You have been discarded in an unceremonious fashion. If that was not bad enough, word has reached you (naturally purposefully sent your way by our obliging lieutenants) that we have hooked up with someone else. You haven’t even had time to stagger up from the brutal dumping by the wayside that you have suffered and we have already invited someone else into our bed. Naturally, you want to see who has replaced you. Everybody does. This is not just a case of seeing who this person is but it is about your self-esteem and your self-worth to see who has replaced you. You organise a way to observe the replacement and through your own supporters you find some background information about this person. The combination of this viewing and intelligence gathering causes you to remark to your best friend,
“Have you seen who he is with?”
This is not announced out of breath taking admiration for the person who has replaced you. You are not looking on a stunning beauty who holds down a high-powered position in a major corporation, or who is a leader in her particular field of research. She is not known for her charitable work, being universally liked, someone who is committed to family and friends, someone who shines like a gilded trophy partner. She is the opposite.
You invariably undertake an inventory of your own selling points. I have witnessed this many times. You know that you are attractive. Many people have commented on this. Whether it is your glowing smile, your radiant eyes, your lustrous locks, your curvaceous figure, enticing cleavage, elegant shoulders and a score of other things, there is plenty about you that attracts the admiring looks. You may not be a Nobel Prize winner but you know you are bright, hard-working, articulate and have a keen interest in the world around you. You are well-liked by people. They praise your compassion, your wicked sense of humour, your wild side after a few tequilas or your competitive yet fun nature when it comes to sports and games. You are independent, aware and resourceful. You have an excellent job, you probably had money (until we appeared and leeched it away), a decent home and those trappings which denote the fact you are in regular employment and have good taste. You know you are a catch and that is not a boast. There is always room for improvement and you have your flaws, hey, who doesn’t? Nevertheless, you know you have plenty going for you.
But who on earth have we chosen?
You may not wish to be unkind to another member of the sisterhood but your jaw dropped when you saw that first picture that was posted on Facebook. We were stood there, huge grin on our face, arm wrapped around this new acquisition who is, well, everything you are not. If you are curvaceous, she is rake thin. If you are slender, she is packing some beef. Whereas you have long hair, hers is shorn short and looks as if it has been done in anticipation of her beginning a marine training course. Your elegant dress sense has been replaced by somebody who got dressed in the dark. Your eyes shine with intelligence. Hers are dulled from idiocy, drink or narcotics. Your nails are long and sharp, hers are bitten down and dirty. You learn she has no job, or is wearing an electronic tag, has a reputation around town for being a slut, had her children taken away from her, is known for shoplifting, comes from a notorious family on the other side of town and so on and so forth. Pick any combination and you will be left with someone who is not a patch on you.
You may have an initial surge of pride that you stand head and shoulders, metaphorically and possibly even literally, above your replacement, but we know that this is often overtaken by a sense of confusion and bewilderment. Why on earth have we chosen someone like her? After all the compliments that we gave you about the way you looked, how you behaved, the various characteristics that we praised and admired in you, why have we gone down market in choosing your replacement and why do we look so damned pleased about it?
There are a number of factors which you should have regard to.
- You may be witnessing a Panic Pick. If you escaped us and we had not embedded a new primary source of fuel, you will have forced us to rely on supplementary sources as we frantically sought out a new source of primary fuel. This is the result. We would ordinarily target someone who has the traits which we look for which align with the type of the narcissist that we are, however, the need to put in place some form of primary source is paramount and consequently we will sink our claws into the nearest half-decent (in terms of fuel provision) appliance we can locate, target and seduce. This person is the outcome of this. Your cessation as being our primary source of fuel, threw us into a panic and we have picked this person.
- It may be an Immediate Ego Boost. This also occurs when you have escaped us. Your escape is a huge criticism to us and wounds us. We need fuel and we need it soon. This person has not been targeted for the characteristics which we might purloin from them for our own use (as we did with you – claiming your successes and achievements as our own, basking in the reflected glory) nor have they been targeted for the residual benefits (money, status, good home and so on). This person has been targeted because they are so grateful to have someone take an interest in them that the fuel is gushing and pouring from them. It is likely, although not guaranteed (dependent on the type of narcissist that we are) that we will be a decent catch (or at least appear as one) for them. They feel extra special for having someone so good looking, successful, interesting and so forth take an interest in them. They cannot believe their luck at having traded up in the relationship stakes. Their reaction is one of total devotion, massive fuel supply and this makes us feel all the better after the wounding that we have received at your hands.
- It may be a Two Fingered Salute Triangulation (or a Middle Finger Triangulation dependent on where you hail from) which has been done entirely on purpose to undermine you. This happens where we have discarded you and we want to make you feel alarmed that we have chosen someone so beneath you but we chose them over you, so how bad will that make you feel? If you ever challenge us about this replacement and how unsuited she is, you can expect the exchanges to go something like this.
“You always told me that you loved my long hair.”
“I was lying. You took too long drying it when we wanted to go out. I have always preferred short hair and Sandy’s is just the way I like it.”
“You told me you didn’t like skinny women.”
“I never said that. You are just jealous because you are fat and I have found someone who really does it for me.”
“She doesn’t even work, you’ve always complained about people who are scroungers.”
“She looks after me. It is a shame you didn’t do that but you cared more about your job than me.”
“She is some two-bob skank whore. Everyone knows that.”
“She is a firecracker in the sack believe me. What would you know, you are an ice queen?”
Whatever part of the replacement’s appearance or whichever characteristic you identify as being undesirable, we will negate that, criticise you (even though we have always said we liked said characteristic of yours). This is done to upset you so you provide fuel, demean you and erode your self-esteem whilst making us look good in the eyes of your replacement. If this happens to you, you should consider that what is actually happening is that you are being given an early and brutal dose of the truth. What really mattered to us was your fuel and all that praise and all the compliments was solely done for the purposes of binding you to us.
- This arrangement provides the basis for a Triangulated Hoover to win you back which stands a greater chance of success.
“I was so lost without you, I lost the plot and chose her. I have no idea what I was thinking, she was not a patch on you, do you see how much you mean to me? I could not find anybody who came close to you. I made a huge mistake and she made me realise that it is you that I really do love. Let’s try again?”
The comparison between you and this less endearing individual and our apparent remorse and contrition is designed to maximise the prospects of this hoover succeeding. You will be shocked by how “off the rails” we appeared to go in choosing the skanky individual and you will be relieved by our apparent realisation that you are the one for us that you are far more likely to accept our overtures and be hoovered.
We will behave like we have found our soul mate (sound familiar?) in order to confuse you and make you feel utterly miserable that we are now happy with this person who we chose over you. You will invariably be caught in the grip of still wanting us and therefore to have been discarded and then replaced with someone like her, hurts you hugely.
Accordingly, should you ever find yourself remarking,
“Have you seen who he is with?”
On the basis of sheer amazement at the down-trading that has gone on, you will now understand the motive and rationale behind it. You should also keep in mind that whichever of the four scenarios detailed above has happened, your replacement will not be in situ for long. This person is a temporary primary source of fuel who will soon be dispensed with. This person is a stop gap to allow us to receive sufficient fuel in the interim while a more suitable and longer lasting victim is selected or is a method purely designed to lash out at you and hurt you until we find again someone more suitable and longer-term.
For once we are not reflecting you.