7 Clever Slang Terms For Discussing Narcissism


clever slang terms for discussing narcissism

If you are reading this article, you are likely aware of the active online conversation about narcissists and narcissism. Narcissism, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), is a serious psychological condition that affects a small percentage of people.

NPD requires a professional for proper diagnosis, but an understanding of the basic traits and characteristics of narcissism can help many people who are dealing with borderline narcissists. Non-technical discussions around narcissism are useful for describing individuals who often resort to narcissistic behavior in relationships, even if these individuals don’t have a proper NPD diagnosis.

Professional therapists, counselors, and psychologists might be wary if they hear you, as a layperson, bringing up narcissism. A mental health professional may view your non-clinical use of the terminology as revealing a lack of knowledge, rather than as the helpful professional tip you thought it would be.

You may get more respect from mental health professionals if you clarify whether your narcissist has been properly diagnosed with NPD or whether your narcissist exhibits behavior that you believe demonstrates narcissistic tendencies which create problems for you.

In Chapter 1 of Brene Brown’s popular book, The Power of Vulnerability, Brown muses about the current flurry of interest in narcissism and states that “as a mental health professional . . . it makes me wince a little.” She suggests that many people are tagging toxic behavior as narcissism without realizing that narcissism is a defined and serious mental health disorder.

To account for the lay interest in narcissism, she offers the conjecture that, when viewed through a lens of vulnerability, narcissistic traits might be a manifestation of “the shame-based fear of being ordinary.”

Brown theorizes that widespread narcissistic tendencies are a logical extension of living in a culture defined by “never-enough.” Never good enough, never powerful enough, never safe enough, never relevant enough, never extraordinary enough.

Related: Heavy Lies The Crown Of A Narcissist

Rather than dismissing narcissism as a junk diagnosis, most professionals recognize that when laypeople refer to a narcissist, they are referring to someone who exhibits many narcissistic traits, someone who is “on the spectrum,” so to speak. The narcissistic traits seem to fit a pattern, and these traits seem to be causing relationship problems. The non-narcissist finds solace and power in naming a problem and learning the terminology needed to talk about it.

As large numbers of laypeople have engaged in the online debate about narcissism, colorful terminology has sprung up to support the conversation. Mental health professionals like Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D., recognize that the slang terminology around narcissism can be helpful for people who are dealing with manipulative relationships, whether or not that person has any real understanding of what mental health professionals mean by an NPD diagnosis.

As Dr. Greenberg writes, “some of these [slang terms] are actually quite clever and capture important aspects of the experience of loving someone with NPD – such as gaslighting, hoovering, and flying monkeys. However, many of these terms are being misused in much the same way that uninformed people casually label people as narcissists without any real understanding of what mental health professionals mean by that diagnosis.”

We’ve chosen seven of the most common slang terms used in the narcissism conversation. You might find these slang terms helpful, whether you are dealing with someone with a professional NPD diagnosis or whether you are dealing with someone on the spectrum.

7 Clever Slang Terms For Discussing Narcissism

1. Flying Monkeys

Flying Monkeys are unknowing people who are used by the narcissist to bolster the narcissist’s perspective. The flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz accomplished the Wicked Witch’s purposes. Similarly, flying monkeys in the world of narcissism are friends or family who the narcissist uses to persuade you of their point of view.

A narcissist, for example, might “confide” in your mother about how you are “mistreating” him, knowing that your mother will pressure you in his favor. Or, instead of a personal apology after hurting you, a narcissist may post something romantic on social media, because she knows that mutual friends will all respond by telling you how lucky you are to have her in your life.

flying monkeys narcissism

2. Gaslighting

It refers to a movie in which a manipulative husband secretly and gradually turned down the gas lamp in the home, calling his wife’s sanity into question when she observed that the light was getting dimmer.

Gaslighting refers to a narcissist denying that something is true, causing you to wonder whose perception of reality is correct. Statements such as “I never said that,” “you’re imagining things,” and “you’re over-reacting” are all common gaslighting techniques.

Related: 121 Things Narcissists Say When They’re Gaslighting You

3. Future Faking.

Future faking refers to the manipulative strategy of making promises that will not be fulfilled. Future faking is one form of pathological lying.

Whether the narcissist believes at the moment that she will fulfill her promises or not, is beside the point. “I’ll never do that again,” or “I promise I will change” could be future faking, especially when such promises are made repeatedly without accompanying improvement in behavior.

4. Love Bombing.

Love bombing refers to a narcissist’s excessive, one-sided gestures of love and affection, which pressure you to commit to something you might not otherwise have been ready for.

5. Gray Rock.

Gray rock refers to one widely-accepted strategy for dealing with a narcissist. Making yourself respond to a narcissist flatly and without emotion (with as much “feeling” as a gray rock) can cause the narcissist to lose interest in your relationship more effectively and more quickly than trying to drive the narcissist away through direct assertiveness.

6. Hoovering.

In narcissistic slang, hoovering is when the narcissist vacuums or sucks you back into a relationship after you have been discarded or have chosen to distance yourself.

Hoovering is often accomplished through love bombing. Indeed, the only real difference between hoovering and love bombing is that hoovering refers to sucking someone back into a previous relationship while love bombing refers to sucking someone into a new relationship.

Hoovering may be accomplished through texting, gifts, compliments, and even profuse apologies and promises (future faking) for an improved future. Be wary of pressure to forgive or trust based on words instead of actions: “Please give me one more chance, you won’t regret it, I promise, I know you must hate me but I can’t live without you.”

