The Funny Side of Narcissists

Jesperhus by Tomasz SienickiJesperhus by Tomasz Sienicki

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Did you ever hear the story about a certain princess who couldn’t sleep because of a tiny pea placed under a mountain of mattresses?

Absurd, isn’t it?

A fantasy tale which is most entertaining, especially when you’re a child with a fertile imagination where beans grow into magical plants.

As a child you might believe such a thing was possible, and perhaps when you couldn’t sleep at night, tossing and turning, you might check under your mattress (as long as there isn’t a monster hiding under there) to see if a tiny pea was placed there by someone testing to see if you were perhaps a real princess.

Once you grow up and out of such ludicrous notions, you might look back on those days when you believed in such things with affectionate laughter… or disdain. Much of how we view what we believed as children depends on the type of adult we become. The type of adult we become depends quite a bit on the sort of experiences we had as a child, particularly during that phase known as growing pains.

Growing pains us when our magical kingdoms turn a little less magical year by year. The kingdom of adulthood can seem very bleak after having lived in those places our imagination richly created for us, where we were anything but ordinary, and could do many amazing things just by thinking it into being.

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Most of us grow up and out of that way of thinking. It’s part of becoming an adult.

Some of us never grow up and out of it. Only the exterior casing becomes that of an adult, but the mind stays firmly stuck in childhood, in the land of make believe, without knowing that it has done so.

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annex-blyth-ann-mr-peabody-and-the-mermaidAnn Blyth – still from Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid

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Do you remember as a child, when you’d do something new (new for you) you’d announce it to the world expecting a fanfare for it?

“Look, everyone, I’ve just peeled a banana! Yay me!!!”

If your parents were the kind who celebrated your first steps, your first words, your first… everything, then they would probably pull out a camera and photograph your first time peeling a banana while congratulating you on another first achievement. That photo would take pride of place in the album of all your momentous moments, which could then be pulled out and shown to all and sundry. That moment recalled and relived in illustrated anecdotes for the rest of your life… at some point that would begin to be embarrassing, yet there would still be a bit of pride about it, a sense of achievement, of being loved and having your life celebrated. Those moments were special, and in some ways always will be… because you are special. We all are in our own way.

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As a child our perspective is different from the one we grow into as we get older. Each year our world gets bigger and includes more people in it. We become aware of more… and as we do so, our perspective on ourselves changes. We realise that although the first time we peeled a banana was a huge event for us, it’s actually a rather ordinary event in the lives of others. Many people peel bananas every day.

Gradually we adjust to the fact that when we do something which we consider momentous, worth celebrating, it’s a personal achievement and is really only special to us because we’ve done something and learned something new. We may tell other people about it, share our enthusiasm, but we don’t expect a fanfare. Maybe a pat on the back or some acknowledgement, but… we can give that to ourselves if no one else does. After all they may not realise how important the moment was for us, as for them it might be ordinary.

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The other day I figured out how to record sounds with my phone. I gave myself a little woo hoot! by replaying the sound I’d just recorded which was two owls woo hooting… then I accidentally erased the file. So I gave myself a ruh roh!

I was pleased with myself, and did share my achievement with a friend, but I didn’t expect a fanfare, especially as I am aware that when it comes to using the apps on a phone I am way behind many people. But just because many are ahead of me, doesn’t make my moment any less valuable to me. We live and learn at our own pace, and we can respect that… in ourselves and in others.

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When I come across someone else celebrating a momentous moment, it always makes me smile. Those moments are great. It’s a bit like being back in our magic kingdom. But we’re not there to stay, just a fun visit which we’re happy to have and share with those who would like to participate in our enthusiasm, our joie de vivre. It can be fleeting so enjoy it while it’s happening, however absurd it may seem. Let loose and do a little jig.

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Sometimes I come across a different kind of someone, the kind who is still stuck in childhood, stuck forever in their magic kingdom, and who still expects a fanfare from a large audience for every little thing they do.

The most ordinary event will be made to appear extraordinary, and they are extraordinary because of it. Super special! No one else has ever done this before, no one else has ever thought of this before, and no one else will ever be able to do anything like this!

They are the emperor going out in his new clothes. Trumpets are playing announcing the great and momentous moment, a crowd has gathered to see what they can see, eyes hoping to be filled with wonder…

And as long as the moment really is as extraordinary as the emperor thinks it is, all will be well, they’ll get the accolades, admiration and adulation they expect.

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But what if the moment is exactly as it was in The Emperor’s New Clothes?

