The narcissist and the butterfly.

Jason Brien.

     What does a narcissist and a butterfly have in common? Mimicry. In some of my previous articles I have stated that the full-blown NPD narcissist is a psychopath wanna be. In reality, the narcissist is delicate and fragile much like a butterfly. In order for a narcissist to protect themselves from harm, they mimic a more dangerous or imposing animal just like a butterfly does. While a butterfly displays giant 'eyes' on their wings to communicate to potential predators that they are dangerous and should not be messed with, so too does the narcissist adopt a giant ego and the façade of experiencing no empathy and emotions just like their more dangerous counterparts - the psychopath.

     Think of it this way. Let's assume that a child who does not have a genetic or neurological predisposition towards psychopathy (i.e., a 'healthy' child) is born and raised by psychopathic parents/guardians/family. How can the healthy child possibly survive being raised by psychopathic parents? Just like the old saying goes, if you can't beat them join them. Let's also assume that this healthy child is quiet, considerate and softly spoken. Do you really think that asking a psychopath, who has no regards for personal boundaries or rules, to stop teasing you is going to convince the psychopath to stop? Of course not. It just won't happen. The healthy child then begins to learn from the psychopath. The once healthy child begins to mimic the psychopaths around them in order to achieve their goals. If soft words won't stop someone from violating their boundaries, then perhaps yelling and punching will. If caring about someone's feelings doesn't get you what you want, then maybe doing the opposite and not caring will.

     Imagine this hypothetical scenario. In school fights, an audience of peers usually gathers in a circle around the two opponents and they all act as fight promoters and referees. For arguments sake, let’s assume that two healthy children are facing off against one another and the audience is composed of 9 psychopaths (yes, I know psychopathy cannot be diagnosed in children hence the hypothetical disclaimer) and 1 healthy child (so 10 children in total surround the two healthy children who are about to fight). Now the healthy children are out of their element. Fighting does not come naturally to either of them. They are lovers not fighters so to speak. So, the healthy children begin to beg both their opposition and their audience not to fight. They both want to walk away peacefully.

     If either healthy child tries to leave the fight circle, 9 out of the 10 psychopaths surrounding them will push them back in as the fight will provide way too much sadistic pleasure for the psychopaths to allow these two little wimpy kids try and leave without at least drawing some blood. If the children are lucky, they may be able to convince the one healthy audience member to create a gap so that they can quickly escape. If not, the two healthy children can only leave the circle in one of two ways. They can either allow themselves to get beaten to a bloody pulp and so hope that the psychopaths disperse once their blood lust has been satiated or they can go bat shit crazy. They pummel their opponent and bite and scratch and do whatever is necessary to inflict horror and pain on the opposition. After this horrifyingly violent attack, how many psychopaths do you think will try and prevent the child who went bat shit crazy from leaving the circle? Probably none.

     After the fight, there will not be very many children wanting to challenge the healthy child who went bat shit crazy especially after seeing the lengths they will go through to protect themselves. The healthy child who went crazy has instinctively manifested a survival strategy that works effectively against psychopaths. From here on out, the healthy child learns to create a false self. A false self which knows that if you act like you are really dangerous then people, including psychopaths will leave you alone. The child learnt that their loving, peaceful true self is dangerous and a disadvantage when surrounded by psychopaths and so they must adopt a stronger false self. The child has learnt then that in order to survive amongst psychopaths, they must learn the art of mimicry.

     What about a psychopath though? Can a psychopath use mimicry in order to deceive the masses? Absolutely. Animals which are dangerous or poisonous mimic the colours, patterns, behaviours etc.,  of non-dangerous, non-poisonous animals in order to fool their prey. This is known as mertensian mimicry. This form of mimicry is often used by snakes to fool their prey into believing they are not a threat when they actually are. The successful psychopath and some serial killers use Mertensian mimicry. They mimic ordinary 'healthy' people so that society does not discover their true malevolent self. They get married. They work ordinary jobs. They are active in their communities and attend church regularly. They learn to mimic emotions which they themselves do not feel. They appear inconspicuous to the naive observer until one day BAM, they have been arrested for killing 30 people (John Wayne Gacy) or for ripping off thousands of people in a billion-dollar stock fraud and embezzlement scheme (Bernie Madoff).