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.
72 thoughts on “No Good Advice”
I am suddenly reminded why I was so hated in my early 20’s. I had a lot of narcs around me but zero patience to deal with their crap. I actually had a couple smear campaigns started on me. Was hilarious because the 2 narcs at the time did not compare notes apparently. I was somehow both a frigid lesbian hag and a sex obsessed stalker for a boy. Needless to say they cancelled each other out while I sat there just laughing. They quite suddenly vanished from the social circle at the same time.
Both lessers I believe with bouts of drug addictions and victim sob stories. I didn’t put their behaviors together for a long time though. I was just paranoid cause my StepHag Narc (who I have trouble pegging down, she’s either an upper lesser or lower mid) had programmed me to be suspicious of any boys and avoid them. I was still working on dealing with that at the time so dating was not something I was interested in (much to their aggravation).
We should tackle this the other way around:
By introducing HG’s work INTO the psychology’s/ psychologist’s,therapist’s world.
Better educated therapists and psychologists with better understanding and knowledge of the “how,what and why “of the narcissist’s mind and world= higher quality of help from a therapist with the effects of the aftermath and/or working with vulnerabilities .
The more tools ( understanding, knowledge) the therapist has to specify and identify the problem, the higher prognosis of success ( and faster) in pointing the right direction to the solution of the problem when helping to “heal”.
Well,that is what I did with the therapist I attended to when I needed it.
I gave her several of HG ‘s books and asked her to read them for helping me better , which she did: a completely different level of understanding of the issues I had. I finally got the validation and help I needed form her through her understanding of HG’s work.
After all, you cannot solve what you cannot understand and that goes for the therapist also.
Thank you for doing so SX.
My pleasure HG.
Maybe love and virtues are just no longer relevant . Rampant relationship pain seems odd .
Another timely post, HG. I just saw something on the interwebs about what it means when men go MIA for weeks on end. The advice columnist never once suggests that he might be manipulative. Instead, it is all about what he needs and what the woman should do (basically, not react and wait for him to come around).
A friend of mine sees a famous psychoanalyst (I cannot afford him!) who does seem to know what narcissism is but she is still not getting the whole picture because shrinks (and advice columnists) don’t focus on the perpetrator. Your advice to GOSO would put them all out of work.
This friend has been going through her own discard (not final, of course). A few days ago her narc reappeared via text on the one year anniversary of the last discard. No apology but with a long sob story about his childhood (we think he is gay).
Even though – thanks to you – I am light years ahead of her in my understanding, she dismisses my insights because she sees my narc relationship as too inconsequential (she is also self-absorbed – has some strong narc traits). She would therefore not take it seriously even though – get this – she never even knew where her friend/partner of 30 some odd years lived!
Not only are victims unable to see what is happening but sometimes they do not want to see, maybe because it makes the relationship and the victim herself less consequential, especially if there was a discard rather than an escape.
All relevant points.
I first learned about narcissism while listening to a friend’s complaints about a young man she was involved with a couple years ago. I was easily able to recognize it once my own affair’s golden period/love bombing came to an overnight halt, and other behaviors came to the forefront. (I wish I could remember how I found you, HG, but those initial days and weeks are all a blur now.) Anyway, all of this available relationship “advice” and the lack of narc awareness is pretty frightening. What’s also frightening is the refusal for most people to even accept that narcissism is the reason behind the confusing behavior. Most people understand narcissism to be conceit, self-involvement, and fail to see it as a serious and potentially dangerous disorder. Like others have said, people will refuse to believe that someone who appears so normal on the surface would be affected by such a disorder. Even when presented with such clear and concise proof, they will dispute it. All the signs will align with the behavior, and yet they will continue to give benefit of doubt because after all, no normal seeming person could be THAT evil.
I actually told my therapist about this site. She seemed open to checking into it. I haven’t seen her for months but I hope she took the time to research. This site is a valuable tool for professionals in the psychiatric field.
So true. I think the reason for this is that nobody wants to be the narcissist – not only is narcissism misunderstood and a derogatory term but the disposition comes with not claiming responsibility for one’s mistakes.
