Confusion is at the heart of the narcissistic dynamic. Confusion causes several things to happen. You provide fuel far more readily, you submit to our control, you are easier to manipulate, your blame yourself, you cling on tighter and you do not move forward. Confusion reigns during devaluation. Confusion abounds post escape and especially post discard. Confusion keeps appearing during the hoovers which inevitably appear. The creation of confusion is a must for us if we are to keep our grip on you and achieve our aims. How many times have you said any of the following?
Why is he doing this?
I don’t understand why one moment she is fine and the next she is a howling banshee?
Why does he get so angry over nothing?
Why won’t he leave me alone?
I cannot work out what is wrong.
What’s the matter? What have I done wrong?
Why won’t you tell me what is the matter?
What was that for?
What did you say that for?
Why did you just do that?
These are all the common responses of victims who do not understand what is happening to them. This is because each and every single one of them is looking at the situation through their own world view and is accordingly applying their own logic to the situation. They are also doing so in a skewed fashion because that logic is heavily tainted by emotion which impairs clarity of thought. Not that our kind would complain about that.
One of the central planks to understanding the narcissistic dynamic is to understand our Toxic Logic. This is so-called because the effect of the application of our logic is that it has a toxic effect on you. Once you understand this toxic logic, you will make considerable advances into understanding why we behave as we do, why we say the things we do, why we react in the fashion that we do and why it impacts on you in such a fashion. You will not like this toxic logic. You will find it abhorrent but it is not necessary for you to like it. What you must do is apply it.
When you look at a situation adopting your worldview it is akin to staring into the dark of the night and looking into a forest. You may be able to see the trees because of the moonlight; you see lots of shadows but you cannot spot the man that is lurking there training a gun on you. Apply night vision goggles to that situation and all of a sudden you can see much more as they catch the infra-red section of the light spectrum and you can see the assassin clearly. Applying the toxic logic is the equivalent of switching to night vision. You will notice things that have been there all along. You will understand why we have responded in a certain way which has previously been a complete mystery to you.
Let us take the dinner table example. You have made dinner. you serve the four guests first, place a plate for yourself on the table and then serve your narcissist last. He knocks the plate to the floors spilling the food and breaking the plate. Your guests gasp. He stares at you, glowers and you watch shocked and puzzled as he storms off from the dining room. Why on earth did he just do that? Fifteen minutes later he returns, sits down and converses with you and the guests as if nothing has happened. How can he do that after such a display?
Looking at it from your worldview, you served the four guests first because that is polite. You then served yourself because your place setting was nearest to the food so that was practical. You served the narcissist last because he was furthest away and also you gave him more than the others since you didn’t have to save any of the food for anybody else, since everybody had been served. The evening had been proceeding in a friendly and pleasing fashion with everybody enjoying themselves. There is, from your worldview, no reason at all for this sudden display of temper.
He returns with no apology or sense of embarrassment at his behaviour and continues as if he has just been to the bathroom or to answer the door. He is pleasant and charming to both you and the guests. Again from your worldview, you are left puzzled by this behaviour. Who on earth behaves like that?
Now you apply the toxic logic and the reason is all too clear. By serving the narcissist last you told him through this action, which was not accompanied by any fuel, that he was not important. This was a criticism. This wounded him. His self-defence response to this wounding was the ignition of his fury. He could not keep it under control because of the type of narcissist that he is. The fury therefore manifested as heated fury. He tipped the plate to the floor spilling the food and breaking the plate. This caused drama and had all eyes on him. The guests were taken aback and their gasps of surprise and shock provided him with emotional attention, thus fuel. Your stunned reaction also provided him with fuel. He then walked out, drawing further emotional reaction from everybody assembled and in another room he has been able to draw on Thought Fuel as he imagines the ongoing reaction to his outburst. All of this fuel goes to the repair of the narcissistic wound that he has suffered. His fury will abate and he will return at some point as if nothing has happened.
