Sam Vaknin’s Instagram Epigrams (archive only)

Narcissism with Vaknin on Instagram (active account)




Nothing is more hated by the narcissist than the sentence "I Love You". It provokes him to uncontrollable rage. Why is that?

a. The narcissist hates women virulently and vehemently. A misogynist, he identifies being loved with being possessed, encroached upon, shackled, transformed, reduced, exploited, weakened, engulfed, digested and excreted. To him love is a dangerous pursuit, fickle and labile. He believes in fear and hate as immutable, reliable motivations, not in love. He gets married only so as to secure the services of his “partner” as homemaker, audience, personal assistant, and companion. He, therefore, is rarely possessive and jealous: he doesn’t care what she does, when, and with whom, as long as his needs and expectations are impeccably met. He avoids intimacy also because it demands reciprocity and, thus, a waste of his scarce and precious resources on the tedious chore of maintaining a relationship when all he wants is a business-like, contractual arrangement.

When a woman tries to pick up a narcissist, flirt with him, or court him, he is likely to react by subjecting her to humiliating and cool disdain (if he is a cerebral narcissist) or by dumping her after having sex with her (somatic narcissist). In both cases the abusive message is: you have no power over me because I am unique, omnipotent, not your typical run-of-the-mill sap; you are nothing to me but a pitiful parasite or an object to be violated. Your very approach and attempt to seduce me is proof of your imbecility, blindness, or maliciousness for how could you not have noticed that I am different and superior?

b. Being loved means being known intimately. The narcissist likes to think that he is so unique and deep that he can never be fathomed. The narcissist believes that he is above mere human understanding and empathy, that he is one of a kind (sui generis). To say to him "I love you", means to negate this feeling, to try to drag him to the lowest common denominator, to threaten his sense of uniqueness.



The agent-principal problem is rife in politics. In the narrative that is the modern state, politicians are supposed to generate higher returns to citizens by increasing the value of the state’s assets and, therefore, of the state. In the context of politics, assets are both of the economic and of the geopolitical varieties. Politicians who fail to do so, goes the morality play, are booted out mercilessly.

The misconduct of politicians is one manifestation of the "Principal-Agent Problem". It is defined thus by the Oxford Dictionary of Economics:

"The problem of how a person A can motivate person B to act for A's benefit rather than following (his) self-interest."

The obvious answer is that A can never motivate B not to follow B's self-interest - never mind what the incentives are. That economists pretend otherwise - in "optimal contracting theory" - just serves to demonstrate how divorced economics is from human psychology and, thus, from reality.

The same goes for politics and political science, respectively.

Politicians will always rob blind the state. They will always manipulate electorates, political parties, legislatures, and the judiciary to induce them to collude in their shenanigans. They will always bribe constituents and legislators to bend the rules. In other words, they will always act in their self-interest. In their defense they can say that the damage from such actions to each citizen is minuscule while the benefits to the politician are enormous. In other words: such misbehaviour is the rational, self-interested, thing to do.

But why do citizens cooperate with such political brigandage? In an important Chicago Law Review article titled "Managerial Power and Rent Extraction in the Design of Executive Compensation" the authors demonstrate how the typical stock option granted to managers as part of their remuneration rewards mediocrity rather than encourages excellence.



The narcissist has either of three types of (non-)intimate (not) relationship with his (in)significant other:

1. As playmates, sex buddies, or casual collaborators: no shared fantasy, no drama, very businesslike (transactional), loads of fun til it’s abruptly over or peters out;

2. Companionship shared fantasy: grooming as an admirer/fan and occasional sex partner or sexless service provider (but without lovebombing or honeymoon). A very stable and resilient bond that can last a lifetime;

3. Romantic shared fantasy (usually with labile, dysregulated, promiscuous, approach-avoidant women and imminent abandonment). Involves both grooming and lovebombing (honeymoon phase), lots of sex (often kinky or sadistic), drama, near-psychotic levels of fantasy, and a rollercoaster of idealization and devaluation. Ends with narcissistic mortification.


As the inimitable Hervey Cleckley had observed in 1942, psychopaths (and narcissists) reject life itself. Their nihilistic acts of self-destruction are driven by a proud ideology of defiance, contumaciousness, and reactance. Their self-defeat signals their profound contempt for others, for authority, society, and for everything that everyone hold dear.

Narcissists and psychopaths consider themselves superior, unique, and, therefore entitled.

They disdain mediocrity and sheeple reflexes to obey, trust, and follow. They are contrarians: they act against all norms, subvert all expectations, and reject all the attributes of civilized co-existence and collaboration.

They smugly and ostentatiously trample upon the rewards, incentives, and inducements that reality has to offer (love, family, career, safety, reason).

When they do pursue anything that is deemed conformant and sublimated (socially acceptable), they take great care to do it their way: in the most extravagant, antisocial, reckless, callous, ruthless, merciless, and shocking manner.

They consider being hated and feared a badge of honor. They strive to be an enigma to the great unwashed teeming masses: being widely misunderstood is the coveted pinnacle of their accomplishments.

What others consider a
wasted, abandoned, sad life - they see as poking society’s collective eye with a triumphant middle finger. They prevail by refusing to play the game and by aggressively upturning the social tables in everyone’s temples. The devastation of their own lives is a statement of how little they value the lives and toils of others.


Narcissists react with rage, envy, and possessiveness when they are abandoned or betrayed - but only when their locus of grandiosity is directly challenged and undermined in the process.

The cerebral narcissist is largely asexual. His grandiosity is vested in his spectacular intellect, not in his non-existent maturity or virility. He is, therefore, utterly indifferent to his intimate partner's affairs or sex hookups with other men (which, typically, he is fully apprised of) - unless they indicate imminent abandonment.

The cerebral couldn't care less when his wife, girlfriend, or lover is whiling night or even years with other - likely predatory - men: he is incapable of attachment, bonding, or love. He is not bound to his partner - but to the services that she affords him. As long as these are guaranteed, he is content with her frequent absences.

But when his partner gravitates towards another guru or father figure, he erupts with extreme jealousy and hurt. If he fails to reclaim her exclusive admiration and awe, he discards her.

Like his cerebral brethren, the somatic often maintains a sexless household with his insignificant other - but, unlike the cerebral, he expects her to remain sexually exclusive. He perceives her straying with other men as an implied criticism of his sexual prowess - the very core of his grandiosity.

The somatic doesn't mind when his spouse falls in love or is emotionally intimate with another man. Nor does he pay attention if she admires someone as intellectually superior or as a father figure. All he cares about is to make sure that she does not share her body and her sex with others. Having experienced his orgasmic pyrotechnics, she should be inured to the seductive allure of any and all other contestants.


There is only one book whose content I cannot recall despite having had to wade through it a dozen times or so. In contrast: I remember in minute detail, often verbatim, the verbiage of thousands of tomes. How come?

Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” is not really autobiographical. It is based on decades of research, reams of scholarly literature, and structured interviews with 1800+ people diagnosed with NPD and what was left of their “neatest” and “dearest”.

Yet, it resonates potently with me. I’d rather not be reminded so starkly and unequivocally of my shattering disability, ubiquitous inadequacies, and failed, wasted, tragic life.

Truly assimilating my book would bring about life-threatening mortification. So, I dissociate every single word in it fearfully.

This repression of my own words and insights sometimes yields comic outcomes. People send me a quote and I hasten to disparage the author: “who is the wannabe genius who fathered this nonsense?”, I retort. “You did”, the answer comes back, “in your book, page so and so!”


Shielded from reality by his grandiose view of himself as perfect and irresistibly desirable, the narcissist fails to realize how embarrassed people in his orbit are with his personality and misconduct.

If his intimate partner has daddy issues, she would feel ashamed being seen with a old man, often self-neglected and past his prime, if he ever had any.

If he is easy on the eyes and her peer, he tends to lack an operable neocortex.

If he is capable of thinking, he misses the curiosity needed to exercise this faculty.

If he is gregarious, he is obnoxious. When he is reclusive, he is abusive.

When he is smart, he is never wise.

When he is knowledgeable, he is asexual and incapable of any form of romance or attachment.

If he is into sex, he prefers porn and masturbation, even with his partners’s bodies.

He ostentatiously oscillates between a jejune wimp and a macho caricature, convincingly in neither.

His jokes fall flat or excel in their brutality, his commentary inane or paranoid, his gestures overdone, his honesty sadistic, his succor rife with conditional toxicity, his assertiveness defiant and ill-times, his swagger cartoonish. A buffoon with regal airs.

People around him cringe in shocked amazement at his antics and wish they were somewhere else, or could bury their way into invisibility.


Ubiquitous computing is becoming not only intrusive but also more condescending and patronizing by the version. I call it: “nanny computing”.

Underlying nanny softwares are the twin assumptions that people are way too stupid to be entrusted with their own welfare and so irrational that they never get things right, having compromised the decision-making process.

Nanny apps and programs override and overwrite the user’s explicit choices, preferences, and commands. This is reminiscent of HAL, the starship’s onboard computer in Odyssey 2001.

Nanny computing is only one manifestation of a societal trend at least 150 years old, when the first welfare nanny state was established by Bismarck.

People are infantilized and regressed to an earlier, dependent phase of personal development. One’s agency is usurped by authorities: religious, secular, or technological.

Social media are the latest examples of such “it is for your own good” coercion but they were preceded by numerous other instances, including prohibition and the criminalization of psychoactive substances. The COVID-19 pandemic cast this pernicious paternalism into sharp relief.

Uniformity, conformity, and predictability are crucial to the functioning of modern mass economies. Individualism is a threat to be constrained. Grandiose defiant narcissism is the revolt of the masses as they recoil from the deadening embrace of those who “know best what’s good for you, sonny!”


I become possessive and try to reclaim my cheating partner only when I anticipate abandonment. Otherwise, I am indifferent to her cheating, however indiscreet and ostentatious, and content to be left alone and unencumbered by her demands and expectations, catered to by other men.

I never discard my partner when her only transgression is serial cheating: she is extremely unlikely to forgo my brilliant mind, its insights, and the money it produces just for sex or even for a longer-term lover (fewer than 3% of women do).

Moreover: I do not compete with other men for my women when it comes to sex and love (functions I consider vastly inferior to the intellect and of which anyhow I am incapable owing to my infantile emotional age).

I, therefore, do not experience narcissistic injury or romantic jealousy or even unease when my partner chooses a man to love and to sleep with – no more than I would experience injury if she were to invite a plumber or an electrician or go to a hairdresser or a masseur to take care of her needs.
As a service provider, she can do as she pleases in her time off.

