What The Hell Just Happened?



–         One minute I was serving lunch and everyone was talking away, the next he flung the plate at the wall and called me a fucking selfish bitch –

–         I only asked how his day was and he just turned around and walked back out; that was yesterday evening and I haven’t heard from him since –

–         I mentioned I was going away with my friends for the weekend and before I know it he is accusing me of having an affair and telling me I have to cancel the trip and stay at home –

–         All I said was that the blue shirt suited him better, he tore both of them in half and pushed me over –

–         How did I end up looking like this; I said that maybe he had had enough to drink –

–         I was sat watching television and she came in full of hell and laid into me, I had no idea what I was supposed to have done –

The overriding response to such scenarios and others is what the hell just happened? At the time these instances happen, the recipient of the behaviour does not know that they have become entangled with one of our kind. The recipient expects the other person to operate by their standards of behaviour, their own mature and reasonable responses and their own healthy reactions. Not only do they find that the response is anything but like how they would respond, they struggle to discern any logic in or reason in how we have behaved. Common reactions to such instances as the above along with asking what the hell just happened would include

–         She blew it up out of all proportion –

–         I don’t know what got in to him, there was nothing the matter –

–         It was such an extreme reaction I am at a loss to understand why she did as she did –

–         Everything was going really well and then wham; I’ve no idea what set that off-

Indeed, you would have no idea at all what is going on and why would you? At the time you did not know that you had become entangled with a narcissist and this is an entirely typical and standard response. Even when you ascertain, most likely sometime after the relationship has been brought to an end through a callous discard, that you had become involved with a narcissist, these eruptions, disruptions and volcanic responses still mystify and bewilder. In order to comprehend what on earth has just happened in such instances it is necessary to adopt the narcissist’s perspective. Despite the boldness, the grandiosity and the confidence, we are suspicious of the world. The world has treated us badly. It is a treacherous place which has sought, from the very beginning, to destroy us and this remains our mind set. As we move through life, climbing higher and higher, driving forward and conquering, we remain vigilant, wary and indeed often paranoid. There are those traitors, those betrayers and those plotters who would love nothing more than to do us down, dethrone us and topple us. Hence we often strike first before those who conspire to harm us can do so. Our view of the world means that we see criticism, which we despise and hate more than anything else, lurking around every corner, in the words of those who speak to us and most of all through the actions and gestures of the shadowy snakes who infest the world.

Oh we are not stupid, we know only too well that you prefer to criticise us through actions and gestures, that way you are able to diminish the impact by suggesting that we are over-reacting, reading too much into it and seeing things that are not there. Of course we often accuse you of doing this but we are never guilty of behaving in this manner. We are always right when we see a criticism arising from something. We are finely tuned to pick up on these criticisms and therefore we spot them straight away.

Notwithstanding our ability to spot these criticisms, we are unable to evade them and instead like a serrated dagger they wound us and make us feel weak, vulnerable and pathetic. They are an unwanted and horrendous reminder of the very thing we seek not to be. In order to cope with this unwarranted wounding of us, we have an excellent self-defence mechanism. Fury. Our fury is always there, churning away beneath the surface and when we are wounded by criticism, this fury ignites and manifests either as heated fury or cold fury. This means that we lash out at you and others, smash things up, assault people, stand and glare, dole out silent treatments and so forth. This will nearly always cause the recipient of this manifestation of ignited fury to respond in an emotional manner – fear, hurt, anger, surprise, annoyance, upset and so forth – which of course equates to fuel.

The provision of fuel as a direct consequence of the manifestation of this ignited fury means that the wound caused by the criticism is healed and eventually the ignited fury will dissipate as it has served its function. A Mid-Range narcissist has some control over the ignition of his fury and if he deems that exploding in a certain situation would be detrimental to how he is viewed he may switch to cold fury or even withdraw and seek fuel elsewhere to quell the ignited fury and heal the wound. A Greater Narcissist has substantial control and for instance if he deems it necessary to preserve the façade he will keep the fury under control until there is an appropriate moment to unleash the fury and gain the fuel. Thus in some instances the ‘what the hell moment’ may not happen at the time the criticism occurred but be a time afterwards. You can see now just how bewildering and disorientating it is.

Be aware that a criticism which is allied with emotion is fuel and will not wound us. Thus shouting at us and calling us all the names under the sun only provides us with fuel. Crying and telling us that we are a complete bastard and useless in bed is fuel. That is why the criticism often arises from perception and from actions and gestures as they tend to be fuel free.

Returning to the instances at the outset of this article, let’s examine how the perception of criticism manifested in my kind’s mind.

–         One minute I was serving lunch and everyone was talking away, the next he flung the plate at the wall and called me a fucking selfish bitch –

The criticism arose because the narcissist was served with his food behind everybody else thus insinuating that other people were more important than him.


