Sam Vaknin’s Instagram Epigrams (archive only)

Narcissism with Vaknin on Instagram (active account)

 

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To be a sexually boundaried and principled woman nowadays is considered a shameful pathology. In the past, casual sex was optional, a choice - today it is the norm.

Women have always been the guardians of the status quo by internalizing male values, expectations and stereotypes.

Ironically, feminism fed into this traditional role, rendering women less empowered and more heartbroken and disillusioned than ever in their personal lives.

Women sought and attained equity and equality. Men had reacted by abandoning them en masse and by abrogating any commitment or investment. Both parties largely gave up on intimacy and relationships.

With men all but gone, women are attempting to become the new men (“stalled revolution”).

As newly converted zealous caricatured men, women are acting out male stereotypes, sexual scripts, and gender roles as the pillars of their newly defined femininity (“the self-objectifying slut in tank top, make up, and high heels”).

In a sad twist: to be an emancipated, empowered, modern woman is to give men what they had always dreamt of: no strings attached sex with an unboundaried partner.

Vociferous protestations aside, studies conclusively show that women had also assimilated the male double standard: they are conflicted about their conduct and secretly crave more in most instances of casual sex.

To resolve the cognitive dissonance that this lamentable state of affairs had created, women pretend to be agentic and carefree when in reality they are drunk and devastated in most of these encounters (Orenstein, Wade, Cohen, Armstrong, among many others).

Men take advantage on this self-inflicted injury: they are aggressive about demanding immediate sex and offer nothing in return.

Women end up with the worse of both worlds: they are being held responsible the way men are - but are suffering “slut shaming”, the double standard, and harassment as women always had.

Men manipulate women by falsely publicly supporting this transformation while privately still shaming them.

Western men especially lie and pretend to be tolerant of female unbridled sexuality in order to perpetuate these dysfunctional and self-defeating female behaviors.

The double standard is deplorable – but it is a fact. To ignore it is delusional, self-deceiving, and costly in terms of relationships prospects and reputation. The way to overcome it is not to outman men – but to teach men to be more considerate, compassionate, and respectful.

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People comfort themselves: “This is merely a transitional period, things will settle down soon”. But, of course, it is not and they won’t.

The Middle Ages had lasted 1000 years and they constituted a total
breakdown of civilization. We are on the precipice of a new such phase.

How can we tell the difference between transition and disintegration?

Transitions engender a ferment of new ideas and paradigm shifts. Breakdowns involve the impoverishment of both culture and the individual’s inner experience. Human relationships fall apart on every level. Narcissism, psychopathy, and other forms of mental illness go off the charts.

The backlash is comprised of regressive, totalitarian, and rigid doctrines enforced by total institutions. The former social polarization and conflicts are suppressed and supplanted with homogenizing authoritarianism.

Populism is another hallmark of dissolution: a contumacious and defiant wave against authority and learning coupled with a rise in willful, proud ignorance and obscurantism.

Periods of transition are the offspring of science and knowledge. Eras of discomposure are characterized by an abundance of unstructured information and empowering technologies. Creativity is on the wane - replication, imitation, and narcissistic navel-gazing on the ascendance.

Gender roles shift and are often inverted when social institutions and civilization itself crumble. Relations between men and women degenerate into open warfare and abusive exploitation.

Finally, as Tonybee had noted, civilizations decline when multiple natural and manmade calamities strike and grandiose, self-depleting projects are embarked upon by societies who teeter on the brink of utter dysfunction.

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People fail to appreciate the reputational halo effect: their notoriety or celebrity carry out into other, ostensibly unrelated areas of their lives. Breaching social norms and mores carries a lifelong all-pervasive sentence.

Consider the following common exclamations:

“I am a film or football star, so I can discuss geopolitics or medicine.”

“I may be a career criminal, but I am a good father.”

“When I am single, I have no sexual boundaries whatsoever and am highly promiscuous. But when I am in a relationship, I can be trusted to be self-respecting, decent, and boundaried.”

“I lie habitually only to members of my outgroup. With my clan or friends, I am scrupulously honest.”

“I am cheating with you on my spouse, but I will never cheat on you.”

“In sex, I am drunk and self-trashing with my colleagues, but I expect them to respect me at work.”

“I steal only in department stores. You can safely invite me to your home.”

“I have changed numerous jobs, but my marriage to you will last forever.”

“I am scared of flying and heights, but I am a bold decision maker in times of crisis.”

“I am a narcissist, but you can trust me as your guru and guide to proper living.”

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No speech act founded on science is hate speech. Wherever the data may lead, we are obligated to go.

If a preponderance of well crafted studies or a meta analysis of such point to a conclusion that it politically incorrect, one has the moral obligation to adhere to the facts, regardless of the prevailing censorship, aka as cancel culture.

Consider, for example these FACTS, substantiated by dozens of studies over decades, worldwide:

1. Casual sex has severe long-term deleterious mental health effects on women only;

2. Victimhood movements are being infiltrated by covert narcissists and secondary psychopaths;

3. Dark triad personality is common among people who engage in sexual self-trashing such as compulsive sexting, group sex, self-porn, or cheating;

4. All people lie all the time and, if they can get away with it, cheat and self-interestedly misallocate resources;

5. Black men commit many more crimes per capita than their white counterparts. Native Americans abuse alcohol way more than any other group;

6. Jews constitute 0.002 of the global population, but 37% of Nobel prize winners;

7. Women and men have the same IQ scores, but not blacks and whites;

8. Women prefer to mate and date “beta” males - even in casual sex. They find “alpha” males repulsive.

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Making love is not a power play or a competition. It is never aggressive, demanding, critical, comparative, or demeaning. NEVER!

