Raising The Hoover Bar
The hoover. It is one of the most discussed periods of the narcissistic entanglement. I am referring to it in the traditional sense, namely the three post-discard/escape hoovers, although as you will be aware from my works, there are other hoovers throughout the interaction between us and you.
There are most likely two reasons for the post discard/escape hoover being a prime topic of discussion. First, by the time you have worked out what you are dealing with you will have already experienced the seduction, devaluation and discard/escape. The post discard/escape hoover is what is occupying you now because it may have happened recently, is ongoing, or you anticipate it happening. The second reason is that the possibility of ongoing interaction with us continues to fascinate you and thus the post discard/escape hoover becomes the focus of much of your attention.
I have explained previously that if the Initial Grand Hoover has taken place and failed (this hoover being caused by your escape) then you will face follow-up hoovers thereafter, of a benign and/or malign nature. Their catalyst is whether you enter our spheres of influence through something you have done (spheres one to five) or the fact you have just entered out mind for some reason (sphere six). If you have entered a sphere of influence, we always consider (though dependent on the nature of your type of narcissist the degree of consideration varies considerably) whether a hoover could be effected. There are certain hurdles which will either prevent that hoover from taking place or reduce the likelihood of it taking place. These hurdles may well raise the bar so it is less likely that the Hoover Execution Criteria are met, meaning it is less likely you will suffer a hurdle. Knowing what these factors are and how we regard them is crucial in formulating your defences to maintain No Contact. What, then, are those hurdles?
- Your Whereabouts
If we do not know where to find you so that we can appear face to face and look to garner some excellent Proximate Fuel by turning up at your home, your work or somewhere else you frequent this naturally poses a considerable problem to us. A Greater Narcissist will apply some effort to ascertaining your whereabouts, a Lesser is unlikely to do much at all. Accordingly, as part of building your defences the necessity of changing where you can be physically found not only pays dividends in commencing No Contact but affecting the likelihood of a later hoover.
- Your Accessibility
In a similar vein we need to be able to contact you. If we do not have a physical place to either attend, drive past, leave or note or send a gift, then we will look to access you through electronic means. If we know your telephone number, we are far more likely to hoover or if we have a means of contacting you through an app or on social media. If you have effected a media blackout and managed to sustain it, the prospects of a hoover happening are vastly reduced.
- Gullibility of Friends and Family
We may have a lieutenant in your ranks already. If so, the prospects of being hoovered are increased as we will have them lined-up to leak to us where we can find you and how we can contact you. Even if there is no lieutenant, if there is the prospect for a hoover we (or one of our lieutenants) will approach people in your camp to gather this information. It is often done under a separate auspice – there may be an emergency, some post has arrived we need to pass on, there is something confidential to relay to you – and if your family and friends are trusted with contact information their susceptibility to releasing this information is important. Bear in mind several months may have passed and if a lieutenant approaches your parents or a friend, they may not be alert to the danger. If those who might have your contact information remain impregnable then the hoover prospects are diminished.
- Happy and Contented
If you are demonstrating (to the outside world at least) that you are happy and contented, then this will affect the hoover prospects. Generally speaking we expect you to still be pining for us and miserable. This is regarded as a condition which is fertile ground for a successful hoover. If we are aware that you are moving forward, you rarely mention us, you appear generally happy and content then the Lesser and Mid-Range of our kind will be less likely to attempt a hoover. This is because they may be easily rebuffed and even though you may do so in a pleasant way, the fuel gained will be minimal. You should be aware however that a Greater will regard you as a prospect to break and therefore will not be dissuaded by seeing you happy and content alone.
- A New Interest
If you happen to have moved on to somebody new, which of course is dependent on the passage of time and other factors, then again a Lesser or a Mid-Range is less likely to hoover. The prospect of being rebuffed and thus wounded through criticism will prove too great a risk to them. They will feel criticised already by knowing you are with someone new when you should be holding a torch and pining for them and they are likely to regard the hoover as too risky, with the prospect for no fuel and further wounding. This will not apply to the Greater Narcissist. We are more likely to apply a malign follow-up hoover and lash out at you and your new partner to get a double fuel strike.
- Your Fuel Potential
You will have been an excellent source of fuel at some point, that is why you were chosen and ensnared, but that changed. The reason hoover fuel is so potent is that you will have recovered to some extent from what has happened to you, you will want to see us or be relieved that we have come back for you (not always but often) and most of all the fact that we have abused you and yet we can still entice you either to start the Formal Relationship again or even to provide fuel shows how powerful we are and thus adds to the potency of the fuel. If you are a super empath or a co-dependent you will be a prime prospect for hoovering. However, if we regard you as still badly crippled by what we did to you so that you have been in effect numbed so that your emotional output is muted or deadened, this will affect whether a hoover will take place. In such circumstances a proxy hoover may take place so a lieutenant can scope you out. Or you may (if circumstances allow) receive a paving the way message which is not a hoover in itself but rather a way of seeing how the land lies to then decide whether a hoover attempt should be made.
- Your Knowledge
If we are aware that you know what we are or have information which could be damaging to us in the form of amounting to a serious criticism this will lessen the likelihood of a hoover. Whilst a Lesser has no awareness of what he or she is, if you do know and you keep making mention of it and adapting your behaviour accordingly, he or she will at least sense there is little fuel to be gained and/or the risk of criticism. Similarly, a Mid-Range will realise that there is something “off” with the situation and think very carefully before being exposed to less fuel and/or criticism. The Greater is not concerned by your knowledge of what he is. He will deny it and look to manipulate the situation to his advantage to draw further fuel, but he will be concerned by anything that could cause criticism.
- The Façade
This carefully constructed and maintained device which we use to repeated effect against you is important. Not only do we use it against you but it will be used against other victims and those who help create the façade provide us with fuel. We do not want this to be damaged or fractured in anyway. If we ascertain that there is a risk of this happening if we hoover you (for instance you have damning evidence of our behaviour which could be circulated if we engage with you) then we will not want the façade damaged by such exposure and accordingly the prospect of a hoover happening will be diminished.
- Energy levels
If you enter our sphere of influence when energy levels are lower as a consequence of lower fuel provision, then the hoover may be regarded as not worth the effort. If, however there is easy accessibility and the prospective fuel gain is considered to be significant then even low energy levels would not be a dissuading factor but if there are other factors as above in place which would prove difficult then when we have low energy levels this makes us less inclined to want to perform the hoover. This situation may arise where we are still embedding a new primary source after your escape or we may not have one yet and we are reliant on fuel from primary sources. If the hoover is perceived as having hurdles and energy levels are low, even though you may have entered a sphere of influence, we may look elsewhere for fuel and not engage in a hoover.
- The Type of Narcissist
The particular type we are has a bearing also. The Lesser will be looking for easy gains, low-hanging fruit and immediate results. The immediacy is important. Lacking the calculation of the Mid-Range and Greater, he will be inclined to hoover if you are in near reach even if there are other hoovers because he is unable to control his thirst for hoover fuel. He will however risk being rebuffed and this will in turn ignite his fury causing him to lash out at you with potential repercussions. If the Lesser does not see an immediate opportunity he will move on. He is akin to an opportunist burglar. The Mid-Range will put a little more effort and planning in but will be cautious in his approach, mindful of the potential repercussions and therefore a few hurdles will put him off. He may apply a little effort to consideration but it does not take too much to cause him to move on. The Greater will need considerable hurdles to prevent a hoover happening when a sphere of influence has been penetrated. If he knows there is very potent hoover fuel he will apply considerable effort, like a well-planned heist, to get those jewels.
These factors need to be taken in consideration with one another to determine the likelihood or not of a hoover happening once the sphere of influence has been penetrated.
