Narcissistic or Narcissist?


Understanding whether someone is narcissistic (and thus has some emotional empathy) or whether they are a narcissist (and thus has NO emotional empathy) is difficult. A host of factors determine whether somebody is a narcissist, but there are many people who are narcissistic. This group do have emotional empathy but it is not often seen, but why is that?

To understand more about the difference between narcissist and those who are narcissistic and how that appears in real life, plug in those headphones, turn up the volume and listen in as I explain it for you here

73 thoughts on “Narcissistic or Narcissist?

  1. Another Cat says:

    Sorry for a bit of thread archaeology but couldn’t locate a new one on this subject.

    One typical classic example of a Narcissistic Normal, is, I believe Eric Clapton.

    Someone who doesn’t look tense enough to be a true narc, doesn’t seem so manipulative, but cares very very much about himself all the time. At least according to articles written about him through the years. Treated women very poorly, often unfaithful, drugs and abuse. Apparently making racist statements on stage many years ago, long dunken speeches, ‘Keep Britain white’ and so on. Later admitting that he has a huge alcohol problem, regretting, taking back, etc. Idk, Clapton sounds a bit too honest about himself to be a fulltime manipulator, imo, but surely on the narcissistic side?

    1. Another Cat says:


  2. DEMBunny says:

    Hg- a question. In the example of a narc or narc-y person apologizing to a crew member : I have witnessed LMR and MMR apologize seemingly just to make amends , make the other person like them again, make themselves look like the bigger person, and if apology accepted the person is painted white again, if apology not accepted, a facade of “we are cool” but privately they’re still painted black. Can you speak to this? Do MR’s apologize seemingly not make amends, but really just to keep the fuel source in place and the facade going?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are correct. It is False Contrition.

  3. Craig White says:

    I believe narcissistic individual’s maybe are dulled down negative version of his or her true self, who are living with an unknown underlying health condition..

    If only those individual’s who have narcissistic trates could somehow feel there true natural self the may then and only then understand how hard there lives truly are and to how hard the are actually been towards others..

  4. Liane says:

    I’ve been wondering for the last few months whether my partner is narcissistic or a narcissist. So this video and example given was very very interesting! Am I right in assuming that only the narcissist needs fuel and a narcissistic person does not?

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. Claire says:

        How prone to affairs would a narcissistic person be in a triangle of normal people? (As opposed to an actual narcissist?)

        1. HG Tudor says:

          More likely.

  5. FYC says:

    Hello Kel, It seems like your coworker may be compensating for her lack of healthy self-esteem. When you know what you have to offer in business you need not be competitive with a coworker, you simply perform your best.

    I have some familial narcissists and they are competitive and jealous. It is sad because they are smart, talented and attractive so there is no need for either, but they lack healthy self esteem and their narcissism requires they remain highly defensive. They also do not apologize. It can be exhausting to deal with so I now keep a distance.

    I’m sure your coworker is aware of her passive aggressive shoving and chair actions. Any empath would apologize. I wonder if she is midrange? You said she has been empathetic without anyone knowing, but you can’t know if she tells others about her seemingly private actions for facade management. Just an observation.

    As a side note, please do not take my logical written approach as uncaring. I may not always agree, but I always care.

    1. FYC says:

      Sorry, this was supposed to nest below Kel’s comment well below in the thread.

    2. Lou says:

      FYC (For Your Consideration?), For what’s worth, I enjoy your logical written approach. I find you very polite and have never had the feeling you don’t care. All the opposite.

      1. FYC says:

        Hello Lou, Thank you so much for your kind reply. It’s worth a lot and I’m glad to know you feel this way. I enjoy your comments on the blog as well.

  6. Mercy says:

    HG, would you consider doing something like this about spotting differences in empathy and cognitive empathy

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I have made a note.

  7. Adelaide says:

    Can someone please kill them all!? Only when they die, there will be peace.

