When Narcissists Collide – Part One
Many people are curious to know what happens when there is some narc on narc action? Do they recognise one another? Do they seek one another out? How do they react around one another? Do they gang up and is there a pack mentality? Can narcissists work together? Can two narcissists have a successful romantic relationship?
As you know, I categorise our kind into cadres and schools of narcissist. The latter is linked to awareness, ability and cognitive function and therefore this is what is relevant when considering whether our kind recognise one another. Addressing that question first is straight forward. The Lesser and Mid-Range Narcissists do not know what they are and therefore they are unable to recognise their own kind. The Greater Narcissist, a rare beast, is aware of what he is but usually will not admit it (unless he sees some gain to be achieved from doing so). He is however able to recognise his own kind in terms of all three of the schools. With this platform of awareness and recognition, what transpires when narcissists collide? Let us begin with the Lesser and the Lesser.
Two Lesser Narcissists can readily become entangled as a consequence of being related. The existence of a familial connection means that there is no need for an actual seduction between the two Lesser Narcissists. If for instance the two Lesser Narcissists are two brothers then whenever they interact they will seek to draw fuel from the other. This will manifest as seeking to outdo one another or demand attention from one another. For instance, a Lesser Victim Narcissist would want his brother to help him get down some stairs. The brother Lesser Somatic may agree to assist in the expectation of receiving positive fuel from the LVN’s appreciation and thanks. This is less likely to be forthcoming from the LVN and this failure to be appreciative will result in the brother LSN mocking his brother for his lack of mobility, his poor physical prowess as a consequence of the LSN having his fury ignited by the criticism which arises because the LVN did not express sufficient thanks and appreciation for the LSN helping him. Alternatively, the LVN demands the assistance of his more agile brother to help him down some stairs, but the LSN sees no reason to help. He is no carer and therefore refuses. This failure to assist is a criticism to the LVN, his fury is ignited and he will lash out at the LSN sibling through name-calling, telling him he should spend less time in the gym and more time helping his brother out because he needs the help and hell he is entitled to it.
Two Lesser siblings will actually provide one another with fuel because they will erupt in rage with one another. The lack of consideration that they will have for one another (or where they feign it in order to try to gain an advantage) will result in the two railing against one another on a repeated basis. They will trade bad-tempered insults and physically fight, each gaining fuel from the other’s rage until either sated they part or they are parted by others. Unable to recognise that they are dealing with one of their own kind and because they will treat one another as Non-Intimate Secondary Sources they will keep coming together to use one another for fuel, clash, sparks will fly and then they will separate. The intermittent nature of their interaction, since they use one another as a NISS means that their relationship will continue for a long time without discard and will be one marked by turbulence. Outsiders, unaware of what they are, will regard two Lesser siblings as competitive, argumentative and repeatedly at loggerheads. They will covet one another’s possessions, delight in trying to engage in an affair with their sister-in-law or the girlfriend of their sibling. They will seek to outdo one another, aligned against one another because of what they are but drawn to one another through the familial bond and the fact they are able to gain short intense bursts of fuel from one another.
What about two Lessers who find themselves coming together in a social sense? The initial seduction between the two will be effective since neither is seeking to make the other a primary source and therefore the usual instinctive checks for empathy etc will be less rigorous because of this and also because the individuals concerned are Lesser Narcissists. It is extremely rare for two Lessers to become friends in isolation. Instead they are brought together through the ‘glue’ of other non-narcissists. Thus, an empathic individual may have been ensnared by Lesser Narcissist A through say a football team and also through Lesser Narcissist B through being neighbours and this empathic person may well bring the two Lessers together as part of a wider social circle. Thus, it is conceivable that they can become friends, most likely of the outer circle variety and are thus Non Intimate Secondary Sources.
