5 Myths About The Narcissist

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I always read views propounded about me and my kind, with considerable interest. I see many intelligent and well-reasoned observations about what we do and why we do it. Many carry considerable force. Other views are purely driven by the understandable anger and hurt that is engendered in people by us, although as I have repeatedly sought to explain, when one operates through emotion, poor decisions are made and the clear picture is not observed. I also come across comments which are made about us which are inaccurate. I am not referring to the disagreement one might have in terms of an ad hominem attack against us. Many people consider us to be arseholes and bastards. I understand that viewpoint, many of my kind would disagree, but it is not that kind of value judgement that makes its way to becoming a myth about us. There are other more important misconceptions. As part of my ongoing work in explaining what we are, why we do what we do and your involvement in this narcissistic dynamic, it is just as important to explain what we are as detail what we are not. With that purpose in mind, I turn to five myths about our kind.

  1. We have no emotions

 

This view has gained some traction owing to the fact that my kind function with a considerable emptiness inside of us. The existence of this void can cause people to believe that because we are a shell and a husk that we are devoid of emotions. The fact that we feed off other people’s emotions also supports the view that we have none of our own. We need to steal the emotions that other people experience to enable us to feel.

The fact is that we do experience and feel certain emotions. We experience annoyance, anger and rage. Indeed, the churning fury which is always there beneath the surface, ready to be ignited, is a prevailing emotion of ours. We know boredom, disgust and loathing. We are very familiar with jealousy, envy, shame and hatred. Malice, malevolence, anticipation, contempt, aggression and power are further ones. Our stable of emotions is dominated by negative emotions. These are the ones which have been allowed to develop and that is because the force behind these emotions has been harnessed to allow us to achieve our aims. Our hatred for being devoid of fuel, drives us on to extract it. Our disgust at weakness causes us to always want to maintain superiority and strength. It is these emotions which make us effective and ruthless.

By contrast we do not experience joy or happiness, sadness or regret, serenity or love, remorse or guilt. These are alien to us along with others. We either have never known them or they have been stripped from us in order to allow us to operate with greater effectiveness, free from encumbrance and hindrance. We understand emotions because we want yours directed towards us. We understand how to mimic them and we understand when they should be exhibited (although some of our kind are better at this than others) but ultimately we do experience some emotions, just nowhere near as much as you.

  1. Copying us infuriates us

 

No it does not. If we are angry with you and shouting, if you decide to mirror this behaviour, all you are doing is providing us with fuel. If you parrot what we say to you, if there is any emotion attached to it, even if it is said with sarcasm, a sneer or contempt, it is fuel. If you decide to fall silent because we have, we may realise that the silent treatment is not reaping the fuel that we expected, but it does not infuriate us. Instead, we will just switch to a different form of manipulation in order to cause you to provide us with fuel. You find it hard after a while to keep mirroring what we are doing, your emotional capacity is such that it usually breaks through in some form and thus fuel is provided. We also recognise what you are doing and if you are giving us fuel, we will let you continue to mirror us. If you are not, your mirroring is not a criticism therefore there is no wounding, but we will shift to a different behaviour to bring forth the fuel.

  1. We miss you when you are gone

 

No, we miss your fuel, not you. That is what we miss most of all. We may also miss the traits that we were able to steal from you and also the residual benefits that you provided. It is something that victims of our kind find very difficult to accept. Surely some of what we said and did was genuine? It seemed that way, so surely it must have been? It must be the case that we liked somethings that you did? We did; the fuel, the traits and the residual benefits. We did not care about whether you were humorous, save that your sense of humour was appropriated by us for the purpose of making us seem better with other people. The radiant smile is only missed because it gave us fuel. Your extensive knowledge about wine was again another trait which made us look better.

Not only is it only these things that we miss when you are gone, the simple fact remains that if we discarded you, we decided that you were no longer worth the effort in keeping around and in most cases, we had identified and seduced a replacement. With this person in place, we focus on them, only turning to you to dole out Malign Follow-Up Hoovers (or Benign ones later when the replacement begins to turn stale). There is little doubt that you loved us with everything that you had, that you thought the world of us and nobody could have done for us what you did, but that is all from your perspective. Once we have discarded you, that all counts for nothing. You became a malfunctioning appliance and you have been replaced. We miss nothing about you.

If you escape, we will miss the three items that I detailed above and indeed we will look to recover them through the Initial Grand Hoover and Follow-Up Hoovers but do not think that our protestations of being unable to live without you, how we cannot imagine another day with you and we miss you so much, have anything to do with you as a person. They do not. We are unable to live without your fuel, we cannot imagine another day without using your traits and miss your residual benefits so much. All of these declarations, pleas, begging gestures and so forth are only designed to recover the three principle reasons we attach you. You can tell yourself that we miss you terribly if it makes you feel better but you are misleading yourself.

