What can we learn from Narcissists?
At first glance, every reasonable mortal would probably spontaneously assert:
Anyway, nothing that is crowned somehow by interpersonal success and certainly not in a long run. But at second glance, there actually are a lot of things that You can learn.
Narcissists - 20 golden rules: 15 - 20
Practice the patience of a saint, be accommodating without any restriction. Give everything. Signal submission in case of conflict. But be aware that You will never get out of the role of submission for the rest of Your life. Which is, however, amusing only for people who are seeking for combat relationships or at least a milder variant of sadomasochism.
Never come up with a comment, which could call into question his ego, his omnipotence and omniscience, his infallible judgment, his ability or professional success. Always remember, bad sentences start with "You made a mistake..."
Never mention the fact that You are an independent, autonomous individual. Do not even think about it. Bow to the inevitable and consider Yourself as his Ego-Extension, whose raison d'être is merely to assure him of his grandiosity.
The Art of Dealing with Narcissists – The Rules
Basically, there is only one effective and reasonable rule for dealing with high-carat Narcissists:
Keep safety distance!
However, this rule can not be implemented in real life, because Narcissists run into us everywhere and all the time: Some of our colleagues, bosses, friends and relatives are always Narcissistic. That’s why we need more specific rules. Let's take a closer look at the whole matter.
Is Narcissism treatable?
Life offers many opportunities of personal development. The Narcissist, however, does not use any of them. Ordinary people can be protected from themselves to a certain degree. A genuine Narcissist not at all.
The Narcissus does not want to be helped. Counseling is for normal mortals. He knows how life works. Therapy? He is not sick. So he does not need a cure either. After all, he has got no psychological strain. The others do. The Narcissist at best insists, that his hypochondriac ailments are alleviated and, if necessary, physical defects, such as aging, are being repaired.
With increasing age, however, the charisma of the Narcissist decreases significantly, unless he is rich, powerful and important. Then his charisma also decreases, but not the radiance of his function, power or money. This is mainly due to the fact that ordinary mortal fellow human beings, in contrast to him, do gain some life experience and can no longer be dazzled by the Narcissist's outer splendor to the same degree.
Two dominant Narcissists, can that really work?
What, if both of them are dominant Narcissists? That’s absurd! Could there be another sun next to the only one in our solar system? Or maybe a second god beside the Almighty? That would inevitably lead to a schism. Or to a pole shift. In any case, a veritable catastrophe with completely unpredictable consequences.
A fusion of two hardcore Narcissists can not work out, of course. Except maybe in an extramarital relationship and even then only temporarily, because one of them always must to be up.
The Co-Narcissist - a pouting rebel
The Co-Narcissist could, yes. If only he wanted. But for what? Besides, the Narcissist does not let him anyway. Which means if something goes wrong he is to blame for it. One day the others will understand that, too. Until then he just contents himself with a few sparks of the Narcissist’s radiance.
After all, not everything a Narcissist does is bad. And because the Co-Narcissist always feels a little smaller than he actually is, he often hides his light under a bushel. His modesty makes him quite sympathetic. At least, he's not such a big-mouthed actor as Narcissus and never blurts straight.
Narcissist & Co - a Perfect Fusion
The Co-Narcissist is the doer in secrecy, the puppeteer who pulls the strings, the great manipulator behind the scenes that makes Narcissus appear gloriously on any stage like a deus ex machina.
At least that's what he wants to be. Because he suffers from the Ideal World Syndrome and therefore transfigures his Narcissist to an idol. Narcissus finally owns everything that he himself lacks. Yes. Even his worst mistakes, of which he thinks he has got only too many, are ennobled to glorious merits by the mere presence of a Narcissist. His little world will only gain a touch of perfection when he merges to a perfect unity with his Narcissist.
Which rarely succeeds in real life.
A Co-Narcissist generally is far more affable and compliant than a Narcissist would be. But a Narcissist is a Narcissist is a Narcissist.
Just because someone naturally tends to submission, suffers with pleasure and bows to adverse circumstances without complaint, for example because it often seems much easier and more convenient (at least at first glance), does not automatically make him a better person. The good just like the evil is to be found in pure form rather rarely. Except maybe psychopaths and angels. Otherwise, here again as almost always in real life the old rule applies:
The dose makes the poison.
