The Lesser Narcissist

the lesser

 

Here comes a Lesser Narcissist. We shall call him Lee.

“What did you call me?”

Hello Lee. A Lesser Narcissist.

“No I’m not, it’s you that’s the narcissist, I’m sick of you saying that there is something wrong with me, when it’s you that has the problem. You do it on purpose, always trying to wind me up, I’ve fucking had enough of it.”

Sigh. That’s another plate broken and a panel punched in the door. Again. He’s gone, but he will be back. You see, that’s a typical reaction of the Lesser. He doesn’t know what he is. Often he will not even know what a narcissist is, but if you try to tell him, even if you do it in a calm and pleasant way, he doesn’t hear what you are saying, he just hears the criticism. When that happens his fury ignites and usually he will lash out. That’s why he insulted me, tried to shift the blame on to me, smashed the plate and punched the door. He didn’t think about doing any of that. It just happened. He reacts and responds by instinct. He is a creature of instinct. I didn’t hear the front door slam so he must be in the house still. Let’s go and find him.

Here he is. Locked in his den. His bolthole and sanctuary from the criticism. He is tapping away on his ‘phone. Let’s see. Yes, he is texting a couple of ladies who he has been flirting with online. You see, he didn’t hang around to see my reaction to the ignition of his fury, but he knows it will have troubled me. Sometimes knowing that reaction will be enough but not today. His fuel supplies must be low. That’s why he is tapping into some secondary sources by texting or probably sexting these women. Let’s see if we can coax him out of his bolthole. I will knock at the door.

You see he has turned his head and smiled, but hasn’t answered my knocking. He is pleased that I have come to try to find out if he is alright. That makes him feel powerful. My reaction, of tip-toing to him and gently rapping on the door reinforces that he is the one who is superior in our relationship. Again, he doesn’t think this through, so do be grateful for your humble narrator explaining this for you, but that is what is happening inside of Lee. I knock again and call out his name. He remains silent. Lee knows that silent treatment makes him feel powerful. Add that sensation to the flirtatious messages I can see that he is receiving and he is receiving fuel from three sources. Me and two supplementary sources. They are probably acquaintances now since mobile numbers have been exchanged. The fury that Lee experienced at my perceived criticism will now be subsiding as the fuel is provided. This makes him feel calmer. Lee knows that certain things make him furious and then other things makes him calmer. Let’s ask him if he knows why.

“Hey Lee, don’t hide in there, why did you get angry like that? All I did was say that you are a lesser narcissist.”

Notice that I haven’t said this in a pleading way, or through tears, or even shouted it at him. I have made this point and asked the question in a neutral fashion. Watch what he does now. See how fast the irritation has arrived. This is because I am not giving him any fuel with my comment. I have also interrupted the flow of the fuel from the two women by distracting him. To make matters worse I have repeated the comment and he will perceive this as a criticism. Again, he won’t have worked any of this out, he is a Lesser so it doesn’t happen. Whereas I have explained the process. This is what actually happens in Lee’s mind.

  1. He hears my comment;
  2. He feels wounded by that comment. This manifests as irritation;
  3. His fury ignites.

It is as quick and as straight forward as that. Here comes the fury.

Lee marches from his desk and flings the den door open.

“How many fucking times have I told you not to disturb me when I am in my den? You never listen to me!”

Notice the contorted features as the fury takes over.

“I only asked a reasonable question.”

I say this in a neutral tone again. No fuel is being provided. This annoys him further because this is a criticism and it wounds him.

“Are you saying I am unreasonable?” he demands jutting his jaw forward in an aggressive manner.

Of course dear reader I said no such thing did I, but Lee doesn’t process it that way. My neutral remark is taken again as a criticism, hence his response.

“I’m just pointing out what you are and besides, you are always in there, messing around doing who knows what, you should be working.”

