Poll : What Factors Do You Think Have Caused Or Cause Your Susceptibility To Narcissists?

KTN Poll - H.G Wants To Know Post Graphic


The majority of those who are ensnared by our kind are so ensnared owing to particular inherent susceptibilities which we rely on and instinctively exploit. Based on what you have learned about yourself and your own engagements with our kind, what do you think are your susceptibilities?

Perhaps you now realise that you are chasing the ‘storm’ which you experienced during your formative years and at an unconscious level you are wanting to find that in those you engage with as an adult? It might be that you cannot but want to help the troubled and tortured souls which present themselves to you, that you find you are drawn to the challenge of such individuals. It might be that you just though lightning would not strike twice and that having been ensnared once it just could not happen again and thus your defences were lowered. Maybe you find our kind so exciting, ‘spicy’ and invigorating that everything else which is healthy feels dull by comparison?

Perhaps you find you are always struggling to accept the truth of what we are, that you believe we can find and give love, that we are wanting to and can change even though this is not the case? Or is it that you recognise your own narcissistic traits play a part in that you want those narcissists who reach the top of the tree because you feel you deserve success in various forms which some narcissists achieve? Alternatively, you may recognise that you are poor at establishing boundaries and despite your best intentions you just end up being steamrollered by our kind and drawn into a relationship or is it that being with narcissists is all you have ever known? Perhaps you always struggle to spot our kind until it is too late or that you identify potential problems but you always give the narcissist the benefit of the doubt until it is too late?

You can choose as many options are as applicable before casting your vote.

As ever, do expand on your experiences in the comments section.

Thank you for participating.


What factors do you think have caused or cause your susceptibility to narcissists?

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100 thoughts on “Poll : What Factors Do You Think Have Caused Or Cause Your Susceptibility To Narcissists?

  1. A Victor says:

    It’s all I have ever known and Storm Chasing are one and the same to me. Poor Recognition and poor boundaries were as a result of my ACON status, my parent’s did not allow, teach or encourage boundaries in any way other than they were allowed to have them and I was not. They did not teach me to recognize people who would harm me either since they themselves were harming me and yet they professed to love me. It sounds like I blame my parents for my ensnarement as an adult. I don’t like that at all, I am happy to take my own responsibility for it, for the reason that I then have more power over changing it if nothing else. But the truth is, I was ill-prepared to find a decent person to marry. Sadly I didn’t teach it well to my children either. I am hoping that with the education I am learning here that my children and myself can better prepare my grandchildren so the cycle can be stopped.

  2. Asp Emp says:

    This poll made me think, how much of my life was spent directly with narcissists? I looked at the number of years with the ones that had the most impact on me and applied that into percentages…….when one does this ‘method’, it can be rather surprising, yet not surprising….

    78% = directly with narcissists;
    42% = muvver (while living at home) yet 74% of my life while she was alive;
    25% = that knuckle-dragging-thick-as-sh*t Lesser;
    11% = whiny-shrivelled-balled-oh-woe-is-me Victim Mid-Range (possibly UMRN)

    The time is right, to sell up and move away from this ‘shanty’ town. Start again. With my ‘new’ self. I had not realised how much I needed to be mentally and emotionally ready (and stronger) to do this. Circumstances, another matter (bearable, just).

  3. Asp Emp says:

    Storm chasing? Of course, I am not referring to the weather version. Having learned to understand my own inner ‘storm’ (likened to ‘fury’) without realising what it was that ‘inhabited’ within me. Until the past year, it’s now slowly ‘calmed’ to the point of maybe a couple of rumblings, a couple of flashes of lightning – this time, I am aware of them ‘existing’. It is not necessarily the ‘residue’ of narcissistic abuse, I would suggest that it is part of me, that was present due to my grandmother’s DNA.

    Lightning doesn’t strike twice? Hmmm, yes, well……

    Excitement? Oh, yes, hell, yes! (inner ‘me’ skipping delightfully at this ‘suggestion’…..laughing). Hmmm, I don’t know for a fact which, if any, of the empath, or narcissistic traits this would ‘manifest’ from. Who cares? I don’t. I simply know I have it. Excitement. Like throwing cans of lighter fluid onto a fire……ah, that is exciting, for sure. My ‘naughty’ side……ho hum, dum de dum…..(‘twirling’ innocently, of course, smirking too LOL).

    My own narcissistic traits. Ah, yes! Damn it, yes! Woo hoo!! (gawd, I’m enjoying this LOL).

    It’s all I have ever known. Ah, yes. Definitely. The ‘conditioning’ from fk knows what specific age. Yet, if muvver writes it in a ‘diary’ when I am 3 years old, for sure, “go by the evidence” HG suggests elsewhere on this blog. Because of the very early ‘conditioning’ of narcissist parental “mother” (my arse!!), most likely, the poor boundaries and poor recognition – I only knew one way, her way. People may have made statements over the years but they did not know my ‘history’ and I did not make the ‘connection’ until I learned the main differences on this blog, I learned from a narcissist parent. Adding the fact my Aspergers would have made it difficult to know because of the lack of peer guidance from a child to know any different.

    There is a big difference in making a statement compared to mentoring, offering guidance!

    Benefit of the doubt? Bloody hell, it’s obvious. Gaslighting. Deflecting. Blame-shifting. Damaged confidence, damaged self-esteem, mental confusion, not understanding my emotions resulted.

    Truth denial? Desire to heal & fix? Yes, unconsciously aware of this. Now I know I instinctively did this. Truth denial….I only knew from what I learned as a child. It was my truth. It was her truth. Different perceptions. I ‘forced’ myself to look into myself to ‘un-bury’ the repressed memories. I had to. I needed to. For my own sanity and inner peace. I didn’t know, or realised, until I came to KTN and started my journey.

    Thank you, HG. I am now liberated and sane. In my own way. The way I was never really ‘permitted’ to be until being guided (shown how) by the ‘light’ (KTN) to locate and reclaim my own inner light.

  4. JB says:

    Somebody wrote “Daddy issues, ex seemed familiar.” Spot on for me.

    I love the polls, HG!

  5. Kat says:

    I selected everything but “my own narcissistic traits,” as neither of the two I’ve fallen for were particularly successful in that regard. Not to say that they’re bums – they’re comfortable and moderately successful, but that was not on my radar.

    I fell for their seemingly good hearts, how caring, compassionate, and loyal they were.

    With the first, I was highly attracted to his fun-loving spirit and his constant on-the-go mentality. He was always laughing. After coming out of an abusive relationship (not narcissistic) and having that initial relationship consume my life from my senior year of high school through my early 20s, I was drawn to what a contrast he posed and wanted to experience that life with him. It was fun – but it was equally devastating. 3.5 of the 4 years I dedicated to him resulted in daily stomach upsets that increased in severity by the end of it. Instincts, Kat. Instincts.

    With the second, I was drawn to his apparent desire to let me help heal his wounds from his past relationships, the apparent mutual desire to grow and improve ourselves and to offer the other what others had taken advantage of in the past – essentially, to love and be loved the way we deserved. We supposedly shared similar pasts in terms of romantic entanglements. I fell for the idea that we were destined to be together, having such deep and soulful conversations from the very first night we met, and having so much in common – from what we sought in a relationship, how we envisioned our perfect future, down to our love of riding motorcycles. Oh, what a fool I was to fall in love with myself. That sentence makes me want to vomit. Guess I have work to do if I feel repulsed writing that I love myself. This dynamic was so incredibly powerful that I went against what I’d initially made clear to him – I was perfectly content being single and was not interested in a relationship of any kind. We’ve recently passed our 6-year mark.

    That said, perhaps the narcissistic traits also played a role, and it’s something that my unconscious is blocking me from, as I do tend to steer clear of consciously thinking and behaving in ways that remind me of those I’m desperate to get away from. I’ll add it to my list of things to dig deeper on.

    “Storm Chasing” – In between these two relationships, I took off nearly a year and a half to find myself, to make sense of my experiences, to heal, learn and grow from them. I read somewhere that we look for relationships that make us feel the way we did in childhood.

