No Good Advice
Relationship advice. The internet is awash with it. Sites, blogs, question and answer sessions, videos on YouTube there is a plethora of advice about how to deal with the problems which arise in intimate relationships.
I decided recently to have a good look through many of these sites and gather together the common complaints which people raise when they submit their issues. There are plenty of submissions, thousands upon thousands of people complaining about the issues in their relationships. Oddly enough, I noticed a common thread with many of these complaints where people had written in to seek advice or explained their circumstances. Time and time again I saw the following:-
“Everything was wonderful to begin with, he swept me off my feet.”
“She made me feel like a king and it was just what I needed after how horrible my marriage had been.”
“I was taken aback by how loving he was, but it felt so good to be treated that way after everything that I had been through.”
“He told me how he had been hurt before and didn’t want to go through that again.”
“His ex-wife was horrible to him and he had been hurt but wanted to ensure everything was right between us.”
“Everything was marvellous for a few months and then he changed.”
“I didn’t know him anymore.”
“He started controlling me.”
“She told me who I could see.”
“He started to isolate me from family and friends.”
“He would flirt with other women.”
“She spent all of her time on the internet doing Lord knows what.”
“He never listens to me.”
“He became abusive.”
“The sex was amazing at first but then it just stopped.”
“He was so loving and attentive in bed but then he started suggesting threesomes and kinky stuff which I didn’t like.”
“He started to make decisions for me.”
“She would lose her temper over the smallest thing.”
“He would disappear for days on end and I was sick with worry.”
“He would not speak to me for several days even though I had done nothing wrong.”
“He started hitting me. He said sorry afterwards and seemed remorseful for what he had done, blaming it on seeing his dad beat him mum when he was young.”
“He doesn’t like anything I do any more, he puts me down.”
“Its like living with Jekyll and Hyde.”
“He just never contacted me again. I still don’t know what has happened.”
“He told me he couldn’t be with me anymore as he needed time to himself and then two days later I see him post about a new girlfriend on social media.”
“He was unfaithful to me repeatedly.”
“I still miss her after everything she has done.”
“I am financially ruined, stressed but I still love him.”
“Why can’t it be like it was in the beginning?”
“I want him back.”
I should imagine that all of you will be nodding at these comments for two reasons. First of all, you remember saying them yourself or something similar. Secondly, you now realise what was actually behind these behaviours. People like me.
Over and over again I saw questions and tales which all had the common theme of ‘Brilliant start, he became someone else, dumped me, I was heartbroken.’ Hundreds upon hundreds of these stories, these tales of misery and woe. A litany of despondency and confusion that has been piled up in the inboxes of the relationship advisors and gurus. I scrolled through them all, reading the replies, the advice and the suggestions. I read the analysis, I digested the observations and spent some considerable time doing so. What did I see?
Not one person raised the possibility that the person seeking advice had become involved with a narcissist. Not one.
Many of these blogs and relationship advice sites were clearly popular. Some were established names, linked to lifestyle magazines and newspapers. Many directed you to their services for counselling and relationship tool kits. Many of them trotted out similar comments and platitudes. Too often they read like the first world tribulations of a scene from Sex and the City rather than the abusive, destructive and harmful actions of dangerous narcissists.
Yet not one of them raised the suggestion that a narcissist was involved.
Now, naturally it is not the case that behind every relationship woe there is a narcissist but I know that those of you reading this, with the benefit of the enlightenment you have achieved knows that there is a good chance that problems of this nature as described repeatedly in the problems pages of these sites are something to do with people like my kind. Yet nobody was offering this as a possibility. That shows the scale of how easy it is for us to do what we do and pass undetected. It shows the staggering lack of knowledge about what we do say, think and do and the naivety of so many people, including those who apparently understand relationship dynamics.
Instead, I saw standard and repeated responses such as:-
“He is clearly a commitment phobe.”
No, he doesn’t want to spend time with you because he is devaluing you and is actually seducing someone else at the current time.
“You have outgrown each other.”
No, you never grew together to begin with because it was all predicated on an illusion and his lack of interest now is symptomatic of his interest being elsewhere.
