WHY THENARCISSISTMAKES IT ALLSO DIFFICULT

 

You will have silently asked yourself this question many times. You will have asked it of friends and family as you recount the latest confusing bout of behaviour from us. You may even go so far as to ask us why we make everything so difficult. Your confusion stems from several places. First of all, life really ought to be a bowl of cherries and straight forward. You have a good house, two cars on the drive, you get to go on holiday, there are no real concerns about the bills, the jobs seem safe. You are not rich but you are in a fortunate position. Everybody in the family enjoys good health, you have two wonderful children and extended family are supportive and play a part in your life. You once got along famously, brilliantly, a complete match made in heaven which shows that it can be done and therefore that suggests, does it not, that this can be resurrected and returned to, if only he wanted to and tried to do it. Going beyond this you give everything to the relationship. You have not changed. You remain devoted, loving, working hard for the family unit both in the office and at home. You make our meals, you suggest days out, you attend to the laundry and the housework with little assistance in return. You know that you give more of yourself to us, emotionally and in terms of dedication to the concept of our relationship and the family and truth be told you do not begrudge doing so. You have always been a giver and you derive pleasure in seeing other people content and happy knowing that you have played a part in it. Whilst it would be lovely to receive some affection from time to time you could live without it, if you are completely honest, if only we did not make everything so difficult.

You cannot understand why we make life so hard. There is nothing to be upset or concerned about. Indeed, with your tolerance and giving nature, we have surely landed on our feet. Your friends tell you that given everything you do for us we ought to drop to our knees and worship you when you come through the door in the evening. You laugh at such suggestions, since you are far too modest, but inside you do wish that there could be some acknowledgement, some thanks for everything you do. It does not have to be reciprocated, you are content with that role, but if only we would accept this massive advantage that we have and not spoil things, cause arguments and bring discord when there really is no need. You could understand it if you actually did something wrong but you do not, you know you don’t. From time to time you do find yourself analysing what you do and wondering if perhaps it is you that causes these sudden mood-swings, the lashing out, the sulking silences and the irritation. Once in a while you think you might have done something wrong and you apologise and make amends, not that it seems to get you anywhere. At times you think you would be better off if you came in drunk, kicked the dog and demanded that we make you something to eat before falling asleep in front of the television. Perhaps if you came in full of thunder and gave us a slap we might respect you more, because it seems that your dedication and subservience get you none. This thought tumbles through your mind often but you know you could not behave like that, because it is not you, but it does make you wonder what you need to do to gain our respect, our interest and our love once again, like it once was.

You cannot understand why someone would choose to be so difficult and so often. We have every advantage. Why not be content with that and life a wonderful life with a delightful family and doting spouse? Surely that is far easier than causing chaos, pandemonium and upset? Not only do these storms come out of nowhere, you just cannot understand why someone would behave like that towards someone that we supposedly love and care about. It makes no sense, no sense whatsoever, but you are not going to give up. You are not a quitter. You will work out what it is and then make the appropriate changes so that life really is a bed of roses.

How often have you felt this way? Many times I should imagine. It is extraordinary and unbelievable that we almost choose a life of conflict over what could be a peaceful and enjoyable life. This makes no sense to you at all. The fact is that we do not choose to cause confusion and chaos, we have to. Admittedly, we choose the degree and extent, the Greater of our kind doling out particularly savage and heinous machinations which increase the pain and misery, but all of us, whether Lesser, Mid-Range of Greater do not choose a life of conflict with you, our intimate partner, it has to happen.

We need to create drama because we feed off the emotional output generated by you in response to that drama and this provides us with fuel. It has gone beyond the point where we could rely on your admiration, love and affection, that has become stale although we do not dismiss it out of hand. In order to make that admiration, love and affection seem shiny and new (if only for a short while) we must create the drama, the downside and the conflict in order so there is a contrast. This contrast will allow us to reinstate our “good side”, the golden period and things will seem wonderful for a period of time but then the stale sensation returns once again. Thus the conflict must be resumed. You have no control over this. No matter how hard you try to please us, to accommodate us and to do the things that we like, this unquenchable need for fuel means that the roller coaster will not stop. There is often no logic to it, from your perspective. You may notice certain behaviours which tell you that the storm is about to be unleashed but often you will not know. This is because what triggers the storm is the ignition of our fury which is caused by your criticism of us. Those criticisms are usually more likely to be perceived by us than actual on your behalf and this means you will always struggle to identify them. Believe me, a simple “Hello, how are you?” can trigger the storm. In our world we regard this simple and pleasant greeting as unnecessary questioning and the suggestion that there is something wrong. If there is something wrong, then that is a criticism. This is why we seem to erupt over “nothing”. It is nothing in your world but in ours there has been a criticism and this ignites our fury with the resulting shouting, nastiness, sulking and silent treatments. There is no pattern to this behaviour. Once cannot say it is three weeks good one week bad. You may have months of the reinstated golden period before another tornado tears through your life. It may be a succession of tornadoes each and every single day for a month. It will always leave you confused and bewildered as to why we behave this way when there is so much good in our lives, so much to enjoy and look forward. As ever this is because you are looking at the world from your perspective. From ours it is vastly different. We do not choose to make life difficult, we have to.

