Saturday, 23 June 2012

Narcissism in society

I live in Germany, where once upon a time it was in the grip of one of the greatest Narcissists of all time.  Hitlers father was a narcissist, young Adolf a scapegoat, his mother an enabler. He completely re wrote his own personal history (and his personality) and after causing the deaths of millions of people, lost  the war, blamed everyone but himself and killed himself.
Stalin,  not charismatic , but coldy calculating,  acheived even more deaths, but had a very similar upbringing.  He saw everyone as a potential threat to his survival and had them killed, whilst projecting his smiling Uncle Joe persona.

I’m not an expert on Narcissistic men.  I come from a military environment, where they were far and few between. Male narcissists, like female narcissists, tend not to fool all the people all the time, quickly become unpopular and are weeded out.
Narcissists are also cowards, so in a military environment around other men, tend to control their behaviour and  reserve bullying for their wives and children. Nice eh!
I know that there are many people and experts who believe that because being a soldier or a marine invloves wearing a nice uniform, medals and getting accolades of  gratitude, marching bands etc. Then it follows that Narcs will flock into this proffession. But no, I don’t go for it, sorry.  Being a soldier , marine or an airman involves  dying , discomfort, taking orders, even dealing with equals, and having your performance closely assessed is a bit too much for an insecure, internally quivering cowardly narcissist. 

I'm also not talking about vanity, some military are obsessed with their own appearance, that's not malignant narcissistic personality disorder. To the outside world it looks over the top but it's actually a requirement.

However a few did make it through, they were either far too strict or too friendly, completely unapproachable and I mean completely unapproachable, even at the bar, especially when talking to equals. Or the other extreme, the type who like to say  'my  door is always open', which means I will get inside your head and use you.  But, consistently , neither type has a sense of humour, both are good as sucking up to superiors and speaking down to those under them. Neither type is ever relaxed or off duty. Unapproachables fear feedback, open doors love it, but privately. Both types consistently hide behind their rank, however high or low. 
Why are they in a tiny minority? Both types destroy morale, reduce fighting and working capacity and then it's obvious where the problem lies.

Personally I prefer someone who says, come and see me, but if my door is locked I'm probably looking at porn.

Yes, yes, I know that Hitler was in the First World War and he got an Iron Cross. But it now transpires he was a runner who was mostly well behind the frontlines and had close access to malleable and probably gullible officers who fell for his tales of bravery and grandeur.  He did convince a nation of the same didn’t he? Stalin was never a soldier, never fought in a battle.
We run a bar and restaurant in Germany, I do the bar, my girlfriend manages the restaurant. One old guy who used to sit at my bar, had learned English in a POW camp, he’d been a crewman on a U Boat. He told me that when the Nazi’s came to power, it wasn’t just the SS and a few party members ruling the masses, there were loads of these self righteous crazies seemed to appear from nowhere.  It wasn’t just propaganda and fear, it was teachers, police, shopkeepers, friends parents, wanting right inside your head.

He said that the Navy was well known as not too Nazified, The highest percentage of Nazi's were in the Luftwaffe. Why? Because apart from pilots taking all the risks, the rest had safe cushy jobs well away from danger. And the other bastards weren’t on the frontlines getting killed either.  No they had sorted themselves out with the safer controlling jobs, concentration camp guards, gestapo, civil servants in occupied zones.
Something’s just struck me here. It’s when society is in a bit of flux  that Narcissists seem to flourish. Think, Russian revolution, German depression in the 30’s, Chinese cultural revolution, Hippy revolution ( Charles Manson‘s input).

Enablers fighting the good fight. 

I guess that if someone or some people are trying to cause a bit of hysteria, or uncertainty, such as Global Warming,  there’s a Narcissist somewhere in there causing it , or trying to take advantage of it.  Narcsissists don’t want to help you, they want to cause anxiety , fear and they want you to think that they alone have the answers, so you can only go running to them.  And if you don’t there’s an army of enablers who will also encourage you. 


  1. "I’m not an expert on Narcissistic men. I come from a military environment, where they were far and few between."

    One of my biggest regret is not follow my instinct to apply to join the military. There was a good probability that I wouldn't have lasted boot camp but I'll never know that for sure.

    As a child I craved structure, something, anything that has rules so I can know how to behave so that my parents would love me, if only they tell me how, and consistently! Instead the only thing consistent in the absent of rules was chaos of daily wild mood swings that they rejoiced in their whims.

    Two of my classmates joined the Army and it was a scandal in our University town. Parents were mortified and classmates were horrified. The only life possible after high school was college and then on to grad school. My two classmates didn’t even have the manners to wait until high school graduation but actually joined the Army during high school. I had the cowardly sense to wait until graduation, and then didn’t join. My courage gave out, thinking I still have the power to make my parents happy and somehow take care of my autistic sister from afar while I was in college.

    Growing up there was absolutely no structure, which is a HUGE must for an autistic child! The rules of discipline were highly dependent on how moody mom or dad was that day. Dad is highly narcissistic who spent hours every week telling me how much his siblings admire him. Mom relish her role as victim and nobody on God's green earth suffers except her. Me and my sisters' mistreatment was totally unrelated to our behavior and there was no way to succeed. No way to figure it out. No way to avoid abuse. No way to win at this game. So I looked to the military as my possible salvation where rules are clear and consistent. Again, I regretted not following through.

    Thankyou for sharing your blog.

  2. I'm sure you would have passed boot camp. You really don't have to be superman or wonderwoman. The day we arrived at the training depot, we saw a platoon of guys marching on the square, it looked completely unattainable. But we just went along with it, all trying to keep a low profile and most of us got through. A huge feeling of achievement, biggest boost I've ever had. Plus a lot of new friends.
    You can't ever win with Narc Parents, they don't deserve you. Enilina, believe me, you're far better than them.

  3. Being a soldier , marine or an airman involves dying , discomfort, taking orders, even dealing with equals, and having your performance closely assessed is a bit too much for an insecure, internally quivering cowardly narcissist.
    Glyn Willmoth