Lee rarely works. He doesn’t see any reason to. He believes I should keep him after all, in his mind he is the superior one and therefore I should run around after him. He only does chores when he knows he can get some fuel, for instance, chopping logs in the yard so people can admire his physical prowess, otherwise he won’t bother. Again Lee doesn’t think about chopping the logs in terms of receiving admiring looks from our neighbour Josie, he just knows when he does it, she smiles and talks to him and he feels good inside. But I digress. Back to the foaming Lee who is stood in the doorway of the den. He won’t let me in there. It is his domain. What is his is his and nobody else’s.

“What are you saying that for?” he growls. His fury is increasing at the criticism that he should be working. Here it comes. The right hand swipes and he slaps me across my face. You see he cannot control the fury and with Lee it manifests as heated fury as he lashes out.

I let out a cry and raise my palm to my face, eyes showing the pain arising from his physical abuse of me. Look at that small smile on his lips. That is because my fearful reaction has given him negative fuel. He wanted that. He doesn’t know that he wanted that but he knows that seeing me scared, upset, angry or frustrated, amongst other things makes him feel stronger and more powerful.

“You should be working,” I repeat but the neutral tone is gone now and it comes out part comment, part sob as the tears well up. His hand is raised to deliver another blow but he doesn’t because my tears are fuelling him. Although I have criticised him by stating he should be working, it will not feel like criticism to Lee because it is surrounded in emotion. That is what he wants. He doesn’t know that, but that is what he wants.

His fury is still there but it has receded within his parameters of control, low as they are. If I had kept on he would have erupted further and probably punched and kicked me down the hall. It has happened before. And will again. As a Lesser his control threshold is low and regularly his fury boils over into verbal and physical violence. Notice how he is standing there grinning. The provision of my fuel is making him feel powerful and that is why he looks happy. It is not true happiness. Lee doesn’t know what that is, but he knows that feeling powerful makes him feel good and that is why he is smiling. I am going to back off now.

I walk away and Lee content with the fuel he has extracted from me (although he does not know this) turns and goes back into the den. He will text the two ladies for a while longer, gathering more fuel and then with the fury receded and his fuel levels higher, he will feel more settled so he will watch one of his action films or play on his Xbox for a while. He won’t be thinking about me. He doesn’t have the function to do so for long when I am not in front of him. Lee as a Lesser is very much about dealing with what is on his plate. Yes, I will invade his consciousness from time to time but he is not given to planning. It is all spur of the moment, reaction, responses, instinct, seat of the pants. That is why he is seen as such a whirlwind, bouncing from one ignition of fury to the next. He has no overarching strategy, no grand design, but he is an aggressive hunter gatherer who knows that I, his longstanding and long suffering partner infuriates him but he keeps me around because, well, I do the chores and lie there and think of England when he is grinding away on top of me. Writing of which, let’s fast forward to bed time. I have retired first and here comes Lee padding up the stairs, a belly full of Scotch (he likes a few drinks when he is watching his films).

“Hey,” he says as he enters the darkened bedroom. He doesn’t lower his voice or gently shake me. Why would be bother when he is entitled to do as he pleases. Again, Lee doesn’t think that way, he just does it, he just acts in that manner of the entitled Lesser.

“What is it?” I ask blearily.

“Move over, I’m getting in.”

That’s his way of saying he wants sex. If he wanted to sleep he would just climb into bed. Notice how there is no apology for hitting me, no expression of concern or remorse for the earlier altercation. That’s because he has forgotten about it. Imagine Lee’s mind like a small external hard driver. It only has so much memory and automatically jettisons so much information. If in a few days’ time I refer to him slapping me he will give me a confused look and say,

“What are you talking about?”

That’s because he cannot recall it. It has been wiped from his mind. It is an instinctive reponse and demonstrates why with the Lesser he denies so much of what he is accused of and does it with sincerity because he really does not remember. There is no pretence, not like those from other schools. He does not remember, but that is a few days away. Let’s return to now.

“I said, move up, I am getting in.”

