Do We Ever Listen?
You may not think it but we do actually listen to you. I appreciate that may seem odd because you think the way we act means we cannot possibly be listening to you. We take no notice of what you say because we still go ahead and do the same things that we have done before. We keep repeating a comment as if we have never heard your answer the first time around. You remind us about the time we are meeting and we turn up late or not at all. You could be forgiven for thinking that we are very poor listeners. The reality is that we are very good listeners. The difference is that we choose to hear differently.
When you are shouting at us, advancing your argument in a forceful manner we will be responding to what you are saying, usually with denial and deflection. We are not interested in what you are saying, we are concerned with hearing your feelings. We want to hear the strangulated and seething anger that manifests in your words because then we know (along with seeing your contorted and reddened face) that you have reacted to our provocation and accordingly you are providing us with fuel. If you are hurling insults at us, calling us names and berating our dress sense, weight and intelligence we are not wounded by these criticisms because the fact you are spitting with venom, shouting them in a rage or shrieking with delight as you insult us means you are providing the emotion that equates to fuel. The harsh names just dissipate because we are not hearing them. We are hearing the emotion of what is being said, that is what matters. You can devise the most original insult the world has ever know but if you throw it at us with emotion then all we hear is your emotional reaction. Have you often wondered why we are smiling when you are arguing with us? It is because you are giving us what we want; fuel. Oh and also because we know that smiling at you will infuriate you all the more.
We listen to you with considerable attention during the initial stages of the seduction. We ensure that every snippet of information, every morsel of knowledge that will assist us in seducing you and binding you tight to us is heard and absorbed, filed away in readiness for use at the appropriate time. Each time you reveal to us a new restaurant you have found or a new play that has just opened which you like we take notice. When you tell us about your friends we listen in anticipation of bringing them under our spell also. When we listen at this juncture you think we are attentive and interested in you. Indeed, we are and your reaction to this is to praise us, thus providing us with fuel, and to feel attracted to us, thus binding you to us. Our interest however is not as you would normally perceive because our interest is borne out of the use we can make of what you tell us, in order to further our own agenda.
We also listen to you to understand how our behaviours affect you. We listen to the praise and delight you gush forth and we note what we did that caused this. When we subject you to devaluation we soak up the fuel you pour towards us but we also listen to how it is affecting you. You tell us about how it hurts, how you cannot sleep, how you feel anxious, how you feel sick, how you are frightened, how you do not understand. We do not care how you feel but we are most interested in you telling us this. This forms feedback based on our various manipulations. As we gather the fuel from your tearful pleading we also ascertain how what we have said has had an effect on you. We listen to you explaining to us how you feel because we do not feel it ourselves. We need to learn from you in this respect. We need to learn so we can mimic is when the need arises. We need to learn that if somebody feels a sense of loss then they will cry. Accordingly, if we anticipate losing you then an appropriate reaction would be to cry. We have learned from what you have shown us and what you have told us. See, I told you that we pay attention to you. We also listen so we know just how effective our manipulation has been. Is what you are telling us explaining a minor degree of hurt and sadness or is it more substantial? We do not know ourselves because we do not feel sadness ourselves. That redundant emotion was either stripped from us or never allowed to develop in the first place. Accordingly, in order to understand what makes someone sad, a little bit sad or devastatingly sad we have to observe your responses and listen to what you are saying. We do not stand and listen because we are concerned and because we want to find a solution to your state of sadness. That serves no purpose to us at all. What we are doing is listening to the detail of your misery so we can replicate it. We can replicate both in terms of pretending we feel miserable when the occasion suits us and we also replicate it to make someone miserable for the purposes of control and the gathering of fuel.
It is through listening that we hone our manipulative skills. It is through listening that we learn all about you, what you like and what you dislike, what your hopes are and what vulnerabilities you have that we can exploit. Through listening we understand how you feel so we can mimic this. It is through listening that we are able to comprehend how you are affected by what we do. Yes, we spend a lot of time talking, telling the world about how brilliant we are and this is of course the way of what we are but you would be surprised at just how much we listen. Just because we may not be listening based on what you deem to be important is does not mean we are not listening at all. Far from it.
