The Love Triangle

the-love-triangle

 

Triangulation is a devastating weapon in our arsenal. Whether we are triangulating you as our primary source with another potential love interest (real or imagined), you with family and friends in terms of loyalties and spending time together or even triangulating you with an object (our mobile ‘phone or our flash new car) you will always be triangulated when you entangle with our kind. Triangulation comes in many guises but has two broad categories. Firstly, there is the triangulation which is taking place but you do not even witness it. This is where we may be conducting an affair behind your back and you have no knowledge of it at all. This is still triangulation because we are involving three people in our intimate relationship but you do not witness it and the third party may not know about you either. The second category is where you witness the behaviour. For instance, we spend more time jabbing our mobile ‘phone and talking on it than spending time with you. We may make mention of a particular person (usually of the opposite sex) a lot of the time. We may even tell you that we have been carrying on with someone else because you do not show us enough admiration and appreciation. In such instances, you witness the triangulating behaviour but often you will not actually realise that it is taking place. This is hiding in plain sight. You dismiss it by trying to convince yourself that there is nothing to be concerned about or we may assuage your fears through our usual charm and persuasion. One thing that you can be assured of however is that you will be triangulated during your entanglement with us and it will not just happen the once.

This reliance on triangulation as part of our manipulations is because it is so effective at achieving many things for us. What then, does triangulation achieve?

–         It is often easy to implement, e.g. making mention of someone, spending our time playing video games, meeting someone frequently, perking up when a certain person calls round or telephones;

–         We gain fuel from two sources out of the same circumstances;

–         It underlines our notion of omnipotence since we are able to orchestrate the actions of two people so they compete with one another over us, we are the puppet master jerking the strings of two love rivals;

–          It creates uncertainty in one or more of the parties which makes it easier for us to exert control and harder for the party or parties to see clearly;

–         It causes the participants to focus on defeating one another in order to win us as the prize and thus they do not realise that we are really the problem;

–         It allows a discarded primary source to be smeared with ease;

–         It assists the maintenance of our façade.

Accordingly, the act of triangulation serves many purposes which accord with our malevolent agenda.

Why then is it so effective? Again, there are several reasons behind this.

–         The addictive quality of our seduction and the golden period is so powerful that it is truly regarded as a prize worth winning;

–         The fear of losing someone so (apparently) wonderful, loving and magnificent is too great to bear;

–         The fear that someone else might actually succeed with the relationship when you are trying to reach that point. You do not want someone to reap the reward of your hard work and instead you want to win the day, continue to deal with the hardships in order to restore the golden period;

–         You feel that you know us far better than the other person;

–         You feel that it is your right. You have given everything to the relationship and therefore it is only just and fair that you get to have the relationship. You may have borne our children, helped us through difficulties, lent us money, housed us, dealt with problems for us and you are damned if some Jane-Come-Lately is going to profit from all your hard work.

These are all valid factors as to why the act of triangulation is so powerful and an effective. Yet, let me provide you with another reason, one which is possibly just as powerful as the addictive quality of the golden period. That reason is conditioning.

You are conditioned to think that love triangles are not only fairly common and something that is part of life, but you have been conditioned to think that they are actually rather wonderful and special. This may seem somewhat perverted thinking when you consider the agony and anxiety you experienced or you are experiencing when you are being triangulated, especially with a love rival, but it is a fact. Why is the love triangle scenario seen as something wonderful?

–         It gives you the opportunity to prove you love us better and deeper than anybody else and with that comes a powerful sense of self and validation;

–         It accords with your belief in the maxim that love can conquer all. You are a love devotee and therefore you believe in and want to see love triumph. When your love sees off a rival, that is the power of true love.

–         The love rival is the enemy. This just isn’t you against her in order to win our hearts, it is light versus darkness, good against evil, love versus lust. You are a representative of the powers of light and goodness and you will overcome your dark nemesis. Of course, what you do not realise at the time is that the person you are fighting over is actually your nemesis and we are not going to remove that notion from you.

–         It is actually pretty damn hot and exciting. Your senses are alive, you are going to keep our heart/win it back, the tug-of-love although worrying at times also provides you with high-octane excitement, the rush of adrenaline when you score a victory, the elation at seeing us choose to spend time with you and not the other person. This back and forth, push and pull, is regarded as thrilling.

Why then are you conditioned to think and feel in the ways that I have described? Simple. You are surrounded by love triangles. They are throughout history, they are in film, in literature, you see them in the celebrity gossip sections of newspapers, they are commented on in internet forums, they feature on the news, you watch them unfold in soap operas on television and you bought the t-shirt supporting Team Jacob or Team Edward. Or was it Peeta or Gale? You cannot get through the day without seeing or hearing about some kind of love triangle and it is always portrayed in a salacious, exciting, mesmerising and romantic way. Who will triumph? How noble to fight over one person’s heart? However much you may not want to admit it, you know that the concept of a love triangle is alluring and fascinating. You do not often hear somebody declare,

“All three people need to take a long look at themselves, stay away from another and evaluate what is really going on before they continue to hurt themselves and others.”

Of course you don’t. Where is the excitement in that?

You have been fed a daily diet of triangulation throughout your life so you actually regard it as something to be expected and something that excites. In order to prove this point, I have compiled, off the top of my head, as many love triangles as I could think of in literature, film and real-life in just five minutes. Consider the following: –

Literature

 

Twelfth Night, Dr Zhivago, Dangerous Liaisons, Tale of Two Cities, Lolita, The Great Gatsby, Atonement, The Talented Mr Ripley, Don Quixote, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Age of Innocence, The Phantom of the Opera, The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Harry Potter and my favourite Wuthering Heights

 

Film

 

Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, His Girl Friday, The Graduate, Oklahoma! Damage, Titanic, Bridget Jones, Closer, Vanilla Sky, Sabrina, Grifters, She’s The Man (Twelfth Night), Indecent Proposal, Being John Malkovich, Fight Club (imagine being triangulated by an imaginary person created by yourself!)

 

Real Life

 

Cleopatra, Mark Antony and Julius Caesar (which actually went further as Mark Antony had two wives already)

Helen of Sparta, Menelaus and Paris of Troy 

Meg Ryan, Dennis Quaid and Russell Crowe

Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton and Monica Lewinsky

Liz Taylor, Richard Burton and Eddie Fisher (Taylor and Burton met whilst filming Cleopatra – triangles within triangles!)

