Poll : Which Of These Manipulations Did You Experience The Most?

 

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You will have experienced many different types of manipulation having been ensnared by a narcissist or more than one. You may not have realised what the manipulation was at the time and only worked it out after the event.

Was there a particular manipulation that was used against you more than the others? Perhaps one narcissist used it a lot or it has become a common theme used by the various narcissists you have entangled with? Did the narcissist use sex to manipulate you, through withdrawing it or making you do sexual acts you were not comfortable with or maybe sex was given as a reward if you were compliant? Were you the recipient of lots of Present Silent Treatments through sulking and cold shoulders? Maybe you found that the narcissist used contradiction a lot through saying one thing and doing another? It  might have been that you were subjected to word salads as you fought to understand what on earth was going on.

Whichever was the manipulation that was used the most against you, choose one from the list and do please expand on how this affected you and why you think this one was used against you more than others.

Thank you for participating.

 

Which of these forms of manipulation have been used against you the most often?

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121 Comments

  1. Maybe you found that the narcissist used contradiction a lot through saying one thing and doing another? The whole, “I just want to be respectful and call you” after standing me up and then hoping a reach out would nullify it. There is such a huge gamut of narcs today that the pretty boys with the quiet demeanor can truly excel, unless of course they meet an empath like myself who trusts her instincts more than needing a man. Singleness is the greatest attribute against a narc because I can myself happy. Having been with narcs in the past, I won’t be so dumb to succumb to their treachery.

  2. Thanks for sharing your view HG. Mine does absent silent treatment, he tells me he has to ‘teach me a lesson and thing like this then disappears for 6 weeks without a word or anyway for me to contact him. Then when he comes back he tells me he needed to ‘get off drugs’ or that I was ‘going to drive him mentally insane if he didn’t go. I somehow end up apologising- it is infuriating really.

    1. Indeed and it is inherently designed to be infuriating but it is here that you will find the knowledge to seize the power and remove the infuriation

  3. Tough call just choosing one.
    Triangulation w another person , all three narcs pulled it. For me, it’s the most infuriating that’s why I chose it.

    Gaslighting & Projection would be right up there – they just didn’t affect me as strongly.

  4. I chose triangulation and gaslighting.
    My mother…gaslighting and blame shifting. She had me thinking i was to blame for everything and that there was something wrong with me. She also rewrites history and will say something happened that didnt or that it happened differently than it did.
    My narc….triangulation and gaslighting. He will diminish how i feel by saying i misread things or im wrong about a situation. He has triangulated me with people and my own furbaby. Once you know what it is it doesnt get to you as much altho still toxic.

  5. Triangulation with anyone and everyone from FB Floozies that he had never met to the elderly female who lived next door. My head used to spin as I mulled over what had happened each time. But then I found HG and this site. Triangulation no longer has an effect on me. Kisses to you, HG!!!!!

  6. Smearing. Narcissists use it as soon as they realize I could see through their façade. I have been told I am not good at hiding my feelings when I meet new people, even though I do not say anything and (in *my opinion*) I do not let them know. Narcissists wrongly believe I will expose them and use this manipulation to counter its effect.
    I have never been able to clear a smear campaign. It leads to ostracism. It is a myth that the truth eventually comes out.

  7. Omg HG this poll is too hard and overwhelming 😭 How in the hell am I supposed to narrow down his favored
    manipulative tactic against me to only one when he used damn near every single fucking method you listed, and then mixed it up on the regular to keep it interesting, by changing his preferred method without rhyme or reason over all these years? Fucking hell HG just reading through the choices stirred up so many bad memories I would literally do anything to be able to erase, or better yet, preventing from happening at all. If I hadn’t been an idiot by even talking to him at all, this nightmare never begins. What I would give if I could go back and stop myself from ever responding to the greeting he sent me on the alternative lifestyle website we both frequented…if I could delete his phone number when he gave it to me during one of our online chats….if I would have just hung up the phone before he answered it that first time we spoke and not heard his voice…if I would have made some excuse and not met him for lunch that day. if, as we finally stood there face to face for the very first time, I’d stopped his hands from cupping my face so tenderly as he slowly guided my head upward to his…and God alfuckingmighty if I’d only refused to open my eyes when he commanded I do so….if only I hadn’t looked into his eyes…but I did. I absolutely went to him willingly and most eagerly. And went back too many times to count before we moved in together. I was such a goddamned fool. I allowed him to say and do things to me that, prior to meeting him, I NEVER EVER would have tolerated from from a partner. Ask anyone who knows me, because they’ll all vouch for the veracity of my words. If any previous partner had been stupid enough to try and to do the things he did and continues to do, there would be one less narcissist to deal with in this world, because I would have gutted him then removed his head from his body, and I would be writing to you from Texas’ death row instead of the kitchen table, I am no weakling. Anyone who has ever known me can verify that. Although I hold very traditional beliefs regarding gender roles and hierarchical structure within the family, I am strong-willed, extremely determined and God help anybody who stands between me and whatever goal I’ve set for myself. I’ve always been like that. If you tell me I can’t do this or that, you’ve just added fuel to the fire and it only deepens my resolve to succeed. I’m going to do it come hell, high water, or Democrat in the White House 😈😎💯
    Yet I bear a permanent symbo that marks me as his property. My only consolation is that no one who sees that mark will know what the words are or understand the significance of the symbol because they’re in a foreign language.

