Mid range narcissist

The Mid-Range Narcissist - Five Facts - HG Tudor - Knowing The Narcissist

I have come across these five questions on a number of occasions. They are often regarded as the five fundamental queries which are raised about our behaviour. They are usually answered in a forthright manner by certain commentators in order to drive the message home. However, these observations and answers are provided by people who are not of our kind. They are naturally entitled to comment but the true value arises from someone who is on the other side of the fence, the perpetrator of the actions, the doer. Furthermore, the usual observations are provided without regard to the fact that narcissists are both similar yet different because we operate in certain schools which are linked to our degree of functioning and malign outlook. Accordingly, the traditional answer provided to one of these questions may be correct for the greater of our kind, but not for the mid-range or for the lesser narcissist. This time the focus falls on those narcissists which are from the Mid-Range school. It is usually the case that those who Mid-Range are not so much defined by what they are, but rather by what they are not. Thus if a behaviour which accords with a lesser narcissist is absent and a behaviour which accords with a greater narcissist is absent but the individual still displays behaviour which accord with narcissism as a whole, this person falls within the Mid-Range. The Mid-Range is neither a creature of complete knee-jerk reactions but nor is he or she fully aware of what he or she is and the capabilities that he or she may possess. He or she will not exhibit the driven, malign nature of those narcissists from the greater school. Here are the five answers to the five central questions.


  1. Do We Know What We Are Doing?


Whereas the lesser narcissist operates through instinctive responses and in a knee-jerk manner the Mid-Ranger knows what he or she is doing even though the response is largely still one of instinct. Most of the Mid Ranger’s response is instinctive but they have a greater awareness of what is happening, the Lesser does not really notice.

The Mid-Ranger will notice that they feel a sense of unease and being unsettled. This is when their fuel levels have dropped to a low level. They do not know that the sensation of unease is linked to the reduced fuel levels. The Mid-Ranger does know that provoking reaction in the person who is his or her primary source and other people causes the unease to diminish and vanish. He or she is aware of the link between the need to receive attention and the reduction in the state of unease. He or she realises that certain reactions do not always work (i.e. unemotional ones) and that some reactions are superior to others (the sense of unease vanishes quicker and is replaced with a feeling of power) but they do not know why that is. They do not realise the index of fuel supply governs their own state of power/unease. They do know what if they are praised they feel better, if you are made to cry, they feel better and if you are losing your temper because of something that they have done, they feel better.

  1. Do We Know That We Are Hurting You?


Akin to the lesser, the Mid-Ranger is aware of the hurt that is being caused, the major difference however is that the Mid-Ranger recognises that you are being hurt (since he possesses Cognitive Empathy) but he or she will never OWN the responsibility for that hurt. Thus, he may say

“I know you are hurt when I call you names, but if you just stopped trying to control me, then I would not have to do it.”

He knows the name-calling upsets you, he also is aware that your emotional response has a positive impact for him (although does not know why) but he will never accept that this behaviour is wrong or his fault.

The Mid-Ranger may also give some consideration to how this might be achieved whereas the Lesser just does it. This tends to be apparent with mainly Upper Mid-Rangers, Lower and Middle Mid Rangers still operate through an instinctive response.

The Mid-Ranger does not behave this way because of any innate malevolence but rather because he or she is aware that the evidence of pain on your part gives them a “good” feeling and lessens the unease which may appear. The Mid-Ranger knows that if he or she acts in a certain way, it will cause you upset. With the higher functioning Mid Ranger, he or she will take some time to evaluate how best to respond in a situation so that the “good” feeling can be obtained. This is why some Upper Mid-Rangers are often mistaken for Greaters because they have a degree of calculation to their actions.

The Mid-Ranger will be aware of what it is that you are doing which has generated contempt, irritation or annoyance. He will be able to provide you with a reason behind this sensation and moreover if there is no actual reason he is readily able to invent one. Whereas the lesser can only usually respond in a vague and amorphous fashion, the Mid-Range will provide you with a reason for this annoyance at your behaviour and why he or she is hurting you. It is most likely a lie, but a reason will be provided nevertheless.