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattison and Rubert Sanders (not only did Sanders also have a wife and kids but Stewart seemingly though her fictional triangulation was not enough and wanted a real-life version too!)

I would be interested to know if you think that any of our kind exist in those love triangles and who it is.

I am sure you can think of many others and please do make those suggestions. This is what I came up with in a short time and it does not end there. You are triangulated by products and advertisers – are you an Xbox player or PlayStation, red or brown sauce on your bacon sandwich, Pepsi or Coca-Cola – on it goes. With such a backdrop of triangulation across society, thrust in your face every day you are consequently conditioned in the way that I have described. You have no chance but to be affected in this way. Accordingly, when our kind comes along, the master practitioners of triangulation, you do not stand a chance.

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106 Comments

  1. HG
    Haha. A typo has you directing yourself to consultation. I can vouch for the fact that you will find it of considerable value.

  2. It is said that all sociopaths are narcissists, but not all narcissists are sociopaths. If you describe yourself as a narcissistic sociopath, how can you differentiate between a narcissist & a narcissistic sociopath?

    1. I’m a narcissistic psychopath and there have NPD and ASPD. The narcissist has NPD only/

        1. The profession struggles to distinguish Caity, some suggest it is a difference between being born that way and created. I view the two labels as interchangeable for those who have ASPD. Even those dealing with me used the terms interchangeably at one point, before settling on narcissistic psychopath.

          1. Thank you, HG. I’d heard a quote once and wondered if it actually applied: A psychopath chooses whether to, a sociopath chooses how much. Do you think that’s a close description, or off base?

      1. Not sure if my last post went thru but i was saying how i dont see you as having aspd HG bc you seem very social and enjoy being around people.
        My brother in law i could see having aspd bc he goes thru numerous jobs and is always in conflict. Hes also a lesser.

  3. HG:

    I have what seems to be an odd triangulation situation. (or maybe I’m jst naïve).

    I work at a large company with my husband and a co-worker who I believe is an MMRE. We all know each other. I believe that I was targeted/assessed as a potential DLS/IPSS: there was idealization, what I believe would be classified as a “harpoon”, future faking, etc. Although there seems to be a false intimacy, no physical contact has occurred, and I think that I have remained or been demoted to NISS. He knows that I am hooked, and regularly seems to test it and then go silent for a period of time. My co-worker also seems jealous of my husband’s financial standing, assets, professional standing, etc. I suspect that he started a new relationship with someone over the summer, although I do not know for sure if it is an IPPS or IPSS.

    Over the course of the past year the co-worker has been triangulating, imagining to me scenarios between me and my husband (including sexual), as well as imagining my husband attacking him physically for some activity between the two of us. He is extremely talented at ambiguity when doing this.

    Most of the time I think about triangulation, it is between two people set up for competition for the narcissist’s attention. In this case, it seems that the narcissist is setting himself up as the competition with my husband for my attention.

    1. You list a number of purposes that seem to focus on the competition for the narcissist’s attention (orchestration of competing love interests, etc). In this circumstance, other than the over-arching goal of fuel and control, what are the likely purpose(s) of this sort of triangulation?

    2. How likely is this a method of devaluation/disengagement or shelving—it feels like a rejection/push-away back of me to my husband. (“you and your husband can get things going…”)

    3. I am certainly hurt and very confused (I’ve never been unfaithful before, and wished I didn’t feel the way I do now). If I am a mere co-worker and he has no interest in me (or my fuel), why do these things? I thought that an NISS typically experiences a long golden period?

    4. Or is this a way of getting me to chase after him to the exclusion of my husband?

    1. 1. Triangulation is all about your attention (and that of another person). It may look like it is about getting the narcissist’s attention, it is not. Your attention equates to fuel. That is the main aim.

      2. That is provocation.

      3. I do not see that he is devaluing you. Your discomfort arises from the situation but that is not his design, he wants you to respond in order to provide him with fuel.

      4. Yes and to provide fuel.

      1. HG Tudor you’re not answering the question. Unlike your victims I’m not intrigued by getting to know your view, a simple definition is all I needed. One of your writings assumed that your audience had been hanging on your every word from previous accounts but not all who read your blog need to read a book to get the gist of your dismissal. Thanks anyway.

        1. I answered the question. I directed you to a place where you can find the answer. My response was not dismissive. Do understand that there are over 236 000 comments on this blog, many times I am asked the same question and I am sure you can understand that if an answer lies elsewhere then I will save myself time and effort by directing a person to that place where the answer can be found.
          Your comment about audience hanging on every word from previous accounts does not make sense. The topic of fuel is an interesting and detailed one, there is a book about it which will explain it and address your question (and no doubt others that aise from it). You may also seek out the video about Fuel on my Youtube channel as an alternative.

          Finally, could you please direct me to the place where it states I am obliged to answer every question that is posed here? I answer thousands of questions every week, gratis and often in detail.

        1. Claire, check POLL : WHO IS NEXT FOR THE ‘VERY TREATMENT’ ?
          You’ll find some discussion there about Mother Teresa. The article about her has not been posted yet, so you’ll need to read the comments in the thread. Not sure Clinton was mentioned in that thread but I know HG has said he is a narcissist, just like Hilary.

  4. “You are triangulated by products and advertisers – are you an Xbox player or PlayStation, red or brown sauce on your bacon sandwich, Pepsi or Coca-Cola – on it goes….you are consequently conditioned….”

    Exactly, HG.

    The triangulating narcs triangulate all they can
    All for themselves, after all

    It’s a comparative world….

    1. My ex just sent me that song for a hidden reason. There are so many things about that song that he was trying to tell me.

