Contrariwise,’ continued Tweedledee, ‘if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

Makes perfect sense to me but I should imagine it will not to you. Welcome to the logic of my world. The penchant that our kind and me exhibit for telling you that black is white and when you eventually agree (and you will no matter how ridiculous this may appear) we will tell you that it was black all along. Or orange. Or azure.

Our ability to deploy contrariwise must rank amongst one of the most confusing, infuriating and draining manipulative techniques that we possess. Well, judging by your reactions when we wheel this out it is. In all honesty, it is used so often it may as well be a default setting. No matter what you say to us we will automatically adopt a contrary position even if that contrary position appears to you as untenable and that it flies in the face of logic. We will always find ways of undermining, denying and deflecting what you are saying to us, most particularly if you are trying to make us look bad, prove we are wrong or you are challenging us in some way. We cannot allow those things to happen. We have a number of standard phrases that we will use in furtherance of this ability.

“Why must you always exaggerate?”

“No, I have never done that.”

“You are over-reacting. Again.”

“I think you will find that you are being sensitive, I did not mean it the way you are interpreting it.”

“You always look at it the wrong way.”

“I didn’t say that.”

“Your memory is playing tricks on you.”

“You/he/she/the world is making things up.”

“If you say so but you have got it wrong.”

“I never do that.”

“You always have to make a scene don’t you?”

Do any of these sound familiar to you? Our capacity to be presented with evidence of something and then in the next breath deny the existence of that evidence is staggering. We will reject what you say, deny we ever said anything (even though we actually said it just ten minutes ago) and twist our position so many times we appear to turn into a corkscrew.

Why do we do this? It serves three purposes. The first is because we are never wrong then we must never be shown to be wrong. You seem to have a fascination for trying to demonstrate to us that we are wrong about the things we say and do. That is a nonsense. We cannot be wrong and you must accept that. Our use of contrariwise enables us to ensure that we remain right and you remain wrong. It is entirely logical to us. If it is not so to you then that is your problem. You wanted to come into our world so now you must accept its rules. Do not try and argue that you did not agree to this. When you embraced our illusion you consented to this state of affairs. Do not try and deny that it is the case otherwise we will just have to provide you with some more contrariwise.

The second reason that we do this is that we have to have you in a state of confusion. This means that being a creature of order and logic you will try and make sense of our contrariwise which will merely serve to put your head in a spin. Furthermore, you cannot help yourself but want to show us that we are wrong. You cannot accept that we are unable to see the point that you are making. That is entirely the point. You are subjected to our rules now and logic, reason and sense rode out of town many moons ago. This confusion will leave you susceptible to our other manipulations and drain you of your resistance and resolve making it harder for you to escape our grip.

The third reason is down to our lifeblood, yes fuel. Your evident frustration, curses and desperation as you try to make us see that we are wrong provides us with delicious dollops of fuel. You tear your hair out, repeat yourself, raise your voice and collapse sobbing in frustration. It is all good fuel to us. No matter if you argued the point with the forensic precision of a top barrister we would twist the words so they achieve what we want and not what you want. To borrow from Lewis Carrol’s fantastic writing I leave you with the words of humpty dumpty, who was clearly a pioneer of our kind.

“When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean.”

17 thoughts on “Contrariwise

  1. i know of this…. good riddens. xxoo. 🙂
    another day of happiness….
    to just read able it primarily now. and i smile!

  2. Insatiable Learner says:

    Another enlightening piece, HG! So masterfully written! A quick question about my most recent (a couple of months ago) interaction with my narc. It strikes me as an example of this “contrariwise.” So I am/ was his IPSS or even DSIPSS. He discarded old primary source (wife) and has been with a new primary source for several months now. Before we contacted by phone, he said in a text there had been many good changes in his life and he was going to tell me about them on the phone as it was easier than typing it all out. I suspected he was going to tell me about the new primary source and him now being in a serious relationship, most likely living together, etc. When we finally spoke by phone, we chatted briefly and then had to switch to text again but he never told me about the new changes/ updates he said he would share. Go figure! Do you have any explanation for this, HG? Thank you in advance for sharing your wisdom and insight! Much appreciated as always!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      He wanted to use that as bait to cause the engagement. You engaged. He decided not to disclose so he can use it as bait again.

  3. Windstorm says:

    In my ex husbands family it is a favorite form of entertainment to lie as much as possible. They do all get a lot of fuel from confusing and deceiving the rest of us, but it is like a game – rarely malicious. Just a way of showing superiority and intelligence.

  4. Snow White says:

    Good morning HG,
    I loved reading that last quote.
    Choosing the meaning of a word is powerful isn’t it? You can make it whatever you want at any given point.

    I sat there many times looking at my ex thinking how can she think she didn’t just do that or say that. I thought it was bizarre but she got away with it. I wish I could have been handed a piece of paper saying
    I am always right
    You are always wrong
    Don’t waste your time arguing
    I know I am lying
    I am laughing at you

  5. Vavalavoom says:

    Not sure my problem is a narc. But a few quick questions. If you are feeding their supply, positive or negative why are they still hunting for more? And is there a possibility it has phases where they are happy being married then they trigger? If they think their wife is going to leave them does it trigger a discard?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. If they are hunting for more from you, it is because there is never enough fuel.
      2. If they are going elsewhere it will be because there is never enough fuel and yours is not enough. It is also the case that if you are being devalued, somebody else is in the ascendancy to replace you.
      3. We don’t do happy. It will be more satisfaction with your fuel supply before being dis-satisfied and thus triggering the devaluation.
      4. If we think you are going to leave when we do not want you to, there will be a Preventative Hoover first.

  6. Ollie says:

    This was crazy making. I always told him it was psychological warfare what he was doing to which he would respond that I must have been lying about everything then…

  7. Indy says:

    This quality drove me crazy !!!! I wanted to put him over my knee when he engaged in this and it was very purposeful!! I saw it in his eyes! It was delight! St first I played, then I wanted to beat his ass!

  8. Brian says:

    This is the most useful article on Narcisism full stop.
    Perfect description.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you Brian.

  9. What if she concedes to your point of view? What if she refuses to see the bad and the lies? What if she puts you on that pedestal and accepts you for who and what you are? If she abides by your rules, what will you do for fuel? What if she stands before you with tears running down her eyes, accepting your rules, logic and reason? Does she ever receive a reward for her obedience?

  10. Adele says:

    This one describes my mum so very well! She will say the opposite of anything i say. Argues that something i said never happened when it clearly did. There was a time id withdraw and let her have the last word but now that i know its intentional i dont lol it really frusterates her but it gives me my power back! That feels so refreshing after all these yrs of second guessing myself or being belittled.
    Im so thankful for the internet. Blogs like yours HG, support groups and u tube have blown away and brought to light this type of abuse. Once people are educated on narcissism it starts to empower its victims and the light casts away the confusion and chaos

  11. Claudia Z. says:

    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

  12. Cara says:

    It’s neither black, orange, nor auburn…it is (and has always been) aubergine, and you will be slapped if you suggest that aubergine is just a fancy word for purple.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I am a fan of Tyrian Purple, Catholic Black and Tequila Mockingbird.

    2. Claudia Z. says:

      Aubergine is an extraordinary word for a color! Nice!

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