Rant on Sycophants and Narcissists: How They Go Together Like Bread and Butter


Sourdough bread and butter.
Date 10 June 2011, 18:14:55
Source Own work
Creative Commons 3.0

Sycophants and narcissists go together like bread and butter: The narcissist is the bread and the sycophant is the butter!

A sycophant is a toadying flatterer, a “suck up” or a “brown noser.” The sycophant doesn’t just want to get along, they actually enjoy playing the role of the loyal underling to anyone whom they perceive as having influence or authority.

The narcissist (described in previous rants) requires infinite, unmitigated, constant approval from others. They cannot tolerate the slightest bit of criticism or even dissent.  They see reflections of themselves everywhere and in everything they see. If they form an attachment to an idea, then they can become hostile to anyone who has an opinion that doesn’t support that idea because they see the idea as an extension of themselves. Therefore, criticism of that thing becomes, in the narcissist’s mind, a criticism of themselves.

Because the narcissist requires constant approval, he (or she) is often attracted to certain positions where he can receive the unquestioned, unchallenged worship of sycophants. The list is myriad.

Both the narcissist and his counterpart, the sycophant, are attracted to structures and order.  They both despise dissent.

Sycophants are conformists; they’re like mercury (quicksilver). They can mold themselves to any authority figure or any social group.

Narcissists are attracted to positions of power and authority.

Sycophants are conformists who worship those with perceived power and authority.

This relationship can be found in police departments, corporations, offices, politics, military organizations  and even social gatherings. Again, the example of the Kboards Writer’s Cafe comes to mind because it is an online social forum with actively involved moderators, who are perceived by sycophantic members of the group to have authority. Any mention of the moderators in a post often brings out a swarm of sycophants who worshipfully praise the moderators or other members who they perceive as having even the tiniest amount of influence within the social group.  Those who offer a differing view from that of the normative one or who are perceived as having little or no influence or value to the group are quickly marginalized by their  mob of sycophantic worshipers.

This pairing can often be found in inter-personal relationships.  Like a vampire, the narcissist must feed off others and the sycophant is an all too willing victim. The sycophant buys into the narcissists delusions of grandeur.

The relationship between narcissist and sycophant can be seen in religions, where the sycophants are all too anxious to give their minds away to a narcissistic cult leader or narcissistic invisible man (“god”). The sycophant will defend his or her narcissistic master, sometimes going to extremes, even violence, to quash dissent.

What makes the narcissist tick seems more obvious because they are clearly mentally disordered.  But, what makes the sycophant tick?  Is it stupidity? Is it laziness?  Is it a lack of self-confidence? Is it mind control? How about normative conformity?

See this video on sycophants and conformity:

What is normative conformity?


3 Responses to “Rant on Sycophants and Narcissists: How They Go Together Like Bread and Butter”

  1. What an interesting topic! I was in a long-term relationship with someone who was extremely narcissistic and I find myself often wondering why I let it go on for so long when I knew at the start that it wasn’t going to work out. It’s fascinating to look into what leads us to these relationships. I recently read a very interesting blog that discussed both sides of the narcissistic relationship, why people are narcissistic and why people choose narcissistic partners, http://www.psychalive.org/2013/04/narcissistic-relationships/. I highly recommend it!

  2. I have personal experience with both types in the figure of my narcissist father and his sycophant girlfriend. She keeps telling him how much it hurts her to see the “small people” criticizing him. Since I fall into the critical camp, I’ve become a small person and a child from his previous marriage to boot, so some kind of competitor for his affection. She has treated me with extreme bigotry from the outset even though I tried to be nice to her. The sycophant is like a junior narcissist but wants to ride the coat tails of the narcissist to some kind of undisclosed glory. The psychodynamics is all very strange. She’s being used by my father primarily for her money but also because she is an unquestioning supporter and attack dog for the narcissist, who abuses his victims by proxy, demanding little in return but the possibility of basking in his dubious glory.

  3. TS, my situation is somewhat like yours, but the narcissist is my ex husband. He is ambitious and ruthless, one of those snakes in suits. His wife #2 is the sycophant. She snubbed me when I tried to introduce myself the day before their wedding. It’s been almost 5 years and I still haven’t met her. At this point I don’t even want to meet her….she’s as gross as he is. They have spread vicious rumors about me, and she never even met me! I know he doesn’t love her, he’s incapable of loving anyone. I also know he has probably cheated on her, as he was making passes at me just weeks after their wedding. He is financially successful and the status is why she stays with him.

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