I was lucky because my therapist (psychoanalyst) told me that problems of self-worth always (!) lead to narcissistic relationship dynamics. That she does not like using the term narcissism because everyday usage has spoilt its reach. And it comes with prejudice, devaluation and punitive reactions. So I knew what term to look for and eventually also found this blog.
From my own reading I worked out that “relationship phobia” or “commitment phobia” are attempts at describing the narcissistic dynamic value free. I have a couple of books on it and they are pretty accurate – it’s possible to get quite far with it.
This standard response: “He is clearly a commitment phobe.” is not the worst one to make.
HG, if you want to draw more readers to your work perhaps do a piece on “commitment phobia”.
You will be rather pleased then with what will be coming up in the next few days then, LC.
I think ’emotionally unavailable’ is another of those ‘value free’ labels. No one is emotionally unavailable unless they have no (or few) emotions!
This is exactly what I’d been thinking about recently. I couldn’t find any advice on any of these ‘relationship’ sites that could offer any explanation to what I’d experienced. There were always missing pieces and that’s why I became determined to actually find an answer. Then I found a video on Sociopaths and a light went on. It was like an epiphany. After that I found your blogs and videos and it all made sense!! I’ve dealt with a few narcissists and it took me years to figure out what they were, due to the ignorance and lack of info out there. It astounds me that so few people still know of the existence of nariccissts. No good advice is totally right – the advice can be useless if the giver has no idea of what’s actually out there. I haven’t dealt with any for nearly a year now – well one tried recently and it was the easiest thing to spot and walk away from. Thanks for sharing this valuable information
Well put and a common experience. You are welcome.
We need to push for an “ask HG” relationship column in every publication. Information is power.
Happy Holidays HG. I met my Narc. on line Craiglist…His hunting ground X-mas 2010…..OMG 8 years ago…I found out I was used to be cheated on 2013. 2015 I was one of many. He was a Aerospace president. All over the internet, promoting himself and the company he worked for. I have never gotten that, as it led US the other women to find out about his Main Supply. She knows all to know, she gets the goodies. She I am sure is a mental mess, but has learned how to deal with it after 15 years. I told her once, I hope you change the sheets, when you go over his house, or make sure he has washed himself head to toe mouth to hole before you give him your body. AS his body has been all over craiglist. He had no preference, as he was a great Gallo of being your everything of words, texts, and being with him. 2 times he tried to take me to court. Second time I got a lawyer as I had two other women he did this to and lots of evidence, when I befriended his GF when I found out he was a Narc, and didn’t think she knew. FB messenger evidence from her and my relationship for 6 months. So HE the Narc. Showed me there is real evil in the world. These Creators are NOT of God and never change. I found my soul spirit and self-esteem again, and became a spiritual warrior. I will never be the same again. Trust is hard to let someone in, but I give a lot to those who need to know the truth. I have NO shame of what happened to me. AS I was a victim, now I am resilient. I have had other hardships since him, but I am still standing. HG whenever I see a story of Narcissist and people seeking, I refer them to the Book Psychopath Free and your site. HG you know when you are healed as much as possible. IT is when you have the memories, BUT the do NOT invade your Body any more. NO sick feeling crying shivers waking up in the morning and thinking of them. Just the memories…That is how I know I have healed from something or someone. Just a thought…HG you have NOT done a Video in a long time. I hope you are okay….Cheers to you Cindy From L.A. CA
Thank you for referring people to my work.
I’m just so amazed how many narcissists there are running around in our society today and so many people don’t get it! Especially when the leader of our country is a malignant narcissist!
This Christmas was a strange experience.
I tried to briefly outline my battles with Ns, to share things closest to my heart, things that had pushed me to my limits.
Things that kept me awake at night.
Things I was in therapy for.
Things that made my heart ache.
Things that have made me cry into my pillow at 3AM.
It was just the couple of well-trusted women with me, little ears were elsewhere, so I dipped my toes into the refreshing pool of deep-emotional-connection with other empathetic women.
We need it like breathing.
It’s not an easily found thing.
Without asking me why I thought the way that I did, how I had come to my conclusions, they began talking me out of my conclusions, and ascribing THEIR heart motivations to the N-perpetrators.
Completely ignoring the facts to the contrary.
Ignoring the complete lack of any evidence to support their arguments.
