The issue about the state of awareness of our kind is a central piece of the puzzle. Victims struggle with the proposition that someone behaves in such a way as we do yet does not see what they are doing. How can he not realise what he is doing? How can he not see that he is wrong? How can he not accept that I am right, I have the evidence in my hands?
How can he not grasp that it is him and not me that is causing the problems? How can he not recognise that he is being selfish, hurtful or abusive? How can someone not know that they are behaving in this manner? I daresay you have said one or more of those questions at some point. Our awareness of what we are also dovetails with your awareness of what we are. As I have pointed out previously, next to nobody spots our kind when we first entangle with you.
Even if you have been ensnared by one of our kind already, you stand a good chance of being ensnared a second time. Often the realisation as to what has happened to you may not take place for many years after the event or once the discard has taken place. You may realise that you have been entangled by a narcissist during the devaluation or more likely when we return looking to effect a post-discard/escape hoover. Almost without exception, once you have realised who you have become entangled with you have the overwhelming desire to tell us that you know what we are.
It is a moment of triumph surely? You have been advised by an outside influence and/or you have read extensively and so many of our behaviours match with that of the narcissist. You have had your “aha” moment and whilst your head may still be swimming from the experience, your heart pulled all over the place and so many questions remained unanswered, you now know what we are.
You have the knowledge and you are going to unmask us by telling us straight that you know and you are going to tell us direct what we are. It is time for you to strike a long overdue blow back at us. Thus, armed with this knowledge, what can you expect to happen? As you would expect, the response of the narcissist depends on which type you have become involved with. Let us begin with the Lesser Narcissist.
The Lesser does not know what he is. He acts through instinct, reaction and knee-jerk responses. If you tell a Lesser that he is a narcissist, chances are he may not even understand what you mean. Your comment will be Challenge Fuel, you provide fuel but you are threatening the narcissist´s unconscious sense of control. The narcissist will respond in a manner to assert control over you, directly, and may say things such as
“Why are using fancy words all of a sudden?”
“What are you using dictionary words for? Are you trying to make out that you are better than me?”
His inability to understand what you mean will be perceived by him as a criticism of him. His sense of unconscious control is adversely affected.. Lacking much in the way of control he will lash out at you as he instinctively seeks fuel and to assert control over you.. He does not know that this is what is happening, nor does he understand his reaction, but this is what will happen. If you happen to have gained your awareness from a book and you use that to justify the label expect that book to be torn in half or thrown on a fire as knee-jerk response.
If the Lesser has some understanding of what a narcissist is, he will again only see it as criticism. Like many he will consider the label to only mean that he loves himself. You can expect responses such as: –
“Are you saying I love myself? Huh, guess I have to because you don’t anymore do you?”
“I love myself. You have some cheek. Have you seen the way you go on, preening yourself and swanning around?”
The Lesser will immediately deflect this perceived criticism by turning the position around and engaging in blame-shifting against you. He will seize on any evidence to hand which shows that you are the self-love and not him. If you have recently bought some new clothing, you can expect that to be brought up and you challenged for your spending habits. Said clothing is likely to be ripped or thrown away. If you have a range of potions and lotions which you use as part of your beauty regime, they will be seized on as evidence that you love yourself. They will be thrown around the room as the fury ignites, poured down the sink or smashed up.
The Lesser will not and cannot accept that he is a narcissist. He does not know what he is and therefore has no awareness. If you attempt to “educate him” by explaining the various traits and behaviours of narcissism and link it to the way he behaves, if you do this in a neutral fashion you will be heaping more criticism on him. Every point you made will be met with deflection and denial.
If you say,
“Look, I am just trying to get you to see that when you go out and disappear drinking before coming home and demanding sex, you are not showing any thought for me and ignoring my boundaries, that is the behaviour of a narcissist.”
You will be met with,
“Oh so now I am not allowed to go out drinking am I?”
“I don’t demand sex, you never give me any as it is and anyway you should, what’s got into you these days? Getting it somewhere else are we?”
“Boundaries? Narcissist? Who has been filling you head with this shit? I bet it was Lucy wasn’t it, she has never liked me.”
As you threaten his control with this accusation, you will witness the paranoia, blame-shifting, denial, projection and deflection as the Lesser avoids discussing the issue. It does not register with him at all. No matter how obvious it may seem to you, he cannot grasp that he can be at any fault. It may be plain as day to you, the narcissistic behaviour matches exactly with what he does, but for all your explaining he will not accept it. Firstly, he will not do so because he does not know what he is, therefore he lacks the capacity to accept it. Secondly, even if he could he will not because of the defence mechanism that we have, namely that we are not accountable.
The denial and deflection will continue until you show signs of exasperation, upset or anger. When this fuel appears, this will assist the Lesser in making him feel more powerful and therefore he will, instinctively, be looking to push you to providing him with fuel through his responses. If your questioning persists and he does not withdraw, he will still seek to assert control over you and he will be forced to lash out (of course you will be blamed for his) which will result in verbal violence, destruction of property and physical violence as well.
The Lesser’s paranoia will convince him that you are trying to catch him out in a way which he does not understand (nor can he) and all he knows is that he feels a sense of considerable discomfort. He does not know that this is caused by your threat to his control. He will instinctively need to protect himself and this means getting fuel. He needs to head off your “oh so clever” comments – hence the denial and deflection, but he cannot control the ignited fury which ignites in order to seek the necessary fuel.
If you persist with pointing out what he is and you do not give him the control he needs, he will evade you as he goes in search of fuel from someone else and in order to get away from the source of his annoyance and thus assert control over you through withdrawal.
A Lesser is unlikely to accuse you of being a narcissist because he has no real understanding of what you are referring to. What he will do however is throw back at you the constituent parts which you identify as narcissistic behaviours, at you. This is to defend himself from the criticism attached with this. This is to defend himself because he cannot be accountable for any kind of failure or weakness.
This is done as a reaction to try and cause you to react to these allegations so you give fuel. You end up justifying that you are not the narcissist, thus he is (through instinct rather than calculated design) able to halt the wounding attack from you and gain fuel into the bargain as you protect about how you do not love yourself, that you care about him and other people, that you recognise boundaries and so forth.
You will never ever convince a Lesser Narcissist that he is one. He just cannot comprehend it. That is why although his behaviours match those of our kind, he cannot see it. He no insight whatsoever. All you will do is cause him to defend himself, have his fury ignited and ultimately cause him to lash out at you. Do not waste your time trying to convince him. You will not.