In the Blink of an Eye



The world has become a faster place. Cars have steadily increased in speed, trains thunder along the tracks and aeroplanes race through the sky. A jet fighter is particularly quick as it breaks the sound barrier, an e-mail can carry a message from one side of the planet to the other in an instant and a television broadcast can encircle the globe in seconds.

Whilst the world has become progressively faster, speed has always lurked somewhere. Few things have been faster the law of succession of the monarchy. “The King is dead, long live the King” encapsulates that the moment James I died in 1625 then his son Charles I became the king within a dying breath. The striking of a flint stone that caused a spark to ignite and thus fire to come forth was a further example of how speed has always been evident. Notwithstanding these historical examples and the onset of technological advances which has made the world become faster and faster, few things can be said to be as quick as the time it takes for our kind to change.

From idealisation to devaluation, from worship to hatred, from cherishing you to chastising you, this dramatic shift in attitude happens with such speed that is leaves you dizzy and bewildered. One day everything is fine, there are smiles and kind words, affectionate glances and warmth but without any warning, without any indication or hint of what is to come, the position alters and does so suddenly and drastically.

Gone is the affection and in its place that awful stony silence which has you repeatedly asking what is the matter? Tell me what is wrong? Have I done something to upset you? We may have just been laughing together at something and then before the echo of that laugh has faded away you are defending yourself as we launch a tirade at you.

You are taken by surprise at the speed by which we have attacked you, you are so confused and stunned that you cannot even speak. You may have even paid us a compliment as we sat having dinner with friends and you turn to look at us to find we are glaring at you or you are on the receiving end of a scathing put-down. The shift from happiness to sadness, pleasure to nastiness and joy to despair is dramatic as it is swift. How many times have you remarked

“It is like someone flicked a switch” ?

A light turns on and off in an instant. We turn on and off you in an instant. This change is utterly bewildering and causes considerable consternation and concern for you. You always ask what is wrong, but of course that will just annoy us and irritate us all the more because you should know what is wrong. You should be second guessing us. If you loved us you would know what was wrong wouldn’t you? How many times have you heard that line hurled at you before a plate or glass follows? But why do we change so rapidly and seemingly without reason ?

I have explained on many occasions and no doubt will continue to do so that you fail to grasp and understand the dynamic of your relationship with our kind because you look at that dynamic through your world view. You apply the logic and rules and reason of your approach to life to a situation which follows our rules because we created the world in which both you and I now reside.

We dragged you into this false reality when we seduced you. It is both a fairytale and a nightmare where nothing seems to make sense,but if you looked at it through our eyes it makes perfect sense. So, let me avail you of some understanding from our point of view as to why this change happens, why it is so quick and why is hurts so much.

We may be laughing together but I don’t think that you laughed as loud or as heartily as you should have done at my witty remark or entertaining quip. Pathetic? Yes by your standards but not by mine. Your role is to pump out that positive fuel and you have not done so to the expected level by not laughing loud enough. This offends me. You have criticised me and just like the spark arising from the flint above you have ignited my fury and it manifests as me lashing out at you.

We may be sitting peacefully in the living room, music playing in the background and enjoying a lazy Sunday reading the newspapers and then the paper is hurled to the floor and we are attacking you verbally. In that supposedly pleasant silence we remembered a remark you made two weeks ago which was critical of something we had said. We berated you at the time but that does not matter. As you know, we love to bring up the past. The recall of that event burns at your unwarranted criticism and once again our fury has been ignited resulting in you having your placid Sunday shattered as a shouting match ensues.

You may have just complimented our shirt and trousers but you forgot the shoes. We then forget the compliments you provided to us and solely focus on the compliment you should have given us. We are elevated and superior to you and you should recognise this at all times, well you would if you loved us wouldn’t you? Your failure to provide the compliment is again a criticism and our fury ignites.

What makes it worse is that we will often not tell you what the basis of the fury is and instead go on the attack by criticising you in return in order to make us feel better. We may not say you failed to compliment us about our new shoes and instead remark about how we do not like your hair the way you have styled it, which makes the situation all the more bewildering for you.

This sudden change allows us to gather negative fuel from your angry defence, tearful replies and sobbing apologies. It allows us to keep you anxious, on edge and confused which allows us to maintain control. This change makes no sense to you, even if we explained why we felt furious at the time, but when you consider it through the narcissist’s lens it makes sense in our world.

This change of heart happens because somehow you criticise us and nothing is faster than the igniting of a narcissist’s fury. As you know all too well.


