No Good Advice

no good advice

Relationship advice. The internet is awash with it. Sites, blogs, question and answer sessions, videos on YouTube there is a plethora of advice about how to deal with the problems which arise in intimate relationships.

I decided recently to have a good look through many of these sites and gather together the common complaints which people raise when they submit their issues. There are plenty of submissions, thousands upon thousands of people complaining about the issues in their relationships. Oddly enough, I noticed a common thread with many of these complaints where people had written in to seek advice or explained their circumstances. Time and time again I the following:-

“Everything was wonderful to begin with, he swept me off my feet.”

“She made me feel like a king and it was just what I needed after how horrible my marriage had been.”

“I was taken aback by how loving he was, but it felt so good to be treated that way after everything that I had been through.”

“He told me how he had been hurt before and didn’t want to go through that again.”

“His ex-wife was horrible to him and he had been hurt but wanted to ensure everything was right between us.”

“Everything was marvellous for a few months and then he changed.”

“I didn’t know him anymore.”

“He started controlling me.”

“She told me who I could see.”

“He started to isolate me from family and friends.”

“He would flirt with other women.”

“She spent all of her time on the internet doing Lord knows what.”

“He never listens to me.”

“He became abusive.”

“The sex was amazing at first but then it just stopped.”

“He was so loving and attentive in bed but then he started suggesting threesomes and kinky stuff which I didn’t like.”

“He started to make decisions for me.”

“She would lose her temper over the smallest thing.”

“He would disappear for days on end and I was sick with worry.”

“He would not speak to me for several days even though I had done nothing wrong.”

“He started hitting me. He said sorry afterwards and seemed remorseful for what he had done, blaming it on seeing his dad beat him mum when he was young.”

“He doesn’t like anything I do any more, he puts me down.”

“Its like living with Jekyll and Hyde.”

“He just never contacted me again. I still don’t know what has happened.”

“He told me he couldn’t be with me anymore as he needed time to himself and then two days later I see him post about a new girlfriend on social media.”

“He was unfaithful to me repeatedly.”

“I still miss her after everything she has done.”

“I am financially ruined, stressed but I still love him.”

“Why can’t it be like it was in the beginning?”

“I want him back.”

I should imagine that all of you will be nodding at these comments for two reasons. First of all, you remember saying them yourself or something similar. Secondly, you now realise what was actually behind these behaviours. People like me.

Over and over again I saw questions and tales which all had the common theme of ‘Brilliant start, he became someone else, dumped me, I was heartbroken.’ Hundreds upon hundreds of these stories, these tales of misery and woe. A litany of despondency and confusion that has been piled up in the inboxes of the relationship advisors and gurus. I scrolled through them all, reading the replies, the advice and the suggestions. I read the analysis, I digested the observations and spent some considerable time doing so. What did I see?

Not one person raised the possibility that the person seeking advice had become involved with a narcissist. Not one.

Many of these blogs and relationship advice sites were clearly popular. Some were established names, linked to lifestyle magazines and newspapers. Many directed you to their services for counselling and relationship tool kits. Many of them trotted out similar comments and platitudes. Too often they read like the first world tribulations of a scene from Sex and the City rather than the abusive, destructive and harmful actions of dangerous narcissists.

Yet not one of them raised the suggestion that a narcissist was involved.

Now, naturally it is not the case that behind every relationship woe there is a narcissist but I know that those of you reading this, with the benefit of the enlightenment you have achieved knows that there is a good chance that problems of this nature as described repeatedly in the problems pages of these sites are something to do with people like my kind. Yet nobody was offering this as a possibility. That shows the scale of how easy it is for us to do what we do and pass undetected. It shows the staggering lack of knowledge about what we do say, think and do and the naivety of so many people, including those who apparently understand relationship dynamics.

Instead, I saw standard and repeated responses such as:-

“He is clearly a commitment phobe.”

No, he doesn’t want to spend time with you because he is devaluing you and is actually seducing someone else at the current time.

“You have outgrown each other.”

No, you never grew together to begin with because it was all predicated on an illusion and his lack of interest now is symptomatic of his interest being elsewhere.

“He may just be tired or stressed from working hard to support you and your children.”

Yes or he might be a narcissist who uses his rage to intimidate and control you.

You may have unrealistic expectations about the relationship.”

Damn right you do and we all know why that has happened don’t we?

You need him to take responsibility for his actions. He cannot keep blaming you for everything.”

Good luck with that one.

“He just might not be into you.”

Half-right I suppose, he just isn’t in to you fuel anymore, he is in to somebody else’s.

“He might be bored with life and not you. Try harder to interest him.”

Again, good luck with that one.

“Relationships require hard work. Don’t give up. Keep working at it and you can overcome the problems together.”

You have just been told to sign your own death warrant there.

“Some people have anger issues but that can managed with understanding and therapy.”

Or they have fury which ignites at the slightest provocation and always will.

