No Good Advice

no good advice

Relationship advice. The internet is awash with it. Sites, blogs, question and answer sessions, videos on YouTube there is a plethora of advice about how to deal with the problems which arise in intimate relationships.

I decided recently to have a good look through many of these sites and gather together the common complaints which people raise when they submit their issues. There are plenty of submissions, thousands upon thousands of people complaining about the issues in their relationships. Oddly enough, I noticed a common thread with many of these complaints where people had written in to seek advice or explained their circumstances. Time and time again I the following:-

“Everything was wonderful to begin with, he swept me off my feet.”

“She made me feel like a king and it was just what I needed after how horrible my marriage had been.”

“I was taken aback by how loving he was, but it felt so good to be treated that way after everything that I had been through.”

“He told me how he had been hurt before and didn’t want to go through that again.”

“His ex-wife was horrible to him and he had been hurt but wanted to ensure everything was right between us.”

“Everything was marvellous for a few months and then he changed.”

“I didn’t know him anymore.”

“He started controlling me.”

“She told me who I could see.”

“He started to isolate me from family and friends.”

“He would flirt with other women.”

“She spent all of her time on the internet doing Lord knows what.”

“He never listens to me.”

“He became abusive.”

“The sex was amazing at first but then it just stopped.”

“He was so loving and attentive in bed but then he started suggesting threesomes and kinky stuff which I didn’t like.”

“He started to make decisions for me.”

“She would lose her temper over the smallest thing.”

“He would disappear for days on end and I was sick with worry.”

“He would not speak to me for several days even though I had done nothing wrong.”

“He started hitting me. He said sorry afterwards and seemed remorseful for what he had done, blaming it on seeing his dad beat him mum when he was young.”

“He doesn’t like anything I do any more, he puts me down.”

“Its like living with Jekyll and Hyde.”

“He just never contacted me again. I still don’t know what has happened.”

“He told me he couldn’t be with me anymore as he needed time to himself and then two days later I see him post about a new girlfriend on social media.”

“He was unfaithful to me repeatedly.”

“I still miss her after everything she has done.”

“I am financially ruined, stressed but I still love him.”

“Why can’t it be like it was in the beginning?”

“I want him back.”

I should imagine that all of you will be nodding at these comments for two reasons. First of all, you remember saying them yourself or something similar. Secondly, you now realise what was actually behind these behaviours. People like me.

Over and over again I saw questions and tales which all had the common theme of ‘Brilliant start, he became someone else, dumped me, I was heartbroken.’ Hundreds upon hundreds of these stories, these tales of misery and woe. A litany of despondency and confusion that has been piled up in the inboxes of the relationship advisors and gurus. I scrolled through them all, reading the replies, the advice and the suggestions. I read the analysis, I digested the observations and spent some considerable time doing so. What did I see?

Not one person raised the possibility that the person seeking advice had become involved with a narcissist. Not one.

Many of these blogs and relationship advice sites were clearly popular. Some were established names, linked to lifestyle magazines and newspapers. Many directed you to their services for counselling and relationship tool kits. Many of them trotted out similar comments and platitudes. Too often they read like the first world tribulations of a scene from Sex and the City rather than the abusive, destructive and harmful actions of dangerous narcissists.

Yet not one of them raised the suggestion that a narcissist was involved.

Now, naturally it is not the case that behind every relationship woe there is a narcissist but I know that those of you reading this, with the benefit of the enlightenment you have achieved knows that there is a good chance that problems of this nature as described repeatedly in the problems pages of these sites are something to do with people like my kind. Yet nobody was offering this as a possibility. That shows the scale of how easy it is for us to do what we do and pass undetected. It shows the staggering lack of knowledge about what we do say, think and do and the naivety of so many people, including those who apparently understand relationship dynamics.

Instead, I saw standard and repeated responses such as:-

“He is clearly a commitment phobe.”

No, he doesn’t want to spend time with you because he is devaluing you and is actually seducing someone else at the current time.

“You have outgrown each other.”

No, you never grew together to begin with because it was all predicated on an illusion and his lack of interest now is symptomatic of his interest being elsewhere.

“He may just be tired or stressed from working hard to support you and your children.”

Yes or he might be a narcissist who uses his rage to intimidate and control you.

You may have unrealistic expectations about the relationship.”

Damn right you do and we all know why that has happened don’t we?

You need him to take responsibility for his actions. He cannot keep blaming you for everything.”

Good luck with that one.

