Do We Ever Listen?
You may not think it but we do actually listen to you. I appreciate that may seem odd because you think the way we act means we cannot possibly be listening to you. We take no notice of what you say because we still go ahead and do the same things that we have done before. We keep repeating a comment as if we have never heard your answer the first time around. You remind us about the time we are meeting and we turn up late or not at all. You could be forgiven for thinking that we are very poor listeners. The reality is that we are very good listeners. The difference is that we choose to hear differently.
When you are shouting at us, advancing your argument in a forceful manner we will be responding to what you are saying, usually with denial and deflection. We are not interested in what you are saying, we are concerned with hearing your feelings. We want to hear the strangulated and seething anger that manifests in your words because then we know (along with seeing your contorted and reddened face) that you have reacted to our provocation and accordingly you are providing us with fuel.
If you are hurling insults at us, calling us names and berating our dress sense, weight and intelligence we are not wounded by these criticisms because the fact you are spitting with venom, shouting them in a rage or shrieking with delight as you insult us means you are providing the emotion that equates to fuel. The harsh names just dissipate because we are not hearing them. We are hearing the emotion of what is being said, that is what matters. You can devise the most original insult the world has ever know but if you throw it at us with emotion then all we hear is your emotional reaction. Have you often wondered why we are smiling when you are arguing with us? It is because you are giving us what we want; fuel. Oh and also because we know that smiling at you will infuriate you all the more.
We listen to you with considerable attention during the initial stages of the seduction. We ensure that every snippet of information, every morsel of knowledge that will assist us in seducing you and binding you tight to us is heard and absorbed, filed away in readiness for use at the appropriate time. Each time you reveal to us a new restaurant you have found or a new play that has just opened which you like we take notice. When you tell us about your friends we listen in anticipation of bringing them under our spell also. When we listen at this juncture you think we are attentive and interested in you. Indeed, we are and your reaction to this is to praise us, thus providing us with fuel, and to feel attracted to us, thus binding you to us. Our interest however is not as you would normally perceive because our interest is borne out of the use we can make of what you tell us, in order to further our own agenda.
We also listen to you to understand how our behaviours affect you. We listen to the praise and delight you gush forth and we note what we did that caused this. When we subject you to devaluation we soak up the fuel you pour towards us but we also listen to how it is affecting you. You tell us about how it hurts, how you cannot sleep, how you feel anxious, how you feel sick, how you are frightened, how you do not understand.
We do not care how you feel but we are most interested in you telling us this. This forms feedback based on our various manipulations. As we gather the fuel from your tearful pleading we also ascertain how what we have said has had an effect on you. We listen to you explaining to us how you feel because we do not feel it ourselves. We need to learn from you in this respect.
We need to learn so we can mimic is when the need arises. We need to learn that if somebody feels a sense of loss then they will cry. Accordingly, if we anticipate losing you then an appropriate reaction would be to cry. We have learned from what you have shown us and what you have told us. See, I told you that we pay attention to you. We also listen so we know just how effective our manipulation has been. Is what you are telling us explaining a minor degree of hurt and sadness or is it more substantial? We do not know ourselves because we do not feel sadness ourselves.
That redundant emotion was either stripped from us or never allowed to develop in the first place. Accordingly, in order to understand what makes someone sad, a little bit sad or devastatingly sad we have to observe your responses and listen to what you are saying. We do not stand and listen because we are concerned and because we want to find a solution to your state of sadness. That serves no purpose to us at all. What we are doing is listening to the detail of your misery so we can replicate it. We can replicate both in terms of pretending we feel miserable when the occasion suits us and we also replicate it to make someone miserable for the purposes of control and the gathering of fuel.
It is through listening that we hone our manipulative skills. It is through listening that we learn all about you, what you like and what you dislike, what your hopes are and what vulnerabilities you have that we can exploit. Through listening we understand how you feel so we can mimic this. It is through listening that we are able to comprehend how you are affected by what we do. Yes, we spend a lot of time talking, telling the world about how brilliant we are and this is of course the way of what we are but you would be surprised at just how much we listen. Just because we may not be listening based on what youdeem to be important is does not mean we are not listening at all. Far from it.
Accordingly, next time you plead that we listen to you for once or that you beg us to “listen to what I am saying” you will find that we are and you will come to regret it.
14 thoughts on “Do We Ever Listen?”
The most important advice HG gives is that ‘when you know, you go’. Best piece of advice ever.
Very early in my relationship with my ex I got upset about some situational stressors (not him yet) I was going through and I started crying while he sat beside me. He never budged or asked me what was wrong. He just sat there as if he was bewildered at the sight of my tears. No affection or consoling at all. Red flag!
Then near the end after the shit hit the fan I actually sat beside him on his couch crying and begging him to work with me to fix things. ( I have learned now he had already embedded his next IPPS, thanks HG) As tears rolled down my cheeks in that moment begging this man to work with me to work it out he actually started crying. His tears were few and I could tell forced. He was telling me how “ it could never work now after all YOU have done to me” and that I had fucked everything up and it couldn’t be fixed.
