Sam Vaknin’s Instagram Epigrams (archive only)
Narcissism with Vaknin on Instagram (active account)
Would you want to be young again? If youth only knew if age only could. I know and can – but
no longer want to. Every generation disses the next one, but this time is
different: young lack basics present throughout human history.
World homogenized and hegemonized – so no exceptions or enclaves, reservoirs of change.
Young have only casual drunk sex with strangers, rarely relational sex (relationships are sexless).
Lack skills for intimacy, relationships, family (even transactional).
Hard data: functional illiteracy (Wikipedia), binge drinking (Seaman).
Stalled revolution: women became masculine and narcissistic, even psychopathic (language, drinking, adultery, casual sex: number of partners).
Narcissism and psychopathy: the twin pandemics.
professionals conflate and confuse the patient's psychosexuality
and his/her sexualization.
Psychosexuality is the sum total of an individual's:
1. Sexual orientation (heterosexual, bisexual, gay, etc.);
2. Sexual preferences (conventional sex, kink, BDSM, group sex, exhibitionism, etc.); and
3. Sexual practices and choices.
With few exceptions (pedophilia, etc.) psychosexuality is always healthy and functional.
Sexualization is never either. It involves the use of sex acts to express and amplify underlying mental health issues and pathologies - or the misattribution of sexual content and motivation to the wrong people in the wrong settings and circumstances. Rape is an extreme example of sexualization.
Sexualization often co-occurs with egregious and self-destructive substance abuse.
There are many ways to sexualize. Two examples:
1. Numbing emotions and disinhibiting oneself by consuming alcohol. This leads to multiple cognitive and axiological dissonances, anxiety, and the activation of mostly infantile (regressive, primitive) defenses.
2. Sexual self-objectification ("self-trashing" as distinct from healthier promiscuity) whose outcomes are lifelong anxiety and depression and the abuse of alcohol and drugs to quell the ego dystony.
Survive the relationship with your enchantress borderline:
How to cope with every aspect of the disorder, lovingly help her to love you, and recover time and again the inevitable setbacks in fighting for her affection.
DBT, mindfulness effective
Abandonment anxiety -- preemption
Rituals and procedures of presence, permanence, stability, and predictability
Object inconstancy ---identity disturbance (emptiness)
Techniques to tackle anxiety and panic (breathing, journaling and reading aloud)
Acting Out (Self states, secondary psychopathy): impulsivity and recklessness
Techniques for impulse control (redirection, motivation, reframing)
Chair work (emotions in chair)/dialog
CBT negative thoughts
Anger management techniques
Stress management techniques
Outsourcing of ego functions
Regain locus of control
Develop and reward autoplastic defenses
Restore reality testing
Maintain the entire picture (integrate splitting)
Sexual self-trashing, substance abuse, and reckless behaviors as self-harm
Prevention first involves being able to recognize the warning signs of suicide, which can include:
• Extreme mood swings
• Feelings of hopelessness
• Giving away possessions
• Losing interest in activities
• Talking about death or suicide
• Saying goodbye to family and friends
• Saying that they are a burden
• Withdrawing from friends and family
Do not judge, dismiss, or discount feelings
Transient paranoid ideation (persecutory object)
Reality testing: journaling, counter-paranoia (questioning/doubting),
Secret code or exit strategy (suspend/freeze)
The typical emancipated Western woman had gradually transmogrified into an imitative rendition of
a somewhat psychopathic man.
Men are reacting to this gender vertigo by adhering to either of the equally dysfunctional camps of toxic, misogynistic, or opportunistic masculinity and complete withdrawal.
Studies have uncovered the “stalled revolution”: women are increasingly describing themselves in hitherto traditional masculine terms and are adopting behaviors and traits that were once of the preserve of stereotypical macho men.
Many women in the West are aggressively defiant with their docile intimate partners, but at the same time totally sexually self-trashing and submissive with abusive, disrespectful strangers (usually when they also abuse substances).
These women give to predatory strangers freely what they adamantly deny to their mates, sexually and emotionally.
This bizarre duality is part of the power play in the intimacy war zones that such women call “relationships” where the conflict between the genders is unfolding in full force.
value their freedom to act, unconstrained choice,
and the unbridled exercise of free will above all else. This proclivity is
known as reactance or defiance and it involves contumaciousness (hatred of
authority, propriety, rules of conduct, and social mores).
When forced to choose between self-efficacious, disciplined restraint and self-defeating or even self-destructive in your face “my way or the highway” behaviors, psychopaths always choose the latter.
Ironically, as the word implies, reactance is determined exogenously (from the outside). It amounts to a panicky loss of control over impulses and urges, anxieties and feared threats.
The psychopath is incapable of learning or of modifying himself: he perceives these as restrictive impositions on his liberty. Same goes for any form of analysis, advice, love, or intimacy: they constitute threats, not potentials for growth or happiness.
The psychopath’s mantra is: “I just want to be left alone. I need no one. In my dealings with people, I am strong, proud, agentic, and self-sufficient, not some kind of meek victim to be pitied!”
Interview with Dr Maryam Tanwir, Centre of Development
Studies, University of Cambridge.
A sweeping panorama of the current state of knowledge regarding narcissistic abuse, narcissism, and healing from the pernicious effects of relationships with narcissists.
Lisa Wade describes in her studies how young people feign and
in sex also by getting intoxicated. This had become
the hegemonic sexual script and by far the most dominant and widespread sexual
practice among the young.
Most of these youths - boys and girls alike - crave intimacy and want to have relationships, but these are considered bad taste, faux pas, and signifiers of revolting and ominous clinginess and neediness. So, no one dares to communicate openly.
The alcohol, casual sex, and inevitable self-trashing serve to numb their emotions and drown their disappointment, frustration, and pain as well as resolve ego dystonic cognitive dissonances and disinhibit.
Getting emotionally involved portends heartbreak, so only 6% expect a second night stand. But many fantasize, imposing on the dreary, impersonal proceedings a narrative that caters to their denied emotional needs.
The intrusion of fantasy into casual sex renders it autoerotic and solipsistic. Only a small minority of participants of both genders actually orgasm.
It is a dystopian barren landscape, replete with extreme deficits in relationship skills and all pervasive intimacy anorexia.
One of the most disconcerting and, at times, infuriating
aspects of Borderline Personality Disorder, secondary psychopathy, and
narcissistic pathologies is identity disturbance.
