Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Inches and yards

I'll never learn. A narc's criticism is based on projection. Period.

I believed my father when he said, and he did so often, that I was ungrateful and couldn't understand enough was enough. One of his favorite phrases directed at me was "Whenever I give you an inch you take a yard". It was for things like being too cheerful and bouncing and jocular after he joked with me a little. I never actually asked for much.

Here is a great post on how it is the narcissists who always take a yard. You give them some kindness, a bit of a compliment here, some loving behavior there, and they smell blood and instantly attack for more control over you. I've seen it with my father. I tried placating him, once I understood he was a narcissist, by being extra respectful and kind and offering him drinks when he dropped by and never talking about myself and asking about him and his childhood and listening to him. He stopped announcing himself. I signed a polite, kind message with "love". He gave me the silent treatment for forgetting to let him know we've arrived safely, something that wouldn't have happened earlier. The nicer you are, the weaker they think you are, and therefore they attack, thinking they'll get more control.

Because that's all they know and want. Control. They don't understand kindness and love as anything other than weakness.



  1. You were really out of order for being cheerful when your father attempted to make a joke. You truly are an ungrateful child. Just who do you think you are?

    God, every glimpse into their world shows a more twisted, dark place - one you can be proud to have liberated yourself from.


  2. I am figuring this out the hard way. Kind of a bummer to be validated because now I am left with what do I do now. I know I shouldn't be bummed out. This makes so much more sense than what I have done. But I feel unnatural not being kind. Thanks for the beware reminder.

  3. Yes, NLR. Nothing resembling what we know as human. Eerie.

  4. I know, Ruth. I also feel unnatural not being kind. And I also don't want to endanger my family's home. But I also wish to protect myself and my family by having firm boundaries. Which leaves me always walking a razor-sharp narrow path. I'm at a loss sometimes on HOW to actually act. IS there a "way"?

  5. You said "I'll never learn" but you just DID! Hooray for you.

    It will be difficult but try to cultivate the REAL YOU. The more the REAL YOU is present, the less interested the narcissist will be in goading you. When you react, you give away your power. He doesn't deserve it!!!

    I wish you the very best.

  6. Thank you, Cheshire! I haven't been "squeaking" to him at least for a long time, which is probably why I haven't existed to him, not really, in years!

    BTW, I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to share here the link to your post where this idea is fully explained and ingeiously illustrated:

  7. sure, anytime. I'm glad we can support each other in our journey.

  8. It is such a strange reaction to kindness. It is something that is still complex to understand from the Ns.

    Great writing and glad I found your blog.

    T Reddy


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