How is that we are so skilled at reading people? It is straight forward. We spend all of our waking time doing it. We do not feel most emotions so we have to learn about them. We also need to learn what you like and dislike so this enables us to ensnare you in the first place. Our need to mimic what you do is fundamental. Thus we watch and observe you and other people to see how you react in certain situations. We then carefully log this in our minds. We know how much you love animals so any adverse comment about a cat or a dog will cause you to be upset. If we target this at your pet then your reaction is even stronger. We are aware that you have a poor relationship with your sister so we will use this knowledge to extract appropriate reactions from you by commenting favourable on things that she does. This may make us seem pleasant by paying her a compliment but we are really doing it because we know it will draw a reaction from you.
Years of practice has made us masters at this. It helps us in two ways. We learn how we should react and thus build up our complement of masks which we use to get us through life. It also enables us to know exactly which buttons to press with you to elicit the best reaction to suit our purposes. You will look back on our relationship and regard it as uncanny how we had this knack. You will wonder if it is some sixth sense peculiar to my kind. People often wonder if its learned at some Narc Academy. The reality is that from an early age we were watching, scrutinising, logging and mimicking in order to apply the best way of manipulating you.
One of my other psychiatrists, I call her Doctor O (she is obsessed with me – I don’t think that’s very professional albeit it is only natural) instructed me to make a list of things that I say when I first meet somebody. I sighed and rolled my eyes. How am I meant to do that? I speak to so many people and to be honest, they all seem to merge into one to me, so it is very difficult for me to distinguish between them and recall what I have said. She was insistent however and then it dawned on me. I don’t need to remember at all. You do. After all, meeting me is such a memorable occasion my wonderful words will have been etched on your hearts forever. Seeing as I have done so much for you, perhaps you would do me a favour (you will do me a favour or else) and tell me what I said to you in the embryonic stage of our relationship. That way I can collate them and pass them to Doctor O and then perhaps she might be a little less obsessed. Don’t dilly dally though, I need to know so I will feel better.
Becky (an ex girlfriend) would turn to me and some times say,
“I just feel like your puppet at times.”
I had to look the other way because I wanted to laugh. My nickname for her was poppet. She loved me calling her that. I used it straight away when we first met. It was actually a useful device as the other lady I was seeing, Susan, received that nickname from me too, but she was on the way out. It meant I could call them both poppet and not mix up their names with the invariable histrionics that would ensue. God, I am good.
What Becky had not realised that my calling her poppet was a corruption of puppet and every time I used it I would be laughing inwardly and beaming outwardly. She thought I was just smiling because I was pleased to be with her.
That is what it is all about. Making you my puppet. This is my aim. This is the means to my end of obtaining my fuel from you. As you will no doubt becoming familiar with, the means always justifies the end. Accordingly, by ensuring you become my puppet I am in the optimum position to control you to extract every drop of fuel I can from you.
I need to control you so that you admire me when I want it. I need to control you so that I can pull the strings and make you jerk to my tune. I am the puppetmaster.
To make you my puppet I engage on a two-pronged approach. Firstly, I make you utterly dependent on me. I open the doors and let you look upon heaven. That way you are in awe of what I can give you and you want it, oh you really, really want it. Secondly, I will then remove every method of support both real and potential that you might rely on to try and recover your free will (family, friends, colleagues and so on – I will be posting about how I do this through my slur campaign in a separate post) so that you have nobody to turn to. Thus, as you look on heaven entranced and enraptured, I am opening the trapdoor to hell right under your feet.
Once I have those strings attached to you we can begin our dance. It is long. It is exhausting. It is dangerous.
Dr E was asking me about my relationships and how they always fall. Within this discussion, he wanted to know what happened when I decided that I was no longer interested in somebody. Through our frequent discussions, it is fair to state that there comes a point in all of my relationships (be they lovers, friends, colleagues and so on) that something happens where I lose interest and instead feel an overriding need to demean and belittle. Dr E wanted me to identify what it was that brought about this volte face.
