You Are The Competition


Should you ever ask certain people what the secret of their success is ,those asked may often reply,

“We are a partnership.”

This applies to a happily married couple, to a duo who run a burgeoning advertising agency, to the group of people who deliver excellent professional services and to the champion sportsmen and women. Think Lennon and McCartney, Laurel and Hardy, Abercrombie and Fitch, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers , Bill and Ted, Batman and Robin and Marks and Spencer. Even those who might be regarded as having achieved their success as an individual will be keen to share the glory and attribute that their success has been as a consequence of a collaboration. The pro golfer who acknowledges his Masters win was down to a joint effort between him and his caddy. The formula one driver who thanks his pit team for their expertise and lightning fast tyre changes and refuels. The Olympic diving champion who thanks his father for all the support over the years in taking him to competitions and training.

The world is geared to encouraging collaboration and driving people to come together for the greater good. It wants people to co-operate, to work together, to support one another and share. It recognises that many things become better when they are combined, joined and complemented. Consider, for example phrases such as

“Two heads are better than one.”

“The more the merrier.”

“A problem shared is a problem halved.”

“Greater than the sum of its parts.”

Look around and everywhere you will see that the world believes that combining is desirable. Gin and tonic, burger and fries, ying and yang, fife and drum, the two Steves in a garage (Jobs and Wozniak), the Owl and the Pussycat and even M & Ms. The message is simple;  together we are better.

We hate it.

We do not want to share or pool our resources. What belongs to us always remains with us. We take from others. There is no sense in working together. Not only do we jealously guard what we regard as ours, we fail to see the benefit of partnership. It is an alien concept. If we are to work and live in tandem with others this means that we have to share. We have to share the attention, the credit, the congratulations, the workload and the burden. We find this offends us mightily. There is no sense in sharing the credit with you, that means there is less for us. Less credit equates to less fuel and those are words which strike a sense of dread into our being. Nor will we share the workload by helping, we will not even share by dividing our burden with you, so we each play a part in making the task or problem easier. No, we will dump the lot on you and divest ourselves of any burden whatsoever. Should you solve the problem having been left marooned with it by us and there is the scent of praise in the air, watch how quickly we return to claim it. Yes, the situation was resolved by our quick thinking in delegating to a particular colleague. It was our decisive behaviour and keen leadership qualities which saved the day as we elbow you aside and bask in the congratulatory comments from a higher-up.

Not only will we not work together or share, even in circumstances where normal people would expect that to happen, we regard you as our competition. A couple in a relationship are ordinarily expected to bring different things to the party, support one another, look out for the other, give and take and a fruitful partnership evolves to apparent mutual benefit. That is not the case with us, We regard you as only there to be our appliance and supply us with fuel. We are not designed to do things for you (unless we can see a greater benefit arising for us). You are the enemy. You are trying to hog the limelight that we need. You question us and seek to unseat us from our position of power. Oh yes, we know your game. When you dress up elegantly all you are trying to do is make us look less desirable and shift the focus of everyone’s attention at the party on to you and accordingly you deny us the attention we desperately want. By keeping fit and in shape you are wanting people to be drawn to you, rather than us. Furthermore, you are trying to heighten your desirability so that you can acquire a new partner and leave us. We already have you worked out. You sit and read a lot. We have sussed you out again, You are doing it in the hope that you can gain more knowledge and appear superior to us. You want to belittle us. You want to be able to defeat us in an argument and make us feel small. The cooking class you have signed up for is a ruse by you to demonstrate you are the better cook at home (even though we never do any cooking) but you want to show you are superior to us. Why are you doing this? We are meant to work together aren’t we? You keep doing all these things to try and outshine us, make us look bad and exceed our abilities and we hate this.

Of course we are perfectly entitled to do anything we like to show we are better than you because we are well, better than you. It is also legitimate on our part to keep you browbeaten and under our control. We must not have you competing with us in any way as otherwise you will take away the attention and admiration of others and in turn you will remove the fuel that we need. Like any successful and domineering business (and that is what we are, a business, one that is established for the detection and extraction of fuel) the competition must be diminished and extinguished. That means you.

