Narcissist V Shelf IPSS

NARCISSISTVSHELF IPSS

The following is a breakdown of an interaction between a Middle Mid-Range Narcissist and a Geyser Standard Empath. The two are in a Formal Relationship of Narcissist and Shelf IPSS (“SIPSS”), which those not benefiting from such knowledge would see as a married person who is having an affair with someone who is The Other Woman/Man.

  1. The narcissist and the SIPSS have spent the weekend together away in a coastal city. Therefore the SIPSS is off the shelf for the extent of the duration. She is painted white. The narcissist received positive fuel of a very good potency (SIPSS), massive quantity (in person, sexual interaction) and constantly (together all weekend).

2. The weekend ends and they leave the coastal city together. SIPSS off shelf and painted white.

3. The two part company and return to their respective homes. The SIPSS is now ON the shelf. This is not devaluation. The SIPSS remains painted white.

4. The following day, SIPSS sends a text to the narcissist

“It was great spending the weekend with you. I can’t wait until we do it again.”

This is pure positive fuel. Very good potency, one off frequency, very low quantity as short and in writing.

There is no response for an hour. The narcissist responds with

“It was great. Yes, we will do it again soon. I have a busy week ahead, so I will text you later on. Missing you.”

The SIPSS remains on the shelf. She remains painted white. This was a comfort crumb from the narcissist. It was pleasant, it maintains the engagement but signals to the SIPSS that she should not expect to hear from the narcissist often.

5. The following day there is no contact between the two. This is not a Silent Treatment, the SIPSS remains on the shelf and painted white.

6. The day after, the narcissist is reminded of the weekend. The SIPSS has entered his sixth sphere of influence. This is a Hoover Trigger. His Intimate Partner Primary Source has gone out for the evening unexpectedly. She in devaluation. Her departure has wounded the narcissist, he sends her an unpleasant text to provoke her in order to gain fuel. He requires fuel to address the wound, he can easily contact the SIPSS by text, social media or telephone, she has no partner, she has not wounded him, she provides excellent fuel and therefore the Hoover Bar is very low and the Hoover Execution Criteria are met. The narcissist telephones SIPSS. She has been taken off the shelf. They speak, fuel is provided, he berates his wife to the SIPSS (triangulation) and speak for about an hour. The call ends. The SIPSS goes back on the shelf and remains painted white.

7. There is no contact between the two of them for three days.

8. The SIPSS sends a text message early in the morning to the narcissist

“How are you? Just wanted to let you know I am missing you.”

Positive fuel. Very good potency, one-off frequency, very low amount.

There is an instant response from the narcissist by text

“I miss you too.”

The SIPSS sends a further text.

“I cannot wait until we can see one another again.”

Positive fuel, very good potency, one-off frequency, very low amount.

There is no response from the narcissist. The SIPSS remains on the shelf. She is painted white. The narcissist has not given a silent treatment but the lack of response is purely symptomatic of being on the shelf.

9. The following day the SIPSS texts the narcissist again early in the morning

“Hi, are you okay?”

Positive fuel, very good potency one-off frequency, very low amount.

There is no response. The SIPSS is still on the shelf, painted white and this is not a silent treatment.

10. She waits thirty minutes and texts again

“Please will you answer me, I hate not hearing from you.”

Positive fuel, very good potency, one-off frequency, very low amount.

Ten minutes later the narcissist replies by text

“I was in the shower. Busy day ahead. Will text later.”

This is a comfort crumb. The SIPSS is on the shelf and painted white.

11. There has been no contact between the two and it is now 5pm. The SIPSS texts again

“I really find it hard not hearing from you.”

This is positive fuel, very good potency, one-off frequency, very low amount.

There is no response from the narcissist. The SIPSS is on the shelf and painted white.

12. She waits ten minutes and texts again

“I thought you said you were going to text me later? This hurts.”

This is now Challenge Fuel. Her admission of hurt is negative fuel (albeit a very small amount as it is contained in a text) – however she is seeking to hold the narcissist to something he stated. The narcissist is NOT wounded by this, but regards this as a challenge to his superiority because the SIPSS is trying to make him feel accountable and this feels like his control is being eroded.

13. The narcissist replies with a text two minutes later

“I told you I had a busy day ahead, I am in a meeting.”

He is providing an explanation and asserting his superiority by looking to close the matter. He has not been provocative and is not seeking fuel from the SIPSS.

14. The SIPSS answers immediately

“Sorry, I didn’t know. When will you text me, or will you give me a call?”

This is Challenge Fuel again. The apology is a very small amount of positive fuel, the request for a call is mildly Challenging BUT aggregates with the earlier text message. The narcissist has not been able to assert the superiority to the extent required.

He texts back immediately

“No idea. V busy. Cannot talk now.”

He is not seeking fuel (he will be well fuelled whatever he is doing – maybe in the meeting or if not in a meeting in some other interaction) but needs to assert superiority and is seeking to close the challenge down. The SIPSS remains on the shelf and remains painted white

15. The SIPPS does not relent. She texts back straight away :-

” Will it be tonight? I want to talk to you, I always enjoy our chats. I hate not hearing from you.”

Again positive Challenge Fuel.

There is no response from the narcissist. His lack of response is designed to assert superiority by halting the conversation and thus the challenge from the SIPSS. The SIPSS remains on the shelf and painted white.

16. The SIPSS texts again :-

“Will it be tonight? I want us to talk, please.”

No response from the narcissist. Same point as above applies.

17. The SIPSS texts again :-

“Just yes or no, that’s all, I miss you.”

Positive Challenge Fuel.

No response from the narcissist. Same point as above applies.

18. The SIPSS texts again :-

“Will you answer me? It will only take you a second. Don’t ignore me.”

Negative Challenge Fuel. The irritation is fuel and the request to answer, prescriptive statement on the time taken and command not to ignore are the challenges.

No response from the narcissist. Same point applies.

19. The SIPSS texts again :-

“Answer me. This is not fair. Stop ignoring me. You had better answer me or I will call you at home on the landline.”

Negative Challenge Fuel. Annoyance plus criticism and threat.

20. The narcissist responds

“I said I am BUSY. Stop texting me. I said I would text you later but you cannot leave it can you? You dare ring my house. If you do, that’s it, it’s over. You’ve pissed me off.”

The narcissist is irritated by the SIPSS failure to accede to his superiority. She is not wounding because fuel is being provided.

The SIPSS repeated failure to stop texting and be patient now means she is painted black. She has failed to accept the narcissist’s superiority. She has not been compliant. The narcissist will now ignore her texts completely. She is being given a Corrective Devaluation which is an absent silent treatment.

21. The upset SIPSS fires off ten more texts. She makes no threats but insults the narcissist and complains about him being unfair and uncaring. These are either pure fuel or challenge fuel. The narcissist does not respond. The SIPSS realises there will be no response so she stops texting. She does not call the home landline.

The narcissist, in accordance with the Corrective Devaluation does not contact the SIPSS at all that night.

The SIPSS is on the shelf, painted black and subject to a Corrective Devaluation.

22. The next day the SIPSS sends a text at midday

“I am really sorry I pestered you yesterday, I know you work hard, it is only because I wanted to hear from you. I won’t do it again. I adore you and I will just wait to hear from you.”

This is pure positive fuel. The narcissist on reading this instinctively recognises that his superiority has been accepted again by the climbdown. The text is a Hoover Trigger. The narcissist sees this climbdown and views the SIPSS as white again. The Hoover Execution Criteria are met and he telephones the SIPSS. The conversation only last 5 minutes but he assures the SIPSS that they will speak tonight.

The SIPSS is still on the shelf, painted white and the Corrective Devaluation has ended.

23. The narcissist recalls his promise to call. This is a Hoover Trigger. The Hoover Execution Criteria are met (he recalls excellent fuel from the SIPSS, she is easy to contact, she has not wounded, there are no obstacles) and thus he does indeed telephone her and they speak for two hours that evening whilst the IPPS is out at the rifle range. For this telephone call the SIPSS is off the shelf, painted white. Positive fuel is provided during the conversation. It is of very good quality as coming from an SIPSS, the frequency is constant for the duration of the call and it is of moderate quantity since it is a telephone call.

Once the call ends, the SIPSS is back on the shelf and painted white.

24. Around midnight with the IPPS sound asleep and the narcissist in his bolthole, he recalls the telephone call (hoover trigger) and again the Hoover Execution Criteria are met ( similar to points above at 23) so he sends a text to the SIPSS. She replies immediately. They text back and forth for an hour. During this exchange the SIPSS is off the shelf and painted white. Positive fuel is provided. It is of very good quality, very frequent and low quantity because it is in writing. The narcissist is in-between engaging with another SIPSS online through social media and thus has two fuel lines open at this point.

When the texting ends, the SIPSS is placed back on the shelf and is painted white. The narcissist engages still with the other SIPSS and does so through Skype engaging in some mutual masturbation. Once that has concluded, the call ends and that SIPSS goes on the shelf also.

