No Good Advice
Relationship advice. The internet is awash with it. Sites, blogs, question and answer sessions, videos on YouTube there is a plethora of advice about how to deal with the problems which arise in intimate relationships.
I decided recently to have a good look through many of these sites and gather together the common complaints which people raise when they submit their issues. There are plenty of submissions, thousands upon thousands of people complaining about the issues in their relationships. Oddly enough, I noticed a common thread with many of these complaints where people had written in to seek advice or explained their circumstances. Time and time again I the following:-
“Everything was wonderful to begin with, he swept me off my feet.”
“She made me feel like a king and it was just what I needed after how horrible my marriage had been.”
“I was taken aback by how loving he was, but it felt so good to be treated that way after everything that I had been through.”
“He told me how he had been hurt before and didn’t want to go through that again.”
“His ex-wife was horrible to him and he had been hurt but wanted to ensure everything was right between us.”
“Everything was marvellous for a few months and then he changed.”
“I didn’t know him anymore.”
“He started controlling me.”
“She told me who I could see.”
“He started to isolate me from family and friends.”
“He would flirt with other women.”
“She spent all of her time on the internet doing Lord knows what.”
“He never listens to me.”
“He became abusive.”
“The sex was amazing at first but then it just stopped.”
“He was so loving and attentive in bed but then he started suggesting threesomes and kinky stuff which I didn’t like.”
“He started to make decisions for me.”
“She would lose her temper over the smallest thing.”
“He would disappear for days on end and I was sick with worry.”
“He would not speak to me for several days even though I had done nothing wrong.”
“He started hitting me. He said sorry afterwards and seemed remorseful for what he had done, blaming it on seeing his dad beat him mum when he was young.”
“He doesn’t like anything I do any more, he puts me down.”
“Its like living with Jekyll and Hyde.”
“He just never contacted me again. I still don’t know what has happened.”
“He told me he couldn’t be with me anymore as he needed time to himself and then two days later I see him post about a new girlfriend on social media.”
“He was unfaithful to me repeatedly.”
“I still miss her after everything she has done.”
“I am financially ruined, stressed but I still love him.”
“Why can’t it be like it was in the beginning?”
“I want him back.”
I should imagine that all of you will be nodding at these comments for two reasons. First of all, you remember saying them yourself or something similar. Secondly, you now realise what was actually behind these behaviours. People like me.
Over and over again I saw questions and tales which all had the common theme of ‘Brilliant start, he became someone else, dumped me, I was heartbroken.’ Hundreds upon hundreds of these stories, these tales of misery and woe. A litany of despondency and confusion that has been piled up in the inboxes of the relationship advisors and gurus. I scrolled through them all, reading the replies, the advice and the suggestions. I read the analysis, I digested the observations and spent some considerable time doing so. What did I see?
Not one person raised the possibility that the person seeking advice had become involved with a narcissist. Not one.
Many of these blogs and relationship advice sites were clearly popular. Some were established names, linked to lifestyle magazines and newspapers. Many directed you to their services for counselling and relationship tool kits. Many of them trotted out similar comments and platitudes. Too often they read like the first world tribulations of a scene from Sex and the City rather than the abusive, destructive and harmful actions of dangerous narcissists.
Yet not one of them raised the suggestion that a narcissist was involved.
Now, naturally it is not the case that behind every relationship woe there is a narcissist but I know that those of you reading this, with the benefit of the enlightenment you have achieved knows that there is a good chance that problems of this nature as described repeatedly in the problems pages of these sites are something to do with people like my kind. Yet nobody was offering this as a possibility. That shows the scale of how easy it is for us to do what we do and pass undetected. It shows the staggering lack of knowledge about what we do say, think and do and the naivety of so many people, including those who apparently understand relationship dynamics.
Instead, I saw standard and repeated responses such as:-
“He is clearly a commitment phobe.”
No, he doesn’t want to spend time with you because he is devaluing you and is actually seducing someone else at the current time.
“You have outgrown each other.”
No, you never grew together to begin with because it was all predicated on an illusion and his lack of interest now is symptomatic of his interest being elsewhere.
“He may just be tired or stressed from working hard to support you and your children.”
Yes or he might be a narcissist who uses his rage to intimidate and control you.
“You may have unrealistic expectations about the relationship.”
Damn right you do and we all know why that has happened don’t we?
“You need him to take responsibility for his actions. He cannot keep blaming you for everything.”
Good luck with that one.
“He just might not be into you.”
