To Control is to Cope



To deal with and to address the vagaries of life, human beings have developed coping mechanisms. These coping mechanisms vary in terms of the extent of their use, their impact on the user, the impact on others and the frequency of their deployment. Some coping mechanisms are regarded as ‘healthy’ and others as ‘unhealthy’ and some may be a hybrid of the two, dependent on the extent and duration of usage.

Distancing is a coping mechanism. You may distance yourself from a situation and people, but prolonged and extensive distancing may lead to isolation with the associated problems which such isolation can bring. Short-term distancing can allow recovery, re-charging and avoidance of an ongoing harmful situation. Longer-term distancing which is targeted on one or more chief proponents of harm can lead to near complete removal from toxic and harmful influences. No contact of course is a coping mechanism which incorporates distancing as a central tenet of it and is the most effective coping mechanism to apply with regard to your recovery from ensnarement with our kind.

Crying is another coping mechanism. The release of tension, held-grief, feelings of misery often evaporate as a consequence of somebody crying. You may be told ‘have a good cry, you will feel better’ and indeed many people have testified to the beneficial impact of doing so and thus crying achieves release and often acts as a signal to invite comfort from others. It is a coping mechanism deployed by people to deal with a stressful, worrying or hurtful situation.

Self-harming is a further form of coping. The distraction caused by the painful response of cutting (cutting being just one form of self-harming) enables an individual to relieve the pain of certain other feelings, it achieves a release, a distraction and also enables that individual to exert control in circumstances where they feel unable to exert control (or to the extent that would make them feel comfortable). Self-harming whilst a coping mechanism is regarded as a negative form of a coping mechanism.

Expression of feelings. Being able to ‘talk it out’ and ‘air your feelings’ is a coping mechanism also. The ability to talk to someone else who will just listen, even if they offer nothing in response or even just to talk to yourself about how you are feeling (be it generally or in relation to something specific) enables people to experience a sense of release, a lightening of a particular load and it often brings clarity in terms of understanding themselves and finding a way forward.

There are many coping mechanisms that humans deploy – some are conscious and others occur unconsciously.

Narcissism is one such coping mechanism and it is a powerful and invariably hugely effective, although its effectiveness does depend on the school of the narcissist and which particular outcome one is having regard to. The outcome of our narcissism is something that I shall address in a separate article.

Narcissism must maintain the construct (the false self) and imprison the creature (the true self).  Collectively this is the Self-Defence of the Narcissist. This Self-Defence is achieved through the The Prime Aims(fuel, character traits and residual benefits).

Central to this Self-Defence and the achievement of The Prime Aims is control. The narcissist must at all times have control of his or her environment and the people within that environment which of course includes you. Whether you are a stranger, an acquaintance, a friend, a colleague, a relative or a romantic partner. Whether you are a neighbour, a date, sister or brother, that man from the corner store or fiancée – you come within the fuel matrix of the narcissist and you have to be subjected to the control of the narcissist.

This control has to be exerted second by second of each and every day. Every passing moment must be owned and governed by the narcissist. We must exert control all around us, this has to be complete and total as if the very clouds were tethered by us. Why is that?

Because once upon a time the narcissist did not have control.

That lack of control meant the narcissist felt powerless, weak, vulnerable and exposed.

The combination of a genetic predisposition and the imposition of this lack of control created narcissism as the coping mechanism. These two ingredients combined and gave ‘birth’ to narcissism as a means of coping with the world, with the lack of control that the world causes for individuals. Many people have no issue with this lack of control, others have alternative coping mechanisms and then there is us – the narcissists. Around one in six of the human population of this planet became narcissists in order to cope with this loss of control.

Narcissism allows the imposition of control through manipulation. The imposition of control allows us to achieve the Prime Aims. The achievement of the Prime Aims allows our Self-Defence and thus we survive and we thrive.

Narcissism is a coping mechanism.

People believe that abuse is theingredient in the formation of a narcissist. It is an ingredient, yes, but there are two ingredients in the formation of our kind. The first ingredient is the genetic predisposition, if you will this is the fertile soil which provides the basis for the narcissism to grow and flourish. The second ingredient is the lack of control (of which abuse is part of that lack of control) and this is the ‘seed’ which is placed in the fertile soil of the genetic predisposition and thus narcissism ‘grows’ as the coping mechanism. For some, the soil is there but no seed ever arrives and thus no narcissist. For others, there is no soil but there is the seed, but again with one essential ingredient missing, there can be no narcissism.

