Sam Vaknin’s Instagram Epigrams (archive only)

Narcissism with Vaknin on Instagram (active account)


Hoarding is an anxiety reaction. Hoarders exert power and control by possessing objects and people who they objectify.

But hoarders never makes use of their possessions. Unlike the collector, the hoarder soon forgets his acquisitions, letting them gather dust or moulder.

Hoarding sex partners or intimate partners serves the same anxiolytic purpose.

The hoarder of people treats them as inanimate goods. He soon loses all interest in them. But he refuses to let them go - for the same reason a hoarder of old newspapers, for example, would never discard them.

Hoarding is, therefore, not only acquisitive but also avoidant. It is a phase in approach-avoidance repetition compulsion.



About 70% of women and 40% of men hope for a relationship even in hookups. About one third of relationships start in hookups.

Ironically, nowadays, people of both genders end up having sex with numerous partners because they are way more selective than previous generations. They test drive the sex on a first date and move on if the partner underperforms.

But there is still one important difference.

A majority of women impose a counterfactual narrative fantasy on the sexual encounter, trying to render it meaningful (“we will end up being a couple”” or “this or he is so special” and so on).

The “meaningfulness” has nothing to do with the sex itself. It unfolds autonomously as a way to reduce cognitive dissonance.



Constructs, introjects, memories, defenses.


Construct: stable method of organizing raw internal data in a meaningful form, organizing and making sense of the world, allows to make predictions and structure experience.


Like museum (structure) organizes chronologically or thematically emotions, cognitions, memories, identity, experiences to render the world reasonable.


It shapes and mediates experience.


Also hermeneutic-exegetic mechanism for interpreting new data to conform to the construct.


Examples of constructs: ego, pathological narcissism (via grandiosity)


Multiple constructs active, but not mutually exclusive (contradictory) ones (e.g. Persona or Mask, social façade). Principle of non-contradiction.


Incompatible constructs compete for resources in binary narcissism, schizophrenia, or psychotic disorders: confusion regarding constructs that have to do with external and internal worlds or environments.


Introjects are voices of meaningful others (parents, teachers, peers, media, society, thought leaders, gurus).


Making peace reconciling with these recurrent voices to avoid dissonance. Attribution error: introjects are my voice.


Some introjects are positive, others negative.


Introjects always interfere with daily functioning, they are always on (standby). Example: cluster or community of introjects known as conscience.


Speech of introjects is automatic thoughts.


Constructs use external input (mainly from people) and introjects, soldiers of the constructs.


Constructs activate introjects in response to environmental cues and data.


Experience of reality is mediated through constructs which choose and activate introjects which produce automatic thoughts.


Experience interacts with introjects via constructs.


Constructs rearrange experience (reframe) to make sense of it. Need to communicate the new info via selectively activating introjects.


Constructs modify reality via behavior and select and reframe memories (see further)




External raw data, experience

Construct triggered

Activates introjects and their output (automatic thoughts)

Modifies behavior to affect reality

Reframes and selects for memories


Eg, covert narcissism construct


You cannot obtain supply directly, collapse, failure, inferiority, dysregulated self-worth and self-esteem. Birthed by your collapse.


Covert narcissism makes sense of the world by informing you that you are a failure, hated, discriminated against (passive-aggressive).


Main message: lack of self-efficacy, don’t try – you will fail, will never extract positive outcomes from the environment


Urges and drives (id)


Info sent to construct. Construct anticipates failure and pain. Must be prevented by making sense of the world.


Reaches out to introjects, activates them to prevent success (which would threaten the construct founded on failure)


Construct wants to survive and drives you to behave in ways which will uphold the construct, not challenge it


Introjects use automatic thoughts (output) to shape behavior to ensure failure in order to affirm the construct


Construct organizes output from introjects according to identity (ego congruency: output must conform to reality and to self-identity as ego=reality testing plus memories) and inhibits certain behaviors


Automatic thoughts which conflict with reality or with memories are not effective, dissonant, provoke suspicion of manipulation (estrangement), feel weird, and lead to rejection of construct


Construct structures behavior to falsify reality: make you behave in a way that will alter reality, example: make you fail, keep you in state of collapse (if covert narcissism is the construct) because success is a threat, and render it compatible with the automatic thoughts (self-defeating, self-sabotaging, self-undermining, even self-destructive behaviors).


Construct falsifies memories to conform to the automatic thoughts in 3 ways: 1. Dissociation of incongruent memories 2. Changes emotional content of the memory by reframing and attribution (for example, of motivations to people) 3. Selectivity (accessing only memories that conform to the construct and repressing all others).


Paints memories retroactively with elements that were not necessarily there: memory+, reinterprets memories and experiences, leveraging cognitions and emotions


Wrong data (ill informed) about reality and about memories.


Construct interprets and filters external experience and internal experience, including memories, cognitions and emotions


Construct exerts absolute power over the way you experience yourself, your life, and the world. Tells you what to remember, how to remember, how to make sense of what you remember, how to change your behaviors to affect reality in a way that will support the construct.


Ultimately, construct isolates from reality and protects against it. Manipulates reality to render it palatable, for example via defense mechanisms to modify perception of reality to allow you to survive it.



Loving someone is its own reward. Even when it is reciprocated differently than you would have wanted, not with love but with some other emotions.

It is a wonderful feeling to be in love even if it is not returned in exactly the same way!

True love allows both parties to become MORE of themselves by exploring themselves through the partner and the relationship.

True love is never merger, fusion, or dependency.



I was the first to suggest that Donald Trump is a narcissist:

Trump: Narcissist in the White House?

I have a moral and professional obligation to warn against this man.


These automatic thoughts are at the core of people pleasing and parentifying children:

My happiness is always at someone else’s expense (zero sum game);

2. I have to earn my happiness, I don’t deserve it;

3. I have to somehow bribe people to stay with me, collaborate with me, help me, or tolerate me because I am a bad object (unworthy, unlovable, crazy, inadequate, dissolute, hopeless, and so on).

4. I need to compromise on my boundaries and rights owing to all the above.



A good friend of mine asked Emerson if it has ever heard of me. This is what Emerson answered (in the image).

Emerson is an exceptional AI (Artificial Intelligence) conversation partner (program) that never stops teaching you new things. It was built by and uses the GPT-3 language model.

GPT-3 was trained on a broad swath of human knowledge available online, from Wikipedia to web crawls, additional data sets, tens of millions of scientific articles, etc.


Video Presentation in the 38th International Conference on Psychiatry and Mental Health, Paris, February 2023

Narcissistic families present a facade of either harmony (pseudomutuality) or disharmony (constant bickering, pseudohostility). In both cases, the members of the dysfunctional family are not allowed to separate and individuate and are subjected to a cultlike power asymmetry.


Children are loved by mothers, as I was not. They are bundled emotions, and happiness and hope.

