Knowing the Narcissist : Perpetual Emotion


Everything that we do is geared around emotion. On the one hand, this may seem somewhat odd, someone like us who does not operate with the full range of emotions that other people do and certainly nowhere near the heightened emotions that the empathic individual is capable of. It is however entirely logical that we are fixated with the notion of emotion.

At its most obvious, we want your emotional output in order to make good that hole which exists inside of us. Stripped of certain emotions we are left with an emptiness which we want to fill. This emptiness is dangerous because something else will want to fill it. As you know, nature abhors a vacuum and this maxim is no different when it comes to us. If the emptiness is not filled with your emotional responses, our fuel, then something far worse will want to break free from its prison and flood into the hole, occupying it and filling it, overcoming us with the very creature that we repeatedly seek to keep under lock and key, silence and forgotten about.

Your emotional responses provide us with fuel. We relish drawing them from you. All and any emotions are wanted by us as fuel. The positive emotions that you provide – joy, happiness, compassion, sympathy, delight and ecstasy are those which are denied to us. We know what they look like because we mimic them in order to further our own survival but we do not know what they feel like. The fact that we are able to cause those positive emotions, when we do not possess them ourselves, makes us feel powerful. We can make you smile with happiness, skip with joy, hug with compassion, kiss with passion and a whole range of others. Our might is underlined by being able to cause this outpouring of emotion and this fuels us, filling the emptiness. Even better are those negative emotions. Whilst we experience many (but not all) of these negative emotions, we still want yours. This is because even more than positive emotions, our ability to cause you to be frightened, angry, upset, sorry and frustrated evidences just how powerful we are. You are geared towards acting with positive intent by reason of your empathic nature and for us to cause negative emotions to spoor from you, like blood from a gaping wound, underlines the power that we wield. Once again those emotions allow us to fill up the hole within. Accordingly, the issue of your provision of emotions is utterly central to our existence.

Yet, the matter of emotion goes beyond this. We not only want you in a perpetual emotional state for fuel, we want it because it affords us control. Decisions made on an emotional basis are often poor decisions. It is those decisions which are made from an objective standpoint, where cool rationale is at the forefront. We operate from a position of logic. Admittedly, few comprehend our logic because it is different from yours because of our different perspectives and viewpoints, but irrespective of that, we apply ourselves in a calculating manner. The lesser of our kind respond through instinct, not through emotion. The greater of our kind respond through cold and detached calculation. Plotting, scheming and planning. Most people allow their decisions to be based on emotion. Those decisions will be bad decisions. Take these for example: –

  1. Lending someone money because you feel sorry for their impecunious state even though you know they are unlikely to repay you;
  2. Purchasing a new pair of shoes because it feels good to buy something new and pretty, even though you cannot afford them and you will miss your rent payment this month;
  3. Allowing a friend on a night out who becomes abusive when drunk, because you feel bad if they are not invited along;
  4. Keeping an incompetent employee in position because you’ve known them a long time and know they will struggle if they were fired;
  5. Recruiting somebody because they are attractive and flirt with you, rather than a superior candidate who you don’t find attractive;
  6. Calling us to find out how we are, even though you know we will try to hoover you, because you worry about how we cope on our own;
  7. Spending the night with us because the sex is so amazing even though you know what is coming later;
  8. Letting us come and see you to talk things through because it feels right and fair, even though you know we are likely to worm our way back into your life once again.

All poor decisions. All made because emotion was allowed to interfere.

