Narcissism and self-esteem cannot co-exist

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August 1, 2016

Summary: How consumerism is incompatible with genuine self-esteem.

In the past, I've described how consumerism leads to us feeling empty and inadequate. I also made the case that consumerism for women and children ends with material things, while men are consuming women, with material things being one of many means to meeting that end.

In other words, we need more/better/newer material things than others as well as more/better/newer women than others in order to feel significant and worthy of love.

While residing in the Consumerism Paradigm, we are obsessed with having a greater identity than others. We want more/better looks, money, charisma and women than others in order to “feel good about ourselves.”

This is actually incorrect. When we (as consumers) “succeed” in life, we don’t feel better about ourselves, we feel better about our identities relative to others.

We care primarily about what others have, do, or think. This is why we constantly compare ourselves to others. We are obsessed with our imagined identities—not ourselves.

“You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis.” –Tyler Durden

I’d like to add that you’re not the plates your spinning, or lack thereof.

Many of us confuse ourselves with our imagined identities because we so strongly identify with how we’re perceived relative to others.

Almost every rational decision we make is aimed at upgrading our identities in some way. When we’re very “successful” at this, we become narcissistic.

Narcissism necessarily follows from needing to have a significantly greater identity than others and having that need fulfilled.

Narcissism is not self-love or self-obsession, if you had those, you would be more likely to have genuinely high self-esteem. Genuinely high self-esteem is when you love yourself—regardless of how othersmay perceive you. Narcissism is the love of your identity in comparison to others and as perceived by others.

The narcissist is the best case consumer. He is born out of playing the consumption game and winning. What happens when he loses?

When we lose the consumption game, narcissism fades to insecurity.

Insecurity is nothing more than a would-be narcissist feeling inferior as opposed to feeling superior.

This is why narcissists can’t accept criticism. When their identities are even threatened, they fall into insecurity.

Insecurity and narcissism exist on the same spectrum. If you live in the Consumerism Paradigm, this spectrum is your world.

Women are attracted to narcissists. It’s not that narcissism is inherently attractive, but narcissists are attractive to women because they display confidence and tend to be good looking and/or wealthy (it’s hard to imagine yourself as better than others who look significantly better than you and have plenty more wealth than you).

Many of us don’t make this distinction. We glorify narcissism because we think it’s attractive to women in its own right. In fact, we glorify everything women find attractive as if attractiveness to women is a barometer of our virtue, but that’s a different subject.

The truth is this … none of us want to be friends with a narcissist. None of us want to be raised by narcissistic parents. None of us want to be in a relationship with a narcissist. Narcissism in others is baggage we sometimes put up with in order to be around “high-value” people.

When we’re plugged into the Consumerism Paradigm, narcissism is the end game; we’ve won. As long as we can stay better than others, we can remain narcissists. As long as we can remain narcissists, we can stay confident.

Being a consumer and confusing our external “identities” with our actual selves is problematic because our self-worth becomes something we can’t completely control. Our significance and worthiness is now highly dependent on external forces. In the narcissist’s case, he’s dependent on others being worse than him.

For example, when a narcissist finds out he has received a raise, he feels pleased. His identity has been enhanced. However, later that day when he finds out his co-worker received a significantly larger raise, he becomes indignant. His former enhancement turns into a downgrade and his narcissism fades to insecurity.

“Joe got a bigger raise than me? I know that mother fucker thinks he’s better than me now.”

He will stew on this for quite some time. Eventually he concocts his own revenge fantasy against Joe.

“That smug son of a bitch. It doesn’t even matter, in a few years I’m going to be making way more than him—besides, his girlfriend looks like Rosie O’Donnell on a good day.”

We’ve already seen that people on the narcissism-insecurity spectrum identify with the external image of themselves.

People on self-esteem spectrum, by contrast, identify with their internal self, that is, the values they’ve chosen and how well they defend as well as live in accordance to them.

We can see that by definition, these two cannot co-exist. If you’re identifying with your external image, you’re not identifying with your internal self, and vice-versa.

Narcissism and self-esteem cannot co-exist.

I’ve already made the case that when we stop chasing status, we begin to live by our values. I also believe that when we can do this, we begin developing our self-esteem.

Self-esteem allows us to be confident, like narcissism, except we will be likable and less prone to insecurity.

Visit my blog On Consumerism to read more.

Lessons Learned:

  • Narcissism and insecurity exist on the same spectrum.

  • Narcissism is not inherently attractive.

  • Self-esteem gives one the benefit of having confidence, without the baggage which comes with narcissism.

  • Develop self-esteem by opting out of consumerism and daring to live for yourself, as opposed to your made up identity.

Post Information
Title Narcissism and self-esteem cannot co-exist
Upvotes 736
Comments 94
Date 01 August 2016 03:19 PM UTC (4 years ago)
Subreddit TheRedPill
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[–]GentlemenMindset281 points282 points  (27 children) | Copy

I swear if the post doesn't include the words "FR, slut, kino, sex, etc." it gets instant downvotes.

People on here need to understand the bigger picture and stop having so much goddamn nearsighted tunnel vision.

[–]p00pey161 points162 points  (11 children) | Copy

BUT THE POON! Don't put the poon on a pedestal, but you know, like spend a majority of your time thinking about it, chasing it, gaming it, etc. That's what life is about...Women love dogs, dogs love to shit, and men love to fuck. Or something like that...

90% of the crowd here absolutely is identified by the plates they spin, or just women in general. It's pretty damn sad. Most are likely just addicted to the chase, as if there's some great payoff at the end. HB9, HB7, they're all the fucking same, and the nut you bust is pretty much the same, stop acting like you don't care about women when your whole life is defined by what grade of HB you're fucking, how many at a time, how you can make them crawl to you, blahblahblah...

