I have made it plain that we achieve much of what we do through our insidious, “salami-slicing” techniques. This means that we do and say things which in themselves appear innocuous, that are readily explained away by your prevailing emotional thinking and therefore you are conned into either barely noticing them, failing to react to them or thinking that there is no risk or danger associated with the act.
Let us consider the position whereby you have ascertained that you are entangled with one of our kind. You have experienced the seduction, the devaluation and then we disengaged from you. You have been able to work out that you had a romantic entanglement with a narcissist and now, some time later, the hoovering has begun.
You have started to understand what this person is and you are gaining more knowledge about how this person functions and operates. The experience has certainly had its impact on you.
“There is no way I am going to get into a relationship with him,” you explain defiantly. You mean it. You do not want to go through it a second time.
Such a declaration rejects the ultimate fall – to be sucked back into the Formal Relationship and all that this entails. Only a fool would willingly agree to go back into such an arrangement, yes? So, if the narcissist returns and suggests that you and he become boyfriend and girlfriend again you are ready to reject that aren’t you? That is a clear and present danger.
Some of our kind may indeed make such a suggestion or even demand it – but this is done either out of desperation when there is a fuel crisis or when we know we are pushing on an open door and therefore far more likely to be met with agreement. Sometimes the Formal Relationship has somehow started again without it being stated as such, it just appears to have happened and this latter state of affairs as somehow you have fallen again without even seeing it happen is testament to how a failure to prevent the small will result in your fall.
Whilst we may sometimes press for the ‘big ticket item’ such as resurrecting the Formal Relationship and sometimes that works, if we do so at the wrong time it is too obvious and therefore your new-found vigilance will spot it and unless emotional thinking has a firm grip on you, you will reject this obvious danger. It is too ‘big’, too evident and is therefore prone to being rejected by the victim.
Instead, the steady slicing we engage in enables your emotional thinking to rise, your resistance to be reduced strip by strip as we make steady and incremental incursions. We do not overrun you in one massive assault (this can happen under different circumstances) but instead this is a sustained invasion where the advances are sufficient to make gains, but are not too grand and obvious to avoid the obscuring nature of emotional thinking and thus alert you.
Our approach of bit by bit, small incursion after small incursion is effective and one small action will, aided and abetted by emotional thinking, lead to another one, only this one is a little larger and then onto another, which is a little larger again and we are moving forward, making our gains and you are not noticing or if you are, you are noticing to such an extent that causes you to do anything about it.
Let us take an example. The narcissist attended at your home and demands to see you. His sense of entitlement, lack of accountability and poor boundary recognition means he walks up to a window and stares at you through it.
As your eyes meet with his, your emotional thinking begins to rise as it senses an opportunity to feed your emotional infection. He stands at the window peering in and gesticulating for you to let him in. You can hear him saying that he needs to talk to you.
You do not want to let him in. That is a step too far.
Logic would tell you – “Close the curtains and put some headphones on so you cannot see or hear him.”
Your emotional thinking does not want that to happen. It wants there to be engagement, so it whispers
“Keep an eye on him, you don’t know what he is going to do out there.”
That sounds sensible. If you close the curtains you will not know what he is doing. If you put the headphones on you cannot hear what he is doing. You need to know – isn’t knowledge power? Emotional thinking dons the cloak and masquerades as logic, as offering a simple suggestion to protect yourself and thus you keep watching him and all the while your emotional thinking is being fed.
He is still standing there and then he paces around outside, moving near your car. What is he doing? He comes back to the window and again demands that you speak to him.
Your emotional infection is being fed, your emotional thinking is increasing and it wants to feed the infection further.
“Tell him to leave you alone, tell him you have had enough of him pestering you,” suggests your emotional thinking. That sounds like a good thing to say doesn’t it? Tell him to leave you alone and you are rejecting him aren’t you? Most likely however you say this angrily or nervously and therefore all you do is provide Challenge Fuel. Furthermore, you are continuing your interaction and thus the emotional thinking continues.