I actually gave this quite a bit of consideration. I was thinking for so long that the silence clearly got to Dr E as he started to question me. Is it because I am no longer getting attention from that particular person? No. Often they are showing me the usual levels of adoration and attention. Moreover they will increase that once they sense I am losing interest. Try all they might they cannot rekindle my enthusiasm. Perhaps it is because they do or say something that you dislike? No. They often do this but this tends to happen after I have lost the passion for them, it is not the cause. Dr E groped around. Maybe then that it is because something more interesting comes along (notice how he said something rather than someone – he is starting to learn my vocabulary now). Again, no. Admittedly this often happens but it is not the cause. Dr E tapped his notebook with his pen.
“Do you know what it is then or perhaps you just don’t?” he asked.
I don’t like him suggesting I don’t know. I know everything.
“I do know,” I replied.
“It is because I can.”
I am self-sufficient. I do not need you and therefore I do not appreciate you. I never show any thanks for what you do for me because I am entitled to it anyway. You should be doing all those things for me by reasons of being so fortunate to have someone so special as me in your life. When you give me a present, or cook a sumptuous meal or arrange a day out for me you are just fulfilling your duty. That is why I never say thank you. Instead, I will look to turn it around and suggest you are only doing it because you feel guilty about something (I won’t point to anything specific that you are guilty of because I prefer to gave you in a near permanent state of anxiety and accuse you of doing something wrong, without giving any detail, is a great way to do this). Then again, I will accuse you of selfishness as I project my own behaviour onto you. I will declare that you have only arranged the day out because you wanted to go or that you cooked the meal as it was your favourite food. Anything to diminish the gracious and pleasant thing that you have done. I cannot stand to think you can act selflessly because it reminds me so much of my complete inability to do so. You are reminding me of my weaknesses and that irritates me. In fact, it chews away at me so much that I have to try and wipe the thought away. This means I will do what I do best. Lash out at you.
How many times have you been left feeling bewildered and upset after you have tried to do something you thought I would like only for me to either shrug and barely acknowledge your kind-hearted gesture or even worse I have erupted in a rage and gone on the offensive. You are left shell-shocked. You hear yourself apologising even though you have no idea why but you are so conditioned to my behaviour, the instant apology trips off your lips before you have even had chance to think about it. You are left belittled and upset, no doubt holding the present you looked long and hard for in your hands after I threw it at you and stormed out of the room. The terrible thing is, you will keep trying to win my gratitude. It is not going to happen.
Love. It is the most powerful emotion. It is the emotion that virtually everybody wants to receive. Love from your parents, love from your best friend and love from your other half. In fact, that desire goes further. Companies want people to love their products. An artist wants the public to love his creations. A chef wants diners to love his meals. It is interesting how widely used the word love is. Come to this theme park, you will love it. Have you seen the latest Tom Cruise movie? You will love watching it. It is used over and over again. This noble and most powerful emotion is applied to such triviality as “I love the colour red” or “I love my new shoes”. Yet, notwithstanding its clear overuse it loses none of its potency.
I seize on the power of this emotion in my works by utilising the phrase “I love you,but”. As soon as you hear those magical three words at the start, your ears prick up and you feel a surge of delight. He has told me again that he loves me, I feel wanted and special. The soaring sensation only lasts momentarily because attached to it comes a dual pronged attack the purpose of which is to control you.
When I say ” I love you but I wish you wouldn’t wear that dress,” I am criticising you for appearing like a slut. By linking my criticism in a sentence professing my love for you I am demonstrating just how much you are disappointing me by going out in such attire. I am figuratively punching you with a sugar-coated knuckleduster. It wounds and it is meant to do so. Furthermore, it contains a threat. If you do not do what I want, I will remove my love from you. Used repeatedly, this will feel like a boxer landing repeated jabs on you as it whittles away your confidence. I keep this potential loss hanging over you. It is a method of control. You will now change the dress because you do not want to lose my love. You will also tell yourself, because of the way I have conditioned you, that he is only saying it because he loves me, how good is that? He really cares about me so much he takes note of what I am wearing and is sufficiently interested to point out when I am wearing something he doesn’t approve of. You con yourself, for fear of losing my love, that my motivation is predicated on a real interest in caring about you. That is completely wrong. It is a tool of control. Listen out for it and you will soon notice how often it is used against you.