[–][deleted] 39 points40 points  (3 children) | Copy

Ironically this ties in perfectly with what OP has written about. Sounds like narcissism, chasing something to feed their identity.

[–]p00pey75 points76 points  (2 children) | Copy

yeah exactly the point I was making. Wait for that crowd to come in and defend their egos with, butbutbut RP is a sexual strategy, we're hardwired to plant seeds, blahblahblah...

To me, RP is about 2 things.

  1. Understanding the male-female dynamics for what they are, and how our society(specifically western) has stacked the decks against men. Once you understand this and internalize this, you are neither a slave to the game, nor constantly angry because...women.

  2. To work on bettering yourself, to be the best man you can be in teh short time you have on this planet. Women will be a byproduct of that. But chasing pussy like that, day and night, all the while claiming you're so alpha and don't put it on a pedestal and all that is pure bullshit. You're tricking your brain to believe what you want to believe, even though it's at odds with a wider philosophy you are so religiously married to. It's the definition of hamstering...

[–]_penseroso_3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy

Bingo. Well said. This post (and OPs) strike a chord.

Narcissism is basing your feelings on how you THINK others view you. Confidence is basing your feelings on how you feel about yourself.

These two are very similar except that the first one is prone to breakdown if something happens to shake your beliefs about how others view you. The second can never be shaken because you're basing it on yourself.

In short, remember that you're awesome regardless of how many friends you have, girls you've banged, cars you own, or cash in the bank. You're just awesome.

[–]MikePatton-yakyakyak4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

This is the redpill that everybody here needs to swallow.

[–]Adurell5 points6 points  (4 children) | Copy

You just made a comparison between yourself and the" 90%" of people in here that you consider inferior in a way. Ironic, considering the subject of the thread xd

[–]RPFlame8 points9 points  (1 child) | Copy

Are all comparisons inherently narcissistic, though? It seems to me that I cannot even utter a comparison again without being accused of either having low self esteem (if the distinction's result is me being fucked by luck or whatever) or narcissism (if the distinction's result is me sounding better).

There has to be a difference, otherwise we just trapped ourselves from talking about any social tendency.

[–]DannyDemotta2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Your entire post presupposes that OPs post is gospel truth. It isn't. You can be a narcissist and still accept criticism; you can have high self esteem and still be an unsuccessful, obese, oblivious sack of shit.

Lets not start making up words and definitions to attack nebulous traits and characteristics we personally appreciate or don't appreciate. Its dumb as fuck and completely transparent to anyone paying attention and not just getting all whipped up.

[–]p00pey1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

DOn't think you fully understand the meaning of narcissism...I also didn't make any references to inferiority. Simply stating a fact...

[–]harsha_hs8 points9 points  (7 children) | Copy

it takes significant experience to be on the same page as you and OP. Well, many here are internet lurkers and are attracted to RP because it helps them to get laid. You can't fuck a girl like you just drive a car off a parking lot or kill a demon in a goddamn video game

[–]GentlemenMindset11 points12 points  (6 children) | Copy

I appreciate your assumption but I'm nowhere near OP's level. I simply lurk like the rest of us. My point is that this sub has become extremely nearsighted and is obsessed with one goal.

Yes it is a sub to understand sexual strategy, but we have to learn to free ourselves of blue pill dependencies (having the NEWest gadgets/cars/etc) that are usually meaningless when it comes to applying sexual strategy.

[–]2 Senior Endorsed Contributorvengefully_yours10 points11 points  (3 children) | Copy

Yeah, we have the kids who think pussy is still the goal, don't realize the bigger picture. They get butthurt easily, can't imagine someone being better, stronger, faster than they are, so when faced with it they whine like the little bitches they are.

Know what though?

It doesn't matter. Upvote, downvote, who fucking cares? The point is to not seek approval nor validation. One of my little side games is fucking with the insecure on here. I'll write something specifically to wind them up and get downvoted by the insecure. It's amusing. I don't give a fuck about downvotes, and the shit those bitches write out of self loathing is delicious.

[–]RPFlame7 points8 points  (1 child) | Copy

You just described everything in Reddit. "Oh wow, an idea I disagree with?!?! Here's your virtual points going down, bitch. Get fucked" and I'm like "uhhh okay? I was hoping that we will hold a discussion about the subject" with comments at negative points and nobody wanting to engage in discussion.

Then reality hits you, that the Reddit's structure isn't built for holding mature discussions of opposite viewpoints, but to sell you to the "perceived" popular viewpoint.

[–]2 Senior Endorsed Contributorvengefully_yours0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Yes, the butthurt is strong here

[–]harsha_hs-2 points-1 points  (1 child) | Copy

Being nearsighted is so much bluepill. RP man always thinks long and he got everything covered

[–]broskiatwork10 points11 points  (2 children) | Copy

At least someone fucking said it. RP is about self-improvement, not fucking. I mean, means to an end and all, but ffs stop defining yourself by who you are fucking. Christ.

[–]TRPdis0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

But... how?

Whenever I see a guy who is highly successful in his field, but is dating a dog (or well below his potential) I immediately think less of him.

If having a high quality woman isn't the end goal, then what has this whole thing been about? What's the point of improving oneself?

[–]broskiatwork0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Having something of high quality and defining yourself by it are two different things. That is like buying an expensive car and defining yourself by it.

Also, I would argue a man doesn't give a shit what someone else thinks of them. If they challenge him, he dominates them. Defining yourself by an external object is showing a lack of self esteem, in a way.

