Category Archives: mid range

The Narcissist’s Reality Gap

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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Why Won’t He Say What Is Wrong?

WHY WON'THE SAYWHAT'S WRONG?

Something is wrong.

The fact that something is wrong has many manifestations in the narcissistic dynamic. You may experience a sudden eruption of temper, the instigation of a silent treatment as you follow us around the house trying to draw from us what on earth is the matter. It might be that you plead with us to explain as all we do is fix you with a malevolent glare and say nothing. It may escalate into you being accused of various transgressions which make no sense and certainly cannot be what is truly wrong since the allegations have no bearing in fact. You are faithful yet accused of having repeated affairs. It makes no sense. You are told you never listen, but that is all you ever seem to do. The subject matter of the vitriolic accusations is clearly not what is really wrong.

We may vanish, subject you to a bewildering word salad, drag you into a circular conversation, triangulate you with the angelic other person but still you are none the wiser as to what is actually wrong.

Repeatedly you exhort us to explain, to elaborate, to detail what is causing this behaviour, just to talk and help you understand. Surely it is a reasonable and sensible request? Whether it is silent treatments, triangulation, verbally abusive accusations, a beating and so many other manifestations they will all have a common thread; we will not tell you what is wrong.

Why is this so troubling? Leaving aside the unpleasantness of being hit, called names and all the other effects of the various manipulations which are used against you, the simple fact is that people do not like not knowing things. Being in the dark is perplexing and causes anxiety. Not knowing something unsettles people, has them uncertain and bewildered. Just like not knowing whether you have secured a promotion, got the grades from your exam results, where your youngest child is when you are in a supermarket or what the outcome of a life-changing decision will be, the sensation of not knowing is one which causes anxiety for most people.

This becomes especially problematic for empathic individuals. Not being told what is wrong by a significant other, a family member or a friend, is even worse for an empathic individual because this offends many empathic traits.

  1. You want to help. When you see that somebody is troubled by something it is an instinctive reaction on your part to want to help them and you cannot but help but try to assist. If you are not told what it is, you cannot help and the increases your frustration.
  2. Your propensity for self-examination. If you are not told what the issue is, you will then spend a considerable amount of time trying to work it out as you replay conversations, analyse recent events as you seek a third party influence which has caused our behaviour and then ultimately you will examine whether you have caused the problem and if so how.
  3. You capacity for self blame. Without being furnished with the details of what is causing our behaviour, you indulge in the behaviour at two above and eventually all roads lead to a moment of mea culpa as you self-flagellate and decide you must have done something wrong. After all, nobody becomes upset for no reason do they?
  4. You are a truth seeker. Accordingly, you need to know the truth of what is making us furious or causing us to sulk.
  5. You are a love devotee. The person you love is upset, angry or tormented and this pains you. You suffer the emotional contagion arising from this and feel our pain as your own and with any pain you want to make it stop.
  6. You expect honesty in all dealings and especially from those close to you. You expect us to be honest and tell you what is annoying us.
  7. You are a problem solver and you need to fix the problem which is so apparent in its appearance.
  8. You are a good listener. You want to listen and if only we would explain what it is that is upsetting us so much, you will readily sit and listen, but please, please just tell you what it is.

All of these factors means that our failure to tell you what is wrong offends so much of what is important to you with the result that you become concerned, confused, hurt, anxious and even angry. This naturally leads to one place; fuel.

From your perspective, you know that if you talk about a problem you feel better. A problem shared and all that. You also know that you have the skill set and the tools to make everything okay. You have that selfless willingness to attend to the needs of others and remedy the ill. You want to collaborate, resolve the problem and that way we will feel better and in turn so will you. You cannot walk away from not knowing what it is. You have to know.

This near inescapable desire to know what it is that is wrong results in people falling into traps in terms of finding a reason why we are not talking about it to you. This is because the victim does not know what they are dealing with. He or she does not understand that they are dealing with one of our kind so instead, they will become ensnared in one of the many misleading traps. These are propounded by popular and incorrect reasons as to why some people will not talk about a problem and arise from ignorance about our kind. In such an instance you will hear comments such as

“He is the strong, silent type.”

“She has trouble trusting people, that is why she says nothing.”

“He feels silly admitting to having a problem.”

“He wants to sort things out for himself.”

“She won’t rely on other people. It is pride.”

“He has always learned to deal with things on his own.”

“Stiff upper lip I guess.”

“He doesn’t do feelings.”

Whilst there may be a kernel of truth in the applicability of these comments to the situation they are not the whole and sole reason for the failure to communicate the problem to you. The reason that someone who is of our kind will not tell you what is wrong goes beyond these comments.

The Lesser

If you are entangled with a Lesser Narcissist he will not tell you what is wrong because he does not know what is wrong. His less well-developed ability to control his environment means that the slightest disruption threatens his control as a whole. You are not doing what he wants but he does not know what he wants. All he realises is that something is wrong, but he cannot identify it. He cannot articulate what it is and this manifests as his increased irritation and annoyance. Indeed, the restlessness he experiences from the sensation of feeling like he is losing control is what is behind his need to lash out at you.

Your desire to help only serves to annoy him all the more. As you keep asking what is the matter, you are actually reinforcing the shortcoming and repeatedly reminding him of the problem that he cannot identify. Accordingly, his skewed logic will readily conclude that you are the problem. You are the problem and your repeated reminders of this shortcoming constitutes as criticism. The fury is thus ignited and it will erupt as heated fury. You still try to ascertain what is wrong but all you are then doing is pouring fuel (in both senses) on the fire that rages inside of the Lesser.

The Mid-Ranger

The Mid-Ranger reaches the same conclusion as the Lesser, namely you are the problem. He does so far quicker as a consequence of his increased cognitive ability. He cannot put his finger on what it is that you are doing that is causing his sense of dread, that feeling of instability and vulnerability, but he recognises that it is something to do with you. It has to be you. He will not say however that it is you because the attention which is generated by you keep asking him is making him feel better, because of course it is fuel. He senses that you are the problem therefore it make sense to keep you guessing as to what his problem might be. After all, you should be able to work out what is wrong without him needing to tell you if you truly love us. You should be able to ascertain the problem and remedy it because we expect this level of telepathy and second-guessing.

The Mid-Ranger cannot tell you what is wrong, because just like the Lesser, he does not know, but he knows straight away that it is something to do with you. Therefore he wants you to work it out and resolve the problem and he will not provide you with any input, why should he? He may talk in vague terms in order to keep the guessing game going so you are lead down dead ends and blind alleys and all the while fuel is obtained.

The Greater

As you would expect, the Greater knows full well what is wrong. He knows you are at fault (because of course everything has to be your fault) and this is because you are failing in your role. If you were performing as an effective appliance he would not feel this way. You are clearly not functioning and therefore you need to be punished until you eventually start to function again. Note this does not mean that you actually identify a problem and solve it, but rather that you start to provide fuel, comply with the Greater’s demands and submit to his or her control.

The Greater is never going to tell you what the problem is. To do so would be furnishing the enemy with secret information and that cannot happen. To tell you that you are not functioning and you are eroding his sense of control would be tantamount to ceding further control to you. Our sense of wariness will prohibit us from disseminating such information. Instead, as part of regaining control, the Greater knows that having you flow with fuel and pleading for him to talk to you is all part of the game which must be played. He is superior and not in the business of giving you any insight into his dark mind. You are  there to have your strings pulled and he will delight in doing the same keeping you in the dark, upset and begging for him to talk to you. He may embark on lengthy but ultimately meaningless monologues, grandstanding and pontificating but all this is done purely to tie you up in further knots.

What do you do?

Recognise it is happening and now understand why that is.

Ask once what is wrong. Don’t expect to receive an answer or if you do, do not expect it to be meaningful or helpful. You have however discharged your obligation by asking us what the problem is.

Understand that repeatedly asking us what is the matter is only providing us with fuel and allowing us to regain control. If you keep asking, we will just keep going with the game of not telling you. Once we see fuel flowing we want it to keep flowing.

Instead, ask and if you receive no answer or a meaningless answer just state

“Okay, I am sure you will tell me when you are ready.”

Then walk away.

You are not giving fuel, so we have not scented ‘blood’ and thus there is no feeding frenzy. Your comment is not a criticism however because you have allowed power to vest in us by leaving the decision with us. You can then get on with what you want to do. Yes, you will be accused of not caring, but do not respond. Yes, you are likely to face further pressure to draw fuel from you, but move away from us or if you cannot engage in a different task and if you feel the need to say something, just state in a neutral fashion.

