Why Is The Narcissist Always In My Head?


“He is always on my mind.”

“Try as I might I just cannot get him out of my head.”

“I can’t stop thinking about him.”

I am sure such comments or similar have been made by you at some point about the narcissist in your life. We have this formidable capability to get into your head and remain there for a long time which evokes bittersweet reactions from you at best and utter miserable frustration at worst. I have written about ever presence previously, namely that ability we have to ensure that you keep thinking about us, even when you have been pushed to one side or if you have sought to go no contact. This insidious form of manipulation is pervasive and very difficult to deal with, but how is it so effective?

Like much of our effectiveness it actually comes down to you. As an empathic individual you are much more susceptible to our method of remaining in your mind which is achieved by encoding. Since you care about others and take an interest in the thoughts, actions and well-being of other people, you have been wired to take on board stimuli from other people in a far more effective manner than others. Take my kind for example. We are so focussed on ourselves and what we need that we are not wired to be especially encoded by what others do. Our minds are nearly impervious to the actions of others. It is as if they are so full of what we do and what we want that there is no room for anything or anyone else. You on the other hand are like a sponge and you soak up the words and actions of others. Combine your susceptibility with our determined application of suggestion through what we say to you and what we do for you then the outcome is a devastating form of encoding which creates powerful and near indelible memories in your mind.

Through our visual encoding of your mind, you create a vivid mental picture and this will be recalled in pin-sharp crikey vision time after time. Every detail of a particular scene will be recalled by you and it is ingrained in your mind deeply through this encoding. The more you recall it, the more it becomes ingrained as if you are wearing a groove in a piece of wood. We make particular use of music (think how often your narcissist used certain tunes to woo you and/or create  special moment) to achieve acoustic encoding. Our voice is used in this way as well by the careful selection of key phrases which will resonate with you. You always remember the things that we say because we have encoded them into your mind. Similar encoding occurs in respect of taste and scents as well as tactile encoding. Accordingly this quintet of senses is assailed by all the things that we say and do in order to achieve this encoding. We create powerful memories so that you have no option other than to recall them and with that comes the emotional attachment. You will remember so much of what you have done with us compared to say what you have done with family, friends and colleagues. You will recall more memories, in greater detail and more often when they involved us because of this deliberate encoding.

You might think this was enough in terms of the efficacy of this method of affecting you, but it does not end there. Most narcissists are male and thus it follows that the majority of victims are female. In general terms, women remember events better than men (men have better spatial memories) and therefore you are genetically pre-disposed to remember all those occasions and dates you spent with us in such detail. Females remember pleasant memories in better detail than men, thus this is a further reinforcement of why you can summon up such powerful memories of the golden period and why it hurts you so much. Conversely, in general terms, men remember unpleasant events better than women who tend to recall them in a ‘blurred’ manner. This is why despite the abuse you have suffered the golden period memories tend to triumph. It is not the case with everyone, admittedly, but generally this holds good. Add to this the fact that women’s memories retain more of their potency through the advancement of age than men and you will see why your memories of us are so difficult to shake. Not only do we specifically encode your minds, which are primed to accept this more than other people, your gender also makes you more susceptible to retaining these detailed and vivid memories of the when everything felt wonderful.

These memories are deeply ingrained and very hard to dismiss and remove, even with professional help. Combine this efficacy with the fact we leave you exhausted and broken, it is little wonder you cannot shift us from your minds. Everyone knows how difficult it is to think straight when you are tired. Little wonder then that we always loom large in your mind when you have been exhausted and shattered by our behaviour.

These memories of the golden period are massively powerful and all of the above means that for someone like you, you will often think of them and suffer the emotion that is linked to them .It is a devastating weapon in our armour. Pretty memorable eh?

53 thoughts on “Why Is The Narcissist Always In My Head?

  1. arcola6035 says:

    After reading so many comments here, I consider myself very fortunate I fell out of love a year before I left him. Many have had a much tougher road than me. But I’ve always wondered why, if I no longer loved him did he constantly cross my mind. Now I know

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Good to know.

  2. Maria Eugenia Messina says:

    I have no idea why they fascinate me so much, but if I had known their nature before instead of despairing I would have enjoyed it I like being a meal? Probable, as long as aware, I hate surprises

  3. Cindy says:

    Spot on

  4. Lori says:

    Is the leaving of pictures for you to see part of encoding?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is and part of the establishment of ever presence.