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 WHAT'S IT ALL FOR_

The sudden silences. The periods of no communication when before the airwaves crackled with the send and return exchange of text messages. The repeated calls throughout the day to talk of something and to talk of nothing, now gone and empty. The absence of a morning greeting. The absence of any greeting. Just absence. Cold and unremitting silences which stretch from hours, to days, to weeks. What was once there has been banished. What’s it all for? Perhaps he just wants some time alone?

The inability to ever say sorry. The frustrating failure to ever issue an apology, it is as if those words cannot be formed or do they manifest but something causes them to freeze so they never find the light of day? The denial of fault, the deflection of blame, the resolute and forthright rejection of any accountability. All you want is to hear her say it the once, to say sorry, to hear that admission and sense some humanity exists there after all. What’s it all for? Perhaps she believes that I will think less of her if she apologises to me?

The never-ending carousel of blame and accusation. The merry-go-round of that dizzying discussion which never reaches fruition. The whirling array of “I never said that”, “you do the same”, “you can’t keep accusing me” and so much more leaves you disorientated and nauseous. Just once, just one time, can’t something be resolved without this round-the-houses farce? Must it always be this way? Why is nothing ever put to bed? Why is everything buried alive? What’s it all for? Maybe he just doesn’t understand me, perhaps I need to be clearer about what I mean?

The broken engagements. The no-shows. The promises to meet and then the failure to appear leaving you upset, annoyed and miserable. He promised. He promised that this would not happen again. The frequent ringing and all you receive is the notification that the cellphone you are calling is not available right now. Where is he? Has he forgotten? He cannot have done, you spoke to him only four hours ago to remind him of the arrangements, especially after what happened last time. You miss him and you were so looking forward to spending the night together after a period of not being able to do so. Surely he should have remembered? The chasing messages “Where are you?”, “Are you near?”, “I have been waiting twenty minutes, where are you?”, “What’s happening, I am worried”. What’s it all for? Perhaps he has had to work late, or he is stuck on the subway or he has run out of charge for his ‘phone?

The repeated alterations to arrangements. The tears, the shouting, the disappointments, the rolling out of false explanations to try to ease their upset. Yes, he did say he would take you out today, he must be caught up with something else, why don’t we do something instead? How can he let the children down like this? The turning up without agreement and demanding to see the children. Forcing you into a corner in order to placate him so the children are not scared. You back off again and again. Always you making the compromises. Always you trying to explain away the increasingly unexplainable. The arguments about the arrangements, the lies about what was arranged, the confusion over details. What’s it all for? Is he going mad? Maybe you are?

The insults and slurs, the nasty words, the harsh put-downs and the savage comments. The vicious text message tirades sent at 3am, the blistering verbal attack down the telephone, the dressing-down in person just before a night out. The personal cutting remarks, the swear-words, the name-calling and the labelling. So hurtful, so demeaning, so upsetting. What’s it all for? Perhaps he just doesn’t love you anymore?

The chopping and changing. Last week’s steak had to be well done and now it has to be bloody. How were you expected to know, but you were? The eruption and the tantrum which followed demonstrated that you were the one to blame. Red is good, now it is bad. No soda with the vodka, but now he is banging doors and shouting because there is no soda. Sit there, no there, be quiet, say something, leave me alone, you never speak to me much these days, do it like that, no don’t do it like that, who taught you to do this it is brilliant, who taught you to do that you are an amateur, back and forth, push and pull, right then wrong. What’s it all for? Perhaps he just cannot remember or just wants to keep changing for the sake of it? Perhaps the pressure of work is really getting to him these days?

