Narcissism 101 – Ask me a question

Okay, so here’s the thing, my internet is a mess of hiccups, sometimes I can connect and it is fluid and sometimes just loading one page takes an age. I haven’t got that kind of patience. My mind, right now, is a bit cloudy thanks to dealing with the Narcissists in my life and the mess they’ve created which I sort of have to tidy up even though I sort of cut off all contact from them… Yeah, about that No Contact thing… Narcissists don’t accept it unless they’re the ones who initiated it. Even then.. life is about their rules and their rules change so you can never win. You can win, but that’s another post or comment.

My very first Narcissists are my parents. Try and explain that one to people who just don’t get it.

Oh, your parents love you… Sigh! Because you are their child… BIG SIGH! Fuck off with your twee idealistic view of life, of relationships, of childhood, of families, family ties, and parents… Thank you very much, please! Okay, you’re right, I’m wrong, now shut up and go away. Please thank you… sigh… fuck off!

I am the only child of two malignant Narcissists. Ergo I was trained to be a source of Narcissistic Supply. Ergo I have absorbed the behaviour of Narcissists, but I was not allowed to become a Narcissist. I have a self-destruct button installed should I think well of myself at any point in time.

I can think like a Narcissist. I can behave like one. But I can’t be one. I am a Narcissist without the NPD.

That’s life when you’re the child of Narcissists.

So I know a lot about how they think, don’t think, feel, don’t feel, behave, don’t behave. No one believes me… typical of being the victim of those who have NPD. But you believe me because you’re a victim too. So you know the deal, and it is an awful deal because you always come out of it badly. Welcome to my life.

The upside and positive side of all of this is that I am a fountain of negative knowledge which can be turned into a positive thing. The gift in the curse of a relationship with a Narcissist is my thing. I created it as a survival tactic. Now my gift is yours. For free, I’m not writing a book or selling you anything. Ask and my answer is yours… as long as I can access the internet.

Whatever you want to know, just ask me and I will do my best to answer. If I don’t know… I will tell you I don’t know.

But before I leave this open for questions, I have a few questions for you…

One of the things victims of Narcissists often say is that the reason they fell in love with a Narcissist is because the Narcissist told them what they wanted to hear. So here’s my question – What did they say to you, what did it mean to you, and why aren’t you telling yourself those things which you want to hear?

If you have been in a relationship with a Narcissist, you know how awesome they are in the early moments. They are a muse, showing you how wonderful you are. Believe that part of it, that part is true, everything after that is just a Narcissist being a Narcissist. They are very predictable and do the same thing over and over again ad nauseum. But the first part of the interaction holds the truth. They saw something of great value within you. They pointed it out to you, and then later tried to cover their tracks by making you feel awful about yourself. The first bit was the truth. You’re awesome and you have a talent of value which is natural to you. Now you have to see it without their help. Because their help has turned into hindrance which will confuse the fuck out of you.

Their version of sex is a mind fuck.

What did they tell you about yourself which you now think was too good to be true? It is true… it’s only too good to be true because you’re being too modest. Lose the modesty and embrace your natural gift!

Ask your questions now… go!

Feel free to ask on one of my other posts, the results will be the same. If I have an answer I will give it. If I don’t have an answer I will say so… but I might add some questions from me to you for you to think about and maybe answer to yourself.

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129 thoughts on “Narcissism 101 – Ask me a question

  1. Hi, I want to share my story in a nutshell and ask you first hand if my ex was a narcissist.

    I met him when I was 22 he was 26, I honestly felt so happy he was so sweet and loving and affectionate. From the first day I met him to the day he told me he loved me was 2 months. I thought it was fast but i thought wow i must be so lovable. I thought he was perfect and we never argued. Then there would be incidents that started happening he was texting other girls and talking to his previous hook ups about their sex stories and he would tell me himself and when he would he would say “im sorry i was drunk” on my birthday at a club we were dancing and out of no where he said you see those girls over there i can have any one of them in a minute and started telling me in detail who he would approach and how. He took me to vegas with his family and on the last night he grinded with a girl while he knew i was watching and so was his family and when i told him he said he was trying to show off his moves and be a cool guy on the dance floor. Later I found out he would talk badly to his friend about me and if they talked bad he would not defend me.Every time these happened or anything else and i would tell him it hurt me he would shut off and give me a silebt treatment and that would make me go crazy and id say please lets just work it out ge would say “no im a terrible person” but not in a sincere way like mocking me and some how i would end up telling him hes not horrible and me apologizing and begging him to fogive me after all the arguments that were caused by the above actions i mentioned. Then i moved in with him and things got worse he would blame me for everything if i said to him what u said bothered me he would lash out and tell me to stop making him feel guilty. If i ever wanted to do something or watch a movie or show i liked we would but then later bring it up and say im controlling and he cant do anything he likes. with sex he was into it at the beginning but towards the second yr i always initiated it and he turned me down a lot and would get mad at me for asking him because “i was trying to make him feek guilty” . There was a pattern i noticed, almost always the only time ge initiated sex was when he was half asleep and would start touching me and i would wake up and he woukd quickly go for it and the next day he sometimes did not remember it or started referring to it in a jokibg way “did i rape you last night?” or “did u like the rape” or sometimes before bed ge would say im tired right now but ill rape you later. I also noticed he would be nicer to me infront of others and tried too hard to seem like the perfect bf in front of other girls. So in december he gave me a promise ring broke up with me in april because we faught too much and that i hurt him and he went cold and blocked me from his life suddenly and when i tried to contact him desperatly he would say i dont deserve to be with him hes better he woukd throw other girls in my face and told me the only thing he misses about me was the sex and and he bashed me to his family and friends and played the victim and he throws other girls in my face and has become so evil when i saw him last he looks at me and squints and repeats “i hate you” with the most evil stare and keeps saying “i will marry someone else one day and have kids with them” I finally stopped contact and feel broken. My question is: is he a narcissist?

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    1. Yea, it sounds like he’s a narc to me. I have a child with one and they are AWFUL to say the very least.

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    2. Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

      Going by what you’ve shared it does sound like he could be a narcissist. He definitely sounds narcissistic.

      However I’m not qualified to diagnose people, and even if I was, diagnosing someone without meeting them, based on someone else’s story about them without hearing their side of the story, is not fair practice.

      The important part of this is that you suspect that he is a narcissist – and that has weight to it. You’ve been up close and personal with him and have experienced the best and the worst of him. You’ve lived with him and seen his public persona and his private one. You’ve loved him and looked at him through the eyes of someone who loves another and when you do that it’s not easy to accept that the person you love would behave in this manner or treat you in this way.

      If you think he’s a narcissist, it doesn’t matter if he is or isn’t, what matters is that you think he is – people don’t suspect others of being narcissists unless something is very wrong in the relationship (or unless they’re a narcissist themselves, but that doesn’t apply in your case).

      If your need to confirm your suspicions about him is relevant to your recovery from the experience of being in this relationship, then I would recommend that you assume that he is what you think he is and proceed from there. Your focus should be on what you need for your healing. If what you read up on relationships with narcissists helps you recover from your experience with this man then that is the way to go.

      Sometimes we only see who people are after having taking a leap of faith to get to know them. Sometimes this rewards us and sometimes it hurts us.

      Be gentle with yourself – don’t blame yourself for falling in love with him, for not knowing what he was really like, and for staying as long as you did, and perhaps still caring for him even though your mind tells you that you should know better (hindsight is difficult to deal with, and our heart moves at a different pace than our mind). Take care of yourself – take time to nurture yourself. Don’t worry about being broken – you will mend in time, and where you’re broken will become a strong place for you.

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    3. Hi, sorry to reply, I just was inspired reading your post and couldnt see where to put my own question. its actually so helpful/strengthening to read other peoples experiences, That sounds bad, I dont mean I enjoy hearing what awful things you have all been through, its just a comfort I guess learn you are not alone.
      So I recently – 5 weeks ago, was flying to Mauritius with my then boy friend. we’ve had a very volatile relationship, but its all been down t my issues and my insecurities apparently. If my attention isn’t 100% on him when he wants it, he has a paddy. I left my puppy with a friend, he injured himself as we dropped him off, i was concerned, so not totally focused on him and our holiday. we rowed at the airport, he went off leaving me finishing out meal, came back to make a few comments, whatever…i was upset that he couldnt not understand I was concerned leaving my injured dog not knowing if he was ok. I went and found him to talk and try and make good of this rocky start…he flew at me 1 got right up in my face, to the point that 2 members of staff asked if i was ok and if i new this man.
      we had been rocky for a bit, i.ll go into that in a min…but something in my gut told me not to get on that plane. I went and asked for my bag to be unloaded and came home! he admitted later, he new he pushed me, but he never thought I would do that.
      we’ve been together 1,5 years,,,in January we had a row the day we got back from holiday, the boiler wasnt working, he couldnt fix it, i spent a couple of hours on the phone to my dad and a good friend who were talking me through resetting it, trying to get it working. he lost it that night, cause essentially, my attention hadnt been on him. he couldnt fix it, so he wasnt the ;hero; that night he was drunk, aggressive, went to take the car,,,i took the keys and said I didnt want him to drive…apparently that provoked him, i forced him to switch on me…hold me against the wall by my throat, throw me across the room onto the sofa.
      I spent a night in A&E 5 days later cause I was in so much pain. I locked him out that night, he tried calling through the letter box, tried been nice, tried telling me it was all my fault. We live in my house, ive been in an abusive relationship before years ago, but I was not going to be treated like that again.
      I told my 2 sister in laws – bad move involving family unless you arent going back. I met him for dinner, we talked, i was made to believe I provoked him, i pushed him to it,,,after a week he was back.
      my dad got diagnosed with cancer, when his treatment was finished we sat one friday evening having a glass of wine. I started crying, grateful, proud, relieved, what ever but they were tears,,,, he sat there and said to me…;dont you sit there and cry, my mum had cancer and she died!;
      yet again, it was turned back to him.
      ive given up talking or saying my view, cause my feelings dont matter, or my opinion doesnt count or its not what i say, its what he says that is right. im sick of hearing about his bull shit filter,,,it filters bull shit so clearly what i say gets filtered cause he hears it, but it doesnt register.
      I didnt let him back in the house when he came back from Mauritius. its my house, my space and he has treated me like crap in it. he wanted to come home, cause i didnt let him i am evil and vindictive and tapped.
      We have had a ;thing’ going on that i have thought on several occasions i have walked in on him wanking. big deal a wan right, but a bit odd its been when im in the room next door, or laying in bed next to him or when ive left the room for 5 mins, but its all in my head. Im para, im insecure, deluded, i need medication apparently. he made me so para actually cause i know i am not mad that…and i am really not proud to say this..but I left my phone on record a few times…just to see how mental i really am. And turns out, im not. he is doing that but when i say are you, flipping ut on me telling me i am mental. I only mentioned the recordings to him the other day. hes apparently listened to the couple i sent, and still swears blind I am mental. Its madness. As i said it really is no big deal other than you have made it one by going so mental over it…if you can lie about something so stupid, you will lie about anything.
      So now hes been caught out and kicked out, he is telling anyone and everyone I am a psycho bitch and he has had a lucky escape. Ive had abusive texts telling me he pity’s me blah blah blah…but I am strong, I dont want him in my life.
      Today he sends a heart pull string text, ive managed to ignore it, but I felt myself weaken….I cant let myself. I care what people think of me, and that he is spreading disgusting crap about me and never once admitted he is in the wrong. apparently the day he held me against the wall by my neck is the best thing that ever happened to us!!!
      I am so sorry I have ranted, its felt good just releasing…I hope you dont mind.
      I can do this, we all can. we are worth so much more than them. we’ve just been told over and over and over that we are not.
      take care everyone x

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      1. Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

        You are strong, probably far stronger than you know – and you know you’re strong.

        Those who have been in an abusive relationship and stay in it for a long time have the sort of strength which often gets labeled as weakness by themselves, by others, by the abuser.

        Certain types of strength often are misunderstood. To put up with him and his treatment of you for all these years has required that you dig deep within yourself to keep going, and has needed for you to erase yourself, dismiss your needs, deny your wants. That takes great effort, perseverance and patience, and a very high pain threshold.

        Now that you’ve decided to leave the relationship for good, for your own good, you need to see how strong you’ve been and tap into that strength. Use the strength which you’ve given to others for yourself. You’re going to have to rely on yourself more than ever because others, even the supportive ones, haven’t been through this relationship from the inside – they only see it from the outside. They don’t know what you know.

        While we always care about what others think because it’s part of being human and humans are social beings, the important thing is to care about what you think of yourself – this is the opinion which makes the difference for you and your life.

        The moments when you feel yourself weaken are connected to your opinion of yourself.

        Things to keep in mind at this time while dealing with his smear campaign and the possibility that others will buy into his bullshit about you are:

        1 – this man is completely addicted to you. You’re like a drug for him. Your attention focused on him gives him the ultimate high, so when your attention isn’t all on him he feels himself falling from that high place and that terrifies him because down below are all his personal demons waiting to devour him. His terror at having to be alone with himself, devoured by his inner demons, makes him vicious and aggressive – some of his aggression takes the form of pleading, whining, crying and playing the victim (his playing the victim isn’t all an act, he experiences himself as being a victim).

        2 – he needs you more than you’ve ever needed him – but people who need others that much tend to flip the situation around and make you think you need them more than they need you. They’re afraid that you’ll find out how much they need you and this means you’ll figure out who has the real power. And because people like him abuse any power they have just as they abuse the people who love and care for them (and then call their abuse love and caring), they’re worried that others will do to them what they do to others – they don’t have the strength to deal with those who treat them the way they treat others.

        3 – his kryptonite is being rejected and abandoned. The second he feels even the possibility of rejection and abandonment he goes into defensive mode, which is usually offensive. He attacks – his attacks are done to protect him from what he fears. He lashes out at you because he fears you – you hold a power over him which he keeps trying to take away from you.

        4 – what he has done and does to you is not your fault, but he will blame you for it. Others may blame you for it too in less obvious ways, they may judge you for not leaving him sooner, question why you stayed with him if he was abusive, which is similar to blaming you for what is his fault. And you may blame yourself because this is a coping mechanism which victims of abuse sometimes use, it’s easier to blame ourselves for what someone else does and has done to us. There’s a strange strength and power in accepting the blame, although sometimes it is just done to end a never-ending argument.

        Tell your story, share your experience, do it for yourself.

        Take care of yourself! You are worth it!

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  2. I have recently found out that my wife that i met and married in China then 2 years later came to Canada, my home country, is definitely narcissistic.
    When we met wow, just the most incredible woman i had ever known. Treated me like a king. And sexually, my God, absolutely fantastic at sex and also giving me a blowjob, swallowed, etc, like i never thought it could be that good.

    So fast forwarding to when we came to Canada. She changed, started making me feel i was not worthy of her, made me feel i was an asshole, called me stupid, things like that. Then one day she went she said to meet a gf of hers for lunch and then the library. I got an important call for her about an hour after she left and called her cell, which always if she missed my call she would call me back real quick, but not this day. 6 hours later she called and I said what the heck, what, are u with another guy? and said she had met a customer from where she works on the bus and took him to meet her gf, but the gf got called into work so he asked my wife to go to an afternoon movie at the cinema, and she turned off her phone while there. Long story short when she got home at 6pm she went right into the shower. I was mad of course, and she called him in front of me and said she cannot see or talk to him again. Then i found out she was still seeing him, she called again, in front of me again and said same thing, cannot see u again, but i found out again a month later she was stiil seeing him, fortunately i had taken a job long long ways away and the next week we moved. No he told me when i called him that they did not meet on the bus that day, they had planned to meet few days before. Her contention to this day is that they were only friends and nothing else. So i said then why did you not introduce me to him as your husband and she said he did not want to meet me. Since then there have been a few other times where i, with real good reasons, suspect she cheated.

    Anyhow 3 months ago she came to my office and told me she wants a divorce, she does not love me anymore, and we separated on May 3rd. Since then she has totally confused me. One day she called and asked if i want to go to china in September, and i said no. Another time she called and wanted to take me to lunch on fathers day, yet we have no kids together. And then the next day she just argues and calls me loser, stupid, etc. Says one minute if i change some things she might come back, then next minute says we can never by husband and wife ever again. I asked her 2 days ago on the phone if she would help me with the demons i have had in my head for years and she said ok. So i asked her, have u been with any other guy since we separated and she said no, but she is looking and hopefully will fine a guy soon. Then i said, honestly for me, did u cheat during our marriage, and she got all mad and loud and said i told you before no and hung up.

    So what i am looking for is a somewhat analysis of what other people think of this whole situation and what they feel was really going on. And i can say she is definitely narcissistic, when i checked this out on the internet after we parted, the signs of one could have been called her resume.

    Any help would be appreciated, and say it the way u feel it, i am fine with that.

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    1. Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

      From the way you’ve described the timeline of your relationship it sounds as though while you lived together in China your relationship was very good, it was only when you moved to Canada that things started to deteriorate between the two of you.

      You mention that she changed after your move – that she went from treating you like a king to constantly picking on you. It sounds as though she became a chronic complainer – which can be a sign of someone possibly being a narcissist but it could also be a sign that someone is deeply unhappy.

      When people are suffering they can become very narcissistic without necessarily being narcissists.

      A real narcissist is always a narcissist – if she showed no signs of being a narcissist in the two years you spent together in China, and she only became a narcissist after living in Canada – then I would hazard a guess that the problem is how she experienced the move.

      Moving to a new country with your spouse can be very stressful and put a huge strain on the relationship. For you – you were going home. For her – she was leaving her home behind, leaving everyone she knew, friends, family, her roots, everything and everyone with which she was familiar, and in some ways she was also leaving the person she was behind her because our environment has a big influence on who we are.

      This is an article about that – https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/resources/moving-and-the-effect-on-your-relationship

      This is a discussion on a forum about that issue by people who moved for their partner – http://www.experienceproject.com/question-answer/I-Moved-To-Another-Country-For-My-Husband-And-Im-So-Lonely-Homesick-He-Works24-7-How-Long-Do-I-Go-On-Like-This/253784

      The fact that she has recently asked you to go to China with her, and that she has said that she would like for you to change certain things about yourself – it sounds as though in her mind you also changed after the move. It sounds as though she’s hoping that by returning to China your relationship might go back to what it was when you met, fell in love and were happy together living there.

      It sounds as though much of what she did after the move to Canada are the actions and behaviour of someone who felt lost and alone, homesick, helpless and powerless, unhappy, and lashed out because of it.

      When people are unhappy they often do rather stupid things – such as cheat on the person they love. It sounds as though she wanted you to find out about her ‘date’ with this man, that she wanted you to think she was having an affair. Sometimes when people feel ignored by their partner they play some very dodgy games to get their attention. The request for a divorce may be a similar tactic to get your attention. It sounds as though she’s trying to get you to be the person who you were when you lived in China – she probably felt that you treated her like a queen then but after the move you treated her differently.

      This is a series of articles worth reading, they describe dynamics which can cause problems in relationships:

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201508/how-end-the-fight-you-cant-remember-why-you-started

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201509/the-dynamic-thats-poison-any-couple

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201509/intimate-relationship-dynamics-iii

      The real culprit in this scenario sounds as though it is neither you nor her but the effect that moving had on both of you and your relationship.

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  3. My son’s step parent is a narcissist. I did not learn this until after court. He is turning 4 in a few weeks and just met his bio dad and step mom. He has now been coming home saying that she is real mommy and I’m just mom. He will tell me I don’t love him if I don’t (place what he wants here), he says “you make me unhappy when you…” or “in not happy with you because you…” there is plenty more that she does to me, but I’m worried about my son. He cries all the time and started having anxiety and accidents in his pants again.. I just don’t know how to help him deal with her because it’s court ordered.. How do I help him cope with this and reasure him?

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    1. Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

      From the sounds of it your son’s step-mother is feeling threatened because she is an outsider. You and your son’s bio dad have a natural connection to your son, and even though you may not be together, you have a bond, your son, which will always bind you together, and will always bind your son to you. She doesn’t have that kind of a bond, and she’s handling it in the worst possible manner. She’s dealing with her fears by placing them first and the knock-on effect is that she’s confusing your son with her own confusion.

      A lot of people can behave very narcissistically when they’re in pain or afraid without them necessarily being narcissists.

      Question is – is she doing this in some misguided way to have a bond with your son or are there other motives and intentions at work?

      What is she actually telling your son which he, at his very young age, is interpreting in the simple terms that a child sees the world. Adults often fail to see things from the point of view of a child, and don’t realise the extent to which they’re affecting a child with their complicated adult view of things. CHildren tend to have a more grounded approach, but this can get them into confused trouble when dealing with adults who aren’t always grounded, and are often caught up in complex mental constructs caused by even more complex emotional issues.

      You could have a case of ‘parental alienation’ which your lawyer might be able to use to change your custody agreement. Perhaps you could get supervised visits so that your son could be observed while with his step-mother and her behaviour, her influence on him, could be assessed. These days family court is aware of the effects of parental alienation and its consequences.

      You could also suggest that all of you go to a family therapist to work out a method of dealing with things in a way which puts your son’s welfare first – but this sort of arrangement needs for all of you to work together for the benefit of all, and that may cause ego problems to fight against it.

      Are you able to discuss this openly with your son’s bio dad or are relations between you two strained? If your son’s bio dad cares for his son’s well-being then he should be concerned about what is going on and should do something to sort it out.