This is just as I would have done, and did do, prior to finding narcsite.
It was so interesting to have this article ‘No Good Advice’, and ‘Errors of the Ignorant’ played out in realtime.
I felt so alone.
My butterfly antennae were packed away again, and no more was said, for the present.
I wondered today if this feeling is anything akin to that of the astronauts who have returned to earth, their world view altered irrevocably, and their horizons vastly expanded….
and feeling so alone back here on Earth.
That is why I have been coming back to this site. I find it interesting that narcissists comprise a really small part of the population. Yet most of us here have encountered a number of them both through familial connections which we had no control of and the people that we chose to be involved with such as friends, work colleagues and romantic partners. And yet, most of my friends have not beet victimized by any narcissists. They cannot relate. Most of the people who saw me growing up thought of my mom as a dedicated, extremely attentive, very strict and protective loving mother. One time I went with my hisband to Las Vegas for his CME, I met with my old classmate from the Phils. when I was in grade school and she was telling my husband how they thought how funny I was when my mom would pick me up because I was too late for my curfew and I already had white skin which would turn even whiter because I was so scared of my mom. I was thinking girl you wouldn’t think it’s funny if you were in my shoes. She thought my mom was just the traditional Asian tiger mom.
I also tried to tell my husband about my experiences with my matrinarc but he just told me that the past is the past, I need to move on. He said that his father was alcoholic and hated him and he never lets the past affect him. At that time I didn’t know that my mom was a narcissit but I told him his dad didn’t try to control him like my kom did. He was able to avoid his dad by playing outside all day whereas my mom tried to be a part of everything that I did. But he doesn’t get it.
how very alone you must have felt growing up, even if you couldn’t put words to that feeling.
How stressful it must have been for you that the blood was draining from your face with fear, so much so that others commented on it.
It must have been crushing to have your husband invalidate your feelings in the way that he did.
Hopefully with time you can bring the subject up again, after he’s read some of HG’s articles, and he’ll come to a better understanding, or at least realise that this is a very big deal in your life, and likely something you’ll be processing for the rest of your life.
I very much appreciate your presence and support here.
I mentioned to HG that it’s as though we have all fled here for refuge from our N-war zones. We all have pain and memories that we generally keep to ourselves.
I studied 20th century history with regard to the two world wars, and the time period between them. One thing that struck me as tragic was the large number of returned service men who found it difficult to fit into civilian life again once demobilised. They couldn’t fit into their former life as a family man; they had no one to talk with about their experiences or with whom to process the horrors they’d witnessed. Many suffered from PTSD and depression.
I haven’t been able to respond to some of your comments on earlier posts, but I want to over this next week. Sometimes there’s so much to say, sometimes it needs a lot of thought before discussion is possible, sometimes it’s too overwhelming to think of it all, sometimes our attention is needed elsewhere. For these reasons, I don’t always reply in a timely manner, but I endeavor to.
Thank you for your responses. Don’t worry about the older ones, I think I have seen the answers in our recent discussions and in other threads.
With my husband, I think that he is typical of men in general. I think that it is less common to have men that can listen and empathize. You are right though with how I felt at the moment, it was very frustrating. I didn’t even bring it up out of the blue. We were talking about something which brought up a memory that I had with my experience with my mom and I shared it with him. I wasn’t trying to get pity or anything. I was just sharing an experience that I remembered. But I could see he felt pressured to come up with solutions for me. He is a fixer and a doer and he seems to feel that he needs to come up with solutions if a problem is presented to him. So his solution was for me to move forward just like he did with his alcoholic father. It didn’t come out empathic, it was also annoying because he couldn’t see that I have totally moved on as well, I was just sharing a story. But after some time I just thought that it didn’t come out well but he had good intentions.
You’re so right about all of is coming here. It is a blessing to have people who understand you and what you went through. It does make us feel validated. We are survivors and we really went through and overcame so much.
Some points that I forgot to respond to in my earlier response. I was in the middle of doing something when I was typing it so I was distracted.
