The Cigarette Break – Day One – Thoughts on How I Suck at Relationships with Females

saga noren quote

It’s raining today. Cold, wet, misty. The weather reflects my mood, or maybe it’s the other way around. I am melancholic. It feels like a Moon day. A heavy sigh fills me as I realise once again that I suck at relationships with females.

The other day in a comment on my blog I mentioned in a reply:

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 men 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.

This morning I got an email from a female acquaintance. She was angry with me. I had upset her. I think she may have even felt as though I had betrayed her in some way. I had missed the cues in our interactions which were pointing out my role in the relationship. I was supposed to be being supportive and sympathetic. Instead I was analytical and logical in my approach.

My foot in mouth syndrome struck again.


saga noren recipe quote

This person is lovely and I did not intend to hurt her.

I messed up.

I apologised.

I doubt if she will accept it, not truly, or believe it.

Females are less forgiving than males especially to other females, even when you are genuinely sorry to have caused upset.

I think she would be wise not to forgive, I’ll only end up disappointing her again.

I always end up disappointing the expectations which females have of me in a relationship.

Her upset is justified. She’s right.

But I’m not wrong just because she’s right. I am wrong for her. Who I am as I am is wrong for her.

That is the way of relationships. There are those who are right for us and those who are wrong for us. We hold on to those who are right and let go of those who are wrong. We see the gift in the experience, and are grateful to have had the opportunity to meet those whom we meet, for everyone has a gift or a message or a lesson for us.



I’ve been watching a TV series – Bron | Broen (The Bridge) – in which the leading female character bears some striking similarities to me. She is blunt, analytical and logical. This upsets most of the people with whom she interacts, in work and in her personal life. She is unapologetic about who she is and the way she is because she doesn’t see the logic of needing to be. This is who she is and if people don’t like it they are free to not like it or her.

She’s a role model in some ways for me. It’s one of those moments when you see from a detached perspective your own situation and realise you’ve been dealing with it in the wrong way, and that the right way is being shown to you.

I have spent a large portion of my life being apologetic about myself. Taking every hurt and upset which others feel I have caused very personally. I agree that if I hurt or upset someone I should apologise and try to make amends. However if it is who I am which hurts and upsets them, am I supposed to become who I am not to please them, to make amends, to beg forgiveness, am I supposed to become who they want and need me to be for them, is that the only way they will accept me? Someone who must live in fear of causing them any pain and must watch their every word and action, monitor, control and censor my natural self because others find me unacceptable like harsh sandpaper on their sensitive and delicate skin.

What about me? Is there no room for both of us to be who we are as we are, is only one of us allowed to be themselves and the other must not be themselves?

The person I upset is not a Narcissist, but the interaction did trigger flashbacks connected to my relationships with those who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. My problems with relating to females stems from that. The very first female role model in my life had NPD, and I was trained to be a slave, servant, and mirror to her. I eventually rebelled and was made to suffer more for it. I had to deprogram myself and learn how to relate from scratch. That entails many mistakes and lessons. I’m still a pupil.

I know a balance needs to be found. I’m not planning on going to extremes. From being overly sensitive to the needs of others and catering to them to my own detriment and self-annihilation, to being a bull in a china shop, so focused on being myself loudly and proudly that I become completely insensitive to others. That’s not me either. I am sensitive, I am teaching myself to be less so, blocking out all the sensory data which makes me lose myself in others, creating healthier boundaries, but I’m not trying to become insensitive. Balance. And adjusting the scales to suit the situation and the individual with whom I am interacting. Keeping an eye that the scale doesn’t tip too far in either direction. It will tip. I will make more mistakes and learn from them.



I sometimes come across as though I am strong and immune to being hurt. As Saga Noren of Bron | Boren said in the last episode which I watched – People sometimes think that I can’t be hurt (paraphrased).

I sometimes think this draws to me people who expect me to be strong for them too, to fight their battles for them, to protect them from being hurt. I shatter their illusions by showing that I am as fragile and vulnerable to pain as they are. They often hate me for that.

I sometimes think that with certain people, the impression they get challenges them to try and hurt me. They don’t care who I am underneath the impression, I represent something to them and whatever or whoever that is needs to be attacked, made to feel pain, hurt.

I can be hurt, I hurt very deeply. I just don’t feel the need to advertise it or share it all the time wherever I go with whoever I am with. I write about it in my posts, that’s my self-therapy, being open, laying myself bare with rawness. I deal with my own pain, it’s my responsibility, I don’t expect anyone else to shoulder it. I don’t need sympathy. I feel what I feel and analyse it logically in search of understanding.

I don’t need others to understand me. I did once, I longed to be understood and accepted by others, then I realised that caused more problems than it solved or would solve if I got what I yearned for. I needed to give that to myself, not try and get it from others.



However understanding that I am this way would be appreciated. If you understand who I am and what I’m like, then you won’t take me personally, and you are less likely to get upset and be hurt.

