Thursday, September 22, 2011

There is no "no" in Narcissese...

... is there? The photo situation is not resolved and I was gonna ask you how I can translate the "no"s I've expressed to him into language he can understand... but it's impossible.

There is no "no" in Narcissese. When they want something, they won't understand politely phrased "no"s. They'll refuse to.

After another, more polite request for photos, after which my husband remembered we had a few other pics we could send, I sent him three relatively lame photos, one of which didn't even include us - it was a landscape.

Now he texted me, asking for MORE.

I said "I don't know what else to send you. I'm not like you, I don't take hundreds of pictures every month."

Was that a "no"? Or did I hallucinate? I thought that meant "no" - I'm not sending any more photos.

His response?

"Then send me all you've got, even if it's only 10 photos."

Google has a suggested search "telling a narcissist no" which I used. The search, however, yields no actual practical advice.

The question exists. The answer doesn't.

Do you have one for me?


  1. I see "no" being more about the actions than I do about the word itself. When you say no, you have to mean it, and you mean it by showing it. Just ignore his requests for photos and don't send any. I think that's the best way to show him that no means no.

  2. Excellent advice, Jonsi. Interestingly enough, that's exactly what my non-ACON husband suggested, too. I'll quote him: "Ignore." I guess I'm too conditioned into believing ANY request anyone makes is somehow inherently justified, and it is I who must justify my refusal to comply. As if the act of making a request made it a justified, sane, rational request. And then I'd better have a damned good reason for not complying.

  3. Came in to say I agree with you. They don't hear 'no' and in fact sometimes take that as a challenge (which they relish) to get you to capitulate.

    "No" doesn't exist for the Narcissist. That's why they're able to get some many freebies, special consideration, bend the rules, etc., when out in the public world: they're shameless.

  4. Meant to post yesterday but life intervened; my NM is also a picture-junky. I saw it as her way to control any situation she wasn't actually in the middle of. She'd demand lots and lots and lots of pictures, thus ensuring the victims spent all their time trying to make her happy rather than enjoying themselves, then spent the next few days miserably sending the pictures.

  5. My counselor suggested 3Ds...Delete, Delete, Delete. It works really well. I have used it on several occasions now. If I try any polite refusal they will either ignore or see it as a challenge to argue the point. Once with someone I didn't care for, I used the phrase, "What part of NO don't you understand the N or the O." I do not recommend this for anyone that you need to encounter at a later date but it was sure fun for me to do once. I did have to report to my boss since it was a person I should have been more polite to but I told my side first and in a way that the boss was laughing enough that I knew I wouldn't be written up. Just my perspective and not to different from Jonsi.


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