The Hardest Thing in Relationships…

Do what you feel is right

In theory this is good advice, in practice it feels like bad advice

What do you think is the hardest challenge in relationships?

I’m not talking about one specific type of relationship, I mean all of them.

What problem do you consistently encounter when relating to others, whether they are a friend, a co-worker, a boss, a love interest, a spouse, a child.

This is that one thing which when it rears its head you think – Oh, no, not again!

You’ve probably tried solving it, and just when you think you have it presents itself in a slightly altered form requiring a slightly different solution. You’ve read books, articles and stories of others dealing with a similar problem in search of a complete and final solution. The miracle cure. But every time you think you’ve found it and applied it and it has worked…

Oh, no, not again.

Perhaps you’re cursed. Perhaps this is your karma. Perhaps you should give up because you’re stuck in a vicious cycle and the wash program is going to run until it stops on its own and your hands are bleeding and bruised from bashing at the inside of that bash-proof door.

But people are resilient just like problems, and giving up is one of those options we tend to only pretend to choose. I give up, we say… but underneath we’re even more determined to solve it because the act of admitting you’ve given up is like a match to a flammable thread. That thread goes deep inside of us to that primal urge to survive and thrive even if the enemy we are battling is ourselves.

For me the hardest challenge in relationships, and I have many to choose from as I am a bit of a disaster in this area of life (and other areas but I’m not writing about those in this post), is knowing when to keep my mouth shut. To be more specific… no, that’s as specific as something very specific.


Three Monkeys by ponkimon

See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil
A hypothetical example based on a long series of situations which have happened in the past and in which I effed up, then suffered the consequences of my eff up:

What do you do when you’re a part of a social group and you notice that one member of that group is not who they are portraying themselves as being. At first you’re not sure if your instincts are right. You doubt yourself. It’s natural to do so, first impressions can be very accurate, they can also be misleading. You wait and watch, not like a hawk, just keeping an eye out for clues as to whether you are right or wrong. You don’t need to be right, in fact you hope you’re wrong, so your results should be as unbiased as is humanly possible.

Everyone seems to like this person, more than that they admire them. They admire them in a way which means that saying anything which may be perceived as a criticism even if it is true will be seen as an act of social treason, a bit faux pas which will probably get you excommunicated from the group. If that group connects in any way to other social groups of yours, a gossiping ripple effect may have you sent into solitary confinement.

People do not like to have their beautiful illusions tainted. People cling very tenaciously to their ideals and when their ideals seem real they will fight to the death, your death, to keep their ideals alive and safe.

When people admire someone, the dynamic is personal, very personal. People seek to win the attention and approval of the person they admire, to win a place of honour beside the admired, to have some of their shine rub off on them, this will boost their self-esteem, prove their worth and feed many of those other things which wriggle and jiggle inside of us. To secure this they will bend themselves out of shape and do and say a lot of things which they wouldn’t normally do or say, not with ordinary people, not with equals, but the admired one is special, extraordinary, superior. These yoga exercises of personality and values are things they might criticise in another person if they saw them doing it. Being sycophantic, subservient, and self-sacrificing. Going out of your way, even to your own detriment, to please someone. In another person this behaviour is seen as being bad – How could someone allow themselves to be treated that way, they might utter while chitchatting about the yogi in training, I would never behave in such a way, I don’t care who the person is or how important they are! Bold and probably wise, but… we all have our Waterloo, it’s how life teaches us humility. How we hate it when life does that, but it’s very insistent.


What we allow can be so subtle that we overlook it, until it makes itself known through pain.
So, if a group is behaving in this way with one member, it’s all the more reason to keep your mouth shut if you think they’re all under the spell of a Svengali. If you say anything, anything at all… kiss your ass and social life goodbye!

If you speak up and you’re wrong… well, that burned bridge is easier to repair than if you are right. That bridge is well and truly fine seared dust floating away on the current.