      If you can’t discuss it with him, could it be that maybe the way your son’s step-mom is behaving may be influenced by your son’s bio dad, and it’s not her but him – you’re not with your son’s dad for a reason, what’s that reason? Is it perhaps the same reason your son’s step-mom is behaving like this?

      Is there any way that you could discuss this with your son’s step-mom or are you worried that it will make her even more of a problem for your son and his relationship with you?

      This is very difficult for you, and you shouldn’t really have to explain to your son that you love him and are his real mother – that’s a whole load of messed up caused by others.

      My advice to you would be to consult a professional about this, either your lawyer or a family therapist, or both. Don’t try and deal with this on your own because you’re not the one causing this problem, so you can’t solve this on your own. What she’s doing is not healthy for your son, and he is too young to handle it on his own and realise how messed up adults can be, and how they pass on their mess to children. It’s not his responsibility to understand that at this time in his life.

      You’re doing your best, your heart is in the right place, and just keep letting your son know by being there for him and loving him as he is (even when he claims you don’t love him because you’re not giving him whatever it is he wants in the moment) that he is loved. He is being confused by adults about what love is – children understand love instinctively but get confused about it when adults interfere with that instinctive understanding. He will be okay because he has you there to make things okay and to give him stability – even if you have to be the ‘bad guy’ about it and say ‘no’ to a momentary ‘I want this or else… it means you don’t love me’.

      Get some professional advice about this – the court would not be okay with this, this is not a court ordered way of dealing with a child. Look into parental alienation, there’s a lot of information about it. Find a family therapist who deals with this kind of situation (which is unfortunately common), and find out how best to deal with a very difficult dynamic. The more support that you get, the more support your son will get.

      Please take care of yourself.

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  4. I need to know, how do I KNOW that I’m in a relationship (engaged) with someone who has NPD? I am starting to worry that I am in the “Idealism” phase, and signs of the “devalue” phase are starting to show. How do I know? I’ve read all the stuff, and taken quizzes but he doesn’t fit any of that “to a t” some things, yeah, but not all.

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    1. Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

      Perhaps what’s of more concern isn’t whether he has NPD or not, but the fact that you’re trying to find out whether he does or not. The moment we start asking the question – Is this person a narcissist? – it signals a change in our relationship from our side of things. It’s the kind of question you can’t take back once you ask it, and it is usually only asked when something is really bothering and worrying us.

      What caused you to wonder if he had NPD? What happened? What started you off on your search to find out more about NPD and if he has it?

      Looking into why you’re asking this question is where your real answers lie.

      As to how to confirm whether he has NPD or not. It can be difficult to assess as all narcissists are different, they are individual humans who have a disorder and the traits and behaviours, the signs of NPD, may vary from narcissist to narcissist.

      There is a spectrum to NPD, from mild to malignant, and a lot of the literature online tends to focus on the more extreme end of the narcissism scale.

      There are also different types of narcissists – the Overt type is the one most commonly written about online.

      It’s not one size fits all, although there are certain consistent criteria.

      I recommend reading through this long article as it covers narcissism in detail and discusses the diverse types of NPD, as well as theories on how and why the disorder develops – http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/narcissism/

      If he doesn’t fit the criteria for NPD then it could mean that he does not have NPD, he just may be very narcissistic without having the personality disorder.

      The most important point is to look into why you think he has NPD, as this is a sign that something is troubling you.

      Take good care of yourself!

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  5. I am the child (adult) of 2 malicious narcissist as well as my brother who help to make life more miserable – he was the golden child. Then I married a narcissist who made my life miserable. When the ex and I met we both felt we knew each other from a previous life – No – we both came from a dysfunctional family with 2 narcissistic parents and a narcissist older brother. The ex decided to take the road of the narcissist and through the years became more and more malicious. I have no idea how to heal from it all. My greatest regret and guilt is the pain my children had to endure although they are OK now and on their own. Life could have been so much better with something that costs no money – kindness, consideration, compassion and caring. So much pain could have been avoided by acting like a human being. My parents, brother and ex have no soul.

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    1. Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

      When you have a lot of pain, have been suffering for a long time, have been under the influence and in the company of narcissists for all of your life, and the wounds and scars are deep, healing takes time and the way to recover is by slowly focusing on each part of you which needs your care and attention.

      Don’t try and tackle it all at once as it can be overwhelming.

      For instance, since your family of origin is made up of narcissists, and you were married to a narcissist, you most likely have PTSD from the narcissistic abuse. This can make healing difficult, and needs to be addressed and understood.

      A link to a site with information on PTSD and other aspect of narcissistic abuse – http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/narcissists-cause-ptsd-for-their.html

      The way to heal differs from person to person. Even though many victims of narcissists share similarities, and narcissists also share similarities, and therefore we can all benefit from healing methods which have been developed for dealing with narcissistic abuse, each person is different, and their situation and experience will be different too.

      You need to find a healing method which works for you based on your circumstances and yourself.

      If you are still in contact with the narcissists in your life, and therefore are still subjected to their abuse, healing will be harder as every time you feel better they will knock you back. Every time your wound begins to heal they will reopen it.

      Do you still have to put up with them or have you gone No Contact?

      If you live in the same community as your family, this can make going No Contact challenging, Low Contact is usually advised in that scenario, but narcissists don’t respect that kind of boundary and may be provoked by your effort to distance yourself from them. This can hamper healing as your efforts to create a sanctuary for yourself may make them determined to invade your space more than usual. They may not like the changes which your healing creates for you, especially if it makes you cut off the narcissistic supply which they’re used to getting from you, and they will try to bully you back into submission to their control.

      You need to learn how to deal with them in a way which protects you from their continued abuse.

      This is an interesting article – http://www.bandbacktogether.com/adult-children-of-Narcissistic-parents-resources/

      As is this – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201408/8-ways-handle-narcissist

      Many people join local support groups, or online support forums, as this provides a safe place to share your story and have people understand your experiences, be there for you when you are struggling with your pain.

      This is a link to an online forum for children of narcissists – https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists

      This is a link to a site for those who want to go parent-free, and where people share their stories – http://parentfreebychoice.blogspot.co.uk/

      Therapy is advised, but you do need to find a therapist who has knowledge of narcissistic abuse, PTSD, and of being a child of narcissists.

      This is a site written by a professional who has knowledge of NPD, and the effects of narcissistic abuse, it is designed for and aimed at children but I think it is helpful for adults who are children of narcissists –

      http://www.angriesout.com/grown17.htm

      http://www.angriesout.com/grown20.htm

      One of the things which helps is to shift your attention away from the narcissists in your life and onto yourself.

      Narcissists make everything all about them, they make you all about themselves, and get you to focus all of your attention onto them. Even when they’re out of your life, you can still end up thinking about them all the time, obsessing over everything they’ve done to you, going over it all again and again (part of PTSD from narcissistic abuse). So, they still end up centre stage with you as their captive audience. You’re still stuck in their rut. They’re still more important than you, they still have all the power because all your energy goes into thinking and feeling about them.

      It’s important to focus your attention onto yourself, make yourself centre stage in your thoughts and feelings, find out what you want, need, who you are beyond them.

      Find yourself, take a journey into who you are, explore what you enjoy, indulge in what gives you energy, think about things which make you genuinely smile, and allow yourself to feel good. It’s the sort of thing which can be done simply, although at first it can feel complicated and difficult due to the effects of narcissistic abuse which make us put everyone else’s needs before our own, and make us feel ashamed of catering to ourselves in any way, shape or form.

      These things help to find your way out of the narcissist fog.

      Also talking about your experience, letting yourself express your pain, allowing yourself to be angry, to say all those things you’ve never said. Telling your story. That’s why joining a support group or going into therapy are helpful in healing, they can be a good way to get things out of your system, clear your head, unburden your heart, find your voice and figure things out in a way that allows you to free yourself from the heavy weight of a relationship with narcissists. You need to be heard, understood, acknowledged, validated and allowed to express yourself freely and safely.

      Wishing things had been different is particularly painful, it’s like stabbing yourself where it hurts. The past can’t be changed, and wishing it could is hurting the present. You can make changes in the here and now which will help to ease the burden of pain of the past. You have personal power to make your life from this moment on better for yourself and for those you love. It will take time, and requires a commitment to yourself to care for yourself, get to know yourself, and do what is best for you.

      You’re absolutely right about kindness, consideration, caring and compassion – and you can give those to yourself.

      This is a link to an article about self-compassion – http://www.psychologymatters.asia/article/305/move-away-selfesteem-make-way-for-selfcompassion.html

      It’s a very healing experience to do so, but it can be challenging because you’ve been influenced to think that you perhaps don’t deserve those things, that you should give them but not necessarily get them. You do deserve to have them, and you can confirm that by giving them to yourself. This can be difficult to do as you have to go against habit, but it’s very worth the effort.

      Focusing on yourself is a key to healing. Take care of yourself.

      Like

      1. What a fabulous reply!!! Very thorough and compassionate. What I find helping me, as well, is learning how to surround myself with healthy people who care about me sincerely.

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        1. Thank you very much ๐Ÿ™‚

          Yes, definitely, being in the company of people who genuinely care for you is very healing. It can be like basking in sunshine, which allows your own sunlight to emerge.

          I think one of the most beneficial things which it gives is a personal point of reference that allows you to distinguish more clearly who is good for you and who is not. Our senses react differently when in the company of authentic people than they do when we’re around narcissists and other people like that. I can feel myself relaxing and opening up when I’m around healthy people, whereas around those who aren’t healthy there’s tension and a closing up.

          I was observing buttercups last Spring and they close up when the day is going to be predominantly cloudy, but open up when they sense it’s going to be a sunny day. I think human nature does something similar.

          A significant portion of recovery is in simple things which allow us to just be ourselves and feel safe and welcome being ourselves.

          Like

          1. How beautifully written. Thanks. Yes, also learning to trust that inner voice is so important. …..because it is NEVER wrong ๐Ÿ™‚

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            1. TY ๐Ÿ™‚

              It’s true, the inner voice knows, but sometimes it gets drowned out by other voices, some of which are also inner ones. We have to learn to recognise its sound and understand what it is telling us.

              It’s one of the gifts we get from a narcissist – we end up having to consciously re-learn how to listen to ourselves, how to really listen with awareness to our inner voice, how to distinguish it from other voices, and how to truly trust ourselves.

              Like

                1. Wow, thank you โค

                  I'm learning and recovering too, and sharing has been a big part of that. I am grateful to you for sharing, it means a lot, and I receive a lot from it.

                  Like

  6. Hey, quick question (or maybe not). What is a narc’s version of God? She portrayed belief in the Almighty, but displays none of the behaviors of a believer. This one has seriously confused me. I appreciate your take on the subject.

    Like

    1. When trying to understand any aspect of NPD and the ins and outs of a narcissist it helps to keep in mind that they are illogical – so don’t use logic, don’t apply to them the rationale which you apply to yourself.

      Hypocrisy is normal for a narcissist. Double standards are common. Anything which makes them holier than thou is par for the course. Whatever a narcissist ‘believes’ becomes whatever a narcissist believes that it is. So a narc’s version of God is a narc’s version of God – it doesn’t matter what anyone else’s version of God is.

      A narc’s real god is ego.

      Narc’s are very conscious of society and appearances, of power and status, and how to climb the ladder in social groups. They are aware that other people judge you by how you appear, and that most people don’t bother to look beneath the surface of the appearance, especially if what they see on the surface appeals to them.

      Narcissists are usually quite good at spotting hypocrisy in others, in society, and in systems and organisations. They take what they observe and use it, often using it to create a facade and persona.

      So if they live in a community which is religious, they will be religious. Whether they believe or not. They tend to assume that others are doing what they are doing, so it won’t bother them if they notice their own hypocrisy – but they may not realise that they’re being a hypocrite.

      It depends on the narc and the type of NPD. Some may be religious and devoutly so – it doesn’t matter if others spot inconsistencies, conflicting behaviour, hypocrisy, double standards as they always have an excuse and can deflect – and if they think they’re devout then they are, if they say they are then it is so.

      One of the ‘careers’ which attracts narcissists is being a guru, cult leader, enlightened, spiritual one, preacher, saviour, etc. They can be very convincing in the role as they often believe their own story. Their belief makes others believe. They often never get found out, but when they do you get a scandal of massive proportions, a typical narc drama, with can after can of worms being opened. Even if the evidence against them is solid, they’ll deny everything and blame everyone else, and they’ll keep up appearances even when no one believes in them any more.

      Here’s a post which touches upon the holier than thou side of a covert narc – http://thenarcissistinyourlife.com/covert-narcissists-holier-than-thou-kind-3/

      I’m sure there are loads of articles online about this aspect of the subject, I just don’t have any bookmarked as I haven’t researched this side of NPD, however I did watch an interesting ‘documentary’ – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1865425/ – which summed it up for me.

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  7. A narcissist is someone with NPD. Narcissist is the more commonly used term when discussing someone with NPD. However narcissist as a term can also be used to describe someone who is very narcissistic but who does not have NPD.

    Most people use narcissist to mean someone with NPD. If you’re searching online for specific information it is sometimes more useful to use the term – Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD – to search as you will get more search results specific to the disorder. Using the term – Narcissist – in a search can get mixed results as it has become a very popular term to use and label to pin on people.

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    1. Thanks for the response. Are all narcissists malignant, and display the same behaviors. Idealize, Devaluate, and Discard?

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      1. There are certain similarities in their patterns of behaviour which is partly how they are identified as being narcissists.

        This is a good article about the most common signs of a narcissist – the ones listed in the DSM – as well as other signs and patterns of behaviour of NPD – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201311/6-signs-narcissism-you-may-not-know-about

        Whether every narcissist is malignant or not is up for debate, and you’ll find many disagreements about this matter amongst those who write about narcissists. The term ‘malignant’ narcissist I think may have come out of the popularity of Sam Vaknin’s writings about narcissists. Some people have argued that malignant narcissist is another term for sociopath/psychopath and therefore not NPD but ASPD.

        The more you read about NPD, the more terms you’ll come across. There is a whole lexicon which has developed specifically for NPD.

        I think perhaps the term ‘malignant’ is added to narcissist as a way to emphasise how others are affected by the narcissist and perceive what the narcissist has done and is doing to them.

        Certain narcissists (covert narcissists in particular) tend to think they’re heroes, saviours, fixers, healers, and often do harm to people while trying to ‘help’ ‘fix’, ‘heal’ and ‘save’ them. These narcissists can be experienced as being malignant by others as the narcissist often breaks people while they are busy fixing them, but they aren’t deliberately trying to hurt people, the pain they cause is not intentional. They see themselves as good people, it’s everyone else who is the problem and they’re trying to fix the problem, to make others be who they want them to be to create a perfect world populated by people fixed by the narcissist.

        Other narcissists deliberately try to hurt people, often as a form of revenge/retribution (which they may see as justice) for something they perceive as an injury to their ego.

        For more about the different types of NPD, this is quite a good overview – http://sparkster.hubpages.com/hub/Various-Types-Of-Narcissist-NPD-Narcissistic-Personality-Disorder-Malignant-Self-LoveNarcissism

        Like

        1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

          Maybe the book will get written by accident too ๐Ÿ˜‰ I appreciate the suggestion, it’s just not me to do things which are probably a good idea.

          I did come across this article today – http://www.energeticsinstitute.com.au/page/narcissism.html – which is absolutely brilliant, insightful and sums it all up, explains NPD from many perspectives, in a very long read which is worth reading.

          The ‘book’ has already been written… it’s up to us to realise we’ve read it. The real book is our personal story. Our book.

          Or something like that.

          Wiggle room, one of my favourite and least favourite rooms in the house of life. It’s always there, I’m glad it’s there (for me, not always so sure when it’s there for others), but sometimes you get trapped in it, and it is not uninhabited, so you get trapped in it with tenants who may not be the best room mates to have… or maybe…? I still try to get to other rooms using the wiggle room, even when I know that a more direct route is more liberating. I think that’s human nature. We like our detours, they’re scenic, even though we don’t always like the scenes the scenic route offers.

          Enjoy whichever way you choose, even if it has nettles and brambles, trust that’s the right way for you, for now, remember that every path has options and you can go off the beaten path if need be, or do a U-turn.

          Best wishes!

          Like

  8. I’m curios to know a few things. My narc ex intentionally impregnated me. I told him we weren’t ready for this. However if he wanted the baby I needed a formal commitment because I wasn’t going to raise our child alone. He had already broken up with me at this point saying there were a list of this wrong with me and our relationship although he says he had put money on an engagement ring and was going to propose. Long story short it was his actions that finally determined the final decision regarding the life of our child. I terminated the pregnancy because he repeatedly told me he needed two months to be single and date and miss me and there was a 45% chance after he went thru his process that he would return to me and that was unacceptable. I was quickly discarded and abandoned without emotion shortly after he told me he was madly in love with me. I feel crazy at times because of the mind Fk. He told me he wanted nothing to do with me and to leave him alone. Is this a punishment from him or is this the final discard?

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

      You asked – He told me he wanted nothing to do with me and to leave him alone. Is this a punishment from him or is this the final discard?

      In answer to your question, I would ask you to consider – Were you punishing him when you terminated your pregnancy? – The answer to that will answer your question as to whether he is punishing you or whether he is doing what he feels needs to be done at this point in the relationship.

      Sometimes there is no single or simple answer, especially not where relationships are concerned, especially not when so much has happened within that relationship between two people, both separately and together.

      What occurred has a deep impact, one from which people often need to distance themselves. Not as a punishment to others but as a need to find somewhere else to go which doesn’t have this kind of pain attached to it. Ending your pregnancy will have affected him very deeply, whether he is a narcissist or not. If he is a narcissist he would have taken it even more personally than someone who is not a narcissist because he would be unable to see your side of the story, he would only see his side, and for him what you did was akin to ending his life, his legacy. You know why you did it, but if he’s a narcissist he will never understand or try to understand why you did what you did. He will never see you as a person, he will never consider your feelings or care what you think. Narcissists are incapable of doing that, they are wrapped up in themselves and are the only ones who exist in their version of reality. Others are just there as extensions of them.

      A narcissist can love you madly one minute and stop loving you in the next minute, because their love is one of the mind and not of the heart. For them it is perfectly logical to cut you off the moment you do something which displeases and disappoints them, and if what you do hurts them, that’s it. They can discard you without a thought for you because it is all about them, and they can just as easily re-enter your life as though they never discarded you if that’s what they want to do because it fits their latest version of reality. They never consider your side of the relationship, they can’t do that, mostly it’s not deliberate (although sometimes it is).

      Think of the discard as a release from your contract with him, and use the time to heal yourself from the damage which has been done. Don’t focus on why he is doing and has done what he is doing and has done, it’s all about him not about you. Focus instead on yourself, what you need, feel, and take care of yourself.

      Hope this helps, best wishes.

      Like

      1. Thank you so much for your reply. My ex broke up with me after I decided to keep the baby but he told me he needed two months to “process” and be single and maybe we could be together. I told him I needed my family together. He wasn’t sure he could give me that because he was dating and I had too many things he felt I needed to change. I didn’t want to subject my child to its father coming in and out as he pleases and we weren’t in a position to provide all this child needed. It was a lose lose situation and I felt like I was between a rock and hard place so I made a very difficult decision based on a future without him in it.

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        1. Always trust yourself. You made a very difficult decision in a deeply heartfelt and thoughtful way, many people don’t consider things that deeply or are willing to face what you did. You have great empathy, insight and courage. You saw life through the eyes of your future child and looked ahead, feeling and thinking through their experience. You foresaw the whole picture, and what you saw guided you. It was a painful choice, but necessary. Your vision of the future is instinct and intuition guiding you. Always trust that, trust yourself, even if it means doing things which are very painful in the now.

          When you meet the right person and choose to have a family together, making the decision as two hearts beating as one, who respect each other and love each other and are there for each other, you are going to be a truly wonderful parent. Now was not the time, this man was not the right person, not for you and not for a child, trust in the decision you made.

          As the child of narcissists, there were many times in my life as a child when I wished that I hadn’t been born. It is not a safe environment for a child, and not for an adult either.

          Real love does not put you in that kind of position, does not abandon you when you need it, does not tell you that you have to change who you are to be worthy of it. Real love is not what he was giving you. Be thankful he ‘discarded’ you when he did. You are now free to find someone who will love you as you are, and you are someone who deserves the best kind of real love.

          Take good care of yourself, keep trusting yourself, and let this experience inspire a beautiful future. Let yourself heal and grow, and look forward to what lies ahead.

          Like

        2. Thank you! Thank you and thank you!! For such an encouraging reply. It truly means so very to me! You are a God send!

          Like

  9. I just had my life destroyed ..I mean obliterated in every way bu a narcissist..and I may be facing jail time for made up charges..I think they still love me in a supply kind of way but they are probably more worried about getting I’m trouble for not following through on pressing charges.. My question is thy have destroyed me in every way..there is no benefit to them whatso ever now and they didn’t initally press charges and I wanted to know even though they may go over one day…are they dont with me? Or will thy probably press charges even though thy dont have to o make my life more hell?? I just want to know which way a narcissist would lean? I’m not a supply but they enjoy seeing me suffer..I would like to know what a narcisists would do..they no I love them but we are already on no contact…so I’m really no benefit…they know they have completely demolished me..I just want to know which way she will lean…she knows my life I’d in he hands..but she still thinks she’s the victim..I kissed her ass and begged on my hands and knees before the no contact.. She said I won’t destroy your life while I was in jail but I cannot trust her…what is she thinking after weeks of no contact?
    Thank you

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    1. Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

      In this kind of scenario, a narcissist feeds off of the drama – the drama is their supply, and you are their supply too because you have a starring role in their drama. However you are not in control of your role in their drama, they are and they rewrite it according to the part they need you to have for them at any given time to support the persona, identity, image they have created for themselves.

