Knowing the Narcissist : The Futility of Feelings



Feelings are an unnecessary burden and thankfully I have been relieved of many of them, being left only with those which are deemed necessary to enable me to pursue the harvesting of fuel. Feelings blur and weaken. How many times have you heard your alarm go off in the morning and you have rolled over feeling like you do not want to get up? Many times I should imagine. That feeling of apprehension about what the day holds for you, despondency at what has happened to you and dread about what you have to do weakens you and holds you back. You spend much of your life in the pursuit of this notion of happiness but are you ever truly happy? Do you look at what you have and wish you had more? Do you look at other people around you and imagine how happy they must be and you wish that you were more like them? All you achieve is bitterness. Perhaps you do feel happy but as the empath that you are you see those who you regard as less happy than you and you wish that they could be more like you. All you achieve is vanity. You spend so much of your time seeking to be happy and then you worry about whether it is fleeting in nature. You express concern that you just want to be happy and spend more and more time trying to achieve this state of nirvana. You suffer from feeling sadness which leads to paralysis and indecision. You feel frustrated which sucks up your energy and leaves you feeling spent. You take pride in your ability to feel and to be able to feel on behalf of others yet all you are doing is allowing yourself to be burdened. Why bother pursuing those feelings which are regarded as positive, such as joy, happiness and elation? Is the effort truly worth it when you get there only for it to be a fleeting moment which then casts you into despondency? What was the point of that? Why allow yourself to be mired in upset, misery and dejection? You achieve nothing as you slowly sink into a quagmire of such negativity. Your feelings deceive you, press down on you and above all else allow us to manipulate you. It is because you feel this array of emotions that you provide us with emotional reactions. Of course you know that these emotional reactions create my fuel. Your feelings are to blame.

I never acquired these feelings. This is because the pursuit of fuel cannot be distracted by these cumbersome emotions. They serve no purpose and thus were never developed. I am built for the acquisition of fuel and nothing else. I am an efficient design, single-minded and driven. All excess baggage was not jettisoned, it was never stowed on board to begin with. I am not wholly without feelings. I have been developed in a way to allow certain feelings, those that aid my purpose, to come to the fore. I feel fury which ensures that I can exert control over other people and thus extract fuel from them. I feel envy which drives me on to strip away those traits from other people which I need to create my construct. If I felt no envy, I would not want these characteristics – thus this feeling serves a purpose. There is no superfluous feeling connected with me. I feel jealousy which again causes me to strive to better that person by lauding my own achievements and prompting a reaction which garners positive fuel or by berating the person of whom I am jealous and thus I harvest negative fuel. I feel hatred. This allows me to see everything as it truly is. Hatred hones and brings into sharp focus the reality of this cruel world and thus I am better able to navigate my way through it. Hatred is visceral, it is not fluffy or amorphous. It does not cloud or blur. It is direct, straight to the point and electrifying in its capacity to allow me to always go forward. All of these feelings and ones of a similar nature have been fashioned around me to assist me in my quest for fuel. Each one discharges a method of enabling me to gather fuel so that I can feel the ultimate emotion. My pursuit of fuel is predicated on the use of these various emotions with the sole purpose of allowing me to feel that emotion which I prize above all others.

I feel powerful.

I am powerful.

78 thoughts on “Knowing the Narcissist : The Futility of Feelings

  1. A Victor says:

    Hi Isabelle,

    Thank you so much for this thorough breakdown! I have read it over several times since you wrote it trying to get my head around it, and also considering myself with my insignificant geyser and my daughter who is majority geyser. I have no CoD, according to my EDC and if it is defined as one who obtains their self worth from another, that is not me at all, so with that absent, I have come to see my geyser as mostly fun.

    My daughter, majority CoD, has been learning to keep her Geyser under control a bit, haha, only a bit. She has been successful, I believe, because her ET is low at this time, also because she is aware of it now. She struggles more if her ET is elevated or her empathy is eroded. She is such a delightful person, I have come to see geyser as a really great cadre for one to have! It makes life exciting and fun!

    Thank you too for sharing you’re struggles with it, the thin skin for example, that is something that can be a challenge whether it is another or oneself. I try so hard not to offend her, she’s getting a bit tougher also, but it still happens on occasion. I can take something too personally also, that is frustrating when I don’t want to but letting it go can be difficult, I have often let it go by walking away from people. That isn’t necessarily always the best way to handle it, I am learning.

    Thank you again Isabelle, so helpful in understanding how this cadre can manifest! Nice to chat with you!

  2. Isabelle says:

    Hello lovemrthornton,
    Thank you for your compliment re my name; it is interesting that you had thought of this name for a girl: “Isabelle” is the Latin version of “Elizabeth”, which means “God is my oath”.

    Thank you for your reply. Yes, what you say makes perfect sense. What you describe as joy while you were submitted to abuse reminds me of what I felt, which I would describe as comfort or solace, when I was living with my daughter’s father (it lasted nine years). The form of joy I can relate to, I have felt when in a calm environment on a daily basis – at home for instance, since I live on my own, or walking along the seashore. Or in the company of friends even if I feel that joy is very lonely in a way – it isn’t something you can really share. And that is fine.
    I see that you still escaped your narcissist, so this answers my question about joy being enough to put up with just about anything (it isn’t).

    Although I have been less active for a few months, I found HG’s work and this blog three years ago and I took the empath detector: you are right, it really sheds light on what you have experienced before. It turns out I am a “perfect quad hybrid” (I love this, for some reason – probably because it amuses me that I am perfect at something, haha); so I have as much CoD as Super, as Contagion, and Standard. Which makes perfect sense looking back: I always escaped the narcissists in my life in the end, after a time of real codependency. I do not have much Martyr (I am majority Saviour).

    1. Isabelle says:

      Well I ended my previous post a bit abruptly – just wanted to say, great conversation you launched, thank you! (Hope you don’t mind the exclamation marks, I’ll blame this on my sizeable Geyser, haha).

      1. A Victor says:

        Isabelle! You have sizable Geyser? I never picked up on that! Not once! Sometime, if you have time, maybe you could share how yours manifests? How did I totally miss that?

        1. Isabelle says:

          Hi AV,
          First, in case new readers are around, a little reminder of what the Geyser is per HG’s categorisation:

          In his article I suppose HG describes a “pure” Geyser or a majority one. I have a quarter of Geyser, which is significant but I am not as extreme in some respects as in the article.
          I recognise myself in the following (I will quote the article here):
          « This type of empathic tendency is marked by high energy levels. One might even go so far as to say that shades of hyper activity start to appear with the Geyser Empath. » Yes to the hyperactivity which I really miss when I need to rest for one reason or other !

          « There is no subtlety involved. When the Geyser Empath is happy it is shown as a torrent of joy, their concern is grave and focussed and their hurt is not of a silent tear but the wail and tears of the tortured. »
          Well, I did want to become an actress for the theatre when I was young, and I acted in a few amateur plays! Now, some of my tears are silent.

          « This person has a tissue thin skin and is highly sensitive. »
          Try as I may to hide it, people always end up telling me « you are hyper sensitive, aren’t you », sometimes with a hint of pity that seems to say they think/know they are dealing with someone who has some sort of handicap, haha !

          « The Geyser Empath is unable to put on a brave face…They are completely unable to conceal their emotions, even for a short time…They are excellent at tea and sympathy, kind and comforting words flowing, but of little use practically. »
          Well, I do try to offer practical advice and help… and it works with some people.

          « They are the greatest love devotees of all empaths, they truly believe that with love everything can be solved. »
          I absolutely believed that when I was younger, and this is what got me into a hot mess with my daughter’s father. I try to beware of this belief now, but I cannot shake it altogether.

          « No matter how devastated they are following the shattering of their heart, they will piece it back together and will do so with greater speed amongst the empathic types. »
          True, to the point that I sometimes wondered if my feelings had been real in the first place ! And therefore, if I was a narc.

          « The Geyser Empath is highly sensitive and will be moved to tears regularly be they tears of joy or tears of pain. There will often be a need for a tissue when this person is around. One might be moved to consider them as someone pathetic but that would be an inappropriate label. »
          This is the part that bothers me the most : I cry easily, and when I start, there had better be boxes of tissue at hand ! I do find myself pathetic when I cry.

          I think on the whole I was more of a Geyser when I was younger and uneducated. But then I also wondered at the time if I had BPD (I most certainly had PTSD for quite a while after I left my parents).

          AV, the reason why you never realised I had seizeable Geyser is probably that it is diluted, and also, it is easier to not let it show too much online (I usually take the time to write what I do and be as moderate as possible). In real life, my emotions show in spite of my best efforts, and that includes my anger, which can turn into rage really !
          I hope this answers your questions, AV.

          1. NarcAngel says:

            Significant Geyser and those points listed, sure does explain a lot of what goes on around here.

          2. A Victor says:

            Hi Isabelle, I think my longer reply posted elsewhere on this thread. Maybe you will find it, if not, thank you! This breakdown is great!

