The Message Hook





The message – whether in text form or through some other electronic medium – is a tempting and ultimately manipulative tool of ours. During our seduction of you we use it to brilliant effect, peppering your day with these short form billets-doux in order to draw you close to us. The glowing compliments sent through letters glowing on your screen. The tingle, the excitement and the smile to oneself on receipt of this message. They are like so many little gifts, each one waiting to be opened by you and the delight spreading across you face as you read the latest missive that contains our rapturous love for you. Each time one arrives you wonder what it might read and you are never disappointed as we sprinkle our fairy dust over you from afar through the electronic devices we are both connected to. You feel wonderful, savouring that rush of appreciation. It is fantastic and memorable and you never delete them, storing up all these heartfelt tributes and declarations. We know you will keep them and most of all when the misery descends you will sit scrolling back through these text exchanges, evidence of a happier time, remnants of the golden period.

As time advances you begin to expect these messages. It is entirely understandable. You get used to waking and seeing a message waiting for you, more welcome than a cup of tea or coffee being brought to your bed. You anticipate the rush and we do not let you down. The content of the message feeding your desire for love, affection and passion.

This repeated sending of messages is designed to condition you. We want you to equate the arrival of the message with pleasure, with affection and with love. We ingrain it into your routine. The first thing you do on awakening is to reach for your phone on your nightstand and look for our message. This is done to make you frequently check your ‘phone during the day to see if there is a message from you. You experience phantom vibrations when you ‘phone is on silent and in your bag or pocket. You pluck it out and check and feel dismayed as there is no message. Perhaps there is but it is not from us and you being to feel anxious as you await your daily hit. Eventually it arrives and you feel the surge of delight coursing through you as we deliver. Little by little, in accordance with our methodology of salami-slicing you start to focus on the relevant device, waiting for the ping, the buzz and/or the flash of light. You keep glancing at your ‘phone, mind unable to focus on the task in hand. Once that message arrives, you open it, devouring it like a starving man given food after two weeks adrift at sea. You spend more time responding to the messages, checking the ‘phone and cultivating ways to keep the flow of messages going so that it becomes the matter which you focus on the most during the course of your day. You wait, watch, check and keep back and forth beginning to will the ‘phone to buzz and provide that message.

Soon you start to prompt them, messaging us first when you have not heard from us. Once you waited a morning, then an hour and now it has become the first thing you do when you wake up. You see no message from us so you message us. We reply at once and the relief washes over you in an awesome way. But then the reply times elongate and that short space becomes a longer pause, a growing hiatus and this prompts you to message again. Oh we know the messages you will send to try to pretend you are not anxious because you have not heard from us.

“I’m not sure if my message reached you, my ‘phone has been playing up.”

“I am struggling for signal here. Did you get my message?”

“Just wanted to check my message reached you.”

“Don’t worry about responding straight away, I know you are busy.”

“Just wanted to make sure everything is alright, no rush, answer when you can.”

The desperation seeps through the ‘phone, the increasing anguish and anxiety tangible and then we release you from your worries and reply which prompts a flurry or replies, your gratitude evident even though you may not write as such. How the fuel flows and it is all deliberate. We have actively structured our approach so that you become conditioned to act this way. The ‘phone becomes the barometer of your day. Early message received? You can relax and enjoy the next two hours until you start wondering where the next one is. Such power is wielded by us through the simple act of sending you a message and we haven’t even started on using it to devalue you yet.

So often you rely on receiving the message but the irony is, you rarely actually get the message.

18 thoughts on “The Message Hook

  1. Youdon'townme says:

    Question: do two narcs have a better chance at a happy relationship . . . assuming they know their disorder and can work out the similar issues?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      We do not do ‘happy’. If you mean is there a better chance of a more stable relationship, no.

  2. Morning sun says:

    Most of the relationship between narc and I was conducted over messages – such an effective means of control, it takes FOREVER to text back and forth and you never know when the next one will come or what it will be and you agonise over the supposed tone of the message and whether you have interpreted it correctly etc.

    Shortly after our break up, I told him that I would not be exchanging messages with him anymore. He pushed that boundary the first time we arranged to meet, by writing instead of calling me like I asked him to. I let it slide. Then a couple of weeks ago he texts again whether I had time to meet up with him today. I told him twice to call me this week and we’ll see. Today he texted again. I ignored it. Win-win, with boths wins being mine of course – he’s wounded and I didn’t have to interact with him.

