Christmas Is A Time For Giving

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What do narcissists think about giving? Well, the starting point is that we are a gift to the world and really, should there be any need for us to give anything more? Of course there is; the giving of gifts provides us with yet another opportunity to manipulate people, exert control and ultimately draw fuel. Some people think that narcissists may not want to give gifts because we hate to do things for other people. The latter part of that point is correct, but the simple fact as ever is that the end justifies the means then we will do that and if that means parting with some of our money to purchase a gift and spending some time selecting it, then so be it. You probably will understand however that when it comes to the giving of gifts, it is nothing at all to do with you. As usual, it is all about us.

  1. Gifts of Seduction. During the seduction of a victim, some of our kind revel in the grand gestures of expensive and wonderful gifts. There may be repeated gifts every few days or some large grandiose gift. Occasionally, we may give careful consideration to what will impress you most but it is always linked into how it will benefit us. The purpose of such gifts is to cause you to admire us, thank us and draw closer to us as a consequence of our generosity and our thoughtfulness. Don’t think that we have been that considerate. You will probably receive a similar gift to the last primary source. If worked last time, so we will do it again. Thus the Somatic Narcissist who selects victims who are into material items may well always purchase some Louboutin shoes for each victim. The Cerebral Narcissist will provide a weighty tome for you to read. Not only is this exclusive hardback expensive but he can tell you all about how much he knows about the subject later. We also rely on the fact that even if the gift is not precisely what you wanted, most people are delighted to receive gifts and during the wonderful, elating and mesmerising seduction, the whole of the effects of our seduction make the receipt of the gift all the more gratifying. It gains kudos from being given against a backdrop of compliments, love, amazing sex, days and nights out and so forth. By appearing thoughtful and generous we draw you closer to us.
  2. Creation of debt. We only give you a gift in order to get something we want and the provision of a gift automatically creates a debt in our mind. It might be that we will control you through this gift, it might be that we use it to gain fuel or to mollify you if we think you are on the brink of leaving us and denying us our fuel. No matter how lavish or expensive the gift, there will be a price to pay for it, either now or later.
  3. Creating the favourite. We often use gifts to create a favourite and generate division. For instance, if we have three nephews, who are still young children, we may give one a larger and more expensive gift to one and smaller and less expensive gifts to the other two and it is obvious. Children will react to this with jealousy, petulance and upset which will generate fuel. It does not stop there. The parents of the nephews may well react to this unequal treatment so there is more fuel forthcoming. If we are challenged as to why we have done this you can expect to be told,

“It is my money and I decide how I spend it.”

We are entitled to do as we want and when it comes to giving gifts there is no exception.

This favouritism will continue all the way through so that a golden child will always fare better at Christmas and birthdays than his or her siblings with the attendant problems that arise. We will even do this when we have gone with an unequal division of assets. The Thought Fuel that arises as we sign the will knowing of the in-fighting that will come about in due course is satisfying indeed.

  1. The Rubbish Gift. This is done by design and often unintentionally. Since we lack empathy, we see no need to consider what somebody else what might really want for their birthday. Thus, we provide them with a hideous jumper that is too big or a garish ornament. The look of dejection and disappointment on that person’s face when they receive a book about butterflies produces a good dose of fuel for us. Of course if they do not seem appropriately happy, this allows us to roll out comments such as: –

“But I thought you loved butterflies.”

“I looked everywhere for that gift.”

“You should be grateful you got anything at all.”

We know you don’t like butterflies. We found the gift in the bargain bin at the supermarket and we know you won’t be grateful, we don’t want you to be, so we can provoke you for some more fuel.

  1. The Residual Fuel. Flowing from the rubbish gift is the expectation that when we next call around the hideous statue of what is meant to be two dolphins in the foam but looks more like a frothing Quasimodo, should be pride of place on your mantelpiece. Alternatively, you should be wearing that migraine inducing jumper. If you are not, you can expect us to play the victim and make you feel guilty for not showcasing our generous gift.
  2. The Wrong Gift. The cousin of the rubbish gift. This gift may be a good gift but it is the wrong one. You may already have one of these items already and a second is of no use. It might be that you asked for a handbag in black and we have bought you one in brown, even though it is the same make. The shoe size might be two sizes out either way, the ring too small, the lingerie too small. We do this because you see the wrapped item and recognise it to be the item you have asked for and your excitement mounts, only then to be dashed by this narrow miss. Yes, you may be able to exchange it, but we will have lost the receipt and such like and we will still make a song and dance if you point out that it is the wrong gift or if you fail to look suitably happy. You can expect comments such as: –

“You have one already. Well, a spare shoe horn is always handy.”

