Saturday, December 23, 2006

Words and their importance

Words have meaning. They are conveyances of logic and the very basis of rational thinking. Without an agreed upon understanding of the definition of words there can be no cohesive society, there can be no framework to hang a civilization upon. Words are designed to communicate. They are to send unambiguious meaning from one person to another. Every social contract is defined by words. Those words must have a precise meaning not subject to individual interpretation for the words to have any force, authority or meaning. Words work best when used to transmit truth, reality, logic. Words are harder to employ to transmit feelings or abstractions. Yes, they can transmit these "hard to nail down" things, but it requires more effort and artistry. Even so, these efforts rely even more heavily on words containing precise definitions.

Enter: the narcissist. The narcissist's use of language is a study in perversion. To pervert something is to misuse it. To debase it. To "misconstrue or distort". If language is the medium of clear communication, and it is, then to pervert the use of language is to use it to fend off communication. To obscure. To fend off understanding. To avoid committing to an idea. To throw you off the truth and send you down a blind alley so the con-artist can avoid exposure. To transmit false realities...i.e. lie. The narcissist hates nothing more than to have you hold him to his words. He reserves the right to change meanings of words, to make claims of never saying those words, to twist up your thinking with shifting definitions of words. He uses language to his own ends. He destroys social contracts by not allowing himself to be held to anything he says. He is a language anarchist. He is the antithesis of civilization. He is a danger to every society he finds himself in be it a family, a work place or a nation.

By his misuse of language he perverts his own mind. Over time we see the narcissist losing track of reality. We see him slipping further and further from the moorings of objective truth by his life time of perversion of truth into lies. His thoughts, which are designed to be organized by language, become disorganized and non-cohesive because words long ago lost their meaning to him. The shifting sands of redefining reality by redefining words have greased his palms and left him with no grip on truth. We see the aging narcissist become trapped in his delusions with no ability to find his way back to truth because now his mind can not work properly. His perversion of language eventually perverted his thinking. He is adrift ...cut off from true society by his misuse of his mind and his misuse of the great conveyance of thoughts by the vehicle of language.

Beware of those who misuse language. Pay attention to the words people use and hold them to what they say even if you are holding them to their words in your own mind without confronting them. If they won't "own" the words they choose to use when you proceed on their words as if they meant what they said, then consider that a red flag if a pattern of this behavior develops. Words have meaning. Words are the foundation of our thoughts and the most important medium for a cohesive society. The meaning of "is" isn't shifting and elusive. Know for yourself what words mean and don't allow someone to pervert what they mean in your own mind. This will allow you to live in reality. This will make it hard for anyone to brainwash you into believing a false reality. Words have meaning. Stick to the meaning and you'll get through life with your rationality intact.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Words. Speaking of words, there are key phrases that sometimes can be used to flag a potential NPD in-duh-vidual. "Reality." Nobody knows reality, apparently, like an NPD. "In the real world..." or one of my favorites, "I'm not an optimist, I'm not a pessimist (here it comes...), I'd say I'm a realist." Argh!

Words are a contract between two speakers, an agreement of meaning when two people exchange those words. But the NPD doesn't honor his contract, and the meanings of their words are perverted. You are being suckered - lured - into a prepared trap by the dishonest perversion and secret agenda of the NPD.

Anna Valerious said...

Well said. My mother's personal favorite is, "We don't play 'let's pretend'". She used this one all the time on kids.

Yeah. Okay.

God forbid she have competition in creating alternate realities.

jenny said...

For the last few years I have been more and more focusing in on what people say and the words they choose to use.

My N sister-in-law uses words as weapons, but her line of defense is that "she has no control over what she says". Huh? My brother even takes her side in this and said to me that her father is like this (can't control his tongue). She "got it from him". Geesh. What rubbish and it's sickening that he actually believes this. He justifies her words with the mentality that she can't help it. Pleeeez!