      1. Lori says:

        Yes I thought so. This guy has me blocked which is fine with me now. I actually appreciate it but he figured out outta sight outta mind and because in blocked I couldn’t see so he figured out that if you make photos you are tagged in public even blocked people will see. He must have done some research on that

        When a lesser of any other narc for that matter does this are they aware that’s what they are doing ? Or do they think “lll leave some photos so she doesn’t forget me” or are they aware that are using ever presence and encoding ?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          No, they are not aware. There will be A N Other reason for doing it, such as the one you suggest about not forgetting. The Lesser does not know he or she is using Ever Presence.

          1. Lori says:

            Does the reverse work on a Narc? I would think so because isn’t that why they stalk old supply because you are still in their head ?

            The reality is both parties are doing it or have done it yet neither is speaking to the other. It is just bat shit crazy

          2. HG Tudor says:

            When I drive, I drive. I am not messing around answering texts.

        2. Lori says:

          I’m curious about something HG do the professionals you see feel Narcissism is a curable condition or just a manageable one ?

          1. HG Tudor says:

            They believe it is curable but that it takes a very long time.

            What they really mean is – no, but the money is too good to turn it down and HG is far too interesting to stop analysing and interacting with.

          2. NarcAngel says:

            I have always thought that about the Good Doctors. Just as you have no incentive to change nor do they want you to. Too lucrative. Do you know if they have written any books themselves?

          3. HG Tudor says:

            I know they have written papers, but not books. Yet.

          4. Lori says:

            HG I underestavd the financial incentive behind them wanting to keep you in therapy but the fact is you have improved have you not ? And you are but one patient and they likely have a waiting list for patients. I haven’t been here in awhile but last time I was you felt very confident that you would be able to sustain a relationship with the shieldmaiden. I have to say I am I am in the camp that believes it could likely be cured in time. The problem is you can’t get the vast majority to stay in therapy long enough

            I for one am rooting for you because I think if you are cured.youll be able to even help more

          5. HG Tudor says:

            They would state there have been improvements, yes. There is no cure. You must accept that.

          6. Lori says:

            Oh I accept that as far as my own situation and for the vast majority of Narcissists however I do think there are some that can be saved albeit a very small percentage. I think in due time you will be cured or at least the behavior will have improved to the extent that we could say you are cured.

            HG I know you think they are keeping you there for the money. I would have to say here in the states that would not st all be the case because honestly they have so many people waiting to see them there is no need to keep any one person in therapy for senseless amounts of time. I actually got kicked out lol because she said Lori you don’t need me anymore and Ive got a lot that do. Believe me if you are a psychiatrist or psychotherapist here in the states you are not hurting for business. It takes months to get into a shrink here and honestly so very ill people aren’t getting seen cause there just aren’t enough shrinks

          7. HG Tudor says:

            It is a different structure in the UK and more over, there are other elements at work with regard to this ongoing dynamic.

          8. Lori says:

            I would think that only a greater would have any hope of any recovery at all. I would think there is zero possibility for a lesser

          9. Lori says:

            I have another question that is clinical in nature meaning I’m not implying anything by it. It’s jusr a general question.

            Do you think as a diagnosed narcissist with awareness.thaf yoj are able to be completely objective about your condition ? Do you think it ever clouds it ?

            Let me say I have learned a lot here and I would say from my perspective you are pretty objective It seems though from a clinical persoective that the nature of narcissism In And of itself would cloud that.

            I’m wondering what you think about that ?

          10. HG Tudor says:

            Logically it must follow that I am blind to some elements of my behaviour, however, I see far more than others do. I am objective about my situation because I utilise the input of others also.

