Facts You need to know to protect Yourself

Growing Self Awareness

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Deeper signposts. These create much more serious NBP problems - Level 4

Very resistant to making changes in them self.

Overly rigid about some of their life styles or values, overly proud of their refusal to change or compromise on these

Promises are given freely that they will change (not now but for some time in the future) This never happens

Commitment would create far more problems than benefits for them. They may promise commitment (for the future) when what they want is something you can deliver for them, now.  The commitment never happens.

You waste your energy asking for change or even hoping things might get a bit better.

Unless a change will make them look better. Then they will be wanting it as soon as possible.

Problems seeing reality clearly.

It helps them if they can create the same reality issues in others. Like to get targets feeling confused and questioning  themselves. Example: Criticising or blaming you for something you could not possibly have done.

“Gaslighting” is a manipulative strategy designed to undermine self confidence. Targets are fed false information about events that never happened, or words that were never said. The gaslighting NBP game player insists they were real and that this “proves” the target has reality problems.  In severe cases a target may stop trusting their own reality, their own thoughts and opinions.

The more you try to defend yourself the greater the drama Unfortunately that also raises the level of drama and engagement, which suits the NBP player perfectly!

Indications of a deeper addiction to adrenalin plus other addictive cycles alcohol, nicotine, work or co-dependent relationships (addicted to an addict partner)  

Emotional age seems to be locked at around 11-15 years seldom any higher, regardless of what the calendar says. They seem only able to act in ways they learned back then, as a very smart, very cunning youngster. There is no grown-up on board or driving their inner bus.

The more you get caught up (enmeshed) with these patterns the more emotional pain you feel.

The more you get caught up (enmeshed) with these patterns the less hope you feel for the future.


WARNING: This is not a fault finding exercise. Use whatever you discover from this list  to  increase your awareness of what has been happening for you.  If someone is displaying even just one or two of these patterns this list can help you identify, understand, keep track of and deal with the stress those patterns are causing in you. However it could be dangerous to discuss what you discover with any NBP person unless you want a full on high drama no-win situation.

Signposts that could indicate Narcissistic Behaviour Patterns

See the very important warnings at the end

Most obvious signposts - Basic NBP Player Patterns - Level 1

NBP players over-react  to criticism about them, or even being corrected, with anger or rage or sulking.

At the same time they judge and criticise other people, often excessively

Self opinionated views about life and other people

Feel they have a right to be exceptional or different and to get their own way. Expect special treatment or entitlements.

Severe discomfort acknowledging they might have made a mistake, backed by their sense of being entitled to special treatment.

Don’t question themselves or their behaviour. The problem is always someone else.

Difficulty expressing a genuine “sorry.”

Little regard for the way others feel, though may display artificial empathy.

Needs lots of drama in their life. If it’s real drama they enhance it with exaggerated emotions, anger, tears, forecasting disaster

If  there isn’t enough real drama they create some. Examples: resentment, irritation, criticising, arguing, blaming, sulking, getting even, jealousy, negative inventories, verbal abuse or floods of tears

Making dramatic predictions about things you are going to do in the future to hurt them or undermine them

Displays an over developed sense of self importance. Seeks attention. “Look at Me!”;  “It’s all about me!”

Usually pleasant even charming but can become extremely unpleasant if that proves a better way to create drama and gain attention.

Signs of possible need for drama based adrenalin as an emotional pain medication (see notes below)  

Doing whatever else works for the NBP player as long as it keeps engagement and drama going, including shooting you or themselves in the foot!

Other people’s ideas, issues , hopes or worries are dismissed, negated, ignored, minimised, treated as irrelevant or just not heard.

Ignores ordinary “rules”. They are for you and others to follow.  Expects to be exempt because they are special or different.

Exploits or uses other people to meet their own “special” needs. Self serving. Self absorbed. Empathy free, boundary free life style

Abuse - words plus body language intended  to hurt, unbalance, upset,  emotionally undermine the target including insulting, mocking, sarcasm, teasing, baiting, name calling, belittling, yelling, screaming, cursing, excessive swearing

Negative inventory - a long list one after the other “You did, you didn’t, you always, you never, you think. you are,  you don’t think, you do, you don't, …. on and on.