Those are the thoughts I had during my cigarette break. I tend to think in shorthand, translating that shorthand makes the thoughts longer than they actually are.


  1. Saga Noren has aspergers – I like this show in part because I can relate, I am myself built this way – although I’m nothing like her in any literal sense… her’s is I think an exaggeration, an expression, however I identify strongly and enjoy watching for this reason..

    My feeling is that people empathise with her dislocation from social expectations – I think what is interesting is that in the most part people accommodate her – she may be seen as strange but they go with it… she even inspires a lovely sense of wonder in her colleague and for me it this I like the most about that story…

    I like too the notion you observe of the difference between thoughts and the written articulation of them – I think relationships respond in this way to – for me, I like to keep my thoughts as much as thoughts as I can get away with – I like this hugely – to make words is never as good as the thoughts that inspire them… solid not fluid… words only echo the vitality of our musings..

    Resist the need to apologise best you can – there is a relatedness in the ideas here – can you feel them..?


    • Thank you 😀

      Yes, I look for connections in everything. Sometimes I’m very slow to see them. My thoughts are in visual form, sensory form and verbal/word form, and finding the links is a challenge, especially if I have stupid mode turned on.

      I like to post my confusions because sometimes, a lot of times, I find the answers to my questions in the comments, in the views other are generous enough to share. Sometimes I see that I’m being blinkered 😉

      The actress who plays Saga Noren spoke about how much the part has changed her, how much playing Saga has inspired her, and I found that fascinating. Yes, Saga Noren has aspergers, and yes it is an exaggeration because that’s fiction, not sure if that is good or bad, but for me in this case it is good. For many reasons. And doesn’t it underline how something ‘normal’ people think of as a disability or something of that sort is actually an ability. I haven’t seen dyslexia portrayed this way, but I’d love to see that.

      I think most people find social interactions and relationships complicated and hard to fathom and do well. I was watching Californication last night… one person’s right and normal and orderly, is another person’s weird and abnormal and possibly a disorder.

      Being human… is a puzzle within one of those enigmas and so on 😉

      If I am an agent of hurt for someone, even if they are using me to hurt themselves, then I apologise whether it was intended (which it rarely is) or not (which it usually is). I’m a relationship clutz. Some people understand that, those who know me, those who are similar to me, those who understand what it’s like to be human, and find it funny, and can get over it and chalk it down to a mess up. We all make mistakes, some of know we do others pretend they don’t, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make them.

      I’m a mess… and strangely enough I enjoy being a mess, it keeps me grounded and makes me chuckle once I get some distance from it 😉


      • its so wonderful that you can put your confusion out there.. its one of the things I love so much about what you are doing on this forum…we learn in relationship and by sharing our experience and that is why what you are doing on here is so healing…… and so spot on for your Chiron placement 🙂 this is also so spot on for the current Venus retrograde station… these issues build one week prior to Venus forward movement. at least that is what I am noticing. old hurts really re-surface at this time so we can sort out old pain that may be projected onto current situations…


        • Thank you 😀 Haha… sorry but when you wrote this… don’t read my previous replies to your previous comments, I got a bit dramatic emotionally :O Not sure what planet is doing this but I think transiting Jupiter Rx in Cancer in the 11th has a lot of explaining to do! Issues amplified and spillage of mess on my blog!

          Definitely what you said!!! Old hurts resurfacing in vivid colour!


          • Give yourself a big hug… once you spit it out you can get clarity on it and that may help to release it.. we get a lot of pent up stuff having lived with this disorder for so long


  2. I think the most impostant core of our actions is the intention;once that you hurt someone without an intention, you can always explain yourself or listen and apologize, but being transparent to yourself is the main thing. i tend to ponder for a very long time but i end up not acting much, but i always manage to know why i have done or said something, maybe this comes from my mother, as I used to spend a ages asking myself why and finding a way to react that wasn’t easy to be biased or twisted. i don’t think you have problems with female friends, just with those who don’t like hearing something that doesn’t go the direction they expected, therefore they need to be flattered. We don’t want to be flattered and we are aware that a complement can be insidious as a trap.Your being blunt goes along with honesty and generosity and depth..take it or leave it, people are not flawless, have their edges too.


    • Thank you 😀

      I know you get me, we have the same sort of childhood. My mother completely screwed me up where relationships with females are concerned. I’m having to learn how to do it from scratch, I’m just not sure if what I’m learning is really good for me. Women are hard work because of the sensitivity thing. I had all the sensitivity sucked out of me by my mother, and other female N’s so although I am still sensitive, I just don’t feel like going as far as I feel is expected of me. However, when I meet people like you it’s not about gender anymore, it’s about individuals connecting and that’s very different, that touches my soul and I know I can be myself. I know that if I accidentally hurt, I will be told in a way which has understanding within it, and I offer the same in return. It flows both ways… when it doesn’t flow both ways, then I know I’m not in a relationship which suits either side.