  1. Do We Do This Deliberately?

The Mid-Ranger is deliberate in his or her behaviours but they remain governed by instinct. They do not know it is fuel, they do not know its true purpose but they are sufficiently aware and of sufficient function to link the provision of certain reactions by you to the settling and empowering effect it has on them. The Mid-Ranger is aware that he or she can provoke good and bad emotions from you and that these reactions serve a purpose.

They are also able to apply a wider range of manipulations from their repertoire as a consequence of their increased function. The response is an instinctive response but in some instances will be thought out and whilst the plotting and scheming is far removed from the grand scale of the greater narcissists, there is no doubting that the Upper Mid-Ranger will plan. He or she will consider how people can best serve them. This is not done from a malicious point of view but is more about working out what will serve him or her the best. The Mid-Ranger will consider which friends serve him best, who will make the best target and how the various people that are his fuel lines knit together. He does not behave in the random and chaotic fashion of the Lesser nor with the pinpoint, malicious accuracy of the greater but with a sense of organisation and planning so that he or she gets what he or she wants.

  1. Can We Control This Behaviour?


The Mid-Ranger is possessed of the ability to control his or her behaviour even though the majority of it is instinctive. Accordingly, he will respond to certain behaviours with his own set response but can exert some control, for instance keeping a lid on the ignited fury for a short time, since he recognises the situation demands a certain approach.

Since he or she is not a creature of base instinct like the lesser but adopts a more considered approach there is some thought given to how he or she should respond. The Mid-Ranger is not aware of why they ought to behave in this way, they only know that there is a way of behaving which suits them best and they need to tailor their responses and behaviours to accord with this way and this includes control. The Mid-Ranger only has so much control however and in situations where fuel levels plummet and there is a real or perceived threat of a primary source cessation then the Mid-Ranger will lose control when placed under such duress. This may occasionally manifest in the use of physical violence. The Mid-Ranger knows there will be consequences but is unable to contain the urgent need to “do something” and therefore control is lost. The Mid-Ranger is particularly prone to using the silent treatment as this represents a halfway house between exerting and losing control. He or she may be panicked into a sudden reaction but they do not lose control to such an extent that a frenzied response, by way of violence both physical and verbal may appear. Instead they vanish. The Mid-Ranger is also more likely to engage in emotional, financial and sexual abuse through planning and the greater subtleties and insidious nature attached to these particular machinations.

  1. Can We Stop It?

Yes, the Mid-Ranger can to some extent. Much of his behaviour is instinct. He truly considers himself to be a good person, he believes he is empathic and caring, he regards other people as the problem. He cannot understand why people have to be so unfair, so troublesome and why they cause him pain and anguish, since he has such a different perspective to you.

He has an awareness and therefore is able to decide that the behaviour can stop. Indeed, where the Mid-Ranger perceives an advantage to be acquired he will do so and amend his behaviour accordingly. Whereas the lesser narcissist will instigate a respite period instinctively without knowing why he is doing, his need to devalue will just abate and the golden period returns, the Mid-Ranger knows the value of a respite period and will grant it because he feels settled and prone to wanting the contrast of the positive fuel again. Similarly, when those fuel levels drop the Mid-Ranger knows to commence the devaluation again. His awareness and control enable him of her to stop the devaluing behaviour as and when it is required. He does not exercise this with regard to any sense of malevolence, like the greater, but rather it is driven by need. The Mid-Ranger could stop his or her abusive behaviour but will not do so if they perceive a need for it to continue. The lesser is unable to stop it because it “just happens”. Of the three schools, the Mid-Ranger is less volatile, less malicious but in some respects can be regarded as entirely culpable for the behaviours which are engaged in and that are doled out to his or her victims. The difficulty is however, you can regard the Mid Ranger as culpable but he or she will never accept any liability for their behaviour because they are automatically configured to reject any notion that they are at fault. Their default setting is always to block this, reject it and counter it – usually through Pity Plays, sulking, silent treatments, blame-shifting and projection.