Still no apology. He continues as if nothing happened earlier. This is because he sees no wrong in what he has done. He responded. It was instinct to him and therefore for him, instinct is natural and correct. If I challenged him about his behaviour from before, now, it would be a criticism. His fury would be ignited and with the additional accelerant of the alcohol I would be dragged from the bed, beaten and forced to sleep downstairs. He may even throw me in my night clothes on to the street. All an instinctive reaction to the criticism and his lack of control over his ignited fury. I won’t challenge him though. I have learned not to, it is safer you see. It took me a long time to realise that this was the best course of action. I used to stand up to him you see. I thought that it would make him respect me if I did but it won’t. The Lesser regards any denial of their authority as criticism and, you’ve guessed it, the fury ignites.

Time to put on a performance then. If I refuse his advances he will kick off. If I don’t put in feigned enthusiasm, he will kick off. As a Lesser he is not very good at distinguishing between real and faked emotions at times. He is better with some than others. For instance, he knows real fear and upset compared to any that is faked. This is because he has the most experience of seeing people scared, upset and frightened so he instinctively knows when it is real and when it is not. When it comes to matters between the sheets although Lee believes himself to be the champion of sexual technique (he has certainly had plenty of partners as he regularly likes to boast about them to me) he could be rutting a slab of steak for all the variance and finesse he deploys. He wasn’t always like that. He did make an effort during our golden period, but that is long gone. Now he just wants to exert his dominance over me and be made to feel powerful so you will have to excuse me as I make the relevant noises, say the stock phrases and pull my porn faces. That will please Lee the Lesser and provide him with a final burst of delicious positive fuel before he slumps besides me and falls into an undisturbed sleep. He always sleeps well does Lee. His lesser function means that there is not a lot racing around in his mind as slumber approaches. So, there’s a glimpse of how a – I’d better whisper this so he doesn’t hear – Lesser Narcissist is. Now, turn around please, you shouldn’t be watching what comes next.

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62 thoughts on “The Lesser Narcissist”

  1. M
    My ULN has a brother who is a lawyer and, although he is good at his profession, he is bombastic and verbally abusive so I have placed him in the lower mid-range.

  2. As far as I can tell, my narcissist, to whom I was a non-intimate secondary fuel source, fits the description of the lesser narcissist in terms of his complete lack of self-awareness and high reactivity/lashing out (verbal abuse only, not physical).

    However, he is also a university professor and the author of several books, which have positioned him as a leading scholar in his field, so to my mind it is possible for someone to be intelligent in some respects and simultaneously have the low self-awareness and low self-control of a lesser narcissist.

    1. HG,

      In regards to the above comment, do you think it’s possible for a lesser narcissist to nonetheless be a tenured law professor and the author of several books?

      He’s pretty well known in his field although I think he would have a much greater following as a public figure if it weren’t for his reactivity and verbal aggressiveness.

      His secondary fuel sources are volunteers (some of them met online) who help promote his work tied to a social justice issue.

      1. On the other hand, my narcissist could possibly be a lower Greater narcissist. He has a more complex fuel matrix than that of the lesser narcissist, is considered a public figure, and can be charismatic. But given his reactions he really appears to have zero self-awareness of who he is and the “savage strike” manner in which he last disengaged with me was typical of the lesser narcissist. Anyway, I’m still learning about the differences between types.

      2. “I would not regard such an individual as a Lesser.”

        Right. Thank you, HG. Yes, we have discussed this and other issues regarding my situation in an email consultation and I appreciate your insight, which was very helpful.

  3. My Middle Lesser Victim Narc was never violent as far as physical contact, but he did have a temper and is very rough around the edges. That is what attracted me to him. He was a “bad boy” musician, alpha male, something I had never had before. However, mine is very intelligent. HG, the article mentions reserves being low for him to contact secondary sources. Mine seemed to prefer contacting secondary sources online and flirting with his female coworkers to having a relationship with me as an IPSS. Are some LVNarcs so lazy that this type of fuel is sufficient?

