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132 thoughts on “Zombieing”
This is awesome! I love when I find an old post in the comments.
“Can we be friends…blah blah?” No. Fuck off.
I got another message from the guy from last year, “Dan.” I didn’t know enough for HG to be able to tell me if he is a narcissist. Dan contacted me a couple months ago asking after my cat, and I ignored him. I should have blocked, but I was curious. I know, I know.
He was such an asshole when our fling ended. Now he comes back almost a year to the day. Maybe he is a narcissist after all.
I’m not sure what to do. (There are read receipts in the app, but he won’t know I read it yet because I haven’t opened the app. I read it on the screen notifications. I can’t block without reading.)
I’d like to ask HG one day, what it is like when a Nonnarc/Empath guy is text flirting or date-asking.
Last time I was with a Nonnarc, was 2004, which was before my marriage. Although we did text, it was very rare, and we met IRL almost every day, most often we talked on the phone instead of texting.
So I’m not sure I can sense when a nonnarc is text flirting or is about to ask me out. Actually, these last years after divorce, only narcs have contacted me other than friendship/work.
That’s an excellent question. I’ve found empaths to be the most patient and they have their own interests. Of course, this is all in hindsight. I think the normals that I have dated have been few and far between.
It’s not just the zombieing that makes me think this particular guy is a narcissist it’s the way things ended. I don’t think he expected me to be so abrupt and go no contact. His last words to me were, “Did you just tell me to have a nice life?” 😂😂😂 Yes. Yes, I did. Then I drove off 🚗
BC30, your last sentence……’Having The Last Word’, indeed 🙂
I think when I’m older, I might regret not having had more partners, experimenting more, not thinking so much, just doing. Regret is only a state of mind! Be more like the narcissists. Ha-HA!
To go to a bar, then go home with a guy after. You’re not missing much!!
There was this one guy I met a bar and when I went to use the restroom found women’s things under the sink. He “forgot” he was engaged. Another time, the guy made me stay for “breakfast” (orange juice and gummies WTF?) serenade me (badly) with his guitar and bongo drum. Those two in particular were probably narcissists.
Quality narcissists eh?
That made me laugh out loud. Bongo drum?! God love you, you’re fizzing with life. I love the Geyser empaths haha!
Welp. As always, HG provided sage advice, and I had an epiphany–all my indecisiveness was my addiction.
Considering all that transpired last year and this recent zombieing, yes, he is likely a narcissist.
Someone who falls silent for a year then messages again out of the blue screams narcissist to me. Could you do that? Would I do that? No. It’s a narc trick. Not worth the risk.
Yes. HG helped set me straight. Not worth the risk either way.
Hey BC30, RE: “I’m not sure what to do”…. maybe you have already answered your own query? I do understand though.
Yeah 😔 it’s the addiction.
BC30, why do we want to do this? “I should have blocked, but I was curious. I know, I know.” – like why do we want to just be naughty, to go off-script, to go “off the path, into the woods”?! Is that the addiction? Is that what you mean in your comments re the addition here? I want to do it all the time! Stupid stuff! Why do I need, this makes me giggle, HG to keep me in line?!! Especially when he’s so naughty?! That’s the part that makes me giggle, 😆. I just want to live a normal, exciting life, nothing out of the ordinary, but exciting! But because of this damn addiction I don’t know certain things that can hurt me and I crave some I them! Ugh!!!
My son and I are planning a trip to Rio next year, it just came about yesterday, we’ll see if it actually happens. But it made me realize that some excitement is important in my life, the idea of going just perks me up. Narc’s make it that way all the time but mostly in a bad way. But I can see the draw, must build more defences…
It’s our addiction, but I am glad that I can evade ensnarement. Thinking back on the relationship, things went bad whey I challenged him. There were a lot of red flags. I’ve changed a lot as a person and won’t put up with the same bullshit as before.
So cool you’re going to Rio!! You have something to look forward to. I actually won a 6 day all expenses paid vacation somewhere tropical a couple days ago! 😃😃😃 I could not believe my luck!! I wouldn’t have even entered the contest, but for my BFF making me do it.
BC30, that is awesome!! Happy for you, hope to hear where you choose and how you like it! I’m always looking for travel ideas and also places not to go.
When I was with the Summer Narc, at one point I said to myself, this feels so high school, even Jr high, I’m beyond that so if it keeps up, I’m out. And it did and I did get out. But not without a lot of stress. Now hopefully I wouldn’t get in! Haha! That would be preferable. Thank you for the confirmation on the addiction, writing that comment to you was just how I feel quite often and it surprised me when it came out!
Empath ideas: second thoughts/they made a mistake/cared about or missed us.
Narc ideas: they’re on my radar/I can hoover them/their fuel was delicious.
Compare and contrast. It’s like we’re living on two different planets.
I see your empath Achilles heel, TS.
The narcissist has their own Achilles heel. They can’t survive without us.
Sadly, the only bond is a toxic bond.
Interesting I did get one of these relatively recently (about 11 months after my escape), from some new email address, which I didn’t answer and immediately got rid of. In the past I would have wanted to know what he had to say, and would have answered. And even how he worded the email, I saw that in his mind, he thinks he was the one who disengaged.
And let him, he can think what he wants. All of this blocking/ unblocking, and then expecting people to be there (what I see now he does), pretty bold and arrogant. But I guess if people are still there and answer him when he reappears, it just reinforces the behavior and provides fuel for him. And yeah the ghosting/ zombieing- the behavior speaks volumes. Although when you’re in the middle of it and the emotional thinking is high, it fools you into believing you are being contacted because they care. The reality is far from it :/.
Well done for ignoring and deleting the suspect email. Electronic communication is so damn tempting! It’s so easy to look. I’m glad you stayed strong 🙂
Yes, we do think they get back in contact because they had second thoughts / realised they made a mistake / cared about or missed us. I think that niggles. I really believe that for an empath it’s incredibly difficult to imagine any person not having empathy to some degree. It runs through our every thought. Even when we are angry or a pain in the ass we at least recognise what we are doing, we don’t just not care.