52 thoughts on “Raising The Hoover Bar”
Dear Mr Tudor,
You’re constantly ‘raising the bar’
I heard you on On the Edge with Andrew Gold ….that was a lovely unexpected surprise 😱
I’ve seen quite a few of his segments
A three way sounds great, when n where hehe 😜
Congrats and well done
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Happy New Year folks! It feels like groundhog day. I don’t know where else to write this but I got a benign hoover from MRN. The ‘formal relationship’ has been over for almost five years and the last time I suspected a hoover was more than two years ago. I’ve been absolutely NC for four and half years (we tried to be friends for a bit but that was a disaster). Never looked him up, etc. A few months ago, by chance I met one of his former colleagues – the only person I’ve ever met who knows MRN. We talked for six hours and I told him everything. Probably not a good idea in retrospect. This guy and I then became ‘friends’ on social media. Also probably not a good idea (he kind of triggers me, through no fault of his own). MRN had two fake profiles on this platform. I suspect he saw we were friends and then hoovered me on a different platform. I also got two fake friend requests around the same time – hadn’t had one of those for at least a year. MRN hoovered the same way that he used to whenever I would escape during the formal relationship and he wanted me to contact him/be aware of him – he’d visit my professional profile anonymously so I’d get a notification but could not see who it is. I know it is him. It is freaky. HG, do I have to stop being friends with the former colleague or should I just ignore everything? Hard to do.
You have not been absolutely no contact.
1. You tried to be friends which must mean you had some form of involvement with the narcissist, therefore breach of no contact.
2. You talked about the narcissist with somebody else (at length) breach of no contact through at least arenas four and five.
You can remain friends with the former colleague but do not advertise it on social media and be wary of what you say to this person as it may be passed on (not maliciously) and you must not talk about the narcissist with this individual.
You have work to do regarding understanding what a total no contact regimen is.
HG, I had a friend request on FB recently and this is the 3rd or 4th time (in over around 4-6 years) and I’d declined these previously. I simply decided to block this time. What is interesting, I did not feel guilty, or bad, at doing it this time. HG’s work rocks! It works! 🙂
Good work Asp Emp. My friend requests that might be narc are always fakes so blocking them wouldn’t help. If the narc sent a friend request under his real name/profile I definitely would!
SMH, thank you 🙂 Because of HG’s articles in relation to online dating and what not to show on your profiles gave me a number of considerations. I had already removed quite a bit of information but also ensured my settings were restricted as much as the provider of said social media platform permits. If people thought I was selective prior to KTN knowledge, I’m even more selective now 🙂
Thank you, HG! I had *completely* forgotten that talking about the narcissist was a breach of no contact. It’s been so many years since I’d even thought much about him (the friends thing was long ago now) that I was caught off guard. I’ll have to somehow hide that I am friends with the former colleague, though I guess it’s too late for that now. I won’t talk about narc ever again to anyone! Lesson learned.
I was just thinking about this thread again, so returned to ask – if talking about the narcissist at length here on the blog is technically breaking no contact ? As I am keeping him in my mind with my attention, and recall of time with narcissists, by talking about him/ them. Or I may just be over thinking it. But If a strict no contact regime means that I do not talk about the narcissist with anyone, I have definitely broken it in the last few weeks on the blog:)
It is a breach but so long as it is not gratuitous in nature, it is a permissible breach as you are getting answers and logic through the discussion.
I hope you do not mind me adding in on your comment. I did not really know anything about ‘hoovers’ properly until just reading this article. I have not really understood what they were before reading about it in more detail. I have just heard the term used on YouTube, and things like that without much context / detail.
Your comment caught my attention as I think looking back over the last few years, the narcissist has tried to hoover me quite a few times. Probably in more ways than I can recall now. Although I have not responded, and have not been in his sight / sphere of influence.
What I can pick out were similar to you with fake profile friend requests on FB and Instagram ( I deleted both accounts fully, last year now so have no social media of that type). I never accepted those requests obviously as I have a rule of not accepting anyone I don’t know – standard really.
I did Delete everyone linked to him, I am sure they heard whatever from him anyway. In your situation I would be tempted not to be linked to the mutual friend on social media, even if you remain in contact, in other ways.
The narcissist was my partner, together for 6 years, lived together for 5 years 8 months, he didn’t waste much time moving in. I left him 5 years ago so similar to your time scale. He responded with fury and smearing my name to everyone we knew. I was a whore, who cheated on him apparently (but not in reality). But literally after a 2 week gap he was sleeping with a girl who was in my general circle of friends, before he isolated me away from most of them. He went for someone I knew, and knew I was still connected to on FB and through other friends. I believe they are still together although I am not 100% sure as I have let mutual friendships go into entropy, over the last couple of years so I am not hearing about them at all.
I was reading your comments to truthseeker also and was relating so much to having ‘friends’, knowing someone in an abusive relationship but not being in any position to advise them, talk to them about it, or knowing they won’t hear it.
She has done nothing against me but I had to be selfish and delete her from my social media when I was on it, as I could not have any connection to him. Mutual friends would tell me what she was posting sometimes, talking about how bad her anxiety had gotten, how much she was struggling with alcohol. Periodic boosts to get herself back on track and then more depressive posts.
I really wanted to reach out to her and encourage her to leave him, that it was being with him, that was likely causing her increased difficulties in her mental health.
But I remembered how I didn’t listen to anyone, not until the end and a good friend managed to guide me into seeing it for myself. I know that she would not listen to me, I am sure I would have been public enemy number one and he would have told her all sorts about how evil I was to him. Me deleting her on social media probably added to that, why would she want to talk to someone who did that.
Anyway sorry, I am quite new to the site so a bit random jumping into your conversation, but I just wanted to say that your post was super relatable and helped me. So thank you.
I was thinking that I should be totally free of him in my mind by now also, 5 years on. So it was also reassuring to hear others speak about a similar timescale of being out of the relationship but having things pop up like this.
Hi EveBea, You are free to jump in anytime! The more the merrier.
Yours sounds like a much deeper ensarement than mine. Five years living together versus my two years as a shelf IPSS (meaning it was an affair but in my defense, I did not know he was married for 7 months!). I knew that IPPS (narc’s wife) was going through exactly what I was going through because I could see her on Instagram, where she posted publicly (I didn’t and do not have an Insta account). When I was white (in his good graces) she was black, when I was black, she was white. It was all so obvious.
So I am thinking that your ex’s partner is indeed having a hard time. Maybe your ex is now telling her how wonderful you were! But some people would rather be in a bad relationship than in no relationship at all. They also keep trying to do their best, as we did, in the face of something that is impossible to fix. I don’t think it was selfish of you to delete her. But I wouldn’t get involved at this point because 1) she won’t listen, as you know; and 2) more importantly, it will draw you back in, and you don’t need that. If she is curious or desperate she will reach out to you and then you can have the conversation if you want to.
On this topic, I did tell narc’s wife about him and his m-o (it’s all on here somewhere) but anonymously and without much detail. He and I were already done and I was had left him (escaped) so it wasn’t about trying to hold onto him. I did not know her so it wasn’t about saving her either. At the time, I was trying to cut all ties with him and I think I believed that it was the ONLY way to keep him away from me. It was a way for me to symbolically kill him. I had also made him come over and delete all of our email correspondence (thousands of messages) in front of me. I was trying my best to erase him and all ties to him. In any case, I don’t think she believed me and I don’t know if she ever mentioned it to him but they were moving anyway. That was almost five years ago and I have no idea if they are still together. But the recent hoovers are exactly what I was afraid of back then.
Me with the friend in common – this only happened last summer. I met him in August and in December I started noticing the visits. It’s too late now to delete the friend as for all I know, narc has a fake profile and is friends with some of my other friends. He used to have two fake profiles – one connected to his fake email with his false name, and one connected to his false name. I found them both back in the day but I wouldn’t look for any now. I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole. I am even noticing how just in these past few months I have thought more about narc than I had in the past four years.
I also don’t want him to still dictate my life and I like this mutual friend. They are not in touch anymore as they were just workmates and narc works somewhere else now. So I don’t worry about finding out anything about narc through this person.
