Thursday, April 20, 2017

Help-rejecting complainers and the perpetual victimhood of a covert narcissist

These narcissists are sly, manipulative, exploitative, and will hit you like a train wreck on an idle monday afternoon when you least expect it!





Dear Narcissist Problems,

 I have read tons on narcissistic behavior, and have a couple of questions. My family has an individual who displays mostly passive narcissistic traits, but we have been at our wits end for years dealing with her being an extreme hypochondriac. She also has an insatiable need for attention.

She will drink, pop pills, and then call everyone for days complaining of how sick she is. We used to try to help her solve whatever problem she was complaining about. The problem is that she always rejects any solutions we could come up with. It’s almost like she just wanted to complain for the sake of complaining and it has really taken a toll on us as a family.

If we try to change the subject, or avoid "feeding the monster", we are accused of being insensitive and cruel. Also, if we try to make suggestions for getting well, she shoots them down immediately. She is highly skilled at using guilt of all kinds to try and get her needs met. ANY suggestions are welcome! Thank you for offering your time and effort with this group!

Sincerely,

“Sick and tired of being sick and tired”

 The victim stance is a powerful one. The victim is always morally right, neither responsible nor accountable, and forever entitled to sympathy.
-Ofer Zur Ph.D.


Dear “Sick and Tired”,

 I believe what you are referring to is a covert narcissist and they are manipulating people with what is known as help-reject-complain. It seems like your narcissistic family member has their need for attention met by playing on your sympathy and getting attention by either feigning an illness or down right making themselves sick.  What happens when we are sick?  People who care about us want to make us comfortable, they want to help us, and they will usually go out of their way to do this.  I know I usually do when someone I care about is sick. Before diving into this any further I’d like to take a moment to just say that there is a big difference between people with a chronic illness who have no control over their illness and might complain about side effects from medications and symptoms of their condition.

 What I will be explaining is specific to the manipulation tactics of a narcissist and not someone who may have a chronic illness or even illnesses associated with being abused by a narcissist. I wanted to make this distinction because another thing narcissists enjoy doing is dismissing the illnesses of others because that would distract the focus away from themselves. This is being written from the viewpoint that we are only speaking from a place where a narcissist is manipulating their family by pretending to be sick or intentionally making themselves sick.  

 The insatiable need for attention is the hallmark of a narcissist.  This is why I like to refer to them as emotional vampires.  They will suck you dry and leave you believing that you are the one who is tragically flawed for not feeding into whatever need they are trying to have met by you. 
 Narcissists, in general, will do many things to get their own needs met.

They might do this with various tactics to manipulate you, scapegoat you, triangulate you and your family & friends, or play the pity card. In this case your narcissistic family member is sabotaging their own health, rejecting any solutions to the health problem, and then complaining that nobody cares or nobody is helping them when you should be…at least you would be if you were a “good” person. How dare you if you question their illness or bring up the fact that their actions alone are directly making them ill. If you end up dealing with someone who takes money from you that you have donated or given to them under the assumption that they were really ill and you later found out that it was all a lie then please call the police and if they won't help ask a lawyer what to do here.

Here is where we see the covert narcissist in action. The covert narcissist is a perpetual victim in every way, shape, and form. They can be shy but not necessarily. Their tactics are different than the overt narcissist in that they are very sly, sneaky, and manipulative but do it in a way that goes unnoticed most of the time. These are the people who you always find yourself feeling sorry for. Somebody is always found to be taking advantage of them and breaking their hearts. They can actually be very clingy and needy. There is this helpless vulnerability they use as bait to reel in their next victim.

Once you spend enough time with them then you slowly realize that all of those awful people that did them wrong might not have actually done them so wrong because they start talking about you the same way. This usually happens when you call them out on their manipulative behavior or assert boundaries where you let yours fall. We get so caught up in the moment of showing this person that not all humans are there to take advantage of them and that there are some good people left on earth that you end up falling prey and becoming THEIR victim! We become enslaved with the idea that we will show them that one person on this earth will not screw them over. Little did we know at the beginning we were walking into a spider’s web covered by smoke and mirrors.

Help-rejecting-complainer, what does this mean?



A help-rejecting complainer is a pattern of behavior a person expresses when they ask for help but they are not motivated to change or actually find help for their problems. This isn’t only limited to medical issues. This could be a common pattern used by people who have issues with money, relationships, jobs, or anything else that would require change. The challenge with this pattern of behavior is that sometimes people build their entire identities upon their problems so actually getting help or changing the problematic behavior is out of the question because this is now who they are. This person IS their problem and in many cases they become their failures and mistakes. Moreover, they enjoy the attention that they recieve from their illness and like the lady below might enjoy the attention from others of how "strong" they are after dealing with so much illness.