    I have no idea why I’m even sharing all this here. I’m sitting here at my table typing this when I REALLY need to be getting caught up on my nursing documentation from the patient visits I made yesterday so I can get it all turned in on time. I feel sick to my stomach and I’m feeling completely disgusted with myself. At least all of you here, regardless of how long you stayed with your narcissist or how foolish you might think you are because you fell for Satan, you weren’t/aren’t dumb on anywhere near the level I was, so cut yourselves some slack 🤗❤, and HG, excellent work on managing to trigger the living hell out of me (and probably others, too. I’ve yet to read all the comments). Very well done. 👏👍💯 I do believe you’ve got a sadistic streak wider than the Grand Canyon, Sir. 🤔
    Someday I guess I’ll learn 🤦‍♀️🙄

    So that’s the long-term consequences of his presence in my life. Mostly anger and disgust with myself because dammit I should have not allowed it to happen. There are a multitude of aftereffects for me, but that’s the biggie.

    My spleen feels much better after all this venting. Again I thank you for all you do here, HG. Honestly sometimes I don’t know what to think about your stated reasons for putting yourself out here for our edification, but narcissist or not, you are doing a good work. Your efforts are praiseworthy and deserve recognition. I’ve shared this weblink with a few people I believe may benefit as we have from what you share, and I will continue to recommend your site.

  8. I chose Smearing but I expereienced also Word Salad, Circular Conversation, Lies and Made to Feel Guilty and a low dose of gaslighting

  9. I wonder why my partners didn’t Gaslight. It sounds deranged.
    Only time I experienced it was from a Victim male friend. Then I did NO CONTACT permanently

    I experienced Triangulation most. And Blameshifiting when I was the IPPS. Blameshifting was totally effective because I take people’s words seriously and I don’t consider that people lie. If someone says something, I think it’s a fact.

  10. I was only able to choose one, and it wasn’t the right one.

    Absent Silent Treatments
    Gas Lighting
    Lies
    Triangulation With Person
    Circular Conversations
    Blame-shifting
    Made to feel guilty
    Allegations of Being Crazy
    Projection
    Contradiction
    Verbal Tirades
    Allegations of Being Needy
    Triangulation With Object
    Word Salad
    Allegations of Being an Abuser

    Those are all the ones I experienced with the Mid Ranger. It is impossible to choose which one. Lots of all of it. He never accused me of being selfish or a narcissist, only needy, obsessive, lonely, etc. It was just mental and emotional diarrhea all around.

  11. Like the carpenter, the Narcissist has a toolkit, so it’s kind of crazy to ask us to pick just one. It’s like asking a carpenter which tool he uses most: the hammer? the screwdriver? the saw?

    Anyway, if I have to pick just one, it doesn’t mean that there weren’t immense amounts of word salad, present and absent silent treatments, gas lighting, accusations of me being the abuser, circular conversations, made to feel guilty, blame shifting, verbal tirades, lies, and contradiction.

    If I have to pick just one, it is Triangulation with a Person, i.e., many triangulations with many different people.

    P.S. I don’t recall reading about Triangulation with an Object. Will have to search that one.

  12. I can’t pick one of these it’s all of them, I chose blame shifting because in a way I think it’s linked to others, projection, word salad , triangulation, smearing, gas lighting , your a narcissist. It’s all denial and someone else’s fault. Absent silent treatments were frequent. Too hard to choose.

  13. What a difficult poll, picking the most used. Almost all of them were used with finesse’, delft, slicing pin-point accuracy. However the triangulation was early and on-going and I didn’t catch on that that was what was being prepped in me. I must have been forthcoming with “other women” self work I saw as an accomplishment of difficult inner work to balance my perceptions and interactions logically as opposed to the emotional constructs functioning in me that isolated me from even friendships. I had distrusted other women completely and with good reason. Mom is one of your kind. I have the good fortune to have been born with good genes and the physical make up that is both a blessing and a curse. Moms ability to cause me to fully believe that I was “bad blood” worked and she still attempts to this day to reinforce that. (it no longer works) Add to that jealousy of other females, the testosterone levels of males and then the friends who ended up sleeping with my “husbands” and ending my marriages, I dreaded, feared other females, I was constantly guarded against those of my own gender. I was in a group recommended by my psychiatrist. Sessions with him were for an hour weekly at first then monthly as he and our group facilitators’ treatment plan evolved. I went to group for seven years and came out with the freedom to be self aware and nurtured at my core able to logically evaluate the world around me. I had had time to encounter stumbling into self doubt and the process of re- affirming the basics to remove the doubts and hop back up. So when I found the trickle of an emotional response from my former fear of what other females are untrustable as, I thought it was me. I became sure it was me. My basic processes I used said it was me. I no doubt addressed the issues with my SO Narci and oh my, I then was again bad blood. THis was almost the totally un-doing of seven years plus the 20 years since of having little to no emotional self-doubt. Because of the triangulation I succumbed 98% to re-adding all the lessons of my N Mom and former husbands,, I almost became accepting of my fate to be the crazy one lucky to have had my mom and this SO Narci to watch out for me. Triangulation – my undoing. Almost. haha. I love how when that last little percent of the healed logical brain was threatened became my Fairy Godmother like Joy that waved a magic wand over me and I escaped right in his face. I was calm cool collected and operated from the frequency that shattered any opposition from him in the moment. I packed went to an undisclosed location, got an airline ticket and was home in three days. Since then (this was in July 2019) I have suffered for sure the trauma bond, the unrest all the residuals. I haven’t worked a perfect get away sogo in that I’ve done a shitty no contact. And the emotional place rages to be satisfied and demands a fix of being in the drugged state it is with him. I did block him from any and everywhere but un did this. I know, I swear. The bonds are falling away but I see I’m reduced to a lesser source living 2000 miles away in another and am physically safe. The lie I try to fool myself with is if as a super-empath can I even every enjoy non-greaters. I went to a pub where a friend bartends, who do you think I was sticken by? Yep obviously another probably lesser narci. I knew after just a few days and blocked him amazed again that i was drawn and so was he. Un-Fucking-believable. The emotional lie is, is one better than the other. For now my logical mind is allowing me to leave all of them away at least at arms length I am aware they are there and not complacent and trickable. I don’t know HG. Anyway I do thank you for most of what you do. Haha. Peace.

