The Good The Bad and the Nothing Else

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE NOTHING ELSE

 

We all like to attach labels to people. People do it instinctively in respect of someone who they have just met, someone they have read about, a person they have known for a long time or someone they have seen on television. It is rare for someone to say that they do not have a view or an opinion about someone. Examples might include: –

“He’s a dependable chap, always there when you need him.”

“He’s a funny looking fellow.”

“She is very catty.”

“She is stunning looking.”

“A complete attention seeker.”

“A genius musician.”

“Really annoys me, I don’t know what it is but he does.”

Those are just classifications based on looks and personality. One can classify somebody by race, religion, birthplace, occupation, gender and so much more. Labels are used all the time as people are placed into boxes and compartments. Our kind do the same, but we differ in a fundamental way. We have an instant classification of people which is very straight forward. We will place people into further categories after this initial categorisation often using labels you would not and then we may well attach additional labels similar to the ones you use. What is this initial categorisation? It is simple. A person is either good or bad. That person is either with us or against us. They either do what we want or they do not. There are no ifs and maybes about these classifications. There is no grey with us when it comes to deciding into which camp someone should be placed. You are either white or black. You cannot be light grey, mid-grey or dark grey. We do not do the middling; it is one or the other. Let me give you some examples of those around me at the current time.

Julia (my boss) – Good

My mother – Bad

Paul (a lieutenant of longstanding) – Good

Andrea (predecessor primary supply) – Bad

Rachael(sister) – Good

Eric (colleague) – Good

Tania (lieutenant) – Good

Lesley (It Girl) – Bad

Elizabeth (litigious former girlfriend) – Bad

Phillip (lieutenant) – Good

Colin (competitor at work) – Bad

Not one of them am I indifferent to. You should be aware that this categorisation is based on my view of them irrespective of their behaviour towards me. Lesley for instance responded to a hoover a little while back and still messages me with pleasant comments from time to time. I play along as I am a far from finished with her but she is a bad person because of what she has done and moreover I know she will be looking for an opportunity to unseat me and seek some form of revenge over me as a consequence of my repeated thwarting of her ambitions. I know her game.

These categorisations are fluid. In fact, they are extremely fluid with some people, usually our intimate partners who are our primary sources of fuel. You may begin as a good person when I wake-up but by breakfast you are a bad person. Sometimes you will be utterly unaware of why your status has altered and it may appear capricious and arbitrary but it is not; you will have done something or failed to do something which has shifted your classification. Most often it is linked to your failure to provide me with fuel and therefore you will be designated a bad person and subjected to treatment in accordance with such a status; devaluation and denigration. Conversely, one can also move from bad to good in the blink of an eye. You won’t necessarily realise why this is, but we do. It is entirely logical to us.

As I mentioned once we have classified you as good or bad, we will classify you further, usually linked to the fuel you provide and how under our control you are. After that we will use similar labels to you – an interesting, handsome person and so on. Thus, take Paul my longstanding side kick. He is naturally a good person but I also regard him as a very good source of fuel, a highly reliable source of fuel and completely under my control, loyal and dedicated. My mother is a bad person. Whilst she is a good source of fuel for her emotional outbursts and temper tantrums, she is only fairly reliable. I have little control over her, she is a traitor and scheming to dethrone me, she has no concept of loyalty and is actively plotting against me. Thus whilst she may provide fuel the other factors cause her to be placed in the bad classification. I do not consider her to be grey just because she provides fuel but cannot really be controlled.

