Cheers! Alcohol and the Narcissist

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 the Prime Aims, 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 the appearance of those narcissistic traits reduce to reveal that he or she is an alcoholic but not a narcissist. The imposition of the need to have a drink/becoming drunk serves as an external stressor which reduces the emotional empathy of the non-narcissist alcoholic, so that their narcissistic traits (selfishness, anger, lack of honesty etc) come to the fore. This results in unempathic behaviours but they are linked to the imposition of the external stressor and the reduction of emotional empathy, not the absence of emotional empathy and the need for the Prime Aims which the narcissist needs. 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 kinds 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 fear of rejection since nobody can resist us when we are buoyed by this alcoholic uplift. The whisperings of the Creature are momentarily silenced by pouring 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. Alcohol acts as a fuel substitute and this is why certain narcissists with limited fuel matrices and/or malfunctioning fuel matrices will turn to drink as it acts as a fuel substitute, but it is a short term solution and one which cannot be relied on for a significant period of time. There must be the return to a properly functioning fuel matrix and if not, then the fuel crisis beckons.
  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 as there is the temporary removal of 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 or the 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 may also be an alcoholic.

21 thoughts on “Cheers! Alcohol and the Narcissist

  1. Joa says:

    I remembered that only one time “my” narcissist got drunk and I couldn’t wake him up. It was after our first sex. I left and left a letter (the content was a huge fuel – in retrospect).

    Now I think he was faking. When he read it, he was calling like a man possessed. Only when he was sure.

    1. Asp Emp says:

      Joa, I have to admit your comment gave me a giggle or two. Him falling asleep after the first time with you – well, says it all 😉

      It probably ‘bothered’ him that you left and that could have been what I would view as one of HG’s ‘5 Fears of the Narcissist’ and also possibly ‘5 Hatreds of the Narcissist’, hence his ‘reaction’ when he called you some time after leaving him a letter. It would have been a major ‘threat’ to his control?

  2. Asp Emp says:

    HG, I have just finished reading your latest video posted on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93ycX6cCcws

    I enjoyed it, as usual. I found it very informative and was interested in your reasons describing why the variations occur especially in relation to narcissists and their need for fuel, the ‘consumption’ of said fuel, whether it is readily available and what they may turn to instead.

    The words “fuel substitute” was the trigger that ‘woke up’ some memories.

    Now, I just realised (just!! OMG, just!). Muvver turned to drink not that long after my father died. It was not immediately after he died. It occurred to me that muvver would have continued to obtain ‘fuel’ from people that knew both muvver and my father – people who would have offered condolences, support etc and also the fact she was a “carer” of two youngish children.

    Shit!! OMG. I’ve just remembered……she met some guy on hols around 6 months after my father died. It was a family holiday. But, FFS. Any woman who had emotional empathy would still be grieving and would not have done what muvver did. Fkg b*tch. How dare she treat my father like that.

    Ok, this would be the reason why she did not coddle the bottle straight away…..ok, I am remembering now….they continued to “date” after the holiday ended. Possibly for around a year. Then there is another family holiday. She didn’t “meet” a guy this time round. Then after this summer I was at boarding school.

    Her loss of fuel was initially my father and the money he brought in before he became ill. Then further loss of fuel was me, leaving home. Thank fu*cken f*cketty f*ck for that because I think that was my ‘saving grace’ (for not ‘fledging’ into a total and utter narcissist – I was a late ‘developer’ in understanding life, communication, social interaction in any case). Thanks dad, for specifically expressing your wishes for me to go to that school.

    Medical professionals and (cough, cough) “therapists” need to know how life-long narcissistic abuse from a Lesser (or Lower MR) who seems to be a Somatic cos f*cken b*tch too thick to be Cerebral, certainly was not a Victim and appeared to have a small amount of Elite (expensive taste but couldn’t afford it really!!) can do so much damage. To the family relationships. To me.

    It was through your video that you posted today that brought all these memories to the fore, because you talked about the reduction of fuel matrices and turning to other forms of ‘comfort’ – muvver’s was alcohol. I have just re-read ‘A Letter to the Narcissist’. That title is too kind, far too kind. It should have read ‘Thank Fk Muvver is Dead. Finally’. My ET did raise a bit as I was typing this comment yet I am ok. Anger came at her. Sadness came for my father. I am still ok.

    Having said all of above. I would not be who and what I am today. One very long-time friend was right when she said I am a strong individual who has strengths that few would have managed despite the life experiences ‘dished out’.

    Thank you, HG. For the space for me to do this comment (I needed the release). Thank you for enabling me to become who I am now.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

      1. Asp Emp says:

        Thank you, HG 🙂

    2. Duchessbea says:

      Asp Emp,
      Sorry to read that you that you went through a lot. Glad to see that HG’s advice has helped you to be a stronger person. Sincerely wishing you continued strength and good health.
      Best,
      DB.

      1. Asp Emp says:

        Thank you, DB, for your words. Much appreciated.

