How To Reduce Giving Fuel To The Narcissist

reduce fuel

Fuel is the lifeblood of our kind. Some refer to it as narcissistic supply (far too long and does not convey what is does for us) or the ghastly “supply” (admittedly shorter but inaccurate). Fuel is any emotional response to something we have said, done or caused. In order to understand in detail what it is, how it originates and your role in this you should read Fuel : What Makes the Narcissist Function

In fact, that book is a must read in order to understand fuel and to enable you to achieve your freedom from the narcissist. Fuel is behind everything that we do.

If we cannot obtain fuel from an appliance then that will force us to seek fuel elsewhere. Sometimes it causes an immediate withdrawal and sometimes it will take time for this retreat to occur, but it will happen.

If the provision of fuel is very low, infrequent  and/or acquiring it proves particularly difficult, this will also result in the narcissist ultimately selecting alternative appliances for the provision of his or her fuel needs.

Accordingly, cutting off the provision of fuel is a key component of achieving your freedom from us. The most obvious route to doing this is by implementing a robust no contact regime. If we cannot interact with you in any way whatsoever, we cannot obtain any fuel from you and this lack of fuel acts to assist in keeping the Hoover Bar high and thus the risk of future hoovers low. Striving for a total no contact has to always be your aim.

However, what of those situations where total no contact has not been achieved or maintained? What about those situations where there is interaction between you and the narcissist, how do you manage those situations so you provide the least fuel? First of all you should understand that what follows in this article should not be regarded as an alternative to no contact. You cannot opt for this approach. Do not think that you can choose between total no contact and an alternative which is less than no contact – if you do, failure awaits. The purpose of this article is to cover two situations where total no contact has not arisen :-

  1. The Ambush. You may have moved house, blocked numbers, changed numbers, moved jobs, jettisoned certain risky social groups and put in place various measures which has resulted in a solid no contact. Even then, you may just happen to bump into the narcissist walking down the street, at an event or possibly somewhere you did not expect to. Other than live as a hermit in a cave in the mountains, you cannot legislate for this as part of your no contact regime and you have been unfortunate to be ambushed in this manner. The narcissist may have planned to do this or it may just be coincidence, but either way, you have a face to face meeting with the narcissist; and/or
  2. Legitimate Exceptions to Total No Contact. Let me make this clear, these are very few and far between indeed. This is not keeping the narcissist’s number in your ‘phone and not blocking that number in case there is an emergency – that is not a legitimate exception. This is not attending the same gym, at the same time and days that you know the narcissist will be there – you can make changes to bolster your no contact regime in that regard. Legitimate Exceptions would include remaining in a job where the narcissist also works pending your departure to a new job or a transfer to another site. It could be argued that you could just leave the job immediately to achieve no contact and yes, that is an option and one which should be considered where you are serious about achieving a robust no contact, but if there is no immediate job to go to, you do not have savings and you have a notice period to abide by, then you will have to remain in a situation where there is a risk of contact. Legitimate Exceptions would also cover co-parenting with a narcissist where there is a court order compelling that co-parenting takes place. Legitimate Exceptions covers attending court where the narcissist will also be there. Remember, even with the Legitimate Exceptions this does not give you a pass to engage freely with the narcissist, indeed there are still many things you can do which means you can still maintain total no contact or a high level of no contact, but those are matters for separate discussion. This article addresses those very few situations where contact arises with the narcissist so that you give no or very little fuel.

I shall reinforce that you CANNOT use this article in order to repeatedly engage with us and think you can do so in a manner which will not have an adverse effect on you. If you keep engaging with the narcissist, your emotional thinking will surge and increase and you WILL end up losing insight and resistance. You need to recognise and understand this and see The Golden Rules of Freedom – No. 4

It is important that you understand that the most dangerous interaction with us, is any direct physical interaction with us. Why is this?

