“You’ve done what? I cannot believe it. What on earth possessed you to do that? Are you mad? Are you completely unhinged woman? Sweet Jesus I don’t believe what you just said to me. How many times have we been over this before? Countless times. Hell, I said it only yesterday didn’t I? I cannot believe you would be so stupid as to do something like this, it just beggars belief. You know I am starting to think that you do this on purpose don’t you? It’s no good shaking your head and staring at me like that, do you think I will feel sorry for you if you give me those eyes? Do you? I said DO YOU? Yes, you may as well shake your head again, it’s about as much as someone of your idiocy can do. I swear I am living with an epsilon semi-moron, have you always been this fucking dumb? I guess you have. It was such a simple thing to do, straight forward, a child could do it, but no not you, you had to go and be clever and go and royally fuck it up. You absolute idiot. You have ruined everything now; you do realise that don’t you? I mean it is completely ruined and how about that for a fantastic start eh? Yes, I am being sarcastic, I suppose I have to explain that to someone as brain dead as you. Jesus, why on earth have I been saddled with you. Don’t you fucking dare speak when I am speaking, you’ve done enough damage as it is, you will shut the fuck up and listen to me when I am setting you straight. I have pointed out to you so many bloody times what you should do and you assured me, you stood there and assured me that you knew what you were doing. That was a lie. I SAID SHUT UP AND DON’T INTERRUPT ME! I swear you want me to hit you don’t you? That’s what you are trying to do. Oh I know you alright, you think you are so damn clever but I have you worked out. I know what you are up to. That’s right, wind me up, get it wrong, disappoint and frustrate me and then you want me to explode and land myself in some hot water. Well it isn’t going to work with me. I am not stupid. I am not you, you know. I know what I am doing. I am the one that keep this place together, you would do well to remember that when you are busy ruining everything with your mind-blowing and monumental incompetence. It is breath taking. It truly is. I told you what to do. I told you once, I told you a hundred times and you said to me and I can specifically remember what you said, you said ‘don’t worry, I can be trusted to get it right’. Yes, that is what you said. It is no point looking like that, don’t pull that face with me, don’t you fucking dare, I am sick of you not showing me enough respect around here. I work my backside off to keep things afloat, not that you give me any credit for it though. Oh no, you are too busy taking the piss, fucking things up and spoiling it for everyone and especially for me. I don’t know what I am going to do now. I mean, you’ve just, I, I am almost lost for words. You see, not only have you cocked it right up but you have lied to me as well. I don’t know which is worse, but that’s you all over isn’t it. The liar, the deceiver, you flatter to deceive. Don’t think I don’t know what you get up to. I have my eye on you, yes, you would do well to look worried, I know all about you. What are you looking over there for? Look at me when I am talking to you. Look. At. Me. Oh here we go, the waterworks. If you have messed up and you are being corrected start crying and it will be all okay again. Well it won’t will it? It won’t be okay after what you have done. It won’t be fine. It won’t be good or great or fine and dandy. You have messed it up. I knew this would happen. I knew I shouldn’t have left it to you, but do you know what, I thought to myself, no, give her a chance, let her prove she can do it, let he demonstrate that she can be trusted to get it right, I mean, after all, that is what a relationship is all about isn’t it? Trust. Without trust there is nothing. Do you see what you have done? Do you? Do you really understand the impact of what you have done? Somehow I doubt it, that is why I am having to do this. Do you think I like shouting at you? What’s that? Were you going to nod then? Why you ungrateful and nasty bitch, you have some cheek to accuse me of enjoying this when I am the one who has to put up with the consequence of your outrageous incompetence. I am the one who is put out. I am the one who has to suffer. You will just walk away muttering about having understood, how you have learned your lesson and you won’t do it again but I may as well be speaking in Mandarin for all of the notice that you take. I told you to stop crying. If you don’t stop crying, I am going to seriously lose it with you. Christ, what am I going to do? You’ve messed it up and ruined it for me. You don’t care, you don’t. If you did care you wouldn’t keep doing this would you. You wouldn’t keep making these mistakes and winding me up. You are trying to send me to an early grave aren’t you so you can have all this to yourself aren’t you? Got some fancy man on the side have we? I bet that’s what this is all about isn’t it? Ruin me through your