The ideal Co-Narcissist
The ideal Co completes the Narcissist perfectly and represents everything he needs most in the current phase of life. His or her main role is to shine as a decorative accessory besides Narcissus, who urgently requires someone to carry his botty behind him and otherwise stands out through servility which borders on nonexistence.
That's what most celebrity marriages fail to do. If, for example, the accessory suddenly suddenly forces itself into the limelight and neglects its duties towards the Narcissist. The perfect solution would be an individually programmable Android anyway. As in the miraculous story of E.T.A. Hoffmann, which happened at those days when women were systematically breeded to be Co-Narcissists, which was the case about until the middle of the 20th century:
Narcissus and monogamy
The relationship structure of the Narcissist is also due to the fact that monogamy did not develop until a rather late phase of evolution and is still established only among male with low social status. It did not yet gain ground among Alpha male. Or those who believe to be. Should Narcissus exceptionally remain loyal to someone for a long time, then only for lack of alternative opportunities or because of the threat of grave sanctions, especially those which could damage his image.
Speaking of social status: The Narcissus is seeking suitable partners. Which means: Partners who are inferior in respect of intelligence, education and social background. There is a very simple reason for that preference: You can control them better and manipulate them easier. This has clear advantages. For both.
Anyway, relationships with a Narcissist are a fairly relative affair, because constant happiness does not correspond to his nature. It's simply too unspectacular. In addition, Narcissus is an unfaithful rodent by nature. Even if, in the frenzy of the first infatuation, he claims the contrary (and probably believes in it at least for the very moment). It's not just about sex or mundane things. But he really suffers greatly, when his elixir of life runs dry, and the constantly rippling source of admiration, recognition and idealization is no longer bubbling abundantly but drips only hesitantly.
Narcissist and unconditional love
The Narcissist is in search of unconditional love. Means: The Narcissist is looking for the love of a person who satisfies his needs unconditionally. That's why he usually lives in symbioses. Either
a) with himself and a mirror or
b) with a Co-Narcissist, in which he continuously reflects.
Inseparable – the Narcissist & his co
The two are happy to make a couple because they complement each other perfectly. There are some items that connects them intimately to each other: The exaggerated need for recognition, a lack of self-esteem, their twisted logic, the non-existent perception and the high art of defense mechanisms. Otherwise, they would not be able to spend more than three days together. The Narcissist and his partner are definitely on one wavelength - that one of the Narcissist.
From his point of view, there is only one relevant criterion of evaluation for everything that others do or leave: His own needs. Somehow he suspects that other people have different needs than he has. That's just why he is the way he is. He does not find it logical and certainly not convincing that the needs of others deviate from his own.
The greatest fear of a Narcissist: To be Nothing
Anyone who knows Narcissus a little bit better will sometimes find himself peculiarly touched by the fact, that he does not really know him. And probably will never really get to know him. Because there is nothing to get to know. Besides, the Narcissist does not want others to get to know him. Because getting to know each other is accompanied by such awful things as proximity.
There is hardly a better small talker than the Narcissist. He likes to chat, but without any further obligation. He likes to tell jokes and anecdotes and he loves to share gossip about others. But he does not reveal anything about himself. There is a simple reason for that:
There is nothing to tell. Really nothing at all.
Do Narcissists possess a sense of humor?
There are moments in life that can only be mastered successfully if You are able to refrain from laughing. For example, as a funeral director or professional politician. In fact, sometimes You are even better off if You don#t possess any sense of humor. Then You never have to hide laughing and all the world thinks, You are probably very intelligent and above all so confident. In this case the Narcissist has a clear advantage.
No matter which field he devotes himself to, he does it with relentless gravity. Narcissists can provide something similar to humor. However, self-irony is rather rare and, if there is one, it pursues only one goal: the strengthening of one's own ego.
Narcissus and the real kind
However, among those aliens there are often influential decision-makers of our society who hold important functions. That's why the increasing misunderstanding for the real life, whose destinies they are governing, is a trifle fatal for the real kind. And above all, an almost inexhaustible source of mistakes.
