Have you ever of the term word salad when it comes to narcissists? Narcissists use a variety of things to deflect anything from themselves and make sure that the other person thinks that they’re crazy. They use gaslighting and all sorts of other techniques to maintain control over their victims or their targets. When you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you’re going to be dealing with word salad. It is a form of emotional abuse. It’s a form of how they traumatize their victims, and it can leave you feeling very confused, powerless, and paralyzed.
A narcissist has no inner sense of value. They must get all their value from the external. Usually, something happened with them as a child leaving them feeling like they have no self-esteem. They are extremely insecure, fragile. All of us are on a narcissistic continuum in some ways, all of us have what people would refer to as narcissistic traits. This means that we want to feel seen, heard, and know that we matter. That is a universal feeling and there is nothing wrong with those feelings. Of course, we matter and of course we need to feel whole and complete but when you’re dealing with a narcissist it becomes pathological. It becomes where they absolutely need to have it. They thrive on that, and it is so far gone on the continuum that they have lost any ability to care about the other person. A lot of times people think, “Oh, that person says that they’re so great. They must be a narcissist.” What they are forgetting is the second half of that which is that narcissists not only think that they are great, but they also lack any ability to have any feelings, care for, or have empathy for another person. They are just so pathologically ill in a lot of ways. They are mentally ill. They feel that they must manipulate the world to get what they want. They use a variety of tools, and they have a whole tool chest that they use to manipulate the world, to gaslight people, and to maintain control. They do not feel inside that anybody will ever love them or be with them unless they are manipulating the situation. It is quite sad. You cannot fix them, and the emotional abuse will not stop. They can not be rehabilitated. They may be able to learn to pretend they care enough or go through the motions or act the right way, but they don’t ever come to a point of truly caring because there is something within them that is broken. It is like wishing someone could grow an arm back if their arm has been amputated. Some things are just not possible.
Narcissists use word salad as part of their world of manipulation. In the narcissism world, that means that they talk in a way that is circular. You think something is settled and then it comes back in a way that it has not been settled. They bring it up again and again even though you just had the same conversation. You have the conversation again and again and they are just trying to make you feel bad or guilty or give them attention. They want to show you how horrible you are for disrespecting them and that sort of thing. Circular conversation is one of their favorite word salad techniques.
Another technique that they use is a complete lack of logic. They’ll accuse you of cheating and say, “look at what you are wearing”. You are wearing a tee shirt and jeans and their argument makes no sense at all, but you feel inclined to defend yourself like there is something wrong with you. It is like you’re in the twilight zone.
Gaslighting is another form of word salad. They may say that they told you something and you find yourself thinking that you never had that conversation. Then they do it repeatedly and you start to question your own mind. You start to question you own sanity. You start to think, “Maybe we did have that conversation.” The word salad eats away at your self-esteem to the point where you start to question everything about yourself.
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