Accordingly, this short series of interactions provides the pattern of behaviours, clarifies how the appliance is regarded, how a Corrective Devaluation works, shows the shift from white to black to white, the fuel gathered, the type of interaction occurring and also the entwinement with other appliances also.

 

 

 

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220 thoughts on “Narcissist V Shelf IPSS”

  1. I’ve got another question. Suspecting the narcissist is meeting or sexting other women and communication this via text message – is this challenge fuel or is it a wounding?
    The narcissist I am involved with would forbid me to write any further word on the subject and threaten with silent treatment and blocking me if I dared to come up with the subject of other ladies – albeit the fact that he was provoking those suspicions.

    1. If you send a text message stating

      “You are sexting other women you bastard.” That is Challenge Fuel.
      If you wrote
      “I know you are sexting other women.” That will wound as there is no emotion and it attacks the right of the narcissist to do what he wants and you are trying to pin him with accountability.

      1. Thank you very very much. I did the second version.
        I wrote very cool and from a controlled point of view:
        “This picture (masturbation-selfie) somewhat hurts me because it gives me the impression that you made it with and for another person.”
        He immediately threatened to silent treat and block me if I would write another word on the subject…

        The next day, Saturday evening, I committed another major crime. I went to his house with my bicycle, spyed on him, watched him drive away in his sports car, broke into his garden, looked around and walked around not considering that supervision cameras were installed, made photographs through the glass front door…
        When he returned, he let me in but beat and hurt me, lashed out at me and then threw me out if his house…

        I thought separation and discard would be inevitable after this. But he hoovered me and still is in contact with me, although he often states that he will never forgive me and PLANS to get rid of me soon…
        BUT we had more sex dates after this crisis in two months than we had last year alltogether…

        What do I have to expect?

      2. I would need more information to provide an answer with sufficient accuracy and that would require a consultation.

      3. Thank you! And please excuse my all too detailed questions within the comments. I will book a consultation as soon as possible!

      4. If you send a text message stating

        “You are sexting other women you bastard.” That is Challenge Fuel.
        If you wrote
        “I know you are sexting other women.” That will wound as there is no emotion and it attacks the right of the narcissist to do what he wants and you are trying to pin him with accountability.

        —-
        This makes sense. When I uncovered his sex website profiles I do not think I gave challenge fuel. I “feigned” concern (because you’re such a decent guy) and surprise (OMG maybe they are old profiles)in a slightly sarcastic manner (via email) about it, sent him the links and said “I found these and thought you should know” and I left it at that. He did not acknowledge my statement, was quiet but when I sent a follow up text the next day he got nasty.

        Interesting.

  2. This one really is pushing me to leave. I can’t believe my own fucckin life is out there on shelve , off shelves. The more I am here, the more there are no good reasons to stay.

    My father was shelving us, his familly. In my house where I grew up, there was no life when my father was away for business trips. He was shelving us, going to see other madames and coming back full of gifts and the fun days where there until he stayed with us, then going back to waiting for his return.

    My mother was so excited every time that my father was back, jumping up and down. The days were going by and the anxiety of him leaving was creeping up. Then he would ask my mom to prepare his suitcase.
    I can see my mom, preparing my father suitcase, preparing the familly to another shelving.

    The letters he wrote were always the same, Take care of your mom and your siblings, be a good girl, don’t fight , take care of your mom.

    Fuck the shelves .
    I

    1. My father did this also. He was a pilot, when he returned everything revolved around him – like the sun. When he left it was empty, hollow. O

      1. Thanks Amber … I am curious, do you find yourself waiting for man normal and do you tend to be in waiting of something ??

      2. All the time. It’s like a yearning. When I was on/off shelf with the narc, it’s how I constantly felt. Waiting, limbo…It’s why they say purgatory is worse than hell. I’ve had therapy and am healing and trying to rebuild my life, it can happen.

      3. Amber … I think many of us end up comfortable in the shelving position when we start to understand what is happening in reality.

        It’s no longer about us and feeling depreciated or not good enough or puzzled … shelving become a respite place where we can build ourselves and our knowledge without the brutal disengagement or escaping . It is like a happy medium place where we feel we partly control our life because we can go back or leave we can meet other man we can learn and reflect and build some ammunition etc

        When we understand shelving we go from a victim – unpowered place to a place where we slowly gain power . Not everyone is fit to jump in the emptiness – changing behaviours – saying no-
        Seeing other people – reading- shopping- doing things WE like to do- seeing our friends etc

        I have sat in my shelving for a good 3 months now –
        With regular contacts and a few unshelving in between and sitting in the middle of the tornado is a quiet place if you chose to. But when you don’t know the shelving logistic it is teal’y A place of self doubt and craziness.

  3. Ok. Thank you very much for answering so quickly. For further detail I am going to book an email consultation!

  4. I messed up so bad last night I messaged him to ask what he wanted when he messaged me and didn’t reply he answered and said his sister is in the hospital with her cancer and I said ok then he said why are u blaming me for everything that went on between us I hadn’t said a word about our relationship I waited ten minutes then went off on a texting rollercoaster screaming at him saying he’s to blame for everything that he’s evil yada yada yada I gave him tons of negative fuel then I blocked him all my progress down the frigan toilet I’m booking a consultation now

    1. Ugotit, you’re even better that me… and I am the Queen of fountain-texting.
      I am going to book an email-consultation too…

    2. It’s not all down the toilet. Every time this happens you get less and less tolerant of it. It may not seem like it but you do and finally the days comes when you see how stupid it all is and you just don’t care anymore

    3. Im so sorry this happened to you. Just dont stop trying to NC him. It is soooo hard to do but u can do it!! We are all here for u.

  5. Thank you so very much for your new series of articles concerning the subject of shelf ipss.
    Your description of the mechanisms within the communication between the narcissist and his shelf ipps is brilliant, accurate, extremely to the point, and very very hurtful in the end.
    I suffered through those mechanisms many many times… exactly in the ways of your description. There were times of dissappointment (especially after sexual encounters) where I would write text message after text message ALL DAY LONG. Desperately. Without receiving an answer. Or in the end he would write: “You just can’t stop texting me, can you?”
    I also sensed and witnessed his parallell texting and sexting with other women …
    And yet I am still addicted, after almost four years of hurt, shame and dissappointment… still hoping to mean SOMETHING to him, still wanting to believe the lies…
    Thank you so very much…

      1. Yeah… great to be back on your Blog again… Your writing and differentiating has become even more accurate, detailed, systematic, striking, convincing and precise.
        Your provision of the concept of shelf ipps is extremely helpful and important … and hurtful…

  6. In an alternate scenario if the empath did not repetitively text to gain reassurance of a response, but instead recognised that she was being ignored after the first or second text and let it be, going weeks without initiating any contact. Would the narcissist believe that his position of superiority was affirmed and she was in her place ! or would he be open to the fact that she chose not to continue interaction because she valued herself a bit more then the narcissist could see?

    Or would a middle mid ranger only ever through his omnipotence see his supposed success in controlling the empaths responses? Would he have the potential cognitve ability to recognise other options / perspectives and balance these to form an opinion? If he can’t do this then he probably gets it wrong a lot of the time! But I guess he is happily oblivious to this too.

    Maybe only empaths and normals can see more angles and perspectives to a situation, which could be argued as a stronger position to be coming from. Choice to engage rather then need to engage with a narcissist, regardless of where your emotional thinking takes you, it’s still a choice to act upon it.
    In my limited experience Mid rangers seem to need you to initiate contact with them first. which again could be their omnipotence or it could be a debilitating fear of rejection. Their use of passive aggressive forms of communication/ or lack of, can also be viewed as cowardly. But again this is an advantage of being able to look at a situation from various different perspectives. Something the mid ranger would probably be inept at doing.

    1. Hi Rea. I have to agree with the rejection angle. Oh yeah…….and the fact that they have no balls and might get yelled at by us. (Sorry if offended) Little boys ……

  7. Does there have to be a hoover trigger just to come off the shelf? If you are put on the shelf, would you have to enter a sphere in order to come off the shelf?

      1. “Does there have to be a hoover trigger just to come off the shelf? If you are put on the shelf, would you have to enter a sphere in order to come off the shelf?”

        Thanks for the reply HG. I often wonder this too. Do you….delete us from your mind after engaging with us? It’s like you are able to multitask (interact with several people) but then delete us? I am trying to word this in a way so you understand what I am trying to ask. As in…I text or email or try and call? We will have some type of communication (usually a phone call) and then after that I am just kind of forgotten about? And future attempts at contacting are either accepted or ignored? But you only engage with us when we enter a sphere?

  8. HG, to follow up on your response to Lori, “There is no set time to remain on the shelf,” does this mean there is no way for the shelved appliance to know that once she has been on the shelf for a certain period of time without hearing from the narc, she will never be taken off the shelf/ hoovered? Thank you!

  9. HG..this piece of writing was brilliant..I really loved the format and it was like watching a movie. I got a little confused however, between the acronyms.. SIPPS or SIPSS? If a secondary source is on and off the shelf she would be an SIPSS I think? Also while she was being painted white or black depending on the day/reason/fuel.. what about his IPPS at the rifle range? Has she any idea as to what he is up to with this shelf secondary source? Also is an IPPS who lives with the narc ever put on the shelf? Thank you HG..

    1. Thankyou. Yes Salome pointed out the error with acronym and it has been changed.

      The IPPS does not know. She is not put on the shelf, no.

  10. Goodness ! Love it ! So damn good !

    This helps me out so much HG. I’ve never been able I bring myself to text like this. But I may give it a go and see what happens.

  11. so accurate, hg. one of my ex is a mmrn. he loves geysers. I’m a magnet. there is a geyser that he has kept around for his ego since high school. when we lived together, she would drive by the house, if she saw him , she would always honk. so not my style

  12. Hmm that’s pretty fascinating stuff. Great article HG! You broke it down in such a way that gives great clarity into the thinking patterns of both the narcissist and the empath .

  13. Brilliant article HG
    I like when you include dialogues and examples. This gives a better Picture in Our brains.
    Do you consider that being addicted to a narc is a sign of weekness on Our part?
    Do narcs even respect such behaviour that we cling to them and show them that they are superior to us? Or they don’t care about respect or Our feelings as long as they get their fuel?

      1. Thanks for Your reply

        I write so fast and then don’t check my mistakes before submitting the text. This is indeed my greatest weakness :-).

        By cutting all contact With Narc I will show him that I no longer depend on him. Will it increase my respect in his eyes? Even though i will not witness it but it would be good for my self respect to know.

        That is the reason why very many of us remain on shelves, as easy conquests means less Challenge for them, less value/dignity and less respect for us. And finally less value of fuel.

      2. “Will it increase my respect in his eyes? Even though i will not witness it but it would be good for my self respect to know.”

        As long as his opinions about you matter to you, you’re not free of him. You are still anxious for his recognition, even in your walking away. They will not provide it to you, unless it’s part of a ploy to ensnare you again in one capacity or other. They will never feel respect, the most they can feel is satisfied with an appliance working well, but even that is self-congratulatory as they take sole credit for you functioning well (and of course blame you for not functioning well).

        It’s a hard pill to swallow when you realise that you’ve given so much power and ascribed so much value to someone who really isn’t worth it. We hate to fail and we hate to be wrong. We hate to be demeaned by choosing a crappy partner (since our partners tend to reflect us). Sometimes this prevents us from completely detaching from them emotionally.

        The only emotion that has remained in connection with my N ex is a vague disgust and aversion. No emotionally-charged memories, no fluff, not regrets, nothing. Just “ew, I picked up this cute little stone in the park and took it home and made it into a pendant, but then as it started to smell I realised it was actually dog poo… I was wearing dog poo around my neck… *shudder*”. There, that’s what the narc was. Dog poo pretending to be this unique, exquisite mystical stone.

      3. I totally understand what you are saying. It takes a very long time to heal from N abuse. I feel nothing for the N anymore. Its like a numbness and I’ve moved to Idontgiveashitastan in my brain when it comes to him. It really does take a long time to come to understand they never loved you and everything was lie after lie after lie. Cant put flowers in an asshole and call it a vase is my view about it. They are what they are.

      4. Mini duck
        NC will not increase his respect for you. We mean nothing to the narcissist, except that we are appliances that provide fuel, character traits and residual benefits.

    1. Mini duck,

      I could be wrong, somehow I’m thinking they don’t do “respect” with much of anyone let alone an intimate partner. I have tried looking at it like this…how can he respect me when he isn’t really respecting himself? How can I expect a person like him to respect me and with character like his, does his opinion count for much?

  14. HG – question. We are all different types of empath, seeing all different types of narc. Yet obv we all resonate strongly with this example.

    How does this particular empath show she’s a geyser?
    And, how is this a MID mid ranger, as opposed to a LMR or UMR?

    1. The repeated emotive texts are indicative of the geyser however, since I was focussed on the exchange through text as the shelf point was the main thrust of the article (and I did not want to clutter it up with many repeated texts to distract from the point), it does not demonstrate the full response of a geyser which would be more evident in person.
      Again, it is more to do with the shelf element than conveying the full “flavour” of the school of narcissist because I did not want to distract from the main point of the article. A Lesser MR would be more aggressive in response, the UMR would feel less inclined to explain and would exhibit more charm. The MMR is very much – I am the one who is busy here.

      1. HG is the geyser empath the only one that does repeated text? Because I am guilty of this behavior and I can see where I went wrong. I can really relate. Thank you for this article it actually made me laugh at myself for my past behavior.

      2. “The MMR is very much – I am the one who is busy here.”

        Yup!!! That is the MMR! Always “busy”. He is either busy or has some physical ailment going on. Based on his lies I can say that my 92 year grandfather is better health.

      3. Excellent, thank you.
        I resonate with your response as my LMR would likely have thrown in a “fuck off” or the like,(unless he was with another fuel source , the. He wouldn’t respond at all after the first ) while my UMR would have thrown in sexual compliments to satiate me a bit.
        Very interesting.Again, fantastic article.

      4. It was like reading old screenshots between my ex MMRN and I. You’ve dubbed me as a super empath, yet my behavior and style of communication was identical to this.

      5. Oh I have to laugh. When I read this, I was like 10 texts? Try 20 ! lol then I go silent

  15. Realise I was always on the shelf having read this. Contact would start on Thursday alternate weeks mostly, usually a 10 day gap. Would know I’d be seeing him Saturday eve or Sunday morn or Sunday eve. He would never tell me till the day. Would stay usually 2 hrs was my limit. Once stayed 4 hrs. Never ever stayed over. Never met family or friends or went to social occasions. He called it a box. I know it’s a shelf. Years and years of brainwashing.

    1. Gosh Em.. you poor thing.. did he indicate that he had other women in his life or did he just make excuses and lies that he was busy on those 10 days between him seeing you? It would have been very hard “waiting” for his go ahead to meet up. Did you talk to him via messaging or phone calls in between being on the shelf and meeting up? I am glad you finally saw the light as to how he was using you. They are such dishonest people its sickening.. take care

      1. Thanks tiddlywink
        He denied it. Made out he was single and searching for his soulmate when actually he had an ipps in place. I was a gap filler. I didn’t know. I started to suspect but I didn’t know.
        I realise now he was pushing me nearer and nearer to discovery. I knew I wasn’t the one but I also didn’t know there was anyone else. I asked him to tell me if he met someone.
        I now realise that she and I would pass on the same day. She’d leave and I’d arrive or vice versa. And there were others in between. I know now the smug look in his face. She got to stay over and attend functions and meet family. I never did. I was extra fuel. Positive or negative. He’d send me photos or invite me over to see his xmas tree – which she had done for him. I didn’t know. He replaced her name with either his son or daughter in conversation.
        He was always texting and calling and setting me up so I was excited to see him when we finally met. I tried to play it cool. I didn’t want to seem like I was a hanger on. It got into a worse and worse rut. I started to push for more or to stop one or the other. I kept it a secret as I was slightly ashamed plus excited plus deep down I knew something wasn’t right. A friend finally showed me evidence.
        I didn’t want to give it up but I had to for my own sanity. He lied about everything. He’s still lying.

  16. Holy. Shit.

    Brilliant.
    Absolutely crystal clear e ample.

    Aldo- I did not realize that one could come on and off the shelf over a period of hours. I had assumed it was during absent silent periods we were on the shelf. Interesting. Out of mind, out of mind, hmm?

      1. Oh good one:) Cha Ching

        God if woulf be funny as hell to have you in the background listening and holding up flash cards of what to respond with Ahahaha

        He would be thinking how does this demon bitch know what I’m thinking!!! Ahahaha good stuff lol

      2. I think that would be a narc-off by proxy resulting in HG as victor 😉 hands down

  17. Hg I’m wondering if any of the following scenarios are possible 1. A guy is married and has a girlfriend on the side but the girlfriend is the primary source and the wife is the secondary source because he’s looking more to the girlfriend for fuel 2. A guy has a wife or girlfriend but the wife or girlfriend is not his primary sources because he’s using friends, relatives and tertiary sources in combination to get most of his fuel not his wife or girlfriend thereby she is not his primary source but his secondary source . I know this is at odds with conventional logic but it seems like there are certain situations where this could be the dynamic

    1. No, if the gf is on the side she will not be the IPPS.
      No, the wife remains the primary source and the other appliances are secondary and tertiary.

  18. HG,

    Have you been talking to my mid-range again?

    Excellent post. Yet again, you have out done yourself.

    Thank you.

    1. Yes I did see it Narc Affair. I was waiting on your commentary, my fellow shelfie. LOL. Get it? Yeah the monotone voice….it happened twice. Every other time he’s sounded sexy as hell. UGH!!!

    2. The thing is, there are ways of trying to get someone’s attention without coming off as an incessant whiner.

      Here is the thing and I am just being honest–if this situation were reversed and a guy was doing this to me, it would be an instant turn-off.

      I had a situation similarly happen to me, wherein I found myself messaging, then no response.

      Should that happen I usually will share a link/meme/joke that adds more to the exchange than merely, ‘Pay attention to me!’

      Like if we went away on a coastal retreat and saw a band, I would share a song from that band or a link showing the next place they are playing, etc.

      Then if still no response?

      If this is the case, then my final message would say something like, ‘Hope everything is alright. Haven’t heard from you in a while.’

      If you hear nothing, then he has moved on. In my case, the guy told me he suddenly had a girlfriend.

      Part of the problem in messaging so much is that it communicates a sense of desperation and that is never attractive. So that’s why my ego goes in overdrive and I find a million other things to do rather than obsess over this, but it doesn’t mean I am not hurting/worried/addicted.

  19. Its all about control and the split thinking. Reading about the other secondary source he is being intimate with after is upsetting but it is reality. Were being used. In my situation ive used him to get what i need as well. My biggest gripe are the mind games along the way and gaslighting. Its eased off but i still remember what hes done in the past. Also being shelved has been a problem for me. I dont like feeling taken for granted. If it wasnt for the other parts of the relationship we share i wouldve left him 2 years ago.

    1. Yes, narc affair- whatever you sign up for- love, just sex, a little of both, friendship with or without benefits, work relationship- mind games and cruelty were never part of the deal. I hope you get what you need.

  20. Brilliant, HG! I recognized myself in this. I am a SIPSS. Your superb breakdown of fuel, potency, duration, on or off the shelf, black/white was just what I needed. Before I found your site, I wasn’t sure what I was dealing with, but thanks to you and your hard work, I know. I have been through the CDs and as I always apologize, I end up painted white. I care less and less about him. Thank you so much!
    BTW, rather thinking that the narc in this article should be just a tad worried that his IPSS is at the rifle range…just saying…lol

  21. HG – Is it possible to be a shelf IPPS? I was long distance (except for every weekend) dating and then publicly engaged to a ping pong MR and he texted me at least twice an hour every hour for over a year.

      1. Hg do you think I was the primary or secondary source then? We were long distance our entire relationship. I am not sure what I was because we didn’t see each other in person during the weekdays but we constantly facetimed, texted and called each other and he proposed to me in front of his entire family so we were not having some secret affair.

      2. I would need proper information to make an informed decision and a consultation is the appropriate venue for doing so.

  22. Awesome example of a shelving! Ive seen bits and parts that i can relate to but not fully. In my situation im the married one and my narcs single.
    I can say that if he treated me like that id not be with him. Those crumbs id starve on and it would not last.
    Yet i do get shelved but id call it a present shelf bc its more the intimacy part. Its not at all what it used to be. Thats where the confusion sets in but then relationships do evolve and change. With narcissists theres always others on the side so im sure im being recycled to keep it fresh for him. Just when i feel id like to be just friends he becomes overly intimate again possibly sensing im withdrawing that way which is a tool he doesnt want to lose.
    Shelving can be done in many ways.
    Imo these crumbs in this scenerio come off as snubs. Shes being snubbed. Having to wait hours for a mere text wow no thanks. Thats not enough to keep me on a shelf.
    I have been upset in the past when hes not replied and i can see hes seen my text but that doesnt happen very often. My situations different tho bc hes not married.
    Hes always been understanding with my marriage but its bc it works for him and gives him time “elsewhere”. Hes got other secondaries to see to. Im sure hes got a schedule for us. Meet A at 2pm finish at 4 and meet B at 6 via chat….
    He likes to know ahead of time what my day will be like and when we will talk or meet up. It reminds me of jotting in a daytimer. Hes very organized but then i guess he has to be…

    1. It’s amazing how everyone’s situations are different yet the same. In mine we are both married

      As far as accepting crumbs, I probably don’t seem like the type that would to most people but I can tell you both Narcs have brought to me knees. I quite confident in other areas of my life but not this one. When you are an addicts the bar of what you will accept and not accept continues until you hit rock bottom. It’s not until you hit your rock bottom that real meaningful change can happen. Yes, I have accepted behavior from this man that I would never accept from anyone else. He thinks that makes him powerful and desired but really that’s not really it. It’s nothing special about him it’s just old fashioned case of addiction and honestly he is just as interchangeable as we are. How do I know this? Because I have had and I dare say number 1 could show up sweep me off my feet and I’d barely think of this narc. This is why codependents are so similar to Narcs in that regard

      Watch Mr. Narc someone could easily show up and off to the shelf YOU go. You were right there really is nothing special about you. Any narc will work. Don’t worry I saved a nice little spot on my shelf for you. You’ll be quite happy there.

      I’m such a good little Codependent

  23. Good grief… I’m exhausted after reading that. No wonder it felt like a roller coaster ride.

  24. You must stay tired.

    And the featured narcissist is one busy boy. Unfortunately, I could have starred in your movie… only I was supposed to have been the primary. But there were many others, so this was applicable to my situation regardless.

    I’ve been that texting girl, firing off pleas, calling over and over, frantic to get a hold of him…. and all for crumbs. Man, I wish that I would have been more stingy with my fuel.

    This dialogue was very interesting as having the narcissist’s thoughts/intentions broken down is perfect for someone like me… who wants to know every detail and who asks “why” to every action? (I loved this article!)

    You just ‘fueled’ my neurosis, but in a good way. And I have to say… feels good. Words can be very soothing. But information is the antidote for someone like me.

  25. HG f you apologize alot and are completely ignored ..would that then be the start of a devaluation ?

    1. In what dynamic? If you mean this one – you are already in devaluation if you are being ignored but in this dynamic it is a Corrective Devaluation, which are shorter than the devaluation and IPPS gets.

  26. Thank you HG for switching on the lightbulb in my mind – it doesn’t matter what flavor of empath you are, or what your fuel providing acronym is. The bottom line is this: if you aren’t getting what you want or need from your relationship with anybody (narcissist or normal) get the f— out and get what you deserve! Don’t waste your time trying to figure out how “bad” a person is – if they are bad for you, get the f— out! All of this naval gazing is helpful to a point, but then it’s time to move!

  27. THE. BEST. ARTICLE. YET

    HG

    I would love to see more on the relationship with ipss. I think a lot of us here are ipss or sipss

  28. “One text/quick hello putting head around office door/ 5 minute telephone call – on shelf.

    Extended texts/going for a coffee for half an hour/ 30 minute telephone call – off shelf.”

    So if the shelved appliance initiated contact by text, then the narc called to fill her in on what was going on in his life after no contact for months, then they exchanged some more texts over a few days all initiated by the appliance, then the narc called in response to her text and they spoke for over an hour. Was she ever taken off the shelf or did she remain on the shelf throughout?

      1. Pretty please, HG dear!! These are far easier to understand the constantly changing dynamic within the narc relationship. As always, your writing makes the situation more clear and reassures that we are not going mad. 😜

    1. I’d like to see one of those charts where you pick a choice and then it leads you to the next and next and at the end, it tells you what kind of empath you are. At the very top, there would be a question that determines if you are a normal or an empath and then move from there. It would be terribly complicated and probably ultimately inaccurate. But at least as entertaining as some of those “personality tests” they have on Facebook. A lot of us wonder what a super empath really looks like. And are probably incorrect in our assumptions.

      1. HG, may I submit a Greater/IPPS Super analysis? Complex. Sir, I’m just yanking on my chains!! Hehe

      1. It is possible with an Upper Lesser more than the other sub-divisions and of course you need to keep in mind the position in the fuel matrix too.

    1. You are correct. Fortunately, having placed it in inverted commas readers will have recognised what it referred to, but I have corrected it.

  29. Do women not have any pride left? In no way am I trying to be contrary, but, for crying out loud, why would anyone continue to beg for crumbs from someone who basically tells you to leave them alone? I’ve succumbed to a Narc and I cringe when I think of the dignity I handed him on a platter, but I NEVER stooped this low. In fact, I sometimes ignored his texts for a while just because I could. Even though I didn’t know much about what a Narc was at the time, I always called it “playing it cool.” A defense mechanism, I guess. The blame for this humiliation belongs to the SIPPS, JMO.

    1. Some people’s addiction is stronger than others. Your narcissistic trait of pride kicked in, for others that trait is not as strong and thus they do not do as you did.

      1. Then score one for the narcissist’s traits. Maybe some women need to adopt a few for their own self-preservation. Thanks for the response, BTW. I do enjoy your blogs and videos.

      2. I have to say that when you are in it , it is a lot harder to see it. Looking back though, is a whole different matter.

      3. I have a lot of ego and pride where I refuse to let myself grovel but just because it kicks in doesn’t mean we are any less addicted.

        Just like we don’t really know what is going on behind the scenes, you don’t see the full picture, either.

      4. And let’s not forget how understanding we are “taught” to be: let people be who they are, give them space, let go of your pride for the sake of the relationship, and all that’s just what society tells us. Add the Devil’s Toolkit to the mix and there you have it.

      5. Absolutely MH! I’ve decided to take my power back! I was raised to appreciate everything I got whether it was what I wanted or not. This article punched me in the gut, hard. I’m up off my knees. I don’t want to be that anymore. Thanking him for crumbs and then begging for just one more. I’m so much better than that. I don’t allow anybody else in my life to treat me this way. I didn’t want to see it as weak, but as ever HG tells us the cold, hard truth and we love him for it. The truth hurts, but it’s what helps us grow.

      6. MH

        You just hit the nail on the head. ‘Give him space’. I gave him time and space and time and space so much so he was in his own fucking galaxy.

        A lot of us are taught, myself included, to never pester someone.

      7. My name is MB, and I am a narc addict. I admit it. I will always be tempted, but I’m getting stronger. Could this blog be considered Narcaholics Anonymous?

      8. HG, why do we continue to engage in this behaviour despite knowing with our rational mind that it is demeaning? Maybe this is a rhetorical question. In retrospect it is embarrassing, but yet I’m not sure if in the future there would be enough fortitude to prevent it.

      9. Addiction, the application of empathic traits and emotional thinking, in brief. It is an expansive topic and one which I address in detail in consultation in terms of the whys and what to do about it.

      10. HG,

        Would you say that the narcissistic trait of pride is the only one you see in Sarah Jessica Snarker’s comment above and below. It seriously trips my trigger. I swear I detect a touch of superiority mixed with a lack of empathy.

    2. SJS, healthy narcissism is a good thing. But consider this: what to do with your own emotional depth when the other turns out to be so shallow? Can you just do as they do and stop feeling the feelings you’ve gradually developed because it all turned out to be a meaningless sham? Or maybe you’ve been traumatised and your capacity to feel vulnerable in relationships is repressed and attached to abuse triggers, leading to addiction?

      It’s embarassing yes, but i think it’s also empowering to admit that not everything is simply self-hatred or a lack of personal responsibility.

      1. I have been in it, believe me. Drowning in it. And please understand, I do not consider myself above anyone here nor do I mock anyone’s addiction. My mind was put through an old fashioned wringer and I still can’t get the wrinkles out. I won’t go into the whole tale of woe, but I will tell you that I would not wish that gut punch on my worst enemy. Yet I have to lay the blame for a lot of it on myself. My precious Narc was dropping red flags like a drunken bullfighter. My instincts as an intelligent (and Narc experienced) woman told me that something was not quite right. But, being at a vulnerable point in my life, I chose to ignore the signals and embrace the poo. The guy was textbook, but I didn’t know anything about NPD a year ago. Still…still…I never, ever in my life have begged a man for his attention or crumbs from his table. Oh, I’m not saying I’m devastating or that I am super confident, but I just have always had survivor instincts. Begging is for junkyard dogs. I may have cried a river over this POS, but by God, I was never never going to let him know it. So, even before the devaluation began, I “played the game and played it cool.” Hey, never let ’em see ya sweat, that’s my motto. The whole experience hurt like hell. Still does. But one thing I can say that keeps my head up on days when I feel like assuming the fetal position: I never let NarcFace know how much he got to me. Hoovering? I laugh. I have such a force field around me now, Harry Houdini couldn’t get through it.

      2. What do you do with your own emotional depth?
        What does one do with the emotional depth . . .l appreciate that I have emotional depth. I’m most creative during melancholy periods.

        I have not been able to stop my feelings for him. So I write. I paint. I still love the illusion.

        I try to kick in with my logic when I start thinking of him–100X a day it seems . . . Think, think, think logically and override ET . . . its practice, practice, practice and one day it will work.

        I grieve. I cry. I get angry at being conned, being abused. But most importantly is I grieve the loss. Loss of hope, dreams, perceived love, even though it was an illusion . . . I grieve all of it.

    3. SJS.. i am the same way..now. After being a DS for 4 yrs and all the begging,pleading, thinking i could fix him , dosent work and i look back after its been about 5yrs NC and i really do ask myself what happened to my pride in those years. I REFUSE to ever beg for someones love/affection again.. there’s the door ———>

      1. Julie, sometimes I look back at the wide-eyed innocent young woman I used to be (eons ago!) and I want to weep. She was so trusting and just wanted to love and be loved. But she was banished and in her place is a hardened, guarded woman who is forced to question the motives of every potential mate. Oh, that girl still lurks deep down and struggles to appear occasionally, but I know now that she cannot be let out of her cage.

      2. SJS… I TOTALLY understand what your saying. After the DS narcissist of almost 4 yrs it took me several years to try dating again and in the past 3 months ended up with 2 more narcissists. I find I am not the trusting person I was before and sometimes I wonder if I am turning into my own worst emeny for being so untrusting now. The damage the DS one did was horrific. This last N i dated a few weeks ago made a comment to me that really threw me a red flag and yet again I chose to ignore it. He had not texted me back like he always does and it reminded me of the DS narc and im my frustration I texted him “hot date”? And he told me some excuse why he didnt respond and of course I apologize and explained to him my ex used to pull that all the time when he was out cheating so I was having flash backs… his response, “im not THAT guy”. He WAS that guy. Trust will be earned from now on not freely given. I have learned that what a N says is usually quite the opposite. You cant stick flowers in an asshole and call it a vase i suppose.

    4. When my pride would kick in, I’d not message my LMR narcoholic for a week or so, and only respond to texts when he asked a question, and even then only a brief to the point response. Always brought him around. But then as soon as i was acting “normal” again, he’d pull power trips.
      I only started doing this toward when I was getting sick of him anyways, then when my self esteem and self respect was at a high level, I ditched entirely. Been near 5 months now. I wouldn’t engage in this again now that I’ve read HG’s stuff.

      1. Julie. . Sorry to hear of your recent ordeal with a narc. Interesting when he said he is “not THAT guy”, how did you end up finding out he WAS in fact THAT guy? I know there may have been flags tinged with red, but what clinched it for you in this instance that he was a narc when he was being trusted as not being one? Just curious to know because they are such incredibly believable liars..

      2. Hi tiddlywink.. after he said that I think I became hyper vigilant in a way. I started noticing he would say he was going to bed in a text then I he would be on social media, he stopped texting me the minute he woke up like he used to do. The texting throughout the day declined rapidly. Then the last straw was when he called me on his way home from work and everything was great and a few hours later I texted him and he didn’t answer for hours then I picked up the phone and called him and was met with a super creepy tone in his voice like he was calm & collected yet pissed off as hell! It was actually frightening tbh. I asked him why he was talking to me in that way and he said “you know ive had a bad day and the electrician never showed up and i took half day off work for him” i then proceeded to tell him 2x not to speak to me in that tone because I didnt do anything to him. I bid him to have a good evening then I basically dumped him the next day via text.. havent heard from him in several weeks. I probley wont and im good with that. But I would be lying if i denied I missed him. But I wont be talked to like that. Was creepy as hell. I cant even describe it.

      3. 12345

        That was not meant to be mean but heres the things if Shane came to mind and it did because you used that word it’s telling you something

        Shame could be there from childhood or shame could be ciming from the Narc. Narcs have a unique way of getting us to experience THEIR shame for them.

        It could be either or both. In my case it’s both as I am codependent and codepebdecy is a shame based condition so is Narcisssism for that matter difference being their shame is so deep and so big they cannot coexist with it. Codependent can.

        You don’t need to be judicious.with comments sometimes others may see something you don’t. My first narc it was mentioned to me online that I might be codependent. I wax so freakin pissed off. How dare anyone blame me for his crazy shit! Then I went to the therapist guess what ? You are Codepebdent. It was in fact true and I had to apologize to those people but I truly never saw it. Now I’m like how did I not see if!

      4. Lori, your opening sentence to me must have tripped me up. “Why oh why do people constantly scream victim blaming when you mention their part in this dynamic.” It assumes a lot to me and anything that begins that way shuts me down to the rest. No doubt I have more wok to do.

        I’m sick to death of explaining all the ways I’ve owned my part and that I loath being in any victim category. I learn more from posters who share their experience strength and hope. What has helped them in their journey. I don’t learn anything from the posters who preface or end posts with an “at least I’m not that pathetic” position and then clean up by saying they don’t think they’re better than anyone else. It really is that simple.

        I’ve been analyzed to death over my response from those who have never seen any other post from me. As I’ve clearly stated, I won’t be posting my reaction to comments like that again. I have learned my lesson. I promise.

    5. Finally, I know who to blame! Me! Nothing like a fresh pile of shame to go on believing it’s all my fault! No matter that the SIPPS may have been raised from birth that being put on a shelf throughout their childhood was normal and would cause them to look for the same familiar treatment in adulthood.

      Whew! So relieved to know that the blame and humiliation belong to me. This has given me a brand new positive outlook to start my day!

      1. I suppose that is addressed to me. Well, it’s obvious you are aware of the root of your behavior. And coming to this website signals some incentive for change. But if you continue to swim in the pity pool, drowning is always a possibility. There comes a time when you have to get out of the water and change into your big girl panties (or knickers, if the case may be).

