Outrage

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Fury is the instrument of the narcissist. It is a tool that we deploy in furtherance of our aims. The narcissist’s toolbox is a thing to behold. It contains many devices, objects and instruments that we deploy in order to secure our objectives. Other people may use these devices in a similar if diminished form but they will not be anywhere near as dangerous and effective as the ones that lurk in my toolkit. Some of these instruments are used to subjugate, others are deployed to control and yet again there are others that will be used for the purposes of manipulation. The placing of fury in this toolbox recognises its use to the narcissist as one of his prime instruments.

All of our kind bring the fury but what is it? It will be instructive to start by considering what it is not. Fury is not anger. Anger is below fury on the scale of violent responses. Anger is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility. It is greater than vexation, it is something more than feeling cross and it is beyond exasperation. Notwithstanding this, it is less than fury. It does not contain the unbridled vitriol that is synonymous with fury. Nor does it contain the violent hostility that one finds with fury. What is most important to know about anger is that it is a normal emotion and thus by comparison, fury is an abnormal emotion, hence why fury sits in our toolkit. Anger is an intense emotional response that is normal in nature and arises as a consequence of real or perceived provocation. Anger in itself is neither good nor bad. It can be used for either purpose and it is down to the manner in which that particular person handles it. An individual may direct it into violence towards another person in order to protect him or herself from a threat. Alternatively, it may manifest in the destruction of property. You as a normal and empathic individual become angry. Indeed, as part of our mission to obtain fuel we strive to provoke anger in you, either through angry gestures or through angry words on your part. This provides us with fuel when you react in this emotional fashion. It is an acceptable and understandable response for an individual to become angry.

It is a normal response to a threat or harm. It also releases pressure that builds up inside a normal person. The expression of anger enables people to dissipate this pressure and thereafter feel spent but better for having been angry, as opposed to suppressing the sensation and allowing the pressure to build even further. Some normal people can only take a small amount of pressure before they blow a fuse whereas other people may be regarded as slow-burners who take a long time before they express anger. In either instance the response is an entirely normal one. People become angry for a host of different reasons.

You may agree that anger certainly serves a purpose and concur that helpful and beneficial consequences can arise from this normal emotion. I should imagine that you will also venture to suggest that there is a downside to anger, that results in destructive behaviour and violence. That is not anger. That is fury. That is when something beyond anger is experienced and this fury is more prevalent amongst my kind.

Interestingly, anger also results in a suspension of empathy by those who behave normally. The individual, through anger, becomes focussed on his or her own needs and requirements. This is not applicable to me. There is no empathy to suspend. That is why we do not deploy anger. We have no need of a device to suspend our empathy because we do not have any. This is a further reason why anger serves no actual purpose to us and why we must deploy fury instead. Anger is a normal reaction. We operate outside of the usual normative values. This normal anger serves certain purposes. None of those purposes are of any use to my kind and me. Anger can be regarded as a force for good. That is not something that we are interested in.

Fury is beyond anger. It is wrath, frenzy and savagery. Someone who is furious has gone the extra emotional mile. One might even consider it to be madness. The wild nature of fury causes it to surpass anger and fury is not to be found in the responses of the normal person. I will emphasise that point. You will not find fury as a response of a normal person. Anger? Yes. Fury? No. The deployment of fury is the hallmark of the abnormal. If fury were a normal reaction there would be chaos as explosions erupted everywhere. Most relationships would disintegrate, more people would be injured, and property broken and destroyed and the repercussions for society as a whole would be severe. The cost in terms of money, emotion and well-being would be enormous. Consider the number of times you have been angry. It has happened has it not? You will also be able to recall when your parents or at least one of them became angry, a friend, a stranger, a colleague or a partner. You have seen anger in everyone and that is because it is normal. They may have used that anger for some purpose, kept it in check or let it flow over them and dissipate with no consequence. For those of you have had an encounter with fury, you will also know it. It will have happened amongst fewer people than the categories that I have just mentioned. This is because the development of people has been such that fury cannot become the norm. If it does then society would begin to break down. You may have seen many instances of fury from one particular individual. That is because that person is not normal. They are the exception.

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24 thoughts on “Outrage”

  1. HG, thank you for these articles. The acknowledgement of what is real is tremendously freeing. Next best thing to accountability. :DDD

    There is also a need for how to survive physically and mentally when you can’t escape. Children have no escape. Here, we have no escape.

    Fury is deadly. It comes with fists and knives.

    Such fury if they would find this secret phone. The usual one is loaded with spyware to track my existence.

