How To Make The Narcissist Return


To bastardise a phrase, “How does your emotional thinking affect thee, let me count the ways?”

“I still love her and I always will, I miss her so much.”

“I know what he is, but I don’t care, I just have to be with him, there is no point otherwise.”

“I cannot stand to be without him. The pain is too much, so I would rather have the ups and downs than nothing at all.”

“I understand her now, so I can control the situation better so I will not be hurt. I can make this work.”

“Since I understand him, I can explain to him that I do and he will realise and everything will work out for the best.”

“All I need to do is work on pleasing her and asserting my boundaries and we can get through this, love conquers all.”

“I am better than her and he will soon realise what he has lost and he will come back to me, we are soul mates and meant to be.”

“They say if you let someone go and they come back then it is meant to be. That is what I must do ; let him go and ensure he returns to me.”

“I know he has hurt me but I have done some bad things as well, so if we are honest with one another we will sort things out, I only want him and nobody else.”

“I know he is bad for me, but well, it is so boring without him. Nobody else compares to him.”

“I don’t care if he hurts me, I love him and I know he really loves me and that is all that matters in the end. Love hurts sometimes you know.”

All of the above are the product of the fraudulent effect of emotional thinking and a thousand thousand further phrases besides. I have heard so many and read even more. I have no doubt you can think of similar utterances and proclamations.

So, if the bond is so tight and the pain so awful that you cannot bear to be without the narcissist, why not make him or her come back to you after they disengaged from you. They wanted you once, they seduced you and goodness, how did they seduce you! Those magical, mesmerising days of golden, beautiful, flawless perfection. If only you can return to them. How might you go about achieving this? What steps can you take to ensure that the narcissist returns to you and not only returns but stays? After all, you know they are a narcissist now, you understand why he or she operates as they do, you recognise the manipulations and you are confident that you can handle the narcissist so that not only are you not hurt but so that you do not lose them. You have gained the power through knowledge haven’t you? Now, all you need to do is cast that magic spell to make us come back to you. What can you do to guarantee the return of the narcissist to your arms, to your home, to your bed?

  • Provide that positive fuel. Provide the narcissist with that reminder of the glorious and potent fuel that once drew us to you. Let it gush and fountain from you, with your praise, love and admiration for us. Do not hide it under a bushel, let it appear in vast quantities and often. Drown us in your positive fuel.
  • Make those traits of yours which we expressed admiration for shine and appear prominently so we see what rewards await us by coupling with you once more, so we can claim those traits once again. Make sure that your achievements are noticeable – that promotion, that recent big client win, the articles printed in the press, the new followers for your work and so on.
  • Ensure that the residual benefits are available once again. Have that house open to us whenever we choose, make it clear that money is available, let us know that we have a house keeper who will cook, clean and care for us, let it be known that yours is ours, that your contacts are accessible to us for our use, that we can plug into your networks once again and attend those prestige events. Whatever those residual benefits are, make it evident that they are ours for the taking.
  • Demonstrate penance for everything bad that you have ever done. Make it clear you were at fault and that we were not, recognise your shortcomings and apply the suitable mea culpa mea maxima culpa so we know your contrition is genuine.
  • Remove any obstacles. If you have a new partner, ditch him or her. Drop the restraining order. Obviously destroy the no contact regime. There should be no fence, wall or barrier to our glorious return.
  • If we have been bad mouthed in anyway, make sure this is overturned. Ensure that family, friends and colleagues speak well of us, correct any ‘misunderstandings’ they may have acquired about us and create a fertile ground for the growth of our new and improved façade.
  • Look and be your best to cater for the relevant cadre of narcissist, be it somatic, cerebral, victim or elite. Ascertain which we are and cater to that by adjusting your appearance, behaviour, outlook etc to align with what we want.
  • Demonstrate subservience once again and your willingness to submit to our authority. Be strong to the world at large, if that is the way you are, but ensure we know that you will roll over and want your tummy tickled by us on our return.

Those are the key grounds which cover the various matters which you need to attend to if you are looking to make us return to you after you have been disengaged from so that your pain and misery is swept away and you can embrace the wonderful new Golden Period Mk 2.

Will those steps detailed above guarantee our return?


You can never ever make us return.


This impossible outcome, much as you want and long for it, can never be guaranteed to happen for three reasons :-

  1. We are the controllers. We control, you are controlled. You do not tell us what to do, you do not make the decisions for us to obey, you do not bring about a situation because you want it, it happens if and because we want it. You may make the situation more appealing to us, granted, but even so there is never a guaranteed outcome. We must decide if we are to return. It is not even when we return, but if. It may never happen and if it happens it is only when we decide and on our terms. Not yours. You cannot compel us to these things. No matter how inviting you make it, no matter how much you place yourself on the sacrificial altar and declare that you will do anything and everything for us, it is not guaranteed to work because we must always have control and that means we must be the decision maker; and
  2. You do not know what else is occurring in our fuel matrix. No matter how well you tempt us with the creation of what you think is an inviting scenario, someone else in our fuel matrix may well be outshining you. If we have a new IPPS and we are in that golden period with them, there is NOTHING you can do to affect that. Our fuel needs may be met by a variety of appliances and therefore there is little need for you. You do not know the extent of our fuel matrix, how it is constituted, who is in it and what roles those people take. You do not know how much fuel is provided, how often and to what potency. You do not know how the character traits are supplied nor the residual benefits and because of this lack of knowledge, you can never have any guarantee that we will return to you.
  3. Our split thinking. If you are painted black, you are painted black and no matter what you do to try to shift that perception, you are not guaranteed to be able to do it. This means that you go can be superlative in your provision of fuel and all else but ultimately it will be scorned because your treachery (as seen by us) obscures and denigrates all that you do. You will remain black until we decide that you are white and whilst you might cause us to regard you as white because of something you do, you should note that

a. That still does not guarantee our return to you because of points 1 and 2 above ; and

b. Your turning white is usually as a consequence of someone else in our fuel matrix turning black and thus you have no control over that happening and when.

