The Greater Narcissist

 

the-greater

This is a Greater Narcissist. There is much to write about the Greater, but for now, a snapshot shall have to suffice. We have met Lee the Lesser and Malcolm the Mid-Ranger. There are lots of Lees and Malcolms. Lots of them. In fact most people who have ascertained that they have been ensnared by a narcissist will have entangled with either a Lee or a Malcolm. This is Greg, Greg the Greater, a rare beast indeed.

“Hello, what was that?” asks Greg.

“Hello Greg, I was just explaining that you are a rare beast indeed.”

“Oh completely, how good of you to notice and may I say just how delightful you look today, you have done something different with your hair haven’t you, it really suits.”

I cannot help but smile and look pleased at this remark. I know I shouldn’t but this is the problem with the Greater, they are ever so charming and before you know what has happened one has given them some fuel, told them something they wanted to hear or agreed to do what they want.

The Greater exhibits considerable charm. Charm is one of his prevalent weapons. With the Lesser it is raw aggression, with the Mid-Ranger it is the ability to draw sympathy, but with the Greater he uses charm to achieve what he wants.

His charm manifests in many ways. Courteous, polite, amusing, well-read, urbane, complimentary and attentive. But this charm is a combination of considerable intelligence, confidence and planning. Out of all of the three schools of narcissist, the Greater knows the benefit of planning and scheming. He is always gathering information, storing it away, logging it for later or immediate use.

“You are the master at gathering information aren’t you Greg?”

“How very kind of you to say so and I cannot deny that,” he responds with that slow and engaging smile of his. See how he holds my gaze, boring deep inside of me? Of course he is just reflecting back at me what I want to see, after all, he is an expert in the art of seduction. He is an expert in most things, he has to be, the world cannot be afforded any glimpse of weakness, any hint of the loss of his control. He must project an image of success at all times.

Greg knows that the foundation of his success lies in planning and preparation.

“Greg, what is your view about preparation?” I ask.

“Every battle is won before it is ever fought,” he responds in a matter of fact. He is deadly serious. To him, every engagement in his life is a form of battle. Every person he interacts with, every situation he faces, every scenario he is engaged in – all of them are battles and he has to win every one. Even if he appears to lose, he will have allowed that to happen for the sake of a future win.

Greg knows that to forge his rightful and entitle path through life he must secure these victories and win. He does so by ensuring he knows his enemy. Everybody qualifies to be an enemy because the Greater knows that the world is against him and if he gives any quarter, this cruel and heartless world will seek to topple him. He may be a Greater but the wariness and paranoia applicable to all narcissists is just as applicable to him. Greg understands that he has to know who he is dealing with and this means gathering intelligence.

By the way, than unflinching stare has remained focussed on me. The attention from this handsome individual is both unnerving yet oddly engaging. He uses his eyes a lot. Do not think however that when he is staring at you, mirroring your own desires, so you become trapped like a deer in the headlights that this is all he is doing. No, not at all. He is evaluating, considering his next move, what to say next, gauging how I will respond. The Greater’s mind is always whirring, thinking about the next move, ascertaining how to seize the most appropriate advantage. Normal people would find it exhausting but not the Greater for he, among all of the narcissistic brethren has the greater energy levels. This of course means he has the highest demands for fuel but he is also the most effective at gathering this fuel. This effectiveness manifests in two ways. The first is the methodology applied and the second is the range of appliances at his disposal.

The Greater has the widest range of manipulations at his disposal. He is well-practised and able to match, with considerable accuracy, the best forms of manipulation to his victims. Of course he relies on understanding his appliances, knowing what they like and dislike in detail and achieves this through extensive information gathering through his own questions, the use of Lieutenants, conducting background searches and so on. He has had many victims and therefore knows how certain types of person are likely to respond to certain manipulations. Admittedly, he will not get is right every single time, but his error rate is very low indeed. His effectiveness is heightened through how driven he is. He must succeed, be the best, be the sparkling diamond at the centre of the crown. Leader in his field. Champion. Conqueror.

Like a master artisan, he selects only the finest materials (victims) on which to work and then he applies his deft touch through carried manipulations from his Devil’s Toolkit. All of this is done enveloped in charm. He has people do things because they want his praise, his approval, his largesse, his friendship and is love.

The Greater also has extensive fuel networks on which he relies. Unlike the Lesser who has a narrow fuel base or the Mid-Ranger who has a wider one with numerous appliances, the Greater has an extensive and impressive network. Let’s find our more from Greg.

“Hey Greg, who is warming your bed at present?”

