When A Narcissist Gets A Bad Review
We’ve recently written a bit about narcissists. Not all of it has made it through my newly politically correct co-author’s megafilter. Some of it has, including when a narcissist gets angry.
In short, narcissists are short on self-esteem and as soon as their carefully constructed image is in any way dented they unleash a wave on narcissistic rage. Whereas your average person may take criticism poorly from time to time, a narcissist will metaphorically (we hope):
- shoot the messenger
- hang the messenger
- quarter the messenger
- decapitate the horses that quartered the messenger
- bury the messenger, the horses and their families
- dance on their graves
- shoot the graves
- pour napalm on the graves to ensure nothing grows there again
- build a church on top of the napalm
- burn the church and finally…
- build a statue of themselves on top.
Entertainment draws in more narcissists than any profession other than financial planning. Accordingly, you’ll never find better examples of narcissistic rage than in the entertainment industry.
Case in point, take the recent outburst from comedian Lawrence Mooney in response to a review of his latest comedy routine. Stung by the harmless (and short) piece by Bella Fowler, he wrote a raft of scathing comments over the course of several hours such as:
- ‘Bad, how about a thoughtless, insouciant swipe from a fucking amateur. She is a tiny mind’.
- ‘Are you deaf or an idiot? You did hear people laughing hard for an hour didn’t you @BellaFowler93 Best you stick to real estate and food.’
- ‘Your review is a piece of shit, your journalism is worse & your hundred word thesis on the difference between..sweet Jesus.’
- ‘Please @BellaFowler93 why did you come to my show? Do you know my work? Or did you think it’d be cool to write a review. *giggle*’
- ‘Don’t play victim deadshit you wrote the piece of crap so I’m going to hang it around your neck. @BellaFowler93‘.
It’s not hard to imagine Mooney, bubbling with rage and racing towards his tenth tweet on the same subject freeze up trying to think of a word that makes him look more clever than his quarry, scan the room feverishly for a thesaurus and scream ‘EUREKA!’ as he stumbles on the word ‘insouciant’.
The thing is, it wasn’t even that bad a review. She gave him three stars and said he was a funny guy. His issue seems to arise from the fact she said he was more a funny guy with a spotlight on him than a comedian. For a guy we’d never heard of before it’s probably great publicity.
Bizarrely, a pack of equally near-anonymous ‘celebrity’ pals tweeted support for the guy. The worst thing you can do for a narcissist is indulge the rage. Someone needed to quietly get in his ear and tell him to cool it down a little, though in a perverse way I respect the guy for leaving his venomous tweets up. That said, I would hope his routine is a bit funnier than his Twitter posts, not one of which is clever. Moons – if you’re reading, have a look at how James Blunt (not even a comedian) schools his critics on Twitter in a way that is actually funny.
We get that being a comedian is probably a pretty stressful gig but then again no one is forcing you to get on the stage. I personally have seen a few comedians completely lose it at hecklers and I’ve never walked away from it respecting the comedian more for it.
Let this be a lesson to you all – if you aren’t ready to cop a scathing heap of vitriolic abuse, don’t write a review of a fringe comedians latest gig. For those of you in the spotlight, learn to cop a bit of criticism ffs. They’re only words.