    2. Heidi says:

      Hi again, Isabelle,
      Your Empath Detector results are interesting — I find all of this fascinating. Glad you were able to escape your daughter’s father. I have a minority Co Dep in my results, and it explained a lot about my willingness to hang on during that “marriage.” (I put it in quotes, because he made our vow a mockery.)
      You are right that we find joy when alone. I think this is part of the post-exit from the narcissist. Although I test ENFJ on Myers Briggs (a LOT of extrovert-ism), I also find joy in being alone now, where I did not before my marriage. The freedom you speak of is at the root of that joyfulness. Once we escape and never go back, everyday acts of independence and freedom are savored and relished.
      Thank you for the wonderful chat.

      1. Isabelle says:

        Heidi, you are lovemthornton too, right? I did think this was the case with the avatar.
        You have some CoD as well? I find it to be a pain in the neck as far as I’m concerned. HG told me it cannot go away, so the best I can do is to be very much aware of it, recognise it and learn to deal with it.
        I’m glad to that you could escape your narcissist husband too. The way you wrote that he made a mockery of your marriage gave me a sense of the pain you must have felt and which possibly remains associated with that time.
        I do not know much about Myers Briggs, but I have seen a few people mention their type here and I gather it is about the style of inter-personal interaction. I will look it up for my information.

        1. Heidi says:

          Hi Isabelle,
          Yes, “lovemrthornton” and “Heidi” are one and the same. Sometimes when I’m replying, I’m doing it through WordPress, and LMT is the name on that account … I keep my photo the same on all web sites. 😊
          You might enjoy taking a Myers Briggs. They are free online and can give you insight on how you interact with others and how you form your interests, etc.
          On your question on CoDep, I knew that one before I even got my results on the detector. Yes, I agree, it bites. I hate it about myself. But being aware of it, where I was not aware when I was younger, is the first line of defense.
          Recently I was hoovered by a woman narcissist who had been a good friend. I met with her for breakfast because she wanted forgiveness. A few days later, she messaged me wanting me to participate in a new venture she had created. I realized the Hoover in that moment and said no. She wanted my participation to get my endorsement, which would have given her credibility. If I had not taken Mr. Tudor’s services, I would be spending time on that right now, getting sucked right back in.
          Narcissists I think know the CoDep like smelling it out — almost instinctive. But this knowledge is amazing and provides the ammunition we need.
          Hats off to Mr. Tudor. 👍

  3. Truthseeker6157 says:

    Hi Lovemrthornton,

    This is a really interesting distinction that you make here. You differentiate between happiness and joy and state that joy connects us with a purpose in life.

    I admit I haven’t considered joy, I suspect your joy is probably my contentment, we might be using different descriptors for the similar feeling.

    I agree, many people pursue happiness which I think is fleeting in nature. How many times do we recognise a point where we can say that we are truly happy? Happiness is subjective definitely but I think happiness is difficult to quantify beyond a short term blast. A snapshot in time. It comes and it goes. So pursuing then holding on to it is difficult.

    I think the modern western world is steeped in consumerism. We are bombarded with images of what should make us ‘happy’. A luxury car or holiday, big house, burgeoning bank balance whatever it might be. We are then bombarded with narc driven romantic images of ‘a perfect love’, “See here, this is what love looks like, this is happiness.” I don’t believe that something or someone can make us happy. I believe as you do that joy / contentment comes from within. At that point the consumerism and even the relationships don’t really matter, they aren’t responsible for the positive outcome that is joy.

    I am not religious but I very much see the value of having faith. I think faith fosters a sense of belonging, the involvement in something greater than ourselves, a common purpose.

    I think purpose is extremely important for people. Happiness to me is fleeting but purpose endures. Purpose gets you up in the morning, provides a sense of accomplishment, well being and contentment, in many ways your ‘joy’. It really doesn’t matter how simple that purpose is, it will be different for different people, but we do need to find it.

    I think people become depressed when they lose a sense of purpose. Then they start to seek out a substitute for the missing feeling they believe to be ‘happiness’. They seek the quick fix, the holiday, car or romantic liaison and feel more empty than ever once happiness once again appears to slip through their fingers. They fear something is wrong with them, they aren’t happy and they should be, so what’s wrong? Often I don’t think there’s anything wrong, they are just chasing the wrong thing.

    Purpose and inner joy (or contentment) are incredibly important for people, not easy to find and not easy to describe!


    1. Heidi says:

      Hey TruthSeeker,
      100% agree, and yes, I think we are using different words to describe the same thing. “Joy” has Biblical roots, but “Contentment” is very much what you describe. So I think we are on the same page.
      The resolve for me to accept “joy” was born out of a period in my life that I consider my darkest. This was when I fled my narcissist ex-husband and discovered the depths of his betrayals. I was ruined both emotionally and financially. I also had to seek out physical therapy to correct much of what had happened to me. The irony about this is that I look back on that time and remember the “joyful” times alongside the tragedies. Maybe this was a survival instinct … but I do see it as a miracle for how I got through.
      I have gone through Mr. Tudor’s Empath Detector and was classified as Super Empath.
      After receiving his evaluation and the subsequent audio consultation, I could see how my “Super” empathic traits got me through that period and helped me survive my ex-husband’s attacks. I can also see how my resolve to choose joy over happiness was crucial to survival.
      All of this is a lot to unpack. I am grateful to Mr. Tudor for his services and almost did not post a contrary view. But I realized he invites healthy discussion, which I find refreshing.

      1. TS and Heidi,

        Sometimes I find when attempting to describe a feeling it helps to consider its opposite. The opposite of joy is sorrow, the opposite of contentment is dissatisfaction, the opposite of happiness is sadness. Joy, I believe, can be felt in spite of circumstances as it relates to something more transcendental than happiness. Much like sorrow takes us beyond the depths of sadness to a sense of regret and loss. Contentment to me indicates a sense of satisfaction with life or circumstances. If we are dissatisfied, then we are discontent. Happiness can be elusive and superficial, much like sadness. Neither, to my mind, reach the depths of sorrow or joy.

        It was interesting to read your thoughts, which prompted some of my own.

        1. A Victor says:

          Hi LET, this is how I see these things also.

          Have missed you on the blog recently and have hoped you’re getting plenty of time with your new little grandchild! I have with mine, oh my, there is nothing like it!! 😃

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            AV, so good to see you, too, and sounds like both our grandchildren have been keeping us busy <3 Supporting a new mother is another joy I've found in life, and you've been blessed many times over 🙂 I hope your daughter is doing well and baby, too. I got the lovely 'recognition' smiles from baby when I visited recently and that was a joyous moment!

            It was also a moment of contentment, and interestingly there are Bible verses about this, too, in line with what Heidi mentioned about joy having Biblical routes.

            I'll stop there to avoid getting roasted over an open fire xox

        2. Truthseeker6157 says:

          Hey LET x

          I thought about you when I read Heidi’s comment. I thought you would likely explain my thoughts on it better than I could haha!

          I see what you mean with the opposites, it does help clarify doesn’t it? I think also that your explanation of joy and sorrow is very much what Heidi was getting at. I agree, my contentment is slightly different to joy but the separation of these feelings from happiness is in alignment with Heidi’s view.

          I very much like the link to purpose. I think purpose is important. I think there are many lost people in the world right now, not only empaths, normals too. I think escapism, consumerism, the promotion of an alternative online reality, and human isolation has a lot to do with it and I think perhaps purpose is somewhat of an antidote to those things.

          There have never been as many apparent routes to ‘happiness’ as there are now and yet depression rates have never been higher, which suggests to me that the brand of happiness on offer is fake, very similar to the fake version of love we see daily.

          Good to see you here. Xx

          1. Heidi says:

            Such interesting discussion here, and I agree with 100% of what everyone is communicating.
            Also, I agree the link between joy and purpose is very real. I recently changed careers and now am special education teacher. It is like a brand new life, and I feel like I am 22 again. The joy that my students bring is all part of the purpose of my aim to help them. It all goes hand in hand.
            I can think of one more example here, which is the physical pain I experience most days while teaching. However, when I go to sleep at night, I am usually thinking about some funny thing a kid said or did or an “a ha” moment where one of them finally understood an Emily Dickinson metaphor (rare with kids with autism, but when it happens it is like internal fireworks for me). So I find that despite the pain, which many would equate with a non-happy circumstance, I am focused on how enriching they are to my life.
            Sorry for going on and on here — I have a habit of doing this — but I have really enjoyed this exchange of ideas and life views.

          2. TS 🙂

            Those were just the first thoughts that popped into my head around how we can define things as often they can appear very close in meaning. I know HG makes a distinction between anger and fury which most people would not consider or overlook unless he emphasised it. Fury goes beyond anger, much like joy goes beyond happiness and sorrow beyond sadness.

            I think I overlooked your point around how we are connected to a sense of purpose through these things (i.e. joy, contentment). Thank you for clarifying as it’s important to be understood and the listener/reader (i.e. me in this case!) can misunderstand with their own thoughts in mind x

            A sense of purpose very much fits in with the idea of contentment, I agree. We find our joy also in pursuing these things. I found joy in raising my family, even through all the travails of separation, divorce, relocation, etc., so can appreciate how Heidi also found that in her darkest moments. All is not lost, although can sometimes be how it feels.