  5. Dearest HG: Triangle: Donald Trump, Marla Maples (dirty little secret) and Ivana Trump. 1. When Donald was dragging Marla all over the place surreptitiously, all was well until one day Marla Maples confronted Ivana Trump publicly and told Ivana that she, Marla, was in love with The Donald. Ivana told her to: Get lost! However, Ivana`s girlfriends and a few powerful women in the Women`s movement told Ivana that she had to divorce Donald for the sake of all women. Ivana complied to please her girlfriends, etc. Ivana divorced Donald, who then married and then Divorced Marla (the dirty little secret) for Marla`s being photographed having sex with the body guard on the beach (dumb move) and went on to marry Melania, his current wife, who says Donald is the best sex she ever has, and she never worries about him traveling so much because she trusts him! (smart girl) True story.
    2. Donald did not even want to marry Marla Maples after the disclosure of his relationship with her, but because he is a corporation and his legal wife Ivana pressed for divorce, listening to her girlfriends` advice, and it looked bad for Donald, because his wife Ivana was well liked, their was a societal ruckus. So, his advisors told him to marry Marla, after the scandal, otherwise his investors were going to take money elsewhere because he was appearing to not be stable in his private life, and that it could pour into his business ventures and they were afraid. (also, it is rumored that other wives were angry about Marla and told their rich husbands to not invest with Donald). Marla had good timing (because Donald was not rich enough to do whatever the hell he wanted at that time and was told to marry her), but she messed up because of her risk-taking taking libido. I believe there is a drink called: Sex on the Beach. I will not drink it. I remember all of this because of the shocked looked on Ivana`s eyes in the Newspapers. Like a deer in the headlights. She did wear a lot of mascara which perhaps dramatized her shocked expressions. Triangle: Donald Trump, Marla Maples, Ivana Trump. All 3 may be Narcissists. Greater, Mid-ranger and Inverted, or something like that.

      1. mommypino: It is said that it is a codependent that is addicted especially to narcissists. Quote: an inverted narcissist will intentionally seek to form a relationship with a narcissist, who can help them develop the self-identity they lack. As such, an inverted narcissist will often feel powerful and useful when they comply with the strict rules of their partner.

        Causes
        Similarly to the causes of narcissism, an inverted narcissist may have experienced a psychological trauma or emotional neglect in childhood. This leads them to become vulnerable and insecure adults.“ ~~Learning mind. However, mommypino, I am not sure what it is, but I think the inverted narcissist really likes the way narcs seem to be so strong and in control of their lives and emotions and so the inverted narc are impressed with them and becomes addicted to finding narcs for their partner? Something like that? Do they know they are inverted narcs? Do they know that their preference is for narcs? I surely do not know.

        1. Princesssuperempath, that is interesting that there is a theory out there that considers Codependents as Inverted Narcissists. HG Tudor classifies Codependents as a school of Empath and I tend to agree with it. Codependents have empathy while Narcissists do not. But I think that I get the concept where the term Inverted Narcissist came from. They are polar opposites, Narcissists are like 10 and the Inverted are the -10. They are both extremes in that scale and they are drawn to each other because of that lacking in balance hoping that the other would supply what the other lacked and therefore be closer to 0. Like you said, the Codependents lack the self identity and are drawn to the Narcissist’s display of strong self assurance. Have you read HG Tudor’s book Chained? He gave illustrations about Narcissism and Codependency using himself and his sister as an example. They grew up in the same abusive family dynamic but HG developed as a Narcissist while his sister developed as a Codependent. I believe that I myself have some Codependent tendencies because I was raised by a Narcissist mother. I am attracted to men who have strong and dominant personalities. But thankfully I do not tolerate abusive or toxic dynamics. If I sense that something is wrong, I leave even when I am still super attracted to the guy. Also if I want or need something I do communicate it to my husband. A lot of times I compromise if it is not that important to me compared to the strain that it might cause. But if something is really important to my happiness I try my best to make him understand and we take a look how we can meet in the middle. So thankfully I am not a full Codependent but I think that my terrible upbringing still damaged me but not in ways where it is unmanageable.

          1. Codependents started on the route to become narcissists but did not get there, Chained explains this.

          2. mommypino: Wow. So much going on. I think I have a great desire to find a strong man, especially mentally strong. I have a deep desire to have a man take over and direct things and for him to be influential and wealthy. I feel tired doing everything for myself, as a single woman. The world can take all this independent woman thing and shove it, as far as I am concerned. It is not politically correct to say one wants a man that has the wherewithal to take over. Like I see in the movies of the good old days, those women seem more happy and balanced. But, I think some women have found for themselves strong powerful men like that these days as well, without the man being a narc. I have never found such a man like that for myself, but now I know to make sure that if the man is the above things, he is not a Narc. I will have to smoke out Narcs. Another narc would be tragic for me. I would be truly destroyed by that, probably, especially if he were an intimate partner. That book called Chained sounds very interesting.

          3. mommypino: I think it is more like inverted narcissists are cheerleaders for a narc. Like the weak child that loves having a bully for a friend, and willingly feeds the bully to keep the bully strong. I think they are saying that there is still a difference between a codependant and an inverted narcissist. Maybe it is that type of situation where one can be the other, but the other is not necessarily the one? I mean, maybe an inverted narcissist is always a codependent, but a codependant in not necessarily and inverted narc? Whew! This is all way above my pay grade.

          4. The phrase inverted narcissist is not a useful one and not one I use.

          5. pse, and MP I have talked to you about it a bit before, I have the same thing I feel where I grew up with two N parents and I tend to crave a strong and dominant male personality (sometimes it seems a little ridiculous to me). I did know one who was not an N, but most I’ve met are N’s I think. The non-N made me feel hopeful and I admired his stance on things. I think most men nowadays are confused about what leadership is and narcissism is rampant and encouraged, but that’s been discussed on here before and I find it depressing. I have been working on adjusting my views of what a relationship looks like. But yes, pse, I am hyper alert for N tendencies and even highly N behavior, no Narc for me.

            Great examples of N’s MP! I enjoy reading these examples from people, it gets me thinking, I’ll try to think of some today. I just love Meg Ryan, I have always enjoyed watching her onscreen and I am so disappointed her career got sort of diverted I just think she is wonderful. I think Magnet is a great guess. I would not have guessed DQ, that is interesting, but I’ve not seen much about him. Oh, if he is that seems like something I would totally be tricked by.
            RC for sure. But with Meg Ryan I was remembering telling my father when I was young that I loved her and he said to me that he didn’t and he didn’t trust her and thought she looked like someone who would stab you without warning. I thought that was weird because she didn’t look like that to me. My father is an N though.