[–]wtg29891 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Funny, these types of posts are usually the only ones i read. FR, etc. posts are my least favorite because it's always "i hope the commenters make me feel important."

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I really appreciate these posts. It's about self improvement, and becoming the best variant of ourselves, first and foremost.

[–]Senior Contributordeepthrill89 points90 points  (18 children) | Copy

So I really enjoy your posts. They are well thought out, bring in new information for personal betterment that many people don't have, such as the factoids about narcissism. I have two points.

1) On Consumerism:

Firstly, I want to make the subtle distinction that wanting material possessions to be better than other people is narcissism. It is inherently fragile as it's dependent on relative wealth. It's a constant rat race that will leave you perpetually disappointed because there are always other people who have more than you.

Yet that is not the same as wanting material possessions or a hedonistic lifestyle for your own sake. I want the newest phone. Why? Is it because my friends have it and I want to keep up? Fuck no. I enjoy technology and I'm excited to see what the engineers at Google have come up with. I'm excited to customize it, to delve deeply into the latest kernel they chose.

I want a beautiful wealthy estate. Is it to be better than my neighbors? Fuck no, I don't care if nobody comes to visit it. I want it as a sense of possession. Because I enjoy the aesthetics. The beauty. The latest gadgets for me even if nobody else knew I had them.

I want the money and power to travel anywhere. Am I an experience junkie because I want to show off at parties (as a narcissist would)? No, I don't ever have to tell anybody about them. I want to have the millions necessary to buy anything and do anything not because of trying to keep up with others, and not (necessarily) because of consumerism, but because I want the deep thrill of adventure.

If there's virtue for you in being okay without material luxuries, I respect that. But it is important to make the subtle distinction of the why you want what you want. Is it because society tells you that you need the latest gadget? Or because you have a deeper reason for your why.

2) On Valuing Yourself:

So you made one point which I very much agree with.

Being a consumer and confusing our external "identities" with our actual selves is problematic because our self-worth becomes something we can’t completely control. Our significance and worthiness is now highly dependent on external forces.

But I'd like to take it a step further and offer a solution. So the problem you've identified is that we should not tie our identity up with external circumstances.

So to take it a step further, what should we tie our identities to? Ideally it would be something 100% in our control.

My solution to that is:

We should tie our sense of self-worth with how we spend our time.

When I'm using my time improving myself, I feel pleased. Reading, working at my career and developing skills, developing hobbies, lifting, eating healthy. Or on some occasions cashing in on all those improvements and relaxing for an evening. How we spend our time is 100% in our control, and when I'm spending my time productively (via self-improvement, such as reading or lifting), my sense of self-worth increases and isn't dependent on fragile external circumstances.

Those are my opinions on some of your points in this post and the last, and I'm aware they are just my opinions. Maybe my hamster is simply running mental circles trying to justify my deeply-ingrained consumerism, but I do think some subtlety and nuance exists here.

Keep up the good work contributing to our collective knowledge.

[–]Its-a-TRP17 points18 points  (3 children) | Copy

I struggle with this myself, and the solution you presented in point 2 was like a ray of light for me. I've been doing a lot of meditating and critical self-analysis lately, and I've come to realize that my sense of self-worth is entirely dependent on external factors. Women, job, house, etc. I've been struggling with what to do about that, and when I'm feeling shitty about my oneitis fucking other men, or how much my job sucks, or whatever, I'm going to make a conscious effort to focus on thinking about how I spend my time instead, and try to draw self-worth from that.

Thanks for this. It's exactly what I've been looking for for a few weeks.

[–]Senior Contributordeepthrill11 points12 points  (2 children) | Copy

Happy to help. Consistent meditation showed me my true motivations and underlying mental patterns. That, combined with cold rationality (read The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success to help with that mentality) is what led me to this conclusion.

So you'd probably have reached it on your own in a few months if you continue meditating, but I'm happy to inject my insights into your mental practice to help spurt others along.

[–]Senior Endorsed ContributorFieldLine1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Where do you find good books for your reading list? You're constantly making recommendations and citing textual sources.

Have you documented the books you've read anywhere? I didn't find it on your blog.

[–]Senior Contributordeepthrill1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

If you think it will be valuable I may post my own reading list on my blog. PM me I'd like to discuss more.

[–]Flynn-Lives10 points11 points  (8 children) | Copy

I think that's a decent metric to gauge value. It reminds me of a quote I like by Dillard, "How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives". One problem I seem to have is that since I'm so improvement oriented, I feel guilty anytime I'm not working. This results in me not really enjoying anything anymore. I certainly don't think that happiness should be the end all be all of our motivations, but life does seem to be a cycle of ultimately empty conquests. I'm not sure how to escape this and it bothers me because this worldview absolutely dominates my life.

[–]Senior Contributordeepthrill24 points25 points  (7 children) | Copy

I feel guilty anytime I'm not working.

I have struggled with this myself many times, and even now I'm not sure I've completely overcome it, due to my desire to be perfect.

As of now, here are some thoughts which have helped me deal with this:

  • Perfection is an illusion. Improvement is the path towards perfection.

  • The only thing that matters is to be better than yesterday. The rest will work itself out.

  • Recognize the value of recharging, in order to hit your goals cumulatively to avoid burnout.

  • Spending every moment on self-improvement can be taken to mean read a fiction book occasionally to relax, and help yourself tomorrow.

  • You likely have things holding you back (e.g. overeating, alcohol, laziness, fear), which you need to work on clearing out as defense first before optimizing your offense.

  • The time when you're not "productive" in the classical sense has value to let your subconscious work out issues and be creative, as long as your mind is clear (e.g. not drunk).

