Tim Hearn with his picture Hide and Seek “As this azure damselfly slowly woke up, he became aware of my presence. I was lined up to take a profile picture of his wings and body, but quite sensibly the damsel reacted to the human with the camera by putting the Marsh grass stem between me and it. I took the shot anyway. It was only later that I realised how characterful it was. And how much the damselfly looks like one of the muppets.”
Krisztina Scheeff with her picture Seriously, would you share some? “Atlantic Puffins are amazing flyers and their fishing talents are – well – as you see, some do better than others! I just love the second puffin’s look – can I just have one please?”
Salted Caramel is asking readers to get personal. Here are her questions:
1. Do you blog under your own name or do you use a pseudonym?
2. Do you share personal details like gender, nationality, race or faith?
3. How much of your personality shows through your writing?
4. Do you share personal experiences to illustrate your writing?
I am not big on telling lots of personal details on my blog because I have a narcissist in my background who still likes to check up on me, and I would really rather that he not find any extra tidbits on how to contact or find me.
So, as a result of that, I do use a pseudonym – my actual first name and my grandmother’s surname. I have never bothered to specifically share my race, gender, or faith, although if you’ve read enough of my stuff, you likely will have figured these things out. To me, these things are incidentals.
I definitely share personal experiences, but I try to remove or alter any features that might definitively identify me, so there’s a smudging of the lines.
My blog is me. I don’t try to blur or change who I am, so yes, I believe my personality is here. But the thought that comes up for me when considering these questions is around how much of ourselves we should be sharing.
The online world is funny that way. It encourages people to share, but then, how much is too much? Many people drop off lots of personal information, far too much, I think. They feel safe in doing so. They feel that there’s nothing about themselves that they should hide or keep private. That there’s no need.
Until it’s too late and they need to keep themselves private for a very private reason. How do you turn that off? Is it even possible to turn that off?
It’s almost expected that we give up our privacy now, for work, for pleasure, for being able to just operate. And privacy is one of those things that’s precious; it’s been fought for and died over, many, many countless times. Shouldn’t we be a little more protective and respectful of this great costly gift that we have?
I know of people who, through WP, have met and become friends. That’s pretty great. People who otherwise would have never met, especially across oceans and continents, become lifelong chums.
But it bothers me when I’m told that I “should” be using such social media as Facebook and Twitter. For starters that would probably unleash the narcissist. And apart from that, I don’t want to. How much updating and tweeting can one person do? How do people find the time? Frankly, I find a lot of it boring.
I know that information is not only power, it’s money. And lots of companies want us to spill our guts so that they can make money from a raw material that costs them nothing but has the potential to be very costly to us.
They want us to use invasive devices such as Siri and Alexa. They get into our homes and cars and are inside our heads, mining for gold.
I don’t want to live in a society that more or less requires us to have one of these in our homes. Ten years from now, here’s the instruction on the side of a box: You will “need” Siri in order to complete the following task …
I don’t care if you want to have lots of Siris and Alexas all over your life. However, I want that to be a choice, not a pseudo-requirement that gradually eases its thin edge into our lives and over time evolves into a necessity.
Because of that, I think that these companies should be regulated. I think that AI should be regulated. And sooner rather than later.
What do you think? How personal are you with your blog? How far do you think technology should be allowed to go?
This has become the most popular search term in my list. I have written before about other search terms of this type, such as how to get a narcissist back and how to get a narcissist to fall in love. The titular term is slightly different of course, and making a narcissist want you is not necessarily the same as wanting a narcissist to fall in love or to get him or her back.
There may be a number of things going on here. The first is that there may be the idea of vengefulness in the mind of the searcher. “I want that horrible person to want me so that I can do the same and give him/her the boot. Give him/her a taste of his/her own medicine!”
Or, the searcher may be another narcissist, and in that case, it’s probably an attempt at figuring out how to do a hoover.
Unfortunately, there’s a third option, and that’s the fact that the searcher may really be trying to get the narcissist to “want” him or her. And that’s disturbing, because what that tells me is that the searcher likely
knows what the narcissist is but still believes in redemption, in a cure, or that love can conquer all.
