Found In Translation



The way that our kind speaks is a language all of its own. Narcspeak appears at first to be a normal way of speaking, with the inferences, interpretations and connotations that one would ordinarily expect when hearing phrases such as ‘I love you’ and ‘I am sorry’. You will not grasp that there is a different meaning to much of what we say to you, at least not until it is too late. Once you have mastered Narcspeak however it becomes readily apparent what is actually being conveyed to you. Understand this form of double speak from us is a useful skill to achieve. Not only will it bring clarity to what has been said to you in the past and what was really meant, it will assist in understanding how to deal with the narcissist in your life going forward, if you have occasion to interact with him or her again.

Narcspeak arises because we operate in a different reality to you. We perceive the facts differently and therefore there will be an alternative interpretation attached to what we say. We know the context of what we are saying, so that it apparently fits with the situation and the discussion, but that is purely as a consequence of our ability to mimic and to convey what should be said. We know what we actually mean when we say these things. We mean something else.

This allows us to evade any culpability at a later juncture if you try to tell us that we said something. We may deny that we said it and if we do admit it, our admission is only ever in the context of what we intend it to mean. We use these words and phrases as a cloak to what we are actually saying to you and the sooner you begin to understand what we are really telling you, the sooner you will achieve a clarity of understanding which will remove the fog of confusion and enable you to decide how best to respond.

By way of example here are a number of phrases which you will always hear with our kind and beneath is what is really being said to you.

I don’t think that it suits you

You look absolutely ridiculous


I didn’t look at anyone else the whole time I was out.

I kissed several people. I have no idea who they were.


You must believe me.

I am telling you a lie.


What are you thinking?

I am not going to tell you anything until I have worked you out first so I know what will be the right things to say to you.


Don’t you trust me?

I find your insecurities both irritating and wonderful. I am annoyed that you think you can exert control over me. I am pleased that you are anxious and I make you that way.


I promise.

I’m just going to tell you what you want to hear.


We will always be together.

You belong to me. I will pick you up and put you down as I see fit.


I cannot stop thinking about you.

You and her. Oh and her. Her as well.


You don’t understand me.

Everything I have told you is a lie so it is little wonder that you do not.


I like you.

You do what I want.


I need some time to myself.

I am spending the night with your best friend.


We are just friends.

We have slept together and we will again.


I am so confused.

I want someone else now.



We have nothing in common.

We never had, I just made it look that way.


You will always be special to me, no matter what happens.

Your fuel is well worth coming back for and that is why I have come back.


It was nothing serious.

Yes, we had sex.


I didn’t do it.

Oh yes I did.


I’d like to see you again.

You have more fuel to give me.


Let’s stay friends.

I want to establish a reason that seems credible to you for returning and hurting you.


I don’t really remember.

I know only too well, not that I am going to admit it to you.



I am broken.

I know saying this will sound good and I am feeling somewhat desperate at the moment to keep hold of you.


She meant nothing to me.

Her fuel meant everything to me. More than what yours means to me.


I must have been drunk.

I was drunk. I often am. I know what I did though because I wanted it to happen.


I am just speaking my mind.

You had better fucking listen to me.


I am not starting an argument here.

It’s fuel time


I wish I knew what to say to make you feel better.

I haven’t a clue and I don’t care.


I will change.

You are a fool.


I want to be a better person.

You are a bigger fool than I first thought.


You always make it all about you.

It should be all about me.


I’ve no idea who she is.

I have slept with at least a half a dozen times.


I don’t recognise that number.

I do. Why is she calling me when I told her not to?

I’m not with anybody.

I am but that is not standing in the way tonight.


It is all rather complicated.

It is bullshit.


I didn’t mean for that to happen.

Oh yes I did and I will do it again.



You made me do it.

I am too weak to accept responsibility.


You don’t have to if you don’t want to.



I don’t know who I am sometimes.

That sounds deep. She will love that.


I love you.

I expect you to do what I want.

I love your fuel.


46 thoughts on “Found In Translation

  1. Victoria says:

    Thanks again H.G. Every line has been used, what is great today, is that I finally know what they really mean. The realization of my entire relationship being a lie, is still hard to take. Thanks to you there is hope that I will not engage if he hoovers me and that I am aware. Knowledge is power. Thanks

  2. “What are you thinking?” was his favorite.

  3. Insatiable Learner says:

    Thank you for confirming, HG! Coming from you, this is a high praise indeed! I’ve got the best teacher!

  4. Insatiable Learner says:

    Thank you, HG! He told me this and variations of that when he was devaluing his now ex wife. So I presume me providing positive fuel and her negative created the contrast you spoke about. Do you think this was the case, HG? He is with the new primary source now, most likely in the golden period. I was the DS. He has been silent for a few months now. I have not reached out either. As he is most likelt getting his positive fuel with the new primary source, I suspect he does not need my fuel. However, perhaps, once he starts devaluing her and her fuel no longer satisfies him, he may think of me again? What do you think, HG? Thank you very much!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes that provided the contrast. You are correct in your analysis of the situation.