How often do the ones you have identified as “very often” or “quite often” leave you with a feeling that your power or control over your life or your sense of hope is being reduced.

WARNING: This is not a fault finding exercise. Use whatever you discover from this list  to  increase your awareness of what has been happening for you.  If someone is displaying even just one or two of these patterns this list can help you identify, understand, keep track of and deal with the stress those patterns are causing in you. However it could be dangerous to discuss what you discover with any NBP person unless you want a full on high drama no-win situation.

WARNING!  These games  are just parts of a very powerful protection system in the hands of a badly damaged individual.

Although NBP players and their games may inflict massive damage and cause terrible pain to those around them, they are actually very badly damaged individuals rather than mean and nasty people.

In their childhood and teens they experienced some kind of on-going severe abuse or trauma. As a result of that constant trauma, deep inside  a young NBP failed to develop empathy, boundaries and a healthy sense of self-esteem. Worse, they failed to grow up emotionally.

This does not excuse or justify the things they do but knowing this is your greatest protection. However letting them know that you know could create danger for you. Best to keep it quiet.

What you need to do and not do:

* Because deep down inside they don’t feel confident about themselves it’s as though they can’t bear having someone else near to them  feeling OK or confident!. Keep a lid on your self confidence and your positive strengths when you are near them.

* Remind yourself, about the reasons they feel they have to be exceptionally skilled at doing the things they do (good and bad alike). Forget this for one moment and you  can fall back under their spell.

* Without attention and drama they suffer severe emotional pain. Try to block that and you are right in their firing line.

* Facing the reality about  their own faults, fears and failings is too terrifying. If you try to talk with and NBP about this (even using the most calm and kind hearted approach) you will be met with rage or a counterattack so powerful that you will have no choice but to retreat.

* NBP players will do anything to maintain their position, using their cruel, cunning, complex NBP defence systems that keep them safe, hiding behind their false ‘public masks’ but at the same time causing harm to those around them.

This website is aimed at helping you protect yourself from all this (because nobody else can do it for you) by making you aware of what is going on underneath the NBP player’s pretend grown up masks.

Accept the reality. Not much use expecting an emotionally immature kid to act like a grown up just because they, or their calendar claims they are an adult.


Unbalancing  Other People’s  Power and Control levels - Level 2

NBP players seem uncomfortable with people close to them have positive feelings or experience success, especially you

NBP player finds ways to undermine or unbalance positive feelings or experiences in you or other people

NBP player finds ways to make them (the NBP player) look better in comparison with other people Examples:

Criticising, guilt tripping, invalidating, minimising, denigrating or any other process that helps devalue other people.  

Sulking, teasing, baiting, name calling, insulting, belittling, being intentionally rude or unpleasant

Can become extremely difficult or unpleasant if that proves a better way to create drama and unbalance people around them

One individual may be singled out as a “golden child or person.” It will not be you.

NBP players make amazing promises about gifts or what they will do for you in the future, including long term commitment, as long as you do something for them and do it now.  

Promises have a very short shelf life or just don’t materialise.

You and other people are treated as “appliances” rather than human beings.  Plugged in and switched on when needed, unplugged and put away in a box when not needed.

Nothing you do to try to fix their problems is good enough.
This is part of an unbalancing strategy to stop you feeling good about yourself. It begins with a problem (their fears their sadness, their disappointment, etc.)  But it gets presented as a problem that you are responsible for and you are expected to fix. Be warned. No matter what you do it will never be good enough. Why? Because the NBP player wants drama and attention, not the calmness of a problem solved. If you were successful fixing it they wouldn’t feel comfortable with your success anyway. Expect this pattern to be repeated for as long as you keep joining in.  

The better you are in life at solving problems or reducing drama, the less happy the NBP player seems to be.

