Cheers! The Narcissist and Alcohol

CHEERS! ALCOHOL AND THE NARCISSIST

Alcohol is a pervasive drug. A Bloody Mary prior to lunch, a liquid lunch to conduct business, afternoon drinks because it feels like skipping school, drinks straight from work which turn into a session, celebratory drinks for a birthday, a deal done well, an anniversary or just because it is Friday. Drinks at the golf club, prior to the big game, at the BBQ, at the funeral wake, a night cap, a toast, a cheeky snifter before heading home, one for the road, a hair of the dog to shift the hangover. Drink is everywhere and is deemed socially acceptable despite the misery that its excessive consumption causes.

What part does alcohol play in the narcissist dynamic? I do not mean the occasional drink with an excellent meal or the social beers in a bar with friends, the regulated and moderate drinking which does not bring with it problems. I am referring to alcoholism, where there is a reliance and a dependence on alcohol. How does that factor into the narcissistic dynamic?

At the outset it is necessary to distinguish between the alcoholic who is a not a narcissist and the narcissist who is an alcoholic. This is important because narcissism and alcoholism actually share similar traits.

–         There is the deceit that is involved in engaging in excessive drinking and engaging in narcissistic behaviour;

–         Both have sufferers who lack any insight that they have a problem;

–         Both require the manipulation of other people to achieve their aim. The narcissist manipulates to gain fuel, the alcoholic manipulates to drink.

–         Both engage in telling lies on a repeated basis about what they have been doing, where they have been, how much they have had to drink, whether they have had a drink;

–         Both result in selfish behaviour;

–         Other people find themselves being put second on a repeated basis to the needs of either the narcissist or the alcoholic;

–         Both engage in switching behaviour, being pleasant and likeable one moment and then suddenly abusive; and

–         The pursuit of the end game (fuel/drink) becomes the sole concern of the relevant individual

Accordingly, the behaviours of the narcissist and the alcoholic appear most similar. The alcoholic may present with narcissistic traits (as described above) but a sober alcoholic will see those narcissistic traits fall away to reveal that he or she is an alcoholic but not a narcissist. The addition of alcohol to this individual causes them to become narcissistic but they are not a narcissist.

The narcissist however who is also an alcoholic may stop drinking but the narcissism will remain. Indeed, there are many occasions where a victim will realise that they are involved with an alcoholic but they will not realise that this person is actually a narcissist who is also an alcoholic since alcoholism is far more readily identifiable than narcissism.

Narcissism leads to alcoholism. Not in every instance. I am not an alcoholic. I like to drink, in fact I enjoy it very much and I can consume significant amounts but I do not become blind drunk because I do not want to lose control. I have seen the narcissist who is an alcoholic and that is my Uncle Robert. His aged frame and bitterness are a clear testament to the aging that comes with a lifetime of downing his first gin and tonic at 11am and not stopping until the stupor arrives sometime after 9pm. Watching him as I was younger, observing his behaviours arising from his drinking (and later understanding that this was a layer upon his rampant narcissism) this served as a useful warning to me to ensure that I used drink for my purposes and did not allow it to consume me. I am fortunate I have that self-control and discipline, since many of our kind do not.

Alcoholism is a symptom of a certain mind set and narcissism is a mindset which lends itself to alcoholism occurring. Narcissists are creatures of addiction. We are addicted primarily to fuel. This is our drug, but being this way also means that we have a susceptibility to other addictive behaviours. This is why we engage in taking recreational drugs, shop with complete disregard for the financial repercussions, engage in workaholism, gamble and drive like maniacs. Not all will be present but there is a propensity for our kind to engage in these kind of behaviour because of our vulnerability to addiction.

The traits of our narcissism lend themselves to fostering alcoholism. Not only are we prone to addictive behaviour per se, the existence of these traits means that we become even more vulnerable to alcoholism occurring.

