Ask the Narcissist

You asked. I answered.

Available now.






103 thoughts on “Ask the Narcissist”

  1. i finished the book yesterday night. It is excellent. I left my corresponding review.
    This was for me the most enlightening answers as I had not so much clarity on this aspect on letting you down.
    ” You do not sustain the level of positive fuel that we are used to or that we need. You do not provide it with the same potency and this let us down. By failing in the sole role that we have identified you (over so many other people) for, you have let us down badly……
    Many of your answers gave ” aha moment”…
    And even sometimes when we learn the theary and thanks to you can more easily be translated into real life, than when we read somebody else, I realize how difficult it is to mantain awareness of your world at all times when dealing with an N person.
    It does demand of course more efforts 😜 To be aware of two worlds instead of your own.

    Very good book!!!

  2. HG,

    my narc just abandoned me and his 3yr old son. we don’t live together but the ‘plan’ was for us to in the very near future (we got a marriage certificate, were house shopping etc). he went dark two days after we got the certificate.

    this hasnt been the first time he’s done this, but its been the longest (45 days). He has two grown children from his failed marriage and was actively involved in their lives (ie. bball games,high school and college events etc). knowing this, im confused as to why he discarded our son so easily,

    i could show up at his home and get him back ‘in the fold’ for 2-3 weeks, but im done doing that – too tired to continue this after 8 years. we communicated via text over the last two days but he never mentioned the baby. when i bought this to his attention, he suddenly wanted to see the baby this weekend. i told him he couldn’t until i spoke to a therapist regarding his abandonment.

    i have two questions:

    1. can you provide insight as to why he was involved his older two children’s lives yet discard our son?

    2. in your personal opinion, would it best to permanently remove him from our son’s life (if possible)?

    btw, thanks for your books. they have been extremely helpful in my decision to permanently get off the roller coaster.

    1. Hello Stellarblu, I am pleased you have found the books insightful. With regard to your questions :-
      1. How much evidence is there(which you have witnessed first hand) that he was actively involved in the other two children’s lives? It may be that he has told you this but it did not happen so it would be useful to clarify the veracity of this or otherwise; and
      2. That is not for me to answer as I do not know the full extent of his behaviours. It is evident from what you have written that he absents himself from both your lives as he doles out absent silent treatments. This does not create a stable environment for a young child obviously but what is he like with your son when he is there? Your son will have formed some attachment for him. It may be the case that you get your narc out of your life and reach an agreement concerning his contact with your son and if he does not stick to it then you may wish to consider whether it is in your son’s best interests for contact to continue or not (your position would be stronger if he fought you for contact in court as well). I would point out that in getting rid of your narc you will face hoovers and the issues of child contact is another battle which it may be better to have on another occasion when you are stronger, therefore to help you to then help your child it may be you need to get rid of the narc, arrange contact and then see if he sticks with arrangements (unlikely as it may be). I do think if you excluded the narc permanently now, he would fight you (since this is a criticism of him) and if it went to court you may be on difficult ground taking this step now.

  3. So I just purchased your book tonight and had a question: is it a narc strategy to deflect by calling the victim a narc and if so, wouldn’t that be revealing their game? It’s likely that the co-dependent partner would read up about the disorder to either discredit the accusation or in attempt to change their own behaviour to avoid further criticism, only to resonate with the DSM criteria or other people’s narc experiences as describing their significant other and red flag?

    1. Hello MTS, squeezing another answer out of me eh? Yes it is a common strategy to project and accuse the victim of doing what we do. Calling the victim a narcissist is one of those projections. It doesn’t reveal the game because in the first instance the empathic individual will give some credence to the allegation, strange as that may sound. I receive numerous messages asking “Am I narc?” from people who are not but who recognise some traits and wonder. Yes, the victim would then read up on the disorder to discredit the accusation. The victim would gain peace of mind but then they would try and point out to the narcissist that the victim is not a narcissist and the narcissist is the narcissist. The narcissist will not accept this and will use the victim’s attempt to educate as an opportunity to frustrate the victim, deny and deflect and gain more fuel.

