15 Tells from What the Narcissist Says

 

 

It is well known that our kind operate by the wearing of masks. We have learned how to portray those emotions which we do not feel. We have ascertained that in certain situations we are expected to respond in a particular way. We know that by donning a particular mask we are more likely to charm and seduce you. We are aware that maintaining a certain mask the vicious malevolence that lurks beneath can be kept in check so that we achieve acceptability and the advancement of our agendas. There are occasions when we will give you a glimpse of what lies beneath this mask. I am not referring to when we whip the mask off and subject you to devaluation. That is a purposeful and intended act on our part. I am not making reference to when the mask fractures as a consequence of the ignition of our fury and the lesser and mid-range of our kind are unable to keep the mask in place so that the ignited fury erupts and the malicious beast is unleashed. There are occasions however when we provide you with a fleeting glance beneath the mask as to what lies beneath. This will happen during the seduction period. Sometimes it is as a consequence of the effect of a particular agent, such as alcohol. Sometimes, especially with the greater of our kind, it is done as deliberate act in order to gauge your reaction. In such an instance, we tell you of what lies ahead to see if you baulk at the suggestion, or that more likely you respond in a sympathetic manner of even by way of denial.

“I couldn’t ever imagine you doing that.”

“That won’t happen with me though. It might have with other people but I will treat you better than they have.”

“You’re not like that, don’t be silly.”

“I don’t see you doing something like that, you are too nice.”

If you respond in such terms when you have been given such a warning, then this is a green light to us that we have you under our control and that you will accord with our desires and machinations. It also allows us, when we do eventually behave in the manner described down the line during the devaluation, to throw it back in your face by saying.

“I did warn you.”

“Why are you complaining? I was upfront that this would happen.”

“I told you so.”

“It’s no use crying about it now. I told you what I was like.”

“I told you and you chose to stay with me. It is your fault.”

Not only does this enable us to avoid blame, something we must achieve, it will also result in you reacting and providing us with fuel.

With the lesser or mid-range of our kind, these comments are more akin to thinking aloud. The mask does slip, unintentionally for a moment, through the explanation of a future behaviour before it is realised what has been said and the disclosure is brushed to one side, denied or passed off as a silly comment owing to drink or being tired. Why do these comments arise in such a manner from the lesser and mid-range of our kind? Is it guilt or remorse? No, because those emotions are not felt by our kind. It arises from a lack of control. The “bad” behaviour that will arise at some point is lurking beneath the surface and like a cat fighting to get out of a sack, it is always wanting to make an appearance but is prevented from doing so by the maintenance of the mask that is worn. Occasionally, through the loss of control – it may be drink, it may be fatigue, it may be through inattention – what lurks beneath makes a brief and fleeting appearance before the control is exerted once again. Here are fifteen portentous show and tells of our kind. Should you ever hear these comments you ought to pay heed to the warning that you are being given.

  1. I am a bad person really.
  2. I will only hurt you.
  3. You should stay away from me.
  4. I do bad things. I cannot help it. I always do.
  5. I will make you wish you had never met me.
  6. It will go wrong, it always does.
  7. You will end up hating me.
  8. You don’t know what you are getting into with me.
  9. You shouldn’t do this.
  10. You should leave while you can.
  11. This is going to turn out badly.
  12. I have to hurt people.
  13. I don’t want to hurt you, but I will.
  14. I just want to fit in.
  15. I’m not what you think I am.
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54 thoughts on “15 Tells from What the Narcissist Says”

  1. Mine even went so far as to tell me a laundry list of misdeeds INCLUDING that his therapist had diagnosed him as a narcissist. I brushed it all off. Told him that just because he was labeled a narcissist by his therapist didn’t mean it was true. Just because he cheated on all of his EX’s (and there is a long line of them) didn’t mean he would do it to me, because our relationship was special/different. He told me so many things that should have made me run far far away and all it did was endear him to me more. Yes, he warned me. I just couldn’t believe anything he was saying. It was impossible for me to fathom him being anything other than the sweet, loving, and kind person I had known the first 6 months our relationship. I knew it all. He laid it all out for me. I truly believed I could love him enough that his life could be different. Over the course of 5 1/2 years, I did almost everything to please him and in return, he did everything on the laundry list he promised he would do.