  • At the end of it, though, you likely are not as productive as you can be. Read The Way of the SEAL and Extreme Ownership (both books written by Navy SEALs) to help with this.

  • A metric for myself I use, is I always start a new task. Then, once I feel like spending another 5 minutes on the task isn't going to actually make any progress on it, I know it's time to take a break.

  • Taking breaks and not being "productive" can be going for a walk. It might not be working towards your financial goals, but it can be productive towards your other goals (longevity and health).

  • Every day, try to optimize tomorrow. This will catch up very quickly to improve your life.

Hope at least one of those thoughts hit home.

[–]147GrainsofJustice 1 points1 points [recovered] | Copy

I do this same thing as far as feeling guilty about not maximizing the use of my time, and its probably impatience for me. My thought is if i put in that much more today then I will arrive at my goal that much sooner. I've recently started reading The Slight Edge and I found it pretty helpful for approaching working towards goals but not seeing rapid results and accepting that and continuing to work patiently and consistently.

[–]EatmyShorts590 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy

I absolutely LOVED The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

I have cliff notes, if anyone is interested in the book.\

Just shoot me your email.

I also have the audio book.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I would love the cliff notes if you'd be willing to send them along!

[–]RedPistola0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I'd like the cliff notes. Could you please PM them to me?

[–]throwaway320_0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Recognize the value of recharging, in order to hit your goals cumulatively to avoid burnout.

Could you elaborate on that? When is it no longer recharging but just wasting time?

[–]RobertCarraway3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

We should tie our sense of self-worth with how we spend our time.

To distill this even further: your solution is to turn from a results oriented outlook (being better) to a process oriented outlook (becoming better). For those interested in this extremely valuable frame change, "The Practicing Mind" is the best book out there.

Even though this line of thought is useful there is an element of futility in it. What's left out is just how damn good it feels. We've been chasing power our entire lives, and now we're not supposed to enjoy it? Thats a tough sell - and it's exactly what he is proposing. We're the equivalent of heroin addicts at this point. Stay away from my high man.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy

Do we really have to have to tie our identities to anything? Isn't self worth merely judgement that creates a sort of an ego or an external identity as OP has named it? I simply know where I want to be and work on fulfilling my own needs. Imo self esteem only puts certain pressures on you that do no good. Agree/disagree?

[–]Senior Contributordeepthrill3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

I think it's important to have a metric to evaluate how your life is going. Metrics give us the ability to improve.

So if I tied my identity to nothing, and had less external pressure to be optimal, and just worked on fulfilling my own needs, perhaps I'd be more at peace.

But by every day wondering if my sense of identity, based on how my spent my time, is really what I want it to be, it pushes me to improve.

Sometimes external pressure makes you feel a bit uneasy, but it's worth it for me to try to optimize something. It keeps me from being complacent, to have my identity tied to how I spend my time. Self-loathing and self-regret can be used to your advantage in this situation.

That's just what works for me.


Imo self esteem only puts certain pressures on you


that do no good.


[–]LoveYourSelfish1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

The Science of Getting Rich - Wallace Wattles, covers your first point remarkably well. You focus on what you want for the sake of necessity, creative input, creative output, entertainment, self-defined purpose.

He argues that in modern society, money is pretty much the stepping stone between you, and those things. You can't play drums without a drum kit.

[–]_quote 22 points22 points [recovered] | Copy

  • I feel bad about my body because other people have a better body than me [X]

  • I feel good about myself because my body is beautiful no matter what I look like [X]

  • I feel good about my body because I'm more fit than the fat neckbeards I hang around with [X]

  • I am happy with my body because I work out hard and I am respectably healthy. Even if I don't look like arnold, that is okay. My goal is to improve myself, not become another person. [√]

[–]Docbear640 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

beautifully stated as someone whose been at all those points the expression sounds similar but where my heart/ mind was at the time was worlds apart .

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy


What is this?

[–]vic_rattle1810 points11 points  (9 children) | Copy

So if bettering yourself ultimately leads to narcissism, how does one improve self esteem?

[–][deleted] 44 points45 points  (6 children) | Copy

Better yourself for yourself doesn't lead to narcissism. For example if u lift for girls you're gonna be insecure when another ripped person walks by. However if u lift for yourself and your goal is to deadlift 5 pl8s, your goal is not contingent on the opinion of others, but rather only on yourself. Being good looking to others is a byproduct of your goal, not the goal. Just like how TRP advocates getting girls/plates is a byproduct of success, not inherently success itself.

[–]vezokpiraka11 points12 points  (0 children) | Copy

I wish more people understood this. People who don't, make a bad image to trp.

[–]Mr_Andry6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy

One of the best examples of a non-narcissistic goal is to get fit and eat better because it just makes life more enjoyable in general. Similarly, aligning your career path with your core values makes work a source of self-respect rather than drudgery.

[–]p00pey4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

This a billion times. THe ultimate satisfaction you can achieve is by doing things purely for yourself. For your own pleasure. For your own growth. A lot of young dudes that try and swallow the pill get it terribly wrong. They think do this this and this, and boom the bitches will be falling off the rafters, pussies one wetter than the other. I mean if that's your goal, and that makes YOU happy, do it. But doing things to impress others is not necessarily narcissism, but definitely misguided, and not what true RP theory espouses...

[–]anibustr0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Even if we know this, it feels really really hard to just lose that mindset and hop on this one. The mind is so used to masturbating itself with this that it just doesn't let go. This is the one comfort zone that feels like there's no path between point A and B that one can take to make progress.

Is it meditation that is essential for this process or is there something else to it? Would seeing an expert help?