      This – http://www.deconstructingjezebel.com/More-Drama-Triangle.html – gives quite a good summation of the value of drama for a narcissist and how it plays out, how they assign roles, switching them to suit their need for drama.

      To a narcissist you are not you as you know and see yourself to be, you are who they need and see you as being. So she does not see you the way that you see yourself, and she won’t see your life and how she has affected it, she won’t notice the hell or the destruction, she will be focused on herself, her life, her needs, her story. Narcissists lack the ability to empathise, therefore they never see how someone else is feeling, thinking, being affected by them. They won’t hear it either if you try to tell them about it, they will twist your words around and make it all about them and what you have done to them.

      This – http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/NPD.html – has a comprehensive list with further explanations of all the tactics and behaviours which narcissists use. This site also has a support forum – http://outofthefog.net/forum/

      Narcissists often threaten people with dire consequences, they tend not to follow through on their threats if the threat itself gives them power and control over who they are threatening. If the threat does not give them power and control over you, then they may follow through on it to punish you for not being who they want you to be and doing what they want you to do. It very much depends on how delusional the narcissist is at any given moment about the drama they have created, the more delusional they are, the more dangerous they are to others. They don’t think the way that you think, they do not have the same kind of logical reasoning, and nothing is ever their fault, they are never to blame for anything.

      This is very much worth reading – http://www.arachnoid.com/psychology/narcissism_revisited.html – to get a better understanding of just how far a narcissist will go, how delusional they can be, and how they never ever see your side of the story.

      An extract from the article in the above link: “Notwithstanding her blinding level of narcissism, eventually this woman realized I wasn’t going to become one of her enablers or acolytes, at which point she switched into a weird, schizoid posture in which, desperate for control and self-justification, she simultaneously insisted that she loved me, that I was a beneficial influence on her children, that I shouldn’t leave, but that everyday physical contact was actually molestation.

      Obviously, once she dropped the M-word into casual conversation, I was gone. Until then I had underestimated her pathology, but at that point I realized her irrationality combined with narcissism made her a dangerous person.”

      Please be very careful and do not trust a word she says, as the word of a narcissist in very changeable. They can promise you all sorts, swear that they would never do anything to hurt you, that they love you, but if it suits them, they forget all of that and do whatever they want to do, and they can justify it. Nothing you say, even if you have proof, matters to them. The only thing that matters to them is themselves, and their version of reality.

      As to what a narcissist thinks when you are not around, either because you’ve gone No Contact or because they’ve discarded you – they’re probably not thinking about you, and if they are it is not you but their version of you whom they are thinking about, and their thoughts of you centre around them.

      During No Contact (particularly if they agreed to the NC) they often move on to their next source of supply, which they sometimes find using you as a means to an end. She may have joined a support group and will be telling the group all about her drama, feeding off their response to her story.

      This – http://thenarcissistinyourlife.com/covert-narcissists-play-martyr-role-2/ – gives a quick insight into that kind of scenario.

      When dealing with a narcissist, it is best to prepare for the worst, use the fear they may be using against you to protect yourself. Get some legal advice, take some practical steps to ensure that you’re covered. It may be an idea to contact others she may have done this to, if that’s possible. Other than that, use the No Contact time to recover from what she has done, and to get yourself as far removed from her as you can. She is never going to change or understand what she has done to you or your side of the story. It’s up to you to understand and take the situation seriously. Acknowledge your own experience and story. Get some support for yourself. Then work towards repairing and moving on. It’s going to be hard and painful, but you know that already, focus on life after her with her out of it rather than life with her in it.

      Take care of yourself, trust yourself!

      Like

  10. Hello, I’m writing as I’m in a pretty confusing situation. My boyfriend of one year is much younger than me and from another country. We fell in love in his country and did everything to be together. Well I did, as I am financially stable… Or was I should say. So he has been with me here for 9 months and his time has come to leave. I was meant to go with him and then we both return here and continue our relationship. However, during his time here we have faced many issues. I am pretty sure he is a narcissist but have forgiven him as he is only 19 and does display remorse and empathy at times. He displays traits but really doesn’t npd have its onset around this age. He has cheated on me multiple times (but sort of prewarned me, wanted to experience etc), lies, anger issues, has stolen, is flirtatious, selfish, inflated ego but also affectionate and loving. I know he has insecurities underneath it all. Has agreed to getting help but as he has no money I would have to find that. Promises to stop things but does it really last… He loves me but puts much of this down to age and is adamant that he wants to be wild and not completely live a serious settled life. But does not want to lose me. I know this and now I am really unsure what to do. He comes from a very different background where he has had to really look out for himself to survive. I am 17 years older-not that I look it at all and I really don’t know why I can’t either say goodbye or stay with him and either let his infidelities slide until he gets over it? I don’t think I am that type of person but I do find it difficult to end relationships. Loyalty overrides. I just done know what to do. Is it doomed? Is there hope? I know if I don’t go with him I probably won’t see him again. You’re probably thinking that would be good for me to get back on track with my life, but it’s hard to know what to do. Please help.

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    1. Hi,

      Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

      What jumped out at me the most in what you said was this – “Youโ€™re probably thinking that would be good for me to get back on track with my life, but itโ€™s hard to know what to do.” – it sounds as though the confusion you’re experiencing comes from an inner conflict between opposing sides of yourself. A sort of heart versus mind scenario. Your heart wants to follow one path while your mind wants you to follow another path. Your mind is analysing the relationship, listing pros and cons, treating it as a problem which it wants to solve logically, and it is getting frustrated, and therefore confused, because the heart does not operate with the same type of logic as the mind.

      Your heart does not worry about the age difference between the two of you, whereas your mind is concerned about it – evidenced by the fact that you mentioned it – when we discuss an issue, the details which we choose to include point to what is bothering us about it. Your mind’s concerns are not unfounded, the age difference does make a difference. If you remember what you were like when you were 19 and compare it with what you are like now in your 30’s, you’ll see a shift in values, goals, focus, ideals, etc, because you have experienced a lot of life, learned many lessons due to those experiences, between then and now which has changed your perspective.

      Life changes us, even though we are still ourselves throughout each phase of development.

      You repeatedly mentioned his infidelity. Will this change as he gets older? This is tricky to answer as it very much depends upon what part this behaviour plays in his overall psyche, why he does it, what purpose it serves, etc. Most of our behaviours have different levels to them, and stories which go with them, some of which are deeply rooted and hard to figure out. A person may want to change yet not be able to do so, no matter what they do their compulsion overrides their conscious efforts.

      There’s an interesting and insightful book – Soul Mates: Honoring the Mystery of Love and Relationship by Thomas Moore – which explores issues such as infidelity and the part they play for an individual, on their own and in a relationship.

      Some people are unfaithful because it is a part of their nature. However they may compartmentalise their infidelity, whereby they may be physically unfaithful yet be monogamous where the heart is concerned. They will keep their heart and body separate. They will have different relationships for different parts of themselves. Those who do not compartmentalise tend to find those who do confusing. It’s hard to relate to things which we do not do ourselves, and therefore hard to accept those things in others because we do not do them and can’t understand why they do them. We end up asking and never answering the question – How can a person do that, be that way?

      A person who is naturally unfaithful may find it impossible to understand someone who is naturally monogamous – however more problems in relationships tend to be caused by someone who is naturally monogamous finding it impossible to understand someone who is naturally unfaithful. If one tries to please the other by changing their natural style this will in all probability cause resentment which will fester over time. There are many variables to consider – such as an unfaithful partner may expect their significant other to remain faithful to them, and may have a meltdown if their partner is unfaithful too.

      A TV series worth watching is – Californication. It actually is very insightful in this matter even though it is a bit OTT.

      I grew up in a family dynamic which had one serial cheater and one saintly martyr to their partner’s serial cheating. The atmosphere was an unpleasant one to grow up in. On the surface it looked like the martyr was accepting, “letting the infidelities slide”, but under the surface it was a bitter brew of festering resentment. The cheater never got over his cheating ways until he met someone else who genuinely accepted him as is, didn’t mind if he was faithful or not because they were similar in their ways, and then he didn’t feel so compelled to cheat – this really didn’t go down well with the martyr who felt they should have been rewarded for putting up with something they could never accept.

      Others are free to blossom when we accept them as they are and love them as they are, and we do the same when we are genuinely accepted and loved as we are. The acceptance has to be genuine, we’ll always know when it is not and that will cause resentment and many other issues.

      Is he a narcissist? – is a difficult question to answer. I don’t know him and I don’t know you, I can only go by what you’ve shared of him and yourself. Your words do not reflect those of someone in a relationship with a narcissist (as in someone with NPD).

      Narcissist – is a go-to accusation and diagnosis at the moment, often given to those who aren’t being who we want them to be for us. He doesn’t sound like he has NPD. He may well be being narcissistic, but we all are, some times more so than at other times. The teenage years and 20’s are when we are probably most overtly narcissistic, and it is not necessarily an unhealthy way to be as our ego is developing, as is the rest of us, we’re discovering who we are, what we want and our place in the world. So we’re naturally self-centric. If our self-centric self clashes with another self-centric self, then the accusation of ‘narcissist’ may turn up. The TV series – Girls – is quite insightful in this matter.

      NPD usually sets in in early childhood. For more on NPD – http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/NPD.html

      Is the relationship doomed? Is there hope? – that’s a big question, and one which, if we were talking in person, I would reflect back at you and ask you questions about why you asked it. From my perspective it doesn’t sound doomed and it seems to have more than just hope. There are options to it, ones which require taking risks… something which happens in most relationships.

      So why do you think it might be doomed? What is it which makes you think that there is no hope? Sounds to me as though you have an inner argument about yourself and your life which needs working out. It may be connected to this – “I do find it difficult to end relationships.” – it’s as though you’re looking for an out, but your – “Loyalty overrides.” – is preventing you from doing what you really want to do.

      You could test this – “I know if I donโ€™t go with him I probably wonโ€™t see him again.” – and see what occurs. The time apart may sort out the confusion on its own. What’s stopping you from taking this risk?

      The thing is, we usually always know what to do, we just don’t always want to do it so we tell ourselves that we don’t know what to do. Talk it over with yourself, try out different scenarios in your imagination, keep tabs on your feelings while you’re imagining those scenarios, possible options, and feel the feedback which you get from yourself. The mind often analyses too much, and confuses the matter with a list of should’s, if only’s, when the heart knows things just by listening to feeling. What makes your heart soar? What makes you feel like smiling inside and out?

      Hope this helps a bit.

      Take care of yourself, best wishes!

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  11. hi I’m Shani!
    My ex I believe is narcissistic, he was physically abuse, mentally and emotionally! I had 2 children with him and he was a boomerang! After a violent outburst in which our children witnessed I ended it and went no contact. This has been 15mths now! About 4 mths ago he moved in his girlfriend who myself and my children had no idea about! He rarely contacts me now but does seem to have a retrial of sending pointless emails usually containing a pic of a jar of sweets, no words or maybe a video of gary Barlow singing a Ballard! These occur every 2 wks or so! My question is, if he’s so happy in his new life with his new love, why the hell does he send me crap! Surly I he doesn’t do this because he’s thinking of me, this must be a game even though he knows we are through?

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    1. Hi Shani,

      Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

      If he is a narcissist… then you are right, he isn’t doing this because he’s thinking of you, he’s doing it because he’s thinking of himself. It could be a game, it could just be nostalgia. Narcissists are very nostalgic and when they are in one of their nostalgic moods, which are usually triggered by feeling sorry for themselves, by not liking whatever their life is like in the now, they escape into a past which never was, they remember things in a way that they never were, they remember people in a way that those people never were, and they indulge their flight of nostalgic fancy by doing things which may appear odd to everyone else, but to them it makes sense and since they are wrapped up in themselves no one else matters.

      Perhaps his new love has reached that stage where it hasn’t lived up to his fantasy of it, and his disappointment made him feel sorry for himself, and he’s remembering how wonderful his old love was. It doesn’t matter what the reality of it is, a narcissists never lets that get in the way of creating their own version of reality.

      Your absence from his life allows him to imagine a version of you who is whoever he wants you to be – you’re not there to ruin his fantasy of you. Whereas his new love is there to ruin his fantasy of her. A narcissist’s fantasy version of others is how the narcissist supports their fantasy version of themselves. When you become too real, it means they become too real and they want to avoid that, escape from reality.

      Narcissists do play games, however a lot of those games are not played consciously they are due to whatever needs the narcissist has and how they deal with the stress which their neediness causes.

      This could be a version of baiting or hoovering (also sometimes known as love-bombing).

      Games played by narcissists can be found on the following sites:

      http://thenarcissisticlife.com/games-narcissists-play/

      http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/NPD.html

      However from the way that you’ve described his pattern, it is intermittent and not insistent, therefore I would hazard a guess that his attempts to contact you probably coincide with something which occurs in his life every two weeks or so from which he wants to escape and he does that by contacting you. Sending you those emails is his way of escaping and feeding a need of his.

      Since you have children together, do the emails coincide with his visitation with his children? Or perhaps with his payments of child support? Some narcissists don’t give a toss about their children, only see their children as pawns in a battle between themselves and their spouse/ex, however others do love their children – not in a healthy manner, but they see themselves as caring parents and they confirm that belief by doing things which can be rather weird.

      Whatever a narcissist does is always about them and their version of themselves, reality and so on. Things such as No Contact don’t register with a narcissist and are done for the benefit of the person doing it not for the narcissist.

      Trying to understand a narcissist can be a difficult puzzle to solve. Sometimes it is better to just keep doing what you are doing for yourself, and just chalk what a narcissist does down to their disorder. They are the way they are, they’re not going to change, they rarely make sense, and their status of happiness is very fleeting.

      Take care of yourself, best wishes.

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      1. Hi thank you for your reply, it was very interesting!
        Touching on the every 2 wks that does coincide with his visitations! He decided he only wanted a overnight stay everyother Friday night through to Saturday afternoon. He was offered longer but refused the sat eve as I believe he didn’t want to give me freedom to meet anyone! When we were together he would say some cruel things about me giving him children he didn’t want yet I do believe dispute him being abusive around them he does love them it was just me him wanted to punish and make feel terribly guilty if I chose to leave him as after all he hadn’t wanted them!
        I ignore the pointless texts and random pics as much as I can but wonder if he has a mental illness!

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        1. Hi! I’d also like to ask whether it would be a good idea for me to contact his other ex before me as I know that when we were together he would always have a on/off friendship with her and he used to email her random things. Maybe she could give me some closure that I’m not the only one he does this too? I have contacted her in the past and she has always been quite polite to me.

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          1. Closure is always a complicated thing to get, especially when the relationship ended abruptly and there are many issues connected to the ending. It’s important to remember that you have children with your ex, so things may never completely be resolved because your children will always connect the two of you. He will always be a part of your life because he is a part of their life.

            However you can get certain versions of closure which ease your own concerns, and answer questions which may be bothering you until you get a satisfying answer.

            Since you’re on fairly good terms with his ex before you, and you’ve spoken with her before, perhaps she may be able to clarify details for you. It very much depends on where she is coming from and where you are coming from, and whether you find a meeting ground which works for both of you. What is in it for her to help you? What will she get out of the conversation? Relationships of any sort flow both ways, it’s a good idea to keep that in mind.

            Trust yourself. If you feel this will help you, it is worth trying. At the end of the day, this is about you and what you need to heal and help yourself to move on.

            Best wishes!

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  12. Is it common for a narcissist to have several women during idealization phase? For instance: idealizing one woman but still looking around to keep their options open?

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    1. The NPD I was with was telling me he loved me, wanting to move in with me, all the while seeing a woman that he had met just prior to me. He had told me that he told her that I was now his girlfriend, but I guess she was the kind of woman who didn’t care! She continued to chase him and he let her. She knew all about me and I knew nothing about her. Soon, I was finding women’s clothing around his house and then, a phone call at midnight.
      I am also quite certain that throughout the idealization phase, he was seeing another woman from his home town whenever he went there to visit. I got outa there in a flash, and the only thing that helped was to go into strict No Contact mode. I will never speak with him again.
      Whether or not it happens during the idealization phase or afterward, it is all lies, deceit, there is not an ounce of love involved, and if you think you are dating or married to a NPD, I recommend running as fast as you can ๐Ÿ™‚
      Jan.

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      1. Thank you for sharing, Jan ๐Ÿ™‚

        I was listening to a song this morning, the theme tune to Vikings – If I had a heart by Fever Ray (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91_5YxmJ9Ic ) – and the lyrics struck me as being very much what drives a narcissist.

        “This will never end
        ‘Cause I want more
        More, give me more
        Give me more

        This will never end
        ‘Cause I want more
        More, give me more
        Give me more

        If I had a heart I could love you
        If I had a voice I would sing
        After the night when I wake up
        I’ll see what tomorrow brings”

        In reviewing a relationship with a narc, try to avoid deflecting anger onto the ‘other woman’… he manipulated her just as he manipulated you. He triangulated and benefited from it, there is nothing a narc likes more than pitting people against each other and watching them fight each other over the narc – that is a delicious source of supply, and it stops people from comparing notes and finding the narc out. He probably told her a long story which she believed, and she may have seen you as being the ‘other woman’… that’s how narcs work their ‘magic’. They know how to get under our skin so they can drink our life’s blood.

        Glad to hear you got out and ar staying Narc-free! Always take care of yourself!

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        1. Hi there,

          Iโ€™m new to this whole personality disorder. I was together with my Narc for 27 years. I saw all the red flags when we dated, before we got married but was never mentally strong enough to resist him nor did I understand what the hell was going on. Fast forward through my life dealing with infidelity and crazy arguments that never resolved anything and two amazing teen age kid to present day. Six weeks ago, my 15 year old son found a sexually explicit text message from someone to my husband. Of course, my NPD never admitted to anything other than an innocent text message between he and a stranger he connected with on a social media site. (really?) That might have sufficed ten years ago, todayโ€ฆ. not so much. He said he didnโ€™t know what he wanted in our marriage and blamed my lack of sexual capabilities for his confusion. (This is almost identical to his โ€œdear johnโ€ letter he wrote me 14 years prior when he walked out on myself and, then six week old and two year old). Typical, I know!

          I began reading on Narcissism and feel like Iโ€™ve been shot. It all makes sense now. However, how stupid do I feel? Trying to wrap my head around the fact that he never loved me and all my natural thoughts of how we interacted meant something specific, really meant nothing but the opposite has been extremely grieving, to say the least. Looking back I realize he was never faithful. My grief has been confusing because Iโ€™m grieving a life that was in, fact a lie. The betrayal has now increased a few levels.

          A week after the big โ€œblow upโ€ and the โ€œtalkโ€. I asked him to move out. He did. (Yay for me for setting boundaries and sticking to them). However, the guilt game that has controlled me all these years for enforcing any sort of consequences has been in full affect. My 18 year old and 15 year old are devastated by this. They are also aware of his tactics but are victims of his manipulation just like I am. I filed for divorce two weeks ago. Of course, he plays the victim to my children. He has cried tears to them about how he thought he would be with me til death do us part. He has sworn that he is not nor ever has cheated on their mother (HA!). He has a new apartment (which is 2 miles away from my home) with no furniture or dishes or much of anything for that matter and cries to my kids about how bad his life is because of me.

          I have completely shut off all contact with him. He sends me irrelevant messages every couple of days or sends food/money with the kids to me. If I refuse it or dispose of it, my kids are crushed. He has notified me that he will be by my workplace (I work for a divorce attorney) to sign the divorce papers. Since I need to maintain the no contact, I have planned for my co-worker to handle him when/if he shows. I will leave before he gets to the office so I do not have to deal with him. But again, my children really want me to give him another chance if/when he comes to me. In my heart I still love the person I thought he was. In my mind I know I need to get as far away from him as I can.

          Iโ€™m still struggling with closure. I know I will never hear what I need to hear from him, so how does this take place?

          Do you have any resources for โ€œclosureโ€ and recovering from this lifestyle of codependency? Any and all resources to read would be great.

          Thanks again for your help with this. What would we all do without you?

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          1. Thank you very much for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚ and Hi!

            The first thing to accept is – closure is hard to get where narcissists are concerned (especially if children are involved) – so you may have to create your own type of closure. A bespoke type of closure. One which suits your needs and gives you enough closure for you to heal.

            You’ve obviously already realised this and done this, always trust yourself in these matters and listen to your own wisdom.

            So, next step…

            There are many great resources available with regards to recovering from a relationship with a narcissist. Which one suits you, may require a bit of research and testing things out on your part.

            For instance, since I’m a child of narcissists but have not had a romantic relationship with a narcissist sites which focus on recovering from a romantic relationship with a narcissist don’t necessarily cover the issues with which I need closure, although they are very informative – as many children of narcissists may behave in a narcissistic manner in relationships (without actually being narcissists, but due to early conditioning). So, for myself, I tend to explore sites which deal with ACoN (adult child of narcissist) related issues.

            Sometimes a person who has been in a romantic relationship with a narcissist may, through therapy or self-therapy, discover that one or both of their parents were narcissistic (which is why they gravitated towards a narcissistic partner). In exploring NPD and everything related to it, we may stir up things which we’ve kept hidden from ourselves. So reading both the resources aimed at romantic relationships with narcissist and family relationships with narcissists is relevant and insightful.