      1. I concur. Or he will just call you delusional and that you “make up your own conclusions and endings to fit your f**ked up thinking.” True story.

      2. This is very interesting and Ross Rossemberg adressed it in the last interview with Jenny Mc Carthy , that he received so many patients that came as victims of narcissm and as the therapy advanced he had to find the way to tell the person ” buddy, you are a narcissist”.

          1. Hahaha agree she is totally beautiful and funny. Very cool! I dont know what the male version of Jenny would be.. And I would also let him interview me the whole night… Abd maybe even more …

          2. Got your other message re the video CE, thanks for that. I will have a look over the weekend. Yes he is ultra boring, so monotonous.

  4. When I say emotionally incestuous I don’t mean she looked to you for emotional support. I mean she had this strange possessiveness over you.
    Did she ever like any of your gf”s or always thought they were beneath you?

    Maybe the reason I’m asking is because from the little I know it appears my narc may have had somewhat a relationship like this with one of his older sisters. She wanted him to be with a Jewish woman and cried when she found out he was with me, she also gave him silent treatment when he told her not to arrange dates for him with other women. Now we can put it down to culture/religion but I think that’s just an excuse. I told him maybe she should have sex with you herself.

    1. Ah we have different understandings of what emotionally incestuous means. Yes she was possessive. Aren’t we all of our appliances? She was always the epitome of politeness and charm when she meets my girlfriends but we all know what that is don’t we?

      1. You’re definitely a narcissist but with some sociopathic tendencies as you appear to be quite calculated and self aware, maybe more so than your average narc. My guess is you can also give a very good insincere apology and can plan your attacks quite thoroughly and “intelligently” like a sociopath. (I’m just comparing you to that comparison list T posted)

        And yes I believe your mother to be emotionally incestuous.

        1. Noted. The words narcissistic sociopath have been used.

          As for the situation with my mother she did not look to me for emotional support. I know my father offered it but from what I remember she rarely took it. She was a supremely confident person although she would often turn to her brother, my uncle Peter. She certainly lived through me though and took immense delight in the fuel she gained from my achievements and also from punishing me when I fell short.

    1. D….I don’t mean to impose…but this might help you….
      ALL of my ex N’s suffered a childhood with an emotionally engulfing mother….

      N1–mid range somatic N
      N2–Greater cerebral Narcissistic Sociopath
      N3–mid/greater range cerebral N (malignant..but unaware of what he is…)

  5. I read on another website and the distinctions appear to be that a psychopath doesn’t need validation all the time like a narcissist and therefore can operate outside of romantic relationships (I’m guessing)
    A narcissist is deep down extremely insecure and hollow and therefore needs excessive admiration and attention to stay propped up.
    A sociopath is often an antisocial “outsider” I’m guessing those freaks that shoot up their school.
    But all 3 are nutters and lack empathy and remorse of course.


      1. Sociopaths will deliver an insincere but convincing apology if it benefits their agenda, a narcissist will not.

      2. Sociopaths will appear more humble and less of a braggart. Narcissists are more oblivious to how they appear to others and will often boast about their achievements ad nauseum.

      3. Sociopaths upon meeting you, will try to pick your brain and ask you a lot of questions. Narcissists will focus the conversation on themselves and their interests.

      4. Sociopaths have no real personality. They are chameleons and will change their identity (interests, likes, beliefs) in order to manipulate others. Narcissists are more concerned with always being perceived as the BEST.

      5. Sociopaths are manipulative and calculating and will exploit others to their benefit and to further their agenda. Narcissists aren’t as calculating. They are self-centered and will step on others or throw others under the bus if they feel someone is hindering their agenda.

      6. Sociopaths ignore social norms and boundaries not only out of a sense of entitlement, but to manipulate situations to further their interests. Narcissists also feel a sense of entitlement, but will ignore rules and social norms more from a place of self-importance.

      7. Sociopaths are more interested in winning and in being right at all costs. Narcissists are more interested in feeling admired and special.

