Why The Narcissist Makes Your Going Out Such A Battle


This article analyses the thoughts and motivations adopted by the narcissist with regard to your going out socially with a narcissist. This thought process is most applicable to Lesser and Mid Range Narcissists and the conversational example is most applicable to a Mid Range Narcissist.

We do not like you to socialise without us. Why would you want to be anywhere other than by our side marvelling at how brilliant we are? Why on earth would you want to spend time with someone who is clearly inferior to us? What are you up to by going out with someone else? You are clearly being disloyal and that does not please us. Moreover, you are not providing us with any fuel by asserting some form of independence and that is a terrible and selfish thing for you to do.

If you are going out with others, this will cause wounding to the narcissist. We do not like you to spend time with other people since we fear that they exert some malign influence over you. We know they will be trying to undermine us in your eyes and turn you against us. We know it is because they are jealous of what we have together and rather than be pleased for you, they are smearing my good name.

You want to listen to them as well, otherwise why would you be going? Our careful and structured control of you, our calculated isolation of you, all stand to be damaged by your socialising with those who we have not got control over. We tried but for some reasons there are two or three of your friends who proved immune to our charm. I should feel sorry for them since they are selfish, bitter and twisted, but I don’t feel sorry for them because I don’t feel sorry do I, only for myself. I want you with me, where I can keep an eye on you and control you. I want you here where you are supplying me with fuel. This is your rightful place and by organising to go out for your meal with these friends you are telling me that I am not good enough to spend time with. You are criticising me and that wounds me. I have to stop you wounding me. I have to stop you going. I have to maintain the upper hand. Thus because of your selfish behaviour the Battle of Going Out is joined.

This battle embraces :-

  1. A Preventative Hoover to halt the victim from doing something else. The doing of something else makes the narcissist feel like he does not have control and therefore the act of going elsewhere will wound, cause the ignition of fury and the response is designed to stop you going out and thus is a Preventative Hoover.
  2. If you still endeavour to depart but respond in a hurt, argumentative, frustrated etc manner you are providing the narcissist with Challenge Fuel. There is no longer any wounding (because fuel is being provided) BUT your desire to depart combined with your emotional response is the Challenge Fuel. The narcissist must instinctively respond with manipulations to put ‘down’ this ‘rebellion’ by you.
  3. Fuel is of course acquired. Negative in nature.
  4. Should you not go out, the potential wounding does not occur. Furthermore, if you back down and do not argue, fight against our influence, you are no longer giving Challenge Fuel. If you sit crying, this is Pure Negative Fuel. If you smile and decide you would rather stay in with us and be pleasant then this is Pure Positive Fuel.

Here comes the exchange. It contains a number of manipulations by the narcissist – see if you can identify them.

“You never said that you were going out,” I begin as I see you getting ready in the bathroom. You halt applying your make-up and turn to me.

“Yes I did, I told you last week and again this morning.”

“No you didn’t.”

“Yes I did, I remember.”

“No you did not. I would have remembered if you had told me,” I answer.

” I put it on the calendar.” You walk to the kitchen and return holding a calendar with the words ‘Girls meal out – Leonardos’.

“See?” you ask and jab a finger at the words.

“That? I thought that was referring to your nieces, not you, you never said.”

“Seriously? Come on, why would my nieces be going to Leonardo’s on their own?” you ask.

“You’ve just written that in when you were fetching the calendar. Look, the ink is still drying.”

You sigh in exasperation.

“I told you about it, it is in the calendar. I have not been out in weeks.”

“Well neither have I,” I comment.

“What? You were out last Friday,” you answer voice rising.

“That was with work.”

“It was still going out,” you reply.

“That is not the same. You know I have to schmooze clients, it is hardly pleasure. I have to do that for business reasons so I think you are being unfair by saying that is a night out for me.”

“Those clients you were out with are your friends, it was a right piss up.”

“Oh sorry, I forgot, you were there weren’t you, you know all about how I conduct my business don’t you?” I declare.

“No I don’t but they are your friends.”

“So I am not allowed to have clients who are friends now am I? Jesus, why don’t you just stop me from having any friends at all eh? Why not stop me going anywhere? You would like that wouldn’t you? Just having me stuck in here all the time.”

“What are you talking about, I let you do as you please.”

“No you don’t. You are determined to keep me on a leash. My friends take the piss out of me for how little time I get to spend with them.”

You halt your application of the lipstick.

“Who has said that?”

“Several people. Jim, Richard and John. They say I am under the thumb.”

“Huh, they have a cheek, Jim is completely under the thumb of Jessica.”

“No he’s not, but you just change the subject why don’t you. You should be staying in with me you never want to do that anymore.”

“Don’t be silly, I am with you most of the time. Look it is just an informal meal with a few of my friends, it is no big deal.”

“If it is not important then why do you have to go?”

“Because I want to,” you answer.

“Where are you going?”

“You know that Leonardo’s.”

“Really? Who with?”