  14. Tears are rolling down my (face) cheeks as I read through every comment. I am so appreciative of everyone’s comment. I don’t feel alone anymore; I have embraced a simple life of ‘alone-ness and solitude’ a lifestyle a ‘monk’.

    Grateful for all that you do and continue to do, HG!

  15. Present silent treatments is #1 for sure. Also, sexual manipulation, circular conversations, made to feel guilty, blame shifting.
    There were times when I didn’t even know why I got the silent treatment. Last summer I took him and my daughter to the beach. I was hesitant to take him since he ruined the other vacation we went on together. At the beach we went to a restaurant he really wanted to try. When we saw the menu the food wasn’t at all what he expected. He threw a fit. So my daughter and I decided to go to another restaurant. He came with us but refused to order anything and wouldn’t talk to us. I don’t know why, it’s not my fault the other place was not up to his so called standards. At the time I was thinking, it’s just another trip ruined by him!

  16. All of the above, and relatively quickly into the relationship. Had it not been for HG, I’d still be twisting in the wind, trying to understand what I’d done wrong, or not enough, or too much ad nauseum. The very first thing? Triangulation. It was all down hill from there.

  17. I voted “contradictions” as the front runner but blame-shifting and projection were close runner ups!
    Recently he has begun calling me crazy and abusive (emotionally) more frequently.

    Re: your intro paragraph. I was never forced into doing sexual things I did not want to do but I often feel like sex WAS given to me as a reward for being compliant.

  18. He used all of them.

    The only exception is word salad… he never did that.

    His favourite? Triangulation. It was affective because he triangulated me with someone I hated (a female narc who was his x)

    And I want to make this important point… traingulation works well and the biggest reason? Is because of how women COMPETE with other women… we are doing it to each other ladies!!! We need to stop all this petty competition, it’s archaic… and we need to stand together against these men and say with our actions , not our words… enough is fucking enough! They are not allowed to pin us in a competition against each other anymore! Why? Because we won’t engage. Instead we are going to support other women and not care about who’s prettier, smarter etc. These me count on the fact we don’t support one another… and I for one… am over it!

    1. I would like to add that in fact that female narc I hated…. and still do on strictly a professional level… on a personal level I hope she weaves him back In her web and makes his life a living hell!! Go female narcs!! Keeping the playing field even! Haha

  19. I actually found two (in my experience) that are used most often. Being bisexual, I attract both male and female partners (who are in the least emotionally unavailable and full fledged narcissists on the other side of the scale)…HG’s articles are improving my ability to maintain an emotional balance!

    Men seem to gravitate towards the sexual manipulations.
    They are capable of keeping up with my sexual appetite, being affectionate & showing an impressive simulation of emotional intimacy. I then open up a childlike belief that i will finally have my needs met which in turn sets off an intense emotional addiction. Soon after I am asked and agree to move in. That’s when everything shuts down. I’m ignored, expected to cow to his every need and be bloody grateful for the privilege of being shut out and my needs denied. What’s the point of being in a relationship if I’m doing everything alone? It’s truly a challenge because it seems I don’t really get to know who he is until I’m trapped. At least now I realize how imbalanced my thought processes are and what being with an emotionally balanced person might feel like so I have some reference to the differences (great article about that I read earlier today on this blog site).
    As for the women, they tend to be hot and cold. It takes them forever to want to be emotionally intimate. This is a trigger in and of itself for me so I now have to work through emotions of abandonment, rejection, & neglect. This causes me to be angry. Anger can take days for me to recover through. I do my best not to direct it at anyone but to allow myself to be genuine and feel it. Generally this is when I’m informed I’m abusive, abrasive, and neglectful. When I ask what is needed no answer is forthcoming. I’m expected to be a mind reader (which I am not).
    I’ve taken time in the past to decipher if I am these things. I believe now I am not.

    My future is uncertain in terms of relationships. I dont know if i will ever be in one that is healthy. I’m currently taking time alone and realizing intensity doesn’t equate to any depth of sincerity. Continuing to be open and willing to learn while being authentic is my sincere goal. Wish me the ability of balance and some luck to go with it :)

    Warm energy on all your journeys.

    1. Aurora, glad to know I’m not the only bi in the blog! I have never encountered a female narc, though. I can see how women could use the hot and cold more, although the male narc I am constantly talking about used that too. In fact, it was in a shocking moment of sudden coldness out of nowhere that I realized there was something rotten that I hadn’t seen before. Anyway, just wanted to say welcome to my fellow bi (although I prefer sexually fluid to bisexual).

    2. Aurora, men expecting to be catered too is present in all men on the spectrum (at least in my experience) men are not conditioned to think about the needs of others and believe their partner is responsible to take care of them. A lot of them had this modeled to them in their childhood as well. I would kill for a partner that just sees something needs to be done and just does it I hate having to ask men as if they are children to help out around the house. Being on my own is peaceful and I love it.

  20. Constant triangulation from day 1. I didn’t see it as such in the moment. It didn’t bother me or cause me to feel jealous because he had me convinced that he was “soooooooooo into me.” I didn’t feel threatened 🙄 It wasn’t until afterward that I could see what he’d been doing.

