10 Unintended Consequences Of Your Responses To The Narcissist

10 UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR RESPONSE TO THE NARCISSIST

 

The law of unintended consequences applies to much in the world and is just as applicable to the world in which you have been inserted by our kind. In terms of unintended consequences arising from an act committed or a step taken, there are three categories. There are the unexpected benefits. For instance, aspirin is used as a painkiller but has also been found to be an excellent anti-coagulant and is used to assist those with heart and circulatory problems. There are the unintended drawbacks. For instance, Prohibition in the United States during the 1920s suppressed the alcohol trade. Its unintended consequence was to drive alcohol provision into the hands of organised crime which resulted in those organisations becoming wealthier and better funded to expand their criminal activities. The final category concerns the perverse result. I have two favourites examples in this regard. The first became known as the Streisand Effect whereby the actress and singer Barbara Streisand took legal action concerning the online publication of a picture of her home. Prior to legal action only six people had downloaded the picture. Following her legal action 420 000 people downloaded it as a consequence of the coverage of the case. There is much to be said to not drawing attention to something by complaining about it in the first place. The second example of a perverse result concerns the then British government’s handling of venomous cobras in Delhi, India. It was decided in order to encourage the local populace to hunt down and reduce the number of cobras that a bounty would be offered for each cobra killed and handed in. Enterprising individuals decided it was easier just to breed the cobras than hunt them down, kill them and hand them in. Once the government realised that this was happening, they withdrew the bounty. The populace then released the now worthless cobras. Thus the number not only was not  reduced but actually increased.

The unexpected drawbacks and perverse results are also applicable to you in terms of your dealing with our kind. Owing to the fact that most people do not know what they are dealing with, how we think, how we regard the world and why we do as we do, these people approach any issue concerning us with what they think are sensible and well thought out intentions. They believe that dealing with us in a certain way will bring about a desired result which will prove beneficial to them. This lack of understanding, incomplete analysis and attempt to control something which they do not actually know how to control, results in unintended consequences of the unpleasant variety. Here are ten examples of that at work.

 

  1. Giving us a dressing down

Intention – to put us in our place so we know you are displeased so we do not repeat the behaviour.

Unintended consequence – you provide us with fuel and we do it all the more as we realise how well (from our perspective) you react

 

  1. Mirroring our behaviour

Intention – it will stop us doing what we are doing

Unintended consequence – we will shift to a different manipulation and apply it with greater vigour against you

 

 

 

 

  1. Telling everybody how awful we behave towards you

Intention – people will believe you, support you and turn against us

Unintended consequence – you are seen as The Crazy One, your position is eroded and ours becomes stronger

 

  1. You try to reason with us

Intention – we understand the error of our ways and will correct them. You feel satisfied

Unintended consequence – you ignite our fury through this criticism of us by suggesting we are wrong in some way and you become frustrated and upset at your failure to make any headway

 

  1. You turn to one of our friends for help

Intention – we may not listen to you, but we will listen to our best friend won’t we? The problem will be resolved

Unintended consequence – you are feeding information to our lieutenant. You are seen as treacherous and this helpful intention will be turned around and used against you.

 

  1. You tell us everything about yourself

Intention – by opening up yourself to us you hope we will do the same and therefore there will be mutual trust and understanding.

Unintended consequence – you are handing us bullets which we will later fire at you based on what you have disclosed to us about your fears, weaknesses and vulnerabilities

  1. You second guess us, anticipate and dedicate yourself to avoiding upsetting us

Intention – we will be pleased, you will not set us off in any way, there will be peace and harmony in the household

Unintended consequence – you may achieve peace and stability but at the cost of your sanity, reason, sleep and nerves and the period of stability never lasts.

 

  1. You play hard to get with us

Intention – by treating us mean we will be keen, yes?

Unintended consequence – you are criticising us. We will lash out at you and go and find someone else to triangulate with you who does what we want.

 

  1. You tell us what we really are

Intention – you gain the upper hand by letting us know that you know, you also hope to cause us to reflect on our behaviour

Unintended consequence – we deny what you are suggesting, we will not accept it and we lash out at you for having criticised us in this way

 

  1. You beg and plead for us to change

Intention – since we apparently love you, this emotive display must surely go noticed and we will respond in a constructive fashion

Unintended consequence – we drink up this delicious fuel and keep pumping it out of you by hurting you further

 

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30 Comments

  1. BLOG STATS

    16,021,046 hits

    Sweet Sixteen HG- congratulations.🎉

    This article is good list of typical “call and responses“ many of us have experienced!

  2. Number 4 for me. I tried in the most sensitive way to bring us to closure after he changed. To somehow amicably close out this silly little affair so that we could preserve our “friendship” and so I could just move on with my life. But of course I pointed out that he changed, which was perceived by him as a criticism, an attempt to hold him accountable, so any hopes of a reasonable discussion were shot down. He would exit the conversation and that was that.

  3. Number 6 is most applicable to me. In college, I was unknowingly ensnared by a narcissist and spent 4 years living the shelf life. Not understanding the narcissistic dynamic, I blamed myself for most of what happened during that time and assumed that my behavior was why i was unsuccessful in relationships.