I agree with your comparison to us with soldiers who went to war. I am so grateful for this site which not only provides so much knowledge about NPD which has affected my whole life but also to find wonderful people like you who can understand. I think that the abuses that we experienced is something that a lot of people cannot really grasp or appreciate fully. A lot of the abuses can be subtle like the silent treatments, but can have so much effect in our self esteem. And exactly like you said, we will have to process these experiences for the rest of our lives. My husband had a loving mother. I told him that he is so blessed to have a loving mother who will always be a strong part of his identity. He agrees with me. His face lights up when he thinks of his mom. If I am faced with a huge conflict, I don’t have a comforting thought of a loving mother like a lot of my friends do. So I go to the Bible and go to God. Now I also have this blog to read HG’s articles that help me look at my experiences in an objective way and also find fellow ACONs.
I truly appreciate you and your patience in reading my long responses. You’re always so sweet and thoughtful and you have a gift for understanding. I love readig about your stories about your family. It reminds me of the soap opera dramas that I loved to watch when I was young where the beautiful and glamorous matriarch is usually depicted with what I now recognize as narcissistic behaviors. That is a blessing that you have I would have to say, despite the horrible behavior that your mom had, she was still beautiful and you can still look up to her with the way she carried herself as a woman. With me, I had to look somewhere else for inspiration.
My husband would not read HG’s articles. It is one of his characteristics that I don’t enjoy very much but his other good traits cancel it out. Whenever I have read a book or an article that I find interesting and am excited to talk to him about, if he’s not interested in it he would cut me off in the middle of telling him. We enjoy talking about politics and religion but he’s not interested in most other stuff. So I don’t even try anymore because it can be frustrating when I’m in the middle of telling him something that I’m excited about and I cannot proceed. That’s one thing I missed about my narc half sister, we both loved talking about the books that we have read. I told him about HG Tudor and some of the things that I learned but he told me that it’s enough and he wants me to talk about new topics now so I don’t mention this to him anymore.
So well articulated, Caroline R:
” My butterfly antennae were packed away again, and no more was said, for the present.
I wondered today if this feeling is anything akin to that of the astronauts who have returned to earth, their world view altered irrevocably, and their horizons vastly expanded….”
It IS like being irrevocably changed…and so few people *out there* understand. This is another reason why I find social situations so challenging – people don’t understand, plus I cannot shut of my narc-dar and stop evaluating people’s motivations behind *everything* – sometimes I just want to go back hiding under a rock…
This is also why interactions here are so important to many of us.
thank you for your comments and for the compliment, it’s so refreshing to be understood. I understand the feelings you’ve expressed, and your vulnerability. I appreciate your presence and support here.
Thank-you Caroline R. From my reading here, you offer much support through very articulate and thoughtful responses. I’m sorry those, in your personal life, who you thought might understand or be supportive ended up disappointing you.
Caroline R, Totally – the astronaut thing. That is my experience with friends too. Only one has said ‘oh, a sociopath.’ But certain things do shock people – for instance the lying and online stalking/hoovers.
So, basically the estimates on how many individuals actual have personality disorders is way lower than it should be. Honestly, once I actually knew what it was, my eyes were opened wide. I see so many. So, so many people dealing with people in their lives that cause this confusion and change in treatment like listed above. They’re usually not ready to believe what it is they’re dealing with. There’s always a delay due to hope. Years wasted on this “hope” when what they wish for to return never really was. Such an insane mind fuck. Pardon my language.
IOM, HG says 1 in 6! That’s why his work is so important. This information needs to be available to everyone.
Yes, so many “years wasted on this ‘hope.’”
No more hoping is actually a relief now. No more limbo. And no more time to waste!
And here’s what happens in the world of therapy:
Five years with one therapist and she NEVER saw the love-bombing, the devaluation, the discard, the Initial Grand Hoover, the silent treatments, etc., for what these events were. “Take a look at Brené Brown’s TED talk on becoming more vulnerable in your relationship.” (As if that doesn’t play right into the Narc’s hands!!!)
Two months with a different therapist and he didn’t see any of it either.
Post-discard and new therapist sees the narcissism but he doesn’t go too deep into it. In the last few weeks, this therapist tells me how well I’m doing, how I seem stronger, more confident, less worked up about my ex narc. He tells me I’ve really progressed. He thinks it’s the therapy we’re doing. I let him think that, keeping to myself the real reason why my head is on so straight: my recent discovery of HG Tudor’s blog. his inside knowledge that gives me clarity, and his expert advice that gives me more power over my desires and behaviors.
