I Will Tell You A Secret
The telling of a secret is a very useful manipulation.
In the first instance, we may tell you a genuine secret about somebody else because we are adept at garnering information about other people, gaining their trust and their confidence. Your reaction to this will provide us with fuel. It is also highly likely that you will tell somebody else because as we all know, if you want to keep something secret, do not tell anybody else. How many times have you been told a secret and heard the words, “Don’t tell anyone else but…” before the confidence is breached by the person speaking to you and you go on to do the same. It does not take long before the secret is amongst many people and is no longer a secret. Accordingly, we have gained fuel and we have also set a cat amongst the pigeons as somebody else’s secret becomes the subject of the day’s gossip and more. The person who is the subject of this released secret may well confront us about our indiscretion, which will naturally be denied and more fuel is gathered.
In the second instance the provision of the secret is all about drawing you into our world. By making it appear that you are privy to information about someone else or even better, about us, we appear to be taking you into our circle of trust, our ring of confidence. It is an effective way of making a victim feel special. This act of passing you some information which is given the label of a secret is designed to signal to you that we apparently trust you. Trust is a most important factor in the dealings between people and of course especially for those who are of an empathic nature. This nugget of secrecy may be passed to you as a Non Intimate Secondary Source (a friend or colleague) or as part of your seduction as we rope you in as our Intimate Partner Secondary Source en route to you becoming our Intimate Partner Primary Source. We want you to feel special, we want you to feel trusted, desired and set apart from all the others. Passing you a secret is a sure fire way to achieve this.
By causing you to think that you know something that nobody else knows about us, you feel as if you have been admitted to the inner sanctum. Our aim, when dealing with any of our victims, is to have them subsumed into our world. This means that you are bedazzled by the illusion that we have created, you will thus be under our control in our world and you will provide us with what we want, namely The Prime Aims . Whether this bedazzling is fleeting – in the instance of an interaction with a Tertiary Source, or longstanding – the years of manipulation of an IPPS – the aim remains the same. We must pull you into our world, own you and control you and that way we get what we want.
There are numerous ways of doing this but telling you a secret is a very effective way of doing this. We tell you that you are the only one who knows this about us, that we trust nobody except you (cue some sob story about why we will not trust and this will be predicated on our view of the world being full of harsh and betraying people) and that we know you will not tell anybody else because you would never do anything to harm us. Your earnest response and assurances that our apparent trust is well-placed in you, provides us with fuel. It also provides us with a useful indicator of how you are submitting to our control and being absorbed into our world.
What you fail to realise is that this supposed secret that we have conveyed to you in hushed tones, in a reverent manner as if we are passing down some weighty and earth-shattering revelation, is invented. We have our secrets, indeed much of our life is spent moving in the shadows and ensuring that those skeletons stay firmly in the closet. We do not want you knowing about those secrets. They must remain hidden because we do not trust you at all. Instead, we fabricate some secret about ourselves and pass it off as something nobody else knows about us and that you are the esteemed recipient of our innermost secrets.
It might be something to do with our family, an event in our past, some achievement which we apply false modesty too, some interesting peccadillo that we have engaged in. The content is varied but so long as it attracts the mantle of requiring secrecy it will serve its purpose. Remember this conveyance of the secret occurs during our seduction of you, when we are focused on drawing you into our world, when we lock on to you and truly make you seem like the only person in the world who matters. Our considerable charm, our lack of concern or morality for our actions enable the lies to spill readily from our lips. We want you to trust us and for you to think that we trust you. By seemingly unlocking the gate to our heart and our innermost vulnerabilities, the provision of a secret to you signals to you that we must trust you. This feels wonderful to you. This amazing person who has pledged love and devotion to you, who has made you feel magnificent, who has come as the answer to all your prayers is someone you want. You want to be friends with this interesting and capable person and when this new best friend lets you in on a supposed secret then surely that is your admission to our inner circle? You want the grace and favour we hold as your boss and if the boss confides in you, then does not that mean you are the chosen one in the workplace? Most of all, you want this person to remain your love interest forever and a day and when we share that secret with you and only you, then that demonstrates to you that you are now regarded as trusted confidante. Your elation is palpable and you have just been bound to us even tighter.
Of course, since this secret is fabricated there is no danger perceived by us that if you ever betrayed us and disclosed this secret, we could readily deny it and even point to something which proves that it is not true. At this point we have no interest in keeping you onside as we will already have begun to devalue you. As an empathic individual who is honest and decent, you would not have chosen to disclose this apparent secret first. You will only do so as a reaction to how we have treated you and thus should you decide to disclose it, you will be in devaluation, smeared and possibly dis-engaged from also. Your revelation is either seen as bitterness, jealousy or the rantings of a unhinged abuser who we have sought to escape from and its content has next to no impact on us. We do not, by this stage, care that you have discovered the secret to be false, indeed, your reaction to this revelation just provides us with fuel.