  1. The largest amount of fuel you provide to us comes from direct physical interaction. This is because the words you use, the tone of those words, your body language, your facial expression and the look in your eyes all combine to provide us with very large quantities of fuel. Therefore, wherever possible we want to achieve an interaction with you in person.
  2. You are far easier to manipulate in person because your own emotional thinking surges owing to our close proximity which then weakens and removes your resistance to us far faster. It is easier to ignore an e-mail from us but far harder when we look at you, give you that winning smile that makes you melt as our familiar scent washes over you. You may think you can resist it (and some might for a time) but I have seen many fall when there is physical interaction with us.
  3. Your politeness and decency mean you may well struggle to ignore us when there is direct physical interaction. Your emotional thinking will cause you to say hello and at least be polite and then the salami-slicing begins as we draw you in once again.
  4. No matter how disciplined you think you can be in our presence, you may be able to keep your tone level but your immediate emotional responses (facial expressions, the look in your eyes, body language etc.) provide fuel and are virtually impossible for you to stop. You will also struggle to keep your tone level when you speak to us for much more than a couple of minutes. Accordingly, you are always going to give us some fuel when we see you in person. This underlines the need to avoid direct physical contact with us as a priority.

So, how do you reduce the fuel that you give to the narcissist?

  1. Apply no contact and make it total. Maintain it at a robust level.
  2. If there has to be direct physical contact with the narcissist then look to reduce the number of occasions when this can happen to the absolute minimum. Do you need to attend that Parent Teacher evening at the same time or can you organise a separate appointment? Can you stand on the opposite touchline to watch your child play sport? Do you really have to attend that meeting where the narcissist will be – can you avoid it, send someone else, provide input in writing or listen in and contribute via a telephone conference call? Can you be seated on a different table to the narcissist at the event? Can you alter your attendance at the staff canteen so you do not go when you know the narcissist is there? Yes, you may resent having to make these adjustments but they are worth doing so in order to minimise the risk of providing fuel and keeping the narcissist’s interest in you at a heightened level. Remember, we want direct physical contact for the reasons set out above.
  3. If direct physical contact occurs by ambush, apply GOSO and get out and stay out. Walk away from us and say nothing. Do not look upset, frightened or worried. Many people think that if you walk away from us then we think we have ‘won’.  Yes, we will tell people that (‘I saw Anne yesterday but she just scurried away from me like a frightened mouse’) but that is just for the façade. If you ignore us and do so without reaction (save walking away) then this wounds us massively and we hate it. Accordingly, should you bump into us somewhere, then your priority is to get away from us. Just walk off, make an excuse about being somewhere if you really need to say something, pretend to need the bathroom, pretend to take a call – whatever it takes so you can get out.
  4. If you really, really cannot get away immediately then you should do so at the earliest point. In the meanwhile talk to other people and not us (this will also wound) where this is possible. If you have to talk to us, keep your tone neutral, avoid eye contact, talk about neutral topics or topics which do not give much away about you (remember we will be looking for fuel but also information about you which we can use). Accordingly, talk about travel, the journey to wherever it is you are, the pop star whose concert it is, something you have done recently which you do not mind revealing to the narcissist and will not be used against you. Do not ask the narcissist how he or she is. If they want to talk, let them and look unfazed. The more they talk, the more you can concentrate on zoning out and not providing reactions, whilst planning your departure from the vicinity of the narcissist.
  5. Avoid expansive and sweeping gestures, pointing, gesticulating, fist-waving, holding your hands-up etc – this all provides fuel. Either hold your hands together behind your back, or place them in your pockets, hold your bag or place them flat on the table and keep your hands in that position. Have something to hold or touch and tell yourself you need to keep hold of that position or item until you are away from the narcissist.
  6. Resist all attempts to attack us in some way. Whilst you may be dying to tell us what a bastard we have been or to put us straight on one or twenty things, you will only end up losing your discipline and giving us fuel.
  7. If the narcissist has telephoned you and caught you out, put the phone down straight away. Do not tell us to go away, do not ask questions, end the call straight away.
  8. Where there has to be some form of communication with the narcissist, either convey it through a third party – thus this removes the fuel almost entirely (because they are the words of the third party and not you (unless the third party makes reference to you – which they should avoid)) or do so in writing. Writing should be the only method of communication where there absolutely has to be such communication – for example with regard to parenting arrangements. By placing the communication in writing you achieve the following
  • You give yourself time to ‘weed out’ emotive language and thus fuel – speaking does not give you this edit function, nor does being in our presence;
  • You have a written evidential record which may prove to be useful at a future point
  • You will be briefer
  • If you do provide fuel you will only provide a small amount as the written word provides us with the lowest amount of fuel that can be provided compared to other methods of communication.

