Dropping the Bomb


The dropping of the bomb is a common tactic of our kind. It is something that happens with regularity. It is an act of manipulation and one which you will recognise. Do any of these scenarios seem familiar?

The day before you are due to travel to the wedding of one of your childhood school friends, we cause an argument in order to avoid going, inventing some reason why this cannot happen. You are accused of not caring about us if you still wish to attend. You eventually end up not going, having to make some excuse as to why you cannot attend.


You are about to have a night out and we create some kind of emergency which delays you from going out or even prevents you from going. There is no emergency.


You have invited friends over for dinner. Shortly before their arrival we will create an almighty argument.


The night before an important interview we keep you awake all night, jabbing you with our elbow and insulting you so you are unable to sleep.


You are about to go away for a few days when we accuse you of having an affair, thus creating a scene, tension and upset.


Whilst the fact that we create arguments, cause confusion and generate drama is standard behaviour, when we engage in dropping the bomb, it is done at a time which is regarded, from your perspective, as a terrible time to do it. It coincides with something special or important happening which leaves the victim wondering why this always seems to happen when they are about to go somewhere or do something.

Dropping the bomb is an instinctive response by us to such situations. When something of importance is about to happen, we respond by creating a drama which appears to be designed to spoil the important or enjoyable event. There is no appears about it. It is a deliberate act. Why does this happen?

  1. Fuel. As you would expect, fuel is behind the dropping of the bomb. Causing upset and drama is always a near guaranteed method of gaining fuel but the dropping of the bomb is designed to heighten the fuel that will be provided. Just like the fact we build you up during seduction and then cast you down during the devaluation allows us to create a heightened contrast and thus maximise the potency of the fuel, by dropping the bomb at a time when you are expecting something pleasant to happen, or you are preparing for an important event, your response is going to be of a greater intensity. This increases the potency of the fuel. When you are looking forward to that wedding, excited about seeing people and enjoying the day, the dropping of the bomb means that your upset, annoyance and disappointment is more marked. We of course create drama even when nothing is happening, a quiet Sunday afternoon suddenly becomes a battlefield. That gains fuel. The dropping of the bomb however is a ticket to plentiful fuel as you react to having your excited anticipations shattered.
  2. Jealousy. Our almost ever present jealousy means that we cannot stand the fact that you are going to do something which you will enjoy and causes you to be put into the spotlight. Taking the example of the wedding above. Since it is your school friend, you are going to see people who know you well and may not know us particularly well. Attention will be on you which causes us to be jealous. If you have an interview for a promotion, we are jealous that you are succeeding, which in turns implies that we are not and therefore our jealousy rears its head. We cannot bear for you to be happy, excited or the focus of attention, unless it is to do with us. If your happiness if because you are anticipating a dinner party with your friends, that is nothing to do with us. In our minds, this suggests we are unimportant and inferior. We cannot allow that to be the case. Accordingly, our jealousy comes to the surface and this acts as the catalyst for us dropping the bomb.
  3. Control. By causing you to react through our dropping of the bomb we are able to remind ourselves that we have the control in the relationship. By causing you to decide not to go to the wedding because you feel obliged to remain at home with us, or you decide not to go and attend a friend’s engagement party because you are too upset allows us to exert control over you. We cause you to cancel your plans, alter your intentions and instead focus on us. This underlines that we are in control and assist in maintaining our notions of superiority and omnipotence.
  4. Anticipatory fear. Eventually you will recognise that a drama is always created before you are about to do something special or important. Of course, our victims do not realise the real reasons why this is, but insetad attribute it to selfish and spoiling behaviour, without understanding what is really behind it. What our victims do come to realise however is that since this happens each time you are looking forward to an event, they end up dreading what will happen when an event is on the horizon. Your birthday is coming up next week and you are just waiting for the eruption from us which happens every year. Will it be on the day, the night before or during the planned celebrations? You become anxious and nervous, treading on those well-known eggshells, looking to mollify us before matters get out of hand. Indeed, you often begin to adjust your own behaviour so that you decide it is just easier not to organise a birthday party, it is far less aggravation to turn down an invitation to go out rather than have to endure the drama which will inevitably come before you try to attend the dinner party at your friends and you make excuses so you avoid having to go to weddings, christenings and the like. Little by little, the dropping of the bomb causes you to fear the arrival of an event which is special or important to you, so that you alter your actions, reducing your interactions and slowly isolate yourself and allow us to tighten our grip on you. This process is insidious as you see friends less and less, family on fewer occasions and in turn you increase your exposure to us and our manipulations.
  5. Blame. This works in two ways. If you try to resist the effects of us dropping the bomb, so you decide you will still attend the wedding and even decide to go without us or you are going to host the dinner party still despite the fact we are storming about the house banging the doors as we go, we then accuse you of being selfish, self-centered and not caring about what we want. A classic dose of projection. These accusations of selfishness are the opening up of a further front for the purposes of trying to draw further fuel, to create a scenario which can be used against you in the future ‘I was ill and you still went to the engagement party’ and to add a further attempt to wear you down so you give in and change your mind. It is also done to avoid blame. We will drop the bomb, kick up a fuss, create a scene and dole out the drama and if you eventually give up and announce that you will not go, but you accuse us of controlling you or trying to spoil things, we will exhibit our classic contradictory behaviour. We may well have spent an hour arguing with you, telling you that you should not go and that we need you stay at home, but once you have given, if you point the finger at us, you can expect to be told that we did not tell you what to do, we don’t control you and that you made up your own mind not to attend. This will amaze you that we can be so hypocritical and is not only going to draw further fuel from you, but it will allow us to do our usual avoidance of blame. This again supports our notion of superiority.
  6. Effectiveness. When we have dropped the bomb a few times, we can see how effective it  is against you in terms of affording us fuel, control and the erosion of your confidence. Accordingly, we know that it is well worth continuing to deploy this manipulation because it causes you such upset and hurt, as evidenced by your reaction. We know you will provide fuel, we know you will alter your plans and therefore the more you respond to it, the more we will use it.

