Cold Comfort

 

 

COLDCOMFORT

 

It is a well-recognised trait of ours that we do not feel empathy. We know how to show empathy. You and others have exhibited this on many occasions so we understand the facial expression to adopt, the tilt of the head, the appropriate body language such as a hand on the arm or an arm around the shoulders. We have listened most carefully so we understand the phrases to trot out,

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Is there anything I can do to help; it must feel terrible.”

“I understand where you are coming from, believe me and just tell me how I can help you.”

“I know how you feel.”

“I would feel upset too if this had happened to me.”

I have watched people like you in action as they exhibit their empathic nature and I have scoured the internet as well to gather a few choice phrases there also. Put all of this together and our kind is able to exhibit a convincing display of empathy which will fool almost everyone. You will see this false empathy exhibited during seduction when we want to show you how we are a kind, caring and sympathetic person so you will feel drawn to us even more. We know the correct recipients of this false empathy as well, the sick, the elderly, the stray cat, the homeless, the earthquake victim, the child with the distended stomach because he has not eaten for days, the earnest looking villagers crowded around a newly sunk well and so on. Yes, I know all of those who need some empathic reactions and I will provide them in front of you so you are all the more attracted to me. So that I fit in.

It is, of course, all for show. I do not feel it. Not at all. Not one iota, speck or scintilla of empathy. Show me a report of some tragedy and my eyes will glide across the text as I register what has happened. Inside I feel nothing. There is no response. I do not feel sorry for the people involved in the aftermath of the hurricane. I do not imagine what it must be like for them and how they must feel. Certainly I am intelligent enough to know how they must feel but I do not put myself in their shoes. I do not imagine what it must be like for them. There is no pulling at my heart strings, a feeling of upset, despondency or even anger at the injustice they may have suffered. Of course as you seek my response from alerting me to this latest disaster I will form a furrowed brow, shake my head and issue some suitable words to make you think that I care. That is of course if I want your positive reaction whereby you look on approvingly at my supposed compassion. If I no longer seek positive fuel from you then I will use it as an opportunity to provoke you.

“And?” is usually a good starting point for drawing a reaction from an empathic individual to something terrible.

“What do you mean and? These people are homeless and injured. They live on a small island and have no power and no clean water.”

“What do you expect me to do about it? They shouldn’t live there then.”

“What? Do you really mean that?”

“Yes. Their choice. They have to deal with it.”

This will invariably provoke a stunned silence or protestations. You may follow me as I walk away asking me how can I not feel for these people. You may express anger or outrage and naturally this is what I want you to do. The fact is I feel nothing. If I see a charity appeal on television I am unmoved. I have nothing in common with the people who are requesting help. I cannot identify with how they must feel in any way. It is a total disconnection.

The situation is different with those who I interact with and especially those who are an intimate partner when I am devaluing you. If you are ill and wanting some support and those three dreaded words “tender loving care” I do not feel nothing. I feel an overwhelming sense of disgust and revulsion. How have I come to couple with someone so pathetic and weak? Why did I agree to live with someone who is sneezing, coughing and rasping? They are trying to infect me aren’t they? Trying to bring me down to their level. I know what their plan is and I will not be duped. I see no reason why I should waste my time and energy dealing with somebody like this. It is a drain on my resources and there is little or no fuel to be had. Moreover, the sense of disgust drives me to get away from you. I cannot stand to see such weakness, such illness and such infirmity. I must escape it and thus I will disappear, sometimes with an excuse and often without in order to avoid this horrific scene.

When you are upset, perhaps over a bad day at work or an argument with a friend and you tearfully explain what is troubling you, expect to be met with a shrug. What do you expect me to do about it? It is your problem, not mine. Sort it out yourself. If you persist pleading with me to listen and to help you then I become irritated at your commandeering my time in this manner. Do you not realise I have much to do myself? I cannot forgo my own machinations and fuel gathering to play agony aunt to your whinging and whining. Your pathetic concerns annoy me and you will can expect me to berate you in order to further your misery so I at least draw some negative fuel from your upset. That way the situation is not one which will be completely written off. If your upset is even greater following the loss of your job or a bereavement, we will show no regard for your feelings and indeed exploit your misery during our devaluation. We will take this opportunity when you are vulnerable to extract further fuel. That is what matters to us. We feel the need for fuel. We do not feel any compassion or warmth towards you and indeed your selfishness in concentrating on yourself when you should be attending to us infuriates us. We will suggest that you never bothered much with that family member when they were alive so why are you now getting upset when they have passed away? You cry about your sacking and we suggest that you deserved it because you were not working hard enough. We will extract that negative fuel from your tears, your hurt, your frustration and your anger and once that has been obtained we will leave you to it. We have got what we want and there are other things, notably other people we can better spend our time with, rather than remaining with you and being subjected to your self-centred pity. We know you find such an approach heartless and abhorrent but there is no hope for anything else. We do not feel compassion or sympathy. There is no need for us to fake it because we can draw negative fuel, we do not need to make you like us or admire us and provide positive fuel. This is how we have been created. This is the cold comfort that you will always receive from us whenever you have a moment of need, upset or anguish. Deal with it.