“He just might not be into you.”

Half-right I suppose, he just isn’t in to you fuel anymore, he is in to somebody else’s.

“He might be bored with life and not you. Try harder to interest him.”

Again, good luck with that one.

“Relationships require hard work. Don’t give up. Keep working at it and you can overcome the problems together.”

You have just been told to sign your own death warrant there.

“Some people have anger issues but that can managed with understanding and therapy.”

Or they have fury which ignites at the slightest provocation and always will.

“Being hurt is an inevitable part of a relationship.”

It is if you get ensnared by my kind.

I am not suggesting that every problem in a relationship is as a consequence of the other party being a narcissist, that is unrealistic. However, the number of times I read about what was clearly the narcissistic dynamic of seduction, devaluation and discard was significant. The monumental amount of times that I recognised narcissistic manipulations – rage attacks, silent treatments, triangulation, intimidation, bullying, gas lighting and so forth – in so many posts did not surprised me but they were not picked up on. Many times these manipulations were not isolated events. There were repeated occasions and also differing types of the manipulations which when combined and repeated point in one direction.

The advice and platitudes that were provided to people who were clearly, not just possibly, but clearly entangled with a narcissist, were way off the mark. The descriptions and answers I have listed above were the ones which were provided to people and at best this would mean the person would remain clueless and stuck with no appropriate solution and at worst they were providing advice which would harm the individual who had sought the advice.

I was not surprised by this erroneous advice. I was not amazed by this omission of our kind from the explanations. I was not taken aback by the scale of people complaining about what was clearly narcissistic abuse but not being told as such.

This is why we are able to do what we do.

This is why we are able to move amongst people, ensnare fresh victims and maintain our veneer of respectability.

This is why what we do is passed off as something else. Euphemised, diluted, lessened and made to seem like a standard relationship hiccup.

This is why ignorance is so harmful.

This is why we remain so effective.

This is why we remain so dangerous.

29 thoughts on “No Good Advice

  1. cb says:

    There will always be someone on our social media who suggests that the words written or told by that bewildering boyfriend,
    might be _True_

    That advisor will quickly get many followers, since everybody wants to sound positive, especially online.

    Sunshine image group will pressure the advice-seeker to stick around.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Very good points.

      1. cb says:

        Thank you HG!

  2. Kiki Romano says:

    Hi again HG.

    Here’s another question for you..

    My ex narc is married. We were college sweethearts, and we’re engaged at the time. I broke things off because of his temper, and a few other things that I didn’t like about him. He was crushed. He tried for 2 more years to get back together with me, but I was done with him and I had already moved on. He was crushed a second time. I have heard from his friends that it took him quite a long time to recover from me, and he has told me that he was very distraught for a few years following our breakup.

    Fast forward 32 years. I met his niece, and I contacted him with her, to say hello, and to apologize for some of the things that I said and did back in the day.

    He was very kind and forgiving.

    I had suggested that when he would be in town sometime that we meet up for lunch, and he was happy for the invite and we soon met up and had a nice conversation. A very open and honest conversation about where our lives had taken us, our struggles, and our triumphs.

    He told me at the time that his marriage was as good as over, and that was substantiated by his niece and others. So I knew that was true. He said that he wanted to wait on filing for divorce until after his daughter was married so as to not disrupt the event with a divorce looming over everyone’s head.

    He said that he has a divorce attorney, etc, had already done the Financials on the divorce, and that divorce was imminent.

    I was admittedly leary of getting involved as anything more than friends but I regret to admit that we did become romantically involved. He was pretty mesmerized by the fact that he was even in contact with me again and he was so grateful at the chance to be with me once again after so many years and after such a painful break up.

    Fast forward months passed and the time was coming up for his divorce plans to be put into action. His niece and all his friends knew full well of our affair and because of our history was understanding and non judgmental. She knew that he had always loved me. The friends did too. So there was a lot of support.

    Then his daughter found out and ripped him to shreds contacted me and told me never to speak to him again, and essentially gave him an ultimatum. He was just two weeks away from walking her down the aisle, so he ended our affair, after making me a lot of plans and promises.of marriage and living the rest of our lives together as he had so hoped we would in our youth.

    I found out about a lot of lies he had told me, including the fact that he really didn’t have a divorce attorney, he lied about his education and some other stuff. I called him out on it and went immediately no contact. He did the same.

