Poll – Which Red Flags Did You Fail To Heed?

KTN Poll - H.G Wants To Know Post Graphic

Red Flags. With the benefit of hindsight those flags were flying high but you failed to heed them. Did you think the now-known-narcissist was coming on strong by wanting to be with you all of the time, but you dismissed it as it felt good and exciting? Maybe the narcissist was already in a relationship when he or she targeted you citing those lies of “we are like brother and sister these days”, “we never have sex any more” or “he/she makes my life hell” ? Perhaps you noticed that the narcissist would be strangely unavailable for short periods of time, when usually he or she answered the phone within a nanosecond of you ringing them? Or was it the fact that you never got to meet any of his or her family or friends as you were only ever seen isolation?

You can pick as many answers as are applicable, but do so BEFORE pressing vote.

As ever, please expand in the comments section on your experiences and observations.

Thank you for participating.

Which red flags did you experience but failed to heed them?

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130 Comments

  1. 1. Excessive compliments 2. Robotic behavior 3. TODAY IT’S MY ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF NC!!!!!! Fuck yeah.

      1. Well thanks to all your work, advice, and encouragement. I had lingering thoughts of breaking no contact here and there, but I wrote these words of yours down in my “Notes” section in my iPhone and read them to myself often: “The narc declared you persona non grata; return the favor.”

    1. Y’all are messing with my mind! I thought this was a new poll and I missed it. Well…I did miss it, but not today.

      1. MB, I thought it was new too but I’m generally more like: I threw my comment, it will show up whenever, and on some occasions, wherever. And life’s good. I’m already celebrating, thank you! Would you like me to pour you some? 🍷

      1. Thank you, SMH! I’m not. But, I am grateful because thanks to the narc, I have met incredible people here, and I have learned a lot from HG about myself. So in a way, he was a bad medicine I needed to swallow to know myself better.

        1. SP, I just want to throw this out there. Not that labels are super important or anything, but if you feel guilt for your affair, are you truly a dirty empath?

          Since it’s his terminology, maybe HG can answer that.

          All I know is, I have no guilt. The only way I would feel bad is if somebody got hurt from it. The guilt would not be for what I did, but for hurting people that I don’t want to hurt.

        2. Good way of putting it, SP. I also had a lot to learn and am grateful. Can’t believe the difference between me last year and me this year, thanks to HG and the people here.

  2. I have voted for robotic behaviours. On our first close encounter, he acted as if he was really into me, but I could not « feel » his desire. He called me a few weeks later. He had obtained my number from someone at work. He did not reveal his source and that person did not see fit to ask my permission before giving out my number either. That was a huge red flag which I ignored. The second, and soon after, third time he called me, he insisted that we meet at the retirement party of a colleague. I made it known that I too was interested in getting to know him better, but that it made me feel uncomfortable that it be in a work setting. He insisted in such a way that I caved in. Resulting in me being really uneasy at this event. My stress level was higher than that of going for a job interview. I felt the intensity of being scrutinized. And then « I saw » his tendrils uncoiling to wrap themselves around me. I did not know what to make out of this vision. I was dumbfounded. Let’s just say that their effectiveness was not instantaneous. I followed my instinct at first, Eventually, « my emphatic sins » got the better of him, even though I had « felt » his lack of empathy and had received serious warnings.

  3. Wow where do I begin!!
    Needed time out to sort my emotional thinking out as i’m trying to be more logical in the way I interact with others in my private life (Thank you HG!)

    During my consult I shamefully admitted that I ignore red flags, I make excuses, I explain away their actions, I take the blame. (I’m not a doormat! But I am intense and very much my Scorpio Moon so perhaps on an unconscious level – the drama, the over the top lovebombing – the extremes I craved (Strangelove) because I was controlled in this way, I learned to play games too, mostly to protect myself but also to hit back in a ‘don’t fuck with me kind of way’ desiring to be told what to do but not in a taking the piss way) makes me ignore the bad behaviour because I like the attention of a bad boy! (Horrid admittance).

    I see the red flags but something deep inside me thinks I can handle anything after what I endured with my step-dad followed by my Nex. I know I most likely will be playing with fire – i’m a thrill seeker – or an idiot depending on how you look at it!! because I can escape when I’ve had enough…..BUT

    I’m realising, I don’t have to keep escaping… I don’t have to keep running away if I just SEE and ACCEPT the red flags.

    I want to pat myself on the back here…. I’ve took notice, recognised them immediately and have backed right off.

    My work friends introduced me to a fellow, I added him to my fb only yesterday and my messenger blew up with ‘talk tonight or dead in the water?’… not once but twice, followed by more messages today despite my not responding (guilt kicking in here because I just need to breathe and think of responding without upsetting him) *One red flag

    His FB is everything HG writes about – how to spot a narc etc *Second red flag

    Hates his ex-wife and girlfriend *Third red flag

    Gut feeling – *4th red flag

    I’m out.

    Logical mind, student applying lesson taught by the wonderful HG Tudor.
    Grateful for thy teacher.

    1. Presque Vu

      Way to go. Why bother with someone you can “handle”. That sounds like disappointment before it even starts and less than you deserve.

      NEXT!!!!

  4. I checked all but the last four flags. Lying was the one that ‘outed’ him and caused me to research more. (Google ‘lying’ and Narcissist and Psychopath come up).

    I have pondered HG’s question about what additional flags we saw. For me, it is the Narc’s high intelligence combined with an outstanding knowledge of reading people and great communication skills. I wrongly assumed it was ET and that he was like me. Deeper than mimicking, he has a true understanding of psychology that rivals any therapist. In many ways, I learned more about myself through his counseling than I did with a therapist. (Although he twisted it to his benefit) Ironically, he pointed out when I was being manipulated by other Narcissists and guided me about how to be stronger. He made me aware that when I say ‘I’m fine’ it is usually a sign that I am stuffing my emotions. Of course, as a narcissist, he encouraged emotions to get fuel. I was most attracted to him for his outstanding communication skills, both verbal and written. When I reflect on this, the narcs I know exhibit those talents.

  5. I put “message bombardment” and “alluding to a dark side”.

    I remember distinctly feeling for awhile like I didn’t want necessarily to develop a relationship with this person and then soon after feeling kinda sucked into it anyway because he was pursuing ongoing communication and then feeling somewhat dependent on it. If I had already known things from here I would have had better boundaries about it and disaster avoided. A feeling like “best friends” with someone early on, male or female, looking back over my life, has always been a red flag, every damn time and I have always felt uncomfortable with it, which is probably some accurate internal reaction.
    As far as alluding to a dark side, I’ve had it happen before and I’ve always thought “take note” because the person means it but, duh, sometimes ignored it anyway even though I was listening.

    But apart from this list I also remember distinctly “grandiosity” and “idealized love” (massively idealized ex to the point I should have totally seen a problem).
    A bit of grandiosity has never really bothered me, but it really should have. The concept that a person is so amazing and desirable and to think highly of themselves is not particularly anything I’ve taken terribly seriously because I don’t care who you are, it’s ludicrous to think like that, just ludicrous in any context even if people pursue relationships with you constantly you must keep humility and your feet on the ground- but I’ve also kind of ignored it like “oh that’s just how they are” and maybe like they have something to tell me. From now on if anyone tries to tell me they are the king shit of anything they can immediately fuck off, even if they are an actual king, like whatever that is.
    “Blah blah blah, I like to hear myself talk, here’s how everything in my universe works, believe it.” Followed by 8,000 tomes of completely made up bullshit. I don’t know, I like to massage people for work, they are usually quiet, and at least it’s helpful.