  8. NarcAngel says:


    This was much needed and thank you for so clearly demonstrating the distinction. I think often people are labelled as narcissists just because they are more comfortable with, or are used to dealing with more logic than emotion, and appear as uncaring, mean, or having ulterior motive when that is not the case. People who are more or highly sensitive can feel wounded by words or behaviour that seem logical to a narcissistic person, but the intention was not there to harm, and as you point out, would feel badly to find that was the case. Your example was very clear and demonstrated well the difference in that scenario. A great lesson.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

      1. mommypino says:

        HG, is the intention to harm present even in the Mid-Rangers who are unaware? I know that my Lesser mom intends to harm but she believes 💯 that she was just defending herself or that the actions of other people gave her a good reason to cause them harm. My MRE sister for example gave me silent treatments without any provocations from me. Although now I am thinking that my presence in her life (a sister that she never knew existed) made her feel that she ‘lost control’ and therefore reminded her of that traumatic lost of control that she experienced in her childhood. I am asking because when I get mad at someone, sometimes I don’t want to talk to them but not with a motive to kill their self esteem (harm them) but to give myself a break from them. Does a Mid-Ranger give silent treatment to cope also or to be punitive and cause hurt?

        1. mommypino says:

          Actually now that I reflect on it, I don’t talk to the person that got me mad because I know that I have a bad temper and I don’t want to end up saying things that would be very hurtful and I would regret. So it is actually to avoid causing harm.

        2. HG Tudor says:

          The unconscious purpose of a Silent Treatment is to punish and to hurt. The MRN consciously recognises that behaviour causes hurt but he or she sees it as ‘too bad for you’ because it was justified because you did something to deserve it.

          1. Claire says:

            He used to say “Too bad” all the time. I actually felt taken back for a minute reading your post HG. I didn’t really like it and I’m still baffled how in the hell you know the variations so well when they differ in so many ways. Or came up with it. How did it happen? Was this stuff you thought up before or after treatment? I just don’t know how you know!

          2. mommypino says:

            HG, you’re so right. That’s how her mindset was with other people that she was ignoring. She expressed to me the exact same mindset that you said. Just like Claire’s narc, my MRE sister used to say “Too bad” or “Oh well”.

          3. mommypino says:

            Thank you HG!!

      2. mommypino says:

        I just found the answers in the ‘Expanded Narcissistic Truths No 4’ article. Mid-rangers do it to punish and not to regulate their anger to avoid saying something regretful. Thank you. It does help to reread articles even though I have already read them before.

  9. Chihuahuamum says:

    I forgot to mention too that when the narc lets you glimpse behind the mask sometimes its a warning to not “F” with them especially in a work related setting.

    1. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

      Chihuahuamum. I agree with that wholeheartedly, in the work environment. I never got that express look from the mid ranger, but whenever I irritated him, he would grumble under his breath, and I would immediately walk away. And I did see him actually give some that deadly look for a second or 2. They also have another look that I noticed when they are upset with one or more people…they can look forward at no one, as if wishing a guillotine were readily available. Ouch. I also saw him with this look whenver he was talking and others somewhat rudely talked to each other for a moment, while he was speaking. I would try to subtly glance at them to send them a silent message to: shut up please for the sake of all that is good in the world!

  10. Chihuahuamum says:

    Great example!! At the end tho i think the narcissist after the tour wouldve found a replacement and fired john in a cold hearted shocking way.
    Ive been struggling with this bc i work with someone ive had a lot of respect for and still do in some regards but have also lost a lot of respect after something i witnessed which i feel was a glimpse behind the mask intentionally. Usually when they let you see a glimpse of who they are thats not good bc they arent hiding anymore and you have to ask yourself why dont they care that you know their dark side? Its unnerving. Usually bc their need for you is no longer there which is bad news in most cases.
    What i dont get is this individual has done some very empathetic things in the past that i cant find any motive behind and no one had seen these gestures.
    Where i tend to think them to be a narcissist is looking back and seeing some narc tactics like…triangulation, smearing, bragging over their grandiosity(very rich/possessions). On the flipside they have done things they didnt need to do and just because they wanted to.
    I am curious if a narcissistic person can use narc tactics but not be a narc? My thoughts are yes the only difference is as stated they can and do feel empathy.
    What makes me believe this individual is a narc is on a few occasions and one in particular they exhibited no feeling, none, in a situation that imo was heartbreaking. It was like seeing an android in play. Very bothersome to see this especially having worked with them for years.