      Living and learning… whatever I’m learning… and then sharing my mess 😉


      • I have just read all your other replies on NPD, very interesting. We do share a lot indeed, included that horrified anxious state when we start reading or questioning if we have NPD;as Kim writes in her blog, the same risks factors which can lead someone to develop NPD also lead others not to and become IN, she says it’s a matter of will, maybe unconscious but there is a decision to make.This is very important and it makes a moral difference, somehow our inner world in not inclined against others.Therefore if we happen to hurt without an intention, that’s human and not pathological, what’s pathological it’s the amount of time we spend inquiring about it, as we don’t accept to hurt others. Again excessive solicitude towards others mean maybe we put others’ needs before ours…Guess what, as you talk about the rage subsiding, although i am very much hurt by my former shrink, Iunderstand his disorder, i don’t justify, but inside myself i know he’s pray to something bigger than he is, as a steel cage, he’s confined to it. I can’t let go of my parents though.My analyst says my mother was mad, but this view doesn’t explain anything nor the dynamics or the selective acts of folly towards me and not my sister, nor my engulfing father.When i read here i find my peace of mind as i see clearly what happened to me, it’s reconforting.
        i do try to understand people but i have Ntraits as i take things personally, i learnt to survive, as long as i don’t kill people souls, fair enough.
        We shouldn’t try not to expect too much of ourselves all the time, we should have the same understanding we have for people for ourselves. hard though. When i can’t be myself, i shrink…You wrote somewhere we are responsible for ourseves and not for others;tomorrow Iam going to teach to 11 yrs old and it’s overwhelming as there is so much going on on their minds, some many projections from their parents, I try to touch their soul in a gentle way and send a positive message, but i see myself there as a little girl and i wonder what will happen to them afterwords, in the evening I am so moved and full of melancholy. in a way we grown up touch them and can virtually hurt them anytime, i do my best to do otherwise.


        • Try and get your hand on Narcissism, Denial of the True Self by Alexander Lowen .. he talks a lot about the insanity that is seen as sanity in our culture where feelings are so repressed. .. the narcissistic parent is insane.. once we understand this we can start to realise a lot of our reaction to that insanity was actually a sane response to an insane situation


          • I have the book, It’s one of the first books I read on the subject. Very good! I also have his book on Bioenergetics.

            And yes, hence one of the reasons which drew me to – Going Mad to Stay Sane by Andy White. Also reading R.D. Laing, he deals with the concept of surviving the insanity of family by going insane… thus becoming sane in an insane way. And how curing your insanity may be difficult because you realise just how nuts humans are, and if you’re sane you may make life much harder to deal with.


            • Ill try to find that book you mention Ursula…. it sounds good… I like how in the book by Lowen he shows how the narcissist comes to equate expression of feelings with being insane… also very interested in what you say about narcs. in that they don’t experience feelings only stress.. with my Mum she would have stress blow ups a lot…. I never learned to differentiate feelings.. its only in the past few years I have been able to do that.. most of my feelings became somaticized…


              • I found a lot of sense and logic in the Rubin book, it’s a bit wordy… but I skim when I read dyslexia style. Lowen is a source of much logic and understanding, the book on NPD is a bit detached, but you can tell he’s lived much of what he discusses, and that’s something I look for in the books I read. Experience brings humility to intelligence. It makes the mind human and not separate from it.

                Both of my parents couldn’t deal with their emotions and feelings and always felt better when they exploded. Stress release. Of course whoever was at the receiving end of the explosions… burnt to a crisp and feeling like shit.

                Again and again I would watch them, with me and with others. There would be this pre-explosion pattern, the gradual build up leading to the explosion, their mood would get darker and darker and the air around them was suffocating – like the air before a thunderstorm – oppressive. Then BLAM! Tantrum and explosion. With my mother those lasted for hours because she liked to lecture after the initial explosion. My father was quicker to explode and end it. Afterwards the air was clear and fresh, for them. They would be elated, almost high on euphoria of release. And then you’d be told – What’s wrong with you, why are you so moody and depressed – and accused of trying to bring them down with your mood. Oblivious to the fact that your mood was caused by having their mood dumped on you.

                Took me a while to be consciously aware of the dynamic… I internalised it and accepted their version of me and of reality for a long time.

                Being able to see it for what it is/was… that’s the path to freedom right there!


  3. Without knowing the full background, I would have to wonder why this particular statement caused your friend to be offended. Typically, when someone is offended by something we’ve said, it’s because of some type of negative emotion they harbor within themselves regarding weaknesses or past hurts.

    For example, I would have to wonder if she fears she is a female with narcissism. Or, if she is, and you’ve still tried to be-friend her, why she assumed you were talking about her in particular.

