Showing Restraint




In some instances, the actions of our kind necessitate the obtaining of an injunction or a restraining order to address certain behaviours. Obtaining one is not always as straight forward as it might appear, though much depends on the type of narcissist that you are dealing with. You can often count on facing a counter-application which is designed to muddy the waters, intimidate you and/or be used as a bargaining chip in order to cause you to drop your own action.

The fabrication of evidence in support of our own application can be expected. However, let us assume that you have succeeded in obtaining the injunction or restraining order and there has been no cross-application from us, will we obey the restraining order that you have secured?

Do not think that it is as simple matter of  us evaluating whether we should obey it or not. You must keep in mind that we are entitled to do as we please, when we want, where we want and with whomsoever we choose. This includes you, probably more than anybody. We operate from a position of assumed superiority and we do not recognise or respect any boundaries.

The presence of a restraining order is regarded as a terrible and unjustified imposition on our capacity to do what must be done. In order to understand whether we will comply with it, you must understand how it fits into the narcissistic dynamic. This differs dependent on the type of narcissist your order is against.

The Lesser.  The Lesser Narcissist, although he has a lower control threshold, meaning his fury is more prone to erupt, he also has less energy and motivation to embark on a hoover. In such circumstances, whoever it is who has to serve the restraining order is likely to receive the initial backlash as the Lesser’s fury erupts on receipt of this criticism. The provision of such a shackle on his ability to do as he pleases amounts to a considerable criticism. Most process servers will serve the order without providing fuel. The same goes for the judge, if the narcissist has attended court to challenge the application. You can expect an immediate eruption in such circumstances and the Lesser will lash out at those in the vicinity.

Once this fury has abated, will he obey the order? The existence of the order acts to raise the bar rather high in respect of the Hoover Execution Criteria. This makes the prospect of successfully extracting fuel harder and therefore even if there is a Hoover Trigger, the existence of the order means that the criteria is far less likely to be met, you will be left alone and the order will be obeyed. Note how it is not the order per se that causes compliance, but its effects on the Hoover Execution Criteria. That is why it is necessary to understand how a restraining order fits into the narcissistic dynamic.

The circumstances where the Lesser is likely to break a restraining order are: –

  1. If you criticise him and ignite his fury, for instance if you contact the Lesser by telephone. The ignition of fury will mean he will have no regard for the order and come after you in order to seek fuel to deal with the wound you have caused. It may be the case that the Lesser is forbidden from coming near you, but you can still contact him if required (if indeed you actually wanted to); or
  2. You do something which lowers the bar on the Hoover Execution Criteria. Thus if the Lesser happens to see you somewhere, perhaps by accident, the presentation of potential fuel in this manner means the criteria will be more readily met, a hoover will take place and the order will be broken.

The Lesser is not concerned with the downside of breaking the order.

The Mid-Range. The Mid-Range narcissist is of all the schools of narcissist most likely to obey the order. This is because his passive aggressive nature does not lend itself to contravening the order, combined with the raising of the HEC bar as described above. You should also note that he has an increased cognitive function so that he is well aware of the downside of contravening the order and the consequent effect on his liberty which will thus in turn hamper his fuel gathering capabilities. If the Mid-Range is going to breach the order, he will do so by utilizing a proxy to approach you on his behalf. This will not be done in any aggressive way, but rather as a pity play beseeching you to stop this unnecessary action and “can we not just talk to one another like reasonable people”. This is a ploy through a third party to cause you to lower your guard so a hoover can be effected and without any consequence. If you agree, the hoover will not be malign, he will seek positive fuel in order to build a bridge to keep coming back for more.

The Greater.  The HEC bar is raised but the Greater has greater energy and cunning to address this adjustment. He also has a greater sense of entitlement. The Greater is well aware how the downside of contravening such an order will have against him. He will know it will impact on his capabilities for gathering fuel and also damage the façade. He is however driven and regards the appearance of such an order as a challenge for him to flex his cunning and manipulative muscles.

The Greater will not be able to resist the opportunity for game-playing but will do so in a manner which minimises risk to him. He will have the arrogance to assume he will not be caught, but lack the stupidity to blindly contravene it. Instead, he will utilize all manner of tactics to breach the order but through others with no link to him, he will rely on plausible deniability and the threat of breaching it, to cause consternation on the part of the victim.

The Greater will not want to suffer the downside, he is wary of this, he does not want his standing to be affected by it and the effect it will have on his carefully constructed façade, but the temptation of the fuel and the desire to win, by outsmarting the order will usually prove too great. If there is a trigger and the HEC is met, the Greater will hoover but will do so in a clever manner. There will be no crass and blunt weapon involved. He will aim to breach it, but through clever manipulation, the use of others and the complete avoidance of repercussions for him.