People do not like to be outed as fools, especially if they convinced themselves to be foolish, go against their instincts and believe their rather gullible mind which is usually a fortress of intelligence. The whistleblower will be treated as the culprit, the baddest of the bad, how dare they wipe the stardust from the eyes of others, and the con artist, mesmerising, duping, dreams and ideal seller who was once so admired may no longer be admired but will remain relatively unsullied by the incident. They may actually gain a different kind of admiration, notoriety of the rather seductive and intriguing kind. The alluring and powerful bad boy or bad girl reputation will serve them even better than their perfectly good and saintly rep which they were using previously.

And so you’re left alone, without friends, nowhere to go, no one to turn to, with a reputation in tatters… a persona non grata. But at least your instincts were right about that person, that’s something to hang onto and wonder if being right is the new wrong, and if telling the truth is the new lying.

Precious oil

Artist – H.M. Bateman via James Vaughan on Flickr

The image above is how you feel when you try to ‘out’ a Narcissist who has your community or social group under their spell.

Problem with me is that I can never keep my mouth shut. Not for long. Which always lands me in a prison of silence, from which I then have to break free… and the cycle starts all over again. I learn, but what I learn doesn’t solve the problem. I guess this is one of those where I should just accept it, give up… and keeping trying to surreptitiously solve it.

Please share your views and your stories. If you have a link you want to share, please put it in the comments. Thank you.


  1. I enjoyed reading this. I find it difficult telling someone they’re wrong in a way that doesn’t piss them off. And I sometimes find it hard to fight the urge to give unsolicited advice, which pisses people off and causes them to become regularly argumentative and defensive with me. I need to learn to shut up too!


    • Thank you 😀

      I’ve managed to partially solve my foot in mouth syndrome by reminding myself that others are responsible for themselves and I’m only responsible for myself. This has helped a lot. I also know that I learn more by making mistakes, having my own personal experience of something and figuring things out for myself, so I apply that to others. A hands on experience is a very valuable personal lesson.

      Besides the times I have followed someone else’s advice usually ends up in a mistake I could have avoided had I just done things my way, even if my way ends up being wrong at least the wrong belongs to me and not someone else, or at least it’s a single wrong rather than a double one – as in I made a mistake by making a mistake, rather than just making a mistake. That hurts more. So, I’m allergic to giving advice because what do I know, I’m a mess. Live and let live, learn and let learn. We’re all equal and in this mess together and none of really know what we’re doing even if we pretend that we do.

      I have to admit that I’m one of those people who does not like unsolicited advice. I prefer it if people are straightforward and say what they think, I don’t like deliberate silence because it’s very obvious and loud, just say it, but saying what you think and giving advice are different, the attitude is different, and it’s the attitude which is annoying not what is said.

      The thing which trips me up now is something a bit more twisty. Do I shut up and let a situation follow its course, hoping that disaster is avoided and no one gets hurt, or do I say something which might actually cause a different kind of disaster and hurt to happen. I guess I’ll just make a choice and deal with consequences and learn a bit more along the way.


  2. this is such a truth… you define it so well…

    I will share 2 things with you:

    First my story of rejection from my peers, or rather something of the end result.

    Second – I would like very much to tell you that after our discussion today I find a lightness inside me that feels something like the best I have felt in many months – I wish you to know this and for me to thank you for your understanding – for sharing your thoughts and illuminating these difficult truths – you have helped someone today – me – this is a lovely gift…

    Sat Nam


    • Thank you for the link, it’s an insightful view into a situation which unfortunately happens all the time in social groups and I doubt if it will change as it’s a very human way of dealing with life on Earth. Many pioneers of social reform have pointed out the negative ripple effect of tacit agreement due to self preservation and not wanting to rock the boat, and many people who do this very thing often use those quotes and admire the idea of them, but putting things into practice in day to day life… is another matter entirely. Someone who constantly claims to love peace, often picks little fights with their friends. Someone who is vocal about how charitable they are, is often uncharitable with their nearest and dearest, and themselves too. And so on. Humans are very contradictory when it comes to what they say and what they do, who they would like to be and who they actually are. This used to drive me crazy, it’s still one of my pet peeves, but there is a lot of good in people, and I’ve made mistakes like that… I think the way you’re handling it is inspiring, because you’ve used it to inspire you and your life instead of getting stuck in the quagmire of it (like the Narcissist would like you to because he is stuck there, and misery does indeed love company because it’s very lonely).

