Ask The Question

 

ASK

You may remember Sophie who was one of my ex-girlfriends. She was a happy-go-lucky kind of person and loved dashing from person to person wishing them well. She was like a machine spewing out good wishes, pleasantries and compliments.

“You look really well,you have lost weight.”

“That skirt really suits you.”

“I heard you recently got married, you must be really happy. That’s really wonderful.”

“Hey great news on that new job. I am really pleased for you.”

“You look so content, I am really happy for you.”

She was really, really good natured. Oh and she used really a lot. There was not a bad bone in Sophie’s body and she always saw the good side of everything. I was by turns fascinated by how she managed it and also hugely attracted by her capacity to find victory from the jaws of defeat.

“He’s grumpy because he is tired, he works very hard you know.”

“I guess he didn’t have time to speak to me today, he has really huge responsibilities. He really has.”

“I don’t mind that he forgot my birthday, I am just really pleased to be with him, that’s a good enough present for me.”

“I haven’t heard from him so I guess he is out with his friends. It is really good to spend time with other people now and again, it keeps things really fresh.”

She just skipped along merrily handing out kindness and warmth as if that was all she was programmed to do. I reached this conclusion because behind the permanent smile, the twinkling eyes and elated expression she wore there really was not a lot else. She had no interest in politics, current affairs, sport, history, literature and so on. She would listen patiently if I railed against the latest proposals concerning immigration nodding and smiling and when I asked her what she thought she would say,

“Oh all of that is for people really clever. It’s not for me.”

She was never dismissive in the sense of pouring scorn on it just because she was not interested or she did not understand. No, she just had no interest because she felt it was beyond her, not something she had to be concerned about. She was concerned with just one thing ; skipping around like some modern day fairy sprinkling goodness everywhere. I do think she lacked much in the way of her own opinions and thoughts because she usually deflected any attempt to get her to critique something with a self-effacing comment like the one above. She never seemed to be caught in a moment of contemplation. She never seemed to pause for thought. She would just ask what I thought. She did this repeatedly. She was always concerned to know what I was thinking about.

“What’s on your mind?”

“Penny for your thoughts?”

“What are you thinking?”

“Where is your mind today?”

“What’s going on upstairs?”

Repeatedly throughout the day, as  we sat watching television, after we had made love, during dinner, going for a walk, when I was shaving and so on. Always wanting to know what I was thinking. So I told her. From the mundane (“This shaving gel is not as good as the last lot I bought”) through to the loving (“I was just thinking how wonderful it is being with you”) to the scathing (“I was just wondering why on earth I am with such an empty-headed woman as you”). That was all she wanted to know. What was I thinking? On and on she would go, asking and asking and no matter what I said, be it compliment or nasty comment or ephemera she would smile and give a satisfied nod.

All of this made her very attractive to someone like me at the outset as she was a real high volume fuel generator but once that wore thin, it was rather difficult to denigrate her so she would react the way that I wanted. She put me in mind of that toy the Weeble. The catchphrase surrounding the Weeble was “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.”Sophie was like that. I would be horrible to her and she maintained a smile (although I thought or at least hoped she was dying inside) and made an excuse and found a rationale for my unpleasantness. Insults just seemed to bounce off her. Smashing plates and ornaments caused her to stand and watch with a slightly perplexed look on her face before she tidied the pieces away. She did not cry or show fear. I would sit and flirt with other women online and comment to Sophie about how attractive they were. She would look over and agree with my comments and go on to compliment how white their teeth were or how she liked their hairstyle. If I wandered in during the middle of the morning she would just ask how my night had gone. I am sure she could smell other women on me but she did not seem to react. It was as if she was wrapped in this coating of pleasantness that was impervious to any nastiness thrown at her. She would either respond with a soothing comment, make an excuse for what I had said or done or just not react and get on with her day. I used to wonder if she had me worked out and this was her way of negating me. How had she done this? Who had put her on to this strategy?