“It is too tight? Not my fault you have put weight on is it?”

“You told me size 7, yes you did. Stop trying to blame me for your mistake.”

“So what if it I a different colour, you should appreciate I bought you something.”

  1. Forgetting a gift. It always provides us with fuel when you expect a gift and none is forthcoming. We derive amusement from seeing you waiting all day, expecting a delivery to the door, or hunting around the house thinking that we have hidden your gift. When evening comes and no gift has been forthcoming your annoyance, upset or dismay provides us with further fuel. We will of course apply selective amnesia or deflection to the situation.

“I thought the anniversary was next week?”

“It’s only Valentine’s day, you shouldn’t expect a gift.”

“You are too old to receive birthday presents now.”

“Is it your birthday? I thought it was on the 21st?”

  1. My gift. You are expecting a gift and there is something expensive sat on the dining table. It is not given to you but sits there all day until you eventually ask if it is for you only to be told it is not and it is for me. Cue crestfallen look and more fuel.
  2. The Respite and Hoover Gift. Part of the seduction family. If we want to bring you back into the Formal Relationship following discard or escape, or if we want to reinstate the golden period, we will supply you with gifts again and endeavour to make them thoughtful so that you provide us with positive fuel and we draw you back to us.
  3. Future Faking. Gifts are not immune from us always promising to buy you something amazing for that forthcoming birthday. This keeps you bound to us, you keep giving us positive fuel from your enthusiastic responses to our promises, but we fail to deliver. We draw fuel and then promise to get it for you for Christmas instead. You know what is going to happen don’t you?
  4. Charity Gifts. If we make some donation to charity whether it cash or equipment, or even items we no longer need for them to sell at a charity store, you can be sure we will let as many people know as possible of our generosity. This gains fuel and maintains our façade.
  5. Outdoing Others. If there is a christening, a baby shower or a wedding we will often go big with our gift giving. If you have a wedding list, we will go off list in order to be different even though that crystal orange juice squeezer is not exactly needed. This form of gift giving is nothing to do with you. The gifts are likely to be lavish and expensive but it is all about showing off and gaining fuel and admiration as opposed to buying someone what they actually want. Of course, any complaint or lack of appreciation will be met with us playing the victim.
  6. Recycling. You end up being given a gift which clearly was a gift to us which we did not want. In some examples we may have even left the gift tag on showing that it was for added reaction. We considered those lavender bath bombs we received to be a total insult so next door can now have them as a house warming gift. Even beyond this, we may even give you as a gift something you gave to us. Not only does this show us to cheapskates it also shows we do not think much of your gift. Fuel abounds.
  7. Proximate Fuel. We gain proximate fuel from witnessing the reaction of our victims to our manipulative gift giving. As you know, we like to cause a scene and what better way that doing so in person, at a party or an event.
  8. Thought Fuel. Gift giving allows a double whammy. We have the chance to gain proximate fuel when we hand the gift over and you unwrap it and we also contemplate your reaction when we are not there. Either siblings fighting over the gift, people expressing their hurt at a tasteless gift, a rubbish one or the wrong one, so we even gain fuel after the event.
  9. The Early Declaration. If we are being grandiose in our gift-giving you can expect to know about your gift on Facebook or similar platforms when we post pictures of it and tell the world what we have got you for your birthday. No surprises for you, but plenty of admiring fuel for us.
  10. What the Last One Got. We buy you a gift and we can see you are not happy with it, underwhelmed or even upset. Of course there will be no sympathy or consideration shown by us. All we will do is remark about what we have got you is bigger, better and more expensive than what the last primary source got and you ought to be grateful. This also works in reverse when we let slip that we did not get you something as good as what the last primary source received because you didn’t get a good birthday present for us (even though you will have done – the reality is no bar to our manipulations).
  11. The Last One Didn’t Appreciate My Gifts. If we sense that you are unhappy with our gift, we gain fuel, but we will also emotionally blackmail you into being please with it by telling you how mean the previous primary source was in that no matter what we bought him he never appreciated the gifts. Suddenly, you are gushing over the tickets to a local amateur dramatic performance of Macbeth, even though you hate plays.
  12. But Look What I Gave You! This is done for future manipulation. If you fail to do something in the future, fail to submit and do what we want, we will hark back (and do so repeatedly) to that marvellous, rare and expensive gift we once got you. As I mentioned above, you always end up paying for the gift in some way.
  13. The Target. The gift we have given you and one which you like and cherish is used in the future as a device to manipulate you and draw fuel form you. We threaten to break the gift or we do break it. We hide it or take it from you. After all, what is ours remains ours and what is yours is still ours anyway since we are entitled and do not recognize boundaries.

