The Narcissist’s Need For Recognition


“Do you know who I am?”

A sentence often issued by the floundering Z-list celebrity who is trying to cross the velvet rope and be admitted to a special event or the VIP area of a club or restaurant. The demand to be recognised so that special treatment is afforded and it is expected as of right. This is a sentence which may as well be playing on a loop through our minds, each day and every day, because no matter what situation we are in, who we are with and where we find ourselves we expect to be recognised. It is not the recognition of our name, putting the name to the face and understanding who we are in that sense. It is the appreciation of our standing as special and important individual. A person who is better than you, better than him or her or them. This desire to always be recognised for how remarkable we are, that our treatment should always be preferential to that of anyone else is something that is always with us.

When we rise in the morning and we open our eyes, our gaze falling on your besides us, do you know who we are? Why are you not doing something which accords with my status? You ought to be awake. You should be attending to me, providing me with fuel as soon as my eyes open. Why are you not doing this? Do you not understand how important I am? Make me feel important? A slight push on your shoulder and you mumble. Another gentle push and your eyes open and as your vision comes into focus you see us looking at you and generous soul that you are you smile, your eyes brighten and you place a hand on our arm. The first fuelled flames of the day begin to rise as you have recognised how important we are.

Over breakfast we demand that you know who we are? Our favourite food ought to be ready. Oh good, you have done so. It is clear how much you think of us to ensure that our desired cereal or fried breakfast is ready and waiting for us. You have recognised our need and through this gesture you have reinforced our importance. Of course there will be no thanks given to you automatically. Why should we do so? After all, this is what is expected of you. Through word, gesture and deed you are expected to recognise our brilliance throughout the day. This is crucial to our existence. In our minds a fanfare plays as we walk down the stairs. The children line up to pay homage to the kind as he sweeps into the kitchen. Even the dog should sit obediently and recognise that a prince amongst men has entered the room. We feel magnanimous, already fuelled by your first gesture and the receipt of several praising messages on our secreted phone which we checked as we busied ourselves in the bathroom. We pat the children on the head and give you a kiss on the cheek. See how generous we are? How fortunate are you to be the recipients of such spending golden glory. Do you know how many people want to look upon us, to reach out and touch us, their trembling fingers brushing against our clothing and skin. Do you know who we are?

As we exit the house and see a neighbour we expect recognition but there is none forthcoming. Rather than regard this as an oversight, the neighbour was looking at his roses rather than at us, we are irritated by this failure to recognise us and there is the slightest of wounds caused by this criticism. The first knot of fury unloosens and we are about to call out across the street to gain his attention and ensure that due homage is paid to us when our mobile ‘phone rings and we see it is a friend, a member of the inner circle who is calling. Our expectation of further recognition rises with this telephone call and it does not disappoint.

In our world we are the monarch striding through his kingdom, making his Grand Progress. We process and expect all around to bow, to curtsey, to doff caps and tug forelocks in a demonstration of fealty and worship. The lesser of our kind are not aware of this need like we greaters. The lesser cannot bear to suffer being ignored, not made to feel special or noticed. They do not know this is what they cannot bear, they just know the restlessness, the irritation and then the fury as the criticism mounts. They see nothing wrong in banging their cutlery on the table to gain attention. Should you ever challenge that behaviour and point out that they are attention-seeking, they lose sight of the issue being pointed our because your challenge in itself is a failure to recognise the lesser’s elevated status and all talk of attention-seeking will be lost as he or she lashes out at you in order to achieve fuel from you. The mid-range of our kind and especially the greater know that we want to be recognised, we know that the irritation and then the fury comes from the failure to pay heed to how special we are. It need not be anybody telling us as such, it need only be an appreciate nod of recognition or a warm-natured “hello” but to us that equates to recognition of our elevated status. Of course, should our achievements and accomplishments be lauded as they ought to, then this is even better.

