“Do you want A or B?”, the narcissist asks.
He wants you to choose “A”. It’s what he really wants to do. You’re supposed to know this, and if you’ve been with a narcissist for a while, you’ve been trained to give what he wants. Or perhaps you’re just a generous person, and he knows if you know he wants something, you’ll want him to have it out of the goodness of your heart.
So you choose “A”, for whatever reason. Doesn’t matter. The narcissist gets what he wants. Or maybe it’s a non-choice, because the narcissist really doesn’t care, but he asks, because he gets to say he respects you and asks you your opinion, even if he knows it’s only about things that don’t matter to him.
But what if you don’t choose what he wants? What if you give the wrong answer?
You choose “B”. Maybe it’s what you really wanted. Maybe you really thought he was giving you a choice (silly girl), and actually told him what you wanted. Maybe you don’t give in to him this time, because you’re tired of always giving in or you truly believe this is the best choice. It doesn’t matter.
The narcissist doesn’t get to do what he wants. And that’s a bad thing.
He’s furious. Now he shows his real side. He may start off being passive aggressive. Perhaps he starts with cajoling, gently guiding you to the “right choice”, because you were too stupid to figure it out on your own. If this doesn’t work he will try harder. He’ll argue with you. His resentment starts to show (how can you even think about depriving him?)
If you still don’t get it, you better duck, because he’s going to blow. He’ll punish you. Somehow, he will turn it, and you’ll find yourself defending yourself against abusing him. (How do you always get into this position, girl? Oh wait, you’re involved with a narcissist.)
And then after he’s done, and you’ve gone from feeling special because he’s asking you what you want, to feeling like shit, because you’ve just been ripped a new one, he’ll go right ahead and do what he wants…just like he had always intended. And feel very self righteous about it, because you were so mean to deprive him in the first place.
Of course there are variations in this, but the basic elements are there. Narcissists are great about respecting your right to choose – as long as it’s about nothing important to them or you make the right choice…theirs.