Gifts and the act of giving provide us with so many opportunities to draw fuel both positive and negative from people, bind people to us, control them and manipulate them.

What is your experience of the narcissist and gifts?

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51 thoughts on “Christmas Is A Time For Giving”

  1. There were some funny examples i especially liked the book about butterflies 😂

    Id mentioned one yr getting dry instant food packets from my mum. This wasnt imo intentional to upset me but rather she gained money back by buying from her company at the time. Regardless it was not “meant” for me.
    A non narc one was my dad. I love him but hes not organized and has been known to regift lol ive gotten a napa autobody mug set, dremol tool and last yrs was a generator..seriously? 😂 hes not a narc but struggles with gift giving. Growing up i got a jewellery box every year 🤔
    Ive not experienced much in the way of deliberate narckygift tactics luckily but looking forward to hearing others.
    My narc does gift lovely gifts but likes to throw comments in like…i almost forgot to buy this. Anything to diminish the kind thought. They need to neutralize any good deed. Heaven forbid you show any thought towards your partner

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  2. The Residual Fuel. Flowing from the rubbish gift is the expectation that when we next call around the hideous statue of what is meant to be two dolphins in the foam but looks more like a frothing Quasimodo, should be pride of place on your mantelpiece.

    I am still laughing!

    You are such a prick! I love it.

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  3. I once was given a stolen car stereo by a narc boyfriend that didn’t work. When he gave it to me it dropped straight of the box because being stolen there was no packaging and the actual stereo didn’t match the picture. He then told me I should be more careful. It is in fact quite funny looking back. I have certainly never had the expensive gifts only some pathetic lousy favour that I could have so easily sorted myself.

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  4. I find the most tightfisted narcissist man! He has not given me anything in almost 2 year and forgot my birthday!!! Unforgivable!
    He give me only an old and torn shirt of fireman as commodity exchange for a favor he wanted done and he also makes some promises that he never kept.
    I asked him several times to give me an object his staff that is not expensive but it has sentimental value. He said “yes” but I still waiting for it …
    He had promised to cook for me cakes and pastries and other dishes… I still waiting….

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  5. My narc sweetly called me back mere minutes after we got off the phone to ask if I would be able to take a candlestick he made back to Asia with me. It was a very sweet gesture, and he sounded so happy when he asked me. Of course, the handmade item never materialized. Later, after I was back, he sent me a photo of a coffee mug he had made when we were counselors at a camp while we were in high school. He’s kept it for nearly 30 years. He told me he was going to send it to me. I knew he was full of crap because he didn’t have my address and didn’t even bother to ask for it. The words were sweet, but he never did anything he said he was going to. I have a painting I had commissioned for him still. I so want to burn it and send him a video of his face going up in flames. I guess that would provide fuel…😈

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  6. I wanted a teddy bear so I could hug it when he wasn’t around. Instead, he gave me a locket that had a pic of him frowning in it! He looked like he wanted to strangle me in his pic! I tried to remove his pic when we split up, and the locket disintegrated in my hand as if it had been all glued together.

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  7. Hello Delirium, that takes some beating. My narc mother gave my elder narc sister a second hand incomplete filthy mouldy manicure set. My sister has never shown any interest in her nails. Foul.

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    1. Hello Mrs. Linton. That’s so horrible! I can’t imagine having a narcissist as a parent. I have had at least two relationships with them, and that was bad enough. I feel for you.

