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.


20 thoughts on “Game For a Laugh : The Narcissist and Humour

  1. Lamb says:

    This could have been written by my narc , he is EXACTLY the same.
    The rest of our family all have a fantastic self deprecating sense of humour , not my narc , and he absolutely loathes it if we are telling old stories where he did something humorous.
    His Mother was the same , she was most definitely a narc.

    On a different note, most of my notifications from your site are now going to my spam folder. Any idea why ?
    I also don’t think I’m getting all notifications, or maybe my comments are still sitting in moderation?
    I don’t know how you keep up with it all , running the site by yourself!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. No.
      2. You do not have any comments in moderation, Lamb.

  2. Amanda Snapchat 5 says:

    is the joker a narc? god he is so scary. I think he is a narc.

  3. FYC says:

    If I should one day learn everything there is to learn here, I would still return for the humor alone. Honestly, it’s such a gift. It’s just too bad you cannot hear the delighted giggles and laughter from us all (perhaps you know it is there so you get thought fuel). Your humor is a joy and sincerely appreciated. I get so delighted by humor it makes me really terrible at retelling it, because I start laughing again at the thought of the joke, and this spoils the delivery. I admire the skill of those who possess it. I only wish you could experience the joy of it, but I guess fuel will have to do.

  4. surfinsybil says:

    Thank you for sharing HG. I have never taken people for face value… there’s so much beneath the surface. You are sharing a glimpse at what’s under your surface with us and I very much appreciate that. We only know, what we know. Now that you have shared your perspective, I can see layers that I’ve never seen before.

    You have mentioned that you would like to one day try to go without fuel for a while. I hope that when that day comes you can get supplemental fuel from humor. And, just knowing that your admiring following of students out here love you for who you’ve become, will give you a bit of satisfaction that fills up some of your emptiness. Needing less fuel in the future could be a good thing I would imagine.

    You have overcome a lot… in your own twisted way… just like the rest of us. You have chosen to go above and beyond what the “good doctors” want you to do. You have chosen to help us understand ourselves better… and not see our caring nature as a flaw. You help us see that our traits are a positive thing… but one that needs protecting. You give us the shield and sword to carry on a good fight.

    Damn HG, you’ve become one hell of a man and you should be damn proud of it! None of us is perfect. We can only strive to become so. I am sorry that some only see you as evil and don’t take the time to see behind the facade.

    Sorry that this kinda got sappy… but your writing does that to me sometimes.

    Sending love and fuel as always.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

      1. surfinsybil says:

        You’re welcome HG. You write so much to help us that I just wanted to share my feelings with you. It’s the least that I could do.

      2. FoolMe1Time says:

        You do know that you are not just admired and respected, you are also loved very much by some of us on here HG? 💞

    2. Hope says:

      Hello surfinsybil,

      I agree with your sentiments. Didn’t think you were sappy at all–seemed perfectly appropriate to me.

      I like how you tried to share our empathic toolkit with him for the dark, hollow, and lonely hour.

      I found when I was small that imagining God as an all-powerful and caring individual helped me a lot when I was discarded or devalued or abused. I would climb a tree or create a fort of refuge in the woods or find a soft meadow and vent out all the turmoil as I talked to God as if he were my friend. I liked to talk out loud as it was open land without neighbors for a half-mile, but sometimes I would whisper talk, just in case some sibling was around and would happen to hear and then commenced spying so they could make fun of me later. I felt safe to be vulnerable with God because I saw Him as a healer, a giver, and a defender of justice. I would imagine his love and comfort and I would try to hear him speak, because I heard of tortured saints getting miracles like that, I never did hear a but I did feel peace. I would fall asleep sometimes outside if I was comfortable and I had been exhausted by anger and tears and elaborate venting or plotting with God. I was able to find peace at school too by just closing my eyes and going to God in my head. I would try to feel him inside my soul, His peace and strength. I would have to say in my worst times feeling connected to God is what carried me through. It’s not so much a tangible feeling as a belief, more than hope, but comfort in knowing He loves me purely, and He has control, no matter what. He doesn’t create or will pain, but because evil does exist in a free world, he takes the pain and tries to make it work out for your good. For example, if it’s a horrible day outside you can let it win by being miserable. Or you can delight in the way the rain will make the grass super green afterwards and even put on your swimsuit and delight in the pool that’s just been created in the depression in your yard. For me, having been on the brink of suicide after my relationship with a narcissist, I’ve now been able to relate to many people who are on the brink as well and share with them that there is an other side to it and what it looks and feels like when you make it there. There’s always a way to make love and goodness come out of any devastation. If you’ve seen the movie The Shack, it’s really hard to watch and emphasize with some of the characters but it demonstrates God’s complete capacity for love and empathy.

      God was most important example I can think of using to cope in the times of crisis, but there’s other mechanisms at play during everyday life that allow me to treasure being alone with my thoughts and having separateness from other people and their energy. What do you use to feel comfort and peace alone without external validation both daily and in times of personal attack?

