The Narcissist at Work

Ignoring the Narcissist—How to Spot The Monkey Dance

Doing the Monkey Dance

Doing the Monkey Dance

You already know by now that the narcissist is unbeatable at their own game—which is to win at all costs. You’ve hired attorneys, you’ve tried to reason with them, you’ve given them what you think they want and nothing works. They keep coming back, keep being jerks and a**wipes and they keep wearing you down.

You think you have no options. I’ve heard other victims say they have contemplated killing the narcissist or killing themself to make the madness stop. Let me assure you, violence is NOT a solution or an answer, but ignoring them is.

In the wild when animals face off against each other they dance, huff, growl, scream and get all worked up, biologists call it “a monkey dance.” Monkeys are particularly vocal and animated when they’re angry and their angry monkey dance can be very intimidating to other monkeys. When drunken men do this same thing, scream, threaten, jump around, and throw things in bars, police officers also call it “doing the monkey dance.”  Whether it’s in nature, or as a result of the male or female ego trying to impress or intimidate, it’s still a “monkey dance.”

The monkey dance is usually an orchestrated series of screams, arm waving, drama, threatening words, jumping up and down and all around and throwing stuff. At first glance it’s intimidating and frightening and viewers, especially targets of the dance, feel threatened, scared and want to run. Good. That’s what the monkey dance is supposed to evoke in an opponent—fear and flight. It keeps people and animals from getting injured. But it’s a bluff! Researchers have learned that the monkey dance is just that—a dance designed to intimidate and frighten those around them so they’ll flee and the monkey won’t have to fight. Because in a real fight? The monkey usually loses.

I want you to sit for a minute and visualize yourself behind bullet proof glass, watching an angry monkey on the other side. They’re acting like two-year olds in a rage (and indeed many of them may have suffered their emotional wounding at that age). See the monkey throwing its own feces, screaming, running around the room, punching holes in the wall, throwing things, waving its arms. Keep watching. Remember the bullet proof glass. They can’t hurt you.Their actions are all bluff and threats.

As your mind begins to see that the dancing, raging monkey can’t hurt you, you begin to relax. You stop feeling threatened and begin to feel curious. What will he do next? Keep watching. Eventually you start to see patterns. He steps in his own poop, then throws it. He windmills his arms, then hops up and down. Eventually you start to laugh because you finally see what he’s doing—pitching a fit. At about the same time you see him as a non-threat and a joke, he senses a change in you because he sees your posture change.

You’re leaning forward, not back. You’re not afraid of eye contact. You’re laughing. The monkey begins to feel uneasy. That’s not how his dance is suppose to end. You’re supposed to run away, to see him as some sort of all-knowing, all dangerous threat. But you don’t. He changes his tactics. He beats on the glass. You may be startled for a minute, but you laugh, knowing he can’t break through. Eventually you get bored with the feces throwing, fit pitching monkey and YOU TURN YOUR BACK ON HIM. You have other things to do, and you quit watching, responding or caring that mr. monkey is still dancing behind you. You have finally learned how to ignore the monkey.

Narcissists are a lot like angry monkeys doing their  monkey dance. When a narcissist goes into a rage, 99 times out of 100 that’s all it is—a glorified, poop throwing, pissing, stomping temper tantrum. And because we’re such co-dependents and generally so hooked into pleasing the narcissist, we fall for it. We respond just like they want us to. They get what they want, and we’re left feeling frustration, anger and fear while they go on their merry way. But we have a weapon they can’t defeat—IGNORING THEM. The ONE thing the narcissist wants, and gets, with this stupid dance, is our attention. Remember—narcissistic supply. They need our attention, negative or positive, to breathe. They literally cannot survive without our attention. So ignore them. When they start to pass out from lack of supply they are literally forced to go elsewhere to seek it.

I know. Ignoring them is VERY HARD. You’ve got a thousand reasons why you tell yourself you NEED to pay attention, to watch what they’re doing, to worry and obsess over them and their pissy little dance.  Unless you’re living with the narcissist, or have custody issues, or work with them, or they’ve been physically violent in the past, totally ignoring them is your best path to salvation. When you hold the ONE thing they can’t get? They want it. If you waiver just a bit and give in, you have to start over because you’ve just taught them that persistence wears you down and it then becomes a game they want to win. Don’t let them.

The bulletproof wall is in your faith, your mind, your self-control. It takes a little longer to learn that ignoring them is the best way to deal with them, but you can.

Spotting the Monkey Dance

It’s not hard to spot the monkey dance. It happens any time you disagree with, confront, ignore or inadvertently shame or confuse a narcissist. Narcissists are hard-wired to monkey dance anytime they’re not sleeping, sucking up or looking for new victims. It’s who they are. What’s more important is learning how to DEAL with the monkey dance.

Dealing with the Monkey Dance

Monkey dances come in various forms: cell phone calls, text messages, postings on FaceBook or in social media groups you belong to and so on. You may see the monkey dance if you live, work with or encounter a narcissist anywhere they deem it okay to dance. What’s important is to BLOCK your viewing of the dance.

Emails are digital monkey dances. Use filters on your email to ensure that whenever they email you, their email goes directly to a folder where you don’t know about it, you don’t see it, and you’re not tempted to read it.  If they’re planning legal action action you can’t stop it by reading an email because you can NOT reason with a narcissist. They don’t understand or care about you. They ONLY care about themselves. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking they’re reasonable people. They just want to suck you into their dance. You can’t DO anything until they act, so why get in a froth about their dancing. IF they file legal action you’ll get a certified letter in the mail. Then you can address the letter. 99% of what they threaten never comes to pass. For the 1% that does, attorneys are wonderful for dealing with them as long as you don’t get a narcissistic attorney.

Block their email on your cell phone. If your phone doesn’t have this function, call your provider. If they need a court order to block the person or number, then get it. Don’t answer their call. Don’t listen to their voice mail. 99% of what they’re threatening won’t happen and all it does is upset you. IGNORE THEM. IGNORE THEIR MESSAGES. They are not worth your time. YOU have something to offer society and friends, they do not. You wouldn’t offer your friends turds for treats would you? Then stop interacting with the narcissist because their negative energy infuses your own and makes you miserable, which makes your friend’s miserable. And you NEED your friends.

Hire an attorney. Attorneys can cost thousands of dollars, or not. Take your time looking. Make sure they’re not a narcissist by interviewing them and looking for tell-tale signs. I’ve found an attorney who charges me flat rates for services and offers me a very low rate for being the person the narcissist must deal with if they want to dance. A cease and desist letter can cost as little as $25. The follow up with criminal charges for stalking and pursing other legal action is about the same.  If you’re worried about your monkey, then find an attorney the first time the monkey starts dancing. Explain your situation, get your letters and start the legal process rolling. Most monkeys don’t like jail, which is where they could be headed once you document their abuse and their contacting you after an attorney has told them to “cease and desist.” There are laws in many states that prohibit emailing and phone calls and online harassment.

Avoid Dance Floors. Meaning, don’t go where the narcissist likes to dance. If you’re working with, involved with or otherwise forced to deal with the narcissist they’re going to dance no matter what you do or say. It’s THEIR pathology, not you. When they launch into their screaming, offer them a banana, or you can leave the room, the office, the house or go stand by a friend of yours so they can watch the dance too. Monkeys can be shy (unless they’re celebrity monkeys who love the attention) but the average monkey dancer doesn’t want their other sources of narcissistic supply to see them in a rage. If you belong to a social media group, stop posting. Unfriend and unfollow. Don’t stick around to watch the train wreck or get tempted to react to something they say. IGNORE. IGNORE. IGNORE.

If that’s still hard to do, buy a plastic banana or dancing sock monkey and write your narcissist’s name on it. Every time you feel tempted to respond, react or engage with them, even in your mind remind yourself they’re a dancing monkey.

If you’re a generous, kind person, which you are because a narcissist was attracted to you, you may think this is cruel and insensitive and painful. And to do it to a NORMAL person would be, but narcissists aren’t normal. They’re unable to feel, sense or appreciate feelings, compassion or other people’s needs and boundaries. Where you’re worried about them and not yourself, they’re ONLY concerned with themselves and wringing every last ounce of attention (good or bad) out of you, before dumping you and moving on to their next victim. The better you are at ignoring them, the faster they’ll move on.

DO NOT FALL INTO THE TRAP of TRYING TO REDEEM, CHANGE, RESCUE OR SAVE THEM. It can’t happen.

Anyone who tells you it’s possible is thinking of the 1% of the .0000005 % that might have changed. Now, go find ways to ignore your narcissist and remember, every minute you let them sit in your thoughts YOU lose.

121 Comments to "Ignoring the Narcissist—How to Spot The Monkey Dance"

  1. SEO says:

    This post is hilarious. Narcissists are very much like monnkey dances.

  2. Danna says:

    Brilliant. Wish I had known this when I was married to one. May all young people learn this!

    • Pennee says:

      How was your divorce? Im in he process f leaving my huband who is a narcisst, im a bit nerous as o what he’ll behave like

  3. Krista says:

    What if the narcissist is your daughter?

    • admin says:

      You can still love a narcissist, but setting and enforcing boundaries with them is very necessary if you’re to keep YOUR sanity!! When they go into a narcissistic rage you tell them, “I don’t allow myself to be yelled at or treated with disrespect or raged out. When you calm down and want to discuss this rationally, we’ll talk. For now, I’m leaving (or ask them to leave if they’re in your house.) I won’t sugar-coat it. If you CHOOSE to stay in a relationship with a narcissist for whatever reason, you’re CHOOSING to tolerate or experience what goes with it. They don’t change because you love them. They change because you set and enforce strong boundaries. You can try encouraging your daughter to see a therapist, or you can just limit your interactions. It all depends on what YOU want out of the relationship and why you stay in it. You might want to see a therapist to learn why you want to remain in a relationship with her (if she is an adult). If she is underage, you can, with a good therapist and hard work, reduce the narcissism. But again, it’s very difficult. Every person (narcissist) is different. I’ve learned that once you experience a GOOD, HEALTHY relationship apart from a narcissist you see what is possible and won’t ever settle for the narcissism again.

  4. Deb says:

    My husband is one and I am going to try this. I have been here 33 years and the last 2 years have been terrible. Thanks for the info.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Deb! Do try it. Remember, narcissists don’t like to lose their supply. Work on yourself and on setting boundaries. It’s hard work, but you CAN do and millions of us have. It’s hard but be persistent. You do NOT deserve to be treated poorly, abused or belittled. Hang in there!

      Becky

  5. gorgeous says:

    U are so brilliant, this post is genius, I love it..
    I grew up with a N mum, and I later came to learn the reasons why I used to attract so many narcissists in my life, Its coz my boundaries were poor and I had esteem issues.Its like narcissists sense this vulnerability. I am stronger now, I feel beautiful in and out I don’t need validation for me to love and appreciate me, I can’t believe the changes that have taken place in ME. Trust me I always know when they start those monkey dances…. I just laugh, normally I used to react and try to make things right BUT I AM WISER NOW, but most important God has been so good to me

    • admin says:

      Thank you! Yes, the monkey dance is funny—once you understand what it’s all about. I’m so glad you discovered the secret of good boundaries! That’s a magical discovery that will change your life for sure! I’m glad to know you’re laughing! Good for you! God is good to all if they’ll just wake up and trust him.