  5. Insatiable Learner says:

    So does “I need you” coming from a narc mean “I need your fuel”? Thank you, HG!

    1. HG Tudor says:


  6. MLA - Clarece says:

    I think I have a post lost in moderation from last month when JN sent a lengthy apology to me saying I did not deserve the treatment he doled out to me. He ended it with, “I am not a monster, I am human.”
    Decipher that last sentence in Narc speak.
    Momentarily I viewed it as projection on what he feels inside himself. Or was it just word salad?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      “Stop criticising me and give me some sympathy fuel.”

      1. MLA - Clarece says:

        Seriously!?!? That F*cktard.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Have you ever known me to be wrong?

          1. MLA - Clarece says:

            No dammit! Lol

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Ha ha.

  7. Never says:

    I have decided to use a marketing strategy when my greater starts down these trails of bulls@&$, I very calmly with no emotion and a flat after state ” I am not going to play this guessing game and try to determine what you mean or don’t mean. Let me tell you what I am going to do.” Then I say whatever i feel is needed and turn around and slowly walk away. If you use the same message and the same “keywords” it “sells” your position over time. And soon the narc has to accept that his/her Jedi mind tricks no longer work 😇

  8. J.R. says:

    Hi HG.
    I’m sure I already know the answer but I guess I’m looking for confirmation for closure. Early on exN told me he met a fellow businessman at an expo, had dinner with him then sent me a text saying; ‘(man’s name) wants to meet you.’ My immediate feeling knowing exN’s prior preference for the male of the species was that meant he had sex with him. Would that be a fair assessment?
    He then used this man in post discard taunting & he could now be an IPSS. I had wanted to believe him when he said he had left this side of his life behind…

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Given antecedent behaviour and the opportunity to triangulate you with this individual I would suggest the chances were high.

  9. jarwithaheavylid says:


    I love that the reason you don’t smile is because of me. I am powerful.

  10. Snow White says:

    Can you translate a few for me?
    Is it really necessary to ask almost every night “tell me what you are thing about”?
    And then I would say “nothing” and she would go on about how it must be nice not to be thinking all the time. Drove me crazy and she told me to get used to that question.

    “I am so confused” “what would you do if you were me”?
    Why did she follow up with that?

    “Why do you want to be with somebody like me”?

    In the last month we were together she said
    her girlfriend was naive and I was just crazy. What was that meaning?

    I loved this list HG! I fell for them. When the cognitive dissonance sets in for a few minutes about her behaviors you remind me 100% once again that she is what she is.
    Sometimes it feels like it was all a dream.
    Thank you!!!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      By all means SW.

      1. You should be thinking about me. Tell me something good about me.
      2. I’m not confused but I want you to give me attention and also give me more knowledge about the way you think.
      3. Flatter me.
      4. Her girlfriend was naive (but that pleased her) and you are about to be made to look crazy to everyone else.

      1. Snow White says:

        Thanks HG for the answers. How nice it is to have someone able to tell me what she really was thinking.
        I’m always appreciative of your time.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome SW.

    2. 1jaded1 says:

      Hi Snow White. I would also get the “what should I do?” “what would you do?” I still do. My standard answer has been, “I’m not you and I value our time we spend together.” This wouldn’t apply in cases of suicide threats…then it’s 911. I’ve seen friendships end bc one of the parties interpreted advice as what they should do, and not evaluating whether or not it was best for them. HG, thank you for the interpretation on this one. My pat response to him turned to “why do you care? You won’t listen anyway.”

      1. Snow White says:

        I love your answers Jaded!!!! Lol
        You are right they don’t listen and she was just trying to manipulate me.
        That’s the question I got a lot about her girlfriend and their relationship. She was truly a giving and wonderful woman and I felt bad about the situation so my ex set the stage to get me used to the idea of her being with both of us. She knew I couldn’t bare to see her break her girlfriends heart. And I’m sure she was saying the exact same thing to her girlfriend about me. They had been engaged 8 years. I was so stupid to get caught up in that.
        That dumb question came up repeatedly throughout the relationship.
        It’s not something I ever ask to anyone.

  11. Laurie says:

    I dated a guy once ( briefly) who announced, upon our having arrived at a party, “There are three women here I’ve slept with.” I can’t tell you many times I wondered how this supposedly nice guy could say something so hideous. So now, after having read your article, I’d like your translation of his phrase, HG. All I can think of myself is, “There are ten women here I’ve slept with”, or ” “Devaluation starts NOW!”