It might just be me. I believe HG when he states narcissists have no empathic traits. I just can’t imagine how it feels not to feel anything other than negative emotions. I have tried to place myself in that position and I can’t do it. I visualise all sorts but I can’t visualise that.
I think I prefer the idea that somewhere there is a sliver of something, a bond or a loyalty to someone, even if it would never have been to me. That’s my Achilles heel right there.
Great one!,Keep them coming HG!
I think ghosting was absolutely brilliant. The video that is. I had never heard the term zombie ing but I have now.
A couple of things dawned on me listening to these two.
Someone who ghosts does not have emotional empathy. Of course not, totally agree when it’s pointed out to me in this way. The issue is when ghosting takes place its such a widespread term that firstly you don’t see it as absence of emotional empathy as you are desensitised by the commonality. Secondly, not sure if this is an empath thing or not, you question your own expectations. Am I expecting too much. Is my view old fashioned? Do the same courtesies apply online as in person? Am I being weird feeling so hurt by this? Did I just read too much into these conversations? Was this attachment just me? Was it all in my head? Is there something wrong with me? We tip the ghosting behaviour on its head and blame ourselves, disregarding the basic fact that it’s just bloody bad manners as a bare minimum but the absence of emotional empathy is more likely.
“I don’t understand how you can do it. I could never do that to you.”
I said that to Whiny Byron Boy Narc after a silent treatment / disengagement. Halfway there as usual, just scraping the pass. What I didn’t consider is why I COULDN’T do that to him. Therefore revealing why he COULD do it to me.
Secondly, what I noticed in Ghosting but really clicked with in Zombieing, is the fact we are distracted by the words so much. The Narc hoovers or gets back in touch after a silent treatment. We listen and concentrate on the words. HG does not. He isn’t looking at the content of what was said. He assumes its lies anyway. He is looking first and foremost at behaviours when we recount our experiences. I think this is a key reason why he can accurately conclude ‘narcissist’ and we can’t. We overlook the behaviour and with soaring ET are seduced by the words. ‘But he said this.’ ‘He explained that.’ Irrelevant. What did he actually do?
Some ghosting is generated by fear of rejection, etc., I think that overrides empathy.
I’ve ghosted men who I thought would get angry, become stalkers, harm me etc when I ended it. Sometimes their egos are so bruised they lash out, and it’s scary.
I think your ghosting is different. You have already been given cause to think that these guys would react in a way that would make you uneasy. In which case ghosting is the right cause of action, similar to the thinking behind No Contact.
It does make you think though. What type of guys would have such a bruised ego that it would cause them to become angry / obsessive? Empaths wouldn’t, normals would usually take a knock back in their stride. So the guys that would cause you to feel uneasy would likely be narcissists anyway.
Any person has a choice to discontinue a relationship don’t they? You aren’t owned / under contract. Someone with empathy recognises that. You’re accurately sensing unease / awkwardness, enough to modify your normal behaviour. Is it possible that you aren’t connecting these predicted behaviours as likely being those of narcissists? We are narc magnets when all is said and done. Xx
I distinctly remember one guy (with whom I did not have sex) call me a “trainwreck” when I ended things. He was a piece of work. He gave me the heebie jeebies and kissed like a dying fish.
Haha, it took me a minute there on the dying fish. Got it!
I’ve never actually been with a bad kisser. How do you kiss a bad kisser? Do you just ignore what they are doing and hope they follow your lead? I’ve never had bad sex either. I think that’s down to the fact I’ve known my partners so well before going to bed with them. Serial monogamist here.
I think when I’m older, I might regret not having had more partners, experimenting more, not thinking so much, just doing.
I like the idea of being more carefree when it comes to sex. I just don’t think I’m wired that way. To go to a bar, then go home with a guy after. I can’t imagine ever being able to do that. I see no problem with others doing that, I just couldn’t go through with it myself.
“I’ve never had bad sex either.” TS6157, you are truly blessed. ❤️ 😂😭
No kidding, that’s pretty much all I’ve had. 😭 It’s the biggest driver for me to have one more love affair, just to experience it as it should be.
DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! You can totally fall in love, and now you can evade the narc sharks.
(Not love affairs, but I have 3 prospects on the line for next weekend. 😂)
Three?! Where do you find these people?! Hope it was great!
Online and in the wild. I’ve been asked out at Starbucks, while shopping, anywhere really, but mostly online.
I had zero chemistry with one. Another we rescheduled. The third I met up and whew boy! It was good good Vitamin D, lawdamercy! I was suspicious he was a N, but I don’t think so now. I’m not positive it was a sign, but when he asked me to spend the night his cheeks got so rosy flushed. Would that happen to a N? I wonder. I’m taking it super slow and cautiously tho, because I’m leery of Ns and in general.
I just saw this. Now I see that I need to get out more!! Thank you!
I doubt a N’s cheeks would go rosy, but it could happen if the thought caused a surge of power? It sounds more like he felt self conscious. If so, that’s cute!
Having spent more time together, he’s not a narcissist. I was wary, particularly because he is a firefighter. 🔥 I seem to recall being told that is a profession rife with narcissists. My #1 was a volunteer firefighter.
Yes, I was an EMT for a while, knew many firepeople, I agree many are N’s. The one I grew “closest” to I totally believe was, now. They even joke about their savior complexes. It’s sick but, they do important work.
AV you may see on another post that #2 (my MMR) emailed me. I foolishly checked my old email address. Nothing changed, very MR. Maybe it was subconscious on my part. I know he doesn’t miss me, it’s a need for fuel, hoover triggers and all that, so I remain NC. No response = I’m still winning.