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Do Narcissists Know What They Are Doing? The Mid Range Narcissists - HG Tudor - Knowing The Narcissist


Previously I addressed whether the Lesser Narcissist knows what he or she is doing and why, but now let us examine the Mid Range Narcissist. You may well accept that the Lesser, unrefined battering ram that he or she is, just ploughs through life oblivious to the harm they cause, but surely the more cognitively blessed Mid Range narcissist is well aware of what he is doing? He plots and plans, yes? He knows precisely how to manipulate and thinks it through, scheming in advance to get the right result for him?


The Mid Range Narcissist (Lower Mid, Middle Mid (Types A and B) and Upper Mid) has an increased level of cognitive function beyond the Lesser. The Mid Ranger also exhibits cognitive (fake) empathy, knowing enough of how he or she is expected to behave in order to fit in, to con and thus ensnare. However, despite this increased cognitive function – and the Upper Mid Range Narcissist may be highly intelligent – it is instinct that once again rules the behaviours and response of the narcissist.

The Mid Ranger does not sit in a hollowed-out volcano like some Bond villain rubbing his hands together and scheming. He or she does not think about all the ways he or she can ruin the life of the empath in the forthcoming weeks. Their narcissism operates in a way, as ever, as a self-defence mechanism to enable the Mid Ranger to function and be effective – because he or she has not developed other coping mechanisms which non-narcissists have, to navigate a path through life. The operation of this is instinctive.

Does the Mid Ranger think that he will sit and sulk so he can assert control over his long-suffering spouse and gain fuel as she begs him to speak to her? No. He instinctively sits in silence because that is the optimum response as a consequence of him having been wounded. His narcissism operates to make him issue a silent treatment. This of course draws fuel and asserts his perceived superiority over the relevant appliance, but he does not decide to give a silent treatment, he just does it. He knows that he is not speaking to her.

Does the Mid Ranger decide that she will issue a pity play to her colleagues about the way she has been passed over for promotion, thus smearing the boss and gaining sympathy fuel from those listening? No, it is her manipulative response to having been wounded by not gaining the promotion.

Does the Mid Ranger recognise that his cold put downs upset you? Yes. He sees your tears, hears the hurt in your voice and your pained expression. This provides him with fuel (although he does not recognise as such) and he feels the power flowing from the provision of such fuel. This reaction to the flow of power might be to smile or smirk at you. You may then think, “He knows what he is doing.” No, he knows his action hurts you, but he feels no guilt, no remorse, no upset at behaving this way because as ever, from the narcissistic perspective, it is entirely justified.

To understand this further, imagine there is a Mid Range Narcissist and a victim. Husband and wife. Both have been at work during the day. The narcissist called his wife twice during the afternoon but she did not answer – this wounds him. She also failed to call him back. He is wounded again. His wife, as his Intimate Partner Primary Source is painted black as a consequence of his split thinking. Thus, from his narcissistic perspective everything she says and does will be viewed through a ‘black lens’ until she becomes painted white again. A normal, healthy person would work out that her failure to answer and return the call means she is busy, perhaps in a meeting. The narcissist, governed by paranoia and the overwhelming need to control is wounded. This person is not doing what he wants, his sense of entitlement (that she should be available) is dented. He feels like he is losing control. He starts to feel powerless and is reminded of a time when he once was regularly made to feel that way. This situation must be addressed – he must assert his superiority and his blackened view of his spouse will enable him to do this.

His wife is at home first. The husband walks through the door and she greets him with

“Hello darling, what have you been doing?”

An innocuous and pleasant question, enquiring thoughtfully about her husband’s day.

The husband does not regard it that way. His narcissism demands that he asserts control and that she is punished for her transgression. He does not think

“She did not answer my call, I must punish her. She did not call me back, I must assert control.”