“I just want to talk, please can we talk? If you do not let me in, I will smash your headlights.”
He is threatening you now. Will he do it? He might – you know he has a temper. If he does that, you will need to repair the car and you need it for work tonight at your shift at the hospital and you really do not need the aggravation.
“He isn’t going to go away until he’s spoken to you,” whispers emotional thinking, “and you really could do without the aggravation of a damaged car. You can handle him, just give him five minutes and then make him leave.”
Yes. Five minutes. Avoids the car damage and you will then get him out.
“Okay, okay,” you say, “you can come in but only for five minutes and then you leave, okay?”
The narcissist nods. Your engagement continues.
You open the door and in he comes. He is now next to you. That familiar fragrance washes over you and in an instant takes you back to when you first smelt it in happier (albeit illusory) times. Your logic is crumbling. Your resistance is fading. Your emotional thinking is rising.
The narcissist sits down uninvited. You make to say something but you halt.
“No point making a song and dance about him sitting down, it will only make him stay longer, let him get on with it.” coaxes your emotional thinking. How right it is with such an apparently sensible suggestion.
You remain standing.
“Aren’t you sitting down?” asks the narcissist and he pats the sofa next to him. Just as he always used to do when he wanted to hold you and kiss you.
“No I am fine standing.” you assert.
He gives you those eyes. Oh those eyes, those eyes that showed you the world (reflected as it was) and promised so much, that seemed to show that golden now, that golden future and you do not think you will ever forget the way he looks at you.
Logic is vanishing. Resistance is lowering. Emotional thinking continues to rise.
“Please?” he asks softly.
“Oh, it won’t do any harm, just sit down.” instructs emotional thinking. You do so with a sigh.
He smiles and then begins his monologue. The promises, the apologies, the delicious words that you have so wanted to hear him say. But aren’t they just lies? Aren’t they just more manipulation? (Logic is trying to fight back). But he seems so genuine and what if he does make those changes? What if everything is going to be alright.
“It’s rather warm out there,” the narcissist halts his speech, “would you make me a drink please?”
“It is warm.” says emotional thinking. It adds no further explanation as you nod and head to the kitchen returning with a cold drink.
“Thank you Long Legs,” he smiles using that affectionate nickname he always used with you. You give a short laugh, trying to halt it, not wanting to show it pleases you to hear that name again but it is too late. The signal has been given.
He talks and you realise he has been here twenty minutes. You point this out but he persuades you to grant him a stay of execution. You listen as he continues. He lightly places his hand on yours and you feel that tingle of excitement again. The hour mark passes and he is still here. Two hours. Three hours.
Logic has been sat on and silenced by emotional thinking as the continued engagement causes it to surge. You offer dinner. He accepts. You watch a film together. His arm slides around you. You accept it and smile as you press against him the familiar feelings of delight and safety flooding you.
Logic has been sent to bed with no tea. Emotional thinking is running riot.
“I have brought you tea,” you smile placing the mug on the nightstand next to the bed. He smiles as he turns in your bed, his hand reaching for you and pushing through your dressing gown, seeking more of what occurred during the night.
From standing in the garden to being inside you.
You swore you would never sleep with him again.
Bit by bit the supposed harmless interactions in isolation allowed your resistance to falter, your logic to diminish and your emotional thinking to increase, surge and eventually govern you.
Each tiny interaction, because it was not halted. Because you did not close the curtains, Because you did not put the headphones on. Because you did not keep the door shut. Because you did not keep to five minutes. Because you let him sit down and so on and so forth this all led to your emotional thinking building and making you allow the next incursion, the next ‘salami slice’.
You think it is minor and it will not cause a problem. You do not see the harm in it. Indeed, your emotional thinking causes you to think it is beneficial.
You did not stop the small.
So, you got the fall.