Meanwhile, I am spending my “fuel” with Ben over the weekend–not a narcissist. I ended it with the firefighter this morning, nothing wrong, he was just dull and vanilla and wanted to be in this weird space where he texted me everyday. He took it well, so not a narcissist.
BC30, you are totally a winner! So happy you see that! So empowering!
I am glad that the firefighter took it well, that he’s not a narc, that’s so great, you made an intentional, knowledgeable decision, using logic! And it all is well! Have fun on your weekend, I’m a bit envious!! 😂 🤣💕
So you know how HG warns us not to date online? Well, wouldn’t you know I met someone IRL?! It’s rather hilarious. My friend invited me to a swingers club that we’d been to before the pandemic. Anyhow, she brought her dom and a male friend who was new to the lifestyle. I wasn’t attracted to him at first, but that changed over the course of the night. I’m going to see him again.
BC30, that’s great! He’s not a N? I’m so happy for you!
No. He’s most certainly normal. He’s goofy. He made me laugh, effortlessly.
Yay!! So happy for you!!
AV, Ben*, has asked me to dinner. IDK how I feel about it. I absolutely do not think he (or the firefighter) are narcissists, but I am so wary. It’s much easier when it’s NSA– I can cut and run.
*the one I met through my friend at the swingers club
I am so excited for you!! I hope you go, it sounds like he wants to really get to know you! The cut and run was my safety net years ago also, never get too deep. But, I did miss some good opportunities with what I truly think we non-narcs, because I was afraid. You’re ready to try, you know what to watch for and you have HG to bounce things off of it you have concerns. Whatever you decide, you know best, but I hoped you give it a go. 💕
So, about the chemical composition of tears. I was VULNERABLE with him over the weekend and my offer was rejected, sort of. Anyhow, I was quite upset about it, but I couldn’t bring myself to cry. That sort of crying hurts more. He is not a narcissist, but the rejection brought up a lot of those feelings I had with the narcissists in the past. I guess the upside was that I was at a museum standing in front of a Cézanne painting (a still life with a skull) when the dam broke, so there was a bit of dramatic elegance.
Ohhh, dramatic elegance helps everything! I am sorry for your rejection, those feelings can be so difficult to go through, I hope you are doing better soon. And that you have a wonderful Christmas! ❄🎄❄
You never fail to make me laugh!
You have been quiet of late, I hope everything is ok with you and yours. It’s really lovely to see your name in my inbox.
You’re too sweet. 🥰 I’m well! Since the nex-es are no longer top of mind, I come here for you all and to listen to HG’s recent interviews. I hope you’re doing AMAZING!
BC30, thank you for coming here for us! You are so encouraging! I am really thankful to you! You are showing us how to take the info and get back out there and live! Love it and love you for bringing it here! 💕
I can understand that. I hope you find what you are looking for.
BC, I really truly hope he’s not an N because you’re lovely.
And I haven’t read all your comments about him either so have no idea. I just happened to stumble on the one where you mentioned him blushing.
This wss something which puzzled me for a very long time. There was a guy who goes to my gym who I trained with occasionally. He started showing signs of being an N but he would regularly blush which was throwing me off. Many of the Ns I know don’t tend to. My sister never does (at least I don’t recall it) and she has red hair.
Anyway, I asked HG in a comment somewhere on the blog and he confirmed that Ns can go red from blushing but it’s not for the same reason as you or I would. It’s not due to embarrassment as such, more a perceived threat to their control.
I hope this helps you to keep an open mind. Maybe even do a ND on him if needed.
I hope you continue to have fun times snd he’s not an N x
Hi TS, this is actually a reply to your August 8, 18:48 comment. It made me laugh, the “do you just ignore and hope they follow your lead?” -very funny! I just got away from them as quickly as was possible. I have only had a couple really bad ones but, haha, it is gross when it happens! The other thing I wanted to say is, sadly, the best sex I’ve had were one night stands and the affair I had. I was not programmed for true intimacy, how to handle it, how to spot it, how to give it, what I could expect from it, nothing. So I’ve had only the physical act to judge from. The lack of permanence was important for me in those moments, it allowed for the carefree element. But the very term “care free” was it, we did not care about each other as people in these instances. It is very sad to me that this had been my experience. I say it only because I would gladly give that up for what you’ve had, you took the time to know them first and it made it meaningful. Spontaneity can happen in those relationships and that is carefree in a sense but with safety and caring intact. From my experience, you have not missed out.
Thank you for your comment. It brings it home to me how some people are able to take the carefree approach and I’m not. Skittish that’s what I am lol. I’m a flirt but don’t come on strong or I’m out. I’ll laugh and touch his arm or his chest but don’t touch me before I’m ready or I’m out. I’ll meet you for dinner but don’t ask me to come home with you or I’m out. I’ll tease but not that kind of tease, too much innuendo, and I’m out. Honestly, I’m hard work. I don’t mean to be, but I know I am. Friends first is the only way round it really, that’s why it has always happened that way. If I’m oblivious then I’m better. Like keeping blinkers on a horse! Haha!
It makes sense to me why it feels safer to you to go the opposite way. If you are uncomfortable with intimacy, it makes sense to approach sex as more of a physical need than an emotional one. You can separate the two things. That’s what I’m unable to do. I’ve had various types of sex, passionate, romantic, rough etc etc but always within the security of the romantic relationship. I readily admit it takes me a long time to trust someone. I have trust issues! The MMRA was probably the closest I came to unemotional. Even there though, I knew him well comparatively. It just moved faster. It might be another reason I came away unscathed. Not fully invested emotionally, but still invested.
