Emotional Thinking : Tenacity



You do not give up easily do you? We are pleased that this is the case. You try to resurrect what we once had. You will look to resuscitate our relationship. You want to breathe new life into you and me. You want to salvage what you can from the wreckage and build something anew. You will not let the life slip from what we have, you will not step out of the tangled and twisted remains and walk away. No, you try. You try to make it work, you try to see what can be done, you try to sort things out. You try to make everything right again, you try to make us happy, you try to please us, how you try to please us. You try to fix us, you try to banish these demons which plague us, you try to shed light and joy. You try when everything seems lost, you try when all seems pointless and you try despite everything else suggesting that what we are is a lost cause. You try because you believe in hope.

But what is this hope that has you trying on a superhuman scale, which has you wiping away the tears, picking yourself up, dusting yourself down and standing up once more to try to do the right thing? If you were not with our kind but someone normal and the relationship was foundering would you try as you do with us? Of course you would try and steer the good ship towards calmer waters but you would not try to the same extent as you do with us. Where two people find they no longer have anything in common, they may be content to leave matters as they are and drift along in neutrality. It is not heady and wonderful but neither is it awful. Is beige such a terrible place to be? There is security, the children have grown up and you have your separate interests. There is no hatred, far from it, but neither is there passion any longer, but something in the middle. This is deemed as acceptable and you are happy to trundle along in this manner. You do not try to rekindle those early days of your honeymoon period. In other instances, this mediocrity is found to be stifling. If you hear another gardening anecdote or incident at the bowling club, you will go spare. You want to travel and experience new things. Your other half is more interested in the home brew and the latest episode on television. There is no hatred, there is no passion but this time the middle is deemed suffocating and unacceptable. You do not try to rekindle what you once had but instead decide you want something else. You move on to something else, be it a single life with new pursuits or finding a new person who shares your interests. The separation is amicable, fair-minded and there is no turbulence. The relationship ran its course and you saw no reason to try to make it anything different.

Yet with us it is so different isn’t it? You try your absolute best to get things back on track, you try until you are shattered and exhausted, bewildered and confused. How can you not achieve what we once had again? Why is it so elusive? Yet you do not give up. You keep on trying. Again and again.

Such is the intoxicating power of the golden period, such is the addiction of this utterly falsified state of affairs, such is the massive attraction of that seemingly perfect love, you try your damnedest to resurrect it. Sometimes there is a glimmer of a return or even a brief sortie to that promised land once again and you know that your repeated trying has succeeded. It never lasts. It never stays. Still, you exhibit that indefatigable spirit as you try once more, looking to rekindle that special love we once had.

You even begin to sacrifice pieces of yourself in order to try to bring it back. You try to guess what we want all the time. You walk on those eggshells in order to avoid disrupting the fragile peace. You agree to do things you would never have countenanced once upon a time but hey, it is worth trying isn’t it? You decide to spend more time with us, sacrificing your relationships with your friends and with your family, but you have to try don’t you? You cannot be said to have not tried to make this work and if you had it once then surely you can get it again can’t you? You submit to more and more of our demands, demeaning yourself, degrading yourself and suffering our repeated denigrations but you convince yourself that this is all worth doing because you are trying to achieve a greater aim. You have hope that you will succeed and bring back that elusive golden period. You forgo invitations to events because you know it will displease us. You do not invite people to the house to avoid causing a disruption to the evening, since we want peace and quiet. You try not to say anything when we return late from who knows where. You try to remain silent when we spend hours staring into the screen on our laptops, tapping away, our minds somewhere else. You retreat, back-off and compromise, giving away more and more of yourself and your life as you try to succeed.

Thus here is the awful warped nature of being ensnared by us. In a normal relationship you may not try to the same extent because the excitement and passion was not as it was with us. Yet, this relationship is one where trying will bring about success. Yes, you won’t establish that paradise that exists when we seduce you, but it never actually existed to begin with. It is a fiction. However, trying to succeed with someone normal and healthy is entirely achievable. You will not, by contrast, ever succeed with us. You can try over and over and over again but for all this effort and endeavour you will not get what you want. What we once granted you will only ever be given again in small doses and then only as part of this continuing manipulation so that you remain in our grip so we can gather fuel until we throw you aside. No matter how determined you are, no matter how great your resolve, no matter the fact that you put every breath, every ounce of effort in to trying to make things work between you and us so everything is golden, it will never ever work. It cannot because you cannot control the golden period. Only we can and we choose who is granted it and when in accordance with our need for control and fuel.

Try to understand that.

The Link to Emotional Thinking

The Addiction : How To Tackle Emotional Thinking

22 thoughts on “Emotional Thinking : Tenacity

  1. Another Cat says:

    This article has always been a trigger for me.

    Just the other day I had a similar one, since knowing what I know from HG’s works.

    There is a nice mentalist in my country with books, tv shows, often a guests on Goodmorning [my country] & youtube channel.

