Victim or Volunteer? Part Three

 

VICTIM OR VOLUNTEER? PT 3

 

The Hoover. The ever reliable method of causing you to come to us or to come back to us. As I have written in Black Holethere are several hoovers that we utilise during the engagement with you. I am focusing on the hoovers which take place post-escape (where you manage to get away from us) or post-discard (where we have left you).

What about the hoover which comes when you have been discarded? At this point you have been thrown to one side, often with no warning and left to fathom out what on earth has happened to you. One minute you were the cock of the walk and then suddenly you became a feather duster. You were high on the pedestal and without warning (or at least without any warning which you might detect) you were hurled from that pedestal and down you went. Now you are sprawled in the dirt, hurting and confused. But wait. Here we come again. We are riding back into town, behaving as if nothing has actually happened. Indeed, this hoover is just like the first one you experienced, the delicious pull of the initial seduction. We are charming, considerate and magnetic and it feels so good doesn’t it? But it gets better. We have apologised for the things we did wrong and we are pledging to make changes, to do things differently, to even go and get some help. This is music to your ears, just what you hoped would happen as you lay alone in bed, crushed, night after night sobbing in anguished bewilderment. The old us has returned and with it we bring promises of improvement and signs of recognition. This is better than you had hoped for.

Pause for a moment. You know what has happened. You know because you experienced it. Everything was wonderful and then it changed. Not only did it change by virtue of the exciting and marvellous way we treated you vanishing but then we abused you. Of course you will make excuses for this treatment because look, the golden carrot is being dangled again. Of course you will accept some or even all of the blame because look the golden carrot is there and you do not want lose it do you. Who knows, if you step through the archway into the golden period again you might actually get some answers about what has happened. Surely lightning will not strike twice? We seem different. We seem to be sorry and ready to acknowledge our failings so surely it would only be right to give us another chance, after all, you are a forgiving and empathic individual. You just want this pain to go away and it will by getting back together with us again. You still do not understand what happened but you may get some explanations and even if you do not, will it really matter now that we are together again. Yes, that lure of the golden period is mightily strong, especially when you are feeling so weak, so tried, so wretched. It is entirely understandable, predictable even that you would come back to us with open arms. Do you remain a victim or have you just volunteered?

What then where you have escaped us? You may not know everything about why we did as we did but you understood enough to know that enough was enough and you escaped. You have implemented no contact and sought to keep away from us. You being to wonder whether that seduction was real or not. It certainly seemed real, it felt real. The abuse was definitely real, you know that much and you are damned if you are going to go through that again. You have begun to read and you are starting to understand what has happened. Some pieces of the jigsaw are falling into place. Yet, here we come with that inviting hoover again but you are going to repel us, you know it is a device to haul you back in to our grip again. You must stay strong, but it is difficult. You do feel lonely and that golden period with us, well it was unlike anything that you have ever known. What if those promises contained in that beautifully written letter are genuine? Surely it could not hurt to try again? Mind you, what if we haven’t changed and it starts again, but perhaps this time that will not happen because you feel that you know what to look out for and you can stop it before it starts. Yes, you have knowledge and you can apply that to protect yourself and also to repair our damage so that we remain happy. It makes perfect sense. You can engage with us but do so with your eyes wide open this time. You can assert yourself and lay down markers and boundaries, establish that things will be on your terms so you have control within the relationship. That is the plan. You want that golden period (and you do not want anybody else having it) and using what you know you can return but this time operating from a position of strength. Are you a victim now or a volunteer?

What about the fourth time we commence the hoovering. Three times it has ended and three times you have gone back. Everything was wonderful for a period of time, a few months and then it started all over again. The same behaviours, the same manipulations and the same abusive actions. You cursed yourself for falling for the overtures but you really thought that this time, yes, this time more than the last time or the time before that, you will not fall for the same lines, the same empty promises and the charm. It is hard and you understand this. You have discussed it so many times with your friends and family. You have seen a therapist too and you read about the subject as well, but the attraction it is so strong and there is always that little voice that says to you,

“One more time, this time might be the time that it works.”

That little voice is so powerful.

Perhaps you should succumb to yet another hoover, you would not want the golden period to go to anyone else would you?

Are you now a victim or a volunteer?

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119 Comments

  1. 100% volunteer. I saw red flags I just didn’t know what they were – but I still ignored my gut every time bc a) I wanted what I wanted b)I didn’t put faith in my intuition c) my self worth was low
    I could’ve egged up and walked at any time during any of my narc relationships if I’d been brave and courageous and not a pussy.

    From where I stand now, it was all great life learning experience to get me where I am, but I’m done feeling sorry for myself about any of it

    “Well, YOU PICKED HIM!!” is a sentence one strong friend said to me once and I recall it any time I’m dipping into Victim mentality.
    (I follow it with “Now DO something about it” if advising a friend.)

    1. WAF Tudorita,

      I can relate to what you’re saying when I think of romantic relationships that I had as an adult. Those relationships were relatively easy to walk away from. There was no-one there but myself to consider and the only person ‘holding a gun to my head’ was myself. There were no children involved, no sick or elderly parents, no financial constraints, no divorce proceedings, no joint home ownership, no mortgage to pay off, no job responsibilities, etc etc. It was a case of making a decision to leave and leaving. Easy.

      The hard decisions were based on more than romance and sex. They involved more concrete life-changing things that were not easy to walk away from. Romance and sex can be very life-changing and difficult to walk away from too, and I’m not saying that they’re not important or devastating to a person’s life. The point I’m making is that in some situations, it’s not as clear-cut as saying, “if I stay then I’m a volunteer”. It can be more complex than that.

        1. That’s fair enough, WAF Tudorita. There’s a number of ways to think about this subject.
          (By the way, your name is cute and it makes me smile 🙂 )

          1. Thanks. You might also know me as Woke .
            I change it up now and then in case my MMR is lurking.

          2. Yes, I remember your name changes and how they have ‘evolved’. I like this current version. I can relate to being ‘WAF’ too, compared to how I used to be before becoming aware. I hardly recognise that person anymore. Best wishes in evading your MMR.

  2. I was almost determined to scroll past and not say anything… almost. But I feel compelled to comment on these “victim or volunteer?” articles.

    While I understand HG’s purpose in writing these and his intent to educate and warn empathic people, I can’t help feeling annoyed at the message that the empathic person should have known better and is therefore somehow responsible for the abuse they went through.

    I know I’ll probably get replies saying that the targeted person actually IS partly responsible etc etc etc. To anyone who feels that need, please understand that I appreciate HG’s work as much as anyone else here. I understand he’s writing to teach and warn people. I value his work and this is not a blanket criticism of what he’s doing.

    I just need to respond to the implied suggestion that the people targeted by narcissists “should have known better”. I object to that implied message because it turns the spotlight of responsibility away from the narcissist and onto the targeted person, which is unfair. The targeted person could be an innocent honest and well-meaning person in their first serious relationship, it could be a single mother with very little support, it could be a baby or small child. In fact, narcissists often deliberately target people who are isolated or vulnerable.

    It’s not so much the outright message in the articles that I find annoying. It’s the subtle judgement and underlying subconscious insinuation that the empathic victim is ignorant or should have known better or should have realised sooner or should have left the relationship sooner. Empathic people, by their very nature, already blame themselves and feel guilty or feel confused and emotionally exhausted. In the case of child victims or dependent single parents, these suggestions of blame only add to the overload of emotional stress. The manipulation from a narcissist can be very insidious, ambiguous, difficult to pinpoint, easily rationalised and coming from a place of power. In many cases, the empathic person is also in a dependent or binding relationship that cannot be easily ended.

    The suggestions also paint a picture for those learning about the narcissistic dynamic who may not be narcissists or empaths. That picture points to the empathic person as the one who was doing something wrong and therefore got abused. This is not only making it even harder for empathic people to receive respect and validation after being abused, but it also sets a tone that says it is inevitable or expected that a narcissist will abuse them. It’s a bit like saying that women should expect to get harassed or raped because that’s just the way men are.

    Instead of calling these articles “victim or volunteer?”, perhaps the spotlight should be turned towards the narcissist and the articles should be called “lying control freak or fuel slave?”

    PS. I realise there is a very valid point to what HG is saying in these articles and I respect that. I don’t wish to be negative or deliberately critical. I just want to point out that empathic people are already under a lot of stress and horrible strain when abused and calling on them to accept the blame for that abuse is often grossly unfair.

    1. WiserNow

      The article is called Victim or Volunteer. People are free to choose victim. If they do, isn’t that putting the responsibility on the narcissist?

      Does the responsibility have to be all one sided? Can there be some responsibility on both sides even if the majority falls to the narcissist?

      Re: Setting a tone that says it’s inevitable or expected that a narcissist will abuse them. Isn’t it inevitable?

      I don’t blame the target/victim but if they come to the conclusion that they played some part, doesn’t that say that once identified, those behaviours can be changed to prevent ensnarement from happening again and empowering the target/victim? There will be no change on the part of the narcissist. Is saying it is all the narcissist and we had no part in it allowing us to just see that narcissist as a bad person and with no introspection on our part allowing us to walk right into the same situation again?

      Many people say they saw signs and ignored their inner voice. I don’t see that as blaming. I see it as identifying that they ignored or accepted the behaviours for a reason. If they can identify that reason they can better ensure that they are not trapped again. I don’t see that as blame. I see it as intelligence, self respect, and growth.

      I might be wrong, but I think the article is titled this way not to cause blame but to cause introspection and discussion.

      1. NarcAngel,

        Thank you for your comment. As I said, I agree with the main points of the article. I agree that the targeted person DOES need to get to a point where they CAN apply introspection and self-knowledge. That happens when their emotional thinking begins to turn into logic.