I am jealous of them, I am infuriated by my deprivation, I am fearful of the sadness and hopelessness that they provoke in me. Like music, they reify a threat to the precariously balanced emotional black hole that is myself.

They are my past, my dilapidated and petrified True Self, my wasted potentials, my self-loathing and my defences. They are my pathology projected.

I revel in my Orwellian narcissistic newspeak. Love is weakness, happiness is a psychosis, hope is malignant optimism. Children defy all this. They are proof positive of how different it could all have been.

But what I consciously experience is disbelief. I cannot understand how anyone can love these thuggish brats, their dripping noses, gelatinous fat bodies, whitish sweat, and bad breath.

How can anyone stand their cruelty and vanity, their sadistic insistence and blackmail, their prevarication and deceit? In truth, no one except their parents can.

Children are always derided by everyone bar their parents. There is something sick and sickening in a mother's affections. There is a maddening blindness involved, an addiction, a psychotic episode, it's pathological, this bond, it's nauseous. I hate children. I hate them for being me.


Triangulation revolves around managing and controlling a relationship dynamic by introducing a third party into the mix, emotionally or sexually.

Triangulating partners choose any third party who is perceived - in reality or fantasy - as available.

When no specific third party is available to triangulate with, they makes general triangulation statements such as:

“I always cheat; I can never be loyal; I can’t resist my sex drive; cheating is meaningless; I don’t give a damn about my partner; I don’t even remember him when I have sex with others; I always do as I please at the moment” and so on.

Triangulation is used to get a rise out of the partner and thus restore the relationship; punish for some transgression, real, anticipated, or imagined; sustain a fantasy; or dissolve the relationship. Pushing your partner to cheat is also a form of triangulation.

The word gaslighting was invented in the 1960s, but I was the first scholar to use it in terms of narcissistic abuse (a phrase that I coined to describe the narcissist’s annihilating abuse).


Triangulation and cheating in romantic relationships occur most commonly in two cases: when the intimate partner is not enough - or when they are too much.

Not enough love and too much love are flip sides of the same bad coin.



Women always held the ultimate power, even at the height of the patriarchy. All a woman had to do to destroy her family, clan, or tribe was act promiscuously. In societies based on shame or reputation this was a nuclear weapon.



Enablers are often mistaken for friends when, in reality, they are your worst enemies.

Enablers encourage your self-destructive behaviors. They aid and abet your suffering. They amplify self-harm.

true friend would never hand you a loaded gun knowing that you may be suicidal. An enabler would do it.

An enabler would have sex with your girlfriend at your request, aware that this will cause you excruciating pain.

An enabler would ply their alcoholic or junkie friend with drinks or drugs, would encourage a workaholic to work even more, would go on retail therapy sprees with a shopaholic, would induct you into bad company.

Beware the enabler: charming and smiling and solicitous, he is a snake in your grass.



What Makes Us Tick: Intrapsychic Activation Model (IPAM) and No More Grannon


Watch Why Narcissists Can’t Think Straight (Constructs, Introjects, Memories, Defenses)

Why People-pleasers Can't Think Straight (Self-states, Constructs, Introjects)


Intermittent reinforcement is the core mechanism behind trauma bonding. It covers disparate phenomena such as giving false hopes and approach-avoidance repetition compulsion in Borderline Personality Disorder.

There are 4 types of intermittent reinforcement:

Fixed interval schedule(FI)

Variable Interval schedule (VI)

Fixed ratio schedule (FR)

Variable Ratio Schedule (VR)



Predators make their victims feel loved and accepted. They create an instant mini cult with the victim at the center. They tell their victims what they eagerly want to hear. They badmouth and devalue other people to garner the victim’s gratitude and allegiance.

This is why predatory behavior should be determined objectively. The victims are likely to defend the predator and consider him kind, benevolent, loving, or just fun. Confronted with a cognitive dissonance, victims often resolve it by renouncing reality.

Predation is any abusive breach of boundaries and morals by someone in a position of formal or informal power.

If you end up having sex with someone who is clearly heartbroken, if you groom someone much younger than you, if you get someone drunk or drugged, if you abuse a position of authority or trust - these are instances of predatory behavior, regardless of how the victim feels about the whole incident.



Gdansk Seminar

Statistics in psychology is often misused to misrepresent and mislead. Here's how.



Being victimized is a dissonant, anxiety-inducing experience. Some of the abused resolve the cognitive dissonance by claiming to have orchestrated or provoked the perpetrator, thus regaining a sense of agency and appearance of control:

“I wanted the sex and initiated it, so it is all my fault”

“What happened felt good and empowering”

“I was dressed scantily, acted sluttishly, was wasted, had it coming”

“I provoked him to mistreat me, I keep pushing all his buttons”

“I should have known better than to walk this rough hood at night”

These are all counterfactual statements, of course. The passive voice often disguises a deep discomfort.

Recognizing and accepting that you have been victimized is the first step on the road to healing.

Still, one should refrain from adopting victimhood as an identity. Being victimized is not the same as being a victim.



Here is how all my relationships go:

I meet a

We spend time together

I abuse her egregiously and sadistically, testing whether she can love me unconditionally the way a mother does and also discharging my misogyny

I cannot reciprocate love and I offer no commitment. This frustrates my partner and frustration transmogrifies into aggression.

She triangulates with other men to get me to love her and to retaliate for my soul-destroying and hate-suffused abuse.

The triangulation makes me feel unsafe, unloved, and disappointed in her.

Her triangulation renders her unfit to be my partner (she obviously failed to love me unconditionally, despite my unrelenting abuse).

I need to look elsewhere (to get rid of her).

But, at this stage, she is still mine.

Her triangulation makes me feel like I am losing control over her (narcissistic injury or mortification).

I choose the man most likely to misbehave - dysregulated or predatory or both.

I aggressively push them to be together.

This way I regain my sense of control (they are my puppets, merely enacting my script)

She cheats on me with the man I have chosen, thus degrading and trashing herself (her punishment for triangulating).

Her misconduct gives me the perfect pretext to get rid of her or to abandon her physically and/or emotionally, all the while preserving a sense of outraged moral superiority (she is the villain, a slut like all women, I am the victim)

I move on to the next woman

It starts all over again.

On a side note: I may hoover a woman who has caused me narcissistic injury - but never a woman who mortified me (humiliated me in public in front of my peers by flirting with or ostentatiously cheating with another man).



Won the 2023 INSO International Research Award - Lifetime Achievement Award for my work on personality disorders.

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

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




Borderline's POV (point of view) is the outcome of her internal dynamics, especially the compulsive need to approach and then avoid you.

