Category Archives: triangulation

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.

 

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One Is Never Enough

ONE IS NEVER ENOUGH

 

One is never enough for us. Two or more are required. When we commence our seduction of you and launch those missiles towards you bearing love, passion and desire, we repeatedly tell you that you are the one. You are the only one that we want. All of our life we have waited for this moment to be with the one, you. This singularity of number meets singularity of purpose. One is all that we want. We tell you this, we text you this and we do some repeatedly in order to put you on that pedestal. The world may as well just be populated by you and me. Nobody else matters. All that we want is you and you alone. The effect of such words makes you feel extremely special, revered and worshipped and it feels wonderful doesn’t it? Being the sole recipient of our attention, such wonderful, dedicated and loving attention is uplifting, joyful and magnificent.

Recently a commenter posted a quote from Robert A Heinlein which revolved around kissing. Essentially, this quote referred to the fact that when most people kiss they are not putting their all into it, they have other things on their mind, they might be worrying about work, they know they have to put the rubbish out, they are wondering what is for dinner and as a consequence that person’s kiss is nowhere near as it should be because that person has distractions. The person they are kissing does not have their total attention. There is considerable merit in such a proposition. What we manage to do however is make you think that nobody else matters, that you are the only person we are kissing, have ever kissed and will ever kiss. We make you the centre of our universe and you believe it. Yet the reality is that whilst we exhibit this singularity of attention on you, we have so many other people in mind. Understand that when you are with one of our kind there is never, there is never a time when it is just you and me. There is always you, me and her or him or them. Your dynamic with us is not exclusive. It never is. It is not your sole preserve. You are shared throughout the entirety of your relationship with us, from the beginning until, well forever. I do not necessarily mean that we are engaged in s sexual relationship with someone else when we are with you but the fact is that when you think it is just you and I, there is far more going on that you will realise.

At the outset when I am seducing you, I make you feel like the only girl in the world, however there will be at least two other dynamics ongoing. The first is that I will be embarking on a cruel campaign against your predecessor. I will be considering how next to provoke them and punish them so I am able to draw negative fuel from them. I will undoubtedly tell you about them as I explain how horrible and abusive that person was to me. What you are less likely to know is that I am sending them abusive messages, stalking them and organising various methods of manipulation to keep punishing them.

The second dynamic at the outset is the fact that I may also be working on another prospect as well as you. In the extremely unlikely event that you ever had access to my mobile ‘phone and you looked in the messages you would see something like this.

“Message to You 19:48 – I cannot stop thinking about you. What have you done to me? I love it though. I cannot wait to see you tomorrow even though it is too long to wait for my aching heart.”

“Message to Her 19:50 – I cannot stop thinking about you. What have you done to me? I love it though. I cannot wait to see you tomorrow even though it is too long to wait for my aching heart.”

There may even be,

“Message to Her 2 19:52 – I cannot stop thinking about you. What have you done to me? I love it though. I cannot wait to see you tomorrow even though it is too long to wait for my aching heart.”

Notoriously greedy for fuel and wary of the effects of not having a supply of the same, we will ensure that we have other targeted prospects in hand. You may become the chosen one as my primary source of fuel but the others will not necessarily be discarded. They will be retained as “friends” who rank as high producing secondary appliances, continuing to supply me with fuel. You think you have me to yourself. Of course that is the impression that I will create but you are sharing me with the others who will be kept ready to replace you should you start to fail in your production of fuel.

During the golden period it may seem that there is just you and me but I will be keeping other prospects warm and extracting negative fuel from one or more predecessors in the meanwhile. Then, without warning you find yourself being devalued. You have your suspicions that we are playing away. Indeed, we are as we use these secondary sources that we have kept “warm”. There will be others as we find additional people to draw into our network as we play them off against you. You will find you will be compared to these people, to friends and family and always found to be wanting as we press the devaluation against you. After this horrendous time, we will cast you to one side with a callous discard and somebody else has replaced you. How did that happen so quickly? How were we able to move with unseemly haste and find someone else who we now declare our love for? Easily. They were waiting in the wings all along.

Now discarded you will find you are still involved in the dynamic as we play you against your replacement. We will keep trying to draw negative fuel from you and then suddenly hoover you back and make you the apple of our eye again, as your short-lived replacement is cast aside. A period of vacillation may follow as we lift you up and crash you down. You are sat on one end of a see saw, as you go up, she goes down and vice versa. We stand in the centre, straddling this see saw and gobbling up all the fuel that is pouring from you both.

