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7 Most Common Conversation Control Tactics All Narcissists Use

7 Most Common Conversation Control Tactics All Narcissists Use

Trying to reason or have a normal conversation with a narcissist is impossible. You can try. You can fight for your right to speak, but you’ll get nowhere.

If he wants to, he will make you feel like you’re talking to a wall—an emotionless, cold, and distant wall.

Your words simply won’t get through, no matter how determined and loud you are. Conversations with a narcissist can drive you insane.

You’re going around in circles while talking to a narcissist, and in the end, you, a perfectly healthy person, leave the conversation wondering if there is something wrong with you.

But what is that we do when we start a relationship with a narcissist?

We trust them.

And that is something you should do at the beginning of every relationship. You have a man by your side. You believe he loves you and would never do anything to hurt you.

So you give your heart and your soul to the person who is supposed to protect you, and you get the cold shoulder. You get maltreatment; you get played.

This naturally leaves you confused and hurt. Narcissists don’t think like we do.

They don’t play by the rules, and their mindsets are completely different than ours.

Their empathy doesn’t exist, and don’t you ever try to understand why a narcissist did something or said something because you won’t be able to understand it.

Even if someone told you, it would be completely illogical to you.

What happens when we realize who they actually are?

By that time, it’s too late. You go round in circles. You try to prove a point to a person who thinks he is almighty and right all the time.

Never start a conversation match with a narcissist. You’ll lose!

Their manipulation is obvious to everyone but you. And the first mistake you’re making in a conversation with a narcissist is disagreeing with him.

If you’ve found yourself in a situation where you can’t avoid talking to a person like that, just wait patiently for him to finish what he has to say, and no matter how it hurts, keep your mouth shut, and don’t let any of it disturb you.

A simple disagreement will cause a full attack on you. Instead of you being the victim which you are, he’ll turn things around, and you’re going to be the bad guy all of a sudden.

Narcissists don’t lead conversations, they lead verbal attacks. It’s not in their interest to talk things through like normal people do.

They want to mess with your head, and they want to win an argument. Nothing else matters except them winning the verbal match.

Here are the most common conversation tactics narcissists use to manipulate you.

Reverse projection

When you talk to a narcissist, you may say something nice. You may try really hard to compliment him on something to take the conversation in another direction, but that won’t be enough.

A narcissist will always interpret anything you say as an insult and a personal attack on him. He will reverse project and turn himself into a victim.

He will make you think you’re crazy and turn you into a bad guy which will leave you confused because all you wanted to do or say was something nice.

Change of topic

Whenever you have the upper hand, you’re right, and your narcissist doesn’t know how to disprove you, he changes the topic.

He has to have the control over the conversation, and while you’re in charge with your valid points, he can’t achieve that.

But before you blink an eye, he will steer the conversation in another direction where you no longer have the control.

It will have nothing to do with what you’ve talked about before, and you will find yourself in defense mode trying to prove your innocence.


A narcissist is trying to intimidate you by shouting. He is using loud voices to bully you into retreating in a conversation.

This makes perfect sense when a narcissist is a man and the victim is a woman. Most women will retreat after the shouting starts.

This tactic is the most effective when there are people around you like when you’re in public.

Knowing that you won’t risk public embarrassment, a narcissist will pick a fight, preferably around as many people as possible because he knows he’ll win it.

You’ll back down trying to calm things down.


When a narcissist changes the topic, he will put the blame on you. He will raise questions and bring up stuff from the past.

Maybe some of them were your fault, but you’ve dealt with them then—at least you thought so. Well, that’s not the case.

He is keeping those kicks in his mind exactly to use against you in moments like these.

Then, you’re the one to blame, you start defending yourself, and you have no idea how the conversation changed its course that quickly.

All you know is that you’re the one to blame for every single problem in your relationship, and he is just a blameless, poor victim.

Victim playing

When they play the victim, no one will suspect them of being the abuser. They know how to turn the situation around and prove themselves as being the abused ones.

For example, if you want something from them and you ask them nicely, they won’t answer with empathy.

They won’t care that the thing you’re asking for is very important to you. They won’t apologize for not being able to help you out.

They will get angry at you and scream at you because you haven’t considered their emotions. You haven’t thought about their feelings and what they are going through.

Because when you’re dealing with a narcissist, it’s always about them. They are and always will be their own first priority.

And in the end, you will be a bitch for even daring to ask something from him. You know, since he is a victim, and no one has the slightest idea how difficult you are to handle.

That is his goal—to present himself like that to others and eventually to convince you that it is really the truth.


As they love being in the center of attention in the crowd, they love being in the center of the attention in the conversation as well.

Their communication with you is a one-way street. If you try to prove a point and you’re very close to doing so, a narcissist will constantly interrupt you in attempt to disprove your thesis.

When a narcissist talks to you, he has no interest in hearing what you have to say, and the conversation has to take place by his rules or not at all.

So when they start losing control, they interrupt to take the control back and shift the attention to themselves.

The silent treatment

The worst form of emotional abuse is definitely a narcissist’s silent treatment . Narcissists use this to block you when you haven’t accepted what they perceive and tell to be the truth.

When they have no other source of power, they use emotional manipulation to gain control over you. Not only they use it when they are not wrong, but also every time something they don’t like takes its course.

They use it when you as a couple have to discuss important questions or when they did something wrong.

And the worst part is, they won’t talk to you unless you apologize—usually for the thing you didn’t do.

So not only do they ignore you for no reason, you have to apologize and usually beg for his attention, so he could have mercy and talk to you back.

Then he assumes the role of an almighty forgiver.

He becomes so good and forgiving, and he makes sure you remember that time when you screwed something up and he forgave you because he is a good soul like that.

The silent treatment is supposed to make you feel unloved and abandoned.

At first, it sounds strange that such behavior could provoke those emotions inside you, but when silence becomes a regular thing, it has a huge impact on you.