Bringing Down The Shutters



Once we commence our devaluation of one of our victims there is a vast array of manipulative techniques that can be used to fulfil our aim of extracting negative fuel from you. Some of these methods are subtle and may not be noticed by the subject, such as triangulation with an object. Others are brutal involving the smashing of property and the flailing fists and stomping boots. It is often the case that you do not realise that devaluation has commenced because you have yet to have any familiarity with this word or even with what it signifies. You will notice however a change in our behaviour. One of those changes is akin to us bringing down the shutters whenever we deal with you.

Once upon a time we exited our car and cantered across to where you stood waiting in the doorway as we wrapped our arms around you and embraced you passionately. Our face had lit up and our delight in seeing you appeared genuine enough. This happened each time we came to see you, as if we had not seen you for months on end, even though it was only the day before when we last held you. Now when we meet you there is no joyful skip towards you, the smile seems forced and there is no light in our eyes anymore. Whereas they once lit up a brilliant blue and sparkled, now they just seem lacklustre and dull, darker than usual. You try to lift our spirits in that indefatigable way of yours. You ask what is wrong and you are always met with an answer of “nothing”.

“Are you sure?” you ask, “you seem unhappy.”

“No there is nothing the matter.”

“You can tell me.”

We realise we must say something but we are pleased by your concern and the fuel that it provides.

“It’s okay. There is nothing wrong.”

“It does not seem like it. Please, tell me what is on your mind.”

Time to step it up a little and extract some further fuel.

“I said there’s nothing wrong,” I snap and pull my hand away from yours. Your face turns from concern to upset and the fuel flows.

This continues as once we used to talk for hours on the ‘phone about all manner of things and laughed and planned, now we still talk for a long time (or rather you seem to do more of the talking this time) as we draw the negative fuel from you. You try to find new topics to keep the conversation going but our responses are limited, our tone flat and then irritable as you try to remain chirpy and upbeat but the sadness and confusion is all too evident in your voice. It needs to be. We need that.

“I just don’t understand, “you protest pleasantly, “you seem so different these days.”

“Really? In what way?”

“It’s like, it is like I am dealing with someone else.”

“Well that’s nonsensical, it is me.”

“Yes I know that but you are not the same.”

“Of course I am the same, you are imagining things.”

“No I am not. You don’t seem to be into me as much as you once were.”

“I am, it is just, you know, I have a lot going on at present.”

“I understand that but it is more than that. It is like I am talking to a different person. You don’t seem to connect with me the way you used to.”

“I don’t understand what you mean.”

“How can I put it? It’s like you have made a conscious decision to distance yourself from me and you do not say the things you used to. You always used to sign off your texts with three kisses and now it is only one.”

“You are concerned about how many kisses I put on my texts?” I ask in disbelief.

“No, well yes, well it is not that. That is just a symptom of something else. It concerns me because I love you so much. It is like you have brought down the shutters and put up barriers when we are together. There is a distance between us that wasn’t once there.”

“I haven’t noticed it.” (Of course I have. I know precisely what you are talking about.)

You then spend many minutes trying to convey this sense of distance and alienation as I listen. I am not hearing the words that you say, nor do I pay attention to the explanation, I am too engaged focussing on the hurt in your voice, the frustration and the exasperation as I suck the fuel from your sentences. This technique is subtle. It is easy to implement and enables us to draw negative fuel from you without you realising what we are doing. It is often the beginning of the devaluation period when the simple cessation of the golden behaviour produces in itself a reaction which provides fuel. We do not need to shock you, we do not need to shout or yell, there is no need to lead you on a confusing and merry dance with our denials and deflections. The simple act of pulling up the drawbridge and no longer allowing you access to the wonderful part of us, illusion that it is, remains highly effective.

“I just feel like you bring the shutters down and I am dealing with somebody different. You are not the HG I know and love. You are someone else.”

Time to throw you a little lifeline to give you hope.

“I’m sorry, I think sometimes when I am under pressure I withdraw into myself. My friends have commented on it previously. It is just something that happens. I think that is what you are referring to. It doesn’t mean that I love you any less. Just last night I was staring at the chair where you usually sit wishing you were there opposite me talking to me.”

That should do it.

“There you see, that is the HG I know, back in an instant. I wish I had been sat in that chair too, I missed you so much last night.”

It really is so easy.