      As I’ve grown older, I enjoy my own company more and more each day and protect and defend my right to have space and time alone. I guess my habits are engrained and less intentional now. I don’t really think about it but I do defend myself internally and logically break down other people’s criticism and their motivation for it in order to dismiss it and connect to my compassion for the abuser. One thing I do think about often when I’m angry and losing control of it is that “hurting people hurt people” and that I should pray for and pity others instead of hating them. This one made sense to me because of watching in astonishment as the one with all power, control, and spite, my brother, get beat by my dad and witnessing how malevolent my brother was every other second and then connecting the two concepts. Another is “holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”.

      When I think in daily life without urgency I think that people’s problems with you aren’t usually about you, they usually have other things going on inside or misunderstand you. Knowing most people don’t think about you at all, as we all are self-absorbed, gives me comfort when trying something new that may garner criticism or negative attention. I want to be who I am authentically because no one else can. It’s my responsibility to bring my uniqueness to the table of life and be steward of it to share with others. I want to contribute to the energy of this norm so others will fulfill their true potential without feeling obligated to hide who they are in order to fit in, robbing themselves and the world of what they truly have to offer. Life is short and I want to feel all I can feel while I’m still alive: the pain is worth the pleasure. But then again, I’ve learned to sit with my pain at a very early age. I know I can tolerate so much, I do have limits.

      Another thing I’d do, was imagine my pain was saving souls in purgatory, or saving my own. I never felt I was pure and I do still. The great thing is God has been through the worst pain imaginable at human hands: the murder of his son, and he still managed to forgive humankind and turn that evil into good by using Jesus’s love to absolve us. We don’t have to be good or pure to be loved by our Father in heaven.

      Now, that’s the concept that I could wrap my head around, but I’m sure any belief or religion or science could help alleviate stress in crisis and daily life. Do you have a theory that’s deeper? I also agree with the science or quantom physical idea of we are all connected and hurting another hurts ourselves by way of the collective consciousness but we are observing ourselves as separate in order to experience a part so one day, when we “die,” we can experience the whole.


  5. BonnieLou says:

    I had to drop my narcissist Commercial Director off at the train station today as he was going up to London for the day. He is using the company’s pool car at the moment but I needed it to go into town for work purposes.
    The other night after I had left to go home, he set MY office radio from Radio 1 to classic FM!…so when I finished with the pool car that he was again, taking home tonight, I’ve set the car radio from Classic FM to BBC Asian network!! …and it’s only available on DAB, so he’ll have to figure out how to change it back to terrestrial FM!!!😂😂😂😂😂

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hg does not approve of Classic FM being dabbled with!

      1. BonnieLou says:

        No 😂😂he will probably shout “F@#kadoodledoo!!. I wish I had hidden a camera in the car…I’m dreading tomorrow morning now!!😳😂😂😂

      2. BonnieLou says:

        Oooh I thought you said “He”..this red is hurting my eyes😵

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Suck it up, buttercup!

          1. Violetta says:

            Green is Christmas-themed too, at least in the US. Red accents distinguishes it from St. Pat’s day.

          2. BonnieLou says:

            Update from this morning..NCD: “Thank you for putting the seat back so I could actually get in …But that F#@KING Punjabi shit!! You little F#@KER!!😂😂😂😂at least he was laughing at the same time😁

  6. hope says:

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

    I wasn’t allowed the luxury of either.”

    Wow. That is so deep. Hard to fathom. I remember crying being unwelcomed and punished, but I cannot imagine being so controlled by fear that I could not continue on anyway out of spite. Thank you for sharing with us your experiences. I love hearing the commentary of the doctors. It is like being witness to a murder mystery. So many questions. So much unresolved-in my understanding.

  7. Dolores Haze says:

    Great piece, HG!

    This tertiary source isn’t trying to steal even an ounce of the spotlight, but here’s a little narc-themed joke:

    “Thank you so much, good doctor, for having fully treated my megalomania! Now I’m a person of an unrivaled, fantastic and phenomenal modesty”.

  8. Violetta says:

    Teacher to any child who reacts with nervous laughter to the latest bullshit accusation: Do you think this is funny? Would you like to explain to the principal how funny you think it is?

    If you don’t stop crying, I’ll crack your head open like a coconut, you shite!

    They really do think they have the right to tell us what feel, or not feel, as well as what to do.

    “And if you can’t take an interest in what I am saying, please try to look as if you did.” – The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

    1. Dolores Haze says:

      Exactly! That’s why I believe it’s so important to let the children express their feelings and let them see you expressing yours. I might not be the perfect mom in some departments (I hate cooking and cleaning, don’t particularly enjoy crafts, don’t discipline enough and sometimes lose my temper), but I’m above average in “empathy trainings”. I encourage emotions, let my 3-year old laugh out loud if smth is funny and cry when he is upset; I teach him to verbalize what he is feeling and understand what it is that made him feel this way. All the while I’m near, hugging him and telling him “I love you” a million times, because boys do cry and I do love him.

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