What is Narcissistic Word Salad? 5 Warning signs of Narcissistic Word Salad

Have you ever pondered what goes through a narcissist’s mind when you’re attempting to talk things out? Is it possible that logic, rationality, and relevance to the topic are all missing entirely? You’re probably getting a serving of the narcissist’s word salad when this happens, gorgeous one.

Without a doubt, this gaslighting tactic is insane!

On the other hand, it’s an opportunity to witness the lunacy in all its glory.

The word salad is a big, fat red flag that a) the conversation is going nowhere, b) the relationship isn’t going anywhere (it can’t, if working through problems together is impossible), and c) your conversational partner is pathologically egotistical.

Learn how to spot the main ingredients described in this article to recognize narcissistic word salad. Refrain from biting from now on, and you’ll be one step closer to ending the cycle of abuse.

narcissistic word salad

What is the definition of Word Salad?

Originally, the phrase “word salad” was used to describe persons who had psychiatric or neurological problems.

When someone diagnosed with schizophrenia, for example, utilizes a series of unconnected phrases, psychologists refer to this as “schizophasia.”

Word salad may also be defined as:

Clanging is a condition in which the affected individual speaks in rhyming and other structured ways but does not understand what they are saying.

Graphorrhea is a condition in which a person writes or types in an incomprehensible manner.

Logorrhea is a condition in which a person speaks incessantly and obsessively without making much sense.

Receptive aphasia is a type of aphasia in which the affected person appears to know what they’re talking about and talks in a normal manner, but they don’t comprehend what they’re saying.

This is a common occurrence among stroke patients.

What is the definition of narcissistic word salad?

Although the term “word salad” is commonly used in the narcissistic abuse recovery community (also known as “narc talk”), it refers to aberrant speech patterns as potential markers of diseases such as schizophrenia, dementia, various kinds of autism, and bipolar disorder in clinical settings.

The term “narcissistic word salad,” according to Elinor Greenburg, Ph.D., is simply incorrect.

“Instead of alluding to an uncontrollable vocal indication of a serious mental disease, such as schizophrenia, it is being used as a slang term for a form of narcissistic speech that is deliberately confusing,” says Greenburg in a Psychology Today piece.

In other words, when people in the narcissistic abuse recovery community talk about “word salad,” they’re referring to a common manipulation tactic used by malignant narcissists, also known as toxic people, who can include both people with diagnosed narcissistic personality disorder and those with narcissistic tendencies.

Circular talks and repetition, a lack of rationality, broad generalizations, the use of fragmented or unconnected to context language, and contradictions are all signs of it. It is characterized by a lack of semantic flexibility.

This linguistic symptom of a mental condition is involuntary when applied in the clinical sense. With Narcissistic Personality Disorder, this isn’t the case (NPD).

The pathological narcissist purposefully utilizes word salads to manipulate and dominate you by generating that confused, addled condition you’re familiar with.

It’s a type of gaslighting, which is the “go to” strategy for brainwashing people into losing faith in reality and in themselves.

As a result, in addition to the preceding marks, the narc’s word salad contains blame, denial, shaming, and aggressiveness.

If they feel threatened, narcissists may spout a string of incomprehensible phrases.

This is a gaslighting method where they purposefully mislead you.

In other words, word salad is a narcissistic manipulation technique that appears as a jumbled or incomprehensible combination of seemingly random words and phrases intended to perplex you.

Read more about Gaslighting here.

narcissistic word salad

What triggers the Narcissistic word salad?

When healthy people attempt to resolve disagreement, the goal is to reach a middle ground that benefits all sides. This approach is accompanied with aware, polite, and open communication.

Compromises are gradually worked out through a process of reciprocal listening and sharing.

The incentive to obtain mutually beneficial outcomes works because there is genuine concern for the other person and investment in seeking answers, despite the fact that it is often difficult.

That is not the case with the aggressive narcissist. The NPD mindset lacks the qualities and incentives necessary for collaborative and empathetic participation.

Attempts to handle any issues that may give you problems, regardless of how you go about it, are extremely dangerous to the narcissist.

This is because the narcissist’s entire existence focuses around supporting the false-self belief system they created.

Anything that questions the narcissist’s authority, dominance, superiority, or entitlement is prohibited and triggers defense mechanisms.

As a result, any attempt to hold the narcissist accountable, or any refusal of a given demand, results in a serving of the word salad (amongst other abusive reactions).

The machinations buried in the word salad are designed to keep the narcissist from addressing a reality in which they may be problematic.

To maintain their false views, they assign whole ownership of any problem to you.

This is how it works, by any means required…

What kinds of Narcissistic word salad scenarios can you think of?

When narcissists add random phrases into their speech to confuse you, this is an example of a word salad scenario.

Word salad might consist of things that appear to be logical but are actually total gibberish – or entirely random words put together, such as the following.

  • there are stairwells there are stairwells there are stairwells there
  • run fan preparing a lunch meal at a window
  • files weep in the green sky

Do you understand what I’m saying? No. When a narcissist spits out a jumble of meaningless phrases, though, it’s time to walk away. Word salads aren’t always just a bunch of random words tossed together.

They say things to you that have nothing to do with the discussion you’re attempting to have with them.

5 Warning Signs Of Narcissistic Word Salad

If a narcissist is tossing you a word salad, these are five indicators to look for.

1. Narcissists are known for talking in circles.

You will discover that after having a regular talk with a narcissist and agreeing on anything, there was no agreement at all.

They’ll be back to debating the topic in a couple of minutes, using illogical language.

That is their way of keeping the debate alive, and the more you engage in it, the more word salads will be hurled at you as a result of their failure to follow their agreement.

Let’s not forget about the narcissist’s filibuster, in which they talk and talk and talk, repeating the same arguments again and over. They just won’t stop talking!

2. Excuses are made by narcissists, and they believe their own lies.

There is no disputing that narcissists never accept responsibility for their conduct. They will make excuses if you confront them about anything they did.

And their excuses will lead to them tossing word salads at you in an attempt to confuse and throw you off.

They want you to believe you’re the one who’s insane for accusing them of doing exactly what they’re apologizing for.

Moreover, they appear to trust their own falsehoods. To say the least, it’s irritating.

3. On purpose, narcissists drain you.

When you try to have a regular discussion with a narcissist who perceives you as dangerous in some manner, they will toss you a word salad.

They do it to drain you, and if they see you exhausted from trying to engage in a nonsensical conversation, they will have succeeded. If this is the route the conversation is taking, it’s wise to leave before you’re fully exhausted.

They’re like emotional vampires!

4. You must teach narcissists how to feel basic emotions.

If you’re trying to teach a narcissist about empathy and why it’s vital to be kind in the same way you’d teach a preschooler, you’ll be exhausted.

They’ll figure it out and start throwing word salads at you in attempt to confuse you and get you to stop talking about your feelings.

This puts them in danger. The psychology of a narcissist might be perplexing, but it’s important to learn as much as you can so you can deal with them successfully.

5. Narcissists accuse you of doing things that they themselves have done.

Narcissists may be aware that they have committed several errors and continue to do so, but they will never admit it.

They keep this information so buried – even from themselves – that they don’t even realize it exists.

Then they’ll accuse you of doing things that are just incomprehensible to them. They’ll make these allegations against you out of nowhere. Anyone for a projection?

You’ll just want to terminate the conversation and walk away when narcissists toss word salads at you.

It’s a deception technique. Here are some films that might help you understand word salad and other narcissistic abuse and manipulation techniques.

If you need a crisis hotline or want to learn more about therapy, please see below:

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