Category Archives: mimic

Chameleon

 

CHAMELEON

 

Chances are you are reading this on your mobile ‘phone, a tablet or a laptop, enjoying the mobility that is provided by accessing content such as this from an electronic device. You might be at home, curled up on the sofa or you quite possibly are reading this sat on a stool in the kitchen waiting for a pan to boil or a microwave to go ping. Alternatively, you may be on the bus or train, perusing this latest piece of writing with other people nearby and passing you by. Can you see the bus driver? You can. How did you know that it was him? By virtue of his position at the steering wheel of the vehicle, obviously. His uniform and company livery on his shirt, jumper or jacket might also tell you his role. You may be stopped at a station or some traffic lights and you can see a police officer handling an enquiry, marshalling the traffic, handing out a ticket or just casting a watching eye over the world around him or her. How did you know that he or she is a police officer? The uniform stands out most distinctly, as it is intended to do. Easy to spot isn’t he?

How about the man sat across from you? Who is he and what does he do? He is engrossed in the content of his tablet but you can see that he isn’t reading but is looking at some charts. An analyst maybe? A salesman checking his sales performance? A statistician looking over the latest data concerning crime rates in the city? He could be any of those couldn’t he but you could make an educated guess as to his role. What about the lady who is getting on the bus now, what can you tell about her? She is struggling with a buggy and two large bags of shopping as she is ensuring a toddler also clambers on board. Most likely a housewife and clearly a mother. You can see a wedding band on one of her fingers so she is married. Her husband is probably at work as she attends to the running of the house. You have gathered all that in a moment.

Perhaps you are walking home and as you scroll through this article you notice that someone is walking behind you. You lower your ‘phone and look over your shoulder to see a well-dressed gentleman walking briskly along carrying a briefcase. You do not regard him as a threat and you resume looking at your ‘phone as he catches you up and then passes you without incident. Your assessment of him was proven correct. Just like the time you approached a subway late at night and saw half a dozen tracksuit wearing youths hovering nearby. You were taller than them and older than them but something about the way they were stood made you realise that they were looking for trouble so you decided against taking the subway and found a different route albeit longer and circuitous but your safety mattered more than your aching feet.

You evaluate and assess everyone you meet. In conversations with friends you sit and listen and look for visual cues that they are interested in what you are saying. Poker players scrutinise their opponents as they look for the “tells” to assist their gameplay. Boxers stare into one another’s eyes before the bout begins seeing who will break off the stare first and concede a psychological advantage to his opponent. Judges watches witnesses carefully and through their facial expressions they are given hints as to whether the witness is giving his or her evidence in a truthful manner, this observation allowing the judge to assess the veracity of the witness. In bed with your intimate partner you will watch their face and listen to the sounds they make to ascertain what is working for them and what you should do more of. You can tell by the way somebody is walking through the office that with shoulders hunched and head down they are not in the mood to be approached and asked a question about a forthcoming meeting. That person in the corner of the room at the party is staring at the floor feeling too shy to speak to people. Each and every day you assess hundreds of people and make an instant decision as to who they are, whether you like them, whether you want to help them or if they present a threat to you. You instinctively know that certain ways the eyes look amounts to a warning, the slope of the mouth denotes irritation, the tilt of the head confirms a certain cockiness. The way someone stands, sits, walks and gesticulates all tells you something which you process in an instant. You gather so much from a lifetime of watching nostrils flare, lips thin, chins jut, brows furrow and eyes widen. Assessment after assessment is made and invariably accurate ones which enable you to negotiate your way through the day, through life as you interact with so many people in your private life, in business and socialising. You are highly adept at reading the signals, working people out and anticipating what will happen next. It is a highly developed and impressive skill.

Astonishing how much of this goes out of the window when you meet one of us.

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The Support Forum Fraud

THE SUPPORTFORUM FRAUD

There are many online support forums that exist with regard to the issue of narcissism and narcissistic abuse.

I have previously moved amongst the shadows of these blogs, Facebook sites, Twitter pages and so forth, observing and absorbing the behaviours that I have witnessed. There are those which provide information. Others are the cathartic disclosures of victims who are seeking to warn as well as recount their own horrors alongside their journey or recovery. There are others which are there to assist people in healing from the trauma they have suffered. The quality and reliability of them varies. Amidst the proliferation of support forums lurk our kind.

There is no doubt that our kind inhabit these places. Indeed, from time to time Lesser and Mid-Range Narcissists have appeared and frequented my blog. Easy for me to spot, but less so for others. Naturally, narcissists appear at other sites and forums, commenting and interacting. Those narcissists will gain some fuel from the interaction with the people on that forum, but more specifically they will look to befriend a fellow commenter or two and take their interaction off blog and onto private messaging, the telephone, Skype and ultimately meeting in person. The Tertiary Source becomes a secondary source and the provision of fuel increases in potency, quantity and frequency. A separate article will cover that type of interaction.

The narcissist also operates on these support forums in a different capacity ; that of moderator, administrator or host.

How does this manifest?

First of all, if a Greater operates such a forum then he or she will be open about the fact, confirm what they are and explain much about the way we think and operate. These sites are extremely rare. Greaters are very rare and those which operate sites similar to mine are even rarer. However, those that do exist make it clear what the site is and who is operating it. This rarity and the common misunderstanding that all narcissists do not know what they are, leads some people to regard such sites in a mistaken manner.

