The Eight Exploitations of Empathy

You are an empathic individual. This is why we chose you. This is why we want people like you because you have certain traits which appeal considerably to us. You have traits which are ripe to be exploited by us and only someone like you can provide such an opportunity to our kind. You have certain traits which we need to exploit for our own purposes; these are eight of them

1. Trust

You cannot operate without trust. You trust us with your heart from the very outset. You readily give it to us and allow us to place our hands around it. You trust us to keep it safe and protect, unaware that our nefarious hands covet the provision of your heart. Your trust is absolute and unconditional and this enables us to exploit it repeatedly by doing as we please,acting behind your back and breaching your trust over and over again. Your reaction when you learn of our breach of this sacred trait is enormous and fuel-filled and the driver behind our need to take and shatter your trust. The concept of trust is so inviting that even though we will fracture it, we will endeavour to repair it and win it back just so we can breach it again.

2. Honesty

Your openness and honesty results in your signing your own fate by furnishing us with so much information about yourself. From your hopes and desires through to your weaknesses and vulnerabilities. You are content to detail it all to us as you live by a code of honesty, always wanting to tell the truth and for the truth to be provided to you. We know you operate by this trait and we will feign to be an honest person at the outset, free with our expressions of how we truly feel about you. How more honest can we be than to tell you that you are the person we have waited our whole lives for? Yet, honesty is for you and never for us because we operate in the shadows of dishonesty. Your honesty may be a strength in your eyes but to us it is a weakness as you have opened yourself up before us, exposing yourself to us, showing your neck to us as our forked tongue slides across our sharpest teeth.

3. Decency

You must always do the right thing. To do anything else is anathema to you and we know that this attribute of yours leaves you susceptible to our many machinations. You are polite and well-mannered. This means that you will accord with our initial overtures and listen attentively to whatever we say. You accept graciously our gifts, not realising that they are bribes to ensure you become chained to us. You always answer our calls, reply to our messages and open your door when we appear, not matter how often or how unannounced. This requirement to be civil and decent allows us to frequent you to such a degree that our charm is in and around you so often that you have no chance other than to succumb to it. You will not turn away, you will not slam the door in our faces but instead give us the toehold and time of day to weave our malign magic over you and seduce you.

4. Equality

You expect to be treated as you treat others and when the devaluation eventually commences and you find that such concepts as consideration, reciprocity and equality of treatment are missing, your alarmed and emotional response is the engine for the fuel we need. You operate by the maxim of do unto others as you would have them do unto you and thus you treat us with love, affection and kindness. Its absence by return causes you considerable consternation and upset, which enables us to draw the fuel from you in significant amounts.

5. Fidelity

To be faithful and receive fidelity in return is of significant importance to you. Your own dedication to the ideal of faithfulness means that we have little concern that you will have your head turned by others, no matter how badly we treat you. You will not transgress this ideal, even though you may suspect or even know of our own flagrant disregard for the concept of fidelity, you will remain true to it. It pains you, it hurts you but as a person of principle you will abide by it. You do not do this through any notion of pride or to seek some kind of accolade, but you do it because it is part of you. A constituent part of your moral fibre and full in the knowledge of this sterling attribute of yours, we shall do as we please with little concern that you will treat us in the same way.

6. Tenacity

You do not give up. You exhibit an indefatigable spirit which invades every element of who you are. You will not give up on the idea of you and me. You will do whatever it takes to please me, to win back my golden grace which you once delighted in. You will hang in there determined to ensure we get back on track. You will not walk away because to do so would be to admit failure and this is not something that you can countenance. No matter how bad the abuse, no matter how terrible your treatment, you will cling on as a consequence of this trait. We are well aware of this and welcome such a tenacious approach, for it provides with a guarantee of your attention and support.

7. Healing

You desire to heal and to fix is perhaps one of your most notable traits. The desire to nourish the good in people and bring it to the fore. You believe that everybody is capable of becoming better, including yourself which is why you are so selfless and giving. You strive to find the ways of making a situation better for somebody, you want to make the sad person become happy, the worried person calm and to ease the concerns of all you come across. Most of all you want to fix us because you believe we can be fixed. We will not disavow you of such a notion, not at all, it serves our purposes to keep you thinking that you can make a difference.