        I agree that the targeted person CAN be either a ‘victim’ or a ‘volunteer’ but ONLY once their inner self becomes aware and conscious of the way they are being manipulated or exploited.

        Until logical awareness starts to take hold, the person is blinded. This ‘blindness’ is there for a number of valid reasons.

        The point I’m making is that the targeted person IS NOT responsible for the abuse. The targeted person is operating as an honest, well-meaning and hopeful human being. They are not weak or gullible ‘victims’. They are TARGETED by exploitative people.

        To truly help targeted people, the onus should not automatically fall on them to improve their own situation.

        I think the point I’m making is difficult to make in this forum. Perhaps when society is fully informed and aware of who and what narcissists are, the onus of responsibility will be easier to determine and recognise.

        Until then, I think it will take time for the nuances of this kind of discussion to fall into place.

        I’m not contradicting or arguing with you. I’m seeing this from a slightly different perspective.

    2. WiserNow
      I will never forget when I was listening to HG on YouTube and I heard these words: You were targeted and it wasn’t your fault.

      Even though I am on narcsite, I am still targeted, however, now I recognize it sooner.

      I got a word salad last Halloween (trick-or-treat), gas lighted over Girl Scout Cookies, a malign hoover from the school principal and Superintendent of Schools and another malign hoover in a recent traffic incident. I was at a complete stop in city traffic when a man in an SUV hit my car. He claimed that I blew through a stop light and that I hit him (gas lighting). My passenger and witness said, “That guy just hit you and you were at a complete stop.”

      Targeted people are not to blame, however, parents/caregivers are obligated to protect children and pets from abusive partners by filing restraining orders, divorce or separation.

      1. K,

        Thank you for your reply. I’m sorry you were involved in all those incidents and situations. They sound annoying and stressful.

        In any of those experiences, I would not describe you as either a victim or a volunteer. Instead, I would describe the perpetrators as selfish, opportunistic, rude, manipulative, or ignorant. As the person at the receiving end, I don’t see how you could have stopped or controlled or changed their behaviour. You could not even go no contact.

        The best you could do was to change your reactions to their behaviour. This comes from having awareness of narcissistic behaviours and learning how to prevent them from undermining your own behaviours and reactions.

        Even so, it does not make you a ‘victim’ as such. It makes you a person caught up in someone else’s bad behaviour. You are not to blame. Say you did not have awareness and you attempted to teach the Girl Scout or answer back to the school principal or give the traffic offender a piece of your mind, it STILL doesn’t make you either a victim or a volunteer. It makes you a ‘normal’ human being with ‘normal’ emotions and reactions. You are still not responsible.

        I could go on, but I won’t. I don’t think this is the right forum for it.

        As for your point about parents/caregivers… yes, in an ideal world you are absolutely correct, parents are obligated to protect their children. There are many reasons – valid reasons when considered from the viewpoint of each individual parent – that can stand in the way of that ‘obligation’ though. I still don’t think it always helps to claim that one parent is either a victim or volunteer. Wider awareness throughout society would help I think.

        1. My pleasure WiserNow
          And thank you for your kind words. Thanks to HG, I know what’s going on and how to respond (just matter-of-fact). I don’t feel like a victim or volunteer but I am comfortable with the word target because narcissists do target others for the Prime Aims. It’s just their nature and most people don’t realize what they dealing with and are not to blame for their reactions at all.

          You are correct, in an ideal world, parents would be able to protect their children at all times but we do not live in an ideal world and there are many, many valid reasons that parents are unable to protect their children. If a parent works, they place their trust in the other parent or child-minder (babysitter) only to find out that abuse was occurring (betrayal of trust). It isn’t the working parents fault.

          The mindset should be: how are we going to fix it. You are right, wider awareness and education is our only hope.

          1. Dear K,

            I feel more comfortable with the word ‘target’ too.

            The word victim IS appropriate, however, it conjures up the sense that the victimised person should be pitied or is not a strong person. The word victim tends to make other people – or ‘non-victims’ – view the ‘victimised’ person as someone who is not like them (because who wants to relate to being a victim?). ‘Other people’ consider themselves (even unconsciously) as more ‘able’ or ‘better than’ the ‘victim’ in some way. Nobody welcomes being seen as a ‘victim’ (or at least I don’t think healthy people do).

            In fact, that is how ‘scapegoating’ works. A ‘victim’ is created who will be cast off as ‘defective’, therefore absolving others from looking within at themselves as the possible source of blame.

            Most people view a ‘victim’ as unfortunate, or defective, or someone who is needy, and that tends to make the victim appear as separate, or even contemptible, as if they are a liability or ‘less than’. In turn, this creates a sense of blame, as if to say to the victim, “you should have done this”, or, “your behaviour was wrong and you need to improve”. I believe the word makes it harder for other people to relate to the person who is labelled the ‘victim’.

            Also, I think this subtle meaning behind the word ‘victim’ plays right into the narcissist’s hands and actually assists the narcissist to escape responsibility.

            People here on the blog probably have the introspective capacity, knowledge and empathy to see these subtle nuances and to catch themselves before judging anyone negatively as a weak and needy ‘victim’. However, in the wider public, there will be many who will blindly take ‘labels’ at face value and will fail to understand the actual reality more clearly.

          2. WiserNow
            Both, victim or target, are appropriate and you are correct, many people perceive victims as weak, vulnerable or somehow deserving of their fate and victims are often ignored, punished or blamed for being bullied/assaulted/raped and this attitude facilitates narcissistic machinations on college campuses (campi), in the work place (lateral violence), schools, churches and homes. Although agonizingly slow, awareness and education is our only hope.

          3. K,

            Thank you for your understanding.

            Yes, I also think awareness is agonizingly slow, and it seems that ‘true’ awareness (for a non-narcissist) can only happen when an individual is involved in some kind of narcissistic relationship, or at the mercy of a person (or group) who does not have the capacity for ‘mercy’ or conscience. That kind of first-hand experience causes the (non-narcissist) individual to actually suffer psychologically and emotionally, and the resulting ‘knowledge’ enables the individual to relate to the dynamic and truly understand.

            I think another reason that awareness is agonizingly slow is that the world is a huge place with billions of unique individual humans with unique experiences and unique lives. It is impossible for any of us to have a deep or lasting influence on the ‘big picture’. Although one can say that we are all related in some way, to the same extent, we are all ‘unrelated’ and we will continue to think differently and continue to pursue our own individual aims. While awareness is required for change, ‘change’ is also uncontrollable, or an element of ‘fate’, so we (as humans) are subject to things that we don’t have any control over even though we have ‘awareness’. I hope that makes sense.

            The more I think about this, the more my head hurts! 😣 lol Thank you again for your thoughts and comments and for this very interesting discussion 🙂

          4. And K, yes, I agree with you totally that wider awareness and education is needed and is the way to progress to better understanding for everyone.

    3. Hi WiserNow, I think I understand what you are saying that you are not criticizing HG but just pointing out that empaths who have been victimized are already struggling with self-flagellation and to have them read something that they might interpret as a confirmation that it was indeed their fault could be unfortunate. And I think that it is good that you brought up how that is a possible interpretation of this article because of the title. And I agree also with NA that the title was not designed to cause blame but to cause introspection so we can learn. K pointed out as well what HG has consistently said that we were targeted. And just like what these Victim or Volunteer articles point out, we are targeted repeatedly, not just in the initial seduction but also during the hoovers. But during those times that we were targeted, nobody held a gun against our heads. It was a mutual decision for the dynamic to exist or resurrected. This is one of the uncomfortable and hard questions and discussions that we have to entertain. Yes empaths have a tendency to self-flagellate but when we beat ourselves up do we ask ourselves the right questions and figure out a strategy to avoid becoming victims again or de we just wallow in hurt and pain and self-loathe without addressing the factors that made us susceptible to becoming victims? I think that it is a choice that we all have to make. But I agree with you that when a narcissist seduces a victim and the victim trusts the narcissist, that is not the victim’s fault. It is the narcissist’s. It is normal to trust the person that you are in a relationship with, that’s how it is supposed to be. And when narcissists abuse that, they are the ones who are behaving out of the norm. They are the ones that should get the blame.

      1. Mommypino,

        Thank you for your reply. You have described the different perspectives of this discussion very well, and thank you for your kind words and understanding.

        I’m not saying HG is wrong to write this article. It is a great way to teach people to become more aware and more introspective. I have learned from it myself, so I’m not complaining about reading it.

        Having grown up in a family with a Matrinarc, I think I understand the dynamic very well. I don’t see myself as either a victim or a volunteer. I see myself as having a narc for a mother and that has shaped my personality and my thought processes. In order to avoid being targeted, I need to understand the dynamic and understand my own reactions and behaviours and resist my own instinctive responses. That is not an easy or instant fix. It is not necessarily something you can do all by yourself either. It takes other people to show you that there are alternatives so that you can ‘learn’ and feel safe or comfortable by having different behaviours. It’s not as simple as calling someone a ‘victim’ or a ‘volunteer’.

        It’s difficult to explain, but thank you for your understanding 🙂

        1. The point of the article is to get people to think and debate, which is what you are all doing and therefore it has achieved its purpose.

          1. Thank you HG, for respectfully enabling commenters to openly discuss their views, even though they may contradict or oppose you. That is big of you, and it’s appreciated.

            I understand the point you’re making with these articles. Also, I can imagine that it’s not easy to find exactly the right words to convey the message clearly, while also controlling or minimising the subtle connotations of those words. Words have power, particularly when people take them at face value without deeper contemplation.

        2. Thank you WiserNow and you’re welcome. I agree with everything that you said and I totally don’t see it as a criticism against HG’s work. I know what you are saying about how his work is extremely helpful to us but at the same time you want to bring up how certain individuals can be more sensitive to certain nuances from words. I agree that words have power, especially to empaths because we listen, we think and we tend to internalize.