Secondly, a Lesser would not operate such a forum. He or she has no idea what he or she is and being utterly devoid of empathy (including cognitive empathy), it would never occur to the Lesser to devise such a site. They have no interest in appearing as a saintly figure and they have no desire to listen to the woes of others. The Lesser will frequent the forums but they will not run them, indeed they prefer to utilise someone else’s work to enable them to boast about their own (supposed) encounters with a narcissist and then take centre stage as they brag about their life style, attack other commenters and do so with an utter lack of awareness as to their behaviour and of course, what they are.

Thirdly, it is the Mid-Ranger who poses the problem with regard to the creation and running of these forums. Why the Mid-Ranger? Again, he or she does not know what she is but these sites appeal to them because:-

  1. They are able to engage in their façade management. The Mid Range Narcissist genuinely believes that he or she is a good person, a decent person , an empathic person. It is other people who are the horrible, abusive narcissists. Not them.
  2. The site gives them an excellent vehicle to sound off about their own perceived mis-treatment. The Mid Ranger loves a good Pity Party, Compassion Conference or Sympathy Symposium and those that interact with these people buy into this.
  3. It enables them to continue a campaign against those the Mid Range Narcissist perceives as the abuser. Thus the ex-girlfriend, the parents, the boss or the once upon a time best friend, all find themselves routinely smeared and the validation that the site’s readers provides to the Mid Range Narcissist only goes to consolidate in their minds that they are a good person and that they are truly the victim.

The Mid Ranger is the narcissist who you will find operating these forums (or fora if you prefer) . Of course not all of the online support forums are operated by our kind, far from it, but there is a noticeable presence by our kind. Indeed, I have had many of my readers express their concerns and suspicions about certain sites and their provenance, based on their experiences there and what they have witnessed.

This is difficult for people to recognise. They will have some familiarity naturally with the idea of narcissism, since why else are they at a narcissist abuse support forum?! However, it is highly likely that their skills have not yet become attuned to recognising our kind and certainly not this particular wolf in sheep’s clothing.

What then are the indicators which show that a narcissist is operating the site (or is involved as a moderator or administrator)? Based on what I have witnessed at certain sites, you should be aware of the following

  1. Invalidation. The subject of narcissism is both emotive and complex and therefore people have various experiences, opinions and theories. Some may simply be incorrect. Some may be based on a misunderstanding. Some however remain valid because that is the experience of the individual. The Support Forum Fraud (“SFF”) will reject out of hand the experience of the reader or commenter if it disagrees with, is at odds with or contradicts something stated by the SFF. Rather than recognising a difference of opinion, or politely explaining why the reader’s view is mistaken, the SFF will be dismissive.
  2. Aggressive. If the reader holds their ground with the SFF then they will be treated in an aggressive fashion. The reader is not insulting or provocative and merely states their view. They are treated to an aggressive response from the SFF. This is the manifestation of the MRN’s ignited fury. They will be told they know nothing, that they are being ridiculous, that the SFF knows far better and reminded that the SFF operates the forum.
  3. Labelling. The SFF will label the reader as an abuser or as a narcissist. I have seen this happen on many occasions and is a rapid dose of projection designed to put down, invalidate and insult the reader.
  4. The Labelling also has a further effect. It acts as a call to arms to other readers to launch into an attack against the hapless reader. The SFF expects their readership to gang up on this ‘narcissist’ and tell them what they are and drum them from the forum. Who are those who respond to this clarion call of the SFF? They belong to two groups  ; other narcissists and mis-guided victims. The former group of course do not know what they are. The Lessers will see it as an excellent opportunity for some verbal abuse provocation. The Mid Rangers will see it as a chance to curry favour with the host and demonstrate their own credentials as a ‘good’ person. The Mis-Guided Victims (often newbies) are still very hurt by their experience and their inexperience and current world view causes them to lash out at someone who they have mistakenly seen as a narcissist. It is an easy mistake for them to make, after all, they are still learning and the supposed guru of the host has declared this person to be a narcissist, so it must be true. There will be those, those who are more experienced and empathic who will defend the reader, recognising they are not a narcissist and that the person is entitled to express their opinion. They will be set on also and therefore this often causes others to avoid the fray to begin with.
  5. The host will engage in repeated recollections of their own horrendous treatment at the hands of the narcissist. It will be like a daily sermon as they rail against this person with a zealous enthusiasm which lasts for far too long for that of a genuine victim.
  6. The host having identified a supposed narcissist on the site will not let the matter go. If the reader remains (or is allowed to remain) on the site, they will be repeatedly branded and subjected to passive aggressive remarks. Even once gone or banished, they will be made mention of by the SFF.
  7. The SFF will also make repeated reference to their “online attackers” or their “trolls” in order to gain sympathy from readers. These supposed attackers remain vague and amorphous in identity because they often do not exist, but they are a perception of the SFF.
  8. The SFF will dole out the Pity Plays in order to gain the sympathy and support of their readers. Whilst they will repeatedly make mention of how badly they have been treated by the ‘narcissist’ they were ensnared by, they will also make such comments as “I don’t why I bother doing this at times” and “I am sick of not being appreciated” and “some of you have no idea how much effort this takes”.
  9. Waterworks. If the SFF uses videos on the site or has a YouTube presence then the crocodile, self-pitying tears will flow. Those whose tears are genuine either will not post material containing them (they do not want people to see or regard it as unprofessional) or if they do it is clear it is genuine. The SFF’s waterworks will be forced as they summon up the tears. They will switch them on and off like the flicking of the switch. Once you know what to look for, you will see them.
  10. There is a lack of originality in the material. The SFF can only pose as the supposed empathic supporter of the abused not through actual experience or emotional empathy but through mimicry. Accordingly, the material that is placed on the site will be drawn from elsewhere. Often, the lazier SFF (coupled with their sense of entitlement and lack of accountability) will steal the work of others and either not credit it to the original author or pass it off as their own.
  11. There will be passive aggressive comments made towards the commenters and readers. Again, this is not always obvious to newcomers, but those with experience will soon spot this indicator and allied with points above the picture becomes clear.
  12. Sudden blocking. A reader will find themselves blocked from the site without any explanation or understanding as to what they have done. This passive aggressive response will arise because the SFF has perceived some behaviour of the reader which is unacceptable and thus wounded, has lashed out with this cold fury by providing a Silent Treatment.