The dropping of the bomb is a frequently used manipulation in our relationship with you. In order to counter it, you should learn to

  1. Recognise what it is;
  2. Recognise when it is about to be used;
  3. Not provide any fuel by not reacting to our sudden drama, argument or crisis;
  4. Do what you intended to do anyway. You may as well enjoy your event because we will cause a scene and make a fuss anyway;
  5. Do what you intended to do anyway and this sends a signal that the dropping of the bomb is not working, which like any of our manipulations, means that it will be used less.

41 thoughts on “Dropping the Bomb

  1. C★ says:

    #5…. Yes, may not be working, however you will then find something else that DOES. I call that “Waiting For the Other Shoe to Drop”

  2. Peaceful says:

    I’d like to drop a bomb on my Nex….. he used to do this to me all the time. Right before I had a big concert… then harass me through hundreds of accusatory texts while on stage… before a big trip to the hospital for monitoring for my daughter… before a vacation….

    Question HG, say Nex knows I was driving and unable to text. And he’s firing them off like crazy. If I had shut off my phone or blocked him, would he have gone on to someone else to extract negative fuel? Start harassing someone else? Or would he shut that right off and be pleasant with someone else immediately? Like it was all an act just for me?
    Thank you!

  3. MyTrueSelf says:

    When deploying The Bomb, doesn’t the narc have to be careful he doesn’t over-do the TNT and risk loosing his partner?

    1. HG Tudor says:


  4. Cathrine says:

    For me it was actually this kind of bomb that in the end made me leave him. For my birthday my deranged narcissist told me that since I hadn’t decided where I wanted to go for a holiday with him, he was punishing me with no gift at all and I was to blame for the holiday never happening. Of course an upcoming trip together hadn’t been discussed before, but he knew that this was something I really longed for. Such a viscous thing to do. But I was trying to reclaim myself and decided to book a trip alone a few weeks later, not inviting him, knowing he had a business trip planned that week anyway. That enraged him of course immensely and he tried in various ways to convince me not to go, offering even to let me come with him on the business trip and offering to book me into a secluded hotel in Spain where I could be by myself, he was always going on and on about his possessiveness. I found this quite funny actually, I refused and the night before my trip he dropped that bomb. Started the worst fight ever and acted violently. I did go for my holiday though, a complete wreckage at the time, and I never returned to him. That holiday saved my sanity.