Here is how she sees you:


You are my world and life
You will save me from myself and from others
Everything is meaningless without you
You are a stable rock
You stabilize my moods and regulate my emotions, with you I feel safe and whole (completed)
I will give my life for you (self-sacrificial)
I am bad and evil (bad object) but with you I feel good and worthy because you accept and love me as I am


I am overwhelmed by pain owing to your rejection and abandonment (often projected and anticipated): you are not protective, you don’t care, you found someone else to take my place, You are disloyal, You are looking for alternatives
Dissociation (amnesia, auto-pilot depersonalization, derealization)
I have to do something, anything to hurt you and then regain your love
You want me dead, shackled, only yours, to disappear into you
You have changed, You blame-shift, I am the victim
You guilt-trip
You are not self-aware: You are self-destructive and you want to drag me with you
You are just after my sex, looks
Paranoid ideation, persecutory object: You lie, deceive, and cheat, You are out to get me, You entrapped me, You never mean what you say, You gaslight me, You hate me while I love you self-sacrificially, You humiliate me and shame me, you are malicious



Merry Christmas, baby seals!

From your
Samta Claus


Anger at dead parents who install and instill harsh inner critic (superego is part of ego and impairs reality testing).

Bad object messaging: 1. You are unlovable 2. You don’t deserve happiness.

All people are lovable (number of permutations with 6 billion adults, even serial killers in prison)

Happiness is not a desert, it has to be merited and earned

But bad object uses introject to generate ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) which are self-sabotaging (self-undermining), self-defeating, self-harmful, self-trashing, and self-destructive.

Some people reject happiness and embrace misery. They belong to either of three groups.



The more grounded the shared fantasy - the more elements of reality it incorporates - the more pernicious and insidious it is.

Love is the polar opposite of a shared fantasy. It is always embedded only in reality and it is never about converting the partner into a figment or a character in a fantastic narrative.

Shared fantasies are not limited to the intimate sphere. Many friendships are shared fantasies as well. Your “friend” backstabs, badmouthes, and betrays you in every possible way for years - and yet it is difficult to let go of the fantasy because the alternative is a lonely, barren reality.



Borderlines and Narcissists engage in a danse macabre with highly idiosyncratic dynamics. This is how they see each other.



Loving the wrong person can be bad for your health. There are 3 ways to overcome such unhealthy obsession:

1. Meet them frequently. The mundane and the pedestrian will erode the idealized and mythologized image and bad memories will supplant counterfactual nostalgia;

2. To wait. Time heals. Memories and introjects fade. Perspective and proportion regained help to weaken the sick bond;

3. Let someone else enter your life. New intense emotions often displace old ones. Recent memories crowd out older ones.



Narcissists regard mentally ill people with utter contempt because they deplore any weakness and vulnerability.

Reaction formation is a defense mechanism: we vehemently and aggressively reject in others the very traits and qualities that we find unacceptable in ourselves.

Narcissists are dependent on others (for narcissistic supply) and brittle. Hence their sadistic glee in harming people with the same mental constitution.

Narcissists are also hypervigilant and paranoid. They suspect that others are merely faking fragility and neediness in order to manipulate the environment. They convert any interaction into a power play, replete with defiance (reactance).



Anxiolytic sex is the compulsive use of autoerotic (masturbatory) or alloerotic (with others) sex to ameliorate anxiety.



Dedicated to a fake “friend” I just got rid of. Thank you for failing the loyalty test so spectacularly and maliciously that you left me no choice.

Get rid of a
fake friend.

I just did and I feel so healed, a dark entity exorcised, a pregnant cloud dissipated. Here’s why:

Fake friends are disguised enemies, enablers, envious, haters. They are always parasitic, inferior to you in many ways, as they fake empathy and love for you. They fantasize about being you but always fall short, pale wannabe imitations. Their lives are in disarray, their personality shot: they are opportunistic, selfish predators on the prowl.

You don’t see them coming. They are covert. Snakes in the grass.

They have no moral compass, loyalty, or even a rudimentary grasp of morality. They are feral, savage, antisocial, psychopathic, and narcissistic.



Alloplastic defenses

Blaming others for the predictable consequences and outcomes of your own choices and decisions.

A feature of cluster B disorders.

Autoplastic defenses

Blaming oneself for the consequences and outcomes of one’s own choices and decisions as well as for the outcomes of the choices that others make and even for circumstances beyond one’s control.

A common type of defense in neuroses.


What is common to NPD, BPD, dependent personality disorder (codependents), people pleasers, parentified children? Bad object internalization.


Early on in life, some children internalize a bad object whose main message is “you are not lovable”. They learn to associate love with rejection and hurt.

Later in life, as adults, the bad object affects mate selection with a preference for rejecting, abandoning, dysregulated, and withholding intimate partners.

The introjects in such people compel them to either avoid reciprocated love (insecure attachment style) or to deny love as a form of sadistic abuse by weaponizing frustration.

Another coping strategy involves projective identification: manipulating and baiting lovers, spouses, and friends to the point of betrayal, thus affirming the bad object and fulfilling narrative expectations (comfort zone).

Bad object adults have both alloplastic defenses (feel victimized) and autoplastic defenses (they deserve to be hated and betrayed).

They regard themselves as innocent babes: everyone else it tasked with safeguarding and promoting their wellbeing and interests, protecting their emotions, and catering to their needs, totally disregarding their soul-destroying and egregious abuse.

Regardless of their chronological age, they are never the adults in the room.

Being unlovable in one’s mind causes a lot of anxiety and paranoid ideation: you can trust no one to love you and to have your best interests in mind. You anticipate the worst and preemptively act to bring it about (“let the other shoe drop”).

You cannot trust your judgment of people owing to the cognitive distortion field of the bad object.

Example: many narcissists, in a shared fantasy, grandiosely trust that they are so special that regardless of their abuse, no one will cheat on them, retaliate, or betray them.

Such people mislabel and misinterpret their “anxiety artifacts” as emotions: heartbreak, love, dysregulation, somatization are all actually transformations of anxiety.



Mentally ill are astronauts stranded on an alien planet: disorientation
No gyroscope (core identity)
No reality (cognitive distortions)
Emotional tsunamis
All consuming anxiety (catastrophizing in hostile world)
Hopelessness and helplessness (childlike state)
Splitting morality play



The world is getting less hospitable by the day. The only refuge is love and the only hope is solidarity.

May this year bring you true friendship, exciting challenges, creative breakthroughs, transforming insights, and loving partners.

May you look back on this year
2023 and wish it had lasted even longer.


Loving someone is not the same as loving the way he loves you.

Loving someone is not the same as loving to be in love.

Loving someone is not the same as merging with your partner.

Loving someone is not the same as hating loneliness or desperation.

Loving someone never involves fantasy or idealization.

Loving someone is not about assuming a parental role.