You may be criticised when you display good boundaries and balance. The less interest you show in power and control issues in your life the more you are criticised.

You miss out on recognition when you experience your own success, or solve your own problems.

The more you get caught up (enmeshed) with these games the more emotional pain you feel.

The more you get caught up (enmeshed) with these patterns the less hope you feel for the future.

WARNING: This is not a fault finding exercise. Use whatever you discover from this list  to  increase your awareness of what has been happening for you.  If someone is displaying even just one or two of these patterns this list can help you identify, understand, keep track of and deal with the stress those patterns are causing in you. However it could be dangerous to discuss what you discover with any NBP person unless you want a full on high drama no-win situation.

NBP Patterns which Increase Engagement - Level 3

Excessive time and energy are used to draw attention to themselves and create drama around them. Commanding, capturing and then holding attention is a critical need. Regular attention and drama seem almost like an addiction.

If they are missing for too long the NBP player will set up a game to create a new fix.

Amazing and very powerful engaging skills, often extreme. Super charming, spellbinding whether setting up a new engagement, rebuilding or restoring control. They “have a way with people” (Note: As far as they are concerned when it’s about you that has to be their way).

One or two very special professional talents help them stand out in their career field. Examples: Incredible technical skill, high academic ability. Award winner. Appear to possess a high IQ

One or more very special skills help them stand out as a leader. Has risen close to the top of the tree in their career. Examples: media, management, sales, education, politics, religion, entertainment, law, medicine, gifted healers or fixers.

Unique personality or style. One or two very special personal qualities help them stand out in a crowd and attract attention. Examples: super persuasive, excelling in conversation, fascinatingly attractive, captivating in romance or whatever else helps keep them in the centre of the stage.

Whatever their special qualities may be, they are also skilled at projecting them, displaying them, telling the world about them and promoting them, all with the aim of gaining power or control.

Successful at attracting, connecting and engaging with leaders or power figures. Using that connection to gain power.

Has a set of masks that assist them in using their special qualities. Uses these masks  to project themselves and their unique image in the public eye.

There is very little you can do to compete.

If all other power patterns are failing can switch to “victim” or “martyr” mask (only temporarily for as long as it takes to regain the power position)

Something is missing. Attunement, a quality that enables a person to connect to someone at a deeper level, to tune in to that person’s emotional needs and offer unconditional support.

While they are  gaining power with the help of other people you are not supported if you try to get support from others, this may even be blocked or your other helper may be hi-jacked.

You will get little if any recognition when you achieve success or gain power and control over your life in functional ways. You may even be criticised for the way you achieved this.


WARNING: This is not a fault finding exercise. Use whatever you discover from this list  to  increase your awareness of what has been happening for you.  If someone is displaying even just one or two of these patterns this list can help you identify, understand, keep track of and deal with the stress those patterns are causing in you. However it could be dangerous to discuss what you discover with any NBP person unless you want a full on high drama no-win situation.

Also on this website

More Pages on this website and in your free book:

Hyperlinks:

Introduction to Narcissistic Behaviour Patterns and NBP games

NBP Explained

Checklist - Signposts that indicate Narcissistic Behaviour Patterns

Facing Reality about  NBP Players - Five areas where you are powerless

Where You do have some real Power over NBP Player games

Games NBP Players like to Play

NBP Player Case Studies and Stories

How NBP Players are created


Back to Players top Page

Addicted to Adrenalin

Why do NBP players need so much drama and attention? Because drama, engagement and attention increase their adrenalin levels. Adrenalin not only helps energise them, it’s a powerful emotional pain blocker.

They discovered a long time ago how well adrenalin worked for them this way, reducing their emotional pain. It was more powerful than alcohol or nicotine (and cheaper). It was a fast low cost form of self-medication and back then, as each adrenalin “hit” was helping them feel better, it was also helping them become a bit more addicted, to this way to block out emotional pain.

The adrenalin high is created inside but it takes an outside event like drama or a high level of engagement to trigger it. So, without outside help to build up the drama, they can suffer severe emotional pain.

