The 5 Central Questions – The Lesser
I have come across these five questions on a number of occasions. They are often regarded as the five fundamental queries which are raised about our behaviour. They are usually answered in a forthright manner by certain commentators in order to drive the message home. However, these observations and answers are provided by people who are not of our kind. They are naturally entitled to comment but the true value arises from someone who is on the other side of the fence, the perpetrator of the actions, the doer. Furthermore, the usual observations are provided without regard to the fact that narcissists are both similar yet different because we operate in certain schools which are linked to our degree of functioning and malign outlook. Accordingly, the traditional answer provided to one of these questions may be correct for the greater of our kind, but not for the mid-range or for the lesser narcissist. Here are the five answers to the five central questions, beginning with those of our kind who are from the lesser school.
- Do we know what we are doing?
The lesser does not know. He or she is a creature of knee-jerk reactions, impulse responses and almost machine like programming. The lesser narcissist behaves in his or her manner as a matter of routine response. Push button A and you will get response A. Push button B and you will get response B. It is an unsophisticated system for an unsophisticated person. The lesser narcissist is something of a blunt instrument and has no understanding as to why he or she acts in this way. Out of all of our kind if you try to get a lesser to understand what they are doing, that they must realise what is happening and they are aware of their behaviour, you really may as well go and find a brick wall and slam your head against it as it will be more productive. The lesser does not know and your questions will only serve to enrage him for yes, again reasons he does not know, only that he knows he does not like your questions and he wants you stop asking them so you had better do so or else.
- Do you know that you are hurting people?
The lesser may be low-functioning but he or she will know that he or she is hurting people. They are not so stupid as not to not recognise that whatever he or she is doing is causing pain, distress and upset to somebody else. They recognise such emotions even though they do not feel those emotions themselves. They see the product of their behaviours and like all of our kind extract fuel from this although they will not understand that this is what they are doing. They will not recognise the concept of fuel. Instead the lesser narcissist will just regard the reaction of the victim as their own fault and they deserved it because they did something the narcissist did not like. The lesser often cannot even point to what it is that the victim has done that has provoked the annoyance, the irritation and the ignition of fury and being invited to do so just increases the hostile reaction. There are occasions when the lesser will respond sometimes with something specific but more often with a general expression along the lines of:
“You just wind me up.”
“You know how to push my buttons.”
“You get on my nerves.”
“You really bug me sometimes.”
The lesser experiences the irritation, the annoyance and the ignition of fury but does not know why and therefore he is not in a position to tell you what it is that has caused him to hurt you, but he just has to, because once he has, the irritation and so forth recedes. He has gathered fuel and addresses the restlessness that comes with the low provision. He has gathered fuel and repaired the wound caused by your criticism (real or more likely perceived) but he doesn’t not know that this is the process. He sees the hurt he causes but has no idea why he is doing it.
- Is the behaviour deliberate?
With the lesser it is not deliberate. He or she does not plan to respond in the way that he or she does, it just happens. There is no scheming or plotting with the lesser narcissist, they are not of sufficient function to achieve this. In the same way that if you are hit on the knee with a small hammer there will (usually) be a reflexive action, it is the same for the lesser. He needs fuel, although he does not realise this. He needs to provoke you but again does not realise this. He just reacts and responds. He is a victim of some unseen and unknown higher force that causes him to react. He is already programmed this way but has not been granted any insight or understanding into why he acts as he does. This is why the lesser narcissist will never accept there is anything wrong with him, why he will never admit that he is defective in some way and why he will never concede that he is a narcissist. This is how he is. Isn’t everyone else this way as well? He has no ability to recognise what he is doing. I appreciate that this is often one of the hardest things for a victim to understand. Surely the narcissist knows what he or she is doing? How can they not see it? If you can, why can’t they? This is because they have been wired in a different way to you and with a lesser narcissist this means that their world view is so different that they consider it the only way that people behave and that there is nothing wrong with it.
- Can you control it?
In the same way that you might think that the lesser narcissist must surely understand what they are doing, you would expect that they can control it. The answer is that they cannot. As I have explained, their responses are programmed and they do not act in the same way as you. It is knee-jerk, immediate and automatic. For instance, let us say that you are walking along the street when you see a large man running towards you. You will do the following:
- Regard the behaviour that you can see;
- Evaluate what that behaviour means;
- Consider the range of responses available to you;
- Consider the most appropriate to the situation;
- Consider the consequence of such action;
- Execute your response.
Thus you realise the man is just out jogging because as he nears you he is wearing sports kit and headphones, so you keep on walking and smile at him, he returns the smile and all is well.
The lesser narcissist sees the behaviour and then responded. Parts b through to e are omitted. This is why the response, viewed through your world lens, may seem disproportionate, outrageous and wrong. To the lesser narcissist, it just is and why are you complaining about it?
The lesser narcissist has an extremely low ability to control his behaviours because of this programming. Whereas the mid-range and greater (as I shall explain separately) can exert control, evaluate and form decisions before responding, the lesser cannot. This is why lesser narcissists have a greater propensity to more extreme responses, including physical violence, because they cannot control their actions and do not evaluate the repercussions of that action. They just react.
- Can they stop it?
It is often thought that our kind can stop our behaviours and therefore if we do not we must be enjoying what we are doing. With the lesser of our kind they can no more stop what they are doing than you can halt a runaway train with your bare hands. The lesser is a creature of response and reaction. It happens and if you are in the way when it happens, that is your fault. He does not know why he behaves this way so has no basis for stopping it. He is programmed to respond in a knee-jerk manner and therefore is unable to stop the behaviour. If you tell him to stop, you are tapping in to this inability to control his behaviour and this amounts to fuel or a criticism (if delivered emotion free) but in either instance all it will do is cause the behaviour to continue, although the lesser will not know this. In some respects, this lack of understanding, insight and control makes the lesser of our kind a pitiful creature but in other respects it makes him especially volatile and dangerous.
