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On dealing with a narcissist

misswasabi

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Hello everyone,

After a year, I managed to get out of a relationship with a complicated guy and to pretty much move on (thanks, partly to the invaluable advice from some fantastic people on this forum.)
The guy in question was diagnosed an antisocial personality disorder with narcissistic traits, a topic I’ve been reading about a lot to be able to understand what happened between us. The thing is, after breaking up with him the kindest possible way; I decided to go no contact, because it’s really the only possible way of moving on from such toxic personalities. Since then he has tried to contact me a few times, and I have ignored him every time, with all the pain of my heart.
Last week I received an email from him in which he said he was feeling worthless and wanted to end with his life. He wondered if I cared at all for him and said he didn’t deserve to be blacked out this way from me. I am since then considering the possibility of writing a short mail just saying that of course I do care and will always do, but don’t desire to have a friendly relationship with him. I just don’t want him to feel like a piece of s***t, but at the same time I don’t want to destroy my boundaries and lose the peace of mind I managed to conquer with so much effort. According all the books about his mental disorder, this attitude respond to a maneuver called “hoovering” which basically consist in getting other’s people’s attention through manipulation and get some narcissistic supply. I really don’t know what to do, because no matter how toxic he is, he is still a human being and suffers when he thinks he is worthless. I wonder if there’s a way to cheer him up without engaging further with him.
I asked: How should I react to his emails? And got 63.3.4 >17

Hexagram 63 seems to indicate I’ve reached a point of no return in our relationship and I should focus more on moving on than on him. Line 3 could indicate that I’m being “tested” and should persevere on my goal of no contact. Maybe line 4 indicates how quickly all my efforts could crumble if I don’t remain on guard (??). Hexagram 17 seems related to non-action, but I’m not sure.

Then I asked: should I reply to his mail? And got 47.1.5>54

Hex 47 is about not being reactive…I don’t know what the “oppression” must be referring to, and the lines are as confusing as the hexagram itself... Maybe they express my resistance to get completely out of the situation? “I would appreciate some help to understand my casts. Thanks a lot! 
 

juaneros

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Hi there Ms. Wasabi. I understand your situation-- been on the same boat for a while, hehe. Although not really sure what mental issues the person I was with has, and not really planning to know. In regards to 63.3.4-- I do agree with you on hexagram 63, seems you have completed this journey, it does advice to guard from danger, there could always be disorder in the end. Line 63.3 may be showing the way you followed through with ending your relationship, which is no contact, also that it may take a bit of time to conquer it. 63. 4 may be saying that you can be all nice (refering to silk) to this person, but it may be that he always looks to the opposite side (rags), and just blame you or be pessimistic to what has happened between you two. Hex. 17... instead of non-action, I would see it as keep doing what you're doing, keep following this method.

Replying to his email... well, just seeing hex. 47 & 54 tells me there is difficulty and I kind of always see 54 as an inadequate situation. But let's look at the lines. 47.1-- by communicating, (which has also change to hex. 58 just by this line, meaning some sort of contact), you can be trapped again for a while. 47.5-- hmm, sometimes this line can mean someone else having the control, although you can regain it, it will take some time. Overall, hex. 54 advises the inadequacy of this plan, there's not much benefit for you at the end. Well, I might take your reading as some advice too... maybe no contact is the way sometimes. Anyhow, wish you luck on how ever you decide to handle this. Take care!!
 

angelatlantis14

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Hi Misswasabi,

threathening suicide in order to get someone to do what they want (contact him) is one of the lowest things one can do. Sorry to be so direct, but I feel that this is an extremely low trick - emotional blackmail at its worst.

You are absolutely right in staying back and protecting yourself.
The readings bear this out fully:

63 says clearly that if you were to follow your wish to contact him (hex 17) then you go from order to chaos, not a good thing!

47 and 54 say clearly that if you answer to his mails, you will find yourself in an subordinate position, since you have yieled to his will, not your own.

so good for you to stay strong and not let this highly manipulative attempt at getting power over you work the way it was planned...

best wishes

maui
 

diamanda

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Hi misswasabi,

Kudos to you for managing to get away from a toxic person, and for researching their disorder. I know it's far from easy.

I totally agree with your take on the situation and readings, also excellent advice from juaneros and maui, so I don't have much to add. If you fall for this cheap "suicide/I'm worthless" trick, you'll be sucked back in. If he sees that his low tactics worked, more will follow (17). You're much better off not taking any action at all (54).
 

rosada

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63.3.4 - 17 certainly does read as if you are being advised to be very aware of maintaining your boundaries. However, it doesn't say you should not respond, it just says if you do you better be very careful what you are 17. Following (responding to) - the hysterics of a self-centered child, in which you could get sucked back in to an exhausting no-win situation, or the true suffering of a fellow human being that should not be ignored?

As to whether you should respond to his email, receiving 47.1.5 - 54 makes me wonder is it possible for you to answer with some brief reply that doesn't open the door for continued connection? Perhaps it tells you what to say:
47.1 Acknowledge his suffering.
47.5 Let him know you are cutting him off ("Nose cut, feet cut") , but encourage him too ("Fruitful to use offerings and oblations").

Perhaps something like, "I am so sorry to hear you are going through a bad time. I am in a new relationship* so it is not appropriate for us to stay in contact. However, I do wish you the best. Sincerely, MissWasabi."

By saying this you are acknowledging his suffering - which any kind person would do - but also you're making it clear that you are unavailable - that should make it obvious even to him that he is to no longer try to engage you. And of course if he does then still continue to try, you can not respond without any qualms.

Good luck!
Rosada

*The "new relationship" can be with your cat or yourself or whomever, but it's kinder to say you are in a new relationship than to imply being alone is better than being with him. Also this would fulfill 54, as you are responding as a Marrying Maiden, you're just not marrying him!
 
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misswasabi

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Thank you so much for your kind, wise words to you all: juaneros, maui, diamanda, rosada. After reading your thoughts I feel I can face the situation in a calmer, more discerning way. There is, nonetheless, diversity of opinions about whether I should reply or not, I don't usually overthink my decisions, but with this guy...oh, boy. I never thought I would get hooked by a psycho, I didn't know some people were incapable of experiencing love and empathy, so the idea that love can 8pretty much) overcome it all, and that everyone always tries their best, doesn't apply to him. This means I can't implement basic kind, human reactions with him. I have to have boundaries, be mistrustful, ignore him… unless I want to end up hurt, of course. But it's not in my nature to turn my back on someone in pain, so every one of his attempts of contacting me leaves me full of contradictions and distress.
Juaneros, you say you've been there...Well, then you know how it feels, and your analysis of the cast makes sense to me, specially lines 3, and 4 of hexagram 63. referring to me being all nice ( silk) to this person, but him being not so nice (rags).
Maui, I couldn't agree more on your statement: it's very low to threatening suicide to get somebody else' attention, but that's what toxic, manipulative people do. And you mention basically all my fears on this situation: going from order to chaos and give him the control back. That's what I'm trying to avoid at all costs, that's what my internal struggle is all about: trying to reach a compromise (if possible) between my defenses and my sympathy.
Diamanda, you point out the same risk I fear: being sucked back in by falling for such sad manipulative tactics. Thanks for the kudos :) I've certainly done very well, so far, and it's not easy.
And rosada, I just love the way you summarize it all: be very careful what you are responding to: the hysterics of a self-centered child, in which you could get sucked back in to an exhausting no-win situation, or the true suffering of a fellow human being that should not be ignored. That's exactly the point. And I like your interpretation of hexagram 47, with the cut nose and feet referring to cutting the communication. I also had a good laugh at the idea of being married to my cat. I might just say that to him; apparently loonies are not keen on other loonies ;)
In any other circumstances, I would have reached the conclusion that, whatever I do will teach me a lesson, so it shouldn't matter so much. But I realise now that, since my main concern is whether I can be kind without being dragged back into his manipulation world, I could ask the iching if I have the required strength to undertake such task without getting hurt. I got