    I took a long, hard look at my buried memories and realized – holy hell, I did exactly that. I felt lonely, isolated, worthless, like nothing I did was ever good enough, unlovable, invisible except when I was needed for something – and even then, unworthy of acknowledgement. I was nobody special, no one to be proud of. What I did, someone else did better. What couldn’t be equally compared was pushed aside while someone else was put in the spotlight for some exaggeratedly magnificent achievement of their own. I was the kid who was too sensitive, too curious, too shy, too observant, too emotional, too absorbed in other people’s feelings, too needy, too involved with the adults – there are other kids – just go! Stop feeling bad for the roadkill. Don’t waste your tears on that bum; he’s a junkie. Stop talking to inanimate objects – but I’m lonely – stop complaining or I’ll give you something to complain about. Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about. You think that’s bad? Try living a day in my shoes. Turn the other cheek. Toughen up that lip. Dry your eyes. That’s not what happened. Stop lying. He didn’t do that. Neither did he. Neither did I. Other kids have it worse. Just wait until we get home. You ruined my life. You have no idea how good you have it. You don’t want to see them because of what I’ve told them – then perhaps you should have thought better than to cross me. I’m your mother; you will respect me. I’m right; you’re wrong. Shut up. I don’t want to hear it. You’re a liar. You can’t be trusted. You’re the one who needs to apologize. I’ve done nothing wrong. I’m the boss. I can do what I want. Not now, I’m busy. I’m still busy. I’m not in the mood. Go away. Why are you in here? Get out of my face. Go. Just. Go. Moving the goal post – this time, this time, this time. I’m going to make her proud this time. She’ll spend time with me this time. She’ll hug me this time. She’ll understand this time. She’ll see me this time. She’ll believe me this time. She won’t turn her back on me this time. She’ll take my side this time. She won’t blame me this time. She’ll see my worth this time. She’ll accept me this time. She’ll love me this time.

    Do I still feel that I’m drawn to relationships that try to force me to address and heal my childhood wounds?

    Without a doubt.

    Will I willingly ever engage in another relationship before I have a good handle on such healing?

    Not if I have anything to do with it. Especially not with my emotional thinking so incredibly intact.

    “Poor boundaries” – definitely, absolutely one of my top reasons. Up until earlier this year, I was completely unaware that I had virtually no boundaries, and when I started attempting to create them, I was met with unexpected inner rage and guilt.

    Trying to implement them with “my” narcissist?

    Well, I’ll let you know if that ever works out. (Stop holding your breath; you’re turning purple.) I haven’t stopped trying, and I won’t stop until I’m finally in the position to initiate GOSO.

    “It’s all I have ever known” – yes. Raised singlehandedly by my narcissistic mother, a close childhood friend whom I’m slowly moving away from, several influential men in my childhood – all fit the bill of narcissists, mostly some sub school of Mid-Range. Had no idea until submerging myself into the works of HG.

    “Truth denial” and “Benefit of the doubt” – both huge factors as well, but due to the length of this comment, I’m not going to dive in. I don’t think my answers would deviate much from others’ responses in this regard.

    The others I’d selected were less prevalent focuses but applied at one time or another when I had tried to make sense of what was going on and why.

    Another book of a comment. Maybe I should stop participating in the polls. Yikes.

    1. Asp Emp says:

      Kat, thank you for sharing this. Another good read. And another poll that ‘eluded’ my knowledge of it existing…..how exciting 🙂

    2. NarcAngel says:


      Be assured all ACONs (Adult Child of Narcissist) can relate to those statements you heard, but now that you know the reason behind their utterances, you can see them for what they are/were: The hateful perspective and fuel seeking provocations of the disordered.

      Nothing to do with you. You were merely a proximate vessel to pour all of their hatred about themselves into so they could live with what they are: Empty.

  6. Joanne says:

    Benefit of the doubt – he had shown that he was not the nicest guy, that he was pretty much a jerk all around. But his sweetness TO ME made me believe that the rough exterior was just a facade, and that he was showing me his real self, his vulnerable side. Little did I know the “facade” was something else entirely.

    My own narc traits – I really got high off of the compliments and praise. I enjoyed hearing how wonderful and beautiful and intelligent and interesting I was. Over and over in multiple ways. It raised my ego to heights it has never known before and I became addicted to that feeling. Also, seeing how highly he seemed to think of himself made his attention and praise so much more valuable to me/my ego.

    Excitement – it was all very exciting at the time. Such a rush! The secrecy of it combined with the speed that it seemed to be moving in was just too delicious to pass up.

    1. NarcAngel says:

      So very honest and true about our narc traits coming out in full force to lap it up. Somehow it’s not okay for narcs to display it but it was A OK and right on the money when we were in receipt of it lol.

      1. Joanne says:

        Yes NA
        While I’m not proud of this admission, it is so important for me to be 100% real about the role I/my ego played in all of this.

    2. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

      Joanne: I am a Major League Baseball enthusiast. And we have a saying: Speed Kills! Lovebombing is surely often a speed tactic. I am sure you will not be love bombed again. Many of the very strongest have been taken down by lovebombing. Even Narcissist have love bombed other Narcissists and one would think they would know better and be immune to their own tactic. But such is life. But, also stay aware of proximity interaction. Very dangerous. There is no need to lovembomb in that scenario, and before you realize it, they can move into your psychological state. So still always be resisting. It’s a Narc jungle out here. I feel that I am pretty safe now. I am not susceptible to love bombing because of how I grew up, but the slow creep of proximity took me down. Now we have to be aware of both. We all are practically living in Narcville these days. Narcissists seem to have more energy to seek people out.

  7. SMH says:

    Almost all of them but most importantly for most of us it seems – boundaries!! Also, I chase excitement.

  8. Chihuahuamum says:

    Meant to add poor boundaries. I was so eager to have what the narc was willing to give i allowed my boubdaries and values to be slowly broken down. If i wouldve had a strong sense of self and what i stood for that door wouldve never been opened or if it had wouldve been shut early on.

  9. Chihuahuamum says:

    I chose a few but at the core in this particular narc dynamic it was codependancy. I see it similiar to a narcissist and in many ways it is narcissistic but he fills a need. It sounds awful saying that bc i am a good person who does feel empathy but in my life ive had deep voids some from my childhood and some from my marriage and hes helped to be the crutch that helped. I do enjoy the things we share and aspects of his personality. I do love and care about the narc but am not in love and hes not in love with me. We share a codependancy.
    I was susceptible to a narc bc he could morph into what i best needed. Any other person wouldnt of fit bc theyd not be trying to fit perfectly. I do think hes higher on the scale lower greater narc bc he knows how to manipulate and realises what hes doing. There are many red flags looking back and they make me realise he had goals in mind and i dont think i was the first there are probably many others and still are that he was and is saviour to. He gets his fuel and we get our person thats there and listens to us and who shares interests. I almost feel guilty saying all this bc he really has been all those things and despite the fact of the past abuse ive appreciated him but the core of it is a shared fantasy. Nothing will grow from it except what now is which for now im ok with but i have no notions that there is or ever will be anything more.
    I was susceptible also bc i never really loved myself. I searched for self validation and love thru others approval. The people that were too approving i lost interest in and the ones who intermittently were i was drawn to bc i yearned to gain their approval which reflects my relationship with my mother. Its a past situation continually being played out but now im no longer trying to get the approval of others. Im working on being more accepting of myself and realizing not all will like or approve of me and thats ok. Just as its ok my mother will never approve of me as she has my golden child brother. It is what it is and is not a reflection of my own self worth. That was a hard lesson to learn and is still a process in motion.
    Another susceptibility was the excitement of the narcissist. He is exciting bc im not with him in a formal relationship and this is why all narc formal relationships turn sour bc reality sets in. He is a patchwork of all of the traits of the others hes had. Is it wrong to steal others traits? I think we all do at some level but its more pronounced with a narcissist bc they have no identity of their own. No true values or morals so they are ok taking on any traits they see useful from others. This can make narcissists very fun and interesting and that means distraction from life’s problems or struggles. Hes been my go to when life gets difficult. Hes been my distraction. Its similiar to a narcissist having victims to distract from themselves and their inner core. Its a codependancy.

  10. E&L says:

    Just looked up Alice Miller’s obituary from the NYT and it says she has a son and daughter. The truth regarding her children seems to be elusive.

    1. LC says:

      My memory wasn’t completely off, Martin did write a book about his mother’s shocking conduct towards him, “The true drama of the gifted child”, published 2013 in German, and the English translation came out last year in April – it’s available on kindle unlimited.
      He describes, amongst other things, that she forced him into therapy and demanded (!) to read the notes and transcripts. Unbelievable. They were able to make up before she died though. He became a therapist himself and is also able to acknowledge his mother’s contribution to the study of narcissism and in recognising child abuse.

