THE NARCISSIST'SREALITY GAP.jpg

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 can come out of nowhere, a sudden fountain of self-loathing which surges up unexpected and unwelcome. The Mid Range Narcissist immediately seeks to escape this reality gap by complaining, raging, sulking or smearing. Their jealousy 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.

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.

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ANGELSWITHDIRTY FACES

You are surrounded by Angels with Dirty Faces, albeit you are unable to see that encrusted filth that cakes them. You are oblivious to the touch which taints and the soiled footprints which beat a path back and forth to you. These individuals are the patient friend who listens to your tale of woe, the kindly physician with the twinkling eyes who resides at Bedside Manor, the soothing carer who chats to the elderly and infirm, the diligent charity worker and the host of the site which professes to guide you, the victim, out of the maze of narcissistic abuse.

The Angel with a Dirty face is an individual who is utterly convinced of their inherent goodness and moreover they have an unquenchable desire for the world to know that they are a good person, that they care, that they understand.

This facade of virtue and integrity is fundamental. It is how they truly believe that they are because this is what the world must know about them. It is not the quiet application of the nursery worker who looks upon those in her charge and smiles inwardly at a job being done well. It is not the sheepish looks of the diligent nurse when he is praised by grateful relatives. It is not the patient smile and humble response of the therapist who is hand-holding their distraught charge through their third meltdown of the year. The Angel with a Dirty Face has a towering conviction that they are good and you had better believe it because if you do not, well, then that makes you a bad person.

The Angel with a Dirty Face is not the Lesser of our kind. No. He does not have the capacity to emulate empathy. He does not care and is not even configured to even be able to try to look as if he cares. He is too rudimentary and brutal, too caught up in attempting to satiate his own needs to bother looking outside of his own bubble. He does not understand what it is to care and nor is he capable of doing so. It is not the Greater of our kind. True enough the masterful Greater Narcissist will easily be able to mimic those expressions and words of concern and is not beyond their occasional use purely for the purposes of driving his agenda, but be known for this faked empathy? No, that disgusts the Greater. He does not wish to be seen as caring, that is for others to do, his greatness comes from delivering – whether it is profit, great works of art, sensational film and literature, glorious rhetoric on the podium, lung-busting athletic records, mesmeric dance, intoxicating sexual congress and so forth. The Greater wishes to be known for pioneering achievement, the caring and the cuddling is beneath them.

The Angel with a Dirty Face is very much the preserve of the Mid Range Narcissist. He or she truly believes that he or she is a good person. They want you to know it too and you must accept it, well, because it is true. They think that they care about other people, they think that they do good work but they must be acknowledged for it and this must occur repeatedly. They want the recognition. They want you to tell them how good they are, that they are helping people, that they see you understand that they are honest and decent. Of course all of those responses are the fuel that they instinctively crave although  they are unable to recognise that. They see nothing wrong with being identified, highlighted and rewarded for their sterling work, after all, doesn’t that just tell more people about the good that they are doing?

There are those of the Mid Range school who are obsessed with such a portrayal. It matters to them that are seen as that local community pillar, the teacher whose pastoral care is second to none and the organiser of charity bakes and cancer research sales within the office. Where there’s a good cause, there’s a good chance you will find an Angel with a Dirty Face.

These individuals are everywhere and difficult to spot because of course they believe what they show the world. The Greater knows the charismatic front he advances which masks the seething malevolence and smiles that cold, reptilian smile as he sees yet more sleepwalking into his grasp. The Angel with a Dirty Face does not have that awareness. He or she has sufficient cognitive function to create the appearance of goodness, to appear to care, to put into effect what they believe themselves to be and in so doing this enables them to blend with considerable ease amongst all of you. The trusting nature of people, both normal and empathic alike means that they will see no reason to doubt the apparent caring credentials of these people. What you see is what you get, right? Seeing is believing, yes? This person is caring, helpful and good so they must surely be that way, after all, who on earth would ever put on one front and behave in a different way? Yet as you have come to recognise, not only is it our kind who do this, the depth of the front varying dependent on the school of narcissist, but its frequency is far greater than people realise.