Different people different needs, no right or wrong way. I do see intimacy in your future AV. Taking things slow to avoid narcissists will also support that I think. I might have to take carefree of my bucket list! Xx
Hi TS, oh my goodness, all the autocorrect and other errors from my phone commenting last night!! Ugh, didn’t even spell yeah correctly to SP! I see them now, so embarrassing! Anyway, thank you for your reply, I did want to clarify, this was years ago, when I was drinking. That of course lowered my inhibitions to actually meet up with someone and also to go beyond that. And, it wasn’t an overly frequent occurrence. I can no longer separate the physical from the emotional, or at least, I would not do so any longer. But, as with you, major trust issues, I’ve never really trusted anyone I’ve been in a relationship with, all narcs I think so it makes sense. I’ve not had an experience with a normal or empath to test it on. Yet, haha. 🙂
No, no right or wrong. Thank you for the feedback!
Completely different than for me. The worst sex in my life is the one with no love, no … nothing.
An embarrassing, boring incident without meaning.
I can count my sexual partners on the fingers of one hand and I do not regret it.
I love sex, but only when … I love. It is inseparable for me.
There is no love. There is no sex.
But when I love, when I trust, when I open up … it can be intimate, it can be close, it can be affectionate, it can be romantic, i can be submissive, i can dominate, it can be rough and it can be very rough.
It is important that it is with the person and for the person I love.
I did not “feel” love until well into my adult life. I did act on it in many ways, especially with regard to my children. But the feelings were so pushed down that even now I don’t have them as I think I should. It has just been a complete disconnect with regard to the sex. I had so many mixed messages as a child, every aspect of my emotional life was damaged I think. This is one reason I would love to have a normal or empath in a good, healthy relationship, to see what happens. I know, it is sad. I feel like a failure here and I feel very cheated. But, it is my life, my past, I can’t redo it, I can only change what is still to come, hopefully.
You never need to worry about spelling, grammar or autocorrect with me. I just read past it. I barely notice, I’m caught up in what you have to say, not how it looks. X
It does make perfect sense. A product of our past and through no fault of our own. Honestly, I think once an empath understands how and why she was used and the impact that had on her, then there’s nothing to stop her from claiming a different future. You know, most ‘ normal’ people have baggage in some form or another. Very few people will have a past that is free from some form of betrayal or heartbreak. Most people are just doing the best they can to muddle through.
It’s important to understand the past but it’s important also for us to think, “That was then, this is now.” That’s not to underplay the impact that various narcissists have had, more to say that they don’t get to shape the empath’s future. Once she is aware, she gets to shape that for herself. It might take some re learning but If emotional intimacy is what you want then you can have it. Not at the snap of your fingers maybe, but if that’s what you want then I see absolutely no reason why you can’t experience that in your future.
TS, what a sweet, encouraging comment! Thank you so much!
You’re very welcome x
I just read that you started playing golf again and you are planning a trip too! Lovely! Fill your free time with things you enjoy doing, or, things you always wanted to try but didn’t get round to, and I think the rest will follow. It leaves less room to overthink and replay the past and it broadens your social circle in a non threatening way.
Hopefully you’ll just get caught up in enjoying what you are doing, time will tick by and once you are fully happy and content in yourself, all of a sudden you’ll notice someone who you just enjoy being around and things will develop naturally without you even thinking about it. Xx
Yes! I’m super excited about getting my life back! But, there is one thing that concerns me, that is exactly where I was both times I met my husbands!! It seems like that somehow draws them more. Or maybe it just puts me out in the places where I am more visible to them. Who knows. But, it will be a test, I must not fail!
Dancing naked on a bar does tend to be noticed.
Hahahaha!!! So that’s what I’ve been doing wrong?!?!? Laughing!!!
@LET, ^^^ the exaggerator. 🤣🤣🤣
Ooohh, I think HG put that thought in my head of you dancing naked in a bar!
And you jokingly confirmed it 🙂
I never thought it would take me this long to get a joke 😛
Haha, I think HG is really good at putting things in people’s heads!!
Rusty meat hooks and ice picks are a speciality, along with bullets.
Oh…my. I am glad you are in the UK. And I am not! 🙄
Haha, HG. Now you’ve got me thinking about Daniel Craig again 😛
Definitely good at putting thoughts in people’s heads!
Candyman; Basic Instinct; RE: the bullets, too many to mention……
LET, I am glad you found it! 😂
Rusty meat hooks remind me of Candyman.
Is my eye of Horus back up? Damn Word Press gremlins.
Hand me the ice pick if you would be so kind?
Some ghosting occurs out of empathy too even if it is horrendous. I ghosted a guy in the past because I felt terribly sorry to tell him I was not interested. But now I see I was a bitch and I frequently think about that poor guy I left wondering. However, I wasn’t dating him, just talking and getting to know each other. I paid the price though, because I dated a narcissist after him and I was ghosted by him, HA! He tried to hoover me after that. It is incredible how my past romantic life is totally re-shaped now under the application of the Tudor view.
Yaeh, but we wouldn’t be empaths if we responded to the actions instead of responding to the words. Haha, then we’d be normals!
Dear Mr Tudor,
I have another one for you, I saw this today in my news feed …… ‘ sandbagging and narcissism ! ‘
Thank you for your explanation on zombieing, always a pleasure to listen to you
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
You are welcome.
Another great educational piece.
Indeed and thank you.
This is what I did to him (Zombieing). When I left for 6 months and now I’m back and acting like nothing happened.
Excellent information, HG. I also got an email from a dating coach today which included the term zombieing along with ghosting and he added a third ingredient to the witches brew which was ‘haunting’. You’ve got to hand it to the people who come up with these names. The unfortunate thing is, once again, the word narcissist never came up in the equation. The bogey man hiding under the bed that if everyone pretends he/she doesn’t exist will go away. Most of these people aren’t even looking under the bed!
Thanks for another enlightening video for our Halloween consumption (with our candy, of course ;))
“Most of these people aren’t even looking under the bed!”
You nailed it!
Thanks, AC 🙂
We’ve been made all to aware the bogeyman is out there!
Lickemtomorrow I enjoy all your comments to the extreme!