Giving to the partner is often more gratifying than getting!

Teaching and demonstrating and exploring together everything the two bodies have to offer is 99% of the joy!

Making love is exactly like talking - but with our bodies: communicating emotions, moods, and needs.

If there is a discrepancy in experience, the more experienced partner simply suggests a new, enhanced vocabulary for the consideration of the less experienced partner.

There are no expectations in making love: only openness to the partner.

Gentleness, kindness, understanding, and a very gradual approach are indispensable keys to the experience of lovemaking.

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Grandiosity is often confused with aggression and sadism because it is intertwined with these behavior patterns.

When grandiosity is challenged, narcissists, psychopaths, and borderlines feel slighted, threatened, and frustrated and react with rage as they attempt to punish, modify the behavior of, or eliminate altogether the source of frustration. Overt hostility is less common among covert narcissists who are usually passive-aggressive.

A sadist leverages grandiosity to humiliate, shame in public, and discomfort his target.

But grandiosity in itself is a cognitive distortion, much like a defense mechanism gone awry. It reframes information and reality to buttress the grandiose person’s fantastic and inflated view or perception of himself/herself.

 

Narcissists transition from an overt state to a covert one via a process of collapse (systemic and prolonged failure to secure narcissistic supply).

But some narcissists remain stuck in the interim period and create a
binary system: a sadistic, grandiose overt which dominates and humiliates the covert self-state, acting as a kind of harsh inner critic gone awry.

The overt subpersonality is in charge of sustaining the grandiosity cognitive distortion by interacting with potential sources of supply. But it then colludes with them and weaponizes them to further depress the covert.

Aware of the role of the overt as a fifth column or a Trojan horse, the covert pseudoidentity preemptively devalues everyone the overt is in touch with, defanging them this way and denying them the ability to cause narcissistic injury.

As distinct from reactive devaluation, the preemptive variant is solely interiorized, a part of the passive-aggressive arsenal of the covert.

The covert also easily gets bored and loses interest (decathects) in various undertakings in order to deny the overt the opportunities to be in touch with people and turn them against the covert.

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Is parental alienation for real? Are Alienators narcissists or psychopaths? Why do children collude with the alienating parent? What are the lifelong effects on children?

Andy Martens and Mary Kovacs in the Andy Martens Show.

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We are all depleted and exhausted. The species will die out because of FATIGUE, not any great natural or manmade disaster. We even ran out of desire to procreate.

The core problem is a toxic combo of malignant tolerance, malignant egalitarianism, and moral relativism.

We are left with no standards of how to be a good person and how lead an appropriate life (eudaimonia).

When we perceive our actions to have been the outcomes of akrasia (weak willed misbehavior contrary to our best judgment) and not of phronesis (good judgment, excellence of character, habits conducive to a good life and practical virtue), we experience dissonance.

When we can’t tell the difference - we fall apart into a state of dystopian meltdown.

We no longer apply qualitative or normative tests and criteria to traits and behaviors - only quantitative ones. Anything goes as long as it is not harmful or truly extreme.

This is a suicidal recipe because we have no way of gauging all the deleterious consequences of our actions - and no method to agree on what constitutes “extremes”.

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One of the greatest frustrations of the therapist is the inability to induce insight in an otherwise intelligent patient.

Mental illness is often compartmentalized and firewalled from the rest of the personality and immune to reasoning and evidence.

Trying to communicate with such a person regarding his or her disorder is like dealing with two or more individuals, one of whom is obtuse and obdurate to the point of infuriating pseudo-stupidity.

 

Moreover: the pathology turns the patient’s intelligence against him, leverages this resource to orchestrate the resistance to any healing and personal growth.

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Informal survey of 276 of my students, ages 18-31 in 6 countries: Russia, Nigeria, USA, UK, Australia, and Israel.

Q: How long on average before you have sex with a person you have just met?

Less than 2 hours (112)
5-10 hours (94)
More than 10 hours (21)
Depends (31)
I don’t know or decline to answer (18)

Q: Do you consider sex in a one night stand sex an intimate act?

Very intimate (156)
Intimate (76)
Can be intimate or not (34)
Not intimate (8)
Don’t know (2)

Q. Do you consider sex in a long-term relationship more intimate than in casual sex?

No (132)
Yes (97)
Sometimes (37)
Not sure (10)

Q. Quantitatively, did you have more sexual encounters in committed relationships or in casual sex?

In casual sex (192)
In relationships (21)
I abstain from sex (11)
Don’t remember (52)

Q. Where do you pick up partners for casual sex?

Clubs and bars (46)
Parties (93)
Dating apps (36)
Workplace (44)
In transport (buses, trains, planes) (17)
Everywhere I meet people (40)

Q. Is casual sex less good than sex in long-term relationships?

Less good (193)
Better (67)
Can’t decide (16)

Q. Did you ever participate in group sex?

Yes (48)
No (212)
Decline to respond (16)

Q. Do you sext or cam with strangers on a regular basis?

Yes (12)
No (79)
Only when I am in a phase (82)
Decline to answer (103)

Q. Do you consume porn daily?

Yes (154)
No (36)
Decline to respond (86)

Q. How often do you get very drunk before you have casual sex?

100% of the time (177)
50% of the time (87)
Fewer than half the times (12)

Q. How many times did you end up having sex in an alcoholic blackout and have had no memory of it?

1-2 times (11)
3-6 times (45)
7-10 times (127)
Never (76)
Refused to answer (17)

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The narcissist prefers to be in dead relationships because he is utterly dead inside.

