Poll – What Part of the Narcissist’s Behaviour Has Hurt You The Most?


Entanglement with our kind hurts.

Be it social, business, familial and most of all romantic, there will always be pain involved.

Some pain occurs during the engagement, other times it comes with knowledge thereafter. The hurt is inevitable.

Were you hurt because you realised that this person you loved with everything you had actually did not love you? Do you still struggle to accept that? Perhaps it is the fact that the narcissist doesn’t actually love your children – the complete innocents? Then again, it might be because you cannot grasp how someone who appeared to be so wonderful could turn into that hate-filled monster that hit you, tormented you and then left without saying a good bye?

Which ever it was, or if it was more than one, do choose more than one before you cast your vote and as ever, do expand in the comments section on your experiences.

Thank you for participating.

What element of the narcissist's behaviour has hurt you the most?

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309 thoughts on “Poll – What Part of the Narcissist’s Behaviour Has Hurt You The Most?”

  1. For me I think the worst thing is the deliberate deceit. That they are constantly calculating how to manipulate you to get their fuel. To me their behaviour is completely alien.

  2. Blue Ocean,

    You are probably right with the PTSD. I just downloaded some self-help hypnosis audios… wish the dude had HG’s voice.


    Thank you for sharing. I have taken your words to heart.

      1. HG
        The other night I was listening to you on YouTube and your voice was so nice that it lulled me to sleep. You were reading me my favorite bedtime story: Malice.

      2. A number of people have contacted me to tell me that Malice is one of their favourites, it does not surprise me.

    1. You should make some hypnosis or meditation audios HG based on your works. Also audiobooks would be cool👍Im sure time is factor tho.
      I find reading and rereading these does help the message stick in my mind.
      Ive never tried hypnosis but its on my to do list.

      1. I support the idea!
        You are our favourite exorcist, HG, an archetypal Hero – somebody who perceived as more strong than forces we met… therefore, as somebody formulated it on youtube, your voice replacing voices of our narcs in our heads. That is separate Power for us.

  3. What hurt the most for me was his withholding. All I ever wanted was to love him and be loved in return. There is nothing worse then loving someone who is not capable of love.

  4. That nothing was real. Him loving me. Him being in depression. Him being a borderline. Him liking this or that, him hating this or that. He is a clever guy, people are impressed by his sense of humour and the way he writes. However, everything is a facade. He believes in nothing, he means nothing, but being a skillful copy-cat, he is a master at presenting “his” ideas well. So, even now, that he is long gone, knowing that he can enchant people with his well presented nothingness, bothers me a bit. And, from a totally personal point of view, he is the only man in my life so far (previous narcissists included) that has given me zero good things to remember. Not even one happy memory. A heartbreaking, absolutely useless experience.

  5. As the last one I was with a sadistic UGN, there were many hurts but among them was 1) the extent he went to for setups I was meant to blunder into like realising I’d been drugged but thank God logic reigned & it failed. (Like the others)
    2) Hurting someone I love, my daughter, & the extent he went to for that.
    3) Then there was the cruelty. He used my dead children against me. He would have achieved all his aims without doing this. They were NOT his to go near.
    4) Realising a big part of this was driven by 30 year old revenge on a broken 15 year old girl & he still doesn’t know the truth of what was going on for me back then. Not that he would care anyway.
    5) I would also have to add being shut down & invalidated in conversations to the point I just stayed shut down. I guess that comes under making you someone that you’re not.

    1. Hello Restored Heart,

      What you wrote about your own experience regarding cruelty and sadism resonates with me. I feel for you for what you had to go through as you described it. I hope those memories are not so painful anymore.

      I have some questions for you if you feel like sharing:
      -What triggered him to be cruel and sadistic ? Was it as punishment for some specific behaviour?Or was it just for the “pleasure” of seeing you suffering?
      -How would you describe the effects on you of his cruelty and sadism ( sociopathic behaviour?) as compared to other narcissistic behaviour?