  3. SParham says:

    These words have been my entire existence. First my father and then my longtime lessor spouse. My father would be so blind drunk that my 8ish year old self would steer the car home. I told him when to accelerate and when to brake. I remember having to wake him up to operate the car. I’m on the taller side but was still too little. Those were my driving lessons years before I was to be licensed to drive. I got to visit bars and play video games for hours at a time. Lots of strange men around and little female presence. I give credit to the few women that were there. They were badass and they kept an eye out. I did kick Pac-man and Bubble Bubble’ asses haha. I remember sitting at a bar like a big girl. WTactualF?!?! This was in the 70’s; obviously it would now be frowned upon in America.
    My lessor spouse holds drinking court every nigh right after work in a very nice garage. It’s a true narcissist collective of delusional minds. I hear bullet points of talks and it’s crazy af. On weekends the drinking can start from 11 am on. Especially if it’s a day of sports. A good game can turn to shit when a drunk lessor gets his imaginary feeling hurt.
    There is no fear of driving by the lessor when drinking. He’s got a self proclaimed tolerance so he can drink way more than my two White Russians with supper. I’m simply not a regular drinker. I’ve tried to be one at 21 and fucked myself up royally. I personally won’t take a tiny sip before I drive. I enjoy car control and keen observation. Loud music is my weakness. I have gave chase and road raged about 6 drivers in my long driving history. Just today had to solemnly swear to my daughter and son to never, ever road rage again. They used my pets as leverage and it worked! “Nooo they can’t be without me”, omg, I’m really at the point of matured when my critter friends are my main concern. My daughter has seen “how scary I am” and “that’s quite enough punishment” for the person I was after. The majority of my driving perceptions has me with a cruising attitude that lets drivers get away with all kinds of disrespect. I let folks out of somewheres as much as I can. I leave space behind a driver so I don’t make them uncomfortable. I accept that it is empathy that drives that silly awareness. Unless I need the restroom I’m in no hurry (always leave early 👍🏼)

    1. WiserNow says:

      SParham,

      “A good game can turn to shit when a drunk lessor gets his imaginary feeling hurt.”

      Thats funny! Thank you for the laugh.
      More and more, I’m seeing the funny side of narcs. Their behaviours can be ridiculous to the point of laughing out loud at them … from a safe distance that is.

    2. Asp Emp says:

      SParham, thank you for sharing your experiences. I hate being ‘ram-arsed’ by drivers behind me! It was a good read 🙂

  4. Joa says:

    In fact, “my” narcissist drinks a lot. Probably every day. But I have NEVER seen him or heard him drunk. He is always focused.

    Years ago, when we were partying, I had fun and laughed with his friends. He was next to him, but as if to the side. He watched.

    “I have eyes around my head,” he said.

    He also takes drugs. He doses them with pharmacy accuracy. He is proud that he has been able to control his addiction so perfectly for 25 years …
    Come back. Wrong. For him, this is not an addiction, but a different perspective. He gets crazy when I call him a junkie.

    I never could tell if he was taking or if he was clean. But I don’t know anything about it, maybe that’s why.

    On the other hand, he is very keen on using alcohol to explain his narcissistic behavior. Alcohol as a mask.

    1. Asp Emp says:

      Joa, it was interesting to read your words. Yes, self-medicating can be a form of ‘coping’ mechanisms – see https://narcsite.com/2021/07/08/to-control-is-to-cope-narcissism-and-its-creation-11/ as a refresher. Maybe narcissists also only drink / use drugs to a ‘limit’ that they can ‘control’ so they do not get out of control of themselves – especially when others are around (to maintain the facade, unless they go overboard and then the facade can drop = loss of control)?

      It is quite usual for an addict to get defensive, I think it would also occur with those that are not narcissists.

      1. Joa says:

        Asp Emp, thank you for the link. Before, I was just slipping with my eyes on this text, probably falling asleep, because it was late 🙂

        Now I have read it properly.

        1. Asp Emp says:

          Joa, no worries, I hope you enjoy reading the article. I love it because it explains so much 🙂

          1. Joa says:

            Yes, it was great!

      2. Contagious says:

        My narc quit but became a pot head instead. He was never a standard alcoholic. Wouldn’t drink for months then binge into oblivion usually a trigger from BPD mum. He always felt ashamed. Shame or self hate is normal for a narc. He started up on pot now is a calm narc, but still an issue. He gets rages but much much less and is not threatening. I am a Californian. We feel pot is healthy. It is not of course a solution. But better than booze.

        1. Asp Emp says:

          C, thank you for your comment. I think self-medicating is more common for similar reasons than people realize but it is not ‘talked’ about. Addiction needs to be an admission, again, not many people would ‘admit’ as such. Muvver admitted being an alcoholic 12 years before she died – but only after I ‘raised’ my concern about her drinking. I never mentioned it again until she was in hospital as a result, massive denial at that point. At no point, did she make the effort to stop drinking. Whatever. Pot is ‘healthier’ but can lead to further addiction if not “monitored” (danger is – can lead to stronger and more addictive & dangerous drugs). Maybe it can increase paranoia within a narcissist though. In my personal opinion, pot should be legalised. It would cut down on costs of prescription medication and certainly on costs of people ending up in hospital / medical care due to drink issues. There are lots of pros and cons……

  5. Elainna says:

    HG, the creature… would a believer call this the soul? What does the creature say or do? What will happen to the narcissist if the creature escapes or is freed?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No.
      Listen to The Creature : An Introduction.

  6. traumatized tiger says:

    I’m addicted to alcohol. Am I a narc? Or am I doing this is response to the extreme trauma I’ve been through?

    1. Contagious says:

      I am no doctor or expert but alcoholism has narc traits. It doesn’t mean you are a Narc. But many narcs use alcohol to silence inner pain. I am an empath per HG and other counselors. I worry still if I could have narcissistic traits as we all do but would never ever want to harm another. Please understand that many of us, even empathy worry about being without empathy or causing others pain. The fact you are concerned to me suggests you aren’t. Be well on your journey.

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