8. Loving

Your love is immense. Unconditional, vast and seemingly unending. Like the largest reservoir, your love is that which we must ensnare and once achieved we drink from it with an unending thirst. You are devoted to the idea of love and we will exploit this repeatedly. We exert control over you by suggesting to you that you must not love us if you will not do that what we want. We test your love for us by placing immense demands upon you knowing that you will always rise to the challenge. Your love for us is such that it is sweeter than that which might be obtain from others but it also remains intact for far, far longer. It endures the torrid devaluation and the heartless abandonment so that we know we can count on being able to come back once again and take hold of your love yet again for our own unsavoury and malicious purposes.

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The Crying Game – Part 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 it was 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.

Shooting You Down

A plaintive wail which I often hear is along the lines of,

“Why do you always have to shoot me down? I give you everything you could ever want. Why can’t you just be happy with that?”

As usual you delude yourself with such a statement. You do not give me everything I could ever want. You think that you do, but that is the self-centredness that you often exhibit creeping in once again. You certainly care, I will grant you that, but you make the mistake of assuming what you do is what we want. What we want is fuel. I know what comes next.

“I always told you how much I loved you, I admired and complimented you often and frequently. How much more could I make you feel good about yourself?”

Therein lies the problem. No matter how good your intentions and how frequent your worship of me, my kind and me will always grow tired of it. We have heard your kind words and seen your appreciative gestures too many times and it, well, it just does not do it for us anymore. I am sure that you emotionally in touch people would be the first to complain if a long established partner engages in the same routine in the bedroom. It does not hit the spot anymore does it? Well, it is just the same for us. You may ultimately accept that things cool somewhat in the bedroom and I know from what I have seen and heard that you trade this passion off (although not always, there are some sexual thrill seekers amongst your kind) for other qualities that you find attractive – humour, companionship, security, warmth, good parental skills, intelligence and such like. There is no hope for any such trade with us. We only want one thing from our relationship. Fuel. We do not care (ultimately) how good-looking you are, how much of a whore you are between the sheets, how wonderful a mother you may be, what a raconteur you are or how much you earn. We will never accept those things or anything else as a substitute for fuel. True enough, the more aged of our kind sometimes accept these things when their need for fuel diminishes but that need never goes away. They may decide to accept these attributes alongside largely positive fuel, but they will still need to stir things up from time to time.

That is not going to happen with me. I am at the peak of my powers and therefore my need for fuel remains substantial. There can be no substitute for it at all and nor can there be any co-existence between the provision of fuel and other attributes. It is fuel or nothing. In order to achieve this I have to shoot you down because once that is done you start to flow with the potent negative fuel and my cravings start to be addressed. You can beg and plead with me, you can point out how you will always only ever have eyes for me, you can express your love, desire, adoration and admiration on an hourly basis but there comes a point when it just does not have that sweetness anymore. It is then that I pull the handgun from my jacket, attach the silencer and fire several vitriolic bullets into you. Your pain from these wounding bullets gives me the fuel that I need and therefore your shooting is necessary. Moreover, it is your punishment for letting me down. You really ought to be capable of pleasing me the whole time but so far, all that I have chosen have failed. That is why I now expect you to fail and have that gun to hand at all times.

When I shoot you down, I become more powerful as the fuel flows from you. Moreover, it is easy to get someone to admire and adore. Those reactions come naturally to your kind. It is far harder to extract tears, anger, frustration and regret from the empath. Managing to do so imbues your emotional reaction with greater potency, your fuel becomes supercharged and this is what we want. We cannot shoot you down from the beginning, we need you stood on a pedestal first, after all, you present as such an inviting target then and your toppling as the bullets slam into you becomes all the more satisfying.

