I Second That Emotion



The emotional spectrum afforded to my kind is limited. The bulk of the positive emotions that you experience have either been stripped away or moulded into one all-pervasive sensation and that is of power. Whereas you might experience joy, elation, happiness and delight, we feel power. That surging sensation which courses through us as a consequence of the receipt of fuel, be it positive or negative. Secure a promotion? I feel powerful. My football team wins? I feel powerful. I seduce a new victim? I feel powerful. I experience amusement, indeed, I have an excellent sense of humour but if I make you laugh through my sense of humour I feel a sense of power once again.

I do not feel sadness. I have, for the sake of gathering fuel, sat through numerous films which are described as tear-jerkers and entertained myself as I have alternated between watching the film and the reaction of the person, invariably an intimate partner, as their expression alters to one of compassion, sympathy and then the tears to begin to flow. I have watched the same film yet I feel nothing. I recognise that the scenes played out by the relevant actors are ones which would be labelled as moving, sad and upsetting, but I feel nothing. When I shift my gaze to the sobbing intimate partner besides me, I begin to feel something. I feel contempt for the weakness exhibited by becoming upset. Not only the fact that these tears flow at all but because they have been generated by acting. How readily people fall prey to what is acting, but I am thankful for that, because if they did not, my existence would be far more difficult. I experience a degree of amusement, because someone is moved by something which is not even real. At least when the tears fall because a pet has been run over in the street, or because a relative has exhaled their last breath on this earth, there is a genuine event which causes grief. Yet, it is always in others. You could flash a montage of images, snippets of footage which encapsulate what people would regard as tear-inducing responses, be they grief or joy and I would remain unmoved. It means nothing to me. The capacity to feel sadness, grief, woe and misery have been removed. I knew them once. I can vaguely remember, or at least I think I can remember, being sad. I do not know what the feeling is but I recall the image from the depths of my memory.

I do not know guilt. Remorse is a stranger to me. I feel no regret nor penitence. Compassion has never been available to me. As for empathy, I do not feel that either. I am, because of my heightened abilities and intelligence, able to understand how people must feel. I have spent many years watching and observing the way that people react to certain situations. I understand when happiness is expressed, I know when regret should be exhibited, I recognise when sadness should make an appearance but I do not feel any of them. If I see you in pain, I know I should demonstrate a concerned expression for you and ask how you are. That is the accepted societal expectation. During my seduction of you, I will indeed adopt that mask of concern and compassion in order to con you into thinking that I am a caring and warm person. I can don the mask which places my facial expression in the correct places. I am able to adopt the appropriate tone of voice and place my hands on you in the gentle manner which is associated with expressing concern for somebody yet despite all these learned expressions, words and gestures I feel no concern for you. I do not feel sorry for you, I do not share your pain, I am not worried about you. I know however that if I am to bind you to me and to extract fuel from you, through your expression of thanks and your gratitude for my apparent care of you, I am obligated to place the mask of compassion on. Of course, as such time as your devaluation commences, I see no need for the pretence and indeed my lack of compassion provides its own reward as your pain is increased by my dismissive attitude, refusal to help and contemptuous sneer.

The Lesser of our kind often do not even know what mask should be adopted and during the seduction stage rather than clumsily grope for an appropriate mask, they will prefer to vacate themselves from the situation, conjuring up some excuse as to why they cannot stay and help. The Mid-Range and the Greater of our kind understand that certain responses are preferred by you and therefore the masks will be brought forth and worn, but only in order to achieve what we want. If the situation dictates that our interests are better served without donning a mask, then that is what will happen.

People often make the mistake of assuming that we are totally devoid of emotion. That is wrong. Yes, there are many emotions, as I have explained above, which we do not possess, but we are not empty of all emotion. I know only too well the emotions of hate, malice, frustration, annoyance, irritation, shame, envy, fury and jealousy. Why am I afforded these emotions and not others? In my discussions with the good doctors and my own consideration of these matters it is evident that in my evolution to what I am, it is necessary for me to have these emotions because they are the catalyst for causing me to behave in the way that I do so I will drive forward, that I will be brilliant, charming and seductive, that I will be outrageous, grandiose, belligerent and destructive, because ultimately all of those things must exist in order to compel me to gather the precious fuel.

If I did not become envious of those in my social circle praising a friend, I would not feel compelled to draw the spotlight of attention on to me by upstaging that person, telling a glorious anecdote or causing a scene. If I was not jealous I would not take those steps and thus I would be denied fuel.

If I was not envious of my neighbour’s new sports car, I would not be driven to throw battery acid over it during the night and then watch from the window his horrified reaction on seeing the damage the next day. Again, I would gain no fuel.

If I felt no hatred towards you for failing me, I would feel no need to keep doling out the various prejudicial and abusive manipulations. Thus you would not be hurt, upset or frightened and I would gain no fuel.

If I felt no malice towards the world and its treatment of me, I would not be compelled to seduce people to provide me with that shield from the world and its outrageous injustices.

It is these negative emotions, the Dark Motivators, which cause me to always be driving forward. The absence of The Hindrances – remorse, guilt, empathy, regret etc. – means that I am not stopped or slowed in my ever onward march. I am not distracted from the sole and necessary task of gathering fuel.

This approach does not mean that my life is less fuel. I am still able to appreciate much that is beautiful, engaging, fascinating and scintillating in this world. I can appreciate the grandeur of centuries old architecture. I can appreciate the magnificence of a musical composition. I can appreciate the athletic prowess of a sprinter to win a gold medal at the Olympics. I can appreciate the taste of excellent cuisine. I can do this because of my higher function above others of my kind who have little or no interest in such spectacular elements of the world. Whereas you will enjoy the piece of music in that moment, I am using the experience of that piece of music to further my aims.

  1. I may tell you how brilliant a song is because I know that you will be pleased with me for telling you this and thus you will smile, appreciate me and give me fuel;
  2. I may use the experience of having heard the philharmonic orchestra play Scheherazade in order to boast about it to other people and draw fuel from their admiring and/or jealous responses;
  3. I may use the experience of knowing all of Depeche Mode’s music to be appealing to a target because she likes that music too, or just to demonstrate that I have a detailed interest in a particular band so that I am of greater interest to her;
  4. I may use the experience of having heard a particular song in concert to trump your tale about having heard a different one played in order to assert my superiority over you and draw a reaction from you and others.

You experience certain emotions when engaging in certain experiences. I experience a sense of power in that moment or if I do not, I store the experience to use it feel powerful when it is allied with something else, usually an appliance.

My kind mimic emotions because we are unable to feel so many of them. Thus we will second the emotions that we have seen you exhibit and make it seem as if we feel them. I know many of your emotions; I do not feel them. We second your emotions because we are reliant on your emotions to exist. It is something of a paradox that we have never cultivated certain emotions and/or we have been stripped of them in order to make us lean, effective and efficient, yet we also must receive those emotions from you in order to sustain us. We do not want to see your joy directed towards us for something we have said and done because we will then feel joy, but rather for the power that is unleashed as a consequence of your joy providing us with positive fuel.

I am filled with hatred, jealousy, envy, fury and malice but that does not mean there is no room to accept your hatred towards me, indeed I welcome it. As a consequence of my manipulation of you, I want you to stand there screaming your hatred at me until your voice is hoarse and your eyes stand out from your face. The fuel I gain from such an intense expression of negative emotion is immense. Once again I appropriate your emotion and use it for my own purposes. Whether I take it in order to allow me to mimic and copy it, to make me appear more acceptable to other people or whether I seize your emotion as fuel in order to power me and allow my existence to continue, I will always find a use for your emotional output. I put to good use your emotions.