      8. Sociopaths are more prone to boredom and more likely to be an adrenaline junkies. Narcissists may or may not need excess stimulation.

      9. Sociopaths will set a trap months in advance if they perceive you are obstructing their plans, and patiently wait to take you down. Narcissists are less calculating but will lie, intimidate or destroy you if they perceive you as hindering their plans.

      10. Sociopaths will manipulate others so they can gain financially by doing as little work as possible with the least amount of effort. Narcissists don’t mind putting in effort and working hard if it leads to admiration and accolades.

      11. Sociopaths are more likely to abruptly abandon you if their cover is blown and their manipulation tactics are no longer effective. Narcissists will have a pattern of overlapping relationships that end very poorly.

      Remember, human behavior is as varied as the number of humans on the planet. Some people may exhibit traits from both categories but the majority of their traits will fall into one category over the other.

      But a lot of individuals will NOT fall neatly into one of the two categories. Some will have a pretty equal number of traits dispersed in both categories. For this predicament, I prefer to use the cover both bases term- Narcopath (Narcissist + Sociopath = Narcopath).

      For this reason, it’s useful to think in terms of think along the lines of a continuum of behavior and traits or spectrum instead of trying to pigeon-hole an individual into one of the two categories.

      Some individuals will be more disordered than others. However, the core similarities will be present in both narcissists and sociopaths.


      The mild to moderate narcissist is pretty easy to spot by just taking a quick glance at their Facebook page. They are the validation, attention seeking, look at me, at least one selfie per day, aren’t I wonderful, my children are the best, my life is better than yours, my dentist is the best, like, like, like my posts. They view social media as their own reality show that they of course are starring in, and truly believe in their own importance.

      But as you move along the continuum toward the severe-sociopathic side, a cursory Facebook check will not yield such obvious and observable signs and clues. Individuals who are very high on narcissistic traits moving into sociopathic terrain are much less oblivious about how others perceive their behavior. They require less need for admiration and are less apt to take to social media to seek approval. Since they are more cunning, they are more likely to use social media as a vehicle to scout out new potential targets by studying their target’s pages and posts.

      Unofficially diagnosing your partner or your ex can definitely provide some peace, answers and shed some light on the absurd, crazy-making, unpredictable and exhausting, one-sided relationship that has your head spinning and questioning what happened to the person that you once believed was your perfect soul mate.

      Nevertheless, both narcissists and sociopaths will seek to exploit, control and dominate you without the burdensome feelings of remorse or guilt. Domination and control does not allow for true connection, healthy bonding or lead to emotional reciprocity. Ultimately, your mental well-being and happiness is what counts and the longer you remain in a relationship with a narcissist or sociopath, the more at risk you are of being diagnosed with depression, anxiety and PTSD or C-PTSD.

      1. Yeah I think I read that from a website. My narc could give a convincing apology though, if all other manipulative tactics failed of course. If he blamed me and I wouldn’t back down, eventually the “how do I could this to you!? I’m so selfish. I’m so sorry” would come out to avoid being discarded.

  6. I Googled after I sent that message, apparently psychopaths don’t have a drive for attention and admiration that narcs have. They may use that as part of their manipulations if it serves a greater purpose but they don’t feel offended by rejection or lack of attention like a narc.
    When I Googled differences between a narcissist and sociopath it seems that you’re closer to a sociopath. Apparently sociopaths are self aware but narcissists aren’t so much?
    Or are you both?

    I’m very interested in what creates a narcissist and I have another question about your relationship with your mother. Was it one of those emotionally incestuous relationships e.g “no woman is good enough for my little precious HG mummy’s boy” ?

    Thank you.

  7. Hi HG, what distinguishes a psychopath from a narcissisto since you both don’t feel empathy?
    Is it that narcs are the only ones that favour powerplays inside a relationship?

    1. As I understand it we share similar traits, we lack empathy, we tell tall tales, we revel in grandiosity, neither of us apologise in a genuine manner, we both have a sense of entitlement and we are self-serving. I understand the main difference concerns the extent of manipulative behaviour and awareness. I daresay there are others more qualified to highlight the distinctions. Of course whilst there are similarities and differences between the narcissist and the sociopath this does leave us with the issue of the narcissistic sociopath.

    2. Hi D,
      I work in mental health and have met quite a few narcissists and sociopath’s in my professional and personal life. The similarities between them are many but there are a few distinctions that can help differentiate between the two. First, a narcissist will speak a lot about himself and care very little about your accomplishments and talents. A sociopath will be more than happy to sit back and listen intently as you spill every detail about your life. They need this information in order to mirror you effectively. In the beginning, Sociopaths typically don’t offer up a lot of information about themselves and when they do it will be to show you how many similarities the two of you have. Narcissism is typically developed by environmental factors. Research shows that sociopaths suffer from different brain patterns that prevent them from feeling a wide range of emotions. Also, narcissists need to be admired and care very much how they are perceived and viewed by others. Sociopaths don’t care what people think, however keeping their masks on is important to them. If I had to choose who to interact with I’d actually pick the sociopath. They are less exhausting to be around!

      1. Hi thanks for your reply. But then what’s a psychopath? Because a sociopath sounds a lot like a psychopath.
        My narc “liked” to listen to me in order to “adapt” during seduction phase, but he thoroughly enjoyed “educating” and playing devils advocate too.

        1. Psychopaths have no sense of right and wrong. Sociopaths do but they do not care. There are similarities between the two lack of empathy, boundary violation and lying being some of them.

      2. Psychopaths really do not need other people while narcissists are addicted to narcissistic supply (the admiration, attention, and envy of others).

        Millon and Davis (supra) add (p. 299-300):

        “When the egocentricity, lack of empathy, and sense of superiority of the narcissist cross-fertilize with the impulsivity, deceitfulness, and criminal tendencies of the antisocial, the result is a psychopath, an individual who seeks the gratification of selfish impulses through any means without empathy or remorse.”

        1. That is a very powerful definition. I like the use of the word cross-fertilize. This has got to be how one would truly describe evil in its purest most organic form.

  8. Hi H.G.! I have a question to your answer on question #14. You describe how during devalue you form contempt towards the person. You find them pathetic and weak for letting you down and your annoyed with yourself for having thought they were special at one time. However in getting the negative fuel from the person which you crave as it is more potent then positive fuel, it keeps you connected to the person causing more contempt and digust towards them.
    As it is very easy for you to delete someone from existence and not dwell on memories, my question is when some time has passed and you choose to do a Hoover at some point, does that person still disgust you and you find them pathetic and weak? Or have you selectively “forgotten” what transpired during devalue and you find them interesting again and remember the positive fuel they could bring you?

  9. @bethany7337: I couldn´t agree more. But fact is, there´s an army of us out there tough, it would be interesting to set up and meet at a Narc Abuse Survivors´Convention one day! 😉

    1. Alice, I’m down for a convention for our blog in Las Vegas!!! :)! A few days of sun, a nice dinner, and dancing at the best clubs! Although, HG would be unmasked to us…so he might not agree to it :(….but I’d love to meet you all one day!

      1. I say we make this happen, So Sad! We just need dates that work for all of us…we can arrange our own transportation and lodging….and just meet up for dinner and activities….perhaps 2017 might give us more time to save and work out the days? It would be fun!!

  10. I love…and hate…how easy I can purchase your ebooks with literally one click and under a minute I’m reading it in my iPhone 6.

    You’re my dirty little secret all day in between customers. I sometimes chuckle to myself when making small talk…when people ask what my interests are, I crack myself up imagining the look on their face if I said “narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths”. Or if I put that in my online dating profile .

    1. It’s not often I am referred to as a dirty little secret ! If you put that on your dating profile I bet you would get plenty of people contacting you asking if they are one, whilst us real ones lurk nearby ready to pounce. Yes, technology is a wonderful thing. I suppose your customers’ reactions would depend on what it is you are selling them!

      1. Many of my customers are your kind HG…so better if I don’t let on I know. Your books are helping me immensely in understanding the importance of providing them fuel (and avoiding their fury)…and keeping my paychecks up where I need them to be. Doctors are notoriously narcissistic.

