The Lesser Narcissist – Five Facts

the-lesser-narcissist

 

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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:

  1. Regard the behaviour that you can see;
  2. Evaluate what that behaviour means;
  3. Consider the range of responses available to you;
  4. Consider the most appropriate to the situation;
  5. Consider the consequence of such action;
  6. 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.

  1. 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.

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54 thoughts on “The Lesser Narcissist – Five Facts”

  1. Very interesting picture! I would not liken a lesser to a robot at all. I see them more an animal with no empathy. Like a house cat – who hunts when full, starts fights for no reason, gets provoked easily. Hot headed and unappreciative.

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    1. Spot on with the lesser. U have enlightened me tremendously into the understanding of the lesser. So many unexplained questions are now answered. Thank you.

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  2. This is a really useful/ insightful article – I look forward to the follow ups for the mid-range and higher narcissists.

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  3. Thank you for your article. Does not knowing the reason for their behavior make them less evil in a sense and more susceptible to change via therapy or the like?

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    1. Hello FF, I suppose it is how you define evil. The end product of the things Lessers do can be considered evil even if it is instinctive. Of course, Greaters are more calculating and therefore people would regard our behaviour as evil (or more evil) given both the outcome and the intent behind it. Lesser are not susceptible to therapy because they do not know what they are and are incapable of knowing. They might be able to address some behaviours in isolation but it is unlikely.

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      1. You spend a lot of energy and time educating us and regardless of your true motives for doing so, I am truly appreciative of your effors.

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  4. No. 5 – Can They Stop It?
    Is this where if the Lesser is in couple’s counseling or any kind of counseling for that matter, would an approach be to direct them towards anger management if the therapist did not even realize they were dealing with a narcissist?

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    1. Absolutely Clarece and there might be some degree of success in addressing the management of the anger for a short period, but not the overall condition because one, it has not been recognised and two, the Lesser is impervious because of the lack of insight and awareness. Thus where the Lesser exhibits ignited fury through heated fury, those unaware of our kind would see it as an anger issue when it is not, because it is fury which is something beyond anger and associated with our kind. Another example of how a lack of familiarity in counselling and the wider world causes a manifestation of our behaviour to be seen as something else.

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      1. Just putting a bandaid over a gaping wound. Treating a symptom and not the core problem. It can start to look pretty rampant and bleak comprehending all of that.

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  5. Such a good question, MLA Clarece and equally good response from HG. Unless the therapist is at the receiving end of such fury on the basis that HG describes in his article as autopilot, reaction on reaction without the thought processing- the repetitive nature of it, cannot be conveyed to a therapist without it appearing as bad habits that can be broken and new modalities learned. CBT and all the modalities in the world won’t work unless we learn to see it from their perspective and perhaps start identifying it as early as necessary. However, then what?

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  6. I keep seeing Narcassist/psychopath/ sociopath being labeled all over the place recently in social media and yet when you research the number of people diagnosed with these it is less than 4.5% of the population. Its interesting! I want to be fair. However I know when I am being abused. So, I feel strongly that I am not being unfair, but then I am wondering if his response to me is not because he views me as being a narc because I won’t give into his demands. He really used his mothers death as an excuse to get away with Abuse and then blamed me for being a narc and not yielding to him during his time of need even though I kept suggesting that we put our plans on hold and just be there with one another during a difficult time. He kept wanting to plow ahead though and if I resisted then I was not being sympathetic to his grief! It was awful being put into that position! I held my position but it cost me the relationship

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  7. Good description of the lesser. I appreciate you indicating that trying to stop the behavior could lead to more wrath and could be dangerous. Like stopping a train, indeed. With that said, I have one thing that concerns me. The statement that he can not control himself. It feels like it is letting him/her off the hook for their violence, thus no responsibility. Perhaps they have less refined control, though not a lack. He has the ability to learn to control violence ( he doesn’t do so with his boss when he doesn’t get a raise or with the cashier when they short-change him) though some are violent types do get violent in all arenas though less common. Just my reaction. Otherwise, nicely done.

