Game For A Laugh : The Narcissist and Humour


Where does a sense of humour fit into the make-up of the narcissist?

I am pleased to report I have an excellent sense of humour – when it suits me. As a consequence of being well-read, interested in the world (for the purposes of ensuring my place is firmly recognised within it) and the fact I am quick-witted, I am able to fashion wit out of many situations but only on the basis that is serves my purpose. Like nearly everything else, laughter and humour are tools that some of our kind are able to deploy for the purposes of furthering our aims. They are devices and conduits to achieving what we want and how our sense of humour is fashioned is very much dependent on the circumstances in which we find ourselves and our fuel needs.

Take for instance a Friday evening. I often attend a local bar with a number of my inner circle friends. In some of the bars which I frequent regularly I also know outer circle friends who will often be there at the same time and tertiary sources, people I might say hello too and little else. This is an environment which allows me to hold court as I regale my eager listeners with my tales of corporate derring ‘do, mock the latest blunder of an intimate primary source, argue about politics in order to keep a secondary source in his place in the pecking order and so on. Humour always plays a part. I am well aware that by demonstrating  a keen sense of humour and drawing giggles, snorts and belly laughs this is all good positive fuel and aids in the maintenance of the façade to demonstrate that I am entertaining company, fun to be around and amusing. I always find my jokes and witty anecdotes amusing, obviously.

I also recognise that for the purposes of continuing to draw fuel and to maintain the façade that it is necessary for me to laugh at the comments and antics of others. This does not come naturally. If someone else is telling a joke, the spotlight is on them. I do not like that. It does not ignite my fury, far from it but I want the laughter to be because of my anecdote not say my friend Paul’s recollection of an incident at work. I recognise that what he is saying is meant to be amusing and I know that other people will laugh, but I do not find it funny because it is not humour generated by me. Of course, if I see it as appropriate to maintain the façade and I often do, I will laugh and chortle and throw out a compliment such as ‘very funny’ or ‘good one’ before looking to trump it with my own joke or anecdote. I do not however find the comment amusing per se. I feign my amusement for the purposes of fitting in, maintaining the façade and in order to ensure people respond to my comments in a positive manner.

Of course there will be times when I deem it necessary to allow my lack of humour to manifest. This might be done with some cocky newcomer to the group who thinks that he can take centre stage. As he unleashes a joke or fire out some one liners, I remain unmoved. I can see other people may laugh, but I do not. This is not manufactured. I do not find what is said as funny because it is starving me of fuel and starving me of fuel is not a laughing matter. I want this young turk to know that I am unamused and therefore I shall not laugh and instead comment about how I have heard it before, (if I have not already interrupted him and told the punchline before him) or that it is a sick joke, or it is racist of homophobic so as to gain the moral high ground (who me?!) and cut him down to size. I know that the Lieutenants in this gathering will see that I am unmoved. They will either wait to see if I laugh and follow suit or if they start laughing and see I am not, they will halt their own laughter. They value their positions in the group. Even if others in the group continue to laugh, there is a degree of discomfort since some of us have not laughed and that provides me with the fuel that I want. I have made it about me and wrested the spotlight away from this interloper.

Of course, when I dole out my observations, witty anecdotes and so forth, I am on sparkling form. I will raid the gags which I have heard elsewhere (all part of the trait acquisition) and whilst it is well-recognised that people re-tell other people’s jokes, I will claim to have invented the joke. Often my humour is spur of the moment and is a genuine pithy comment or witty remark which amuses. I truly relish the fuel that arises from doing so. I am able to allow my sparkling repartee and witty badinage to spread its wings so that those with me are howling with laughter.

Similarly, if I am watching a film or a television programme which is a comedy, I do not sit and laugh to myself. What is the point of that? There is no fuel to be gained. Instead, I might remark by text to a friend that there is a good stand-up performance so that he or she replies in a fuelling manner. If I am with somebody and they are laughing at the comedian on the television I am fighting to keep my fury under control. I do not want their attention focussed on this gagmeister on the goggle box, I want them fuelling me. Thus, I will either, dependent on whether I am seducing or devaluing, sit frowning at the television and heckling the performer so that whoever is with me reacts and suggests watching something else or berates me for interrupting, I do not mind so long as the attention switches to me and I am gaining fuel. If it is seduction, I will allow my laughter to issue forth to show that I am a man of humour and that I enjoy watching the same comedy as you. I will also use it as a platform to tell my own jokes so that you laugh with me as well.