Similar to the situation of a familial Lesser Narcissists, the two social Lesser Narcissists will bump up against one another, trying to outdo one another, clashing, arguing and seeking to draw fuel. Their behaviours will cause the ignition of fury in the other resulting in the provision of fuel and again this will be in short bursts before their need for fuel is sated and they back off. Their interactions will be intermittent and it will usually be necessary for the interactions to take place against the matrix of other non-narcissists being in attendance.
The first Lesser will seek to gain the approval of the social group. The second will resent this and lash out at the first Lesser and thus the arguing will commence. Those within the group will regard the two as just having a ‘personality clash’ not truly understanding the dynamic and will spend their time trying to keep the peace and keep the two from attacking one another both verbally and physically. They will rut with one another as they seek to establish primacy within the group and will always keep going and going until others intervene. Once this happens, they will break off and not bother with one another until the next occasion where they are brought together. The two Lesser Narcissists will not spend time with one another and nobody else in attendance. The lack of a familial bond means that they would just go at one another until one knocked the other out, thus there is little incentive for the two to socialise in isolation. Instead, the social Lesser Narcissists are always brought together in a wider group, where they will compete with one another against the backdrop of onlookers.
In a work situation, the two Lesser Narcissists are brought together because of the connection of employment. There is therefore no seduction between them but their link is already established. They will compete, not co-operate with one another, look to do the other down and use third parties to try to elevate themselves against this person who will be identified as a troublemaker and a competitor straight away. Two Lesser Narcissists who are forced to work together will become a headache for any HR department. Unwilling to compromise, always blaming one another, shirking responsibility, looking to draw a reaction from each other, they are actually unlikely to get any work done but instead spend their time trying to do down the other. They would not be focussed on trying to outdo one another, after all they are Lesser, but instead, they would rather try and do the other down, which will therefore mean that if the competitor is beneath them they must, by default, be above them. It is a tumultuous relationship of insults, accusations and even violence towards one another which will either lead to the pair being split up so there is no interaction or both being dismissed.
What of two Lessers interacting as tertiary sources, say one is a customer in a restaurant and the other is a waiter? They may, as strangers, get away with a brief dollop of positive fuel for one another. The waiter is pleasant and the customer thanks him. If the interaction is brief they can both get away with this small amount of positive fuel. If the interaction becomes longer there is an increased risk of them igniting one another’s fury. The customer Lesser perceives a criticism through slow service and insults the waiter. He reacts to this and throws a drink over the customer. Both gain an instant hit of fuel and then the interaction is over, again most likely through the intervention of third parties. The two Lessers, even as tertiary sources, cannot exist alongside one another for long before one tries to draw fuel from the other. The low control threshold of the Lesser means that any interaction with another Lesser, either family, socially, work wise or interacting as strangers will result in a flare-up between the two.
Finally, what about two Lessers coming together in the context of an intimate relationship? Can two Lessers have one another as intimate partner primary sources? There is a risk of them trying to seduce one another because of their inability to recognise one another and their lower cognitive function, meaning they may not pick up as readily on the lack of empathic traits. The seduction may commence but then not be concluded as both instinctively find that the other is not providing the fuel that they will need and therefore the seduction is broken off. They have enough instinct to know that the person they have started to seduce will not have what is required and therefore they decide not to proceed with the seduction.
There may however be occasions where two Lessers become locked together in a romantic relationship and seek to make the other an IPPS. This is unusual but can happen because of the following:-
1. Both have suffered escapes from empathic IPPSs and therefore have been plunged into Chaos Mode. With no pending IPPS in play, they are desperate to find one and thus inadvertently hook up with one another because of their desperate need for fuel. Their weakened state and desperation will cause them to be far less instinctively choosy; and/or
2. They feign the appearance of empathic traits in order to trap the target and owing to the lower cognitive function (and especially if there is no other primary source fuel provision to hand) they fail to detect that this is false and are thus initially conned.
