Conversational narcissism

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JollyJazz

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Conversational narcissism
« on: October 20, 2020, 09:59:19 PM »
Hi All,

I'm struggling with talking to someone with 'conversational narcicissm'. We've been talking on the phone and I find he talks about 95% of the time, often going on long lectures about historical topics. I feel like I should have timed it, but I'm pretty sure some of the spiels are up to 30 minutes long. I usually just listen patiently but the other day I had a bit of a drama in the laundry while he was talking and he said I wasn't listening carefully enough, and that 'time was money'. I guess I was feeling a bit more tired or stressed than usual, because it felt so unfair. I feel like I'm the one that does all the listening, and just being treated like my role is to be the appreciative audience is somewhat exploitative. He hadn't asked me how I was (as I've been going through a lot in the past month), and sometimes when he does ask questions he just talks right over me. So I said I wanted our conversations to be more equal and for him to let me talk more and ask how I am. I was polite about it, but now I'm feeling guilty about bringing it up. Ant thoughts or perspective is welcome! 😊

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Conversational narcissism
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2020, 04:30:43 AM »
Gosh no! No need to feel guilty, be proud of yourself for setting a healthy boundary. I have several friends like that, they lecture, talk about a topic I have nothing to contribute to, and talk over me when I say something. I allocate some time for the monologue,  after that I change the topic.
You might want to find out how much of their lecture really interests you, if it does not, just say, that does not really interest me. You might be surprised how quickly they hang up.
You have given your friend a chance by telling him that you want conversations to me more equal. That is a clear request and he can choose to respect your request or to ignore it. If he ignores it, you know what role you play for him - an admiring listener. If you want to play that role, by all means play it. If you don't - excuse yourself  from the call the moment you start feeling restless or irritated or bored.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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LemonLime

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Re: Conversational narcissism
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2020, 01:30:25 PM »
JJ, I used to have friends like this.   My sib is like this.

I have spent some time writing down what I want in a friend.  What characteristics are necessary for me to be satisfied in a friend relationship?
It's been revealing to me to see what I need. 
Now I wouldn't continue with a friendship like the one you describe.  It doesn't interest me and I don't get much out of it.  Since I'm more than willing to give, I expect my friends to give also.

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Boat Babe

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Re: Conversational narcissism
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2020, 02:07:23 PM »
Ghastly, boring, petty, vindictive, repetitious, utterly predictable word salad monologues. Usually delivered at above the decibel safety zone.

I once thought of having cards printed and laminated with appropriate responses to save me having to engage verbally with my mother when she went off on one.

I am utterly done with that behaviour from ANYBODY.
It gets better. It has to.

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JollyJazz

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Re: Conversational narcissism
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2020, 11:14:28 PM »
Hi notrightinthehead, Lemon lime and Boat Babe,

Thank you, I really appreciate your thoughtful responses 😊

I feel so much guilt with boundary setting, but at least I am setting them now! 😊 One of my therapists actually said that 'when I feel guilty I am on the right track' LOL!!!

It helps so much to have support and validation, so thank you. It means a lot!

Friend was actually good about it. I'm still a bit fragile from other recent events (see other posts) so I think I need a break from any emotional barrages, so am taking a little break from conversations with him.

Hope you are all doing well ☺️ xx

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Mintstripes

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Re: Conversational narcissism
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2020, 01:07:35 AM »
I really like this term, Jolly. “Conversational narcissism”!

I have a friend like this. She usually talks about herself. Monologuing, maybe? I’ve been sort of stumped about her behavior but lately have been coming Out of the FOG with her too.

We sometimes leave each other voice messages. Upon reflection, I realized that I had brought up 3 separate topics in conversation to her last week. I also realized that she didn’t respond to any of them. Instead, she ignored them all and continued talking about herself and some drama going on in her life.

I think you are right to set the boundary with this friend. Do you think he’ll actually work on it or is it a lost cause?

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JollyJazz

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Re: Conversational narcissism
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2020, 02:44:36 AM »
Hi Mint,

Thanks for that! ☺️
I did set the boundary and he has worked on it ☺️

I think there's another cause behind it, not NPD, so it's interesting. Maybe asperger's. I feel like I can handle a non malevolent cause, and if someone is trying that's really good I think!

I'm sorry to hear that you are dealing with that too.

Hmm, maybe you could try the boundary thing too? I guess how someone responds is the ultimate test!

I'm going through some personal growth and I just find it affects my other relationships so much! It's in a good way ultimately - but it can be hard work at the time. I think, with friendships when you're single (like I am) it's especially hard because it's a major source of emotional support.

Best wishes for your friendship, whatever you choose to do ☺️