Genetic predisposition plus lack of control (at a formative stage of life) equals narcissist.

What does this lack of control (at a formative stage of life – i.e. childhood) look like?

  • Abuse. Whether it is physical, emotional, sexual or psychological, any form of abuse towards us amounts to a lack of control. We could not defend ourselves against the abuse and therefore this is a lack of control, over ourselves and over those who meted out abusive harm towards us. The abuse is an act of commission – we were beaten, molested sexually, told we were useless, insulted etc.
  • Isolated. Whether this was being locked in a cupboard under the stairs, prevented from playing with other children, kept apart from other family members, not allowed to participate in group activities of any nature, given silent treatments and treated as if we did not exist, isolating and ostracising us in some form again constituted a lack of control. We were not able to control our own interactions, someone else did this for us and to our detriment. We were controlled by another and thus lacked control.
  • Neglect. Whilst there may not have been abusive acts of commission , there are abusive acts of omission. Therefore we were not given a safe environment, we were not taught effectively (be it about ‘facts’, relationships, behaviour, responsibility), we were not emotionally supported, we were not fed, clothed or protected, we were not shielded from an abuser of commission and/or we could roam where we wanted. Once again we were denied control over ourselves because we were not provided with the assets, resources and tools to achieve effective control over our lives and this neglect (lack of control) exposed us to hurt, pain, disease, injury, loneliness and/or acts of abuse through commission.
  • The Golden Child. Everything we did was lauded and praised. It was invariably held up as a glowing and shining example of brilliance, even when it was not or the praise was excessive for a valid achievement. This meant we lacked control in the sense of earningachievements in a valid fashion. We had greatness thrust upon us without being ready for it, without having earned it and without appreciating it. Everything came to us too easily and this also amounted to a lack of control. We had no control over the outcome from our endeavours, we felt no compulsion to achieve and apply endeavour because whatever we did (bad, mediocre or good) was met with accolade, praise and the lavishing of ‘how brilliant’. We were denied the ability to control our own destiny.
  • Shifting Sands. Where we experienced Shifting Sands we had a lack of control because the environment around us at that formative stage lacked constancy. One day the sun shone and the next day, even though everything else appeared to stay the same to us, there was a thunderstorm. On Monday our painting was declared to be ‘Rembrandt in the making’ (a la Golden Child) and by Friday our painting ‘was the work of a moron wielding a potato for a paintbrush’. The application of black and white thinking by the aggressor created an uncertain environment, one of push and pull, idealisation and devaluation and we had no control whatsoever on which version was going to appear to us. There was a lack of control in our lives through uncertainty, unpredictability and those shifting sands.
  • B Graders. ‘It’s good but not good enough.’ ‘You can do far better.’ ‘You are not trying hard enough.’ ‘You are letting yourself down but moreover you are letting me down.’ These phrases and those similar to it encapsulate the loss of control felt by those who are ‘The B Graders’. Each time the hill was climbed and the summit anticipated, another hill suddenly appeared. The effort was okay, decent enough, acceptable but never that which met with approval. Keep going, learn more, be faster, swim stronger, climb higher, shine brighter. There was no control because we were never allowed a moment to settle, to cherish that which had been achieved and to reflect. We could not establish our own parameters of achievement and satisfaction but instead we were always beholden to the standards of another which ultimate proved to be unobtainable standards and thus we had no control.
  • The Facsimile. We were shaped to be precisely like the aggressor. Sometimes this was entirely at the behest of the aggressor and sometimes we saw how this individual behaved and decided ‘I want that power also’ (usually unconsciously but sometimes, such as was the case for me – consciously). Whilst you may think a conscious decision to copy the aggressor and thus seize power was a form of control, it was not – this was actually a product of the already establishing narcissism and thus a symptom rather than a cause. Where the aggressor caused us to be moulded just like them – forming our opinions, our views, our behaviours, our likes and dislikes, what we wore, what we ate, where we went, what we did and in some instances alongside this there was an unconscious decision to mimic and copy those behaviours and characteristics, we were once again denied control.

Thus, whether we came from an impoverished background, a gilded background, a seemingly run-of-the-mill background, any of those environments had the potential to cause a lack of control in our lives. Take this lack of control and add it to the genetic predisposition and thus our coping mechanism of narcissism was given birth to.

Narcissism became our way of coping with the world.

Narcissism allowed us to exert control.

A lack of control equates to a lack of power.

A lack of control equates to  being vulnerable.