Accordingly, next time you plead that we listen to you for once or that you beg us to “listen to what I am saying” you will find that we are and you will come to regret it.
22 thoughts on “Do We Ever Listen?”
You call that thinking?…
You must be talking from experience then
I think a lobotomy should do it.
You know, I always thought that there was something wrong with me, being the way I am. I thought I should not pay attention to what I feel and how, because it was literally engulfing me with feelings and emotions, so much that sometimes I could hardly speak.
That’s why I like to write down things. It helps to track everything that’s going on. Also learning another language helped. I found other and new ways to express what I felt inside.
Still I felt weak, compared to other people who had no problems with thoughts and emotions.
But now, the more I read about your view of the empaths the more I think we have a sort of a gift. It’s interesting the way you talk about us, the way you look for us and need us.
We should be more aware of who we are and appreciate it more.
We are always so concentrated in others that we forget about ourselves.
Well said. I agree completely and can relate to this especially the part about feeling like something is wrong with me being engulfed in feelings as well. During frustration many times I wish I felt nothing like the people who do this to all of us. Can you imagine? The grass always seems greener.
I’m not hitting like to your post bc I’m not gravatared. I am afraid that if I register then he’ll track me down.
I agree. I also thinks being an empathy is a gift. The ability to read the emotions of others. It does bother me often, because instead of focusing on things that are important to me I just hear this ‘noise’ when around people. I get this feeling of knowing when others are angry or annoyed. That is why I like to be alone.
I like to be alone for the same reason. I love to go to church when nobody is there. The most peaceful moments of my day.
I have a question regarding what you summarize here:
“When we subject you to devaluation we soak up the fuel your pour towards us but we also listen to how it is affecting you. You tell us about how it hurts, how you cannot sleep, how you feel anxious, how you feel sick, how you are frightened, how you do not understand. We do not care how you feel but we are most interested in you telling us this.”
I found that when I shared the above feelings with mine, he always had something “caring” to say. Such as “It pains me that you feel that way”, “I am sorry you are suffering”, “It is all because of me, for coming into your life the way I did”….and so on. I thought your type was never sorry. If your type does not care how I feel then why say the above sentiments? Surely giving this “reassurance” (although false) would be a waste of your time then? Mine used to apologize and say sorry to me constantly. But on the flip side he also removed the phrase “I love you” and replaced it with “I care for you” or “I care about you”. Ugh. Why?
No it is not a waste of our time because
1. This is a manifestation of cognitive empathy and allows us to practise our mimicking;
2. It will cause you to give us more fuel;
3. It keeps you blinded to what we are ; and
4. It maintains a facade
I suppose to a regular person it is seen as time wasting. But to your kind, the explanation you give makes sense. It hurts like hell, but it makes sense. So thank you for that (making sense that is).
HG, I am so sorry that you had to learn reactions instead of emotions. When you are consistently shutting down your right brain and strictly using left brain life is easy. You don’t feel anything and you don’t get hurt. Sadness is not a unnecessary emotion. It became redundant probably because you felt it so much as a child and it was so uncomfortable you had to cut it out to survive. You let the logical left brain tell your emotional right brain to shut down. Especially if someone told you to stop crying or said it was weak or continually taught you that feeling was bad and to shut it down. Out of fear it could have shut down too. If you fear your abuser you eventually emotionally shut down. You call that a broken appliance because their emotions are all gone. You break them. Someone broke you and I am so very sad this happened to you. I wish I could take away all the bad that happened to you. You didn’t deserve it and it was not your fault. I understand what you became and the control you need. I really hope the good doctors have gotten you to at least entertain different coping mechanisms. It hard to change when you don’t see the need. What good is it to feel when those emotions just let you down. I hope one day you will trust yourself and others to let you feel. Don’t be alarmed once the floodgates are opened, it can be the most fearful thing to feel so much at once. It will level off and then regulate. I really hope you try it sometime. In the meantime keep your expert listening skills and use them for good. 💙
This is how I feel too. Narcissists are still human at the end of the day, no matter how much society demonizes them.