    We do not have control over many things in this world, but the one thing we do have control over is our own behavior.

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  8. Thank you hg for another excellent article. Im fully comprehending what the lesser narcissists have done to me. I look foward to your book about addictions. I also hope book three narcissist unmasked comes out soon. Keep up the fantastic work hg!!

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  9. Hi Wide awake .

    4.5% of the population diagnosed as Narcissist/psychopath/ sociopaths, interesting figure but talking from personal experience here, I’m absolutely sure that more go undiagnosed because the majority of the population inc the so called professionals don’t know what they’re dealing with .. ..

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  10. A few people I know just call him vain or an egomaniac. I know it is much more than that. But here is my question… he is extremely charming. Smooth. Thinks he is just a player. But he is a narc, no doubt.

    But… I started to learn that I could PLAY him and provoke him into rages. Rages that would not seem in the range of an Elite Narc. Rages that he wasn’t choosing as a way to control me if I was “crossing the line” and needed to punish. I learned to set him up, then to swat him. Not alot of these situations came up, but I was figuring out what to play in HIM by trying once to THINK like him just to believe the dynamic and what I was figuring out. (it was a waste of my energy, but I saw how it works in a brief moment, even the surge of power over toying with someone….)

    So my question is, was this in fact a Narc Injury and do only lesser narcs display that level of explosiveness as a reaction? He does know what he is doing, he knows he ‘does numbers’ on people’s heads. He deliberately smeared one woman out of his town. So there is awareness. And alot of control. But I knew I could provoke him and did so a few times actually trying to drive him away. To get him to block me because I could not block him because he had wound me up and my head was a mess. So, I would be relentless with something until he would do it. Cut HIMSELF out and off from me.

    This last round, he responded the same… blocked me everywhere but last minute, left 2 avenues open. Last time he blocked me everywhere (more or less) and I wondered if he always regretted cutting himself off. I sadly found a way to reach out to him once and and he immediately unblocked me from 2 places under some weird pretense of being ‘nice to me’ but could it be that I provide a way for him to feel in control and unblock me under the pretense of being nice to me in order to allow me a way to provide him with negative fuel?

    But the question is, can someone provoke you into a rage? Do you ever lose that level of control? Do you ever irrationally block someone in reaction? Or are you ever provoked to leaving supply? know what I mean?

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    1. Yes you were wounding him. The explosion of ignited fury can happen with all schools of narcissist but is more prevalent in the Lesser because of the lower control threshold. You mentioned that not a lot of the situations came up which tends to suggest to me that he only really exploded when you got the conditions right (rather than over any and every criticism which you sent his way) and this would suggest he is possibly not a Lesser. For instance, as Greater it is very rare for me to explode in rage because I have control, I am also aware of the impact on my facade and I prefer to be calculating in what I do. However, there are rarer occasions where I cannot control my rage and when it does manifest then it is pure unadulterated vitriol which ends badly for the person on the receiving end. I am frenzied and utter out of control. It does not happen very often at all but when it does….

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      1. When you have gotten frenzied, do you always need an outside fuel source to soothe you down or can you self-soothe to calm down?

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      2. HG,
        Would you be so kind as to describe one detailed example of when you lost control. For example, what behaviors did it involve? How did it impact the other person?

        Thanks,
        Indy

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      3. Indy,

        I lost control on an evening out prior to Christmas. There was a long simmering tension between he and I. He purposefully pushed in front of me at a bar we were in. Ordinarily that would not be a problem, but because it was him and I knew how deliberate it was and that he was trying to show me up in front of my coterie and his friends, it ignited my fury. I erupted and attacked him owing to this loss of control. It was swift and he had no chance to defend himself because of the frenzied onslaught. He deserved it, is an unpleasant person and I know he will not take the matter further because of the other matters I know about him which would cause him far more trouble than it would to me. The impact on him was hospitalisation and he has not dared to appear in my spheres of influence since. His reaction (and those around him) provided a considerable injection of fuel which abated my fury so it abated as quickly as it appeared and I turned to my friends and asked them what they wanted to drink.