      1. E. B. says:

        LC and E&L,

        I thought you might be interested in this interview with Martin Miller. It is in English with subtitles:
        “Interview with psychologist Alice Miller’s son, Martin Miller — about his book on her life”
        He says: “A.M. in the books is a phantom, an artistic figure and a fictional character. ”

        LC, there wasn’t any happy ending.
        Here he reads an excerpt of his book (in German).
        “Martin Miller – Das wahre “Drama des begabten Kindes””

        1. LC says:

          E. B.
          Thank you for the links!
          The bit about the happy ending I read in an interview – v. odd… I’m definitely going to get his book now.

        2. Caroline R says:

          Thank you so much for this link.
          Martin is such a brave man!
          I understood everything that he said.

          My N-Mother was very interested in Enid Blyton’s life, and the truth of her treatment of her daughters that was a mismatch with the public facade.
          The public Enid Blyton was a constructed persona.

          Like Martin’s mother Alice, my mother wouldn’t see the truth about herself and would attack her child rather than acknowledge the truth; if that same truth was held up about another person she could see it, discuss it, and decry it.
          She refused to have insight into herself, however. It is a bizarre phenomenon, and Martin described it well in only a few words.

          As I listened to Martin interviewed in the first clip, I sighed in exasperation, and shook my head with the frustration that he felt, as he unpacked his thoughts, and shared his insights.
          His statements about the feelings of guilt and disloyalty are similar to those I’ve just mentioned on another thread. It’s like we’ve had a conversation together.
          He’s validated my feelings and experience, as have you by sharing this, and it is such a gift to me.

          Thank you again!

          1. E. B. says:

            Glad to hear it was helpful, Caroline.
            Although I used to think that AM was a narcissist because of certain things which had happened before she died, I did not know anything about her son and what she had done to him.
            I still find part of her work (not all) valuable and helpful.

  11. candacemarie1212 says:

    Excitement – It was the first time I had been romanced. He said all the right things. He always made me feel like I was so special (during the golden period ). Nobody had ever made me feel so amazing . Plus it started out a long distance relationship as he was in England and I’ve always loved the British accent .

    It’s all I have ever known – My dad is a narc. So being treated badly as a child prepared me for being treated badly in a relationship .

    Poor boundaries – I have always second guessed myself . Always asking myself if I should feel the way I do. I never set boundaries in any relationship because of how unsure I was about my own thoughts and feelings.

    Benefit of the doubt – I always give people the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to believe he was a good person who just had flaws like everyone else.

  12. Narc noob says:

    HG, have you noticed, or any of your readers, that some Ns have a certain look? Likely incorrect assertion (?) but just my experience. I seem to be able to spot a cerebral or perhaps those men just have a similar look and it is co-incidence. The only way I can describe it is 1)not usually attractive (but beauty is in the eye of the beholder) 2) blankness, a poker like expression 3) rough around the edges, lacking warmth. Of course these are not romantic relationships, so they might appear differently depending on their interactions.

    Et?? *sigh* Lol

    1. MB says:

      Narc Noob, it’s in the eyebrows 😂 There was an actual study! Google it. Ha ha

      You are correct though, you can spot certain Ns by noticing the “flat effect”. It’s in their eyes, their facial expressions, and in their voice. When people were theorizing Benedict Cumberbatch was HG, I looked up a video of him on a talk show. It was apparent to me that man is not a narc. Plus HGs voice is far superior.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Great last sentence.

        1. MB says:


      2. Narc noob says:

        Ha ha MB, thank you for the lovely rebuff. Too funny. I think you nailed it though, Flat Effect! 👌 I might quote you on it.

        Look up The Good Cop (a book)… similar look we are talking about? 😉😝

      3. Narc noob says:

        MB, I must be the only one here that isn’t dazzled by his voice! I do enjoy listening to his use of words and the way he strings them so eloquently together.

        1. MB says:

          Narc Noob, it’s ok not to be dazzled by the voice. Maybe it’s not your cup of tea! No worries. His is the voice of logic and the voice of freedom and that’s what is most important.

  13. KellyD says:

    Poor boundaries
    Poor recognition
    Benefit of the doubt

    Now I have better boundaries.
    I can see more clearly now.
    Nobody gets the benefit of the doubt now. Put up or shut up.

    Thanks HG!

  14. Anm says:

    I also have a mother high in borderline traits. She taught me that love bombing is the norm.
    Though I am healing from the past narcissistic relationships I was in, and trying to reconstruct my thinking, I still catch myself wanting to love bomb people, and expecting them to reciprocate.

    1. Caroline R says:

      your mother scored high on borderline traits?
      It must have been an emotionally volatile environment to grow up in, with her as your mother.
      Were you her only daughter, and the focus of her attention?
      Did she see you as an extension of herself?
      Was she cruel towards you? (Don’t answer this if it’s upsetting).
      Did she scream at you? Or just fly off the handle over nothing all the time?

      Did she maintain a facade of normality while in public? Or did she have public meltdowns too?

      What sort of person did she mold you to be in terms of emotional reactivity towards her?
      My Lesser-N mother would have liked my brother and me to be gushing little geyser empaths, to match her volatility, to gush like Niagara Falls on a hair trigger.
      We wouldn’t go along with it though.
      We were determined to be ourselves.

      I’d like HG to give us his thoughts about Borderlines in some articles at some point in the future.

      1. Anm says:

        * I have 3 sisters, no brothers. If there was a scapegoat in the family, it was me. I often spoke up a lot. I also had my golden child moments.

        * yes, we were extensions of her. I never attended any of the public schools. I either attended private schools or was homeschooled BY HER!!! This helped her maintain a tight grip on us, and our success was her success.

        * she had her moments of being cruel. But she was mostly cruel to herself, and my father took a lot of crap from her. She had a very low self esteem, an eating disorder, and very very sexual. That was huge with her issues. She was faithful to my dad, but her sexual side was very disturbing.

        *Her meltdowns were private. She had a lot of friends publically. She is very religious.

        *It molded enmeshment, which is what she wanted, but not exactly on the terms she wanted. My sisters are all high achievers in their own way. Different types of Empaths with different types of narc traits. It is interesting. People joke and say we have our own coven. I am more of a Magnetic Empath type. I too was the one who didn’t go along with my mothers BS the most.

        1. Caroline R says:

          thank you for your in-depth reply. It must have been a struggle to assert yourselves as young women and to be who you were with a mother modelling those aspects of femininity and womanhood for you.
          Any resistance would have put you in place for scapegoating.
          Self-esteem development alone is a massive thing for a child, add an eating disorder and her self-sabotaging behaviours on top of that….
          Modelling relationship skills between a man and a woman….what healthy should look like, what being treated with respect should look like, so that you can take your place in the world, and have a career…

          Being homeschooled would have been very isolating too.

          Did you have a loving aunt, uncle or grandparent? Or a teacher once you were in mainstream education?
          The person that you are is precious, and your character and integrity are things to be proud of. You’ve had to be largely self-determined.
          You’re a woman of resilience, and you have my respect.
          Thank you again for sharing these painful things with us.

  15. Anm says:

    Looking back, everytime I have gotten together with a Narcissist, it was during a time that I was vulnerable or lonely. I recognized something wasn’t right, or atleast not in alignment with what I wanted long term, but thought that I didn’t want anything serious anyways.
    Some how they suck you in. After falling for them, my weakness was giving them the benefit of the doubt. I knew their stories weren’t matching up with their actions, but I WANTED a trusting relationship, so I gave it to them.

  16. Leslie says:

    Desire to be healed. He presented me with experiences I needed for my own healing.

    I wasn’t interested in healing him. No one can heal any other. The problems arose, of course, when all the devaluation behaviours that had been in place before we even started were trotted out and applied.

    Besides being grateful for the fact that his devaluations and smearing drove me to discover what he was and understand what had been afflicting my life since my family of origin, I have carried away other experiences I needed in order to heal myself.

  17. M says:

    1) Poor boundaries.
    2) Benefit of the doubt.
    3) Excitement.
    Is there any timeframe in general when narcissists start to show who they are more? Or does that entirely depend on the specific situation/ type of narc? In retrospect I can identify things my ex narc said during the love bombing phrase, that now make sense. But I first noticed changes in his behaviour 2-3 months in the relationchip. Is that typical?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It varies dependent on the school of narcissist, the constitution of the fuel matrix, your position in the fuel matrix and the level of control being asserted.

      1. M says:

        Thank you so much for your response HG!

        I seriousely don’t know if I would have coped if it wasn’t for all the knowledge I’ve received reading your articles and watching your youtube videos.
        Still a lot to learn tough, but I’ve come a long way just starting to comprehend what I’ve been through this plast year and what he is. I first started to grasp this 1 month after escape, it took me a while to say the last. So grateful for that.