    1. A physically proximate interaction provides the most fuel and is preferred. It may well be your perception of his fuel matrix caused you to think that he preferred online interactions to spending time with you because you were being ignored as part of a Corrective Devaluation. Moreover, your concern at not being interacted with as often as you would like would skew your perception also.

      1. Thank you so much, HG. If I might ask one other question: When he and I were seeing each other (once a week), I was the proximate fuel source. After a year, when he got bored with me, I was shelved, but benefits continued once a week. Once the flirtatious coworker appeared, he cut off benefits. (I still receive FB likes, email replies, and am invited over once a week for a beer with he and his parents.) He now has this new proximate fuel source, but he gets bored very quickly with women. At some point her fuel might become stale, too, even though it is proximate?

  4. HG if you and Trump were ever to meet, what would happen?

    As he is a lesser, he has no idea who he is dealing with, so he would immediately flex his muscles, you on the other hand see him coming a mile away.

    Would he feel your dark energy and back off or would he still be like a bull in a China shop? And how would you disarm him?

  5. HG:
    “I was thinking of different regimes.”

    Yes that makes sense, I think Trump wouldn’t have any problems dealing with generals serving in armies from China, North Korea, Cuba or Nazi Germany and vice versa.

  6. Imo lessers are so very obvious! They are so rough around the edges and come off aggressive. They are bullies and pushy. They lack class and come off as social misfts. They blurt whatever comes to mind and dont care what they look like as a result. Ive never been with a lesser and will never be. They really are repulsive and the pic is so very fitting! Yuckkk! Most importantly they lack control of themselves.

  7. My dad was a Lesser, somewhere between Lower and Middle, definitely not an Upper Lesser. Likely a Lower Lesser.

    Someone asked on one of the threads if Lessers were always violent–my dad never physically beat or hit my mom or me but he was prone to punching holes in walls, cursing, kicking when something would not go his way (like assembling something).

    He would kick it and blame God for it happening. He would also talk to himself in the mirror and sound very evil and aggressive and then he would come out of the bathroom all excited to take me out and have fun, etc.

    I learned how to not upset his temper and he was a misogynist so when I grew to be more ‘womanly’ he did not like it. He gave my mom the silent treatment for an entire year–no kidding–one whole year, as punishment, and then he was shocked when she filed for divorce.

    When her dad died, he said nothing, offered no words of comfort, nothing.

    He also did some bad shit which I am reluctant to mention, but I’ve not had contact with him since ’94.

    Eventually I will share some of the examples of his manipulations because despite being a Lesser, when you’re the child, you have no choice but to fall for them.

    1. BIbi
      Your dad reminds me of a ULN. They love to punch walls because it makes them seem intimidating and they love posturing.

  8. I know Trump is an upper lesser HG, but he is the odd one out.

    Normally a president needs to have charm (kissing babies and all that), but he is a schoolyard bully sitting in the oval office, which makes him truly unique in my eyes.

      1. I doubt it HG, I think the generals secretly despise him, because he is such a loose cannon.

        I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he shouts at them the same way as he shouts at poor Melania.

    1. Now that i “know” the traits of Narcs, I see them everywhere. Trump of course being the big red flag of them all. It’s so obvious, can’t people SEE?

      Haha, listen to me, when I was involved for 6 years with a lower lessor. Couldn’t I see?

      1. It always cracks me up when his supporters claim they can’t see his blatant narcissism, while they point to Obama, whose narcissism is too subtle for the untrained eye.

        Such cognitive dissonance.

    1. Very much a Lesser, Sniglet – uses extensive physical violence as a means of control, low control threshold on ignited fury (she sought to leave and thus created a scenario as per How No Contact Feels _ part One)
      he filmed the violence and sent it someone (no concept of accountability and recklessness in getting caught, but not sufficient cognitive function to realise the risk this posed to him), boasting about the control he exerted and also note the lack of remorse and accountability – pleaded partially guilty stating “he had his reasons”. Thus blame-shifting, it was her fault she was beaten and ended updating. A good example of a Lesser, either Lower Lesser or Middle Lesser.