Being no more than a walking-talking corpse, the narcissist feels safe only in a cemetery.

The narcissist’s inability to give life and to partake in it is a major narcissistic injury and the fount of mortification.

So, he attempts to deaden his partner, assassinate her enthusiasm and joie de vivre, constrict her autonomy and exploratory spirit, and stunt her growth.

The narcissist is like rot or gangrene, spreading through his partner’s healthy parts until she is no more - like him, rendered an automaton with faulty programming.

 

The narcissist devalues you because you won’t freeze, play dead, and conform to your snapshot in his mind. This challenges his grandiosity and amplifies his separation insecurity (abandonment or separation anxiety).

But there is another reason: the narcissist wants you dead because he is already dead and it is lonely out there, in the void, in oblivion.

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The narcissist conjures his intimate partner in the shared fantasy - and then dematerializes her.

The shared fantasy is both a template and a matrix: a rigidly coded simulation which, like many other AI applications, yields unexpected results.

The shared fantasy is also both a network and a hierarchy.

The hierarchical rigidity of the shared fantasy is manifest in the conjuring act: the narcissist coerces his mate to be and to behave in regimented, micromanaged, and minutely specified ways.

But, being the simulation that it is, the narcissist desubstantiates his partner, forces her to renounce reality and herself.

Thus caught in a dreamlike cobweb, both parties develop paranoid ideation. In the cultlike settings of the shared fantasy, life itself is the enemy.

And though the narcissist/programmer seems to be in control, actually anything is possible in the nightmare that evolves.

The network effects of this form of lucid dreaming as psychogenic illness are unforetold.

Hence the hallucinatory crazymaking and cataclysmic dénouements of all romantic relationships with the narcissist.

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Narcissism is a fantasy defense gone awry. There are two types of narcissistic fantasies: grandeur (money, sex, power, access, and/or adulation) and shared (“perfect love” with a “soulmate”).

The narcissist is far more prone to engage in the latter when he is in the throes of the former. He is also far more psychopathic when mired in the grandiose fantasy.

The demise of either fantasy leads to the ultimate unraveling of the other. But the grandeur fantasy is more resilient and takes longer to fold.

When a shared fantasy goes bunk abruptly, the narcissist embarks on frantic and indiscriminate efforts to find an alternative.

Only when he fails at the “discard and replace” phase is the grandiose fantasy adversely affected, too.

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My blood boils when I peruse some of the pseudointellectual trash meted out by the practitioners of the increasingly more dubious field of gender “studies”.

Consider, for example, the current dogma, spawned by Hanna Rosin and supported by the studies of Elizabeth Armstrong and others: “Hookups are a great thing for women because they let them focus on their careers rather than on men”.

Several problems with this inane statement:

1. Hookups ARE about men. The way most women describe them, hookups are a form of sexual slavery on men’s terms and conditions;

2. Women are not giving up on men in hookups! Women are giving up on intimacy, investment, commitment, succor, and relationships;

3. The sex in hookups sucks for the overwhelming majority of women - twice less so for men.

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Both the Borderline and the narcissist idealize their partners, but for very different reasons (etiology) and through disparate psychodynamic processes. Yet, the outcome is the same: abuse and breakup. How come?

The Borderline truly loves her mate and outsources to him the regulation of her moods and affects (emotions).

Consequently, her dependence on him is absolute which amplifies both her separation insecurity (abandonment anxiety) and her fear of engulfment (losing herself in him).

Subject to the torsion of these twin terrors, the Borderline decompensates and acts out abusively and then seeks the dissolution of the bond both aggressively and passive-aggressively.

The narcissist idealizes his target in order to idealize himself. Co-idealization: my partner is ideal, therefore I am ideal. There are no emotions at play - just the elation of grandiosity affirmed.

But, over time and inevitably, the narcissist’s mate diverges and deviates from her idealized rendition (the introject or “snapshot”).

The narcissist reacts to any such discrepancy with fury (narcissistic rage) and starts to devalue the source of the incessant frustration.

The resulting relentless assaultive abuse ends up decimating the bond (shared fantasy).

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Cancel culture is the ineluctable toxic outcome and the thought police of the Whatever culture.

Punitively silencing politically incorrect and dissenting voices by proactively ignoring or blocking their access to social and mass media is driven by rampant conformism gone awry: the hallmark of totalitarianism, according to all scholarship. It often devolves into a sadistic witch hunt.

The Whatever culture rests on two pillars: malignant tolerance (“anything goes”) and moral relativism (“no such thing as absolute values, everything is context-dependent and can be deconstructed”).

Anyone who dares dispute these two pernicious - and utterly counterfactual - assertions is immediately and viciously cancelled. Social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube actively censor and derank “wayward” creators (“shadowbanning”) - myself and 
@richard.grannon included.

Recent brave studies prove conclusively that victimhood movements which resort to cancel culture are permeated through and through with dark triad activists: narcissists and psychopaths.

In nature, monocultures are much more susceptible to decay and disease. We are seeing proof of that in human societies as well recently.

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Humanity’s four monumental discoveries over the past 40 years:

1. Relationships and intimacy are very hard work, they suck and should be actively shunned and discouraged (relationship aversion);

2. Children are carbon-based, life-restricting mini-monsters best avoided;

3. Curiosity and learning are for the feeble-minded: study the minimum to make the minimal amount of money required to survive minimally in your cocoon;

4. The joys of technologically-empowered solitude far outweigh anything anyone can ever offer. Casual drunk sex with total strangers and porn can take care of one’s unfortunate physiological urges.