Global Narcissism Pandemia
If a Narcissist climbs the show stage, it may well be because he is gifted. In fact this case is quite rarely. His mere gift usually is his extraordinary talent to compensate his lack of talent through excessive ambition.
His Narcissistic structure is reciprocally proportional to his talent, competence and expertise according to the simple formula:
The less talented, the more Narcissistic.
Narcissus and the drama link
Real life is hell. It basically consists of sleeping, eating and working, eating, sleeping and working etc. Occasionally sex. In random order. Some people can even get along completely without work or sex.
True Narcissists can’t stand this paradisaical state for more than three days without falling into a deep depression. Therefore, they found a little but very effective trick to sweeten banality.
Narcissus and his profit orientation
Anything that does not immediately yield maximum profits is discarded by Narcissus. Except maybe, it promises profit after a certain manageable investment. And profit in the calculus of the Narcissist is just everything that increases his reputation and wealth and provides him with appreciation and affection.
Apparently, appearance is much more than being. And he really appreciates only those values that either have tangible material value or improve his image. The Narcissist only feels real satisfaction when he is even more successful than others.
His elixir of life
Narcissus is very special and You have to treat him like that. To ensure the degree of treatment demanded, he surrounds himself with people who are absolutely loyal to him: his Ego-Extensions. For this he needs a whole bunch of personal lackeys who carry his botty and release him from the annoying burdens of everyday life. And he has a very sure instinct to track those minions down among hundreds of thousands. For example in form of a butler or a personal assistant. If necessary a willing and docile spouse on some children on the drip of his money.
The Narcissist and his needs
The Narcissus always likes to claim with utter conviction that he wants to be treated like any ordinary mortal. If somebody really did that, it would cause him quite terrible inconvenience. In fact of course, he assumes quite simply, that he, because he is of such a particular significance, is entitled to a unique treatment and certain privileges. He therefore places great emphasis on only being cared for, treated, served and advised by hand-picked top experts, no matter whether it is a lawyer, doctor, restaurant owner or God himself.
This very person may be an expert whom the Narcissus has just worshiped as a kind of demigod, however.
The Narcissist is called. A chosen one. Every tiny molecule of his existence, everything he is doing (or not), any of his life expressions, his creation by nature, the composition of the total work of art that represents his life, and indeed, each and every single thought, no matter how insignificant, all this is permeated through and through by universal meaning.
Guided by his mission, he climbs the steps on the ladder of glory through achievement, Perfection and brilliance. Everything is part of the Great Throw, the Cosmic Concept, the Script that inevitably brings him closer to fulfilling his life's task step by step.
Incarnation of the world spirit
Narcissus is chosen
Narcissus is extraordinary. Not only because of his superior personality structure, but also because by his own admission he fulfills nothing less than "a cosmic mission on earth". However, that is in all modesty the vocation of the Narcissist: He is simple chosen. By a cosmic entity of whatever kind, about which nothing more is known. Which is, just for this very reason, a grandiose projection surface for any desired individual idea of salvation.
In any case, the Narcissist will most likely be one of the 144,000 chosen to be rescued by a fleet of alien starships from the planet Alpha Centauri shortly before the final demise of Earth. For this only happens to the few handpicked people who, as so-called evolutionary agents, have successfully completed an advanced level of evolution and thus have proved worthy to continue their existence.
Narcissus saves the world ...
We speak of all the countless and unspeakable cases, when Narcissus puts his foot in at almost every official occasion. The really embarrassing mistakes, by which he is attracted almost magnetically, while at the same time, the whole staff of helpless PR agents breathlessly hunting behind to come up with threadbare, but reasonably convincing explanations for his incredible boo boos. It is completely impossible to foresee all the misadventures into which a Narcissist can stumble. It is even more impossible, however, to directly inform the Narcissist that he has just been totally misbehaving. At least none of his advisors dares to do that. Even if it has been a diplomatic faux pas of a magnitude that makes the toughest bones in the political arena stagger. But the Narcissist always has an excellent reason for his behavior:
He just once has to save the world…
Basically, there's a little bit of do-gooder and world improver in all of us. Actually we all know how it works. And it would be pretty easy if we only were in power. At any rate, we completely understood Machiavelli. But, compared with a real Narcissist, we are rather tiny lights. Because not only Narcissus is much more important than we are, but above all famous-infamous for vain escapades beyond any good taste.