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    1. Mk, I went through the same thing and reacted the same way. 🙁

      I knew the red flags were there and I just kept telling myself that he had been hurt badly in the past, we can get through this. I never though about “fixing” him but showing him I wouldn’t do to him what the others had. I kept my end of the deal but I had to do it without expressing how it made me feel, without being able to have emotions… and taking a beating when I spoke up about those emotions. It was a difficult pill to swallow but he warned me and I chose not to listen.
      He said to me almost everything on HGs list.

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      1. I was the same MK and DC,
        I didn’t want to be like all the others who abused her and left her. I thought our love could make it too. 😔 I didn’t feel threatened by any of those statements but I only felt more confident that I could handle anything that came along. I turned all those around to her and reassured her that I was different. I wasn’t afraid of her flaws.
        I remember reading those before and they were some of the first examples to confirm to me what she was indeed what she was. I was shocked to see that there were other people who said the exact same thing.
        I think that’s a great list for people to see. It does hurt though.

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  2. Hi there, Ive been strong enough to completely blank my ex MM and it is almost a month now with no contact from either.. I sensed very strongly I would hear from him this evening and Bingo.. a text with Hi hope you are well I hate falling out with you.. that was it that’s all.. the funny thing was we didn’t actually fall out, we never did, I just walked and sent him a message stating I wasn’t gonna be hanging around for a married guy as I have my self respect and morals and before anything was gonna develop I bailed out.. have more respect for myself and his Wife and his baby.. anyhow, this is like a pattern now at this stage of the game, he will go silent and then I just break away, by the way this is my third, fourth maybe even fifth attempt to break all ties with him and so far so good almost a month, longest before was two or three weeks, what normally happens then is he will start to leave one liner texts on weekend nights late, prob when the wife is in bed or he out having a beer whatever.. then he will do this every weekend for wks till I answer.. why oh why does he do this? then when I do finally answer he is all over me like a rash for a couple of days or even a week, then boom, nothing.. ha, so confusing.. but I know one thing I sure as hell will not be replying anymore that’s for sure after reading your site.. thanks.. Anne..

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  3. The memory from 10 years ago is still fresh in my mind. After only a few weeks of our meeting, glorious ‘love bombing’, crazy bonding like I could never even have dreamt of…he said I have a song for you. He played ‘Liar’ by Henry Rollins. I remember him watching me as I listened. I knew it was a test, like a fool I wanted to pass. I did, with flying colours. My fate was sealed. Ten years of sorrow, pain from loving a hollow man. I ignored the ‘glimpse’ behind the mask. He handed it to me, there you go, this is the real me..without him saying a word. My ‘no contact’ has only been recent. I will make it, for sure. I know I will. At least my love was real, that gives me comfort in a strange kind of way. I danced with the devil but didn’t sell my soul ♡

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  4. What about he told me about his new woman, “we get along so well now but maybe we will end up hating each other”? Any meaning/significance here, HG?

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  5. Yup. Variation on #10.

    “Seriously, you should just go, before I ruin your life too.”

    Probably was a peek behind the mask initially, but he figured out years ago I could see behind it before I even had a name for it. Now it is generally used as a pity tactic because I am not responding to other tactics.

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  6. I heard most of these in the first few months. I’m curious as to one situation he mentioned to me how difficult it was to date a girl half his age. Especially when he was just recovering from a major surgery and her mom was involved. She found out his was 38 and her was only 20! Then when I brought that up when he asked me what was wrong 10 minutes he told me that he only dated a 20 year old when he was 31? Because we were together when he was 38! Was that due to loss of control?