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the_emperor__s_new_clothes_by_angelarizza-d5fc1wp-1The Emperor’s New Clothes by Angela Rizza

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This different kind of person, known as narcissists to the rest of us, will not take kindly at all if when they peel a banana for the first time, then announce it in grandiose style to their audience – they will probably not call it ‘peeling a banana’ but the ‘unveiling of an exotic and rare fruit’ as they are the first person to ever do this and therefore it needs an appropriate description – they don’t get the sort of fanfare they expect for it.

If we, their audience and subjects, react in any way which is not the way they want, need and expect us to…

If we say ‘Oh, you peeled a banana… well done… we peeled one just this morning as usual to have for breakfast… everyone peels bananas.’

Rather than ‘OMG!!! What did you just do!?! That’s amazing!!!’

Then the chances are that we’ll be dealing with a very cranky princess who hasn’t been able to get a good night’s sleep because of a pea.

‘It’s just a pea…’ we may say, with our adult minds and perspective. Years of living in the bleak kingdom of adulthood has tempered us… if all that’s keeping you awake at night is a pea under your mattress, then just remove the damned pea or sleep on the floor, FFS! You don’t have to wake everyone else up just because you can’t sleep!

But that is exactly what a princess does. No one is allowed to sleep if the princess can’t. And a princess doesn’t do things like solve her own problems, she has subjects to do that for her.

AND… it isn’t JUST a pea. It is a very special pea because it is her pea, and she is very special. No ordinary pea would keep her awake!

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Narcissists are really very funny, absurdly so, when you can take a step back from all the drama, which can be hard to do… yet worth giving it a go, and look at them as Hans Christian Andersen did.

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They are a character in a tale, a fictitious being in a land of make believe, they and their land is very real to them. They are stuck there, unable to escape the pages of the book, relying on us to read it, and keeping reading it, over and over again, until we brainwash ourselves into believing in them and their land, so they can exist, larger than life… because life is ordinary and boring but they are extraordinary and fascinating.

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That’s why we find them attractive, charming, alluring, hard to resist…

they view everything through child-coloured spectacles,

big, bold, vivid, magical…

they view themselves that way, because that’s the way they are in their world,

and they view us that way too… even when we go from being their hero to being their villain… for a while, sometimes a long while, and sometimes a short while.

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They remind us of being a child and what it was like, they stir our own land of make believe which we loved when we were children, and if we haven’t been there in a while, if we’ve been living too long in the bleak kingdom of adulthood, then their invitation to live in their magic kingdom where we can be a king or a queen… rather tempting, isn’t it?

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But we can never go back, we crossed the point of no return when we decided to grow up and out of being a child, and although we can visit that time… we see it differently, from the perspective of an adult, which is why, after a while, the land of make believe of a narcissist loses its charm, and the dream turns into a nightmare… we now know that all fairytales have a sinister side, a side which the adults in our lives when we were children often hid from us, they wanted us to enjoy make believe as long as we could, as long as we were children…

one day we’d find out for ourselves,

when we grew up.

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If we grew up.

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What happens to the characters in a fairytales when we close the book?

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22 thoughts on “The Funny Side of Narcissists

  1. Some adults do act as adults but still have a childish facet or side to them. Ns can be very tempting to associate with cause a huge part of who they are is very childlike and match that childish mentality. If you decide to “play” , you must remember what kind do person you’re dealing with at every moment.
    If you observe children interacting with each other when they play together , you will see a strong similarity in many components to being in an adult friendship with a Narcissist.
    If you want an egalitarian relationship- you will never get anything that even resembles that.

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    1. As with most things in life and in people, in us, there is a positive side to it, a negative side to it, and all the shades in between. What most often attracts people to narcissists tends to be the very thing which later repels them.

      Their child-like approach to life is charming… until it is no longer charming, the ‘c’ falls off and it becomes harming.

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      1. Their child-like approach to life is charming… until it is no longer charming, the β€˜c’ falls off and it becomes harming.—Good one.

        Though I never find them harming- I just eventually get sick of what I once found so extraordinarily charming & get sick of them, get sick of their
        crap , & I move on with my life. Usually after years. Things just change.

        I think I intrinsically know from the get go their potential for harm & I always keep them at arms length as far as their ‘crap’ goes. And they do pull all kinds of crap. That is part of what makes them who they are. They never have a dull moment. You never have a dull moment when your involved with this type of person. Sometimes in life I dont want to have that anymore so I move away from it. Other times in life I do want it and find myself re involved with a N . Not on purpose – I was not aware I was doing any of this until I started blogging with you. It was just my life and I couldn’t really define that part with words.

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          1. NO ! I see you said ” some ways” but still no– I do not dump a person and not explain why ( discard) or not be willing to give someone another chance. I do not rage , tantrum or actually even really care about criticisms from my friends, I am flexible. i never use or exploit people. I am not a N.