The Short Man Syndrome
Especially among the world leaders we often meet a prototype that were already much talked about in ancient Rome: The Narcissist, who strives for great things not only because of his perceived inferiority, but because he actually has come out a little short from Nature.
Narcissus, charisma and vocation
All of them, even those who are a little bit scientific, have one thing in common: They do earnestly rely on higher authorities. On divine inspiration or other well-known entities. On supposedly sound scientific evidence, more or less solid empirical values or simply on their own personal charisma and their vocation. And they have one shared foundation: Obviously, they can prove their own worth or the value of their guild only by a shaky compromise. Namely, by covering up the mistakes, they inevitably commit because they are, contrary to expectations, only humans, using every nasty trick in the book.
Nothing real great was ever done without Narcissus
The profession of a Narcissist: glamour & glory
Wherever performance is rewarded with fame and honor, power and money, the Narcissus reaches his full potential. Less for the sake of the matter itself than to shine with splendor and glory. Many professions seem so very attractive to him only because they offer a wide range of opportunities to earn more plus points and therefore get his money's worth. They become all the more attractive, the more they are surrounded with an aura of altruism. And with regard to any of these professions raises the question: which came first – the chicken or the egg?
Thus: Did the Narcissist create that job because he wanted to be powerful and important or did it seem so very attractive to him, because the related tasks, competences and responsibilities were somehow necessary for a harmonious co-existence of humans and their exercise promised power and significance?
Narcissists love beautiful facades
Narcissists love professions with beautiful facades: representative ornate, white coat and pinstripe suit, sumptuous cathedrals with baroque interiors and impressive glass facades. In short: the aristocratic-elitist flair, the powerful of the world are surrounding themselves with since immemorial times. He has a soft spot for galleries of any type, at least as long as he himself belongs to the elevated - and suppress his own personal agenda. For example, in the exercise of his duties of a priest. Because he rises above the rest of the common people, as the Narcissist deserves it, and is surrounded by a very special divine aura. He is a communicator between this world and the hereafter by the grace of God.
Religious doctrines are his specialty, especially if they are unsustainable in terms of logic and run totally counter to all common sense. Because when the faithful got lost in this labyrinth, the spiritual leader is the only one who knows the way out.
Narcissistic choice of profession
Narcissistic colleagues are hard to bear. This applies in a potentiated way for Narcissists in executive floors. It usually is hardly comforting for their employees to know that a real Narcissist has got bad karma because he is completely incapable of altruistic action. It may well happen that he acts superficially selflessly, but it is much more likely that he hides successfully behind the facade of a selfless altruist due to very pragmatic considerations. After all, that too is only a special kind of Narcissist - the do-gooder. A terrific helper with overreach.
If You then start to argue, he will surely do it for You, he will as sure as hell twist the word in Your mouth until You will be standing in front of the whole world like a complete idiot. Don‘t forget: The Narcissist is always right. Especially when he is completely wrong. He understands it in an almost scary way to put everyone else in the wrong. Nobody is so well versed in tickling the abysmally bad out of others, like the Narcissist. And somehow he always succeeds that it is You who, who finally has got a guilty conscience.
Narciss - a fighter for the just cause
If he is convinced of something, then totally. And if he, five minutes later, is convinced of the exact opposite, then absolutely maximum. The Narcissist is a great fighter for the just cause. Whatever is fair, right now. A thoroughly fanatical bratwurst vegetarian. But if it is opportune, he converts without any resistance to the opposing party. Depending on what seems more beneficial to the salvation of his soul. Christianity is a great deal, but 72 virgins are not to be despised either.
When it comes to foie gras, You could still be inclined to dismiss it as a harmless quirk.
It might be really thrilling when confronted with an upside-down double agent, hiding a nuclear bomb in his carry-on baggage. But no matter what dilemma he is in, he somehow manages, to wind himself out again and even to prove right in the end.