          6. NB, thank you. I agree with the confusion with men and their masculity these days. I have read an article written by a feminist mom who has only one child who happens to be a boy. She said that she wanted him to be a feminist so she has been reading to him a lot of books on women that are leaders or have exhibited leadership in the story. Then she said that she realized that she is robbing her son of the potential to be a leader because she was vilifying to him male leaders as chauvinists. So she changed her approach and encouraged her son that he can also be a leader. I am not anti-feminism at all, I hope that I am not judged or misunderstood. I am for equality for all genders and encouraging leadership for all kinds of genders available to mankind. But I don’t think that the Alpha Male should be vilified. We need men to be strong and confident about themselves too, not just women and an Alpha Male shouldn’t be a threat to strong and confident women.

            Meg Ryan, I have always loved her. I am an eternal fan. I hope that Mellencamp is not a narc. She deserves a good man by her side. My MRE sister told me that her friend said that Meg Ryan is an amazingly sweet person, a real darling.

          7. MP and pse I have wondered about the codependent-narcissism link more. Because I think sometimes I can’t tell if someone is one or the other. And it seems to me that a codependent could have a boundary issue and having boundaries blurred is a big problem for me.

            Quoting PSE-
            “Maybe it is that type of situation where one can be the other, but the other is not necessarily the one? I mean, maybe an inverted narcissist is always a codependent, but a codependant in not necessarily and inverted narc?”

            Ha that made perfect sense to me. I wonder also.

            HG would someone blurring boundaries with an empath be an indication that a person is not CoD, but a narcissist instead? What if that person appears to have empathy?

          8. Having a boundary issue is indicative of a narcissistic trait, it in itself is not determinative of it being a narcissist. Generally speaking, narcissists do not have any (or they have poor) boundary recognition. Empaths are poor at boundary enforcement. Someone who blurs the boundaries has that narcissistic trait and is more likely to be a narcissist but you would need to examine that alongside other matters.

          9. Re: Boundaries…empaths will cross boundaries thinking they are doing good. But once you point this out to them – while they may be hurt – they will have remorse and rethink their behaviour. Narcissists will cross boundaries because of their sense of entitlement – and if you point it out to them – they may verbally express remorse but later will continue the behaviour because of the sense of entitlement and because that particular boundary is now a known sensitive issue that will cause pain…and therefore, fuel.

          10. It may also be possible that the empath is entangled with a narc and the narcissistic traits of pushing boundaries is coming to the fore because they are not in their healthiest mindset as a result of their toxic relationship so they are starting to look like narcissists.

          11. NB, by the way, remember when I told you that I only have three friends left? Well now I only have two left. I think the third one is a narc so I’m trying to avoid her now. We had brunch and I started to ask more questions. Out of the three she’s the newest friend and I knew the least. Red flags: 1. her ex husband filed a restraining order against her. 2. She thinks her ex husband is still in love with her because he hasn’t killed the tree that they planted together when they were still married 3. She thinks that the reason her ex husband’s new wife doesn’t like her is because her ex husband tells his wife that the ex wife is a better at everything and it must be driving the new wife insane that she’s not as good as her. 4. Her older child from her ex husband was taken from her; she lost custody because she strapped the kid in the chair. 5. She tells me in front of her new husband that her ex is still in love with him. 6. She’s not allowed to call her oldest daughter because her daughter has PTSD from her phone calls. 7. Her interactions with her younger daughter in front of me reminds me of my matrinarc, very engulfing, correcting and reprimanding the girl’s behavior too many times and the girl’s affect is so different than my kids. With my kids, they also obey me and behave well in public but anybody can tell that they are happy and that they love me. That girl is more compliant than happy. There were other red flags but this will get too long. So I’m down to two friend but I’m pretty sure that they are really good friends. I’m more about quality than quantity now when it comes to friends.

          12. Thank you for your detailed answer HG. That makes sense. I sometimes have issue with boundary enforcement and that is a problem for me in that I simultaneously get internally distressed every time I sense pushing on that. And sometimes I have an angry reaction. Depending on the frequency of boundary pushing I cannot tell sometimes.
            Thank you WhoCares, that distinction helps also.

          13. Ha, MP, I love seeing her with Mellencamp. I could see going for that guy. He saw Christie Brinkley in between too. But he and MR look cute together.

            I don’t think I am a feminist, but have some feminist ideals of course. Watching the current politics has been crazy and I have opinions on both sides of all of it. The main thing is I don’t like narcissists, I think they cause damage regardless of what side they are on and they devalue the voices of people who are honestly expressing opinions and experiences.

            And I said on the blog here somewhere, Amber Heard professes to be a feminist and I don’t know if I’m right about her, but I really can’t even look at her. Bad vibes for me.
            There are other popular actors I don’t enjoy at all that a lot of people like, I really don’t enjoy Brad Pitt or George Clooney for some reason. I thought “Up In the Air” was so terrible I think I must be missing something. I think he’s overrated. I’ve not seen the Oceans movies because they have both of them.
            I find Casey Affleck attractive actually even though I suspect he’s a narcissist, but he also did the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my life “A Ghost Story”. I liked him in “Manchester By the Sea” though. Much better to watch than George Clooney, imo.

            Ha, sorry, kind of on a tangent?

          14. NB I feel the same way about Amber Heard. Her affect is very similar to my narcish stepdaughters. Total bad vibes. She’s really beautiful though. I also agree with both Pitt and Clooney. I think Bras Pitt is a good actor but Clooney is definitely not. He’s totally overrated. Worst Batman ever. I don’t know much about Casey Affleck. I haven’t seen his movies either. His movies seem boring but maybe they are good. I will look at Netflix if they have one of his movies. Ben Affleck is not that good of an actor either and not that great of a Batman but there are some movies where he was just perfect like “The Accountant”. I love that movie so much. I think it worked for him because his role has asperger’s. It worked well for his non-expressive face.

          15. NB, wasnt’t Casey Affleck accused of sexual harassment? I wonder if that’s his entitlement and need for fuel that made him feel it’s ok to sexually harass that person.

          16. Hi NB, sorry I didn’t understand your original question about empaths pushing boundaries. I haven’t seen WhoCares’ answer until today because I have been replying through my WordPress account and not here on the blog and WhoCares and Princesssuperempath’s comments both did not show up on my WP. But yours did. I agree with WhoCares. Also oftentimes the narcissist smears someone to the codependent so the codependent truly believes that what he or she is doing is right. Maybe I should ask what exactly you mean by pushing boundaries? Is doing mean stuff or doing actions that disregard your independence like speaking for you and making decisions for you?

