In The Blink Of An Eye
The world has become a faster place. Cars have steadily increased in speed, trains thunder along the tracks and aeroplanes race through the sky. A jet fighter is particularly quick as it breaks the sound barrier, an e-mail can carry a message from one side of the planet to the other in an instant and a television broadcast can encircle the globe in seconds. Whilst the world has become progressively faster, speed has always lurked somewhere. Few things have been faster the law of succession of the monarchy. “The King is dead, long live the King” encapsulates that the moment James I died in 1625 then his son Charles I became the king within a dying breath. The striking of a flint stone that caused a spark to ignite and thus fire to come forth was a further example of how speed has always been evident. Notwithstanding these historical examples and the onset of technological advances which has made the world become faster and faster, few things can be said to be as quick as the time it takes for our kind to change.
From idealisation to devaluation, from worship to hatred, from cherishing you to chastising you, this dramatic shift in attitude happens with such speed that is leaves you dizzy and bewildered. One day everything is fine, there are smiles and kind words, affectionate glances and warmth but without any warning, without any indication or hint of what is to come, the position alters and does so suddenly and drastically. Gone is the affection and in its place that awful stony silence which has you repeatedly asking what is the matter? Tell me what is wrong? Have I done something to upset you? We may have just been laughing together at something and then before the echo of that laugh has faded away you are defending yourself as we launch a tirade at you. You are taken by surprise at the speed by which we have attacked you, you are so confused and stunned that you cannot even speak. You may have even paid us a compliment as we sat having dinner with friends and you turn to look at us to find we are glaring at you or you are on the receiving end of a scathing put-down. The shift from happiness to sadness, pleasure to nastiness and joy to despair is dramatic as it is swift. How many times have you remarked
“It is like someone flicked a switch” ?
A light turns on and off in an instant. We turn on and off you in an instant. This change is utterly bewildering and causes considerable consternation and concern for you. You always ask what is wrong, but of course that will just annoy us and irritate us all the more because you should know what is wrong. You should be second guessing us. If you loved us you would know what was wrong wouldn’t you? How many times have you heard that line hurled at you before a plate or glass follows? But why do we change so rapidly and seemingly without reason ?
I have explained on many occasions and no doubt will continue to do so that you fail to grasp and understand the dynamic of your relationship with our kind because you look at that dynamic through your world view. You apply the logic and rules and reason of your approach to life to a situation which follows our rules because we created the world in which both you and I now reside. We dragged you into this false reality when we seduced you. It is both a fairytale and a nightmare where nothing seems to make sense,but if you looked at it through our eyes it makes perfect sense. So, let me avail you of some understanding from our point of view as to why this change happens, why it is so quick and why is hurts so much.
We may be laughing together but I don’t think that you laughed as loud or as heartily as you should have done at my witty remark or entertaining quip. Pathetic? Yes by your standards but not by mine. Your role is to pump out that positive fuel and you have not done so to the expected level by not laughing loud enough. This offends me. You have criticised me and just like the spark arising from the flint above you have ignited my fury and it manifests as me lashing out at you.
We may be sitting peacefully in the living room, music playing in the background and enjoying a lazy Sunday reading the newspapers and then the paper is hurled to the floor and we are attacking you verbally. In that supposedly pleasant silence we remembered a remark you made two weeks ago which was critical of something we had said. We berated you at the time but that does not matter. As you know, we love to bring up the past. The recall of that event burns at your unwarranted criticism and once again our fury has been ignited resulting in you having your placid Sunday shattered as a shouting match ensues.
You may have just complimented our shirt and trousers but you forgot the shoes. We then forget the compliments you provided to us and solely focus on the compliment you should have given us. We are elevated and superior to you and you should recognise this at all times, well you would if you loved us wouldn’t you? Your failure to provide the compliment is again a criticism and our fury ignites.
What makes it worse is that we will often not tell you what the basis of the fury is and instead go on the attack by criticising you in return in order to make us feel better. We may not say you failed to compliment us about our new shoes and instead remark about how we do not like your hair the way you have styled it, which makes the situation all the more bewildering for you.
This sudden change allows us to gather negative fuel from your angry defence, tearful replies and sobbing apologies. It allows us to keep you anxious, on edge and confused which allows us to maintain control. This change makes no sense to you, even if we explained why we felt furious at the time, but when you consider it through the narcissist’s lens it makes sense in our world.
This change of heart happens because somehow you criticise us and nothing is faster than the igniting of a narcissist’s fury. As you know all too well.
14 thoughts on “In The Blink Of An Eye”
This perspective isn’t foreign to me. Something offensive happened and it might not make sense to you right away. It can be a small thing but it does “wound.” Wounding is an excellent way to describe it. The “switch off” is not done purposefully but when there is a devastating blow to your confidence the reaction is instinctive.
