The Errors of the Ignorant – No. 1
A series based on the comments made by people who fail to understand the true nature of narcissists and the narcissistic dynamic. Whilst these comments may be well-intentioned, they are incorrect, perpetuate misunderstandings and in many cases create false hope, dashed expectations and perilous outcomes.
It is a common response by those who fail to recognise our kind and also have no understanding of what we are and how we operate to tell the bewildered victim that the cure to our odd and unpleasant behaviour is to shower us with love.
Note that here the timing is important. We are devaluing you and therefore you are already on that slippery slope towards dis – engagement.
If, as someone who has been ensnared by one of our kind, you turn to somebody who is empathic for advice to understand what is going on, you will fall foul of their empathic trait of being a love devotee. This belief in the power of love, whilst a good trait in itself, is corrupted to become a burden when it is added to the equation with our kind. This near slavish belief in the fact that love will conquer all ills and overcome all problems results in an understandable, albeit misguided, injunction to apply more love to the problem with the narcissist.
It is not going to work. It is too late.
This is suggested most often with regard to the romantic dynamic between victim and narcissist. The advisor fails to recognise that the temper tantrums, the silent treatments and the name-calling, amongst so much else, are manifestations of the ignited fury of a wounded narcissist and instead attribute them to something else – it does not matter what the chosen descriptions might be because they are wrong. This means that the advisor fails to identify that the victim is in the grip of a narcissist in this romantic entitlement. They also fail to recognise what this means in terms of behaviour and as a consequence they see the application of love as a panacea which will cure all ills. This does not work with our kind.
There is no issue in providing us with more and more love during the golden period. Indeed, this is what we want and as a consequence of that approach you provide us with plenty of positive fuel. All is well. Of course, your confusion and bewilderment begins when we start to devalue you and you cannot understand why it is happening. Thus, you turn to someone else, some advisor, to try to gain answers for these unfathomable behaviours, volte faces and about turns.
The devaluation may occur for several reasons, when in the romantic dynamic between narcissist and Intimate Partner Primary Source (“IPPS”) but in the majority of cases it is because of the failure by the IPPS to maintain fuel at the right level of frequency, quantity and potency.
If you love us more and therefore provide us with more positive fuel during devaluation then there are several outcomes which can occur, but ultimately they all arrive at the same place; failure.
- If the problem was that your positive fuel was not stale but you were not providing it as often and as in the quantities we wanted, then an extra push of loving behaviour from you will remedy the problem BUT only for a short while. You will be granted a Respite Period by the narcissist as your positive fuel shines once again and the golden period returns. This may last for a few weeks, perhaps months, but it will ultimately result in your finding yourself in the place detailed at point three below;
- If the drop off in your positive fuel was caused by quantity and frequency issues, then devaluation has begun and there is a risk that we have begun the process of engaging with finding your replacement. Dependent on how advanced those searches are and how effective the prospective replacements are responding, even though you increase the frequency and quantity it may not be enough to save you from continuing devaluation, because of the interaction with one or more Candidate Intimate Partner Secondary Sources. Thus, loving us all the more does not work and your devaluation continues;
- The problem may not be the frequency and/or quantity but the level of potency. We have, in essence, had too much of a good thing and our familiarity to your potent positive fuel means it has lost its allure. Consequently, by trying to give us more of something we have become ‘sickened’ to, is not going to work. It is like someone becoming tired of strawberry ice cream and you turning up with a huge tub of strawberry ice cream. You will not stop the devaluation. Even if you managed to secure a Respite Period (see one above) eventually the familiarity issue will appear and you will find yourself in a situation where the potency no longer is effective, no matter how hard you try to love us and show that that love and devaluation will continue.
The consequences of this is that advising somebody to continue to love and to show even more love for us are:-
- The creation of a false hope that the perplexing behaviour we engage in will end;
- Victims will remain in an abusive and misery-inducing relationship for longer than they need to;
- Exposure to potential harm – whether it is the physically explosive response of a Lesser Narcissist through to the enduring mind games and psychological torture of coupling with a Greater Narcissist. The risk is increased of some form of harm – sexual, physical, psychological and/or financial arising;
- A complete erosion of the victim as they keep giving and giving of themselves, spurred on by this apparent authority that love will provide them with the answer to the issue and make it all good;
- A further false hope whereby if a Respite Period has arisen, the victim is conned into thinking that this increased loving has been successful, when in actual fact all it has done is secure a stay of execution and most likely made the eventual resumption of the devaluation all the harder to endure;
- The pollution of the victim. At some point the victim will be dis – engaged with and the failure of this apparent panacea of applying increased loving runs the risk of creating cynicism so that the victim feels unable to and/or unwilling to ever try to love anybody else again in a romantic sense.