  6. Cowenc says:

    What if the narcisisist is your Mother. She has no vetbal boundries about my husband, children or me… She only does things to “help”. Because I’m so helpless in her eyes.. I have my masters degree, great job, 2 great kids.. One grown & the other a teen. This has been going on for years, but much worse in the last few. I’m surprised my family has survived, but we are close even though she doesn’t realize that with all the backhanded comments she says about us. She’s a gem!!

    • admin says:

      It doesn’t matter who the narcissist is. They’re all the same at the core. They have no boundaries because they don’t see anyone as separate from themselves. They have melded into the lives of those around them and think, as an infant does, that it’s all about them and that other people are an extension of them. She is doing things to “help” because she has no self-esteem. She needs validation, but that hole is so deep that NO ONE can fill it. SHE has to start filling it herself, with the help of a professional therapist.

      You can’t control her. You can only set and enforce boundaries with her. It’s hard. You might say, “But she won’t let me,” or “She won’t respect my boundaries.” She’s not going to either! That’s why true boundaries have consequences. Like, “Thank you for offering to help mother, but the kids are going to set and clear the table.” If she insists on butting in and helping then you say, “I understand you want to help, but I was pretty clear about the kids setting and clearing the table. If you insist on setting or clearing the table again, I won’t invite you over for dinner again for a month.” Then if she still clears the table, don’t invite her over for a month. If she does it again, don’t invite her again. Boundaries take time and energy to set, communicate and enforce. Narcissists want control and the only way to deal with them is by having very clear boundaries. You’ll probably have to put it all in writing too as they are masters at quibbling and sniping and finding loopholes.

  7. NotAVictim says:

    Thank you for this article, and in particular for what you wrote in response to Krista – “I’ve learned that once you experience a GOOD, HEALTHY relationship apart from a narcissist you see what is possible and won’t ever settle for the narcissism again.” I pray you are right! I am still grieving the terrible discard by the narcissist. I don’t believe I loved him for quite some time leading up to it and unlike many other vicitims, I was already detaching and distancing myself, but it still was a devastating and soul-crushing experience. I cannot get over how fast he moved on, it was proof positive that nothing was real and I had been “had” by a con artist. Now I cannot help but go over the terrible way he treated me and I feel like a fool. However, I also recall how lonely I felt with him and how empty and shallow he was – he did not love me, support me, encourage me, respect me or value me. In other words, it like a cardboard cut-out of a relationship that only looked good from afar.

    • admin says:

      You’re welcome and thank you for taking time to read and comment. You’re so right. Once you experience a good healthy relationship, the attraction to narcissism melts like ice cream in the summer sun! We ALL grieve the discard. We feel shame, as though we were not good enough people, and that’s a lie. At the heart of narcissism is emotional wounding. Some children become narcissists, some blame and deny and others attack and blame. It is soul crushing because being dumped by a narcissist, or the relationship with a narcissist is so much about shame, toxic shame, not the shame that guides us into better decisions, but the toxic shame that says we’re horrible PEOPLE, not that we made a bad decision.

      Your narcissist did not love, support, encourage, respect or value YOU because he could NOT love, support, encourage, respect or value himself. We can’t give what we don’t have. We can’t share what we haven’t experienced. It’s not that he didn’t want to do those things. He simply does not know how. It’s like going to dress store hoping to buy auto parts. You can’t get what someone doesn’t have to give. He moved on so fast so he didn’t have to think about what a failure he is. Because that’s what narcissists fear most—being found out, having others SEE the shame they themselves feel. Move on. You are a good person and you will find someone who can appreciate that. Love yourself first, then look for others who can do the same. If you don’t love yourself first, you’ll never know what it feels like, so you won’t recognize whether someone else is “getting it right” next time. Take time for yourself. Take at least a year off from dating and just learn to love YOU and take care of you and set boundaries. You WILL heal. I promise!

  8. Lili Mae says:

    I love this analogy….it made me laugh out loud at a situation that usually really upsets me. I’ve been dealing with a narcissistic mother and enabling father for years. They are a lethal combination and I have regularly fallen into all of the traps you mention above. With the help of a good therapist I have removed myself from my mothers ‘orbit’ so to speak. The peace and relief is wonderful. I have not engaged in over 2 months despite various forms of provocation designed to make me do so. My mother’s monkey dance has spiralled to a ‘riverdance-esque’ mission culminating today in a missive from a sibling about how upset poor mother is etc etc etc. I felt myself weaken and immediately googled for an article to snap myself back to reality. Your article was the best thing I could have found. The combination of truth and its wonderful humour were just what I needed to steel my resolve, thank you

    • admin says:

      I’m SO glad it helped you!! Wooohooo!! I hope the comments do too. Good for you for NOT giving up or giving in! As you know now, it’s JUST A DANCE. When you can walk away and laugh, seeing it for what it is, you’re healing! Thank for you stopping by and commenting too!

  9. Lucy says:

    Just getting out of a 5 year relationship with a Level 9 Monkey with NPD. Thank you for this article. I laughed for the first time since I entered no contact a few days ago. Feel better after imagining the monkey stepping in his poop. He’s a little OCD too:)

  10. Mitzi says:

    This is hilarious reading. Thank you so much!! I’ve met a male “narc” on a social media site (classical music). We talked on Skype twice 2.5 years ago. He has never, never let me go. Alternatively writing suck-up emails to get me back and when I ignore him attacking me publicly on the social media site. He’s the Peter Pan of the messageboards. I’m very strong and have told him straight in the past what I think – serial bully etc. The most recent contact (early Feb.) has now descended into the usual rage attack on another messageboard (he follows me EVERYWHERE I GO) but I never, ever respond to these. In fact, I’ve ignored him for three quarters of the last year. Recently I wrote, “I will have nothing whatever to do with you until you’re the best man you can be”. He apologized but kept me dangling with 2 line replies to emails. I got fed up and failed to return them. Now he’s bent on revenge, but he knows I’m very strong, opinionated and smart. All the things he cannot be himself, PLUS other people support and respect me. This makes it worse for him. So, now I have shut down my email address he knew and have closed down the private message facility on the messageboard. Hard to believe he cares nothing about me at all, after 3 long years. It won’t end while-ever he sees my face in public. But I know he’ll continue taking swipes at me elsewhere. You know, I feel compassion and pity (there are children in his life!!) and I want to practice Christian values of forgiveness. But I will move on as he has never been able to break me. Thanks, Mitzi

    • admin says:

      Thank you!

      At least you recognized the male narcissist! And you know they NEVER let go! Good for you for never responding to him! That’s what it takes! When you wrote, “I will have nothing whatever to do with you until you’re the best man you can be”. you essentially invited him to follow you forever and he will. Narcissists DO NOT CHANGE. THEY CANNOT CHANGE. HE WILL NOT CHANGE. He’s out to win and he’ll do anything to you to prove he has. Don’t waste your compassion on him. Practicing forgiveness does not have to involve him at all. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves and no one else has to be involved. It sounds like you still have a fantasy that he can change. He can’t. When you clear HIM out of your life God will bring someone else in—someone BETTER!! Hang in there! Praying for you!

  11. Jackie jones says:

    It took a very long time for me to realize my narcissistic ex was only blowing smoke. Ignoring him was easy because I feared his cruel words that slipped into every form of communication we had. Fear would paralyze me anytime he called. Looking back his monkey dance really had me paralyzed. Many months later I felt sad for him not being capable of loving. Presently the fear and pain is completely gone. I easily turn my back on the pathetic abusive irrelevant creature I once called my husband. I won. I won by looking forward. Life is good.

  12. Lorianne says:

    I just found my N for the 10,000 time on a dating site. Lying about his age, languages spoken, etc. I left and now he is trying to call, text and find out WHY I’M DOING THIS. He was just pounding at my door and I have ignored that and the phone calls and texts. Always blames me for his transgressions. I am afraid to go outside my apartment because he has stalked before with flowers in hand. He has broken every promise to change and his I’m sorry’s are “sorry ’bout that”. Should I talk to him and tell him to leave me alone or do I walk past him like he’s not there? Not sure how to handle this. I actually forgave him a few weeks ago for spitting in my face now this. I am so angry I don’t even want to see his face. Thoughts, please!

    • admin says:

      Ignore him. Report him to the police, keep a journal of when, where and why he contacts you (date, day, time, year etc), but don’t ever respond. I have a narcissist, a female, who has plagued me for three years, posting on social media sites, emailing friends…they do not ever give up. ANY encouragement (and I mean just picking up the phone or telling him to stop is seen as encouragement) makes it worse. As long as you do not engage, respond, or even think about them, they will go elsewhere to find their supply. But you have to be totally, 100% UN-engaged. File a police report and start keeping a diary. They can be dangerous.

  13. Diane Emm says:

    I think this article was terrific, and I agree completely. It’s easy to be frightened by that monkey dance when you’re close to it and don’t realize its just a temper tantrum. But you become curious when you see it. Narcissists can be very engaging. I just ended a friendship with a guy that is a narcissist, and I’ve personally seen and heard about his co-dependent wife being mentally and emotionally abused by him. She is a schizophrenic is firmly in his grasp. He’s beaten her down so far that she will never recover. He has said “If anything happened to me, she couldn’t handle it. She can’t live without me but I could live without her.” It’s obvious he is full of self importance. He always says that he has a 167 IQ and that its a curse to be SO intelligent. I think the curse is in being HIM! Obviously he thinks in self important ways. I had told her without help he would continue to spiral downward, so she then mentioned to their doctor that he was depressed, needed counseling and possibly meds and at that time he embarrassed her by accusing her of being a liar, and that he didn’t need or want mental help. Recently after I had spent the day with her, she spoke honestly with me and I became very concerned about his emotional and mental abuse. After she went home, his paranoia got the best of him and he grilled her in an attempt to find out every single word spoken between us that day. He became enraged and accused me of bashing him, which I didn’t. I simply showed her kind concern. He didn’t see it that way, and then he became enraged toward ME and sent me a text saying, “You got me twisted. If I wanted to hurt u I would take out something dear to u.” Scary huh? Sadly I’ve lost her as a friend, because if he can’t have my attention, she can’t either. She was desperately in need of my support, she was beginning to thrive with some motherly contact and attention, and this will hurt her very much. He has cut so many out of her life. Its like she is in a prison of his making. Now he can’t stand that I’ve kicked him to the curb. He keeps trying to get my attention but he never will. I am not on this earth to stroke his ego. And that’s what it’s about. I just pray that he will leave me alone and not keep trying to strike in my direction because I now consider him to be extremely dangerous.

    • admin says:

      Thank you! Yes, it’s very hard to see the monkey dance is just a tantrum. Narcissists will ALWAYS see any conversation they’re not privy to as an attack on them. They can be dangerous, even deadly. If he’s stalking you, threatening you etc. please contact the police and file a report. (1) It will help his wife because if police are ever called to the home on a domestic violence call (and they will be), they know what they’re getting into. And, if he does attack or harm you, you have a record of it. Most narcissist do NOT want to even think about jail time. He is trying to win at all costs, and if that means taking you out, he’ll do it. Don’t try to win. Try to ignore and avoid him, but protect yourself by filing a police report and speaking to as many friends and family members you TRUST in case he does attack. You’re a kind woman and his reaction is not your fault.