    A few weeks after the wedding he contacted me again and apologized profusely, took all the blame for all of it, and begged my forgiveness. He hoped to stay friends but said he understood if I wanted nothing to do with him again. His apologies seem very sincere. His wife knew about the affair as well, and she was trying to work towards a reconciliation with him.

    We’ve been no contact on and off for several months, him still saying that his marriage is over that he is not in love with her, and that he needs to get some things taken care of before he can move out and move on with his life. His wife knows he’s still in love with me and she is understandably depressed and feeling desperate to save their marriage.

    I suggested to him that I believed he was a Narcissist, and I had him take an online test at psyche central. He scored off the charts as a full blown narcissist. I know that was not an officially sanctioned test but it certainly confirmed my suspicions.

    I suggested that he go to therapy to work on himself and he willfully agreed. I told him that as a friend, and I have suggested that he work on his marriage to save it.

    So, he is going to therapy now. He has proved to me that he is going by showing me invoices.

    He said that his therapist said they he clearly sees some narcissistic traits, but that he doesn’t feel that he is a full blown narcissist with NPD. His therapist had a few reasons for not thinking that he had NPD. One of those being how open he is in therapy, his willingness to be there his admittance of fault, and his willingness to study and learn more about himself and why. He was beaten by his father and ignored. Then doted on by his mother. That has also been confirmed by family members so he has certainly had what most would consider a rough life.

    There’s more to the story than all that, but I am sure that you get the picture. He has a problem lying and embellishing, has made a lot of promises that he hasn’t kept, and he had displayed an inflated sense of self at times. I call him out on it whenever he does it. He admits that he is narcissistic, and that his actions have affected and hurt a lot of people.

    So my question after this long story is, can he actually benefit from this therapy? I have read numerous articles on the fact that narcissists can be charming in therapy, and can appear very open and cooperative, but at the same time have no real desire to change or identify those attitudes and behaviors that are so destructive to other.

    That being said, yes I can see that may be the case, but I am also seeing him tone down the haughtiness with me. I am seeing a more open and honest man and I think that he is benefitting from the therapy.

    Can he be improving, and can this ever be sustainable?

    My feelings are that he will always have a Narcissistic baseline, or dark thread running through him, but that if he perseveres in therapy and becomes more self aware and continues to make even the smallest changes, that he has some hope. But I also think that he would probably need a lifetime of therapy or at least regular maintenance to keep these tendencies at bay.

    Sorry this is so long. I have been meaning to ask you this for a while.

    Thanks for your help.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      With regard to the amount of detail I need to convey to you, to answer this matter accurately, a consultation is the best method and I invite you to organise the same.

      1. Kiki Romano says:

        Thanks, HG. Can you tell me how to organize a consultation and how much it costs? I am having some trouble finding that information

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Open the menu or go to the menu bar and all of the consultation options with the procedure, cost and method of payment can be found there. Any problems, come back to me.

  3. princesssuperempath says:

    Dearest HG: What is worse than no good advice, is horrible advice. First of all, I did not know how I was being destroyed. I could not put my finger on it, and my inner voice of advice was quieter than the Silent Treatment. I started out looking at videos on how to make a man like you again, after he starts pulling away. Garbage answers for my situation. I was so despondent. Friends kept telling me I needed a vacation. I sure did. But, for far longer than they could imagine. I just had about to give up, until I stumbled onto Narcissism, asking various questions on google. Like, why does someone stop talking to you for no reason. Why does someone talk to everyone around you except you. Why does someone stare at you, etc. Why is a person nice to you one day, and the next day, act like you do not exist? Why does someone start answering you in monosyllabic and short responses, out of nowhere? And such other questions. I still have never told anyone in my off-line about what has happened to me. No one I know would believe me. Or, think that I am just stupid and weak. I still can not believe it myself. I still find it mind-boggling that there is a massive group of individuals that have never met each other that behave in such an odd and devastating and astonishingly similar manner, called a narc cycle: what are the odds of that?). That can ensnare such otherwise intelligent and even worldly people. Narcissism, I never heard of, except in a fairy tale. And in the fairy tale, the narc only destroyed himself. So even if I had heard the word, in passing to describe someone, only vain would come to my mind. And vain often means high self esteem, and is not that often a good thing in a world that dehumanizes people? If you have not already or have not considered it, HG, please consider re-writing the story of Narcissus, like you did with Little Red Riding Hood. I enjoyed that.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Your request has been noted, thank you.

      1. princesssuperempath says:

        Dearest HG, you are welcome.

