Granting you contentment is part of our design when we seduce you and grant you the golden period. The provision of your contentment at that juncture in our entanglement provides the luscious positive fuel to flow in our direction and all is well. We truly do delight in seeing you content with the illusion that we have woven for you. It is when you and us move into the stages of devaluation and discard that we regard your state of contentment in a wholly different manner,
During devaluation if we witness you appearing content, we are overcome with jealousy. Why should you be allowed to sit there satisfied, happy and relaxed? Why do you not suffer the repeated unease of the desire to gain fuel when those supplies become low? We look across the room at you, your features composed in an expression of peace. The envy rises and we despise the fact that you are sat in pleasant repose, seemingly all at ease with the world. We invariably associate that your composed appearance is achieved in order to annoy and frustrate us. You know don’t you? You know that we have this churning fury inside us which shifts and slides. You know that we have the growing hunger for fuel and how this creates a restlessness in us. You know all of this and yet you sit there, revelling in our discomfort. If you cared you would not be enjoying that book, talking on the ‘phone to a friend or watching your favourite television programme. No, if you loved us properly then you would be ensuring that this restlessness was banished and that our sense of power and might was reinstated. Your content state is being bandied about in front of us, teasing and provoking. You are mocking us because you are achieving something that is denied to us at that time. How dare you behave in this manner? How dare you forget about our needs? This is symptomatic of the selfishness we knew you possessed and now you wave it in our faces suggesting that somehow we are inferior to you. This will not do.
Your contentment at this stage amounts to a provocation and is tantamount to a criticism of us. You have achieved contentment whilst we experience restlessness and you know this don’t you? Oh, we know that you will pretend to be unaware of what you are doing, but we know your game. We are not fooled by these protestations of innocence so when we fling the dinner plate to the floor, shattering the plate and silence, causing you to jump up in fright, you knew it was coming. The plate lies broken and your contentment in one swift move is similarly smashed. You are not allowed to be content unless it is by our say so. We want you on tenterhooks, your nervous eyes looking to us for approval and consent. Exhibit any sign of being relaxed, at ease or content and we will take action to destroy that state in an instant. We will pick a fight, create an argument, call you a name, break something, interrupt you with an insult walk out and slam the door and so many other actions all designed to remove you from your contented position. When we see you like that, you remind us of what we cannot achieve at that time and we hate you for it.
It becomes worse when the relationship has ended. Whether you escaped us or we discarded you, there will come a point when we turn our sights on you again in order to extract that wonderful hoover fuel. It may be weeks or months later but we will have been undertaking observations in order to determine the most effective way of hoovering you. If we see you getting on with your life, radiating happiness and an air of contentment it infuriates us hugely. How dare you seem happy without us? You are meant to be broken and distraught, that is how the aftermath is supposed to be. Admittedly, it usually is, but every so often we may find that one of our victims has seized the power and advanced his or her position, forging through the emotion and formulating their recovery. It may be the case that we have seen you on one of the few good days, the bad days taking place where the world cannot see, but that does not matter to us. Should we witness you looking well, smiling, having lost weight, or looking fitter, dressing elegantly, meeting friends with laughter and smiles it wounds us considerably. You seem to have forgotten us. You are bound to us, forever, have you forgotten that this is the case? You are at our beck and call until the day either of us breathes our last, yet here you are striding across the street, hair glossy and styled, posture confident and uplifted and meeting somebody with a kiss and a broad smile. This was not meant to happen. You exude contentment, a confidence that we thought was shattered and unlikely to be rebuilt for some time. How did this happen? Who has caused this transformation from the sobbing wretch we left without so much as a goodbye to the contented person we now look at from the shadows? It may be a one-off, it may be a glimpse of something that is a work in progress, but such considerations do not matter when we see it. We are wounded by this display. You appear to no longer need us. Where is the stooped figure? The haunted individual with dark-circled eyes and pallid skin? Where is the comfort-eater that we mocked so horribly? Where has the lank-haired, nervous shuffling person we tormented gone to? This was not meant to happen. Ever.
