Damned If You Do. Damned If You Don’t


Society and people need rules. The requirement for regulation looms large in everyone’s life. Pay your taxes, don’t park in that place, don’t drop litter, say please and thank you and so on. From laws to rules to codes of conduct, through to convention to procedures to etiquette we are bound up in rules wherever we go and whatever we do. People grumble and complain about them but ultimately they prefer the world to have these rules. People like to know where they stand. You know what you can and cannot do. You may not agree with it, but you at least have some certainty. Those that found themselves in the horror of concentration camps complained that there was never any certainty to the day. You could be subjected to punishment for walking too slowly one day and too fast the next. It was random and awful, yet such a system is horrendously effective at undermining someone’s will and paradoxically causing them to try harder in order to avoid a sanction.
Our behaviour is much the same. There is no rhyme or logic to it. Last week I said I liked sugar in my tea and this week I do not. I deny that I said I liked sugar in my tea and moreover this triviality causes me to erupt in rage when you put sugar in my drink this week. You are confused and anxious by this random control that I exert over you. It is all intentional. Do not make the mistake of thinking that we cannot recall what we said or did the previous day, that we are somehow blind to our previous likes and dislikes as if affected by some form of amnesia. This disorientating tactic is deliberate. You may as well ascribe outcomes to the numbers two through to twelve and roll two dice. That gives you just as good a chance of determining how I will behave. One week I sleep with the bedroom window open, the next it must be closed. Yesterday I want silence in the kitchen in the morning, today I want the radio on. Each day you are put on parade and then awaiting the inevitable criticism as I will find some fault in order to control you, demean you and provoke a reaction. I am like an insane regimental sergeant major who deems the buttons on your uniform to not shine enough despite the hours you spent polishing each one. Like his parade ground bark, I will unleash my haphazard criticism of you with a barrage of abuse, raising my voice and making you wince with each syllable. We understand the effect of repeatedly being shouted at and it causes you to submit to our demands Invariably I will see what you are doing and pick the opposite as being what I want. I am a natural contrarian. All of this is done to maintain your heightened sense of anxiety, forcing you to second guess and thus become conditioned to our will. Periodically we will approve of what you have done and your sense of relief is so overwhelming you receive a natural high. This in turn causes you to want to repeat it and therefore each and every day you are walking on those eggshells as you try to please us and avoid our erratic and groundless rage. There is no system you can depend on, no method of working out what is safe to do and what should be avoided, yet still you will try. As ever, you want to make matters right and keep the peace.

7 thoughts on “Damned If You Do. Damned If You Don’t

  1. narc affair says:

    Its always changing. One minute they are telling you how beautiful you are to them and the next they are covertly triangulating you with someone to make you feel like youre not enough. Then they insinuate youre vain bc you enjoy working out and who are you trying to impress. My narcs never come out and said this but indirectly he does by saying i focus on my health and fitness too much which i dont. Its like a hobby and i enjoy it but its not coming from a place of vanity which he likes to insinuate. If i became overweight hed be saying im lazy or let myself go.
    Narcissists need control and part of that control is by making you less than what you are and creating insecurity. The very thing they were infatuated with they begin to feel insecure and envy over.
    Take a confidant whole healthy minded person and youll see narcissists scatter away from them even the ones who see it as a challenge will give up eventually. They cant handle someone who feels good about themselves and…has boundaries. Key word …boundaries!!!

    1. All out of Fuel says:

      Narc Affair,
      I remember us having a similar conversation about this very same thing. They say or do something, we react accordingly and then they resent the fact that we have these responses, emotions, feelings, etc. Like “how dare you challenge me” yet they are the ones who cause it! And contradict! And I know we discussed Piano recital and how he takes it a step further by explaining my behavior (the way I respond to him) totally unaware that he is the reason for the reactions I give. (yet it is always our fault).

      “…Take a confidant whole healthy minded person and youll see narcissists scatter away from them…”

      I am anything but confident and he still scatters away from me! That must be part of the behavior though, they always just kind of disappear and then reappear.

      “My narcs never come out and said this but indirectly he does by saying i focus on my health and fitness too much which i don’t.”

      I get that too but more along the lines of “You overthink everything I say way too much, you listen to what I do rather than what I say and you always reconcile the two!” Well DUH….it is kind of hard NOT TO when you tell me you are never having sex with me again and then you do! Or you tell me you cannot wait to see me and have sex with me and when I call you out on the contradiction you say “well I will do that from time to time but it is wrong of me!” I do not call that overthinking. I call it pointing out inconsistencies!!!

      “…triangulating you with someone to make you feel like youre not enough.”

      Good grief yes! His daughter, his wife, his coworker, even his best friend! I just recalled a time when I thought he was about to share a story about his best friend but he didn’t. He says “Hey you know about my best friend right?” and I said “Yes, you mean Alex? What about him?” Him: “Oh nothing, I just wanted to hear you say his name!”

      He wanted me to say his friend’s name. WHY?????!!!!!!

      * head desk *

    2. blackunicorn123 says:

      I like this, Narc affair, very well put! 👍

  2. NarcMagnet says:

    My narc, of course, acts in similar ways, but he ensures his is subtle enough to really throw me. Or at least it used to.

    HG, do Narcs tend to be sadists?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Please see the article ‘Sadistic Streak’

      1. All out of Fuel says:

        I must have missed this one but I just gave it a look. So some of you really have no intention of being mean, it is simply a byproduct of your need for fuel. Okay I understand that. But what still confuses me is that you cannot realize we are being hurt especially when we tell you. I mean I understand how you do not care as you have no empathy but how can you be intelligent and not KNOW you have hurt us especially after we explain it to you?

        I lost count of the number of times that I told my narc “When you do XYZ it hurts me” or “it hurts my feelings”. I mean how much more direct can I be? It’s like your kind can be intelligent but also be completely dumb at the same time. Makes no sense to me. Why?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I have repeatedly explained

          1. The Lesser does not realise (and doesn’t care anyway)
          2. The Mid Ranger realises but does not care (although he will pretend to) and has enough cognitive function to realise he has hurt but will not accept he is at fault
          3. The Greater knows we hurt and we do not care and we are the most deliberate about it.

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

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

Previous article

Little Acons – No. 37

Next article

Ghosted and Gilded