I sense your dismay as you read this. You had hoped that by keeping me sweet and onside through a dazzling and tireless display of love, affection and admiration you had hoped to avoid such an attack. Your concerns should not be absolute. There is an upside you know. Firstly, when we find someone else after we have shot you down, keep in mind they will eventually be riddled with bullet holes no matter how happy we both appear at first. It is coming to them as it came to you. I am sure that makes you feel a little better doesn’t it? Secondly, there is a huge saving grace.

We never shoot you dead.

We need you alive so we can raise you up again as we re-load.

Baby Steps

I am just a baby in your arms. I am fragile, brittle and vulnerable. You see I was broken when I was so, so young. I did not know any different and all I wanted was to be told that I was good. I did everything I could to please them but it was never deemed enough. I don’t know why I could not make them love me but it just did not happen. Perhaps if I had tried harder. I know it is my fault really but I did not know any better. They took something from me, I still do not know what it really is, but I think you do. I think you hold the answer because of who you are. I try to be a good person, I really do but there is just something that stops me from being that decent and compassionate person.  I see what you and people like you do and I cannot help but wish I was the same. Sometimes I want it so much it makes me do things I should not do because I cannot control the jealousy that rises and makes me do those Bad Things. Believe me, I fight against it but I have not had the strength to defeat the wickedness but I have you now don’t I? You will shield me and give me the fortitude I require to complete my journey to redemption. Everything that has happened before was borne out me lacking you. Those things that I have done, well, I am not proud of them but I was weak and knew no better. I did not have you to lead and guide me. The others, you see, those others promised me that they would take care of me but they were just pretenders and charlatans who took from me and left me twisted and beaten in the dust. Sometimes I had to fight back. That was when I struck out at them. I did not want to, truly I did not want to do those things, but sometimes I was given no choice. I know all that has gone now because you are here. You are the person I have waited for for so long. I believe in you and how you can save me. You are my caretaker, my salvation and my rock. I look to you and you give me such hope. You show me that there is a better way, a road that leads to salvation. It is a road that will take me away from the Badlands and the darkness. I understand the road may be long, it may wind through difficult places but ultimately, with you holding my hand, I know what I will reach that place where I need not be afraid any longer. I need not hurt and lash out but instead I can harness the real goodness that is somewhere deep inside me.

You told me that it is there and I believe you. You know about these things. That is the way you have been made. You are the carer, the healer and the peacemaker. You must understand why it is that you are so special to me. You are the only one who truly understands what is to be me and you are the only one who can save me. I will place my heart in your hands and let you care for it. I have been broken, I have been broken for far too long, a shattered and fractured creature who has had to endure living this way without any hope of redemption, until you came along. Please, make me a better person. Please care for me and nurse me and hold my hand when the demons come. I look to you and only you and in those optimistic eyes of yours I find absolution.

All I want is to be loved. It is not too much to ask is it. I am a noble yet broken person and you hold the power to make me what I want to be, what I should be. I am like a baby in your arms. I am vulnerable yet with you there anything becomes possible. I know you will love me, care for me and protect me. You will save me. You are the only one.

You fall for this speech.

Every time.

Shell Shock

I was in a consultation with Dr E. We had been discussing the various methods by which I obtained fuel and the conversation had largely been given over to the question of the methods of obtaining negative fuel from those that I had ensnared.

“Tell me,” continued Dr E, ” about one of your favoured states to place a victim in.”

“Tough call that Dr E, I have several.”

“Select one then and tell me about it.”

“Why?”

“I am interested to ascertain what one the states is and in particular what you get from that.”

“Haven’t you been listening? I told you that it is the fuel that I obtain from their emotional reactions, especially the negative ones. That is what I get from these situations.”

“I recognise that but I have seen, through our consultations, that everything you do serves a multiplicity of purposes. Everything of course leads to the harvesting of your fuel but I have seen you gain other things beside your fuel.”

“Such as?”

