Tell Me What You Are Thinking

You may remember Sophie who was one of my ex-girlfriends. She was a happy-go-lucky kind of person and loved dashing from person to person wishing them well. She was like a machine spewing out good wishes, pleasantries and compliments.

“You look really well,you have lost weight.”

“That skirt really suits you.”

“I heard you recently got married, you must be really happy. That’s really wonderful.”

“Hey great news on that new job. I am really pleased for you.”

“You look so content, I am really happy for you.”

She was really, really good natured. Oh and she used really a lot. There was not a bad bone in Sophie’s body and she always saw the good side of everything. I was by turns fascinated by how she managed it and also hugely attracted by her capacity to find victory from the jaws of defeat.

“He’s grumpy because he is tired, he works very hard you know.”

“I guess he didn’t have time to speak to me today, he has really huge responsibilities. He really has.”

“I don’t mind that he forgot my birthday, I am just really pleased to be with him, that’s a good enough present for me.”

“I haven’t heard from him so I guess he is out with his friends. It is really good to spend time with other people now and again, it keeps things really fresh.”

She just skipped along merrily handing out kindness and warmth as if that was all she was programmed to do. I reached this conclusion because behind the permanent smile, the twinkling eyes and elated expression she wore there really was not a lot else. She had no interest in politics, current affairs, sport, history, literature and so on. She would listen patiently if I railed against the latest proposals concerning immigration nodding and smiling and when I asked her what she thought she would say,

“Oh all of that is for people really clever. It’s not for me.”

She was never dismissive in the sense of pouring scorn on it just because she was not interested or she did not understand. No, she just had no interest because she felt it was beyond her, not something she had to be concerned about. She was concerned with just one thing ; skipping around like some modern day fairy sprinkling goodness everywhere. I do think she lacked much in the way of her own opinions and thoughts because she usually deflected any attempt to get her to critique something with a self-effacing comment like the one above. She never seemed to be caught in a moment of contemplation. She never seemed to pause for thought. She would just ask what I thought. She did this repeatedly. She was always concerned to know what I was thinking about.

“What’s on your mind?”

“Penny for your thoughts?”

“What are you thinking?”

“Where is your mind today?”

“What’s going on upstairs?”

Repeatedly throughout the day, as  we sat watching television, after we had made love, during dinner, going for a walk, when I was shaving and so on. Always wanting to know what I was thinking. So I told her. From the mundane (“This shaving gel is not as good as the last lot I bought”) through to the loving (“I was just thinking how wonderful it is being with you”) to the scathing (“I was just wondering why on earth I am with such an empty-headed woman as you”). That was all she wanted to know. What was I thinking? On and on she would go, asking and asking and no matter what I said, be it compliment or nasty comment or ephemera she would smile and give a satisfied nod.

 All of this made her very attractive to someone like me at the outset as she was a real high volume fuel generator but once that wore thin, it was rather difficult to denigrate her so she would react the way that I wanted. She put me in mind of that toy the Weeble. The catchphrase surrounding the Weeble was “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.”Sophie was like that. I would be horrible to her and she maintained a smile (although I thought or at least hoped she was dying inside) and made an excuse and found a rationale for my unpleasantness. Insults just seemed to bounce off her. Smashing plates and ornaments caused her to stand and watch with a slightly perplexed look on her face before she tidied the pieces away. She did not cry or show fear. I would sit and flirt with other women online and comment to Sophie about how attractive they were. She would look over and agree with my comments and go on to compliment how white their teeth were or how she liked their hairstyle. If I wandered in during the middle of the morning she would just ask how my night had gone. I am sure she could smell other women on me but she did not seem to react. It was as if she was wrapped in this coating of pleasantness that was impervious to any nastiness thrown at her. She would either respond with a soothing comment, make an excuse for what I had said or done or just not react and get on with her day. I used to wonder if she had me worked out and this was her way of negating me. How had she done this? Who had put her on to this strategy?

One weekend she was staying with me at my house and I returned earlier than she expected. She had not heard me come in (it is often said that I manage to move around with a strange ability to be very quiet, popping up without warning) and I could hear her talking in the bedroom. I crept closer and through the slightly ajar door I realised she was talking to herself.

“Must not think, do not think Sophie. Just keep doing. Smile and shine, shine and smile. Keep going forward. Don’t think about it. We know what happens when you think about it. Bad things happen but we don’t do bad things do we? No. Only good things. I don’t do the thinking, he does. I need to know what he is thinking and then I can make him happy, it is only fair, he deserves it doesn’t he? Don’t think Sophie, must not do that, come on, you can do this, you always do. Do it don’t daydream.”