          This is two sides of a story from the perspective of the person with the alleged illness and the story from her daughter who says she is faking the illness. The short video below is the actual truth. Watching these two short videos will really help put your situation into some perspective as to what you are dealing with. 

Both sides of the story



The Truth



 In other words, being weak and vulnerable and incapable is who they have become. If they actually did take your offer for help and did the work to change then who would they be after that? I think that actually getting the help might actually terrify some people because they don’t know who they are beyond that problem. It’s like walking into no man’s land while wearing a blind fold. It should also be said that this behavior is not something only narcissists do, a lot of people are help-rejecting complainers but they don’t realize it. Covert narcissists are just REALLY GOOD at being help-rejecting complainers.

Help-rejecting complainers and the perpetual victimhood of a covert narcissist


A covert narcissist is always asking for help but they simply want your pity because that’s the way they have learned to get attention. Their chronic illness is being in a chronic state of chaos that needs immediate attention whether that is chaos related to their health issues, money, or relationships. They are the perpetual victim of their own bodies, the medical establishment, their land lord, mortgage company, bad paying jobs, lack of education, their own string of bad decisions (due to their bad upbringing or being picked on), or bad group of friends or horrible family members who use and abuse them. They have a problem and they can’t solve it on their own so they ask for your help.

These are very one sided relationships where you find yourself consistently in the role of listener, problem solver, and caretaker. There is no give and take and there is no interest in your life. This person does not care about anything going on in your life and if you do have a problem it will be immediately dismissed and the conversation redirected back to their problem that needs to be solved. They need your help and they need it now!

However, this person doesn’t want help, they don’t want to change, and the last thing they want is a real solution. They want someone to wave a magic wand and say “problem be gone!” and POOF their problem disappears without any effort on their part. Then the same problems continue to pop up over and over again the longer you know them. You offer solutions and every single one is shot down.

Rejecting solutions to the problems


To a narcissist only you can solve their problem by being their caretaker, loaning them money, or by fixing the problems that they created in their own lives by yourself. When you offer solutions for their problems that would permanently solve the issue then your idea is immediately rejected and you are told why that solution just will not work for them.

They wrecked their car again? They become helpless victims of their insurance companies and other bad drivers instead of considering the fact that they should stop taking their Xanax before getting behind the wheel of a car. The only solution they see is for you to take care of the mess and help them get a new car. When you bring up the fact that this is the third car wreck they have had and each time they complained about how their medication made them drowsy and they dozed off behind the wheel so they shouldn’t drive after taking their medication you are shot down. 

The narcissist will remind you that they “can’t go out without their medication because being at Walmart gives them anxiety”. You suggest that they start asking for rides instead of driving if they can’t leave without taking medication then you are rejected again because “they don’t want to rely on others!” or you get blamed for “trying to control them and take away their independence”. The only solution is that they need a new car and you need to help them get one.  

Their friend keeps borrowing money and not paying them back? This is probably an excuse for the narcissist spending too much and being bad with money but let’s go along with their problem of the friend taking advantage of them.  You suggest that they should keep track of their money to make sure that they have enough to cover their bills before loaning to others because this is the fourth time this year their friends have left them high and dry. Even more if they don’t have the money right now their lights will get shut off, they won’t have heat because they need to pay the gas bill, or their landlord is so strict if rent is even one minute late they will be evicted.

 Well instead of just not loaning out the money in the first place they need to borrow it from you so they can come up with their rent again. In this case they are the victim to the mooch friend, the electric company, the gas company, or their cruel landlord who is demanding rent on time or risk getting evicted. If you don’t shell over the money today then they will be on the streets! Then they will be the victim of you and their fixed income! Never mind learning how to budget their money.

They have diabetes and consistently complain about the side effects of their medications and their body falling apart. At the same time they are still eating junk food all day while watching TiVo. with the only time they spend walking is going to the refrigerator or bathroom. Never mind changing their diet or starting a routine to become active. They can’t get any exercise because they are too sick to get up and walk. They can’t eat better because they don’t have the money to buy healthy food even if they are on public assistance and brag about selling their extra food stamps to the neighbor. You suggest a budget again, not selling food stamps, and setting little goals to walk a little further each day.  