Those needs for control and punishment are automatic and instinctive. Her question is viewed as prying, controlling and unnecessary.

“What’s it got to do with you?” he snaps at her. His blackened view of her meaning his response is provocative and unpleasant. His wife is taken aback, her expression changes to one of hurt and the narcissist receives fuel from this.

“Sorry? What’s wrong? Why are you being like that?” she asks in a hurt tone.

These questions are challenge fuel. Her emotion gives him fuel, but because she is querying him, she is challenging him and thus (viewed by the narcissist) continues to reject control and rebel against him.

The Mid Ranger does not think

“Ah good, she is upset and confused. I know I will keep this going.” Instead, his instinctive response, which is automatic and swift in order to preserve him as his self-defence mechanism should, causes him to respond

“There’s nothing wrong with me. It’s you, always prying, asking me questions, trying to control me.”

The wife is taken aback once again. She knows she is not controlling (but then she may start to doubt this of course) but she is confused. Her confusion is welcome, it makes her easier to control. Her responses keep fuelling the narcissist. The Mid Ranger however is not considering what he will say next in order to keep confusing her, he is not considering how to gain more fuel from her, he is not considering how to assert his control over her, it all happens as a matter of instinct. He knows she is upset, but it is her fault because the narcissism makes it anybody’s fault save that of the narcissist. He knows that his comments trouble her, but they are necessary because she is the aggressor.

A third party watching this scene would decide that the narcissist responded unpleasantly at the outset and thus he is the problem.

The narcissist does not and cannot see that. He thinks he is the victim. He thinks his spouse is the problem because she failed to answer his call and call him back. His narcissism makes him think she is controlling  and thus he RESPONDS to her abusive behaviour and accordingly he is not the instigator. This is why, coupled with a lack of remorse and guilt is why the Mid Range Narcissist sees nothing wrong with what he is doing because all he is doing is responding to the unreasonable behaviour of another and therefore he is in the right.

This increased cognitive awareness of the Mid Ranger also gives rise to the façade. A Lesser would have an affair and would not care who knows – the cuckolded spouse is at fault for whatever reason he chooses and anybody who dares to say anything bad about his infidelity is a moron. The Mid Range Narcissist knows that society regards infidelity as a bad thing. He does not and moreover his narcissism will give him plenty of reasons why he should commit it. However, because he has enough cognitive awareness to recognise that it is frowned upon, he will hide the affair (unless there is an overriding beneficial reason not to) which gives the appearance that he feels bad about his behaviour. Not so, he does not want his façade damaged, he does not want the aggravation of the steady home life (with its attendant fuel and residual benefits) damaged. but again he does not think in such terms, he just knows that people will frown on him for cheating on his wife, so he keeps it hidden.

It may seem that the Mid Range Narcissist does indeed feel guilty for his behaviour. That he is genuinely sorry and he will make amends. Not at all. Again, he knows enough from instinctive observation that not talking to someone for a week is hurtful and viewed as a ‘bad thing’ and will even go so far as to admit that BUT there will always be a reason or an excuse. He will say

“I know it hurts you when I do not speak to you for a week BUT if you didn’t nag me, I would not need a time out.”

He instinctively blame shifts within this moment of apparent contrition.

Some Middle Mid Rangers and Upper Mid Rangers may plan to correct the perceived wrongs they have suffered, but this remains an instinctive response. He does not think – “I know this is wrong what I am planning, but what the hell, I will do it anyway.” He knows people may regard it as wrong, but he knows that he is justified because he has been offended, hurt, wronged in some way – namely wounded or challenged – and thus his action is justified and necessary.