This advice provided by somebody who is ignorant about what we are is tantamount to saying to somebody, “Stay in the burning house because eventually the fire will stop and you will then be okay.”
If you are in the romantic dynamic with our kind, all the continued provision of your love when the devaluation has already commenced will achieve is to cause you to be bound to us and it signals to us that there is more negative fuel to be drawn from you because of your desperation to remain with us and to try to apply love to cure a situation which has now become one which cannot be cured.
48 thoughts on “The Errors of the Ignorant – No. 1”
HG, your straight forward reply has put to rest many haunting questions and regrets.I thank you for the best Christmas gift… the freedom to forgive myself for his behavior.
You are welcome.
@BIBI – No, what you wrote didn’t upset me. Not at all. As for misconstruing what you wrote, perhaps in future it would help readers if you explained exactly what you think and why you think it. Give true examples. I ditto what Windstorm2 wrote. It’s also worth noting that Identity Erosion & PTSD (or C-PTSD) can play a huge part in how a recent survivor behaves in the aftermath. I didn’t know what day it was and suffered Dissociation Amnesia for months. Months. Heck, I was probably one of those survivors who believed in clouds and other dumb memes for a while. That in no way means that I, or any other recent survivor, is of less intelligence and was ‘probably’ with a Lesser N. Words have the capacity to hurt (until you know who you’re dealing with) so we must always, always, be Mindful. We must always try and be impeccable with our word. And if we don’t understand why some survivors believe what they believe, say what they say or do what they do, that is for them, not us, to work through on their very personal healing journey. It is not for us to judge their journey. It is not for us to judge any survivor. What we ‘believe’ is not always grounded in fact.
HG, I get that love can’t fix them, but can we make them worse? In other words, does the behavior of the IPPS contribute to or influence the underlying degree of narcissism?
I agree with Survivor about not shaming trauma survivors and with the rest of her post. Very well put!
I found my narcissistic abuse a humbling experience and I’m a better person because of it. I used to be so condescending about all these “weak” women that kept on going back to their abusers. I would never be so weak.
Now I know I’m one of them and that is OK. I’m human and I didn’t know what was happening. Now I know, so now I try to stay well away from narcs. These women probably don’t know yet, so they are not to blame.
Iris don’t waste your time on someone that lacks a moral compass. She feels better kicking someone down. Online of course 💅
I think that you are referring to Bibi in your post, aren’t you?
I have the advantage that I am totally new here and that I don’t know any of you. So I have no idea whether or not she has a moral compass or not. I’m sure I will find out soon enough though, but for now I will wait with my judgement on any of you.
I agree with what she said about these memes though: I find them nauseating.
It is awful to get all these “advices” when you have escaped/been discarded and people expect you to stay in good therms or keep the friendship with your nex. Had I heard about this blog earlier, I wouldn’t have implemented the “wrong no contact”, as I kept refeering about the narc to friends & family instead of politely declining to talk about it, Also, I wouldn’t have suffered the grand hoover, it would have avoided me so much trouble!
Go NC and treat them the same way they treat you.
Eventually they come looking for you. But it’s so hard to do and goes against everything our hearts tell us to do.
Finally learning after many years.
Yeah NinaFL, eventually they come back looking for you. No matter how much time passes. That is the problem. When you engage with them you lose and when you NC them they come back and you lose. It has been mentioned by HG that in their mind the narcissist owns you and that the relationship never ends until one of you is dead. That’s the solution. Treat them like their dead, even if you have to interact with them. Its ok to be rude.
Correct with one clarification, be rude to us by ignoring us but do not be rude by insulting us as you are more than likely going to provide Challenge Fuel.
We have to make our own decisions, based on what we live, see, find out and understand. But we have to be objective even when it doesn’t suit our feelings. That’s the hardest part! That’s what I’ve learned from…narc teachers: “it has to be done, no excuses allowed”, not in the egotistical meaning of those words (coming from narcs lips), but something you (now!) force yourself to do because you know later it will be better for all.
Slightly off topic:
We have to take it as training our will power: we can let emotional/physical abuse “kill” us (on the inside) or make us stronger. There is something called resilience which seems (there are statistical/experimental studies on that subject, conducted for more than 30 years) to make the difference between abused children/adults manifesting consequences or not. I have a link on this, very interesting article (in english), but I don’t know if it’s ok to leave it here, so those interested can at least search for the term and better understand it. It can make a difference when dealing with any kind of life problems.
Familiarity breeds contempt…
Excellent advice, HG. Love does not cover a multitude of sins, nor does it conquer all, when with involved with one of your kind.
To some very true but each narcissist is different. Good morning Jules
I must counter, SandraDee, as your underlying assumption is both incorrect and damaging to your fellow targets. Not some. All. If he/she is an N, that is it. No one can love the N out of them. No one. If I just try harder, if I just love him more, if he can just find the right girl to love. These statements are not only the source ingredients for the booze Ns distill, they are the thoughts that keep us drinking and addicted, killing ourselves in the process. Love cannot fix them. Period.
After a few disengagements we confuse love with fear, desperstion,disillusions and our own issues that have not been dealt with.
We lose ourselves, and love for self. I don’t think we really are capable of loving at that point.
All, is not lost it take work, lots of work on self. Our healing starts within, once we start that journey we realize its not so much what the narcs did…but what and why we allowed it.
Peace and Healing❤
H.G. I almost forgot to leave you my heart.
Good morning Yolo and J I want to believe so hard. That I can help but here lately I am finding my self just being drained. I am just gonna work on myself for a while. I want to feel good again. Thank you both for your replies. And my apologies for my late response ❤
Very good..Love dosnt work with the N.
Better go away and forget N..
True…go away but, remember most will have cravings for strawberry ice cream and return.
We need to be prepared to serve them a frost bitten ice princess.
The lesser is lactose intolerant, he will attempt after severall shots of vodka only to find out that makes matters worse.
This is excellent, HG. Victims blame themselves for the downfall of the relationship when, in fact, the ending was inevitable regardless of how hard they tried to ‘love’ the Narcissist. Rinse/Repeat.
But if the victim was providing lots of love to begin with, why would the golden period end? If that is all the Narcissist wants? Is it possible to avoid devaluation by just being loving all the time no matter what (not that that is possible, I am just wondering about the Narcissist’s end of it, i.e. – why does he begin to devalue someone who is still providing positive fuel to begin with?)
Because it becomes stale.
It would be fun to try to be even more unpredictable than a narc. Make him wish for some stale stability hahaha.
Maybe that’s why borderliners and narcs seem to works so well together (in a completely dysfunctional way off course). Their mutual craziness balances each other out.
“The problem may not be the frequency and/or quantity but the level of potency. We have, in essence, had too much of a good thing and our familiarity to your potent positive fuel means it has lost its allure. Consequently, by trying to give us more of something we have become ‘sickened’ to, is not going to work. It is like someone becoming tired of strawberry ice cream and you turning up with a huge tub of strawberry ice cream. You will not stop the devaluation. ”
Hmm…that makes a lot of sense when you put it that way.
It’s not only ignorant advice but trite as shit. I can’t stand those ‘feel good’ relationship platitudes. They’re so barfy and those dispensing it have no clue what they’re talking about. Badass pic though.
I’m with you Bibi.
I think those who subscribe to this thinking tend to be women (mostly women) of low intelligence who will likely attract Lessers. I’ve seen some relationship breakup ‘support’ groups on FB that share a bunch of memes like this with hearts and clouds and shit, which only contributes to more wallowing.
While it might sound incredibly self-serving to say this, I do believe that smarter individuals tend to realize something was wrong and they eventually uncover this disorder. They want to understand.
Those who believe in these silly platitudes never get anywhere. ‘If he loves you, he will come back to you.’ Yeah, like a hoover?
I’ve seen articles describe what they didn’t know was lovebombing and use this as a reason to say, ‘He is really into you!’ Well, your fuel is he into, for now.
And the few times I point this out, I get called a cynic, bitter, blah blah blah–yes my heart is black like the Devil in that pic (who is really buff btw–he must be somatic too, lol).
If being an empath means you embrace dumb memes then forget it. I hope they serve chilled wine in hell.
I agree, there are countless dumb memes which only serve to propagate inaccuracies and give people misplaced hope.
@BIBI – Nope! Being an Empath does not mean embracing dumb memes. Empaths have a huge amount of emotional intelligence are neither are they of less intelligence who, in your opinion, were with Lesser Narcissists. I have read many of these ‘dumb’ memes you refer to. Either from recent trauma victims still stuck in trauma-bonding / cognitive dissonance (eventually and thankfully they gain insight and move on from the trauma-bonding / posting ‘dumb’ memes – which were never dumb, simply an expression of how they felt at that time). Then I see oh so many dumb memes posted by Narcissists, Sociopaths, Psychopaths, Histrionics and Borderlines (yep, easy to spot). These dumb memes are indeed dumb, but are posted in support groups so as to cause aggression amongst the true trauma survivors. Bibi, we each have a duty to think before we speak. Words spoken or indeed written, have the capacity to cause harm to those ‘still in the dark’ and incorrectly blaming themselves for something which was never their fault. We must be careful not to ‘shame’ trauma survivors either directly or because we ‘believe’ what we say to be true. Empathy goes a long way and helps creates a much gentler, kinder society, don’t you think?
I agree. Think before we speak, edit before we hit send, because we can never know how fragile the listener/reader is or exactly what their personal reality is like.
Survivor: I am not trying to imply that simply being an empath means you embrace dumb memes, but rather, I was referring to how I myself was once misconstrued about what the term ’empath’ meant because of these dumb memes and how I did not subscribe to them. So they gave me a false impression.
” Empaths have a huge amount of emotional intelligence are neither are they of less intelligence who, in your opinion, were with Lesser Narcissists.”
I never claimed that they didn’t and nor did I say that empaths have less intelligence. My point was that those who subscribe and continually invest in trite memes seem to be of less intelligence. Anyone who really believes ‘Just love him more and it will work out,’ does not have a good understanding of the real issue.
And the FB groups I am referring to never mentioned narcissists or abuse of any kind. They weren’t even that insightful to realize this. They were actually doing more damage than good.
I am not trying to cause anyone harm or feel shame in their healing process and if my opinion upsets you, you are free to discard it. But I think you misconstrued a lot of what I said.
I understood the point you were making Bibi.
Welcome… Another borderline. I apologize in advance if you are not. I just found your response passive aggressive. Wait insert 😊.
H.G. refrain from triangulation. I think thats one of your 10 blog rules. Happy Face for you too..😊
Love can be a powerful tool if delivered the correct way
“Love can be a powerful tool” if accepted. It seems the lesson is that at a certain point, love or loving more, doesn’t matter. Once the pattern of devaluation and toxicity starts, pouring more love at the N is useless.
That only works if the person has a healthy spectrum of positive feelings.
I hope you don’t mean to imply that Love can heal a Narc… because it can’t. Nothing can. Full stop.
So what do we shower you with, if not love? I am currently being given the silent treatment. I was IPPS for a brief time on two different occasions and then devalued and given the silent treatment. The silent treatment usually lasts about 8 weeks. This isactually the third silent treatment. It matters not what I say he does not respond. I have expressed love, adoration, respect, admiration, undying loyalty. You name it, I have tried it to break the silence. All but no contact. So I have showered him with love and all that other crap. What are we to shower your kind with? It is all fuel. I have read various places that no contact breaks the silence. That is hard to do. My Narc isn’t violent physically, just emotionally, so it’s hard not to try and break through by contacting him.
If he is a narcissist, you have no need to try to contact him. Establish no contact during this silent treatment and gain a head start.
I have indeed established no contact. Thank you for your advice 🙂
You are welcome. Ensure it is robust.
NOBODY understands, or even believes, what we targets describe. It all sounds hysterical. Therapists have only academic knowledge of narcissism, which is incomplete. Understanding the dynamic, taking responsibility for embracing the dynamic more than once, with successive narcs; that’s only been possible because of this site. One ex managed to use his therapist to smear me to MY therapist because of that basic misconception. Yet another illuminating and liberating post. HG rocks 😉
So true, so frustrating and so isolating.
I really like the burning house analogy.