Black or White But Never Grey



We all like to attach labels to people. People do it instinctively in respect of someone who they have just met, someone they have read about, a person they have known for a long time or someone they have seen on television. It is rare for someone to say that they do not have a view or an opinion about someone. Examples might include: –

“He’s a dependable chap, always there when you need him.”

“He’s a funny looking fellow.”

“She is very catty.”

“She is stunning looking.”

“A complete attention seeker.”

“A genius musician.”

“Really annoys me, I don’t know what it is but he does.”

Those are just classifications based on looks and personality. One can classify somebody by race, religion, birthplace, occupation, gender and so much more. Labels are used all the time as people are placed into boxes and compartments. Our kind do the same, but we differ in a fundamental way. We have an instant classification of people which is very straight forward. We will place people into further categories after this initial categorisation often using labels you would not and then we may well attach additional labels similar to the ones you use. What is this initial categorisation? It is simple. A person is either good or bad. That person is either with us or against us. They either do what we want or they do not. There are no ifs and maybes about these classifications. There is no grey with us when it comes to deciding into which camp someone should be placed. You are either white or black. You cannot be light grey, mid-grey or dark grey. We do not do the middling; it is one or the other. Let me give you some examples of those around me at the current time.

Julia (my boss) – Good

My mother – Bad

Paul (a lieutenant of longstanding) – Good

Andrea (predecessor primary supply) – Bad

Rachael(sister) – Good

Eric (colleague) – Good

Tania (lieutenant) – Good

Lesley (It Girl) – Bad

Elizabeth (litigious former girlfriend) – Bad

Phillip (lieutenant) – Good

Colin (competitor at work) – Bad

Not one of them am I indifferent to. You should be aware that this categorisation is based on my view of them irrespective of their behaviour towards me. Lesley for instance responded to a hoover a little while back and still messages me with pleasant comments from time to time. I play along as I am a far from finished with her but she is a bad person because of what she has done and moreover I know she will be looking for an opportunity to unseat me and seek some form of revenge over me as a consequence of my repeated thwarting of her ambitions. I know her game.

These categorisations are fluid. In fact, they are extremely fluid with some people, usually our intimate partners who are our primary sources of fuel. You may begin as a good person when I wake-up but by breakfast you are a bad person. Sometimes you will be utterly unaware of why your status has altered and it may appear capricious and arbitrary but it is not; you will have done something or failed to do something which has shifted your classification. Most often it is linked to your failure to provide me with fuel and therefore you will be designated a bad person and subjected to treatment in accordance with such a status; devaluation and denigration. Conversely, one can also move from bad to good in the blink of an eye. You won’t necessarily realise why this is, but we do. It is entirely logical to us.

As I mentioned once we have classified you as good or bad, we will classify you further, usually linked to the fuel you provide and how under our control you are. After that we will use similar labels to you – an interesting, handsome person and so on. Thus, take Paul my longstanding side kick. He is naturally a good person but I also regard him as a very good source of fuel, a highly reliable source of fuel and completely under my control, loyal and dedicated. My mother is a bad person. Whilst she is a good source of fuel for her emotional outbursts and temper tantrums, she is only fairly reliable. I have little control over her, she is a traitor and scheming to dethrone me, she has no concept of loyalty and is actively plotting against me. Thus whilst she may provide fuel the other factors cause her to be placed in the bad classification. I do not consider her to be grey just because she provides fuel but cannot really be controlled.

Why do we regard people in this manner? Why is it that we cannot take a holistic view of them? For instance, one might suggest that with the ex-girlfriend Lesley that she at one point was loving, dedicated and did much for me. Yes, she became a broken appliance and let me down, she also caused affront to me for which she must be repeatedly punished. She continues to try to be pleasant to me. Do I not look at this myriad of attributes and factors (plus more besides) and place her on some kind of spectrum between good and bad? No I do not. Why? Because my need of fuel is such I cannot have wishy-washy, amorphous classifications of people. This person is good – I can rely on them to give me positive fuel and do as I say. This person is bad – I can get negative fuel from them but I must be careful as they are plotting against me and seeking to avoid my control. This then enables me to apply my manipulations appropriately. It is also necessary to enable me to maintain my superiority and my self-worth. I need to keep those two aspects alive at all times. If you do not do what I want, you are calling into question my superiority. You are suggesting that I am worthless. Thus you are a bad person and I am the person who is admirable and worthy, you are wicked and evil. If you do as I want, you are confirming my superiority by submitting to my will. I am full of self-worth because you are acknowledging this by acting in accordance with my wishes. Deviate from that and you become a bad person.

You should have learned by now that because we look at the world through a different lens to you, there are many things that you will do (which you will not be aware about) which cause us to oscillate from regarding you as good to bad and then back to good, often in the space of an hour or less. This is all based on how we perceive your compliance to be. During our seduction of you, you are only ever a good person because you represent that wonderful potent source of positive fuel which we desire. You represent the prospect of an undimmed source unlike the bad person we are devaluing and about to discard. You always respond positively to our overtures, our love-bombing and you give us what we want. Hence you remain a good person. Those who are in our coterie, our lieutenants and those who form our façade remain good people. Challenge us, defy us or even worse see through us and you are challenging our need for superiority and self-worth and you must automatically be designated as a bad person, irrespective of what may have come before, that would create a more complex view. You failed to do what we want; you are a bad person. You then change and do what we want, you become a good person. It is a simple and necessary classification that we utilise.

Accordingly, everything is either good or bad with our kind. Admittedly, though it usually turns ugly as well….

48 thoughts on “Black or White But Never Grey

  1. Ellen says:

    Another interesting and informative post, HG, thank you.

    This is behaviour I have seen over and over again with my NMother; the absolutes – black and white, friend or foe. The manager of the retirement home where she resides recently became recatorized. From ‘a lovely, hard-working person’ to ‘lazy, inconsiderate, never listens’. It was bizarre to see my NM go from almost worshipping the manager to sulky annoyance, and then barely suppressed fury when I said nothing either way.

    I’ve added this “tell” to my list of things to watch for in future relationships.

  2. KP says:

    Something about the word “stunning” makes me feel that it could be viewed two different ways… like a gas lighting effect. My ex called his current supply stunning on Facebook and most people look at her and say she literally looks like a witch. Maybe he meant he is stunned by how bad she looks? lol Now I am being mean, but really… his Mother uses the term and I think it’s an unusual term in certain environments. Words that can be taken in two different ways always had me wondering….

  3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

    Interesting, I have a similar list lol.

  4. Sniglet says:

    I’m so bad I’m good.

  5. Love says:

    Have any statuses of the people on the list changed?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      They can change yes.

  6. Jody Allen says:

    I find it interesting that the ads at the end of this article were for Tinder and other hook up sites…
    Just an observation. 😉

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You know why that is though don’t you Jody? Your cookies….

      1. windstorm2 says:

        Ha, ha, HG! I didn’t realize that! I naively thought we all got the same ones tailored to location, since many of mine are for KY. Most of mine are for classes or degrees in psychology.

        I hate cookies or any location devices/services and do all I can to avoid them. Probably my backwoods paranoia. I don’t want any way the government can track me down! Sadly it’s getting harder and harder to evade.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Well at least you can laugh at it which is always a good indicator. Now, onto more pressing events, how are you getting on, on Tinder?

          1. Windstorm2 says:

            I am fortunate to be able to laugh at any any everything! As to Tender… Your question cracks me up!! With all the narcs I’ve known, I can’t even imagine wading thru such a virtual sea of them!

          2. Love says:

            Windstorm, be careful on Tinder. ‘Looking for something casual with chemistry’ has a very different meaning now. Translation: looking for a 3rd to join us for swapping at the local sex club. 😂

          3. Windstorm2 says:

            Thank you for your concern, but I think HG was just making a joke. There’s no way on earth I’d go on any dating site! I have too much distrust in human nature. Plus I gave up on the idea of dating years ago. I realized I’m only attracted to narcs and have no desire to become entangled with another one. Ive been blessed that none of my narcs are physically dangerous. No need to tempt fate! Hope you’re doing well. I’ve been holding my new granddaughter!

          4. HG Tudor says:

            It was a joke.

          5. Love says:

            Omg! I’ve been holding my newborn niece. Wow! I’m high on oxytocin! It is a Powerful high ❤❤❤❤

          6. Twilight says:

            Congratulations windstorm2!!!!

          7. Windstorm2 says:

            Thanks Twilight! So glad it’s over and she’s here!

          8. Twilight says:

            You have a wonderful time bonding with that precious little one windstorm2!!!!

      2. Jody Allen says:

        Unfortunately, this is not my laptop so I cannot lay claim to the cookies- but someone around here is going to be in very big trouble…
        However, if you read Windstorm’s reply quickly, it looks as though her ads are for KY..soooo perhaps her cookies and my cookies may have already met~ 😉

        1. Windstorm2 says:

          Jody Allen
          Are you from KY? Or maybe TN?

          1. Love says:

            I think she meant ‘KY’ ads which is a lubricant brand 🌊

      3. Mary says:

        You are killing me this morning, Jody Allen! LOL

      4. Twilight says:

        I get ads on this author you may have heard of him HG Tudor.
        I seriously thought it was weird scroll down and up pops this ad, I was going with he is making sure I stay on track and needed a little reminder through out my adventures on other sites.

        I had to look up what Tinder was……and nope, no, hell no! That is as bad as a friend telling me I needed to check out plenty of fish, I would rather swim with the jellyfish again. Less likely to get stung in those waters. Dating advice…..yes I really did swim with the jellyfish a week ago after telling my son to go to hell from a floating deck, as he laughed his tail off. Lol the trouble I get myself into can be very amusing to others, apparently.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Plenty of Fish – some friend telling you to go there!

          1. Twilight says:

            Lol yes a “friend” did, found themselves a wife on there.
            I wasn’t familiar with dating sites then and that was my introduction to them. Bad juju

      5. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

        Online dating is so not for me. It is far to contrived and not natural. In addition to that…most of these people are boring, shallow, stupid, crazy, or ugly….or a combination.

        1. MLA - Clarece says:

          That completely sums up the pool of candidates in all of Central Illinois. Lol

      6. Jody Allen says:

        Went right over Windstorms head~ lol..
        No, Windstorm, I’m not from KY or TN..
        I am a non-recovering pervert (thank god) and was making a tasteless reference to your statement about your cookies :
        “since many of mine are for KY” (which is still making me laugh..)
        KY jelly, the sex lube, which in itself is tasteless..So, there you have it. A tasteless joke about tasteless lube from a non-recoverable perv who has tons of questionable Tinder cookies.. 😉

        1. Windstorm2 says:

          Jody Allen
          Yeah, you’re right. Clueless. Even though Indy made a joke about Ky jelly a few weeks ago. I guess that’s an association people only make if they’re not from here.

        2. MLA - Clarece says:

          Where is NarcAngel with one of her Listerine comments?
          Too funny Jody!

      7. Jody Allen says:

        Blame shifting, Mr.Tudor?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Who me? Never, just allocating it where it belongs as you know.

      8. MLA - Clarece says:

        Haha – Busted Jody Allen!
        (just kidding)

        1. Jody Allen says:

          Lmao MLA
          Never apologize for a bad joke, it ruins the punchline 🙂 It feels good to laugh and joke around for once. Today is good and I will embrace it because tomorrow I may on the dowside of my own See Saw (yeah, I stole that from some guy in here, can’t remember his name, though) 😉
          On another note…would that really make it cheating? After all I just only realized that I am very single.
          And which site do you think the most narcissists hang out on? Tinder (quick and disposable ) or Match (Promises of Relationships)? I know what my guess would be, but I’m curious to know what someone else thinks. ♡

          1. Love says:

            My vote is All of the above. They want to make sure they cover all grounds. No stone left un-turned. Lol. Of course certain sites such as Tinder and Ashley Madison are more suited for securing secondary sources … Throw the net far and wide.

          2. MLA - Clarece says:

            You pose a very interesting concept on the dating apps. For about two years, I have not been actively searching and the only one of choice is Bumble if I do. I’ve never met anyone there. If I match, there may be some minimum texting and it always drops off. Nobody seems capable of carrying on a descent conversation. What strikes me though if talking or reading someone’s bio is I’ll still gravitate towards other traits first, and then my mind will follow up with “oh this one is probably a Narc too”.
            I’ve actually seen married men with their wedding bands on or using pictures with their wives. Obviously a Narc, but my head still thinks first, “lying, cheating SOB” and swipe left. Or I see the guy with all his pics from the gym and in lots of sports related activities. Probably a Somatic, right? But first I think, “Oh gym rat and we probably won’t have much to talk about once he finds out I like going to the theatre and ballet much more than physical sports.” Swipe left.
            So it’s funny. I recognize what to look for but it’s still not at the forefront because I was so trusting before. That is why I’m just not out there trying to date yet.
            Honestly, I mostly use Bumble when I get to go out of town with my daughter for her dance competitions and I can check out the selection pool in a different city. It passes the time because there is a lot of waiting backstage that happens at those and it’s out of boredom. lol
            What’s interesting I did see an individual that holds a highly visible job at my daughter’s school on Bumble earlier in the summer. He is married and I was stunned because he is not someone I would have ever, ever viewed as a cheater. Not a fake charming guy. Truly just a remarkable, caring individual to both students and parents. I came to find out a week after that, his wife moved out and left him and their 4 year old daughter for a trial separation.
            So sometimes you can keep tabs on the comings and goings in your town if it’s small enough on those apps. I’ve also seen two of my brother’s former classmates (not really friends, just people he graduated with) on a dating app and both were married at the time.

