Dropping the Narc Bomb
The dropping of the bomb is a common tactic of our kind. It is something that happens with regularity. It is an act of manipulation and one which you will recognise. Do any of these scenarios seem familiar?
The day before you are due to travel to the wedding of one of your childhood school friends, we cause an argument in order to avoid going, inventing some reason why this cannot happen. You are accused of not caring about us if you still wish to attend. You eventually end up not going, having to make some excuse as to why you cannot attend.
You are about to have a night out and we create some kind of emergency which delays you from going out or even prevents you from going. There is no emergency.
You have invited friends over for dinner. Shortly before their arrival we will create an almighty argument.
The night before an important interview we keep you awake all night, jabbing you with our elbow and insulting you so you are unable to sleep.
You are about to go away for a few days when we accuse you of having an affair, thus creating a scene, tension and upset.
Whilst the fact that we create arguments, cause confusion and generate drama is standard behaviour, when we engage in dropping the bomb, it is done at a time which is regarded, from your perspective, as a terrible time to do it. It coincides with something special or important happening which leaves the victim wondering why this always seems to happen when they are about to go somewhere or do something.
Dropping the bomb is an instinctive response by us to such situations. When something of importance is about to happen, we respond by creating a drama which appears to be designed to spoil the important or enjoyable event. There is no appears about it. It is a deliberate act. Why does this happen?
- Fuel. As you would expect, fuel is behind the dropping of the bomb. Causing upset and drama is always a near guaranteed method of gaining fuel but the dropping of the bomb is designed to heighten the fuel that will be provided. Just like the fact we build you up during seduction and then cast you down during the devaluation allows us to create a heightened contrast and thus maximise the potency of the fuel, by dropping the bomb at a time when you are expecting something pleasant to happen, or you are preparing for an important event, your response is going to be of a greater intensity. This increases the potency of the fuel. When you are looking forward to that wedding, excited about seeing people and enjoying the day, the dropping of the bomb means that your upset, annoyance and disappointment is more marked. We of course create drama even when nothing is happening, a quiet Sunday afternoon suddenly becomes a battlefield. That gains fuel. The dropping of the bomb however is a ticket to plentiful fuel as you react to having your excited anticipations shattered.
- Jealousy. Our almost ever present jealousy means that we cannot stand the fact that you are going to do something which you will enjoy and causes you to be put into the spotlight. Taking the example of the wedding above. Since it is your school friend, you are going to see people who know you well and may not know us particularly well. Attention will be on you which causes us to be jealous. If you have an interview for a promotion, we are jealous that you are succeeding, which in turns implies that we are not and therefore our jealousy rears its head. We cannot bear for you to be happy, excited or the focus of attention, unless it is to do with us. If your happiness if because you are anticipating a dinner party with your friends, that is nothing to do with us. In our minds, this suggests we are unimportant and inferior. We cannot allow that to be the case. Accordingly, our jealousy comes to the surface and this acts as the catalyst for us dropping the bomb.
- Control. By causing you to react through our dropping of the bomb we are able to remind ourselves that we have the control in the relationship. By causing you to decide not to go to the wedding because you feel obliged to remain at home with us, or you decide not to go and attend a friend’s engagement party because you are too upset allows us to exert control over you. We cause you to cancel your plans, alter your intentions and instead focus on us. This underlines that we are in control and assist in maintaining our notions of superiority and omnipotence.
- Anticipatory fear. Eventually you will recognise that a drama is always created before you are about to do something special or important. Of course, our victims do not realise the real reasons why this is, but insetad attribute it to selfish and spoiling behaviour, without understanding what is really behind it. What our victims do come to realise however is that since this happens each time you are looking forward to an event, they end up dreading what will happen when an event is on the horizon. Your birthday is coming up next week and you are just waiting for the eruption from us which happens every year. Will it be on the day, the night before or during the planned celebrations? You become anxious and nervous, treading on those well-known eggshells, looking to mollify us before matters get out of hand. Indeed, you often begin to adjust your own behaviour so that you decide it is just easier not to organise a birthday party, it is far less aggravation to turn down an invitation to go out rather than have to endure the drama which will inevitably come before you try to attend the dinner party at your friends and you make excuses so you avoid having to go to weddings, christenings and the like. Little by little, the dropping of the bomb causes you to fear the arrival of an event which is special or important to you, so that you alter your actions, reducing your interactions and slowly isolate yourself and allow us to tighten our grip on you. This process is insidious as you see friends less and less, family on fewer occasions and in turn you increase your exposure to us and our manipulations.