The list of things goes on and on and on but a real solution will never be accepted. And here we are being consistently asked for help and every solution to permanently solve the problem has been rejected, dismissed, or flat out ignored. The worst part? Now they are mad at you for “judging them” or “being overly critical” and because you are “so uncaring and unkind”. How dare you.

Now they still have all these problems plus one more, you! They continue to complain about all the problems they ask your help for but now they start calling others to complain. Included in this list of complaints is now you and your behavior that has offended them.

Take a moment to think about these episodes of attention seeking and try to remember if there was an increase in health issues from this family member when drama and chaos were at a low. I guess what I’m wondering about right now is if this narcissist has created some rifts in the family by causing drama or ruining relationships or if there is a lull in drama. Did they spend the holidays solo? Have they lost any other sources of supply for attention?  You might be surprised to notice that this person tends to get ill if other people in their lives have been staying away from them due to their toxic behavior and general destructiveness. You might also notice if things in the family have been peaceful and a little quiet there might be a sudden medical emergency they need help with.

  In my own experience with my Narcissistic mother she loved to create storms of drama.  She wasn’t able to function if there wasn’t some tragedy going on in her life.  When there was something awful going on she was at her best.  Happy, energetic, smiling, and on that phone gossiping with whoever would listen.  As we know about gossip and human nature people usually love to listen to what is going on with others and the same goes for tragedies and emergencies.

  When she couldn’t stir something up she became depressed and would stay in bed until 2 or 3 p.m.  She would come down with chronic illnesses acutely. Mark my words, as soon as some shit storm was stirred up again her illness was cured!  During the times she was ill she needed a caretaker, me.  Someone not to offer advice or possible solutions like “let’s go to the doctor” only to be told “no”.  She simply wanted attention, pampering, and someone around to cater to her needs. 

 I took care of the household, I took care of her emotions, and I took care of her own responsibilities like caring for other family members or getting a job at the age of 14 to make sure the bills were paid.  If I were not taking care of her needs there would be hell to pay. I would be told I was selfish and uncaring.  If I suggested she see a doctor there would be hell to pay because all she needs is for me to help with this or that and she knows how to fix what is wrong and how dare I question her expertise.  If I told anyone outside of our home what was going on there would be hell to pay. 

 My point, it is not your job to take care of this person’s needs.  So how do we deal with it? The only way to deal with a covert help-rejecting complainer is to protect yourself, stand your ground, enforce strong boundaries, and hopefully get the hell away from them as soon as possible and permanently! They do need help and it’s a help you will never be able to offer or suggest if this is a true narcissist.  This is the way it is.  If you suggest that they seek medical help and then they refuse there is nothing more you can do for them because it’s clear they do not want help. They are not looking for solutions.

 We are all adults and we all have the responsibility to take care of ourselves, including our own needs.   Back away slowly and keep your distance until/unless they decide to take the action necessary to get well again.  As always, this post will be shared.  Comments from readers as well as suggestions, advice, or a “me too” is always appreciated!


Regards,























Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hoovering and the narcissistic relationship cycle of Idealize, devalue, and discard


If you think the Narcissist regrets breaking up and wants to make amends, think again!




Dear Narcissist Problems,

Hello!! I thought maybe you could help me understand what’s going on here.... My ex - who I believe is a narc - or sociopath - or something, broke up with me a bit over a year ago - over text. He had been getting messages on his phone from other girls, and I found out had cheated on me with one, who he is now in a relationship with. He's apparently moving to be with her (5 hours away).

I'll try keep this short - but when I was with him, he made me cook dinner every night - and would complain if it was late. I cleaned, did the washing for him etc. - and wasn't even living with him. He said that every time he came to my house it was like he had to work (?!) because I'd ask for help. He would grab my belly and ask if I’d been to the gym, said I could have a thigh gap, my hips wouldn't hurt so much if I lost weight off my hips (I'm a chef and stand all day). He dragged me down the street one day because I wasn't walking fast enough. etc. etc. etc.

His work overlooked my gym, and after we split, I started training for a half marathon. He would watch me and text me while I was at the gym (Still seeing this other woman). I ended up seeing the police about it. This weekend, I had to do a catering function for the surf club he is a member of (I am associated with the club). He wasn't attending the function, until the very last minute he bought a ticket. I can only assume it was to see me.