Over time, the aggregate of these behaviours will demonstrate the true nature of the person operating the site and you will then realise just who is really behind the supposed caring, empathic persona.

You may have found yourself on the receiving end of such behaviour previously. Of course, you will not experience this behaviour in the future. Why? Well, you have no reason to go anywhere else than here now, have you!?

 

You? Me? Them?

youmethem

 

Once upon a time. The Princess and the Pea. Prince Charming. Snow White. Pretty Woman. Barbie and Ken. The Waltons. Hug you from behind. Breakfast in bed. Picking you up in the rain. Glimpsing you from a train and running after you. The Fabulous Baker Boys. Roman Holiday. Bouquets. Surrounded by your loving family as you pass away. Snow at Christmas. Remembered birthdays. The Little House on the Prairie. Beauty and the Beast. A Room With a View. City breaks. Walking in the foam. Holding hands. Growing old together. Gone With the Wind. The white knight. Crazy For You. The Passion. Spooning in bed. Monogamy. Rosanna. Love Me Tender. Truly Madly Deeply. A candlelit bath. The Best. Gift on the pillow. Save the Best For Last. Impromptu lunch. Dancing cheek to cheek. Someday my prince will come. Red roses. White roses. Opening doors. Up Where We Belong. Romeo and Juliet. Holding your hair. You’re the First, My Last, My Everything. Writing ‘I Love You’ in the steamed up mirror. Endless Love. I Think I Love You. Dedicating a song on the radio. Father Figure. The Power of Love. Fairytale wedding. Carved initials on a tree inside a heart. Giving you the last Rolo. Love conquers all. Love will save the day. Love’s young dream. Love is a many splendored thing. Writing poems. Love notes in a lunch box. A message in the sand. Till death do us part. Together forever. Bright young things. Never Tear Us Apart. Soulmate. Other half. My Heart Will Go On. Bridget Jones’ Diary. I’ll Stand By You. Children. A Whole New World. Paris in the spring time. Lazing in a hammock together. A log cabin by the lake. The Notebook. The Spider man kiss. Notting Hill. Rose and Jack. Letting you sleep in. Bella and Edward. Latika and Jamal. Dirty Dancing. Leading the dancing. Remembering anniversaries. In sickness and in health. When Harry Met Sally. Synchronised orgasms. Sex in the morning. Sex in the evening. Still having sex after all these years. Fidelity. Eyes only for you. An Officer and a Gentleman. Isla and Rick. Letting you first. Knowing you hate spiders. Viola and William. Stardust. Walking in the snow together. Walking through leaves together. Edward Scissorhands. Just the Way You Are. My Girl. Annie’s Song. Matching tattoos. Wearing a wedding band. I Will Always Love You. When a Man Loves a Woman. I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing. Love is blind. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. The perfect match. Our love is predestined. It was written in the stars above. Love at first sight. Mr/Mrs Right, “My one and only,” “man/woman of my dreams,” “match made in heaven,” “love of my life,” “my true love,” “made for each,” “my perfect match,” “I met the love of my life,” “I knew this was the one.”  “We were meant for each other.” “instant connection,” “clicked right away,” “chemistry at first sight,” “hit it off right away,” “experienced immediate attraction,” “instant rapport,” “completely hit it off,” “it was magical,” “you put a spell on me” . Love is a river that drowns the tender reed. The perfect house. The country idyll. Home is where the heart is. Wuthering Heights. Jayne Eyre. Twilight. The Hunger Games. Gabriel’s Inferno. Water for Elephants. Warming the bed first. Investigating a bump in the night. Holding you during a storm. Never being taken for granted. Perfection. Having it all. The Happy Ever After.

False promises and unrealistic ideals created by them.

A gateway to the false promised land, to the unrealistic ideal life offered and exploited by us.

Resorting to self-destructive and addictive behaviours in order to compensate for these failings and disappointments by becoming entangled with us again and again and again. That’s you.

Who is to blame?

The Narcissist’s Twin Lines of Defence

THE NARCISSIST'STWIN LINESOF DEFENCE

In order to understand your narcissist opponent (and let’s not avoid recognising the fact that we regard you as our opponent) it is essential that you realise that we adopt two lines of defence. It is imperative that our kingdom remains intact, that our rule over you is not impeded, hindered or diminished in anyway. This means that we must always have control. By maintaining control, we are assured of achieving the provision of  The Prime Aims so we gain fuel (most importantly) , character traits and the residual benefits.

Imagine, if you will, a motor vehicle. This motor vehicle has a computer which controls the suspension of the vehicle, This computer makes thousands of calculations and adjustments every second so that the suspension alters to take into account holes in the road, rocks, rises, dips and any deviation. The consequence of these frequent and instantaneous adjustments is that the car itself never lurches, dips, rolls, leans or deviates. You could balance a glass of water on the dashboard and it would never spill. The car remains still and steady.