  1. Our magical thinking, our sense of superiority and omnipotence means that we believe that we can deal with alcohol better than the “little people”. We can drink more, we can handle that drink better and we can drink all manner of different types.
  2. The broad range of types of alcohol, the rich and varied culture that accompanies appeals to us as we show off our knowledge about it. The Cerebral Narcissist can boast about his extensive knowledge about particular wines or whiskies. The Somatic can brag about how much he has spent on a magnum of champagne and the Elite will do both.
  3. Our hunting grounds for our victims invariably involve the consumption of alcohol. The Somatic Narcissist who find his prey in the night club and amidst the chrome and neon lights of upmarket bars is going to be exposed to alcohol repeatedly.
  4. Our lack of accountability means that we can drink when we want, with who we want, where we want and we do not suffer the consequences. We can drink at lunchtime before making a presentation and believe we are immune to any such repercussion. We will take the wheel of a car having consumed alcohol because the laws are not applicable to us. We will not suffer any downside from drinking, we are a super man and able to cope with the toxins we are pouring into our throats.
  5. The desire to be centre stage. The provision of alcohol acts (at first) as an accelerant to our grandiose behaviour, our sense of showing off and performance and therefore slugging it down as we hold court in a bar, show off with our dancing and engage in our flirtations all assist ensuring that we are at centre stage and remain there.
  6. Blame-Shifting One. You make us drink. If you did as we wanted you to, then we would not be forced to have to drink to numb ourselves from the tedium that you cause. If you loved us properly we would not embrace the bottle. It is your fault that we drink so much.
  7. Blame-Shifting Two. The repercussions and consequences of drinking are your fault as well. If you had not made me leave the car after I had been drinking, it would not have a got a ticket. The final warning, I received because I was drunk on the job was down to you making me go into work because we need the money (even though you begged me to stay at home). Our abusive behaviour to people when drunk is down to you making us that way. You should have stopped us.
  8. Refuge. The consumption of alcohol by our kind allows us to take refuge. The Mid-Ranger who is innocuous turns into a raging Elvis impersonator as his grandiosity soars through the repeated application of drink. Drinking allows our kind to become ebullient, impressive and charismatic as it bridges the gap between what we really are and what we want the world to see. Alcohol removes the shackles which this cruel world seeks to impose on us and allows us to be who we want to be and who we want the world to see. We are freed of the terror of rejection since nobody can resist us when we are buoyed by this alcoholic uplift. The whisperings of the Creature are silenced by the pouring of another glass. How marvellous alcohol is to allow us to be what we want to be and to take away all the other concerns, limitations and problems that plague us.
  9. Removal of the mask. The lower functioning of our kind find a sense of relief in no longing needing to adopt a mask but rather allow the mask of alcohol and drunkenness to enable them to show what they are really like without fearing for the repercussions of rejection and criticism.
  10. Alcohol is a fuel enabler. It allows our kind to become better and more brilliant and in turn gather the fuel with greater ease, whether this is through impressing someone with confident conversation, sparkling wit and repartee orthe descent into abusive behaviour as time wears on and the drink mounts up.

The fact that so many traits of ours are geared towards the consumption of alcohol and the fact that this consumption enables us to achieve our goals with greater apparent ease added to the fact that we have an inherent susceptibility towards addiction for the reason explained above, means that this cocktail increases considerably the risk that a narcissist will be an alcoholic.

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49 Comments

  1. HG ..yes, control is what Iam referring to . Life in a bar is different. There are easier victims to control in a bar ?

  2. Hi HG, you mention in your article that narcissists often engage in workaholic behaviours ie that they become addicted to things. How would this manifest itself amongst the schools of narcissists? Thanks in advance.

  3. HG …What about the types of fuel and types of female attention or fuel the male narc will be wanting in a bar ? Will this also be a more vulnerable victim …a drunk woman. The benefits gained from a drunk victim. I thought perhaps the narc seeks out easier female victims in bars also. Easier to gain control over them , easier to manipulate a victim, easier to gain information from them when they have been drinking ?

    1. The fuel type is governed by positive and negative, potency (position in fuel matrix), amount (method of delivery) and frequency. The fuel obtained in a bar is in accordance with those factors. What you are referring to is the issue of control.

  4. 1293/5000
    My narcissistic ex girlfriend always became downright aggressive when she drank. She was bitten without control, partially beaten, screaming without regard for losses. It was as if the mask of beauty had fallen away and she could give herself what she really was. Evil and materialistic. Sometimes I got pictures of wounds or suicide threats. Partly during the night I was awakened by a whats app of hers, where she even insulted one of my children she had not seen in weeks. My ex-girlfriend could drink more than men and with a clear plan to get drunk to the max, until she did not feel anything anymore and then go to bed in a coma. When I asked her the next day on the incidents, I got only a one-liners: yes and, I was drunk, you were already once ….

    The worst time in my life, which almost cost me my life, but thanks to family support, I made the exit about 2 months ago. So far I had only read the books from the empathic side, today I found the page of HG Tudor and it runs down my back ice cold. I feel as if he had stuck in your beautiful body …..

    Thanks for the information

    1. Hello Michael and welcome, you have now found the information which will provide you with real assistance. Keep reading.