  2. There is something about my father’s attitude in conjunction with ‘Outrage’ that made me think and reminded me of seemingly minor instances and events in my childhood. He used to check and control my homework as soon as he got home from work, it was the first thing he did after he had entered the door. Whenever he found a fault, he would explode with rage and scream and yell at me. His anger was disproportionate to the actual faults he found but he would show the same reaction whenever I did not meet his expectations. I still recall the tight knot in my stomach and how much I dreaded his return from work everyday. I felt like I had to hide or escape to a place where I was safe. What was more frightening than his yelling at me was his distinct icy stare that accompanied his rage – it was truly paralyzing. I know that even strangers, friends, colleagues of his, who happened to observe it in some situations, have commented on its intimidating quality. There were instances when he remained silent but his eyes and frozen facial expression indicated that he was boiling with anger. This silent manifestation of anger and rage was frightening to observe, especially for us children, because it seemed so unpredictable. I have never actually considered my father a narcissist but wondered whether his behaviour is a form of cold fury? I can cope with and take quite a lot of anger in another person without being intimidated or impressed because I understand it as a cathartic reaction to a massive amount of energy that has built up over time and needs a release. My father’s reaction, however, was of a paralyzing, truly intimidating quality – is this an indicator of narcissistic fury?

    1. Saskia
      That is an indicator of fury. The checking of the homework as soon as he got home from work was control and his anger was completely inappropriate. He intimidated and frightened you to get fuel, reinforce his sense of superiority and self-worth. You should definitely get the book Fury; it explains how the narcissist uses both heated/explosive and cold fury.

      Did your mother notice his abusive behaviour?

      That was upsetting to read and I am so sorry you had to go through that. I would never treat my children like that, ever.

      1. Thank you very much for your comment and your understanding K, your feedback is much appreciated. I spent some free time last weekend when comments were in moderation to re-read several parts of Fury and internalise its content, realising that my question was rather a rhetorical one to ask. This might be a good example of a woman in her mid-thirties who believes herself to be so very independent and strong-willed who does not see the woods for the trees when it comes to her upbringing. I might have normalised much of what has happened. It’s interesting that you ask about my mother’s reactions to my father’s anger/abusive behaviour. It’s difficult to answer whether she noticed his behaviour was abusive. I have written about her behaviour in another comment earlier on the blog and how she refused to take responsibility for decisions she made when I was a child that did have an impact (physically, mentally, emotionally). It has been established that she was emotionally abusive and there was enmeshment of very contradictory behaviours that were extremely confusing. Therefore, I don’t feel that she regarded my father’s attitude as downright wrong. I cannot recall that she would wholeheartedly and without excuse defend me against his angry outbursts.

        1. You are welcome Saskia
          Re-reading HG’s material is very helpful. You are correct in stating that we normalize our abusive childhoods, much to our detriment, and this “normalizing” conditions us to be ensnared and readily accept NPD abuse. I do remember reading your comment about your mother and I just find it so unfathomable that a parent can stand by and watch their child(ren) be abused so badly.

          It was disturbing to read how you were treated and you deserved better than that. You are independent and strong and my heart goes out to you and everyone here on this blog. Child abuse is unacceptable and can have such a profound affect that it can leave lifelong scars.

          I am truly sorry for what you parents did to you.

          1. K, thank you – it is helpful to occasionally receive (and give, when needed) a ‘no-nonsense’ confirmation by neutral observers, black on white so to speak. In those rare instances when I confided in people closest to me, the reactions I got differed. Many who know my parents in person, for instance my intimate partners, would refer to them being so polite and hospitable (facade of normalcy) – which came close to being gaslit about those experiences I made. Raising awareness about (childhood) abuse is important. I decidedly agree – there are devastating long-term effects for many people, irrespective of the type of abuse they suffered. Numerous comments and narratives on this blog are testament to the fact that abuse manifests in so many different forms and variations, some of them more overtly aggressive and perhaps ‘easier’ to spot as destructive and others more covert, silent manifestations that fly easily under the radar. I have already learned much over the last weeks and months while spending time here. Not only does it help to understand (others and myself) and to educate myself on how abuse manifests, it helps me to become more aware of my past. After leaving that hamster wheel of being stuck in narcissistic relationships, both intimately and in my professional life, I am now able to focus on what brought me there in the first place.

          2. You are welcome Saskia
            Yes, the facade of normalcy is an excellent manipulation because no one believes you when you tell them about the abuse you suffered as a child, or in an intimate relationship. That is why the facade must be protected at all costs. Whiter than white. First line of defence: Deny. There was no abuse; s(he) is making that up (gas lighting).