Cluster B patients have no stable, immutable "core" or "self". Instead, they are ensembles of often contradictory partly dissociated self-states (aka subpersonalities or pseudoidentities).
These discreet "personas" assume control in response to both environmental (exogenous) and internal process (endogenous) cues.
Consequently, it is impossible to predict the behaviors, choices, or decisions of these individuals. No rules or heuristics apply to all the self-states.
The Borderline patient professes to have one set of beliefs, values, and boundaries one day - and totally contravene them with insouciance or gusto the next morning.
To paper over these gaping chasms, she rationalizes her mutually exclusive actions by constantly hairsplitting, nitpicking, and by generating an endless stream of exceptions and excuses to justify her incredible behavioral somersaults. Alcoholics and junkies are infamous for these types of verbal contortions and so are cluster B patients.
With no strings attached sex freely available from multiple women, men no longer feel the
need to invest in relationships or commit in any way. One night stands
(including on first and only dates) and hookups have become the dominant form
of sexual practice in the West and beyond.
Agentic (usually drunk) women now pick up men for casual sex the way men used to pick up “easy women” well into the 1960s. Such emancipation and equality among the genders is liberating and laudable.
But women then proceeded to adopt a masculine self-identity, erasing differences in gender roles and upending sexual scripts. They descended into dysregulated and defiant promiscuity. Faced with such anarchy, men completely withdrew from the scene forcing women to become more manlike, narcissistic, and even psychopathic.
Militant radical feminists espoused precisely such an outcome: a world where men are sex toys, women are empowered and self-sufficient, and “patriarchal” institutions such as marriage and the family are gone.
Oddly, their agenda accomplished, anxiety, depression, suicide rates, and substance abuse among women have skyrocketed. Women are not too happy in a world without “real” men, it seems.
In couples therapy, a standard piece of advice in trying to
survive an affair is to immediately prohibit all further contact with the third
party, the jilted
This is sound counsel if the affair had lasted more than a single night, involved emotions and romance, and did not occur in an inebriated state.
But if the offending party was drunk, regrets the transgression, and has had only casual sex - the other party is the safest person, the last one on earth s/he would have sex with again.
Of course, this does not apply to habitual alcoholics and junkies who are liable to relapse with the same accomplices regardless of how bad they had felt the morning after.
Studies had revealed that we reserve certain sex acts only for
intimate relationships, refraining from
including them in the repertory of casual sex. Actions in this case do speak
louder than words and when certain sexual behaviors are reserved for that
special someone, this exclusivity communicates love efficaciously.
But what about those who do absolutely anything and everything with near total strangers? Such people are incapable of experiencing intimacy or emotions. Many of them are psychopathic personalities. They are also bound to abuse substances and sext compulsively with one and all.
The unfortunate mate of such a dysregulated, maximally inhibited individual is often told: "It may be the same sex act, but with you, I experience it differently, it is filled with emotions, attachment, and affection!"
Regrettably, such self-reporting is highly suspect and most often counterfactual. Psychopaths confuse possessiveness and competition with love. They use sex to manipulate and subjugate.
Most promiscuous people - let alone whose sex is out of control and would do anything with anyone - are incapable of positive emoting or coupling. They feel vaguely "bad" or "good" and mislabel dim stirrings as "bonding". At times, they resort to faking affect and orgasms.
Some people fear heartbreak, abandonment and
being cheated on to such an extent that they undermine intimacy and bring on the very outcomes that they are so terrified of.
They restrict their emotional expression and appear to be cold and stand-offish. They avoid commitment or investment in the relationship, hedge their bets (maintain alternative partners on the side), reject their mate’s sexual advances, or abuse substances and act promiscuously and recklessly.
As the relationship inevitably deteriorates, they feel justified to stray.
Sadomasochists tend to choose precisely such partners. Their mate selection is skewed in favour of the dysregulated and the dissolute. The inevitable betrayal by the partner and resulting excruciating pain are sources of addictive vindication and gratification.
I used to be a professional gambler. Even authored a popular guide to casinos and gambling (book cover in the photo).
The losers always complained that they were dealt bad hands.
The pros knew that there is no such thing as a bad hand - only a bad player.
The CARDS you are dealt are pure CHANCE.
How you play your cards - is NOT.
And this applies to everything in life, not only gambling.
We are conducting a concatenated (cohort or structured)
survey on the sexual experiences of women. Please answer these two questions
(first read the definitions under the questions).
1. What percentages of all of your sexual experiences were (a) agentic (b) negotiated (c) coerced
2. In what percentages of all of your sexual relationships were you (a) a playmate (recreational fun only) (b) a partner (reciprocated, intimate, and emotional) (c) a sex object (“sluttish” and dysregulated, including with unwanted sex partners).
So, 6 numbers representing the percentages.
Agentic: you initiated the sex and controlled its circumstances
Negotiated: both you and your partner reached a consensus on what sex acts to engage in and in which circumstances
Coerced: you engaged in sex because you had felt that you had no other choice or stood to lose a lot if you refrained. Includes non-consensual sex.
If you feel more comfortable to DM me rather than comment, please do.
Fantasy is a defense mechanism so powerful that it can give rise to severe mental health issues, such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder as well as to cognitive deficits and an impaired reality testing.
Fantasy tends to metastasize. It coopts and hijacks every
resource available to the individual: emotions, affect, cognitions, memories,
psychosexuality, and even one’s identity. It is addictive and anxiolytic. It is
safe. It buttresses the fantast’s grandiosity (self-idealization).
Actually, each of these dimensions of personality and functioning is mediated via the fantasy, colored and distorted by it.
Gradually, all direct contact with and inner experience of one’s psychological world is lost. A robotic zombie emerges from within the fantastic space, regulated by its narrative.
The emotional investment (cathexis) in fantasy is total and comes at the expense of the person’s reality testing.
We can easily spot the captives of fantasy: they avoid reality and opt for substitutive action. Their self-reported emotions, hopes, wishes, and dreams starkly contradict their actions.
Such a person may say for example: “I crave intimacy, sex, and love in a committed relationship”, but he will choose mostly objectifying sex with strangers as a dominant practice. His intimate liaisons will devolve into sexlessness, cheating, and dissolution.
Such a person will also select only inappropriate and incompatible and therefore temporary mates who do not constitute a threat to the integrity and longevity of the fantasy by diverging from it (undermining the idealized, largely imagined snapshot).
Borderlines sometimes cheat
on their partners as a form of psychological and sexual
self-trashing with others.