“He may just be tired or stressed from working hard to support you and your children.”
Yes or he might be a narcissist who uses his rage to intimidate and control you.
“You may have unrealistic expectations about the relationship.”
Damn right you do and we all know why that has happened don’t we?
“You need him to take responsibility for his actions. He cannot keep blaming you for everything.”
Good luck with that one.
“He just might not be into you.”
Half-right I suppose, he just isn’t in to you fuel anymore, he is in to somebody else’s.
“He might be bored with life and not you. Try harder to interest him.”
Again, good luck with that one.
“Relationships require hard work. Don’t give up. Keep working at it and you can overcome the problems together.”
You have just been told to sign your own death warrant there.
“Some people have anger issues but that can managed with understanding and therapy.”
Or they have fury which ignites at the slightest provocation and always will.
“Being hurt is an inevitable part of a relationship.”
It is if you get ensnared by my kind.
I am not suggesting that every problem in a relationship is as a consequence of the other party being a narcissist, that is unrealistic. However, the number of times I read about what was clearly the narcissistic dynamic of seduction, devaluation and discard was significant. The monumental amount of times that I recognised narcissistic manipulations – rage attacks, silent treatments, triangulation, intimidation, bullying, gas lighting and so forth – in so many posts did not surprised me but they were not picked up on. Many times these manipulations were not isolated events. There were repeated occasions and also differing types of the manipulations which when combined and repeated point in one direction.
The advice and platitudes that were provided to people who were clearly, not just possibly, but clearly entangled with a narcissist, were way off the mark. The descriptions and answers I have listed above were the ones which were provided to people and at best this would mean the person would remain clueless and stuck with no appropriate solution and at worst they were providing advice which would harm the individual who had sought the advice.
I was not surprised by this erroneous advice. I was not amazed by this omission of our kind from the explanations. I was not taken aback by the scale of people complaining about what was clearly narcissistic abuse but not being told as such.
This is why we are able to do what we do.
This is why we are able to move amongst people, ensnare fresh victims and maintain our veneer of respectability.
This is why what we do is passed off as something else. Euphemised, diluted, lessened and made to seem like a standard relationship hiccup.
This is why ignorance is so harmful.
This is why we remain so effective.
This is why we remain so dangerous.
47 thoughts on “No Good Advice”
what a post! these are wise words right here
Nowadays when a narcissist comes to me complaining about another narcissist i will give him,or her, a lecture in narcissism,just to abuse the narcissist in front of me.Their inherent suspicion makes them feel spoken to. When a healthy person comes to me,I’ll rather talk about the narcissist behavior then trying to lecture them in narcissism. I’ll try to explain them that they shouldn’t let anyone treat them like that. I’ll ask them “Would you do this or that to another person? No? Then don’t let anyone treat you like that,avoid this behavior like the plague!” When they come back and really want to know more I’ll show them this site, because it all became too much of a energy sucker to me. It also,often, felt that i did more harm then good.What i’m trying to say is that when people start to understand the subject it does put their world a little upside down.
“When they come back and really want to know more I’ll show them this site, because it all became too much of a energy sucker to me. It also,often, felt that i did more harm then good.What i’m trying to say is that when people start to understand the subject it does put their world a little upside down.”
This is very astute. Some people really have to come to the realization, on their own, that what they’re experiencing is a problem. Otherwise it’s a bit like talking to a wall. If they want a solution, they will be back for more information – or if they are self-sufficient enough, they’ll search here and find the answers for themselves.
Hi WhoCares, Thinking back,when i first found this site i also needed a few months before i came back,a few months lost i later realized.
It does sometimes take a bit, or a couple revisits, for the learning to take hold.
^That’s one of the benefits of this website, is it clears up some things about other people too (not just who you end up here over). I have one person in my life in particular, who I now realize is probably a narc too (her situation has been going on for *years*, drugs involved, etc). I’ve completely stopped trying to talk sense into her, and have come to the realization that their dynamic will probably go on until one of them dies. How her behavior affects those around her just isn’t a motivating factor for her. It’s just not. The chances of her getting help are probably slim to none. I get that now. And I actually feel a little like that Velvet Underground song, I’m Set Free (haha).