  5. Antonella Marinetti says:

    The process of encoding.
    For me it was just a written endcoding, I met the narc just one time in 5 years.
    Those are the things that chained me, and in parentesis the impact on me:
    1) the tale of Little Prince and the fox (for me it meant I need a true friend as he could be to speak and listen to, and to be free to say everything)
    2) never I forget you (For me it meant I will be always thinking of you)
    3) I would like to have a son (for me the discover that I need a son to care and love)
    4) I am very lonely, everybody went me alone, my mother don’t love me ( I am true lonely, yes I have my parents, my husband, but I miss a son)
    5) at job nobody understand my value (I had a narcissist headmaster, that told me I was a nothing, then he made banckrupt and I lost my job after 30 years)

    Then after the hoovering the results are:
    1)I have very few friends to talk, he has 2000 followers to speak with in facebook and always ready to help him. So I am totally useless, no little prince and no fox…
    2) I can’t forget him, I miss him so much
    3) I have no son ( so I am 51 years old, and I couldn’t have babies). He works and educate children.
    4)I am alone, I see my loneliness every day, I don’do victimism, but it is. He is not alone, he is a teacher, so he stays with young people and their families.
    5) I don’t have a job and I don’t have strengh enough to look for a job, while his job is going very well and has a great value.

    So… my life has completly stopped now, I have no will to live, to be happy.

    1. Teah Brandell says:

      Keep your head up Antonella…. You can’t let this defeat you. I’m getting my consultation soon with HG. Listen to his words over and over (HGTudor). It’ll help you gain understanding regai your situation, and you will be able to piece your ex narc’s actions and reactions together with logical prospective. You came to the right place….you’re not here by chance. Let HG arm you with logic so you can conquer this and be victorious. Many of us here can relate you what you’re going through…. Take care and don’t give your ex that much power over you to the point that you have no will to live happily.

      1. Antonella Marinetti says:

        Thank you. You, all, are very helpulf

        1. Teah Brandell says:

          You’re welcome… Enjoy your day

          1. Antonella Marinetti says:

            Thank you 😘 you too

          2. Teah Brandell says:


  6. Antonella Marinetti says:

    I want to hear again his voice. I can forgive. I will send him a card saying I am sorry and ask him to forgive me. How can I live without him? I am dead

  7. Antonella Marinetti says:

    Yes thanks to HG. He says honestly what he is. I really appreciate. So now I am knowing. And if I know I can understand what happened.

  8. There is thanks to be offered!

    To my dad, the 24/7 violent brute, who had NO idea what he was and drank alcohol every second that he wasn’t at work. Thanks is owed to him because of the 17 years of hell he delivered to me. He made me tough enough to handle #2.

    #Number 2, took me away from dad (and instantly threatened my dad, in a very violent manner, “to stay RIGHT the f*ck away from me”) and was my psycho knight in shining armour, that also, had no idea what he was. A sexual god with the equal crazy-making abilities, but with cheating, cheating and more cheating. Hated me passionately one minute and adored me within the next 10 minutes. He was only carrying, say, 20% of the violent outbursts. My dear lover of 23 years, who had a psychotic break 10 years ago and collapsed into an isolated state for a month. When he emerged he was exactly the same, but with empathy. Not like my own, but it’s there. He made me tougher.

    And if not for the 17 years from one and another 23 years of the next, then I think my lover narc #3 could have driven me to oblivion. He was so smart, that I was COMPLETELY annihilated from the very moment that I first stood in the same room as him. He has the narc system “down pat to perfection” and 0% of any violence (that I ever saw anyway) and yet he TERRIFIES me to my very core. He instills a fear into me that I have no English words for. He is frightening in the most quiet way imaginable. I realise that I have never felt “absolute” fear until knowing him.

    The people who tortured me for so long, infact, primed me for the thing (narc 3) that was fated to me. I would have been DOOMED if not for #1 and #2 warming me up.

    And now, I can thank narc #3 for his own arrogance. He obviously, was not as smart as he thought he was, because it was through him and his own smuggery, that I discovered the word “NARCISSIST”. Because I had no idea, all my life, of the actual life I was living. He gifted me with a starting point.

    So incredibly, I can thank all of “my” narcs’.

    So lastly, thank you, to you, HG “the narc”.
    I thought I was going mad, when the word narcissist came to me. It couldn’t be right when all 3 were all so different (and yet the same in so many ways) and so I never made the connection. It is your words and the months of reading your works that explained every thing correctly and joined all the dots!! HG, even knowing what you are, I can say that, to me atleast, you are a blessing and I am so grateful to you, for sharing all that you do!

    All ‘my narcs’ can now be appreciated, by me, in a very different light.