Who needs therapy when you’ve got HG?
Exactly. I am far more effective and far less expensive.
And far more eloquent, enlightening, and entertaining…the list could go on.
Please do so.
I listen to your personalized recording at least once a day 🙂
Like taking an anti-narcissist pill once a day.
lol. I would take that pill.
This is a very good article about cheating. Also, narcissists will engage in object (hobby or porn), financial, cyber and “emotional” infidelity.
And there she is right on time! K your wonderful!🥰
Thank you foolme1time and I am still keeping an eye out for the comment you mentioned on https://narcsite.com/2018/08/02/5-reasons-it-cannot-work-with-a-narcissist/#comments. It will pop up eventually.
I visit various online NPD abuse survivor support groups and am shocked to see how many women have been “treated” by therapists who don’t know the first thing about narcissism or the obvious signs. It’s awful how much time and money and sanity is wasted on poor advice and therapy 🙁
Then you know where to direct them.
Hi Ilsk…..When I first started therapy.I thought I was just the woman, he used to cheat with. I was in Therapy for a year. NOT healing C-ptsd. Narc kept me around. We had a closing lunch. He played the poor me…I read books of forgiveness. Gave him things to help his relationship. My therapist was good, BUT he only could go off of the information I knew and gave him. I got on xanax to mellow my mind, AS the Mind Fuck Rape he did to me. Then one day doing research online I found !!!! There Is No Closure With Narcissists | Melanie Tonia Evans
Nov 1, 2011 OMG….I then became his worst Nightmare…Knowing Real Evil exists and somehow I attracted it to my life. WHY because I cracked the code on this man, Who was doing this for over 15 years. Another Woman, outed him on the internet, on a cheating site. His name is all over google. So it went viral….over 85 posts, before it was taken down. Then for 3 years Him and GF have been outed a lot. Family Friends so on found out. IF they believe it or not. THE seed was planted in many heads, to now see. WHY THIS MAN IS ODD….I go by the saying When you know better you do better. I did NOT know…Now I do and did what was needed to do. Best to you Cindy
Thank you, Resident Archivist K!
My pleasure lisk!
lisk: I do – and I think – from what I read here – many of you guys might benefit from therapeutic support. Because there is a reason the narcs see us as perfect bait and not others. Mostly it’s lack of self esteem, and poor boundaries. Those two things alone are hard to improve without a competent therapist. It can be done without but it’s infinitely harder.
Reading HGs books can help someone identify those traits in oneself, but they don’t help you fix those problems. If you want to truly heal you need to do that as well as understand the narcissistic perspective.
I agree that there are many incompetent therapists out there but then with the knowledge of narcsite it gets easier to find the competent ones. If you can say I have suffered from ( repeatedly) being caught up in a narcissistic dynamic and I never want this to happen again you’ll be more able to gauge if the therapist responds well or if you need to carry on looking for somebody who can treat you. Not every therapist has the right training for this kind of problem.
I do understand that HG wants to build a legacy
here – and from his perspective he needs to see himself as superior even to his own ‘good doctors’ – but the therapy bashing he authorises here is dangerous, because it might put people off from seeking help. Many empathic people HATE asking for help, and they ought to be encouraged rather than be put off.
Narcissism as a relationship problem involving 2 or more adults and potentially several children is huge and deserves outside help. It is somewhat grandiose to think one can sort it all with just reading a blog – even if it is a very good blog.
I think this blog would be even better if HG provided discussions of different forms of therapy or perhaps things to say to therapists to make the most of your treatment or perhaps list warning signs – spotting a narc therapist or how to spot a therapist who isn’t any good for the subject etc etc but perhaps that is a bit too much asked for!
But lisk : how CAN a therapist help you if you don’t tell them what you think!?
