The Lesser Narcissist – 5 Facts



I have come across these five questions on a number of occasions. They are often regarded as the five fundamental queries which are raised about our behaviour. They are usually answered in a forthright manner by certain commentators in order to drive the message home. However, these observations and answers are provided by people who are not of our kind. They are naturally entitled to comment but the true value arises from someone who is on the other side of the fence, the perpetrator of the actions, the doer. Furthermore, the usual observations are provided without regard to the fact that narcissists are both similar yet different because we operate in certain schools which are linked to our degree of functioning and malign outlook. Accordingly, the traditional answer provided to one of these questions may be correct for the greater of our kind, but not for the mid-range or for the lesser narcissist. Here are the five answers to the five central questions, beginning with those of our kind who are from the lesser school.

  1. Do we know what we are doing?

The lesser does not know. He or she is a creature of knee-jerk reactions, impulse responses and almost machine like programming. The lesser narcissist behaves in his or her manner as a matter of routine response. Push button A and you will get response A. Push button B and you will get response B. It is an unsophisticated system for an unsophisticated person. The lesser narcissist is something of a blunt instrument and has no understanding as to why he or she acts in this way. Out of all of our kind if you try to get a lesser to understand what they are doing, that they must realise what is happening and they are aware of their behaviour, you really may as well go and find a brick wall and slam your head against it as it will be more productive. The lesser does not know and your questions will only serve to enrage him for yes, again reasons he does not know, only that he knows he does not like your questions and he wants you stop asking them so you had better do so or else.

  1. Do you know that you are hurting people?

The lesser may be low-functioning but he or she will know that he or she is hurting people some of the time, but not always. They are not so stupid as not to not recognise that whatever he or she is doing is causing pain, distress and upset to somebody else but there will be occasions where that recognition is totally absent and the Lesser is not pretending that he does not see that you are hurt and that it is his action which has caused this, he really does not realise that you can be hurt by what he has done.

They recognise some of these emotions even though they do not feel those emotions themselves. They see the product of their behaviours and like all of our kind extract fuel from this although they will not understand that this is what they are doing. They will not recognise the concept of fuel. Instead the lesser narcissist will just regard the reaction of the victim as their own fault and they deserved it because they did something the narcissist did not like. The lesser often cannot even point to what it is that the victim has done that has provoked the annoyance, the irritation and the ignition of fury and being invited to do so just increases the hostile reaction. There are occasions when the lesser will respond sometimes with something specific but more often with a general expression along the lines of:

“You just wind me up.”

“You know how to push my buttons.”

“You get on my nerves.”

“You really bug me sometimes.”

The lesser experiences the irritation, the annoyance and the ignition of fury but does not know why and therefore he is not in a position to tell you what it is that has caused him to hurt you, but he just has to, because once he has, the irritation and so forth recedes. He has gathered fuel and addresses the restlessness that comes with the low provision. He has gathered fuel and repaired the wound caused by your criticism (real or more likely perceived) but he doesn’t not know that this is the process. He sees the hurt he causes but has no idea why he is doing it. There are also many occasions where the Lesser will not even realise that the hurt is being caused. Lacking any empathy whatsoever (not possessing the cognitive empathy which Mid Range and Greater Narcissists use to fake empathy) the Lesser will see you crying and just give you a blank look as he has no idea at all why you should be upset. It just does not compute.

  1. Is the behaviour deliberate?

With the lesser it is not deliberate. He or she does not plan to respond in the way that he or she does, it just happens. There is no scheming or plotting with the lesser narcissist, they are not of sufficient function to achieve this. In the same way that if you are hit on the knee with a small hammer there will (usually) be a reflexive action, it is the same for the lesser. He needs fuel, although he does not realise this. He needs to provoke you but again does not realise this. He just reacts and responds. He is a victim of some unseen and unknown higher force that causes him to react. He is already programmed this way but has not been granted any insight or understanding into why he acts as he does. This is why the lesser narcissist will never accept there is anything wrong with him, why he will never admit that he is defective in some way and why he will never concede that he is a narcissist. This is how he is. Isn’t everyone else this way as well? He has no ability to recognise what he is doing. I appreciate that this is often one of the hardest things for a victim to understand. Surely the narcissist knows what he or she is doing? How can they not see it? If you can, why can’t they? This is because they have been wired in a different way to you and with a lesser narcissist this means that their world view is so different that they consider it the only way that people behave and that there is nothing wrong with it.