  11. foolme1time says:

    HG I have just finished listening to this, the examples that you used help me tremendously in understanding the differences between the two. Thank you.

  12. Witch says:

    Excellent! Do you think “healthy narcissism” is a valid concept? I say this as someone who is empathetic but also able to cut people off who are taking the piss out of my life as opposed to doormats who struggle to be independent and frustrate me

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes, for instance being proud of your appearance and therefore exercising regularly, eating well, maintaining good hygiene and dressing well – all of which can be done without detriment to others, is a form of healthy narcissism. Pride is a narcissistic trait – it does not mean it has to be bad.

      1. Claire says:

        I needed to hear this. Nice comment—I never thought of the phrase “healthy narcissism.” I just assumed such behavior added to the arsenal of self loathing I experience for not being Mother Teresa.

        1. foolme1time says:

          Thought you would figure it out!! 😘🙃

          1. Claire says:

            Haha Foolme!

        2. Alexissmith2016 says:

          I think she might be an N Claire so you wouldn’t want to be like her

          1. Claire says:

            Are we still on Mariah? Oh gosh if so.. When you get breast augmentation you shouldn’t look like you chew bubblicious and look so giddy about it. Google images. Just did and they are on display in nearly all pictures. Not sure why she crawls under my skin so much. Celine Dion occasionally shows some skin but is by far a much classier woman.

          2. Alexissmith2016 says:

            I meant Mother T, Claire.

            Apologies I hadn’t read the whole thread of comments. Not Mariah. I don’t know anything about Mariah.

          3. Claire says:

            I was lost lol! (I was irritated with Mariah Carey the other day!)
            Oh my—you know, she could have been. They come in all flavors.

  13. Mercy says:

    Thank you for this information HG. Very helpful

  14. Sweetest Perfection says:

    Very clear explanation, thanks! Mine is certainly a narcissist, and in his mind (especially when he sings at karaoke) he also believes he’s a pop star.

    1. Claire says:

      Mine went through a church choir singing phase. I almost lost my f******* mind. I could only stand to watch once. I was so utterly disgusted and confused. We weren’t even religious. I didn’t know it was for fuel. I will say it allows a lot of opportunity for laughter these days. Yours really takes karaoke to heart huh?!

  15. kel says:

    I have never heard a narcissist use the word ‘Sorry’. They will find a way to make amends with someone, they will throw around the word ‘love’ right and left, but the narcissist’s I know avoid the word ‘Sorry’ like the plague.

    I’m interested in spotting the difference between chronically narcissistic people and real narcissist’s on an everyday basis, when they’re not angry.

    There’s a woman I work with who is pretty and my age, who seems to compare me to her and compete with me in her own mind. She has actually shoved into me, or has lunged her chair back into me, a few times. She’ll say Oh, sorry or nothing, as I don’t say anything other than looking at her puzzled. It reminds me of something a school kid would do. There’s no friction between us, we’re friendly. She is narcissistic or somewhat conceited or something, takes a lot of selfies, but I don’t see her as having outright NPD. She lives well, has her Mercedes and travels a lot, focused on herself, tuning everything else out, but I don’t see her as manipulative.

    HG, can there be a label for a normal who is highly narcissistic, or perhaps she’s manipulative with others I’m not aware of and is possibly a narcissist?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Many narcissists will not use sorry, but MMR are likely to do so ( not often though and even then it is false contrition)

  16. Claire says:

    I just listened to this. This is indeed why I am here. Nailed it. Like a gymnast getting a perfect 10 on a floor exercise. Applicable and relatable HG. But.. Are you able to truly always make the distinction in consultation re, narcissist vs. narcissistic all the time? I assume to be safe for clients mistakes can be made between the two? Also, I also believe past behavior is a prediction of future behavior. But.. I know people (just a few) that have done really shitty things and they have insurmountable amends to make. Determining what I’m looking at is tricky so I’ll just keep paying attention.