incompetence and then waltz off into the sunset with some Johnny Come Lately after I croak it, sent to an early grave by your scheming. You’d love that wouldn’t you, to see me off. You nasty cow, no wonder nobody likes you, no wonder nobody asks you out. Oh yes, we never get invited anywhere these days because of you and your behaviour and is it any wonder. You are a walking disaster area. I mean people put up with you, they did it for my sake, I have good friends like that, or should I say I had good friends like that but thanks to you they are disappearing like rats on a sinking ship. You won’t be happy will you until you have completely ruined everything for me will you. That’s what you want. You want me on my knees, gasping for breath, miserable and wretched as you cavort and carry on with some other mug that you have seduced and promised the world to. I can’t believe I fell for it, but then I guess you keep the real you hidden don’t you, tucked away until you have your feet under the table, your name on the deeds and the joint Amex account. Well you are not that clever because you won’t beat me. I am cleverer than you. I am going to make you pay for what you have done. I am the one who is in charge here, this is my house and you do what I say. I am going to unleash hell against you after this catastrophe, it is an outrage, a complete outrage. I pity our neighbours having to put up with this, but you make me do it, it is all about you. I am not fooled by the frightened looks and the tears, other people might be taken in by it, but I am not. I know it is all for show. You disgust me, you scheming, manipulative, hateful cow. I curse the day I met you. Now look, you’ve made me late, thanks a bunch, that’s all I need. I’m going and don’t think I’ve finished; this is far from over.”
“I thought you would prefer raspberry jam to marmalade,” you say softly to nobody in particular.
This is a Greater Narcissist. There is much to write about the Greater, but for now, a snapshot shall have to suffice. We have met Lee the Lesser and Malcolm the Mid-Ranger. There are lots of Lees and Malcolms. Lots of them. In fact most people who have ascertained that they have been ensnared by a narcissist will have entangled with either a Lee or a Malcolm. This is Greg, Greg the Greater, a rare beast indeed.
“Hello, what was that?” asks Greg.
“Hello Greg, I was just explaining that you are a rare beast indeed.”
“Oh completely, how good of you to notice and may I say just how delightful you look today, you have done something different with your hair haven’t you, it really suits.”
I cannot help but smile and look pleased at this remark. I know I shouldn’t but this is the problem with the Greater, they are ever so charming and before you know what has happened one has given them some fuel, told them something they wanted to hear or agreed to do what they want.
The Greater exhibits considerable charm. Charm is one of his prevalent weapons. With the Lesser it is raw aggression, with the Mid-Ranger it is the ability to draw sympathy, but with the Greater he uses charm to achieve what he wants.
His charm manifests in many ways. Courteous, polite, amusing, well-read, urbane, complimentary and attentive. But this charm is a combination of considerable intelligence, confidence and planning. Out of all of the three schools of narcissist, the Greater knows the benefit of planning and scheming. He is always gathering information, storing it away, logging it for later or immediate use.
“You are the master at gathering information aren’t you Greg?”
“How very kind of you to say so and I cannot deny that,” he responds with that slow and engaging smile of his. See how he holds my gaze, boring deep inside of me? Of course he is just reflecting back at me what I want to see, after all, he is an expert in the art of seduction. He is an expert in most things, he has to be, the world cannot be afforded any glimpse of weakness, any hint of the loss of his control. He must project an image of success at all times.
Greg knows that the foundation of his success lies in planning and preparation.
“Greg, what is your view about preparation?” I ask.
“Every battle is won before it is ever fought,” he responds in a matter of fact. He is deadly serious. To him, every engagement in his life is a form of battle. Every person he interacts with, every situation he faces, every scenario he is engaged in – all of them are battles and he has to win every one. Even if he appears to lose, he will have allowed that to happen for the sake of a future win.
Greg knows that to forge his rightful and entitle path through life he must secure these victories and win. He does so by ensuring he knows his enemy. Everybody qualifies to be an enemy because the Greater knows that the world is against him and if he gives any quarter, this cruel and heartless world will seek to topple him. He may be a Greater but the wariness and paranoia applicable to all narcissists is just as applicable to him. Greg understands that he has to know who he is dealing with and this means gathering intelligence.
