Do Narcissists Know What They Are Doing? – The Lesser


Do narcissists know what they are doing? Most victims would answer a resounding ‘yes’ to this question. Comments such as these are common :-

“He is so calculating in the way he manipulates me, he knows what he is doing alright.”

“Oh she knows just how to wind me up, she knows she does because she always smirks when she is doing it.”

“He is an intelligent man, how can he not know what he is doing?”

“She must know how hurtful she is being when she starts slapping me.”

However, it is nowhere near as clear cut as that. There are two factors which govern the awareness of the narcissist. Firstly, the school of narcissist that you are involved with (Lesser, Mid-Range or Greater) and secondly the issue of control.

The Lesser School

The Lesser Narcissist (Lower Lesser, Middle Lesser or Upper Lesser) goes through life like a wrecking ball. It is his way, or the high way. Do not like what he is doing? Tough – deal with it – you are the problem. Stopping him doing what he wants? Expect a fist in your face. Trying to make him account for his actions? Good luck with that, you can expect a violent outburst and utter dismissal.

Does the Lesser know that he has punched you in the head? Of course he does. Does he know that he did that that as a consequence of the fact that you wounded him and his physical violence is a manifestation of his ignited fury? No, he does not.

Does the Lesser know that he is cheating on you with your sister? Of course he does. Does he regard it as wrong? No. Is he consumed by guilt at what he has done? No, he does not even know what guilt is.

Does the Lesser who verbally denigrates one of his workers know he is bullying that person? No. From his perspective, that worker is out of line, is too slow, has turned up late again, said the wrong thing, does not work hard enough and therefore his response is entirely justified. Don’t do what he wants, expect to be dealt with. It is not bullying, it is getting the problem sorted.

Does the Lesser know that his provocative comments about your appearance are hurtful and are being said to gain fuel? No. He has no empathy whatsoever, not even the cognitive (fake) empathy and therefore does not recognise that what he says is hurtful or could even be construed as hurtful. He does not understand why you are crying after he told you that you look like the Pilsbury Doughboy in that new purple dress. In his mind the comment was justified. If you push him to explain why he made the comment, expect the helpful reply of “Because I say so” or “It just is, right?”

The Lesser acts through instinct and instinct alone. Yes, if you have escaped him he may put together a plan to drive around to where you are now staying and kick in the door and drag you out by the hair back to where you supposedly belong – but that ‘plan’ remains an instinctive response. He knows what he is doing, but because of the need for control, he does not see his behaviour as wrong, inappropriate or hurtful. It is what needs to be done.

This overriding and ever present need for control means that the Lesser will respond with an instinctive act – whether it is physical violence, sexual violence, smashing up property, shouting in your face – but he sees nothing wrong with this. It is being done to gain fuel, it is being done to keep you in his fuel matrix, it is being done to assert his need for superiority over you, it is being done to quell any rebellion on your part and it is being done to reject any notion of accountability for his actions BUT he does not know this. He does not think, “I will shove her down the stairs because she is rejecting my control over her and needs to be punished.” He just commits the act. He does not think about why he is doing it, he does it and if asked why then you may not even get answer, possibly a shrug or just a growled “She deserved it.” If pressed as to why she deserved it, it is back to “Because she did.”

This behaviour is viewed through the different narcissistic perspective. You, as a victim, do not have that perspective. Your perspective invariably causes you to think that the narcissist does know what he is doing. This perspective of yours arises for two reasons

  1. You know why you do things, you know the rationale behind most of them (if not all) and the consequences and therefore you expect everyone else to behave in a similar way and thus have the similar level of awareness ; and
  2. Your emotional thinking drives you to believe that the narcissist knows what he is doing and why because this then causes you try to get the narcissist to address this behaviour. If he or she knows what they are doing, then surely they can listen to reason, reflect and recognise and take an alternative course of action? In short – they can change. As you know, this desire for change, to heal and to fix is at the core of the empathic victim. Your emotional thinking knows this and therefore, in order to keep you engaging with the narcissist (which is all your emotional thinking ever wants you to do) it cons you into thinking that the narcissist knows what he is doing because this then raises the hope (there’s that terrible word again) you can do something about it. Thus, rather than get out and stay out, you remain, trying to reason with the narcissist, trying to get him to understand how his actions impact on you, that they are wrong and how if only he would change then everything would be good.

Accordingly, your empathic perspective causes you to think that the narcissist is calculated in his behaviour (hence why so many people are honestly mistaken when they think they have been ensnared by the rare Greater Narcissist when they have not) when actually the behaviour of the Lesser Narcissist is only ever instinct.

The Lesser has no concept of guilt, no concept of remorse, no conscience. He cannot have because this would render the defence mechanism that is his narcissism, ineffective and that cannot ever happen. The Lesser is unburdened from knowledge of why he acts as he does, he lacks the cognitive function to even articulate it in some way (which would of course would  be a lie if he could, again the narcissism protecting him) and thus this is why you get no explanations about his behaviour or if you do, they are rudimentary in nature and of the dismissive, curt type explained above.