Seeing you so content post escape or post discard is a massive criticism to us. The lesser or mid-range of our kind will most likely slink away, regarding this show of strength (temporary even though it may be) as evidencing somebody with defences high and radar warily sensitive. Any hoover would be doomed to hoover and might even result in further injurious harm. No, the lesser or mid-range will retreat and return to the new prospect that has been acquired and other sources of fuel and make a mental note that a hoover at this juncture is unlikely to meet with success. The Greater of our kind will seethe and glower, dismayed and wounded by this peacock performance. Unseen, we will send baleful glares your way as we formulate a way to pierce this shield of contentment. Schemes will be concocted once again in order to hammer this contentment into nothingness. The Greater may, if sufficiently motivated, spring forward and unless malign actions for the purpose of drawing negative fuel, preferring to adopt such a tactic rather than seek to draw the target back in. It is time to lash out and destroy rather than capture. Our fury is ignited and our calculating minds will ascertain that this can only be a veneer. It is far too soon for you to appear to content again, no matter how much it appears genuine. We want to halt the recovery before it gathers any more momentum and thus the Greater will unleash a savage malign hoover, smearing and hurling insults, dredging up those historic vulnerabilities in order to break the contentment again, just as we did those many months ago during devaluation. The ignited fury drives the Greater forward to shatter, break and destroy and if successful, then he or she knows that further malign assaults can be rolled out to cripple the recovery. Once the recovery has been derailed, the contentment eradicated and the veneer of confidence stripped, then the golden period can be dangled again before the quivering victim.
It never does to see you contented. This is why when we see it during devaluation you will suffer and adverse reaction. Following the cessation of the relationship it wounds us considerably and will generate a certain response dependent on the type of our kind that you were entangled with. The maintenance of contentment is indeed a blow against us.
I am red of tooth and claw. I seduce, I hurt, I cast to one side and like some malevolent Pied Piper, I play my tunes once again and draw you into my fabricated world. I operate a zero sum policy. I want what you have. If I gain it, I win. I love to win. I must always win. The winner is the conqueror, the strongest and the survivor. This is what I have been taught. That is the reality of my existence. Yet when you have been selected as our targets and the seduction has commenced, we have certain desires that we want to be true. There are initial desires that exist so that we do not have to go down the road so often travelled. We may have ensnared you but might we remain protector rather than persecutor?
We have these wants at the outset of our coupling with you. These are genuine, well-intentioned and considerable in nature. We are imbued with hope, optimism and confidence, every time a new prospect has been embraced by us. We want these things so that the teeth are never bared and the claws remain lowered.
- You are the one
I chose you because you are so special. I truly believe that you are the one, this time, to change everything that has happened before. You are the one who will save us, you have been selected beyond everybody else because you are the one. That is why we have such an infatuation with you at the outset of our relationship.
- You will not betray us.
The world is a cruel and harsh place and we know better than most how that is the case. We are surrounded by those who would strike us down and grind us into the nothingness which we fear. Those assassins lurk and wait, seeking their moment and we must ensure we remain vigilant so we do not fall prey to them. Traitors and betrayers mill about us, but we are wise to them. We know their game and we have them in our eye. We do not want you to be one of them.
- You won’t be like the others
We thought they would be the ones that we desired but they disappointed and dismayed and they left us no choice other than to punish them for their lack of loyalty and their false promises. We had to do so, otherwise a failure to act would only compound the perception of our weakness and we must at all times project to the world our image of success and magnificence. We hope you will not be like them so we need not maintain such a façade and we hope you will prove your worth so that you will not be like the others and let us down.
- You will stop the emptiness
Each and every day we must seek to fill the void that lurks within. It is part of what we are and we accept that this is the task which must be addressed because so much rests on being able to perform this important act. It is the reason for our existence but perhaps you can stop that sense of emptiness for us. Perhaps you can take away that void and provide us with the substance that we crave.
- You quell the fury
It is always there, churning away, waiting to be unleashed and directed at some transgressor, critic or traitor. I have learned to control it, many of my kind cannot do so and will never do so, it is a mark of my excellence and my superiority. I make it work for me, to advance my plans and to smite my foes. I have no choice for it is always there, waiting to be ignited in an instant. I can control it but I cannot quell it. Can you be the one to do this for me?
- You won’t get too close
Perhaps if you avoid getting too close to us you will not then let us down like the others before you have. We hope that you can provide us with all the things that we desire without the need to invade our inner sanctum which must remain locked and shuttered. Do not attempt to enter there for the consequences are too dreadful, for us both. Do not get too close and perhaps we have a chance to achieve the other desires that we wish for.