And that type of thinking only has negative results: heartbreak, betrayal, manipulation, verbal and emotional abuse (sometimes there’s physical abuse as well), gaslighting, rejection, abandonment, hoovering, more rejection. The behaviour of the narcissist is well-established and steady across years of interactions with others. The course of their interplay with you is very predictable, even if you are never sure what they will do or what is going to come out of their mouths; you know that it’s going to be something, and something unpleasant at that.
Most people are optimistic. Yes, we have periods when we aren’t, but for the most part, the majority of us believe in second chances, change, and opportunities to recoup. Narcissists know this, either consciously or unconsciously, and even if they are the unconscious type who becomes conscious of it, it’s not going to change them.
The people who authentically are trying to get the narcissist to want them are turning a blind eye to what they know. Really, they’re the ones who want the narcissist. The narcissist could care less – a few hoovers, a nice infusion of supply, and then, no more narcissist.
Well, the narcissist might turn up now and again, even years apart for a hoover, but for all intents and purposes, the “relationship” is over.
In the end, it’s the victim who has to stop doing the wanting.
Why do people pursue those who have hurt them, manipulated them, betrayed them? Do they feel that it isn’t worth it to themselves to set a standard? (I won’t accept this, this, this and that.) Maybe they’re worried that no one will be left. That unless they accept the narcissist, and convince the narcissist to drop the bad behaviour, they will be alone and everyone will judge them. Or, unfortunately, maybe they are just used to it and can’t imagine another way. Sometimes, it’s that we become comfortable with discomfort.
The charm that the narcissist exudes during the golden period can be heady, wonderful, completely intoxicating.
Once there’s a taste of that, especially if it’s combined with a fear of being judged inadequate if they are constantly alone, or a fear of what might be wrong with them, well, then they’re dealing with what’s in their heads.
The fear that there’s something dreadfully wrong with you if the narcissist can’t be convinced to want you is powerful. The pride that prevents you from moving ahead as a single is also powerful.
And again, the narcissist knows this and takes advantage of it.
This uncertainty in yourself is what the narcissist wants, not you yourself. And you wanting the narcissist? Part of it is that you’re wanting the person the narcissist made you believe you are – an unrealistic golden period version of yourself, and unfortunately, you will fall off the edge of that particular path if you try to stay on it. Yes, you’re wanting what you thought the narcissist is, too, but those feelings you had about yourself during the golden period – you thought you could fly.
Want can never be satisfied; it’s a false economy of hucksterism that the narcissist knows well and manipulates thoroughly. It’s the narcissist’s job to find out what your wants are in order to exploit them.
The narcissist lives externally, and has drawn you into that. There will never be enough love, enough faith, enough loyalty to overcome the narcissist’s deficits and make you feel like you did when you first met the narcissist. There may be glimpses of it, but they’re just that.
It’s unfair, but you will be left holding the “want” bag and will have to deal with it. No Contact is the answer. Many interpret this to mean that it’s for keeping the narcissist at bay.
Yes, it is that, partially. But the most important part is for you. You have healing to do, resting to do, and then, work to do. No Contact allows you to get yourself and your life sorted, to create space so that you can do the work of figuring out why you would love and/or want the narcissist. When you’re asking “how do I make a narcissist want me?” – what are you really asking?
Should I change my clothes? Should I change my hair? Make-up? House?Job? Personality? I know – I’ll become a chameleon and be whatever the narcissist wants me to be in that particular moment. I’ll spend all my time doing that and the narcissist will have so much fun with it experimenting with how many different ways I can be pretzeled. It’ll be a blast!!
Why do you want the narcissist to want you?
Answer the question.
It’s a hard question and will take work and struggle and you will feel frustrated and will want to give up.
But accepting yourself, as you are, with what you have to offer, is worth it.
The alternative is to accept that you want a mirage and that your life with this individual will be one of denial, deflection and obfuscation. And if you would rather do that, then that’s your choice. Lots of people have made the choice to live that way, but I believe that there’s a better way.
Well, for the most part, it started out with wanting to hang a warning sign on the Narcissistic Personality Disordered people among us who go crashing through the lives of the unsuspecting, causing all kinds of damage and mayhem; in some cases even murder.
But along the way, many things changed. In interacting with other blogs and reading the comments, I came to realise a few things.