You should just stay in your lane and on your path. Ask yourself why you want to help this other person. What else is going on in your life? Our motives are fuzzy sometimes.
Hope this helps too! I hadn’t been on here for quite awhile before the latest hoovers and I might have forgotten things. But this is the place to be to get your questions answered, including when you don’t know what to do. x
Thank you for such a helpful and thoughtful response.
I would suggest that having an affair/ intimate relationship with a narcissist who is married / in a relationship, is significantly painful also. If we are honest any relationship with a narcissist is painful, as the attachment is only going one way, the love is only going one way.
It sounds like he treated you both in the same way, hot/ cold, black/white, good/bad. The polar extremes in which we were perceived.
I am pretty sure the narcissist I lived with, was indeed picking up and putting down other women, for the whole 5 years, I imagine. All the signs were there if I was not blinding myself to them so readily.
I think it’s great that you took all of those measures to erase him from your life, and I think it was brave of you to try and share information with his wife, at any level.
I also agree with you about no longer allowing the narcissist to have any influence, in your life now. So keeping your connection with the mutual friend/ gentleman, especially if they don’t work together now/ have any regular contact.
I think the driver for me to reach out to her was always the thoughts my brain created of her pain, probably just a projection of my own pain. Although added to what I know of her and her kind heart, her sensitivity, how deeply she feels things. I guess I just knew he had another empath and that he was going to play out the same script. It was a very damaging, insidious dance.
I have not contacted her, and she has remained disconnected from me in all ways. I fear that she has remained disconnected from many friends and family, as that is his way. I am sure that she will see her own light / way out of the dark, I can only hope it is not a long tunnel.
I have been reflecting more about the “hoovers” from the narcissist, some I recognised as originating from him, others I didn’t even see for what they were.
The conclusion that I came to, was that Hoovers don’t mean s**t, because they totally depend on our reaction/response, they require us to signal something back to them. If we are honest the whole ‘relationship’ with a narcissist relies on what we signal back to them. They depend on others to survive, to validate their existence.
He can try all he likes, he is not getting any signals of anything from me.
I hear that narcissists don’t like being ignored. Oh well.
Thank you again for your response SMH. I think you sound like you have him sussed, and that you are far along your path / in your lane.
A good friend always told me I could “pick a lane”, I could choose a path, choose what I did and did not want in my life, I am at a stage now where I know this to be true. We can choose life, love, connection, attachment, joy in the little things, and self validation. We do not need to remain caged.
No matter how gilded the cage can be for an effective and affluent narcissist, it remains a cage.
We can fly free. When we choose to allow ourselves that freedom.
Hi EveBea, It seems like she makes your ET rise? I think you are probably more empathic than I am or maybe I just wouldn’t let myself feel IPPS’s pain. I only recall it affecting me once – not even thinking about it deeply, really – it just suddenly hit me as I was crossing a road (I even remember which road). I think in the end as a matter of self-preservation I was angry at HER for not better controlling him (sexist, I know). She had already kicked him out once, as far as I understood, then taken him back expecting that he had learned his lesson. Ha. I guess it was easier than being angry at myself.
I do have him sussed, at least now. I didn’t actually find HG until I was already out of the relationship and during a time when narc wanted to be ‘friends.’ There was so much I did not understand. The last time I saw him, I told him he had a personality disorder and I think I called him a psychopath in an email. I never read the final email he sent me in response. It’s filed away unread. I just let rip and then walked away. But it wasn’t easy at all and if he actually popped up directly, I’m not sure I’d have it in me to keep him out. It’s really important not to give him any opportunity.
Anyway, good for you for getting this far in your understanding. It’s pretty impressive for someone who just found the site.
One day I am betting that this other woman will contact you. By then perhaps you will have enough distance that it won’t affect you. Sometimes I think victims don’t completely recover until something terrible happens to the narc. Maybe she will finally defeat him (with you help).
My emotion mind was so difficult in the early stages, and it catches me out from time to time still. I definitely did and still do feel for her, but I think of her less often. Well it increased again when I found this site.
Had I been in your situation and the context of that, I would imagine that I would have felt an anger towards the wife also, and likely a projected anger. Sometimes when we are angry about ourselves or a situation we are in m, it gets projected in a direction that makes it more tolerable. ( not just a narcissist thing – it’s a human coping mechanism thing )
One thing I have come to know, is that a lot of experiences come down to standard human behaviour/ psychology. Everybody projects, everybody’s brains tell them a story, so it plays that out in the mind before reality, everybody has transactions with their environment everyday.
I know now that much of my worry for her was a projection of my own pain, hypothesising that she will be feeling it too, she will be abused too. She is a good person, an empath who was already wounded just like I was. I believe that I diverted my pain to focus it on what she must be going through, in a way to get it away from myself a little bit.
So much of what I have reflected on draws me to believe that I was not much different to the narcissist, we were both endeavouring to survive. We both suffered trauma in our childhood, we both struggled to understand the world around us, we both had distorted thinking patterns and lenses from messed up core beliefs. We had different labels and some different ways of acting that out in the world. Underneath it all; we are both humans trying to navigate the shit storm of life.
The key difference is empathy as always, and how that shapes our core beliefs further and the orientation we take in navigating it all.
I have only recently come across this particular site through WordPress, but I have worked on my understanding for many years.
I have had, what I perceive to be outstanding care and therapies from my local mental health team, which included DBT, Trauma therapy and compassion focussed therapy.
I was supported to try and understand myself first, as much as I could anyway. I don’t know if I could have managed any comprehension of the narcissist before I got to know my own psyche first.
I think I would have been in a pickle if I had come to a site like this first. I know me and my addiction/ conditioning to narcissists. If I had come here early days when my emotion mind was calling most of the shots, I think I would have just replaced my narcissist with Mr Tudor. ( obviously in my own head only) but I am pretty sure that is what I would have done. Some of the articles are so triggering , as the reality of how a narcissist sees the world and the objects in it, my emotions would have gone sky high and stayed there. I would have replaced the source of my addiction, and been consumed by it further. I am saying this as a known aspect of my individual personality construct. I am sure that this is not the case for many people that came here early, and just the right time for them to get the help they desperately needed to escape. Just a reflection of myself.
I decided to look for further understanding about narcissists recently as I think he was ‘hoovering’, although I had not consciously registered it as that. So my emotion mind was up a bit, so my addiction said “hello me Ol mucker”. I know looking for more information was an emotion lead decision. Thankfully the individual narcissist I knew did not have any signal back from me of anything. I ignored all that came up in that way, but it clearly hit that part of me that still seeks a little narcissist input.
My rational mind ( aka my emotion mind masquerading as my rational mind) came up with the idea of reading articles and joining conversations, as a form of behavioural test / exposure for my addiction 🤦♀️.
But it has helped, I have gained more understanding so be it the addiction or emotion mind or otherwise, it’s been a helpful experience.
Thanks SMH, I hope that your path/ lane remains clear, and well lit ! you have shown me kindness and understanding that I have really appreciated. X
You are safe here – that’s one of the reasons why it can help you. You have HG, you have all of the other commenters, and you can speak your mind. As HG says, Vent Your Spleen!
For years, it really helped me to post here. Even if I did not get a response, I was free to write out whatever I wanted and to read and respond to other posts. I felt very alone having the narc experience. No one – not my therapist at the time, not my friends – no one understood. It is comforting to be here knowing that you are not alone. That your experience is not because of you – it is because of them. You might backslide a bit – your ET might shoot up – but you can work through it here even if you ‘attach’ to HG. It’s a safe space.
I think you are right that I was projecting onto IPPS. I don’t think I could have handled really feeling something for her. I was very very scared – constantly in fight or flight mode – and the fear turned into projecting my anger but I couldn’t project it towards narc for fear of losing him, so I projected it towards IPPS. I told narc that I had written a letter to IPPS, though I never mailed it and that was not the way I contacted her in the end. I think I wanted him to ‘break up with/discard’ me so that I wouldn’t have a choice. But it didn’t happen.