The acting out cheater feels that she is trashing herself by cheating, rendering herself “bad”, “corrupt” “immoral”, “a whore”, or “a slut” and her actions “forbidden” and reckless.
In a minority of cases, sexual self-trashing with inappropriate, unwanted, or contemptuous partners leads to heightened arousal and may even escalate as it becomes addictive.
Where have all the women
Why men are withdrawing and giving up on women?
Personality Disorder is a veritable catch-22, especially when it is
comorbid (co-diagnosed) with Factor 1 psychopathy or pathological grandiose
narcissism, as is commonly the case.
The Borderline is highly reactive to abandonment anxiety. In fact, this is one of the diagnostic criteria for the disorder in the DSM.
But comorbid borderlines also endure engulfment anxiety: the fear of being subsumed in the intimate partner, having outsourced to him important ego functions.
In contradistinction to the codependent, the comorbid borderline is terrified of merger or fusion with her mate.
To allay her enmeshment anxiety, the comorbid borderline undermines her relationships, nipping intimacy in the bud. She acts passive aggressively, misbehaves ostentatiously, lies, confabulates, triangulates, cheats, and creates as much mayhem and uncertainty as she can.
When the relationship inevitably deteriorates and often becomes sexless, she feels that straying outside the fraying bond is legitimate. Two-timing her partner is her way of jumping ship.
Psychologically healthy people can’t wrap their heads around
the psychosexuality of
psychopaths, borderlines, and narcissists. Cleckley suggested that these
patients sexually act out “on a whim … like scratching one’s back”.
They engage in the most intimate or extreme sex acts with a random assortment of near total strangers, for very little or no reason and with next to no preparatory phases.
The sexuality of cluster B patients is impulse-based. Sex is meaningless and emotionless even in intimate relationships where the emphasis is on bodily functions and gratifications rather on communicating positive affectivity and attachment that the patient is constitutionally incapable of.
The sex with strangers is often driven by psychopathic risk taking (recklessness) and novelty seeking and by the borderline’s overwhelming self-loathing.
The capacity for self-deception of these patients is staggering.
They deny and reframe the very nature of their actions (lying, cheating, sexual promiscuous self-trashing) by perverting and torturing language to yield an infinite fount of exceptions to every rule, boundary, and value.
Their self-reporting is self-serving and stereotypical.
For example: they are likely to claim, counterfactually, that they are capable of experiencing meaningful sex with mates, of loving them, and of heartbreak following the inevitable breakup.
In reality, the sex is only “meaningful” because it involves possessiveness and control.
The “love” is a mere reduction in abandonment anxiety in the wake of enhanced object constancy.
The “heartbreak” is the eruption of uncontrolled anxiety coupled with self-annihilating mortification in the face of perceived failure and rejection.
Both the Borderline and the Narcissist outsource important
psychological (“ego”) functions to intimate
partners and to sources of narcissistic supply, respectively.
When the Borderline first comes across the narcissist, she senses his intimate acquaintance with the practice of importing regulatory capacities and input from the outside. She can rely on him to grasp her identical need like no else could.
This shared externalized regulation binds the Borderline and Narcissist within a symbiotic space and renders them inseparable against all odds and in the face of all adversity.
media are imbued with several pathological features:
1. The ubiquitous use of euphemisms: not social but atomizing; not friends but strangers; not news but conspiracy theories.
The use of euphemisms is an indicator of social anomie: an attempt to mask immoral, reckless, or non-normative behavior. Recall the rash of euphemism when the Nazis orchestrated the Holocaust.
2. Narcissism: selfies, likes, retweets are all forms of thinly disguised narcissistic supply intended to regulate the user’s sense of self-worth.
3. Aggression on social media is structurally rewarded because it garners more eyeballs to be monetized. Speech is restricted and body language is scarce and these two deficiencies incentivize the escalation of posturing.
The inevitable formation of echo chambers and thought silos founded on confirmation bias of the like-minded only serves to amplify these tendencies.
4. Relative positioning based on competitive and rivalrous envy is at the core of the architecture of social media.
Promiscuity comes in many flavors and varieties which reflect starkly
disparate etiologies. Here is a disambiguation guide:
1. Common promiscuity is agentic and involves firm personal boundaries. Sexual partner selection is indiscriminate and instrumentalized (the counterparty is a sex toy or a masturbatory aide).
2. Common self-trashing (self-objectification) is agentic but unboundaried. The partners are disrespectful and sexually aggressive or sadistic. It is the outcome of deep-set ego dystony (self-loathing or even self-hatred).
3. Masochistic self-trashing is submissive and unboundaried. The selected partners are contemptuous, dismissive, and objectifying. They despoil and degrade, thereby gratifying the masochistic impulse. Masochists are ego syntonic (not self-rejecting). They often report having rape fantasies.
4. Reckless self-trashing is common in Borderline Personality Disorder and in psychopathy. It involves risk taking, defiance, novelty seeking, and acting out. It is a form of emotional reregulation and mood stabilization: self-medicating with trashy sex.
Our modern world
traumatizes us structurally and environmentally. It also breeds narcissists and psychopaths who traumatize
us even further. Is there a way out of this vicious circle?
Short, edited version available in EyeONDV YouTube channel.
Four steps to change yourself in order to change the world into a more agreeable, better place.
Tips: transform yourself, transform this world. Technology
catalyzed and accelerated the disintegration of our
social institutions, our atomization, and alienation.
Quinn Holiday @agrpnetwork (ASSC DIRECT) and I are going to try to find out on Saturday.
The talk will be released on both our YouTube channels.
attraction is only partly determined by biology or
inebriation. We are attracted to people who are unlikely to reject our sexual
We need to avoid humiliating rejection, narcissistic injury. and the cognitive dissonance provoked by such dismissal.
So, we are consciously attracted mostly to “safe bets” and then idealize them as “attractive” or “irresistible”, with or without the help of mind-altering substances.
Romantic jealousy is the fear of losing your intimate partner to another
person. Cerebral narcissists are rarely romantically jealous.
But they do become anxious and possessive when they anticipate abandonment and they always experience narcissistic injury, a challenge to their grandiosity:
“How could she replace me with this inferior man? How could she be with anyone else, having had me for a partner?”
Similarly, the narcissist’s “love” is nothing but the confluence of his dependency on his source of secondary narcissistic supply and his cathexis (emotional investment) in a new partner, accomplice, and captive for his nascent shared fantasy.