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. I am great. You should thank your lucky stars I am dating you. Now, time to triangulate you not once, be three times. Fuel ahoy!

    2. Cara says:

      I once dated a guy who told me “my female friend stalks me”, and he showed me a picture of said female friend. To his face I said, “well any woman would stalk you, you’re a quality man”…in my own head, I thought “well, he must either be sleeping with her or want to, or want me to think of her as my rival for his affection, and wanted to shove my competition in my face”. We went in the bedroom and I refused to let him shove his face in someplace. I left his place in the wee hours, leaving him unsatisfied.

  12. Cara says:

    Anytime I say “I’m sorry” I really mean “I’m sorry I got caught [in whatever lie or bad act] but not remorseful about having said/done it”.

    “I love you” means “you have something I want”

    “I’m going to make some big changes”, means “I’m bullshitting because I know you’ll buy my brand of bullshit, you always have before”.

    “No, I got the check last time we had lunch,” means “I never get the check but you can’t remember and I know this, so I’ll convince you it’s your turn to pay…again”.

  13. 1jaded1 says:

    After I escaped, we saw each other once…never again. EVER. I phoned him to thank him for something. He asked me to stop by and stupidee me, I did. I didn’t want to. I did stop by. He acted like none of the horror ever happened. He took me close and I was so uncomfortable. How could he not acknowledge what happened and pretend it didn’t happen? Now, I know.

    I offered friendship (the real kind not the word salad) and he declined. He still hoovers. I decline. I know what it is.

    As I reminisce, he was small potatoes compared to N1. N1 would be in his 60s now. My dad died when he was in his 60s. I wonder if N1 is still around but will never explore. Some things are better left alone.

  14. Matilda says:

    I recently received a hoover e-mail. For the first time, there are no doubts as to what it all means. A very liberating feeling. Thank you for teaching us, HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are most welcome Matilda.

  15. Mona says:

    Wow, I used many of them:
    I don’t think that it suits you
    You must believe me.
    Don’t you trust me?
    I promise.
    You don’t understand me.
    I like you.
    I need some time to myself.
    We are just friends.
    We have nothing in common.
    I’d like to see you again.
    Let’s stay friends.
    I am just speaking my mind.
    I wish I knew what to say to make you feel better.
    You always make it all about you.
    It is all rather complicated.
    You made me do it.
    You don’t have to if you don’t want to.
    I don’t know who I am sometimes.
    I love you.
    And in 50 % it had the same meaning as your translation. So, I am 50 % a female (male?) narc. Bad news for me. Puh, I have to think about it. We were lying at each other, no real communication at all. Narc speak mixed with true words, Thank you for opening my eyes to take a look inside of me.

  16. HG, why do the narcs sometimes do the “maybe”? I mean, I left my narc ex and after sometime I was missing him like crazy (still do sometimes to be honest). I went after him to try to get him back (I didn’t know he was a narcissist by then) and when I asked him if he still loved me, he answered: “I don’t know. It has been such a long time”, and we were separated for three months only! And then I asked him to let me know if he would find out and he answered: “who knows…”. Why do you do that, if you have no intention to go back to formal relationship? Is it just to create opportunities for hoovering? Thanks.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Conditional responses allow the exertion of control MS.

  17. Love says:

    You: I am not with anybody. (many on the roster)

    Codependent Me: I don’t want anybody else. (haven’t found another that f*cks with my mind as good as you)

    You: let’s stay friends. (I want a revolving door)

    Codependent Me: I miss us. (friends, my a$$, I need to be owned. I can’t function without you putting me through the wringer again and again and again)

  18. ANK says:

    You’re special
    You can trust me
    I adore you
    I can’t wait to see you again
    You’re gorgeous
    You’ve got an amazing body
    You’re so understanding
    You never ask for anything

    Translate as you see fit…..

    1. Prowess says:

      These are the EXACT things my narc said to me.
      I will add: I miss you terribly, You have the best body I’ve ever slept with,
      I find you fascinating and intelligent, I miss having fun with you,
      I LOVE having sex with you.
      I love as MUCH as I loved my ex.
      I love you differently than those other women. They are just friends.
      I have apologized for ALL THREE times I lied to you, why do you keep calling me a liar? YOU are the liar. YOU are everything you accuse me of.
      ETC ETC.
      All fits except “You never ask for anything.” That was unspoken. As long as i didn’t ask for anything, we got along great. As soon as I had a boundary or asked for something, especially for information, the anger and rage would blast me back.

      1. Prowess says:

        correction: “I love YOU as much as i loved my ex…we are JUST friends now.”