Half-right I suppose, he just isn’t in to you fuel anymore, he is in to somebody else’s.
“He might be bored with life and not you. Try harder to interest him.”
Again, good luck with that one.
“Relationships require hard work. Don’t give up. Keep working at it and you can overcome the problems together.”
You have just been told to sign your own death warrant there.
“Some people have anger issues but that can managed with understanding and therapy.”
Or they have fury which ignites at the slightest provocation and always will.
“Being hurt is an inevitable part of a relationship.”
It is if you get ensnared by my kind.
I am not suggesting that every problem in a relationship is as a consequence of the other party being a narcissist, that is unrealistic. However, the number of times I read about what was clearly the narcissistic dynamic of seduction, devaluation and discard was significant. The monumental amount of times that I recognised narcissistic manipulations – rage attacks, silent treatments, triangulation, intimidation, bullying, gas lighting and so forth – in so many posts did not surprised me but they were not picked up on. Many times these manipulations were not isolated events. There were repeated occasions and also differing types of the manipulations which when combined and repeated point in one direction.
The advice and platitudes that were provided to people who were clearly, not just possibly, but clearly entangled with a narcissist, were way off the mark. The descriptions and answers I have listed above were the ones which were provided to people and at best this would mean the person would remain clueless and stuck with no appropriate solution and at worst they were providing advice which would harm the individual who had sought the advice.
I was not surprised by this erroneous advice. I was not amazed by this omission of our kind from the explanations. I was not taken aback by the scale of people complaining about what was clearly narcissistic abuse but not being told as such.
This is why we are able to do what we do.
This is why we are able to move amongst people, ensnare fresh victims and maintain our veneer of respectability.
This is why what we do is passed off as something else. Euphemised, diluted, lessened and made to seem like a standard relationship hiccup.
This is why ignorance is so harmful.
This is why we remain so effective.
This is why we remain so dangerous.
28 thoughts on “No Good Advice”
is badmouthing being a bully?
HG, what do you think would happen if more people know, fuel will be taken away,
More frustations violence and anger???!
It is a Spanish group HG…
I have books in Spanish, draw their attention to those.
Yes! This is one of the worst things about the aftermath of entanglement. No one understands unless they’ve been through it. I had the hardest time explaining to people that this was not a normal relationship or break up. They couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just get over it. They would say invalidating things like “it just wasn’t meant to be”, “sometimes people fall out of love”, “sometimes relationships just don’t work”, “he just thought you were something you’re not”, “he just wasn’t into you”, etc. I wanted to scream when I heard these things, because they just didn’t understand. Eventually people got sick of hearing it so I just stopped talking about it. I’m so grateful I found this site.
A good selection of the typical, uninformed comments.
I understand you totally, I don’t talk about me relationship with anybody its pointless because people.are uneducated about NPD . I only talk about it here. To try and explain it would be exhausting and I dont have the strength or the energy to do so.
I used to comment on some of the stuff like this on FB and call BS he/she is a narcissist and it’s not going to change and ….., then I would just type, “narcissist” in comments. Now I just delete and block those publishers lol. I wish I had a rubber stamp or alarm I carried around and whenever I saw or heard something, I could just stamp., or press a button that said “ Warning! Narcissist! Ask HG!”
It’s amazing how much easier it is to spot them now. I wondered at first if I was applying the label too generally. Has everyone I ever had a problem with been a narcissist? No. That mean old battle-ax teacher was a straight-up mean old battle-ax. However, the manipulative one who was always trying to “help”: definite narc. That ex-friend whose bossiness and verbal abuse finally got to me? Nope, just an asshole. The one who would say nasty things and add, “only kidding”: narc. A few ex-boyfriends with mood swings (that’ll happen if you like creative types), but not the apparently arbitrary $#1+ you get from a narc whose moods are determined by fuel levels. Theatre directors: frequently megalomaniacs, but not narcs. They won’t risk destroying you if it comes of hurt the production. I can think of family members who did narcy, abusive things, but only one who had that empty core.
Now that I understand situations from the past, I hope in future I can spot them before I get embroiled. Sometimes with a boss or a professor, you’re not in a position to leave immediately, but at least I know why they seek me out. I wonder if it’s possible to come across as more phlegmatic and hide all that juicy fuel.
Those examples show seriously shallow advice with a lack limited amount of knowledge and definitely problematic. I could go on and on about the disappointment in the knowledge gap and why I recommend your site and books.