    I remember vaguely trying to mirror some of that lunacy from my dad a bit as a young person, he would occasionally talk me up in some special way and certainly would do himself, he thought he was the biggest thing no one ever knew about and couldn’t just blend in and do the work and he really paid for it unfortunately. But anyway I did a grandiosity statement or two I think and failed miserably, but I know I was young and didn’t understand how people are and things work and I clearly was never told, just had to keep trying to figure it out. I can see some parents think they are doing right by their kids telling them they are special and why they would do that, but balance can be quickly lost and it’s better to focus on *reasonable* work ethic and creativity over outcome, imo.

    Sorry, ranting a bit…
    but yeah, “idealized love”, if it’s aimed at me or someone else a person knows, I don’t know. It’s easy to get sucked into love concepts and sometimes it’s mirrored mutually in a couple. But he did say his ex had at one point threatened him with some legal-ish thing when he tried to contact her and now I think maybe she knew he was a narcissist as well. Well she was idealized and I became scapegoated, but that’s been my default position before although I’ve also been idealized, which feels very weird to me sometimes because I truly desire “acceptance” above all else and that’s not it at all. I think we have ingrained patterns that we are not conscious of that cause us to keep thinking “this time it will work” because we feel obligated after it went wrong the “first time” (with parent) because that person told us it was our fault and we can totally buy into it without realizing it was never based in reality anyway and there’s nothing to prove about ourselves.

  6. My seduction was mostly about him telling me things about myself that I already knew (or suspected), but had buried so deep because of being taught in my childhood that those things couldn’t possibly be true about me:
    -You are important
    -Your feelings are valid/understandable/important
    -You are successful
    -You are smart
    -You’re a good mother
    -You are desirable

    It came across as compliments and infatuation, but ultimately, he was mirroring my own thoughts about myself. It was just easier for me to believe them coming from someone else, than telling myself/validating myself.
    I’m happy to say that since I’ve been through this, that is different, and I’m capable of seeing those things in me for myself, and how strong I am also.

  7. Yikes, I checked all bout 4-5 boxes. I had been in two crazy relationships before that, and when I saw the red flags, I pushed them aside because as I would tell myself that I am overreacting or overthinking because of what I had been thru before.

  8. Oh gosh, where to begin. The thing is, I think we had a cat and mouse game going on from the get go. I knew he was lying and he knew I knew he was lying, etc. I kept dropping bombs on him (oh sorry, forgot to tell you that I am leaving the country for five months) and he kept dropping bombs on me (oh, sorry I forgot to tell you that my ‘ex’ wants to reconcile). I think we were actually really fond of each other and saw in each other similar twisted things. But for me it might have just been a state whereas for him it was the way he was. I could be flexible, revealing and honest. He could not be any of those things.

  9. Dear Mr Tudor,
    All my red flags were masked brilliantly by his PTSD
    I knew, I just knew, I had this feeling, but just couldn’t put my finger on it ….then came the light bulb moment !!!
    I voted the first top six and the robotic one

    Trying to understand his dialogue and thought processing was difficult let alone his constant text messages day n night
    Not being contactable (we were worried for his safety) ….he used to drive his car alone (on long distances he was meant to have a passpenger with him) …. he was a danger on the roads and an irratic road rage driver
    Yes, excessive niceties and compliments, very ott
    His dark side was ….bragging being “trained to kill” and he enjoyed saying it with a smug smirk …..quite nerving
    He liked everything we liked, offered to help fix this fix that, just be in our lives and showing up randomly wherever I happened to be
    Very regimented in his daily activities….. same same, like clock work … tick tock!

    Thank heavens he’s someone else’s problem and good riddance !

    Your polls are getting better all the time … luv it
    Thank you
    Luv Bubbles xx 😘

  10. I picked quite a few in relation to my narc ive been with and also in regards to a new friendship.

    My narc….in hindsight i see a multitude of red flags! Its been made clear by all ive learned here and as i move forward i see more clearly in new interactions with certain individuals.
    My narc it was his deliberate attempt to ensnare me and he would often say “i like you to be clingey with me” or “i want you addicted to me”. If that isnt a blaring red flag i dont know what is lol He picked up on my vulnerabilities and sensed my codependancy tendancies and zoned in on them. If i wouldve been completely self reliant and together he wouldve given up or wouldnt of picked me to try his efforts on. He knew there was a void and intended on applying for the job so to speak.
    How he did this was by learning as much about me as he could and making sure he gave me what i needed most but on the flip side over the span of years took away bits of it to reinforce his so called control over me. He knows how much to give and take without crossing over the line where he no longer was worth staying with. I guess in a lot of regards my codependancy is a bit narcissistic in nature. I do realise i have used him as well but where i differ is that i do care and feel love for him whereas im not sure he does for me. I am a source to him and that he loves and would miss.
    His ensnaring was mostly constant messages and always in contact. The main one has been reliability and always being there. He knows my biggest hang up is abandonment. He has always been there for me and that he has used in the past to scare me by not answering messages right away or doing weird things to upset me. Over the past 3 years he has stopped this. I think bc he knows im more self reliant and hes aware they dont work the same way i get angry now and disengage. I feel he senses ive been changing and am not as affected by his past tactics.

    Onto a new friendship…i met a friend thru similiar passions and i could see a few hallmark red flags but decided to let time reveal. We have a lot in common but some things did not sit right with me. Some of these were message bombardment and then an abrupt decline in messages until i would initiate a message. I took this as a test to see how “needed” they were. When i say needed i mean ensnared. If i were to start messaging and saying are you ok or i havent heard from you etc thatd tell them that i was becoming under their control. Instead i let them message me after their hiatus. Another is they would criticize others but when they themselves boo hooed to me about their life and i offered real advice they took it as criticism. They could not self reflect and take it as advice without feeling wounded. This is another red flag!! Another was when i would leave msgs theyd pretend they only just now got them and wow so sorry. I suspect them to be a victim narc who had been with a lesser narc and are again with a lesser. They have no clue they are a victim narc and its of no use pointing it out. The friendship has been over the span of a month and altho we share a lot of common interests i do see the npd red flags which are so disappointing. I wont cut this person off as a person to occasionally chat with but i will put up boundaries where they will not be a candidate of being a close friend of mine. I know being around someone like this too much will become toxic. I limit it to acquaintance and once in awhile chat friend. I will no longer confide in them or invest myself fully in them. This is where its crucial to know the signs of npd and to watch for them but most importantly have boundaries.

    1. Another red flag in relation to the new friendship… is i had mentioned some painful things from my past and this person in a roundabout way would rub salt in this wound. In the past i wouldve spent so much wasted time wondering why someone would do this and being so confused. I now know its a way of boosting their ego and feeling better about their situation if theyre able to focus and rehash someone elses pain or accentuate how better off they are in that respect. Its very dyfunctional thinking. I now look at it as a major weakness and character flaw on that person. Red flag…if you confide something and they use it to hurt you either directly or indirectly later take note and keep an eye on this. It is a definite npd trait. They use it to control by making you feel less than and elevating themselves bc inside they feel teeny weeny. Dont allow them to do this to you instead see it for the weakness it is within them.