  1. We hate being alone

 

We need people. There is no doubt about that. We need people because we need the three principle benefits, chief amongst which is fuel, but that is not the same as saying we hate to be alone. In this instance, there is a degree of truth in the above statement but it requires considerable qualification. If we have been well-fueled we are able to be alone, engage in solitary activities and spend time in our own company without difficulty. Of course, the longer this goes on, eventually our fuel level drops and we will need to seek out people, but we do not hate being alone in such a situation.

Furthermore, the advantages of technology mean that although we may not be physically proximate to somebody, the advantages of Skype, text messages, telephone calls and even hand-written letters allows us to be on our own but in contact with many fuel sources. Add to this Thought Fuel and you have a situation whereby we can be physically isolated but with such connections we can manage perfectly well extracting all of these variable fuel types.

Remove such connections however and in a situation when our fuel levels are already low and we are physically isolated with no means of contacting people and that is when you shall see that we hate to be alone.

  1. We have a conscience

We do not. We think only of ourselves, our needs and how each situation can benefit us. We may appear to exhibit a conscience in order to con people and this is something more witnessed with the Mid-Range and Greater Narcissist, in order to fit in to a situation and people’s expectations but we have been created without a need for a conscience. If we had one, we would not be able to trample on people in the way we do. We would not be able to always be moving forward, never caring for what has gone before us. If ever you witness a situation where one of our kind appears to have had our conscience pricked, all it means is that we see an advantage in pretending that this is the case and we wish to dupe you and others for our own benefit.

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28 thoughts on “5 Myths About The Narcissist”

  1. WiserNow, its been a little over a year for my recovery and I have been pis×ed off even longer. I explode on my manipulative mother, who I am realizing is why I am the way I am and my sister closest to me in age. I am the youngest and she is 2 yrs older. She has resented me since I was born. Always trying to make it like she is only a yr older but is 2 yrs older. So, i figure if they can’t see what they are doing to me, I’m staying away from them. It’s only hurting me. I don’t want to be around people that push and pull emotions from me anymore. They have been like this as long as I remember, but now I know what they are doing. I just accept this and try to work on not letting people do this to me anymore. It’s hard to change, but the anger goes away when you identify why it’s there.

    1. Thank you for your answer Fuhry.

      My family is a lot like yours. My mother is a covert narcissist and my sister is the golden child. Both are very covert. They will sweetly love-bomb people while all the while they have a hidddn agenda to get what they want. They are actually very mean beneath the surface.

      I know what you mean about exploding on your manipulative mother. It can be so hurtful when your own mother is playing mind-games and pushing and pulling your emotions, while “pretending” that she loves you. It really damages your sense of trust. I am finding that I don’t trust people in general and constantly have my guard up.

      When it comes to the anger, I think it stems from the feeling that I now fully know what these sorts of controlling parasites are actually doing. It makes me so angry to think they deliberately take advantage of the people who are actually the most helpful, decent and honest towards them. And to think that your “nearest and dearest” are willing to play you and throw you under the bus too. The injustice of it all is mind-boggling.

      It is what it is though, and I need to come to terms with it.

      Thanks again for your answer.

  2. I’d like to know if anyone else has experienced what I am feeling lately. It would be interesting to know, and any comments would be appreciated.

    In the last two years, I feel I’ve changed my emotional thinking a lot. I’ve worked on thinking logically while trying to stay open-minded and still relatively empathic, but aware, in social situations and work situations.

    In the past few weeks though, I’ve felt a surge of anger and resentment if anyone tries using mind-games or other tactics on me. It feels like my eyes have been fully open and now I can see so very clearly how brazenly insidious and harmful these people are.

    If I now see or sense that I’m being manipulated or deliberately played in some way, I feel very angry about it. On the inside, I’m saying the words, “How fucking dare you, you lowlife, pathetic scum! Get the fuck away from me or I swear, there will be consequences!!!” This kind of reaction is only on the inside. Outwardly, it probably looks like impatience, coldness or gray rock. I keep the situation civil, but I am very resentful.

    Generally, I’d say I am calm and open-minded and these angry feelings are not typical. I feel my logical thinking has tipped the scale somehow and now I get very angry at the thought of being taken for a fool or a “victim” when I have always tried to be considerate, honest, helpful and kind. I’ve never even thought of manipulating someone and would probably fail miserably because I’m a bad liar. (As well as feeling resentful, I feel deeply hurt about all the injustices and how much I’ve lost due to narcissists.)

    Is the anger and resentment a phase? If so, how long does it last? Have other’s experienced it? Is this what HG calls supernova mode? Is this another form of emotional thinking?

    Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

    1. Hello, Wiser Now. I found your post interesting. While I’m not as far along in the healing process as you, I can relate to your experiences. I swing from contentment that my narcissist is out of my life to anger that I ever met him. And I really get jacked up over thoughts of having to endure his wrath. I have felt this way about him for more than two years… about the time when I was really starting to discover his deceptions and disgusting little trysts with other women.

      He hasn’t been completely out of my life since my suspicions grew, but I’ve resisted his physical presence for a year now. Yet, there are still times that I find myself reflecting on the positive memories. (But those are starting to make me angry now too!) You know how those tumultuous relationships go. Our emotions can be as hot and cold as the narcissist was.

      But I think it is their repeated narcissistic abuse that makes us extra sensitive to ANY perceived abuse… actual threat or potential.

      (I was sharing on another post how I thought a man was being a perv because he was being friendly with a woman half his age. Pretty sure our tolerance ain’t what it used to be! 😮)

      A few of my clients have served in the Iraq War and Operation Enduring Freedom. They speak of how any event with fireworks is just about too much for them to handle. One said he could attend an event with pyrotechnics, but he had to mentally prepare beforehand. Even then, he found the sounds disturbing.

      Another client is more hyperviligent. If he found himself in an unfamiliar place, he struggled to curb his need to scan the room for potential danger. He told me that it was difficult for him to stand near a public trashcan… that he avoids them regardless of location as even being close to one in a seemingly safe place can increase his anxiety.

      I think the stress that we experience is similar. Our wounds might be vastly different from a soldier’s, but the trauma is somewhat the same. We are on guard, like the wounded animal who is ready to attack, even if the approaching subject is coming to our rescue.

      Our instincts are there to protect, yet it’s simply difficult to tell the good from the bad once someone who seemed so good was able to hurt us so deeply.

      We know in our rational minds that a trashcan at Wal-Mart isn’t likely to be full of explosives, but once someone has experienced such… even if only once… the damage is done.

      I am finding that it is going to take me a long time to work through my experiences. So considering what you’ve endured Wiser Now, I think that your anger is normal. It’s no different than the stages of grieving. We all experience certain emotions at various times or even all at once. The important thing is that you are FEELING the emotion. I truly believe that is the only way to conquer it.

      Now if I only knew exactly how to do that!? 😕

      1. Thank you very much for your answer BurntKrispyKeen. It’s very helpful and makes a lot of sense. I appreciate very much that you’ve taken the time to give me your meaningful and reassuring response. You explained it beautifully and I can relate to it.

        It’s true what you say about our rational mind and emotional instincts not always being aligned. This sometimes causes strong emotional reactions that are seen out of all proportion to the actual situation.

        I also agree with you that it helps to truly feel your emotions. It helps me to spend some time alone in a quiet space. I allow the emotion to rise and in the stillness, I listen to it so that I can really feel what it’s telling me. Sounds a bit weird, but it works 🙂

        I know what you mean about tumultuous relationships too. I think we have an emotional memory of the good experiences just as we have of the bad.

        I think the narcissist you were involved with certainly didn’t deserve to be with a generous and considerate soul like you. I hope you continue on your path to being free of his influence.

        Best wishes to you and thanks again for your reply 🙂

      2. Thank you, Wiser Now. Your sweet words have touched me. This journey to heal is taking me longer than I anticipated. I’m still struggling in the distance, but I wouldn’t be this far without Narcsite.

        I must have that word etched in my brain as this morning, when I tried to clock in on my mobile payroll app… I mindlessly entered ‘Narcsite’ instead of my password. (Should I be worried about early dementia or more concerned with obsessive/addictive behaviors to a website?)

        But it truly has been helpful for me to be in the company of the fine people here. You are certainly no exception. It’s comforting to have another express the same thoughts as you and I seem to share a kindred spirit.

        I love that you take time to reflect in a quiet space and that you make effort to empty your head of random thoughts, allowing those feelings to be known. That type of meditation is an excellent practice yet isn’t always easy to do!

        When you do experience those deeply buried emotions, I hope that the pain lessens with each breath. So please keep us posted on your journey.

        Best wishes to you, Wiser Now.

  3. Depression seems to also be an experience? There must also be fantasies that feed the negative emo state to colour it more positively? The magical thinking!

    This is a big difference between borderliner and NPD, borderline has all the emotions and then some, although anxiety is frequent and overwhelming.

    Flat emotions are really something to behold. When my narc says ‘aww’ it’s the most detached and expressionless aww, usually given when i show a sign of affection that’s not rejected. He will also stare at the computer screen or something else, but then suddenly stare at me or some isolated feature of me. He seems not to be there but is always keeping me under a radar, once i thought i was alone but hen i picked something of his up and he was right there like a spring! I always found it entertaining.

  4. Hi HG,

    Please help me with #4 – “we hate to be alone” – if a person prefers to live alone, can they be a Narcissist? If so, which type(s) could they be?

