The Narcissist´s Reality Gap
The Lesser Narcissist. Whether it is the out and out loser that is the Lower Lesser, the usually useless Middle Lesser or the successful but overbearing bully that is the Upper Lesser, the three have certain common traits. One of these traits is their delusional state. The Lesser exists in a bubble convinced of his or her good looks or innate strength or irresistible sexiness. They think everybody likes them, they think if you don’t then you must be an idiot and you are not worth bothering with. They believe themselves to be great at sport, or writing, or whatever hobby and if they do not win or receive an accolade well the game was fixed, the paint was the wrong sort or the judges are retarded. After all, anybody who cannot see that the Lesser is a swaggering champion, well, they must need their head seeing to, right?
The Lesser cruises through life doing what he or she wants, taking whatever they want, behaving as they please and nobody is allowed to stop or interfere with this god-given right. They are completely oblivious to their shortcomings – that bloated beer belly just shows a certain joie de vivre, going bald is a sign of virility, wearing that same jacket is a mark of classic attire. Their narcissism enables them to maintain their perceived superiority (where often none exists) through the application of this delusion. They just do not see their failings, their inadequacies and failures. The self-defence mechanism of the Twin Lines of Defence will either deny any such failing or deflect it away by ascribing it to being the fault of someone or something else. Thus, the Lesser escapes culpability, maintains superiority, gathers fuel and barrels through his or her life wreaking havoc all around and never suffering consequences.
Now, the fuel crisis will cause the bubble to burst, but this article is not about the effect of the fuel crisis but rather the reality gap. When fuelled, the Lesser suffers no reality gap whatsoever. He or she is oblivious and served totally by the delusions of their narcissistic perspective because that is what enables them to exist and function.
What then of the Greater? There is no doubting that the Greater can point to substance to support those bold pronouncements. Look at the money, the high status career, the successful public life, the adoring crowds, the power that is wielded, the records made, the books sold, the art created, the countries invaded, the factories opened, the gadgets invented and the elections won. From captain of industry, Olympic champion, pop star, politician, royal, leader, spin doctor, fixer, striving executive, acclaimed actor, feted artists through to hundreds of other positions and roles, the Greater populates the higher echelons of achievement. His or her narcissism has enabled such an ascent. With no sense of remorse, no conscience, the desire to be the best, a total belief in one’s ability, a sense of entitlement and operating with absolute expediency it is little wonder that the Greater narcissists clamber into these positions.
Is there delusion with the Greater? Indeed and it manifests in the form of embellishment and exaggeration because the innate paranoia of the narcissist means that it is never enough. He may be popular but he sees that he is immensely popular because the narcissism demands it. The narcissism enabled him to scale the heights of political power to begin with and then feeds the need to stay there and want more and more and more because non sufficit orbit terrarum.
Thus the Greater will have considerable power but sees its reach as being even further. He has wealth but embellishes its degree. The narcissistic perspective insists on there being a reality greater than there is. It is even better than the real thing. The combination of that which has been achieved and the belief in added achievement results in the application of power on a tremendous scale, which in turns feeds the narcissism. Round and round it goes. There may be a reality gap, but similar to the Lesser, it is not apparent to the Greater save when the effects of a fuel crisis manifest.
What of the Mid-Range Narcissist? He or she can also achieve. Not on the scale of the Greater but beyond the Lesser. The Mid Range Narcissist, particular Middle Mid Range and Upper Mid Range will secure success, good jobs, excellent incomes, academic achievements, sporting achievements and so forth. Many friends, well-liked by family and the community (that good old facade at work there) and convinced of their own innate goodness.
However one of the fundamental differences between the Lesser and Greater Narcissists compared to the Mid Ranger is the basis on which the application the reality gap operates. The Lesser’s superiority is based on aggressive provocation, albeit in a rudimentary and base manner. The Greater’s superiority is also based on aggressive provocation but in a far more streamlined, refined and magnificent manner. The Mid-Ranger’s perceived superiority has its foundation placed on passive provocation – the silent treatments, the jealous smearing, the office politicking, the pity plays and so forth.
The consequence of this is that this passive, defensive superiority, as opposed to the driving, thrusting aggressive superiority of the other two schools, results in the Mid Range Narcissist suffering periodic reality gaps. He of course will have them and in a massive way as a consequence of a fuel crisis but as stated above, that is not the subject of this article.