            I just am saying like any other friendship, I drift away from them when we start to outgrow each other. Its not any faster than any other friendship. I have never been harmed in any way that I can tell you about by a N friend and I’ve had quite a few.
            I understand that they have harmful tendencies. I know I know. My mom was this way — it has always just felt natural to me to befriend this type of person.

            You said ‘What most often attracts people to narcissists tends to be the very thing which later repels them.’

            What attracts someone to a N is usually a prominent personality feature they portray—- which in the end sometimes ends up to be not as wonderful as you you thought it to be . I always learn alot each time cause that lesson in and of itself is always a growth experience. Plus i learn my own strengths through interacting with them and even from concluding with them when that time comes.

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              1. Mom was very harming as I’ve discussed w you. I was conceived accidentally & out of wedlock to a female narcissist , so I was seen by her as a walking breathing N wound to her. A reason why she was forced to marry my dad.
                She neglected me from infancy then continued to neglect me and regularly brutally beat me and verbally tear me to shreds into my teen years. Not only that but she triangulated my siblings against me and had them report to her all of my perceived misdoings so she could beat me more. She put me in charge of taking care of my sibs when I was just a child myself and incapable of doing that. . I was treated as a scapegoat and had all this invisible craziness around me always.
                Then as a teen , she was sick of my dad so she would assign me the job to keep him company. It seemed fine to me at the time , spending time w dad. But what I couldn’t see was something that was happening called covert incest. I was cast into the role of surrogate wife.Dads golden child for a while. Well, my mom eventfully hated what she crated and then she became jealous of the very relationship that she demanded be created. She then turned dad on me and she became really jealous & viciously tore me apart accusing me of all sorts of untrue things. I started suffering from horrible anxiety attacks as a teen and that is when my life long therapy began.
                Interestingly, I never uncovered any of what I just told you until the past few months.
                Your Narc magnet post which I accidentally stumbled across one day was like a truth I had never heard – right in front of me.

                Female Ns friends I have/had never harmed me. They are who i was referring to.

                I ve also known a couple of males but wasn’t referring to them bc I know them in non social capacities.One who is the Dr– who is a mind*** to deal with. The other male was kind of the same. If you consider that harming then yes.

                Ive told you in the past that I do not understand the discard concept of NPD cause Ive never gone through that.
                When I found your blog & recognized the concept of narcissism , I recognized so much about my life and people around me. Its only been a few months so Im taking different venues to sort it all out. You’ve been a blessing to me.
                Ive told you before about my name. I had never blogged before and I was so wowed by what I read in your Narc Magnet Post that I felt moved to comment. I made it up thoughtlessly. It s my name now so I just keep it. I am a narcvic of my mom but not really cause Im a narcsurvivor of my mom. I’m both . I am a person who has lots of duality.
                I think you have lots of duality too.
                I’m just telling my story.You always say to do that & not to worry if It matches other peoples stories. I never want to offend anyone. I’m just trying to find my whole story -the truth.

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                  1. Every single thing, past, present & future is linked. You might not see or understand why things happen , but there is always a reason. The reason becomes apparent at some point in time. Best to you on your journey , Ursula.

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                    1. That sounds similar to a ‘discard’.

                      Best to you too on your journey.

                      There’s always a reason why I ask the questions that I do, sometimes they create discomfort and people decide to move on without answering them. That, in and of itself, is an answer.

                      Our audience is always ourselves… but we don’t always listen to or watch to our performance. Therein lies everything we are searching for on our journey.

                      “Every single thing, past, present & future is linked.” sounds familiar…

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  2. beautifully written and so despairingly true… if I step back as you suggest the world of the loser narcissist comes to be drawn by gerald scarfe…

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  3. Indeed, the inner child of the N. Well described … how the little N is born. I believe the Narcissism sets in around the age of five, when unnatural things happen, germinating from there, nurturing the Narcissus flower from within for an entire human lifetime. Then there is the voice of the little N – when the stunted, little inner child speaks to us. Haven’t we all witnessed this? I will have to cover this more in a vid. It can be kind of spooky sometimes, when they speak to us.

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    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      That’s an excellent point about the voice. If you want to link to your vid on this post of any of my narc posts, please do so. The more we share with each other, the better we’re equipped to handle narcs and the crazy they create for us to figure out.

      I developed a rather annoying (for me) sensitivity to voices due to having to listen to my N mother on a non-stop basis when I was her ‘confidante’. She just would never shut up, repeating the same thing over and over and over ad nauseum ad infinitum… and they sometimes use a ‘baby’ voice which is ‘cute’ for about five seconds, then it’s just torture for the ears.

