(L) In the Greek myth, Narcissus could not stop gazing at the reflection of himself. (R) Dr Les Carter gives advice in his YouTube series “Freedom from Narcissism”)
by Mary W Maxwell, LLB
After I watched a Dr Les Carter video about narcissism, my daily “YouTube offerings” seemed to send me one every day. I tuned in to several, as the subject is fascinating and so well presented. Each video lasts around 13 minutes.
The good doctor (a psychologist) typically entitles a video “Six things you should never say to a narcissist” or “The most crucial three fears of a narcissist”. As soon as the video begins, he enumerates those three things.
(What a change from the bait-and-switch approach of many health videos! “Why you should never eat a piece of lettuce again” – takes 30 minutes to get to the point and is often untrue.)
Ten Characteristics of the Narc’s Behavior
Persons writing comments under Carter’s videos — I think most are wives – call the narcissist “the narc,” so I will do that here. And I will exclusively say “he” but this means “he or she.” Men are in the majority, though.
Herewith ten characteristics pointed out by Dr Carter. Below, we can discuss how it is possible for the traits to be so consistent.
- The person thinks he is exceptional. There’s nobody like him!
- He feels no obligation to reciprocate what you do for him.
- He has no sensitivity to the pain he causes, and therefore no remorse. (He’ll tell you to quit crying fake tears!)
- He will vilify anyone who dares to call him out or who confronts him.
- He is awkward in both the giving and the receiving of any tenderness.
- If he does something good, he wants big recognition as a payoff.
- He will be mean and destructive at the end of a relationship and will engage in “revisionist history” (Dr Carter’s word) as to what the relationship was like earlier.
- He is willfully deceptive and engages in secretive schemes (such as to cover any mismanagement of money).
- He considers that rules apply to you but never to him. In business deals he breaks the rules.
- He is generally empty on the inside.
How Is It Possible for Traits To Converge Like That?
I am persuaded by Dr Les Carter that there is such a thing as the narc. But it is a mystery to me how each narc seems to have the entire collection of those traits. Sorry, I don’t know at what age this panoply of traits gets established.
Put yourself in the narc’s shoes for a moment. You are a very selfish person. You crave reassurance of your wonderfulness. You actually believe you are wonderful. Other people don’t count – they’re not even entitled to have an opinion, as there’s only one correct opinion, yours.
Psychologists say it’s likely that the narc does not feel confident of his worth and the whole thing may be his way of trying to prove to himself that the outside world really does accept him.
Other psychologists may emphasize the lack of love the narc received as a child. Maybe there is a moment in one’s development that is a sort of deadline – if you haven’t been loved by that time, you are a hopeless case.
I recall that Wendy Hoffman said, in one of her first two books – Enslaved Queen, or White Witch in a Black Robe – that a young boy named Daniel was good to her. He was about 11 and she was 4. Everyone else had been murderously mean, including her parents. Wendy says if not for Daniel she couldn’t have caught on to the phenomenon of love and believes she wouldn’t have been able to learn it later.
There are indeed deadlines for learning certain things. Carrine Hustebaut, in her book Child Hunters, described one killer whom she interviewed in prison. He could not get past the cruelty of his upbringing — although she says there was a flicker of a moment when she reached out her hand to his and he seemed moved.
Psychologists also interpret the swift reaction of anger shown by the narc, to his way of pushing away the experiencing of shame. I suppose if he had no chance to develop a good ego, he has a truly low ego — and which of us can live without an ego?
“Freedom from Narcissism”
The series of YouTube videos by Carter is called “Freedom from Narcissism.” The mission is to help the victim of a narc, — not the narc, whom he believes cannot benefit from therapy. In this article I am by no means trying to pass any advice to anyone who is suffering from a narc’s behavior. I am trying to see what can be discovered as to what the rest of us are like.
As stated above, there is quite a collection of symptoms that appear in the narc. Before I watched this series, I thought all human traits appeared as on an à la carte
menu, so to speak. A person got, at conception, four sets of traits, randomly scrambled – each parent having both a dominant trait for such and such, and a recessive trait for such and such.