By the way, than unflinching stare has remained focussed on me. The attention from this handsome individual is both unnerving yet oddly engaging. He uses his eyes a lot. Do not think however that when he is staring at you, mirroring your own desires, so you become trapped like a deer in the headlights that this is all he is doing. No, not at all. He is evaluating, considering his next move, what to say next, gauging how I will respond. The Greater’s mind is always whirring, thinking about the next move, ascertaining how to seize the most appropriate advantage. Normal people would find it exhausting but not the Greater for he, among all of the narcissistic brethren has the greater energy levels. This of course means he has the highest demands for fuel but he is also the most effective at gathering this fuel. This effectiveness manifests in two ways. The first is the methodology applied and the second is the range of appliances at his disposal.
The Greater has the widest range of manipulations at his disposal. He is well-practised and able to match, with considerable accuracy, the best forms of manipulation to his victims. Of course he relies on understanding his appliances, knowing what they like and dislike in detail and achieves this through extensive information gathering through his own questions, the use of Lieutenants, conducting background searches and so on. He has had many victims and therefore knows how certain types of person are likely to respond to certain manipulations. Admittedly, he will not get is right every single time, but his error rate is very low indeed. His effectiveness is heightened through how driven he is. He must succeed, be the best, be the sparkling diamond at the centre of the crown. Leader in his field. Champion. Conqueror.
Like a master artisan, he selects only the finest materials (victims) on which to work and then he applies his deft touch through carried manipulations from his Devil’s Toolkit. All of this is done enveloped in charm. He has people do things because they want his praise, his approval, his largesse, his friendship and is love.
The Greater also has extensive fuel networks on which he relies. Unlike the Lesser who has a narrow fuel base or the Mid-Ranger who has a wider one with numerous appliances, the Greater has an extensive and impressive network. Let’s find our more from Greg.
“Hey Greg, who is warming your bed at present?”
“Why are you interested?” he asks as he places a hand gentle on my arm.
“Oh this is professional purposes only, “ I respond trying to rebuff him, but the hand remains unmoved. He is confident and assured.
“I am ever the professional.”
“I am sure that is the case, but tell me, who is on the arm of Greg?”
“I have a girlfriend at present.”
“Just the one?”
“Yes, but there are others, certain ladies who know me well who I can call on if I need to.”
Those are his intimate partner secondary sources, his friends with benefits and booty calls.
“Four,” he replies without hesitation.
“What about your friends?”
“I have six guys I regularly knock around with, plus two good female friends.”
Those are his inner circle.
“Then maybe another twenty or so people I know well through golf, football, the pub, you know, I see them every so often.”
Those are his outer circle. More secondary appliances.
“What about work and family Greg?”
“Well I head up a department at work so I have a team of eight working for me and I am on good terms with the other directors.”
More secondary sources there through colleagues.
I let him continue as he explains how he is well regarded by his family (more secondary sources), his neighbours, people in his community, the people he knows through a charity he is a trustee of (lots of tertiary sources). His network of fuel appliances is vast and he can rely on it regularly to ensure that his considerable fuel needs are catered for. It is rare to find a Greater running short of fuel.
The Greater knows what he is. His higher cognitive function allows him an awareness. He may know that he is a narcissist, since it has been pointed out to him and his increased cognitive function means he can understand and relate to it. Of course, he knows not to admit this to anybody, unless he sees a distinct advantage in doing so. In some instances he may not know that he is a narcissist but he certainly knows that he is different from other people. He knows he is special, talented and destined for continued greatness. He knows that it is necessary for him to control his environment and people, for if he does not do so, he feels weakness gnawing at him, unease and the threat of the loss of his superiority. He knows that he must maintain this edifice that he has built and this is done through having people react to him. He may not know it as fuel, but he knows how important it is for people to respond to him. He knows he must receive admiration and anger, love and loathing, adoration and abhorrence. These power him and allow him to achieve the things he knows he is entitled to. He recognises he does wrong, but does not care. He knows he has no conscience, no sense of guilt, he knows he has a reduced emotional repertoire because from years of observing and listening – as opposed to just doing as the Lesser and Mid-Ranger does – he has learned what he does not feel, not that it concerns him in any way.
Greg knows that charm, manipulation and persuasion are they key attributes to staying number one and having people do as he wants. He wants to own people, make them his, subsume them into him and he understands why this must happen, because it makes him all the more powerful, all the more effective and all the more able to keep his creature locked away and never heard. Greg knows that his Machiavellian nature, his duplicitous nature and slavish devotion to the doctrine of the ends always justifying the means, results in him staying on top of the pile. He is proud of his orchestrations, his status as Supreme Puppet Master. He knows that people are there to do his bidding, to be moved where he wants them to go, to carry out his wishes and best of all, they often do not even realise that they are doing it.