In our world homage must be paid by all those we come into contact with and repeatedly by those who are closest to us. A failure to do so, however slight, will result in the issuing of a criticism against us. The outcome is the ignition of our fury with us lashing out, doling out a silent treatment or withdrawing. This is why you can be sat in a beautiful field on a sunny day, having enjoyed a walk by the river and now a picnic and all of a sudden a barbed comment comes out of nowhere. You do not understand where it has come from but it is likely to have been the fact that you offered the butter to somebody before us and in turn failed to recognise us. I know you regard such behaviour as petty, but that is all it takes for the irritation to manifest. It can easily be assuaged by the prompt application of fuel rather than annoying us further by asking where on earth did that come from and challenging us further. I know you will regard such a state of affairs as ridiculous, I have heard it many times, but that is the way we have been created and of course, even though we never tell you what it is, we expect you to recognise it.

39 thoughts on “The Narcissist’s Need For Recognition

  1. Diva says:

    “Over breakfast we demand that you know who we are? Our favourite food ought to be ready. Oh good, you have done so. It is clear how much you think of us to ensure that our desired cereal or fried breakfast is ready and waiting for us.”

    I really don’t know how I become narc fodder…….I always make it my business to ensure that I give any new man in my life food poisoning on the first cooking opportunity. That way…… always follows that they will take me out as opposed to thinking I will be slaving over a hot stove. Watch and learn…….undercooked chicken works every time…….you just have to be vegetarian for a week yourself so you don’t have to eat it………with age comes experience!!!!!!!!………….Diva

    1. Indy says:

      Hahaha, love it Diva!!!!
      The recent ex was an amazing cook (trained), though would always remind me of it and the couple times I cooked he criticized. Mind you, we were together for 2 years. I cooked twice ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ (because he hovered and nitpicked when I did cook.) thus I refused out of being too self conscious. He bitched about it, I held strong. Thus he always cooked. I guess I won one thing.
      I like your approach better ๐Ÿ˜‚

      1. Diva says:

        Hi Indy I usually follow that up with my ironing skills…..I take his favourite shirt, trousers or tie………turn up the heat……leave the iron sat on the clothes and then purposely get side tracked outside ……. you come in when you hear the smoke alarm beeping………once you have burned a hole right through his expensive shirt he will never trust you with an iron again. You might get a bit of grief about how you are about as domesticated as a feral cat, but I can live with that……..(I hope if K is reading she doesn’t tell me that I am a narc!!!!!!) I just don’t see the point in doing anything if someone doesn’t appreciate it……it is never going to be right so they may as well do it themselves……..and they actually do!!!!! Diva

      2. K says:

        You are hilarious! And I was a feral cat, too. My ex thought I was too incompetent to cook, bake, iron or do his laundry, so he took over those chores. I got to scrub the toilet, vacuum and wash dishes. You are correct, if they don’t appreciate what you do, then stop doing it. I love how you turned up the heat and burned a hole through his shirt. That is some nice passive aggressive behavior. You made me laugh with that one! I will still keep an eye on your posts and if I see a pattern of narc action, I will alert you ASAP.

        1. Diva says:

          Hi K…….oh yes you mention the laundry…… is all coming back to me…………accidently……throw a pair of new pink or red pants in with his white work shirts…….when he sees his new light pink shirts, innocently state……”but pink shirts are in fashion now……all the men are wearing them…..women like to see a man in touch with his feminine side…..I actually think pink would look good on you”……that will be the last time you will be doing his laundry. You can actually have quite a bit of fun with narcs……..if you serve it up cold with an innocent twist!!!! The narc thinks you are incompetent and useless anyway, so I just purposely live up to their expectation of me, to suit my own agenda!!!! I think Dr HQ stated recently that she thought that empaths can be manipulative……hmmmmm interesting………Diva

          1. HG Tudor says:

            You would be made to go and purchase replacements for the clothing you have ruined and then you will be thanked for correcting your error. You will continue to do the laundry and you will later be punished when you do not expect it.

