When you spend time with a narcissist it is guaranteed to be one thing – unpredictable. Some days are amazing and wonderful while other days are absolute disasters that you want out of as quickly as possible. You wonder how the narcissist enjoyed your company, appreciated what you had to offer, and thought you were a valued person in their life, but then can quickly discard you and throw you to the side as if you two never were friends or in a relationship. How can a narcissist change so quickly and why does it seem that the narcissist thrives on unpredictability? Why do narcissists thrive in chaos, and do they create chaos to feel better about themselves?
Narcissists love chaos. When there is chaos, narcissists truly do thrive. The narcissist manufactures chaos because this is when people are the easiest to control. During periods of turmoil there is a lot of uncertainty and emotions are heightened. We go into survival mode and get tunnel vision on what we see as the problem. When emotions are activated, emotions will always win out over logic, and this is where the narcissist wants to keep you – in a place driven by emotions and not logic. When they control and manipulate through methods such as gaslighting, you question your own reality, and this allows them to insert their manufactured reality that best serves them.
The narcissist will do this through crazymaking actions such as word salad where they don’t answer questions, or will answer them in a way to keep you confused. They won’t ever provide a direct answer, or may lie by omission, all in an attempt to ensure that you feel like the crazy one and things are unstable with you and the relationship. You ask for more information and try to resolve conflict, but you feel like you are talking in circles and nothing is actually being resolved. This is part of the chaos the narcissist has created. They need to ensure nothing is ever resolved.
The narcissist will bait you into the crazymaking interactions so they can then accuse you of being the problem or take the spotlight off them if they are at risk of being confronted or found out. They will start fights, accuse you of things, or name call, all to get a reaction out of you. While you are busy defending yourself against their lies and accusations, they point their finger at you as the person who is always upset and can’t talk through things. Your defensive response is the chaos they needed in their life.
And then when you appropriately defend yourself against their accusations, they give you the silent treatment and don’t allow you to get responses from them, making you feel crazier and more upset while they sit back and watch the chaos they have created. You become increasingly upset due to their removal of your ability to defend yourself and talk through the accusations; the narcissist loves watching this play out. The more upset you get, the more successful they feel in creating the chaos.
But WHY would narcissists want to live in this chaos? What purpose does it serve? The creation of chaos is how the narcissist can boost a waning narcissistic supply. When they watch those around them struggle, feel like they are crazy, and apologize to them as a way to make things better, the narcissist’s ego is boosted. They feel powerful and in control which refills their narcissistic supply.
When the narcissist keeps chaos around them, people don’t know what to expect. The narcissist doesn’t want things to become predictable to others because then people are harder to control and manipulate. When you don’t know what could be coming, you start to walk on eggshells, are cautious in your words, and emotions are activated. And no matter how smart you are, or how prepared you think you are, emotion will always win out over logic. Emotions are primal and part of survival. When emotions are activated, you are just focused on getting out of the situation and you don’t problem-solve in that moment. If you feel like you are confused in an argument with a narcissist and then later look back and wonder why you didn’t say something, or question what you did say, this is the emotions being activated and this is right where the narcissists want to keep you. Confused and uncertain. The narcissist has created chaos for their own benefit and the quicker you can step away as a pawn in their game of control and manipulation, the better for you mentally.