  14. Tee says:

    Hi there, I think I am involved with a man who is a narcissist and I am currently being ignored because I didn’t agree with him on a subject. I am finding that these behaviours are happening more frequently with him, he hangs up on me, blocks me online, ignores me and comes around again and sings to me and tells me how much he loves me and talks about marriage. I am quite hurt and saddened by it all, I wish he could become consciously aware of what he is doing but I don’t think that is going to happen. I am currently not engaging in communication with him but I know he will be back because he always comes back. I have tried setting boundaries with him but it is almost as if he works on some level to disrespect them. I love him but also wonder if this is just hopeless? Is there actually a way to create healthy boundaries so he will listen and respect them? I feel drained from my experiences with him.

    • admin says:

      Sounds like your assessment is right. He sounds just like a narcissist! Leave. Narcissists do NOT respect boundaries and it’s exhausting to try to create them because you’ll always be repeating the word, “No.” Narcissists like to win and they see violating your boundaries to get you to do what they want as a challenge.

      He always comes back because that’s what narcissists do. They’re like bedbugs. You think you’ve gotten rid of them, but they keep popping back up. The only way to survive and thrive is to ignore them COMPLETELY. Even the tiniest communication, like saying, “Go to hell,” is seen by them as fact and proof you really love them and want them to keep calling you. THEY ARE NOT LOGICAL PEOPLE. They are damaged. They are irreparable. Don’t waste your life or energy on them. LEAVE and NEVER have anything to do with them ever, ever again.

  15. Melanie says:

    Wow! So thankful for this information! After many yrs.. my X old monkey danced his way back into my life due to needing me to bail him out of jail! He even used his wife to find me and give me the letter! He has been in and out of my life for 15 yrs.. sure wish i would hv known how to respond yrs ago! But again thankfully now i do!

    • admin says:

      Good for you!! Fantastic!! Wooohooo!!! So sorry for his wife, but I hope/am glad you ignored him. Bailing him out would only open you to more abuse and encourage him to stay in contact with you!!

  16. Lori says:

    Is it just a tantrum if a narcissist rages at you and tells you to never contact him again and refuses to talk things out at all? Does this mean he wants attention and for me to come begging or is he really mad/hurt?

    I told my narcissist as nicely as possible that I was going to be busy for a while, which was true. I expected a nice reply but got a rage from him instead. Not about me being away for a while, but random things he was suddenly upset about. I pointed out his behavior calmly and that made it worse. That was the worst I’ve seen in all the years with him. He made false accusations, swearing, name calling, etc. and said to never contact him after that. It made no sense to me and his “argument” had nothing to do with what I was trying to say.

    I did try to get him to talk to me and told him he was important to me, but no answer. So I stopped trying.

    Why do you think he did this? Do you think he’s really gone for good? It’s been a few months. We weren’t dating but I do think I was a good source for him. I provided him with so much supply for years before I figured him out.

    I hope he won’t come back. It’s exhausting dealing with him.

    • admin says:

      Narcissists ALWAYS want attention. EVERYTHING they do, from sniffling, to loud sighs, eye rolling, pouting, screaming, raging, farting, and pitching temper tantrums is for attention. You have to remember they are worse than two-year olds on massive sugar highs who need a serious nap. It is NEVER EVER EVER about you. They are incapable of even thinking you are someone who is NOT them, or not there for their sole use, abuse and enjoyment. There is absolutely NO reason to be nice to a narcissist in hopes of eliciting a polite, rational response. They are no more capable of that than a tree is of threading a needle.

      He IS really mad that you aren’t bending to his every wish and demand. That’s why the rage. You have disrupted his narcissistic supply of attention and he’s angry.

      As far as his argument having nothing to do with what you were trying to say, it doesn’t have to for a narcissist. They assume everyone else will do all they can to accommodate them, their needs, their demands, desires and requests and drop everything they’re doing to ensure the narcissist is comfortable. He wants to hear he’s important, but he does not want to hear that you expect a response or like minded feeling for you from him.

      Don’t just “hope” he doesn’t come back. He will. They always do. When his current source of supply gets bored, angry or leaves (and they all do) he will turn to the last source he had—you. And the nightmare dance will begin anew. There is no modulation with a narcissist. You’re all in, or all out with them. If he’s exhausting, decide right now NOT to return his calls (don’t think you’re being rude, you’re NOT), don’t answer his emails, don’t have anything to do with him ever again. He can not and will not change, no matter how much he says he has. Find someone else and let him go. Best thing you can do EVER for yourself!

  17. Tracey says:

    Thanks so much for this article. After 33 years myself and just realizing why I have been walking on egg shells for the last 10 years, this article came as a relief. Visualizing the glass between me and him caused all of my muscles in my body to literally melt and relax. I have been trying to act this way toward my N husband recently, but being able to visualize this in my mind’s eye will help me even more. Thank you!

  18. Posy says:

    This site is great, like many sites on Narcissists and Narcissism (the capitalization of those 2 terms is purposeful because it is a picture of the narcissist itself, puffing itself up). It provides some healing.
    Until 3 months ago, I was seeing (yet another) narcissist on and off for 8 years, and I am of course depleted, angry and depressed, which is the only result of continuing in any capacity with a narcissist.
    More proof that “they always come back” is that after 2 1/2 months of no contact, just when I think I am really moving on, he inserted himself with a caring-sounding text at 12:30am. It was not actually caring of course. It was just a way to try to hook me. At 2:30am, I unwisely replied. One reason I replied is that it was so late at night, he caught me off-guard, which of course was purposeful on his part, but only in retrospect. The part of replying that was good for me at the moment was that I didn’t want to wake in the morning with his dangling text on my mind. But he got what he wanted, he won attention. And in the end I was of course extrememly angry, at him and myself as usual.
    He texted exactly one week later at the same time. Uncoincidentally. I did not reply.
    He texted one week and 12 hours later. I did not reply.
    We shall see about next week! It is unknowable when he will find a new supply or will tire of poking me for attention.
    I have to say that I am enjoying his attention, a leftover process of wanting to believe it is because he cares. But he never did. And never will.
    He will give up eventually and move on to the next victim. But in the meantime I can try to enjoy his monkey dance while it lasts.
    And when he loses the attention of the next victim, he might very well text me seemingly out-of-nowhere… but I will know what happened: He lost supply elsewhere and is trying for attention here, again….but I will still not reply!

    • admin says:

      At least you know that you “unwisely” replied. Good for you! We all make that error at least once. They’re good at what they do, so don’t feel bad. You did do the right thing the next time, so bravo! What hooks us is what hooks them – a need for attention. Hang in there. You sound strong.

  19. L says:

    Well this is funny!! My ex Narc is also a Monkey ( chinese horoscope ) all his names have Monkey in them.. and he can dance like one too.. Ha! The selfish Monkey.. no peanut for you! :)

  20. Diana Geremia says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I am married to my husband for almost 27 years. He has 4 children from his first marriage
    (we had custody of) and we have two children together. His ex-wife is a narcissist on steroids. I used to call her my seventh child. Always needy, incapable of being a mother, etc. I took her under my wing so I thought in order for her to have a relationship with her children. I like to refer to her as the “pizza and board game” mom. Always there for fun, never for anything else. Her children our now grown adults , three with their own families. She has only gotten worse with age and her temper tantrums (acting like a 4 year old, stomping her feet and yelling) are extreme. I refuse to do the second generation (grandchildren) of custody with her. She corrects them if they call me grandma (her children’s decision), tells me how my talents and abilities don’t run through them etc. I have learned in the last 3.5 years to set boundaries and my husband and I now refuse to be anywhere where she will be. We want nothing to do with her. The problem is that she does not respect the boundaries and believes that we are always plotting against her with the children and grandchildren. If she thinks we are doing something with them (one lives out of state and one out of the country), she throws a fit about how she should be doing whatever we are supposedly doing. She will show up at our house to stop them from doing something with us. She respects no boundaries and it is to the point that the drama is not worth the visits with the grandchildren. Any suggestions? It doesn’t matter if her children tell her to leave us alone or try to set boundaries, she always wins because she wears them down. Thank you.

    • admin says:

      Wow. You do have your hands full! As far as her not respecting boundaries, they won’t. Boundaries, good boundaries come with “teeth” or consequences. They don’t have to respect them and you can’t control their respect. You CAN control the consequences!! Read Dr. Henry Cloud’s book on Boundaries…any of them. They’re all excellent!

      How it works:

      You say, “We only do activities with friends and family members we invite. We’ve noticed that you’ve shown up several times now, unannounced, uninvited and frankly, unwelcomed. From here on out, here are the boundaries: We will not include you in our plans if you show up uninvited. If you insist on following up to any event we will not let you see the children at all, for any event or holiday. If you persist, we will call the police and take out a restraining order to prevent you from coming from within 500 yards of our family.”

      The hard thing about setting and enforcing boundaries is that you have to have strong consequences and you have to enforce them. The minute you cave, and allow her to come along anyway, you just sent the message that if she is persistent enough she will get her way. You have to be firm, which can feel like being mean. DO NOT EXPECT HER TO RESPECT your boundaries. She won’t. Your husband now refuses to be around her, so you are probably the softie who doesn’t want to offend or hurt her feelings. But to have a normal life, you must.

      Let her throw her fits. Who cares? You just say, “I do not stay around people who are yelling, screaming and pitching fits. This conversation is over. If you want to talk calmly, let me know but I’m leaving now.” Then LEAVE!!! Her hysteria is her problem, not yours. She will make it yours only if you let her. Don’t let her. It’s like putting a two-year old in time out. They will go ballastic, cry and be hysterical, but it passes. Eventually they learn your word is the law and that they don’t like the consequences.

      The thing is she doesn’t really give a rat’s ass about the kids. She wants the drama, attention and energy you expend on her when she does this. Talk to your husband and decide on simple boundaries and consequences, then enforce them. If you can’t do it, let him. He sounds like he has no problem saying no to her. It’s going to be hard, but you CAN do it!

  21. Debbie says:

    I was in a seven year relationship with a narcissist. They way i got rid of him was to move away, about 600 miles away, delete my email account, where he wrote to me, block him in social media, and eventually just deleted my accounts, and changed my phone number. He was the most selfish person I have ever met and the repercussions of that relationship are still very difficult to heal. I had physical abuse, dragging me by the hair,swollen jaw from when he tried to break my jaw, an old injury in my shoulder, from when he tried to dislocate my arm, and many mind games and controling, manipulation and lies. I was literary brain washed into believing that I did not deserve better and he was the best man in the world, and besides him being extremely homely, all women wanted him. It has been five years since I cut that monkey off. I have since married a wonderful selfless man who loves me more than anyone has ever loved me, and I think back on how stupid I was. It was a hard lesson to learn, and I am still healing. I get flash backs and nightmares. I am better off than five years ago, but I have faith that one day I will be completely healed from that awful episode.