Mentioning the issue of laughing with me, I am of course content for you to do so, but I cannot stand to be laughed at. None of my kind can. If you laugh at me rather than with me then this is an almighty criticism and the fury is ignited immediately. We often struggle to contain our fury in such an instance and you will witness us lashing out, storming off or creating a scene in order to bring your mocking laugher to an abrupt halt and switch to annoyance, concern, fear or such like. Anything to stop the burning criticism arising from your laughing at us. We hate it. We have a complete sense of humour failure at being mocked in this manner and it will result in repercussions for those who are laughing at us.

I of course know when laughter is required and I decide whether I shall join in or not. Some of our kind are not as attuned and it takes them a little while before they realise that they should be laughing because the sense of humour is not there. Instead, they must realise that it would be appropriate to laugh and you will witness a pause before the laughter begins. Listen carefully and you will hear that it is hollow. Look to their eyes and you shall see that the eyes do not twinkle with amusement but remain fixed and hollow. This show of humour and amusement is an artifice and is part of the Mask Carousel which we operate.

Finally there are instances however which truly do amuse me and make me laugh. Whereas the supposed humour of others is either rejected or embraced all as part of the need to generate fuel, be it positive or negative and I make a decision as to what it will be rather than an instinctive response, there are occasions where I will laugh instinctively. Those are occasions where somebody else has suffered a misfortune, especially if it has been caused by me. Schadenfreude is a marvellous device and one which causes me to smile, to laugh and to bellow with laughter. This accords with my perverted sense of humour which arises from gaining delight in the misfortune of others. Whereas with other people’s attempts at humour I have to decide whether I will remain nonplussed or feign hilarity for the sake of drawing fuel and the maintenance of the façade, when I see someone fail because I have hidden a report they need, I either break out into paroxysms of mirth behind my office door or if I know it would not look good to do so in front of the façade, I stifle my amusement and allow it to erupt when I am in the gent’s bathroom or with a lieutenant at lunch later.

The basis for my humour has been repeatedly touched on in my discussions with the good doctors over the past months and they have been interested to learn of this valve-like approach to exhibiting humour. They entirely understand that I use it as another device for the gathering of fuel. They also recognise that my revelling in schadenfreude is related to the streak of sadism which runs through me, but we have discussed the origins of why I operate in this almost staccato like manner when it comes to matters of mirth. It appears that my almost completely regulated approach arises from the fact that I learned under the reign of MatriNarc that laughter was viewed as the voice of a fool and best kept silent. Thus like, as I have learnt and I am learning, much of my development has become warped, the creation of my sense of humour has been affected in much the same way, being seen as a product to be used rather than a natural consequence of matters arising, save for those where I witness the manufactured misery of another.

Some say that if they didn’t laugh they would cry.

I wasn’t allowed the luxury of either.

Thus I turned humour into another weapon; either to charm, to withhold or to belittle.

It really is no laughing matter.


26 thoughts on “Game For A Laugh : The Narcissist and Humour

  1. Becoming Observant says:

    Our household/family was ruled by the GrandMatrinarc, next in command was the MatriNarc, who always submitted to the GrandMatriNarc, and our family (matrigrands, parents, and my sister & I) were together too much: dad worked for grandad, weekends we all spent on a houseboat at the lake, holidays (vaca) were taken together, every celebration was together (all Hallmark holidays). The narc control was seamless. My sister died young (20). I suspect she was a narc, but I don’t care: I adored her and will always wish she were still here.

    I’ve seen/felt narcissism and all of its ugly angles my whole life. Alcohol fueled a lot of strife, and I blamed their behavior on drink until recently (finding you, HG).

    What will always baffle me: their inability to see it, after looking at all evidence. By “it”, I don’t just mean narcissism, I mean any fault at all, ever. These are intelligent people. How can they reread their own words and not admit to lying?

    It is SO hard to read the messages and not respond (I had to reopen a dead email acct to retrieve work messages, came across some rich narc-emails I’d not seen).

  2. Becoming Observant says:

    Are you familiar with the term “brain plasticity,” HG?

    It’s how the brain overcomes dysfunction/damage: other parts of the brain can jump in and take over and replicate the same functions as other parts.