I am the ultimate recycler.

65 thoughts on “I Second That Emotion

  1. Joa says:

    Scheherazade … I once had a short period of fascination with the piece 🙂

    When it comes to the classics, during the last devaluation I was listening obsessively: “Asturias” by Isaac Albeniz (mainly the piano version). And when I quieted down, again obsessively: “Gnosienne 1” Erik Satie (piano).

    For me, most of my passions and interests are obsessive, exaggerated 🙂 I’m getting into it, I’m experiencing it.

    Depeche Mode – until I smiled. At the age of 14-16, I listened passionately. I belonged to a subculture. I had 8 cassettes. I loved Dave 😛 Martin a bit too, but the whole room in the posters of the former. Ah, how many erotic scenes with him I made in my imagination 🙂 Interesting, I just remembered a few scenes and he was often a savior in them…

    Great music. I loved that industrial sound. It gave me a sense of power + belonging to a subculture. I like all albums up to Violator. Later he “softened”, and in his long hair he looked terrible (although I like it).

    And then I switched to heavier beats. Much heavier. I needed them.

  2. WiserNow says:

    The more I read and think about the subject of narcissism and personality development in general, the more I see that society’s general beliefs about how to address or ‘change’ a person’s personality or behaviour is focused on adults, whereas I believe it should be focused on the very start of life – from fertilisation through to newborns, infants, children and teens.

    This is where a person’s instincts, behaviours, patterns and beliefs begin. At these stages, the human personality is forming and a person’s brain is the most impressionable and malleable it will ever be.

    When the focus is placed on adults who are not behaving ‘normally’ (according to society’s standards) or who have mental health ‘issues’, the cake is already baked – when it comes to all kinds of personalities.

    To use this cake analogy, it is harder to ‘unbake’ a cake then it is to take a careful and sensitive approach to working with the cake ingredients at the very start while the cake is being made.

    1. Leigh says:

      WN, I agree with this 100%. How do we stop if from happening? I really hope Mr. Tudor addresses this in the future. If we could stop it before it happens, wouldn’t that be wonderful. I would love the tools on how to spot the narcissism when its starting to form and how to stop it in its tracks.

      1. WiserNow says:

        Hi Leigh,

        Since learning about this subject and reading about different aspects in relation to it, I’ve read various articles and watched videos and presentations about things like childhood development, neuroscience in babies and children, and theories about attachment etc. I’m not an expert by any means. I just find it interesting and helpful to read about these things.

        When it comes to ‘stopping narcissism in its tracks’, yes, in many ways, it would be wonderful. It seems to me (and again, I’m no expert) that it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how to do that, and if it can be done at all.

        I think it’s very complicated to know and understand exactly how and what works to ‘steer’ a child’s personality in a particular way and to end up with desired results. The combination of genetics and environment has different aspects and details involved and it’s somewhat of a mystery to figure out what works and why.

        A baby’s brain is impressionable, and the research shows there are things that a baby needs while growing to develop in a healthy way when it comes to emotional and cognitive development. Things such as safe and joyful face-to-face and skin-to-skin contact, lots of ‘serve-and-return’ engagement with primary caregivers, a low-stress, calm and predictable environment for healthy cognitive development, etc. There are other things like secure attachment, positive motivation, routines and predictable emotional involvement, safety from external stressors, etc.

        Then, there are studies that also show that babies benefit from an environment that isn’t ‘too safe’ – so that the baby/child benefits from learning to be self-motivated, problem-solving, resilient and persevering. As long as the overall environment is a safe and comfortable one, then some ‘healthy’ stress is conducive to overall development.

        Then, there is the genetic component, which is a big factor in it all. There are various articles about young children who show ‘callous and unemotional traits’ at a very young age. In studies, some of these kids grow up to be ‘normal’ and others become narcissists or even psychopaths. There are physiological and biological differences – such as resting heart-rates, sensitivity to distress in self and others, lack of fear. There are neural differences or ‘quirks’ in these children when compared with children who do not show those traits.

        The neural differences that can be seen in children who show callous or unemotional traits are based on the child’s emotional responses and the way his or her physiological internal ‘reward system’ works. The research has also shown differences in impulse control or ‘internal brakes’ that stop the child doing certain things.

        There are a whole host of different aspects and from what I have read, the genetic component is a major aspect of it.

        I’m aware this is a very sensitive subject for you and I feel for you because it is your daughter. I don’t wish to alarm you or give you false information, so please know that I’m putting this link here only in case you’re interested. From what you have said, your daughter is not a psychopath, so I’m not providing this as if to say she is. The article is something I came across a while ago and found informative when it comes to this subject in general.

        1. Leigh says:

          Thank you WN. I’m getting better each day. I can’t change it, I can only accept it. I can’t go back and fix the mistakes I made. I can only hope that if and when children are born, I can stop the narcissism in it tracks

  3. Asp Emp says:

    We struggle at the concept of our ‘loved’ ones being diagnosed as narcissists because of our ET and the fact their behaviours appear to be ‘ever-changing’. As a child, we cannot ‘recognise’ these behaviours because it is what we perceive and learn from by being around them (ie parents, even siblings). We assume that we are similar to them because we ‘condition’ ourselves to ‘fit in’ with them !! Only to be forever ‘painted black’ (the black sheep of the family) because we, are not narcissists but empath ACONs, hence our ‘confusion’ that we do not ‘fit in’ simply because we instinctively / subconsciously feel that we are different from them. And, we actually are! We only ‘feel’ good about ourselves when we are ‘painted white’ (LOL, not but still, LOL).

    The clues as to whether a narcissist is in fact a narcissist are found all over HG’s work. Narcspeak being (in my view), a main ‘clue’ – this is their ‘language’. The behaviours, the actions are their ‘culture’ (ie deflecting, blameshifting, manipulations, machinations etc).

    Having said that, I also learned Narcspeak but my own ‘version’ – it could be suggested as ‘Empathspeak’, I had the ability, on many occasions, to use what could be classed as HG’s Empath Grenades ‘language’. Maybe this is an ‘in-built’ part of neurological wiring providing that the DNA is present ie inherited especially from maternal grandmother?

    If the brain has been “designed” prior to birth (because of inherited genetic coding) to lack certain genes that leads the individual to have no cognitive and emotional empathy, then these people will not ‘gain’ these empathies at a later stage in life. As HG suggests, the LOCE leads to the formation of a narcissist (narcissism within the individual). These people will never learn to have empathy if they lack the genetic codes.

    With regard to alexithymia – it is understood to be genetic and is not necessarily ‘developed’ at a later age. With the above condition having irritability / anger as common emotions, it would not be surprising that an individual could be misdiagnosed.

    Ok, I now understand that I did in fact have quite a bit of ‘regressed’ cognitive and emotional ‘memories’ that I was not able to ‘unravel’ without HG’s resources being available. I believe my original diagnosis of Aspergers to remain correct as such because of the way I think is not necessarily ‘governed’ by my emotions. I possibly had ‘avoidance’ (dissociative disorder) as part of my CTPSD. Yet, being an ACON, with deafness and Aspergers – there was much to ‘separate’ and analyse within myself. No-one else could do it because they are not me and they do not possess my mind.

    Anger Management “therapy” would NOT have been the answer.

    In saying the above paragraph, I would say that I actually understand ‘fury’ because I had it. I may not feel it as such any more because I found a way to understand it before I was able to ‘un-feel’ it. I suppose with the fact I had carried this ‘fury’ for most of my life, it can ‘manifest’ itself within me again but I am consciously aware of it ‘flaring’ up but it does not remain and will not get ‘repressed’ again either.