  1. Can you control it?

In the same way that you might think that the lesser narcissist must surely understand what they are doing, you would expect that they can control it. The answer is that they cannot. As I have explained, their responses are programmed and they do not act in the same way as you. It is knee-jerk, immediate and automatic. For instance, let us say that you are walking along the street when you see a large man running towards you. You will do the following:

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

Thus you realise the man is just out jogging because as he nears you he is wearing sports kit and headphones, so you keep on walking and smile at him, he returns the smile and all is well.

The lesser narcissist sees the behaviour and then responded. Parts b through to e are omitted. This is why the response, viewed through your world lens, may seem disproportionate, outrageous and wrong. To the lesser narcissist, it just is and why are you complaining about it?

The lesser narcissist has an extremely low ability to control his behaviours because of this programming. Whereas the mid-range and greater (as I shall explain separately) can exert control, evaluate and form decisions before responding, the lesser cannot. This is why lesser narcissists have a greater propensity to more extreme responses, including physical violence, because they cannot control their actions and do not evaluate the repercussions of that action. They just react.

  1. Can they stop it?

It is often thought that our kind can stop our behaviours and therefore if we do not we must be enjoying what we are doing. With the lesser of our kind they can no more stop what they are doing than you can halt a runaway train with your bare hands. The lesser is a creature of response and reaction. It happens and if you are in the way when it happens, that is your fault. He does not know why he behaves this way so has no basis for stopping it. He is programmed to respond in a knee-jerk manner and therefore is unable to stop the behaviour. If you tell him to stop, you are tapping in to this inability to control his behaviour and this amounts to fuel or a criticism (if delivered emotion free) but in either instance all it will do is cause the behaviour to continue, although the lesser will not know this. In some respects, this lack of understanding, insight and control makes the lesser of our kind a pitiful creature but in other respects it makes him especially volatile and dangerous.

13 thoughts on “The Lesser Narcissist – 5 Facts

  1. Authenticity says:

    If he’s got a battery-life that can be sustained for incredibly long periods at a time, 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year, can perform hundreds of multiple functions, thousands of various positions, and has extraordinary creativity, and doesn’t mind being called “daddy”, he will suit me just fine, but only for this reason, and this reason alone.

  2. W says:

    Can a lesser exert ANY control if deemed necessary? For example, with the police, or at work, … Can a lesser keep calm to a degree if needed, even if they’re furious?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      They have some control, but not a lot.

  3. Louse says:

    I’ve been in an on/off relationship with somebody I believe to have an NPD for five years.
    Tonight during one of many arguments, I blurted out I think he is a narcissist and then went even further and sent him a detailed email explaining why I think this. (Including a link to this site).
    I’m now blocked by him. I assume it’s over?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I would need more information about the situation to provide an accurate response and the appropriate venue would be a consultation.

      1. Louse says:

        Thankyou I will be in touch

      2. Catherine Parr R says:

        I am focusing on a number of projects but after their completion (in 2-3 months) I would like to book a consultation too unless I am banned and painted black.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Nobody is banned form this blog or form consulting and I look forward to doing so when you are ready.

    2. /iroll says:

      Louse, i wouldn’t share your information resources at the source – aka tell him where to find you on social media. You’re putting yourself in a glass cage – leaving your boundaries open.

      This is a survivor’s community and filled with empathic struggles to understand the other who is not like us. They need a different kind of information – and only when they want to hear it. Non-empathic people are not deterred by the suffering of others, that is not a motivation for them to change behaviour. They only do what is good for them, from their perspective.

      You can’t say to someone abusive: please stop, this is hurting me. You need to assert your own boundaries without their help – and the reason why you don’t assert those boundaries and ask for their ‘help’ – is because you still require emotional validation from them, which is human, but the wrong approach in these cases.