          Regarding the Locus of Control, I have never heard of it and I thought that it was really interesting and I thank FYC for bringing it up. It is valuable information but in my opinion it isn’t that simple in real life. And I credit FYC for saying that LOC is malleable which is why I don’t think that it is too bad if a victim is in a victim mode at a certain point in his or her life. I think that we are all allowed to succumb sometimes and feel outrage and feel victimized because the fact is life is not always fair and narcissists are far from fair. The decision that we have to make for ourselves is how long are we going to stay in victim mode. It is an empowering feeling to take control of our situation and manage it if we are unable to completely disengage from the narcissist such as in case of having a narcissist parent or child. And that is what most of us have been doing. Someone who has a strong internal LOC can fall in love of be entangled with a narcissist who undermines the empath’s self esteem and sense of ability to control the narcissist’s behaviors and reactions and even the empath’s finances and job and social life and that empath’s internal LOC will not be as strong as it was before meeting the narcissist. The empath feels like a victim and might wallow in victimhood for a while but it doesn’t mean that he or she will never discover his or her inner power again and strengthen her internal LOC again. It doesn’t mean that a person who is currently feeling victimized because of that person’s current situation has a default victimhood attitude or never had a strong internal LOC.

          1. Mommypino,

            Yes, the points about LOC made by FYC are relevant and important to understand. It’s also important to understand that real-life situations can be complex and can change from day to day, so it’s not always possible to be the same person at each stage and to maintain the same LOC. Our logic and our emotion are both there to consider the best course of action to take and to understand other people and their points of view as well.

            Thank you for your comments. You have wise way of seeing things and explaining your views by illustrating your family situations. Your children sound gorgeous by the way, and your comments about them are interesting and also very cute! 🙂

          2. Thank you WiserNow! I always love reading comments from you whenever you visit the blog. We don’t always agree with our opinions but you are always so thoughtful and decorous when you disagree. I totally admire that from you. I think that it is helpful to bring out various opinions and perspectives because it makes us think deeper regarding the subject and it is wonderful that HG encouragement that. And you really do a great job doing that because you’re very articulate with your ideas and opinions.
            Thank you also for complimenting my kids. Sometimes I tend to tell people so many good things about them that they almost seem perfect but they are not. They also whine and misbehave sometimes. It’s just that when I think about them and tell people about them I’m super biased.😊

          3. Mommypino,

            You’re very welcome Mommypino, and also a very big Thank You for your lovely and touching comment. It’s very kind and generous of you and it made me happy to read your words and kind feelings 😍 😘

            Of course you are super biased about your kids and that is totally your right as their Mom! 😃 It’s completely understandable that you are proud of them. And, as their mommy, you are also learning from them, not only about *their* thoughts and actions, but also about yourself and your own thoughts and beliefs and behaviours. It’s a new experience for you to be a Mom, so that is shaping you as well, at the same time that you are shaping and teaching your kids. It is very interesting to hear about them and your experiences with them.

          4. Thank you MP, but to be clear, LOC is not my concept, it is a psychological theory developed by Julian Rotter in 1954, and well studied/documented since. I shared it here as it offers an interesting and useful perspective on our internal perception bias. Your empath example is not consistent with the theory. People are victimized in many ways. Your LOC is the degree to which you feel you are empowered to influence your life choices—not the degree to which you can control or manipulate a narcissist or any other person to influence your outcome. Take a look at some of the research and see what your think. I am not a fan of labeling people. I believe people’s feelings are valid and spring from both experiences and perceptions.

          5. Hi FYC, thank you for the clarification. I just want to clarify also that I didn’t think that you made it up just in case that’s how it sounded with my previous comment. I said that I have never heard of it before because it is the truth, I wasn’t educated about it until you brought it up and so because you brought it up here I am now aware of it. I have googled it before my original response so I have read about it before I wrote the comment. I think that there is a lot of merit to the theory and I agree with it and it is important that the theory acknowledges that there can be shifts between internal and external locus of control because that is where my point is coming from. I didn’t mean to say that locus of control is about controlling the narcissist, that was not even in my thought process. What I was trying to say is that a person with a strong internal locus of control, meaning that person has a strong belief that he or she can affect the outcome of his or her life can experience life circumstances wherein that person has no control of and that person’s locus of control can temporarily shift to external while this person is still dealing with the psychological and emotional effects of that life experience where this person’s control was taken. And one example of life experiences where we lose control over our lives is when we get entangled with a narcissist. Other examples would be imprisonment, experiencing poverty, being physically ill or handicapped, death of a loved one, war, being sexually abused etc. Learned helplessness is strongly linked with the person’s locus of control and there have been experiments and studies regarding learned helplessness. One example was an experiment done with a group of dogs, half of them were placed in an environment where they have control over the outcome and the other half were placed where they have no control over the outcome. After that, they were all placed in the same environment and the dogs who were from an environment where they have no control didn’t do anything to escape the shocks which showed learned helplessness.
            Now back to my empath example, an empath with a strong internal locus of control marries a narcissist. He saves money for his retirement and future plans for their family only to find out that his narc wife gambled the savings away. She also never listens to his opinions and suggestions regarding their marriage and family life. She also smeared him and he has no idea why the people that he cared about start to avoid and ostracize him. She then borrows money against their house without him knowing and they lost the house. She then leaves him. He didn’t have any control over the outcome of his life while he was entangled with the narcissist. His strong internal locus of control will erode and shift to external. It may be temporary or maybe not. But all that I was trying to say is that just because we see someone who appears to have an external locus of control because they are going through something that has affected it, doesn’t mean that they have always been like that. And so I agree with you to refrain from judging and labeling people. And back to what WiserNow was saying, I think that just because an empath that was victimized by a narcissist has a tendency to blame the narcissist about his or her experiences doesn’t mean that this empath do not or did not have an internal locus of control. They are dealing with something and their internal loc may have temporarily shifted to external and also it’s not like they don’t have a really good reason to blame the narcissist.

          6. Hi MP, Thank you kindly for further explanation, but I did understand your first hypothesis. What I am saying is your examples are not consistent with extant data. I am familiar with the concepts of self efficacy, and it’s counterpart, learned helplessness. While many studies have shown that adverse effects beyond one’s control can induce latency to act, there is no significant impact on locus of control.

            If you are curious, there is a 13 item online test you can take to discover your own LOC and there are literally thousands of papers on the topic. I know you appreciate research, MP, and I am sure you’ll agree that the more aware we are (about ourselves and others, and the more we learn here about narcissists), the more empowered we become to make better choices. Awareness and knowledge are powerful when put into action.

            As a caveat, I am not, in any way, victim shaming. People can be victimized, controlled and abused and sadly this happens with regularity around the world. It is not their fault. They deserve love and support. No one should ever be abused or shamed. Learning, using the principals put forward here (GOSO, ever resisting, logic defenses) and other places are examples of the ways one can take action and not remain a victim. One can seize the power.

          7. Hi FYC,
            “While many studies have shown that adverse effects beyond one’s control can induce latency to act, there is no significant impact on locus of control.”

            I think I found a middle ground for us. The impact may not be significant but there’s no study that I am aware of, unless you can show me one, that says there is ‘no’ impact on locus of control.

            Just like NA and WiserNow I can tell that I have an internal locus of control without an online test. I know myself enough and understand what the concept is saying which is enough to figure out what my loc orientation is. But for me to say that I’m never impacted by events in my life where I don’t have any control of will be untrue. I was never in a romantic relationship with a narcissist so I cannot personally speak about that. But I had a lot of experiences where things were beyond my control, as a child and as an adult. I have not allowed that to stop myself from achieving or living a happy life. But it will be untrue to say that there were no life experiences wound my control that didn’t get my spirit down for even a day or a few days. That I have never felt powerless or unable to control the outcome would be a lie. I always bounce back within a few days or so but still there was an impact. Maybe not significant enough to affect my life in the long term.

            And that is why even though I found the concept of LOC valuable,I don’t see it applicable to what WiserNow is saying. Just because someone is offended by the nuance in the article victim or volunteer with an implied suggestion that he or she volunteered to be abused doesn’t mean that they have an external LOC. There are so many complex effects on a person after being subjected to abuse and telling them to change their LOC from external to internal will not always be a good approach. Once again it is subtly implying that the empath is the one who needs to change.

            I don’t think that you understood my first hypothesis because you said that loc is not about controlling the narcissist and that is not what my hypothesis was. I don’t aim to control a narcissist and I don’t think that it is possible to do it long term and consistently. I agree with HG advocating GOSO and NC because it really is the only course of action that will be of best interest for empaths and normals. What I was trying to say though is that being abused by a narcissist can create Learned Helplessness. I have read at least one credible article that state that. And Learned Helplessness is related to a person’s LOC orientation based on several articles that I have read as well.

          8. Hi MP, As stated, there are numerous studies that show latency to act only, but no appreciable effect on LOC (many state no effect, however, I prefer to state appreciable effect as no study includes every member of a population). This is well documented.

            Of course, no study is absolute, as I am sure you are aware. For this reason, statistically speaking, a confidence interval (CI) is established to account for the true value of an unknown population parameter. In other words, if confidence intervals are constructed using a given CI from an infinite number of independent sample statistics, the proportion of those intervals that contain the true value of the parameter will be equal to the CI. Most studies are within a 95% to 99% confidence interval and the CI is stated for each study.

            Hope this helps. As always, you are welcome to draw different conclusions or create new theories. Your hypotheses may or may not be supported, but it is always worth the effort to find out.

            I will be absent the remainder of this week, so please do not feel ignored if I do not respond further. My life is occupied with many pressing matters that make it not possible to respond further. Thanks for the discussion, MP.