      Best wishes

      1. Hi SuperXena,

        Thankyou & no, things are not so painful anymore. God takes that for me. I still bawl every time I hear my children’s funeral song played on the radio though. It is one of the things of theirs he used against me. I’m not sure how to get past that one yet though. I cry for them & I cry for him. I pray for both.

        His cruelty & sadism is part of his being a UGN but it was also very, very personal. The trigger was that we were best friends in high school 30 years ago. It’s a long story but basically my love for him overwhelmed me. He asked me out & just when we were about to get together I was ensnared by a particularly gross Narcissist about which I have never really spoken as I never understood it til the UGN & learnt about narcissistic abuse. My UGN took it as rejection at the time but what he didn’t know was that I was trauma bonded & because of my own disorders was unable to defend myself & as much as I wanted to get away I couldn’t. I always thought it was because I was weak.
        I reminded my UGN of a time he felt weak, rejected & not good enough. Because of what was happening to me & I thought he didn’t like me anymore, I left the school so I also became the person he was bonded to that walked away. I am part of the cause of what he is today. ( if you haven’t already, read HG’s: ‘Don’t fail me.’) He had no clue what was really going on.
        We reunited last year after 30 years & he had the battle won before it was fought. Yes, he definitely took great pleasure in it. The sniggers, smiles, conversations etc. It all made sense in hindsight.
        He fits the criteria for both sociopath & psychopath. He also has another disorder which I won’t name at this point. He will tell his story one day. I have been involved with more narcissists than I care to think about & many of the behaviours I could withdraw from or was bored with, many I was eroded by. More self hate though for being ensnared – again. What the cruelty & sadism did (along with the gaslighting) was his other aim beside punishment was to push me back to God which it did. It opened very deep wounds that needed healing. Guilt & pain. The things us empaths wear so well. He also revealed what I knew by instinct but couldn’t see – narcissism.
        It also gave me contrasting responses. It made me realise how much I’d hurt him at school, unintentionally & unknowingly which devastated me when I realised as I’ve never loved another like him. It revealed my own disorders. It had me in suicidal ideation for around 50 weeks yet it saved my life. It hurt my daughter but it will save my family. I wanted to die yet now with my God back I want to live. (Most days) I was so numb but now I have hope. He hated me so much & wanted to destroy me & didn’t care yet he knew what he was doing would save me. It was the calculated ‘personalness’ & intentionality of the cruelty & sadism as opposed to ‘normal’ narcissistic behaviour that hurt yet I understand most of why he did it. I hope this makes sense. Sometimes I can articulate better than others.

        Still find it hard to grasp sometimes that this was/is my life.

        Was yours cruel & sadistic for personal reasons or is it what he is?

      2. Hello Restored Heart,
        Thank you for your extensive answer and for sharing your (painful) experience.
        Your comment is one of the few I have found here talking about the sociopathic/psychopathic side of some narcissists experienced by a non-narcissist: cruelty,malice and sadism .

        You asked me :” Was yours cruel & sadistic for personal reasons or is it what he is?” Well, I guess that it was because of what he
        is / was. That thought came back to me when reading your post. I guess I had completely blocked those memories now concerning his sociopathic side and malice.
        Yes, I have read :Don’t fail me”… that article resonates as well with me. Yes he blamed me (as yours did) for causing his pain for leaving him or even trying to leave him: trying to make me feel guilty. I know now it was not me..he inflicted his own pain.

        I will read your post more thoroughly and will come back with a more extensive input from my side.
        Best wishes

  6. I hate to admit this, but my Ex made me become someone I wasn’t , or rather, I let myself become someone I wasn’t. Before him I was fairly confident, I was secure in who I was and where I was going. I was close to my friends and family. Little by little he tore me down. By the end , even tho I left him, I was a shell of the person I used to be. I felt ugly, damaged, dirty, tainted, broken. I was a nervous wreck, anxiety ridden, had the hardest time making the most basic of decisions. Getting out of bed and facing a normal life seemed impossible and unachievable . Now almost two years later, I feel mostly my old self, life has improved, and relationships healed, there is still a part of me that is easily triggered and I know that I will forever be haunted with severe trust issues. I will never be as whole as I once was… I hate that he took that from me.