“Being hurt is an inevitable part of a relationship.”

It is if you get ensnared by my kind.

I am not suggesting that every problem in a relationship is as a consequence of the other party being a narcissist, that is unrealistic. However, the number of times I read about what was clearly the narcissistic dynamic of seduction, devaluation and discard was significant. The monumental amount of times that I recognised narcissistic manipulations – rage attacks, silent treatments, triangulation, intimidation, bullying, gas lighting and so forth – in so many posts did not surprised me but they were not picked up on. Many times these manipulations were not isolated events. There were repeated occasions and also differing types of the manipulations which when combined and repeated point in one direction.

The advice and platitudes that were provided to people who were clearly, not just possibly, but clearly entangled with a narcissist, were way off the mark. The descriptions and answers I have listed above were the ones which were provided to people and at best this would mean the person would remain clueless and stuck with no appropriate solution and at worst they were providing advice which would harm the individual who had sought the advice.

I was not surprised by this erroneous advice. I was not amazed by this omission of our kind from the explanations. I was not taken aback by the scale of people complaining about what was clearly narcissistic abuse but not being told as such.

This is why we are able to do what we do.

This is why we are able to move amongst people, ensnare fresh victims and maintain our veneer of respectability.

This is why what we do is passed off as something else. Euphemised, diluted, lessened and made to seem like a standard relationship hiccup.

This is why ignorance is so harmful.

This is why we remain so effective.

This is why we remain so dangerous.

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26 thoughts on “No Good Advice”

  1. I was bored, I decided to stir some thinking…..
    I have learned this evening narcissist just love themselves and are selfish.

    Case closed…. Not! I am going back tomorrow and get an education on narcissism.

  2. I find people diagnose others as narcs too frequently now. It’s a term just thrown around.
    Many of these authors aren’t educated or even “professionals” in interpersonal relationships and often work on a theme of conflict resolution, which just isn’t possible with a narcissist.
    Also I can’t help but think when I read sites or blogs like you’ve mentioned that *maybe* people are leaving out important info, intentionally or not? Perspective is everything and a hurt heart can be irrational and blind.

  3. Wow, amazing that you took that prospective to look at it. And so accurate. I put up with, made excuses, asked other’s opinions of what was going on, until i started running into the word narcissist in searches. I knew the word, but just thought it was a arrogant human being. My mouth fell open when i started reading, watching video’s, and you HG, had me unhinged when found your site. Actually a radio interview on the way home from where you ask, lol, the narcissists! Ate lunch in a parking lot just to listen. Half freaked out, and holly shit, wasn’t sure to freak, cry. Took me a couple more day’s for it to sink in. One thing I’m so glad you even mentioned, is the danger of some people’s very life’s. With a lesser, SCARY STUFF. It was seriously like the most hateful monster, his voice would almost change, his demenor was terrifying, his stare would stop ya in your track’s. Cruel, violent, cold as ice, I’m not sure if he could stop himself if he lost it and i stayed with him. He threaten to kill me in a rage, he was violent, and he did tell me he was afraid because I made him that angry. Afraid he would kill me, lose it. It hurt so bad letting go, but, do i think i was in danger, YES. I sometimes think he could have killed me, slept like a baby, and dispose of me like he did his garbage! People these day’s think Dextor is just a series and not reality. Even therapist wanna go, and how does that make you feel! WHAT? Lol! Like this one, thanxs love.

  4. I agree… I keep seeing ridiculous Fakebook posts implying how a man “should” treat you, but describing the start of a relationship with a narcissist! I want to make a comment, but then I am seen as negative. By the way, you brought up “Sex in the City”… I loved that show when it came out, but now I just want them to do a movie where Carrie realizes “Big” is a narcissist/sociopath. For some reason I think that would fit him perfectly… maybe it would be a hit movie as well since people are drawn to that movie as well as movies about psychopaths… Just a thought. You could help them write that script HG…

  5. So HG is the answer to become “The Greater Evil”? I am 6 weeks out from my Great Narc after a Super Nova. He boosted about being that.

  6. I so agree!
    A nationally known Norwegian therapist has written a book called: ‘Hooked on the hope of love’. She also blogs about this.
    In the book we meet Nora and Frank. The first part is Nora’s notes from her 3 month relationship with Frank. The whole story describes Frank beeing a narcissist (mid-ranger). The first part ends with a girl who has isolated her self from the world unable to eat or to speak to her friends. Frank is back with his ex, and Nora feels baffled, because he has smeared the ex’es name right from the beginning.
    The second part is the analysis from the therapist explaining what happened in Noras amygdala. Not one reference to narcissism. She “blames” Nora for beeing hooked on a hope of love.