A lack of control equates to being weak.

A lack of control equates to being worthless, meaningless and unimportant.

When we lack control, we start to fade and will no longer exist.

A lack of control now returns us to the lack of control then.

This must never happen for too long and thus we were formed from this lack of control adding to our genetic predisposition and in order to survive and thrive we must never, ever lack control for if this persists, well, then, it ends.

We must have absolute control. And that means absolute control over you, him, her, them but most of all YOU.

72 thoughts on “To Control is to Cope

  1. Violetta says:

    From a DM article on Ghislaine Maxwell’s schooldays:

    Robert Maxwell, the late newspaper tycoon, would invite school friends to the family’s home of Headington Hill Hall, the ‘Versailles on the hill above Oxford’, where he would make them take part in reading competitions with his daughter.

    ‘However good the other girls were, he declared Ghislaine the winner every time.

    There it is. Undeserved praise can be as damaging as undeserved accusations. Both teach a child, “You cannot earn anyone’s approval; we bestow it as we please.”

    I’d bet any money Ghislaine’s Creature is a scared little girl who knows she can’t read as well as others her age.

  2. Another Cat says:

    Thank you for your thorough explanation to me, HG! I think I’ll go through this article again a couple of times. First time I read it was emotional, so I guess I’ll discovered more details next time.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome, the articles are written so that repeated reading and return reading prove beneficial.

  3. Renarde says:

    This is a brilliant article. It strikes to the very heart of narcassim itself.

    I adored my father. I worshipped him. I wanted to be just like him. I worked, very hard at school. He taught me to be the best of the very best. Excel .So I did.

    I was lucky. I’d been gifted with academic brilliance. It didnt always come easy, I had to work. Especially in my own field, Physics.

    Physics is a tough bitch. Especially because pure maths didnt come easy. But I got there. I am better at maths than 95% of the population but that doesnt carry you through the degree. The UMS helped there.

    However, my fathers field was electrical engineering. That’s a tough gig too. I has to study it in the second year and not one of us could work out why. However, despite the fact he was a Grammer boy, he left with only three O Levels before becoming indentured and gaining at HNC at the Poly

    One day, I am now a single mother of two children. I was asked to lecture to the Alevel boys, thernodynamics. This was pushing me WELL outside my comfort zone. Thermal is a tricky subject because it is an empirical thing. Not a truly derived field like most of fizzics is. Essentially, there are many ways to fuck up. So you absolutely need to be on top of your game. So I taught them first year undergrad. Which foxed the hell out of them but hey?

    Anyways, I did it. Father rang me up. I’m in the middle of tea with my children. He liked to pull that schtick a lot.

    I excitedly tell him, I did this, it was big scary but it went ok.

    What did he say? Oh, I could’ve done that. He trashed one of the most important moments of my academic career. All he needed to say was, I’m proud of you.

    I put the phone down. I am not weaponised at that point but every trace of love, respect and admiration just drained out of me.

    I am no longer Daddy’s little girl.

    1. dollysupreme says:

      The further I read along I could feel the heartbreak building. You wouldn’t have known back then I guess what your Dad was. Does knowing now take away some of the hurt? Knowing he’s incapable of being feeling those emotions? I’m asking because I haven’t experienced narc parents. Just partners. Hope you don’t mind me asking. I’d just like to understand.

      1. Renarde says:


        No lovely! Of course I dont mind you asking. Ask away I say!

        I was terribly wounded at the time because I was unaware. There have been many points in our relationship which have given me pause for thoughts over the years. I forgave him because I loved him.

        I have two narc parents. Their relationship is one of convenience. 50 years. My mum is silly. My father is cunning..mum does everything for him.

        When I first happened across HGs work, it brought an enormous sense of relief. Understanding the Prime Aims and reading ‘Fuel’ made me understand I was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. There was nothing wrong with me, essentially.

        However, it has affected me. I dont feel I’m lovable. I still feel there is something wrong with me. I know in my head this is bullshit but the emotion remains.

        I’m getting better.

        1. dollysupreme says:

          Do you feel your father recognised a change from you towards him after the point when he couldn’t even give you a pat on the back and moment of pride?
          I think having narcissist parents are actually worse than partners.
          Partners can come and go. But I’d imagine it would be so much more difficult to cut parents out of your life.
          Another question please. Did you realise growing up your parents maybe didn’t treat you like they should? Or was this the moment that you fully realised?
          You have done well to come out not being a narcissist yourself. I’m kind of assuming you’re not anyway.