The argument over nothing. The argument out of nowhere. The argument when everything was going well. Why is she angry all of the time? Nothing is ever right but rather than discuss it in a civil manner and be reasonable with one another, there always has to be a fight. She could start an argument in an empty room. She seems to thrive on creating a scene. So many days, so many occasions, so many events all spoiled by the epic tantrum which she throws. What’s it all for? Perhaps she has anger management issues?

The sudden bouquet of flowers. The expensive perfume. The sudden trip away to somewhere exotic and exciting. The sensitive poem carefully written in copper plate and placed under your pillow. The sudden proclamations of love. The dizzying romance. The grand gestures. What’s it all for? He must really, really love me.

The accusations, the challenges, the pointed finger and the sneer. The demands for the truth when you are telling the truth. The inquisition and the interrogations over anything and nothing. The way you answered the phone, the way you wear your dress, the friends you said you were visiting, the time you came home. Always the questions, the allegations of lying, cheating and skullduggery. Every time this happens when you want to do something and he never seems to realise he does all of these things himself. What’s it all for? Perhaps he is just possessive because he cares so much?

The lies. The tales. The fabrications. Every day a new boast which is so outrageous that she must surely know she is telling a porky pie. The flagrant omissions of the truth. The repeated protestations that this is the truth even when you know she is lying again. The lies when the truth would serve her better. The inability to know she is lying. The fact she really does seem to believe her lies are her truth. What’s it all for? Perhaps she is just a born liar and a fantasist?

The disappearances whenever you need help. The excuses that he has something else more important when you require support. The sudden coldness when you call and explain how you have been bullied at work again. The distant look and the eye-rolling as you try to explain why you are crying. The sudden lack of availability when you need a hand. The fact you must fend for yourself even though you are too weak to stand and feel dizzy. The shirking of responsibility, the rejection of assistance and the distancing when you are injured. What’s it all for? Perhaps he just cannot stand the sight of blood or does not know what to do when somebody is ill?

The flirting, the staying out late, the drunkenness, the drugs, the gambling, the smell of perfume on his clothes, the receipts from lap-dancing bars, the hours and hours and hours spent watching porn online, the obsession with his video games, the sudden and mysterious trips away. What’s it all for? Perhaps he has an addictive personality?

The tears, the pleading, the begging, the demand for one more chance, the assurances that it will never happen again, the promises to get help, the panic in his eyes and the wailing from his mouth. The neediness, the repeated requests to make things right, the long involved explanations, the repetition of how we should be together and how good we are for one another, the promises, the future, oh the promises of what the future can hold for us both. What’s it all for? Perhaps he is broken and you should not walk away from someone in such need?

Maybe he struggles to express himself?

Maybe he just has never had anybody stand up to him?

Maybe she has problems with trusting people?

Maybe he is just disorganised?

Maybe he struggles with being a single parent?

Maybe he cannot help how he feels?

Maybe he is indecisive?

Maybe he feels unappreciated?

Maybe he really does love you?

Maybe that’s his way of loving you?

Maybe she is just different?

Maybe he doesn’t love you anymore?

Maybe he can’t help but feel jealous because he really does love you?

Maybe she tells lies to make herself feel better?

Maybe he struggles with responsibility?

Maybe she is tired?

Maybe he is lost?

Maybe she is over-worked?

Maybe he is stressed?

 

Maybe you don’t know what you are entangled with?

Maybe you make too many excuses for them?

What’s it all for?

Fuel.

THE CLASSROOMNARCISSIST

I am Chloe. I am 18 years old and I had an affair with my teacher, Mr Stevens or Phil as I came to call him.

I am not some silly girl, although they have repeatedly tried to tell me that I am. Believe me, I have felt the weight of my opponents as they tried to convince me, no doubt orchestrated by Phil, that I dreamt the whole thing up. Still, it is to be expected isn’t it, that they, the teachers, will close ranks and look out for one another. That is what they do isn’t it? I have lost friends because of this, but I realise they are just jealous and they fancied Phil just like me, only I got to have him. I don’t blame them for fancying him, he is good looking and funny and he has that easy air about him that makes him so likeable, but what they don’t realise that it is all an act. Phil the Flirt, Phil the Mate but when it suits him he remains Phil the Teacher, set apart and to stay apart.