            Now we can learn about the dynamic and focus on ourselves so we can avoid getting ensnared again and, potentially, help others by spreading the word about the seriousness of NPD abuse. Education is the key.

          3. Saskia

            “When I was in my teenage years and more assertive, I had some heated discussion with my father. I would argue back because I felt the need to stand firm and to defend me, particularly in his presence. It was empowering for me to make the experience that not only could a conflict be resolved by openly expressing differing views, voicing opinions and thus bringing a disagreement to the table but that I was able to stand my ground.”

            I understand this. This is what I refer to as not allowing him to break me. It was sometimes detrimental to oppose him, but I wanted to reinforce internally that despite his abuse, he could not make the person at the core of me “disappear”. That he was not powerful enough. That I was stronger than he was. I had to hear my voice deny him sometimes to keep believing it. I wanted to be seen and heard. I would not be silenced.

            It sounds that by arguing back that you were doing something similar. You wanted to be seen and heard.

          4. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts, NA – I appreciate that. I understand what you mean with “wanted to reinforce internally that despite his abuse, he could not make the person at the core of me “disappear””. Both ‘core’ and ‘disappear’ stand out to me here and conjured up many associations and memories connected to my childhood experiences. And yes, in a very similar way, I wanted to be seen and heard.

            “I had to hear my voice deny him sometimes to keep believing it.” Beautifully expressed and this resonates with me. To achieve that, to protect myself and who I felt I was ‘in between both my parents’ meant to become ‘more physical’, particularly in the presence of my father. As much as his outbursts were intimidating to me as a child, the emotions he expressed in that way were palpable, something to defend myself against, if that makes sense. It was easier to resist against something that was visible, as opposed to my mother’s expressions of disapproval or anger -sulky withdrawals, thus punishing and silencing us for having a difference in opinion in the first place.

    2. Hello Saskia,
      I am afraid it is. I believe you have experienced both ignited fury and cold fury. I do not know if these were isolated ,occasional behaviours but of what I can read it was a pattern of behaviours( a norm for him) .
      Red flags:
      Ignited fury:
      -“ Whenever he found a fault, he would EXPLODE with RAGE and SCREAM and YELL at me”
      -“ His ANGER was DISPROPORTIONATE to the actual faults he found but he would show the same reaction whenever I did not meet HIS EXPECTATIONS”

      Cold fury:
      As in being glared at or being stared at .
      -“ There were instances when he REMAINED SILENT but his eyes and FROZEN FACIAL expression indicated that he was BOILING with anger. “

      And most of all ,the major red flag is how all this made YOU feel . Something that one can pick up from some words you use when you describe it:

      intimidating,paralysing, tight knot in my stomach,unpredictable.

      You do not have to cope with (nor accept )the anger of others! You are not responsible for the feelings of rage of others. You feel like that now because you were taught to feel like that and accept it from the experience you had with your father when you were a child.
      But you do not have to accept if anymore : from anyone.

      Best wishes.

      1. Thank you for taking the time to answer, SX. Your comment is very helpful in pointing out, from your perspective as a neutral observer, the most obvious that I have expressed in my own words. It’s interesting that you brought up the question of whether it was isolated behaviour since this is what I thought about last weekend and what made me wonder whether it is indicative or not. I do believe, as you have pointed out, it to be a pattern because his fury would erupt in very different types of interactions and over different causes, some of them being mistakes or failures of his own. I agree, it’s important to not accept anger from anyone. When I was in my teenage years and more assertive, I had some heated discussion with my father. I would argue back because I felt the need to stand firm and to defend me, particularly in his presence. It was empowering for me to make the experience that not only could a conflict be resolved by openly expressing differing views, voicing opinions and thus bringing a disagreement to the table but that I was able to stand my ground. I think this is what helped me not feeling responsible for or accept the anger of others. I understand why you pointed that out and want to underline the importance but this is not what I indicated or feel about other people’s anger, not from my adult perspective.

        1. You are welcome Saskia.
          -Quoting:
          “….. I felt the need to stand firm and to defend me, particularly in his presence. It was empowering for me to make the experience that not only could a conflict be resolved by openly expressing differing views, voicing opinions and thus bringing a disagreement to the table but that I was able to stand my ground”.

          This is one of the most powerful statements I have read here. It has a lot of force. Having been able to turn this to your advantage in adult life speaks volumes about yourself. It denotes a very strong person.