- Blame. This works in two ways. If you try to resist the effects of us dropping the bomb, so you decide you will still attend the wedding and even decide to go without us or you are going to host the dinner party still despite the fact we are storming about the house banging the doors as we go, we then accuse you of being selfish, self-centered and not caring about what we want. A classic dose of projection. These accusations of selfishness are the opening up of a further front for the purposes of trying to draw further fuel, to create a scenario which can be used against you in the future ‘I was ill and you still went to the engagement party’ and to add a further attempt to wear you down so you give in and change your mind. It is also done to avoid blame. We will drop the bomb, kick up a fuss, create a scene and dole out the drama and if you eventually give up and announce that you will not go, but you accuse us of controlling you or trying to spoil things, we will exhibit our classic contradictory behaviour. We may well have spent an hour arguing with you, telling you that you should not go and that we need you stay at home, but once you have given, if you point the finger at us, you can expect to be told that we did not tell you what to do, we don’t control you and that you made up your own mind not to attend. This will amaze you that we can be so hypocritical and is not only going to draw further fuel from you, but it will allow us to do our usual avoidance of blame. This again supports our notion of superiority.
- Effectiveness. When we have dropped the bomb a few times, we can see how effective it is against you in terms of affording us fuel, control and the erosion of your confidence. Accordingly, we know that it is well worth continuing to deploy this manipulation because it causes you such upset and hurt, as evidenced by your reaction. We know you will provide fuel, we know you will alter your plans and therefore the more you respond to it, the more we will use it.
The dropping of the bomb is a frequently used manipulation in our relationship with you. In order to counter it, you should learn to
- Recognise what it is;
- Recognise when it is about to be used;
- Not provide any fuel by not reacting to our sudden drama, argument or crisis;
- Do what you intended to do anyway. You may as well enjoy your event because we will cause a scene and make a fuss anyway;
- Do what you intended to do anyway and this sends a signal that the dropping of the bomb is not working, which like any of our manipulations, means that it will be used less.
27 thoughts on “Dropping the Narc Bomb”
Healthy, loving, supportive relationship(s) involves saying “hey go enjoy that round of golf with your friends, go to concert with your family, go celebrate your big accomplishment at work.” A mutually supportive person(s) would say “thanks and I know you are not into groups and things so thanks for supporting me while I go do these things.” Both people are exhibiting security within their relationship and recognize they both have different needs. Or it might sound like this “hey that is so great you going hiking with some friends with work, ok you and I can do our hike another time” and response “thanks for being flexible.” Even “hey we would plans so we need to honor these plans together” and response “right need to stick what we agreed to do.” THIS by no means identifies all relationships and there is so much gray in relationships.
Is this use of a narc bomb or just shelving? I am a IPSS to a upper mid-range narc and at times when he goes on holiday with the IPPS and especially now while he is ensconced with the IPPS at home in isolation, he makes sure I think that there was never and is not any intimate relationship between us. He calls me regularly but if I refer to anything romantic/intimate we have done together he claims to not remember, feigns absolute amnesia/bafflement that I would refer to something that does not exist. Obviously when he comes back from holiday he picks up where he’s let off and it turns out we do have the same memories.
It is a Corrective Devaluation through Gas Lighting. It is happening because she is painted white and you are the shelf painted black.
HG, Is it also a form of compartmentalization?
The individual is compartmentalised by virtue of being the IPSS, SMH. Furthermore, putting the behaviour described would also be a form of compartmentalisation.
Thank you, HG
HG …did you drop a narc bomb on the SM while looking up at the stars ?
HG ? Why not ? Should I respond logically ?