17 thoughts on “The 5 Central Questions – The Lesser”
Jimmy Fallon…funnyish. The message isn’t funny.
You explained this perfectly HG! And in a way that I can completely relate to. “Isn’t everyone else this way as well?” It was not until my adult years that I was diagnosed with ADD. As a child, my mother could not understand my behavior or why I couldn’t be like her. “I mean what’s so hard about remembering your homework? You have no problem remembering every lyric to a song. Why can’t you just focus on task? Why must you daydream? You certainly are not trying.” So frustrating as a child, when you are trying as hard as you can to be what is expected, but told you are not trying so you must not care. It was not until my Dr. spoke with me about ADD that I learned that my brain was wired differently from the average person. I thought everyone stored as much information in their mind as I did. I thought it was normal to have so many different thoughts going through my mind at the same time! As the Dr. explained “You have more thoughts before breakfast than most people have the entire day.” This is how I have always been. I didn’t know any different, therefore I couldn’t explain why I couldn’t be like everyone else. Isn’t everyone else this way as well?
Thank you B and you are welcome. Thank you for sharing your experience too.
My pleasure HG.
HG, what about the child / adolescent greater N, are they similar to a lesser in their early years ? When do they become aware they are different and learn to control their approach ?
Good question Alexis. I think that the child/adolescent greater will exhibit lesser behaviours in terms of instinctive reactions as they harness and hone their “powers”. In terms of awareness, I can only speak from experience. I knew what I was doing in my teens because I was what MatriNarc did and I wanted that. You may recall the incident involving my uncle in Fury? My awareness increased from that point onwards in terms of control and calculation.
Goodness for some reason so many of your responses hAve only just been received into my account ?
Your uncle showing up with his chocolate recipe and his reactions to those who didn’t respond appropriately were jarring.
The way you described your mother and her exhibition of cold fury made me feel so sorry for your acquiescing father.
I got the impression that you were VERY aware at a young age of how you wanted to adopt and use both your mother’s cold fury and your uncle’s heated fury to your advantage. Very old soul you seemed to be.
Ex narc was great at dishing out the cold fury. During those times, I played the little unaware mouse to his quietly furious lion, fawning over him as if he was being well-behaved when he was being anything but. He’d become even more furious and my masochistic aspect would be triggered and on full display. (something I need to discuss with the therapist)
He denied abuse in his background, even while telling me stories that clearly smacked of psychological abuse at the hands of his SOB father, whom he professed to adore, and whom he had listed in his contacts as “my daddy.” (once saw that flash on the screen when his father called) It was sad to see — sparked a need to cradle him, except he didn’t like spontaneous and unexpected physical contact. So complicated, you narcs are.
Your impression is correct.
You think he looks like Jimmy Fallon, too?
Can a lesser evolve (or devolve) into a mid or greater? I feel as if Dickula was a lesser when I met him, acting almost instinctually to gather fuel. He is most definitely aware now of what he does.
Interesting Lovie, could you expand on what you have witnessed which has led to this view?
It’s hard to pin point but it just seems to me that the first time we dated which lasted for two years before I finally left him after his constant cheating, he was more cave mannish in his reactions and just acting more on instinct. You know those important conversations you have when you’re getting in a relationship and Having discussions to see if you’re on the same page in order to see if you want to move forward in the relationship? When we would have those discussions which were obviously very important to me because I based whether or not I was going to continue dating him, knowing what I know now about your kind it was just like breathing to him to say what he needed to say. obviously I know that your kind will lie but it just didn’t seem like he was scheming, plotting and being knowingly manipulative. I don’t think he would even remember saying half of the things he said. After I left him for two years and became engaged to another man and then got back together with Dickula, it was a Different. He seemed to be more aware and to be more calculating in what he was doing.
My theory is this. He was 30 years old when I met him, I was 40. I think he was just steam rolling through life to get what he wanted out of women with no thought put into it at all. He is surrounded by debauchery in the people he associates with, where he lives and in one of the businesses he owns, (surrounded by beautiful, willing women) I think he thought that it was just a normal way of living, to use women in whatever way he deemed necessary and however he had to get it out of them. He didn’t think twice about having to lie and it never entered his mind that that’s not how you are supposed to treat people. The fuel was all the same to him until he had and then lost my fuel. I think the evil power within him had not yet awakened so he was a lesser, until that point and then when he realized the importance he placed on my fuel he made his ascension to full out evil balls to the wall master manipulator. I guess what I’m saying is maybe there can be a catalyst sometimes? Not sure if this made much sense, I’m speaking and my thoughts are jumbled at the moment. Dickula is trying to snack on me at this very moment.
Yet another “high resolution” relational road map in creating the perfect guide to clear discernment if you are currently in, or budding a relationship with one of your kind HG. So vitally important for all of us to understand that both sides of this magnetic relational draw fall on a spectrum of characteristic behavior. From the “lessor” to the extreme “aggressor” in the Narc as well as the “sensitive” to the extreme “empath” in the damaged emotions of the heartfelt fixer/rescuer.” In addition, understanding that the toxic behavior is “conditional” to where each party lands on the spectrum. As usual, brilliantly beautiful are your words of wisdom HG. Thank you again for your prodigious transparency which continues to astound me and remaining very grateful to this community of friends.
You are welcome Roger, thank you for your comment.