  21. It was the perfect Ancestry.com advertisement. I was adopted 65 years ago and had never met any of my real family. Did the dna and found a
    nephew who lived close. We met for the first time and it was instant love on my part. He had the terrible life story with the sexual abuse from step dad and my sister was in and out of shelters and had died a tragic death. He was so glad I came along because he had no family and of course I had a lot to offer. I became the NISS as well as NNPS. He had adhd and so I studied up on how to deal with it and opened my family up to him. I have 3 kids and 11 grandkids. He lost his job about two months after I met him. They put a lady in as his boss and he couldn’t deal with it and he had a house he was flipping, so I helped him get that finished up and sold. I can’t get mad, because while he was using me for fuel, I was also filling myself up. It made me happy to be able to help someone and he took my advice and help and progressed like crazy. He was able to leave his drug addiction and I helped him land a upper management job with a nationwide hospital corporation. Yes I experienced love bombing for a whole year and it was wonderful. He was a gym rat and very good looking and I am gay. At times the mask would come off and this little boy would say things to me. I was always treated with respect and courtesy. The last time I met with him, he told me he had met a lady that was able to communicate with his mother. She told him that my position in his life was rescuer. That’s when the whole thing came down and I realized from prior therapy something was up. He didn’t contact me for weeks. His job made him go out of town. I finally got mad and sent a horrible text asking what was up. That’s when the mask came off and I was devalued and put in the shelf. He didn’t need to be rescued, so I was retired. Yes it broke my heart. Yes i sent him the heart felt texts which supplied him more. But because of it I was able to find a therapist and this web site and address my issues as well.
    I don’t hate him, it is their way to survive in this fucked up world. I have gone no contact now for 3 months. I have bought and read many of your books HG. I work for a major narcissist. I am in sales and he has taught me so much because he is able to take the emotions out of the equation. I understand my position with him and stay within those guidelines and he has always shared his wealth with me. I guess I’m a good appliance with him. Lol Anyway HG Im not sure how, but i would like a private consultation with you but I’m not sure how . Thanks

  22. His favorite thing to do was triangulation, and he used me to do it all the time.

    He’s leaving the office!! He’s moving out of state and transferring to a less demanding position than his current one of regional president over three states. It was a dream opportunity that fell into his lap yesterday as he put it. His wife didn’t think so since they were looking to retire on a beach in Florida, and are now headed up to where they started in Jersey instead. Ideal setup for him fuel wise and easy schedule and still a position of power. I’m sure he’ll find a way for some dream opportunity to happen in Florida in another few years. For me, I was already heading out to another company, and I only feel good about his leaving too. The biggest thing lifted from me is – not worrying – anymore over every little thing. I can do whatever I want, wear whatever I want, without worrying about what he’ll think or say about it. It’s terrible but I literally had that Oz song Ding Dong the Witch is Dead running through my mind this morning without even thinking about it.

    1. Oh man he’s leaving that’s amazing!!!!!!! It’s my dream that mine will leave my work place to! You’re living the dream! Congrats !

    2. My boss was actually Let Go , Fired nicely, I found out the next day. He handled the phone call so well, as if it was something good that had fallen into his lap, and told me what his new title would be. Instead he’s staying till the end of year to transition in his replacement, and doesn’t know what he will be doing afterwards. I have a new respect for the company and might stay on with them now. I won’t be seeing him anymore, and certainly not as the boss. I posted on FB Streisand singing Cats “Memory” as a secret tribute to my old frenemy. Karma for a brief moment, but wherever he manages to land on his feet, it won’t be anywhere near me.

  23. Projection.
    She( my mother) accused me directly or indirectly, through her minions, of every other offense listed and then some. And she did it my whole life. All the while, she was all of these things to me. There were even sexual manipulations, allowing me to be molested, then insinuating I caused or somehow enticed my molester ( I was 5 yrs old) and referencing her own sex life as how things should be. I have no idea what sex is supposed to be like. I have no idea how normal people behave. She used everybody I’ve ever known to manipulate, triangulate me. Then made me believe I was the monster. I was corrupt.

  24. Triangulation with person probably. Although so many others were close contenders. Triangulation, I never really knew what it really was until researching all the hot and cold behavior and was led to NPD. it comes across as THEIR insecurity & game playing – but when it never stopped-it caused me insecurity and sadness. Now it’s simply entertaining when I observe it in others.
    I’m Weaponized – thx HG

  25. I experienced them all but at the beginning absent silent treatment was the obvious behaviour that didn’t seem ‘normal ‘. I challenged the behaviour but ultimately tolerated it which obviously opened the gates to more varied abuses. It was as time went on that I identified all the abuses but that took a lot of time and only after I finally realised I wasn’t to blame. validation only came after finding this site.

  26. Absent silent treatment. Honestly it is not as much about other women as it is his business. It seems to give him the most fuel. Sooooo successful and he gets fuel from his associates giving him the fuel at his office. He always says they line up outside his office to talk with him. Small amount of fuel from over 60 employees.
    His customers give him fuel by praising him for all he does for them. He is the “rockstar “ in his business so everyone knows him and he always has his phone next to him. He has shown me so many texts and they are all about his business deals. I think this is where he gets off the most and feels needed and like a King!!
    At times though he talks to me and says how tired he is of all of this. He is older in his 60s and is having problems keeping up with the pace he once was and is taking a big toll on his health.
    He gets lots of fuel from it, but the joy of all of it is not there like it once was and he does not know how to get out of it or to at least cut back. It is now like a double edged sword for him.
    I can’t compete with his business nor do I want to. He is getting forgetful from all of this and it is like he is spinning out of control in a downward spiral. I am watching this happen from a distance. He comes to me for the intimate time and he becomes like a little scared man that needs reassurance that he is wanted as a person not as the boss or business owner.
    The arms length silent treatment with the competition of his business does not drive me crazy anymore because of HG, I know and see him so much more clearly. My strong emotion is not there anymore. It DIED at the beginning of the year. I do my own thing now and if and when he calls, I chose if I want to talk to him or see him. I read HG almost daily to reinforce my continued distancing from him. When I see him, the emotional excitement I once had is gone. I admit there is still some emotional thinking on my part, but I KNOW there is NO future of a real relationship here. His childhood issues have been talked about more recently by him and I know he has been screwed up for years over this and I know there is NOTHING I can do for him about it. It just makes me feel so blessed that I had the simple childhood upbringing I had over his affluent boarding school abandonment upbringing he had.
    I don’t consider his absent silent treatment as an issue for me anymore because I don’t care if he contacts me or not. What is important in his life is not the same as what is important to me.
    He knew how to talk the talk, but could not walk the walk.
    NOT MY PROBLEM!!