          9. Hi FYC,

            Out of curiosity I opened one of the online tests on locus of control and I find the questions lacking in insight. I am curious, have you taken an online test to find out what your LOC is?

            It’s a multiple choice question so you are limited to the statements that they give and they only give you two options to agree from.

            Here are some of their questions:

            1.
            __Many of the unhappy things in people’s lives are partly due to bad luck
            __People’s misfortunes result from the mistakes they make.

            I don’t know how I can choose from these statements because I agree with both of them in part and disagree with both of them in part also. Bad luck does happen to people and acknowledging that doesn’t mean that someone has an external LOC. People’s misfortune a lot of times result from the mistakes they make but not always.

            2.

            __One of the major reasons why we have wars is because people don’t take enough interest in politics.
            __There will always be wars, no matter how hard people try to prevent them.

            Again I agree and disagree with both statements in partial or to a degree. It will be helpful if people take enough interest in politics so that likelihood of abusive leaders being placed in power would be less, but it will not eliminate that likelihood. And yes, there will always be wars because ordinary people cannot always control the behaviors of world leaders but people should keep on trying and keep being proactive because every effort and check and balance does help lessen the likelihood of it.

            6.

            __No matter how hard you try, some people just don’t like you.
            __People who can’t get others to like them don’t understand how to get along with others.

            Well, again these are both extreme statements. If the person is a narcissist who has you painted black then yes the first statement is true. Does it mean that giving up and applying No Contact against that narcissist mean that one has external locus of control?

            I just think that these theories do help but they have a tendency to oversimplify ‘reality’. Reality is we don’t always have control over what happens in our lives and to believe that we do is misguided. My dad’s best friend saved a lot of money for his retirement so that him and his wife can travel the world after he retires. She died from cervical cancer two months after he retired. What could he have done to control that? Which is why I think the first question in the LOC online test lacked insight in my opinion.

          10. Hello MP, There are many versions of the LOC test, please do look at many to find one you find acceptable to take. I am not here to defend LOC as a theory or any on-line test. I studied this theory in my graduate program and took an offline test. As with all theories put forward on human behavior, you may find them useful or you may dismiss them. I have no issue with whatever you may choose for your own position. My only interest in mentioning LOC, is because it can be helpful in understanding how our perceptions influence our reality.

          11. Hi FYC, Thank you. I did find a different version of the test where the questions were worded differently and I was able to answer them. My result was that I have a strong internal loc. The test that I showed you, I couldn’t answer because of the way the sentences were worded or structured and the choices felt too extreme for me. Although it didn’t show up in my test result I’m sure that I also have some external loc because of my life experiences and what I have seen happen to other people, I believe that there are a lot of outcomes where we do not have any control of. Thank you and I hope that you are having a great week!

          12. Dear FYC and Mommypino,

            This is a very interesting discussion and I think you both have made very intelligent and thoughtful points. I agree with both of you.

            FYC,
            It sounds to me like you have a logical, even scientific, way of seeing things. Your knowledge about different theories and your ability to relate those theories to real-life situations is – to me – a way to see various situations in an educated and objective way. To me, this reminds me of a scientific approach. A scientist takes a situation, learns about it objectively, then ‘explains’ their insights to provide ‘factual’ information and theory. It’s a great way to promote better understanding and knowledge.

            Mommypino,
            I can understand your points and the way you say that some things cannot be explained in a ‘factual’ way. There are ambiguous ‘grey’ areas that don’t fit into ‘black & white’ thinking. Theories can be useful to explain these situations to a point, but they don’t always explain the whole dynamic. If we don’t fully believe that the theory explains the whole picture, it doesn’t mean that we outrightly dismiss the theory. We can keep the theory in the back of our minds and acknowledge its existence, while also giving thought to aspects that don’t fit in neatly with that theory. Still, the theory allows us to organise our thoughts and beliefs in a way that gives us better understanding.

            You have both made great points and I have learned from both of you. As for how you have changed my own views, I have learned that my own thoughts about the terms ‘victim and volunteer’ is that it’s not possible for me to ‘pre-judge’ how another person will internalise their own beliefs about those terms. Other people may adopt a negative reaction or a positive one, and that is beyond my ‘control’.

            The thing that *is* in my control is that I can limit my fears or concerns about how ‘other’ people will react. I am free to change my own thoughts and develop my own beliefs. I *know* (or perhaps I can learn to know) – from personal experience – how *my* own behaviours and thought processes in life either helped or hindered me, and no-one else can know or truly understand that but me.

            So, in the whole scheme of things, if other people have ‘positive’ opinions about us in general, that will help us in an immediate situation more than if they have ‘negative’ opinions, however, it doesn’t automatically either validate or negate our own inner beliefs.

            It also makes me see that we have to be careful about how we describe other people because our descriptions have consequences. If we don’t like being described in a certain way, then we have to be cognisant that other people will not appreciate it either. In the same way, when a narcissist either idealises or devalues us, it doesn’t mean that their views hold weight or are true. If we know within ourselves *why* the narcissist is doing that, it shields us from the euphoria or sting of their words.

            Thank you both again for providing your insights and thoughts in this discussion.

          13. Hello WN,

            When I offer another’s theory as a means to shed light on a topic, I am doing so to offer insight, because how we perceive things defines our experience. In terms of labels and other’s attempts to shame, each and every one of us holds the power to accept or reject such labels. Our perceptions influence whether we accept or reject anything in life. My attempt in this thread was to shine a light on this fact.

            People can be harmed by others. This is termed as being a victim of another’s actions. The degree to which we are complicit (knowingly or unknowingly) in any act determines our degree of volunteering in such an act. In terms of being subjected to N abuse, I have been both a victim and a (unwitting) volunteer. I have familial Ns and have been entangled in the past romantically with Ns–All before learning about narcissism. The only way I can be certain to never be effected by an N currently, or in the future is to be aware of why and how I became involved, and to take personal responsibility for my knowledge and choices. My choices would include how I view myself, how I view others, how I behave, and what behaviors I accept from others, and every micro choice I make (including the choice to increase resident knowledge). The more aware I am, the more empowered I am. I am very grateful for everything I have learned.

            Now that I am very aware of what drives narcissistic behavior, I have greater compassion for all sides of the dynamic and understand very clearly what is at play. I choose to opt out of abuse at all times. I know myself and I know what is acceptable for me. If someone chooses to label my past or present or future self, it would have literally no effect on me (except to highlight the lack of understanding of the person relying on labels). I know what I know. I define my experience. On the other hand, if someone I respect called me out on something, I would be grateful–even if unnerved. I see no shame in recognizing my mistakes or short comings. I only see opportunities to change and move forward. It is a point of gratitude.

            Ultimately, I am responsible for my experience. Choices and perspective matter because they influence what I believe I can choose and how I feel empowered by personal responsibility. To be blunt, shame is BS. Never accept shame. There is no way to control others, but you can control how you perceive your own experience. If someone were to label me or use a slur (it has been done many times toward me), I would see what is at work and feel pity for the small minded person who subscribes to such a pathetic attempt. I might counter it, if useful. I might laugh. But, I would not be effected by such an attempt. When we know what we know, people stop using such ignorant methods because they simply do not work. If a negative label is used towards another, I would likely come to their defense for the sake of accuracy and fairness.

            To your point on science, yes, I am educated and trained in scientific principles. I appreciate facts and evidence. I never choose to bend facts to my comfort level or world view. In fact, when something causes discomfort, I pursue the reason why I feel that way. What is the trigger? What can I learn? In general, at its core, fear usually drives discomfort. Fear is eliminated by exposure. I am ever grateful for HG exposing so much about narcissism. I am forever changed.

            WN, Thank you for the discussion.

          14. Hi WiserNow and FYC,

            Thank you both for the discussion and thank you FYC for bringing up about LOC, I learned a lot of new stuff. I may have studied it when I took a semester of business psychology in college but I can’t remember for sure.

            I think that the discussion highlighted the difference in approach between me and FYC. I am not in the field where I perform scientific studies or tests although I have basic understanding from my business statistics course to understand what FYC was saying about CI. I view psychological theories as mere models which in real life can be affected by so many other factors that may or may not be present. I think that they are very valuable and helpful but I don’t see them as impermeable facts. A person who was unfortunate to be victimized by a narcissist will deal with it in a unique way than other victims of narcissist because we lo have different backgrounds, genes, abilities, and current situations. The LOC orientation is only one of the so many factors that affect it. Some of these factors, we really don’t have any control of and some we do. In my case, I focus on the things that I can control and manage the areas that I couldn’t or pray about them. That is my personal approach and it has worked for me my whole life. Very few people in my life knew that I was abused and only recently after finding Narcsite have I started telling people about it not to get pity but to spread awareness. They were all shocked because outwardly in person, I do not show any signs of being abused or victimized. The reason that I never told anyone prior to finding Narcsite because I didn’t focus on my misfortunes and I told myself that my i fortunes are not an excuse to act differently from other people. But I understand FYC and agree to a great extent.

          15. Thank you Mommypino,

            Somewhere along the way, this discussion veered away from the point I was making initially to a discussion about psychological theories, in particular LOC.

            My initial point was about the subtle connotations made in the ‘victim or volunteer’ argument that tend to point the spotlight of ‘responsibility’ on the targeted person. It was not about psychological theories or educational ‘knowledge’. It was not even about the personal way a targeted person ‘feels’ and if indeed they do see themselves as either a victim or a volunteer. It was about the use of those words and the subtle meanings that people *in general* take away from those words.

            To be honest, I don’t think that ‘formal’ education or qualifications are necessarily the things that switch on the light of ‘awareness’ about narcissists. I think that we all arrive at awareness in our own ways and I believe that our own personal experiences are the drivers. How we change our own behaviours after arriving at that awareness is down to our own innate personal internal thought processes and our own personal research and reading. This can happen with or without ‘formal’ education.