    1. Mrs Linton says:

      After my father went into a coma I knew somehow that my Narc boyfriend would crank it up a few notches as he now could not be the centre of attention. My mother also had newly diagnosed cancer at the time. To be honest I could have spontaneously combusted all by myself with the pressure of it all. I managed to give my Narc the slip by moving house in a matter of hours and changing my route to work. No more being bombed for me. Funny how survival kicks in and you find you can get out even when you think you are on the floor.

      1. Cathrine says:

        Oh, I do recognize that. The pressure of a tragedy and there they are, not at the center of attention at the moment, creating hell to get back to where they think they belong. After a while you do see it for what it is. Incredibly selfish behaviour. Like dealing with a 2 year old in a grown bully.

        Good for you that you moved house and got away!

  5. Rhyming Fun says:

    I just listened to The Smiths- The Bomb- and I don’t like that kind of bomb. I don’t like war. I like Love Bombs. I just wanted to reiterate that I don’t like war bombs.

  6. angela says:

    After his BIG BOMB..and 2 days without know about him..i called him very nice..i said i have to tallk with you..and he came..i was waiting him in the street..whe he came..very serius..came into the car said..
    NO..i said to him..give me my houses keys..it was my BOMB..see his face was the best in my life…but..but…we must talk…….
    NO..my keys ..or i call police…NOW..I WANT YOU OUT OF MY LIFE…more BIG BOMB.
    of course …it was difilcut..it been more drama…shit words ….everything..
    5 months 0 contact..ok..diffilcult yes.
    But it was my Bomb…..the free its now

  7. RJ says:

    Yup, further evidence that what I dealt with was a narcissist. Only took 20 plus years to know the rhymes and reasons. Its amazing how as time goes on that the details linger. Mental scaring of sorts. Further proof that something real had happened and you were not going crazy, it now has a name. The BOMB is the next tactic to put a mental check mark by. They could never teach this in school, there would be a vicious revolution.

  8. ???!! says:

    Sir Tudor thinks he is THE bomb.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      He knows he is, my dear.

      1. Yolo says:

        🤔use of 3rd person or 3rd person?

      2. C★ says:


      3. HG Tudor says:

        Use of, Yolo. I am the only person who comments under my name.

  9. cordelia says:

    One of my favorite book quotes is about a narcissist: “He looked, she realized, exactly like a man who had thrown a bomb, had it go fizz instead of boom, and was trying to decide whether to reach in and tap the firing mechanism.” Your analogy seems quite appropriate! My narc grandmother was always very good at dropping little “bombs.” When she didn’t get enough of a reaction, she would drop another bomb, and another one, and another one, until one finally got the desired effect. The repeated salvo was almost worse than the individual bombs.

  10. Yolo says:

    I was on my way to company Christmas party. I did not invite him, he knew of it weeks before and waited until the evening of the party to incite a argument. I ignored and push pass him, when I reached the bottom of stairwell he poured a glass a water on top of my head. (Man Child) I didn’t stop neither did I look back, I continued out the door. Drove a few blocks pulled over and cried. I didn’t know what it (he) was but I didn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing my hurt.

    I have pictures from that evening and strangely it look like a shining light was over me on both pics. 😊

    1. Mrs Linton says:

      What a fantastic story Yolo, it reminds me of the exquisite satisfaction I feel when some nasty terrorists bomb doesn’t explode and fizzles out instead.

      1. Yolo says:

        Mrs. Linton

        Interesting contrast, in am sure that’s how it felt in his small head. My girlfriend twisted my hair in bun and fixed make up.

        He was a real piece of crap, more of a psycho path. He was physical and mentally abusive. 10 years of pure hell.

        Imagine after that I was like a kid in a candy store for a narc. The golden period wow and I thought I deserved to have someone like the lesser that adored me. After, all I had endured years earlier he was my knight with shiny armor.😂😂😂

        Life…I am making lots of lemonade and now I realize it does not matter how hard life was or is it’s my responsibility to make me happy.