He started it of course. I won’t deny that I liked him from the beginning. Everybody does. He is a popular teacher and being good-looking as well is never going to cause him a problem in the popularity stakes, but you see, he knows all of this, he plays on all of this and boy does he use it. He uses it to reel you in and then, and here is the clever part, he uses it as his defence. “I cannot help it if they take advantage of my popularity,” he protests as he maintains his innocence. He is not innocent. And he took my innocence.

He started it. I recognised the way he looked at me. He always looked for me in class before anybody else, as if ensuring that I was there in my usual seat and then giving me ‘that smile’. Oh, he smiles at everyone I was told. He does not smile for them the way he does, or rather did, for me. I am not stupid. I may be young but I saw how he would stare at me, how I could feel his gaze on me, how I could tell from the corner of my eye that he was stood besides me and was looking down my blouse. Who wouldn’t? I am attractive, I have my fair share of boys chasing after me and Mr Stevens is a man, he is flesh and blood, so he is bound to look isn’t he? He wasn’t meant to touch though but he did. Oh he touched me, in so many ways and he knew what he was doing.

I had heard that others had become besotted with him before. Rumours of some girl a few years ago who had to be persuaded to move to another school because she fell in love with him and would not leave him alone. I tried to find her actually but got nowhere. Some say he got her pregnant and she had to have an abortion, her parents hushing it all up as they did not want the scandal. Some say it is all made up. They have said the same to me.

I know what I saw. The cheeky winks just for me, the slightly longer smile than usual aimed at me. The way he usually asked me first when I put my hand up to answer a question. He was besotted with me first. I tried to tell them this but they dismissed what I said. Told me I was reading too much into him just being friendly, that I was trying to see things which were not there because I was desperate for his approval.

He was always encouraging, praising me for my work. I always enjoyed history but it became even better when he was allocated as my teacher. I worked hard because I wanted good results and I wanted him to be pleased with my work. I got high marks from the beginning and I now realise this was his way of reeling me in, making me feel special, marking me out for special treatment. He advocated on my behalf that I should be a candidate for Oxbridge (prestige British universities) and that meant extra tuition ; with him of course. Now, I am good enough to get in to Oxford or Cambridge (I chose Oxford) but he clearly saw this as his opportunity to isolate me from the other students and cleverly, from witnesses. After all, plenty of people across the various subjects have these Oxbridge tutorials after college hours, but he used his to teach me about more than the Tudor dynasty and the English Civil War.

Once he had me in those special tuition one-on-ones, then it was inevitable where it would end up. I was not complaining. I wanted his attention, absolutely, although of course he should have known better. He was the one in a position of trust, a man in a position of authority and I was just the pupil. Yes, I wanted him, but I didn’t realise that he was the one who had engineered for me to feel that way. That is what these predators do. They make it seem like your doing, but he hypnotised me and made me fall under his spell.

He was always so assured, doing just enough to maintain an element of doubt should he have misjudged the situation, just enough to be able to protest it was an innocent gesture. The hand on the shoulder, the hug of congratulations, the slightly-too-long touching of fingers when passing a book or an essay to one another. Oh, he was good, he knew what he was doing, steadily reeling me in and making me the centre of the universe. He chose me from the very beginning and little by little he reeled me in. He used his influence to bring me to heel and have me on my knees (how he relished seeing me on my knees) and I lapped up his attention and more besides.

Soon the secret trysts began. Arrangements made in his office with that Stuart family tree covering the door window so nobody could see what went on in his office. So much for transparent government, he still subscribed to the idea of an absolute monarchy. He never used his ‘phone, clever old Phil. He made it seem romantic, the whispered instructions of where to meet and when, always outdoors, never in places where we would be seen. No traces left, no observers, no evidence. He was a master at this game and I was clearly naive, but I am not a silly little girl.

And then he dropped me. No explanation. He became cold. Civil yet cold. I tried to get my friends to see how he treated me differently but they told me that I was imagining it. My grades remained excellent but the Phil that held me and read to me from historical texts and delighted me with his knowledge was gone. The Oxbridge tutelage came to a conclusion as the entrance examinations loomed ; he had no reason to be alone with me and even though I sought an audience with him, this absolute monarch would not grant me admittance.