  18. Lisk: I have felt this way, as well, although with only a few people in my life. I am in general pretty self regulating, I know now after reading on Narcsite. I find it odd when I do feel this need. However, not from that many people. A few females as well, I wanted some sort of validation from in my life. However, I do not see a pattern on why I feel this way with a few people. And there is no discernible pattern regarding the people I want validation from. I appreciate my own value, whether or not many can see it or not, but every now and then I do want to have validation from a certain person. Why said person? I do not know what they stir up in me! Why oh Why?? Why are certain people’s opinion of us more critical to us than certain other people’s opinion? The Narcississt was one of them, Lisk. I put up with a lot of flack for 3 plus more years from his 4 Lieutenants, and I stayed cool about it all, so that he thought I was diplomatic, or whatever: [ `My own narcissistic traits made me initially susceptible to Narcx, mainly in terms of my needing validation from someone “important.”` ] ~~Lisk

  19. LC says:

    – Compulsion (not desire) to fix and heal
    – Low self-esteem / low sense of self-worth
    – Poor to no boundaries
    – Lack of emotional self care
    – Lack of true empathy (feelings conflate, boundaries between you and I collapse and I take narc fakery for real)
    – Emotional neediness
    – Compulsion to control through self-delusion
    – Ability to get infatuated very quickly
    – High Anxiety
    – Need to be validated / need to please
    – Need to self-blame
    – Fear of abandonment / anxiety to be alone
    – Supreme court of punitive and contradictory inner critics / An innate sense of never being good enough
    – Victim mentality
    – Inability to recognise a toxic relationship as toxic / inability to end a relationship (without outside intervention)

    There’s probably more (I think the list of options is making the ‘other’ side of narcissism look to rosy, HG).

    I’ve acquired this list in a highly dysfunctional LOCE. (Mother narc, father normal but emotionally absent, older brother borderline and physically abusive).

    I’ve been working through the issues I’ve listed for 5 years now (psychoanalysis) and am not done. I don’t think I would have been able to write and own such a list at the beginning of my treatment. I can now though that I have better boundaries and a better sense of self worth – and can accept the full range of reasons why I repeatedly ended up in narcissistic relationships.

    Thanks to HG I know about red flags and how narcissists truly operate. Thanks to my analyst I can truly distinguish between self preserving compassion and self serving empathy and actually feel the difference (and am very proud of it). I still attract the wrong people though. But I can say no to them.

    1. WAF Tudorita says:

      LC May I steal that list
      Its so good

      1. LC says:


        Sure you can keep it – if you tell me how on earth you can still believe that you had a good childhood if you want that list 🙂

        There’s this moving book by Alice Miller, I forget the title, something about the gifted child (a truly insightful book about narcissism) – she describes how her analysands routinely tell her how normal their childhoods were, and how mistaken they are on close inspection…

        1. WAF Tudorita says:

          Wrote out a reply but it’s lost in the inter webs
          Seriously- really really good childhood. No abuse, emotionally mature nurturing teacher parents, nothing to worry about at all.

          But as I’ve mentioned, dad must’ve had a bit of a drink problem bc I recall a few times mum getting upset when he drank too much when we were at social events – but mainly it was coz she didn’t have a drivers licence and he had to get us home.

          When I was 16 mum met and fell in love with a LMR, said she’d never have left my dad if she hadn’t met him
          Left the family home to be w him, I could’ve gone with but didn’t like the LMR
          Dad started drinking every night
          So I was abandoned by both parents simultaneously
          Went from a solid safe home to utterly alone feeling.
          After 4 years of this I got with my kids dad and was pregnant on purpose 8 months later.

          I tried to play out the “choose me over the alcohol/drugs/other woman” with all my narcs

          But the solid core self foundation was set in childhood which is why , I believe, none of my narcs could break me and I escaped them all prior to disengagement.

          Ta daaaa

        2. Narc noob says:

          Lc, the title is The Drama of the Gifted Child. Sounds like an interesting read. 👍

          1. LC says:


            “dad must’ve had a bit of a drink problem bc I recall a few times mum getting upset when he drank too much when we were at social events – but mainly it was coz she didn’t have a drivers licence and he had to get us home.”

            When I read this I want to shake you a little bit, so you truly wake up, but it’s your decision to make. I know you wanted an answer though, otherwise you wouldn’t have posted. You probably know it’s painful to see what truly went on in your childhood, but I believe it’s necessary not to repeat the cycle.

            You’re making excuses, have a look at what you’re writing as if someone else had written it, not you yourself.

            Your mum was upset about his alcoholism BUUUT what she worried about according to you is that she couldn’t step in to drive you home….

            I think I told you that I know a bit about alcoholism because of my narcoholic ex husband. I also know a bit about the ways in which partners cover up the extent of his /her drink problem in a misguided attempt to protect the children. I know how the children cling to fantasies of their dad whom they look at as someone who’d be truly great if he didn’t have that problem – and he wasn’t drunk all the time, was he, he could manage his life etc. The point is that people for whom addiction comes first cannot be consistently emotionally available parents. So there were gaps, and fantasy closes those.

            The fantasies are similar to those that let us come up with excuses why the narc didn’t mean to be mean, only had a bad day, etc, fill in your choice excuse that your very own ET suggests to you.

            But you look at all this best with a professional because it hurts to do it. Not least because it means waking up to your share of emotional unavailability as regards your own children. But I can only recommend doing it. Reality is not so bad and it certainly is best for the children.

          2. WAF Tudorita says:

            LC I hear ya
            I’ve gone over it all plenty in AA and in therapy- as I said there was some undercurrent of alcoholism and codependency, but it was mostly kept out of my awareness . They didn’t fight in front of me if they fought. She was worried about him driving and all the way home the drive was her asking him “are you ok?” “You awake?” And it was scary for me, I remember it because it was so out of place to the rest of their parenting. .
            Of course , ppl are free to think what they want, but I’ve looked back plenty and up until the age of 16, one would be hard pressed to get a better childhood than I did. I wish I could’ve provided my own kids with as much stability and attention.
            Like I said , the breakup was bad bc dad started drinking every night when she left. I’d wondered if he’d done so before , but they were teachers in a different region to where we lived and went to be by 10 but who knows, maybe he drank after I went to bed even then (?) dunno. When she left he was retired so he had nothing to occupy himself.

            The fallout of the breakup that occurred when I was 16-20 was plenty enough to set me up for narcs. Even after the dust settled around age 20, they both went back to being the awesome parents they used to be, supportive as loving . They were 34 & 40 when they had me, and had been teaching for 14 & 16 years , and were well prepared for a child. mentally, emotionally, financially.
            You could shake me but you wouldn’t get anything- there’s nothing to get 😆

          3. LC says:

            Narc noob

            Yes, that’s the one. It’s quite a bit older – and it’s a better read if you know that it conceptualises narcissism as anything to do with the regulation of self-worth (which was a new approach at the time and pissed off a particular psychoanalytic society – but they were mostly miffed because in their eyes Miller misunderstood Freud. I think they’re right but that doesn’t mean that Miller’s own – very readable – observations aren’t valid and / or interesting).

            I think it’s fair to say that the book is more about the “empath’s” side of narcissism (it doesn’t use the concept of ’empath’), with a focus on the losing of one’s self in relationships; about the truth seeking trait of narcissism that leads many to study psychology and become therapists. Most of all it is on the ways in which childhood impacts on the development of self-worth.

            For the book Miller studied the work and biographies of many writers. The discussion of Hermann Hesse’s life I found especially moving.

            There is tragic irony however in the fact that Miller’s daughters complained bitterly about their mother’s emotional unavailability; tragic because Miller contributed so much to the understanding of narcissism….

          4. LC says:


            “You could shake me but you wouldn’t get anything- there’s nothing to get 😆”

            I’m not going to 🙂 But you will have trouble convincing me that a list such as mine has nothing to do with early childhood… I don’t doubt that your parents were good and well-intentioned people by the way.

          5. WAF Tudorita says:

            LC yeah I dunno man. Something must’ve happened . Maybe cuz I was a C-section and in a container without my mother’s touch for a day.
            Maybe it was the overnight hospital visit age 4 without my parents – I know that when I fetch me because I would throw up every time I stepped away from home after that until I was 16 .
            Maybe it was being left in daycare for my mom went back to work when I was three , Because I still remember that being painful watching her drive away with my dad .

            But these are all semi normal childhood experiences . But they are still stand out in my memory as incredibly emotionally painful.