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  7. HG, myself and others have mentioned taking on or exhibiting N behavior. Do codependent exhibit behaviors of a lessor narc? Can a codependent be a N? If so, how do you explain the emotions, and consciousness of a codependent? I have read some excerpts from Chained and am confused. Thanks

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    1. A CD might appear to behave in a narcissistic manner because he or she started out developing in that manner. This changed. The CD exists to give. The narcissist exists to take. The CD needs the narc to take what he or she gives. I would not say that a CD exhibits the behaviour of a lesser narc because the CD is not a narc.

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      1. The change you speak of; is the same as arrested Development you mention in your book Chained?

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  8. I wish DN was so obvious! He still thinks he is prince charming with just a few little flaws that are anyone but his faults…It is always someone else. Not all Narcs come out and say it and I think he still thinks he is not normal but definitely not a narc.

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  9. HG, how do slivers of self-realization slip out in you? What brings out the moments of lucidity and the odd perks behind the mask? Is it our questioning of you that feels like criticism?

    For some strange reason that only you understand, I found myself spending time with my ex, a malign NPD and during dinner when he asked if he should bring flowers as a gift when we visited another family later that night, I commented why didn’t you ever bring me flowers to my house — we’ve been apart for most of the past two years yet when we returned to his place later that evening he flew into a rage, kicking the stove and a door and storming off in the yard before returning and he said sorry I lost my temper (ya think lol) but what really struck me was how quickly my comment about the flowers set him off and the next day he was very disengaged from me, and I watched his face during a nap where he opened his eyes and stared off in the distance for several minutes, with an expression that was blank yet angry yet sad — HG do you ever disassociate and if so, what is going through your mind at that point when you are staring off stony faced yet blank. My ex did not see me look at him in that moment.

    If this question is too long lol perhaps you can share your insight in a full blog post article here about your rare moments of self realization and what is going through your mind, either when you are alone or triggered / criticized by a fuel supply, thank you.

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    1. Hello FFL, yes through the work with the good doctors it is apparent that I diassociate. This has arisen through me essentially forgetting certain events from my childhood which my two brothers have mentioned to me but I have no recollection of. I have often though that they were making things up as I have no recollection of them but they have been able to point to other evidence which has supported what they have told me. I experience a detachment from my surroundings at times and this occurs in two distinct situations. The first is when the good doctors want me to focus on or discuss certain elements of my life, something I wrote about recently with In the Middle and secondly, usually late at night when the shades make their presence felt to me. Those are the two triggers for this to happen. I have also discussed my triple tracking with the good doctors. For instance, I am writing this comment to you now, whilst at the same time I am also thinking about the next blog article that I will be writing but also I am analysing both this comment and the article, all at the same time. My head is a crowded place it would appear. Sometimes the triple tracking occurs with three unrelated matters, so I might be writing to you whilst considering where I will eat tonight and thinking about a goal scored by my football team. I do find however it enables me to get a lot achieved.

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      1. Triple tracking is that the name for the many thoughts or planning that happens regular with me. That’s great it allows you to accomplish more however for me it causes confusion and I find it very hard to focus on one thing. As I type this is am focusing on my next 4 tasks. My doctor once told me my mind is like a computer I have too many apps running. 😊

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  10. I can’t even wrap my mind around this right now. I knew from day freaking one AND I believed him. I thought if I could understand him then I would learn how to love him. I didn’t know that loving him was something that couldn’t be taught. I can understand him and know him better than he knows himself, but love will never be an option. That is the hardest of all for me to believe.

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  11. He told me about the time he watched a man die and felt really nothing and then later on when he was giving me the silent treatment I asked him why he was hurting me and he responded saying I tried to tell you I was cold but I guess you thought I could change me . I still cry thinking of that awful memory .

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  12. Interesting comments here. Thanks all. I have some questions however HG. If I, or anyone, gave this blog to the narc to read (or any blog/info that have all their traits laid out), A: would he read it? B: would he agree with it and see himself in it? C: would it show the narc “see, I DO KNOW WHO YOU ARE”!! And D: would it in any way injure him? Thank you in advance.