Do you really think you were similar to the narc? Sure, we all have our traumas but that doesn’t mean we all handle them in the same way, except on the most superficial level. But that superficial level is not what being human is about. Empathy is a huge part of being human. In fact, we count on other people’s empathy, right? I have a friend who is not a narc but who is contrary about everything from the smallest to the biggest thing. It might seem trivial but every time I leave her, I feel like shit. I had brunch last week with someone who ended a friendship with her. I hadn’t seen this person in years, so we had never talked about it. But it turns out, it was over the same thing. Most people – normal people – need empathy from those they are close to.
Anyway, stay here and gain more understanding. When you are past it, you’ll know and the site won’t trigger you so much. In fact, it’s a good way to tell how your recovery is going.
Thank you so very much for your reassurance and encouragement. I understand where you are coming from with this, writing it out, talking it out all helps, even when there is not a conversation with another. I would write out loads in the early days, after leaving the narcissist. It helped just to get it out of my head a little bit and to try and process things, ask myself questions and see what came up.
I do feel like we were similar, opposite ends of a spectrum, but just before they meet, if you were to bring the spectrum round in a circle to meet again. We just formed different coping mechanisms from our childhood trauma, that is all. He is still a human being, his child self was just predisposed to and adopted a different mechanism for survival.
Empathy is the key difference of course, in how we orientate to and navigate the journey.
I believe that there are a lot of nuances in being a human. Empathy is a desired attribute for those who seek meaningful connection, and it can be sensed on a deeper level, when it is within another humans capacity to have empathy rather than just cognitive empathy. ( it is obviously a desired attribute for those who seek validation without a reciprocal connection also, but hey)
The person who you sometimes meet with, who is draining and you feel rubbish after meeting, I would personally let that relationship go into entropy. It does not need to be a breaking / ending of the friendship, it would just be a lack of investment or interest in it. So it naturally ends.
I have been reading lots of articles, and the comments from articles over the years. Something I have noted about you SMH, is your consistent ability to really hear people on the blog, to hear what they may be saying behind their words, and your ability to encourage and support them. One comment thread I was reading had an exchange with you and another user and they called you “a light in this world”. They clearly had many exchanges with you, but I can see that they meant that. I think that sounds like a true testament to how you helped, and supported them. It was lovely to read ( although I couldn’t tell you where I read it now) Thank you again for your time and your kindness. X
EveBea, That’s very sweet. I don’t remember being called a ‘light in this world.’ In fact, I don’t think of myself as having lots of empathy at all. I don’t cry a lot, for instance, and sometimes I wonder if I am too self-absorbed OR too supportive – that I don’t know how to moderate. I don’t know, really and I’ve never had a consult to figure out what kind of empath I am. I guess being ensnared by a narc means that I do have it but it can be double-edged. It helps us to listen and to ‘see’ but it also means that we are easily ensnared because we like to ‘help.’
I know what you mean about the spectrum and the circle. HG has something here about that, as I recall. There are degrees of empathy and degrees of narcissism – we all have narc traits even if we are not disordered narcissists – and sometimes the two kinds almost meet. I can tell that my traits are a protective mechanism that I can make appear when I need them. It’s like we tell ourselves a narrative about something bad (say a breakup) to make ourselves feel better and in control. It is a coping mechanism, as you say.
Empathy is pretty central to being human because it helps us to connect to other people. Along those lines, my narc would occasionally post pics on IG. His family would make him do it so it wasn’t something he was comfortable with. Literally all his pics were of the sky, airplanes, or water – mainly oceans. There were never any other people, he never wrote anything and wouldn’t respond if someone else did, and he always seemed to be elsewhere at least in his head if not in reality, though he did travel a lot. It was super weird but I think it is indicative of narc solitude. They might be the life of the party. They might have a dozen kids. But they are alone because they cannot really connect to other humans.
I remember when I found those pics. I wasn’t on IG myself and hadn’t yet found HG, but I was going through a deep phase of trying to figure out what was wrong with narc and I found IPPS’s public account and then found his. I expected to see pics of him hugging his kids, kissing IPPS, smiling, bbqing with the neighbours. I was shocked at what I did find, as it confirmed that he had some sort of disorder. I thought it was Asperger’s for the longest time.
Interestingly, IPPS was always alone too because she spent her days alone. But she chatted a lot on IG, so I got some insights into her personality. I could also tell what was happening to her vs what was happening to me.
Glad I don’t have to do that anymore. It was a lot of work!!
I have not been in touch with the friend I mentioned for a few months except for a few texts. We’ve known each other for decades but I’ve tried to talk to her about her behaviour (more what she says than what she does) and she gets defensive (I would too). The person I met with said that when they had their falling out, the mutual friend cried not because she was losing a friendship but because she was so offended at being asked to change. So I don’t know what to do. Can’t talk to her about it and can’t be around her. I guess I have to decide if the good outweighs the bad but I always think it does …
I’m happy that you are reading so much. There is a lot to take in here but eventually it all starts to make sense. I sometimes go back to my early posts to see my progress but in my conversations with Truthseeker, I have ‘remembered’ how much I have forgotten. It worries me a bit!
So then is it safe to say that a narcissist will always continue to Hoover every former appliance until they are blocked?
There is always a risk of being hoovered as I have explained repeatedly. Whether an actual hoover occurs depends on a variety of factors. You may still be hoovered when you block the narcissist, but you will not know it.
I didn’t believe it until it happened to me. But it is not always possible to block them without them knowing that you did, which in itself seems to be a breach of NC. It would also trigger me to have to look at anything about him – even to see his name – which I would have to do to block him. He knows the only way to hoover that leaves me helpless to do anything about it.
Is there a friend or someone you trust that you could hand your phone to? If you can’t face blocking that name, would you be comfortable allowing someone else to block him for you?
I sat with a friend whilst they blocked, deleted messages and photos from their phone. It can help to have someone with you. Or, maybe you consult with HG? Delete and block whilst HG is talking to you about it? Having HG reinforce to you what this person is, why he does as he does and why you need to take your own phone and own power back might really help. Plus, once it’s done, he can then assist with lowering your ET.
I had an online ensnarement so blocking was tough for me too. Once done though, I felt like a weight had been lifted, I felt stronger afterwards. It was the idea of it that was far worse than the reality of doing it, at least for me.
We can’t leave ourselves open to their whim. We have to close them down.
Thank you Truthseeker! I’ve been on here on and off for four years now so I know what he is. But it never occurred to me to ask a friend for help. The only problem is that he uses fake profiles on the site where he would have seen that his former colleague and I are friends, so I’d have to find them using his email or some combination of his fake names. On the professional site, I’d have to look at all of the profiles because his real name is not that distinctive. While I know where he lives, I don’t know where he works now. But definitely something to think about.
Yes, I can see how he is clearly a slippery customer. I’d say don’t underestimate what a friend will do to help and make sure that you feel ok. Doing a task like that together, brainstorming possible names and email addresses, blocking suspect profiles etc might give you some control back, whilst feeling supported. Often we assume that people won’t do for us what we would do for them. That’s sometimes because we don’t give them the opportunity!
I’m glad you’re considering it.
Truthseeker, That made me laugh! Rawr! I only have two apps – one social and one professional, and both are private. They are not connected in any way. Narc spies on my social and visits my professional to make sure that I notice. The professional one goes basically unused by me. I never post anything and only see his visits when I have a reason for using that app, which is perhaps once a month. But when I do notice a visit, I get compulsive and keep on checking it. The social one doesn’t tell you when someone outside of your network looks at your profile so I have no way of knowing. The best I can do is to hide my connections but then the ex-colleague would have to hide his too, and so would everyone else. For all I know, narc has a list of all of my connections in addition to my personal and work (public) email addresses. But instead of emailing me he does what narcs do. I would never email him, partly because he trained me not to (shelf IPSS) but I think I will do a bit of housekeeping on the personal app. Thank you for taking the time to respond! x
Haha, good I’m glad you had a giggle, we’ve got to laugh at it sometimes you know. A lot of our experiences are horrible, really nothing to laugh about at all, but, once we are actually out, sometimes, seeing their antics as just a bit comical, can help.
