Connected Yet Removed


The people that know me and interact with me often remark that I always seem attuned to people and my environment. They remark about how I know so much about certain things, that I have clearly experienced a lot and retained the benefit of this experience. My awareness of matters is high and it is often commented on how I am able to “plug in” to something and instantly understand it, know how it works and what to do. Whether it is a meeting, discussion or event, I always fit in. I am not going to disagree with those comments.

Let us imagine that you are a massive football (soccer for our transatlantic cousins) fan. I listen to how you analyse a forthcoming match and discuss the impact of an expensive new signing. I carefully pay attention as you detail how the opposition centre-half is weak on short passes played into the penalty area. I see your eyes widen and light up with interest as you debate these issues with fellow fans. I make a careful note of what is said by you and the others and store it so that I can regurgitate it later to someone else who is similarly interested in football and pass it off as my own knowledge and observations. I do this with conviction so that nobody recognises that these comments are not my own. I spent the morning before the match that we are attending, reading the sport sections of two quality newspapers and also the satellite broadcaster’s webpage for the match, along with other bits and pieces from around the internet in order to assemble my knowledge for this, our first match together. I knew from your social media postings that you are a passionate fan of this team and as I targeted you I pretended I was as well. I managed to recall key trophies the team had won and recent events from the football club’s website to enable me to demonstrate I was also a committed fan. In the course of the discussion with you and your friends who are also die-hard fans I trot out a piece I memorised from a football writer, tweaking it here and there to give it a ring of authenticity as I explain how the captain, sorry our captain, needs a holding midfielder alongside him to allow him to venture further forward and play key balls to the lone man up front. You all nod in agreement showing admiration in my knowledge despite it being acquired elsewhere. I feel the fuel flowing.

I attend the match with you and see how excited you are by the occasion. Your conversation speeds up as you talk about the team the manager has selected. The smell of beer and hot dogs and pies mixes together on the concourse, heightening the occasion as the singing from the away fans drifts from inside the stadium. An event like this assails the senses. The press of the crowd as it makes its way inside seems to lend energy to you and your pace quickens, causing me to have to speed up to ensure I am not left behind. Once in our seats your face shows how you are eagerly anticipating the game, the chanting and shouting already loud, bouncing around the stadium and competing with the delivery of the pa announcer. All around me I can see nervous anticipation, bullish enthusiasm and well-founded confidence. I listen to the chants so I learn the words enabling me to join in. I watch you as you crane forward in your seat, eyes fixed on the unfolding match, fists clenched and repeated utterances issued loudly to urge your team on. I mimic your exhortions and body language, leaning towards the pitch and then jumping up as your team, now our team, opens the scoring. You hug me and I return the hug, jumping up and down in a replica of the delight that washes across the home crowd. The taunting chants aimed at the opposition ring out and I readily join in, gesturing towards the disconsolate faces in the adjoining stand. A second goal is scored, this time from the cries of delight and the conjoining of profanity and blasphemy the goal is clearly of both quality and importance.

“That puts us on top of the league on goal difference,” you explain as if you are able to see that I am wondering why there is such a heightened reaction to this second goal. I know however that you are not wondering that at all. I know that you are thrilled that I am embracing with such enthusiasm the match, sharing the main passion in your life. I join in with the cheers, the shouting, the cries of frustration and disappointment, the barracking of the referee when he makes a poor decision and ensure I am fully integrated with the experience. I look around me watching the passion, the hope, the fury and the delight etched on the other supporters. The stadium is a cauldron of noise and emotion. I am plugged into this experience alongwith fifty five thousand other people. I can see the emotions are raw and visceral, even primitive.

I see all of this around me yet I feel none of it. I merely mimic everyone else in order to fit in. I am attached to the experience but I feel nothing. I am completely detached from it. All it does is serve  a purpose to enable me to create and build bridges and ties with you. I can see how it all affects you, it is clear to see. I am there yet I am not. I am connected yet removed. This is how it feels, or rather, this is how it does not.


