How To Reason With A Narcissist and Fables

I like to check the search terms people use to get to my blog and today someone searched, “how to reason with a narcissist”, along with the ever popular “How to make a narcissist fall in love with you”.

I don’t want to sound condescending, but I have to smile every time I read when someone searches for those two things; I know that they are new to this narcissist thing and still in denial, still full of hope and wishful thinking. Thinking that if they change, the narcissist will also. I hate to be the needle to pop their balloon but trying to reason with a narcissist is ….. well its like that fable about the Frog and the Crocodile

The Frog and the Crocodile

Once, there was a frog who lived in the middle of a swamp. His entire family had lived in that swamp for generations, but this particular frog decided that he had had quite enough wetness to last him a lifetime. He decided that he was going to find a dry place to live instead.
The only thing that separated him from dry land was a swampy, muddy, swiftly flowing river. But the river was home to all sorts of slippery, slittering snakes that loved nothing better than a good, plump frog for dinner, so Frog didn’t dare try to swim across.
So for many days, the frog stayed put, hopping along the bank, trying to think of a way to get across.
The snakes hissed and jeered at him, daring him to come closer, but he refused. Occasionally they would slither closer, jaws open to attack, but the frog always leaped out of the way. But no matter how far upstream he searched or how far downstream, the frog wasn’t able to find a way across the water.
He had felt certain that there would be a bridge, or a place where the banks came together, yet all he found was more reeds and water. After a while, even the snakes stopped teasing him and went off in search of easier prey.
The frog sighed in frustration and sat to sulk in the rushes. Suddenly, he spotted two big eyes staring at him from the water. The giant log-shaped animal opened its mouth and asked him, “What are you doing, Frog? Surely there are enough flies right there for a meal.”
The frog croaked in surprise and leaped away from the crocodile. That creature could swallow him whole in a moment without thinking about it! Once he was a satisfied that he was a safe distance away, he answered. “I’m tired of living in swampy waters, and I want to travel to the other side of the river. But if I swim across, the snakes will eat me.”
The crocodile harrumphed in agreement and sat, thinking, for a while. “Well, if you’re afraid of the snakes, I could give you a ride across,” he suggested.
“Oh no, I don’t think so,” Frog answered quickly. “You’d eat me on the way over, or go underwater so the snakes could get me!”
“Now why would I let the snakes get you? I think they’re a terrible nuisance with all their hissing and slithering! The river would be much better off without them altogether! Anyway, if you’re so worried that I might eat you, you can ride on my tail.”
The frog considered his offer. He did want to get to dry ground very badly, and there didn’t seem to be any other way across the river. He looked at the crocodile from his short, squat buggy eyes and wondered about the crocodile’s motives. But if he rode on the tail, the croc couldn’t eat him anyway. And he was right about the snakes–no self-respecting crocodile would give a meal to the snakes.
“Okay, it sounds like a good plan to me. Turn around so I can hop on your tail.”
The crocodile flopped his tail into the marshy mud and let the frog climb on, then he waddled out to the river. But he couldn’t stick his tail into the water as a rudder because the frog was on it — and if he put his tail in the water, the snakes would eat the frog. They clumsily floated downstream for a ways, until the crocodile said, “Hop onto my back so I can steer straight with my tail.” The frog moved, and the journey smoothed out.
From where he was sitting, the frog couldn’t see much except the back of Crocodile’s head. “Why don’t you hop up on my head so you can see everything around us?” Crocodile invited.
“But I don’t want to see anything else,” the frog answered, suddenly feeling nervous.
“Oh, come now. It’s a beautiful view! Surely you don’t think that I’m going to eat you after we’re halfway across. My home is in the marsh– what would be the point of swimming across the river full of snakes if I didn’t leave you on the other bank?”
Frog was curious about what the river looked like, so he climbed on top of Crocodile’s head. The river looked almost pretty from this view. He watched dragonflies darting over the water and smiled in anticipation as he saw firm ground beyond the cattails. When the crocodile got close enough, the frog would leap off his head towards freedom. He wouldn’t give the croc a chance to eat him.
“My nose tickles,” the crocodile complained suddenly, breaking into the frog’s train of thought. “I think there might be a fly buzzing around it somewhere, or a piece of cattail fluff swept into it while I was taking you across the river.”
“I don’t see a fly,” the frog said, peering at the crocodile’s green snout. It seemed odd that anything could tickle a crocodile through it’s thick skin.
“Would you go check my nose for a piece of cattail fluff, then?” the crocodile begged, twitching his nose. “I’m afraid I’ll sneeze and send you flying. I don’t want to feed you to the snakes.” A tear seeped out of his eye, as if he was holding back a mighty sneeze.
The bank isn’t too far, the frog thought. And it’s the least he could do to repay him for bringing him over. So he hopped onto the crocodile’s snout and checked the nostrils. Just a little closer, and he could jump… “I don’t see–” he began.
Just then, with a terrific CHOMP! the frog disappeared. The crocodile licked his lips in satisfaction and gave a tiny half-sneeze. “Good, I feel much better already,” he smiled, and turned around to go back home.

Moral of the story is…………..you can try to reason with a narcissist, he will even seem to be agreeing with you, you feel you have made progress, your hopes are buoyed, the future looks brighter and then he will strike you where it hurts, because he is a narcissist and narcissists do not play fair, they don’t want to “be reasonable” because they like chaos and discord, they want to call you unreasonable, and blame you for everything. Being reasonable would look too much like getting along, playing fair, following rules, being honest, faithful and understanding, giving, and all those other yucky things people in relationships do when they are in love and they care about the other person. It is what he had to do to hook you, and that was bad enough, he certainly isn’t going to do it when he doesn’t have to. He might put on a good show of being reasonable if you break up but it will only last until he has you back.

So I am sorry, you won’t find the answer to your question here, because it does not exist, you can not reason with a narcissist. Period.

How do you get them to fall in love with you? See answer to How to Reason with a Narcissist, It is impossible because Narcissists don’t love anyone, they are not capable of love, their brains don’t “do love” because they are too self absorbed to love anyone but themselves. They lack empathy and without empathy or a conscience, it is impossible to really love someone.

Again, there I go with that needle, popping balloons.

Good luck with your search for answers, when you can’t find them, and it is another couple of years down the road and you are at your whits end; come back, we”ll be here with tissues if you need a shoulder to cry on.

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20 Replies to “How To Reason With A Narcissist and Fables”

  1. Well interesting read. I have been with my new love now for some months now, his ex wife was and is narcissistic she just wont leave him alone. he has repeatedly told her to stop contacting they are divorced etc. Well today she rocked up at his house with an excuse to see his step son who lives with him. Also that morning he was told his brother had just died two hours before. I am usually there at the week ends and she knows that. But because its mothers day tomorrow I am staying with my mum. Well he phoned me today and told me his sad news and told me she is there. I am not sure what to think. I have made excuses for him because he is grieving but knowing she came and is baking a cake for his son. What an I to think, what can i do. She always comes back.

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    1. Needed to add more as he phoned me tonight, because I txt him saying all his ex is doing is trying to do break us up he came back to me saying I was jealous. He is in denial he can not see what she is trying to do. He was the one who divorced her, he was telling me she is having trouble letting go.

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      1. Helen, I think you have to step back and rethink this whole relationship. For one thing, how do you know she is the narcissist, because he says so? I am sure my ex is telling everyone I am a narcissist too. Do you know for sure he isn’t calling her and crying the blues so she goes over because she believes he loves her? Are you sure he isn’t playing both of you against each other?
        Either way, if she is the narcissist and he can’t say no to her, you don’t need to be in the middle of that and he needs to figure it out on his own and stop feeding into the sickness. If he is the narcissist, then you really need to stay clear because he will never change.
        I suggest stepping back completely, and wait, time will tell and his true colours will show. Triangulation is such a typical ploy of a narcissist. I know my ex was telling his new woman that I was stalking him and he was afraid of what I would do, that I was psycho. I didn’t even know his phone number or his address, but he kept showing up at my door and my place of work professing his undying love. I finally sent him an email and CC’d her saying to leave me alone and then he hand delivered a letter with her in the car watching, saying that he had found the love of his life and would never be there for me again and to get on with my life. Hold it!! you can’t dump me!! I just dumped you!!!
        I would not put it past him to sabotage his own vehicle and say it was me just to make her think I was the nut case. I know in the past he put sugar in his own gas tank and blamed his g/f’s ex. They are warped and can do things a normal person would never think of.

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        1. It is me calling her a Narcissist he had no idea what it was he had to look it up. I only went by what happened in their relationship. But you are correct he is not perfect him self because when she makes contact he seems to reply. He told me he was just being nice when she rocked up at his door wanting to make this cake for his son. But his sister were there as well and were cold towards her. Any how all I know are my feelings and I was upset knowing she was there making her self comfortable in the kitchen we share touching my things. Her knowing quite well that i wouldn’t be there.
          I will go to the funeral next week with him as I know the family well and they cool off from him and get him to think. I do think he enjoys hurting me and her too because its so easy for him to let her her go but he doesn’t seem to be able some how. I only asked him last week does he want her back and he said no.
          He divorced her. Thanks Carrie I am now thinking maybe they are both as bad as each other.

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  2. Great post. One very simple, short piece of advice that someone once gave me was simply, “You can’t reason with crazy.” Nothing is ever going to make sense or be fair with a narcissist.

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    1. I completely agree. I tried to reason with my ex about fixing our relationship before it turned deadly but no matter what I said, he would have ten more excuses as to why. He never listened and I don’t think he ever heard a word I said. He had something stuck in his head and that was the only thing he ever believed.

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      1. Broken Hearted, they don’t want to fix a relationship, they thrive on the chaos and the drama. He knows the truth, but he will never admit it because he will never admit to being wrong and he wants to fight. My ex would be like a dog with a bone over something he said I did wrong. I would explain exactly what happened and think the problem was solved and 10 minutes later he was on me for the same thing again. His sister was staying with us and was in the spare bedroom but could hear him giving me shit about never buying groceries and he had to buy them all. I had my receipt from groceries I had bought but he totally ignored it and was badgering about owning him money and he had spent over a hundred on food just the other day. It went on and on until finally she came out of the bedroom and said, “I couldn’t help but over hear and I don’t want to get involved in your disagreement but James you are wrong. You bought groceries over a month ago and they consisted of stuff for yourself, you spent under $50 and it was razors, shaving cream and sandwiches, there were no groceries. Carrie buys groceries every day and just did a big shopping a couple of days ago.” He looked at her and said “You are right.” She went back in the bedroom and she told me should couldn’t believe her ears when she heard him giving me shit about the same damn thing 5 minutes later.
        I was so thankful to have a witness finally. I could have proof, like receipts, be able to recite dates and times b ut it never mattered, if he wanted a fight he was going to fight.

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  3. The last weekend I spent at the narc’s house, I opened the cupboard and dishes and glasses were rigged to fall out. It was the strangest thing. I figured someone had been in the house but probably the more correct answer was that the narc had set the whole thing up as some kind of weird thing that was happening to him. He was in such a fantasy world at the time of my departure. I also felt that at any time, he was capable of erupting with anger and I would be the target. I told him I was not coming back and he said that “Maybe we could work something out that would be more permanent.” I informed him I was not interested. His face dropped but I could see him “scheduling” in his mind all of the replacements. It was just a matter of rescheduling interment partners for his entertainment, his audience. We are all interchangeable. We mean nothing to these critters. They have no empathy. Therefore, no morals. They don’t have any idea of what them sleeping with another person means to you or do they care. They just don’t get it and they never will.

    I know my narcissist was proud to say that he had slept with another woman the night his first child was born. What kind of a human being does that. A narcissist does that. Not only does he do this but he also retells the information to anyone who will listen. They are inhuman.

    Helen, you need to let the dust settle. Take a step back and love yourself enough to see what is going on. I do know what you are going through. It is their crazy dance, a dance you will be doing the entire time you are with him, if he is a narcissist. I wish someone would have pulled me aside and told me. It would have saved me a lot of grief. Grief that I will not go through again. My Narc-dar is very good now. If they are too good to be true, they probably are.

    Thank you Carrie for this forum. The great thing about it is all the information you glean on personality disorders. Very provocative!

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  4. Good one, Carrie. I am reminded of the fable of the venomous snake who wheedles his way into the pocket of a compassionate traveler to get up a mountain only to bite and kill his benefactor at the top. His excuse for himself was “you knew I was a snake when you picked me up.” Those of us who reach out for help or who find ourselves repeatedly crying on the shoulders of friends and family while we are under narcissistic abuse get the pushback that we knew–or should have known–that he was a snake and they have no sympathy for us. But it’s not like that. It’s way more like your crocodile story where the wheedling is much more intense and ongoing, obscuring our internal red flags at each new level of exposure. I think you would agree that even this fable, though, doesn’t say it all.

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    1. Marylee, you are right, this fable doesn’t near cover the depth of deception and mind F*$king that goes on when you are with a narcissist. But the narcissist does argue with such conviction and after a while he does almost make sense because he gets the victim so confused they don’t know what the truth is any more or they just give up trying to make sense of things and let him have it his way to hopefully get some peace. By the time I left I was at the point where I knew he was going to kill me and I didn’t care, I just wanted off the roller coaster ride, I just wanted the pain to stop.

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  5. To Helen: my ex-narc husband told me all manner of bad things about his first wife, that she was psycho, that he had to leave her for the sake of his children’s mental health etc. Well guess what? After a while he began telling me that I was psycho and that he would have to leave me if I didn’t change because I was ruining his children’s mental health. Truth is with both his first wife and I, he was projecting his own behaviour.

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    1. Mine would not only project his own stuff onto me, but would pick up my feelings and think they were his, then blame and punish me for making him feel that way. Talk about crazy-making! I can’t tell you how many years I questioned and re-questioned my own sanity. I think our anger comes not only from the extreme hurt, but from finally figuring out how badly we have been lied to and manipulated–that it was them all along and not us driving the crazies. That’s the anger I most want to move away from. Now that I am not living in the middle of all that, I can move away and just let it be and get some peace in my own self. Distance, space, and time is my ticket right now.

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  6. I would always get a tense muscle from my back going up the left side of my head when around the narc. By the time I left, I too was afraid that something was so wrong, I was afraid for my safety. Once again, I cannot believe how they are all alike. Nothing is more horrible than to realize that they are just one disagreement, one rage away from you becoming a stat on the nightly news. Our stories are all the same. They are such horrible, horrible people and they all start out so charming, so sincere, so loving.

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