Hex. 22.3.4.6>51

Well, that's interesting. The way I see it, hex 22 talks about me and my intentions of finding a beautiful way of doing things, through communication (despite all I know about him), and not communicating anymore (?). What scares me is 51: the shock. Sudden catastrophic events...consequence of my responding to his mail? I definitely cant' have that, if that's what this cast mean :(
 

RindaR

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51 may be the background, the sudden shock of the unwanted contact with him.
 

diamanda

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if I have the required strength to undertake such task without getting hurt
22.3.4.6 > 51

Politeness (22) leads to shock (51).
Deluded communication (22.3 and 22.4) will lead to a void/blank (22.6) and then to shock.
I don't believe for a moment that "he's suffering". He just knows you'll fall for it.
 

misswasabi

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I always have problems figuring out how to look at the changing hexagram. I tend to look at it as a progression, as if it was the outcome of the main hexagram. And when they are so unrelated, so to speak, I feel a bit puzzled and don't know how to take it. "Deluded communication (22.3 and 22.4) will lead to a void/blank (22.6) and then to shock." makes sense. I can expect any reaction from him, really. At this stage, I don't think I'm gonna respond (but I must confess I feel like responding just to find out what this shock thing is about ... for wisdom's sake :)
 

leonine

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"threathening suicide in order to get someone to do what they want (contact him) is one of the lowest things one can do. Sorry to be so direct, but I feel that this is an extremely low trick - emotional blackmail at its worst."

Absolutely. This is a reptilian tactic used to manipulate the feelings of those who have feelings. This guy is bad news. He's probably done this before, and will probably do it again. The best you can hope for/do is make sure he doesn't succeed doing it with you. These sorts usually don't seek actual help or actually change their behavior until their behavior stops working for them... as such in a way, if you choose to look at it as such, the best way to help him while preserving yourself is to stay out of contact with him.
 

leonine

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"threathening suicide in order to get someone to do what they want (contact him) is one of the lowest things one can do. Sorry to be so direct, but I feel that this is an extremely low trick - emotional blackmail at its worst."

Absolutely. This is a reptilian tactic used to manipulate the feelings of those who have feelings. This guy is bad news. He's probably done this before, and will probably do it again. The best you can hope for/do is make sure he doesn't succeed doing it with you. These sorts usually don't seek actual help or actually change their behavior until their behavior stops working for them... as such in a way, if you choose to look at it as such, the best way to help him while preserving yourself is to stay out of contact with him.
 

misswasabi

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This is a great point, leonine: "the best way to help him while preserving yourself is to stay out of contact with him." I'm definitely not going to fall for all his anger and ressentment; it's no fun to play a game I can't win. Yep, he is really bad news.
I have to remind myself that he doesn't really care, he is just trying to push my buttons to get a reaction out of me. When he realizes he is not getting any reply, he will eventually give up.
 

iams girl

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if I have the required strength to undertake such task without getting hurt. I got

Hex. 22.3.4.6>51
Interpreting the relating hexagram as the core of the situation works best for me, but it may just be a matter of preference. In that way, I'd look at hex 51 as you've had a shock to your system. After that, I'd view the lines of the primary hexagram as providing a picture of options and consequences for action or non-action.

I think it's good that you're interpreting the reading more in terms saving your strength and protecting the beginnings of your new life rather than communicating with him.

22.3 Be mindful. Over time, we can soften our picture of those who have hurt us or think in terms of their "potential" instead of seeing their true state of being. In spite of your not currently responding to him, this line might actually suggest being prepared for continued attempts at communication on his part. He may also up the ante by making his situation sound even more dire or making it personal and start questioning your integrity. "Antisocials" understand boundaries best in terms related to their freedom or lack of freedom. In other words, if you must communicate, telling him "leave me alone, or I will go to the police" sends a clearer message related to his freedom rather than "no thank you, I'm not interested" which he will likely interpret as "she may not be interested right now, but sooner or later I'll get through." However you do it, you do him a favor by making it clear that his actions can cause doors to be closed. Being a "narcissist," he will also not likely act on his suicidal threats, however if you do feel he is at imminent risk, you can always call the emergency services number in your area and they will check on him and get him professional help if needed.
22.4 Keep things simple for yourself, even if circumstances are meager.
22.5 Your sincerity will attract someone (or your own higher self) of greater depth into your life.
 