    RE: secondary psychopaths. Hmm. Some characteristics differ from those with primary psychopathy. Maybe all unaware narcissists have secondary psychopathy but because of their narcissism, they can not ‘improve’ through therapy, in fact, they could become ‘trained’ to fine-tune their manipulations through the ‘re-programming’ of their minds, with thanks to the therapy for ‘helping’ them to ‘develop’ these skills further.

    In any case, I would suggest that ‘self-diagnosing’ can lead to misconceptions of oneself, especially when under the influence of emotional thinking that has not yet been ‘explored’ to the sense it needs to be understood because the logical thinking has not yet been ‘explored’ as such. It is more difficult to do so when there are other and underlying (unaware) neurological brain-wirings that has not yet been determined.

    Upon saying all of the above, the medical “professionals” need to have complete and full awareness of the different neurological and understanding the emotional psyche before attaching ‘labels’ to people.

    I will walk away from a medical professional should I sense a narcissist within them and state that I am going to get a second opinion. Such is the right of humans and patients, the like.

    HG, thank you so much for your work. Thank you for your time. Thank you for being you.

    1. Leigh says:

      Asp, did i read this correctly? Are you deaf? I had no idea. Is this the first time you’re mentioning it?

      1. Asp Emp says:

        Hey, Leigh, yeah, I have mentioned it several times on the blog. Maybe you ‘understand’ me a bit better now? 😉

        1. Leigh says:

          Understand is not the right word. I think I always understood you. Now, I have a greater appreciation and admiration for you. You’ve had to overcome obstacles that could have made you a very different person and yet you’re still this compassionate, understanding & empathic human being. Thank you, Asp. You give me hope.

          I apologize for not seeing it sooner. In my defense though, you do comment alot! LOL!

  4. Leigh says:

    “Those suffering from Alexithymia also possess very little, or no empathy. Yet for some who have persisted in specific therapy to form a secure base for unpacking the repressed feelings in a safe environment, they are able to make slow, measurable progress which can be life changing.”

    I don’t know how to feel about this statement. How do we know the difference? How do we know if the toxic person in our life, has a possibility of being fixed? One of my daughters has no empathy. Mr. Tudor has confirmed she’s a narcissist. I would give ANYTHING to change that. If this is accurate, it gives hope that maybe she’s not a narcissist and she suffers from this alexithymia. But how do you figure out the difference?

    1. WiserNow says:


      “How do we know if the toxic person in our life has a possibility of being fixed?”

      That’s a great question. It’s complex when it comes to narcissists and psychopaths.

      In FYC’s comment, this line provides some hope based on evidence: “Yet for some who have persisted in specific therapy to form a secure base for unpacking the repressed feelings in a safe environment, they are able to make slow, measurable progress which can be life changing.”

      In my own reading and research (mainly to help myself and my own relationships) I have come across the topic of ‘secure attachment’ and how to develop it as an adult. As FYC says, a baby’s first 0-12 months are a critical growth phase where emotional neglect or abuse can cause emotional dysregulation and other behavioural issues.

      In my understanding of the elements of ‘secure attachment’, it is how a person forms a ‘secure base’, that is, grounded, emotionally regulated, ‘integrated’ brain functioning.

      Later in life, an adult can learn to have secure attachment or what is called ‘earned secure attachment’. There are a range of ways to do this.

      For an adult to want to learn to form a secure base, the adult would have to recognise that they have an issue and would also have to want to commit themselves to resolving that issue. It takes time and effort, so it would need to be done in a committed and persistent way.

      As narcissists don’t have self-reflection and/or accountability, I imagine the first step of admitting there’s a problem and then the second step of committing to fix that problem would be difficult for a narcissist to do. Then, if these initial steps are acted on, the person would have to want to persevere through the learning process until change occurs.

      Overall, it’s a challenging process for anyone with NPD or psychopathy. The brain is malleable though, so commitment and perseverence would be key to change. Also, I imagine that the ‘therapeutic’ environment would also have to be consistent.

      If a person has primary psychopathy, he/she may not be able to develop empathy and a conscience, however, any consistent effort to form a secure base may still lead to neurological or behavioural changes that would be beneficial overall.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        No narcissist would commit to the process described. Non-narcissists who have other issues may well do so.

        1. Asp Emp says:

          Great comment, HG.

        2. FYC says:

          The research I referenced was not about attachment style nor about establishing a secure base. As stated, it was a book on depression associated with a narcissistic defense. The subject(s) did not seek “help” nor were they “committed” to any process (quite the opposite). What unfolded (as described by the author) was the narcissistic indivudual(s) was able to address their core narcissist trauma wounds that created depression and this induced a greater degree of awareness.

          1. FYC says:

            And if you are referring to my other comment regarding the awareness and understanding of one’s feelings and emotional affect, or the lack thereof, one might argue that those who are considered to have “secondary psychopathy” are likely the subjects with “little” versus “no” empathy–this is a significant distinction. APD psychopaths have no emotional empathy. Given neurological studies on psychopaths, there are clear markers for psychopathy. The notion of secondary psychopathy is focused on the date of onset of psychopathic traits that post date any attachment trauma period.

      2. Leigh says:

        WN, I wish what you were saying was true but in my experiences, they see no need to change. They don’t think they have an issue with attachment. So therapy would never work. The only thing that truly works is not engaging with the narcissist in the first place.

        However, I do like the idea of earned secured attachment for myself. Learning secure attachment would help me alot.

        1. WiserNow says:

          Hi Leigh,
          Believe me, I wish it was true as well. Similarly, I accept that narcissists see no need to change too. They think they are ‘powerful’ and keep on chasing that ‘feeling’ of power by depending on other people’s emotions for fuel.

          Dinosaurs probably thought they had no reason to change too. They probably kept munching on the big trees without any inclination to ponder that a comet fragmented in space causing a collision with Earth. Was that what really happened though? That’s the theory. Will that theory change in the years or decades to come? Who knows.

          Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung probably thought they were at the summit of all human knowledge last century, more than 100 years ago, when they were laboring over their theories that the libido and latent sexual urges were at the source of all human activities.

          Evolution doesn’t stop because one species has declared the word ‘never’.

          1. WiserNow says:

            *that a comet fragmenting in space would cause a collision with Earth.*

          2. Joa says:

            WN, history shows that individual literary epochs (reflecting the social philosophy of a given period) are a constant sinusoid. It can be interpreted in various ways, also as alternating epochs of a narcissistic nature and epochs of an empathic nature.

            We now have the “pleasure” of reaching the height of the narcissistic period.

            Unfortunately, historical climaxes are usually not pleasant for mankind…

    2. FYC says:

      Hi Leigh, Even the “professionals” are challenged to accurately define and diagnose causes of emotional blunting from what I have read. I think the key is in the degree of psychological defense present. In the case of schizophrenia, the defense is total. There is no presence of true self. The false self takes over in full. In the case of NPD, the true self is suppressed but acknowledged at some level (think HG’s creature) and the false self is grand, larger than life to compensate/cope with the perceived vulnerabilities of the true self. If narcissistic, there is not a complete defense, yet enough defensive coping that they may seem NPD at times (see HG’s excellent piece on Understanding Empathy).