“I have made notes but I do not want to prime you, I want you to describe the situation and then explain to me what you get from it,” pressed Dr E. I sat and regarded him for a moment. I tried to ascertain if he was getting something else from asking me about this. You see, I have worked out that Dr E is a rascal for projecting. He cannot help himself. He will suggest a methodology applicable to me when in fact what he is talking about is a methodology he wishes to apply. In this instance he was trying to get me to talk about the multiple benefits of a given scenario whereas what I knew was that he was getting more from this discussion than just receiving an answer to that question. I know your game Dr E. You think you are smarter than me but you are not. Still, I decided to indulge him. There was no need to let him know that I was on to his method.

“Okay. One of the situations that I like to create is one of a shell shocked silence.” Dr E began to write. I waited for his reaction before proceeding.

“I see. Please explain more to me.”

“Well, we have discussed at length the various manipulative methods that I apply to get fuel which bring about control and the diminution in my target’s capability to resist me. I lower their critical thinking,  maximise their isolation and increase their reliance on me. The sustained and repeated application of these techniques often leads down the road to my target being left in a state of shell shock.”

I waited as Dr E continued to make his notes. He scratched his nose and then spoke.

“Do you do anything in particular that brings about this shell shocked state?” he asked.

“It is the culmination of a variety of manipulative techniques but there needs to be a final flourish, something that will tip this person over the edge into their numbed silence.”

“Such as?” he queried.

“Well, I find that a sudden escalation of a certain act or behaviour tends to tip the balance. It might be the violent destruction of something that they love right in front of them that causes them to stand shaking unable to speak. On another occasion I may reveal that I have been engaged in an affair with someone they trusted and felt close to, say a best friend or a family member. I do recall that once I was having sex with Alex and part way through I told her ‘By God Joanne you are so much better at this than Alex’. Truth be told it is really about the build up, the campaign has to be such that any resistance and ability to fight back must be totally eroded so that when this coup de grace is applied they are just plunged into a broken silence.”

“I see but how does silence provide you with fuel?”

“Easily. It is the tortured look on their face that provides me with the fuel, the strangled sob, the look of total and utter defeat in their eyes. Those tears which trickle down their face as they look at me in a mixture of horror and disbelief. I have told you before about how a wildebeest has that strange expression on its face, something between terror and confusion as a lion eats it alive. It is the same there. Bringing about such an expression combined with this silence produces premium fuel.”

I stretch as I savour the memories which flood my mind at the mention of this technique.

“What is it about that reducing this person to such a state that appeals to you beyond this level of fuel that you obtain?” asked Dr E.

“The fact that is demonstrates that I have total hegemonic control over them.”

“Leaving you able to do what?”

“Anything I like. After all, nobody prevents me from doing what I want.”

“By rendering them into this state you remove their capacity to object to whatever you do?” he queried.

I nod.

“But surely that makes them little more than an automaton and if that is the case how can they be of use to you in such a state? I should have though that they would now be devoid of providing you with the reaction that you require?”

“But this state is a reaction in itself Dr E, it is a pinnacle of the campaign and represents triumph on my part, it exemplifies my supremacy and my power and the desolate eyes, trembling mouth and forlorn expression all amount to a reaction and a satisfying one at that.”

“I see,” said Dr E and he continued to write. I waited for him to finish the sentence in his notebook before he looked at me.

“And of course ultimately there is something else that arises from this shell shocked silence.”

“What is that?” he asked.

“Silence gives consent.”

The Sextuplet of Silence

The use of and imposition of silence are two of the most powerful weapons in our abusive arsenal. Silence is easy to deploy and horrendously effective in securing our aims of compliance, control and fuel.

1. My silence is always meaningful

You may sit quietly because you have no need to say anything. You may remain silent because you are listening to somebody else or just enjoying the silence.  We do not allow silence to be used in such a passive and redundant fashion. Our silence is used to convey contempt. It is used to draw concern and cause anguish in you. When we fall silence that pregnant pause is an indicator of the fury which will be unleashed against you. The longer silence is the imposition of our cold fury as you are banished to a sustained silent treatment. When we sit in silence we are not savouring the lack of noise, we are thinking, planning and plotting, calculating our next step. Our silences are weapons, they are our operations headquarters, our defence against your critical wounding of us. We use silence to hurt you, warn you, scold you and indicate you have overstepped the mark. Every silence has a meaning, it would be remiss of us to use it any other way.