–         I only asked how his day was and he just turned around and walked back out; that was yesterday evening and I haven’t heard from him since –

The criticism arose because the speaker failed to smile and look delighted at the return of the narcissist, thus implying that he was not worth shining for.


–         I mentioned I was going away with my friends for the weekend and before I know it he is accusing me of having an affair and telling me I have to cancel the trip and stay at home –

The criticism was spending time with other people and therefore suggesting that the narcissist was not interesting enough to spend the weekend with.


–         All I said was that the blue shirt suited him better, he tore both of them in half and pushed me over –

The criticism was to suggest that the shirt he preferred was not the one he looked best in. This not only criticised his choice but also how he looked.


–         How did I end up looking like this; I said that maybe he had had enough to drink –

The criticism is to suggest that the narcissist has a drink problem and that his activities ought to be curtailed, by you, somebody who is inferior to him.

–         I was sat watching television and she came in full of hell and laid into me, I had no idea what I was supposed to have done –

This may be an example of delayed fury arising from an earlier criticism and/or it might be the fact that the person was watching television and not providing attention to the narcissist.


You will have no doubt deduced from this that occurrence of a what the hell just happened moment can happen at any time, can come out of nowhere and is not based on anything significant, from your perspective. From our perspective there is the potential for criticism on a repeated and frequent basis. This is what leads to the second-guessing, hypervigilance, anxiety and treading on egg-shells that is so often associated with our kind.

In terms of dealing with it, it is nigh on impossible to predict. You will at least know what it is and why it has happened. In certain circumstances it can be used to your advantage to cause a wound and then not to provide fuel when the ignition of fury takes place. This will weaken us and cause us to go elsewhere, but care should be exercised in doing this as it may escalate the reaction initially with severe consequences. The most appropriate way to deal with this is to be able to know what it is, understand why it has happened, that it will blow over and that you may be best providing positive fuel, rather than becoming scared, bewildered or upset, since you know what is behind it. You can then manage it in that way until such time as you can escape the effect and influence of the narcissist as a whole.

20 thoughts on “What The Hell Just Happened?

  1. Patrick Bateman says:

    Thank you HG…. For holding up the mirror

  2. readMangas says:

    I get it that the world treated tou badly, and so it did to us.
    Plus, it seems that you only mistreat the people who love you the moste. Just the idea of my narc suffering was unberabel to me, but it turned out that when i was trying to make him happy , he was assessing the most effective ways to torture me, whille being charming and nice to evryone else.
    If you target empathique and loving people, why not let them love you instead of breaking them?
    i know , fuel fuel and always fuel i get that point. But, can’t you draw negative fuel from a person who does actually hate you?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Understandable observations but we must have control and fuel and we achieve this by both benign and malign methods based on our, not your, perspective.

  3. kaydiva3 says:

    Wow, goes to show how differently narcissists and empaths think. We are like different species.

    My ex MMRN was constantly threatening to sue people, usually for “defamation of character”. He always thought people were talking about him even if they had barely ever interacted with him. It was also kind of funny because he was unemployed, so how would he pay for a lawyer? When I asked him why he thought this way he would insist people were spreading rumors about him and plotting against him and he would get angry if I tried to reassure him.

    1. Bibi says:

      kaydiva3: Your comment is interesting, as I have heard narcs threatening to sue someone when they themselves are unemployed and could never afford a lawyer. The Mid Ranger at my job thinks that everyone is envious of him.

      1. kaydiva3 says:

        Bibi: Yeah, they always think they are the most important person in any group. I think believing others are envious of them is one of the diagnostic criteria in the DSM for NPD. My ex also thought that if people disliked him it was because they were jealous of him, rather than because he had treated them badly.

        1. K says:

          projection (pathological jealousy/envy); that’s a good example of blame shifting his bad behaviour onto others. It’s all their fault they dislike me because they are jealous. There’s no culpability for his bad behaviour.

      2. Lorelei says:

        Bibi—they are so nut balls it’s almost funny if they didn’t create so much havoc at work. I worked last night and low functioning narcissist after low functioning narcissist came before me. (Not co-workers but others in my work world)
        As I watch/observe.. I SEE what HG says. I see it and it’s undeniable in the dispositions over and over and time and time again. In these moments I know why I ended up (am) half scrambled myself and that this/these people exist. I’ll be denial again in a few hours but at this moment I’m aware and accepting which waxes and wanes.

        1. Bibi says:


          When you can view them from a sense of detachment and from afar, it is sort of a superpower. ‘I know what you are.’

          HG has granted this innate ability to see. Before him, it was merely intuition, which I doubted. Not anymore.

          1. Lorelei says:

            Bibi—I’ve always had intuition and still do but I immediately dismiss it. Oh no that didn’t just occur I’ll tell myself! I’ve misinterpreted certainly! No my dad didn’t just basically say or do that—so to cope has been to dismiss and ignore and tolerate. Listening to intuition seems so rudimentary but I’m in the special class on this matter.

    2. WhoCares says:

      kaydiva3 & Bibi,

      Mine believed that there must be someone or something behind his inability to get ahead in life, and his “persecution” at places of employment and his loss of relationships.
      I did not know the full extent of this belief until after the end of the formal relationship when I found papers he had (unintentionally) left in my possession that listed all the top national bodies and organizations (in a numbered list) that he was going to fax/email to get to the bottom of “the issue.”

      1. Bibi says:


        Holy shit. That is absolute paranoia.

        Another interesting point is that the Mid Ranger at my work has on occasion referred to me as a ‘snob.’ I think this is hilarious (and flattering?). Deep down, maybe I wonder if he is envious of me? Then I feel like the narcissist for wondering this. (I think he feels slighted b/c I don’t offer him fuel. He just doesn’t know what to do with himself.)

        They are so silly!

        1. WhoCares says:


          “Holy shit. That is absolute paranoia.”

          Right?! And it’s clearly indicative of his awareness and perspective that there is a consistent theme but that it *must* have to do with anything OTHER than him or his own behaviour.

          And in your case, of course, you are a snob for not offering up some fuel, ha!

        2. Desirée says:

          with Mid-Rangers, I find the specific things they choose to “attack” you for tend to be the traits they are most jealous of and fail to claim for themselves. A Middle Midranger “friend” of mine was obsessed with girls from a financially priviledged background and hated on them consistently, “spoiled brats” and all that. She was a somatic failure at launch. Another talked about how she thought I was “precocious”. She was six years older than me but acting like a petulant prepubescent. I like that it provides us with knowledge about what specific characteristics they have their eyes on.

          1. Bibi says:


            I have thought this too. That’s why I sort of run with it and assume they must be envious. I knew a Lesser Mid Ranger who was obsessed with money and used to chide me b/c I enjoyed going to wineries. ‘Get your mama moneybags to pay for it,’ he’d say.

            Huh? I drove a 2001 Honda since updating it last year. It was a good car!

            My Mid Ranger coworker is resentful b/c he can’t wow me with the amount of books he has read, as I have read more than he.

            When invited, I love to share my knowledge and recommend to others so they can enjoy but he seemed to view it as a competition.

            He is a cerebral, so he needs to feel like he is the most brilliant and all-knowing, and when he feels overshadowed, he gets weird and butthurt.

            Oh well. I’ll just be flattered, then. Whatever. I agree with what you say though–they tend to dislike qualities in others that they see or desire or even dislike! in themselves.

          2. Desirée says:


            Yes, envy seems to be a major part of their inner thought process and the competitiveness is extremely off-putting but they just can’t help themselves. Their bitter remarks are a flacid attempt to regain “control” and showcase their “superiority”. It’s tiring, but I suppose it is to be taken as a compliment.

          3. Lorelei says:

            Nice thoughts Desiree—“flaccid attempt” to gain control! I need to borrow that term for my boss and the pose in your gravatar for something else:) You have enriched me today.

          4. Desirée says:

            You’re welcome Lorelei! Have fun with the pose and the “flaccid attempt” haha, I’d love to see the reaction.
            There should be a list of possible things to say and do when no contact is not yet an option. Anyone know which book to find that in? Manipulated might give answers.

  4. Bibi says:

    Another great one that describes it perfectly. My ‘what the hell happened?’ moment occurred when he and I were talking on Skype in 2009 and Google Earth had just come out. I spent a lot of that convos sharing old homes I lived in, where I went to school, etc. yet he shared nothing.

    On a whim I plugged in his parent’s address (which he sent me so I could mail him packages, which I did, since we were corresponding).

    Only the day later he told me, ‘I wasn’t entirely comfortable with you looking up my parent’s house. I am very protective of my family and there are a lot of whackjobs out there.’

    We had been corresponding for almost 3 yrs at this point. This was not long after learning he had been using an alias.

    Only later have I learned 1) He gave me the address because it benefited him. If he was really that paranoid, he would not have given it, much less pursued a correspondence with me.
    2) My seeing his parent’s house on Google Earth did not benefit him and he used the opportunity to play the victim, as though I was ‘intruding’ into his life.
    3) I know for a fact he never thought I was a ‘threat’. He lived in a different country. So why say those things and make that person feel awful?


  5. Cyn says:

    I remember so much of this. Things that were thrown at me (verbally)later. Comments about a plaid shirt, edits to a website (he requested) sometimes things I didn’t even remember. It was too weird to provide fuel about other than to chuckle at how silly(is that fuel?). I felt like I was dealing with a three year old and since I have a child with special needs eventually I learned to just observe. Glad he didn’t throw anything or get physical though. I did call his new car a mid-life crisis car though when he took the Mercedes in for service and came back with a new convertible one . 😂 Is that fuel? Maybe a criticism.

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