I’ve wondered if the Narc who choked me (I shouldn’t be talking about him, it’s my addiction) was purposefully doing pick up artist tactics that he learnt. Or does the Narc just naturally know how to do these things. The one before him actually taught a pick up artist course.
Anyway I can’t wait to watch this video.
My ex-husband also held me up against a wall and choked me.
It was extreme and unexpected and because I questioned him over something.
That was the first time he physically assaulted me.
Good question as to how they learn/decide to do these things (ghosting, etc.) It does seem to be part of their playbook, and if we relate it back to narcs then they’re all acting from the same one – unbeknownst even to them (for the most part). And most of it seems to come naturally or instinctively to them.
Thank you for the lovely compliment, Whitney 🙂 It is much appreciated x
I’m so sorry that happened Lickemtomorrow. Your ex-husband is an absolute piece of shit, and I wish he was wiped off the face of this planet.
The Narc “choked” me during sex, lightly. That was a red-flag because he didn’t ask permission.
The Narcs have been gentle even during sex.
It was a long time ago now, Whitney, and I got out of that situation fairly early on – if you can call 5 years early. It was a sign of things to come and I knew I wasn’t going to stay in that kind of abusive situation. I was quite shaken up at the time and shaking after he let me go. That was probably enough to mend the wounding from his perspective and it’s a flashback moment where I remember him ordering Chinese takeout for our dinner after that. Everything back to normal, so to speak.
In other words, he was in control again.
Thank you for the back up, too x
And that was a red flag with your narc. I’m glad you saw it for what it was.
I wrote my comment before I read HGs article again on narcissist’s and their ‘playbook’. How they all seem to act from the same one. Probably important to get some clarification around that, too.
My narc was not gentle. Thats why I liked it 🤫
LET, was your ex-husband a LMR by chance? Also, I am putting another comment on this thread for you but not directly because you are not there. You will recognize it.
AV, I don’t know as I have only had the NDC done on my last narc. That one surprised me, though I was in range with guessing Mid-Range. Is there a reason you think he might be LMR? It’s only recently HG noted somewhere, I think the Gabby and Brian post, that choking aligns more with Mid-Range narc behaviour, though I’m not sure why that might be. He had me up against the wall by my throat with just one hand holding me there. It was the first time he’d laid a hand on me, probably about two and a half years into our marriage.
I will look for your other comment <3
Yes, the choking/throttling is associated with Mid range, I perhaps thought LMR on my own, that not being confirmed specifically. My LMR did it also, that’s all.
I think that would come under Mid Range, because it leaves less of a mark. A Lesser has no facade, he would punch you in the face, kick or bite. If it leaves a mark so what? “She asked for it.”
The Lower Greater might throttle or choke also. Less sophisticated than the higher Greaters who likely would achieve the same effect through threat, blackmail, or via a paid third party.
This would leave Mid Range as the main throttling / choking protagonist. It is a covert behaviour, it’s more passive aggressive than a punch and probably occurs as a more controlled response to ignited fury. That doesn’t make it any the less terrifying though. Personally, I’d rather take the punch.
That would be my estimation, I don’t know if it’s correct or not. Xx
Hey TS, hope you are doing OK <3 I've just seen your response x
I appreciate your thoughts on the choking aspect of the narcissist's behaviour and it makes sense to me. I didn't think of it as being passive aggressive, but the fact it was behind closed doors and less likely to leave a mark – apart from on my psyche – leads me to thinking you are correct.
The second and only other time he assaulted me, he hit me several times across the face with an open hand (once again less likely to leave any lasting damage or more obvious marks). I didn't know if he left a mark and I didn't care, though I knew my lip was slightly swollen, as I proceeded to leave the house. He asked me where I was going and I said I was going to buy cigarettes. Then I told him that what he had just done to me constituted an assault and if he ever laid a hand on me again I would call the police.
I don't know where I found the courage to confront him in that moment, but a definite line had been drawn in the sand. If anyone had seen me or asked me while I was out, I was going to tell them my husband had hit me. I wonder how many women wander around hoping someone will ask them why they are carrying an injury, too ashamed to actually tell somebody what has happened to them. At that moment, I wasn't making any excuses for him.
Thankfully, he never laid a finger on me again. It wasn't long after that we separated for the first time.
LET, I bet that was a Supernova! And he knew you meant it!
AV, it was definitely an element of my Super coming to the fore and that moment flicked a switch for me.
I didn’t wonder, worry, or concern myself in any way with what his response might be and I knew by walking out of the house in whatever state I was in he was the one who needed to worry and wonder, and concern himself with a possible reaction. I absolutely knew, as did he, that I was throwing the gauntlet down in that moment. He had a reputation to uphold and any kind of police involvement would be the last thing he would want. Something about my demeanour told him I meant business and internally I knew I meant business, too. It was very different to the first time he put his hands on me. Both occasions involve an ignition of his fury where the assault came totally out of the blue, although from his point of view there was obviously a provocation, but where the first left me shaken, the second left me resolute.
He definitely knew I meant it.
TS and LET,
I think your thoughts here, about the not leaving marks and the more passive aggressive aspect of throttling are what I have heard here also. And it makes sense. My mother was very concerned about leaving marks where they could be seen, even by my dad. She would also my face with an open hand but anything that was more likely to bruise was done where clothing would cover it. Throttling can leave a bruise but it must only be when it happens at a damaging level or something, so it’s pretty interesting because when she did it, she seemed out of control but she would release me before leaving marks. She did it on the stairs though, I think so that if I fell there was a reason for bruises, go figure the out of control on that? There was some thinking involved. Same with the face slaps.
AV, it’s just awful to think of your mother treating you that way, but worse to think of how these things can be concealed.
“go figure on the out of control on that?”
They have to know they can go so far and no further in order to intimidate and control you. As a child you’ve no comeback, or very little, which is probably what fired me up as an adult. Now I could respond in a way I couldn’t as a child.