      If HG is convinced your daughter is a narcissist, I would trust that. HG, unlike us, has the ability to see things without the clouding of emotions and hopes. One might consider it the ultimate clinical vision. That said, really no one can be “fixed”. The only progress anyone can make is that which they choose to endeavor and persist at in understanding and adapting behavior for growth or for other reasons. This is tricky when it comes to empathy. One can develop degrees of cognitive empathy, but it is very unlikely to develop emotional empathy when it is absent. Even if it were possible, those with a psychological defense would not perceive this necessary or advantageous (cognitively, yes; emotionally, no). Emotional empathy is vastly different than emotional affect. HG is NPD/APD yet demonstrates a vast spectrum of emotional affect–I’m guessing usually for his purpose. He is economical and genuinely brilliant in his application of affect, but this does not mean he feels what he may present. As he has taught us, his emotions are limited to a few. And those resident emotions support a sense of control, or real control, of his environment and those around him.

      I will say I read one interesting book on depression as a side-effect of narcissism, or more accurately, as a side effect of repressed emotions which is common for those who are ACON, whether NPD or not (T.Real). He demonstrates that greater self-awareness is possible and some growth is possible, but no real wholesale change (but impressive work none-the-less). I have not ready any (credible) studies where NPD has been “cured”.

      Perhaps acceptance is greatest gift you can give yourself and your daughter. Accept her in full and prepare yourself for what is instead of what is longed for. Your daughter came by her psychological defense unknowingly to cope with her unique genetic makeup and environment. There is no blame per se. So if you accept her as is it creates less struggle and can give you more peace (as much as is possible). I am an HG verified empath and an ACON. It has taken me quite some time to fully come to peace with my family (I recommend very low contact and HG’s Zero Impact program). I tried to “help” heal my N parent for many years but I don’t think it was good for either one of us. After finding HG and his spot on advice, I began my path of acceptance, growth and peace. I hope you will too.

      1. Leigh says:

        FYC, thank you for your response. Yes, I agree that the only thing I can do is accept it and learn how to deal with it. I can’t go no contact with her or rather, I won’t. I am also a confirmed empath by Mr. Tudor. I’m an ACON also. Although Mr. Tudor has nut confirmed that. I haven’t done detectors on my parents. I didn’t need to. My parents were physically and emotionally abusive and neglectful. I have several of Mr. Tudor’s packages to help me understand and guide me. I have many narcs in my life and I know what they are and I also know they can never be healed and there isn’t any point to try and save them anymore.

      2. Joa says:

        FYC, could you please give the title and authors of the book you are writing about? About depression as a side effect of narcissism. I’m very interested in it.

  5. FYC says:

    This is another area I studied while away to better understand why some people (Ns, APD and even “normals”) have difficulty, or a complete inability, to be aware of or feel or have an understanding about ones feelings and even be perplexed by the feelings of others. Interestingly, even empaths can have a mild form of difficulty in labeling and understanding their own emotions, even though they deeply feel the feelings of others. This is due to the fact that the common demominator for all people who struggle to readily identify and understand feelings is some form of emotional neglect or abuse during critical growth phases between 0-12. Many are effected to a certain degree.

    When severe, this condition is called alexithymia, a psychological term that denotes a person’s deficiency in knowledge and awareness and understanding of emotions of self and other. The one emotion of people who suffer from this condition is irritability/anger. Yet this anger is not simply anger. It is actually a **combined composite of all repressed emotions that remain unexperienced or not recognized or understood** (Web). I found this very interesting.

    Those suffering from Alexithymia also possess very little, or no empathy. Yet for some who have persisted in specific therapy to form a secure base for unpacking the repressed feelings in a safe environment, they are able to make slow, measurable progress which can be life changing. There is even a distinction between primary and secondary psychopathy. Those considered to be hard-wired at birth to be APD (by way of brain structure) would not be able to develop empathy or a conscience. Those who formed a coping strategy to avoid feelings to an extreme (as is defined by traumatic abuse) are argued to be secondary phychopaths and some progress can be made for these individuals. More research is called for to further this argument (Porter).

    “Although many of us may think of ourselves as thinking creatures that feel, biologically we are feeling creatures that think.” -JB Taylor, Ph.D. Neuroscience

    1. Asp Emp says:

      FYC, thank you for sharing your views. I agree on your point about empaths that can have difficulty, may I suggest that it may not always be considered ‘mild’ for some empaths.

      I read about alexithymia some time ago and found it interesting. Whether this can be permanent, it has yet to be determined ie maybe it is not totally understood as yet. However, in my opinion, it could be permanent, within individuals who do not have cognitive and / or emotional empathy, and possibly not just those with narcissism.

      What you reference as ‘secondary psychopathy’ because of the formation of a coping strategy and traumatic abuse is interesting too. I suppose ‘progress’ can be made, in my view, providing it is understood how the abuse is perceived by the individual who experienced it.

      There are other medical conditions that I came across where empathy (or lack of) can appear. Hence my reasoning and questioning on the DSM lists as they stand, because there are occasions where individuals have been issued with “labels” that are incorrect and as a result, could be on the ‘wrong’ road to ‘recovery’ if it is ‘treatable’, or not.

      Anyhow, KTN was right for me. Even if it took so bloody long to find my way to KTN!

      1. FYC says:

        Asp Emp, Secondary Psychopathy is a newer distinction and area of research. Much more research must be completed an analyzed before any reliable treatment for “progress” can be determined. That said, there are notable differences between primary and secondary psychopathy both neurological and behavioral. It will be interesting to see how the subject further develops.

        1. Asp Emp says:

          Thank you, FYC. I did read into the secondary and found it interesting. Should it be ‘determined’ that I had the secondary psychopathy and ‘re-programming’ my way of thinking and also now ‘understanding’ myself better, my own behaviours, my own ‘traumas’ that led to ‘seconadary psychopathy’ – it could not necessarily be argued. At the same time, maybe it will always be a part of me. I suppose it is about ‘managing’ it better – logically and emotionally.

          Thank you for your time in sharing the information in this thread. And, yes, thank you to HG for his time on moderating.

        2. Duchessbea says:

          I too have been looking at this and the differences between primary and secondary psychopathy is astounding. I think there is more overlap between Secondary Psychopathy and Sociopathic tendencies, whereas Primary Psychopathy is a higher level again in relation to neurological and behavioral terms. But very much agree that more research is needed on Secondary Psychopathy.

          1. FYC says:

            Hi Duchessbea, Interesting points. Some argue that sociopaths have a degree of conscience or awareness of “wrong”, yet if this were the case, one might wonder why prison populations are composed of a higher percentage of sociopaths (who classically lack impulse control). While psychopaths operate with more control of impulses and greater intelligence and are suspected to occupy many positions of power in politics and corporations, and are often rarely detected deterred. Thank you for your comment.

    2. A Victor says:

      FYC, you just described me. I have talked about it here, on the blog, and also elsewhere prior to arriving here. Thank you for bringing a name for it, I will check that out and also ways to get “in touch” with my emotions even better. Being here has helped immensely, this has been my secure base, not with specific therapies but a safe environment to unpack. Learning I am an empath was a starting point, more beneficial than probably anything else in regard to this, it gave me hope. Thank you for this comment, it is a relief to know I’m somewhat “normal” in my response to abuse and that that is all it is.

      1. FYC says:

        Hi A Victor, Please refer to my other reply. I have a feeling you may benefit from a book called “Healing Your Lost Inner Child” by Robert Jackman. The title may sound like it’s not a fit, but the content is spot on for anyone who has been influenced by trauma or CPTSD/PTSD and the exercises will help you intellectually and emotionally find healing–and result in your enhanced ability to clearly understand, define and label your emotions. Wishing you all the best.