    • Debbie says:

      Don’t answer any texts, emails, or phone calls, just ignore him. THEY NEVER CHANGE. You hang on to the hope that they will realize the harm they are doing to you, and that they will start to treat you with unconditional pure love, but THEY NEVER CHANGE. They will always look for ways to get a rise out of you. They will flirt with women around you: The cashier, the woman jogging across the street, the choir girls at church, they single mom at their work place and her teenage daughter. He wants to make sure you see that he is desired by all women. They look to control you by manipulating your feelings, and causing jealousy. They want you to believe that they are desirable by all women (or men). My particular narcissist had both women and MEN falling for him believing in his fake charm. They can charm the pants off anyone. Only those who can see past the bull anger them. Anyone who tries to get close to their supply is a threat to them. They don’t want to lose their supply (you). Family and friends become strangers and they win all your attention. The final blow for me was that this monkey slept with a loose choir girl while he was with me. He would flirt with her, and obsess over her very light skin and blonde features and claimed they were just friends (he watched her grow up from around 12 years old) I discovered this through common friends and my mother and our family priest. He hid this from me, lied, kept saying that there was a person who REALLY loved him back in Los Angeles. She denied the affair (of-course) when I confronted her through email. I had to get rid of him, so I moved far away. I have never been happier, and I am just no recuperating my old self, my taste in music, movies, dress. He controlled EVERYTHING. I thank God EVERYDAY for helping me run away from that horrible mess.

      • admin says:

        You have nailed it! That’s exactly how it works. So glad you happier and healing and sharing what you learned so others can too!

    • admin says:

      It never ceases to amaze me how persistent, violent and outrageous these guys (and gals) are! Insane! I am so glad you cut the monkey off and are doing better. I’m glad you married a wonderful, selfless man who loves you like you deserve too! Yay!!! Yes, one day you WILL be healed…and you are healing…it just takes time.

  22. Debbie says:

    You will fall for his lies and charm more than once or twice, while trying to get away, until one day you just have had enough and you run. Its a process, it seems hopeless, and although he hurts you so much, you can’t help it because he has you so brainwashed and controlled. You can get out, but you need to muster up strength and the final nail on that coffin is DISTANCE. You will miss him, terribly, but you could keep yourself occupied, lose some weight, make new guy friends, until you think of him less and less. You will feel lonely, but its a process YOU MUST heal by yourself, gain your emotional independence back and your dignity. You will cry, you will have depression, you will feel like a stranger to yourself, but its the only way out.
    Here I am seven years later and I am living proof that you can survive a narcissist and get out of that cycle of pain and destruction. For anyone out there who is reading this, pleas don’t stop, don’t give in or give up, there is an end to this nightmare.

  23. Lisa says:

    What if the monkey is dating your nephew AND the 3 of you work together? Any specific advice?

    • admin says:

      Boundaries. You must create strong, bullet-proof, monkey feces proof boundaries. You cannot save your nephew. He must come to his own conclusions (which he will). When he does, point him to this website. Until it’s you and your nephew against the narcissist you will lose. Narcissist will win at any cost and that includes keeping their supply (your nephew) happy until they get rid of you. So, refuse to engage, learn how to make your responses to the narcissist sound like ego strokes, distance yourself as much as possible and be supportive of your nephew, but DO NOT trash the narcissist. Let him reach his own conclusions or you’ll just stir up the hornet’s nest. Get a life outside work that does not involve socializing with either of them. This is a dark time for your nephew, but he will not listen to you at this point and will only relay YOUR comments to the narcissist…which will start a war…so focus on you. Hard to do, but that’s the best strategy.

  24. drained :( says:

    This has really helped me open my eyes, I threw my N out of my house nearly 2 weeks ago, he is still draining me via SMS and BBM I am trying desperatly to ignore him but then the threats come. He love bombed me good and proper at 1st, I was on cloud 9. 16 weeks in and I felt dead inside, something inside of me snapped and I started to hate him rather than being in total love with him even though he was sucking the soul from me. He is out of the house but still the calls and texts come in. I know I should ignore him but a part of me thinks it will only highten his rage. I pray daily for strengh and I have received it hence me packing his things and putting him out. This is one of the hardest things I have ever been through thus far.

    • admin says:

      He will rage no matter what you do. Your first job is to take care of YOU, NOT HIM. Ignore him. Show the police his threats. Put him out, change the locks and settle in for a long year or more of his attempts to love bomb, threaten and stalk you. He’s a narcissist. Narcissists are asses. He will try to make it seem like it’s your fault all this is going on, but it’s his. The more you engage, the longer the process takes. Find a good therapist or support group online and resist the temptation to speak to him, text him or respond in any way. He only sees you as a supply source to feed his ego, not as a human being. He’s a cockroach and you’re his meal….Up to you how long you want to let that go on, but you don’t deserve it. Choose YOU over him.

  25. Di says:

    I love this whole message, it describes exactly mi situation, I just feel exhausted of amonky hubby but am starting to ignore only that am still tempted to reply his mails.he wl rarely communicates one on one, and enjoys creating panic all the time.so comtrolling,mistrustful, confusing and tactical. I nix more tips on to ignore

    • admin says:

      If you reply to his emails you encourage him. Keep reading and researching. You’ll figure out what to do. Learn to set boundaries. That helps a lot!

  26. frustrated says:

    I like your article. I am drained by the situation. We have 2 young children which my N takes good care of, although I suspect they will eventually be subject to the same mental torture, as this has been going on for multiple generations with my N. Everywhere I have read, the only solution is to leave. But for my children’s sake, I think I am of better value to be around to show them there are other ways to do things, and i think I am successful in that. My biggest issue is finding some good responses to say, when things just dont work for me. Good ways to say no, or not now, without a fit. I have come to accept for a long time, that I will not get anything in return, so I dont ask for much, if not anything. But I cannot always do everything needed to accommodate my N. I try, even though I know it is not appreciated, to maintain a good household for my children. Just need to know what to say, when something just doesnt work for me, or I cant do it at that time to avoid the aggravation.

    • admin says:

      Thank you! I am so sorry you’re drained. A Narcissist does that to us all. Teach your children boundaries, love them and they will survive.

  27. One says:

    Admin, great work! I know you’re no narcissist looking for validation, but you deserve it! You are a very kind person and I can tell that by reading your posts. You are sincere, god/people/animal/plant loving person, where as most narcissists, don’t know how to love yet, as they are not evolved to that stage. My prayer is that these are still real people who can access their soul when the time is right. There are some scary theories about organic portals and robots with no souls, being created for evil by the devil himself..

    • admin says:

      Thank you. I’m not looking for validation, you’re right. I agree with the portals too. They’re there and we can’t see them, but the spiritual world is an odd thing isn’t it?!

  28. One says:

    In other words…. I DONT BELIEVE IN MENTAL ILLNESSES (unless you want to call it that, certainly is a good way to scientifically explain things…but once you open your third eye you can clearly see that demons are involved in all of these supposed “illnesses”) It’s no coincidence…these “mental illnesses” did not just pop out of nowhere, they were conceived by evil.

    • admin says:

      There are indeed spiritual problems and demonic activity in some mental illnesses. Jesus and his disciples cast out demons and I think they’re still around today. Thank you for commenting! Keep praying!

    • Barb Sainz says:

      I am surrounded by my family of narcissists. As a child I never fit in with my family, my mother didn’t have a clue how to nurture me. I am now her caretaker. I live with my 27 y.o. daughter who also sucks me dry. She starts, I ignore. My brother who is very successful and generous with the money button on his computer. He was the golden boy, my Mom adores him. He lives in Boston, we live in Phoenix. I have asked him two times to come here to see his 85 y.o. Mom. I never realized my brother was so “duh”. He has no time for. his mother. His narcissism explains no kids, center of attention, praise needed. I believe the people at his company and his long-time partner provide all the supply he requires. So why bother to make his mother happy. He provides no financial support to her.
      You are right about hard work. I’ve been in therapy since 1996 and still have problems with my mother.
      Since asking my brother to pay more attn. to Mom I have seen a side of him I didn’t know. He doesn’t l ike to be asked to do something that he doesn’t want to do.
      Mental Illness is real or I wouldn’t be bipolar. It takes meds. and therapy. I am so happy for the guy who thinks thereis no mental illness. You still have time. Check out the DSM-4. Psychiatric bible on diagnoses of so many imaginary psych diseases.

      • admin says:

        I’m sorry for your family of narcissists. It sucks to be around people that are selfish. Bipolar is not fun either. Mental illness is real and while I do believe there are spiritual causes too, there are too many chemical imbalances that also affect people. I cannot give psychological advice, but I do believe that learning to focus on loving ourselves, setting good boundaries and not trying to control or influence other people is the only path to sanity. If your brother doesn’t want to see your mom, that’s his thing. It’s his choice and his saying no, for whatever reason, is a boundary. I would express my feelings, as in, “I’m sorry you don’t want to see mom. I think it’s important, but you obviously don’t, so I won’t mention it again. I feel disappointed and frustrated.”

        That’s all you can do. If you’re providing financial support and think he should kick in some money, then express that. “I’ve been paying all of mom’s bills and I can’t keep doing it. I would like to discuss some sort of mutual financial contribution. If you don’t want to spend anything on mom then I’m going to ask the state to step in and take over because I can no longer afford to do that. It won’t reflect well on you, so I wanted to ask your help before I did that.” Narcissists don’t like anything that makes them look bad. If you can couch your concerns in language that puts them in a bad light, you may have more luck, but probably not.

        Focus on YOUR health and love and life. They don’t suffer when you feel resentment, anger and frustration-only YOU do. Heal. Live well, seek healthy relationships and leave them behind. You can do it!

  29. One says:

    But basically the real secret is that these “Viruses” and ill people actually play a crucial part in the “Game” and even though I dont believe anyone deserves to suffer, ever…there are lots of theories as to why we are. One being the devil captured our souls in a liquid solution millions of years ago and trapped us here on this prison planet. But that goes against Christianty…which also has some truth to it. I don’t beleieve a thing I hear, because reality is different for everyone. Nothing can be ultimate truth, other than love which is not what you hear, but rather a feeling. We all need to be on this level of unconditional love, in order to be on the level of god and rise above all the robots and war. IT WILL HAPPEN ONE DAY!! Just live and love and be patient and make sure to help others before you help yourself. If we all follow this, there would be NO problems. A secret so simple I can’t believe the greedy humans have been trappped in a box to where they can’t find their way out!!

  30. One says:

    So, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE narcissists uncondtionally, but they will not acceept and/or return that same love…so it’s almost impossible to love them and work with them without problems, because nothing is ever good enough! I used to show love 24/7 almost literally to my N and she just got even more upset with me, the more I showed her the more she craved! So the secret to curing these people is to FORCE them to be left alone, Jail would truly be a blessing for people like this (That’s one connection as to WHY they murder, we sacrifice our lives for these people as we were once unfortunate in their same position) but basically you dont see a high cure rate simply because they DONT WANT to be cured, what kind of narcissist has the balls to say ” OK! I’m gonna do this! I’m gonna force myself to be alone so I can face myself and who I truly am!” It’s infact the exact opposite, these people are living in fantasy land (as everyone is ) but we are no better than they are, and we are here to help each other. But ignoring a narcissist is the only thing that will cure them. Take away their “Drug” and they are no longer addicted. They are curable I do believe this in my heart…and there is evidence to this as well, but we are not doing the correct things to “Cure” them ,as it’s so very hard to ignore them, but I am going to start until my current N is cured. I won’t give up on someone I love, as that is selfish and my love is stronger than that…true love sacrifices yourself for another, even if they may be the “wrong” one…please read my words with an open heart or you will DISAGREE and that is not healthy for us to complete our mission…

    • admin says:

      Thank you for posting. Life sounds like it’s been a challenge at times. I don’t think the N can be cured, but leaving them alone sure helps the person dealing with their abuse.

