Tag Archives: interrupt

Some Red Flags That The Person You Just Met May Be A Narcissist

When you first learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it can feel like you see them everywhere.  You can feel like every person you pass on the street is a narcissist.  Most people wonder if we’re paranoid or if they really are everywhere.  It’s very normal!  This post is about some red flags to help you discern narcissists from normal people quickly.

Narcissists are predators, which means they have a predatory look about them.  They study people intently.  The predatory studying they do isn’t usually something glaringly obvious. There is something about the way they look at you that makes you uneasy, almost as if they’re looking through you.  My mother did this.  If I gained or lost as little as 2 or 3 pounds, she noticed.  If I trimmed my hair slightly, she noticed.  It always felt creepy how she noticed even the tiniest of details.

What you say means nothing to a narcissist.  They prove it by talking non stop without letting you get a word in edgewise or interrupting constantly when you talk.  (Some folks who interrupt only do so because they don’t want to forget things, but they aren’t rude.  They also don’t act as if what you say isn’t important & they’re entitled to talk over you).  If by some chance you do get a sentence in, they will turn it around to themselves.  If you mention that you had a kidney stone last week, the narcissist will interrupt to tell you about how she had one in 1995, in all its yukky detail.

In fact, if you do mention something about yourself, it will be a contest with a narcissist.  Your kidney stone wasn’t as painful as the one that she had in 1995.  In fact, no one has ever experienced that kind of pain that she did.  You just bought a new car?  The narcissist has a nicer & more expensive one that is better for the environment to boot.

Narcissists can be extremely moody.  They can go from hot to cold back to hot in a matter of 60 seconds.  While everyone has mood swings from time to time, no one can rival a narcissist in how quickly or destructive those mood swings can be.  They can be engaged in a friendly conversation, then suddenly turn ice cold, leaving their victim completely confused when suddenly they “thaw” back out & return to acting friendly.  And, as the icing on the cake, they act like this behavior is totally normal.  If you were to mention their behavior, chances are excellent the narcissist would deny this even happened.

Many narcissists love shock value, especially if they feel they aren’t getting the attention they deserve.  They may suddenly interrupt a conversation to start talking about a dark topic of conversation such as details of how a serial killer murdered his victims, the Holocaust or even the occult.  Anything that gets a narcissist attention is a good thing, as far as they’re concerned, so uncomfortable topics work very well for them.

Narcissists often exaggerate their mannerisms somehow.  They may use exaggerated mannerisms with their body language, or they may speak with a very loud voice at all times, even in quiet situations.  These mannerisms garnish them attention.  People naturally notice who is speaking with such a loud voice even when they aren’t a part of the conversation.  Or, for people in the conversation, they automatically notice the loud person or the one who is moving around a great deal.

Narcissists often love gossip.  Even upon just meeting you, they may fill you in on the latest happenings.  If you’re new to the place where the narcissist works, she will fill you in on the latest office gossip.  She may even let you know just what her neighbors are up to.  The fact you never met them is irrelevant.

Beyond these signs, you need to listen to your instincts.  If something feels “off” about the person you just met, pay attention to that feeling.  It’s there for a reason!  Watch this person closely & the truth will show itself pretty quickly.  The truth always has a way of making itself known.

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Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

Narcissists & Dominance

Whether overt or covert, narcissists are control freaks.  They must be in control of their environment & the people in it at all times.  We all know overt narcissists use fear & covert narcissists guilt to accomplish this, but there are other methods they also use.

Narcissists may use ignoring a person as a means of control.  They accomplish this in many ways.  They may simply ignore the victim in conversation, acting as if the person didn’t say anything when they did.  The narcissist may talk over the victim in conversation.  They may conveniently “forget” to invite the victim to a gathering.  If the victim arrives with someone, the narcissist may greet that person while ignoring the victim.  When a person is ignored this way, they may shut down, fading quietly into the background which leaves more room for the narcissist to get attention.  Or, they may question the narcissist, wondering what they did wrong & pleading with the narcissist to forgive them.  Ignoring a victim also lets that person know that the narcissist thinks they are unworthy of the narcissist’s attention, so the victim may try harder & harder to please the narcissist.

Interrupting is another display of dominance narcissists use.  When most people have a conversation, & someone interrupts them, they stop talking to let the interrupting person talk.  Narcissists will use this natural proclivity to their advantage.  My father used this tactic a LOT.  In fact, he put a unique spin on it.  When I started talking, he would open his mouth as if he was going to talk, then close it quickly.  Naturally, I thought I was interrupting him, so I encouraged him to talk.  One day after a visit, I prayed about it.  I don’t usually interrupt people, so why was I doing it with him?!  God showed me I wasn’t.  My father was using this tactic to get me to stop talking so he could talk.  I hate bad manners, he knew it & used that to dominate our conversations.

Shock is a big favorite with narcissists.  If a narcissist is a part of a group of people & not the center of attention, that narcissist is incredibly uncomfortable.  She feels out of sorts, & will do whatever it takes to restore her position of being in control & being the center of attention.  One method she may use to regain her position is by shocking everyone in the group.  She may start talking loudly & suddenly about an entirely different topic of conversation.  She may blurt out some weird or disturbing facts that is so odd that it gets everyone’s attention.  She may walk away while someone is talking, make a loud noise or even spill her purse to restore the balance of power she wants.  My mother once broke into song when my father & I left her out of our conversation.  Remember the old musical, “Oklahoma!”?  Apparently my mother does.  She started singing the theme song.  Loudly.  Since this was well before I knew anything about NPD, my father & I ended our conversation at that point.  Attention was focused back on her, as she wanted.

Possibly the most disgusting way narcissist try to assert their dominance is with body functions.  Even passing gas or burping isn’t too low for a narcissist desperate enough to establish dominance.  They also may blow their nose extremely loudly or make the sounds more disgusting than need be.  If they don’t use a body function, they will at least talk about them.  My mother has irritable bowel syndrome & has absolutely no trouble discussing all the gory details of it.  Body functions are so seldom a part of a conversation in any way that when it happens, people are naturally shocked & notice the person who brought them into the conversation.

The best way I’ve found to deal with these dominant behaviors is very simple.  Ignore them.  Pretend the narcissist didn’t say or do anything unusual.  Carry on with your conversation as usual.  If she interrupts you, you can either talk over her or wait until she is finished, then resume your previous conversation.  If she ignores you, pretend not to notice.  The same goes if she uses shock value or body functions- pretend you notice nothing whatsoever.  By ignoring the narcissist’s attempts to dominate, you aren’t allowing her to dominate.  You’re depriving her of narcissistic supply, which is the best thing you can do with any narcissist.


Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism