Shutting Up

 

Once we commence our devaluation of one of our victims there is a vast array of manipulative techniques that can be used to fulfil our aim of extracting negative fuel from you. Some of these methods are subtle and may not be noticed by the subject, such as triangulation with an object. Others are brutal involving the smashing of property and the flailing fists and stomping boots. It is often the case that you do not realise that devaluation has commenced because you have yet to have any familiarity with this word or even with what it signifies. You will notice however a change in our behaviour. One of those changes is akin to us bringing down the shutters whenever we deal with you.

Once upon a time we exited our car and cantered across to where you stood waiting in the doorway as we wrapped our arms around you and embraced you passionately. Our face had lit up and our delight in seeing you appeared genuine enough. This happened each time we came to see you, as if we had not seen you for months on end, even though it was only the day before when we last held you. Now when we meet you there is no joyful skip towards you, the smile seems forced and there is no light in our eyes anymore. Whereas they once lit up a brilliant blue and sparkled, now they just seem lacklustre and dull, darker than usual. You try to lift our spirits in that indefatigable way of yours. You ask what is wrong and you are always met with an answer of “nothing”.

“Are you sure?” you ask, “you seem unhappy.”

“No there is nothing the matter.”

“You can tell me.”

We realise we must say something but we are pleased by your concern and the fuel that it provides.

“It’s okay. There is nothing wrong.”

“It does not seem like it. Please, tell me what is on your mind.”

Time to step it up a little and extract some further fuel.

“I said there’s nothing wrong,” I snap and pull my hand away from yours. Your face turns from concern to upset and the fuel flows.

This continues as once we used to talk for hours on the ‘phone about all manner of things and laughed and planned, now we still talk for a long time (or rather you seem to do more of the talking this time) as we draw the negative fuel from you. You try to find new topics to keep the conversation going but our responses are limited, our tone flat and then irritable as you try to remain chirpy and upbeat but the sadness and confusion is all too evident in your voice. It needs to be. We need that.

“I just don’t understand, “you protest pleasantly, “you seem so different these days.”

“Really? In what way?”

“It’s like, it is like I am dealing with someone else.”

“Well that’s nonsensical, it is me.”

“Yes I know that but you are not the same.”

“Of course I am the same, you are imagining things.”

“No I am not. You don’t seem to be into me as much as you once were.”

“I am, it is just, you know, I have a lot going on at present.”

“I understand that but it is more than that. It is like I am talking to a different person. You don’t seem to connect with me the way you used to.”

“I don’t understand what you mean.”

“How can I put it? It’s like you have made a conscious decision to distance yourself from me and you do not say the things you used to. You always used to sign off your texts with three kisses and now it is only one.”

“You are concerned about how many kisses I put on my texts?” I ask in disbelief.

“No, well yes, well it is not that. That is just a symptom of something else. It concerns me because I love you so much. It is like you have brought down the shutters and put up barriers when we are together. There is a distance between us that wasn’t once there.”

“I haven’t noticed it.” (Of course I have. I know precisely what you are talking about.)

You then spend many minutes trying to convey this sense of distance and alienation as I listen. I am not hearing the words that you say, nor do I pay attention to the explanation, I am too engaged focussing on the hurt in your voice, the frustration and the exasperation as I suck the fuel from your sentences. This technique is subtle. It is easy to implement and enables us to draw negative fuel from you without you realising what we are doing. It is often the beginning of the devaluation period when the simple cessation of the golden behaviour produces in itself a reaction which provides fuel. We do not need to shock you, we do not need to shout or yell, there is no need to lead you on a confusing and merry dance with our denials and deflections. The simple act of pulling up the drawbridge and no longer allowing you access to the wonderful part of us, illusion that it is, remains highly effective.

“I just feel like you bring the shutters down and I am dealing with somebody different. You are not the HG I know and love. You are someone else.”

Time to throw you a little lifeline to give you hope.

“I’m sorry, I think sometimes when I am under pressure I withdraw into myself. My friends have commented on it previously. It is just something that happens. I think that is what you are referring to. It doesn’t mean that I love you any less. Just last night I was staring at the chair where you usually sit wishing you were there opposite me talking to me.”

That should do it.

“There you see, that is the HG I know, back in an instant. I wish I had been sat in that chair too, I missed you so much last night.”

It really is so easy.

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25 thoughts on “Shutting Up”

  1. Yep, That’s exactly how he did it…And I ghosted his arse…I planned my exit days before he had a clue. He never saw it coming. I’m sure he knew I wouldn’t put up with his mind games and leave eventually, he just didn’t think I’d leave right after went there (in for the kill so to speak, we always joked about it that way however, he was serious)… You should have seen his reaction when I left him. He was all over the place. One minute ticked off, the next minute being nice, then bowing up at me like he’d punch my face in. He got, got, found out and curbed…Whew, he almost got me. Now, I’ll never trust anyone, ever again and in not even mad. I’m free, I live in paradise. It’s just way better this way. No more B.S.

