5 Narcissistic Myths

 

Image result for picture of a myth

 

I always read views propounded about me and my kind, with considerable interest. I see many intelligent and well-reasoned observations about what we do and why we do it. Many carry considerable force. Other views are purely driven by the understandable anger and hurt that is engendered in people by us, although as I have repeatedly sought to explain, when one operates through emotion, poor decisions are made and the clear picture is not observed. I also come across comments which are made about us which are inaccurate. I am not referring to the disagreement one might have in terms of an ad hominem attack against us. Many people consider us to be arseholes and bastards. I understand that viewpoint, many of my kind would disagree, but it is not that kind of value judgement that makes its way to becoming a myth about us. There are other more important misconceptions. As part of my ongoing work in explaining what we are, why we do what we do and your involvement in this narcissistic dynamic, it is just as important to explain what we are as detail what we are not. With that purpose in mind, I turn to five myths about our kind.

 

  1. We have no emotions

 

This view has gained some traction owing to the fact that my kind function with a considerable emptiness inside of us. The existence of this void can cause people to believe that because we are a shell and a husk that we are devoid of emotions. The fact that we feed off other people’s emotions also supports the view that we have none of our own. We need to steal the emotions that other people experience to enable us to feel.

The fact is that we do experience and feel certain emotions. We experience annoyance, anger and rage. Indeed, the churning fury which is always there beneath the surface, ready to be ignited, is a prevailing emotion of ours. We know boredom, disgust and loathing. We are very familiar with jealousy, envy, shame and hatred. Malice, malevolence, anticipation, contempt, aggression and power are further ones. Our stable of emotions is dominated by negative emotions. These are the ones which have been allowed to develop and that is because the force behind these emotions has been harnessed to allow us to achieve our aims. Our hatred for being devoid of fuel, drives us on to extract it. Our disgust at weakness causes us to always want to maintain superiority and strength. It is these emotions which make us effective and ruthless.

By contrast we do not experience joy or happiness, sadness or regret, serenity or love, remorse or guilt. These are alien to us along with others. We either have never known them or they have been stripped from us in order to allow us to operate with greater effectiveness, free from encumbrance and hindrance. We understand emotions because we want yours directed towards us. We understand how to mimic them and we understand when they should be exhibited (although some of our kind are better at this than others) but ultimately we do experience some emotions, just nowhere near as much as you.

 

  1. Copying us infuriates us

 

No it does not. If we are angry with you and shouting, if you decide to mirror this behaviour, all you are doing is providing us with fuel. If you parrot what we say to you, if there is any emotion attached to it, even if it is said with sarcasm, a sneer or contempt, it is fuel. If you decide to fall silent because we have, we may realise that the silent treatment is not reaping the fuel that we expected, but it does not infuriate us. Instead, we will just switch to a different form of manipulation in order to cause you to provide us with fuel. You find it hard after a while to keep mirroring what we are doing, your emotional capacity is such that it usually breaks through in some form and thus fuel is provided. We also recognise what you are doing and if you are giving us fuel, we will let you continue to mirror us. If you are not, your mirroring is not a criticism therefore there is no wounding, but we will shift to a different behaviour to bring forth the fuel.

 

  1. We miss you when you are gone

 

No, we miss your fuel, not you. That is what we miss most of all. We may also miss the traits that we were able to steal from you and also the residual benefits that you provided. It is something that victims of our kind find very difficult to accept. Surely some of what we said and did was genuine? It seemed that way, so surely it must have been? It must be the case that we liked somethings that you did? We did; the fuel, the traits and the residual benefits. We did not care about whether you were humorous, save that your sense of humour was appropriated by us for the purpose of making us seem better with other people. The radiant smile is only missed because it gave us fuel. Your extensive knowledge about wine was again another trait which made us look better.

Not only is it only these things that we miss when you are gone, the simple fact remains that if we discarded you, we decided that you were no longer worth the effort in keeping around and in most cases, we had identified and seduced a replacement. With this person in place, we focus on them, only turning to you to dole out Malign Follow-Up Hoovers (or Benign ones later when the replacement begins to turn stale). There is little doubt that you loved us with everything that you had, that you thought the world of us and nobody could have done for us what you did, but that is all from your perspective. Once we have discarded you, that all counts for nothing. You became a malfunctioning appliance and you have been replaced. We miss nothing about you.

