Monday, December 28, 2015

Gamma: the covert narcissist

JS brings a tangential concept to our attention:

I've always found the stuff on Gamma males interesting. It appears that there's an official psychological term for the type of person who is a gamma male - the term is "covert narcissist". This came to my attention when this study (http://mpcdot.com/forums/topic/8711-investigating-nerds/) was discussed on My Posting Career.

Here's the standard test for diagnosing covert narcissism:
  1. ___ I can become entirely absorbed in thinking about my personal affairs, my health, my cares or my relations to others.
  2. ___ My feelings are easily hurt by ridicule or the slighting remarks of others.
  3. ___ When I enter a room I often become self-conscious and feel that the eyes of others are upon me.
  4. ___ I dislike sharing the credit of an achievement with others.
  5. ___ I feel that I have enough on my hand without worrying about other people's troubles.
  6. ___ I feel that I am temperamentally different from most people.
  7. ___ I often interpret the remarks of others in a personal way.
  8. ___ I easily become wrapped up in my own interests and forget the existence of others.
  9. ___ I dislike being with a group unless I know that I am appreciated by at least one of those present.
  10. ___ I am secretly "put out" or annoyed when other people come to me with their troubles, asking me for their time and sympathy.
  11. ___ I am jealous of good-looking people.
  12. ___ I tend to feel humiliated when criticized.
  13. ___ I wonder why other people aren't more appreciative of my good qualities.
  14. ___ I tend to see other people as being either great or terrible.
  15. ___ I sometimes have fantasies about being violent without knowing why.
  16. ___ I am especially sensitive to success and failure.
  17. ___ I have problems that nobody else seems to understand.
  18. ___ I try to avoid rejection at all costs.
  19. ___ My secret thoughts, feelings, and actions would horrify some of my friends.
  20. ___ I tend to become involved in relationships in which I alternately adore and despise the other person.
  21. ___ Even when I am in a group of friends, I often feel very alone and uneasy.
  22. ___ I resent others who have what I lack.
  23. ___ Defeat or disappointment usually shame or anger me, but I try not to show it.
This seems to be a direct description of Gamma males. There's probably a whole body of existing work that can be folded into Gamma Studies.

31 comments:

S1AL said...

It's interesting that some items on this list seen to also fit the description of sigmas - the difference being emotional security/stability and the gamma's distaste for social detachment that is perfectly comfortable for a sigma. Or am I missing the mark?

S1AL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marty Johnson said...

It gets a little awkward seeing so much time devoted to shaming other guys. Reminds me of "mean girls" back in junior high school. I'm a natural introvert who was a natural alpha back in my small hometown because of looks and my athletic ability. Now, I just do enough to get by. What do you care if I am no longer the life of the party with dozens of beta males in my entourage? Let it go man, let it go...

Sokrates said...

http://freedompowerandwealth.com
A great test! This will be very helpful for a lot of guys.

Gunnar Thalweg said...

Wow. I just took this test a week ago. It turns out I have some covert narcissist qualities. Thing is, the difference between a personality disorder and having some jerky qualities is that you can change the jerky qualities usually through an act of volition. Someone personality ordered usually needs a LOT of help just to recognize how they are being received. POed people tend not to get better, and these qualities tend not to wax and wane. It's a scale.

Gamma is interesting, because it is similar, if not the same. What you call gamma, though, often can be extreme immaturity. If you were raised by women, teased mercilessly, and have assimilated too much female thinking, you can end up gamma. But if we can take you out back and beat some sense into you, and after that you're fine, you're not a "fixed" gamma. You just need some guidance.

Gammas seems to reject feedback, guidance and even good-faith help. I have seen them here just endlessly defend the indefensible, whereas someone with an immature douche side will give up pretty quickly and move on.

Gunnar Thalweg said...

Sigmas are a different thing altogether. Sigmas are not covert narcissists because an essential part of being a covert narcissist is giving off an air of vulnerability and even pain. These people look needy, and they look like they are hurting. And then when you get to know them you go down a rabbit hole of their crazy-ass dysfunction. That's not sigma.

A sigma is just an alpha male who is a bit of a loner and someone prone to taking roads-less-traveled. Classic lone wolf with a serious case of don't-give-a-shit. They actually climb mountains because they are there, not as a notch on life adventures. What we call alpha is just a more social version of this. Alphas like other people around.

Huggums said...

I'd have to say I definitely have some of these qualities, but everyone seems to think that gamma behavior arises from being raised by women, which I suppose it can. For me, I'd have to say it was child abuse plus good old fashioned blue pill conditioning from the surrounding culture. I'd like about going places I'd never really been for instance and I know that's a thing abused children often do. I believe the reason the typical self-deception of the gamma never really stuck is because of my nature. And I was lucky enough to have some men around me try to explain how things were, so that when I actually had a chance to interact with women and I found places like this, it all just clicked into place. The work being done here and on other sites like is extremely important for that reason alone. It's best to try and inoculate as many young men and boys while you can. The sooner you get them, the more likely they'll listen. They'll have more time to test it and convince themselves also. Our worldview is intrinsically powerful and convincing because it's true. Only years of conditioning can overcome it.