Where two Lessers “fall” for one another in such circumstances the nature of the relationship will be turbulent and short-lived. Initially, continuing the seduction,they will provide limited positive fuel to one another. This is because given their lesser energy levels, they will be focused on keeping the beast within under control rather than laying on the charm and magnetism. Accordingly, there is not so much a Golden Period but rather a Bronze Period. This poor positive fuel provision will make both Lessers restless, irritable and struggling to keep the beast under control. They may be pleasant to the other in order to try to draw positive fuel but when it is not forthcoming, because of course they are dealing with their own kind who EXPECTS to receive the compliments and sees no reason to return them and their low control threshold means that the lack of decent fuel will bring about devaluation very quickly.
Accordingly, the Bronze Period between two Lessers who have appointed one another as an IPPS will be short-lived and will plummet towards devaluation. Both will lash out at the other and this is when some decent fuel will be forthcoming as they erupt in a fury with another. Unfortunately for them the ignition of the fury means that they need fuel to replace that used up by the fury and therefore there will be an explosive eruption between the two and then they will be forced to withdraw. They will seek fuel elsewhere and once sated return to one another only for the next explosion to occur. So long as the Lessers can draw fuel from other sources and keep erupting with another, a turbulent and vitriolic period of devaluation will occur and will continue until one or both find a far more viable fuel source.
Let us say that Lesser A, finding the fuel from Lesser B to be highly unsatisfactory, finds an empathic secondary source and commences an affair. The fuel is far superior to that being provided by Lesser B. Lesser A moves to promote the empathic secondary source to become an IPPS. Lesser A has found the viable fuel source and thus will discard Lesser B. Thereafter, Lesser A will focus on the new IPPS and have no regard for Lesser B. Lesser B perceives the loss of his IPPS as a criticism, his fury is ignited and he will apply an Initial Grand Hoover to try to win back Lesser A. This will fail. Lesser A will resist the hoover because of what he is and also because he will infatuated with the new primary source. Lesser B may well lash out at Lesser A through this ignited fury but will be forced quickly to find an alternative primary source. Once secured, Lesser B having also found a fresh empathic primary source will focus on her. Accordingly, Lessers A and B will have no regard for one another and will not hoover, even when they devalue their new-found empathic primary sources because the Hoover Execution Criteria bar will be raised high because of the poor fuel provision they experienced.
Accordingly, in the romantic sense the collision of two Lessers is rare and if it does happen the relationship will be chaotic, brutal and moreover short-lived with the two unlikely to cross paths purposefully again thereafter.
24 thoughts on “When Narcissists Collide – Part One”
HG , is the creature your true self …? Or just a name you give to your personality when in your true dark mood ?
This will be addressed in The Creature.
Pretty sure John Lennon was a Lesser (if not a non-narc with high narcy traits) out-narced by Yoko. Despite his intelligence, his wife-beating, public brawling, and substance abuse are plain yobbish thuggery. Yoko, on the other hand, was an expert manipulator whose supposed Feminist credentials didn’t stop her from fucking over both first wife Cynthia and girlfriend May Pang.
When they were separated and John was involved with Pang, he’d heard from Yoko (who was monitoring the entire relationship) that she and Pang had been involved with the same guy at different times. Pang wasn’t impressed by him. Lennon confronted her with this story. Pang said she was young and her early sexual experiences hadn’t been very pleasant. Lennon claimed that Yoko found the guy very pleasant indeed, and said that Pang must be frigid, and if she didn’t enjoy the other guy, she probably didn’t enjoy Lennon and had been faking it all along. He got drunk and violent, just as Yoko intended.
Think about this. This situation could have been interpreted as follows: maybe Yoko was a people-user who didn’t care who she was with. Maybe Pang really was too inexperienced and sex was awkward at first.
Maybe Pang cared about Lennon more and it heightened her response. Maybe the other guy’s technique really was inferior. Any of these possibilities would have been uninsulting and even flattered Lennon, but Yoko pushed the one that would trigger his insecurities, knowing that Pang was completely unprepared and wouldn’t know what hit her (until Lennon did).