  5. Interesting article HG!

    I always assumed that my dad drank because once sober, he could not face what he had done to me. Therefore he drank to forget.

    But after reading this today, I consider a new version of reality.

    If he is a Narcissist, (he is) he cares not what he has done and has no desire to dull his regrets. He suffers from neither circumstance.

    This I had not considered before.

    I am learning more every single day and I can cast away many misguided notions that are not reality at all.

    Every new concept that I gain forms a more accurate picture of the past.

    Thank you for that!

  6. My dad was a violent alcoholic who died a sad death. As children we were happy when he wasn’t around and used to hide when he appeared. My poor mom got the brunt of the abuse and we couldn’t ⁸help her. He threatened to kill her frequently and we lived in terror. My brother became an alcoholic at an early age and was constantly drunk. He became a born again believer and has been sober for over 10 years.

    This post makes me very sad HG. Because it brings back memories and also because behind the facade I see, dare I say hurting people being manipulated by what looks like a puppet master. Have you written about the creature. Is it described in Fuel. Ordered but won’t get it for a week. Also is the discard/ devaluation ever preemptive.

    Thanks again for sharing these thoughts.

    1. Thank you for ordering my work. The Creature appears in the book of the same name which is still being written.

      1. My pleasure and I’m looking forward to reading about the creature. That’s where it all begins I think.

  7. 1.“Our magical thinking, our sense of superiority and omnipotence means that we believe that we can deal with alcohol better than the “little people”. We can drink more, we can handle that drink better and we can drink all manner of different types.” – he once said “They can’t drink like i do”.

    I asked him once why he is damaging his own health by drinking a lot if he loves himself so much. Your article gave me the real reason.

    After disengagement i saw that he was online at 4a.m before i deleted him.

  8. Dearest HG: My E.T. would love to be around you when you are lightly intoxicated in a small gathering enjoying yourself. I just want to see if there would be a general difference (if I knew what you were like in general when not drinking, of course), with some of your NIPSSs or Tertiaries).

  9. 👏 amazing Mr.H textbook. My question is. Do you feel narcissistic should be diagnosed with a mental illness. I’ve seen this and heard this on different narcissist writings and videos? Curious?

    1. Wait one more thing in reference to my comment, Alcohol and drug addiction are classified as a disease of the attitudes. That’s why I asked

    2. Let me ask you this, S1964, do you think it should be and why? I regard it as more important that people understand what narcissism is, as opposed to whether it is classified as a mental illness but I am interested in your view.

      1. I do know that addiction to alcohol and drugs is considered a disease of the attitudes. Drugs are used as a coping mechanism to deal with abuse, neglect, pain and suffering. As narcissism is also a coping mechanism due to the same suffering. Also could of been just born with either in the dna. Although Being a Narcissist or an addict completely turns the lives of everyone around them upside down. But addiction is considered a disease not a mental illness. So the answer is I don’t know since I do know about addiction and now learning narcissism, which are very close in matter. I am neither so I am now learning from you since it does effect my well being. I don’t think addiction is a disease, I personally would consider it a tool to cope for many with mental illness. Please call me Santa , that is my name. It’s nice to meet you Mr.H🥰.
        I would like to hear your thoughts. You are way better at writing them I am.

  10. My ex was a high-functioning alcoholic. He pretended that it was under control because he never had a drink during the day, only after work. If he didn’t have a drink he was very irritable. Every trip we took, he had to plan where the alcohol was or what time we would have a drink. He started to exhibit signs of withdrawal. Waking up with clammy skin, or he even said that one morning his hand was shaking.
    I would say that 28-30 drinks a week would be classified as an alcoholic, but not as you describe.
    Not everyone is a sloppy day-drinking deteriorating alcoholic. He was a cruel narcissistic alcoholic, but for now is able to juggle it all.

    1. Catherine—my first husband was high functioning for awhile. He totally collapsed like I’ve never seen a person succumb. I had to leave my administrative work to be more available to my oldest daughter, coupled with my own rising decline of simply being married to another narcissist. I was starting to crumble like a cracker anyway.

  11. It was devastating to watch my first husband decline. He was unrecognizable at the end—he had been the “one everyone wanted” when we met—and looked like someone no one knew at the time he died/was dying. His brand of narcissism wasn’t nearly was negative all the time as my second spouse so I have maintained positive feelings for him. His death was tragic and he meant a lot to us. Maybe (clearly not knowing what I know now) his feelings were never genuine—but he didn’t know this to be a fact.
    His mother is still a mother in law and his family is excellent to me. Regardless of narcissism or not as a present factor—alcohol and drugs offer misery and pain.