But there appears to be something inherently evil in what you describe.
I’ve been reading news stories recently about children who have been abused and there is no explanation that covers what I’ve read apart from pure evil.
When it comes to narcissists we know there are instinctual elements that guide them (though accepting that has been one of my hardest battles here), and where the Lessers will just punch you in the face and the Greaters will serve up their revenge up deliciously cold, the Mid-Rangers will fall between those two by hitting you where it can’t be seen or if it can with a ready made excuse in hand (i.e. a fall on the stairs).
You have no idea how much I despise MRN’s for their sheer cowardice, which is how I view their underhand tactics for the most part. Passive aggressive nightmares.
It sounds strange doesn’t it? To classify such abhorrent behaviour as passive aggressive. I think it’s the marking element or lack thereof that places it in that category.
In some ways, I view him slapping you as a good thing, as twisted as that sounds. For you, it was the line that should never be crossed, the action that can’t be excused under any circumstances. I think it perhaps offered clarity as to the situation you were in and unprepared to just accept.
It’s awful to view it in this way, but without that happening, it is possible your ET would have continued to excuse, accept blame, and hope for things to get better. Instead you recognised the slap as abuse, and you responded accordingly.
I can only imagine the shock, disappointment and confusion as you walked. So undeserved and so very sad. I think you are correct also, there will be people that walk past us every day, who are in varying degrees of similar situations, in real need for someone just to stop and ask if they’re ok. Nobody sees what goes on behind closed doors. The nice guy would never do that to his wife and mother of his children would he? They do though. They do do it. If a person abuses an animal then they’ll abuse a child, and they’ll abuse a woman. I really just wish they’d try abusing the big angry guy in the corner once in a while. It would be nice to see how that worked out for them.
I’m ok thank you, considering it’s November! I’m taking another trip to London this weekend. Looking for my inner Christmas spirit!
TS, glad to see you back and thanks for your response 🙂
I’ve just shared some of my thoughts on the passive aggressive nature of these assaults with AV, and I think we can agree. They’re not calculating in the way of the Greater, nor more obvious in the way of the Lesser, but fall between the two with their machinations. I definitely classify them as passive aggressive.
That moment did offer me clarity, and was the beginning of the end when it came to the notion of separation. Physical abuse crossed the line for me. He had already verbally abused me on occasion, and the emotional or psychological abuse had been happening for some time. Probably my explanation to AV sums it up best, but it was the trigger to an avalanche.
No doubt my ET would have kept me where I was without that happening a second time, which begs the question how many times does it take? For me, I didn’t need the third reminder. The first shocked me to the point I didnt’ know how to respond, apart from accepting I had upset him (or grieviously wounded him from the narcissist’s perspective). Unfortunately he had to tell me twice in that manner I had ignited his fury. I ended up not waiting around for a third occasion to arise.
I can honestly say I was about as clearheaded as I’ve ever been, TS, when I took that walk down the street. I didn’t feel shock, disappointment, sadness. I just felt determination, strength, and in a sense positivity – I knew I would not let him do that to me again, and if he did I would make him pay.
I mentioned to AV some of the stories I have been reading lately about child abuse. Always in the back of my mind I wonder “How?” How did they get away with it? Was there no one who could see, hear, respond, react? Often there are interveners of some kind or another whose hands are tied after reporting concerns to authorities. Somehow the concerns are dismissed, explained away by the perpetrators, or held up by some bureaucratic red tape. It’s infuriating to me, and devastating for the children concerned. How do we not see these monsters living among us? So often it’s not until it’s too late. Definitely subject them to the same torment, or let them try it on someone their own size to see how far they would get.
Moving to a lighter note, a trip to London sounds exciting and novel at this time of year 🙂 I can imagine an effort being made to infuse some Christmas spirit and it’s my favourite time of the year for that reason. Decorations, lights, anticipation <3 I do hope you enjoy your trip and maybe find some of that Christmas spirit … banish the Grinch if you can xox
Only if you care to answer.
Your ex previously choked you. Then in a subsequent incident slapped you in the face several times causing you to issue a warning, leave temporarily, and you state that he never hit you again. Do you remember then what the pivotal point was that caused the separation shortly after if it was not physical?
I am asking because it seems common that we draw a line then move it (unconsciously and due to addiction I’m guessing), but it can sometimes be surprising what causes the final straw for an empath. I was always surprised for instance when I read of someone who endured repeated physical assaults only to have them spurred to action by evidence of the narcissist cheating. NOT saying that to be your situation. It is less common to read of an empath initiating the break through a moment of clarity without intervention and I wondered if that were the case with you and if so, how you think that came about.
NA, I appreciate you asking and it is also a prompt for me to remember the circumstances leading to our separation after that.
It was interesting to read the notion you put forward of moving the line after we have drawn it, and I think in this case the line wasn’t moved as he never took a chance on assaulting me again. If he had, the line would have remained and I would have left based on that.
The question remains, why did I not just walk out there and then? I managed to walk out the door and clarify the situation with him at the same time. I think the reality of having two toddlers and no family around me at the time made it seem like a monumental effort to do what needed to be done. So the physical assault wasn’t enough to make me leave and take the children, but it was enough for me to issue a warning. And the warning wasn’t that I would leave, but that I would call the police. I’ll have to mull over that response for a while, I think. Why I chose the ‘threat’ I chose, while also not choosing to leave.
The pivotal point may have come when I became pregnant on our third child. It would all have happened around the same time – in a window of about 6 weeks – the assault, the pregnancy, and toss in a house move as well! You would think the house move and the pregnancy would have been enough to keep me there. It wasn’t. I’d helped create an even bigger mountain to climb with a third pregnancy.