Furthermore, you may become painted white but you can soon become black very quickly and you have little control over how that happens.

How can you make the narcissist return to you?

You cannot.

You may want it to happen because you are being blinded by your emotional thinking. I understand that and you can tell me all the reasons why you want it to happen, how it will be different and so forth and I will shoot down each and every reason with ease.

You cannot make us return to you and one day, when the emotional thinking clears and logic prevails you will accept this and say

“I do not want the narcissist to return – because he is a narcissist.”

You will have then begun to seize the power.

95 thoughts on “How To Make The Narcissist Return

  1. Wisenedup says:

    The narcissist I was with seems to be mid-range from what HG describes in here .I was discarded suddenly, without warning in what HG describes as a “half answer ” on quora .

    Towards the end of the “discard talk” he wanted to continue to triangulate me with other sources of supply which i refused.I was shocked, devastated and confused .

    A part of me wanted to recreate the golden period and wanted him back no matter what he does including cheating.I was willing to ignore the manipulations,lies,manufactured cocktails of intimacy laced with scorn for having bought into his lies-all of it just so he doesn’t leave.The other part wanted to rip out his windpipe and gouge out his eyeballs after i have spit in his eye in public.But hell, I wanted him.Not having him was not an option.He had gotten under my skin.I was hooked.

    Not knowing of his disorder then and just dismissing him as someone generally unfaithful, I agreed to his “lets be friends ” proposal but did not initiate contact.

    The hoovers continued over 1.5 month, first greater in both frequency and intensity and then reducing on seeing I am not responding positively or acting needy.He also exhibited jealousy and rage at the loss of control. .

    Through fog and emotional pain I tried to piece together his actions and also things which seemed odd.Some of the significant things in this list were complete lack of empathy/care, zero actual friends, inability to bond,actions which seemed rehearsed/copied during intimacy.

    Also he told me in some of his weak moments that he struggled with accountability and had tried many things but nothing worked..He never was wrong.Never ever.Everything has to be done his way or not at all.He is beyond all rules,is better than everyone and can do exactly what he wants( which he tells people is “living independently without fear”).There was also a lot of latent rage in him which he covered up by being silent and generally adopting a people pleasing persona.

    He masqueraded as a life coach.He writes poetry and literature dripping with fake emotions he has learnt how to use to decorate his works and garner attention.

    Deep down he felt nothing.There was no deep down actually.

    He thrives on social media validation and uses it optimally to find sources of supply.He has no “quality requirements” when it comes to supply -anyone would do as long as they gave him attention.Same goes for sex.Anyone who showed even a flicker of interest in him would do even if she was a prostitute with STD’s or a deranged lunatic.

    It was all about hoarding and then utilizing supply.All the damn time.Still continues.

    The jigsaw had fallen into place thanks to resources on the internet ( HG and Sam Vaknin , Quora).

    I do not forgive.It is who I am.When someone hurts me i wait for my revenge and hurt them where it hurts most .And then I throw them out.I can, thereafter, walk past them.It took me 1.5 month to reach a stage of emotional detachment before I could even try to hurt him though.

    After 2 weeks of hardly any contact I sent him an email ( not laced with emotions) telling him I knew that he wore masks and loathed himself/could not stand his own company.This resulted in sudden, unexpected narcissistic injury.

    He responded with rage telling me to stop my emails and messages.The mask slipped.He lost control.I agreed.

    Two days later he blocked me on his precious Facebook.It was a childish control tactic meant to elicit a begging response from me ( and thus create drama which would provide fuel).

    I was left unblocked on all other social media though for a possible re-hoover ( after all i was jilted yet ex primary source of fuel).

    I did not respond.

    After a month of no contact i created a new facebook account and blocked him there.I have also blocked him on all social media, chatting apps and also over my phone.

    The blocks will not lift till either of us dies.

    His rage at the loss of control and successful escape is my fuel.

    P.S-I want him to claw at my now blank profile picture on whatsapp as he calls me the crazy bitch who got away.

    And HG, I love you !!!!

  2. On My Journey says:

    Sarabella your story is reallly touching me. He came back after 23 years , I thought he had finally realized that I was the one , that he had married the wrong woman….he can back for my money, for my house, for my friends etc

    This article hits home and hurts. I was almost only with Narcs – so I was never loved.

    I am keeping that last sentence and posting it on my kitchen board .

    Because I have manipulative tendencies ( I scores the highest woman in my business school history on the Machiavel test) I thought I could outsmart the Narc in my life and get him to come back – he is back – on his terms – and obviously everything I like and want he will not give me.

    So thank you for that article HG – and all the bloggers who commented – this one is really hitting home.

  3. Challenge Fuel says:

    “You do not tell us what to do, you do not make the decisions for us to obey, you do not bring about a situation because you want it, it happens if and because we want it.”

    There is ONE text message that will go down in narc history forever and that was when I challenged him.

    Me: “Oh nice of you to finally have enough courtesy to text me and let me know how you are doing!”

    Him: “I owe you no such courtesy. I will communicate with you if and when I choose to do so”

    Of course he apologized the next day because he wanted to take me off the shelf and play. Now that I am back on the shelf I still see and hear those words. Sadly, hearing those words “if and when I choose to do so” makes me try even harder to get him to talk to me, to get his attention.


    1. Ugotit says:

      Who the fuck does he think he is if he said that to me I would have went off on him which of course would have provided fuel but that’s one of the most assholish things I’ve ever heard

      1. Challenge Fuel says:

        The conversation began as he reached out to me and was pissed off that I included him on a group email with my best friend. He was so unbelievably paranoid thinking that my friend was going to out him to his wife for all of his indiscretions (she wasn’t). When I sarcastically said “it is nice to hear from you” that was when I got that response.