    2. Hahaha Bethany ..

      “You’re my dirty little secret all day in between customers. I sometimes chuckle to myself when making small talk…when people ask what my interests are, I crack myself up imagining the look on their face if I said “narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths”. I laughed out loud at that 🙂 x

      1. I am glad I made you laugh So Sad😊. But it’s true…right? We become experts on a subject the majority of the world doesn’t have a need to. Most people look on such topics with only fleeting curiosity…while us survivors become armchair psychiatrists and therapists….to ourselves hopefully.

        Curiosity…I wonder if it’s an Empath trait. Surely it must be. It’s been tripping me up my whole life. If I’m honest, and I always am, my N was so fucking fascinating. My curiosity often kept me obsessed with his antics and reactions….and engaged with him for too long even after I realized what he was. By that point, I was truly sick from the venom of his bite. Woe to the one who stays involved with an N knowing what he is and falsely believing that your specialness is going to make the difference. Surely, that is the fatal thinking of every victim.

        1. Oh , trust me it did make me laugh Bethany .. very much 🙂 HHah.

          I didn’t realise what I was living with . I knew something wasn’t quite right but could never put a finger on it .. It was so insidious , much like a tap slowly dripping on a stone ..Before I knew it my whole life had changed & I felt totally helpless, a zillion pieces of confusion in my head !

          Glad you reaslised what he was Bethany & escape. He certainly didn’t rob you of your wonderful sense of humor .. xx

        2. Definitely curious 🐈 😝 I currently unblocked my narc just to see her replies. I like to laugh at my own initial reactions – thoughts/facial expressions. I’m sure something will be said to piss me off enough but really mostly the conversations just make her less attractive to me so maybe working out for the best 👍

  11. Hi HG , Can you please confirm the book is available for kindle on windows 8 please . I’m in the UK purchased it & just spent 40 mins onto Amazon because the app wouldn’t open .. 🙁 I’ve ended up with a refund .. other books I’ve bought all opened fine . Thank you

    1. Hi So Sad, I have no reason to think that the book should not work on Kindle on Windows 8. There was nothing different done in the uploading of the book to Amazon and I have not had any other problems or reports from UK readers (or elsewhere) so perhaps it was just a bug in the upload of the copy you bought. Did Amazon confirm it would work also? As you point out all the other books have opened fine. May I suggest you try again? Just for clarification I write and upload, issues of compatibility etc are the preserve of Amazon’s software. Hope it works this time.

      1. Thanks for replying HG .

        I’ve tried four times today to purchase the book . installed the most recent Amazon kindle app again to my laptop . Amazon said the book wasn’t compatible with windows 8 so refunded me the cost . I don’t know what else I can try . Been banging my head against the wall for the last two hours . If I ever there was a book I so desperately wanted to read it was this very one .. Feeling like my username suggests right now >( 🙁

        1. Do you have a mobile ‘phone to which you can download the kindle app. It works on ios and android. How bizarre that all the other books have worked but this one has not. There must have been a recent change in compatibility between Amazon’s software for the kdp e-books and windows 8. What about installing windows 10 or do you not want to do that?

          1. Thanks again HG .

            Happy to say” where there’s a will there’s a way”so I downloaded the Amazon kindle app to my phone & it worked .:)

            I’m enjoying reading as always .

  12. Hey HG – it’s Cara (finally made my own blog gave you a shout out) im going slow with it. haven’t had a chance to read the book yet but it’s on my kindle and will tonight after work.

    I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say once I do 😜

  13. Read it in my car in between appointments all day long.

    Very helpful to read, in depth, these words that deliver the closest thing to closure I am ever gonna get. Still, closure will never come except in accepting there is none.