The psychopath is emotionally
amputated. He mislabels whims, urges, and impulses as
“feelings”. Even his negative affects are stilted and transient, mere flashes
in his non-existent pan.
The psychopath has a two-state (binary), primitive proto-self. He feels “bad” or “good”, he “wants” or is reluctant, he is either aggressively or desirously on - or lethargically off.
By far the strongest hue in his palette is boredom. Often mistaken for dysthymia or even depression, the psychopath is bored out of his wits most of the time. Ennui is his default state.
To alleviate this all-consuming fog of dullness, the psychopath acts recklessly, seeks novelty and risk, abuses substances, and rarely postpones the gratification of his impulses, no matter how inane, outrageous, criminal, self-defeating, or self-degrading they may be. He is an id only organism, his ego unconstellated and unintegrated.
Psychopaths react with defiance to any attempt to thwart their exploits. The drama involved in such confrontations is its own reward.
Shockingly, no law or custom provides any
protection against idearism: the plagiarism of IDEAS.
The precise arrangement of words is safeguarded by copyrights. Designs and brandnames, trademarks and logos, inventions and technologies, even business processes are all shielded from theft and criminal exploitation or piracy.
But, oddly and counterintuitively, intellectual property legislation assiduously neglects to offer any succor and remedy to novel thinking.
ALL the women in my life insisted
to have total freedoms with other men while I was
not allowed to communicate in any way with other women, however innocuously.
My partners also cut off whatever sex we did have, shoehorning me into involuntary celibacy for years and decades at a time.
My intimate partners said: “It is such a sacrifice to be with you, we are doing you such a huge favor - you ought to compensate us by letting us be with real men, which you are not”.
Codependent cowardly doormat that I was, I had agreed to it. I had hoped that, given such liberties, these women will not abandon me - which of course, they all ultimately did.
Why would any woman stay with a codependent cowardly doormat after she had availed herself of his money?
Way too late in my life, I put a stop to these unilateral arrangements. I started to insist on symmetry and reciprocity.
But by that time, I was already old and sick and the immobilizing pandemic is consuming what is left of my dwindling longevity, so my newfound resolve is more symbolic than efficacious, a futile last hurrah, a pathetic gesture of meaningless defiance.
I grew a pair of balls and a spine when they are no longer of use to me. I hold myself in unmitigated contempt and self-loathing for my lifelong craven capitulation to my abandonment anxiety and for the way I let women leverage my mental illness.
My good friend, Dr. Claudia Riecken @claudiariecken has just posted another video of mine,
translated into Portuguese:
3 years ago, her outfit, Quantum House, generously hosted the second Cold Therapy certification seminar in Sao Paulo.
grandiose narcissist that I am, I act as though, once I am vaccinated, the world as a whole will revert to its pre-pandemic normal.
As if the state of normalcy all depended on my restoration to full function.
As though this globalized sempiternally spinning globe revolves around me and my petty affairs.
Call it “grandiose myopia”. We all have it to some degree and governments leverage it to sell us on the fantasy of regaining our lives and sanity via vaccination. Inoculate and go back to normal, they all mislead us.
The truth, of course, is that the world, as we had known it, is never coming back.
Life is the sum total of losses and personal growth is fostered by pain and crisis. This pandemic is transitioning us as a species to adulthood: a brutal but efficacious fast forward. Time to grow up, I guess.
Ironically, the narcissist’s grandiosity (fantasy)
defense is less rigid than the grandiosity of either
the borderline or the psychopath.
Throughout his life, the narcissist is subjected to a barrage of narcissistic injuries and mortifications.
These challenges remold or entirely suspend his False Self, the locus of his grandiose self-perception.
Psychopaths and borderlines do not experience any undermining of their variants of self-aggrandizement.
Consequently, their grandiosity is immutable, not amenable to any process of learning or modification via intrusions from harsh reality.
Long-term healthy relationships are three
legged stools: they are founded on love, trust, and respect.
All three are mutually reinforcing and all three are essential: when one of them is missing, dysfunction, betrayal, breakup, and heartbreak set in.
Changing one’s attitudes has little effect on changing one’s behaviors.
But changing one’s behaviors profoundly and irreversibly affects one’s attitudes.
We are transformed almost exclusively through experiencing - not via education, re-education, emulation, or imitation.
This counterintuitive fact is supported by literally all the research out there.
and Women make each other
To act like a man - to BE a man - one needs to have the right woman next to him. In the absence of such a woman, one is merely a MALE, not a MAN.
To act like a woman - to BE a woman - one needs to have the right man by her side. In the absence of such a man, one is merely a FEMALE, not a WOMAN.
Cluster B patients suffer from identity disturbance. They are lifelong disappearing acts, pivoted on an empty
The abuse of substances helps these patients to suspend their existence, to NOT be themselves for a few hours, especially around other people, in social and sexual contexts.
Because Cluster B patients are essentially nothing but deadened voids, they feel alive and existent only when they are NOT themselves, when they are inebriated, intoxicated, or drugged, when they act out or switch into certain self-states (like the Borderline’s secondary psychopath or the narcissist’s grandiose False Self).
But NOT being oneself becomes a habit and many of them forget how to BE themselves: being themselves feels so alien, sad, dull, even vaguely menacing that they avoid it assiduously and for as long as they can.
Gradually, incrementally, this overwhelming need to NOT be oneself by abusing substances impacts all fields of life: job, career, relationships, and family included.
Another problem is that when these patients are NOT themselves, when they are drunk, for example - predators of all types, sexual and emotional, take advantage of them, gain access to their bodies, minds, and material possessions, use them contemptuously and then discard the patients.
These repeated humiliations, rejections, and exploitation exacerbate the underlying conditions, induce anxiety and depression, and push the patient inexorably to harm herself and to escalate even further her attempts to vanish, further down the road to self-annihilation.
Certificate of Appreciation for my presentation on "Malignant Fantasy Defense and Its Outcomes", May 2021.
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:
As distinct from psychopathic and somatic
narcissists, cerebral ones - even when they are in a somatic phase - rarely
attempt to pick up partners for casual sex, owing to their grandiosity.
The cerebral’s inflated and fantastic view of himself is compromised BOTH if he is rejected AND if he succeeds! It is a no-win predicament.
All narcissists equate rejection with narcissistic injury and devalue the potential sources to resolve the cognitive dissonance (“women are not worth the effort” or some such nonsense).
