a dark face chisled in granite

The Monkey Dance of the Narcissist

“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.

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. 

Ignoring the Narcissist—How to Spot The Monkey Dance

Laurelwolfelives inspire this blog post; it responds to a comment that she left on my post, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and Reality Testing.

Laurel wrote: “I understand what you are saying, and you haven’t been the first. There are two ways to look at it. Yes, it can be looked at as he still has a hold on me, but if I still made my quilts say for my grandchildren, HE would see them. Anything I would do, such as visit, HE would find out about. THAT gives him power…and CONTROL. The thing that pissed him off the most was not getting me to tell him where I was going and what I would be doing. He couldn’t stand losing that last bit of control that I took away from him.

Sometimes, you give things up. I gave up painting. I gave up woodworking (and I was pretty good.) Now, I have given up my quilting.

I wish you could wish my suffering away, too, and it was lovely of you to offer that wish.

I don’t think I’m grieving so much as I’m seething with anger and almost consumed with wanting revenge. It’s like mass-murderers sitting around bragging about how many lives they’ve taken…and smiling while they’re telling you. Where’s the justice? And the “hereafter” isn’t justice.”

My reply;

My first thought is, If you’re not doing something you like to do because of
him;  doesn’t that give him power?

I include doing as I please when I go no contact with a narcissist.

Sandy Hotchkiss writes about the Seven Deadly sins of Narcissism in her 2002 book, “Why is it Always About You?”

The 7 deadly sins of Narcissism are shamelessness, magical thinking, arrogance, envy, entitlement, exploitation, and bad boundaries.

All of us have some traits, so having some traits does not make one a narcissist.

But you might be a narcissist if you think you have a right to bully people into accepting your delusional point of view.

Laurel wrote: “I don’t think I’m grieving so much as I’m seething with anger and almost consumed with wanting revenge. It’s like mass-murderers sitting around bragging about how many lives they’ve taken…and smiling while they’re telling you.”

My reply:

Shamelessness is the most infuriating thing about narcissists.

Envy and arrogance combine with utter shamelessness to make the narcissist impervious to criticism or remorse.

My lesson in just how shameless they are, began one week in July of 2015
when I was especially symptomatic.

I told social media friends that I needed a break because I was feeling
stressed and confused.

An online narcissist read this and took it as a personal rejection and immediately complained about me to people in Second Life and Flickr.

I can be a sucker, but I’m not blind.

I recognized the triangulation and understood that s/he had flipped me from a friend to enemy and had launched an online smear campaign.

I blocked it on Second Life and Flickr.

The monkey dance began as a series of comments on my WordPress blog in November of 2015. They were public comments I marked as spam.

These comments were by the narcissist on a post about the events and
people in my off-line

S/He wrote:

“Let’s hope you stop using people, women, and labeling them incorrectly. You’re doing exactly what was done to you, Rob. You were hated and now you hate back! Labeling me in your rant about women and how they abuse you. Using me as your target is disgusting and a shame. Horrible! Using your blog that is publicly read by others and pointing fingers at people there, is not the correct way to act. Sure you are entitled to what you think about me or anyone else. The problem is you are one sided and how you state what I did , how you state what I am in reference to what happened to you and that whole idea of narcissism. I understand that your blog is used to express from your inner self. But, it hurts to do this to others. It’s demeaning and you’re doing EXACTLY WHAT YOU STATE IS WRONG. THINK ABOUT THAT, AND IF YOU WANT TO DISTORT IT FURTHER, DO SO.”

Notice the use of what it thinks it knows about my trauma history to shame and bully me?

Female Narcissists are as sick and as dangerous as men.

Male survivors must know and understand this because men are acculturated to protect women.

Another comment on the same blog post.

“Again, I hope one day you decide not to riddle your blog with junk about people. Your readership of which many are with troubles do not need or profit from reading about your trials as they may relate them to their own. Again, what you posted about me is wrong, it’s out of context and most of all it’s private. You may not lie as you say, but using your blog to hurt me, to slam me or rejoice over the comments and agree with them is wrong. It isn’t very kind. Do what you want. Further that post you made as I have written to you earlier on Flickr was fav’d by a person who is showing a pic of child porn and even commented on it. If you don’t care, that’s fine, but I do!”