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35 thoughts on “In the Blink of an Eye

  1. Another Cat says:

    From happiness to straight anger I sometimes experienced them do, but more often the sudden change mid conversation from looking at/talking to me, to silence. Or suddenly only talking to others for the rest of the evening. I guess both my mother and exnarcs knew me too well:

    I wasn’t going to respect them again if I saw them lash out. They would appear a bit unhinged.

    But sudden flick-of-a-switch silence always worked on me. I immediately felt nervous trying to figure out what to feel guilty about. The most unsettling feeling, Lump in my throat, pulse up high, tight stomach. All within a second. I didn’t say anything though. Just listened to them talking to the others.

  2. December Infinity says:

    The narcissist’s fury. Something I experienced so often every day I literally didn’t know if I was coming or going. It was an unending tornado of tirades. I am so glad that is over and I don’t have to deal with it any longer.

    1. A Victor says:

      A friend of mine, currently in the midst of a divorce from a narcissist, told of a time he would lecture her for hours. This image broke my heart, of this wonderful, beautiful grown woman being subjected to such demeaning and condensing treatment. I am so thankful that my situation with an early long distance romance with a narcissist was cut short, I see from this site and that friend that I was truly spared. My heart hurts for many people here, so glad that many, including myself, are finding help here.

  3. BC30 says:

    This is one of the things I will make known.

  4. Asp Emp says:

    Uhoh, a narcissist’s ‘mood’ can change quicker than a chameleon can change it’s colours (20 seconds).

    1. Truthseeker6157 says:

      Looking at it slightly differently, I wonder how it feels to them?

      If I lose my temper (very rare). My heart rate increases, I don’t like how anger feels. As in the feel of anger itself. To me, anger, rage, fury all signify a loss of control. I don’t like the feeling of this ‘being out of control’. So, for a narcissist I wonder how Fury actually feels in the moment?

      I suppose the need is to control others rather than themselves so they might not feel it in the same way as I do. They won’t suffer the after effects either, guilt at having lost my temper for example. They also don’t care who they hurt in the process, that’s likely why I don’t like the feeling of loss of control. Fear of hurting someone else undeservedly.

      If Fury is constantly bubbling under the surface, then perhaps it feels like a release, perhaps it feels better. It must do, after the release of Fury, the IPPS in devaluation can get a respite and a mini golden period again.

      I wonder what the physical impact of this is too. Heart rate, blood pressure, stress levels, blood oxygen levels, adrenaline production, life expectancy. I wonder if they have adapted physically to accommodate the different mental state. We need to buy HG an Apple Watch.

      1. Asp Emp says:

        I suppose people have different views on how it feels to have the anger / rage. For me it’s release. There are those that THINK they have seen me lose my temper when in fact, it was tiny compared to my supanovas. I don’t even feel guilt afterwards (sniggering). I only ever direct it at the perpetrator that dared to make me “cross”. I don’t really recall feeling my heart rate increase etc, so I’ve no idea.

        LOL – I am assuming with HG being one of a kind and with the mind he has, he probably can keep everything within ‘normal’ limits (heart rate etc). Yeah, let’s get him a Mickey Mouse design 😉

      2. lickemtomorrow says:

        Haha, TS, I read this comment after I entered my comment below! Great minds think alike.

        if fury is anything like the sense of anger or rage I feel from time to time then I imagine it can be overwhelming. I’m not so focused on the physical affects, but it’s a given that bodily it will have an impact, and I know HG will always differentiates between what we as empaths feel and the narcissist’s sense of fury. What I also imagine is the all consuming nature of it. So that when it is not contained it is extremely damaging. It’s probably something like letting the genie out and then putting the genie back in the bottle. Not so easy to do. The damage done could be irreparable. HG having higher faculties is capable of doing this more easily than others, but has attested to the fact it sometimes just needs release. I think we’d rather wonder than have to experience it, TS.

    2. A Victor says:

      I once told the narc I was involved with that he was the moodiest man I’d ever met, and I only knew him 3 months! It was not directed at me so much but I could definitely feel it and it contributed to that sense of being always unsettled.

      1. Asp Emp says:

        The Lesser was a bully / emotional blackmailer / silver-backed gorilla. The MRN vacuumed my self-esteem / confidence / energy. It’s nasty. It put me off relationships, even now, I’m not sure if I can ever trust again. I have recovered BUT there is always going to be a ‘but’.

      2. JB says:

        I know what you mean, A Victor. Mine are/were like this too. Always like something is building under the surface, poised for an argument at the drop of a hat. At least we now know why that is, though it’s of limited consolation!

