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?


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

  1. We’ll, that explains why my first narc loved sappy love songs and my 2nd one took a bath in cologne every day

  2. How timely. I have not been hoovered that I know of but this past week MRN crept back into my head and now he is stuck there. I even had a dream last night that he contacted me about a baseball game. Baseball? Yes because two years ago we briefly talked about ONE baseball game!!

    First, why it shouldn’t be happening: I am staying in my lane. I have not even so much as looked at his social media. I even stopped myself from creating a fake FB in order to do something else because I was afraid that I would look to see if his fake profiles are still there.

    Second, I have been involved with someone else for more than two months. I don’t trust my reactions, so I am being really passive and he is not rushing in like a whirlwind because he is not a narc. My gut tells me we have staying power but I have not shifted my obsessive thinking to him. Overall, I think it’s healthy because it indicates that I am not panicking at the thought of him disappearing. I know he won’t, no matter what happens. But it also means that he will not take the place of MRN.

    What IS going on, then? First, I can feel my walls going up a bit with other guy, which might be what is shifting my thinking back to narc. I am basically aleady in a relationship with a ghost. Second, MRN and I are now in month 7 of NC, the longest ever. That is triggering me too. Will he try to get in touch? Third is that I am not as busy as I was the past few months and now have too much time on my hands. That will change soon so it will be instructive to see if my thinking changes too.

    Something else that might be instructive for everyone: I’m sure for most of us, were we to break NC, narc would come rushing right back in as if nothing happened. I know MRN would because I have finally learned from experience – he has done it five times. Why not six?

    He might be silent at first, but not forever. He wouldn’t say, oh I cannot speak to you anymore, you are dead to me, I am happier without you, I cannot believe what you did. None of those normal things matter in this scenario.

    Because the relationship, such as it is, never dies for them and they never move on, WE can’t get closure. That means endless angry and sad conversations with ourselves in our own heads.

    It is a lot of work – mentally exhausting – for one person to do all of the closure themselves, right? I think this is also why they are stuck in our heads – we are playing both roles – theirs and ours.

    Thanks for listening and letting me vent here. I have not read Exorcism. Maybe I need to.

  3. People should have consults with HG to see if the person they are dating is a narc …like it should be a specialized field of psychology.

  4. Thank you to the ladies who commented your comments have helped me.

    I looked at the previous articles with the above title and those reader’s comments as this article resonated so much with me. Whilst your comments were in moderation. The different perspectives help.

    The biggest part of the problem is me, I wanted the true love, that is the thing that has evaded me all my life. Not such if my mum was a Narc or was just very self centered. I thought our relationship was real at first, thought he was complex and I held on, thinking love would cure all. It has hit me hard, all a lie, complicated by him having Cancer during this time.

    I am quite privledged the things I have done in my life, I am not rich, but have travelled, seen and experienced amazing things. My daughter has experiences and memories not things for birthday’s and Christmas. We are going to Iceland next year for a long weekend for her 14th birthday, on a budget.

    HG talks about Mont Blac Pens, I am a Bic Pen. Northern Chips and Gravy not Moules Frites.

    I have a level of guilt that I am not as happy as I should be. I know I need to work on and love me to get through this. Just wish my head was a blank canvas and it was a quicker process.

    I have consulted with HG it has helped me hugely. Hard to think he is a Greater Narc and believe the Twatish behaviour he must have with girlfriends, when he helps us so much. Here lies one of the problems I always tried to see the good in people and even if I can’t see, believe it is there and love will cure all . Although I know what my Mid Ranger is now, (he is with someone else, triangulation went on, so so hurtful) Still wish it was real.

    Thank you again A/x

  5. “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).

    1. Blank, (can I still call you blank?)

      You made me laugh because I say the same thing. You are NOT a idiot. Give yourself credit for your accomplishments. You are able to identify the games and I’m sure that’s more than 2 steps forward from where you started. Hang in there! We all take a step back once in awhile.

      1. Thanks Mercy! (you can still call me Blank :))
        You are right, once all the pain, confusion and grief was gone. I felt so much better. It is my emotional thinking that I need to control.
        Since October I’m attending philosophy class, which really helps me to think in a different way and to dissect feelings and facts. I can recommend it to anyone who is an emotional thinker. xx

      2. 2SF,

        I didn’t know about your son. I’m so sorry to hear that. Your comment above about the guilt of having that narc on your mind instead of your son is a perfectly normal feeling. Maybe you are using the distraction of the narc to cope with your grief. I can only imagine that any distraction from that type of trauma would be welcome. Even if it’s an emotional fucked up narcissist distraction.

        You have to take care of yourself. You’ve been through too much. I’m glad your classes are helping with your emotional thinking but don’t be so hard on yourself. The mind is amazing and will keep those valuable memories safe for when you’re ready to revisit them.