    2. C. Mom. This person will know a lot about you over time. And if you have mutual acquaintances at all, this is the person that can turn into an enemy lieutenant and help smear you with part truth and part lies, the most. I guess if you have no friends in common, it will not be so bad, but all pain will be yours if the friendship goes bad…remember, she can not afford to take on any pain, because whatever brought about the pathos will not allow it, and so she will just swim to more healthy waters, if the friendship crashes. You will be left with the pain and disappointment to add to your life. Just a warning. HG Tudor is the only Narcissist that I will knowingly interact with, for my own reasons, which coincide with why he has this site. Other than HG Tudor, I am just saying NO to all other narcissists, male or female, old or young, adult or child. As well as those that are not narcissists, but are friends with narcissists. They can not be trusted. I wonder how many people will this decision leave available to me. Probably not so many. So be it.

      1. Hi princesssuperempath…ty for your reply. I appreciate your thoughts and will take them into consideration. Part of me has been thinking what you wrote in your reply. Its a shame bc i do enjoy the things we share but i do see that this can never be a close friendship or even one where we spend a lot of time together. Youre right tho you cant trust narcs. I thought possibly by just being acquaintances thatd diffuse the situation but i guess time will tell. Im not stressing over it bc im not investing in the friendship and do have close healthy friendships already. I have met many narcs and people with high narc traits and if you cut every one of these people completely out it really limits who you interact with and in a job or career setting its not always possible. Its better to learn how to coexist the best you can while upholding your boundaries.
        I agree tho its best not to have anything to do with these sorts if its affecting your life or adding toxicity.

    3. CM,
      It’s interesting that you say your friend took your advice as criticism. This is something the MMRN used to do all the time! It was so puzzling to me – He would pity play regarding something (wife doesn’t want sex, wife is moody, he gained weight and is depressed about his physical status, colleagues at work are irritating him – I could go on and on haha). But I, trying to be a good friend, would offer practical advice. I’d usually end up with a silent treatment for my trouble.
      I guess I was more practical (carrier empath!) than pitying/sympathetic. He didn’t like it at all.

  11. The first conversation was about him making no compromise to his life and lifestyle.

    Then he talked about how unhappy he was with his GF

    Then he took me on dates a few times and was asking a lot of questions both pragmatic ( do you have a car) and details about pas love life etc He would not say much about him.

    Red flags red flags red flags

  12. The biggest red flag for me was that every time I was near the narc my body started shaking, and when I left I felt like I had heroine withdrawal (which I assume is a horrendous feeling as I never did any). But also his super sexual talk and then not wanting to be intimate. I started to wonder, what in the world do you wanna have an affair for if not for sex? Now I know! FUEL!

    1. Yes thank god. Mine never went beyond kissing. It still hurt so bad though, once he thought he had my love secured he went straight into devalue mode. I couldn’t handle it and got out pretty quick. Anyone who endure abuse must hve far more strength than me. At the time I wondered what the hell was going on though SP, re the sex. It makes sense now and it’s nice to know that someone else wondered this too.

      1. I’m glad to hear the same, I was so confused! I could not reconcile in my mind so much sexual talking and sending pictures of his dick on the one hand but then withdrawing from it??? It was driving me insane. We did make out a few times but never had full intercourse thank goodness. I would have had at that moment as I was totally infatuated. But didn’t really see him have the desire to, it was like being with a robot that is in “makeout mode” without really enjoying anything. If I had had a little bit of low self esteem that would have messed up with my ego, which I believe is part of their plan too.

          1. NA, from the video collection I gathered during my brief entanglement, I reached the conclusion that he gets turned on by the reflection of his own body in a mirror.

          2. Hahaha I didn’t get the joke because I forgot what my previous comment said, NA. And also because he literally favored the one hand! Good one!

          3. SP
            You got it. Haha, poor thing was limited in just using the one hand. We learned early on in the blog that HG is ambidextrous, making him most efficient at many tasks.

  13. I checked like half of these but it was the golden period alone that convinced me to ignore them. Looking back now it’s of course way easier to recognize these as red flags I ought to have trusted myself to act upon, but also I kinda have to give myself a pass for being blinded by the “perfect love” I was getting bombarded with at the time. Once the golden period had ended all this was much easier to identify, but of course that didn’t stop me from going back when another golden period was promised.

    Also, does HG stand for “Hatted Gentleman” now? Or did it always? Every day another answer, each night another question

  14. I didn’t see ‘warning from a friend’ on the list. Maybe this doesn’t happen much. But I was warned by my friend. The narc went after her online before me. It didn’t work out between them. She called his responses “cut and paste” and said he had no depth. I didn’t understand how she could tell all that from just chatting with him online but she ended up being right.

  15. Coming out of 2 relationships in a row with narcs (one overt, one covert), and thinking I’d be immune and recognize them from a mile away with all the knowledge HG gave me, it looks like I met a 3rd narc.. HG: A few quick questions (even though the message is long):

    I met this guy like 1.5 month ago and he was strong on claiming he always absorbed other people’s feelings (energies) and so he always felt drained. I explained he could be an empath – or High Sensitive Person (HSP) – and he said he finally understood why he was the way he was (the truth I think is, he knows our feelings, but I’m sure he has no empathy for anyone!). HG, can you explain why narcs believe they are HSPs (maybe in a video)?

    Also 3 weeks after we met (everything was going great – so I believed), when he came back from a work trip (where he was keeping constant contact with me), he came to see me the same night, when we had sex for the first time (very mechanic), and after that he said he needed a few days to “re-fill his energy cup” to recover from his trip (BS!). I explained I’d give him his space, but that too much space would push me away. From then on he changed and we started seeing each other less and less.

    He lost interest I think because I never went after him or called him, I just explained what his pulling away was doing to me = I was also pulling away as a consequence. HG, I think he put me on the shelf, because I didn’t give him the fuel he needed?

    Still not sure he was a narcissist or not, I suggested last week that “we could meet and discuss what was going on so he could share his feelings, and maybe we could go back to how our initial connection was”, and he copied the part of my text message btw quotes and replied to me saying he said that in 2 weeks he would be available and that everything would make sense then (nothing he says makes sense a actually!). Total future faking, asking me to wait until he is available in the future, in my opinion. HG, can you confirm my assessment?

    He still calls me every now and then as if nothing was happening. I did watch your video “Crumbs of Conversational Comfort” and I can totally see what he is doing.

    1. I didn’t think he was a narcissist because it took 3 weeks for him to have sex with me, and he never texted me or contacted me as much as a typical narc would during seduction, so I thought he was a normal guy and was giving him the benefit of the doubt.

      1. Thank you, HG! I will watch Angels with Dirty Faces and Narc Detector – again. 🙂

      2. Just a quick question: does “not coming under his control” means that I wasn’t going after him during the pull away phase? And is this “pull away” considered a form of silent treatment? Or was that just him putting me on the shelf?

        1. It could include that yes.
          It depends on how the ‘pull away’ was performed.
          I need more information about your specific circumstances and recommend you organise an email consultation.

    2. Hi sarita…it sounds to me you were shelved. The abrupt way his feelings changed which he never felt in the first place. There was likely someone or a few in the background he was involved with. The still calls every now and then is to see if youre still there available and probably a surge of fuel that youre in his mind still interested. Total disregard as to how hes treated you but prime example how were objects there to be used gor their needs.

  16. This poll is excellent for many reasons, but especially for people new to the blog. So many comments are demonstrating that there were signs (and specifically what they were) that were ignored or glossed over for various reasons. It shows time and again similar tactics used by the narcissist so that people reading can see they are not alone or imagining it. In time they will also see that they can no longer make excuses because their situation is far from ‘unique’ (as they once believed it to be). Further on still, hopefully they will accept what has happened to them and find strength and motivation in the comments many have written here about the truth, and being able to come out of the fog of addiction and manipulation to be able to return to their true selves. Then they can add their stories and comments for the people who come after them. And on it goes…

    Time, distance from the narcissist (GOSO), and the very best in information brings clarity. Clarity allows logic. Logic equals freedom.