If you escape, we will miss the three items that I detailed above and indeed we will look to recover them through the Initial Grand Hoover and Follow-Up Hoovers but do not think that our protestations of being unable to live without you, how we cannot imagine another day with you and we miss you so much, have anything to do with you as a person. They do not. We are unable to live without your fuel, we cannot imagine another day without using your traits and miss your residual benefits so much. All of these declarations, pleas, begging gestures and so forth are only designed to recover the three principle reasons we attach you. You can tell yourself that we miss you terribly if it makes you feel better but you are misleading yourself.

 

  1. We hate being alone

 

We need people. There is no doubt about that. We need people because we need the three principle benefits, chief amongst which is fuel, but that is not the same as saying we hate to be alone. In this instance, there is a degree of truth in the above statement but it requires considerable qualification. If we have been well-fueled we are able to be alone, engage in solitary activities and spend time in our own company without difficulty. Of course, the longer this goes on, eventually our fuel level drops and we will need to seek out people, but we do not hate being alone in such a situation.

Furthermore, the advantages of technology mean that although we may not be physically proximate to somebody, the advantages of Skype, text messages, telephone calls and even hand-written letters allows us to be on our own but in contact with many fuel sources. Add to this Thought Fuel and you have a situation whereby we can be physically isolated but with such connections we can manage perfectly well extracting all of these variable fuel types.

Remove such connections however and in a situation when our fuel levels are already low and we are physically isolated with no means of contacting people and that is when you shall see that we hate to be alone.

 

  1. We have a conscience

We do not. We think only of ourselves, our needs and how each situation can benefit us. We may appear to exhibit a conscience in order to con people and this is something more witnessed with the Mid-Range and Greater Narcissist, in order to fit in to a situation and people’s expectations but we have been created without a need for a conscience. If we had one, we would not be able to trample on people in the way we do. We would not be able to always be moving forward, never caring for what has gone before us. If ever you witness a situation where one of our kind appears to have had our conscience pricked, all it means is that we see an advantage in pretending that this is the case and we wish to dupe you and others for our own benefit.

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32 thoughts on “5 Narcissistic Myths”

  1. Hey there, I might say your articles are like nothing I’ve read before about narcissists, I guess because you are one lol. But one thing, I know quite a few narcissists and narcissistic sociopaths but they all seem to have the best time when they go out. They laugh A LOT, they smile all the time, they have so much fun, they don’t care what other people thing, they seem on the top of the world. How can someone unable to feel joy behave this way? Thanks!

  2. Jnibbe, right on point. My true awakening was established after reading this blog and other materials by HG.

  3. HG – while I read all the posts, recently I have rarely had time to respond. However, I am growing increasingly weary of the flippant use of “he’s a narcissist!!” flying around the Internet right now and would like to hear your thoughts on this.

    Clearly, the current most popular recipient of this public diagnosis is D Trump. This is only one of many instances where I have seen the general public think they know exactly what they are talking about. Like somehow they know exactly what a N is. My experience is, there is absolutely no way to understand it completely (or even wrap your brain around it) unless 1) you either suffer from the disorder or 2) you’ve been a victim of the abuse. While I have a huge respect for the psych profession, I’m not even sure they fully understand it (unless, of course, they have been a victim of the abuse themselves).

    I have survived 30 years of living with N abuse as well as watched my soon to be ex abuse our children. While I’m extremely empathetic and pay close attention to emotions, I’m also quite cerebral. So, I have read almost all the clinical books out there on NPD after learning 6 years ago my husband has it. While clinicians and the books provided some worthwhile clarification and understanding, I believe they were a huge part of keeping me stuck.

    Finding your materials and your story (as well as all the comments/stories from the victims) was a game changer for me. For the first time I felt understood and validated. It’s a different perspective than that of clinicians. I believe some, but certainly not all, of the misunderstood parts of this disorder are filled with medical rhetoric.

    While finding your blog site and spending every day reading your posts has validated my experience, it has made clear to me something I knew was unsettling but couldn’t quite put my finger on. It’s the general public’s naive and inappropriate use of the phrase…”He’s a narcissist and is so in love with himself!”

    What are your thoughts about this? How about any of the N victims here? What feelings and thoughts are brought to the surface when you here people flippantly say this?

    Your input is much appreciated.

    1. Hello Jnibbe, it is an interesting scenario isn’t it? People, I think, are more aware of the word narcissist, but it is evidently being mis-used as people just bandy about to cover someone who loves themselves to bits or is guilty of arsefoolery behaviour. Most people do not know what a narcissist really is and would actually not know one if they became engaged with one. It works both ways though. Not So Sad has brought to my attention instances where clearly abusive behaviour which is also narcissistic is being glossed over and diluted by media outlets in this country, when it should be described as what it is. Then again, people bandy the word around with no real appreciation of what it actually means even though there should be far greater awareness of it. It is bizarre really that the word is gaining in usage (as you identify with The Donald (although That Nasty Woman gets it too) yet the reality is this is diluting what it is and misinforming.