      1. Thank you for the analysis, HG. I don’t understand why her family didn’t protect her more before this horrific act took place. They had the knowledge.

      2. You are welcome Sniglet. That missing element you have picked up on does not appear to be reported.

      3. Why is he only facing 15 years in prison and not life? That story is horrifying and the family has to live with knowing they could have tried to intervene more and prevent this.

    2. Horrible pictures. Note the guy doesn’t smile in any of them, even when they’re supposed to appear ‘happy’.

      1. Thanks for your answer. Is it possible there are more nuances to the narc than you know about? I can’t believe the braindead moron I was with is a mid-ranger. Your description of the Lesser fits him perfectly! . . except for the fact that he was never violent . . and seemed to haev at least some vague idea of what he was. :/

      2. I would be able to provide you with an accurate assessment to remove any confusion on your part, through consultation.

  9. So much of this scary heap of rage called Lee reminds me of my ex. He wore aggression as his favourite shirt; it was always tangible, there, I could feel it in the air; and even though he only abused me physically once he did abuse me emotionally on and off all the time. I think he was an Upper Lesser; but I’m still not sure. There’s something odd about it all, because he was a planner, a master schemer; his manipulations were never on the spur of the moment even though he was impulsive to his nature; he was insidious and sadistic; malignant and dark at heart. He could abuse me and in the same time keep his façade in front of others. That used to scare me a lot. I guess he could be a Lower Greater as well. I find your descriptions of these two to be similar somehow HG.

    1. There are similarities Catherine, yes, however, the lifestyle, career, social status and fuel matrix of one compared to the other will show significant differences.

      1. Thank you for your reply HG.
        He did have the lifestyle and the career to go with it; but he was an outsider; he could never fit into any given context. I think it had a lot to do with his aggressive ways. People were weary of him.

      2. This is why I find Trump so puzzling. He has the money, power, status and fuel matrix of a greater.

        But he has a total lack of charm, almost beastlike dominance (like a silverback) and almost no lit on his hot fury, which make him a lesser.

        I know he is a upper lesser, but he might as well be a greater, because of the things I mentioned before.

      3. An Upper Lesser can be wealthy also. An Upper Lesser can wield power.

        I agree the status is different.

        The fuel matrix is extended beyond that of which an Upper Lesser would have but there are so many other factors which point to Upper Lesser that that is clear school.

  10. Could a Lesser be someone who is not physically violent? And could a Lesser have at least some sense of what they are? Everything else fits. Everything else is spot on.

    1. Perhaps I just wasn’t with him “long enough” to see any physical violence. I remember he once bragged to me that he “never hit his son” – as if it was an accomplishment! Also, perhaps due to the vast difference between our social environments, it would have been obvious to him that I would not have tolerated physical abuse. I was his “classy lady” and he was my “dangerous live-wire” from the wrong side of the tracks.

    2. Potentially although it is most unlikely . They may be verbally violent and damage property and not be physically violent, but physical violence, owing to the heated ignited fury and the low control threshold on that ignited fury means it usually appears.
      They have no sense of what they are.

      1. And this is precisely why I worry about Trump being a world leader, him being an upper lesser.

        He may get the job done, but in his case he might also start WWIII.

  11. You managed to sum up my entire relationship in only one post. The worst part is leaving. The lesser is so pathetic that if you leave then however will they make it all alone?

    1. Barbara,
      That should not be your concern. Since you care, it is a pity ploy to keep you around. We forget they are adults, and can take care of themselves.
      But don’t feel too bad about it, if it’s working on you. This is how I was drawn back in.
      Ever notice if they WANT to do something, they sure as hell can and will, but somehow they convince us we need to stick around and take care of them.
      If you stay out of reach, they WILL sucker somebody else into doing that job. You can’t worry about that either, and still take care of yourself.
      Leaving can be hard, but staying will be magnitudes worse!

