Narcissists are very concerned with appearances. They are obsessed really, & will do anything to avoid looking like they have made mistakes, are flawed or as if they are bad in some way. One way they maintain their perfect appearances is by violating boundaries. They do this in several ways.
One way is to deny they violated your boundary. In spite of you being right there, watching them do whatever it was they did, they will say that never happened. They want to convince you that never happened so the next time it happens, you won’t believe it happened. When they do this, they may even add on that they never do that thing you accused them of doing. In fact, they may criticize others who show the same behavior. For example, my mother would rage & scream at me, yet criticize me for having a bad temper or for yelling. This projection allows them to be upset about the behavior while accepting no responsibility for their behavior or making changes.
Another way is by minimizing their abusive behavior. Narcissists do love to minimize their abusive behavior & the effects it has on others as a way to continue behaving as they do. If they can convince themselves & others that what they do isn’t a big deal & it isn’t really hurting anyone, they can continue to do whatever they like.
Sometimes narcissists will try to deflect by turning the tables on their victims. Say you confront your narcissistic spouse about how much money he or she spends even knowing money is tight. You remind this person that times are hard & there isn’t money left over for frivolous purchases. Rather than admit they have overspent, apologize & start being more responsible, the narcissist may say, “What about you? You spend way more money than me! You just spent $100 last week!” The idea of this behavior is to get the victim so caught up in defending themselves, they forget about the original complaint, & the narcissist can continue their behavior.
If all else fails, narcissists will not hesitate to blame their victims. We’ve all heard of abusive husbands who beat their wives & blame the wives for making them beat them. Narcissists do this often. I’ve told this story before, so pardon the repeat if you know it. On my seventeenth birthday, my now ex husband gave me a small vase of flowers with two small balloons in it & a teddy bear. My mother destroyed the vase, flowers & balloons. She forced me to give him back the bear. She hated my ex, & was angry he gave me these gifts. She said though that the reason that she destroyed them was because I was “acting so snotty” about getting them. My so called snotty behavior was me being very quiet when I couldn’t avoid her seeing the gifts. I was terrified of the rage I knew was coming, & my natural reaction to that fear was to get quiet.
When these things happen, please remember that this is typical narcissistic behavior. It has nothing to do with you & everything to do with their dysfunction. They also aren’t right! You saw them do what they do, so don’t believe the lies that they didn’t do it. You also know how it felt so don’t let them minimize your pain. Don’t let them change the topic of your conversation or make you feel responsible for “making” them do anything. You are fine! They however, are not, which is why they’re playing the stupid games!