I stole away and then realised what I needed to do to break her.

After that, whenever she asked me what was I thinking about, I would respond by saying “Nothing.” She would look puzzled and ask again. I would repeat my answer. She then would look slightly anxious. I would turn to her and ask

“What are you thinking about”

She would try and deflect my question by asking me again or changing the subject but now I knew how to get to her. I would never tell her what I was thinking and instead pursue her to tell me what was going on inside that sugary head of hers. It worked. She became upset, angry, frustrated and anxious so I kept it going and going and going. I have no idea why it troubled her so much. Her eyes filled with panic when I kept saying nothing and then she seemed to shrink, her light dimming as I asked her about what she was really thinking. She could not cope with it. I did not work out what it was about thinking that caused her so much consternation and I did not care, all that mattered to me was being able to provoke her into giving me that emotional reaction. It seemed that too much thinking on her part was a dangerous thing indeed. The important thing was that I had worked out how to provoke the provision of negative fuel. Makes you think doesn’t it?

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79 thoughts on “Tell Me What You Are Thinking”

      1. Ah…then there’s a flaw in your design. REAL Stepford wives don’t break down. How about a blow-up doll? All you’d have to worry about with them is the errant prick.

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      2. I’m sure it would. As soon as he tires of one clone, he can dispose of the clone and make another and yet another. Until one day..there’s no more.

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      3. And, i think maybe they think they are in control of our destiny as well….hence, the games, manipulation, et cetera. They do have control over us until we wake up and smell the proverbial roses.

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  1. What happened to Sophie? after you finally broke her completely? Although it sounds like several others had already attempted that before you.

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      1. I guess that’s the consequences of being a mother… I do have grown children that would probably agree that I can be awfully vague about things… until they experience what it is I’m talking about and the lightbulb goes on.

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  2. *sigh* all too relatable I’m afraid…..there must be a handbook that your kind study or some online forum only your kind can share your tricks/tools of the trade with. Perhaps a Narc School that leads to graduating to the Narc Club. No, I simply understand your cold empathy enables you to get to know others intimately in every way. I guess your skills naturally increase with experience and observation and so widen your scope of understanding and so manipulation.
    You are so like an empath/co dependent, in the sense that you establish genuine rapport with others almost instantly in order to obtain their trust and give them all they need, but with a difference of having an absolute need to obtain all they have to give…and more of what they may not even known they had inside them!! A genuine incentive to invest I must say.
    Made me think only to realize it makes total sense. You have to do this to thrive; period. You are actually altering the way I think more each time I read anything you write. If anything it helps as I do need to know. Once it makes sense I don’t need to like it. It is only then, that I can logically thrive. As you have said (and it has been a little voice in my head on many occasion lately) you strive to get us out of our logical mind and into emotion. As it is happening now, your words speak to me and I am grounded once more. Thank you for this tool. It is invaluable. 🙂

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    1. You are welcome and well put. Yes, we do not deal in your logic only our own. That makes no sense to you so you provide us with an emotional reaction which is exactly what we want. It is absolutely the case that you will not like what I write, who would? It is not about liking it, it is about understanding it. All the best medicine tastes foul.

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  3. After long thinking It was maybe she put up with all that negativity from your side because she saw the need you had to act that way? To throw the dishes or drive a fist into the door… She maybe umderstood and accepted that you needed to act like this…. She maybe saw the problems you had withyourself Which drove you to act like you did and show your ugly side…..
    maybe she put herself in a state of nirvana to be able to deal with all your anger and by making her think you took her out of that state, of the sphere where she could overlook the cruel reality… Just a guess

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    1. I have never really thought about why she did as she did since I was preoccupied with succeeding and getting beyond the goodness shield she deployed, but I see what you are driving at. I shall have to ask her when I next see her.

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  4. I must be tired. I somehow missed a couple of paragraphs!? I’m not sure how I ended up seeing it.
    I cannot relate to all of her behaviour, but I learnt it was at times what was wanted (stepford wife style) I soon learnt his ways too, although they were always imagined! Another thing I have learnt is to really listen to my instincts. I too have skills with observing people if I do not allow myself to become emotional…so I guess I knew. Lesson learnt, Trait harder to correct; especially when a master is playing the game he knows as life. .

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  5. I am slowly realizing I am surrounded by so many of your kind. Professionally and personally. Family included! I am indeed noticing them coming out of the woodwork and finally realize that my life is already becoming a hell of a lot easier due to your insights and especially due to my absolute resonation with them. Some of your insights were little other than a validation of what I always believed. Trouble is, I never “believed” myself due to my conditioning and self esteem .
    I’m off to bed. Thanks for the lesson today. I’ll return when I have some head space. 🙂

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    1. Thank you crystal empath always interesting to know when my insights have given others insight. I would be interested to hear how many of my kind you have worked out are around you.