“I have asked and I understand you will tell me when you decide you want to. That is fine.”

By asking once, leaving the decision with us, re-stating that position (if need be) not encouraging a fuel-frenzy and not wounding us, the particular manipulation that is being allied with not telling you what is wrong will fizzle out. You will then have saved yourself worry, energy concern and anxiety.

 

The Immediate Aftermath of Disengagement

THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF DISENGAGEMENT

You have been dis-engaged from. The all too inevitable entanglement with our kind. Whether we disappeared without a word, told you we needed space for ourselves or hurled insults at you as to why we hated you and wanted you to drop dead, the fact remains you have been dis-engaged from. Your emotions are raw as this event was only a couple of weeks ago.

To exacerbate this unpleasant, bewildering and upsetting situation you know that we have a new love interest. With what seemed to you to be unnatural haste, we have been seen with a new lady on our arm, your stalking of our Facebook profile reveals we have a new boyfriend from the plethora of loved-up comments and repeated pictures of us arm in arm, grinning out at you as if we are revelling in your misery. You have not yet ascertained that as we devalued you, your replacement was being seduced and to all intents and purposes we appear to have dumped you and secured another partner in the blink of an eye. How could we do this? After all the things we said to you and all the deep and unwavering love that you have showed us, how could we be so uncaring, so nasty, such a downright bastard?

Your head is a whirlwind of questions? Why did he end things? Why did she do it that way? Who is the new person? What if they are happy together forever? What did you do wrong? What about sorting out those joint financial commitments? Could you have done something differently? Is there a chance of working things out? How can someone change like that? These questions and hundreds more torment you and it becomes unbearable. You need to talk to us. You alternate between hurt and angry, shifting between wanting to plead with us for another chance and then wanting to kick us in the balls. Most of all however, you want answers.

What then will happen if you decide to approach us during the aftermath? What reaction will you be met with if you send a message asking for answers to your questions or if you turn up somewhere to meet us in person for the purpose of obtaining some explanations? Naturally, at this juncture, undoubtedly unaware of who you have been entangled with, you do not know that you will not be given those answers. In part this is because there are no answers to give – why should we deign to answer you and do something that you want? Furthermore, many times we just do not have an answer because of the different perspective from which we operate. Add to that we will purposefully avoid giving you answers in order to keep you primed for a later hoover, to draw fuel from you and to frustrate you also.

As you may imagine, the reaction of our kind to being contacted during the initial aftermath of the dis-engagement will vary dependent on the school of narcissist that you have been dealing with. Before that is addressed, you should be aware of our general mind set at this time. You failed us. You may not have done anything wrong from your perspective but we regard you as having failed us and this led to our fuel needs being sought elsewhere and once they were secured, you were dis-engagement from. This is the most common reason for being discarded; we found a new primary source and once we were satisfied that this person was embedded, then we tossed you to one side. There are other reasons why you are discarded (see  5 Reasons We Discard You ) but the fact we have a new primary source embedded is the most common one.

When that happens we are infatuated with the new primary source. You are effectively forgotten about. You were once idealised, then you were demonised and now it is as if you do not exist because we have someone new and exciting to focus on. We do not want anything spoiling this golden period least of all the last appliance which failed us and malfunctioned and had to be placed on the scrap heap. Accordingly, if you make an appearance in some way by entering a sphere of influence  (The Spheres of Influence) then our reaction will be based on you being persona non grata and if you persist our view of you is one of antipathy, dislike and you are painted black.

Turning to the three schools of narcissism for their nuanced response to your appearance.

The Lesser

There is a good chance that the Lesser will have blocked you from social media and contacting him as part of him considering you effectively dead to him. If he has not done so and you send a message it will be ignored. He has no interest in drawing fuel from you at this point, someone else is servicing his fuel needs and you are just an irritant. If you persist in ringing or sending messages you can expect the following responses:-

“Stop ringing me I hate you.”

“Stop sending me messages, I don’t want anything to do with you.”

“Fuck off.”

“Keep contacting me and I will come down there and give you a kicking.”

The message is clear; you are unwelcome and the Lesser Narcissist wants nothing to do with you.

If you see the Lesser Narcissist and try to talk to him, he will evade you, tell you where to go and make a hasty retreat. He is not interested in you and if you try to stop him you can expect a savage verbal assault or even a physical assault as he wants you to leave him alone so he can concentrate on his new primary source. He has nothing to discuss with you, has no interest in fuel from you at this point and would prefer you to be dead.

The Mid-Ranger

If you are attempting to contact the Mid-Ranger through messages and telephoning you will also be ignored initially. If you persist in trying to make contact with him or her for the purposes of getting some answers, you can expect the following responses:-

“Leave me alone, I have nothing to say to you.”

“Stop stalking me.”

“Keep this up and I am informing the police.”

“Just stop, it is over, you have to accept it.”

The paranoia of the Mid-Ranger will mean that he is concerned you will wreck things with his new primary source by telling lies (the truth) about him. Whilst you’re contacting him, he will be showing the new primary source that you are pestering him to accord with the smearing you will have already received. This smearing will continue as you are painted as an obsessive who will not let go, a stalker with mental health issues and a bunny boiler who cannot accept the relationship is over. The new primary source, the façade, the coterie and the Lieutenants will all be told about this ongoing behaviour (suitably embellished) so you are regarded as crazy and out of order. The Mid-Ranger thus preserves the façade and creates a toxic environment so if you do manage to see him or her face to face, you will not be believed and seen as trouble maker.

If an in person encounter takes place, you can expect the Mid-Ranger to want to get the hell out of there. He is preoccupied with the new primary source, he does not want you spoiling that arrangement and wants you to disappear. Lacking the aggression of the Lesser, he will wheel out Lieutenants to make you go away, threaten the use of law enforcement and appeal to others to see exactly why he needed to get rid of you in the first place. He also does not want fuel from you, he just wants you to clear off and leave him to get on with his new play thing unhindered.

The Greater

It is the Greater who welcomes you foolishly getting in touch during his new golden period with the replacement primary source. Suitably confident of his abilities and this new entranced primary source, if you begin to message him, he will seize on this chance to triangulate you with the new primary source, to punish you for failing him and to manipulate you further.

Your text messages and calls will be met with a friendly and amenable response. All the while, the Greater, already having smeared you left, right and centre, will be revelling in you trying to broker a meet-up in order to talk. He will be telling the façade and coterie that he feels sorry for you, that he needs to humour you so you don’t do anything crazy and thus paints himself as the good guy to all those watching. His responses will be along the lines of:-

“Good to hear from you, I hope you are well, what do you want to talk about?”

(What he really means is, good to hear from you because I can manipulate you, I know you aren’t well but what do I care, make me feel special by telling me what you want to talk about.)

“Well, yes we can meet-up but you do know I am with someone else now don’t you, so don’t get any ideas okay?”

“I don’t really see what there is to talk about, but I am willing to listen, I am reasonable.”

“Yes okay we can meet up if it will help you deal with what has happened.”

This apparent caring attitude and pleasantness is all fake. You are being strung along.

When you do meet the Greater, you can expect the new primary source to be there to add to your humiliation as the Greater looks lovingly at her, says good things about her and then when she goes to get a drink, the Greater will lean across the table and snarl at you for having the audacity to get in touch.

If the new primary source is not brought along, the Greater will toy with you, like a cat with a mouse. Letting you speak, enjoying the fuel as you plead, cry and become angry with him or her. He will feign dismay at your behaviour whilst inside he is laughing at you, pleased with this further boost of fuel, supremely confident that you cannot wreck his new golden period because you have been smeared and character assassinated to a figurative death. Nobody is going to believe you and therefore he is not going to pass up the chance to draw fuel from you, both positive and negative once again. He of the three is the one who is content to respond and meet with you, not that it will get you anywhere at all.

Tempting as it is to want to contact the narcissist when you have been dis-engaged from and he is in a new golden period, you will get nowhere. He has someone new now and wants to focus on her. You are an irritant, an annoyance, a reminder of failure or in the case of the Greater something to toy with further for the purpose of gaining fuel. Instead, use the period whilst the narcissist is distracted with his new plaything to build your defences, gain understanding and prepare for the hoovers which will be following down the line.