One weekend she was staying with me at my house and I returned earlier than she expected. She had not heard me come in (it is often said that I manage to move around with a strange ability to be very quiet, popping up without warning) and I could hear her talking in the bedroom. I crept closer and through the slightly ajar door I realised she was talking to herself.

“Must not think, do not think Sophie. Just keep doing. Smile and shine, shine and smile. Keep going forward. Don’t think about it. We know what happens when you think about it. Bad things happen but we don’t do bad things do we? No. Only good things. I don’t do the thinking, he does. I need to know what he is thinking and then I can make him happy, it is only fair, he deserves it doesn’t he? Don’t think Sophie, must not do that, come on, you can do this, you always do. Do it don’t daydream.”

I stole away and then realised what I needed to do to break her.

After that, whenever she asked me what was I thinking about, I would respond by saying “Nothing.” She would look puzzled and ask again. I would repeat my answer. She then would look slightly anxious. I would turn to her and ask

“What are you thinking about”

She would try and deflect my question by asking me again or changing the subject but now I knew how to get to her. I would never tell her what I was thinking and instead pursue her to tell me what was going on inside that sugary head of hers. It worked. She became upset, angry, frustrated and anxious so I kept it going and going and going. I have no idea why it troubled her so much. Her eyes filled with panic when I kept saying nothing and then she seemed to shrink, her light dimming as I asked her about what she was really thinking. She could not cope with it. I did not work out what it was about thinking that caused her so much consternation and I did not care, all that mattered to me was being able to provoke her into giving me that emotional reaction. It seemed that too much thinking on her part was a dangerous thing indeed. The important thing was that I had worked out how to provoke the provision of negative fuel. Makes you think doesn’t it?

 

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63 thoughts on “Ask The Question”

  1. My sister is a narcissist and a heroin addict and I posit that fuel is akin to (emotional) heroin and the narcissist craves that fuel so badly that s(he) will do anything to get a hit. Assault, rape, molesting a child, name calling, withdrawal, gas lighting, blame shifting, lies, etc. Provocation delivers the fix, but only temporarily.

  2. She just wanted to do good and make you happy, said you deserved to be happy. Still you provoked her. Tsk tsk. One day (hopefully never) I might understand your narc logic.

  3. After reading this, Sophie reminds me of myself. My ex used to describe me as “a good hearted person without a bad bone in your body”. I guess that’s why my ex picked me. I wonder how she is doing now??

  4. The poor girl! She sounds like someone who is least emotionally equipped to handle the distorted thinking of a narcissist.
    Probably her upbringing conditioned her not to consider her own needs or ’cause a fuss’ by calling someone out on their bad behaviour.

    Instead of giving her confidence, I’d say you behaved like a cowardly bully towards a very easy target.
    You decided to ‘break’ her..
    Shame on you!
    Hardly a challenge was it? Like taking candy from a baby.

    My ex always talked about “being a man”. He’s 50. When will he stop aspiring to merely be ‘A Man’ and grow up to become an Adult?

  5. “It seemed that too much thinking on her part was a dangerous thing indeed”

    Very true…..It makes me think that Sophie avoided thinking, otherwise she would have come to the harsh realisation of what she was involved with…….some individuals are able to block things that hurt them by way of diversion tactics.

    “I have no idea why it troubled her so much.”

    I do…..if she didn’t have your thoughts…….she was left with her own thoughts…….thoughts about you.

    “Her eyes filled with panic when I kept saying nothing and then she seemed to shrink, her light dimming as I asked her about what she was really thinking.”

    You would not have liked the honest answer to this question……..nor did she want to admit the truth to herself.

    Oh and Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down!!!!!……..further corroborates that you are within the same age range as me…..never mind HG……botox can do wonders apparently!!!! Would you consider upgrading that naughty step after you have paid for your marble work of art???? Maybe a padded cushion??? A book or two??? Although I dread to think what titles they would have………Diva

  6. This post makes me so sad but it is an eye opener too. It doesn’t matter how lovely or innocent you are, a narc will shit all over it.