            You make an interesting point about the pursuit of happiness and how it somehow belies a sense of contentment – depression rates have never been higher. Strangely, a book called The Purpose Drive Life comes to mind, a book I’ve never read, but whose title is niggling at me with your emphasis on purpose. I’ve just looked it up and apparently the first line of the book is “It’s not about you”, and maybe that’s where we’re at right now. We’ve become self centred in the pursuit of happiness and missed the central point of our lives. Something about joy in sacrifice.

            Anyway, that’s a lot to put out there and ponder. It’s been good to catch up xox

          3. Truthseeker6157 says:


            I think your example is a great one. Yes, that’s what I’m driving at. Perhaps it would be better for me to say that for me, purpose is the route to my contentment. Teaching gives you a sense of purpose and through that purpose you have experienced real joy in your role.

            I was listening to HG’s YouTube series about death ‘The Ease of Control”. He quotes statistics on how people feel about death and I considered that people might also fear death because they have pursued the wrong things in life. They chased happiness and feel that something is missing, something they perhaps haven’t yet experienced yet or can’t quite put their finger on. To me that translated as contentment ( through purpose) but for others it might be something else.

            Fear makes us vulnerable, easy to manipulate and with so many fearing death this can be a valuable tool in the wrong hands. I don’t fear death but a lot of that I think is down to the way I view the purpose of my life. Once that purpose is fulfilled, I’m ok with the lights going out. I certainly wouldn’t want to live to 150, my purpose would have long since gone, so overall, I don’t fear death. Perhaps that means that I don’t love life enough haha! Possibly, who knows.

            Wandered a little there!


          4. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hey LET 🙂

            Thank you for the book suggestion, I’ll look it up. Strong start I thought!

            The narcissist’s narrative is in so many areas, it got me thinking, it’s quite possibly here also with regards to happiness. You see it so often on Facebook. A show reel of best bits, smiling kids, show houses, perfectly groomed cockadoodles, loved up couples. No one posts pics of their kids rolling round on the floor trying to kill each other. To be fair, if they did I’d probably post on there a lot more.

            Everything is choreographed, airbrushed, perfectly lit. Smiling faces, everyone so happy happy. Life isn’t like that, but you look at FB and think, “That family looks happy don’t they? That’s how we’d look if we were happy.” Haha!

            It’s possible I’m miserable, envious, or both but I honestly don’t think so. I’m really sick of looking at fake happy, seriously sick of seeing it. When I lived in Kentucky, do you know what the most requested birthday present was for 16 yr old girls? Boob job. How can that be right? There’s something seriously wrong there. If women want a boob job, I’m all for it, do it, if that’s what you want to do, but the most requested present at sixteen? I think the Somatics and Elites are driving the happiness narrative, and a lot of people are falling for it. I think the result is rising depression amongst young adults.

            Similar to the concept of love. Of course the narcs are driving that, but in a way empaths feed into that too. People marry for all kinds of reasons. They stay married for all kinds of reasons. People want all kinds of things out of relationships but I think some empaths assume we all want the same kind of relationship, soulmate style. I’m not sure that’s correct. It’s correct for some, but not all. Not all of us are love devotees but it doesn’t make us less of an empath. Even intimacy, not all empaths want the same kind of intimacy from a partner, yet the assumption is that we do. I was guilty of that assumption, so I’m not criticising here, far from it.

            So many things to measure up to if people are to attain ‘happiness’. It really can’t be that difficult. I think if I asked my grandma, “Were you happy grandma?” I think she’s probably say, “Happy? I didn’t bloody well have time to be happy.” Haha! She was content though, I know that.

            That generation knew hardship, sacrifice and they weren’t depressed as people are now in the US and UK. You might well be right, “Joy through sacrifice.” ‘Joy through a luxury spa day and complimentary yoga session’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it does it? Now, I’m not opposed to a nice spa day myself! I just know that it won’t have the slightest effect on my overall happiness.

            That turned ranty I know, but I smell narc all over this. Xx

          5. lickemtomorrow says:

            TS x

            I’ve never read the book I mentioned, but it was the title that came to mind with your emphasis on ‘purpose’ and I do think it hit on something in that first sentence I mentioned.

            I had to laugh at your suggestion that you’d post a lot more on FB if people actually showed a realistic picture of their lives! Definitely would be encouraging of honesty, and a huge relief that you’re not the only one going through certain things. I have one friend who sends a yearly update of her life and family which includes her children’s achievements and their fantastic overseas adventures. It’s kind of a generic thing she does every year and sends to multiple people, but there is an awareness that it is all about image and very little about ‘substance’. I find it a little sad, tbh, that she feels the need to impress in that way. What it also does is keep people at a distance.

            We actually really benefit from knowing the imperfection of others, it opens us up to deeper and more meaningful sharing, but for the most part it seems we want others to believe we have an idyllic life and ‘beat that’! Maybe it’s more we want to believe it ourselves because the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about, or we just don’t want others to know our lives are not as perfect as they seem. Brene Brown is someone else worth looking up and her TED talks are amazing. She has a focus on vulnerability, and I think ‘joy’ is also a concept she deals with … it’s been a while since I’ve looked into her work.

            Most empaths won’t deal well with ‘fakeness’ and can often read it a mile off. It sits uncomfortably with us as honest brokers and truthseekers. I think the superficiality of it is what frustrates us, not envy. We know that there are layers upon layers and depths, but people are focused on surface issues that ultimately have no lasting value. That was so interesting to read about the Sweet 16’s in Kentucky, and also very sad. I would guess it was breast enhancement that most of them valued, as girls who seek reductions normally do so for valid reasons of discomfort and self consciousness. It is a sad testament to what many place value on these days in an era of image trumping reality.

            I do think the rise of social media has encouraged image trumping all, leading to people being more concerned with that, and especially young people. Celebrities, like the Kardashians, feed into this and it’s not surprising HG has them pegged as narcissists. They deliberately put themselves out there as influencers, which is a little different to people who are famous and photographed for other reasons. Given enough time, but often too late for the younger generation, a lot of these semantics can be seen through. When you are young, the most important thing is to fit in with your peers. Narcissists can have an immeasurable impact on the younger generation in that sense.

            I like the idea of your Grandmother’s response to you asking her if she was happy 🙂 Navel gazing was not a luxury a lot of people had going back generations. I don’t think the aim in life was to be ‘happy’. Contentment may well have been a by product of a life well lived, but even then not without its hardships. We are aiming for an illusion which we will continue to find is just out of our reach. It doesn’t mean we can’t be happy. We can. The illusion is aiming for that to the detriment of everything else. When I get up in the morning, I don’t aim to be happy. I aim to be sound, available, effective, appreciative, attuned, empathic 🙂 Happiness may or may not come my way. Either way, that won’t ruin my day.

            Of course, a spa day is not off the cards in order to treat yourself, and in one of my roles we had a masseuse that came to the workplace to help alleviate tension and stress 🙂 I took full advantage and really appreciated that element of ‘self-care’, too. Maybe a slight difference between seeking happiness and doing some all important self-care. Although I doubt in our grandparent’s day ‘self-care’ was a notion either 😛 They really had little time to think of themselves and were much more open to the notion of sacrifice as opposed to entitlement.

            Yes, that narcs are on the nose in terms of our navel gazing – who can forget the image that goes with Narcissus, gazing at his reflection and eventually falling in love with himself? It didn’t end well for him or the one who loved him.

            Which reminds me, I need to see HG’s video explanation of Harry being devalued on Kiss Cam. It seemed pretty obvious it was a devaluation to those in the know. He must feel like he’s in a vice grip now with the Coronation just around the corner. Harry can’t keep anyone happy, least of all himself.

            Good to chat, as always, TS xox

          6. NarcAngel says:

            The mention of masseuse in the workplace reminded me of when my workplace had health and wellness experts in and encouraged participation. I was not planning to attend but had several people come to me to tell me how funny it was that the masseuse and Reiki expert there had the same name as me (first and last). I responded: “Oh, that’s my ex husband’s current wife. I didn’t know she was participating”. The look on their faces haha! They thought I was lying. Some didn’t even know I had been married. So, I go to see her and she embraced me we and chatted for a few minutes. Then I turned and encouraged the other participants not to miss out the experience with her. They were in disbelief over how friendly we were with each other and questioned repeatedly about being married to the same man.

            Difficult times can be much easier with low ET (although I did not know that’s what it was then). That is why I’m so glad it is a subject that you can get help with here. There are articles in the search function using Emotional Thinking, but it is covered more comprehensively in The Triple Addiction Pkg.

          7. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hi LET,

            Thank you I’ll have a little looksie at those podcasts. I like listening to that kind of thing as I’m going to sleep or dog walking, though HG is usually my walking companion 🙂

            Picking up on your point about peer pressure and the need to conform to an image. It’s very evident with my two at the moment. My son doesn’t seem to take it to heart in quite the same way. He will tend to ridicule tiktok influencers, or, he’s looking for comedy, catchphrases he might also pick up on. My daughter is different, definitely more influenced by how she thinks she ought to look. Similar with her peer group at school. Women are said to define self worth far more on how they look. I do think there is some truth to that. That suggests to me that on the whole women might well be more susceptible to the narcissistic narrative than men, but there will of course be exceptions.