          1. Renarde says:


            You ask very good questions. I like that. If we dont ask then how can we educate ourselves?

            First question is no. He didnt realise it then because the dawning of awareness was only just happening to me. I went into full NC a few months after that but it wasnt about me, it was about the way he was treating my brother.

            After I did, which at the time was temporary, the Hoovers I recieved went off the scale. Worst than any I had ever recieved intimate partner. He was continually calling on both landline and mobile. I had to change numbers. Obscure email accounts where being hacked. He had been into everything. I ended up calling the police. I’m pretty sure he was monitoring my Fetlife account. His own fucking daughter. No shame.

            Second question, yes I did bit only when I was very little. I used to pray to Jesus that my real Mummy and Daddy would come and get me. So I attempted to run away from home. Many times. I would pack my little case and go and sit on the wall outside our house. I would look up and down the road, anxiously waiting for them.

            Eventually, usually Dad would fetch me in. Over time, I forgot this. Then decades later, I remembered.

            Thing is, narcs come in all flavours. All narcs apart from aware ones can be managed round the edges. Not controlled. Never that. It depends on how intelligent they are. And even then, they have a low level cunning about them.

            You need to figure out what they want and then, you give it to them. In stages.

            Caution though. You cannot do this is you feel any kind of emotion towards them. Otherwise you will be hoisted by your own petard. So I’m not in NC any longer because it suits my purpose not to be. I do not hate him or my mother.

            You know, the other day, bro and I were attempting to work out how many IPSS’s he might have had. Bet you he was up to no good from say 1972? At least half a dozen. Probably more. In fact, I knew because of Hgs work that my father had been DEFINITELY unfaithful before he finally confessed.

            To have that converdation in your head as to whether you tell your mum or not is not one any daughter should have to go through.

            When he did tell her, that was odd. That’s when I knew that she too was a narc. Shes not better mind. Oh yes mum, I know what you got up to with the milkman. Bro and I are now pretty sure we aren’t fully related. Dad knows of course. That’s probably why he slapped her, for the first and only time.

            As to me, I’m a CD, Saviour Contagion Geyser. To weaponisation, I am a high risen Paladin.

            Keep on asking questions. To everybody. You are on the right track and how on earth will we learn, otherwise x

          2. dollysupreme says:

            Thank you so much for your detailed reply. I’m glad you did it’s helped me. Because for some reason my thinking had narc parents and narc partners down as different animals. I am aware all narcs show the same behaviours. But strangely I didn’t process them as doing the same actions as a partner. When clearly they do. A totally thick dense brain block here for me. I could see in my head them putting down their children, them raising them up, only to yank them from the position in the next breath. I could imagine future faking, the not attending school plays. Or attending and stealing the limelight. Then as you get older, I could imagine them interfering in relationships. And twisting things with their grandchildren.
            When I read through, you could have been talking about a partner and not your parent the way he hoovered you. Again…..hoovering by parents…….I struggle with this because without making you want to feel pants. My parents were normal. And I haven’t experienced this trauma from them. I had a happy enough childhood. Reading about you packing your case and praying to Jesus, it’s gut wrenching stuff. I work with children some who come from traumatised backgrounds. I don’t do any of the counselling/ head work. I’m just there to make them feel safe and cared for. But of course that also covers the head side regardless as a care giver. None….and I mean none of the training I have had has ever covered anything like this. All of these stories help me learn and have insight……I also have to deal with these parents……And until lately I had no idea of this condition properly until I was in the receiving end myself twice on the bounce. No third time unlucky for me though.
            I’m shocked at the level of your Dad’s stalking and hoovering because in my head he had your mother and as you said other intimate partners. But when my logical side kicks in, it’s all about fuel potency? And still wanting to remain in control.
            All I can think is, thank god you managed to make a life for yourself, and your two children have escaped having a Narcissist mother. I hope your brother managed the same too. I will process the bits in my head and remember them for future work reference too while I’m looking deeper into this side. Real life experiences trump reading clinical books for somebody like myself. Thank you again.

  4. Joe says:

    Hi H.G, another excellent article. Should be on every psychiatry university syllabus. A question, if I may? What is the methodology/statistical basis for the figure of “around 1 in 6 people are narcissists” ?
    Many thanks

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Joe, thank you. It is anecdotal albeit based on many years of repeated observation so whilst it is not the equivalent of a vast survey (which of course cannot be achieved) it is of considerable weight.