misswasabi

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Hi iams girl, and thank you so much for your input. I had never considered the possibility of seeing the relating hexagram as the core of the situation, but it certainly makes sense in this particular cast. I will try to apply the rule to further casts, to see how it goes; I'm just taking baby steps, so totally willing to be educated. Seeing 51 as the shock to my system is completely right. It's funny; I was looking for that shock on the potential consequences of contacting him and wasn't even aware that the shock is already in me. Since he wrote to me, I'm finding it hard to focus on anything else; it's like living with a permanently open wound, no matter how determined I am to achieving closure.


I don't know if he will make further attempts to contact me, but according to the antisocial/narcissistic manual, it' very likely. He definitely might up the ante (actually, there has already been a progression; from mildly apologetic and nice, to trying to make me feel guilty for starting to get over him.) Next time he could be more hurtful and I should focus on preparing myself for that, not on whether he suffers or not.
I definitely will Keep things simple for myself not contacting him and never forgetting his true nature.
22.5 Your sincerity will attract someone (or your own higher self) of greater depth into your life. (Someday. Hopefully :) )
 

angelatlantis14

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Hi MissWasabi,

I think you are spot on about him trying to increase pressure after your refusal to get back involved. It is just good to remember that whatever stunt he will pull, it has nothing to do with an increased remorsefullness or emotional clarity, but rather he'll turn it up because low-level efforts did not work.

Hex 22 is always a difficult one for me to grasp - I see it mainly as saying that inner beauty is more important than outer one, and that in your case seems to apply well. Focus on the good and beautiful in yourself, then you will be less and less inclined to search yourown beauty through the eyes of an outside person. This is obviously hard and difficult to do, but as line 4 says, this difficult time is a blessing in disguise, and enabling you to find true happiness with someone who is good for you.

Don't be too hard on yourself for not being able to find instant closure - that never happens, and IMO it is best to simply accept that right now it is still difficult and that you still miss some aspects of this relationship, even if you do not miss your ex as a person anymore. Totally normal...

best wishes

maui
 

misswasabi

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Hi maui,

Yes, I feel a bit like a slot machine. The only reason people play with them is because, from time to time, if they try hard enough, they get a reward. If that NEVER happened, they eventually would stop pushing the buttons. And if you could see what he wrote you'll see how far is he from expressing remorse or emotional clarity. "I've been feeling so guilty... and now it turns out you are doing better. Do you even care?". This kind of nice things. And I have the same problem with hexagram 22... I'm never convinced about where to place it in the big scheme of things, and yet it seems to carry an important message; the way you read it resonates a lot with me :) You people don't have a clue of how much you're helping me to go through this rough patch! When I feel weak-willed, I come back and re-ready all the important affirmations, like "don't be too hard on yourself" "simply accept" and many more. So thank you once more!
 

yasmin

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This thread is 6 weeks old, so I assume the situation has been resolved. Just adding my two pennies worth- been there, and no contact is the wisest move. I think it's well borne out by the readings. Bear in mind that in their quest for narcissist supply, these poor souls are constantly scanning the horizon for targets, like a radar. The identity of the person is irrelevant, as long as they get a fix. You can rest assured that without response he quickly moved on to another target - be it the banker, butcher or candlestick maker:) Also, a real narcissist is unlikely to commit suicide - however a borderline personality disorder could. And there is little that can be done to prevent it. Don't feel guilty for protecting yourself. Well done! Good luck!
 

misswasabi

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Hi yasmin,

... and thanks for your imput. This thread might be "old", but your intervention saved me from the temptation of writing him today...can you believe it? I'm packing my stuff because I'm moving from my place, and I felt the urge to write him one last email...I guess I felt nostalgic, after having spent been all day going through all letters, and memories, and stuff... not particularly related to him, but even so. I sort of pictured his ghost all over my place, observing me quietly while I was sorting out my things. Just felt like telling him he's not a monster, and wish him well. And then I stumbled upon your post, and didn't. :)
And then, just because I felt I had to, I asked again whether it was a good idea to write him an email and got hex. 57.2.5 >52.