32 thoughts on “You Are The Competition

  1. Desirée says:

    “She is extremely competitive” was what my boyfriend at the time (Magnet Empath) told me about one of my best friends (Middle Mid-Ranger, desperately wants to be Somatic but has plenty of Victim traits). What I didn’t want to recognise was that he meant the she was extremely competitive with -me- . Always trying to measure up to me, comparing herself to me, complimenting, envying and detesting me. I never understood her moaning about her own shortcomings, I thought she was good and enough in her own right and tried to share with her and lift her up whenever I could. She would lie to me about her failures which I interpreted as shame and embellish her achievements to a ridiculous extent, yet I would cheer her for it. Reading this article with her in mind utterly repulses me. I am glad I shut her out when I saw how she tried to play me for a fool and my pride finally kicked in (and kicked her to the curb). She will never be half the woman she desires to be. I am at peace knowing that there will be a day when she realizes this, if only for a fleeting moment. Thank you for this article HG, it is not what I expected, yet all the more cathartic.

  2. IdaNoe says:

    Bill and Ted – Excellent!
    The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat!

  3. SMH says:

    Yes, this. Always jealous and in competition. Needed laughable amounts of ego stroking. I sometimes thought that I just did not exist for him but then he would pull something out of his hat that he remembered or learned from spying on me. It would completely confuse naive me because clearly the interest was there – he just didn’t want me to know. So we feel like less than zero but in fact we are the standard that narcs hold up for themselves. It is no way to have a relationship with anyone and I am glad I was able to articulate to him that he had a battle going on in his head – with himself.

  4. Kel says:

    These silly gravatars could be an interesting experiment to see if people’s perception of a comment is tilted by whether a persons gravatar is mad looking, dopey looking, or friendly looking!

  5. HooverDamn says:

    This dynamic is exactly what occurred in my marriage to narc of 21 years. He came into relationship with nothing but debt. I owned a house for 10 years prior. I helped him build successful business, stayed home to raise the kids (who were doing very well) built houses with him with myself as designer, but I was always the “enemy”. I sensed it. I felt it. I articulated it to him throughout the years. He’d always remain silent. Post discard now 2 1/2 years, he’s flying high on countless vacations with mistress, I continue to raise kids alone as primary with ZERO co-parenting support from him, and he bad mouths me to all stating I’m a bad mother. There truly is no limit to how low a narc will stoop to steal all accolades and never ever give credit where it is due.

  6. Whitney says:

    I have a feeling the MMR is envious of me. People like me and it’s what he wants the most. When I was ignoring him at a social event I realised so many people call out my name. I snuck off at the end but people noticed and were yelling out “bye Whitney!”. Same thing happened at a different social event where I was ignoring another midrange. Wonder how they felt to be my enemy? I felt like a bully.

    Do you know I would NEVER fight with a midrange because I’m not a bully? It would be so easy to smear and hurt the midrange. It hurts me to even think of hurting the midrangers who abused me. I want to build the confidence and help the midrange

  7. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

    Dearest HG: Many people still do not believe what goes on behind closed doors. Just like in the TV Series Big Little Lies: When Mary Louise saw the video that her grandson secretly filmed, of her son beating his wife, she finally understood he was abuser. Her handsome, successful, well-liked son. He beat the hell out of his wife, unbeknownst to the people in their social circle. Everyone in the courtroom then understood from the video. It took the film to speak the 1000 words that created the change in the mood of the court to understood what the wife really went through, and for her mother in law to finally believe that her son was an abuser, after her repeated denials, even though her daughter in formed her. The wife was losing her case during her testimony and cross examination. The wife made a painful but necessary decision to show the film that she discovered that her son had filmed. It took a photo to speak that 1000 words to get through to everyone, in the court, including the Judge. Not words.

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. NarcAngel says:

        Is it correct to say that Mary LW was only upset over the video of Perry beating Celeste because it damaged her facade and case, and not that she actually cared about the fact that he was beating her? That she would have dismissed it as him having probable cause? Are we still projecting and mistaking the fact that she LOOKED upset to mean that she felt for Celeste in the same way we THINK we see remorse in the narc?

        1. HG Tudor says:


          Her apparent `upset´was as a consequence that it damaged both her facade, her case and her view of her son (remember an extension of her) and had nothing to do with feeling anything for Celeste in terms of emotional empath. She has no emotional empathy and she would regard Celeste as having done something to deserve such a beating because Celeste was pained black (she was viewed as having caused her son’s death and was opposing the custody application) so Celeste is treacherous, disloyal and a snake, thus it follows (in ML´s mind) that she must have done something awful to merit the beating. Thinking her apparent upset was any compassion for Celeste is because empaths want to see compassion, redemption, a recognition of error and thus apply their own desired outcome onto the narcissist and miss what it actually is. Of course this form of projection is caused by emotional thinking.