Naturally only the others are black, evil and negative. The Narcissist himself is white and good, of course. He has no mistakes. He does not make any. And for the exceptionally unlikely case that he should be caught in the event of a mistake, it's probably someone else fault. He himself has only been a pitiable victim of the circumstances, but can in no way be made responsible for anything.
This applies in the same way to all other adversities of life. If confronted with unattainable requirements, he is unfortunately prevented, for example due to hypochondriac attacks. The level of their severity is directly related to the dimension of the respective requirement. In conflicts, he trys to escape into all available excuses in a fast gallop, even if they are more translucent than threadbare. And when nothing helps, attack is the best form of defense - take the bull by the horns!
The Narcissist collects pluses ...
The Narcissist is a passionate collector. In addition to symbols, trophies and minuses for everyone else. Any of his seemingly innocent actions is basically just a loan application for even more pluses. The accumulation of plus points is, so to speak, the main content of his life. Because all his senses and energy serve only one ultimate goal:
Narcissus presents his audience only carefully selected information bits, which are usually purely symbolic. He simply understands that best. This way he can always respond flexibly in case of doubt. He represents what You have to have in a certain context. Or what You have to do when You're a real insider and stay in close social contact with the most important personalities ever and worldwide. May others construct a whole from this puzzle by themselves. We are humans, we just do that. At least until the radiance of the Narcissist fades and his facade crumbles.
Narcissus and the spirit of his mission
A Narcissist actually does not have any private life. Regrettably, family members, friends, peers and work colleagues, so all persons, who share their lives, more or less voluntarily don‘t have any private life as well. This is mainly because the Narcissist does not like to be lonely in front of his mirror. A grandiose existence needs a wide audience. Witnesses, fan communities, followers, disciples and admirers of all kinds. His live is a perpetual, great spectacle with free entry for all. He is, so to speak, always on the air.
The Narcissus Show
You can buy happiness
You can buy happiness. For example in form of the styles and status symbols You currently own or wear. And when You have climbed the Hall of Fame and are on of the top ten Narcissists in Your discipline, You simply define the styles and status symbols one currently owns or wears. This makes it easy to generate a convincing ego-avatar and constantly re-pump it.
Narciss creates his own Reality
Bumps of reality and the meaning of life
At all times Narcissists found enough followers to share around him pious as lambs and they have always allowed themselves to be taken to the slaughterhouse without much resistance. What were their motives? Well, some of them did it for power and recognition, others craved for subjection and protection, for safety and security, for shelter, the idea of a harmonious beautiful ideal world and some real great things as the meaning of life.
Narciss and his godlike nature
The Narcissist loves rules. But only those he has issued himself. And those that make it clear to others once and for all times how he wants to be treated by them. Rules that he did not make himself are a hollow words. Unless of course, when he sees the glimpse of an opportunity to gain an advantage. In this case he will not be afraid to sue them on the spot. Rules that benefit him he loves in any way.
Because of his godlike nature, which quite inevitably results from his particular closeness to God (who, if he would not exist, would be instantly created by him personally), he is truly convinced of his moral claim to set up rules and, if necessary, enforce them with might and main.
Narcissus and his moral mission
„O Holy St. Florian,
please spare my house,
set fire to another one!“
The piety inherent in the thundery prayer is best enjoyed melting on Your tongue. But if You concern Yourself earnestly with the actual meaning of the word "piety", it even becomes increasingly cheerful. Just take the German term for piety - „Frömmigkeit“. It is derived from the Old High German "fruma", which means as much as "advantage" or "benefit". Frömmigkeit is, strictly speaking, behavior that appears useful in a certain context.
A Narcissus paid attention to You? That is already more than You can expect in this life. And it probably will not be beneficial to You. Unless, of course, You are willing to submit to him unconditionally. But never expect recognition or esteem, because so much attention is entirely reserved for the Narcissist himself.
He is the only one who deserves a place in the first row. He or at best maybe his ego extensions. This is a law of nature and he will defend it with the machete. And he will ever give You a more than a clear indication that You have to join the end of the queue.