The first is that I had a lot more to learn about narcissism than I could impart. Intellectually, I knew that before I started, and knew that I could only write what I had experienced. But I also didn’t know it. The “ordinary”experiences and thoughts of others provided a depth and challenge that I wasn’t able to achieve on my own or through just reading the work of professionals on the topic.
Ordinary experiences, as in, “yup, I experienced a narcissist in my office and here’s what learned. I’m not a psychologist and I didn’t have one living in my house. But here’s a piece of the puzzle,” became central to how I thought about narcissism and to how I thought about people.
So, my idea to write about narcissism from a position of experience quickly became writing about narcissism to help me think through it in a more cogent, spherical way.
It also became a way to think about my responsibility in it. Again, I had recognised that I bore some responsibility, but I needed to explore that. And writing about it, reading others’ writing about it, and considering how they saw it, helped me to place myself, including finally being able to admit that I had been raised by a narcissistic mother. I really began to see how I had contributed to my own issues.
My thoughts about narcissism, how I had been affected by it, and my part in it, were chaotic and driven. Writing about it was therapeutic.
I don’t consider myself to be a writer. I’m never going to write a great novel or even a really good blog post. I dabble in writing because the mental exercise of it has been good for me. And, it’s given me the opportunity to read some really good stuff by other bloggers who are far more talented than I am.
Reading blogs about narcissism lead me to other blogs that weren’t about narcissism, and now I follow and randomly read lots of blogs that have nothing to do with it. I have branched out in my own posts. Sometimes I still write about narcissism, and I definitely still read about it, but it’s not the main theme any more.
For me, blogging has become, for the most part, about exploring others’ ideas, humour, travel, photos, musings, reflections and food, just to name a few. I love that I can read a blog about exploring Dorset (https://thedorsetrambler.com) – whose author/photographer writes about his explorations in the most gentle and lyrical way – and then switch over to see what’s going on in someone’s kitchen (https://fixinleaksnleeksdiy.blog).
In a nutshell, it has become the journey to otherness, the exploration of what’s not-me.
There are many types of losses, most of which are natural and normal, even if they hurt like hell. Most of us will experience the loss of parents and grandparents, the loss of a relationship or two, the loss of a friendship. Some losses are much worse than others; the loss of a child, for instance.
Even under the best of circumstances, loss carries a huge emotional load, but when you’re dealing with the loss of a narcissist, there are whole other dimensions to consider.
It’s not just the actual physical loss: the loss of the person, the loss of that relationship, the loss of that duo-dom.
It’s the loss of much of yourself.
You’re stuck in mud, your feet becoming larger and larger as the mud adheres to your shoes and tries to hold you tightly.
You’re not just hurting from the loss of the relationship, you’re hurting from the loss of yourself: your self-confidence, your judgement, your logic.
Breakups are painful, but when the breakup involves a narcissist, there is so much more to navigate. Narcissists are litigious and aggressive, so a good lawyer (read expensive) might be required. In my case, the ex-N became threatening and I had to go to the police. I had to change my door locks, install an alarm system and hire a security company.
In the meantime, he was hammering away with every type of hoover he could think of.
At the time I didn’t know that that behaviour had a name and I didn’t know about no contact. I just wanted to get his stuff out of my house.
The simple fact is that you might not even realise until much later what you have been involved with, and until that becomes clear, the mud will stick to your shoes in a big way.
When I got my ex-N out of my life, I wasn’t very knowledgeable about narcissism, but I knew that he had to go and I had to get help.
I was fortunate on several levels: there were no children, I had financial stability (my ex-N put a huge dent in that but I was essentially okay), and I had a good supplementary heath plan and could afford counselling.
The counselling portion of my quest to reclaim my life was very important because I wasn’t just mourning the loss of a relationship; I had to come to terms with the underlying reasons for my involvement with the narcissist.
That was hard – very hard. It required me to look at myself in ways that were uncomfortable and difficult.
I had to get to know myself better. And getting to know myself was paramount because it is my best defense against further involvement with another N.
In the meantime, my sense of self, my judgement and confidence were all on life support and I had no trust in them at all.
I had to rebuild, and the structure that came out is nothing that I expected. I like it though. It’s a good structure, even if it’s not pretty.