    Thank you all for looking back (which is seldom easy) in order to pay it forward for others. Also, thank you HG, for asking the pertinent questions and for providing the answers that leads to that clarity.

  17. I had a really weird gut feeling that used to crop up every now and again.
    I noticed at times he sounded ,well robotic and scripted.

    Yes that robotic use of the same phrases of endearment and passion had me sensing something was just off.
    Sometimes I wouldn’t feel it then other times I felt like I was listening to an audio book it was very strange but subtle.

    Sometimes I just couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was but my instinct knew it was weird.
    Also eye contact was off.
    I found it unnerving to gaze into his eyes ,there was something assessing and calculating there.
    I wrote recently about a guy giving me lots of eye contact and well its a glorious feeling if I’m honest but with ex narc it wasn;t like I wanted to drown in his eyes as.they seemed almost predatory.

    Kiki

  18. My ex narc was living in England when we started talking online. I was still living with my husband but getting ready to leave because we had decided to break up. Anyway the ex narc wanted me to agree to be his girlfriend really fast. I thought that was an odd thing to ask since I hadn’t even moved away from my soon to be ex husband’s house. And the fact that this was really just an online relationship, we had not met in person yet. I felt really uncomfortable with the whole idea but went along with it anyway because I really liked the narc. That was a huge red flag I totally missed.

    1. I know Kelly. Sounds creepy how, huh? “I love you and I always will. We will always we connected.” Fuck you no we won’t.

  19. I missed the one abiut wanting to move in too fast too soon and talking about getting married. After our first fight however the marriage talk went away also the compliments as well. We were together for five years on and off of course. I always knew there was something wrong with him but I only resently didcovered that he is a Narcissist and how to save myself.
    Thank you H.G. Tudor

  20. Sorry if my comment ended up under Letter To a Narcissist

    That twitching robotic body language is hallmark and noticeable already on the very first date.

    As soon as the narcissist notices a group of teenage girls outside the restaurant, or walking by the two of us, or sitting at another table,
    his whole body makes a sudden short twitch.
    They all do this twitching – midrange or greater, every last one.
    Not like normal men, who only notice with their eyes.

    Obviously knee-jerk and hardly observable, but also designed to keep you on your toes.

    1. That twitch, yes! NEx learned to control the eye flicker whenever a female was in range (a quick stab with a sharp fork cured that) but the body jolt/twitch thing never went away. I didn’t even need to look to know there was a likely female in his line of vision.

  21. I was a teenager and had never even heard the word narcissism, back in the 80s. He was my roommate. I should have known when he kept violating the “occupation agreement”, but he was funny, had many women best friends, and only trashed his immediate ex. When I bailed him out, he knew he had a sucker on the line, and love bombed me, blocked &lied to my other prospects.
    I regret the day I met that “Damn Yankee”!

  22. Other flags, I got the sense that they were holding back something boiling underneath. At two times when I didn’t provide an emotional reaction to them doing something that would have warranted one I felt instinctively like they wanted to hit me but that they wouldn’t because they we’re controlling it. And twice that they wanted to sexually assault me but were instead trying to get me to initiate it. (Confusing, I know)

  23. The exes: They were “fruitcakes”, he’d say. Little did I know there were FOUR exes before me. Only three are living. The other committed suicide. In just a few days, I’ll be the fifth. Guess who’s the common denominator.

    Message bombardment: he emailed me, messaged, called all the time, five minutes after a 2hr convo, he’d call again to say he missed me. He watched location and knew when I got close enough to town (I didn’t have strong phone signal during part of my drive to/from work) to call. He seemed aggravated (he called it anxious to talk) if I didn’t get in touch as soon as I could.

    Excessive compliments: to name a few, I was “the love of his life”, his “dream come true”, his “angel”, “heaven-sent”, everything he’d been searching for, my eloquence was “mesmerizing”, I got him “back to life, back to going out and doing things again”, I had the softest hair, the softest lips, the smoothest long legs, the “most beautiful breasts he’d ever seen on a woman”, my eyes “melted” him, he didn’t “have words” to describe our sex, everything was “the best…”.

    Dark side: I distinctly remember telling him he was so sweet to me and his reply. “Nah! I’m just a man with an evil plan. {soft chuckle} You should run away as fast as you can.” I don’t know why the statement stuck in my mind at the time. I thought he was being modest and kidding. Still, there was something about it that made me feel slightly uneasy, but I chalked it up to my paranoia. It is clear in my memory. Years later, after discarding me the first time, he referred to having warned me I should have run. Chilling. He has also, a few times, had moments of introspection (never lasted more than a couple minutes) when he would tell me he knows if there’s a hell, he’s going there, and that he is terrified to die because of all the “wicked” things he’s done in his life. He has laughingly told a story about one of the “fruitcakes” and how he made her so angry, she came after him with a knife, couldn’t get the door open to the room he had run to, and that he could take me to that house and show me the 17 holes she stabbed into the door. He’s very amused by that memory.

    He got a place for us to move in together six months after we started talking.

    He claimed to have been separated (living apart) for over a year and just waiting for the divorce to be final, but fairly recently I creeped on that ex and found something she posted four months AFTER me and the narc began talking. It said “it’s sad when you spend 9 years of your life with someone only for it to end overnight.” Hmm.
    I’m so very very sorry. I had no idea. I had no idea.

  24. For me, it was the lying. First big whoppers my logical thinking knew just couldn’t be completely true, but painted him with an overweening need for sympathy so, since I did believe he deserved it, I just shrugged and accepted. Then it was the stupid lies, the ‘so fucking obvious it’s not true’ lies…The ones I caught him out on but didn’t dare do so to his face or suffer another massive pout session or silent treatment. I kept track though, my LT wouldn’t let go. I could write a list spanning pages of them, each more ridiculous than the last. Funny thing, HE believed every one of them. As if, just by saying so, they had to be true.
    Yes, it was the lying that was the first red flag I ignored and shouldn’t have.

  25. HG, I just had to comment that there is no end to your wisdom and knowledge.

    I have mentioned that I monitor a somatic Lesser I knew briefly. I do so because I find it fascinating to see your articles play out in real life.

    I had mistakenly thought he was w/o a Primary Source, but here is the progression:

    When I knew him yrs ago he was involved with a girl that he never called his girlfriend, merely ‘girl I date.’

    He was flirting w me and juggling ‘girl he dates’ among others he is also bouncing at once.

    Then he suddenly finds a gf and is all of a sudden willing to “commit.” Loses interest in me and ‘girl he dates.’

    He and new gf move in together, she is 16 yrs younger and in less than 6 months since they get together she is prego. He never marries her.

    3 yrs later I see ex gf has new guy and somatic appears to be alone (no pics of him with any sources on social media).

    I do some digging and find he has been married since April this year to a girl he only met a few months ago on Tinder wherein they eloped in Las Vegas.

    All were young single mothers.

    I remember your article saying that he would have a primary source but could be keeping it hidden b/c he does not want the ex to mess things up. Their breakup appears to have been bad.

    And I am safe watching on the sidelines. This is fascinating.

    It is almost as though he is ‘upping’ the next relationship. #1 won’t call her his gf, meets #2 and she IS is gf all over social media and impregnates her yet won’t marry, then instantly meets #3 and marries in just a few months.