    2. kathy0720 says:

      Absolutely correct about the horrible advice being worse! 10x!

  4. Narc noob says:

    It is also a word thrown around flippantly and incorrectly so another reason people don’t give it much thought. In my experience, anyway.

    1. Joanne says:

      Narc noob
      Completely agree and was my experience as well. The average person’s definition of a narcissist is one who is conceited, self-absorbed, grandiose, etc, etc. No one understands the severity of what you’re actually dealing with, nor do they have the interest to be educated. It’s incredibly frustrating and makes the victim feel even more confused, crazy and isolated.

  5. JR says:

    Do you have any segments on Narcissist’s in the work place? I suspect a colleague is a Narc and she’s targeting me for unknown reasons. I’d love to gain more insight from this perspective and how to move forward.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There is a book in progress on this matter, in the meanwhile I recommend you consult with me and I can assist you.

      1. Nika says:

        I would be interested in attaining your book on Narcissists in the workplace, as well.

        I am also interested in their presence in all other areas of life, too, other than romantic & parental relationships.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Duly noted.

          1. Nika says:

            Oh, excellent to know… excellent to know.

      2. kathy0720 says:

        When do you anticipate availability? Very good idea. When I was in admin it was a miserable problem.

  6. Christopher Jackson says:

    You are right yet again everything you said was true especially the part about it being narc abuse and being passed off as something else

  7. “I am not suggesting that every problem in a relationship is as a consequence of the other party being a narcissist, that is unrealistic. However, the number of times I read about what was clearly the narcissistic dynamic of seduction, devaluation and discard was significant. The monumental amount of times that I recognised narcissistic manipulations – rage attacks, silent treatments, triangulation, intimidation, bullying, gas lighting and so forth – in so many posts did not surprise me but they were not picked up on. Many times these manipulations were not isolated events. There were repeated occasions and also differing types of the manipulations -which when combined and repeated -point in one direction.”


    HG-i think the above paragraph could be simplified and more highlighted somehow- more directly persistent-something…

    The above paragraph is key ((aside from the great examples of “excuses of bad behavior “)) to this – what I
    think is possibly one of the absolute best essays that get to people who are 100% oblivious- and gets them to realize they’re dealing with another level of manipulation and/or realize they actually are being abused in their crappy relationship.

    I never considered my treatment abuse! I was like no- only punching etc is abuse. Until I learned what narcissistic abuse was. I realized my ex had NPD- but still did not realize it was abuse to be manipulated and gaslighted and lied to and silent treatment ‘ed. Until I read about it in various spots. I accepted it. And I cut myself a break from being so messed up and staying so long in a bad situation.

    This essay is the “crossover “ essay- where I think the lights go on for people when they realize they’ve said these excuses or they’ve heard them from well wishers.

    You cannot look away from these excuses- and ignore that you’re putting up with bad treatment and it is supported and you can find support if you leave.

    Great work HG!

  8. J.G says:

    Hello, H.G. Tudor.
    A great truth, before coming to you, I always thought narcissists were kinds of obsessed with their physique, all day in the gym. But without any background of evil in it. Just vain people. And this was my concept of them. It is troubling that this information or rather misinformation is found in this way. You, the great master, have done all my conception on the subject. And not only that, but you have healed me for what I needed to do was the closing. And thanks to your publications and information in this post. And your attention, works the miracle. If and I say well, work the miracle of opening your eyes and bringing a new conception of what is really narcissism, its sequels, the remedy and the right direction for the victims of this infernal labyrinth, which is the relationship with a narcissist You are the thread of Ariadne ….

    1. HG Tudor says:

      The Thread of Ariadne – I like that, I shall use that. Much obliged.

      1. princesssuperempath says:

        Dearest HG: I took a peek at Ariadne and am not quite sure how she is symbolically represented in her love life . I would like to know. I hope she was able to apply her wisdom to her own life. However, the thread she provided to Theseus to get to the monster and kill it and return out of the labyrinth alive, was great. I read that the thread represents logic.

    2. NarcAngel says:

      Ariadne’s thread is a great analogy.

  9. Cestas Jacarepaguá says:

    Hello, based on all of your vast experience and knowledge about narcissism and empathexis / co-dependent / super impotence, do you think that our species has diminished at the same time that narcissism has increased considerably?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello, which species are you suggesting has diminished?

  10. Kiki Romano says:

    Wow. Just wow.

  11. kathy0720 says:

    Amazing how this is so overlooked.. Brilliant.

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