So, how do you find the filth beneath the purity? How do you ascertain whether that person truly does feel that emotional empathy, is good of heart and mind and it is not just part of a facade? There are two detergents which remove the masking facade and expose the dirt that lurks underneath.

The first concerns recognition. As I mentioned above, the Angel with a Dirty Face must have recognition. Watch what happens if you fail to acknowledge that person’s contribution or if you accord it to somebody else. An empathic individual may be hurt that their efforts have gone unrecognised but they will largely keep it to themselves, not wishing to be seen as churlish or attention-seeking. They may leave it to another to correct the error but they will certainly not make a song and dance about being overlooked. Unsung hero is a medal they are more than content to wear. Someone normal might be irked and may speak up but they will not react to the failure to accord to them sufficient acknowledgement for what they have done.

Yet the Mid-Ranger who is the Angel with a Dirty Face who is not given recognition will be unable to contain the effects of this wounding. The failure to praise them, credit them for their endeavours, acknowledge what a kind and wonderful person they are results in them being wounded and this will manifest through the ignition of fury. Being Mid Range, the failure to recognise brings forth mainly cold fury. Accordingly, watch out for:-

  1. Complaining to other people as part of a protracted Pity Play – “I cannot believe that Mary forgot to thank me for my funding efforts, I mean, she knows I do this every year and all I wanted was her to say thank you. that’s not too much to ask is it? I didn’t notice her bothering her backside to help out.”
  2. Sulking at the event
  3. Giving a silent treatment to the person who has transgressed
  4. Passing passive aggressive comments either on social media or in person.
  5. Cajoling third parties to remind someone to recognise what they have been doing
  6. Refusing to offer further assistance until they receive an apology for the ‘oversight’
  7. Belittling the efforts of others in the same sphere
  8. Threatening to join a rival organisation

The nature of caring, empathising and demonstrating this goodness is, as I have witnessed, meant to be an understated endeavour, a vocation where the act itself is its own reward which requires no standing ovation or repeated praise and lavish thanks. Recognition is not required. If it is provided, the empathic individual or normal person will graciously accept it, but it is not a concern if it is not provided. Selfless individuals do not seek this recognition, but the Angel with a Dirty Face must have it and if they do not, you will know the reactions along the lines of those above and the dirt begins to show.

The second method of exposure is that of challenge. An empathic person recognises that people have views and opinions, that it matters that they should be able to articulate them and that they are not invalidated. I have learned much about this approach in my interactions with others and I am intrigued by their capacity to allow this. They will allow others to state their case, they will advance their own but recognise that the two can exist side by side. It is genuine tolerance, not done for show or for kudos but borne out of the empathic decency of allowing the voices of others. Not so the Angel with a Dirty Face. If you challenge their methodology of how they dispense their apparent care, if you disagree with their views, if you suggest there is a better way, you will then see the angelic coating recede and the dirt beneath come very much to the fore.

When challenged in this way, the Angel with a Dirty Face feels their superiority attacked and therefore since they are a Mid Range Narcissist in disguise, this attack on their perceived superiority ignites their fury and the attack must be repelled. You should watch for the following:-

  1. Being smeared and bad-mouthed to third parties for your audacious criticism of the Angel with a Dirty face “after all they have done” and “just because they are jealous of what I do” and “all I am trying to do is help people and this is how I am treated.”
  2. Directing Lieutenants and the Coterie to attack the transgressor. This is especially evident in an online environment where people will “jump in” on the accused and land blows on behalf of the Mid Ranger, after all, he or she most prefers others to be doing the dirty work.
  3. Invalidating the view of the transgressor and doing so without reference to any substantive point but saying they are wrong, because they are wrong.
  4. Going on the attack directly against the perceived transgressor.
  5. Acting hurt and crestfallen.
  6. Rolling out Pity Plays
  7. Accusing the transgressor through projection, most notable labelling them as  a narcissist.
  8. Isolating the perceived transgressor through familial or social ostracisation, removal from social media, removal from committees or employment.