    1. Star

      I felt I must let you know.

      It’s going to take a bit more time of course but you will feel whole0 again, though it doesn’t seem like it now. I realise this sounds like a platitude that people often say.
      This isn’t.
      I would not profess to tell someone how they should feel, will feel etc but please don’t lose hope in that you WIll feel unbelievably better given more time.

      Not my last ex but the one before him was a much worse narcissist I have come to learn now..By the time things were finished with him I was a broken wreck in exactly the same way that you were and much worse than I have been with my last ex.

      (Yes I fell prey to another a different type.. Often because somebody ‘isn’t as bad as our last ex’ we can sometimes fall for it all again) That is what happened to me.

      It’s 10 years since my second to last ex and I broke up and I can swear to this: I have no feelings whatsoever for him. None, it’s totally dead. Believe me if you would have seen how I was hardly able to get dressed…and the wreck I was, I couldn’t think straight either… I couldn’t manage my affairs properly couldn’t hardly do my job .. didn’t want to see anybody speak to anybody.. you know the drill..and tbe suffering seemed permanent and I was hopeless in every way possible. You would never believe the way I am now… I am completely whole.. even though I’ve been entangled again with another N it certainly has not had the same effect by far.

      Don’t get me wrong it’s been awful and everything but now all the pieces fit into place after HG has enlightened me, all the things the narcs have done are clear. The clarity has cleared so much of the baggage away. All the whys and wherefores..
      Now that I have the clarity and answers.. I am completely weaponized.

      We all have different time frames to let things sink in.. and let the healing take place. It is just like a physical wound that has to heal at its own pace and once it is healed it will not hurt.
      The scar is there but it will not hurt you. Again.. this is not meant to sound like a platitude.

      Please give yourself time.

      You are bound to be wary always..that is a good thing. You will become whole within yourself again.
      I am not trying to give you false hope. Or diminishing how horribly hard it is but please try to believe it. I know its very hard to.

      One day you will turn around and you will be completely and totally whole again… you will always remember but it will not hurt.
      Honestly Star… it will stop hurting..Keep going. Xx

      1. Debbie wolf and Windstorm2, I want to thank both of you for your very kind and uplifting responses. I love this forum for all the wonderful support that we provide for one another and of course to HG for his insight and knowledge! And both of you are right, each and every one of us here with time will grow into more whole people from our experiences. I thank u both for reminding me of that. We are all empowered now and see the truth of who we were entangled with and have the tools to move forward, fight back and protect ourselves. Knowledge such as this is priceless! Xo

      2. Star

        You are more than welcome..Keep a good heart.
        They cannot take our real essence.
        Think about it…they spend so long pinching our character traits for a reason.
        But at the end of the day Star, all they can do is mimic us…
        Remember… no matter what they do..
        ‘we’ remain ‘us’.
        We are the original.
        Shield up..smile on. Xx

    2. Star
      It’s only been two years. If you’re like me you will keep healing some every year for many years. I believe that I am a much better person now than I ever was before.

      Windstorm2 Only you can limit yourself. Relationships with other people are just learning experiences. You may never be that same woman you remember from before, but you may grow into an even better version of her.

  7. HG, I know it’s time. He is using the kids to pull me back into that emotional ocean where I am drowning. Will be in touch. Thank you.

  8. Even the good “memories” were a facade. That means the whole 6 years was an illusion.. none of it means anything, at all! Unreal. I’m
    Still shell shocked.

  9. Freedom45

    Ha ha yes…’a disgrace’.. I’m sounding like my grandma…😁
    You’re right though about sticking up for each other.. it’s kind of ‘built in’ to our mainframe…haha.
    No reply button and I never received any email alerts on the 11th at all..though subscribed to this thread..sorry my response is out of order..👀

  10. The ones I have known in the past (family members, female friends, male romantic interests) each had their own personalized style of hurt. The one which hurt the most was the one who suddenly ended an almost 10-year friendship without notice or any falling out, choosing to smear my children in the process (with lies). Knowing what she is (in retrospect), it doesn’t hurt anymore. It pains me that so many people believed her, and that my children had to bear the brunt of the narcissist’s tantrum-like behavior over the years (this was a PTA mom, so she smeared my kids at school to faculty and other parents).