“Why are you interested?” he asks as he places a hand gentle on my arm.

“Oh this is professional purposes only, “ I respond trying to rebuff him, but the hand remains unmoved. He is confident and assured.

“I am ever the professional.”

“I am sure that is the case, but tell me, who is on the arm of Greg?”

“I have a girlfriend at present.”

“Just the one?”

“Yes, but there are others, certain ladies who know me well who I can call on if I need to.”

Those are his intimate partner secondary sources, his friends with benefits and booty calls.

“How many?”

“Four,” he replies without hesitation.

“What about your friends?”

“I have six guys I regularly knock around with, plus two good female friends.”

Those are his inner circle.

“Then maybe another twenty or so people I know well through golf, football, the pub, you know, I see them every so often.”

Those are his outer circle. More secondary appliances.

“What about work and family Greg?”

“Well I head up a department at work so I have a team of eight working for me and I am on good terms with the other directors.”

More secondary sources there through colleagues.

I let him continue as he explains how he is well regarded by his family (more secondary sources), his neighbours, people in his community, the people he knows through a charity he is a trustee of (lots of tertiary sources). His network of fuel appliances is vast and he can rely on it regularly to ensure that his considerable fuel needs are catered for. It is rare to find a Greater running short of fuel.

The Greater knows what he is. His higher cognitive function allows him an awareness. He may know that he is a narcissist, since it has been pointed out to him and his increased cognitive function means he can understand and relate to it. Of course, he knows not to admit this to anybody, unless he sees a distinct advantage in doing so. In some instances he may not know that he is a narcissist but he certainly knows that he is different from other people. He knows he is special, talented and destined for continued greatness. He knows that it is necessary for him to control his environment and people, for if he does not do so, he feels weakness gnawing at him, unease and the threat of the loss of his superiority. He knows that he must maintain this edifice that he has built and this is done through having people react to him. He may not know it as fuel, but he knows how important it is for people to respond to him. He knows he must receive admiration and anger, love and loathing, adoration and abhorrence. These power him and allow him to achieve the things he knows he is entitled to. He recognises he does wrong, but does not care. He knows he has no conscience, no sense of guilt, he knows he has a reduced emotional repertoire because from years of observing and listening – as opposed to just doing as the Lesser and Mid-Ranger does – he has learned what he does not feel, not that it concerns him in any way.

Greg knows that charm, manipulation and persuasion are they key attributes to staying number one and having people do as he wants. He wants to own people, make them his, subsume them into him and he understands why this must happen, because it makes him all the more powerful, all the more effective and all the more able to keep his creature locked away and never heard. Greg knows that his Machiavellian nature, his duplicitous nature and slavish devotion to the doctrine of the ends always justifying the means, results in him staying on top of the pile. He is proud of his orchestrations, his status as Supreme Puppet Master. He knows that people are there to do his bidding, to be moved where he wants them to go, to carry out his wishes and best of all, they often do not even realise that they are doing it.

Of course, Greg is no fool and understands that when the velvety caress of his subtle manipulations is not working, then the iron fist must be deployed. He has no reluctance to dole out his innate wickedness. He will ensure that this is either done through a proxy or if it must be by his hand, then he will reduce the risk of retribution and consequence to him. He evaluates. When that apparently loving gaze becomes the inky dark stare of malice, the whirring mind is plotting to ensure a most malevolent outcome for those that cross him. Whilst the Lesser and the Mid-Ranger will act with malice, theirs is nothing to the concentrated vitriol that the Greater possesses and will unleash when he deems it appropriate. This is another factor which sets him apart from his brethren ; the sheer evil that he is capable of and that will be readily applied in order to preserve his position.

The Greater will pursue for longer, hoover harder, use more energy, charm more fiercely, devalue with scathing intensity and channelling the vast amount of fuel he can draw on from the extensive fuel network, this powers this effective machine as he achieves his machinations. The Greater calculates the impact of his words, either to seduce or to devalue. He assesses the likely responses of those he wishes to control and the likely benefit for him. For him there can be no end, the games must always continue and he must always be wining and be seen to be winning.