      3. 2SF
        Im glad I saw this comment. I hadn’t realized 2SF and Blank were the same person!

    2. You’re not an idiot, you’ve been narcissistically abused. Please don’t call yourself an idiot! If you’re on HG’s page the. You’re a smart person

  6. 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.

      1. Getting there, Great advice. This too shall pass, as my mother would say. I particularly like your comment about not wanting to mention him on your deathbed. I totally get it. If MRN comes back, all I will say is that I expect him to be there when I die – that I want him there when I die – but until then, I don’t want to hear from him. That will be a headfuck for him…

    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.

      1. I’ve read Exorcism, and it was great, very helpful in fact. Maybe it’s already time to reread it as narcex continues to have a starring role in my thoughts throughout the day as well as guest appearances in my dreams. It’s so damn annoying.

    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.

      1. Regarding the white noise- I feel terribly guilty about it too because I’m a bereaved parent. The trauma of my son’s death is deeply imprinted. It’s incredibly horrible that narcex is now using up valuable memory real estate currently trumping thoughts and memories of my child.

      2. Mercy, Great comment. You ARE special and it does say something about us that we are here. Imagine how many people have gone through this and are not here – are not getting help – are simply crushed. How is your daughter doing?

    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.

      1. I went the fitness route and I can say it has helped a great deal. I started this before the discard and just continued. It has been great for my self esteem and has any obsessive thinking about him. It hasn’t cured it but it’s helped and I’m in better shape than I have been in my entire life

    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.

    8. NarcAngel is right… with me was 06 years. So I know the anger is substantial. But there are more mysteries between us in the invisible than one alone can account for. Sometimes in our anger, we make so much in our own head that we fail to see the bigger picture. Anger is normal… as far as you don’t allow it to control you, and your decisions. Follow up with what NA said:
      Read the book Exorcism.
      Get a consultation

      Read read read. Once you understand what they are and why they do, it will help you to step forward… The anger may remain… as a dormant, calculate, cold, and precise option. You may apply it or not, from a distance.
      I guess the worse enemy is the enemy you can’t gauge reactions, see emotions, hear about broken feelings, receive news from, see, hear from through others… the one who disappears and remains silent. The one who you can alone assume to know what he or she is thinking but you don’t know for sure. The one you try to predict but you can’t tell… what they can do. The one who stays on the back of your mind feeding your paranoia because in reality, now you became prey.

      Use your anger to your advantage. Not his.

    9. Everpresense comes to mind. Just when I’ve not thought about Ex for awhile . . . found a reminder deeply hidden in a drawer. I thought I had gotten rid of everything he gave me. I recommend getting rid of everything. I donated beautiful lingerie, clothes, jewelry . . . I didn’t want to, but glad I did it. Any sentiment is ET.

    10. Hello OO,
      Dealt with a 5 year fake, one-sided relationship – check.
      Getting over the person but not the damage done to my psyche especially with major trust issues – check.
      So many of our fights were provoked by me having “how dare he” moments by his Jekyll and Hyde behavior and lashing out – check.
      I have been most of this year no contact with a small blip around end of June and solid no contact (all social media blocked too) for a little over four months, yet I still think of him every. single. day. Moreso, now that I am content to have the peace and quiet away from him and his games. I do not feel tempted to reach out to him anymore.
      So I can tell you the intensity of the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing will eventually subside. Life just happens. Things will happen with family or friends that will occupy your time and thoughts. You’ll eventually make more social plans with friends and find your path on things you enjoy. That all helps. But it does take time. It’s more of realizing it after the fact. Meaning, 3 months may go by and all of a sudden you’ll think “oh, I’ve been so busy with this or that, I’m not contemplating him every waking minute.”
      I would say by the sound of how deeply hurt you were to look at more as taking stock a month after the holidays and really soul searching how you’re feeling. Then again in another 3 months. When you push out these increments in time, you actually make progress without pushing yourself daily trying to feel one way or another.
      You asked for advice and here is what I can offer. The focus needs to be acceptance of being alone for the time being to heal. To full detach from the Narc and what his actions did to you. A big hurdle for me was to finally let go wanting my Narc’s approval and validation with some kind of good closure to feel okay about myself. Don’t need it or care about it anymore. His loss. I had to make that inner shift.
      i hope this helps a little.

  7. “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.

    1. MommyPino
      “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.”

      When I think of personality traits I thought were unique to me and then read someone else doing the same thing, it’s quite liberating. Your comment resonates deeply, right down to it not being as rewarding tending to my more empathic friends. I found a similar solution, I volunteer with a local hospice. Reading your comment today reinforces I’m on the road to healing, so thank you.

  8. 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.

  9. Pingback: Why Is The Narcissist Always On My Mind? | NarcTopia
  10. 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.

  11. 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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