But I Can Change

BUT I CAN CHANGE

“But I can change.”

A phrase so often said by some of our kind. You will, more likely than not, have heard this sentence at some point during your entanglement with us. Usually it is uttered as part of a Preventative Hoover when the narcissist sees that there is a considerable risk that you are going to depart the Formal Relationship and in so doing threaten the provision of fuel from the chief source. It also makes an appearance as part of the Initial Grand Hoover to draw you back in, should you have managed to take those first steps towards escape. You will hear it in Benign Follow-Up Hoovers although following the effluxion of time you are more likely to hear the cousin, namely, “But I have changed.” Occasionally it appears within the devaluation phase, following an unpleasant episode as part of the further manipulation to keep you bound to the narcissist and providing fuel. Accordingly, its use will occur at different parts of the narcissistic dynamic.

To some, the sentence contains the magical words that the empath is waiting to hear. The empath’s inherent desire to fix, to heal and to repair longs for that acknowledgement by the narcissist that they can alter their behaviour, make new and fresh choices, learn from the mistakes and choose a better path. The declaration of a willingness to change is welcomed by certain empaths and they selflessly accept this statement, believing that all people have some good within, that it is a case of recognising this and applying a different approach.

To others, the words are welcomed but with caution. Perhaps the devaluing behaviour has been so deep and savage that the recipient is wary, fearful of their hopes being raised too soon. Their inherent desire to see change, for the good of both people in the relationship wants to agree, to grab this offer with both hands and see to its implementation, but dare they hope that it can be done? Indeed they can, for in that moment, as the cool, hard logic of caution makes its presence felt, it becomes overrun by the soaring emotional thinking that cries out – “He has realised. He knows he has done wrong. He wants to make amends. He wants to change.” The emotional thinking brings forth those twin sisters of pressure – Hope and Guilt. The empath, chained to the concept of hope, sincerely wishes that  the person that they love will change and become a better person. Guilt also weighs in, whispering, “What if it is genuine, what if he can change and you do not give him a chance, what a bad person you will be for doing that?” The emotional thinking will win out.

Rarely will this protestation of being able to change go unheeded. Rarely will the opportunity not be given to the narcissist who states that this can be done. It is only the informed, those who can apply their cool, hard logic and resist the rising tide of emotional thinking who can repel the allure of those enticing words. For everyone else, they are drawn into allowing the narcissist a further opportunity to keep they, the victim, in place.

Yet, who is it of our brethren who issues this plea? What is meant by it and can it really happen?

You will rarely hear it from the Lesser Narcissist. He sees no reason to change. He or she does as they want. If he smashed up the house or physically attacked you, well it was your fault that it happened and once the ignited fury has abated, the best you will get is that the reset button is pressed and nothing is said about the previous behaviour. The statement of change might be issued if the Lesser faces a fuel crisis and in absolute desperation it is blurted out in order to prevent the cessation of his primary supply but come the morning after, the intention will have evaporated and any suggestion of change will be rejected. The crisis has been averted, the wound healed and fury abated and the entitled Lesser is not going to make those changes, not when of course it was your fault ll along.

If reminded of his intention, he will brush it to one side, telling you he will look into it, that he is busy with something else at the moment but you can talk later, that he has to go to work, that he has someone to see and you will be left dangling. He will not return to the discussion about making a change or seeking help and fearing a further explosive episode you do not press further and there the matter is left.

You will rarely hear it from the Greater Narcissist. He sees no reason to change either. Oh, we know what we do but that is borne out of necessity and it is what must be done. Our needs, superior to yours, require this behaviour and if you cannot accept it, well we can easily find someone else who will, because, after all, we are the prize, the champion and the ultimate, so it is your loss. The Greater will not issue this plea as a Preventative Hoover or such like to stop you leaving. True, he will not want his primary source to escape. This is a matter of fuel provision but often more of pride and superiority. After all, the extensive fuel matrices of the Greater school ( see The Fuel Matrix – Part Three ) means that even if the primary source had the audacity to escape he has plenty of other sources to turn to in the meanwhile. He will however not want to suffer the wounding of this primary source escaping and will want to stop it, but he will use charm and threat to achieve this, not the plea that he will change. It is beneath him.

The only time you might hear these words uttered by the Greater Narcissist is purely because he sees the opportunity for more Machiavellian behaviours through manipulating his victim by engendering false hope. He will see the opportunity to increase his trade craft through agreeing to engage in therapy. He will see it not as a chance to change, but rather an opportunity to learn more about himself (and why not, since he is such a fascinating creature), understand more about his ways and indeed take on the challenge of therapists and the like. If he agrees to changing his behaviour and enlisting external advice and assistance he will also lay down terms and conditions for this occurring in order to further his own agenda. You will however never hear the Greater Narcissist use the phrase “But I can change” as part of some desperate plea.

Accordingly, this leaves us with the school which uses this manipulation often, far more often than the other schools and that is of course the Mid Range Narcissist.  The Mid Ranger uses this manipulation for the following reasons:-

  1. He sees him or herself as a good person. Their perspective means they genuinely regard themselves as decent people and therefore since they are decent, they will, well, do the decent thing and look at making a change;
  2. They regard themselves as giving and they are prepared to make that sacrifice if it means saving the relationship;
  3. They consider themselves to be something of a tortured soul, they have “their demons”, there is something eating away at them and they wish to address it;
  4. They need to be saved and you are the person who can save them. They lack the pig-headed arrogance of the Lesser or the sneering superiority of the Greater.

What is behind those driving factors?

  1. The narcissistic perspective. They consider themselves the one who does good and it is other people who cause the problems, but because they are SO good they will prove that by addressing the issues which have been raised. This is not because they actually believe there is something wrong with them in terms of culpability but rather it is actually an opportunity for them to show the world that they are good and it is other people who are the problem.
  2. This is the victim perspective coming to the fore. The world is a horrible place and no matter how much they try to help others, the world keeps trying to bring them down but that doesn’t matter because guess what? They will rise above it and they will be the one who takes one for the team, who makes the sacrifice and does so for the greater good.
  3. This is the victim perspective once again. They do not see that they are disordered. They do not recognise that they manipulate. They are incapable of doing so because they have no insight or awareness. They do however regard this whole concept of being a ‘tortured soul’ as a magnificent device for drawing fuel. Sympathy, concern and compassion all come flowing. This is not an acknowledgement that there is anything wrong with the Mid Ranger but rather he blames ‘the demon’ (whatever that might be) because blame-shifting is a key defence mechanism and blaming you, the neighbours, the weather or an intangible concept will all work for him.
  4. This is the victim perspective once more but also all part of the sympathy grab for attention. The Mid Ranger wishes to draw pity and compassion but then also be revered, for he is the fallen hero who has been saved and is then able to rise once more, in the magical thinking that plays out in his mind.

The Middle Mid Ranger and Upper Mid Ranger have sufficient cognitive function to realise that their behaviour causes a problem. This is where many victims (understandably) are fooled into thinking that the narcissist is actually showing insight (indeed this often causes them to either think that the narcissist is not a narcissist, or that he is but he can actually change) . The MMR or UMR may acknowledge that his actions cause hurt and problems, however, he or she will never accept ownership of the hurt and problems. For instance, they might say,

“I know that when I disappear for a few days you are worried sick, BUT I need space because you are always pestering me.”

“I understand that you are hurt when I say certain things BUT I am under pressure at work at the moment and you aren’t helping when you question me about why I am home late.”

They can see the consequence but they will not own the consequence. They are configured not to do so.

As is always the case, the uninformed victim accepts the third party explanation as the cause of the errant behaviour or self-flagellates and the victim blames him or herself. So the cause of the problem is regarded as pressure at work or the pestering of the victim.

The Mid Ranger will state he can change and moreover he will also act on the declaration which again sows the seeds of false hope and ensures the victim remains in situ and providing fuel. This is just a further part of the manipulation.

The Mid-Ranger may become more attentive, does not dole out silent treatments, removes the manipulations and stops sulking for a few weeks. This is a Respite Period and he has implemented this because when you said you would not leave, you became painted white again because you did what he wanted. You succumbed to his control and your gracious behaviour provided fuel. The golden period returns and this is what powers his altered ways. It is not because there is any recognition that he must change because it hurts you. The alteration is because you have done what he wanted, thus his split thinking makes you ‘white’ once more and this is what keeps the devaluation at bay, but only for a while.