When the Mid Ranger lies, he does not know that he is lying. The lie is his truth because his narcissism causes it to be – his narcissism will deflect blame, apportion blame to you, revise history, deny and so forth – all part of the instinctive responses which are totally necessary for the narcissist to regain and maintain control and is as a result of the The Narcissist’s Twin Lines of Defence

When the Mid Ranger gas lights, he does not know he is doing so. He may be contradicting what he said five minutes ago but his narcissism blinds him to this, it has to so the defence mechanism remains intact and effective, and therefore he genuinely believes what he is saying is correct and moreover you are wrong and therefore you are the problem.

This is why Mid Range Narcissists believe that they are good people, indeed empathic people and that the other person (the real victim) is the problem. This is why the real victim is labelled as an abuser, a tormentor and even a narcissist and the Mid Range Narcissist truly believes this to be the case. He does not think “I know I am the problem and she is not, but I am going to mess with her head” – he really believes the victim is the trouble maker because that way his responses and actions have absolute conviction, have the best possible chance of a successful outcome (namely fuel and control) and thus the manipulation goes on and on with no prospect whatsoever for change.

Understanding the Narcissistic Perspective

Which narcissist am I dealing with?

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When political narcissists flourish - Vedomosti

In political narcissism, falling in love with one's own reflection is transformed into a cult of "pictures" / Franc Kavčič

Narcissism is considered almost an occupational disease of politicians - as well as people of creative professions, as well as psychoanalysts and psychotherapists themselves. It can be seen with the naked eye that we have problems in this entire area, including ideology and propaganda. A naked eye, and especially during election campaigns, reveals an even more complex picture: here, by default, political technologies draw out a grandiose ego from those who usually have it hidden, and not only from the candidates, but also from the charged mass.

Invisible sensation

Accusations of narcissism are extremely effective politically and spectacular in militant journalism. Renowned expert on narcissism Christine Dombek writes, “Narcissism is the favorite diagnosis for the political leaders of any party opposed to your own.” Now, from the side of the community of psychopathologists and all and sundry, there is a massive attack on Trump with a diagnosis of malignant narcissism. Stephen King: "<...> He is just a textbook example of narcissistic personality disorder <...> The fact that this guy has a finger on the red button is scarier than any horror story I've written. " There are also frontal generalizations; Christian Jarrett's well-known work is titled modestly: How Collective Narcissism Rules World Politics.

The fact that our people bypass these sensational and superficial themes as charmed deserves a separate diagnosis. It looks like the vestiges of magical consciousness, when a person is simply afraid of words, for example, replacing the terrible “cancer” with a slightly less frightening “oncology”. In order for even a hint at the psychopathology of a person, mass or system to unconsciously evoke a panic reaction, one must have a special history and culture of attitude to the entire sphere of “intervention in consciousness”. Recently, I was presented with a chased wording: "A psychiatric diagnosis is worse than a criminal record." In our tradition, of course, this is not leprosy or other cute infections, but close to it. And then it is more important to understand why we still have this and what to do about it, especially after Michel Foucault's History of Madness in the Classical Age.

The phenomenon is not new: in Erich Fromm, "individual narcissism can turn into group narcissism, and then the clan, nation, religion, race, and the like take the place of the individual and become objects of narcissistic passion." Americans at home are very businesslike about a genuine epidemic of narcissism that has already surpassed the drama of the nation's obesity. We have the same problem, but with important differences. There, narcissism at the everyday level is rather individualistic, although in ideology the nation behaves like an exemplary narcissist. Our narcissism is rather collective, mass, with an idealizing transfer to the leader and the system. There, narcissists are fixed on themselves and their exaggerated significance (career success, business, consumption, education, children) - in our country they are shifted on the greatness of the whole: countries, powers, empires, etc., including the invincible VKS and diplomacy that lowered everyone. There, narcissism is mostly attainable—we have splendor and power, mostly destructive. Here rockets designed to kill fly well, and products designed to fly fall.

