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?


18 thoughts on “Provocation

  1. Anne says:

    I retweeted this article and my N ex happened to see it, although I’m pretty sure I blocked him. Thought I’d share what he had to say about you:

    “I’ve seen more of your tweets over the past few weeks and my suspicions are now confirmed. That HG Tudor guy is a sycophant. I’m none of those things nor does it concern me. Ironically, I’m an empath.”

    Then, in the next breath:

    “Speaking of ‘Provocation,’ by provoking me I could send your mom the letter you wrote me and have you explain the rest…”

    Essentially threatening me and playing on my fears/vulnerabilities. Because that’s definitely something an empath would do. -_____-

    1. HG Tudor says:

      A sycophant eh? First time for everything I guess. Does he actually understand what the word means?

    2. ava101 says:

      That’s a nice one 🙂
      All there in just two sentences.

      Just send him the song “”You’re so vain …”
      My exnarc had a classical education like your’s does but it sent him through the roof anyways.

      HG you use the word differently in English.

  2. Lisa says:

    If they try to provoke you through leaving comments on mutual friends pages that they know you will see because they commented right after they saw you did and you fail to respond will they just keep at it? I assume this is a way that they keep trying to stay in your head ?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Only for so long because if there is no response then this lifts the hoover bar and they will either halt because the Hoover Execution Criteria have not been met, or shift to a different form of hoover (if applicable).

  3. Diane Friday says:

    “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.”

    Oh, did you hit the nail on the head with this. Every single word used in that paragraph was spot on. It was done to me on a fairly regular basis. But there was one day that was particularly memorable. Late April of 2015. It was a Monday. I was in the middle of cleaning, the weather was miserable and so was I. She knew this. And she did every one of those things, pushed every button she knew would set me off, and she kept at it the entire day. So when this behavior continued later in the day, via text, I finally lost it and said something that I knew would really piss her off. It worked, and she dumped me the next day. Mind you, I didn’t yell or scream or even use obscenities, which she liked to pretend bothered her. I simply said something that I knew would push her buttons in return for all she’s put me through that day, and got dumped for it the next day. Turns out it was all quite intentional so that she could have an excuse for not planning her next trip to see me. Unexpected financial worries on the horizon, which I didn’t find out about until we started speaking again weeks later. Not that she ever admitted that was the reason for her twisted behavior, but it was easily figured out once I knew what was going on. In a nutshell, has she told me the truth about what was going on, none of her bizarre behavior nor my response to it would’ve happened. But these narcs don’t do truth very well, and we, theirs unsuspecting victims, pay the price.

  4. K says:

    Provocation, A list:
    One of my 7-year-old lessers gave his teacher the finger, asked to see the genitalia of the empath twins (the girl said, “No.” The boy showed him his penis). He asked the male twin for his Fitbit and refuses to return it. He wears it to school and taunts the little boy with it. Also, he vandalized a chair in their home. The lesser boy tried to force his way into the bathroom at my empath spy’s home so he could see the twin girl naked while she was taking a bath, and he had to be forcefully restrained and removed from the home, however, my empath spy still invites him over so he can play with her son. WTF.

    My empath spy and her two empath children are GINORMOUS fuel carriers (FuC).

    My MMRN, a Dirty Angel Dad (D.A.D.) and a female narc surround her at the school yard when I am not there. My MMRN and the D.A.D. try to get negative fuel from her.

    I have found some apaths and their apath children for me and my daughter to hang out with. My instincts are screaming: get the fuck away from the empath spy.

  5. Kimi says:

    Great article and certainly time relevant for me!

    I just realized a pattern with my Narc. He used to send me sweet little texts when he woke in the middle of the night. Now he phones or texts me while I’m sleeping (usually between 2 to 6 am) and proceeds to provoke me until he gets my negative response/fuel! I’m asleep, then groggy, then bewildered, then placating, then angry, then biting, then spent, then guilty, then remorseful and finally apologetic as he moves on his merry way, filled with my extracted fuel!

    Now I use the “Do not disturb” function on my phone as I’m not ready to block him and go “No Contact” yet.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I know about provocation, too. My narc used to get behind me in a crowd (like in an airport) and push me while saying “Hurry up, tell those people to get out of the way”. That’s just one example of his ways. Lately, he just has his new girlfriend show up when we are in a restaurant or he sits at the table with me and messages her.

  7. Lou Skywalker says:

    This is a great article HG. Thanks a lot.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  8. Diann says:

    HG day 13 of no contact. Last night I get a text that says “What the fuck “. That’s it. Wtf does that mean?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Well done so far, but it is very early days.

      Why was a text able to come through? The number should be blocked and if it came from an number that is not blocked, block that or better still change your number. This is a weakness in your No Contact regime and ought to be remedied.

      This was a hoover. It is denied to provoke, cause you to think about the narcissist and be bewildered by it so you contact him. It has served part of its purpose, deny the latter part of its purpose.

  9. Overthinker says:

    I wish I knew all this before when he was insulting me.I would have just said your absolutely right about everything you said about deserve someone so much better than me.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      And if said in a neutral tone that would have been effective.

    2. Dorian Bruins says:

      That works brilliantly. I did that. Exactly that.
      “Oh yes, it’s all my fault” “Yes, I am a horrible person, aren’t I?”
      “Yes, you did soooo much for me……”

      All that with a slight smile.
      He then exploded. Probably because he couldn’t get to me anymore. Admittedly, this was after 11 years, shortly after I had learned how to disengage. And almost a year after completely or partly ignoring him.

  10. Derpy says:

    My ex did this perfectly for 8 years. He would dig and poke and scrape at me until I couldn’t take it and I would say some crappy thing back at him. It got to a point where I would just kind of ignore most of it, at least until it got really bad and then I would explode similarly. The last of this, he spent 9 hours telling me what a piece of crap I am, what a terrible mother I had, what a terrible mother I was and that everyone would benefit and could finally be happy if I would just kill myself.

    Towards the end of that, I exploded and turned his deflections back at him and stood up for myself. He then kept that over my head for the next 8 months, told people that I was a lunatic because I blew up for no reason. He spent that next 8 months trying to act reasonable, saying things like, “Please, I’m tired of fighting” if I said pretty much anything, ever. Or “You have to give me the benefit of the doubt, I’m trying, okay?” and then follow up with some crappy comment to fuel my anger and emotions while trying to come off innocent and that it was all in my head.

    Fortunately, my therapist had told me to document everything I could possibly document and keep it for my own sanity to read back over and try to ground myself in reality, and I did. That is what helped me finally get away and break that cycle of hoovering. It’s also what helped me when I went through the short period of exposure.

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.