          17. Lol, MP, you sound like me.

            Eh, I don’t know but she sounds pretty certainly a narc to me. I end up in these situations all the time. I have to cut them off, or at least assert strong boundaries immediately, as I see/figure them because with myself in particular I am susceptible to boundary issues that cause me discomfort. I have been just figuring out how to even sometimes identify the sources of stress and the things that I need to do to prevent or counter it (for me it especially includes time alone without influence, sometimes weeks). Imo, with situations like that they can be convoluted, subtle and sneak up on you. The thing is I don’t particularly have judgement of people, which is probably how I get there. My cutting off of certain dynamics isn’t out of judgment it’s out of a repeated issue that I know has nothing but negative consequences for me.

            With narcissist friendships I’ve had, it always turns into they take something of me, over and over, sucking creative energies from me. It starts off slow, where they just agree with my ideas and concepts, sort of surface ones I let out and I can see they are responsive and it generates some flow from me on my part. You are very smart and dynamic in your thought processes, MP, and I think we share some similarities in perceptions and in tying unique ideas together and in being welcoming and not judgmental. I find I am susceptible to a particular dynamic where the person starts feeding off my energies, ideas, generosities and if things go too far, then when I stop providing them they get incensed, acutely offended or stressed at the lack of provision in a way that is made known to me. I have compassion and it is very uncomfortable for me, but I also sometimes become so frustrated I start to question if I am a narc : P
            And I have to acknowledge MY ROLE in creating this dynamic so I can recognize issues and responsibly protect my interests.

            It is a detailed description, but for myself I have to understand the underlying energy dynamic or it is impossible for me to properly address. And I have been discovering that the biggest source of stress for me in the whole thing is actually some aspect of the “mirror”. When a narcissist sucks my energy they are funneling it to themselves and outward elsewhere to gain something they perceive should be theirs. It is not a healthy dynamic where they are building upon the ideas in their environment in their own unique way, perhaps sometimes sharing their contributions back to me and creating their own creative SEPARATE reality/experience, in which case seeing bits of myself influencing the world around me in ways that better other people would be pleasant. There is almost a direct “stealing” of energy which is not in the original spirit because it CAN’T be, so I feel that I am seeing a “bent” or twisted mirror of my intentions reflected to me because of course it is altered to their interest. That is a source of my unhappiness and discomfort. And if I try to stop it there is a guilt trip, a label of selfishness, a blame, because they actually honestly believe that my provisions ARE the relationship (they don’t know otherwise). You can see this in your interaction with the birthday/baby carrier woman.

          18. Hi NB, I want to write a more thoughtful response to you when I’m not constrained by time. I have a tendency to be long-winded and all over the place when I write while I’m in a hurry. 💕

          19. NB, You did an amazing job explaining the dynamics between you the toxic relationships you want to stay away from. I could totally relate but I wouldn’t have known how to explain it in concepts that you just did that can be applied to pretty much most toxic relationships. I normally rely on my anecdotes to illustrate my thoughts. You did a really good job in creating conceptual models to explain what you have been experiencing.

            I also have a lot of boundary issues. You were raised by two narc parents and I was raised by a single mom narc parent with a distant empath father that’s i have never met until I was 26. I think that although not exactly the same, we have some similarities in that our major caregivers discouraged us from having boundaries. They said that our brains fully develop at around our mid-twenties so for us to catch up with our skills at maintaining boundaries is really hard. In my case, I feel that it is something that I need to be mindful of ‘for life’. For me it is not instinctive like people who grew up in normal households. I just accepted that it is one of my challenges that I need to always work on and be aware of so that I don’t end up in situations that I regret. In Christianity they say that we all have a cross to bear so that we can empathize with Christ and our fellow humans who are suffering. I just counted that as one of my crosses that I dutifully bear and accept. I noticed that my husband who had one mom who loved him and a dad who hated him has an ‘instinctual’ boundary maintenance. He doesn’t even think about it; he just knows when something is tolerable or not for him. And when he makes a decision to not tolerate something, he doesn’t ruminate about it or feel guilty or second guess it either. He has strong boundaries and it’s very natural for him. I’m not like that. Sometimes I get caught off guard.

            I have experienced a lot of what you said about narc friendships stealing from you. You are spot on with your descriptions. I am also very open with my ideas and I have experienced what you said in school and at work. Sometimes it’s more sneaky but sometimes it was also my fault like helping my narc birthday friend pass her regulations test when we were working at the bank together because she failed it twice already by telling her the right answers. Although I also had self interest because I was doing all of the work at the teller line because she was too busy taking the test repeatedly. But now I think I should have just let her failed.

            When you see the bits of yourself being reflected on you in a bent way after being stolen from you, that does hurt and makes you feel used. That’s why we should stay away from them. I would rather have few but non-toxic friends.

            I have to say though, there are also good traits that i have acquired from the narcs in my life. But I want to adopt those and apply them in my life and keep a balance. That’s what I want to strive for right now.

          20. MP, for pushing boundaries…
            I have some reactions due to entanglements that have caused me terrible feelings and of course very real life experience alterations.
            So I am trying to see things differently, that’s my aim.

            I guess what I mean is that I think most narcissists are unaware of the pain they are causing whereas I feel like I have to go through it. So attempting to take better action about that before I get to some of those somewhat predictable issues.

            Yes boundary crossing I’ve experienced negatively,

            -definitely speaking for me.
            I had someone send out an email to multiple people with an opinion and attached my name to it.
            That kind of thing removes ANY nuance to my opinion and certainly removes my intention behind my opinion. And I am unable to address it or respond to reactions.

            -repeating something I said in a different context for personal gain

            -using my ideas for personal gain with no acknowledgment and even using my thoughts as a way to appear superior to myself

            -decisions made for me or changed without any consideration or discussion to where I have to react negatively or accept it

            -physically crowding my space

            -making assumptions about my thoughts and acting as if that is truth

            -taking my opinions as one’s own

            -guilt trips

            -entitlement to alter my experience, as in forcing me into situations I don’t want to be in where I cannot get out (waiting until I am already there to spring things on me)

            -assuming I will do what they want without asking

            -asking inappropriate personal questions

            -bringing up sensitive personal issues at a later date to get a reaction

            -lying in all forms. Especially making it seem as though intentions are good when intentions are only to get one’s way.