Indeed, he returns, fury abated and is able to switch back without any show of concern to be charming and pleasant, thus drawing positive fuel from all those he is engaging with. Out of politeness, nobody mentions the incident, no doubt fearing a repeat performance.
This is but one example amongst millions that normal healthy people and empathic healthy people just cannot understand. Internally, those who witnessed the incident may be anxious, puzzled, pleased that it is over, wondering what caused it, wary of it happening again and a whole host of other thoughts. None of them will actually understand why it happened. It is only the application of the toxic logic that allows you to understand it.
So, what is this toxic logic? I shall example the main principles behind it. As you read these principles I know you will be thinking such thoughts as
But that is insane
That is ridiculous
Why live like that?
Can’t he or she see how crazy that looks?
Remember, it only appears that way because you are applying your own worldview to these principles. In order to understand and apply the toxic logic you have to let go of your logic – for the time being – and just accept that these are the principles we operate by. As I mentioned before, it is irrelevant whether you like them or agree with them. You should not feel any need to challenge them. You should just accept that this is the way that it is and once you do that, you will grasp why we are as we are. These are the principles of our toxic logic.
- Fuel is everything to us. It governs everything we do, whether by instinct or by calculation.
- Nothing is ever our fault. Nothing at all.
- We are entitled to do what we want, when we want, where we want, how we want and with whom we choose.
- You are the competition.
- Everybody is an appliance that yields fuel.
- If you do what we want, you are good.
- If you do not do what we want, you are bad.
- There is no middle, no grey, no inbetween.
- The end always justifies the means.
- We have no concept of remorse, guilt or a conscience.
- The world is against us.
- Anything that blocks, defies, challenges or calls into question our superiority is a criticism., if it is done without providing fuel.
- We hate criticism
- Criticism wounds us and ignites our fury.
- We must control our environment. Control is paramount to us.
- We do not recognise boundaries
- We have no empathy
- We mimic and copy to pretend we have certain emotions and feelings.
- We lie repeatedly.
- Fuel is everything to us – worth repeating.
This logic is toxic because the outcome is that you are manipulated. We abuse people, we use people, we trample on people and do so without any concerns at all for that person’s wellbeing. You will be considering such behaviour and outlook at odious and reprehensible and coming from an empathic individual that is entirely understandable.
Let us apply the toxic logic to another scenario.
You send your narcissist a text message asking when he will be coming home. You receive no reply. You text again. No reply. You ring. There is now answer. Your narcissist eventually appears at 2am when you are lying still awake in bed. There is no apology, no explanation and he says nothing to you but gets into bed and falls asleep. You are left worried, bewildered and upset.
From your world view you cannot understand why he did not respond to a perfectly reasonable text message. You cannot understand why he did not tell you he would be late. You know of no reason why he would stay out so late and not warn you. You find it hurtful and upsetting and you are confused because he is meant to love you and if someone loves someone then they do not behave this way. I have heard such comments many times.
Now apply the toxic logic.
The narcissist is entitled to do as he pleases. Thus if he wants to stay out, he can.
The narcissist is never to blame. Therefore, he feels no compulsion to warn you he will be late, to apologise for returning late or to offer any explanation.
Your text message sought to exert control over him. You are the competition. This is prohibited conduct.
The text message was not accompanied by fuel. By suggesting that he was beholden to you, this amounted to a perception of criticism by the narcissist. He felt wounded. Some narcissists could control the fury that is ignited and might have answered. This narcissist could not. His response was cold fury through a silent treatment. Hence the failure to reply and answer the ‘phone.
He gained Thought Fuel knowing that you would be concerned and worried at his failure to reply and him staying out late. This would heal the wound and abate the ignited fury.
He was justified treating you in this fashion because he is entitled and the end always justifies the means. Further, fuel is everything.