I hope HG lets your words sink in, they are exactly what I told my ex more than once. He looked like I was speaking a different language. It hurts to see them hurt.
Anna Belle Black,
That is so insightful and beautiful. Thank you.
I second all of this.
I wonder (feel free to ignore if this is way too personal) if EMDR is helpful in healing the early childhood trauma?
I also wonder that if it is, and someone can learn to feel a full range of emotion, would they be able to tolerate knowing what they have done previously? That would likely be a terribly intense thing, depending on what sorts of…machinations one has been up to.
I wonder if some of this response is a child’s brain going into shock after a major trauma/abuse, not being able to process what happened, and not being able to come back out of shock again.
…I wonder a lot.
Eowyn of Rohan? I like that name regardless.
EMDR. The Book The Body Keeps Score by Van Der Kalk, talks about this technique. I’ve never had it. The question you raise about how one would feel about past behaviors. This becomes a conscience matter. How does one clear It? If you go in a biblical direction, you repent, turn around and stop the behavior. You go to God in prayer, ask for forgiveness and are forgiven. King David made plenty of mistakes and he was God’s chosen anointed King. His feelings are recorded for us. The way God dealt with him was too. He had much pain and joy in his life. He was human and so are we. Our imperfections prevent us from ever being completely free from the effects of sin. However I do believe we are survivors and there are ways that will help one to forgive oneself for past choices. If we were to continue to beat ourselves up over past mistakes not one of us would be standing. Forgiveness plays a huge part.
As far as the child being in shock, yes I could see that. Do they remain in a state of shock? The book The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Seigel talks about left/right brain functions during trauma. I guess you could say in a sense, that since the emotional or right brain is shutting down then they remain in a state of shock. If you could exercise that part of the brain in a safe environment with professionals it seems you could pull yourself out of the shocked state or right brain shutdown and in this hypothetical develop emotions. Now this is if it is agreed that a full range of emotions are available in the right side of the brain. Some think that not all emotions were there to begin with. I believe that the emotions are there because I believe we were created in God’s image and his traits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith and self control are innate in all of us. I think that these traits can be damaged by trauma or abuse. I think they can be nurtured and just like with any muscle they can be developed through exercise. If you practice being any one of those traits they will get easier to do. You will not be perfect but you can do your best.
I do wonder as well. I think wondering is what keeps it interesting. I think there may be some that accept and walk away. They are not thinkers. Wondering and trying to see it from all sides involves the taking in of knowledge. Knowledge from a variety of sources. We both know the best knowledge on the subject of what a narcissist thinks and his techniques is right here with HG. I think he’s wonderful. 💙
I wonder as i wander….
Anna Belle Black
I believe that is not necessarily true that Narcissists are what they are because they have been hurt when young…
They have a choice like any other humans.
We all have bad and good traits, it is how we put our heart and mind to choose.
The narcissists can do it as well, and
they are choosing.
They can choose to change or not, they are not ” handicapped”.
I love this article -as always it is spot on!
Interesting and with what I know now from the ex’s freshly discarded new supply, I see where I was a “better” source of fuel. I would try to contact during silence, engage and defend when verbal abuse accured or expressed my love the best I could. Being a writer doesn’t help I know now.
New supply was silent when he was silent. She would wait till he reached out and no begging and pleading now either. Weird, isnt she supposed to love him? *wil
Is it safe to assume she wasnt useful to him due to lack of response? I also think she was just a way to punish me for calling him out. He sure showed me, sigh.
On a very different note. Kim Wilson just uploaded a video stating that how the narc smears you is how they will remember you. Is this accurate? I ask because you sometimes write nice about a previous ex.
Whether we smear you or not depends on the circumstances arising from the cessation of the relationship, it is covered in the book Smeared.