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.


36 thoughts on “The Narcissist’s Need For Recognition”

  1. Mr Tudor,

    I recently started reading your blog after coming across a YouTube video of an Out of the Box radio interview with you.

    One of my favorite new songs is Natural by Imagine Dragons. I dont know what kind of music you favor, but It struck me that it sounds like the perfect theme song for you and your blog. Be cool to embed a music player into your blog for the song to play in the background when blog loads.

    1. I love Imagine Dragons as well, and its interesting how certain songs make me think of narcissism now that I know what it is. I found a song by Fall Out Boys that makes me think of this blog. My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark.

        1. WS, I never would have pegged you for an Imagine Dragons or Fall Out Boy fan. The facets of Windstorm!

          1. I’m a Billboards American Top 40 Pop fan, always have been. I can’t stand “oldies.” I heard enough of them back in the day. I’ve never cared for history of any sort – including my own! lol!

          2. WS, I would’ve thought country music for you. Your Billboard top 40 pop comment brought the dearly departed Casey Kasem to mind. I spent many hours of my youth listening to the countdown on the radio!

          3. MB
            Me, too! I always listened to Casey Kasem each weekend for the top 40 countdown.

            I absolutely despise and detest country music! From my earliest memories the sound of a steel guitar made me want to tear my ears off! I hate both the sound of the music and the typical lyrics of country music.

            I’m not fond of jazz or rock either. Now that I think about it, I don’t really have a preferred type of music. I like to keep hearing new things. Any type of music or song I hear too much just seems old and stale. That’s why I like the top 40 and prefer ordinary radio to satellite radio or CDs.

          4. WS, I’m showing my age, but I used to listen to the top 40 countdown with my fingers ready on the record and play butttons on the cassette player for when “my song” came on. It was always tricky making sure I caught it in time and didn’t cut the first part of it off. It required good ear/hand coordination.

          5. MB
            I tended to do my recording just off the radio, but I was always excited to hear my favorite songs on the countdown.

            I remember when cassettes came out. They were such a convenience! When I was a young girl, I used a reel-to-reel. Lol!

  2. At one hand the narcs seem so “evolved” manipulative and sophisticated to get what they want.

    At the other hand, it seems to me that narcs stopped their development at a very early stage, the baby feeding stage, suffering a big wound when they didn’t get food, caresses, loving glances when they needed them so badly to survive.

    So that wounded little human being evolved as he could in the other human abilities but never passing that stage. When the wound is triggered later in life they would react in a violent (lesser), manipulative (MRN) or charming-malicious way (GN) to get the love-fuel they were denied long ago.

    And I only see this baby fixed in getting what he wants from others, not realizing that NOW it is possible to heal the wound, they are not going to die from lack of attention (as it could have happened when you were a baby), accept the frustration and move on.

    What would be a healing response for a narc when the wound is triggered?

    … you are safe now
    … there is abundance all around
    … now you are free
    … nobody is betraying you
    … your essence shines through

    If you stay there not reacting…. would be not easy sure, very vulnerable place… but what if you could be able to revisit the original wound and not being identified with it, passing through it… to the other side?

    Can you image it?

    1. You are correct in your assessment of them being emotionally stuck at a baby stage. My ex told me he didn’t like taking public transit because it always irritated him that all the other riders weren’t paying attention to him. He understood who he was, had researched it online. He knew he hadn’t felt safe as a baby, or as a toddler and child. But he used this knowledge of not feeling safe even when he was feeling ok to manipulate me and other women – it was primarily just another manipulation tool. I often saw the baby, but just as often also the desperate 6 year old; one day when I was angry with the narc he looked at me with a pained expression and blurted out “I just want to be a good child!”. These people’s wounds are so deep that trying help them via the means you suggest will never work. Yes, they will soak it up during the golden stage but they will laugh at you and twist it during the devaluation. Many good women (and men) have attempted what you suggest. Narcs have multiple wounds, hundreds and thousands of unhealed wounds, all so deeply imprinted on their mind. The personality disorder developed as a coping mechanism for unbearable pain, fear, neglect, and abuse. Affirmations cannot help. They cannot heal. And even though they suffer, they like their disorder because the lies and manipulations work, and because the disorder makes them feel superior to the rest of us.

      1. Elizabeth
        Thank you for your answer.
        Yes, somehow I know that and at the same time my savior empath wants desperately to find a way. But I do know we cannot change them. Only they could do it, if they decided at some point that the NPD no longer serves them and even in that case it will be extremely difficult….
        However, in this rapidly changing world where all the wounds are coming to the light to be seen and healed (#metoo, church sexual abuses, narc abuse…) I still want to see the time when a narc chooses the path of healing! and be present to it.
        Call me naive if you will. I just needed to put out how I feel, If the victims of heavy abuse can heal why not them?.