Thus, aim for no interaction with us. If there is an ambush interaction, get away as quickly as you can and if you cannot, govern your responses as described above until you can make your getaway. For other interactions, reduce physical ones to the lowest possible level and use written communications instead. By doing this, you will reduce your fuel output, raise the Hoover Bar and starve us of what we want from you.

 

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72 thoughts on “How To Reduce Giving Fuel To The Narcissist”

  1. Hmmm…would it be providing fuel to call by ex in order to sieak to my seven-year-old daughter they attend on vacation? Holy narc will not allow her to call me… I am Debating whether or not to call her… She’s been gone for one week. Won’t be back for one more week. I only speak to him on the email… He writes manifestoes and I respond one day later with brief three or four word responses. He cannot stand me in fact Walmart let our daughter mentioned my name (becomes in raged or gives her the silent treatment and sometimes will pout and cry telling her that she loves mommy more thank daddy And will even withhold her bedtime story if she calls him mommy by accident (this was conveyed to me by her therapist) im concerned about her but to call him now would provide fuel correct…Even though he has completely disengaged and remarried?

    1. My goodness I just re-read this comment… Is there anyway to delete when our comments look a hot mess? LOL Talk texting gets me in trouble every time. SMH

    2. If you call and adopt a neutral tone you will not provide fuel, keep the interaction with your ex short.

    3. Aa a mother you should never be cut off from access to your young child. She probably wants to hear your voice and know you can’t wait to see her. Needs of your child have to have priority over whether or not he’s getting fuel playing gatekeeper. You are stuck co-parenting for a long haul yet so it’s bound to happen anyways.

      1. Thank you for your feedback Clarece😍. I am also concerned that after she speaks to me because she will be so excited and happy… Afterward he will try to repay her with the usual mranger evil emotional abuse tactics. But I think you’re right her well-being I need to know how much she’s missed outweighs all of that and the giving of you of course👧😇

  2. I think of things in a different light. If fuel is the “lifeblood” of the narc, isn’t it obvious that cutting off a supply directly after providing a massive dose, whether it be positive or negative, effects the narcissist? My narc ex discarded me a month ago, I sent an e-mail to her two weeks after the discard and no reply at all. Complete silence. I then went NC for two weeks and sent her a text recently. She replied with her expected narcissist excuses, consisting of blame shifting and victimization. However, the point is I received a response and entered an engagement and exchange. Fuel was absorbed/expended by the narc from our interaction and now I will go complete NC. It’s akin to a drug addict getting his/her last fix. Therefore, I see this as both therapeutic to obtain true freedom via NC for personal growth and healing while simultaneously causing a “shock” to the narcs sweet “supply” that you’ve provided. Just my two cents…

    1. That may be how you view it but it’s not how they view it. They view it as “still addicted to me I see. Damn I’m the best. Oh this is your last communication? No it isn’t you’ll text again. I own you. I’ll be waiting ”

      And you likely will again because they know you and it usually takes many attempts at no contact before it actually achieved unless you are exceptional

      1. Lori,

        Thank you for your insight. I noticed that you added my exact intention in your reply to my method. You stated, “…I own you” and most importantly, “i’ll be waiting”. Meaning, the narc will be waiting for a “fix” that will never be realized. Thus, no fuel and the longing for a new “fix” from me, the “victim”, as NC had been initiated and will be adhered to. This will establish boundaries, inflict a narcissistic injury and cause the narc to long for fuel from a specific supply (me), again, starving the narcissist for what “it” needs and craves.

    2. This article saved me from being ensnared by another ‘lesser somatic’ at my local gym. The typical stomping grounds for a lesser somatic narcissist.

  3. Few weeks ago i bumped into him at the supermarket. I said hello with a smile but I didn’t stop when he asked how am I doing. I said to myself ‘ just keep walking…just keep walking ‘.
    I bought one thing I needed and left.

    And today i’ve noticed his new IPPS in my messanger suggested contacts ( hilarious).
    Her profile picture shows him kissing her.

    My ET is going up. I should reread No contact suicide…

    1. ABW

      When that happened to me I changed my account and it has not happened sense. It was a pain but worth it in the end.

      1. Thank you Twilight.

        I just removed/ hidden a suggestion for now. I don’t want him to think that his recent actions on social media bothers me somehow.( So much time has passed that it shouldn’t really.)
        Also , my ex husband moved abroad few weeks ago to live with new IPPS so I don’t want to make any sudden moves. Trying go keep my business as usual so it looks all good.
        So much ‘ love ‘ in the air …😔

  4. HG, I am wondering what was the purpose for and rationale behind Challenge Fuel’s piano recital narc’s email to her about his supposed guilt and shame over their relationship and communication. What is he trying to achieve? Challenge Fuel, I hope you don’t mind me asking HG for interpretation of your situation.

      1. Thank you, HG. I appreciate the swift response and valuable insight. But what is the purpose/ intent? What is he trying to accomplish? What action on the part of the appliance is expected when this false contrition is given?

      2. Fuel, manipulating the victim into thinking it is genuine so that the vicim remains bound/does not leave/does something for the narcissist.
        Fuel and control.

      3. Sorry, HG. This is very confusing to me. “Fuel, manipulating the victim into thinking it is genuine so that the vicim remains bound/does not leave/does something for the narcissist.
        Fuel and control.” If a narc says to the appliance our communication taints me and I should go NC with you, how can this possibly mean I want you to continue hanging around and talking to me?

      4. Because although that is what is being said, it is not actually what the narcissist wants you to do.

      5. “Because although that is what is being said, it is not actually what the narcissist wants you to do.”

        Insatiable…yeah pretty much this. I have lost count of the number of times he has said “you need to be rid of me”, “I need to go NC with you” (go NC? With ME? What am I? The narc or something?). His pain reason for pushing me away is his guilt and shame but he never really goes away. He also threatens to block me and never talk to me again but he never does because his “empathy” prevents him from doing so. He is a vortex of contradiction.

      6. “If a narc says to the appliance our communication taints me and I should go NC with you, how can this possibly mean I want you to continue hanging around and talking to me?”

        Insatiable, please he enjoys fucking with me (pun intended).

        Here is an example. A week before Christmas he said “I need a break from you. You are making me anxious and driving me crazy”. I challenged him by saying “if that was really true you would have stopped talking to me along ago”

        He got mad and then said “Okay. I will make this easy for you then. If you contact me before January 15th I will block you and not lose any sleep over it.”

        Me: “Okay whatever!”

        I called his bluff and I texted him on NYE. He ignored me.
        I sent a sarcastic text the next day “Oops guess I am blocked!”

        The next week I called him and got his voice mail, reiterating sarcastic comment from prior day.

        Not even 30 seconds later after I was finished leaving message I got a text “You are not blocked okay? But I cannot talk today”.

        Gee dumbass I came to that conclusion when I was able to leave you a voice mail.

        It was not January 15th.

        He also said he never wanted to see me in person again.

        A few weeks later he invited me to his show.

        And here we are.