      I came across a quote a while ago which summed certain things up for me (I’ve bookmarked it somewhere and wanted to include it in this post, but couldn’t find it), it was something along the lines of – Some people don’t realise that what was cute when they were a child is no longer cute when they are an adult. – that’s because some people never stop being a child even when they are an adult.

      I tend to suspect someone is a narc when I begin to feel like I’m the only adult in the interaction, and they are behaving like a child trying to get me to be a parent to them in some weird way.

      I found ‘The Games People Play’ by Eric Berne very insightful for exploring the weird dynamics which often occur in relationships, especially in ones with narcissists.

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      1. A Narcissist reminds me of a spoiled little child allowed to run amok in a sex shop. Grown up Narcissists are able to wreak their havoc unanswered. They rarely receive punishment for their horrible acts against loved ones. A little child might get spanked and perhaps learn from that. Too bad more of the grown Ns did not receive severe punishment for their horrid acts. It might tone them down some. I think it was the punishment and incarceration that turned Sam Vaknin around. My vids can be accessed here:
        http://n-searcher.blogspot.com/2014/10/blog-post.html

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  4. Great, fun read. I thought my ex narc friend was funny for this very reason. I realized it wasn’t really her trying to be funny, it’s just that she’d say the most ridiculous, dumbass things sometimes that I’d laugh and she would at times looked perplexed…she’d actually meant it, ha.
    So what happens when we close the book. They sulk. They then scramble for the best part- I wanna be the queen this time, me, me ,me. Dress rehearsal once again…they’ll get it right this time…lights, action…same old BS. And an unhappy ending for anyone willing to watch. I’d rather read a book on calculus;)

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    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      Much of what narcissists do is funny (funny-haha and funny-strange). Sometimes, as you pointed out, that is what we perceive as being ‘charming’ about them… until we realise they’re serious when we thought they were being humorous, and they can’t see the funny side of it at all, even when we point it out… especially when we point it out – that’s very offending to them and they are such sensitive souls!

      Reading a book on calculus… is quite useful for figuring a narc out, they’re as complex as certain mathematical problems, and about as useful in every day life πŸ˜‰

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  5. lol, i just posted about filling up a gas bottle by myself the other day, i was super impressed by myself. lol.

    i think narcissists, in a sense live their lives like the protagonist in a movie, or thats how they see themselves… from the outside, from appearances… like a magical man in the sky looking down on them lol. i can understand the appeal… no feelings, no responsibility.. just hand it over to that guy, who is you, but who doesnt inhabit your body… nothing to direct you aka hold you back from doing as you please… because, you know… youre a movie character, life is a stage, rah rah rah…

    overthunk it much? yep. but thats all come from the wacky things he said to me… i feel like i live outside of myself, like a puppet, i want to be the hero of my own movie… poor thing. lol.

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    1. It’s a great feeling to do something new, and it’s fun to share that feeling, pass our happy moments on πŸ™‚ because those seemingly small things to others can be very big for us, and celebrating them reminds us that life is made of many small victories which add up and ripple throughout our lives. When we do something new it opens up many other new things for us. Sharing reminds other people to celebrate their own new things. Our enthusiasm can be infectious in a positive way all around!

      But the way we celebrate our small yet big victories is very different from the way a narcissist does it. For them everything they do, think, feel, is big and they want everyone to see it as being as important as they believe themselves to be.

      The protagonist in a movie metaphor is a good description of what it is like to be a narc and to interact with a narc. They do see themselves as the star of an epic blockbuster, and they give us roles in their film – roles which can change depending on what they want and need from us as supporting characters.

      My mother was an actress (amongst many other things – her list of talents is endless which is typical of a narc) who blamed my father as well as other people (including a famous director whom she claimed ruined her career because she wouldn’t sleep with him) for why she didn’t become a big star. It’s always someone else’s fault why they don’t achieve the greatness they think is their birthright.

      Growing up I felt as though I was a bit player in a never-ending soap opera. My mother would regularly say to new people whom she met – My life is a soap opera! – then she would expand upon that by sharing the complicated drama of her life which invariably sucked them into it. She also used to announce to them – You’re not going to believe this – when she told them some convoluted tale of the drama of her life. They may not have believed it, but they wanted to and that’s what got them caught in her narc web.

      I used to watch both my parents suck people in, suck the life out of them, then spit them out when they were done with them, when that person no longer served the purpose a narcissist has for them. It’s a horrible thing to observe and be unable to do anything about it. I tried to warn people… occasionally people warned me, which was weird… but the effect a narc can have on people is akin to drinking something very intoxicating which affects their ability to think clearly.

      Seeing the way a narc works… that is an achievement we definitely need to celebrate and share. Being around a narc can feel like being intoxicated, it’s nice to be sober!

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