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    1. The Lesser would read a couple of sentences and then challenge you as to why you are asking him to read this. It is likely that his fury will ignite because he will regard the suggestion of reading as a criticism.
      The Mid-Ranger would read it, not agree with it, he would regard it as a criticism which would ignite his fury, he would most likely accuse you of being the narcissist and then give you a silent treatment.
      The Greater would read it, recognise it, smile on the inside, he would not regard it as a criticism but would not admit it. Instead he would smile and say “interesting” before changing topic and making a mental note to up his machinations against you now that you have an awareness.

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      1. Thank you for responding on this one HG. Not that he will ever get to read your work (damn it!), but knowing how he would respond helps me understand. I WISH I could throw it in his face and accuse him! Ohhh how I wish! But that is just wishing he would somehow take responsibility and be accountable. And yes, (thanks to you), I do know that will NEVER happen. Thanks HG.

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  13. You will never figure me out.
    I can’t bring you down with me. You’re a lady.
    Being with me will make you do bad choices.
    Us falling in love is dangerous.

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    1. Yes! “You will never figure me out” I heard that over and over again. What was my thought on that? “Challenge accepted”.

      I once told him that he couldn’t handle me. He laughed and said “No you can’t handle me” My reply was “I’m not the one who runs (silent treatment) when things get tough. I can handle you just fine.” At the time I thought I had won that argument. Hahaha! Nope not all. That is exactly what he wanted and I just confirmed it. Basically telling him it was ok to continue on with his games because I’m not going anywhere! You will never outsmart one who believes they are smarter than you.

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  14. Now that I’m a year out & well informed i remember this from our 2nd date. Those who are new, read & read again. I do not quite know why yet but this man is being straight up with us. Pay attention, heed his warnings.?it is truth.

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  15. All the time I heard “I am what I am!” Sooo often he said that. I used to think…yeah…we all are what we are…so? Hmmm. Hearing it in my head again now, I can fully see the meaning behind it. It also gave him ‘permission’ to be “what he is” without guilt. Thanks HG.

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  16. This is what I usually mention on second dates :.
    -I never been dumped (you will be dumped)
    -I like a man who treats me like a princess (as all my ex’s did -proceed to talk about
    All the amazing ex’s I had including a celebrity and business men)
    -I don’t condone cheating (of course I cheated in all my relationships with no remorse)
    -I have a short attention span /get bored easily (with things,people,everything)

    These are my warning signs I have fun seeing their reaction and as mentioned in the article,they re so dismissive because I m such a lovely,pretty,sweet,laid back girl . I would never do such a thing.
    Truth is I m selfish and feel no remorse ,unless I get caught ,in that case I will try to figure out how I got caught rather than the feelings of the other person. I rather not deal with all that.

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      1. Surprisingly yes ,once .At a very vulnerable stage of my life ,it was confusing and I wasn’t used to it ,it was a challenge at a price . I have high narcissistic traits and at first i was being my usual confident self ,convinced he would fall for me like the rest . He was very hot and cold and we would end up ignoring each other for ages then either one would make contact . It’s almost like we were very similar but he was a lot more in control. I totally idealised him,sex was amazing but he was definetly a textbook narcissist ,would be surprised if a sociopath too . Very odd and fascinating guy. That was the only NPD encounter . I had the knowledge on NPD on my
        Side ,I knew.

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    1. Kday, have you been diagnosed with NPD? I have read that codependent can exhibit these types of behaviors because of their lack of self esteem or other factors that may have occurred in early childhood. You may have emotions unlike a N but there’s a numbness/wall up which is used as defense mechanism for protection. You mentioned the things you say to men on a second dates I don’t see that as narcissistic behavior when most people think of narc their perceptions tend to be as you describe. However, those involved with these types knows it’s much deeper than that. I am surprised the N didn’t run after second date. If HG would answer what type of fuel could he gain? I can potentially see it as a challenge for the greater of your kind.