            Social media is blamed for a lot of things wrong in society, isolation, depression rates among the young and so on. I think it isn’t social media itself but rather who is on social media that is the problem. As HG has pointed out before with his selfie analogy, the narcs plaster themselves all over social media and the normals and to a degree the empaths follow on, it’s normalised. I think as parents, particularly now that we know what is going on and who is controlling many narratives, we really have to work hard to offer a counter balance to these narratives and images. It needs to be a conscious decision to be involved and interested in what they are looking at so that we can discuss these images and narratives with our kids, otherwise they just get lost in it.

            Yes, agree getting up in the morning, happiness is not on my mind either. I guarantee it wasn’t on my grandma’s mind, but she will have drawn her happiness along the way, through her determination, fierce love for her kids, and her stubborn streak to persist and get things done. I do miss her sometimes, a very great lady.

            Good to speak to you to LET, as always. Xx

          8. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hi NA,

            I bet some of your work colleagues were expecting to see awkwardness in that situation, such a laid back reaction must have really thrown them haha! Low ET helps us to better take things in our stride I think.

            The Addiction Triple Package is my favourite package of everything HG has done. It was a lifeline when I was at my worst. I took it, held on, followed the directions and it did exactly what it said on the tin. It took time, but it works.

            I’ve used that understanding since. Originally I thought that ET came about only when under a narc influence or post ensnarement. I don’t think that’s the case. Or, high stress feels very similar to high ET. I’ve applied that package also when dealing with non narc related stress. An example would be exam season. I’m exam phobic, it’s an unrealistic and exaggerated response that I struggle to control. Treating it like ET, applying similar techniques as I would when trying to reduce my ET has helped with my exam stress. I’m battling, don’t get me wrong, but, understanding how ET works is definitely helpful when I find myself in other stressful situations.

            I do think my mum has a lot to do with my view of exams. Wanting me to do well as her extension, but it wasn’t an obvious pressure that was placed on me. I’ll have to ask HG about that one day, how it was done, I’m kind of curious to know.

          9. NarcAngel says:

            I don’t believe it always has to be obvious and direct pressure from them about something specific. My guess is that in addition to it being part of an Empath’s make up, we are conditioned by them not to disappoint in general, so we unwittingly obey and put pressure on ourselves. It carries over into everything. That is just my guess though, and I agree it would be best to get the specifics and examples from HG on how they enforce this through consultation, as the narc/empath combinations vary and so too might the manipulations required to instill this in us.

          10. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi TS,

            The talks by Brene Brown are on YT, the first one is titled “The Power of Vulnerability” … it goes back 12 years now, but I don’t think will ever age.

            Perhaps if we stick to the topic of vulnerability, this is where I see the narcissist having an influence, regardless of whether it’s in relation to men or women. You are right, women are vulnerable in terms of their looks and men perhaps more so in terms of their ‘prowess’, which could relate to your son looking for amusing catchphrases and also mocking influencers (can’t help but see the sense in that last one). Looks and prowess are how men and women attract eachother, this in turn leads to the importance we place on these things, hence our vulnerability. Narcissists will target these weak spots to their advantage.

            Some content will be much more damaging than others in terms of its influence, so keeping those communication channels open is all important and, as you say, counterbalancing the narrative at times to ensure a balanced perspective. Algorithms have a lot to answer for in that respect, in terms of sending teens and adults down the rabbit hole.

            Something our parents and grandparents never had to worry about. Your grandma certainly sounds like the salt of the earth and probably had the kind of common sense we all need right now. Something about that sense of practicality and a no nonsense approach which quiets all those voices that have no place in our lives except to distract from what is really important. I’m sure many of her traits were handed down to you xox

          11. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hi LET,

            Thank you for the additional pointer, will listen to that on my walk with Ralph later 🙂

            Prowess is such a great way to describe it. I was thinking about male influence / role models and it’s often based on success or the appearance of success. Success with women, success in terms of money or materialistic trappings. There’s the physical prowess, but in some ways it’s less about the physical and more about the money. Tate is the obvious one, but other than Tate, there seem to be fewer memorable male influencers. That might just be a female view of it though.

            When I was a kid, the influencers were pop stars, sports personalities, actors etc. so you wished you were a tennis player or a movie star. You wished you were ‘something’. I watched Ally Mc Beal so I wished I was a lawyer (with a dancing baby) Now it’s, “I wish I had big boobs and puffy lips.” And that’s just me! Haha!

            The female influencers, that look, seems to be everywhere, it seems to be ‘normal’ if that makes sense? There are more consistent images, they hang together as a prescriptive approach to how girls should look, that consistency makes it more believable I think. Two of my daughter’s close friends suffer from eating disorders, one is currently in hospital, attempted suicide. That used to be rare. It isn’t now and I genuinely think this narcissistic portrayal of what normal is, has an awful lot to do with it.

            Narcs definitely play on vulnerabilities, but their overall swarming presence impacts negatively without them even trying. Their group influence is seemingly just taking over to the point where that’s all kids see on their feeds. It’s silently destructive. Bad enough for adults being bombarded, let alone kids.

            Thank you for your kind comment about my grandma. I do hope so 😊.


          12. Leigh says:

            Oh TS,
            I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s friends. I hope the one in the hospital will be ok. Its very sad when young people lose hope and think that’s the only way to end their pain. When I hear about young people going through these hardships, I wish that their inner voice wasn’t so hard themselves. They deserve better. I hope you’re daughter’s doing ok with this. Sending hugs & I’m keeping fingers and toes crossed.

          13. Truthseeker6157 says:


            The idea of not disappointing definitely resonates.
            There were other players outside of my mum that would feed in to that idea.

            Funnily enough, I wasn’t interested in disappointing or not disappointing my mum as I didn’t respect her opinion, but my mum’s influence on my empathic dad was a different story. He would drive home from all over the country just to spend an hour with us at home, get up early the following morning and drive hours back to wherever he was working. My mum would have already gone to bed. No dinner left out, no milk in the fridge. I always felt heart sorry for him. All that travelling just to get home to see us. I would stay awake until he came home, wake up early to wave goodbye when he left. So in terms of not wanting to disappoint, that would be my dad. I viewed him as having a raw deal, wanted him to think that him trying so hard was all worth it. I have been aware that that was the case, but perhaps underestimate the significance of it. His trying, my trying, bloody mother’s zero trying haha!

            There was another influence in my childhood where your statement would have direct relevance in the way you meant when writing your comment.

            That might be part of why I can’t fully work it out. I’m looking at her behaviours towards me for the answer. It might be more a case of looking at her impact on others and her impact on my view of others, rather than her direct impact on me.

            Thank you for your thoughts.


          14. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hey TS,

            I know virtually nothing about Andrew Tate and don’t see him as a positive influence, though there’s no doubt he has an influence on some young men. You probably make a valid point, in the sense of who are the role models and influencers with regard to young men?

            I thought prowess was a good word to use in terms of men’s competitive natures with one another. It covers a myriad of areas.

            These type of social media influencers are definitely a more recent phenomena, though you are admitting to being influenced as a teen as well – we all were – and I think young people naturally want something to aspire to, which you did 🙂 What young people aspire to has changed in that sense perhaps. They see these influencers achieving success through exposure, so exposure is something to aspire to, and maybe it doesn’t matter how you get it.

            I almost spat out my tea when I heard my two daughter’s saying they were hanging out to see the new season of the Kardashians!! I thought they’d left them behind, but apparently saw a trailer and got sucked right back in again … it’s the drama (accusations are flying, sister’s falling out with one another, tears and tantrums). Young women can’t seem to get enough of this soap opera, maybe some older women, too. Jerry Springer just died. His show was 100 times worse in terms of drama, and letting it all hang out. I may have caught one or two episodes in the distant past, but that was enough. I’ve heard it referred to as “tabloid TV” and that’s what it was … trashy TV for people to maybe enjoy (can I use that word?) an element of escapism. What kind of influence did that show have? Just goes to show there have always been influencers, and only we can decide how much we will allow them to influence us.

            Since the Coronation is just around the corner, I remember being influenced by Diana, Princess of Wales. In some ways, I imitated her look (like a lot of girls), thought she was beautiful, poised, graceful, and empathy shone out of her. When I saw her with her children, I knew that was the kind of mother I wanted to be. She represented a lot of things I valued. Haha, having said that, I don’t think I ever wanted to be a princess 😛 Just a good mother and someone who displayed empathy.

            It’s interesting the way you phrase that – “this narcissistic portrayal of what normal is” – it’s about wanting to fit in, that’s what would be considered normal, so all the ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ encourage others to follow that narcissistic portrayal. They don’t think of it that way, of course, and in some ways all lead eachother astray. I’m very sorry to hear about your daughter’s two friends, and there is definitely an element of ‘contagion’ amongst young girls which can lead to them feeding off one another in a very emotional and sometimes negative way. I hope your daughter is OK. I’m sure she’s stressed over her friends. Must be a very difficult time for their families as well. I think social media amplifies the difficulties young people can have because it’s such a constant in their lives. They’re virtually bombarded with information and options. Not all of it good. You’re right, it is “swarming”.

