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Bring Down The Shutters

SHUTTERS DOWN

 

Once we commence our devaluation of one of our victims there is a vast array of manipulative techniques that can be used to fulfil our aim of extracting negative fuel from you. Some of these methods are subtle and may not be noticed by the subject, such as triangulation with an object. Others are brutal involving the smashing of property and the flailing fists and stomping boots. It is often the case that you do not realise that devaluation has commenced because you have yet to have any familiarity with this word or even with what it signifies. You will notice however a change in our behaviour. One of those changes is akin to us bringing down the shutters whenever we deal with you.

Once upon a time we exited our car and cantered across to where you stood waiting in the doorway as we wrapped our arms around you and embraced you passionately. Our face had lit up and our delight in seeing you appeared genuine enough. This happened each time we came to see you, as if we had not seen you for months on end, even though it was only the day before when we last held you. Now when we meet you there is no joyful skip towards you, the smile seems forced and there is no light in our eyes anymore. Whereas they once lit up a brilliant blue and sparkled, now they just seem lacklustre and dull, darker than usual. You try to lift our spirits in that indefatigable way of yours. You ask what is wrong and you are always met with an answer of “nothing”.

“Are you sure?” you ask, “you seem unhappy.”

“No there is nothing the matter.”

“You can tell me.”

We realise we must say something but we are pleased by your concern and the fuel that it provides.

“It’s okay. There is nothing wrong.”

“It does not seem like it. Please, tell me what is on your mind.”

Time to step it up a little and extract some further fuel.

“I said there’s nothing wrong,” I snap and pull my hand away from yours. Your face turns from concern to upset and the fuel flows.

This continues as once we used to talk for hours on the ‘phone about all manner of things and laughed and planned, now we still talk for a long time (or rather you seem to do more of the talking this time) as we draw the negative fuel from you. You try to find new topics to keep the conversation going but our responses are limited, our tone flat and then irritable as you try to remain chirpy and upbeat but the sadness and confusion is all too evident in your voice. It needs to be. We need that.

“I just don’t understand, “you protest pleasantly, “you seem so different these days.”

“Really? In what way?”

“It’s like, it is like I am dealing with someone else.”

“Well that’s nonsensical, it is me.”

“Yes I know that but you are not the same.”

“Of course I am the same, you are imagining things.”

“No I am not. You don’t seem to be into me as much as you once were.”

“I am, it is just, you know, I have a lot going on at present.”

“I understand that but it is more than that. It is like I am talking to a different person. You don’t seem to connect with me the way you used to.”

“I don’t understand what you mean.”

“How can I put it? It’s like you have made a conscious decision to distance yourself from me and you do not say the things you used to. You always used to sign off your texts with three kisses and now it is only one.”

“You are concerned about how many kisses I put on my texts?” I ask in disbelief.

“No, well yes, well it is not that. That is just a symptom of something else. It concerns me because I love you so much. It is like you have brought down the shutters and put up barriers when we are together. There is a distance between us that wasn’t once there.”

“I haven’t noticed it.” (Of course I have. I know precisely what you are talking about.)

You then spend many minutes trying to convey this sense of distance and alienation as I listen. I am not hearing the words that you say, nor do I pay attention to the explanation, I am too engaged focussing on the hurt in your voice, the frustration and the exasperation as I suck the fuel from your sentences. This technique is subtle. It is easy to implement and enables us to draw negative fuel from you without you realising what we are doing. It is often the beginning of the devaluation period when the simple cessation of the golden behaviour produces in itself a reaction which provides fuel. We do not need to shock you, we do not need to shout or yell, there is no need to lead you on a confusing and merry dance with our denials and deflections. The simple act of pulling up the drawbridge and no longer allowing you access to the wonderful part of us, illusion that it is, remains highly effective.

“I just feel like you bring the shutters down and I am dealing with somebody different. You are not the HG I know and love. You are someone else.”

Time to throw you a little lifeline to give you hope.