        1. A Victor says:

          Thank you FYC, I will certainly check that book out!

    3. Truthseeker6157 says:

      Hello FYC. It has been a while, I hope all is well x

      Did you look at automatic thoughts and schemas in your research too? A derivative of CBT is being used to ‘treat’ psychopathy. I thought that was quite interesting.

      CBT didn’t work on me, so I’m cynical due to personal experience. Theoretically, I can understand why CBT would be useful in moderating certain behaviours associated with psychopathy though.

      Asp Emp has also researched Alexithymia.


      1. FYC says:

        Hello Truthseeker, Thank you! Yes, it has been too long and I hope all is well with you.

        By automatic thoughts and schemas, are you referring to the thoughts generated by the default mode network (DMN) of the brain? If yes, I have indeed read about this, and further how it plays out as the internal “judge” or “voice”. The DMN can be regulated thanks to neural plasticity and the practice of mindfulness. To the extent that CBT would create understanding and greater awareness, it seems reasonable that it could be a step towards progress, but I think a lot would depend upon the therapist chosen.

        1. Truthseeker6157 says:

          Hey 🙂

          Yes. I really like the way Jeffrey Young looks at schemas I think his work might be key. Not necessarily in curing narcissism, I believe it’s too invasive. For aware narcissists though I think it’s possible to rethink certain schemas. I also like bits of Gestalt therapy. The idea of the therapist arguing against the negative schema and the patient arguing in line with it as himself, then switching roles so the patient argues against his own schema. Given a narcissist and a psychopath have to win and assert control, I can see how that might be effective.

          I have been researching psychopathy for a time. I’ve looked at ASPD behaviours, schema therapy, CBT, RNR, and there’s another therapy that suggests in order to reach ASPD patients, essentially you have to provide them with something they see as of benefit to them rather than others. It’s in my notes somewhere! So essentially it’s a case of “If I gave you an alternative way of acquiring similar control without causing harm to anyone around you, delivering similar fuel yield, would you do it?” It made me wonder that when Dr E had that conversation with HG where they talk about fuel and HG explained that he couldn’t rely only on the IPPS as a source of positive fuel because she is not with him all day every day, that Dr E might actually have been laying the groundwork for that kind of therapy. Or, I might be overestimating him, some of this research is very recent.

          It’s interesting though. I’ve touched on the neuroscience part, to me that seems to corroborate a diagnosis rather than suggest a form of treatment. I understand the concept of DMN but haven’t looked at that in detail. I will do though now you mention it.

          I totally get that from the perspective of a narcissist or psychopath there is no perceived need to change a pattern of behaviour as it achieves the required result. However if the required result could be achieved via an alternative route, one that causes less hurt to others, I can see certain individuals at least being open to see where that therapy might lead. Similarly, if schema therapy could reduce need for control, or the prevalence of antisocial behaviours in specific areas, therefore improving quality of life for both IPPS and narcissist / psychopath I see no logic in refusing that idea either.

          It’s interesting reading, and there’s a lot to read. There’s also a channel called Mind Science on YouTube. Dr James Fallon gave a presentation called ‘The Psychopath Inside” that’s well worth a listen. He grates a little bit, but it’s interesting listening.

          Good to see you back FYC


          1. FYC says:

            Thank you Truthseeker! It’s good to be back and I really enjoyed your comment. All very interesting. I am familiar with the work and history of James Fallon but have not seen the YouTube video so I’ll check it out.

            My perception of negative versus positive fuel, is that negative fuel is necessary for not only for its enhance potency, but it seems also necessary in accordance to the APD/NPD world view and experience. One cannot look from a view outside the defense and say, “Gee, life is better when every one is happy and feels good, I bet anyone would agree with this perception. I bet we can convince through logic that an APD/NPD can meet their needs through ample positive fuel.” I think this would naturally not work for a few reasons. 1) Defense mechanisms are not based upon logic, but coping from significant emotional trauma at a time when the brain experiences the same as life threatening. 2) As HG has well described in his book Fuel (highly recommended to all readers), negative fuel is far more potent. Why? Because it involves a much greater degree of control and power and significantly greater affect response. 3) The APD/NPD person feels a sense of injustice and marked resentment that they are so superior and set apart, while the rest of us are lacking in superior knowledge, precision of execution, wit, charm, success, perfection, etc. To rectify this imbalance, especially when a source of fuel stops producing at the requisite level, it would seem (in their world view) it is only fitting that the subject should pay a penance (be punished as they often were in their formative years) for their lack of sustaining production of positive fuel (which is impossible to maintain due to the diminishing returns of dopamine produced by positive events). Always important to understand the experience of both sides before recommending something that “seems” a win-win, but likely a win-lose from the APD/NPD perspective.

          2. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hey FYC,

            Thank you for your response. Yes the additional potency of negative fuel is problematic. I suppose it depends on how you look at fuel too. If you looked at it in total units with negative fuel being 20% more potent, then could you up the positive fuel by an equivalent amount to compensate for it?

            Another point is the need for fuel contrast. I think the example given was in relation to the narcissist kicking off at a driver in another car, (negative fuel, tertiary source, low potency, one off high delivery) then getting back into the car and kissing the IPPS in devaluation on the cheek. Her positive fuel then offering a contrast. If contrast plays a part then could negative fuel be resourced from elsewhere in the fuel matrix or from a series of one off tertiary sources?

            Hoover fuel is more potent again then negative fuel. Could hoover fuel substitute negative fuel from the IPPS? How often would a hoover have to take place to compensate? I’m not saying if this is positive or negative in terms of behaviour or benefit to anyone else, rather to see theoretically how a fuel matrix could be used.

            The desire to punish a malfunctioning appliance. If there was a risk that too many punished appliances in the same geographical vicinity could pose a risk to the recruitment of the next IPPS, would that incentivise an aware narcissist to take a less aggressive route? If the IPPS was an asset in terms of career, let’s say Carrie and Boris Johnson, would the residual benefit of keeping Carrie ensnared outweigh the desire for plentiful negative fuel?

            Take the Stepford devaluation for example. The IPPS provides very little negative fuel in that scenario. Where is that negative fuel coming from? Secondary sources. How many tertiary sources would it take to release the same amount?

            Is it the case that different schools of narcissist require different ratios of positive to negative fuel? Probably. Or, is it the situation that serves to dictate a need for negative fuel? If a Prime Minister gets his massive hit of power and control through his day job, does he have less of a need for the additional power and control associated with negative fuel from the IPPS?

            Are the fuel lines within the fuel matrix mutually exclusive, or is it sum total of fuel received that’s most important? Also what is the interplay with character traits and residual benefits? Could the weighting of those influence the need for fuel or specific types of fuel? If one more devaluing act risked the IPPS leaving and taking her multi million pound inheritance with her, would the narcissist be more, less, or equally as likely to commit the devaluing act?

            I understand the various types of fuel, methods of delivery, potency etc. What I’m less sure about is where the Prime Aims sit in relation to each other and how fuel intake can be manipulated through use of the fuel matrix. This obviously relates to aware not unaware narcissists.

            Haha! Just when I think I have no more questions I end up with more questions!


          3. FYC says:

            That’s a lot of questions, TS! The concept of a necessary ratio/formula seems too pre-prescribed, because the assertion of the prime aims is always in the now. Meaning that even when an action is planned in advance, there is thought fuel in the now, followed by more fuel when executing said plans. When well fueled, the need for additional fuel is not as great (though would not likely be turned away if presented). When fuel is at a low it would seem logical that the N would take any measure for immediate refueling. For example, the friendly person that serves the N their morning coffee at the coffee shop, instead of a friendly tiny dollop of fuel, the N may exert a provocation for a more substantial negative fuel dollop.