What can you do if you can see that a friend is involved with a narcissist, you have shown them bits of articles from here, etc, and they still won’t listen, and instead attribute the potential narcissist’s behaviour to other factors?
You have to leave them be for the time being and be available if they start to realise what is actually happening. Trying to “force” the issue will prove counter productive owing to the level of emotional thinking and the presence of the relevant narcissist.
Ok, thank you. It’s just so frustrating when it’s staring you in the face but the person just won’t listen. I guess we all have to make our own mistakes!
A bit off topic, but i wanted to get your expert opinion…do you think an elderly narcissist would fake the onset of alzheimers/dementia to gain attention and pity from their family? I feel guilty even questioning this, but from what you’ve written about victim narcissists it seems possible. Thanks 🙂
Hi HG…i thought as much thx!
IDK what happened, but there was a glitch that said I tried to post too many times. So, apology if there’s some weirdness on your end.
This is so true. In many cases there is the expectation to remain in a relationship and to make more of an effort instead of being told what is really going on, and that the solution would be to leave it as is and get out as soon as possible.
I so agree DI. I do feel for the advisors too though. They almost never ever advise somebody to leave the relationship, because they are afraid to ruin the chance of improvement, for a couple. You don’t want to be the bad guy who made someone lonely. Plus the magazine they work for as a columnist wants to look “positive” in the overall mood.
It’s a tricky one indeed,
resulting in that most relationship advisors are not doing their job.
Kinda similar imo to a dcfs worker who sees the abuse of a child but is reluctant to remove the child from the parent after numerous calls to the home even… and then comes a story in the local paper that it becomes too late because the abuse has severely crippled the child physically/mentally, or even results in death to the innocent child.
An abusive relationship should not continue plain & simple. The victim should have the option to leave a narcissist, not try-try again.
I think going to couples counselling is therefore most often not a good idea. (for the NPD reason)
So illuminating..thank you for this enlightenment..the world needs this..narcissistic abuse is widespread
You are welcome.
Brilliant, brilliant blog post! I suspect there are many hundreds of thousands in the world who could benefit from your wisdom.
Thank you. The number goes into millions.
I believe the ones that are giving the advice are ignorant to the fact, maybe never experienced being with a narc or narcissists themselves. I’ve heard some of those saying in real life to others ; I was amazed by the advice given..However, I know now. It’s sad how people will convince you not to leave a horrible relationship when you know how detrimental it is to stay..I’m sharing your blog and article to everybody I know who is going through an unexplainable draining relationship.I know they will get the correct answers they are seeking from you,H.G. (I did)
And then there are those that do give advice relating to narcissism . . . unfortunately, they often interrupt when I’m trying to listen to HG’s videos on YouTube.
All of the sudden it’ s Dr. Ramani, almost every time. She’s so full of utter crap.
We are in agreement, Lisk.
That one was the first one I watched… She did convince me of my suspicions that I had a narcissist. However, her advice didn’t quite fit here & there for some reason. Then I saw your videos sir. Whoa, it was as if you had a front seat chair into my relationship. Every one of the difficulties was something you talked about. Can I ask, why is she off? Too clinical or something? Not really at the heart of the matter as you are because you are one?
Gets many aspects wrong and anybody who suggests you can “fluff” the narcissist, well, come on!
“fluff” the narcissist…… laughing….. hilarious!
HG- I saw her in a video talking about Obama, and how she thinks you can’t get to the office of President unless you are a narcissist, but she said she thought he has more empathy than most narcissists. And I thought to myself- ha! That’s where the “master manipulator” part comes in. Greaters really are so good at this; the empathy seems so genuine and real.
Is Ramani a narc or empath, HG?
Okay, I tried her, first just 3i5h audio, then looking at her facial expressions. What she said made very little impression, but how she said smelled Mid-ranger to me. Still working on the different levels, but probably not lower-MR; that would better describe Sapper or Snapper wotsit, who has just enough filter to realize a facade is needed, but is unable to.supply a very good one. So Upper or Middle. Going to.do more re-reading here to get a handle on which.