  27. Allegations of being crazy. It took me so long to understand what was happening honestly. There was a lot of circular conversations in which I was trying to be rational and have logical conversations and things always got twisted into being my fault and then when I would get emotional or frustrated then I was placated and tsk tsk “you are being overly emotional, you really need to work on handling your emotions better, you over react to things, etc”. It got to the point where I actually began to believe that I was an overly emotional person and started trying to just not show emotion but the only way to do that was to simply agree with him all the time.
    I never looked at the fact that I could have normal, even passionate conversations about the same subject matter with anyone except him and was never accused of being overly emotional.
    Took me way too long to figure out.

  28. Triangulation constantly. With people and objects. The phone is quite the triangulation tool bc of the easy access. In all fairness though I definitely say and do things that could be seen by them as triangulation only making them uncomfortable isn’t my intent.

  29. ​Gaslighting. 

    It tied in with his feelings of paranoia and persecution.

    Randomly, he would confront me: “What happened at that dinner/visit/family event?”, “What went on?”…”So and so (fill in blank of friend’s/family member’s name) did this/that/and the other thing to me on purpose.”

    It worked hand in hand with causing to distance myself from family and friends and to slowly wear down my sense of reality. I would be provoked and go over (in my head, if not out loud) what was said or done at the event in question…I would defend that person saying that he/she wouldn’t do that – or my family is just that way and he shouldn’t take it so personally. Other times I would know that nothing actually happened but slowly, slowly I would wonder: “Did *SOMETHING* happen?” “DID so-and-so do that?”

    And eventually his feelings of persecution and paranoia increased…and his accusations shifted and focused on me: “*YOU* know something…you know something and you’re not telling me.”

    In the end, he was right; I had joined the ranks of those who came to realize there was something seriously wrong with him. 

    I never realized, until now, that it was the one manipulation that he used the most – it was always there, from beginning to end.

  30. Triangulation with person(s). The other IPSS was my archenemy, but he tried with other different people as well. Triangulation based both on sexual/romantic interest or intellectual competition. My entanglement was a bad version of “Bizarre Love Triangle.”

      1. HG, I think because I was married for twenty years to a man who liked to impose silent treatments for so long it killed everything. In time, it killed intimacy. Eventually, the marriage. Having someone else do that to me was painfully reminiscent. Its is a deliberate wall, which blocks everything. The present silent treatment is ugly, frustrating, maddening, and especially painful to an empath who craves intimacy and a close, loving and affectionate relationship. It makes me feel alone. So I may as well be alone.

          1. Congrats on having the courage to leave .
            Its difficult for me as I have kids.
            I dont have the strength . I sometimes feel like I should just suffer. I suffered so many years without knowing anyway.

          2. Pati

            All the courage you need to leave is right there in your children. They are the reason you should be making the case to leave and not to stay. They did not agree to be involved in this abuse and depend on you to remove them from the awful effects of it, be it directly or even in the witnessing/feeling of abuse of their mother. If you do not act, you may suffer in your relationships with them as well eventually. I don’t say these things to hurt you or to make you feel guilt. I am speaking for your children because I was in their position and someone has to when you cannot see it yourself. Difficult? The difficulty is in staying. I would rather have lived in a shelter. Show them what love is by leaving abuse.

          3. Thank you ! The problem is my children are adults now and they are on their dads side as they all get along. If I would leave they would hate me for the rest of my life..

          4. You’re their mom Pati. They could never hate you. ❤️ But I understand your dilemma. And I applaud you for being selfless and putting your children first.

            Since you are staying try and concentrate on having an independent life within your marriage. I had to do this once in a long term relationship and it worked very well.

          5. I am trying real hard! Now that I know my husband is a Narc and HG confirmed it I know how manipulated he can be. My kids come first and I will suffer. Very kind of you to reply and understand me as no one will believe me if I ever left him. He has a good act and facade to other people . Hugs to you

          6. That must be so hard on you. I’m sorry. You’d be surprised how many people would support you though if you ever choose to leave. Your children included. Sometimes we underestimate how much people love us and how important we really are to them.

            But I understand your position and I wish you all the best. Your family is important to you and it’s been probably the only life you’ve known for so long. Your obviously a wonderful mother to love your kids so much that you’d endure the abuse for their happiness.

            But if anything ever changes just remember you matter too. That you are stronger then you give yourself credit for. And that you are allowed to want things for yourself.

          7. Thank you again empath007 .my husbamd always tells me that I am lucky to have a guy like him. I guess he thinks that he is an empath
            I am so scared that now my kids are starting to act like him and this scares me so much as I dont want them turning into Narcs.
            I need to find a way to have an audio Consulation with HG as he is the only one who can really help me.

          8. It’s normal to feel afraid. What you are talking about (divorcing a narc) or divorce in general… is not for the faint at heart.

