What Happens When You Disagree With a Narcissist? We’ve all heard the phrase “let’s just agree to disagree” and this is actually a sign of a healthy individual who accepts and values the differences of other individuals and doesn’t feel the need for everyone to agree with them. Being okay with disagreement is actually a sign of emotional maturity and emotional health.
People with narcissistic tendencies, those who are self-absorbed and self-centered, are not okay when someone disagrees with them and feels the need to argue, defend, attack and criticize in order to get them to essentially conform with their thinking. Some of the reasons they can’t agree to disagree are:
1. They don’t accept or value the individuality of others.
2. They’re rigidly attached to their beliefs and always feel the need to push their agenda.
3. They have black and white thinking – you’re either with me or against me, if you don’t agree with me, we’re not ok.
4. They use what you say against you
What Happens When You Disagree With a Narcissist
Why Can’t a Narcissist Agree to Disagree?
In the realm of interpersonal dynamics, the notion of “agreeing to disagree” serves as a beacon of hope, a way to navigate differences while preserving relationships. It encapsulates the idea that two individuals can coexist harmoniously despite having contrasting opinions and perspectives. However, when it comes to interacting with narcissists, this harmonious concept often crumbles. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of why narcissists struggle to embrace the concept of agreeing to disagree and how it impacts relationships.
The Beauty of Embracing Differences
Human beings are inherently diverse. We possess unique experiences, beliefs, and values that shape our individual worldviews. This diversity is what makes interactions intriguing, as we engage with others who offer a fresh perspective, challenging our own preconceptions. It’s this interplay of differentness that fosters growth and understanding in healthy relationships.
However, narcissists, who often exhibit a pronounced sense of entitlement and superiority, find it exceedingly difficult to truly embrace the concept of otherness. They approach relationships with a distorted view that expects others to conform to their beliefs and opinions. They want people to be mirrors reflecting their own image rather than celebrating individuality. The inability to accept differing viewpoints stems from their deep-seated insecurity and fear.
Rigid Attachment to Their Perspective
Another significant roadblock preventing narcissists from agreeing to disagree is their rigid attachment to their own point of view. They view their perspective as the ultimate truth, leaving no room for alternative interpretations or opinions. This rigid mindset becomes a source of frustration for those engaging with narcissists, as they are continually subjected to the narcissist’s unwavering agenda.
In healthy relationships, individuals can engage in open and respectful discussions, acknowledging the validity of different perspectives. This allows for personal growth, compromise, and mutual understanding. However, narcissists lack the flexibility required for such constructive dialogue. Their stubbornness and relentless push to assert their viewpoint create an environment of domination and bullying, stifling any potential for agreement despite differences.
Using Your Point of View as a Weapon
Perhaps one of the most insidious aspects of interacting with narcissists is their tendency to weaponize differing opinions. Narcissists use your viewpoint against you, employing snide remarks, passive-aggressive behavior, and manipulative tactics to erode your confidence and convictions. They engage in a relentless campaign to undermine your perspective, leaving you feeling cornered and powerless.
This destructive behavior not only damages relationships but also erodes your sense of self-worth and confidence. It fosters an environment where expressing your opinions and embracing your own otherness becomes increasingly challenging.
In stark contrast, healthy relationships celebrate differences and cherish the unique qualities each individual brings to the table. They prioritize open dialogue, empathy, and mutual respect rather than using differences as ammunition in a power struggle.
In summary, the idea of agreeing to disagree thrives in relationships characterized by maturity, empathy, and respect for individuality. However, when dealing with narcissists, this concept faces formidable challenges. Narcissists struggle to embrace otherness, remain inflexibly attached to their own perspective, and use differing viewpoints as weapons to assert dominance. Recognizing these patterns is essential for those entangled in relationships with narcissists, as it can empower them to seek healthier and more fulfilling connections.
In healthy relationships, differences are not seen as threats but rather as opportunities for growth and enrichment. They serve as a reminder that we are all unique individuals with our own valuable perspectives, and it is through this tapestry of diversity that we can create meaningful and harmonious connections.
About Dr. Hawkins:
The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.
Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.
He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.
In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more