Why Is The Narcissist Always On My Mind?


“He is always in my mind.”

“Try as I might I just cannot get him out of my head.”

“I can’t stop thinking about him.”

I am sure such comments or similar have been made by you at some point about the narcissist in your life. We have this formidable capability to get into your head and remain there for a long time which evokes bittersweet reactions from you at best and utter miserable frustration at worst. I have written about ever presence previously, namely that ability we have to ensure that you keep thinking about us, even when you have been pushed to one side or if you have sought to go no contact. This insidious form of manipulation is pervasive and very difficult to deal with, but how is it so effective?

Like much of our effectiveness it actually comes down to you. As an empathic individual you are much more susceptible to our method of remaining in your mind which is achieved by encoding. Since you care about others and take an interest in the thoughts, actions and well-being of other people, you have been wired to take on board stimuli from other people in a far more effective manner than others. Take my kind for example. We are so focussed on ourselves and what we need that we are not wired to be especially encoded by what others do. Our minds are nearly impervious to the actions of others. It is as if they are so full of what we do and what we want that there is no room for anything or anyone else. You on the other hand are like a sponge and you soak up the words and actions of others. Combine your susceptibility with our determined application of suggestion through what we say to you and what we do for you then the outcome is a devastating form of encoding which creates powerful and near indelible memories in your mind.

Through our visual encoding of your mind, you create a vivid mental picture and this will be recalled in pin-sharp crikey vision time after time. Every detail of a particular scene will be recalled by you and it is ingrained in your mind deeply through this encoding. The more you recall it, the more it becomes ingrained as if you are wearing a groove in a piece of wood. We make particular use of music (think how often your narcissist used certain tunes to woo you and/or create  special moment) to achieve acoustic encoding. Our voice is used in this way as well by the careful selection of key phrases which will resonate with you. You always remember the things that we say because we have encoded them into your mind. Similar encoding occurs in respect of taste and scents as well as tactile encoding. Accordingly this quintet of senses is assailed by all the things that we say and do in order to achieve this encoding. We create powerful memories so that you have no option other than to recall them and with that comes the emotional attachment. You will remember so much of what you have done with us compared to say what you have done with family, friends and colleagues. You will recall more memories, in greater detail and more often when they involved us because of this deliberate encoding.

You might think this was enough in terms of the efficacy of this method of affecting you, but it does not end there. Most narcissists are male and thus it follows that the majority of victims are female. In general terms, women remember events better than men (men have better spatial memories) and therefore you are genetically pre-disposed to remember all those occasions and dates you spent with us in such detail. Females remember pleasant memories in better detail than men, thus this is a further reinforcement of why you can summon up such powerful memories of the golden period and why it hurts you so much. Conversely, in general terms, men remember unpleasant events better than women who tend to recall them in a ‘blurred’ manner. This is why despite the abuse you have suffered the golden period memories tend to triumph. It is not the case with everyone, admittedly, but generally this holds good. Add to this the fact that women’s memories retain more of their potency through the advancement of age than men and you will see why your memories of us are so difficult to shake. Not only do we specifically encode your minds, which are primed to accept this more than other people, your gender also makes you more susceptible to retaining these detailed and vivid memories of the when everything felt wonderful.

These memories are deeply ingrained and very hard to dismiss and remove, even with professional help. Combine this efficacy with the fact we leave you exhausted and broken, it is little wonder you cannot shift us from your minds. Everyone knows how difficult it is to think straight when you are tired. Little wonder then that we always loom large in your mind when you have been exhausted and shattered by our behaviour.

These memories of the golden period are massively powerful and all of the above means that for someone like you, you will often think of them and suffer the emotion that is linked to them .It is a devastating weapon in our armour. Pretty memorable eh?


18 thoughts on “Why Is The Narcissist Always On My Mind?”

  1. “Why is the narcissist always on my mind?”

    Because I am an idiot, who doesn’t go full No Contact and therefor let herself be hoovered again. One of his friends passed away (far too young) and that’s when my emotional thinking came back.
    I thought it was gone, because when I looked at him I felt nothing anymore. And then something sad happens and I’m getting all emotional again. Well, it’ll probably be temporary. What’s difference does it make anyway, when I get silent treatments after every hoover? It’s nothing but a game he plays. He’ll be feeling so powerful again. I grant him that feeling. It’s doesn’t hurt me anymore and he’ll be ‘happy’ (content) for a while, Let’s face it, it’s better that he hoovers me and not his ex (who might get all happy and excited again, because she doesn’t know what he is).