But, in the case of the cerebral, also success causes narcissistic injury: a woman who is into one night stands is perceived by him as promiscuous, unboundaried, and sexually dysregulated and to have had many such encounters in her past.
These perceptions render the cerebral in his mind a mere statistic, just one of many transient largely meaningless sexual partners, past and future. It challenges his sense of uniqueness. He again devalues the source of this injury and holds her in contempt as a “slut”.
Additionally, courting and flirting the woman are perceived as humiliating, a form of abject supplication as the cerebral is forced into competing with and being compared to other men.
The cerebral expects to be pursued, besieged, and stalked by breathless beauties, all of whom are smitten by his magnificent intellect and celebrity. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Patients with Borderline
Personality Disorder (BPD) suffer from two core
1. They feel much safer with strangers, even when these new acquaintances are unpleasant, than with their intimate partners, especially when these mates are loving.
2. Being loved provokes in the Borderline a cascade of negative consequences:
A. Pain aversion: a catastrophized fear of ultimate heartbreak, abandonment, and rejection;
B. Paranoid ideation regarding the manipulative hidden agenda of the loving partner;
C. Avoidant behaviors;
D. Passive-aggression (castrating and undermining the partner);
E. Fear of engulfment, of being consumed by the mate.
Faced with such stressors, Borderlines often act out violently or recklessly.
Some Borderlines cheat in order to preempt intolerable abandonment and undermine intimacy.
Cheating also upholds their view of themselves as “bad, corrupt, hopeless” or “whore”.
Such misbehavior is often coupled with substance abuse.
The Borderline associates alcohol or drugs with sex. It is a conditioned response: sexual desire or arousal lead to the consumption of alcohol or drugs intended to disinhibit the Borderline and allow to her to carry on her designs.
The above two core issues result in compulsive cheating and extremely dysregulated and unboundaried sex with the strangers that the Borderline targets in her decompensated peregrinations.
had become the dominant
sexual practice among the declining number of sexually active
people, both men and women: hookups, one night stands, and sex on first dates
are now the almost exclusive sexual diets of the vast majority of adolescents
and adults in the West.
Sizable majorities of both men and women find this state of affair deplorable but had lost all hope for any change. Casual sex sucks: tiny minorities experience an orgasm, for instance. But if one is possessed of a sex drive - what are other option is there?
This is the dismal outcome of three converging trends:
1. Women are confusing assertiveness with defiance. They are adopting the traits and behaviors of psychopathic men: promiscuity, recklessness, impulsivity, contumaciousness, antisocial misconduct, and dysregulation.
With few exceptions, men are deterred and had withdrawn from the dating scene altogether.
2. Both men and women avoid long-term relationships owing to the poor and devastating outcomes of such attempts. Deficient intimacy skills guarantee ineluctable failure, so why bother?
3. Predatory men had come to literally monopolize the arena. They infest dating apps and pickup venues such as bars and clubs.
They prey on the tsunami of hordes of women who are vulnerable, broken, mentally ill, substance abusing, and refugees of abusive relationships.
Social media and the devices that they run on are designed to be addictive, as many industry executives have confessed. Addiction is always punctuated by periods of withdrawal and its “cold turkey” excruciating symptoms. The correlation between all manner of addictions and suicide, or lesser self-destructive and reckless acts is well documented.
College freshmen are “overwhelmed” more than ever (41% in 2016 compared to 18% in 1985). But teens also experience performance anxiety when on social media. This is because these are competitive ecosystems where one’s social ranking is objectively determined by quantitative yardsticks, such as the number of “likes” or “friends” – and also publicly available, for all to see and opine on. Diagnosed anxiety among teens shot up 20% since 2007 and one sixth of all case are classified as “severe”. Peer pressure is ego-dystonic and is often expressed as bullying or mobbing or in other forms of aggression (such as black humor or brutal honesty). Such a toxic environment engenders a lot of destructive envy as well.
Studies show that teens nowadays are more insecure than in previous generations. They are especially concerned about their economic future. They are asocial: they prefer surfing to socializing with friends their age. Both dating and sexual activities have declined by more than 50% since 1985. Today’s teens are not used to privacy and, therefore, to intimacy. They are itinerant, peripatetic, and mature slowly (they are 3 years behind on every scale of personal development). Medically, contemporary teens are obese and have body image problems. Many more of them are on mind altering medication or drugs. These are all hallmarks of pathological narcissism. Twenge discovered that MMPI scores evince a fivefold increase in psychopathology in 2007 compared to 1938. Anxiety and depression have shot up sixfold.
Social media is amenable to mass hysteria, shared psychotic disorders (now no longer a diagnosis in the DSM 5), and the emergence of cults, including nihilistic cults, suicide cults, and death cults (such as ISIS which is a child of social media). This Proclivity is aided and abetted by two attendant phenomena: (1) Catastrophising: an end of days presentiment which is enhanced by (2) Unmooring: the profusion of fake news, truthiness, reality TV, and the narcissistic tide of anti-expertise and anti-intellectualism).
Studies are unequivocal: beyond a certain level, more screen time leads to reduced levels of happiness, life satisfaction, and self-esteem and to increased manifestations of anxiety and depression. All other off-screen activities had the opposite effects: sports, interpersonal interactions, religious services, consuming legacy print and electronic media, and doing homework.
Social media reflect our values: we prefer efficiency to quality or quiddity. Ours is a quantitative world. But some things do not lend themselves to speed or quantity: family life, romance, or friendships, for example. Modern technology was invented by schizoids: asocial, asexual, somewhat autistic recluses. Businessmen then took over from the engineers and stripped the outcome of anything that stood in the way of monetizing the maximum number of eyeballs. The result is a psychogenic chimera.
The ever-diminishing size of screens (from the cinema screen to the smartwatch) tracked the atomization of our ever more anomic and narcissistic societies. In his book “Suicide”, Emile Durkheim predicted that suicide rates in anomic societies will tend to increase. Since 2010, suicide among teens skyrocketed by 31% and became the leading cause of death among people younger than 24.
Journal of Development and Behavioral Pediatrics (National Survey of Children’s Health)
Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA
Emotion, January 2018 (Twenge, Martin, and Campbell)
In the rainforest, butterflies had been
drinking the tears of turtles under the silent canopy of timeless trees from
I have never experienced this kind of permanence.
A bewildered tourist in my own exotic life, forever in chase of the next attraction, my itinerary dwindling inexorably.
Always elsewhere where the grass is.
And countless women feasting on my tears as I retreat, head first, into my shell.