Most of all, I had to let myself grieve: I had to recognise the guilt and stupidity I felt about myself, forgive myself for that part of my humanity, and allow myself some relief from the self-criticism.
With help, I let myself off the hook and began to learn what I need to learn from this experience.
I have had a particular search term show up a lot lately: narcissists whochase women (or words to the same effect). Narcissists do chase women, but those who chase women aren’t really chasing women. Sound confusing? Read on.
First of all, my apologies to those who have suffered through a female narcissist. However, the fact is that most narcissists are male, hence the search for information on narcissists who chase women. I admit to having something of a bias in this area because I had a relationship with a male narcissist and I often write about my experiences with him and about what I learned. However, I was raised by a narcissist – my mother. It’s taken me a long time to see that and to even admit it or say it out loud or write it here. (It took a lot of reading and thinking and chatting with my blog friend Ursula at https://www.anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com. Thank you, Ursula.) So, to those who have experienced female narcissists and who may also feel a bit like they’re stepping on female territory, or who feel left out, don’t. A narcissist is a narcissist and that’s that. They may take different approaches, but the damage they cause is profound, no matter what sex you or they are.
Narcissists do chase, mostly because you have something they want or they think you have something they want.
They like to hang on to people whom they have for the most part discarded when they’re in the process of collecting someone else, just in case the new subject gets away.
They like to return to someone they have discarded when they are in between “relationships.”
The point is that they are never without someone. (Please see the piece I published about that particular situation.)
The first example – that narcissists chase when you have something they want or think you have something they want – is probably the trap that catches the most targets. Narcissists are usually determined, highly motivated and extremely single-minded when they have zeroed in on a target that they see as very suitable – in other words, when they have zeroed in on someone who fits a set of characteristics that they believe can be easily exploited.
There are degrees to which they will pursue, however. The less important you are to their wellbeing or sense of self and/or success, the less seriously they will invest energy in you.
The more desirable you are to whatever it is they need, the more ardent they will be.
So, if they really want something, and they believe that you have whatever it is they want and you possess the right characteristics, they will chase you. They will study you to find out the information they need in order to get you to trust them, and then they will put a lot of energy into proving that your trust is warranted. During this phase, you will feel like you have landed in the nirvana of relationships. It will feel absolutely wonderful.
What comes next, though, is devastating, because once they have secured you, once you are no longer a challenge, once they have achieved what they wanted from you, you will become, at best, unimportant. At worst, well, that could be anything that another human can do to you to hurt you.
Do narcissists chase? Yes. They do. It is what they do. It is their defining characteristic. It is how they survive, emotionally and financially. They chase women, men, colleagues, neighbours and children. They will chase anyone who fits the “profile” and from whom they can get whatever it is that they determine they need.
The important thing to remember though is that they aren’t really chasing people. They’re really chasing stuff.
You might see a little something, but you will have to enlarge it – a lot.
Living north of 60 degrees N latitude means that the Aurora is spectacular. From the south, the Aurora assumes a fairly standard curtain-like shape. It hangs there high in the sky, its undulating green hem twinkling in the solar breeze. But It’s not always readily visible from the south (and by south I mean southern Canada). There’s light pollution, the earth’s position and distance to consider.
From here, however, it’s a different story. It’s a living shape – swirling into seashells and lodgepoles and disappearing into the horizon in a smoky streak.
You can see stars through it.
So, why don’t I have a better photo to share with you? Well, it’s a long story. Actually, no. It’s not. It’s a simple story.
I forgot my camera. Again.
My M and I were driving back from grocery shopping – we have to drive an hour and a half for that – and we had made a bit of an evening of it, too. A meal in a restaurant, like that.
It was about 10 pm when we started back and by then it was completely dark – a great opportunity to see and photograph the Aurora.
But the photo you see here was taken using my cell phone, and with something like the Aurora, that doesn’t work.
So I was a little pissed at myself for not bringing my camera, even though I knew there was a good chance that I would see the Northern Lights.
Essentially, I didn’t do my due diligence.
Sometimes, that’s not important. It winds up just being irritating. But at other times, it can be downright dangerous. You wouldn’t want to fly with a pilot who hadn’t done her due diligence, for instance.