“I’m sorry, I think sometimes when I am under pressure I withdraw into myself. My friends have commented on it previously. It is just something that happens. I think that is what you are referring to. It doesn’t mean that I love you any less. Just last night I was staring at the chair where you usually sit wishing you were there opposite me talking to me.”

That should do it.

“There you see, that is the HG I know, back in an instant. I wish I had been sat in that chair too, I missed you so much last night.”

It really is so easy.

10+
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He Doesn’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore

HE DOESN'T BRING MEFLOWERSANYMORE

He doesn’t bring you flowers any more. Or chocolates. Or perfume. Or lingerie. Or a new book.

In fact he has stopped bringing you gifts altogether. Why?

A person who is regarded as a suitor will seek to impress the target of their desire with the provision of gifts. These range from the obvious (flowers, jewellery, chocolates) through to the less obvious (the selection of an obscure piece of literature, sponsorship of an animal or an ‘experience’). The pattern of gift giving will not be overwhelming to begin with, it will not be grandiose nor gratuitous. It will not be on the flimsiest of reasons (see the creation of Golden Milestones in The Creation of Unusual Milestones ). It will accord with birthdays, Christmas, achievements by the other person and those ‘just because’ moments (welcome home, I saw this and knew you would love it, I wanted to thank you for your help). The provision of gifts will not just stop. This is for two reasons:-

a. The gift giving is not ‘feast and then famine’ ; and

b. There is a genuine motive behind the giving as opposed to flagrant self-interest

This approach to the provision of gifts of whatever nature applies to the normal individual, the well-adjusted one who is seeking to make a good impression at the outset of a romantic relationship and showing thoughtfulness throughout its existence thereafter. The fact that you once received gifts and then you suddenly do not anymore is a particular red flag with regard to our kind.

The first matter to consider with regard to the relevance of the pattern and nature of gift giving is how that manifests with regard to the school of narcissist. Accordingly,

The Greater Narcissist will provide gifts of superior quality, elegance and calibre. He or she will provide them frequently during the love-bombing and embedding phases of the golden period. The Greater Narcissist will also be easily able to afford these gifts and they will be recognisable as quality offerings without brash ostentation.

The Mid-Range Narcissist is the most prolific giver of gifts during the golden period. He will provide them frequently, often several times a week. If your birthday falls in this golden period, expect him or her to outdo everybody else in terms of the nature of the gift. The Mid-Range Narcissist (especially LMR or MMR) will often exceed their financial capability when engaging in this gift-giving.

The Lesser Narcissist will not engage in much gift-giving at all, save for the Upper Lesser. The LLN or MLN may provide one or two gifts, but little more than that and will be likely to provide you with stolen goods or with gifts obtained using money he or she does not have. The LLN or MLN is likely to be an Indian Giver, even during the Bronze Period (which is the Lesser equivalent of the Golden Period). The Upper Lesser, invariably having significant personal wealth will be a flamboyant and almost over-bearing gift giver. What he or she will provide will be decent but lacking any real thought or imagination.

Thus with these patterns established with regards to the schools, what about the applications of the cadres?

Elite – expect high calibre gifts, often difficult to obtain save through particular connections, thoughtful, interesting and always treasured by the recipient. The nature of the gift will be varied from jewellery through to a signed special edition book through to tickets to an exclusive culinary experience.

Somatic – the Somatic prefers very visible gifts, thus this will amount to large floral displays delivered to your home or more often where you work (so more people see them), clothing and lingerie are key somatic gifts, along with gadgets and technology, tickets to sporting events, competitive events and holidays.

Cerebral – the gifts from the Cerebral cadre will naturally encompass the arts (thus theatre tickets, literature, music, a rare copy of a photograph, a painting and so forth), there may well be an educational bent (you can expect personalised copies of the narcissist’s own works where relevant) and often there is more to them than first meets the eye, as the Cerebral will delight in showing and explaining to you.