The whole night, he was watching me, but ignored me. He would hover by the kitchen. Saw me coming and tried to step in front of me. One time he walked past he stopped in his tracks, so I said hello. I've lost 17kg since leaving him. I dressed nicely as I'm promoting my business. He was asking my friend how I was etc. And then started texting my friend to tell her to tell me to reply to the texts he started to send me, because he wanted to chat. He's supposed to be madly in love with this new woman (The mistress - who doesn't know about me) but they spent the night apart, and he was chasing me again? He blocked the door so I couldn't leave - but wouldn't actually talk to me. Hiding behind his texts....WTF?!

He left me at a time I was under a lot of stress taking former business partners to the lawyers. I fought it by myself. He didn't support me and I was at rock bottom. I've started my own business and have built it up to the point I'm self-sufficient. Do you think he's realized he's lucked out?

Sincerely,

“I’m a Boss”





Dear “Boss”,

 What childish games narcissists play to get attention? This seems to be a pretty cut and dry example of a narcissist hoovering. Do I think he realized that he lucked out or regrets his decisions? Nope, not at all. What I do think he realizes is that you now have more to lose and getting you back will be a nice challenge for him which will give him all the more pleasure if he does get you back and then break you down again.

This is a pattern of narcissistic abuse which is to idealize, devalue, and then discard. It seems that he is simply utilizing what he probably considers cute little hoovering tactics to reel you back into the abuse. It’s like a cat playing with a mouse. Normal people understand that when a relationship ends that means it’s over for good. However, this is not how it works for a narcissist. Narcissists like to draw things out.

Hoovering and the narcissistic relationship cycle of

 Idealize, devalue, and discard

Idealize Phase

When we first meet a narcissist they really do a great job of making us feel as though they are the answer to all our prayers. They are the perfect match for us. We are like two peas in a pod with them and they make us feel like we are on cloud nine. This isn’t fate, a random coincidence that they are so much like us, or an accident. This is very calculated and deliberate on their parts.

If you notice or recall meeting this person they were initially absorbed with you. They wanted to know it all. They wanted to know every little detail about everything that has happened to you since birth. They want to know who your parents are and what your relationship is like with them. They want to know about your siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. They want to know who your favorite people are and who you dislike and why.

They want to know about your circle of friends and your relationships with them. They even want to meet and impress them! I mean, how great is that! Someone who is not only perfect for you but they also have an interest in your friends and family. What’s even better??? EVERYONE LOVES THEM!!! If there is someone who doesn’t love them then that person is usually the first one the narcissist targets to manipulate out of your life.

They also want to know about your job and your co-workers. They are especially interested in if you have any problems with anyone. At first they take on a stance of mutual dislike but later they will gather all the people that you don’t get along with so they can all abuse you. After they gather up your “enemies” they then target your friends and family to see who they can get on their side because in their mind it is now them against you. They also use people as their flying monkeys to help them hoover such as your friend he was sending text messages to as a go-between.

Devalue Phase

The honeymoon quickly wears off and you start to notice that the narcissist is now doing little things to take digs at you. They once loved to hear your laugh and now that same laugh is a witch’s cackle. They used to love your body but now you really could lose a few pounds. Here is the thing.

While they were idealizing you when they complimented any part of your body you most likely replied with what you hate about it such as your thighs, your underarms, or abs. I’m going to assume that you had made a comment about hating your inner thighs at some point and that is why the focal point of your “need” to lose weight was that you “Could” have a thigh gap if only you tried to take care of yourself…

The devalue phase is especially wounding because the things the narcissist chooses to devalue are the things you just got used to hearing that they loved. Before you could do no wrong and now you can do no right. Further, the narcissist is also testing your tolerance of their abuse at this stage. They want to know how far they can take things before you snap and fight back. Once you do react to the abuse then that becomes the marker they need to whittle away at. So they keep pushing that marker further and further back until it doesn’t exist anymore and you are willing to tolerate pretty much anything they can throw at you.

This doesn’t happen overnight so when you recognize it then get out of the relationship ASAP. It can sometimes take years for a narcissist to destroy that marker. That marker of tolerance is where your boundaries are. That marker is where you put your foot down, where you say “no more”, the place they can’t get into. That marker is where the narcissist ends and you begin and they know it. They want to destroy that marker of tolerance because they want to own every last piece of your mind and soul so they can destroy you from the inside out. You can’t destroy a person with good healthy boundaries that they refuse to budge on unless you slowly whittle them away.

During this phase they are recruiting others to help them achieve their ultimate goal of your destruction. The more you care for someone the more hell bent they become on getting that person on their side. They want to stick the knife in and twist. In your situation, I would be very weary of what you tell the “friend” he was sending text messages to while at your event. Our friends usually don’t make it a habit of staying in contact with our Ex’s who dump us over text message.