      And thank you very much for your kind words, means a lot to me 😀

      Take care of yourself, Ursula

      ps. Sei Italiano?


      • ah piacere Ursula, non mi italiano invece io sono scozzese, ma mi piace italia tanto… e tu ?

        What surprises me most about this is the consistency that I find in peoples experience of narcissism – that I have been isolated from my peers in the way I have seems like a text book ploy by the narc’

        I am fairly sure that he is not aware in the sense that I don’t think he has an instruction book and looked it up as tactic No4 – but at the same time I find it bewildering that all the others would go along with is so completely, that is quite a feat.

        It makes me begin to think that the underlying psychosis must have standardised element to it that results in this consistency of behaviour.

        I find that interesting and also helpful in the sense that it objectifies and de-personalises the things that have happened to me. Or I gain comfort within myself by framing my experiences in this way.

        Hearteningly however I do find that when I meet the others in person that they are nice and sometimes also sympathetic – they just stay away from me online – will not comment close to me.

        The narc’ will often comment almost reflexively within minutes on anything of mine that is public – almost like a dog might pee on a lamp post as he walks past… sort of marking it or feeling maybe that his name next to mine is aggravating to me, so like a low level abuse in itself.

        I am glad you felt my words as they were meant. 🙂



        • Non sono Italiana… I spent my childhood in Italy due to my father being from there. I’m not from anywhere, I’m a bit of a nationality hybrid.

          My goal with regards to Narcissistic Personality Disorder is to understand it. What I’ve gathered so far is that the Narcissist does what they do because they don’t know any other way of being. To them what they do is normal, and they believe everyone is the same as them – only inferior to them – and it makes them very paranoid, so much of their behaviour when they target someone is fueled by that paranoia. In all probability your Narc’ thinks you’re better than he is and it drives him crazy. It presses all his most feared buttons. Which is partly why he’s obsessed with you.

          One of the talents which comes with NPD is the ability to cast a spell of sorts over other people. It is in some ways ruling by fear. When a Narcissist enters a group, he observes, studies, finds out what the psychological weakness of the group is then profits from it by tapping into it. It is gradual and subtle, like you noticed, and it slowly creeps in and takes over. Once a Narcissist has gotten control, especially if that control is unwittingly given very willingly, that’s it.

          You know that cliche based on a fact about prisoners having nothing else to do in prison but study the law and their own case file – it pretty much describes what a Narcissist does. While regular people are busy living their lives, caught up in all the things which are a part of their lives, unable to find time to think about things deeply, analyse them, because there are so many distractions and life demands… a Narcissist has total focus on studying the laws of human behaviour and social interaction and their own case file.

          For the most part those with NPD flip flop between being very aware of what they do and completely oblivious to it. The balance of the scales of awareness depends on the type of Narcissist. They tend to believe their own BS because believing it sells it to others more convincingly. They sell people ideals and dreams, and people buy into it because life can be grim and rainbows are so pretty… once you’ve bought into it, well… even if the rainbow turns into a road to hell rather than a pot of gold…

          How you’re dealing with this is absolutely perfect. Trust yourself, keep doing what you’re doing.

          You’ll probably never understand completely why your peers are behaving the way they do, but you’ll gain a detached perspective and a certain understanding of it which will help you – exactly as you have. These are nice people behaving in an illogical way because they are being controlled willingly by a Narcissist. That ‘willingly’ bit is the crux of the matter. Their ego/pride is at stake, so they won’t back down from their position even if they realise it is wrong. Humans! SIGH! 😉

          It’s taken me ages to get understanding into why when as a child I asked for help and tried to get help because my parents were both like your Narc’, people turned away and refused to help or see, and shut me up with – your parents love you and you as their child must respect and love them – and when I argued – but they don’t love me because they don’t know how – I got a condescending look and was pitied for being a stupid and bad child and my parents were commiserated with for having to put up with me. It’s illogical. The important thing is to realise that you are not crazy, far from it, unfortunately that’s what isolates you from others, if you want to belong you have to buy into the consensus which is often stark raving barmy.

          I aim for simplicity and clarity having grown up in complexity and confusion.