The Angel with a Dirty Face is a dangerous individual because their facade enables them to inveigle themselves into positions of relative authority and from there when their endeavours are not recognised and/or others politely question or challenge their way of doing things, rather than listen and apply, they will allow the dirt to emerge and use it to smear and pollute the innocent and those who are genuine in their intentions. This dirt muddies the water to such an extent and so convincing are the performances of the Mid Ranger in these scenarios that those who have done wrong end up being made to be the scapegoat, they are pilloried and driven out. Of course, achieving such an outcome only reinforces the Angel with a Dirty Face’s notion that he or she is absolutely right and that what they did was justified.

You will know these Angels with Dirty Faces. Time to do some cleaning of your own.

 

THE CLASSROOMNARCISSIST

I am Chloe. I am 18 years old and I had an affair with my teacher, Mr Stevens or Phil as I came to call him.

I am not some silly girl, although they have repeatedly tried to tell me that I am. Believe me, I have felt the weight of my opponents as they tried to convince me, no doubt orchestrated by Phil, that I dreamt the whole thing up. Still, it is to be expected isn’t it, that they, the teachers, will close ranks and look out for one another. That is what they do isn’t it? I have lost friends because of this, but I realise they are just jealous and they fancied Phil just like me, only I got to have him. I don’t blame them for fancying him, he is good looking and funny and he has that easy air about him that makes him so likeable, but what they don’t realise that it is all an act. Phil the Flirt, Phil the Mate but when it suits him he remains Phil the Teacher, set apart and to stay apart.

He started it of course. I won’t deny that I liked him from the beginning. Everybody does. He is a popular teacher and being good-looking as well is never going to cause him a problem in the popularity stakes, but you see, he knows all of this, he plays on all of this and boy does he use it. He uses it to reel you in and then, and here is the clever part, he uses it as his defence. “I cannot help it if they take advantage of my popularity,” he protests as he maintains his innocence. He is not innocent. And he took my innocence.

He started it. I recognised the way he looked at me. He always looked for me in class before anybody else, as if ensuring that I was there in my usual seat and then giving me ‘that smile’. Oh, he smiles at everyone I was told. He does not smile for them the way he does, or rather did, for me. I am not stupid. I may be young but I saw how he would stare at me, how I could feel his gaze on me, how I could tell from the corner of my eye that he was stood besides me and was looking down my blouse. Who wouldn’t? I am attractive, I have my fair share of boys chasing after me and Mr Stevens is a man, he is flesh and blood, so he is bound to look isn’t he? He wasn’t meant to touch though but he did. Oh he touched me, in so many ways and he knew what he was doing.

I had heard that others had become besotted with him before. Rumours of some girl a few years ago who had to be persuaded to move to another school because she fell in love with him and would not leave him alone. I tried to find her actually but got nowhere. Some say he got her pregnant and she had to have an abortion, her parents hushing it all up as they did not want the scandal. Some say it is all made up. They have said the same to me.

I know what I saw. The cheeky winks just for me, the slightly longer smile than usual aimed at me. The way he usually asked me first when I put my hand up to answer a question. He was besotted with me first. I tried to tell them this but they dismissed what I said. Told me I was reading too much into him just being friendly, that I was trying to see things which were not there because I was desperate for his approval.

He was always encouraging, praising me for my work. I always enjoyed history but it became even better when he was allocated as my teacher. I worked hard because I wanted good results and I wanted him to be pleased with my work. I got high marks from the beginning and I now realise this was his way of reeling me in, making me feel special, marking me out for special treatment. He advocated on my behalf that I should be a candidate for Oxbridge (prestige British universities) and that meant extra tuition ; with him of course. Now, I am good enough to get in to Oxford or Cambridge (I chose Oxford) but he clearly saw this as his opportunity to isolate me from the other students and cleverly, from witnesses. After all, plenty of people across the various subjects have these Oxbridge tutorials after college hours, but he used his to teach me about more than the Tudor dynasty and the English Civil War.

Once he had me in those special tuition one-on-ones, then it was inevitable where it would end up. I was not complaining. I wanted his attention, absolutely, although of course he should have known better. He was the one in a position of trust, a man in a position of authority and I was just the pupil. Yes, I wanted him, but I didn’t realise that he was the one who had engineered for me to feel that way. That is what these predators do. They make it seem like your doing, but he hypnotised me and made me fall under his spell.