I think it might have been the fact that with the good news (new home, another baby on the way), the bad news (I was really on my own in this relationship) was finally beginning to sink in. I wasn’t going to be able to celebrate either of these elements of good news, never mind the good fortune with the children we already had, because he was all about himself and nothing else really mattered. Imagine you have gained some of the things you want and potentially delight in before you finally have the dawning realization that those things are only significant to you. What mattered to me didn’t matter to him. I was just a moving piece in his game as he manouvred his way through life and our children were the same.
I think the assault was a nail in the coffin, and the subsequent realization that it was only the tip of an iceberg helped to hammer in the rest of the nails for me. Good things became bad or meaningless things in the context of our relationship. Special occasions became hurtful ones. When support was required it was denied. And so on. I had confronted the tip, or the obvious part, of the iceberg with the assault, but now I was finally forced to consider the depth.
So, in further answer to your question, there was no intervention by a third party, not even close to a suggestion. The understanding or insight came from within, and no doubt my children were also a prompt to that. I wanted them to have a good life, and I didn’t want them to suffer the way I had suffered. In many ways I said a resounding “NO” to my own childhood experiences in doing what I did.
I agree, there’s thinking behind choosing a time and place to slap or bully a child. Choosing the stairs is just vile, it put you in an even weaker position.
I wonder if your mother even remembers that now? If she did, she would blame shift no doubt, If you asked she would probably re write history, but I wonder if she actually remembers those things on her own? I’m tempted to say no due to compartmentalisation and the ever evolving false self. I don’t believe narcissists hold on to many memories at all. They might if they are prompted, but I have my doubts as to how representative of reality those memories actually are. I think our memories are built around emotional markers, it might be why I screen out much of the mundane but remember key events vividly. Without experiencing positive emotions, I can’t imagine there are many memories for the narcissist to look back on. As we age, that’s all we are left with really, possessions become immaterial, it’s the experiences we have had and the memories that are important. This might offer you a degree of comfort in some ways. As your mother ages she already has her punishment, no happy memories, just empty pictures.
Piece of shit for sure. Sorry LT😔
Thanks for the thought, k mac <3 He was a piece of shit, a very popular piece of shit as it happens. No one really knows what goes on behind closed doors, and sometimes they just don't care x
Most advice columnists/relationship coaches are clueless!
Cobwebbing = Lies
Bubble Blowing = Future Faking
Indeed they are clueless, K.
Hey SP, I think the Zombieing = hoovering according to HG.
This coaches take on “Haunting” was what he described in his own words as a “platform downgrade.” Someone going from a more intimate form of communication with you – either seeing you in person, having phone calls, texting – to a much lesser form of communication that perhaps doesn’t even qualify as communication. It’s just someone being an abstract presence in your life, through the form of viewing your stories, liking your posts, but never having a direct interaction with you.
Going by how he describes it I can relate – I’ve been ‘haunted’ in the past. It’s elusive. They;re around, but not in direct contact. More on the fringes and just making you aware of their presence.
Oh I get it now! Yes, I’ve suffered that too! My narc haunted me all summer until he and I came back and he started showing he wanted me back. So I blocked him and went NC following HG’s premise: “the narcissist declared you persona non grata; return the favor.” God, I love that sentence, I’m always quoting it.
Good to know. Essentially the stuff nightmares are made of. I know HG stresses a lot on GOSO & No Contact, but there are circumstances when it’s not easy.
Not easy, but that does not excuse not implementing it.
@HG: At the end of the day, I love the close family members (now diagnosed) regardless of everything. What I am learning though is how to approach them in such a manner that I understand their position without losing my peace & soul in the process.
As for those from work, a GOSO/No Contact would require leaving the industry I am in, the specific field, & country – and I love both the industry and the field. Indeed, an option is merely blocking emails & messages, but I am required to respond to work/professional emails from such individuals (with no option, as of now, to outsource that role to anyone else).
This is my dilemma. In such cases, the way ahead seems to be one of education, preparation, and adaptation – and, if possible, avoidance.
Oohh, I haven’t heard either of those before!
LOL to the Bubble Blowing – reminds me of an old song line “I’m forever blowing bubbles …”
Cobwebbing makes me think of “oh what a tangled web we weave when we first learn to deceive”
I’m beginning to get a sense of where they’re coming from 😉
In your head, in your heaaaad…This series of analyzing “current dating trends” under the scope of narcissists’ behavior is extremely helpful. I know them all from my students: ghosting, crumbing, zombieing, benching, all of them narcs narcs narcs!!!! Though I have ghosted too. Just a little. Not proud.
Ah yes! Crumbing and Benching are 100% N behavior, and I didn’t see it before.
@Sweetest Perfection: There is a study in Journal of Mgmt Education on how certain disciplines attract students with such strong characteristics. There is a self-selection, I think.
Re: ghosting, I understand the feeling. Since my “enlightenment”, I was alarmed to see I was gradually displaying some such traits. Hopefully, it is only temporary. “And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”
Ha! I’ll check it out, Lily, it sounds fascinating. I feel really bad about having ghosted people but I must say in my defense I was not officially dating them, and I didn’t intend to continue to hang out with them. Because there was no relationship and they insisted in trying I decided to disappear mostly because I was feeling a little harassed. Plus I don’t feel any desire to see these people again, and I haven’t. I don’t understand benching or crumbling because I’m all or nothing: either I like you (and you will notice because I’m intense) as a partner or I don’t.
There’s also a recent one in Academy of Management Discoveries (O’Reilly, Chatman, & Doerr, 2020), but more on leadership implications.
I understand- if I feel harassed, I might become more uncommunicative (although I won’t disappear). On one hand, I would love to tell them- “This isn’t going to work because….”. On the other hand, I don’t want to hurt them by being so frank.
Unlike you though, I was showing lots of characteristics in interactions with everyone & ended up started constantly questioning myself, my motives, and even whether I am deluding myself.
Thankfully, that introspective period seems to be coming to a close. After all, can a leopardess change her spots even if it falls into a pool of mud?