12 thoughts on “Showing Restraint

  1. Whitney says:

    HG 💙 My God. After I fled the house from the Psychopath, he kept all my important stuff- my passport, my photos, my important beauty products, my laptop, and he took them in a bag to work each day, and when he was home he hid them in the house. So I’d have to see him again.

  2. zielum says:

    I had a guy basically threaten a restraining order when I showed up at his house to (politely) ask for answers after he ghosted me. He was so mad, which confused me (I have a hard time understanding boundaries and why people get so up-in-arms about them; also, what did he expect when suddenly ghosting someone he had been seeing?). I’ve driven past his place several times since then (oodles of miles out of my way), but haven’t confronted him again. I really don’t like the idea of being legally punished for something so harmless (I never did and still don’t have ill-intent, and our final argument was very controlled and civil–one of my best ever).

    The funny thing is that I looked up what’s required for a restraining order, and I didn’t qualify; you have to prove that the person presents a “danger” to you.

    I wonder how that plays out when the “danger” required is from a narcissist as HG might describe, one who has never engaged in physical harm but countless forms of emotional/psychological harm. Somehow I doubt the police force would take that seriously, which is unfortunate for those who suffer that kind of abuse.

  3. Mercy says:

    Sometimes the police and courts are the biggest obstacle when it comes to restraining orders. My daughter had been stalked since new year 2019. We have made complaints, shown pics of him in her alley, she has called them when he is following her. This last time she was 40 miles outside of town heading out of state and saw someone speed up on her. He pulled beside her just so she’d know it was him then sped up and exited. She went to the police and made another complaint. They said she had enough for a warrant. That was Saturday. Today there is still no warrant on file for him and they make her feel like she is a bother when she calls for answers. She hasn’t stayed at her home since Saturday. This is how women get killed.

    1. WhoCares says:

      I’m sorry Mercy, that is a very scary situation for your daughter.
      Much of the legal/policing system makes no sense to me.

      1. Mercy says:

        WhoCares, Thank you for your kind words. You’re right, the system is so messed up. Then officer she filed a complaint with has been off the last 3 days and everyone else keeps transferring her from department to department. Today she was talking to someone at the courthouse explaining the situation for about 10 minutes. The lady said she couldn’t help, she doesn’t see any paperwork on it. My daughter said “I know you haven’t seen any paperwork about my case because you haven’t asked my name or his name”. They just want to get her off the phone.

        1. E. B. says:

          Hello Mercy,

          I am so sorry to hear what your daughter is going through. It must be frustrating for her to try to explain and not being taken seriously and considered a nuisance. It makes victims feel more and more helpless.
          Is he violent? Is his behaviour likely to escalate?

          Unfortunately, it is an illusion that the police or the court will make the stalker change his behaviour. It is also a fantasy that the authorities will succeed in protecting the victim. This only happens on films. I am not saying it is wrong to go to the police. We want to feel safe, we want to hear that they will take care of it but in truth, nobody can change the narcissist’s behaviour.

          Celebrities who are being stalked do not find themselves in a better place than other victims. Yes, they can afford private security but hired detectives cannot make the stalker change either. Actually, they may make it worse. They are paid to *do something* which may translate into giving the narcissist more negative fuel or challenge fuel. The stalking never ends.

          Apart from staying away from the first 5 spheres of influence whenever possible and reducing the chances of being hoovered, etc. what your daughter can do is to change the psychological impact her ex’s behaviour has on her. I know this is not easy at all. I am the target of frequent malignant hoovers. The last one left me 2 days with dizziness, not only by standing but also while lying in bed. I know what it is like to live with the anxiety of not knowing what will happen next. This is why I spoke about “reducing” (not erasing) the emotional impact of the narcissist’s behaviour has on us. We cannot erase it as long as we are being abused.

          1. Mercy says:

            E.B., Thank you for reaching out. I have come to the same conclusion about the authorities being an illusion that they can protect us. My hope is that if they are involved, along with NC from her, it’ll cause him to turn his focus elsewhere. It is very frustrating for her when she speaks to them and she is a highly emotional person. He has been violent in the past (I did not know about the violence when it was happening) but he hasn’t done anything physical since she went NC. She explained to me that what he is doing now is more terrifying than the physical violence because she doesn’t know if he’s going to snap one day.