The Greater may often be hard to detect because he is most capable of exhibiting cognitive empathy. He has studied and knows how to mimic with considerable conviction, but this is not a perfected art. He will be prone to those pauses when he is ascertaining his best response and that sudden frozen look will appear, albeit momentarily. The Greater is also hard to detect because he will engage in what appear to be good works. The Lesser is self-centred in a brutal and demanding manner, the Mid-Ranger is self-centred in a sulky, feel-sorry-for-me style but the Greater, well the Greater will show generosity, be charitable and appear to exhibit kindness. He will hold positions of authority, trust and responsibility. They are put part of the carefully constructed façade on which he relies more than any other type of narcissist. He builds this façade, cements it and uses it repeatedly. His apparent good works are but a veneer of respectability which are either:-

 

1.      Committed because there will be a distinct gain arising from this act in due course – for example, lending someone money to then have them repay him through actions and loyalty ; or

2.      Part of furnishing the façade and thus a worthy sacrifice for the maintenance of this artifice.

Be in no doubt that this apparent sugary surface coats a venal and vicious individual who will never stop in the pursuit of victory. Cruel, perverse and utterly self-serving, behind that engaging smile and warm handshake is a cold and calculating mind.

Of course Greg would never admit to any weakness, unless as usual, he saw an advantage in doing so, but he has them. Like all of his kind he hates criticism. It burns and wounds and he uses his considerable control to keep his fury under control. Furthermore, the innate confidence and superiority that Greg has means that an objective observer will regard him as not necessarily appreciating certain risks to the extent that he might. Naturally, Greg would reject such a suggestion as failing to understand, however, there is an over-confidence which exists, which might, not always, but might lead to occasional difficulties for Greg the Greater, although of course he is equipped to address those difficulties using his customary charm, malice and manipulation.

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64 Comments

          1. I am serving refreshments! Never said I was a greater! Haha. Don’t you all need martinis?

      1. Say hi to Putin, if he’s there.

        But seriously, have you ever done a Narc Detector for a reader and diagnosed the individual as a Greater?

    1. Evil, I seem to recall HG estimates 1 in 6 people are narcs and that between 1-2% of all narcs are greaters.

  1. HG In your article you say, “of course he knows not to admit this to anybody, unless there is a distinct advantage in doing so.” What are some of those distinct advantages that would cause the greater to admit this to someone? Thank you in advance for the time you devote on this subject. LB

  2. Glad I’ve found this older article based on a recent comment. It is very interesting for me because I personally identify with quite a lot of the descriptions – not only here, but in this one especially about the “compulsive” planning, calculating, making strategies about my every move. Using self-awareness, knowledge about psychology and experiences with people to design how I approach things. I know many people would find this exhausting but, for me, it is very stimulating, rewarding and even entertaining. I also relate to other things from different articles but, at the same time, just about half of the features/stories (or more) do not fit me at all. If these are narcissistic/psychopathic traits, it confirms my original thinking that I have a few.

    I wonder, HG, why don’t you write more specifically about the Greater on this blog – a lot of the articles are about the Lesser and Mid-Range. I would be especially interested in Greater-Greater interactions (already said on another thread) because I’ve also met a few people throughout my life who would fit at least part of that bill and I actually find myself drawn to them and vice versa… initially. I don’t think I would want to get involved with any of them romantically though, I believe that would not satisfy anyone beyond perhaps some initial intrigue and fantasy. But in professional context, for example, it can be quite attractive to pick up strategies, including effective communication strategies. I am also in environments where these people may not be so rare, at least in the higher end domains. The ones I’ve met are usually more subtle though, do not openly boast, demand attention and annihilate others in the ways it’s described in many articles. To me, that makes sense in terms of effectiveness for someone who really knows what they are doing and plans it consciously – don’t destroy your own empire/reputation even if it can be found/rebuilt again elsewhere. Easier for those individuals that can regulate impulses better, I believe. Reading all the stuff on this blog, I often think that one thing that severely limits narcissists to be truly successful and satisfied is poor impulse control. They kill their own best finds and dreams with it, no surprise it ends up being an endless cycle, rinse repeat.

    1. Hello Dorion, I do write a lot about the Greater when I write about myself, or Ultra to be strictly accurate. There is more material about the Greater than you might realise. However, the vast majority of people never encounter Greater, people mistakenly (and it is an honest mistake) believe they have when they have not. People need more information about Lesser and Mid Range because those are the ones most people will encounter. One of the purposes of this blog is to allow people to understand to enable them to resolve (with my input) their own problems with narcissists. Beyond that people do of course have a lot of interest in my background, my world and my life. You will find the forthcoming book, The World of the Narcissist of considerable interest to you with regard to the Greater perspective on matters. I should add that some of the observations you make demonstrate that you may well have had some interaction with Greaters.

      1. Thanks. I will consider buying that book when it comes out and get into the online stuff more. Observing your interactions with all the different people here and in interviews is also a good source to satisfy my curiosity. This curiosity ultimately is about myself and my own life/environment but this is a good resource to be used for introspective comparisons as well.