          1. NarcAngel says:

            Thank you for your reply and for expanding. Much appreciated.

          2. HG Tudor says:

            You are welcome NA.

          3. LC says:

            Makes so much sense – thank you. It’s odd, I used to think that midrangers are the hardest to get for me because they don’t realise what they’re doing and thus they are so convincing when they say things because they themselves believe what they say. But now I now it’s greaters I really need to learn to understand better. Not least because watching ML and reading your analysis of her I think my gran who played a huge role in my childhood probably was up there with ML. It explains why my mother became unbearingly abusive like Perry. When I was small it seemed to me that my mother was trying to please /compete with her mother at punishing me but it wasn’t good enough for gran so mother punished more. I was lucky to be the scapegoated kid who at least had a normal dad… They could have broken me but they didn’t, not least because my mother died in that car crash that my grandmother blamed me for.

            Alas, I was given the ability to care and some self awareness. One must be grateful for this and I am.

            There is this text you have, HG, where you describe how narcs talk about their parents and it’s one of the ones that sends chills down my spine because I do fit the narc description in it. Except my mum did die.

            I also understand Bonnie’s hatred when faced with her mother. It could have been me with that pillow and then ending up lying next to her on her death bed because I wanted to love her. She didn’t permit it. That was the only bit of Bonnie I identified with, the rest of her got on my nerves, although I did enjoy her singing.

  8. WiserNow says:

    The narcissist can’t exist without fuel and relies on other people for the existence of their fragile facade. At the same time, they’re allergic to giving anyone else genuine credit or consideration. They need people, yet they repel them at the same time.

    There is a deep-seated fear in their hypocrisy. The power and control they absolutely need is at odds with the dependency they have on other people for ‘fuel’.

    It’s a self-defeating behaviour. They can never be satisfied. It doesn’t matter how much fuel they obtain, money they earn, fame they garner, status they achieve… it’s never enough and they always strive for more. They can’t look back and feel satisfied that they have enough. The anger and envy inside them is always percolating.

  9. WiserNow says:

    I don’t like the photo for this post at all. It’s awful. There is enough misogyny in the world already, we really don’t need any more of it.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Or rather more attention should be brought to what really is going on rather than euphemising, diluting and ignoring it.

      1. WiserNow says:

        I agree that ‘more attention’ should be brought to what’s really going on HG.

        The trouble is that there’s so much ‘going on’ already – everywhere you turn – it’s in our faces EVERYWHERE. All it seems to do is reinforce the already well-established attitudes that everyone (and men especially) seem to have… that women can be abused and belittled without serious repercussions.

        Honestly, I don’t see how depictions of ‘more of the same’ is actually doing anything constructive to change behaviours and demonstrate a more respectful attitude.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I understand your point WN, it is however the necessity of showing what this behaviour actually is and who perpetrated it. This context and accuracy is repeatedly lost.

          1. NarcAngel says:

            Perhaps to effect that, the illustration could show the bottom of his shoe EMBLAZONED with the word NARCISSISM coming down on the victim.

          2. WiserNow says:

            You are going to get a number of comments that support whatever you say, and I can already foresee that. However, I still stand by my initial comment.

            You say the context and accuracy is ‘repeatedly lost’. I would argue that the context and accuracy hasn’t even been found and brought into the open yet, let alone repeatedly lost.

            What I mean is that there are so many examples of women being demeaned in society, such as: internet porn sites, secret dark web blogs that say the most demeaning and offensive things about women, there are billboards and advertisements everywhere that glamorise women being sexual objects, there are women harassed, raped and murdered every day often when simply living their lives innocently, or by their own so-called ‘loved ones’. This is happening every day without fail and we all see it or hear about it. We have grown up with it. Our brains are conditioned to accept it. And yet, narcissism is still widely unknown and not even discussed even though it’s staring people right in the face. It’s not ‘repeatedly lost’. It is normalised and even accepted.

            There are people who will see the photo and instead of saying, ‘that man is an abusive narcissist’, they will say, ‘it’s unbelievable that women like her choose to stay with a man like that’. Photos like this one do not shock people into learning about narcissism or understanding the underlying causes of abuse. They just perpetuate the current status quo which makes men feel that it’s ‘ok’ to treat women like that.

