The Brothers Grimm had it right! Be scared...
The lessons of fairy tales are often lost on us, because they sound so naive. I see Fairy tales as common sense lessons in psychology and common sense. Only the foolish think they can never be fooled. We can all be fooled, mesmerized or seduced. The narcissist's talent is finding out our weaknesses and then taking advantage of us. Watch any shyster, their hands are faster than the eye, their words spin a world of deceit and lies. And people fall for it over and over. Fairy tales warn us about them.
The story of the Emperor's new clothes is a story of Narcissists.
All narcissists like to pretend. As long as there is a gang of liars around, fawning and gossiping, people will believe the narcissist. Only when a child - and narcissists hate children for this reason - sees the truth, only then will the spell be broken. Half the battle of a narcissist is making people believe him or her; the seduction and corruption of others is a 24 hour endeavor. Once won, the lie perpetuates itself, it grows, people hear and believe, fall into line and the narcissist can walk around naked as a Jay bird.
In the 1837 parable "The Emperor's New Clothes" by Hans Christian Andersen the emperor was obsessed with clothes so that "he spent all his money in order to obtain them; his only ambition was to be always well dressed. ... He had a coat for every hour of the day."
Here is a quote from an alleged narcissist who sent me an email:
Do you ever want stories, quotes or interesting behaviors from narcissists? My Psychiatrist can't believe some of the things I go through, and I thought you might have interest. You could have some links in side navigation that say "Example" in several areas of explanation where you might want to give people examples of how a Narcissist might think or behave.
Like how I collect ties and I always have and even now that I have a job where I don't dress up, . I still buy and collect ties. It defies logic but brings some sense of peace or comfort each time I reach a milestone like when I got to 135 and could say that I now have 135 silk ties. (Enough to go for over 4 months without wearing the same one twice, .. If I wore ties to work that is)
The other side of the story are the tailors who made the invisible clothes. How many important men and women are surrounded by "handlers" who spin webs of lies and deceit? How many of the handlers, and women, dream of being the power behind the throne? Two narcissists can augment their power of persuasion, they can play "the game" better by helping each other. Two liars are better than one; peer pressure works this way.
The fable of stone soup shows how the wheeler and dealer has everyone giving him a free lunch while he fulfills their dreams; pyramid schemes work this way. Most of us want to be fooled, especially by a smooth talker.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The more I think of the way narcissists mesmerize and seduce, the more I think of the piper who plays a mind numbing tune that makes you believe everything he or she says. But you have to pay the piper as the villagers learned to their dismay. Once the Pied Piper got rid of the rats, and when the villagers refused to pay him, he took their most precious children, their future, into a cave in the mountain, never to be seen again. Yes, you can be deceived by them, and love it, but when the bill comes you wonder how you got taken.
Beware the Pied Pipers of the world who guarantee results, who are so sure of themselves - the smooth operators. Yes. You love them, you think they are "stars" and "VIPs" but beneath the veneer and sweet talk, they are just like everyone else, except they don't care a flying fig for you. So when you get taken, you probably have no one else to blame but yourself. Don't blame the messenger, the narcissist, who is just showing you yourself, understanding your weaknesses and exploiting them. Thank them and learn, or stay stupid and be used over and over again. Your choice. Next time you meet someone, or read a story, ask yourself is this too good to be true? Don't be duped. They like people who don't think, they like stupid people, yes they do. So get smart, become cynical. Think.
Narcissist images are everywhere in fairy tales. Remember all the horrible witches and ogres in children's fairy tales? Some of them could transform themselves into benign looking people. The unfortunate and the unwary got eaten or worse. Remember Little Red Ridding Hood? She saw through the wolf who had disguised himself as her grandmother. Can you?