    While I am Highly Sensitive, I tend to come across more analytical, as well. Only, I would compare myself more with Dr. Brennan on Bones. People thinks she’s detached, but she’s actually very emotional…she just uses the analytical, detached front as a means of avoiding being hurt.

    Either way, I’m sorry you’re experiencing this right now. It’s no fun to feel you’ve hurt someone, especially when that was never your intention to begin with. I think most of us (myself included, at times) operate mostly from the ego, where we become hypersensitive about every interaction we have with other people. I am glad I am getting away from this more and more and accepting myself without worrying about others’ opinions all the time.

    Hope you and your friend are able to reach middle ground again soon.


    • Thank you 😀

      I love Dr. Brennan on Bones! Great female character! Just a brilliant person!

      You kind of know what I’m like from our interactions. I can be too much of an INTP. The ‘NT’ dominates a bit too much at times. This acquaintance was right to be upset. I should have been less ‘NT’ – have you ever been to this site – – one of the NT cartoons is spot on for me 😉 I needed to be more ‘NF’ like you are. That’s not my natural style, but it is a style I know how to do because of my training by those with NPD.

      I just handled the whole interaction badly and I know it, and admit it, and thought I’d share it since I’m doing a series this week on what I think about when I think alone and ponder things. Kind of live and raw. I don’t know how I’ll come across, that’s the challenge of it. This is me, decide what you decide. Like or not. It’s up to you. Judge me or understand me or whatever.

      I was inspired by the interaction and wanted to write about it because I was thinking about it. I think about everything which happens to me, and also how I affect others. I need to see the starkness and if I am willing to face it. Then figure it out. I am grateful for the interaction I had with this acquaintance and I hope that came across. She is right. She is the good guy. That doesn’t mean I’m the bad guy, just a messy guy 😉

      Things will sort themselves out one way or another or another.


    • Oh and she’s not a Narcissist, but she was wounded by one and made to think she might be one by the Narcissist (which is a typical NPD tactic), and I think she may be wondering and believe that I have NPD based on the children of Narcissists must be Narcissists theory propagated by those who aren’t children of two Narcissists but claim to be ‘experts’ on the matter and who may well be ‘experts’ because they have NPD themselves. It’s sort of the ouroboros of NPD.

      She’s a genuinely lovely person.


      • On that topic, have you ever wondered why you DIDN”T turn out as a Narcissist, given your childhood?

        I have. I’ve thought about you and the many other people I encounter who have been either children of Narcissists or had a painful childhood.

        I am starting to believe Narcs are born that way. When they are children, they can’t really show their true selves without the fear of discipline and rejection, so they conform to the norm, only showing their true selves as adults.

        It’s really refreshing to see how you analyze yourself with an open mind. Only a small percentage of people can do that.

        I’m also glad to see that you still see your friend in a positive light in the face of discomfort/conflict. You really are amazing.


        • Oh YES! I think I’ve mentioned it in a couple of old posts, the – do two NPD wrongs make another NPD wrong, because surely they can’t make a non-NPD right, right?

          So, as a child of two Narcissists I ask myself all the time… Do I have NPD? Would I know if I had it?

          I did absorb my parents behaviour and some of my behaviour, especially when it was subconscious, is NPD-ish. But I’m aware and open to being more aware. If someone confronts me, I want to see what they see. If I’ve hurt them, I want to understand it. Why would I not want to see and know and understand? I don’t want to live in a fantasy world as a fantasy version of who I am, so anyone who wants to burst my bubble is welcome to do so. If they are right, I’ll acknowledge it. If they are wrong, I’ll look into their motives for doing so. Quid pro quo, sort of.

          If both the parents of the child of Narcissists have NPD the child rarely develops NPD – although they may mimic the behaviour of their parents (as with all children who mimic their parents, often to the dismay of parents who want their kids to do as I say not as I do), mimicry is not the same as natural tendency and sometimes goes against natural tendency due to peer and authority pressure – because of the dynamic and the needs of the NPD parents. In other words you as the child of NPD parents are not allowed to become a Narcissist as it is too much of a threat to your Narcissist parents. You have a self-destruct button installed and are programmed to use it.

          NO! Those with NPD are not born that way and I feel very strongly about it, and when I see people trying to spread that idea I become very bolshie. It’s often spread by a parent with NPD to explain why their child is a failure – It’s not the parent’s fault the child was born defective. The parent thus remains perfect, the child is a genetic reject. I’d use stronger words, but that might offend.

          Thank you, Kim. Your perception is awesome.


          • Perhaps what I meant to say is that they are born with predatory inclinations…

            I’m still trying to reconcile the fact that Narcs innately know how to control and manipulate by brainwashing. As a survivor, I had to do tons of research to understand their behaviors, yet they perform them naturally. It’s as if there’s a blue print.