          This is one of the main differences when trying to resolve an issue with a narcissist: when they start an argument is usually not for the aim of resolving an issue but to provoke an emotional reaction in you. You never win a discussion or an argument with them. If you have not read this post I send you hereby the link where it explains this thoroughly.
          https://narcsite.com/2018/11/02/word-salad-and-how-to-toss-it-6/

          – Difficult to know if it was a pattern. Abuse comes in many forms not just physically. Neglecting or ignoring a child’s needs is a form of abuse. One strong indicator is how these patterns made you feel ( affected you) when you were a child.

          Best wishes!

          1. “Abuse comes in many forms not just physically. Neglecting or ignoring a child’s needs is a form of abuse. One strong indicator is how these patterns made you feel ( affected you) when you were a child.”

            Agreed SuperXena, you mentioned an important aspect. I have written in my comment to K above that abuse comes in many different variations – it is my impression that some of them are harder to detect and to prove to others as destructive, especially when it comes to forms of emotional abuse. Being a parent’s most trusted confidant or ‘best friend’, for instance, might look innocent to unsuspecting and neutral outsiders and a child might feel elevated to a special, ‘adult’ status without having the mental and emotional capacity to realise that it is a severe violation of trust and of boundaries. And I further agree with you that it is of importance to recognise how certain behaviours made/make us FEEL – feelings as our emotional compass and guidance. It is certainly a red flag when children feel intimated by their parents’ behaviour or are constantly afraid and tense, regardless of whether the parents are full-blown narcissists/personality disordered or not. Being continuously on edge and frightened as a result of another person’s behaviour towards us must not be a ‘normal’, a standard, neither for children nor adults.

            Thank you for providing the link – I am familiar with the confusing effect of word salad from my intimate entanglement with a narcissist but it is certainly worth re-reading.

          2. Hello Saskia,

            You are welcome.
            Quoting:
            “….regardless of whether the parents are full-blown narcissists/personality disordered or not. Being continuously on edge and frightened as a result of another person’s behaviour towards us must not be a ‘normal’….”

            Agreed.It is not the label that makes the person but the person that “fits” into a pattern under a lable. I believe this is the aim of gaining awareness here:
            to understand the way they function due to certain pattern of behaviours and how and why they transgress our boundaries and affect us negatively . Once you understand, you go.
            Best wishes.

  3. Hi HG
    I have a question? If I became incredibly good friends with my Ex Narc’s Ex wife and also some of his Ex girlfriends, we all get a long. Is there a chance that I may receive retribution? I know this drives him crazy but we (his ex partners) all get along well and have become incredibly good friends. I know he blames me and I also know he knows we all know what he is! Should I be concerned? He is passive aggressive, but I’m unsure of his ability with his fury! Not sure if you could help as it’s “How long is a piece of string” question! What would you do? Thanks Tania

    1. I would need more information to provide you with an accurate response and therefore recommend you organise a consultation with me.

  4. “Someone who is furious has gone the extra emotional mile. ”

    What a great way to put it.

    My narc went many extra emotional miles, so much so that he’s become a Frequent Flyer-Off-The-Handle.

  5. Hello H.G. Tudor, I hope I’ll never find an angry man in my life.
    I feel sorry for those who have them at home. And they use this to scare and frighten their partners.
    On one occasion my narcissist broke a park bench with a kick. For no apparent reason, we were talking about absurd things, when suddenly, kick and the park bench, broke the back of it. And I asked him, but what do you do because you break it? and he told me: Because I feel like it, because I want to and because I can ….
    I worried if the police came, and I got in trouble I told him let’s get out of here …

    On another occasion he kicked me, also for no reason. He said to me: Sorry I was playing with you and I have exceeded… I was walking in front of him and I wasn’t playing anything, I didn’t see her coming, but that face I’ll never forget, it was only for a moment, but he was seen to enjoy….

    Those are the two furious things I have experienced from my narcissist…. mine was more psychological mistreatment

    1. J.G.,

      HG’s work expertly explains why narcissists can have these kinds of outbursts. My abuse was more psychological as well but now the rare physical expressions of fury that I witnessed all make sense.

      Such acts certainly cause fear and worry in those around them but sometimes there are other factors (somehow they feel slighted by us or something is going on in their fuel matrix – unawares by us).

      One time, my narc was just busy on his laptop and out of the blue he bashed it closed so fast and with such force the table underneath got damaged – we weren’t even talking but I was in the same room. I kept quiet. Weeks later he asked to use my laptop….haha – no bleepin’ way!

  6. Pingback: Outrage ⋆ NarcTopia | NarcTopia

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