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      1. Due to the natural order of a long term relationship with your kind, I do not mix with a great deal of people and haven’t for quite a few years. I am concerned about identifying myself if I divulge too much…as is my unfortunate nature!
        8 in total come to mind, off the top of my head that are still in my life; personally and professionally (head surgeon in his field – forever in the limelight for his brilliance, constant controversy over bucking the public health system, his volunteer work in war torn countries (aka as the only way to legally perform research in order to perfect his techniques and introduce surgical procedures that the govt will then allow with the side benefit of having him published in medical journals galore- further much loved glory) his arrogance, his sense of humour/sarcasm, which is very apparent during his much loved banter, his fear inducing terror (abuse/anger) of other health professionals of all levels that they, themselves, confessed to me and something he didnt show to me?! He tried at times to establish his dominance/control to which I stood my ground calmly. (Perhaps that was my point of difference!) I always genuinely respected his ability tremendously. He was certainly charming whenever he chose to be, despite his covert and overt abuse of everyone in his life. I saw him mostly as a truly gifted, troubled man child without any condescension on my part).

        Most of these people, except for my father really have been rather intimately involved with me in part due to the sheer no of hours we spent together (such was my father’s design not to often be engaged, unless it was at his choosing which was mainly for show) and so have had great effect on me. My father’s upbringing and life taught him little different. I see that.
        My mother is the greatest cross between a member of your kind and an empath I have ever encountered (she is very selective about her use of her empathy though). She is a complete dichotomy within herself. I am not entirely sure yet. There are days when I have no question and others I am absolutely unsure. I am aware your kind can present as they please at any time. She made me believe a certain set of rules growing up, which I later found that she didnt truly follow…to her own detriment mostly in her case. She can appear to be “evil” at times and have the patience and caring of a saint. Whatever she feels it is ultimately passionate! This became apparent only as I have spent many hours connecting with her in later years and questioning her reasoning. She gives up little about herself willingly and proclaims she doesnt think about it. I think she set the example/rules she did to enforce what was missing in me, I simply never “bought” it, even though as a child I thought she was 10 ft tall and bullet proof, or so she appeared. She had many of your kind (some of them the violent alcoholic kind) that she stood up to as a very independent child, but still responsibly maintained her expected duties nonetheless and also had a few empaths in her large older immediate family, that showed her the world could be a different place for a time.
        As I read over what I wrote I notice my apparent distance I put into place when speaking of some of those in my life. Almost a detached observation. I guess that speak volumes of my emotional state in relation to them. My writings, again, may not make sense as they are somewhat incomplete. I struggle to hold back my thoughts; especially when putting pen to paper. As I have said, I fear divulging too much. I’m a “work in progress” and so will try to cut myself some slack.

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      2. Thanks for posting that information, that is most interesting. I know what you mean about ten foot tall and bullet proof. So if I had read correctly two parental Ns and six from relationships. Did you realise who you were involved with after the sixth relationship or partway through this number? If the latter, what do you attribute to you continuing to connect with our kind despite knowing what we are?

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      3. I’m guessing we are all located around the world and some of us are night owls, or irregular sleepers in any case. I just saw the post. Its awaiting etc…all good. I just wasn’t going to write any further, if I lost the post somehow, in response to that comment. No hurry. No one should be beholden to interact/respond ever in any case. 😊

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      4. I have tried to answer and deleted every response i have written, as each time I dare say I have said too much. Perhaps I already have. I need to take a leaf out if your book of instructions and not divulge so much of myself. Your observations that I have read so far about co depency and your kind are so very accurate. I have been exposed via social media forums to your kind (and co dependency/empathy) and started to finally connect the dots and understand over the past 1.5 years. I naturally counsel others, but have been trying to make this about my healing and growth. I guess my girlfriend since primary school alerted me to it throughout my support over the years of her during her marriage and it’s unbelievable pain and torment. I have other friends who have experienced your kind, but were different in nature (def not co dependent) and so simply left the relationship quickly as they would not tolerate anything less than what they wanted. I always thought they were a little too demanding etc, but respected their choices and at times, easily saw the manipulation. I gound it harder if I knew both the N personally and the “victim” to see them as the monster my friends would want me to, but ultimately could identify abuse and did not condone the domestic violence. It was unfamiliar to me growing up as I lived in a house full of silence. I’ve always been a “Dear Abbey” of sorts to family and friends and strangers open up to me anywhere and so I have a library full of stories within my mind containing details of their daily events, feelings and various degrees of utter happiness and suffering that now prove to be a great point of reference to myself and others. Its so much easier to see abuse/control and toxicity from a distance as my emotional compassion is much more balanced with advising others. I have many of my own dramas that I had been drawn into within my personal relationships, but somehow rarely seemed to listen to myself often in order to maintain any real peace and happiness. This is something I have been working on. I guess I am somewhat like your sister in many ways.
        I need to stop. Lol. I’m starting to open up again. You rascal. You certainly know how to extract information. I must stop. I am supposed to be the one learning from you!
        And so I do. Lesson learned, once again, trait harder to correct. 😊