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Start here

And then from there, yeah, meditation and stoicism help

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Is it weird that when I notice another ripped guy passing by, I check him out, full examination with my eyex like, hmm looks giid, some fst here, good back chest ratio etc..? Like I am not jealous, but I am really impressed.

[–]DoesNotMatterAnymore5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy

So if bettering yourself ultimately leads to narcissism

Well i don't agree with this. The problem with narcissism is that you don't even have to prove ANYTHING to believe in your "superiority". Thinking that you are better then others is enough, and acting like that will feed your narcissism, and de-value yourself in the eyes of others.

Actually DOING, and achieving something, will gradually increases your self-esteem. Because it's confirming to yourself that, you are not completely worthless, and if you set a goal to yourself you're able to accomplish it. Reaffirming that you are in control of your life.

Why am i so sure about this? Because this post is talking to me, in a really deep level.

My whole life, i was like 100% narcissist with 0% self-esteem. I needed my narcissism otherwise i would die in my worthlessness. I was sooo sure about my superiority, but when i had to prove myself? Ohh boy:

  • "I don't feeling it right now"

  • "It's too easy, COME ON"

  • but my go-to was: "I don't even care about it, so why bother"

When you have low or non-existence self-esteem, you need narcissism, otherwise you need to deal with the strangling worthlessness.

Something has to fill that vacuum that was created by the lack of self-esteem, otherwise the outside pressure will break you.

[–]mavekovis25 points26 points  (0 children) | Copy

Nice to see a post here that doesn't make you feel like shit.

[–]DJGammaRabbit9 points10 points  (4 children) | Copy

I thought I knew what a narcissist was up until 2 days ago. I studied it, remembered the traits. I thought I knew about 4 of them, including my parents. Trust me, there's a whole nother level of it and it'd be scary to witness if you weren't very secure in yourself and experiencing it first hand is a mind fuck. If you even think a person could not have NPD than they probably don't. I was able to extremely fucking clearly detect it in someone to a degree of absolute certainty. I'm glad I had this encounter because what I had previously thought about certain people was in fact completely wrong judgement.

I'm sitting at a coffee shop at 6am downloading movies on their wifi. A guy in a truck parks and comes up to my cars slightly open window and asks about the price of the local homes. About 35-40 years old, wearing nice clothes, charming, doesn't stutter or sound stupid. I think this guy is normal, asking a pretty basic question. I'm as passive as I can be. He doesn't seem to want to leave, he's just standing there in an awkward silence after I tell him $320,000-$500,000. He asks me "whose the best builder?", I'm thinking do I look like a fucking realtor? I tell him I don't know. He then says you have a good long weekend, thanks. Then shit got pretty fucking weird and it got worse and worse.

He goes into the coffee shop for 45 minutes. I'm already thinking to myself that this is somewhat odd. He's probably talking to the teenage employees, there's nobody else in there. He comes out, walks back up to my window and gives me this odd look of disappointment and says " have a nice long weekend...." as if we needed to catch up from his 45 minute absence, like we weren't done talking. He then talks to someone walking by infront of my car, they know each other from years past, the person asking him "so you're back in town?". I'm thinking to myself, oh wow, maybe this guy isn't the creepiest motherfucker I've ever met. Guy he used to know leaves. He throws on his beats headphones, walks to the tail gate of his truck, arms crossed over the back of it, resting his head in his arms, fucking staring at me for at least 5 minutes from about 30' away. I glance a every minute to see if he's still staring at me. I'm like man, this guys creepy as shit, I should probably leave but my movies weren't finished. I'm not one to be afraid of other people so I stay. I have a combat switch blade in my door for reasons like this. I felt pretty safe because I'm me but felt like this guy was trying to intimidate me with every fucking lie that came out of his dumbass mouth. Inconsistencies galore.

He's walking back up to my car. I'm like holy hell, what the fuck does this asshole want now?

We talked for 30 minutes. Or well, he did most of the talking.

Within 15 minutes this is what I learned about him without saying more than a few things like "oh":