- You really do love us
They all seem to do so at the beginning but then we find ourselves surrounded by charlatans, con-merchants and frauds. Why does this always happen? All we want is for you to love us, unconditionally and eternally. That is what we only ever wanted.
- You will not wound us
No matter how grand and imperial we are, no matter how magnificent our achievements and our deportment that signals to the world that we are truly brilliant, a leader in our field, a behemoth and a colossus, we can be wounded with such despicable ease by those who send criticism our way. It hurts, it burns and it wounds and we must defend ourselves against such unwarranted and disgusting behaviour. Perhaps you will be the one who will not wound us in this way.
- You will not leave
Don’t leave us. The others have always done so. We do not understand why that is after everything that we have done, all the things we endeavoured to do to please them and then this is what happens. The others leave us twice. They come with such promise and deliver for a time but then they do so no longer and through such an omission they leave us. We want that person to return but struggle to contain the fury which is unleashed from this horrible criticism of us and then you sever all possibility of a return when you walk away from us. Do you know who you are when you do that?
- You won’t make us leave you.
Please do not do the things which force us away from you. The others all headed down that path. It causes us to consider that we are cursed, forever burdened by the fate that we will have no choice other than to leave you in order to secure our survival. Perhaps you can be the one who prevents that feeling from happening?
Each and every time these ten desires loom large when we commence our engagement with you. Some show such promise and for such a time and then one by one these desires are crushed, shattered and obliterated. We know only one way to respond to the destruction of our desires because we are red of tooth and claw.
I become easily bored. I think it is as a consequence of how clever and brilliant I am that my mind is always racing. It is rushing over and over, thoughts and ideas percolating through it. I therefore need to be stimulated and kept occupied. This translates into my relationships. I don’t know why, but after a period of time I just become bored with whoever I am with. I usually tell them that you’re the one I like best, you retain my interest and you’re the only one. Somehow this changes. I have often considered why this happens and I have reached the conclusion that is a combination of me becoming easily bored and that you become irritatingly clingy. Rather than realise I have become bored, you hang around and this begins to irritate me. In order to get you to understand that I do not want you anymore, I have to resort to more and more nastiness to drive you away. I must confess though, in most cases this seems to have the opposite effect. It is odd. The harder I try to push you away, the tighter you cling on and this then angers me. Every so often however there is a spark of interest and I remember how it felt before and somehow I must reflect that to you as you seem pleased. It does not last long and the all-encompassing ennui comes crashing back down again and thus I have to push you away as I try to find someone new, something different to engage me. Yet still you remain, repeatedly dangling and left in limbo. The occasional glimpses I provide you of how things used to be really do draw you back and give you some kind of misplaced hope that I can rekindle what we once had. It never can be done as my sterile state returns and in order to fill that I can no longer turn to you. You remain is a state of suspension, bouncing back and forth as if joined to me by a piece of elastic. I won’t cut it and neither it seems will you.
This is a Greater Narcissist. There is much to write about the Greater, but for now, a snapshot shall have to suffice. We have met Lee the Lesser and Malcolm the Mid-Ranger. There are lots of Lees and Malcolms. Lots of them. In fact most people who have ascertained that they have been ensnared by a narcissist will have entangled with either a Lee or a Malcolm. This is Greg, Greg the Greater, a rare beast indeed.
“Hello, what was that?” asks Greg.
“Hello Greg, I was just explaining that you are a rare beast indeed.”
“Oh completely, how good of you to notice and may I say just how delightful you look today, you have done something different with your hair haven’t you, it really suits.”
I cannot help but smile and look pleased at this remark. I know I shouldn’t but this is the problem with the Greater, they are ever so charming and before you know what has happened one has given them some fuel, told them something they wanted to hear or agreed to do what they want.
The Greater exhibits considerable charm. Charm is one of his prevalent weapons. With the Lesser it is raw aggression, with the Mid-Ranger it is the ability to draw sympathy, but with the Greater he uses charm to achieve what he wants.
His charm manifests in many ways. Courteous, polite, amusing, well-read, urbane, complimentary and attentive. But this charm is a combination of considerable intelligence, confidence and planning. Out of all of the three schools of narcissist, the Greater knows the benefit of planning and scheming. He is always gathering information, storing it away, logging it for later or immediate use.