      7. Thanks so much, HG, for further clarifying this for me. “Because although that is what is being said, it is not actually what the narcissist wants you to do.” So then what about complying with what the narcissist wants? I thought if the narc tells you to do or not to do something, he expects you to do as he says. The narc I was entangled with asked me to give him and his IPPS some space to deal with personal issues and promised future contact. In this case, is this what he wants me to do or is there something else he actually wants me to do?

    1. Insatiable…
      I do not mind. I only shared the background story as it was the reason for my desire to send the “sarcastic” text message.

      1. “does not leave/does something for the narcissist.”

        Oh I have done plenty already. Plenty of that which he does not deserve from me. And he knows it. And I still get that email anyway.

  5. Hi Lori, I wanted to address your comment to Challenge Fuel. In particular the following: “Remember silence says everything. Everything! Trust me. He will start doing things to get you to contact him and you will chuckle. Silence is freakin POWER why do you think he uses it ? Cause it works. ” It works only when the other party cares. Challenge Fuel cares about communicating with the narc, which is why his silence is so effective. When a narc wants you to stay away for whatever reason, your silence will not work the same way. It will be welcome. So it really depends on whether the narc is giving you a silent treatment and wants you to continue reaching out to him, begging, pleading, etc. or if he wants you to stay away at that time because he is otherwise engaged and does not want you to distract him. With that said, your encouragement for her to go no contact is still great advice and would bring about great benefits, the main one being, as HG always emphasizes, curbing your emotional thinking and purging emotional infection but if one goes no contact with the expectation of pissing off the narc and causing him to start seeking contact and attention and that does not happen, this may sabotage one’s NC as the focus is on the wrong thing, on the narc instead of oneself where it should be with NC. You may or may not agree and that is ok. Wishing you peace and healing!

    1. Insatiable…

      “When a narc wants you to stay away for whatever reason, your silence will not work the same way. It will be welcome.”

      BAM! You have accurately summarized my struggle.

      1. Yes, I understand that struggle perfectly well, Challenge Fuel. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. I don’t mean to make light of your struggle. Rather, I want you to know I have gone through it and understand that pain. You are not alone. This is not abnormal on your part. This is a very normal response to being exposed to the narc’s pathology.

  6. I love this one. I do want to point out, even if you are no longer a good source of fuel, there will still be facade management. my son’s father who is a midrange tormented me years ago for fuel. over the years, we have done exactly what is in this blog. we hardly talk face to face, and hardly talk at all. what he will do out of insecurity, is cause some type of chaos once in a while, not for my emotional reaction, but he will need to deflect his shortcomings. “she is so immature. I always have to pick up the slack with the responsibilities” ” she is the reason I am where i am at.” the nastiness is always there, but in a less sadistic way

  7. You realize utopia is really to think you will have the emotional distance to stay close. It is a paradox that we think we can achieve because we know. But the memory imprinted in the body, the cells, the heart , the heart cells etc ignite very rapidely and insidiously . This is what I am seeing now – the unrealistic quest to be close physically and emotionally distanced.

    1. Wow, I hear that, OMJ. I understand how important no contact is because of what we m learning here. But, I’m here for the long haul, because I’m waiting for my kids to move out. And even if they do, I could still end up supporting him, even if I leave and divorce. He’s entitled to half of my retirement. It makes my blood boil.

  8. HG, I really enjoy your “How to” posts. I got so much from your article, “Preparing to Leave”—eye opening, practical info. Thanks.

  9. 1. It’s good you’re back.

    2. Great sentence: “The more they talk, the more you can concentrate on zoning out and not providing reactions, whilst planning your departure from the vicinity of the narcissist.”

    3. What if it’s my mother? I wrote her that I will be leaving in two months, together with “happy easter”. The latter just to be polite. Her reaction was to immediately write back “how good of you to remember me, I hope you will inform me about your plans”. Next day: my sister (whom I had not told) stalked me … wrote e-mail wanting to know everything (I usually don’t have contact with her and she didn’t care AT ALL when I was ill), stalked me on facebook, wrote from other e-mail address again, early in the morning, when I didn’t answer.