  • he's looking to buy a house but he already owns 4
  • He has a restraining order
  • Can't go within 100 feet of where I suggested he look for a home
  • He is on the "dangerous persons list", nearly yelling at me to google it because I'm like oh ok, whatever
  • Father is rich because he is IRA
  • Is a retired cop, I don't believe him, not that I said anything, he reacted to my facial expression alone, he then opens his bank account on his phone and shows me - $3000. He tells me the police pay him $4500/month. It says $1000/month. I tell him it looks like they shorted you for the past 3 payments. He quickly takes the phone away, looks insulted. He says "you see that? CPP. Canadian Provincial Police." It also stands for Canadian Pension Plan, which this guy is clearly too unstable to hold a job of any kind whatsoever
  • Was in secret operations with police, can't say what he did at all
  • Tells me he was with the RCMP and what kind of training they gave him at age 18 - solitude in a box for 8 weeks, shitting in a cup
  • Is the main enforcer for the local, notorious biker gang
  • Is spouting off random names like I'm supposed to know them, like I give a fuck
  • Informs me that people are afraid of him
  • Asks if I'm afraid of him (this gave me a good laugh), he looked at me like he was totally insulted
  • People arrive to get coffee, he states "looks like the cowards are coming out of the woodwork"
  • Tells me he hasn't had sex in 2 years and that he jerks off all the time
  • Informs me that he's watching out for police
  • States that he is untouchable, the biker gangs have his back
  • So do the police because they "don't give a fuck"
  • I ask if he has a family - hinting that maybe he should go be with them instead of pestering me. He apparently has 4 kids who are each hockey champions under age 16. They were trained by none other than the Toronto maple leafs coach. He made sure to whip his phone out to prove this, that in his contacts is someone named Lou. He makes it crystal clear who the people are, to make sure I understand, I let him talk and talk until I say well I don't follow hockey, he realizes he's just wasted his valuable time, like 5 minutes straight explaining who the fuck three hockey coaches were in order of skill and he's pretty disappointed that I don't follow hockey
  • Asks me what I do, I tell him some bullshit "I'm a transcriber, make $15/hr, company name is "lying bridge" to hint that I know he's completely full of shit. He types this company name into his phone saying "that's good information to have", like even though he's rich and everything he needs to make $15/hr
  • Asks me if I know where the best houses are in a suburb of extremely similar looking $500,000 houses. I ask if he has a realtor, he says "no, I don't need one". I humour him "cash eh?" apparently everything he does is off the books...except like, you know, the pension plan of $1000/month
  • Starts talking about a black guy raping a young girl. This is so random I don't know what to say, I say something like
  • I'm becoming quiet, palms are sweaty, I'm thinking to myself something like PSYCHOPATH ALERT. I can't even use my phone my fingers are so wet, I'm just vaping away, blowing vapour out the window at him. He's not taking the hint. I'm considering grabbing my blade and just rolling up the window, staring into his cold blue eyes to await a violent reaction like him punching the shit out of my car for being rude
  • A senior aged man walks past him towards a dumpster, he says to his face "look at this fucking chump", the old man is wide-eyed like he doesn't know what the fuck is happening and neither do I, old man looks at me and gives me this look of confirmation that he has completely sized up the situation that I'm in and is also thinking what the fucking fuck
  • Informs me that he owns the town, starts spouting random names again
  • Informs me there's a serial killer living down the street
  • Tells me he isn't leaving until 7:30am to not be rude to me. I'm so confused by this I just stop talking
  • A silent minute passes. He tells me I should leave because it's going to get loud soon. I'm now considering that this guy is here to shoot or bomb someone. Possibly me. I grab my blade but leave it closed and soaking in my left hand.
  • I ask "why should I leave?" He says there's a storm coming. I tell him I'm not afraid of thunder. He looks insulted. He's been speaking in covert wording this entire time so to get a better feel for this guy I ask where he's from and if he slept in his truck last night, he looks offended like I'm the one who is off his rocker
  • Silent minutes pass. He then looks at me, changes his facial expression to angry, says very calmly that if he were me he'd get the fuck out of town right now. Is he warning me or threatening me? I honestly can't tell. It takes me a few seconds to even process what he's just said
  • I'm not intimidated in the least. More amused. I humour him "whys that?". He starts laughing his head off, walking away now and asks "was that scary?!" I laugh and tell him an assured "", shaking my head at the absurdity of him thinking that someone like myself would be scared of someone just a few inches taller than me and roughly the same size (I did multiple martial arts for 15 years)
  • He's half way to his truck. Finally. Well for fuck sakes, he's now walking back to me. I flick my blade open and casually flip it in the air to invert it blade-down. He fist bumps me and says "you're a good guy", laughing, then walks away
  • Roars away in his truck, windows down, music blaring at 7:35am

That my friends is a true narcissist if I ever fucking encountered one. I just sat there perplexed at this character, wondering how many mental disorder boxes he'd check off. It wasn't even a question, this guy was trying to intimidate me in any way possible and was trying to prove his worth to me in any way possible, reacting to each of my facial expressions so quickly and in such a way that made me feel like he was sizing me up the entire fucking time. So yeah... I almost stabbed the shit out of that motherfuckers hand.

[–]SmokeyMcBlunt3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy

brb printing this shit out.

[–]Titan_Coeus9 points10 points  (4 children) | Copy

I get the whole message you're trying to deliver. Don't let your self -esteem/identity be connected to superficial objects. It's a strong message.

But to define Narcissism as the way you have done so, is misinformed. To suggest that it's a black and white as you're either Narcissistic or have high self esteem is the issue.

Narcissism and self-esteem cannot co-exist.

Narcissism is a psychiatric disorder, where a Narcissist may purchase something closely entwined with their ego. They're also just as likely to not purchase anything and be socially withdrew (never talked about) . The big thing about narcissists is they have an inflated ego which manifests as entitlement. Now a narcissist will feel entitled to have "that husband", "that job", "their opinion".

Remove consumerism and the personality disorder is still there.

One of the main reasons Narcissists do so well with women is because of their inherit belief of entitlement. This causes them to take more risks (increase probability in any game and you're bound to win), should they be rejected they'll go into an ego defensive mode like you mentioned earlier. They're also very demanding (see dominant) and expect the world. Some girls just want to be told what to do. So i'd have to disagree that it's not attractive. It definitely is. A more apt term is chaotic.

Being a consumer and confusing our external “identities” with our actual selves is problematic because our self-worth becomes something we can’t completely control. Our significance and worthiness is now highly dependent on external forces

You're correct in suggesting that Marketers will attack people's identity's in order to get a sale. That would fall along the line of identity and self esteem.

But again, self esteem is a floaty, wishy washy term that's thrown around so much it's lost any meaning by contrast. For example a Rugby player would have high self esteem playing Rugby and many other sports but to place him in a space ship and ask him to take control and you're going to see a not so confident person.

And often self-esteem and narcissism are so entwined they too cannot be distinguished. Is the person narcissistic because they're so confident in their own ability? or confident in their own ability because they have a narcissistic personality disorder?

It's just not so back and white.

[–]MeiFriend0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

I don't think confidence is to always know what to do, neither to always be right, only narcissists want to be this way. I think confidence is to know that failure is part of life and that going through it is not the end of the world, and if it is "well shit, I did what I could."

[–]Titan_Coeus3 points4 points  (2 children) | Copy

Confidence is almost always knowing what to do, which stems from experience.