    In the past 2 1/2 years, I’ve been ensnared by a MMRN and a LMRN. I told both of them about the college experience to explain my relationship insecurities/pitfalls with the hope that this time things would be different. I remember telling the LMRN about it, and she kind of got a grin on her face and said something to the effect of, “Ah, so she liked the chase.”

    Guess who ended up on the shelf with both of them? This guy. They knew I would chase, and chase I did, until I found HG.

  4. I really needed this incredible article, as I was tempted to email my ex narc that I am now fully aware of his gaslighting and triangulation methods he used, which at that time caused me to self doubt and self blame.

    1. Well done on achieving realisation.
      Well done on resisting the temptation to email the narcissist – no good will come of emailing him.

      1. I did, I email him to try to explain, to make things clear, to come to truth… result? He told me I was a stalker and do not email anymore because he ‘d go to police. I was upset, I wanted to die.

        1. You did this as you are a truth seeker, honest and decent.
          He no longer wanted any involvement with you, in order to assert control over you and focus elsewhere, therefore your contact was unwelcome. You caused a Hoover Trigger, the Hoover Execution Criteria were met so you received a hoover. You were painted black, therefore you got a malign hoover and this was provocative (you are a stalker) , controlling (do not email me anymore) and threatening (I will go to the police).

          1. Thank you HG. I really feel fear. I thought it was better to get suicide instead of this slow death. The real problem to me is that he was a friend I loved as a son. That’s why it’s so terrible for me. And understand he never cared for me was really terrible. He also added ” stay away from my contacts on facebook”

          2. It’s the third time it happens. At the begin he told me that he would run away so many times but he would always remember of me. I thought I was a sort of mother for him ( I don’t have any son) that I thought I had to wait for him. Now I understand that all my love has been killed by a black star. I am so tired with no energy. Thank you. I’ll like to write you because this story is a little unusual, and beyond narcissism there’s much other, but I don’t have money to pay.

          3. Antonella
            Email HG narcissist1909@gmail.com

            I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way. I remember there some days when I felt like I wanted to die or that I WAS dying (beyond ridiculous considering my situation). Email him now! He will help you.

          4. Thank you. Yes, it’s that way I feel. I feel disgusted, I feel empty, I feel with no energy, I feel a sense of fear and deep danger. From the begin I felt this danger, I’ve always ignored it.

          5. Antonella, you just described how I felt -how most of us here have felt-: Empty, disgusted, with no energy, scared of something that you cannot really define. Like you and Joanne, I’ve felt like dying would put a stop to the pain. It eventually dissipates until it can hardly be felt, except for some weak days that you happen to feel sad again, but never as bad as it used to feel. You can get there, it takes time but you have found the best help you can imagine. HG will show you what you need to do, listen to him.

          6. Thank you. But I really miss him a lot… he was a son for me. I thought I have found that son I was looking for… so it is so difficult. Some days are better, other day I just want to cry or I would write him and say that I am sorry, that nothing happened and that I am here for him, as a mother do for a child.

          7. Honestly, I would like him to come back. I feel so sad and empty without him. I should not have said that things to him. I know I’m nothing for him. But for me he was a son

  5. That’s actually very interesting because I recently read about the Cobra Report, formulated by German economist Horst Siebert, who explained the paradox of the cobra hunting in India, similar to the case of the Hanoi Tat Massacre in Vietnam. Interestingly I study the case of prohibition in the 1920’s, many European artists during that period actually documented that the wine they drank in NYC at that time was better than the one they could get in Europe, due to the fact people had gone more crafty, making unique, home-made wine that differed enormously from the already industrialized brands. They also said ironically they needed a break from drinking too much when they returned to Europe. I see an obvious direct correlation between these offer-demand case scenarios and the interview you did for the Narcissism Awareness Summit, when you insisted that -I took notes- responding to the Smear campaign was like continuing to scratch an itch: the more you respond, the more you show your narc the impact the campaign has on you and therefore, how effective it is. If you don’t respond he/she will realize that’s not the way to go. I apply this religiously, and have not even wanted to investigate any further whether I was smeared. That doesn’t mean I have been perfect though, as you know I’ve been battling with my strong ET, and it’s gotten worse lately. I need a consultation soon, I will send the appropriate protocol.

    1. The rat massacre, sorry. I type fast. I also wanted to take advantage to say thank you, because I don’t usually do because I take for granted that you know how much you mean to us here, and today I realized I could have been much worse than I actually am if it wasn’t for your work which I ran into miraculously. So there’s that.

    2. Hi Sweetest—yes ma’am as it takes two to play tennis. (In regard to keeping the ball going in the smear campaign)
      Logic suggests that if I am as crazy as he says how is it that there has been no fight to remove the children?! How is it that I am trusted to care for numerous patients and make split second decisions that could have devastating consequences if I’m wrong? (In my area minutes count and I have to be right all the time) How is it that no one has contacted appropriate authorities to keep me from brandishing my crazy on the lives of others?
      It is laughable that the smears are so vacant of authenticity! You are a lovely person and have no worries.

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