Every time you  join in an argument, or try to defend an impossible accusation or a refute a crazy prediction you are blocking their next drama driven adrenalin fix. You suggest calmness and rational thinking, you try to explain that there really isn’t a problem, but you will get no thanks because you are just delaying the drama they are seeking.

Don’t be surprised then if, instead you find yourself in a war zone or perhaps it’s a drug war! It doesn’t really matter as long as it gets the drama going again..

Nothing else needs to make sense to an adrenalin addict. What makes sense is helping set up the drama so they get their next fix!

How do I know about this? Because for many years I was a full-on workaholic. Maybe not so much addicted to drama but to the high I got out of working 80-90 hours a week. (There’s drama in that anyway)

I was an adrenalin junkie, just like my poor NBP father who taught me how it worked.

Emotional Age Signposts

NBP players use child-like games and patterns to deal with their own inner fears

NBP players seldom reach true grown up emotional maturity. That’s very sad for them and very bad for you. Behind their power plays and disempowering games you can see a kid or at most a youngish teenager, but a very clever one, trying to cope with life, using kids’ strategies and child-like approaches to life’s problems. Examples:

If criticised or corrected NBP players respond, not just with anger but with more dramatic opera-level histrionics (remarkably like a kid’s tantrum!)

Exquisitely sensitive reactions to imagined hurts or insults. They want you and the world to see them as a poor little innocent victim. (It’s only a kid’s mask to hide what they are really doing) Message: To misunderstand, misjudge or even ignore a poor helpless kid is a terrible thing to do. Feel guilty.

Each time NBPs reduce someone’s power they believe that makes them more powerful (so similar to a playground bully)

If they are hurting that gives them the right to hurt or punish others! (a child’s game of victim-martyr-avenger)

I want what I want, and I want it NOW! (impatient kid) whether it fits in with your plans or not.

I promise from now on I’ll .. never tell another lie ./.. be sensible / stop doing it  ..…/ ..be faithful .. etc etc (….whatever it is you really, really want them to promise). (...they’re not lying deliberately. Like a kid they really mean to stick to those promises)

They lack a grown up’s ability to hold to a promise for very long. Promises are forgotten or evaporate.

Fibbing if they believe they can get away with it (a kid’s way of avoiding trouble)

I’m hurting or I’m unhappy or both and that’s your fault. (a kid’s strategy, first seeking attention and sympathy but if that doesn’t get results, adding blame. It’s all a kid’s lead up before putting pressure on you for something they want)

If someone else has power NBP players feel entitled as a right to take it from them (the way a child takes or breaks other kid’s toys). In this case trying to undermine, unbalance or disempower power levels in people close to them.

A child-like need to attach themselves to people with any kind of power, but once engaged starting to take some of that power (or a lot if they can) by any means, fair or unfair. (like a kid in a candy store)

Little rebel games (enjoying being a naughty kid)

Sulking  (won’t talk, won’t smile, no matter what you try, I’m not going to be a happy kid)

Teasing, baiting, name calling, insulting belittling



WARNING: This is not a fault finding exercise. Use whatever you discover from this list  to  increase your awareness of what has been happening for you.  If someone is displaying even just one or two of these patterns this list can help you identify, understand, keep track of and deal with the stress those patterns are causing in you. However it could be dangerous to discuss what you discover with any NBP person unless you want a full on high drama no-win situation.


Accept the reality. Not much use expecting an emotionally immature kid to act like a grown up just because they, or their calendar claims they are an adult.

NBP players are not narcissists but a long time ago they learned from narcissists how to play powerful control games, judging, criticising, blaming, fault finding, undermining, punishing or just unbalancing people around them, particularly family members. Many are also self-medicating on drama induced adrenalin.

Typical NBP games are intended to rob other people of their personal power, their dignity and self worth.

There are over 50 common NBP player games and behaviour patterns. If you can identify just one game you can immediately get to work protecting yourself from it.