            -getting me to agree to something just to see if I will so they feel better and then not worrying about completing it.

            Those are some of the things I consider boundary crossing. I’m sure there are other things. Some can be just random and not have huge effect but cause me to question integrity (red flags), some are very upsetting.

          21. MP, I agree with WC also and what HG says, I get it (though it’s not always clear).
            I have myself crossed many many boundaries in my life, of course. Moreso in my youth just not understanding how things worked or what I was supposed to be doing to maintain a friendship or a relationship or to get my world to work the way I wanted it to, which is itself a narcissistic point of view and I distinctly remember feeling that way at various times.
            I also remember being unable to take responsibility sometimes, probably after consistently avoiding irrational accusations from my mother while she would answer for nothing ever, I would panic a little and avoid. It is interesting to think about.

          22. Thank you MP. I also am trying to be more ok with some of my narc traits or to develop some of them. I think it is absolutely necessary.
            Another issue being that I am attracted to narc men. It is not exclusive, like I’ve said before, but I am. A super empath man is probably my ideal.
            You made me laugh in your comment about men’s girlie butts. I feel the same way about some of that. But it is because of the personalities behind it I think (adopting a style or whatever). I’ve seen one or two that I thought it fit well.
            It sounds like you and your husband make a good match.

            I agree with what you said about a lifelong focus to enforce boundaries and a cross to bear, that is how I feel about it. Great point about the brain development. I would also rather have few friends.

            For your other comment, Casey Affleck did get accused, I never followed the story though.

          23. Oh and btw MP, my father did leave at one point, so for awhile I was primarily raised by my mother.

        2. Princesssuperempath, sorry for the delayed response. Your replies did not show up in my WordPress. I just saw it now that I actually went to the blog page. I agree with you about strong men. I am fortunate enough that my husband is one. He is 28 yrd older than me though. He came from a generation where masculinity is natural. Now here in California when I went to the Bay Area I saw men wearing man buns and skin tight jeans that make them look like they have girlie butts. I haven’t been there lately and I hope that that trend is over by now. Men are even expected to shave their legs and arms now while some women don’t shave their armpits. It is a very sad state. Where is this world heading to? My husband is very manly man and it’s annoying to have an argument with him because he always has to win although he argues with a smile so at least he’s cute. I am usually the person who compromises but he does a lot for me voluntarily. He helps change diapers and plays with the kids a lot too. It is great that he is alpha because I have such a toxic upbringing and a lot of damage has affected my behavior but he is so alpha that he nips it in the bud and doesn’t put up with it which helps me shed off the unhealthy behaviors. Although he tells me all the time that I am the easiest and sweetest woman he has ever been with which makes sense because my matrinarc trained me to be very compliant lol. I hope that you find the man that is perfect for you Princesssuperempath. I’m sure that he’s out there. 💕

          About the inverted narcissist, I agree with HG. The term is very confusing in a way that it gives an idea that codependents are narcs when the fact is they are not because they have real empathy. But I can totally see where that concept is coming from. I think the problem with SOME codependents is that their loyalty is to a person and not to a principle. They do not have enough self identity to have strong principles to adhere to. Instead they rely on someone else, mostly a narcissist for that. And that someone else may be a bully or a not so nice person and so the codependent echos the bad behavior and sometimes even exceeds it because some of them cannot think for themselves. It may not apply to all codependents but I have heard of codependent parents in the news all the time who allowed their children to be abused and so they may have empathy and remorse but they are actually worse because they have empathy but their empathy is so dedicated to the wrong person instead of the weak or their children.

  6. Dearest HG: I am not a fan of TV shows because of the mind destroying commercials. But, I loved the TV show: Alias. However it was destroyed in part by Ben Affleck who starting dating Jennifer Garner who dated Michael Vartan. Ben actually came to the set and did not like the role that Michael Vartan was playing with Jennifer and had power clout enough to have the writing changed to the detriment of Michael Varten. I was invested in the natural flow of the writing in the show and hated Ben for influencing unnatural change. That is the only triangle that wormed itself into my personal life of entertainment, that I know of. I have despised Ben since then. I forgive Jennifer (I think she is the Narc though). Triangle: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Vartan

  7. My narc had copiously trained his wife to tolerate all the new additions within their common life. Gradually he trained me to tolerate being the third side of the triangle – when I realised that he wasn’t leaving her,as he had so often declared,I had already been too deep. I often talked to him via Skype – and she was right behind him, binging on crisps, trying not to look at me .. I had to see her and she had to see me and he was happily chatting away in the middle. It took me a long time to regain my self respect. Your writings played a huge part in finding my lost self. Thank you HG.

  8. This is a great article!!

    Current spotlight on lady ga ga, Bradley cooper and his wife at the oscars. Everything I have read so far has highlighted the women only, pitting them against each other and how they have unfollowed each other on social media. It made me really take a look at Bradley cooper!

    Wow, I never realised that it’s everywhere, books, screen, history.. I have never thought about it until recently but some of your points why are very valid, I had never thought of them until explained now.

    Three is the magic number, makes that saying a bit more relevant since reading this.

          1. One much talked about triangle across the pond is that of Jeff Bezos, his wife (in divorce) and his affair partner (and former “friend” of his wife) Lauren Sanchez. What tech exec assumes texts are secure? And sends dirk pics? Go figure. Wait till that infatuation goes south and the reality of all he lost sets in. Ouch!

            Given its #throwbackthursday, there’s the long-standing tabloid favored triangle of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Jnifer Aniston.

            HG your call on who among those mentioned here are narcs? I assume all except perhaps bezos’ soon to be ex.

          2. Bezos and Jolie. I do not know enough about the affair partner to comment.

  9. From everything that I have read in the past, Cleopatra was definitely a narcissist. She seduced Julius Caesar for his power and Mark Anthony for triangulation and her ego.

    I think that Paris of Troy was the narcissist who ensnared a Dirty Empath Helen of Troy. I don’t believe that the King of Sparta was a narcissist because he forgave Helen when she cried. There was also a story where Menelaus delayed his voyage in order to bury his crewman that got killed which means that he had empathy.