    1. Lorelei: You are tough to find! News: Our girl will be in a movie this December. Nicole Kidman. I do not think she downgraded her looks for this movie, but I am not quite sure. Her hair is shortish, but it may be that she is portaying a certain chracter in real life that has shortish hair in the media world. Anyway, Here is a little clip.https://youtu.be/Jja8WGzILeU

      1. It looks good! I still can’t believe Billie Eilish’s music is so popular for her age. It’s the background music for the clip and my 6th grader is obsessed with her.
        I’m not hard to find!

        1. Lorelei: My music knowledge is pathetic. So sad. I love plenty of it, though. I hope that my future hunk of a husband, that I don’t think I have ever met yet, would have a broad musical interest. I can not do everything! On another topic. My spell and grammar check allows the oddest errors to go through, but it fiercely corrects me whenever I mistype your name. Go figure, Lorelei.

          1. Halsey is another young up-and-comer. “Without Me” is popular. I sing a lot—my vocal coach and I have hit it off and are getting pretty friendly. (It’s just for fun and stuff with the kids..) She’s an opera performer and I never had any idea how intuitive vocals are! I’m fairly well accustomed to new music due to the kids and all have been required to take piano at least. Only 1/4 children like it! They have their entire lives to get over it. One interesting visual the vocal coach provides is to think of performing as threading a needle—it has to be that precise. There is an applicability to that concept that expands in many directions.

    2. cont. Charlize Theron is in the movie as well. She downgrades her looks at times, as well. Two downgraders. And Margot Robbie. I loved her in, I Tonya. She is growing into one of my favorites.

        1. Lorelei: Especially with that fiery? personality. I think she has a big future, if she is not already very famous, and just newish to me.

          1. She’s listed as a highest paid female actress—I’ve yet to see her perform in a film but was familiar with her.

        2. cont. I meant that Charlize downgrades her looks at times in various movies, just like Nicole Kidman does. Not this one. Charlize looks good. In fact, I did not realize that was her until I just rewatched the clip to listen to the music you mentioned. Charlize Theron has an entirely different face, or something? How do they do that. Or did she lose a lot of weight and her face is now slim? That long hair becomes her.

          1. I actually prefer more weight and a fuller face on most people—Charlize yo yo’s and looks better with a fuller face. Women that are too thin often look older. Nicole Kidman is quite thin but her face isn’t impacted. It’s all individualized I think.

          2. So are you saying I shouldn’t be ensnared by Charlize Theron? I’ll be ok. When she gets too thin she looks like a truck stop whore.

          3. Lorelei: Which actress are you speaking of as one of the highest paid? If it is M. Robbie, I only saw her in: I Tonya. She is new to me, and she looks like another actress that I may have confused her with, as well. I saw that movie, I Tonya, because I like figure skating at times, and I also heard that the real life skater Tonya Harding had a `Mommie Dearest` for a parent. At the time that I saw the movie, I had as yet no knowledge about Narcissism and ACON (Adult Children Of Narcissists). It is an interesting movie that was partially well done. Worth seeing, although somewhat irritating in the directing style. I believe the actress that played her mother did win a well deserved award for her portrayal, as a `stage mom` (psssssst…..Hollywood…..she was portraying a Narcissist mother). Anyway, Now I see how C. Theron has managed to have on a completely different face. Easy peasy: HG says she is one of the Narcissist school of brethren/sistren. Thus, she has morphed. And, I find it to be a good face that she has chosen. Better than the original face. Not too skinny a face, to me. Skinny faces and age can be a problem. But, she has not reached that age, probably, and mostly all these actresses seem to have puffy faces as they age now, from all those fillers, etc. I wonder if the fillers keep expanding, even if they quit using them. A lot of puffiness is going around. Makes me miss the skinny older faces, a bit. My face is more full. I like it. But, Wow, so I guess I will look like I have filler, if it stays full, at some point. So crazy! This world is so weird. lol. Up is down and down is up. I have never been able to decide if I like Theron or not. She seems to me to be a man eater for some reason. However, that does not bother me about her. I guess time will tell. I plan to decide after watching her in this upcoming movie, whether I like her or not. I was afraid to see and never saw her acting role in the movie: Monster. Charlize really downgraded her looks for that role, when I saw a trailer for that movie Monster. But, that was probably a necessary downgrade. Not like what Nicole does. And, Nicole has bad hair it seems for this upcoming movie: Why, oh why does she do such stuff? Please do not push me, Nicole. I have only just recently upgraded you to the `liked` actress column, on my list, thanks to HG Tudor alone: So, be careful, Nicole. And I sense a slight puffiness in your face, Nicole. So, slow down on the treatments, girl. Coast for a while…Slow down. I know Theron won a award for that movie, Monster. I still am afraid to watch that movie even now. It seems to be horrible/horrific. Margot Robbie as an actress is safe with me. I like her.

