Why You Should Never Ask a Narcissist “Why?”

When there’s an emergency on a train, a person can pull the silver handle, and it comes to a screeching halt.

It’s sudden, it can throw you off your seat, and your stomach lurches as the brakes kick in.

Asking a narcissist, “Why?” has the same effect!

They go from merrily whistling, to screeching to a standstill.

How dare you?

Are you answering back?

Ooh… Hit a nerve, right?

If you want the full ‘Why’ scan of the narcissist, get ready!

Know a Narcissist?

Narcissists harbor so much self-importance in their hollow minds and hearts, it’s unreal. They see themselves as superior to everybody, and crave  unquestioning admiration. 

Do you know a narcissist? If you’re here, you likely do, and you’ve likely had to deal with a lot from them.

When you ask a narcissist “Why?” – be it about their behavior, decisions, or opinions – you’re doing something both brave and terrifying:

You’re questioning the perfect image they’ve built for themselves. 

One simple inquiry strikes at the very heart of their inflated ego.

Watch out!

How One Person Can Literally Change Everything

If you think that one person can’t completely alter your entire life (and not for good reasons), you’d be mistaken. 

Narcissists will come along and light the fuse to the bomb they made you hold when you ask them “why?”

What’s gone on though? Let’s backtrack to find out.

First off – you questioned their integrity. They acted on something they believed in, and you saw fault with that. You abandoned your choice to remain silent and let that pass. Instead – you picked up on it and pointed it out to them. 

It may have been an innocent enough question – but to them it was not

Suddenly, what should be an innocent conversation has turned into something really dysfunctional.

Everything changes – just because that person happens to be a narcissist.

See also  What do narcissists do to avoid answering your questions?

The Danger in Asking ‘Why’

The initial reaction of a narcissist to being questioned is often one of shock. They’re perplexed that you’d even have the nerve

Do you not know them by now??

It’s as if you’ve committed a mistake of the highest order. They are genuinely taken aback that you would dare to stand up to them. The way you’ve so brazenly called or questioned their judgment will not be allowed to slip aside. 

This reaction comes from their belief that they are unstoppable. They’re so entangled in their own world, they were ill prepared for you. 

In their eyes, they are always right. What you’ve done now is question them.

You’ve totally undermined their authority.

Prepare for that.

Let’s look a little deeper into how asking why can have you running for cover/

#1 Blame-Shift

The first reason you should never ask a narcissist “Why?”, is because of their habit to lie and manipulate. More than a habit, they feel it’s their right.

When a narcissist is confronted with questions, they don’t hesitate to twist the truth or invent stories that play on their narrative. 

They might give the most ridiculous explanations that don’t really answer your question. They will, nonetheless, be designed to confuse and almost pacify you. 

These pathetic excuses for explanations often serve to paint them in a good light. If you oppose them – that’s on you

How dare they oppose them?

#2 Gaslighting

Ah, yes. A classic. There isn’t a narcissist on the planet – past, present and future – who will not know how to gaslight. 

If you weren’t totally knowledgeable of what gaslighting is, it involves manipulating you into doubting your own perceptions of reality. That can include your opinions, what you saw, what you heard, what you read, your beliefs – everything and anything possible. 

“You’re overreacting” 

“You’re just trying to cause trouble” 

See also  Do narcissists worry about being narcissists?

“That didn’t happen, and you know it”

And so on, on and on. 

By questioning your motives as well as your sanity, the narcissist’s aim is to invalidate your concerns and make you second-guess yourself. 

Over a period of time, this totally erodes your confidence, making you far less likely to question them in the future.

Hey – that’s a winner for the narcissist – and exactly why they do it in the first place. 

#3 The Nerve!

Oh yes, we all know it well. 

The strategy known as narcissistic rage. 

The anger is predictable, but it is a ruse to get you to back off. They think their anger is going to cause you to back down. Narcissists can be dominating like that, but if you see through it, you’ll see through them

Their rage is always disproportionate. You asking a simple question doesn’t mean they get to fly off the handles and shout and scream the way they are. 

At this point, they’re trying to intimidate you. They might yell, insult, or even threaten you. 

Don’t fall for it. 

Their goal is to create an environment of fear where you are too fearful to question them again. 

If they succeed, well, job done!

The hope with rage is that they use it to remind you never to overstep again. 

#4 Punishment, Right Ahead!

Questioning a narcissist leaves room for them to give you a little bit of your own medicine. 

If you think it’s okay to ask them why, they will punish you by offering nothing but silence. This can last hours, or even days – however long it takes for them to see they’ve got to you. 

Suddenly, like the world’s biggest smokescreen, your question doesn’t seem worth it anymore. They’ve made a bigger deal of it than they should have, and you lose your energy to it. 

See also  Things Narcissists Do at the End of a Relationship

What’s the point in questioning them? All I get is trouble. I’ll just keep quiet.

And… the narcissist wins!

Narcissists have long memories and are also prone to holding grudges. Remember that when you next try to confront them. 

#5 Victim Mentality

Narcissists are absolute experts in playing the victim. 

When asked why, they can be known to portray themselves as the misunderstood or wronged party. 

The clever fools they are, they will tell you that you’re unfairly targeting them. Treating them this way when they’ve done nothing wrong.

They will lay it on thick and fast, and you will be left profusely apologizing for causing the worry or conflict. 

Narcissists can even claim that your questioning is a form of persecution.

This is so unfair! I’m a good person!

…Are you…?

This tactic is particularly effective, as it creates a pool of sympathy from others and diverts attention away from the original issue.

Like I said … experts. 

#6 Avoid Confrontation- Big Tip

The best strategy when dealing with a narcissist is to avoid direct confrontation whenever possible.

Instead of asking “Why?”, try to gather information and make decisions based on observable facts rather than seeking their validation or explanation.

Maintain your boundaries and prioritize your mental health, recognizing that the narcissist’s reaction is more about their insecurities than any wrongdoing on your part.

Clasping Courage!

So now you know…

…Asking a narcissist why is a threat to their world. 

It implies that their actions are not justified and that they may be accountable to someone else – you for example. 

Heaven forbid!

By questioning any narcissist alive, you’d be forcing them to confront a reality where they are not perfect.

This is something they cannot tolerate.

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