            Indeed, I believe ‘formal’ education is overrated. More and more these days, formal education is so expensive it’s only available to those who can afford it or to those who have gained access for some reason other than their personal intelligence or talents.

            It’s interesting to me that HG is the person many people credit as giving them knowledge and insights they couldn’t find anywhere else and for that they both defend him and hold him in high regard, and yet, HG doesn’t have formal qualifications in psychology. That in itself tells you that formal education is not the element that automatically makes a person influential.

            Anyway, thank you for all your comments and insights. I really have enjoyed this discussion and I feel that I have learned a lot from it too 🙂

          16. Hi WiserNow, I apologize for inadvertently veering your intended subject to something else. My attention and interest was caught by the concept of LOC and I wasn’t disciplined enough to stay on the issue the you brought up. Regarding your thoughts on formal education, I agree with you. I only mentioned my formal education as a recollection on where I have learned about Confidence Intervals that’s FYC mentioned and where I may have heard about LOC before but it just goes to show that I learned more about LOC here in an informal setting than in my classroom. The same goes for Narcissism. I remember about it being discussed in my classroom but I didn’t understand it enough to make the connection that my own mother was a narcissist. Although in that class I was able to diagnose her with Paranoia and has helped me understand why her behaviors throughout my life were so difficult. Does that mean that I would have never found out if I didn’t have formal education? Absolutely not. Books are available to everyone who wants to read and learn. My brother in law didn’t go to college but he has read so many books that he is actually much more educated than a lot of people who went to college. I do not think that a formal education degree is essential to anything although it does help in many instances. I was trying raised by a single mom who only finished up to fifth grade, could barely speak English, could barely spell, and didn’t know anything about social graces or even basic science and she was also a Lesser narcissist. Outside of school, she was my main source of knowledge and wisdom. I remember that I saw drawings of starfish, barnacles, sea urchins and sea anemones in a comic book that she rented for herself when I was in my third grade and I told her that they are fascinating and she told me that they don’t really exist; they are just made up. By the way, the reason I remember my age easily is because we moved to different houses a lot so it’s easy for me to mark my age with the memory of where we were living when the life events happened. When I was in high school, I was only exposed to the poorest population of my country because I lived in the slum area and I went to a public school. So when my dad decided to pay for everything for me to go to college and he payed for me to go to one of the best in our country where Cory Aquino graduated, it has changed me as a person dramatically. From being a high school student who grew up in poverty and hating the world especially the rich people, I went to college with the kids of rich people and I learned to love them as my fellow human beings who are just like everyone else, except that they can afford more stuff. I was taught about manners, social graces and etiquette when the school made us take Euthenics. I learned about different cultures around the world and how they shape a woman’s life experiences when we were required to take Womyn’s Studies. I learned about the historical facts and background regarding my religion through Theology. So for me, it was one of the most empowering experiences of my life. But I absolutely don’t think that it makes me better than anyone else. It just made me a better version of myself considering the unique situation that I came from. I do not mention in an attitude of bragging because that is not who I am and I don’t see myself as being better than anyone because that is not how I think.

          17. Hello WiserNow, I just want to add that all of us have unique life circumstances and I always respect that. I don’t judge people based on my life experiences or my standards. I did go to college and the only reason that it was possible was my dad paying for it. The way the economy in my country was set up, it would have taken me twice as many years to finish if I didn’t have financial help. After I graduated from college I got a full time job which payed me an equivalent to $250 for the whole month. I didn’t even earn enough money to leave my narcissist mom. I shared the apartment with my mom throughout college and after college and was subjected to her abusive control until I was able to leave my country. Life was not at all easy for me but the gift from my dad of being able to go to college saved my life and I am so deeply grateful for that. If I ever win a lottery I would hand out lots of college scholarships to people who are interested to have that experience because it is a privilege to have one especially to people from poor countries.

          18. Hi MP, I am so sorry you suffered that abuse for so long. You are a strong woman and have overcome a lot. I appreciate your love of learning, informally and formally. Your response is beautifully stated. I am very happy for you that you are abuse-free now.

          19. Hi WN, It seems my mention of a theory may have upset you, and that was not my intention. As is always the case, anyone is welcome to comment and I certainly don’t mind if anyone dismisses any theories or comments.

            I am grateful for my education, but I can also confirm that education does not equal wisdom by any means and neither does life experience if not applied or considered wisely. I agree formal education offers only cursory information on narcissism, and few psychologists are helpful in this area. HG’s model on narcissism is far more detailed and accurate and I hope it is adopted broadly in both popular and scholastic circles. To be clear, I do not hold any degrees in psychology; it is not my field.

            I have known many formally uneducated people who are very wise, and educated people who are not. Like all things in life, the value comes not from what we pay for (I worked FT to pay for my education), but what we do with all forms of accurate information and personal experience. It is up to us to put the puzzle pieces together in a way that is both meaningful and useful for us—and hopefully useful to others.

            I understood your original point, I just wanted people to know they have the power to determine their experience regardless of any words. If I missed the mark for you or others I apologize.

    4. Nicely said! I agree! We generally tend to blame ourselves for everything anyways so there’s not really a chance we won’t already take way too much responsibility for the abuse as it is.

      I had to read HGs words several times to remind myself. “I’m not being mean by cutting him out… I’m protecting myself” “I don’t need to be friendly because we work together… it won’t help matters” … the list goes on and on. I had to change my self talk to get through it.

      There’s no doubt I’m the victim. I wont, however, stay in a vicitim state. BecauSe then he wins.

    5. Hello WN, For a moment, let’s strip away the categories of narcissist and empath. To be truly empowered in life, it is important to know the power of choice and the influence it brings to bear on your experience.

      In general, people have an orientation on a spectrum that is known as a ‘locus of control’ (LOC). LOC refers to how strongly people believe they have control over the situations and experiences that affect their lives. An internal LOC person believes they have the power to influence and control their experiences. An external LOC person perceives they are subjected to influences by others that are not their choice and beyond their control. Your upbringing and personality shapes your LOC, however it can be changed.

      Empaths with an internal LOC are no less vulnerable to narcissists, but they would perceive they have choices that they can enact to influence what the experience. Once educated on narcissism, they would readily accept their role in the dynamic and are likely to more quickly make shifts. They perceive they have the power.

      Empaths with an external LOC are equally vulnerable to narcissists, but they may suffer more from narcissistic abuse and for a much longer period of time, because they believe they do not possess the power to control the actions of another.

      I have a strong internal LOC. So when I read HG’s posts, I take the view, “Damn, I wish I knew all of this years ago. I see where I went wrong (was a blind volunteer). I am now armored. I have choices and I have the power.” I immediately take responsibility for my choices and lack of knowledge/awareness and take action to forever be aware and make different choices.

      Anyone can be victimized, we are human and imperfect, but how you frame what took place, and the choices you make *after* you are aware you have been victimized, make all the difference. My hope for you is that you feel would feel empowered to see where your personal responsibility lies while not feeling judged or shamed by choices you may have made at a time when you were unaware. There is no judgement. There is no shame. Only learning.

      A victim lens is disabling and I hope anyone that feels caught in this view instead seizes the power that is within their grasp.

      1. FYC
        Well that explains a lot so thank you for that. I must be internal LOC because I have always believed blaming another 100% means the acceptance of having no power or control myself and I don’t believe that. I agree with your last sentence wholeheartedly.

        1. Thank you, NA, Yes, you most definitely are internal LOC. And I agree with you, as I have always had an internal LOC as well.

          For those who have an external LOC, I want to emphasize that they can shift their orientation to more of an internal LOC (sometimes with assistance) to feel and actually become more empowered.

          HG’s creative writing style and very direct counsel calls people to see their situation from a broader view, including personal responsibility for all choices (which can cause discomfort, including bargaining, defenses, etc.). While it may challenge some, his approach is very helpful for anyone seeking to seize the power.

      2. FYC,

        Thank you for your comment. With respect, I have to say that you’re preaching to the converted 🙂

        I already know that “To be truly empowered in life, it is important to know the power of choice and the influence it brings to bear on your experience.”

        Before I had awareness about narcissists, I thought I already had “the power of choice” and that I was exercising my ‘choice’ in the right way. I thought that was the ‘right’ way to improve my experience. I thought that I actually was behaving in a way that gave me a ‘locus of control’ and that my ‘control’ was well-founded and would lead to the results I wanted.

        All of our brains are not clean slates that are totally open to our experiences. We all operate from the results of our experiences, memories, environmental pressures, stress, fear, family upbringing, schooling, opportunities, etc etc etc. If we are targeted by narcissists and we don’t know about narcissism, we react in a way that we believe will work out well for us. We don’t approach the interaction with a logical mind that tells us, “now, do I want to be a victim in this interaction, or do I want to be a volunteer?” We simply react according to the way our instincts operate.

        I understand that there is no judgement and no shame *here* on this blog, at least not stated as such ( I have no idea about, or control over, what people are privately thinking). In society though, there IS judgement and there IS shame and if there’s a general society-based insinuation that the targeted person “should have known better” prior to learning and understanding, I think that is a misguided approach in general.

        I think further understanding and learning needs to take place in order for narcissism to be better understood and for narcissists to be more accountable for their own instincts and drives.

        1. Hello WN, I agree with your last paragraph.

          As for judgement and shame, people can and will do as they please, but their judgement is their own (if inappropriate or petty they can FTSSH). Shame is an internal judgment that literally changes your belief about yourself—this is optional and never advisable. If you feel guilt, that can be constructive for course correction. Shame, on the other hand erodes self esteem. WN, you know who you are. Petty people who try to bring you down are merely projecting their own issues. Pass on that and see it for what it is (I’m sure you do, but you seemed to be saying it matters to you).