    I love your blog, but this post makes me feel really awful. I’m no Sophie, I’m a bigger bitch, but I feel for her 🙁

  7. According to this article, narcissists do not actually know what makes a new victim react. They cannot just read people as easy as I thought. They try something which worked on other victims in the past and if they do not succeed, they want to find out what makes their present victim react and they test something new.
    Two of the narcissists hoovering me try different (some of them totally ridiculous) things to make me react and because I do not bother, they change their tactic and do something else.
    Trial and error. Is this correct?

    1. Some victims are easier to read than others. There is also the approach that we will apply a manipulation and if it does not work or it works and then stops working, we will shift to a different manipulation. That is why mirroring us (save for silent treatments) is not a good idea.

      1. I can imagine that there are some victims who are easier to read than others but most narcissists are not like you, HG. They are Mid-Rangers or Lessers with low to average intellectual ability. Many MRNs (and also LNs) think they know me when they actually don’t. Maybe they are convinced that everyone is just like them.

        Mirroring narcissists is playing their game, right? It is not easy to disengage and remain neutral without giving any kind of fuel at all so I prefer to ignore them. I have learnt this from narcissists who do this to me. Some of them change their tactic when I ignore them. They go into ‘The Charm’ approach.

      2. HG
        When I was a child, I used STs on my siblings, then I used it on my ULN and on my MMRN only during 2015. From my perspective, I think the STs helped me save my energy because I wasn’t fighting with them anymore.

  8. So funny that you said she said really a lot. My mid range ex used to nag me about saying like too much when he was devaluing me.

  9. Overhearing a person talking to herself/himself uttering Sophie’s words without a convincing explanation for the meaning, occurrence and thought process would give me concern for his/her mental stability. It should not pass as normal. Constant adulation is also strange and unnecessary.

    Perhaps she sensed a break up in the horizon and had to do everything in her power to hold on to the relationship.

  10. Another time u posted this article, u revealed in the comments section that u discovered she had c-ptsd. I relate to her, because i too have delayed onset of ptsd (manifested in adulthood) due to my childhood trauma.
    I pray sophie has healed frm her relationship w you. At the same time, i pray that u are not so reliant on others for negative fuel.

  11. Hmmm. Poor girl. But….if the roles were reversed and you were the one asking HG, and she continually said ‘nothing’, would that infuriate you?
    I know from past experience that the tHiNg used to ask me all the time about my thoughts. Now I understand why….

  12. Identify to a lesser degree with Sophie.

    I had my own articulate thoughts but was never asked so I never volunteered them.

    My jobs were:
    1. Repository of Glorious Moments to be Re-lived
    2. Credible Sycophant
    3. Tireless Lieutenant With Benefits

    I was IPSS so he shouldn’t have needed potent neg for contrast. He got it twice in 5 years but I was hard to break. There’s just no cure for being a cunt. (GOT quote).

  13. Makes you think doesn’t it?

    I remember those moments and how it felt when the narc gave me those silent treatments and how as you put it…” seemed to shrink, her light dimming”. When I think that someone can callously try to ruin a person’s spark just for the MERE PURPOSE of getting a reaction, it angers me. Just like it was mentioned by RS above, there are so few really good people out there and people like you are trying to nialate them for your own pleasure. It’s been 7 months now since my final split from my narc after 18 years. People are commenting how happy and bubbly I am now. The spark is coming back along with a new sense of strength and knowledge. I am back out in the world helping other people. I refused to give up the best parts of me. The world needs more of people like me. You can’t say that about yourself, can you Tudor?

    1. Actually I can because :-

      1. My blog manifestation is providing people with information which gives them clarity, insight and empowerment ;
      2. My professional manifestation is very much needed by the world, although it is any easy mistake for you to assume I am not needed because you do not know what I do professionally.

      Furthermore, many of our kind achieve, do the things lesser people cannot, innovate, entertain and so forth. I also accept there are considerable downsides that come with our kind and indeed some of our kind, the low-functioning ones only serve the purpose of being attack dogs for us of a higher calibre and to make us look better.