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      5. Thank you for putting more flesh on the bones, I can smell the empathy flowing from you from here. It is so very true that you can see what is happening in others from a distance but never to yourself, but naturally that is the way we design our overtures and manipulations. Of course, anyone viewing from afar who tries to intervene is labelled a troublemaker and is jealous of what we have. You do sound like my sister and I know you would martyr yourself in order to save others. No wonder so many of our kind have been drawn to you.

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      6. Labelling. I have experienced that and been distanced from many others often (family esp) because of it. I fight to see that they are all looking out for my best interests. But some I have encountered…Troublemakers indeed! Not all of them were genuine and confused me more; as if that was hard amongst my many manipulators. Making me question the stance of jealousy etc, as some of them turned out to be N’s that were in fact causing trouble, even when straight girlfriends and long term mutual friends surprised me with their own agenda that they offered themselves as a replacement. They said my care and connection with them was unlike any they had had with any other! I felt like I could not even have a friend who wanted me, for me, so to speak. Extended trusted family members overstepped the mark showing their true agenda. I guess I just gave them what they needed emotionally by being me. Some wanted me for other reasons. Non n’s did the same claiming they grew attached to me. I gave them what others hadn’t on a constant basis for them. It is all I have ever wanted from others. To just be loved for me. Not the object of their affection. I don’t wish to change me entirely, as Nikita said. Just set some boundaries that I honour. I love most people, just differently is all. I fill their pain with love and support of an emotional kind. I long to take it away. It helps to take away mine when they allow me to help them in whatever way a dear friend can. I believe friends are the family we choose. I seem to make terrible choices, but am not surprised by how confusing my experiences with others have been to date.

        Hmm…Ever the martyr indeed!

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      7. Hi there H G
        I posted a response that took me quite some time to post (on my mobile) and when I pressed “send”it said duplicate post and now it’s nowhere to be found. I will leave it at that and simply answer 8 im my life directly at present, that’s in case my post did not work.

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      8. I’m guessing we are all located around the world and some of us are night owls, or irregular sleepers in any case. I just saw the post. Its awaiting etc…all good. I just wasn’t going to write any further, if I lost the post somehow, in response to that comment. No hurry. No one should be beholden to interact/respond ever in any case. 😊

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    2. I too have begun unmasking the many N’s that are in my personal life as well. Interestingly enough there was a recent post from an organisation within the rescue world about the number of N’s and sociopaths our mission attracted. Coming on the heels of uncovering several of them within my own circle and and walking away from them in the past week, it was a post I definitely shared to my own page.

      Thanks again to HG for all the good things your blog is teaching us soft-hearted, often misguided empaths.

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      1. Sheila so great what you say to HG. And you mean N’s in animal protection? Because If I apply my learning now to back to my 20’s when I did animal protection, i think there were some few N’s ( 2 to be exact) in the team who were in fact good rescuers and very dedicated but did show strong narcissistic traits.

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      2. Like HG says the rescue world is a smorgasbord for N’s. With so many empaths attracted and gathered in one spot, how can they not be all over the place? I’m copying and pasting the brief post from earlier today that I came across here:

        “WARNING! Sociopaths and malignant narcissists like to insert themselves into the animal welfare and animal rights movements. They maneuver quickly to positions of “power” for their own self-glorification. They spend more time attacking other advocates and rescuers than they ever do actually helping animals. They sow discord and discontent. They thrive on drama, scandal and gossip. Anyone they see as a threat to their own limelight will be attacked either directly or indirectly. They like to say they are doing it all for the animals, but they are actually doing it for themselves. They are self-proclaimed experts. They often scam and lie, and anyone who tries to expose them is labeled a “stalker” or “hater.” Blame is constantly deflected. Questions are never answered. In their own minds they are super-heroes and beyond reproach. They don’t come to help, they come to conquer. They do more harm than good, they destroy the real heroes, they demand RECOGNITION and they want to be constantly in the spotlight… AND THEY COST ANIMALS THEIR LIVES. These people are demons dressed as angels. They should be avoided at all costs.”