    I was watching one of his clips (advice on how to communicate, make ppl listen, to like you, remember you, and where you should listen better, etc)

    The mentalist gave examples of gestures ppl make when they are elsewhere in thoughts. One is looking up at the ceiling.

    ” THEN” he explained “you know he is gone and you need to work to catch his attention again! 🙂”


    This triggered me so. How about “Stop caring about ppl like that?” was my immediate thought, and I thought of all the tenacity I have given to narcissists, sometimes for years. Talking to walls for a long time.

    1. Asp Emp says:

      AC, I liked your words “talking to walls for a long time” – it was like that for me too. Yet the tarmac-scraping Lesser I knew more or less said “It’s like talking to a wall” (let’s face it, he was “talking to himself” if a narcissist ‘mirrors’ us……laughing).

  2. Alexissmith2016 says:

    It’s really interesting reading this again. With most things I don’t give up easily but when an intimate relationship was not right I absolutely would and quickly. Other things not so at all including non intimate, not in the slightest.

    Now I weigh things up far more, think about everything logically. I don’t waste my energy on anything at all which will not be fruitful in the end. Thanks HG. Logic, logic, logic

  3. lickemtomorrow says:

    I’m ‘triggered’ by tenacity being referred to as emotional thinking.

    What’s that about?

    1. Asp Emp says:

      LET, maybe it something we ‘learned’ through our addiction to narcissism so it became part of our ‘self-defense’ in a way? It is only by understanding our own ET within ourselves (along with our individual experiences) we can learn to understand where we get our ‘tenacity’ from, why we do it and what it is. In my view, it depends how we manage our ‘tenacity’ and how we ‘direct’ it. Obvs, it goes without saying, we should ‘direct’ it towards those who deserve our support ie other victims of abuse because we understand how it feels to be in that position. Also in my view, our ‘tenacity’ should be viewed as a strength within ourselves (unless our ET is ‘skewed’ then it is considered a weakness?).

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        Thank you for your response, AspEmp <3

        It makes a lot of sense. I feel like I've had to be tenacious most of my life and it is part of a survival technique. To relegate it to the discussion around emotional thinking makes it seem as though it wasn't a life saving mechanism, but just a glitch in the overall scheme of things.

        I know that is not what HG is saying, and your explanation provides the further understanding I probably need. That it is a strength, but with emotional thinking can be skewed and potentially become a weakness. Tenacity itself is not a form of emotional thinking.

        I don't normally get hung up on HGs categories here, but for some reason this one caught my eye and triggered a response. Classic case of emotional thinking that I couldn't move past that in this instance to get to the deeper meaning.

        Appreciate your input as always 🙂

        1. Asp Emp says:

          LET, “a survival technique” is a really good way of putting it. That is something we, as empaths and also those that are narcissists do – ‘form’ survival techniques. The ‘self-defense’ within people, as it’s instinctual, more than cognitive when it comes humans, then again, there are other animals that do it. So it is purely a ‘natural’ and evolutional occurrence.

          Yes, HG is not necessarily saying as such in this particular article but I think that is one of his ‘aims’ – to encourage us to think laterally as long as the direction of the thinking process has the same ‘aim’ – to learn about looking at things differently (perceptions).

          Glad to have given you some ‘aha’ on this one. Thank you, LET and you are welcome 🙂

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Many people would pride themselves on their sense of tenacity and never even imagine it to be any kind of a weakness. It would automatically be seen as a strength.
            To get a different perspective on it in relation to narcissism and the narcissist is gold. Because the narcissist can utilize our tenacity for their own purposes. We really need to be able to step outside of our situations sometimes in order to see them more clearly and dispassionately. To decide if they are worth our time and trouble, and if we are actually getting what we need out of them. Because as much as we want to hold onto some things they end up being detrimental to us. Definitely an ‘aha’ moment, AspEmp, which you have helped facilitate 🙂 Thank you again. I am tenacious as they come, so now I can see how that can be used against me. And more pure gold from HG <3

          2. Asp Emp says:

            LET, RE: “We really need to be able to step outside of our situations sometimes in order to see them more clearly and dispassionately. To decide if they are worth our time and trouble, and if we are actually getting what we need out of them” – exactly. We can only do this when we understand what ET / LT is.

            I found part of a comment I wrote in ‘See-Saw’ (aptly has the word ‘see’!)… “It took some time to actually process that HG’s articles are also ‘designed’ (in my view) to encourage people like us to use our own logical thinking and laterally look at what he is saying – maybe we all look at it ‘inside the box’ (before we start to unravel our ET / LT “mess”) before we learn to look at it from ‘outside the box’ (when ET reduced & LT improved)” – so there may be times when we, ourselves, need to “label” things in boxes within our own minds?