Why do we regard people in this manner? Why is it that we cannot take a holistic view of them? For instance, one might suggest that with the ex-girlfriend Lesley that she at one point was loving, dedicated and did much for me. Yes, she became a broken appliance and let me down, she also caused affront to me for which she must be repeatedly punished. She continues to try to be pleasant to me. Do I not look at this myriad of attributes and factors (plus more besides) and place her on some kind of spectrum between good and bad? No I do not. Why? Because my need of fuel is such I cannot have wishy-washy, amorphous classifications of people. This person is good – I can rely on them to give me positive fuel and do as I say. This person is bad – I can get negative fuel from them but I must be careful as they are plotting against me and seeking to avoid my control. This then enables me to apply my manipulations appropriately. It is also necessary to enable me to maintain my superiority and my self-worth. I need to keep those two aspects alive at all times. If you do not do what I want, you are calling into question my superiority. You are suggesting that I am worthless. Thus you are a bad person and I am the person who is admirable and worthy, you are wicked and evil. If you do as I want, you are confirming my superiority by submitting to my will. I am full of self-worth because you are acknowledging this by acting in accordance with my wishes. Deviate from that and you become a bad person.

You should have learned by now that because we look at the world through a different lens to you, there are many things that you will do (which you will not be aware about) which cause us to oscillate from regarding you as good to bad and then back to good, often in the space of an hour or less. This is all based on how we perceive your compliance to be. During our seduction of you, you are only ever a good person because you represent that wonderful potent source of positive fuel which we desire. You represent the prospect of an undimmed source unlike the bad person we are devaluing and about to discard. You always respond positively to our overtures, our love-bombing and you give us what we want. Hence you remain a good person. Those who are in our coterie, our lieutenants and those who form our façade remain good people. Challenge us, defy us or even worse see through us and you are challenging our need for superiority and self-worth and you must automatically be designated as a bad person, irrespective of what may have come before, that would create a more complex view. You failed to do what we want; you are a bad person. You then change and do what we want, you become a good person. It is a simple and necessary classification that we utilise.

Accordingly, everything is either good or bad with our kind. Admittedly, though it usually turns ugly as well….

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55 Comments

  1. Caroline Is Free,
    I have to say I must have missed somethihng. I thought you were NC much longer than 4 months even of just your NC. Gives me hope…….
    CHEERS!!!!!!

    1. Kim💙,
      Nope! His family sucked me back in, when he was in the hospital (correction: I *allowed* myself to be sucked back in)…you know how lovey-dovey I can be🙄, so I couldn’t handle not being there for them – and also trying to calm him down – which, of course, he used. But what a mess – his family thinks we should be married, for gosh sakes…it’s impossible, for me to be “Out, but ‘in’ if you REALLY need me” & just puts me right back into his clutches, so to speak. He even faked being in the hospital for longer. When does it ever end? Answer: Never – until I say so.

      So I had to summon up strength (ignore false guilt) & FULLY exit.

      As for you, that kind of “hope” you speak of is real…you can get fully out — and feel renewed joy again. Of course you can, doll.

      [BTW, I left you a reply post on the “Come Everyone, To This Humungous Thread” thread. 😉 I actually thought I was posting to you on a different thread though.< I hope that made sense — I'm home with a fever & sore throat.🤒]

      1. CIF.
        AH yes….now I remember the family suck in!
        My joy is still in the making. I am still in the wavering abck and forth stages. BUT not in the wavering back and forth stage of wanting contact. Int he back and forth stage of remembering things and saying to myself It felt so real but he has the IPPS, other IPSS’s and whomever else and I am NOT one of them.
        I had told you before that I was involved with married guys numerous times before. The last one spoiled the hell out of me for 8 years. It ended cuz he had decided that when he told his wife he was in love with me and wanted a divorce, she would just go along with the plan. LOL…..he F’d up on that one. She did not want anything to do with the plan (he thought a 50/50 split of his 8 million was agreeable) and I did not want to get married….why would I? I was perfectly content with my life.
        BUT this being involved with a married guys and God only knows how many others is not for me. I tried to talk myself into it being the same thing but it was not. Which sucks cuz I really enjoyed the illusion……LOL. Had good times and laughs.
        Day by day i will make it………….just hopes he forgets about me.
        Missed ya….keep in touch.