        Working with the number of organisations I have in the course of what I do (mostly transporting recently) I’ve seen the way the N’s in the rescue community lash out and turn on people that don’t give them the praise and acknowledgement they believe the deserve. There is so much fighting, name calling, vindictiveness and hatefulness on a daily basis, it gets tiring and becomes very much a carefully orchestrated dance to keep the focus on the animals instead of egos. We lose a good deal of rescue people due to N’s hurt feelings and their constant need for attention that makes them put down and gossip about people they feel are taking the spotlight they deserve.

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  6. Interesting! She seemed a bigger challenge for you until you knew the magic button to provoke negative fuel. Do you think she may have lasted longer than other girlfriends had you not overheard her affirming monolouge to herself? You were pretty much able to come and go as you pleased while maintaining constant positive fuel, albeit vanilla (no strawberry swirls in there). If you look at it from the addiction side, your subconscious releases dopamine when you are able to cause a major hurt. It’s like your release and she was denying you that. She “really” presented quite the challenge.

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    1. I see what you did there! Yes she was a challenge and I see your point, she was denying me what I wanted, or the hit as you might frame it. I worked her out though, that is all that mattered. I won.

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  7. HG I wouldn’t go down the clone route, remember Dolly the sheep 😱
    Cloning from the same pure sorce can over time genetically mutate and ultimately let you down again ! We can’t have that can we 😉

    I was attracted to the fact you were interested in immigration issues ! You sure I don’t know you 😨😨😨😨😨

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  8. Yes, denying you the “hit”. So then to follow that thought, all of these women weren’t letting you down ultimately as you always say is the case. Your subconscious craves that negative fuel hit that is more addictive than positive fuel. Curious if during the period of time you were still unknowing of her trigger and perplexed by her, were you lashing out more with co-workers, friends to get smaller doses of negative fuel? I’m thinking you need a constant stream of both or it feels like being stuck on a teeter totter in the up position unable to control getting off.

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  9. Sheila
    Very interesting article. I was correct with my suspicions. They are both N’s although both wanted the spotlight and one got it, they did cause alot of drama and fights etc within the organization, they did achieve some results. One of the ones I speak about is the director of the shelter and so was her desire for recognition that she made a really good job collecting funds and making a big thing, but its true that she can be the most empathic person or the most cold person of all. The other one was a rescuer and profesionally a famous drum player.
    He was cold as a person, very agressive, and a harsh look. He was not so much in the spotlight with the rescue but because of his profession and nevertheless because of his agressivity and coldness he could make it to rescue the sadest cases. One day we received an extremely sad and cruel case, I dont ever dare to detail here, but it was pure sufferent and pain for a dog. It was the only time I saw him show an emotion and I dont think he was faking. He just stared in into the blank and a tear fell … I don’t know if it was because every single person in the room was crying but I dont think it was a fake.
    When I think further there could be many more but it confuses me because although i could just feel coldness from this people ( sixth sense), and they were very agressive, they did achieve and perform as rescuers.
    I tell you doing animal protection in south america where there are no laws for animals is to die a little bit everyday.

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  10. My last N always asked me what I was thinking to which I replied “nothing”. It pissed him off which I didn’t mean to do I just don’t like explaining anything to anyone.

    He then told me when I don’t tell him he jumps to conclusions and becomes paranoid since he has trust issues. I just shrugged and said “sorry you feel that way”.

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    1. reversed, my ex narc used to suggest I was thinking of other men and play the victim card saying how badly he’d been tread in the past and get angry / upset. Sometimes he changed tact and would say what having fantasies about is it 3 in a bed hope I’m there. This used to make me feel sick.

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      1. Freedom name change is due to signing up for WordPress.

        I wonder if they really are paranoid/jealous or if they learn that we are accepting of him that trait they then use it to manipulate us with it.

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      2. My ex demonstrated paranoia or what I thought was paranoia. On one of our first few dates we went to a bar, where he had a few drinks as I was driving ( I had doubts here as he had claimed not to drink 😉)
        He wanted to dance I’m quite shy so wasn’t keen. The following day he said I was thinking we should leave things as you were so obviously blatantly looking for someone else the whole night. The truth was I was shy and embarrassed not quite the same. Couple of years later at a works Christmas party which he dropped me off at and collected me from. He saw a pic of me with a known radio presenter (it was part of the works VIP package) proceeded saying he’s after you but he is better looking than me. Fishing for compliments 😔
        I know now it was manipulation with a splash of projection.

        HG, could some paranoia be due to the fact you’re afraid we may be like you ??

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