“Jane, Sarah, Mary and Stephanie, oh and Carrie.”

“I don’t believe you, you have just made that up.”

“What? No I haven’t.”

“You are meeting a man aren’t you? Come on who is it?”

“No you are being stupid.”

“Don’t call me stupid. I am not the one going out and leaving their other half on their own,” I begin to shout and you jolt at the sudden change in volume.

“You are up to something, you have a different perfume on. Who is he?”

“Seriously, you are paranoid, I am meeting the girls.”

“No I am not, who do you think you are saying that to me, you are messing around. I know you are. You have been acting strangely the last few weeks. I know you are. Admit it,” I move towards you and stand over you barking into your face. You back away, eyes widening fearfully.

“I haven’t, honestly, I haven’t.”

“I should let you go anyway you whore, I don’t know why  I bother with you. I was planning a pleasant evening in for us. I was going to cook you your favourite and I have a delicious bottle of Chablis chilling but as usual you are being selfish.”

“Please don’t shout at me, I am just going out with my friends, I am allowed to have some friends aren’t I?”

“Not those harpies, they have it in for me, I hate them. I hate you.”

“Oh please don’t be like that, look I will be back by ten at the latest so we can still have some time together,” you suggest.

“Is that supposed to make me feel pleased? Why would I want to spend time with you, you slut. I see, you want to have your way with him and then rub it in my face. You are such a bitch.”

You have backed away from my tirade, wincing with each bellowed sentence. This allows me to snatch up your clutch bag.

“You can’t go out with no keys and no money,” I say holding the bag aloft.

“Please I only want to see my friends, I rarely see them as it is, please give me my bag back, why are you being so horrible?”

“Because you are cheating on me. I am not having you spend our money on some other man.”

“There is no other man, how many times do I have to tell you? Please let me go.”

“No. You are not going. You are staying here with me.”

“I can’t cancel, not this late,” you say in dejection.

“Of course you can. He does not matter.”

“There is no he. It is the girls.”

“So you say. You are not going. If you do that it is me and you finished.”

“What, just because I want to see my friends?” You slump on to the bed, shoulders hunched and your head in your hands.

“You don’t need them, you have got me.”

“Why does it always have to be like this, every time I try and do something you do this,” you protest and your voice breaks with the first sob of frustration.

“No I don’t stop trying to blame me when you are at fault,” I growl.

“You always do this, make feel guilty or do something to stop me going out.”

“Rubbish, you are making things up again. You are just trying to make me feel bad for you. It won’t work you know that.”

You begin crying as I stand power surging through me.

“Here,” I order as I pull your phone from your bag and throw it down on the bed besides you, ” ring them and tell them you can’t make it, say you don’t feel well or something. I will pour the Chablis.”

Still sobbing you fumble for the phone and pick it up before dialling the number. I stand triumphant drinking deep of the fuel you have given me during this exchange. I have won the battle once again and this time I did not even have to escalate it like I did last time. I suppose that was just as well really seeing as how you had only just replaced those mirrors I smashed.

(The victim’s response is the provision of Pure Negative Fuel through crying, the potential wounding caused by going out has been averted and the Challenge Fuel given during the argument has given way to the Pure Negative Fuel because the narcissist has got his way and his perceived supremacy has been asserted once again – he has control).

19 thoughts on “Why The Narcissist Makes Your Going Out Such A Battle

  1. blackcoffee30 says:

    I was the long-time DLS and wonder if this is why my Nex MMR never wanted me to travel abroad, not that he ever successfully dissuaded me.

  2. cogra002 says:

    I was only in-person with the Narc for 4 days last summer, though we’d met multiple times (And lovebombing, deval, discard all occurred prior). I saw the beginnings of this scenario.

    Day 1 he was fun and charming and joined me and my colleagues, all of whom he knew.
    Day 2, still charming, very boyfriend-like, romantic, but wondering where I was at the conference all the time, began. Between events, I’d return to visit his booth, and spend time. He tolerated me going to evening performances with my colleagues and could have joined us, but chose to meet after, whisk me away from them.
    Day 3 isolated me from my pack, I had to choose between him and them. Gaslighting began when he got me way away from them. This evening got downright scary.
    Day 4 I went to the evening performance with my friends anyway. He was waiting at my hotel when I got back. There was some degree of anger, and when I suggested getting a cocktail at our lounge, one of the NY Phil guys was hanging out, we’re both friends with him. I said let’s go visit and have a drink with him….. you’d have thought I said I was going to bed with him!! He kept waffling between angry and fun after that. It was weird to see.
    Accused me of lying multiple times. Kept asking if I wanted to F the NY Phil guy. (I almost said yes 😂)

    If we were in-person regularly, I believe the above scenario would be daily life. It headed that direction in 4 days time.
    HGs scenario could have been about my father, as well.

  3. Susan says:

    “You would like that wouldn’t you? Just having me stuck in here all the time.” The truth

    “What are you talking about? I let you do as you please.” The lie

    No good trying to have these conversations. Use JADE. Do not Justfy, Argue, Defend, Explain.