Hex 57 is a tough one for me... I take it as if I hadn't really understood what's going on, as if I the Yi was telling me: "haven't you learn anything from that situation yet?... well, then observe them a bit more and you'll understand". And 57.2... finding something that's hidden ?? And 57.5: no beginning but and end! Well, probably indicating that I shouldn't re-start the whole story because it already ended. And 52 couldn't be clearer: keep still. So all in all, I'm taking it as another big "no, bad idea".
 

angelatlantis14

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Hi Misswasabi,

well, seems like yasmins follow-up came just in good time :) Universe intervention ???

Loooked at Hex 57 the light of your question, I think it advises you about getting a clear picture of what this person is, and what their negative influence on you has been / could be, and act accordingly for your own wellbeing.

Wilhelm says " it has for its attribute gentleness, which
nonetheless penetrates like the wind or like growing wood with its roots.
The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is dissolved by the penetrating light principle, to which it subordinates itself in gentleness. ... In human life it is penetrating clarity of judgment that thwarts all dark hidden motives. "

When you add to this the interpreation of line 2
"At times one has to deal with hidden enemies, intangible influences that slink into dark corners and from this hiding affect people by suggestion. In instances like this, it is necessary to trace these things back to the most secret recesses, in order to determine the nature of the influences to be dealt with."

then I think that this is a reminder how negative this persons influence on your life was, and that it needs indeed to be removed once and for all.

Since Hex 57 however speaks of gentleness, this is how you should approach it - take it slowly, and don't expect to eradicate this influence forcefully and quickly. Rather, be patient with yourself, take one step at a time, and in all cases, take your time to think things trough before taking any step! (Hex 52) Which is what you have done by deliberating, before sending the email...

This will bring sucess, as expressed in line 5 that says that eventually, with good preapration (before the chang, 3 days) and good care in the aftermath (after the change, 3 days) things will come to a positive end.

best wishes

maui
 

misswasabi

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Thanks a bunch, maui. It looks indeed like universe intervention :) I appreciate your gentle explanation of my cast. It's funny how easy it seems when someone else shed light on one's reading… I usually find it difficult to connect the meaning of hexagrams with my questions; and I would say it's a problem with the syntax of the Yi, because I tend to fail when deciding who or what is the object of the statement. In this particular case, I would have transferred that “gentleness” hex 57 is about to him, and would have read that I have to be gentle with him, when it makes more sense to interpret that I have to be gentle to myself (so don't blame myself for ignoring him). Maybe the key is never forget that the Yi tends to refer, by default, to the one who's casting the coins, even though your query involves somebody else.
 

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Hi Misswasabi, very glad my post came in useful- serendipity! I share this with a lot of compassion and absolute certainty: if you can avoid contact with people who are character disordered, please do so.

57 has always been a bit nebulous to me too, but in this case I agree that it's about gently penetrating the problem, by repeatedly examining it.

Line 2 is about hidden, subconscious issues underlying the situation. It shows you using all available means to get to the bottom of it, including the Yi, and eventually succeeding.i think this is both about understanding narcissism, and understanding how you have attracted that experience in your life. It takes 2 to tango! In my case, I grew up surrounded by nArcissists, and their behaviours seemed normal, acceptable to me until I did some work on myself. Now I can see it as emotionally abusive, and crossing a red line: when I spot these behaviours in someone, I walk away, period.

5. Is very hopeful, it suggests that despite a wobbly start, you found the right way forward. Now watch your step for awhile to avoid backsliding!

And yes, 52 is about finding inner stillness, staying in the now, taking stock, and not taking action.

Good luck! In case it helps, I found this website very informative about personality disorders: bpdcentral.com
 

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