He didn’t drop the bomb because it didn’t serve his purpose to do so at that moment.
“Yet this was not the occasion to bridle with her, not at all. Her fuel needed to be mine, but I would not lash out, there was no need.”
He responded “no” that he did not. I’m thankful for that, however, I still think he should be honest about what he is and how he feels (or doesn’t feel).
Posted on the FB version but I wanted non FB blog readers to be able to read my contribution so I’ve copied and pasted. I find reading others’ experiences really enlightening and thank you HG for the platform as well as the amazing insight you provide from the perspective of the perpetrator …I hope my fellow victims/ survivors enjoy reading about my experience as much as I ‘enjoy’ their accounts of their personal hell..
Original comment re: the bomb
Many many times
Yes I did f*** him off and attend anyway ..
Apart from the time he caused me to lose my sh*t and whilst in the absolute pinnacle of my fury, he handed me the concert tickets I’d bought at great expense to see HIS favourite band, and naturally, (my pre-narc awareness days) I ripped them up.. he was grinning like a Cheshire Cat.. now I totally understand why of course but then, it just confused me.. he then grabbed bonus fuel the day after trying to suggest we somehow glue them back together .. I checked online, no damaged tickets etc, no replacements blah blah.. his look of innocent well-meant suggestion that we could somehow still go.. what a prize c*nt he was, and still is.
Thank you HG, for being the one constant source of absolute deadly accuracy in yet again describing and explaining the rationale behind all the crazy f*cked up sh*t that I/we
through 👏🏻if I could treat you to dinner I would, although knowing what you are, I’d probably be at the other end of restaurant 😉😂
Seriously, thank you and your writings have facilitated my epiphany and been the catalyst to my recovery and the beginning of unravelling 3 years of having my brain twisted into something resembling a plate of vermicelli 🤯🤪
Yup mine drops the bomb and it does explode .
I forgot the speech I had written for my brothers wedding and he had to go pick it up for me. He was pissed,swearing ,jealous. We ended up attending and during my speech he went off and had a smoke with this lady and missed my speech. He was gone for over hour! Then he ended up on the dance floor with her. How could I have been so stupid. Everyone was watching wow!
I survived many a bomb dropping. But I certainly didn’t thrive.
At first I started altering my plans. Then I stopped making plans altogether.
Then I pretty much stopped being much of anything, and was appropriately discarded. Who wants to be with nothing?
That big discard saved my life.
Well, now I now why I never became his primary source. He was looking for one of those self-sacrificing women in 40s & ’40s melodramas, usually played by Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, or Barbara Stanwyck (all of whom were tough as nails in real life). I thought we were supposed to be My Cousin Vinny and Lisa Vito.
Drama either way, though, no?
Strangely, the times I decided just to back off and let him live his life, if I was such a problem, he’d complain to other people about how cold I was being and do adolescent things to impress me. There was a FemiFascist in the office who was always trying to provoke people into doing things that would open up the company to a lawsuit, so they didn’t dare fire her. Everyone avoided her whenever possible, and acted scrupulously polite to her when they did have to deal with her. No one would kid her around with her, but he didn’t act like that with me. I understood “He’s just not that into you,” but I didn’t understand hoovering.
After we’d both gone on to other jobs, I did some freelance work on a project for our old company. A co-worker said LLN wanted a copy of a video of a promotional event, and provided LLN’s new address, saying he’d agreed to send it back to me. I sent it to him, giving the co-worker’s address for return since we still lived and worked in the same area, but of course he never returned it, and I never contacted him demanding its return, as presumably I was supposed to do.
Meanwhile, the hang-up calls continued.
I do all that the bomb doesn’t get dropped as much still happens though he uses more subtle ways to get a reaction most of the time pity plays and sulking to get others on side and make them think I am the bad guy I still don’t react he has got to me through my kids they don’t know what he is especially the girls
One of the recommendations listed for what we do in response to this should be GOSO.