Lily, that one will actually interest me more since I’m more into leadership and administration lately and there’s so much BS… I’ll read it. It is not uncommon to be ghosted by management in academia, actually. I remember I sent an email a couple of years ago to a colleague from another institution requesting some info in a friendly manner. We have a group of common friend and used to coincide in social gatherings. We hold the same academic rank. At that time, we both were chairing our departments. The asshole totally ignored my email! I find that utterly disrespectful and uncollegial. On the other hand, the couple of people I ghosted knew I was not interested in pursuing a relationship with them and was actually seeing someone else. They persisted. I simply stopped communicating with them or returning their calls. I have a tendency to be very clear in my relationships and if I don’t want you, that doesn’t mean I will entertain you until I find something better. I simply don’t want you. With exes though, I broke up in an amicable manner or they broke up with me, and though it’s sad and painful in some cases, I kept maintain a cordial relationship so I don’t ghost partners. But like you -and I guess many others in the blog- I have questioned myself many times because I find a lot of narcissistic traits in me, confirmed by the Trait Detector. At least I don’t hoover and will never do, what’s in the past is in the past for me. If I were a narcissist though I would like to be told so and try to work on my behavior. I don’t want to be hurting people around. Many a time I have thought that surely enough, my narc believes I am the one that hurt him by going NC.
Sweetest Perfection, thank you for explaining your ghosting experiences. I use the tactic of gentle friendzoning – speaks more volume than having to spell it out!
Yes, it is true about ghosting in academia. Perhaps it often has to do with the other viewing you as a competition (e.g. in your case, you both hold the same position). Strangely, as a female, I have seen this behaviour exhibited more by other females. I used to think it was the queen bee syndrome… but maybe the underlying dynamics might be something else.
Thank you for sharing how you too questioned the presence of certain traits. I am quite inclined to take the trait detector test as I still cringe over my response when someone said I am very empathic (with a big grin “Yes, I know!”)! Might suggest an element of pride.
By the way, check out the books/papers by Bob Sutton as well.
Gosh I see how horrendous my syntax was in the above message but I was trying organiza a call for (yet) another zoom meeting and answered pretty fast, my apologies! The trait detector totally read through me, Lily. Now I know why I react and to what particular triggers and can avoid them. I totally recommend it.
But not all zombies are Ns, right? I usually go NC because it’s my natural modus operandi; here’s a story.
This guy, Brad, sort of ghosted me. We had dinner plans, but the day of he only responded with one word answers. I didn’t cancel dinner or “end things”. I just blocked him.
Some months later I unblocked him and deleted his number. 8 months later this motherfucker had the NERVE to ask me out for lunch or dinner like nothing had happened. I didn’t respond and blocked him again.
This has happened a few times with other men. I go NC and they pop up months later if I unblock them or they’ve called from other numbers.
(YES. I do realize unblocking is not NC, but I didn’t know about Ns back then.)
BC30, this is why I cold turkey had to stop all online dating, sometime of spring 2019. The ppl you are describing are narcs, I’m sure. Ghosters not always maybe, but the ones who months later come back as if nothing happened, that’s a hallmark N sign for me.
But to be such a narc magnet, I had no idea. I needed to realize in my mind that all seven men I went on a date with in that period, were narcs, acted as described on Narcsite. “Why You Should Not Use Online Dating” was painfully accurate.
Yeah, I shared in the Ghosting article that I am a ghoster. It’s self-preservation really.
In the past, I didn’t know they were Ns, and it’s my nature.
Having thought things over, I’m SE and Geyser, which means when I’m emotionally weighted I go all in. For example, HG’s story about yelling at his IPPS in her face when they were doing the play infuriates me. Why didn’t she storm off and curse at him or punch him?! When I get that emotional there is an explosion, I may feel guilty later, but I get over it.
Ghosting is another manifestation of this.
Understandable. If someone is being abusive in their texting I ignore them sooner or later anyway/block, and that narc might feel that I was ghosting.
BC30, we are a lot alike in some ways. I didn’t understand her reaction either, I would’ve been right back in his face. My ex didn’t do things like that because he knew. He controlled me in other ways. But I also walk away from people sometimes. When I do, it’s done. Did you do your EDC after you posted this comment?
I expect as with anything it is a collection of behaviours and not just one or two. But by and large if they ghost or zombie (hoover), then they’re very likely an N.
I know one or two Ns (who have knowledge of Ns themselves) suspect me of being one. More so since I have awareness.
In the past I would never have ghosted or ‘zombied’, and I never would to an empath then or now. But I use it as a technique with Ns all the time. Only ones whom I would not have an addiction to in the first place and it simply serves my purpose.
I don’t think it possible to need to block an E. For example, one guy I had met in person recently ended things due to COVID and was sweet and adult about it. We’re still chatting.
Theres’s another and we’ve be chatting and watching movies on Teleparty, but he also identifies as demisexual.
I have block, block, blockity blocked several men who just rubbed me the wrong way and/or appeared to be Ns.
I agree with you that it is a collection of behaviors. When I spoke with Brad he 100% turned the conversation to him and would not shut up about his pro se lawsuit. He was totally full of himself. He was the greatest pro se litigant to have ever lived.
Yes I block them without a care for how it makes them feel. But if at a later date I need them for something I would now think nothing of simply unblocking and asking for whatever favour I need and no explanation required on my part
You are much braver than me!
Not really brave, more stupid I think. I’d much rather be like you. I don’t do myself any favours. Just can’t help it BC. Well I probably could if I tried.
I couldn’t answer on the sound off thread re SV. Thanks for telling me he is a greater cerebral. Really thank you. It’s amazing how different even the cerebrally can be. One of the cerebrals on HGs list, whilst I wasn’t attracted to him in any way. I liked him very much and loved his style of interviewing. He still had some degree of charm although not that I’d the elite. But thank you re SV
Did you draw this picture hg?