Exploitation by a Narcissist
Frequently Asked Questions # 10
Narcissists rate everyone, even their nearest and dearest, according to whether they can provide narcissistic supply.
Narcissists do not hesitate to leverage even personal tragedies to secure the supply of attention and adulation.
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In his drive for Narcissistic Supply, would the narcissist be callous enough to exploit the tragedy of others, if this were to secure him a new Supply Source?
Yes. I compare Narcissistic Supply to drugs because of the almost involuntary and always-unrestrained nature of the pursuit involved in securing it. The narcissist is no better or worse (morally speaking) than others. But he lacks the ability to empathise precisely because he is obsessed with the maintenance of his delicate inner balance through the (ever-increasing) consumption of Narcissistic Supply.
The narcissist rates people around him according to whether they can provide him with Narcissistic Supply or not. As far as the narcissist is concerned, those who fail this simple test do not exist. They are two-dimensional cartoon figures. Their feelings, needs and fears are of no interest or importance.
Those identified as potential Sources of Narcissistic Supply are then subjected to a meticulous examination and probing of the volume and quality of the Narcissistic Supply that they are likely to provide. The narcissist nurtures and cultivates these people. He caters to their needs, desires, and wishes. He considers their emotions. He encourages those aspects of their personality that are likely to enhance their ability to provide him with his much needed supply.
In this very restricted sense, he regards and treats them as "human". This is be his way of "maintaining and servicing" his Supply Sources. Needless to say that he loses any and all interest in them and in their needs once he decides that they are no longer able to supply him with what he needs: an audience, attention, and witnessing his accomplishments and moments of glory (to serve as his external memory). The same reaction is provoked by any behaviour judged by the narcissist to be narcissistically injurious.
This article appears in my book "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited"
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The narcissist coldly evaluates tragic circumstances. Will they allow him to extract Narcissistic Supply from people affected by the tragedy?
A narcissist, for instance, will give a helping hand, console, guide, and encourage another person only if that person is important, powerful, has access to other important or powerful people, or to the media, or has a following - in other words, only if the bereaved, one recovered, can provide the narcissist with benefits or narcissistic supply.
The same applies if helping, consoling, guiding, or encouraging that person is likely to win the narcissist applause, approval, adoration, a following, or some other kind of Narcissist Supply from on-lookers and witnesses to the interaction. The act of helping another person must be documented and thus transformed into narcissistic nourishment.
Otherwise the narcissist is not concerned or interested in the problems and suffering of others. The narcissist has no time or energy for anything, except for obtaining next narcissistic fix, NO MATTER WHAT THE PRICE AND WHO IS TRAMPLED UPON.
Golddiggers and Gigolos
Is it wrong to marry just for money? Gigolos
& goldiggers are roundly condemned by their envious & less fortunate
peers. But, ethically & rationally, there is nothing amiss in choosing your
life partner based on his or her bank account.
Good looks, intelligence, an agreeable or reliable personality, even one's domicile or abode & other personal attributes are all deemed acceptable as mating criteria. But they are all mutable & passing. Good looks fade, one's personality changes. Panta rei. Nothing lasts.
The capacity to make money is directly & strongly correlated with innate intelligence, resilience, perseverance, gregariousness, curiosity, creativity, educational level, good mental & physical health, generosity, & a host of other excellent personal traits. It is a useful shorthand & proxy for the entirety of the (rich) individual. Rich people are indeed superior quality material in many ways: they are the fittest survivors. Money also often comes with power which guarantees personal safety & access to critical goods & services, such as healthcare.
It, therefore, makes a lot of sense to choose someone as a spouse or intimate partner based on how much money they have made. Their wealth is an integral part of who they are, their identity. It is an attractive feature precisely because it tells us so much about the potential mate. It is much more salient than any other evaluative criterion.
Finally, the poor console themselves with the thought that the rich may have lucre but are not happy. Studies show exactly the opposite: by virtue of their dollops, the wealthy are much more content than the less endowed.
Even if you are not in love with your intimate partner & the sex sucks (or is absent altogether), there is nothing that a stay in a truly luxury hotel or a yacht cannot fix. Shopping is a potent form of self-medication as is travel. And lovers are never in short supply when you can afford them. Both the poor & the rich end up stuck in dysfunctional marriages - but the rich can do something about it!
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