    I had ignored their birthday wishes and haven’t talked to them since christmas – I just didn’t want to anymore. I just don’t care anymore. Of course, just as now, my mother tried to make me feel guilty because of ignoring her at my birthday (her special fuel gathering day).
    But … I still feel bad about contemplating leaving without seeing them once more. They certainly expect to be invited for dinner … I don’t even see a point in this, and it would just be a horrible family gathering for me … And yet, I still feel guilty about not wanting to.

    What to do? Everybody?

    And as always the worst part is that my mid range mother just won’t understand a word I would have to say to her. She has never ever taken any responsibility … everything always was my fault, as long as I can remember. …

    1. I would say read every one of HG’s books then decide if you think you can handle a family dinner- know that it will upset you but if you feel you have to do it, make it for the night before you leave so that it will be too late to cancel your plans and you will be able to think of leaving as you watch them do their thing. If you’re prepared (and you have a ggod level of cynicism) their behavior may even comfort you in your decision. Or of course, just take off and leave them post-it on the door. Good luck.

      1. Thank you, MH! This is good advice. 🙂
        I like the idea with the post-it. ;D
        You’re also right in that it might be helpful if I get doubts about leaving. 😉

    2. ava101, i am guessing that your sister was/is the golden child? that Is what the golden child does, act as a flying monkey for narc parent, and trying to keep you around to throw under the bus. it is their sickness. find the people who get you, it may not be a biological family, but their are plenty of people out there who need to be loved and understood as well. you are not alone and you are enough

      1. Hi ANM, thank you!
        Good question, I believe my eldest sister is the golden child, this sister, the middle sister, has always put herself on my parents’ side. Or anyone’s side wherever she could see benefits …
        But you are right about flying monkey and throwing me under the bus … I will also leave a gap behind me, 1. who will be the scapegoat then, and 2. who will care for my mother in future.

        [I also know her way of thinking, so she probably thought she could get a free vacation through me in future, or get some of my stuff for free. (Nope… not even the things from our grandmother …).]

        Thank you, yes, I am looking for these people. 🙂

    3. ava101
      You are an appliance and they are trying to manipulate you with guilt so they can get your fuel (and control). Your words express very clearly how you feel and I think you should forego the dinner.

      … I don’t even see a point in this, and it would just be a horrible family gathering for me …

      Set yourself free.

      1. Hi K,

        I still feel guilty … Ah, those hindering emotions.

        Thank you!

        I wish I hadn’t even told them. 😉 Yes, the control is quite something. I made the mistake about 2 years ago to move into their area, too close … felt the grip from all sides immediately. I didn’t know then all I know now about narcissists, but I could feel it.

      2. You are welcome, ava101
        They really do close in on you from all sides, like sharks going in for the kill. From now on, tell them nothing, and I understand how powerful ET can be. Whatever you decide to do, it will all work itself out. It is funny how they use birthdays and other events for fuel gathering. It all makes perfect sense now.

    4. Ava101.

      “What to do? Everybody?

      And as always the worst part is that my mid range mother just won’t understand a word I would have to say to her. She has never ever taken any responsibility … everything always was my fault, as long as I can remember. …”

      My mother is not a narc (at least not in my opinion anyway) but she is VERY MENTALLY ILL and as such she has similar behaviors, distorted version of reality and so on. I have no advice for you since I am caught up on that roller coaster too (with NC yet going back). I have been NC with her for 2 months now. I have no advice but the struggle is real. I’d tell you NC but then I would look like a hypocrite as I still cling to my MMRN.

      1. Hi Challenge Fuel, yes, NC is the way to go. Just with my mother, I feel a lot of guilt. And have weak moments … but don’t know why I should. I was just sorting through old stuff, and found some old things from my grandmother – my mother’s mother, even their fairy tale books (very olds ones, about 100 years old now), and a checkers game they got after the war. Those things should mean something to my mother, more than me, but they don’t …

        Not saying anything about your MMRN. 😉 But I would like to talk to my exnarc, too, at the moment.