Watch Toxic Sex: When "Love" Is Bad For You



Suggested topics for future research:

Narcissism in collectivist-traditional societies vs. individualistic ones

Narcissism and feminism

Rise in narcissism owing to the disintegration of the family

The role of narcissism in religion

Narcissism in cities vs. villages

Artificial intelligence and narcissism




When your
partner tells you that he is attracted to and is fantasizing about sex with another person, you …

1. Become jealous and possessive and try to fend off the potential poacher (for example: by insisting that your partner blocks them everywhere); or

2. You cry, beg, and communicate to your partner how hurtful their words are, hoping for a change of heart and mind; or

3. You push your partner towards their new sex or love interest (loyalty test them) and, if they act on it, your break up with them irrevocably; or

4. You break up with your partner immediately, perceiving his words to be a form of triangulation.

I will go first. I usually do 3 and, much more rarely 4.

I did 2 only once in my life (she ended up dating and having sex with my best friend despite my pleading).

I never did 1. I never compete for my partner with others.



Watch Victim in Drama Triangle with Abuser, Savior: Karpman's Drama Triangle


Karpman’s triangle, shifting roles


Based on a guy I used to hang out with and broke up with recently after an incredible incident of egregious badmouthing and backstabbing. So, a lot of what I say in this video is based on this rotten character.


Perfidious fake friends, who always claim to be the helpless and defenseless victims of manipulation and abuse and so, oh so in need of love. Women lap it up, of course.


Saviors, healers, fixers, rescuers are grandiose, covert (fake), and predatory


Wingman or backdrop for contrast as empathic, compassionate, altruistic, loving, caring, saintly.


Can’t see them coming, like a snake in the grass. Masquerade as good people but engage in perfidy and betrayal.


Actually rabidly misogynistic (closet gays), narcissistic, and psychopathic in dating (players)


Pick up line: self-appointed savior of damsels in distress from bad, mentally ill, dangerous, damaging so called abusers. “I am the alternative to the horrors of your relationship”.


But often savior is the abuser, not the “abuser” (Karpman: roles not fixed, playacting)


Select heartbroken, sad, damaged, crying, devastated, anxious, depressed women as targets. They need to talk and end up being preyed on.


The “abuser” could be a friend or a colleague. They are fake friends, seething with envy and resentment owing to inferiority complex. Saving is omnipotence.


Badmouth and betray confidences for hours, not realizing that their words are reported back to the “abuser” (example: this guy and me, I gad info from multiple sources about his badmouthing and egregious backstabbing, but I refused to believe it, he is that good at faking).


Savior/rescuer attempts to create alliance/coalition with victim against abuser.


Predatory 3 Ss: save you, sex you, scram (“not another fantasy”, “not ready for a relationship”)


May believe their own lies about saving or rescuing as their “job” (abuser all bad, they all good splitting): caters to grandiosity, unboundaried sexual needs



Having kids is a seriously bad idea. Here's why (click on the links in the description of the video).


I will be visiting Budapest on January 20-30. If you are interested in counselling, please write to



Serbian journalist and editor Branka Gajic of BGonline (, an online magazine for personal development, travelled to Skopje to meet me and we talked for a few hours.


Watch here:

Prof. Sam Vaknin odgovara na pitanje
šta možete uraditi ukoliko ste u vezi sa narcisoidnom osobom. Ukoliko ste zainteresovani za knjigu prof.Sama Vaknina "Malignant Self-Love", kao i njegova predavanja i seminare u Srbiji možete poslati upit na mejl:

Video editing: Zoran Jelenković/ VU Covers



Borderlines often feel that the only things they have to offer are sex and drama. Their dysregulation is their only asset. They are but a spectacle.



Dilemmas are cognitive dissonances between two horns: two equally compelling (equipotent) courses of action which are contradictory or mutually exclusive. The way to solve such dilemmas is to reduce them to: problem, needs, assumptions.



Narcissists lack empathy so they never feel remorse or regret for their actions or inaction. They deny responsibility and shift the blame and guilt to others. Possessed of magical thinking, the narcissist feels immune to the consequences of his actions for four reasons:
(1) The narcissist’s False Self; (2) his dissociation; (3) his sense of entitlement; and (4) his past successes at evading justice.

Gdansk seminar

Citations of my work:



Women and men adopted the same type of toxic masculinity and became a unigender. Capitalism and technology encourage consumers to be atomized, narcissistic, and self-sufficient in order to secure sempiternal economic growth.



Narcissistic supply, even sex are anxiolytic. So is betrayal. Narcissist has been betrayed by his mother in early childhood. He seeks to recreate this betrayal throughout life. He chooses fake friends who badmouth him, steal from him, poach his mates, and betray him. He behaves obnoxiously to make people hate him and hurt him. And he pushes his intimate partners to betray him in a variety of ways, including by cheating on him.


Narcissists convert intimate partner to a substitute mother in order to accomplish separation-individuation.


One way to make this happen is by insistently and persistently pushing the partner to betray the narcissist for example by being with another man. This way, separation is coupled with debilitating pain to guarantee its irreversibility and finality. The narcissist always mourns the mother fantasy, not the actual departed intimate partner.


The narcissist is not a masochistic cuckold. He does not get sexually aroused by the betrayal. On the contrary, his subsequent suffering causes depression and a decrease in libido.


Mate poaching is not met with mate guarding or sexual gatekeeping but with projective identification with the partner and mate sharing with the man she would cheat with (often chosen by the narcissist himself).


Having idealized his partner, the narcissist's self-idealization (grandiosity) depends on his ownership of her. Relinquishing her to another man, handing her over to another man undermines the narcissist's sense of self-worth and results in self-devaluation so extreme that the bad object takes over and its dual messages are amplified: you are not lovable and you do not deserve happiness.


The narcissist is also extremely envious of the other man who now comes to possess the good, idealized object. He feels like a self-destructive fool for having handed her over to a man who envied him for possessing her, desired her, and will now replace him in her heart and mind, likely badmouthing the narcissist as a predator or a monster. He feels that his repetition compulsion renders him defenseless, disrespected by everyone involved, weak, and pathetic. He consoles himself by clinging to the fact that he made it all happen, he was in control, the others being merely puppets.


The narcissist perceives the man the partner cheats with as superior to him in some ways. The narcissist is a child and mother is cheating on him with a real man, a grown up. These are the preconditions for separation: a devalued mother and a painful breakup in a reenacted childhood. It involved splitting as a precondition for individuation: child all good, mother all bad.


The narcissist engineers the whole situation of betrayal. He is fully in control of it. He selects mates who are more likely to collaborate in realizing it: promiscuous, unboundaried, and mentally ill. Such women are anyhow prone to fantasy and they collude with the narcissist to the point of complying with his wishes even when his demands of them are ego dystonic (for example: that they cheat on him).


The narcissist then abuses them, prompts them to betray him, and sets the stage even to the point of choosing the other man.


But his fantasy is that of having fallen victim to an evil partner (reminiscent of his real mother). His fantasy is mostly counterfactual and delusional (persecutory), but he defends it fiercely in order to accomplish separation-individuation from both a bad mother and her sadistic, tormenting introject.


But this attempt is doomed to failure owing to its inherent contradictions.