  31. One says:

    And btw I grew up with an Narcissist Mother (and no father) but that didn’t affect my life in a bad way, because I chose to find the truth and I took a spirtual path and did some soul searching and now I can confirm that god is 100% real (it’s not about faith, you either KNOW he exisits, or you don’t truly believe in him…) That’s another secret I learned from experience. Did not hear it from anyone but don’t take my word for it, you’ll have to find the “Truth” for yourself..

  32. One says:

    Also…if everyone would focus on their OWN problems and stop judging and blaming others, then that would progress us further towards our goal as well. But this takes self work, it’s up to the person and unfortunately humanity has devolved pretty badly. Possibly alien influence, but either way we are eternal and we need to take charge of stupidity.

    • admin says:

      Thank you, so true. Focus on our own problems and don’t judge or blame, but realize others do cause problems and set boundaries.

  33. One says:

    Well definitely alien (demon) influence (possibly was the wrong word, I know in my heart demons exsist, just as god does…they are not hallucinations, they are just as real as anything else that you “see” or “feel”) But love is the ultimate truth. If only people knew this, they would stop being “Evil fakes” Love is truth. God is love. Therefore being fake equates to being the devil.

    PS- In the bible, doesn’t God say to love your enemies? And doesn’t he say Satan is our enemy? So the secret is to LOVE satan..and I’d have to agree. Being hateful is not going to get you anywhere…

    • admin says:

      God wasn’t talking about loving Satan. Demons exist and they are out to destroy humans. Not sure I see your logic, but hang in there. Love God.

  34. vicki says:

    Your an awesome and loving lady. I’m living in an npd relationship that is covert on top of it all. 1 yr into the discovery of this personality disorder and angry but still trying to understand it.

    • admin says:

      Keep reading, learning and setting boundaries. You can heal. You won’t ever understand it…that is the trap. You have to see it, realize that that is what is going on and then walk away. The longer you stick around trying to “make sense of it,” the deeper you get mired into the insanity of it. It cannot be understood. Understanding it won’t change them or their behavior or what they are. Leaving, healing and finding someone healthy is the only thing that will make sense.

  35. Di says:

    Very interesting , amusing and exactly what is happening here, are there hope of changing after ignoring.my hubby is atypical N and want to stay for d sake of my kids and I stay healthy.thx

  36. Kim says:

    I have a N mom and I figured out she was n 7 years ago. What an epiphany that was! I have two youngs sons age 11 and 9. When they were 4 and 2, I cut off my relationship with my mom because mom was using my kids to find information about my in laws and my husband. I needed to break away from her for my own mental health. Without her, I’ve never felt such peace of mind that she wasn’t around to cause havoc. She moved three hours away with her husband and my grandmother who is made of the same cloth. Well, my grandma passed away recently and we all are going to her memorial service i, me, my husband and kids. I have not seen mom in seven years. Truthfully, I am not looking forward to seeing her. Your article gives me hope. I am giving myself these next few days to coach myself in being civil and watching for signs of the dance and to be ready to set my boundaries. I hate feeling like a little girl, but I’m working hard on being myself and being strong. I want to set an example for my kids. I’m going to be watchful of my sons and make sure she doesn’t sink her claws into them.

    • admin says:

      You sound very healthy! It’s all about boundaries and you know that! Remember the dance! Also, talk to your sons and explain things to them. Let them know it’s okay to set boundaries, to say no, to leave a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable even if it’s with their grandmother or ANY adult. Teach them boundary setting skills early and help them learn to take care of their minds, hearts and souls. You can be civil and safe. When it gets to be too much, leave. You don’t owe the narcissist anything, even if they are a parent or sibling. YOUR emotional and mental health and that of your children comes FIRST!

  37. Jennifer says:

    Hello, I’m in the process of trying to disengage from a narcissist and I’m so sad and depressed. He’s hurt me in so many ways both emotionally and has even been physical on some occasions and I can’t seem to let go. He constantly gives me ultimatums and when I disengage he finds a way to pull me back in. I’m weak and he knows just what buttons to push. Today he told me to take down some pics we had together and to not communicate with him anymore. This is after he repeatedly sent me emails and called me to work things out. He also insinuated that he took a trip and slept with someone else because I had been emotionally unavailable during our break. It crushed me because I couldn’t functions and he took a trip less than a month after the fact. He also called me stupid because I hadn’t noticed his tan even after he had pointed it out to me. He needed a break in February because I wouldn’t move in with him and wasn’t around him as much as I should have been and took the trip in march and just threw it in my face. I don’t know what to do and how to let go. Any insight would be helpful.

    • admin says:

      You’re in the classic trap. We’ve all been stuck there. You WILL get out. It takes time, patience, being kind to yourself and learning to set and enforce your boundaries, to say no and to walk away and stay away. You cannot change them and they will not change. Any appearance or suggestion that they have is just more manipulation. Don’t fall for it. Seek out and find healthy people. Get a good psychologist, one with experience with narcissists and one who has strong boundaries! You CAN heal! It’s hard work, but you can do it. Millions of us have!

  38. Duped says:

    I dated a Narcissist for 8 months. I caught him in many lies. I looked up charming, cheater, liar, rage on the Internet and sociopath came up. The more I read, the more things seemed to make sense to me. I started putting the pieces together and finally confronted him with what I knew. He was always composed and in control, but the day i confronted him, he was nervous and acting very strange. He told me I was crazy, of course. I told him that I never wanted to see him again…no contact or I would tell his friends and family exactly who he was. He left in a panic and I never heard from him again. It’s been 7 months. I still think of him. I miss the connection I had with him even though I know he was a fake. I miss his intellect. When we first met, I really thought he was my soulmate. I was so good to him and he always said that I had a big heart. It hurts to be deceived.

    • admin says:

      Good for you! Yes, it hurts to be deceived, but you will find someone worthy of your love. You can’t find healthy people until you clear out the unhealthy ones. There’s no room for great people in your life if your life is cluttered with jerks, liars and sociopaths! Look up how many women fall in love with cheaters, liars, sociopaths and narcissists and end up dead. You don’t need it. Move on and be happy!

  39. Diana says:

    Thank you so much for your help. This has been the best advice I have received. I am going to read the book you suggested. I am passed feeling sorry for her and have joined my husband’s camp. I am now having to be tough with my adult stepchildren who give into her when it comes to our time together. They don’t always agree with the fact that we no longer want her around (just easier for them to give in)…now after reading your advice I will stand up to them too.

  40. aybaj says:

    I have been doing a lot of research recently on narcissism as I realized lately (6 yrs) that my partner (girlfriend) is having such personality traits in her.

    Just to set some context to the story:
    I met her during my college (she was my best friend sis) and got attracted to her, proposed her and she agreed after couple of days. She also told me that she broke up recently with another 3yrs relationship, but I was completely mad in love with her. As time passed our relationship became stronger, she use to take care of me and I found qualities in her which I dreamed of, but at times we use to argue and fight as she always takes a stand on her opinion and does not want to listen until I agree with her. I can never see her upset and mostly agreed to what she said and when I use to be upset I use to cry or just go to some random place and spent lonely time, but she use to never pay much attention when I said I am upset because of the fight we had, as she use to think that she is right. I use to think that she don’t love me the way I love, or may be I don’t know the meaning of love. The fight became more and more severe after 2 years, but I had to mostly compromise and later she always made me realized I was wrong and I use to say her that you are right, I should not have fought with you. I helped her in all college assignments and getting a good job as well.

    When I started my job after graduation, in another city she also moved to same city with a new job, as she wanted to stay near me. And that move made our relationship more deeper and we started meeting more frequently and spending almost all the time together after job. The fight got very less and more happy time started, and I started thinking that she started loving me. I use to do all the things she wanted before even she said mostly, picking her from job and dropping her home, going out frequently, even hampering my office work at times to make sure she is always my highest priority. Even she use to take care of me perfectly as I use to frequently fall ill. Sooner times were coming when our marriage discussion were to start at our homes, and she use to ask me that if my parents would agree to accept her, and I use to say ofcourse and I am there if any pblm occurs. I was always uncomfortable when she use to talk with another guys in office etc, and always use to say her that please avoid talking to them, until I know them well. She use to get upset everytime and use to say I am possessive and don’t trust her, even though she see me crying after fighting. I use to think why she never understands my emotions and feelings, I Just can’t bare to see her spending time with another guy as it kills me inside, but she has opposite reaction to my feelings

    Few months back we started fighting frequently as she started talking with another guy her school friend on everyday basis, and the day he messaged her darling, I got pissed off and screwed our new year night. But later made up feeling guilty. Then I found she stopped messaging that guy and I was happy. Month later she went to her hometown to visit family and then she suddenly stopped talking with me. I was completely devastated and tried asking her million times what happened to you, she said her family does not want her to marry me and she also realized that we use to a lot of fight and are incompatible (after 6 years!) so its better we stop talking and move on with our lives, I was so much upset for next 10 days as she use to hardly pick my calls or reply to my messages and when she returned back she said that are family member and friends made her realized that she was in a wrong relationship and as I am so possessive and un-trusting it would make our post marriage life hell, so better I should also understand that and peacefully move on. I shouted at her acts but she got more angry so I then started dealing peacefully, meeting her and explaining her that what she is not right and getting influenced by wrong people, I love her the most and can’t live without her, but she didn’t listened and was looking very happy. I use to think it was all my fault, may be I am not a person whom girls will fall in love with may be due to my possessive nature.

    2 months later I came to know that when she went home she met with that school guy and went out almost everyday and made up all stories so that I don’t feel bad or disturb her while she was spending time with that guy. It was like spraying gasoline on fire, just made me feeling the worst and I started doing all these research which finally landed me to narcissism personality blogs.

    I confronted her recently with all the truths and she started crying and from last 15 days she always messages me sorry and asking for forgiveness for her mistakes and lies.
    I am not replying but still I love her a lot and miss her badly even after knowing what she did with me.

  41. Danielle says:

    This is my favourite article that I’ve ever read about narcasism. The monkey dance, what a great comparison!

  42. Pretty Please says:

    So happy to have found your site – it’s well written, insightful advice!

    I’ve suffered at the hands of narcissists for years – now I’m finally educating myself and feeling really angry. (I guess that’s the irony of healing. I finally realize what’s been happening to me and I’m furious. Up until now I’ve been such a good little codependent!) I’ve cleared most of the narcissists out of my life – including my mother, who’s certainly been the blueprint for this all.

    My problem is that my middle brother’s girlfriend is a narcissist and she takes a lot of her BS out on me. I’d give anything to put her any the category of “never see again” – but I love my brother and still want to spend time with him. The girlfriend and I used to be close friends – but after several painful experiences I’ve finally realized what she is. I’ve stopped hanging out with her one on one, but still see her in a group setting with my brother, my younger brother and his girlfriend, and my husband. My husband is aware of what’s going on and tries to have my back – but the GF still gets in her crappy digs.