            Also, this post is about narcissists not wanting to collaborate, or share, or give credit to others, or be part of a partnership. It is not explicitly about physical abuse or domestic violence or even sexual control. So therefore, I think any number of photos could have been chosen for the article that would have been more suitable. Why always choose a woman as the victim? There are male victims of narcissists too, and when it comes to narcissists and ‘partnerships’, a male victim would be just as appropriate.

          3. HG Tudor says:

            You are actually making my point for me.

            By linking the picture to an article about narcissism one is far more likely going to achieve someone saying “I had not linked someone who was a wife beater with being a narcissist, but I can understand how that is the case having read the article.”
            I do not always choose the woman as the victim, they are portrayed as the narcissist also and men are also portrayed as the victims. Go through the various articles and you will see that it is not “always”. Yes, there will be MORE pictures showing the woman as the victim but it is not ALWAYS.

      2. Lorelei says:

        I agree. It’s really just a visual euphemism for the real thing in my opinion.

  10. Tamara says:

    There seems to be a certain, well… vulnerability to this article. I’m not saying that you are “cute”, or anything, so no need to take offense. I’m just saying that the post, itself, radiates an ever so slight, childlike vulnerability.

  11. Tamara says:

    Oh, you are not stepping over her this time, but ‘on’ her…

  12. WhoCares says:

    It is hard to see any gain to this; it appears exceptionally maladaptive.

    1. WiserNow says:

      I agree WhoCares. Even the gain experienced by the narcissist, by hogging all the credit and always being self-serving, is going to backfire eventually as the narcissist treads on more and more people.

      1. WhoCares says:


        I see this dynamic played out so clearly with a fellow artist that I collaborated with years ago. I have always had a love/hate relationship with artistic collaborations and commissions (and for the most part I avoid them) but that particular collaboration was a turning point for me in how I viewed my own creative pursuits. I didn’t know what he was at the time but post-HG, I can see he was definitely a narcissist. He is hugely skilled at what he does and in the space of a year or two he shot to international recognition and received awards in his particular area of expertise. His confidence, charm and talent naturally drew people in and people wanted to work with him just so they could say that they did.

        I’m not saying that he didn’t put the work in to get where he is, or that I didn’t receive any benefit but there is a long chain of people that he metaphorically climbed – or even ping pong’d off of in his quick rise to success. And if my experience is evident (plus, I know other artists in his Canadian “hometown” who had similar experiences working with him) he really gives no second thought to the people (i.e. “partnerships”) that gave him a leg up.  

        He had a really sweet and supportive girlfriend at the time – who was an art teacher herself – and she is long out of the picture. I wonder if she funded his travels over seas in his early rise to “fame”…

        I recall that he couldn’t pay me what he owed at the time (this happened to other creatives who had also worked with him) for my part in his creations. Instead, he offered me a bust of Gerard Butler (actually cast from the man himself but before some of his most recognized roles).

        I remember thinking what the fuck would I do with a bust of some actor I barely know? (This was just before 300.)

        1. WiserNow says:


          I can understand what you’re saying. A typical narcissist will use and exploit people but will do it with enough charm or ambiguity to make it difficult for anyone to clearly see or say out loud what the manipulations are. They can manipulate and exploit by making the victim partly responsible, or their lies have a grain of plausible truth in them so that an onlooker can easily be swayed to see it from the narc’s perspective. They either triangulate or have supporters who will vouch for them and they twist and turn so that they avoid accountability.

          All these things are difficult to ‘prove’ because they’re ambiguous. There is no concrete evidence and the situations can have many ‘shades of grey’ to them, rather than being black and white.

          Narcissists deliberately observe and study people closely so that they get a feel for a person’s weaknesses or vulnerabilities in order to take advantage when it serves their purposes. I think they start doing it from a young age and probably spend more time on that than on most other things.

  13. Kelly says:

    Why don’t narcs just choose someone economically, socially and/or physically ‘beneath’ them as their SO? Wouldn’t that be easier and take up far less energy?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Some do, but many do not because during the seduction all of those ´superior´items are very appealing and viewed in a white light are not problematic. Come devaluation of course it all changes.

      1. Anm says:

        HG, wouldn’t you say that part of it is a cognitive dissonance? Example, my daughter’s father feels that he is superior to me by being 15 years older than me, but is also jealous that I am 15 years younger than him.
        He is an Upper Lesser so I think this Cognitive Dissonance hits him harder, but I can be wrong.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          It is an example of the external contradictory behaviour of the narcissist which you neatly sum up, but of course he will not see this as his narcissism will explain any apparent contradiction away for him.

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