I def experienced this. I recognized a pattern and began to expect it but couldn’t understand why-
I was flying to another city a few x a year taking care of my elderly parents. Narc had all kinds of ADVICE on how we should fete my parents and how we fell short-and other non-warm discussions. then when leaving it would be problems – calling at odd hours (time zones) not responding to texts, not able to fetch me at airport, etc.
also 2 birthday incidents after golden period ended. I chalked it up to abandonment issues but any discussion I tried to have about mental health or feelings… Well those never went well at all. Ugh so peaceful now without! Good friends are so much better than that entanglement.
Fuel you collect is for your ego. Eckhart Tolle is a powerful teacher in ego. Study his work Mr.H. I’m sure your work can prosper from this bit of education I have given you! Both ends of the spectrum are extremely powerful! I’d be curious to know what you 🤔.
I wouldn’t even know how to begin to describe my exH Lesser’s narc bombs. They were constant and included walking away from me in the middle of the road if we were going somewhere that he had not planned himself (and he didn’t plan anything and had no friends so you can imagine how often that happened – and then the tantrums if we did make it to where we were going). I am going to download it and send it to him if he ever dares to contact me again.
Several experiences with this. In fact the initial deval and discard was 2 weeks before Christmas, the 1st after my Mom passed, and I would be alone with no family. Also during the week before that same Christmas, I was playing for a large conference and was so upset the entire time because I had no idea what was going on. This cute funny guy who commanded my attention 24/7 was suddenly barely talking to me, yet I’d see him online all the time (so I did suspect he was seducing new supply). Then Christmas. It was horrible. Many rages at me, as well. I’ll never forget this.
Yes! Experienced a similar scenario very recently. I had been planning a long awaited vacation and gushing on and on about it to anyone who would listen. I was so excited and nervous planning all the last minute details, as it involved multiple itineraries, making reservations in various cities and countries. At first, Narc seemed happy for me, giving advice when asked etc. then a few days before my departure his demeanor completely changed. Out of blue, he made a crude comment that I should be intimate with my ex. in order to get him to assist me. Very disrespectful and surprising, since he is aware that we no longer have that type of relationship. I was so hurt and bewildered at the time. Instead of wishing me a pleasant trip, he was deliberately trying to upset me.
After several long flights, finally arriving at my destination, and despite being exhausted and jet lagged, I did message him. Lo and behold, more of the same type of comments. This time he accused me of wanting to rekindle a relationship with an ex from the distant past. I was not having any more of this nonsense, asked him what was going on; and that I would leave him alone until he stopped. I have no idea why he was acting so immature and trying to make up scenarios. This man is not a teenager but sometimes his behaviour towards me makes me feel as if we are reliving teen drama.
Now it makes sense.
Great insight to understand some people I know
OMG i had dozens of these and its only now i am realising just how many. The kids birthdays, my birthday – never his – weddings, work do’s. I realise now that some were so i was thrown off the scent and of him grooming or us bumping into a potential IPPS. Many were so he missed the event and didnt have to go and could sit at home in his slippers and pipe but seemed happy for me to go without him as he could obviously trust me on my own couldn’t he!! He sucked the joy out of every event. I am so glad you posted this as a reminder. But its really pertinent that you posted this today HG because yesterday, with my work, i was escorting a young first time buyer couple to their newly built house and father in law came along five minutes into the meeting and exploded a huge shitty narc bomb all over their happy day. Obviously a lesser, i watched (thanks to you HG) with education and knowledge the events unfold predictable to a tee whilst he effed and blinded his way round picking fault with everything, demanding, kicking off, you name it and not allowing me to respond or soothe and he completely obliterated this happy event forever in the minds of those young people. It is like he has cast the die for their time in that house. I could see everything i have learned here unfold and although it was traumatic, new for me i didnt take it on board and allow it to be ‘ingested’ to my innner me as i would have done previously. Most curious to me though was as i watched what was at the beginning a reasonable young man (the son) turn into a mini me of his father who joined in the effing and blinding and unreasonable demands and then the mother followed suit half an hour in. As i left the group i whispered to the young beautiful souled young girl good luck and on first opportunity will hand her a card with your website on!!!
Thank you for sharing the information.