            At least we can show that we can be flexible with our thinking, when we get to the point of understanding our minds better. Good to chat with you on this, LET, thank you x

      2. A Victor says:

        Asp Emp, yes, like if we can just tenaciously keep “this” together, we are successful, well functioning people with successful, well-functioning relationships, in our own mind and also to everyone else, in our own mind. There, for me, is some of the incentive, maybe a breakthrough on dealing with the addiction even. Why do I “need” a “successful, well functioning” relationship in the first place? Am I not enough? Logically, of course I am. Get into ET though and that goes right out the window. This is where more reprogramming must happen, I need to not be tenacious about a relationship but instead be truly, independently and tenaciously successful on my own, recognizing that sometimes for that to happen I will need to let relationships go and that’s okay. In a healthy relationship, tenacity is okay, I believe, but it has to be in a healthy relationship or it can be abused.

        1. Asp Emp says:

          AV, you will know when your ET is reduced, not ‘compressed’ (pushed down, rather than logically re-processing how you feel about your past and present). TBH I think you still (maybe) in some way, feel ‘lost’ because you were in a long relationship that you have to ‘re-approach’ from a different mindset. Hence your thinking a lot about being in a relationship – you have now recognised this in some way within yourself by your words “need to let relationships go”. Finding ‘yourself’ will be a lot easier when you start thinking like that. It also can help approaching your life in a more relaxed manner. Just enjoy your learning, time with your family and as TS said to you, something like ‘it will find you when you least expect it’. 🙂

          1. A Victor says:

            Yes, all of that and working on building a life so that if something ever comes along I have stuff to occupy me and don’t just glom on to it just for fun or finding to do our because it’s novel. Yes, i think you are correct. Back to reprogramming . 😏😳😃💕

          2. A Victor says:

            PS Asp Emp, 3 things i have figured out, I want a relationship to prove to myself that I can have a successful one. I want it soon because I am getting older and to prove it’s successful it will need some years. And I want a relationship because I have never had a healthy one. Ha, none of these are the right reasons! But now that I have realized that I think this way, I can change it! With your advice above and HG’s advice about getting a life etc. Hope I am not repeating something we’ve already discussed.

          3. Asp Emp says:

            AV, you have ‘answered’ your own “questions” as why you want a relationship. Maybe that is an indication that your ET is still ‘raised’ on that alone. Maybe your ET is ok in some aspects (other ‘areas’)? I don’t think it matters whether it is ‘repeated’ because the more it is ‘repeated’ to yourself more than anyone else, the more it would get ‘digested’ in the mind. 🙂

          4. A Victor says:

            Asp Emp, you are correct, I answered my own question. Now it’s a matter of coming to terms with the new thinking, the mind-set of not needing a relationship. Thank you for helping me sort through this.

    2. JB says:

      LET, I guess the emotional thinking is when you are so keen to hang in there and work at things that you aren’t able to look at things in a more detached, cold, logical way and see that it’s fruitless to keep on banging your head against a brick wall?

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        JB, you are right. I would have prided myself on my tenacity in the past, but I guess that also applies to my decision to leave the narcissist. So I can see how it can be both a strength and a weakness. The weakness being associated with those fruitless attempts which you mention, and the inability to see we are only hurting ourselves. Banging your head against a brick wall is a good description. That will always be the case with the narcissist, sadly. No matter how hard we try, how long we wait, what sacrifices we make, the outcome will always be the same. I never thought about how my tenacity could work against me, but this is good advice for the ever hopeful empath. Logic is definitely where it’s at on this one.

        1. JB says:

          LET, I always saw my tenacity as a strength, too. But the more I read here, the more I see it can be turned on its head and seen as a weakness in respect of our behaviour towards narcissists. Logic all the way! 🙂 xx

    3. A Victor says:

      Hi LET, for me it’s that had I been able to admit to myself, see it for what it was in all it’s horrific reality, when my ex was devaluing me, putting me on a shelf prior to the marriage etc, had I been able to put aside all the lies my ET was feeding me, I would have gotten out of that relationship long before the 23 years I tenaciously hung in there for. While there is certainly a time and place for tenacity, that relationship was not it.

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        AV, I think that’s the kind of tenacity HG is speaking about. The misdirected kind, which the narcissist will instinctively encourage in us for their own purposes. It’s the kind of ‘strength’ we don’t need. Even though by all appearances when emotional thinking is high it is the greatest strength on earth. We wouldn’t hang in there if we didn’t think it was the right thing to do. If we knew about narcissism from the start who knows how we could have applied our tenacious natures differently? It’s a crap shoot in so many ways. But not anymore <3

        1. A Victor says:

          LET, that is how the article reads to me, misdirected tenacity. Yes, it is good that we know now! 🙂

  4. SParham says:

    Emotional thinking is not easy for me to turn off. It’s certainly turned down for various instances that I could easily find myself in a war zone. It’s because of daily study of HG’ work. It’s like taking a funny and highly entertaining course in makes sense psychology. It goes beyond “you’re so great HG”. It’s more like you’ve figured out the narcissist. Everything is right here. Mic drop for real.

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