      2. Caroline-is-feverish
        Nice manipulation. I see an Emergency Power Play and faking a longer hospital stay could be construed as a Victim Power Play.

        1. K,
          It could, but there’s a lot more to this story that I’ve left out…which I don’t feel comfortable explaining on the site at this time, as he’s got a very malign side. I’ve got HG, if I need him.🙂

  2. Okay, I know when I went from white to black. He’d described a project he wanted to do the day before, I was genuinely interested, he keeps touching my knee (for emphasis?)

    The next day, because I occasionally descend to the level of a 9-year,old, I pranked his computer. Mind you, everybody pranked everybody’s computer, or wrapped their desk in duct tape when they went on vacation, etc. The only person who never got pranked was the office Feminist, to whom everyone was scrupulously polite, because she had a history of provoking people into cussing her out and getting them fired. I’d been pranked more than once, and took it as a sign of acceptance.

    This is not how he took it. Apparently, his co-worker sharing that area were snickering as he got more and more frustrated. Eventually, he asked if I did it, I admitted it, and was stunned at his rage. I’d have been called a bad sport if I’d made such a fuss.

    It got back to me later that he’d told someone, “I’ve heard about this stupid crush of hers and she can forget about it! It’s never gonna happen!”

    Mind you, there were a number of people who’d claimed he had a crush on ME. And he’d been tapping my knee (for emphasis) less than 24 hours before.

    Months of blowing hot and cold followed, and after we’d all gone on to different jobs, I ran into a co-worker who said the narc had told him he thought I was “kinda cute.” I wondered if this was a joke, but he insisted. “Then why did he act like that?” “Oh, you know, in front of the guys…”

    (We were all legally adults when this happened, though it sounds like a Jr. High story.)

    But that’s what it was. I pranked him, the guys laughed at him, and it showed he didn’t know as much about computers as he wanted everybody to think, or he’d have found the file on his own.

    I couldn’t have been painted any blacker if I’d emptied a bucket of pitch over my head.

  3. That makes so much sense. Ex-narc-IP was exactly like this with the way he classed people, but at the time I put it down to him being a Gemini and thus prone to the trait of indecision.

  4. Another fascinating insight. What strikes me most from this article is the notion that superiority is synonymous with self-worth. Isn’t that another fallacy created by the creature? In any case how can one be considered superior if one never fights fair, wins by deceit, and by making others lose. Not being narc-perior doesn’t make us worthless, only human. The thought of constantly trying to maintain superiority is so exhausting. Even the “least” of us have that innate capacity to be priceless to others so there is no need for superiority. If by some miracle for example HG, you stopped behaving like a Narc, wouldn’t you still remain priceless to the many people whom you continue to help? Being a Narcissist is part of who you are it’s not all of who you are. Looking forward to HG 3.

    1. Fair observations which embodies the difference between the narcissistic perspective and the empathic perspective.

  5. Is this a plausible reason (split thinking) as to why a narcissist is “moody” to various people in the work place on & off. You are white or black depending on the shift in the wind? I see this unusual behavior from time to time with definite narcissists. “Don’t get on her bad side..” Firm indicator type of comment in my mind if you hear it..

      1. I knew it! I am sniffing out these whacky people. Well—they rather revealed themselves in the spring by trying to collectively torture a lady they targeted and they all ended up in a mess. It was a band of narcissist women that were all in tears blaming one another. I was sorry to miss the tears as I was off. From want I heard it was a spectacle of pity plays and blame shifting.