I’m so vain I think everything you write is about me and demand that you stop writing or let me dictate what you write.

Here’s another dated December:

“I see that you have blocked me on Flickr. It is perhaps the best thing. I don’t know. We are two different people, as all people are different though. Deep in the need for a relationship to flourish is the need that one feels they are understood. I think that when you decided that the friendship was not working out, this is really what was happening. Many will understand you as you understand many. When people understand others, seek to do this, this is the path to peace. I understand also this is a great undertaking and as I said to you before, takes much work. I do not take the blocking as an insult or anything like that. I think you are doing what is important for you to do, not in anger or anything other then this is best. I wish you much good cheer and I say no more. Recently I spoke highly of you to another because that is the way I think about you, Rob. That my messages to you were that and a sharing of what I think is only how I am with others. It is in good spirit though and always deeply expressed. We I think both have very strong personalities, though my is on the side of whimsicalness and laughter. I see much in life to laugh about and be of good cheer. I do though express.”


I see that you’ve blocked me on Flickr, so I’ll stalk you on WordPress.

I’m told the narcissist still trashes me to anyone who will listen and trash anyone who defends me; s/he still randomly contacts the people who read my blog to trash me, though I can’t verify this.

The narcissist must destroy you to preserve his delusional sense of godlike perfection.

Dated December 22md 2015-Five months after no contact.
Dated December 22nd 2015-Five months after no contact.


Rob Goldstein 2015-2018

42 thoughts on “The Monkey Dance of the Narcissist

  1. Ugh. That convo has my head spinning like a dance. You are spot on with the gaslighting. Poor monkeys, flying or dancing, get no respect.

    My ex had me thinking I was insane. I do suffer from mental illness but I remember most conversations. It was so frustrating to be told that I said something when I clearly didn’t, more so to question myself.

    My former boss had authority over me so I didn’t say much contrary to her digs. It was interesting with her interactions with her boss, as he had the power. She spelled bazaar, as in holiday doing, as bizzare. Her boss called her out and she blamed it on spell check…not the fact that she mistook one homonym for another. He pressed. She tempered her rage because he was her boss. He didn’t back down. He laughed and said that everyone was human and makes mistakes. I waited for her head to pop off.

    So much education.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading it. All of the comments seemed focused on trying to make me feel guilty for even discussing the topic of narcissism. And my poor troubled readers…how could I do this to them….I could I remove them as a potential source of supply!!!

      There is so much to learn…it’s hard for me to believe that just a few short years ago I would have felt guilty enough to take down the post…

      Treatment works.


  2. I am so sorry you are going through this. I have had many of these people in my life. They are relentless and evil. The only thing we can do is get away from them. Hopefully sharing this experience and getting encouragement and support will help you. I wish you the best!


    1. I can’t believe s/he left a comment on this post — today.

      I can’t believe how weird this is.

      When I saw it I thought I was losing my mind.

      And I know that the motivation for doing it is to get the attention of another post…

      …I’m the one with the crazy label and I would never dream of doing something so intrusive as to comment on a post that essentially accuses me of being a stalker.

      Actually, I would never do anything that would earn the accusation of being a stalker.

      I thought I’d met the worst pathological narcissists on the Internet after I started using social networks in 2007.

      This one is the worst.

      And I’m not even factoring in the fact that she knows I have a serious psychiatric disability into the equation.

      It’s the fact that she is doing this to someone she knows is disabled that makes it malignant.

      Other internet narcissists seem merely selfish compared to this one.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My heart truly goes out to you!! My life has been devastated multiple times by psychopaths, and unless you have experienced their evil, it is hard to fully comprehend, especially the damage they can do by turning others against you. There is no “winning” with them, you get away and survive. But you definitely need support! I have read that every contact with them, buys them six months. So even though it seems impossible, the best thing is NO contact. Keep sharing and allowing others to support you! You are a precious soul!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you–

        One of the reasons I decided to open this up is that it is the best way to counter-act a smear campaign is to make your own case in the open.

        Anyone who believes that this person has been victimized by my decision to take stop being friends, especially when I stated it honestly, is not worth my time.

        I appreciate your support…and I agree with you that at this point I will block this person from my blog–

        But this stands as proof…

        One cannot be a stalker who takes things that don’t belong to them AND a victim.

