43 thoughts on “Zombieing

  1. Eternity says:

    Great one!,Keep them coming HG!

  2. Truthseeker6157 says:

    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?

  3. Bubbles 🍾 says:

    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 😘

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  4. Asp Emp says:

    Another great educational piece.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Indeed and thank you.

  5. Whitney says:

    This is what I did to him (Zombieing). When I left for 6 months and now I’m back and acting like nothing happened.

  6. lickemtomorrow says:

    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 ;))

    1. Another Cat says:

      “Most of these people aren’t even looking under the bed!”

      You nailed it!

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        Thanks, AC 🙂

        We’ve been made all to aware the bogeyman is out there!

    2. Whitney says:

      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.

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        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

        1. Whitney says:

          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.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            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.

    3. K says:

      Most advice columnists/relationship coaches are clueless!

      Cobwebbing = Lies
      Bubble Blowing = Future Faking

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Indeed they are clueless, K.

      2. Sweetest Perfection says:

        Haunting=hoovering, perhaps?

        1. lickemtomorrow says:

          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.

          1. Sweetest Perfection says:

            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.

          2. Lily says:

            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.

          3. HG Tudor says:

            Not easy, but that does not excuse not implementing it.

          4. Lily says:

            @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.

      3. lickemtomorrow says:

        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 😉

  7. Sweetest Perfection says:

    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.

    1. BC30 says:

      Ah yes! Crumbing and Benching are 100% N behavior, and I didn’t see it before.

    2. Lily says:

      @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.”

      1. Sweetest Perfection says:

        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.

        1. Lily says:

          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?

          1. Sweetest Perfection says:

            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.

        2. Lily says:

          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.

          1. Sweetest Perfection says:

            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.

  8. BC30 says:

    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.)

    1. Another Cat says:

      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.

      1. BC30 says:

        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.

        1. Another Cat says:

          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.

    2. alexissmith2016 says:

      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.

      1. BC30 says:

        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.

        1. alexissmith2016 says:

          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

          1. BC30 says:

            You are much braver than me!

          2. alexissmith2016 says:

            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.

          3. alexissmith2016 says:

            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

  9. Christopher Jackson says:

    Did you draw this picture hg?

    1. HG Tudor says:


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