Flush Him Out – Part One

flush

 

You never see us coming. You do not know what we are when we ensnare you. You have no idea what is actually happening when we push and pull you through the bewildering experience that is devaluation. You make no sense of what has happened when you have been discarded in the dust, hurt and dazed. When we return, riding back into your lives like the triumphant king we regard ourselves as, you still do not know us for what we are. How many times have you rued the fact that if only you had known earlier? How often have you remarked at how obvious it now seems with hindsight, when the eventual moment of revelation arrives, long-delayed and overdue as it often is. How frequently have you bemoaned to friends and family that if only you have seen the signs you might have done something to avoid what had entangled with you. Wishful thinking indeed and such thoughts go on to pollute your future engagements with those prospective intimate partners. At some future point you may eventually dip a toe in the pool of intimacy again in the hope of finding someone who is as far-removed from us as possible, but what if one of our kind comes a calling? You know you identified the tell-tale indicators with the one of our kind who ensnared you, but what is Lucifer comes in many guises? Would you have the craft and skill set to out one of our if he locked on to you? Would your empathic traits override the caution? Would the old adage of lightning never strikes twice play through your mind even though it strikes several times when it comes to our kind? At the outset of your engagement with that interesting and exciting person, there are of course the many Red Flags which exist and about which I have written in greater detail. You ought to acquaint yourself with them, since not all of our kind will always exhibit certain indicators. Neither does it do any harm to avail yourself of additional ones should you find yourself becoming the attention of the Greater of our kind, if hitherto you had been involved with a Lesser of Mid-Range. Utilise these five early door tactics to expose whether you are at risk of being ensnared.

  1. Create jealousy

Make reference to an actor or celebrity and comment about how he or she is talented and handsome. Consider admitting you have a crush on this person and if they walked in now you would be smitten and so forth. Observe the reaction.

A Lesser will struggle even during the seduction to contain the effect of his criticism and will lash out with a comment such as,

“Him? He is a homosexual, yes, well known in the industry, of course his fan base cannot know.”

“Him? Had a lot of work done you know.”

“Him? Really? He is nothing to look at. You’ve got off taste if you like him.”

A Mid-Range will fall silent and then move the topic on to something else. He has the situation just about under control but remains wounded, hence the withdrawal through a brief silence and then going to a different topic.

The Greater. Watch for the very brief flicker of fury in the eyes. A narrowing of the gaze or slight sneer before the control is exerted. The Greater will smile (but there will no warmth) or there will be a hollow laugh before he will say,

“Not a patch on me though eh?”

“I could have been an actor you know.”

A normal person would respond with: –

“Yes, he is a handsome chap, I agree.”

“Do you think so? I’m not so sure, but I can understand why you might say that.”

  1. Place Your Attention Elsewhere

Either fiddle with your ‘phone repeatedly or keep smiling at the waiter and chatting to him when he serves you. It need not be excessive as even a fairly minimum distraction in this way will irk our kind. Whatever situation you are in, find a way to put your attention on someone or something else.

The Lesser will put down the third party at the earliest opportunity by suggesting service was slow, the seats are unsatisfactory or will grab the phone from you and put it to one side. He will not be able to contain the ignition of his fury at such an early juncture.

The Mid-Range will try to compete by talking to a different waitress or by using his own ‘phone, doing his best to conceal the wound you have created by effectively ignoring him.

The Greater will start talking loudly about himself so you are forced to return attention to him. Boasts and outlandish comments will be made along with denigrating the offending person/item.

“It must be hell waiting on for a living, I am delighted I am able to have so much control over my work.”

“You know those ‘phones have been setting on fire. Yes, a manufacturing error. Clearly an inferior make. Now, take my ‘phone for instance.”

The normal person would politely ask you to stop using your ‘phone as much or would not smile pleasantly at your interaction with other people as noting it as just being friendly.

 

  1. Get the Details

We will make various boasts about what we do, who we know and what we like and the latter will be frequent as we endeavour to mirror you. In such a situation where we have ascertained what you like through our prior targeting of you, do not, as so many people do, accept it at face value as being true and accurate but instead politely press for some more details. If we explain that we engage in fencing because you do, mention some of the relevant equipment and terminology to draw us into providing more detail.

