Word Salad, practiced by Narcissists, are a means to confuse and manipulate conversations. From my experience with Narcissistic Personalities, the more jumbled the conversation, the harder it is to detect the circular cycle meant to deflect blame back onto the victim.
Schizophrenic people might use word mixtures that sound illogical in context, and people with ADHD mix up some savory word salads of their own (because of lack of focus). But it is Narcissists that employ wordplay for their own selfish gain, and to dominate their victims. Their salads are scheming maneuvers.
Word Salad With Narcissists
An example of a word salad during an interaction with a Narcissist:
Victim: “I’ve observed that when I walk by, you stop texting whoever you were chatting with and turn off your device. So, I got up the nerve to check out your phone when you were showering. I saw that you are having an affair with my best friend! How could you do this to me??”
Narcissist: “Oh, you are imagining things! I’m uncertain what you’re talking about, or if you noticed the photos, too (duh), but this isn’t the point. The disloyal one is you for spying on me. I wanted to surprise you by giving my favorite girl a splendid night on the town! Well, you just f*cked that up. Only a faithless, untrustworthy woman would inspect her adoring boyfriend’s cellphone, you b*tch! My mother was right about you! Also, did you steal my shaving cream, again?”
Victim: “I … I … I apologize for rummaging through your phone and being deceitful (sobbing). Please forgive me! It’s so romantic that you would take me out tonight! I’m sorry I ruined it all. I’ll buy you some more shaving cream, too.”
Narcissist: “I’ll think about forgiving you. You hurt me to the core this time. I will give you another chance if from now on, you’re extra sweet and understanding to me. I’ve put a password on my phone to make sure you don’t cheat on me, again, by eavesdropping on my private messages. I’m also keeping my shaving cream under lock and key. I can’t believe I have to take these measures in my own house you bought us! I always knew you were rotten, but I’ll let it go just this once.”
Word Salad With Narcissists
The more subtle the word manipulations, the easier for Narcissists to brainwash, and hold complete control over their targets.
Paying attention to the tugging of our intuition pulling on us, even if we can’t pinpoint the root cause, is an important defense weapon against such manipulative wordplay, and brainwashing techniques wielded against us by predators.
Other ways to protect ourselves are through the habits listed below:
1). Self-Validation (belief in ourselves);
2). Taking inventory of our central values (not compromising on them);
3). Being aware of our boundaries;
4). Not making excuses for, or enabling, other people’s destructive behavior;
5). Remembering that before we can love others, we must first care for ourselves!