          And your words were simply clear and beautiful 😀


          • It has certainly sparked my curiosity thats for sure, I guess I am lucky too in that its only been a year, a discreetly difficult year not only because of this narc’ either but difficult none the less. This person lives within us a blessed existence, he seems not to work, officially he is a window cleaner with a wife who is a house keeper for a large country house. I think she does the providing and he does the playing, as he is omnipresent on the hills where we fly. [I worry a lot about his wife]

            Before this I had dialled him out as background noise as our shared online forums were so full of him talking about the things he did, this and that thing all the time it became wearing so I reduced my link to only a daily digest. What precipitated the attacks was me responding to him starting to talk about using powered harnesses to fly with his glider – engines – he over flew one of our sites one day and made an unholy racket.

            Some time later, one rainy day I made a youtube video where I illustrated a nice sunny day punctuated by this noise but had the offender shot down with a surface to air missile – it was quite funny – and got a lot of hits.

            Within a month he had made a copyright claim against it via youtube meaning it was deleted, and so it started… it is still going on now… only a few weeks ago he threatened me with the Defamation Act because a pdf of one of his abusive emails I have analysed on my private web pages but that comes up on a Google search for his name. So in effect he is threatening me with a slander for something he wrote himself, it beggars belief.

            If I look at what I know of his circumstances he is a ‘born again christian’ or similar and the youngest of I think six siblings, I guess maybe there may have been attention issues or maybe some grievance there that caused him to be as he is. For others he is very enthusiastic, is a keen pilot and very capable, in fact he has been selected to fly for the UK in the world championships later this year in france. You would look at that and wonder what he has to be so upset about.

            Within our group there is a strong culture of “taking the piss” it happens I guess in many groups especially maybe those made of men but I am not so sure about that really, being aspie it took me years to gain the confidence among them to then make a joke, so it was difficult for it to have had such an devastating effect. Its hard for me to avoid him and make a rule of “No Contact” as in order for me to fly I have to go to the hill that is working – so I will see him frequently.

            I find this new reality easier now that I have surrendered any notion that I would understand him specifically. Responding now as I described with a mindful awareness of the beauty in my life. This is a corner I only very recently turned, it feels like a revelation… I am so thankful…

            Being the daughter to narc’ parents, I cannot begin to imagine what that must have been like or how you could have survived, it makes my year feel like a single beat of my heart…

            So, where in italy ? do you ever return there… for me I like the mountains in Friuli…


            • Castelli Romani. I don’t willingly return even though it is very beautiful – long story 😉

              Here’s the thing about when a Narcissist enters your life and creates NPD havoc in it – it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a lifetime of it or a year of it, the impact is the same, hurts like hell and leaves a world of pain and confusion. Ergo your pain and my pain, your experience of a Narc’ and mine, similar kind of hell. Only difference is time, but that doesn’t mean anything really, they’re a bloody nuisance which doesn’t go away when you apply nuisance ridding cream.

              You challenged his ego in a logical and very concise way. That’s like pointing at the emperor in his new clothes and saying – Look at the king! Those with NPD hate being exposed as bragging frauds, which they often are but no one is allowed to notice, and certainly not point it out openly and in public and to them.

              If he’s a born again… well, God is on his side too. That’s as much as I’m saying, that’s probably too much. Shhh 😉

              Don’t worry about his wife, she’s probably got a system to deal with him and may even encourage his online escapades to get him off her back. If he’s targeting you, then it means his not targeting her. Narcissists always need a nemesis, they live in the land of myth and fairytale and film.

              Taking the piss in the UK is a sort of bonding thing. It’s a national pastime and an initiation ritual. Narcissists tend to not take kindly to it when it is directed at them, but they like doing it to others and they go overboard when they do it, which tends to scare others who decide not to take the P out of them just in case.

              No Contact with someone with NPD is difficult to do. Narc’s don’t respect it as it just doesn’t apply to them – how dare you and why would you – is their attitude. If you can’t avoid them because they’re part of a social scene, then you have to deal with them somehow, doing a modified version of no contact – as in ignoring their BS. But if they’re adamant that you are not allowed to ignore them, and ignoring them makes it worse, you have to use mental flexibility to work your way around it. The tactics vary, and often vary due to gender. Male Narcissists tend to be more brazenly Narcissistic and very confident about it in an in your face kind of way. Alpha male thing on steroids.