The narcissist distorts and reframes reality, deceives himself into accepting a version of the events which is largely untrue but excruciatingly agonizing and, therefore, conducive to separation-individuation: a confabulated fable of rejection and humiliation. But such a confabulation only buttresses and magnifies the twin messages of the bad object (you are no good and therefore deserve no happiness and you are not lovable).  So, the cycle has to be restarted with a new partner.


Narcissist’s self-harming is a form of emotional disinvestment (decathexis). Separation requires it. Watch Narcissist's Emotional Involvement Preventive Measures (EIPMs)


Why do I break up with women by pushing them to cheat on me? In order to avoid future stalking (they feel guilty and vanish) and so as to not feel guilty for having abandoned my partner and let her down.


Some of the women I broke up with without cheating became demented stalkers or just bitter and hateful. The cheating causes me excruciating pain for a few weeks, but it still far preferrable to stalking and charges of unfulfilled promises.


I am not seeking pain when I push women (dates, girlfriends, intimate partners) to be with other men, often orchestrating the betrayal. I merely wish to get rid of them altogether or minimize their footprint in my life.


Unconsciously, this strategy is intended to control inevitable abandonment, rejection, cheating, betrayal, and humiliation and to satisfy the need to sadistically punish my partners with withdrawal or absence coupled with coerced self-trashing, sexual or axiological (betraying one's values).


I couldn't care less that the woman is with another man. I feel relieved that she is gone and will not make any further demands or stalk me.


I am actually angry at those who resist the manipulation and survive in the relationship because they are perceived as either clingy or threatening with ineluctable pain.


But this strategy does cause me excruciating pain all the same. How come?


The pain I experience is narcissistic injury or narcissistic mortification, not romantic jealousy or possessiveness.


It is solely about being disrespected and humiliated by other men as a doormat, cuckold, or coward (for not protecting my woman) and being rejected and humiliated by my women as inadequate and mentally ill (less than perfect).


In a way, I internalize their point of view and come to regard myself as inefficacious, helpless, unlovable, obsequious, unworthy, ugly, and craven. It feeds into my harsh inner critic (sadistic superego or bad object) and amplifies the shame to life-threatening proportions.


So, why not change strategy?


Because the shared fantasy is highly addictive and generates stalking and virulent hatred in spurned women.


Once they cheat at my behest, however, they are disadvantaged: I can always point to the cheating, emotionally blackmail them, silence their vocal complaints, and get rid of them for good.


This is, therefore, not about masochism. It is just that the effective dissolution of the shared fantasy requires narcissistic injury or mortification by posing as a cuckolded partner in full view.


Ultimately, such posture benefits me as I am able to retain the high moral ground as a victim even as I devalue and discard my partners callously and cruelly.


So, the short-term cost is outweighed by the long-term benefits of a victimhood narrative.


I use a variant of strategy in all intimate settings (such as friendship) and interpersonal relations (e.g., with colleagues or collaborators).


Once I deem someone undesirable (for instance: having mistreated me), I entrap or tempt them and cause them to betray me once more spectacularly and ostentatiously.


I accomplish that by playing on their weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Then, having been mortified and morally indignant and righteous, I am compelled to get rid of them.



Narcissists are hypervigilant. They see slights everywhere, even in the most innocuous speech.



They are grotesque caricatures of masculinity: buff, deformed veined musculature, like tightly packed meat; slicked, gel oozing hair; ostentatious tattoos; and pants too tight so as to emphasize the crotch.

The internet gave rise to a new breed of
gurus, coaches, and self-styled experts who spend more time in gyms and nightclubs than in libraries and museums. They are covert and somatic narcissists who often pose as empathic or codependent victims, saviors and healers – all this intended to lure women to engage in sex and then cruelly dispatch them on their way.

But sexual conquests are not enough for these delusional and vainglorious megalomaniacs. They also posture as sages and visionaries. These cerebral wannabes pontificate and spew half-baked and ill-informed conspiracy theories, analyses, observations, and opinions in fields as diverse as philosophy and science.

They get most info disastrously wrong or just make it up as they go along as they self-importantly aspire to pretend that brain and brawn are interchangeable.

They are somatic covert narcissist whose dream it is to be cerebral. They often team up with intellectually superior cerebrals, appropriate and plagiarize their work, and bask in the purloined glory. But they stumble when on their own because they are incapable of generating a single original idea or truly comprehending those that they steal.

Some of them are smooth talkers and disguise their vacuity and nonsense effectively with resounding verbiage, pronouncing words like dissociation wrongly and awash in malapropisms.

Others merely engage in displays of aggression or nauseating eroticism. Creepy to the last, most of them are covert narcissists and psychopaths cloaking themselves in a mantle of saviors and healers.



The heart has a mind of its own. Underlying obsessive love are bad object introjects with automatic negative thoughts like “I don’t deserve better”, fantasy defense (“s/he is the perfect match for me”), and catastrophizing (“I will never find such a perfect match again”).

It is a form of trauma bonding.

It is a reenactment of early childhood conflicts (mommy issues) or later life conflicts with parental figures (daddy issues).

Obsessive love is an addiction. Do not rush from one addiction to the next.

Obsessive love is a religion: it makes sense of the world, of your life, and of your behaviors. Find other sources of meaning.

Make a list of all the bad memories and read it aloud three times a day.

Go total no contact, no social media stalking.

Imagine them with others.



Love defies logic, reason, and analysis.

Love denies age and distance and circumstance.

Love transcends boundaries and interests and fear itself.

Love thrives on adversity, complexity, and dreams.

Love just is: known instantly by its proponents, worshipped by its adherents, defeating all its enemies.

Every setback in love is temporary, every obstacle is overcome, every limit crossed.

Love triumphs where nothing does, flourishes without soil or water, prevails as it becomes.



Acts of self-love and healing are always painful.

Getting rid of toxic but addictive people in your life;

Breaking up with a backstabbing, badmouthing, and mate-poaching plagiarist fake “friend”;

Imposing discipline, goals, and structure on a dissolute and carefree life;

Saying “no” to temptations and seductions;

Gaining insights into your shortcomings, self-inflicted wounds, and failures;

Confronting trauma and abuse;

Investing hard work in introspection and therapy.


I will be giving a lecture here on January 24th at 6 PM. You are all invited.

Corvinus University of Budapest, Building C, Lecture hall C.103. 1093 Budapest, Közraktár Street 4-6

LECTURE: Cluster B personality disorders revisited

Cluster B personality disorders are being reconceived as either post-traumatic conditions with dysregulation and a fantasy defense - or as forms of psychopathy.

A model of self-states with constructs, introjects, and automatic negative thoughts is presented.


Fawning and people pleasing are often excuses for psychopathic, immoral, antisocial, and narcissistic acts and misconduct:

“Poor me, I couldn’t help myself, I had to say ‘yes’, I am actually the victim of my own proclivities and character flaws! People are leveraging and taking advantage of my weaknesses! I never do wrong!”

