A frog and a scorpion are sitting by the river. The scorpion asks the frog to carry him across. The frog says, “No! If I do, you’ll sting me!” The scorpion replies, “That’s foolish. If I did, we’d both drown.” So, reluctantly, the frog agrees to ferry him to the other side. About halfway across, the frog feels the sting of the scorpion’s tail in his back. As he begins to drown, with his last breath, the frog exclaims, “You fool! What have you done?! Now we’ll both die!” The scorpion replies, “I couldn’t help it. It’s in my nature.”
It’s in my nature. Sadly, this is the narcissist to the core. No matter what they may say or do in an attempt to appear loving and compassionate, there is never any truly selfless kindness with them. If you’re a person of faith, then you are most likely familiar with Proverbs 12:10 “Even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.” There is so much wisdom in those words. And it’s here, in the knowledge and realization that there is no true love or kindness with the narcissist, where we begin to understand that no matter how deeply, genuinely, and unconditionally we love them, they will never be who they pretended to be in the beginning when they love bombed us and filled us with the illusion that the love we had, until now, only dreamt of, actually existed.
This is why going no contact is the only true way to both win with a narcissist, as well as take back the power you so freely and trustingly gave them. When we say no contact, we literally mean absolutely, positively zero contact. No texts, no phone calls, e-Mails, “accidental” run-ins. Zilch. Nada. This is probably one of the hardest things to do. This person, at one time, meant the world to us. We probably even imagined ourselves spending the rest of our lives with them. And now, to suddenly turn our backs on them and ignore them? It just seems unconscionable. But the reality is, the relationship will never work because you and the narcissist are both deeply and unconditionally in love with the same person – the narcissist. This leaves us with one of the hardest decisions of our lives – whether to protect ourselves by leaving or to continue to stay and remain a victim.
If you have children with a narcissist, then no contact is probably not an option. But, fear not, there’s a second option. It’s what’s called grey rock. In this scenario, you are just that: a boring, plain, unimpressive, disinteresting grey rock. When engaged in conversation with them, your answers are relegated to single word responses. “Yes,” or, “No,” or, “Okay.” Since the narcissist “fell in love” with our empathetic self, the goal is to make yourself seem as completely uninteresting, disinterested, and detached as possible. In short – you…are..boring, like a grey rock.
Whichever approach you take, what generally happens is the narcissist will initially accuse you of not trying, of being difficult, or unwilling to work things out. But as time goes on, they will turn around in their behavior almost a full 180°. They’ll begin to try harder and may even seem to be making a legitimate effort. Don’t fall for it. This is just a mild form of hoovering, where the narcissist acts and behaves as s/he did when you first met them, showering you with love, affection, attention, money, and gifts. And, as with full-blown hoovering, it simply will not be long before the narcissist reverts back to being the self-absorbed person they actually are at their core.
You see, a healthy person can most assuredly love with the same intensity for which we’ve pined. After all, didn’t we love the narcissist with the same amazing love they seemed to give us when we first met? (The love bombing phase.) It’s that same love which our hungry hearts have yearned to give, as well as receive, for so long. So we know it’s out there. We know we’re capable. But sadly, it’s not within the narcissist to be genuinely and selflessly loving. And I think that’s what hurts the most: the sudden awareness that the person we love beyond all measure and hope possesses nothing more than a twisted, perverted interpretation of what they envision love to be. This is probably the hardest truth to accept: that any romantic endeavor with them will never be anything but a painful exercise in unilateral futility.
There comes a point where we have to admit that the narcissist, this (once) amazing and wonderful person whom we loved so deeply and seemingly unconditionally, will never be who they led us to think they were at the onset of the relationship. And, no matter how sincere and fathomless our love for them might actually be, they will, each and every time, sting us without a second thought. After all, it’s in their nature.