            It’s all about figuring out your personal story, and finding the wisdom within it, which is within yourself. What you read helps you to do that.

            So to answer – What would we do without you? – I’m just one voice of many saying the same thing, which is – the greatest healer in your life is you. Trust yourself, listen to yourself. To heal we need to recognise our healing, the words and stories of others help us to find our words and our story.

            Some great blogs and resources are:

            http://letmereach.com/ – she has been there and done that and is using her experience to help others to help themselves. She does private consultations.

            http://outofthefog.net/ – they loads of information – on NPD – http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/NPD.html – lots of links to other resources, and they have a support forum (lots of people find joining a forum very healing and helpful).

            http://afternarcissisticabuse.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/how-the-trauma-of-narcissistic-abuse-changes-our-world-views/ – this is a great post and a good blog for healing from a relationship with someone with NPD.

            The website – http://www.psychologytoday.com/ – has many professionals blogging daily about NPD and the different aspects of it:

            This one is very intriguing, especially where trying to figure out if a narcissist ever loved you or if it was all a lie form their perspective is concerned – http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201311/the-lament-lonely-narcissist

            Also of interest –

            http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/counseling-keys/201403/how-handle-crazymaker

            http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201404/the-vampire-s-bite-victims-narcissists-speak-out

            The best advice is to keep researching the matter until your own wisdom emerges, the confusion clarifies. The best closure you can get is when the pieces fall into place within yourself and you don’t need anyone else to tell you what to think or feel, you just know and it doesn’t matter if anyone agrees, believes or supports it. You know your own truth. That is personal power.

            Healing takes time, so be gentle with yourself, don’t beat yourself for being ‘stupid’… it’s only ‘stupid’ according to hindsight. And hindsight is a know it all who often gets angry with us for not seeing what was not obvious at the time but now seems blatantly so. So… be compassionate towards yourself. Take it one day at a time, and trust that you will heal in your own time. Don’t rush it… Take care of yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

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        2. Yes, wise advice. I actually had a conversation with this other woman. She was well aware that I was the main interest, but she seemed a woman who was desperate and couldn’t seem to help herself. She had low self-esteem. She had been raped and beaten in the past. I tried to explain to her that this man we had shared was only going to destroy her, but she didn’t seem to be listening to me. She seemed a perfect victim for him, but I couldn’t find a way to help extract her from the situation. Although she stated that she was not seeing him, I could just tell that she was. I tried to “take her with me from the hell” , but ultimately, it was playing havoc with my emotions and I simply retreated and went into No Contact right away.

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          1. Did anyone ever try to warn you about him when you first met him?

            It’s so easy to see things in hindsight, especially when our pain is still raw and vivid. That’s when we learn from our experiences… but we can’t transfer what we feel and know to others, sometimes we can, but that is usually because they’ve experienced somethign similar before, if they’re new to this kind of experience, then they usually have to learn things by doing things… and we have to respect the way that life teaches all of us. Which can be hard when we see someone heading for disaster, a disaster which we’ve only just escaped from. Who knows… maybe things will be different for them, we hope it will be, but we doubt that it will, particularly if it involves a relationship with a narcissist.

            I watch my parents lure many people into their web. I tried warning them. But the warnings were unwelcome because when someone is in the honeymoon phase of a relationship with a narcissist… they’re so focused on the positive, which is so big and shiny like a giant wish-fulfilling rainbow, that your warning is usually viewed as you being ‘toxic’ and ‘negative’. And we know what people are advised to do these days with those they think are ‘toxic’ and ‘negative’. One day that label will be passed onto the narcissist… but for now they view the narcissist as being the ideal of everything positive and nourishing.

            We all live and learn… usually the hard way because we pay attention to pain. Pain is a great ally… when we use it to show us where it hurts. We just can’t heal the pain in advance, before it happens. Preventative medicine of that sort… just doesn’t really work.

            Your pain has made you very wise… so the curse had a valuable gift in it. I always love your comments. You have great healing to share. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

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            1. No, I was not given any warning about him at all. I did experience some red flags along the way. I had not been in a relationship for 16 years–looking after my disabled son took all my time. I was both inexperienced and very ready for a relationship, so some part of me chose to ignore what my gut instincts were trying to tell me. In that sense, I was being warned….lol. After this horrendous experience with a man, what I did learn clearly was this—always listen to and trust that little voice inside, that feeling in your gut; that intuition. It was proven to me through this experience that it is never wrong; never lies to us, and is what should be guiding us through life. I don’t know what it is….but I have now made it my best friend and advisor.! I take moments to listen to what it is telling me. I no longer ignore it. And it is serving me well.

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              1. Also, thank you for your compliments. I believe that oftentimes, the most opportunity to learn lies in hardship. The wisdom that comes from it takes hard work, but I believe is well worth the outcome.

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        3. Thank you both for your comments! Narcissists are very strange “creatures”.
          There is another thing that nags me, I hope any of you can clear the “mystery”.
          I am a brown-haired woman with subtle highlights, when I met him, of course he thought I was the best thing in the world. Around the 4 month mark, he started suggesting to change my hair color deep jet black and cut my hair in a certain way (his ex looked exactly like this). I relented, and after we broke up, he started pursuing women who had their hair dyed blonde or with highlights lighter than the ones I preciously had! Why do you think he would do this if he “loved” black hair so much? To me it appears so contradicting.

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          1. Maybe just another way he enjoys trying to control women? A woman’s taste in her hair colour and hair style is somewhat of an expression of who she is and how she likes to present her image….her own uniqueness and beauty. If someone takes control of that, it might make them feel powerful?? Might make them feel like they can control anything about the woman because they will change their own expression of uniqueness to what he wants. I am just guessing. We are talking about a mental illness, so who knows?

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            1. You’re right, there are many ways to look at it, just as there are many ways that a narcissist looks at us. But a narcissist never sees us when they look at us.

              When the narcissist looks at us, he or she never sees us, they see an extension of themselves, something they want as an accessory which will become a part of them, which is a part of them and their image – our image is their image. How we look once they have linked themselves to us in some way is intrinsic to how they look, how they see themselves and how they see others seeing them – how they see others seeing them is important to how they see themselves.

              They control us to control themselves and their version of reality. They want to control us and at the same time resent us for either being uncontrollable or being too easy to control… it is still all about them. If you change the way you look physically for a narcissist because they’ve nagged you into doing it, they will then tell you they preferred the way you looked before and why did you change? What they really want is something no one else can give them… but they can’t give it to themselves either and they think others can, even though others never do no matter how much others give them or cater to their wants, needs, and demands. It’s a lose/lose situation on a continuous loop. A lose/lose situation they keep repeating hoping that at some point it will be win/win.

              Where physical looks are concerned, there is no greater narcissist than the fashion industry. As soon as you embrace an ‘In’ fashion it becomes ‘Out’ and something else is ‘In’ (which is often the opposite of what was ‘In’ before – so you cut your hair short ans now that’s out of fashion, now you need to buy extensions because long hair is is and your natural hair can’t grow fast enough to keep up with the demands of fashion NPD) and once you embrace that it is ‘Out’… that’s what a person with NPD does on a personal scale. It is to control you… but controlling you is a tiny fragment of a much bigger picture… controlling themselves, their image, their persona… we are all just fragments of their mirror.

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          2. Why does it nag you? – therein lies the answer to your question. It doesn’t really matter why he’s doing what he’s doing (or did what he did) because that’s his story (and if he’s a narcissist it’s going to be extremely complicated and very confusing, and will only truly make any sense to him), the part which matters and is relevant to you is your side of the story. What he did to you and how it has affected you.

            I’m guessing it nags you because you did it. Why did you do it? And once you did it, did you regret it? Yes, no… why? – that is where your focus should be, because that is where your healing is.

            Many of the things which narcissists do in a relationship are similar to the things which non-narcissists do, except a narcissist is more extreme and because of that it is more obvious.

            Relationships change us, other people change us, we change ourselves too especially through relationships. Sometimes it is a positive change and sometimes it is less than positive. Sometimes the change is superficial and sometimes it is deep, often a bit of both. Sometimes we try to change someone else, usually we tell ourselves that it is for their own good, we’re making them better, we’re helping them with their potential which we can see in them, getting them to break a bad habit, etc… sometimes the changes are for them, and sometimes they are for us (but we sometimes don’t see it that way). A narcissist doesn’t necessarily see it that way either, but when they try to change you it is all about changing you for them, for their wants and needs which are sought to be met through you.

            If you could change him… would you? Make him become who you want and wanted him to be for you? Turn him into a non-narcissist, perhaps?

            It’s a similar process. Only the way a narcissist does it and a non-narcissist does it is different. If you want to understand a narcissist, use empathy, use yourself and what you do and then take yourself and what you do to an extreme with yourself, your wants and needs, at the centre of the universe with the world and all the people in it revolving around you – that’s how you understand a narcissist.

            He needed and wanted you to change for him. Once you did, it satisfied that need and want… and another need and want took over because narcissists need and want to need and want what they don’t have, what they have is never enough.

            Focus on yourself… don’t focus on him.

            Take good care of yourself, and that includes having the hairstyle which makes you love – don’t change yourself for others (and don’t change others for yourself) ๐Ÿ™‚

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    2. When you need/want something, for instance a pair of shoes to go with an outfit, you probably have an image of what the perfect pair of shoes are which will go with the outfit. You shop around looking for the perfect pair of shoes. Maybe you find several pairs which are almost perfect and can’t decide which one to buy. You can’t wear them all, so you choose the best pair… but even though you’ve decided this pair is the best, a part of you still wonders about the other pairs of shoes which you didn’t choose. Maybe one of those is better. Still you chose the ones you chose, and you trust your taste and judgment because you see yourself as being fashionable and fashion conscious, they look good on you, go well with your outfit… but there is always this nagging suspicion that as much as this pair is the best, there could be something better out there.

      That’s sort of how a narcissist treats people. We’re fashion accessories to make them look good. They always pick the best… and always keep an eye out for someone better, just in case there is someone better out there who will make them look better.

      For a narcissist, it’s all about the narcissist. Not about you or anyone else. They are obsessed with being the best and having the best… but they are also always afraid that they settled for less than the best and that something/someone (they objectify people) even better is out there.

      Much of how they behave also depends on what type of narcissist they are. A Somatic Narcissist ( http://thenarcissisticlife.com/sexual-attitudes-of-a-narcissist-sex-and-the-narcissist/ ) will need more than one sexual/romantic partner (source of supply) in their life at all times to feed their ego and their persona.

      It is also an effective manipulative tactic – if they show you that although they’ve chosen you, which means you’re the best and very special, they could change their mind about it… you will try harder to please them, win their love – their love is always a quest for those who love them. They like to play people off against each other for their own benefit.

      Never take anything a narcissist does personally, it’s not about you, it is always about them. And that is what the relationship will always be about – them, not you.

      Take care of yourself!

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  13. Hi me again ….. I have another question which I hope you can answer for me …. I asked you recently why my narcissist ex was punishing me which you answered this again is on the same lines …… we broke up 6 weeks ago ….I told him though I loved him I couldnt forgive him for the past 2 yrs and didnt trust him ….. when he recently came to collect his stuff he started off nice even asked if I was still his friend ??? ….until I said here we go again talk about history repeatin its self so u got ur lil bit of fun now see u in a few months ! …. to which he replied dont worry I wont want you bk this time and I was only keepin sweet bcoz of the holiday ….the only thing I said in reply was thanks for lettin me knw ….then speakin to a friend of mine who is gay informed me that she had been sleepin with my exs new supply only a few months ago …. so one last angry txt I told him … its been 6 weeks since I last had any contact with him but he is still doin everything in his power to tarnish me as a person to the extent of sayin to my own brother last week Im in a lesbian affair ! …… I just dont get it …..

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    1. What he’s doing is known as a narcissist’s ‘smear campaign’. It is as important as breathing for a narcissist to ‘smear’ people. It is a part of how they build and maintain their persona.

      This is a good post to read about the smear campaign and what lies behind it – http://afternarcissisticabuse.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/narcissists-are-character-assassins/

      Narcissists split the world into good/bad, right/wrong, hero/villain, black/white and they don’t perceive shades of grey in between. So you’re either his friend. an ally, on his side, the good side or you’re his enemy, against him, on the bad side. It doesn’t take very much to become a narcissist’s enemy, their ego just has to get dented.

      They always have an enemy, because this makes them a hero. If you’re his enemy then he has to destroy you, and the way that is done is usually through gossip, through a smear campaign, through talking shit about you to everyone and anyone who will listen, including those who don’t want to listen. They repeat it over and over again like a mantra to create their version of reality where they are the hero. And it doesn’t matter if what they are saying about someone else is true or not, it’s true if the narcissist says it is true, and the more they repeat the truer it becomes for the narcissist, and that’s that as far as the narcissist is concerned.

      Politicians use this tactic all the time – they build up their image by smearing someone else’s image.

      Negative gossip and rumours travel very quickly from person to person, and tend to stick in people’s minds.

      When you were with your ex, you were probably heard him tarnish other people. If you can remember him doing this, you may also remember the results he achieved by doing it. He made himself look good by making someone look bad.

      The simplest way to understand it, what a narcissist is doing and why, is to take what we all do and exaggerate it. Narcissists are very exaggerated and warped versions of certain human traits which we all have. We all talk shit about people especially when we are angry or in pain, and let our anger and pain do the talking.

      When we’ve been hurt by someone, we discuss that person with other people, we gossip about them, and our stories about them and us, the relationship, usually are about how good we are and how bad they’ve been to us. When we do this, mostly we’re certain that what we are saying is the truth. And it may be the truth, but it is still only our side of the story.

      The difference is that our anger and pain tends to subside once we get them out of our system, and we may feel that we overreacted and said some things which we should not have said about the other person.

      We may even try to work things out with the other person if we can, apologise, make amends, forgive and forget, move on, etc.

      A narcissist’s anger and pain never abates or subsides, they never get it out of their system, it is their system, they never realise anything about what they are doing, never think they’ve overreacted, never think they said something they should not have said about someone else, never apologise, make amends, forgive or forget. They do sometimes move on… from one target to another.

      Your ex would have been doing what he is doing to you to someone else before he started doing it to you, and he will stop doing it to you when he starts doing it to someone else.

      It is a horrible experience to be on the receiving end of a narcissist’s smear campaign. Especially when other people believe the shit which the narcissist is saying and don’t bother to question it. Other people seem to support the narcissist rather than you. It’s a very helpless and lonely and frustrating experience.

      If you search for ‘narcissist smear campaign’ online you’ll find lots of info about it plus advice on how to deal with it.

      The way I tend to deal with it is to consider what the narcissist has said and to decide how ‘bad’ it really is. Since narcissists tend to say an awful lot, it is easier to ignore most of it and only focus on those things which may be damaging and need to be confronted.

      So in the instance of being accused of having a lesbian affair – does it matter? If other people want to believe it, let them, you know the truth – and if they want to know the truth they can ask you for it.

      You did bring that accusation on yourself by provoking your ex. You passed on gossip, and you used the gossip as a weapon against him. You were angry with him and wanted to hurt him. You ‘smeared’ your ex’s new girlfriend in his eyes so he took your ‘smear’ and used it against you. Saying what you did to him about his new girlfriend, for a narcissist is akin to saying it about him. He took it personally. Provoking a narcissist always backfires and reminds them that you’re an enemy they need to defeat.

      I realise why you did what you did, but you only ended up hurting yourself. He’s never going to acknowledge what he did to you.

      If you want him to stop doing what he is doing – Don’t provoke him – and that includes not gossiping about him and not gossiping about his new girlfriend. Gossip travels both ways. Just as you find out what he has been saying to others about you, he’ll find out what you’ve been saying about him and his new girlfriend to others – that to a narcissist is a provocation.

      THAT is why you go No Contact and stay No Contact. It is for your own benefit.

      If you can avoid discussing him and his girlfriend with other people as part of the NC, then you may find that he will stop talking so much shit about you – it’s not guaranteed, but it sometimes works as some of what a narcissist does is a preemptive strike against you. Narcissists are very paranoid and tend to be on the aggressive offensive with their tactics. I know it is difficult because you’re hurt and angry and have a lot which you want to get out of your system, and talking, gossiping, to others is therapeutic, but other people, even if they can be trusted confidantes still find it irresistible to gossip and pass on ‘news’.

      Best wishes!

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  14. Hello
    My question is in regards to a female Narc. Quite a few times she has said to me that she is sorry for treating me badly and she knows that she is a B***h. Does she mean this or is she manipulating me? I used to think that maybe she only possessed Narcissistic tendencies and that she didn’t have a disorder, but man o man, based on everything I’ve seen and read over the years, her behavior definitely fits the description. Thanks.

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    1. Hi,

      There are many different types of apologies which are ‘Fake Apologies’ – a non-apology apology.

      This article outlines a few types of false apologies and the differences between a genuine apology and a false one – lightshouse.org/lights-blog/false-apology-fake-apology-fauxpology

      Narcissists use fake apologies when apologising. It looks and sounds like an apology, but it is not. In most cases they are blame-shifting, deflecting responsibility, telling you what you want to hear to regain/maintain control of the situation and you.

      Their apology is often an excuse, excusing their behaviour.

      So, saying something such as – “I’m sorry I treated you badly, I know I’m a B***h.” – can be interpreted as an excuse for her behaviour rather than as an apology to you for having hurt you.

      The way to tell if the apology is genuine or false is usually in how their apology makes you feel.

      As stated in the article from lighthouse.org:

      False apologies:

      invalidate the listenerโ€™s experience or feelings
      make excuses for the apologizer
      shift the focus and responsibility off the apologizer and place them onto the listener
      imply that the listener is being unreasonable or oversensitive
      blame the listener for the matter
      often include the word โ€œbutโ€
      send the message that the apologizer isnโ€™t really willing to consider the way their actions made the listener feel

      .
      Real apologies:

      acknowledge the listenerโ€™s experience and feelings
      take responsibility without excuses
      allow both parties the opportunity to focus on the apologizerโ€™s actions without shifting blame
      validate the experience of the listener without diminishing its importance
      do not include the word โ€œbutโ€
      let the listener know they have been heard and considered, and that the apologizer will try not to repeat the mistake

      I would say that the fact that you can’t be sure if – she means what she is saying or if she is manipulating you – would point to your instincts warning you that her apology is not genuine.

      We like to give others the benefit of the doubt, and we often project our own values onto others, such as a willingness to make amends. It’s a kind of reverse empathy, as in – if you were her and she were you, you’d be genuinely sorry that you had treated her badly – so you are hoping that she feels as you would feel if your roles were reversed.

      However if the roles were reversed, I’m guessing you would give a different kind of apology from the one she gave you, and maybe you’re comparing her apology with the one which you would give, including other factors such as attitude, body language, and sensory information, and in comparison her apology feels like a ploy, false and not genuine.

      What made you doubt her apology?

      Your doubts hold all the information which you need – doubts can be very useful when used constructively.

      Hope this helps.

      Trust yourself, and take care of yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

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  15. I am currently in a “committed” relationship with a man that I truly believe is a Narcisisst. I could provide you with a million examples/scenarios but will spare you the roller coaster, yo-yo that my life has become over the past 2.5 years.
    The first year was “amazingly perfect”! We moved in together and after about 3 months is when I began noticing something was not quite right. Then the inevitable occurred illusion bubble burst and I was no longer the illusion, fantasy, goddess that he saw me as! We had a pool party and an attractive female friend of mine showed up and he was all giddy, looking at her the way he used to look at me. Over the course of the next few months they had some interaction and finally I decided to ask him about it…..my exact words were, “you look at her the way you used to look at me.” Up until this point I could see him struggling, still wanting to believe the fantasy but the reality of my humanness was smacking him in the face, so to speak. Needless to say he left our home, packed his bags, took his two teenagers to their mothers house and on his way out the door flipped me the bird and mothed F U to our security camera. I have 3 children of my own, he showed up at my sons sporting event (his packed bags in his vehicle) sat in front of me without saying a word and left when it was over. When I got home I realized that he had left me and was devastated. He wound up coming back a few days later….this was 7 months ago.
    I am strong willed and one smart cookie and I think that I am intriguing to him. He is constantly saying he does not understand me but little does he know that I am armed with a great deal of knowledge and confidence.
    My question is about sex; he claims that he just can’t have sex just to have axe he actually needs to feel something for the person (yet he takes Viagra, which he hid from me and I asked him about). The situation we are currently in is he told me to pack my shit and get out of his house. That I have until the end of September or he will be the process of evicting me. This is the 4th or 5th time he has broken up with me. Things have been very strained between us and we have not be having sex (seems to only happen when he wants). Stupid me showed him all my cards and now he knows that I want to have sex with him; I am a very sexual person, I have a high sex drive and ideally would like sex daily or every other day. So now, just like other needs he has learned of mine, he is withholding. Is there a way to undue him knowing my vulnerabilities (needs)? Do I simply ignore him? Technically we aren’t together so I could go out and screw someone else but honestly I’m not like that. We are having another pool party in two days, adults only, all his friends and acquaintances some of whom I’ve never met. What if I got my flirt on? I could even be as sweet as pie, kill everyone with kindness, be a great hostess, talk with everyone and be the complete opposite that lately he has accused me of being?
    “Why do I put up with this or why have I stayed this long?” Is a question you may have; at first it was the not be able to accept that this is truly who he is, I wanted to believe that the man I fell in love with was real and would magically reappear. More recently it is survival; I have three young children, we have integrated so much of our lives, I live 4 hours away from my family and my children’s father so I can’t pack up and go stay with my parents the kids have all their activities and school. Most importantly though, I’ve been a stay at home mom, something we both decided but now he is using against me. I will leave, this is completely unhealthy, I just need to be smart about how I do it and not lead with emotion (grabbing the kids today and heading for the hills)!
    One other question; is there any hope for him? (I’m sure I know the answer)
    He told me a few moths back that he was really trying to be different this time; he suggested couples therapy; he has always been the one to end his past relationships (discarding the women), only one other woman has left him and he HATES her. I can see though his struggle, I mean I really see it, his struggle between what is real and the illusion. Is there any way I can try to reach him?
    Thank you in advance for listening and would greatly appreciate any advice you have! I would also be open to providing you with more info or details, thanks again!