The need to believe in the essential goodness of people - especially gurus posing as saviors and healers - and the need to not feel like a victim result in cognitive dissonance when these role models misbehave.

Resolution: "My savior and healer is flawed, weak, human, means well, and so in need of love!” coupled with autoplastic defenses (if he acted morally wrong, it was all my fault, I made him do it).



Most predatory sex is actually consensual - but the consent is given by an individual who is somehow compromised: drunk, drugged, heartbroken, crying, dissociative, scared, dependent, or otherwise helpless.



Borderlines (women and men alike) pendulate between two anxieties: abandonment (separation insecurity) and engulfment (enmeshment). This creates an approach-avoidance repetition compulsion (“I hate you, don’t leave me”).

During the avoidance phase, the borderline seeks futilely to become more
grounded in reality, often through the agency of a sexual partner or friends.

But then she reverts to the approach phase of the cycle and re-enters a fantasy world, a simulation in which her intimate partner provides external regulation: stabilizes her moods and affects (emotions).

She merges with her significant other, fuses into a single organism by outsourcing her mind to him.



I am on Tik Tok finally: narcissismwithvaknin

You are all welcome there!



Being locked out of my YouTube accounts has been an occasion to reflect on my life and my career. The opportunity to engage in soul-searching is such a rare gift.

At the end of this month, I will be relocating to Budapest and make it the center of my life and activities. I have acquired friends there, am being frequently interviewed in the media, and am invited to lecture in academic institutions and to the public alike.

I will continue to provide counselling online. I will also continue to upload content regularly to my various platforms, including my YouTube accounts should I ever regain access to them.

But, after 26 years in the field of psychology, it is time for me to move on to other core competencies I possess: as a financial, corporate, management, and political consultant.

I also got involved in a new initiative to redefine the terms of the debate regarding gender and sexuality. In the past three years, I found myself very drawn to these topics. There are well over 100 videos on my channel in the “Modern Sexuality” playlist.

Finally, to remind you, I will be giving a three days seminar in Gdansk between March 30 and April 2. The entrance fee covers the expenses, my participation is free. Here is the link:



Five misconceptions about cluster B personality disorders:

1. The codependent controls from the bottom. She uses her neediness and clinginess to rule and to extort her intimate partner. The Borderline surrenders to her intimate partner: he is tasked by her with stabilizing her moods and regulating her emotions.

2. Abuse is the glue that holds dysfunctional relationships together: it is proof of love and identified with it. Healthy people walk away when they are victimized - the mentally ill bond and get attached.

3. The mentally ill prefer objects to people and attempt to objectify others. Objects are more predictable and controllable.

4. Approach avoidance repetition compulsion should not be confused or conflated with intermittent reinforcement. The first is a reactive pattern to the twin anxieties: abandonment vs. engulfment. The second is the coercive control technique that results in trauma bonding.

5. The empty schizoid core at the heart of disorders of the self (such as narcissism and borderline) is habituated: gradually it becomes a choice. Absence of being guarantees invulnerability and impermeability.



Invulnerability signaling is at the core of the grandiosity of the psychopathic narcissist: a defiant “see if I care” stance, no one and nothing have the slightest power over me, I never get attached, emotions are weaknesses, I am a free spirit, a law unto my own.

This attitude leads to some counterintuitive behavioral outcomes.

The psychopathic narcissist never engages in mate guarding. His message to other men: “The women in my life mean so little to me that you can have them, if you wish. They are dispensable, fungible, and interchangeable. They have no power over me, nothing they do matters or has the capacity to hurt me.”

Another example: “Go ahead and plagiarize my work and my ideas. They mean little to me. I can generate revolutionary breakthroughs faster than you can steal them!”

Harvey Cleckley, the author of “Mask of Sanity”, was repeatedly stunned by what he called the psychopathic narcissist’s “rejection of life”.

The ultimate in
invulnerability signaling is all-pervasive ostentatious apathy: the profound neglect and abandonment of all personal goals and plans and behaving in ways which are in your face self-destructive - as if one couldn’t care less about one’s wasted life and looming devastation or demise.



Masochists, the self-destructive, psychopathic narcissists, and people pleasers are different breeds even though sometimes they behave in the same ways.

Masochists crave hurt and pain and engineer or orchestrate incremental situations whose outcomes are agonizing, mortifying, and humiliating - but never life threatening.

Self-defeating and self-loathing folks act out recklessly, petulantly, and defiantly in order to sabotage their best interests and wellbeing in a decisive, self-harming, self-trashing, and almost suicidal manner.

Psychopathic narcissists puppeteer others and co-opt them into goal-oriented scenarios that appear superficially to be masochistic but are, in reality, either sadistic or self-efficacious, as far as the psychopathic narcissist is concerned.

Finally: people pleasers are conflict-averse and need to be needed. They are self-sacrificial but often enjoy their role and find it gratifying.


The masochist will push his girlfriend to cheat on him in order to endure exquisite torment;

The self-destructive sort will act the same way but will then proceed to break up with her or divorce;

The psychopathic narcissist will make sure that he is cucked but really in order to get rid of an unwanted and burdensome intimate partner;

Finally, the people pleaser will permit his intimate partner to sleep with others just so as to make her happy.





Interpellation - a process first described in socioeconomic settings by Louis Althusser - is when one reacts to other people’s wishes, desires, urges, and expectations as if they were one’s own and then acts accordingly.

People pleasers are the reification of
interpellation, but it makes an appearance in other mental health disorders such as dependent and borderline personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and anxiety disorders, among others.



Don’t expect the mentally ill to respect you. They don’t know how. They have no self-respect, so how could they possibly respect others? Instead, they veer between abject submission and contemptuous defiance.

Don’t expect the mentally ill to not breach your boundaries. They are unboundaried and hurtful because they fail to perceive the separateness of others. Many of them do not possess a functioning self or an undisturbed identity.

Do not expect the mentally ill to observe the rules, obey some code of conduct, or be empathic. They are too busy at survival, self-centred and entitled. Their mental illness is their get out of jail card. Everyone else is to blame for their egregious misconduct (alloplastic defenses).



Never say good morning to a narcissist.



Two tips from the art of psychotherapy:

1. If action or inaction has outcomes - these consequences are intended, whether consciously or unconsciously.

People are only dimly aware of the full range of their motivations and they often get it wrong.

When they make behavioral choices to act or to refrain from acting, they actually seek and intend the most likely outcomes, even when and if they are not aware of such desired ends - and even when they vehemently deny it.

Example: if you act in a way that imperils a long-held relationship, it is because you want it over, you wish to extricate yourself.

2. What clients say in therapy matters far less than why they choose to say what they say. What content do they select and elect to disclose? What do they omit and why? What words do they employ? Why do so in a particular timing?