Thus, when looked at from the narcissist’s perspective, applying the toxic logic everything makes perfect sense to him, but viewed from your perspective it will not. The toxic logic will repeatedly explain to you why we suddenly erupt, go silent, suddenly apply the golden period again, why we carry on like normal afterwards, why we never apologise or if we do it is a false apology and so forth. Everything about what we say and do, how we behave and respond appears nonsensical, confusing and puzzling when looked at from your perspective. This means you give us fuel, try harder to please us, submit to our manipulations and remain in our grip. It also means that your empathic traits of needing to understand, wanting the truth, being good and decent and trying to help are catered for. Thus, sub-consciously, you are getting something you need from it, even though it is upsetting you, angering you or frustrating you. Our behaviour, lacking any logic in your world, keeps you where we want you and also caters for your empathic needs meaning you remain in place.
Every time something happens which perplexes you, you will suffer the consequences of our toxic logic. You are hurt, upset, mystified, anxious and so on. If, however, you apply our toxic logic to what has happened you will work out why it has happened. It is not always easy to do. it takes time to work it out. It takes discipline and repeated application in a way that is alien to you. You will not like it. You will not approve, but you will understand. Once you start to understand, you gain control. Once you start to understand, the toxic effects of being confused, bewildered and lost are ameliorated. Once you understand, you can begin to establish a way to deal with the application of this toxic logic so that the effects become less and less effective. You are then taking your first steps to freedom.
35 thoughts on “Toxic Logic”
Toxic Logic: here is a quote in today’s paper from Trump regarding the investigation into the alleged collaboration with Russia during his campaign, “I didn’t say that. And if I did there’d be nothing wrong if I did say it.”
I think #s 3, 9, 10, 15, 16 & 19 all apply here.
(read A Very POTUS Narcissist posted here on 4/06/17)
…according to everybody that I’ve read today. But I did not say that.”
I think one very important thing to remember here is as HG said once in an article ……they (the narc) are mirroring ourselves back to us. Only they are an illusion and we (the entangled one) are not. It is true that the Narc reflects parts of ourselves back to us, primarily those parts that we are denying ourselves. That is the key: what are you denying yourself? Ask yourself this question. That is what the Narc will reflect back to you. Therein lies the lesson that you need to learn, in order for your personal growth, inner joy, and evolution.
You are so right, Dodo, and you have phrased it really well. “What do we deny ourselves”. I have just recently thought about that effect of … kind of walking around in that illusion, which is so perfectly mirrored, that it is very hard to differentiate for our brains, so to speak. Like .. maybe … when it is perfect enough for our mirror neurons, critical thinking is not possible anymore. The age old trap of our wishes, denial and also of not seeing our own weaknesses.
I had to think of episodes from “Charmed” or “Star Trek Next Generation”, where people are almost completely trapped within such an illusion and/or by having wishes granted. It’s really like walking in a fog, and it’s really hard to see through that. And when you just had a Genie granting you your wishes you kind of have a chance knowing that but not when meeting a narc. 😉
So, yes, it’s a central question and essential to know ourselves.
Yes! Holo Deck on Star Trek!!! What a great comparison, Ava!
Understanding toxic logic is the key to developing a true sense of self.
Things well people used to upset me before. Now if someone does something, I don’t take it personally at all not ever just explain it away in a rational manner. I feel the most complete and mentally stable I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I don’t think anything could unbalance me ever. Irritate me, perhaps but even that takes some doing now.
Being in this side is truly enlightening and amazing.
it seems that he felt narcissistic injury from something, lost his control, it turned into narcissistic rage and he called me. Can you help me understand this a bit better?
I can. If you wish to understand wounding and the ignition of fury in more detail, please read the book Fury. Alternatively if you wish to discuss this by reference to your specific situation in detail, please arrange a consultation.
Ok. Thank you!