          2. Diva says:

            So you are obviously not in touch with your feminine side HG!!!! Never mind……..I just love shopping……I would buy myself something whilst I was replacing your stuff. I will continue to ruin the laundry……any excuse for more shopping for new clothes……..and I can take the punishment, which I will always expect, so long as it isn’t cutting your toe nails!!!!! Diva

          3. Indy says:

            Indeed, we all can be manipulative. All humans.

            It is the fantasy we sometimes function under, thinking we can control another human being’s behavior and feelings. Those of us that had to survive certain environments as kids learned how to reduce the odds of negative things (such as abuse, reject, etc), by acting in certain ways. Or increase the odds of positive things happening by behaving in ways that are indirect. Same thing. Like mice in a cage.

            It is always good (though often hard) to strive for direct communication, reduces triangulation, manipulation and passive aggressiveness.

          4. Diva says:

            Hi Indy……It would appear that I have quite a bit of work to do!!!!!!! I can relate to everything that you wrote in your response to me…….it makes sense. When I think about my own behaviour…….initially when I first meet someone I treat them in the same manner that I would like to be treated…….all is good and well. However if they start to change and treat me in a fashion that is not acceptable, which all narcs do at some stage…… I guess I start to do the same back…….not exactly the same things as they do, as I would not be capable of many of those things, but more acts of defiance……that’s the best way I can explain it……..Diva

      3. K says:

        That was so funny! Pink shirts! Feminine side! Hysterical! We ARE incompetent and useless. My ex told me I was useless many times. Sometimes, I did have fun with my ex but he got me back. Did he ever! He shredded my ass. He never let me near his shirts with an iron, so he put me in charge of dropping them off and picking them up at the dry cleaners and instructed me to complain if they weren’t cleaned, starched or pressed to his satisfaction. He drove me nuts. Manipulation isn’t my strong suit, if there was any on my part, it was serendipitous. Thanks for making me laugh, Diva!

        HG, your response was awesome. Punished when you do not expect it; that is completely accurate. I never ruined his shirts so replacement wasn’t an issue. (I knew better)

    2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:


      That’s freakin hilarious.

      Smart cookie.

      1. Diva says:

        Hi Dr HQ……I think I may be more devious than smart but I appreciate the compliment all the same!!!!!! Diva

  2. Bliss says:

    MyTrueSelf, perception indeed! As said, I was just embarrassed for him. Love your description on toddler having a tantrum. The GN really did act as if he’s a monarch striding through his kingdom.

  3. E. B. says:

    MRN: “Do you know who I am? Do you know who you are talking to?”
    LN: “I don’t give a s*** who you are!!!”

  4. MyTrueSelf says:

    Interesting that you see yourself as Royalty striding amongst your beholden subjects!
    From my point of view things look a bit different; you behave more like a toddler having tantrums because he doesn’t the cognitive and emotional development to be able to control himself. (Nothing person towards you HG)
    Perceptions are so interesting.
    Your description explains my ex’s behaviour. He would show me a video of his work and ask me what I thought. Boy, was that ever a loaded question! I would answer honestly and walk slapbang into the mine field.I realise there is only one answer to his question and that is, ‘It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen’!!
    But he could be quite self deprecating, too. (?)

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Indeed MTS and that is why it is important for you to be able to read about and understand our perceptions also. As to your final sentence, self-deprecation is readily learnt and amongst those of our kind of higher function, we recognise it may be used for the purposes of facade management and manipulation. Of course it is false self-deprecation.

      1. Jenna says:

        Hi hg, how would we know if the self depracation is due to facade management or due to true feelings of depression caused by low fuel, eg. if he says he’s a failure? Ty.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          There would be other factors evident alongside the behaviour if it was depression caused by low fuel.

          1. Jenna says:

            Ty hg.

          2. HG Tudor says:

            You are welcome Jenna.

      2. Challenge Fuel says:

        “Hi hg, how would we know if the self depracation is due to facade management or due to true feelings of depression caused by low fuel, eg. if he says heโ€™s a failure? Ty.”