Related: What Is Hoovering? How Does a Narcissist Reel You Back In?

7. Triangulation.

Triangulation is when a narcissist attempts to manipulate you by involving another person or group of people in your relationship. (“M— warned me that you would do this” or “T— was right about you” or even “most people would agree with me that…”).

Triangulation might also involve the narcissist talking behind your back and trying to turn friends and family against you.

Knowing how to talk about a problem has empowered many people to address and overcome the challenges of negotiating with someone who exhibits narcissistic tendencies. These clever slang terms are often used by nonprofessionals to chart a new course and change their lives for the better.

Written By Rebecca Zung
Originally Appeared On Rebecca Zung
clever slang terms for discussing narcissism pinop
clever slang terms for discussing narcissism pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

7 Red Flags Of A Future Faking Narcissist: Beyond The Façade

Red Flags Of A Future Faking Narcissist: Beyond The Façade

Have you interacted with someone who promises you the world, but when the time comes to do good on their promise, they leave you high and dry? Chances are you might be dealing with a future faking narcissist.

Future faking narcissists are charming and diabolical at the same time, and are experts at lying through their teeth. They will paint a picture-perfect image of themselves in front of you and will promise you a beautiful future. However, it’s all smokes and mirrors.

In this article, we are going to talk about the signs of future faking narcissists, so that it’s easier for you to understand when someone is genuinely interested in building a future with you and when someone is simply playing you.

Up Next

The “False Self” Of A Narcissist: Look Beyond The Facade!

Hidden Narcissist False Self: Make Believe Traits in Them

The narcissist false self is charming and confident, masking underlying insecurities and emptiness beneath. Let’s find out other secrets they hide!

Narcissists have a false self. They’re master illusionists. They behave like a little king or queen — whether bragging or sulking. Their whole personality is a charade crafted to deceive you into believing they are confident, superior, self-sufficient, likable, and caring.

In studies, groups of people met with and liked a narcissist, but after 6 more interviews, they discerned the narcissist’s true nature and changed thei

Up Next

How To Deal With Your Partner’s Obsessive Ex? 4 Tips For Successfully Handling One

Deal With Your Partner's Obsessive Ex: Tips And Tricks

Have you ever had to deal with an obsessive ex? Moreover, have you ever had to deal with your partner’s obsessive and toxic ex? If you have, you already know how disturbing it is to go through this. This article is going to talk about some of the best ways to deal with a toxic ex or deal with your partner’s toxic ex.

My friend is happily married to a man who has a child. He is a devoted and loving father who sought full custody of the children; the court denied his petition.

His two children are living with their narcissistic mother who actively alienates the children from their father. His ex was obsessed with him during their short and turbulent relationship. She was deceitful, abusive, controlling, and highly destructive. They hooked up while drunk.

Up Next

Dog Whistling Narcissist: 8 Ways Narcissists Use This Covert Manipulation Tactic

Dog Whistling Narcissist: Covert Ways They Manipulate You

Have you ever had the feeling that when you are talking to someone, there’s a hidden message they’re trying to get across to you? A message that feels insulting, condescending and hurtful? If you answered yes, then you are dealing with a dog whistling narcissist, my friend.

These people are experts at sending subtle messages that are extremely hurtful and humiliating, but only you understand it, not anyone else. When a narcissist uses dog whistling, their main motive is to manipulate you and keep you under their control. They’ll use it to dominate you, and put you down, while pretending to be harmless.

But what is dog whistling, and how narcissists use dog whistling? Let’s find out, shall we?

Up Next

What Is A Superiority Complex And How To Deal With Someone Who Thinks They Are Better Than You

What Is A Superiority Complex And How To Deal With It

Have you ever met someone who believes they are inherently better than others? Do they constantly exude an air of superiority, belittle others, or dismiss others’ accomplishments? This is a superiority complex in action. What is a superiority complex?

People who exhibit traits of condescension and arrogance are believed to have a superiority complex, a psychological phenomenon that drives such behavior. Let’s explore the superiority complex in psychology, its signs, causes, and most importantly, how to deal with someone with a superiority complex.

What is a Superiority Complex?

A superiority co

Up Next

What Is A Devouring Mother? Overcoming A Narcissistic Mother’s Toxic Grip

What Is A Devouring Mother? Ways To Overcome Toxicity

Do you feel overwhelmed, smothered, or suffocated by all the love and attention your mother gives you? Perhaps you know people who feel trapped in situations where their mother’s love becomes an all-encompassing affair? This phenomenon is referred to as “The Devouring Mother Archetype.” Let’s explore what is a devouring mother and how to deal with the devouring mother archetype.

What is a Devouring Mother?

The Freudian devouring mother describes a controlling, overbearing motherly figure hampering a child’s development and independence. It is marked by possessiveness and narcissism.

As the term is not a literal description, a devouring Mother does not mean a mother who consumes her children ph

Up Next

Is It Love Or A Trap? 10 Ominous And Warning Signs Of Love Bombing

Ominous And Warning Signs Of Love Bombing: Love Or Trap?

Have you ever experienced the turbulent side of love, that comes from falling head over heels for someone? The butterflies in your stomach, the passion you feel, and the feeling of being swept off your feet – feels amazing, doesn’t it? But what if I told you that behind this seemingly perfect façade lies something dark and sinister? What if I told you these are warning signs of love bombing?

Welcome to the dark world of love bombing; a psychological tactic used by manipulative people to gain control over your mind and heart. In this article, we will talk about what does love bombing mean, and the signs you are being love bombed.

Let’s get started first with what does love bombing mean, shal