Just The Way It Is

JUST THEWAY IT IS

 

By now you all know that I am driven by the hunger that rages within me as I must seek out fuel to feed the beast. To begin with, my fuel comes from the compliments and admiration you send my way during our golden period. Yes, that blissful, wonderful time when everything tastes better, smells more fragrant, looks brighter and sounds sharper. I was asked why can I not contain my need for fuel to receiving admiration and plaudits? Why must I embark on such a destructive course which brings mayhem to everyone around me. Why must it hurt so much? A fair question.

In my case, there are two reasons for this. The first brings forth that old adage of familiarity breeds contempt. Imagine that strawberry is your favourite flavour of ice-cream. I bring you a large strawberry ice cream in a sugar cone. You take a lick and it is delicious. So fresh tasting, so creamy and there are even little pieces of strawberry contained inside of it. It simply is the most sumptuous ice cream you have ever introduced to your taste buds. These strawberries have been grown in God’s garden, tended to by angels and grown with the purest water, the most fertile soil and vibrant sunshine. The milk has been taken from cows which graze on nothing but the most verdant grass, free from pollution and contamination. In fact, every ingredient that has been used in the creation of this magnificent iced confection is the best and perfect. Not only that, it has been crafted by the Supreme High Creator of Gelatos. I bring you a second one. Why not? This is an ice cream fit for champions. You eat this second one but by now you are feeling full. I bring a third, the taste is still great but not as good. Now I give you the good news that you are eating strawberry ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner and nothing else. Soon, the amazing taste of the ice cream no longer brings you pleasure. In fact, you start to dread the sight of the ice cream as it is brought to you and then it makes you angry that you have to eat it. You are sick of it now, it has lost its allure.

This is what happens to me. It always happens. Since I am wired to seek out instant gratification, even the most wonderful sensations soon pale to me. I am not built for the long-term, I have no desire for longevity. If it was me eating the ice cream, I need to go and seek out mint choc chip or even vanilla or perhaps a juicy steak instead. I need something different in order to give me that hit. Why not then just leave the strawberry ice cream along and seek out that new taste sensation, why do I have to subject the ice cream to a campaign of savage and nasty behaviour. One reason is that since I have invested so much energy in securing all that strawberry ice cream I am not going to let it go. I need to treat it differently and thus generate a break from its taste. With you, I need to have a break from the now stale praise and admiration you provide to me. It just does not do it for me. Similarly, I have invested energy in ensnaring you and I do not want to let you go. I have to treat you differently to change the dynamic. I need to keep you around so I embark on a confusing campaign that means you cling tighter to me. I will of course be seeking out new admiration from new sources. There are so many flavours for me to taste. You were once shiny and new. Not any longer. Someone else is shinier and newer.

I will return to you, like I will return to the strawberry ice cream. I have forgotten how it sickened me so I will eat it again and wow, it tastes good. Similarly, I will grant you a short return to the golden period. You lavish me with praise and love borne out of relief and I enjoy it. The law of diminishing returns applies however and soon I tire of your admiration as I tire of the strawberry ice cream and once again I must take a break from it, whilst never actually severing ties with you or giving away the ice cream. Back and forth I will go, occasionally being good to you to receive your admiration as I occasionally have a scoop of the strawberry ice cream. Thus this familiarity and unwillingness to let you go means that I have to treat you badly in order to resurrect the positive fuel on an infrequent basis whilst drawing on the negative fuel to provide the contrast.

I mentioned two reasons. The second reason arises from occasional glimpses of reality. For the most part we dwell in our false construct that we have dragged you into. You may achieve something or a colleague may secure a new contract or we notice a friend purchase a flash, new car. This provides us with a painful reminder of our own limitations and our hatred of the limelight being moved elsewhere, however temporary. In such a case we have to lash out. We must denigrate, despise and demean in order to create that contrast again, we make you look bad and we look good. By putting you down, or the friend or the colleague we feel powerful and in control again. The horrible sensation vanishes. On these occasions, envy and fear drives us to be horrible to you. We have to do it to make ourselves look superior in comparison.

In both instances we need to provide a contrast in order to maintain our fuel. Thus, all cannot be rosy in the garden, we need to spray the weed killer over the flowers you have grown to ensure we receive the fuel that is our primary aim in life.

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5 thoughts on “Just The Way It Is”

  1. HG: does the narcissist realize they’re slipping into devalue? Like after going through this cycle is there a recognition like oh here we go again another one letting me down. I went through a long devaluation – I believe mine began when I began asking questions about her ability to be vulnerable or to open up more to show her hand as to her intentions. I just wonder if there’s any cognition of the shift and if particular situations or events cause it more than other.

    1. You are correct about recognition of being let down but the narcissist will not see it as devaluation.

  2. HG,
    Fantastic article and perfect analogy. How could I have forgotten. That pit in my stomach, always wanting to be in control. Thank you for what you do!

  3. HG, I just have a couple questions that I’m curious about:
    1. Do you know your MBTI personality type? If so, what is it?
    2. Were you spoiled and overindulged by your parents?

    I’ve heard, that, in relation to this post, children can become narcissistic when their parents give them too much, and compliment them on static qualities like looks and intelligence, rather than effort-based qualities. I was just wondering if that’s true in your case.

    The guy I dated was low on the narcissistic spectrum, but he still got pretty bored of me in similar ways to those you described here. (I like your description a lot btw; your writing is very entertaining). And I think it was because his parents spoiled him–he got used to getting what he wanted so he craved what he didn’t have and was unsatisfied with his love life. Interesting psychology, but it makes sense.

    Thanks in advance for any answers you can provide!

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