Choose reality over fantasy every single time.
Choose life, never death.
Objects are dead fantasies.
When you objectify people and use them, you render them inanimate, morbid: in sex, as service providers, as functions, or two dimensional props.
They, in turn, do the same to you.
You are turning the world into a graveyard of human husks.
When you humanize objects, you misattribute to them life and importance.
You are turning the world into a warehouse of the inert and the soulless.
Addicts (alcoholics, junkies, gamblers, all sorts) share several
important clinical features with both psychopaths and narcissists:
1. Grandiosity which is partly the outcome of disinhibition (“alcohol myopia” for example) and a sense of immunity to the consequences of one’s actions;
2. Low threshold of boredom and reduced tolerance for routines. This leads to novelty seeking and recklessness;
3. Defiance and contumaciousness (disdain for social mores, propriety, and authority);
4. Mendaciousness: ubiquitous lying, disloyalty, sexual and romantic cheating, and attempts to cover up antisocial activities and misconduct or to resolve cognitive dissonances. Addicts lead double or parallel lives;
5. Deficient impulse control and impaired ability to delay gratification.
Addicts deceive themselves that they are in full control of their addictions and can pull out any time.
Addiction is often a dysfunctional attempt to reassert control over the addict’s life by maintaining the illusion of choice or free will (“I choose to drink”, “I want the sex”, “I love to gamble or shop”).
The same psychodynamic characterizes eating disorders (though body dysmorphia is rarely an integral part of the addiction itself).
There are three ways to gauge how meaningful your sex
with your new partner is to both of you.
The text uses gender pronouns that are interchangeable (substitute “man” for “woman” and “he” for “she”).
CASE 1: MEANINGFUL
When a woman had slept ONLY with men who are meaningful to her (loved ones, friends) and then she sleeps with you - it means that you are also meaningful to her (because she sleeps ONLY with meaningful men).
CASE 2: MEANINGLESS
When a woman has had mostly meaningless sex mostly with men who are meaningless to her (strangers ) and then she sleeps with you - it means either (1) that she considers sex to be meaningless (because she has had mostly meaningless sex mostly with meaningless men) - or, more ominously (2) that you are meaningless to her (and she is lying to you that you are meaningful to her).
CASE 3: MEANINGLESS
Sometimes, through the use of fantasy, projection, and other defense mechanisms as well as the abuse of substances, it is possible to have meaningful sex with total strangers, replete with sex acts usually reserved for intimate partners.
When a woman has had mostly meaningful sex mostly with men who are meaningless to her (strangers ) and then she sleeps with you - it means either (1) that her meaningful sex renders you meaningless to her (because she has had meaningful sex with meaningless men) - or, again (2) that you are meaningless to her (and she is lying to you that you are meaningful to her).
In a long-distance relationship
(LDR), it is easy to get frustrated. Give your
prospective partner a chance.
When people meet, unexpected things happen and firm decisions, boundaries, and expectations become much less firm - or are even reversed.
Impatience and headstrong power plays never pay.
Wisdom consists of biding your time, delayed gratification, persistence, and charming your opponent into submission.
Regrettably, men had become sex diggers and women - gold diggers. Traumatized by past liaisons, both genders avoid getting emotionally involved and shun intimacy.
LDRs allow the parties to modulate the pace, regulate their exposure, and bake in safeguards and circuit-breakers.
People pleasing is sometimes a life strategy intended to ameliorate extreme generalized anxiety. The world is perceived as hostile or frustrating and the only defense is to be “liked”, “loved”, or “accepted” by others, whether individuals or collectives.
Anxiety-driven people pleasers have no personal boundaries. They would do anything and agree to everything in order to belong: be treated as an objectified sex slave in one-on-one or in group settings; be verbally, emotionally and physically abused; and let themselves be taken advantage of and exploited.
In fact, these people pleasers interpret sexual and other forms of abuse as “initiation rites”: proof positive of having been inducted into a relationship or a fraternity/sorority.
Anxious people pleasers place emphasis on material objects or money: objective measures of affection, sharing, and goodwill.
Gifts are understood as signs of affiliation. They are devastated when they are taken financial advantage of or stolen from by the very people whose favor they seek to curry.
idealizers go through brief sexual episodes or
micro-relationships at a dizzying speed. They instantly and counterfactually
idealize a date or a random stranger - or even a group of them! - as potential
mates or friends.
Sometimes within minutes from a chance encounter, they construct a one-sided fantastic narrative and act as though it were true.
The fantasy has three functions:
1. To legitimize ego dystonic or socially unacceptable sex acts or sexual choices;
2. To make the serial idealizer feel good: loved, accepted, wanted, and liked;
3. To facilitate bonding and attachment should the fiction be reciprocated and become a shared fantasy.
The serial idealizer may attempt to compulsively recreate the experiences, hoping for better outcomes with the same partners or with
Like the narcissist, the serial idealizer is interacting with an internal object, not with the real sex partner or date. This way, she avoids the emotional costs of rejection (“I couldn’t care less what a stranger I will never see again thinks about me”).
Inevitably and almost invariably, reality painfully diverges from the fantastic yarn. This justifies moving on with minimal heartbreak to the next target - or cheating, if in a committed relationship.
We cannot fix the past. We can only learn from it and change the present and the future.
Information, Knowledge, Cunning (street smarts), and Wisdom are four different things.
With the collapse in academic standards worldwide, everyone and his dog ended up having a conferred degree, often while possessing only minimal verbal and analytical skills.
These pseudo-educated folks had been exposed to the raw materials (information) and the semi-finished products (theories and ideas), but rarely to the finished product (knowledge).
Similarly, deprived of access to their emotions and bereft of intimacy skills, some people are street smart and cunning (short-term, goal-oriented tactical thinking) - but excruciatingly and self-defeatingly unwise (long-term, consequentialist strategizing).
So, while the “new humans” are autonomous, agentic, or even defiant - they are rarely self-efficacious.
and relationship scripts are the socially
prescribed and proscribed ways to effectuate gender roles. They have all been
upended in the late 1960s, but were supplanted only with ambiguity and
Men and women are in turmoil: bewildered and befuddled as to how they should behave with each other.
In a stark reversal to the habits of the preceding two centuries, sex on first dates, hookups, and one night stands are now the dominant sexual practices.
They are widely perceived as “tests” or vetting procedures for potential mates or intimate partners: why bother to venture on if the sex proves to be calamitous?
These emerging scripts led to two perverse outcomes:
1. The vast majority of sexual experiences are now coercive, objectifying, or outright disappointing. People are starting to avoid real-life sex altogether and resort to the virtual kinds;
2. When, rarely and miraculously, the casual sex is good, it sometimes leads to a relationship. Alas, these are founded merely on sexual attraction and are, therefore, brittle and short lived.
When it comes to narcissists and borderlines, online "info" by "experts" is a caricature that has little to do with the current state of knowledge. Listen to this talk with Ruan de Witt to get your facts straights and your hype gone.
The “stalled revolution” is the label given in scholarly literature to the upheaval
in gender roles and sexual scripts in the past 50 years: women perceive
themselves as increasingly more masculine while men are still denying their
feminine sides (such as emotions, affect, empathy, attachment, and so on).
This asymmetrical sea change gave rise to two consequences:
1. Women are far better equipped to deal with the exigencies and challenges of the modern world and are gaining substantial advantages over men in education and in a growing number of professions;
2. Technologies like social media and the contraceptive pill on the one hand and IVF on the other hand have rendered women utterly self-sufficient and independent of men. Many of them eschew men and even sex altogether.
Men are reacting to these transformations with an admixture of exhilaration at the prospect of free sex - and resentment and fear as women are taking over. Many of them withdraw and shun women and even sex altogether.
The comorbidity of narcissistic
and borderline personality disorders (NPD and BPD) is counterintuitive: they appear to be mutually exclusive.
Both Borderlines and narcissists are grandiose, but the former possess warm empathy and emotions whereas the latter lack them.
The only way to reconcile these contradictions and to square the circle is by assuming the existence of semi-dissociated self-states that come to the fore in reaction to changing circumstances and environments.
In a comorbid state, BPD is always dominant while NPD is recessive.
But the narcissistic structures hijack the borderline’s empathy and emotions and leverage them during the lovebombing and grooming phases.
The Borderline finds herself or himself trapped in a narcissistic shared fantasy.
To the Borderline, the narcissistic landscape feels surrealistic, alien, and vaguely menacing. L
The self-states which are narcissistic and secondary (factor 2 or F2) psychopathic regard the borderline with self-destructive contempt for her weakness and vulnerabilities. They seek to “protect” and “rescue” her from herself.
This hardwired ego dystony founded on permanent dissonance between the subpersinalities, results in mood lability, emotional dysregulation, and psychopathic features, which are even more extreme than in a classic presentation of BPD.
The complex of behaviors known as people pleasing emanates from multiple etiologies. In an earlier post, I
have mentioned anxiety. Another source is social phobia.
Socially phobic people often become avoidant: they shun all social interactions.
But a small minority of them disinhibit themselves with alcohol and drugs and then proceed to act out and engage in dysregulated, reckless, and unboundaried behaviors, including and especially sexually.
These self-defeating and self-trashing behaviors are intended to accomplish the goals of pleasing others, fitting in, belonging, being accepted, appreciated, “loved”, and liked.
But the phobia never disappears. This constant presence drives an escalation in people pleasing behaviors and the compromising of self-respect, self-esteem, and boundaries which renders the phobia even worse.
It is a vicious cycle which often results in lifelong anxiety disorder, depression, and passive-aggression.
Roles of good enough mother: 1. Expose the child to risks (hygiene hypothesis); 2. Push the child away; 3. Mediate reality (organize and interpret it).
When is a mother a good (enough) mother? According to Winnicott, when she gradually and increasingly frustrates her child. These cumulative denials of the child's wishes and negations of his delusional and fantastic magical thinking are crucial to his emerging perception of an external world and his unimpaired reality test.
The good mother encourages the child's separation from her and its individuation via the formation of inviolable and respected personal boundaries. She does not sacrifice her autonomy and identity and does not fuse or merge with her child or treat it as her extension.
The good mother acknowledges her own moments of exasperation and depression. She does neither idealize nor devalue herself or the child. She harbors realistic expectations of the budding relationship and reacts proportionately. She has no mood swings and is not labile. She is stable, firm but not harsh, just and predictable but never dull. She encourages her offspring's curiosity even as she indulges her own.
The narcissistic mother is a control freak and does not easily relinquish good and reliable sources of "narcissistic supply" (admiration, adulation, attention of any kind). It is the role of her children to replenish this supply, the children owe it to her. To make sure that the child does not develop boundaries, and does not become independent, or autonomous, the narcissistic parent micromanages the child's life and encourages dependent and infantile behaviors in her offspring.
Such a parent bribes the child (by offering free lodging or financial support or "help" with daily tasks) or emotionally blackmails the child (by constantly demanding help and imposing chores, claiming to be ill or disabled) or even threatens the child (for instance: to disinherit her if she does not comply with the parent's wishes).
The narcissistic mother also does her best to scare away anyone who may upset this symbiotic relationship or otherwise threaten the delicate, unspoken contract. She sabotages any budding relationship her child develops with lies, deceit, and scorn.
To ameliorate the unease bred by this emotional ambivalence, the narcissistic parent resorts to a myriad of control mechanisms. These can be grouped into: guilt-driven ("I sacrificed my life for you"), codependent ("I need you, I cannot cope without you"), goal-driven ("We have a common goal which we can and must achieve"), shared psychosis or emotional incest ("You and I are united against the whole world, or at least against your monstrous, no-good father ...", "You are my one and only true love and passion") and explicit ("If you do not adhere to my principles, beliefs, ideology, religion, values, if you do not obey my instructions, I will punish you").
As Lidija Rangelovska observed, the narcissistic parent often regards himself or herself as a martyr and uses her/his alleged “suffering” as a currency, a mode of communication, an explanatory and organizing principle, which endows the lives of the parent and of his nearest and dearest with meaning, direction, message, and mission. Being introduced into the narcissist’s drama is a privilege, an honor, an initiation, and the true hallmark of intimacy.
The guilt trip induced by the narcissistic parent is not time-limited because it is not linked to a specific action of the “perpetrator”; it is intended to elicit never-ending “compensation”; and is not designed to bring on a restoration of the relationship, or a rehabilitation of the “offender.” It is a tool of control and an instrument of manipulation: the “culprit” is meant to feel guilty for merely existing and for as long as s/he exists.
This exercise of control helps to sustain the illusion that the child is a part of the narcissist. But maintaining the illusion calls for extraordinary levels of control (on the part of the parent) and obedience (on the part of the child). The relationship is typically symbiotic and emotionally turbulent.