  3. I think I encountered this yesterday. I am very rarely the center of attention by my own design – I prefer it that way. But yesterday I heard a rustling in my bathroom and my dogs were nervous. I went in there and found a 3 1/2 foot (107cm) snake. I was clueless what to do so I started a group text to my Pretzel MnM, all our children and our nephew (everyone i knew who might know about catching snakes) for advice. There were many suggestions and it took me 2 hours to trap and kill him (never could come up with a way to catch him and turn him loose), clean up the blood and order a snake catcher from Amazon (a son sent me the link) for next time. Never heard a peep out of Pretzel.

    I had to pick him up yesterday evening to drive down to TN to spend the weekend with one of our sons. He was quiet and irritable. When I mentioned how he hadn’t been part of the snake text, he complained about how many times his phone pinged at work and how annoying that was. Said he didn’t even read it because it was “too long”. He obviously didn’t want to hear about my adventure or discuss it at all. This puzzled me at first, but then I realized that it had been all about me. It was a very unusual and frightening experience where the whole family was focused on me and that I had successfully handled up there by myself.

    Rather pathetic, his silence, in my opinion. I’d sure bet, though, that he gets a lot of mileage out of retelling the story to his minions at work. Suitably adjusted, of course! lol! 🐍

    1. WS, the most tragic part of this story is that you had to kill the snake. I know that must have been difficult. Good for you being all brave and stuff. Remind me again why he can’t drive himself around. Chauffeur to the pouting pretzel sounds fun. Not!

      1. MB
        You do understand how I think! I have never killed a snake before, even the one that bit me in bed on my porch. My mother was death to all snakes and it always horrified me. He was a juvenile rat snake and totally non-aggressive. I tried and tried to scare him into going back out however he came in, but he just looked at me. I was half thinking of just trying to live with him loose in the house until he went out on his own, but my daughter pointed out that my little dog would mess with him and he could end up biting the dog or the cat and maybe seriously hurting them. It was a long ordeal trapping and cutting off his head and still casts a pall on me today. My only consolation is the snake catcher should arrive by Tuesday. It won’t hurt any future snakes and I’ll be able to carry them outside and release them.

        My Pretzel MnM has minions do everything. He doesn’t make room reservations, check in to motels, keep a decent car capable of long trips… He would gladly have driven my car – with or without me present, because he could draw fuel from me by deliberately driving in ways that annoyed me. That doesn’t happen. But I don’t mind being the minion to get to spend the weekend with our son in TN and Pretzel pays for everything. I imagine myself as Bob from Despicable me – the little minion always carrying the teddy bear. 😊

          1. MB & Windstorm – this whole conversation had me laughing…

            “I was half thinking of just trying to live with him loose in the house until he went out on his own…”

            Windstorm, that line is totally an empath talking…poor snake, though…could you not have enticed it out the door by dangling some juicy frogs in that direction?

          2. WC, noooo. Not the frogs again! I think we have established…frogs are life. (For me anyway — frogs, HG, pizza, and beer) not necessarily in that order.

          3. WhoCares
            Last night we went to a drive-in movie theatre that sometimes has fried frog legs, but my son informed me that it wasn’t frog season. Yes, in both Kentucky and Tennessee there is a frog season. I wondered the last time I saw them in the concession stand if they’d bought them fresh from a local hunter.

          4. WS, it’s always POPCORN AND GOOBERS season at the movies! That has got to be THE ONLY cinema venue serving frog legs at their concession stand in the entire world. We have got to get The Food Network on that! Please tell me what movie you saw.

          5. MB
            Ha, ha! This drive-in is unique in my experience, but may be common in Tennessee. It has 3 huge wooden screens that form a triangle around a centrally located, restaurant-sized concession building. Each screen shows a different movie.

            The movies are projected out from the concession bldg. The viewing area for each movie probably holds 100 cars. Families come in pickup trucks and sit out in lawn chairs up on the truckbed to watch. Children run around catching fireflies. There are picnic tables scattered around for those who want to sit outside and eat. The sound comes thru your cars audio system, but there are also speakers scattered around outside for those who don’t stay in their vehicles.

            Frog legs are a seasonal food, but they sell whole pizzas, fried chicken, hamburgers n fries, in addition to the sort of candy, popcorn and nachos you’d expect in a movie theatre.

            I didn’t watch the movie as it was not my type. I sat in the backseat with my window down to hear the frogs and insects and read a book and caught up on the blog comments. The movie was Venom. My son and Pretzel enjoyed it. I enjoyed being with my son.