I feel injured only when she prefers another man’s intellect, knowledge, expertise, and experience to mine in my core competencies (medicine, finance, geopolitics, psychology, etc.)

I emotionally or physically discard my partner only when she challenges or undermines my grandiosity as genius, guru, and father figure either via bargaining (which implies that I am not perfect) or when she replaces me with – and betrays me to - another guru/genius/father figure/trusted friend/savior (which implies that I am not omniscient and unique).

I pre-empt the inevitable abandonment: a partner who had rejected my only offerings and contributions to the couple – my mind, its insights, and my moneymaking brainchildren – and who had found a satisfactory substitute for them is on her way out anyhow.

I realize that my woman is suddenly devaluing my mind only because she is heartbroken and enraged at my indifference which she perceives as rejection and neglect. The relationship is doomed in any case.


The lovebombing and grooming phase involves co-idealization: both the narcissist and his targeted prospective partner idealize each other.

The narcissist needs to delusionally misperceive his partner as perfection reified because her impeccability reflects on him: ”she is such a treasure - and she chose ME!”

The narcissist’s mate idealizes him because it is through him that she experiences self-love (probably for the first time in her life). She gets emotionally invested (cathected) in his fantastic rendition of her. This is the “hall of mirrors” effect.

The victim aggressively rejects any attempt by family and friends to restore her reality testing and to open her eyes as to the true nature of the predator she had become infatuated with.

In extremis, she may even sever all communication with anyone who dares to criticize her man or disagree with him. Hurt and befuddled, loved ones reciprocate by shunning her.

Gradually, she forms a cultish shared psychosis (shared fantasy) with the narcissist and excludes all others from her life, leaving her as isolated and vulnerable as any hostage.


The cerebral narcissist's inner monologue, addressed and signaled to his insignificant other:

I am a Genius Child (Wunderkind).

Admire me and serve me as the Genius that I am.

Love me unconditionally as a mother loves her Child - not as a woman loves a man. I am a child, not a man: real as the former, fake as the latter.

Satisfy with other men your emotional needs for adult intimacy and your physical urge to have sex. Expect and demand nothing grown up from me, your Child.

I prefer to explore the world and its marvels on my own, leveraging my magnificent brain. You are not invited: don't be the kind of intrusive mother who makes a nuisance of herself. Go away until I call for you!


Psychoanalysis is now widely considered nothing better than a confabulation, a baseless narrative, a snapshot of Freud's tormented psyche and thwarted 19th century Mitteleuropa middle class prejudices.

Most of the criticism is hurled by mental health professionals and practitioners with large axes to grind. Few, if any, theories in psychology are supported by modern brain research. All therapies and treatment modalities - including medicating one's patients - are still forms of art and magic rather than scientific practices. The very existence of mental illness is in doubt - let alone what constitutes "healing". Psychoanalysis is in bad company all around.

Some criticism is offered by practicing scientists - mainly experimentalists - in the life and exact (physical) sciences. Such diatribes frequently offer a sad glimpse into the critics' own ignorance. They have little idea what makes a theory scientific and they confuse materialism with reductionism or instrumentalism and correlation with causation.

Few physicists, neuroscientists, biologists, and chemists seem to have plowed through the rich literature on the psychophysical problem. As a result of this obliviousness, they tend to proffer primitive arguments long rendered obsolete by centuries of philosophical debates.



Vaccine nationalism is shaping up to be an exclusionary race by richer economies - notably the US, UK, and Canada - to hoard 3-5 times the amount of doses needed to inoculate the entire population, thereby preventing poorer nations from getting their hands on the much needed jabs.

A possible explanation for this irrational, even malevolent misconduct, is that no one knows how many shots would be needed to induce long-lasting immunity. The COVID-19 vaccines may prove to be as fickle as their flu equivalents and require an annual administration of a booster. Better safe in a warehouse than sorry in hindsight.

A less benign and way more sinister conspiratorial rationale is that the West is trying to get a head start in reviving its post-pandemic economies, leaving in the dust and in a state of dependency the likes of Russia and even China by denying them access to the way superior biotechnology, manufacturing, and distribution infrastructure (including cold chain) that go into the vaccines of the West.


Even when the cerebral narcissist is all by himself and a woman is fully available and keen on him, he is not interested or aroused when he is in the throes of a shared fantasy, including in a sexless or a fractious one.

He becomes promiscuous only in between shared fantasies.

It is not that he is loth to risk the shared fantasy by engaging in extradyadic sex: he simply becomes contentedly asexual when he is involved in one.

The incentive structure in the shared fantasy disables his sex drive: masturbation to porn is part substitute to real life sex and the disincentives are many and powerful:

1. Aversion to incest (the partner is a maternal figure);

2. Powerful sublimation: intellectual pursuits pleasure him way more than sex and the gratification is deeper and more enduring as his intellectual accomplishments - real or imagined - resonate with his grandiosity;

3. Indolent inertia: the prize of sex is not worth the price of having to endure a woman's carping and her tedious company;

4. Difficulty of finding a partner to his autoerotic, immature, often sadistic, kinky sex;

5. He feels safe within the shared fantasy, as long as there is no anticipated abandonment and no challenges to his grandiosity.

In contrast, the cerebral feels unsafe - paranoid, even - when he ventures out. He also foresees ineluctable hurt and mortification down the road in any new liaison and shared fantasy.



Protracted dysphoria and anxiety reduce the urge to have sex (hyposexuality is actually one of the presenting signs of both). The cerebral narcissist’s asexuality could well be the outcome of depression and anticipatory anxiety: he fully expects to be betrayed and abandoned once his partner had found out the truth about him.

It is as self-fulfilling prophecy: the very anticipated abandonment which he so fears and his concomitant hurt-aversion lead to his emotional and sexual withdrawal (avoidance) which inevitably results in the dreaded outcome: breakup and heartbreak.


Are memories of trauma and abuse any different to other memories? Are they mostly real or mostly false? Can memories be truly repressed? How are they accessed and recalled late in life?

First part of third winter semester lecture to South Federal University, Rostov on Don, Russian Federation, and to the Psychology track in SIAS-CIAPS.


Two types of recovered false memories:

1. Denying, altering, or minimizing personal involvement in and contribution to the abuse or the abuser's role or the abuse itself;

2. Recalling false incidents, typology, or pattern of abuse.

Double whammy of gaslighting and confabulation encourages disorientation, dissociation, and formation of false memories, some of them compensatory (confabulations).


Confabulation is a memory error defined as the production of fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive.


False memory refers to cases in which people remember events differently from the way they happened or, in the most dramatic case, remember events that never happened at all.

False memories can be very vivid and held with high confidence, and it can be difficult to convince someone that the memory in question is wrong.

Second part of third winter semester lecture to South Federal University, Rostov on Don, Russian Federation, and to the Psychology track in SIAS-CIAPS.


As Eric Berne noted in the founding text of Transactional Analysis, human relationships are "games people play". There are two types of people who adamantly and proudly refuse to partake of such ludic exchanges: the narcissist and the psychopath.

When they would not play "sex" or "intimacy" or "family" with a woman, she resorts to other playmates. When they decline to play "business" or "friendship" with someone, the rejected parties revert to another partner. These ineluctable self-inflicted losses warp, thwart, and stunt the minds and the lives of narcissists and psychopaths. In his seminal survey of grandiose psychopathy, "The Mask of Sanity", Hervey Cleckley branded it a "rejection of life itself".

The only game the narcissist will participate in is "let us all pretend that this is for real": a delusional shared fantasy with limited longevity and guaranteed expiry. The psychopath's only concession to human intercourse is a zero-sum "let's play my game: you give it all and I take everything you have and then some."


Typology of Revenge

The need to seek revenge on wrong- and evil-doers is as ancient as Mankind. But people attempt to address their grievances in three ways:

1. Punitive-moralistic

The aim of this type of vengeance is to restore justice and, with it, the victim’s view of the world as orderly, predictable, and causal. Perpetrators should be punished; victims should be soothed and elevated; and society should publicly acknowledge who is who and mete out opprobrium and succour respectively.

This type of revenge tends to devolve into an obsession (intrusive, uncontrolled thoughts) and compulsion (an irresistible urge to behave in a way that is sometimes inconsistent with one’s values or even true wishes, or incommensurate with one’s skills, needs, long-term interests, capabilities, or wherewithal.) It is unhealthy and, in the long-term, counterproductive as it taxes the victim’s time and resources; adversely affects her other relationships; renders her dysfunctional; and, ultimately, consumes her.

2. Narcissistic

Vindictiveness is the narcissist’s way of restoring his self-imputed grandiosity and of recuperating from a narcissistic injury. Having fallen prey to malfeasance or crime, the narcissist is proven to be gullible, ignorant, and helpless. This experience is humiliating and the circumstances of victimhood contrast sharply with the narcissist’s inflated view of himself as omniscient, omnipotent, brilliant, shrewd, and perfect. Only by bringing the culprit to utter ruin does the narcissist regain his sense of self.

Ask yourself if your bruised ego is the main reason for your indignation and spite. If it is, try to separate the elements of your conduct that have to do with your justified grievance and those that revolve around your unhealthy narcissism. Avoid the latter and pursue the former.

3. Pragmatic-restorative

With this type of revenge, the victim merely wishes to restore her fortunes and reassert her rights – in other words: to revert the world to its erstwhile state by acting against her violator decisively and assertively.



Chemical and biological warfare are not an invention of the 20th century.

Solon (638-559 BC) used a strong purgative, the herb hellebore, in the siege of Krissa. During the 6th century BC, the Assyrians poisoned enemy wells with rye ergot. In the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), the Spartans flung sulphur and pitch at the Athenians and their allies. In the Middle Ages, besiegers used the bloated and dripping bodies of plague victims as readymade "dirty bombs".

In 1346, during its siege of Kaffa (present day Feodosia in Crimea), the Tartar army suffered an outbreak of the Plague. They hurled the corpses of their infected dead over the city walls and into the city's water wells. The resulting epidemic led to the city's surrender. It is widely believed that people afflicted with the horrendous disease fled the place and started the Black Death pandemic which consumed at least one third of Europe's population within a few years. Russian troops adopted the same tactic against Sweden in 1710.

Smallpox was another favourite. Francisco Pizarro (1476-1541) gave South American natives clothing items deliberately contaminated with the variola virus. During the French and Indian wars in North America (1689-1763), blankets used by smallpox victims were given to American Indians. General Jeffery Amherst (1717-1797) gifted Indians loyal to the French with smallpox-contaminated bedspreads during the French and Indian War of 1754 to 1767. An epidemic broke among the Native American defenders of Fort Carillon and they lost it to the English.


