I wrote last week about the situation where you tell a lesser member of our kind that you know what they are and how they react to it. What then of the response of those of us who belong to the greater school of narcissism? How do we react when you tell us that you know exactly what we are?
Those of us in the greater school possess three attributes which are relevant to this matter. Awareness, intelligence and malice. We know what we do. We know that this is regarded as wrong by other people (although we are always able to justify our behaviour when considered from our perspective) and we know that our behaviour hurts people but again it is entirely acceptable because we matter and you do not. We are superior and our sense of entitlement allows us to do as we please. We also do not possess the burden of guilt, remorse or compassion and therefore the effects of our behaviour cause us no trouble. There is no moral compass to guide us or hinder us. We may also be aware of exactly what we are, a narcissist. This is not always the case but we do know that we do is considered as abusive. We are intelligent enough to realise that the accusations of abuse fit with what is regarded as abuse, but we are also intelligent enough to know that we must engage in this behaviour because it is necessary to the preservation of our existence. The inherent tension that might exist between choosing to abuse someone and the impact on our existence is one whereby the need to exist will always outweigh the downsides of abusing someone (which are few when looked at through our world view. You would feel “bad” for hurting someone, you would be concerned about how this would affect you relationship or your friendship, you would worry about how others would view you, you would be concerned if it involved the authorities, your employer, your church and so forth. These concerns are much reduced in our world).
You may not realise that we are a narcissist but you do know our behaviour is abusive. Should you label us as an abuser and in support of this contention list the various instances of our behaviour, how do we respond. Our reaction is not subconscious and immediate like those of our lesser kind. We do not respond in a knee jerk reaction. We know that we are abusive and your labelling of us as such initially has two reactions.
The first is that we fear that we are losing control. Control is hugely important to us because we want you doing everything that we want and nothing that we do not want in order to ensure that you provide us with fuel. Our machinations and manipulations are all designed to gain and maintain control. Much of this is achieved by you remaining oblivious to what is happening to you or mitigating its effect by blaming yourselves (which we aim to achieve) or making excuses for us (again, something we aim to bring about). If you do not truly understand what is happening to you, you remain paralysed in this confusion and you will not do anything about it. You will not challenge us, you will not try to escape us, you will not shut off the supply of fuel. Accordingly, we need to keep you bound to us and compliant. This requires control. If we think that our control is being challenged, is slipping or is being eroded then we must establish it and do so quickly. I will return to how this is done in a moment.
The second reaction is that your moment of enlightenment that we are an abuser (or even worse you actually know we are a narcissist) is one of wounding. You have found us out. You have seen through us. You have worked us out. The potential loss of control is troubling, this being found out is terrifying and damaging. You have wounded us because you have criticised us. By telling us that you know what we are, we have failed in maintaining the state of confusion, bewilderment and ignorance. You have pierced the veil. We are mightier than you, superior to you and better than you, how can it be that someone like you has managed to unravel what we are? What else are you capable of? Who might you tell? We have failed. We hate failing. It reminds us of things we have consigned to the darkest recesses of our mind and now you, you hateful, treacherous, disloyal bitch have done this on purpose. You have done this after everything that we have done for you, because you want to hurt us don’t you? This failure to keep you in the dark amounts to a massive criticism of us. This in turn ignites the churning fury that is always there beneath the surface. This ignited fury will mean we either withdraw, unleash cold fury or unleash heated fury.
Our awareness of what we are actually makes us more vulnerable to the accusation of “I know what you are, you are an abuser, a narcissist” than those of our lesser or mid-range brethren. We are far more susceptible to being wounded by this outing. Our awareness equates to a weakness.
All is not lost for us of course. Our intelligence means that whilst we know what we are and we are wounded by your awareness and accusation, we are not without the means of addressing it. Our intelligence allows us to deflect and deny. We will utilise these twins to fight back, applying our considerable minds to deny what you have said. We will challenge your evidence, deny its existence, twist it around, pull it apart, change the subject, focus on something different, blame-shift and project. Powered by our heated fury this onslaught will be brutal and sustained as we fight to regain control. We will batter you into submission so that you become frightened, upset, angry or frustrated and thus you will give us fuel. Our further manipulations will allow us to regain control as you shrink back from our vicious words. Everything will be thrown at you in order to stop the wounding, regain control and gain the required fuel to power this defence mechanism.
If the situation is one where we cannot risk heated fury then we will issue a flat denial and engage cold fury by subjecting you to an icy and prolonged silent treatment, either of the present or absent variety.
If really necessary and this is of the last resort, we will withdraw to escape your wounding and find solace with another who will provide us fuel to repair the gaping wound that you have ripped in us. We will remain away from you for some time as we recover and enjoy the fuel from other sources as we recuperate. We will return of course because there is a score to settle and more fuel to draw from you, but for now that will have to wait.
We will also engage our energies, once we have gained more fuel (either from you if we unleash our heated fury, from you and others if we unleash cold fury and from others if we withdraw) in rolling out a smear campaign against you. Now you know what we are and we know you know, we need to ensure that this pollution does not spread elsewhere. We will up our seduction of other sources so that they like us all the more and ensure we spread poison about you so you are not believed if you try to tell other people that you know what we are.
Finally, the third attribute comes into play. Malice. The mid-range of our kind would withdraw and seek fuel elsewhere and be done with you for some time until a hoover of positive fuel through a Benign Hoover takes place. The mid-range of our kind would unleash heated fury or cold fury to stabilise the position but then would engage a Respite Hoover or a Preventative Hoover aimed at playing down what you know, restoring the golden period for a while so you focus on that and not this new knowledge or to prevent you leaving us armed with this new knowledge. The mid-range narcissist would do all of this to try and diffuse the situation and prevent it being brought up again. This does not apply to those of us who are of the greater variety. You must be punished for your terrible offence against us. Your transgression must be addressed. Your treachery must meet with a consequence. Once we have established control again and recovered from your awful wounding of us then you will be subject to a malign and brutal campaign as punishment for what you have done. This will happen if you remain with us in a relationship. It will happen if you have tried to escape us. We want to rain hell fire down on you in order to punish you for your disgusting behaviour. This is our right. This is our entitlement. This is how we respond.
You may know what we are, but if you are dealing with the greater of our kind, you may reflect on whether you really ought to make it known to us.