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      4. Hi HG,

        Thank you for returning to this question I forgot I asked. I really do appreciate it. I am not sure if it was hard to write or if you needed the right moment or you just were so busy….and I do appreciate your candor. I can see it going down. That fast fire, like a laser beam of atomic energy. And then, back to regulated composure once it was released and directed. I have always had a healthy fear and a strong ability to feel early on this type of fast, explosive, fury under the surface that is being held back. It is an intense energy. And, those times I felt it in the past, I knew I had to take heed. The last time I felt that feeling was with that man I briefly went on dates with that I wrote about here previously(months ago)–you may recall—the one I debated if he was a greater or if he was more than sociopathic and more psychopathic…the vibe is similar, even if they are clinically different. That experience was life changing for me, as I knew I was with someone that could snuff me, if he wanted to. I also am able to perceive that intense energy/power that emanates from those that hold this type of inner restraint of this level of intense fury. Its like a dam that holds back a wall of fire….not lava, no…more like an inferno read to blow…but is held back by elegant cool stone walls. Like your pictures. I can only imagine what it is like to hold that inside of you. I would love to hear more of your inner experience of this if you ever wish to share in detail.

        So, are you at liberty to say exactly what you did that sent him to the ER? Is this dude also a narcissist? Was it your fist to the face, a weapon or a bottle to the head or? I understand if you cannot share.

        Back to that refrain…that man is like a sun burn….

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      5. Thank you for answering… yes, it wasn’t every criticism. I have to think about which ones really got him to react. But actually, I think he reacted to everything at first. And it was over time he gained greater control. The irony is he used to tell me to get self control as I played into his hand but he could lose it. He could be backed into a corner of defending himself. How did you regard that source of fuel afterwards? Do you leave forever? I never got why he always left a door open. I thought it was fcause deep down he loved me… rotfl. But now, I see I must have been really good game? But for those times you did lose control, what then with the person? How did it internally affect your evaluation of them for supply?

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      6. We never leave forever. There is always the potential to come back because of the potency of hoover fuel and the concept that you belong to us. If he lost control, in that instant he hated you for your treachery and malfunction. Later, because of compartmentalisation, this is often forgotten about because of the need to be in the here and now.

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  11. Thank you HG for explaining to us Empaths the truth in our lives. Without the knowledge you are sharing I would be more in the dark than I have been for 36 long years. At least now I have a better understanding of what I’ve been dealing with and can protect myself better and have some hope for quality of life. Again, thank you.

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  12. Hi HG. After reading your materials i am of the opinion that my narc is a lesser, maybe upper lesser. However he behaves and control himself very well around strangers and “friends”. Its just around me and his family that he appears to be uncontrolled. Does this mean he might not be a lesser?

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  13. H.G would you considere a lesser narcissist the one who sometimes looks like a child and other times plans all his acts? The Narc in my life sometimes makes me wonder if he is not very intelligent as he has knee-jerk reactions, and other times he makes things clearly planned…an example: block my phone number waiting my reaction to hoover me and finally I escape because I saw all the mind games he was making to me.

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    1. A combination of instinct and a degree of calculation is indicative of mid range behaviour. Lessers are usually instinct. An upper lesser may show some calculation but not a lot.

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      1. HG listen to this and tell me your thoughts.
        Met the narc for the first time and went for a walk. The narc touched my bottom a couple of times as in not softly then acted funny in his body like shot of electricity. He then came forward expecting me to kiss him (very foward). Is this the lesser and why?

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  14. Thanks HG, maybe he is a mid range but lower, cause there is a fact, he cannot hide his fury, his eyes are full of rage…etc. and he makes this in front of people, maybe is this a performance to show how angry he is.
    Thanks for your blog, really, really fantastic for me…

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