Ok, I’m glad you don’t have a lorry load of social media apps. You are very limited in interactions on the work app, I see what you mean about the contact trail.
In some ways, you answered your own dilemma. Sometimes you check, and he has made his presence known, that spikes your ET, activates your Truthseeker trait, offends your sense of privacy and you start checking far more regularly. It plays on your mind, so you check more, so your ET goes up and off we go, caught in a loop. I’ve done it too, it doesn’t help, but it’s hard to break out of as well.
If irritating you on social media is all he got left, he hasn’t got much. The more you ignore it, the less it will upset you. Yes it’s annoying, but try not to give his actions too much relevance. We do a lot of it ourselves, get in that loop, we give them the power over us. The reality is, currently, he has no power, only the power you allow him to have via your own internal reaction.
Don’t look, don’t check, keep your apps as tidy as you can, as private as you can, but try not to obsess. Easier said than done I know! The Mirror Technique is really good. Its in the Knowledge Vault, good value. Might be a good logic top up for you, just to get a bit a fight going in you, a bit of structure. We all need a boost from time to time to reign our thoughts back in.
I really hope you feel better. Stay strict with yourself and your own thoughts, and you’ll feel more in control, less bothered by it all.
Truthseeker, just stopping by to say thank you again and to tell you something funny that happened. I’ve been going through all of my photos on my computer and some of them do not have labels, so I have to look at them. I’m scrolling through and what ‘pops’ up? Well, you can guess what popped up. I didn’t delete them but they didn’t trigger me either. I had a giggle after I got over my shock (didn’t remember that I’d downloaded them). Of course I am glad I did not have a friend sitting beside me helping me to delete photos!! xx
Hello SMH 😊
Thank you for your lovely comment and for thinking of me. You did make me laugh there. Do you know what? I never even considered my friend might have those kinds of photos on his phone hahaha! I’m so naive sometimes!
I see your point, imagine having your friend sat beside you as you were clicking on through!! “Make it stop! Make it stop!” Haha!
On a more serious note. Well done. Well done for not getting triggered and well done for facing down that task and pushing on with it.
When I sat with my friend as he went through his phone, we sat opposite each other, so we did safeguard privacy haha! He was scrolling and deleting, then, he would stop and I’d feel the hit land. He showed me the photo and then described the day it was taken. The tough ones were mostly of the golden period not surprisingly. So he told me about the day and then I would shatter the illusion by retelling the interaction and describing what was actually going on in terms of fuel and control. We dismantled that part of the illusion and then we would move on, delete delete delete then a sticking point again etc.
Talking through the day was tough, tough for him and tough for me, because I knew what I was saying was smashing through the ‘good bits’ which his ET was trying very hard to hold on to.
The interesting thing though, and why I wanted to share this (with his permission) is that once he truly looked at those representations of seemingly perfect days, he started to recall other not so perfect parts of the same day or a day that followed. So, he in a sense witnessed his own ET at work. The photo on the beach looked perfect for example, but then he remembered the devaluing behaviours that occurred later that same day. So as he progressed through the photos, the task became a little easier.
All to say, that facing up to this task is a big deal. It’s not easy by any stretch, but, it can move the empath a long way forward in terms of ‘ laying the ghost’.
So, if you find an image that upsets you, turn it around and examine it. What happened the day before the photo was taken? What happened after? Use your understanding to break apart the illusion and not only will your own computer / phone be yours again, without annoying images to catch you unawares, but I think you’ll feel lighter at the end of the process.
Truthseeker, Wow. I can see exactly how that disillusionment would work. It’s is partly what HG does here and in consults. I think it helps not only to have someone schooled in narcissism sitting beside you (your friend is very lucky to have you) but also to have some distance, in my case almost five years. That’s why the photos didn’t trigger me – my ET is practically non-exist – though I can remember exactly what was happening at the time. It was actually one of the weirdest experiences of my life, and not something I want to forget. I was naive too.
Speaking of weirdness, there was another anonymous visit to my professional profile sometime in the past week or two. I discovered it only yesterday. So that’s three in three months. Exactly his pace. It’s beginning to feel a bit relentless. I can picture him getting more and more frantic, as he used to do if I didn’t respond immediately to one of his messages. xx
Very much so. HG corrected my interpretation of events many times here on the blog and it helped me to wriggle free from the bonds I had formed to the online narc. I took a similar approach with my friend. Higher voice, not as knowledgeable as HG but knowledgeable enough haha!
ET is huge in influencing our behaviour. That’s another area in which HG excels. Once an empath can spot their own ET and call it by its name, they start to see clearly. So my friend purchased Zero Impact and several other Knowledge Vault items. Plus he devoured HG’s YouTube videos. He listened to several per day and we talked through them in relation to his own ensnarement. He learned to spot and manage his own ET, he put the work in himself, but I can say that I am a good student and I was grateful for being able to put my knowledge to good use in support. My friend is out, and safely out, he won’t be going back.
Time does have a huge impact on our ability to deal with triggers, totally agree, but remember you had to get through those early months in order to get to this point. You did that. You stuck it out.
It sounds as if you are popping up in one of the narc’s spheres of influence. Possibly via a colleague or via a friend link in your profile. You pop up, he has a little look at your profile. Let him look. Let him knock himself out looking! If you can’t identify the sphere of influence and close it down, don’t let it bother you, stay out of that fifth arena ( thinking about the narcissist) and his looking will feel to you exactly what it is, pointless. They only have power over us whilst we actually care, either care for them or care what they might do or think. Once we stop caring, they lose their grip.
As HG points out, we can’t control what they do, but we can definitely control what we do. 😎
It’s actually exceptional, I think, that your friend listened to you and moved forward. I’ve had two friends involved with narcs and neither would listen. One got out herself with the help of a therapist and is fine now, though it was rough for awhile. The other got her heart smashed to smithereens a year ago and still has not recovered. She let him move in with her when they were not even in a relationship yet. I couldn’t stop her but I knew I’d have to be there to pick up the pieces. He took and took, including money, while she gave and gave, thinking that love would conquer all. Sigh. His abuse literally made her physically ill. I think she was also terribly embarassed that she had walked right into a trap.
I think everyone thinks their own situation is ‘special.’ I wouldn’t have listened either. I didn’t even listen to myself about my own narc.
Unfortunately, those two still move in the same circle and friends report on him to her. I feel lucky that my narc didn’t know anyone I was close to and indeed I had never met anyone who knew him until ex-colleague came along four years later. I was able to completely walk away but if my one connection has started all of this stuff cascading, imagine what it must be like to have the narc in your friend group!!
Pointless is right. I’ll just ignore it until it goes away. It’s only me allowing him to stay in my head. xx
Totally agree, a shared social circle would be a nightmare to lock down. I was lucky that the narc who did me the most damage was an online ensnarement. Far easier to disappear yourself.
Timing is everything I think. People have to see the signs for themselves, they have to reach the point where they think “Something isn’t right here” or even better, “This isn’t me, it’s not how I want to live my life.” Before that realisation, people are very tough to reach, addiction is at its height and they feel there are still things to try to save the relationship. Whilst they are still trying to save it, there’s little we can say.
My friend had left and gone back, the narc had left and gone back a few times too, this was before I knew him. We only got close over the past 18 months or so. When he reached out to me, he desperately loved her but he also knew that he was being walked over so there was an element of fight in him, a self preservation starting to wake up. Once he confided what was happening, he was ready to be helped really, ready to listen and truly consider what I was saying. YouTube was massive for him. He asked a question, I answered and would prove it with an HG video for him to listen to on his way home from work. His narc then went away for a week with work. There was an opportunity for him to escape, so I hothoused him with HG videos! He had just enough information to convince him that she was a narcissist and at the end of that week he left.