            In relationships, the N has expectations beyond what any mere human could deliver. There are a few factors that influence this: 1) the rise in neurotransmitters and precipitous decline of the same over time. This is especially true for psychopaths as they require 4x more dopamine than the average individual (D. Zald), owing to the fact that they produce less dopamine naturally. 2) they require far greater stimulus for an adequate dopamine response (T. Wu, J.C. Barns). 3) both parties when “in love” experience “euphoria-inducing chemicals delivered from 12 parts of the brain, including dopamine and adrenaline, that create the same euphoric feeling as cocaine” (Syracuse University study). However, this high production of neurotransmitter is not and cannot be sustained. For most people, the drop naturally gives way to attachment. Yet for Ns and APD individuals, they cannot and do not form attachments. Therefore, when their dopamine is low, they seek alternative methods to obtain a “hit” ie fuel. The person they once loved is now persona non grata, but handy for negative fuel. Why go through the effort of finding a new supply? Might as well get all they can from their “investment” in their supply and do what takes the least effort to obtain the fuel, especially if it ensures a higher jolt for their satisfaction.

            In general, APD and N experience a higher than average feeling of boredom and emptiness. Due to their world view and sense of entitlement, they feel justified to meet their needs as they see fit. If they were told, “You must take 3 parts sugar instead of one juicy filet mignon for your fuel in order to save the life of the cow,” they would a) lack conscience and feel entitled to disregard the premise of the request, b) assert control and do as they please, c) eat the filet mignon as a provocation to the sensitivity of the party asking for the opposite.

            When I first visited KTN I had a similar thought, why can’t the positive fuel be enough? But the more I study trying to understand N/APD individuals, the more it becomes very clear, there is no way around this defense. It is born of a genetic pre-disposition and created/solidified during the most critical phases of brain development (and emotional development). It is not a logic problem. It is not an understanding problem. It cannot be solved or mitigated by such appeals as to do so would require submitting for another which is the opposite of assertion of control.

            Maybe we are better off accepting them as is and appreciating what they do offer (many N/APD indivuduals contribute significantly to society, as is evidence right here by HG’s excellent works) and limiting our exposure to what we cannot and dare not accept for our own well being.

          4. Asp Emp says:

            Fiddleress, thank you for sharing that information. It was interesting to read.

            I would like to suggest that people with high-functioning autism (and Aspergers) can also experience higher than average feeling of boredom too. They may also have a need for stimulation ie ‘intelligent’ conversations, including those of their interests, may enjoy analytical discussions, have difficulty in sleeping (because of their brain-wiring). People make assumptions about those on the autism spectrum because of the lack of knowledge (if not taught as part of upbringing) about social communication, social cues and social interaction.

          5. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hey FYC,

            Thank you for your response. Again I don’t disagree with what you say. There is no real motivation to not devalue on the face of it because there is no empathy. So if the appliance is seen as malfunctioning and there is the added incentive that negative fuel is more potent and satisfying in that it is tougher to access then yes, there is no apparent incentive not to go ahead and devalue an existing IPPS whilst recruiting a new one as replacement. That makes sense. That said, the uptake of potency due to fuel being negative is also offset by the fact that as this negative fuel starts to flow, the narcissist also moves to recruit a replacement appliance, therefore spending time, energy, resources etc. Vicious circle.

            My thought is that really, I don’t fully know how a narcissist could manipulate a fuel matrix if he chose to and there was hypothetically speaking, a very valid incentive to keeping an IPPS in place. We understand fuel amount, fuel potency, fuel delivery etc, we understand source, matrix structure and weighting, why devaluation starts and so on. I don’t understand exactly how a fuel matrix can be manipulated though.

            The Greater relies on the IPPS for only 40-50% of fuel needs. I assume either positive or negative. So 50-60% is sourced from elsewhere within the fuel matrix. Hypothetically, with a genuine incentive that was for his benefit only, how could a Greater Narcissist reduce the fuel contribution from the IPPS from 40% to 20% for example?

            The Stepford Devaluation is different in that the devaluation can be so subtle as not to be noticeable. The character traits and residual benefits plus facade appear to outweigh the need for plentiful negative fuel from the IPPS. This fuel is sourced more heavily from secondary sources. So the matrix shifts to accommodate a different priority, that of character traits, facade and residual benefits. This narcissist has no empathy either, no loyalty to the IPPS but he prioritises his prime aims differently and manipulates his fuel matrix to accommodate. These narcissists would appear to be your higher echelon narcissists. Public facing, large earners etc. Upper Mid Range possible but more likely Greaters. If they are Greaters then they appear to be planning their fuel because they are aware of what they are and what they need.

            Essentially what I’m trying to establish is how much flexibility is there in the fuel matrix? Greaters have huge control over their ignited fury. It would make sense that with such huge fuel matrices they have options in terms of making it work for them.

            If we understood flexibility within the fuel matrix we could then take a leap at understanding how behaviours towards different appliances might change.

            If you look at HG as having both psychopathy and narcissism, if he was more psychopathy than narcissism driven it’s possible that his drivers would be more commodity / money based than solely fuel driven. So theoretically HG might be more inclined to go the Stepford route at some point.

            Meh, who knows? Bloody narcs!


          6. Joa says:

            FYC, TS, girls, I admire you! You have a lot of knowledge in the field of psychology/psychiatry.

            As usual, I rely on my own intuition and lack the knowledge, you have.

            TS, I wrote this somewhere – the recent hoover after 13 years with “my N” had a completely different character. I had a feeling, it wasn’t about fuel from me. The fuel (positive-negative) was taken in the beginning, in the process of softening me and dealing with financial matters.

            The core of this 1.5-year relationship, however, was probably character traits or self-examination. As if he acknowledges (consciously or unconsciously), that he wants to improve the facade. He showed me very clearly, who and what he is. So “honest”, that I couldn’t lie to myself anymore (and it’s hard to throw my veils off my eyes). He showed his “bottom” in several scenes, it was terrifying. After each scene, he ran away for a 2-5 days and came back filled with fuel (from a different source), with calm and curiosity, examining my reaction. We exchanged “views” for over 8 months. He asked about a lot of things. I don’t know exactly what he was looking for. When he found, what he wanted, he gave me a short Golden Period (which I ran away from), and then there was a strong devaluation (this time taking negative fuel from me).

            It sounds like I have a high opinion of myself. But that’s just how I feels this relationship.
            His texts such as: “I hope she will be bigger than you” (about my daughter, it was supposed to be offensive to me), “You are a few rungs too high” (angrily) seem to confirm what I feel.

            He still keeps me on reserve. I suspect, that in case he fails to ensnare for a long time the romantic target with which he started to dance, over with me (or had him tracked down much earlier). And if he succeeds, I’ll probably be “definitely” put aside.

            One thing is for sure. The relationship between him and me has NOTHING of romance, a seduction between a man and a woman (sometimes he would throw up scraps for support). It was more an exchange of worldviews, observations about life, about my reactions – also to him.

            That is very interesting. Unfortunately for me, I am curious what will happen next, regardless of whether it will happen in six months, 5 years or 20 years. But maybe, being on this blog, my curiosity will “dull”? May it not stoke even more 😊

      2. Asp Emp says:

        TS, thank you for the mention 🙂

        1. Truthseeker6157 says:


          You’re welcome. I know you have been researching Alexithymia 😊


    4. Fool Me 1 Time says:


      It’s so good to see you commenting again! You’ve been missed! I thought that perhaps you were very busy and had little time to comment. I’d rather think that then to think something had happened to you.