  7. Hi HG, I can not tell you how pleased I am to see this post. You know I constantly talk about you being more main stream with this information and how vital it is. I have read these so called love coaches , who have zero experience of personality disorders , dishing out advice left right and centre and on top of that I’m sure many women would agree that there is a general mindset out there about dating and relationships that women should be a certain way . This is keeping women stuck sometimes for years in relationships with narcissists and they are clueless just like I was.
    Commitment Phobic Men
    Men blowing hot and cold is natural
    Men pulling away is natural
    Women pressuring men for commitment and relationships
    This is what is out there and when you stumble across a narcissist you don’t know
    The very famous book by John Grey relationship guru says men are like rubber bands they pull away
    Of course not all men are narcissists
    BUT I’m willing to bet the majority of so called commitment phobics, players, compulsive liars, agressive partners quite possibly are narcissists
    I have told hardly anybody my ex is a narcissist because people don’t know what one is and will think I’m nuts because he was just a shit boyfriend and I need to get over it !!
    I’ve had shit boyfriends and I can assure anybody they were not what I’ve just been dealing with for the last 2 and a half years
    HG I won’t be satisfied until your on the News talking about this to the nation !!!

    1. Well put Lisa and thanks to another reader, an absolute gem of a dangerous site has been unearthed and I shall be writing about this presently in an article.

      1. There’s a female relationship coach out there making an absolute fortune , so much so that she recently purchased a magnificent home and this is all shown to her readers. Her whole teachings are about EUM’s as she calls them (emotionally unavailable men) I thought that’s what I was dealing with (well I was in a way) but not that can be fixed by this advise, which is basically that women should be accommodating to this in every way possible and when the EUM pulls away (silent treatment) the woman should not judge but welcome him back being sweet and pleased to see him (a narcs ideal). I could go on but I’m sure you get the picture . Hundreds of women stuck waiting for these EUM’s to change …………. so dangerous !!! AND paying a lot of money for this coaching

      2. No I don’t HG? You can change things but I know you have to protect your identity which is completely understandable

    2. Ditto Lisa! I’ve made similar comments to HG over the last year. How about that book “Women are From Venus, Men are From Mars”? No, they’re just Narcs.
      My review on Amazon for HG’s book “Exorcism”, I stated that it could really apply to anyone going thru a very hard breakup. It really could translate that way. HG could expand this easily into the relationship advice arena. Instead of Dear Abby, he can have Dear HG, which is kind of what happens here anyways. lol

      1. Thank you Clarece, along this vein watch out for a sister article coming very soon which attacks the nonsense churned out by these sites.

  8. Missing: “Oh you’re stronger than you think. You will prevail. You’ll find someone, a healthy relationship”.

    Hahahaha. I wish! Nope. I don’t ever foresee that happening. Try as I might I cannot see myself trusting anyone ever again. My defensive mechanism has me thinking everyone is a Narc now. Am I the only one who feels this way?

    1. Gabbanzobean,

      You definitely are not alone in feeling this way! When someone pays me a compliment now, one that I don’t think is all that sincere or accurate, I start thinking about their angle and why they may want to butter me up. Either that, or I know they just said it to divert my attention away when I just caught them in a fat lie and called them on it.

      That said, Gab, I do believe a healthy relationship is possible for you, if you keep working on you and don’t ever settle for scraps from anyone again. It’s much easier said than done, and there is still no guarantee that you and the right person will cross paths, but I think odds are it will happen if you believe in your worth.

      1. Mary,
        Thank you for your kind words. I do not mean to be all doom and gloom but I struggle so much. I really hope that I can someday look back on this and say that you are right. Just an example of how my mind works on this now….I was listening to my favorite morning show on the radio today and there is a segment that the radio personalities do called “Around the Room” where they each take turns and share a random story about interactions with people or about something that happens in their daily life. So one of the women on the show shared a story of how she was at Starbucks yesterday when it began to rain, pour actually. A random stranger (a man) offered her his umbrella so she would not get wet when she went outside to leave. She commented how sweet of a gesture it was and she was amazed at the selflessness of the individual. Everyone else agreed and echoed her thoughts. Me however? I am in my car driving to work while listening to this story and the first words out of my mouth are….”Hahahahaha! That person is probably a Narc!!!!!”

        Yep. That is how I think now. It sucks. But I hear you….I need to get out of that mentality. I hope there is still good in this world and not every nice intention is some Narc thing.

  9. Yes, all true. But, now that we here have discovered the truth behind these lies, we can educate others who fall into the trap.

    I just read this..

    When you start to wonder whether you can trust someone or not, that is when you already know you don’t.

    Trust your intuition. It is never wrong.

    1. “When you start to wonder whether you can trust someone or not, that is when you already know you don’t.”

      What?! But in that case I don’t trust ANYONE! Nooo!!! :O

  10. Even more entertaining is watching the YouTube/Facebook relationship advice givers. Read between the lines and you’ll find that what people call a “f*@kboy” is, in essence, a narcissist.

      1. OMG! I’d be happy to submit material from JN for that upcoming article. Offer is on the table. Lol

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