As our primary source you will always find that there is somebody else involved in the dynamic of our relationship. It does not end there though with the person who is our primary source of fuel. This addition of an extra player in the game happens throughout all our fuel gathering activities. We set family member against family member, our brothers against our sisters, or one parent against another. We treat one child as golden and the other as a pariah as we have them compete for our blessing and affection. We pit one colleague against another as they vie for that promotion which lies in our gift. We have friend fighting against friend in order to spend time with us at the expense of the other. We enter the online realm and have people backbiting, clashing and competing all through a few keystrokes on the keyboard. We can never be satisfied with it being just you and me, we always have to involve others and that involvement cannot be harmonious. There must be competition in order for the fuel to flow. Never think that we are dedicated to just you, our need for fuel does not allow it. There is always someone else despite what we may tell you. If you were ever able to ascertain the full extent of our machinations, schemes and plans you would see so many lines radiating away from us, connecting us to you, to her and to many others, with lines running between the unknowing and knowing until it looks like an extremely complex organogram on the wall of an incident room in a police station.

It can never just be you and me. There always has to be another.

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15 Seductive Triangles

fifteen-seductive

 

Our seductive tendrils wrap around the unsuspecting and draw them into our false reality. We have many ways of effecting this seduction, from the outrageous declarations of premature love, to the excessive texting and messaging, from the gifts and attentiveness to the fantastic sex. There are many strings to our bow when it comes to seducing our victims. We love the allure of the triangle. Bringing someone else or something else into the dynamic between you and me generates endless possibilities for fuel, control and manipulation. Triangulation is seen throughout the narcissistic dance and appears more than you may realise at the outset of your relationship with our kind. Of course our most serious and intense seductive techniques are reserved for our intimate partners who become our primary source of fuel, but we triangulate everybody who we wish to draw fuel from. Whether you are a parent, a sibling, a co-worker, a boss, a friend or someone who is an acquaintance, we will triangulate you in some way.

When triangulation is used in seduction it will be done to portray ourselves as a good and decent person and on the receiving end of some unpleasant and undeserved behaviour from a different source, in order to make you admire us for dealing with this unnecessary attack or provide us with affection to make us feel better or sympathy in respect of our predicament. You are made to think that we are explaining our position and you are made to feel special because we are telling you about something that apparently is troubling us. The reality is that this is being done in order to draw an appropriate reaction from you for the purposes of gaining fuel. It is also designed to make you think that there is something you can do to assist us and help us and therefore gain favour with us through this action .Here are fifteen of these regularly used techniques which may be familiar to you or what you ought to be looking out for.

  1. My wife doesn’t understand me.
  2. My husband has no interest in sex with me anymore.
  3. My children don’t respect me.
  4. My parents expect me to be their full-time carers.
  5. My boss is a tyrant.
  6. My team are incompetent.
  7. My supplier is unreliable.
  8. My neighbour is inconsiderate.
  9. My partner never listens.
  10. My boyfriend spends all of his time with his friends rather than me.
  11. My girlfriend spends all my money.
  12. My friends expect me to be available all of the time.
  13. My partner just doesn’t appreciate what I do.
  14. My girlfriend would rather play Candy Crush than talk to me.
  15. My children never ring me to see how I am.
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Smeared – 5 Reasons Why Smear Campaigns Are So Effective

 

It is highly likely that you have been on the receiving end of a smear campaign. It is unusual if such a campaign is not used by our kind when dealing with the person who holds the position of primary source of fuel. The benefits of instigating the smear campaign are numerous and indeed in many instances the smear campaign is a necessary device for the maintenance of appearances, fuel and control. Since we are creatures of economy when it comes to the expenditure of our energies we operate those manipulations which are the most rewarding in terms of energy versus effectiveness. Smear campaigns rank high on such a list and this is for the following five reasons.

 

  1. Conviction

The smear campaign is rolled out in a convincing fashion. It is done with speed, it is done for the most part without your knowledge and it is effected by us in a manner which suggests that our words are undeniable truth. We are very good at persuading and portraying something as correct and the truth when it is not. We will seize on some element of your behaviour, some aspect of actions on your part or things you have said which are recognised by people. Perhaps you once got drunk at a party and kept falling over (it was a one-off and not helped by the fact you hadn’t eaten beforehand the copious amounts of alcohol we plied you with) but this forms the basis of creating a picture of your abusive alcoholic actions. You may be known for getting over emotional, especially when tired and therefore the picture is painted of you as histrionic. Taking some germ of truth and then applying it out of context, exaggerating and magnifying is a skill we utilise in the creation of the smear campaign.

“Yes, I am afraid I am at my wit’s end with Jenny, her drinking is out of control. I have kept a lid on it so far for your sake, I didn’t know want you upset, but I do not know what to do. You remember that party at Jonathan’s? Yes, that’s right when she could not even sit up, that’s a nightly occurrence now.”

We speak with such conviction and confidence that people do not challenge what we say. People usually accept the truth of what they are told by other people. This is a necessary social device because if it was to the contrary nothing would get done if people were suspicious and question everybody’s motives and comments. We play on this default setting and our confident and superior nature allows us to create a convincing smear campaign and thus guarantee its effectiveness.