    I pondered quite awhile after I finished it. Really thought about the most honest truth I could find within me today about the relationshit. We survive. Some of us go on to thrive because of the dismantling and rebuilding of our soul. Others literally die.
    Yiur kind is like being bit by a deadly spider or had a chunk bitten out of us by a great white shark. Tissue dies, we nearly bleed to death. We …the lucky ones…triage ourselves back to life with a new insight. And a determination to be healthy and whole and become impervious to the slings and arrows of all things false. When we succeed in crossing to the other side of the ordeal, we are changed. We do heal. And we wear our scar like a fucking badge of honor.

    1. I can sense the strength of feeling in those words Bethany and I am pleased you found the book helpful. Your comment “Still, closure will never come except in accepting there is none.” is on the money.

    2. yes….Bethany, you are on the money regarding closure…it’s not a red flag…but it is confirmation you’ve been w an N when the end of the relationship is confusion, hatred, silence, and the refusal of the other party to give any type of closure. I never knew it was because N’s want us begging them for answers…I thought it was because my ex was just so fed up with me…they just couldn’t stand to see/talk to me again…and that made me feel worse…..I didn’t know the game kept going post breakup…If I was so awful..why would they want to reconcile later? If I leave someone….it’s OVER in my book…I wouldn’t ever consider going back…thanks for clearing this up, HG!

      1. Hi T! You nailed it that you’ve been with a Narc if the breakup leaves you confused, feeling hatred and anger and tons of questions. My thought exactly would always be “if I’m so awful and you can’t stand who I am as a person, why do I keep hearing from you”. For 3 years. Whenever there’s unresolved feelings and questions, the door stays open a crack. Now I know it’s just to get pushed off a higher cliff for punishment.
        Oh yes, a Vegas convention would be excellent! Let’s get H.G. to the States!

      2. Clarece and Niki,

        YAY! Let’s get started on a #TEAMTUDOR convention in Las Vegas this year!! I know the city well! A late steak dinner….cocktails on top of the Stratosphere after that…AND Drai’s for after hours dancing until 8 AM sounds splendid!! #teamtudorlasvegas2016!

        HG….yes…what happens in Vegas STAYS in Vegas!!!

    3. Bethany 7337 Fab comment . I’ve been dying for months . I’ve found hope in HG,s posts and all the bloggers comments . This is the nearest to closure I will ever get .

  14. HG my question wasn’t answered!!! That’s ok,I realised in hindsight that it would require consulting with other (self-aware) Ns. Great job in covering so many questions thoroughly in your book!

    1. Hi Sheila, thank you. Don’t dismay, I received a good volume of questions and some will appear in a follow-up. As you rightly identify I need to gain input from elsewhere and that is in hand.

      1. I enjoyed the book and will be leaving a review today, HG!
        I hope my question is in cue for the next volume….I think that many survivors would benefit knowing how our ex N’s feel watching us move on to date others…and have a happy life….

        #40 and 44 were of most value and interest to me!

        Thanks again, HG!

  15. Do you share how your blog and continual publications are gaining a lot of loyal followers with Dr. E & Dr. O? Even though you do not feel remorse or guilt, you are aware many people were hurt by your actions for many years throughout your adult life. Do they and /or you find it as a way to seek absolution in helping so many people thru this medium find answers and some closure and turning it into something good? I believe for some on here, myself included, it’s a real game changer and allows us to move forward to think about ourselves first for a change and really heal.

        1. So demanding ! “Do you share how your blog and continual publications are gaining a lot of loyal followers with Dr. E & Dr. O?” – it is mentioned. I am usually asked about how I am finding it and what do I draw from it.
          ” Even though you do not feel remorse or guilt, you are aware many people were hurt by your actions for many years throughout your adult life. Do they and /or you find it as a way to seek absolution in helping so many people thru this medium find answers and some closure and turning it into something good?”
          I think this is what the doctors are striving (as part of other things) for me to achieve.
          ” I believe for some on here, myself included, it’s a real game changer and allows us to move forward to think about ourselves first for a change and really heal.” Should this be the consequence for you of your engagement with you then that is clearly a considerable benefit for you. I am pleased that my writing is found to be useful and insightful.

          1. Demanding? Yes, but oh so full of divinely delicious fuel too as you know. Thank you H.G.

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