There once was a girlfriend of mine called Lesley. My preferred method of gathering fuel from her and also manipulating her was to call her It. This was extremely demeaning and in line with my worldview that people are just objects and appliances to do things for me. You may be an admiring appliance, you may be an accommodating appliance and run around for me. Alternatively you may be an enabling appliance providing me with what I want. A person is an appliance is an object. I was able to reinforce this especially with Lesley. I did not do it all the time. This would have diluted its effect. I would however be consistent in its application however. In some respects it was a half-way house to the Silent Treatment as I was not acknowledging her completely, I was belittling her but not quite ignoring her totally. The fact I was talking about her made her feel as if she had to respond and thus I got what I was looking for; a reaction.
I would start first thing in the morning. As ever, I was awake first as I had had a refreshing night’s sleep, the sleep of the just. She had probably lay awake for a few hours after I turned my back on her when she wanted to make love. She knew better than to pester me though. As I lay on my elbow looking at her freckled face, she would blink into wakefulness. Her blue eyes would meet mine and I would see the hope surge in them as she knew I was looking at her.
“Ah,it is awake,” I would smile maintaining my gaze. The hope immediately became crushed and although she tried to hide it, I could see my blow had landed.
“Oh don’t do that please, it is horrible,” she would say pleasantly.
“It seems to have something to say. It always has,” I would remark. She would shake her head.
“Please, stop it, you know I don’t like it when you do that.”
“It wants us to stop. It always wants its own way.”
“No I don’t.”
“It is getting annoyed now. It is always loses its temper.”
“Pack it in.” She would rise from the bed and make for the shower. I would hover nearby and give a running commentary.
“It is washing itself using the shower gel we bought for it. It likes to smell nice.”
“It is washing its hair now. It is trying to wash the guilt away. It reeks of it.”
Lesley would try to ignore the comments but I knew from her sighs and the slumping of the shoulders it was getting to her. Having subjected her to maybe fifteen minutes of commenting on what she was doing, I shifted the tack and began to use this technique in a more suggestive fashion.
“It ought to wear a pencil skirt and blouse today. It does not want to look too sloppy even if it is a Friday.”
Lesley would pick out the suggested outfit. I knew why she did it. She felt that by making this suggestion, even though I was still calling her it, it showed I was interested in her and she lapped it up. She completely missed that this was what I wanted her to do for me and was nothing to do with being interested in her.
“It really ought to cook breakfast as we must not go hungry.”
“It would do well to ensure the shopping is done before we return this evening.”
“It should remember we are going out tonight and it is not invited.”
She would depart for work, bristling but not wanting to escalate matters. My technique would continue through the day. I would telephone her and ask,
“Is it busy?”
“Yes I am, so now you are talking to me are you?”
“It wants to know if we are talking to it. No we are not.” I would put the phone down.
By evening she would be pleading with me to stop it, tears welling in her eyes. Lesley had had enough of my objectification which was sustained and cutting through out the day. As I picked up my wallet in readiness to heading out with my friends, without her, I would turn and say,
“I am going out now. I will see you later.”
The smile that erupted across her face was immense as I had dropped the It commentary.
“Okay, have a good time,” she would answer pleasantly.
“I will. Bye Karen.”
I never looked over my shoulder but I knew how using the wrong name would hurt her.
Learn more about how the narcissist is manipulating you. Knowledge is power.