          4. Ah blimey okay just realised you meant Charlize yeah she looks like one and yeah I’m gonna take that to mean NK isn’t. Wahoo

          5. I can not stand Theron. Her and her first world problems. She gets mad if she is offered a role where she is expected to play the mother of the lead, or she claims she slips into a depression if she has to gain weight for a role. It’s just a job. I would gain 100 lbs if I was offered millions like they do with her

      1. Princess—I asked last week but you didn’t see it. In case you do see this. Any good steak/seafood local places near JFK you recommend? No chains.

        1. Lorelei: Regarding recommendation for restaurant, I think my post to you glitches or goes into moderation or something. Here goes again. Anyway, I never have been outside of the area in any airport. If you come to the city, I recommend Carmine`s on 44th street. Please make a reservation, although they do accept walk ins. But, I urge you to make the reservation. I gave you all the details, before, but it does not go through… So, I will give you the phone number and you can look at their website and menu. Around $30 dollars per person. Reservations are prefered. Dress code is relaxed casual or elegant casual. Good size portions. I will check this afternoon to see if this post goes through. Here, I shortened the post and left out some of the links, but the info is basically the same. Great Place with solid mostly unpretentious food.
          https://www.carminesnyc.com/locations/times-square .Telephone. 212.221.3800

          1. Thank you Princess. Obviously I know it’s a large area—but i know of most places in my city—albeit smaller. Haven’t been in quite awhile—and I’ll be back again in March when I travel— and will be in Manhattan for a day at this time. It’s an easy cab from JFK..

        2. Lorelei – your HAIR!!! It’s worse! I thought you were ordering the deep conditioner.

          [This is what happens when I’m home, sick & bored – I get mischievous🤪]

          💞

          1. Omg it took me a second to figure out what you meant by my hair being worse! Actually my real hair is better and featured on all social media outlets (I’m kinda being a goof) due to firing my hair girl with a more suitable replacement! The hair featured in my avatar is for the season of spells upon us! I can’t decorate at home this year as I’ll be away so this is as good as it gets. I found a conditioner that I am in love with. It’s L’ange “Smoothe” (heating oil treatment)
            I don’t use heat—I use a pinch on the ends and have shampoo down to 3-4x a week. It’s working alongside a “blue” shampoo verse a purple shampoo to combat brunette brass. It’s an entire situation requiring ongoing management. I tried the balayage thing for awhile but ultimately prefer all over same color.

          2. Lorelei,
            I feel so bad that you thought I was talking about your actual hair! You were probably thinking, “When did ‘Caroline-is-fine’ turn into ‘Caroline-is-mean’ “?😭 No, I was joking about your witch’s unruly hair (your Halloween site pic). Sorry for the confusion…Did I mention I was feverish yesterday? Rut roh. I wonder what else I wrote on here that may have been misunderstood.😳

            Your hair sounds magnificently well-managed, hon!😘
            #BrilliantBrashlessBrunette🧡

          3. Caroline—I chopped off part of my head and posted an avatar just for you—I took the oil to my hair appt because it’s that good. You must have it to make you happy. I know I’m being somatic but I don’t care. My hair was in a pony tail for nine months or so at one point so I deserve to be somatic.

    3. Hi Lorelei, How long did it take until the decline and eventual collapse? I’m glad you are free of the devil.

      1. Married in 2005, dated 3 years before.. He moved in of course after nuptials. It was an insidious decline the whole time—but most substantial the past ten years—profound for maybe 3-4. I was absolutely committed to the concept of hope. I was very sick. Only someone who grew up like I did could slowly suffocate in this way—it was awful. I think people often have moments of realization and it was different in this dynamic. It was a perfect recipe of a narcissist and a very equally twisted up woman willing to just be destroyed because I had to make it work.

  12. “This is why we engage in taking recreational drugs, shop with complete disregard for the financial repercussions, engage in workaholism, gamble and drive like maniacs.:” Bingo, every single one. Spot on HG. Alcohol absolved him from HIS drama, but woe betide me if I ‘misbehaved’. So happy to be able to see it for what it really is now!

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