28 thoughts on “Bringing Down The Shutters

  1. RJ says:

    You know something is not the same but you don’t want to believe it. That’s the problem. Every statement they make is a lie. ” Oh no nothing is wrong” really means that something is wrong. Just take a no to mean yes and vice versa. Something is wrong with them. A rational real caring person would say yeah something is wrong and this is what it is because they are not happy. Then you deal with it and fix it or move on and be friends or exit each others life for good. One true statement would be “it doesn’t mean that I love you any less”. They can not love you any less due to the incapacity to love period. That’s a tricky statement when it is said. It does mean I don’t love you though. Tricky buggers.

  2. Em says:

    I want allowed to touch him unless he initiated it.
    He said he had problems with intimacy.
    He couldn’t cuddle – when he did hug me, if I asked as a special favour it felt like an inanimate clamp locked around me

    1. DebbieWolf says:

      I had one ex who said “the cuddles were coming” !?!… In response to my leaving him and telling him he had become cold and I complained he wouldnt even cuddle…” the cuddles were coming” . . .??? Oh, thanks then. Really?

      I had another ex many years ago that wouldn’t allow me to eat a packet of crisps (chips for you lovely Americans) unless he was eating a bag too because he said he didnt want to put up with the sound of crunching. I cannot believe that I obeyed this. I had even forgotten about it but since doing some work on myself and all this narcissism malarkey I ended up remembering it.
      Laughable and ridiculous things.

      I know these aren’t big serious things I mention… but I do have enough of the more serious things too… but all the little things can get at you big time. And they do. As my old gran used to say ” it’s the idiosyncrasies, the little things that will just get on your nerves”.
      They really do add up. Too small to really notice as you go along and its only later that you can see and feel the toll they had on you.

      I sure have attracted quite a good handful of narcissists or at least very narcissistic boyfriends in the past. one even told me I was an open book and that I was too nice for my own good. Aww, the helpful advisor in him (not). !!

      Anyway I’m not as open by far now, but thats ok. It suits me better to be more guarded.
      Our empathic ‘find the silver lining’ mentality helps me appreciate that outcome! Haha.

      1. Em says:

        Love this – quite up beat – well done. So god to know they are all the same.
        How narrow is their M.O.

        1. DebbieWolf says:


          Yes…it is always unbelievable just how similar ‘they’ all are..
          And yet ‘we’ are the appliances on a conveyor after the other. Seemingly the same? Us?
          They are the predictable ones.. once you know what to look for that is. I wonder how many times any of us said the word “typical” to ‘them’? lol, little did we realise how true it is.

          I said a while ago they don’t have the monopoly on boredom..The same old dance they’ve had us prancing to.

          Good job we learn the tune here so that we can do something else more interesting without their tired old repeat psuedo symphonies harping on..
          🎻🎻👎….*eye roll*

          Keep moving forward.🐾

          1. Em says:

            Good points!!! I’m bored, was bored. They imply we are not enough, quite frankly he would never be enough for me. Empty shell of a person with a borrowed ´personality,’ who only wanted one bit of me not the happy, complete, unique and complex me.
            Glad to be learning and ranting here.
            I discover new elements to this crazy dance all the time. Thanks Debbie. 💃🏼
            Yesterday a year after the end and 9 months NC a hand delivered card arrived with a grovelling apology.
            ‘He’s sooooo sorry. He didn’t treat me with the respect I deserved. Soooo sorry’.! 😂
            He certainly didn’t., over and over and over again. Deliberately. Yup. I worked it out and yes I’d agree. So what’s his point?? Empty words. Mechanical words.
            A great big fat hoover. 🙄

          2. DebbieWolf says:

            Hiya Em

            Absolutely. And well done you. Your big heart and your individuality wasting away on someone who doesn’t appreciate it at the time.

            Its so typical that they want us and miss us in our absence. it really is a travesty. I am still being hoovered by the fact that he drives past me on my routes… and a couple of days ago he drove past my house and did a u-turn. slowly then briefly stopping before exiting. I live in a cul-de-sac so it isn’t a coincidence that he would drive past. it could only be deliberate . I find messages in my spam that amount to so many a month …I wouldn’t look in the spam if it wasn’t for the sometimes missing information from other things and where I am advised to check the spam …it was a coincidence that I was looking out of the window at the bad weather just as he drove down my street. but he never saw me I have thick window dressings.
            Its been over 2 years now since i said enough is enough for the last time.

            Sometimes it gets to me really badly but I really pull myself around.. usually with something HG related.