          As for learning as you go, I agree. But the part about logic, I view differently. When we misplace trust in someone, it hurts and it’s a hard lesson, but there are ways to employ logic (make good choices) quickly to limit exposure and pain, and avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

          1. FYC,

            Judgement and shame comes from people who are quick to form opinions and slow to contemplate different sides to a story.

            The unfortunate thing though, is that once an opinion or prejudice is formed, it’s very difficult to change or remove. When society in general believes that something is true, the stereotypes can be impossible to shift and they can cause great difficulty for those who are being judged.

            I would rather speak out against the risk or possibility of judgement than try to turn the tide once the judgement takes hold, if you know what I mean.

          2. WN, I think you are saying is people with prejudice are judgmental and shaming and quick to form opinions and resistant to considering different sides to a story.

            Societal trends vary, but are influenced by the quality and objectivity of key information. Media has great influence in manipulating public opinion. Stereotypes are often cultural, and vary across different segments of society.

            Voicing your concern about how people who have been entangled by a narcissist are perceived is valid. Seeing victim or volunteer as a binary choice of labels would be limiting. I have never perceived this as what HG is implying. I perceive the purpose of this post is to shine a light on how we may inadvertently place ourselves at risk. This question prompts introspection which empowers versus projects a stereotype.

          3. FYC,

            Yes, like you, I see the purpose of HG’s post as a way to make empaths see how their own behaviour can lead them to be even more entangled with a narcissist.

            I think though, that it actually does project a stereotype and it does suggest that the empathic person is ‘responsible’ in some way for their own abuse. You may not agree, and that is ok. You are entitled to your beliefs and the way you see things.

          4. WN, of course we all have our own opinions, and I am glad when any are voiced. Labels by definition are incomplete. Labels create a mental shorthand to judgement. That judgement may be positive or negative, empowering or disempowering, supportive or shaming, kind or cruel, depending upon the choice of label and the intent of the person wielding the label.

            We many not be able to influence how others use labels, but we do have a choice in what we believe about ourselves and in how we deal with others labels. My point in voicing my opinion here was to let anyone who feels disempowered, to know they have choices and they can seize the power and define their own experience. I hope you did not feel I was discounting your opinion in the process.

      3. FYC,

        Again, thanks for your comment, however, I don’t have a “victim lens” and I never did. I fought hard for my independence in every possible way that I could. I’m still fighting now on this blog, just to be understood. I refused to be the victim and that made me a scapegoat in many situations.

        I didn’t volunteer either. Allowing honest beliefs and opinions to go unstated and unheard because it might upset someone or contradict someone in power got me into a lot of problems that I could easily have avoided.

        In every ‘romantic’ relationship that I’ve ever had, I recognised fairly early on that I did not enjoy or appreciate being victimised and the relationship came to an end in one way or another. The relationship I have with my family of origin is another story. I can’t just walk away from that one. Still, I would definitely not call myself neither a victim nor a volunteer.

        1. WN, I’m glad you clarified and expanded on your experience and I’m happy for you that you took action. Well done. I would always want you to speak freely and stifle nothing. I understand your family of origin comment. My solution is to live by my values, and limit contact. So far so good, but only because of all I have learned from HG. Without that insight, I would still be frustrated. I hope you find peace in your own chosen solution too.

          1. Thank you FYC, for your understanding and kind words. I wish you all the best and hope you find peace in your chosen solution too. There are many sides and nuances to this subject and I agree that each of us has our own way of understanding it and finding solutions.

          2. Thank you, WN. I enjoy our discussions when they arise. We may not always see things the same, but you are honest and direct and I appreciate that as well as your kindness.

    6. WiserNow,

      I agree with all your points. I do not like revictimizing people because I do not know anything about their past and what happened to them to become a target of narcissists.

      Narcissists hide behind a façade and people see (some fall in love with) the narcissist’s False Self – not with the narcissist.
      The individual could not have possibly known what they were dealing with. Nobody can, not even narcissists. It is not uncommon to see two narcissists in a relationship – romantic, familial, social and also in the workplace.
      Being a volunteer would mean recognizing the narcissist’s True Self and deciding to enter a relationship regardless.

      I would also like to add that we do not have to be in a relationship to be on the receiving end of a narcissist’ fury.
      HG wrote in his book Fury about Matrinarc. Her fury was ignited when she learnt that his brother was not admitted to the first eleven of a cricket team.
      Matrinarc’s fury was towards the selector. Instead of dealing with him, she took it out on an innocent victim who had nothing to do with it: the selector’s wife.
      Matrinarc excluded the selector’s wife from social events. This lady was also banned from local pubs.

      That was just an example of how different each particular case can be.
      Anyone can become the recipient of a narcissist’s fury and be punished for something they have not done. Believe it or not, this may happen to people who have not even met or had any kind of contact with the narcissist before. It happened to me and also to people I know – more than once.

      IMO, Victim-or-Volunteer is a black-and-white way of thinking. Very narcissistic indeed. I understand HG’s perspective.

      1. Thank you very much for your comment E.B.

        I agree that each particular case can be very different and there will be times that the so-called ‘victim’ doesn’t have any control in the dynamic, and can’t stop the abuse from happening. Labelling these targeted people as either victims or volunteers limits understanding and also, sadly, can limit the empathy and active assistance provided to them.

        This discussion makes me think of a terrible and extreme child abuse case in the news in my country in the past week. In this case, a small boy was isolated at home with his father. The father took the boy out of school and moved to a different region and did not enrol the boy in a new school, but kept him at home. Over a period of years, the father physically beat the boy and in the end, the boy died of severe injuries.

        Although there were school teachers and social workers who spoke out at different points during those years to alert authorities that the boy was being abused, nobody followed the case and it appears that no-one was aware that the boy was being kept at home and out of school.

        This case is extreme, but it makes me think who is responsible for the abuse? I think the father is fully responsible. The boy was certainly a victim, but how could he prevent what was happening? How could other people and authorities stop the abuse, apart from following the family closely, stepping in and taking the child out of the father’s custody?

        It’s a very sad case, and with greater awareness, perhaps it could have ended differently.

  3. The UMR Elite just hoovered me. I was over him because I was with the MMR.
    Now I’m not talking to the MMR, so it will be hard not to reply to the UMR.

    I randomly unfriend the UMR from Facebook and then later re-add him. He doesn’t care. I recently unfriended and blocked him. When the MMR upset me I blocked both of them at once.

    1. Whitney: Remember, a hoover also happens at times, because some other female found him out, or escaped or put up boundaries to respect herself. He then needs someone to deal with his garbage and to keep the games going with until he rebalances himself after the loss. So he looks over his little black book and sends out feelers for vulnerable sources that are probably sitting around bored with their life. However, you are not a gas station. For him to fuel up from and then go back on the road again. That is usage. That is abuse. And like many of us will say on here, you can not continue to get on and get off that wheel of misery with Narcissists before pieces of yourself will start becoming more and more damaged and twisted up and disoriented. If Narcissists become the only excitement that we find in life, we have much important work to do, to overcome this fact. We have to put the work in to not be drawn in by the fuel needs of the Narcissist. Or, our precious life will just become a host and a source for various parasites that leave us with a loss. A loss of our youth. A loss of our time. A loss of our own goals. A loss of our own self respect,etc. A loss of what it is like to be number one in our own lives.

      1. Dear PSE, thank you very much. You are very wise. A philosopher. I enjoy reading your ideas about people and life. All your comments are so valuable. You could compile your thoughts and experiences into a book.
        These Narcs have an electricity. We are drawn to each other, it’s magnifying. I can feel it right away. It literally feels electric. It’s an innate attraction. If they aren’t around, no one compares. It could be their unsettled core that I like. I don’t know. In a large group, me and the biggest narc just click. Narcs fight over me, it’s exciting and flattering.
        I’m trying to see myself as better than the narc. The narc is an imposter. I have lots of love. I don’t need the narc to be alive. I just like the electricty, presence, and feeling.

        1. Whitney: Yes of course, I agree with you. I posted on here somewhere the other day, that some Narcissists magnetize and vibrate like a living vacation, a living drug, a living bad memory eraser. At First. At First. At First. Then, when the fog lifts, some are like a living prison cell. Some are like a living hangover. Some are like a living nightmare. One then has to jump off the fantasy ride of the odd world of the Narcissist and try to put the pieces of one’s reality back together, alone. But now one is carrying more baggage. And one is jet lagged and disoriented and one is faced with the unusual culture shock of assimilating back into one’s own life. Which seems even more dull and confusing post the entanglement. One can not keep this pattern up for too long, of jumping back and forth with Narcissists, or one will have given up her entire life for nothing, Whitney, in the blink of an eye. Time flies. One can not keep climbing onto the Wheel of Misery because it is a familiar ride. Because it is still a bad ride, even if it the only ride you know. It takes work to walk away from the familiar. To quit the circus. To leave the band. To just say: no more. See a Narcissist and remember the end. The end is going to be bad. One way or another. And just like a drug pusher notices the people with tracks on their arms, Narcissists notice people that are groomed to put up with the terrible Narc cycle of abuse. Many women are not going to put up with all this, and many other women have escaped from all this. And, still many other women are escaping from all this every day. So, the hunt is always on for replacement chics/sources/appliances and ones to put on standby and ones to be stored for later backup usage, like backup flashlights and batteries and candles to be called upon during a storm or fuel crisis. Whom will be next? Very disrespectful. It is not a compliment for someone to think certain thoughts about us such as: I know I can abuse that one, and dishonor and disrespect this one, after dosing her first with one ounce of a little Lovebombing and perhaps a dash or maybe even an ounce or two of the Golden period, both stirred and shaken with a dollop of cold Pity Play, and now it’s time for the side show to begin. It is a bad and poisonous recipe for us, no matter how delicious and attractive the presentation. And remember, even hyenas and vultures fight over: the living, the half-dead and the cadaver, when hungry enough: It is not an honor to be fought over so as to be diced, and depleted and dishonored and devoured, at end. No thank you. Just Pass. HG mentioned The Surge to me in reply to a question I asked him. Maybe he will write more about The Surge in the fullness of time. HG says our emotional thinking is drawn to Narcissists, but when we remove ourselves from Narcissists for a sufficient amount of time, we can feel the surge within ourselves in their presence and notice it and importantly, catch the surge In Time and reign it in, and fight off the attraction. We can then catch ourselves before we wreck ourselves. And our logic can then STILL rule within us., because knowing all this is an advantage for us, Whitney. We have been led to the water. We must now drink it. We have a bit of the inside scoop now: Knowing The Narcississt. KTN. You have paid your dues already, so: Run the other way Whitney when the exciting/magnetizing/vibrating Narcissist Surge Alarm goes off, BUZz! BUZz! BUZz! in your nervous system. That is the feeling of bad danger. Don’t play with matches. RUN, RUN, RUN, as if your hair is on fire.