What's going on inside our hearts and minds will always come out in our speech. Always. The N's can put on the mask and say the "right" words at the right time with the people they want to impress, but with the people they abuse, their true heartfelt words will always come out. Always.

The crazymaking with N's is that they use right/holy words and twist them around to make themselves seem right and us all wrong and that's where it gets nuts and confusing. That's why I talk as little as possible with the N's in my life. I'm not mentally quick enough to deceiver their mind games, but I'm learning. And I'm learning so much here at this great blog!

Anna Valerious said...

What's going on inside our hearts and minds will always come out in our speech. Always.

Did you know that is a biblical truth? "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" Matt. 12:34 You have honed in on a truth that, if believed, can make a lot of obscurities very clear. As you've now experienced very personally.

It sounds like you have a firm handle on this important piece of reality. Good for you!

That's why I talk as little as possible with the N's in my life. I'm not mentally quick enough to deceiver their mind games, but I'm learning.

Boy, I hear ya. This was why I had to limit my mother...then my sister...to the written word when communicating with me. It was impossible for me to see all the angles and methods of deception being used in every interaction. When on paper I had the ability to take the time and remove the high emotion out of the situation so I could really see what the hell was happening. I know I am much better equipped now and that they'd have an extremely hard time getting much over on me...but I am not over-confident. I do not underestimate the serpent-like abilities of those who are unrestrained by conscience to say or do absolutely anything to get what they want. Always caution no matter how savvy one gets to their ways.

jenny said...

Hi Anna,

Yes, I do know that verse from the Bible, but unfortunately never really knew that one when my brother and I had our big discussion/fight over the phone about my sister-in-law and her words. If I would have known this most excellent truth, then I would have been armed and ready with the Word of God.

I use this verse on myself as I can somewhat tell what's going on inside of myself when my words are not right. Then I can take action to get myself in line -- not that I'm always great at that. It's tough work.

Yes, I did read your previous blogs about the letters from you mother, father and sister. It was so interesting to actually read and see all the extra words that were added to a sentence to make the apology not an apology, plus all the other examples you gave. If someone said those exact same words to our face, there's no way we'd be able to catch all those extra words!

My sister is in no contact with her N mother-in-law plus her husbands siblings. She's gotten quite a few letters from them and the letters make her crazy. All the apologies that are worded to make them non-apologies, etc.

I think I'll give her the link to your blog so she can take a look around. There's just so much information and encouragement here and that's just what she needs.

I'm guessing you are a Christian and so are we (my sister and I). She has really found no encouragement anywhere and at times I think she questions their decision to go no contact. I think your blog would give her strength to carry on.

I still think it's so sad that we are pretty much taught at church to "turn the other cheek". Keep on forgiving. Put up with the pain, etc.

Something dawned on me in church today. Today's sermon was on pain. I can't give justice to the pastors sermon, but at one point he was saying that God is our Father and good fathers discipline their children. He disciplines us for our own good. Well, I thought to myself, a good father would also tell us to protect ourselves if we were in danger or being abused. If someone was after us or trying hurt us physically or emotionally, a good father would tell us to protect ourselves. Then if God is a good Father, then of course he wouldn't want us to put up with evil. So I'm not sure why so many people in the church teach that we should keep praying and "give it to God" and keep evil in our lives. It just doesn't make sense to me. I would never in million years tell my kids to stay in an abusive relationship.

I hope there's not too much Christian theology in this post. It's just so hard not to talk about it. I think I got off topic, too. :-(

Anonymous said...

Jenny,

Tourette's syndrome?

Henrik Lundqvist said...

In the 21st century, where freedom is set above truth, we witness people who throw that term around without regard for the truth. They want what they want without any attention to what reality it. Yes, reality matters. And yes, many people are terrible at judging reality plainly. The media has done such a standup job of manipulating a stupid public into believing anything, it's a wonder people are able to sh*t by themselves. The media is run by narcissists, after all.