Whether the dynamic with us is familial, social, work or romantic the repeated provision of secrets draws you into our world. It makes you feel special, it makes you feel anointed as a special person to us and to be held in such regard by someone you admire, appreciate and/or love means much to you. It secures your loyalty, it gains your fuel and allows us to exert control over you. That delicious tingle of excitement as we make you our co-conspirator with secrets about others or ourselves tells you that we must really trust you and that you are now elevated.
The provision of secrets is done with many people that we seduce, be they inner circle friends, colleagues or intimate sources. The telling of a secret is a masterful way to make you seem as if you are the only one who matters to us, that we trust you and therefore our relationship with you is special indeed.
Not such a secret now though.
7 thoughts on “I Will Tell You A Secret”
My narc told me right away that he was married, and early on volunteered he’s had two affairs and a couple of one night stands. He said he just wanted to have fun and for no one to get hurt. I felt like he was being so open about his history and marital status and he must trust me. He was always saying he trusts me in ways he hasn’t anyone else. I do realize this made me feel safer in sharing vulnerabilities and past hurts with him.
Many months later, we started sharing fantasies that were dark and a bit taboo, with him saying he’d never revealed that stuff to anyone before… and I thought it was because he trusts me. While I don’t know how much of that was his fantasy, I think he shared it to see how far he could push me. He really loved pushing my boundaries. I think that was hot in ways, to tease open my boundaries a little here and there. When he started stomping all over them though, then saying it was all in my head when I called him on it… at what point would it ever stop?
He started off telling me things about himself that immediately made me feel like I’ve been pulled into his inner sanctum. I remember saying to him, “you shouldn’t be telling me those things”. But it was definitely used to draw me in as he shared all his most intimate secrets and details with me (including what he is). Then he started telling me about other people’s private life and secrets (mostly his other victims, but not always). People I know… so it was cringeworthy! I’m not into gossips though, so I think he lost me there a bit. I hardly remember them. No doubt he’s been spreading my secrets to anyone who would listen, which is rather a lot of people. Yet another reason to avoid narcs.
“We have our secrets, indeed much of our life is spent moving in the shadows and ensuring that those skeletons stay firmly in the closet. We do not want you knowing about those secrets.”
What’s interesting is that he told me that even his very closest friends don’t know what really goes on in his life. He keeps all of his relationships as shallow as possible. Sure he shared things with me that he seemingly didn’t share with anyone else, but I now wonder how much of that was truth. Also, it seems that he scared himself when he got to close to me because that is when he suddenly put me on the shelf/started devaluing me (still not sure what to label it).
Yes this rings a bell for me…..he told me about an affair he had whilst he was married……however I know it was actually true…….but I guess the false bit was that he just told me about one of the affairs…….instead of all of them. He was probably only telling me himself because there may also have been a possibility that someone else may have told me!!!! The secret was vague enough though…..he wasn’t that forthcoming on the detail….I now see that he was just covering his tracks whilst also gaining my trust at the same time.
My ex also told me that he went to prostitutes when he was living in San Francisco with his wife and once got drunk and had sex with a neighbour. I always wondered why he chose to tell me that, especially the bit about the prostitutes. It’s not exactly something you parade around. But I think it must have been this “let’s tell her one little part of the big ugly truth so she feels special and I can act like I’m filled with remorse and an actual victim because my wife was a crazy bitch”. He always told me that he stopped cheating once they moved to London. However, a couple of years before I escaped, I had this bad feeling so I contacted his wife anonymously (she never replied when I used my real identity). I asked her how come she and her husband aren’t together anymore and she said “once we moved to London, I quick found out he was cheating on me”. She was clearly suggesting he was cheating IN London. I confronted him: “no, no, I did not”. Right. He cheated everywhere, all the time, on her, on me, on everyone.
He was very vague about the prostitutes as well. He claimed there weren’t that many but if that was a fact, then he could have told me more details. Even with the little info he did give me, he started to contradict himself when I questioned him again… .
Yes the vagueness and contradictions were also noticed by me on both of the narcs that I knew. If I had a suspicion of a lie, I would make a note of it in detail, leave it for 3 months and then go back over it with him…….on one of those chats that start with “do you remember when you said????”………. It is always handy to make sure you have the narc in a place where they are unable to escape when you want one of these conversations, otherwise they will immediately become very busy. I found having them sat in the passenger seat of the car on a long journey was ideal…..captive audience and no chance of escape!!!!!!! They are not likely to become to violent either with you being in control of the car…….they might not value your life too much but they do value their own!!!!! Diva
My experience with secrets is more the opposite, but but then that was never in seduction. My exhusband has always dropped a hint he knew a secret, then absolutely refused to tell me. Often he even triangulated by telling my mother or someone else I knew, but made it out that I was untrustworthy or that it wasn’t ethical to tell me. I actually very rarely retell anything – being such an antisocial loner – and even his pretending that I was not trustworthy absolutely galled me!! I’m sure it was a reliable source of negative fuel for many years.
Won’t work now, though, since I began the practice of just shutting down emotionally whenever someone tries to get negative fuel from me. Since now it’s counter-productive, he no longer pretends to not trust me and just tells me what I ask.