Knowing the Narcissist : The Errors of the Ignorant : Number One
A series based on the comments made by people who fail to understand the true nature of narcissists and the narcissistic dynamic. Whilst these comments may be well-intentioned, they are incorrect, perpetuate misunderstandings and in many cases create false hope, dashed expectations and perilous outcomes.
It is a common response by those who fail to recognise our kind and also have no understanding of what we are and how we operate to tell the bewildered victim that the cure to our odd and unpleasant behaviour is to shower us with love.
Note that here the timing is important. We are devaluing you and therefore you are already on that slippery slope towards dis – engagement.
If, as someone who has been ensnared by one of our kind, you turn to somebody who is empathic for advice to understand what is going on, you will fall foul of their empathic trait of being a love devotee. This belief in the power of love, whilst a good trait in itself, is corrupted to become a burden when it is added to the equation with our kind. This near slavish belief in the fact that love will conquer all ills and overcome all problems results in an understandable, albeit misguided, injunction to apply more love to the problem with the narcissist.
It is not going to work. It is too late.
This is suggested most often with regard to the romantic dynamic between victim and narcissist. The advisor fails to recognise that the temper tantrums, the silent treatments and the name-calling, amongst so much else, are manifestations of the ignited fury of a wounded narcissist and instead attribute them to something else – it does not matter what the chosen descriptions might be because they are wrong. This means that the advisor fails to identify that the victim is in the grip of a narcissist in this romantic entanglement. They also fail to recognise what this means in terms of behaviour and as a consequence they see the application of love as a panacea which will cure all ills. This does not work with our kind.
There is no issue in providing us with more and more love during the golden period. Indeed, this is what we want and as a consequence of that approach you provide us with plenty of positive fuel. All is well. Of course, your confusion and bewilderment begins when we start to devalue you and you cannot understand why it is happening. Thus, you turn to someone else, some advisor, to try to gain answers for these unfathomable behaviours, volte faces and about turns.
The devaluation may occur for several reasons, when in the romantic dynamic between narcissist and Intimate Partner Primary Source (“IPPS”) but in the majority of cases it is because of the failure by the IPPS to maintain fuel at the right level of frequency, quantity and potency.
If you love us more and therefore provide us with more positive fuel during devaluation then there are several outcomes which can occur, but ultimately they all arrive at the same place; failure.
- If the problem was that your positive fuel was not stale but you were not providing it as often and as in the quantities we wanted, then an extra push of loving behaviour from you will remedy the problem BUT only for a short while. You will be granted a Respite Period by the narcissist as your positive fuel shines once again and the golden period returns. This may last for a few weeks, perhaps months, but it will ultimately result in your finding yourself in the place detailed at point three below;
- If the drop off in your positive fuel was caused by quantity and frequency issues, then devaluation has begun and there is a risk that we have begun the process of engaging with finding your replacement. Dependent on how advanced those searches are and how effective the prospective replacements are responding, even though you increase the frequency and quantity it may not be enough to save you from continuing devaluation, because of the interaction with one or more Candidate Intimate Partner Secondary Sources. Thus, loving us all the more does not work and your devaluation continues;
- The problem may not be the frequency and/or quantity but the level of potency. We have, in essence, had too much of a good thing and our familiarity to your potent positive fuel means it has lost its allure. Consequently, by trying to give us more of something we have become ‘sickened’ to, is not going to work. It is like someone becoming tired of strawberry ice cream and you turning up with a huge tub of strawberry ice cream. You will not stop the devaluation. Even if you managed to secure a Respite Period (see one above) eventually the familiarity issue will appear and you will find yourself in a situation where the potency no longer is effective, no matter how hard you try to love us and show that that love and devaluation will continue.
The consequences of this is that advising somebody to continue to love and to show even more love for us are:-
- The creation of a false hope that the perplexing behaviour we engage in will end;
- Victims will remain in an abusive and misery-inducing relationship for longer than they need to;
- Exposure to potential harm – whether it is the physically explosive response of a Lesser Narcissist through to the enduring mind games and psychological torture of coupling with a Greater Narcissist. The risk is increased of some form of harm – sexual, physical, psychological and/or financial arising;
- A complete erosion of the victim as they keep giving and giving of themselves, spurred on by this apparent authority that love will provide them with the answer to the issue and make it all good;
- A further false hope whereby if a Respite Period has arisen, the victim is conned into thinking that this increased loving has been successful, when in actual fact all it has done is secure a stay of execution and most likely made the eventual resumption of the devaluation all the harder to endure;
- The pollution of the victim. At some point the victim will be dis – engaged with and the failure of this apparent panacea of applying increased loving runs the risk of creating cynicism so that the victim feels unable to and/or unwilling to ever try to love anybody else again in a romantic sense.
This advice provided by somebody who is ignorant about what we are is tantamount to saying to somebody, “Stay in the burning house because eventually the fire will stop and you will then be okay.”
If you are in the romantic dynamic with our kind, all the continued provision of your love when the devaluation has already commencedwill achieve is to cause you to be bound to us and it signals to us that there is more negative fuel to be drawn from you because of your desperation to remain with us and to try to apply love to cure a situation which has now become one which cannot be cured.