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        I’m surprised at how many I’ve come across and in how many varieties (now that I have educated here!) They’ve all stood out to me in one way or another (either as people who drew close or people to avoid), but really, really shocked at having my eyes opened as to that is what they are and also how numerous.

        Is it possible these numbers will increase, HG? Just as well we’re arming ourselves if that is the case …

        1. HG Tudor says:


          1. Alexissmith2016 says:

            Interesting! So do you think certain societies have more and that if we went back in time there were less?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Yes to the former. With regard to the latter it depends on whether you mean purely in terms of number or as a percentage.

          3. Alexissmith2016 says:

            Oooh thanks so much. It certainly seems that way.

            As a percentage or ratio please.

          4. HG Tudor says:

            As a percentage of the population, our numbers are increasing.

          5. Alexissmith2016 says:

            Oh Bugar!

            Thank you for your answer though.

      2. Joe says:

        Yes, of course. With the depth and level of misunderstanding and diagnosis of narcissism, clearly no statistical data is available. And bearing in mind that empathic people have narcissistic traits (and could be misdiagnosed) and most narcissists don’t know what they are, that will surely never change. You are fighting the good fight H. G.

        1. Renarde says:

          Well done Jo

          You are on the right track.

        2. lickemtomorrow says:

          I’d say it’s very unlikely that many people will get a diagnosis of narcissism or even get close to a diagnosis. Partly because they are not recognized for what they are, and partly because they don’t know what they are.

          As I was looking into the issue (based on the narcissistic psychopath combination) there was only one person, apparently, who ever fulfilled all nine criteria for narcissism (leaving out the psychopathy). I found that odd. He was the only one He’s also in prison, so I guess that’s how he got his diagnosis. He had to murder both his parents with an axe first.

          It just seems to me no one is going to walk into a doctor/psychologist’s office and say “I think I’m a narcissist” and I have a sneaking suspicion many doctors/psychologist’s are going to say that either or even consider it. It’s like there’s a blind spot when it comes to narcissism.

          1. Witch says:

            “ and I have a sneaking suspicion many doctors/psychologist’s are going to say that either or even consider it.“

            Yes because they are basically telling their patient that they are an arsehole

          2. Violetta says:

            “He had to murder both his parents with an axe first.”

            Well, who among us hasn’t had that impulse?

          3. lickemtomorrow says:

            I need to edit this post to make it clearer as he wasn’t the only one diagnosed. He was the only person where narcissism was proven (having fulfilled all nine criteria) and used as part of his defense in order to have his charge lessened to manslaughter after killing his parents. Apparently his mother continued to bathe him until he was 17 years old. OMG. It’s not hard to see how he ticked all the boxes.

          4. lisk says:

            I imagine it is almost pointless to diagnose narcissism to someone’s face (Hell, I don’t even think HG does that) as they will deny it anyway and probably walk out of the therapy office.

            Maybe a knowing therapist thinks their best option is to try and work with the narc to help them be pro-social without the narc knowing.

          5. NarcAngel says:

            You have to hand it to Lizzie Borden for following through on impulse.

          6. Another Cat says:

            I believe it is very difficult to have professionals diagnose someone with a decent, very good or powerful job, even though this person’s bullying and scheeming hurts, destroys lives.

            And in many people, dare I say most (Midrangers and Greaters) the personality disorder coincides with being good on salary. Doctors are probably biased a bit not to question those folks. There seems to be a stereotype that all people with mental disorders have low self esteem, are either unemployed, or convicted of crime. This notion goes against narcissism-detection.

            Another issue I guess is the one HG is conveying. They are every sixth person. Means many psychologists and psychiatrists have narcissistic personality disorder. Those professionals will not “get” that there is anything at all to diagnose with a person.

          7. HG Tudor says:

            Actually, the failure to diagnose is not an inherent inability to “see” other narcissists (narcissists can spot other narcissists and not see they are one themselves or more usually accuse someone else who is NOT a narcissist of being a narcissist by reference to certain aspects of narcissism whilst wholly failing to see it in themselves. That of course has to be the case for the narcissism, in there majority of narcissists, to function effectively). The failure by a professional to see it another arises through

            1. A lack of understanding (the field is wide and NPD is widely misunderstood)
            2. Professional conduct restrictions on making a diagnosis
            3. The narcissism preventing the diagnosis (for the purposes of control of the patient, the narcissism of the professional determines no diagnosis of narcissism is made)

            1 and 2 are more prevalent than 3.