He was always so assured, doing just enough to maintain an element of doubt should he have misjudged the situation, just enough to be able to protest it was an innocent gesture. The hand on the shoulder, the hug of congratulations, the slightly-too-long touching of fingers when passing a book or an essay to one another. Oh, he was good, he knew what he was doing, steadily reeling me in and making me the centre of the universe. He chose me from the very beginning and little by little he reeled me in. He used his influence to bring me to heel and have me on my knees (how he relished seeing me on my knees) and I lapped up his attention and more besides.

Soon the secret trysts began. Arrangements made in his office with that Stuart family tree covering the door window so nobody could see what went on in his office. So much for transparent government, he still subscribed to the idea of an absolute monarchy. He never used his ‘phone, clever old Phil. He made it seem romantic, the whispered instructions of where to meet and when, always outdoors, never in places where we would be seen. No traces left, no observers, no evidence. He was a master at this game and I was clearly naive, but I am not a silly little girl.

And then he dropped me. No explanation. He became cold. Civil yet cold. I tried to get my friends to see how he treated me differently but they told me that I was imagining it. My grades remained excellent but the Phil that held me and read to me from historical texts and delighted me with his knowledge was gone. The Oxbridge tutelage came to a conclusion as the entrance examinations loomed ; he had no reason to be alone with me and even though I sought an audience with him, this absolute monarch would not grant me admittance.

So I spoke out. Why shouldn’t I? He told me he loved me and I loved him too. Yet once he had my innocence (or rather once he had it two score) he considered me conquered and of no great interest to him anymore. Nobody treats me like this. I will bring him down. He is not going to get away with it. Oh, I know they think I have made this all up, some kind of revenge for not getting my way, but they have underestimated me. I am not going to be denied and I will make the all see, even my parents who for some inexplicable reason have sided with him. I shouldn’t be surprised though, the have always hated me for some reasons, they are frauds to think they can call themselves mother and father. No, I know this is how his kind behave. They turn everyone against you, cut you off and paint you as the trouble maker. That is not me. I am the victim.

 

I am Mr Stevens. I am 30 years old and a teacher of history. I still am, although I am currently suspended as a consequence of the ridiculous allegations of a fantasist. It is an outrage that someone’s made-up fantasy has the potential to ruin a man’s career.

I am no fool. I have taught for nearly a decade and I know the tricks pupils get up to. I have seen them all. I have always been a teacher who adopts the ‘carrot’ approach. You always get further with honey rather than vinegar. Oh, I know there are one or two sticks in the mud in the staff room who regard my popularity with sniffed disdain, but that is just jealousy on their part. My results speak for themselves. Plenty of students choose to study history and between Miss Kelshaw and I, we make a formidable team. Thankfully Miss Kelshaw has supported me in this unpleasant matter although I always knew she would do so. Sensible lady.

You do walk a tight rope at times when you are friendly, yet firm, with the students. I am not their friend but I do not have to be their enemy either. I love history and my natural enthusiasm for the topic is something I try to install in my charges too. If you love something, you always do better don’t you? It does not feel like a bind or a chore. By ensuring those who choose to study history with me really love it and want to live and breathe it, I weed out the ones where it is not for them nice and early and they move to a different subject in the first two weeks. Plus doing that ensures that I am only going to get those who are going to get the best grades, so it is a win-win all around. I want to make my mark on this college. I will be the principal one day, although at present it appears that moral principles are ones which are trying to attract my attention to a greater degree.

Chloe Fowler is a good student. She will do well. Polite if something of an attention-seeker. Always first to stick her hand in the air an one to air an opinion on absolutely anything and everything. Nothing really wrong with that I suppose, at least she has learned the mantra of make a point and then ensure you have something to back it up when she advanced her arguments. I taught her just as I taught everybody else ; to the best of my ability.

Unfortunately for me, she mis-read my concern for her education as meaning something else. What can I do about that? I am not going to sit behind a screen and isolate myself from my students am I? That is not how I operate. I am not a ‘no smiles before Christmas’ kind of guy. Not at all. History needs to be alive, accessible and most of all enjoyable. It is like anything in this life – if you enjoy it, make it yours and you will succeed. I want all my students to succeed.

