The Lantern Within; Human Connection and Manipulation

All people hold a kind of lantern within themselves, a natural energy that emanates warmth and light, When we are near one another we connect with one another's energy.  Human connection is not just an abstract, new-agey theory, it's actually party of our make-up. Infants who are fed, cleaned, and physically cared for but who are not "connected with" by others can actually die. Children develop serious disorders when they are forced to live without genuine connection to others, and adults have been known to die of loneliness, or even commit suicide from a lack of genuine connection with others. 

It's the main reason we live and work the way we do, in groups. Humans will find all kinds of "reasons" to end up doing something where there are other people, instead of doing the same thing in solitary. 

If our boundaries are healthy and strong, we connect naturally, without trying to control the connection. We don't try to take more from someone else, nor do we shut the connection off from someone else. Nor do we try to control or shut down the connections between others.

Those with certain personality disorders or some mental illnesses focus on these connections, and use them to try to control other people. They may do things such as turn down their own natural energy lantern in order to "punish" another person, so they feel unconnected and abandoned, and to display "power" and "control" over the connection.

"If you don't do everything I want you to do, I'll turn off my 'lantern' so you feel disconnected".  When this is done to a child it can be devastating in many ways, and cause the child lasting damage.

When done to a partner, this can also cause serious damage to the person's well-being and emotional and mental health.

Narcissists tend to purposely connect with others in order to establish trust, and establish a hard-wire connection with the person. The other person has no way of knowing that the Narcissist is purposely controlling the connection, that it's not a natural one. When the Narcissist wants something from the other person, he or she may "plug back in" and give the person a flood of warmth, light, and camaraderie. But when they get what they were looking for, they unplug again.

They may block the connection and their "lantern" on purpose in order to send a target a message of control and "authority", AND to manipulate the target into coming TO THEM in order to "re-connect".

After a while, the target can become 'trained' to be the one who's going TO the Narcissist, without realizing that it's not a two-way street. When a disconnect is felt, the target goes to plug it back in, which is a natural human action. We maintain our connections with others as a matter of daily living.

But Narcissists disconnect on purpose for all kinds of manipulative reasons, training a target to come when they're called being one of them. The palpable "disconnect" is noticed by those with empathy, and Narcissists know this, so they use it.

A target may realize after a while that the Narcissist is not coming to THEM when the disconnect happens. This realization can feel very painful, sad, and bleak; it can feel like abandonment and shunning. However it's really just a manipulation, trying to train the target to stay vigilantly focused on catering to the Narcissist. When the target realizes the game and tries to put a stop to it, the Narcissist will inevitably deny it and defend themselves, and probably have a melt-down. This meltdown gives them an excuse to continue the behavior.

Narcissists rarely ACTUALLY "discard" another person completely. Most "discards" are not complete, they're just a more extreme version of this same control behavior. They don't actually LET GO of the person in most cases, they are still playing this same control game no matter how much it looks like a "discard". That's why they slander and smear the person, refuse to let go or leave, refuse to talk about anything, or show up weeks, months, or years later, or keep in contact with the person's friends and family.