      I actually fine the information you have written very interesting, I have a few questions but first I must figure out the correct wording so that you understand what I’m trying to ask. I’m so happy you are back FYC! 💞xx

      1. FYC says:

        Dear FM1T, Thank you so much for the warm welcome my friend.💞It is good to be back. It has been a really challenging period of time and has taken a lot to get back to good but I am mostly there. I hope you’ve had a chance to visit your ponies since Covid. I am sure they miss your beautiful spirit. When you get the chance, I’d love to read your thoughts and questions too. They need not be perfect, I will understand and do my best to answer you.

    5. A Victor says:

      Okay, after reading up more on this, unless it is on a scale, I probably don’t have it. But, if it is on a scale, maybe. Emotions and connecting are issues. Choosing a narcissist as a spouse didn’t help. I’m going to look into this more, thank you again.

      1. FYC says:

        Hello A Victor, Sorry for the delay in my response. There is a scale. Emotional blunting is the category. The range is from Alexithymia to Flat Affect to Blunted Affect, to Restricted Affect. The range of emotion blunting runs from no affect present to some affect present to full affect present. Total blunting can be cause by brain chemistry or psychological conditions (such as schizophrenia). Yet it can also be temporary as is the case for serious PTSD or CPTSD victims. Reduced affect can be seen during times of stress, illness or depression. The degree of affect is rather subjective as the interpretation of affect varies widely by culture. So there is no perfect definition. Affect is only one side of the equation however. Affect is the presentation or display of emotion and eye contact. The other side of the the equation is that of understanding and defining one’s own emotions. This is a different matter altogether because this can effect empaths and narcissists alike.

        From the lens of attachment theory, primary caregivers who do not acknowledge or properly mirror emotions to the child, create severe stress for the child. There is a natural human need for emotional attunement and validation of experience. When a child does not experience this, they feel threatened (survival). When threatened, the child learns to cope by either dismissing/avoiding their feelings or by seeking connection by any means possible. If the child is met with either the absence of the parent or a lack of emotional display and reciprocity (Still Face Experiment, Tronick 1975), the child “rapidly sobers and grows wary. He makes repeated attempts to get the interaction into its usual reciprocal pattern. When these attempts fail, the infant withdraws [and] orients his face and body away from his mother with a withdrawn, hopeless facial expression.” This is noted as one of the most reliably replicated findings in developmental psychology.

        To take attachment theory a step further, researchers (Edelston, Spitz) looked at orphanages to better understand the extremely high death rate of infants (near 100%) and found most deaths were not due to starvation or disease, but to severe emotional and sensorial deprivation. The babies were fed and medically treated, but they were absolutely deprived of important stimulation, especially touch and affection.

        For children who were raised by NPD or APD individuals, CPTSD is common in varying degrees. The children become hyper focused to accommodate the NPD/APD individual in an effort to create and obtain a necessary bond. Little is mirrored or validated and the child therefore lacks the proper attunement to fully develop and understand their own emotions. When this is the case, the emotions can be suppressed or repressed and become jumbled into one big, hard to define emotion, instead of being individually labeled and stratified (e.g. sad, grieving, hurt, frustrated, shame, lonely, etc., versus simply labeled as “bad”). This is common, but can be remedied through getting in touch with and labeling your emotions or having someone (like an empathetic therapist or friend) help you identify what you are feeling. Over time your understanding increases and emotions are less likely to be lumped into one confusing emotion. Bear in mind for a child to become NPD/APD both GPD and LOCE must be present. For empaths, a variety of other factors are involved (biological and environment influences). But NPD/ADP, narcissistic, normal, or empath, any can have difficulty in clearly understanding and labeling their emotions yet they can improve. This is not to be confused with any likelihood that someone with NPD/APD will change. Although some theorize this may be possible, the degree of change is not from NPD/APD to normal, but rather a more subtle shift in understanding why they feel as they do. Bear in mind that narcissists possess self empathy, they entirely lack the ability (or perceive and need for) empathy of other.

        Hope this helps. If you have further questions Ill do my best to respond sooner.

        1. A Victor says:

          FYC, no problem on the timing! Thank you for responding and for such a complete response! I will look those definitions up.

          There is a very special spot in my heart for individuals who have over the years, rarely and often inadvertently, told me what I was feeling. It is such a relief to have a name sometimes and also to often learn simultaneously that it’s normal to feel such.

          I believe the things you wrote of here are a lot of the reason I have so few memories of my parent’s from my childhood. And I literally never felt any connection to my family of origin, yet I moved in with my parents to care for my dying father, go figure. So, there is a connection, just not a feeling associated with it? I always wondered about that, what was wrong with me? I could see other people clearly had connections, or were they faking it? I “feel” connected to my children and grandchildren now, so I know the people from before were likely not faking anything. But even now, my connection is loose, I have been told that I am crap 🙄 at connecting with others. And I know it to be true, I am working to be better regarding this but it is extremely difficult.

          This also ties in with the Meyers Briggs Personality types I think. I have tested twice, years apart, as an INTP and it is a good fit. Was I born that way or did I become that due to genes and the nurture I received? How much of that causes the above issues, or do the above issues sometimes cause that personality type to come to the fore? All fun things to consider.

          I have also been looking at the attachment styles, since you wrote more about that and I knew from the description alone that the dismissive-avoidant style was me but was a bit surprised that when I took an online test it also picked up on disorganized attachment style secondarily, I haven’t found as much on that yet. So, more to ponder but, things continue to fall into place also, thank you so much, I have learned a lot from your comments.

          1. FYC says:

            HG: Thank you so much for permitting this lengthy discussion. I hope it helps all.

            A Victor: Well you have some really excellent questions and comments. Ill try to address them in order.

            It is very beneficial to have someone assist you in labeling your feelings. The book I recommend under your other question will assist you as well. Struggling to label your feelings is not unusual for fearful avoidants. I would tend to lean towards your belonging to this category. Dismissive avoidants would not struggle to understand their feelings, they would instinctively distance themselves from them. DAs prefer not to acknowledge any feelings, much less less label or understand them. FAs can be either avoidant leaning or anxious leaning and this can depend upon their attachment triggers. FAs can also possess deeper empathy than an average individual, yet struggle with labeling feelings. Both the FA attachment style and the difficulty labeling feelings springs from original trauma and/or distancing (lack of mirroring) in early childhood.

            As for you lack of memories, this repression or suppression of memories is very common to both DAs and FAs. The way we cope is to either repress unpleasant, stress provoking memories, or to shift focus and over correct (project a favorable image of the parent that is largely undeserved). With my N parent, I repressed a lot. After they died, many memories started to surface. It is important to be able to confront these memories as they surface as this will take away the power they hold.

            Your memories are stored with all of the thoughts and feelings you had when they occurred, not as the adult you are now. So when they do surface, be sure to reprocess them with your current wealth of understanding and great empathy. As for your complicated feelings towards your dad, you have them, you are simply creating distance to cope. We tend to wall ourselves to keep from feeling the hurt we have repeatedly, but the problem with walls is they are just as effective at keeping the good out as well.

            FAs, want relationships, yet the past has taught them they are not safe or will not last. This creates an anxious moment of what one psychologist calls a “come here, now go way” feeling. This is all an attempt as self protection and preservation. Your real connections with your children and grandchildren are real. They are “loose” as a means of feeling safe. You can grow your comfort with connecting with people you trust slowly.

