50 shades of psychology. Is Christian Grey a narcissist?

Is Christian Grey a narcissist? Let’s take a closer look at his personality and actions.

“Do you remember the opening scene of the “50 shades of Grey when Christian hands over one of his pencils to Ana? All movie scenes are important, even the ones which don’t attract much attention. Like with the pencils.

Five pencils were carefully and neatly placed one next to the other. Perfectionistically placed. Ask yourself: what kind of a person has on their desk 5 pencils laying orderly on a desk, neatly with 3 mm distance between themselves? A perfectionist. Or a person with an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

“Grey” is a metaphor of his inability to experience the full rainbow of emotions

An interesting surname, isn’t it? Even in his office everything was in the shades of grey, like the elegant suites of his good-looking female employees. Grey color for Christian means secure, foreseeable, stable. No emotions. Just office, administration, making business, predictability. We might come to the conclusion that his life was emotionless. Of course, the only way for him to experience emotions was through sexual intercourse and BDSM with other submissive women. But this was still predictable, because the roles here were clear cut. He was a dominant and women were submissives. Here, you need ask yourself what kind of emotions he was experiencing during his sexual practices. Was it love? Was it comfort? Was it warmth?

I guess not.

During the “pencil scene” Anastasia asks him a personal question:

 “So, you were adopted when you were 4?”

Christian answers: “It’s a publicly known fact”.

A personal question was asked. A question which would evoke emotions in almost everybody. Look at his answer – it’s cold. He provides no further information on this, does not tell anything personal. It’s like as if he would have preferred not to talk about it or simply erase this memory from his head. An emotionally mature adult would have reacted differently.


What are his personality traits?

  1. CONTROL – this is exhibited by him having control of Ana, what she does, where she is, if she obeys his rules etc.
  2. LOVE BOMBING – it’s a typical narcissistic way of attracting the woman’s attention and making her falling in love with him by buying her expensive gifts, taking her for a boat/helicopter ride, buying flowers, making trips. Such a person tries to impress other people because he wants that they look at him as a superior and very special person.
  3.  CRUELTY – do you remember the scene where Ana said she was pregnant? Christian reacted terribly, run off to his ex-lover Mrs Robinson and showed no emotional support to Ana.
  4.  TRUTHFULNESS – yes, he was open with Ana all the time about the fact that he couldn’t give her a normal relationship. He mentioned it many times that he is not up for standard relationships and “vanilla”.
  5.  PERFECTIONISM – scene with the pencils
  6.  SADISM – he was pleasing himself only when he was punishing someone else sexually. Who would voluntarily agree for a sadistic sex?  A woman with no personal boundaries, a “saviour” type of woman that would do anything (even go against herself) to please her man.

Christian Grey knew that he couldn’t provide Anastasia with a standard, healthy relationship. He couldn’t provide the ordinary, so he gave her the extraordinary.

So, may we conclude that he was a narcissist?

Some of his personality traits fall to Cluster B personality disorder types. But I wouldn’t call him a typical narcissist.

Apart from some narcissistic traits he also posseses histrionic ones. Histrionic men are self-centered and are overly concerned with their physical appearance.

What was untypical for a narcissist in his behavior?

It the fact that he was honest from the very beginning. He didn’t hide who he really was, what he liked. He didn’t promise Anastasia what he was not able to give. He spoke openly that he can’t provide her with a standard relationship.

This I find very particular, as usually narcissists put masks and they don’t show who they really are. They tend to lead people on, boast about themselves and hide their weaker and darker sides. Here, we see it differently, which is an interesting add-on to Christian’s personality.

Please check my video about the personality analysis of Anastasia Steel on my YouTube channel.

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