    I feel sorry for #3. She seems like a nice, empathic single mom. Shitty tastes in books and films, but at least has an ok job, unlike #1 and #2 who seemed to slum it.

    I imagine he was desperate to secure a Primary Source and saw some residual benefits with her, which he would not achieve with the previous bum girlfriend, who didn’t seem to have ANY ambition.

    At least this one has a degree, which is something. He will likely get her prego ASAP and she will be stuck. Poor girl has no idea what a manipulator she fell into.

    He could inspire bad poetry: ‘Oh, mothers to my many children, how can I count thee?’

    He CANNOT be alone.

      1. HG:

        Just to follow up. Am I correct in assuming that when a narcissist behaves in this way it is not only done out of the necessity to secure a primary source but also to hurt the ex?

        (Unwilling to call the 1st one his gf/acknowledge her but then suddenly has no problem doing so with #2, blasting their ‘love’ on social media and impregnating. Yet unwilling to marry #2 but will instantly drop everything and marry #3 after only knowing her a few months.)

        I have heard of other accounts where a narcissist will say he NEVER wants kids with one victim but then will marry and impregnate someone else instantly.

        In my mind, this is just another sting to the ex, asking, ‘Why was I not good enough for him to marry/have children with yet she is?’

        Is this their deliberate intent to hurt? Who other than a narcissist marries that fucking fast?

        To love devotees, this behaviour makes one think that he isn’t a ‘commitment phobe’ if he just finds the right woman. ‘See, he’s changed!’

        I mean, he was willing to marry and commit all along, it just took him meeting this chick on Tinder 3 months ago for it to happen.

        I apologize if this question seems daft but these actions are so erratic and outside my line of thinking I just wanted to make sure.

        1. It is all about control.

          1. If the narcissist can exert control without marrying, then marriage does not happen.
          2. If the narcissist needs to exert control and this is best achieved by marrying, then marriage occurs.

          What happens of course is that the relevant victim in (1) looks at if from her/his worldview (i.e. non-narcissist) and thinks ‘I must not have been good enough’ and wonders whether they were not good-looking enough, kind enough, earned enough, interesting enough etc when it is nothing to do with those things.

          We will do and say whatever is necessary to assert and maintain control. This may require little effort (the preferred approach for the narcissist) or greater degrees of effort and its manifestation varies dependent upon various factors (school of narcissist, level of control needed, the constitution of fuel matrix, fuel levels etc).

  26. The funny thing is… I used to tell him he had red flags coming out of him lol.

    Biggest red flag I ignored : when I tried to be very sensible and logical at the beginning of our relationship (I was not at all interested in him before he came after me, we worked at the same
    Office and I honestly barely knew he was alive) anyhow he triangulated me within days with his Ex narc girlfriend…. I would tell him that he was free to do what he pleased and that we did not have an established relationship. Inside I knew I just wanted to watch and see what he would
    Do first.

    But what derailed my logical
    Thought was him constantly encouraging me
    To say my “feelings” about it. He wanted me
    To get upset. And he kept subtlety encouraging it.

    Now I will never forget that. And it will never happen again.

    People act the way they want to act and there’s not a thing I could ever do about it. They show you who they are so I will be paying attention to actions… not words in the future.

    1. Express emotions? Haha you’re so illogical compared to me and my control! Don’t express emotions? How dare you you heartless monster, how could you be so cruel to me.

    2. Empath007….so true actions dpeak louder than words! Trust what you see and sense. Words are just words and can mean nothing.

  27. Dismissive and/or nasty about the ex(es)
    Lol. This one is an understatement.

    Message bombardment
    The messages were coming all day long starting at 6am.

    Excessive compliments
    Constant over the top flattery. I was “fucking gorgeous, intelligent, interesting and funny” and then every variation of those adjectives 🙄🙄🙄

    Wanting to be together all of the time
    He knew this was not possible, but he would always say he wished I was there with him. How it’s unfair that we only had this stolen time t. He’d say he “understood my situation, but he didn’t care. He wanted to be with me whenever and wherever that could happen.”

    Wanting to live together with undue haste
    I didn’t choose this one because that in particular was not discussed, however there was a ton of future faking in general. “When we are married,” “When you are waking up next to me,” “Our kids will be best friends,” “You will fit in perfectly with my family,” blah blah.

    1. The wanting to be together constantly was the main thing. I did try to slow things down and said I needed space to breathe and he would back off for a day or so and then carry on as usual with the messges from morning to night and the controlling behaviour. He insisted on cooking for me because he was ‘a great cook’ and it got to the point where he insisted on lacing my boots because his way was better.There were daily gifts.of clothes, books etc. In the space of 2 months he had given me 3 rings!. One was his dead mothers sapphire ring which he gave me for my birthday whch I found a bit creepy to be honest…Another thing I noticed was that it was never quiet in his house from morning to night, either the radio or the tv or music would be on. Is this because he didn’t like to give me time to think? Or that he didn’t like to think too much either? Both Narcs i’ve known have shared this particular trait.. constant noise or drama.

    2. “You are incredibly attractive, cosmopolitan, super intelligent, sexy and sassy.” I have to admit I read it and thought: hell yeah I am. Lol. But yes, waaaaay too much. I doubted it myself but I let him go because you know, sometimes a girl needs that. Mine didn’t future fake about getting married but we met in his house. All the time. I feel so disgusted at myself now.

      1. SP
        yes, I feel disgusted too, for not listening to my better judgement. Same script, different narc 😒

  28. This is not about romantic relationships. There were two red flags I recognized the first day I spoke to this MRN but I consciously decided to ignore them. She told me she had 1- a son with a neurological *chronic illness* and 2- asked personal, intrusive questions. I felt I was being unfair to question her integrity based on these two signs only.

    1. E.B.

      One of the most painful relationships for me was with a non-romantic Mid Ranger, which I speak about often. He still love bombed in a different way.

      He was the one who finally got me learning about narcissism. In many ways it was worse than my narcy ex bfs because I knew they never really understood me deeply, where as the Mid Ranger connected to me intellectually and creatively.

      For me that goes deeper than typical sexual attraction.

  29. I’d add crazy jealousy to this list, unless it’s already there under another guise. Very early into our relationship he told me “if you wear THAT to go dancing, we’re done.” “If I find out who your dance partner is, I’ll kill him.” “Maybe I should just piss all around here and put a big sign on you that says TAKEN.” I thought it was just macho sex play.

    First time he came over, he looked through my wastebasket in the bathroom and asked me what those pads were. When I expressed surprise that he was rooting through my trashcan (!) he said “I thought just want to be sure that I don’t get you pregnant.”

    I was 61, and he was 65. This time, I overlooked it because I thought it was his unfettered heart speaking through his tongue — real emotional honesty.

    He also told me “No one wears a dress to the dentist. They put you back in that chair and they can see everything.”

    It helps me to write these things out to see how willingly blind I allowed myself to be.

    1. Hi sisty….i once met a guy like that who latched on quickly and was super jealous and possessive it really freaked me out! I was gone after the first date and he stalked me for a week. Calling every hour. Thank god he didnt know where i lived with my parents at the time. My stepdad put an end to it by getting on the phone and telling him there would be harrassment charges filed. Excessive jealousy and possessivness imo are very dangerous red flags to ignore bc these types stalk and can be physically dangerous. It still scares me and gives me a icky feeling.