Yes, I selected Chloe Fowler for Oxbridge tutelage. That was the right selection and I still say it is, despite her ridiculous allegations. She has her keen mind, too keen as it happens. I have read what she has accused me of, or rather the police office read it to me and it is all nonsense, a made-up fairy tale. I see she has been clever though, she has ensured that she has accused me when there was nobody else available to witness our interactions. It is always the case that those chosen for Oxbridge tuition see their tutors in their offices. That has always been the case and I am pleased that my fellow teachers and the principal have confirmed that to be the case. I knew they would back me on this. It is an occupational hazard of ours, infatuated students who start to think they are the apple of your eye. Usually it is nothing more than a harmless term-long crush and they grow out of it, but not this girl. She has something seriously wrong with her. Has to have to come out with the lies she has spouted. Suggesting we had sex beneath ‘the tree that Charles the Second hid in’. I know that to be a lie ; that tree was destroyed hundreds of years ago. Everything she has spouted is just the slops of the mind of a fantasist and she is dangerous. Nobody is going to believe her. I know the police have to go through the motions but it will be soon kicked in to touch. She has done this because I rejected her. I didn’t reject her outright, after all there was nothing to reject, we had no romantic relationship, there was no flirtation, nothing. It is clear, however, she thought otherwise and in that warped mind of hers, she has felt rejected in some way and this is the result. An expensive and unnecessary investigation, plus the interference to the other students, no wonder so many have turned against her.

I know she liked me. I am a likeable person but I maintained a proper teacher-student relationship and she has seen fit to dream up something else. What can you do? Put cameras everywhere I suppose but then who wants that, surely there has to be some element of trust between us? Am I annoyed? Of course I am. I haven’t done anything wrong and along comes this girl and she spouts all manner of idiocy and she is treated seriously. I mean, anybody can see this is a tissue of lies. This had better not affect my promotion prospects or I will be taking legal action too. Thankfully the local paper have not reported anything about it so far, that conversation I had with the deputy editor seems to have worked, so far so good on that front. He is a good friend and does not want to see the reputation of a hard-working and successful teacher sullied. What annoys me most is how easy it is for someone like her to make these things up and next thing it is suspension and investigation. They tell me that it is a neutral act but I know there will be those trotting out the old ‘no smoke without fire’ rubbish.

I realise that when you are decent-looking chap like me and because you are friendly and get to share a joke with the students, some might blur the boundaries but it is one thing for them to be blurred and another for them to be crossed. Am I to be punished just for being popular, because that is what she is trying to do?

I am not going to change my style though. I am a hands-on teacher and that always gets results and one besotted fantasists is not going to make Phil Stevens change how he teaches. No way.

It is ridiculous. As if I would be interested in some 16 year old (which is how she says she was when this started) when I have a gorgeous wife at home. That in itself should tell those looking into this that this is a witch hunt by a disturbed adolescent who should be studying for her exams and getting help with whatever problem she has, rather than trying to ruin the life of an honest and decent man. I am the victim in all of this.

Who is the class room narcissist?

 

Who do you think is the narcissist?

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PERFORMANCEIDENTITY

I have often referred to how the advances in technology have proven a great boon for my kind. Not only does technology allow us a greater reach, to more people, more often and more easily it provides us with camouflage. The genesis of the “selfie” is testament to that. Once upon a time if you wanted to be in one of your own pictures, you asked somebody else to use your camera to take a picture of you and your friends or perhaps you against some fantastic backdrop of scenery. Now  the advent of the camera phone has allowed everybody to take a picture of themselves with friends, with a famous person, in front of a landmark, pulling a stupid pout, holding up  beer and so on. This need to be “in on the shot” is a nod to the narcissistic traits of entitlement, boundary violation and grandiosity. Of course, not everyone is of our kind and just because you have a tendency to take selfies does not make you one of our kind either. What it does though is increase the backdrop of narcissistic tendencies so that ours fit even more readily into what society is doing. Fifteen years ago if someone kept pestering other people to take a picture of themselves in different poses and places, eyebrows would be raised. Now if you see someone holding their ‘phone up and pouting, you do not bat an eyelid. It is expected. This narcissistic tendency has become mainstream and we welcome this, as it allows ours to be merge with that mainstream to, enabling us to move more easily amongst you all.