I give you understanding better than anybody else. For many that is all that is needed – the tools to understand, to escape and remained escaped. If others need assistance with healing, that is not something I provide, that is where a therapist assists and they are better suited to dealing with anxiety, self-worth issues, PTSD etc but most of the time they are not well-suited to dealing with the narcissism for a variety of reasons. I am not therapist bashing but rather pointing out the factual shortcomings – something which many,many readers have agreed with also. So many times I have been told “HG I learnt more in one hour with you than I did with hours of therapy.” Therapists do indeed have a valuable role in helping people, but it is invariably not with regard to tackling narcissism and understanding it – the symptoms of ensnarement, yes – but not the understanding and achievement of freedom.
One thing I love about narcsite is how much I’ve learned about myself. After all, when you’ve hung out with narcissists all your life, ‘you’ isn’t what you’re focused on.
I’m not sure I understand your question. But I will attempt to answer regardless.
The point of my original post was: I WAS telling therapists what I THINK and FEEL for years and they did not see my supposed life partner and all of his behaviors as evidence of narcissism, let alone as harmful. They actually bought into his BS, as I did, and thus contributed to extending that relationship beyond the expiration date (which was pretty much Day 1).
I NOW don’t need the therapist to “help” me with regard to what was going on in my so-called “relationship” because HG has provided the necessary information to lift me (and others) out of the fog, to have us “less confused,” so to speak. He has also given us practical, workable steps to deal with his kind so that we can move away from the narcissist and move forward with our lives.
As to your point about what makes certain people susceptible to narcissism—the diminished self-esteem, the lack of boundaries—of course, therapy can help with that. And I agree, no one single blog can fix those issues. I don’t believe HG makes such claims. I don’t see him saying, “Dump your therapist.”
I’m not sure what “therapy bashing” he authorizes…all I know is that his post here is about advice columnists who offer uninformed advice.
I am the one who, via an epiphany I experienced through reading this post, decided to offer part of my own story to about therapy to demonstrate the value of HG’s information over that of the many, many uninformed, or even ignorant, therapists who hang their shingles.
Good points, Lisk. Therapists who do not understand can keep you stuck in an abusive relationship for years.
I couldn’t agree with you more. Some do more harm than good.
As with narcs, K, we need to take control of our relationships with therapists. If we are not getting what we need, we should exit the relationship. Both are easier said than done, of course.
Yup, if it ain’t working then it is time to GTFO and go NC. No more in situ bullshit whether they are narc, normal or empath.
P.S. Nothing can increase self-esteem in relation to a narcissist like No Contact can.
NC was recommended to me by my narcissist in so many words (“Stay away from him!” as if I were a stalker or something), but not spelled out so clearly and emphatically as HG has done here. I would not have been able to make it through at least two Hoover’s and to Day 52 (today) without HG and his invaluable commenters.
Unfortunately many therapists are not very good and they can be cost prohibitive. Everything I needed to get better was here on narcsite and free. My healing was incremental and took about a year, however, my healing began immediately when I heard these words on YouTube:
It wasn’t your fault, you were targeted.
P.P.S. Sorry I meant to write “NC was recommended by my therapist,” NOT “my narcissist!”
Freudian slip there? Perhaps! My therapist had admitted to having certain narcissistic traits. Maybe that’s why he’s the first one to see through my narc (now ex-narc).
Interesting comment and I understand your concern!
HG is amazing at providing information for narcissism, which I have provided to my own therapist for her to understand some of what she may not have understood before that helps explain my situations more. Now she uses the information to challenge me in positive ways. Knowing her, I have no doubt that she has used the information and knowledge of HG to help other clients (that is an assumption and not actual knowledge).
I too understand the negativity of some on therapy as there are some therapists who do more harm than good; not all therapists and methods match the client; and some expect the therapist to fix them for them instead of them doing work; and/or some expect the therapist to read their minds. I have experienced the therapist who has done more harm than good but thankfully found another who is great! Unfortunately, I understand not all have the ability to switch therapists or to even afford therapy. I wish there was a great solution for those situations as the help one can get from a good therapist is instrumental!
I know, for me, that if it weren’t for BOTH HG and my therapist, I would probably still be doing all the wrong things to keep me in the battlefield. I have had consultations with HG where he has provided information about my thoughts thoughts and ways of thinking that I know my therapist does not understand. It has provided beyond-significant help; however, unlike for others where the information HG provides is alone enough, I need what the therapist provides as well. I am blessed for the knowledge each provide and the help each give in their own ways and, as HG pointed out, in their respective areas. I will acknowledge that while there is significant overlap in the areas, I have additional issues for my therapist (like strong OCD tendencies and allowing other stressors in life to impact me).
