Leftist narcissists are an interesting crowd.

It’s not only in the right-wing you’ll find these people, you know…

Lucy the Oracle
9 min readDec 11, 2023
Photo by benjamin lehman on Unsplash

This is an opinion piece, inspired by my own experiences. Yes, experienceS. Plural. I’m sure some people will assume it’s just about them, though — as narcissists do, out of self-centeredness. Everything is about them, no-one else on the planet! Everything revolves around them. Of course it does! Who else even exists? (#Sarcasm).

I lean left, myself, in case you wonder. I too used to think only the right-wing would attract narcissistic people because of the obvious themes of competition, hoarding and flexing, feeling superior to others, and simping for the powerful that this ideology seems to promote. However, with time, I’ve been noticing that the left-wing is also full of narcissists — some of which I met and became sort of friendly with, until finding out their ginormous inflated ego, and saying goodbye to them as a result. This left me puzzled, though. Why are some narcissists interested in the tenets of reparation, equality, sharing and camaraderie? This seems very far-fetched from what we understand as narcissistic traits. If anything, leftist ideologies would make it MORE DIFFICULT for a narcissist to find that precious narcissistic supply… Or wouldn’t it? I mean… Narcissists are always going like “me, me, me” (at least subconsciously). Nobody else matters. Only me, me, me. Left-wing ideology compels you to consider and care about others as much as you care about yourself. Surely this would be enough for a narcissist to dislike it and stay away?

Maybe you’re thinking “but Lucy, it actually makes sense! They want praise, and appearing charitable guarantees a lot of praise”. I had that passing thought, too. A few days went by, though, and I realised “being charitable” isn’t enough of an excuse to join the left wing… Since the right also does it. And it’s not even new. How else do you think the super rich prevent attacks by angry mobs with torches and pitchforks (or their metaphoric equivalents)? Why, of course, by donating to charity and telling the newspapers about it. You wouldn’t attack a philanthropist. Would you?

I’m not necessarily saying all super rich people are narcissistic. That would be too bold a generalisation. I’m sure some of them have a heart, but just happen to have accumulated a lot of wealth… So they fear people’s envy. And that’s why they resort to philanthropy. But I only mentioned them here, because I’m thinking of reasons why a narcissist would feel compelled to adopt an image of leftist. And I think it’s safe to say charitability isn’t one of them.

There must be another reason which makes more sense. What could it be?

Photo by J Yeo on Unsplash

The social cause is an extension of themselves.

Kind of like if you customise a doll to look like you, it feels wrong to discard it because (emotionally, perhaps) it feels like discarding yourself. So if you ever need to get rid of it, you need to disfigure it beyond recognition — or at least beyond a point where it no longer looks “like you”.

“Wait, what?”, you might be asking. “Who even disfigures a doll before saying goodbye to it? That’s the stuff of psychopaths and other crazy people”. Precisely. I’m talking about the mindset a narcissist would have towards anything they ever decided to care about. It’s definitely not how normal people work. Narcissists aren’t exactly normal (in the sense of “mentally healthy”). I wouldn’t go as far as saying they’re wired differently (I don’t know, and the existing science seems not to know for sure either), but regardless of where these odd patterns of attachment vs detachment from a narcissist’s perspective come from — nature or nurture — it’s undeniable that they are… Kind of odd anyway. And I’m not saying odd in the “quirky and cool” way. No, what I mean by odd here is more along the lines of “definitely unsafe for themselves or others”.

Doll metaphors aside, my point is basically that whatever a narcissist decides to care about — a person, an animal, a fandom… Or a social cause! — needs, necessarily, at least to their perception, to be “a reflection of themselves”. If it doesn’t look or behave or otherwise “is” like them right off the bat, they customise it; or cherrypick only the relatable bits, disregarding all else; or flip the entire narrative in order to ignore the differences between themselves (the narcissist) and the object they picked up (be it a toy, an animal, a person, an idea, etc).

This is because of something I said in another article and will repeat here:

Narcissists don’t truly see other people. This isn’t a matter of circumstance or bad luck or external factors in general. No. It’s willful blindness.

That article was referring to a narcissist’s interpersonal relationships — hence why I focused on them not seeing “other people”. Here, I am talking about the ideals they defend, so it’s a slightly different perspective, but the same maxim remains true: they don’t truly see other social justice movements. Only THEIRS matters, and only for THEIR benefit.

So, perhaps, the fundamental difference between a narcissistic right-winger vs left-winger is: the former is literally only watching out for themselves; The latter is willing to include other people in it, as long as they can remain just paying attention to what these other people have in common with them, whilst ignoring — or even invalidating and being hostile against — the diversity.

The reason being the same old “fatal mistake” I already blogged about: if they ever looked at and validated the different, that would require taking their eyes off themselves; Conversely, if they look at others who exhibit similarities with them, it’s just like a mirror. It doesn’t feel like taking their eyes off themselves. So, it’s okay with them.

Photo by Fares Hamouche on Unsplash

A narcissist feels threatened by the prospect of “having to” care about other people without receiving their part of the deal.

You might have noticed — not only on my articles and other people’s articles, but also in your own experiences with narcissists, if you had that misfortune — that they consider everything transactional.