Naturally, the unwitting victim, having seen changes effected (but not knowing the real reason behind them) is conned into thinking that these changes can happen again and therefore when the plea “But I can change” is made at a later time, the victim is swamped by hope because it happened before (thus it can surely happen again) and thus the cycle continues.

If you return to the Formal Relationship through an Initial Grand Hoover or a Benign Follow-Up Hoover you are painted white once more and the golden period returns, creating the illusion of changed behaviours. Until it tarnishes in due course.

The insidious manipulative manner of the Mid Ranger means that these changes come in many forms. He will alter his actions at home. He will cease the affair shelving the IPSS as your Respite Period Golden Period draws him back to you. He will help out, he will show that inkling of charm once again. He will of course herald his new-found redemption to third parties because this will garner fuel and maintain the facade and of course accords with his complete conviction that he is a good person. This will also provide him with ammunition to hurl at you at the appropriate time, in that he made the changes and if things have faltered it has to be your fault then.

The Mid Ranger will readily attend therapy sessions. This allows him to do several things:-

  1. Show you he is willing and a good person;
  2. He can maintain the facade, “Dawn wanted me to go to therapy and because I love her so much it was the least I could do.” (now tell me how wonderful a husband I am).
  3. He will use the therapy sessions to advance his own agenda. Often the victim will not know what is discussed owing to confidentiality. Therefore the Mid-Ranger, convinced of his own goodness and lack of culpability, will manipulate the therapist  (and will do so convincingly most of the time). Thereafter, the Mid Ranger will tell the victim that actually the therapist said that the victim is the abuser and that the narcissist is the victim. This might be true, an exaggeration of the observations of the unwitting therapist or a lie. Either way, this will leave the victim undermined such is the conviction of the narcissist. Ally that with the fact the victim has seen some changes, their own eroded self-worth and reduced critical thinking and it comes as no surprise that the victim is confused or even believes what the narcissist is saying.
  4. The narcissist can hold it over the victim. “I did as you asked and got some help. They told me there is no issue.” (Now you owe me and I am going to ensure I extract that debt from you repeatedly).

The desire to change is motivated by entirely different reasons than you realise and this desire is not genuine. The change is short-lived, never permanent and any and all behaviours associated with it, no matter how genuine they appear, no matter how earnest the pleading, no matter how many tears are spilled (and the Mid Ranger will turn on the waterworks) it is all part of the manipulation.

They cannot and will not change.

Grasp that understanding so that when you hear “But I can change”, cool,hard logic prevails and you resist the allure of hope. People are inherently optimistic. Empathic people even more so, but the dark side of this hope is vulnerability and our kind and in particular the Mid-Ranger count on that and exploit it.

The Mid-Range Narcissist

 

THE MID RANGENARCISSIST.jpg

 

Meet Malcolm the Mid-Range Narcissist. Say hello Malcolm.

“Hello.”

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.

Angels With Dirty Faces

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.

 

What Happens When You Tell The Narcissist He Is An Abuser?

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU TELL THE NARCISSIST HE IS AN ABUSER_

Next to nobody knows that they have been ensnared by a narcissist the first time that it happens. Indeed, in some cases the victim has no awareness until the second, third or even fourth occasion when this happens. The awakening moment usually occurs post-escape or more usually post-disengagement. This means that the opportunity to express this new found knowledge is reduced ; either because you are now maintaining no contact or the narcissist has disappeared (for the time being) with a new victim in his or her grip. Accordingly, the opportunity to confront the narcissist to tell them that he or she is a narcissist is reduced and I have written separately about what the resultant effect is where you declare ‘No! You Are The Narcissist’.

What is more likely to happen is that the victim recognises that they are being abused or if they do not use that word, they do at least realise that the way they are being treated in a way which is wrong, unpleasant or disrespectful. There are of course a whole host of reasons why the victim may fail to recognise what is happening to them and indeed act on any awareness that does occur, but those are points to address in a separate article.

If you realise that you are being abused, what will happen when you turn to the abusive narcissist and tell them that are an abuser and that they are engaging in abusive behaviour with you.

The Lesser Narcissist

The Lesser Narcissist will not deny the behaviour that you complain of. The Lesser tends to use physical violence, sexual violence, verbal violence and property destruction as the main methods of implementing abuse and exerting control. This is because the Lesser operates in a rudimentary fashion through the sudden explosion of heated fury. Make a point to a Lesser that he or she does not like, you can expect, as a minimum to be treated to the eloquent response of “fuck off”, a punch to the face or quite possibly both. Unrefined, vulgar and crass, the response of the Lesser to being wounded or the need to exert control is to lash out in a bullying and obvious manner.

Should you tell a Lesser Narcissist that he or she is an abuser, you will generate two responses which are similar in nature. If you make this allegation in a neutral manner (thus free of fuel) it will wound the Lesser because he realises that it is critical of his behaviour and therefore this wounding will result in an ignition of fury. Thus heated fury follows and you will find yourself on the receiving end of the types of violence which I have described above.

More likely, when you tell the Lesser Narcissist that he is an abuser, you will do so in a way which provides Challenge Fuel. You will probably be upset, hurt, frustrated or angry when you level this accusation at the Lesser Narcissist. This means you are providing fuel. Nevertheless, the Lesser Narcissist will interpret your allegation as one which is challenging his or her entitlement to treat you precisely as he or she sees fit. Remember, in our eyes, you are an object, a possession and we are entitled to treat you as we want. Do not forget that we have a huge need to control and abuse is a significant method of control. Again, in our world, the need to maintain control and the fact that abuse facilitates control results in its validation. Finally, add into the mix that the Lesser has no empathy whatsoever. Your challenging of our perceived right, the challenge to our entitlement, the paranoia-stoked rebellion to our necessary control means that if you scream at the Lesser Narcissist that he is a hateful, abusive bastard means you issue Challenge Fuel. His response will be

a. He instinctively recognises there is more fuel to be obtained here and therefore the simplest way to gather that precious fuel is to provoke you; and

b. You are challenging his superiority and your insurrection must be quashed.

Since the Lesser operates in a rudimentary fashion, his or response will be to give you another dose of the abusive behaviour to ‘get you back into line’.  The Lesser never explains, never justifies – he or she just does because he or she is entitled to do this and if you do not like it, tough shit. In the same way that a Lesser will state an opinion and all who disagree are automatically labelled as idiots and morons (without explaining why they are), the Lesser responds in an automatic and knee-jerk manner based on their unwavering belief that they are right and entitled.

The Lesser does not recognise that this behaviour is wrong. It is your fault. You deserve this behaviour. He or she cannot empathise with your pain and hurt, instead he or she will only see the need to increase it in order to exert control and gain more fuel. The Lesser does not actually address the allegation in any way which you recognise as dealing with it, but instead will launch a verbal attack against you to deflect from your allegation, to put you in your place and to increase your misery. A fist will be driven into your face or your will be shoved to the floor and given two swift kicks. You ought to know your place and that is one of submission. If you tell a Lesser Narcissist that he or she is an abuser, expect an aggressive response designed to quell your rebellious accusation.

The Mid Range Narcissist will adopt a defensive response to any accusation of him or her being an abuser. Just like the Lesser, the manner in which you make the allegation will either cause wounding or (more often) the provision of Challenge Fuel. Being far more passive aggressive in nature, the Mid Range Narcissist will not lash out with a “more of the same is good for you” attitude that the Lesser adopts, but rather they will continue the abusive behaviour through defending their reputation and justifying their behaviour. This operates as follows :-

  1. “I am not an abuser, how can you say that?” The Mid Range Narcissist believes that he or she is a decent person. That is their true perspective and therefore it just does not ‘compute’ that they could be labelled as an abuser because it does not accord with their own view of themselves. There is no insight. Further, not only has the comment offended their view of themselves, but it also offends their view that they have always been ‘good’ to you, when you are asked how you can say that.
  2. “I know you get upset with me at times but that is because you over react.” The key response of the Mid Range Narcissist to being accused of abusive behaviour is to automatically blame-shift. Notice how they do not deny that the act has happened but rather it is your response which is the key to the Mid Ranger being able to avoid any culpability. It is again your fault. Whereas the Lesser lets you know that it is your fault just because it is, the Mid Ranger will at least tell you why it is your fault

“You are too sensitive.”

“You take too much to heart.”