        Next day he was ass-kissing apologized. 🙄

  4. Somewhere over the rainbow says:

    «”…one day, when the emotional thinking clears and logic prevails you will accept this and say:

    “I do not want the narcissist to return – because he is a narcissist.”

    You will have then begun to seize the power.»

    So true, HG are you sure you’re not an empath? (just kidding!) Sometimes I can’t believe you’re so aware of feelings happening inside others, feelings you never had yourself.

    Thank you!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is called listening and observing others and thus becoming all the more effective.

  5. robins359 says:

    Great article. Very timely. Thank you.

  6. Pbw says:

    Jenna said it well here..letting go is so hard when you love them …all they do is hurt you over and over and you give them chance after chance…. I Guess I was on the shelf gave him $300 for his birthday and I didn’t even get the time of day … just hurt and used and have to deal with him on a daily basis and watch him be so nice to others…. it has left me beyond broke… stressed and heartsick… for a while i swore it broke my soul ….

    1. geyserempath says:

      Oh, Pbw, I know it is difficult. I give expensive gifts, too, only for him to ignore me and be nice and attentive to others. That is how they operate. Keep reading HG’s items. You will heal.

      1. Pbw says:

        I do … he helps alot… otherwise not sure if I would be sane still … I gave all kinds and $ …. if only I had known… I’m still giving and getting crumbs …

    2. Pbw says:

      It sad they don’t love or care

    3. narc affair says:

      Hi pbw…im sorry youve been treated tgis way but sadly its the way of the narcissist depending what stage of the cycle youre in. Dont expect anything. Quite often they take delight in the fact you spend money on them and get little or nothing back in return bc its power to them…a false sense of power tho bc they prey on good hearted people.
      It is very hard to let go bc we actually felt genuinely for them. They on the otherhand can move on to someone else quickly bc they dont feel that same connection. Its a personality disorder and that is the core of it. Youre not dealing with a healthy minded person.

      1. geyserempath says:

        Narc Affair – you always give such good advice and know exactly what to say. Thank you!

      2. Pbw says:

        Narc affair … thank you… made me cry … I have been shelved I guess… not sure what stage as all of a sudden he is being nice and calling me by pet name … no relationship sexually just being nice… so odd…. I have found myself buying Xmas gifts for him and I don’t know why when he has been a jerk prior… I try to remind myself of the disorder but hard when you see him being normal to others ….

        1. K says:

          I am so sorry! They do not love or care and it is heartbreaking to read your comments. It is devastating and cruel, the way they behave. I have been exactly where you are right now and it is excruciating. Please, when you feel a little better check out this article. It is difficult to read but it will give you perspective. My heart goes out to you.

          1. Pbw says:

            K …thank you … and yes will read ….. wondering when you get over them …. it’s all one big game to them … they don’t care but yet you find yourself trying to make them … but you can’t … doesn’t matter what you do or buy … or give… and yet I feel sorry for him

      3. Pbw says:

        Narcaffair… not sure what stage … but I’m on the shelf… sadly I’d give a lot to be off it…. I miss him terribly … and he did move on …and enjoyed watching me hurt… thank you for your kind words

    4. Jenna says:

      Pbw and geyserempath,

      I got my nex a gift once, b4 i was ipps. He was very appreciative. After i became ipps, i didn’t give him any gifts (nor did he give me any). As i stated earlier, he never borrowed a cent frm me. It was ‘above’ him to borrow money.

      The prblm i faced was whenever he hurt me thru withdrawing, deflecting, blame shifting, or postponing/cancelling, he wud be sooo nice abt it, or he wud apologize within 3 days (yes, i always used to count the number of days it took to apologize). He wud spend so much time trying to win back my attention (becoz he knew i was disappointed, confused, or hurt since i wud express it), that i wud accept his apology and all wud be good again. He also never insults me, nor engages in name calling, and is never violent. He’s always v polite, well mannered, and feigns compassion like an expert. This is why i find it difficult to hate him. If he had given me a harsh devaluation, i would have hated him.

      This is what everyone needs to leave the narc – a harsh deval. Sometimes i think, maybe it is better to provoke and provoke beyond imagination, ignite their fury, so one can get that harsh deval, and then finally start seeing him for what he truly is, and then ‘hate’ him. It must make leaving the narc easier i am thinking.

      1. Windstorm2 says:

        I don’t think that would work. If we provoked and provoked, then when the fury and devaluation came, our emotional thinking would eventually turn the blame onto ourselves. We’d excuse their behavior as just being a natural reaction to our being provoking and mean.

        It really is like HG says about the emotional battles. We have to get beyond our emotional connection to them and be able to look at them dispassionately and see the situation logically. That’s the key. We don’t have to provoke. We don’t have to retaliate. We don’t have to hate. We just have to stop emotional thinking. We have to truly not care what they do or dont do. We have to separate our life and happiness from being dependent at all on their actions. That’s what makes us free – when our life and happiness is not connected to them anymore.

        1. Ugotit says:

          For me its good I let him back for the second time cuz I get to see how rapidly the lies and abuse and devaluation start again each time he’s not even trying to maintain the facade last night I sent him a message asking why is it that he can’t like a single one of my selfies but he can tell every other woman on Facebook she looks like an angel I sent the message and went to bed and woke up to this reply I can’t see your question Facebook is controlling what messages I can see in my country can u fucking imagine he obviously saw the message or why would he reply at all and he thinks I. Stupid enough to believe something so idiotic so instead of denying he’s doing it he’s gonna pretend he couldn’t see my message what a delusional sick fuck

          1. Windstorm2 says:

            I’m that way, too. Seeing their behavior and understanding it for what it is helps me let them go emotionally.

  7. Erin says:

    I think I must have been a little naughty because I posted something that was never allowed to be seen. I suspect because it made reference to a hot topic. If that was the reason, I apologise H.G 🙂

  8. Julie says:

    He keeps creating new email addresses to send me love notes. I keep deleting them and sending them to spam.