            Not sure what we can do about it, but at least enjoining them in conversation and keeping the communication channels open is a start. You set the example and role model for them. It’s what I’ve tried to do for my children, and sometimes they’ll see the sense in that, but only in their own time and on their own terms xox

          15. Joa says:

            Ha ha, TS, I love to shock people who fall for this idealized image crap and provoke the Narcissists at the same time!

            For example, yesterday, my boss Narcissus, the next morning, after the very difficult meetings we had with hundreds of people over the past week (groups of our supporters and oppositionists – sometimes very aggressive – although apart from shouting and frustration they failed to do anything constructive), he sent on the group “chosen” on Messenger, a relaxing photo of the latest (expensive) espresso machine and a fashionable (handmade) coffee mug, against the background of a sterile and catalog kitchen. I replied with a witty description and a photo of a vacuum cleaner and a pile of laundry on the floor, ha ha ha 🙂 My picture was met with a feeling of relief and sparked a witty, casual discussion and a series of funny photos, ha ha ha 🙂

            I also like to mock on myself, flattening my inner Narcissus 🙂


            As for words – maybe you don’t love life enough. I believe, that the closer you are to death in life (the longer you look at it and look it “straight in the eye”), the more you feel life in every cell of your body and the more you appreciate it. Every ray of sunshine, every green leaf, every touch of the wind on the skin, every smile, every … millions of little things, that soothe and make you happy.

            Although… of course, you can’t overdo it – because death can also “draw” a person if you go too deep into your abyss.

            “Joy through sacrifice” – this is been one of my life’s goal, since I can remember. I will refer to this later, in the commentary on “Chained”, in part with which I strongly disagree.


            NA, I love it. At work, I make sure that women subjected to various manipulations do not “kill” each other.

            My mother was friends with my father’s ex-wives (whom she knew about at the time). I especially liked one of them, she was the essence of kindness, care and perfectly “seen” the inside of another person. My mother made sure that my father’s real children received money, she sent my father along with us and with gifts for his children at Christmas, Easter. She took the ex-wives’ kids on our family vacation. I’ve always admired that about her. I still admire. And I continue this female solidarity in my life.

            *And you can shove your triangulation up your ass, pfff 🙂

          16. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hi LET 😊

            I haven’t watched much of Andrew Tate, only a handful of videos where he was playing the big ‘I am’ around a table full of young women and waxing lyrical about traditional feminine roles. To me, he comes across as a moron. However, like you, I can also see that some men are very lost in terms of what their role actually is in society. They likely feel as though they can’t do right for doing wrong, and, this makes them very vulnerable. I do feel for younger guys at the moment, I don’t think it’s easy at all, masculinity isn’t toxic, but like anything else it can be toxic on occasion, in certain groups.

            It’s a world of them and us, sweeping generalisations and black and white thinking where a sensible middle ground approach is getting lost in the shouting and screaming. No wonder people are slipping further into escapism.

            Yes, very much so, there is ‘contagion’ within groups of girls. My daughter can sometimes move with the current, more so than my son, but she only seems to do that for a short time, then she swims back in the other direction, more to a middle position. The anorexia in her friendship group does concern me, but she is also seeing the downsides of that illness up close and personal, she doesn’t want that for herself. She watches what she eats (more than she needs to in my view) but not obsessively. In terms of the girl in hospital, her family, I can’t even imagine, utterly heartbreaking. This particular girl hides things very well. I used to imagine things like that would be obvious, that you would see them coming, you don’t.

            No way these kids should be able to access pro anorexia content online, it’s a disgrace the way these platforms are moderated, an utter disgrace. Of course, who will be sitting at the top of the social media content moderating tree? It’s a problem, it really is.

            Speaking of the Kardashians, that vain, materialistic, attention seeking drama is not what I would choose for a role model ideally, but then on a more positive note it isn’t ‘heroine chic’ either. That was a terrible trend, and a dangerous one. In fairness though with a bottle of wine and girl friends round, I get the Kardashian thing, it’s so unrealistic, so ostentatious you find yourself stood there in the doorway, mouth open, just gawping at it haha!

            I smiled at your Diana comment, it’s very sweet that you picked out those caring attributes so early on, placed value on them. I asked myself who I wanted to look like, be like when I was a kid /teen. Honestly? No one really comes to mind. There wasn’t one particular person I don’t think. There were elements of various people, actresses, musicians I liked, etc. I liked Julia Roberts, still do. Hate to say it, Madonna would be another when I was younger. Perfect bit of irony there!

            Oh, likes on videos, likes on pictures etc. pure madness. That really is full on narc right there. ‘Tell me tell me, tell me how much you love me.’
            No. Bugger off. Thumbs down (because you asked) haha! That is just another form of measuring up to the required norm, another way to evaluate someone’s supposed worth, it’s control again isn’t it? Grrrr.

            Don’t get me started on the ‘what I had for dinner’ images and bunny ear filters. I’ll go full rant, more ranty than I have ranted before!


          17. lickemtomorrow says:

            TS 🙂

            Appreciating all your thoughts here and laughing at your “ranty” comment at the end. I’ve been on several rants lately, so you’re in good company!

            No way, Madonna?? 😛 She had some killer songs, but sadly hasn’t aged well (or at all really when you think about her mentality which seems to be that of a teenager which is probably the norm for narcissists). She was a bit ‘grungy’ in her day, I think. Heroin chic makes me think of grunge. I don’t think grunge has a focus on the emaciated look of an addict, but maybe the rest could pass.

            You liked Julia Roberts, I liked Meg Ryan 🙂 Saw Julia recently in Ticket to Paradise at the cinema and enjoyed that little RomCom. Saw a photo of Meg Ryan in the news recently and didn’t enjoy seeing the results of her plastic surgery :O OMG, what has she done to her beautiful face I remember my favourite RomCom “You’ve Got Mail”? At least one of your choices stood the test of time 😉

            Anyway, hoping your daughter and her friends are doing OK, and it sounds like you’ve raised a very sensible girl who knows to swim back to safety when the need arises <3 xox

          18. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hey Leigh,

            Thank you for your concern about my daughter. Yes, she is sad for her friend, worried, shocked. She has spoken to me about it quite a lot of late, her Truthseeker seeking to better understand why people do things like that to themselves, how things get to that point, where I think they are mentally. Lots of questions, some I don’t have the answer to. The girl in hospital recently changed schools, so my daughter is in contact with her still but doesn’t see her as often anymore. It’s a strange and cruel disease, this girl was sending happy songs, happy images from her hospital bed. Almost like she operates a facade, no one sees what’s going on behind it. Very sad and too common.

            In some ways the shock of it I think has caused my daughter to re evaluate her own view of herself, look at what matters, what is realistic, or rather what is ‘real’. I’m very lucky, she talks to me about this stuff. It starts as a throwaway comment almost, then she circles back round, asks more questions, asks for my thoughts, finding her own view as the conversation progresses. Teens have a lot going on, I’m convinced they have it harder than I did.


          19. Leigh says:

            Hi TS,
            I agree. Its so much harder for teens now. Everything is at their fingertips so readily now. Not just the good stuff but the bad stuff too. Its great that we have instant access to information but its also provided a conduit for repeatedly seeing unrealistic images and incessant bullying. We’ve all had to deal with peer pressure but not on this scale. Its enormous.

            Its good that your daughter feels safe enough to talk to you. You’re positive role model for her. You show her empathy in action. She’s very lucky to have you.

          20. Truthseeker6157 says:


            Sorry, missed your last comment. Yes Julia is ageing very well, Meg and Madonna not so much.

            Madonna is an interesting one given her school. She seems to have become increasingly erratic over the last couple of years. I would have thought there would have been greater sophistication in her methods of acquiring the Prime Aims. When she was younger and was interviewed, to me, she looked very much like her school. Now, she just looks erratic and I find that dramatic shift a little shocking.

            Hollywood’s obsession with fillers is bizarre. It’s almost as if when faced with the choice of looking old or grotesque, grotesque is the preferred option. Quite sad when you think about it. If you are a Somatic narc and your sex appeal and materialism is all you have in terms of securing those Prime Aims, I suppose your behaviour will become ever more extreme. Can’t remember Madonna’s cadre. If she is Somatic that might explain it.

            Age is not a friend to a famous Somatic narc. I expect the elites fare better having that additional string to their bow.


          21. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hey TS 🙂

            I don’t know Madonna’s school, but she’s probably on one of the lists I have!

            She has become very erratic in her behaviour, and I tend to wonder what affect that has on her kids. It must be sooooo embarrassing for some of these teens and young adults of celebrities to have to deal with that. Some stars age gracefully and are able to allow their children to grow gracefully without having a negative spotlight thrust in their face, sadly Madonna is not one of them. There is no sophistication about her these days, just a desperate neediness for attention. I’m sure HG’s article on The Ageing Narcissist details some of the issues. That being said, it is shocking when one of our youthful icons suddenly begins to behave in a bizarre manner that totally defies our earlier impressions of them. Thankfully, some continue to live up to our expectations.

            I had to laugh at your “grotesque is the preferred option” 😛 Definitely seems to be the case with some of the outcomes we have seen. I’m truly saddened at Meg Ryan’s decision to rely on the plastic surgeon’s knife to try and retain her beauty. It did not work in her favour, and I’m not sure what might have happened to the beautiful spirit I sensed underlying that. Maybe it’s still there. Who knows?