Victim – you can expect recycled gifts from the LL and ML Victim Narcissists. Those from Mid Ranger Victim Narcissists will be more likely to be thoughtful and inexpensive and often practical in some respect (since the narcissist will have one eye on making use of it themselves in due course) . Homeware gifts will be common from the Victim Narcissist.

Thus, combining the school and cadre will give you a clear indication of the gift giving patterns and range of the narcissist during the Golden (or Bronze Period). If you recognise these patterns and the nature of the gifts then this is a strong indicator that the person providing you with these gifts belongs to our brethren and you should take heed.

Similarly, a further powerful indicator is the sudden dropping off of the provision of the gifts. This article will only apply itself to the cessation of gift giving and not the shifting to providing rubbish or inappropriate gifts (for that see The Narcissist and Gifts)

The shift from lots of gift giving to nothing is done because it is contrasting behaviour. Contrasting behaviour is a hall mark of our behaviour. Contrasting is done principally to confuse and bewilder you (thus it increases our grip on you) and also to increase the quantity and potency of the fuel. Control and fuel are the prime reasons for engaging in contrasting. You will see contrasting throughout the narcissistic dynamic.

Contrasting will occur with regard to the provision of gifts however you need to have regard to the nature of the narcissist that you suspect (or know) you are dealing with AND your place in the fuel matrix of that narcissist.

Thus, if you receive a lot of gifts and then this suddenly stops then this will be the behaviour of the Greater, Mid Range and Upper Lesser Narcissists. If you are involved with a Lower Lesser or Middle Lesser you are unlikely to see any drop-off in gift provision and therefore you will need to look to other behaviours to support your concerns with regard to suspect narcissism.

Also take into account your status within the fuel matrix.

If you happen to be a tertiary source (although you are highly unlikely to realise you have some kind of involvement with a narcissist if you are a TS) then the cessation of any gift giving is indicative of being devalued.

If you are a Non Intimate Secondary Source, the gift giving will not be as frequent as it is for an Intimate Source. What you need to look out for is not so much the drop-off of gift giving towards you but a drop-off through triangulation. This means that if you are a NISS and you are being devalued it will manifest in you not receiving a gift when other NISSs do. Thus, if you are a NISS family member, other people will receive gifts and you will not. If you are a colleague NISS, your colleagues will receive gifts and you will not, ditto amongst friends. Thus, it is not so much about there being frequent gifts given, but when they are, the other NISSs will receive them and you will not and thus you are triangulated.

If you are an Intimate Partner Secondary Source (Shelf) , you will enjoy the provision of gifts in accordance with the school and cadre as described above and these will continue throughout the golden period. If the gift giving stops when you are not with the narcissist then this is merely representative of your shelf status and is not devaluation. If no gift is provided when you would expect to receive one (birthday, Christmas) even though you are not spending time with the narcissist, this is also not devaluation. You are on the shelf and out of the mind of the narcissist. If however you are spending time with the narcissist and there are no gifts being provided at all, when there once was, then this will be a Corrective Devaluation aimed at bringing you back into line. If this continues for a repeated and extended period then this will part of your Dis-Engagement Devaluation and you will shortly be dis-engaged from.

Finally, if you are the IPPS and the Friday flowers are not being provided, the jewellery has halted, you drop hints about gifts and there is no response (remember there will have needed to have been gift provision during the golden period to create this contrast) then this is a clear act of devaluation.

Essentially, if somebody engages in excessive gift provision and then suddenly stops doing so, this is a strong indicator that you are with one of our kind and you are in devaluation. It also means that someone else is now likely to be receiving the gifts that you once cherished.