I react with cold fury. I go silent sometimes indefinitely. Keep in mind, the narcissist has been abusing me for a long while alrdy but I didn’t react until this time. To them it’s fixable and nothing major, definitely not their best effort, but my ability to feel good around them is gone for whatever reason. No contact follows. I totally see how they think we are the narcissist…
Greg the Greater always accused me of “pouting” and he encouraged me to “talk about it.” He thought I was Midrange. Bahahahaha!
I have a Q related to your “Bitter” blog from today (I couldn’t find a comment link under it?).
How do you think an empath would feel if they purposefully goaded a narc for negative fuel?
We couldn’t do it to someone we care about. We’d feel guilty. But I am trying to imagine the fuel felt from turning the tables (with a smile) on a narcissist this way. To clarify: a person we know is a narc and therefore do not care about them, no emotional ties.
I’ve used your insight on narc behavior and their instinctive reactions to better get along with them. Understanding them better helps me choose my reactions to their words and behavior, and avoid internalizing those things (don’t take them personally). Family narcs, coworkers etc who we prefer to be on good terms with and/or don’t want to injure.
But those we don’t care about, once we see what they are: how far do you think we can push them with little double-entendres? Would we enjoy it, or regret it? Would they see it as sport, or challenge?
I do not understand your question fully.
Do you mean the empath goads the narcissist to hurt them so the empath provides negative fuel?
Do you mean the empath goads the narcissist to become furious to provide negative fuel to the empath?
the empath goads the narcissist to gain negative fuel
*empath goads narcissist into a fury, so the empath feels negative fuel
You don’t need fuel. You’re issuing Challenge Fuel. Your challenge will have to be countered.
When I interact with narcissists I need to seriously censor my thoughts and words bc they will be triggered. It’s instinctive behavior and it goes both ways. The empath doesn’t intent to cause hurt. They are trying to “help.” Lol.
I think your question is interesting bc in and of itself you are goading and challenging HG’s perception of control by implying that an empath is the one holding the strings. That’s fascinating!
I think more so, it is reciprocal and a constant exchange. Back and forth. Push pull. Especially if the victim is strong. It can be a long battle.
I am surrounded by them (narcs). Family (mine and my spouse’s), coworkers, in the gym, etc. THEN there are the additional ones who “see” my shine and latch on.
Each group manipulates for different narcissistic gains. HG’s writing has taught me what info NOT to share, not to internalize their words (the sleek ones or sharp ones, bc they are all for effect/fuel). And he shares a plethora of other safety/defensive strategies.
So, yes: I am still an empath, but a weaponized one. I know how to lash back now, and it’s surprisingly easy.
I can’t avoid these ppl. I won’t go prodding a greater. But it is tempting to goad a lesser or midranger for sport. I wanted to hear from THE man if this is idiocy on my part. It is so… tempting.
It’s emotional thinking and you’re losing.
Jess, it seems like narcs are visual people.
They want you when they see you.
If they are unable to avoid seeing you, you have more leverage/control. For example, I had an MMA coach who had seduced me. I could see he was a narc, pretended not to notice the advances, but eventually succumbed. When he wanted to dole out a silent treatment, he could play sick for a day or two, but not for long. There were no female classmates to triangulate me against. In a class full of men, I sure could triangulate. Not my instinct to do so, but with some HG insight, I put those tips to work occasionally. He was a somatic lesser, not too bright, but fantastic physically in every way imaginable. Hearing him talk was enough to keep my interest no deeper than physical (bc ghetto slang does nothing for me but make me clench my teeth). So seeing each other six days a week kept him interested, and his allure was not overblown in my imagination bc I heard him talk six days a week.
Every now and then, he’d say “we need to stop.” I never reacted. I always txtd back “ok”. End of story. Then he’d see me the next day, and the next, and within 2-3 days he’d say “I made a mistake, I need you…” The key was keeping emotions out of it (VERY hard as an empath, but when you start seeing their words as their tools, that they are without emotion whether voices are raised or whispered sexily, not as difficult).
This no-strings, physical IPPS relationship kept us satisfied for two years. Then he broke his penis, and although he was directing traffic when he broke himself, I went from white to black. He tried to raise my gym rates, so I quit and took my business elsewhere. With no regular visual contact, I had less control. We saw each other another six months-ish, but he was unable to keep up with his own lies, and I can’t pretend to be ignorant. He was constantly trying to pick fights. I wouldn’t take the bait, so he’d go nuclear.
After a few rounds of ignoring his nuclear tantrums, I dismissed him. He tossed me a really hateful (and long) email, which I forwarded to his wife. 🔥 Thanks to HG’s tutelage, he had NO ammo against me for a smear campaign, no identifiable photos, but I had plenty to send the wife (I didn’t know he was married, she was his “strained-relationship-who-is-crazy-blahblahblah”).
Jess: *IPSS* not *IPPS*
I was secondary. Huge difference.
I like how you write aeroplanes. It sounds so odd to me as an American. I get a kick out of it every time. It sounds old fashioned.
It also sounds entirely accurate MB!
I don’t appreciate you flying over in the aeroplane and not visiting!