  5. Violetta says:

    A retro channel recently showed the Bette Davis movie Marked Woman. At one point, the gangster who’s ruined so many lives (when he hasn’t ended them altogether) rejects his lawyer’s advice to cut a deal. “Me. I don’t make deals with nobody… they make deals with me. All the time I’ve been that way – ever since I was ‘that’ big. You think I care for money? All I care about is to make people do what I tell them.”

  6. Fiddleress says:

    Thank you for this enlightening article.

    HG, I have two questions, please: can it feel like the shifting sands you describe, to a child, when the two parents adopt very different behaviours towards that child:. one tries to be emotionally supportive and teach effectively, and the other doesn’t, for instance?
    Also, can it amount to a lack of control environment if one parent speaks a different language and doesn’t teach it to the child, while said parent doesn’t speak the language where they live very well and makes no effort to speak it well, resulting in poor communication between that parent and the child?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. Yes, however that may not be sufficient to create the LOCE.
      2. Yes.

      1. Fiddleress says:

        Thank you very much for your answers, HG.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You’re welcome

  7. Empath007 says:

    I definitely understand the family one and mimicking but not consciously. The same thing happened to me with my co dependency. My mother was co dependant due to childhood neglect and abuse… I was neither abused or neglected in my household (although my parents relationship was quite rocky being my father is an alcoholic) but my mom loved us and took good care of us. I realize now I have mimicked all the behaviours (totally unconsciously) so I would never question a narc doing the same.

  8. lickemtomorrow says:

    This one always gets to me. It is proferred as such a simple explanation. And it is so understandable, too.

    I thought I’d commented on this article before, but I’ve checked them all and I have not.

    So, this provides a great basis for understanding the condition, but apparently no hope of a cure.

    This does not augur well for the narcissist or his/her victims.

    I continue to sit with an existential crisis after reading this (again).

    I suppose it’s like asking if an empath can be cured of their empathy. For the empath that would not be a good thing. Nor for the rest of the world for that matter.

    At the same time, it would be wrong to equivocate between ‘good’ and ‘evil’, right and wrong. Somewhere in amongst all that we have truth.

    I suppose the position I come to is that while I understand, I don’t condone. And the narcissist doesn’t care whether I condone or not because of what he/she is. So, we are at an impasse.

    Me understanding you, and even you understanding me, isn’t going to change anything. Everything will stay the same. Only I might learn to avoid you and you might have more trouble finding me. I guess that can be taken as a win. But, why doesn’t it feel like a win to me?

    There is a sense of loss that is occasioned by confronting this reality. And I’m finding it hard to accept.

    1. Violetta says:

      Narcissists and Empaths are two sides of the same coin. It’s the Normal people who get off easy.

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        Hi Violetta, I think I am beginning to see the truth of this, which is why these two seem to fit together so perfectly, although in a very dysfunctional way. The sense of tragedy around that is weighing a little heavily on me today. And it is tragic. Though, I must hold my emotional thinking in abeyance in this regard.

        Thanks for your comment.

    2. MB says:

      LET, “There is a sense of loss that is occasioned by confronting this reality. And I’m finding it hard to accept.” I know this pain. I expressed similar sentiment not long after finding HG’s work. The reality punches you in the gut. Acceptance doesn’t come easily and I still struggle at times. I remember the aha moment when it clicked that not only are there people in this world that can’t love, there are people in this world that will use your love to destroy you. I don’t want to believe it to this day. I reject negativity. (A sin of the empath HG has written about) Finding this information is bittersweet. Ignorance is indeed blissful. The sense of loss is profound, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now we can be weaponized as we skip on rainbows! 😊

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        Thank you, MB. You said everything I am feeling right now and put it so well.

        ” Finding this information is bittersweet. Ignorance is indeed blissful. The sense of loss is profound, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

        I think it’s good to acknowledge the impact that gaining this information has on us. I can’t ‘go around it’, I have to ‘go through it’. I have to go through all the things you have mentioned as a way of resolving it somehow in my mind and making peace with it.

        I am looking forward to the day you mention, and skipping on rainbows is the ultimate aim 🙂

        Thank you again.

        1. MB says:

          You’re welcome. I get you. It gets easier, I promise.