        Jenna! Great question!!! This is one of the things I continue to struggle to understand. Mr. Piano Concert was SO SELF DEPRACATING it was ridiculous. But he always gave excuses for doing such too. It was ALWAYS due to his depression, feeling like a failure, his GUILT, etc. etc.

        And the fact that I always attributed the word “narcissist” to someone “egotistical, thinking highly and grand of themselves”. He was anything but that. I do not recall him ever uttering a positive comment about himself to me, even when things were sunshine and rainbows in the beginning he would constantly put himself down. When I was complimentary toward him he would reply all the time with “I believe that you believe that”. Eventually as the sands shifted he would say “I do not deserve you Gabrielle, you are too good to me…” I recall challenging him once by asking him, “Why do you always have to say that?” and it just ended up with more pity woe is me nonsense coming from him followed my the gushing love filled affirmation again and again of how I felt toward him.

        My interpretation would be low fuel and/or a ploy to get more fuel = say all the “woe is me”/self deprecating words = fussing over him + positive fuel = more “woe is me” comments = more fussing + more positive fuel = repeat repeat repeat. Did I get that accurate?

      3. Challenge Fuel says:

        “There would be other factors evident alongside the behaviour if it was depression caused by low fuel.”

        Can you give examples of such factors in regard to this behavior?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Irritation, restlessness, increased paranoia, then listlessness, withdrawal, self-neglect.

          1. “Irritation, restlessness, increased paranoia, then listlessness, withdrawal, self-neglect.”

            Damn this makes so much sense. I always figured “I am withdrawn and depressed” was just an excuse. And I mean I am sure it is but it is not a fake excuse.

            Why are narcs so paranoid all the time? Are all narcs paranoid or only some?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            All are but the extent varies. It is the fact that the world is against us.

    2. Peaceful says:

      MyTrueSelf, I’m right with you on your reply! I had finally figured out that if I did not agree with anything Narc was saying, showing me, etc there would be some form of punishment. I ended up saying how great everything was… my genuine opinion was not welcome nor safe to express. Even though he would say, it’s ok…. you can tell me the truth… what do you REALLY think…. I knew better. I’m so happy that mind fuckery is all over ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Bliss says:

    Yes to children and pets lining up to pay him homage. Only then was he pacified in the mornings. I used to wonder why he didn’t appreciate me getting up a few hours before him to ensure everything is as it should be. If I dared mention that I have been up since the break of dawn he would accuse me of having affairs in that time or gossiping about him behind his back. The neighbour thing makes sense too! Lol! Same with other narc, he would go about always expecting everyone to recognise him and pay him homage, if they didn’t he would charm the pants off them until they did. He definitely oozed the whole “Do you know who I am!” thing. I used to watch amused but at the same time was extremely uncomfortable as I hate any kind of recognition or attention. Felt embarrassed for him really.

    1. Windstorm2 says:

      I’m that way about attention, too. And I’ve often felt embarrassed for my narcs hogging the limelight in social situations. I could tell negative things other people were feelings about them, but the narcs never cared. It was just negative fuel for them.

  6. K says:

    During the last Christmas eve party we were “together”, I deliberately did not pay homage to his choice of food, drinks or decor. So he punished me by sleeping with his IPSS that night and came home on Christmas morning with his IPSS for breakfast. Another Merry Narcissistic Christmas everyone! It is moments like these when I want to be Michonne and wield a Katana. (happy with the thought of heads rolling)

    1. Kimi says:


      That is horrible behavior on your Nex’s part and the IPSS too! Were you aware at the time, that he was a Narc and punishing you? Did you realize then that he had slept with her? Was she aware that you were his IPPS? I’m still amazed at what lengths a Narc will go to in order to wield control and am also amazed at what we have put up with! I’m glad for you that it was your last Christmas together!

