Word Salad – How You Know You Are With a Narcissist

this is a comment made by Connie, one of our dear members who saw this excellent article and wanted to share. If anyone knows the author I will give credit where credit is due but I wanted everyone to get a chance to read it. It is EXACTLY what JC used to do. I can remember being driven to total frustration and then being told to calm down or “Look at you!, this is why I can’t talk to you. You aren’t even making sense.” I read something yesterday that blew my mind. I copied it (from a post on a Narcissist facebook page). I hope it’s ok to repost stuff like that here. I don’t know who wrote it, so I hope there’s no copyright issue with it Carrie? If so, I take full responsibility. I don’t know the original author. It really helped me because it’s about how the N’s use their word skills to totally confuse and disarm us….my N did this to me constantly and I am just now realizing what an impact it had on my psyche. My spinning head is finally slowing down long enough to see how wounded I was. He was a master at this. It’s called “Word Salad” and it’s brutal and cruel. How many of you have experienced this kind of abuse from the N? I’ll paste it below. Thanks for everyone’s support and hugs. I really care about you guys and coming here every day has helped me get this far. Thank you!!! Image “10 Warning Signs of Word Salad When they’re feeling threatened or bored, psychopaths will often use what’s called “word salad” as an attempt to regain control over you. Basically, it’s a conversation from hell. They aren’t actually saying anything at all. They’re just talking at you. Before you can even respond to one outrageous statement, they’re already on to the next. You’ll know it in a second, because you’ll be left with your head spinning. Know the warning signs, and disengage before any damage can be done: 10. Circular conversations You’ll think you worked something out, only to begin discussing it again in two minutes. And it’s as if you never even said a word the first time around. He begins reciting all of the same bullshit, ignoring any legitimate arguments you may have provided moments ago. If something is going to be resolved, it will be on his terms. With psychopaths, the same issues will come up over and over again–why is he so friendly with his ex again? Why is he suddenly not paying any attention to you? Why does he sound so eager to get off the phone? And every time you bring up these issues, it’s as if you never even had this argument in the past. You get sucked back in, only to feel crazy & high-maintenance when he decides “I’m sick of always arguing about this.” It’s a merry-go-round! OMG! one time JC’s sister heard one of these conversations while she was in her bedroom so she came out and spoke in my defense,  He appeared to back down and she went in her room again. No sooner did her bedroom door close and he was at it like neither of us had said anything. 9. Irrelevant “facts” You say, “I wish you wouldn’t give me the silent treatment for days” and he responds, “I have to because giraffes don’t wear mittens in the summer.” Yes, that’s an exaggeration, but the point is: his responses have absolutely no grounding in reality. They are bereft of any relevance to the conversation at hand. You make a legitimate point, and he tells you that he’s going skydiving tomorrow. It defies any logic or emotion of a healthy individual. 8. Bringing up your past wrongdoings, while ignoring his own If you point out something nasty he’s doing, like ignoring you or cheating on you, he’ll mention something totally unrelated from the past that you’ve done wrong. Did you used to drink too much? Well then, his cheating isn’t really all that bad compared to your drinking problem. Were you late to your first date two years ago? Well then, you can’t complain about him ignoring you for three days straight now! And God forbid you bring up any of his wrongdoings. Then, you are a bitter lunatic with a list of grievances. Aren’t double standards fun? I remember he used my laptop and forgot to sign up and I found his personal ads. It was my fault for snooping, if I hadn’t snooped everything would be ok but my snooping was the problem. He was so disappointed in me!! 7. Condescending & patronizing tone The entire conversation will have this calm, “cool” demeanor. It’s almost as if he’s mocking you, gauging your reactions to see how much further he can push. When you finally react emotionally, that’s when he’ll tell you to “calm down”, raise his eyebrows, smirk, feign disappointment, etc. You know the drill. The whole point of word salad is to make you unhinged, and therefore give him the upper hand. Because remember, conversations are competitions—just like anything else with a psychopath. the rolling of the eyes. grrrrrr 6. Accusing you of doing things that he is doing I mentioned this in my previous article about psychopaths putting us on the defense. In heated arguments, psychopaths have no shame. They will begin labeling you with their own disgusting qualities. It goes beyond projection, because most people project unknowingly. Psychopaths know they are smearing you with their own flaws, and they are seeking a reaction. Because how can you not react to such blatant hypocrisy? As I wrote in the other article, don’t react. Just walk away. 5. Multiple personas Through the course of a word salad conversation, you’re likely to experience all 500 of his personalities. It’s sort of like good cop / bad cop / demented cop / stalker cop / scary cop / baby cop / etc. If you’re pulling away, sick of his abuse and lies, suddenly he will restore a glimpse of the idealize phase. A little torture to lure you back in with promises of marriage and children. If that doesn’t work, suddenly he’ll start insulting the things he once idealized. You’ll be left wondering who you’re even talking to, because his personas are imploding as he struggles to regain control. Victoria summed this up perfectly in another thread: “The devil himself was unleashed in a desperate fit of fury after being recognized: twisting, turning, writhing, spewing, flattering, sparkling, vomiting.” 4. The eternal victim We all know how this works. Somehow his cheating will lead into a conversation about his abusive past, a cheating ex, whatever. Who gives a crap. The point is, he treated you like garbage—and unlike him, you are not a manufactured victim, you’re a real one. You don’t use his abuse as an excuse to mistreat others, so why should you ever accept that from him? Get away from him. Even if his sympathy stories are true, who cares? All you need to know is that his behavior is unacceptable to YOU, and you deserve better. And by the way, he will also accuse you of victimizing yourself. See #4. 3. You begin explaining basic human emotions Okay, this is a huge one and needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Ready? If you find yourself explaining things like “empathy” and “feelings” and “being nice”, RUN. AWAY. Normal adults do not need to be taught the golden rule from kindergarten. I guarantee you are not the first person who has attempted to see the good in him, and you will not be the last. You think to yourself, “if he can just understand why I’m hurt, then he’ll stop doing it.” No, he won’t. He wouldn’t have done it in the first place if he was a decent human being. Any full-grown adult knows how to treat other people. And the worst part is, he pretended to be that person when you first met—sucking you in with this sweet, caring persona. The fact is, he KNOWS how to be kind & good, but he finds it boring. Don’t waste your time explaining the human conscience to a psychopath. You’d have better luck with a brick wall. Another OMG! how many times did I think, “If I could just find the right words to explain why what he is doing hurts me, he would stop” 2. Excuses Here are some magical words to live by: “I don’t like excuses. If you ask me, it’s better to behave in a way that doesn’t require excusing in the first place.” – from my own story   I hope you’ll remember this the next time someone has a list of excuses ready for their own crappy behavior. Don’t get me wrong, everyone messes up every now and then. The difference is, psychopaths deliver excuses more often than they actually follow through with promises. They condition us to be grateful for mediocre. As you enter relationships in the future, please remember it’s not a “bonus” to meet a guy whose words are backed up by actions. It should be a standard. 1. “What the hell just happened” A word salad conversation is like no other. You will be left with a physical headache. You will spend hours, even days, obsessing over the argument and wondering what in the world just occurred. You’ll feel as if you exhausted all of your emotional energy to accomplish absolutely nothing. You will have a million pre-planned arguments in your head, ready to respond to all the unaddressed BS you couldn’t keep up with during the actual conversation. You will feel the need to defend yourself. You’ll try to come up with a diplomatic solution that puts both of you at fault, and therefore gives you both the chance to apologize and make up. Stop right there. Take a step back and realize this is exactly what the psychopath wants: to control your every thought. So go do something to get him out of your mind. Exercise, cats, chores, movies, books, baking… Just forget about this idiotic conversation and let him eat his own damn word salad. Eventually he’ll choke on it. ” I used to prepare to discuss something with JC, pick the right time rehearse what I would say to get my point across in a non-confrontational way, have proof in the way of photocopies of letters to women etc, and some how I would end up in tears of frustration defending myself against some ridiculous thing that didn’t even make sense.”