I remember having to really dig for information at first but once I identified the problem as narcissism, the floodgates opened. I was researching the topic though. You would need to know what you were dealing with first. i got lucky. I discovered the problem on my own after months of counseling with someone who walked all around the issue but never identified it. I pointed it out to her based on what I had learned and even then she was reluctant to use the term. I understand that there are criteria that must be met to make the diagnosis and pinning that label on someone is something many don’t want to do.
It seems like here (US) the term narcissist is used so liberally with little understanding that it has no meaning. Standard reply when you point out someone is a narc is a dismissive “we are raising a generation of narcissists” as if I means merely selfish or self-centered.
Also hard to find a therapist with in-depth knowledge of narcissism. Many will list narc abuse counseling as a specialty but their experience is limited.
I am impressed with many sites I’ve found but they really aren’t advise blogs. There is one lady here in the US who is really onto something by focusing on destructive marriage and destructive relationships. She doesn’t limit the destruction to narcissists but certainly shows a great understanding.
All of these sites were however lacking in true understanding and perspective. That is why the information you share is of great value, essential to change an empaths outlook.
Sorry to ramble on and veered off topic a bit. What you expressed is important.
Entirely accurate Susan.
Great “rambling” post, Susan.
There are definitely plenty of narcissists posing as therapists out there.
Plus, why diagnose accurately?
Oops… why diagnose accurately if it’s going to heal a patient sooner?
Once I knew—and read and followed HG’s advice—I healed up rather quickly, for the most part.
In fact, his advice (especially re: Logical Thinking) has helped me immensely all across the board, raising my self-confidence, relinquishing many insecurities, and almost erasing anxieties, not just those related to the Narcx.
I have a slew of self-help books that I collected over the 8 years of my Narcx relationship and from even before. I’m ready to toss them out now because I’ve learned that they have no use, especially in terms of dealing with narcissism. I won’t even give them away they’re so useless.
Absolutely the case.
Lisk I say burn them!
I’ve burned one book in particular since discovering this site. A friend recommended Steve Harvey’s “Think Like A Man, Act Like A Lady”. She had a psychology background and was trying to be help me make sense of my situation. Spoiler Alert: I was dating a narc.
I have never felt shamed by a book before. It may be the worst book I’ve ever read. What a waste of paper. I enjoyed watching it burn though. F#%K Steve Harvey!
Thats why there is so much false information out there. I can’t believe it. When I was reading your work my own doctor had zero knowledge on Narcissism. He was clueless! I just asked a question that I think my husband may be one before the Narc Detector consultation and he said you are being Racist. What? I dont trust him even prescribing antibiotics to me.
Well thank goodness you came along HG
The research.you did with this one it is remarkable. Stay healthy and strong for all.of us we need you.
Your doctor accused you of being a racist? If so, I hope you have fired him!
Lisker, Dam right I did I wont be going back to him.
Spelling error I meant Lisk ooops!
That doctor sounds as sharp as a marble. I hope you found another.
Yes I did NA can you believe it !
Just my humble two cents: if a relationship requires a “relationship advice”, it is a sick relationship per se. A solid, healthy relationship is simple and easy like Sunday morning, no games, no guessing and no advice needed.
HG please, listen…
I created a group and there are more then 150.000 persons, mostly women…
And for some time now I see exactly the same thing happening!!!!! And I see what you have seen in your investigation on the Internet!!!!
I am not like you but doing hours of studying about all this every day for more then a month now. You know a lot because of living it
And me as well because I have been a victim, though from the opposite of eachother we not only can talk about it because we learn and read and write and study it but also because of our experiences. Two ways…..
It s like having a radar that, reading what these women share, goes of when it is so familiar…
OF COURSE not every story is about a NP though I just know the mayority is.
And they DO NOT HAVE A CLUE
BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF INFORMATION…
AND I WANT TO CHANGE THAT!!!!!!!
Like to help?….
And what if we are able to spread the Word around the world….
What would happen if more people know about it , what do you think….
I mean, the world not knowing….. Makes it posible for you and them to act and continue….
But what if we know, how will there behaviour be, more dangerous?
Will there be more violence, because knowing we will give less fuel, more wounds for the NP….
…… Susanne ✨
Then you are in the prime position to spread the accurate and correct information to a large group of people, send them here.
We are all rooting for you HG! This is where everyone should go to!
You will notice that most of the questions they ask over and and over again have already been answered by HG either on this blog or in his books. I would refer them to these articles, consultations (packages) and books.