            The more HG .. the less impact of the ex’s ‘anything’ …because I see exactly the various tactics from the past …and can see what happened I can understand how things played out …and with HGs work and guidance it has enabled me to get back on track. Back on my own path where I was before I blindly fell into a false reality.

            I’m not allowing it to rule my every thought anymore but understandably it is a process. it is ongoing. I often find the things I learn here apply to other areas in life. It has helped me to look inside at my own part in the dynamic.
            I feel like I’m evolving continually as of course anyone should through life anyway, nevertheless it is good to have this extra knowledge in the area which has frankly hurt me the most.

            Onwards Em to find our new horizons.🌹😊

  3. T says:

    Haha! There’s been this guy who is interested in me, but obviously he’s a Narcissist. I keep it non sexual, and keep him at arms length.
    His friend called me a cold hearted cunt at one point because I’m not interested in dating his friend. Im finally learning how to be a bitch. Or better yet I’m beginning to know my worth.
    Thanks, HG, you’re teaching me well.

  4. DebbieWolf says:

    Of course it really is so easy….you are dealing with thoroughly wonderfully, kind and caring sweethearts with outstanding understanding and phenomenally decent good-natures.

    With eyes and hearts full of love, care, honour and decency. people with integrity who would never guess what you are up to because they just don’t have that mindset themselves to judge this on.

    The vulnerability of the kind and giving person. The innocence in the love’s like kicking a sweet puppy that approaches you in the sweetest and innocent of ways.

    Seeing the hurt and confusion and bewilderment in the eyes afterwards. The unspoken questioning look …in the face of that cruelty.

    There will however always be an end to an individual tyrant. History is the witness.
    We can cut the reign short easily ourselves before then. Escape them and live knowing they are parasitic..weak without us and.unable to live on their own own merits.

    They leave sometimes and find another host.
    That is all they know. They cannot change.
    But ‘We’ can.
    We can do what they cannot do.
    Remember that.

    HG knows we can overcome the narcissist by GOSO and hopes we will embrace this.

    Narcissists have nothing to embrace and after their cruelty….SO WHAT!

    Waste no more time trying to save a sinking ship. Get out. Get away and swim for your life however you can.

    It isnt easy. No way is it easy.
    But you are already living it hard now…it will be less hard in the long run when you lose the parasitic monkey leach off your back.

    If you can struggle with them I guarantee you can struggle just as well by yourself!!.. but at least in the knowledge that when on your own for a while the struggle will be short lived not an endless grind in hell.

    Rip the Band-Aid off quickly.
    Fuck ’em.
    They don’t deserve us.🛡

    There is empathy and then there is the simple exploitation of it.
    Remove yourself and use your empathy on yourself for a change.
    Think of some really horrible things they did.
    Write it down.
    When you feel weak and start thinking about your golden times: Go and read your list!


    1. Jess says:

      All of this.

    2. Alexa says:

      Great advice, Debbie, especially writing down the horrible things my ex did. Tx

      1. DebbieWolf says:

        Thanks Alexa.
        . . .Having a list helped me a lot. None of this is easy but it slowly gets better. It really does.

  5. Morning sun says:

    Reading this so very accurate article just confirms that in order to move on and really heal, I need to keep away for a while yet.
    I’m doing great, am busy, no emotional thinking, even considering starting a casual relationship with someone… but reading this dregged up all the dreck again, and I feel like someone had dunked me in a barrel full of slugs.

  6. Anaida says:

    This is hauntingly true. Chills.

  7. /iroll says:

    I never got cheesy romantic glibness, nor being hit and stolen from by a grifter. My narcy is an aloof, intimacy rejecting, sex – and self-obsessed jerk, but he’s sensitive to rejection and invested in his masculine pride. I never felt i had zero power or affect on his pride. He tried to depersonalise me, but it was a compensatory effort, as well as becoming an erotic game that re-personalised our dynamic in a way that was honestly dark, while having paternalistic notes of limited ‘care’. He’s a few years younger but always ‘the boss’. That wasn’t all negative, just controlling. I’m glad he has the boundaries, manipulation was more of an issue for me than not being able to be prince charming.

    It all seemed like a big ego defence from jealousy and insecurity —as well as shallow emotions that do not produce “stable object relations” aka longevity, but i didn’t feel like i didn’t matter at all. He turned attraction into a hostile competition, he’s rejecting and possessive at the same time, but even that is more than all this sexless apathy. It was part of his attraction (‘self-mirroring’), it was how he fetishised me as an iconic feminine. He wants to be an iconic masculine, so i suppose they go together. His romantic fiction was for his benefit, he brought me into his pattern, not the other way around. Our patterns did fit in some ways, not all.