            I have a good memory I remember taking my first steps- I knew I could do it but my dad wouldn’t let go of my hand !!
            And my very first memory is a dream i had – it was a great big owl watching me above my crib – and I flew over the bars of my crib and down the stairs to my parents- but they were putting away dishes so I had to sit down in a chair near the bottom of the stairs and I worried the owl might fly down . No still my crib when I had that dream so I was very very little . No idea how I knew what an owl looks like up close .

            My entire life I have felt a deep inner loneliness and separation ever since I was a kid – I remember feeling it sitting on the bars at school watching the other kids . I felt like I knew things about the way things are is it they didn’t – and maybe had trouble relating.

            Because of other phenomena and “spiritual” experiences that have happened in this lifetime I think I was simply acutely aware of the pain of the illusion of separation from Self / I Am from early on. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was the case – as it was this that made me an unwitting absolute truth seeker – and an inadvertent wake-upper 😆

            I guess sometimes there’s more at work than the obvious 😉

          6. WAF Tudorita says:

            LC I don’t mind engaging by the way, it’s not upsetting, I know my life, and I don’t mind putting it under the microscope. It’s just- I’ve done it all, it’s not been overlooked.
            The grand fuckup happened as a naive, well protected, 16 yr old suddenly abandoned by both parents for what I can only assume must’ve been a very important time in my development. (I hadn’t even dated yet, and would remain a virgin until I was 21 and met kids dad) — i has NO skillz or game but I did have a fantasy of electric sexual chemistry in my mind . (At age 14 I stopped being attracted to kids my own age and was suddenly attracted to Ted Danson and Kelsey Grammer from Cheers lmfao – both characters are narcs! And Clint Eastwood . Wtf? He’s like 90 and I’d still bang him . We were discussing this in the nursing home break room the other day about how it’s a good thing we’re not attracted to 90-year-olds normally !! 😆 😆
            ANYHOW I really don’t know what happened in my childhood to lay the foundation for being attracted to Narcs it’s nothing I can think of and I’ve looked and looked and looked . They did a stellar job . And then they completely fucked it all up when I was 16 🤷‍♀️

            So! This brings me to questioning the theory in your book Gifted Child!
            Does the theory include damage that can be done in the teenage years by the parents ?
            Or is it set in stone that it was something that happened in childhood? And is there room for anomalies?

          7. LC says:


            “Or is it set in stone that it was something that happened in childhood? And is there room for anomalies?”

            I’m no expert on this. So what I’m writing is based on reading and on what my analyst tells me. From what I have learnt a permanent / chronic problem with self worth is childhood related, yes. The relationship with parents / primary care givers determines if a healthy sense of self worth can be acquired. Often parents are well meaning and would love their child to be more self confident than they themselves are. They might praise the child to achieve this for example. But it doesn’t quite work like that. Perhaps your parents too had weak boundaries which meant that yours could never grow, and were permanently violated – without you being aware that this was what was happening.

          8. WAF Tudorita says:

            LC I would hazard a guess that that is correct re: my parents having weak boundaries. Not to a fault; but defin yes. Mom was proper British and way too accommodating, and I was taught to always try to see the other person’s perspective and even take on situations I didn’t want to , esp when it came from an authority figure.
            Mum also fell in love with a LMR so obv the tendency , for whatever reason, to be succeptible to narcs was already in the family dynamic.
            Plus since my dad obv has a drinking problem, even if it was kept out of my conscious awareness for the bulk of childhood, means the codependent tendencies were there also which I obv inherited.

          9. LC says:


            “Plus since my dad obv has a drinking problem, even if it was kept out of my conscious awareness for the bulk of childhood,”

            I think what you might underestimate is the emotional awareness children have and that you had, too. Think of babies, they don’t understand the words but they sense emotions. Over time they learn to relate a particular emotion, e.g. sadness, to the correct words ” I’m sad”.

            The child will learn to express emotions confidently if the mother / father mirror them correctly and adequately for the child. Such mirroring is also essential to acquire healthy boundaries. “I don’t feel good about this, I want to stop.”

            If something like alcoholism is kept from view in a family it is still very present in emotional terms.

            “mum what’s the matter, are you upset? “

            “no, I’m fine”

            (Except she’s not, because dad’s in the bolthole waiting up, making sure he goes to bed later than her so she won’t be so upset about his sixth, seventh, or eightth can of beer; she knows he’s pushing the limit but he won’t tell her quite how much – she will ask occasionally – and although she wants to know in some ways she prefers if she doesn’t…. Every now and then she’ll try to confront him, especially when it threatens to become obvious to the kids… Like it did only the other weekend when he kept drinking at the party although he promised he wouldn’t this time…. )

            You will feel, as a child, that things are off, but you vcannot put your finger on it because (co-)alcoholic parents don’t want you to do that ; so you are on emotional hyperalert because they say one thing and you feel another. You need your parents to validate your own feelings in order to develop a healthy sense of self worth and self trust. If they don’t, you will question your perception – and develop your truth seeking skills instead, skills you hone not only to fund the truth but also in order to stay blind. Staying blind protects you from the truth. You must stay blind since you are dependent on your parents.

            This means you grow up with a warped sense of reality – and even if your parents meant to protect you from their reality they still presented a warped one, and yes, that’s a form of emotional abuse.

            If you’re used to warped realities (which are invariably the norm if the family protects a secret such as alcoholism) – you learn to accept emotional fakery as the norm in loving relationships.

            Love then means being presented with a fake reality.

        3. Narc noob says:

          LC, thanks for the brief overview of the book. I enjoy reading your posts here.

          “There is tragic irony however in the fact that Miller’s daughters complained bitterly about their mother’s emotional unavailability; tragic because Miller contributed so much to the understanding of narcissism….”

          As an empath mother of 3 I feel like I can be accused of the same, sometimes. Perhaps her addiction was not something so obvious as drink or drugs, but her work? However while that is a red flag where Ns are concerned, I am sure Es can get bogged down also. I guess some Es can be guilty of not knowing how to deal with emotions and other peoples are (even their own children) are too confrontation. They bring shame and guilt even. Having a N parent that always scolded for showing emotion instead of helping you work through it would likely attribute to that.

        4. E&L says:

          From what I know, Alice Miller only had one child, a son named Martin.

          1. LC says:

            Thank you, it must have been the son who complained or I’m confusing things with Enid Blyton or both 🙂 I’ll see if I can find a reference where I read about her own mothering

          2. E. B. says:

            E&L, Narc noob, LC, WAF,

            Alice Miller only had a daughter and a son. Her daughter has Down-Syndrome and never complained about her mother.

            As for her son Martin, his truth came out in an interview after her mother’s death in 2010. It was shocking to find out what he had gone through and who her father was. He also gave some “interesting” details about Konrad Stettbacher, another well-known psychotherapist and author.

            About three years later (2013) his book was published: “Das wahre Drama des begabten Kindes’. Die Tragödie Alice Millers – wie verdrängte Kriegstraumata in der Familie wirken.” (*)

            In spite of his tragedy, Martin Miller has always been fair. He publicly acknowledged that her mother’s first three books are valuable. He also said that what she had done to him does not undermine her work in any way.

            (*) The English translation was published last year (2018): Martin Miller – The True “Drama of the Gifted Child”: The Phantom Alice Miller — The Real Person.
            One of the translators was a very close friend of Alice Miller.

          3. LC says:

            E. B., E&L, WAF, Narc noob

            Here is also the correction on Enid Blyton who, I think, might well have been a matrinarc – she had two daughters, one of whom became a psychotherapist and said their mother was emotionally cruel (and had suffered from her own mother in turn), the other glorifies her mother. In 2009 the daughters were not on speaking terms and needed to be interviewed separately… Looks likely to me that Blyton had a golden child and a scapegoated one, one wizened up, while the other chose to stay oblivious.

            My n-ex (midranger) said his childhood was very good, but the stories he told revealed that it couldn’t have been. When I (gently!) challenged his view he became very upset. I met his mother (whom he adored) – and she was controlling (apparently even warned him about me when she had met me, wait for it: once).

            My own borderline brother has conflicting memories of my mother. My narc brother none whatsoever, even though he would have been old enough to remember her….

          4. HG Tudor says:

            You are correct, Enid Blyton was indeed a matrinarc.

          5. E. B. says:

            It was interesting what you wrote about Enid Blyton. I did not know anything about her personal life.

            Since you and other readers mentioned A.M., I was speaking about well-known ‘gurus’ in the psychology field who are highly narcissistic or narcissists. I have noticed that there is a lot of competition among them. Although part of their work is valuable and helpful, they are not in real life what they pretend to be in their books. Their adult sons and daughters are afraid of telling the truth. Martin Miller did it after his mother died. He said she would have sued him.

            I think that people who say that they come from healthy homes, had loving parents and a happy childhood but their adult life shows the opposite (like becoming ensnared by a narcissist, among other things) are in denial.
            Yes, LC, they can get very upset if we want to speak about it, no matter how ‘careful’ we are when bringing up this subject. It is still a taboo to say something negative about a ‘mother’.

            One of my siblings, who used to be the Golden Child, became the second Scapegoat when he was in his teens. He was not used to be treated like that. He took drugs (nobody noticed it) and he told me he wanted to leave the house. He was feeling suicidal. He told me he could hear our Matrinarc complaining about us to my MRN father for hours every single day and that he could not take it anymore. I was used to it but he wasn’t. He was convinced Matrinarc was a saint and loved him.

            If you asked him today about his family, he would tell you he had a very happy childhood and adolescence, that he had loving parents. He is not lying deliberately. He has convinced himself that he came from a happy home in order to survive. He said that if Matrinarc was ‘loved by everyone’ and many people went to her funeral, she must have been good people and if she was horrible to some people, they must have done something to deserve it.

            He married a narcissist who has been systematically destroying not only his relationships to people she cannot control or find they are a threat (like me) but also his business and finances. He has become a different person since he married her. It feels as if the brother I had has died.

          6. NarcAngel says:

            Wow. Thanks for sharing that. It really goes to show the things people will employ in order to cope (as in your brother rewriting history).

          7. LC says:

            E. B.

            “If you asked him today about his family, he would tell you he had a very happy childhood and adolescence, that he had loving parents. He is not lying deliberately. He has convinced himself that he came from a happy home in order to survive.”

            I find this a very interesting and very important topic, I think it would be really helpful if HG did one of his magic multiple perspective posts on this.

            I was very surprised to find old diary entries of mine in which I was convinced I had a good childhood. I wrote this aged 18 or 19. I had just come out of my first romantic relationship and it was a psychopathic boyfriend. The book women who love too much by Robin Norwood (I think that was the title) was in the bookshops, the title resonated with me and I picked it up. I recognised myself in the descriptions but I failed to see how my behaviour could have had anything to do with my home, because Norwood describes women who grew up with alcoholics. As far as I’m aware my parents were not alcoholics but I ended up marrying one all the same. I don’t know when I allowed the memories to come through – it was before my therapy that I knew my mother was highly abusive but I kept making excuses for her for a very long time. Reading here I realised that I have to attempt a GOSO of a kind but it’s very hard with memories. It must be a letting go rather then repression.

            “He said that if Matrinarc was ‘loved by everyone’ and many people went to her funeral, she must have been good people and if she was horrible to some people, they must have done something to deserve it.”

            Many people were there for my mother’s funeral – they didn’t fit into the chapel. She was very well respected in the local community. This also made a huge impression on me as a young teen and it served to reassure me that I was wrong, but my mother.

            ” He married a narcissist who has been systematically destroying not only his relationships to people she cannot control or find they are a threat (like me) but also his business and finances. He has become a different person since he married her. It feels as if the brother I had has died.”

            This is such a sad read. It perhaps is not much of a consolation if I write that at least he’s alive – perhaps he will come out of it, perhaps he will wake up. My narc brother never will – and my borderline one – I spoke of him in the present tense because I prefer it that way – died in his 40s. I know it was the abuse that destroyed him. I can’t write more than that, it doesn’t feel right. But the abuse was so severe that I understand that my narc (golden child) brother will not remember our mother. I wonder why it is that I can, and that I live to survive (and heal from) narcissistic child abuse.

          8. E. B. says:

            I am very sorry to hear about your brother. He was so young. It is true what you said. Was he aware of it?

            Most people do not realize that prolonged psychological abuse can change their brain and their immune system. I have learnt as much as I could about it and was particularly interested in certain neurological chronic illnesses/autoimmune diseases *with an unknown etiology* such as Typ 2 Diabetes, ALS, MS, Crohn disease and the like. I was especially interested in what doctors had to say about it – not only psychologists.

            Patients had a history of (narcissistic) abuse in their childhood. Although some want to know, most would rather blame their genetics, amalgam or something else than accept the fact that they were victims of at least one abusive caregiver who played an important role in destroying their physical and psychological health.

            Some say they are atheists but they put their parents, especially their Matrinarc, on a pedestal when this way of thinking comes from religion – Honour your father and your mother.

            “Reading here I realised that I have to attempt a GOSO of a kind but it’s very hard with memories. It must be a letting go rather than repression.”

            True. Repressing is unhealthy. If your mother is a narcissist, it is about understanding that she is a self-centred individual who is interested in her needs only – not yours, not anyone else’s. She cannot love and never will. It is recognizing that she will not change and does not want to change.
            It is not your responsibility to help her. Her abusive behaviour has nothing to do with you. It was not your fault, you did not provoke it, you did not deserve it.
            As an adult, she is responsible for her actions and also responsible for making decisions about how she will spend the rest of her life – not you.

            “my parents were not alcoholics but I ended up marrying one all the same.”

            Did you know about your ex’s addiction before starting a relationship with him or did you find out about it later? Was he the Victim type?

            As for old books about ‘dysfunctional families’, they were about parents with an alcohol problem. Then they added other addictions and finally they realized that those behaviours could be found in narcissistic families without addictions.

            “.. (golden child) brother will not remember our mother. I wonder why it is that I can, and that I live to survive (and heal from) narcissistic child abuse.”

            Did you have someone who really cared about you during the early years? It could be an aunt, a grandparent, a neighbour or a nanny.

            Thank you for kind words about my sibling, LC. We used to work together and had a good relationship. His narc wife turned him against me. Since then he hates me for no reason.
            I understand she did it to control him and to get me out of the inheritance. But I cannot understand why he let her do it when she barely knows me.
            I shortly interacted with her when she got married. I live abroad. After that, we exchanged (short) emails. She is superficial and not interested in a meaningful conversation, which is ok, I respect that. I went NC.

          9. LC says:

            E. B.

            So many questions!

            “Was he aware of it?”

            You mean the abuse? Sometimes and sometimes not. He switched between idealising our mother and hating her. I did too but not to the same degree – I guess I always had a sense that something wasn’t right with her even when I idealised her.

            “Most people do not realize that prolonged psychological abuse can change their brain and their immune system.”

            This was true for him, plus the truly aggressive self harm that ensued from it. It was severe. He tried treatment but ran away from it.

            “Did you know about your ex’s addiction before starting a relationship with him or did you find out about it later?”

            I didn’t know, we were very young but the signs were already there. I had no idea about alcoholism at all. I didn’t know for a long time that it was in fact alcoholism I was dealing with – I looked at it as a” drink problem” and typically fell for the “I can handle its”.

            “Was he the Victim type?”

            No, I don’t think so, some kind of lesser.

            “Did you have someone who really cared about you during the early years? It could be an aunt, a grandparent, a neighbour or a nanny.”

            Yes, there was a childminder whom I remember fondly, she was very young, not even 18 and she wasn’t around yet resp not anymore for my brothers. Perhaps she is responsible for my survival. I have long wanted to go and see her and ask her a few questions (e. g. why she left and how she saw our mother but I haven’t dared yet).

            ” I cannot understand why he let her do it when she barely knows me.
            I shortly interacted with her when she got married. I live abroad. After that, we exchanged (short) emails. She is superficial and not interested in a meaningful conversation, which is ok, I respect that. I went NC.”

            You’ve gone NC with the wife but not your brother? How do you do this? Or are you in NC with your brother too?

            He must have let her do it because he’s entirely dependent… I assume you can’t understand it because you can see what she is but he can’t for some reason. For some reason he must stay blind. Maybe he is so weak that he would fall apart without her? I think all you can do is be there for him once she has used him up and disengages… Perhaps then you can make him see…

          10. E. B. says:

            I am sorry about the questions. I forgot to say that you did not have to answer if you did not want to. I appreciate that you took the time to answer them.

            “there was a childminder whom I remember fondly, she was very young, not even 18 and she wasn’t around yet resp not anymore for my brothers. Perhaps she is responsible for my survival. I have long wanted to go and see her and ask her a few questions (e. g. why she left and how she saw our mother but I haven’t dared yet).”

            I think it is a good idea to go and see her. Maybe she can provide you with new information about your mother and also about what was going on in your family at that time to help you understand the past.

            I went NC with all my family of origin. I did it over time, it did not happened with all of them at once. After being smeared, it seems I had been painted black. I could feel their hate towards me. I do not know what happened behind my back since nobody told me about it and I live abroad. After reading HG’s articles, I realized they were not going to change their minds. They can hate me but I am not going to put up with their abuse. No more fuel, no more residual benefits for them.

          11. LC says:

            E. B.

            “They can hate me but I am not going to put up with their abuse. No more fuel, no more residual benefits for them.”

            Sadly that’s how it is with my family of origin too (the little there remained of it – my narc brother’s family). I didn’t give up lightly. But it was the right thing in the end. All best to you E. B. in building healthy relationships that deserve the name…

  20. Renarde says:

    Interesting poll. It reveals all kinds of things, not just in the options you have presented HG which are intresting in themselves, which one comes top an then of course why they have chosen that. Are they truly aware?

    I only chose one, ‘It’s all I have ever known’.

    Part of me loathes that. It makes me feel as if am not taking responsibility. However, I must remember that whilst an innocent person walking down the street and is hit by a car is not at fault. Neither is the driver of the car responsible for medically fixing my leg. I am.

    However, one can always sue the driver…

    Narcissistic traits attracting the narc? It does appear as if some believe this.

    1. LC says:

      “However, I must remember that whilst an innocent person walking down the street and is hit by a car is not at fault.”

      I don’t know your story Renarde, so I’m treading with caution. But you do know that you can theoretically walk away from a relationship that’s not good for you (unlike the person hit by a car). And many people do this. They don’t even get involved with narcs in the first place because they can sense the fakery.

      And they can sense this because they have empathy (can distinguish real from fake emotions) AND their boundaries are intact/healthy.

      Just saying because you say that you’ve never known anything other than narcissistic entanglements. And if that is so, you will have your own share of narcissism contributing to the way your relationships play out.

      1. Renarde says:

        Tell you what, LC.

        I’m counting to ten…

        1. LC says:

          Renarde: okay – hope that doesn’t mean that you got very upset by my post

          1. Renarde says:

            Define ‘very upset’. I’m not sure I provided a contextual analysis in my response.

            You are free to disagree, of course.

          2. LC says:

            Renarde : “Define ‘very upset’. I’m not sure I provided a contextual analysis in my response.” My fear or hunch was that my response to you could have upset you because you answered the way you did (counting to ten).

            My comment served as a question – did I? If not, all is well, and if I did, the comment was there to let you know that I don’t want to upset you.

  21. Jenn says:

    Benefit of the doubt – I am very forgiving with those close to me and not easily upset. I am much more willing to give the benefit of the doubt for the occasional transgression with someone I have an established relationship with, until those small transgressions add up to a pattern. I have been often trusting UNTIL I have a reason not to, rather than the other way around.

    Desire to heal and fix – again, I am often the healer of the people in my life, and knowing they need help allows me to dismiss some things I might not accept from a stranger or new person in my life.

    My own narcissistic traits – I strongly dislike the brash, boastful, lazy and generally useless type of narcissist and can easily avoid them. I am a sucker though for ones with admirable traits that tend toward success. (For example, I admire HG highly for his ability to turn his diagnosis into an empire and actually help victims at the same time. He clearly works hard and seems passionate about his work. It is both clever and impressive. Thank goodness I will never meet him, haha ) I am a driven person with many goals and I work very hard at them, I know what I’m good at and I am proud of my successes. I also like to donate my time to worthy causes. So when I meet someone I deem a similar ilk with shared goals I am naturally drawn to them. I like pairing up with someone who will work as hard as me toward a mutual goal. In my mind, teaming up means we will help each other to succeed. But that is not what a narcissist has in mind when he meets me, of course.

    Poor boundaries – I have been kept up til 3am many nights when I really needed to sleep, just to keep someone company. At the time it was very endearing to be encouraged to stay up just a little longer. *rolls eyes

    Excitement – Well, I really love solving puzzles, and it is definitely difficult to put one down until I have solved it. 😉

  22. WAF Tudorita says:

    Poor boundaries- first bf was a narc an I hadn’t figured out my boundaries yet and didn’t until after I found Narcsite . Too much self doubt

    Excitement-sexual chemistry

    Poor recognition-self doubt caused me to make excuses for the narc and listen to words not actions

    All I’ve known (romantically)-first boyf was narc , every affair since has been a narc

    Storm chasing (alcoholic parent – went for alcoholic narcs- “choose me “ over alcohol issue

    But most of all;
    Own narc traits- susceptibility to flattery, ego boosting, pride boosting

  23. myriflemyponynme says:

    Storm chasing : daddy issues = ex seemed familiar
    Poor recognition : no recognition at all

  24. Veronique Jones says:

    I have not experienced anything else it is almost like a comfort zone I have met good people it’s just doesn’t feel right not to forget if there is one in a room of 500 people they will find me I don’t chase them I know they are bad for me I am a little over getting hurt and I am not entirely sure what they are attracted to in me but they always find me and the weird part is they do treat me differently than others noticeably I find that Part confusing at first much nicer and then I get seriously punished for things that they don’t even blink an eye at if they do the same thing

    1. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

      Veronique. I agree with you. They find us. HG says that they instinctively find us and we them, until WE modify our attraction to them that is supervised by our emotional thinking and not our logical thinking. Narcissists are not going to modify their attraction to us, because first of all, we feel good or nourishing or more accurately, fueling to them, and secondly, the majority of them do not realize they are Narcissists and thereby they have no idea that they have an extra attraction for us. They think they are open to select from everyone for relationships, such as how normal people fee freel, when they are not free to choose in such a manner. Narcissists largely need empaths to help regulate their emotional balance to successfully function as much as possible. Narcissists have a propensity to know how to find fuelizers. Us. I do not know what fuel feels like. I can only imagine it is like being able to breathe clean oxygen on a smoke filled day. A refreshing respite and/or a strengthening energizer, whichever the Narcississt needs at any given time, to be stabilized in order to function. Positive Fuel or Negative Fuel or Challenge Fuel. I have gathered these thoughts from HG`s works: Knowing the Narcissist on Youtube and also on Narcsite. Nevertheless, I do still plan to read HG Tudors book: Fuel.

  25. Justine says:

    I was in a very vulnerable spot, I’m a nurse, so just naturally caring and empathetic and thought I could fix him (he’s a drug addict and alcoholic). He was in rehab when I met him after getting out of the psych unit for meth induced psychosis and trying to kill his wife. When I asked him about that, he was very distant and cold and said very nonchalantly he was glad she never pressed charges. I wanted someone to love me and be here to talk to after work and I was lonely. We fell fast and hard. Within 8 wks he’d left rehab and moved in with me. We had a blast doing all sorts of things that I’d previously had no one to do them with. Sex was amazing. I was just so happy. He had no job, no money, but I wanted to take care of him and hoped I could provide a good example of how to strive for more, better yourself, and always advocate for yourself. I never asked him for financial help with bills or groceries and even bought him clothes because he had very few and I wanted him to feel loved and special. I was naive about addiction. I just thought with me being a good example, that would be enough. It never was and it got worse and worse. Our divorce was just finalized on 8/16 and I never told him about it until it was done (it was uncontested). He didn’t seem to care….he’d been arrested for domestic violence because the heroin addict he’d been living with since May (that I never knew about) said he punched her and stepped on an abscess she had. He says she punched him and threw plates at him. Yesterday, he called me because he’s homeless now due to a restraining order and can’t go back to his apt. He asked if he could stay with me. I considered it after telling him on Fri to never talk, text, email or come over. The nurse in me just hates anyone to be in distress and was going to let him, but then he started telling me I was a bitch and couldn’t do anything right and I said no. Even after 2 days of being divorced, I can’t let go. I’m hopeless. *Sigh*

    1. NarcAngel says:

      I understand that the nurse in you hates anyone to be in distress, but there are many people other than hopelessly addicted abusers that have attempted to kill someone that could benefit from your skills. Please think about that when he suddenly turns nice again (because he will). Your physical safety is in jeopardy not to mention your mental health. The only change will be that he gets worse. You help enough people in your profession – you do not have to sacrifice your life when you are off the clock and in your own life.

  26. E. B. says:

    1-Poor boundaries, 2-Benefit of the doubt.

  27. Lorelei says:

    It won’t let me vote but many of these. I was conditioned from day one. Stifling home environment with no affection and a narcissist father who was sexually inappropriate and always telling me to use female attributes to snag a man with a lot of money. (Who the f*^% does that/says that to a young girl?) I did attend college but while doing so did exactly what my dad said to do. It was a colossal error, I was mingling with a situation that spiraled into just more mounting dysfunction.. Lots of money tossed around, glitzy things yes, nice cars, emotional vacancy, devaluation indeed. **Not so shiny! Just one bullshit scenario after another. Always attracted to somatic assholes who provided nothing. Nothing felt “right” or “comfortable” because “nothing” was home. Hugging is still hard for me unless with my kids and took practice to become natural. I don’t feel comfortable in normal relationships because it causes anxiety. Early sexual abuse leading to behavior that was hand in hand with more narcissists—because who but many narcissists polarize unhealthy arenas? Sexual abuse IS narcissistic abuse but just more specific to a type of devaluation. Basically it’s all the same damn thing—being an object to another person’s whims (fuel needs), and they wouldn’t subject you to them if they had empathy. I never wanted to fix anyone because I never knew how damaged they were. To me they were normal. It was normal to live in such a manner. My boundaries suck. Excitement at times yes. It’s unlikely that there will be ridiculous sex games and hair pulling with “normal” men. It’s been fun in the past but the soul sucking isn’t worth it. At this point I guess moving forward and evaluating relationships (male and female/even friendships) is a risk/benefit analysis. Fewer risks (healthier people) equal better benefits but the trajectory feels unnatural—yet I am having healthier friendships so all is not impossible. Boundaries are essential and non-negotiable. I’m cutting people off left and right nowadays.

    1. blackunicorn123 says:

      Hugs Lorelei 🤗

    2. FoolMe1Time says:

      Good job Lorelei! You should be very proud of how far you have come in the last year. 🥰

      1. Lorelei says:

        Thanks but training for a damn marathon is a shit ton easier. Damn this is a bitch! I am so glad I stumbled upon HG though. Thank goodness, he’s like having a gay brother with a load of smarts. (HG—the gay part is so I can at least say “sex” on the blog—otherwise I would feel sick!) Makes zero sense perhaps but framing it as such helps. I just can’t believe the immense issue this has been and could continue to be without the proper education. If people want to spin around in their misery they are going to do it without me. I lost years and I’m not losing another second. There is an adorable video I shared awhile back with HG of the kids and I fucking missed it. I missed a lot of fun adorable time and all I ever wanted was a normal life. I’m not overly into drama—just a normal existence. Their dad will not take one more moment, nor will he ever get one word out of me face to face. The court cannot force me to talk to him. If he walks up to me I’ll talk around him. I’m a really nice person and do a lot for people, I won’t cater to narcissists again. There is plenty left to do—this is not going to be a half assed attempt at wellness. It’s not a diet where I get thin and then I’m fat again in a year, it’s a total life change.

        1. FoolMe1Time says:

          It sounds like you were thinking over a matter in your mind out loud just now? I believe my friend, you know what the answer is. You have to do what is right and healthy for you. I also believe you have already decided that is what you will do. 😉💞

        2. MB says:

          Lorelei, I’m confused! What does HG being like a gay brother have to do with saying sex on the blog?

          1. Lorelei says:

            Because I said sex once around my brother and we almost both puked. If he were gay it would have been less horrible I think. My brothers are older and I look up to them. So, I frame HG similarly due to the overall unique dynamic.

          2. MB says:

            Lorelei, oh ok. I don’t have any brothers so I can’t relate. Kissing my husband is how I’d imagine it is to kiss your brother 🤣

            I talk some sex stuff with my sons, but it isn’t pukey. I guess it’s all in how you’re raised.

          3. Lorelei says:

            Oh MB it created trauma for him to have me gripe about his friend being inappropriate!

  28. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

    Dearest HG: Living in a city that destroys the charm in many mens` personality. The Narcississt that I was infatuated with was very charming, something that many many women said about him, all the time. I was not the only one susceptible to his charm. It is a shame that something so natural for a man as being charming is disappearing. I plan to not be so dazzled by charm again in NYC. Quite easy to do, because it is a rare commodity. In fact I forgot about how charming a man could be until I was around the Narcissist. I became dazzled by it. However, in places such as Texas, and other Southern States and other places in the U.S., so many men are charming that the trait is not as powerful, because it is expected.

    1. Dearest HG: I know exactly what I mean about the lack of charm in general in men NYC in my post above, but, coincidentally, I just heard on 1010WinsNews on AM radio right now, that New York was just ranked next to last for friendliness. No surprise to me, of course.

  29. Narc noob says:

    1) poor recognition
    2) benefit of the doubt
    3) daddy issues

  30. Claire says:

    I don’t know why but I attract people regardless their gender, age , social status, etc on a daily basis – while commuting, shopping, at the gym and so on and so on. I voted for
    1. Desire to fix and heal – my old boss was a textbook example for a narcissistic psychopath. He enjoyed to humiliate and denigrate staff members, to treat poorly and insult employees, micromanaging to the point that I nobody liked him and the staff turnover was high. Due to my role I was able somehow to prevent some emotional terror outburst ( “ well, if you do that – they can bring the matter to the Court based on this and that section of this and that Act, the legal cost is $$, the remedies will cost $$, the company reputation will be damaged ). I was ready to give him my resignation letter any time so I had no fear to fight for a better workplace – I made it clear after he unlashed his fury on me one day . I dared to challenge his deduction to demote a staff member . He was the boss who installed security cameras everywhere except in the restrooms.

    2. Truth Denial – for so long I was thinking of my ex Mid Range as a rough diamond – a difficult person to be loved. Even I considered myself ungrateful ( during the golden periods) – how I could not love him,looking after him ( cooking , styling his work outfits , etc). He had such a good job, not drinking, not gambling, we were well off . Ah yes , this emotional outburst and coldness; those dirty looks and sarcastic comments. But love can heal everything, right?

    3. Benefit of the doubt – the post divorce Narcs. Your typical young professional middle class man – educated ,well mannered, charming. This was just the surface, the paint , the mask. Under the mask – no accountability, total lack of empathy, double faced and promiscuous.
    The master of broken promises and future faking . When I was reading HG Tudor’s article about Future Faking , his face appeared in my mind straight away.
    Luckily I have gained already some knowledge from HG Tudor’s amazing work so once the red flags become visible, the kick a** process was duly implemented .
    No Contact rules successfully applied. Now I am Narcs free and weaponised:)
    Thank you ,HG .

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Well done and you are welcome.

    2. Samantha says:

      Hi HG, Well, I finally wrote out my story to share with you, which I’ve been wanting to do for some time, but while I was editing it to post, I accidentally hit the wrong key and it all disappeared! That’s such a bummer! So for now, all I will say is, thanks so much! Your expertise saved me. Someday I’ll post my story for you, but I’ll write the rough draft somewhere else first. Somewhere inside you is an Angel! Thanks again, ~Sam 🙂

  31. EmP says:

    For me:

    1. Storm chasing (damaged traits due to having been raised by narc-parents);
    2. Excitement (loved how engaging and sexy most of my narcs were, at the beginning);
    3. My own narcissistic traits (DLS for a couple of years, attached guy was not off limits, even though the situation troubled me and eventually I broke it off);
    4.All I’ve ever known (family ensnarement, romantic ensnarements, work ensnarements, religious ensnarements, plus a few narc-frenemies that were readily disposed of).

    And one that is not on the list: HOPE (we all know what HG thinks about hope, don’t we? He is absolutely RIGHT).

  32. mai51 says:

    Purely excitement……. the two narcs I’ve entangled with have been extra marital affairs. I guess poor boundaries came into play after I’ve been trapped and entangled. Reading that, it’s pretty obvious it was before lol….

    Can I change my answer?

  33. Pingback: Poll : What Factors Do You Think Have Caused Or Cause Your Susceptibility To Narcissists? ⋆ NarcTopia
  34. Whitney says:

    I selected almost all of them!
    I have lots of Emotional Empathy, but no Cognitive Empathy. The reason I have no Cognitive Empathy is because I inject my own ideals and feelings when I explain behaviour.

  35. lisk says:

    I am not sure any of these really capture my susceptibility. I chose what comes close.

    My own narcissistic traits made me initially susceptible to Narcx, mainly in terms of my needing validation from someone “important.”

    My poor recognition and poor boundaries kept me in the relationship for much, much longer than I should have been.

    I would add that my then-therapists’s poor recognition and her benefit-of-the-doubt advice also influenced my susceptibility and kept me too long with that narc. I guess I had poor recognition of bad therapists, too.

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