In a study (forgive me for the lack of reference) on good/bad managers they found those that those best at their jobs where deemed confident. The confident managers where not the ones that had the "better education" but those that has the most real world experience. It was concluded that with managers at least, confidence is closely related with experience.

[–]MeiFriend0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I understand your point. Maybe it's not the same to be confident on your skills than to be confident on yourself?

A year ago I was not confident of my Java skills, but as I studied I felt confident it was possible to learn it. I feel glad now, even if a million others are better than me at this, I'm happy with myself so far, is that being insecure?

[–]Titan_Coeus2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

I wouldn't say that's being insecure, quite the opposite. Once you have any taste of success, you're rewarded internally. It then compounds into confidence within that area and other similar areas.

Knowing that confidence comes from experience. You can deduce that more (positive) experience = more confidence. So you can "hack" your confidence in that way.

[–]Bearhardy2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

Hey I have been following your series and I must say that they are very though provocative and refreshing, also, don't you think that narcissim is the result and not the cause of insecurity.

[–]MeiFriend1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

It can be a by-product of insecurity, but many times, narcissism is born first.

Picture being known as the good looking guy, all the girls falling for you in high school, you have no insecurity at all. Then in college you start getting rejected. What changed? Did you not dress well enough? Is it your hair? Is that other guy more attractive? Why? You're supposed to be the attractive one, if you are not that, then you are not good enough anymore... and suddenly your life is miserable and you feel like nothing.

[–]wurantine2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Interesting point, but hardly wise at dispelling consumerism. If a man buys an expensive car and he enjoys the car, the quality of his life improves. The car is now equal to him, it has been achieved. Much like hunting and killing a buffalo. Women see this man and his car and make the astute observation that he obviously must be a remarkable man to have the knowledge and purchasing conditions available to him. This is not narcissistic. Self indulgent perhaps. Nothing is more appealing to a woman than a man who gets what he wants. Trying fucking doing that without consumerism. Capitalism is the ultimate shit test. Writers such as Chuck Palahniuk won't suggest it because it's perhaps not fashionable but, I would argue that, you are your khakis because you worked hard, play your part, all for the khakis etc You exclaim how consumerism makes us empty like it has been proven as a fact across the board, it does so only if the person did not intend to use consumerism for his own gains. I assure you that plenty of people who exclaim otherwise do not know what to do with money in the first place and probably spend all their time on frivolous dates to nowheresville.

[–]chances_are_ur_a_fag1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

In the narcissist’s case, he’s dependent on others being worse than him.

precisely. we all know one or two of these guys that always put down everyone around them, especially in front of people they are just meeting. these type of guys are also the ones that have more selfies of themselves on social media than girls.

i knew quite a few people like that in the past. lo and behold, they do end up alone eventually (like u/sezamus stated below) when people realize they have no value to bring to the table, but only empty illusions.

[–]EmperorAurelius1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

This was a really good post. You just gains a blog reader.

[–]Diarrhea_Van_Frank1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

This hurt to read. I love it when something on TRP hurts to read. That means it's something that I need to hear. It's a shame that it's so rare anymore. It reminds me of the days when the shit I read here was actually helpful instead of thinly veiled complaining. This sub needs more of this and less anger phase n00bs.

[–]SenorLopez1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Damn Chadee, back at it again with the thought-provoking theory.

[–]NoLubeNoCondoms1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Dude if I had money I would give you gold. That was so eloquently described. I needed to read that, thanks.

[–]KarmaForTrump1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Ahh. This is so refreshing to see here. Thanks for posting.

[–]Fatguy733 points4 points  (14 children) | Copy

I know guys that are narcissists that are def NOT attractive, but they get attention from chicks with super low self esteem who aren't exactly attractive either. In their mind, they get all the chicks; but in reality, they're just picking up rotten apples off the ground.

[–]p00pey3 points4 points  (13 children) | Copy

the hamster in narcissists is in overdrive, men or women. TO them they are the center of the universe, but they'd have to be, it's the definition of narcissism. I also find most narcissists to be very good at manipulation, these are the borderline sociopaths. Iv'e seen many unattractive, drug addict, waste of life human beings bang HB9s left and right, because they have mastered the art of manipulation in the sexual market. They often aren't full on sociopaths that can manipulate anyone in any situation, but they master the art of sexual manipulation. I guess that's akin to what many here strive for, but slightly different. End result is the same, they chad their way through a sea of high quality pussy, often extracting more than just sex along the way. It's fascinating to see how easily women can be manipulated into giving up their golden ticket, the pussy...

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (10 children) | Copy

They're probably HB6's not HB9's.

[–]p00pey0 points1 point  (8 children) | Copy

i didn't stutter. Also, keep obsessing over 9 vs 6 vs 7.5. Definitely productive...

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (7 children) | Copy

Unattractive druggies don't score with Instagram model tier chicks (HB9), maybe your run of the mill big boobed 35 year old.

I hang out with druggies and the more attractive druggies score the hotties.

[–]SmokeyMcBlunt2 points3 points  (5 children) | Copy

ya but IG "models" (lol), don't actually look like that IRL without makeup, ya feels

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy

Neither do supermodels, or....99% of women

[–]SmokeyMcBlunt0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

well actually supermodels do have "something" that puts them above the rest, even a supermodel without makeup looks way better than a caked-up IG model.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

They have lanky and ugly flat chested bodies.

[–]SmokeyMcBlunt1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

true. but that's what the industry prefers I guess.