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    1. One of the things which stands out for me in what you have related is – “he suggested couples therapy” – a narcissist (as in a person with NPD rather than someone who does not have NPD but is narcissistic) would not do that, not genuinely. A narcissist might suggest it if they knew you would not follow through on it.

      So, my question to you is – Did you take him up on his suggestion? Did you go into couples therapy?

      If you didn’t go into couples therapy – Why did you not go?

      If you did go into couples therapy – What happened during that time?

      Many of the points which you have made about your relationship and him, could apply to a narcissist, but could also apply to someone who is not a narcissist. All humans are narcissistic because it is a natural trait, we all pass through the narcissistic phase of development as we grow up, so a certain amount of narcissism is normal and natural. Certain influences can make someone who is not a narcissist (that is someone who does not have NPD) behave as though they are a narcissist. Anxiety disorders can cause someone to behave very narcissistically. Or if someone feels as though they are being judged, that they are not good enough, that they are being invalidated in some way, they may behave defensively, passive-aggressively, and therefore they may come across as being a narcissist without being a narcissist.

      The reason I brought up Anxiety disorders is because you mentioned that your husband is taking Viagra and he didn’t tell you about it. Was the Viagra prescribed to him because he is suffering from impotence brought about by anxiety? Does he perhaps feel pressured to perform?

      I recently read a very heartfelt post which addressed the issue of different libidinal styles in spouses, which you might find interesting – http://storiesthatmustnotdie.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/what-if/

      If you have a very strong sex drive but your husband does not, he may feel that he has to live up to your expectations, and if he can’t he may feel that he has failed you, to satisfy you, and this may bring all sorts of complicated psychological issues into your sex life which he does not feel able to discuss with you, but which may affect your relationship as a whole.

      Things such as him looking at your attractive friend the way he used to look at you, may not be about him not seeing you that way anymore because an illusory bubble has burst. He may well want to look at you that way (and maybe he does but you can’t see it), but when he looks at you that way perhaps he feels that you expect him to follow through with more and he feels too pressured by that and it triggers issues which he may be keeping hidden from you and perhaps also from himself – if he shared these issues with him then maybe you would no longer look at him the way that you used to. Maybe he already feels that you don’t look at him the way you used, that he has burst your bubble about him. That he is no longer your knight in shining armor. He can look at your attractive friend that way because he doesn’t have to follow through, nothing is expected from him other than admiration which is appreciated as it is no strings attached.

      2.5 years is a short time for a relationship which you entered with the idea that it would maybe last forever. It is also during those first years together that a relationship is at its most tumultuous. It’s a roller-coaster ride with or without a narcissist involved in it.

      The first flush of love, the passionate flames of it, the idealism of it, the feeling that we’ve found our perfect one, is the natural narcissism of love. The honeymoon phase is all about the illusion of it, the beautiful bubble which surrounds us and our loved one. We present our best selves to the other, our best bits, and hope they won’t notice our flaws and imperfections, and if they do we hope they’ll love them and in some way redeem them, making us perfect and whole with their love. Love often does exactly that and shows us that even the parts of us which we thought were unlovable are loveable and beautiful to someone else, and so maybe they can be that way for us too.

      Once the honeymoon phase is over, the hardest aspects of love hit. When we fall in love, in the kind of love which leads to marriage or forming a union which is binding with another human, we also tend to feel ‘safe’. We’ve found someone who loves us and accept us, all of us… that kind of feeling of being safe tends to bring out our deepest fears. Not because we’re afraid of love, but because we feel safe enough to deal with the fears, the issues, which we’ve repressed while we felt unsafe. Problems often occur when the fears and issues which come out of hiding from within us test the other person’s love for us.

      When someone else loves the parts of us which we believe are faulty, bad, unlovable, rather than learn to see ourselves the way they see us, to learn from them, their love for us, to love those parts and see them as parts of a loveable whole we often think that they have to just keep loving those unlovable parts for us without us doing the work to learn to love them too. And we end up testing their love. We sometimes test their love to breaking point, because we’re not convinced that their love is real… how could their love be real when it loves parts of us which we are certain aren’t loveable.

      This is something which I think is being played out when you say – “Stupid me showed him all my cards and now he knows that I want to have sex with him” – there is nothing stupid about letting him know that you desire him. His ‘withholding’ may not be withholding at all. You’ve shown him your vulnerabilities, maybe he’s showing you his, and maybe just like you he wishes that he could erase your memory of them too because he feels that what he has revealed to you is being used against him by you – just as you feel he is doing with you.

      Rather than play ‘high school crush’ games with each other, flirting with his friends trying to make him jealous and confused, and using other people to do it – which they may not appreciate – and you may end up feeling bad about yourself for doing that, for doing what is not natural to you as a person, and then blame your husband for making you do those things because of how you perceive him to be in this scenario – a narcissist who is playing with you. Maybe you should both realise that you’re both adults who have been through a lot in life, you’ve been hurt and are hurting, you’ve both brought baggage from past relationships into this one, you both have issues, but ultimately there is a bond between you, one which keeps you hanging on even through many splits and roller-coaster rides, and you both want to work things out in a way which is beneficial to both of you.

      Thomas Moore’s – Soul Mates: Honoring the Mystery of Love and Relationship – is an insightful look into the different ways love affects us, inside and outside, with ourselves and with others.

      When I read what you’ve written, it sounds to me to be the description of two people who love each other, and more than that who love each other’s families – his going to your son’s sporting event even though he was mad at you and had just had a fight with you at that time does not show someone who is a narcissist, it shows someone who is not letting his anger at you affect his relationship with your son. I bet he promised your son he’d be there, and he was keeping his word. A narcissist would not do that, because a narcissist would not be considerate of your son.

      There is a trend at the moment to jump to the conclusion that someone is a narcissist just because they don’t live up to our expectations of who they should be for us, just because the relationship which we have with them isn’t following the rules we have set for the relationship. Spotting signs of narcissistic behaviour in someone else does not equal that they are a narcissist, have NPD. That person who we are branding a narcissist may well be branding us and our behaviour the same way – they have access to the same blogs and articles about narcissists that we do. If we are judging and branding them narcissists for not being who we want and wanted them to be… that to them would be us behaving like a narcissist towards them.

      There is also a gender bias at play – women are more likely to assume that the man they are with is a narcissist, than men are to assume that the woman they are with is a narcissist. Men often get labeled as being narcissists for being men and living up to their gender stereotypes. Women will fall in love with a man for being a man, and then complain that he has not changed to suit them, become more feminine in certain ways, altered his gender for their gender. One of the things which most men do when the woman in their life is demanding more of them is to retreat into a passive-aggressive defensive position – which can come across as being a narcissist – because they feel that their side of the story is being invalidated and the only side of the story which is validated is the woman’s. The woman will often, in this kind of a scenario, seek extra validation for her side being more valid than his, thus overruling his side until it doesn’t have any value at all, by seeking back up of her side of the story from her female friends and other women. Men do not do this in the way that women do. If they discuss the scenario with their male friends, the consensus will be for the man to put up with the woman – she is just being a woman. In this kind of a scenario, women will label the man a narcissist, but men will not label the woman a narcissist – even though her behaviour fits the profile more than his behaviour does.

      I think you’re aware of this which is why you said – “โ€œWhy do I put up with this or why have I stayed this long?โ€ Is a question you may have” – you’re preempting the usual reaction people, especially other women, have at the moment when you, a woman, say that you may be in a relationship with a narcissist, a man who may be a narcissist, and you want to find a way to make it work because you still love him.

      Here’s the thing:

      If he is a narcissist, that question is not one which I would ask of you because I know the answer and I’d be a hypocritical ass to ask it of you.

      If he isn’t a narcissist – and from your description of him and certain elements which comes across in your words, I don’t think he is – then I would not ask that of you, because I know the answer. You’re ‘putting up with this’ and ‘have stayed this long’ because you want things to work out between you, because there is something more to this relationship, something deep and meaningful, and you just need to pass through the hellish phase, that phase which tests love to its breaking point, if you can both get through this then what comes after will be of lasting value and benefit to both of you. But it takes two, both of you working on your relationship together, as well as working on it separately to understand yourselves as individuals.

      The couples therapy sounds like a viable option. Just make sure that your couples therapist has experience – maybe check to see if they have knowledge and experience (as in not just knowledge based on reading the DSM-5 but actual living experience of it) of narcissists (as in those with NPD, just in case that is a diagnosis which applies).

      Follow your heart and trust yourself.

      Hope this helps, best wishes! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  16. My buff is a narcissist. I figured it out, a while after her husband left. He has been gone for 9 months now. At first I just used her husband leaving as an excuse for her outburst at me. Like I would say she is going through a lot and I understood. But really she wasn’t having any trouble with him leaving at all. She was looking for guys to talk to 2 weeks after he was gone. I noticed she was only upset with having to take care of things that he took care of when he was there. She was very bitter that she had waited till marriage to have sex ( I question if that’s true) and now she has to start over again. She did not cry for him or get really sad. She just was over him, but just missed what he did for her.

    The things that started standing out to me the most was, she started doing things out of character. Like she is very religious. She started talking about going to the club and booty dancing. Or having a guy come over to cuddle with, and not have sex. She is 28 and talks to 18 year olds. These are things she talked bad upon when her husband was still with her. She became a walking contradiction. When I would say something about it, she would scream and hit herself, tell me that I was crazy, obsessed, and that I needed to worry about myself. She would say awful things to hurt me. Like throw all my past sins and flaws at me. She made me feel like there was something wrong with me and that I was a terrible friend. She told me I needed counseling. The thing is I believed all these things she told me. I became an emotional wreck. I molded how I believed for her, so I didn’t upset her. Because I couldn’t have an opinion. My opinions were negative, and she didn’t need that in her life, because she was going through so much. She would say “if you don’t want me to lash out at you, and say mean things to you, then don’t question me”. So I would keep my mouth shut. She used me and almost convinced me to leave my husband. She tried to get me to move in with her. Now she is discarding me. We had a big fight and I told her that I don’t agree with the things she does. I mean I told her how she went from ” I don’t want to date a guy unless he is God focused, and I don’t want pointless hook ups” to talking to a 20 year old that doesn’t believe in God, and how she tells him she doesn’t want anything serious, just to make out and cuddle. She said well I may change her mind all the time. She has no boundaries! So at the end of that fight, she said we needed a break from seeing each other. We have seen each other since but she changes plans on me all the time and then tells me “nothing is set in stone”. Oh how I hate that phrase! We use to see each other 3-4 times a week before her husband left then we saw each other everyday till now. I think I became her spouse. When I was over she would have me play with her hair and rub her back while we watched TV. She called it loving on her. I’m guessing it was something her husband did and I just fee led that spot. Another thing that really bothers me is how she is perfect. She says she never lies and does nothing wrong. If you ever say she has the monster inside comes out.

    Well I guess I’m done venting haha. I’m just struggling with her discarding me. I have been codependent on her for 3 years now and it was a really good friendship for a while. She was the best friend I ever have had. I don’t know how to break away. I love her and hate her. The hurt is great. I’m feeling rejected and I know I should just let her go but I find myself wanting to talk to her or see her. Like I’m addicted to her. What would she do if I just go no contact now? Would she care? I’ve told her it hurts to much to see her and talk to her. She said that she is not going anywhere. What does that mean? I need help.

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    1. From what I understand this relationship with your friend was good for both of you up until her husband left her, at which point she changed. You tried to adapt to her changes, be supportive, but the differences between who she had been when she was married and who she is now that she is single were too different.

      When her life changed dramatically, so did she and she became someone else, someone who is not the person whom you know and love. You love who she used to be and hate who she is now. You’re not sure who the real her is, and this is creating a lot of confusion for you.

      Maybe she doesn’t know who the real her is either.

      From what you’ve said, it sounds as though she is also finding this change in her life confusing. In some ways it is very liberating for her. She is reviewing her life, rethinking her values, her decisions, trying to figure out what she really wants for herself, and to do this she is experimenting and exploring her options.

      It sounds as though she has up until the break up of her marriage been living according to a set of rules which she is now questioning. Maybe she was already questioning her life before the break up and this led to the break up. She was already changing and perhaps her husband wanted her to stay the same.

      She was a ‘good’ girl and being good meant that she perhaps had to repress part of her nature. So maybe she is taking the opportunity which this change in her life circumstances has given her to do many of the things which she never allowed herself to do while she was being good. She’s taking a walk on the wild side. Her old path, her old life, her old self has been shattered and rather than just sit at home feeling sorry for herself, she’s looking for a new path, a new life, a new self.

      Your life circumstances have stayed the same as they were throughout all of this, because you’re living a life which suits who you are and you are happy with who you are.

      When you mention that she almost convinced you to leave your husband to go to live with her. This sounds as though she is at this time very excited about the changes which her own break up has brought about, and she wanted you to experience what she is experiencing. She wanted you to join her and be a part of her new life.

      This situation sounds more like a parting of ways. Both of you really care about this friendship but one of you has changed and the other one hasn’t, and neither of you can accept the way the other one is even though you’ve tried.

      You both want each other to change for you.

      She wants you to change and become more like her. To join her in her new life. She hasn’t ‘discarded’ you, she has distanced herself because you want her to change back into who she used to be. She does not want to return to the way she was.

      There’s a quote which is popular on the internet – “Seeing people change isn’t what hurts, what hurts is remembering who they used to be.”

      There are many quotes and articles about the deep pain of losing a friendship and a loved one to change. We mourn the loss of who they were for us. Of a relationship which once was perfect and which filled our life with love, then change comes along and things aren’t the way they used to be. We’re nostalgic for what once was and find it hard to accept how things are now.

      She does not sound like she is a narcissist, at least not someone with NPD, but she may be going through a narcissistic phase because the change in her life has focused her on herself before anyone else. This can be a healthy experience, especially if she was living her life thinking about what everyone else needed and wanted from her before. She’s finding herself… unfortunately in finding herself she has lost you.

      I would say that she is as hurt and sad about the end of your friendship as you are, which is why she said to you that she is not going anywhere. If the two of you could accept each other as you both are now – you accepting her as she is now and letting go of wanting her to be who she used to be – and – her accepting that you are who you are, who you have always been, and are not going to change for her – then maybe this friendship can continue, but it has to change to from what it was into something which embraces both of you as you are now.

      I was reading a blog post today which might clarify your friend’s perspective a bit – http://madelinescribes.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/youve-changed-and-i-dont-like-it/ – being able to see things from the perspective of the other person can help us to not be so hard on ourselves. Understanding can ease some of the pain which things such as change can cause.

      One of the hardest parts of a relationship is when it changes, and through changing it ends what we had before and to which we were very attached. That relationship made us feel loved and safe, and when it changes and/or ends, we feel lost and alone, we feel the loss of the safety of love. It’s as though a death has occurred and we go through a period of mourning.

      Be gentle with yourself, and give yourself the time you need to heal ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

      1. Thank you! I agree with a lot of what you are saying. And the link is very helpful. I still think she is a Narc. Here are some examples.

        Things she says and feels about herself:
        She has never done anything wrong in any relationship.
        She deserves the world because she is so awesome
        Anyone who has been friends or any kind of relationship with her was lucky to have had her.
        She is perfect.
        She has compared herself to Jesus.
        Everyone judges her.
        No one has it as bad as her.
        She handles things perfectly, she doesn’t know anyone else that could handle things like she has.
        That’s just some.

        Things she does:
        I have a 9 month old, she will push her over and hold her down until she cries if I let her. While she is doing it look at me and ask me if it bothers me. That’s messed up. She does it to her dogs too. She has no empathy. She will say awful things to me and make me cry and then ask me why im crying. In the same instance bring up her husband leaving her, then she will cry. Then I will console her and she would say its OK as if I had done something. Her crying would stop just as soon as the attention was back onto her. And the way she reacts when she is accused of doing something wrong is crazy. She literally slaps or punches herself in the face and sreams. It is quit scary. She does this while saying the most hurtful things that a friend would not say to a friend. I know she does it to shut me up. She will apologize for saying mean things, but says she wouldnt do that to me if I wouldn’t question her. So basically, if I don’t ever question her she won’t hurt me. She has told me that a lot. She has told me I’m crazy and I need help. I went to counseling for her. It doesn’t help. Just as soon as I get built back up, she brings me back down.

        The whole thing is from the time we met she knew exacting what she was doing. I am the perfect target for a Narc. I was beat and molested for 10 yrs by my brother as a child. She knew that I was broken. She talked about how she was looking for her best friend. And how I had all these qualities that were so special. She showered me with love and went way out of her way to show me how much she cared. She says I love you like a million times when I’m with her. She has done that from day one. I don’t think that is normal. I only say that when I truly mean it. All her words are empty with no feeling. There is just so much I can say about it. But I’m just feeling like a sucker. I feel worthless and used. Because now I’m not that special person anymore. And really in her mind I know she thinks I’m stupid for falling for her crap. Just like she couldn’t understand why I would still love my brother after he had done what he done to me. I explained to her he was my care giver while mom and dad worked. He is 6 years older then me. I depeneded on him for food and guidance. I was scared of him and loved him. I mean what does a 6 year old do you know. But I’m sure she views me as a weak person. A tool. I took that abuse and loved him. So I will do the same with her. I have gone all over the place, I’m sorry.

        Oh about her husband leaving. He left her once before. She only took him back because of what it would make her look like as a christian. That’s what she told me. Not because she loved him but how it would make her look. And now she only talks about missing what he did for her not missing him as a person.

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        1. Now that you’ve filled out the description of her and your relationship in more detail, I don’t agree with what I said in my previous reply. I don’t think it applies to this situation as I would say that she sounds like she may be a sociopath with narcissistic tendencies rather than a narcissist. The scenario with your child is particularly disturbing and is more in keeping with a sociopath (ASPD) than a narcissist.

          You might find this article interesting – http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/ASPD.html – as it gives the diagnostic criteria as well as an explanation with links added to longer descriptions of each of the behaviours which sociopaths (those with ASPD) exhibit.

          I don’t think you did go ‘all over the place’ at all, I think you made some important points and connections, and I hope you’re listening to yourself and hearing the wisdom within your words. You can see the relationship very clearly, and you need to acknowledge your own knowledge – that’s personal power.

          The things which you are feeling – like a sucker, worthless and used, not being special anymore, a target – are ‘red flags’ of feeling. They’re warning signs letting us know that we’re under attack, in danger. When we feel that way because of someone else, it means that our system is being poisoned by someone who is toxic.

          This article describes it quite well – http://www.psychedinsanfrancisco.com/energy-theft/

          There is nothing stupid or weak about you, and you know it. Surviving the situation with your brother shows great strength, and your ability to understand complex relationship dynamics shows a keen intelligence.

          Have you at any point sought out therapy or counselling or a support group for PTSD. Victims of abuse often suffer from trauma which is buried under coping mechanisms, and which causes us to repeat some of the scenarios from our past, we tend to attract abusers simply because we’re trained to withstand their levels of insanity without running away. We’re trained to ‘put up with’ their behaviour and excuse it for them. Trained to love people who don’t love. They may give the impression that they think we’re stupid and have contempt for us for putting up with their abuse, but underneath that attitude is fear – they need us more than we need them.

          The website which I linked to with the ASPD information has a support forum – http://outofthefog.net/forum/

          With what you’ve told me now, I would say that your friend ‘discarding’ you is the best thing she has ever done for you. She did you a favour. It’s your ticket out of the relationship. She sounds toxic and not the sort of person who is good for you or your family – what she did to your child, that’s who she is, don’t forgive and forget that incident, it’s a very big warning – she is not a good friend. I know you’re conflicted about it, this is natural and normal because you are a good friend and a compassionate human being. You need to work through your feelings and thoughts about her, and help yourself to heal by letting your own wisdom have a voice.

          This is a good blog to check out, I’ve linked to one of my fav posts of hers – http://paularenee.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/regaining-your-intuition-after-sociopath-abuse/

          You said in your previous comment – “What would she do if I just go no contact now? Would she care? Iโ€™ve told her it hurts to much to see her and talk to her. She said that she is not going anywhere. What does that mean?” – and in this comment you answered your question – “Oh about her husband leaving. He left her once before. She only took him back because of what it would make her look like as a christian. Thatโ€™s what she told me. Not because she loved him but how it would make her look. And now she only talks about missing what he did for her not missing him as a person.”

          Listen to yourself, trust yourself, and take good care of yourself.

          Thank you for sharing!