2. Absence makes the silence longer

The deployment of an absent silent treatment where we remove ourselves from you, invariably with no warning or indication is a confirmation to you that this silence treatment will not be short-lived. The need to absent ourselves sends you a clear signal that we will be gone for some time. It is designed to have you come after us, try to contact us and beg and plead so that you fuel us. When we impose a period of absence by vanishing we are reinforcing how easily we are able to consider you gone from our lives. You may not even be able to contact us but we gather fuel from our knowledge that this sudden disappearance will cause you considerable consternation and worry. The absent silent treatment is also a key indicator that we are engaged in the seduction of a new prospect and providing this person with our false love and attention, which we have removed from you.

3. The silent gesture

Our silences are not just occasioned by us not talking to you or absenting ourselves for a period of time. We deploy silence through gestures. We may not turn up when we have agreed to a date with you, in order to reinforce how your mean so little to us and that we have any number of more pressing engagements to attend to than dine with you in a restaurant. Leaving you alone in bed, our side of the bed now empty and cold is also a hammer blow to your confidence and self esteem as we choose the spare room, the sofa or the bed of another in preference to being with you during the night. The silent telephone call from a withheld number, used when we are hovering you, is designed to put you on edge. Is it us calling you this late? It must be mustn’t it, but you cannot be sure? The failure to buy you a gift on your birthday,  creating a gap which ought to have been filled stand out considerably and allows us to apply maximum hurt through such a silent gesture.

4. The silent presence

By giving you the cold shoulder when everyone else is met warmly and enthusiastically, we cause you to feel completely alone even when you are surrounded by others. You try to carry on as if nothing has happened but you know that people will be wondering why we are not speaking to you. You feel the flush of embarrassment as once again you try to speak to us and you receive only a glare and then we sweep away. You want to challenge us but as ever it is you that will be criticised for creating a scene. You want to upbraid us for our childish sulking but you have learned that the consequences of doing so are not worth suffering. We of course know all this and we know how powerful our freezing you out in the company of others really is.

5. Suffer in silence

You are never to speak of what goes on between you and I to anyone else. Should you ever do so you are committing an act of heinous betrayal and your punishment for such a transgression will be malicious and fierce. You are not to betray me and speak of what you are subjected to. You are to endure it so that you become a better person, one who is compliant and obedient. Do you understand? I also know that you fear the repercussions of speaking out and this enforces my curfew. I also know that you feel compelled to remain loyal because of the golden period and how you feel duty bound to remain and try to resolve matters, work this difficult period through and fix what has become somehow broken. Your indefatigable spirit teeters on the brink of misplaced pride at not telling tales and instead knuckling down, irrespective of what is thrown at you, in order to bring about a resolution to our problems. You cannot succeed but you do not know that yet. For now you must suffer in silence.

6. I speak, you stay silent

Never interrupt me, never talk over me, never steal my thunder. When I speak everybody listens because what I have to say is brilliant, great and of tremendous import. You would do well to listen to improve yourself, please me and avoid angering me. You are my sounding board, Horatio to my Hamlet, a listener and in my presence you only speak when it is required to honour my achievements and laud my greatness. You are to be seen but only heard when I deem in necessary. Who wants to listen to what you have to say anyway? You only get invited to events because of me. They are only friends with you because they are friends of mine. Nobody is interested in you. Nobody. So stay quiet and listen.