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The frequency of casual sex among Millennials and the Z-gen is LOWER than among the Baby Boomers (my generation) and generation X.

But there are some fundamental differences:

1. Casual sex is now the normative practice, not one of many options: “having fun” is the imperative;

2. Nowadays, hookup sex leads to an intimate relationship (albeit rarely), not the other way;

3. My generation put love, intimacy, and couplehood above career. Not so today’s youth who remain single a decade longer - or for life;

4. Currently, stranger sex is used to establish a social ranking or status within a reference peer group (relative positioning).

Like information (Wikipedia), Facebook likes, a sense of self-worth (narcissistic supply), or quality control (Yelp), the potential partner’s attractiveness is now crowdsourced: peer opinions outweigh one’s own (see Lisa Wade’s seminal work);

5. With the borders between public and private all but gone (aka social media), sex is increasingly becoming a public act (technically, dogging): in parties, group sex, clubs, even bars and restaurants.

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The orthodoxy is that sexual orientation is inherent and immutable.

But when many homosexuals get seriously drunk and, therefore, disinhibited, they become heterosexuals. And vice versa: inebriated, heterosexuals engage in same sex acts.

Inhibitions are internalized social strictures. They are an integral part and outcome of the socialization process. Alcohol removes them.

This raises an intriguing possibility: can all sexual orientations be merely socially-determined scripts and roles? And, if they are, what are the implications?

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That latter day feminism is an ideological cult is confirmed by the demented responses I have been receiving. So, here are my ripostes:

1. Hookups are not rendering women equal to men: in all formats of casual sex, women are 10 times more likely than men to be sexually assaulted, half as likely to orgasm, and give way more oral sex than they receive.

2. Both men and women are unable to transition from the hookup culture to dating and to intimate relationships.

They endure a string of failed liaisons and, having been burned repeatedly, about half of them end up being lifelong largely celibate singles. At least one quarter develop anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse disorders.

3. Ultimately, to avoid ineluctable hurt and heartbreak, the refugees of the hookup culture either opt for a life of drunken promiscuity (emotionless and meaningless sex) - or total phobic abstinence and sex aversion.

Fallaciously, feminism casts these two dysfunctional behavioral patterns in terms of “female empowerment”.

4. Studies and learning feature in less than half of college advertising and promotional materials. Fun is the keyword and it is clearly equated with sex. Hookups are a marketing tool intended to intoxicate the youth with the promise of unbridled “freedom” and loose women as a lure.

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Ideological cults involve a switch from full-fledged rationality and bounded rationality to “herd rationality”: there is safety in numbers and it makes eminent sense to belong to a like-minded group even if it requires self-defeating behaviors and the suspension of critical thinking.

Cults also induce in their members pseudostupidity: the passive aggressive rejection of data and arguments by repeating formulaic and usually counterfactual slogans or mantras.

Group affiliation soothes persecutory delusions (“we against the world”). Cults leverage the latter to foster the former.

Cults are the reifications of organizing and explanatory (hermeneutic) principles: they imbue reality with meaning and are both prescriptive and proscriptive.

Examples of modern day cults: radical feminism, conspiracy theories, followers of Jordan Peterson and Tony Robbins, the hardcore supporters of Donald Trump, free market fundamentalists, and all religions.

 

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Here is another moronic pearl of “wisdom” from the cult of feminism: hookups are good because they render the participants more resilient even when they end up being raped and more sexually experienced, even if most of these experiences are bad.

But why acquire resilience and experience this way? Why not simply warn the youth that hookups both suck and are risky?

It is like saying: “Jumping from multiple tall cliffs without a glider or a parachute taught me a lot about my body and about the nature of cliffs out there”.

Moreover: “dating” among the young is merely glorified hooking up. It has nothing to do with the way it had been done since the 1920s. “Dates” nowadays are way shorter, the two parties are plastered, they invariably end in penetrative sex (or sexual assault), and they rarely lead to a second encounter.

So, once a youth gets hooked on hookups, there is no way back.

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Women are postponing having a committed relationship (such as marriage) until they are in their early 30s. They focus on their careers instead and cherish their freedom to make all manner of choices.

In the meantime, these young women avoid intimacy and emotions as they sleep around with strangers or with friends with benefits.

But then, by the time they decide to team up with an intimate partner, about half of these women discover to their horror that it is way too late.

They end up as embittered and misandrist lifelong singles. The other half cycle through a series of disastrous liaisons.

The rate of infidelity has more than doubled as women thrash about in growing panic in search of male alternatives while betraying their nominal mates.

Why this predicament? For three reasons:

1. Men prefer no strings attached sex with the crops of much younger women who flood the sexual marketplace every year;

2. The double standard is still alive and kicking. Western men lie to women when they pretend that it is a thing of the past. No one wants to team up for life with a slut, her reputation irreparably tarnished by years of unbridled “whoring”; and

3. After decades of meaningless sex, reduced affect. and zero intimacy, very few women (and men) constitute relationship material. They lack the most basic relevant skills or practice.

Men are going their own way: they reject any commitment or investment as they prey on the hordes of sexually available females.

When they grow old, some men marry conservative and submissive women, including gold-diggers imported from overseas.

Some Feminists claim that hookup culture led to positive outcomes: most young people still want to get married, teenagers today are far less likely than their parents were to have sex or get pregnant.

But these “accomplishments” are illusory: most young people fail to get married or even form long-term relationships. And the young are so turned off by casual sex that, according to Pew Center, a whopping 38% of them end up adopting solitude and celibacy as the default lifestyle.

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Sex has always been transactional: from time immemorial, women have been trading it for protection and provision.