        I slept on the floor, she slept on the bed.
        We slept in the same bed, but she hates being touched when she sleeps, so don’t worry, nothing happened. I will never sleep with her again…we are JUST friends now. “

      2. ANK says:


        He never said I love you. It was always I adore you, or I love making love/having sex with you, You’re amazing in bed.

        He has started to look elsewhere I know now, but kept saying those things.

        He never showed anger. I think he was very clever like that. He wanted to protect his facade.

        A while back he said he missed me, that he shouldn’t because he was seeing someone else. I pointed out he was missing the sex and not me.

        These words come so easy to them. Lies to ensnare you and get what they want out of you.

    2. Prowess says:

      HG can you translate this:
      I finally got one of his other two women on the phone.
      I asked her if they were having sex.
      Her reply: “We don’t really have sex. i think he has been monogamous to you…I think he has. He seems to care about you. I hope you can work things out with him” (she did not sound believable at ALL when she said that)

      Later I saw their text messages to each other:
      She to him; “I told her we don’t have sex.”
      Him to her: “I told her too, but she doesn’t believe me.”
      Her: “What triggered her to call me like that and say all those things about you lying to me?”
      Him: “She has been adjusting her psych meds and it makes her unstable.”
      Her: “She really creeps me out. Don’t let her know I am afraid of her. She needs to think we are friends. She could cause me a lot of problems professionally.” (She is a MFT Therapist who has sex with her patients, one being my BF)
      Her: “She seemed to know a LOT of private information about me. I am afraid she is spying on me!”
      Him: “She is a stalker ! I just called and broke up with her. She is insane”
      (The truth, HE told me everything I know about her. I have NEVER stalked her, he gave me all the info)
      Her: “I love you and can’t wait to see you again”
      Him: “I love you too and can’t wait to see you again too”

      Him to me a few days later: “Of course I LOVE you. I want to get back together with you, because I MISS you and LOVE you. YOU are my passion, YOU are my ONLY lover. I am NOT looking for another relationship. I am not sleeping with ANYONE else”
      Me to him: “What about HER?”
      HIm to me: “She is ONLY a friend. We ONLY slept together one time and I HATED it. YOU are the one I love and spend the most time with, YOU are my primary relationship.”

      FYI: I know better than to go back to ANY man who would break up with me to make his OTHER women feel better and then when the other women thinks I am NOTHING to him, he comes crawling back to me trying to get back together so we can start having sex again. All the while letting his other women believe there is NOTHING going on, WE are just friends, and failed to mention WE were having a MONOGAMOUS relationship AND living together. I tried to tell this MFT therapist and she did NOT believe a word I said, even tho everything I said i knew about her hit the nail on the head.” Is she a narc too? She cared NOTHING about how I felt, questioned nothing, won’t talk to me again, and told him she wants a relationship with him.

      When he tried, and I refused to get back together with him and tried to tell him why, all I got was raging anger, accusations of my insanity, selfishness, how I BLEW it with her by calling her like that. Now she only wants to AVOID me. HE needs to GET AWAY from me and all my insanity because I make him feel like a HORRIBLE person. Etc Etc. ”

      All insane, crazy making, gas lighting BS but I am the wiser. He is a pathological liar, and that’s all he will ever be.

      TO date I refuse to go back to him. We talk on occasion, but it always ends up in an argument, then he says he has to get away from me, never wants to talk to or see me again, I am insane, I am sick, I am the narcissist, all i want to do is hurt him…etc etc. ”
      If I am anything, I am more like the Super Empath. Always helping people, especially children..I FEEL people’s pain and all I want to do is help them, and make them happy so I can feel their happiness instead of their pain. My goal in life is to bring joy and happiness to people, especially help the ones who are miserable find that bluebird of happiness inside themselves when possible.

  19. I watched my male narc roommate pull out every one of these lines. Yes I used them too and yes I slept with him. We only did a couple times because there was no way our relationship could work. Of course we both lied and said we never did. We had mutual respect for our narcissism. He was cut throat, but at the time so was I. We would compete to see who we could f#%k up the most. Then talk and laugh about it. He used to call me scandalous as a nickname. I called him ruthless. Which turned into Candy and Rufus…I was soooo mean. Aaaahhhh good times. Thanks for that trip down memory lane HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Pleasure ABB.

  20. Naomi says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I have recently been through most of this double talk with a neighbor that I thought was a friend.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome Naomi.

  21. Even after reading your blog for many months, I’d still fall for most of these. They seem like things a reasonable person would say.
    However, HG you have taught me that I can never “fix” another person, and I have taken that thought to my heart.
    The moment someone tells me they’re “broken” is the moment I disengage. Even when it’s a friend. I am no one’s psychologist, and that is stepping over the line of friendship, especially when they say that to someone who is trying to stay strong while repairing their own damage. You taught me that, thank you HG. ~ Hope

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome H4T.

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