An ex-girlfriend, I forget which one it was, told me that living with me was hell. I laughed. I said hell was living a mundane life. Hell was being a cookie-cutter who brought no influence to bear on the world or people’s lives. Imagine, not mattering ? It makes me shudder. I am not ordinary. I am not average. I am special and there is a very good reason why I am special. I change people’s lives. I have that magic touch. I will arrive into your world and shake it up. I will spin you around and fill your life with a passion and a light that you never knew was possible. Each day will be a new, magical adventure as you are brought to life. Your existence finally has meaning as you realise that you and I were meant to be together. You sense new purpose at long last. Most likely you have endured hardship in some forms. Not any more, I have arrived to give you the attention you deserve. I highlight the many wonderful traits that you have. You will take greater pride in your appearance. You will work harder. You will keep your home tidier as you realise all these things please me. By pleasing me you will benefit. I will join you in your interests. I will easily fit in with all your friendship groups who will welcome me with open arms and praise you on your choice of being with me. Life is good. Before you were just going through the motions as you stumbled along the treadmill of life. Now your dreams have been realised and you have a soulmate. A beautiful, caring, charismatic, energetic and entertaining soulmate. My kiss causes you to tingle, the sound of my voice on the phone creates yearning. My gifts are thoughtful, apt and received with breathless anticipation. I will surprise you by bringing you some lunch to work and include your favourite meal. I will arrive unexpectedlt when you are having drinks with your friends and make you feel special as I regale you before them demonstrating the sincerity of my love for you. Your family will admire my solid work ethic and clear desire to look after you. Life is so sweet. I am almost too good to be true aren’t I?
I am an accomplished lover. I know I am.I have been told so on many occasions. Plus the noise, the pupil dilations, spasming and orgasmic flush all tell the same story. I know what I am doing and I do it to great effect. My sexual performance is a matter of great pride to me. I look after myself so I have plenty of stamina. I am an expert in studying body language (how do you think I got hold of you in the first place?) and what it conveys. I want to be the best so I will work damn hard to ensure that you enjoy it to the full when we go to bed. I don’t actually enjoy love-making that much. I actually prefer knowing how much what I do thrills you. Not because I want you to feel good, but because knowing I have that power over your reaction to my mouth, to my tongue, my fingers and so on, is intoxicating to me. I strive for perfection and that translates into me giving you the time of your life between the sheets. It also serves the purpose of making you want me with an unrivalled passion. You love how I make you feel, so you want more and thus you attach yourself to me all the more. In fact, so powerful is my sexual allure and performance you will often dismiss other things as inconsequential, just to ensure you get your fix.
Of course, causing you to be addicted to me in this way only serves to empower me so that I will deny you love-making when I want to punish you and upset you. As with all my forms of withdrawal and belittlement, this acts as fuel for me. I have to say however that pushing you away when you reach across the bed or try to unbutton my trousers when I am sat in the living room really is a crushing blow to you. You cannot understand how such a passionate, accomplished lover can now show no interest in you. You try all your tricks to lure me into bed but they will not work. I am the one who ensnares, not you. Remember, it does not matter to me that we don’t make love. I find it a maintenance chore after a time, I would much rather deny it to you and watch you crumble.
I don’t like mistakes. I like everything to be correct and in order otherwise I feel unsettled at best and furious at worst. People often say sorry to me. I reply, ” Don’t be sorry, be accurate.” This requirement from accuracy stems from being well-educated and naturally intelligent. It was always drummed into me as a child that I needed to be top of the class and to always strive for 100%. That was a good grounding that has stood me in good stead. I often berate shop keepers on their signage when they add unnecessary apostrophes thinking them necessary for plurality or they omit them when denoting possession. I have lost count of my forays on Facebook and internet forums to point out the incorrect use of “their” , “there” and “they’re”. I get little thanks but what does one expect from the uneducated. Some people just refuse to better themselves.
All of that is irritating. I am infuriated when people are mistaken about me. That makes me especially angry. The mistakes always take the form of some ad hominem attack and are based on at best a misconception or at worst a blatant lie. Any assault on my character makes me so angry and I lose my temper very easily when this happens. What do they expect though? That I should sit quietly as they assassinate my character? Not a chance. I often have to point out that they are wrong and they have recalled the conversation they are relying on to attack me, incorrectly. That happens a lot. They always twist what has been said or agreed and then try to make me look bad. I will not stand for it. One of my ex-girlfriends, Trish, she said to me once, “You are constantly putting me down and correcting me. It is belittling.” I was sick of hearing this and erupted in a fury. Shouting however was the only way I could be sure she was listening to me. I explained to her that I was not constantly putting her down and correcting her because if I was doing it constantly, I would be doing it every second of every hour of every day. I explained that one constantly breathes or the earth constantly turns. I advised her that the word she should have used was repeatedly. She started crying and screaming. Her hypersensitivity and over reaction to my only trying to help would amuse me. Repeatedly.
People often accuse my kind and me of not doing pleasant things. I find that hurtful and incorrect. If there are two things that will annoy me considerably, they are being hurt and people being incorrect (see the War on Error) . I regard this as a useful opportunity to remove that misconception. When I first meet a lady, two things go through my mind. The first is that I want to look after her, treat her well and make her feel special. The second is I wonder what she looks like when she cries. Notice which one I put first though. I am generous to a fault. I will buy you gifts, I will take you to fantastic places and I will ensure that you and usually an audience are fully aware of the extent of my largesse. I take an interest in you and engage in doing all the things that you enjoy. Tell me now, how can it be said that I do not do pleasant things?
As with most relationships, there is a honeymoon period and things settle down. There is no need to keep buying you perfume or lingerie, or that new boxset of DVDs. One can tire of dining in a fabulous restaurant every Friday or having those long weekends at the coast. I reduce the extent of my generosity but I do not extinguish it altogether. Not at all. I like to surprise you. I like to make a sudden grand gesture by telling you that I have got tickets for your favourite pop star or I might hide a delightful gift under your pillow. I love to do this as it makes you feel happy and wanted. It also means that I am just about to push you off the cliff and land a hammer blow on you. I do not want you to know it is coming. Goodness me no, I want you feeling secure when I suddenly subject you to a period of silent treatment. That way I get a sensational reaction to my behaviour and I can feed deep on your over emotional behaviour.
Enjoy the Silence is a magnificent song and I hope that Depeche Mode won’t mind me using a picture of their cover. I remember when I first heard this song in February 1990 (yes it is over 25 years old) and not only did I think it was a superb song it epitomised my view of silence. I wrote about how I use silence as a weapon, it is my silent assassin. I enjoy using it because my first deployment of it indoctrinates you to a way of thinking. There are, however, other reasons why I enjoy it.
Firstly, I don’t have to do anything. Yes that’s right. I don’t have to say or do a thing. I just walk away and stay away from you. I love anything that saves me energy whilst provoking a reaction in you and that is why the silent treatment is one of my favourite, if not my favourite method of getting to you. I also know that you won’t just shrug your shoulders and think “Oh well, he will get in touch when he is ready to, I will just get on with my life.” I know this because your type just do not do that. You care about other people so if you think something is wrong (and especially if you then begin to think that you are the cause) you will do anything you can to try and ascertain what has happened and then repair it. That means that you will not stay away. You see, I have it all worked out.
Secondly, once I have given you a concentrated and potent dose of the silent treatment you will be ever anxious to avoid a repeat. You hated it so much you will always be alert to it happening again. This puts you in a state of hypervigilance. You cannot settle. You are anxious. You are always looking to see if there is a trigger for it happening again. You start to try and second guess me to ensure what you are about to say or what you are about to do won’t result in you being consigned to silence again. Thus you become compliant and will do what I want in order to keep silence at bay. Very effective wouldn’t you say? With a couple of ex-girlfriends and a work colleague who I had subjected to the silent treatment, when I was about to do it again, I left them a copy of the Depeche Mode CD and then walked away. The power surge I experienced when I did that was immense.
One of the more difficult of my behaviours for you to cope with, let alone understand, is the switch. On the Sunday we have enjoyed a pleasant day together lounging on the beach with a picnic. The next day you try and call me and I do not answer. I do not reply to your texts. I am not subjecting you to a prolonged silent treatment on this occasion and eventually we managed to speak in the afternoon. The conversation is not going to win away awards. I ask no questions, I am monosyllabic in my responses and you feel like I have pulled down the shutters and put up the defences. You ask me what is wrong and I do not give you a credible response which satisfies this sudden change in behaviour.
You draw the contrasting behaviours to my attention and I know full well what I have done and what I am doing. I however feel no need to explain myself. I recognise that I was pleasant and caring yesterday but now I am like a block of ice. Do not make the mistake of thinking that I am unable to see this shift in my behaviour. I can. It is not that I cannot offer you an explanation for it. I don’t want to. This is because I am not accountable to you. If I want to behave this way then so be it. I have learned however that if I say this to you, it will make me appear bad, so instead I will ascribe it to being tired or I have other things on my mind. I am also doing this because I know that it will cause you to show you care (and thus give me more attention) by asking what is wrong and what has happened. If you push too far, I am likely to become angry and go on the attack (why do you always have to question me? Why must you assume there is always something wrong? I don’t have to be happy all the time you know?) Later on I will most likely send you a text stating I am sorry but I am under a lot of pressure at the moment or I had just received some bad news and did not feel upto talking (all lies of course) but you will then feel bad but also relieved at having received a (false) explanation and you will remain dangling, rather than doing the most appropriate thing which is to leave me to it.
This is a frequent and plaintive cry from those who have been caught in my web. There are those that never realise what they have become involved in when they are targeted by my kind. They never leave and we never leave you alone. You are always there and available for us to extract some fuel from. We of course discard you but it is never a true parting of the ways. We only cast you aside in order to bring you back again. We do not really want to get rid of you. It is purely a device to ensure that we put you through the ringer again and extract some extra droplets of fuel from your battered and withered self. If you make no attempt to leave we will attach that metaphoric piece of elastic and bounce you back and forth. How long will that pushing and pulling go on for? Until you die. You will always serve some function to me. You will hang around and be used and abused until either you expire or I do and I never contemplate the latter for long.
What if you try to escape me? Well, the lesser narcissist also known as the oxymoronic benign narcissist will try to rope you back in but if you demonstrate sufficient resolve he or she will seek out a far easier target. The reality is there are so many people walking around oozing empathy, that they may as well have a target painted on their backs. We always find fresh fuel and without too much effort. Sometimes I do think that we attract you without having to anything. I know how we are able to sniff you lovely empaths out, but I have started to wonder whether the super empaths that exist have some function for finding us. Their desire to fix and repair enabling them to home in our broken and warped ways and inadvertently they are drawn into our sights. The lesser narcissist will try to hook you back in, but eventually he or she will leave you alone. It may take a few months but you can avoid their clutches. Beware however, should you fly too close in the future we will shoot out a tendril and ensnare you again. Do not make the mistake of thinking that we ever forget how useful you are to us. We do not forget and should you attend an event where we are or decide out of some misguided sympathy to send a text asking how we are, we will come straight back after you.
That is the approach of the lesser narcissist but what of my breed, the malign narcissist. Will we ever leave you alone?