48 thoughts on “Connected Yet Removed

  1. kel says:

    Narcissists seem to be quite content, and not bothered as we would think they must be. Their world is normal to them. What they detest is weakness, and that’s what they see in us.

    They are made up of a few layers:

    Mask: a thin exterior of their ideal self.

    Fury: a constant emotion flowing. Even when they’re feeling satisfied and fueled, they still feel this emotion, but just to a lesser degree.

    Black Hole: a real emptiness that they can feel, where their repressed feelings of worthlessness, weaknesses, liabilities, vulnerabilities, memories float around. Jobs, money, hobbies, sex, alcohol, drugs, nothing fills it up because it’s a bottomless pit just like a black hole absorbing all, nothing can fill it.

    Their real self: irritated at everyone, self-centered, disappointed by everything big and small, feeling like they deserve more and are never satisfied.

    And there’s a fantasy world too where they imagine grandiosity and magical thinking.

    They don’t feel negative or upset about themselves, it’s normal to them. But then again, everything that does upset them gets sent to the black hole and repressed. Not knowing, not dealing with, suppressing, procrastinating, projecting, lying, is not a normal, is not a viewpoint, it is a psychological way of not dealing with reality.

  2. shinelighter says:

    The other day I came across an interview you did for someone on Facebook and I was a little struck by your interaction with that man. Basically, you were also helping him navigate through his personal situation with “your kind”. What struck me was the highly empathic interaction you had with him. Even the silences, the uhum’s, the guidance, the right answers given softly at the right time and the intuition for meeting that person right where they were at that point could only come (in my mind) from a highly empathic person. Fine, you help people understand your kind on an intellectual level, I get it. But in order to understand someone and help them from an emotional point of view with THEIR emotions, you have to be at least a little attuned to your own and have the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes, emotionally speaking. I am not trying to imply anything at all really, just letting you know that it struck me. I get that you are completely different in “real” life but on the online one—and I say this obviously as someone who is also empathic and at least believes has some ounce of intuition-—that I recognized the same traits in you. I don’t think you can fake that. I may be completely wrong of course. Just commenting and letting you know what struck me. Happy New Year HG Tudor! All the best to you in 2019! 🙂

    1. HG Tudor says:

      All learned, it is called cognitive empathy. The good doctors and my own observations have assisted me considerably in knowing that the right reactions are – I have to think about the response though, I do not instinctively feel it.

      1. windstorm says:

        And it’s a sign of your very high intelligence. Only really smart narcs can be so good at cognitive empathy. I have wondered what role your somatic side plays in it, too. You can really give the impression that you care when you are talking one-on-one in interviews.

        My Pretzel is much more cut and dry with his cognitive empathy. He understands situations well and can give great advice, but he makes little attempt to act like he actually cares. I have wondered if that lack of “warmth” is just a cerebral trait.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Well of course, otherwise I would never be anywhere near as effective or hidden as I am. That is why I provide you with stark reminders of what I am, so you do not lose sight of that.

          1. windstorm says:

            That’s a very good point. My Pretzel is not hidden. He is as he appears. And that surely would keep him from being effective on a large scale, if he were to try (plus natural laziness. Lol!).

          2. NarcAngel says:

            Oh you’re the very best at cognitive empathy (at least in print), but I never lose sight of what you are or are cspable of Big Daddy. No one should.

        2. Twilight says:


          The more I read about your ex husband and others that have been with cerebrals, the more I am wondering if mine had more somatic just not enough to make him an elite. It wasn’t mind blowing, he could fake warmth and caring.

          1. windstorm says:

            I’m not sure if my Pretzel can’t fake caring, so much as it just disgusts him to do it. He can pull off a subdued respect and care for funerals or hospital visits, but only briefly. I can feel his unease and before long he will be cracking jokes.