  17. Chihuahuamum says:

    Oh i missed this will definitely listen! In the end i go by how someone treats me i dont need an npd dx to decide if theyre toxic.

  18. nunya biz says:

    I have not yet fully delved into the world of HG audio, I have an uninterrupted 30 minute drive at least daily usually and I am very interested in this topic. I will have HG’s pleasant voice explaining this concept to me while I drive shortly. Looking forward to it!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It’s a win!

      1. nunya biz says:

        I did win your insightful perspective on my drive, thank you!

    2. Bibi says:

      Listening to Tudor Friday right at this moment while typing this before my morning workout. I have been Tudored. LOL

    3. Sarah Jane says:

      Please don’t drive or use heavy machinery whilst listening to Mr Tudor.
      Be safe.

  19. princesssuperempath says:

    Dearest HG: I am wondering if the word Narcissist is being used more of late in popular culture, or has it been there for a while, and I am just hearing it, because I have of late been interacting with what I have found to be Narcissists, after recently researching the matter, and now I notice the word, Narcissist, when I hear it. On another note, the sound on that video came through so very well on my computer, and louder and clearer for some reason. I find that fascinating since the example on that video discussed a sound engineer. lol.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      A combination of the two, PSE.

  20. Narc noob says:

    Ha ha, I just heard your voice from the recording. You sound posh!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I am.

      1. Claire says:

        Please now! You can’t be that perfect! Certainly you put your napkin on your lap but come on!

      2. Bibi says:

        You’ve been Victoria Beckham? All this time?

    2. Sarah Jane says:

      He also sounds very upbeat and fresh, like he was smacked off his tits on some serious fuel.

      I could hear the air being cut over the mic as if he was physically talking with his arms and body. I’m guessing a spacious room too, from the echoes, with a high ceiling.

      I find the bellowing poshness and confident tone both intimidating (like a headmaster as a child) and sexy (like err Mr Tudor).

      1. Claire says:

        I was listening to something on the car (I generally hate YouTube videos/audio because I can read more efficiently in the same time) but was driving.. Kids were sorta asleep.. One woke up and asked who the Australian guy was!

        1. Sarah Jane says:

          Let’s put another shrimp on the barbie

          1. Claire says:

            I just told them to go back to sleep Sarah Jane! It was a reasonable inquiry.

        2. Bubbles 🍾 says:

          Dear Claire,
          Out of the mouths of babes…that was just classic !
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘

        3. Narc noob says:

          Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi!

          But no. Not like Aus accent at all.

  21. DoForLuv says:

    Love this !! Right timing .. so important

  22. Whitney says:

    Dear HG 👑 thank you I really enjoyed listening. So my two confirmed narcissists from the Narc detectors are Narcisissts, not Narcissistic? I have more to be tested too!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Correct. I am at your disposal.

      1. Whitney says:

        You are magnificent. You saved my life. I would be so confused if it weren’t for you. I have 2 more Narcs who tried to ensnare me. 4 within a year.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Thank you. I agree.

  23. EmP says:

    Hi HG, I enjoyed the video very much.

    A question, if I may: would a narcissistic person engage in any form of manipulation?


    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes but it is far less likely and would be done knowingly rather than instinctively.

      1. EmP says:

        Interesting, thank you HG.

        1. nunya biz says:

          “Yes but it is far less likely and would be done knowingly rather than instinctively.”

          That is interesting. Trying to wrap my mind around the difference.

  24. Anm says:

    Great explanation!

  25. WhoCares says:

    This was a great example of comparison and contrast between a narcissist and a person who is narcissistic – love these ‘real world’ examples; so helpful to further our understanding. Thank-you for recording it.

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