The Second Absolute Narcissist's Playbook
Part 2: 30 dirty mix-and-match tricks for pretending you win no matter what.
Posted Jun 19, 2020
I've made up names for lots of these, many that could be improved upon. We need names for them. To name them is to tame them.
Some end with the awkward -izing or -ifying. I use these as they are used in "moralizing" or "justifying." They tend to mean "deliberately misrepresenting." This is a second list. The first is here. And the list could go on. Humans are ingenious, but perhaps most ingenious at developing all-purpose self-defenses that, strung together mix and match, can be used to make ourselves feel infallible.
- “Yeah, but this insight really moved me so it’s the last word.” Meming. Being wooed by an insight so appealing you don’t think there’s any need for any other insights ever again.
- "Nothing arrogant about it. I simply happen to know I'm the best at deciding what's true." Self-convincing. Pretending that because you checked and agree with yourself again and again you must be right about everything.
- “Evidence? I have no use for evidence. I have faith and I’m damned proud of it.” Proud faith. Pretending that a blanket refusal to reconsider other possibilities is a badge of honor.
- “That's boring, confusing, or difficult, therefore it’s irrelevant." Pseudo-objectivism. Pretending you are the measure of all things and that if something isn’t intuitive to you, you can dismiss it as false.
- “I don’t know about that so it’s impermissible as evidence.” Blanking-blocking. Pleading ignorance not as an admission of your limitations but as evidence of your authority.
- “Is it true? Yes, I hope so.” Reality/hope blurring or magical thinking. Pretending that what you want to think is true is therefore true.
- “Oh, you just don’t want to believe it.” Reality/hope blurring or dreadful thinking. Pretending that you must be right because your challengers don’t believe it.
- "You're just trying to make me look wrong."
- “It just is.” Literal unreasonableness. Not giving reasons. Employing the words “just” or “only,” which means ignore all other possibilities.
- “I’m just trying to be righteous, doesn’t that count for everything?” Self-sanctifying. Claiming pure motives as though you’re high self-regard decides anything.
- “I win because I’m more hysterical than you.” Out-maniaciking. Pretending that debates are won not by realism but by passion, as though if you exaggerate most wildly and passionately your insistence trumps all other considerations.
- “In general never generalize. Your kind always stereotypes us so you’re wrong about everything.” Hypocritical generalizing. Pretending that an unflattering generalization is wrong because it’s a generalization.
- “Don’t tell me how I feel! I’m the authority on how I feel! You just want to put me down.” Hypocritical psychologizing. Pretending you believe that people always know what they feel as a way to keep people from psychologizing you while you psychologize them.
- “How would I do it? By succeeding!” Goalifizing. Pretending that fanatical passion to reach a goal is all it takes to achieve it.
- “I’m principled; you’re pigheaded. They’re totally different! Don’t you know that?!” False distinctions. Pretending a double standard isn’t one by declaring a difference without explaining it.
- “Fine, I’ll shut up forever so you can dominate.” Caricaturizing. Making them sound ridiculous, to shame them out of it.
- “You question my argument? Fine. I’ll start all over again.” Insistent replay. If they question your argument, declare it over and over again until they give up.
- “Shame on you for violating whatever absolute moral principle my behavior demonstrates I don’t care about at all except when it comes in handy for guilt-tripping a challenger into submission.” Moralizing. Blaring your police siren so loud it drowns out the sound of your own violations.
- “Shame on you for being so insensitive as to trespass on my unchallengeable safe space." Theatrical hypersensitivity or PC. Pretending to be offended to shut people up.
- “Shame on you for being so sensitive as to encroach on my unchallengeable freedom to trespass." Theatrical hyper-insensitivity or anti-PC. Barking at people for not tolerating your barking so you can get them to back off.
- “I’ve been oppressed, so from now on, I’m right about everything.” Victim-vindication. Pretending that having been wronged makes you permanently right.
- “I didn’t say what you heard me say! You must have heard wrong.” Misinterpretizing. Rather than facing and addressing your inconsistencies, pretending your challenger misunderstood you.
- "Oh, so you're saying we should all just be stupid?" Misinterpretizing.
- “Jeez, I was just joking. My, aren’t you hypersensitive?” Ironizing. Theatrical revising the past they say that they were only kidding. Irony is useful but easily abused as a no-tag-backs way of dodging challenges to our assertions.
- “Sounds like you have biases.” Blind self-exemption. Treating universal human traits as rare pathologies of the weak and maladjusted.
- “So what? Everybody does it!” False equivalentizing. Ignoring questions of degree to justify your excesses.
- “If you’re not absolutely pure, your challenges mean nothing.” Puritanizing. Harping on the tiniest fault, real or imagined in your challengers as if their humanness proves your saintliness.
- “Look, when I say you're pigheaded and I'm steadfast, I'm just calling a spade a spade, nothing more.” Spinflexing. Using loaded terms as though they’re descriptive.
- "You don’t agree with me about how to achieve X? You must not want to achieve X.” Exploitative extrapolation. Willfully confusing means for ends as though anyone who disagrees with your means must not share your ends.
- “I’m proud to demand more, stand my ground, speak up for myself, uphold my principles and, furthermore, hold high standards, whereas you, you’re just being pushy, attached, demanding, obnoxious, and, not only that, pigheaded.” Spinplex pile-on. Reiteration disguised as reasoning. Employing loaded synonyms to make your argument appear longer and stronger and their argument seems weaker.
And a few more just to show that there's no reason to stop at 30 (or the 60 in both lists combined) The list goes on. I welcome suggestions of others to add, better names, and existing names that I may have missed in the literature.
- “That’s just talk, words, theory, abstraction or semantics” Wordy anti-wordism. Accuse them of empty talk without showing any curiosity about why your talk counts and theirs doesn’t.
- “My belief is simpler (or more complicated) so I’m right.” Formulizing. Pretending that there’s an easy formula for deciding who’s right, one that makes you right.
- “I’ve stacked carefully selected and edited arguments in my favor that prove I’m right. Cherry-picking. Ignoring counter-evidence to claim absolute certainty. “Giving up on debating me proves you’re wrong about everything.”
If you want to hear them used in action to deflect all challenges and, more importantly, suggest how to defeat people who will say or do anything to remain undefeated, check out my YouTube podcast episode:
Here's an annotated version of that fight with an absolute narcissist: