No Good Advice

no good advice

Relationship advice. The internet is awash with it. Sites, blogs, question and answer sessions, videos on YouTube there is a plethora of advice about how to deal with the problems which arise in intimate relationships.

I decided recently to have a good look through many of these sites and gather together the common complaints which people raise when they submit their issues. There are plenty of submissions, thousands upon thousands of people complaining about the issues in their relationships. Oddly enough, I noticed a common thread with many of these complaints where people had written in to seek advice or explained their circumstances. Time and time again I the following:-

“Everything was wonderful to begin with, he swept me off my feet.”

“She made me feel like a king and it was just what I needed after how horrible my marriage had been.”

“I was taken aback by how loving he was, but it felt so good to be treated that way after everything that I had been through.”

“He told me how he had been hurt before and didn’t want to go through that again.”

“His ex-wife was horrible to him and he had been hurt but wanted to ensure everything was right between us.”

“Everything was marvellous for a few months and then he changed.”

“I didn’t know him anymore.”

“He started controlling me.”

“She told me who I could see.”

“He started to isolate me from family and friends.”

“He would flirt with other women.”

“She spent all of her time on the internet doing Lord knows what.”

“He never listens to me.”

“He became abusive.”

“The sex was amazing at first but then it just stopped.”

“He was so loving and attentive in bed but then he started suggesting threesomes and kinky stuff which I didn’t like.”

“He started to make decisions for me.”

“She would lose her temper over the smallest thing.”

“He would disappear for days on end and I was sick with worry.”

“He would not speak to me for several days even though I had done nothing wrong.”

“He started hitting me. He said sorry afterwards and seemed remorseful for what he had done, blaming it on seeing his dad beat him mum when he was young.”

“He doesn’t like anything I do any more, he puts me down.”

“Its like living with Jekyll and Hyde.”

“He just never contacted me again. I still don’t know what has happened.”

“He told me he couldn’t be with me anymore as he needed time to himself and then two days later I see him post about a new girlfriend on social media.”

“He was unfaithful to me repeatedly.”

“I still miss her after everything she has done.”

“I am financially ruined, stressed but I still love him.”

“Why can’t it be like it was in the beginning?”

“I want him back.”

I should imagine that all of you will be nodding at these comments for two reasons. First of all, you remember saying them yourself or something similar. Secondly, you now realise what was actually behind these behaviours. People like me.

Over and over again I saw questions and tales which all had the common theme of ‘Brilliant start, he became someone else, dumped me, I was heartbroken.’ Hundreds upon hundreds of these stories, these tales of misery and woe. A litany of despondency and confusion that has been piled up in the inboxes of the relationship advisors and gurus. I scrolled through them all, reading the replies, the advice and the suggestions. I read the analysis, I digested the observations and spent some considerable time doing so. What did I see?

Not one person raised the possibility that the person seeking advice had become involved with a narcissist. Not one.

Many of these blogs and relationship advice sites were clearly popular. Some were established names, linked to lifestyle magazines and newspapers. Many directed you to their services for counselling and relationship tool kits. Many of them trotted out similar comments and platitudes. Too often they read like the first world tribulations of a scene from Sex and the City rather than the abusive, destructive and harmful actions of dangerous narcissists.

Yet not one of them raised the suggestion that a narcissist was involved.

Now, naturally it is not the case that behind every relationship woe there is a narcissist but I know that those of you reading this, with the benefit of the enlightenment you have achieved knows that there is a good chance that problems of this nature as described repeatedly in the problems pages of these sites are something to do with people like my kind. Yet nobody was offering this as a possibility. That shows the scale of how easy it is for us to do what we do and pass undetected. It shows the staggering lack of knowledge about what we do say, think and do and the naivety of so many people, including those who apparently understand relationship dynamics.

Instead, I saw standard and repeated responses such as:-

“He is clearly a commitment phobe.”

No, he doesn’t want to spend time with you because he is devaluing you and is actually seducing someone else at the current time.

“You have outgrown each other.”

No, you never grew together to begin with because it was all predicated on an illusion and his lack of interest now is symptomatic of his interest being elsewhere.

“He may just be tired or stressed from working hard to support you and your children.”

Yes or he might be a narcissist who uses his rage to intimidate and control you.

You may have unrealistic expectations about the relationship.”

Damn right you do and we all know why that has happened don’t we?

You need him to take responsibility for his actions. He cannot keep blaming you for everything.”

Good luck with that one.

“He just might not be into you.”

Half-right I suppose, he just isn’t in to you fuel anymore, he is in to somebody else’s.

“He might be bored with life and not you. Try harder to interest him.”

Again, good luck with that one.

“Relationships require hard work. Don’t give up. Keep working at it and you can overcome the problems together.”

You have just been told to sign your own death warrant there.

“Some people have anger issues but that can managed with understanding and therapy.”

Or they have fury which ignites at the slightest provocation and always will.

“Being hurt is an inevitable part of a relationship.”

It is if you get ensnared by my kind.

I am not suggesting that every problem in a relationship is as a consequence of the other party being a narcissist, that is unrealistic. However, the number of times I read about what was clearly the narcissistic dynamic of seduction, devaluation and discard was significant. The monumental amount of times that I recognised narcissistic manipulations – rage attacks, silent treatments, triangulation, intimidation, bullying, gas lighting and so forth – in so many posts did not surprised me but they were not picked up on. Many times these manipulations were not isolated events. There were repeated occasions and also differing types of the manipulations which when combined and repeated point in one direction.

The advice and platitudes that were provided to people who were clearly, not just possibly, but clearly entangled with a narcissist, were way off the mark. The descriptions and answers I have listed above were the ones which were provided to people and at best this would mean the person would remain clueless and stuck with no appropriate solution and at worst they were providing advice which would harm the individual who had sought the advice.

I was not surprised by this erroneous advice. I was not amazed by this omission of our kind from the explanations. I was not taken aback by the scale of people complaining about what was clearly narcissistic abuse but not being told as such.

This is why we are able to do what we do.

This is why we are able to move amongst people, ensnare fresh victims and maintain our veneer of respectability.

This is why what we do is passed off as something else. Euphemised, diluted, lessened and made to seem like a standard relationship hiccup.

This is why ignorance is so harmful.

This is why we remain so effective.

This is why we remain so dangerous.

38 thoughts on “No Good Advice

  1. cb says:

    Most importantly, most of us, including relationship advisors, don’t quite grasp _How Common_ NPD is and how very likely that the person asking for advice is doing the impossible job of figuring out a manipulative abuser, a gaslighter, without being aware of it.

    In one recording you say sthng about every sixth or seventh person, HG. A minority, yes, but a hell of a lot.
    Suppose ppl with NPD are at least every tenth human.

    Then relationship experts should definitely consider it.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I agree, the number is far larger than people realise.

  2. cb says:

    Some dating advisors, like Matthew Hussey, advocate to always be Both “sweet and salty” in the same message or speech. That this makes men a bit ‘addicted’ to us.

    As much as I like playfulness and positive attitude in Iife I can t help noticing that ‘sweet & salty’ , ‘nice & pinchy’ is also the playground of the abuser, baiting, which you describe in most of your posts,
    a dangerous game when us empaths or codependants try it, because it is mostly narcissist guys who recognize it

    “Ah, there is a girl who doesn’t know what she is doing! Come to daddy for some timewasting & mental abuse”

    Should absolutely not be overused. I think.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Correct and what he advises is bollocks.

      1. cb says:

        Ok thanks

  3. Tanz der Schatten says:

    Even if they’re given “good advices” people won’t believe you anyway. People in general want to stay blind; they’d rather live a lie than in a shattered world. I envy them, being lucid and seeking the truth is a curse.

  4. Susan says:

    Wow!! That was great reading certainly an eye opener, so raw and so true…
    Love your work 😀 (in that I mean I mean your writing)

    1. purpleinnature says:

      Lol. Yes… his writings are incredible. His “work”… kind of disturbing. I just read “Revenge” (GREAT book). HG is kind of a huge jerk in real life (no offense HG).

  5. SMH says:

    There is a very extensive ‘relationship’ industry out there.

    This is how I first figured out mine was a narc: I was binge-watching The Fall – a series about a serial killer in Northern Ireland (seen it HG? It’s very good.). A lightbulb suddenly went off in my head. Mine is not violent but there was something about Jamie Dornan’s behavior that made me realize mine was a psychopath. Also, funny but Dornan’s alternate names in the series were also the names my narc used (one was real and one was fake). Maybe I fancied myself a Gillian Anderson (a Magnet Super Empath?) – I saw myself attracted to the narc and wanting to unmask him at the same time.

    After that, I came across things that I had never ever heard of (e.g. lovebombing, triangulation, devaluation, hot/cold behavior) but which matched things my narc would do. It started to fall into place but nothing was as nuanced, detailed and broad as this site, though I hung around Quora for a long time looking for answers.

    Of course, I doubted my diagnosis because I was so attached. We’d get back together and I thought things would change. It really wasn’t until I got some distance, could ‘study’ him more clinically and found this site that I fully accepted it, and that was more than a year after my realization watching The Fall.

    1. Elle says:

      SMH – Yes! “hung around Quora for a long time looking for answers”.
      For me it was “The Stare” that unlocked the hidden door. My mouth and eyes were wide open in shock by the time I got to the last word of that one.

      I could practically hear the whirring & clicking of pins dropping into place. And the vault door swung open 😳

      HG Tudor is a safecracker.
      But, instead of robbing what’s ensconced in the safe, he brings us all in and patiently teaches us the cypher.

      I don’t know how or why you do it, H. G. – but I am so grateful.

      1. SMH says:

        Elle, you mean HG’s post The Stare? Or a show? Yes he is a safecracker. I wonder how he figured all of this out himself given that most narcs are so lacking in self-awareness. I know HG has psychiatric help but still, not even Vaknin comes close and I read a lot of his stuff too (sorry if I am not allowed to mention him here but it did help me with the basics).

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Haha. We refer to him as small v (if we must).

          1. SMH says:

            Ah good, v, then. Thanks for the tip, NarcAngel!

  6. That lady says:

    Ok. Many disorders share some symptoms. However, for a diagnosis to be made, there needs to be a certain number of the required symptoms. Few Dear Abby posts are going to give a full enough spectrum of symptoms to make a diagnosis.

    A qualified psychiatrist is needed to diagnose someone, and in person. Most are refusing to definitively diagnose Trump because they haven’t had a proper consult, in person.

  7. Carolyn says:

    Imo most horrible are sites where they tell you what to do to get back the ex.A dumper who takes you back? For me, there is a huuuge chance he is a narcissist who is not done with you yet or who has problems with finding a new victim. Oh and remember to find a better job, meet new people, find some new interests and he would come! Haha yeah, more prime aims, more residual benefits and a need to control you once again.

  8. JustEmpath says:

    A few days ago I was reading about flirting with others on social media. A girl was asking for advice because her boyfriend stopped liking her posts but ads random girls to friends and likes their photos and sometimes comments them. The answear? “Oh girl, stop checking what is he doing, meet a friend, go to the gym, you shouldn’t even notice! This is social media and it’s about liking photos! Deal with it and work on your confidence because you are too insecure and it is not sexy and you can lose every man”.


  9. MB says:

    Great article HG. This one should be published in Cosmopolitan!

    The thing is, just as you stated with Prince Harry, even if you did point out the signs, they would be dismissed. Such is the overwhelming power of the seduction. Public service announcements like the one you’ve written here will fall on the deaf ears of the already ensnared.

    Unfortunately for our kind, the narcissistic cycle itself has been so perfected and works so well that for the vast majority it will only ever be detected in hindsight, the damage already done.

    We know GOSO is the advice for the ensnared. What is your advice to others? Notice the love bombing and run? Will an empath believe HG Tudor or will they follow their own heart? Good luck with that one!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I agree.

      1. MB says:

        That it should be published in Cosmo or that the empath will always follow their heart?

  10. purpleinnature says:

    Amen! When I was ready to implode on myself because of my Greater’s constant covert gaslighting, this crap was all I had, even from my therapist. Nothing matched up to anything! Nothing made any sense! I didn’t even know why I couldn’t stand being around him anymore! He was such a great guy! I thought something was wrong with me. Why was I writhing and wailing on the kitchen floor in anticipation of picking him up from the airport after his business trip? Nothing in the grocery store magazines are going to help you figure that one out.

    Funny enough, when I stopped emotionally reacting to my mid-ranger, and he started collapsing, I remember one night, he said in exasperation “What’s gotten into you?!?! Have you read some stupid article in Cosmo magazine?!?” Lol. Yeah sure… I calmly shrugged and said something like, “No. I’m not sure what you mean. I just don’t feel like arguing anymore. Isn’t it nice we’re not arguing like we used to?” Lmao. The veins popping out of his face…

  11. DoForLuv says:

    It’s so difficult to believe someone is really so self absorbed who actually been nothing but nice to you thoughtfull . It’s almost impossible to see the hurt that is caused by the devaluing behaviour .

    It really has me still thinking i’m crazy and over reacting .

  12. K says:

    This was in Wednesday’s paper on May 23 for ASK AMY (I summarized it)

    Q. This past year, I made a new friend, “Christina” is intelligent, interesting and funny. Sounds perfect right? Except for this: Cristina is constantly inviting us to do things, only to cancel last minute.

    A. This mom, “Christina”, might have OCD or another cognitive organizational issue that contributes to her unreliability and (probably unintentional) rudeness, and so it’s possible that this tendency won’t be easily tamed. You should speak to her about this. Say, “I’m someone who really needs to follow through, and it is a roller coaster for me and my daughter when you cancel at the last minute.”

    Dear Ask Amy
    Christina is most likely a narcissist and you need to read this:

    Because your advice sucks!


  13. Stéphanie says:

    What about the myriad websites claiming to help desperately in-love women to get back with the guy who discarded them after they cannot understand what they did wrong?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Just as bad.

      1. Omj says:

        Or the marabout and other rituals ? There is a guy who was selling his sessions 1000$ hour to text deliberately to text to get your ex back. Text 1- text2 – texts answers etc crazy stuff – I am sure most people who consult with him were dealing with narcs .

      2. Yolo says:

        I think they are worse. Because they provide a false perception that the victim is wrong. The person experience self deprivation trying to please a f***ing LOG… Never discovering the real truth. My sister co-worker committed suicide over a person I am assuming was a narc. The person pack up and left without notice to a different state. Only 200 miles away. The person just decided she would up and go.

        My sister told me how nice the arrangements were. How the body was on a carriage by the beautiful horses. The narc tried to be at the center of it all. Ugh

    2. Kellie Mccoey says:

      People brake up all the time. Fall out of love and move on. Narcissist do not do “normal”. Everything is fine then wamo! They don’t call or answer yours. Ignore your texts and act like they have never seen you before should you cross paths in person. They throw you away like garbage over night!

  14. Matt Beeson says:

    I went to perhaps four sets of counsellors with my ex-narc. Not one seemed to see anything. I guess I was quite well trained not to say too much.

    I did always tell them that the endless criticism was damaging and counter productive.

    I did try and point out the strategies the ex-narc used to shut down my counter arguments


  15. Windstorm says:

    Very true. I think most people think everyone has empathy, just sometimes they’re not using it. We learn about color blindness in school and as parents. We should learn about Emotion-blindness and lack of empathy as well.

  16. pascaleshealingjourney says:

    Sorry. Did not get to finish. My phone is playing up. I wanted to say that I got the same kind of ‘advice’ which made me think the problem was with me.

  17. pascaleshealingjourney says:

    This post rings so true. I got some of the same kind of relationship ‘advice

  18. S says:

    “Relationships require hard work. Don’t give up. Keep working at it and you can overcome the problems together.”

    You have just been told to sign your own death warrant there.”

    That one killed me. keep working with the narcissist and he will be feeding in your hard work and leave you empty !! I guess that I had signed my death warrant, Yes !

  19. Md2210 says:

    So many people come to me for some unknown reason about bad relationships… first thing I do is tell them to go to this website and find out if they were involved with a narcissist. 7 out of 10 have said, “ yes. That’s what happend.”

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you for referring them.

  20. Omj says:

    This is how most of us end up here … googling nonsense – lies- manipulation – why does he keep silence? Why doesn’t he lie ? Why he is cheating ? What did he changed so much ? Why is he returning to his ex? Why did he disappeared? Eventually we end up here and get the shocking reality check and responses.

    But before that we do follow those advices and are nicer, more accommodating, tell them we will always be there for them , bla bla bla

    Once you start to see that your responses to their outrageous behaviours gets you closer to emotional grave – it is often that you are really damaged already, in fact when you start googling – you have already made some of those mistakes otherwise you would have been long gone !

    1. My big one was “circular arguments”. And “cyclical arguments” and “irrational anger” and “irrational arguments”. I must have googled these phrases a thousand times over the course of a year, and all I ever found was Bipolar Disorder, but it just didn’t quite fit. For the love of God, why??? I didn’t know it was called “word salad”! Maybe I should dedicate a web page with these very phrases for anyone else out there desperately googling them. I do know quite a lot about BPD now, though. Lol. Residual benefits.

  21. T says:

    I read somewhere that one in three persons are narcissists.
    That really freaks me out.

    1. Mini duck says:

      I agree here- Either people have high narc traits or they are narcs.
      Thus percentage of them is quite high.

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