We are similar. We must always maintain control. We have to have control over our environment so that we know there will be no loss of fuel, no reduction in the elements of the construct, no destruction of our empire and the descent into oblivion. To ensure this control, just like ensuring the motor vehicle remains steady, we have to make repeated and frequent adjustments to cater for the vagaries of the environment. We must tackle the challenges, maintain the loyalty, head off the insurrection, put down the rebellions, stifle the dissent, maintain the discipline and whatever changes, alterations and differences occur, control must be maintained. It does not matter if our behaviour, when viewed from your perspective, is inconsistent, illogical, hypocritical, contradictory, abusive, absurd and so forth, so long as the control is maintained. That is what matters above all else. By keeping control, we gain what we need and we continue to exist as we require.

Any challenge to this control requires a defensive response from us and this comes in two distinct forms. We have a twin defence mechanism. The first line is Denial. The second line is Distract and Deflect.

Dealing with Denial. If you challenge us in some way, which therefore threatens our control, then our immediate response will be one of denial. Your challenge may be one which wounds us (therefore you can expect a response by way of ignited fury which encompasses the denial) or more likely, you will be providing us with Challenge Fuel. Thus, you will not be wounding us, you will be giving us fuel, but we not only want to provoke you into giving us more fuel but we also have to assert control and assert our superiority and denial achieves both.

Take such an exchange for example, V is the accusing victim and N is the denying narcissist.

V – “I saw you in a bar this evening, Lorenzo’s, and you were with another woman.”

N – “No, I wasn’t.”

V- “Yes you were, I saw you.”

N- “You could not have done, I was at work, I had a meeting run on, there was a new client and he needed the team and I to sort quite a few problems out for him.”

V – “Stop lying, I saw you with my own eyes.”

N- “Well you need new glasses because it was not me, you think you saw.”

V- “It was. I know what you look like for God’s sake. You were holding hands with a slim woman with long brown hair and she had a green blouse on.”

N – “It wasn’t me.”

V- “It was, stop lying. Just admit it, will you?”

N- “It was not me.”

V- “I saw you, I saw you with her.”

N- “You couldn’t have done. Like I said, I have been in work until now, Ring Tom, go on, he will confirm that I have.”

The narcissist maintains the denial. Challenge Fuel is being received as the victim is either frustrated, angry, hurt or upset. The words used, the tone, the facial expression and the body language all contribute to the provision of fuel. If the victim is the Intimate Partner Primary Source (“IPPS”) then the fuel will be of a high potency. The quantity of fuel delivered is so far low since the discussion has only lasted a minute or so, but the frequency is constant for that minute. The narcissist will continue to deny in order to maintain control and assert his superiority for the purposes of ‘putting down’ this challenge. If the victim keeps asserting the allegation, the narcissist will continue with the denial until the victim gives up with the assertion. The narcissist has fuel and has maintained (or regained) superiority.

Sometimes the first line of defence is all that is needed to maintain the defence of the narcissist’s realm. However, if the narcissist senses that the victim believes that they are gaining the upper hand and thus has in effect broken through the first line of defence of Denial, then the narcissist will move to deploy the second line of defence which is that of Distraction and Deflection.

This second line is vast, extensive and draws on a myriad of narcissistic manipulations. Some of them are subtle and insidious, others are blatant and rudimentary. Nevertheless, they fall under the banner of Distraction and Deflection.

Returning to the example above, the increasingly exasperated victim decides to play the ace card and produces a mobile ‘phone which contains footage of the narcissist with the mystery lady, holding hands and sharing a kiss. The victim plays the footage and the narcissist watches.

The Denial could be maintained and in some instances this does happen. For instance the narcissist will state

“That’s not me, that is someone else.”

however, the narcissist will observe that the victim is displaying the signs of gaining the upper hand. The words used, tone and expression will alter to denote that the victim believes that she has now won the argument and therefore the repeated denial is not going to enable the narcissist to maintain superiority. Yes, he may continue to draw fuel from the victim if the victim continues to respond in an exasperated or incredulous manner, but the superiority has to be achieved also.

Accordingly this is where the second line of defence is activated.

The Lesser may just grab the mobile phone and smash it. This is Deflection and Distraction. Admittedly, it will not win any awards for ingenuity but this is what such an action achieves on the part of the narcissist:-

  1. The evidence that supports the victim’s challenge to the narcissist’s superiority has gone. In the compartmentalised world of the narcissist if it is not there it does not exist AND moreover it NEVER existed, accordingly

V- “You smashed it because you know I am right.”

N- “About what?”

V- “You kissing that woman.”

N- “What woman?”

v – “The one on the video.”

N – “What video?”

V- “The one I just showed you.”

N- “No you didn’t.”

Note how the first line of the defence has been resurrected. The destruction of physical property (a manipulation, albeit a base one) was deployed as a Deflection and Distraction and then the narcissist, feeling that the challenge has been addressed, deals with the follow-up challenge from the victim by reverting to the first line again and thus engages in Denial.

Returning to what this act achieves for the narcissist

2. The response of the victim to this manipulation will provide fuel;

3. Superiority is maintained through this act.

How might the Mid-Range Narcissist respond to this escalation on the part of the victim? Denial only worked so far, thus the second line of defence is deployed.

N – “What the hell do you think you are playing at?”