          Like

  17. Hi
    My question is when you say that narcissists can’t love. I have a friend who claims to be in love with one of the mother’s of his child. He says that every time he gets in a serious relationship she does something to stop it. So when I ask him why deal with that he responds by saying that’s the way it always been. I said to myself she has to be a narcissists herself because they sleep around with other people but claim to love one another with no strings attached. How weird

    Like

    1. Much of the answer on whether a narcissist is capable of love depends on whether the ‘narcissist’ has NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) or is just someone who is very narcissistic but does not have NPD. It also depends of the definition being used of ‘love’.

      I was referring to people who have NPD. Their version of love is a mental construct. It is also all about them rather than anyone else. Their ‘love’ is a conditional contract of what you are going to give them and do for them. You can find out more about this aspect of love and narcissists in a love relationship on this blog – http://letmereach.com/

      Narcissist with NPD, Narcissistic person without NPD, or non-narcissist… We can’t really know what other people experience within themselves and within their relationships with others, and it is not really our business (even if they invite us to make it our business by confiding in us) what they do or do not do, what they feel or co not feel – unless it affects us directly, and even then certain conditions apply.

      Neither of these two people whom you mention, your friend and the mother of his child, sound like narcissists based on what you’ve related. They just sound like two people who have feelings for each other and who are playing an intricate game with each other (often involving others) which appeals to them in some way. Maybe he only knows she loves him when she steps in to stop him from having a serious relationship with someone else. Maybe he gets involved with other people just to make her interfere and then he knows she loves him. Maybe she only knows how much she cares for him when she thinks she’s losing him to someone else. Maybe when they are together with no one else involved, they get bored of each other, so they spice things up by creating a soap opera where they are the stars and everyone else gets a supporting role, is an extra.

      Their behaviour could be considered narcissistic, but not necessarily a sign of NPD.

      Have you ever watched the TV series ‘Californication’? It shows in some ways how often we complicate our love life because without those complications love wouldn’t be as interesting or as exciting to us.

      Have you ever read – The Games People Play by Eric Berne – or – Soul Mates: Honouring the Mysteries of Love and Relationship by Thomas Moore – both of those books reflect upon the complexities of human relationships.

      If you’re in love with this friend in a way which is more than friendship, you might consider the dynamic you have witnessed as a sign that the relationship may always going to include the mother of his child, and that his love may always be divided. If you’re his friend and nothing more, then just let him be as is and do what he does, and confide in you. If you’re fed up with hearing about his complicated relationship, tell him what you think and leave it at that. How he lives his life and loves is ultimately his business. Just as your life and loves are your business. Once we start getting involved in other people’s business, things get very convoluted… which is only good if we like things that way.

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  18. I recently left a Narcissist after a five month relationship. Well, it was actually a long distance relationship in which he would fly me to his place to stay for 2 weeks and then I would go home again. In essence, I suppose we actually lived together for about 2.5 months. I started to realize what I had gotten myself into toward the end. The first three months were wonderful (of course) and the final two were not.
    My question is this: I need to know if this is a measure of my self-esteem or not…the fact that I got out two months after the honeymoon phase collapsed. Or is it a better measure when one doesn’t even get involved after the first date? I feel a need to understand this better in order to look inwardly at myself.
    Thanks

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    1. The only person who can get the measure of your self-esteem is you. Each person has a different view of what self-esteem is – a different definition of it, what it entails, feels like, and how it operates within us.

      Your words reflect what I would consider to be healthy self-esteem – You entered into a relationship, you enjoyed it, then when you realised that it was not quite right for you anymore, you listened to yourself, trusted yourself, and made a decision to end it. You do not sound as though you are doubting your decision to end the relationship, nor your perception of it and the man involved. You trust yourself.

      Be careful of 20/20 hindsight – we always see more things about someone and a scenario when we look back on them with the knowledge we have now. Then we get annoyed at ourselves for not knowing then what we know now – how could we not have seen it then, it’s so obvious now!

      A first date is a scenario is one in which both people put their best identity and persona on display. We never really get to know someone on the first date, just as they don’t really get to know us. We’re basically giving the other person our best bits, best face, best personality, etc. We’re hiding ourselves behind a mask that wants to be liked and considered attractive. Many people appear narcissistic on the first date, sometimes even on subsequent dates, which is why we tend to need to spend more time with them to get to know them properly.

      People who claim that they can spot a narcissist on a first date –

      1) may well be narcissists as it is the sort of arrogant statement they might make to big themselves up and make others feel small compared to them. Since discussion about narcissists is popular, there are a lot of narcissists talking about it too and claiming to be experts on the subject and at spotting narcissists. Narcissists also often accuse people who are not narcissists of being narcissists – it’s their go-to accusation when someone does not allow themselves to be manipulated.

      2) they are those who have previous experiences of being in a relationship with a narcissist and therefore know what the red flags are because they have personal reference points. Just as you now have because you’ve had a relationship with a narcissist.

      I would say that overall it isn’t easy to spot a narcissist on a first date or meeting. They tend to be very charming, fun, they say all the right things, and they know how to sweep people off their feet. This phase can last for a while as narcissists enjoy this part of the relationship as much as anyone else. Probably the only thing which gives them away during this time is that they may come across as being too good to be true – they’re an idealised version of a human being – and you will rarely see them in ‘off’ mode during this time. They will control what you get to see of them. So they may do a lot of the things which you see in romantic films – fill your room with flowers, take you on a weekend away all expenses paid, wine and dine you in the best restaurants, buy you gifts, etc. However people who are not narcissists may also do this. And since this is the fun part of romance, why would anyone not enjoy it, right? Why would you suspect that it was anything other than what it seems?

      I don’t think you need to worry about your self-esteem. Willing to go beyond the first date is a sign of healthy self-esteem – you’re willing to take the risk and get to know someone. You trust yourself, and feel confident to take a chance on a relationship to discover more about where it will lead.

      You enjoyed the honeymoon phase, there is nothing wrong with that at all. Once the honey period came to an end, you saw what was happening and made a healthy decision for yourself. You got out – healthy self-esteem in fully functional mode.

      What you’re doing now, investigating the relationship and your part in it, is also the sign of healthy self-esteem. You want to understand and know more, and get to know yourself better.

      You seem fine to me ๐Ÿ™‚

      Best wishes.

      Like

  19. Hi ..I Would love to talk to you ..You are amazing and thanks for this blog..I really need your help
    I have bee dating a narc on and off for 3 years …he has cheated on me with his ex gf non stop but every time he denied and begged me to come back to me ..anyways again we broke up again 2 months ago because i was sure he came back to his ex ..after one week he had started to stalk me ..call and text me but i never answered ..then finally 2 weeks ago he came to my house at 3 am in the morning ..he started to cry and beg and said he wan to be with me for ever ..and he said i was wrong he was not with his ex …I took him back after one week ..i fee discomfort under my belly and I got wired discharge for the first time ..
    I went to my doctor , she examined me for std ..I told my narcissist bf that i mm not feeling good so my doctor suggest both us go for std test..at first he said :
    he is sure about himself then he accepted to come …then he suddenly canceled and didn’t come .. then he called the same night and yelled at me that i was the one who is sick and cheated on him .. and he is sure about himself an if he is sick he got it from me ..
    next day he came to my house took all his things and broke up with me …and no contact at all ..
    today i text ed him that my result came back negative but he has all symptoms the doctor said so at least for his sake go to dictore..
    he never text me back …
    what do you think dear …/??? i m sure he came back to his ex again and he was looking excuse..
    what should i do to get revenge .. i m so so upset right now …

    Like

    1. I would not recommend revenge, definitely not where a narcissist is concerned. It will backfire no matter how clever it may be. The narc will enjoy the attention, the energy, and the time and effort which you spend making your life all about them. They don’t mind that kind of negative attention, in fact they sometimes they prefer it because your passion to avenge yourself, your obsession with them, your hate for them, lets them know how important they are to you – which feeds their ego.

      Narcissists don’t care that they’ve hurt you, not in the way that you care, not in the way someone who is not a narcissist would care. You can’t make them feel your pain or acknowledge what they did to you. They will never apologise, not genuinely – if they do it’s because they want something from you and will hurt you again. You being upset makes them feel important. They see your pain, your anger as being proof that they are powerful, superior, and whatever else their ego needs.

      There’s a saying – Living well is the best revenge.

      That is absolutely true where getting ‘revenge’ on a narcissist is concerned. The only way to ‘hurt’ them is through their ego. Which is what you did when you broke up with him – he could not accept that, it wounded his ego, and he did everything in his power to make you take it back and take him back.

      Actually letting a narcissist break up with you is the best way to get rid of them, otherwise they obsess about you – not because they care about you but because their ego is hurt.

      So if you can look at the break up as a way for you to be free of him and his games, the cheating, the stds, and the pain he caused you, then him breaking up with you is a win for you.

      As for his ex-girlfriend, he is doing to her what he did to you. He is messing with her in the same way that he was messing with you – only you confronted him and he couldn’t handle it so he ran away. You win.

      Narcissists often play people off against each other – this is partly to make them feel important as in – look at these two women fighting over me, I am so desirable – and it is partly as a distraction tactic. If he blames his ex-girlfriend for his infidelity – she seduced me – then you’ll be angry at the ex-girlfriend and not at him. They also like to create competition between people and use it to manipulate others. It’s all about them. It’s the classic – my wife doesn’t understand me – which the cheating husband tells his lover, manipulating his lover to be more understanding than the wife. So you and his ex-girlfriend will compete with each other to ‘win’ his love and fidelity, trying to be better than each other, distracted by the competition, rather than wondering if he is worth the fight, and maybe you two should be on the same side against him as the only reason for the competition is him and his behaviour.

      If you really feel the need to make him feel your pain. Have revenge on him. Avenge yourself. Get on with your life. Pretend he means nothing. Forget that he exists. If you meet him, ignore him, look bored by him and anything he has to say. Show him that you’re happy, having fun, meeting new people (who are much better than him) and that your life is so much better since he broke up with you – he did you a massive favour.

      Narcissist expect those with they break up to mourn the loss of their love and presence. They expect you to never be able to get over them. My guess is that he went back to his ex-girlfriend every time she looked like she was moving on from him. Narcissist do not like it when you move on from them. It hurts their ego. They would prefer it if you could never get over them – therefore being obsessed enough to try to hurt them because they hurt you boosts their ego. Your revenge proves how much you care and that you’ll never get over them.

      But if you get over them, as though they had never been a part of your life and the relationship meant nothing to you – they hate that.

      Focus on yourself, on being happy, on moving on and being with someone who loves and respects you. That’s revenge in a good way because you’re happy, doing positive things and having fun.

      Hope that helps.

      Have you checked out – http://letmereach.com/ – it’s a great blog about narcissism with lots of information on dealing with a break up from a narcissist in a romantic relationship.

      Like

      1. Thank you So much for your time and thought full advice … Its hard but i m doing my best to live my life ….but that’s a question I m asking myself every single second : that maybe he really thought i was the one who slept around and got diseases..and it really bothering me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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        1. From the way that you described the interaction it sounded like a narcissist doing what they do when they get caught and confronted – which is to blame the person who caught them and confronted them for what the narcissist did. They don’t accept responsibility for anything unless it’s good. His behaviour was irrational – usually the sign of someone lying and trying to cover their tracks by aggressive deflection.

          A person who is not a narcissist would have behaved differently in the same situation. They may have gotten angry (many people do when they get caught out), but the truth would have been owned at some point. The interaction, situation and conversation would have been different and you wouldn’t be doubting yourself.

          You know that you did not cheat or get the std from someone else. That’s all you need to know. He knows what he did, he just chooses to deny it and make the whole thing about him being the wounded party, and make you feel bad about what he did like it’s your fault. That’s what narcissists do. Don’t worry about what a narcissist thinks – it changes all the time to suit whatever story they need to support their version of reality (their lies) and their identity. You know the truth. That’s that.

          Let it go before he drags you down with him.

          I know it’s difficult because narcissists mess with your head and your heart. Focus on those who think good things about you, those who love and respect you, not on those who don’t.

          Be gentle with yourself. Take care of yourself.

          Like

        2. Oh My God …Dear I m on my weakest point today ..I dont know why but I want to reach him and ask him why he did this ?\
          every time we broke up he was the one who initiate contact because he knew it was his fault ….but this time he didnt even respond to my text ..
          the question is even though if he really think i was the one who was sick and sleeping around …in that text i told him i got my result and came back negative … So he could ask for proof if he doesn’t believe me …. or maybe he really got upper hand this time …
          What should I do ? please help me …

          Like

          1. When someone asks me – what should I do? – I usually reply – what do you want to do?

            This is about you and what you need. Maybe you need to be certain that he is the way he is. To quieten your doubts. If he is a narcissist though and you’re looking for closure or a resolution, you’ll never get it. It will just be more mind games.

            You have done nothing wrong. You don’t owe him an explanation. You don’t have to prove anything to him. He doesn’t have the upper hand, he just sounds like he’s being an ass and avoiding responsibility. So ignore him and get on with your life. He’s just going to keep messing with you because he thinks he has the upper hand, but he doesn’t. He just likes the feeling, he doesn’t care if you don’t like the feeling and if it upsets you. He is only thinking about himself. Whereas you keep worrying about him. Don’t. Focus on yourself. Take care of yourself.

            I do know why you want to reach him… that’s what narcissists do to people, they leave you with this itch, this feeling that you should do something, contact them, go out of your way to prove something, make one last effort maybe this time they’ll listen, care, give you some satisfaction, acknowledge you. It’s what they do and how they affect us. Best to not scratch the itch, it’ll go away eventually and so will he.

            Treat yourself to some time with some friends who love you, and let their love heal the pain. Things will get better. Be gentle with yourself.

            Like

            1. Thanks.. I will try ..your every single word is right ..I just need to accept the realty …and i know it takes time ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

              Like

              1. Just nurture yourself, take care of yourself, be gentle with yourself. You deserve to be loved in a respectful and beautiful way. Make sure you make that clear to yourself and others.

                I know it takes time to get over an experience and relationship like this one. Very painful. Don’t be hard on yourself. Let yourself grieve and then heal as you do. ๐Ÿ™‚

                He’s the one who lost, not you, even if you feel like you lost. You lost someone who is worth losing, you gained knowledge. In the long run, you win. You’ll be sure of that one day. In this case, time does heal, so give yourself time to heal.

                Like

                1. thank you for your time … believe it or not , your emails give me strength …I m feeling a little bit better today ๐Ÿ™‚

                  Like

                2. Hi Dear …Sorry to bother you again but you are the only one who understand me … All my friends and my family are telling me :I shouldn’t ask him for that stupid test …. they are telling me : I had to wait to get my result then if it was positive then asked him ….And Now that my result came back all negative it means he didn’t have any disease so he has every right to be angry and act that way !!!!! But the point is he didnt even wait for my result to came back …As soon as i told him about the situation he got angry and blame me and broke with me ….even 5 days ago i texted him about the result being negative … he never answered me…sometimes i think maybe he didnt get my text ….I really wanna call him and tell him ….but why he just run away ?/// maybe he got scared and though i m really sick ๐Ÿ˜ฆ …Do you think he really think I was sleeping with another men and got sick and now i m lying about the result ???? every time we broke up he was the one who initiate the contact max after just one day … now it s almost 10 days and its 5 days after i texted him ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ….Again sorry to asked you too many questions …. I really need your advice and please tell me what do you really think even if you think i m getting upset …. thank you very much

                  Like

                  1. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t handle the situation perfectly according to people who are not you and who are giving you critical advice in hindsight. Lucky them that they’re such experts in these sort of matters. It would be more helpful if they were supportive, as what is done is done, and if this is your first time experiencing something like this and you had to do it on your own, then how were you supposed to know what the protocol for these situations is. You did what you did, you were upset, you had a health scare, and there were extenuating circumstances. Those circumstances have a lot of bearing on the way you handled the situation. My guess is that your concerns and distress about the relationship, about his cheating on you with his ex, all came out in this incident. You don’t trust him and you view his behaviour as something which puts you at risk – which seems logical considering that you know that he sleeps around, even if his only other partner may be his ex, but you can’t be certain and this is causing you a lot of anxiety.

                    Yes, you could have handled the situation differently. He also could have handled the situation differently. The way he behaved tells you a lot about him and his attitude towards you and your relationship. You were in distress, and any reasonable person would have understood, even if they were angry about the accusation. You could have discussed it and sorted things out. Instead he took off and won’t talk to you. He does not seem to care about your well-being or the relationship, which is not a good sign. Stop worrying about what he thinks, pay attention to what you think – this whole situation shows you clearly what you think. You don’t feel safe with him, not the way you should feel when someone loves you.

                    You have every right to be upset. That makes sense. You’ve been through a lot. This relationship seems to cause you a lot of pain and grief, perhaps you need to let it go. Let him go. Especially now that he’s made it easier for you. Find someone who loves and respects you, someone who doesn’t put you into these sort of situations, someone you can trust to be there for you even if you have a fight you work things out, and someone who makes you feel intimately safe so you don’t need to worry about getting an STD.

                    Cut yourself some slack. Don’t get caught in doubt, self-criticism, and woulds, shoulds, and coulds. Be gentle with yourself.

                    Like

                    1. Thank You very much Dear …I will try my best to be Not upset and handle this situation properly…

                      Like

                    2. Hi DEAR … hope you are doing great …I know it sound crazy but dont you think he got offended when i asked him for the test ?
                      or because now we know he was not sick , he really thought i was the one who was sleeping around and he got scared thats why he left ?
                      i m asking myself this question 100000 times a day ,,that why he hasnt respond to my text few days ago that i informed him about negative result ?!!!
                      or maybe he was thinking why even i wanted sted test if i was sure about myself ?!!!!
                      sorry to bother you and ask u so many question ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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                    3. Please check out Kim Saeed’s blog, she gives in depth insight into all aspects of being in a romantic relationship with a narcissist. This post in particular may be helpful to you with your situation – http://letmereach.com/2014/06/09/the-deafening-brutality-of-the-narcissists-silent-treatment/

                      I’m going to be very blunt with you – you’re driving yourself crazy and hurting yourself with it.

                      That is what we do to ourselves when a narcissist uses the silent treatment on us. We fill the silence with self-doubt, with feeling sorry for the narcissist and what ‘we’ did to ‘them’ and bit by bit we excuse what ‘they’ did to ‘us’. We stop worrying about ourselves and spend all of our time and energy worrying about them, what they’re thinking and feeling, and imagining the worst, and how it is all our fault and we want to make it better. We forgive and forget the original situation, we slowly lose sight of our own feelings as we worry more and more about their feelings. In the meantime they don’t give a shit about our feelings, if they did then they would not be using the silent treatment. He’s waiting for you to beg for his forgiveness and for you to accept all the blame for what happened, that way he’s off the hook and can continue to behave exactly how he pleases with no consideration for you. He’ll probably get worse too because now he knows you’ll forgive and forget whatever he does just to get him back, so he has power over you.

                      If he was a regular person he would have either called you or texted you and explained to you exactly what he was feeling and thinking because he would have wanted you to hear his side of the story. And a regular person would do this without invalidating your side of the story. You both would then be able to discuss what happened and sort things out so that both of you would feel better, listened to, heard and acknowledged. Then both of you together could decide where your relationship stands and where you go from there.

                      But that’s not what he’s doing, he’s giving you the silent treatment. And you’re torturing yourself with it. He could tell you what he was feeling and thinking and what he is feeling and thinking, instead he’s keeping silent and leaving you to guess and obsess. You need to refocus on why this happened in the first place.

                      Another good post which you may find helpful – http://letmereach.com/2014/05/12/the-inevitable-loss-of-dignity-inside-narcissistic-abuse/

                      You should really talk with Kim, this is her wheelhouse and she is very understanding and insightful.

                      Take care of yourself!

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                    4. you are so great and kind …. you spend your time free of charge to respond to people need and questions …wowwww…sure i will talk to her ..

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      2. Hi,

        Are some narcissists secretly gay? I’m divorcing my narcissist husband and have heard/seen certain things that suggests he is gay.

        1. When we were first dating, we rarely went on a date alone (just the 2 of us). His guy friend was often part of our date.

        2. I once told my husband I had a dream he and his guy friend were dating, and he said “if I was gay, he wouldn’t be in my top 100.”

        3. Husband often told me that he thinks his best friend is gay and has “proof”

        4. When I moved out of the house we shared, he moved his guy friend into it – and the house was a 2 bedroom house, one bedroom being a home office.

        5. My husband and his guy friend have been seen around town on a motorcycle together. (weird, since both have their own motorcycles)

        6. My husband is a recovering alcoholic and has been going to gay AA meetings.

        I sort of suspected he was gay, what do you think?

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        1. Since you’re divorcing him, does it matter?

          Men just like women have very close friendships with people of their own gender. Narcissists get as much narcissistic supply from their friends as they do from their romantic partners, and they often use similar tactics of seduction on people they have just met, casual acquaintances, friends and romantic partners, on both men and women. It’s not really about sex for a narcissist, it’s about the seduction, the power it gives them, and getting what they want from the other person.

          As far as I know there is no link between NPD and sexual orientation.