        1. Lorelei: It is booming: Your ability to sniff out `the scent of the Narcissist` ~~HG Tudor

          1. K—you have been immensely helpful in providing illustrations of narcissist/narcissistic behavior in the past in some posts you’ve written. I swear my brain has had to really flex with a sort of plasticity to absorb all of what has been acquired thus far. It’s been a challenge. You’ve catapulted my “ah ha” moments. I don’t always have to agree/disagree with assessments made, but it’s been helpful. For instance, (and please view this almost scholarly as if we are both co-learners)—you may assign a disdain for a person based on a glimpse of behavior. I may do the same as we walk away with a certain threshhold for what is ok to pursue or not to pursue further interactions, etc. Passive aggressive is a big mid-range indicator right?! It’s a deal breaker for me. It’s broken my mind—I’m done once I see it. Yet, maybe the person has developed this way for reasons not specific to total narcissism and you see the aggregate and determine that there are empathic traits so feel safe moving forward.. I’m done at this juncture but you are ok. We can flip the script with other behaviors and change the narrative but the concept remains. I’m willing to write off non-narcissists absolutely because certain behavior doesn’t jive with my time, my interests, etc. It is a flavor of rudimentary boundary formation.

          2. Lorelei
            Now that I have a better understanding of what’s going on, I no longer care to be involved in any drama and I remove myself from it. I was never a Drama Llama to begin with. Sometimes, I might observe The Drama from a distance for learning purposes but even the need to observe is fading (GOSO).

            Also, I don’t care what an individual’s personality is, if I think someone feeds off of Drama, then I am all set with that person. I always try to be polite and social but I don’t like passive aggressive BS. I tend to be direct and matter-of-fact.

            I used to wonder what all the fuss was about now we all know; fuel and control.

          3. Exactly Lorelei, it’s a bit Twilight Zone-esque but, once you are clued in, you just let go and move on.

  6. The good/bad labels are quite the opposite of empaths like me who tend to see both coexisting simultaneously in everyone on a continuum. Narcs aren’t all bad. Empaths aren’t all good from my point of reference.

    After reading how narcs categorize individuals, I have a question. Is indifference an effective tool for an empath to use in a social setting when encountering a known greater narc? I have to spend a weekend in the same house with a really bad actor and am planning my strategy. This guy is former CIA, brilliant and there isn’t a trick he doesn’t know and use. (I think he could snuff out my elite bronarc) He can flatter the coolest member of our group and have her blushing and gushing, turn on a dime and cast someone into outer darkness in such a subtle way they never knew what hit them. Anyway, not looking forward to this trip and don’t plan on being a target

    1. 1. The best course would be non-attendance.
      2. If you must attend the next best course is staying out of the way of the individual because when you interact with the individual, even if you TRY to be indifferent you will end up giving fuel.

  7. I think in this is known as splitting. Everytjkngs black and white no in between. Thats where proper therapy can help look from different angles and in the middle more open thinking.

      1. Hi HG…never say never. Im not the only one to see changes. I think your therapy and the blog has helped you. Most narcissists cant change or improve but youre aware of your npd and im sure can modify and improve in areas.
        All or nothing is also another belief with npd and bpd and i think if therapy even helps a little its well worth it!! Your mother has made you go to therapy but i hope its your decision in the end to continue.

        1. Chihuahuamum,
          i think the problem is not with the possibility to improve evrything you possess, that is definitly possible, but for exemple can you reinforce the muscles on your 3rd leg with squats?
          no, becuse you do not have a 3rd leg to begin with.
          my be it is the same for narcisist they do not have (never had or lost), those kind on emotion to improve them or redirect them.
          i think the only reason Mr.HG goes to therapy (apart from the he was forced part) is for an intelectual curiosity, it is just a mean to leran new things, he just turned a situation that was meant to upset him to an advantage.

          1. Hi liza…ty for your reply. Id not thought of it that way. I still refuse to believe this is impossible for a narcissist. Were told to follow logic and i think a greater has the capability to follow the logic behind the outcome of their actions and change behaviours and the way they think. Not all narcissists but some. Itll never be second nature but it can be taught. I also think they can revisit the past and work on healing their core with a proper therapist whose is trained in npd.
            I cant bring myself to give up on the idea that certain narcissists can change or modify. Thats not to say id hold my breath waiting for it to happen. I just dont like to limit people and say its impossible. That to me is giving up. Rather id like to keep that possibility open but never expect it to happen.