And then there’s the inbetween. Where you’re warned that you need to pay attention, that you’re getting complacent, that there is potential danger. For instance, that maybe your ex-narcissist is still lurking, still checking, still trying.
That happened to me last June.
All of a sudden, there he was, demanding my attention.
I hadn’t thought about him in any real way in a long time. Yes, I’d written about my experiences with him, but from the perspective that he was out of my life, that my chances of any kind of contact with him were becoming more and more remote with the passage of time.
But then, in June, he started actively trying to find me. And the indirectness of his actions scared me because his past attempts to re-establish contact had been very front and centre.
He went to my last workplace, claiming to be my spouse and asking for directions to my office. HR denied him any information and then phoned to let me know – the person he spoke with knew he wasn’t my husband and also didn’t like the vibe she got from him. So she took it upon herself to phone a former employee to give a heads up.
Then there was Dan, my son’s dad. We hadn’t spoken in a long time, but he phoned to tell me that Harry, my ex-narcissist, had called him looking for my address. Dan was concerned because he knew that I had experienced a lot of trouble with Harry.
Two warnings. Both from people who didn’t have to do anything.
Harry’s indirect approach had me worried. This behaviour told me he was planning some sort of trap or ambush. M advised me to go to the police.
I was in the process of organising that in my head when … my phone rang.
It was Harry.
There was an immediate ten minutes of non-stop murmle, murmle, murmle. It came pouring out of him, like a rusty faucet disgorging a hundred years of mind-filth: I’m doing this, that, this, that – it’s so good, it’s so good, it’s so good our relationship was great, was great, was great, you were so good, so generous, so good I’m sorry, sorry, sorry, so sorry I went to your work looking for you isn’t the Okanagan great? it’s so great, so great, so great things aren’t going as well as I thought for me the weather is great so great it’s great it’s all great may I darken your door again? when I think about it we had a great situation it was a great situation great situation, so comfortable so comfortable let’s meet for coffee.
See where that went???
My response: Harry. I’m sorry to hear that things are not going well for you right now. I’m not in the Okanagan. I am in the middle of moving to Winnipeg (fabrication) to start a research project at the university there (fabrication). I’ve bought a house there (fabrication). I wish you well.
I quickly ended the call after making the point that I was (really) unavailable. Then I immediately changed my phone number. I had blocked his previous number but he had changed it – the only thing to do was to change mine.
I think I was lucky. I had warnings. The people he contacted didn’t give him any information. I actually wasn’t in the Okanagan while he was looking for me there. And lastly, I don’t think he was overtly looking for vengeance.
In the end, he was probably only looking for a place to hang his hat and was just running through a list of possibles. I don’t know how far down the list I was and it doesn’t matter.
But this event says a couple of things. One is that like the cat who keeps coming back, you never know when or where your old narcissist is going to materialise. Which reminds me – be sure to keep careful track of your online presence. That’s how Harry had firstly attempted to find me again – through an online reference. When it comes to the internet, you can’t be too cautious.
And the other is that you should never leave home without your camera. Who knows; you might need to photograph the Aurora Borealis.
When I take a look though my search terms, I am sometimes surprised at what I find there. “Narcissist piano” showed up there, three times. I did a post about it. Another time, I did a post on a very serious search term: how to get a narcissist to love you. You can read that post here.
Now I’ve found this lovely search term: what to say to a narcissist to get him back. I suppose that on the surface, it’s not so different from “trying to get a narcissist to love you,” but maybe the searcher is thinking of other things, like trying to get the narcissist back to force him into his share of the child-raising, or something else like that. But I wouldn’t bet money on it.
Maybe the searcher wants the narcissist back so that she can treat him as badly as he treated her: revenge! Hummm. That is a possibility. We human beings can get pretty angry at the injustices done us and sometimes it helps to fantasise about getting our own back. So yes, I can envision someone typing this into her google search, visions of vengeful scenarios dancing in her head.
But given the whole narcissist trainwreck that gets dumped all over the victim’s lawn, there’s probably always some fantasising about revenge, but on balance anyone who has escaped a narcissist probably doesn’t want him back. I mean, there might be those who fantasise that the narcissist has been cured, has mended his ways, has learned his lesson, yadayadayada. But no one dreams about getting the actual narcissist back, with his narcissy ways intact.