        And I have no time for someone who can’t reason that out…:)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, and your blog is a great place to educate others about this devastating problem: that people like this exist. And to get the support you need to get through this. You are doing great with a very difficult situation.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. They are all so predictable. So textbook. They project, they lie, they bully, they ‘tease,’ and accuse you of not being able to take it, or “not having a sense of whimsy.” But they can’t actually take our power without us giving it to them, usually to regret entrusting them with anything we value, as they will destroy what gives us joy.

    They do have an Achilles heel. Exposure and fear of exposure of image damaging information or appearances that cause their masks to slip. Being ignored and disregarded. If you listen to or read anything they say or write long enough they will present information that conflicts with what they just said. They are a raging, manipulative 3 yr. old in the grocery store throwing a tantrum for a candy bar.

    They teach us how to love ourselves, something they are incapable of. They teach us to trust our gut when we feel someone has crossed our boundary. They teach us to follow our heart and do what we love and ignore them and their warnings meant ‘for our own good,’ as they assume they are always the smartest person in the room. But if they want something from you, YOU are the smartest person in the room. They teach us how to get toxic people out of our life, how to walk away from any material thing in this world so we can save our own soul. They teach us love and compassion by having none to give. They show us what pathetic, small and hopelessly insecure looks like.

    Many amass great wealth, have great responsibility in life while many lie and say they do while stealing financially, emotionally and spiritually from others. They are empty. Loving one is like trying to fill the Grand Canyon with a squirt gun. Your finger gets real tired of pulling the trigger.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You wrote: Loving one is like trying to fill the Grand Canyon with a squirt gun. Your finger gets real tired of pulling the trigger.

      I love that line! And of course what you say is true. I have a strategy that I put into place to protect my partner from my illness. I’ve written that I sometimes lose my sense of reality which can make it difficult for me to understand another person’s intentions. I had already begun to sense that I had made ANOTHER mistake with this one but I wasn’t sure so I said I wanted a time out because I felt confused. Maybe s/he sensed that the jig was up. S/he pulled a maneuver that is so typical of online narcissists. S/he decided to tell someone that neither of us knew that I no longer card for our friendship. I thought, wow…I know this scent. This is scat from a narcissist and it all became clear. At the same time I was also removing a narcissist from my everyday life. I was actually more upset over that one. I realized that pathological narcissists are not just a bane on our lives in general; they are a bane on the lives of most abuse survivors, so I decided to blog about my life and the fact my life is riddled with people who really don’t deserve my time or attention. It’s not that I’m so good. It’s that healthy people don’t give themselves to people who use their weaknesses as weapons of control.

      Naturally the online version decided it s/he was at the center of all of my writing and kept announcing this on random blogs and on my Flickr blog. So I implemented a block on Flickr which resulted in a stream of pages long diatribes in my comments that both berated and flattered me. Honestly. What a waste of time and energy. I must be getting better because it no longer hurts. It just makes me more wary of getting too close too soon. And I guess that’s a good thing. Oh yes…and because s/he is soooooo sorry s/he continues to hold my Flickr group hostage. What good is saying, ‘sorry’ if one is going to continue to behave like an ass?

      Liked by 2 people

  4. this is so very well timed – thank you. i didn’t realize until just now that an issue i’ve been having with a wanna-be-blog-basher has been dealing with a narcissist. but things fit. it’s good to know i’m not crazy … at least not totally so 🙂
    thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Narcissist is a specialist at making people question their own sanity. It’s how they impose their insane belief in their own superiority on people. Every last correspondence I’ve received from this person was designed to either make me feel guilty or make me feel crazy. Here is an excerpt from one of four comments sent to me from this person dated December 21st — five months after I said I wanted no contact and one week after I decided to block this person on Flickr:

      ““Dragging even one member into WordPress is a violation of trust” What did you do? Did you drag readers into the conversation. Do they read what you write and comment? hmmmm. Two wrongs do not make a right! Learn as I did. We all make mistakes, Rob. All of us. Pointing out the mistakes, the ones we are capable of and the ones we don’t do (like you stated in writing I don’t lie) well, we all make mistakes and that’s humanity. What is important though is to learn and not repeat them. So, sorry is fine. But higher yet is to be in the same situation and not repeat our errors. May we go on in peace and joy and learning. Do not repeat the errors of the past in the present or future. We can only learn and try our best! Do not name processes and not people for the labels themselves are also a responsibility to address properly. Malignant Narcissism is a condition and exists.”