            I can definitely see your perspective on the issue and I appreciate having a sounding board to bounce my ideas off of 😀


            • It’s all due to the phase of development where the wound which turns the child into a Narcissist happens. They were not born that way, they were wounded by a figure of authority who had complete control of them and dominated them, and did it to them consistently and constantly 24/7. They became a Narcissist to survive abuse. I know it’s hard for you to imagine because you have been on the receiving end of what they became. They became this way due to what someone did to them. Look at the history of a Narcissist and look at it without prejudice if you can, I know that’s difficult, but if you want to understand that’s what you need to do.

              They were not born that way. But Narcissistic parents like to promote that view. As Eric Clapton so eloquently said – Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself.

              You know from experience that those with NPD always accuse their victims of their own crimes and do it convincingly, so that the vicitm doubts themselves and others believe the accuser rather than the victim.

              Don’t look for a magic formula or perfect solution or clean-cut ideal view of NPD. That is slightly NPD-ish. Watch out society suffers from NPD a bit and encourages it. You’re too smart to fall for that!


                • Thank you, the food for thought flows both ways our interactions always offer insight.

                  You do realise there are Narcissists writing about their experience of a relationship with a Narcissist, don’t you? That’s why understanding NPD is more difficult, there is a lot of intended misinformation out there. As you pointed out, they are very manipulative and know how to control. I’d point an example out, but I’d rather not, I’m doing the self-preservation thing. But I know you’ve probably read this person’s ‘expert’ view on NPD as you do a lot of research. They do offer great insight into NPD, just not the way they intended. You can see exactly how a Narcissist thinks by reading their words.

                  On the whole is it nature or nurture debate…

                  Have you ever read Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O’Neill?


                  • Well…while I’ve done lots of research, there are many different theories as to how a person develops NPD. Some say childhood trauma, others say permissive parenting…it’s a virtual land mine out there regarding the subject.

                    I guess because I tend to find answers from within most of the time, I’ve tried to analyze it on my own. For example, I had a bad childhood in regards to not feeling loved, alcoholic father and the whole nine. I honestly can’t recall many good memories from my earlier childhood in regards to my immediate family. Then, there are people such as yourself who grew up under the thumb of NPD, and others who had one parent with NPD and the other not.

                    Yet, I wouldn’t have a clue how to control and manipulate someone in the way of the Narcissist. When I ponder the different phases, their behaviors, and how they all pretty much operate like clockwork, I’m still dumbfounded in trying to figure out how they naturally know how to do those things. My own natural tendency (before learning myself) was to become a people-pleaser, not establish healthy boundaries, and pretty much absorb a lot of crap that other people wouldn’t tolerate. Those things, while not ideal, just happened as a defense mechanism to not feeling accepted…yet, Narcs morph into something else entirely, which is the polar opposite of what people like myself did…all in the face of similar circumstances.

                    That’s why I’m having a hard time with it. Regarding nurture, you have two subjects under controlled variables (bad childhood) who have completely different results. The cause-and-effect aren’t making sense.

                    No, I haven’t read that book. I’ll see if I can find it at the library 🙂


                    • It’s actually easier if you approach each Narcissist you meet or know about from an individual perspective. See them as a unique person who has NPD, rather than just another Narcissist and you don’t like people with that disorder. Although NPD has similarities in all those who have it, they are still individuals. And there are different types of NPD, with overlaps with other disorders. So approaching them from a lumping each one into a group, a group which you don’t like due to bad experience, tends to dilute and pollute information. Information which is valuable for those who don’t want to be victims of a Narcissist ever again.

                      What I’ve noticed is that most of those with NPD will tell you that they have it, why they have it, and what the trauma was which caused them to develop it and get stuck there never able to get out of it. They usually do this in the first few discussions you have with them or first few paragraphs of their stories about themselves. In some ways it is a warning and disclaimer to those who want to get to know them. Of course it doesn’t come with any of those labels, it’s just someone talking about themselves and usually in a confident and charming way. But if you listen with ears/eyes that want to hear/see and understand, then you hear/see it clearly.

                      You probably don’t remember the Narcissistic phase of development because you passed through it, didn’t get stuck in it, and it was just another growing pain amongst many. It’s something we experience as children, we can only see the phases in retrospect with effort. The child who becomes a Narcissist is stuck in the Narcissistic phase. It’s that point in our development when we become aware of ourselves as an ‘I’, but our boundaries between self and other are still fairly merged, when we begin to see how much influence we have on our environment, we learn to lie and do it in such a way that adults will accept the lie, we notice that adults are hypocrites so we learn to be mistrusting and contemptuous – How many children realise that their parents are living by a different set of rules than the ones they force their children to live by. It’s also a time when the child is very imaginative and believes in magic, the magic of creative thought, so those with NPD have magical thinking. They’re warped children. Very frightened and angry warped children who can’t grow up. Literature has many examples of this – The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass.