        To expand on my previous comment, I guess the external destruction is a main part of the appeal for a narcissist (fuel source) and one reason they don’t want to change… whether it’s instinctually executed or planned carefully. Maybe the cycles and always moving on to new targets are also good against boredom.

        The narc therapist I saw for a while in the past believes (he didn’t invent it, just uses other people’s work) that externalizing the internal darkness, putting it out there, including onto other people, is one of the best ways to remedy blocks and insecurities deriving from early life narcissistic injuries. If this is true, it seems like many of the narcs learn to do and use this on their own. That school of therapy suggests that it should be acted out by the client in the therapy and not in their everyday life, to save their environment from the destruction but still find release. I really don’t believe that would work in serious cases though, just would not be enough probably to target a paid therapist, not enough fuel source. Well, it clearly isn’t enough for that therapist himself given his behavior, but he does a lot of rather stupid, sloppy, clearly instinctual and impulsive things… clearly not a Greater. But definitely more abundant patterns.

        1. Just googled and Sam Vaknin also published a book called “The World of the Narcissist”. Is your title intentional in some way relative to his? I kinda find it impossible to imagine that it isn’t… :)

  3. Well, hello, HG! I hope all is well and fuel-filled.

    Greater’s are so fascinating, and even more so because they’re rare. I know I probably wouldn’t be able to identify one if I did come into contact with one, but I wonder if I ever have and didn’t know it.
    How many Greater N’s have you encountered in your life?

    Also, I neeeeeddddd to know if Lisa Vanderpump from RHOBH is a Greater or an Upper Mid-range. It’s so hard to tell. She is brilliant, calculating, and a master manipulator. She has the majority of her fan base fooled. Any person that has ever crossed in a wrong way, or “betrayed” her, has sad that she will do everything in her power to make your life a living hell.. even years later, she won’t stop.

    Have a nice day, HG, ya hottie :)

    1. I do not know who that person is, although I have an inkling your acronym alludes to Real Housewives of Bitchy Homes or something similar.

      1. Lmaooo! Yes, HG, you nailed I haha.
        Your sarcasm and wit makes you even more attractive in real life, huh? I would probably fall in love.
        On another note, I’m just impressed that you kinda knew what I was referring to. I would imagine it would be hard to retain information from all the comments and emails I’m sure you receive on a daily basis.
        However, you still didn’t answer my question!! Booooooooooooo

      2. Beverly Hills. But all the franchises have Bitchy Homes, so your version is still accurate, HG.

        Tried to watch one epi of an RH franchise on broadcast rerun, just to see what the fuss was about. They’re at the Santa Anita racetrack, the scene of Seabiscuit’s triumph. Are they checking out the historic facilities? Looking at the horses walk around the paddock to make their picks? If not horse-savvy, looking at the forms to pick a horse by a pretty name or the color of the jockey’s silks, just for fun?

        No, they’re holed up in a private suite, sniping about the new girl and her hippie aura and who wore which color hat.

        I gave up. It’s too exasperating watching people spend so much money on–I was going to say horse manure, but that’s good for fertilizing. This lot aren’t good for anything.

        1. Hello Violetta!

          I see your point, although I don’t agree with the very last part.
          Yeah, there’s a bunch of petty drama on this show so I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea :)

          However, I’m not sure what generation you were born in, but as a woman in my mid 20’s, I wouldn’t want to watch these lavish women on TV doing things like checking out historic facilities, or picking out their favorite horse to win just for fun on the episodes. Not that there would be anything wrong if they did do that, but I would much rather see all the drama unfold between them. It’s reality TV. The majority of the RH viewers are millennial’s and I bet the views and ratings would go down if there wasn’t any drama or fighting going on. And the more members on the cast that are narcissistic, the better entertainment!

          1. It is staged, directed, scripted and edited in a way to create friction and drama because it is designed to be “entertainment” it is not a legitimate portrayal. Most viewers fail to realise that.

        2. Tracey:
          Cusper. Late boomer, early Gen-X. Too late for the Beatles, too early for Nirvana. We had some of the worst arena rock and hair metal ever perpetrated. Spinal Tap isn’t satire to us: it’s a documentary.

          That said, it may be a personal preference rather than generational. I saw plenty of silly rich people when I lived in NY. Watching Lucy Worsley check out historic facilities and tell us about the scandals of people who’ve been dead for centuries is exactly my cup of tea.