So I spoke out. Why shouldn’t I? He told me he loved me and I loved him too. Yet once he had my innocence (or rather once he had it two score) he considered me conquered and of no great interest to him anymore. Nobody treats me like this. I will bring him down. He is not going to get away with it. Oh, I know they think I have made this all up, some kind of revenge for not getting my way, but they have underestimated me. I am not going to be denied and I will make the all see, even my parents who for some inexplicable reason have sided with him. I shouldn’t be surprised though, the have always hated me for some reasons, they are frauds to think they can call themselves mother and father. No, I know this is how his kind behave. They turn everyone against you, cut you off and paint you as the trouble maker. That is not me. I am the victim.

 

I am Mr Stevens. I am 30 years old and a teacher of history. I still am, although I am currently suspended as a consequence of the ridiculous allegations of a fantasist. It is an outrage that someone’s made-up fantasy has the potential to ruin a man’s career.

I am no fool. I have taught for nearly a decade and I know the tricks pupils get up to. I have seen them all. I have always been a teacher who adopts the ‘carrot’ approach. You always get further with honey rather than vinegar. Oh, I know there are one or two sticks in the mud in the staff room who regard my popularity with sniffed disdain, but that is just jealousy on their part. My results speak for themselves. Plenty of students choose to study history and between Miss Kelshaw and I, we make a formidable team. Thankfully Miss Kelshaw has supported me in this unpleasant matter although I always knew she would do so. Sensible lady.

You do walk a tight rope at times when you are friendly, yet firm, with the students. I am not their friend but I do not have to be their enemy either. I love history and my natural enthusiasm for the topic is something I try to install in my charges too. If you love something, you always do better don’t you? It does not feel like a bind or a chore. By ensuring those who choose to study history with me really love it and want to live and breathe it, I weed out the ones where it is not for them nice and early and they move to a different subject in the first two weeks. Plus doing that ensures that I am only going to get those who are going to get the best grades, so it is a win-win all around. I want to make my mark on this college. I will be the principal one day, although at present it appears that moral principles are ones which are trying to attract my attention to a greater degree.

Chloe Fowler is a good student. She will do well. Polite if something of an attention-seeker. Always first to stick her hand in the air an one to air an opinion on absolutely anything and everything. Nothing really wrong with that I suppose, at least she has learned the mantra of make a point and then ensure you have something to back it up when she advanced her arguments. I taught her just as I taught everybody else ; to the best of my ability.

Unfortunately for me, she mis-read my concern for her education as meaning something else. What can I do about that? I am not going to sit behind a screen and isolate myself from my students am I? That is not how I operate. I am not a ‘no smiles before Christmas’ kind of guy. Not at all. History needs to be alive, accessible and most of all enjoyable. It is like anything in this life – if you enjoy it, make it yours and you will succeed. I want all my students to succeed.

Yes, I selected Chloe Fowler for Oxbridge tutelage. That was the right selection and I still say it is, despite her ridiculous allegations. She has her keen mind, too keen as it happens. I have read what she has accused me of, or rather the police office read it to me and it is all nonsense, a made-up fairy tale. I see she has been clever though, she has ensured that she has accused me when there was nobody else available to witness our interactions. It is always the case that those chosen for Oxbridge tuition see their tutors in their offices. That has always been the case and I am pleased that my fellow teachers and the principal have confirmed that to be the case. I knew they would back me on this. It is an occupational hazard of ours, infatuated students who start to think they are the apple of your eye. Usually it is nothing more than a harmless term-long crush and they grow out of it, but not this girl. She has something seriously wrong with her. Has to have to come out with the lies she has spouted. Suggesting we had sex beneath ‘the tree that Charles the Second hid in’. I know that to be a lie ; that tree was destroyed hundreds of years ago. Everything she has spouted is just the slops of the mind of a fantasist and she is dangerous. Nobody is going to believe her. I know the police have to go through the motions but it will be soon kicked in to touch. She has done this because I rejected her. I didn’t reject her outright, after all there was nothing to reject, we had no romantic relationship, there was no flirtation, nothing. It is clear, however, she thought otherwise and in that warped mind of hers, she has felt rejected in some way and this is the result. An expensive and unnecessary investigation, plus the interference to the other students, no wonder so many have turned against her.