  2. I am indignant / raging, gutted everything from the last 5 years was a lie.

    I put up with and gave a lot to this fake relationship.

    I am getting over him as a person, but not the damage it did to me and how a human being can do this to another human being with no regard.

    I think I am a co-dependant with poor self-esteem and big rejection issues.

    Thinking why did he not want me. Then wonder if I have Narc tendencies as have lots of “how dare he” moments.

    He is on my mind pretty every waking minute because of the hurt of it not being real. I wish I could make it all go away or for me to move on.

    Anyone any advice ? X x

    1. Original Overthinker
      5 years is a lot of minutes and you are already angry about the ones you’ve lost. None of us knows how many minutes we have left in life, so don’t let him take any more of them or keep you in anger.

      1. Read Exorcism
      2. Have a consultation.

      Make your remaining minutes count with things that are worthy of them and make you happy.

    2. Original Thinker,

      I understand. My biggest worry, in the past, had been that on my deathbed I would not tell my son how amazing he made my life and I could not love more, but instead it would be a comment about this guy. I finally got to the point where I didn’t worry about that, and then he sends his latest text. Since then he is even in my dreams.
      What I find helps me is:
      I come here a lot; I talk to my therapist; I pray; I listen to specific music (“Set It All Free” from the movie Sing is good right now on repeat); I write emails to HG and delete them; I implement little things I can do when it comes to him (not contacting him although I have a lot to say); start doing things from my bucket list; and I remember the quote from “The Holiday” of “You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life…”

      He doesn’t deserve more of you than he has already taken. You are not alone in this swim of the emotional sea. Every day will be a new day to move forward where he is a memory but not your all consuming. I know this sounds harsh but it wasn’t all fake: your love was real and is a gift for you to use for both yourself as well as others. Working through the reality of the past, and getting through the stages of grief, will take time. Please be patient and kind to yourself. It is baby steps, and you will move forward.

    3. Original Overthinker
      It is going to take a while to get him out of your mind so I recommend that you keep reading the articles, the comments from other readers and HG (that helps with perspective and emotional thinking) and post your feelings and thoughts as much as possible. Read and post your way through it. Don’t stop until you feel better.

      You should read Exorcism, too, that will help you out quite a bit. Then read it again; repetitiveness really helps.

      If you want the book (hard copy) then use this list and click on the Title: Exorcism and then click on AMAZON, which is located below the summary. That will take you directly to Amazon and give you the choice for the book or Kindle.


      It took me about a year to get over it. It was awful and I am sorry you are going through it, too. Narcsite is the best place to get help and recover from your ordeal. You will be in my thoughts.

    4. Original overthinker,

      I can relate with your anger. I also have that “how dare he” thought often. It’s so hard to separate ourselves from what they have done to us. It’s very normal to take it personally. We feel we are entitled to the truth and a certain amount of loyalty because of the abuse we suffered by them.

      Our anger may be toward them but I think alot of our anger (in my case) is at ourselves for knowing it was an illusion but not being able to get past it. It helps me to tell myself that what happened to me wasn’t personal. It will be the same way for anyone entangled in a relationship with the narc. I wanted to feel like I was special and exempt from the worst of what he did. I have to keep telling myself that I served a purpose in his life like every other person in his life. That purpose may have been special to me but I was just functioning as an appliance to him.

      I think it’s ok to feel that I was special. This is my feeling not his. What he thought of me does not dictate who I am. The fact that he is always in my mind (white noise) is irritating and often sets back my recovery. It’s the hardest struggle I’ve dealt with thus far. It makes me feel defective in some way but then I think that every person in the history of the world has something they are trying to overcome. I am no different and I am not defective because of it.

      I’ve made a promise to myself to defeat that white noise inside my head. If it is something that I have to live with forever than I will turn it into something positive.

      I’m so sorry you are hurt. So many of us can relate. The fact that you are here shows you have a strength inside of you to move on and be happy. Now that you see the relationship was fake, use that knowledge to empower yourself.