Now, according to studies and interviews, they are swapping sex for free drinks and a place to crash when they are too hammered to return home.

This extreme cheapening and commoditization of sex engenders a cognitive dissonance which modern women resolve by reframing the sordid proceedings as a "liberating choice".

Both women and men nowadays decouple sex from emotions and meaning for an average period of 15 years.

This recurrent practice hardwires the association into their neuroplastic brains indelibly.

When they ardently want to change - they no longer can. Even in committed intimate and loving relationships, the sex is mechanical and impersonal.

When asked to link specific activities to intimacy, people under the age of 30 most frequently list "talking". Not one of them mentions sex!

Consequently, as they grow out of their casual sex days, they devolve into celibacy, a sexless relationship, or serial cheating.

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As individualism has metamorphesized into narcissism, the “right to choose” had come to be identified with freedom itself.

But, like everything else in our postmodern reality, freedom of choice had undergone several cancerous transformations (“malignant libertarianism”).

For example: it is now used as a way to reframe reality in order to resolve profound cognitive dissonance (“It is my choice to be objectified and abused in hookup sex”).

Free choice is extended to self-harm (“I have a right to do with and to my body as I freely elect”).

Most worryingly, the freedom to choose is now extended to justify harming others. A most recent example is the anti-vaxxer movement.

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Some narcissists devalue and discard their partners during a pregnancy or shortly after childbirth. What gives?

A
pregnant female is an autonomous, agentic woman. This challenges and undermines the inert and malleable internal object that represents her in the narcissist's mind (her "snapshot" or introject).

The narcissist reacts with separation insecurity (abandonment anxiety) to this divergence. He is humiliated at his exposed dependence and helplessness.

In an attempt to rid himself of these negative affects and the attendant frustration, he aggressively devalues his partner and then dumps her unceremoniously.

The narcissist typically protests his victimhood, claiming to have been "neglected and ignored".

Moreover, the narcissist cannot control the processes and emotions unfolding in his partner's body and mind. He cannot outdo or outcompete her (he cannot get pregnant or give childbirth). This comparative inferiority constitutes a protracted narcissistic injury best avoided.

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There are two periods in a Western woman’s life when she is confronted with an overwhelming shortage of eligible men: during the college or university years - and when wants to transition from 15 years of casual sex or short-term liaisons to a long-term and committed intimate relationship, usually as she turns 30.

These imbalances in gender ratios disempower women and reduce them to abject and unboundaried sex slavery as the only way to secure a mate.

Naturally, men leverage this despair and refuse to commit or to invest even as they extort and coerce no strings attached one night stands from their reluctant “dates”.

Ultimately, about two fifths of women remain lifelong singles, having missed the love train by focusing on their cherished careers instead.

Inundated by much younger entries, older women find it increasingly difficult to compete for male attention until they finally succumb and opt for celibacy, Netflix, and their pets.

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The alternative to old-fashioned relationships is not necessarily self-sufficient loneliness. There are other options.

True: not everyone is built to do full scale intimacy and cohabitation.

But extremely few people are really happy all by themselves, never mind how much they protest otherwise in order to resolve their embittering cognitive dissonance.

In her book “American Hookup”, Lisa Wade quotes the historian Stephanie Coontz as she argues that “never in the history of humanity have so many different ways of loving been allowed”. Example: LDR (long distance relationships).

In her essay “The World Historical Transformation of Marriage,” Coontz writes:

“Almost any separate way of organizing caregiving, childrearing, residential arrangements, sexual interactions, or interpersonal redistribution of resources has been tried by some society at some point in time.

But the coexistence in one society of so many alternative ways of doing all of these different things—and the comparative legitimacy accorded to many of them—has never been seen before.”

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Any social movement that acts as a cult and yields disastrous outcomes in terms of mental health, interpersonal functioning, and self-harming behaviors should be outlawed. I would start with feminism.

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Tomorrow at 13:30, I will be giving the first public lecture ever about “Nothingness: A Philosophy for Life”. Next week on YouTube.

The event is organized by Zoran Vitanov 
@zoran.vitanov and will be held in Ragusa 360 Rooftop @ragusa360 in Skopje, Macedonia.

Entry is free, subject to a reservation (owing to Covid 19 capacity restrictions).

Last month, the documentary filmmaker Paula Lekuona interviewed me about Nothingness for her forthcoming series of documentaries on various socio-ethical issues.

 

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.

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Toxic masculinity is now the norm among women, as well as men. Coupled with unrestricted sociosexuality (fancy name for promiscuity), it is very common among dark triad personalities.

Surprisingly, though, this unsavory mix does not always automatically translate into infidelity. If the intimate partner is boundaried and committed to the relationship, the risk is no higher than average.

The problem is that few people bearing this psychological profile are either.

They tend to bail out and cheat with the first sign of serious difficulties and, accustomed to meaningless and unemotional sex, they hold a more permissive and dismissive view of extramarital casual encounters.

Consequently, most of them are serial cheaters.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to
get fully informed regarding the relationship and sexual histories of a potential intimate partner. Past misbehavior is an infallible predictor of future misbehavior, period.

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In aggregate, women are now earning more than men, are way more educated, had monopolized certain critical professions, and prefer their careers to any man for much longer than before.

About two fifths of women across the lifespan remain single for life and either go celibate or do casual sex (Pew Center). They are catching up with men when it comes to infidelity, narcissism, promiscuity, substance abuse, and antisocial behaviors.

Women are empowered in all fields of life bar one: sex and interpersonal relationships.