The result, I assumed, was that you inherit bits that will make you grow up to be stubborn, generous, headstrong, conceited, cooperative, loyal, nasty, whatever (allowing, of course, for some training into various virtues and vices).
The narcissist, however, does not inherit “the narc gene.” There is no narc gene. Narcissism happens when something doesn’t happen in his youth.
This has big consequences for those with whom he must deal later, particularly in the family and in the workplace:
He will vilify you if you confront him, he won’t obey your rules, or reciprocate your favors. He can’t acknowledge his responsibility if anything goes wrong. Hence, he will shift the blame to others (unfortunately, to you, if you are the handiest victim.). Dr Les Carter’s advice is “Brexit” if you are oppressed by a narc.
As Gumshoers know, I am interminably trying to figure out the cause of the horrors that have been done by programs such as Tavistock. It almost seems, on the surface, that the mind-controllers at Tavi wants their prey to become narcs.
They try to wipe away people’s self-confidence and deprive them of love. But they would hardly want to end up with a finished product that looks like the narc described above! That person is incorrigible, where Tavi needs you to be very corrigible.
Maybe some of the Tavi geniuses are themselves narcissists but I tend to doubt it. They would not be able to have such — pardon me — empathy. I mean it takes empathy to know what the other person is feeling, and they most certainly know what we are feeling, down to the last nuance of pain, humiliation, and terror.
Oh, wait! I have just recalled that Carter said many narcs have a smooth, charming side, at least at the beginning when they need to capture you. Aha! they do have the know-how for pleasing people!
I am putting this out on Gumshoe in hope of being informed by others as to how we might help the situation of kids (or whole societies!) becoming conditioned to cruelty. Naturally, I would also be interested in your related thoughts on “Brexit.”
By the way, Dr Les Carter says a psychology colleague advised him that there are two traits that block the development of narcissism. These are: self-control and conscientiousness. Maybe that is of help.
What Wives, Friends, and a Husband Are Saying
Here I will copy, without the senders’ names, 14 comments made under a typical Les Carter video, as a way of validating the universality of the narc personality.
These appeared under a December 20, 2019 video entitled “The #1 Way to Identify a Narcissist” (viz, watch how an individual responds to conflict). It has got almost half a million views as of today, January 21, 2021, and 3,750 comments. I have pulled these straight off the top, no cherry picking!
1 year ago — A narcissist will fabricate a conflict.
11 months ago — Don’t ever wait for an apology from a narcissist, because remember everything is your fault… and YOU are always wrong!
8 months ago — A narcissist will always be the victim or the hero, never the villain. Learnt from personal experience.
1 year ago — There is no reasoning with a narcissist, no rationale with a narcissist, you will not win if you stay with a narcissist! Run as fast as you possibly can run run run.
11 months ago — THE ONE TRAIT I SAW IN NARCISSIST IS ‘JEALOUSY’ EXTREME JEALOUSY.
5 months ago — I’ve noticed how one of their favourite phrases seems to be ‘I never said that!’
1 year ago — The conflict is manufactured, it’s always irrational, based on some paranoid thought they had
1 month ago — “They create revisionist history.” AKA: Gaslighting. They are the masters at this.
11 months ago — Just start laughing really hard when they say something stupid. Most people would react with hurt, or walk away, or maybe insult you back. A narcissist will go into a murderous rage.
1 year ago — A Narcissist is just impossible to deal with, especially in a conflict situation. It’s like talking to a brick wall. They would rather drop dead on the floor then admit they are wrong.
2 months ago — When you have a disagreement with them, they always go for character assassination.
1 year ago — For me all my alarm bells start to rattle when I meet these gushy people for the first time and they treat you like their best friend. They only associate with people who will be beneficial to their progress. They want something from you.
1 year ago — I enjoy telling that narcissist “I don’t care” because I don’t. I’m way past all of that.
5 months ago — My ex-wife is a narcissist and she’s the only person I ever have conflict with while communicating. If I disagree with anything, no matter how minor, it turns into a fight. She, of course, blames me for being unreasonable and (wait for it) for being a narcissist.