          2. Chihuahuamum,
            if i got it correctly, narcissism is not some virus you have to irradicate and the idividual will turn back to their healthy state, a narcissist is a narcissist it is him he is not ill, you can’t cure a person from who they are, can you be healed from who you are ? no because there is nothing to heal it is just you.

          3. Hi liza…npd is a personality disorder and it can destroy lives so yes it would be nice to see it modified or improved to meet more in the middle. The same can be said of someone thats too empathetic. They make excuses and become a doormat and that isnt good either.
            Im not saying that npd is curable or that its a disease but it is a personality disorder that causes havok. We wouldnt be here otherwise.

          4. Chihuahuamum,
            i do want it to be curabe, i’d love them to actualy be the person i met, but it is what I want not what is.
            it seems that the narcisissts themselfs do not suffer, thus, they see no need to change. it is a personality disorder because it defers too muche from the average human personality, it is a qualitatif diagnostic not a quantitativ one.

        2. Hi Chimum, I appreciate your thought and agree that HG has the intelligence and awareness to shift his perspective if he so choses, but I can also see why his response was, “It will not be able to do so with us.” The N defense is absolute. So in therapy, a different POV may be offered and HG would comprehend this option, but the N defense would reject it. There is no room for a gray area owing to the need for control. Black and white thinking affords control from within and without because the N makes the rules and can shift from black to white as it suits him for fuel and control. HG, please correct me if this is incorrect.

          1. HG, I do this black and white thing at times with people I work with. It’s for my own survival , or I would stress too much and wonder if they liked me or not . So I see a need to “know”when to even put any effort , energy into talking to a person if I don’t feel it’s worth my efforts. I see people doing this all the time. I can feel people doing it to me. If I wear make-up and do my hair women ( not all) are in my opinion rude , short , defensive with me. I see how I can alter people’s perceptions …by not dressing in a certain manner. I test these social interactions a lot …it’s fun . If I don’t wear makeup and just look natural and neat , woman will talk to me in a grocery line about recipes and what I’m making with my buy. Women won’t look at me and will look away if I intimidate them. So I feel they are labeling me as “too into my looks” or “trying to get men’s attention” So they won’t give me the time of day. I’m talking about being at a grocery store ….not a party , or work. It’s a group , survival thing …something we all naturally do because we would be in a group as humans we make a quick judgment whether the person would hurt us / or cause us pain somehow ?

          2. Hi fyc…ty for your reply. I know what youre saying and agree but i cant bring myself to say its impossible for any narcissist to change or modify their behaviours bc thatd be limiting and i dont believe in that. That does not mean that i would wait around in hopes a narcissist would change thats on them to want to and implement change.
            I do believe HG has the ability to modify his behaviours over and above what he does to keep the facade intact. I wont limit him by saying hes not capable or able to alter aspects of his npd and way of thinking bc i think he is. Whether he wants to is a whole other story and that i think is the real obstacle.

          3. Thank you for the confirmation, HG. You taught me well the last time I made a hopeful suggestion.

          4. “It is all about the education FYC.” Indeed, HG, and I am very grateful that you are so masterful at providing such a rare and exceptional education. I have read a mountain of data on the subject, but only you make perfect sense of it all. I have learned a great deal from you in many ways. Thank you.

          5. Chimum, I understand and share your heartfelt sentiment on possibilities. After making several attempts to approach various options with HG, he clearly and patiently explained that the N defense demands he choose that which supports the defense.

            The N defense is such a different orientation to life, it took a while to grasp how complete it is, but at last, I have a visceral appreciation for what he experiences. It has helped me understand and accept my familial Ns. I would never count out HG in anything, but perhaps accepting the defense as is, and working within the confines of the defense, there are options still for HG (such as his new dynamic).

            If HG were to jettison the defense, I am sure he would be successful.

