, a narcissist might come to you with some big problem or issue in their lives that they need your help with. This could be something as serious as the death of a loved one that they just can’t make it through without your support, or something as simple as an argument with a friend or a coworker. One of my clients told me that her ex tried to hoover her by bringing his sick dog to her house and asking her to help take care of it. Like I said, they have no limits.
Accidentally ‘butt-dialing’ you or sending you a text ‘meant for someone else.’
This is a sneaky one. Narcissists will often “accidentally” call your phone or text you something random and mysterious so that you’re enticed to call or text back and ask what they need, what they meant by that text or why they called. Then, they’ll pretend that it was an accident or that they meant to call or text someone else – and before you know it, you’re in a full-on conversation during which the narcissist will try to pull you back into the “circle of supply.”
Swearing that they can’t live without you.
When they realize that you’ve truly moved on, a lot of narcissists will use a resounding declaration of love and claim they cannot live without you. They’ll say you’re their soulmate and they’ll even pretend to admit their own flaws and faults in order to get you to fall for it. This will effectively begin a whole new period of love-bombing, designed to suck you back into the relationship.
Narcissists always have a crew of flying monkeys on hand – people who are happy to “do their bidding” for them. This may include flying monkeys who are willing to help them manipulate you without remorse, and it may also include “unwilling” flying monkeys – well-meaning people who fall for the narcissist’s lies and who are really trying to help. In hoovering, narcissists send the flying monkeys your way with worries and concerns about your (or the narcissist’s) well-being, all designed to get you to communicate directly with the narcissist or to manipulate you with drama.
Suddenly recognizing the error of their ways.
In a last-ditch effort to get you back into the relationship, some narcissists will come to you in tears, telling you they’re a terrible person and admitting “everything they did wrong,” which is often done by parroting back exactly what you’ve been trying to tell them for the duration of the relationship. They’ll say things like “I know I don’t treat you right” and “You really do deserve better than me” in order to soften you up and pull you back in.
Using fear and intimidation to bully you.
Some narcissists will even go so far as to try to scare you back into the relationship. They may also use guilt or blame-shifting to force you back in. And bullying is a very common manipulation tactic for most narcissists.
The next question on the mind of every narcissistic abuse survivor is usually, “How can I avoid the hoover?” Here are a few of the most important things you can do.
Remember that knowledge is power. Simply be aware of the fact that the narcissist may try to hoover you and become familiar with the signs of hoovering. That in itself can be enough to help you avoid falling for it.
Use the gray rock method. Don’t show any emotion and only talk to the narcissist if you must, about what you must. If you have no shared children or shared business, you can completely go no contact.
If possible, eliminate their ability to contact you. Change your phone number, block them on your social media and don’t answer the door if they come calling.
Focus on YOU for once! Take the time you need to do self-care, to do that redecorating project you’ve been meaning to do, or to just do more nice things for yourself. You deserve it, and it’ll help you to distract yourself from the narcissist’s hoovering attempts.
Reconnect with old friends, and make new ones. While you shouldn’t jump into any romantic relationships too soon after ending a relationship with a narcissist (because you need to heal first), it’s a great idea to dive into your friendships. Since you may have lost touch with old friends as a result of the narcissist isolating you during the relationship, what better way to celebrate the end of it? Reach out to your old friends and consider making new ones by getting involved in a group of like-minded people. Maybe that means taking a class, going to church or synagogue or joining a local club. You can also look at sites like Meetup.com to find groups of local people with similar interests. If that feels like too much, start with one of our online support groups for survivors of narcissistic abuse.
This video playlist goes into more detail and offers more coping techniques for how to avoid being hoovered by a narcissist.
Why haven’t the narcissist hoovered me yet?
This question is often asked by survivors of narcissistic abuse who aren’t quite ready to be done with the narcissist just yet. They actually want the hoover because they want another chance to try and fix the relationship. While this question is one that makes me a little sad, I totally get it. And there are a number of reasons the narcissist may not be hoovering you.
Bottom line: even if you do fall for hoovering and get back into the relationship with the narcissist, chances are that any change you see will only be temporary. Once the narcissist knows you’re back “in” officially, they will quickly return to their usual manipulative, abusive ways. Don’t fall for the hoover!
Get help with narcissistic abuse recovery, right now.
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.
When the Narcissist’s New Wife Acts as a Flying Monkey with Your Kids – A fellow survivor wrote to me asking how she could support her kids when her narcissistic ex-husband’s new wife is acting as his flying monkey.
According to her, this narcissist has put his new source of narcissistic supply in place as his mouthpiece and the kids feel like they are being reinjured as a result.
In this video, I’ll explain exactly what this mother can do to support her kids in this situation.