          1. Dear PSE, reading your comments transforms cures my troubled mind. Thank you so much. You are brilliant and you outdid yourself this time! I need to print out what you wrote and read it again and again. I’m going to highlight the important parts.

            My worst problem is projecting my emotions and humanity onto them. Your poetic description of vultures etc is so helpful. If I talk to saviour empaths in my life, it is dangerous for me. I can so easily get confused and project and see the narcissist as myself.

            I unfortunately watched a vile and hideous man on YouTube, another narcissist yesterday. It ruined my day. He explained fear of abandonment as being the root of the narcs behaviour. This sent me into utter confusion… emotional thinking, sympathy, hope, longing, despair. Luckily HG replied and reiterated his genius- the narcissist is driven by control and fuel. They are the vultures you describe PSE.

          2. Whitney: Love is not a Prison Warden. If someone is determined to leave and is leaving, or has left, bid him or her well. One can not legally beat down and drug and hold hostage and kidnap and kill someone because they want to leave, because one has fear of abandonment. All this has happened and is still happening. Fear of abandonment can became quite warped and twisted and dangerous. If someone you date tells you he has, in one way or another, fear of abandonment, watch out. What will be done to you, if you feel that it is best for you at some point to leave this person who has this issue? The statement also becomes a Pity Play, and then you are in danger of being mesmerized by the Pity Play, challenging yourself by ERRONEOUSLY thinking, if I never abandon this person, no matter how much this person degrades and abuses me and attacks and demoralizes and dishonors and disrespects me, all will be well. All will not be well. You will be losing again. MANY losses. You well permit someone to destroy you, because you have set up a false challenge for yourself, that you can never win. I do not know the statistics, but I would not be surprised to find out that many women, especially because many of us have maternal instincts, fall for the Pity Play. And that in the Devil`s Toolkit, the PITY PLAY is a very highly prized and shiny and favorite weapon for entrapment, and the Narcissists makes sure that the Pity Play is always cleaned and polished and ready and kissed each day for many services rendered. There are many women that absolutely detest a Pity Play from a male. However many other women may be moved with compassion for a Pity Play, as well. However, now that you see that the Pity Play has some traction and some pull and some grip with you, within your personality, Avoid. Once again you have the advantage. You know. Men that pull out the Pity Play with you: RUN and AVOID.

          3. The pity play has lost its power for me finally.
            They are responsible for the consequences of THEIR actions . Boy do they NOT like being told that.

          4. Thank you dear PSE.

            He is grandiose not vulnerable.

            I dealt with a vulnerable one as a friend, and he tried to consume me. Vulnerable men are insidious.

            It is me who wants to be with him. I miss him. I love him. I am so regretful. I am idealistic… He is perfect, there is no one like him. I love spending time with him. I want to see him. I miss him. I miss him. I miss him.
            I keep all these feelings to myself always. Maybe if I expressed myself honestly he would have wanted me 😢

            I also watched more of that other narcissist and it made me feel worse.
            He was talking about how the narc is a wounded child and needs to be dealt with like one.

    2. The MMR also hoovered me today.
      I noticed about the MMR
      -he gets angry when people tell me what to do, and I do what they say.
      -He answers questions people ask me.

  4. HG, we spoke the other day about GOSO, NC and ET and why it was so important. I guess your site is based on largely these terms and yet I am still not getting it, understanding it, or wanting to accept it.

    I have a specific question relating to careers and empaths. Are there certain jobs you would advise that we stay away from? TIA.

    1. No, there are hunting grounds to avoid (see Sitting Target) but the key is to avoid our kind. You do this by avoiding hunting grounds and ensure your Emotional Thinking is reduced so you abide by logic, know the red flags and abide by them.

      1. HG —not job places with narcs but careers less suited for empaths is what I believe SarahR meant. I’m curious as well.

        1. I find that narcs mostly thrive in two scenarios:

          1 Where the competition is Huge, enormous.
          Some high-brow and often wellpaid job, with only men. When the first woman is hired, “it’s gonna be a narc.” Someone tough, who can manage the discriminatory environment.

          2 Where there is no competition at all, no filtering or requirements and anybody can get hired. Where there’s Neglect in the recruitment process, there will be narcs.

      2. HG, would one of these hunting grounds to avoid be in security, say a private detective or a PD assistant?

  5. HG Do narcissists sense when we have got over them and I’m moving on? And if so is this also I have a trigger , This is the type of hoovering I have experienced most with the exception of them malignant hoovering But it’s always as I’m moving on and have got my life back together and I’m not in pain any more not necessarily with someone else just feeling good in myself

    1. We are not psychic. Either there is information the narcissist is receiving that is telling him you are “moving on” which threatens his sense of control and thus when there is a HT and the HEC is met, he hoovers, or the HT occurs, the HEC is met and it coincides with you getting back on track so you believe the narcissist somehow knows.

      1. Ok thanks 🙏 It is amazing how much it has happened to me out of the blue being really nice giving me complements and acting like we are friends even though things got really out of control and right when I am myself again we need you to invent a narcissist repellent for us lol 😝

    2. Veronica,
      I have experienced exactly what you just mentioned. Some narcissist seem to stay in their lane more, and others can’t handle others moving on. There’s a book called The Game. It’s about games pick up artist play with their victims, and how to objectify women to boost the ego. After so many victims, you know damn well that they can sense when their victims are losing interest, not engaging the way they want, cut them off, turned off the fuel etc. They want that trophy of keeping that toy on the shelf.

      1. Anm
        It’s interesting that you mention PUA. I often think about/compare the overlap in tactics used by people with NPD and PUA. I sometimes feel like HG would make a killing with a PUA business, but he chose to do the right thing and help people like us/targets instead 😇

        1. He’s so good at writing and enjoys it well, how do we know he hasn’t written a book for PUA with a different alias name?

          1. Now I can’t stop thinking about this.

            HG, this could be your angle when approaching women’s publications, etc. The anti-PUA. A woman’s defense against the sinister tactics of the men who’ve studied up on the game. Or something along those lines. I think right now narcissism is a still so murky in the mainstream. The anti-PUA play could be your entry to the audience, and from that point you lead into narcissism.

        2. Joanne: The PUAs are usually dweebs looking for a one night stand or 2. And are still having problems after scoring to keep the women attached to them. The Narcissist is looking for fuel usually, and has longer staying power with women and is able to attach women to themselves more if she meets his fuel needs, than the Pick Up Artist. So all Narcissists are in some ways pick up artists, but PUAs are not often Narcissists, from what I hear from these guys. A lot of PUA are normal men that are not good with women, but still have pressure to deal with women because their libido is making demands on their bodies to have sex with women, and so many PUAs are becoming a bit bitter and vengeful regarding women in general, and consider themselves to be Men Going The Other Way as well: (MGTOW). These PUA men and MGTOW men are running all around in NYC, but fortunately, they are easy to spot. They come off sort of slimey. Even when they thought they were smooth enough to pick up a woman, the woman had actually decided to throw conscience to the wind that night anyway, before she even went out. The PUA just happened to be there. No Artistry happened on his part, like he believes, for many of those guys.

          1. Hi PSE, When I was looking up the behaviors of the handyman which baffled me greatly, I also came across with Pick Up Artist search results. I even subscribed to a pick up artist training website to learn about their tactics or game. They are so similar to the narcissist’s hot and cold approach. For example, one of their techniques is when they see a female target with her friends in the club, they would give the target signs that they like her and then ignore her by chatting and joking with her girl friends instead of her (basically triangulation and mini silent treatment). I have no doubt that a Greater narcissist started this PUS scheme. A lot of Normal men try to be PUA but they get out of it because they get tired of what they do and feel shitty about the kind of person they have become. Some do not ever change, I think those are narcissists but probably Lessers. Some PUA have NIPSS that they string along and who are in love with them which is also fuel source.

          2. Yes, exactly, this is what I mean by the overlap. I don’t think a PUA has to be a narc but the same bag of tricks can effectively be used by both.

          3. Thank you for the correction HG. I thought they were Lessers and Normals but Mid-Rangers make much more sense because it takes some intelligence to be able to pick up women.

            Joanne, Thank you. Yes you are so right about the overlap. But I think that an empathic man would be awful at applying the strategies that they teach in PUA training. So only Normals and narcs can pull it off. I have read a lot of men who regret being a part of the PUA game which makes me think that they are Normals because they have remorse. But I think it’s more awful for someone with empathy to do these kinds of things because it makes me think that they are weaklings who do things against their conscience because they are in that much need of validation or like what PSE said, do not have what it takes to keep a woman but in dire need of sex.

            The PUA didn’t give me enough answers about the handyman though so I kept looking until I found narcissism and Narcsite. I finally got all of my questions answered.

