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.
7 thoughts on “Dropping The Narc Bomb”
So *why* is negative fuel more potent than positive?
Read the book “Fuel” it is in there, Steph.
My husband used to do this! I pointed it out, that he always picked a fight before I had an important meeting, and he has made a concerted effort to stop.
If he ever gears up to do this, I remind him, and he recognizes what he’s doing and settles down.
We both have some narc tendencies, were raised by narcissists, and we both try to overcome those tendencies toward each other. Your blogs and books are helping us recognize manipulations which we may do unintentionally by instinct. We don’t want to hurt each other. Learning how to recognize manipulations and communicate directly are strengthening us.
Thank you, HG
A few minutes before he was to graduate, this woman succeeded in driving her boyfriend to suicide:
Otoh, she’d been doing her best to push him over the edge for months, so maybe this isn’t a true narc bomb.
Another Michelle Carter.
Very useful info. I’ve seen this many many times, including a family version of this.
I lived with this (and so many other) behavior for years from my ex-husband.
I’d seen N behavior so often that I started thinking it was just standard.