I know she liked me. I am a likeable person but I maintained a proper teacher-student relationship and she has seen fit to dream up something else. What can you do? Put cameras everywhere I suppose but then who wants that, surely there has to be some element of trust between us? Am I annoyed? Of course I am. I haven’t done anything wrong and along comes this girl and she spouts all manner of idiocy and she is treated seriously. I mean, anybody can see this is a tissue of lies. This had better not affect my promotion prospects or I will be taking legal action too. Thankfully the local paper have not reported anything about it so far, that conversation I had with the deputy editor seems to have worked, so far so good on that front. He is a good friend and does not want to see the reputation of a hard-working and successful teacher sullied. What annoys me most is how easy it is for someone like her to make these things up and next thing it is suspension and investigation. They tell me that it is a neutral act but I know there will be those trotting out the old ‘no smoke without fire’ rubbish.

I realise that when you are decent-looking chap like me and because you are friendly and get to share a joke with the students, some might blur the boundaries but it is one thing for them to be blurred and another for them to be crossed. Am I to be punished just for being popular, because that is what she is trying to do?

I am not going to change my style though. I am a hands-on teacher and that always gets results and one besotted fantasists is not going to make Phil Stevens change how he teaches. No way.

It is ridiculous. As if I would be interested in some 16 year old (which is how she says she was when this started) when I have a gorgeous wife at home. That in itself should tell those looking into this that this is a witch hunt by a disturbed adolescent who should be studying for her exams and getting help with whatever problem she has, rather than trying to ruin the life of an honest and decent man. I am the victim in all of this.

Who is the class room narcissist?

 

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DAMNED IF YOU DODAMNED IF YOU DON'T

Society and people need rules. The requirement for regulation looms large in everyone’s life. Pay your taxes, don’t park in that place, don’t drop litter, say please and thank you and so on. From laws to rules to codes of conduct, through to convention to procedures to etiquette we are bound up in rules wherever we go and whatever we do. People grumble and complain about them but ultimately they prefer the world to have these rules. People like to know where they stand. You know what you can and cannot do. You may not agree with it, but you at least have some certainty. Those that found themselves in the horror of concentration camps complained that there was never any certainty to the day. You could be subjected to punishment for walking too slowly one day and too fast the next. It was random and awful, yet such a system is horrendously effective at undermining someone’s will and paradoxically causing them to try harder in order to avoid a sanction.
Our behaviour is much the same. There is no rhyme or logic to it. Last week I said I liked sugar in my tea and this week I do not. I deny that I said I liked sugar in my tea and moreover this triviality causes me to erupt in rage when you put sugar in my drink this week. You are confused and anxious by this random control that I exert over you. It is all intentional. Do not make the mistake of thinking that we cannot recall what we said or did the previous day, that we are somehow blind to our previous likes and dislikes as if affected by some form of amnesia. This disorientating tactic is deliberate. You may as well ascribe outcomes to the numbers two through to twelve and roll two dice. That gives you just as good a chance of determining how I will behave. One week I sleep with the bedroom window open, the next it must be closed. Yesterday I want silence in the kitchen in the morning, today I want the radio on. Each day you are put on parade and then awaiting the inevitable criticism as I will find some fault in order to control you, demean you and provoke a reaction. I am like an insane regimental sergeant major who deems the buttons on your uniform to not shine enough despite the hours you spent polishing each one. Like his parade ground bark, I will unleash my haphazard criticism of you with a barrage of abuse, raising my voice and making you wince with each syllable. We understand the effect of repeatedly being shouted at and it causes you to submit to our demands Invariably I will see what you are doing and pick the opposite as being what I want. I am a natural contrarian. All of this is done to maintain your heightened sense of anxiety, forcing you to second guess and thus become conditioned to our will. Periodically we will approve of what you have done and your sense of relief is so overwhelming you receive a natural high. This in turn causes you to want to repeat it and therefore each and every day you are walking on those eggshells as you try to please us and avoid our erratic and groundless rage. There is no system you can depend on, no method of working out what is safe to do and what should be avoided, yet still you will try. As ever, you want to make matters right and keep the peace.

SEVEN LIES

 

The lies we tell with reference to other people.

  1. She is just a friend

 

Oh no she is not. Whilst it is entirely the case that we will have friends, both in the inner and outer circles who are of the opposite sex, you should be aware that whilst that may be their current status, in terms of their ability to provide us with fuel, they once had a different status. The key word here is “just”. We say this to emphasise that this person is a friend and nothing more so don’t think you can pin any blame on us. The reality is that this person was once an intimate partner and has been demoted to a friend but is very much still in play. We keep them hanging on in the hope that they believe they will be reinstated and thus they keep providing us with fuel. Secondly, she will be used to triangulate with you both now as friend v you as intimate partner and later as reinstated intimate partner v you as discarded intimate partner. She will be keen to usurp you because she wants us again. She wants the golden period again. She is the competition and we encourage it.