Finally, the type of reaction is important. It is prestigious to have your own psychoanalyst there - with us it is closer to the shame of a dispensary. In the “crazy” USA, on top of the epidemic of narcissism itself, an epidemic of active adaptation to life with narcissists and in a narcissistic environment is raging - mountains of literature and terabytes on the net. We also have a secondary epidemic, but of a different kind: blindness, deafness and dumbness in relation to what we should have worked with for a long time and systematically. Such pathologies do not resolve themselves.

Narcissistic Reflection Optics

It is known that the narcissist is the most difficult patient in psychoanalysis. Here it is most difficult to break through counter provocations and “armor of character” (Wilhelm Reich). Techniques for working with such clients are extremely refined, there is no finer.

In politics and the public sphere, everything is a little simpler, although worse in terms of the scale of the disaster. There is generally no need to impose on anyone with your home-grown diagnostics (which, moreover, can offend if not brought under a lawsuit). But it is enough to present a professional tool that gives a chance to independently change the optics of vision in terms of political realities, the behavior of leaders and their teams, and, as a result, the system as a whole and themselves. It's like watching the same TV and reading the same news, but with blue filters and rose-colored glasses removed.

Everyone has heard about Narcissus from the ancient myth, but often in the most general form. For example, few people remember that the gods punished a narcissistic young man not only for the offended nymph Echo, but also according to the collective complaint of the crowd of ancient Greek men rejected by him (this is a separate issue altogether: passionate relationships in politics as a special type of orientation). But there are other interesting points as well.

Narcissus is in love not just with himself, but with his own reflection. This is important for understanding the type of political narcissism in which the cult of the “picture” reigns, and the shaky images of television and newspaper headlines play the role of reflection in the water.

Narcissus from the myth dies not only from unrequited love for himself, but also from ordinary hunger. This motive of physical exhaustion is fundamentally important for understanding systemic narcissism, in which narcissism in the reflection of theatrical and status effects displaces the most acute problems of the economy, technological backwardness, infrastructure and social crisis.

The typical narcissist suffers from exaggerated conceit and pathological selfishness. He obsessively puts himself in the spotlight and cannot stand the slightest competition. He cannot live without an audience, he requires a regular demonstration of admiration for himself, even if it is obviously insincere (all others are nobody at all for a narcissist). He treats people purely instrumentally - as a means and material into which the image of his inimitable splendor is imprinted.

The narcissist is so fixated on his own grandiosity and omnipotence that he pathologically cannot stand criticism. Reflection and self-criticism are atrophied. He is always and in everything categorically right - even if the whole world is wrong. Attacks on his ideals and on him as an ideal cause attacks of a special kind of narcissistic anger and narcissistic rage, up to and including attempted murder.

Pictures of reality are displaced or completely inadequate. Any failure is presented as a hidden victory, from which failure becomes a chronicle and a way of being.

Once again, all this is nothing more than optics. But no less. If someone sees something familiar in this optics, these are his personal discoveries.

Narcissistic stratification

In life and science, of course, everything is much more complicated. Primary narcissism, according to Freud, is a normal, even obligatory stage in a child's development. According to Fromm, the basic narcissistic core of the personality is irremovable and, moreover, compensates for the lack of natural instincts developed in animals. Narcissism is constructive and destructive; in the zone of deviation, it can be pathological, clinical and malignant. When exploring narcissistic manifestations, this is important to understand in order not to brandish the stigma of "psycho". However, other differentiations are more important in politics and society.

Among the "chosen ones" there is a breed of narcissists who by no means suffer from physical exhaustion, but, on the contrary, consume, as they say, in three throats. They are also threatened with disorder and even death, but rather from hypertrophy of the grasping reflex. This is also a compensation for painful complexes, but already in the field of manic possession. The standard wording for the average person is “where do they get so many?” does not take into account the unimaginable suffering that people of this sort experience from competition in the area of ​​wealth, power and alleged fame.