          I do understand the point of RH; it’s a Roman Circus. The pettier the quarrels, the more viewers can feel superior to the rich idiots on TV. It provokes envy by showing us their bling, then soothes us with pride as we see how stupidly they waste both money and time. But there’s still that strain of envy, because they get all that attention for acting like morons.

  4. How a Greater Cerebral solves the problem of a specific group of buildings being regularly besmirched with graffiti by political protesters: he lets the press know that the buildings walls will be literally REMOVED and taken to the Museum of Modern Art, for the community to enjoy. People will then be able to admire them in the appropriate setting, taking SELFIES next to them, etc.

    Protesters go crazy and rush to clean EVERYTHING. Cost for the community: zero. Greater’s effort: minimum. Greater’s facade: enhanced.

  5. HG, all men who have power are calculating, charming and have a certain pride. And they all have a large network.
    Are they all narcissists? What differenciates them?
    I myself am an empath and I love to strategize, influence and predict behaviours. I calculate the impact of everyone of my moves but it doesn’t make me a narcissist (at least, I think). Thank you

    1. No, they do not.

      A police constable has power. He does not have to be calculating. He does not have to be charming. He does not need to have pride. Yes, many do but they do not have to have it to wield power.

      1. Thank you,
        I was thinking about men who have power in corporations like CEOs and executives. They need to calculate their moves and to be charming in order to climb the ladders in the organization and make others execute their business strategy

      1. How is Miss L and are you releasing the answers to the questionnaire, or I may have missed the boat? Cheers

        1. She is Tickety Boo, thank you.
          What questionnaire – do you mean an article about The Shieldmaid, if so, when I have chance to write it.

  6. Hg Tudor do you think there are many greater narcissists among political leaders and among the tax collectors? Anyway I like very much your new avatar

    1. 1. Political leaders, yes.
      2. Tax collectors – possible but unlikely.
      3. Thank you. So do I.

  7. I find this post interesting. For an empath who is beginning their recovery journey, I would suggest to them to mold their outer selves after Mr. Greater, while working on healing. I think that all of these qualities are really important for recovery while finding one’s self. They will help with boundaries, and learning what to avoid.
    Thoughts?

          1. What about Elton John? Do you know how much I just spent to get close enough to throw a banana peel?! I assume so—the drugs/sex/crazy behavior..

          2. Thanks HG.
            I couldn’t work out if he was as suggested in the press or if he’s just a very opinionated man who courts controversary like Katie Hopkins from the apprentice.

          3. Elton John too? NPD?

            This made me cry. Tears rolling on my phone. I’ve always loved some of his songs, always felt I could empathize with Elton.
            When my then terminally ill dad was still alive and afterwards too I sometimes hummed
            “How wonderful life is, while you’re in the world”

            Wow it’s _Beyond Amazing_ that a narc can write such moving songs.

        1. My guess would be mid range elite. He believes himself to be somatic and cerebral, far more than he actually is. Quite likely to a mid who also believes he’s a greater, I would imagine. Just my thoughts on him though.

  8. Okkkk…it is time for me to go bed…after reading this article, I had this strangely weird feeling that Greg the Greater was the target! I mean, I Get it, but I’m never going to GET it…alrighty then, sleepy time!!!!

  9. Do Greaters also have a susceptibility to self-sabotage like the Lessers and Mid-Rangers do?

    1. No because we are calculated and assess the consequences, L and MR do not do so because their sole focus is control in the moment regardless of collateral consequence.

      1. I can see this. The instinctual piece you ram in our heads is so helpful. My ex is about as predictable as a common dog. Viewing him that way helps.

  10. Frighteningly accurate description of someone I “know”. Hard to imagine someone who seemed so kind can be so covertly evil. This is a vivid depiction of a situation that went on for far too long in my own life. Eventually you have to cut your losses and go no contact. This disection of the greater narcisist’s psyche was extremely helpful, thank you.

  11. I smiled when I read your last paragraph. 😉

    Is this a new addition to the blog? I liked it a lot. Thanks for the information. 👍

    I have only seen one person here that claims to have been involved with a GEN, which was FM1T, I think. Few and far between, I’d hope!

    Any chance you could name a few people in the spotlight (other than yourself, of course) who are good examples?

    1. No it is an existing article NN. There are many people who claim to have been involved with Greaters (most of them are honestly mistaken).
      Examples will follow in the fullness of time.

  12. So hard to choose. If I pick Lee I am eating at McDonald’s for my bday. If I pick Malcolm I’ll get a decent place to eat—but he won’t talk to me. If I pick your type I’ll be so
    miserable I won’t even want to go out!

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