15 thoughts on “Word Salad – How You Know You Are With a Narcissist

  1. Saw this on FB yesterday. This is the original source “This article is from a later chapter of the Psychopath Free book.” Looks like some things have been moved around a bit, so they aren’t exactly identical…


    Spot on description of the Narc and their BS. Number 3 (number 7 from the linked article) was a favorite of my Narc. Assholes!


      1. It’s scary just how accurate it is! This should be passed around until everyone can recite it by heart. Maybe these monsters wouldn’t have so many victims to exploit if their “disorder” symptoms were as easy to spot as a drunk staggering down the street.


  2. LOVE this Carrie!! And loved your comments. I know I can say the same thing….what a merry-go-round! And yes, I’d be all ready/prepared to “go to battle”, feeling so sure that I could FINALLY make my point….then BAM, I’d find myself defending myself all over again!! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?? It always happened! They like to keep us on the defensive…always defending ourselves (which is a position of weakness) against something we DIDN’T EVEN DO! What’s with that??!! Oh wait, I know what it is!! It’s the N!!

    And I found the source of that article!! It’s from the book “Psychopath Free”, by Peace (pen name). I’m actually reading this book now, but hadn’t got to this part yet!! Lol. The author writes well….just like in this article, he is concise all the way through the book. He lumps all the personality disorders (Borderline, Sociopath, Narcissist, Psychopath) under the heading of Psychopath…..

    Thanks for making this available on a separate page. HUGS!


  3. “6. Accusing you of doing things that he is doing.” (Or a she could be doing this to.)
    When my sister did this to me right after her little finger pointing session (this has been her defense when I’ve approached her with issues about our interactions with I feel statements.) on the phone one day, it finally clicked that our relationship was over although it had been messed up and dysfunctional for a long time. But that was when the light bulb really went on for me.


  4. I worked in a facility that the Administrator was and is a narcissist. It wore me down finally(15 years) and I had to give notice. I did not want to leave. I enjoyed my work with the residents I had to care for. I have taken leave for 5 months and finally able to understand what was happening to me. It is going to be hard to explain to my next employer why I left my previous work but hopefully I will be hired without recommendations from her because she refuses to or she tells them not to hire you !!


  5. I just heard of this term “word salad” on fb tonight, it was a brief description, I googled it and landed here. THANK YOU! My narc used to do this to me all the time, I didn’t know it was an actual thing, I thought I was the one with the communication problem. What a relief to know it was all part of his craziness! He was a pro at 1 – 10.


  6. Wow # 3 was always her excuse cuz I used to drink alot so it was like her get out of jail free card until Fotlr the first time in my life I started working on myself and self esteem thoughts actions thats when I finally noticed I was with a very Toxic person which from the very start she would say I was the Toxic one


  7. ALL. THE. TIME. I even thought my ADHD adult diagnosis was misdiagnosed and I actually had Aspergers because I truly believed I lacked the ability to communicate effectively! He had me so convinced I was THE problem! Turns out years of testing and psychoanalysis later…NOPE! He’s just a sociopathic batterer!


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