Conversational Narcissism: 5 Signs To Spot A Conversational Narcissist

Conversational Narcissism Signs To Spot

Conversational narcissism treats you like an object rather than a human being. Here are 5 signs to look out for and how to regain empowerment

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” – Epictetus

You pick up the phone. It’s Jill. Again.

“Heya, just thought I’d give you a call! How are you?”
“Good thanks J –”
“Oh, terrific! I wanted to tell you about my … [insert 5-hour monologue] …”

We’ve all had those people in our lives who seem to talk about themselves ad nauseam. Once given the opportunity to talk about themselves, they’ll snap it up in an instant showing little regard or interest in what you have to say. Ever. And if they do, you know it’s a fake mask of politeness.

These people are the conversational narcissists in your life who hog every conversation you have, leaving your head spinning. Basically, talking to a conversational narcissist is like putting your head in a blender.

So, do you have a conversational narcissist in your life? There’s only one way to find out …


How To Spot The Conversational Narcissist (5 Signs)

Not all narcissists are obnoxious or dislikeable people – in fact, many of them can be charming and appealing – but deep down, they’re deeply wounded people.

Why is it so painful talking to them?

Perhaps because you can pick up on the following character traits:

  1. They have an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
  2. They’re usually absorbed in fantasies of power, success, beauty, or brilliance.
  3. They have unreasonable expectations of other people, i.e., that everyone else should unquestioningly comply with them.
  4. They overrate the importance of their achievements.
  5. They crave constant validation, admiration, and respect from the world.

Keeping these symptoms in mind, it’s no wonder that the conversational narcissist loves drilling you with every detail of their lives ad infinitum.

Read 9 Types of Toxic People That Will Rob You Of Your Happiness

Which Kind Of Conversational Narcissist Do You Know?

There are two types of CN’s. These are the: Active Conversational Narcissists + Passive Conversational Narcissists.

So let’s explore the first.

1. Active Conversational Narcissism

This breed of narcissists always ends up shifting the attention onto themselves in conversations.

They do this by giving a few “supportive responses” so as not to appear rude, but end up using more “shifting responses.”

Please note that it’s normal and healthy to share stuff about yourself, as long as you direct the conversation back to the other person. (And take interest in them!)

Here’s a couple of examples of supportive vs. unsupportive conversations:

Example 1 – Supportive

  • Person A – “I’m going to buy a puppy today.”
  • Person B – “Really? What breed are you wanting to get?”

Example 2 – Unsupportive

  • Person A – “I’m going to buy a puppy today.”
  • Person B – “Really? I was thinking about buying a puppy for my daughter as well!”
  • Person A – “Oh, yeah?”
  • Person B – “Uh-huh, I thought that a golden retriever would be … [30-minute monologue].”

2. Passive Conversational Narcissism

This subtle form of conversational narcissism occurs when you share something, and the conversational narcissist withholds their supporting responses until the conversation fizzles out.

Read Histrionic Personality Disorder: How This Type Of Narcissism Works In Women

Supporting responses are for instance acknowledgments that indicate you’re listening, e.g., “uh-huh,” “OK,” “Hmm.”

They’re also statements that demonstrate active listening such as, “That’s awesome!” “Why did you do that?” “What are you planning to do now?”

Passive conversational narcissists withhold these statements, showing disinterest so that the conversation ends up dying – and is directed back to them.


  • Person A – “I’m going to the casino tonight!”
  • Person B – ” (Pause) … oh, right … (pause)”
  • Person A – “I’m really excited because I won $200 last week!”
  • Person B – ” (Silence) …”
  • Person A – “Have you been there recently?”
  • Person B – “Oh yeah, I went a few weeks ago with my friends, it’s really interesting because we … blah blah blah.”

How To Use Conversation Narcissism As An Opportunity For Inner Growth

Talking to CN’s sucks.

I think the deepest reason why it stinks is that we all seek to feel seen, heard, and validated. It’s a basic human need. We want to connect with others from the heart and soul. But conversational narcissism blocks that opportunity.