Your abuser "agrees" (is forced) to attend therapy. But are the sessions worth the effort? What is the success rate of various treatment modalities in modifying the abuser's conduct, let alone in "healing" or "curing" him? Is psychotherapy the panacea it is often made out to be – or a nostrum, as many victims of abuse claim? And why is it applied only after the fact – and not as a preventive measure?

Courts regularly send offenders to be treated as a condition for reducing their sentences. Yet, most of the programs are laughably short (between 6 to 32 weeks) and involve group therapy – which is useless with abusers who are also narcissists or psychopaths.

Rather than cure him, such workshops seek to "educate" and "reform" the culprit, often by introducing him to the victim's point of view. This is supposed to inculcate in the offender empathy and to rid the habitual batterer of the residues of patriarchal prejudice and control freakery. Abusers are encouraged to examine gender roles in modern society and, by implication, ask themselves if battering one's spouse was proof of virility.

Anger management – made famous by the eponymous film – is a relatively late newcomer, though currently it is all the rage. Offenders are taught to identify the hidden – and real – causes of their rage and learn techniques to control or channel it.

But batterers are not a homogeneous lot. Sending all of them to the same type of treatment is bound to end up in recidivism. Neither are judges qualified to decide whether a specific abuser requires treatment or can benefit from it. The variety is so great that it is safe to say that – although they share the same misbehavior patterns – no two abusers are alike.



Compensatory personal boundaries are rigid, hypervigilant, aggressive (often defiant), and excessive (disproportional). They are intended to compensate for the lack of enforced boundaries in any one or more other areas of life.

Thus, if an individual has no boundaries in his private life, acts as a people pleasing doormat, and is subject to all manner of disrespectful abuse by his "nearest" and "dearest" - he is likely to be a tyrant in the workplace, keen to spot transgressions and slights where there are none, acting entitled and temperamental, and insisting on perfection or unthinking obeisance to his every whim.

This implies the existence of a "law of conservation of personal boundaries". One's very identity depends on such fortified demarcations in at least one realm of one's being, functional existence, and day to day operations.


There are three toxic threats to one’s individual freedoms and authentic being: hope, love, and success.

Hope is a counterfactual and delusional reaction to despair and meaninglessness. It fosters expectations that are invariably thwarted. Its companions and successors are depression, frustration, and aggression. Nothing is more pernicious and insidious than hope.

Love is the pathological attempt to counter existential and profound loneliness via an idealized, largely narcissistic narrative projected onto one’s partner. It invariably ends in heartbreak and devastation because it is inherently contrived and because it involves numerous practices which runs counter to the pursuit of liberty and happiness.

Success is society’s way of harnessing individual energies and gifts at the service of the collective and its elites. It is slavery in all but name.

The rational, sane person avoids this venomous, identity-eradicating trio. He lives free in the fullest sense of the word: free of the future and its intimations (hope), free of all others (love), and free of any organizing principles (success).

Whenever this Nietzschean Superman is threatened by hope, love, or success - he rebels and recoils and is gone, having left everything and everyone behind as so many discarded shackles.


Intimate relationships entail the experiencing, triggering, and display of one's vulnerabilities. Many find this integral and critical component of intimacy frightening or distasteful.

Being vulnerable is childlike and, therefore, could be a wonderful feeling: excitement and relief in equal measures. To cast aside all masks is to liberating. To finally be 100% you is exhilarating. To be accepted as you truly are is to be loved.

The disclosure of one's "weaknesses", fault lines, and deficiencies gives rise to anxiety only when you don't trust the other party, when you are worried that he might disparage the newly gained information, reject you, or, much worse, leverage your openness, wounds, and needs to his advantage.



Nothingness in my philosophy has roots in Buddhism and Neo-Daoism.

NEW CHANNEL Nothingness: Antidote to Narcissism

Nothingness: Antidote to Narcissism Playlist on my main channel.


How to Divorce a Narcissist or a Psychopath - click on the links (they apply to all types of relationships with narcissistic or psychopathic abusers of both genders):

Divorce is a good exit strategy out of an abusive relationship.

But the problem is that people use it as a first - not last - resort. Whenever things get even trivially tough - they bail out rather than try harder.

Nowadays, people give up owing to DIFFICULTIES - not to ABUSE. They MISLABEL difficulties as “abuse” in order to justify their lack of perseverance.

Our civilization relies on disposable and replaceable products - and we treat each other the same way.

The modern concept of a romantic dyad based on infatuation causes people to renounce reality in favor of fantasy and so they idealize their partners. This inevitably leads to disillusionment and breakup.

The misguided concept of a love-based marriage (romantic love) changed the way we select mates.

It is a modern phenomenon. Previous generations were transactional and saw each other in a realistic light. The mass media - cinema and romantic literature, especially - taught us to idealize our intimate partners in any and all ways.

Many studies have shown that people in marriages that were arranged or subject to matchmaking grew to love and respect each other. Basing mate selection mostly on lustful sex and on attraction got humanity into the relationship mess we have now.


We used to have an intimate relationship with death, with our inevitable departure from the world. Demise was as much a part of life as birth: we did not exist before we were born and, at some point, we will cease to exist again.

No one wanted to die prematurely - but no one made life itself an extended exercise in evading the inevitable. We ventured gently into the night, grateful for having had the chance and gift of spending some time in this incomparable theme part called “reality”.

The great 17th century essayist, Michel de Montaigne, wrote:

“Let us rid death of its strangeness, come to know it, get used to it. Let us have nothing on our minds as often as death. At every moment let us picture it in our imagination in all its aspects ... It is uncertain where death awaits us - let us await it everywhere. Premeditation of death is premeditation of freedom ... He who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave. Knowing how to die frees us from all subjection and constraint.”


To see how far we have deteriorated as a civilization, how atomized and alienated we had become, how extinct solidarity and empathy are, here is an excerpt from Daniel Defoe’s “Journal of the Plague Year” (a semi-autobiographical narrative of the bubonic plague in 17th century London):

“A near view of death would soon reconcile men of good principles one to another and that (it) is chiefly to our easy situation in life and our putting these things far from us that our breaches are fomented, ill blood continued ... Another plague year would reconcile all these differences, a close conversing with Death or with diseases that threaten Death, would scum off the gall from our tempers, remove the animosities among us and bring us to see with differing eyes”.


Subscribe to my new YouTube channel: Nothingness: Antidote to Narcissism

Nothingness is not about being a nobody and doing nothing.

It is about choosing to be human, not a lobster.

It is about putting firm boundaries between you and the world.

It is about choosing happiness - not dominance.

It is accomplishing from within, not from without.

It is about not letting others regulate your emotions, moods, and thinking.

It is about being an authentic YOU.


The Power Threat Meaning Framework is a new perspective on why people sometimes experience a whole range of forms of distress, confusion, fear, despair, and troubled or troubling behaviour. It is an alternative to the more traditional models based on psychiatric diagnosis.

Cold Therapy and Nothingness: False Self is organizing and explanatory principle and generator of meaning. By dismantling, the narcissist re-experiences his traumas and must try to make sense of them (construct a new narrative).

Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy is based on the premise that the human person is motivated by a “will to meaning,” an inner pull to find a meaning in life. The following list of tenets represents basic principles of logotherapy:

1. Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones.
2. Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.
3. We have freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or at least in the stand we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering.


Download the first chapter here:


In her algae-ridden aquarium, my goldfish, Fredericka “Freddush” invariably appeared to be happy. She never complained, except when cold or hungry. She circled in the water, fins erect, mouth agape, the better to catch food morsels.

I don’t really know if she was happy or not, of course. I don’t even know if she was capable of happiness or, if she was, whether her brand of happiness resembled mine, a human’s. I can’t fully empathize with her without anthropomorphizing her, projecting onto her my inner world. I can’t put myself in her shoes, even had she had any.

Still, there is a lot to learn from Freddush when it comes to being content with life and its offerings.

But was my
goldfish’s life meaningful?


Speaker at the International Webinar on “Addiction, Psychiatry & Mental Health” scheduled during March 17-19, 2021.


Invitation letter to serve as the keynote Speaker at the International Webinar on “Psychiatry and Mental Health 2021" on February 17-19, 2021.


Lecture at the Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Canada, January 22, 2021

I will discuss my new concepts of covert borderline and the bridge between overt and covert cluster B states via collapse and narcissistic mortification.

My lectures and presentations are also made available on my YouTube channel. Watch the latest ones there.

Speaker in other international conferences on psychology, psychiatry, mental health, and neuroscience:


We assume erroneously that some roles are instinctual because, in nature, other species do it, too: parenting and mating come to mind. The discipline of sociobiology encourages us to counterfactually learn from animals about our social functioning.

But humans and their societies are so much more complex that there is little we can evince from lobsters, chimpanzees, or gorillas.

In nature, there is "male" and "female", not "man" and "woman" which are learned and acquired gender roles. There is no "mother" and "father", even among apes - just progenitors.

To fulfill any of these demanding and multifarious human functions, we must be exposed to good enough and working role models in childhood and then practice tirelessly through adulthood, constantly reframing and evolving as demands and expectations change with social mores and the times. Evolution in the human species is no longer predominantly genetic - but social and cultural.

So, many people simply don't know how to act as men or as women, as mothers or as fathers. Here, faking it never makes it.


Victims of prolonged abuse often introject (internalize) their abusers and convert them into permanent persecutory objects. Henceforth, they trauma bond with this inner tormenting voice even when the original bully is long out of their lives.

Victimhood becomes a cozy comfort zone and the victims is emotionally invested (cathected) in maintaining it pristine and operational. It becomes a determinant of the victim's identity and helps her to regulate her emotions and ameliorate her anxiety and mood lability.

Perpetual victimhood serves four indispensable psychological needs:

1. It restores a sense of agency and self-efficacy and reverts the locus of control from external to internal. Many victims garner attention and make money from their newly found "profession";

2. It makes sense of the victim's personal history and of the world around her thereby rendering them meaningful: structure, order, and even a sense of "karmic" justice are restored;

3. It legitimizes avoidant behaviors. The world out there is challenging and painful: shunning it guarantees tranquility and an inert peace of mind;

4. Victimhood allows the victim to indulge her grandiosity and sense of moral superiority: it paints her as immaculate, angelic, empathic, supportive, loving, caring, compassionate, and, in short, perfect, blesmishless, and blameless. It is a morality play or a crusade and she is the warrior angel fighting off the demonic narcissists.