            I’m sorry to hear about your situation. It’s like they take away our freedom of choice. You should be able to say “I don’t want this” and leave but the abuse just continues until they find someone else to focus on. When you talk about reducing emotional impact, do you have a suggestion of how I can direct my daughter to do this? Her emotions are all over the place. Sometimes being the mom is a disadvantage. We are very close but I have to be careful how I give advice because I don’t want her to shut down or stop coming to me when things are bad (like hiding the violence because she doesn’t want me to worry).

          2. E. B. says:


            Your daughter has your support and this is invaluable. Acknowledging her experience and validating her feelings without wanting to change them is very important.

            Reducing the impact of ongoing abuse is hardest part of it.
            Since I already knew about Cluster B PDs, the first thing I wanted to know was how far they could go. This can be life-saving.
            My case is different from your daughter’s. Hers is about a romantic relationship. She said she does not know if he is going to snap one day. It sounds like she is almost sure he will, IMO. This is more than just intuition. He has been violent to her before. She knows him better than anyone else and her concern is valid. I would consult with HG, starting with the Narc Detector.

            Also, accepting reality – not what films and series want to make us believe. Some abusers get away with murder. I accept that nothing justifies what they did to my family and they are still doing to me after all these years. I accept that most people who have not lived a similar experience cannot understand. Some could but do not want to. It is not my job to change them.

            I try to identify my feelings and write them down. They provide useful information about me and my past. If you google, Your emotional vocabulary list (pdf), there is an useful one.
            Some people find meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques helpful but I found that their positive effect is temporary.

            It is understandable that your daughter gets emotional when she is on the receiving end. However, *getting emotional when she speaks to the police* may have a negative effect. The more emotional the victim gets, the less they want to listen. It unsettles them. In order to be taken seriously by the authorities, I would do following:

            1-Speak about behaviours only, describe what the narcissist has done in a neutral way. It should not sound dramatic. 2-Avoid labels (e.g. psycho, narcissist). 3-Avoid unnecessary details. People will stop listening and will not pay attention when you say something relevant. 4-Avoid any kind of ‘emotional vocabulary’. First write down what happened. Then, edit the text by removing drama, No. 2, 3 and 4. With practice, it gets better. Hope this helps, Mercy x

          3. Mercy says:


            Thank you for your advice. I downloaded the emotional vocabulary. I don’t know if it’ll help or hurt. Now every time she describes her emotions I’ll be busting out the list to see where she is on the emotional scale. It’s bad enough I stalk her FB to see if she’s active (I don’t want to text her every time I’m wondering if she’s ok). I’m kidding though, it’s very helpful and ill pass it on to her. We have been talking about emotional thinking alot lately and surprisingly she has done some research on her own. We had a little break though yesterday and found out the warrant has been issued so the no contact order will follow when he is arrested. We are not under the illusion that this will protect her but now he’s aware that he will face jail time if he continues. Depending on what type a narcissist he is, it may be a deterrent.

            I’m interested to know what happened in your case if you don’t mind my asking. If not, I understand. I don’t want to intrude.

          4. E. B. says:


            You are welcome. As you can see from the list, emotions are divided into seven groups and three sub-categories: soft, medium and intense.
            For example, when people are being stalked and do not know what to do, it is highly likely that their emotions are in the Fear group, in the Intense sub-category. By understanding the stalker’s mind and behaviour, knowing what to expect, how to deal with it, the intensity could be reduced to medium/soft and hopefully disappear. Prolonged stress and anxiety leads to illness and the only thing we can control is ourselves.

            I do not mind you asking at all, only that I prefer not to write about it in public sites. It is not covered in any site for victims of narcissistic abuse. I am not believed and this makes me feel more helpless. Those I knew who were in a similar situation died due to the prolonged abuse or committed suicide.
            The good news is that other cases of abuse are starting to come to light in the news such as patients being tormented in nursing homes and psychiatric institutions, including unclear death cases. We are lucky if someone dares to speak about it. The bad news is that the perpetrators did not go to prison. Evidence was ‘missing’ or not enough. They could not be proven guilty.

        2. WhoCares says:

          That is so frustrating when the stalker’s behaviour is concerning and possibly very threatening – but not overt or ‘unlawful’ enough to cause the authorities to act. Sadly, I think that a lot of narcissists are good at walking this fine line.
          Mercy – your daughter should likely be documenting all these occurrences – especially if she is highly emotional – so a third party can objectively view them.
          Maybe she should go to the courthouse in person so she cannot so easily be turned away and perhaps she will get a more empathetic employee?
          Also, would some sort of assessment by HG be prudent? ( At least then you or your daughter would be better able to assess the level of threat with regard to this individual.)

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