  12. I like the approach when you describe the imaginery (but very realistic) situation according to a different schools of Narcissism with an insightful explanation, Tudor. This is really edifying and interesting. Bravo.

    You perfectly described the “home moment” of the life with a Lesser Narc in that article. It would be interesting to see other “moments” of the life according to all Narc schools and cadres – for example – shopping with a Narc, travelling with a Narc, house renovation with a Narc, attending different places with a Narc (his/her work, cinema, bar, restaurant, museum, theatre, hospital, dentist’s office, barbershop, governmental institutions, church, etc).

    It would be very interesting to spend the “one day with a Narc” and see how he/she behaves in a different situations, because you can meet Narcs everywhere. They don’t live in the woods!

    1. When I grocery shopped with my somatic MMRN towards the end of our relationship, he would deliberately smash into customers shopping carts sending them flying in all different directions; the customers would be stunned.

      My LLN victim twin would be furious if you wished him a Merry Christmas or he would be furious if you didn’t wish him a Merry Christmas. Either way you were fucked.

      My LLN mother was asked to leave a native american ceremony because she wouldn’t stop making war whoops, she was banned from two Chinese Buffets because she kept stealing food and she opened the car door during a traffic stop and took a shit onto the road. I felt so bad for the motorists.

      1. K, looks like you were especially spoiled w experience w narcs!

        How did the other customers respond when he crashed into them? What did you do?

        “Either way you were fucked” pretty much sums up all relationships w narcs, doesn’t it?

        As for your mom.. wow… i don’t even know what to say.. and I remember reading somewhere your dad is a lesser too.. im thinking mine is too.. certainly has the temper for it..

        Just goes to show sometimes we really go far beyond the models we were given.

      2. Hello, Nuit Étoilée
        The customers would gasp out loud and some would actually apologize. He did it quite often, so sometimes I would ask why he was acting like an idiot and he would say, “Because they are in the way.” He was uncontrollable so I ignored it most of the time.

        With narcs you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Lessers are much worse than mid-rangers from my experience.

        LLN mothers are brutal, violent and despicable, and you are correct, my father (dead) was a lesser too. If your father has a bad temper and shows aggression he could be a ULN or an LMRN. Look for heated fury in your memories and that may solve your mystery.

    2. Yes exellent idea!

      I always think of Stephen Bear and the likes of him when I think of lessers, so i’m looking forward to “Lessers in Magaluf” 🙂

    3. I agree, very good idea Noname. Already had to laugh thinking of some situations (like shopping with a cerebral 🙁 )

  13. They are a volcano of repressed fury. Even compliments can make them erupt, if they perceive any of those words as criticism. When they erupt, there is nothing we can say or do to make calm down and think rationally.
    Someone diagnosed with a NPD said that when someone says something insulting, he is actually seeking validation for his true self (Creature). It is sad that some narcissists want other people to validate all the horrible things their own parents told them when they were young.

      1. H.,
        It seems that Lessers cannot control their Creature at all. They do not seem to have any insight and have not learnt how to deal with distress. They are easily triggered when they perceive someone is attacking them. The immediately react in order to feel better and to ease their pain. It must be exhausting to live like that.

  14. The sneaky aspect is the victim narcissist. because he looks harmless and just a bit of a wimp…Once he gets your pity, he gradually gets into your life and then becomes violent.
    I dumped my ex victim narc (I never fancied him but I gave him a chance because I felt sorry for him. I dumped him after 2 months because his attempts at seduction were just being a clingy yes-man, and I hated it) and only a few weeks later I heard he used to beat up his ex and once sent her to the hospital. I was lucky his ways didn’t work with me, but it’s scary to think he’s out there somewhere and might be hurting someone.

    1. I think mine was probably a victim narc. Does that mean they just always act like they are the victim of everything, and play on your pity? I never saw any phyiscal violence from mine, although I’m somewhat convinced he is a Lesser victim narc . .

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