What’s Funny About Narcissism?
If you’ve been living with a narcissist in your life, you might not see the humor in that situation – too soon, right? But if you think about the absurdity of it all, you can start to see how the life of a narcissist is tragically comedic. Reflecting on this and the chaos it likely causes in your life can help you find the funny in your narcissistic relationship.
Consider that from the narcissist’s point of view, they are living their life based on how they must constantly project a consistent image of being special, so that positive things will happen for them. They constantly seek the admiration and adulation of the people in their life, and they often do that by employing their not-so-insignificant charm.
They’ve learned that they can manipulate people and get them to give the narcissist what they want while also expressing admiration for them. That’s a big benefit – give me what I want, and then tell me how much you love me; I think there’s a country music song about that, something about putting another log on the fire! At the same time, the narcissist projects their flaws – which they would never admit to having – onto the people around them.
They must wonder why all these crazy and needy people seem drawn to them, and they must feel as if life is treating them unfairly. Still, the narcissist works with what they have available, even though they think the people in their life are out to get something from or use them. That’s more projection, but it doesn’t mean the narcissist won’t notice that there doesn’t seem to be anyone in their life that is good enough.
In fact, the narcissist may even come to believe that they are just an expert at finding the bad in people and their weaknesses, and of course, they have no problems letting them know what they found. They think this will somehow get them ahead in life and make the world bend to their will. If they have to lie to make that happen, well, that’s just a tool for getting what they certainly know they are entitled to.
No method is too low for the narcissist to use to get what they want. They aren’t concerned with breaking the law, and they don’t care what anyone else wants. No matter what needs you have, in the narcissist’s mind, they could never be as important as their own. Over time, as this strategy seems to work for the narcissist, they get more and more of a thrill out of making the world do their bidding. They feel powerful and expansive, which gives them an emotional high, but that is often followed by the deepest depths of despair, self-doubt, and powerlessness.
Because of that emotional rollercoaster ride, narcissists often engage in substance abuse and seek out constant attention to feel better when they’re down. They also see this as normal, something everyone does. They’re looking to distract themselves so they’re never bored or feeling down, and they see this as superior behavior that everyone should aspire to. Although that’s the perspective of the narcissist, it’s not really funny yet, but read on because it’s in the absurdity that you’ll find the humor of narcissism.
You might know of the 1960s Pink Panther movies that featured a character known as Inspector Jacques Clouseau. The poor inspector was so delusional and bumbling that he didn’t even know how bumbling he was, and instead, he considered himself to be an expert detective. Somehow, his bumbling always paid off, and he got the bad guy. This is how the narcissist functions – a bumbling, chaos-creating, delusional, bratty child who doesn’t even see just how delusional they are or the chaos they leave in their wake.
Instead, the narcissist creates a different story – just like Inspector Clouseau – in which they are the only sane one in the narrative. It’s all the crazy people around them that are creating the chaos. It’s not possible for them to see that they are creating the very drama they complain about and tell others they want to avoid.
They use the drama they create in order to rationalize their manipulative tactics. Of course, they have to be dismissive of the crazy people creating the drama – it’s for their own good, after all. Their ability to delude themselves is almost limitless. When their speech degenerates into word salad, as often happens, they see themselves as having won a debate, and if other people can’t follow them, that’s only because they’re not as intelligent as they are.
They’re also experts at applying the principles of “I’m rubber and you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you!” Anything that the people in their lives accuse them of, they simply deflect and make the accusation right back at them. And this behavior goes on and on and on. They continue to repeat these same behavioral patterns blindly over the course of their life. They make everyone and everything else responsible for what they experience in life, what happens with their relationships, and their professional accomplishments or lack thereof.
All the while – just like Inspector Clouseau again – they’re just dancing through life believing that their complaints, criticisms, and rage are words of wisdom that the rest of the world is just too inferior to understand. No one else is ever good enough for them, and if they would just take the narcissist’s advice to heart, they might improve themselves.
So, this is how the narcissist goes through life: they see themselves as King of the Hill, but they fail to see that the hill is a mountain of trash! They are the proverbial big fish in a little pond. They are the epitome of the absurd, and they see the chaos they have made as the riches of their kingdom.
For you, who is dealing with a narcissist, it’s captivating to watch the chaos they create. It can be mesmerizing, like watching a tornado tear across a landscape. You are enthralled, just like those who get hooked on soap operas. It is, in fact, a real-life soap opera, but it’s also a tragic comedy, and if you’re a character caught up in it, seeing it for what it is can help you survive and even thrive. However, if it’s still too difficult to find the humor in your narcissistic relationship, you can find it elsewhere in your life.
If you also encountered a narcissist, then I recommend that you read the book «What Narcissists Never Tell You» and if you can’t cope on your own, I invite you to my consultation-acquaintance at the price of a cup of coffee!