Nothing to Fear

I am fearless. I am a pioneer who marches into new lands where I stake my claim because it is my right. I am blessed with my formidable powers that enable me to strike down my enemies, vanquish my foes and take that which rightfully belongs to me. Driven by my raging fury I will consign those that stand against me to oblivion. No wall can keep me out, no fortress will prevent my ever onwards march. It takes a special person to have no fear. Few are imbued with this for only a few can stand astride the world and survey it knowing it belongs to them. To be free of doubt, devoid of concern and unburdened by conscience enables me to move forward without fear. This is entirely necessary. Fear paralyses. Fear inhibits and stunts. Achievements cannot be secured when one lives with fear. New horizons cannot be reached with fear lurking on your shoulder. Fear will set you back and keep you back. I cannot be restrained. I must not be harnessed or withheld for I must always strike out. It is by lacking this fear which infects so many of you, that I am able to bring my greatness to bear on those around me. To live without fear is true freedom. As Evey declared in V for Vendetta

“I wish I wasn’t afraid, all of the time.”

Fear prevents potential being reached. Fear dissuades and controls. Fear is the enemy of progress, it is the opponent of invention and it is the foe that will quash your dreams as if they never existed. I am blessed with the capacity for knowing that what I will do will succeed and thus I am freed from fear. My plans in the workplace will be met with acclaim and admiration so that I am not held back in formulating and presenting them. When I enter the room, heads turn in acknowledgement of my ability. Not for me the skulking walk of the frightened who must keep to the shadows for fear of failure. When I approach somebody I know they will like me, want me and admire me. This enables me to succeed in all my interactions with people, from the barmaid to the chairman of the board. All of this is because I am free from fear.

You know fear all too well. You tell me of the stifling effect it has on you. The tremble it injects into your voice. The clamminess of your hands as you reach out to shake someone’s hand. The churning stomach and the light-headedness. The dread that washes over you as the alarm goes off and another day lies ahead of you seeking to challenge you and grind you down. You live surrounded by fear because you allow it to control you. You allow yourself to be governed by your feelings. You have not mastered them. You have not cast aside those that you do not need and instead you choose to be a slave to those feelings so that amidst them fear comes and takes you with its cold hand about your neck and pulls you downwards into a quagmire of uncertainty, worry and fear. You fear how you will be regarded when you attend a drinks party with new people. You worry about how your dress or shirt will look. You worry about money, family, health,friends, the environment, taxes and your sports team. You have allowed fear to permeate every level of your life and in turn it has weakened you and held you back. Look to me. Do I show fear or concern as I go about my works? No I do not. How many times have you looked upon my kind and remarked how we always succeed, how nothing bothers us and how we always triumph no matter what happens? That is what comes with being fearless. That is what being a leader, a pioneer and a titan is all about. I am without fear and thus I make the world mine.

This lack of fear is what draws people to me. They are mesmerised at the nobility that I possess. They look on in awe at how I tackle every obstacle with that unerring fortitude,driven on by my unswerving belief in that what I do is right. I am not bound my convention. I am not hampered by rules, regulations or procedures. Those are devices for the frightened. Artifical creations put in place to give those who are less than me, less than us, something to hold onto. You cling to these laws whilst I strike them down. Like a crusading knight I ride into battle and fear no defeat for victory will always be mine.

I fear nothing.

It is nothing that I fear. But I will not admit that.

Ten Tall Narcissistic Tales

The tall tale comes naturally to our kind. It is a necessary device to preserve the image that we want the world to see. It is a consequence of our belief in our brilliance, attractiveness and omnipotence. Social conditioning means that people rarely challenge deviations from the truth, these white lies oil our interaction with one another and often prove entertaining. To us however the tall tale is a necessary device. Each has three constituent parts; the lie, the truth we deny and the reason why.

1. I could have been a model you know.

I am not ugly, far from it, I am possessed of good looks but I maintain that I am stunning, my beauty is such it would launch a thousand ships a la Helen of Troy. I did a little modelling when I was younger, well, if you call parading up and down in front of the mirror in my bedroom modelling. I am attractive but I see myself as transcending that and being jaw-droppingly handsome, eye-widening beautiful and of considerable arousing allure. By maintaining that I could have been a model I reinforce my attractiveness and send some wow factor in your direction to seduce you. All the while I tell myself this to avoid staring at the aging face that is slowly succumbing to age in the bathroom mirror each day and hearing its mocking hisses.

