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.
“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.