  5. Eternity says:

    I would rather be alone than go through this wheel of misery again! It is torture and not a way to live life when you have so much love to offer a person that will love you right back

    1. lickemtomorrow says:

      I think we forget sometimes, after going through this experience, that there is someone out there who is capable of loving us ‘right back’. I despair of that person every crossing my path at times. Narcissistic ‘fake love’ is the only kind I’ve ever known in terms of romantic relationships, and familial in part as well. To have a partner that is actually there for you is something I can only imagine right now. But, your words have reminded me that it’s definitely possible, Eternity, even if for now it is not quite within my grasp.

      1. Eternity says:

        I feel the exact same way . The only love I have ever known was fake love. I sometimes think that true love doesnt even exist anymore . Finding someone in the future that will provide real love seems impossible.
        I hope that you find it though .
        Everyone deserves happiness.

        1. A Victor says:

          I know true love exists because I have it for others. Whether or not I will ever be blessed with it coming to me from another, in a romantic way, remains to be seen. But, the fact that I know it exists does give me hope.

          1. Eternity says:

            Hi A Victor , I also have love for others including my friends and family,pets etc.,but in terms of romantic I dont kmow if I believe in it for now anyways.

          2. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi Eternity and AV, it’s hard to get a grasp on it sometimes, but I do believe and know it exists. I know I feel it for others. I just don’t know yet how to gain it for myself in terms of a relationship. It is a foreign concept to me in that context. That’s not to say with all my new found knowledge it’s not something that will come my way eventually. First I need to heal from what has hurt me and that could take a while x

          3. A Victor says:

            That is what makes me sad, Eternity, that I believe romantic love does exist but that I may never be blessed to have it. I think it’s also what made me vulnerable to the narc. I’d rather be alone than abused but I hope to have it someday, in a healthy relationship. But then I wonder if I’d find that boring…

          4. A Victor says:

            LET, I agree, the healing must happen first, and for me the learning about narcissism, getting over fear of it happening again etc. All part of the same I suppose. The sense of a healthy relationship being foreign is there too, very much. So, if it happens, for me, it will be a miracle. But, even so, miracles do happen and…that gives me hope! Lol, I learned today we empaths are known for positivity! 🙂

        2. Bubbles 🍾 says:

          Dearest Eternity and lickemtomorrow,
          Mr Bubbles n I have known each other for 55 years, they said it wouldn’t last, well we haven’t kicked the bucket just yet, so its lasting
          We support each other getting up from the lounge and out of bed and always work as a team with me cracking the whip
          Our marriage was based on what we both wanted in the relationship, he provides and I spend it
          We both respect each other as individuals and as long as he knows I’m the boss, it works
          He’s always there for me cos he can’t walk fast
          He loves my front and I love his back
          We’re romantic and light the candles when we have a power outage
          I talk and he listens
          He empties the garbage
          That’s perfect real love
          It does exist 🤣
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          1. Another Cat says:

            “He’s always there for me cos he can’t walk fast”

            I almost made cartwheels reading this. Thank you Bubbles. 🍹

          2. lickemtomorrow says:


            Thank you Bubbles. It helps sometimes to hear good news about relationships and yours and Mr Bubbles sounds ideal because it works for both of you x

            My favourite part is "He's always there for me because he can't walk" 😛

            I'll bet he loves your sense of humour. It is "the great thing, the saving thing" (Mark Twain).

            Thanks again, Bubbles.

          3. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Bubbles, you and Mr Bubbles are the cutest!! I must say I hope my husband and I last together that long. He’s an Empath too. We always have dinner with candlelights; he loves to spoon in bed with the dogs in the middle (super uncomfortable but lovely) and just ten minutes ago, as I was sipping on a glass of wine, he caressed my cheek, grabbed a chunk of potato chip that was trapped in my hair (busted!) and said: you are the most adorable thing. I betrayed him with a stupid somatic. I’ll never forgive myself. But now I love him even more. Thanks for sharing those beautiful aspects of your relationship 😘

          4. Eternity says:

            Hi Bubbles,

            Now that is what I call a healthy relationship.
            You are so fortunate to have found someone as Empathetic as you are.i wish you and Mr. Bubbles many many more years together.
            Health,Love and Happiness
            There may be hope for us just yet.
            Love Eternity

          5. A Victor says:

            Thank you for sharing this Bubbles. It gives hope.

          6. Bubbles 🍾 says:

            Dearest ones (Another Cat, lickemtomorrow, Sweetest Perfection, Eternity, A Victor)
            I hope you don’t mind this reply collectively?