      2. Sara, if you knew anything about me at all or any of my past posts you would know that I am keenly aware of my part in my consequences and have absolutely no self pity. I am honest to a fault and very self aware. I shouldn’t have replied to your comment I just couldn’t believe that I was reading that on a site intended for healing instead of tearing down. You are completely entitled to your perception but your perception of my self pity is as far off as you can get. I’m not a fan of inflicting shame on people. It stands to reason that if you are participating in this blog then there is plenty to tend to on your own side of the street instead of determining who deserves blame. We’re all in process. Some may see clearly, some may still be in the fog but all need encouragement without shame. I wish you the best. Bygones.

      3. Why oh why do people constantly scream victim blaming when you mention their part in this dynamic.

        It’s not victim blaming. It’s called be realistic and honest with yourself. If you continually let a Narc abuse you IT IS your fault. Who else’s fault is it? Unless he had you in a dungeon, you were free to leave at anytime. If that makes you feel shame then you need to address that bit likely that shame was from childhood. Narcs are mirrors of what needs to be addressed in us.

        What happens on these pages is we become so obsessed with him and and HIS condition and HIS behavior and HIS dysfunction. That is us giving away our power. You get your power back when you take the focus off of him and put it back on you? What void was he filling. What should you have done and why did you? What will you do in the future etc.

        The questions about him have been answered. He is a Narcissist. He is disordered. He doesn’t love your or anyone else and he never did or will you cannot fix him no one can.

        This is how you get your power back. You always had it. You just chose to give it away. He stole your NO now steal it back !

      4. Thanks, Lori. There is a difference between “I never stooped this low” and telling people to be realistic and honest which I fully support. I “played it cool” a thousand times, but as HG has pointed out, playing it cool is still fuel. Every one of us is walking out our humanity and I think every one of us here has been ensnared by a narc but I could be wrong. If you get ensnared by a narc then haven’t you stooped pretty damn low already? I have owned a thousand times that it is my fault, I was ALWAYS free to leave, that I lied to myself more than he ever did and on and on. I believe I stated some of these things in my previous post. You can trust that I know my part and fully acknowledge that I taught the narc how to treat me. I also most certainly have my power back and have had for some time. All of these things are historically transparent in all my posts and most end in an acknowledgment that it was my fault. I’ve actually come quite a long way in crossing the emotional sea and am really proud of myself. I’ve cut out all the narcs in my life and my boundaries improve by the day. So, my takeaway at this point is to be far more judicious in my comments on posts and move on to the next right thing. I have learned this lesson before but apparently needed a reminder of what it leads to. Have a good weekend.

      5. 12345, it seems to me that you are conflating responsibility with blame&shame. To me, responsibility is fundamentally the ability to respond, nothing more and nothing less. Add to that that it falls to _us_ to respond to things that happen to _us_ and to act on _our_own_ behalf, and there you have it. No blame nor shame involved – for me. I do the best that I can at any given time. I fuck up and will continue to do so. Who cares. Looking back, I remember having felt like a royal fuck-up on several occasions. I remember the feeling of shame and guilt, but not the situation. Whatever it was that seemed like I should go dig myself a hole straight to China was really of no importance in the long run.

        Seriously, no need to feel humilated by fucking things up – we all do that. None of us would be here if we hadn’t fucked up at least once, right? 🙂

        It’s a matter of perspective. Saying “I’m responsible for what happened” does not equal “I am stupid/worthless/etc.” Hm, just a thought, 12345 – are you prone to perfectionism? Do you feel that you are only okay if you do everything right and perfect – and the only way that a failure is acceptable is when it’s someone else’s fault?

        If bearing responsibility for your own choices and actions and motivations is too much, it’s probably because there’s some other, pretty heavy baggage tied up in there, like shame and guilt.

        Responsibility is not terrible per se. Annoying, sure, because it often includes the realisation that, fuck it, you can’t change what is, and you have to play the crappy hand that you are dealt. And it doesn’t matter whose fault/responsibility it was (parents who messed up your head, romance novels&films, consumerist society etc.), nothing can make the present state go away. It is what it is. But it also means being able to stop being stuck in this spot and to focus on moving forward.

        I personally find that people who ascribe to the concept of ‘fairness’ and ‘justice’ and good being rewarded/evil being punished tend to have a harder time accepting responsibility and finding a way out of the mess. On one hand, they believe that the world owes them something since they are good, right, and so they shouldn’t be made to go through all this unjust crap and why is this happening to them… on the other hand, they may secretely believe they must have done something to deserve it, that they must be somehow bad inside and not worthy of more. The latter is of course unbearable and thus gets projected a lot onto others… but I digress.

        My point was: responsibility =/= blame&shame.

      6. Hi Morning Sun, I appreciate you taking the time to post a response to me. I completely understand the responsibility of responsibility” 🙂 I have no trouble taking responsibility for different outcomes in my life and am keenly aware when I need to. I tend to own outcomes that aren’t even my own. My reaction was to another poster with an “at least I’m not as bad as them” type comment. I should NEVER have posted my reaction to it because I can’t think of anything that matters less. I do, however, greatly appreciate your post and feel that it is dead on. It gave me plenty to think about. There are so many layers to why we’re all on this blog. Glad you’re here walking the long road with people like me 🙂

      7. 12345, thank you for clarifying, and I’m glad you still found use for some of what I wrote. 🙂 I also think it’s good that you posted your comment, as it sparked an exchange of opinions that may be of great use to others reading this.

        “I tend to own outcomes that aren’t even my own.” Word! One of the tough hurdles to overcome for many of us. I’m actually rather grateful that the relationship with the narc wore me down to the extent where it was a matter of survival to stop owning other people’s crap. Being in a relationship with a narc can actually be one of the best things to happen to you.

      8. You are soooo right, Morning Sun! If I hadn’t hit rock bottom with my ex narc I would have never broken free from the other narcs in my life! The most important thing I did for my recovery besides blocking him is going no contact with my mother. I did it kindly and it was so hard because society frowns on children who disassociate from their parents. It has been the best thing I’ve ever done. So, you’re right, many good things have come from something terrible that almost broke me. “I deserve better than toxic relationships” was something I never believed. Slowly but surely I’m believing that statement and taking the steps to make it the truth for me. Thanks for reminding me that this whole ugly process can produce some pretty great things!!

      9. 12345
        You know that I have strong opinions that are not always well received, but I still voice them. They may resonate with someone or no one, and I may have come across in the same way as the comments that upset you here, but I want to say that sometimes in desperately wanting someone to see their own strength it can often come across in the wrong way – as shaming vs empowerment, and if I have caused you or others to feel that, I apologize. I have been here since you first arrived on the blog and have rooted for you while you have navigated the many stages. You have gone from taking ALL of the responsibility on yourself and not believing you deserved better, to identifying that there were many factors and people that shared that responsibility and reclaiming your strength and power. I thought you so hard on yourself that I wondered at times if you would be able to get where you are today, but I can say now that I am very happy to have been wrong to have had any doubt and more importantly that you now know that you deserve better and you have found your voice. It is the result I always wanted for you despite my delivery or I would not be here. You should be very proud.

      10. This is the nicest message! If your posts have ever triggered me, I can’t remember it. I DIED laughing when you responded to me on the no contact poll and ended it with “now go eat some ice cream”. Context…I was talking about how weight gain helped me stay no contact. I’m right there with you though. In fact, when I first found HG I thought all the people who claimed to have healing were faking it. I just couldn’t imagine that healing was possible. I’m by no means finished but I’m far enough away from where I started that I now believe everyone who said they were healing really are healing. Your message has made my day. Thank you for your encouragement, NA!!!

      11. This sentnece is an excellent example of the empathic trait of positivity: “Being in a relationship with a narc can actually be one of the best things to happen to you.”

        Thank you, Morning sun!

    6. SJS.. I absolutely agree with you..if i feel I am being ignored I wont beg because I would feel i am annoying them by doing so and that might put them off me forever..in some ways it is still showing my insecurities, but they are not seeing those insecurities because I would not text them if I know I am being ignored…I guess its intuition.. even though I might not have realised he was a narc at the time, if he said he was busy studying or working I took that as the truth and left him alone..silly me though, in retrospect I now know he was lying and instead was with his other appliances during those times..and yes like you, if he texted me all happy like everything was just dandy after about 10 days of no contact, I would wait sometimes a good few hours or a day before replying..because after all, how dare they dictate when they can contact us and when they can’t? I like your style SJS..

      1. SJS and Tiddkywink

        You two are likely not Codependent. The ignoring will drive a Codependent mad. Codepebdents seek control and being ignored is the ultimate loss of control the same exact way it is for the Narc.