To attract men and keep them, women still self-objectify, groom and titivate themselves, go under the knife (plastic and cosmetic surgery), and succumb, inebriated, to the most degrading sexual demands of men, even total strangers in hookups or in group sex.

Sex and intimacy are men’s Alamo: the last stand in an ever shrinking enclave of virility and erstwhile dominance, a vengeful throwback.

Men now exaggerate and caricature waning chauvinistic machoism as a way to punish uppity women for their inexorable ascendance and “put them in their place, reduce them to size”.

Being sexually and emotionally abusive to women is men’s way of restoring their challenged grandiose superiority. They are wielding the good old reliable double standard: slut shaming and pathologizing women as “not relationship material”.

Women increasingly go their own way. Every year since 2016, a majority of women in the USA had avoided men altogether. Lesbianism has tripled in the past 20 years. Other parts of the world are following suit with alacrity.

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Merry Christmas! May all your gifts come true!

The
narcissist depends on his coterie for Narcissistic Supply. He resents this addictive dependence and himself for being so frail and impotent. It negates his self-delusional grandiose fantasy of omnipotence.

To compensate for this shameful neediness, the narcissist holds his sycophantic acolytes in contempt. He finds his fans, admirers, and followers repulsive and holds them to be inferior.

He sees himself reflected in their presumptuousness and sense of entitlement and resents this constant and tawdry reminder.

Fans often claim to possess inside information about their idol and to have special rights to privileged access simply by virtue of their unbridled adulation and time-tested loyalty.

But, the narcissist, not being a mere mortal, believes himself to be beyond human comprehension and refuses to render anyone special by granting him or her concessions denied to others.

Being special is his exclusive prerogative. His followers’s conduct implies a certain egalitarian camaraderie which the narcissist finds abhorrent, humiliating, and infuriating.

Groupies and hangers-on somehow fancy themselves entitled to the narcissist's favour and largesse, his time, attention, and other resources. They convince themselves that they are exempt from the narcissist's rage and wrath and immune to his vagaries and abuse.

This self-imputed and self-conferred status irritates the narcissist no end as it challenges and encroaches on his standing as the only source of preferential treatment and the sole decision-maker when it comes to the allocation of his precious and cosmically significant wherewithal.

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Are we social animals or, given the chance at technological self-sufficiency do we reveal our true nature as atomized, schizoid creatures?

 

Is loneliness - the emotional reaction to being alone - merely a form of social engineering, a culture-bound syndrome?

 

Do we naturally prefer to be alone in order to maximize the efficient allocation of scarce resources?

 

Is there a difference between loneliness and aloneness? And are these bad or self-defeating lifestyle choices?

 

Hopelessness and abuse render self-isolation and no children rational choices.

 

First, the facts:

 

North America is the harbinger of global trends, the canary in the mine.

Men and women postpone having committed relationships in order to focus on their studies, careers, having fun, and travelling.

 

By the time women start to seek intimate partners, men are used to no strings attached sex and solitude: they refuse to commit or to invest.

 

Almost half the adult population in the USA are singles. About 31% have never been in a long-term committed relationship, including marriage or even cohabitation.

 

Marriage rates are down by half and about 60% of such unions end in a divorce within a few years (taking into account second and third marriages). Marriage had become just another form of a non-committal medium-term relationship and extradyadic sex is very common (about 40%). Childbirth rates have collapsed.

 

Friends IRL are also way rarer than before. People spend a lot more time alone and at home, consuming entertainment and consorting with a bewildering assortment of pets.

 

Sex in all its forms – including casual sex - is on the decline and celibacy or sexless relationships are the norm. There is a marked rise in sex with AI apps, sex dolls, and in the production and consumption of online pornography, including self-pornography.

 

Telecommuting, Flextime, and the pandemic conspired to force us to work from home. The last thread of human contact - the workplace - has been severed.

 

Other parts of the world are getting there. Contemporary singles are likely to end their lives this way.

 

Atomization, malignant individualism, and technological self-sufficiency conspire to render us irremediably lonely.

 

The solitude of singles adversely affects their income and health, both mental and physical.

 

These shocking data reflect terminal deficiencies in the skillset required in order to maintain intimacy and relationships.

 

Decades of casual sex and placing career above love hardwired our neuroplastic brain to shun both.

 

But what are these missing skills? The ability to compromise, set boundaries, be vulnerable, tolerate frustration, give space, trust, and cooperate.

 

In short: everything that the narcissists and psychopaths we are all becoming are bad at.

 

Reactions to loneliness

 

Busyness and routines

Creativity

Magical thinking

Itinerancy

Paracosm (metaverse, multiplayer games)

Imaginary friends (social media)

Relative positioning (social media, video games)

Skill acquisition and self-improvement (self-help)

Conspiracism

Religion and occult

Mental illness (impaired reality testing), including avoidance and withdrawal

Narcissism

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From my draft syllabus of “Youth Sexuality: Trends and Issues” (Outreach program of SIAS-CIAPS: Centre for International Advanced Professional Studies).

GENDER RELATIONS STRIP

WOMEN: Let’s hang out and have fun!

MEN: OK, but only if you act as total drunk sluts and have no strings attached sex with us on demand.

70% of WOMEN: You got yourselves a deal! We will do anything to secure free drinks, have a social life, get male attention and some sex, however bad.

15 years of hookups and “dates” (glorified hookups) later

WOMEN: We now want to have a long-term intimate relationship with one man. Maybe even a child.

MEN: But you are sluts! You said so! You trashed yourself with us! We feel deceived by your about-face! We feel led on, teased, and played! We don’t want any commitment or emotions! We are having great fun!