“Don’t be silly, you read too much into things.”

Thus the narcissist dilutes the effect of the behaviour by suggesting it is the perspective of the victim which is the problem and not the narcissist.

3. If the Mid Range Narcissist does not suggest that it is the perspective of the victim that is the issue, then they will blame-shift in a further way by glossing over the abusive behaviour and instead focusing on the victim as being the catalyst for the abuse and therefore it cannot be the fault of the Mid Ranger. He or she does not necessarily deny that the behaviour has taken place, but their automatic need to maintain the upper hand means that their perspective ensures that the victim is the one who is blamed. Accordingly,

“I know you get upset when I do not speak to you, but if you let me have some peace and quiet rather than nagging me all of the time, I would not have to do it.”

“I slapped you because you were out of order shouting at me the way you did, that is no way to talk to your husband.”

4. The Mid Ranger also deflects by ignoring the abusive behaviour (again not denying it has taken place) but removes any validity of the accusation by deflecting and does so by pointing out all of the good things that the Mid Ranger does for the victim. There is also a good dose of projection in these responses too.

“I cannot believe you pick on one minor incident where I lost my temper after all of the things I have done for you recently.”

“I find it a bit much for you to accuse me of such behaviour when I have been working my nuts off to provide for this household. That really is not fair. Do you know how much pressure I have been under as of late?”

“I said those things because they are true and you don’t appreciate anything I do for you, nothing at all. You always seize on the one thing which I apparently do wrong and castigate me for it whilst you ignore all of the really good things that I do. How is that fair?”

5. The False Mea Culpa. The Mid Range Narcissist may well acknowledge that what they have done is unpleasant and hurtful and rather than blame-shift on to the victim as described above, they transfer culpability to something else.

“I don’t know what came over me, I think someone must have spiked my drink.”

“I have no idea why I did that, it must be all the pressure at work.”

“That’s not me that does that, it is like, it is like there is some demon or something which takes over from time to time. I need some help, will you help me?”

“I know there is something wrong with me, I just cannot help it, it isn’t the real me, I want to stop it, I will see someone about it and together we can conquer it.”

Notice how there is no accountability, it is some other ‘force’ or event which has caused the aberrant behaviour. The Mid Range Narcissist also deflects from what they have done by making it all about them in terms of them being a tortured soul, needing help, needing the support of the victim. This apparent contrition not only regularly cons the victim (because it is not genuine but is just a further manipulation) but it also results in plenty of fuel for the Mid Range Narcissist as he is “fussed” over by the victim and third parties.

The bottom line with the Mid Range Narcissist is that they will never accept they are an abuser. They are not programmed to do that as they have no emotional empathy. They might understand how their conduct is considered as ‘wrong’ by you and other people, because of their increased cognitive function but their disorder will not allow them to accept accountability for it. If they did, they would lose control and lose fuel and therefore they are automatically conditioned to reject any suggestion of culpability or accountability for the abuse.

The victim will be suckered into thinking either it is their fault (they over-reacted, they have been getting on the Mid Ranger’s back more recently (yes, with justification but they are dissuaded from seeing it that way) or that the Mid Ranger recognises and accepts they have abused the victim. Typically, rather than get away having (apparently) secured the truth (as a truth seeker) the victim stays in the hope of securing the healing of the abuser which they long for (alongside all of the other reasons why a victim remains with an abusive narcissist).

The Mid Ranger will maintain the façade that he or she is a good person, blame-shift and then if necessary created waves of sympathy for their behaviour whilst still not accepting they are to blame for it.

The Greater Narcissist knows the behaviour is abusive and sees it as entirely necessary to the fulfilment of his or her aims, namely control, and The Prime Aims. The Greater Narcissist also lacking emotional empathy, guilt or remorse sees what they do as a function. The Greater Narcissist knows what they are doing but the overriding need for control and superiority means that it is entirely acceptable to abuse.

Of course, the aware Greater Narcissist recognises that to make such an admission to the victim is a foolish one as this would cede control to the victim, something which must not happen. The Greater Narcissist adopts a triumvirate approach to any allegation that he or she is an abuser

  1. Total Rejection.
  2. Misperception.
  3. Threat

Through Total Rejection, the Greater Narcissist will just dismiss the allegation. Able to control his or her ignited fury with a far greater degree of control, the glacial Greater will just wave a hand and tell the victim

“That’s not abuse, punching somebody is abusive, what I did, is not abuse.”

“Don’t be so silly, I do not abuse you. Does an abuser take someone to the premiere of the new Bond movie and the after performance party? No they do not.”

The Greater is able to do this because he or she control their ignited fury, the fact that they speak and operate with a supreme confidence and conviction and because the nature of the abuse doled out by the Greater is done in such a calculated, insidious and mind-fucking manner that the victim (with eroded self-worth and reduced critical thinking) is easily led to the conclusion that it cannot be abuse. The Greater acts with plausible deniability. There are no marks from the kick to the lower back that a Lesser would leave. No finger tip bruising from the Mid Range hand about the neck. No witnesses, no observers, no evidence. Your word versus ours.

Misperception is also used. Greaters enjoy gas lighting you as the finesse and skill required appeals to our more sophisticated approach to abuse. Of course whilst we see this as an almost noble way to abuse you, it remain abuse nevertheless.

“Don’t be silly darling, that never happened.”

“We must get you back to the doctors, you are hallucinating again.”

“I told you not to mix that medication and vodka, see what it has done? It has you thinking horrible things about you and me.”

Events never happened, actions have been perceived by you inaccurately. Throw in the game-playing of our Coterie and our Lieutenants and you will find yourself in a dizzying and disorientating nightmare where the abuse never did happen because of your mistaken perception.

Finally, threat will be used. Here, the ever confident Greater will admit that the abuse has happened but makes it very clear with an accompanying reptilian smile that if you ever breath a word of it to anybody else then the resulting repercussions will be a hundred times worse than what you have experienced before. The jet-black eyes fixed on you and the steady delivery of such a threat readily convinces you that this is the case. Having experienced the abuse and also being well-aware of what the Greater is capable of, the Greater’s admission gets you no further forward. Instead, you may think you have gained some power through achieving this admission, but you actually have a sword of Damocles hanging over your head now, reminding you of the threat attached to acquiring this power. In reality, it is not power at all.

With regard to the issue of abuse, it is pointless to try and gain acknowledgement from the abuser. You will not receive validation and instead you will face further abuse and manipulation.

If you require validation as to what is happening to you, rely on your gut instinct and read Manipulated, Devil’s Toolkit and Black Flag as within those pages you will find all the confirmation you require which will give you the logic to move to the next stage of countering and escaping that abuse,

The Fuel Matrix – Part Two

THE FUEL MATRIX - PT TWO

As explained in Part One, understanding the fuel matrix for the relevant school of narcissist (with appropriate adjustments relevant to the cadre) allows you to understand how a particular narcissist is likely to respond to your imposition of no contact, dependent on how you fit into that matrix. It also allows you to understand what other competing interests you can expect within this fuel matrix and how the narcissist is likely to interact with these other sources. This part of the series considers the fuel matrix of the Mid-Range School of narcissist.

  1. The Lower Mid-Range Narcissist (“LMRN”)

The LMRN is of reasonable cognitive function. He has no awareness as to what he is. Whilst passive aggressive features are the forte of the Mid Ranger Narcissist, as a lower, he does gravitate towards the aggression of the Lesser Narcissist. This means that when there is an ignition of fury, the relevant victim may well experience the manifestation of physical violence. There is not the blunt fury of the Lesser, but the risk of being punched or kicked is there. The LMRN, when heated fury is ignited, will respond at times by throttling the victim.  There are potential substance abuse issues evident with the LMRN also. He or she will work and have a reasonable job albeit it is unremarkable.

The LMRN relies heavily on people feeling sorry for him or her and this arises either through the manifestation of cold fury, through silent treatments et al or having a temper tantrum as heated fury is exhibited. Unlike the Lesser who will erupt in a volcanic fashion or the Greater who will erupt with a frenzied malice, a calculated application of antipathy which will hurt his or victim, the LMRN is petulant.

Of all the schools and their divisions, the LMRN is most likely to become The Incredible Sulk . He has a fairly low threshold of control on his fury and can either erupt with heated or cold fury and pretty much does so in equal measure, something which is different from the other divisions of schools.