            Thank you for all your compliments ladies, you’ve all been so very kind n sweet ☺️

            Mr Bubbles and I started as ‘friends’ first and knew each other long before we embarked on our journey together as the ‘ball n chain’ rather than me being just a substitute mother hahahahaha
            We moved in together to see if we could tolerate one another’s habits first and I was able to show him what I really looked like without makeup when he woke up in the morning 😱…… he said I passed the fright test with a green light ! 🚦

            We’ve always ranked a sense of humour pretty high in our relationship. Mr Bubbles is pretty chilled but I make more funnies hahahahaha ….. he always expects the unexpected with me, I’m quite spontaneous
            Two empaths together …it’s quite sickening really 🤢… everyone envies us 🤣

            I’ve found a sarcy narcys humour to be way different (my mother’s humour is on another page altogether and she thinks I just don’t have one)
            The weasel, our greater and dear ol friend and the other narcs we know, can’t seem to laugh at themselves and always direct their humour at your expense ….. big red flag

            Life is meant to be fun and enjoyed with your partner, you lift each other up and make each other better as a person, not drag you down, those who don’t are red flags

            Sweetest, please find it in you to forgive yourself and move on…… you have someone who truly loves you, it doesn’t get any better than that !

            Now we’re older, it just gets funnier and better ! Our sex now we’re old, is when we accidentally bump into each other and I’m constantly bumping into him cos he walks slow 🤣
            There’s always hope, there’s always time and there’s knowing what to look out for, never say never
            Mwahs to all you lovelies 💋💋💋💋💋
            Luv Mr n Mrs Bubbles xx 😘

  6. A Victor says:

    It happened in literally 3 hours, sweet to sour, during which time we were not talking. We had just been talking for 8 hours prior. Very odd, to me, at that time. I still don’t get it but I now know it’s just how it is. I did think it was because there was another rather than that I had criticized him somehow. Still learning.

  7. Truthseeker6157 says:

    Great article HG . I’ve been thinking about the ‘lol’ episode that I talked about on another thread, not a lot, it has just been niggling today. This dose of logic has put it to bed. Thank you.

    1. lickemtomorrow says:

      That did sound like a very strange, and frightening, ‘blink of the eye’ moment. Your gut definitely read that one right, TS. Ignition of a narcissist’s fury is never pleasant and can at time be frightening. Worse still, you can’t know, predict or calculate when that might happen because it is all under the narcissist’s control which is their wont. The perfectly happy moment suddenly spoiled, and so on. The perfectly reasonable comment turned on it’s head. Two different perspectives and no light at the end of the tunnel. Get out, stay out.

      I’m glad HG was able to put that one to bed for you with a healthy dose of logic.

      1. Truthseeker6157 says:


        It’s strange, the whole way along I maintained that I wasn’t devalued. It’s true, I wasn’t devalued aggressively but part of that was probably due to the situation. Only so much manipulative range you can have online. When I wrote to JB about that night though I thought, ‘That can’t be golden period or the no mans land in between, which makes it devaluation.’

        That interaction did spook me at the time and it definitely was ignited fury as I’d been teasing beforehand, hence the lol. I have very self deprecating humour so I can tease, but laugh at myself at the same time. It was that kind of conversation. I was laughing as I typed and read, then a second later, complete change as his fury ignited.

        I didn’t give that scenario to HG on the NDC. As time goes on, I realise there were things I should have added in preference to the scenarios I laid out for him. He still nailed it though, still categorised the narc exactly where he should be. Now I understand more, I fully agree with HG. There is not one thing that raises a question in my mind about the NDC result. Impressive.

        I felt a bit weird last night. I moved from feeling like I had sidestepped the devaluation part to having to accept the fact I hadn’t. I had to look at the narc in a different way and my ET climbed in defence of him, coaxing that the manipulations used were something and nothing. They weren’t. I weathered them well but the fact remains, he manipulated and he devalued me. If I enlist some black and white thinking of my own, that’s the only conclusion I can draw from it.
        There are things to take from the narcissistic perspective I think. My grey thinking was confusing the issue. Switch to black and white and things look clearer, albeit a little less palatable at this moment in time.

        1. A Victor says:

          LET, once again we seem to be in similar places in this journey. I have been looking back and recently begin to see the devaluation happening along the way, all through the thing, as well as the set up for a bigger one happening simultaneously. It didn’t affect me a lot in terms of how I view myself but it told me how he viewed me and also made me doubt the relationship in general, which is what I understand they want, to keep us up in the air. Had it gone on for a while I can see where it likely would’ve gone. Today I am grateful to have gotten out of that one and thankful for the learning about this disorder as it relates to my mother and how best to manage that relationship going forward. But I wish I could shake the sadness, it just seems to sit there sometimes.