    The 6 of us have been a tight group in the past – it would be really awkward if I cut her out. My brothers and I have suffered a great deal from our Narc mom – though they haven’t done the research and don’t really understand narcissism, nor the reason I’ve cut off our mother. I’m afraid if I stand up to my brother’s GF that the little bit of family I have left will implode. Any advice how I can protect myself from the narcissist and not lose my brother?

    Thank you for your time and for this wonderful site!

  43. Pretty Please says:

    Also I’d greatly appreciate if you could remove my picture from my posts. Didn’t realize that pic would attach itself to posts here. Thank you!

    • admin says:

      I can’t remove your picture from your posts, or I’d be happy to. You have to do that from your Gravatar account! Sorry!!

      • Pretty Please says:

        I understand. Can you remove my posts instead? I’d love some advice, but anonymity is good too. ;) Thank you!

  44. Fiona says:

    I am in the middle of a nightmare. My N husband of 24 yrs left me and moved home to his N mother. I am left in a dreadful state, credit maxed out in my name. I now see him for what he is. I just hope I can heal, I feel so alone.

  45. Julie says:

    I guess my comment wasn’t good enough. It was deleted. Not sure why?

    • admin says:

      Julie, I didn’t delete it. I’m in the process of updating my site and it may have been deleted then, but not intentional I assure you!

  46. Duped says:

    Hi, I noticed my story was removed. Just wondering why? I guess it wasn’t good enough for publishing.

    • admin says:

      I don’t delete or remove posts unless they are abusive. I’ve been updating the website and it may not have been approved or I hit the wrong button! I am going through posts again and hopefully will get them all up!

  47. Ginger Prescott says:

    I was driven to this website out of frustration and cannot believe how true the advice rings! Please tell me if you think this person, no longer a friend, might be a Narcissist.

    She resurfaced about seven years ago having been recently estranged from her husband of twenty-eight years. My memories of our previous friendship periods (they were intermittent), are rife with petty conflict. More simply put she would want something, it would not happen, she would throw little hissies and then drift away for years at a time until a next episode . . .

    But she always found me! Our most recent re-connection has now ended in confusion and misery. As mentioned, her marriage was on the rocks and with it came dramatic upheaval. Her description of its demise was ironically sited as “his” Narcissism. I have to tell you, though, I think that she definitely has powerful N tendencies, and that probably means that there were two N personalities in that union. Is that even possible?

    In recalling her retelling of the circumstances, he, the bread winner, had ousted her from the family. He would and does not have anything to do with her and has utmost influence over their son, who, in turn, largely ingores her as well. Her pain and hurt were intense and I took her under my wing, doting and caring for her in every way I could imagine. But it was my empathy, as well as the empathy of other targets in this troubled time, that gave rise to the very spoiled brat that emerged.

    Here, I will try to quickly sum up the course of events/circumstances surrounding her recent exit from my home. She had come to live with my husband and me, broke, and in debt, sixty one years old, still stunningly beautiful BUT rejected by the two most recent lovers. My intervention was to give her a financial breather so that she might find work, and a place of her own. It didn’t happen. There was a sense of entitlement that permeated every moment she shared with us in our home. Prior to her arrival she had demanded, and received, my help in picking up her furniture and personal items, in our truck and delivering it to the premises, although she was not pleased with our/my lack of carrying all of the items up to her room, and the attic for storage. I only handled some if it!! Prior to that I had helped her move from one penthouse apartment overlooking a gorgeous marina, to another beautiful waterfront apartment. They had become too expensive, and her attempts at finding Mr. perfect had not panned out. Still she was determined to find this wonderful man, and the search continued once living in our home. Instead of looking for work, (although she did make a pass at it) she focused on two things: serial dating and splitting her time socializing from different venues, in two or three day increments. That’s right, in addition to our home base, not lacking by anyone’s description, and free of charge, she spread her charm to the home of another friend, who, put her up in even grander style. The other friend, would not allow her to move in like yours truly, but served, nevertheless in keeping everyone distracted from wondering what the heck were her plans? After all, if someone started to ask a question, she could freely move on.

    So far no emotional abuse has been mentioned but it was there, and it was manipulative. She was very jealous of my friendships and although she initially wanted for me to promote her to them in order to expand her client following of -0-, she would not participate in social mixers. And when I accepted a birthday happy hour invitation from a neighbor without including her (namely because she was new and not invited) . . . she asserted that it was “too late” for me to ever hope to include her in my circle.

    When I helped her with her first paying staging job from an ardent suitor (I supplied all the decor items) and personally pitched in my labor, she took sole credit.

    When we were to have a girls’ event with a mutual friend (her idea) she did not show up . . . she preferred, rather, to remain at the home of her other friend, citing, grievances with me. Sounds fair enough, right? Problem was, she didn’t cite her grievances to me; she spoke on the phone to our mutual friend and asked her “not to tell me.” Her plan was just not to show up to my home, where she lived free of charge and housed her personal belongings in two bedrooms, three closets, two crawl spaces and 1/5 of our attic. And she did not show up, nor did she call me to cancel.

    As I write this it all sounds so silly and yet I was hurt and in denial. My husband saw my upset and suggested I encourage her to move on and I did. When she eventually surfaced, all smiling and oozing charm, I asked her to share her plans. She had none. In short, I explained that it was time to move on . . . It truly was, but it did not happen without ugliness, blaming, snarling, and undeserved insult. She demanded that I allow her to maintain this as her legal address, citing inconvenience and unfair treatment. At my husband’s advisement, I kept my cool. He kept telling me to cut it off, that she just wants to keep her foot in the door and weasel her way back into favor or an opportunity to punish me.

    Ultimately she moved in with her male friend, she had met on the internet, only five minutes from here. This guy treats her like gold!! I worry about him because he is a cancer survivor, recent widow, and ultra kind hearted human being who will do anything in the world for her. Sadly she shared with my next door neighbor, that she does not have feelings for him.

    Does this person sound like a Narcissist to you? As crazy as it sounds there are moments when I miss her and actually feel guilty for being complicit in our undoing as friends. Do you think there is a chance this person will realize that she was wrong?

  48. Annie says:

    Wow, what a great article! My N is my older sister and it was only last year I realized what she was after being tormented and abused by her for 56 years. She threw an absolute 2-year old Monkey Dance fit when I said “no” to her for the first time ever over something completely reasonable. Going ballistic was an understatement. She must have sent me 100 texts and emails telling me what a horrible person I was and I am to blame for everything bad that has happened in her life. We didn’t speak again until this February when I (the idiot enabler) broke down and called her. How stupid could I be??? But I am getting better with setting boundaries. She doesn’t want to talk to me on the phone (we live 2000 miles apart Thank God) so only likes to text. That way she gets to control the conversation. Today is her birthday and I sent her a card, gift and called her this morning to “talk”. Of course she didn’t answer her phone, but I did receive a text a few minutes later telling me she was having a horrible day because neither her daughter or boyfriend (both N’s themselves) didn’t acknowledge her birthday. And what did I do??? NOTHING!!! So what happened?? She went ballastic and texted me how worthless I was because I didn’t respond to her text right away about HER situation. The Monkey Dance!!! I did text her back and say I was here if she wanted to talk and that was it. I will NOT ENGAGE with her stupid narcissistic texting anymore. Setting Boundaries and JUST SAY NO is my new mottos in life!

  49. Bellabird says:

    Thank you so much for this post! It helped me so much today as I conversed (?) with my narc. I kept telling myself that he was just doing the monkey dance and I remained calm, did not justify myself and just said I was making my decision and that was that. He hurled all sorts of abuse and I didn’t take the bait. It ended rather quickly–like saying “no and that’s final” to a three year old. I am going to buy some little monkeys and place them around the house and in the car so I don’t ever forget.

  50. ck says:

    I’m honestly confused. I’ve been married for 15 years and we have 5 kids. She had always come off co-dependent and needy and I was the one who didn’t care. Over time I was known as the heartless f**k up and she was this victim and saint that I owe everything we’ve accomplished to. I began taking blame for everything and eventually became deep into drugs and completely co-dependent. She belittles me, bad mouths me and turned me into this monster to our friends and family. It eventually lead up to me catching her cheating with a coworker, who ended it because she was still married, which pushed her to want a “trial separation” which I didn’t want and fought her on. She completely destroyed me for next 3 months. One night after picking her up from a club at 2am where she made out with some girl I had never met in the back seat of our van while I drove her friends home. Then belittled me the rest of the way. She got home, we argued and she said she couldn’t take it anymore and was going to kill herself (again) I said go ahead but this time she hit the medicine cabinet and started popping pill bottles. She laid out on the floor, I didn’t know what to do. I called 911 and when the ambulance and police showed up she claimed I made the whole thing up because I didn’t want to get in trouble for strangling her and trying to rape her!

    The cops didn’t believe her. They took her in on a 51/50 hold for 3 days. She cane out with a restraining order (which was dropped when she didn’t appear in court) and I lost my house, kids, car and everything I owned. It took her a week just to give me some of my clothes. I stay on mattress on a floor in my dads house (who I hadn’t talked to in years over her), I’m depressed, I miss my family, I can’t stop thinking about her, my kids are ignored by her, my oldest is targeted by her and I get accused of turning them against her because they won’t listen to her. I’m completely lost, my kids say they don’t want to be be with her, she yells at them fir everything then calls me and says I need to control them from my dads house over the phone while its on speaker and she is listening. If I ask what happened and they say 1 thing negative about her she grabs the phone says I’ve turned them against her. Then hangs up and continues to yell at them about how wrong they are and how I don’t love them or want them when they say they want to be with me.

    I try to tell them to listen to their mother but at the same time I don’t want them to think that everything they do is wrong. Their feeling are not considered, only hers, I don’t want them to think theirs don’t matter. When I encourage them to tell her how they feel or I tell her myself then she says that’s me manipulating them and what they’re saying isn’t true.

    That’s where I’m at now. She calls me a very controlling person who is getting everything my way yet nothing has gone my way for about 10 years.

  51. Emma says:

    Wow. I wish I had found this website sooner. I dealt with a narcissist for nearly four years and it truly has been the soul-sucking experience others have described here.

    The one thing I disagree with is the comment “You already know by now that the narcissist is unbeatable at their own game—which is to win at all costs.”

    I feel I have won. I have done exactly what is advised on this site. Recognizing the narcissist for what he is was the biggest hurdle. For those who are wondering if you are crazy, or even just being unreasonable—you are not. Do NOT question yourself! The fact that you are on this site speaks volumes.

    The best thing, the ONLY thing, you can do is ignore them. They really do live off any kind of attention and can go to unbelievable extremes for any kind of it, positive or negative. It’s as important to them as the air they breathe.

    Ignore them, extract them from your life completely, and they will lose their power. The realization that they can no longer affect you will drive them mad.

    To move on—live a good life of your own without them—that is success. THAT is winning!

  52. Dee says:

    I wish I had known about the monkey dance earlier. I had so many N’s in my life and have managed to create boundaries now. My issue is that my brother has been trashing me to anyone who will listen for about 5 years now. I refused to be his supply (and I was the best sister, ever, for years). I quit giving him money. When he knew I saw through him, he went ballistic. Now he soundly rejects me when we have any contact around town or on fb. Not that I mind for me, but there is a large group of friends and family who want us to repair our ‘feud.’ Because I stopped catering to him, I appear to have abandoned him, when he actually abandoned me. He apparently prominently displayed our family Christmas card on his mantle (so I’m told since I have never been invited to his house) so he could tell his sob story to visitors. They sorrowfully relayed this information to me, much to my annoyance. Is the best defense ‘no defense?’ It doesn’t seem to make any difference if I try to explain to the folks who unwittingly do my brother’s dirty work aka monkey dance for him. Do I just smile and grit my teeth forever?