This person is in denial.
She’s heard others say that he’s a narcissist. She’s looked it up and seen some descriptors of narcissistic behaviour that apply greatly to this person. Maybe he’s told her that he’s a narcissist.
So, the word “narcissist” is out there, but she’s not taking it as seriously as she should. She’s dissociating from it?
Denial is an amazing thing.
Sometimes, denial can be a good thing. It can help us to make the adjustment after a traumatic or distressing event; it can give us time to take in what has happened. In the short term, it can protect us.
The problems start when the denial goes on for too long, especially in the face of mounting opposite evidence.
We can get that way about our relationships, and can find ourselves hanging on by the threadiest of marginal hopes that what we are seeing isn’t what we are seeing.
Or choosing to not see at all …
… and even inventing another “reality.”
What to say to a narcissist to get him back? How to get a narcissist to love you? How to get a narcissist to chase me? I wonder about the people who type in these questions. Sometimes, I worry about them a bit too.
Do they just not know what a narcissist is? A real, live, NPD narcissist?
Have they convinced themselves that they can “cure” the narcissist with their love? That all the narcissist needs is a chance to see that trust is possible? That love is possible?
Is the narcissist simply a challenge? (And if so, this brings with it a whole other dynamic – is the person who’s trying to win the narcissist back also a narcissist?)
Or, is this simply human nature? A very human need to show that problems, no matter what they are, can be solved? That there really is love in a world that so often demonstrates the opposite? That there are second chances and that they do work?
In other words, that there’s hope. And perhaps, that’s the most human of human characteristics. And also perhaps, it’s incredibly misplaced sometimes.
What do you think? Is hope sometimes misplaced? How do we know when to have hope and when to not have hope? Is denial hope or hope denial?
I found this in my search terms: narcissist piano. I did the mental equivalent of shifting from one foot to the other while I mulled that over. What does it mean??? Is it a typo? Is the searcher wondering if pianists are narcissists? Is that an actual type of piano?
I mean, this is the sort of thing that keeps me up at night.
So I did what anyone would do and googled it. At first, google stared stupidly at me. Then it coughed up narcissistic jazz, narcissistic piano bench and Ryan O’Neal.
Does Ryan O’Neal play narcissistic jazz while sitting on a narcissistic piano bench? Is Ryan O’Neal a narcissist? Or is it just his piano? Nope. I think that might be Billy Joel. (Get it? Nudge nudge. Just me and my old piano?)
This is so confusing. Is it an alien piano? It grew up on Mars eating Matt Damon’s poop potatoes?
Oh – I know! It’s a zombie piano. The lid opens and it takes a big drooly bite out of your sheet music.
And I couldn’t find my blog on that google search either so I have no idea why the narcissistic piano wound up in my terms.
The word piano means soft.
And narcissists aren’t soft. Not unless it gets them something. And then they’re hard.
Could the searcher have been looking for something like “narcissists who are soft” and since his first language is Italian, and he’s just learning English, it came out as narcissist piano?
Maybe I’m going a little far with that one …
My ex-narcissist played the piano.
Apparently he would have been Mozart’s doppelganger if he’d had the right breaks in life.
Or something pretentious like that.
I arranged for the piano tuner to come by and spiff up my piano so that the narcissist could play it. It had been in storage but I got it out for him because naturally, the narcissist didn’t have a piano of his own. Most doppelganger Mozarts don’t have their own pianos. True. It’s a fact.
When I came home from work, the narcissist told me that the piano was done. As in finished. Kaput. Toast. Ready for the big dirt nap.
The tuner had told him that the sound board was crumbling to bits. The carpenter ants were coming to take it away.
Then, a few months later, the narcissist asked me for a new piano. I briefly considered it but then decided not to. My financials were feeling the strain of being married to a doppelganger Mozart.
Later, after I had divorced him, I checked the piano myself. It has some little cracks, but everything I’ve read says that this is not a big issue. It sounds okay.
Hummm. I think the narcissist just wanted a new piano.
So there you have it. If someone else googles narcissist piano, there will be an answer.