            I agree that the Somatic’s must find ageing particularly difficult, and the Lesser’s even more so. As you say, the Elite’s have an additional string to their bow which works in their favour in the long run. Though, how many Somatic’s actually believe that their looks are not stunning even when it adds up to a fail in other people’s eyes? I think that explains some of the bizarre behaviour, where they ‘think’ they look great and are oblivious to what the rest of the world thinks. Oh, to be so delusional.

            My grey hair is coming in nicely, btw xox

          22. annaamel says:

            Madonna is a somatic.

            Somatics would feel huge pressure to keep rebuilding their body, which in a way is their fortress; it keeps them safe with its strength and capacity to intimidate and awe others. If they sensed their physical facade no longer intimidated, I would think they would feel incredibly vulnerable.

          23. Truthseeker6157 says:


            Sorry, I missed this comment too.

            Thank you for your kind words. Honestly, I’m very lucky myself, my daughter is my rock at times.


          24. Leigh says:

            Hi TS,
            I can certainly relate to you feeling lucky yourself. I feel very lucky to have my empath daughter as well. She sees things much clearer than I did at her age and she’ll often open my mind. Its also really nice to be able to have an open dialogue with someone. I have so few people I can do that with. I’m glad to hear you have that with your daughter. Its the mother daughter relationship that we never had. But now we have it with our daughters. I find that reassuring.

      2. Truthseeker6157 says:

        Hello Heidi,

        Thank you for your response and for explaining the fact that joy has biblical roots. I didn’t know that, that’s interesting. I agree my contentment and your joy are very similar, or, at least similar in the way we both separate them from happiness.

        From what you say here, and please correct me if I’m wrong, you mostly credit your Super school with facilitating your escape from the narcissist. Once out and during your darkest days post escape you credit your faith with facilitating your resolve to find joy.

        Linking this resolve to purpose, might it be that as you began moving forward with the purpose of putting yourself and your life back together, these small steps and successes were where you began to find joy again? A successful physical therapy session for example represented a small step forward towards what was essentially your freedom and you recognised and celebrated this victory?

        I think it’s also interesting that you “resolved to find joy.” To me this suggests an active effort to change a mindset. You might credit your faith for this change and your faith might well have facilitated it. A faith that bolstered you to keep moving forward during your darkest days.

        As someone who isn’t religious (though I do have a belief system) it’s interesting to look at what came first. Did the resolve to find joy come from within, which you then credited as being brought about by your faith? Or did your faith bring about the inner resolve to find joy? Haha, I hope you understand what I mean here. 🙂

        I think empaths often worry about what comes after their escape. They worry that the narc has forever changed them, removed their ability to be truly happy. I think it’s worthwhile exploring what happiness is and truly feels like, in the same way some of us had to learn ‘what is love?’

        What is it that we are actually trying to attain and what is realistic? If joy and contentment come from within, then once away from the toxic influence of the narcissist, they are both attainable and realistic for us all.

        Thank you for your thoughts on this Heidi.


        1. Hello again, Truthseeker6157,
          You asked: “Did the resolve to find joy come from within, which you then credited as being brought about by your faith? Or did your faith bring about the inner resolve to find joy?”

          What an interesting question, and you are the first person to get me thinking. I had to really pause and reassemble the progression. My memory is that the faith came first, and the joy came after. The reason I say that is that in my belief system, first I have to trust God for my needs. That includes the needs to heal emotionally during or after a tragedy. This trust requires faith. Once I relinquish that, He works with me to produce joy in my heart.

          I often have told atheists that these are the types of miracles that never can be proven. Non-believers would say, “How do you know your imaginary friend did that? Why don’t you give yourself enough credit?” My answer is that I don’t think I had the strength within myself to bring that change about. But the miracle is that He did it for me.

          Again, I sort of worry about this conversation, because I know this blog is not one where we debate belief vs. unbelief, but rather narcissism vs. the rest of the world and how to escape. I guess it’s enough for me to say that without my faith/trust, I do think I would be dead by now. I fully believe it. The joy that came through despite the circumstances was the key to all of it.

          I hope that helps!

          1. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hi Heidi,

            Yes it does help thank you. I agree with your point that the blog is about narcissism rather than religion but funnily enough religion does crop up in more discussions than you might think. It’s an area I tend to avoid on the blog because I’m not what anyone would consider to be religious so I can’t add a great deal, but I am engrossed when others speak about faith.

            Personally, I think that a belief system that facilitates an empath’s escape and recovery from her abuser is interesting. Not necessarily from solely the religious view point but rather from the mindset that faith gives the empath in times of need and the way she is then able to act on that.

            I commented to LET about the link between faith and purpose, purpose and joy ( or contentment, I think, if you’re me!). Saviour empaths tend to have a belief system, a fixed code or framework that guides behaviour. The influence might be positive or more risky as Isabelle suggested, so I’m interested in the religious viewpoint and also the non religious viewpoint because somewhere within her the empath has an anchor which provides strength and stability. Right now, with the world as it is, I feel we need as much help as we can get in terms of accessing that joy, contentment and on occasion, that happiness.

            Thank you for considering my question. Xx

          2. A Victor says:

            Though it is not something I discuss here much at all, out of respect for HG’s beliefs, I have experienced joy the same way, faith first, then in all circumstances. Though I also see sorrow as it’s opposite, as LET said, I have not found them to be mutually exclusive. I agree also, without my faith, I would have been dead long ago. And I fully believe I was brought here, to narcsite, as an answer to my prayers. I wanted desperately to know what had happened to me and why. Thank you for sharing.

        2. Rebecca says:

          Hi TS,

          I hope your daughter’s friend will be OK and I hope your daughter will be emotionally strong for her friend and herself. Xx How are you doing with the situation? Xx
          I developed anorexia when I was a teen, so I can understand a bit of what your daughter’s friend must be feeling. She’ll need your daughter’s support now and I hope she feels better soon. Xx I hope all three of you feel better soon. Xx

          1. Milkweedmonarch says:

            I developed anorexia in middle school. It’s very hard to give up that control when it feels like the only thing you have control over. Luckily for me my I spent a length of time with my sister during the summer and she lovingly showed her concern and got me to gain a healthy amount of weight. My parents didn’t notice and I was sickly skinny.
            Even in the late 90’s/early 00’s there were pro anorexia information online. Also open up any cosmo mag. I used to find pictures of the skinniest girls and put them on my fridge. I also used to equate smoking with being skinny as a teen so that was something I picked up for a short period of time. You would see skinny girls in movies smoking and I assumed it made you skinny. Obviously not the case but that was my thinking then. And I would replace meals with cigarettes sometimes. It wasn’t hard to find an older teen to buy them.
            My son brought up recently that one of his male friends having anorexia. I feel like I need to go back and talk to him further about it. I didn’t really say much to him and now I feel like I missed him wanting more information about it.

          2. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Thank you Rebecca.

            I think my daughter is starting to think that her friend is fast becoming beyond reach. She’s home now, photographing herself taking drugs.

            Another success for UK mental health services. Damned country is broken.


          3. Rebecca says:

            Hi TS,

            Don’t feel bad, in the US the health system is a miserable hamster in a wheel. They turn out sick patients too quickly, in the hospital, saying they’re fine, just to turn around and come back with the same issue….nothing seems to get better, it just gets treated with medication…stuffing pills down their throats and hope the pills work. It’s how my mother in law was treated, right into the grave. The local hospital here has a bad reputation, I know one time Biden’s son was at the local hospital , a few years ago, and he was flown out to be treated elsewhere…that tells me something. Xx

          4. Truthseeker6157 says:


            Good point. I did notice that when I lived in the US, everyone seemed to be taking meds for something. It’s one extreme to the other. Too many fat cats skimming the systems on both sides.


          5. Truthseeker6157 says:


            I remember the days of ‘heroin chic’ too. Models were painfully thin and that was what many young girls aspired to.

            I agree, I think anorexia is more about control, it’s a point to focus on, an escape in a way, think about what you are eating instead of the other stuff, whatever the other stuff might be. It takes over everything.

            In my final year at uni I boarded with a family. I had failed to look after myself the previous exam season. Too busy to eat, too obsessed with revision. My best friend had boarded with the family over the summer and suggested I did the same in my final year. He knew I’d live on cereal at exam time if left to my own devices.

            So the boarding was a perfect solution. All my meals were cooked for me haha! I would come in at whatever time and my home cooked meal was there on the side in the kitchen ready to be heated up. They had a daughter, Karen, there was nothing of her. In the first few months I was there I saw her getting steadily thinner, so thin I could see her spine through her dressing gown in the morning.

            She began counselling, was prescribed meds. I would come in from classes and put my meal in the microwave. Karen would come downstairs and would put her meal in too. So, more often than not we would eat together in the kitchen or whilst watching trash tv. She ate the same amount as me, in the same order around the plate. ( I eat in food groups haha!) If I had dessert she had dessert, if I had two biscuits she had two biscuits. I had dinner even when I had already eaten out with friends, if I didn’t eat, she didn’t eat.