                      I wonder if perhaps what you find difficult to understand about NPD is due to a fear that if you understand something you consider bad because of the pain it has caused you, that perhaps it will undermine the pain and you may want to forgive your particular Narcissist, or you may worry that you might like what you experience if you imagine what it is like to have NPD even if it is solely to understand it. By not having a clue, you remain innocent and you love that innocence because it is beautiful and inspiring, but that innocence makes you vulnerable to Narcissists. It’s a tough challenge.

                      But you have great insight, what you said – those things just happened as a defense mechanism to not feeling accepted – turn up the feeling to where you’re not only not accepted but who you are is actively rejected and annihilated by those who have power over you and you are powerless to protect yourself so the only way to survive is to develop NPD. That’s the basics of it, of course as it happens, develops and evolves it becomes so much more complex. Just as your desire to people please happened, then developed and evolved, went from it’s child version to an adult version of it, and made you vulnerable to someone with NPD. Those with NPD are people, just not in the way you experience yourself as a person. They were never allowed to experience themselves that way, so they don’t and they think everyone is the same as they are where manipulation and control and things like that are concerned.

                      You have to willing to see more than what is comfortable to see if you really want understanding. If what you want is comfort, then you have to be willing to not see things, and not know what it is you are missing. However if you choose the route of comfort, you have to be ready to fall into a hole you didn’t see because you wouldn’t let yourself see it. Life is very down to earth about things like that 🙂


                    • Wow. Very thought-provoking. I laughed when you said, “approaching them from lumping each one into a group, a group which you don’t like due to bad experience”.

                      You’re probably the most objective person I’ve ever met.

                      Almost makes me feel sorry for those with the disorder…if not for their vile, soul-killing ways.

                      I’ll definitely chew on this a while. I have been known to change my point of view a couple of times if presented with enough convincing reasons to warrant it 🙂


                    • It’s not about feeling sorry for those with NPD, it’s about understanding the disorder. When you say – their vile soul killing ways – that was what was done to the child who developed NPD, they are repeating to others what was done to them, and because it was done to them by someone in authority and power who justified it as good for the child, they repeat that too. Justification of their behaviour because that’s what was done to them, the abuse they suffered which turned them into a Narcissist was justified by the abuser and probably other adults in their environment.

                      It takes time to step back from your own personal situation and pain. To resist the urge to go on a witch hunt against those with NPD. To make them feel your pain like they made you feel theirs. To understand. Not forgive, or forget, or do the whole pity feeling sorry for thing which is slightly condescending.

                      At some point the rage inside of you will subside… that’s when the need to understand the dynamic comes into play.

                      I don’t want to change your point of view or convince you of anything, you said you always think for yourself, so I believe you and I’m relieved about it because it means I can speak freely, share my views without worrying that my views will influence yours. You’ll remain firmly planted in your own views, but are open to letting me express mine which may or may not be the same as yours. It’s a healthy debate of sorts, to stimulate are separate needs to know more and not think we know it all 😉


                    • 🙂 I guess what I meant is…I feel sorry for the child they were, before they developed NPD.

                      Anyhow, this has been an invigorating conversation 🙂 As for myself, I no longer feel the same anger regarding what I went through. In fact, I feel it was something good because I have learned a lot about myself and am experiencing a transformation…

                      When I said “vile”, I was thinking about the people on the forums and those who are still hurting. That’s really my main goal, is to help them move past that point and maybe even help them turn their weaknesses into strengths.

                      By the way, whether or not I change my point of view, I like being able to acknowledge that my way of thinking isn’t necessarily accurate in all cases. I enjoy interacting with someone such as yourself because I really despise mainstream thinking with no roots, and I’d hate to be another statistic. Honestly, you’ve opened my mind…me likey 🙂


              • Thank you for expressing this view Ursula. Narcissists are made not born, in order to develop ourselves we need to have our true self mirrored by the parent. and the parent also helps us to develop empathy and understanding of our deepest impulses and needs or not, all depening on their own developmental trajectory….they provide us with boundaries and help us to understand our limitations and the limitation of others…. at least that is my understanding….Also I believe their is a social developmental aspect to narcissism. We can be conditioned to look outside of ourselves to fill an emptiness that came from a lack of care, understanding and nurture. a huge part of healing is listening to this emptiness and working to fill it from withith, by listening to our true self and finding ways to meet its needs in ways that dont violate others. Others may get angry and accuse us of things when it was not our intention to have hurt a person.. It takes a lot of work to figure out if it was a need we could have met for them… we are human and we can and do get it wroing. To apologise shows that you care for the persons feelings, it show humility and a willingness to understand where the other person is coming from .. the narcissist does not have this willingness… are just told you are bad or wroing for having feelings. I have just had to end yet another therapeutic relationship due to this …. we can and do project our vulneralbe self and therapists who do this are damaging.. the allow themselves to maintain an illusion of control and then damage others.. am just sharing this here as it may be pertinent.