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  8. I have asthma, and avoid cigarette smoke like the plague. Now I understand why he gave me an ashtray for my birthday. The Rubbish Gift! 🙂

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  9. Ummm I guess I am the lucky one here reading about all the Narc gifts.

    I received a mop and bucket once. But I didn’t mind as I needed it and we were starting a company and was very broke. I am going back to 1986-87. Since then I get what I want. I am one lucky TW!

    I have spoiled myself more than not.

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  10. and if the primary source dares to object to giving gifts to an ex ?
    They can be cast as scrooge, a selfish tyrant who wants to deprive someone of a christmas present!

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      1. So, if a narc does things like this because they are looking for a big fight, and they get no reaction…..what will they do next?

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    1. Brian,
      I actually had this happen. Wealthy Narc. Me and my son stay the night for Xmas at his house. Get up and my son has lots of toys from him and me. Nothing there for me. I had stuff for him. He says oh yours is in the other spare room. It against the wall by the closet. Go get it. There sits 4 gift bags. My name, ex wife, secretary and mystery girl. All identical. They contained a pair of silver hoop earrings and a $100 gift card. I told him come here. Comes in ya what’s up? I’m like surely this can’t be it? Yes it is. John’s secretary took care of it. The mood definitely changed. Not for the good.

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  11. Lol at the rubbish gift. Made me laugh HG and laughter is the best gift of all.

    It’s the thought that counts. That said, I don’t care to receive presents. N2 and his mom would give me jewelry and I don’t wear it. They would ask why I wasn’t wearing it. He gave me two fake Gucci watches and I asked him if it was BOGO day on the black market. Counterfeiting is serious.

    My favorite was the car safety set. My second favorite was the regifted XXL sweatshirt that his SIL gave him, courtesy of her company. I was XS at the time but it kept me warm. The third was the flashlight. I’m practical.

    What did your family give you for Christmas this year, HG? What did you give them?

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  12. My “favorite” narc gift was from my older brother who, prior to this particular birthday, had never bought me anything, despite the fact that I have always lavished gifts on his children and even him. For my 60th birthday he sent me flowers. However they were purchased via one if these wholesale online sites where they ship you the components of flowers in a vase but you have to do the work of putting it together yourself. Is that not the ultimate example of narcissistic generosity?

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    1. Loved your comment on the comb.while we’re always advised not to react I do agree with Kathy Krajco that you also need to periodically whack them on the snout.

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  13. My Stepnarc would always gather his gifts then announce he didnt have time to buy anyone anything as he was too busy working. He worked 7to 3, 5 days a week lol. And then he would explain why each one was crap. I always hated his Mother too and didnt realize she was a narc til after being on here and thinking back. One year my cousins all got a toy from her and the room went quiet when I opened mine and it was a pocket comb. The kind you get 7 for a dollar in a bag. I just looked up, held it out to her and said: thank you but i’ll leave this with you to return as the other 6 are missing from the bag. She was livid and it took some time to calm her down so I heard. I wouldn’t know as I left. I got plenty of shots in over time. Once she got her hair done for Christmas and it was very dark. I said it made her face look like a raisin. Haha im laughing out loud now. God I was saucy. I love my little self.

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    1. Haha NA. You are funny. A dig would be to reference the comb she gave you and tell her that you wish you would have kept it because you saw several hairs that were out of place.

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  14. 21. The baton. When your ex gives you a gift then gives your gift to his son from both of you so he never has to hear a word about your birthday.

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  15. My ex narc bought me a gift in July and told me it was for Christmas but come a week or so, he tells give back my birthday gift as I was undeserving of it. I cried 2 whole days as he seemed happy.

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  16. This seemed very accurate to my own experience. My mother would give the cheap thoughtless gifts that showed no empathy. My ex husband, sons and friends who r narcs give nothing that they purchase themselves. Friends tend to do more future faking that ends in nothing. I will say that since our daughter is grown, my ex husband will give her money to buy me what I consider very nice gifts (which she or I pick out). I just received a very nice Christmas gift from him today – that she picked up of course. Still, he did lay out the money, have the intention and the self-knowlege that he is incapable of buying a decent gift on his own. Before you think this might be a hoover, we still talk everyday and go out once or twice a week, despite being divorced 10 years. I really don’t know what his motivation is – façade, 12-step atonement, building security for poor health…? He has had massive heart failure and that did trigger much self-reflection and reassessment of his life. And he is a very intelligent, self-aware cerebral.