            I always sit by him during funerals to give him an outlet for his dark humor. He will even instigate for fuel at funerals. At his cousin’s funeral he was surreptitiously teasing a two year old boy in front of us to get him to act up and make noise.

            But I do wonder about the effect of somatic traits on narc behavior. He is so different from how most people describe their narcs. His dad and brothers fit the descriptions, but they were all somatic. There’s just not anything somatic about my Pretzel. Probably a good thing. At least it seemed to keep him from romantic relationships with other women. He gets his fuel much more from being obnoxious and irritating! 😄

          2. Twilight says:


            I have two views when it comes to sex. I can only control and hold myself to my morels and values not another, if they decide to have sex with another so be. I think instinctively I have always known it was the attention (fuel) and not the act to why it was done. That is my logical side, the emotional side would always be hurt.

      2. lisk says:

        Bill Clinton, ultra-narcissist, has cognitive empathy in spades ♠️

        1. windstorm says:

          Absolutely! Bill Clinton can “feel your pain.”

      3. Leanne says:

        It fascinates me that you do not feel our emotions. I understand the science of it, but the morals, the ethics, the Divine (for those that believe) those things fall into brand new categories
        Mr T, you are an alien to me. 😛
        A pioneer too

      4. Becoming Observant says:

        Do you feel that cognitive therapy is useful in treating some personality disorders, and/or mental illnesses?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Apparently so.

  3. Leslie says:

    You know, a lot of people do similar things to fit into a group. A lot of people feel the same insecurities and frustrations narcs do.

    The difference is the internal processing around it all. All the things narcs manipulate are ways people get along and be happy together. Narcs turn it all into a hellfest.

  4. lisk says:

    This is my narc to a tee.

    Everyone thinks he’s so hip and wonderful and smart.

    But I could always sense a disconnection, him not really being there in the moment, always somehow outside of it all. I especially saw that disconnection at home, when he was in his depressed moments. He really is alone.

    I am happy now that I am no longer giving him my precious material to use to connect with others besides me. Let him do that with someone else.

  5. kel says:

    I woke up very early this morning and watched an old Jack Benny show. Cracked me up, it was so funny. One of the best things I’ve found out, on this last day of the year, is that I love myself. Not for any accomplishments, or for comparing myself to others, but because I’m silly, I laugh, last night I cried over a post on this blog. I’m not perfect but I’m real. The saddest thing about narcissists is they can never feel how much I love them, they’re never satisfied. The one thing they’ve got going for them: their drive to accomplish, (albeit sometimes by devious means), is something they can’t even be happy about. Not only are they lacking that emotion, but the Mercedes, the $3000 suit, the big house, are mostly for impressing others, not themselves. I don’t mean to dis them, I believe they were born with an attachment issue, just from my own experiences. They surely may have narcissistic and abusive families, after all it is hereditary, but as independent, entitled children who defy authority, it sometimes takes the patience of Mary to raise them. We have to stop enabling.

    Ring out the old, leave your baggage behind, and fa’get about it. Life is too short to waste, so enjoy the rest of it – I’m not preaching to you – I’m talking to me. Thank you for the therapy I’ve had here this year.

    Happy New You, Everyone!

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Loving yourself is a great start to the New Year, and holding onto and valuing that promises many more. Cheers.

      1. kel says:

        Thank you NA, Cheers! 🥂

  6. J.G says:

    Hello, H.G. Tudor.
    I have read this post and I am married… Data, Data, Data…. Remembering, analyzing, customizing, examining, observing, reviewing, considering, studying, investigating or inquiring, scrutinizing, finding out, on a subject or subject.
    Oh, my God, you have no life.
    Okay very well, you have to be the best and be the center, but that is not life. All day machining, thinking about how to extract fuel/emotional attention. It’s a tedious, tired and exhausting life.
    Even though you tell me that you like to be a narcissist and that you are happy with it, within my rationality I cannot believe it.
    I believe that narcissists live in hell in life and as they are extremely (generous) they share part of this hell with their victims. Because it makes them feel better.
    I couldn’t be a narcissist because I don’t remember anything about anything… jajjajja.
    For not remembering I do not remember much of the verbal and psychological abuse that my narcissist applied to me, possibly by dissociation or denial of the facts.
    Finally, I can only say, a prodigious, portentous and incredible mind.
    Of course, I suppose that this type of mind will only be within the reach of the greatest narcissists, like you….