Of course, Greg is no fool and understands that when the velvety caress of his subtle manipulations is not working, then the iron fist must be deployed. He has no reluctance to dole out his innate wickedness. He will ensure that this is either done through a proxy or if it must be by his hand, then he will reduce the risk of retribution and consequence to him. He evaluates. When that apparently loving gaze becomes the inky dark stare of malice, the whirring mind is plotting to ensure a most malevolent outcome for those that cross him. Whilst the Lesser and the Mid-Ranger will act with malice, theirs is nothing to the concentrated vitriol that the Greater possesses and will unleash when he deems it appropriate. This is another factor which sets him apart from his brethren ; the sheer evil that he is capable of and that will be readily applied in order to preserve his position.
The Greater will pursue for longer, hoover harder, use more energy, charm more fiercely, devalue with scathing intensity and channelling the vast amount of fuel he can draw on from the extensive fuel network, this powers this effective machine as he achieves his machinations. The Greater calculates the impact of his words, either to seduce or to devalue. He assesses the likely responses of those he wishes to control and the likely benefit for him. For him there can be no end, the games must always continue and he must always be wining and be seen to be winning.
The Greater may often be hard to detect because he is most capable of exhibiting cognitive empathy. He has studied and knows how to mimic with considerable conviction, but this is not a perfected art. He will be prone to those pauses when he is ascertaining his best response and that sudden frozen look will appear, albeit momentarily. The Greater is also hard to detect because he will engage in what appear to be good works. The Lesser is self-centred in a brutal and demanding manner, the Mid-Ranger is self-centred in a sulky, feel-sorry-for-me style but the Greater, well the Greater will show generosity, be charitable and appear to exhibit kindness. He will hold positions of authority, trust and responsibility. They are put part of the carefully constructed façade on which he relies more than any other type of narcissist. He builds this façade, cements it and uses it repeatedly. His apparent good works are but a veneer of respectability which are either:-
1. Committed because there will be a distinct gain arising from this act in due course – for example, lending someone money to then have them repay him through actions and loyalty ; or
2. Part of furnishing the façade and thus a worthy sacrifice for the maintenance of this artifice.
Be in no doubt that this apparent sugary surface coats a venal and vicious individual who will never stop in the pursuit of victory. Cruel, perverse and utterly self-serving, behind that engaging smile and warm handshake is a cold and calculating mind.
Of course Greg would never admit to any weakness, unless as usual, he saw an advantage in doing so, but he has them. Like all of his kind he hates criticism. It burns and wounds and he uses his considerable control to keep his fury under control. Furthermore, the innate confidence and superiority that Greg has means that an objective observer will regard him as not necessarily appreciating certain risks to the extent that he might. Naturally, Greg would reject such a suggestion as failing to understand, however, there is an over-confidence which exists, which might, not always, but might lead to occasional difficulties for Greg the Greater, although of course he is equipped to address those difficulties using his customary charm, malice and manipulation.
Meet Malcolm the Mid-Range Narcissist. Say hello Malcolm.
Ever obliging is Malcolm, part of his charm. He doesn’t have the ubermensch mentality of the Greater and nor is he governed by the almost rash instinctive behaviour of the Lesser. Malcolm is not so much defined by what he is, but by what he is not.
“Isn’t that right Malcolm?”
“Isn’t what right my dear?”
“You are a Mid-Range Narcissist.”
Malcolm laughs. It is an affable laugh. He knows that a veneer of self-effacement is effective to get what he wants. He is not prone to the wild outlandish boasts of the Lesser (based on what he thinks he is and therefore says as such as a matter of immediate response) or the Greater (who actually has the achievements and accomplishments to back up those boasts, but boasts about them the Greater always must).
“Hey, what can I say, I like to look good and you know, you have to love yourself before you can love anybody else, that’s what I always say.”
You see, Malcolm thinks that is what a narcissist is. Somebody who loves themselves. He lacks the higher function to know what it really means and lacks the cunning to know it himself but to deny it to those who would seek to topple him. He has some understanding so the comment does not present as a criticism to him, but since he has a moderate degree of function, he knows enough to use it to maintain his façade of being a decent, likeable and reliable fellow.
