20 Deflections of a Lesser Narcissist


The lesser of our kind is a creature of instinctive reactions and knee-jerk responses. In common with all our kind, he or she must always avoid blame and swerve accountability. Denial is often used by the Lesser Narcissist to achieve this with a blunt rejection of the comment that you have levelled against him or her and if you persist you will invariably find yourself on the receiving end of some heated fury in order to beat you down from asking your questions and apportioning blame. The Lesser Narcissist will offer denial with little or no supporting evidence. It is not a topic for discussion any longer. The lesser will also engage in the art of deflection. He or she does not think carefully being launching these phrases and comments in a bid to deflect the nature of your questions and accusations but rather they are an immediate response. Indeed, they will often appear to be raised out of context, appear to be non sequiturs and even almost nonsensical. They are not to the lesser. In his world these are instinctive responses which he or she has to come out with on order to deflect your questioning of them. Your questioning creates unease and discomfort and the lesser will issue these phrases from a stockpile he or she keeps. They lack the higher function to think of a high-calibre response which brings about deflection but instead utilise these phrases below in a “one size fits all” approach. They will be hurled back at you, often with venom attached, a standard response to what you are saying to the Lesser Narcissist. Expect to hear them may times in the course of your dance with the lesser. He is not capable enough of conjuring up new ones and relies on these “old faithfuls” to deflect the force of what you are trying to achieve. The deflection at this level works usually by causing disbelief and confusion on your part. You like everything to make sense. You like things to follow an order and be logical and therefore these stock responses will make you stop in your tracks as you try and figure out either what is actually meant by them or if you understand the thrust of the comment how on earth they are applicable to what the discussion is about. This is the beauty of these deflecting comments for the Lesser Narcissist. He cannot think up clever or articulate responses but he does not need to because there are just as effective in halting you in your tracks. They may not always result in your behaviour being questioned (as is more the hall mark of the deflecting comments of the Mid-Ranger of the Greater Narcissist) which then takes the conversation of discussion in a different direction. These comments however fulfil the aim of stopping the discussion going in the direction it was and indeed cause it to veer off at an improbable tangent into the reams of confusion and bewilderment. That does not matter to the lesser, as long as the attack, the criticism and/or the questioning stops goes elsewhere and his accountability remains unaffected. So long as your response provides him or her with a fuel, the comment need not be magnificent or well-constructed. Here are twenty stock deflecting comments used by Lesser Narcissists.

  1. You’re nothing special yourself you know.
  2. Why do you have to use dictionary words with me? 
  3. I’m not stupid you know. Why do you have to make me out to be stupid?
  4. I don’t care what other people do, they are idiots for thinking that way.
  5. You’ve been reading too many books.
  6. You think you are so clever don’t you?
  7. Why isn’t my dinner ready?
  8. Been listening to her again have we? I can always tell when you to two have been talking.
  9. Can a man not get some peace in his own home?
  10. You sound like your mother.
  11. I’m going out.
  12. Why aren’t you ready?
  13. You should know your place.
  14. You talk too much.
  15. You never listen to me properly.
  16. Never mind me, what have you been up to eh?
  17. I know what you’ve done.
  18. You can’t judge me.
  19. Fancy words don’t make you right you know?
  20. Since when did this house become a court room?

28 thoughts on “20 Deflections of a Lesser Narcissist

  1. Ellie says:

    Hi HG, are the three different categories based on intelligence, self awareness/insight, a mixture of the two, or something else?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Based on a variety of factors which include the ones you have mentioned.

  2. Nin says:

    A lot of what you teach repulses, resonates and triggers. It feels masochistic, but necessary.

    Thanks for having me.

    1. Mary says:

      Welcome, Nin!

      Yes, that sounds about right. It does feel masochistic. Taking off the blinders and seeing who our narcs (or ex-narcs) truly are was very triggering at first for me too. It’s hard not to have a strong emotional reaction or stomach-churn in response to so many of HG’s posts and comments that I could relate to. After a few weeks, it has become easier to read with less emotional intensity and process from a more logical place.

