Beyond Mediation

Beyond Mediation - Part 6 (Section 2)

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6. DEFENDING YOURSELF AGAINST THE NFH (SECTION 2)

Now this next bit is hard to come to terms with, but if your NFH sees you continually ignoring and being unaffected by his harassment, he will see you as winning the battle. What will most likely happen is that, like all bullies, he will withdraw. Not totally, but he will be admiring or be envious of your behaviour. And being a winner, he will think that he has to do the same, by pretending to ignore you. Thing is your NFH won’t understand the meaning of this and this is where he starts to unravel, again. Often it’s the case that if he can’t get a reaction from you that he will turn on those closest to him.

What you are actually doing is depriving him of his narcissistic supply. You won’t feed him so he will need to go to other sources to feed him. This is why your NFH, like a school bully, will often start forming a gang who he sees as admiring his ideal self. Once recharged then this is where you will often find that other neighbours will begin siding with your NFH.

NFHs have the ability to lie very convincingly and like bullies, they will make out that they are the victim. We’re afraid that it’s the way of the world that there will always be others who will, at least initially, believe the NFHs version. This needs to be defended differently because its one thing to know that your NFH is slightly deranged, its quite another to find that people you once thought of as friends will suddenly, if not be hostile, though some are, they will be siding with the NFH.

“So NFHiB, because you’re saying I should ignore the NFH, now I have a gang of them? Hardly a result!”

True. Dealing with a gang is more difficult but NFHs will be doing this anyway, regardless of how you react. If they can find anyone to give them their narcissistic supply, then they'll use them, whether you ignore the NFH or not. NFHs love to bad mouth you to other people.

And it can come as quite a shock to suddenly find other people suddenly believing all sorts of rubbish about you. Its also easy to fall into the trap of bad mouthing the NFH to your neighbours. Don’t do this. That’s playing the NFH’s game. If you bad mouth him, the other neighbours will see that, actually your NFH may have a point. Our goal is to show the other neighbours that your NFHs allegations are untrue. Again it's all part of our long term strategy.

That’s a lot to take in though for the moment so we'll get onto tactics to tackle the group scenario in a moment.

What you may be wondering is “How can I ignore my NFH?” We realise the difficulty of this as the obvious problem is he’s NEXT DOOR. How can you possibly ignore him?

Well, while we can’t reduce your exposure to 0%, there are steps you can take to reduce it substantially and we'll look at those now.

If your garden allows it then erect a 6 foot fence between you and your NFH. If the NFH owns the fence you are perfectly entitled to erect a fence on your land adjoining the NFH. You usually can’t do this at the front of the house as there are different laws governing this but we’ve had several members who have put up 6 foot fences to find it changes their world. As the saying goes, “Good fences make Good Neighbours”. We would also recommend that you use concrete posts cemented into the ground.

The sunglasses trick. Your NFH will want to make eye contact with you whenever possible. When you’re outside simply wear a pair of sunglasses. This maddens them no end as they can’t find out what they desperately want to know. That you’re being intimidated.

Ignore, ignore, ignore. Your NFH will make a habit of making comments whenever you walk by or are in earshot. However tempting it may be to react, don’t. Log and record the incident. Your NFH will love nothing more than to see you’re being affected by his comments. If you want to do anything then just smile or laugh but we’ve found its difficult to do this convincingly so we advise do nothing, say nothing. And if you’re caught without your sunglasses, ignore him and avoid eye contact. Many members find this difficult to start with but it does get easier with time.

A similar approach is if you need to walk by your NFH. Our advice is the walk straight by and blank him. Don’t go another way or cross the road. In fact if your NFH is on the other side we’d recommend that you cross over to the same side, but only if you’re going that way.

All the time you do this you are depriving your NFH of his narcissistic supply. Remember this is someone who has probably gone through life trying to intimidate people. Chances are you’re the first person he’s come across who is not only ignoring him, but doesn’t seem that bothered.

This threatens the ideal self of the NFH. His perfect image is being broken by you. And, as we’ve already said, he will do almost anything to protect it so you'll find after a while that he will avoid contact to avoid being humiliated.

If you do react, in any way, this would make your NFH’s day and he will just get worse. If you don’t react, this churns up his tiny mind.

Now we accept that there may be an occasion when you will need to speak to your NFH. Always be polite and civil and preferably call them by their surname. Mr or Mrs NFH, NEVER by their first name, even if you called them by their first name prior to the start of the NFH difficulties. This adds an air of formality to the proceedings that they will not be comfortable with and it does shake them. Almost as if they’ve been called to account by you. A small gesture but an important one.

As for gangs this is more difficult but the same rules apply. Ignore any provocation and be civil. Chances are your neighbours just want a quiet life and will listen to the NFH spout on and on about you just to keep him quiet but most people will tire of your NFH. They will also have heard how you have been the villain throughout. But if you don’t react or gossip, your neighbours, like normal people, will soon see the situation for what it is. And we can guarantee that your NFH will be relentless in his trashing of you ad nauseam. Whilst people won’t actively fall out with your NFH, you'll see them drop away or have minimum contact as they will be sick of it and they will probably find your NFHs antics embarrassing.

NFHs with NPD believe the rest of the world is like them. Fortunately for us, they’re not, but your NFH can’t see this.

Again this will be a huge blow to your NFH. All of a sudden, those who he thought were believing his perfect self are disappearing out of his life.

Again we reiterate, it’s a long term game plan for you. Our intention is for your NFH to be backed into a corner where you have logged and recorded everything. The other neighbours see the situation for what it is and your case against him builds up.

So in summary, to defend yourself against the NFH:

  • Never, ever refuse mediation.

  • Log every incidence of harassment, threats or intimidation.

  • Keep records of correspondence.

  • Avoid putting anything in writing to your NFH. Use a solicitor or ask NFHiB first.

  • Obtain legal insurance on your home contents policy.

  • Ignore, ignore, ignore your NFH and their harassment.

  • If possible, erect a 6 foot fence between yourself and your NFH. On your own land if necessary.

  • Never bad mouth your NFH to the other neighbours.

  • Avoid eye contact with your NFH. Use sunglasses wear possible.

  • Never avoid walking past the NFH (difficult we know, but it gets easier).

  • If you ever need to speak to your NFH always be civil and call them by their surname, Mr or Mrs NFH.

  • Remember most people aren’t like the NFH. The NFH thinks they are but in reality they aren’t. The other neighbours will eventually see the truth.

  • Deprive your NFH of his narcissistic supply by not reacting.

  • Visit NFHiB for support.

One of our members has suggested that you operate your own reward scheme. So every time you do not react to the NFH, you place £1 in a piggy bank to positively reinforce this and reward yourself every month or so. We think that’s a great idea if it works for you, but not reacting to your NFH will be driving him mad which you may think is reward enough. We'll leave that up to you.

This leads us nicely onto the penultimate part of this article.