            INTP also makes sense. Your introversion would compound your challenge at connection. But that’s ok! You can connect one-on-one or with small comfortable known groups. You make the choices. You start to trust your feelings.

            Are we born with our personality or does it develop? This is a well studied and debated question. To keep this short, I would suggest our genes influence the composition of our make up (influence our aptitude for expressing ourselves externally–our persona–or personality), but our experiences and how we perceive and feel about our experiences, has a major influence on the development of our personality, especially from ages 0-12. This is true for Ns and non-Ns. This time period is so significant because how we develop neurologically and emotionally is tremendously influenced by our experiences and environment. We learn from all we experience, emotionally, physically and mentally.

          2. A Victor says:

            Hi FYC, I have been giving your comment a lot of thought and wanted to wait to respond until I had done a little research and thinking. If I am a fearful avoidant, and I think it’s likely you are correct that I am, it is with a substantial leaning toward the avoidant, as opposed to the anxious. The reason is that prior to understanding that I didn’t understand feelings, it didn’t bother me. It was only after I was made aware of this rather bluntly that I began thinking about it and paying more attention to when they were pointed out to me or when I thought I should be feeling something. Also that I don’t worry about connecting with others, if it doesn’t happen, I’m fine. I very rarely go out of my way to make any connection happen, my friends are people who have sought me out and pursued it most of the time. This is probably influenced by the INTP, I tend to live in my head and rather like it there, haha, but getting out now and then is healthy. There are other elements of FA that fit also, I appreciate your input on it.

            Since my dad died I have, so far, not been inundated with memories, maybe down the road it will happen. I will do what I can to be prepared in case it does, to process them through my empathic lens. Again, appreciate the suggestion.

            I can see the “come here, now go away” paragraph, I always thought it was because I am a busy person and don’t want to invest more time than I can handle on people. My kids and grandkids get all the time they want. But typically they initiate, I don’t usually, unless it’s been a pretty long time. I kind of live an “out of sight, out of mind” sort of existence, for better or worse. It has been mentioned a time or two and the people who remain friends for years are the ones who accept this about me. Now I will pay attention to the idea of “come here, now go away” and see if it seems to be part of the equation more than it should.

            Thank you very much, I enjoy this type of discussion. And thank you HG, for supplying a space for us to interact and also for the time spent moderating.

          3. Leigh says:

            AV, I read your comments with interest. Some of the things you said really resonated with me. Thank you for sharing. I don’t have a lot of memories of my childhood either. I don’t connect & didn’t attach to my parents or siblings either. Even before I found out about narcissism, I had no connection or attachment to them. As for my children, I too feel more connected to them but I agree with you that its a loose connection. Ugh, I feel terrible saying that. I want them in my lives but almost at an arm’s length. Its that brick wall that I have up. I guess my attachment style is probably dismissive avoidant. Although, I’m not sure. I did a little research and it says, “They’d rather not rely on others or have others rely on them.” I don’t rely on others at all. That part is true. I don’t mind others relying on me though. In fact, many people rely on me.

            I love these conversations too. I love learning about all this. It bring clarity.

          4. A Victor says:

            I know, I don’t like anyone to rely on me. I feel like a very selfish person sometimes, when I think about this. But it’s like I can’t function with constrains. I am more reliable for my kids and a couple of friends but even those friends know that we’ll probably end up scheduling and rescheduling a time or two before we actually get together. And they know we always have fun, it has nothing to do with enjoying the people. I have a friend who lives next door, she’s the reason we bought this house. Because she’s so close she can call spontaneously to get together, that’s my preference. How much of this is just personalities? How much is deep underlying issues? I’m really trying to figure that out.

          5. A Victor says:


          6. Leigh says:

            AV, I can be very selfish too. I don’t like doing things for people if its going to inconvenience me. My children are the exception. I will tell a little white lie in order to spare someone’s feelings. It would drive me nuts if someone came over spontaneously. I need to be prepared. Thats ny need for control.

            How much is it personality vs underlying issues? Its probably a little bit of both. Some of our actions were born to protect us and some are just preference.

          7. A Victor says:

            Leigh, haha, I have actually not answered the door when someone came unexpectedly! I am glad to know I am not the only one that doesn’t like this. But my problem is that I don’t even like it when it’s preplanned! I feel that my upbringing left me with some issues around this, inviting someone into my space, I think it makes me feel invaded and trapped. I have been aware of it for a long time, long before arriving here, it has been a thing. My ex used to invite people over and now I think he got fuel from the way it stressed me out. Asshole. I much prefer to meet people away from my home as my home is my sanctuary, where I feel safe, even doing Zoom bothers me, not because I’m uncomfortable to be on there, but it’s an intrusion, if that makes sense.

            I agree with your second paragraph. I would like to determine which is which so I can improve things that I can improve but if it doesn’t happen, that is okay.

          8. Leigh says:

            I have to laugh! We really are alike. I don’t like it preplanned either but I grin and bear it. I would much rather meet somewhere else too. For me its because I’m embarrassed of my home and my spouse. I do nothing to maintain my home other than clean it. I hate it there. It is the furthest thing from my sanctuary. I probably feel that way because it doesn’t feel like mine.

          9. A Victor says:

            Leigh, yes, I can also relate to being embarrassed, due to TTU upstairs and also the past messages leftover from her over the years. I do maintain my home but mostly because it is going to be mine at some point, unless I move away first. If that were to happen, it would fall into disrepair and she would lose it. Since she caught me off-guard with the latest tax bill, I am actually concerned that she won’t even be able to keep it with me, unless I fund all the “extras”. Extras being all those things that non-narcissists plan ahead for, since we know they’re coming, but narcissists, especially Victim ones, do not. I can do it but there will need to be some changes made in the way things are situated if it is to be that way. Anyway, grin and bear it with unexpected company, that’s about it, and usually try to cut it as short as possible.

            I hope that at some point you do feel that your living space, wherever it is, is your sanctuary, I think you will love it!

          10. Leigh says:

            Yes it makers sense for you to maintain your parent’s home. Its your investment. I don’t see ny home that way. Even before I knew my husband was a narcissist, I hated the house. Its probably because of the toxicity in the house.

          11. A Victor says:

            I look forward to the day I can have visitors without the embarrassment.

          12. Leigh says:

            Me too, AV!

        2. NarcAngel says:

          Hi FYC
          Always happy to see your name appear. I consider your researched contributions and thoughtfully opinions a welcome injection to the comment section. I appreciate your offering them and read with interest. Hope you are well.

          1. NarcAngel says:


          2. FYC says:

            Hello NA! Always a pleasure to connect with you virtually. I hope all is well with you! I apologize for the delay in my response, my notifications are spotty. Your comment is most kind, thank you, and it is good to be back and able to contribute. As for me I am dealing with several challenges, but will overcome. I look forward to your posts.

    6. WiserNow says:

      Thank you FYC. That is very interesting. I always learn from and appreciate your informative comments.

      The central nervous system starts to develop very early on in a fetus. It starts to form in the first few weeks after fertilisation. It keeps developing – and includes the brain – during pregnancy, and continues to develop and mature for many years after birth.

      Before the phases of cognitive brain development and conscious thought, the sensations and emotions ‘felt’ by the nervous system inform a baby of its environment and of its safety. This occurs while the baby is still a fetus in the womb and after birth while it’s brain is developing.

      It’s fascinating to consider all these aspects and how the emotions can be affected as a result.

      1. FYC says:

        Thank you WN!

        1. WiserNow says:

          You’re welcome FYC.

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When Narcissists Collide : Part One