Victimhood affords the victim membership in tight-knit communities of like-minded people and a sense of belonging and being finally understood, vindicated, and elevated. It is an intoxicating mix and victims become aggressive if and when you try to take it away from them by alerting them to their own imperfections and contributions to their sad state of affairs.

With one or two laudable exceptions, unscrupulous "coaches" and "experts" online seek to perpetuate this state of victimhood: telling your clients what they want to hear and what they are willing to pay for is good for business. The truth and healing have a negative effect on their burgeoning bottom lines.


I have just learned that Rafi Eitan, one of the most important figures in my early life has passed away last year. In the murky world of intelligence agencies, he was my guide and guardian angel and saved my bacon more than once - and my sister’s, later an important figure in Israel’s defense establishment in her own right.

Growing old is about losses: of body functions, of a mind obscured, of dreams unfulfilled, of opportunities missed.

But, above all, aging detaches you ever so incrementally from your context: values change, buildings get torn down, your peers and elders die.

Before you know it, you are all by yourself on an alien planet, surrounded by lifeforms whose behaviors, motivations, and language you cannot decipher. Horror.


Islam, Narcissism, and Women are the future (Men are obsolete). Both history and the human reaction to it are constant: narcissism (delusional fantasy) as a defense against the disorientation of a rapidly shifting reality and one's own insignificance. The solution is radical acceptance. Oh, Men are doomed: the future is feminine.

Convo with Karoline Gil.


Two wrongs never make you right.

If you cheat on your cheating narcissist - you are still a cheater.

If you abuse your abuser - you are an abuser yourself.

If you behave like a psychopath - then you are one.

If you mirror evil - you become it.

Stare into the abyss and it will consume you whole.

Being a victim is not a license to join the ranks of your tormentors.

Beware of self-righteousness and moral superiority: they are paving stones on the path to hell.


Biographies of great men invariably start with a physical description of their external appearance: Napoleon's height, Kennedy's youth, or Hitler's piercing eyes.

When I post videos, most of the comments refer to the color of my hair, whether I am handsome or reptilian, and do I look fatigued or rejuvenated.

The primitive circuitry of our brains is focused on mate selection and the propagation of our selfish genes. Looks matter because they convey inordinate amounts of instantly accessible information about our heredity, health, and constitution.

Nor is this preference temporary or limited to sexual, romantic, or intimate affairs.

Studies have shown that people who are physically attractive are employed much more often and earn much more money than their pedestrian, better qualified, competitors.


Important message: Victim - Do not Become Your Abuser!


In 1995, I coined the term “narcissistic abuse” and gave language and voice to its victims. Listen to the original article I had written back then.


Professional Victims - as distinct from healthy ones - tend to blame their childhood experiences for being eternal victims. Again, they are victims: this time, of their parents.

We must begin to accept that a victimhood stance is an integral part of a narcissistic identity: grandiose, entitled, and replete with alloplastic defenses (blaming others for your lot in life, bad choices, and failures).

Have happier, healthier, many more years to come. Stay hale and well and sane. Don't let yourself become that which you had feared the most.


Women often rediscover their femininity having been rejected by a narcissistic abusive bully. Regrettably, many of them degenerate into promiscuity coupled with substance abuse and end up with other predators in compromising situations which sometimes end in sexual assault.

Women tend to internalize (introject) the abuser and merge with him, thus adopting his judgment that they are damaged goods, broken, crazy, and inadequate, a bad, unworthy object.

Their subsequent histrionic escapades are partly intended to vindicate this harsh and hopeless verdict and, in a way, bond with the abuser’s voice and keep him in their lives, albeit vicariously and symbolically.

By emulating the abuser, these women merge and fuse with him. They also self-trash and punish themselves for their bad judgment and bad lot in life by objectifying and cheapening themselves.

The more egregiously they misbehave, the closer they adhere to their abuser’s creed, the more likely they are to spiral and lapse into reckless and self-destructive behaviour patterns.


In the film “The Nest”, Rory (Jude Law) is a narcissist and a con artist. Everything about him is fake and everyone sees right through him. His mother, wary of his abrupt reappearance after years of absence, refuses to visit and finally meet her 10-years old grandson. His business partners shun him, embarrassed by his tacky bragging and his breezy and reckless lack of attention to detail. His wife exposes him to his colleagues and clients and then proceeds to get drunk in a bar and probably have a one night stand. He lives way beyond his means. “I pretend to be rich”, he admits. His children parent him and distrust him profoundly. A taxi driver contemptuously evicts him from his vehicle, miles away from his home, having heard his confession: “You just told me that you are broke and a liar,” – he expostulates – “how do I know that you will pay the fare?”

Rory never learns from his recurrent downfalls or admits to wrongdoing, always fantasizes at others’ expense. To act decent is still to act and he prefers his personal thespian production to anything anyone – society, his wife, his boss, his colleague – has to tell him. He is defiant because he firmly believes that everyone fakes and only a few get caught. Why succumb to social mores and moral values? People who do are equally false. Being upright and righteous is their spiel – being Rory is his.

This is why and where therapy fails with narcissists: any modification of behavior is perceived as forced and pretended, as ersatz as any narcissistic tantrum and confabulation. Devoid of empathy and with his access to positive emotions blocked, the narcissist cannot accept any values or prescriptions or even advice from the outside. It is all a game anyhow – might as well rig the rules in my favor, he thinks to himself, smirking with disdain at the sheeple who can’t see through the façade of society and its levers of control.


Answering questions posed by the members of the Facebook group "Sam Vaknin's Party Boat of Harsh Truths". Join the group now!

Allegory of Sam.

View the original and read the accompanying text 


A good therapist is less interested in WHAT the client says and more in WHY she chooses to express herself via the specific narrative that she had selected (out of many which are equally possible and plausible).

The practitioner can learn about the client's resistances, defense mechanisms, cognitive deficits and biases, and emotional regulation from her speech acts and their contents.

Far more telling, relevant, and important are her choices, actions, repetitive patterns, and how she structures her life.

Often, the client belies, defies, and disagrees with what her personal history indisputably reveals about her. But such a defensive posture is to be expected - and ignored. This is one case when the client is rarely right, whether female or male.


I am good at what I do and my fees reflect this fact. When I advise my clients that, in their particular case or with regards to a particular issue, they can secure the same outcomes by resorting to a more affordable counsellor, they get offended and bristle at me.

Such reactions used to mystify me: why get angry at me for being honest and transparent about options? After all, in this time of economic hardship, I am only trying to minimize the expenditures of my charges.

A female client explained it to me: “Both a jalope (old, dilapidated car) and a Porsche can get you from point A to point B. But I have worked hard and long to be able to deserve a Porsche.”

Narcissists feel entitled to special treatment by the top honchos in every field. Only the best for them! It is a part of their grandiosity. They feel humiliated and rejected when they have to settle for less - even when identical favorable results are guaranteed at a much lower cost.

As I said: narcissism is a nauseating cocktail of stupidity and irrationality.

Find your shadow and the shadows of people around you – even of institutions and collectives - in one (or more!) of these types.

Everyone has a “shadow”: a dark side (with some positive elements) in the unconscious where all things uncomfortable, repressed, denied, and ego dystonic go.


Inner dialog: be somebody+do something of your life.

Translation: Don’t be yourself and treat your life as raw material or a passive object.

Relative positioning (like social media): Anxiety, depression.

Introjects: voices (example: inner critic or superego which could be prosocial or sadistic).

Socialization and its agents (parents, role models, peers and their pressure to conform, institutions, mass media).

Map of Happiness.

Subject inner dialog to scrutiny as you would a scientific theory:


Ego-syntony (not happiness!)



To qualify as a "psychological" (both meaningful and instrumental) plot, the narrative, offered to the patient by the therapist, must be:

a. All-inclusive (anamnetic) – It must encompass, integrate and incorporate all the facts known about the protagonist.

b. Coherent – It must be chronological, structured and causal.

c. Consistent – Self-consistent (its subplots cannot contradict one another or go against the grain of the main plot) and consistent with the observed phenomena (both those related to the protagonist and those pertaining to the rest of the universe).

d. Logically compatible – It must not violate the laws of logic both internally (the plot must abide by some internally imposed logic) and externally (the Aristotelian logic which is applicable to the observable world).

e. Insightful (diagnostic) – It must inspire in the client a sense of awe and astonishment which is the result of seeing something familiar in a new light or the result of seeing a pattern emerging out of a big body of data. The insights must constitute the inevitable conclusion of the logic, the language, and of the unfolding of the plot.

f. Aesthetic – The plot must be both plausible and "right", beautiful, not cumbersome, not awkward, not discontinuous, smooth, parsimonious, simple, and so on.

g. Parsimonious – The plot must employ the minimum numbers of assumptions and entities in order to satisfy all the above conditions.



The important elements of testability, verifiability, refutability, falsifiability, and repeatability – are all largely missing from psychological theories and plots. No experiment could be designed to test the statements within the plot, to establish their truth-value and, thus, to convert them to theorems or hypotheses in a theory.

There are four reasons to account for this inability to test and prove (or falsify) psychological theories:

1. Ethical – Experiments would have to be conducted, involving the patient and others. To achieve the necessary result, the subjects will have to be ignorant of the reasons for the experiments and their aims. Sometimes even the very performance of an experiment will have to remain a secret (double blind experiments). Some experiments may involve unpleasant or even traumatic experiences. This is ethically unacceptable.

2. The Psychological Uncertainty Principle – The initial state of a human subject in an experiment is usually fully established. But both treatment and experimentation influence the subject and render this knowledge irrelevant. The very processes of measurement and observation influence the human subject and transform him or her - as do life's circumstances and vicissitudes.

3. Uniqueness – Psychological experiments are, therefore, bound to be unique, unrepeatable, cannot be replicated elsewhere and at other times even when they are conducted with the SAME subjects. This is because the subjects are never the same due to the aforementioned psychological uncertainty principle. Repeating the experiments with other subjects adversely affects the scientific value of the results.

4. The undergeneration of testable hypotheses – Psychology does not generate a sufficient number of hypotheses, which can be subjected to scientific testing. This has to do with the fabulous (=storytelling) nature of psychology. In a way, psychology has affinity with some private languages. It is a form of art and, as such, is self-sufficient and self-contained. If structural, internal constraints are met – a statement is deemed true even if it does not satisfy external scientific requirements.



May it be.

Be it as it may ...

A happier new year to you all.


Jordan Peterson faithfully echoes every single argument Christopher Lasch has made in the 1970s.


The Narcissistic Tide/Epidemic: It is safe to define narcissism as a shift of emphasis from substance and essence to appearance and spectacle (Guy Debord’s “Society of the Spectacle”). To do so means to render narcissism an organizing principle of the entirety of our civilization. Even fields which seem immune to the vagaries of the human psyche are subject to narcissism.


The rising tide of narcissism is compensatory: as social institutions crumble, role models are dethroned, gatekeepers are decried and derided, narratives unravel, and communities dissipate, people find themselves in the throes of disintermediated atomization within increasingly anomic societies. Existential loneliness in a senseless universe conflicts with the primordial, atavistic need to be seen. We all struggle to be noticed at any cost to ourselves and to others because the gaze of the Other affirms our very quiddity and survival.


"The new narcissist is haunted not by guilt but by anxiety. He seeks not to inflict his own certainties on others but to find a meaning in life. Liberated from the superstitions of the past, he doubts even the reality of his own existence. Superficially relaxed and tolerant, he finds little use for dogmas of racial and ethnic purity but at the same time forfeits the security of group loyalties and regards everyone as a rival for the favors conferred by a paternalistic state. His sexual attitudes are permissive rather than puritanical, even though his emancipation from ancient taboos brings him no sexual peace. Fiercely competitive in his demand for approval and acclaim, he distrusts competition because he associates it unconsciously with an unbridled urge to destroy. Hence he repudiates the competitive ideologies that flourished at an earlier stage of capitalist development and distrusts even their limited expression in sports and games. He extols cooperation and teamwork while harboring deeply antisocial impulses. He praises respect for rules and regulations in the secret belief that they do not apply to himself. Acquisitive in the sense that his cravings have no limits, he does not accumulate goods and provisions against the future, in the manner of the acquisitive individualist of nineteenth-century political economy, but demands immediate gratification and lives in a state of restless, perpetually unsatisfied desire."


(Christopher Lasch - The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an age of Diminishing Expectations, 1979)


Every person has an inner text to which s/he compares every information emanating from his/her environment in order to determine what is missing and what had been purposefully omitted.

With the exception of Nietzsche, no other madman has contributed so much to human sanity as has Louis Althusser.


In 2004, I passed the Brainbench Counselling Techniques test.

My certificate (enlarge the image) states:

“Scored higher than 99 percent of all previous test takers.

Demonstrates understanding of most advanced concepts within the subject area. Appears capable of mentoring others on the most complex projects.


Counselling Techniques

Differential Diagnosis

Weak Areas

None Noted

Sub-category Scores

Conceptual 4.0
Problem-solving 5.0
Terminology and syntax 4.0

Weighted average score 4.6"

The testers note that I took only 37 seconds to answer each question, completing the certification exam in under 25 minutes.


New study, “The Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood: The Personality Construct and its Consequences”.

All narcissists are collapsed and suffer from the Impostor Syndrome

Problem of attribution: many internal objects used to be external. Confusion leads to narcissism or to psychosis.

The Typology of inner objects corresponds to Jungian archetypes:

Self as the authentic voice (in attribution)

Jung: "The shadow, the wise old man, the child, the mother ... and her counterpart, the maiden, and lastly the anima in man and the animus in woman".

Sex (vulnerability, life)
Death (Thanatos) imbues all of them

Narcissist collapsed state is outcome of such disruption in inner dialog: sadistic perfectionist inner critic superego sets him up for failure posing unattainable unrealistic goals.

In adversity and crisis, the narcissist becomes psychotic (Kernberg): he misperceives this voice (persecutory object) as external (projects it) and feels victimized.

We project inner dialog whenever we are triggered to revividness (i.e., an external object INITIATES direct communication with internal object). PTSD is a form of psychosis (hence flashbacks).

We introject inner dialog whenever we are traumatized (i.e., internal INITIATES communication with an external object), which is why trauma leads to narcissism (CPTSD/BPD).

Solution: Splitting.

Splitting leads to dissociation:

Depersonalization, derealization (where the splitting prevents the construction of a healthy inner dialogue): we are all bad and "killed" symbolically); OR

amnesia (we are all good and environment "killed" symbolically).

Addictions provide such dissociated splitting in neurotypicals.


Happiness comes naturally, from the inside.

It is a slow, steady, and safe unfolding, not the ephemeral pyrotechnics of fireworks.

It never depends on anything external.

It cannot be bought - or sold.

It is a state of mind, not a state of affairs.

It is self-love and self-acceptance without the narcissism.

It flowers in the least expected moments, brings to life the moribund, and refreshes the stale.

Happiness is Being AND Nothingness at once.


Nothing is more sad and lonely than having casual sex in order to feel less sad and lonely.

Nothing is more deceitful than brutal honesty: it pretends to offer empathy and succor, but is mere camouflaged sadism.

Nothing is more vainglorious than false modesty and pseudo-humility.

Nothing is more hateful than the ineluctable expiry of love.

Nothing is more wrong than being right all the time.

Nothing is faster than life or slower than dying.

Nothing is more attractive than the self-sufficient, nothing more repellent than the clinging and the needy.

Nothing is more corrupt than conformity and nothing more noble than being oneself.

Nothing is more dignified than honoring others.

Nothing is more hopeful than what we already have.

Nothing is more blind than merely observing and nothing more deaf than merely hearing.

Nothing is more present than the past. Nothing less certain than the future.

No gift is greater than a smile and no harm is more deleterious than rejection.

No risk is grander and no reward more substantial than to live life to its fullest. Only the craven and the foolish extol death or asceticism as bravery or wisdom.

Reality is in our mind alone and what is out there is solely what we make of it.

Go forth to this New Year and make it love you. The way out is your only entrance.


Learn more by reading Habermas, Fukuyama, and Foucault. All justice-seeking movements start with grievances (injustices). They decry and seek to remedy and reverse individual transgression (eg, the narcissistic abuse online movement) or societal and cultural biases (implicit and explicit), discrimination, and suppression.

The victims organize themselves around exclusionary identity politics and intersectionality and this orientation results in grandiosity and entitlement, in other words: in growing narcissism. Increasingly more aggressive, these movements often become psychopathic (defiant and contumacious) and demonize the Other.

Recent studies have revealed a "victim identity (Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood, TIV) and the fact that many activists have psychopathic traits.

Left-leaning victimhood movements centre around claims on the majority, on social institutions, and on history. Right-wing movements are conspiracy-minded and avoidant, but also more violent. Narcissists and psychopaths gravitate to such movements in order to obtain narcissistic supply, money, power, and sex. They become the public faces and the media darlings on these hapless victims, having hijacked their legitimate complaints and demands.


Abuse Victim's New Year Resolutions

New Year resolutions are notoriously fragile and ephemeral. But victims of abuse cannot afford this cavalier attitude: their mental - and too often physical - health depends on strictly observing the following promises to themselves:

1. I will treat myself with dignity and demand respect from others. I will not allow anyone to disrespect me.

2. I will set clear boundaries and make known to others what I regard as permissible and acceptable behavior and what is out of bounds.

3. I will not tolerate abuse and aggression in any form or guise. I will seek to terminate such misconduct instantly and unequivocally.

4. I will be assertive and unambiguous about my needs, wishes, and expectations from others. I will not be arrogant - but I will be confident. I will not be selfish and narcissistic - but I will love and care for myself.

5. I will get to know myself better.

6. I will treat others as I want them to treat me. I will try to lead by way of self-example.

7. If I am habitually disrespected, abused, or if my boundaries are ignored and breached I will terminate the relationship with the abuser forthwith. Zero tolerance and no second chance will be my maxims of self-preservation.



Questions answered about narcissists, psychopaths, abusive relationships, and ... the Universe!

"Sam Vaknin’s Party Boat of Harsh Truths"



Q and A with Sam Vaknin answering the questions from Facebook Group.

Fascinating Answers and Amazing Insights ! ! !


Sam Vaknin’s Book, ‘Malignant Self-Love Narcissism Revisited’, from Amazon Books





Sam Vaknin’s Website:

Sam Vaknin’s work on Physics theories:

Chronon Field, Time Atoms, and Quantized Time: Time Asymmetry Re-Visited


When confronted about certain social practices, many dredge up examples from primitive societies and ancient cultures to buttress their case: "Promiscuity was the dominant sexual practice among the Tahitians!", they exclaim, "Our sexual exclusivity and monogamy are throwbacks to the dark Victorian age! Why get stuck on such fixations?"

Sociobiologists, ecologists, behaviorist psychologists, ethologists, and environmental activists keep reminding us that the way we act and our choices are "not natural". They legitimize as "only natural" misconduct that is normally and rightly frowned upon: "But chimpanzees and gorillas behave exactly the same way!", they triumphantly proclaim, "Why not revert to Nature? Surely billions of years of evolution can't be wrong!"

This romantic view of the noble savage and idealization of nature are counterfactual. Savages were and are just that: savage. Nature is nasty, brutish, and psychopathic.

We spent our entire history as a species decisively putting behind us our primitive unlamented ancestry, natural and societal. Mindless casual sex and cannibalism are best avoided, for example.

True, we are the custodians of Nature. But Guardians do not emulate (or harm!) their minor charges. We are the adults in the room. We should act as ones. We should preserve what we can, adhere to caution, use the rest. We should not deteriorate and degenerate by mimesis: we should make sure that we never become lobsters or primates.


Over 10,000 connections on Linkedin, 7,000 of whom are psychologists, psychiatrists, and neuroscientists.


In the aftermath of every major pandemic in history – the Black Death and Spanish flu included – the world had experienced a long period of unprecedented prosperity and irrational exuberance as efforts to rebuild coincided with a redistribution of wealth. In some cases, income inequality decreased (14th and 15th centuries) – in others, it skyrocketed dramatically (1920s).

COVID-19 is bound to segue into the same magnitude of economic rebound, but it is also likely to induce structural changes. Remote work will overtake work in physical locations, for example. Many tech giants have announced plans to dispense of most of their office space. This will have a huge destabilizing impact on construction and on commercial real estate. Automation and globalization - trends that commenced long before COVID-19 - will be catalyzed by it.

Family formation will languish further as both life expectancy and earning drop off a cliff. Entire industries, originally created to cater to the outsourced needs of families – first and foremost, education - will go into terminal inexorable decline. The only exception will be healthcare.

The pandemic also exposed the stark divide between the dwindling and impoverished, hollowed out middle and working classes and the elite, centred around finance, technology, and retail. The record-breaking ascendance of the stock exchanges reflects this schism between main street and wall street.

The workforce of the future will be comprised of low-income, unskilled, dead end jobs on the one hand and well paying positions that require higher education and continued re-skilling throughout the lifespan.


The narcissist is prone to plagiarism and to absconding with other people’s ideas and life’s work. But this instantly creates a cognitive-axiological dissonance because, counterfactually, the narcissist considers himself to be a “good, morally upright person”.