Watching someone else live an ensnarement is heartbreaking. Watching the pain after they escape is heartbreaking too. I think because physically he looks so strong, it looked even worse to me. This big strong guy just in pieces. It’s awful.
I listened to ‘Tea with Sam and HG’ this weekend. In the video Sam says that she’s grateful for her experience with narcissists because it opened her eyes to narcissism in society as a whole, she learnt from her experiences and they helped her to be a stronger person. I agree with her but my main reason for not regretting my ensnarements is that it puts me in a position where I can confidently help others. My friend and also my daughter so far.
My daughter was ensnared online. If I hadn’t had my ensnarements, landed here, accessed the right information, my daughter would have been in a far worse state. Still being hoovered or perhaps worse. She’s 15. I’d take every ensnarement without complaint if it means that I can protect my own. This is already coming to pass. The big guy with the silky voice did good. He weaponised me and gave me the tools to protect my own. So I wouldn’t change my ensnarements or in fact any of my life experiences. Every time I get to use my knowledge to help someone else I’ll nod silently to HG in recognition of a job well done.
It’s timing I think SMH. Being ready when people start to see the light.
“I’ll ignore it until it goes away. It’s only me that is allowing him to stay in my head.”
Adda girl! Exactly right, kick him out of there and keep him out! 😎You sound much better, I’m really happy for you, now just stick to the plan haha!
Truthseeker, Beautifully said. Did you know your narc in person? Or was it completely online? How did he react when you disappeared?
I found HG post-escape but when I was still ensnared by a ‘friendship.’ At that time, a close family member was very ill and I didn’t have the bandwidth to deal with narc. I never even told him about the illness, which ended in death a few months later when he and I were no longer in touch, because I knew that he wouldn’t be able to be supportive.
During the friend stage, which lasted about six weeks, I found it much easier to get angry, went on the warpath, went for total destruction (details are all on here somewhere!), which was partly due to the illness in my family. That is another factor that might help some people escape. Something happens outside of the narc bubble and the bubble pops and you are jerked out of your dream state.
I found HG just by chance. I had no idea about narcissism and no one to help me. No one understood the situation, no one knew narc, they thought that it was all because it was an affair (in case you think I am awful, he lied about his marital status and I didn’t know the truth for about 7 months, by which time it was too late).
I am so glad you caught the situation with your daughter. 15 is young! Was her narc older or also a teen? I haven’t had to intervene with my kids or young people in general, but I did try to get friends here. You are right that timing is important. I also think it’s difficult to accept that it was all false. It is even still hard for me all these years later. I could even see the latest appearances as part of the cycle we had of me getting angry/upset and leaving, long breaks, him stalking me online, me returning to him, etc. It seems I am still trying to break the cycle…
But I wouldn’t change anything either partly because I now understand narcissism but also because I really stretched myself to the extremes of both good and bad. I hope to never have that experience again but I am glad I had it once!
I will look for Tea with Sam and HG. Hugs x
Hi SMH 🙂
I met the online narc in a recruitment forum for players for an online game I play. He stood out to me straight away. I felt like I’d known him for ages, he made me laugh. We moved to Kik the same night and messaged privately from there on in. We were in different countries to start with. Things for me were not going well. I was bleeding into the water so to speak. He was just someone I spoke to, nothing romantic to start with, someone who was wholly on my side. The relationship was never defined, many things were implied. I met him on two separate occasions when I came back to the UK visiting family. The rest was online. Hours and hours online.
My daughter was caught by a friend of a friend. On the fringes of her friendship group but from a different school in a different town. He was in the same Snapchat group. They began private messaging. Very similar, talking for hours, video calls etc. He would disappear, then reappear months later. He was also quite controlling over what she wore, who she went out with etc. The giveaway in many respects was my daughter’s own behaviour. I saw her light up when her phone would chime. When she told me more about it and I asked questions, there were so many narc indicators it was impossible for him to be anything else.
I don’t think badly of you at all SMH. I understand how it starts and none of us would have become ensnared had we known what we were dealing with.
I can understand how the narc’s hoovering can remind you of that cycle. The one where they must care, because they keep coming back, they can’t let go. Too many romantic films that’s our problem, the tumultuous love story! Personally I blame Hollywood haha! It isn’t romantic, it was never romantic, even the romantic bits, it was abusive and you hold all the cards now. You are the one sitting with all of the control, he’s the one making fresh profiles pretending he isn’t him haha!
SMH, kick him out of your mind. The stricter you are with your own thoughts, the easier it gets and the stronger you will feel. Don’t worry about what he’s doing, just concentrate on what you are doing 🙂
Sending a hug right back. Xx
Truthseeker, Haha. That Hollywood reference. You are so right. It makes us blind to what is ACTUALLY going on. I even once told narc that we were in love with each other – this was right before I kicked him to the curb though. Maybe I was trying to be him!!
So you did meet your online narc! I’m sorry that happened to you. Even though I saw mine in person pretty regularly, the between times were all about the virtual and I know that narc sphere quite well – the hours of back and forth, the conditioning, the feeling that there’s an invisible thread tying you to narc. I used to wake up automatically right before mine would email me, which was usually at 5:30 a.m. He had me so conditioned that even when we weren’t in touch it would take weeks for me to get back on schedule.
I suspect that my initial blase attitude with him (not looking for anything serious) presented a challenge as he quickly got very controlling in a very underhanded way. He ‘couldn’t’ see me when I was free and insisted on seeing me when I was busy. Once he basically showed up on my doorstep. I even said to a girlfriend within the first two weeks of meeting him, I don’t know. He’s very controlling. And then the disappearing and reappearing. Sounds like what your daughter experienced, and maybe you too. Can we say ‘red flags’?!
I am pleased that your daughter listened to you, especially if this was her first ‘relationship.’ It would be so awful to have the full on narc experience at that age and maybe be ruined for life. It does happen. x
Oh yes, Invisible thread would be correct. I had a knack of knowing when he would message, didn’t matter which shift he was working I was fully in tune with him. Me too, I was regularly coasting on three and four hours sleep then the following night I would do the same again. When I would message first his response would come through in seconds. If I lost my mind and messaged tomorrow, he would do exactly the same thing and there would be no awkward questions, it would be as if I never left. That messes with your head. Normal people don’t do that.
I was far more romantic, far more Hollywood love story with him than with anyone else I ever dated and I’ve had far longer and more involved relationships. Similarly the sadness I felt at ending it was far worse than any other relationship I ever ended. I’ve been IPPS twice previously but nothing compared to the sadness I felt with the online narc. Lots of reasons for that, my life at the time we met, the fact I viewed him as my best friend, someone on my side, but mostly I think because much of that ensnarement was fantasy, played out in my mind rather than in reality. He was an escape, an alternative, a possibility of things being different, I suppose he represented the love story to me. Considering I’m not really a Love Devotee he got me good and proper. I had to crawl out of my own head at a time I really didn’t want to crawl out. So many factors combined there to make the perfect storm. Meeting him in person, really, I just saw what I expected to see. My ET skyrocketed and whilst I did spot some weirdness, I did spot some manipulations during those meetings, I just screened them out. I revelled in the good, bathed in my own ET and built him into some kind of white knight. I see it all now for exactly what it was but I was incredibly low for a long time after. Prior narcs didn’t damage me in the same way, I took on serious damage with him though.
I’m not angry, I’m no longer sad, I don’t blame him, hate him, miss him or regret him. I just have no feelings about him now one way or the other. That experience, then having HG set me straight did arm me though. My daughter’s online ensnarement was uncanny in its similarities to mine, and I mean shockingly similar. Stands to reason, she is wired similarly to me. What worked on me would work on her. My experience served to protect one of the two most important people in my life, I’m good with that, given the option I would choose that any day of the week.
