I found myself watching old episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm the other night and it dawned on me: Larry David is sooooo NPD. I always related to the show and to the situations Larry finds himself in. Somehow Larry finds a way to piss off everyone around him and is generally clueless. [Raises hand]
During its original run not only did I not realize he was a narcissist, I hadn’t yet realized I was either. Now watching it again all these years later, it’s so clear. No wonder I related to his guy: He’s low empathy, self-centered, clueless in social situations, he ruins all interpersonal relationships, is easily offended and embarrassed, and often flies into fits of rage.
To some, Larry comes off as “neurotic.” But a recent study found that neuroticism and narcissism are essentially the same thing. Needy Narcissists May Just Be Extreme Neurotics:
In every sample, neuroticism was the biggest predictor of vulnerable narcissism, to the point that Miller tells Science of Us that vulnerable narcissists and people high in neuroticism were “basically identical” in their results. “They were not similar — they were almost exactly the same,” he said in an email. So the study may have uncovered a prime example of the “jangle fallacy,” where the same phenomenon gets two different names and is falsely treated as two different things. Though different literatures have grown around neuroticism and vulnerable narcissism, they may very well be one and the same.
Of course I took to Google to see if anyone else had noticed what a narc Larry is, and came up with an interesting article that compared Larry David to another show about narcissists I quite enjoy, Girls:
Larry David played a version of himself in “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” much like Lena Dunham, who plays an exaggerated and incredibly negative version of herself (and people she knows) in “Girls.” These two have much more in common than sharing a comedy series written and created by themselves on the same network. Larry (from here on out we’ll use “Larry” to refer to the character, and “David” to refer to the actor) is essentially the male version of Hannah: both ridiculously selfish, self-loathing, and navigating every aspect of life for his or her own benefit, while disregarding others along the way. It’s also pretty (pretty, pretty, pretty) much known that everyone thinks Larry is a complete asshole.
I love how Larry highlights the humor of life with NPD. I can get so caught in a loop of negativity about my disorder and all the very serious (and not funny) things about it. But sometimes it’s nice to be able to laugh at it, and laugh at myself.
Larry David is my spirit animal.
HBO announced that they are bringing Curb back for a 9th season this year. Can’t wait.
Larry being low empathy
Larry hangs up on his wife, who was having a near-death experience, because the cable guy came. “You know, it’s very hard to get those people here!”
Larry’s fits of rage:
“I have friends who I can’t stand for like 25 years, I’m still friends with them. Because I stay ’til the end. I go down with the ship.”