It’s easy to let conversational narcissism make you feel resentful. Yet, while it’s normal and healthy to feel angry at their selfishness, staying in that place for too long is unhealthy. My advice: instead of letting CN shut you down, let it open you up. Use it as an opportunity for inner growth.

“Inner growth!?” some people may exclaim. Yes, hear me out.

Conversational narcissism is an opportunity for you to:

  1. Be self-sovereign and practice self-respect
  2. Practice setting healthy personal boundaries
  3. Open your heart, see underneath the exterior, and understand that their pain comes from the wounded inner child – and …
  4. Let that compassion empower you (I don’t know about you, but I feel disempowered when I let another person get me bitter and enraged)

How To Interact With A Conversational Narcissist

Talking to a conversational narcissist can be draining and tedious – especially if you see that there’s nothing in it for you.

How about changing the way you look at things?

Don’t worry, I don’t like the thought of changing something in myself either, especially when it’s the narcissist who should change!

The fact is: you can’t change anyone, so give up trying now.

The only thing you can change is your outlook and perception.

For instance, you could see talking to a conversational narcissist as a form of interpersonal training. You could also see it as a way to forge many great qualities such as patience, forbearance, compassion, stronger self-worth, and focus.

Yes, all these qualities can be strengthened by listening to a self-absorbed, insensitive, and egotistical person!

Read 20 Narcissistic Terms: A Glossary of Terms for Understanding Narcissism

According to the research I’ve done, the best way to interact smoothly with a narcissist is as following:

  1. Don’t demand or expect too much.
  2. Accept that you have to listen. A lot. (Or not, your choice.)
  3. For swift conversation, resist the temptation of challenging the narcissist’s thoughts and desires.
  4. Nod, smile, and keep quiet a lot.

I don’t necessarily agree with this way of approaching narcissists all the time – but if you’re not in the mood to stir the pot, these four rules will help you to ease the tension that comes with talking to them.

On the other hand, if you’re wanting to end a conversation with them quickly, I’ve found the following techniques work wonders:

1. Talk about something really boring, and keep repeating what you’ve just said in different ways. This style of communication is called the ‘grey rock’ method.

2. a time limit. After ten minutes or so leave the conversation (have a handy excuse ready), no matter what!

Read When You Start Healing Yourself, The Rest Will Fall Into Place

How To Recover From Your Interaction

No one ever really talks about what happens after you interact with a conversational narcissist.

But the truth is, you need a little time to recover!

After all, you’ve just come in contact with a person who is so wounded and self-absorbed that they treat you like an object rather than a human being.

Conversational narcissists are energy vampires who can leave us feeling weak, emotionally fragile, depressed, anxious, and exhausted.

To regain your energy:

  1. Learn how to ground yourself
  2. Practice self-love
  3. Try some relaxing breathwork
  4. And if you’re an empath (i.e., energy-sensitive person), take some time to practice extra self-care

Even something as simple as sipping a hot cup of tea or taking a few deep centering breaths can make a world of difference!

You might also like to journal about your experience with the CN. What did they teach you? How do you feel? This is a wonderful way to grow in self-awareness, spiritual awakening, and can help to decompress your nervous system.

How do you handle conversational narcissism? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Written by: Aletheia Luna
Originally appeared on: Loner Wolf
Republished with permission

Conversational Narcissism Signs To Spot pin one
Conversational Narcissism Signs To Spot pin

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Up Next

The Narcissistic Stare: How A Narcissist Uses Stare To Control You and 5 Ways To Protect Yourself

Narcissistic Stare | Why Do Narcissists Stare? Coping Tips

The human gaze holds immense power, capable of expressing emotions, desires, and even hidden intentions. Among the many intriguing forms of eye contact, the narcissistic stare stands out as an enigmatic phenomenon that both fascinates and perplexes. 