Obviously, I could be wrong about any of the above, but it’s good exercise to look for the behaviors HG has described and see if there is indeed a pattern, as opposed to one or two narcy traits.
Do I want to watch this for comparison’s sake, or is going to be like SV and that flashy used-car shill where it’s annoying, but not enough to be interesting?
Idk, Violetta, R seems very harsh to me. Not a tone victims of narcissistic abuse need, in my experience . HG might agree she is… unaware of that.
Violetta- if you mean Dr. Ramani, I don’t think she comes across like that. She comes across to me as sound and logical. But after spending time studying here, you can spot when she misses the mark when you watch her videos.
Yes, she misses the mark I agree. While our HG tells it like it is with a distinct awareness of who he is telling it to!
If these advisors only knew…
that instead, life is more like a Pacman game in this regard.
Around every sixth individual acts like a machine. (A manipulator)
Cannot be near those. And it’s not their fault either.
The truth did set me free. Thank you, HG.
It’s like money, you study the real thing enough, counterfeits jump out at you.
True, and sometimes it is – who?- SV that comes next 🤢
While I am in the Ultra channel….
I don’t understand how that is even possible… but I do not like that!
If I would be sure that doesn’t happen when you start paying in YouTube, I would do so.
Also, in the events of that happening, (Ramani popping up in a video of The Ultra) I saw a video of that woman Ramani, who was doing a lecture concerning narcissism in an event of Joe Polish. I doesn’t get crazier…
Joe Polish, who is THE example of a narcissist!! Of course an unaware narcissist. Yes I watched that video which lasts more than an hour just because I was interested to see Joe Polish reacting.
I wanted to see an unaware narcissist react in a lecture about narcissism.
But it was too much a waste of my time, after 10 minutes in I was thinking: what the f*** are you watching, just go back to the Ultra channel and enjoy some Ashley and Ian, which I did!
*it doesn’t get crazier, not I!
Hi Z, “But it was too much a waste of my time, after 10 minutes in I was thinking: what the f*** are you watching, just go back to the Ultra channel and enjoy some Ashley and Ian, which I did!” – what you say about Joe P, I felt similar in relation to a video by The Crappy Childhood Fairy – I only lasted just over 8 minutes of that…… I agree, the Ashleigh & Ian series by HG are really good.
She was one of the people who I used to listen to before I found this website. I remember her saying in one of her videos how she would sometimes get narcissists coming into her office telling her they didn’t want to be that way anymore and that they wanted help. I think perhaps those were people who were raised poorly, and were pushed to be a certain way in their home environment or culture, but from what I’ve learned here, I don’t think those people are narcissists.
I’m reminded of this video from a few years ago. At first glance, knowing his behaviors, one might might peg this guy as a lesser. But his willingness to change and having remorse for his past behaviors, makes me think that maybe he grew up a certain way, surrounded by certain types of people, and just didn’t know better:
People need to be informed so they stop giving out this erroneous advice. And some of the worst ones are the relationship advisors. But for those close to us, once they know the truth, you have to hope they would be fearless in conveying their observations and concerns. My daughter was and she is the main reason I’m not with the summer narc, she cared enough about me to be honest. I’ll never be able to thank her enough.
AV I am responding here because all the other posts are too unwieldy due to some many comments. Mom is a majority Super Carrier, but missing some schools and cadres.
Am I surprised? Absolutely not. I won’t say more following the kerfuffle and chastisement.
Now I need to persuade my dad to do it.
[Although, I thought posting of our comments was agreement by conduct, I’m asking written permission for this to be posted. Thank you.]
Oh, thank you for sharing! That’s super (no pun intended) exciting (I say that’s super exciting a lot:))! I bet she is delightful! The same as our very own delightful Leela! You two will probably have fun discussing how different things manifest. I’ve thought on several occasions “I should talk to mom about…(something narcissist/empath related) but, she would never get it. Good luck with your dad! I’m trying to talk some of my kids into it too, I’ve even offered to pay if they’re willing, it would help them understand themselves better, as we know. But how to sell the value? Not sure yet. Thanks again, I was wondering. Thanks also to HG, for letting it through!
Excellent article HG. Pure class. Thank you HG.