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  17. -I don’t deserve You
    -you are angel and I’m the devil
    -I don’t want to hurt You
    -you will cry because of me
    -You shouldn’t listen to me
    Etc.etc….
    Fell for all of that… it would be easier knowing that he’s a narcissist .. I’d still love Him and had different approach before He’s destroyed me…

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  18. “I’m really good at manipulating people.”

    Yeah, I blew it off too. I don’t think I verbally responded but in my head I told myself that I was different. Ha!

    Also, she highly recommended the movie “Gone Girl” to me. That one sends chills down my spine when I think of it now. It was a great movie, but I often wonder what her true feeling about that film are. I’m not sure I want to know.

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      1. Minerve,
        Spooky, isn’t it? How much one narc resembles another? HG, claims they don’t hold conventions, but I’m not convinced, LOL.

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  19. HG Tudor ,may I ask if the name narcsite not only stands for narcissism/narcissist site but also implies narcissism is a drug (narc) on both sides ? 🙂

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  20. I just reread this blog. FfL’s comment made me question. It triggered a memory within. I can remember, in the seduction stage, he often said “its my turn (his), Ive been waiting for ever for it to be my turn. Everyone else gets their turn, and now you are here, it is my turn!” At the time it turned something in my gut. Instinct was telling me something!?!? And another couple of times I found him staring at me. Going about the usual chores while he drank his beer. Staring at me as I peeled his potatos. “If only you could see inside my head! Just for 5 mins, (his hands held rigid, fingers towards head), you have no idea what goes on in my mind. None!” This was unsettling for me to hear as well. Intuition again told me something is not right. Now, after reading this blog again, it all makes sense. That brief moment of that mask becoming unhinged. Ohhh how I wish I had run. Not even walked quickly, but RUN!! Thanks HG. (and FfL).

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  21. The only honest thing he ever said to me: You should just forget about me, my life is tattered with drama. I would be like a germ or cancer in your life.

    Do you really want me to forget about you?

    Of course not I love you.

    He was becoming distant, so the next day
    I made the comment that I missed and loved the MS I knew in July, the one who opened up and talked to me, the one I had so much in common, where is he?

    After that he ignored me for two weeks, which is when I discovered he was giving me the silent treatment. I really didn’t mean to upset him, I doubt that would have upset most people.

    Was it because I was catching on that the man I knew wasn’t the real him but a facade?

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    1. Of course you did not mean to upset him empath23, it is not in your nature or that of any other empath, but you do so because of our different perspective. By saying you missed the Ms you knew in July, you were trying to pay a compliment and instead he received it as a criticism, you wounded him, his fury ignited and manifested as cold fury owing to the silent treatment.

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      1. I didn’t mean it as a compliment, just that I missed the version of him I previously knew, as opposed to the distant, cold person he became over night.
        At first I thought it was due to his PTSD. Once it was obvious he was ignoring me, I started looking for answers and discovered he was a narcissist.
        Love bombing, the stare, constant soul mate talk, future faking, silent treatment, sudden discard, he did it all.
        It took about two weeks to process before I contacted him again.
        I told myself I wouldn’t get sucked back in and get hurt again, but I did.
        He had a very powerful effect on me. Almost like it was supernatural, it was far from natural or normal and like nothing I have ever experienced.

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  22. Mine said

    I’m just a c _ _ t
    I hate women

    Many more tells in general discussion…during the love bombing phase. I did see red flags but wanted to believe it was just unhealed wounds from his ex BPD ex of 18 yrs.

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    1. Ohhhh not the C word! Mine called me that one time in the beginning. I’m actually surprised he never used it again considering he knew how much it bothered me. He also told me one time “If you don’t stop acting like a god damn woman then I won’t hang out with you anymore.” Well last time I checked I was indeed, a woman. Sometimes I wondered if he might actually be gay.

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