            My advice (not that you asked for it) would be to know that you don’t need to make any decisions over night. You have just received new information and that will take a little time to process. You want to be making a rational decision and not an emotional one.

            1) consult with HG as he is the expert in narcissist behaviours and can help you understand how your husband will react. And give you tools and knowledge to work with.
            2 ) consult with a lawyer – know your rights. Understand them. Know the laws that exist in your region. They can also help you formulate a plan as to what you need to be doing (scanning documents etc)
            3) do not discuss your wishes to leave with anyone… whether they are serious or not…. sounds like your husband has a lot of leuitants In your social circle. Also when men get wind of divorce they can sometimes freeze or hide assests..

            Keep it to yourself and formulate a plan with experts who can guide you correctly.

            None of this happens over night. If you decide to stay for the sake of your children then that is OK too.

            Good luck my dear, I will be thinking of you.keep us updated.

          9. You have defintely given me some great advice.
            I am frozen at the moment .
            I know HG says once you know you go!
            He is right !
            But easier said then done.
            I need to sit down and think about everything and everyone step by step

            I am actually looking for other reasons to leave e,.g. maybe he has cheated on me etc.

            I really appreciate you listening

          10. Gather evidence and facts. Have documentation of bank accounts/busniess accounts/tax information etc. Speak with HG and a lawyer… GOSO May involve a thought out process to ensure yourself and your children are protected. You can’t just emotionally announce… i’m Leaving ! In all situations… that will not provide a good outcome for you in the end.

            First, make the decision as to whether you will leave or stay. Then consult with experts. Find out what you need in order to have a successful divorce if that’s the route you choose.

            I don’t know if this is even possible… but perhaps start building a “nest egg” for yourself financially. You’ve already lived there
            23 years maybe saving money for a year or two your husband doesn’t know about could benefit you.

            Know that within the process you will loose people…
            But the people who really care will also reveal themselves. But keep your plan entirely to yourself until the day you are ready to leave.

            You can’t predict every outcome. But you can gather information based on facts to help you feel stronger.

            And no problem! Happy to listen. You take care of you and your beautiful children ❤️

          11. Myself HG or Pati?

            I will take a look regardless! Thank you!

            Not trying to step
            On any toes… I’m no expert I don’t claim to be. But I figure just emotionally announcing she is leaving with no real
            Plan in place
            Will not be beneficial after 23 years with someone… if I am wrong feel free to correct me.

          12. NA, Thank you for saying this. I have one N and one CoD parent (no physical abuse though) and I too wish they had divorced either when I was young or even after I was an adult. Far better than to see the dysfunction continue. Even after death of one parent the legacy lives on in the remaining parent and in one N sibling and one CoD sibling. If the non N parent had had the strength to leave simply because it is the only healthy choice, it would have set a better example regardless of ACoN perceptions. Even if the ACoNs are in a fog and unaware of the N abuse, they often come around from a parental split in time when they begin to awaken to the fact that healthy is a better choice.

            I truly hope every person abused by a N renews their strength and chooses a healthy life going forward. Thanks again for speaking up for the ‘kids’ no matter how old, but especially for those who have no voice. NA, your voice makes a difference and is appreciated.

          13. I understand your position FYC and I also respect it.

            In defence of pati though… I am a child of divorce, I had an alcoholic father a snack co dependant mother. They divorced when I was an adult so I was very understanding/accepting and non judgmental about it. I love them both and have a relationship with them both.

            Not a lot of children would be so kind to their parents. As it is devastating at an age.

            I will
            Also say the divorce has brought up all kinds of new complications for my family… for example, one of my parents is now living wit a narc !

            Also it’s affected my inheritance.

            Also my parents did not get to enjoy their grandchildren together.

            The list goes on and on… life is never perfect.

            So I understand where pati is coming from. If she feels like she can continue handling it…. as she has for so many years already… then her children may actually greatly benefit from that.

            Life is not always a black And white solution. Sometimes the devil we know is better then the devil we don’t.

          14. Empath007, I very much appreciate your insight, and apologize if my reply to NA, as an ACoN, is upsetting to others. I am not judging Pati or others. I simply appreciated NA’s message because many children do not have a voice in what they experience at home. I can’t speak for others, but I can say that every healthy choice we make leads to another healthy choice. Our choices impact those around us and healthy choices set a powerful examples for others. Perspective always influences our choices, and we usually have many more choices available that first perceived. I hope you and your family members find the choices that bring you the most peace and well being in your lives.

          15. No need to apologize.

            Let me put it to you this way, my children did not meet the narc I dated because I was protecting them. I could tell instantly the narc was not going to work out in any real way… and I didn’t want my children exposed to our toxic relationship. So I am an advocate for
            Protecting our children.

            However. People always see it as
            So “courageous”
            To leave… and it is in a lot of circumstances.

            I can’t soeak for pati but I can only say sometimes the grass is not greener on th either side. Her
            Children get along well with their father, perhaps there is major financial benefits to her staying… who’s to say she doesn’t leave, get wound up with another narc who would probably make things a whole lot worse? (Sorry to use you as an example pati but I’m just illustrating a point)

            Sometimes leaving protects children. And sometimes staying protects children.

            Adult children can still be affected by divorce. Perhaps they can’t have all their university paid for anymore… perhaps it affects their inherentince… perhaps it completely alters one of thier relationship with a parent (which is Patis fear). Perhaps the new step parents will be an even worse nightmare.

            There are a lot of different scenarios that can happen as a result of divorce. So
            While it’s brave (and often necessary) to put ourselves first it is not always the best option for our children. In my opinion. Each circumstance Is different.