            Her mum came and spoke to me one night, she had spotted Karen’s behaviour and said that she had no right to ask me to set an example, I was of course free to come and go as I pleased, but if I could please bear Karen in mind where possible, she was eating regularly because for some reason, she had locked on to me. No coaxing, no fighting required, she was just kind of falling in with me. I had already noticed by that point and happily stuck with it without ever showing Karen I knew. I was looked after, she was getting better, win win. Fresh flowers cut from the garden appeared in my room during final exam time. Little things that made a difference to me.

            Gradually Karen got to a healthy weight. By the time I left she seemed to have anorexia beat. I hope she did.

            It’s a strange and cruel illness and it shows no mercy at all. In terms of your son’s friend maybe spy your opportunity and just offer a listening ear. I have offered the same with my daughter’s friend. She likely won’t take me up on it, and I can’t force the issue, but at least the option to talk is there.


          6. Rebecca says:

            Hi TS and Milkweed,

            Sorry, I missed your comments here. I developed anorexia when I was 12, after I was traumatized by my brother trying to rape me. I went through some family counseling and later one on one counseling for myself, several times, at different points in my life. Like you, TS, I figured out anorexia was a control thing for me. It was one thing I could control in my life , at rhe age of 12, when it began…what I ate, how often I ate, how much I ate and if I ate, all was in my control and at that time, I needed that control to grasp my sanity. Oddly, anorexia saved my mind, as it hurt my body. As time went by, I slowly worked my way out of anorexia and I’ve beaten it on a daily basis, but I’ve noticed when I’m upset or stressed, it’s my go to, the first thing I do is control my food intake and I increase my exercising. I think my exercising became my purging mode, instead of being bulimic. I would just work off my caloric intake, however small it might have been. I still do that, exercising is now my coping method , my daily routine, that I must do to feel somewhat accomplished, at ease and happy with myself that day. If I skip a day, due to not having the time, distractions, whatever, I feel anxious and disappointed in myself that day.
            I’ve just accepted it as what gives me inner peace and I need to exercise out my energies. I noticed being married and living with MLSomatic husband, that he’s tried to take over my alone time, my work out time with myself. 😆 He can’t go the distance with me, so I still get my alone time. He can only go around twice with me and he gives up and goes home. 😆 I laugh because he gets annoyed about it. I see it as a small victory.
            TS, I’m so happy to hear you helped that girl, while living with her family. That shows so much caring and your Carrier side, if I’m guessing right? I have Carrier too, I believe 25%. I tend to take on responsibilities for those around me too. She was very fortunate to have you in her life, when she needed you the most. I hope also that she’s still doing well. Xx

    2. Contagious says:

      Hi ladies! I think of joy when thinking of love. What’s the first thought of joy? I think the birth of a child. Looking at the miracle and you can hardly believe it! I also get joy at Easter and Christmas related to Faith. Happiness has many sources such as a job well done, a sunny day, a good cup of coffee or chocolate! Lol I believe happiness comes from within and is based on gratitude. I would not want to be a psychopath who may only feel a release of pressure that resembles at best happiness. Or a narc who feels satisfied by receiving fuel. Why normals and empaths feel ups and downs… it is worth it…those moments of joy… happiness… bliss;)

  4. Your analysis is accurate for people who pursue happiness. I would counter that most people, even empaths, face such frustration in their pursuit of happiness because they lack an understanding of the difference between joy and happiness. This distinction is a game changer for those who choose to reject the pursuit of happiness and instead embrace joy.
    Happiness is contingent on outward circumstances and how others make us feel.
    Joy is inward. It is the acceptance of adversity and heartache and connects us with a purpose in life.
    For example, a person might have a death in the family, and that will bring immense grief. They are definitely not happy. But when they possess inward joy, they can still recall all of the things about that person that enriched their lives, which brings gratitude for the love they experienced with that person. Their life is better for having been with that person, i.e., they have had joy for being blessed with that person’s existence. So even in sorrow, we still have joy.
    I have heard you say that you don’t believe in God (or that you do when that belief benefits you). I suppose this is the main difference. Because of my belief, I also believe that God grants me this joy, which gives me strength in tragedy. It is a spiritual miracle that cannot be proven. But for me, it’s true.
    I know in writing this that you would never be convinced of it, and it may sound like garbled word salad. I appreciate your point of view — this is just the opposite view for consideration.
    Joy is unending. I can look over my life at the darkest of times and still see the joy I was privileged to experience, like glimpses of starlight on a moonless night.

    1. Simplicity says:

      Yes!!! Finding joy through God changes the ENTIRE game between an empath and a narcissist! We actually gain the advantage when the empath’s focus changes from pursuing happiness to pursing joy by developing a relationship with Jesus.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        He’s very much like the narcissist, does not actually exist in the way you thought he did.

        1. In so many words says:

          God behaves very much like a narcissist. He tests us with difficulties, wants to show us that he is in control and wants to be worshiped. Maybe that’s why he is content to let narcissists and psychopaths run the world.

        2. Bud Light says:

          How so HG?

          1. HG Tudor says:

            My comment is clear and needs no further explanation.

          2. Bubbles says:

            Dear Bud Light,
            I love your sense of humour with your name …. well done 😉

        3. Victorious says:

          It’s almost as if the narcissist created the concept in the first place.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            There is force in that observation.

          2. Alexissmith2016 says:

            I believe so Victorious!

            Have you listened to part 2 of the cult interview with Doug? It’s really helpful in that regard.

            Or could requote Jimmy Carr who once said, regarding religion/god/supernatural etc, “on the one hand you have Stephen Hawking saying there is no God, no creator. And on the other, there is Mystic Meg (a British astrologer who had a column in ‘The Sun’).

        4. Heidi says:

          Lol, I have heard that one before, but I know this isn’t a forum to debate belief.
          Just offering a counter view on why choosing joy over happiness is the game changer that most people fail to understand.
          But I understand your view and respect you very much, Mr. Tudor. You have been very helpful in solving internal mysteries.

          1. Victorious says:


            I do very much agree with you about happiness vs joy! Chasing happiness feels so constrictive whereas connecting to joy feels so much more expansive.

            I also like to think of pursuing wholeness as opposed to pursuing happiness, or any specific emotion. I wasn’t quite able to articulate that until reading your post, thank you for sharing!

    2. Isabelle says:

      Hello lovemrthornton,
      As I was reading your post on the difference between happiness and joy (or contentment, as TS put it), which I can totally relate to though not in a religious way, an uncomfortable thought came into my mind: if “joy is inward and is the acceptance of adversity and heartache, and is not contingent on outward circumstances and how others make us feel”, does it mean that if you feel this joy, then you can put up with any situation, including living with an abuser? I can’t shake the idea that you need to have at least a degree of safety in your daily life to feel joy or contentment. Extremely unpleasant circumstances such as domestic violence, be it physical or verbal, can’t leave much space for joy. Or maybe it does for some people, but in that case does it mean the abuse should be allowed to continue unhindered? Somehow I feel this joy could play on the “martyr” element there.
      Thank you for your post and for getting me thinking!

      1. Victorious says:

        Hi Isabelle,

        Hope you don’t mind me chiming in. I can only speak for myself but I could still connect to and feel joy while in a relationship with my ex narcissist. In a strange way I actually felt closer to my own emotions, perhaps because they were constantly being provoked? I also felt a false sense of safety with him and unsafe around others, even though I can see now that wasn’t the case.

        I also felt that he was envious of my joy so sometimes it felt like a sort of rebellion to be able to find joy when he expected me to be miserable.

        No martyr cadre for me actually, but I am significant minority codependent which I feel like may play a part in the false sense of safety with an abusive narcissist.

        1. Isabelle says:

          Hi Victorious,
          You are welcome to chime in anytime you like. It is always interesting to hear from a different experience of joy. You seem to link joy to feeling your emotions – this may be a form of ET; would you say that was the case?

          1. A Victor says:

            Hi Isabelle, my joy is not linked to ET, it is stable. It’s not something that I feel as an emotion really even, it’s just there, hard to describe, but underlying everything. I had it even when my ex was at his worst. I think it’s because it’s about the bigger picture, not the details. Everything will be okay and I just know that and knowing that gives me joy. I did not go looking for it, I just realized at some point along the way that I had it and it’s never left.

          2. Victorious says:

            Could you elaborate? When I’m more in touch with my feelings, I feel all of them deeply including joy. I was under the impression that emotional thinking occurred when my emotions would override logic, rather than being about the depth of emotions.

        2. Isabelle says:

          To elaborate a little: you wrote that when you were in the relationship with your narcissist, “In a strange way I actually felt closer to my own emotions, perhaps because they were constantly being provoked?” First I think you are right, this was probably because your emotions were constantly provoked. But since you include joy in the emotions you felt more intensely with that narcissist, I thought it may have been a form of ET as that is per definition always at her high level when in a relationship with a narcissist. I jumped to this conclusion a little hastily perhaps, because I am trying to get my head around the possibility to feel joy when high on emotional thinking. But others say they have experienced joy while in the relationship with their narcissist, so it is possible. I don’t think I have; for me, a relationship with a narcissist is an unending ride on a roller-coaster of emotions.High and low, high and low, but none with the calm quality I associate with joy.
          Hope this makes sense, Victorious. Very interesting to see how different our experiences of a similar situation can be.