  14. HG..did you ever feel jealous of Sophie when she praised others in front of you, or even worse, instead of praising you? Were u ever able to mirror her in that you were able to feign praise on others?

    Also, did you ever find that her constant love and adoration for you was so stale and her niceness towards you so annoying at times that you wanted to just end the relationship?

    Who discarded whom in the relationship and how long were you together?

    1. Indeed I did. I can and do flatter falsely in order to draw fuel and persuade.
      The staleness commenced the devaluation.
      I disengaged from her. Nine months.

  15. May I asks HG, after everything you’ve learned from your interactions with the ‘good doctors’ and the people on the blog, will there ever be an ideal type for you. You say it can’t be another narcissist – yet you have devalued and disengaged from every empath you’ve ever met. ACON some say are best placed for the job. I have thrived since meeting my N. But I’m only an IPSS but he seems to ‘trust’ me somehow – I think he knows I know, although according to you as a somatic mid ranger he actually doesn’t know. It’s all so fab!!! Would the woman have to know what you are is my question? Thank you so much. Your writings have empowered me beyond words. I truly hope you don’t end up like my 86 year old father, still with no peace!!! Sad. x

  16. I absolutely detest people with a permanent Pollyanna outlook on life I mean someone’s who’s a Suzy sunshine type 24 hours a day I usually feel empathy for your victims but I couldn’t date a woman or man in my case like her for even a day

    1. Hi Kim…..I could not agree with you more…..I am extremely wary of these types of individuals……….maybe because if I behave like this it just means that I am after something……..and I can only keep it going for about 5 minutes…….but I find that is usually all I require………but then I am drained for the rest of the day!!!!! I know I don’t sound like an empath….but I am being honest if nothing else!!!!!….. Diva

  17. This one made me laugh initially bc im sure it was perplexing and wouldve been a hoot if it were a tactic on her part. Ive noticed this with my narc when he tries to devalue me or make me feel insecure i dont let on until it gets to a point ive had enough and i disengage from him. Its really difficult to never say anything and what would be the point in the relationship if you never showed emotion or expressed yourself? Its futile but i guess thats why relationships with narcissists dont work bc giving them fuel is a no no but not reacting you are dying inside as pointed out. Either way you lose. Its a no win situation.
    Sophie sounded like she was covering up a lot of pain and being the ultimate people pleaser which is a inferiority complex. She probably felt she had no right to an opinion and had to have everyone like her always afraid to upset anyone. I know bc ive been that person before. Being asked what she thought wouldve really thrown her off and put her on the spot. Im sure she did have you worked out as far as the abuse or at least felt it and was trying to diffuse it and contain it by putting on a facade of her own.
    I remember someone else posting to this and mentioning she likely suffered from ptsd maybe from her past. Almost like a narcissist but instead the facade that everything and everyone is perfect to avoid dealing with any stress. A form of compartmentalization.

    1. Hi Narc Affair…..your post made me remember a time when my narc called me by another womans name……..he said “isn’t that right Sarah?” …Sarah is not my name……..without even looking at him or skipping a beat……..I said……”Yes, that is right David.”…….David was not his name either……..although it was the name of someone we both knew…….two can play at that game!!!!!!……..It was difficult to keep the smirk off my own face as I took a brief look and caught his eyes narrowing……but I knew if he had witnessed my smirk……it wouldn’t have been there too long!!!!! He never bothered getting my name wrong again though……….Diva

      1. Hi diva…my narcs never done that specifically but hes done the same sort of covert abuse. Hes screenshot things for me with other apps up top running and i know this to be deliberate. I cant recall offhand specifics but hes done what your narcs did to you in other ways to create insecurity and be disrespectful.
        I had to giggle at your reply and HG’s ex Leslie shouldve done that from the IT story(despite her deserving IT) lol Fast thinking on your part!

      2. Speaking of IT the movie id like to go see it. I wonder if Leslie has seen it yet? Lol

  18. When I got “worse” my octane soared. When I got “better” it went down. I am getting the fuel thing more and more. This pump is dry. But during the maelstrom my how the levels changed simply by my
    behavior manifested by the manipulator, filling my logic tank now as the fuel tank runneth dry I pray.

