5 Myths About The Narcissist

5 MYTHS ABOUT THE NARCISSIST

 

I always read views propounded about me and my kind, with considerable interest. I see many intelligent and well-reasoned observations about what we do and why we do it. Many carry considerable force. Other views are purely driven by the understandable anger and hurt that is engendered in people by us, although as I have repeatedly sought to explain, when one operates through emotion, poor decisions are made and the clear picture is not observed. I also come across comments which are made about us which are inaccurate. I am not referring to the disagreement one might have in terms of an ad hominem attack against us. Many people consider us to be arseholes and bastards. I understand that viewpoint, many of my kind would disagree, but it is not that kind of value judgement that makes its way to becoming a myth about us. There are other more important misconceptions. As part of my ongoing work in explaining what we are, why we do what we do and your involvement in this narcissistic dynamic, it is just as important to explain what we are as detail what we are not. With that purpose in mind, I turn to five myths about our kind.

 

  1. We have no emotions

 

This view has gained some traction owing to the fact that my kind function with a considerable emptiness inside of us. The existence of this void can cause people to believe that because we are a shell and a husk that we are devoid of emotions. The fact that we feed off other people’s emotions also supports the view that we have none of our own. We need to steal the emotions that other people experience to enable us to feel.

The fact is that we do experience and feel certain emotions. We experience annoyance, anger and rage. Indeed, the churning fury which is always there beneath the surface, ready to be ignited, is a prevailing emotion of ours. We know boredom, disgust and loathing. We are very familiar with jealousy, envy, shame and hatred. Malice, malevolence, anticipation, contempt, aggression and power are further ones. Our stable of emotions is dominated by negative emotions. These are the ones which have been allowed to develop and that is because the force behind these emotions has been harnessed to allow us to achieve our aims. Our hatred for being devoid of fuel, drives us on to extract it. Our disgust at weakness causes us to always want to maintain superiority and strength. It is these emotions which make us effective and ruthless.

By contrast we do not experience joy or happiness, sadness or regret, serenity or love, remorse or guilt. These are alien to us along with others. We either have never known them or they have been stripped from us in order to allow us to operate with greater effectiveness, free from encumbrance and hindrance. We understand emotions because we want yours directed towards us. We understand how to mimic them and we understand when they should be exhibited (although some of our kind are better at this than others) but ultimately we do experience some emotions, just nowhere near as much as you.

 

  1. Copying us infuriates us

 

No it does not. If we are angry with you and shouting, if you decide to mirror this behaviour, all you are doing is providing us with fuel. If you parrot what we say to you, if there is any emotion attached to it, even if it is said with sarcasm, a sneer or contempt, it is fuel. If you decide to fall silent because we have, we may realise that the silent treatment is not reaping the fuel that we expected, but it does not infuriate us. Instead, we will just switch to a different form of manipulation in order to cause you to provide us with fuel. You find it hard after a while to keep mirroring what we are doing, your emotional capacity is such that it usually breaks through in some form and thus fuel is provided. We also recognise what you are doing and if you are giving us fuel, we will let you continue to mirror us. If you are not, your mirroring is not a criticism therefore there is no wounding, but we will shift to a different behaviour to bring forth the fuel.

 

  1. We miss you when you are gone

 

No, we miss your fuel, not you. That is what we miss most of all. We may also miss the traits that we were able to steal from you and also the residual benefits that you provided. It is something that victims of our kind find very difficult to accept. Surely some of what we said and did was genuine? It seemed that way, so surely it must have been? It must be the case that we liked somethings that you did? We did; the fuel, the traits and the residual benefits. We did not care about whether you were humorous, save that your sense of humour was appropriated by us for the purpose of making us seem better with other people. The radiant smile is only missed because it gave us fuel. Your extensive knowledge about wine was again another trait which made us look better.

Not only is it only these things that we miss when you are gone, the simple fact remains that if we discarded you, we decided that you were no longer worth the effort in keeping around and in most cases, we had identified and seduced a replacement. With this person in place, we focus on them, only turning to you to dole out Malign Follow-Up Hoovers (or Benign ones later when the replacement begins to turn stale). There is little doubt that you loved us with everything that you had, that you thought the world of us and nobody could have done for us what you did, but that is all from your perspective. Once we have discarded you, that all counts for nothing. You became a malfunctioning appliance and you have been replaced. We miss nothing about you.

If you escape, we will miss the three items that I detailed above and indeed we will look to recover them through the Initial Grand Hoover and Follow-Up Hoovers but do not think that our protestations of being unable to live without you, how we cannot imagine another day with you and we miss you so much, have anything to do with you as a person. They do not. We are unable to live without your fuel, we cannot imagine another day without using your traits and miss your residual benefits so much. All of these declarations, pleas, begging gestures and so forth are only designed to recover the three principle reasons we attach you. You can tell yourself that we miss you terribly if it makes you feel better but you are misleading yourself.