        Codependents are very similar to Narcs in that regard. A perceived loss of control will make us crazy

      2. Thanks, Tiddly and Lori. If someone (ahem!) had read my other post, they would realize that I understand how you feel because I have been terribly hurt by a NarcPOS. However, if anyone feels I was inflicting shame upon them…I just have to let that person know that I do not have that kind of power. If you feel shame, that is YOUR reaction to something I said. If it struck a nerve, then perhaps you should figure out why. I’m the last person to pass judgement on anyone. Maybe we should put the “feelings” on hold and start using our brains for a change. Head over heart. If you “feel” you must text bombard a Narc who is playing cat and mouse with your emotions, then perhaps you should step back, use your head, and realize how degrading that is for a woman who deserves so much better.

      3. I’m with ya, Sista! It may be a dagger through the heart when Narc goes silent, but I ain’t going for a ride on that emotional roller coaster. Two can play at the silent treatment game. I do have good friends to spend time with. I do read books. We need to quit giving these idiots so much power. They are not omnipotent. They do not have power over time or space. They have to use the loo like all the rest of us. Ridicule is always a good tool to use to get over the jerk.

  30. Brilliant in not only content but also in the delivery. Step by step examples are so helpful and fascinating in demonstrating the narc mindset during these interactions. Well done HG!

  31. This is a terrific article, HG! Thank you very much for your continued enlightenment of us shelved appliances otherwise overlooked by everyone else out there writing about narcissists.
    ““It was great spending the weekend with you. I can’t wait until we do it again.”

    This is pure positive fuel. Very good potency, one off frequency, very low quantity as short and in writing. ”

    I am surprised this is considered good potency. Most of my messages to the narc were replete with compliments, words of praise, admiration, and adoration. Must have been superb potency. What do you think, HG? Also, could please confirm my understanding from the article that when the IPSS initiates contact and the narc responds, she remains on the shelf and his response is comfort crumbs but when he initiates contact, that means he is taking her off the shelf?

    1. Potency is linked to your position in the hierarchy.

      No, it is the duration of contact when initiated by the narcissist that matters. A one off response by the narcissist is a comfort crumb and is not being taken off the shelf.

      1. Thanks so much, HG! This is very helpful. Would you mind clarifying the following: “No, it is the duration of contact when initiated by the narcissist that matters” ?

      2. One text/quick hello putting head around office door/ 5 minute telephone call – on shelf.

        Extended texts/going for a coffee for half an hour/ 30 minute telephone call – off shelf.

      3. I’m guessing there never was a FR. Only on shelf/off shelf. Is that a thing? I should consult.

      4. this is where my wounds are. I use to be off shelves for days. We had always previously negotiated how long I would stay , then I would go home and come back for a couple days. So I was off shelve 70% of the time ( his free time – he has an IPPS who is not too available) now I am on shelve 95% of the time. Every time I left , I came back with more shelving time in between our time together.

        Thank you for this article. I find it so relevant the dialogues , intentions of Narc and impact of actions of the SIPSS.

        I Mostly have now Ping-pong texting. It is ok to text twice but no more. IF the ball is not sent back- I will send a one off later on another topic but if no answer I will not text again. Thanks to HG

        I had the ping pong attitude with this Narc most of the time except when we were fighting- but he was responding.

        Crumbs, crumbs… I wish teenagers would read ths article that would be a great piece of learning for the future.

  32. There are only a handful of your blog entries that make me sick to my stomach but this is definitely one of them. When I was reading, it felt like an out of body experience where I look down and watch the exact interaction I had with the ex narc so many times play out.

    It’s such a great reminder of reality even though I’ve done some healing. To think I truly thought all of that was real at the time blows my mind. It also makes me realize that I have to have this kind of reminder occasionally or I minimize the pain of what happened.

    The scales have definitely been removed from my eyes and I’m able to see what was really happening. Excellent example, HG. Incredible how accurate your description is. Bravo!

    1. Same thing with me, 12345! Same thing with me. Especially the finale, where the narc engages in sexting with two Sipps an the Same time. Suffered throuh this so many times. And yet I am addicted, still hoping to be the one and only to him…

      1. You’re at the right place so don’t give up. I thought I would never ever get better but it happened. It’s so hard to wrap your head around them never having cared for you at all but, unfortunately, it’s true. You’re gonna make it. I’m certain of that. You might slip, but don’t give up. Stay the course. Be proud of yourself for even trying. Some stay in the same situation all their lives.

  33. Really good rundown. As I was reading I was hooked in and wanted to tell the SIPPS to stop texting!

    I know myself and I would likely apologize and then left it at that, which would have gone nowhere and left me with more waiting.

    Of course, this also depends on how long this had been going on with the narcissist.

    And here she is, thinking that he regards her as the only one while he is yankin’ it on Skype.

  34. OMG. The image speaks the writings of an entire book and the silent {still unbeknownst} wreckage of a thousand Souls

    And this “dark dance” continues to run renegade upon all dysfunctional relationships over and over, around the world and throughout time. Thank you HG for trying to give complete and most accurate clarity to all who have the ears to hear and the eyes to see. Again, another perfectly dissected writing of yours, HG.

    1. Hello Roger,

      I like your term “dark dance.” Your expression offers a perfect image of the push and pull in which we are all too familiar. Interactions with a narcissist really is like a dizzying, dark dance. They spin us around and around; quickly drop us for The Dip… and they never exit the dance floor without first stepping on our toes.

      So I agree. This article is a great example of a classic dysfunctional relationship. The next time that narc music starts to play… I’m gonna sit that one out… or at least I hope that I never dance that way again!

  35. Wow that just hit home. I didnt text that much of the where are you’s and the like but i did a few times. When i called after he did not answer my texts i was talked to in a tone of voice that was absoutley scary. Very monitone yet angry.. not yelling but i KNEW he was angry and when I asked him why he wAs talking to me in such a manner i was reminded how he had a bad day because his electrician didnt show up. I told him I am not the electrician and i didnt do anything to him and i didnt appreciate the tone. Havent heard from him since…anyone know the “tone” im refering to? And i dont believe it had anything to do with the electrician anyways ..

    1. “When i called after he did not answer my texts i was talked to in a tone of voice that was absoutley scary. Very monitone yet angry.. not yelling but i KNEW he was angry”

      Julie, I got something similar minus the anger. It was more “flat”….like I was talking to a robot. And yes….monotone. I know EXACTLY what you are referring to. I heard excuses too. I am tired, I feel sick, my kid is sick, it must be this weather, etc.

      1. CF…Absoutely! I havent had the unprivilege of a go with this type of N and im still working it out as to what type he was (soley because i want to know) but i had had the very sAme tone used on me the first time i ever talked to him on the phone . I got the feeling both times i had really made him mad but he wasnt yelling.. flat & angry . And BOTH times everything seemed like it was going great then boom! I can only imagine now in hindsight that I probley was interupting him trying to secure other sources. My guess is he probley would have been a violent type. He’s been blocked & deleted for sure. Im learning all i can now. This behavior is quite disturbing to say the least. I had been the dirty secret with one for almost 4yrs that i had no clue it even had a name! That was a horrible experience and i wouldnt wish that on anyone. I wasnt allowed to meet his kid, his family, we never went anywhere anyone from work would see us… excuse after excuse.

      2. Hi gabs…the monotone voice do you think it was to send a message that he wasnt happy and didnt want to give you encouragement? I think many do that with dls if they are trying to assert themselves in any way. Its like a punishment or warning that they want the dls to back off. Almost like an emotional silent treatment. Emotions are turned off until you adhere to whats going on. If hes not into talking make yourself scarce etc

        Ive had this happen 2 times that i can think of offhand. Both times were on the phone. I could tell he was preoccupied bc he wasnt fully there in the conversation. I suspect he was texting someone as we talked. Then he made an excuse that he had to go but wed meet at our usual time which was in a few hours time. An hour later he apologized for leaving so quickly. I know he knew i was upset and felt he was rushing me off the phone. Maybe damage control or facade or both.
        Its a shitty feeling so i fully know how youd feel. Its a form of rejection and hurts.

      3. Hi in hind sight mine went into monotone the deeper into devaluation he went. Also when he was using borrowed phrases and comment they would sound robotic like they weren’t his words.
        I can see so much more clearly now I’m in NC.

      4. “I had been the dirty secret with one for almost 4yrs that i had no clue it even had a name! That was a horrible experience and i wouldnt wish that on anyone. I wasnt allowed to meet his kid, his family, we never went anywhere anyone from work would see us… excuse after excuse.”

        Julie,
        Same here, replace 4 years with a little over 2 years now. I have not met his family or his daughter. The girl before me saw his daughter frequently. And same with being out and about in public. NEVER in his town except when I would attend his shows (he plays piano for a theater company). Dinners out? At least 30+ minutes away in another town and even then he would always case out the place and be looking over his shoulder.

      5. CF… wow Ive never had the chance to chat with someone who has had the same thing happen.. its crazy how they keep you secret! I asked my N on several occasions “what am I to you” and he NEVER answered me. Always changed the subject or made me out to be needy. Your situation is sooooo similat! Mine ended up marrying a girl 23yrs younger than him within 6-7 months of me escaping. I used to wonder why he would marry her and we were together almost 4 yrs? Then i decided he is still the same N and history will soon repeat itself with this one. I am really glad you shared your story! I wonder how rare the dirty secrets are actually. And how come mine lasted so long ? Yours lasted 4yrs as well?

      6. Gabbanzobean.. this particuarl N didnt cause my divorce but he sure helped it along. I didnt even realize that there was a name for what I was to him but I am glad HG has clarified that for me because I always told the N I felt like nothing more than a secret…. and here I have it & now I know. So glad I found this site for sure.

      7. Narc Affair,
        I thought I replied to this but I see I was replying to your other comments to me. Your theory re: wanting me to back off and to not give me encouragement. Interesting and it makes sense. He frequently reminds me (via “corrective devaluations” HG terminology) that it will never be more than it is and blah blah blah and I need to stop being so obsessed with him and yatta yatta yatta. Then he acts like nothing happened and he goes back to his behaviors. Sexting me, having visits with me, being intimate in person (good grief that is a major weakness, I always give in because it is euphoric). And then it’s shelving/distancing and right back to the corrective devals again and again. Meh. But yeah I just wanted to say your theory has merit.

      8. Hi gabs…i feel your pain with the reminders itll never be more. In my case i never wanted it to be but the way he makes me feel at times is that i dont mean much to him but i know i do. When i say i know i do i mean in the context of fuel. Your narc seems to give absent shelvings while mine does present ones. Hes shelved our intimacy on and off and i think its bc hes recycling between the secondaries in his life. He doesnt have a primary. I do have a question regarding this ill be asking HG in his utube ask HG.
        I feel bad for your situation bc being treated like a dls does a number on your self esteem. You should be with a man that wants to show you off and is proud of you.
        I have a question…how was he able to let one of his sources meet his daughter and family?? Wasnt he afraid of his infidelity being exposed? Did he tell you this or did you see it? He couldve told you that as a triangulation? Or devalument.
        I hope one day you see your worth. Youre a single woman and free to do as you please and meet the perfect man. Ive never met a man via dating sites but it seems way easier to meet people than before the internet days. Its been a long time 😁 Heres an idea what if you started dating and meeting other people? Maybe youd meet the perfect guy and itd take away from this loser? Maybe you are already.
        He must be something extraordinary to hang on with hardly any encouragment or investment in time with you. You can do so much better! I get it tho its an addiction and a struggle to break. Youll get there and so will i. Lets both jump off that shelf together 🤗

      9. Narc Affair,

        “I have a question…how was he able to let one of his sources meet his daughter and family?? Wasnt he afraid of his infidelity being exposed? Did he tell you this or did you see it? He couldve told you that as a triangulation? Or devalument.”

        Here is the story he told me and yes I realize he could have fabricated parts of this or even all of it but this is what I was told: She only met his kid, not the rest of his family. He said he was planning to leave his wife and be with her. He, the other girl and his kid (who was about 2-3 years old at the time as this was several years ago) were out in public at a restaurant and then a park together. Someone took pictures and video of them and then anonymously blackmailed him into telling his wife the truth otherwise expose him themselves. He was then forced to “realize the error of the decision he was going to make. He realized he “lost his mind” and then broke it off with the other girl. Him and wife went to counseling and she forgave him and he never talked to the other girl again”.

        later on that story changed to: “we keep in touch once a year. I screwed her over pretty bad by changing my mind so I owe it to her to still be a proper friend to her” (I am paraphrasing but that was the gist of it).

        Just like he wants to be a “proper friend” to me. We need to “do the right thing” and stop the “inappropriate behavior”. And also it’s why we can only go out to dinner half an hour (or further) away from his town because God forbid he sees anyone he knows in public (who has no idea who I am).

        “Heres an idea what if you started dating and meeting other people? Maybe youd meet the perfect guy and itd take away from this loser?”

        I have tried. No one comes close to evoking the same feelings.

        “He must be something extraordinary to hang on with hardly any encouragment or investment in time with you. You can do so much better! I get it tho its an addiction and a struggle to break. Youll get there and so will i. Lets both jump off that shelf together ”

        In my mind he is extraordinary. I generally do not get his nasty side. I get the ghosting and the contradictions the most now after the initial whirlwind. Piece by piece he takes it away before coming back but then going away. So yeah….shelf. But yes you are right that it is very much an addiction.

        I realize his story may be bullshit but I will never know unless I seek out the ex. And I did find her and am able to contact her via her social media but I have not done so. Because in the event she is still involved with him in some way I am worried she will run to him with news of my communication. And then….well….I have no idea what would happen. it is a can of worms that as much as I would love to hear her side and have her call him a liar (if he is indeed lying) and am afraid of the storm….do you know what I mean?

    2. Julie.. yes isnt it strange how not being “THAT guy” it turns out they actually are. They are such expert liars and they can come up with the quickest of plausible replies, but deep in our hearts after a seed of doubt is placed after we pick them up on their inconsistencies, our hypervigilence is second nature. Also i have heard that creepy scary monotone pissed off tone used with me. Once he demanded that i show him my fb messenger chats on my phone (even though i was never allowed to see his phone at all), and there was one guy who would try and chat with me but i wasnt interested, but the pings from the chat message were at the top of the list as a recent “chat” even though i wouldnt reply. When the narc saw this his whole demeanor changed.. he accused me of meeting with the guy .. which i had never done. . But the way he said it was so scary and furious that i thought he might literally do something bad to me right there and then. He didnt shout but he spoke very fast using only one tone..and with the most accusing black dead eyes i had ever seen..Frightening..

  36. Very good, 😀 … aaah, yes. Very cute and accurate picture. And one day then, when the narc had looked away for a second, the spot, where the doll with the blue eyes was, is suddenly empty ….

      1. But dolls can become especially valuable after many years … I’m about to sell my old Barbie doll … wow, will get much more money than it had cost when new.

        Yeah, I know, you like new shiny toys … (Which reminds me …. got to go ….)

      2. No HG no one can replace my spot! Well they can, yet they will never be a me!

        I am a little irritated today, my boss has lied to me for the last time.

      1. Annabelle. I think Chuckie was inspired by her. There is another one named Robert in Key West somewhere, if I am not mistaken.

      2. Hi bibi…oh yes robert is creepy. Sorry robert 😂 …apparently you have to say that to avoid bad luck lol
        Robert the doll is from keywest. He was a doll given to a boy in a wealthy family by a disgruntled housekeeper who put a hex on it. Apparently the boy became obssessed with it into adulthood. Very creepy story.
        Annabelle doesnt scare me shes just a raggedy ann doll 😋

  37. Damn HG…..first there is the “angel with a dirty face” article and now this. Are you a fly on the wall in my life? Because you have pretty much, more or less described the dynamic between Saint Piano and myself. I cannot help but wonder if I was the inspiration for this or not. It could be a coincidence but you have basically written my life up above (the only modification would be the details with his IPPS as I am long distance and have no idea if she actually goes to a “shooting range”….but hey they live down south so ya never know!)

      1. HG,
        It really is SO EERIE how accurate you summarized the interactions above. Right down to the frequency and immediacy (or delay) of the text message response and the wording involved (both from me and him). The frantic attitude followed by him biting like a coiled snake followed by the “mid-day” apology. It really is creepy how you are so meticulous in describing each detail and again how creepily on point all of it is. Even the dialogue, and the length of the phone calls.

    1. This, as you can read in the comments, is ALL of us.
      Totally relatable.
      Even when I was the primary.
      It’s uncanny.
      This article explains what was going on in his head (if even not consciously). Eerie, truly, how it obv is the same across the board

  38. Wow. This is exactly where I’m at. She ripped my heart out and made me dependent on her during the golden period and now I’m just shelved away like she couldn’t even care less when we are supposedly “engaged” now (such a joke), and we texted and talked repeatedly over the last 8 months prior. “Broke up” several times during then, but now this is almost worse because it’s just little to no response. Anytime I threaten to “break up” then she says I am being selfish and she can’t deal with me being so childish when she has been having to “distance herself for her kids”. All such bullshit…but what can you do…

    1. Nerd Ass, I am sorry for your situation but your screen name is seriously all kinds of win!!!!

      1. CF

        If this helps you, I stayed quiet w the narc for nearly 3 weeks and guess what? one conversation turned into a blow up. It’s just not worth it. One conversation and you are weeks trying to get back to normal

        Silence the Piano. You have to white knuckle it for a few weeks and the then the fog clears

        You got this

    2. Wow! Wow! And Wow! This exact exchange has taken place. I was once spoken to all day every day for a couple of years. Now comfort crumbs and anger that’s it. I have had one corrective devaluation after another.

      Thanks for this. I think many here are ipss and shelf ipss. I think you probably find your way to this site when you have been placed on the shelf. This article the most helpful to me to date

      HG how long does shelf ipss remain on the shelf? Is it indefinite and what happens if the shelf moves on ?

      1. Lori,

        “Now comfort crumbs and anger that’s it. I have had one corrective devaluation after another.”

        THIS! Except replace “anger” with “tortured soul pity”

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