          1. A Victor says:

            Oops, the previous comment should’ve been addressed to Truthseeker but I think you both will understand. And Whitney have some good pointers for dealing with my ever present, haha, feeling of sadness on a different post. Planning to implement some of those soon.

        2. lickemtomorrow says:

          TS, I had a bit of a gut reaction when reading about your episode. It was a ‘mask slipping’ moment and I know all too well the desperate need not to ‘see’ those so that you can maintain the status quo. Ignited fury, in my mind, serves two purposes. The one HG mentions here which is in response to a criticism, but we also have the knowledge thanks to HG that this fury is a constant, boiling under the surface of the narcissist. I’m sure there are times they give us a glimpse of this because there is a need to expel it as HG describes in another article he posted recently. I’ll see if I can find it, but basically it seems there is a moment where the fury needs to escape and the facade becomes secondary to that.

          Of course, this is a blink of the eye moment, but it seems more calculated to me and I don’t know why. Regardless of that, they are moments we overlook as we count up all the moments that aren’t those. We’re very good at pulling the wool over our own eyes at times.

          Within the context of my two and a half year relationship I would estimate my devaluation began about 6 months in. Two more years is a long time dipping in and out of periods of devaluation and eventual disengagement. But that’s how effective his manipulation was and my ability to sustain it. Let the focus be on that last part. My ability to sustain it. There are two sides to what is happening and at some point you have to wonder (because it’s not all wonderful, ecstatic golden period) what is keeping you there? Your ability to sustain it. It can be a drip, drip, effect rather than an unleashing of all kinds of horrors, much like the frog being boiled in the water that is gradually heating. We develop a certain level of immunity as we go, being exposed gradually to whatever set of devaluations the narc chooses to use. I think this is part of the reason we don’t see it for what it is – add up all those little ‘blink of the eye’ moments – and why we endure it for so long.

          Those of us whose experience goes back to childhood are conditioned to expect and experience these devaluations and we are even less likely to react. I fall into this last category. The ‘deserving of devaluation’ category. But the gut instinct still exists which eventually allows me to know this is what’s happening and it’s so important in the escape.

          I was listening to a Taylor Swift song yesterday and this line kept jumping out at me :

          “I didn’t have it in myself to go with grace …”

          It’s true. There were numerous moments where I should have just walked away and seen the whole thing for what it was. I didn’t have it in myself to go with grace.

          But the reality is until we move far enough away from it that grey thinking you mention will remain a feature and I’m sure emotional thinking is part of that. Once we get enough distance, and time, we allow the black and white thinking to kick in. Which is the logic.

          I was railing against logic somewhere here yesterday, even while being aware of its usefulness when it comes to the narcissist, and it’s a given that my ET was high while doing so. The logic we need to apply can only be found here. I do give myself permission to rail against it sometimes. But the gradual dawning awareness is that applying it is the only way to beat the narcissist.

          Off to fight to good fight once again, TS, and I hope you continue to do the same x

          1. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hey LET,

            You know how sometimes I need to think about what you say before I write back, this was one of those times.

            I didn’t leave with grace either. I fought, really fought. I have never fought as hard before for anything I don’t think. I think you are right, our ability to sustain is outstanding. It’s the constant switching, even through what is technically devaluation. Normally, when relationships break down, things turn bad and stay bad, or things cool and stay cool. It’s this switching from ‘what brought that on?’ to back to ‘oh there you are.’ I even said that to the narc. “You sound like you again now.” The belief is that this person is good, that the bad behaviour is out of character and attributable to another reason. This is my confidante and my supporter, he is going through something for him to say that or be so cold. So many excuses as the good is tinged with bad then back to good.

            I saw him as a friend because of the way he supported me to begin with. It was an add on benefit enjoyed by me as he drew positive fuel. I don’t miss a friend therefore. I miss the idea of my perfect friend. Accepting that isn’t nice, but I think it’s necessary.

            If they want grace, they can go find themselves a prima ballerina. Clearly I don’t do graceful and neither do you. Never mind, prima ballerinas have gnarly toes anyway.


          2. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi TS, and a little lol to you needing to think about what I write 🙂

            I also find your posts very insightful and often mull over them for that reason x

            Everything you said I can relate to again and thank you for making even more sense of what I said.

            They can indeed go find those Prima Ballerinas if they want someone who will go with grace, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what they’re looking for. They want the fighters for the fuel we can provide. It’s up to us to keep dancing away from them 😉

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