“You are the master at gathering information aren’t you Greg?”
“How very kind of you to say so and I cannot deny that,” he responds with that slow and engaging smile of his. See how he holds my gaze, boring deep inside of me? Of course he is just reflecting back at me what I want to see, after all, he is an expert in the art of seduction. He is an expert in most things, he has to be, the world cannot be afforded any glimpse of weakness, any hint of the loss of his control. He must project an image of success at all times.
Greg knows that the foundation of his success lies in planning and preparation.
“Greg, what is your view about preparation?” I ask.
“Every battle is won before it is ever fought,” he responds in a matter of fact. He is deadly serious. To him, every engagement in his life is a form of battle. Every person he interacts with, every situation he faces, every scenario he is engaged in – all of them are battles and he has to win every one. Even if he appears to lose, he will have allowed that to happen for the sake of a future win.
Greg knows that to forge his rightful and entitle path through life he must secure these victories and win. He does so by ensuring he knows his enemy. Everybody qualifies to be an enemy because the Greater knows that the world is against him and if he gives any quarter, this cruel and heartless world will seek to topple him. He may be a Greater but the wariness and paranoia applicable to all narcissists is just as applicable to him. Greg understands that he has to know who he is dealing with and this means gathering intelligence.
By the way, than unflinching stare has remained focussed on me. The attention from this handsome individual is both unnerving yet oddly engaging. He uses his eyes a lot. Do not think however that when he is staring at you, mirroring your own desires, so you become trapped like a deer in the headlights that this is all he is doing. No, not at all. He is evaluating, considering his next move, what to say next, gauging how I will respond. The Greater’s mind is always whirring, thinking about the next move, ascertaining how to seize the most appropriate advantage. Normal people would find it exhausting but not the Greater for he, among all of the narcissistic brethren has the greater energy levels. This of course means he has the highest demands for fuel but he is also the most effective at gathering this fuel. This effectiveness manifests in two ways. The first is the methodology applied and the second is the range of appliances at his disposal.
The Greater has the widest range of manipulations at his disposal. He is well-practised and able to match, with considerable accuracy, the best forms of manipulation to his victims. Of course he relies on understanding his appliances, knowing what they like and dislike in detail and achieves this through extensive information gathering through his own questions, the use of Lieutenants, conducting background searches and so on. He has had many victims and therefore knows how certain types of person are likely to respond to certain manipulations. Admittedly, he will not get is right every single time, but his error rate is very low indeed. His effectiveness is heightened through how driven he is. He must succeed, be the best, be the sparkling diamond at the centre of the crown. Leader in his field. Champion. Conqueror.
Like a master artisan, he selects only the finest materials (victims) on which to work and then he applies his deft touch through carried manipulations from his Devil’s Toolkit. All of this is done enveloped in charm. He has people do things because they want his praise, his approval, his largesse, his friendship and is love.
The Greater also has extensive fuel networks on which he relies. Unlike the Lesser who has a narrow fuel base or the Mid-Ranger who has a wider one with numerous appliances, the Greater has an extensive and impressive network. Let’s find our more from Greg.
“Hey Greg, who is warming your bed at present?”
“Why are you interested?” he asks as he places a hand gentle on my arm.
“Oh this is professional purposes only, “ I respond trying to rebuff him, but the hand remains unmoved. He is confident and assured.
“I am ever the professional.”
“I am sure that is the case, but tell me, who is on the arm of Greg?”
“I have a girlfriend at present.”
“Just the one?”
“Yes, but there are others, certain ladies who know me well who I can call on if I need to.”
Those are his intimate partner secondary sources, his friends with benefits and booty calls.
“Four,” he replies without hesitation.
“What about your friends?”
“I have six guys I regularly knock around with, plus two good female friends.”
Those are his inner circle.
“Then maybe another twenty or so people I know well through golf, football, the pub, you know, I see them every so often.”
Those are his outer circle. More secondary appliances.
“What about work and family Greg?”
“Well I head up a department at work so I have a team of eight working for me and I am on good terms with the other directors.”
More secondary sources there through colleagues.
I let him continue as he explains how he is well regarded by his family (more secondary sources), his neighbours, people in his community, the people he knows through a charity he is a trustee of (lots of tertiary sources). His network of fuel appliances is vast and he can rely on it regularly to ensure that his considerable fuel needs are catered for. It is rare to find a Greater running short of fuel.