V – “What do you mean?”

N- “Spying on me.”

V – “What? I’m not, I am showing you what you have done.”

N- “Yes you are, I am sick of you trying to control me, spying on me like this. And I am not the only one, John said to me only last week he thinks you are very controlling.”

V- “John thinks that? How do you work that one out?”

N- “Oh he is not the only one a few of my friends think it.”

The victim then gets sucked into justifying her own behaviour, trying to defend herself against the imaginary control she apparently exerts over the narcissist. The narcissist has deployed Blame-Shifting, Triangulation and Smearing as part of the second line of defence and it has worked. Fuel is being provided and the initial allegation about cheating has been left by the way side.

The Mid-Ranger could have Distracted and Deflected by walking off and engaging in a silent treatment (absent or present) or accusing the victim of having an affair (Blame Shifting, Labelling, Projection) and therefore all manner of different manipulations can form part of this second line of defence.

How about the Greater, how might he have responded to the production of this video evidence?

He may have adopted the approach of denial to begin with, however, there is a significant chance that the Greater will have either seen what the Victim had been doing, been tipped off by someone as to what the Victim has done or ascertained from the Victim’s demeanour that there is a potential ace to be produced. Accordingly, the Greater would have not bothered with Denial to begin with. His entire confidence in the efficacy of the second line of defence to this challenge means he can dispense with the first line. Thus, the conversation may have proceeded in this manner :-

V – “I saw you in a bar this evening, Lorenzo’s, and you were with another woman.”

N – “Did you, why didn’t you come in and say hello. I was going to call you. That is Jennifer, old friend of mine.”

V- “Oh, I see, you didn’t say you were meeting her.”

N – “Did I not, I think you will find that I did. I told you a week ago about catching up with her, I haven’t seen her in ages. You have met her before, do you remember? It was when we were at the box at the racing, for Ladies’ Day last summer. You had that delightful dress on, you know, the striking green one.”

Away goes the Greater and embarks on a monologue, drawing up details from the past (real or invented), showering compliments and distracting the victim from the thrust of their complaint. In effect the Greater may deploy a Word Salad to Deflect and Distract and thus gain fuel and maintain superiority. The Greater has a vast array of potential ways of deploying the second line of the defence. For instance he might say :-

“Oh that woman, she is obsessed with me. There’s nothing to worry about. Yes she kissed me, rather presumptuous of her but can you see how I broke it off. I didn’t want her causing a scene, she’s a bit of a looney, but you’ve nothing to worry about there. You aren’t going to let someone like her come between you and me are you?” (Blame Shifting, Smearing, Triangulation, Charm)

OR

“I kissed her, so what. If you kissed me more often, this would not happen. You might want to take notice and up your game or you will lose me.” (Threat, Blame-Shifting, Triangulation)

OR

“It really is nothing, she was just being rather zealous. You know people throw themselves at me, it is you that I want. Why else am I here with you and nobody else? Now, let me feel what a real kiss feels like, hmmm?” (Flattery, Charm, Triangulation)

OR

“I was recruiting her for that threesome you said you wanted, you do remember agreeing to that don’t you? Admittedly, you were a little tipsy but you did say you wanted to do it. She will be calling me at 9 o’clock, to come round, but I wanted you to myself of course before she joins us.” (Triangulation, Gas Lighting)

The Greater will invariably rely on his charm and self-confidence to assert superiority and head off the challenge, possibly switching to the issue of threats if required. Either way, the fuel is obtained and the Deflection and Distraction line of defence remains intact and superiority is maintained and thus control with it.

Denial is the first port of call for us to maintain control (though less so with the Greater) and then the range of manipulations from Gas Lighting, Threat, Word Salad, Silent Treatment, Bullying, Intimidation, Labelling and Triangulation and more besides form part of the second line of defence. We will embed Split Thinking, Volte Face, Hypocrisy, Contradiction within this second line in order to maintain control and keep control on an even keel. Such is the breadth and depth of this second line, you will not breach it and we will keep going until you are forced into a retreat, we are fuelled and we maintain that control that is paramount to us. This is why we do as we do.

 

You Should

YOU SHOULD

What is the prevailing mind-set of the Mid Range Narcissist? What is going through the mind of the member of the largest school of narcissism when an appliance has been treacherous and disloyal? Does he manifest the malice that is exhibited by the Greater school or is his response different? What is he thinking when there is treason committed in the Kingdom of Mid-Range? Whether the appliance has escaped him, exposed him, challenged him or some other capital crime against the nation-state of narcissism, the Mid-Ranger’s mind goes into overdrive. This is a glimpse inside to understand what he or she believes.

You should not have done that to me. You should be thankful for who I am. You should be giving thanks to whichever god you follow that you have someone like me in your life, someone who cares, someone who is considerate, someone who only wants the best for you. You should be ashamed of the way you have treated me. You should apologise this instant. You should say sorry to me for the way you have behaved. You should treat others the way you want to be treated and not going around behaving like you are something special. You should realise I am something special and you keep treating me terribly. You should understand that I am a good, honest and decent person and not everybody would put up with your hysterical outbursts. You should know how hard it is to love somebody like you, but I do. You should be grateful for that.

You should know who you are messing with. You should be wary of getting on the wrong side of me you know. You should make sure you keep me happy because you will not like me when I am not happy. You should be looking out for me and not gadding around after other people. You should learn what your priorities are. You should spend more time with me. You should know when to leave me alone. You should be here and doing what I want. You should try giving for once rather than doing all of this taking.