2. I am a head of department and almost on the board.

I am a cookie-cutter who will never rise above satisfactory and this fact pains me considerably but I should be head of the department here, but it is those idiots in charge who fail to recognise my talents and brilliance. They have it in for me you see, they are scared I will get rid of them because I am better than them, so they respond they only way they can, by denying me my rightful promotions. I may not be head of department but I should be and therefore to my mind it is entirely acceptable to tell you that I am, after all, you are not going to be impressed by my cookie cutting skills are you?

3. I have several published papers.

I am an intellectual genius, a behemoth of the scientific community, polymath and leading light and I know that since you are of an academic bent that you will be impressed by my association with prestigious researchers and scientists. I read about them but I don’t know them, but that is not going to stop me in my vainglorious attempt to amaze and delight you. I did once have an article published in a niche journal some time ago but I refer to it as something that drew its own editorial in a major scientific publication. If only more people would listen to me then they would start to understand just how talented I really am.

4. I am a close personal friend of….

Athlete, writer, playwright or film star. Take your pick. I will know at least one and shall regale you with invented tales of lunch dates, childhood connections and telephone calls to congratulate him or her on the latest Oscar success. I know your eyes light up at the mention of his or her name. I know that you think that I must be something special to know someone special and I know you will hang around all the while longer just in case I manage to broker a meeting for you with someone I happened to see attending a film premiere. On television.

5. I love family occasions, I am a brilliant host.

All back to mine is one of my favourite refrains. I always want the family over for dinner, for a BBQ, to celebrate the good times. I want you thinking that I am mein host, the bon viveur and possessed of a certain joie de vivre. The only time I will countenance such attendance is when I know everyone will be looking at me. Every other occasion I hijack in order to make it all about me, so much so that my treacherous, lying and seditious family rarely invite me to anything these days. I don’t want you knowing that yet of course, I want you to believe I am the life and soul of the party and I am a genuine, family man. That is far more attractive than the twisted person who is ostracised by his family that I have become.

6. I enjoy a drink, just to be sociable.

Who doesn’t enjoy a drink? If someone doesn’t drink, I am suspicious of them. Everyone likes to drink, it oils the wheels of social interaction, makes a good time great and reduces inhibitions. I know plenty about wine and will happily impress you with the extent of my knowledge as I walk the attractive line that shows me to be a chap who enjoys a good time without going over board. It is all in moderation of course. Nobody likes an old soak, a drunkard, a lush, a foul and abusive tyrant who uses the demon drink as a crutch to keep the demons at bay when you cruel and savage traitors deny me my rightful fuel. If I say I enjoy a drink and I don’t have a problem, then I don’t have a problem do I? Now fetch me another beer and get off my back.

7. I only have your best interests at heart.

I care about you so much that I would do anything for you and it is all predicated on my concern for your well-being. You lap that up and so does everyone else who falls for my façade of caring and compassionate partner. How lucky you are to have someone so caring. It is the panacea to rationalise everything that I do, no matter how cruel, how base or how harsh. By telling you, the world and most of all myself that what I do is well-intentioned and only in your best interests then that makes it entirely acceptable, noble even. Doesn’t it?

8. I am going to show you what great sex really is.

It is usually stated in a more graphic and profane way to allow you to pretend to be shocked by my visceral and animalistic lust for you, when really you are thrilled to be taken in this manner, for it accords with the conditioning of our roles doesn’t it? The promise of sexual nirvana is a powerful attraction indeed and one few resist. Yet if I happen to provide you with a thrilling sexual encounter which leaves you panting and clamouring for more, I did not do it to show you, I did it to show myself how fantastic I am between the sheets. Then again, there are those of our kind who really have no interest in delivering but the maintenance of the myth, through easily spoken words, is a requirement to ensure you remain drawn to us. They will talk you into bed and then strangely fall silent, until the blaming excuses for non-performance come your way.