When you take that selfie you are engaging in performance identity. You are reinforcing your identity as against the performance of standing and taking a picture of yourself which you then plaster across several social media outlets, text to your friends and quite possibly set as your wall paper. Performance crime is the instance whereby a perpetrator engages in criminal activity which he or she records. How many videos have you seen on Facebook where a fight is in progress and nobody halts it, but instead they stand around cameras held aloft filming the fracas? How often have you seen people posting pictures of themselves committing some criminal act, be it the use of drugs, assaulting somebody, criminal damage or theft?  It also goes to include those acts which may not be criminal but would be regarded as morally reprehensible. Taking photographs of somebody who is drunk asleep in the middle of the road rather than helping them, snapping away at someone who has soiled themselves or vomited. Taking pictures of someone’s mishap or misfortune and adding a supposedly witty insight in white text across the bottom of the picture. These behaviours are all geared towards performance, showing off and putting on a show.

We are masters at performance identity. We are defined by what we do to an admiring and attentive audience. Our every move is choreographed, our entrance carefully planned. We walk the urban landscape with an imaginary soundtrack playing in our heads as we strut along, considering ourselves to be in some kind of film or documentary. A puzzle once went along the lines of,

“It a leaf falls in a forest but there is nobody there to hear it, did it make a sound?”

The modern day equivalent for our kind is,

“If we did something but nobody saw it, did it really take place?”

We are defined by what others see us do and their reaction to it. Whether it is admiration, hatred, anger, upset, terror, grief, hilarity, amusement, praise, love or adoration there must always be an emotion infused reaction. This reaction defines who we are because it provides us with fuel. It tells us that we are brilliant, feared, furious, dominant, entertaining, witty, sensational, beautiful, remarkable and so forth. The reaction is everything for the fuel it provides but also because our performance allows us to define what we believe what we are, the outward appearance the world must see as opposed to the one locked deep away and never permitted to be viewed.

You all engage in performance identify. Often it is of little consequence but it still shapes part of what you are. The growing tendency for people to engage in performance identity means that our need, our absolute need to do this, will not always stand out as much as it might. Yes, it draws a reaction but this need for attention may not always be seen for what it is. People just regard us as outgoing, bombastic, entertaining, the life and soul of the party, at the centre of everything. There are scores of polite ways of saying attention seeker without realising that is what you are doing. We must do it however, we must perform from the moment we rise from our beds until we return to it again in order to draw fuel and to create that which we want the world to see. The world may indeed be a stage, but it is a stage for my kind and me.

 

THE DIRTY EMPATH - MARRIAGE

The Empath. Regarded as a paragon of virtue with those traits of honesty, decency, compassion, love devotee, moral compass and so on. All of which make the empath and their fuel output tempting prey for us. Yet within these virtuous empathic traits sit other traits, narcissistic traits.

There are four schools of empath (Standard, Super, Co-Dependent and Contagion) . Layered on to these schools are the empathic cadres (such as Magnet, Carrier and Geyser).

Each empath within the relevant school has both empathic and narcissistic traits. Some will have a small number of strong empathic traits with few narcissistic traits which are low in strength. Some will have many empathic traits which are moderate in strength and have few or numerous narcissistic traits which are all very low in strength. Some will have many empathic traits which are strong and numerous narcissistic traits which are moderate or even quite strong. The key consideration is that, in effect, the empathic traits keep the narcissistic ones ‘in check’ and thus the empathic individuals behaves in a way which is empathic with other people.

There are however two main instances when the narcissistic traits come to the fore. The first is through The Empathic Supernova which is when the empathic traits become ‘dialled down’ or eroded for a temporary time and thus the narcissistic traits come to the fore. The second instance is a permanent state of affairs and this is the cadre of the Dirty Empath. The individual is empathic, of that there is no doubt, they have those empathic traits, they also have narcissistic traits too, however one of those narcissistic traits remains strong and prominent throughout and sits alongside the fewer, weaker narcissistic traits and the various empathic traits of varying strength. This does not mean this person is a narcissist, not at all. It does not mean that this person is not an empath. What it means is that they are an empath but there is one (sometimes there might be more) narcissistic trait which ‘dirties’ their empathic status. Think of the empath coloured white with a black streak running through them.