An intelligent narcissist resolves this dissonance by confabulating and reframing: he convinces himself that the stolen goods were his to start with, he came up with these ideas independently and long before anybody else did. This alternative history makes him eligible for the fruits of labor that is not his. This kind of narcissist convinces himself that his manufactured lies are the only reality and envious folks are out to deprive and disenfranchise him.

Dumb narcissists know that they are less than stellar. This ego dystonic realization makes it impossible for them to recast their misdeeds as merely reclaiming what’s theirs. So, they resort to aggression and to suppressing the truth. In the process, they deploy a host of primitive defense mechanisms, such as splitting, projection, magical thinking, and denial. They are inexorably transformed by their own antisocial acts into primary psychopaths.


The collapsed somatic narcissist is incapable of leveraging his good looks, sculpted musculature, and sexual prowess to obtain narcissistic supply. If he is endowed with intelligence, he switches to the cerebral mode. If not, he becomes covert.

The etiology of such failure is complex. The narcissist may feel that he is engaging in a forbidden competition with a dominant parental figure. Or, he may have been rewarded in childhood for intellectual accomplishments while sex was decried as “dirty”.

In most cases, the failure is that of gender differentiation: the collapsed somatic narcissist is a latent homosexual or of fluid psychosexuality.

One possible outcome is celibacy or sexlessness within a relationship. Another solution is promiscuity (usually coupled with substance abuse). If the narcissist fails at both the somatic and the cerebral types, he undergoes mortification and becomes covert for good. If he has strong histrionic or borderline features, he is more likely to become a psychopath (secondary or primary) or a covert borderline.


Interview in Kanal 77 about the shape of things to come after the pandemic


The narcissist’s shared fantasy occurs with any type of source of supply of any kind (primary or secondary): friends, family, business associates, and intimate partners.

Grandiose narcissists react to animosity, contempt, and hostility by disengaging from the offender(banning/blocking, not responding). Only in the case of a shared fantasy, do they attempt to first stalk the perceived transgressor or to hoover her before they relent and disengage.

The same subspecies of narcissist react with animosity, contempt, and hostility to any act of friendliness, mindless adulation, offered empathy, support, succor, or advice as well as to any attempt at intimacy, including sexual advances. They regard such overtures and gestures as presumptuous, narcissistically injurious, and impertinent impositions.

Their ideal narcissistic supply source is commoditized and anonymous (faceless audience in lectures, views on videos). Their ideal sadistic supply (victim) on the other hand, is personal and intimate.


The collapsed somatic narcissist is incapable of leveraging his good looks, sculpted musculature, and sexual prowess to obtain narcissistic supply. If he is endowed with intelligence, he switches to the cerebral mode. If not, he becomes covert.

The etiology of such failure is complex. The narcissist may feel that he is engaging in a forbidden competition with a dominant parental figure. Or, he may have been rewarded in childhood for intellectual accomplishments while sex was decried as “dirty”.

In most cases, the failure is that of gender differentiation: the collapsed somatic narcissist is a latent homosexual or of fluid psychosexuality.

One possible outcome is celibacy or sexlessness within a relationship. Another solution is promiscuity (usually coupled with substance abuse). If the narcissist fails at both the somatic and the cerebral types, he undergoes mortification and becomes covert for good. If he has strong histrionic or borderline features, he is more likely to become a psychopath (secondary or primary) or a covert borderline.


The holidays season should be a time of family get-togethers, love shared, and relatives and friends brought up to date. Holidays are supposed to be the reification of that contradiction in terms: mass or group intimacy.

Instead, for victims of family violence and abuse, the holidays are recurring nightmares, replete with danger and duplicity, a theater of the absurd with menacing overtones. This is especially true when the offender also has Narcissistic or Antisocial Personality Disorders. It is important to understand the mindset of such abusers.



Judging vs. Understanding (Spinoza)

Chair work:

Think about your identity and your life.

Now apply these answers to yourself, but this time, try to play both parties:

Think of yourself as a victim

And then

Think of yourself as your abuser.

Korsakoff patients, memory, identity, and confabulation in The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks

Prepare your brain as a fount of meaning in Meet Me at Infinity by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon)


March 2016 interview I gave to American Thinker:

"AW: Is it your considered opinion that Donald Trump would represent a significant danger were he to become president of the United States of America and if so, how?

Vaknin: You just have to look at Trump's business history to extrapolate America's future under a President Trump. Narcissists are unstable and go through repeated cycles of self-destruction (with other people usually paying the heft of the price). Narcissists tend to be divisive, vindictive, confrontational, aggressive, hate-filled, raging, incoherent, judgment-impaired, and irrational. Narcissists are junkies: they are addicted to attention ("Narcissistic Supply") and will go to any extreme to secure it. Narcissists are liars, confabulators, and miserable failures (although some of them, like Trump, are geniuses at disguising the fact that they are, in fact, losers). Is this the kind of person you want in the White House?"


Announcing my interview on Kanal 77 tomorrow about the shape of things to come, the world after the pandemic.


How does the narcissist cope when he can no longer obtain supply because all his sources have dried up or because he is unable to establish a new PNS owing to external circumstances or to internal constraints (he is covert)?

The narcissist then resorts to self-delusion. Unable to completely ignore contrarian opinion and data - he transmutes them. Unable to face the dismal failure that he is, the narcissist partially withdraws from reality. To soothe and salve the pain of disillusionment, he administers to his aching soul a mixture of lies, distortions, half-truths and outlandish interpretations of events around him. These solutions can be classified thus:

The Delusional Narrative Solution

The Antisocial Solution

The Paranoid Schizoid Solution

The Paranoid Aggressive (Explosive) Solution

The Masochistic Avoidant Solution


Some narcissists are not gregarious because they have a comorbid Schizoid Personality Disorder or because life pushed them to become schizoid (see next video). They avoid social events and are stay-at-home recluses. Doesn't this behaviour go against the grain of narcissism?

Howard H. Goldman (Ed.) in the "Review of General Psychiatry" [4th Edition. London, Prentice Hall International, 1995]:

"The person with Schizoid Personality Disorder sustains a fragile emotional equilibrium by avoiding intimate personal contact and thereby minimising conflict that is poorly tolerated."

Schizoid narcissists are not covert narcissists:

1. Covert narcissists are shy and anxious and convert their social dysfunction into an ideology;

2. Covert narcissists react emotionally to negative and positive supply;

3. Narcissists engage in sex and enjoy it.

Admittedly, they use sex only in order to acquire a potential partner for a shared fantasy. If someone is deemed to not be a potential partner or once the partner is acquired, narcissists become asexual. They remain sexually active within a dyad only to forestall abandonment.

If the schizoid narcissist is also a sadist, the sex is kinky and revolves around despoiling the partner (who accepts it and compromises her needs).

The schizoid somatic narcissist is autoerotic and uses his sex partners for self-gratification and as a form of narcissistic supply.


The narcissist is indiscriminate and promiscuous in his mate selection: anyone would do if she provides him with 2 of the 3 Ss (sex, sadistic and narcissistic supply, and services).

Codependency and trauma are not objective but subjective: states of mind, not states of affairs.

Codependency is a pattern of reactions to the presence of an abuse and the promise of abuse (comfort zone): intimate partner regulates emotions, moods, and mediates dialog among introjects.

Abuser and victim are each other’s instruments.


Narcissistic and schizoid disorders of the self are one and the same and both can lead to psychosis. We all start life as traumatized schizoids and envious narcissists, but, then, our anomic civilization does everything underhanded to keep us this way into adulthood and leverage our dysfunctions and misery for social control and profits.


Multiple studies have shown that both men and women miss the overwhelming majority of flirting cues and behaviors. Men flirt to score (have sex), women flirt in order to feel connected, have fun, and reaffirm their desirability.

Styles of courting and flirting prefigure the type and quality of the ensuing sex: direct and transactional flirting indicates brutal and self-interested copulation.

Subtle though unambiguous flirting, especially one based on a fantasy or fairy narrative (fabulous) is creative, imaginative, indirect, and puts the woman at the centre as a damsel in distress, diva, goddess, or princess. Women use two bits of data to proceed to sex: 1. Is he nice and kind to me and 2. Does he find me irresistible. Contrary to myths online, everything else matters very little.

Such complex flirting guarantees orgasm: women react to clitoral stimulation, role play, fantasies, and dirty talk much more than to thrust, Sturm und Drang. Diplomacy wins in the sack with women, not a military campaign.

Schizoids and some types of narcissists (sadistic, for example) find flirting and courting excruciatingly boring, wasteful, and off-putting chores. They are auto-erotic and merely wish to use the woman’s body to masturbate with.


Much like the autistic person, the narcissist is oblivious to adverse events and misbehavior occurring right under his nose.

The cerebral narcissist fails to notice even when - in his presence! - his intimate partner flirts with another man and arranges an assignation! Triangulation is wasted on him.

This oversight is not only because he doesn’t mind or care (as long as he is not threatened with abandonment), but because he is insensitive to sexual and social cues and misinterprets them unless and until they become too conspicuous and potent to ignore.

The narcissist’s extreme imperviousness to cues is owing to his self-absorption, boredom, barebones transactional approach to the relationship, and to his lack of empathy.

Similarly the narcissist assiduously filters out or reframes information counterfactually in order to fend off anxiety and to preserve the shared fantasy with his evidently straying partner.

He acts the gullible and the naive until he is threatened with abandonment - at which point he is abruptly transformed into an astute and discerning (almost psychic) observer and an interpreter of events and misconduct in his human environment.

One of the main drivers of narcissistic mortification is the realization that such extreme lack of awareness to his surroundings represents an existential threat. The cerebral narcissist is forced to wonder with mounting trepidation: What else have I been missing, both positive and negative?


SF=Shared Fantasy AND Science Fiction. From androids to actroids, affective computing to the Turing Test, uncanny valley to same-race bias, mimicry to symbiosis - learn how the narcissist dupes and lures you into his shared fantasy.

Pollyana defenses (naive, gullible, counterfactual): base rate fallacy (everyone is telling the truth most of the time), people are good.

Malignant optimism: exceptionalism ("he is not that bad"), savior complex ("I am going to save, fix, and heal him").

This is a universal delusion: we have no access to other minds, but we develop a theory of mind via mentalization, adhere to the intersubjectivity agreement, and pretend that empathy gets it right.

From "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited":

"Narcissists and psychopaths use cold empathy to fake the full-fledged kind and emotions.