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  20. Would love to talk to you. I just went through the most abusive, craziest exsperience with a narc. Im still dealing with the shock, confusion, questions, lack of closure… my dad was a narcissits so probably why I was a target. He said he only liked teachers, nurses, proffesional woman, Im none of those. I wouder what he seen in me? He would send pics in between the hellish silent treatments of his beautiful exes, and other woman he claimed wanted him. He was obsessed with girls. Anyway its very devastating someone who supposedly loves you so much and your the best thing that ever happemned to them to suddenly over night withdraw, then devalue your self esteem to the size of an ant and discard you. I dont even know where he is anything about him. He kept my head spinning so fast. That was to take my mind off the red flags and manipulate me. He went from loving, kind, to just evil and hate so fast. Im confused. Why does he hate me?
    No closure, not allowed to ask questions hes gets mad hands up the phone or wont respond to texes. My therapist said hes a socialpath, and psychopath… all I know is he saddled up and road off into the sunset. He hoovered a few times to tell me hes an millionair now then a billionair.. wtf?

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    1. Your ex sounds like a ‘somatic’ narcissist. In other words being desired by many women is an essential part of his identity and self-image.

      Narcissists also talk a lot of BS. It makes some sort of sense to them and no sense to the rest of us. So don’t place too much importance on things he said such as liking women in uniform, etc. That sort of thing may be something he said to impress you or control your image of him. Narcissist speak is complicated and is all about their self-image, and trying to control what other people think of them.

      Silent treatments from narcs is more about how the narcissist is feeling about themselves than what they are doing to you. They often do the silent treatment when their ego takes a bad blow in some way. Sending you pics of beautiful women he claimed wanted him was for his benefit and not yours. Maybe he thought your interest in him was fading, so he needed to make you see him as desirable. Everything that a narcissist says and does is always about them. So telling you that he is a millionaire/billionaire is all about him trying to make himself feel good about himself, but narcissists need an audience, other people, to confirm their identity and image, so he has to tell you all of this so he can build his self-image. Narcissists can’t tell the difference between what is true and what is a lie.

      He doesn’t hate you – not who you are as a person. Narcissists hate themselves, and because they hate themselves, they hate everyone. Their love is not real love, it’s all about them feeling good about themselves. It never lasts because they feel bad about themselves more consistently than they feel good about themselves. They switch from love to hate very easily because they only ‘feel’ emotion with their minds. They someone love intensely when that someone makes them feel good about themselves, feeds their ego and self-image. Their love turns to hate the moment that same someone makes them feel bad about themselves and their self-image – something which can happen over a nothing. If at any point you make any demand of them – and they see any request as a demand of them – their love can turn to hate because the relationship is all about what they want and need, all about them, not about you and what you want and need.

      So if you have a birthday or something important to you and you ask them to remember it, do something for you, and maybe give you a gift or even just a ‘happy birthday’, and they don’t want to, their love can turn to hate because you asked them to reciprocate in some way in the relationship. However they make you feel bad about it, feel guilty, feel that it is your fault somehow.

      They go from hot to cold, love to hate, dream to nightmare, in a split second. It’s their fault not yours. It’s the way a narcissist is, it’s a narcissist being a narcissist. It is not your fault, it is not about you, it is all about them.

      Kim, from http://letmereach.com/ , explains everything about being in a love relationship with a narcissist. It’s an excellent blog. Her posts show you that it’s not you, it’s him, and there is nothing you can do for him… but there is a lot that you can do for yourself.

      Having a narcissist as a father will have bearing on your relationships with men, but you are your own person, and you can, with knowledge and awareness, change any patterns which may be active.

      Focus on loving yourself and taking care of yourself.

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  21. How do you distinguish a narcissist from a normal person that has the following qualites: selfishness, lack of empathy, lying, hot/cold behavior, inability to take any criticism, defensiveness, rudeness, irrespectful of boundaries, inability to assume responsibility for actions?
    Also is the initial love bombing in relationships a clear sign of a narcisistic person? Can this behavior be exhibited by a normal person?
    Why would a narcissist tell someone “maybe I’m not what you want” or “if you’re not happy, you should find someone that makes you happy” when confronted about their change of attitude?
    Finally, if the narcissist initiated a complete No contact and said person appears to be very proud, would that person still try to initiate the cycle all over again?

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    1. You’re right that the difference between someone who is being narcissistic, which we all are at times, and someone who has narcissistic personality disorder can be difficult to define, especially as our perception of them is based on our own criteria of how someone should behave or not behave with us. We all have rules of relationship, when someone follows the same rules as us we think they’re great, and when someone doesn’t follow the same rules as us, we sometimes accuse them of not being normal and we reject them.

      Much of how we experience other people depends a lot how they experience us. Relationships flow both ways.

      For instance – We might think that someone is unable to take criticism without realising that we are perhaps being critical, therefore they are not necessarily unable to take criticism with everyone, they are just that way with us because they find us to be too critical of them. Their defensiveness may be a reaction to how they experience us, they may think that we’re always attacking them. But we don’t see how they perceive us, we only focus on our perception of them without taking into account that their behaviour may be due to their perception of us.

      Since at the moment – narcissist – is a popular accusation, and the internet is full of information about narcissism and NPD, everyone has access to this information, everyone is learning – How to spot a narcissist – and all the terms and buzz words which go with it such as – love bombing – and that includes narcissists. Narcissists accuse other people of being narcissists and consider themselves to be victims of narcissists and use the same terms and buzz words, and things like No Contact too.

      There is a great blog which may be able to clarify your questions for you – http://n-continuum.blogspot.co.uk/ – they have a forum too – http://www.webofnarcissism.com/forums/ – and the most recent post discusses the issue of narcissists using No Contact – http://n-continuum.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/the-appropriation-of-no-contact-when.html

      If you think someone is a narcissist, whether they are or not may be less important than the fact that you think that they are a narcissist – once you think that about them, the relationship has reached a point of conflict and confusion which may never be resolved. The same applies to if someone else thinks you’re a narcissist. Perhaps it is better to let go of this relationship rather than try and figure out who the narcissist is or isn’t.

      Take care.

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  22. I just got out of a short relationship with a narcissist; the first 3 months were bliss, the last 1.5 months, not so much. The thing in my case is that he didn’t really devalue me like other stories I’ve heard, he never insulted me directly. Some of the things he did: offer to pay me a boob job, told me i overanalyzed things (i confronted him about his game playing many times) and everytime i asked a simple question about his behavior, he turned it into a fight and said i’d ruin the relationship. He used to go hot/cold but very subtly. The thing is: I’m still confident about my looks ( i work out) and i never had sex with him (he pressured me a lot for that); i also noticed that he considered me his “arm candy” since he’s not exactly handsome and his past gf are not pretty. After one day i pointed out he was being cold and giving me the silent treatment beause i didnt go with him to one work event, after that he ended the relationship abruptly via text and i have had NC since then, my question is: why did he ended things if he didnt take anything from me? I’ve read narcissists devalue and discard once the supply is dried out, which was not the case in my case?

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    1. Each Narcissist is different. There are certain people who are very narcissistic but who don’t have NPD. There are certain traits and behaviours which those with NPD and those who are very narcissistic share. Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether someone is just very narcissistic or has NPD. There is also a spectrum within NPD, different types and levels of the disorder. Much of the literature about narcissists tends to be about NPD and the worst end of the spectrum of the disorder.

      How we experience a narcissist also depends upon us. Narcissists tend to look for weak points in us, places where we are tender, where they can gain access to the inside of us, get under our skin, inside our mind and take control of us. They poke and prod us until they get a reaction, the stronger our reaction, the more tender the spot. Once they find a tender spot they poke it, keep poking, often very subtly until they turn a weak spot into a wound which they then stab repeatedly.

      He may well have tried to devalue you, but if you have healthy self-esteem, which it sounds like you do, you would not have noticed his attempts, they would not have affected you in a noticeable way. Offering to pay for a boob job could be experienced as a devaluation, especially if you did not ask for one or want one, and like your body as it is – a way of putting your looks down, making you insecure, yet at the same time appearing to be doing it generously and for your benefit. Telling you that you overanalyse things could also be a devaluation – a way of censoring you, making you self-conscious about how you are around him, saying that who you are and how you are is somehow wrong and you should stop being yourself. That remark on his part suggests that he may have perceived you as pointing out his inconsistencies and flaws, something which hurts a narcissist and their ego, something he would not have liked which may have led to him discarding you as you kept pointing out what was ‘wrong’ with him, thus he might have experienced you as devaluing him – what narcissists do to others are the same things they are very hyper-sensitive about.

      The things you’ve said about him and his behaviour with you are ways that a narcissist wears down a person’s self-esteem. It just didn’t work on you, which may explain why he ended things. Your self-worth was too strong, he couldn’t control you, you made him nervous, and he couldn’t get what he wanted from you.

      The discard serves many purposes for a narcissist. Ultimately everything they do is all about them, what they need and want, the way they do things and what purpose it serves is about whatever illusion they are chasing and creating about themselves. They usually have more than one source of supply, and tend to discard those which aren’t giving them what they need for those who will. They are consumers who treat people like things, objects, and often get rid of what they have for something new and improved. Maybe he found someone else who was willing to get a boob job and become exactly who he wanted them to be, allowing themselves to be completely altered, changed, controlled and ‘improved’ by him.

      You also had a short relationship, had it gone on for longer, things may have devolved and got worse. Be thankful he got out of your life before he did any major damage to you, and consider yourself lucky that your case is not like the other stories you’ve read and heard about. Focus on all the good things which you’ve learned from the experience, such as that you seem to have a natural immunity to being messed up by a narcissist, and enjoy your freedom.

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      1. Thanks for your responses. So do you think itโ€™s safe to assume heโ€™ll never contact me again? He hasnโ€™t attempted anything at this point. Also Iโ€™ve arrived to the conclusion that the supply he was looking for in our relationship was sex, since I didnโ€™t give it to him he dumped me, so hereโ€™s my question: In these days itโ€™s easy to find a gf to give it up, when a narc is given the supply heโ€™s looking for, does he settle there and has his happy ending?

        Thanks again for the responses!

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        1. Narcissists never have a happy ending (unless it’s in a massage parlour), because they’re always chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and even if they find a pot of gold, it’s never quite good enough and they always think the next pot of gold will be bigger and better.

          They do get married, but it’s not really settling down, they don’t change. Their spouse usually becomes a parent to them rather than a lover, and those who are serial cheaters remain serial cheaters, they just expect their spouse to put up with it, let them be who they want to be and do what they want to do, put up with their nonsense and abuse, be there when they need them and be quiet when they don’t need them.

          So you had a lucky escape, which was less about luck and more about you knowing how to look after yourself and not put up with his behaviour, not allowing him to take advantage of you, and use and abuse you. Your self-respect protected you.

          As for whether he’ll get in touch again. He might. But you know how to handle him if he does. Shut him down. If he doesn’t, then you succeeded in getting the message across to him that you’re not on earth to serve him. Live your life without fear of him. Find someone you love and respect and who loves and respects you in return. Living well is the best revenge ๐Ÿ™‚

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          1. Thanks! That really gives me a sense of relief that the problem isn’t me. I hope you don’t mind me asking some more questions:
            1) when narcissists disguise insults as jokes, what is the purpose behind making everything “a joke”? Mine used to do this a lot and i never understood why.
            2) when we broke up, he went ahead and deleted all my friends from fb, except a family member. He just ‘restricted’ his posts so that only public postings would be visible. My family member opted for deleting him, but i was puzzled as to why he chose not to delete first?
            3) At first he did talk about marriage a lot, then he kind of backed off, exactly about the time when he started getting hot/cold; when confronted of this behavior he did say “maybe i did a mistake telling you we should get married in 3 months when we first started dating” this kind of puzzles me because i thought narcissists NEVER admitted their mistakes.
            Well i have to say you have been a great help for me by providing the answers i won’t ecer get from him and I thank you in advance for that ๐Ÿ™‚

            Blessings

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          2. Sorry, forgot to include this question:
            4) Finally, how do they react, what do they think when they think you’re gonna beg for them to come back but don’t act as they might have expected?

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            1. 1 – Invalidation. If they insult you and it’s done in joke form, you can’t get upset because they say – ‘I was only joking’. So your feelings are invalidated. They excuse their behaviour and you have to excuse it too or else you’re humourless and ‘can’t take a joke’. So it’s a double bind. For more on invalidation – http://starbrows.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/nasty-people-2/

              2 – No idea. Without knowing this particular narcissist I can’t guess at why he did this. Maybe he liked this family member for some reason or thought they might be useful.

              3 – Narcissists will admit to a mistake if it gets them out of something or gets them something. It’s not actually admitting to a mistake, not in the way that we would do it. It’s self-serving. In this case it may have also worked as an invalidation tactic as it could be construed as – I thought you were good enough for me, but I have found you to be flawed. In other words his admission of a mistake could also be used to blame you for his going cold after he was so hot for you. He was preparing the ground for his exit.

              4 – Do you watch Girls, the TV show, there’s a storyline with a narcissist in it – when Marnie (a narcissist) breaks up with Charlie, she expects him to be heartbroken forever, never get over her, and she gets upset (her ego is offended) because he gets over her too quickly and moves on, not only that but he’s happy, and after that he’s successful (which infuriates her so much she decides to get him back) – which answers this one perfectly.

              It depends on the narcissist and on the relationship which they had with you (as opposed to the relationship which you had with them). In some cases once they discard you, that’s that, and they don’t need or want you to beg them to come back. If they’ve already moved on to someone else, they’ll be absorbed in the new relationship and what they’re getting out of it, so they won’t think about you at all. But if they don’t have a new relationship then it will annoy them that you got over them so quickly.

              Kim Saeed at – http://letmereach.com/ – covers the romantic relationship side of narcissists very well and explains things in depth.

              Best wishes ๐Ÿ™‚

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              1. It’s me again. After all this time of NC, close to 6 months, I haven’t spoken to my ex, nor has he attempted to contact me. The thing is, I am wondering if the following applies as a “hoover”:
                A friend of mine just let me know that he is avidly pursuing her (he added her on fb and has been flattering her and complementing her, even asked her out, but she declined, stating that she was my friend). He knew this person was my friend and that we casually talked; my mother has a close relationship with her mother and sister, is this normal narcissistic behavior? it’s so bizarre!

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                1. Maybe she is his new “object of desire”….or…
                  Maybe he knows you will be watching on facebook and this is a way to “get to you” and torture you further

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                    1. WordPress has glitches in the comment threads sometimes, which override settings.

                      If you want to reply to Jan and ‘reply’ on the comment isn’t working you can @Jan at the beginning of a new comment.

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                2. It’s not ‘hoovering’ – http://outofthefog.net/CommonBehaviors/Hoovering.html – hoovering is a version of ‘love-bombing’ which occurs in the latter stages of a relationship with a narcissist. When you’ve seen behind the ‘ideal’ facade and realise that what lies behind it is ugly and not beautiful, when you decide that you want to end the relationship. It’s designed to ‘suck’ you back in when you try to get out. It is aimed directly at you rather than at you through someone else. Although they sometimes use others to ‘suck’ you back in, to make you ‘jealous’, it is still very much aimed at you.

                  Much of interpreting what a Narcissist is doing depends on context.

                  If your friend is in this Narc’s social circle then, as Jan rightly pointed out – your friend may be his new object of desire. Therefore what he is doing with her has nothing to do with you, it’s all about him.

                  And even if he is doing it for your eyes, if your friend is not in his social circle and but she is in yours, then he may be using her to get to you. Also as Jan rightly pointed out – he knows you’re watching him – so this is for your eyes. BUT. It is still all about him and not about you. He wants to make sure you’re as obsessed with him, what he’s saying and doing, as he is about himself. He wants your attention because it’s food, Narc supply, for him.

                  That is a consistent and ‘normal’ behaviour for a narcissist – everything they say and do is all about them, what they want and need, not about you or anyone else. For a Narcissist other people are an extension of them and their ego, persona.

                  NC is something we do for ourselves not for the Narcissist – to set ourselves free from them, break their spell over us, etc, not to make them want us more (although it can temporarily have that effect on them, which is why it is important to maintain NC no matter what they say or do in the initial and latter stages of it).

                  This is a post worth reading – http://ladywithatruck.com/2014/08/19/the-truth-behind-the-fairytale-romance/ – the real heroes in life are usually not the ones who look and speak like ‘Prince Charmings’. Real heroes don’t need to look and speak like ‘fairytale, romcom’ heroes, they don’t need the facade, they just are heroes in quiet and subtle ways. There are a lot of truly wonderful men in this world, they’re usually quiet about it – they’re trying to avoid attracting narcissist females.

                  Once we stop giving our attention to narcissists… that’s when we find the real people, the ones who know how to love in a way which will make us wonder why we ever found a narcissist attractive at all.

                  Best wishes!

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                  1. Thank you for your replies; in context, the narcissist knew this person was my friend, he never even met her or spoke to her. She is not in his social circle by any means, but knows my family is friends with her family etc.

                    I thought it was hoovering because I believe he wants me to create drama out of this (to contact him and tell him to stop contacting my friend, etc), but I’ve decided I’m not going to comply, he is only making himself look pathetic.

                    I followed NC as a way to heal, never intended to have him back, but what really gets to me is that I was so calm and well into the healing process and I find out about this, this just really made me mad, because I do not want him in my scoial circle or my life.

                    I’m not sure if that’s the best course of action, what do you think?

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                    1. I would hold your head up, ignore his ridiculous antics and carry on the No Contact as superbly as you have been doing. Let your anger subside and disappear as it will only hurt you and no one else. You already understand this man is not a whole man and not enough for you….whatever silly things he does from here on in have nothing to do with you….let go completely and live happily ๐Ÿ™‚

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                    2. I agree with Jan, keep doing what you are doing. Stick with the NC.

                      There are going to be times when things get bumpy, that’s normal. It’s all a part of the healing process. When your calm gets turbulent, remind yourself why you are doing NC and all the benefits you get from it. Give yourself a pep talk, a reward and kudos for how far you have come.

                      There are going to be times when you notice the narcissist and what he is up to, particularly when he’s trying to get your attention and get you to react to him. It’s okay to get mad, just don’t engage with him when that happens. Use the anger to strengthen your resolve to stay NC.

                      If a narcissist does something provocative to get your attention – also known as baiting – http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/how-narcissist-s-use-baiting-to-get-an-emotional-reaction-and-why-they-use-it – the best course of action is to ignore them, pretend you haven’t noticed.

                      If you let on that you’ve noticed and give them the attention they crave, you’re letting them know that what they did worked, you’re feeding them narcissistic supply and they’ll keep doing things like that. So in essence you need to train them to look for the attention they want elsewhere and not with you.

                      If they ‘bait’ you right in front of you and you can’t pretend that you haven’t noticed, the next best course of action is to look bored, disinterested. If they get a rise and emotional reaction from you, they’ll keep baiting you.

                      The way to get a narcissist out of your life is to starve them out of it. They will move on in search of food/narcissistic supply somewhere else, with someone else.

                      Don’t feed the narcissist.

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    2. I’d say the reason he cut it off is because he wasn’t figuring you to be too smart. You proved you are by confronting his game playing. That is the key. Confronting. Once a Narcissist is confronted, meaning you reveal to them that you have their number, there isn’t much else they can do. You weren’t supposed to be so smart along with beautiful! You were aware. Others are not and by the time they figure things out, the narcissist has spent many years sucking them dry.

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  23. I think I am undergoing a major change as I am almost trying to love myself, i am on the verge of appreciating who I am and at times I can come to see I have qualities, 8big words!!)therefore I stand for myself verbally and I have improved my non existent boundaries. As a result, my N father doesn’t talk to me anymore, my sister doesn’t reply to my mails which are not compliant enough, a N friend discarded me;until here, nothing new, I guess, but I have no nanswer for who I believed true firends as they are irritated with me, one was angry because of the poem on your post and last night a young man paid attention to me rather than to my friend and she showed her being annoyed as she turns out to be competitive, (I find it pretty disgusting to tell the truth) therefore I imagine she could hang out with me as i am not a real threat. I shall admit all this is alien to my way of being and I feel I am a different person, but what about them? Why even my close friends are not happy with this new way of being of mine? Why can’t they rejoice for me and it’s as though they were claiming a reward they were used to (maybe N supply)? i am not the other round though, just a bit more positive, but they don’t appreciate it. Even in my bleakest and darkest days I have been able to rejoice for whatever positive was happening to them. Do you think there are so many people who pick up losers as friends so they can shine better? I feel ashamed of saying this and honestly, once again, I feel I am the crazy one.
    The old lady “tatie danielle” is aggressive as she sees I am a bit out of reach: i don’t want to hurt her but i am tired to think only about other people needs and i don’t want to become what they ask me to. If I express myself and speak up my mind, she’ll be hurt, but I don’t want to hide and give a phony explanation to protect her from herself and how she is towards people.
    I am disappointed and confused, I wonder if all my choices have been directed at N people.
    My friend Ursula will be happy for me, she will say this is the gift in the curse:after that painful journey, I am about to see the light again or maybe for the first time.I am changing my skin finally as you said months ago! xxx

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    1. This is wonderful news! Very exciting!

      There are many aspects of change which have to be allowed to run their course. One of those is how our changes affect those who’ve known us as we were.

      Some will never accept our changes because it means we can no longer play the roles they have assigned to us. It is best to let these people become a part of the past which holds our old self, the space they leave will soon be filled by new people who are attracted to our changed self.

      Others will accept our changes but first they will need time to do so as our changes can seem sudden to others, even if for us they’ve taken ages to happen, and can confuse them. Once they realise the change is permanent, and that it is not a threat to them – sometimes when we change we make others anxious – they’ll get used to it and enjoy the benefits.

      Give others time to get to know the new emerging you. Don’t expect them to be as happy as you are about it, just focus on how you feel about what you are experiencing within, without, and in your life.