You should be more aware of the way that you treat people and especially me. You should think more about how your actions impact on me. You should take my feelings into account and stop being so selfish. You should realise just what you do hurts me. You should understand that the things you say and do to me have consequences. You should stop making it all about you and let me have a say from time to time. You should stop being so obsessed with your friends’ lives and think about our lives together. You should spend less time with your family, they do not appreciate you in the way I do.

You should stop telling lies about me. You should get your own house in order before you start telling me how I should lead my life. You shouldn’t live in a glass house you know and throw stones. You should stop being such a nasty person to someone who has only ever been good to you. You should stop smearing my name to other people. You should take a look in the mirror. You should take a good look in the mirror actually.

You should stop putting me down. You should do what I want for a change. You should come back and apologise, I am a reasonable person and you should recognise that. You should make things right again because after all this is all your fault. You should stop fighting with me, I do not know why you have to do this. You should stop trying to tie me in knots. You should be more considerate. You should think about me more. You should sort this mess out because you are the only one who has caused it.

You should see how hard I have been trying for us. You should recognise a good person when you see one. You should know I have made the changes you demanded but you should be making some of your own as well. You should realise just how much I have tried for you and me.

You should know what other people say about you. You should realise that I put up with people saying bad things about you and you should be grateful I defend you to them, but I won’t keep doing it forever. You should realise you are not as popular as you think you are. You should be aware that I am a popular person and you won’t come out of this looking good at all.

You shouldn’t treat me like this. You shouldn’t destroy what I have built. You should recognise a good person, an honest person, a truthful person like me. You should learn just what you have lost by behaving like this. You should see just how many people hold me in high regard. You should be so happy to have someone like me, someone who people think well of and they do, just ask anybody and they will tell you. You should take the time to realise that I am a good person and consider what you are doing to me, to us, to what we have.

You should stop hurting me. You should stop getting a kick out of this horrible treatment of me. You should stop being mean to someone who loves you. You should help me. You should love me more. You should show me that you mean it. You should stop with the pretence. You should be genuine like me. You should stop playing the games. You should be the person that would make your grandmother proud. You should be the best person you can be for me.

You should get some help. You should see someone. You should go to therapy. You should sort these problems out. You should stop blaming me. You should stop projecting your problems and insecurities on to me. You should stop the game-playing, I am cleverer than you so I see straight through it. You should tell the truth for once You should stop making up stories about me. You should reflect on what you do. You should get some insight into what you are actually doing. You should shut up and listen to me for once. You should go and see the doctor. You should take your medication. You should stop being such a borderline. You should stop being such an attention-seeker. You should stop dodging the issue. You should address your issues.

You should let me speak. You should give me a chance to make things right again. You should come back because you owe me. You should let me show you what I can do. You should understand sometimes I don’t know what comes over me. You should make allowances for my behaviour because you are worse. You should not focus on the handful of supposedly bad things I do when I do way more good things. You should listen to why I do those things because if you did you would realise there is always a very good reason behind it. You should understand I have to disappear once in a while because your behaviour becomes too much. You should understand I am not sulking, I am just being quiet. You should accept I have to tell people about the way you behave because otherwise I would go mental. You should think about the names I call you and realise I am actually trying to help you because otherwise you will not listen. You should stop trying to blame me for everything that goes wrong and instead be grateful for what I do for you.

You should give it a rest now because you are giving me a headache. You should go and let me rest because I have been working hard all day. You should rub my back. You should make me something to eat. You should be there when I come home. You should stay out of my way when I am fed up of you. You should ask me how I am and not keep telling me about what you want. You should stop telling me how I should behave. You should see what I have to deal with. You should try being me. You should understand how much pain I am in from my back and not complain about your own supposed ailments. You should show some consideration for me now and again. You should get off your high horse. You should give it a rest. You should try walking in my shoes. You should try being me for a day. You should look at it from my point of view. You should make allowances. You should be more tolerant.

You should do it because you want to. You should do it for us. You should have more faith. You should have more discipline. You should have more resolve. You should let me in. You should keep out. You should learn when to speak. You should learn when to stay quiet. You should be seen and not heard. You should follow me. You should watch what I do . You should learn from an expert. You should stick with me. You should be mine. You should stay away from him. You should not speak to them. You should know what is best for you. You should know home is where the heart is. You should know where you bread is buttered. You should know how lucky you are to have me.

You should come back.

You should because I say so.

You just should.