              You’ll figure it out, you’re very aware and intelligent. The fact that you’ve managed to get under his skin… it may be difficult for you, but for him it’s much much worse – he’s melting. Not a consolation, but a strange victory.


              • If only that cream would work… 🙂

                In my life I have been lucky and not had to cope with much real difficulty, I am thankful for this, but it rather brings into stark contrast this last year and all that has transpired.

                The sensation of feeling depressed its not a good one, feeling helpless, in the sense that there are no obvious solutions or places to go that don’t mean disregarding things you deeply enjoy.

                What they do is extraordinarily destructive made worse by the covert nature of their actions and the disbelief of the surrounding others… I can well understand how this can end violently.

                I watched La Grande Bellezza the other day – it was very good indeed – rich and thoughtful yet surreal and discordant – much like a lot of this life…


                • I’m working on developing that cream, I think I could present it on Dragon’s Den and might actually get an offer 😉

                  Some years feel like an eternity in hell, but if we survive it, in retrospect, and usually only in retrospect, they can change our perspective on life and make it a more fulfilling experience for us. That’s the ideal anyway. Last year was pretty tough for me too, and for many of the people I know, but I think we’ve all come out of it wiser and with the scars to prove it and to remind us of just how strong we are.

                  It’s the covert nature of it which does indeed make it more destructive. And it’s aided and abetted by society without society really being aware of it. I think the world suffered a Narcissistic wound during WWII in some ways. The rise in people with NPD coincides with it. It’s a global wound which seems like it can only be healed by individual experience and the willingness to personally learn from it. But that’s my theoretical lop-sided historian self talking.

                  I haven’t seen that film, thank you for the heads up. I’m a film addict, especially interested in films which stray off the beaten path or do the beaten path from a new perspective. Best Italian film I’ve seen – not sure why I think it’s the best but I do – is – La Grande Guerra (1959). It’s not pretty, it’s very human. And I loved watching the Inspector Montalbano series, did you see those? Sooooo Italian 😀

                  If you want a strange take on the world of the Narc’ which isn’t about Narc’ but struck me as explaining the disorder rather well via a rather enchanting horror story – Hansel and Gretel(2007) – South Korean film on Netflix or is it Lovefilm, one of those anyway. Visually stunning.


                  • well – I avoided mine last night – was involved in a debate about some aspect of flying that resulted in a meeting – I could not face being in the same room with him and his sidekicks so I simply did not go – I also withdrew my position in the debate – realised it was not important and spent the evening talking in a pub with some friends – I felt really calm inside me..

                    there is a sense of surrender in letting them go and being mindful of your own self – your own feelings..

                    Ill look up these films – thanks for that – I may see the Grande Bellezza again – its still in my mind – I think it was quite subtle..

                    it is also visually stunning

                    Im interested in your WW2 idea – but Im quite a nihilistic existentialist – my instinct would not to see an event – even a big one – have any affect collectively – I like Steven Pinkers ideas around us having pre – installed software, The Blank Slate, via our evolutionary history… this is where I would look for the pressures that would result in NPD expressing in the way we can observe.. its the consistency of our experience that intrigues me most… in this sense WW2 is far too recent to figure…


                    • Excellent! You chose to spend an evening in the company of those who appreciate who you are and you appreciate who they are over fighting a never ending battle which ultimately has no real victors… except those who realise how pointless it is and decide to step out of it. It’s difficult but worth it in the end.