 

  1. We hate being alone

 

We need people. There is no doubt about that. We need people because we need the three principle benefits, chief amongst which is fuel, but that is not the same as saying we hate to be alone. In this instance, there is a degree of truth in the above statement but it requires considerable qualification. If we have been well-fueled we are able to be alone, engage in solitary activities and spend time in our own company without difficulty. Of course, the longer this goes on, eventually our fuel level drops and we will need to seek out people, but we do not hate being alone in such a situation.

Furthermore, the advantages of technology mean that although we may not be physically proximate to somebody, the advantages of Skype, text messages, telephone calls and even hand-written letters allows us to be on our own but in contact with many fuel sources. Add to this Thought Fuel and you have a situation whereby we can be physically isolated but with such connections we can manage perfectly well extracting all of these variable fuel types.

Remove such connections however and in a situation when our fuel levels are already low and we are physically isolated with no means of contacting people and that is when you shall see that we hate to be alone.

 

  1. We have a conscience

We do not. We think only of ourselves, our needs and how each situation can benefit us. We may appear to exhibit a conscience in order to con people and this is something more witnessed with the Mid-Range and Greater Narcissist, in order to fit in to a situation and people’s expectations but we have been created without a need for a conscience. If we had one, we would not be able to trample on people in the way we do. We would not be able to always be moving forward, never caring for what has gone before us. If ever you witness a situation where one of our kind appears to have had our conscience pricked, all it means is that we see an advantage in pretending that this is the case and we wish to dupe you and others for our own benefit.

26 thoughts on “5 Myths About The Narcissist

  1. Violetta says:

    I’m friends with a number of Catholic theology geeks. At least one of them said that guilt has a use, but shame is often counter-productive. I suppose it has a use for sheer survival, but morally, it seems to cause more problems than it solves.

  2. vandenboss says:

    @mcthriver

    The real statistics are 50/50. Glad i could help out.

  3. Kristin says:

    mcthriver,
    You have explained the entanglement with narcs and its affects very well, thank you. I will continue to reference your comment because helps me keep everything in perspective.

  4. BonnieLou says:

    “When one operates through emotion, poor decisions are made”
    How might a Mid Ranger react if I actually admitted I acted in anger and sought forgiveness (but I don’t actually appologise)? My actions, his sacking, are holding me back emotionally from moving on with my life because I feel bad, but he obviously doesn’t know that and it has also given him the oppotunity to do something better with his life i.e travel. He still hasn’t blocked me on facebook even after I blocked him to try to up my No Contact. He created a new blank profile almost immediately (came up in “people you may know” but still in his name).
    Won’t someone rid me (only my brain!) of this turbulent Egyptian! 😂😂😂 Your advise is always apreciated HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello BL, to understand more about that, access The 3 Assertions of Control, The Narc Perspective and the Range of Bolt Ons which cover Mid Range Narcissists. If you want a bespoke response to your situation, please od organise a consultation.

  5. mcthriver says:

    This is a remarkiably insightful and honest post, HG, and from my own experience of having been in a long marriage to an elite UMRN, very accurate, too.

    It is no wonder that living as an IPPS with a narc causes so much hurt and confusion to non-narcissists, as the person you describe is such an alien concept to them. If I had read this blog a year ago, I would have thought, no, that cannot possibly be the case, no normal person could think that way, there must be some other reason behind the abusive behaviour. My assumption always being that he was a normal person capable of love and empathy, just like me and most people I know – even though that question “Why does he do that?” was a constant thought in my head.

    I guess that’s the reason it’s so easy for the narc’s victim to accept blame – they simply cannot fathom out wtf is going on in the narc’s head and assume it must be something similar to what is going on in their own head, which of course, it’s not. Therefore, the victim starts to believe that it is their own behaviours that are provoking the abuse and so it must be their fault – a notion that is then reinforced by the narc themselves through their insidious head-working of their victim.

    I do understand it now, as the behaviours I witnessed and was subjected to over many, many years by my ex, both in the time that I was with and since I left, are so perfectly described here in your blog, and to a lesser extent, elsewhere on the internet. And, of course, I realise now that it is not normal behaviour at all. It might be prevelant in society, but it’s not normal and it’s very, very damaging.

    I have read recently that a consistent characteristic of male domestic abusers is to do with the way they handle, or rather don’t handle, their inner shame.

    Shame is an instinct we are born with. We experience very early in life, before we can even start remembering things, that feeling ashamed is very unpleasant and to be avoided if at all possible. It is a self-protective instinct that prevents us from being ostracised from human society (which historically meant we would not survive – no food, shelter etc).

    With correct nurturing and the right genetic predisposition, we start to recognise and accept our own shame and to take responsibilty for it, so we learn at a very young age not to do things that will hurt or upset others, a moral code if you llike. In other words, we develop empathy, remorse and a desire not to do things that make us feel ashamed, along with the whole range of other normal emotions.

