We repeatedly provoke. The act of provocation is one which is designed to cause a strong and often unwelcome emotion in the recipient. On one level, it can be said that everything we do is provocative because we are always looking to cause you to be emotional, to react in an emotional fashion to what we do and as a consequence give us the fuel that we need. Thus when we tell you that we have finally found our soul mate, we are provoking you into generating an intense feeling of being loved (or at least thinking that you are being loved) which causes you to exhibit your love towards us and thus we gain our fuel. We pay a friend a compliment in order to provoke that person into at least thanking us, thus a small dollop of positive fuel or more hopefully (and indeed more likely because this empathic secondary source is well-mannered, honest and decent) we pay them a compliment so they will pay one to us and thus more fuel is garnered. There is no unconditional giving with our kind. We only give to receive.

Thus all of the things that we say and do, the manipulations, the chicanery, the machinations and the mind games are all designed to provoke you into giving us fuel. However, in its strictest sense, we provoke you in order to generate that intense response and one which is negative in nature. We provoke you so that you will explode in anger, erupt in a stream of profane insults and vent your frustration through a slap to the face or a mug hurled towards us.

We will push and push and push. Yes, many of you have a remarkable capacity to absorb these pointy sticks which jab you. Your kind are well-versed and skilled in the turning of the cheek, the adoption of the high ground and the making of allowances. You will bury the hatchet and we will dig it up again in order to give you a dig from the sharp point. You will let bygones be bygones and we will resurrect the memory of an age-old issue in order to rankle you.

Nothing is off limits in terms of provoking you. It might be focusing on a vulnerability of yours that we know about (having acquired this information when we seduced you) so that we remind you of a frightening episode from your childhood or capitalise on your terror of spiders. It might be homing in on your sensitivity about the size of your nose, the shape of your head, the bright red of your embarrassment. If you owe us money, we shall remind you of it and comment on your poor financial position. We may flirt because we know how much you hate the notion of us being unfaithful. We may repeatedly turn up late because you are an advocate of punctuality. We may criticise your parents, your choice of film, your culinary skills, your attempts to loser weight; whatever we have identified as a means for causing you to erupt at us we will do it.

We know which buttons to press. We have a knack and an instinct for doing so. This is because we are able to gather information about you when we seduce you which will be stored away and used against you at a later stage. This is also because empathic individuals are more likely to respond in an emotional fashion. Yes, you will soak it up at first by making allowances for our behaviour and indeed making excuses, exhibiting this selfless understanding for which you are famed. This will not dissuade us. We know that everybody has a limit of what they can take before they snap. Sometimes it is bursting into tears, running from the room or screaming. Other times it is exploding with a volley of curses, coming at us with flailing arms or shouting and screaming at the top of your voice about how awful we are.

Push, prod, niggle. Aggravate, rile, irritate. Ruffle, vex, bug. Irk incense and annoy. We will chip away at your defences, jabbing and poking as we look to make your blood boil, get on your nerves, get under your skin,  work you into lather and try your patience until you can take no more. We can sense the emotion rising in you. We notice the slight tells, the narrowing of the eyes, the rolling of the eyes, the sighs, the shake of the head, the hands on the hips, the raised palm, the jutting jaw and so on. The more you try to tell us that we are not getting to you, the more we are encouraged. We know that your emotion is building up inside of you. We know that it is increasing and no matter how much you are trying to maintain that cool exterior, we understand what is building up.

We not only have a medley of ways by which we provoke you, but we are experts in choosing precisely the best (worst) time to engage in this behaviour. Do any of these instances seem familiar?

When you are trying to get ready to go out.

When you are trying to have a telephone conversation with somebody else.

When you are trying to cook.

When you are trying to perform some chore.

When you are trying to get to sleep.

When you first come through the door after a long day.

When sat next to us in the car on a long journey.

When sat across from us in a restaurant.

When at some event of your choosing.

We will pick an inopportune time to commence our provocation so that you are caught off guard, when you are tired, when you are hungry, when you are anxious or stressed. The moment must be right for us and wholly inappropriate for you and then we can unleash the relevant form of provocation. We know what really gets to you. It may be the subject matter. It might be the way of conveying it, for instance patronising you or acting in a condescending fashion. It could be jabbing you with a finger on the shoulder to punctuate or words or giving you a dig in the back as you lie on your side in bed, after each savage sentence.

Eventually comes the eruption. You can only take so much and invariably when this provocation comes allied with an emotional state which makes you more susceptible to our provocations the explosion is all the more satisfying. Copious amounts of negative fuel fountain from you as you shout, scream, bang doors, slam your hand on the work top, swear and so forth. Inside we are soaring with the power that comes from the provision of this most excellent fuel. You, the paragon of virtue, the most patient of saints has been brought to boiling point and we achieved it. You have responded to our control. Our superiority is once again affirmed, we are the puppetmasters, we are omnipotent in our actions and you have responded as we wanted. Such marvellous fuel that sprays from you and we relish every drop.