 

3+

Ever So Silent

 

I think I have said enough. I wish you would think the same. You have never shut up asking me about my day at work as I try to watch the sport on television. On and on you have gone asking question after question. It makes me wonder why you are so bloody interested. Fishing for something are you? Trying to catch me out? You won’t do that. I am cleverer than you. Much cleverer. What I do at work is nothing to do with you and you won’t find out about my plans there until such time as I decide that you should know. And it isn’t time, so I wish you would just be quiet and let me watch this game. You keep on going, talking over my television viewing which tells me that you regard my viewing experience as unimportant and that tells me you obviously think I am not important and you really ought to know by now that I am important. I hate you doing this. I can feel the burning from your selfish and treacherous action and it is paining me, but I know what to do. I know how to stop this pain and believe me I am going to do it and do it now.

You never know when to shut up do you? I suppose you think you are being plessant asking me how my day has been, but you don’t care, you just do it for the sake of appearances, to make you look good, the caring and interested partner. I know your game. I have you worked out, you are a fraud. Yap, yap, yap,like some irritating puppy around my ankles, on and on you go. Just shut up will you? I cannot concentrate with your wasp like buzzing around me.

“How is the new recruit getting on?”

“How is the project developing?”

“Where did you go for that business lunch? Was it good? What did you have to eat? Who was it with?”

Just shut up. No, you are still chattering away. I don’t think you are even waiting for an answer are you? Just asking questions to seem like you are involving me in the conversation when all you are doing is engaging in another of your pointless and egotistical monologues. Do you know how boring you sound? If I wasn’t trying to concentrate on this match I think I would slip into a coma listening to you drone on with your worthless opinions and your anodyne observations.

Just shut up. No? Very well. I will. No, I am not saying anything. I am not even going to nod, shake my head or make an affirmative grunt. Nothing. A total silence.

My goodness me, you have stopped. Perhaps you have remembered that you need to breathe? Ah, excellent you have noticed that I no longer appear to be listening. Believe me, I am listening and I am doing so with considerable attentiveness, because I need to listen to what is coming my way. Let me guess, I think you will lead with “are you listening to me?” any second now and yes, there it is as predicted. I am not going to answer. Go on, repeat the question and true to form you do so. Now I have your attention haven’t I? I can see you from the corner of my eye as I stare at the screen pretending that the figures running around with the ball are more interesting than you. They are not because what you are starting to do is what I am interested in. I can see you leaning forward, trying to catch my eye. I know you are there but I am not going to acknowledge you. Sometimes you throw something towards me to get my attention, usually a cushion. It is not a nasty action,not like when I throw things at you. That reminds me, I must replace that coffee mug which I hurled at you. You were light on your toes that day as it sailed past and smashed against the wall. Anyway, that was last week and this is now and I can hear you asking the question a third time. Will it be the cushion? No, you have chosen to stand up instead. Gosh, you must be looking to assert some authority from the get go.

“I am talking to you.”

I know that you are but I am not answering you but already I can hear the mounting irritation in your voice and already I can feel the flames rising inside of me as they burn away the cold, harsh iciness of your criticism. That pain is already receding.

“Will you answer me please?”

No I will not. I have to turn my head so you do not see my smirk at your attempt to be commanding. It amuses me. I can see your hands move to your hips and I half expect you to stamp the ground with your foot.

“What’s the matter? Why won’t you answer me?”

The voice rises higher, signalling your anxiety and frustration and the flames continue to build inside of me. I maintain the stony faced expression, ink black eyes staring at the screen. I can see the movement on the television but it as if I am watching it from very far away as all that I am concentrating on now is your voice and the continuing delicious flaming sensation that is sweeping across me.

“Why are you not answering me?”

The questions have altered now haven’t they? A switch from your nosiness about my work to you now asking why I have fallen silent. You can keep asking and I know you will. You will go on for some time. You will storm out of the room trying to force a response from me, but your slammed door just keeps the flames burning. You will come back in. you always do. You will return contrite and apologising although you won’t know what you are trying to apologise for. Still, that won’t stop you going through a carousel of reasons in the hope of breaking my silence.

“Did I upset you?”

“Did I say something wrong?”

“Did I not listen to you?”

“Did I say something offensive?”

“Please, what did I do wrong?”

“Please will you just talk to me?”