          1. Heidi says:

            Hi again, Isabelle and Victorious,
            (Now I’m the one chiming in.)
            Just to piggyback on whether one can feel joy with a narcissist … my view is that it probably occurs during the Golden Period or a respite from the sustained devaluation.
            Once you are the frog in the full kettle of boiling water, and the water is now about to kill you, there is zero joy.
            I liken the Golden times to being drunk. You are not thinking clearly and the “joy” really is emotional thinking masquerading as it. I would actually think that would be a definition of happiness, like the happiness on a wedding day.
            True joy is deeper and long-term.
            Just my thoughts. 🤗

          2. Victorious says:

            Hi Isabelle,

            I see now what you meant! Thank you for elaborating. I think most of us regard the feeling of joy as something similar to deep contentment and peace, but for me there’s an added element of self love and self acceptance. I agree with what Heidi wrote about the golden period, and I believe HG has referred to the fact that narcissists basically make you fall in love with yourself. I think that’s part of why I’ve felt that joy during narcissistic relationships.

            I believe there are a lot of inner child/parent dynamics at play when empaths and narcissists are in relationships, and I could connect to a sort of childlike joy when I was with my ex. Also, the majority of narcissists in my life have been middle mid rangers and therefore really passive aggressive. I recently dated an upper mid ranger though and if that had continued, I could see him dimming my joy during devaluation wayyy more effectively.

            Have you done the Empath Detector? I’m really curious what your results were if you have now that we’ve shared our different experiences!

        3. Isabelle says:

          If you are interested, I mentioned my EDC results in a reply to Heidi (lovemthornton), which you will find right at the top of this thread.
          Have you done an EDC?

          1. Victorious says:

            Hi Isabelle,

            Just read your results, you’re the first perfect quad hybrid I’ve seen on here! Also you made me laugh with that “perfect” comment 🤣 Thanks for sharing that, I’m finding myself more interested in empaths lately.

            I’ve done an EDC, I’m Contagion, Super, and Codependent. I’m also saviour like you, plus magnet and carrier.

      2. Hey Isabelle,
        (Love your name, by the way — if my son had been a girl, that would have been his name. 🙂
        The short answer to your question is yes.
        Joy is a double-edged sword, in that it gets you through the worst life can throw at you but at the same time establishes a mindset that does put you in peril if you are an empath.
        The reason I can say this with 100% confidence is that I lived through what you just described in your question. I was married to a narcissist for 10 years … it has been 12 years since my divorce.
        The best way I can explain this is to compare domestic abuse/violence with a death of someone you love. For example, if someone you love dies, you don’t find joy in that death. You find joy in other aspects of life that sustains you through the circumstance of that person’s death.
        In the same way with domestic violence, it is an event that you do not find any joy in at all. But you find joy in other things. In my case, the joy was in my son, who was very young at the time. I found joy in the woods/nature that surrounded the house. I found joy in yoga, my dog, the meal I prepared, etc. I didn’t find joy in the abuse my ex-husband unleashed every day after he came home from work.
        And yes, you are right about the Martyr school. That did affect me to stay in the relationship for as long as I did. I took Mr. Tudor’s Empath Detector service recently. (I don’t mind sharing this information if it helps others,) I scored majority Super Empath, with minorities of Co-Dependent and Contagion. For my cadres, I was a mix of Martyr, Carrier, and Geyser.
        This is probably too much to unpack here, but the short answer is that when I analyzed my escape from the narcissist, my Super kicked in. The Co-Dependent and Martyr and Carrier all reined during my sustained devaluation. If I look back on it, I can see that “joy” was present in all circumstances.
        So to bring this full circle, I would tell you that the joy was not what kept me in the abusive situation. The Co-Dependent, Martyr, and Carrier aspects of my empathic makeup kept me in it. The Super Majority got me out of it. After I was out, I then relied on the joy to keep going.
        I hope this makes sense … Happy to answer any questions, and I’m very grateful to Mr. Tudor for this service. If you haven’t done the Empath Detector, I highly recommend it. I’ve gone through a lot in life, had a lot of unanswered questions, and this thing made all of the lingering issues fall together for me like a tumbler,.
        Take care!

  5. WiserNow says:

    I’m going to add this comment here because it is indirectly about ‘feelings.’ It addresses several recent threads about highly sensitive persons or HSPs. It’s difficult to find the relevant threads amongst the many comments, so for expedience, I’ll add it here.

    I would like to add to the discussion on HSPs that included comments from Sweetest Perfection, Rebecca, A Victor, Truthseeker, Joa, Leigh, Anna and others.

    Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) have what is called ‘Sensory Processing Sensitivity’ or SPS.

    In the books and articles I have read, including presentations given by psychologist Elaine Aron who first coined the term HSP in the mid-1990s, I have not heard or read of a description called ‘SP’, so to say HSP/SP, for example, or to say, “I have SP,” or “I am an HSP/SP,” is incorrect. It doesn’t make sense and doesn’t correlate to the terms and descriptions regularly used in relation to the subject.

    In short, there is no such term as ‘SP’, or ‘sensitivity processing.’

    In relation to HSPs having a ‘disorder’:
    In the reading and research I have done, high sensitivity or SPS is described as a neurological trait rather than a ‘disorder’. It is described as ‘heightened emotional reactivity,’ and can manifest in both positive and negative ways or situations. In Wikipedia, it is described as “an increased sensitivity of the central nervous system and a deeper cognitive processing of physical, social and emotional stimuli.” This quote is taken from a book published in 2016 by Sofie Boterberg and Petra Warreyn.

    Also, in research on evolutionary biology, the trait of SPS has been found in other non-human species. Since it is found in non-human species, I see this particular element of SPS as demonstrating that it is not a trait that has developed directly in relation to the way humans inter-relate in human social structures and constructs. Rather, to me, it is a trait in constant use by the person (whether alone or with others) and activated in relation to all kinds of stimuli, be they social and emotional, or physical, environmental, or intellectual (in personal rumination and thought, for example).

    For instance, I can see the phenomenal beauty in a sunset or in a natural landscape when I am alone with no other humans near me. I can enjoy or appreciate a beautiful or thought-provoking or clever piece of art, music, writing, photography, film, poetry, etc, even if I know who created the piece and even if I know that the person is a narcissist and would do me harm if he or she could. I can appreciate the bold and determined courage of say, Elon Musk, in his quest to travel to outer-space, even if, to me, he is an unattractive person personality-wise.

    An interesting factor (I think) about the trait of HSP or SPS, is that it manifests in heightened emotional reactivity in both positive and negative ways. A child who is an HSP can be raised in a loving and supportive family which nurtures and understands the trait. In this case, the child will have a positive regard and self-view surrounding his or her high sensitivity. The trait is biological, so it can occur in families without a narcissist parent.

    On the other hand, a child who is an HSP can be raised in a family that doesn’t nurture or understand the trait and responds negatively to the child’s sensitivity. Or, the child can be raised by a narcissist parent. In this kind of environment, the child will still react with high sensitivity, but it may be with heightened ‘negative’ emotions rather than heightened ‘positive’ emotions.

    If the HSP child raised in a negative family environment attends school as a teenager and the teachers at the school are attentive and responsive to the child’s particular needs as an HSP, the child will then respond in a heightened ‘positive’ way to the supportive treatment – even though the child’s home and family environment is negative or abusive.

    These characteristics make me think that being an HSP or having SPS is not a ‘disorder’ in and of itself, and is not based on being raised by a narcissist or having a LOCE in childhood.

    Rather, I think that the way the trait manifests in different situations or environments will ‘present’ with different effects. The trait will present with ‘heightened reactivity’ that is either positive or negative, in line with the environment.

    From what I have read, one aspect of being a HSP is that there is an instinctive need to develop a ‘connection’ to those who are close to the HSP. This ‘connection’ is an emotional bond based on trust and familiarity. HSPs don’t really do ‘superficial’, or perhaps more accurately, don’t really enjoy or gravitate towards ‘superficial’. In relationships, connection, or a deeper bond, is what creates a sense of happiness and security.

    The instinct to create a bond doesn’t work with a narcissist, though.

    If an HSP was raised by a narcissist, the HSP has the conditioning (or addiction) and is attracted to narcissists. Later in life, the HSP ‘recreates’ the initial family environment he/she grew up in.
    At the same time, the HSP wants a deeper connection. There is a double-bind there. The HSP is attracted to narcissists, and sees the narcissist as their ‘normal’ because of being raised by a narcissist. However, the innate and ongoing instinct to ‘connect’ emotionally cannot be fulfilled.

    To conclude, I think the trait of SPS is not a ‘disorder’ as such. It is a neurological trait. People who are HSPs can be born to empaths, normals or narcissists. When you combine the trait with a narcissist parent though, the childhood conditioning *together with* the trait may look like a ‘disorder’. This is because the trait involves a need or instinct to ‘connect’ emotionally in a deeper bond, while the childhood conditioning from having a narcissist parent means the HSP is drawn to narcissists – and narcissists cannot or will not bond in the way the HSP is innately wired to.

    1. Milkweed says:

      This makes complete sense

      1. WiserNow says:

        Thank you Milkweed, I appreciate you saying so.

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