Who is not in league with him, is an enemy
The Narciss, a Transformer - from Saul to Paul
When the Narcissist finally comes to power, whether with or against the tide, there is only one question left that really matters to him: How can he, now in office and dignity, handle uncomfortable outsiders and rebells? Since nowadays simply assassinating political opponents or critics is frowned upon. Throughout history the so-called heat-death, better known as killing by hugging, has more and more proved to be successful: The Narcissus generously grants his enemies access to his sanctuary and makes them converts in a jiffy. If they only are ambitious, they mutate within a short time from Saul to Paul and eventually become more Catholic than the Pope.
Give a Narciss power and he will abuse it
Narcissus follows an extremely prosaic logic: Give him power and he will abuse it. Romantic ideas and idealism do not exist in his extremely pragmatic world of imagination. At best maybe as a battle concept. If he considers it useful in the context of his strategy, he can, of course, pretend absolutely convincingly to be the greatest idealist. But once he's in power, he does not even pretend anymore. The Narcissist finds it more honest, somehow. And in a way it is, indeed. Because for him, it is actually completely incomprehensible that others may not think focused on the benefits to such an extent as he does. But it is not that the Narcissist has lost faith in the good. Such thing as "good" is alien to him. Good is simply another term for "benefit". This is because he does not like abstract things. Love for example. He just cannot see the concrete benefit.
Surviving in the jungle
It would be pretty mean now and all too cheap to claim that Narcissus is a direct descendant of the monkey. Of course that is not the case. It's just that in infancy he was either suffocated with monkey-love or grew up lonely as Mowgli in the jungle of civilization. As a result, he just missed a few steps in development. A few, admittedly, not insignificant steps. For example the lesson on how interpersonal relationships works. That's why he falls back on information stored in their reptilian brain in unclear situations. You have to know that for the Narcissists all situations are in a sense somehow unclear. Especially if there are other people involved. If You understand that, it's basically pretty easy to deal with the Narcissist. You just have to master the basics of Ape management.
The good, the bad and Narcissus
Anyway, at that time the world was pretty simple: Those, who belonged to the pack, were the good, from the point of view of the pack boss. Those, who did not let themselves be monkeyed or did not belong, for whatever reason, were the bad guys. Because every pack, for some unknown reason, always believes it is the best of all packs. This can sometimes be dangerous for opposing packs. For example, if a pack is dissatisfied, the leader must somehow calm the general grumble and otherwise compensate for his shortcomings.
The beginnings of politics and polity
Humans generally like to pretend that Homo sapiens is more advanced than its primate relatives, and in general, than all the other mammals. However, this is not the case. Because everything that has actually become more complex is the real life out there. The human being itself not really.
An excursion into history: God is a Narcissus
Earlier, in ancient Egypt, the pharaoh was the chief Narcissist. The pharaoh was a secular ruler and god at the same time. In those days everything was still pretty easy. Insubordination was simply deadly. That's why there were no critics at all. Already the slightest suspicion of only a hint of disagreement called the Narcissist's henchmen on the scene.
All he needs is a stage to shine
The Narcissus loves public appearances at meetings, fairs, musicals ... It does not really matter what kind of content. The main thing is that he can show his self-made ego in detail. Every stage is right for his well-rehearsed productions. Narcissists are quite often fascinating people. The most dazzling personalities and the weirdest birds – these are under warranty Narcissists.
Often they are very charming at first glance. Though on the second not really likable. Except of course for the Co-Narcissist, but more about that later. Narcissists are good entertainers.
Narcissus and the basics of ape management
We are talking about that distant time, when the upper monkey still drummed on his chest, bared his teeth and chattered loudly to impress his monkey herd. Back then, when the lower-ranked ones were smart enough to mime subordination, while at the same time taking any opportunity to saw the legs of the executive‘s chair. This, obviously, lies in the genes of alpha animals.
The leader rallied the most attractive females around him and those were usually quite willing to do so, because they could thus improve or consolidate their position in the pack.
Narcissus and his strategies
The Narcissist is an alpha animal. So far for theory. In practice, the Narcissist, regrettably, comes up with gamma or delta qualities at his best in most cases . That's why he developed different survival strategies in the course of evolution. Above all, these tools serve him to cover up the objectively rather serious discrepancies between what he is in fact and what he would like to be, as elegant and efficient as possible. One of these is, for example, impression management: