When dealing with accommodating a person who has a known or suspected Cluster B personality disorder or toxic thinking, the only person who ever truly benefits from arguing with them (or ‘wins’) is THEM.
Because narcissistic people love to argue and to create discord both for and between other people. When you spot the red flags or warning signs someone is coming from a wholly egocentric perspective in YOUR FAMILY (nation, peer group, or cultural state), steady yourself internally. Resist the urge to argue with them or even to defend yourself.
AGAIN (you might ask yourself)… Why?
Because above all else, narcissistic people are fundamentally irrational and pick fights or debate with other people simply because they are compulsively attention-seeking.
Narcissistic people are famous for using irrational argument tactics to time-suck and abuse unsuspecting victims. On the constant hunt for a “narcissistic supply source” that will pay attention to them, the more heated and volatile an exchange, the more likely a narcy person is to derive pleasure from the argument.
To destroy other people emotionally and socially, they often times resort to using pathological lying, deliberate misinterpretation, word salad arguments, and a host of other dirty conversation tricks to entice an unknowing person into spending time listening to, talking to, pleading with, and trying their hardest to communicate effectively with them.
If a narcissistic person has you targeted in their sites, understand they will be testing and probing your personality for signs that something can peak your social or emotional interest enough to actively engage with them. For that reason alone, it matters not what words come out of their mouth. Whether the debate is about religion, politics, or simply “what’s for dinner”, there will never be an end to the circular argument dynamics the egocentric attention seeker tries to set up.
Again, resist the urge to debate with them. Resist the urge to share any personal information with them.
Actually, run — don’t walk — to the nearest exit or hang up the phone as quickly as you can when and if you notice their toxic personality impulse taking over their rational mind. Understand that when they get verbally combative — or start manipulating covertly using NLP techniques used by kidnappers to manipulate and control the minds of their captive victims — that they are acting from a place deep within their subconscious nature.
If they have a bona fide Cluster B personality disorder, it’s dark. It’s deep. It’s toxic. But more accurately, it’s sticky.
There are a few things you can do on a conscious level to help depersonalize whatever they say and to avoid having them trigger you into taking the conversational bait.
First of all, strive to go gray rock. Picture yourself as calm as a smooth rock surface at the bottom of a stream.
As the waters rush by, understand that while they do have an innately erosive effect over time that there is no reason to actively engage with the corrosive agent. Let their caustic or antagonistic words flow past you without resistance.