The LMRN has a small fuel matrix. He has little charm, if any, he will have limited financial power and relies on people feeling sorry for him and wanting to help him. The LMRN who is of the Victim Cadre is a pathetic creature indeed. In terms of the fuel matrix, it is as follows

a. The primary source will usually be intimate in nature. There may be occasions where the LMRN will skulk back to his or her parents and place them as primary source but most of the time the primary source will be intimate in nature and is often someone who is a The Carrier Empath to put up with the fairly low energy level of the LMRN and his or her propensity to sulk. The primary source is expected to work and run the house and will be denied much opportunity to socialise as the LMRN will not want that person being away from them.

b. There will be numerous familial secondary sources. Unlike the Lower Lesser or Middle  Lesser, the LMRN is able to maintain reasonably good relationships with his family because he seeks pity and sympathy more than fear and hurt. They will regard him as moody but will put up with it meaning he is able to rely on these secondary sources as reliable. This is necessary because of the point in (c).

c. The social secondary sources will be limited. Lacking charm and generally regarded as sulky, self-centred and something of a mardy arse, the LMRN struggles with creating a significant social secondary source circle. He will have a small number, three or four, inner circle friends with whom he will do most things;

d. The LMRN usually works and therefore will have colleague secondary sources. He will not be held in high regard by them but nevertheless his less volcanic nature means that he will have numerous of these colleague secondary sources dependent on the size of the organisation he works for;

e. The LMRN will have an IPSS when the IPPS is being devalued. It is unusual for him to have more than one and it is often the case that the IPSS will not be recruited from a social setting but usually through work;

f. In terms of tertiary sources, the LMRN will engage with a reasonable number of these sources as he works, he will be out and about in terms of shopping etc and his interactions will largely be benign in nature unless he perceives a criticism and then he will readily erupt in order to draw negative fuel from the offending tertiary source.

2. The Middle Mid-Ranger Narcissist (“MMRN”)

The MMRN has a little charm but his weapon is politeness and behaving in a respectable manner. He or she is well-thought of. The MMRN is not a huge attention seeker and does not exhibit grandiose behaviours. Instead the MMRN wants to be well thought of by everybody. This person is intelligent and is likely to have a good job.

Like any narcissist, the MMRN is hugely sensitive to criticism and the MMRN is more sensitive than most. This is because he lacks the dynamic aggression of the Lesser rf the malevolent charm of the Greater but instead feels constrained by his lack of ability to influence people in a sudden and meaningful manner. This means that the MMRN is an envious individual and is always looking to gain the advantage from covert and secretive means. He throws the figurative second punch (often piggybacking on the behaviour of a Greater although he does not know that this is what that person is). He is two-faced, a spreader of gossip and always looking to get other people to do his dirty work. He is cowardly but will never countenance being called as such. He ingratiates himself with people through his intelligence and limited charm and is prone to repeated pity plays. He is the archetypal architect of the silent treatment in all its forms and heated fury is rare with him. If it does appear, it will be shouting, spitting and slapping. He is an habitual liar, not just in a defensive manner (which is what Lessers and the LMRN do) but in a proactive manner, in order to cause trouble and cajole people into acting on his behalf through the dissemination of gossiping untruths.

The fuel matrix of the MMRN is not extensive but is larger than that of the LMRN.

a. The primary source. Rarely a family member and nearly always an intimate partner. This person will be guilt-tripped into doing everything for the supposedly hard-working MMRN. He will use his façade of being a ‘regular’ guy to keep the IPPS in place. He will unleash repeated silent treatments, blame-shifting and projection to maintain the upper hand;

b. Familial secondary sources.  The MMRN has reliable and extensive familial secondary sources. He is either well-regarded by those of The Coterie who consider him to be a well-brought up son, well-regarded nephew and brother, or as someone who is prone to being viewed as “sensitive” being the unknowing victim’s view of this particular narcissist. Either way the family secondary circle is one which is compliant for the MMRN;

c. Colleague secondary sources. The MMRN has a reasonable sized fuel matrix at work. This is roughly equal between those who consider him a diligent worker and reliable and those who consider him to be untrustworthy and a brown-noser. Whilst the MMRN will make pity plays concerning the unfair attitude of the latter group, the fact remains that he has engagement with well over a dozen people, possibly more dependent on the size of the workplace, all of which who are locked into his fuel matrix.

d. With respect to the social secondary sources, the MMRN does not have an extensive social circle. His matrix draws from the IPPS and the secondary sources through family and work. Lacking the charisma and grandiose behaviours which might draw people to him socially in significant numbers, the MMRN keeps his social circle small with perhaps 4-6 inner circle friends. He will not see these friends with significant regularity but instead does so more through the auspices of organised events, such as dinner parties amongst the groups or attendance at functions.

e. The MMRN will have an IPSS at the appropriate time. He is capable of securing the attentions of two IPSSs through a combination of intelligence and manipulation. He relies, like the LMRN on the workplace being the feeder ground for the selection and cultivation of the IPSS or IPSSs. Somewhat ponderous in nature and also very much aware of his façade the MMRN is careful to keep IPPS and IPSSs very separate.

f. The MMRN will engage with tertiary sources as a consequence of job, social life and general community involvement. Again, his awareness of the façade means that his engagements for the most part will be benign in nature. Should a tertiary source wound him, he is less likely to lash out at that tertiary source and instead more likely to triangulate the individual through the raising of a complaint to the relevant person.

3. The Upper Mid-Range Narcissist (“UMRN”)

This division of the Mid Range school of narcissism is of considerable intelligence. He also has some reasonable charm. People often mistake the UMRN for a Greater. This is because the UMRN has a degree of sophistication, some charm and some calculation. He is rarely physical with his victims and instead he is a master manipulator through the application of silence. Whether it is a steely gaze, a glacial shoulder or ghosting, the UMRN is able to use the silent treatment to the greatest effect. He instinctively identifies victims who find such treatment of being ignored and overlooked especially disturbing. He is also capable in terms of playing people off against one another. He does not have the tantrum behaviour of the LMRN nor the avoidant tendencies of the MMRN, instead he finds considerable fuel in playing people against one another based on petty insecurities. He will use exclusion from a group, be it work, family or social as the stick by which to bring about compliance. He does not hit, he does not threaten but rather he uses the imposition of silence through exclusion as a major modus operandi to achieving what he requires.

a. The primary source. This is nearly always going to be an intimate partner. His attributes and the fact that he will hold a senior or professional position makes him an attractive prospect. He appears lacking volatility since he has a better hold on his ignited fury than the other schools and divisions mentioned so far. He will have decent financial ability. He relies extensively on the IPPS as other narcissists do, but his reliance is not as great as the other schools and divisions touch on.

b. Familial secondary sources. He is generally well-regarded by his family secondary sources and can command numerous of them for the purposes of support and fuel. He is likely to have made an example of one or two and excluded them from the group and no longer bothers with them. Expect therefore one or two black sheep to exist in the fuel matrix of the UMRN;

c. Colleague secondary sources. The UMRN will have a significant work fuel matrix. The UMRN is less likely to be a business owner as he prefers to be part of a large machine, thus as a senior manager in a corporate setting, a partner in an accountancy practice or an academic in a college or university he is able to interface with dozens of people who he will utilise as secondary sources. The majority will regard him in a benign manner, but he will have made one or two enemies within the workplace, again arising from his ability to freeze people out;

d. Social secondary sources. The  UMRN will have the largest social circle of all mid-rangers but it is still not extensive. Work and family provide the bulk of his secondary sources and socially he will have numerous outer circle friends (often drawn from work) perhaps around a dozen and only say two or three inner circle friends who are likely to be long-standing in nature. Outer circle friends will also be lost from time to time through his exclusionary behaviours.

e. IPSSs. The UMRN is capable of operating two or more IPSSs should the need arise. He will carefully keep them separate from one another, deploying the assistance of Lieutenants in ensuring that they do not find out about one another until after the event or if he decides there is something to be served in such triangulation, but this is rare. He has the sophistication and attraction to keep several plates spinning and once people learn about such Casanova behaviour they would be rather surprised by such a revelation;

f. The UMRN knows numerous tertiary sources. He interacts with them as a consequence of his varied involvement in the community, socially and through work. He is most mindful of the efficacy of the façade and therefore is mainly pleasant and benign in his interactions with them as he wishes to remain well thought of. If a tertiary source displeases him, he will not lash out, but again will request their removal as waiter or a change of post man etc from the relevant powers that be.