Whereas a normal person like you and I would sometimes think of two-way-road relationships, but also consider that one-way-roads exist and it’s ok… A narcissist won’t EVER come onboard with that. This is probably because (and here comes a possible argument favouring nurture over nature, regarding “where narcissism comes from”) they tend to be very traumatised individuals who perhaps endured being coerced to serve other people in childhood, and one day said “enough is enough!”. But instead of simply standing their ground in a normal way, they went above and beyond with that. They decided never, ever, ever, ever, EVER to give anything unconditionally anymore; And probably also killed within themselves any remaining hope of ever receiving things unconditionally from others too.

That’s what I mean by normal one-way-roads in life: sometimes, we show empathy and help others simply because we can; Without expecting anything in return. The opposite is also true: sometimes, people help us without even knowing us, and even without seeing us ever again. It happens. It is part of life, too. Not everything is doom and gloom. But maybe a narcissist is so hurt — and most importantly, so in love with their suffering, and their image of sufferer, and the attention it brings — that they decide that, actually, yes, everything is doom and gloom. Because they said so. And being right feels good on the ego. Why ever accept being wrong? Worse still, why ever admit you’re wrong so somebody else can be right? Oh, no! The horror! The world is going to end!

It’s a very childish, very age-regressive way to look at things. I can actually imagine the following in a toddler’s voice: “those people were mean to me way back in 1998. So I’ll cross my arms and wait right here, until the entire world comes and treats me like a king/queen in reparation for that. Otherwise, I’ll stay stubborn and stay here. Like this. Hunf!”

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

It is true that people who aren’t overly narcissistic (therefore normal) will sometimes invalidate social causes different from the ones they’re used to — but here’s the catch: if you educate them, they will probably change their minds and at least show empathy. Especially so in private (since we all have some level of narcissism, and normally don’t like getting corrected in public. That’s ok).

You can reason with someone who has a prejudice — it’s rooted in fear, so try slowly and surely showing them that reality is very tame and they were mistaken. People love finding out they were wrong about a fear! Fears are yucky. Fears don’t feel good. Why keep them if you can help it?

You can also reason with someone who is simply ignorant; simply “not very well updated” — simply educate them, with empathy and compassion, be friendly, but feed them the useful information. Voila.

But what do you do with someone whose “thing” (or “main thing”, anyway) is just self-centeredness? You can’t reason with that. I’m sure narcissists have all sorts of excuses for this self-centeredness. Imagination and mental gymnastics are their specialty! “Oh, I was wronged in the past, so now I’m practising self-care for a while” (Self-care? Does that mean literally vilifying and plotting against/gossiping against people who aren’t like you? Yeah, right. For a while? Does that mean the most part of your life so far and god knows how long to go? Yeah, right). In the end of the day, though, they can’t word-salad their way out of the truth. And the truth is: they’re self-centered. They’re not good people BECAUSE they’re self-centered. Period. No amount of joining leftist groups, adopting wholesome religious maxims or learning “compassion in theory”… will make up for a fundamental personality problem.

Sometimes, they’ll make other fights all about their own — without being called, without respecting boundaries.

This is why you sometimes see so-called feminists saying “oh but this racism thing is also about the patriarchy”; “this environmental disaster can be linked to sexism”; “this crisis in the Economy is totally misogyny in disguise”.

So-called queer activists saying “racism? It has roots in homophobia”; “transphobia causes climate change and I can prove it”; “Economical problems are all about the war on lesbians”.

POC going on about how “the patriarchy is fundamentally racist”; “climate justice needs to start with racial justice”; “Economic problems started with slavery”.

Is any of the above assertions wrong? Hm… I don’t think so. No, really, you can argue in favour of them. Sometimes a bit of reaching is required, but it’s never impossible. It’s never totally irrelevant, either. So, in short, you can. Yes, you can. But… SHOULD you? There are things we can, but shouldn’t do — And especially shouldn’t do ALL THE TIME.

You see, narcissism has nothing to do with being dumb or saying dumb things. The assertions above? All intelligent. All possible to argue for. And in moderation, they’re fine. Seriously. I have done similar I think once or twice.

The problem is, when overdone (especially as a defense mechanism AGAINST simply letting somebody else speak about a cause that doesn’t concern you — disrespecting that “it’s their lane”, and all that), they often indicate someone is a narcissist because these assertions are self-centered. They’re coming from a navel-gazing place. Secretly, very deep down, what they’re saying is *grabs megaphone* “ATTENTION! ATTENTION! EVERYBODY FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE IN AREAS OTHER THAN MINE… KNOW THAT I AM YOUR SUPREME RULER AND YOU SHOULD BOW TO ME, BECAUSE IN THE END, YOUR CAUSES ARE ALL ABOUT MY CAUSE”.

“ME, ME, ME”.

Photo by Maayan Nemanov on Unsplash

Yeah… Maybe there is a better way?

Food for thought, my friends.



Lucy the Oracle

Oracle learner / spirit worker based in Ireland. Buddhist/polytheist. I don't read minds. I don't change minds. I don't sugarcoat. Take my message or leave it.