                • Also the point I was trying to make is that when we hurt others or are hurt by others. apology and willingness to explore what happened can lead to a repair.. but we need to own our own responsiblity for meeting our needs and examine if our expectations of others are realistic. Narcissists may often be adult children or grand children of alcoholics, also….or adult children can be victims of a narcissistic parent…which sets them up for difficult relationships later in life…


                  • Please excuse my previous post like reply, I feel safe talking with you – or ranting and knowing you understand what I’m ranting about, the rage the N’s inspire in their children, but which the children end up sublimating and turning on themselves.

                    We, the children of N’s are professional apologisers… and generators of excuses for others. They can hurt us… we are not allowed to feel the hurt or ever hurt another.


                    I’ll stop ranting and emoting in a minute… or some time soon 🙂


                • Thank you 😀 you know I love your insight into this and many other things, because I know you know and seek to understand, which is a sign of a beautiful soul!

                  [I deleted the rest of this and posted it as a post – didn’t want to lay this onto you]


                  • Its okay to rant a little isn’t it? I know in time we need to accept the pain we were caused but it can leave such deep scars and difficult behaviours and we can lose out on a lot. Ive just been re-reading Alex Lowen’s book on narcissism prompted by the comments on here. he gives such insight into the genesis of the disorder and sheds light on how our society in the way it is presently structured and has evolved has set us up collectively to disconnect from our bodies and feelings. Don’t you find we can be shamed so much for anger that we develop an inner censor who censors us..let alone how others react.?.. Oh god you are having feelings. I find that so hurtful !!!! sigh….:( …this from my therapist for gods sake!!!!….. just glad I have another trusted therapist who ive known for over 20 years to confirm the shame she tried to dump on me wasn’t my problem. and it was an exact repeat of my mothers reaction. I feel so blessed to be free of it… so rant all you like with me Ursula… just love that I’ve connected with you on here thank you for being brave and genuine….. .


                    • Ranting, when done in a certain way, consciously and to clarify an issue with yourself, is very useful as part of the self-healing process.

                      Have you read seashell’s earliest comments, she offers insight into a similar scenario re: therapists and what happens when the one you are with turns out to do more harm due to bringign their own issues into play in the interaction.

                      If you’re the child of an N and you go into therapy and then find your therapist is also an N… that’s a mind eff.

                      My godfather was a child psychologist, he put me off ever going into therapy. I did try once, just to double check, thought I might be wrong about it, and because I thought it would be good for me. In fact most of those whom I have met who are in that kind of business… well, I know what attracted them to the business, and that’s not the sort of scenario which is healthy for me. I may be self-destructive but I do have a certain amount of self-preservation too.

                      Anyone who makes you feel ashamed should be the one being ashamed, even and especially if they are doing it in the name of saving you or fixing you or for your own good. Do-gooders are focused on what’s wrong with everyone else, and not on what needs saving, fixing, and is for their own good within themselves.

                      I’m glad you saw the unhealthy dynamic and got yourself out of it into a healthier one. Sigh indeed!!!

                      Re: shame – have you read Compassion and Self-Hate by Theodore Rubin? It elucidates certain hidden aspects of shame which is very interesting. He covers some of the things which you mentioned you liked in Lowen’s book.


                    • Thanks so much Ursula…. I felt I was being asked to take care of this therapists feelings . in her text following the one I sent to cancel further appointments she said “you are repeating a pattern of ending relationships that disappoint you and make you angry (damn right!! in this case finally and god that has taken some growth…usually I take distance to figure out what the hell is going on before taking any kind of action and as far as I can remember… I’ve rarely ended relationships when at times I should have, due to my own fears of abandonment…) and then “at the moment you are seeing me as all bad”.. and then it went on .. that is why you must come back and commit to work it through with me (God almighty all seeing, all knowing wise one). I rang and set her straight on a few things. The thing is the narc abuses you then tells you are fucked for doing something to break free of that abuse.

                      I was lucky to read a great interpretation today of transiting Saturn Square Venus .. where you have Venus square Neptune. it said we tend to we attract this kind of relationship because we don’t feel good enough. Saturn is now working to end it and to end that pattern..

                      Like so many people on here I feel so grateful I have a lovely Saturnian like you to confirm all of this. You were so wise not to go down the therapy pathway and very strong to come to the wisdom you have which makes it all the more exceptional as everyone who reads your stuff just knows you know the territory….And its so true once we have the belief in ourselves we don’t go seeking out there for someone to confirm it for us… but at the same time we do need validation when subjected to the confusion of narcissism because we never got the chance to develop a real relationship with our true feelings… we can be too hard on ourselves for just being human……and having normal human emotions.. extreme as they may seem at times.


                    • Absolutely! That’s exactly what was happening, it’s a classic case of role reversal, only you’re paying for it, literally and figuratively, and the therapist is getting not just a free session but they’re being paid for you to heal them!

                      She was playing mind games with you. She probably isn’t aware of it, but she effing should be since she had to study the mind and how it works.