    It’s offsetting to see how gullible people can be. That they would rather accept a far-fetched, completely fabricated story than come straight to me and simply ask about it. People are lemmings.

  11. I just noticed that your education is so excellent, HG, that I am more puzzled at the moment by non narc-behaviour than by narc behaviour …

  12. I must be a bitch empath because I never even bothered to learn my ex fiance’s phone number. He entered it into my phone a few years ago and about one minute after he discarded me I pressed delete.

  13. Blocking on iphones and apple device is easy. The internal fiber? Not so easy. Any thing less? Toxic. Beware voice mails save as blocked. That’s a bitch slap design. Thanks Steve UMR Jobs. Idk. Maybe he was a G.. Any how, don’t complicate it WS2. Just do it. What lies on the other side of NC? After the salt of loneliness and despair wane, bigger than mount everest, is freedom. We die fighting for it as empaths. But the very battles we fight keep us ensnared. Slight shift moves mountains. The only way to know this is to do this.

  14. Thank you I just woke up from having a literal nightmare about him I never dreamed about him before ever and I just did and it was a nightmare.your right I did except him being Muslim but I had began studying Islam on and off for a number of years before I met him and in fact was dating another Muslim man very briefly when I met him although the other man was not religious.meaning not a practicing Muslim.I love Islam and I can say he never once asked me to put on a hijab but he was happy when I did as was his family if course.its still my dream to marry a real Muslim something he is not even though he practices the religion daily he is fake inside and outside. In Islam it states a man is to be a protector and maintainer of woman he was neither

    1. Hi kim,

      I’m really sorry abt ur nightmare. Wow! U were thinking abt islam b4 u met him? I have been to some interfaith discussions and those who wish to determine frm where they originated, and study different religions i find very pensive, inquisitive, and spiritual imo. I am not judging anyone who is not spiritual tho). Btw, u look beautiful w the head scarf (and without).

  15. How is it that a lesser and a mid-range narcissist could never have any insight as to who they are? Even though they won’t admit fault, they still have to understand that their behavior differs from others. That’s like me not accepting the fact that I’m an empath and rejecting the ability to learn more about being an empath – both the strengths and the vulnerabilities.

    I mean, maybe their research won’t result in them becoming a greater, but surely they would be able to appreciate putting an explanation to their actions.

    1. The self-defence mechanism of their narcissism does not allow it. A Mid Range Narcissist may see their behaviour differs but they will not accept culpability for that in the sense of the different behaviour amounting to being something wrong that is their fault.

  16. For me it isn’t so much the lack of self-awareness, as one of my narcs was a greater…What saddens me is that their patterns and behaviours won’t change.
    It would have been better to think that they found happiness and mutual love with someone else, having learned and grown from their experience. Knowing that it was all for naught, and that someone else is probably receiving the same treatment right now, makes it all worse.

  17. dickforlong,
    “I can’t wait to FEEL better before I do better. I MUST DO BETTER IN ORDER TO FEEL BETTER. ”

    gabs and jenna,
    Revenge is a dish best eaten cold if served at all. If you are striking while the iron is hot, it is just a massive dose of FUEL! You are putting them in the situation where they operate best.and showering them with fuel.The best revenge on the narcissist: Deny fuel!!

    I would only write such an article to address the issue where No Contact cannot be achieved for a highly valid reason, such as court ordered co-parenting, not because you feel sad without someone’s texts. That is not a valid reason to breach no contact and is further evidence of the impact of your emotional thinking.

    You have done some learning. Good.

    Now answer me this, do so using logic – what valid reason do you have to not go contact?”

    I am reposting your comment in whole, but the relevant part is your question.

    Can you explain why you have not received ANY replies?
    Or did I miss them?

    I, myself, did not think it applied to me. I now believe I was mistaken.

    There is NO good reason, (at least for me, because I may probably still attract Narcissists in the future) to NOT go No Contact.

    Thank you, Mr Tudor.


    1. Well the question was directed to Jenna and at this point I have not seen an answer from her (it may be further down the moderation queue).

      Your answer is correct. That is logic answering. The key is to stop emotional thinking answering for you in an alternative manner.

      1. HG
        I like the way you said it in the last paragraph
        “The key is to stop emotional thinking answering for you in an alternative manner.”

        If you’re going to interact with narcs, you have to be beyond emotional thinking. For me that usually takes several years. It’s really hard when the narcs are your children/grandchildren. When they’re family you have to learn how to still love them, but stay unemotional.

        But what seems to give people the most problems is you have to accept deep down in your heart that not only do they not really love you, they will never love you, they are incapable of loving you. Other than a source of fuel and residual benefits, you mean nothing to them. If you’re unsure at all about that, you’re still emotional.

      2. Just the idea that I am giving him EXACTLY whet he wants is enough to stop me dead in my tracks.

        I remember the 1st silent treatment when he skipped off to Europe (I had no idea). I showed up at his house to find my belongings on the porch…

        I shook for a week with pure adrenaline and plain fucking fear. I ate not one not one bite of food for 6 days. Every second seemed like 30 minutes of pure anguish.

        So I know how bad it feels.

        But during those weeks I promised myself that NO MATTER WHAT I would get up every fucking day (after 2 hours of sleep) , take a shower and go to work. I knew he believed I was too weak to keep it together at all… AND I WAS DETERMINED TO PROVE THE FUCKER WRONG!!

        I might feel devastated but NO ONE GETS TO determine my fate but me.

        I just kept showing up for life and eventually life started showing up for me.

        I am not “well” by any means. I have much to work on. But he was just living life on grand scale… While I was hobbled up in pain. He knew exactly what he was doing AND HE COUNTED ON MY DESPAIR…


      3. I kept showing up for life and life began showing up for me brilliant I also love how you stated your despair made his life feel better I think this is so true that’s why I get up everyday and go on I’m faking it till I make it

      4. Ty overthinker…..

        I often trick myself into having a better life… I moved a few thousand miles away.
        I had no job, no place to live and didn’t know anyone. I promised myself I would get up take a shower and get dressed for my job search. Then if I wanted to go back to bed I could. Like you said fake it till you make.

        But boy is it hard some days. Those days I try really hard to just not screw anything up. I call them damage control days…

        Thank goodness for this site. I just keep reading and hoping that one day I will attract someone normal. Or barring that, I will attract no one at all. Lol.

        Baby steps

      5. Definitely.. It is perfectly okay to apply emotional thinking to other aspects of your life.. You must become mindful.. Literally MINDFUL in your THINKING with the narcissist.. You must not feel with the heart.. You must not allow the emotions of love, compassion, hope, etc. seep into your thinking when it is of the narcissist.. The only applicable emotion you should have of the narcissist when thinking is anger, which should further influence your decision of implementing rigid and robust No Contact.. You must use your analytical mind to beat the narcissist.. Think of it as a mind game (and it is).. Or war.. You must come suited in armor and that armor must be made of rigid facts, not of pliable emotions.. There should be no feeling of positivity for your opponent, especially if there has been harsh devalue and discard in your entanglement with the narcissist.. You must be angry and dead set on winning.. With the ease that they delete you from their mind and day to day life activities, you should be able to delete their name from your phone device.. There is absolutely no reason of keeping it there.. I have my narcissist’s phone number memorized as well, but I do not THINK to use it.. That is my complete analytical, logical mind ruling that action.. And there is no other way to win..

        As my counselor tells me, first comes the thought, then the emotion, then the behavior.. Have your thoughts of the narcissist, be them as they may.. Let that single emotion be of anger and/or resentment and let it drive your behavior of avoiding all things that are the narcissist and stick with NO CONTACT..


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