            I don’t know if it’s the only movie theater selling frog legs, but it’s a lovely slice of rural Tennessee community life. I always enjoy going there.

          6. WS, the drive-in movies sounds like a fun experience. I’ll pass on the frog legs, but I do love popcorn. Hold that fake butter crap though!

          7. Omg Windstorm – I just can’t believe that frog legs are considered concession booth food somewhere on this earth, lol.

          8. WC, no! I love frogs/toads, but not for eating! I like Italian sausage best on my pizza or pepperoni, but not both at the same time. And definitely no frog legs shall pass these lips, EVER! One caveat though: As stated previously , I have kissed lots of toads. I always let them go unharmed after I violate them in that way. I like to think they enjoy my attention, but their peeing seems to indicate otherwise.

          9. No, who cares,

            The bathroom is the farthest point from the door and how could I have sacrificed an innocent frog? ( I do have frogs in the fish pool on my porch).
            You all can laugh, but I had nightmares last night and one part was looking into that snake’s innocent, fearful face and witnessing his horror at being attacked by me. I’m sure the ordeal and his reaction will haunt me for some time.

            I don’t regret it because of the probability of my little watch dog and my cat getting bitten, but I do regret not having a snake removal plan in place. The last snake that bit me in bed ran for his hole in the floor when I frightened him. I just assumed that would always work. That’s what I get for assuming. Some of us are doomed to only learn from our mistakes. There is some comfort that at least I can learn…

          10. WS, I can’t kill innocent creatures either. I put a big red ant outside today that somehow found his way into my house. He almost took a bath in the dishwasher!

            I really do feel your pain for having to look into the snake’s eyes and then chop off his head. We empaths tend to “humanize” animals and put ourselves in their shoes the same way we do with people. If it’s any consolation, the snake probably had the instinct to be wary of you, but not the cognitive ability to know what was coming or to be truly “frightened” like a human would.

          11. Sorry to laugh at yours – and the snake’s – expense…I could not have done what you did. I would have shut the bathroom door (do you have a second bathroom?) and waited for someone to help – if I couldn’t figure out a *safe* way to capture it…I dunno…plug in a heating pad, on an extension cord, elsewhere and then throw it in the bathroom? Then hope, with fingers crossed, that it seeks the source of warmth, curls up and gets all dozy so you could sneak in and put a box over its body?

            Sorry you’re having nightmares over it.

          12. WhoCares
            Second bathroom? My house doesn’t even have any interior doors! Bathroom just has a folding shoji screen.

            If I hadn’t had to leave for the weekend, I would have given him more time to see if he would go back out. I couldn’t have gone off and left him loose with my dogs and cat, though.

            At least I’ll have the snake catching tongs for next time. We only have one guy in the county that deals with nuisance wildlife. He finally texted me this morning. He said he has removed as many as 20 snakes from one house before. I’m sure I have a lot more in the crawl spaces above and below, but that doesn’t bother me. They keep the mice down. We’ve all got to live somewhere.

          13. Windstorm – I forgot…you’re in a cabin right? That makes sense about the bathroom door, etc. My cabin is similar actually, only the bathroom had a door. And it probably had a ton of snakes close by/under it too! But I sure don’t like thinking about it…we don’t have many dangerous snakes though…only small harmless garters and rattlesnakes and the latter seem to keep to themselves mostly…far away…off on some distant rock in the woods…thank goodness.

          14. Actually, on second thought…I may have chosen to entice it out the door with a frog..but only the one that peed on me.

  4. H G,
    I have being reading your posts and i have to say , i never felt something so strong. The flashbacks come into my mind and i have to stop what i am doing. If i am up i almost fall down. I start to remember so many things that just now make sense, like a puzzle.You are really helping me not go crazy , i can tell you that.

    I would like to do a question for you. The narc i was with betrayl me in in friday. I start the contact zero so. After 3 days i recieved one message of prostitute service in my whatsapp. I felt that it was VERY STRANGE, a coincidence to be honest, and i blocked. One day after the same! One more request of prostitute service in my whatsapp. Ps : Just 8 persons have that phone, i never used for nothing becouse it is pretty new. he was one of that persons.

    As a narc by yorself, what do you think about this ? This messages never appear anymore after that. Just stoped. I am asking you this becouse i cant read his mind. But you can. it is a part of his control game? What message he want to say to me with this ?

    Thanks a lot. I dont have words to say how much relief i am reading your posts!

  5. “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. “ So true! Drama just comes out of nowhere. Sweet moments are turned into sour in a blink of an eye.

Vent Your Spleen!

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