      1. K says:

        He was an Evil Bastard! I didn’t realize at the time that he was a narc and was punishing me, but I knew all about his IPSS and the IPSS was very aware that I was the IPPS/girlfriend, so it wasn’t a big surprise to me at all when my ex pulled that stunt. Narcs will go to ANY length to control and punish or get fuel, and you are right; it is amazing how we put up with it. I am very happy that it was my last Christmas with him! I am Grinch free!

    2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:


      Wow…that is a nasty and pathetic thing to do to someone. It’s just truly pathetic….

      1. K says:

        Dr. Q PsyD
        Pathetic is right. It was payback for not paying homage I suspect, and I acted like it didn’t bother me. He was a mean mother fucker!

  7. Peaceful says:

    HG, thanks to you I will no longer be subject to the machinations of my Nex anymore. Since I first found your Blog 3 months ago, my journey to understanding, narc education and healing begun with I’ve read every Blog post since joining that day and, listened to pretty much all of your youtube videos, participated in 2 live broadcasts, and I’ve read 6 of your books: Fuel, Blackhole, Escape, Revenge, Sitting Target and Exorcism. All fantastic books with tons of answers and insight into the insanity I lived through the past 5 years.

    Since going no-contact 3 months ago (which is a God-send!) I was maintaining minimal email with him while attempting to recover my belongings from our future-faked vacation home in another state. I was unsuccessful. He was being a real prick holding my stuff hostage, while most likely using it to triangulate other victims…

    When I booked a Skype session with you about a month ago to get solid advice as to how to handle him was a changing day in my life! You were extremely informative, charming, kind, attentive, and most importantly, extremely helpful! Your instructions were spot on to achieve success. I followed your advice to a T. I flew down there to the home, gained access and reclaimed my belongings. In doing so, I gained my independence and ultimately, my freedom. As this covert mission could have been potentially dangerous, I did it with extreme care and caution. I’m so proud of myself! Through your consultation, you gave me the confidence to attempt this. I can’t thank you enough for making this happen!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Eventually he’s going to go to that house and discover I’ve been there and took back what was mine. I imagine all hell will break loose. I hope he’s with a new supply and she sees his demons unleash. I don’t know if I’ll know, because he’s BLOCKED all over…. should the need arise, I’ll set up another consultation as to how to handle him.

    If anyone has any questions about how to handle a situation with their Narc, I highly recommend talking with you directly. You do work wonders!

    I’d be honored to post that banner for you in Times Square!!! If any of your other followers are too, like we mentioned on your live broadcast 7/26, let’s make it happen!!!!

    Forever grateful,

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you Peaceful, much appreciated.

  8. gabbanzobean says:

    HG, I have somewhat of a random question for you. In the context of a non-intimate relationship, friend/colleague for example. Have you ever met someone who didn’t like you at first? But you were able to win them over with your charm, magnetism, etc? When I meet someone I tend to either like them immediately or not like them. When you like them immediately it’s easier to fall hook line and sinker. But I often wonder about the people who didn’t like someone at first, then decided to “give them a chance”….. and then should they be confronted with the truth have a realization while they look back and say “gee, my first hunch was right”… Or in some cases they never realize it. I guess I am asking this question more in the context of my situation where this would be someone who is part of “the faรงade”. Meaning at first they were skeptical and then they were I guess technically ensnared and seduced (but in a friendly non-intimate manner)… I haven’t told this person that I know what he (the Narc) is and I’m not going to because I know it’s not going to do me any good. I was just wondering from your own perspective have you ever met people who didn’t like you at first? And then you were able to win them over somehow? I hope this question make sense, thank you!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes, there have been people who have been wary about me at first, as a consequence of prior reputation, but I win them over through charm.

  9. gabbanzobean says:

    Restlessness. Irritation. Boredom. All due to lack of fuel? Are all such reactions possible without the fury or nastiness? Specifically for a mid range? This is exactly how my charming polite piano man mid range would behave when I scaled back anything emotional on a phone call with him. Is it ever possible to just have a normal conversation? Or is it always fuel fuel fuel?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      All is as the fuel wills it to be.

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