        2. MB says:

          LET, I’d like to add…the very fact that these thoughts are bubbling up to the surface for you is proof that you are taking the information on board. You are absorbing it. Logic is taking hold. Well done. Continue to read. It only gets clearer.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Thanks so much, MB. I feel like I’ve sunk a well in the desert right now and I’m greedily drinking of the waters. Some of it’s slopping down my chin as I gulp it as fast as I can, but I know there’s more where that came from … and I’ll absorb as much as I can 🙂

    3. lisk says:

      It doesn’t feel like a win because you are/were trying to win at someone else’s game.

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        Absolutely correct and profound. What a great way to make the point.

        It’s not my game. It’s designed for the narc to win and me to lose.

        What you might call a ‘no win’ situation.

        Better not to play, I guess you could say.

        Thanks so much Lisk!

      2. blackcoffee30 says:

        Ns can’t fathom a win-win. They wouldn’t understand the Red-Black game’s purpose and ending. Looking back, when I played it I can now see which players were Ns.

        1. lickemtomorrow says:

          I don’t think I’ve played that one, but I’ve played most of the one’s HG has mentioned (maybe in one of his books). I don’t think I’ll ever play a game again without trying to spot the narc 😛

  9. Anna Belle Black says:

    I really like this article. It is exactly what happens to create narcissistic behavior. When a narcissist becomes aware of everything you wrote above, why would they choose to stay the same? Wouldn’t the awareness of that way of coping cause them to seek healthier means to cope? It seems that it would elevate one psychologically to better themselves by learning a new method. It would ground the individual, give them a whole sense of self instead of a fragmented one. Thinking in such black and white or all or nothing is not mentally healthy. Fighting for control by any means possible is exhausting. It seems that once one is aware that there is another way where you don’t have to work that hard for love and acceptance, to maintain one’s self esteem internally that one would take it. To stay in a constant state of upheaval and turmoil, to feel secure in that, just makes that person seem crazy. Why would they continue to want that? Why not change? I’m saying if the narcissist truly understands that there is a different way, wouldn’t that just be evil to choose manipulation, coercion, abuse in any fashion vs. love, acceptance and happiness for self and others?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I am pleased you like the article.

      1. Nearly all narcissists will never be aware of everything I have written, why, because the narcissism will not allow that awareness.
      2. Once again, you fall into the trap of thinking our way is exhausting – it is to you, but not to us.
      3. Again, you fall into the myth that narcissists have poor self esteem – we do not.
      4. To stay in a constant of upheaval and turmoil – again, from your perspective, not from that of the narcissist, his perspective means he does not see it the way you do.
      5. “Wouldn’t that just be evil” – define evil. You define by reference to your perspective, the narcissist does not see their behaviour as evil because from our perspective it is not. As I have stated many times before and articulated at length (which is a warning that I am not going to debate it again) there is no such thing as an objective standard of good and evil, it is not written on a stone tablet at the end of the universe, it is all a matter of perspective. If you have not done so already, I recommend you read America : You Are Being Conned and also obtain Understanding the Narcissist´s Perspective. At the very least, it will save my fingers.

      1. Anna Belle Black says:

        I appreciate the narcissist steadfastness in holding to the facade to not allow any second of hurt. I was simply responding to the article with the thought of narcissism being on a sliding scale in my mind. I understand that with full blown NPD there is no other way. Thank you for your response I appreciate that.

      2. Renarde says:

        Hey Anna

        You are just banging your tits up sideways against the wall. No offence .

        Asking empathas to explain narcasstic behaviour is like asking Alice to explain the impossible things before breakfast. It simply cannot be done.

        Well I mean unweaponised Empaths.

        There is a logic to their madness. Funnily enough, there is a logic. But it makes no sense

        Mad Hatter! I need my dose of lead now. Thank you and please.

  10. dollysupreme says:

    Most of what I have read usually blames the mother for nurturing a narc in one way or another. What about if you have a caring empath mother and a narcissist father? …….If they have the genetic predisposition and the seed planted by the father would the mother’s love not be enough to stop the narcissist from becoming so? Is it 50/50…..Or just a Russian roulette?…….I’d be interested if anyone had any insight into this?

    1. KJ says:

      Hi dollysupreme. My father is a narcissist and my mother was an empath. My mother’s mother was a narcissist. My mother’s father died when she was very young. She was a beautiful little girl and her mother sold her frequently. My mom came to adulthood very damaged. She was a perfect target for my father. My father is unaware that he has NPD. He describes himself as a sex addict. In my early childhood my mom was a terrible mother. She had severe depression and bouts of rage. As I have grown older and had a cheating spouse (twice) I understand why. As we grew older, she seemed to find herself and she healed and became a wonderful mother. She died when I was a teenager. I am so sorry that she didn’t have the time to undo what she had done when we were younger. I am the eldest of four. We are all four empathic by nature, have been victims of narcissistic abuse, prone to depression and one of us committed suicide. So, who can tell really which way it goes? My siblings and I are broken people, but we don’t try to break other people.