    5. I meant you, too, HG!

      But you know what? You are a bad role model – still having contact with your mother. 🙁

      😉

      1. Difference is I do it as part of the Grand Design and her emotional impact is negligible.

      2. But she stands in the way of you being happy (satisfied & free from her influence).

      3. I do not do happy. Her influence is minimal and will vanish presently.

      4. ava101,

        HG is a narcissist, which means he gathers fuel from anyones emotional response. HG Tudor’s fuel matrix obviously includes the negative fuel of his evil bitch mother.

        Correct me if I am wrong, HG.

      5. That’s a tricky one. Who’s gathering more negative fuel over who in that relationship? MatriNarc still has control over a few very sensitive buttons or else there wouldn’t be a Grand Design being plotted against her.
        She’s the one person who can get under his skin and wreak havoc for everyone else who crosses his path that day with him lashing out according to what he wrote in the Missive from Mother article.

  10. I was very surprised yesterday watching a utube where they said grey rock was a mistake bc its not being the real you and the narc will know this. Everything ive learned about narcissism has stated if you have no choice and have to be around the narc you should limit that time, use a mediator when possible and grey rock. Grey rock isnt to fool the narc entirely its to shut the fuel pump off. If they get no emotion they grow restless and weary and eventually move on to other sources.
    I was really surprised someone would go against grey rock.
    When i grey rock my narc i find it acts as leverage bc hes unsure of himself and turns the nice act back on until he can get his footing again via emotional reaction.
    Its so true so much of what will be their next move is gauged on our emotional reaction, body language, voice etc its all a game to them fuel being the lifeforce.

  11. HG,
    If I was to throw prior contradictions in my mid ranger’s face via means of a sarcastic text message and word it in such in an insulting manner where it “mocked” him….would it wound?

    1. It is likely to be Challenge Fuel. You would be far better served by going no contact than trying to get him to see the contradictions, his narcissism will not allow him to do so and all you are doing is continuing to engage, feed your already high emotional thinking and provide a little fuel. You might send one or two which are not Challenge Fuel and do wound, but the wounding will only be slight whereas your ET will continue to surge.

      1. Challenge Fuel:

        Stop talking to him! If you really want to get to him just cease communication. This should be for you and your sanity but you aren’t there yet so just do it for revenge.

        Remember silence says everything. Everything! Trust me. He will start doing things to get you to contact him and you will chuckle.

        Any communication tells him he matters. That’s all he cares about

    2. challenge fuel, i totally get it. I often have a hard time going no contact and Grey Rock. It feels so good sometimes to put the narc in their place or have them walk into their own trap of humiliation. what I find that works, if that challenge fuel energy is engrained in you, is to find a hobby or profession that you can take that out on. join a martial arts class or start your own business on the side that will become number one in the industry. use that fire for something worth while. living well is the best revenge.

      1. ANM,
        I do hear you. It was not easy but I resisted firing off that text last night. Basically what happened about a week ago was he sent me this super long email saying that every time I reached out or every time he communicated with me it exacerbated his “guilt and shame” over our relationship and as such it made him want to “shut down and not talk to me”. That my continued communication with him “tainted” his family bonding time.

        Before this email was sent to me the last day we spoke was a day when he was in his car alone (on the way to church piano rehearsal). Yesterday I was reminded of that as I realized he had church rehearsal again. I had the most mocking sarcastic text ready to be sent that read something along the lines of “Hey there, I just wanted to wish you a nice piano rehearsal tonight. Hopefully I am not interrupting anything too monumental in your wholesome life that will “taint” me even further.”

        He usually enjoys initiating a good argumentative text exchange with me (he sent that email to me last week to ruffle my feathers most likely)….HOWEVER a majority of the time he also tends to flee from me when I give it right on back to him.

        So while I hypothesize that such a text would have 98% been likely to have been met with silence (which I am already getting anyway since he ghosts me a lot) I figured “why bother”.