The Mid Range Narcissist is afflicted by episodic instances of a detachment between his narcissistic perspective and reality. This is part of his narcissism because this is what enables him or her to operate in a passive aggressive manner through seeking sympathy, exhibiting jealousy, inviting pity and demanding help and support. The Mid Range Narcissists will occasionally get a glimpse of what he is as opposed to what he wants to be. He suddenly sees he is the middle manager salary man and not on the fast track to the board. Whereas the Lesser sees he is holding a semi-skilled position on the factory floor he either sees that as what is best for him and he wouldn’t want to be a “white collar wanker” or he believes he has never made it to management because the existing managers are cocksuckers who are clueless and have no idea how to run a company. The Greater is either at the board already or on his way. The Mid Range Narcissist once believing he was destined for that executive position suddenly realises he is not. He once believed he brought influence to bear beyond his current status because he was talented and just ripe for promotion, he is suddenly aware that this is not the case. The football career was not as glittering as he wanted it to be. She is not as popular as she wants to be. She isn’t able to win the races as she desires to.
The shortfall between what the Mid Range wants to be and believes him or herself to be and what they actually are manifests and delivers a crushing blow to the Mid Range. It is caused by wounding, but to the Mid Range Narcissist it appears to come out of nowhere, a sudden fountain of mediocrity which surges up unexpected and unwelcome. This awful reminder acts as a threat to the narcissist´s control. The Mid Range Narcissist immediately seeks to escape this reality gap by complaining, raging, sulking or smearing, thus asserting control over others, to draw fuel and banish this sudden reminder that they are nowhere near as special as what they believe themselves to be. Their envy of those who are what the Mid Range wants to be is unfettered. Their dejection at their position requires immediate succour from those around them, to flow with pity and sympathy until the moment has passed and with it the danger to their existence. What it does not do however, is enable the Mid Range Narcissist to see that they are a narcissist, that can never happen.
Accordingly, should you ever witness a Mid Range Narcissist exhibiting some kind of panic attack, a wailing and bemoaning of his or her lot in life even though there is no fuel crisis evident, then you have witnessed the appearance of the Mid Range narcissist’s reality gap.
6 thoughts on “The Narcissist´s Reality Gap”
Thanks HG – very informative and offers great clarity :)))))
Okay, no doubt in my mind now he is mid-range. Although I suspected he could possibly be a greater. I still have moments when I feel PTSD could be a factor.
He did seem to have moments of clarity. He said more than once that had he been as successful as he would have liked – he would be a horrid, obnoxious person. Would success change a person that much?
He did seem to envy others and say things like – if he had not worked so hard – he would be where they were now etc..He would also say – maybe he was too narcissistic for a relationship.
When he did something to upset me and I told him how badly it made me feel – he’d say – I thought that might be the case. So why bloody well say/ do it? lol
All this made me think he had some awareness, sighs…but he fits with the mid range…
hahaha maybe borderline is really those between mid and greater – just teasing 😉
LOL. I worded it “unconscious narcissist”. It should have said ‘unconsciously aware narcissist’.
Re-reading my comment from earlier this year, I actually laughed at remembering the ‘incident’ where the MRN ‘lost his mind’. I think it is also the one time when I witnessed the person who has narcissism had lost ‘control’ of the ‘creature’ that occupies this person. The ‘incident’ itself caused him to appear O.O.T was because it was something that the MRN had absolutely no ‘control’ over the situation or the environment around him, it had him freaking out so much. Seeing this behaviour in reality was unbelievable and I am glad to have read this particular article outlining the narcissist’s reality gap.
There were other occasions when the ‘mask ‘slipped’ but this one one time, it was totally out of character of the person who behaved like this.
The above incident was ‘extreme’ as explained in ‘The Victim Cadre’ paragraph of HG’s article ‘The Ageing Narcissist Part 1’.
I know narcissism is not something to be laughed at, yet I had suffered a lot at that organisation and I would not have been involved had it not been for the ‘ensnarement’ of the MRN.
This does not make me feel bad for Mid-Range Narcissists any more. As the excellent video Stay Stuck on Social Media : Stay Stuck which HG posted this morning said, nothing is fair about any of this. So suck it up you MR buttercups.
This made me smile – thank you AV = So suck it up you MR buttercups
I’m glad it made you smile, I debated about writing it, it is not typical for me. Guess I was feeling like a bit of a rebel! Haha!