          16. Thank you empath007 he does help them and if you see their relationship you couldn’t tell that he is a Narc it only shows with me. We will all be in the same room and I am the one with the silent treatment. Maybe one day they will notice and I can make my move. Narcs are very smart and charming so its hard to tell.The grass is not always greener on the other side so again I will suffer and read HGs articles to educate myself more . Hugs

          17. Thank you, Pati. Agreed, and I feel certain that HG will help you immensely in navigating your very difficult situation. There are no fairytale endings in life, only different real outcomes. I love that you want to protect your children. I can appreciate the complexities. You have my heart-felt compassion and I wish you and yours the very best possible outcome. I also hope you take care of you in the process. You matter. I know it will be painful, but we will be here to support and encourage you in any way possible.

          18. Thank you ,I feel like I found a family to turn to.
            It feels good to talk about it with people that understand .
            We also have HG I know he is not here to hold our hand but is blunt and honest .hugs

          19. Congrats on having the courage to leave.
            I don’t have the strength to leave as I have kids I have been suffering so many years anyway.

          20. Pati

            i can’t say that my father is a pathological narcissist but he has narcissistic traits. we are 3 sisters. my elder sister was my father’s poorest victim -after mom- . my father never seems to love her. our relationship was good. my younger sister was a fighter, she did opposite whatever he wanted. my father is always on her side. he buys what she wants, listen her etc… our ages are 40,37,28 now. my father gave us hard times. he was “the Boss”

            sometimes my mom talks about my dad’s past behaviors, his emotional abuses. (he was worse when he was younger. our family has been more peaceful for the last 10 years) sometimes she asks us ; “should I get a divorce?” what kind of answer do you expect from her daughters?
            my elder-sister : I would never forgive you if you were divorced
            me: I wish you’d gone to a therapist back then
            my younger sister : I wish you were divorced. it’s still not late.

            my mother was very surprised when she first heard them. my elder sister does not tolerate even the word of “divorce” as a victim. my younger sister is the most careless as his favorite.

            all three of us have some co-dependency problems. but we are ok. we are strong against life.

            I understand that this is a difficult situation for you. I know that having traits and npd is not the same thing. i told my own story because you can see; sometimes saying “for my children” can be a bad decision. because their world is so different.

            I hope the life brings you good and happy days

          21. Thank you for sharing your story it hit home as I can feel the situation it’s very difficult. I just
            Wish I would have know a lot sooner .I am just stuck now. My kids come first . Have a wonderful weekend

        1. Yes. I was with a normal who was the definition of passive aggressive (not a narc though, he didn’t fit that mold well enough) he made me sooo lonely as well. Empathy have a certian need for deep meaningful bonds (even just in friendships) that a lot of people are simply not capable of providing.

          I find out struggle to find a partner that can meet those needs must be just how the narc wants to find someone that can meet theirs. Which is why the two are so toxicity attracted to one another a lot of the time.

          1. Empath007, were you really attracted to the narc, or were you attracted to the representative he sent in his place before he revealed his true self?

          2. Most definitely the representative. And if I’m being honest… not even him that much. He gave me a bad feeling from the beginning… I tried to fend him off. I made too many mistakes to list not listening to my instinct… but the short of it all comes down to ET.

  31. So many manipulations happen with such regularity, from every N I have ever encountered, it was difficult to choose just one, but at the core of every manipulation are lies. Implicit and explicit lies. Careless, casual lies to serious lies. Beautiful lies to damaging lies. Lies to self and lies to others. So many lies.

    This is why the bold truth we receive here is so exceptional. It is most rare.

  32. So many lies – so many – mixing them with gaslighting – seems like they go together well.
    Now – he is being very diligent in his lies because I showed him all the evidences – now he is mean I would say – saying things implicitly that will hurt but that seem anodin.
    So now he uses truth to hurt.
    He tried many – like you are crazy – but I did not reacted so he is now using hurtful truth.

  33. Sexual Manipulations – both Narcs as follow:
    1. Ex – withdrawing sex whilst keeping a desktop wallpaper of a topless woman who resembles me; long blonde hair and same eyes colour; even same chest size. Avoiding even kiss on a cheek during devaluation periods . Suddenly becoming very horny and attentive on/ after any social gathering or event that we attended after witnessing other men actively seeking my attention – flirting, phone numbers given, etc . For the record I never crossed the line during my marriage. My ex blatantly exploited my fidelity- he knew I won’t cheat and I have a high libido; thus withdrawing sex was the perfect form of control for him.
    How did it affect me mentally- losing self esteem; obsession to always look immaculate , spending a lot on expensive underwear; eating disorder, even I considered breast implants ( although I am well endorsed) . He targeted successfully my desire for intimacy and also my vanity to the point that when other people complemented my look I would feel very uncomfortable and ashamed.

    2. ACDC Narc – he was deluded he was a master in the bedroom. To the point that when I told him it was over I didn’t hear anything except begging for future sexual encounters “ .. I understand but I can give you o*** any time ; just this please “ and even adding some extras to the kind offer “ and I can give you r..j.. as well”.
    Although sounds tempting to have a Narcs licking your a*** , literally (apologies for the coarse language ) , my answer was GOSO.
    No deviant practices although he tried to convince me for some ahem , exercises popular between LGBTQ community.
    Needless to say I was not convinced .

  34. So many, but mainly projection and blameshifting. It took forever for me to realise – he was not what I’d been led to believe a narc ‘looked like’, but is a definite mid ranger. Thanks for what you do HG

  35. Absent silent treatment – we are mostly online, but we were texting non-stop for 3 months, then devalue began and a day would pass without a message, then 2, slowly working it’s way up to over a week. Now I notice that things I do on social media will trigger a reappearance. If he gets drunk and his guard is down, he may also reappear.

