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Negotiating with Narcissists per Rebecca Zung, Ep #345

negotiating with narcissists Rebecca Young

How do you know when you’re dealing with a narcissist? How is negotiating with a narcissist different from negotiating with a rational person? What do you need to do to not only prepare for your negotiation but win it? Rebecca Zung—one of the best lawyers in America—shares what negotiating with narcissists is like in this episode of Negotiations Ninja.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:15] Learn more about attorney Rebecca Zung
  • [3:55] The definition of a narcissist/narcissistic behaviors
  • [9:20] What got Rebecca interested in narcissism?
  • [16:22] What it’s like negotiating with a narcissist
  • [20:13] How to create leverage with a narcissist
  • [23:56] Why you have to focus on yourself

The definition of a narcissist/narcissistic behaviors

Rebecca says to picture someone who feels like they have no value. They feel like they’re gasping for breath, desperate for air. They’re surviving. They can only extrapolate value from external sources. They use you to fill their void.

And if you’re the one in a relationship with that person, you might try to fill that hole. But it cannot be filled. So you’re left feeling depleted, and they’re still starving. That person can never be satisfied. It’s scarcity to the utmost extreme.

I’ve seen this in people who have high-level positions. They drain energy from the people around them. People give and give and get nothing in return. So those people leave, feeling emotionally and mentally destroyed. But the person that’s drained them isn’t impacted at all. They’re just searching for their next fix.

They’re vultures. Once a “carcass” is picked clean, they move to their next source of nourishment. They blame you for not satisfying them. Most narcissists lack empathy. They’re simply living in survival mode.

Is narcissism on a spectrum?

Narcissism is a spectrum. Someone can have narcissistic traits or tendencies. After reading dozens of books on narcissism, Rebecca realized that there are times when anyone can exhibit narcissistic tendencies.

But when Rebecca talks about a narcissist, she’s talking about the people who are so far toward the end of the spectrum that they cannot have empathy for another person and go so far as to damage the people around them.

What it’s like negotiating with narcissists

When you negotiate with people who are working toward a collaborative solution, it’s far different than negotiating with narcissists. Rebecca shares that you can’t empathize with a narcissist unless done tactically. Why? Because empathy supplies the narcissist.

Rebecca calls it “Fluff for favor, vomit later.” You have to know that you’re giving them something to get something in return. You’re ethically manipulating the manipulator. You “fluff” their ego because you’re giving them what she calls “Diamond-level supply.” Narcissistic supply is anything that feeds a narcissist’s ego. It’s the only thing that motivates them.

Rebecca has determined that there are two different types of narcissistic supply:

  • Diamond-level supply: A narcissist will protect and defend this at any cost. It’s about how they look to others, receiving adulation, and having impressive friends and a prestigious career.
  • Co-level supply: This is the dark underbelly of narcissistic supply. Co-level supply is achieved when they degrade and control people. They manipulate people and make them miserable.

The myth about negotiating with narcissists is that they just want to win. Rebecca emphasizes that this mindset is 100% wrong. Why? It only takes into account diamond-level supply. That’s why everyone fails when they negotiate with narcissists.

Narcissists love to manipulate you and see you squirm. They love to make you miserable. You can’t negotiate with a narcissist like you would a normal person. Not when they enjoy making you miserable. They want to see you suffer. So what do you do? Learn more in this episode of Negotiations Ninja!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Rebecca Zung

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