    I believe that Russel Crowe is a narcissist but I’m not sure about Dennis Quaid. I have a feeling that he is too.

    Bill Clinton and Hillary are both narcs and Monica is an empath. I believe that Monica has some type of damage like daddy issues before he met Bill Clinton. She might be a Co-D.

    Elizabeth Taylor was definitely a narcissist.

    Kristen Stewart is a narcissist.

    1. Also to add, my MRE sister knew someone who used to visit Meg Ryan in her home and said that Dennis Quaid was just always really high on substance in the couch and Meg Ryan was tolerating it. So I think that Meg Ryan might be a Co-D Narc Magnet empath. Although I don’t know much about Dennis Quaid but it does seem like he might be a N. Russell Crowe I think is a narc because I remember that he hit and injured a hotel employee with a phone when he was not able to successfully make a call. I think that it was probably a narcissistic rage.

      1. mommypino: Those lower Narcs really need to level up and somehow control their physical violence. They give all Narcs an exceedingly bad name.

        1. LOL they really do. I was a fan of Russell Crowe because of Gladiator but when that news broke that he assaulted a hotel employee I don’t like him anymore. I think that there is a huge entitlement issue when somebody thinks that they have a right to hurt somebody or cross their boundaries. And also from what I remember, Russell Crowe got mad at that time because he didn’t feel that the hotel employee recognized his celebrity status. He’s definitely a narc.

          1. Indeed. His reaction to criticism of his accent in Robin Hood (which was valid as his accent was all over the place) with the interviewer is also indicative. But then again he is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next. So he can do as he pleases really.

    2. mommypino: And do not forget, Hillary and Bill and Vince Foster. What a mess that was. Bill is the charismatic, Hillary is the brains. I have no idea what Vince Foster was.

      1. I agree. I don’t know what Vince Foster is either. But actually Bill Clinton is also amazingly smart. In my opinion he’s one of the smartest presidents we had and he’s much smarter than Hillary. Part of Bill Clinton’s charisma is to relate to everybody even the simple folks in the rural areas and other minorities so he knew how to tone down his intellect to not intimidate certain groups of people in the society. He had amazing accomplishments academically as well. But he was also self destructive with his need for fuel and his huge entitlement and grandiosity. HG Tudor said that Bill is a Greater and Hillary is a Mid-Ranger. By the way, Trump is an Upper Lesser.

        1. Wow! So bill is a Greater, and Hillary is a Mid-Ranger. And……..Trump is an Upper lesser! Hahahaha! Thanks. I wonder, what is Melania, other than good-looking. Inquiring minds would like to know.

          1. I think that Melania is a Codependent. I think that Trump has learned his lesson from his previous marriages and got himself a codependent this time. Exactly from what you quoted her say that she trusts him with his numerous travels. Also from the description of her childhood friend where Melania was just a homebody and loved to stay home and knit sweaters with her friend instead of partying. Melania is highly narcissistic in terms of her looks and she was obsessed with fashion since she was young and have always wanted to be a model. But I don’t think that she needs fuel and I see a lot of her expressions to be real. She may be ‘the one’ who can put up with Trump forever. Also I have read a quote from her friend Wendy who was Murdoch’s ex wife saying that Melania is just quiet and doesn’t have a mean bone. Melania also loves the wealth associated with Trump but it’s just part of it. I think that she really will try to make their marriage last.

      2. By the way Princesssuperempath, HG has also said that Reagan was a narcissist. I can’t help but compare the difference between Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan didn’t seem to have the self destructive tendencies that Bill Clinton has with regards to hunger for fuel. Ronald Reagan was not involved in sex scandals or molestation accusations or ethics violations. In my opinion, Reagan was a much more high functioning. I can’t help but wonder if the fact that Reagan’s IPPS was an Empath Nancy Reagan while Bill Clinton’s IPPS is a Mid-Ranger Hillary was a factor with regards to their different behaviors. I wonder if Bill Clinton’s behavior was caused by him not getting enough fuel from his IPPS because she is not an Empath. I’m just wondering.

        1. mommypino: Yeah….I can see Bill not getting the “right“ kind of fuel from Hillary, but a lot of men of lower economic status find her sexy. Maybe she had to sit on that supply cabinet shelf too many times and for too long to remain personable. Reagan may have been one of those Cerebral narcissists and not as libido oriented? Hillary may have had enough emphatic traits to allow Bill all the women, or at least to help him to fight off scandals because of them. She never threatened divorce: why let them get that Grand Golden Period, before he bites off one of their body parts. I remember when people did not like Reagan when he was President, now the history is re-written that he was a god. Many did not like Obama either, and now he is a god. So many narcissists, so many pantsuits, so much re-written history and so little time.

          1. That’s a good point princesssuperempath. I didn’t even think of the Cerebral possibility with Reagan. It is possible. Maybe the reason that it didn’t even enter my mind is because he was a cowboy leading man from Hollywood. But you’re probably right. With Hillary being a narc, I don’t think that she has any empathic qualities. Narcs don’t have empathy except for cognitive but the general rule is they only apply it if it serve their purpose. Hillary was in it for her personal ambitions of being the first female president. She cannot let Bill Clinton get destroyed because she needed his help.

    3. Speaking of celebrity narcissist. I was reading an article about how Mel Gibson, and how he just had baby #9 with new baby momma. His relationship history is prettyp ill narcissist typical:
      married to Empath who endured the Stepford Devaluation;
      then he hooked up with that Oksana woman, it was 2 narcissist colliding, and they both took turns fighting dirty during their custody battle; now he is with someone almost 40 years younger than him starting over with probably an empath.

      1. Anm, I totally agree. Mel Gibson is a narcissist 💯 %. I think that he is a Lesser. He’s a really good example.

          1. Anm, The drunken drama and the words that he used against Oksana when he was in rage like for example calling her whore and the c – word which are more often used by Lessers. His lack of control of his rage like when he was arrested and in other instances when he lost his temper. I think that it will be unlikely for a Mid-Ranger to say racist stuff in public even when they are drunk because they believe that it is socially reprehensible and the, believing that they are good people will not want to be classified as reprehensible. My Mid-Rangers implied to me that I am inferior to them because of my heritage but they never explicitly expressed it in a way that Mel Gibson had in his rant. He did try to have a facade of being a man of faith and a family man but his bearing about it indicate more of a Lesser. There are also Lessers who try to look religious because it makes them feel like being religious makes them better than other people. My Lesser mom is like that.