    Example: a right-handed person loses their right hand, learns to use the left hand. There is a card game called “Set” which enhances brain plasticity, opening up new passageways when others were blocked from development or closed.

    The constant need for fuel, maintaining a facade (which you know is an illusion in your mind), the dread of the inevitable need to destroy your lovelies… Don’t you want to use your superior brainpower to put an end to this strife?

    I am an empath, a pleaser, and the adage “You get out of a friendship what you put in” angers me. It took a LOT of entrapments, but I saw that it wasn’t the world, it was me drawing these ppl in. I don’t like it. I am self—aware now that I am an empath and have the power to change what I don’t like.

    What about you?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      What strife? The strife others suffer? No thank you, I enjoy it.

  3. mollyb5 says:

    Also in addition this narc brother was also in the PeaceCorps ! Because he got to travel and teach in another country. There is lots of other arc behavior but , I don’t care to even think about this brother . Yuck. My other brothers are more fun 😉

    1. lisk says:

      I suspect most “volunteers” are actually narcs. I hate volunteerism for this reason–it always seems to be about the volunteer more than about the people/cause they are supposedly helping.

      1. mollyb5 says:

        Well. I’ve volunteered quite a bit . I’m not a narc ;(. It is an opportunity to learn something without cost . So I understand him wanting to be in the peace Corps. Our father volunteered his time a lot at our school, and he really saw a need at times. He didn’t go over board and wasn’t a control freak. But , he showed us by example how we could help with things we cared about. The first part of my comment isn’t on here . I told the verbally abusive actions of my brother that was very narcissistic

        1. Cat b says:

          Mollyb5, I guess all kinds of people volunteer, for different reasons. But narcs like to scream about it.

          They won’t lift a finger without huge photos on facebook about how they planted that tulip to the yard of the local church.

          When you volunteer you probably really do, but narcs don’t. Although they think they’re working something tremendous.

          The thanks and power they expect to gain from their help is a million times higher than what they gave at that charity.

          1. mollyb5 says:

            Oh I see , yeh. I definitely don’t give much info on what I do on Facebook. I do NOT see why people show their every move , thought or opinion on facebook . I definitely don’t think anyone cares. I am so sick of Facebook. My kids don’t even use it . Kids are all into snap chat, in small friend groups.
            So me Facebook is a narc fest .

  4. mollyb5 says:

    HG , I realize from reading some newer articles you’ve written. That I have a brother that is a Narc. He is very intelligent when it comes to history and has a Masters degree in European History and works for the local Government in our state. He was highly jealous of my fathers attention on me when I was born . I am 4 years younger than him. He verbally abused me , gave me gifts then would take them back , and he would triangulate me with one of my younger brothers who had to room with him. He even made his male toys pose on top of my only Barbie when I was very little .He made fun of other girls on the bus , he was embarrassing to me. He was an excellent student and was very stuck up about it. He felt entitled to all my fathers money and felt since he was the oldest boy and the most intelligent he deserved fancy cars and shoes, watches whatever toy he wanted . He said certain family members are dead to him …..he would wave his hand in a gesture . He always said and would talk about how my father failed him and felt he deserved so much more monetarily , since my father had 7 other children he only paid for this brother’s ( narc ) college and one other sisters . My brother resented my mother and our father all the time. My mother would allow him to be a little asshole to me and my little brothers .

    I told …on him ….once And my father yelled at him so ….I was severely punished by the narc when he stuck a huge encyclopedia book inside a pillow case and asked if I wanted to have a pillow fight with him. I actually knew this would happen so I allowed him his fun and let him hit me in the head with the ( one time) encyclopedia Book -stuffed pillow .
    Both big brother and little brother would laugh about this for years later …my little brother just went along so he wouldn’t be tortured by him.

    My big brother has an evil high pitched weird ( real squirrely) laugh….that seemed so forced and fake to me. My other three bothers younger than I , had real hearty laughs like me that would bring us to tears . we would cry with laughing relief … not the oldest brother tho. He is still in his old age not able to be around people …much . He has hateful and gross pics on face book of everything political he hates .

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Well done for identifying suspicions about him and in order to obtain complete confirmation, alongside school and cadre, use the narc detector consultation.