                      Thank you for the Steven Pinkers idea. I tend to avoid ‘experts’, even when they’re very clever and right. I have a tendency to argue too much and lose sight of the insights they offer. I’ll check his theory out. I am an information junkie, just have to watch out for my argumentative streak which is calorific 😉


                    • Calorific… intriguing… I think energy and debate are good things – its important to stick up for what you believe and not capitulate always – when the listening part of that exchange suffers a failure for one reason or another then thats when its an argument.. in my opinion.. in this instance I was happy to have framed my thoughts I just refused to be cornered into a trap full of wolves – he gathered them you know – got all his sidekicks together… I would have been alone with them – my evening was pleasant…


                      do you ever sense sometimes missing them !! the narc’ mine has been very efficient at cutting off the daily discourse between me and the other pilots so at times when even he does not attack I begin to feel lonely…

                      it feels utterly perverse to me but I have to acknowledge that its present within me – yet at the same time I am getting stronger at remaining at a safe distance… I realise that I have to be patient – to know that these invisible others are still there.. just not available in the same casual way as before…

                      PS – you don’t feel messy to me – you feel vigorous and full of life – I see around you a group who admire and respect you – if thats messy then its a fine mess to be in… in my opinion.. 🙂


                    • It’s been a long time since I’ve felt lonely as in longing for company, partly because I prefer being alone, although I love company too but not the kind which demands that I fulfill a group role. I’m too old for that kind of stuff, old as in I’ve done it and the rewards made me question if they were indeed rewards.

                      There’s a quote I came on the internet which says something like – I used to walk into a room full of people and wonder if they liked me or would like me, now when I walk into a room full of people I wonder if I like them or will like them.

                      I’m fairly easy going, even though I may seem a bit demanding… I am demanding, I want to be myself, I can tone myself down, but I refuse to switch myself off entirely and pretend I’m not who I am. I’ve done that, I’m not good at it. I give what I want and hope people will be exactly who they are around me. Be yourself, all of it, I’m not going to judge because I’m a mess, and so let your mess hang out with my mess, who knows, maybe our messes are fun.

                      And thank you for your kind words. I am very messy, my friends seem to like me as is… and so do those who read my posts. It always surprises me in a fun and inspiring way.

                      But I do understand that longing to belong, to be with your peers and join in and when they exclude you it hurts and you miss the camaraderie. I get that, I’ve felt it… I got fed with myself and changed how it affected me. That’s how I do things.

                      You’ll figure it out an the experience progresses through the different stages, one day you’ll reach a plateau and the view of the past, the sense of the present and the distant glimpse of the future will all come together in a moment of insight and you’ll understand why you experienced what you have, the bad, the worse, and the good in it… it’ll make sense. The present will explain it, the future will be contained in it.

                      Waxing philosophical… but those ancient philosophers knew what they were saying, we just don’t get it until we’ve lived it. That’s being human 😀


                    • have you read this:


                      The meeting I withdrew from in order not to be confronted by the narcissist came to a conclusion that is being discussed in a place he has made unavailable to me.

                      Its quite visceral levels of control, the Narcissist is engineering that I be excluded from the discussion. It is playing with me, this feeling of exclusion.

                      The others also are not leaking – the seal is tight – which could mean there is no discussion at all.

                      Its hard not to know and it is this that I process and call being lonely…

                      The Narcissists pronouncements would annoy me inevitably they would also be embedded with subtle remarks that I would find difficult to accommodate in my conscious self but in the end I would have the choice and its that which is being controlled.

                      However even writing this makes part of the ire go away.

                      I am pissed off too – can you tell ?


                    • 😀 Being pissed off is very empowering in these cases! Expressing it creatively is liberating.

                      Narc’s use our emotions against us, because they don’t experience emotions they way non-Narc’s do, they have an intellectual version of emotion.

                      I haven’t checked the link yet, I will though, but the title of it… I know the silent treatment well. I actually learned to use it to my advantage, because at least it meant the Narc’s I know weren’t talking… and boy do they love to talk! My ears are still overly sensitive to voices due to that, and after some many words, even if the person talking is someone I want to listen to… I switch off. Which can cause… issues 😉

                      They aim to provoke, especially the malicious Narc’s. It’s their idea of mind effing foreplay. It’s… yuck!

                      All humans are fundamentally alone, it is actually not a bad thing at all, it helps us to remain individuals. There is a balance between being an individual and part of a group. Learning how that works for us personally usually takes many experiences, some very painful, some uplifting. Go with the flow of your life, it’s all part of who you are… eventually it begins to have some sort of coherence.