What is this situation: My uncle (not blood related) was accused of lying by his wife (my aunt, blood related to me) and she told him that he drove me out of the house (I left). He called me the next day and said, “If you have a problem with me, then tell me, and we will talk about it.” He said that twice to me. He also said that, “I love you and I don’t want anything to come between us…” and he was basically saying that his wife (my aunt) is the problem and he said that she is saying crazy things and that she is saying that he is lying. (They were arguing over a fight that happened when she was drunk and got physical (it was only that one time, she is sweet as pie when she is sober, she is alcoholic, not a narc but I think that he is). I was there and saw it. He was saying things that happened but I know that they didn’t because I was there. He accused her of hitting me but he didn’t. He was making her feel guilty. He was explaining to her why he took her off of his financial means.) She is telling me that he lies. I guess it is financial abuse now. He has gotten physical with her, too. So, it seems that this call was a knee jerk reaction to something. Can you explain what this was?
I enjoy reading those blow-by-blow accounts of events, how the narc interprets other peoples’ actions and reacts. True eye-openers! Thank you 🙂
This information is so extremely valuable. I wish I had known about this years ago. It would have saved so much time and so much heartache. Thank you for this!!
You are welcome Lydia, grasping this concept is central to moving forward.
You say you feel no guilt, but feel shame. Do you hate/dislike what you do, but just cannot feel bad for doing it? You would hate being lied to, but lie yourself. Does the double standard, and your inability to practice the moral values you expect, frustrate you?
I rarely feel shame, but I am told it is behind what I do.
I do not hate what I do. Not at all
Yes I hate being lied to, but lie repeatedly.
No the double standard does not concern me at all, it is necessary.
Thank you for the reply. I thought that maybe at some level, there would be a frustration with yourself as you cannot live up to the moral standards that you expect and dare I say “value”??? in others. My ex narc likes “good moral” people. He is friends with a monk and religious people and would speak highly of those who do good. It was almost as if he wanted to acquire their traits, perhaps?
You are welcome. I understand your reasoning, but as I am morally bereft I see no value in such moral standards. Indeed, if I was moralistic I could not do what I do – both professionally and in terms of achieving what I need in terms of fuel etc.
Goodness, this was the death nail for my health in the last relationship. That toxic logic was sooooo crazy making. It made me physically ill. Anxious, sick, jumpy, foggy, and questioning my own mind. So glad I am out. Thank you HG for the validation that this is what is going on.
As a side note, those of you that are listening to all the recordings sent from Bree and Athena, I just listened to one from day 7 by Kami Lingren that was on getting physically sick from narcissist abuse–it worsened some of her symptoms. It was really validating AND (HG you will appreciate this as you probably recall the Empath Bakery Corner), some people develop GLUTEN and other food intolerances!!!! And, this speaker also found a type of therapy I am going to check out called DNRS (Dynamic Neural Retraining System). Now, it sounds a little hokey so I am not endorsing it, but I am gonna see what it is all about and may give it a whirl. Has anyone here every tried it? If so, did it work for you?
Hugs and healing everyone!!!
Why is he doing this? Why did he destroy our family? It was deliberate and carried out with a complete lack of empathy, and he blamed it all on me. His thinking was always black and white and he didn’t care about the children at all. Zero remorse! Zero boundaries! I challenged and criticized him left and right, with and without fuel. He was furious! It was a constant face-off the last year we were together. Objectively, he did an excellent job; I put up with him for years and he was well fueled until the jig was up.
I can only speak for me but staying in relationship with the toxic matrinarc quickly made me toxic, too. You can’t pull toxic people up…they pull you down every time. Being emotionally sober is fantastic. Accepting I never really had a mother was so good for me. I still have to grieve it but the obsession with trying to make her a mother is gone.
This is where I am. I remind myself she left me with no support at 21 in a country I knew nothing about while she went off to be happy. For her, this appeared to be easy but for me to accept this reality, she was never the mother I desperately needed, seems still to cause me so much guilt. Why do I feel the guilty one? Maybe it is part of witnessing similar neglect with my siblings. Survival guilt or something. But no more obsession is a good way to describe it. Given how much I did with her, its easy to see how I fell right in to this with the Narc. Just transfer the same “Why won’t you love me” to him…
Reading your articles has bridged my confusion about what fuel really meant. Now I understand it. I equate fuel to a shark smelling blood (simply put). It is a definition I’ve used for a long time not knowing why and how it all fit together in the context of a narcissist.