One of the dirty strands which runs through the Dirty Empath is that of Marriage Breaker (or Intimate Relationship Breaker). This strand is based on the narcissistic trait of selfishness.

This situation arises where the DE becomes involved with somebody who is already in another relationship. The DE is single. The other person is not. There are those empaths who would never have a relationship with someone who is already committed to another. The level of refusal varies from those who might engage with someone who is dating other people but would not if they are in a steady relationship and not at all with someone who is living with another person and is/or married, through to those who refuse to countenance any romantic interaction with someone who is engaging with other people, at any level.

The Dirty Empath will not actively seek out a romantic relationship with someone who is already married. If the DE knows somebody is in a relationship, they will not pursue that person as that offends the empathic traits of the empath. The narcissistic trait of selfishness is not so strong as to override the empathic traits and cause the DE to want to pursue and engage in a relationship with someone who is already taken, committed to somebody else and so forth. Such an act is the preserve of someone who is a normal (even then it remains unlikely) and is more likely the response of someone who is narcissistic (not an empath and not empathic) or a narcissist.

Accordingly, a Dirty Empath will not target, pursue and engage with a person who is already in a romantic relationship.

That point made, what are the circumstances which give rise to the Dirty Empath Marriage Breaker? There are three.

The common thread where the Dirty Empath Marriage Breaker (“DEMB”) arises is where the DEMB is targeted by the other person. The person will be highly narcissistic or more usually, this person will be one of our kind.

Addressing the three circumstances :-

The Ivory Response

The DEMB is seduced by the Other Person (“OP”). They do not do the seducing. The OP does not tell the DEMB that they are in a relationship and if the OP is (and most likely will be) a narcissist, the DEMB will be the Candidate IPSS or Shelf IPSS. The DEMB may well be strung along in this fashion, oblivious to the fact that the OP is in a relationship, for some time. They may have suspicions but as ever, the OP will use plausible deniability to assuage those concerns. In the usual style of the seduction of the golden period, the DEMB will be taken in and engage romantically with the OP.

You may be thinking that since the DEMB does not know the OP is in a relationship, was not the pursuer and has been seduced, is it not somewhat harsh to describe them as a DEMB? Possibly, but the fact remains that they are romantically entangled with another person who is in a relationship and thus that comes within the umbrella of DEMB.

However, there comes a point where the DEMB finds out that the OP is already in a relationship. This may happen whilst the seduction is ongoing, it may (more likely) occur when there is devaluation or during a period of being placed on the shelf. The DEMB having learned of this will not immediately walk away from the OP. They will, in accordance with their status as a truth seeker want to gain answers from the OP. The relationship will continue. The DEMB will also make it his or her mission to tell the spouse or partner of the OP what has been happening, thus they earn the epitaph of Marriage (Relationship) Breaker or at the very least, disruptor.

The DEMB will fail to get adequate answers from the OP. The DEMB will not however just retreat, upset and distraught at having ‘been played’ and lied to. This is where the DEMB’s selfish trait flares up. Their moral indignation at their situation must be attended to. They will not withdraw and allow the OP and his or her partner to mend matters and patch things up. No, the DEMB will :-

  1. Ensure the OP’s partner knows what has happened in detail and will encourage them to walk away from the OP;
  2. Ensure other people know about the OP’s behaviour;
  3. Ensure the OP is told precisely what a low-life, cheating bastard he or she is.

Once 1,2 and 3 have been achieved, the DEMB then walks away from the carnage caused and endeavours to remain out of the hoovering clutches of the OP, the OP now desperate to find a new IPPS since in all likelihood the actions of the DEMB have caused the narcissist OP to lose his existing IPPS and be looking at a fuel crisis.