    • Thank you 😀

      You communicate really well in your posts, I enjoy reading your writing. Which may not be obvious because I’ve probably forgotten to press the ‘Like’ button – that’s one of my relationship problems on WordPress 😉 which is an odd one as I really good at letting people know in person when I like them and what they’ve done. That sounds… never mind!

      I used to think I was rubbish at communicating with people, because it was true. I’ve studied it intensely to try and improve. I think I’m better at it, but you’d have to ask others about that. There’s a balance which is hard to find because there are so many elements in communication many of which are subtle. There are also many different scenarios and I usually ask myself what the conversation is about before I choose a style of communication.

      In other words – what is the purpose of the particular conversation you are having or about to have? Each conversation is different. Is it about the other person needing to communicate something to you or the other way around? Is the conversation about interacting, to and fro, or one person needs to talk something through and needs a listener? Or a brainstorming session? A lecture? And so on.

      Gender does make a difference too. Men are more direct, women prefer to take a circuitous route. I actually have more problems communicating with women than men because my natural style of communication is blunt, and although I’ve learned to do small talk, I prefer not to. I like to cut to the chase before I forget what I wanted to say. Men are also more forgiving if you say the wrong thing.

      The ‘experts’ are right though, listening is vital to effective communication, and by listening they mean total listening – body language, subtext, situation, location, etc. The word part is just one fraction of it.

      I’ve found that when I mess up in a conversation the easiest way to clear the air is to admit it. Owning up to your mistakes is like magic, natural and practical magic, because we all share the mistake gene. It’s often the point where a conversation gets real, and a relationship deepens.

      But I am still very much an accident prone pupil in the way of communication 😉


      • Thank you. 🙂 I also tend to be direct and I am an introvert as well, so small talk can be exhausting for me. I prefer one-on-one or small groups. Yes, listening is the key and so is admitting it when one is not understanding what is being said. I’ve gotten much better at that, and at listening, than I used to be.


        • I think introverts notice more, listen with their eyes, and also pick up on subtle cues using sensory feedback – like how others are feeling. Sometimes what we see and hear through feeling makes speaking more complicated. I’ve been teaching myself to be more insensitive, yet not insensitive. If that makes sense. Just say what I think and try to say it in a way where it is not threatening to whatever someone is already feeling. Of course I mess up, but at least I’ve said what I wanted to say and can apologise if it causes damage that it was not intended to cause.

          Although how a person reacts often gives me feedback… especially in knowing if they have NPD.

          I’ve realised that the reason I tend to attract female Narcissists and rarely attract male ones is because of my communication style. I feel bolder and thus am bolder around men, more myself. Because mend don’t mind directness and if it’s rude as in tactless. Males with NPD hate that. With females I feel less bold because I don’t know wtf I’m doing, you have to be so careful and tactful, so I am more timid and less my natural self, which is blunt and prone to offending women, which leaves the door wide open for a female with NPD. Trying to change this blip.


  3. I’ve had many instances where I came away being the unpopular one. Most of them occurred in the workplace. Like you, I have a problem keeping my mouth shut. I suppose because I rebel against being one of the sheeple. If I see someone doing something wrong or unethical, I don’t turn a blind eye.

    Where the culprits were trying to save their own asses, I was trying to save the day…Have no fear…Underdog is here.

    Of course, it never got me anywhere but in the hotseat, but the people in question were eventually held accountable. The sad part is, I’m referring to leaders, bank managers and even teachers…people who are supposed to behave morally.

    That’s part of the reason I now work from home (part-time). Well, that…and my Narc Ex/Psychopath used to stalk me.

    Still, I wouldn’t change a thing.


    • I’m actually less gaff prone in a workplace due to introversion kicking in. It’s in social situations which are more personal, where I feel a bit more ambiverted thus relaxed, where I put my foot in my mouth.