Of course as it fountains and flows from you we will not want it to stop and the provocation will continue. Not only are we ensuring that we get to bathe in your overflowing fuel, we are using this eruption as evidence of how unhinged you are. Do not be surprised if this niggling, poking provocation occurs where others will see it. You can expect the whispered and insidious provocations to be used, the acts which are open to interpretation (although we both full well know exactly what was meant by our remark, our look or our gesture) and our good friend plausible deniability will be given an airing.

“Who me officer? I did nothing. She just exploded. I get this all the time, she has an anger management problem. John here will confirm she just went mental and started hitting me.” (Cue obliging Lieutenant).

“I don’t know what gets into her dad, she just erupts. You saw what she was like at mum’s birthday party. That is what I have to live with.”

“I feel sorry for you Mrs Johnson, having a daughter with a temper like that.”

We will provoke you. We will draw the delicious fuel that you will provide to us and then we will use your eruption against you as evidence of your unhinged mind, nasty temperament and unbalanced mental state.

Provocation is a mainstay of our behaviour. It comes in many forms, it is used in many different ways and on a range of occasions but its effects are always the same.

  1. The provision of a massive dose of negative fuel from a primary source;
  2. The exertion of control over you;
  3. The reinforcement of our image of superiority, lack of accountability and omnipotence;
  4. The creation of an emotional state in you which hampers your ability to think clearly and logically;
  5. The creation of a situation where you can later be made to feel guilty for erupting in the way you have at us;
  6. The manufacturing of a scenario which is used to reinforce our façade – we were calm and bewildered by this outburst.
  7. The manufacturing of a scenario which is used to smear you to third parties.

Provocation is a very useful tool to us. It is used extensively and repeatedly. Know why it is being used. Do not try to outlast it and exert your capability for patience, tolerance and understanding. You are just goading us to try harder. Remove yourself before your threshold is reached to avoid giving us points 1-7 above.

Provocation will always be used against you.

Anyway, who do you think you are looking at?


55 thoughts on “Provocation

  1. David says:

    I pray for my Narc…and more for the ones she’s entrapped into her game board moving them around as pieces for her twisted pathetic enjoyment.

  2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

    Mr. Tudes,

    I like when you throw some charm my way lol.

    Bold enough to try and charm the quirky doctor ;).

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        Aren’t you just a playful narcissistic psychopath…………..

        I think you might need to spend some time on your “naughty step” lol. 😜

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I have a whole naughty staircase.

      2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        Do you? Is it a stairway to heaven or hell?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Both. Depends which way I have faced you.

      3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        So which way am I facing you?

        I’m a mush – I’ll face you up.

        See…I’m still beaming with light lol.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You seem to be spinning around so you do not know which way you are facing.

      4. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        Better yet…

        Have a seat on my comfy couch…

        ::patting hand on couch::

        I’m so accommodating… I know….

      5. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

        I used to like spinning when I was a kid…

        You know when you spin round and round until you fall on your ass and the room looks like it’s moving….

        Sounds like fun…

        I’ll grab you so you can spin with me 😁

  3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

    I’ve become more unresponsive but when I do react I typically become mad. Anger in many ways motivates me to do many things but most of all push on and be better…
    This is pretty much a calmer version of what has happened in the past when an asshole underestimated me or treated me like shit….lol

    Ladies channel your Elle woods lmao 🤓😘

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You suit the bunny ears though.

    2. abrokenwing says:

      and here is a rough version…😉

      1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:


        I’m dead 😂

        “I’m not going to be ignored…”

  4. says:

    Fking A ..nailed it!

  5. Insatiable Learner says:

    Dear Windtstorm, Thank you so much for your valuable insight, which I appreciate very much! What you wrote here: “my experiences seem to suggest that midrangers aren’t smart enough to recognize behaviors that would be in their best interest for the long term. They seem fixated with proving that they are in control and that nobody has any power over them.” – is exactly what was running through my head. The one I am dealing with is a mid ranger and I have always been wondering why his behaviors appear contrary to his best interests. He does appear to be fixated on control. Everything has always been on his terms. I understand what he is and that there is nothing there of substance or value for me but my emotions are hijacked. I am so infatuated with him that I see him as some god or idol. It’s pathetic. Sounds like I need to get myself a Greater! HG, do you have recommendations where I can find one? 🙂

  6. Diva says:

    I can’t say that provocation has bothered me too much… has no doubt been tried, more so by the midrange that I knew for a short while……but since no one puts me down better than myself (purposely), it is kind of just water off a ducks back. I laugh everything off and if I am unable to do that, I am pretty good at the jabs myself……but I only ever do it in retaliation……Diva

  7. Just Me says:

    “Skateboard? What is he, ten years old?”