 

  1. The Façade

Our façade of respectability that we have carefully created whereby we are seen as good, reliable, dependable and kind to the outside world provides us with serious support when doling out a smear campaign. In the similar way by which we point to evidence of your drink problem, temper tantrums and neediness as the basis for a much larger and wider problem, we rely on the existence of the constructed façade to demonstrate that we are not the issue. How can we be? We are seen by your friends, the neighbours and your family as that generous, pleasant and helpful chap who must be a good husband and father. He always says hello, is polite, holds down a good job, is seen out and about in the community and so forth. The creation of the façade is not only important for us to draw fuel; it is a fundamental part of why our smear campaigns are so effective.

 

 

  1. You Don’t Help Yourself

You fall right into our trap with a lot of your behaviour when you discover that you are being smeared. Rather than consider obtaining some independent and impartial evidence which you present in a calm and measured manner, allowing people to reach their own conclusions, you charge around, wild-eyed and upset, declaring repeatedly that

“It is him, not me, can you not see it? You must be blind or stupid if you cannot.”

This will not endear you to anybody. Nobody likes to be criticised. By slating their ability to make a decision you make them defensive and it becomes easier for them to make a decision which favours us. Do they believe the calm individual who has presented as such for the last year or so and who has come to explain you have a problem and we need help to deal with it or do they believed the swivel-eyed, tear-stained, histrionic person who keeps protesting it is not them? It is not a difficult decision to make.

Of course we encourage you to present in such a manner through our steady manipulative treatment of you. Moreover, we know that it mightily offends you to be thought of as something that you are not and in your frazzled and highly-strung state, you will not approach the denial of the smearing in a rationale or constructive fashion. This heightens the effectiveness of what we are doing. To some extent, you are proving our case for us.

 

  1. You Are Eroded

Linked to the above is the fact that when the smear campaign starts you will in all likelihood have been subjected to a sustained period of devaluation which has taken its toll on you. You will be exhausted from our tactics of preventing you from sleeping. You are anxious. You are hypervigilant. You cannot think straight owing to fatigue and the gas lighting to which you have been subjected. Your confidence has been whittled away and your ability to think in a critical fashion has been damaged. The combination of all these ailments means that you are ill-equipped to fight the battle with us for the minds and hearts of those observing. We got in first and you will always be fighting an uphill battle with few resources to rely on. You will have been isolated by us from your support networks. At best this means you cannot call on help when you most need it. At worst this results in those people you thought you could rely on, taking our side. This ineffectiveness of your ability to cope – caused by us – results in our campaign becoming more effective.

 

  1. Aversion to Conflict

People do not like conflict. People hate it when a couple divorces. It is not so much about feeling sad for the fact that two people they like are splitting up. Instead, it is more about the selfishness which means they have to choose one over the other and they would rather not do so. They want people to get along and when we present to those observing that we have tried to make things work but you have not allowed this to happen, the observers’ inherent desire for people to get along causes them to prejudge you. You become labelled as the troublemaker. People have their own lives to lead and they want everything else to run smoothly around them. If you are preventing this state of affairs from existing, then this will result in those supposedly impartial observers taking our side and not wanting anything to do with you because you have breached the peace. Knowing this to be the case of course will cause you to react even more and it becomes self-fulfilling. Again, this backdrop of the mind-set of others has this impact on the effectiveness of our campaigns.

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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.

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Playing the Triangle

th (14)I used to be in a band. I played lead electric triangle as I was the fulcrum of the outfit. Success was denied by the incompetence of my fellow band members and I let them know about that. I love the triangle. As Madonna once sang, one is such a lonely number. Two is okay but not enough, not for someone as great as me. But three, now three is marvellous. In any of my relationships I need to bring in the third person. With my brother, I would point out that his Christmas gifts were not of the standard of our sister. That would infuriate him. Even better, I would put the ‘phone down and call my sister and tell her that her gifts were not as good as our brother’s offerings. Fantastic. At work it is so easy to do. Somebody provides a presentation and I will deem it satisfactory but inferior to that given by Worker B the previous week (there was no presentation but Worker A does not know that). In respect of my best friend, I used to have an imaginary friend called Stuart who I would pretend to go out with, who was repeatedly calling me or who had “just called round so can you call back later”. I used Stuart as a method of blocking my best friend for three months. He bought me a golf club membership in order to try to preserve the friendship so we could spend time golfing. That was a great result.

As with most of my work it is in the field of intimate relationships that my trusty triangle and me bear the most fruit. I will drag anybody I can into the triangle and repeatedly through the day. I will compliment my personal trainer and compare her to you in terms of tone and definition of body. I will remark how the cook at the diner makes a better cooked breakfast than you. I will make oblique references to a new female colleague and enthuse about her abilities and make you know how often we speak during the day. Hell, I will even bring inanimate objects into the triangle too. That really gets to you. My obsession with my ‘phone is the best one, but I will spend an age polishing my shoes and commenting how reliable and beautiful they are, unlike you. I will of course be grooming a new person as I grow tired of you as I engage in extra relationship affairs, my triangle has to have meaning. I always feel however that I can take it a step further, drive it to new heights because to me, just like the triangle I played in the band, it is incomplete.

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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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