And anyhow your are nothing but used goods: older and uglier. We will go find younger, prettier women, “fresh meat”, who just want to have fun with us. Don’t ever contact us again: go find a cat!

RAPE VICTIMHOOD SCHEMATICS

All rape and sexual assault perpetrators should be punished harshly.

But most victims are victimized multiple times. By refusing to accept responsibility for their own actions and choices, they are setting themselves up for future abuse.

Examples of self-exculpating fare:

“The rape just happened (I had contributed nothing to it happening)”

“The rape does not define who I am (even though I had made a series of decisions that put me in harm’s way or in a highly ambiguous situation - and I keep repeating these behaviors time and again)”

“I went to a frat house or a club whose members are notorious for their sexual aggression, I got myself blackout drunk there, I wore the skimpiest of clothing, I gave blow jobs in public to several guys. I then agreed to go with several of them to their rooms and public showers.

But, despite all the above, I bear no responsibility for my rape: I may have said “yes” (I can’t remember), but even if I did, I had been taken advantage of”.

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This is the age of victimhood. No one takes personal responsibility or agrees to be held accountable. Bad things mysteriously just “happen”. The passive voice is all the rage.

Well, here is some breaking news for you:

You are nothing but the sum of your informed choices and decisions. They define you for good and for life;

There is no going back in time and there is never a second chance. Your present shapes your future inexorably;

You bear full responsibility for the foreseeable outcomes of your informed choices and decisions;

Past behavior is the only infallible prognosticator of future conduct: you WILL relapse into old behavior patterns and habits. It is only a question of time and the right circumstances. Don’t trust people to change: they won’t;

The world couldn’t care less about you. You are on your own, in charge, alone forever. Get a grip. Wake up. Think before you act. Strangers are not kind, they are predators. Don’t be their prey.

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Derek Walcott: Love After Love (poem)

Micro-relationships: casual and stranger sex, including modern "dates" (glorified hookups)

Real relationships: vulnerability and hurt acceptance; dreams, goals, and planning - not fantasy; realistic perception of the partner, not idealization or devaluation;

Pseudo-relationships: shared fantasies

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Affirmative consent (“yes means yes”) is the newest piece of nonsense, trying to square the circle of decaying gender relations.

Here are the facts:

1. When it comes to sex, men still dominate, dictate, coerce, and have the upper hand. Women comply and try to please them;

2. In a haze of alcohol and drugs, there is no credible way to establish consent. Most contemporary sex takes place among participants nearly incapacitated by substances;

3. Alcohol affects women much faster and more profoundly than it affects men;

4. In the absence of sexual scripts, both men and women are bewildered as to their own motivations, decisions, and choices and are heavily influenced by women objectifying and despoiling porn;

5. Young men hold women in utter contempt and treat them as so much inebriated trash.

One third of men say that they would force a woman to have sex, one in seven would rape her, one fourth of women in college had been sexually assaulted, a majority of men find the sexual degradation of intoxicated women to be “hilarious” or “funny”;

6. Faced with such attitudes and a staunch refusal to commit, invest, emote, and reciprocate in relationships - women react with anger bordering on misandry (man-hating). About one third of women choose to remain single and one sixth are lesbians;


7. Many men lie and future fake and so obtain consent under false premises, a breach of contract in all but name. Tough technically consent had been given, it was conditioned upon the fulfillment of certain promises and should be considered to have been retroactively revoked.

Not very conducive to mature, negotiated, consensual sex.

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Breaking news: You must choose between having a career and having a life. You cannot have both. It is a zero sum tradeoff, not a game.

You can either have a meteoric career with a sputtering, dysfunctional private sphere - or a happy, balanced life replete with functional relationships but a mediocre career. Never both.

Relationships require time, patience, resilience, reciprocity, and investment and compete for these scarce resources head on with your career.

Make your choice. Don’t believe the self-interested hype out there: you cannot have both.

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There is a thin red line between compromise (healthy, necessary, and functional) and self-sacrifice (pathological, self-defeating, and dysfunctional).

How to tell them apart?

Compromise reflects the needs, priorities, and preferences of both parties. Self-sacrifice is always asymmetrical: skewed in favour of the recipient.

Compromise never involves a power play, mind games, or test of allegiance and fealty. Self-sacrifice is often focused precisely on these.

Finally, compromise enhances compatibility, cooperation, and the wellbeing of everyone. Self-sacrifice, being one-sided, produces in the giver or people pleaser bitter resentment, passive aggression, and disillusionment.

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It is no coincidence that periods of female sexual liberation (some call it promiscuity or self-objectification) went and still go hand in hand with women’s labor participation.

Until recently, women had been earning less than men on an adjusted and aggregate basis. They constituted cheap, qualified labor (and consumers) - but were highly distracted by the demands of hearth and home. It rendered women unreliable laborers.

Employers then and now much prefer women to be single, emotionally unattached, childless, and sexually fulfilled.

Enter the sexual revolution and women’s “empowerment”: an ideology of self-sufficiency which champions the elevation of career above patriarchal institutions such as marriage and the family and promotes no strings attached, emotion-free, casual sex.

Good for business, if not always for women.

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Most abnormal (“crazy”) behaviors are actually normative and common among healthy folk. So, how to tell the difference? I am going to use sex as a useful litmus test.

1. Quantity becomes quality. Repeating some patterns incessantly renders suspect the psychosexuality of the person involved.

Thus: having sex with multiple partners is one thing - having sex with many different strangers or with groups of strangers within a very short period of time is probably indicative of the existence of a problem.