The Greater knows what he is. His higher cognitive function allows him an awareness. He may know that he is a narcissist, since it has been pointed out to him and his increased cognitive function means he can understand and relate to it. Of course, he knows not to admit this to anybody, unless he sees a distinct advantage in doing so. In some instances he may not know that he is a narcissist but he certainly knows that he is different from other people. He knows he is special, talented and destined for continued greatness. He knows that it is necessary for him to control his environment and people, for if he does not do so, he feels weakness gnawing at him, unease and the threat of the loss of his superiority. He knows that he must maintain this edifice that he has built and this is done through having people react to him. He may not know it as fuel, but he knows how important it is for people to respond to him. He knows he must receive admiration and anger, love and loathing, adoration and abhorrence. These power him and allow him to achieve the things he knows he is entitled to. He recognises he does wrong, but does not care. He knows he has no conscience, no sense of guilt, he knows he has a reduced emotional repertoire because from years of observing and listening – as opposed to just doing as the Lesser and Mid-Ranger does – he has learned what he does not feel, not that it concerns him in any way.
Greg knows that charm, manipulation and persuasion are they key attributes to staying number one and having people do as he wants. He wants to own people, make them his, subsume them into him and he understands why this must happen, because it makes him all the more powerful, all the more effective and all the more able to keep his creature locked away and never heard. Greg knows that his Machiavellian nature, his duplicitous nature and slavish devotion to the doctrine of the ends always justifying the means, results in him staying on top of the pile. He is proud of his orchestrations, his status as Supreme Puppet Master. He knows that people are there to do his bidding, to be moved where he wants them to go, to carry out his wishes and best of all, they often do not even realise that they are doing it.
Of course, Greg is no fool and understands that when the velvety caress of his subtle manipulations is not working, then the iron fist must be deployed. He has no reluctance to dole out his innate wickedness. He will ensure that this is either done through a proxy or if it must be by his hand, then he will reduce the risk of retribution and consequence to him. He evaluates. When that apparently loving gaze becomes the inky dark stare of malice, the whirring mind is plotting to ensure a most malevolent outcome for those that cross him. Whilst the Lesser and the Mid-Ranger will act with malice, theirs is nothing to the concentrated vitriol that the Greater possesses and will unleash when he deems it appropriate. This is another factor which sets him apart from his brethren ; the sheer evil that he is capable of and that will be readily applied in order to preserve his position.
The Greater will pursue for longer, hoover harder, use more energy, charm more fiercely, devalue with scathing intensity and channelling the vast amount of fuel he can draw on from the extensive fuel network, this powers this effective machine as he achieves his machinations. The Greater calculates the impact of his words, either to seduce or to devalue. He assesses the likely responses of those he wishes to control and the likely benefit for him. For him there can be no end, the games must always continue and he must always be wining and be seen to be winning.
The Greater may often be hard to detect because he is most capable of exhibiting cognitive empathy. He has studied and knows how to mimic with considerable conviction, but this is not a perfected art. He will be prone to those pauses when he is ascertaining his best response and that sudden frozen look will appear, albeit momentarily. The Greater is also hard to detect because he will engage in what appear to be good works. The Lesser is self-centred in a brutal and demanding manner, the Mid-Ranger is self-centred in a sulky, feel-sorry-for-me style but the Greater, well the Greater will show generosity, be charitable and appear to exhibit kindness. He will hold positions of authority, trust and responsibility. They are put part of the carefully constructed façade on which he relies more than any other type of narcissist. He builds this façade, cements it and uses it repeatedly. His apparent good works are but a veneer of respectability which are either:-
1. Committed because there will be a distinct gain arising from this act in due course – for example, lending someone money to then have them repay him through actions and loyalty ; or
2. Part of furnishing the façade and thus a worthy sacrifice for the maintenance of this artifice.
Be in no doubt that this apparent sugary surface coats a venal and vicious individual who will never stop in the pursuit of victory. Cruel, perverse and utterly self-serving, behind that engaging smile and warm handshake is a cold and calculating mind.
