CONVERSATIONAL Narcissism


 

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Narc-Speak #2

SITE:
Conversational Narcissism: How to Deal Without Draining Your Energy
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👄 You know the type – not you of course – the one who :
✦ never shuts up so you can’t get a word in edgewise
✦ asks you how you are but won’t let you answer more than 2 words
✦ is always interrupting to add their 2-cents
✦ knows exactly what you need to fix your problem or upset
✦ goes on & on about something that’s bothering them, blaming others
✦ talks in endless circles, until you’re punch drunk just listening to them ….

💟 Anita Vangelisti, a Texas U psychologist, found that conversational narcissism is keeping the attention on oneself, & can include : boasting, speaking loudly, using exaggerated gestures, & a ‘glazed overlook’ in the eyes when someone else is talking.

Deep-dish narcissists (NPDs) will use the technique of endless talking – to control & trap their target (victim / empath) who finds it very hard to get out of these filibusters.

💟 FROM Brett & Kate McKay (2011)
In The Pursuit of Attention, sociologist Charles Derber describes research results from 1,500 face-to-face conversations that recorded how people traded & vied for attention.
He found that despite good intentions, & often without awareness, most people use conversational narcissism. This can take subtle forms, in deference to social norms & etiquette.

Conversational responses :
1. In the shift-response, an anxious listener is internally preparing to change the subject, so attention can shift back to themselves. EXP:
James: I’m thinking about buying a new car
Rob: “Oh yeah? I’m thinking about buying a new car too”
James: Really?
Rob: Yup, I just test-drove a Mustang yesterday & it was awesome.

This style is a way to grab the focus away from the current speaker, but not always done blatantly.
The clever person can put in a nice transition comment to disguise the intention, like “That’s interesting. /  Really? I can see that…. ,”
right before shifting into a comment about themselves, tying their response to the topic at hand : “I was thinking about trading mine in….”

2. The support-response keeps complete attention on the current speaker & topic. EXP:
James: I’m thinking about buying a new car.
Rob: Oh yeah? What models have you looked at?

This style can come in 3 sub-forms, each a higher level of attention & interest in speaker & topic:
Background statements are minimal, to show you’re listening: “Uh-huh”
Supportive assertions show active listening. “You’re right. That’s not OK.”
Supportive questions indicate you’re not only listening, but also interested in hearing more. “What are you going to do now?”  (MORE…..)
✫     ✫     ✫   ✫
💟 Michelle Loch, coach, speaker, author (2017) – combined colors with 5 talking styles & the reason they can cause problems with others. Conversational narcissism (CN) shuts down thinking, fuels defensive responses, creates apathy & wastes time. In each color-style, it’s all about you – whether to protect or defend, or assuming you know what others need or want.

AT WORK, CN is someone WHO :
✴︎ always sets & leads the agenda at every meetings, or in work conversations
✴︎ assumes their team or colleagues have understood their instructions or requests (but they didn’t)
✴︎ assumes others have their goals or desired outcomes (but they don’t)
WHO:
✴︎ never asks for your opinion or ideas, or if they do, doesn’t take the time to understand your reasoning or perspective
✴︎ wastes your time, because nothing in the meeting is of value to the issues you‘ve asked feedback or help with
✴︎ ends a meeting or conversation that leaves you thinking “Well, that was all about them!” …..

Improving Leadership
❧ Be a facilitator, not a consultant with all the answers. Ask for input – trust that others know what they want or need from a conversation or meeting
❧ Ask if they want feedback from you, don’t just tell them what you think. If they say yes, then find out what specific kind they need, & in what form
Let others do the thinking : What are their needs for the project? What would be the best outcome for them? What other perspectives or customer should we be considering?

NEXT: N Mind games (#1)

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