No Good Advice

no good advice

Relationship advice. The internet is awash with it. Sites, blogs, question and answer sessions, videos on YouTube there is a plethora of advice about how to deal with the problems which arise in intimate relationships.

I decided recently to have a good look through many of these sites and gather together the common complaints which people raise when they submit their issues. There are plenty of submissions, thousands upon thousands of people complaining about the issues in their relationships. Oddly enough, I noticed a common thread with many of these complaints where people had written in to seek advice or explained their circumstances. Time and time again I the following:-

“Everything was wonderful to begin with, he swept me off my feet.”

“She made me feel like a king and it was just what I needed after how horrible my marriage had been.”

“I was taken aback by how loving he was, but it felt so good to be treated that way after everything that I had been through.”

“He told me how he had been hurt before and didn’t want to go through that again.”

“His ex-wife was horrible to him and he had been hurt but wanted to ensure everything was right between us.”

“Everything was marvellous for a few months and then he changed.”

“I didn’t know him anymore.”

“He started controlling me.”

“She told me who I could see.”

“He started to isolate me from family and friends.”

“He would flirt with other women.”

“She spent all of her time on the internet doing Lord knows what.”

“He never listens to me.”

“He became abusive.”

“The sex was amazing at first but then it just stopped.”

“He was so loving and attentive in bed but then he started suggesting threesomes and kinky stuff which I didn’t like.”

“He started to make decisions for me.”

“She would lose her temper over the smallest thing.”

“He would disappear for days on end and I was sick with worry.”

“He would not speak to me for several days even though I had done nothing wrong.”

“He started hitting me. He said sorry afterwards and seemed remorseful for what he had done, blaming it on seeing his dad beat him mum when he was young.”

“He doesn’t like anything I do any more, he puts me down.”

“Its like living with Jekyll and Hyde.”

“He just never contacted me again. I still don’t know what has happened.”

“He told me he couldn’t be with me anymore as he needed time to himself and then two days later I see him post about a new girlfriend on social media.”

“He was unfaithful to me repeatedly.”

“I still miss her after everything she has done.”

“I am financially ruined, stressed but I still love him.”

“Why can’t it be like it was in the beginning?”

“I want him back.”

I should imagine that all of you will be nodding at these comments for two reasons. First of all, you remember saying them yourself or something similar. Secondly, you now realise what was actually behind these behaviours. People like me.

Over and over again I saw questions and tales which all had the common theme of ‘Brilliant start, he became someone else, dumped me, I was heartbroken.’ Hundreds upon hundreds of these stories, these tales of misery and woe. A litany of despondency and confusion that has been piled up in the inboxes of the relationship advisors and gurus. I scrolled through them all, reading the replies, the advice and the suggestions. I read the analysis, I digested the observations and spent some considerable time doing so. What did I see?

Not one person raised the possibility that the person seeking advice had become involved with a narcissist. Not one.

Many of these blogs and relationship advice sites were clearly popular. Some were established names, linked to lifestyle magazines and newspapers. Many directed you to their services for counselling and relationship tool kits. Many of them trotted out similar comments and platitudes. Too often they read like the first world tribulations of a scene from Sex and the City rather than the abusive, destructive and harmful actions of dangerous narcissists.

Yet not one of them raised the suggestion that a narcissist was involved.

Now, naturally it is not the case that behind every relationship woe there is a narcissist but I know that those of you reading this, with the benefit of the enlightenment you have achieved knows that there is a good chance that problems of this nature as described repeatedly in the problems pages of these sites are something to do with people like my kind. Yet nobody was offering this as a possibility. That shows the scale of how easy it is for us to do what we do and pass undetected. It shows the staggering lack of knowledge about what we do say, think and do and the naivety of so many people, including those who apparently understand relationship dynamics.

Instead, I saw standard and repeated responses such as:-

“He is clearly a commitment phobe.”

No, he doesn’t want to spend time with you because he is devaluing you and is actually seducing someone else at the current time.

“You have outgrown each other.”

No, you never grew together to begin with because it was all predicated on an illusion and his lack of interest now is symptomatic of his interest being elsewhere.

“He may just be tired or stressed from working hard to support you and your children.”

Yes or he might be a narcissist who uses his rage to intimidate and control you.

You may have unrealistic expectations about the relationship.”

Damn right you do and we all know why that has happened don’t we?

You need him to take responsibility for his actions. He cannot keep blaming you for everything.”

Good luck with that one.

“He just might not be into you.”

Half-right I suppose, he just isn’t in to you fuel anymore, he is in to somebody else’s.

“He might be bored with life and not you. Try harder to interest him.”

Again, good luck with that one.

“Relationships require hard work. Don’t give up. Keep working at it and you can overcome the problems together.”

You have just been told to sign your own death warrant there.

“Some people have anger issues but that can managed with understanding and therapy.”

Or they have fury which ignites at the slightest provocation and always will.

“Being hurt is an inevitable part of a relationship.”

It is if you get ensnared by my kind.

I am not suggesting that every problem in a relationship is as a consequence of the other party being a narcissist, that is unrealistic. However, the number of times I read about what was clearly the narcissistic dynamic of seduction, devaluation and discard was significant. The monumental amount of times that I recognised narcissistic manipulations – rage attacks, silent treatments, triangulation, intimidation, bullying, gas lighting and so forth – in so many posts did not surprised me but they were not picked up on. Many times these manipulations were not isolated events. There were repeated occasions and also differing types of the manipulations which when combined and repeated point in one direction.

The advice and platitudes that were provided to people who were clearly, not just possibly, but clearly entangled with a narcissist, were way off the mark. The descriptions and answers I have listed above were the ones which were provided to people and at best this would mean the person would remain clueless and stuck with no appropriate solution and at worst they were providing advice which would harm the individual who had sought the advice.

I was not surprised by this erroneous advice. I was not amazed by this omission of our kind from the explanations. I was not taken aback by the scale of people complaining about what was clearly narcissistic abuse but not being told as such.

This is why we are able to do what we do.

This is why we are able to move amongst people, ensnare fresh victims and maintain our veneer of respectability.

This is why what we do is passed off as something else. Euphemised, diluted, lessened and made to seem like a standard relationship hiccup.

This is why ignorance is so harmful.

This is why we remain so effective.

This is why we remain so dangerous.

30 thoughts on “No Good Advice

  1. Ugotit says:


  2. Caroline says:

    Yes, it’s so very frustrating. This is absolutely a very difficult dilemma… but hopefully, Empaths can sensitively educate others — one person at a time. It will take time, and a lot of patience. More time than any Empath would be comfortable with!

    What I find even more difficult to deal with is those who *know* they are entangled with a narcissist (or an abuser) — and who just want what they want. They are sadly addicted, but don’t seem to be making a convicted decision to love themselves and free themselves from their pain. I find that those who know the Truth in their innermost being can be the amongst the most willfully defensive toward those trying to caution or warn them OFF engagement with an abuser/narcissist. Those addicted and insistent on staying tied to their abuser will absolutely shoot the messenger — and/or try to evade the messenger. They only want messages of comfort, or reasons to hope that the narcissist will choose to stay with them — any crumbs of encouragement to keep the sad and sick interactions with the narcissist going. The devastating reality is that the utter destruction of them by their abuser is inevitable if they don’t pause to reflect and change course…but in the meantime, they evade/reject the message.

    I also see how these victims begin to alter their persona in this dynamic, and not for good. There is an underlying, “quiet rage” to them — always right beneath the surface, from the abuse they continue to suffer at the hand of their narcissist/abuser. But they will take it out on others, especially those who challenge their pretend world… they want benign messages or comfort distractions, so they can prop up their misguided belief that they can eventually can have the narcissist and all will be well. I feel like the narcissist/interactions with the narcissist is absolutely changing these people for the worst…it’s frustrating and heartbreaking. I feel helpless to help them.

    1. Mrs Linton says:

      Hello Caroline, I so understand what you say. I feel like this frequently with my sister as I know she is hurting. I also think she hasn’t been hurt ENOUGH in the family to give the horrors proper recognition. She wants to keep the family together at whatever cost. She thinks she is helping me when she says that my mother wants me to know that her door is always open, but all it does is hurt ME because by doing so, she won’t acknowledge how my mother has abused me. I want her to validate my experience, and she can’t because then she would have to accept the extent of narcissism in the family, including her own toxic marriage and get a divorce. I hate to see the way her husband treats her, but then of course she will get a reprieve and she will tell me he has been really understanding blah blah blah and I am meant to believe it.

      1. Windstorm2 says:

        Mrs Linton
        I know exactly what you mean. I always got the same from my aunts and cousins. In my family you were a narc or a narc-apologist. No one could criticize the narcs because that made the family look bad. Everyone pretended things were like they were supposed to be. I felt like the one person in The Emperor’s New Clothes story that couldn’t play along. For some reason, I was born unable to pretend…

        1. Mrs Linton says:

          Thank you Windstorm for replying. I don’t think we can learn too much about narcissism. My sister has a wonderful lifestyle, but she is a prisoner. I am taking a lot of measures to improve my self esteem. My sister asked me for what tips I might have to love herself. When I talked to her about narcissism which I have done before, she went very quiet and said she’s wasnt ready. She is a Stepford wife and her husband is a Greater so I don’t hold out much hope!

          1. Windstorm2 says:

            Mrs Linton
            You can never fix someone else. Change has to come from within and the person has to want to change. My married family has a lot of alcoholism and drug use and it’s hard and painful to watch. I’ve got a 19 year old nephew in jail for Thanksgiving and you can imagine what a damper that’s putting on my sister in law’s holiday. When I asked my exhusband if he thought this would make our nephew lose his job, he said, “Oh, he got fired from there a month ago.”

            Sometimes all we can do is watch, continue to love them and be supportive of the positive things they chose to do. But it always hurts to watch your loved ones hurt themselves.

      2. Caroline says:

        Hi, Mrs. Linton 🙂
        I really understand… feeling like someone you love “hasn’t been hurt enough” feels just awful, but it is sometimes the reality. I have a friend who I feel the same about, and I get so scared for her — it’s brutal to see her self esteem so low and the hold the abuser has.

        I am so sorry about your Mom… that is so painful, and I get how unhealthy it is. So much “sweeping under the rug,” and so many people don’t get how sick and hurtful that is! With narcissists, there is so much still that I don’t understand about them, but if many of them felt helpless to abuse when little, it seems to me all that was swept under the rug for them — and as children, what choice did they have? So look at what happened there — not good. So someone has to stop the cycle of sweeping! Good for you on not buying into the sweeping under the rug. You are being healthy and brave in your stance, and I totally understand how hard that is. Big hug.

        And how many times did I say “sweeping” in here? Sorry. Lol.

        1. Mrs Linton says:

          Thank you for your reply Caroline. I am at risk of making it my job to save my sister and I mustn’t. She has to find her own way. I can’t help but think though about a friend of mine who had multiple sclerosis and would relapse because of the stress whenever her Narc ex husband took her to court. These relationships really can cause slow death. Its a warning to all of us to get out and keep out. I hope your friend comes to realise soon. Thanks again.

          1. Caroline says:

            Thank YOU, Mrs. Linton. XO.

  3. Ilene says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with this, and this is the reason why I am grateful for this site because not only does it help us, but it will also be of invaluable importance to future generations.

    I have received advice in the past from others, even professionals, which harmed me, and even put me right back into the jaws of Narcissists.

    People who claim to “know”, but do not know what they are speaking about, are far worse than those who want to help, but come out in honesty and say, “I really don’t know enough about NPD to be of help to you.”

    1. HG Tudor says:

      A common occurrence.

    2. Mrs Linton says:

      One of the Narc counsellors I knew used to send people back to their Narc relationships. He must have known what he was doing as I think he was a Greater. It is just dawning on me now he was actively disempowering his clients.

  4. Windstorm2 says:

    I totally agree. And what makes it even worse is that they give you this bad advice like it is obvious and you should already realize it.

  5. Dickforlong says:

    I feel lucky to have found your site very quickly. My complete ineptitude at posting saved me from spending too much time on another site.

    Am I crazy, or are there a few narcs on your site? The more i read and understand the more i feel this gut instinct when reading some posts. An alarm goes off NARC NARC NARC. I realize we all have narcissistic traits…. Maybe im just seeing narcs everywhere?

    I had a life long friend I cut out of my life who actually got me researching narcissism. She was convinced she was an empath but she was a huge NARC.

    Do you notice narcs commenting? Do they think they’re empaths? Or are they hiding? if you have noticed this could you elaborate a bit for me? I know you would see it before I would…

    Im grateful to have been ensnared by you before wasting too much time on any other sites.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are in the right place DFL. Yes, I do see narcissists commenting here and of course they do not know what they are. The Mid Range ones often do think they are empaths. There are the occasional Lesser’s that appear and they stand out fairly quicker. The Mid Rangers become apparent too – some reasonably quickly and others over time. I also see people being taken in by them (although I understand why that happens) and that is why it is good practice to contain your involvement with others to this forum only and not to do so in addition elsewhere.

      1. Windstorm2 says:

        Sometimes it’s “taken in by” and sometimes it may just be politeness or natural expressions of empathy. I still feel a lot of empathy and concern for many narcissists, without any harm to myself. In a way, empathy is like vision. I can no more stop feeling empathy for someone than I can stop seeing them. It doesn’t matter who or what they are.

        I do totally agree with you about the anonymity on this site being our protection. It provides the safety to reach out to everyone here without worries of narc entanglement or repercussions.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Indeed Ws2. You are a very empathic person.

      2. Cripes,

        I only feared being a codependent.
        Now I’ll be worried I’m a narc and don’t know it?
        Please don’t let me be a lessor!

        Sometimes I wish I was, though, to not feel pain, anxiety, sympathy. A way to get things done without second guessing myself.

        But then I wouldn’t want my world to be ruled (anymore) by needing validation from others.
        What a chaotic life, constantly moving,doing, not able to experience pleasures which are not provided by interacting with others.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are not one of us.

          1. Mrs Linton says:

            Hello HG. My Narc mother told me that when I was small she would see “real joy” in me. She often used to suggest as I got older that I was peculiar, including the way I cared so much about stuff. I don’t understand how she could recognise joy when cannot feel it herself. Can you explain?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            One can recognise things without having to experience it.

    2. Tappan Zee says:

      I had a life long friend I cut out of my life who actually got me researching narcissism. She was convinced she was an empath but she was a huge NARC.

      Do you notice narcs commenting? Do they think they’re empaths? Or are they hiding? if you have noticed this could you elaborate a bit for me? I know you would see it before I would…

      Im grateful to have been ensnared by you before wasting too much time on any other sites.

      ^DFL– DITTTTTTTTTTTTOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      even down to the best friend :/

      1. dickforlong says:

        TZ. . TY for the comment. It amazes me how many of our lives mirror one another.

      2. Mrs Linton says:

        Hi Tappan Zee, I was also introduced to narcissism from a counsellor who was a self confessed Narc. We fell out as you can imagine, she owed me money, took advantage the usual but she was the one to identify one on my exes was a narc and started me on the right road. Even more ironic than HG helping us on here. I also did a counselling course run by a narc, it did not end well for the students. My counsellor friend just kept getting fired from whoever she worked for, I am so curious as to what she did.Never her fault of course.

  6. Mrs Linton says:

    You need to let him go to his cave (silent treatment or other devaluation)
    How not to be so needy(for heavens sake don’t expect anything from your relationship)
    You have to also give equally in relationship( make sure you give more)
    Make sure you make an effort with your appearance (you are an extension of him)
    Don’t make any arrangements let him do it (be a compliant appliance in case he has others on the go)
    Always be happy (don’t expect anything from him)
    Ask him about his day(fuel plus he doesn’t give a toss about yours)
    Don’t force him into therapy (obvious)
    Somtimes be unavailable (the endlessly spinning plate will get attention occasionally) Men will notice attractive women (learn to turn a blind eye to his shitty wind ups)
    How to get your ex back (wait a minute I don’t want him)

  7. Catherine says:

    This is completely staggering and mind blowing really, but I’m not at all surprised. Here in Sweden I’ve heard more about psychopaths/sociopaths (and through trying to find out what was wrong with my grandmother I did some research on that topic years ago, thinking maybe that was her problem; which I now am quite sure wasn’t, or at least not the only one) but I had no clue about narcissism. I googled “silent treatment” because that was my exs favourite punishment and there I finally found some information about narcissism.

  8. H. says:

    I have to say that thanks to this blog; I finally “get it”, and because of this new understanding, I have a sense of closure.

    By reading this blog’s emails daily, I have finally been able to internalize what exactly what a Narc is and how he hurt me, and now I don’t have the obsessive need to figure him..

    I just know. He’s a vampire. End of story, closure.

    That’s a giant step for me since I compulsively wanted to know WHY he did the things he did. As a result I would keep going back for more in my constant pursuit of answers.

    Happy to say that as of today I went NO CONTACT and it is with no nagging remorse.

    All those people out there,…that have no idea about Narcs..God help you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are seizing the power H.

  9. JW says:

    Excellent .

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