    1. J.G says:

      Hello, H.G. Tudor.
      I’ve read this post and I’m tired…. Data, Data, Data, Data…… Remembering, analyzing, personalizing, examining, observing, reviewing, considering, studying, investigating or inquiring, scrutinizing, finding out about a subject or theme.
      My God, you have no life.
      Okay, fine, you have to be the best and be the center, but that’s not life. All day mechanizing, thinking about how to extract the fuel/emotional attention. It’s a tedious, tired and exhausting life.
      Even if you tell me that you like to be narcissistic and that you’re happy with it, within my rationality I can’t believe it.
      I believe that narcissists live in hell in life and as they are extremely (generous) they share part of this hell with their victims. Because it makes them feel better.
      I couldn’t be a narcissist because I don’t remember anything about anything… jajjajja.
      For not remembering I don’t remember much of the verbal and psychological abuse that my narcissist applied to me, possibly because of dissociation or denial of the facts.
      Finally, I can only say, a prodigious, portentous and incredible mind.
      Of course, I suppose that this kind of mind will only be within the reach of the greatest narcissists, like you…..

  7. kathy0720 says:

    So, what I take from this is that it is perhaps “easier” to be a lesser or a mid-ranger.. As they do not know what they are so they are unaware of this “connected yet removed” element.. Correct? In a way being a “greater” is more burdensome because of the self-awareness? I can remember perhaps mimicry of others while in my youth–I think that is common for kids when learning about who you are, etc. However, I can never recall a moment in many years past where I felt disconnected or not “real.” I think this part is what sucks for you and it was why I had such a hard time reading your Sex and the Narcissist book because it was so foreign to me that every move is such a performance/calculated. It has to be exhausting. It would be for me anyway–although I know you have honed the craft and it is second nature. I’m rambling, anyway, it seems like it would be easier to just trek through life not being aware of being different than the majority of people.

    1. Amanda Snapchat 2 says:

      wow! I want to read that book! Sounds very interesting

  8. SN says:

    Dear HG,
    I wish you a magnificent 2019!
    Never Decreasing levels of Dopamine
    Delicious Dinners
    Dancing till Dawn
    Daring Driving
    Deep Diving
    Dazzling Diamonds
    And for your Dreams to come true with Dizzying speed!

  9. Becoming Observant says:

    Wait: this is how you feel about everything? Or just when you are trying to fit in and acclimate to a new thing?

    Don’t folks with NPD have interests which they become passionate about?

    You run, right? I know people who run, and maybe this is a poor example (because I don’t think it’s a joyful event for them), but they do it daily, compete with their friends on Nike Run, take pictures of great trails while traveling, etc.

    Do narcissists not have hobbies or activities which excite and consume them? Whether it’s a book genre or videogame or food or sport or art, don’t they feel bound to their interests (in a positive way)?

    It isn’t unusual to bone-up on the interests of someone you want to impress (boss, date, etc), I think we all do that. But it sounds like an elite narcissist such as yourself takes it to a new level of preparation.

    1. K says:

      Becoming Observant
      HG enjoys writing, history (especially 12-17th century English/British History), football, badminton, fencing, shooting, film, literature, fine dining, ballistics and weaponry, watching plays and reading dystopian literature.

      Here are his recommendations for a good read:

      HG Tudor
      MAY 21, 2017 AT 19:28
      Brave New World
      A Clockwork Orange
      Children of Men
      The Handmaid’s Tale
      Fahrenheit 451
      The Chrysalids
      So Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
      High Rise

      1. Leanne says:

        The handmaid’s tale was an excellent read. Has anyone seen the show? Any good?