      You basically now have to ‘get over’ the hormonal-emotional addiction to seeking validation from someone who triggers an ‘anxious attachment’ response. That’s work you have to do, changing them is not your responsibility it’s their’s.

      1. /iroll says:

        ..and Louse, despite the power games, the ‘non-relationship’ aka contract between them (feeder) and supplier (you) – of their self-esteem regulation, ends when you no longer need them to feel validated. You’re the one who ends the contractual obligations, always. That may make no sense atm, but it will.

        The whole power-game ‘drama’ – is compensatory for an absence of real feelings of connection. You do all the emotional work to give the dynamic meaning, they’re empty, shallow, passive-aggressive provocateurs of affect (your emotion). Poor them, right? Yes, but it’s not an excuse to be abusive.

        It’s tricky because we ‘especially need’ validation to heal abuse, negative emotional experiences like a car crash, or the shock of cognitive dissonance, has by neurobiological nature, a special kind of disturbing impact on our memory-experience.

        HG always recommends diverting that impact through more neutral, pleasurable experiences – like “having a drink” or an icecream. The lesson here is, we’re making this more complex than it has to be. my Narcy tells me to ‘get a life’ if i try to diagnose him. He doesn’t actually want me to have a life, he wants me to be a wind-up toy, but when he drops his mask – he does give me the truth (i stayed around for it). I owe that to him being more the sociopathic variety on the npd spectrum, he really doesn’t give a shit and doesn’t understand why i would, even ‘for him’ – especially for him. Most npd types will be slightly more emotional than that, but it doesn’t change the basic user – used dynamic.

        When you’re suffering the engulfing possession ‘love bombing’, blocking, discarding, devaluations and silent treatments: you’re still locked in and open to them. Narcs enjoy feeling powerful more than actual intimacy (they’re more intimate with strangers than intimates) – and if no contact on their end achieves a position of control better than relying on you for an ego-boost, it will serve their purpose more than contact at this time.

        It is for example, normal for narcissistic family members to ignore each other for decades. They feel superior that way, and may not even realise that’s what is motivating their conflict avoidance. They often have excuses for the conflict rather than looking at the core issues and thus project all the blame onto others. Because, conflicts are not really that hard to resolve when you care about each other.

        You however are not merely avoiding challenging conflict by not engaging with them, but acting on self-preservation.

  4. Jess says:

    Every word of this is true. I was in a 9 yr relationship with an ULN. I was more of a codependent then and I’m ashamed of the ways I allowed him to manipulate me. Only my tears and complete shock at seeing my own blood flowing would put an end to his rages. He almost choked me to death.

    After I had my daughter my super empath emerged and my supernova mode/abandonment of him caused decompensation to the point where he violently shook his new girlfriend’s baby to death. Still…I received a four page letter this week explaining how it was “all my fault.” No responsibility taken on his part at all. I left him, I destroyed our family, I didn’t want to get counseling, I bullied him, I set him up, I stole his car (out of impound), I am abusive to our child, I am a complete failure as a human being apparently. Lol. Must be nice to live in dream land where you never feel guilty about anything.

  5. H. says:

    With my dead lesser nex, as time went on after we had went through so many of his abuse cycles, I began to notice that his responses were said or written in the same exact words at the end of every cycle. Word for word.

    I would then tell him that he had already said those canned responses to me too many times to count. He would then look me straight in the eye, then swear on his kids lives that he had never EVER said them before.

    Finally one day he accidentally sent me a text for meant for another fuel source. And once again, he used the same exact words to her.

    I was infuriated. Not only was he robotic in his ways with me, but his special words that I thought were said just for me….were obviously phrases he used quite often on other women.

    Wash, Rinse, Repeat….with all of us.

  6. purpleinnature says:

    This reminds me of something my mid-ranger used to always say. “Who’s pulling the strings? It’s like someone is pulling the strings on everything that happens in my life, but who or what is it?” Wow… I had completely forgotten that. He said that all the time. How interesting.

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