  1. She’s just a friend, again.

 Look who is back? Actually she is not, she is someone else but she fits in the mould of being described as “just a friend” to you in order to deflect those accusing looks you are giving us. Once again this person will be an inner or outer circle friends, maybe “just” an acquaintance but we have plans for her. This is your replacement who we are busy seducing, as we once did with you. This is the person who will be providing us with fresh and invigorating fuel after we have cast you down from your pedestal. It is coming, believe me. This is the competition. Again.

 

  1. I am so proud of my son/daughter

I am a high achiever and I expect my children to follow in my foot-steps, after all, they are just a part of me, extensions of me and I expect them to do as I desire, rather than find their own way in life. I will push them to succeed at school, in sports, with music and so forth because their achievements are actually my achievements. My son graduated with honours; he gets his brains from me. My daughter won the county athletic championships; I was always an excellent runner. Those achievements are down to me and I will take all of the credit for them , pulling the spotlight away from them and onto me where it belongs. I am not proud of them at all. I am proud of myself.

  1. She abused me

Your predecessor was a horrible person. I did everything that I could for her. Everything. I gave my all for our relationship and how was I repaid? Lies, control and abuse. She stopped me seeing my friends, stole money from me, told lies to my boss so I lost my job, hit me and made my life an absolute misery. I escaped her and she came after me because she cannot ever let me go. She will always want to cause me problems. She seems to thrive on it. There is clearly something very wrong with her since she behaves in this way. If you ever meet her, watch out, she will tell you all manner of lies about me. Don’t believe anything she says, she is evil, pure evil.

Did I mean my ex? I was talking to myself again there.

  1. He is a close and personal friend

Yes that famous actor over there. Do you see him? Yes, that’s him. He is a close and personal friend of mine. I have known him for years. He thinks I am great. We have such a great time together. Of course he is often busy so we do not see as much of one another as we would both like, but when we do, boy do we have a fantastic time. I could tell you a few stories about him, but of course I won’t, I am the model of discretion you see. We met at a film premiere some years ago, I forgot which one precisely, but we hit it off straight away. I always do with people, I am just a people person really, great at connecting with people. I know quite a few famous people to be honest but I do not like to talk about it too much. Will I go and say hello? Of course, he will be probably come over to talk to me in a minute after he has spoken to his fans. He likes to get his obligations out of the way before talking to his real friends. Let me tell you about some other famous people I am friends with whilst we are waiting.

  1. My family are trouble

It is a terrible fact but my family are trouble. I wish it was not the case. I wish they were more like yours. You seem to have such a good relationship with your parents and your brother. I don’t have that with mine. It is all down to jealousy you see. Terrible isn’t it? Do feel free to feel sorry for me. Good, thank you. Yes, I have always been the achiever of the family and for some reason, rather than support me and praise me for my endeavours I get nothing but insults, cold shoulders and nastiness. No matter how hard I try, no matter what I do, it is always the same. I get no recognition for the sacrifices I make. I get no understanding or compassion because they are all self-obsessed, too busy screaming “Look at me” to care about me. I haven’t had it easy you know? I may appear successful and brilliant but it has been a tough slog to the top and they have not helped one bit. I hate them. I know I shouldn’t say that about them but you would say the same if you had been treated the way I had. I am afraid you will have to meet them at some point, they will seem all sweetness and light at first, but don’t be fooled. They are evil underneath.

  1. He is a liar

Him? Oh we were once really good friends but not anymore, not after what he did to me. I lent him some money, quite a lot actually. He had hit a difficult time with his job and this meant that his bills were not being paid, at least that is what he told me. I later found out he had gambling debts and rather than use the money I lent him to clear those debts. I would not have minded to be honest, he went and gambled it away and made the debt larger. He came back with some sob story about needing the money for a medical bill and me being the caring fool I am was taken in. What did he really want it for? Oh you guessed it, more gambling. I am such an idiot but I cannot help but try and help people out. I had to say no to him after that and do you know what his response was? Rather than understand and be thankful for all the help that I have given him, he starts telling people that I am the one who owes him money. Can you believe it? That’s why I have nothing to do with him. He lies all the time so watch out as he is bound to try and turn you against me. Thank goodness I got to you first.