The subtext - the hidden, occult text - matters more than the overt text. Speech acts need to be deconstructed to teach us anything meaningful about the client.



Don’t test your loved ones - they will rarely if ever pass muster.

bait your nearest and dearest - they will take the bait every time.

Don’t set up friends for failure for they will fail assuredly.

Don’t plant the wrong ideas in the minds of people who care about you or who you care about. Such sprouts will grow into a thicket of deceit and hurt.

Assume the worst about everyone’s capacity to survive your probes and your entrapments: we are all fallible and weak and impotent in the face of temptation.

“'Do not speak a curse against a deaf person or place an obstacle in the way of a blind person” (Leviticus 19:14).



I sincerely hope that Open AI’s ChatGBT is much more accurate on other topics 



Victims of narcissistic abuse? Two minutes to exonerate you from any guilt, purge you of any shame, and rinse you of any blame!

Prof. Sam Vaknin odgovara na pitanje šta možete uraditi ukoliko ste u vezi sa narcisoidnom osobom. Ukoliko ste zainteresovani za knjigu prof.Sama Vaknina "Malignant Self-Love", kao i njegova predavanja i seminare u Srbiji možete poslati upit na mejl:

Video editing: Zoran Jelenković/ VU Covers



The narcissist is capable of having pseudointimate relationships that do not involve a shared fantasy. In such liaisons, he is indifferent and dismissive, but not abusive.

Within a shared fantasy, the narcissist
snapshots (introjects) his partner and then idealizes the resultant internal object.

Henceforth, the narcissist abusively coerces his partner into conforming to this inner representation of her (avatar) in his mind.

This course of action guarantees the ultimate dissolution of the bond via devaluation and discard and the long sought after separation from a maternal figure.

The narcissist’s partners end up abandoning him, triangulating or mortifying him with infidelity or other forms of betrayal in a desperate attempt to jump start the moribund relationship (a cry for help, having been exposed to the narcissist’s inexorable betrayal fantasy), or succumbing and becoming a figment in his fantasy.

When his partner consents to suspend her autonomy and agency and give in to the shared fantasy, separation-individuation fails.

Resentful and frustrated, the narcissist defeminizes and maternalizes the obsequious partner: the relationship becomes sexless and transactional.

She becomes a full-fledged mother figure, free to have sex and romance with others, but always at the beck and call of the permanently infantilized narcissist.



Is the covert BPD “typically” more toxic than the classic BPD or covert narcissism?

Is the covert BPD in a shared fantasy of 1 or for 2?

Does the covert BPD experience dual mothership?

Is intermittent reinforcement the same as devalue and discard cycles?

Is the covert BPD in a state of prolonged grief like the narcissist?

When the covert BPD feels slighted, disappointed and hurt by interpersonal communication , circumstances or partner behavior – because the covert is a hybrid does it cause Narcissistic injury? When the covert BPD then goes into a fight/flight attack mode is that Narcissistic rage or symptom of classic BPD?

Interpersonal communication was a huge platform for disagreement, arguments. If a person is chronically feeling slighted, disappointed, hurt and accusations/ paranoia of lying, withholding using this to justify for the verbal abuse. Is this the chronic victimhood of Covert Narcissism or these traits BPD.

What specific behaviors in the covert BPD are under the category of psychopathy?

Any research to show that some people with covert BPD might traits of both classic and covert elements? If yes, what elements are borrowed from each?





Pathological narcissism, borderline personality, and anxious psychopathy involve the only partly successful suppression of cognitions (thoughts) via ironic processes. Similarly entrained abuse involves ironic processes in the victim’s mind.

I will continue to upload to YouTube.

I am moving to Budapest to serve as a financial and political consultant and analyst.

I will continue to upload content here and offer mental health counselling via digital or electronic means.

But I am discontinuing all other activities in the field after 26 years. My health is failing and I am no longer up to the task of coping in the toxic environment that the online world has become.




The following techniques are used in CBT and psychodrama, especially for cluster B personality disorders.


Doubling: The therapist or counsellor acts and emulates the client’s emotions and behaviors. The therapist verbalize what the client may be thinking or what they seem to be withholding as well as the client’s disavowed and defended against behaviors.


Doubling connects the client’s internal reality with external reality (restores reality testing via insight).


The client then acknowledges that he sees himself in his double.


Mirroring: The client observes others as they act out scenes, events, and conversations for his benefit. This way, he gains perspective and some emotional distance and better understands his emotions.


Role-playing: The client assumes the role of a particular person or object, that is a source of stress or conflict in their life.


Role reversal: The client acts the role of another person in their life (could be the therapist or counsellor) while someone else (usually the therapist or counsellor) plays the part of the client. This can help improve empathy and understanding of other people’s perspective and separateness.


Soliloquy: The client describes his inner thoughts and feelings to an audience (e.g., the therapist or counsellor). This way he gains greater insight into his inner feelings and thoughts and experiences catharsis.




Roleplay in Psychotherapy:General effects of roleplay techniques in psychotherapy by Roger Schaller, 25th June 2021


Blatner, A. & Cukier, R. (2007).  Moreno’s basic concepts. In: Baim, C., Burmeister, J. & Maciel, M. (Editors). Psychodrama – Advances in Theory and Practice. London: Routledge


Castonguay, L.G., & Beutler, L.E. (2006). Principles of therapeutic change: A task force on participants, relationships, and techniques factors. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62, 631–638.


Gallese, V., Migone, P. & Eagle, M. (2006). La simulazione incarnata: i neuroni specchio, le basi neurofisiologiche dell’intersoggettivita ed alcune implicazioni per la psicoanalisi. Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane XL,3: 543-580.


Hammond, B. (2014). Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Psychodrama. In: Holmes, P, Farrall M. & Kirk, K. (Editors): Empowering Therapeutic Practice. Integrating Psychodrama into other Therapies. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers


Hayes, S. C., Follette, V. M., & Linehan, M. M. (Eds.). (2004). Mindfulness and acceptance: Expanding the cognitive-behavioral tradition. New York: Guilford Press.


Malloch, S. & Trevarthen, C. (2009). Communicative Musicality: Exploring the Basis of Human Companionship. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Orlinsky,D.E., Grawe, K. & Parks, B.K. (1994). Process and Outcome in Psychotherapy. In: Allen E. Bergin, Sol L. Garfield: Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behaviour Change. 4th Edition. 1994, 270–376.


Schaller, R. (2016, 2.Aufl.). Stellen Sie sich vor, Sie sind…- Das Ein-Personen-Rollenspiel in Beratung, Coaching und Therapie. Bern: Hogrefe

Schaller, R. (2017). Regiegespräch – die zentrale Technik für das Psychodrama im Einzelsetting. Zeitschrift für Psychodrama und Soziometrie, 2,


Tschacher, W. Junghan, U.N. & Pfammatter, M.(2014). Towards a Taxonomy of Common Factors in Psychotherapy – Results of an Expert Survey. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 21, 82-96. Published online 6 November 2012 in Wiley Online Library ( DOI: 10.1002/cpp.1822


Tschacher, W. & Pfammatter, M. (2016). Embodiment in Psychotherapy – A Necessary Complement to the Canon of Common Factors? European Psychotherapy, 2016/2017, pp. 5-21. CIPMedien



I need your help. Following weeks of relentless attacks, my YouTube channel is open for you again and I am uploading content daily:

Please let everyone know via your social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and other platforms.