          3. Twilight says:


            My ex called the place for quick marriages and slow divorce.

            Greater married within 6 months 2 years for divorce to be finalized. Other issues we still being dragged through the court system while we were seeing each other and on going after three years together.
            Screw online dating, POF looked, didn’t join creepy, e harmony was recommended by a patient of mine tried it went on date, he kept putting his hand towards my southern region, the second time I warned him I would remove said hand, picked fork up and he got the picture. Paid for only my meal my drink and left. I don’t like being touched uninvited. Lol my luck I would have embedded the fork in my thigh if he had pushed the issue.
            For myself never again will I use an on line dating service. Then I read what HG has written about them and it just reenforced my decision.
            Crazy thing is both Greaters I know have been very random in our paths crossing.
            I like random!!!

          4. Jody Allen says:

            LMAO Twilight!
            I don’t know which is more funny. The reference to Match or the pitchfork comment!
            I will never go on a dating website, I’m with all the rest who know they attract only Narcs .Although, it would be really funny and evil to make a profile on Match listing all of my likes as everything we used to do, especially sexually, and then ask him very nicely to edit it for me, or let him find it since he lied and never closed his out in the 5 years we were together.
            I just got finished reading “Sitting Target”, and while I’m not sure my ex-narc went to such extremes to find out about me but it really raises the red flags about Social Media and what a playground it is for predators…
            A must read if you haven’t read it yet. 😉

          5. Twilight says:


            Lol It was funny later in that night I received a message stating he didn’t think things would work out between us, I was like you don’t say!

            Sitting target is informative and insightful, I have recommended it outside of this blog to some.
            I do appreciate the recommendations, truth be known I read all of HGs books before I really came to the blog.
            He impressed me with the first book I ever read. Fuel, the moment I touched that particular book he captured my full attention and he has had it ever sense. I passed that one on like it was passed to me.
            Maybe one day soon I will have another copy.

      9. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

        I certainly learned never to settle after my ordeal. I would much rather be alone and let things happen when they happen thn wasting my time with these losers.

        I have no time or patience for Mickey Mouse bullshit.

        Most of the couples I see are cheating on eachother anyway – and most are miserable pretending to be happy – or they are just coexisting and are bored going through the motions.

        I honestly have no idea where the quality people have gone…

        1. Windstorm2 says:

          Dr Q
          Maybe the quality people were always just illusions.

      10. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

        If I join a Matthew hussy boot camp thn all hope is lost lmao.

      11. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:


        I think you’re right….

        That’s a good point.

        What a sad reality.

        I’ll take cats over con artists and dirty dick any day.

  7. Narc affair says:

    Its this good and bad switcheroo with the narc that creates waliking on eggshells bc youre constantly on guard of doing or saying the wrong thing and ending up on the shitlist again.

  8. Yolo says:

    Does this apply to all cadres?

    “Lesley for instance responded to a hoover a little while back and still messages me with pleasant comments from time to time. I play along as I am a far from finished with her but she is a bad person because of what she has done and moreover I know she will be looking for an opportunity to unseat me and seek some form of revenge over me as a consequence of my repeated thwarting of her ambitions. I know her game.”

    The more I read, the mid is closer to greater in how calculating he is. The above statement fits him like a fine pair of leather gloves.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      This can apply to all cadres Yolo, although I suspect you meant to ask whether it applies to all schools and a Lesser would not approach the matter in this way.

  9. Ali says:

    it’s good to be bad (to a narc) – grin –

    1. Narc affair says:

      So true ali unless youre still in the relationship.

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