Markets are supposed to regulate scarcity by storing
information about our wants and needs. Markets harmonize supply and demand and
effectuate efficient allocation of resources. They do so through the price
Money is, thus, a unit of information and a conveyor or conduit of the price signal - as well as a store of value and a means of exchange.
But the problem with money is that our current economic system, an oligarchy in all but name, renders it a skewed signal: lucre tends to accrue in the hands of few who then hoard it and demonetize the economy.
Beyond a certain point, income and wealth inequalities are systemic failures which disincentivizes economic activity.
Grandiosity is especially intractable and
untreatable in accomplished
and successful narcissists who merely embellish and
exaggerate their very real achievements.
In the typical cluster B patient, grandiosity is a form of delusional, self-inflating cognitive bias. It impairs reality testing because it is divorced from reality. It is and egregious defense and, therefore, easy to spot.
Not so with the thriving narcissist. The signals and cues he is flooded with, from other people and from the environment, buttress his conviction that his self-aggrandizement is nothing but a form of recalibrated self-awareness, a regulated sense of self-worth, and justified pride in his personal and professional history.
About a decade ago, Dr. Bujar Osmani, then Minister of Health
(currently the Minister of Foreign Affairs) established a Steering Committee for the
Reform of Healthcare in the Republic of Macedonia. I was its member and originator.
It was a revolutionary process which involved hundreds of medical doctors, NGOs, academics, political figures, and the media. The entire population of Macedonia got involved through a series of townhall meeting across the country.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the WHO issued this interim report and later copied the process in other developing countries:
pleasers are love addicts: they crave affection,
acceptance, and companionship desperately. They instantly idealize eligible
candidates or even groups and are bitterly disappointed and heartbroken when
disillusioning reality intrudes and vitiates their sunk costs and “investments”
in the “relationship”.
They give away and give up their bodies, time, self-respect, boundaries, attention, money, contacts, anything and everything to maintain the delusional fantasy of emotional proximity, the antidote to loneliness.
Inevitably such abject and prostrate submission breeds resentment and defiance.
The people pleaser resorts to passive aggression to release this cumulating negativity.
She becomes hostile, sarcastic, disparaging, castrating, mocking, disrespectful, envious, and undermining. Her dysregulation and lability increase in tandem with the abuse of substances.
Ironically, this pernicious and subterranean sabotage of intimacy and trust leads to the very outcome most dreaded by the love addicted people pleaser: abrupt discard and abandonment, loneliness, and the compulsive need to start all over again with a new “partner”.
Entitlement is a hallmark of all types of narcissists: they are convinced
that they deserve special treatment and privileges as well as narcissistic
supply without any commensurate accomplishments or efforts.
But what laymen and experts alike fail to appreciate is that entitlement is a form of learned helplessness.
Abusive parents do not allow the child to develop boundaries, to separate, and to individuate.
Consequently, the child comes to depend on them for both acting in the world and for regulating his internal environment. In other words: the child is rendered perennially helpless.
This artificially induced impotence provokes the child’s aggression. He sublimates this forbidden impulse by becoming demanding, petulant, and implacable (“spoiled brat”), a pattern of misbehavior that carries well into his dysfunctional adulthood.
Men are on their way out. Women are taking over. But, we, men, are still here and we miss you, women. Please, come back to us!
deal on offer:
You give me my life - I will give you a life sentence.
You give me your life - you won't get even a sentence.
I wrote a short story about one of
Israel’s leading intellectuals, my erstwhile friend, Avshalom Elitzur (pictured, see his Wikipedia entry).
Avshalom Elitzur made these poignant comments on my story:
“Shmuel Vaknin is a tragedy. His book, “Requesting my Loved One” recounts his life with piercing candor: a man with an enormous promise who succumbed to the forces of destruction within him.
Shmuel Vaknin was a soldier in active duty that made his appearance in (Prof. Shlomo Giora) Shoham's coterie.
His intellect and scientific knowledge stunned us all. Compared to him I felt like an idiot.
We befriended each other for a while and then he went abroad. He had first gone into business, got mixed up in shady stuff, returned to Israel, again got mixed up and was sent to prison, travelled again, became an economist, intermediary, advisor to the Slovenian government and the devil knows what else, and hasn't been back since.
Among all his occupations, he published a collection of stories about his life, "Requesting My Loved One", which won considerable acclaim and success.
In his Internet website, I found a few additional stories which are no less thrilling, among them "Elitzur Washes Test Tubes".
In it, with cruel and piercing honesty, he tells of a meeting we had and how he chose a life path diametrically opposed to mine, in other words: (how he chose) to get rich quick. The way he describes me is not complimentary, to use an understatement, but it is suffused with understanding and compassion.
On his Website, there are additional, hitherto unpublished stories, among which is the tale of an encounter between us, many years ago. His description of me is rather uncomplimentary, but the hand of a genuine author is discernible: penetrating and compassionate.”
Everything you do because you are drunk and when you are drunk is shameful. Every single thing.
Everything you do NOT or CANNOT do when you are drunk and because you are drunk is equally shameful. Every single omission and inaction.
Drinking and ALL its consequences are shameful.
Taken to extreme, hedonism is a form of self-mutilation, self-harm, and self-trashing.
It has three functions:
1. To counter negative affectivity and moods (depression, anxiety, anhedonia, boredom);
2. To mask and drown overwhelming ego dystonic emotions, such as sadness, guilt, shame; and
3. To restore a sense of “being alive”, of experiencing existence.
The People Pleaser is taught from an early age that what is bad for her is good
for others and what is good for others matters most.
When she is bad to herself - she is good for others.
Most important is to be good for others.
Most important is to be bad to herself.
She is a good person only when she is bad to herself.
So, she must be servile, submissive, a mind reader, empathic, self sacrificial, unboundaried, self defeating, or even self destructive to placate others and cater to their needs.
This applies to all genders, of course, men and women alike.
Journaling is a powerful technique but like every other tool, it can be
taken too far and become counterproductive, resulting in rumination or even
Processing the past often feels surreal because it drags us away from the present and renders the future very uncertain.
A past that is not fully processed creates anxiety about the future (fear of repeating past mistakes, for example).
It can also generate dreaded self-directed aggression (depression and anxiety).
While assuming responsibility for mistakes made - at the same time, you may be furious that you could have avoided them or not repeated them.
Dissociation is an attempt to protect you from the psychological consequences of your actions.
Sometimes, we should just let bygones be bygones.