There are functional narcissists of the middle and lower levels, for example, in the profession of TV presenters, noteworthy "analysts" and polemicists. The avant-garde of this direction quite often is so clearly dragged from itself that all sorts of complexes, for example, from problems with appearance, are visible even to the inexperienced. Or with ambition. The recent incident on the radio is a classic exit of the complex, forcing you to speak incessantly, every minute interrupting everyone and yourself in panic fear of the prospect of an attack on the narcissistic ideal of the only true historian and scientist. Shukshin called something similar “cut off”, and there it is the image of a person, although very pleased with himself, but close-minded and boorish.

If we talk about the electorate, then in their suffering and delight this layer of narcissists is rather in a suffering position. If much in the narcissism of professional politics is difficult to separate from conscious manipulation, cynicism and ordinary licentiousness, then the grassroots mass deserves a different attitude, a correction of the very form of address. Here, even obvious deviations are not a reason for sarcasm or invective, as, for example, in the narcissism of leaders or inter-party struggle. But this is extremely important for understanding that the usual purely rational reasoning in such cases often does not help, if not completely counterproductive. Here, special ethics and other communication techniques are needed, but this is a topic for a separate discussion.

Author - head of the Center for Research on Ideological Processes

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What is narcissism

Irina Postnikova

does not assert itself at the expense of others

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Everyone has an acquaintance who likes to talk only about himself.

He never misses an opportunity to brag about: a promotion at work, a new car, how smart his kids are, and what an obedient dog he has. He is not interested in your news and problems. But if he has trouble, he will demand your support and participation. However, this does not happen often: as a rule, a friend is sure that he will make a better decision even without you. Usually such people are called narcissists. We talk about narcissism in the next issue of the guide to the psyche.

In the previous issue: what is the spiral of silence.

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What it is

Narcissism is a person's confidence in his own exclusivity, the tendency to exaggerate his contribution to the common cause and a strong thirst for recognition. To one degree or another, these traits are inherent in everyone. But they appear with different intensity. This is why psychologists usually talk about narcissism as a spectrum. At one end of which are people who show little to no narcissistic traits, and at the other end are people with a pathological narcissistic disorder.

A healthy level of narcissism is quite helpful. It makes a person more active, inclined to compete with those around him, self-confident and ambitious, makes him strive for success, set ambitious goals for himself and achieve them with all his might. Psychologists note that there are especially many narcissists among executives and political leaders.

Pathological - that is, pronounced - narcissism, on the contrary, interferes with a person's life. In some countries, it is even considered an official mental disorder.


“If not me, then who”: what is the rescuer syndrome

There is no such diagnosis in the International Classification of Diseases, which is used in Russia. But it is recognized, for example, by the American Psychiatric Association - APA. Her recommendations list the following signs of narcissistic personality disorder:

  1. Huge conceit.
  2. The presence of all-consuming fantasies about one's success, influence, strength, genius, ideal love.
  3. Confidence that such an exceptional person as himself can only be understood by another equally exceptional person. For example, someone who occupies a high position in society.
  4. Need for admiration and praise from others.
  5. Lack of empathy.
  6. Attacks of envy - and the certainty that others envy him.
  7. Demonstrative arrogance, arrogance.

At the same time, as psychologists note, people with severe disorders are rare. Most often, pathological narcissism has a mixed form and does not manifest itself in all areas of human life. Therefore, there are many different classifications of it.

For example, some researchers identify several subtypes of pathological narcissists.

Open. A person strives all the time to draw attention to himself and demand praise.

Concealed. A person simultaneously considers himself exceptional and at the same time is not sure of himself. And therefore, he may not openly demonstrate his conceit and not demand recognition from those around him.

Toxic. It is also sometimes called malignant. Distinguished by a craving for power, a desire to control others. In communication, he tends to use manipulative techniques, such as gaslighting or double messaging.


No means yes: what is a double bind?