          6. Hi fyc…ty for your thoughts and i can appreciate what you believe. You could be right but im stubborn and cant bring myself to accept all those with npd cant change. It reminds me of a video i watched about bpd and they said the same that its not an easy personality disorder to overcome but it also is not impossible. It means going back and healing what caused the disorder in the first place and changing maladaptive thoughts. Its not easy but it is possible if someone wants to improve and change.
            I think if anyone can itd be HG!

          7. I agree, Chimum, but I don’t see them choosing to do so due to the coping/defense mechanism. I understand your hope though. Thanks for your thoughts.

        1. Why will it not be able to do what, with my kind, Laura? I do not see the previous comment in the moderation pane so you will need to be specific.

          1. Hi HG, 

            Thank you for your reply.  The comment I was referring to was your response to Chihuahuamum where she stated “where proper therapy can help look from different angles and in the middle more open thinking.”  Your response to that comment was “It will not be able to do so with us.”  Are you saying that even with therapy and complete understanding of this splitting and painting people black or white from moment to moment none of that has the potential to change ever and essentially why can’t it?  

            I am new to your blog and in complete awe that you have so much insight into the way you are and that you are willing to share it with us.  I am also impressed that you have such insight into how it emotionally affects us empaths and on top of that write so well.  I’ve been enthralled with your site the past week or so and find the information incredibly valuable. Thank you so much for all you share.  There is nothing else out on the web like it and it is helping me in my personal life.     

          2. Hello Laura,

            Thank you for clarifying. I am pleased that you are finding my work so useful.

            A narcissist cannot change. It is a hermetically sealed self-defence mechanism. The narcissism will not let anything “close” to try to affect it, even if it could affect it.

      2. HG,
        I really appreciate that you continue to make this point very clear – that a narcissist’s defense mechanism is set. It is exactly what I’ve experienced with my narc through the years, and I (as you likely know) have struggled with *hope* that he can somehow be “cured” from NPD, through digging into his childhood with therapy — which is why I put myself out on a limb of more contact.

        I do understand that with your awareness & intelligence, you’ve made adjustments within your set framework, in ways that you have decided are most effective/efficient for you…but I appreciate how you keep reinforcing the important “once a narc always a narc” concept, because all it takes for me is a smidgeon of hope sometimes – and you give me none of that, so I have no illusions anymore.

        Basically, you broke me. I’m now Caroline-is-hopeless. (Kidding!)

        1. Logic – our defence mechanism is hard wired.
          ET – hope that it is not and it can be changed.

          I am pleased to note that you are grasping this.

          1. Thanks, HG~Yep, I am…I only have little guilt pangs at times now, but that’s vastly improved. It’s about 4 months of (my) NC now, except two brief email messages from him, which technically are hoovers, & I can’t block those, but I really wouldn’t have read them, if I had known it was him. I will say they held no sway. I wasn’t even tempted to reply.

            I feel back to how I felt before I ever tried my well-intentioned but zany experiment…I feel fully free again. It’s so much more healthy to not have those narc interactions, so my joy has also returned full force. Even with the small amount of contact I had with him, you just don’t realize how it affects you…until they are out of your life again.

          2. Congratulations Caroline, I am happy for your freedom and joy. Do you use gmail? You can create a filter or even block specific email senders. Other email programs also offer filters or blocking. Just google your type email and the word filter or block.

          3. Thank you so much, FYC. I appreciate the good cheer. 🙂 I have several email accounts, but the only address he has is from an old email system, which has no way for me to put a block on it.

          4. Hi Caroline, just filter or block with “contains” and use any string in his email address. The email convention won’t matter only the condition you set. Wanna be sure that joy keeps coming!

          5. Thanks, FYC…I’m going to check with a trusted “geek-squad type” guy friend~it’s attached to a workplace, so I’m not sure how it would work. I’m not sure how much of the tech stuff works – just not my “thing”!🥴

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