The dinner serving example is similar to when a group of people receive the same email, and I make a mental note where in the “to” field my name had been placed … 1st, 2nd or last. These little details accumulate are important in making certain determinations about situations, others.. etc.
Everything is so toxic by the end. Excellent blog post , HG. To help us detox👍
thank you for explaining this, HG! But while reading your first example, (about serving your plate last) the example set for myself, in my parents home and in both Grandparents homes, was the Man, or head of household ALWAYS was served first. It was out of respect and i couldn’t imagine doing it another way.
Trying to apply toxic logic is something I tried for a period of 4-5 months. It was exhausting, bewildering, and the effort of trying to second guess what he was thinking or how he would react required giving up a normal mode of thinking, putting him first when it was impractical to do so, resulting in perpetual fear of his fury and expecting to let him act like a school yard bully. The whole dynamic is unsustainable. Better to walk and save one’s sanity.
And why should we, empath or not, be expected to put up and shut up with unreasonable behaviour?
The confusion. I said/thought all those phrases almost word for word on a daily basis.
I remember finding my way here and the fog lifting inch by inch. No exaggeration I think that fog lifting was the most amazing feeling I have ever had. The relief, the understanding, the shift of weight off my shoulders, the buoyancy returning, me returning to myself, the exhalation of breathe held tight for 4 years….I can’t explain it better than that but if I could I would because it was better than that.
It is so so good to recall that feeling again.
Sincere thanks HG.
Yes KarenCN! That truth is the key to our freedom! Mr. Tudor has given us that gift of understanding the chaos and confusion and pain. It really is the most wonderful feeling to finally be back among the living.
I felt that fog lifting feeling too, Karen. When I left my husband it was conditional. When I made the decision to make it permanent, I moved the last of what I was taking into our vacation home on Dec 31st. The next day on New Years, it was like I woke up to a whole new world. I really felt like I’d been living in a dark fog without realizing it. Now it had lifted and I felt like it was a tangible dark cloud that I could see if I looked up. But down on the ground, for the first time in who knows how many years, I could see the sun shining and hear the birds singing…there was peace and happiness and joy! And I realized for the first time that I’d been missing those things without even realizing it. And I determined right then that NOTHING would ever make me go back to living in that cloud again!
Windstorm, I really enjoyed reading this! You put it beautifully. I’m glad you’re so strong in your resolve to never put yourself in the fog again.
Seizing the power!! 😆
You are right Karen. That lightness of being when I realized I has escaped…nothing quite like it. I’m thankful we got out.
I see this toxic logic as follows( as of my own experience)
He was giving me small doses of venom low enough not to be lethal but strong enough to poison me. He was at the same time giving me the antidote when needed ( in form of repeated small golden periods) to keep me paralysed with him.
I had two choices:
1. Staying in this poisonous state feeling actually sick…trying to get a stronger antidote for each
time he hoovered me back and being stuck with him forever and ever..
2. Ending up the sickness and not even considering to be subject to this poison anymore or even understanding why this was happening..
Which of these two alternatives would you chose?
I chose the second one…it has required a lot of reading,work,practicing mental shifts ,different patterns ! Not an easy choice but worth my self-respect and dignity…
Excellent article! It all makes so much sense now.
He got me again HG. I ignored his last message as you told me to do. Last week he manipulated a situation so I’d see him jogging (I’m the jogger, not him). I ignored it. But, I had his son, a situation occurred with my dog, which his son told him about, which caused him to email me. I succumbed and responded. Two days later, he’s gone again.
The anger and rage at him pulling that crap on me is off the spectrum. I don’t know how you can armour yourself against that. You ignore and they prance around, you give in, and then they pull the rug away. I felt so strong when you told me to ignore and he got me again.