Part Three examines the Fuel Matrix of the Greater school of narcissism.

The Incredible Sulk

THE INCREDIBLESULK

Who is the Incredible Sulk?

Unsurprisingly, he or she is a Mid-Range Narcissist. Lesser may occasionally sulk but it is rare, they are far more likely to explode with heated fury, either lashing out at your by name-calling or windmilling fists. The Greater may also sulk, but that is a very rare occurrence as the Greater regards such a passive-aggressive behaviour as beneath him and would rather use threat and intimidation as the expressions of his heated fury and escalate them from that point.

The Mid-Range Narcissist utilises passive aggressive behaviours in order to draw fuel. Chief amongst those behaviours are pity plays, cold shoulders, baleful glares and silent treatments. There is however a particular manipulation that some Mid-Rangers will use and this is when they become the Incredible Sulk. What are the main features of the Incredible Sulk?

  1. It is a Present Silent Treatment. The Incredible Sulk is never an Absent Silent Treatment. This is because the Absent Silent Treatment serves two functions. The first is to draw fuel from you as the main victim by making you worry where the narcissist has gone and also to have you trying to effect contact which in turn provides fuel to us. The second function is that it usually (although not always) enables the narcissist to focus on seducing someone else. Accordingly, that two week disappearance or two day vanishing act is being used to upset and anger you, but at the same time this will be used to draw somebody else in. It stands to reason therefore that if the charm et al is being used against someone else there cannot be an Incredible Sulk taking place. Even if (unusually) this absence is not being used to seduce someone else, there is not a sulk in progress. The Absent Silent Treatment is a   Cold Shoulder whereby the Mid-Ranger is being more aggressive in his ignoring of the victim.
  2. The Incredible Sulk occurs when the narcissist remains present to the victim for the whole purpose of enabling the victim (usually the IPPS but will also include family member  Non-Intimate Secondary Sources “NISSs”, family NISSs and sometimes colleague NISSs). When the Incredible Sulk is in progress, it is not just a case of the IPPS being singled out for the silent treatment and the narcissist speaking with everybody else, not at all. The Incredible Sulk is with everybody.
  3. The Incredible Sulk is a manifestation of cold fury. The Mid-Range Narcissist will have been criticised (usually unintentionally) and this has then ignited his or her fury, leading to the silent treatment.
  4. Whilst it is criticism which is the catalyst for the Incredible Sulk, one of the defining features which remains at the heart of its operation is envy. Just as the Incredible Hulk went into Hulk mode by turning green, the Incredible Sulk is also green, but it is with envy. Huge, visceral envy for others and how they are outflanking, outgunning and outperforming him or her. The Mid-Range Narcissist who is prone to engaging in the Incredible Sulk is one who has a huge envy issue. Envy is a common theme for all of our kind, but especially so for some and if they are Mid-Range it manifests as the Incredible Sulk. The Mid-Range Narcissist will be envious of something said and/or done by the victim (usually the IPPS) and whilst this is part of the criticism it is this envy which is perpetuating the Incredible Sulk. The narcissist will be envious of the victims prowess in some regard, for instance if the victim has passed an examination or secured a new and prestigious job, been given a significant pay rise, been complimented by somebody or has achieved an accomplishment. The spotlight (even if not asked for by the victim) is on the victim and the narcissist hates this. It underlines to him how mean and cruel the world is, how unfair his life has become and it is of course all the fault of the person that the narcissist envies.
  5. Whilst engaged in an Incredible Sulk the narcissist is sullen, uncommunicative, self-pitying and doleful. There is no baleful glare directed at anybody. There is no curled lip in readiness for a snarl. There is no blackened look. Instead, the Incredible Sulk will stare at the floor as if willing it to open up and consume him. He will gaze with wistful angst from the window or pick up some personal object and fix his eyes on it as he turns it over and over in his hands, depicting how wrought with dejection he is.
  6. The Incredible Sulk is maintained for a considerable period of time. This is not a fifteen minutes or two hour present silent treatment. This will last for at least a day and most likely longer. Any attempt to communicate with the Incredible Sulk will be met with him or her not responding at all, shrugging or fixing the recipient with a hangdog expression as if every woe in the world is pressing down on and being experienced by the narcissist.
  7. The Incredible Sulk wants everyone to be looking at him, flocking around him, asking what is wrong, suggesting ways to break this state. He wants his IPPS trying to establish whatever is the matter. He will expect his children to be pulling on his sleeve asking “Dad, what’s up?” If the children are young, their uncomprehending tears will only add to the fuel. He does not care for their upset. In the narcissist’s mind, he feels only dejection, rejection and self-pity. He knows the world does not care about him, but it should and this state is a representation of how he knows the world regards him. Even if the IPPS invites friends, family, colleagues around to try and break this almost catatonic state that the narcissist has entered, those trying to inject a smile or at least some kind of positive reaction in the narcissist will only be met with the doleful stare of the narcissist which seems to saying “There is no hope for me anymore”. It is an instinctive response of the Incredible Sulk and is designed to draw yet more fuel through consternation, bewilderment and redoubled efforts to help.
  8. There are two reasons why the Incredible Sulk operates by involving everybody around him or her, rather than say the IPPS (which is the usual outcome of a Present Silent Treatment). The first is that the more people which are responding to the Incredible Sulk, the more fuel is available The second reason is that if the IPPS becomes fed up of trying to elicit a positive response, there will still be others (children, friends, other family members) who will keep trying and thus the fuel continues to flow.
  9. The Incredible Sulk wants fuel from this behaviour. He wants to be fawned over, mollycoddled, told how much he is loved, apologised to and made to feel special. Even when the wound that arose from the criticism has been healed, the Incredible Sulk will keep this behaviour going because it is so effective at drawing fuel. He also regards it as his right to do this – the world owes him it. It should be lauding him, respecting him and idealising him and its failure to do so means that instead he is entitled to withdraw (yet remain) and drink up all of the consequential fuel from the appliances affected by the Incredible Sulk.
  10. The Incredible Sulk is unlikely to eat (again for effect by making it appear as if there is something seriously wrong), they will miss certain activities they would usually engage in (for instance not going out with friends) in order to draw more fuel appliances into the catchment of the Incredible Sulk and will give the impression that he or she has entered some kind of depressed state. There is no such depression but the Incredible Sulk is content to make it appear so as this will generate more concern and fuel.
  11. He or she will sit for hours on end in a chair, staring at the television, apparently not really taking in what is going on. Mealtimes will be ignored and even food brought to the Incredible Sulk will be ignored or just picked at. He or she will walk slowly, moping about, emitting occasional sighs of dejection and flopping listlessly into bed or onto the settee.
  12. The Incredible Sulk has no difficulty in maintaining this state because he or she is initially wounded and then the huge envy that this particular Mid-Range Narcissist suffers from will perpetuate the behaviour over several days. Work will be missed with a concern spouse calling in on behalf of the narcissist, doctors will be consulted and the Incredible Sulk will continue as of course this is all fuel.
  13. The only way to break the Incredible Sulk is to ignore it wholesale. This means everybody in the vicinity. Nobody ought to pay the Incredible Sulk any attention At first this will cause the Mid-Ranger to respond by trying to draw more attention through loud sighs, slumping, holding his or her head in her hands, muttering under his or breath. These are just further manipulations and should be ignored. Once the Incredible Sulk realises that this showcase silent treatment is not having any effect any more he will slowly emerge from it. He or she will not just snap out of it, but rather emerge like some kind of hibernating creature. Once this happens, resists the urge to ask “what was all that about” as you will only be fuelling the narcissist. Act as if it never happened. This will be difficult to do and offend your sense of empathy to assist someone and establish what was going on, but once you recognise that an Incredible Sulk is in hand you will now how to address it.
  14. The Incredible Sulk is not just rolled out at home. It might appear in a social setting whereby the Incredible Sulk will suddenly just not speak with anybody and will sit staring at his or her drink, looking through people and appearing as if ‘not there’ in order to garner attention. It might be during a meet gin with colleagues where the narcissist will just look out of the window as if pre-occupied before giving a dejected and puppy dog look at someone as if to say “I am so troubled and you have no idea.” It is all about garnering sympathy and pity. It is not an aggressive sulk that is telling people to stay away, not at all, it is one which is designed to draw people and thus their fuel as they try to work out what is wrong and help.