  • "She should be happy with my attention";
  • "These idiots don't understand who they're dealing with";
  • "I am the best";
  • "I will not communicate with those who earn less than me";
  • "No one is able to do it right, except me";
  • “I don't care what makes them uncomfortable. I have to think about myself."
  • Why it occurs

    Because of the natural mechanisms of personality formation. In early childhood, each of us is believed to go through the so-called "narcissistic stage": when the child begins to take great pleasure in his own body and what it is capable of. During this period, two models are simultaneously formed in him: a majestic image of himself and an idealized image of his parents.

    As the child grows older, if the child receives enough care and support from adults, these two models change and become more realistic and adequate. But at the same time, in one form or another, narcissistic traits remain with a person until the end of his life. In most cases, this remains the norm.

    Due to the peculiarities of upbringing. This is one of the main reasons for the transition of narcissism into a pathological form. If in early childhood a person did not receive attention from his parents - for example, he was rarely praised for his first achievements or initiative actions - this can form in him a strong need for admiration from others. He will try with all his might to implement it already in adulthood.

    Never say that to kids: 12 toxic parenting phrases

    Due to narcissistic disorder of close relatives or parents. They often realize the need for recognition from others by asserting themselves on the child. He is forced - at least internally - to protect his own self-esteem. Which reinforces his narcissistic traits and behavior patterns, which he unconsciously adopts from the adults raising him.

    What is the danger

    Although people with non-pathological levels of narcissism are often successful in life, they still need external confirmation of their success and positive feedback from other people. If they do not receive this, then they experience internal discomfort. However, it usually does not lead to negative consequences.

    The problems that people with pathological narcissism face are much more serious. The disorder disrupts their ability to adapt in society: it becomes difficult for the narcissist to communicate with others and lead a normal social and professional life. He ceases to adequately perceive reality and flexibly respond to ongoing events.

    In addition, narcissistic disorder can serve as a trigger for the development of mental illness: depression, addictions to alcohol and drugs.

    Difficulties also arise in people who are in romantic, friendly or family relationships with a pathological narcissist. They are constantly attacked, passive-aggressive, and manipulated. This increases the amount of negative emotions and stress in their lives. And in the long term, it can lead to problems with self-esteem, increase anxiety, and give impetus to the development of mental disorders.


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    What to do

    Narcissism is almost impossible to deal with on your own. The help of a psychologist or psychotherapist is needed. They will help you understand yourself and, if necessary, correct the internal attitudes that underlie narcissistic manifestations. Research has shown the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral and analytic psychotherapy. Other methods have not given convincing results in the fight against narcissism.

    But experts note that suspecting yourself of narcissism is a sign that you do not have a serious pathology. People who actually suffer from narcissistic disorder usually don't realize it. Painfully inflated self-esteem often prevents them from realizing that something is wrong with them. Usually, pathological narcissists go to doctors when they want to be cured of an associated mental disorder.

    Communication with a pronounced or pathological narcissist is rarely enjoyable. Usually, such people are not particularly interested in meaningful communication and see others only as a means for their own self-affirmation or achievement of goals. Therefore, many often seek to end such relationships.


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    For those for whom this is not possible, they are advised to build several levels of protection:

    1. Don't try to change a person. Narcissists are usually confident in their ideality, and therefore never admit their mistakes and do not see the need to work on their behavior.
    2. Try to distance yourself emotionally from what the narcissist is telling you. Remember that his insulting and devaluing words are not based on an objective assessment of your personality and abilities. With their help, the narcissist is only trying to manipulate you in order to fulfill an internal need for control, to strengthen his self-esteem.
    3. Put your own interests first, don't sacrifice psychological comfort. For example, if you feel that a conversation with a narcissist is becoming emotionally uncomfortable for you, stop it.
    4. To minimize manipulation attempts by the narcissist, use a few tricks. Answer all questions as clearly as possible so as not to give him the opportunity to accuse you of what you did not mean. And make sure that the conversation does not go away from the original topic.
    5. If you decide to end the relationship, be firm in this decision. Almost any pathological narcissist sees this as a painful blow to self-esteem. And therefore, with all his might, he usually tries to return the one who abandoned him.
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