            But I think it’s interesting that more people have actually encountered more narcissists than they could realize.

          4. MommyPino—your feet look cute! My great toenail is ailing less and less and I’m currently at the salon getting a pedicure and wax before I look like a werewolf.

          5. Haha thank you Lorelei. I guess the Vick’s method worked out even though it was slow. 😊

          6. PSE another thing that came out of my search queries on the handyman’s behaviors before I found Narcsite was the ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’. The handyman’s Facebook do not indicate that he has ever had a girlfriend which I thought was a red flag. If you look at the signs of the Peter Pan Syndrome, it includes a lot of red flags for narcissism.

          7. I find the Men Going The Other Way, broken men. So There is a choice of boring PUA men, or broken MGTOW men. I heard what each group had to say about themselves. Yawn. Not for me. I would rather stare at a random rock. Next!

          8. I have never heard of Men Going the Other Way. I just looked it up and I agree. Women need to avoid men like this! They are most likely narcissists too.

          9. PSE
            Are you talking about the men using the advice of a PUA, or someone who is actually “skilled” at pick up “artistry?” It’s been a while since I was in the dating scene but I like to listen to the younger set at work talking about their experiences. I feel there is a lot of overlap between a narc and a guy who’s mastered pick up artistry.

          10. Joanne and MommyPino: Regarding the PUA guys. Many women will tire of them soon enough. One day the pickup artist guys may only be observed in traveling circus exhibitions. [ FEB: The personification of Flesh Eating Bacteria exhibition]. If so, go and see the pick up artist exhibition in person when they come to a city near you. Worth the price of admission. Free tomatoes or such objects are usually provided with the ticket, so that visitors may throw tomatoes at the caged Pick Up `Artists,` and visitors are invited and encouraged to yell and shout at them, as well. Many mothers bring their daughters to this exhibit. The PUA FEB exhibit is a big hit for the traveling circus. Afterwards all female ticket holders are treated to free ice cream or sherbert and a variety of other treats according to their tastes.

        3. Joanne: I do not know what are the percentages of Narcs to Normal in the school of Pick Up Artistry. HG says:
          `Many of them will be Mid Range Narcissists and some hapless normals.` Joanne, to me, many of them that profess to study the Pick Up Artistry way are yucky guys. Most are looking for a quick score, because many of them have little going for them to attach a female to them for more than a few hours or a couple of weeks of dates at most, anyway. So, they are vengeful against women. Ewww…

          1. PSE
            I haven’t had the first hand experience myself. I feel for everyone who’s in today’s dating scene and has to deal with the snakes that are out there 😕

        4. Joanne: One PUA guy was going out each night to find a woman to take him home so that he could bathe and eat and sleep in a bed,etc.. He was up to 26 days in a row when I Saw his story on youtube. He was homeless. The women did not know he was homeless, of course, and they did not know that he keeping score of how many women would take him home the same night that he met her at a bar. He was laughing all through his video as he spoke about it. He was a pick up artist, he said.

          1. He had quite a gig. I bet he is a narcissist too because why would he post it in YouTube? All that I can think of is to get fuel from the reactions of people.

          2. MommyPino: Some of those PUA guys are so gross to me. So sweaty and slimy. Ugly voices and ugly speech patterns. Sullen. Eyes darting all around. Smothering body language. They remind me of a personification of flesh-eating bacteria. Ewww….. Losers that gave themselves the title of: `Artists`. Pick up Artists. Hahaha. I consider them to be the bottom of the barrel type of males, whether or not they are Narcissists or Normals or something in between. If more women started to wake up to their little games, the PUAs would be the first group that would be dead in the water. And floating.

          3. Lol you’re too funny PSE! Flesh-eating bacteria(FEB)🦠 sounds like a more apt title than PUA 😂. To be honest, I have never seen one in person. I have only experienced night-clubbing one time here in the US and I was already in a relationship with my husband and it was a girls’ night out to celebrate my birthday and my narcissist friend’s birthday with our coworker friends. And that night I behaved well just like my married friends. The only one who disappeared with a guy was my narcissist friend. In the Philippines I went restaurant and bar-hopping with coworkers but I was not aware of pick up artists there. PUA will have a harder time getting women in my home country because of the culture of women where they expect men to court them, chase them and spoil them before the woman would even consider having feelings for the guy. I agree with you that I hope more women would wake up and just laugh at these FEB’s sorry asses and never give them any time. 😊

          4. PSE, I just want to clarify that the reasonI said I have never met PUAs in real life is because I had a totally different idea of how PUAs look like. I was imagining them looking like James Bond 😂.

          5. This whole thread had me so far down the rabbit hole last night reading about PUA and seduction community. Insane!

          6. Joanne, It is insane! I remember when I was reading about this wondering how can people be so heartless to others? Also I have read a lot of these things happen in universities. It makes me want to make sure that my kids’ values and self esteem are so intact before they go to college. A lot of these men do it for notoriety or validation amongst their peers. Sometimes the things that they divulge to their peers about the women are so embarrassing and untrue that it would crush any woman who learns about what was said about them especially in school. So I want to make sure that when that time comes my kids are aware of these types of people before I send them out.

          7. MP
            There was a PUA reality show about 10 years ago that I used to watch. At the time, I was fascinated by the tactics that were used and how effective they were. Of course, this was before technology took over and people (women) had access to information to counter these attacks. As a big skeptic in all things, I remember thinking to myself how none of those things would ever work on me, how could anyone fall for any of this – but it worked! It still works! Just like it worked on me with the narc 😕 Right time, right place, right person…

            I worry about my kids too. I look around me and feel sickened that young relationships don’t even seem real nowadays, let alone having to watch out for things like this. I do my very best to raise a young gentleman and an astute young lady. We definitely need to do what we can to prepare them for what they could encounter.

          8. Hi Joanne and PSE,

            I agree that women need to wake up and avoid these men. It doesn’t really matter that much if they are narcissists or not, it is horrible the way they treat women and that behavior shouldn’t be rewarded.

            Joanne, I also have a boy and a girl. It is so fun to have one of each. They both look like empaths right now. My girl is more narcissistic but she cracks me up. She has a tendency to get special treatment or praises from people even strangers every day because of how cute she is and I think it adds to her narcissistic traits. I sometimes catch myself being more lenient with her or being mesmerized with her antics and then I try harder to make sure that I am as firm with her as I am with my boy. One time she saw me crying as we were watching Frozen, the part where their parents died and Anna was behind Elsa’s door saying that it’s just them now, and my daughter empathically touched my cheek with a serious look and told me in such a mature and strong way, “Mommy, don’t cry.” It cracked me up. She’s only two! 😂. My boy is so cute too but I’ll tell a story about him some other day. But I think that both of them will be targets when they grow up so just like you I am preparing them for what they can encounter. And if they ever make a mistake I want them to have belief in themselves to stand back up. But right now I think that they both have so much empathy that they will not play with other people’s hearts and I want them to stay this kind forever.

            Joanne, I could so totally relate to what you said about thinking that those things will never happen to you and then at the right time, right place, right person you were vulnerable. I was the same. I have always been so picky with guys that my girl friends even asked me if I am secretly a lesbian. I think I was just scared of ending up being married to someone like my mom. So much of our personality and confidence level fluctuate through our lives that we are not the same person a few years ago. So you are absolutely right that at the right time, it can happen. If I met the handyman when I met my husband and I was looking for someone to marry, I would not have even looked at the handyman. Also, the 7-year itch might be true because we were at the 7th yr of our marriage, a few months shy of 8 years when the handyman showed up. You were right when you talked about hunger for male validation because when I was still single, even when I didn’t have a boyfriend, I was so used to and enjoyed men staring at me and looking like they were attracted to me. And then when the handyman showed up, I rarely left the house except to go on play dates or Walmart and it was kinda nice to have a guy who’s younger than me look at me like Cupid just struck his heart, and then he even mirrored the rhythm of my walk and movements and some of my expressions so I really thought that he could have been my soul mate, so with the right person who was good at mirroring it could happen too lol.

          9. MP
            It is definitely fun to have both a girl and a boy. The dynamics are so different and both have their ups and downs. I strangely feel mine have very prominent narc traits. My daughter is a more empathic soul than my son but they both have strong narc qualities about them. I often wonder where this comes from and how I might have contributed to it, but I think a lot of it is also environmental. Still, I talk to them about toxic relationships and manipulative people so that they are aware on all levels.
            And everything you said about the handyman is similar to my situation. I know for sure when it was time for me to settle down, my narc would not have been my choice!

          10. Joanne, they are definitely so different. It’s so fascinating.
            I think that it’s good for them to have high narc traits and empathic traits that balances them. I think as long as they have empathy they will be fine because it will still put a limit on what they will do with their narcissistic tendencies. I am actually somehow worried with my boy whom I think is too nice. With my daughter who has high narc traits, I am not so worried because I know that she can mostly assert herself even against much older kids. Although I was proud of my boy last weekend when we went to a train museum. They were playing with toy trains and my daughter put her train down on the table while she seemed to be thinking and a mom took her train and gave it to her son. My boy went to the mom and politely but confidently informed her that the train that she took is his sister’s train. The mom gave the train to him and he gave it to his sister. Things like that make me so happy. 😊

          11. MP
            That is actually really nice. He did assert himself by politely approaching the mom. And he did it for his sister which shows he is wanting to defend and protect her. There is also that empathic need for “justice.” Very cute 🙂

          12. MommyPino. Regarding high school and college guys: Many always had pick up `Talk`ery–They always had big mouths about scoring with female classmates. Now, because of all the methods they will learn about pick up activity on the internet, many guys will add Pick up Artistry to their already known habit of pick up Talkery. It is bad for females (that are not attempting a Kardashian type or Hilton type of career leap).

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