“I hate this. I hate falling out. What is that I have done?”

Every time you ask these questions, the pain and concern in your voice keeps adding to the sense of power that I am feeling. The wound you created has long since closed and now I am savouring the growing power that courses through me. You have no idea what you are doing as you try, as you always do, to make things right. I will stay seated here, not even looking at you. You won’t try and stand in front of me whilst I am watching the television. You will not dare do that or switch it off. You remember what happened last time when you did that don’t you and I know you won’t be in a hurry to experience that again. I can sit and revel in my power over you and you just keep adding to it with your pitiful and plaintive questions. You will try to find out what is wrong, you will blame yourself next and start to apologise as you scramble to guess what it is that you have done wrong in the hope that you stumble on the right subject matter and make things rights. But you will fail. Then you move on to trying to bribe me into speaking to you, suggesting we go out, or my friends come round for drinks tomorrow night or that you will cook me something special. Keep at it, I won’t respond. I will not even look at you. You are completely invisible to me as far as you are concerned.

     I wonder how long I will maintain this silence with you? You haven’t worked out what to do yet, I am pleased to say. You keep on asking, pestering and questioning, driven by your own anxiety that causes you to want to ascertain what has happened and make things right. This means you might break off for half an hour but then you resume, trying a different tack. If all you knew you had to so was do exactly what I am doing and it would stop. Go silent and get on with what you want to do and I will start speaking to you and acknowledging you once again as I consider a different manipulation to use against you to gather my precious fuel. Fortunately, your empathic nature which means you want to understand and you want to fix and heal, will make you hang in there and all the while you provide me with fuel and power me. So long as you do so, so long the silence will continue.

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Hounded by Love

One of my ex girlfriends, Kate, was a big animal lover. She was always sponsoring some rare monkey in Africa or baking cakes to raise funds to save the gay whale or such like. People often remarked how fortunate I was to have someone so caring. I would tell them if she spent less time playing Dr Doolittle then maybe I would not have to sleep in the spare room so often. I remember this used to get me some puzzled looks and for an instant I could not understand why but then I worked out they thought I was being mean so I used to tell them the bed was always full of her dogs so there was no room for me. They would smile and nod. Too easy.

Anyway, she got involved in volunteering at an animal shelter which did not impress me and to add insult to injury she expected me to walk and feed her dog whilst she was out being St Francis of Assissi. I kid you not. So on the two evenings when she was helping out I would invite her sister Amanda over. She would feed the dog and I would pretend I had taken it for a walk. (So long as I let it out in the garden and did its business (which I would fling over into next door – I guess that’s why we have new neighbours) Kate thought the hound had been walked. Thus I was able to lure in Amanda. She was low hanging fruit. Ignored by her boyfriend it only took a couple of weeks of texts and declarations of compatibility and I was bedding her each time she came round. Kate would come home and spend most of her time petting her dog but I had someone else to distract me so I let that flagrant failure to give me attention slide a little. Not totally as I still used it to remind her of how neglectful she was of me. I did notice though that she was spending more time and more money on the hound and was obviously doing it to provoke me. Her sister Amanda then started to change. She was initially great fun, vibrant, passionate and interesting but then she got whiny and needy and had the audacity to start criticise my girlfriend Kate. That was not on. She would still call round twice a week, even when I stopped inviting her and I had grown tired of bedding her. I had decided that Kate was the better choice of the two and wanted to focus my attentions on her but she doted on that wretched dog.

Demonstrating the decisive decision making that is my hallmark I took prompt action. On an evening when Amanda had called over I agreed to sleep with her. Before doing so I let pooch out into the garden and opened the gate. I went through the motions with Amanda and then had just returned downstairs when Kate returned. A few moments passed and then she began to call for the dog and with increasing urgency. The hound had gone. I blamed Amanda. Cue sibling fall out. The upshot of it was Kate never spoke to her sister again. Amanda never called round and pestered me and the dog was gone.

Two birds and all that.

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