I hoped my daughter wouldn’t have to deal with a similar experience, but, she did and in a strange way I’m half glad her narc showed up when she was so young and still under my roof. It has opened her eyes without her feeling she has to look over her shoulder all the time. She is aware of what she is now and she is aware of what that means in terms of people that will be drawn to her. She also rates my knowledge so going forward I think she’ll continue to confide in me. It’s the best outcome I can ask for really. It was a tough lesson for one so young but a worthwhile one.
If I had any doubts about her empathic status, those doubts were put to bed. She’s an empath, no doubt about it. Similar school mix to me, different cadres I think, not much Saviour in my girl haha! She has that same element of Magnet but I’d pair it with Carrier strangely enough. Maybe one day we’ll find out, only if she wants to know.
So there was definitely a silver lining in both of our experiences. There often is, we just need to get over things fully before we are able to see it. I’m glad you got out SMH and I’m very glad you have taken back control after him hoovering you. Keep a hold of it, make sure he stays out of your head, we’re a nightmare for playing things through in our heads!
Truthseeker, It’s amazing how similar they all are. Maybe being a narc means not having a personality? Mine would also do that uncanny thing of picking up right where we left off, even if we had not seen each other or spoken for months. We never ever talked about ‘what happened,’ except for me once making a joke about it.
I have to say though that if I asked narc to do something or to act a certain way, he would try. There was one point when my anxiety was through the roof and I asked him to be in touch every day. He did it for about a month – so much so, that I was getting irritated. Then he suddenly disappeared.
Strangely, it was only during the ‘friend’ stage that I really got super angry. I guess I wasn’t afraid of losing him anymore but the disappearing act also really annoyed me because friends do not play those sorts of games and I had been there for him. Boy was I pissed off!! Best friend ha.
Like you, I am not a Love Devotee. I also could never be romantic about it because he was married. But I did love things about him, I was completely fascinated by him, and he had me by the ET most definitely. Maybe we compensate for what they don’t have? An excess of ET to keep things rolling? I don’t know how they do it.
I also took on serious damage. Something like PTSD. For a long time, I couldn’t go on more than two dates with anyone. My walls would go up. It’s taken a few years and another (casual) relationship to get beyond that, but I don’t think I will ever be ‘over’ narc. Even writing about it here makes me miss the intensity and maybe even the person. Not enough to break NC though!! And honestly he’s not in my head very much. Just that when he is, he is in there deeply.
Your daughter – I am truly sorry she had to learn these lessons so young. It must be disillusioning but it is a good lesson to learn and hopefully she will find someone ‘normal’ for her first real relationship. With you to guide her, I am sure she will be safe.
It’s interesting that her online ensnarement was so similar to yours. It may be that she is similar to you, as you say, but it also seems that narcs have a pattern, given that you and I had such similar ensnarements too and given what we read here. They operate by the same playbook – the path of least resistance or something like that. There’s a flatness to them because they operate via logic rather than emotion. I used to describe my narc to friends as a flat paper bag rather than a balloon – trying to explain what it was like to deal with him. He did have a good sense of humour though. Oddly. That’s how he got me. Narcs and humour. Now there’s a topic for you, HG!
Hope you are enjoying your weekend, Truthseeker! xx
I wrote a lengthy response to you yesterday but I think I must have lost connection and it’s sitting in the graveyard of lost comments!
I thought about things further and I think I’m likely closer on this message than the last one anyway haha!
Do narcs have a personality? That’s a good question. I think it depends on the narc. Aware narcs will have a greater opportunity to incorporate genuine likes and dislikes into the construct, but even then, most if not all elements would be expendable if they were viewed as an obstacle to the receipt of the Prime Aims. So I think Greater narcs have a degree of flexibility, will appear to have greater consistency in work and social endeavours, which will present more like a stable personality.
The unaware narcs I think are pretty much devoid of genuine personality. I think sometimes we view narcs as a person who has a disorder (NPD) when it’s probably more accurate to view the individual as a disorder with a person attached.
They do appear to operate from the same book which seems amazing when we view narcissists as personalities or as people like us. If you view them as a disorder though, then those similarities seem less remarkable.
The narcissism is running the show. Narcissism requires the Prime Aims and schools of narcissist manipulate from within their preferred manipulative palette. Schools of narcissist subconsciously target certain schools and cadres of empath but essentially if you have the class traits then you’re on the radar. Any port in a storm so to speak. This in itself highlights that the narcissism rather than a genuine personality is running the show.
My daughter and I happen to be wired very similarly. She will have my school mix and likely some of my cadre mix. So we will be attractive to similar schools of narcissist, really for no other reason than our similar trait mix.
Add context to that, an online ensnarement and you are likely to end up with similar school and cadre of narc, drawing from a similar manipulative palette, with similar manipulations working or missing the mark thanks to the similar trait mix of myself and my daughter.
The narcissism is making the decisions not the narcissist.
I do think that ET fills in the gaps. If the narcissist is the photo, the ET is the filter. The filter can make all the difference to a dodgy photo.
Humour, definitely. I don’t give much away, less so now but humour is my Achilles heel and the way in. Make me laugh and I’m warming to you. My daughter is similar, she has a very dry observational humour and she’s quick off the mark. That kind of thing makes a person stand out online, so she needs to be selective in terms of who gains access to her and she then needs to be very aware of red flags.
Beware the narc with a great sense of humour. There’s nothing behind it which feels so bizarre to us I think. For me humour or laughing feels instinctive. For humour to be used as just another manipulation was probably one of the most difficult aspects for me to believe. It really does reinforce the point though that it is the disorder and not the narcissist him / herself that’s running the show.
I’ve attached a couple of videos for you below on the topics we were discussing. From the mouth of the expert.
I hope you had a lovely weekend too.
Got to tell you this because it just made me laugh to myself. Talking about narcs and humour. I hadn’t been on the blog too long so it was at a time where I was battling ET. I was having a rubbish day, was feeling pretty low. I posted on the blog something like, “ Having a rubbish day, anyone know any good jokes?” HG answered with what I would describe as a ‘dad joke’
“ A book just fell on my head. I have only my shelf to blame.” (Can’t believe I remembered that but I do, so it registered with me.)
At the time I laughed because a) it was so bad it was funny and b) it was being told by a narcissistic psychopath, which was so incongruent that it just made it funnier. I remember thinking “ That was kind”. I know now that it wasn’t kind, what it was, was effective. HG had a new empath in the fold and he was ensuring she stuck around long enough for his work to work, because if it did, she might be of some use down the road. She might recommend the work, post on FB etc.
It doesn’t bother me. I got what I needed at the time, I do recommend and post so HG did get his residual benefit. Win win for both, both walk away better off. Maybe that’s what prosocial means? HG benefits but others in the fuel matrix benefit too.
You can tell me dad jokes any day HG 😉
Truthseeker, That joke sounds like something an AI chatbot would tell (it did make me laugh though). Hmm. There must be a connection between the way a chatbot ‘thinks’ and the way a narc thinks. For instance, both can present as having emotions, even though they don’t. Both can make a joke through a logically distorted logic. Also like a chatbot, my narc could do major calculations in his head in seconds. I’m sure HG can too. It’s kind of creepy to consider the similarities – the nothingness behind it.
Thank you for the links. I remember the first but not the second on humour. Guess HG has already done it! Of course it makes perfect sense. Nothing happens just because. There is no serendipity. The magic isn’t there. Depressing…
What astonishes me is that we on here have different personalities yet we have such similar experiences. Perhaps we could say that we are also individuals with the disorder of ET attached (that line made me laugh out loud)! That is, our ET has similarities too. It’s so confusing.
