Home > Uncategorized > Why Do Narcissists Enjoy Conflict and Drama?

Why Do Narcissists Enjoy Conflict and Drama?

Mother cleaning up after baby throwing food on floor. Image shot 2013. Exact date unknown.Why can’t she just stop? Why does he keep doing this? I don’t even know what the arguments are about half the time anymore. We keep going around and around in circles. Just as things seem to be calming down and we’re getting to a good place, she or he starts back up again. I’m just so damned sick and tired of this.

I’ll bet your tired. Being in a relationship with an emotional toddler, which is how many adult narcissists, borderlines, histrionics and psychopaths behave, is exhausting. You’re in High-Conflict Hell. That’s where narcissists, borderlines, histrionics, psychopaths and other toxic, emotionally immature and unstable personalities never seem to tire of pointless arguments, tantrums and the weekly Dramapalooza. Do you know why you’re tired?

If you’ve ever spent time with babies and toddlers, you’re sure to have played the isn’t-it-so-much-fun-for-toddler-to-throw-their-toys-spoon-food-or-plate-on-the-floor-and-watch-grown-ups-scamper-on-the-floor-pick-it-up-and-give-it-back-so-toddler-can-throw-it-on-the-floor-again-until-the-grown-ups-decide-that’s-enough-of-that-game. It’s so much fun! Well, it’s fun if you’re 29-months old. It’s not so much fun if you’re an adult. Sure, it’s fun to watch the child’s excitement as they learn about cause and effect. Baby throws spoon to the floor; mom picks up spoon. Toddler throws food on the floor; dad cleans up the mess and gives toddler more food. Baby throws toys out of the pram; Auntie T-T says, “Hey [insert friend’s name], it’s time for you to take your kid back!”

Kids of a certain age don’t tire of this game. Typically, they’ll keep it going until the adult stops handing the toy back or decides baby is done eating and out of the highchair they go. Nevertheless, it’s fun for baby each and every time. Most adults, on the other hand, get tired of the drop it-pick it up-drop it game fairly quickly. Why do babies and toddlers get a thrill out of this? One, it’s a form of interaction and engagement. Your eyes are on them and you’re giving them your attention. Two, they’re experiencing cause and effect. “I do this and it makes the big person crouch down and pick up my toy, so I can throw it again.” Wheeeeeee! This is one of the first ways kids are able to exert power and control, that is, when the adults participate in it. Some toddlers, once mom or dad (or Auntie T-T) decide they’ve had enough, may become pouty, angry or cry.


Dr Tara J Palmatier_Shrink4Men_02Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 30, 2018 at 1:13 am

    Is it possible for a group of family members ( Mom, daughter, son) to be narcissistic where they all look out for each other and screw everyone else? Their behavior benefits themselves as well as each other?

  2. March 29, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    I swear you must have lived in my home and watched me play this game throughout my marriage. This is so spot-on. Though I’m not qualified to diagnose my ex-wife (probably BPD), I am certain that I lived with an emotional toddler for all those years.

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