Of course Greg would never admit to any weakness, unless as usual, he saw an advantage in doing so, but he has them. Like all of his kind he hates criticism. It burns and wounds and he uses his considerable control to keep his fury under control. Furthermore, the innate confidence and superiority that Greg has means that an objective observer will regard him as not necessarily appreciating certain risks to the extent that he might. Naturally, Greg would reject such a suggestion as failing to understand, however, there is an over-confidence which exists, which might, not always, but might lead to occasional difficulties for Greg the Greater, although of course he is equipped to address those difficulties using his customary charm, malice and manipulation.
Technology is a boon to our kind. It enables us to reach more people than ever before for the purpose of a quick squirt of fuel or as part of the orchestrated campaign to seduce our next victim who will be our primary source. The prevalence of social media platforms, blogs, chatrooms and the like provides us with a ready audience for us to declare our brilliance. Whether it is a pithy tweet, a photograph of our latest cycling adventure on Facebook, the culinary achievement that has been shared on Instagram, there are so many ways to herald our magnificence. We do not need to be near to these people. The reach is millions and therefore when we receive a praiseworthy comment, a like or love indication from the relevant button then that sudden dose of fuel comes our way. It is an almost instant hit. Fire something out across the electronic ether and in a matter of moments a reliable dose of fuel will come winging its way back. What a wonderful and simple method.
Even better is the use of our computers to search out targets, vet their online information to ascertain whether they would be suitable for our purposes and then to mine for information which can be used in the seduction of our targets. It is all there. The computer us used to find the information which forms the bedrock of our campaigns and it is also the instrument of our campaigns. So many repeated ways to bombard somebody with our supposed love. Our incessant application and monitoring. The ways in which we can keep in touch with different prospective victims as we assess who will be best. The way we can develop your replacement as we feel that your positive fuel is waning and your devaluation is just around the corner. The way we can triangulate you with a piece of machinery as our eyes remain locked on the screen as we engage in our online flirtations and gathering of fuel. The computer is truly our friend but it is also very useful for you to understand what you are dealing with.
Our use of the computer is a telling indicator of who you are dealing with. Whether it is a tablet, laptop, PC or mobile ‘phone (after all you are really carrying a small computer in your bag or pocket these days) you can expect to find similar secretive and furtive behaviour from our kind when it comes to the use of the computer to further our machinations. The computer is the nerve centre of our operations and as such it is something which we will guard. Accordingly, you should be aware of activity and behaviour such as: –
- Closing the computer down when you are nearby;
- Switching screens when you are nearby;
- Refusing to let you use the device;
- If you are able to use the device, we will not allow you to know the password and instead will enter it for you;
- If you are able to use the device, we will hover over you whilst you do so;
- If you are able to use the device you will find that the e-mail account is either locked or is empty, the search history is clear, there is no predictive search element in the search bar which may give away previous and frequent searches and documents are locked down.
- If you are given unfettered access to a computing device then it is highly likely that we use a different device for our dark works which you do not know about, otherwise there is no way that we will allow you to use such a device so freely. In this instance you need to have identified other red flags to indicate it is more than likely that you are engaging with a narcissist to raise the prospect of us using two computers. If there are no other red flags your unfettered access to the computer will purely be as a consequence of the use having nothing to hide and he or she will not use a secret device.
You would do well to consider the computing habits of the person that you are with and especially so if you have suspicions that you are dealing with one of our kind. Understand that the computer (in its various forms) forms the platform for so much of what we do. Gathering new victims and seducing them, organising and executing your devaluation, orchestrating the smear campaign against you. You should know that the computer is a tool which is used against you and you can utilise it as a barometer of our attitude towards you which will then in turn allow you to understand what you can expect to happen.
So much of what we do occurs through the electronic medium because that allows us full reign to portraying what we wish to portray to the world at large. It allows significant access, it provides a platform for heralding our achievements and it is not an exaggeration to state that it forms the engine room of our activities.
We will never allow you access to our computers but if there is a shared device then you should look out for two things. The first is that after we have used it, our e-mail inbox, browsing history and messaging will be cleaner than a contagious diseases research lab. This situation will persist for some time. The second is that when there is something to read in that inbox, from that browsing history and those messages you ought to know that we wanted you to see it because your devaluation has begun and this is the electronic bait that has been set to provoke you. Bear in mind, this is just what we are prepared for you to see for the purposes of gathering fuel. What is really going on our devices that we will not allow you access to (and the ones you do not even know about) is far, far worse.