    • admin says:

      Good for you for setting financial boundaries. Those can be the hardest of all. The best defense is to ignore them entirely and live well. They do not change, cannot change and will not change. Smile and say, “Well, he’s a narcissist you know and they’re like that,” and then go on. People who don’t experience the evil side of narcissists will not get it, those who have will instantly understand. You can’t control anyone’s behavior but your own. What you can’t change, accept and move on. Sounds like you’re doing a lot of healthy things. Good for you!

  53. B. Nicholes says:

    Hello,

    I found this site just in time for I am being tortured at home. In fact, I’ve been influencef by the a narcissists all my life and I feel so hurt since I just want to love people and offer my wisdom and guidance.

    I live at home with my parents because I need the extra money at the moment. About a year ago, my brother went through a divorce and moved back in. I got a sinking feeling in my gut the moment he did from the terrible childhood memories.

    I’m in the process of ignoring him. I work, hang out with my friends and girlfriend or just chill in my room, but it’s so hard because I’ll wake up in the middle of the night to the sounds of banging, crashing and shattering. I never know if I’m going to get a good night’s rest.

    I’ll find myself being cranky and tired from this craziness quite often. I can’t achieve my optimum state of mind and body and lose my productive abilities. I’d love to just get up and go, but I don’t make a lot and my musical and recording equipment is in my room.

    I’m actually quite afraid of getting out there on my own. What if I get robbed or get into a tight spot or my car breaks down? Why won’t he just be considerate and let us rest easy at night? If I ignore him long enough, will he just stop and move on or find new ways to torture me?

    I’m so tired, hurt and confused right now…

    • admin says:

      I’m so sorry you’re hurt, tired and confused. You don’t deserve it. Fear is powerful. I was homeless for over a year and scared to death. You can get robbed or break down no matter where you’re living. Better to be alone and sane. You develop strength when you get out there. It’s how we all grow. When the pain of where you are now exceeds the fear of what might happen you’ll find the strength to leave. Hang in there! Praying for you!

  54. Escaped says:

    Thank you do much for this article. You have described my son with every dotted I and crossed T, whose name by the way also starts with N.

    As a young child he has always exhibited overwhelming patterns of getting his way. It escalated to loud temper tantrums when he became a teenager and I strongly encouraged his joining the military.

    And without fail, every visit since then there is a full blown out tantrum. He knows everything, meddles in his friends business. One year while visiting a young married couple he wanted the husband to go clubbing and when the wife said absolutely not, he wanted to know why the husband was letting the wife control him. Needless to say the wife sent him packing.

    He feels he can say whatever he wants to me because he says I say what I want to him, which is not true. He takes everything I say the wrong way and I find myself walking on egg shells around him.

    I once traveled across the world to support an endeavor of his and he showed out telling me how bad his childhood was. His childhood was supposedly bad because I would not let him get away with his many antics both at home and school. He always manipulated his younger sister to the point where she at one time didn’t want much of a relationship with him.

    I cringe when I know he is coming home for a visit because I know what’s coming. Unfortunately, a couple months ago he made a surprise visit home while I was packing to relocate. I was stressed and uncomfortable with this mover and his presence made things worse. This made sound mean, but he was in my way and increased the stress level by asking me ridiculous questions, constantly rolling his eyes if I wasn’t in agreement with what he thought. I don’t appreciate anyone coming into my space and making it miserable.

    After our first argument within a week of his arriving I stated it would be nice if he wouldn’t do any more surprise visits and he flipped telling me it wasn’t my house and how it was my daughter’s house. I had moved in with my daughter five years earlier to better both our living situations and did not live for free. He crossed boundaries, I lived there, paid rent, he did not.

    The following week when the movers arrived and were wrapping furniture, an ottoman was wrapped and placed on its side when my son attempted to sit on it. I viewed this as potentially damaging or breaking my furniture. I am retired, don’t have much, and can’t afford to buy new furniture.

    He went off, putting on a great monkey dance. Shouting to me not to say anything to him for the remainder of his stay, telling me to not come into the kitchen where he was. He did this in front of three strange men who were moving my stuff.

    This was it for me, as much as I love my son I refuse to let a grown man continue to disrespect me, especially in my own space. He had planned to stay with me in my new place for several weeks.

    After the movers had removed my furniture from my bedroom, I later entered the room to find my son in my room looking out of the window. I knew he was trying to further start trouble, so I just went downstairs.

    As sad as it is to not have a healthy relationship with my son, I will not have a relationship with him until he apologizes, respects me and my boundaries, which I doubt will happen.

    My son travels the world, meditates, but fails to see his self-help methods are not working. And I tell him, “Wherever you go, there you are.”

    I left, did not say goodbye to him, and I do not want him bringing all of that negative drama into my space. At the end of the day, it is what it is. I accept he has problems, but until he gets the professional help he needs, we are done.

    I deserve to live a peaceful life!

  55. Escaped says:

    Please excuse all of the errors, but hope you get the gist of this.

    I was stressed with the move itself and my son would create a hostile environment throughout his home visits while in the military. This man is almost forty and still acts like he is 2 yrs. old. Thanks for listening!

    • admin says:

      We listen! We may be slow to respond because of outside work and jobs, but we DO listen and read every single post and story!

  56. eyes says:

    Wow this describes a woman that called me her daughter. I grew up without a mom and was around this woman for years, she told everyone that I was her daughter but as soon as we would have any type of disagreement she would yell at me and say mean things like “I didnt birth you”. I always wondered why she treated me so different behind closed doors. I also always felt like she treated me as a daughter because I took good care of her and gave her anything she wanted. I really looked up to her as the mother I never had and it hurts to make me thing that maybe this person really is a narsasist and doesnt love me.

    • admin says:

      You did NOT deserve that. No one deserves abuse like that. Don’t let it eat you up. Find love, be successful, know her actions and character are about who SHE IS, not about who you are. Hang in there!

  57. Danielle says:

    Omg! This is my ex husband to a T! He is text book narcissistic to the very core.

  58. Jessica says:

    I am so happy to have found your site!

    The monkey analogy was so helpful to me. It took the concern and fear of the unknown pending actions of the monkey out of my heart.

    Our ‘monkey’ is my husband’s brother, also possibly his wife. They have a 9 year old girl MIddle child; other kids 2 and 17) who does bad things and then blames them on my kids. My kids aren’t perfect, but destruction of private property only happens when she is around my kids, always the same type of damage, and I have witnessed it myself. My kids haven’t ever been aware of this-no reason to try to explain this behavior to them. I can’t defend my kids to my MIL, as the 9 year old has quite a scheme going herself. I have let it go, since arguing with my husband’s family amounts to nothing. I simply try to observe as closely as possible.

    My problem is this: I don’t believe my MIL has NPD, and she’s a widow. We have a summer cottage right next to hers. She rigs the 9 year old up frequently.

    2 weeks ago, the 9 YO took my daughter’s fish out of her tank, put it in a box on her desk, closed it, and left it there. Awhile later, she ‘saw that the fish wasn’t in the tank’ and ‘rescued it from the box’. At this time, the fish’s fins were adhered to the box, but the fish has managed to survive. The 9 yo then blamed it on my son (I have 6 yo twins). It was clear to everyone at the party (my BIL and SIL weren’t there) that the 9 yo did it. A 4 year old even said, ‘The big one who’s mean did it.”.

    My husband tried to delicately approach this with his brother a few days later. His brother said that his daughter only rescued the fish, and that she didn’t have her lying face on, so she was telling the truth.

    One week ago, the 9 yo admitted that she did it. I thought we might have a chance. We told her that she was brave, and that we love her no matter what. She wanted to talk with me, so I did, because I didn’t want her to feel ignored. I thought she and I had a great talk. I said sometimes our brain does things without asking us first, and then after the fact, we feel badly. I told her sometimes that just means that our brain is trying to tell us something, so it might help to talk with an adult who could help her understand what her brain might be trying to say. I told her that we need to tell her parents what happened, but that we could tell them together. She was afraid of how mad her dad was going to get, and asked that I speak with her mom. We were at our summer cottage (my MIL felt that she needed to bring the 9 yo up that weekend, fully aware that we had this issue going on, disregarding it’s delicacy), so I couldn’t talk with her mom right then.

    The next morning, I texted her mom, asking if we could speak. Within 2-3 hours, accusations were flying. The 9 yo had told her parents that I had cornered her and interrogated her and told her that her parents don’t love her/don’t love her enough and that they don’t snuggle her enough. Both the husband and wife have told me to ‘steer clear’ of their family (phew!), and have used social media to explode their family’s love for one another, publicly demonstrating how functional they are. So-the 9 year old got more attention again.

    My BIL said she did it because my daughter was teasing her, and it didn’t matter because the fish lived, so what’s the big deal?

    So, here’s my situation: We have a huge family graduation party this weekend. I am sure they will be in attendance, since they told me to steer clear, and they are going to show up at everything for awhile, to stake their territory. My kids are excited to go. My husband is on the fence. We’re still discussing this. Relatives have flown in for this event. I will ultimately do what my husband decides, as it is his family (and it is even more clear to me as to why he has chosen to keep them at arm’s length). My husband is hurting here, and I am so angry that I have allowed these people to bond with my children. My daughter is the 9 yo’s biggest defender, in denial, and refuses to tell me anything about the 9 yo. Great. My son is still angry for being falsely accused. Good for him!

    If we go, I can now see them as monkeys. Thank you for that. The anxious pit in my stomach is no longer there.

    I guess my question is, what should I do? I feel almost manipulative that they have told us to stay away from them, so I don’t have to find a way to keep the 9 yo away from my kids. However, my MIL will still do as she chooses, always putting me in a difficult spot. The adults have all chosen to believe the 9 yo. I thought we had a chance, since she admitted to it, but it is clear we do not.

    Are there any sites or books that deal with this kid of behavior? My biggest concern is how to talk with my kids, when we aren’t spending so much time with the family, and what I can do for ‘boundaries’ up north.

    I’m so sorry, I know this is multi-factorial, and there is a lot here. If you can think of any type of advice, I would surely appreciate it.

  59. JILL says:

    I seriously loved this insight in to the narcissistic monkey business. My youngest sister is a full blown, highly dangerous narcissist. Her most damaging behavior is the “blindside”. I have been blindsided by her many times in the past, leaving me feeling like a fool, disrespected, hurt and confused. I now refuse to be blindsided, call her on it when it happens, ignore the inevitable rage and walk away.

    But lately she has been targeting a very vulnerable sister and a brother who is suffering from dementia. I am standing up for them and other family have formed a protective barrier around them. I have also taught my sister (the one she has moved on to) how to recognize her tactics and be prepared. My narcissistic sister ALWAYS has a hidden agenda, no matter what she says. You have to have your antenna up and your armor ready. I have gone no contact, but my abused sister isn’t ready to do that yet. So I just hang in there with her, giving her encouragement and teaching her assertive phrases and being there to get that inevitable tearful phone call. I liked this article because it is written in a simple yet humorous way and I will print it our for her to read. Thank you!