Thus this is the Incredible Sulk. Just be thankful no shirts or trousers were ripped in the process.

The Support Forum Fraud

THE SUPPORTFORUM FRAUD

There are many online support forums that exist with regard to the issue of narcissism and narcissistic abuse.

I have previously moved amongst the shadows of these blogs, Facebook sites, Twitter pages and so forth, observing and absorbing the behaviours that I have witnessed. There are those which provide information. Others are the cathartic disclosures of victims who are seeking to warn as well as recount their own horrors alongside their journey or recovery. There are others which are there to assist people in healing from the trauma they have suffered. The quality and reliability of them varies. Amidst the proliferation of support forums lurk our kind.

There is no doubt that our kind inhabit these places. Indeed, from time to time Lesser and Mid-Range Narcissists have appeared and frequented my blog. Easy for me to spot, but less so for others. Naturally, narcissists appear at other sites and forums, commenting and interacting. Those narcissists will gain some fuel from the interaction with the people on that forum, but more specifically they will look to befriend a fellow commenter or two and take their interaction off blog and onto private messaging, the telephone, Skype and ultimately meeting in person. The Tertiary Source becomes a secondary source and the provision of fuel increases in potency, quantity and frequency. A separate article will cover that type of interaction.

The narcissist also operates on these support forums in a different capacity ; that of moderator, administrator or host.

How does this manifest?

First of all, if a Greater operates such a forum then he or she will be open about the fact, confirm what they are and explain much about the way we think and operate. These sites are extremely rare. Greaters are very rare and those which operate sites similar to mine are even rarer. However, those that do exist make it clear what the site is and who is operating it. This rarity and the common misunderstanding that all narcissists do not know what they are, leads some people to regard such sites in a mistaken manner.

Secondly, a Lesser would not operate such a forum. He or she has no idea what he or she is and being utterly devoid of empathy (including cognitive empathy), it would never occur to the Lesser to devise such a site. They have no interest in appearing as a saintly figure and they have no desire to listen to the woes of others. The Lesser will frequent the forums but they will not run them, indeed they prefer to utilise someone else’s work to enable them to boast about their own (supposed) encounters with a narcissist and then take centre stage as they brag about their life style, attack other commenters and do so with an utter lack of awareness as to their behaviour and of course, what they are.

Thirdly, it is the Mid-Ranger who poses the problem with regard to the creation and running of these forums. Why the Mid-Ranger? Again, he or she does not know what she is but these sites appeal to them because:-

  1. They are able to engage in their façade management. The Mid Range Narcissist genuinely believes that he or she is a good person, a decent person , an empathic person. It is other people who are the horrible, abusive narcissists. Not them.
  2. The site gives them an excellent vehicle to sound off about their own perceived mis-treatment. The Mid Ranger loves a good Pity Party, Compassion Conference or Sympathy Symposium and those that interact with these people buy into this.
  3. It enables them to continue a campaign against those the Mid Range Narcissist perceives as the abuser. Thus the ex-girlfriend, the parents, the boss or the once upon a time best friend, all find themselves routinely smeared and the validation that the site’s readers provides to the Mid Range Narcissist only goes to consolidate in their minds that they are a good person and that they are truly the victim.

The Mid Ranger is the narcissist who you will find operating these forums (or fora if you prefer) . Of course not all of the online support forums are operated by our kind, far from it, but there is a noticeable presence by our kind. Indeed, I have had many of my readers express their concerns and suspicions about certain sites and their provenance, based on their experiences there and what they have witnessed.

This is difficult for people to recognise. They will have some familiarity naturally with the idea of narcissism, since why else are they at a narcissist abuse support forum?! However, it is highly likely that their skills have not yet become attuned to recognising our kind and certainly not this particular wolf in sheep’s clothing.

What then are the indicators which show that a narcissist is operating the site (or is involved as a moderator or administrator)? Based on what I have witnessed at certain sites, you should be aware of the following

  1. Invalidation. The subject of narcissism is both emotive and complex and therefore people have various experiences, opinions and theories. Some may simply be incorrect. Some may be based on a misunderstanding. Some however remain valid because that is the experience of the individual. The Support Forum Fraud (“SFF”) will reject out of hand the experience of the reader or commenter if it disagrees with, is at odds with or contradicts something stated by the SFF. Rather than recognising a difference of opinion, or politely explaining why the reader’s view is mistaken, the SFF will be dismissive.
  2. Aggressive. If the reader holds their ground with the SFF then they will be treated in an aggressive fashion. The reader is not insulting or provocative and merely states their view. They are treated to an aggressive response from the SFF. This is the manifestation of the MRN’s ignited fury. They will be told they know nothing, that they are being ridiculous, that the SFF knows far better and reminded that the SFF operates the forum.
  3. Labelling. The SFF will label the reader as an abuser or as a narcissist. I have seen this happen on many occasions and is a rapid dose of projection designed to put down, invalidate and insult the reader.
  4. The Labelling also has a further effect. It acts as a call to arms to other readers to launch into an attack against the hapless reader. The SFF expects their readership to gang up on this ‘narcissist’ and tell them what they are and drum them from the forum. Who are those who respond to this clarion call of the SFF? They belong to two groups  ; other narcissists and mis-guided victims. The former group of course do not know what they are. The Lessers will see it as an excellent opportunity for some verbal abuse provocation. The Mid Rangers will see it as a chance to curry favour with the host and demonstrate their own credentials as a ‘good’ person. The Mis-Guided Victims (often newbies) are still very hurt by their experience and their inexperience and current world view causes them to lash out at someone who they have mistakenly seen as a narcissist. It is an easy mistake for them to make, after all, they are still learning and the supposed guru of the host has declared this person to be a narcissist, so it must be true. There will be those, those who are more experienced and empathic who will defend the reader, recognising they are not a narcissist and that the person is entitled to express their opinion. They will be set on also and therefore this often causes others to avoid the fray to begin with.
  5. The host will engage in repeated recollections of their own horrendous treatment at the hands of the narcissist. It will be like a daily sermon as they rail against this person with a zealous enthusiasm which lasts for far too long for that of a genuine victim.
  6. The host having identified a supposed narcissist on the site will not let the matter go. If the reader remains (or is allowed to remain) on the site, they will be repeatedly branded and subjected to passive aggressive remarks. Even once gone or banished, they will be made mention of by the SFF.
  7. The SFF will also make repeated reference to their “online attackers” or their “trolls” in order to gain sympathy from readers. These supposed attackers remain vague and amorphous in identity because they often do not exist, but they are a perception of the SFF.
  8. The SFF will dole out the Pity Plays in order to gain the sympathy and support of their readers. Whilst they will repeatedly make mention of how badly they have been treated by the ‘narcissist’ they were ensnared by, they will also make such comments as “I don’t why I bother doing this at times” and “I am sick of not being appreciated” and “some of you have no idea how much effort this takes”.
  9. Waterworks. If the SFF uses videos on the site or has a YouTube presence then the crocodile, self-pitying tears will flow. Those whose tears are genuine either will not post material containing them (they do not want people to see or regard it as unprofessional) or if they do it is clear it is genuine. The SFF’s waterworks will be forced as they summon up the tears. They will switch them on and off like the flicking of the switch. Once you know what to look for, you will see them.
  10. There is a lack of originality in the material. The SFF can only pose as the supposed empathic supporter of the abused not through actual experience or emotional empathy but through mimicry. Accordingly, the material that is placed on the site will be drawn from elsewhere. Often, the lazier SFF (coupled with their sense of entitlement and lack of accountability) will steal the work of others and either not credit it to the original author or pass it off as their own.
  11. There will be passive aggressive comments made towards the commenters and readers. Again, this is not always obvious to newcomers, but those with experience will soon spot this indicator and allied with points above the picture becomes clear.
  12. Sudden blocking. A reader will find themselves blocked from the site without any explanation or understanding as to what they have done. This passive aggressive response will arise because the SFF has perceived some behaviour of the reader which is unacceptable and thus wounded, has lashed out with this cold fury by providing a Silent Treatment.

Over time, the aggregate of these behaviours will demonstrate the true nature of the person operating the site and you will then realise just who is really behind the supposed caring, empathic persona.

You may have found yourself on the receiving end of such behaviour previously. Of course, you will not experience this behaviour in the future. Why? Well, you have no reason to go anywhere else than here now, have you!?