    1. It doest change the fact that i still want you. I look at it this way, at least i know what you are. I do except the fact, i would be devalued later obviously, but hey, it would be well worth it. After all, It is not everyday that you come with in the presents of a “Greater Elite”

  19. Makes you think doesn’t it?

    Yes. . . it makes me think. There are so few “really, really good natured people out there, and you ruined her. This world is so in need of people like her. We are all going down the toilet fast!

    1. No.. she needed to be broken so she could learn to think for herself. We need narcs…to grow. Well…i did.

      1. I don’t agree. We are all different. We can’t all be on top of everything that is going on in the world, or have interesting lives, or have a firm opinion about anything and everything. If everyone were that way, who would they have to listen to them?

      2. Hi rayne…i agree to some extent with your statement. Narcs are way on one side of the spectrum and were on the other. In between is the happy medium. Narcs i feel show us the dynamic most of us had growing up and are a catylist to understand it and move on from it. The narc is the real loser in the end bc most will never change and this is where i feel pity for them. They are destroyed and continue to destroy. We can learn from them and flourish. Its all in perspective. You can either be a victim or a survivor of narc abuse. Take away the good from a bad situation.

      3. Me too! I was like Sophie about “making him happy and wondering what his thoughts were: but boy do I have my own thoughts and opinions. I couldn’t be broken that way too smart and opinionated, always stood my ground that way and was a wordsmith with insults.

        My mid range was always calculating, planning, plotting, scheming, so the silent treatments were not only deliberate to drive me mad, but he was “working”, lol. Boy if I knew then what I know now, I could have escaped instead of having been discarded because I would have been able to identify him as a narc.

      4. Rayne,

        You bring up an interesting point. If our lives are purposeful with meaning, and I believe that all life is then what are the life lessons we take from being entangled with Narcs?

        I ponder this at present, having recently realized that almost all the significant men in my life have been Narcs or have had strong Narcissistic traits. I now understand my early history and why I attract and am attracted to Narcs, but what do I learn from this?

        HG has taught us how to recognize, minimize, leave and avoid being entangled with Narcs. Thank you HG!

        What does a love devotee learn from having chosen and fiercely loved men who were incapable of loving her back? I believe I am learning to love myself with that same fierceness and devotion that I gave to others. That is part of my growth and I’m sure there will be more!

      5. I like the way you think, Rayne. Only a narc could help me sort out the mess that my life has been, so there is wisdom in that statement.

    2. Hi RS….i feel bad for sophie too but i have a feeling altho good natured it was a cover up and coping mechanism. She was afraid to be her true self for fear of not being a people pleaser and having people not like or love her probably from childhood.
      I dont think she was stupid i think she knew she was being emotionally abused and instead of facing it and confronting HG on it she was fawning and diffusing him to avoid the inevitable which was the break up. She could see the writing on the wall so to speak. Ive been guilty of this too but not to this extent. I almost look at her as a reversed form of narcissism. Instead of being nasty and ruining people with a facade shes being too nice and sugary with her facade and buys into it to avoid her true self. Same kind of coping mechanism. She was a good person but she was suffocating who she really was by not allowing any true feelings or thoughts thru. Im sure she was in a constant state of fear.

      1. narc affair, I agree. Sophie’s need for attachment was stronger than her need to be authentic, so she sacrificed it to remain attached to HG as long as possible. Yes, she must have suffered constant fear. His words infused me with it, too, and I also felt her pain.

  20. Penny for your thoughts HG…. My Nex left on my porch doorstep today a bag of our photos torn up and x’d out with black sharpie along with a bathrobe, toothbrush, pillow, razor and hairbrush that wasn’t mine (?).

    What’s up with that??? What did it mean? What can I expect? How should I react?
    Thank you,
    Peaceful.

  21. It makes me think that you are determined to be disappointed in your partner, no matter how hard she tries or what she does.

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