  30. Abuse tolerance testing during the love bombing stage. He would occasionally say something really awful in an offhand way, usually as he was leaving the room. I would be left thinking? Huh? That was weird. And then forget about it because next minute he was all lovey again. I also completely missed all the signs of cheating because I trusted him and he was good at hiding it.

  31. For me it was the constant attention and
    wanting to be with me constantly. Buying me clothes almost daily. Lacing my boots, cooking my food. The constant noise. Tv or radio or music. There was never any quiet time. Also in the space of 3 months he had given me 3 rings including his dead mothers sapphire ring on my birthday which was just too much and a bit creepy if i’m honest. Every time I told him to back off he would for about a day then carry on..

    1. fauxfur, I had a very traumatizing experience with my first live-in boyfriend that involved being abusively smothered to death. PTSD-worthy. I actually think that played quite a bit into my later experiences.

  32. It was a combination of OTT flattery and intense seduction in MMR fashion, in sync with the seduction lines HG put up for educational reasons a few weeks ago. I was fresh out of a relationship when we met and very vulnerable at that time and he was well aware of this.

    Initially, I enjoyed his attention and his ‚care‘. I remember he invited me to his apartment on the second or third date and cooked a candlelight dinner while making a big fuss about how he spent the entire day cooking and tidying up “just for you”, bombarding me with messages, telling me he was so excited and nervous about seeing me again. He showed great care and concern when I was feeling unwell and insisted on bringing me home at night after each date. It was flattering, but I felt weird about his behaviour simultaneously because it was ‚just to soon and too much’ in combination with intense OTT flattery about my appearance.

    There were many more red flags such as future faking, talking about wanting to have children within the first weeks, talking about wanting to spend as much time together as possible. I remember he often preferred to study at my apartment, so we spent much time studying together, in physical proximity, rather than in the library with fellow students which was another red flag. He repeatedly mentioned he liked me and enjoyed my company so much that „I could be around you all day.“

    It was only on our third or fourth date that he mentioned he had a baby son with a former affair. He explained it with “fear of giving a  bad impression and losing you“. I felt extremely uncomfortable and wanted to end our entanglement, but interestingly enough, it was other people around me who tried to convince me that he could have had sincere intentions by not being upfront about this fact earlier in our entanglement. There were further inconsistencies with regard to other women, both successors and potential predecessors and triangulation right from the start. Most of the time, he depicted himself the victim of those women (pity plays, blame-shifting).

    There were several boundary violations – for instance, he left my apartment after one of our earlier dates and then came back, asking to stay overnight with me because he had missed the last tram which was a lie. He also alluded to having a dark side by telling me on one or two occasions that I did not know what I was getting myself into and that most women “would lose themselves in him”.
     

    1. Saskia
      I can relate so much to your seduction. “bombarding me with messages, telling me he was so excited and nervous about seeing me again.” “It was flattering, but I felt weird about his behaviour simultaneously because it was ‚just to soon and too much’ in combination with intense OTT flattery about my appearance.” Every alarm was going off in my brain that it didn’t feel right, but I allowed it to continue because it felt so good.

      1. Joanne

        Thank you for your comment. 

        I can relate so much to that as well.

        I cannot count the many times the ‘wtf alarm’ went off only for me (my ET) to quickly find another creative, comforting excuse or alternative explanation to his shady behaviour. Like you and so many other readers, I wanted to believe in his narrative about me  – in the fantasy we BOTH created about ‘us’. I was so hungry for affection and care at that time and thus susceptible to his attention (= his laser focus on me).

        Friends who were of both critical mind and most sensible, pragmatic, non-romantic nature used the term ‘fixated’ which was the aptest description because, in the early stages, his devotion felt flattering but simultaneously suffocating, as if he was trying to engulf and ‘imprison’ (isolate) me.

        I remember seduction lines that were so over the top I had to prevent a laugh – not because I wanted to make fun of him but rather because his statements were so off laughter would have been my spontaneous reaction in other instances. I remember he showed me one of his paintings that was already a few years old at the time. He solemnly stated, with a most earnest expression on his face, that the woman in his painting was me and wasn’t it romantic that he had already painted me all those years ago before we even met? It could only mean we were meant to be. 

        I never considered myself a love devotee – I feel very cynic in comparison with many other people who have this ‘innocent’ and hopeful believe in the power of love – so, this is just one of so many examples where I not only dismissed my gut feeling about things being weird but also, my beliefs, standards and values.
         

        1. Saskia
          Wow – the painting…. I am just like you in that I consider myself a cynic, especially when it comes to romantic lines and gestures. Never would have thought of myself as a love devotee. And as outlandish (and almost comical) as lines such as the painting would have seemed, I know I would have eaten it up and convinced myself it was a sign that it was “fate” – another overused theme we were both running with. (Thank you for also calling out that it was a fantasy that we were BOTH creating by that point. So true.)

          Everything you said makes me wonder even more how they are able to so effectively penetrate our shield of cynicism. HOW?

          1. Joanne

            “…how they are able to so effectively penetrate our shield of cynicism. HOW?”

            I think that the ‘shield’ that is cynicism – as you pointed out – can set up for the very trap one tries to avoid by being overly guarded and sceptical: To be seduced by someone who is well aware of one’s reluctance and the underlying vulnerability and, therefore, might double or even triple efforts to win over and ‘conquer’. And for some people, seducing and convincing someone who appears overly sceptical, guarded and reluctant at the outset might be extra rewarding.

            As for cynicism – I did not have a convincing role model including essential hall- and landmarks for love/a healthy relationship. So, despite craving love and connection on some level, I was prone to unrealistic ideas about relationships and also, lacked the self-assertiveness to trust my judgement, my beliefs, needs and wants, especially when I was younger. While cynicism had formed as a reaction against disappointment, ‘failure’ and rejection that I associated with my experience of love up to that point, hidden underneath that shield were, nevertheless, (unmet) emotional needs and wants. I believe it set me up for a self-fulfilling prophecy because, not knowing what I was lacking/missing or looking for, made me vulnerable to flattery and deceit.

            Concerning your question – I think there are many complexities and various factors that are related to our background, experiences, personalities and thus may differ significantly for each one of us while there might be some similarities. I am sharing my thoughts based on my experience and personal background, and they might not be (fully) applicable to your or other readers’ situations – perhaps sharing still helps to provide one explanation of many to the HOW.

            When I think back to my entanglement, I realise how effective the salami slicing approach was in reducing my initial reluctance. As an isolated event, the statement about the painting was, of course, downright outlandish and cringe-worthy. But it can quickly lose its repelling effect when embedded into an ‘orchestrated campaign’ of events and behaviours that are designed to hook into one’s vulnerabilities and seduce. At that point, we had already shared intimacy; there was an intense ‘chemistry’/attraction that I enjoyed and equally craved, the concerted effort to ‘convince’ me of his sincerity, he appeared vulnerable which created the appearance of having a lot in common and being ‘connected’. The situation as a whole not only activated many of my empathic traits, he also felt so ‘familiar’ on many levels.

            The whirlwind of (contradictory) statements and behaviours, intimacy, attention, the drip-feeding of information combined with dropping an occasional truth bomb, rarely allowed to reconsider and thouroughly evaluate single events. The combination with constant appraisal and attention destabilises, confuses and thus heightens ET, causing to crave more and concentrate on the ‘big picture’ by overlooking so many cues that are not compatible with core values, beliefs or preferences. In an attempt to reconcile the alluring fantasy we were co-creating with the harsh reality and while under the influence of ET, the facts of the situation – red flags such as the statements and deal breakers quickly became a mere ‘difference in character’ or an ‘inconsistency’ – which made him merely ‘flawed’ and therefore human. They paved to way to manifold follow-up excuses about subsequent misbehaviours and red flags.