    Abusive men and/or narcissists do not develop these emapthic traits (for various reasons, both nature, nurture and society’s norms) and generally carry a very deep-seated sense of shame about themselves as a person, which becomes impossible to handle as they mature. That shame becomes sub-consciously quashed and cannot be allowed to be seen by others people, as does the shame they feel when they have hurt others, either physically and/or emotionally or both.

    Their shame is also triggered by seemingly very trivial things – what we recognise as narcissistic injury – which non-narcissists would not bat an eyelid at. The greatest shame to them is to be seen as weak.

    The fuel that narcicissts crave serves to further bury that shame so that it can never be felt by them or seen by others – that is, until they (rarely) suffer a narcissistic collapse.

    Hence the denial, the lies, the projection, the blame-shifting and the lack of accountability that abusers display, that are so difficult for non-narcissists to begin to comprehend.

    The shame that would have to be carried is just too great to bear and the emotional resources insufficient to handle it if they are forced to accept responsibilty for the consequences of their abuse, or even just to accept their perception of appearing weak.

    It’s an interesting theory which may not be the whole answer to how NPD develops, but it does make a lot of sense to me. I am aware, HG, that in your view, all domestic abusers are narcissists. I also think this probably true.

    Interestingly this developmental pattern is not nearly so prevalent in women, which may be something to do with the way society expects men and women to behave and nurtures them from a very young age. Boys and men are brought up to be strong and unbreakable, whereas girls and women are not, even in these enlightened times.

    1. lisk says:

      Great post, mcthriver . . . except for the part about women/girls and shame. Their abusiveness might just present differently.

      1. mcthriver says:

        True, but the statistics show that roughly 80-85% of domestic abuse, which includes both emotional abuse and domestic violence is perpetrated by men against women. So, abusive men are far more prevalent in society than abusive women. The reasons are multi-factorial and include nature, nurture and the influences of living in a patriarchal society, among other factors.

        The development of narcissistic personality disorder and the mechanism of abuse may be the same or very similar and equally damaging but it is much less common globally for women to abuse men.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          There will be under-reporting amongst men, a combination of not recognising it as abuse and where it is recognised as abuse, a reluctance to report it for a variety of reasons.

          1. mcthriver says:

            The same goes for women, HG.

            Domestic abuse is grossly under-reported by women, too. It is estimated that one in four women in the UK will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Figures are higher ìn other countries.

            Failures on the part of the justice system and family courts, which often worsen the situation of women and children, are in part to blame for this under-reporting, sadly.

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Indeed, my comment was not intended to lessen the impact on women. I agree, it is under reported across both genders, the discrepancy being greater with regard to men as victims.

          3. Violetta says:

            HG, you got there first.

          4. HG Tudor says:

            Its in my DNA Violetta, except for when it is sex of course!

          5. mcthriver says:

            Touchė

            It would be very interesting to know what the real statistics are!

          6. lisk says:

            I one-hundred percent agree, HG.

          7. HG Tudor says:

            Thank you.

          8. Lorelei says:

            HG—a portion of my dissertation will discuss certain things as not being recognized or triggering abuse screening. (Per your above reply to another reader) This was not taken from your work—it’s part of my own story (which in no way would be mentioned in my professional life) and the existing research is weak in this regard. I also recognize you are quite busy but want to be cautious not to seemingly engage in a form of plagiarism. Just putting that out there. There is an intersection on some of the research, my thoughts, your work to a small extent. Mainly, my work is on screening tool application. I’m torn though in regard to the intersection of insights and appropriate citation if such a need arises.

          9. HG Tudor says:

            I recommend you email me about this.

          10. Lorelei says:

            You asked for it. It’s not entirely simple but I’ll do so.

          11. Lorelei says:

            Sent, and you were spared the table and data piece.. That one was even more dry.

          12. Violetta says:

            HG:

            Speaking of sex, I went to a distant skate rink (to avoid my latest stalker) so I figured I’d pop into Saks where there was said to be a Creed counter. There was, so I tried Aventus on one wrist, Viking inside the elbow, and Green Irish Tweed inside the other elbow (as well as getting scent cards).

            Green Irish Tweed smelled best on me. Aventus was nice on the scent card, but once it hit my wrist, it turned chemical. Viking was warm and spicy on both, but definitely more masculine than I would wear, though I’ve worn men’s colognes or unisex on occasion.

            No idea how any of the above would smell when mixed with your chemistry, though the results you seem to get would indicate the two you’ve used have proven quite effective.

            I’m curious as to what made you switch to Viking.

        2. lisk says:

          I am not a full-on believer in “statistics,” mcthriver, especially when it comes to emotional abuse, which can be delivered quite covertly/insidiously/intangible by ANY gender, in ANY -archy.

          1. mcthriver says:

            Fair enough 👍🏻

  6. Renarde says:

    Deploying a [sadface] at the dead unicorn.

    But then there was that time I convinced my lesser ma that a narwhal horn came from a unicorn.

    Still makes me giggle.

    1. Violetta says:

      Renarde:

      Maybe it’s just sleeping. Or passed out after rough unicorn sex.

      1. Renarde says:

        Those unicorns, eh?

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