The Lesser will fudge it, lacking the preparatory depth to know anything much beyond what you like. He will backtrack saying it was some time since he had done it or such like. He will become agitated as his fury starts to ignite because your challenge, notwithstanding its politeness, will amount to a criticism.

The Mid-Range will change subject and ask you to talk more about it. Reject this and invite his comment. He will withdraw as he keeps control and moves on to a different topic or makes an excuse to go to the toilet or to point out something else happening.

The Greater will be harder to trap in this respect because he or she will have undertaken a greater depth of preparatory work and also their higher function enables them to think on their feet more readily, but a continued gentle cross-examination will expose some deficiency eventually. Once this nears the Greater will apply greater charm towards you in order to deflect you from probing too deeply. Expect a string of compliments, a flourishing gesture (“how about some champagne?”) or praising your evident knowledge of the subject before moving on to something else.

The normal will talk easily and extensively about this interest without bragging or evasiveness because it is true.

  1. Ask about the Ex

It may appear a little forward but this is a useful indicator to determine who you are with.

The Lesser will be unpleasant about her because the memory of this treacherous person annoys him and therefore you will be subjected to a volley of explanations about how terrible she is.

The Mid-Range will be dismissive about the request. He knows that if pressed he will not be able to help himself and pour out how horrible she has been to him, how crazy she is and how he is trying to put himself back together again after a horrendous experience. He knows enough that this is not the ideal topic of conversation at this juncture but so long as he can maintain control, he need not spill the beans. He will comment that there is not much to say and change the focus. Bring him back to the focus and observe what happens.

The Greater will be complimentary since he or she knows that to portray the ex in such a light at this early stage of the seduction is a sensible move. This will of course change in due course once there is triangulation and you are embedded, but prior to this he wants you to recognise he is a “good” person and that it didn’t work out and will provide some woolly and amorphous reason why that is. The Greater will not be able to help himself comment that she couldn’t cope with his brilliance in some way and then use it to compliment you.

“We got on but she ultimately wasn’t as clever as me, not like you, you and I are exactly on the same intellectual wavelength, it is marvellous.”

“She wasn’t a bad person but she struggled with how hard I work. I know you are not like that because I can tell you are diligent and admire hard work.”

The normal will provide a brief and honest explanation, often admitting to failings on his part as well or explaining that he and her remain on friendly terms. There will be little bitterness or rancour even if the relationship was difficult, this person will have moved on.

  1. Ask About Our Childhood

We often do not like to discuss it or certainly certain elements of it. Much of it will be patchy and disjointed to us. References to other family members will be limited unless pushed and they will not be spoken about in warm or fond terms

The Lesser will make sweeping comments about how it wasn’t happy but fail to provide any detail or say it was nothing special. He will not divulge any memories of it as he struggles to do so.

The Mid-Range will be dismissive and want to talk about your childhood instead. Anything he does say will be anodyne in nature as he prefers not to revisit it.

The Greater will talk about his childhood but it will all be boasts about what he achieved, how many friends he had, how good he was football, the fact he was top of the class and so forth.

The normal will recount a handful of anecdotes, speak well of his family, link the fact that his childhood means he sees a lot of his family now or if he does not, because of death or distance, the fact he misses them.

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12 thoughts on “Flush Him Out – Part One”

  1. 1. Jealousy/Attention elsewhere – she denies being jealous at all ever but if it’s perceived I’m inappropriately giving attention, I’m degraded and the other person is either beltitrled or not a part of the conversation.

    2. Past relationships – The ex’s were somewhat sugar coated in the beginning but a lot of it was lies at the time and even now the stories change depending on what point she’s using them to make.

    3. Her childhood – well, she’s very open about the shitty parts but she was always an angel until the abuse started, then a kid trying to survive who happened to be amazing at both school and sports who went to college with no help from anyone

    4. Mirroring – this never happened. The only things we have/had specifically in common are the college we went to (which is true and verifiable) and younger sisters with drug problems (also true and verifiable). Beyond that we’ve always mostly done things she likes,hung out with her friends (who were better than mine and also had to approve of me not the other way around). We did some things she knew I like but never because she professed any interest but specifically because I did.

