It’s Narcissist Friday!
(This blog continually attracts new readers. With somewhere around two hundred posts on narcissism and narcissistic relationships, it can be challenging for anyone to really use this material. The search function works very well, if you know what to ask for. Otherwise, we will all have to wait as the blog posts are sorted and categorized in preparation for a new (and exciting!) website. So for the next few weeks, I want to dig back into the archives to pull out some of the posts that seemed most helpful over the last few years. Please feel free to comment.)
I am well aware that I am the ‘umblest person going. . . . My mother is likewise a very ‘umble person. We live in a ‘umble abode. – Uriah Heep (From Dickens’ “David Copperfield”)
It seems obvious that narcissists would have trouble with humility. After all, their goal is to make you think highly of them. They usually have to be the best, the smartest, the most desirable, etc. But what if you are in a culture where humility is a virtue, something the “best” person would be sure to have?
This is where many narcissists are able to pass themselves off as something else, particularly in churches or service groups. By being humble, perhaps a little more humble than others, the narcissist tricks people into opening themselves to his manipulations.
“‘When I was quite a young boy,’ said Uriah, ‘I got to know what ‘umbleness did, and I took to it. I ate ‘umble pie with an appetite. I stopped at the ‘umble point of my learning, and says I, “Hard hard!” When you offered to teach me Latin, I knew better. “People like to be above you,” says father, “keep yourself down.” I am very ‘umble to the present moment, Master Copperfield, but I’ve got a little power!'”
Humility, in the mind of Uriah Heep, was the path to power. It was the way he could cope with the world and come out ahead. But it was a deception. Today there are politicians, preachers, teachers, and many others who appear to be humble and gracious people, but really only do so to have “a little power.”
Yes, humility may be just another tool in the narcissist’s box. Those who are fooled get hurt.