        Peace and continued healing..

  11. Vianelki says:

    HG this open eyes pill!! It always happened waooo I am amaze how acurate all of your post are!! I ended up just like you describe, alone no going anywhere or sharing with my friends and family just because I wanted to avoid the drama and the guilt that he will make me feel if I attended to those events…….. omg .. omg ….

  12. MyTrueSelf says:

    The Bomb….a pretty regular occurrence in my relationship. A perfect description and a great article that gives a name to what I went through!!! Heaven knows I was miserable then….
    …”In my life oh why do I give valuable time to people who don’t care if I live or die?”!
    Thanks HG!

  13. Mrs Linton says:

    I find this post almost unbearable to read, Years ago my Narc boyfriend created a massive drama which stopped me from going to see my father as we had arranged. Not long afterwards my father has a road traffic accident fell into a coma and then died. I never saw him alive that last time . I still hate him for that, but I hated my weakness more. Thank you HG for explaining.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

    2. narc affair says:

      (((Mrs linton)))…sorry you lost your dad like that. He wouldnt want you to blame yourself for not going to see him. We cant predict these things.

      1. Mrs Linton says:

        Thank you Narc Affair that is very kind of you, You are right he wouldn’t want me to,

    3. Yolo says:

      Mrs. Linton,

      Don’t hate your weakness and please forgive yourself. We had no idea that such evil existed.

      1. Mrs Linton says:

        Thank you Yolo

    4. Lori says:

      Mrs Linton – reading your post has reminded me of an incident that I hadn’t thought about in 30 years. I went to visit my grandmother in the hospital and my mother was with her in the hospital room when I arrived. My mom wanted me to come out and be with her while she had a smoke break and so I did… and while I was standing there listening to her ramble on about something I started thinking about the reason for my being there and my intuitive pull took me into see my grandmother and I had some precious alone time with her. I spoke with her, I told her I loved her, I held her hand and just sat with her. I’m so very glad I did, because she died a couple days later and it was the last time I was able to be with her.

      I have been following this blog recently because of my break up with my narc boyfriend and having gone into therapy… both things leading me to realize my Mother was the original narcissist in my life. I’m glad that at 25 years old I was able to walk away from her and spend those last moments with my “mom-mom”. My mother was one of the most selfish people I know. So, I sympathize with you Mrs Linton that you were unable to see your Dad before he passed away. My heart breaks for you ~

      1. Mrs Linton says:

        Thank you so much Lori. I have been very much triggered by the post but to be honest it is helping me grieve. It is also urging me on to have a zero tolerance to manipulation. Like you I was able to say goodbye to my grandmother the last few times and tell her what she meant to me. I am so glad that you could too. I think we underestimate how wonderful and important grandparents can be.

  14. kimmichaud1 says:

    I don’t see how u r life is bearable getting jealous so easily and feeling criticized so easily it sounds unbearable

  15. Rhyming Fun says:

    I don’t like the bomb, and I never have.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      But it’s the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, that will bring us together.

      1. Rhyming Fun says:

        Okay, then I like it!

      2. I like the smiths

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Glad you noticed.

      3. Rhyming Fun says:

        I like it LOTS!!!!! Lots! Lots! Lots! Lots! Lots! Lots!

      4. Bliss says:

        The Smiths? 80s band? I’m not British but I’m sure I’ve heard friends my age mention them. HG must be around my age + a few years.

        Is it really sad that all week I look forward to running a deep warm bubble bath over the weekend just so I can relax and catch up on all the blogs, undisturbed?! 😄

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Not sad at all, it is called seizing the power and building your logic vessel.

      5. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        When you say “it’s gonna happen now”
        When exactly do you mean?
        See I’ve already waited too long
        And all my hope is gone

        You shut your mouth
        How can you say I go about things the wrong way?
        I am human and I need to be loved
        Just like everybody else does

        Thanks everyone that made “how soon is now” pop in my head and it’s officially stuck.

        1. Mrs Linton says:

          Truly the best Smiths song ever, nearly the best song ever. Would be one of my desert island discs

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