What do you do when you get divorced from a narcissist and you still have children together and then the narcissist gets remarried and their new spouse becomes a flying monkey. How do you deal with that?
Well, that’s exactly what we’re talking about today at QueenBeeing.com.
So let’s get started (Closed captioning provided by Athena Moberg
My name is Angie Atkinson and this is toxic relationship rehab where I help you to discover, understand and overcome narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships. If that sounds good to you, hit that subscribe button and let’s get going.
So today we’re talking about a question from a viewer and the question she asked is regarding narcissists new spouses, new sources of narcissistic supply and children.
Her question reads: My ex and the father of my children has remarried quickly…of course. His new wife seems to be a flying monkey. I haven’t seen any narcissistic abuse coach address the new wife as a flying monkey. She seems to be his mouthpiece for our children. The children are all young adults mostly and they seem like they understand, but they still feel like she is reinjuring them.
Well, let’s talk about it. Chances are that you’re already aware of the fact that dealing with a narcissist parent in any
capacity puts a child at serious risk for long-term emotional and psychological trauma obviously, the more you can do to support them, in this case, the better, but there are a few things you have to remember first.
Number 1; you can’t make this about something you’ve done wrong. You can’t blame yourself for this situation. So if you are struggling with feelings of self-blame or regret or “I’m sorry that I’ve made that person my children’s father” or whatever it is, recognize that we all feel that way once we recognize what we’re going through.
It’s not just you, but you also have to recognize that it’s not your fault. You didn’t sign up to be with a narcissist and chances are you didn’t recognize it until it was far too late. The fact of the matter is narcissists are really good at sucking people in during love bombing, which we also call idealization. Narcissists very often hide their true nature and some of them hide it long enough that we end up having children with them.
Some of them come out with it sooner, but we don’t recognize it because maybe we grew up in a toxic home or there’s also the fact that this type of abuse is incredibly subtle, hard to detect sometimes, especially because very often the narcissist blames you or the source of narcissistic supply for the problem.
Anyway, whatever the reason was that you chose to get involved with this person, now you know better and that is good, but if you sit around and you stress yourself out and you waste your energy wishing you hadn’t done this or worrying about the effects on your kids, this is only gonna make things worse for both you and your kids in this case.
You said most of your kids are young adults, which is positive because now you can explain things to them in a really specific way, in fact you could even teach them about narcissism and dealing with the flying Monkey stepmother probably is more common than we would like to admit, same for a flying monkey stepfather if we’re being honest, but how do you support your kids in this situation?
What do you do to make sure that they don’t get further damaged by the new stepparent? I think the most important thing you can do here is to make sure that you personally validate your children as often as you can when it’s appropriate to do that and of course respect them and their personal space and their own needs and protect them where you can.
We can’t change the fact that their other parent is a narcissist and unfortunately, that’s something that your kids will have to come to term with, but what we can do is we can help your kids break the cycle, so that when they get to the place where they’re having children, they get into relationships things like that, we can help to educate them so that they don’t choose the wrong partners and they don’t end up subjecting their own kids to what they’ve gone through.
And you can do a lot to help make it better for your kids. You can help them develop coping skills. Like I said before validating their feelings is a huge part of all of this. A narcissistic parent, by nature, invalidates their children, their spouse, anyone that’s in their inner circle. This may include the flying monkey stepparent, but that’s not your concern here. Validating their feelings will allow them to recognize, number one; I’m not crazy. Number two, my feelings are real and my feelings are valid.
I know growing up that one of the biggest things I struggled with was feeling like my feelings weren’t real and they weren’t valid and I didn’t matter. If you’re familiar with the typical toxic family structure, the child who tends to be the scapegoat child is the one that you really have to pay attention to here.
This is the child that is constantly targeted by the narcissist and to validate the scapegoat child could change their lives so quickly for the better.
You need to let them know that it’s okay to be angry and that their feelings are justified, they have a right to be angry and that they don’t deserve what
has been happening to them and that they deserve to be loved and cherished like everyone else. Now, something a lot of people won’t say
to you is also to keep your eye on that golden child and the lost child.
Sure, the golden child may have had certain validation from the parent, but it’s almost never about the child, it’s almost always about how the parent sees him or herself reflecting on the child and the lost child, that’s the one you really need to watch out for.
The lost child, just like the scapegoat may feel very invalidated and very upset and very angry. Their feelings are real and valid and important. They need to feel heard. Whoever your kids are, however they fell into the toxic family structure, each of them needs validation of their feelings, each of them needs to know that their feelings are real, they’re allowed to have them and that they are justified.
A lot of times, we might find ourselves wanting to deny what happened or pretend it didn’t happen or pretend it wasn’t as bad as it was, because we feel like we’re protecting ourselves or we’re protecting our kids, but in reality that’s the opposite of what we need to do as parents of a child who has a
narcissistic parent and the same goes for the flying monkey. You want to help your kids not blame themselves. You want to help them understand that this is not their fault.
We know that narcissists love to blame other people for everything and they don’t take any responsibility on their own, so if a narcissist, there’s a temper tantrum or a fit or has a lot of complaints to say, they’ll usually claim that the problem
is you, you made them do that somehow, you made them have all the complaints or you made them have a problem with you and the same goes for your kids.
Narcissists need to believe that they’re above everyone else, they’re too good for that stuff. See, they have to think that they’re above it because they need to like cover themselves or protect themselves from seeing the actual truth about themselves. In reality, they feel inferior, blaming other people including and especially sometimes the scapegoated child/adult or otherwise.
Well, it’s like second nature for the narcissist, something they literally almost need to do. So, how do you help your kids? So helping them understand the truth and helping them understand what they’ve gone through, that the blame is not right, that it’s not acceptable, it’s unfounded, it isn’t real. it’s not their fault. Well, that’s gonna go a long way for the kids.
It’s gonna really take a burden off their shoulders if you will. So, depending on the age of your kids, I know in your case you said they were young adults,
like I said, you can tell them everything. For kids of different ages, just tell them what you can tell them given their age and intellectual ability to understand without demonizing the other parent.
Tell them the facts not the feelings and teach them how to deal with what happens from that point, as much as you can, teach them how to gray rock.
When it comes to the flying monkey stepparent, we have a whole other ball of wax here, but bottom line as long as your children are understanding – Hey, this isn’t acceptable. Hey, this person is also a victim to your narcissistic parent. Hey, this person is doing your father’s bidding, whatever it is,
they need to understand it from a logical perspective. From an emotional perspective, they have to understand their parent is incapable of validating them.
So this leads you to help them feel validated as we discussed. As parents, one of the most important things we can do for our kids is to teach them resilience, to teach them that they are deserving and worthy of love, to show them all of these things, to help them learn how to stand on their own two feet to get through life’s hardest parts.
So you can model this for them personally by of course being resilient in your own life and by giving them the unconditional love of which the narcissist is incapable and of course, then you can also show them through your own actions, through your own behavior and the way you live your life
what it means to have empathy for other people and how a person lives when they have empathy, how they behave toward other people.
You of course always want to encourage them and lift them up as much as you can for anything they’re doing in their life that’s right and healthy and good, but don’t give fake compliments. Don’t say, oh I’m so proud of you for, you know losing your job or something like that, say instead if they lost their job;
I’m so excited and proud of you that you’re looking for a new job already, it’s just been ten hours and there you are putting your resume together. So essentially it kind of supports their understanding of what competence is and it supports their ability to feel competent and to actually be competent, so you’re not lying to them, you’re not telling them – Oh, you’re amazing when they’re not.
You saying, hey, specifically I’m proud of you for this thing that you’re doing and I want to encourage you to keep doing that or hey, it’s really cool that you’re making the choice to stop doing this thing, and I want to encourage you to stay on that path, whatever that is.
And of course, you want to reinforce their ability to feel self-confident as much as you can and teach them to listen to themselves, listen to their own instincts, listen to what it is they feel when they’re around someone, because that lesson, that ability to understand how you feel when you’re around another person, that’s really the key to figuring out who’s toxic and who’s not in your life.
If you really think about it, if you’re spending time with someone and you don’t ever feel comfortable around that person, you don’t ever kind of let your guard down and feel relaxed around that person, that person probably isn’t good for your life, whether you want to call them toxic or you want to call them
a narcissist or whatever you want to call them, if someone makes you feel yucky every time you spend time with them, that’s a sign that person probably doesn’t belong in your everyday life.
The last thing I would say is that you might notice that your children tend to take out their anger on you sometimes or at least vent their anger to you and you might feel frustrated and overwhelmed by this, especially if it’s still kind of a new, painful situation for you, in which case I would say make a point of not taking it personally. It’s hard to do it sometimes, but recognize what your children are saying, even if you can’t actually give them an answer, simply
validate them; Oh honey, I so understand how that feels. I wish there was something I could do to help you, but here’s a way that you can deal, you know, teach them the gray rock method, don’t show them your emotions, don’t give them your emotions.
They can refuse to speak to the stepmother if they want to, but that’s only going to cause the father to pull further away in this case and if that’s the case, in my opinion, so be it. If it’s a problem for your children and your children gonna have to make some choices, they’re gonna have to make the choice to either continue the relationship and a modified way or to let go of the relationship because it’s unhealthy for them. I hope that makes sense.
I’m gonna suggest to you that you watch this video right here to help you kind of get your head around what the kids are dealing with a little better and some other ways that you can support children of a narcissistic parent/adult or otherwise, take a look at that.
Narcissists Isolate You – From Your Friends, Your Family Members and Anyone Who is WIlling to Support You. In this video, I’ll offer a detailed explanation on why narcissists and people with NPD are so likely to isolate you from everyone you know – and how their flying monkeys play into it. Plus: self-help for dealing with isolation with narcissists in relationships.
Narcissists and Their Flying Monkeys: Everything You Need to Know – featuring Angie Atkinson, Lise Colucci, Richard Grannon from Spartan Life Coach and Dana Morningstar from Thrive After Abuse – Are you dealing with flying monkeys who are helping your narcissist smear campaign against you? Whether you’re doing through divorce or your situation involves a toxic person who is a friend, relative, neighbor or co-worker, this video will help you figure out exactly what flying monkeys are, how they work, the types of flying monkeys and exactly how you can deal with one. Hint: it’s not a real monkey!
Do you feel like you’re on the verge of huge personal change but you can’t quite put your finger on your next move?
Do you want to change something about yourself and your life?
Do you sometimes feel like you’re not really living, or like the things you want are out of your reach?
Do you find yourself longing for more?
Can you relate to the idea of having an existential crisis?
Being in a relationship with a toxic narcissist destroys your identity in so many ways. Often, when you finally get out, you’re left spinning – wondering who you are and where you go from here.
But here’s some good news: you aren’t permanently stuck in this so-called “limbo” – you can create exactly the life (and the self) that you want.
So let me ask you this:
Do you know who you want to be and do you know how to get there? Human beings are amazing, we have much more control over our destinies and ourselves than we realize – especially those of us who have survived a toxic relationship. We all know that we must change – it’s inevitable! But too often, we find ourselves just waiting to see what happens next.
The bad news? When you wait for change to happen rather than taking control and directing that change, you may not like the new reality you are facing.
The truth is that if you have ever made an effort to make yourself or your life better in any way, you have what it takes inside you to realize a new and improved you.
This is powerful information, because it explains that simply by “wanting” personal growth and improvement in some area of your life, you are subconsciously beginning to choose to take the required action to get you where you want to be.
Of course, you are not alone in your desire to discover all that you can be.
Many survivors of narcissistic abuse share your personal development goals…
Life Purpose * Life Balance* Enjoy a better relationship with self and others
Make more money, become financially independent and career goals
Can you identify with any of those self-improvement goals?
Maybe you have some entirely different personal development achievement in mind.
No matter what area of your life you would like to improve, why haven’t you been able to in the past?
Hint: YOU ARE NOT lazy or incapable of change! The truth is that you just haven’t been given the proper tools. But all of that is about to change!
Instead of cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all personal development advice from a self-proclaimed, self-help guru, you need a plan that works for you, specifically. And this program was developed for you by a certified life coach and fellow survivor of narcissistic abuse.
As a survivor yourself, it’s so important to consider your personal needs and to arm yourself with the proper knowledge and tools to experience powerful and profound personal growth.
You need to understand exactly where you are now, how to get where you want to go, and how to handle setbacks on your way to your dream reality.
The right knowledge
Proven methods for identifying your current level of growth
Goal setting that works
A plan of development that turns knowledge into action, and action into the results you desire
Even so, your plan must be customizable and it must work for YOUR life, because there is no one exactly like you. You need the tools that show you exactly where you are now, how to get where you want to go, and how to handle setbacks on your way to your dream reality.
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How to Write and Release Your Toxic Relationship Story, and Rewrite Your New Future Story
Have you been mentally and emotionally abused and manipulated by a toxic narcissist? Have you had enough of the gaslighting, the flying monkeys, the love-bombing and the hoovering?
Are you tired of accepting the “you” that the narcissist has defined?
Are you ready to finally DEFINE YOURSELF? Want to make your own choices about who you are and what your life looks like?
If you’re ready to rediscover yourself again after narcissistic abuse, this course presents and easy and simple way to do just that.
You’ll learn to identify your abuse story, write it out and then release it. Plus, you’ll get a step-by-step plan to write your new future story – one that you can use to create the life you truly desire, and to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.
You don’t have to accept the story your narcissist put in place – you get to write your OWN story.
This course offers you the solution you need, and it’s been created specifically for you by a certified life coach, author and survivor of narcissistic abuse.
Inside, you’ll find several reports, worksheets and downloadable tools that will help you to take the steps necessary to get your story down, release it and write your new story.
Take the time to study the material, do the meditation and the writing exercises, and you’ll be on your way to making things go your way – and to creating the self and the life that you truly want.
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