    If he had no vulnerability at all, if there had been no real attraction based on whatever feelings no matter how limited by a pattern, i wouldn’t have been so curious about the whole salty mystery. I don’t think it was all fake, just that i needed better boundaries.

  8. Em says:

    And then … I was so relieved when he asked me a question and seemed to be engaging, I off loaded way too much personal information. Which he later used to mentally torture me. He was gathering bits of my private jigsaw.

    1. Alexa says:

      Em, yes, I’m finally not so open to anyone about personal things. I used to be an ‘open book’ and someone would ask me and I would often even volunteer info! Now that my ex totally took advantage of my insecurities (when I thought we were having intimate moments, he was just gathering info to hurt me), chsnged the way I interact with people. If someone asks me my favorite color I say, “Why do you want to know?” Sad that that is how guarded I’ve become!

  9. Em says:

    Yes! I had text messages diminished to three words – one word sometimes, dinner? Swim? Coffee? Sex? Where as before I’d had long stories that were enticing and exciting.
    Emails with only the subject header used.
    And I’d had almost identical conversations with the very same response.
    I thought he was depressed. I thought work was getting to him. I thought he was being victimised.
    He was brining down the shutters and blaming other things. Then one day I subconsciously compared this greater narc and his sulky closed off behaviour to my ex hubby a lesser narc. Boy did I get a reaction then.
    That’s when the light went on and I started very slowly to realise there were similarities.

    1. DebbieWolf says:


      This reminds me of toward the end and afterwards how i used to get “fancy a fuck”?
      amongst other things.

      Nevermind their grandiosity.. I pulled my own out and replied “who do you think you are talking to”? and ” who do you think you are”!

      I mean I really have to draw the line at so many things in the end..and worse things ofcourse.

      … I’m not adverse to a swear word myself.. but I’m not vulgar far from it and this was said in vulgarity, sarcastically and inappropriately and was meant to disrespect me.🏴

      I’m afraid a good thud in the proverbial ‘ball housing’ (one way or the other ) had to be done.


  10. purpleinnature says:

    I wonder if this is why I didn’t notice a lot of the devaluation. I never wanted to “pry”. I guess I didn’t want to look insecure and I wanted to give them space. So I never “pushed” them with questions to which the answers would make it obvious they were pushing me away. Maybe I just thought being “pushed away” was normal. It wasn’t until I was being actively attacked that I would even notice anything was wrong. I mean, they could all definitely be distant, but I knew if I was just patient, they’d eventually come around, and they always did, so I guess I just thought it was normal. That must have really annoyed them, in hindsight. I only reacted to direct provocation. My Greater’s silent treatments did get to me sometimes, though. He knew how to create a thick, foreboding atmosphere with them. But still, I rarely confronted him about it. I’m sure he could still sense my unease.

  11. Sharon Marinucci says:



  13. Sharon Marinucci says:


  14. Sanna paterson says:

    Funny this one. I passed mine in the street with one of his ‘exes’ , 2ndry supply , whatever.shes scampering along, wittering away. He’s taking no notice whatsoever. None. Be great if you could address the kind of people who return to the narcissist HG. He’d been on and off with her for 4 years before me. He’s got another primary supply. He’s attempting to Hoover me ( not gonna work ) I’m thinking, given sufficient time, your boundaries become so eroded you will settle for crumbs?

    1. Mini duck says:

      So true Sanna
      When our boundaries are crumbled we are ready to settle for crumbs. I was afraid to question my narc because I was afraid to lose him.

  15. Sharon Marinucci says:


  16. Jess says:

    This makes me want to throw up… I’d rather escape and deal with the feelings that come from being without the narcissist then deal with this gut wrenching feeling. There is never any logic to it… always out of nowhere and I remember the confusion. Trying to figure it out. The absolute worst.

    1. Sharon Marinucci says:

      Jess Its So Difficult Every Day I Want To Shut Down, My Heart Wants To Die BUT My Beautiful Animals Need Me🐦💟🐤💓🐰❤,NARCISSIST Father Codependent Mother ,Cerebral NARCISSIST 45years With Husband ,Now LESSER NARCISSIST Male Friend. All We Wanted To Do Was Love Them. ,All They Want To. Do Is Kill Our Mind,Heart Soul& Spirit..😭

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

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

Previous article