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  2. There used to be an old saying over a hundred years ago that related to candy. they would say, “That’s where all the good crack is” !! now of course I am referring to Crack candy but you catch my drift. today we know crack to mean something totally different but I still use that phrase from time to time when something is too good to refuse.
    What you write about is the sad truth or, what I would like to refer to as the start of the crux of the problem. I would have gladly provided this type of concern any way due to my nature and the fact that I genuinely cared about him all his life. But alas HG the real problem lies here. Once the monster gets it in his head how easy it is to extract fuel in this manor he continues this pursuit this way in this manor until that no longer suffices and the anti gets upped. Then the game is really afoot at that point as it takes so much more to tame the beast and please the monster. This one hit home for me differently than most of the other articles HG. Hun , I time traveled backwards on this one for sure. It took me back to being 19 all over again in a flash and able to see many things much more clearly instantly. So thank-you for that even though it wasn’t easy. I mentioned many posts ago that even I as a SE was finding myself staying here and even participating here because even with everything I do know and claim to know after this long journey that I still felt your style and approach was very refreshing and very accurate and you were and are able or capable of breaking through to me in ways the others had not. I did see others asking afterward if there was a need for SE’s to even be here so I am reaffirming my earlier point. The other teachers,they may have helped place the knots in the rope initially and got me to the top of the wall, but you gave me the final push of full understanding a great deal more with details that they did not. For that I shall be eternally grateful. You may be # 3 in the line up of great teachers but you will always be #1 in my books. as an analogy, I would consider it to be like having two friends trying to impute knowledge on a subject that you get but can’t quite in full because you are missing a few details and try as they might to impart their wisdom, they are having trouble getting through. Then your like the friend that knows you better than them, or at least knows how you really think and how you need things to come into you in order for it to be truly absorbed and you simply have to say look here Elaine, they are trying to say XYZ…and then I get it in a way that I never got it before. Bless you, love your works, and keep doing what you are doing.
    You are larger than life in many ways but this I believe is your calling. You are just like my N in that you truly are a blessing in disguise.

    Even the father of evil was an angel first and foremost and only fell from grace because he could not measure up to others expectations.
    Again, if we are all here on earth to help others, what are all the others here for? That used to be my riddle. Answer. To teach us the lessons we can’t teach ourselves of course through those means we are born into or other means we choose as our purpose.

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  3. More light bulbs just went off. We frequently had conversations just like this. Almost word for word. It’s unreal to me that there are more people like this. And
    then there were times my ex would ask ” have you noticed that things have changed between us?” And there was not one thing different but she tried to make me think there was just so she could get all that negative fuel from me. No wonder some days I think I am crazy. Good job HG. I enjoyed reading that.

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  4. How long does this go on with an IP? Not to talk of him but when he (Narc) started his cycle for the second time, I felt like I lost respect for myself sticking around. If I lost my self-respect, how in the hell would he respect me. I am just amazed that women stay for years with a cheating nut case.

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      1. so all IP’s will fall by the wayside forever. Until you hoover them. How many can one have? How many are in the active cycle at once?

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  5. Hello, HG. I hope you are safe and doing well. This post…if someone doesn’t answer, I won’t persist past a certain point. It doesn’t mean that I care any less. Funny how furniture can be occupied by different people, right?

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    1. What I meant to say is this post brings back memories. At a certain point, I refused to press. It is no use forcing things. The rest was written as meant.

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  6. I need your help. Silent treatment worked but now out of nowhere he’s contacting our friends in common I think he’s trying to look for lieutenants cause u told his brother a lot of people amongst our people told me he treated me differently please answer inbox this is urgent. I know it’s war.

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    1. Hello Clary, you will have to excuse the delay in answering as I have been away. There is much you can do to counter this situation which is common when our kind recruit and smear. The best thing to do is to read Smeared as this contains far more useful information than I can type in an answer here. If you have any further specific questions after reading that book, please do ask.

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  7. Mine would come home and sleep 2 hours on the couch every day. Always walking on eggshells. Just another form of shutting me up literally.

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  8. My narc used to always ask me what was wrong when I was quiet and because I didn’t want to upset him I would say thing till eventually he sounded so sincere I would tell him. Then if he didn’t like what I said he would then accuse me for bringing arguments to bedtime and storm off.. Saying I was causing trouble and always negative 😟

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    1. We want positive fuel initially as this is easier to obtain from all sources of fuel, especially the primary source which is usually an intimate partner. However, the IP’s positive fuel starts to lose its potency and frequency and therefore in order to obtain fuel which serves our purposes effectively we switch to seeking negative fuel. This is “fresher” as it contrasts with the positive fuel and it affirms our sense of superiority and control because negative fuel is harder to obtain than positive fuel.

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  9. I figure they would be unaware but none-the-less would feel a compelling attraction to the narcissist… but I’m also guessing there’s something in it for them… at some level…
    I think this pattern is often described as codependency but I find definitions around codependency varied and confusing and also the codependent is, I think, more passive. So possibly the concept of an inverse narcissist?

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