All In The Eyes

ALL IN THE

The eyes are one of our powerful weapons. I hear so many comments made about my eyes.
“I saw the world in your eyes.”
“Everything I ever wished for, I could see in your eyes.”
“I’ve never known anyone give me such a malevolent stare.”
“You are dead behind the eyes.”
“That hollow look you give me, chills me inside.”
“Your reptilian, empty stare always unnerved me.”
When we first engage with you, we are able to reflect back at you want you desperately want. Hope, optimism, desire and trust are all mirrored in our eyes. Do not be mistaken and think that we generate those looks. We do not. All we are doing is ensuring that you see what you want to see in order to ensnare you. This mirroring serves two purposes. Firstly, it shows you what you crave for and makes us all the more attractive to you. Secondly, it masks the empty void that truly exists. Whilst my kind and me learn how to behave and act, we mimic the way in which we are expected to respond in the most favourable manner, we do not truly feel any of those things and we cannot generate it in our eyes. Everything else we are able to simulate – the laugh, the smile, the look of surprise, the intonation of elation in our voices. We have carefully crafted these facsimiles of your emotions but managing to do so in our eyes has always eluded us. We cannot fall at the first hurdle however and have you see through our charade. Accordingly, we have managed to master the mirroring technique. You want that love and hope so badly you will see it in us when you are really just seeing yourself. We hold your gaze for longer than anyone else. You are conned into thinking this is just demonstrating the intensity of our desire for you. It is not. We must look directly into your eyes to shine back at you that which you send towards us. Should we look way, the reflection may fail and we must always have you in our eye.
As with all of our pretence we are unable to maintain this deceit for long. The mirror breaks and the shards of reflection fall away leaving the chasm of emotionlessness behind. The barren hinterland beyond our eyes is all that is left, bereft of anything at all. That is why in the later stages you will see nothing when you look at us. We cannot generate those real emotions and our mirror has now failed. Our real gaze is all that is left, cold, empty and lifeless. People often remark about how the eyes are the window to the soul. Our soul left long ago and that is why you look into dead, uncaring eyes. Even though our mouth is upturned in a smile, the crows feet at the sides crease and the brow rises, our eyes betray us. Glacial and sterile they show the reality of what we are; devoid of positive emotion and spiritually bankrupt.
All that we are able to muster is hatred. Our loathing of this unjust world is so intense that it will break through when we wish to direct that hatred against you. That is when the emptiness vanishes and instead you are subjected to our laser-like, pinpoint accurate malevolent stare. I mentioned in the recollection about the cookie jar, how I had practised my withering stare one summer. This is the precursor to our malice, our antipathy and our scorn. With consummate ease we will call on it to intimidate you and signal our contempt for you. It is powerful, unwavering and unsettling. To be on the receiving end of our hateful stare is not a pleasant experience. We muster such power with our eyes, to seduce you and then to break you, but the reality is that we only have three settings. The mirror, the void and the hatred. There is nothing else. That is all that our eyes have.

The Crying Game – Part One

THE CRYING GAMEPART ONE

Tears. One might consider them the ultimate embodiment of emotion. Tears appear when you have experienced some kind of extreme emotion. I know because I have watched on so many occasions as I have sought to understand the circumstances in which somebody cries and why it is that they do so. I understand that when tears appear, whether it is a welling-up in the eyes, the single full teardrop which slides down a cheek or the cascading waterfall which leaves the eyes red-rimmed and blurry, it is as a consequence of you experiencing emotion in a huge dosage. What I had to learn was which emotions were associated with the emission of water from the eyes. The first emotion that presented itself for my understanding as to how it caused tears was pain. I remembered as a child that my younger brother was somewhat accident prone. If there was tree branch he would fall off it, if there was a wall,he would fall off it and once he even managed to “fall” off a rug and sprain his ankle. The cuts and bruises would have him howling in pain as he lay there sobbing or limped away tears trickling down his face in search of our father. I saw how a physical injury such as a scraped leg or bruised forearm would bring forth a flood of tears. My younger brother would await the attendance of my concerned father, usually brought to the scene by my always caring sister and his tears would be wiped away with a large white handkerchief as consolation and soothing words were administered. I was not accident prone and therefore rarely susceptible to physical injury save the deliberate. I do recall once catching my hand on the edge of the grill and instantly a sore red weal appeared. I presented myself to my nearby mother as I felt the tears forming in my eyes.

“No tears HG,” she announced firmly, “tears show fears, be fearless,” she instructed me as she cast a cursory glance over my injury and directed me to the cold water tap. Tears came from physical hurt but it was not to be for me.

Around the same time I also understood that tears were generated by sadness and it was sister who exhibited this the most. I would find her in one of her many hiding places (I knew them well as I used them myself) and she would be quietly crying.I would ask her why she was crying because I wanted to know. Thinking back, I never felt anything other than curiousity when I saw her with puffy eyes and tear-stained cheeks.

“Why are you crying Rachael?” I would ask.

“Mother shouted at me because I hadn’t tidied my room, she said I was a bad and dirty girl and I don’t like her saying that to me, it upsets me.”

I would nod in understanding and walk away, leaving her alone. She was instructive in showing me that sadness caused tears. Her rabbit escaped from its hutch and went missing so she cried because she missed it. She missed a birthday party because she was ill so she cried because she was sad that she could not play with the other children. If she watched something on television she would often be in tears as she felt bad for the starving children in Africa or the victims of some earthquake. She would cry and ask my father why God did these things and he would do his best to comfort her and explain. He was always good at finding an explanation, but he was a very bright man, well-read and with a keen hunger for knowledge which he invariably retained. There was at least something that I had inherited from him then. I would watch in fascination as Rachael would cry and he would scoop her up and make gentle noises to try to soothe her. Just as he laid a gentle hand on my sobbing injured brother, I saw how this demonstration of tears, be it through physical or emotional hurt engendered sympathy and caring from him. He never rejected them, he never barked at them to deal with it or get on with it, but he would always pander to their upset until he had chased it away and made them feel better. It always got them attention from him, more than I ever did. All they had to do was cry and the sympathy would flow with the attendant attention. I learned that quickly enough.

I, by contrast,never recall feeling sad. I have tried and the good doctors have asked me about this on numerous occasions.

“How did you feel when something bad happened to you?” Dr E would ask.

“What do you mean by bad?” I often have to help him provide some context to his questions. I thought he would have learned by now.

“If you did something wrong for example.”

“I was well-behaved as I child. I did as I was told. I saw what happened if I did not.”

“I see, did your parents ever tell you off?”