2. Age inappropriate activities usually hark back to mental health issues. Hookups and one night stands on “dates” may be OK in college but they should raise more than one eyebrow if they persist as an exclusive sexual script beyond one’s early twenties;

3. Antisocial behaviors such as serial infidelities, constant lying, or stealing are probably the manifestations of deeper problems;

4. Recklessness, compulsive risk-taking, acting out, substance abuse, and unboundaried novelty-seeking are all artifacts and symptoms of mental health disorders and self-destructiveness.

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Choose happiness over dominance (be human, not a lobster);


Choose Meaning over complexity;


Choose fuzziness, incompleteness, imperfection, uncertainty, and unpredictability (in short: choose life) over illusory and fallacious order, structure, rules, and perfection imposed on reality (in short: death);


Choose the path over any destination, the journey over any goal, the process over any outcome, the questions over any answers;


Be an authentic person with a single inner voice, proud of the internal, not the external.

(Lecture dated December 23, 2021 in Ragusa 360, Skopje, North Macedonia, organized by Zoran Vitanov 
@zoran.vitanov , cinematography Marijan Ognenovski).

Nothingness: Antidote to Narcissism channel

Nothingness playlist on my main YouTube channel.

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Cold Therapy is a treatment modality for Depression and for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

Developed by Sam Vaknin, Cold Therapy is based on two premises: (1) That narcissistic disorders are actually forms of complex post-traumatic conditions; and (2) That narcissists are the outcomes of arrested development and attachment dysfunctions. Consequently, Cold Therapy borrows techniques from child psychology and from treatment modalities used to deal with PTSD.

Cold Therapy consists of the re-traumatization of the narcissistic client in a hostile, non-holding environment which resembles the ambience of the original trauma. The adult patient successfully tackles this second round of hurt and thus resolves early childhood conflicts and achieves closure rendering his now maladaptive narcissistic defenses redundant, unnecessary, and obsolete. It was found to also be effective with major depressive episodes.

Cold Therapy makes use of proprietary techniques such as erasure (suppressing the client’s speech and free expression and gaining clinical information and insights from his reactions to being so stifled). Other techniques include: grandiosity reframing, guided imagery, negative iteration, other-scoring, happiness map, mirroring, escalation, role play, assimilative confabulation, hypervigilant referencing, and re-parenting. It is proving to be an effective treatment for major depressive episodes (see this article about the link between pathological narcissism and depression and this article about depression and regulatory narcissistic supply in narcissism).

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In a futile attempt at closure, the narcissist keeps re-enacting, throughout his adult life, early childhood conflicts with his parents, who are also important sources of narcissistic supply.

Naturally, the narcissist has a mixed reaction to the passing away of his parents. It is composed of elation and a sense of overwhelming freedom mixed with grief.

The narcissist is attached to his parents in much the same way as a hostage gets "attached" to his captors (the Stockholm syndrome), the tormented to his tormentors, or the prisoner to his wardens.

When this bondage ceases, the narcissist feels lost and released, saddened and euphoric, empowered and drained.

Narcissistic parents treat their children as extensions, or mere instruments of gratification. They disrespect the child’s emerging boundaries and are, thus, abusive.

Narcissistic parents control and emotionally blackmail their offspring and instill in them guilt, shame and codependence.

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Personal growth, self development, and healing crucially depend on vulnerability and the willingness to accept hurt and loss.

This is especially true in family settings and intimate relationships.

 

This is the age of pervasive distrust: of experts, of science, of the authorities, of the future, and of each other. Everyone is wary of being played. Every has a pet conspiracy theory.

Nowhere is the mistrust more profound than between men and women in all age groups, from all backgrounds, everywhere in the world.

Around 70% of men and women say that they deeply or somewhat distrust the opposite sex. The remainder totally or “somewhat” trust their counterparties.

Women complain that men are “feminine”: not committed or invested, weak, ineffectual, and craven. The vagaries of online dating served to augment this inauspicious view of men.

Men describe women as sexually unboundaried, prone to cheating and drunkenness, and cunning.

A whopping 16% of people under age 25 cheat in their relationships every year (compared to 2% per annum in the 1980s). Cheating had become a default casual sex behavior and is now intimately coupled with excessive drinking.

This supernova of infidelity is driven by empowered and financially independent women who no longer tolerate male abuse and bad or no sex in their primary dyads.

This abysmal mutual resentment and hypervigilance has dire outcomes: about one third of the surveyed in Pew Center studies are lifelong singles, another 15% are in between rapidfire pseudorelationships.

The marriage rate is at an all time low, having declined by 50% since 1990. Birth rates in industrial countries have plummeted and the populations in many nations are aging and declining at dizzying speeds.

Since 2016, aloneness is the new normal for the majority of men and women worldwide.

“Happy New Year” is beginning to sound like a morbid and very bad joke.

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Mislabelling and misidentifying internal dynamics is a common cognitive distortion among cluster B patients. Self-deceiving mental artifacts and self-gaslighting are the hallmarks of several personality disorders, including Narcissistic and Borderline.

Consider, for example the interpersonal dimension.

The personality disordered are totally incapable of any intimacy and of any emotions whatsoever in sex and, more generally, with people.

They habitually confuse dependence, limerence, novelty, infatuation (rush), having sex, exhibitionism, masochism, defiance, competitiveness, possessiveness, neediness, and people pleasing with
love and intimacy. These, of course, are not the same things, not by a long shot. Actually, they are the antonyms of love and intimacy.

It FEELS like emotions and intimacy to these patients because they know no better and no different.

When they attempt to identify and label their dim stirrings, they simply resort to the vocabulary of healthier, normal folk. But this linguistic sleight of hand doesn’t make it so, needless to say.

 

 

 

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