[–]Fatguy730 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Lol that's one guy I know in a nutshell. And there's no HB9's on his resume, they're usually HB5's, and en masse. He even banged one of my good friend's wives (he was my friend's friend as well). Definitely a sociopath. And a douchebag who can't pay his own bills and generally smells like old bed sheets.

[–]kaspell0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I would argue that with regards to :

  • "If you’re identifying with your external image, you’re not identifying with your internal self, and vice-versa."

I think that your internal self is always represented by your external image to some degree or another. Think of sombody you had no reason not to like, but just couldn't get around that.

The ideal IMO is that they are in line with each other(internal/external) when your purpose and your energy are aligned. That when shit like integrity and charisma, etc.. start getting applied to external representations

[–]prohearth0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Great read; needed to hear this today, thanks bro

[–]1sezamus0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

During my boot camp days there was a guy, 19 years old asshole, Mr. "I gotta be the best and everyone gotta be worse than me". I wasn't even speaking to him and he tried to AMOG me. In reality he tried to dominate the whole company. Guys were just avoiding him. Nobody liked him except some one other douchebag.

So there they were. A company of bros and two idiots nobody liked, who thought they MUST be better then everybody else. In "Mad Men" in on of the first epsiodes Draper says a quote that such assholes die alone. Narcists die alone. It is the price they pay for short term delusional pleasure of feeling "ubermensch".

[–]UcDat0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

"Insecurity and narcissism exist on the same spectrum. If you live in the Consumerism Paradigm, this spectrum is your world."

You know how hard it is to separate yourself enough from our culture to be able to see that in the first place... well I guess you do its been nine years since I pulled out and its still hard to shake off.

the way I see it is that we are living in a sociopathic society making us all essentially sociopathic. There was some work done on the subject but only in regards to gang psychology.

[–]2awalt_cupcake0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You can have self esteem but know when to act narcissistic.

[–]godiebiel0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Maybe my interpretation of narcissism is different, but IMHO they are mutual

[–]sickofallofyou0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You know what the difference between a narcissist and a man is? A narcissist feeds off and weakens those around him for his own gain. A man lifts up those around him, because he can, and because he's better.

[–]TheWaterTemple0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Self esteem and terror management theory.

According to TMT, cultures are symbolic systems that act to provide life with meaning and value. Cultural values therefore serve to manage the terror of death by providing life with meaning.

TMT describes self-esteem as being the personal, subjective measure of how well an individual is living up to their cultural values. Like cultural values, self-esteem acts to protect one against the terror of death. However, it functions to provide one's personal life with meaning, while cultural values provide meaning to life in general.

TMT is derived from anthropologist Ernest Becker's 1973 Pulitzer Prize-winning work of nonfiction The Denial of Death, in which Becker argues most human action is taken to ignore or avoid the inevitability of death. The terror of absolute annihilation creates such a profound – albeit subconscious – anxiety in people that they spend their lives attempting to make sense of it. On large scales, societies build symbols: laws, religious meaning systems, cultures, and belief systems to explain the significance of life, define what makes certain characteristics, skills, and talents extraordinary, reward others whom they find exemplify certain attributes, and punish or kill others who do not adhere to their cultural worldview. On an individual level, self-esteem provides a buffer against death-related anxiety.

Heavy stuff, but you can develop yourself into a paradigm and fuck particular cultural norms you don't like.

[–]Mithra90090 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

For example, when a narcissist finds out he has received a raise, he feels pleased. His identity has been enhanced. However, later that day when he finds out his co-worker received a significantly larger raise, he becomes indignant. His former enhancement turns into a downgrade and his narcissism fades to insecurity.

Reminds me of this scene otherwise, great post.

[–]redearththeory0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Narcissism is prioritizing people's opinion of you over your own. This (letting others decide how you feel about yourself) is the great black source of all beta-ness. Narcissism is weakness.

[–]Stythe0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You explain these concepts well and I agree with you. There's a very subtle difference sometimes between narcissism and real confidence because our identities are tied into so many material aspects of life. Whittling those unhealthy attachments down is absolutely vital for happiness.

The easy example for me to give is that I used to own a Ron of movies. They were good. I have good taste and wide appreciatiom in things like music and movies and the like. I sedan to display all this stuff so when friends came over they could see it and I always knew there was stuff anyone would like, so I always got complimented on my collection. When I broke up with an ex I had to sell most of my possessions just to get by, so I sold all the that stuff (and it ended up being a difficult thing to let go of) but when I did, I felt a sense of freedom. Almost like moving internal furniture and clearing a space for something new. Nobody could compliment me on them, but when people came over we connected instead of just watching movies and I felt this sense of appreciation to be hanging out with people and not just watching movies or something. The realization became that I just wanted to look cool and smart by having good taste in things. But what's smart about holding on to a bunch of stuff you rarely watch, just so others can see you've watched it? It was stupid, but that's what it was. That was a weird thing to realize for me.

[–]BestRedditAccount20 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I think one of the best persons to ask is Nathaniel Brandon. He is a psychotherapist and mainly worked on the psychology of self-esteem and of course he also talks a lot about

-Self-Esteem- VS. -Narcissism-

found the article that I read a few days ago: and here is a link to a summary of his book on self-esteem:

[–]SetConsumes0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

There are many forms of narcissism, to equate them as all the same grossly distorts them.

Some narcissism is bad, especially when it's stupid and leads to more stupidity.

Plenty of narcissism is good, especially when it's based on your achievements and facts.

You absolutely can have self worth and be a narcissist, that's the most useful sort of narcissist.

[–][deleted] -2 points-1 points  (0 children) | Copy

Woah this hit close to home. Totally a narcissist, fuck

[–]DerDiud-2 points-1 points  (2 children) | Copy

What a bunch of philosophical bullshit

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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