In any case, this conversation will really help me if the narc ever tries directly to get back in touch. I think I’ll see the disorder before the ‘person’ – at least I would hope so! x
Interesting. What sort of hoovers occur when you block the narcissist HG?
Potentially a wide variety but it is dependent on various factors and therefore specificity would be required with regard to the relevant situation to provide an appropriate and accurate answer.
Hmmmm interesting. Thank you HG
Alex, how could you? 🙂
You should have typed: “Thank you for not replying” 🙂
PS It was an interesting question Alex, it’s a pity that HG decided not to answer it or give at least one interesting example. Maybe we’ll hear or read this answer somewhere later 🙂
Would be great. Concrete examples from the autopsy are always the best.
(I don’t know if autopsy also has a double meaning in English? I mean, of course, not post-mortem, but: “my own experience”.)
No concrete example was given for the very reason stated in my answer. That was obvious.
You’re welcome:) Reading your comment I can see that this social media stalking is getting to you, quite a lot.
I’m not a big Facebook user. I actually have two accounts, but both are usually inactive. I do have other chat apps but I’m selective in the way I use them. If your job is public facing then I assume that your presence on social media is pretty much a requirement. This makes you feel very like a sitting duck, you don’t have control over whether he contacts you or not and in addition, if he is lurking within your social media, then you will keep popping up on his radar through notifications arriving each time you post.
So really, you want to reduce the number of hoover triggers, plus you want your privacy so that you can chat and post at will without feeling that he’s there watching.
This might be a housekeeping issue.
Think about your social media apps and decide which are used primarily for work and which you use socially.
Could you separate the two? So one app is for work contacts and communication and one for social communication only? Are there any apps that you can close, move people over to a different app and run fewer?
Looking at the work apps, is it a requirement to check these apps daily and have notifications on? Could you instead turn notifications off and check these apps once or twice a week? Colleagues will message at all times of the day and night if there are no parameters in place. What if you set and communicate contact parameters? “I check the app once or twice a week at this time.” You might get a grumble or two but quality of life is a very good excuse and it’s current. You have work communication and it is at these set times, that’s it, deal with it!
Revisit your contacts, are there old contacts on there that you can remove? Streamline, tidy the contacts up. Have a friend with you for moral support if needed, or, close an old account that has links to the narc and open a new one. You might find it very freeing.
Looking at your social apps. Again, tidy the friends lists up. If you can’t remember the name, or you haven’t chatted for over a year, can you delete the contact? The contacts should be people you want to chat with and keep up to date with, if not, they’re out. Don’t be scared of offending that person you met on holiday two years ago, they don’t care! You come first.
Check your settings. Who needs to see your posts? Which apps can you set to ‘friends only’ or ‘private’ and which need to be set to public?
Once you have tidied up, you are sure of the contacts in the list, your settings are updated, and where possible you have separated work from personal communication, you have more control.
At the moment, you feel he can contact at almost any time. It’s a privacy invasion. Close him down, you check your social media on a specific time and day, that’s it, notifications off. Or, at worst, every day, once, at a set time. This hands you control. If there’s a hoover that managed to get through, you see it at your set time on your set day only, better than it playing on your mind all the time.
This should lower your ET too, so if a hoover does get through, you feel better able to brush it off and not think about it.
People are messy with their social media. Even if it’s needed for your line of work, I’ll wager that you could tidy it up and get it working for you rather than feeling like you are enslaved to it.
Social media is a time drain, use it less and you’ll feel like you have more free time and more control over your interactions.
Just some thoughts. I wouldn’t email to stop hoovering, as irritated as it makes you feel, you are giving fuel, inviting more hoovers and showing your hand. Ignore him, instead, just make it tougher for him to affect you. 🙂
Take back control, you aren’t a sitting duck, you’re the wolf SMH haha! Say it, “I’m the wolf!” Rawrr!
If I had to have a stab at that Alexis I think I’d look at the following factors.
School of narcissist.
What else is happening in their fuel matrix ( which obviously we shouldn’t know if in NC). Is the narc hard up for fuel or awash with it, this would influence risk reward.
Whether the victim has been hoovered before and if prior hoovers proved successful.
The place the victim previously occupied in the fuel matrix therefore the potency of the hoover fuel if successful. Is it worth a financial outlay? Is it worth expending much energy?
The type of narc in terms of nomad or ping pong player. Is it a one off fuel hit or is there a desire for several interactions?
The type of victim. Tourniquet, etc, therefore the likelihood of positive or negative fuel.
Is the victim painted black or white? Is the hoover benign ( inter flora incoming) or malign ( poo in a Jiffy bag).
Whether the victim was disengaged from or escaped, influences wounding and painting black or white.
Possibly the type of hoover trigger, which sphere of influence the victim entered. Sphere 1 might provoke a more direct form of hoover.
The support network / romantic status of the victim. Is she lonely, or has she moved on and is in another relationship? Support from family or friends?
Location. How easy is it to hoover the victim. Plane ride, or five minute drive?
Is the hoover a fact finding mission? Or is it a hard hoover to bring the former IPPS back in to some form of relationship.
There’ll be loads more variables but looking at those, you could estimate chances of success versus risk of wounding therefore a tentative or very direct form of hoover might be preferable.
Anecdotal evidence suggests to me that MMRB like to use a more tentative approach (that’ll be the walnut balls then). I’ve seen an MMRB use a hoover by proxy on the same victim several times. Indirect, so seemingly less risk of wounding.
I’d be interested to know if a shortage of fuel lowers the hoover bar because the narc is willing to take more risk to get much needed fuel. Or, raises it because they can’t afford the risk of being wounded when fuel levels are already low.
Nice to see you Alexis 🙂
Thanks for that, Truthseeker! Very helpful. Happened again, like clockwork. He is mid-range, a ping-pong, I escaped almost 5 years ago, I wounded him (but that happened throughout the FR – I left numerous times but it didn’t stick until the final time), his hoovers during the FR were always bengin (well, not so much if you consider virtual stalking on three different platforms).
He knows that I know this is him because I once mentioned it and it stopped for awhile. He would do it approximately once a month if I went silent. Now I find one in Dec and one in Jan. It must be a fact finding mission. He saw that I know his ex-colleague, who lives in country 1, and he is checking to see where I am because I live in countries 1 and 2, while MRN lives in country 3 but used to live in country 2, which is where we met. He must have checked to see if my work is still in country 2 because I’ve listed country 1 as where I live on my personal social media. So he doesn’t know if I’ve moved back (country 1 is much much closer to him in country 3, though he hops on planes the way other people hop in their car).
It’s fairly easy to hoover me, I guess, given that it’s online. It would be a plane ride or a long drive to see me in country 1 – though I did once (jokingly) tell him that I was moving to country 3 with him because he owned me. I have no idea about his fuel matrix and he wouldn’t know about my other relationships or what the situation is with my family, unless he googled some obituaries (always possible!). He would know what I’ve been up to otherwise because my job is public facing.
I’m getting a headache just thinking about it, but I’ve never been wrong before. The horrible thing is that I am tempted to email him ‘STOP IT.’ But I know that would start things up again in a second.
Anyway, thanks for your patience. Even if you don’t read this, it helps me to write it out and your response to Alexis was super!
HG, when someone changes their name on social sites, is this what you mean by “but you will not know it”?
Hi Asp emp,
I think the meaning in the initial response, is relating purely to the act of blocking someone. In that when you block them, on their end they can send you message and try to call you etc, but the messages will never be delivered and calls won’t go through, as you have blocked them. So you have no awareness of them trying to contact you, even if they are, you don’t know it. Well that was how i interpreted the response anyway. Ignorance is bliss in that regard I guess. So blocking and no contact is king.
EveBea, thank you.
Good to read the older threads of ’10 Hoover Hurdles’ & ‘Hoover Hurdles’ – some really good comments and golden nuggets. Thank you for sharing them, HG 🙂
Sharing this link because it is additional to just blocking on ie social media, mobile etc.