You need two types of communication strategies:
One for healthy people.
And one for toxic people.
Healthy communication not only doesn’t work with toxic people… it makes things worse.
Healthy communication assumes that both people:
(1) Have each other’s best interest in mind
(2) Are capable of and willing to show empathy
(3) Are open to taking personal responsibility
That’s why conventional wisdom around good communication tells you to:
Share your feelings.
Validate others’ point of view.
Be accountable and willing to admit your faults.
Focus on collaborating and compromising.
All of these suggestions are valid and helpful… IF both people are self-aware, empathetic individuals.
But “healthy” communication strategies are DAMAGING if used with narcissists.
Remember, narcissists focus on:
(1) Validating their own reality at all costs
(2) Not taking personal responsibility
(3) Not being empathetic
(4) Controlling your reactions and emotions
(5) Manipulating your reality
So if you approach a narcissist with the intention of collaborating, validating their point of view, and sharing your emotions…
You will get destroyed – emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.
Because they will:
-Use your efforts to collaborate as “proof” that they’re right
-Demean or belittle your emotions so you feel unsafe sharing with them
-Accuse you of being “difficult” because you want to openly deal with things
-Convince you to take ALL the blame, since you’re the only person in the conversation who’s willing to self-reflect
Healthy communication doesn’t work with toxic people.
In these cases, it’s NOT a two-way street.
Have you ever been drained by trying to use “healthy communication strategies” with a narcissist?
If you’re looking to heal from narcissistic abuse or relationship trauma, I can help! I specialize in helping people heal from toxic, dysfunctional, or harmful relationships. Read more about my specialties and approach to the counseling process or book a free consult call today!