That’s some major narcery.
I don’t consider myself a narcissist but do have traits that I utilize very consciously, for example carefully thought out and executed strategies to get what I want, as mentioned on another thread a good deal of emotional detachment, intellectual empathy instead of emotional, and a pattern of abandoning people once my interest is lost (more when I was younger). But many other traits I do not relate to at all, e.g. being powered by negative fuel, black and white thinking, or a strong need for attention to myself. I think part of the reason I sometimes work quite well with narcissistic people is because they are often very ambitious and have a strong drive for achievement, so things will get done and productive. I used to sometimes get into competitions with them but learned not to do that much because it affects efficiency and productivity. A narc may be driven by negative fuel and if criticism can provide that, I probably provide it because I do tend to be critical although more in an impersonal way and I prefer it to be constructive. I also very much welcome challenge and respectful criticism, not sure my version is the same as the “challenge fuel” by HG as I don’t usually respond with devaluation and condescension, but I do get into intellectual debates and find it very invigorating, given the partner has a certain caliber in that.
So the thing to make these relationships work, in my experience, is to focus on the common goals – there must be common goals we both desire for personal reasons, and I can easily leave a lot of the recognition and visibility for others because that’s not something that interests/inspires me much, I actually more avoid it. But executing projects successfully, getting answers to my questions, problem solving etc drive me very effectively. Of course such collaborations also need to remain as impersonal as possible, which is usually quite easy to do for me. I think my collaborations can be good because the more narcissistic person can get the attention/recognition and I get learning and solving problems that pique my interest, so in the end everyone can be satisfied, at least for a while. I would never want to do this in a hierarchical constellation where the narc is my professional superior though, works better as equals or when I am the supervisor of more junior staff. I think in these constructs the narcs usually recognize it’s their better interest not to make things foul with me. I don’t think I’ve ever collaborated in this way with a Lesser though, I am pretty sure that would not work and I wouldn’t even be interested.
I once made the mistake and got into a superficial, short affair with one of those work colleagues – that was a great lesson and never again. It didn’t lead to any destruction and didn’t affect the collaboration negatively, likely because we both became emotionally very detached after the personal affair failed. The affair wasn’t pleasant and motivating though for me at least, I got out of it very quickly without ever getting involved emotionally much. I guess the narc gained some negative fuel from it though – there was passive aggression, devaluation, silent treatments from him. I didn’t care much and luckily he was not in a position to take advantage of it in any practical way.
Is there an article all about The Creature? You’ve alluded to it using terms I later Googled. I want to know all about it.
I wonder because I think my mother has one. I think she has other issues preventing her from mastering it. You say the narcs have instinct that causes them to react or respond in ways that keep The Creature at bay. I think my mom isn’t intellectually or socially adept enough to be effective at gathering fuel.
She had 7 children when my dad wanted to stop at 3. She used religion to manipulate him. Catholicism will not allow contraception beyond natural family planning, or detecting ovulation and planning activity accordingly, and they are supposed to be open to children. There was no love in the marriage. Only mutual obligation that began with an unplanned pregnancy and Catholic principles preventing abortion and requiring marriage which is why my father married her.
My mother has struggled with depression her whole life. Is The Creature depression? She had trouble forming healthy relationships with her sibling, parents, friends, husband, and children.
I wonder if she had so many children because the only time her skills were sufficient to gain control and fuel were when she had infants entirely dependant on her? I wonder if the only time she wasn’t depressed, the only time The Creature was at bay, was when she had infants age 0-2. At those times, she had both fuel from the infants and sympathy from the public which only grew with the number of children, and this fuel required no skill on her part in obtaining. Since she couldn’t attract fuel, maybe she decided she would just create it?
It is not depression. It will be detailed in the book “The Creature.”