    HG, you might be giving him too much credit. He is respected and successful in his profession… but he is emotionally around 4 or 5. He regressed quickly after my give a damn broke. Once again, an eye-opening article.

  8. Insatiable Learner says:

    That’s exactly what I have been doing but I am beginning to lose it! Believe it or not, I have never called him out on any future fakes, broken promises, hurts, etc. Never lost my temper, etc. Being a secondary source, I have only tried to provide positive fuel but it is still a pain in the neck in terms of what I am getting back, which is effectively nothing!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Remember, you can bring influence to bear but you can never guarantee the outcome because

      1. We must exert control; and
      2. You do not know what other variables are in the fuel matrix which impact on the dynamic between you and the narcissist. For example, you may think you are providing lots of fuel but there is another IPSS who is providing more fuel, more character traits and more residual benefits. You do not know about them and our sights are trained on them and not you, hence you are getting little or nothing by way of response.

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        Thank you, HG! I really appreciate it! I am just not ready to give up. My darn tenacity and perseverance!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I can see that. Once your logic builds up, you will stop trying.

      2. Insatiable Learner says:

        I thought you narcs like our tenacity and perseverance?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Yes we do, but it not going to get YOU anywhere.

      3. Insatiable Learner says:

        I appreciate your “brutal” honesty, HG! I guess since from your writing, it appears possible to have an almost perpetual golden period with a narc as a secondary source, I am still trying to make this work. But I admit I do feel miserable! Thanks again!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Yes but you cannot guarantee the outcome so do not waste your time trying to achieve it. If it happens, it is because we chose for it to be that way. There are many ways for you to bring such a golden period to an end, but there is no way for you to guarantee that it will last forever.

    2. M. says:

      Insatiable Learner,I was there too, some time ago. They love contradiction. And drama. I never understood why he didn’t let us remain calm and happy. I remember one time I said it to him: “I am extremely happy now, please let it be like this until tomorrow.”

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        Hi M., thank you for your comments! I noticed that as well: peace and harmony did not last for any appreciable amount of time without him injecting some drama and chaos. I was not even a primary source. All the best to you!

  9. Insatiable Learner says:

    Dear all, just wanted to throw a question out there, especially, for those who were/ are secondary sources. You would think that if a secondary source provides good quality and abundant fuel, does not challenge, does not ask for hardly anything in return, the narc would be happy and all would be well between them. But no! There is still crazy-making, unpredictability, uncertainty, distance, etc. Anyone else can relate?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      What you think you are doing as being effective and what WE think you are doing as effective are two different things.

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        Fair enough! So what should we be doing? I know it sounds pathetic but I was prepared and have been trying to do just that for my narc. He even said i made him feel fantastic by thinking so highly of him, praising him, etc. So what am I doing wrong? Thank you!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Continuing to engage with a narcissist in the hope of a successful outcome.

        2. Windstorm2 says:

          Insatiable Learner
          Based on my experience, no narc will ever love you. They are incapable. They will never care if you are happy. You can never depend on them. If they can get what they want from you without giving you anything back, they will. Your being always fuel-filled and willing just makes them think lower of you and less likely to do anything you want.

          The only narcs I have ever been able to have quid pro quo relationships with (where we both get something we want) were greaters. I’m not certain, but my experiences seem to suggest that midrangers aren’t smart enough to recognize behaviors that would be in their best interest for the long term. They seem fixated with proving that they are in control and that nobody has any power over them. Perhaps the fuel they get from this feeling of power outweighs other types of fuel.

          This is just how it seems to me based on my experiences. For me to have relationships (none intimate) with my narcs, i have to have no emotional involvement. I have my own life and happiness that has absolutely nothing to do with any narc. Any pleasant interaction with a narc is just a little pleasant surprise. I don’t expect it or depend on it.

          For instance I had a very pleasant conversation this morning with one of mine that I enjoyed very much. She just happened to be stuck in traffic and wanted to talk to me. It was very nice, positive for both of us, but I could not have planned on it or depended on her in any way.

          Does this make sense? It seemed from your comment that you are wanting to depend on getting something from yours. I just don’t think that will work.

      2. Twilight says:

        A successful outcome?

      3. Are you done being weird? says:

        That’s why she is a secondary… Not much of a challenge, right?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          A person may be allocated to a role as a primary source because they present too much of a challenge to control to certain of our kind.

  10. Geminimom says:

    Hg, are the good drs narcissists or psychopaths? Are you still seeing them?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I am. One of them is of my kind.

      1. Twilight says:


        Do they know they are?

        1. HG Tudor says:


          1. Twilight says:

            Now that amused me

            It isn’t Dr O is it?

          2. HG Tudor says:


          3. Twilight says:

            Thank you for confirming HG
            I have never thought so

  11. Pam Bergner says:

    Dear HG,

    Each time we feel pierced with whatever type of barb you’ve prepared for us, we close our eyes and remember.