“You are a likeable chap, I must say.”
“Why thank you and may I say how lovely you look today.”
“That’s most kind, mind you, you are not the first person to compliment me on my appearance.”
Let’s see how he responds to that little piece of provocation. Did you see it? There was a flash of the inner fury but he kept it under control. Watch again. You see the sudden frown and the narrowing of the eyes as his jealousy started to climb inside of him as he felt the injury from this criticism. My comment suggested that someone else might be interested in me, that I am not just Malcolm’s. Of course, it was just a well-meant and polite compliment, but like all of their kind, Malcolm views the world from a position of suspicion and wariness. Wariness is an apt description for Malcolm. He doesn’t erupt in the way Lee the Lesser might have done if I had made the same remark. Lee would have responded with insulting questions to my comment. The Greater would show no sign of concern but file the remark away to be used at the appropriate time, when the moment is exactly right. Anyway, let’s get back to Malcolm. There is that flash of fury but he has enough control to keep it held back. For now. He won’t let it go though, he cannot.
“Oh really, who said that?”
He asks in a tone of relative disinterest but he is dying to know. He wants to know because he feels uncomfortable at this revelation. He does not know precisely why, although he knows he has to be wary about someone interfering with his partner because after all, he wants to maintain his façade of family man with the dedicated wife and so forth. Steady Malcolm who knows he is not amongst the elite of the world, but he is also far from the underclass too. He has abilities and people should recognise that. Okay, he is not the best, but he is still good, very good actually.
“Oh you know the attendant at the petrol station, he chats to me every time I am in there, he probably fancies me.”
There it is again. The brief look of consternation. The fury is rising but he is managing to keep a grip on it, but he won’t be able to do so for long. He does not want to erupt, he knows that will not do, that is not how he behaves, but he knows he needs to do something to counter this threat. He does not like the fact that I am accepting compliments from this interloper, I should only receive them from him.
“Yes well, I was told by Lucy at the florists that I look ten years younger than my real age.”
There we are. He is switching to an alternative fuel source. His level of function allows him to rely on a past event and still draw fuel from it. The Lesser would not be able to do that. Firstly, his fury would have erupted already and secondly even if it had not, he would struggle to bring up the previous compliment. His mind does not work that way. Malcolm can though and this is his way of switching the spotlight back on to him. He is also looking to get a reaction from me as well to provide him with some fuel. Let’s pretend I haven’t heard him.
“Yes the guy at the garage, Luke he is called, strapping lad, so pleasant. He always tells me that my hair is looking nice or that I smell gorgeous. He fair makes my day.”
“Yes well he can’t be too bright though can he if he is working in a garage.”
Malcolm doesn’t say it as a question but it’s a statement. He is losing control; the fury is coming. His comment had a dual purpose. You see, his mid-range function provides him with some weaponry in that regard. He wanted to cut down my comment in order to provoke a reaction from me but also by stating that Luke is not very bright he is undermining the compliments that Luke has sent my way. He’s a little bit clever with it you see.
“Oh, he just works there in between his studies. He is going to be an architect, he wants to show me some of his designs, I think I might do that.”
Let’s push it a little more. You can see Malcolm’s face is now set in a frown. He doesn’t like it at all that I am not giving him any fuel and moreover by fawning over Luke I am implicitly criticising Malcolm, at least in his mind that is the case.
Malcolm won’t respond in an outwardly aggressive manner. It’s there if he is really pushed, if he feels cornered in some way or has a frantic need for fuel then the fury will erupt as heated fury and he will lash out. He can only keep the fury under control for a short while. The Lesser can barely do so. The Greater can and will or will not, dependent on how the Greater has calculated whether the unleashing of the fury will provide him with the greatest return at that instant. Malcolm is caught between the two. He can exert some control but not enough to really deliver and savage aggression is rarer with him. Watch now and see how his ignited fury manifests.
Do you see? He has snatched up his ‘phone and rings one of his secondary sources. He knows he does not like this feeling of being ignored and he knows that to deal with it he needs attention from somewhere else. He does not know it as fuel of course, only that when this happens, if I, his primary source, is letting him down, he has to either up his game with me and/or draw attention from somewhere else.
“Hi Janice, just wondering if you were still on for lunch today?”