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    1. Not to promote keeping abuse in your life but i get this bc every narc is different. Id fir instance never stay with a physically abusive narc. However i do think in some situations we decide to keep our narc in our lives in some form but i dont think its possible unless youre fully over them intimately and you make it known you wont tolerate their bs. I just cant envision my narc not in my life as we really enjoy each others company and he has made me very happy most of the time. That said, i have no doubts one day it will change into something more plutonic. Its difficult to stay intimate with someone who has so many personality issues.

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      1. I agree completely, Adele. If we want to keep a relationship with our narcs we have to be able to react to them completely dispassionately. That’s what protects us from abuse and gives us power to defend ourselves. As HG says, they want power and control over us. Denying them that will create a grudging respect. Then we can build a real, mutual relationship where we both benefit without the abuse. But I agree with you that it probably has to stay plutonic.

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  17. I received multiple gifts from Victoria Secret including sweaters and intimate wear. They were all beautiful but the quantity was excessive. They did not fit with his income. Lo and behold he was in an accident and unconscious for a period of time. His friend handed me his mail and it included multiple collection agency statements for Victoria Secret and more. I couldn’t stand the thought the bill wasn’t paid so I negotiated a settlement and paid it. Was he thankful? Nope!

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  18. Never understood it at the time but makes so much sense now. I have way too many stories to share but the two that stick in my head was the last Christmas together and Valentine’s Day. When getting presents for the family he would get these presents for his family / I would get the ones for my family and they would be labeled from both of us. That last Xmas every present he got for his family only said it was from him. I did get a DVD for his mother that year and labeled it from both of us…but was so hurt and embarrassed. Had I known he was going to do that, I would have gotten gifts for them myself. On Valentine’s Day he would get me a dozen red roses. In less than 2 days, the roses were dying. Well he also would get his mother the same (which was creepy as well…one thing to do that on mothers day, but Valentine’s Day). Well hers would be beautiful for weeks. I thought it was something I was doing wrong but each year the same. Hell he even made comments to his family about how I was screwing something up causing them to die. Eventually found out that when he got the flowers, he would drop off hers first and visit while leaving mine in the car to freeze for hours which is why they were dying so quickly.

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  19. I’m not sure what he did, but one year my mom wrapped my brother like 20 pack of socks and underwear all in separate packages of different sizes so he was disappointed every time he opened something. I had a fight with her as a teen and swore I’d move out at 18. All my presents came from Walmart kitchen dept that year. Years later she asked if I kept them and was laughing saying how ugly they were.

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  20. My narc husband has none all #20 of these!!! I don’t want anymore gifts!!! I just ask for stuff for the house. So he can see that i am staying in my position. Plus, he knows i can’t buy him a gift, because I’m broke😁😁😁…well he thinks I’m broke😉😀😁

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  21. Future faking was my case. Nothing for Christmas or birthdays, always a promise hanging in the air. Of course I gave him gifts, no surprise there. Another of his women told me that he had given her stupid stuffed bears (but she was rich, she took him to many great trips and furnished his house twice. She is a good and generous soul. As for him,somehow, he had to keep the financing going, I guess). Now he is married to a horrible creature-the sort of insult to the rest of us, like you have written. I suspect she is a narc as well, have you written about that kind of bonding? She is not rich, but she has some money from her family. She provided him with a house and a certain stability he told me he desperately needed. Of course, he has been hoovering me like crazy for months, before and after his wedding, talking about his undying love and our special bond. I resist, it goes without saying. Generally, from what I know, he acts like a parasite. Always chooses older women (his wife is an exception) and he prefers them wealthy and somehow powerful. He does not have money. I cannot understand what type of narcissist he is, HG, but he can’t be a greater- you seem much more powerful and way cleverer than him. I keep comparing you two, and he seems little to me. I have been helped greatly by your writings. As I have probably written before, reading them has been one of the most exciting things that have happened to me lately. I love learning, especially when the landscape is dark.

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