    We remember that you are paying for a past that was thrust upon you without mercy, care, or conscious. Your then, totally-vulnerable, sans resource or defenses, barely toddler self, was thoughtlessly, emotionally folded into a wordless, inexplicable, and long-suffering double bind.

    We understand, that you are relentlessly called and pressured into maintaining that fasade which you have named your, “false self.” We understand you are famished, constantly in need of non-stop emotional energy from us.

    We understand, because you, you, you, and only you, have shared that vulnerable part of yourself with us. As a result, our heart has shifted, un-eclipsing our love for you even more.

    As a result, while we absorb what pain we must, experiencing it as an exquisite cleansing, we let it flow through us and then away, observing it as it passes and moves away from us toward the West, as passing storm clouds do, when they fade and join into a regal sunset.

    We know a new dawn is upon the horizon. And, as we renew our daily, heartfelt pledge to always stand by your side during your darkest storms, we feel only gratitude because we are by your side at the end of yet another day.

    Because, love remains. Always.

  12. Just Me says:

    – zero fucks –

    Sounds peaceful… I am getting there one way or another. This one explains so much, including the night the asshole road a skateboard around IN the house.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Skateboard? What is he, ten years old?

  13. JC says:

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes… and he did this to his Mother as well. I would eventually explode and that is when his fury came out. I really think I had become numb to this, but I see that it would make his fury worse by what you say here. I would try to get away, but he would go after me. I couldn’t get away from him when he was in one of those moods. With “normal” people, you could walk away from an argument and go to another room or leave the house. My ex wouldn’t let me. He would grab me and hold me tight in a dark closet, wave guns or knives around or hold me on the bed so I couldn’t move and make growling sounds and bite at my clothes. It was bizarre. The less I did, the worse he got, but also the more I did the worse he got. It was a lose/lose situation.
    The whole relationship was a lose/lose situation for me, wasn’t it? He is doing this to the next person isn’t he? She may be able to protect herself since she was a detention worker at one time and not afraid to use a gun. Or, she may be in a worse battle one day. Scary…

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes it was and yes he will.

  14. gabbanzobean says:

    “What are you looking at?”

    I’ll tell you what I’m looking at. I’m looking at someone who I am still hopelessly in love with and keep wishing and hoping is not a mid range cerebral narc. And it’s just not fair. It’s a shame. A heart wrenching shame. I am not saying these words directly to you HG; just out loud to my narc.

    The picture you chose makes me laugh so thank you for that. You always choose the best pictures. Like yesterday’s article about the hoovering with pic of the herd of cattle.

    1. Tappan Zee says:

      g-bean. the truth hurts like a bitch. i don’t want to know it either. jack nicholson was right. i can’t handle it. shards. i hate the lies. but fml the truth is hard with this. layers and layers. not one and done.

  15. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

    I don’t have time for this kind of bullshit anymore which is exactly why I got rid of that nobody I was involved with for years.

    I’m not putting up with anyone that tries to make my life difficult, attempts to hurt me or control me. Knock yourself out – provoke away – while I walk away and don’t feel guilty for doing so.

    So clocked out.

    zero investment – zero tolerance – zero fucks –

  16. Windstorm2 says:

    I needed to read this one now. My Moron in Munich hoovered me Friday to talk about his weekend. He was going to the finale of Oktoberfest on his three day weekend and I mentioned how German culture is very interesting to me and how I would be interested in anything he wished to share. He of course never texted me again. I contemplated texting him to say that he had been judged and found wanting, tested and failed. I realize now reading this that he would gain fuel from any comment I make about his silence. Therefore I will remain silent as well, contemplating what a loser he is. Thank you, HG.

    1. Tappan Zee says:

      WS2. Why are you in touch at all? I have been nc before I knew it was a thing or that he was a narc. I could not handle it. Then again barely “handling” it post escape. It’s all hard. Fuck. Maybe I envy others’ contact. Wow.

      1. Windstorm2 says:

        Tappan Zee
        I have never really gone no contact with any of my narcs and I’ve never had a narc cut me off and not answer my calls or texts. I’ve been fortunate to not have any scary, violent ones who wouldn’t leave me alone when I needed space. And I am very comfortable being intermittent positive supply. There are currently 5 narcs who contact me regularly that way.

        This particular one is more challenging for me to understand. I’ve been studying him for over two years. Trying to make sense of his behavior is what brought me here to this blog. I guess I think of him like an intriguing problem – a challenge to figure out. He is no danger to me, living 5000 miles away on another continent. Interacting with him is often frustrating, but it is also educational. Probably when my understanding reaches the point where he no longer does anything I didn’t expect, I’ll stop studying him from lack of interest. I doubt I’d ever totally cut him off, though. That’s just not me.

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