    Then slip out the back and never go back. The wish and for some, the new reality.

  4. blackunicorn123 says:

    I feel sick reading this.

  5. Unrelated but before I get ‘Pisssssed’ Lee Mack style for Christmas. I just had a memory of when my UMR sister entered a dancing competition when she was around 13. Wearing a flashing hat and telling me how amazing she was going to be before she went (I decided I didn’t want to go, I realised it was going to be highly embarrassing). On her return, she was so furious that she had come last after describing how she had done the spits repeatedly and how rubbish everyone else was compared to her and how they had’t even worn a flashing hat!!! She thought she’d put so much more effort in than anybody else. She was outraged!! oh god! Right! off to drink some wine!

    1. cogra002 says:

      Have one for me Alexis

  6. Pati says:

    Thank you for educating us HG!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome

  7. WiserNow says:

    The conversational example in this article rings very true. Remembering the never-ending word salad and circular arguments that can never be won gives me feelings of nausea and dread.

    The victim tries and tries to make valid and truthful points, trying to make the narcissist see and understand what would be totally obvious to any normal person. The victim grows more and more ’emotional’ and exasperated and is met with a wall of childish denials, twists and put-downs. It is indescribably frustrating to be at the receiving end of one of these “conversations”.

    When I remember what it was actually like, I never want to, or will be, a party to one of these futile conversations again. There is absolutely no point. The narcissist will not realise or change, while the victim’s emotional state and peace of mind keeps deteriorating. Save your sanity and walk away. There is nothing to prove or win or achieve. Both the narcissist and the victim need to fix their own selves.

    The empathic person is more capable of seeing past the ‘illusion’ to the truth. The empathic person has the potential to see the cold, hard truth and actually respond to it, instead of hoping that the illusion will somehow come true.

    1. AnneB says:

      Wiser Now, Thank you!. You articulate so clearly and your comment really aids my understanding. Happy Christmas!

      1. WiserNow says:

        You’re welcome AnneB, and Thank you also for your kind message. When I read the example HG provided in this article, it brought back clear memories of conversations I used to have with my mother.

        I’m glad if I can help your understanding. Knowledge and awareness are the most important things, I think, when it comes to narcissism. I really enjoy reading your comments and everyone else’s here and gaining more understanding through everyone’s experiences and perspectives.

        Have a Happy Christmas too AnneB! I hope that it will be a joyful, narc-free and personally satisfying festive season for you!

        1. AnneB says:

          Wiser, thank your for the lovely thoughts. keep well. ;-]

          1. WiserNow says:

            Thank you AnneB, and the same to you 🙂

    2. Violetta says:

      Yup. I’ve often fantasized about running into one of my elementary teachers on a train and telling her how many cases of abuse, molestation, gender dysmorphia, or simple Learning Disabilities she failed to notice, let alone report, because she was so busy with her cause-of-the-week, and how her Group Work just meant everybody who could cheated. If I understand HG correctly, I should just change cars without even making an excuse.

      1. WiserNow says:


        Just change cars, ignore her and enjoy the train ride by reading or listening to something interesting. Telling your elementary teacher about her behaviour won’t make her see anything. She’d probably just deny everything and put the blame on something or someone else. She won’t get it and you would probably end up even more annoyed and frustrated with her. It’s not worth it. GOSO is the way to go, even if it’s to get out of the same train car when you see one.

  8. 🎄🎅🙏 my God HG everything that you write bring something back into my mind from either childhood or my marriage I remember when I was about 30 an older woman that I knew she wanted to have a Bible study with me she was probably 70 and my husband said don’t go but this woman knew my mother and it wasn’t far away from my home and so I went and when I came back my husband which was cerebral narcissist 25 years older than I when I came back my front door was all taped up with I guess that was electrical tape or duct tape the whole door .I couldn’t even get in and when I did manage to break through I was locked out and when I got the landlord my husband won’t talk to me for about a week and then just started talking up again like it was nothing so anything that takes our attention away from them they can’t cope with it because they feel like they’re losing control of us I had no idea what this was what it was called all I knew was it hurt and it went on everyday for 45 years so you can still live and learn at any age . Thanks H. G.🗣

    1. Alexissmith2016 says:

      Jesus SM70! That sounds horrendous! To an outsider almost comical but it’s not. That must have been soul destroying! I’m sorry you had to go through that – very glad you’re here x

      1. 💕💎 I’m So Thankful To GOD I Finally Found The Answers. From H.G. Now I Can Live Among. These Creatures ☔🌕⭐

    2. Violetta says:

      I have to remember this any time I start my “what-ifs.” What if I had married one of those guys and had kids? Well, first of all, that would take attention off HIM, and he wouldn’t change a stinky baby or pat a back until a gassy one burps up some sour milk, because he’d avoid helplessness and despise it.
      Then, when they got old enough, the triangulation would start. “Well, I’d like to say yes, but you know how Mommy is….”

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