A Terrible Trio

a-terrible-trio

1. There is me. I am the fire.

All through your involvement with my kind you will be worked into a triangle. There will be one major triangle, smaller triangles, intersecting triangles and then triangles within triangles. Many people know to look out for our cycle of narcissistic behaviour but they do not always realise that our favourite shape is a triangle.

I am at the apex of this triangle. A fitting place of course since I naturally must be at the top. I am the conductor, the orchestrator of this triangle and I decide who fits within and also the roles that the unwitting participants have been prescribed. I am the fire in this triangle, for without me the triangle will not operate. I provide the ignition through my flames but without the other two parts my flames will soon be extinguished. The other members of this triangle are important though of course they are not as important as me, but you know that by now.

As head of the triangle I get to decide who does what. I often begin by assuming the mantle of victim. I have been sorely done to by another and I need to be rescued from their horrible and harmful behaviour. Of course this is all manufactured but because my route to you is direct and seductive, you will listen to me. You will feel sorry for my situation because as an empathic person this is what you do best. You hear my story and accept it without condition or question. I choose to be the victim in the initial triangle in order to draw you in.

As time goes on I no longer wish to be the victim because, well, I never was. I prefer to become the dominant force inside the triangle and assume my rightful position as the aggressive perpetrator but such is the brilliance of my ruse, you will be spending all of your time looking sympathetically at me, thinking I am the victim, whilst casting aspersions at The Other, thinking that she is the perpetrator. My powers of illusion are significant and extensive and they are at work here.

2. There is you. You are the fuel.

Next comes you at the base of the triangle, beneath me and level with The Other. This is the rightful order of things. Your role in this triangle is at first to be the rescuer. You are kind, honest and caring and I want those attributes directed towards me, hence my tale of my terrible treatment at the hands of The Other. Like some fairy godmother or white knight, you arrive in order to save me from this fabricated menace. Only you can save me and my gratitude and false love gushes forth in order to ensnare you further. You may ride in as a rescuer but it will not be long before I change your role to that of victim. I pass my mantle onto you. Of course I have blinded you with my seduction techniques and also distracted you with the malice of The Other so that you do not notice this sleight of hand. You are too busy keeping The Other at bay, preventing him or her from hurting me further. Yet, as time goes on, I stop speaking of them in such harsh and accusing tones and instead I begin to sing their praises. What has happened? Surely they are the perpetrator and they should be avoided at all costs? Why am I spending time with them again and not you? Why am I comparing them to you and doing so in a favourable fashion towards them? This makes no sense. Whilst you were so busy keeping this apparent troublemaker away from our blissful kingdom I have removed your mantle of victim and this time made you the perpetrator, awful and nasty savage that you are. Throughout these changing labels there is one constant however, you provide me with fuel. From the praise, to the caring tenderness, to the bewildered confusion. Your fuel is offered up in order to keep my flames burning.

3. The Other. She is the air.

She begins as the perpetrator to allow you to rescue, a crazed harridan who made my life hell. Keep her away from me, do not believe anything she says, she is dangerous, poisonous and thank goodness I have you to keep her at bay. Stay with me and protect me. Just like a furnace it cannot operate with just flame and fuel, there must be air in order to fan the flames so that I can consume the fuel. Thus she is admitted into our dynamic and she completes our triangle, occupying a lower berth just like you. It is not long however before she becomes the victim of your repeated assaults and slanders as you fight to keep her at bay. Your consternation increases and you grow into the role of perpetrator as you become confused at the attention I provide to her as she becomes the victim and I her rescuer. At the same time I am telling her of the horrible treatment you subject me to (does this sound familiar at all?) and she is sympathetic to my situation. She rescues me as I return to victim once more as you remain the nasty perpetrator. The Other can see this for your efforts to prevent her from becoming close to me again convince her of your evil nature. Why else would you behave as you do? It cannot be anything to do with your desire to save you and I could it? It is nothing to do with the fact that you are completely confused as to what is going on, is it? The Other is taken in by my false apologies and my admission that I was misled by you as you promised me the world but delivered nothing. Her air escalates the intensity of the heat and the flames climb higher as flame, fuel and air combine to create a conflagration.