Huggums said...

*I'd LIE about going places...

JRH, esq. said...

It seems at least half of these are also introvert traits, sometimes with a few tweaks to make them emotionally-based rather than nature-based.

Jared Matthews said...

I found the following attached to the quiz in a Salon article of all places: http://www.salon.com/2013/08/27/stop_telling_me_youre_a_sensitive_introvert_partner/

Please answer the following questions by deciding to what extent each item is characteristic of your feelings and behavior. Fill in the blank next to each item by choosing a number from this scale:

1 = very uncharacteristic or untrue, strongly disagree

2 = uncharacteristic

3 = neutral

4 = characteristic

5 = very characteristic or true, strongly agree

...

How’d you do?

If you thought on some each (sic) of these, “Oh dear lord, that’s sooooo me,” don’t panic. As I mentioned, there’s some overlap between this scale and other tests that measure introversion and sensitivity. In a recent study conducted on college students, the average score on this scale was in the mid-upper 60s. So if your score hovered around that range, you’re about average in covert narcissism. If your score was below 40, you scored very low in covert narcissism.

If, however, your score was 82 and above, you scored high in covert narcissism. And if your score was above 97, well, you might want to own yourself as a card-carrying covert narcissist, instead of constantly telling people to stop criticizing you because your sensitive, introverted soul can’t handle it.

Now, do genuinely introverted people exist? Absolutely. Are there genuinely sensitive people? For sure. There are even many individuals who are both sensitiveand (sic) introverted.

But the latest research suggests that there is also a large selfish segment of the population who say they are introverted and sensitive when they really just can’t stand it that everyone doesn’t recognize their brilliance.

With that said, whoever bans the word “listicle” from the English lexicon is genuinely brilliant, regardless of their shade of narcissism.





I still have so far to go, but I only got 55. It would have been about 85 a few years ago, before I hit rock bottom and started reading this site and VP, among others. A large part of that is due to your writing and example, Vox. Thank you.

If anyone is reading this and wondering if you can get to a better place, the answer is I don't know. I did, but it's hard. You have to really want it, and not fleetingly. You have to be ruthlessly honest with yourself and make major lifestyle changes. It doesn't have to be all at once, but there's no quick or easy fix. You can't give up when things get hard, or when you fail, or when you realize you have to leave your old social circle behind because they are feeding your issues, etc. I've been working hard on this for almost three years and I still fall down constantly. But I'm a better man in almost every way, and I'll be better next year than I am now.

Jokah Macpherson said...

These criteria sound like a cold read to me. Most of them apply to pretty much everybody. Is this a joke or something?

Joe A. said...

Well, fuck. It sounds like I am a gamma to some extent, then.

Student in Blue said...

Most of them apply to pretty much everybody. Is this a joke or something?

No, no they don't. They may apply to you and your friends, but people with most of these traits are in the minority.

rumpole5 said...

And if one basically really does not think about what people think of him because he usually does not think of them at all most of the time?
If one is always busy concentrating on what other folks think, how can one focus on one's own affairs? One has a few friends and intmates with which one shares common interests, family, and polite impersonal exchanges with everyone else. Where does all this drama stuff come in? Who has the time?

The Original Hermit said...

Vox, you mentioned in another post that nobody ever considered that there may be more than one of you. I assumed at the time that it was tongue in cheek, but the tone of the writing in this post doesn't come across as your own. Have you hired a ghostwriter?

Cliff(Light)³ as Mcro.t0nal_piltdown said...

A great many of these traits fit me to a T in my younger days. I was the archetype on two legs - two wheels, even. I was pressed out of the same mold and had many of the same topographical features as others who were the product of relentless childhood bullying, a largely absent father, and a controlling mother.

I was on a first name basis with low self-esteem, but was thankfully privy to a golden ratio of external/internal environmental conditions that were conducive to cultivating a strong will and sense of self-awareness. Did slights and put-downs hurt? Sure. But because of the aforementioned self-awareness, I seldom failed to consider, if only for a brief moment, that beneath even barbed commentary was a very real fragment of constructive criticism. I used the negative emotions that they generated to power the process of putting in the necessary work to progressively become a better iteration of myself.

The ability to use negative emotions into fuel for positive change, along with a good measure of objectivity, saved me from falling into a void on more than a few times in my life. Even back then, I felt eternally grateful for the forces that I feel were ordering my steps; forces that in retrospect I now identify as God.

Vox, I tweeted to you a while ago to express gratitude that you were my first real intellectual mentor, with the debating grounds of VP serving as a proper dojo. I had very little direction when I found your blog back around 2004. With purpose and direction, "hard work" of self-improvement becomes "MY work".

All in all I strongly believe that self-awareness, spiritual awareness, and a strong work ethic are essential, even transformative, qualities that will greatly benefit men of any rank or station in life. Also, from personal experience, where one starts out does not necessarily determine where one ends up.

- Cliftonb

paworldandtimes said...

the tone of the writing in this post doesn't come across as your own

The first line of this post attributes it to someone named JS.

-PA

The Original Hermit said...

Son of a bitch. I'm not sure how I missed that, thanks.

Robert What? said...

Well of course everybody will check off a few varied items, but fortunately it appears I am not a narcissist - not even the covert kind.

Trust said...

On a side note, Dennis Prayer, who I usually agree with, has a wnd piece "dubunking" reasons people give for not getting married. Sadly, he never deals with Marriage 2.0, and how many men and children get hurt by it. He basically says just do it sooner. The problem is that failed marriages aren't the result of marrying later... both marrying later and divorcing are results of the same Marriage 2.0 problem.

Trust said...

*Dennis Prager, not prayer

ARYAN said...

This is interesting to me personally. I have extensive experience with those whom I define as a Paranoid Narcissist [PN]. I think PN might be an expanded description of a Covert Narcissist. Paranoia is covert in that distrust and suspicion is initially a private/covert way to experience the world... what the paranoid does with their distrust and suspicion could stay covert or become overt. I've come to realize the Paranoid/Covert Narcissist first feels distrust and suspicion as a default perception. Almost everything gets filtered through the paranoia - humor however gets a pass so long as the Narcissist laughs.

You see - The utility of distrust and suspicion [paranoia] as initial perceptions is that they feed the narcissist's need to feel superior. After all, by comparison to the distrustful and suspicious, the paranoid person is at least of higher character and moral superiority. Thus the paranoid/covert narcissist’s 'superiority by comparison' feeds the narcissist's self aggrandizement. And it assists the covert narcissists ploy to present themselves as vulnerable and needy...

"an essential part of being a covert narcissist is giving off an air of vulnerability and even pain. These people look needy, and they look like they are hurting. And then when you get to know them you go down a rabbit hole of their crazy-ass dysfunction."

The Covert Narcissist is very likely to develop Paranoia in the process of hiding and aiding their Narcissism.

Aeoli Pera said...

Most of those apply to me. Here are the ones that don't:

___ My feelings are easily hurt by ridicule or the slighting remarks of others.
___ I dislike sharing the credit of an achievement with others.
___ I often interpret the remarks of others in a personal way.
___ I am secretly "put out" or annoyed when other people come to me with their troubles, asking me for their time and sympathy.
___ I am jealous of good-looking people.
___ I tend to see other people as being either great or terrible.
___ I try to avoid rejection at all costs.
___ I tend to become involved in relationships in which I alternately adore and despise the other person.
___ I resent others who have what I lack.
___ Defeat or disappointment usually shame or anger me, but I try not to show it.

So I'm a covert narcissist by definition, but I would still identify as primarily Omega.

jiffybarracks said...

Just goes to show how easy it is to slide from a Delta back to a Gamma.

SciVo said...

Aeoli, compare your list with a spergy HSP and see if that's a better fit. Reality is too complex for any one rubric to be correct and complete.

bob k. mando said...

VD
This seems to be a direct description of Gamma males. There's probably a whole body of existing work that can be folded into Gamma Studies.



as i pointed out when you first advocated your socio-sexual hierarchy, much of your system seems to be a specialized application / reworking of the DSM ...

Violet Black said...

So, are "alphas" just regular and narcissists? And "sigmas" introverted narcissists? Or, in character theory, are they more schizoid?

Aeoli Pera said...

SciVo,

it's an unfamiliar term so I'll take a look. Thanks for the tip.

Neanderserk said...

Depending on your degree of retarded honesty, you might answer these questions in an overly self-critical way.

It's better to use 1-5 a scoring system RELATIVE to the population baseline, rather than to one's personal sense of absolute, abstract justice and truth. So 3 is average.

I've always hated personality tests because this distinction was unclear to me. So I would just try to literally parse the language, which gets very tricky. Moreover, it will produce invalid results, because I'm an atypical outlier and most people aren't parsing the test that way.

The trick is that most people evaluate themselves relative to population baseline anyway, so that is how the test is calibrated regardless of how the instructions read.

Mindstorm said...

"I easily become wrapped up in my own interests and forget the existence of others" - not specific enough. It's also an autistic trait that many introverts share to some degree.

Mindstorm said...

"I have problems that nobody else seems to understand." - reminds me of a certain 'problem with no name'.... :)

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