Both Dr O and Dr E repeatedly like to ask me about my childhood. I do not like to talk about it. I tell them that I do not like to and the reason for that is that I do not remember much about it and therefore I feel uncomfortable talking about something which I do not feel in control of. Everyone is like that though aren’t they? If you are making a presentation but you only have half the material, you feel uncomfortable don’t you? I you are asked a question by somebody but you do not have all the information to hand, you feel uneasy. I explained that was my response and that it was an entirely understandable one. I’m not telling them the real reason behind my recalcitrance. Not a chance.
Unfortunately, Dr O then gets the bit between her teeth in one of our sessions and decides she would like to talk to me about family.
“Who has pinched your bagel this week then? Your brother or your sister?” I shot back seeking to deflect her. She ignored my remark and pressed on.
“Is there anybody in your immediate family you would like to discuss with me?” she asked.
Where do I start ? Why would I want to talk about people I rarely bother with (save my brother)? Why is it that these people assume that I have some overriding desire to discuss a group of people who I am related to but have nothing in common with? What is the obsession?
I remained silent.
“Okay, how about I choose a family member and you tell me three things that you like about them and three things that you do not like about them. Just as something to start our conversation?” she suggested.
I remained silent.
“How about your mother?” she asked and looked at me expectantly.
I got up and left the room. I’m not playing that game with Dr O. No way.
I crave power. I want it more than anything else. It is the product of requiring all attention to be directed at me and upon me. The sensation of impregnability and might is epic in its effect. I want power. I want it over others and most of all I want it over you. The degree by which I shall pursue power is only limited by what I believe I can get away with. I take the view that owing to my special status I am above rules, codes of conduct, conventions, procedures and laws. Since I find myself unshackled by these hindrances, I am free to pursue my quest for the attainment of power with utter and total conviction. What I require is complete and total hegemonic domination. Hitler ? His invasions were Sunday afternoon walks in the park? Stalin ? He exercised plenty of power but where did it really get him? Genghis Khan? He showed promise. My single-minded focus goes beyond those men and is a never-ending mission to obtain power.
This power is best obtained when you are prevented from defending yourself. Yes, I want you to bend over and take it and thank me for it afterwards. You are not allowed to protest. You are not allowed to demur ,complain or heaven forfend put up and kind of fight. I want you disarmed and defenceless. That’s why I embark on such a savage campaign when I devalue you, that you end up completely confused and disorientated. I want you swaying, punch-drunk and eyes glazed, urging me to put you out of your misery. Once I have reduced to this state I know I can do as I please and that I have attained absolute power over you. Then the next victim will loom in my sights…….
My mother used to call me her ray of sunshine. As I got older, I asked her if she called me this because I brightened up her life. She told me, “No, it is because you are brighter than anyone else.” I cannot disagree with her. Years later, Becky (an ex girlfriend) told me that I thought I was the sun. I remembered what my mother had said but I had learned that Becky did like to compliment me so I stopped myself from saying my mother’s words and asked Becky if she described me as such because I lit up her life. She shook her head and replied,
“It is because everything has to revolve around you.”
I took issue with her comment. It is not the case that everything has to revolve around me, it just does. I think that is because of my innate magnetism. People enjoy being around me. I enjoy people being around me. I revel in their adoration. It is only right and proper that they recognise my brilliance and in so doing want to be near me, with me and praising me. I mean, who does not like to be praised? We all do don’t we? Nothing wrong in that. I think that because I get so much of it I find it addictive and I want more. I want people to admire and adore me. I know they should, but that doesn’t always mean they will. Of course, if they don’t I won’t waste my energy on them, there are much more deserving targets for my largesse. I heard someone say that you only get out what you put in. I agree ; I put people at the centre of my sights and they adore me in return. Perhaps if more people did this the world would be full of adoration and be a better place.
As keen students of my worthy and extensive knowledge do you think you are able to spot the wiles of the narcissist ? If so, read these publications and with red pen in hand place a circle around(or make a note if the e-book is preferred) the narcissistic traits, sayings and behaviours that you identify. Let’s see if you have been paying attention and can earn your narc hunter wings !