                      It’s good to analyse and review your relationship style, but just make sure you’re not thinking that a healthy relationship attitude is a bad attitude because you’ve been mind-messed with by someone who has an unhealthy attitude.

                      Trust your instincts and intuition, you have a gift there, so question your doubts before you allow them to undermine you. Doubts help us to look at ourselves more honestly, but question those doubts too before you question yourself because of a doubt. If that makes sense.

                      Saturn square Venus is a tough one. All Saturn aspects, natal and transit, are tough but worth exploring. An excellent post on Saturn –

                      I probably could have benefited by going into therapy, and might have become a bit wiser a bit quicker – wise as in less stupid 😉 However therapy doesn’t suit me, because I have to accept the authority of someone else, and I like to challenge authority to find out if it is based on solid foundations or built on the quicksand of a big ego. The latter is quite common, especially in professions where authority over others is part of what you get with your degree.

                      See… I’m a stubborn pain in the ass 😀

                      I have that issue… the ending relationships based on being disappointed, but it’s reversed, as in I don’t play the role in the relationship which has been assigned to me by the other person (and women do this more than men, thus I suck in my relationships with women in that), and they get disappointed with me, and I don’t enjoy what comes after I’ve disappointed their expectations because they tend to hold it over your head, use it as emo blackmail to get you to do what they want you to do, so I just let the relationship die from natural causes, it was diseased. I used to think I was wrong to do that… not so sure now, perhaps it’s right. After all there are billions of people in the world… and I’m obviously not the right person for a lot of them, but one or two might quite like me as is, flaws and chaos and all 😉

                      Thank you… you know what I look for in relationships… for it to flow both ways equally. You’ve given me a lot and that is precious to me 🙂 You’re a very beautiful soul!


            • “I’m still trying to reconcile the fact that Narcs innately know how to control and manipulate by brainwashing.”
              good point… maybe a high fluid (mostly it is unconscious anyway) intelligence and an absence of emotion storing in childhood is a theory that floats for me.


              • Good point!

                Here’s how I see it. To understand a Narcissist it helps to recall how flexible your mind was when you were a child – because those with NPD are in some ways stuck in the mind set of a developing child – who has not been taught to process emotion and experiences emotion as stress inside building up pressure, thus tantrums are a release – a child who is very clever and quick to adapt for the purpose of survival.

                To really ‘get’ why those with NPD do what they do and do it the way they do it, it helps to understand how their Narcissistic wound was created, because this is what they are ultimately passing on. They were brainwashed by someone who had control over them, who manipulated them 24/7. They’re repeating a pattern and improving on it – what the next generation does with what the previous generations give to them.

                They live in the mind, they know the territory very well, they study others, they know what makes others tick, really tick. They don’t understand it, but they know how to use it. They use it in a – survival of the fittest – ruthless way. They have emotions, but those emotions are experienced as stress and not emotions which come and go.

                Conscious/subconscious/unconscious – depends on the type of NPD the Narcissist has.

                Sorry to butt in on the conversation. What do you think?


                • Yes, I understand they are ruthless and I have seen a few demonstrations both as an NPD lost or won in workplace politics. They are not attracted to me nor are they perturbed by me usually. I did get one stirred up a bit once – once was enough. They seem not to fathom me and that is a blessing I am sure. I follow rules at work – to the letter. I never liked supervising and advancements that involve that. I don’t form alliances.
                  I know a couple that I would categorize as NPD. Most others were not as complex. Most people that have narcissistic tendencies tend to demonstrate self-pity or resentment clearly and they are easy to recognize as troubled. I easily stay out of people’s control issues.
                  I did know one woman that was a narcissist. She surely was a mess too. That woman was known to me outside of work – a relative of a woman I dated. She liked me (a good thing really). My being likeable is always a good thing… but its especially good because I am never on a short list of enemies.
                  A person that is truly NPD must be probably nearly impossible for almost anyone to spot as a troubled person usually.
                  Really, I only recently got interested at all – upon reading some of your posts.
                  I guess/intuit that how children’s emotional upsets get sorted out is important. High fluid intelligence I think must be a characteristic of a successful narcissist. As you point out, there must be plenty of control issues and drama to sort out.
                  You know way more than I. You may recall that I have no clinical experience.
                  I’ve never lived with a narcissist either.
                  Thanks for asking, but I probably don’t know enough really to be very helpful.
                  ~ Eric


                  • Okay, really!?! You are such a great soul!

                    Your grasp of relationship dynamics is excellent and you know it! Your insight is very valuable and I know it! 😀

                    And not attracting those with NPD is a sign of how healthy your boundaries are. They can’t fathom those they can’t manipulate, so it’s their version of a compliment when you baffle them!

                    Real life experience tops clinical experience where living life on a day to day basis is concerned.

                    Thank you for sharing, I get lots of new ways to perceive from you and your wonderful blog!


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