          2. Yes! You are correct. He is an Upper Lesser. I think she was a midranger. Midrangers love to record and document arguments. Empaths do if they have to, but I find midrangers are obsessed the weirdness that his baby momma #2 was about

      2. Wow. When Narcs collide. Diamonds from carbon! Remember, she supposedly had tape recorders in her diamond earrings? Where in the world do you find people that will fit you with diamond studs with tape recorders in them? Q from James Bond 007? Do I really want to know?

        1. Wow!!!😱
          I didn’t know that! Makes me wonder how BIG her diamond earrings are. Goodness gracious! 😳

          1. mommypino. Hahaha! My first thought was: How large were those earrings? My second thought was: Is not there an easier way to tape someone? Was she afraid of a body search or room search or something, or did she want to have the microphone so close to him. My third thought was: How do you find discreet people to concoct such an apparatus such as microphones that record for your earrings. Do you have to know a guy that knows a guy, or something like that? My life is so simple compared to these people. Back to Hillary and Bill. Maybe he is afraid of her. For some secret reason. He seems comfortable to be in that relationship. Maybe that act of seeming comfortable is the Greater Narc thing, that he does. I remember the rumors, that she was sick and could barely stand, and tired easily and for days, and things like that, during her presidential candidacy. Whomever allowed those rumors to be made known in the media, really hurt her chances to be President, if we believe that votes determine who wins (another topic for another time and place). I am not sure about voting, and if votes mean anything, but those rumors were not good for her. I have no idea if they were true or not. But, those 2, Bill and Hillary, are STILL together.

          2. Princesssuperempath, that is a great point about Bill and Hillary — they are still together, so it’s not just her wanting to be President. I think that Bill’s appearance of being comfortable, smooth and slick is definitely a huge part of his charisma. For me, as someone who didn’t vote for her (don’t hate me 💕) her health scare news was not the reason why she didn’t win. There were instances when she was not able to hide her contempt and lack of empathy for certain groups of society. The basket of deplorables comment was one of her weak moments. Also her comment about the coal miners in West Virginia where she chuckled about closing the mines without empathy to those who are losing their livelihoods in the process. These are mistakes that Bill Clinton would not have made. West Virginia loved Bill Clinton, he won there twice. It was a blue state. So for them to turn into big Trump devotees was a political mistake on her part and I think that it’s because she didn’t have control or ability to mask her contempt and lack of empathy unlike Bill Clinton who is a Greater.

            About Oksana and Mel Gibson, they are definitely crazy. I would prefer my simple life over a pair of gigantic diamond earrings with a recorder attached any time😜. But then again, we are not Narcissists and so they might find our peaceful and simple lives incredibly boring and mediocre lol.

          3. LOL I love the way you express yourself princesssuperempath, you crack me up. Reading this MG is definitely a Lesser and Anm is right, Oksana does seem like a MR. I wish they showed a picture of her diamond earrings with the recording device! It’s a great case study of when Narcissists Collide.

  10. My greater has so many triangles even I can’t keep track.
    His IPPS – is really under going a few – I keep discovering new people and new “ arrangements”.
    This morning his high pitch voice ( the one that lies) was telling me that this other girl he is seeing now ( sex is really awful- she is anorgasmic) … yeah right.
    Of course I am the best – that is why I am shelved 70% ouf the time .
    Because i am so good- the best sex ever ( in 1000 woman at least)
    SO love triangles are part or my life as morning cereals- always a new flavour a new sugar coated reality.
    Even if it was in a movie – I would not believe my own life.
    And … I am not a victim … I can leave the triangles , I can heal , I can chose another path.

  11. Damage. Juliette Binoche and Jeremy Irons. My favourite film of all time. Jeremy my favourite narcissist of all time.

    1. WW: The one and only, the sensational, Jeremy Irons. I actually wrote a treatment and wanted Jeremy Irons as one of the leads. I never followed through to market it. But, he is one of the greats.

  12. Hello, H.G.Tudor.
    In relation to triangulation. I have to say, if you think a little. This is always done not primarily by the seduction in itself of the third person. The narcissist always does it for his IPPS.
    I tell you an experience, lived personally.
    On one occasion, my narcissist and I had a party in the city centre. On that occasion, shortly after this in the bar/disco began to seduce a local girl. I got fed up with her usual behavior, tired of always the same thing I lost interest. I thought again, pufffffff.
    I’d better have a drink outside while my narcissist finishes and eyes that don’t see a heart that doesn’t break.
    Already I thought about something else, and relaxedly I took the glass leaning on the hood of a car.
    Three to five minutes passed when my narcissist came out in a rage.
    And he said to me:
    you have blood in your veins or you have horchata in your veins.
    Making reference that if I didn’t care. Now I understand his words at that time I didn’t know what those words came for.
    He needed my attention, he needed to be admired, coveted, desired and even to punish me, to control me, to hurt me. But he cannot recognize or analyze this situation, in order to take control of it in future situations.
    And it really hurt so much.
    In some moments I have thought, that this attitude can be taken with their IPPS to see and feel that they are really loved by their partners.
    I have always had the doubt of why my narcissist left that girl and went out to look for me enraged.
    As Tudor said they do it for the fuel but the main one that gives him the fuel is his IPPS. Anyone else’s is of little quality or importance. I would even say he doesn’t care at all. He only covets that of his IPPS.

    Tudor, could you tell me why the behavior of my narcissist, in this experience?

    1. JG,
      If I understood your story correctly, yes your narc was triangulating you with that girl to make you jealous and get a strong emotional reaction from you. He was probably also trying to get some admiration from her too because any kind of fuel, be it positive or negative is welcome. But you are probably right to think that it was your negative fuel he was trying to get mainly (negative fuel is more powerful than positive fuel). Your ignoring his flirting infuriated him because being ignored is what they hate the most, and also because he instinctively felt a loss of control over you. But I think you are right to say that it is the IPPSs emotional attention matters most to them during the relationship with them.

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