    So, in the end, it almost seems that “narcissism” is the gift that, keeps on giving!. (Even though it did all the damage in the first place). What an amusing concept! Almost crazy-making 😉

    1. Cyn says:

      Mine were different too. The quiet one didn’t need to lift a finger or his voice and he nearly destroyed me. The psychopath. Come to find out he was even worse than I could have ever imagined. The flooding after I left was almost as deadly as being in it. But it will not happen again. Eyes wide open. Safe. Thanks HG.

  9. Joy says:

    Sitting ducks.

  10. Cyn says:

    HG do you find you get a sense of when your influence is fading so you have to throw out the line again? Like managing a switchboard, when the light with someone’s name on it gets dim the switch has to be switched.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is about the sense of control and yes, there is a sense of it being eroded or reducing which requires the appropriate response to assert it once again.

      1. WAF Tudorita says:

        And that is what we often call the psychic sense , why empaths wonder if you guys are psychic- that you just know somehow when se are moving on and Hoover

        1. Kim e says:

          Exactly. Like how the N just shows up on the street where you are when you haven’t seen him in months. Very unnerving

  11. JustMe says:

    No Golden Period, no Silver or Bronze. No songs, no scents, no loving texts. Just what the hell was I married to if not a narc? And more importantly… why the hell did I marry him? Haven’t been here in a long time… HG, did you post comments on the “Letters to the Narcissist” from way back? After 2 1/2 years of trying to divorce this man, I was served notice to appear for pretrial… from HIS lawyer. I found your divorce pack… thanks HG… you keep saving me.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I have always posted people’s comments on the Letters to the Narcissists. If you mean, have I commented on them, no, not yet.

  12. WAF Tudorita says:

    The whole relationship is like being under a hypnotic spell.
    Total NC is the only way to break the spell.

    I think back and it blows my mind that I ever tolerated any of it, turned a blind eye to the obvious.

  13. Antonella Marinetti says:

    I really admire the great freedom of narcissist’s mind. He used to say: my mind makes me free

  14. cogra002 says:

    The “encoding ” is well put.
    It’s the music
    The voice
    The memories
    The ding of the msgr
    The pictures
    The chathead

    I think that our replaying it in our head is a way of self-dosing after the devaluation and discard. I think it’s our way of micro-dosing ourselves, since we’re not getting dosed regularly or with the potency we had become used to.
    My thoughts, once again.

    1. Antonella Marinetti says:

      The ding of msgr, the ring of phone… I immediatly changed them, they hurted me too. I was thinking it maybe be him… I was living with telephone aside, he could phone as he liked, I coudn’t, he would not answer to me.

      1. cogra002 says:

        Antonella, changing the sound was a super smart move

  15. Antonella Marinetti says:

    Yes. I remember every words he wrote or said and my feelings linked to his words. I would to forget all !

    1. Violetta says:

      Did I ever really love him, or did I just love that rush I associated with him?

      I’ve been in love before, so it’s not like I thought I couldn’t feel like that with anyone else. But I don’t feel it very often–the current term is “demi-sexual.” The physical response is tied to relationships, even non-romantic relationships. I might find someone attractive at first sight, but it takes repeated exposure before the addiction takes hold.

      For me, it was more like weed than heroin. The first few times I smoked, nothing happened. Either the legend of reverse tolerance is true, or the smoker needs time and experience to perceive the effects. It’s not like getting drunk where if you haven’t noticed it creeping up on you, you will if you stand up suddenly.

      I thought he spoke my language. THAT was the rush. He “liked me for ME!” I didn’t have to fake anything with him.

      Of course I didn’t–because he was faking everything with me.

      1. Antonella Marinetti says:

        I understand, Violetta.

        1. Violetta says:

          Now I wonder if I was EVER in love! They weren’t all narcissists, but I’ve experienced that addicting rush before before. Is it relief, I found the real thing at last, I can stop looking?

          I’m not sure what love is anymore. That “companionate marriage” some people settle for: you trust and respect each other, no great physical desire even at the beginning (I understand these things fade: had they survived, Romeo and Juliet would probably be arguing about soccer practice and house payments) seemed repellent and even against nature. Are we to close our eyes and think of England like the Victorians? Love can grow, they thought–but so can resentment. For settling, for being the one settled for.

          Then there’s the guy you find wildly exciting, but he’s not husband or father material. I was secretly willing to spend the rest of my life doing his dishes (I don’t do my OWN dishes very often), though I never told him that or offered to do it.