      I entirely agree with the content of your second paragraph.

      It is evident that those who look at clinically have an understanding (although in certain instances that does vary) but the problem is that adherence to a strictly clinical approach sometimes fails to grasp the true nature of the problem and moreover it fails to convey the message appropriately in a manner which people can understand and especially apply to their own situations.

      I agree with you analysis and stance. Many thanks for raising it and I would be interested to learn about what other commenters think as well on this matter.

    2. Whilst I don’t have much time to comment, I totally agree the disorder is thrown around loosely. A person may exhibit a few of the traits however it doesn’t mean they have npd. I think Trump shows signs of a lesser narc irregardless to his social status. I think the public perception confuse cockiness, over confident, and grandiose delusions; as npd and while those may be traits of somatic narcissism it doesn’t mean the person is a narc. Also, I wonder if a lot of situations could be maybe he or she just wasn’t into you” especially if there’s no hoovers, short term, received gifts and moved on. They may be assholes/users but not necessarily a narc.

    3. Dear Jnibbe, dear HG,

      I totally agree. Public use of the term is misleading and trivialising.

      I just tried yesterday to find German online resources for an old friend of mine so he can read and better understand what I’ve been through. I hardly found any that related to my experience. Very few pearls among hundreds of misleading, plain wrong, or trivializing texts. Especially in main stream media – as one might expect – which is dangerous in my view.

      The lack of the right kind of information also prolonged my suffering I think. After I’d identified tiny bits of emotional abuse by my ex-narc, I also came across the term “narcissism” and “malign narcissm” with time. I bought German books on that – helping me 0!!
      Also has HG himself noted: common relationship advice (books, articles, …) is not only ignoring the possibility of an emotionally abusive relationship but giving advice setting the victim up for more abuse.

      So I still couldn’t put my finger on what was going on. I saw for myself of course that there were repetitive patterns in the behavior of my ex-narc and I intuitively reacted in the right way – sometimes.

      But it was only like a month ago after the latest artful blow of my ex-narc (with whom I had gone no-contact, not that this would be of relevance to him…) that I discovered the blog by HG, describing everything I suffered through – and making sense of it! “The Devastation of the Illusion” did it for me. OMG. I broke down for three days but then my confusion was finally gone.

      So, when writing to my old friend I also looked at the Wikipedia article and the German one is even shorter than the English one. The English Wikipedia at least provides some additional information one might use a starting point for further research. It’s so frustrating to get people to try to understand. When I say “narcissist” they think of “in love with himself but harmless”, when I say “Psychopath” they say “everybody is a bit psycho” …

      But I personally find it dangerous (for the victims and potential victims) that the official definition or diagnosis standards are that indifferentiated, incomplete and also hardly mentioning the abuse patterns. Which I would consider of highest importance, given that the narcissist is a sociapath who destroys targeted individuals, in some cases committing psychological or actual murder. Therefore one would think that there should be better resources for people who find themselves in the net of a narcissist …
      I also read through some forums which made my head spin and left me wondering if there are indeed non-abusive narcissists.
      All I can say is that I know of about 5 online resources that really describe what happened to me.

      What HG describes is in every way what I experienced (with few exceptions, my ex-narc being my ex-narc) and this helps me make sense of what happened and to get clear in my head. The Validation you mentioned.

      I also agree that the only persons who should write on this are narcissists themselves and their victims. Especially given the fact that the worst abuse takes place behind closed doors among two people (or family), hardly being exposed to outsiders such as psychologists … Not some psychologists/therapists who don’t know what they are talking about and are being manipulated themselves.
      The DSM does not even recognize “malignant narcissistic sociopaths” as such, if I’m not mistaken. How is that possible? But given the state of “official psychology” not too surprising. And who knows, maybe there are narcissists themselves involved in deciding what’s being recognized. 😉 Same goes for attempts at therapy … how is classical psycho analysis or talking therapy supposed to change anything?

      The other side of the same coin is the information for victims, being often labeled “co-dependent” too quickly and in a wrong, dismissive, condescending way, or asked “why didn’t you just leave and/or set boundaries”. Good joke, yes. Funny. Blame is put on the victim often and easily, instead of giving support.