      How long since you and your ex-lesser split? Is he still in your life? Like you, with English not being his first language, I would also have given him the benefit of the doubt that he may not have meant things the way he said them. It’s a reasonable thought, especially if this is someone you care about and you want to see the good in that person.

      1. Nin says:

        Hi Mary, thanks for your warm welcome and understanding. Sounds like you know where it’s all at to me. Tell me more about your situation, if you can?

        Yes, there are definitely elements of masochism involved in these engagements, at all levels. I did find my way to appropriate literature quite swiftly through researching his behaviours online. Initially, there were elements to this blog that repelled me, as thirsty as I was for raw insight, particularly the sycophantic qualities I perceive.

        I escaped in April. After meeting him on travels and spending four solid months together, nine months of the “relationship” was conducted at long-distance. You can imagine the nuances of manipulation that afforded him, I’m sure. The big “reveal” occurred the first night of our long-awaited reunion when I was punched in the face for accurately noticing a shift in dynamics. It took five weeks to flee. There was a lot of physical and verbal intimidation and abuse to keep me bonded, as well as financial. He also withheld my passport, phone and cash. Psychological warfare, really.

        Not yet in a position to give him a label (although “Psycho” did spring to mind and mouth) I knew instinctively to go no contact and avoided the “hoovering” until I was safely home. To be honest, the overriding sensation was that I could not and did not trust myself anymore. Of course, everything that ensued since has confirmed that he is disordered. His subsequent attempts at hoovering have been unnervingly textbook – and repellent. I have nothing left to give him and no desire to, so in earlier stages, contact from me was limited and unemotional. There is not a lot to be said to someone who tries ultimately to convince me that I am “bad” and he is “good”, all things considered.

        On the upside, the perceived language barrier issue is almost (not quite) humorous now, thanks to HG’s writings. To be called “selfish” by a parasite does not defy cool logic anymore.

  3. Nin says:

    A relative newcomer to your writings, HG. I understand and appreciate your insight, but processing all this has been mind-bending.

    My ex Lesser spoke English as a second language so initially, I attributed a lot of his nonsense to a failure to express himself fluently, despite this not being a general problem. Regularly, he would use my own words against me. He’d stockpile my observations/accusations/statements and bust them out to use on me whenever it suited him. Baseless and out of context. Pure frustration.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Nin, welcome on board. Your emotional thinking will take some time to catch up with the understanding you are gaining here.

  4. Juv says:

    I dnt know if im a narcissist . My mother is . I treat people how they treat me . But im very loyal to people untill they cross me . I do care about peoples problems and help people a lot. All my partners have dubed me off money because of my loyalty. But the only thing i dnt understand is that im not able to form attachments with friends . And my friends always complain that im i dnt keep in touch . Which is true but when they need help i always help. I dnt know if im narcissist i dnt even know myself

  5. Gabrielle says:

    I’m very intrigued to learn about the shit that the mid range spews. Specifically the MMRN, middle mid range. He considers himself an empathic person and is always the polite perfect gentleman to all. I’ve got a huge collection of stuff he’s said in my memory and I’m dying to know if it matches up to what you might share from your perspective.

  6. lansealan says:

    Hey HG…
    How do you think another narcissist(whatever type) reacts or is affected by reading your material? Curious.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Lesser and Mid-Range will react with horror – they do not know what they are and will consider themselves empathic and decent people. A Greater will nod and approve.

      1. ava101 says:

        HG, how can someone not know that they don’t feel positive stuff and empathy? 2. Ever had a greater visit here? How does it feel, like a secret society, sharing a parallel universe noone else knows about?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I have not had a Greater visit here no. I enjoy being able to let you into my world without any risk to that world collapsing.