      May we go in peace and joy and learning so long as you agree with me that I am a perfect angel and you admit that you are wrong to exist beyond my control and to write about my abuse of your good will.

      If you are dealing with an online narcissist you are not the one who is crazy. People who believe that they have the right to take what they want and to hurt people for pleasure are the ones who are crazy. You know you’re dealing with a narcissist if you get an out of context apology followed by “I’m only human.” Real apologies carry
      emotional weight and a desire to repair the damage.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep – reads a lot like what I got from my “Mr. Perfect”. What else would you call it when he says he can’t meet me half way because he’s done nothing wrong – it’s up to me to “span the chasm” between us as I am the one who’s messed up …

        Liked by 2 people

  5. You are most welcome. It’s always been difficult to listen as people say “HE WINS” when they find out that I have given up things I used to love to do.
    AND…the powerful statement which is so devastating to me is “if a narcissist can’t own you, then they will take away the things you love.”
    He can’t own me anymore so he took it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad that you are so interactive in your blogging because it prompts me to think differently. I showed this post with those comments that I excerpted to my therapist. The extraordinary thing is that the writer of those comments is so narcissistic that s/he is almost a stereotype. My therapist thinks that part of the game is pretending to be one of my alternates and when I first this person my therapist wondered if s/he was an alternate. In fact my first clue that I was sucked into yet another relationship with ‘Mom’ was that when I asked this person to stop behaving in ways might lead people to think that s/he was an alternate of mine s/he stepped it up.

      I wish that I had not been so stupid as to give this person the reigns of my favorite art group on Flickr but I was that stupid. What I learned from you was that it is better to give up something you love rather than give the narcissist room in your mind and heart. I have better things to do with my life than hate someone who feeds on hate.


      1. That’s funny because I went to get my head shrunk today and I was telling “Sam” about it.
        While he was talking to me, I was thinking “I need to tell (Robert?) about this.
        His take is that narcissists do not suffer from a superiority complex but rather an inferiority complex. I argued with him a bit (based on Loser) but he held firm. I wanted your take on that because I just don’t know if I agree. Loser has enough self-confidence to call himself GOD…that cannot be derived from someone who feels inferior…and YOUR person…what a NIGHTMARE.
        Can you explain to me what an “alternate” is? I’m not thinking it’s a particularly good thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re therapist is spot on. They feel like nothing and struggle to suppress a deep and abiding sense of shame. Their sense of inferiority is so acute that it causes them to feel empty. Their sense of self is devalued and they act this out on others. Psychotherapists believe that what the narcissists does is dump their shame and rage on other people. Some therapists might think that the rage you feel is actually the rage of the narcissists. They dump their rage and shame on others so they won’t have to feel it…

        An alternate is a split in the sense of self….if you were to look at a brain scan of someone with DID you would see separate and isolated neuro-networks.

        The alternates are a kind of ‘escape rout’ that the child uses to survive extreme emotional and physical distress.

        This is a link to a site that provides an excellent explanation.



      3. Ah..the escape. I think I understand that…my escape was humor. People at school thought I was hilarious and had no idea what my life was like at home. It worked the entire time I was in school.
        With Loser, my escape was feigning indifference. It was the only way I could deal with his inattentiveness and emotional abuse. It worked for years.


      4. You know…you’d think that if someone told you that he didn’t want to have contact with you, that he didn’t want a friendship, for whatever reason, even an irrational one; you’d think that the last thing a normal person with a functional level of insight and empathy would is is send a comment. Right?

        I’ve not seen anything like it.

        Today in my pending is a comment from the person who wrote the comments I excerpted in this post…

        Am I wrong in thinking that I don’t really need a reason for making the decision to not communicate with someone…am I wrong to think that if I ask for a return of a piece of my property I don’t really need a reason for wanting it other than that it’s mine?

        What’s fascinating is the power of the Narcissist to make us doubt ourselves.

        But I just realized why. They never do anything unless it serves some secondary gain. For a narcissist supply is God and supply can attention.

        My guess is that s/he thinks I would be so baffled by the insanity of it that I would post it in another topic. One that I would call: Am I wrong in thinking that I don’t really need a reason for making the decision to not communicate with someone…am I wrong to think that if I ask for a return of a piece of my property I don’t really need a reason for wanting it other than that it’s mine?

