Countering, Arguing, Need To Win

"Countering" is when a person automatically says "black" when you say "white", it's a "keeping control' habit, it has nothing to do with the actual subject you're talking about.
If I say "black" and a person who counters says "white", and then I said "you're right, it's white" then they would say "no it's not , it's grey."
It's not about the topic, it's a "sparring match" and they are just trying to WIN, but there IS nothing to win, the only one "competing" is them. The "sparring match" is in their own head.
This is why nothing ever gets resolved, nothing ever gets planned and carried out, there are never any productive conversations, projects always get destroyed and scrapped. This is why when you talk about something good that you did they have to top you, or when you talk about something bad that upset you they have to top it or diminish it.
It can also take the form of "advice-giving", but this "advice" always implies that you're a novice, you're just weak or oversensitive, that it's all your fault, that you don't know what's going on or what the best information is (but they do), or that you're just a beginner and they're an expert (no matter what the subject).
People who aren't actually "Narcissists" can do this, and often do, it's easy to pick up when others are doing it all around you, it can just seem like "normal" behavior. We can pick it up because someone keeps doing it TO us, so we learn to do it back just to deal with it. It can be embarrassing when you realize you've been doing this, but it's not that hard to fix. There's no need for a big production of admission and apology to everyone, just mostly to one's self. Not doing it anymore, and learning how to communicate politely and respectfully is usually enough.
The picture that comes to mind is two people playing tennis. The countering person hits every ball back as hard as they can, trying to hit the other person with it, or make it go over their heads so they can't reach it, or hit it far out of the field so they have to go get it. This is not a friendly game of tennis, this is just one person trying to use the game of tennis to dominate the other. And in the same way, if the other person says "I've had enough, I'm leaving", the countering/dominator person will say "Oh sure, you're just a poor sport! You always leave!"
If and when the countering/dominator person finally realizes what they're doing, they can look at it squarely, and just stop trying to "dominate", let go of the aggression, and see what the REAL game of Tennis is all about. The friendly kind, where both people just want to play and enjoy the dynamic BETWEEN them.
The obsession with "winning" and "dominating" just to feel worthy, and to get a certain neurochemical rush, is one of the biggest causes of all kinds of problems in human relationships, communities, and organizations.
It's the real reason behind War. Countering dominators who are looking for the chemical rush they get from "winning" and "gaining" and "dominating" can't negotiate, share, or compromise, and may not even want to, because they know they won't get that HIGH they crave.

Controller/Narcissist Tactic; Interception

A clever (diabolical) little trick that many Controllers/Narcissists play on targets:
Hiding invitations to events, not relaying messages from other people, not telling that someone called, giving only part of a message but not the whole thing, "editing" relayed messages to give a different impression than was intended.

This practice kills several birds with one stone.
First, the target does n...ot receive the invitation or message that was intended for them. This can be life changing for the target, especially since most people will not follow up to see if the target actually received the invitation or message, they will just assume that it was received, even if it was important.

Second, the invitation or message sender does not receive a response from the target, so it appears to them that the target doesn't CARE. (Again, most people don't follow up, they just assume, which is why these tactics work so well.)
In most Controller/Narc. dynamics, the Controller makes a point of intercepting as much direct communication to the target as possible. The Controller actually "trains" people, very quickly, to go THROUGH THEM to communicate with the target. It's all subtle actions, signals, and implications about the target ("you don't want to talk to her, she's in a mood") so most people don't realize they're being diverted.

So, if they do try to find out if the target got the invitation or message, who do they usually ask...? Not the target, but the Controller. So of COURSE the Controller is going to say "I gave it to him/her, I don't know why he/she didn't get back to you." (and then some kind of derogatory comment for good measure, such as "Well he/she's probably 'too BUSY"...")

Unanswered messages and invitations strike people right in the heart and the ego. It seems that the person is so self-absorbed (or unstable) that they just don't care, can't be bothered, or are very arrogant.

The more messages and invitations that are intercepted, edited, and diverted, the more the target appears uncaring to everyone else, and will believe whatever the Controller says about them because they're already feeling "miffed" by the target's apparent disrespect and disdain toward them. Others build up fictional negativity about the target in their imaginations, and the Controller is only too happy to fill in the blanks and make up "reasons" why the target is SO hard to get along with, and SO uncaring and self-centered. Eventually, when this keeps going on and on, the target finds themselves isolated, with an inexplicably tarnished reputation that's not anywhere near reality. People mysteriously treat the target like they don't belong, like they aren't welcome, like they're not "good enough" or stable enough, or trustworthy enough to be part of their group, but it's because all of that has been IMPLIED for so long, and "proven" with unanswered invitations and messages. And it's also because they don't bother to find out anything for themselves.

Seems like a LOT of work for the Controller, but it's not at all, it's something they enjoy, or are used to doing, the way other people enjoy cooking or fishing. They usually grew up doing this, and often had accomplices in childhood. They may have done it to deal with a dysfunctional environment or individual. It was a game to them that they never stopped playing, or a way to survive from a child's point of view.

Of course this wouldn't happen if so many people were not so willing to believe negative things about others, but they are because they get a neurochemical reward from it (Us vs. Them), and this is what Controllers play on to accomplish their goals.This is one of the common tactics that is used to isolate a target from others. (Relationship notwithstanding, it can be any kind of relationship at all.)