There’s no arranged lunch but he knows that Janice likes him, he makes sure that this remains the case and she is usually available. Notice the sideways glance to ensure I have heard him. There are not the bold assertive moves of the Lesser (through instinct) or the Greater (through calculation) but the wary steps that are the hallmark of the Mid-Range Narcissist.
Janice is cooing down the ‘phone and he feels better already but he also wants a reaction from me.
“Who are you calling?” I ask in a loud voice.
“Yes I thought so too Janice, thanks for saying that, I appreciate that.” He is ignoring me. I repeat the question but there is no response as he continues to talk into the ‘phone and lap up the fuel from Janice whilst enjoying my irked expression. This is a silent treatment from him as he refuses to acknowledge me. The Mid-Range uses the silent treatment more than any other cadre of narcissist because the Mid-Range is a creature who is passive-aggressive. The Lesser uses them, of course he does, but they tend to be short-lived. The Lesser will storm out of the house and disappear to a friend or a bar for an afternoon. The Greater will organise the silent treatment and apply it for maximum effect, it will not be a knee jerk reaction. The Greater will apply them for a long time as well but does not use them as often as the Mid-Range. The silent treatment is the main method of manipulation for the Mid-Range Narcissist. This is because it allows him to exert control, it can be used whilst preserving the façade (there won’t be a sudden eruption and storming away with slammed doors and cries of “You’ll never see me again”) but rather he will quietly depart for a period of time, or more likely use the present silent treatment. The Mid-Range is a sulker. He has enough control to sit and say nothing to you and drink up the fuel as you keep badgering him. He can sit and sulk for hours, days if need be. He can breeze around the house as if you aren’t there. Yes, Malcolm the Mid-Range Narcissist revels in the effect of his silent treatments and his dual approach here is providing dividends for him.
I walk over to him and stand in front of him, hands on hips. He sees the gesture and this fuels him further but to the him it is as if I am not there. He just looks through me. Again this is some of the discipline that I afforded by him by virtue of being Mid-Range.
He ends the call and walks off ignoring my comments as they drift fuel-filled through the air to him. He won’t shout back (he rarely does) he knows it is more effective to sulk and also then the neighbours won’t hear so he remains seen as pleasant, good neighbour Malcolm. He will probably head next door and hide there with Margaret for a couple of hours. He is good at cultivating a wide range of fuel sources. The Lesser keeps his circles tighter, lacking the discipline to operate too many fuel lines. The Greater of course has hundreds of fuel lines because he can draw them in through his outlandish greatness, his achievements and golden accomplishments. The Mid-Range doesn’t shine as bright but he has charm and ability which he uses to develop many different fuel sources and he can always rely on them. He does not have a high turn-over, keeping many of them in the golden period for years. The Mid-Range is most likely to have long-standing friends going years back. The Lesser and Greater may have as well, but not in the same number of the length of time as the Mid-Range.
So, Malcolm will be away giving me the silent treatment as he draws fuel from Margaret and then Janice. He knows how his silent treatment affects me and that is why he also uses it so often. Oh well, that’s my day spoiled already and he knows it. I suppose I had better go and fill up the car with fuel. I know a good garage and a sympathetic ear to hear my woes.
Here comes a Lesser Narcissist. We shall call him Lee.
“What did you call me?”
Hello Lee. A Lesser Narcissist.
“No I’m not, it’s you that’s the narcissist, I’m sick of you saying that there is something wrong with me, when it’s you that has the problem. You do it on purpose, always trying to wind me up, I’ve fucking had enough of it.”
Sigh. That’s another plate broken and a panel punched in the door. Again. He’s gone, but he will be back. You see, that’s a typical reaction of the Lesser. He doesn’t know what he is. Often he will not even know what a narcissist is, but if you try to tell him, even if you do it in a calm and pleasant way, he doesn’t hear what you are saying, he just hears the criticism. When that happens his fury ignites and usually he will lash out. That’s why he insulted me, tried to shift the blame on to me, smashed the plate and punched the door. He didn’t think about doing any of that. It just happened. He reacts and responds by instinct. He is a creature of instinct. I didn’t hear the front door slam so he must be in the house still. Let’s go and find him.
Here he is. Locked in his den. His bolthole and sanctuary from the criticism. He is tapping away on his ‘phone. Let’s see. Yes, he is texting a couple of ladies who he has been flirting with online. You see, he didn’t hang around to see my reaction to the ignition of his fury, but he knows it will have troubled me. Sometimes knowing that reaction will be enough but not today. His fuel supplies must be low. That’s why he is tapping into some secondary sources by texting or probably sexting these women. Let’s see if we can coax him out of his bolthole. I will knock at the door.