Accordingly, the DEMB is not whiter than white because (unwittingly) they engaged in a relationship with an attached OP. They cause carnage through their response to learning of the cheating behaviour of the OP towards themselves and the OP’s IPPS (and possibly other IPSSs). They are not completely blackened however as their response has sought to achieve some good, albeit for selfish reasons. The DEMB walks away from the OP (and tries to stay away) and accordingly the response arrived is off-white, hence ivory.

The Point of No Return

Similar to the above, the DEMB does not know that the OP Narcissist is attached to someone else. The DEMB is pursued, seduced and falls for the OP. At some juncture, the DEMB later learns that the OP is with somebody else. This could be during seduction, when being placed on the shelf or through devaluation.

The response is not one of ivory however.

Instead, the DEMB has reached The Point of No Return. Such is their addiction to the OP Narcissist, such is their desire to keep that person as their own and ‘beat’ the OP’s partner, the DEMB’s narcissistic trait of selfishness rises to the fore, overriding the empathic traits and causing the DEMB to fight for the OP.

He or she will do whatever they can to maximise their chances of being retained by the OP over the OP’s Partner. The combination of the seductive addiction and their own selfish narcissistic trait means that they will :-

  1. Tell the OP’s Partner about their existence;
  2. Focus on winning back/retaining the OP’s interest;
  3. Possibly even smearing the OP’s Partner themselves in order to achieve their aims.

The DEMB’s usual empathic traits are outshone by this single, strong narcissistic trait of selfishness to the extent that they appear to have taken leave of their senses. They want the OP, they see that they should be the one who ‘wins’ the triangulation and they will keep on trying to secure this outcome again and again, even when placed on the shelf or devalued. Of course the OP may well find their relationship with their IPPS in tatters but will not be unduly concerned as the Narcissist OP will feed on the twin stream of fuel and either remain with the original IPPS and dis-engage from the DEMB IPSS or choose the DEMB IPSS instead and continue with the shelf arrangement with them or make them the new IPPS.

The DEMB in these circumstances has reached the Point of No Return, they want the OP and notwithstanding the carnage caused, the roller coaster ride which awaits them, they earn the title of DEMB justifiably.

The White Knight

In this scenario, the OP tells the DEMB that he or she is with someone else. Nevertheless, the narcissist OP will adopt the tactics of

“We are effectively separated.”

“We are only together for the children and lead separate lives otherwise”

“I am being abused.”

“It is a loveless marriage”

“I have tried to make it work but he/she just isn’t interested any more and I have not left because x, y or z”

“My wife doesn’t understand me.”

The DEMB adopts the role of White Knight riding to the rescue to save this poor OP from their misery, their banal existence or the clutches of the tyrant spouse. It is the familiar story of faked misery and abuse manufactured by the narcissist OP, the cultivation of the DEMB in the role of rescuer, the OP as ‘victim’ and the OP’s Partner as the ‘perpetrator’. The DEMB operates through a hybrid of empathic traits (doing the decent thing in rescuing the poor downtrodden narcissist OP, exhibiting compassion for this person etc) and also the narcissistic trait of selfishness because they want to be with this person, they want to ‘save’ them even though they are attached to someone else. Yes, they have been duped by the OP’s manipulative act and illusory behaviours, but nevertheless, the DEMB knows this person is attached and because they do not walk away, but instead engage in the relationship with the narcissist OP, they earn them mantle of DEMB.

Thereafter, this White Knight DEMB may be the Candidate IPSS and becomes crowned as IPPS, only then to suffer the devaluation and then learn the truth about the nature of the OP and what he or she did to the innocent OP’s partner. They may become the Shelf IPSS and find out the truth when they are on the shelf or possibly (though rarely) have been dis-engaged from. Once the White Knight realises they are not the rescuer, their response changes and they may respond with an Ivory Response or continue to fight for the OP, as per the Point of No Return. The fact remains, they knew this person was with someone else but they engaged with the OP and went along with the seduction despite this state of affairs. Yes, they may well have done so for noble empathic reasons but they also did so for a narcissistic selfish trait also.

Thus the Dirty Empath Marriage Breaker arises in three different ways, all of which either dent, damage or destroy an existing relationship between the narcissist (or narcissistic) OP and their existing partner.