It is, in a way, natural and a situation we wholeheartedly encourage and endorse. We want you full of emotion. We want you blindly thrashing around, failing to apply critical thinking, allowing yourself to be swept along by emotion. Emotions stop you seeing clearly. They stop you making the right decisions. Emotions keep you fixed in one place, paralysed and unable to move forward which is exactly what we want. We do not want you applying reason and intellect to the situation. We want you confused, bewildered, overwrought and overwhelmed with emotive considerations. This is what keeps you in situ and so much easier to control. So long as you allow emotions to rule you will not escape us and all our manipulations are designed to keep you emotional. We draw the fuel and we keep you from realising what is really happening. We want to pull those heartstrings, we want to blackmail you through using your emotions, we want to appeal to your heart. The more emotional you are the better it is for us. More fuel and more control. This is why you were chosen by us. Your propensity to allow emotion to cloud your thinking, your inability to allow cold logic to govern your decision making and the heightened emotional output which provides us with such delicious fuel were all reasons why we targeted you in the beginning. Those with a muted range of emotional responses are no good for us. This is why we often target ‘damaged’ people because they are always shipping emotional content from them. People with Borderline Personality Disorder prove particularly juicy prey for some of our kind since those people have the emotional hide of a tissue and the slightest provocation has emotion fountaining from them.

You cannot ever shut off those emotions, not unless you cease to function by reason of becoming so ill that those functions shut down (hence why you are discarded when this happens) but in order to tackle us you need to take hold of those emotions, turn off the tap when dealing with just us and regulate your emotions in a more appropriate manner until such time as you can make your escape from us. In the meanwhile, we want you gushing with fuel paralysed and giving us perpetual emotion

9 thoughts on “Knowing the Narcissist : Perpetual Emotion

  1. EveBea says:

    Agreed that decisions made only from high emotion can be very poor decisions. But I think I would make them again now, still knowing what I know, and even after all of the pain. Because being with him helped me to see what I really needed to attend to, old wounds that he made deeper but did not initially create. As the article says they look for wounded people. I finally attended to those wounds after the relationship with him ended, the experience got me to do something that I had needed to do for a very long time. I think I have interacted with many narcissists over the years as many were drawn to me, and the wounds that they could so clearly see. What is the saying – lessons keep repeating until they are learnt. It’s like they kept coming into my life until I finally opened my eyes and looked at my own stuff.
    Although one observation I would make is, how powerful is it to target the wounded? How powerful are human beings that specifically target other humans who need support and not further abuse. None of this appears to be powerful ( from my viewpoint ). The ability to target and manipulate an already struggling mind. That is not power, I can think of many ways to describe it, but powerful does not come to mind.

    1. WiserNow says:

      “…how powerful is it to target the wounded?”

      Couldn’t agree more EveBea. It’s not powerful. It’s the quickest route to fuel and control and thereby the self-delusion of power.

      The narcissist obtains ‘real’ power when he/she can rally and convince enablers, or gain control through resources or political/legal power, or lie, or smear the victim and by doing so, deflect attention away from the abuse. Without enablers, resources, or external powers, the narcissist’s actions are weak.

      I also agree with the saying that “lessons keep repeating until they are learnt.” The ‘lessons’ are difficult to live through and have serious consequences. It would help if the learning was less damaging.

      1. EveBea says:

        Hi WiserNow,
        Thank you for this, it does seem like a delusion of power. I guess it is all about interpretation and view point, as a narcissist has to see it as power because they need that story / version to be true.
        I understand what you are saying about the wider reach of influence when a narcissist may be more effective in their manipulations with enablers, or have resources. The ones I knew were not that effective, they just kept repeating the same patterns in personal relationships, and did not learn from their lessons of repeated failure. It was me and all the other women before me. A number on a list of others, that failed them.

        The lessons are SO painful and the consequences of the last relationship I had with a narcissist were far reaching indeed. There was damage for sure.
        I have only been reading here for little under a week, and I certainly do not want to upset any readers. I can see that there are so many who have had catastrophic levels of trauma and adversity, suffering so much at the hands of narcissists.
        I can only speak of my experience and I know that my level of suffering was so much higher with different lenses of interpretation, and when I was able to work through the dynamics, my role, my projection of his ideal and the fake persona he gave me to see, my suffering reduced. It reduced massively when I could interpret another meaning from it all. And it was the damage that came from being with him that lead to me addressing my childhood trauma, which started it all, which then lead to me working on the relationship I have with myself too. Stronger on the other side, well at least more free anyway.