Discard Phase

After the narcissist has destroyed you by eroding your self-esteem, confidence, and boundaries they simply throw you away like garbage.  Nobody lucks out with a narcissist but in this case I think you lucked out to be discarded in such a cowardly way. This narcissist truly is a coward and it’s no surprise he would only communicate through text message at the event because it seems that’s the only way he knows how to communicate at all.

During the discard phase they want you to know they have found your replacement. They have new supply and want to throw in your face. They found their ultimate soulmate, they were wrong about you, and they want you to know about it. They want you to beg them to come back and they want to see you being a hot mess. They want to be able to show the new supply how crazy obsessed you are with them because they are such a great catch!

Just keep in mind that this new girlfriend is no different than you were and has no idea what kind of train wreck she is about to witness. I’m not saying you have to go around feeling sorry for people but before feeling any pangs of jealousy remember that there is nothing to be jealous about being abused.

By ignoring his attempt to hoover and reel you back in he is likely to become angry and bad mouth you to everyone. This is his attempt to make himself feel better about your pure and utter rejection of his futile attempts at dominance over you. You should be patting yourself on the back really for doing such an epic job of blocking his asinine attempts to further abuse you! Way to go!

When the Narcissist hoovers and why


A narcissist will hoover in order to maintain a connection with their victims. They will never truly leave you alone. They will try to keep an attachment to their victims under any circumstance even if that attachment is pure hate and rage.

This is a video from a very sweet set of down to earth ladies where they explain the situations that happen when we leave a narcissist, their stalking, and gaining control over your life after narcissistic abuse. Tracy has a new Youtube Channel so check out her videos and subscribe to her channel because she has new videos all the time. Tracy and Lieselle, from my understanding, actually met while they were dating the same narcissist. The relationship they developed after that is pretty amazing and they made this video below to share their story with others.

Tracy Malone & Lieselle "Narcissists Stalk And Police Do Not Care-HELP"




Think about all the time spent wishing that your narcissist would contact you after they discard you. You want little morsel of hope they could throw at you. They usually give you just enough time to where if they let you go any further then their attempts to hoover you back into a connection will be rejected.
 They will send an email, send a text message, or show up at events just to let you know they are there and they are still thinking about you. Don’t confuse their thinking about you with them caring about you. This is just a game to them. They want to see how much crap they could throw at someone and still be taken back.
 If you ask them to stop contacting you and they don't then please go no contact and document their behavior (here is an article about going no contact). If you need to get a protection order you could file for one at your local courthouse but make sure that you have enough tangible evidence and/or witnesses to support your case. If you have legal questions you can ask a lawyer for free here.

This can be very confusing especially if you are not aware of what is going on. A person with a normal mind thinks that maybe the narcissist has seen the light. Perhaps the narcissist realizes that they made a mistake and are trying to make amends but they simply don’t know how. We start to have compassion for their situation and take pity on them.

Make no mistake about it this is as calculated as their idealization of you in the beginning of the relationship. They have not seen any light except maybe the light radiating from your smile because you are healing and they need to suck that light right out of you again to fill themselves up. Your shining light of life is like spotting a gas station on a long stretch of road when your car is about to run out of gas and nothing more. They need a fill up and you got what they need.

Narcissists are emotional vampires who like to suck their victim’s dry of any soul or life they have within them. Essentially, they drain you but keep you alive just enough to recover so they can later come back for more. They need to drain you in a way that feeds their soul and gives them life force. It sounds really ridiculous as if we were talking about some sci-fi movie but this is no joke. Narcissists are energy vampires in the purest form.

Narcissists hoover their victims to keep them in line. They like to keep their victims at an arm’s length just in case they should need supply from you again. After seeing you with your life together and thriving it is prime time to get a little of what you have to offer. It really has nothing to do with regret or lucking out for them. Another reason for the hoover is that his new relationship might not be going that well and he knows it.  

Whatever the case maybe for the hoovering there is only one reason for doing it and that is to gain control over you again. Narcissists don’t see their victims as people they see them as objects that they can manipulate, abuse, put on a shelf, and then bring out to play whenever they feel like it. Here is the thing, you are a real person and not an object and you don’t deserve any of this. If I were you I would immediately change my phone number, let my friends know I don’t want to hear about him again, and then block him from all social media and email accounts. Good Luck to you!

Regards,




Facebook