But what is the narcissistic stare? Well, have you ever encountered someone whose gaze seemed to penetrate your very soul, leaving you feeling exposed and uncomfortable? 

Let us delve into this fascinating concept, exploring what is the narcissistic stare, why do narcissists stare and the different variations it takes on, including the malignant narcissist stare and the female narcissistic stare.

What is the Narcissistic Stare?

Up Next

Sociopathy Vs Narcissism: 10 Critical Differences You Need To Know

Sociopathy Vs Narcissism: Critical Differences

When we toss around the terms “sociopath” and “narcissist,” it’s usually to describe a villain in a movie or that one ex we’d rather forget. But in reality, these are complex personality disorders that go beyond just being the bad guy, which is why it’s vital to understand the differences between sociopathy vs narcissism.

Sociopaths and narcissists can be charming, intelligent, and the life of the party, which makes it tricky to spot the deeper issues. While they share some overlapping traits, like a disregard for others’ feelings, there are key differences that set them apart.

Let’s unravel these d

Up Next

5 Stages Of A Narcissistic Relationship (And How To Escape Their Trap)

Stages Of A Narcissistic Relationship: Toxic Cycle

From euphoria to despair, the toxic relationship cycle leaves lasting scars. Learn the stages of a narcissistic relationship to protect yourself from the emotional rollercoaster and avoid lasting trauma.

Narcissistic relationships often go through a painful cycle that is a predictable outgrowth of narcissistic personality disorder. Central to understanding a narcissist’s behavior is that their relationships are transactional.

Their impaired boundaries and lack of empathy prevent them from seeing other people as separate three-dimensional beings with needs and feelings of their own.

Up Next

Disenchanted Childhood: The Effects Of Self Centered Parenting on Children

The Harmful Effects Of Self Centered Parenting on Children

When you are on the opposite side of self centered parenting, it can have far-reaching effects on you and your psyche. Growing up with selfish parents can take a heavy toll on your mental and emotional health, and these effects can be felt even when you are an adult.


Self absorbed parents create role-reversed relationships with their children in which the child psychologically caters to the parent.

Children show psychological responses to selfish parents depending upon the child’s personality.

Some children acquiesce to self-focused parents’ demands, while ot

Up Next

Why Are We Attracted to Self Absorbed People? Unpacking the Appeal

Why We Are Attracted To Self Absorbed People: Insights

Being attracted to self absorbed people happens more often than you would believe. What is it about them that attracts us? Being attracted to self centered people is bad for us but still we find it hard to resist them. Let’s find out why.


Self centered people can immediately attract others with visual and auditory cues.

Initial positive attractions to self focused people do not hold up over time.

People attracted to narcissistic people possess their own distinctive traits.


Up Next

Dealing With A Narcissistic Parent: 5 Steps That Can Help Children Cope With One

Dealing With A Narcissistic Parent: Things Children Can Do

How to deal with a narcissistic parent? Communicating with a narcissistic parent or living with a narcissistic parent is without a doubt, one of the hardest and emotionally draining things a person can do, and even more so, when it’s their child. This post is going to talk about what it entails when it comes to dealing with a narcissistic parent.


Non-narcissistic parents can take specific steps to help children attain emotional health and coping skills.

Goals are to decrease role-reversal, increase assertiveness, and decrease enmeshment.

A new coping skill inc

Up Next

8 Signs Of A Toxic Sister In Law And The Best Ways To Handle Her

Signs Of A Toxic Sister In Law And How To Handle Her

Navigating family relationships can be as tranquil as a serene lake on a calm day or as tumultuous as the ocean during a storm. When it comes to in-laws, the waters can get particularly choppy, especially if you identify the signs of a toxic sister in law.

This relationship is peculiar; it’s not one you chose, like a friendship, nor is it one you’re born into, like a sibling. Instead, it’s a bond formed by marriage, which sometimes means the rules of engagement can be confusing and the boundary lines blurry.

At the heart of the family dynamic, sisters-in-law can be a source of great joy and camaraderie, or, u