    I truly don’t think he understood that when I told him I was done, I am well and truly done with him. I told him “you don’t get to get me back. We can’t even be friends” The very last time I said anything to him before going no contact. I told him why. Then said goodbye. Considering what he did (it was pretty unforgivable), I was more than fair explaining it that last time.

    He’s gotten so desperate for fuel, he’s attempted using his cat as a means to hoover me.

    I continue blocking the new emails. I am an emotional creature, yes. But When it comes to him, I’m as cool and calculated as he ever was. The parts I did love turned to ash in less than a moment. The parts I wanted to make better or help him with, went up in flames. Now there’s only cold ash. Nothing left to relight. I don’t miss him, I don’t miss the misery, and I don’t miss being contacted by one of his exes and harassed.

    1. K says:

      A kitty cat hoover. They will stoop to anything for fuel.

  9. Bubbles🍾 says:

    Dear Mr Tudor,

    It’s easy to make them disappear …. 😂

    Wonderful advice as always

  10. Jenna says:

    Even if i wanted to, it is impossible to carry out the 8 steps to ‘possibly’ have the narc return, depending of course on the other 3 factors described. positive fuel is easy and i enjoy it. I like making pple happy. I only say what i sincerely believe tho. It will always be genuine. can i let my traits shine when i am so depressed without him? My traits don’t shine these days. I have become more quiet.

    3.residual benefits no longer apply after he moved

    4.”Make it clear you were at fault and that we were not, recognize your shortcomings… ”
    I will accept my faults. If it was not my fault, I cannot accept it. Sure, being without him leaves me panicking. But telling him that he is not at fault when he is, leaves me slightly panicking too. I feel unsettled inside, i feel palpitations. I feel that justice needs to be served. In the least, i used to say i understand why he did it – due to his childhood abuse and him having a different mindset/reality, but i can never tell him what he did was ok.

    5.i will not remove my partner (obstacle) currently becoz he is a non-narc and he is safer

    6.overturn him being bad mouthed? U mean tell them that the online sex profiles were made up by me thru an app of some sort? No. I won’t do that.

    7.”look and be your best…” – that’s achievable becoz weight, fitness, and fashion are always important to me.

    8.i am somewhat subservient in general. I feel comfortable with it cuz i was always ‘bossed around’ by family members while growing up. But if it means ignoring when he does wrong, eg. if i know he is lying, then i HAVE TO let him know that i know he’s lying. Otherwise, i feel uneasy.

    1. Pbw says:

      I must be the only one that wants mine back … 🙁

      1. Recovering Narcoholic says:

        No, Pbw… In a way, we all want them back. But what we want back is the dream. The false person they showed us. The illusion that they loved us. The fake relationship that never really existed. And we can never, never have that back once we know what they really are. Thank goodness.

        1. jenna says:

          Revoveringnarc and pbw,

          I wanted him back even without the mask, as a friend. I did not want the illusion. I did not want the false person. I wanted him, maskless. I loved him. Just because he was an illusion, does that mean i must stop loving him? I feel, for me only (not judging anyone else), that would make me as selfish as the narc. I wanted a fairytale romance and once that was taken away, i am disappointed? I no longer love him? So, basically, i only loved him for what he could provide me with, which is love? That is a kind of fuel, no? Easily replaceable – just get someone else to love me? I don’t think that way. I loved HIM, not his ‘fuel’, not the ‘love’ that he provides me. I just loved him. ‘He’ was an illusion. But under that illusion is a living, breathing human being. I still love him and always will. I thought i was detached frm him. I was fooling myself. I am not detached frm him at all, nor will i ever be. I have accepted it. But i cannot take him back. He leaves me doubting myself. He is not violent, nor does he borrow a cent frm me, nor do i have kids with him. This may be why i have a softer approach perhaps. If kids were involved, i would absolutely hate him i am sure.

          Pls don’t think i am directing this at u at all. I am just thinking out loud, in a way. Your situation will be different frm mine. And everybody’s feelings are different. I respect everyone’s feelings towards the narc, whether it be hatred, pity, anger, sadness, peace.

          I just felt like thinking out loud. Thank you for allowing me that opportunity.

  11. Ugotit says:

    He’s back so depressing

  12. DaddyEmpath says:

    Nice!!!! I haven’t chatted on your site in awhile…. HG thank you for helping seize the power… please for those who really would like to gain insight, this site is very helpful to understand narcissism in its true form.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  13. sarabella says:

    I could never have done any of those things even if I wanted to in order to try to entice him back. My anger and hurt was too great to ever think I couldn’t live without him or anything like that. He went way too far. Lately, I miss alot of things, but I know they weren’t real. The moment I ever forget the depth of hurt and betrayal is the day I might get into trouble. It is interesting to me now, to see where I learned to never fully forgive or forget. My wonderful mother taught me that one, of that I am now sure. But as a consequence of observing her control freak behaviors in addition to being on the end of her abuse (emotional and neglect), each repeated offense on her part, guaranteed the hurt could never heal.

    Its that way with him too. I won’t ever forget how badly he betrayed me and lied to me, no matter how much my mind might slip and want to forget what he did at times. Its like it is psychically impossible for me. And being so ‘honest’, I could never even fake it for him if I wanted to. So I guess, I am safe forever now. Nothing like a good narc innoculation to keep them away.

  14. DeJaVuDo says:

    This is truly an awesome article!!!! I loved every word!!

  15. K says:

    I never want to see that candy-ass-bitch ever again!

  16. Lori says:

    Very powerful and enlightening.

  17. Ratatoskerin says:

    With the premise that I absolutely agree that you cannot MAKE a narcissist return, I hope you won’t mind if I add something, H.G.
    This might not be the same with all narcs, of course, but of the 3 narcissists I was in a relationship, all 3 came back and trie to resume the relationship (all my exes returned, to tell the truth, although I only ever “took back” 1 of them)
    I found that, especially with the narcs, there was 1 common denominator:
    Although after the breakup with 2 of them (I dumped the victim, ugh) I was in a terribly morose state, I made a point of NEVER showing the world what a mess I was, not even my closest friends and family. I stayed closd away if I had to cry, but whenever I had to see someone or was in public, I made a point of looking good, being well dressed, staying fit, and having a smile on my face and an easy laugh. I would go out and make a point of sharing happy, cheerful statuses on social media, also commenting on lovely events or evenings I was having. I did not contact them, but I knew they would probably know somehow, although at the time I hadn’t realised what they were.
    To the world, I was enjoying my freedom and my happiness.
    This attracted back the exes, after about a month or 2.

    This part only pertains to my elite narc: in the 2 month period of his disengagement, I began a brief relationship with a guy but I soon left him…At the time I did not know it, but the guy was a friend of someone who knew the narc, although the 2 had never met. The guy told the Narc’s friend about me, after our breakup, particularly he talked about how he would miss my skills in the field of fellatio. Soon after the greater returned into my life and mentioned it, clearly hoping to get a reacton and clearly unsettled (I was unfased, if not pleased, I think that did not sit well with him), while trying to reinstate me as his IPPS.

    I think a part of their pride might have been wounded, maybe seeing me so happy made them doubt the power they had, or perhaps (this might be truest for the greater) it made the narc think that I was a quick-to-heal appliance that had a longer staying power than expected, and the idea of people wanting me made the narc reassessing me, much like a child suddenly wanting the toy he had thrown away when he sees someone pick it up…It seems likely

    I don’t know exactly why, but this method has never failed in having the exes try to resume the former relationship in a very active manner,mine is just conjecture.
    What do you think, H.G? Did showing a blissfully happy, popular, content image help cause the narcs to retry it with me?

    Do not worry: I took none of my Narcs back.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      The manifestation of your contentment was clearly a factor but that in itself would not result in the return of the narcissist. There are other applicable factors, as described in the article, which resulted in their return, your containment was just an influencing factor.

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        HG, so if manifestation of contentment is a factor working towards drawing the narc back, does this follow that if the appliance lets the narc know she feels lost without him, etc., this actually keeps him away? Does this depend on the nature of the appliance? Say if this is a shelved secondary source?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Rather than occupy your mind on determining what MAY draw the narcissist back or what MAY keep the narcissist away, focus on the fact the individual is a narcissist and therefore get out and stay out.

      2. Insatiable Learner says:

        HG, even though I appreciate the sentiment, I find it rather patronizing. I have read you say this many times with respect to other posters comments to you when supposedly you found their comments patronizing. So what about you sir? I asked a question as you encourage us to do to continue gaining understanding but received no answer to the question but rather a slap on the wrist. If I thought you actually cared about me, I might have taken it differently but I know you don’t. By the way, before my most recent brief contact with the narc (a few months ago), I was the one who stayed away from him by not initiating any contact at all even though I could have and would have received a response any time I wanted but instead suffered through the excruciating pain of emotional withdrawal daily for many months. It was hellish and the relief was only a text message away but I stuck it out and stayed with my feelings and emotions no matter how agonizing. I deleted pics, emails, texts, never looked at any social media, etc. I am so much better now but not yet healed or reached indifference but I am a damn good fighter and am proud of it!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I actually answered your question in two ways.

          1. I explained that it MAY push away the narcissist; and
          2. I made the salient point that it is more effective to realise someone is a narcissist and to get and stay out as opposed to applying thought to whether certain behaviour will attract or push the narcissist away.

          I recognise the questioning style of particular readers and can identify the real reason why the question is being asked – usually when the reader does not even realise it themselves. The classic example is the question – will he hoover me? Some ask because they do not want it to happen, some ask because they want it to happen but know it looks bad if they admit that to be the case so they ask it based on wanting to stay away from the narcissist and some ask because they want it to happen but do not even realise that is the case.

          Accordingly my answer was provided in a way to assist you twice over.

      3. Insatiable Learner says:

        Thank you, HG! Fair enough. You are indeed very perceptive. I do like it about you very much along with you not sugar-coating anything. I appreciate you sir!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

  18. Insatiable Learner says:

    HG, this is a fantastic article but there seems to be a contradiction between what you wrote in your “no contact suicide part 2” article and what you wrote in this one. Here, you are saying “we must decide if we are to return. It is not even when we return, but if. It may never happen.” In the other one, you are saying that if we leave the electronic means of communication open, we will be hoovered. How do you reconcile this seeming contradiction?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is not a contradiction, it is to demonstrate to you that it is OUR decision not yours.

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        I see. Thanks so much for clarifying!

  19. DebbieWolf says:

    Also..outlining all the concessions that have to be made..the pointing them out this way shows the giant eggshells a person will have to balance on and the absolute compromise of ‘self’ that is endured… going back to even a tad of any of the above is totally impossible, for me at least.
    I literally cannot do that.
    I can’t.
    I will not betray myself.
    Loyalty starts here..with me first.
    Respect starts here..with self first.
    That way loyalty and respect can be given to others with love and sincerity too.

    Ever onwards 🐾

  20. Duh says:

    Well shit. The first one. I have been doing the first one. I haven’t been wanting him back or anything, and have done NO CONTACT (even though he’s quit trying to contact me), but I have. been. doing. that. first. one. Jesus.

  21. DebbieWolf says:

    An excellent helpful article.
    Upsetting for some to really digest this but the clarity here explained deals out the resignation required to enable moving forward.
    Many thanks.

  22. Catherine says:

    That’s a good reminder of the futility of it all to all of us still longing for our narcissists. I still hurt, I’m reminded of him constantly even though I try to steer clear of all thoughts of him. I pass our favourite restaurant on my way to work every day, I watch TV and see someone smiling the way he used to do, I still find his stuff in drawers and closets around my apartment. So yes, I miss him.

    But I do know that the person I miss with all my heart never was real; I don’t want the abuser back into my life wreaking havoc wherever he went, in need of constant attention and needing me to defend his dysfunctional actions to the world at large. I don’t want a person constructed almost entirely out of defense mechanisms leaving him empty and hollow, devoid of any kind of true identity without the fuel induced state he prefers.

    My narcissist was really agressive, acting out constantly, never aware of his inner frustration and turmoil causing it all. He was in constant denial, never being able to ascertain the fact that he was the odd one out; the troublemaker. He projected all his own condemning shortcomings and horrible traits unto others, never accepting blame for anything at all. He was completely devoid of emotional empathy and the most egotistic person I ever met. He created a scary gap between words and reality for me. He had an overwhelming need to control his environment and to manipulate to get what he wanted. He was a sadist who schemed and played puppet master behind the scenes. He punished with isolation, passive aggression and finally physical violence. He was really pathetic and weak, the worst kind of bully.

    Why would I ever want him back in my life?

    1. sarabella says:

      no reason. I run down the same sort of story of what he really was. I should copy yours and use it to remind myself when I have those “missing” moments.

      1. Catherine says:


        I guess all these narcissists attend some evening class together learning the ropes.. ha, ha.. It’s useful though to keep that kind of list as a reminder. The heart isn’t exactly logical.

  23. geyserempath says:

    Now that I am a shelved IPSS, being devalued, I don’t want the Narc back as a boyfriend, ever. I only wanted to stay friends with him and for him to treat me like he does all his other female friends, even those he had a one or two time tryst with. However, none of them were ex girlfriends and all of them live far away so he doesn’t see them regularly, only on FB. Is it because I lasted so long (a year) that he won’t allow us to stay friends?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are deluding yourself by saying you just want to remain friends with him, you are stating this to convince yourself that it is acceptable to remain in contact with an individual who has badly treated you. He will do so again. You do not need to be friends with him nor do you, as a Shelf IPSS get to make that decision.

      1. sarabella says:

        Yep. He tried in his discard when he was publicly called out by me to say, “Well, it wouldn’t work between us, blah blah, and I am sorry if you don’t want to be friends.” With friends like what he did, who needs enemies?!

        I later told him, he was never my friend. He even tried to pull the “we were old friends” and I called him on that one. He discarded me 30 years ago, lied about why, then had the nerve to say we were old friends?

        Not, that was just the narc delusion that its never over but we were NEVER friends. He used that cleverly in his future faking and past faking (there is such a thing with hoovers), but we were never nor could we ever ever become friends.

      2. geyserempath says:

        HG: I need to be spoken to directly and bluntly. It helps me. I am being delusional wanting to remain friends with someone who is abusive and I do NOT get to make that decision as he is entirely in control. Thank you so much, once again!!

      3. narc affair says:

        Great advice but a hard pill to swallow.

    2. Bubbles🍾 says:

      Hi geyserempath,
      From someone who was “friends” with a narc …
      Whhhhhhhyyyy do you want to stay friends ? What exactly do you get out of it? Take control sweet pea and GET OUT NOW!
      TRUST ME!!!!
      You’ll be glad you did and you’ll never look back.
      “YOU” START AND TAKE CONTROL ….. NOW!!!!!!!!!!

      Best wishes

      1. Bubbles🍾 says:

        Sorry, I didn’t mean to shout …. you said you like direct and blunt … just trying to help … Haha

      2. geyserempath says:

        Thank you, Bubbles, I really appreciate you reaching out. I am the kind of empath that has to stay friends with everyone..even my ex-husband (who is not my Narc). It cuts me that my Narc can be friends with other women he was involved with (one time dalliances, etc…) and yet, not me. You and HG are right. WHY would I want to remain friends with him. I have implemented No Contact.

    3. narc affair says:

      The old friends question…ive contemplated this one sooo much over the past 7 yrs and as stated its bc i didnt want to let go. With a narc its all or nothing. Either stay and endure the cycle of abuse the best you can or sever ties altogether and gth out once and for all. Theres no friendship to be had bc youll still face the cycle of abuse bc the narc is in it perpetually. The fact you were intimate especially puts you in that cycle. Theres so many areas that would go wrong if you stayed friends:

      Hed get insecure with you around another guy and…devalue you.
      Hed want more and…devalue you.
      Hed play head games bc hed resent that youre ok being just friends. Thats taken as an ego blow. Again devalue is needed.
      Hed give you even more shelving and silent treatments.
      Devalue devalue devalue…theres no escaping it.

      Its a perpetual cycle you cant escape. Even as a friend of a narc you will be in that cycle. My daughter had a narc friend and experienced this cycle until she ended the friendship.

      Id bet his other exes or seemingly friends have experienced devaluments youve maybe not seen.

      1. Nuit Étoilée says:

        Thank you NAffair, this was the message i needed..

        Ok, HG, go ahead and lecture me – I’ll dare confess..

        I allowed myself to be hoovered.. i got cocky bc i’d stayed “frosty” as you’d previously advised… but then i allowed a conversation to continue.. and my curiosity (aka emotional thinking) crowded out my better judgment…

        We met. He trampled my boundaries.. i found it a lot harder than i care to admit to walk away.. and damn it did feel good to be desired.. an abuser an asshole a liar

        Right.. i liked myself better before i gave in.. so Im trying to remember that..

        Is there a sign or a time elapse i can hold as my goal that would indicate I could go NC & block without fear of his retaliation?
        *or maybe if I can discern he has a new ipps?

      2. Nuit Étoilée says:

        Oh please HG, I really was looking forward to having your advice – how long should I wait before I can block my narc & escape?
        ..he’s an MR.. I don’t like to think he would actually retaliate… do you?

        Aren’t you going to lecture me?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Why wait?

        2. K says:

          No lectures Nuit Étoilée, however, you may be consigned to “The Naughty Steps” if you don’t get your no contact up and running.

      3. Nuit Étoilée says:

        ..bc of my fear he will tattle on me.. and reveal our secret..

        ..but considering that his hoover was cowardly, i am hoping he would rather try a pity play if i block – try to reach me & try again rather than let go of that power… would be better for me if i could block so i could make it a lot more difficult to get in touch w me… our lives thankfully don’t overlap much..

        ..on the other hand, if I could maintain better self control, i could just ignore him & that would be that..

        Why did you originally recommend me not to block him immediately?

      4. Sophia says:

        Friend and supply source are entirely different things. Friendship is reciprocal, mutually beneficial, and healthy. My ex MMRN had very few “friends” and many sources of supply which he repeatedly hurt and failed to see why. I tried to be a friend and it didn’t end well.

    4. Bibi says:


      Trying to be ‘friends’ with someone who has treated you like gum on the bottom of his shoe will only erode you and your feelings of self-worth because by keeping him around, you’re basically saying it is ok for him to treat you like an object to be shelved.

      My narc experience was with a ‘friend’ and I actually thought I could handle just having an intellectual friendship with him, despite his having treated me like a 3rd rate trash.

      He was also gay and I actually convinced myself that the reason he mistreated me and lied to me for 7 yrs about his identity was because he didn’t understand women and that I needed to be understanding of this. You can see the err in my logic, then.

      Remaining ‘friends’ with this guy will only make you part of his harem, thus allowing him to continue to drop into your life at his convenience, never yours.

      1. geyserempath says:

        Thank you so much, Bibi. Your experience sounds awful as well! You are right, I do not need to remain friends with him and have taken steps to draw away.

  24. RJ says:

    Mother in law. Lost husband last year. Arse she got knocked up by when she was 15/16 (which he denied at the time) is now sniffed his way back in. His wife died of cancer a few months ago. He was sniffing around the house before she died. He has a least two other il legit kids around. Ran around on his wife. It has been suggested he tried to get with the daughter (who was 14 at the time) of him and mother in law. Could explain why she is the way she is! His legit son doesn’t speak to him now because of this crap. The son also found out on facebook last year that he had a sister. Nice to find out when you are 45. My wife is pissed at this debockle! Her mother says ” I think we have got a second chance.” That’s a 50 plus year HOOVER. My question is second chance at what? Open your eyes for F sakes woman. She wants him, no matter what, even with all the facts. Lonely is one thing but why set your self up for failure again. It’s like he’s a prize to her. She believes people change. He’s a 70 year old Narc. Lots of practice, no consequences. Some people don’t believe or know this narcissism is real. Its not just looking at a reflection.

  25. NinaFL3 says:

    Best one yet, HG!! Thank you for clarifying all of that and dispelling the emotional thinking. It is so hard to let go of the feelings.

  26. An_eternal_student says:

    “I do not want the narcissist to return – because he is a narcissist.”
    You will have then begun to seize the power.

    And what a grand and glorious gift it is to finally not want or need such debilitating energies and presence in my life.
    I am free.

  27. Windstorm2 says:

    I think my turning point in all my narcs relationships was when I truly understood that they didn’t care what I wanted or what I needed. Even more than that, if they saw that something was very important to me, they often would purposely deny it, even if it was something very easy for them to do. As you say, HG, this was to prove their power over me and that I can not control them in any way. People who love me would not behave that way.

    Understanding this made me realize that they could not possibly love me if they did not care about my feelings. This realization killed my emotional thinking like a thunderstorm on a campfire and it has been dead ever since. Once I truly accepted that my narcs do not love me and never loved me and in fact are incapable of loving me, then my healing truly began and my life began to fill with purpose and joy. I believe that truly accepting that they will never love us is the key to our healing.

    1. DebbieWolf says:

      Well put WS2. Your comment shares your feeling on this and inspires resolve. Thank you for sharing this.

    2. Sarabella says:

      I had the same epiphany. I even finally told him he can’t love, he doesn’t know a thing about it. Because if he could, he would never have wanted to hurt me like he did. And that is how I gave it all up finally. There remains the residual shock of it all, but I have no doubt he is utterly incapable of loving or bonding with anyone. The depth of grasping this is when it stopped being about my shortcomings and weaknesses and it all became about his massive shortcoming : he truly cannot love.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        And by understanding this Sarabella you take a huge step forward.

      2. Catherine says:


        I find your insight to be so true and so achingly sad. There’s no love with a narcissist, no bonding, no intimacy, no respect. You can’t get trough to them however hard you try. And I did try. We all did to no avail.

      3. Recovering Narcoholic says:

        And the corollary to that realization is knowing that the new appliance isn’t getting (and will never get) anything more real from him than you did.

      4. sarabella says:

        Thank you HG. You helped push me through to the final parts that I could not ever see.

        What made it profoundly hard for me was that he represented what I wanted so badly as a young girl. HIM. But he was already on his way to becoming a full blown malignant narcissist and I suspect, I was just his first major victim. But I wanted him badly then. And he took himself from me and I blamed myself because of what I looked like. An injury some never saw, but he did. And even with that, many people always called me beautiful, some never even noticed is because they saw the light beautiful aura in and aroun dme. But he used it. It was the only thing he had on me.

        But when he hoovered after 30 years, and picked at that wound and hurt me profoundly again, I slowly started to look at all the women I knew had been in his life since I had known him. Beautiful women. Married to someone with a whole lot of money. And that is when I started to slowly understand that looks had NOTHING to do with it. He used it as his weapon of pain. But it really had not a thing to do with it.

        He created the greatest ache in me as a teen and reflamed that hurt. But what helped me to wake up is that I saw all these women who had also let him close and they were beautiful, smart some, kind. Nothing probably ever wrong with him. It was all HIM. He was the problem. It was in fact, always him.

        When I feel the hurt flare up, its my old pain around blaming myself, and I try to get my brain to stop the emotions because the emotions are just old records playing. Records that played in a certain way because I was too young at the time to know he was already messed up. No one had taught me that even as 17 year olds, some of them are already messed up boys and already badly damaged. And he was. And he used me then as he did again. And even though one of his pity plays was not finding love and this and that around love, I knew it was not true because of all the women I knew who had been in his life. IF beauty was all he wanted and needed, he would have found a way to keep at least one of them in his life. He didn’t. He didn’t keep any of them because he couldn’t. Because he cannot LOVE.

        And so yes, no matter how much he made it seem they got what I never did, they only got a bit more than me, but never what I had wanted. Because what I had wanted, he could never create with anyone. He is stunted and warped that way.

        It is alwo helpful to remind myself of the 3 levels one must battle this on and when it feels like I am slipping into hurt, I encourage my mind to take over and remind myself of the facts. My hurt is not love. The depth of the hurt is NOT synonymous with the depth of love. It is just really the depth of hurt. And I really didn’t miss anything when he never chose me. I was hurt he never tried to, even after 30 year Hoover Take 2, but I really had never missed ONE thing really.

        Its a wierd back and forth. To ache and long for something you know will never happen or you know you would never have even gotten and not through my own fault but because of him. It was ALWAYS him.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

        2. MLA - Clarece says:

          Well said Sarabella. I identify with many of your insights and feelings. That is the prevailing thought I have that when I may catch myself having sentimental thoughts, is that no one will achieve what I tried so hard to have with my Narc. Someone may come along who may last a long time with him for purposes of the facade but behind closed doors, she will have her hands full with iciness and silent treatments and walking on eggshells to navigate with him. He won’t ever be capable of true intimacy or bonding.
          My daughter, in junior high, upon hearing JN texted me back on Thanksgiving, told me I better not respond. Which I did not. She said, “he just spreads you like butter, then watches you melt away.” That is the ultimate fate of anyone trying to stay and make it work. My wish is my daughter grows up to be a Narc’s worst nightmare, never putting up with their manipulations.

          1. sarabella says:

            Yes, exactly. I used as he intended, my one weakness as the reason it all was so awful. And when I suddenly realized that looks didn’t matter one bit because he has SO, SO many choices to end up with very attractive women. If money is what he wanted, he shouldn’t have blown it with his wealthy ex who divorced him and kicked him out. They remail “friends” but they also parents to 3 boys. So he had beauty, money, was young, charismatic and he got launched out on his ass. And it helped that someone told me he can’t hold on to any relationships. Because even if he lures us in, we all soon see how psychotic he is. Hurts like hell to wake up, and in my case, I had to re-live very painful teen feelings that nearly did me in (Wonder if that was intentional on his part!!!). But when I was able to get very objective, I saw that all the things I was beating myself up about would not have mattered if they had been different. He was and will always be the primary problem.

            I am glad I got in some final wounding… told him he may lure people in, but no one is going to ever stay with him. They will take what they can get (money when he has it, his super fun energy) but when they discover that Other Side, the smart and healthy ones will be gone, if not right away, then eventually.

        3. Windstorm2 says:

          Sounds like you’ve got it figured out. It does get easier with time. I had to go through the 5 stages of grief like when someone dies. Maybe because my hope had died. But once I worked through all the stages, I’m now left with a sort of apathy. When I meet one of them now or they come into my 6th sphere and I think about them, I just feel an indifference- or a sort of mild curiosity like, “So, wonder how you’ll act today?” But there’s no emotion attached. It’s more like watching tv.

          1. sarabella says:

            Yes, so many stages of grief and like any grief that profound, it brought up lots of old unresolved grief. A huge amount of related grief. My hope didn’t want to die. Hope that he and I could have been friends, which is what I wanted to begin with until he took us both into that seductive realm. After that, there was no going back. So the hope had to die about our being friends. And then, he helped kill it by finally saying that there was nothing ever between us. All those times I asked him to “let me go” and properly say good bye to me, he just ignored. Whether he was finally pushed by my Super Nova mode, or he just was sick of me at last, he finally told me that there was nothing between us so that killed all remaining bits of hope. Doesn’t matter if HG says they say these things all the time, for me, it served the purpose of knowing had never meant a thing. It was all lies and fabrications. And he finally made himself very clear. And I could feel even more awful as I did anyway, but then I just do an inventory of about 5 women I know where were in various stages of friendship and romance with him while I was pinning away, and they are all gone, too. Its him.

            I look at it now, its just old unrequited love and he is nobody but someone who didn’t want me and never had. Makes it easier sometimes than to see the great con game he ran on me. Takes away his power and empowers me to view the story as just another love story that never was meant to be, than to see all the awful things that happened and know just how dangerous and evil he always was.

          2. MLA - Clarece says:

            Again, very similar mindsets Sarabella. I used to write and connect a lot with the stages of grief, so I don’t want to be redundant there. On viewing the relationship as unrequited love gone wrong, that about sums it up for me. I heard no and got rejected enough that I finally heeded the message. Now, I completely understand why it went wrong from being here and that gave the closure that I would also beg JN for and never get.

    3. Kat says:

      So true… But it`s so hard to accept ..especially for an empath who barely can handle a thought there there is something in the world that can`t be fixed or healed.

  28. narc affair says:

    How about getting HG to return? 😄

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Oh HG always returns.

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        Welcome back, HG! I missed you! Glad you have returned!

      2. Nuit Étoilée says:

        Is that a promise? Or are you future-faking?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Neither. It is a fact.

  29. Chingona says:

    The last sentence is something no mental health professional or friend will ever tell you. It’s not easy to discover on your own. You can’t win a power struggle with a narc unless you walk away emotionally, mentally and metaphorically. I refuse to pine or wallow. i refuse to follow the script. i’m stronger than all of them…. i’m just addicted to the dynamic, which is, frankly, as impersonal for me as it is for them. Empathy have a hard time taking care of themselves. most. humans have a hard time letting go. choose the future, the past doesn’t exist.

  30. stix no stones says:

    The Fable “the frog and the scorpion” I can’t help it because I’m a scorpion.

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