        1. Becoming Observant says:

          We tried to watch (several episodes), bc our friends raved about it. We thought it was slow. Unbearably slow. We gave up.

      2. K says:

        My daughter loves the show, I agree with Becoming Observant; it is a bit slow. The book was good.

  10. Amanda Snapchat 3 says:

    I do this. I have done it for sports and politcs. If I am going out with a guy who is a huge sports fan I research a bit and try to use phrases from others as my own to appear super smart on that topic and that we have so much in common!
    It does help me connect with others and get better opportunities. For sports I do it because I don;t care about it but I want to fit in. For politcs it has helped to get better work opportunities. I am using right now this super patriotic photo from my ex who worked in politcs. I think it helps me also appear like I am a very political knowledge person.
    Is this wrong? I don;t feel its tricking the other. It’s doing your homework to seize the day.

    Is this something that only narcs do? I don;t feel I am a narc. But I am surprised to say I do this a lot.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It depends on what is your motive. If it is to extend your knowledge to have something in common with someone so that it enriches your engagement with that person for the both of you, that is not narcissistic. If it is done purely to cater to your own needs irrespective of what others may want or need, it is something a narcissist would do.

      1. Amanda Snapchat 2 says:

        Thank you very much for this explanation. and especially helping me to understand the differences between narcs and others. Yes, I do it for mutual engagement. Actually, damn… thinking about it more from that angle for sports (which has been dating scenarios) I do it so the other person feels comfortable. It is more catering to that other person, so they feel engaged.

        I understand myself much more now.
        Thank you for your wonderful deep writing.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome. This is the whole point of what I write – to enable you to gain understanding and from that your freedom.

  11. Caroline R says:

    Clever Man (HG),
    this made me cry.
    (Caroline wipes the tears from her eyes so she can see to type).
    The feeling of loneliness that I mentioned on the “No Good Advice’ post is very raw to me.
    Is this how it feels for you?

    Ohhhh, Clever Man.

    1. Amanda Snapchat 2 says:

      are you a narc?

  12. WiserNow says:

    On a side note, HG, have you posted a meme for the 12th day of Christmas? I don’t think I’ve seen one, or have I missed it?

    So far, this is the HG version of The 12 days of Christmas:
    “The 12 days of a Narc Christmas”
    On the eleventh day of Christmas, my narcissist gave to me…
    – eleven months of sniping
    – ten nights of not sleeping
    – nine prospects he’s romancing
    – eight ways of smearing
    – seven weeks not speaking
    – six days of lying
    – five old things
    – four nasty words
    – three false friends
    – two violent shoves
    – and an overnight stay in A and E

    Where is the 12th day’s meme?
    HG, are you being deliberately narcy and giving us all a present silent treatment by not posting it? Or is it a hoover? lol 😂 everything’s a mind-game with a narc 😉

    1. Amanda Snapchat 2 says:

      great poems

    2. K says:

      You can scroll through them on this link.

      This one is from 2015 and I really liked it.

      1. WiserNow says:

        Thank you K, for being your lovely helpful self, as always 🙂 Both of those versions are good, and funny. “Massive case of PTSD” lol.

        I haven’t seen (or remembered) the ones from previous years. I thought this year’s was the first one. Thank you for providing the links!

        1. K says:

          My pleasure WiserNow!

  13. kel says:

    HG, why do you fly airplanes?

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Why does HG fly airplanes?

      Because pushing them proves to be ineffective.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Ha ha.

      2. Bubbles🍾 says:

        Dearest NarcAngel,
        That’s the best joke “high” one could end 2018 on 😂
        Luv it
        Happy New Year gorgeous one 🎉
        Luv Bubbles xx 😘

      3. kel says:

        You know, I just threw that question out to him for the heck of it. I didn’t expect an answer from him. But yours gave me a good chuckle!

  14. .💜. says:

    Fascinating, you are!😯

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