    • admin says:

      Good for you!! Your vulnerable sister and brother are lucky to have you! You’re right…they always have a hidden agenda and it always involves them looking out for them! You go girl!

  60. Julianna says:

    I have been married to a narcissist for 25 years. Your description of the monkey dance is 100% spot on and like others I laughed when I read it. I know the next time he starts this dance, I’ll just sit back and watch the performance like I am in a theatre. My awakening about what he was only happened 12 months ago and I have been on a healing journey ever since. Prior to that I thought I was going crazy as he frequently flicked from charming, loving partner to monkey dancer without warning. I used to get sucked into this destructive vortex and attempt to fight back but found my self doing a crazy dance myself out of sheer frustration. I would describe my husband as a highly evolved, intellectual narcissist who has cleverly evaded detection by anyone outside his inner circle. He doesn’t lie, no text messages or paper trail of any description, publicly charming, well respected, great job with lot’s of status. No one would ever believe it. Your article is years too late for me but hope it can be of benefit to others who are in young relationships with a narcissist. Hopefully it will spare them the soul destroying abuse that I have suffered. I nearly went under as I struggled to understand why he could be so cruel and claim to love me. My bullet proof wall and vest are now on and he can dance all he likes. All he will be achieving is making a fool of himself and looking like a monkey.

    • admin says:

      Thank you Julianna! You sound like you are healing. I hope so! I’m glad you have a bullet proof wall and vest! Keep wearing them and live well!

  61. kim says:

    I have been married for 27 years he has left me at least 20 different times he constantly says I’m having an affair which I have never did or would ever do he makes things up to convince himself I have cheated we are now over 300 miles from each other due to my job and he says I have left him so he justifies talking to women on the computer and none of them have replied to him I think they reported him so he was removed from his site.
    he has told me he would have left me for two other women that showed him attention but they didn’t want him I believe this has been through out the entire 27 years but no one has wanted him but me I now believe if any women would have taken him he would have been gone he has recently said “oh you don’t think I can find someone better than you” I didn’t respond he prides himself on the women he was with before he met me but has said nothing in regards to anyone since me I don’t know if he has been faithful or not. he now has demanded a threesome which for 12 years I have refused then agreed to at one point but changed my mind and this made him loose it I can not allow him anymore control of me and every boundary he seems to try to cross gently soon I will be the only source of income and he will be moving here and i’m scared because it will be just him and I for the first time.

  62. [...] They know very well that they are not allowed to contact me, or I will charge them with harassment.  It will be very interesting to see if they plan to make some kind of trouble at church.  I can’t just stop going, especially with my responsibilities there and my son going to Sunday School, but as they say, Forewarned is Forearmed.  The key is to ignore, ignore, ignore. [...]

  63. Irene says:

    I have been separated from my ex for 5 months now and just this past weekend realized that he has NPD! His sister and mother are schizophrenic and I thought that he must have that as well. Just after 3 months of separating, he sent an email promising to change and agreeing to what I had asked him in a previous letter just before we separated. So, I decided to give our marriage a second chance and told him on condition of getting a marriage contract separating our assets/debts and finances (as he drowned us in debts and I lost all my equity that I brought in when we got married). Of course, he was all agreeable and he even checked with his lawyer, who advised him that in order to get a marriage contract we need to get a separation agreement signed. It wasn’t until last week that he sent the separation agreement and basically asking me to forfeit every thing. Of course, I didn’t sign this agreement and amended it so that it was fair for both of us. He also demanded that I move out West to live with him or anywhere he chooses, which means I leave my family, my kids (from a previous marriage) and a grandson. In a moment of weakness, I agreed, and he was very happy. We then decided to see each other and I was to fly out this weekend to visit him out West (he got a job there). But, deep down in my heart, I was still not sure and sent him an email saying that yet again everything is going HIS way and that the pattern is starting all over again. That is, me giving in to his demands. He got into a rage and sent me such a nasty and vicious email and accused me of the most ridiculous things that I have ever heard. He said that he never wanted to see me again. I felt such a relief getting this email, because just this weekend I stumbled upon websites talking about NPD and thought what a lucky escape I was granted! The decision was taken out of my hand, I didn’t have to see him and we are not reconciling, he told me that it was “Goodbye forever”.
    I have had a couple of days to think about this and now I am afraid that this won’t be the last that I hear from him, I am afraid that he is going to be even more nasty because he did not get his way and might seek out ways to hurt me financially.
    There is more drama, but I am going to stop here, as I might use up the entire page telling you about it.
    I can’t begin to tell you how grateful that I am that I came across your website and many others as I now know what I am dealing with. I am trying to establish “NO CONTACT” and trying to ignore him. I did not acknowledge his last email.

  64. Tina says:

    I have finally figured out after 10 yrs of miserable marriage, 2.5 yrs separation, 1.5 yrs divorced that my ex has NPD. It all finally makes sense!!! However, our 10yrs of marriage produced 2 amazing boys that we are now “co-parenting” with 50/50 custody arrangement. I am struggling to find a balance between ignoring him and dealing with issues that arise involving the kids. Sadly they (and decisions to be made regarding them) are being used by him as a means to Monkey Dance. Some of the issues are ones that can’t be ignored because a joint decision must be made (joint legal custody). Any tips or advice would be appreciated!!!

  65. sput nik says:

    I have been in a 20 year dance with a narcissist and im 3 years post narc. Ive done lots of research about the condition and come across lots of good websites and advice but I have to say your article explains their behaviour perfectly and in a way thats so easy to relate to and understand. Thankyou for sharing it

  66. Mona says:

    I’m so very very confused and so very very drained. My therapist has told me my ex has NPD. We were together 11 years and have 2 small children together. For years he was great- we were the best of friends and he was selfish yes- but also very generous and we loved each other’s company. Then I fell pregnant. We moved into our little house bought for us by my parents (he is very bad with money) and had our son. I settled down- we had a very party lifestyle- and asked him to do the same. He was great as a father to our son as a baby- but anything I asked him to do he refused and said I was ‘demanding’. He never ever did a thing around the house or a night shift with the baby so I did it all. I made decisions and I took over finances- he accused me of acting like his mother.

    The first affair he had was with his first love that he never got over as she left him. He met her while we were all on holiday and slept with her (they live in different countries). Instinct told me what was going on. I confronted him but he denied it- for a year he had an intense online romance and lied to me time and time again until confronted with solid evidence. For the entire year he told me I was paranoid, delusional and jealous. Finally he ended it. And things got better- he told me she was the only one who would ever come between us and it would all be worth it in the end.

    He asked me to marry him and we had a great wedding day but more like a party than any real romantic occasion. We didn’t have a honeymoon but when on holiday often and enjoyed each other’s company. We had another child and settled into a beautiful bigger house out in the country that he wanted to buy at the time. For a year he was fine and excited living here but then began to get bored- said he was too far from his friends. Affair number two was an office girl- same pattern of behaviour- same lies and the same accusations of me being paranoid and jealous. It only lasted a short time but he only admitted to it a few weeks ago. Life wasn’t great then- I couldn’t trust him and felt our friendship had lessened. He got a new best friend- another girl from work. We would all socialise together but soon he started making excuses for me to not be out. So many times I confronted him and so many times he denied it. It came to a head in December when our fights turned into all hell- he said he was leaving and moved to another country for 3 months to ‘give us space’. Rather than saving our relationship- he invested all his time on the other woman.

    He came home a month ago and moved to a different house and said we were ‘dating’. He would come and spend time with the kids but disappear as soon as he could. I got the impression he was just using me for sex as we have always had a lot of passion between us. I finally confronted him about this other woman and he has admitted he is crazy in love with her and has never been in love with me- he was ‘just doing the right thing’. I threw him out as he got physical with me- he called the police and said I assulted him.

    He is now living with the other woman and shows little interest in his kids. One day he can be crying and telling me how sorry he is for hurting me and telling me he loves me and trying to seduce me- the next he won’t speak to me or look at me. He demands that I let him mind the kids in my house as he can’t be bothered finding suitable accommodation for them- I am refusing and have an order against him. He is making me feel awful as he signed over the house to me and does intend to give me as much money as possible (so he says) but i can’t deal with the hurt- he makes a point of telling me how happy he is with this girl and how miserable he was with me and how I caused all of this and pushed him away and forced him to be with this other woman. He is making me doubt myself so much. My family say if I don’t disown him at this stage they will disown me. My children are badly affected and very confused- they thought daddy had come home and was going to be with Mommy.

    I don’t know what to do next- do I go flat out and bar him from my home as he makes me suffer emotionally by either being horrible to me or trying to seduce me- or do I put myself through further emotional and physical abuse for the sake of the children so they see their father?

    • admin says:

      Wow. I am so, so sorry for all your pain. You do NOT deserve the way you’ve been treated. I can’t imagine the pain of what you’re going through, but you sound like an intelligent, kind woman who has, like we all have, hooked up with a narcissist. I’m not a therapist or counselor and can’t advise you on what to do next because I don’t know. I know those of us in similar situations find therapists, learn to set boundaries and begin healing by not seeing the narcissist. It sounds like your family has set some strong boundaries with you and those boundaries have some strong consequences, but they’re set out of love for you and concern for your situation. If I were you I’d ask my family to help you get help with a professional therapist, someone with a background in co-dependency issues.

      The fact that you don’t know what to do and are hurting is a clear indication you don’t have good boundaries, or any boundaries really as you see yourself as being acted upon, rather than having the power to act. It’s hard to learn to love yourself and to set a standard for how you want to be treated and how you will allow yourself to be treated.

      Know this, HE WILL NOT CHANGE. He still sees you as part of his narcissistic supply. My guess is his girlfriend is not getting a magical life with him either, or if she is, it won’t last. Stop thinking (as much as that’s possible) about him, and focus on YOU and your healing and your children’s mental health. IF your family is supportive and willing to help, then ask them for that help. You can’t do it alone. No one can. Get a copy of the book “The Emotionally Abused Woman,” by Beverly Engle, and “Boundaries, when to say Yes, how to say No,” by Dr. Henry Cloud/Dr. John Townsend. They will change your life if you take them to heart and follow their advice. Hang in there. You are NOT alone! We’ve all been there and escaped and healed and you can too!

  67. Mona says:

    Thank you for your words of wisdom- I just think today being our wedding anniversary got me down- he knew how important today is to me and I had set the deadline for today- he either acts like a mature empathetic person or it was no longer my job to accommodate him. So far I got one text this morning and I have ignored it.

    My therapist says I have Stockholm syndrome and he doesn’t know whether to hug me or shake me. I have very high moral standards and never in a million years would I have imagined staying with someone who lied or cheated once let alone 3 times. I also believed that you work on a marriage and kids deserve a loving home with two parents who help each other.

    I think he did me a massive favour today by ensuring he made me feel as insignificant as possible on what was supposed to be a very special day for us both a mere month ago. I went out and bought myself flowers, cooked myself a special meal, and spoiled my kids.

    Me: 1 NPD: 0

    I have come to realise that I have an addiction to him and it needs to be broken as it is very damaging to my health. No contact rule… day 1.

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An Awesome How-to Guide for Dealing with Toxic People