      2. windstorm2 says:

        HG, your response intrigues me. I know very few narcs who think they are empathic, decent people and they are all of much lower cognitive ability than the rest of us – to the point of being the repeated butt of jokes. I do know of many who lie and fake empathy, but they seem to truly believe that everyone is lying when they say they care about others. They think it is just a social norm “the thing to do” to lie and pretend. Often as these people enter their 30’s, they begin to question this (that all the rest of us are lying). The smarter ones often realize that they are the ones that are different and how they are different. Does this mean that the latter type may be greaters or would they be midrange, do you think? I have studied this in my sons, two of whom are narcs. One has come to realize how he is different and one has not. I still have hope for the younger one. He has begun therapy on his own and hopefully will achieve better self-awareness. Thank you for considering this.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I have witnessed numerous Mid Range narcissists who believe they are caring and empathic individuals, they really do believe that the way they operate is in that way. That is part of why they reject being told they are narcissists because in their minds, how can they be when they are ‘good’ people, doing ‘good’.

          1. windstorm2 says:

            Thank you for your reply, HG. I think I may be classifying my narcissists lower than they deserve. Certainly several I thought were midrange must be greater (since they know what they are). The ones I believed to be lower may really be midrange.

            Obviously for every greater there had to be a point when he realized what he is. For my own family members, this seems to occur in the early 30’s. Perhaps it happens earlier, but doesn’t become noticeable to me as an observer until then, although they often show signs of realizing their emotions are different by the college years.

            It is a fascinating study. I so enjoy all I’m learning here on your blog, and relating it to my lifetime of observing narcissists in my family. I also especially enjoy the interaction that you allow between all of us commenters. The opinions and spirited debate can be entertaining, uplifting and certainly educational. I feel as though we are all of us like a very big, disfunctional family – probably why so many of us bond and feel at home! Thank you, again.

      3. SVR says:

        So there is no way to get through to a lesser. Such a pity.

      4. ava101 says:

        HG, I meant: the secret parallel universe you kind of share with other greater narcs, not with us. When you see what a narcissist is doing, and know what is behind that, when you see his machinations and know that there aren’t those feelings and empathy, which we once thought was always there. How does that “feel”?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I don’t feel anything, I just know.

  7. Ali says:

    so… question…

    and a bit of background info i might eventually regret

    my ex was most likely a lesser narc… only… eventually i learned to counter most of his lesser tactics as i woke up to the realities in front of me -without having full understanding, at the time, of what i was facing and what was being done to me… – only as i learned to counter a lot of it, he started acting differently, the mask was slipping and he became more and more openly abusive, turning to new tactics like full out humiliation and started keeping the mask off in public the more he lost control of me… while slipping enough to give me evidence of the abuse in question which was very difficult to obtain even from (what i believe was) a lesser narc…

    here is my question…

    can a lesser narc become a mid-range or even a greater narc if this happens or is he still a lesser, or did he just trade covert for open narcissism?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No, there is no shift between the schools. In the situation you have described Ali, he was already behaving in a Lesser manner and just became ‘more’ Lesser as he lost control through your repeated wounding of him and his need for fuel.

      1. SVR says:

        That sounds spot on HG. I challenged the lesser I knew when he gaslighted me. I confronted him all on lies he told. He would ask what do you think of me not smoking anymore? I said “how does it make you feel?” He said “what is it with you as you always ask me what I think”. I told him it’s not what I think of him it’s what he should think of himself. I told him we were all equals. Again I did not know he was a narc as never knew about them really. I knew something was not right but I still liked it. I liked the game in a way. When I had a stern chat with him about contraception and it was terrible the risk of std’s from unprotected sexy he was not impressed. As I told you before he use to say I was clever. He blocked me early on for the above and a month later he returned. I never even thought of him and he was not happy. I answered him back at all times. I was intrigued by the odd behaviour I was witnessing but it felt safe and familiar. HG I believe now following this experience that I was reverting back to my childhood where I was trying to get my dad’s attention but it was rarely forthcoming. I believe he is a narc as he has some very odd behaviours and it seems all about self for him. Could this be possible?

      2. Ali says:

        Thank you for the clarification, HG

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

  8. Ms brown says:

    I referred to this as his “word salad”…. 🥗

    1. That is a word salad. I could never understand how someone could flat out deny an obvious truth!

      1. Ms brown says:

        word salad as in all the nonsensical phrases and comments to deflect questions and accusations…..

  9. strongerwendy says:

    Omg I was duped by a mere lesser. Ugh.

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