“Yes.”

“How did you feel then?”

“Resentful, angry, determined,” I answered quickly.

“Sad?”

“No.”

“Upset?”

“No.”

“How about after the incident?”

I glared at Dr E as I did not like him springing that on me without adequate warning. At least he had remembered to refer to it by the label I required.I remained silent.

“Did you not feel sad after that?”

“No.”

“How did you feel?”

I paused. I did not want to revisit this but I knew he would not stop until he had extracted something from me. He would prod and probe in order to fulfil his selfish desire to know how I felt. I felt empty and I felt angry but I had realised by now that if I told him this he would only go on even longer. The truth would not serve me here. I remained still and silent.

“How did you feel?”

I noticed his tone had become gentler, more searching.

I then thought of all the injustices that I had ever suffered, the hurt that had been meted out against me, the denial of my brilliance, the shunning of my achievements, the lack of recognition when I deserved so much more. I focused on the times when I had been ignored by the foolish, the fact that I am consigned to an unending quest for fuel. I brought to the fore the hurt that I keep under control except for moments such as this and I banished the room and Dr E from my mind as I allowed the floodgates to open. The desired effect eventually came, although it took some time and I eventually felt the welling in my eyes.I blinked theatrically to ensure that Dr E noticed and finally I felt a tear, only a small one though, squeeze out and make its way beneath my eye. I brushed at my other eye, features set in melancholy and still I said nothing. Dr E remained quiet as well as I stared at the floor willing another tear to join the first and thankfully it too finally came and rolled downward, a larger one this time which landed on my left thigh. He will have seen that. I did not look at him but concentrated on the floor still, summoning up all of the hurt I could muster in the hope of maintaining this appearance.

“I can see it is troubling you, perhaps we should move on. We can revisit this at a later time,” he said softly.

I nodded.

Those early observations of how the crying game worked had paid off once again.

Acting Up

I recall one occasion when a particularly upset girlfriend of mine, Hannah, descended into one of her typical fits of hysteria. Hannah was an actress. She had been involved in acting since she was a teenager and had also appeared in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet. She played Ophelia. I found this rather apt. She loses her mind over the Prince of Denmark and drowns. Typical self-centred response. Poor Hamlet. His father dies and his mother shacks up with his uncle. Not only this but his uncle murdered his father and has taken the throne of Denmark leaving Hamlet cast adrift and mired in woe. His girlfriend Ophelia is meant to support him but what does she do? She gets all worked up about Hamlet telling her “Get thee to a nunnery” and climbs a willow tree and falls in the water below and drowns. I found Hannah to be prone to such similar histrionics. I put it down to her being an actress and her desire for everything to be achieved in one take. She was meticulous in her preparation for her acting. At first, I would help her and play the other parts to help her learn her lines. She was so grateful for my support in this regard, remarking how hard it was to find someone willing to do this and so often. If truth be told, I revelled in it. Not only was her gratitude all good fuel, I am of course something of the actor myself and the opportunity to grab the script and play a part was something I enjoyed. I did not pay much attention to Hannah’s delivery, only listening to what she was saying so I knew when to speak my lines. I was too concerned with ensuring I delivered a masterful performance. This would often draw praise from Hannah and she commented on a number of occasions that I appeared to have missed my calling. I was in agreement.

Of course, over time I grew tired of her repeated declarations of how good my delivery was and I began to look for ways to irritate and annoy her. I knew she put so much effort into her rehearsals and preparation because she wanted the final performance to be outstanding. Whether it was filming for a TV show (she has appeared in a couple of rather good British television dramas) or a stage production of a famous play, her performance had to be the best. I often gained the impression that she was doing this in order to outshine me. I may not be recognised as much as Hannah but that did not mean that what she did was better or more important than what I did. Quite the opposite. She needed to be reminded who was the leader and superior mind in our coupling. I began at first to fluff lines or speak when it was her turn to say her line which drew sighs of exasperation. I delighted in her irritation as I knew that it would soon become annoyance and she would erupt into one of her tirades. I would jump places in the script, says words incorrectly, use the wrong tone for questions and statements and then I began to hide her scripts so she could not practise. A meltdown was inevitable and foolishly she aimed all of this at me. I just continued to make comments that would keep her in a frenzy. You would be surprised to see this waif-like lady who usually is the picture of serenity on television react in the way she did. My goodness, did she have a foul mouth on her.

I rarely got angry with her. Her performances were so gratifying and amusing that I just could not generate a spark, even when she was blaming me. It was actually easier to keep trying to get it right and purposefully messing it up again. Several times I had to exit the room under the pretence of being upset so I could lock myself in the bathroom and stuff my hand into my mouth as I collapsed in paroxysms of mirth, her shrill voice echoing through the house.

The occasion that entertained me the most and which I began this post by recalling was when she was rehearsing her part for a six part dark drama that was part of a major channel’s Autumn drama selection. It was a fantastic piece of writing and Hannah had a chunky part. I got her so worked up and histrionic as I messed about, murmured the lines, said sections incorrectly and so on that she erupted into one of her fits. As the insults flowed I drank the fuel she poured over me and then she made a strange croak and gripped her throat. Feigning interest, I went to her side and she pointed at her throat, eyes filling with tears. It transpired that she had badly strained her vocal chords and a doctor instructed her to rest them completely. She could not rehearse and was unlikely to be ready for filming. The producers replaced her with another actress and dismayed by her fall from such a prestigious production, I sought out somebody else to entertain me.