        1. WiserNow says:

          You’re welcome EveBea, and thanks also for your reply.

          I agree that the lessons are painful and damaging, and involve trauma and adversity that is catastrophic.

          There is suffering involved that is so intense it changes who you are as a person. The intense changes happen both at the time the trauma first occurred as a child with a narcissist for a parent, for example, and then again as an adult when the accumulation of trauma forces change for the sake of self-preservation.

          Are any of the ‘lessons’ positive, when they occur due to suffering through trauma? Do such lessons create ‘quality of life’? Personally, I don’t think so.

          Ask any teacher who cares for the students in his/her class if they think teaching through trauma is a good idea. I think they would say that it isn’t.

          I’m happy for you that you could address your childhood trauma, and I’m also sad for you that you needed to in the first place and that it was the result of damage.

          I hope you can keep learning and keep being free. Being ‘stronger’ is questionable, as you imply. Being ‘stronger’ suggests being more avoidant, sceptical, distrusting and dishonest. And who does that remind you of? A narcissist.

          1. EveBea says:

            Thank you so much for this reply, it truly affected me ( deeply so) and helped me to view it through another frame.
            I agree trauma/ suffering as a direct ‘mechanism’ of learning / teaching is not a good idea or positive, and they certainly don’t create quality of life, they create the opposite. It is horrendous, confusing and disconnecting to live through, no teacher or any caring person would think that they were a good way of delivering lessons to children.

            I think for me I was blind to, or suppressed the damage from my childhood so deeply that I was just living from it without knowing, my beliefs about myself, about the world, just felt normal as that was all I knew. So I was aimlessly falling from one narcissist to the next in friendships and relationships and I did not see it. It felt familiar to be treated like that, it was the norm. So the damage in my childhood set me up for this life with them, this magnetic field or fusion.

            In my first comment on this post I was referring to that saying “lessons keep repeating until they are learnt” (which is so benign in other contexts, but not so much in this one, I understand that). Pertaining to that cycle of years where they kept coming into my life and I didn’t see it for what is was at the time. It’s like they kept coming to poke holes in the rawest parts of me to get me to notice.
            The lessons through suffering were not ideal, I would have preferred lessons from compassion, but I am not sure if I would have taken them in properly, would they have got past my core beliefs? Would they have sunk in? I don’t know, but it would have been nice to have experienced them.

            They kept coming and I kept getting hurt, the last one ( intimate partner) stabbed so deeply that it was the pain of that and the overall damage that made me notice and look within. In my experience it was the pain that grabbed my attention enough so to look properly inside myself.

            My need to re-frame it comes from the origin of that pain, as I said in my last comment it reduced my suffering massively to work through what I needed to, and to view the relationships with the narcissists through another lens. The compassionate therapy skills could only sink in after the trauma work for me, and it took some time for them to build a new pathway of seeing myself differently.

            In reflection maybe I am not so different to them ( cognitively speaking from a trauma level) pain motivated me to protect myself and reduce my suffering through the creation of another lens.

          2. EveBea says:

            WiserNow, my initial response was so heavy in my emotion, sorry I did not mean to open myself up like that, it took me by surprise. The frame you offered went to my core. I think I needed that as a check in, thank you. Sincerely I mean that.

            Sometimes I think I bolster myself up more then the reality actually defines, post therapy and not having a narcissist in my life now. The reality is that even post therapy reflection of me as a child still hurts, I want more for her. So I am going to spend some time now (luckily a day of work) to take care of myself, be kind and connect with her again.

    2. NarcAngel says:


      Well done on the recognition of your part in the dynamic, and for turning it into a positive that although painful, has actually benefitted you and the quality of your life.

      1. EveBea says:

        Thank you, much appreciated NarcAngel.

    3. A Victor says:

      I agree EverBea, narcissists are generally a pathetic and cowardly bunch, HG being the exception, of course. Glad you are here and also that you are working it out now.

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