The Lesser is aware of the actions he performs – he knows he has punched you, he knows he is smashing the windows on your car, he knows he is sleep raping you – but he does not plan, he sees nothing wrong with what he is doing (owing to the need for control through his sense of entitlement, the rejection of accountability, his lack of conscience) and does not see it as manipulative or reprehensible. It is purely what must be done, well, because it is, isn’t it? Now, stop questioning him and do as you are told. Or else.

29 thoughts on “Do Narcissists Know What They Are Doing? – The Lesser

  1. Tania says:

    This reminds me a lot of my first love. We have two adult children together but I raised them on my own as I got out after only about 2 years and he was always in and out of prison and his crimes got progressively worse as he aged and eventually he was put on preventative detention and is behind bars permanently. I moved cities when my children were just preschoolers to get away. Sadly I will always see him as a broken child (he was subjected to an extremely violent upbringing himself at the hands of his mother). In my younger, more naive days I thought I could fix him, love him enough to heal what was broken in him. And I still hold some fond memories. But the bottom line is he is a danger to society. When his rage is triggered it’s like he is all consumed by it. He certainly didn’t seem to understand the underlying drivers of his behaviour.

  2. /iroll says:

    There are a lot of Lost Boys in need of mature male role models.

  3. HG Tudors #1 fan says:

    Spot on per usual , HG. The Lesser would sleep rape me all the time; he would like a caveman be on top of me out of the blue after being drunk all night with only one hour of sleep in the voice of caveman he would say,

    “Yeah thats what I thought i took that shit” than easily fall back into his drunken slumber. I don’t even think he knew what he was doing. He broke everything in his home and would come home from bar fights at least once a month.

    Do what say or else, no fuck you dumb smelly steriod slamming loser.
    He colud not handle me being a Super Empath. I went Supernova on his ass.

    1. HG Tudors #1 fan says:

      My violent aggressive Lesser would always speak about how slow, and lazy his coworkers were. In other words, they were all bitchs. Basically the Lesser is a walking time ball, who doesn’t give a damn about anyone or anything.

  4. K says:

    This is an excellent article and it accurately describes what I saw (and lived) when I was able to observe my lessers from an objective standpoint. The violence and brutality is reprehensible. Thank you HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  5. WhoCares says:

    Thank-you, so Mid-rangers…they have higher cognition…does that mean they just present as if they have some inner awareness because it works for their facade or because whatever their ‘inner’ experience is; they simply don’t know their are different than others around them?

  6. WhoCares says:


    This may seem like an obtuse question but I’m bothered by the fact that I’m not actually sure, so I’m going to ask it…If the Lesser Narcissist has no awareness of his or her narcissism – as they cannot reflect on the roots of their behaviour or lack of certain feelings – do they even have an ‘inner’ world? We assume, because we have an inner world and the ability to reflect on that inner world and our emotions that all other have this capacity.

    *Sorry if this posts twice, the first time I got a message saying it couldn’t be posted – so I am retrying.

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. WhoCares says:

        Thank-you for that.
        Then does the presence of empathy always infer the ability to reflect on both our own inner world and the experiences and emotions of others?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I understand that to be the case.

      2. MB says:

        WC, not an obtuse question at all. Mind blown! I’ve never thought about that before. I can’t imagine not having an inner world. Omg, how much easier would life be?!? No wonder they sleep like babies!

        HG, is there an inner voice that torments you like it does me? Or only when fuel is low?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I do not know what your inner voice is, so I cannot compare, albeit I suspect they are drastically different.

          1. MB says:

            You’re lucky you don’t know my inner voice. And yes, drastically different. Yours probably tells you how awesome you are. Mine tells me the opposite. If I could be you for a day, I would.

            I guess my wondering was whether or not there was the existence of an inner voice at all inside the mind of HG?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            There’s one which reminds me to look both ways when I am crossing a road.

          3. MB says:

            Thank goodness for that. My heart would hurt if my beloved HG were to get squished. 💔

          4. HG Tudor says:

            Squished? Not a chance.

          5. MB says:

            It’s fun fuel Friday free for all! Yes, squished is a cute word I like to use. Road kill is a little harsh for empaths.

          6. windstorm says:

            My narcs say “street pizza.” Lol!

        2. WhoCares says:

          Thank-you MB and you made me laugh with your comment: “No wonder they sleep like babies!”

          I guess I had just assumed they had an inner world – just not a very sizable one.

          1. K says:

            Well, that explains the “dumb look” on my mother’s face (and Trump’s).

      3. Christine says:

        That sounds… restful.

        I don’t have guilt haranguing me in my inner world (any more), but I have so many thoughts, so much imagination, so many interests, so many emotions, so much LIFE. Giving some of it to others is necessary, or I would burn up.

    2. nunya biz says:

      amazing question and actually causing me a bit of anxiety to ponder it.

      1. WhoCares says:

        Thank-you nunya biz; it does give pause for thought doesn’t it…

  7. /iroll says:

    Yes, adult-infants.

  8. Maureen says:

    Not sure if my X is a lesser, I think he planned when to love bomb me then devalue, he even told me he couldn’t love like others because he is wired differently. Does this sound like a greater H. G.?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I cannot determine from such brief information, you should book a Narc Detector consultation.

      1. Maureen says:

        Great how do I do this?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Please see the menu bar at and follow the instructions there.

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Next article

Your Fault