        And s/he was almost right…:)


      5. I asked Loser to return our bedroom furniture and he gave his word. I don’t don’t have it, of course.
        I told Loser that I never wanted to see him or talk to him or have anything to do with him…ever. Sam (my therapist) told me that by telling him that, I was “opening a conversation.” I was puzzled because I didn’t think I was doing that. He said the way to approach “no contact” is to just walk away…no confrontation, no letters or notes….just simply never have anything else to do with them. He also said “don’t respond to them if they act.”
        No. You are not wrong in thinking that you don’t need a reason to decide not to communicate with somebody. If somebody does not add something to you life, they don’t need to be in your life. There doesn’t need to be songs or poetry written about it…they just need to be out of your life.
        It almost drove Loser insane when I refused to let him know where I was. Your he/she is of the same mindset, it seems….trying to more or less “get a rise out of you.” That’s about power and control…as you well know. The lack of knowledge and particularly a response from us, takes away their power and gives us back a little bit of ours.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Thank goodness for my therapist. I won’t lie and say that finding the comment didn’t trigger me. It reminded me of how my Mother would burst into my locked bedroom because she HAD to say whatever it was I didn’t want to hear. This is what my therapist says and it’s good advice in general: “Let’s hope that she truly stops, however, I’m not sure she will. She seems determined to keep you engaged. This is a situation where less is more. Keep any response to one sentence if you can.”

        I don’t intend to respond … everything will go into the spam folder.

        On some levels, it’s really just sad to think of a soul that arid.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. It is, isn’t it? I’m not sure I would even garnish them with a soul. I really like the no contact, no response rule. Of course, it’s difficult when they are in the same house.
        BTW. I liked your Judas post. I don’t think I ever gave “personality disorders” much of a thought, when it comes to Biblical times. I thought it was more or less preordained that Judas would betray Jesus. Betrayal? For me….the unpardonable sin.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I have trouble with the idea of an all seeing all knowing God who get’s pissed when people do things that he knows they’re going to do. I mean what kind of mind game is God playing when he sticks a tree in the middle of their little paradise; graces it with delicious looking fruit and says, “don’t touch” fully knowing that once he says it he will trigger a “must touch” response from Eve.

        It seems like God is playing a game of ‘Gaslight’.

        Same is true with Judas. If the Christ figure HAD to die the most brutal possible death in order to free humanity from sin and the execution of the Christ figure HAD to be the result of a betrayal from one of his own disciples then Judas fulfilled his mission in life the moment he kissed Christ in the garden.

        If it had to happen as it happen and couldn’t have happened any other way then there is no free will
        in these two myths.

        The point of the Crucifixion is the illustration of the corruption of money and power and the States abuse of its power over life and death.

        Jesus is betrayed by corrupt religious leaders who worship the State; not by Judas.


      9. You know, I have struggled with those questions my entire life….the preordained events and the myth about “free will.” The same question could be asked about people like us. You know God knew how our lives were going to be, so what is the purpose? What lesson are we supposed to learn…or what is the reasoning behind our particular brand of suffering? Did we have free will? It never has made sense but I still believe in God. I’m a little bit pissed at him right now, but He should understand why. Corrupt religious leaders? I can’t even calmly talk about that….just like corrupt politicians.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I have free will…I know this but I’m not sure about destiny. I’ve had a hard, miserable life but there are people out there who have suffered terribly….was that their destiny? Was it my destiny? If so, who decides?

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I think this was my destiny. I believe in the power of the wounded healer.

        I think that the question is not whether life will hurt us, because it will. I think the question is how we will use that pain…will we use it to make something good. That’s where free will enters the equation.


      12. I guess that’s what I haven’t figured out yet….how to use the pain. Some of my readers say it’s my writing. They say I’m good but it’s probably just platitudes…I have no idea how to write.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. You write beautifully. The fact that you don’t think you know how to write is probably why…:)

        It’s not really necessary to know how to write. What’s important is the writing.


  6. This made me think long and hard, emotional abuse exist and sometimes we make so much excuses for it. I hope you are better now that you have removed yourself from the group and from all that was not working for you, wishing you love and light

    Liked by 1 person

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