          If desire overlapped with trust and respect, wasn’t that ideal? If Romeo and Juliet DID argue about soccer practice and house payments, wouldn’t they still remember trading iambic pentameter on the back porch? Would they be embarrassed by and scornful of their younger selves, or would they thank God they had that magic for a time?

          1. Antonella Marinetti says:

            Very hard to say what love is…

          2. arcola6035 says:

            For me, love is finding someone who understands what I’ve been thru but never loses patience, no matter how long, for me to build trust in them. I had the over the top passion and look where that got me. Sitting up at midnight reading a blog written by a narc. No offense HG

          3. HG Tudor says:

            None taken.

  16. Antonella Marinetti says:

    Yes! The voice is like the sirens for Ulysses! Close the ear, don’t hear for them. His voice produces on me a sort of spell. I miss so much his voice. It was so delicate and sweet like an angel. He is a musician too. How much I would hear again his voice calling by phone my name. Listening to his voice it meant to breathe for me. I loved to listen him for hours…

    1. cogra002 says:

      Antonella, same here. He is a musician (we both are) and he would have me listen to multiple versions of new songs he was working on. His voice mesmerized me, as well

    2. Pretty memorable..

      Yes. Devastatingly so!

      Psychological warfare.

      A couple of nights ago, I think I had a bit of a break down. It hasn’t happened before.

      So! I was laying in bed and I couldn’t sleep, as usual, when suddenly I thought of something other than my narc (this never happens. Even when I am task orientated, he is ALWAYS shifting and stirring inside of me). For only a few minutes, I was completely free of him and my joy was sky high. I felt safe and warm and comfortable and excited and curious and absolutely wonderful!! And I knew I could finally let myself sleep.

      All of a sudden I thought of him, I pushed it away and continued my previous train of thought, then back to him, then back to the pervious, back to him, back again and then they combined and I was FORCED back to him. I just HAD to return. No exceptions. My mind found a way back, in a spectacular albeit humiliating fashion!

      Jesus! The human mind can go to frightening lengths.

      And then I had a total break down, as I realised just how ingrained my loyalty to him was.

      I cried like I have never cried before and the pain in my stomach was horrific. My whole body was shaking, so much so, that I didn’t even realise (until it ended), that I had recoiled into a fetal position as my muscles must have pulled my body together in an unconscious way. I noticed I was saying, “I’m not crazy” or “am I crazy?” over and over.

      This went on for hours and at the end of it, my mind drifted to a scene in a movie that I love. “Trainspotting” And I got it. I really, REALLY got it. This really IS addiction. Withdrawals. The whole nine yards.

      My mind and my body were screaming for him, all spurred because, my thoughts had finally let him go, if only, for a short time. A blissfull respite for myself and then SMASH, back to him.

      It was like my mind baseball batted me out of the ballpark.

      And yes, his cheap parlour tricks or his mastery of the human mind (dependending on your individual point of view) may have planted every seed of this, but he did NOT put me into that state, at the exact moment. I did it. It was undeniably self inflicted.

      I think he tethered me to him. But now, I am tethering myself. I am doing his own dirty work, for him.

      And I can’t even feel any hate or anger now.
      I wish I could! I am letting him go and I can feel it happening. Hurry up mind!!

      So, why can’t I hate? Why am I not angry?
      Why am I in awe of Narcissists? I am not in awe of lessors!! As I have known your kind to be explosive, pitiful creatures. All I have for your kind is absolute sympathy. Sorry to any lessors, no offence intended.

      Is it because they have removed this level of suffering in themselves? Maybe I wish I could to? Why can’t I?

      Narcissists may be considered differently on either end of the scale or somewhere in between. Soul less, evil, blood sucking, monsters on the one end, to the evolutionary creation of “gods amoungst men” on the other.

      I personally, find myself in complete and utter awe of all this and the power of what it can do. It really is utterly fascinating. Also frightening. And why are they so attractive to me?

      I will never let one in, or near me, ever again, despite this level of respect. I almost wish I was a therapist so that I could be around them and view them, without getting drawn into their game. But alas! I am not. So, I will just enjoy my facination of them through the TV shows and movies that I now recognise as containing them. From a very, very, safe distance away.

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