The Lesser Narcissist – Five Facts

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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.

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17 Comments

  1. Ah, and the penny drops. Slowly. I understand more and more that an upper lesser can be successful, clever, talented and famous.

    Reading through wikipedia about his uncontrolled often reckless behavious, not at all pretending to be nice-guy,

    I guess that film star my grandma and parents admired so much, Errol Flynn, was just that: a Lesser narc.

      1. Just give her my best wishes. Nice clothes and shoes are not worth what she is doing at night. We need to build her up.

  2. Dearest HG: I was a NIPSS for a guy that was a lesser, for many years. He had bad logic, and believed things such as: if everyone else gets away with it, so should I. Or, no one ever gets in trouble or caught for doing this or that. So, I can do it as well. I always told him that the past does not indicate the future, and there may be reasons some people get away with things that differ at different times and for different people. He also underestimated the intelligence of others, believing that inaction was weakness, or that silence was submission or agreement, etc. I had to go with him to court twice, because of stupid things he did, and I became a person he called to be his support person whenever he fell into trouble, Twice, I had to talk to his court appointed lawyers,etc. and I had to create amazing stories for his defense. He even marveled at the stories I concocted in his defense, and even started to believe the stories himself. I told him to stop that! I in no way condone what you did, you know that story is made up, and do not try to turn that fantastic story on me, or even try to believe it. It was stupid what you did, and I hate that you did what you did. He would say, okay. In court, he would rocked back and forth waiting for his name to be called, and when we sometimes walked around the city, he behaved oddly. However, I always told him, that if you do not know how to carry yourself in certain situations, observe what the other people are doing, and behave like them. If you walk past the police, notice how no one else looks at them, and do the same. In court, notice everyone sitting and not rocking back and forth and do the same. He marveled at this info. and did started applying it when he was nervous. However, the last time I supported him in court and spoke on his behalf, (I even told the court I was his fiance at these times, for standing, so to speak), I told him that I felt that I may not be helping him, and if you do something real bad in the future, I helped you to do it by helping you to stay free, and, to not call me anymore, and I changed my phone number. I liked him though. He was not fake, and he was fun. Very handsome and he treated me well, most of the time. He would go anywhere with me and help me with anything that I needed. From carpentry to shopping, to just hanging out, or helping me with my hair products and accompanying me to salons and explaining what I wanted (he was also a barber for men). He helped me decorate my apartment and hang things that were very heavy. He was very artistic and never was able to make it work out for himself. I now know that he obtained Fuel from me, for whatever reason. Volatile temper. If anyone mistreated me, I knew not to tell him, because he would go after them. He often tried to triangulate me, I know now, but I would always tell him to go ahead and talk to her, or sure, that one is pretty, or whatever. He soon stopped, because I refused to get jealous, since I was not his girlfriend. But, I would not be the person to defend him any longer. If one day he killed or maimed someone, I felt I would blame myself, and I could not take on the responsibility for his fury any longer. I think, in a perfect world, he could have been the love of my life. But, I could not even maintain the platonic friendship, in the real world. Too dangerous.

  3. Hi Hg,
    If a lesser, who i have escaped, went onto a new relationship couple days after being discarded, and got that woman pregnant, could he have changed? If this woman isn’t trying to control him (i imagine her very docile and stupid where i was trying to control his drug and alcohol abuse which resulted in physical violence) could he have really changed?
    Obviously he is blaming me for all his actions when we were together and making sure i know he has completely changed and is an amazing man/father now. Making sure i know how happy and in love they are now.

      1. Thank you for your answer.

        So how come he has been able to wear his mask and be the good husband/father for the past year ? He makes sure i witness it. Him and his gf also messaged me saying i was miserable and they are happy and in love.
        I dont understand, it feels like he couldn’t be a good person for our daughther and I but now is for his new found family… its breaking my heart and my little girl’a heart.

        1. Because his narcissism dictates that this happens. There is a lot more detail to convey to help you understand this and I recommend you organise a consultation with me.

        2. JessJ
          He is not changed. It’s all an act. One that can be kept up for awhile but not forever and you can only see what they let you see. It is an illusion of epic proportion. He is still the man you were forced to escape and if he returns you would remember quickly why you had to. Your daughter does not deserve to have a man around her who abuses drugs, alcohol, resorts to violence, and could treat you both so callously moving on as he has. She also doesn’t deserve a man who is wearing a mask or a mother so deeply addicted to that mask that she is put at risk. And before you say he doesn’t hurt her – he does. Even if (especially if) that abuse is only directed at her mother. It’s one thing to accept that for yourself and you should not, but your daughter has no choice and you need to step up as a mother to do better if only for her.

          A broken heart is not losing him. A broken heart will be losing her love and respect for you because of him. I know because I was your daughter once.

          HG can explain why it appears to you that he has changed, why he has not, and what you can expect. I strongly urge you to consult with him as you are too hurt and confused to think clearly at present. Do it for your daughter. Please.

          1. Thank you for your reply NarcAngel. You are right and seeing it from your perspective helps me a bit because my daughter is the most important thing in my life. Although my mind seems to go up and down 1000 times a day between i made the right thing and regretting it…. i recently read on one of HG’s posts “i want it to be my fault so i can fix it” and that resonated with how wrong my mind is playing games on me.
            I also had cancer following me leaving him… i just finished treatments and he was awful all through it, telling me “i was not mentally capable of taking care of my daughter, that i was using people that were helping me, that bad things happen to miserable people” and things like that….
            I will plan a consult with HG as soon as i have the funds. I cannot wait.

  4. I love how you put these concepts into words such as they are not so stupid..! (To realize)
    It knocks the pants off a clinical text.

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