9. I have one like that, only….

The back-handed compliment which is purely a device to create an opening for us to boast and brag about how brilliant our car is, how loud our stereo system is, how large our house is, how expensive our clothes are and so forth. Got a forehead have you? Well, I have a fivehead. See, whatever you have I have bigger, better and more of. The truth is I do not, but I wish I have and in fact were it not for this cruel and tortuous world that I have been thrust into, I would have all these things. It is all their fault. It is all your fault. I do of course know all about those things which are bigger and better, even if I do not have them and that knowledge is sufficient pretence to impress you and draw you in, belittle someone else and steal their thunder whilst assuaging my rampaging sense of envy.

10. I don’t think I could love you any more than I do.

From the stable of outlandish declarations of love and it is designed to sweep you off your feet in the manner that society has conditioned you to expect. All I am doing is living up to that expectation and trotting out such seemingly wonderful and meaningful statements which are utterly empty. Except this is no tall tale. This is a rare nugget of truth that has fallen from my perfidious mouth. You of course regard it as a wonderful and delightful statement of my unprecedented love for you. What I am really telling you is the truth, I cannot love you any more that I do, because I do not love you.

It’s Never Enough

I will have told you that I only have eyes for you, that you are the one, that I am completely dedicated to you and that I only ever want to be with you. You make me say these things. It is your expectation of such faithfulness to you and you alone, indoctrinated into you by the world, that causes me to have to say these things. I need to fulfil your expectations in order to capture you and then keep you. It is a ridiculous state of affairs. Since when can a person be sustained on one thing alone? It is impossible. At its most basic, you are given only water to drink and nothing to eat. You will starve. Then if you are given just bread to eat your body will be malnourished as it is not getting the nutrients it needs from fruit, vegetables, meat and so on. One food stuff alone is not sufficient. Take your job. If you had to do the same thing over and over again, the absolute same task you will go out of your mind with boredom. Either that or you would lose your job to mechanisation. One thing is not enough.

Have you only ever had one relationship? Unlikely. How else would you know whether this is right if you have nothing to compare it against? Can one man win a football match? Of course not. He needs his team mates. Where does your stimulation come from? Are you confined to reading just one book repeatedly? No. One film seen countless times? No, you like and prefer a variety of silver-screened entertainment. Do you have just one person you interact with on a social level? Again the answer is no. You draw your social nourishment from different friends, family members, acquaintances and so forth. One is not enough.

I am no different. The thing that sustains me is fuel. I must draw this from several sources. Yet, my necessary actions in acquiring this fuel subject me to moral indignation and disapproval. How is that fair? I do not tell you that you must only eat one kind of breakfast cereal for the rest of your life, why should I be expected to gather my fuel from just one appliance? I need the variety. Not only is this necessary to ensure that I have fuel on tap at all times, it is necessary to provide the catalyst for the provision of fuel from my primary appliance. If I have nothing by which I can provoke a reaction from you, your free-flowing fuel will soon dry up.

The result is that you and I are never alone. There is no singularity despite all of my words asserting that this is the case. When I first ensnare you there will be another who is being subjected to my vitriol. You are most likely warned of this psychotic ex. What I am less likely to tell you about is my ongoing campaign of denigration in order to harvest further fuel from this harlot who has let me down. I may even be faithful at first. Yes faithful by your understanding of the concept, namely that I will not physically consort with another. I am not faithful however in just being solely committed to you. I will be reaching out to others in order to bring them into my sphere of influence, most likely whispering the very same things that I have said to you. My lips may not lock with these new opportunities but that is more by accident than design. I have certainly locked with them in order to draw fuel from them. As I walk through the day those invisible fuel lines reach out and attach to most who I interact with.I am sure, judged by your standards, you would not be overly concerned about the methods by which I draw fuel from some. In other instances you would be most concerned. Yet, you must understand that I am only doing what everyone does. I am seeking variety. In your instance you do it because you prefer it that way. It is interesting. Maintaining a variance keeps things fresh and stimulating. In my case I have to do it. There may not yet be any lipstick on my collar but there are scores of fuel lines attached and in ways that you are always going to find distasteful. That is of course if you ever find out.

Read and understand all about narcissists from the best source possible. A narcissist himself.

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