    Thank you!

    1. First of all, that person may say to you that they prefer to live alone, but that does not mean they are alone. It may be said to keep you at arm’s length so the narcissist can do as he pleases more readily and engage with other appliances with a reduced risk of detection.
      Secondly, it may be said but is not true. You will not be camped outside that person’s house for 24 hours a day for a month to determine they live alone.
      Thirdly, they may live alone but they may also interact with many people regardless – in fact, they probably spend more time with people (at work, socialising, house guests etc, interacting by telephone and electronic methods) than they do being totally alone.

      1. I see. Using an Empath’s projection of their own qualities of being honest and trustworthy onto the Narcissist against the Empath. Sneaky.

        More exploitation!

        Thank you, HG!

  5. Funny, because whenever my narcissist father, a Lesser-mid would try to act like he had genuine feelings, it made me want to vomit. My boss, a Mid Range-lesser tries, but he fails as well. It’s almost comical watching them pretend. It’s like watching a 4 year old put on a super hero mask and actually believing it… Bless their hearts, they try.

  6. HG,
    Which emotions you feel about discarded fuel, when you realize that replacement isn’t good as you thought that would be?
    And what kind of emotions leads you to hoover?
    Thx

    1. It may cause the disengaged appliance to be now viewed white. There is no sense of regret however.
      Emotions do not lead to hoovering. It is the consequence of a Hoover Trigger and the Hoover Execution Criteria being met.

      1. Thx,
        I have one more question, when you see very appliciance white again, would you investigate to see if conditions for hoover, HEC and HT are existing or you would challenge them?

  7. I once asked a Mid Ranger after listening to an interview with you HG, where you said you had no conscience and so I asked him if he had one and he told me yes, lest he would be a very bad person otherwise.

    This was a work colleague who did manage to devalue me and a number of others, and so for some reason I just don’t believe him.

    He was of the ‘Incredible Sulk’ variety.

  8. Is it possible for the narcissist to find a partner with so great traits and residual benefits that he would never discard this person? For example a rich, well educated and beautiful member of royal family. Ofc fuel would become stale because she would be only a human but could the narcissist stay with person with such great benefits for ever? Would he be loyal, no cheating, no crazy making and so on?

    1. I assume you are referring to the relationship between narcissist and IPPS. It is possible for disengagement to not occur for many years. This is purely because
      1. The victim does not succeed in escaping or never tries to ; and/or
      2. The triggers for disengagement do not occur.

      However, this will not avoid devaluation. The manipulation will occur. It may be a Stepford Devaluation so there is little or no “crazy-making” but there is no loyalty and there will be cheating.

    2. Carolyn:

      Not that I am into celeb gossip but a couple of celeb examples. The actress Sandra Bullock married a tattooed guy who works on motorcycles. He wasn’t famous. But she was. Regardless what one might think of her films, she has had success and is wealthy and attractive and seems like a nice, unpretentious person.

      You’d think that being married to Sandra Bullock would satisfy this average motorcycle man, but he cheated on her with some tattoo artist and then he cheated on the tattoo artist. As result, he ended up landing his own TV show about bikes or something simply because he married and divorced a famous woman.

      Britney Spears married her back up dancer. He was a loser who already had a failed marriage, no talent and 2 kids. He marries her, gets her prego twice and then cheats but not before using her to boost his own ‘fame’. Then she went nuts and shaved her head, doing all sorts of weird shit. I recall seeing tabloids with her ‘slumming it’ when she was with him.

      Both those male narcissists married female celebs to boost their own reputation and take the benefits they could, but still that wasn’t enough. So even being famous with wealth and attention will still cause them to lose interest in you.

      1. Re: celebs
        Jesse was a successful business man and he had the reality TV show before sandra
        Jesse is a lesser somatic. Hot head, not scholastically intelligent.., grandios, self centered, manipulates, love bombs triangulates and devalues Famous in his sub culture not mainstream.
        ( people call it the Bogan culture in aus or the wifebeater culture) He was married twice already before sandra had kids from 1st marriage and 1 child from ex porn star Janine l. (Famous)
        The 2 tattooists who fell for his fake charm were/are empaths ( I have met both- nice women) nothing stopped jesse as he was entitled.
        I am a former security guard. I lived in the world of celebrity for many years 😊

  9. HG,
    What would the manifestation of anticipation look like? It surprised me that you included it.

    1. You may not actually see anything, or it would manifest as being on edge and/or expressing that anticipation through comments about “looking forward”, “cannot wait” etc.

      1. I didn’t think the anticipation was real either. Seems like a positive emotion. Thank you for that HG

  10. HG, do you remember having the fury as a child? Do you think that excessive and/or intense temper tantrums could be a sign of NPD beginning to develop?

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