  3. Mb says:

    Yes, this happened exactly. Thank You so much HG, it’s excruciating going through the manipulation but literally seeing it here in print gives some life saving relief that there’s a reason for the madness because I gave the N everything believing 7 years and 10 all together he nearly killed me with my own goodness who I was – causing it to feel like it’s gone and I’ll never get my free loving innocence & generous altruism back. Feels so evil a thing to prey on good and blot it out. Irony that only those pure enough to risk love toward an N who presents as humble and grateful and loving , risks being thier primary partner thus providing pure fuel when it will nearly destroy us then we’re blamed and slandered and threatened if we escape the abuse that will destroy our soul. Aweful that most casual implies never see the true damaging person so the primary victim is so alone . Thank you HG, helping us understand to get a hand up out of the pit – there’s none like you , you must be in a pioneer class that’s above the highest Elite…. bold enough to share this.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome MB. I am an Ultra naturally.

  4. Ursula Rhys-Corell says:

    I experienced the process exactly in the way as it is described in the article.
    Actually, I am sending him Good-morning-kisses and professions of love via Whatsapp on a daily basis, early in the morning and call myself lucky if he responds within two hours. Mostly he does, thus enabling me to start the day and overcome my morning-depression and all of that…
    Sometimes, once a week or so, he fails to respond, thus sending me through a day of separation-anxiety and feelings of self-loss and senselessness… always looking and scrolling through the Chats, screenshotting them and trying to make sense of what he wrote, looking for signs of anger, and thinking about ways to write or make pictures of something winning his attention back…
    It’s a hard life, having to get along with the message hook…

    1. MLA - Clarece says:

      That pretty much sums up my existence 4 months after first meeting JN and he had me conditioned at that point on his 24/7 flow of messages. Then I was like that pretty much all of Feb 2013 through Oct 2015 and HG’s blogs started making a dent. Shudder!! You’re not alone for sure!

      1. Ursula Rhys-Corell says:

        Hugs, MLA Clarece! Thank you so very much! Some Day I ‘ ll manage to get off that message hook!

        1. MLA - Clarece says:

          Awww, hugs back. I would say acceptance and adapting to life each day that it is not going back to that and getting used to functioning more and more without those messages is key to shifting away. But until you can accept that he’s never coming back the way he did initially, you can’t adapt yet.

          1. Ursula Rhys-Corell says:

            Thank you. I’ll try …. !

  5. I know I sound like a broken record, but I still can’t understand this disorder…..

  6. mistynolan01 says:

    This was somewhat true in the very beginning, but quickly began to be annoying. Ours was not a love affair (though I ended up emotionally bonded to him). So his texts, mostly little “pokes” throughout the day, eventually just felt intrusive.

  7. Scout says:

    Another spot on blog. I was always trying to read in between the lines of narcy’s texts. Looking back, I think my instincts were correct on a number of occasions.
    I hope you don’t take offence, HG, but as much as I reluctantly admire you for your work here, your writings open some painful wounds. I sometimes get angry with you, which I think you may have detected….? However, I do thank you for having the courage to come out and help victims of narcissists. Letting us into your mindset is a privilege yet disturbing. With your help I’m learning to understand narcy and getting a little stronger as a result. Thanx.

    1. Youdon'townme says:

      Ditto. I will be putting you on the Shelf soon, I hope, in a jar perhaps. But wrap you in my gratitude for what you do. You are a remarkable man. One of a kind amongst the others; a standout.

  8. Watermelon says:

    Great article. Everything you said happened that way, and when I would say something about the frequency of messages declining I was severely berated and told that he was very very busy, and didn’t sit around chatting all day like me, I needed to get a life. It was truly awful.

    survivingmynarc-These things take time. It’s a long process, I think the lack of answers keeps us stuck, we try to reason (with them, and in our minds) how and why these things happened. I read HG’s article on provocation the other day and felt a huge shift. It absolutely disgusted me (not HG, but when you see it in writing, exactly what they do it’s a big jolt).

  9. I never got or understood the message, until you came along. Sometimes listening and reading your articles brings back good and bad memories. Even though I understand your kind, it’s still hard to comprehend. So many up and down days. I’m healing, but it’s a wound that doesn’t want to heal. Not fast enough. I just keep listening and reading, soaking in all your info. Thank you H.G.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome SMN, you are seizing the power.

    2. Youdon'townme says:

      Hey survivor, I’m reading some old HG blogs. Ur right on. My ex narc could have written this word for word. Exact. I don’t understand it. Do they have a manual on manipulation

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