    So what is she?

    1. 1. Denial but clearly reacts in a jealous manner through the degradation and belittlement.
      2. Fluid representation of past events to suit own purposes.
      3. Grandiose recollection. Is the abuse verifiable?
      4. Your final sentence shows she did mirror you see of the time.
      Certainly, subject to other identifying material gives the distinct whiff of being one of our kind.

  2. HG I hope I don’t sound like a nitwit…… I really would like to know what it was way back at the first quick meeting. I was smiling and a little bouncy (peppy) walking up to him and his eyes flickered and he slightly cocked his head and looked me over with what I would call barely a smile. I blushed. Would he have felt fury that I didn’t act timid or was it another type of flicker? The hypnotic eye lock was later.. Not that day. I hope a question like this doesn’t cause brain overload from this important flicker. Haha. Thank you.

  3. Interesting to read about the subtle (and not so subtle) differences in reactions between a narcissist and a normal person. Thanks for writing about this, HG!

    Though I’m positive there are non-narcissists with family issues as well. Not wanting to talk about their childhood doesn’t NECESSARILY mean someone is narcissistic. Jeez, if someone classified MY reaction to that line of questioning based on this I’d be labeled a mid-level narcissist. 🙂

    Also, before I read this I legitimately thought that nearly everyone trashed their ex at every opportunity post-breakup. My parents certainly do so even years later. Though personally I try to avoid conversations about exes altogether like the plague, and make a vague remark and change the subject ASAP if the subject is brought up. Yes, people find it odd and some even suspicious, but it would be far worse to get into it. If only I had your charm and social skills, HG-I’m sure you would be able to avoid any awkwardness. 😀

  4. As always H G. What a wonderful article and very helpful to me. However I’m now wondering if I wasn’t engaged with a lesser greater or a mid range greater because reading this article he acted more like or responded more like a lesser greater. I guess it doesn’t matter upper mid Ranger lesser greater I remember the scene very well in a restaurant where he acted exactly as you described however I did not know what I was doing then who I was Entangled with. My gratitude Sir 🙂

  5. From these descriptions, I’m getting more and more convinced he was a Greater. Except for the jealousy. I don’t think he was ever jealous, but I believe this was because of my integrity. He knew I don’t flirt, let alone cheat. Hell, I don’t even look at anyone. Although a few months ago I tested him and sent a text claiming I was with a guy (not sexual, just in the company of a man). He replied immediately. Didn’t say anything about the man though. He generally never replied to texts (only iMessages) and I don’t even know why I sent a text rather than an iMessage, perhaps because he was on a “business” trip at the time.

    Anyway, I still don’t trust myself with recognising your kind. So I have two options: 1. stay single forever 2. turn into a slut.

    Decisions decisions.

  6. Asking about their childhood is the gold standard for me but honestly I have never met any narcissist, greaters included ,who have wanted to talk about their childhood. It’s like asking them to tell me their net worth. They sort of cringe then change the topic or they say they don’t have much memory of it then switch the topic. This happens even with my two narc brothers, a lesser and a mid-range. My recollection of my childhood was that it was like living in a war zone, my mother a complete rageaholic. Nonstop screaming. When I have asked my brothers to recall this they are very casual and don’t seem to remember any of it. I have always found this strange.

      1. HG, what if the Narc is both Golden child and Momma ‘s Boy? JN was more than happy to gush about his family especially his mother (i.e., called her everyday while at college because she was sad experiencing empty nest syndrome when he moved out). Close relationship with his brother and they hang out frequently. Close cousin made him God-father of her daughter. Would drive an Aunt to her doctor appts when she had a brain tumor. He still presents squeaky clean, Norman Rockwell, All American Catholic man and his family.
        He never avoided childhood topics if asked. So that threw huge curve ball when he would insult and send such hateful texts because I don’t know still where all his toxicity generated from.

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