I sit at the apex of this arrangement, easily moving the titles of Victim, Perpetrator and Rescuer between us all, back and forth the titles go as this triangle continues, a perplexing and shifting state of affairs. I am the puppetmaster and both You and The Other are dancing to my tune as I triangulate you in order to gain what I require.

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16 thoughts on “A Terrible Trio”

  1. Pingback: UN TRIO TERRIBILE – CONOSCERE IL NARCISISTA
  2. It’s like reading what my greater would write in nearly every article and occasionally it’s like reading about my MR. Maybe people are the same, narc or no narc.

    We are like the villagers in Beauty and the Beast. No one charms like Gaston, no one scams like Gaston. We love it! Funny watching the scene where he looks at himself in the mirror, my MR spends a lot of his time in front of a mirror and greater actually acts just like Gaston whenever he encounters a mirror and actively seeks out mirrors wherever we go. I used to wonder but happily joined in looking at him in adoration. Cringe!

  3. Wonderful explanation of triangulation Mr Tudor !

    I choose not to react when it’s next victim became the perpetrator & though I admit it hurt at times, it also often amused me as I watched them both try so hard to get that reaction from me . It was a sustained attack over many months on a daily basis sometimes several times a day.
    I know the empath in me should feel sorry that it’s putting her through this, but they both took great pleasure in this & told me in no uncertain terms that their ultimate goal was to destroy me .

    Well guess what .. It Didn’t work did it !! Lol ..

  4. Mine is a bit different, HG. He never spoke badly about his ex girlfriends, he just used to say all women are crazy. Recently he even spoke to me about an ex he was crazy in love with and he took all the blame about their separation (!). He told me about his lies to her and about his cheating. These confessions were made with a purpose (the idea was that he is self destructive, which means that he loved me sooo much that he married another, I guess) ,but still I find him quite original for a Narc- in that specific aspect. He doesn’t triangulate me openly with his wife. He doesn’t speak badly about her, only recently he told me that he cannot have sex with her (hmmm), so he does it in an indirect manner. I don’t know what he has told her about me. He claims she is very jealous of me and they had fights over me, but I am not at all sure if he is telling the truth. Just to make myself clear, I totally refuse to have anything intimate with him for more than 1,5 year now. I am wondering, do you have an opinion on his attitude?

    1. You are correct to be cynical as to whether he is telling you the truth M. I think some would regard saying all women are crazy as speaking badly about ex girlfriends! His confession about the ex he was crazy in love with was to show you he is capable of being ‘crazy in love’ and also to test you in terms of your reaction to that disclosure (true or not).

  5. Except it backfired on you and we became friends and allies.

    As an aside…. Although I’m grateful to you HG for showing me the inner working of the narc in great detail… after all, knowledge is power. I am starting to feel sickened by it. Like gorging on a box of chocolates, I’ve had a belly full and wish I’d never opened the box.

    My trusting, innocent, empathic, beautiful, love filled world has been stained with a disgusting filth resembling vomit, that can never be removed. I should have kept the box shut and just delighted in the pretty chocolate box picture on the lid.

    1. Sure and one day you come back and that pretty picture has gone and replaced by a terrible image and you would not why.

  6. Sir Tudor, your advice on what to do if your significant other loves to triangulate?
    I have been going with ‘no reaction’ but maybe there is something a bit more satisfying?

  7. Wow that explains the last 35yrs of my life, If all that’s true I was born into a triangle. I feel sick to the core! You have such a way with words, that totally lifts the confusion hindsights given me and stops doubt setting in. I see them all through new eyes. Great article that described and validated my experience of narcissism. Thank you

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