At some point I got up, picked up my bags thinking to my self surely he won’t let me leave. As I opened the door he walked up behind me and watched as I carried my bags out the door not once trying to deter me. I turned and looked at him and low and behold no more tears and an ever so slight grin and a look of contentment. Now I know he was relishing in all that negative fuel, thanks again HG!
Side note and lesson learned: I will never let another man tell me more than once he doesn’t want me! It’s now ✌️ out, see ya! Lol
It was actually a very eerie feeling seeing his face as I walked out of his life. But, then of course several times shortly after he attempted Hoovers. But, I could not unsee that evil grin and the face that appeared after the beautiful mask had fallen off!
I then GOSO and didn’t look back. Thank God! But, it sure as hell has not been easy and this addiction never seems to fully go away. The trauma bond is very real and very powerful! I’m proud to say I have not gotten so weak that I have reached out to him and even when he managed to show up on LinkedIn on my email I still resisted the urge to say something.
I owe it to you HG for the knowledge and education you have given me and all you guys on here as a support for each other! I’m grateful for finding you! It’s coming up on almost a year I think since I talked to this man. I feel like I should be getting an award or pin or something! We all should! Lol 🤗🙏💪💕
PS: Covid sucks! I want to get out of my house and I want some damn Prosecco! 😩🥂
My ex has chosen the same route for an indirect Hoover since we broke up years ago… every now and then he’ll send a fake email request through a company server which is a no reply system. It will just be some stupid request that is obviously fake. Interesting how they can come up with the most ridiculous things sometimes… for being evil geniuses. The emails make me smile to myself… he’s still out there paiting me black. Nothing that can be done !
I’ve had this daily since I ended it with the summer narc. He goes to junk but his dirty work carries on. It started within 10 minutes of me ending it and I have it’s mostly going to junk now also. At that time I didn’t realize I should change my email, I have others now, but it was quite shocking and I think his way of “hurting” an escapee. Lame.
I just finished reading this article and like all the previous ones I’m shocked at what I found out and appreciating the eye opening knowledge I just gained. I already know ya’ll can’t feel love like I can feel love,but I didn’t know you couldn’t feel sadness. Wow, I’m sadly, ironically envious of you. I wish I could have not felt sad during some parts of my life, like when my Dad died, or when my beloved childhood dog died, my friend passing away from cancer….everything would have been easier to cope with and it all wouldn’t have been so devastating, the pain wouldn’t have been so overwhelming, so consuming…to not feel that, to not think about ending it sometimes ,just to make the pain stop….I’m truly envious.
Hi Rebecca, I understand your feelings here. What I’ve come to realize is that HG also can’t experience the reasons we feel the sadness, so though I wish I didn’t have to feel the pain, I am now thankful to be able to experience it.
Seeing the words “my Ex did use to listen – very carefully, now I realise that he was LEARNING” (from another thread of this article) – how profound. Yes, we know about ‘mimicry’ and ‘mirroring’ but learning is something else. Especially when it is carried out by an MRN approaching their 60s. I would suggest that maybe narcissists ‘sense’ that they can learn as well as suck at my empathy and drain me of it. And, because I was actually different from other “women” that they had met previously. By my neurodiversities, idiosyncrasies and empath grenades also ‘excited’ them (not the ones that gave them the 404s though, smirking). Like I’ve said before, I attract as well as repel them…..ho hum.
https://narcsite.com/2018/03/18/do-we-ever-listen-5/#comment-189658 – this comment amused me.
Seeing these words “I was simply teaching him how to kill me!” (another thread of this article) – interesting choice of words. HG’s ‘The Narcissist Knows Your Weaknesses’ spring to my mind, as well as what I wrote in relation to ‘learning’ as above.
Asp Emp, “(not the ones that gave them the 404s though, smirking)”… Haha! Yes, THOSE grenades are the best!
This comment brings out a lot of great points, thank you! For one thing, it emphasizes the importance of going slowly into a relationship, don’t reveal prior to trust being built, this is a concept I have struggled with always, in all past relationships. I suppose the time involved makes it that much more valuable when we do come across someone who is healthy, trustworthy and really able to connect, I think I will treasure it even more if I’ve built it slowly with him.
AV, yup, “THOSE grenades are the best!”, they will be even better now 😉
I’ve learned and now understand so much of how my past relationships were ‘formed’ (intimate / non-intimate). My learning also has changed the way I look at my existing relationships with people I have known for so long, yet, it does not necessarily mean that these relationships have changed. Interestingly, there are a couple of friends that I value even more now than I did previously (prior to KTN education) – they have more meaning yet I am not as co-dependent on them because I trust they will still be there for me regardless.
That is really cool about how you’re view of your friends has alerted as a result of your laying here. Thank you for sharing that Asp Emp.
Learning*** not laying… Ugh..
AV, thank you. Yes, I know that is part of the whole point of HG’s work. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” Albert Einstein. ‘Laying’ is partly correct in any case, ‘laying’ the residue and the ghosts of the past on KTN – sometimes it is a bare necessity.
And even on HG…good thing he has broad shoulders…
Laughing, I don’t know how to ‘read’ that one 😉