I will also be very interested in that book. The narcissistic psychotherapist I mentioned on another thread uses psychological theories related to narcissism and narcissistic interpersonal dynamic very heavily in his practice based on some classic academic literature, especially those from Hyman Spotnitz and Heinz Kohut, and a therapy modality called “modern Psychoanalysis. I did admire in him how he made a whole career based on what he is, how he can use that career to get his narcissistic needs met, and I believe he has helped some people. I was thinking about some of those concepts when reading your brief references to the Creature… what they call toxic introjects (internalized “voices” from overly critical, never satisfied early life influencers, most often from close family like parents), turned into overly critical internal “voices” that undermine the person’s self-esteem and stability. Of course I don’t know if there is any overlap between those ideas and your Creature HG. Regardless, I will be curious to read about this Creature from your own experience and understanding.
Narcissistic psychotherapist? Sounds more likely to be manipulation and self gratification than therapy to me I’m afraid. No matter what therapy people undertake, the invariably form a relationship/attachment to the therapist and that must be carefully managed, requiring a high degree of self-awareness and empathy. The reason HG is so helpful and useful is he does not pretend to be anything he isn’t. If he started advising people on anything other than how a narcissist thinks and behaves, oh well…I shudder to think.
Agreed. The therapist I saw in the past was extremely limited in his toolkit and also limited in self-awareness, let alone willingness to admit. I am sure he caused a lot of distress to clients that were more vulnerable… of course psychotherapy usually targets vulnerabilities. Part of my reason to attack him in some pretty mean and shady ways during our fallout was related to that… I could clearly see how he could cause a lot of harm to vulnerable people and, for a while, I believed I could somehow make a difference and set him right. Of course that turned out a mostly sterile endeavor… but I actually see him being more careful and considered online now at least. I had tons of evidence that I could have used to report him to his professional associations, risking losing his license. I am sure he recognized this and tamed his behavior with me – this is one area where I identified him a Mid-Ranger. He went far, but not dangerously far, and then often turned it back to appear as though he was the victim. Perhaps he compensates for critical clients in his personal life though – I don’t know.
There is a lot of abuse by psychotherapists in general, you can find lots of stories online via googling. I think it is a profession that kinda invites such people but, of course, there are also helpful ones.
This is something I am very interested in and would love to read about all the other versions involving the Mid-Range and Greater (especially cerebral) because these are types I more often encounter in my own life, including seeing them interact and compete in work environments. If those have been posted somewhere or can be found in your books, can you point me to them HG? I also imagine the outcome of these dynamics are influenced by where the individual narcs stand on the spectrum of narcissism… most of the people I meet would not qualify for NPD I think, more just have a range of traits, some strong.
Those articles have yet to be published.
Get on with it!
Oh no you didn’t?! Hahaha
Hahah I just can’t help myself FM1T
my kids dad tends to make other lesser victim narcs his IPPS. (his brother, a workmate turned roomie, a social/drug buddy turned roomie)
Never ends well- usually issues start after about a year , turbulence lasts about a year or less then he disengages
^*NIPS I should say. Is that a thing 😆
Does he make them primary sources ? Non intimate ? It appears that is what my narc does also ? So they are secondary sources , HG ? Or can they be primary sources of attention …. specially if he doesn’t have intimate partner anymore..HG. And these other narcs …in my situation are single men with no kids …and inheritances ?
Could you clarify your question MollyB5?
He puts a buddy or relative (brother) as non intimate primary source .
Do LMR ever do that HG? Or is it solely a Lesser move? Narcoholic did it too- put his mom as NIPS – for like, 5 years , and that’s only the time I know about .
No, it can happen with a Mid Range Narcissist also, more likely LMR than MMR and UMR.
HG , since you recognize other narcs , do you prefer your male friends who are narcs when you want to gossip or talk shit on someone ? Do you have a lot of narc male friends?
I do not gossip, it is not productive.
I have some narcissists who are male NISSs.