      In answer to whether some people choose their friends based on criteria such as that they perceive the person as being less than them in some way – that does indeed happen, and in certain social circles it is encouraged for various reasons. It is often used in books, TV and Film plots.

      Have you ever seen – Le Diner des Cons?

      Those who pick their friends based on such things often get surprises they don’t enjoy. Just because someone thinks someone else is a loser or less than them doesn’t mean that it is a fact about that person, often it is a delusional illusion based on not being good at getting to know other people or themselves.

      People are self-centric, it’s natural, so there can be N behaviour with it meaning that the person has NPD. We all can be N at times, caught up in ourselves and not really perceiving others because we can’t see them through our own stuff which always seems huge. So, I wouldn’t necessarily conclude that you only know N’s. You’re just more aware of those tendencies of behaviour in people so it’s something you notice.

      Think of it this way, your changes are unsettling for you – so they’ll be unsettling for others. However you know the importance of your changes, others don’t because they can only experience the outside of it whereas you know what is going on inside.

      Give it time, don’t expect anything from others and you won’t have to deal with being disappointed, but you may be pleasantly surprised.

      Enjoy your wonderful experience!

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      1. What you say is very sensible and it’s true we get into trouble as we end up expecting something from people, even in the concept of friendship we’d like to share, we have principles, as loyalty or respect, etc. I have to make amends all the time as I guess my way of being is narcissistic:I am an idealist and I do perceive we have an ideal of friendship or relationship in whatever we get entangled to. For instance, I would never behave with a competitive attitude as to me this can’t be classified as a friendly behaviour, so i tend to be disappointed when it happens and ultimately I have doubts about myself.
        How we are perceived by others can condition our life in many ways, although their visoin is none of our business.
        My competing “friend” also told me that the boy liked me as I am a mother type-which i translate as a pretty shallow way to define a woman without any sensual charm. i don’t find this very considerate, why telling me this why I am so insecure and I don’t believe myself to have any charm as all the other women? The only explanation is that she paid herself the pleasure to hurt me as I had attention from the boy and she didn’t.
        maybe as an idealist I have a wrong perception of how relationship should be, but I would never put someone down because this doesn’t make me happy and i don’t feel well if I hurt someone. i find it very embarassing to unveil her behaviour verbally, to speak my mind and say that she hurt me.
        As you see, the core of the problem is always my identity-who am I? Am i this disgusting person people tell me or these are just lies to control me? My N parents’ work has been thorough and deep and I almost became what they said I was- you said accurately, the underdog. I am not a N but almost an IN if other people judgments stick to my soul, skin and heart, I feel as I was about to choke. Whenever people tell who i am and they project on me all this rubbish I feel like shouting at the sky and disappear, i don’t see why I should nurish relationship where I am always misunderstood and not respected.
        I am working very hard to stand on my feet and I find human relationships very harsh- maybe Schopenhauer was right when he stated we should keep at a safe distance to one another as the hedgehogs do: close enough to enjoy the warmth, but far enough not to prick one another. I am still not fully able to establish a safe distance to survive and not being pricked, I am always back to square one and i have the feeling no matter how much effort and committment I put in my actions to become more balanced, life always catches me back to remind me I am unable to.
        Thank you for reading me. xxx

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        1. Navigating the world of relationships is difficult for all of us. I do agree that there is a certain wisdom in keeping at a safe distance, and sometimes it is what is needed, but at the same time being pricked is one of the reasons relationships are important to us, just as the warmth is important.

          Much of how we relate to others comes down to perception and how we deal with our experiences of interactions. We tend to be on the lookout to determine whether someone is a friend or a foe, whether they are safe or a threat, whether they support us or deny us, compliment or criticise, etc. Each of us has a list of what makes a person a friend and what makes them a foe for us.

          We also have a list of what makes us a friend or a foe to others, but our list for ourselves can be different from our list for others.

          Of course the lines get blurred, there are crossovers between the two which confuse us because we tend to like things to be neat, orderly, and human nature is not neat or orderly.

          Someone who we have decided is a friend can behave under certain circumstances as a foe and this can surprise us and hurt us more deeply than if we had always known they were a foe. A foe can also surprise us by doing something which helps us, which is friendly, and this can create confusion because we were not expecting something good to come from someone we consider to be bad.

          When we get hurt we often react by lashing out and/or retreating. If a friend behaves like a foe and hurts us we might end up rejecting them to protect ourselves from hurt. But this can make us lonely. Humans need to interact with other humans.

          The real foe is not the other person but how we experience the other person. Our fears, especially of being hurt, are the deciding factor of whether someone else is a friend or foe.

          Of course there are people who deliberately set out to hurt others, these are usually those who are in constant inner pain and see everyone they interact with as an enemy – this is how narcissists see the world. This is why being in a relationship with a narcissist is constantly painful to others.

          Most people do not intend to hurt others, it just happens, and the hows and whys of it can be a mix of those involved in the interaction. One thing, maybe even a minor thing can set off a chain reactions of reactions and actions which bring into play every relationship a person has ever had and all their hopes and fears about them.

          I find the most useful way of approaching interactions is to remain aware of the fact that the other person is like me – within them they have both a friend and a foe – they have many inner conflicts, issues, hurts, fears, but they also have love, kindness, warmth, and hopes. They express what is dominant in the moment, which can change based on how they experience the moment, and what is going on in their life at that time. What is on the outside is a reflection of what is going on on the inside.

          It helps not to take how others are, how they express themselves, personally. If something they say or do hurts you, try not to immediately assume that it is directed at you and designed to hurt you. Chances are something is going on inside of them and they’re reacting to it without thinking about it. Fear and hurt tend to take over and override reason.

          So, with your competitive friend… what was really going on inside of her? Maybe the situation stirred up a conflict within her, an issue of her own which hurts her, and she reacted by lashing out, hurting you, but it was not about you, it was about her, something was going on inside of her which caused her to behave that way.

          Now the way you experienced what she did and said triggered your own inner conflicts and hurt. Your anger towards her is not only about her personally but about an issue which exists within you. This can be seen in the ripple effect of the interaction you had. The interaction stayed with you and is still bothering you – so this prick is actually useful and was needed because it can give you a piece of the puzzle to solve the issue.

          Because you are working very deeply with yourself you’re more sensitive to your environment and the relationships therein. The changes which are occurring within you are momentous and more delicate because you’re breaking out of your protective shell.

          The boundary which you need to protect your blossoming self, to encourage you to keep doing what you are doing and not retreat, is simply to realise that other people are other people… who also have protective shells, who also have sensitivities which make them feel fragile, who react defensively, who feel hurt and don’t like feeling hurt and may lash out when the are wounded, who may also be going through momentous changes… or hoping to do so, etc.

          We are all different yet in many ways we are all the same.

          Be gentle with yourself, but also be gentle towards others (that does not mean you can’t get angry with them, you can and it’s often healthy to do so, it just means being aware that others are as human as you are even when they don’t seem to be).

          Take care of yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

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          1. Thank you, I understand you say, it is useful to consider something is going on inside other people minds and hearts too. that’s why, when tonight she called me as she needed support as she lost her job, I put aside my sulking and went off to listen to her. This is being gentle to other people, but I see i can’t do otherwise than putting others’ needs before mine. i think that being kind is not a positive thing and people often take it as weakness or fragility, and certainly it doesn’t help in gaining people respect. If I can call myself altruistic, I lack respect towards myself. i have almost finished the book you recommended on self-hate and compassion and what i do is indirect self hate, which doesn’t need to exist to appear in lively colours and soppy drama,but it’s a quiet and discreet way to destroy one’s self esteem, as the only principle that counts is represented by others.Each time i feel i have to stand for myself I feel guilty. i know i am not a bad person,but does it help? i am very discouraged at the moment as i see i don’t progress at all.
            may i put a question to you? (free to ignore it) How did you find the strength and the stamina to get out of your family framework? i really love reading your version of reality but i wonder if you might find tiring to hear all this ranting. i do appreciate what you do for me, we don’t even know each other, and still you do exist in my life. Today I saw a photography exhibition of R Mapplethorpe and i thought of you. i love his flowers and their texture. there was a portrait of a well known man in the art world, his regard so deep and firm, i loved it and i later disovered to be a someone who fought hard for my favourite artists in the 50’s, i am going to write something about him. This attitude which confers value and worth to my existence, i have learnt it from you, to give value to my thoughts. thank you. xxx

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            1. I love Mapplethorpe! Especially the photos he took of Patti Smith because you can see the intimacy of their friendship in the images and she is such a stunning woman. He was a great photographer with such a wonderful eye and vision.

              Relationships, especially where the needs issue is concerned, are like one of those brain teasers of balance. When I said be gentle with others, I meant it in terms of balance, that when we are gentle, as in compassionate, towards others we become gentler with ourselves. How we treat others, how we view others, these affect how we treat ourselves, how we view ourselves, which in turn affects how others treat us and view us.

              Being gentle towards others is not about pushing your needs aside for the needs of others, it’s not about denying yourself for someone else, it’s not about not being angry with others, in fact sometimes anger can be gentle, it’s just knowing that everyone has needs, problems, struggles and all of us are influenced by what is going on within us and it affects how we behave. We can all be blinded by our own need and lose perspective, and that’s when people tend to overstep our boundaries and trespass, which is when we have to stand up for ourselves. Feeling guilty for standing up for yourself is often caused by the other person trying to cover their tracks, make you feel bad for catching them doing something which they should not have been doing.

              There is progress, you can’t see it because you’re living it. You are a work in progress. Such things can only be viewed with hindsight. One day you’ll look back and see it.

              That’s a tough question to answer – How did you find the strength and the stamina to get out of your family framework? – because there are many layers to it. I think I was always looking for a way out, since I was very young – I used to regularly pack a small suitcase I had and try to leave, but then I realised it was impractical for someone my age (I’ve written about this somewhere). I’m a bit of an escape artist at heart, but wanting to escape and actually escaping are very different, although they do work together but not always. And I do tend to make things harder for myself, so that didn’t help. But I am also incredibly stubborn especially when it comes to freedom of thought.

              So, as an answer – I think it comes down to freeing your mind first, then everything else gradually becomes free too. The mind is the greatest obstacle to freedom. It’s also the way out.

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  24. Here’s a question. I have been highly curious about this.

    What do narcissists think and feel about people no longer in their lives? Do they “delete” people?

    I’ve read narcissists have a figurative artist’s palette on their arm. And when they see something about reality they don’t like, they break out the palette. A little dabble here, a little dabble there. Touch-ups to reality. But, I’m not sure if this is accurate.

    What do you think?

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    1. I’ve been thinking about that too, but knowing the narcissist in my life, and based on what I’ve read, I would say no, they will not delete you, unless you make clear to them they have no more power over you whatsoever, and even then from time to time they will check if it is still the case that you don’t care.
      It is possible for them to be mad at you for not meeting their standards, in which case it will be their choice to let you go, but they have to be sure they can get you back in their lives at any point, so they would check in every now and then.

      On the other hand, my narcissist isn’t every other narcissist. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    2. Hmmm. This one is tricky to answer because it depends on the narcissist and on the relationship they have had or have with you. It’s always about how they perceive the world, which is rarely what it is actually like, and that includes people.

      If you’re a child of narcissists your parents will never forget you, even if they ignore you, as you are a possession and an extension of their identity. But they won’t remember you either – they will have their preferred version of you, which is often complete fabrication, maybe several preferred version depending on what story/drama of their life which they are telling someone – because they never actually see you or get to know you as you really are, a living breathing individual separate from them.

      So the you they knew/know is not you, it’s their version of you.

      They have a fantasy version of you, so yes… they can erase you because no one exists outside of their imagination. They live in the mind and everything is a creation of their mind. But they can un-erase you too. It’s all about them and what they need. Other people don’t exist, we are all figments of their imagination and they remember and forget us at will depending on the version of reality they are living at the moment.

      Which is partly why they often turn up again in someone’s life years after they left it and they behave as if the last time they saw you was only yesterday – oh, has it been that long, my how time flies. And they behave as if nothing happened. They erased the bad stuff and can only recall the good stuff… unless you did something which stuck in their gut. They’ll remember that until they die and remind you of it constantly yet forgetting the context and truth of it.

      If you meet a narcissist, they will tell you loads of stories about people whom they have known. The stories are often of the – this person hurt me, was a monster, was crazy and I was a victim who survived such a drama. I can’t believe how many people become totally obsessed with me! – kind. If you actually met these people who are crazy monsters obsessed with the narcissist, you would not recognise them based on who the narcissist has told you they are. They are people like you and me.

      I remember one narcissist friend saying to me after a confrontation between us – What does it matter what I tell other people about you, they are never going to meet you.

      They don’t forget us even when they pretend to do so, which they do as a self-preservation tactic – to maintain their illusions and delusions. They pretend to forget, and then convince themselves they have forgotten. It’s as complicated as everything else they do.

      The painting metaphor is fairly accurate and rather visually inspiring. I tend to use a film metaphor to describe what they do. They are the writer/director/actor and they go around casting people in roles in their film/story. They give you a script to follow and direct your performance. If you do what they want, you may get cast in a bigger and better role – unless they cast you in the starring role from the get go opposite their lead role. You may be their hero/heroin for a while, but their stories always have lots of twists. The hero/heroin often becomes a villain – it’s a classic cliche which they do often especially if you killed off a villain while you were a hero/heroin as they always have to have a villain/monster in their stories because the role they prefer for themselves is of the permanent damsel in distress or knight in peril.

      If you get turned into a villain they’ll rarely forget you as you will live on in legend when they recount the tales of all the monsters they have battled in life.

      If you leave the film, either because you’ve been killed off or you escaped, they’ll wipe your name off of the credits, pretend you don’t exist, but… they remember, they just choose to forget to remember.

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  25. That is spot on.. we are attracted to Narcissists to fill the emptiness left by parents who did not see us and get us or even have time for us.. the healing comes when after enough pain and being discarded again and suffering suicidal depression we wake up to the truth that we need to find the source of love inside…. it was there all along….just like it was for Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz… find people who affirm you by all means as they will help you to undo the lies of the narcissist who seeks to take you down when your vulnerability and realness threaten psychic defences they had to put in place to defend against their own….I really believe there relationships happen to us to wake us up and set us on a journey of self love….. that is why we attract them and why we go through the pain of it all….. its a long journey but the freedom you find at the end is worth every ounce of pain you suffer….

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    1. You’re absolutely right ๐Ÿ˜€ That’s your stellium and Chiron energy working its powerful magic, real magic as in realising your own personal power and sharing it to empower others. Through realising your personal power, you free yourself, and by sharing that you help others to learn how to free themselves. You have a great gift!

      I’ve just recently noticed that Narcissists tend to turn up in my life at those moments when I need to be reminded to be myself. I sometimes detach from myself and float off, so their presence and their behaviour tends to snap me back into myself.

      Also coming at it from an astrological angle – Those with Pluto/Uranus in the 1st always attract strong characters to them who want to engage in battles of will. By fighting those battles we forge the muscles of our will. Chiron in the 7th finds healing in the wound of personal relationships. That’s why I like the concept of the gift in the curse.

      And to be honest I think I would have been a very lazy soul if I hadn’t had so many battles to fight, and I would have probably been very afraid of pain and not taken any risks at all. There is a flip side to everything, and that never ceases to amaze me!

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  26. Here goes! He knew I had been to Asia so he took me to an Asian restaurant. I’m a Disney freak for some strange reason, and he made me believe he loved disney too. I l-o-v-e surprises so he did suprise me all the time. He said I was so cool for smoking, and then later on told me to quit (he smoked himself) I just loved to be around him and to cuddle and to lay on his bed together just staring at each other. I love love and lovey dovey mushy stuff. So he did too, untill he didn’t anymore. He made me feel like he just LOVED every single detail about me, from the way I looked to the stories I told to the way i thought, and later on I felt like he passively hated them and he probably did. Generally he acted like he loved the same things I did. Which he didn’t, because he doesn’t really like anything, except watching football and playing PS3 (and I’m not even sure he really really likes those things either). And that’s all he did in the last year of our relationship, at least that is what he told me, because I have no record of whatever he was doing 6.5 days out of the week since he didn’t want to see me or tell me what he was doing. I wasn’t allowed to touch his cell phone or laptop either. Hmmm…. Later on, when it all was over, I heard that his other ex didnt actually cheat on HIM, it was kind of the other way around. Oh well, compulsive liars.
    Sex as a mindfuck – DEFINITELY. But the whole thing was. Everything about it. In hindsight, it’s been like a trip to a mirror palace in Nightmare Narnia. You never know if what you see is real. And now I finally found back the closet in the forest and closed it off with 500 meters of duct- tape and 600 locks.
    Now, after a lot of research and putting things in perspective, I only have to deal with the people (friends, even) who say it was my own fault, which is annoying, but peas and carrots compared to all that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I still kind of need some information though on how not to make the same mistake again, cause I seem to be awfully attracted to narcissists…

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    1. Well the thing about making mistakes in relationships is that they are a rich source of information, about others, but more importantly about ourselves. They are also hard to avoid making because we have patterns we repeat in relationship. Many of those patterns are subconscious. We do them without knowing we do them. Mistakes help us to become aware that we are doing them, help us to ask ourselves questions about why we do what we do and why we choose the people we choose to have relationships with. When we are aware of our patterns in relationship, we still need to understand why we repeat it, how it formed and what it means to us. Everything we do has a purpose and a reason. The patterns we repeat in relationship have a purpose, we need to know what that purpose is.

      By saying that you seem to be attracted to Narcissists infers that you’ve had more than one relationship with a person who you later discovered was a Narcissist? That’s a pattern. Did you know they were a Narcissist before you entered into a relationship with them? I’m guessing you didn’t. That came later when the good relationship gradually turned bad.

      So, what was it that you found attractive about them? When we find someone attractive they usually have something we seek. What are you seeking from the relationship?

      Narcissists are very attractive because they work very hard on creating a persona that is attractive. They need to be admired. They know that others admire ideal people, heroes and gods. They want to be an ideal person. And they are very talented at portraying the ideal.

      Usually people are attracted to Narcissists because people are looking for an ideal person with whom they can have an ideal relationship. That is why the early stages of a relationship with a Narcissist feel too good to be true, like being in a fairytale, a wonderful dream, or a romantic film. Everything seems larger than life. They tell you everything you want to hear. They make you feel special, beautiful and powerful.

      Then the dream turns into a nightmare because the Narcissist can’t keep the ideal going forever because it is not real, the pressure of keeping up the persona builds. They begin to resent you for forcing them to pretend to be who you want them to be. Eventually the stress of keeping the illusion intact creates cracks, and the bubble pops. You see who they really are for a moment. Now they resent you for seeing that they are not who they are pretending to be. For knowing they are not ideal, for seeing that they are human. You know too much, your brain has to be wiped, so they start the mind fuck.

      It varies from Narcissist to Narcissist, but the consistent fact is that they seek to be an ideal. Thus being attracted to a Narcissist means you’re looking for someone who will be everything you dreamed a person could be. You’re seeking a Prince Charming (shown by the love of Disney). An ideal man who will make all your wishes come true.

      To break this pattern of attraction requires for you to make some of your own dreams come true without waiting for someone else to do it for you. Then you won’t seek an ideal man anymore, and thus you may actually find a real one, who is better than an ideal one.

      What do you think?

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      1. I am sorry for such a late response.
        Somehow I felt like I deceived you because I only had a relationship with a narcissist once and I made you think it was more. Then I didn’t dare to respond because of my lack of experience. I get weird like that sometimes.
        I generally genuinly like to make people happy. On top of that, my dad is used to getting his way, being ‘the man of the house’, you know, and people seem to be attracted to someone who acts like their own mom or dad. Well, one + one = two, I like to serve people and I am used to doing what someone (indirectly) tells me to do. And indeed, loving fairytales certainly doesn’t work in my advantage in this case.

        I don’t really ask for all that much, I think. I did notice that I only find men attractive when they are confident and well groomed and they know what they want.

        I just hope that the next time I fall for someone I will be able to give words to my opinions, if only to myself. I didn’t use to have an opinion. It is hard to be forced to set boundaries when it feels like you can trust people to make the best decisions for you. And I know that thats stupid, and that I have to grow up and be responsible for my own decisions but you know, it’s just so very tiring sometimes. It’s so easy when someone else does it for you ๐Ÿ™‚ Does that make me lazy? Hmm

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        1. No worries ๐Ÿ™‚

          Having a relationship with a narcissist once is more than enough experience. It’s the kind of experience which will guide you in your future relationships. The most important thing is to learn more about yourself from it, which you have done and are doing, and that’s wonderful. The more we know about ourselves, the more we know about others too. And the more we understand others, the more we understand ourselves.

          What you’re looking for in a partner is a part of healthy relationships as much as it can be a part of unhealthy ones, everything has the potential to be good or bad, or both. Most relationships have a balance of give and take, we each bring strengths and weaknesses into the union, we share our strengths and help each other with our weaknesses. Things flow both ways, and we flow with them.

          There is no right or wrong way to be, there are just many opinions about what is the right or wrong way to be, we learn our own view of right and wrong for us by living our lives and having relationships, discovering whatever they have to reveal to us about ourselves, others and everything else. It’s an adventure, sometimes it’s fun and sometimes it’s not.

          Enjoy who you are… and you’ll meet someone who enjoys you too (and who enjoys making decisions with you, that way it’s not tiring because you do it together ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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