It is my belief, and maybe an incorrect one, that this blog would probably not exist if it weren’t for HG going to therapy. For those who can take the knowledge HG provides as well as the support group aspect this blog provides alone, that is great! For those like us, who need both that and therapy, that is great as well! For those who feel ashamed of wanting/needing therapy as well, please remember it is not a negative thing. Even HG himself used therapy to move in a different step in the adventure of life. While my change won’t lead to a legacy or anything like that (not what I want anyways), it does lead to a better well being which also helps my son.
Serendipity. Because HG went to therapy, I don’t need to go. Fucking A!
Personally, I think it is a mistake to believe that we all have poor boundaries and lack self esteem. Maybe the narc dynamic isn’t simply or even mainly a psychological issue. If it were, every child abused by a narc parent would need to strengthen their weak boundaries and build self esteem.
I do see a place for psychology and I am interested in human thought processes and behavior, but for me therapy around the narc dynamic muddies the waters because it focuses on the wrong things. What ultimately matters is that it is simply wrong to abuse someone just because you can. The narc dynamic is therefore also a moral or ethical issue.
I don’t think it is up to ‘victims’ to fix ourselves just as it is not up to the rape victim to justify her clothing choices or her path home at night. I’m not even sure we can fix ourselves – after all, look at how much we struggle even when we do know. But it is up to us to recognize right from wrong, and to act on that knowledge by getting out, and warning or saving another victim (can’t fix narc).
I looked high and low but I was missing knowledge, answers, facts and logic until I found HG. And I did learn more here in an hour than I did in months of therapy. Doesn’t mean I am completely cured but I am light years ahead of where I was six months ago and I haven’t seen a therapist at all during that time.
During my relationship with malignant narc, I read everything out there about “why he is pulling away” before realizing he was a narc.
HG , I have found this to be true. Health professionals don’t recognize this trait. HG, do all NPD always cheat and just get better at hiding it?
Yes and remember there are many different forms of cheating.
Do you elaborate these many different forms of cheating in a specific book or article, HG? If so, would you be so kind as to let us know which one(s), even if you may have already said so elsewhere?
My instinct tells me that any form of IP cultivation, even if in very early stages, is a form of cheating.
I may have done so in a book or article, not specifically on that point but mentioned in connection with something else, but precisely where does not spring to mind. I have made mention of the various forms in numerous comments also. No doubt our Resident Archivist K will be in a position to assist to save me repeating myself.
Here we go… looks like you answered this question in one of the iterations of the article that K linked above.
HG Tudor on January 14, 2017 at 12:49
“Infidelity can occur in many different ways. Most people get their panties in a twist about the physical interaction but we could always spend time with an talk to someone else other than the primary source, lavish gifts on them and not the primary source, help them and not the primary source, share our experiences and hopes with someone other than the primary source, go to places with that person and not the primary source.
An intimate relationship comprises the provision of sex, attention, resources, emotional support, experiencing things together, discussing things and so forth. One could deny any of those things to the primary source and give them to someone else and thus they are being unfaithful. Of course people just do not see it ‘as bad’ but they ought to.”
Yes, I see it as “bad,” if not worse.
Excellent! That should answer your question perfectly.
lisk, (I don’t know where to put my comment), cultivating new IP, but also “friendly” bonds, hours on communicators with ohers without sex (if it’s celebral N) will be a form of cheating, if it hurts you, if he stops giving you attention.
And hoovering the ex. My narcissist (during the relationship with me) occasionaly listened to songs about his ex on social media. Because he wanted her to break NC. He was trying to open communication lines with her behind my back. For me it was cheating.
I felt cheated and lied to.
And guess what, when he discarded me and found a new girl, he was texting me every week for about 6 months untill I blocked him. It was cheating. They always cheat. With former victims, with new victims, doesn’t matter.
Thanks, Tex. I appreciate the elaboration and I agree that all that you described is cheating.
That is some crazy stuff (the song listening in hopes his ex will receive the vibe via social media…)