  5. Bubbles 🍾 says:

    Dear Mr Tudor,
    Outta all my narcs, their sense of humour is nothing like mine
    When their humour is not natural …… take note
    Thanks for the heads up
    Luv Bubbles xx 😘

  6. Em says:

    My ex narc ex husband laughed at stupid things all the time. Guffawed at his own jokes. Took the Micky out of me all the time when we were out with friends. Humiliated me. Told me I was too sensitive. I stopped going out with him.

  7. aapzonderstaart says:

    Ain’t Schadenfreude,i’m talking about the smirk,incontrolable ? Ore at least hard to control ?

    I always find it a first red flag like no other. I’m asking because i have it myself although i’m not a narcissist. It manifest when i interact with a narcissist or one his/her errant boys/ girls. And it’s definitely sadism i admit.And i cannot control it.They did something to me that i know about when it manifest.

  8. Veronique Jones says:

    This is my brother all the way , he loves Making fun of others to get laughs , always goes to far , usually one victim cops it all night, someone who has threatened him in some way by talking the attention away from him and goes out of his way to completely humiliate them I am never impressed by this I have experience it to many times

  9. Whitney says:

    Dear HG, my God 🥰 Your brilliant account of human behaviour is often a dark comedy…My favorite kind of comedy! I laugh all the time from your description of the lessers, the midrangers, and many other parts in your stories. You are a magnificent story teller and the funniest person I know 💝

  10. Em says:

    Many people described my ex narc as cracking a joke and sniggering at it when no one else found it funny.
    When he was devaluing me he would say unkind personal things to me about me and then snigger and say it was a joke.
    When I was very ill with a stubborn UTI (later discovered-courtesy of his dirty behaviour) after 5 bouts of antibiotics he made a sick joke about that too.
    He found it amusing that my car windscreen had been smashed by youths and that my car had been towed for no tax.

  11. Cat b says:

    But HG, you guys really really seem to laugh at slap-stick, am I wrong?. Something tells me you even laugh at that when you’re alone.

    And it looks genuine and instinctive. When ppl are falling, tripping, cartoons getting cut up or smashed by a brick wall, blood dripping. Narcs love those scenes. My stomack turns sitting next to a narc when he’s giggling frantic at those things.

  12. empath007 says:

    This is one of my favourite articles.

    It reminds me of a particular evening with the narc. He told me a story about one of his narc friends who (naturally) told lies all the time… this lie was so preposterous that I think I quite literally ended up on the floor laughing at how anyone could tell such a fib.

    The narc stood there and stared at me…. confused…. now I know why.

    As for no laughter or crying in your house I’m sorry that was the case for you. I was with a normal for a long time who was raised like that too. It was always troublesome to me he was not comfortable crying even when people died. He did laugh but it was awkward and robotic and I Believe A defensive mechanism in a lot of ways. Pretty sure one or both his parents were narcs.


  14. Cyn says:

    For a long time I thought that narc 2 maybe wasn’t a narc because at first he did really funny stuff(when drunk-also alcoholic) he let me chide him about things, like I did about myself. Nothing mean really, maybe his bizarre plaid shirt (I completely reconfigured his wardrobe), inability to steam a vegetable. I would make fun of myself all the time for dumb things I would do, in fact I would call and tell people sometimes because I like to make people laugh. Then during breakups he would mention how I made fun of him and what a bitch I was, or he would say cruel things and reference something I said that was nothing in comparison, or laugh when something scared me, like when a transient had slept in my storage under my house.

    1. empath007 says:

      Its interesting you say that because mine would use humor as well, with some people he could also joke about himself.

      I once read a good way to speak with a narcissist is to use humor because they react well to it… is that true HG?Is it better to “lighten the mood” with humor vs getting upset?

      1. HG Tudor says:

        The best way is to GOSO

      2. Em says:

        They will eventually turn on you regardless of humour.

  15. Anm says:

    For some reason, I am SO interested in knowing more about your mom. I almost want to start a Q&A thread here about your mother, similar to what happens every 4 months when someone wants to know about your age.
    So, your mother didn’t allow you to laugh? Did she ever joke or laugh? How did she manage to stay well connected to the community if she didn’t relax?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I do not recall her joking, that was seen as the behaviour of a moron.
      Through charm and a facade and underhand dealing using the other members of the family. You will read all about it, in due course.

      1. Bubbles 🍾 says:

        Dear Mr Tudor,
        Your mum needs this :-
        Luv moronic Bubbles xx 😘

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