    5. For me it really helped me when I tried to expand my social circle. It was really hard at first. After escaping my matrinarc, I had to live with my half-sister who also happened to be a narc. So I struggled to create my self esteem back. When I was meeting new people I had anxiety but I was tryong my best to hide it and fake confidence. It was a real struggle at first but eventually it got easier as I met good friends. It was also challenging for me because I grew up in a different country so i didn’t know people here.

      I have to say though that it really helped me to widen my social sphere. At the same timw I also avoided the toxic people. I always had a soft spot for people with financial issues because I grew up in poverty so i volunteered in an outfit that helps them. The feedback and gratitude from the people that I have helped built my self esteem back. Maybe volunteer to help annorganization that interests you? Like an animal rescue center if you’re into animals or a shelter for abused women if you feel that your experience can be an advantage in ubderstanding women in that situation. I feel that as a naturally giving person you can offer so much to this world and unlike narcs most people would give something back to you in a form of sincere appreciation so you wouldn’t feel so drained. I hope that helps. 💕

    6. I was also thinking, physical activities might be helpful too! Running or cycling perhaps? Listening to music while doing it. If your mind automatically thinks about him, you can even utilize that as motivation to run faster, just imagine you are leaving him behind. Or even kickboxing, if you find yourself thinking about him you can imagine him as the punching bag. So you can even use thoughts about him as motivation for your workout for now until his effect on you diminishes.

    7. OO, grant him the victory. He made you believe it was true.
      Let him have that victory.
      Its not an honour to win by deceit – but is is what he aimed for.
      Let him have it.
      See it for what it is.
      It will relieve you.

  3. “Since you care about others and take an interest in the thoughts, actions and well-being of other people, you have been wired to take on board stimuli from other people in a far more effective manner than others. ”

    This is something that I have always noticed about myself but couldn’t understand. Whether a person is a family member, a romantic partner, a friend, or colleague, I seem to be preoccupied with their wants and needs. And the sad part is, the more selfish they are, the more inspired I am to do stuff or buy stuff for them. I am not as inspired in devoting time and energy on my empathic friends and family members which has puzzled me. Now I know that this is because of my empathic nature. I absorb the energy that a person radiates and a selfish or narcissistic person who radiates a me me me energy towards me, my focus becomes them them them. Whereas my empathic friends who are usually selfless or naturally content do not radiate as much neediness towards me and so I do not get inspired to give to them as much as I do with the more self-centered people in my life.

    I have been trying to change that though before I even inderstood what was going on. I just got tired of providing so much for the ungrateful people. But now I finally understand what was going on. I have to admit that doing and giving more to my empathic friends who really love me feels really good but it isn’t as rewarding because they are not really needy. What gave me a more rewarding experience was when I volunteered for the local St. Vincent de Paul to help the financially needy people in our area. They are also extremely needy but most of them are also really grateful, unlike the narcs. I literally have some of them tell our President how kind I was to them on the phone and they really appreciated that I listened to them and was so nice. So I thought that was a really good redirection of my energy.

  4. Superinteresting
    And as a woman I often feel the need to be around a Protective strong man, so I quickly sense a relief and let my guard down those first dates. Which makes my mind very receptible I guess.

    Plus many of you guys seem to specialize in going way Below your league, so you are of a very attractive or successful type which I don t usually encounter.
    Makes me invest my mind/energy so much more.

  5. Pingback: Why Is The Narcissist Always On My Mind? | NarcTopia
  6. So does this mean that we, the empaths, are forever screwed by these memories? Even after going no contact and keeping it that way, how do we retrain our brain and move on from the damage deep inside? At times, I feel that it’s impossible.

    1. Read the book by hg on exoecism. You can retrain your brain and that can happen a lot faster if you consistently practice the steps outlined in that book.

  7. As this is the hurdle I haven’t jumped, I’d have been so appreciative had you also told us how to erase you from our minds. It’s been many months for me now, I know what a complete lying POS he is, and I do not want him back, and it’s infuriating that I still spend an excessive amount of time every day thinking about him.

    1. Women need matchmakers …or fairy godmothers , to make sure they meet truly good men …no fakes . Arranged marriages with a narc detector specialist to make sure narcs don’t populate .

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