      Emotional abuse is very very slowly being recognized as being as bad as physical abuse or even having more and lasting impact on the victim (which certainly is the case). But still rarely. I give high credit to HG for recognizing that! It’s also seldom mentioned, that one can become co-dependent because of the repeated traumatisation. Nor did I come across many resources about PTSD after (or during ongoing …) narcissistic abuse.

      The validation of my experience by HG has helped me tremendously (thanks again, HG). I’ve never felt better: Because it is actually the first time in my life that I was told that my perception was not wrong, that I was indeed severely emotionally abused not only by my ex-narc but also by my parents. I feel calm now and not so scared anymore.
      I find that the old adage is true, when you can name your enemy or have looked him in the face, the battle is half won. Or something like that. 😉

  4. No. 5 – You say here you have no conscience. That is true with a psychopath. However, you have said you can tell right from wrong. That is a conscience. It’s just that you’re brain has shut that down due to events happening during your development. It’s like in a neutral state.

      1. Therefore it was stunted, not non-existent in you. Due to conditions you were brought up in, as your brain developed and you had to learn other coping mechanisms, that shut down and / or got bypassed.

    1. You can cognitively learn what is right or wrong, you don’t need a conscience for that.
      To feel bad after you did something wrong, wanting to correct your wrong to get relieved of the feeling, that’s your conscience.

      1. Yes, very true. I guess it just falls under mimicking when you can only acknowledge the difference between right and wrong.

    2. As per the definition of conscience: an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior.

      We know the difference between right and wrong, we just don`t care. We don`t care about the potential negative impact our words and actions may have on others.

      That negative impact would stop many, like yourself Clarece, from doing or saying something. Because you don`t want to hurt others. In our case, most often, we do and say things expressly with that intent.

      The little devil has always been on my shoulder. As far as I can tell, the angel didn’t bother trying to find a home in me.

      1. Do you mind if I ask you if you have any children? How does the not caring about other’s feelings parlay for you in the role of parent, personally? If the little devil is on your shoulder, do you have an internal struggle to not be that way with a child? Or if you don’t have kids, are there any close, personal relationships where this doesn’t apply or you find yourself making a concerted effort to buffer it? I’m asking because that is foreign to me not at all to sound malicious or offensive…please know that.

  5. We miss you when we are gone…
    That paragraph was my life and I believed it til you came along. I was misleading myself. Part of me wanted to believe the declarations and pleas that she made for me to come back to her. I wanted her to miss me and think of me. That was hard to get over!!! The waves kept dunking me over and over again. I survived that. I am no longer that person. Thank you.

  6. You want the truth. You can’t handle the truth.
    “A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.”
    Oscar Wilde

  7. You are saying you do not feel happiness or joy. So what do you feel when you do things you enjoy doing and, at least, appear to be having a good time?

    1. Looking to gain fuel from those around me as I engage in the task. If I am not with anybody, if I am doing something enjoyable alone, I will be imagining how people would be reacting to seeing me doing what i am doing. For example, if I am reading an interesting book, I would think on about how they would admire me for choosing such an excellent publication. If I am writing, I am thinking about the admiration and comments about that work. If I am listening to music, I would consider how people would recognise my great taste in music.

    2. wow, the fact you write it and you know it is utterly a facade and it is not so, maybe you can’t you stop the voices but perhaps talk to them. I had to walk away and play moonlight sonata on the piano, well I am practicing to play it. Just for you. >

  8. The things I keep reading can be quite confusing. It sounds so much like my husband but occasionally it does sound like me. We have been married for 17 yrs. And I’ve left numerous times to only find myself shamed and going back to give chance after chance. These been so much hurtful things said and done on both parts I have a hard time distinguishing what was right who was right a d so forth but I will say he was always jealous, would call me the big “W” word if I so much smiled at a customer in my job. I told him as much as he likes to call me that I might as well act like one. So now … Unfortunately he uses that on me ALL the time even when not necessary. I don’t know what to do. I don’t feel like I can tell some of these things to. Can u help?

    1. Hello Torn, you are struggling to swim in the emotional sea. The answer and to gain clarity is to read. I would recommend you read Evil, Sitting Target, Manipulated, Black Flag and From the Mouth of a Narcissist. You will then recognise what he says and does, and why, so you will be in no doubt as to what he is. Once you have gained that understanding you can then read further works to assist you in making the break that you must do so and keeping away from him. You need to gain this understanding and clarity first otherwise you will fail with no contact.

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