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11 thoughts on “Cold Comfort”

  1. So now I am curious. What is the internal dialogue of the Greater who is making a big verbal to do about someone he is providing care for? In one case the Greater is providing round the clock long term care for his ailing mother. Visits her every Sunday. Does he not give a shit about her? In another, this Greater cousin of mine bought his middle aged narc daughter twin babies to raise. Do these men have no connection or feeling for these first degree relatives they seem so empathic towards? Or do they merely do this shit so they can constantly get everyone to regard them as empathic?

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  2. I know it too well! I have all comfort both to him and his Children. We’re there for them 24/7 with all my love, empathy and devotion. When I needed any comfort I got nothing..was even told “I didn’t know how to comfort you” …
    I wasted too much time on this horrible man.
    The last straw was “I didn’t feel that you loved me”!!! So taking care of you and your kids, making love twice a day, being there for all your needs.. was not love? Bullshit! It was when I broke loose and started to criticize you.. when I was no food supply and needed to go!
    I now comfort myself and it’s been a long road!
    I totally understand his lack of love and empathy.. thank you for this HG

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  3. Ive been made fun of for “donating”.

    And? Well i hope you never find yourself on that corner. I would love to help every one of them.

    If you respond at all, I expect And? Lol.

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  4. I can’t express the gratitude for this site. I could not understand the brutality and cruelty I allowed for so long.

    Not knowing these individuals can do this to you,will always make me cautious to say the least. At least now I know the monster. It is so crazy that the say they love you, love you yet lie right to your face ,the promises made were never kept as he would change his mind, or I misunderstood.

    I see his picture on a sex site, but I was mistaken he claims. Even though it had recent posts from him. I just don’t trust him and he is tired and will not talk to me when he is out to sea.
    I married a Merchant Marine Officer and he was gone 30 day and back 30 days. Yet would sit on a porn site for hours when home. Never wanting to do anything with me at all. Make plans and say that it would be more fun with someone else. Everyone hated me and I was a Psyco B and never had a relationship like this one. Only know better.

    Communication? Not ever. I would want to talk about our relationship, but voice would start getting higher and he would retreat in another bedroom.

    For me the hardest thing was realizing that he could not love. HE took my house money and paid off $40,000 dollars in credit card bills he had before our marriage. After all he was entitled due to our recent marriage. I paid for my courtship and others. So I paid for the “love bombing”

    He claimed that he had a job in Florida (we lived o West Coast) and sold everything to find there never was a job. Left I’m after educating myself and he left with the same suitcase he showed up with.
    I still can not understand why the charge cards are so high again. He went back to the West Coast after selling the motorhome and finally had to kick him out as he was not looking for a job.

    I am so grateful that I read Manipulated and the others. I get it.
    I am not a victim and I trusted .

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    1. Hi Arlene, I am so sorry for what you have been through. It is very very difficult to make sense of everything. HG is correct though- keep reading and contributing.
      I stumbled across this blog only a week ago and I can’t tell you how much it has helped clear the confusion already. When the fog lifts calm resumes….
      I wish you well with your healing Arlene.

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    2. Arlene,
      I can totally sympathize with you-I was with my Narc. for 10+ years. Thanks to H.G.’s books, (I have now read 18 on kindle reader)this blog and NO CONTACT-it is getting a bit easier every day. I have had 3 “benign hoovers” from him via text message and it’s the first time that I have not answered. It has been 2 months and 27 days. I could never have achieved this prior to getting educated by reading the books and finally having 2 pvt consultations with H.G. I know the pain and hurt you are going through, I sometimes felt If I can just get through another day. Reaching out to friends and family and letting them know the truth about the narc as well as staying busy helps.
      I know you will be okay! As I used to say to my narc whenever he started an argument-out of nowhere(devaluation) You will never destroy me! And guess what-deep down inside we are stronger than them and always will be!

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  5. HG,
    When you mention, ” I cannot stand to see such weakness” in reference to when we are not feeling well, could it be that they cannot stand to see a moment of weakness because it reminds them of their inner self-without the facade: weak, inadequate, insecure, etc?
    Thanks,

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    1. That is possible. It is also the case that we do not have any emotional empathy for your situation which would otherwise compel us to look after you and it irritates us that you expect assistance and support as this uses up our energy.

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