      1. dollysupreme says:

        Thank you KJ for sharing that. It all helps me gain insight .

    2. Fiddleress says:

      Hello dollysupreme
      Could you give me some references of studies that say the mother is to blame for their children’s narcissism, please? I have searched but could find nothing about the specific role of the mother.
      Thank you.

      If that is any help, I heard a child psychologist (who specialised in emotions / lack of empathy) say that the father has a prominent role in the children’s upbringing, and that if the father is toxic, the mother, even if not toxic, cannot counter-balance everything.

      1. dollysupreme says:

        That’s interesting. It’s so complex.
        As to the source where I heard this about the mother. It’s Sam Vaknin. I’m not saying he’s correct, but he also has a lot of information. However none that is actually helpful in day to day living. I intially found Sam Vaknin before I found HG.

        1. lisk says:

          Uh oh.

          1. NarcAngel says:


          2. truthseeker6157 says:

            I watched him on YouTube once. I turned him off. After he turned me off.

          3. lisk says:

            He’s drones endlessly.

        2. dollysupreme says:

          He does drone I totally agree. You cannot compare Sam to HG. Sam has put me to sleep on more than one occasion lol. Comparing Sam to HG would be like going to a tea dance with your Nan or a night out with your mates clubbing.
          If you have been with a narc, you get used to the drone so I can listen through it. But I enjoy learning from all different angles.

      2. lisk says:

        My sincere belief is that the father has a prominent role because *he* is the one who is meant to counter-balance the mother, especially because a mother runs the risk of being extremely overbearing without oversight.

        Most children are in danger of being stuck with their mothers for way too long. If the dad–or some form of strong male influence–doesn’t rescue the child from that situation to a reasonable extent, the kid is in trouble.

        1. Fiddleress says:

          Yes, the theory is that the mother runs the risk of being overbearing and the father has to step in.
          Not all women/mothers are overbearing by nature though, even without a man around. I was alone with my son in his formative years, and was well aware of the risks and was careful not to become a ball-breaker, haha. His father saw him once a month and on holidays.
          Also, school plays an important role in taking the child away from the mother’s (and indeed, parents’) omnipotence or omnipresence. Or the mother’s job.

        2. StrongerWendy says:

          “because a mother runs the risk of being extremely overbearing without oversight.”

          ‘Without oversight’ That’s an interesting and kind of patriarchal sounding perspective.

          1. lisk says:

            Well, I am talking about fathers there . . . .

      3. lickemtomorrow says:

        I think the role of the mother comes into it in terms of caring expectations. The connections in the brain are made at an early age and the mother has the most significant role to play in that regard. She has the greater influence and most likely the greater number of interactions with the child.

        Either way, there seems to be a parent who steps back and allows this abuse to occur.

        1. Fiddleress says:

          Are these studies that you have read, lickemtomorrow?

          This somehow reminds me of what was said for a long time about children with autism: it was all the mother’s fault. We all know today that it is not so.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            I worked in an early parenting centre for a few years which supported parents in parenting their children in the early years (under 5). The understanding was that the first 1000 days, or 3 years, are the optimal ones for a child’s brain development.

            Here’s a link to more understanding.


            I would not suggest that all issues relate to mother’s per se, but as we are focused on narcissism and it’s potential causes I do believe mother’s have a huge impact in that area. Having a narcissistic mother myself I have no qualms in equating her narcissism with outcomes in my own life.

        2. Fiddleress says:

          Just wanted to add that the abuse can occur without or before the mother/other parent knowing about it, but then the damage is done. And the blame only belongs to the abuser in such a case at least.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi Fiddleress, I did respond to your earlier comment, but that response has not been loaded yet, so I won’t go into it any further except to say the abuser is the person responsible for the victimization. I feel like this is coming from a much more personal space for you, so I’ll leave it at that for now.

          2. Fiddleress says:

            You are right in what you say you feel, but no problem, lickemtomorrow!

      4. Witch says:

        I suspect that sex doesn’t have much to do with it. If you have the genetic predisposition and you’ve got a narc parent of either sex, especially one that is living with you there is going to be a higher chance of you developing the same personality issue

        1. lisk says:

          Or the opposite personality issue.

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