The weaker variety of narcissist tries to emulate and simulate "emotions" – or, at least their expression, the external facet (affect). They mimic and replicate the intricate pantomime that they learn to associate with the existence of feelings. But there are no real emotions there, no emotional correlate.

This is empty affect, devoid of emotion. This being so, the narcissist quickly tires of it, becomes impassive and begins to produce inappropriate affect (e.g., he remains indifferent when grief is the normal reaction). The narcissist subjects his feigned emotions to his cognition. He "decides" that it is appropriate to feel so and so. His "emotions" are invariably the result of analysis, goal setting and planning.

He substitutes "remembering" for "sensing". He relegates his bodily sensations, feelings and emotions to a kind of a memory vault. The short and medium-term memory is exclusively used to store his reactions to his (actual and potential) Narcissistic Supply Sources.

He reacts only to such sources. The narcissist finds it hard to remember or recreate what he ostensibly - though ostentatiously - "felt" (even a short while back) towards a Narcissistic Supply Source once it has ceased to be one. In his attempts to recall his feelings, he draws a mental blank.


It is not that narcissists are incapable of expressing what we would tend to classify as "extreme emotional reactions". They mourn and grieve, rage and smile, excessively "love" and "care". But this is precisely what sets them apart: this rapid movement from one emotional extreme to another and the fact that they never occupy the emotional middle ground.


The narcissist is especially "emotional" when weaned off his drug of Narcissistic Supply. Breaking a habit is always difficult – especially one that defines (and generates) oneself. Getting rid of an addiction is doubly taxing. The narcissist misidentifies these crises with an emotional depth and his self-conviction is so immense, that he mostly succeeds to delude his environment, as well. But a narcissistic crisis (losing a Source of Narcissistic Supply, obtaining an alternative one, moving from one Narcissistic Pathological Space to another) – must never be confused with the real thing, which the narcissist never experiences: emotions.


Many narcissists have "emotional resonance tables". They use words as others use algebraic signs: with meticulousness, with caution, with the precision of the artisan. They sculpt in words the fine tuned reverberations of pain and love and fear. It is the mathematics of emotional grammar, the geometry of the syntax of passions. Devoid of all emotions, narcissists closely monitor people's reactions and adjust their verbal choices accordingly, until their vocabulary resembles that of their listeners. This is as close as narcissists get to empathy."


All narcissists end life in a schizoid state. In interpersonal relationships, they progress from narcissism (lovebombing/grooming) to abuse (or to sadism) to discard (schizoid). This is true also in their careers and in their general social engagement and attitude to the world, as narcissistic injuries and mortifications mount and reach an intolerable crescendo, causing extreme withdrawal and avoidance behaviors.

As distinct from the overt-classic narcissist, the schizoid, cerebral, sadistic, and covert types of narcissist prefer anonymized, faceless narcissistic supply. The sadist, though, derives sadistic supply also from one-on-one encounters.

Within the shared fantasy with an overt narcissist, the abuse is intended to test the partner and re-enact early childhood conflicts. But it has added functions in the case of the schizoid narcissist (to re-establish a solitary space by pushing the partner away), the sadist (to pleasurably inflict pain), the cerebral (to deny intimacy and forestall sex), and the covert (to establish dominance in a power play).

All types of narcissists mourn the permanent passing of the shared fantasy, never the loss of the counterparties involved in it. This is how they can transition so smoothly to a new mate/friend/business associate.


People are irrational. They often act without rhyme or reason, against their best interests, ignoring the consequences of their actions or inaction, and under a bewildering array of interacting internal and external stimuli too numerous or complex to identify or enumerate.

Overanalyzing is counterproductive. Most people are suggestible, aim to please and to conform, and prone to false memories. It behooves psychology to be way more humble and focus on dispensing good and tried advice on various life issues. It is as much a wannabe science as it is a form of glorified literature and should know its place.

The Japanese call non-grandiose thinking: mono no aware.

Weakness of character is indistinguishable from evil. Weak people cowardly sacrifice moral principles and values, are often highly suggestible, are eager to please and conform at any cost, and unthinkingly follow the mighty and the rich wherever they may lead them.

The main preoccupation of the weak is how to abrogate responsibilities and obligations and surrender their freedom of action and free will to strong men and institutions.

Weakness entails corruption, compromise, deception, and dependence as well as the ability to morph and shapeshift in order to fit in. The weak are amorphous and fuzzy, they cannot be trusted because they have no core or identity. They are easily swayed and end up committing the most appalling transgressions against themselves and others, even their nearest, dearest, and loved ones.

I perceive stupidity as intentional abandonment, a form of aggression.

Stupidity is threat when coupled with conspiracism or narcissism

I cannot accept reality that Mankind is divided to dumb and dumber. This inability is in itself profound stupidity.

How the Stupid Took Over the World



My YouTube channels:

Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Abuse in Relationships (samvaknin)

World in Conflict and Transition (vakninmusings)

NEW CHANNEL Nothingness: Antidote to Narcissism.


Financial Times "When Narcissism Becomes Pathological":

"Jose Romero-Urcelay is a forensic psychiatrist and the director of therapies at the Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorders unit at Broadmoor, West London Mental Health Trust. He confirms Vaknin’s theory that pathological narcissists are drawn to careers in finance, law and politics. He also treats numerous patients with narcissistic personality disorder. “It is crucial,” he says, “to distinguish between narcissistic traits, which may be advantageous – such as confidence, a need to get to the top, the need for praise – and NPD. Those with personality disorders are exploitative, and likely to cause significant distress to others.”

Typically, this takes the form of emotional abuse. The narcissist’s insatiable quest for attention (what Vaknin was the first to describe as “narcissistic supply”), leads him or her to seek out a steady source of admiration. Where that is in short supply, the narcissist prefers to inspire fear or hatred than suffer the nightmare of being ignored. And unable to empathise, they are indifferent to the consequences of hurting people."

Jaume Plensa’s “Behind the Walls”. It is a new installation on campus outside of the University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor Michigan.


Is Holmes a high functioning sociopath? Actually he is a schizoid narcissist
Poirot? The same. Both cloak their sadism as moral uprightness.

Are personality disorders merely culture bound diagnoses?

Psychopathy as self-state, protective ego resource in DID, BPD (secondary), NPD, HPD, PPD.

Philip Bromberg's work.

Decompensation owing to intolerable anticipated or actual stress or trauma (CPTSD/PTSD): grandiose and fantasy defenses crumble and lead to acting out or to suicide.

Emergence of a psychopathic protective self-state (same in DID).

But protect from what?

NPD: injury, mortification (hypervigilance) leads to contact with trauma traces, repressed emotions - NPD becomes BPD (Grotstein: BPD failed narcissist).

PPD: threat (paranoid ideation, persecutory delusions)

BPD: abandonment, rejection

HPD: rejection, injury

When the protective self overactive or is the only self-state/resource, we get hybrids types (comorbidity) like the malignant narcissist (Fromm, Herbert Rosenfeld, Kernberg).

Millon's Unprincipled Narcissist, Disingenuous Histrionic, and Impulsive Borderline.


Intimacy Retarding Paranoia

Paranoia is use by the narcissist to ward off or reverse intimacy. The narcissist is threatened by intimacy because it reduces him to ordinariness by exposing his weaknesses and shortcomings and by causing him to act "normally". The narcissist also dreads the encounter with his deep buried emotions - hurt, envy, anger, aggression - likely to be foisted on him in an intimate relationship.

The paranoid narrative legitimizes intimacy repelling behaviours such as keeping one's distance, secrecy, aloofness, reclusion, aggression, intrusion on privacy, lying, desultoriness, itinerancy, unpredictability, and idiosyncratic or eccentric reactions. Gradually, the narcissist succeeds to alienate and wear down all his friends, colleagues, well-wishers, and mates.

Even his closest, nearest, and dearest, his family - feel emotionally detached and "burnt out".

The paranoid narcissist ends life as an oddball recluse - derided, feared, and loathed in equal measures. His paranoia - exacerbated by repeated rejections and ageing - pervades his entire life and diminishes his creativity, adaptability, and functioning. The narcissist personality, buffeted by paranoia, turns ossified and brittle. Finally, atomized and useless, it succumbs and gives way to a great void. The narcissist is consumed.

Counterintuitively, with paranoid intimate partners, it is better to share everything and to be utterly and unmitigatingly honest. No matter how bad and hurtful, reality always comforts them because it is so much less egregious and menacing than their own suspicions, paranoid scenarios, and hypervigilance. The paranoid's best friend is reality and his worst enemy is his rampant, morbid, catastrophizing imagination.


She: I like (this man at work) a lot. I am attracted to him.

He: She is honest and trustworthy. If something happens with that man she will tell me. It is only human to be attracted to other people.



Narcissistic mortification is an extreme form of decompensation when all the narcissist’s defenses crumble as a result of a deeply traumatizing, challenging, and humiliating event.

The narcissist copes with mortification in one of two ways:

1. He renders it external, casting himself as the hapless victim of malicious, envious, mentally ill people. This preserves his self-image as good and morally upright, but leads to depression.

2. He renders it internal and accepts his contribution to the mortifying event and his ensuing responsibility. Such reframing restores his sense of mastery and control over the situation and others but results in hypervigilance, paranoid and referential ideation, and persecutory delusions.


Personality disorders are narratives that disguise and defend against discontinuities in identity and memory --- Impostor syndrome (false self covers for true self)---grandiosity, hypervigilance, referential ideation --- suspiciousness --- persecutory delusions and paranoid ideation --- persecutory object.

Persecutory object is an internal object that represents the intimate partner or others.

If others, the intimate partner can collude in the delusion or oppose it. If she opposes it, she becomes the persecutory object.

If the intimate partner is the persecutory object, she can collude (accept her role and act accordingly to conform to expectations) or oppose it by redirecting the suspicions at others, including family members.

Mortification, when rendered external leads to paranoia and when internal leads to depression.


Collapse and mortification, therefore, seem to regulate both affectivity (moods) and switching between self-states (“diagnoses”).


Narcissistic mortification is an extreme form of decompensation when all the narcissist’s defenses crumble as a result of a deeply traumatizing, challenging, and humiliating event.

Mortification: event, dissociation, processing the event cognitively and emotionally (unconscious), choice of external or internal response

Trauma: event, automatic (traumatic) response, processing the event cognitively and emotionally (unconscious), dissociation

narcissist copes with mortification in one of two ways:

1. He renders it external, casting himself as the hapless victim of malicious, envious, mentally ill people. This preserves his self-image as good and morally upright, but leads to depression.

2. He renders it internal and accepts his contribution to the mortifying event and his ensuing responsibility. Such reframing restores his sense of mastery and control over the situation and others (neurotic autoplastic solution).