        But believe me when I say the struggle is very real.

      2. CF, it would be very easy to resist if you blocked his number, his social media profiles, his e-mails etc. Block his number and delete his contact in your phone. Block him on FB (together with his family & friends), create a new profile if you have to, use a nickname he won’t know.

        If you use an e-mail client where blocked messages go to the spam folder, hide that folder (google for instructions) so you don’t see any indication of unread messages. Basically, remove any possibility of him contacting you. If you must, write him a few last words, but keep them unemotional and pleasant, such as: “This is my last message to you. It’s time to let go and go on with our separate lives. I will treasure the memory of the fun times we had together, but I cannot and do not want to be your friend, it would be too painful. I know you understand. Take care and goodbye.” Then block him everywhere – DO NOT wait for a reply!! -, delete every conversation with him (unless you think it might serve as proof – in that case, get it off your phone and save it to a memory stick or print it out and stick it in some file), maybe change your number, e-mail, social media profiles etc.

        It really is that simple, if not easy. You can do it – the question is, do you want to?

  12. Thanks, I though I would have to wait to read this in a book.

    Yes, when the dagger is put between the ribs it is impossible to control the eyes 🙂

  13. “…Walk away from us and say nothing. Do not look upset, frightened or worried. … Yes, we will tell people that (‘I saw Anne yesterday but she just scurried away from me like a frightened mouse’) but that is just for the façade. ”

    In my particular situation, the narcissist’s Lieutenants and Coterie are pathological liars and they show a total lack of empathy. Apart from doing the narcissist’s dirty work and participating in smears, Lieutenants report *my behaviour* to her.

    Once I heard one of the Lieutenants telling the narcissist something similar to what you wrote above although it was not true. This was just after one of their malignant hoovers. The Lieutenant made a big fuss out of nothing. It was an utter lie. There was no reaction on my part. Nothing happened. Their hoover did not work on me. They failed. However, the narcissist believed her Lieutenant. As far as I know, there are two other Lieutenants reporting lies to her since I do not have any kind of contact to any of them.

    This said, it is not always the target who is to blame for not being left alone by the narcissist.
    Even if the target does not provide any fuel to the narcissist and his/her army, the narcissist is convinced his/her manipulations are effective when narcissistic Lieutenants and Coterie report all kinds of made up stories about the target.

    I have just learnt from your article why Lieutenants/Coterie narcissists report lies to the narcissist about the target: to keep their façade. This makes sense, especially if a Lieutenant was the on in charge to do a hoover. Lieutenants and Coterie with an NPD will not want to admit that they failed.

  14. Thank you for this post! It helped clarify some things for me on what to do with my co-worker Narc who targeted me.

  15. Thank you – helpful and constructive. I’m about to move into his sphere, unavoidably with a new job. The thought of getting sucked back in and being unable to resist still scares me even after a year. Anyone who hasn’t experienced this won’t understand but to me this is fantastic reinforcement of what I need to do when the physical meetings inevitably happen.
    Thank you again HG.

  16. Most timely and helpful. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to read this article at this particular time.

  17. Physical contact is the kiss of death. There are so many angles the narcissist can come from. His voice, the look he gave you in the golden period, the words he chooses, brushing back my hair with his fingers, the proximately of his body to yours, feeling his breath… he can also use them all at once.

    In the past, I might have been able to control some of those things for a brief time but the onslaught of all of them together is too much. I could never do it. I’d become this mailable marshmallow all over again.

    He would always say, “I could get you to do xyz if I worked on you a little more but I don’t have time right now”. And he was right. I have to say in this moment I kind of miss that onslaught. It felt really good.

    But, just like antifreeze tastes sweet, it causes kidney damage, brain damage and death after a very small amount.

    1. 12345,
      Yes!!! Antifreeze. Great analogy! All he had to do was look at me and put his hand on my face gently and I’d be done. He knew how much that got to me.

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