Living with a narcissist demands constant, careful monitoring of my every word. A momentary slip-up could result in an explosive episode of narcissistic rage. As you can imagine, this causes constant stress for my owner, the other household members, and me. Therefore, I fortify myself with a cracker box full of parrot phrases to appease the narcissist in my home and ease stress for all of us.
People who meet the DSM-5-TR criteria for narcissistic personality disorder or possess significant traits of this disorder (narcissist) often have low self-esteem. They feed on positive praise and feel stressed when their supply runs low. Even when the emotional goodies ring insincere, they still soothe a narcissist’s stress like a healing balm. Here are a few of my favorite phrases to parrot to my narcissist owner.
When all else fails, this phrase works like a charm. At a house party hosted by my narcissistic owner, I watched a guest cleverly evade a nasty rage when my owner noticed the guest had captured the spotlight of the party-goers’ attention. When my owner confronted the situation, the guest simply explained that the narcissist displayed such a majestic presence that the other guests felt intimidated. The party-goers felt more comfortable hanging around the guest, who was merely “ordinary.” Like magic, the narcissist relaxed noticeably and smiled. (Truth is, every parrot, human and living being is special in the eyes of God or the universe).
Since there is no point in persuading a narcissist to see a different viewpoint, this treasured phrase will squelch most arguments and ease relational stress. More than likely, there is some kernel of truth in what the narcissist believes. Besides, who wants to hear the ridiculous justifications and excuses for insensitive, cruel, or rude behavior? I overheard my owner erupt into a rage because a friend “disturbed her at work” by sending a message on my owner’s personal email, which she opened while playing with her smartphone during work hours. Wow! What a distortion.
“Your Parrot is Gorgeous!”
Parrots and humans can adapt this phrase to include a narcissist’s home, vehicle, yacht, hairstyle, trash can, or anything that might be considered attractive. Who cares? From my birds-eye view, a genuine compliment will ease everyone’s stress.
“Only Your Needs Matter.”
I stopped saying, “Polly wants a cracker,” because I only got fed after the narcissist fed herself, played on social media, texted a few friends, napped, applied makeup, and shopped. Even then, the narcissist asked another household member to feed me and clean my cage – to ease the stress of having to focus on my needs for a moment. No point in saying this phrase to a narcissist; simply recognize that this is their truth.
“You are Lovelier than the Bride!”
If the narcissist is not particularly attractive, a more truthful alternative might be to compliment them about their parrot or pet.
“You are Good.”
Never taking ownership of their evil ways, narcissists constantly soothe stress (and guilt) by reminding themselves of how good, moral, or spiritual they are. However, the evilest people will do something good from time to time. That’s why churches are loaded with them. Don’t get me wrong, good people attend church too, but they repent.
“You have Every Right to Be Angry!”
How dare any parrot or human speak the stressful truth about a narcissist’s bad behavior or true nature? I find it much easier to validate my owner’s anger, no matter how overblown. After all, everyone has a right to be angry; it’s usually a matter of perspective anyway.
“You’re the Best!”
This phrase becomes tricky when the narcissist is not particularly smart, funny, interesting, or talented. One idea is to parrot insignificant accomplishments like, “You’re the best texter, shoe polisher, or garbage taker-outer I ever met. Another good fallback is to fuel the narcissist with plenty of excuses for their mediocrity, “You didn’t get enough encouragement, the game was rigged, the competition was unfair – I’m sure you get the idea. “These phrases ease stress like magic.
Polly wants a cracker and some praise. However, I lower my expectations with my owner to ease my disappointment. Did you notice I didn’t parrot anything about my stress – living with a narcissist?
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Neuharth, D. (2021, June 30) 13 Common Behaviors and Values of Narcissistic People. How to identify narcissism in those around you. Psychology Today – Narcissism Demystified. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/narcissism-demystified/202106/13-common-behaviors-and-values-narcissistic-people