Both choices result in hypervigilance, paranoid and referential ideation, and persecutory delusions.

Collapse and mortification, therefore, seem to regulate both affectivity (moods) and switching between self-states (“diagnoses”).

Challenge to his grandiosity: hoover you and then, when he succeeds, IMMEDIATELY dump you vindictively.

1. Reaffirm his grandiosity ("I am irresistible")

2. Punish you for your "transgressions"

3. Teach you to "behave yourself" in the future (like housebreaking a pet).


I have only contempt for the brain dead proponents and propagators of lowbrow conspiracy theories. But I must admit that I am bothered by several unprecedented features of this virus:

1. Coronaviruses - especially huge ones, like SARS Cov-2 - mutate very slowly, much more slowly than their influenza cousins, for example.

Yet, this virus had mutated thousands of times already. Twelve of these mutations led to a substantial modifications of its most critical weapon of intrusion and transmissibility: its spike.

These mutations occurred on three continents simultaneously within the space of 3 months.

By comparison: the "Spanish" flu virus garnered only one substantial mutation after 2 years, having infected 1 billion people worldwide. Luckily, the error in replicating reduced its virulence.

Possibly, the COVID-19 virus is mutating so fast because it had been subjected to selective pressure owing to the lockdowns - as I had repeatedly warned it would in March and April last year.

2. The interspecies barrier is formidable and yet this virus hops across species effortlessly: bats, pangolins, humans, cats, tigers, mink, gorillas, dogs - all are welcome to be infected.

3. Animals very rarely infect humans (zoonosis). With this virus, humans - the exclusive carriers - are infecting animals. There isn't even a word to describe such a mode of transmission!


One of the main functions of the shared fantasy is to project to the world a façade of normalcy and equally, to self-delude the narcissist that he is all but normal. It is a form of virtue signalling.


The disintegration of the shared fantasy exposes the narcissist and others to the harsh reality: he is mentally ill and his family or firm are precariously balanced houses of cards.

As humanity is becoming increasingly more grandiose and entitled,
puberty is extended well into one’s 20s (Twenge and Campbell). Boomerang kids live with their parents and continue their interminable “education” well into their 30s. Marriage, sex, and childbearing are distant memories. Even computers and the Internet reflect these trends: they nanny and discipline us (see my post about “nanny computing”). Not only do we all refuse to grow up and assume adult chores and responsibilities (Peter Pan Syndrome or Puer Aeternus), but we elect puerile leaders who cater to our pathological needs. Postmodern, post-industrial civilization is one gigantic shared fantasy and the pandemic has, therefore, led to global mortification.

We are reacting to this mortification as all adolescents do: we look for our missing parents. Some deny reality and try to continue with the old normal (“hoover” the various partners – individual and institutional - in our shattered shared fantasy). Others rebel against parental figures and become antisocial: defiant, impulsive, callous, and reckless. But the majority are cowed into unthinking submission, a type of conformity common to adolescents faced with a threat or with the unsavory outcomes of their misconduct.


Passive-aggressive and ornery employees, suppliers, clients, managers, consultants, or bosses are of little value to the firm regardless of their qualifications.

Your value to the enterprise lies not merely in your professional qualifications (training, skills, experience) or input.

Corporate structures are far more interested in your abilities to:

Act as a part of a team and to tolerate inevitable friction, injustice, and inefficiencies

Communicate your concerns in a non-confrontational manner

Place the interest of the enterprise above yours

Inspire positivity in others and motivate them

Get things done without undue disruptions or obstructionism (passive-aggression)

Avoid entitlement

Maintain a realistic view of yourself, your capacities, value to the organization, contributions, both yours and others's (avoid delusional grandiosity).


Swipe left: YouTube used to recommend each of my videos to MILLIONS of users.

Then I made the mistake of criticizing the way government mishandled COVID, Black Lives Matter, MeToo, fake “gurus”, “coaches”, and self-styled “experts” online, and the pernicious movement of the covert narcissists who call themselves “empaths”.

Thuggish psychopathic Facebook reacted by simply denying me access to my erstwhile Instagram account 
@vakninsamnarcissist and cutting off the dissemination of my posts on Facebook: no one sees them anymore.

YouTube is more like a passive-aggressive covert narcissist.

YouTube now no longer shows my videos in search results (search for “narcissism” to see what I mean).

YouTube is now not recommending my videos anymore except to users who have spent months watching other channels on narcissism.

As you can see, my latest video had been recommended to fewer than 93,000 users (compared to an average of 2 million historically).

Ironically, the number of subscribers to my channel has shot up from 85,000 to 135,000 and my CTR (Click Through Rate) has DOUBLED (in other words: twice as many users click on my videos on the rare occasions that they are recommended).

These platform are monopolies. They have severely undermined free speech and should be regulated, penalized, and broken up. Their current egregious misconduct is a dictatorship (technocracy): the unelected and unqualified few, armed with dumb AI softwares, are muzzling, silencing, and throttling anyone who dares to call the truth as they see it or to not toe the party line to maximum profits. These enterprises are evil and a menace, end of story: they should be confronted and reformed or taken down.


Before they delete this video: share, favorite, like, subscribe, and comment! Fight back!


Are personality disorders real? Or are they narratives intended to cope with trauma and disguise the resulting dissociation?


Amazing and inspiring real life story of how a comatose person with a locked-in syndrome wrote a book by batting a single eyelid - and what this tells us about the state of psychology as a wannabe pseudo-science.


Social media have become the playground of narcissists, psychopaths, and sadists who post extreme and, at times, illegal porn and revel in the reactions to it, thus garnering vicarious narcissistic supply. Via such postings, they express their rabid misogyny by objectifying women and subjecting them to humiliating subjugation and to aggression bordering on outright violence.

Protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, some of the content is illegal and can land even an accidental viewer in hot waters. Relatively innocuous search terms such as “family”, “wife”, “sister”, or “daddy” often yield sleazy and actionable photo and video results, displayed automatically on the user’s screen and saved to his or her browser cache without any warning or consent. Tumblr was not alone in this. Twitter, Mind, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, although to a lesser degree, also host porn on a massive scale.

Porn addiction ties well with the narcissist’s fantasy sex life. Social media enable and legitimize a host of sexual fetishes and paraphilias, including pedophilia. Via these platforms, the narcissist finds an eager audience and a sense of empowerment and immunity, aided and abetted by his anonymity.


Interview granted to Misty Harris of CanWest on February 23, 2005

Q. How might technology be enabling narcissism, particularly for the Internet generation?

A. To believe that the Internet is an unprecedented phenomenon with unique social implications is, in itself, narcissistic. The Internet is only the latest in a long series of networking-related technological developments. By definition, technology is narcissistic. It seeks to render us omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent - in other words, Godlike.

The Internet allows us to replicate ourselves and our words (through vanity desktop publishing, blogs, and posting online content on Web sites), to playact our favorite roles, to communicate instantly with thousands (narrowcasting), to influence others, and, in general, to realize some of our narcissistic dreams and tendencies.

Q. Why is it a bad thing to have a high opinion of yourself?

A. It is not a bad thing if it is supported by commensurate achievements. If the gap between fantasy and reality is too big, a dysfunction that we call "pathological narcissism" sets in.

Q. What does it say about our culture that we encourage narcissistic characteristics in people? (example: Paris Hilton - we made her a star for loving herself)

A. Celebrity culture is not a new thing. It is not a culture-dependent phenomenon. Celebrities fulfil two emotional functions for their fans: they provide a mythical narrative (a story that the fan can follow and identify with) and they function as blank screens onto which the fans project their dreams, hopes, fears, plans, values, and desires (wish fulfilment).

Western culture emphasizes ambition, competitiveness, materialism, and individualism. These admittedly are narcissistic traits and give the narcissist in our society an opening advantage.

But narcissism exists in a different form in collectivist societies as well. As Theodore Millon and Roger Davis state in their seminal tome, "Personality Disorders in Modern Life":

"In an individualistic culture, the narcissist is 'God's gift to the world'. In a collectivist society, the narcissist is 'God's gift to the collective'".


Pathological narcissism is a narrative intended to disguise discontinuities in memory and identity (post-traumatic dissociation). But it has another role: to glamorize dysfunction and elevate it to the level of an ideology of superiority.

Children with impaired and incompetent disorganized personality or with a self-defeating, ornery temperament are shunned, ridiculed, and bullied. To compensate for these painful experiences, they sometimes recast their freakish idiosyncracies as choices, thus restoring an internal locus of control.

Thus, the schizoid or autist boasts grandiosely about his self-sufficiency, emotional imperturbability, resilience, razor-sharp focus, extreme IQ, social selectivity, and asexuality. These render him superhuman in his eyes.

Similarly, the sadist brags about his altruism, rationality, invulnerability, perspicacity, and imperviousness to weakness and to pain.

Drill down to find that compensatory narcissism is merely the fantasy aggrandizing veneer superimposed on other mental health disorders and their harrowing lifelong costs.



Narcissist: By cheating on me with other men, you are rejecting me as a man! By abandoning and betraying me, you are rejecting me as a person!

Intimate Partner: You are never there either as a man or as person! I am cheating on your absence as a man and I am abandoning your absence, not you!

Narcissist: But I AM my absence!



Narcissism is a core feature of the personality: primary narcissism in infancy is critical to the formation of the self, healthy narcissism helps us to regulate our sense of self-worth and guarantees self-efficacy.


Like cancer, narcissism can become malignant and be triggered in its sick form by any trauma and in any mental illness. It acquires the features of the underlying primary core mental health issue and serves as an overlay (veneer, coat of paint). It is a misleading facade presented to the world - and to diagnosticians.


The narcissist's intimate partner regulates the flow of primary narcissistic supply. She shores over period of scant supply by providing secondary supply (recalling the narcissist's moments of past glory as witnessed by her).

But secondary supply has another important function: to foster and cement bonding and addictive attachment within the shared fantasy.

At the core, the narcissist is trained to expect and accept only conditional, performance-based love. He signals to his mate: "Mom! Look how amazingly unique, fascinating, and special I am! Look what I have accomplished! Don't you just love it - and me?"

If the partner withdraws from the dyad and shuns the narcissist, if she withholds her secondary supply and conditional love and affection, the narcissist feels threatened and develops extreme abandonment or separation anxiety. This is especially true if she is having an affair with another man who she openly admires and whose virtues she extols.



Finally, In RUSSIAN! My narcissism, narcissistic abuse, and personality disorders videos in Russian, translated by Olga Kozhemiakina. Thank you, Olga!





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