  36. Literally all of that list HG! I said circular conversations, but within this word salad, gaslighting, projection, calling me crazy, triangulation, blame shifting, contradiction.

    Fun times! Not!

  37. I’m with BonnieLou on this. It was a toss up between, Projection, Absent Silent treatment and Triangulation with a person. Each of these occurred as often as the other, so it was hard to say which one actually stood out, but I picked triangulation as I could only pick one!

  38. Projection. Everything he was doing, and I mean everything, he said I was doing. It is all so clear now, 3 years away from him, but at the time, I walked on eggshells so he wouldn’t make accusations at me. They were all things that he was doing, lol. Good grief, I was with this man for 30 years, and I didn’t figure it out until after we split up.

  39. Different at different times.

    During the golden period sex was most used. Escalating and escalating and yes, in ways I had not done before. Also, the practically nonstop attention which included sleep deprivation.
    Following, during deval, a lot a silent treatment, triangulation and fighting .
    Now the most frequent is the silent treatments til he thinks I’m going to make a run for it, then a second or two of hoovering to get me in line.
    One of the most things he did was set up a mutual “hobby” of being YouTube artists, and we follow each others growth, give opinions as things are in progress, etc. This was also used for maximum triangulation, as sometimes his targeting new supply is evident.
    I am not able to say it’s only one thing.
    If we’re talking about the lovebombing stage Then I would say the high sexuality .

    1. 17 for narc 1 (father)
      15 for narc 2 (current partner for 23 years)
      11 for narc 3 (lover, I have now been discarded)

      But since I had only 1 choice. The choice for me was Lies.

      The reason must be because they are narcissists, afterall. Above all else, one thing is absolute, they lie.

      Incredible really, that I only discovered the word narcissist a few months ago. I had no idea.

      I knew that I attracted a certain type of person. I recognised similar traits in all 3, but I just summed this up as me having a “type”.

      And yes, I certainly do.

      It took an absent discard, (with zero yelling or put downs. Just vanished) to jump into the rabbit hole to finally search for answers.

      What…..a…..shock. Narcsite appeared as a holy grail.

      And why do I need this? Co-dependant? Great!

      So, thank you also for “Chained” HG. I never would have known or understood myself until I read it. Crystal clear in black and white.

      1. You are welcome and thank you for reading, do leave a review on Amazon so others can be assisted by work also.

  40. He would launch a verbal attack out of nowhere to keep me wrong-footed and on edge.
    EG: he’s on the games console, I’m preparing dinner. I bring the meal to him on a tray and place it by his side. I enquire would he like mayonaisse with the meal; I get a torrent of abuse: f*** off! I’m on a ‘mission’!
    You’ve ruined it! I’ve been killed now! That’s an hour I spent doing blah blah (game related activities) followed by a present silent treatment while he sulks the rest of the afternoon. No ‘thanks babe, give me a moment’
    .. that’s all he had to say but that’s too much to ask. He’s like a 5 year old on steroids.

    1. Mine was obsessed with video games too… HG do the games provide fuel? Do they believe they are really conquering xyz… is it a fuel substitute? Or is it just boys being boys lol

      Also your story made me laugh Beth lol. Can’t even imagine being so lame I’d get that worked up over a game hahaha.

      1. No, a game does not provide any emotion, therefore no fuel. Of course the game is used for the purposes of triangulation and if a narcissist is playing a game with other people, either in the room or linked up using a mic, then fuel will be obtained that way.

        1. Hi again HG
          You’re right!
          He was online playing the game with people from the US, (we’re UK based) and they would be his ‘friends’ as he would describe them, despite not having a single real friend having driven everyone away with his shitty attitude..
          I think he did obtain fuel because he would ‘help’ them in their group missions to accumulate ‘cash’ rewards and he would revel in controlling the others in who did what within the team set-up and I assume they’d thank him, pay him attention of some description. What I did garner, they all (judging by voice) appeared to be aground the same age, 40+ and yet, emotionally at least, extremely childish for men if their age. I’m not sure if childishness is a common theme among narcs but certainly it links in with the arrested development that appears to be part of root cause. What a fool
          I was, making him a meal, bringing to to him, enquiring which condiment he would prefer and getting verbally assaulted for my efforts. This is one of the more tame incidents of abuse by far but it took me far too long to get out of the situation. Never again.🙏🏻
          Thank you once again .. 😸

    1. Nymph,
      The circular conversations are just painful. It doesn’t even feel like a manipulation once you know what it is. My ex and his attorney use circular conversations. When you go to court, you present to the judge the emails exchanged between both sides-even between attorneys for numerous reasons. The circular conversations became an apparent issue immediately. I addressed the issue to his attorney, and stated,
      “you are have a question, and it’s relevant, I will answer it once. I will not engage in circular conversations.”
      They responded back with,
      “there is nothing illegal about circular conversations!!!”
      No shit sherlock, but you will lose credibility if someone educated has to deal with you.

      1. Lol, I swear I dont respond to circular conversations with word salad, or else that would explain the circulation conversation (clarification). I’m usually halfway articulate, and use spell check on emails. Lol

    1. ANM—I’m sorry to hear the ongoing allegations of being crazy. I’m equally unhinged by portrayal which is absurd. Remember to be composed 100% of the time as they slip up and it becomes evident who is truly “unhinged.” I know your court stuff continues. **There is not one person I work with or in my life that would describe me as crazy so remember that the people that count know you aren’t crazy!

      1. Thank you, Lorelei.
        I don’t take accusations personally anymore. I see it as desperation to control, and I present it as so.

      1. HG , I forgot which post this morning, but what was the answer on why Narcs preoccupy our thoughts so much, and others dont.

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