      Why wouldn’t you want to know!?! – is one of the questions I ask, usually in my mind, when someone refuses to hear what I have to say. I’m open to being wrong, in fact I may well be wrong, but how am I going to find out if people don’t want to discuss things. Without interactive discussion I end up concluding that I must be right because why else would someone be so reluctant to discuss. Okay, I know there are variables…

      If I spot something that seems ‘off’, illogical and inconsistent to the image of self presented and believed, then I want to point it out and get some feedback. But I’ve learned that especially when that thing which is ‘off’ concerns a person who is admired in some way, well the whole black or white thinking comes into play – people tend to see others as either good or bad. My mind is more black and white and all the other hues in between, people are good/bad/and a mix of many other things. Problem is that if you point something out, it’s not really about the person who you are pointing it out about, it’s about those who admire or like them, they take it personally because by pointing the ‘off’ thing out you’re saying to them – How could you have missed this! – which they hear as you telling them that they are stupid and no one likes that. And it really doesn’t matter if you don’t think they’re stupid because they’ve decided that is what you’re saying.

      A hypothetical example – if I spotted someone in your social group whom I was fairly certain was a Narcissist and this person was someone you liked, maybe even admired, and I pointed that out to you… how would you react?

      You don’t have to answer… just think about your actual reaction to such a scenario.

      I think introverts may be more affected by this kind of situation because they’re observers of people and tend to notice things which may be subtle to extroverts, but obvious to introverts.


      • Well…I know you said I don’t have to answer…but I can’t resist. He he.

        If someone were to point it out, my inquiring mind would immediately start to analyze any connections I may have missed along the way. I think I would still come to a conclusion based on my experiences with that person (which could go either way), but I would certainly think about the possibility that they might be a Narcissist.

        I’ve also had sort of opposite scenarios where people didn’t like someone in general that I ended up liking very much. For example, when I worked in banking, there where a couple of times when a new boss came to our branch (not the ones I referred to in previous comment). I’d heard some less than complimentary things about them, but I kept an open mind and in the end developed good relationships with them.

        I never go with the pack…almost always the black sheep.


        • You’re bold and brave as ever 😀

          I completely agree with you about making your own mind up about people, that is so important!!! Gossip is so devastating even when it seems harmless, especially things like office gossip. That suggestion just gets into your mind and works its way into your view of a person. I try to be conscious of it and when I hear someone make a snide or offhand comment about someone even if it seems justified, I always put it on the – to be reviewed and confirmed or not – pile.

          This issue has surfaced in the NPD circles, and after reading that post by The Narcissist’s Child… it really made me think.

          What do Narcissists do most often? They present themselves as the good, sane, victimised one and then point the finger of blame and victimiser at someone else, and go on and on about it until everyone believes them, even their target.

          What do Narcissists seek? Narcissistic supply. What is one of the best forms of Narcissistic supply – especially right now considering hot topics and trends which N’s always follow? Getting sympathy and admiration for being the victim of a Narcissist who is fighting back courageously against their abuser, exposing the abuser (perhaps even naming and shaming them), and then ‘sharing’ their experience and new found wisdom with others.

          It’s the perfect formula for a Narcissist. It worries me. The information they give as an ‘expert’ on NPD will be misleading as their ‘Narcissist’ abuser whom they are exposing in all probability is not a Narcissist but a victim of one. So they will be confusing the issue and continuing the abuse, now supported by many. Which is exactly what they want.

          So the NPD abuse continues in a much more subtle way for those who follow this particular ‘Narcissist Slayer’ if they do so because they were also abused by someone with NPD and are seeking healing from it by following this person who is actually not a victim of a Narcissist but a Narcissist in disguise of a victim of a Narcissist. And those who follow this person and believe them will collude without realising it in the continued abuse of the Narcissist’s real victim.

          Are you willing to see it for what it is and how far it goes even if it means looking at yourself differently? That’s a tough question. I know you can handle it 🙂

          Red flags aren’t always red, sometimes they’ve been bleached with industrial grade bleach and look like white flags.


  4. I’m supposed to keep my mouth shut? lol Seriously, after a series of abusive relationships, work seemed to be the only place where I could be vocal, so I have been. I have recently tried to dial that back and keep my mouth closed sometimes.


    • Love that!!! 😀

      NO! You are not supposed to keep your beautiful mouth shut at all! You are supposed to be vocal! Why else were you given vocal chords!?! 😉

      Yes, I do the turning the volume dial down thing on myself too, because sometimes people have sensitive ears and need easy listening.


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