            Add to that the unique power and ‘magic’ that lies in future faking, fantasising, day-dreaming and living in a mental bubble that creates a respite/niche from a reality that can be harsh and disappointing at times. Being made ‘special’, mainly when one is not used to such attention, the fantasy of the many possibilities – in a distant future – can be very tempting, particularly when in a vulnerable state or fearing another (relationship) ‘failure’. While I – my more rational side – objected against the romanticised notion of fate, the fantasy we both created was more comforting than the reality which would have meant to trust my judgement and take appropriate action = take responsibility for myself.

            And who, in such a ‘unique’ situation and under the influence of ET, would want to face the discomfort that comes with having to step out into the unknown by taking action when there is something so new and exciting (distracting)?

             

          2. Saskia
            Thank you so much for that well though out reply! I’ve copied and saved it. Everything you say makes all the sense to me. The level of effort that must be made to penetrate such a shield is so much higher, yet once it happens – their reward is so much greater. Add to my own situation, the fact that I am married, and he definitely felt like he was something special.

            The other things you’ve mentioned, the salami slicing approach, the connection and familiarity. The magic and the mental bubble! Wow. Although my entanglement was brief, these are all things that I can apply even in my situation.

            Your in-depth explanations are so helpful. I’ve spent so much time these past few months analyzing HIM and the “how/why.” Now it’s time to look within myself and really own the part that I played in all this. Thank you again ❤️ I’m grateful to be sharing this healing process with you.

          3. Joanne
            Thank you so much for your kind words ♡ – I’m glad I could offer some helpful perspective by sharing parts of my story. I like this community – it is good to know that we are not alone with our experience. 
            My situation in the second part of my involvement was similar –  I was not married but in a formal relationship and I entirely understand the complexities of such a dynamic.
            The healing journey includes many milestones depending on our personal situation and potential ‚issues‘ or ‘roadblocks’ that are unique to our case and background. From my perspective, you challenged yourself by facing very uncomfortable truths about him and the situation and that is already a huge step in the process. You can be proud of that. It takes as much time as it takes.
            You sound strong and aware, and I wish you continued healing and empowerment.

          4. That’s a great explanation for how the process happens, Saskia. I especially liked the part about fearing a relationship failure. It’s amazing what a part that can play in being sucked in. “I want to have a healthy relationship” can really get someone into trouble. I found it an issue even in female platonic situations. But actually if I think about it, why would I be thinking that in a female platonic relationship at all? It seems kind of an indicator that the person might be a narcissist and pressuring a relationship, which is actually not normal, thus causing me to feel failing that person. And I think the fear of failure feeling initially came from heavy criticisms from my mother.
            But all of it, I relate to the description of not knowing what I need and want because of having unrealistic ideas while also being very skeptical and the part about assertiveness.

            I also think there is something where the person being almost “off kilter” or exhibiting red flags amidst the other factors gives me something to be patient about and almost feels good in a way. Like it looks like a vulnerability and I don’t mind letting people be flawed and kind of “wrong”.

            I now know better.
            Great description, Saskia.

    1. I got that one about a year into the relationship. So thankful for HG. Really helped put the pieces of the puzzle together!! This one was secretive and he was huge about “he’s very PRIVATE “. Now 9 years later I realize why. What a huge lesson to learn.

      1. Mine was huge about being very ‘private’ too. I said, you are not private. You are secretive. There is a difference.

  33. The most prominent red flag for me was wanting to be together all the time. WHY do narcs do this in the initial stages of a relationship? I found it annoying and a little scary, particularly as it is the polar opposite of what occurs later in devaluation.

    1. 1. It is driven by infatuation, you are deemed wonderful, golden and brilliant.
      2. We are feeding off your positive fuel.
      3. We monopolise your time to bind you to us to secure control over you.
      4. We monopolise your time to learn more about you.
      5. We monopolise your time to ward off potential threats to our control (other suitors, your friends or family who may for some reason take gianst us).

      1. I actually have anxiety when a normal person expresses interest. A friend pointed it out—the story is irrelevant how it came up in conversation but it’s true. I’m naturally drawn to arrogance and conceit. Now they haven’t all been downright arrogant—but it’s my natural inclination. I target them just as much as I’m targeted in a way. My first husband was the one girls wanted and couldn’t have so it was even more of an allure—he was dismissive of people. It’s part of why I was so confused whether I was the narcissist coupled with having had zero issue being treated like a princess with the one throwing money around like water.. He actually never treated me poorly—he cheated which is bad but I don’t think the full spectrum always occurs in certain time frames. Again, more reason for confusion. I’ll never pretend I didn’t do the dance too.

        1. You are, but it is your emotional thinking governing this supposed attraction. Get that under control and you will find the anxiety with regard to a normal person will disappear.

          1. Get my emotional thinking under control. I totally flirt with these men. I don’t even want one but it’s a natural thing for me. Am I an attention seeking borderline? I sure hope not. I’m way too vain to scar up my arms though.

          2. Omg. I’m going to read a book and get off here. I’m inundated with my deplorable dysfunction and can’t take it anymore.

          3. Claire and here I thought I was the only one that had to have him help me figure out the time! Lol. 😘🙃

          4. No! The most recent time change messed it all up—I’m innocent and I used to be fine. I can’t understand why but ultimately the end result is that among many deficits I clearly can’t tell time or add 4 or 5 hours.

          5. Claire I now have the five hours that they are ahead clear in my mind, but when it comes to daylight savings time and the adjustment to four hours for a few weeks in the spring and fall, I still struggle! 😂

          6. Oh it’s just for a few weeks! That’s why I remain lost. It’s maddening.

          7. Claire yes your good now until fall, in which time we will be confused for a few weeks again! 😂🙃

          8. Why can’t they be on target with us though? Why a few weeks? What is the point? It should all be the same.

          9. Claire & FM1T,

            “Claire and here I thought I was the only one that had to have him help me figure out the time!”

            Your conversation had me giggling; don’t feel bad – I had to put a widget on my phone that shows ‘my time’ in comparison to ‘HG’s time’ just for consults – so I don’t even have bother my brain on the subject…

        2. Reading your post, I’m totally the same. Often, I think I see it as like “ah finally someone intelligent who can match wits.” When really it’s someone to fight and struggle against. I’ve never met anyone who could keep up with me in banter (other than my empathic mother) who wasn’t a narcissist.

      2. How long does the golden period with the new supply last before the mask slips?
        The older the narcissist gets, does the mask slip easier? It took 25 yrs foe me to realize what he is and I didn’t understand this until this December, whe the “mask slipped off”, after being married just in November.

        Ps a HUGE red flag, the fact we were not together for years, he found I was dating, swoon in with a huge appology that I believed as it was a first time ever…long story short, we hooked up April, may I was engaged, end June married. November 11 formal ceremony and reception , December 3 shit hit fan and well here I am .I was warned not to marry him, even the priest was concerned ….

        I have been married less than a year.
        6 months into the marriage he “left”(with 4 months of yes,maybe, no,idk to me being accused of cheating and ,now we are done, or at least i am). By March he had a supply.?

        Makes me wonder as a wife, which partner I really was ? I thought primary, but who knows? I am now waiting on divorce .

        I wonder how long the act lasts before he slips up? Are there always red flags right in the beginning?

        I actually even wonder if there is this” new supply or not so nee ? Or a suppy at all? She is well hidden and protected.

        He claims there is and supposedly she has 2 kids, but who knows.

        Do Narcs make up pretend relationships?

        What I do know is he ditched our 10 year old and that blows my mind because they were always close despite our relationship, now appears since he has a gf, he no longer acknowledges his son.

        HG what goes on with the narcissist when they are quiet? I dont mean like silent treatment but that silence that is usually before storm silence.

        1. 1. Golden Period – it depends on what position the appliance is in – are they IPPS, IPSS, DLS, NISS etc?
          2. Age – see the two articles about the Aging Narcissist or Time and the Narcissist.
          3. You will have been the IPPS since you are married.
          4. There are always red flags – see the book Red Flag.

          5. With regard to a potential new appliance, there are various options and you should read The Veiled Primary Source.

          6. Yes, relationships will be fabricated. It is part of triangulation.
          7. Silence – see Bringing Down The Shutters or Why Does The Narcissist Seem So Odd.

          You have a lot of questions and there is a lot for you to take in, I would advocate you organise a consultation with me to gain insight and clarity.

        2. I checked only two:

          Odd periods of being uncontactable – explained by his job.

          Did not meet any family and friends

          Was not dismissive or extremely nasty about exes – just that she had exited his life ( and the country) with their children. And I even got to meet those children, at one point, when they were back in the country; two beautiful children (that he could have hid from me, but did not) with eyes just like him…
          The only thing he actually ever did with any sort of consistency; produce beautiful children.
          (I now have to wonder if they had EVER left the country and that it was just a story he fed me to illicit my sympathy…) But because his lifestyle read as ‘single person’ …even his place of living which was simple, uncluttered and, in my eyes, more evidence of the “truth.”
          Did not seem odd; since most of his family were not in the country and his work naturally lent itself to him spending time alone and in different cities – and he wasn’t lying about his line of work; because I agreed to meet up with him at one point out of town and witnessed him ‘on the job’…there was just enough ‘evidence’ to make any kind of “oddness” seem actually quite normal or matter of fact.

          The flags on the particular day we met for coffee are the ones that I wish I had heeded…like when he was obviously wearing a ring on his ring finger that wasn’t an actual wedding ring (instead one related to his work); so naturally I asked him outright – “Are you married to your work?” He laughed and said “Yes”…and when I asked if he was actually married; he said yes and gave his story…this is where believing in the “goodness” of people steered me wrong; because I believed that he could have chosen NOT to tell me he was married and choose to hide that fact but that the being upfront about it demonstrated a desire to be “truthful”…yes, the kernels of truth were the problem.
          (I do recall saying in my head: NEVER get involved with a married man – but then I countered that with “But he was honest in presenting that as truth, when he could have chose an alternative – so he must be an honest person…” That, coupled with how pleasant and respectful he had been with my father the first we met – to me- equalled: decency.
          The other thing I remember quite clearly – we choose a second activity that day – since he’d be heading back out of town soon. It required me traveling in his vehicle to get to that activity…I recall, while driving, noting we were not taking the most direct route to the second location – and (we laughed about this years after) I asked him point blank: “Where are you taking me?” …again he laughed…and explained that he was embarrassed to be driving around with squashed bugs on the front of his vehicle (due to driving from out of town to meet me) while ‘on a date’ – but that he didn’t have time to hit a car wash on the way to meeting me…and that he knew a particular car wash he wanted to use….
          I know now he was testing the limits of my ‘trust’ in other people and I have to shake my head at my naivety…but I was going on ‘evidence’ from our first meeting and not only that particular day…

          I no longer care if he actually reads this and recognizes himself…not if someone else reads it and realizes how easily these things (at the time) are so naturally explained away in our heads…

          1. Clarification: he said their ‘relationship had been ‘over’for a year…

          2. WhoCares, Sounds somewhat like mine from the work travel stuff to the ‘ex’ who wasn’t really an ex. But this line of yours especially struck me: ‘the kernels of truth were the problem.’ The first day I met MRN, he told me two whopper lies and two whopper truths. Because of one of those truths, I knew that one of the lies was a lie. I then had two truths and one lie on my hands. Oh what to do…of course any lie is a red flag but it is easy enough to justify – they do it and we do it too.

      3. This question opened up many memories of possible red flags.

        Road rage when road rage didn’t exist in the 80s. Freaked me out!

        Very possessive and worried about my safety. Worried constantly about me?

        Some of the red flags were equal as I did the same back to him because we were hiding the fact we married without telling anyone. It is funny when I think about being nineteen and secretly married and living at home. He made me tell my parents in the end. But he didn’t tell his until his sister found out. She told them.

        Being in the car with my narc was always a constant battle. I went five years of refusing to ride in the car with him. The road rage stopped and he found other annoying tactics to get emotional reactions from me. Ridiculous in the end. Never try to teach or help an adult what’s right or wrong.

    2. For me it was the wanting to be together all of the time. So much so that I told him he needed to give me space to breathe, which he would for about a day then it would just carry on. The constant attention drove me mad…and buying me clothes almost daily and the gifts.. in the space of 2 months he had given me 3 rings including his late mothers sapphire ring on my birthday.. It got to the point that he would even lace my boots because I kept doing them wrong!!! One thing I also noticed was that his house was never quiet. If the tv wasn’t on it was the radio or music constantly. Whereas my home was the opposite. I assume this was because he didn’t like to give me time to think

  34. I think the list is shorter for the ones that I did listen to I have doubted myself every time

  35. Hello, H.G.Tudor.
    Well in my specific case, now I see some of these flags, but at the time to be honest, I saw nothing at all. I would be totally hypnotized, my eyes were in hypnotic spirals. Honestly I didn’t see anything at all, for me everything was normal, I suppose it was because I never previously related with people. My life as an adult and interactions with other people began at the age of 18. My life was home, school, school and home. I didn’t have a basis for social interaction, friendships and that sort of thing. Today, it’s still something similar possibly because I have socialization problems and shyness.
    Today, more sociable but never as in the period of my narcissist, his need to know and interact with other people was simply addictive. Always with people, always knowing people. Simply in my case, people totally in the extremes the super friendly and me super withdrawn.
    Now I understand that this was not because of their need to be friendly but because of their need to continue to know people to hunt for more and more fuel and incorporate these people into their fuel matrix.

    1. The Dark Side

      MRN: I’m an angel but I’m really the devil.

      LRN: When I’m in my abyss…
      The season of the abyss is upon us

    2. I even had his relationship history with cheating on second wife, going back to her when relationship with replacement IPPS went sour. Confession that he already cheated on second wife before they were married. That he married her because he knew she wanted to be married. That he triangulated second wife and IPSS (“I dont know why it was stupid of me “). That he went to the golf course during especially fertile days when one of my predecessors wanted to try for a baby. My immediate predecessor was labelled “crazy”. I asked why he was together with a crazy woman if she was crazy and he had no answer. I asked what he liked about her and he had problems saying, ummed and erred and said that she was good looking and a good cook. Good lord there were so many red flags but they were all bombed to shit by my ET when he said but I’m different now, I can change and I want to reflect this stuff with you.

      Never again, I intend to stay dry.

    3. J.G The one,
      re “his need to know and interact with other people was simply addictive. Always with people, always knowing people… this was not because of their need to be friendly but because of their need to continue to know people to hunt for more and more fuel and incorporate these people into their fuel matrix”
      On of my siblings was (still is) like him. I knew there was more to it than just being an extrovert.

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