You see he has turned his head and smiled, but hasn’t answered my knocking. He is pleased that I have come to try to find out if he is alright. That makes him feel powerful. My reaction, of tip-toing to him and gently rapping on the door reinforces that he is the one who is superior in our relationship. Again, he doesn’t think this through, so do be grateful for your humble narrator explaining this for you, but that is what is happening inside of Lee. I knock again and call out his name. He remains silent. Lee knows that silent treatment makes him feel powerful. Add that sensation to the flirtatious messages I can see that he is receiving and he is receiving fuel from three sources. Me and two supplementary sources. They are probably acquaintances now since mobile numbers have been exchanged. The fury that Lee experienced at my perceived criticism will now be subsiding as the fuel is provided. This makes him feel calmer. Lee knows that certain things make him furious and then other things makes him calmer. Let’s ask him if he knows why.
“Hey Lee, don’t hide in there, why did you get angry like that? All I did was say that you are a lesser narcissist.”
Notice that I haven’t said this in a pleading way, or through tears, or even shouted it at him. I have made this point and asked the question in a neutral fashion. Watch what he does now. See how fast the irritation has arrived. This is because I am not giving him any fuel with my comment. I have also interrupted the flow of the fuel from the two women by distracting him. To make matters worse I have repeated the comment and he will perceive this as a criticism. Again, he won’t have worked any of this out, he is a Lesser so it doesn’t happen. Whereas I have explained the process. This is what actually happens in Lee’s mind.
- He hears my comment;
- He feels wounded by that comment. This manifests as irritation;
- His fury ignites.
It is as quick and as straight forward as that. Here comes the fury.
Lee marches from his desk and flings the den door open.
“How many fucking times have I told you not to disturb me when I am in my den? You never listen to me!”
Notice the contorted features as the fury takes over.
“I only asked a reasonable question.”
I say this in a neutral tone again. No fuel is being provided. This annoys him further because this is a criticism and it wounds him.
“Are you saying I am unreasonable?” he demands jutting his jaw forward in an aggressive manner.
Of course dear reader I said no such thing did I, but Lee doesn’t process it that way. My neutral remark is taken again as a criticism, hence his response.
“I’m just pointing out what you are and besides, you are always in there, messing around doing who knows what, you should be working.”
Lee rarely works. He doesn’t see any reason to. He believes I should keep him after all, in his mind he is the superior one and therefore I should run around after him. He only does chores when he knows he can get some fuel, for instance, chopping logs in the yard so people can admire his physical prowess, otherwise he won’t bother. Again Lee doesn’t think about chopping the logs in terms of receiving admiring looks from our neighbour Josie, he just knows when he does it, she smiles and talks to him and he feels good inside. But I digress. Back to the foaming Lee who is stood in the doorway of the den. He won’t let me in there. It is his domain. What is his is his and nobody else’s.
“What are you saying that for?” he growls. His fury is increasing at the criticism that he should be working. Here it comes. The right hand swipes and he slaps me across my face. You see he cannot control the fury and with Lee it manifests as heated fury as he lashes out.
I let out a cry and raise my palm to my face, eyes showing the pain arising from his physical abuse of me. Look at that small smile on his lips. That is because my fearful reaction has given him negative fuel. He wanted that. He doesn’t know that he wanted that but he knows that seeing me scared, upset, angry or frustrated, amongst other things makes him feel stronger and more powerful.
“You should be working,” I repeat but the neutral tone is gone now and it comes out part comment, part sob as the tears well up. His hand is raised to deliver another blow but he doesn’t because my tears are fuelling him. Although I have criticised him by stating he should be working, it will not feel like criticism to Lee because it is surrounded in emotion. That is what he wants. He doesn’t know that, but that is what he wants.
His fury is still there but it has receded within his parameters of control, low as they are. If I had kept on he would have erupted further and probably punched and kicked me down the hall. It has happened before. And will again. As a Lesser his control threshold is low and regularly his fury boils over into verbal and physical violence. Notice how he is standing there grinning. The provision of my fuel is making him feel powerful and that is why he looks happy. It is not true happiness. Lee doesn’t know what that is, but he knows that feeling powerful makes him feel good and that is why he is smiling. I am going to back off now.
I walk away and Lee content with the fuel he has extracted from me (although he does not know this) turns and goes back into the den. He will text the two ladies for a while longer, gathering more fuel and then with the fury receded and his fuel levels higher, he will feel more settled so he will watch one of his action films or play on his Xbox for a while. He won’t be thinking about me. He doesn’t have the function to do so for long when I am not in front of him. Lee as a Lesser is very much about dealing with what is on his plate. Yes, I will invade his consciousness from time to time but he is not given to planning. It is all spur of the moment, reaction, responses, instinct, seat of the pants. That is why he is seen as such a whirlwind, bouncing from one ignition of fury to the next. He has no overarching strategy, no grand design, but he is an aggressive hunter gatherer who knows that I, his longstanding and long suffering partner infuriates him but he keeps me around because, well, I do the chores and lie there and think of England when he is grinding away on top of me. Writing of which, let’s fast forward to bed time. I have retired first and here comes Lee padding up the stairs, a belly full of Scotch (he likes a few drinks when he is watching his films).
“Hey,” he says as he enters the darkened bedroom. He doesn’t lower his voice or gently shake me. Why would be bother when he is entitled to do as he pleases. Again, Lee doesn’t think that way, he just does it, he just acts in that manner of the entitled Lesser.
“What is it?” I ask blearily.
“Move over, I’m getting in.”
That’s his way of saying he wants sex. If he wanted to sleep he would just climb into bed. Notice how there is no apology for hitting me, no expression of concern or remorse for the earlier altercation. That’s because he has forgotten about it. Imagine Lee’s mind like a small external hard driver. It only has so much memory and automatically jettisons so much information. If in a few days’ time I refer to him slapping me he will give me a confused look and say,
“What are you talking about?”
That’s because he cannot recall it. It has been wiped from his mind. It is an instinctive reponse and demonstrates why with the Lesser he denies so much of what he is accused of and does it with sincerity because he really does not remember. There is no pretence, not like those from other schools. He does not remember, but that is a few days away. Let’s return to now.
“I said, move up, I am getting in.”
Still no apology. He continues as if nothing happened earlier. This is because he sees no wrong in what he has done. He responded. It was instinct to him and therefore for him, instinct is natural and correct. If I challenged him about his behaviour from before, now, it would be a criticism. His fury would be ignited and with the additional accelerant of the alcohol I would be dragged from the bed, beaten and forced to sleep downstairs. He may even throw me in my night clothes on to the street. All an instinctive reaction to the criticism and his lack of control over his ignited fury. I won’t challenge him though. I have learned not to, it is safer you see. It took me a long time to realise that this was the best course of action. I used to stand up to him you see. I thought that it would make him respect me if I did but it won’t. The Lesser regards any denial of their authority as criticism and, you’ve guessed it, the fury ignites.
Time to put on a performance then. If I refuse his advances he will kick off. If I don’t put in feigned enthusiasm, he will kick off. As a Lesser he is not very good at distinguishing between real and faked emotions at times. He is better with some than others. For instance, he knows real fear and upset compared to any that is faked. This is because he has the most experience of seeing people scared, upset and frightened so he instinctively knows when it is real and when it is not. When it comes to matters between the sheets although Lee believes himself to be the champion of sexual technique (he has certainly had plenty of partners as he regularly likes to boast about them to me) he could be rutting a slab of steak for all the variance and finesse he deploys. He wasn’t always like that. He did make an effort during our golden period, but that is long gone. Now he just wants to exert his dominance over me and be made to feel powerful so you will have to excuse me as I make the relevant noises, say the stock phrases and pull my porn faces. That will please Lee the Lesser and provide him with a final burst of delicious positive fuel before he slumps besides me and falls into an undisturbed sleep. He always sleeps well does Lee. His lesser function means that there is not a lot racing around in his mind as slumber approaches. So, there’s a glimpse of how a – I’d better whisper this so he doesn’t hear – Lesser Narcissist is. Now, turn around please, you shouldn’t be watching what comes next.
An unrivalled journey into the depths of the narcissistic mind. Understand why the narcissist will treasure you and then in the blink of an eye unleash a litany of torments against you. Learn about how the narcissist thinks and acts as you are granted a unique insight into the world of the narcissist and his machinations.