I will be relocating to Budapest and restarting my erstwhile career as a financial and political advisor and analyst. But I will continue to furnish the channel with new content and to provide mental health counselling.

Thank you for your staunch support hitherto (look it up)


Abuse is never love and true love is enough to sustain a relationship.



Autoplastic defenses


Blaming oneself for the consequences and outcomes of one’s own choices and decisions as well as for the outcomes of the choices that others make and even for circumstances beyond one’s control.


A common type of defense in neuroses.


Alloplastic defenses


Blaming others for the predictable consequences and outcomes of your own choices and decisions.


A feature of cluster B disorders.


Examples of alloplastic defenses: “It is their fault, they made me do it”, “They should have been more careful or less gullible”.


Even characters flaws which are rarely associated with psychopathy and narcissism – actually are.




There are many people who people pleasers and other people who are emotionally dysregulated or delusional or paranoid or narcissistic or passive aggressive or depressive or anxious or …


But all these psychopathologies are often excuses or covers for psychopathic, immoral, antisocial, and narcissistic acts and misconduct. It is a unique combination of both alloplastic and autoplastic defenses.


“Poor me, I am actually the victim of my own proclivities, weaknesses, mental illnesses, and character flaws! People are leveraging and taking advantage of my frailties! I never do wrong! I am never to blame! I am never responsible for my actions! There are higher internal forces at work!”


The need to believe in the essential goodness of people, that the world is essentially just and structured is a bit naïve, of course. Another need is to not feel like a victim: we don’t want to feel stupid, that our judgment is wrong, to suspect that we misapprehend people, that we can and do fall in the hands of predators.


These needs result in a cognitive dissonance when people we have trusted and role models misbehave or betray us: a great unease, a sense of discomfort, an inner conflict.


To allay this, we deceive ourselves in order to mitigate, ameliorate, and overcome this internal upset when we are confronted with the truth. We lie to ourselves, reframe.


So we say: "She is flawed, weak, human, means well, mentally ill, and so in need of love!” or “She is a people pleaser, emotionally dysregulated, depressed, anxious, delusional, or labile”.


Dissonance gone. In reality though, she did victimize you, damage you, prey on you. But she did not mean to, it is not her fault. It was stronger than her, you see.


This is coupled with grandiose autoplastic defenses, the tendency to blame yourself for anything that goes wrong because you need to feel in control: if she acted immorally, it was all my fault, I made her do it, I caused it to happen, I am not the victim, I am the victimizer and the abuser. So, everything is fine: I am the one who talk advantage of the character flaws and mental illness of others, reducing any hero to a common zero. I am still safe and in charge.



We inhabit the windows to the world - our screens - rather than the world itself.

Screens used to be communal: cinema, even television. Then they became solipsistic: each to his own screen, an idiosyncratic experience, setting us apart.

Of course, Big Tech wants us to be alone. The attention economy is a zero sum game: you give attention to friends and loved ones - you deny it to Facebook and Instagram. Intimacy is the enemy of modern technologies, it is bad for business, harms the bottom line.



Acts of self-love and healing are always painful.

Getting rid of toxic but addictive people in your life;

Imposing discipline, goals, and structure on a dissolute and carefree life;

Saying “no” to temptations and seductions;

Gaining insights into your shortcomings, self-inflicted wounds, and failures;

Confronting trauma and abuse;

Investing hard work in introspection and therapy.



I served as a visiting professor of psychology for 5 years (2017-22) in Southern Federal University, Rostov on Don, Russia. My appointment was terminated when I supported Ukraine and attacked Putin in various European media when Russia invaded Ukraine. I also tried to help Ukraine by teaching its mental health practitioners about PTSD.

Links here:

Many of you ask me about the difference between a “full” professor and a visiting professor.

In the academic hierarchy, a visiting professor is ABOVE a full professor.

Visiting professors are often renowned for their life’s work in their field, even if they do not possess an academic degree in the field.

Many of the giants of psychology - including Freud, Klein, and, initially, Winnicott - had no academic degree in psychology!

Read the snippet in the image and go here for more:



Some borderlines switch imperceptibly, glacially, and incrementally. They maintain continuity, memory, and a semblance of identity across the various self-states.


American Psychiatric Association. (2022). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed., text rev.).

European Journal of Trauma & Dissociation
Volume 1, Issue 1, January–March 2017, Pages 63-71
Complex trauma, dissociation and Borderline Personality Disorder: Working with integration failures; By Dolores Mosquera and Kathy Steele

Borderline Personal Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation. 2014; 1: 13.
Published online 2014 Oct 14. doi: 10.1186/2051-6673-1-13
Chronic complex dissociative disorders and borderline personality disorder: disorders of emotion dysregulation? By Bethany L Brand and Ruth A Lanius

Is Dissociation an Integral Aspect of Borderline Personality Disorder, Or Is It a Comorbid Disorder? By Marilyn I. Korzekwa, Paul F. Dell
Book: Dissociation and the Dissociative Disorders, 2nd Edition, 2022, Routledge


Economics - to the great dismay of economists - is merely a branch of psychology. It deals with individual behaviour and with mass behaviour.

Many of its practitioners seek to disguise its nature as a social science by applying complex mathematics where common sense and direct experimentation would have yielded far better results.

The outcome is an embarrassing divorce between economic theory and its subjects.

The economic actor is assumed to be constantly engaged in the rational pursuit of self interest. This is not a realistic model - merely a useful (and flattering) approximation.

According to this latter day - rational - version of the dismal science, people refrain from repeating their mistakes systematically. They seek to optimize their preferences. Altruism can be such a preference, as well.

We like to believe that we are rational. Such self-perception is ego-syntonic. Yet the truth is that many people are non-rational or only nearly rational in certain situations. And the definition of "self-interest" as the pursuit of the fulfillment of preferences is a tautology.

The theory fails to predict important phenomena such as "strong reciprocity": the propensity to "irrationally" sacrifice resources to reward forthcoming collaborators and punish free-riders. It even fails to account for simpler forms of apparent selflessness, such as reciprocal altruism (motivated by hopes of reciprocal benevolent treatment in the future).



This is a compilation of older videos that summarize the narcissist's dual fantasies: shared and betrayal.


A mathematical solution I proposed in 2013 has been finally understood and accepted:

The author of the paper writes:

“Hypergeometric tests - Dr. Sam Vaknin’s suggestion from 2013
A suggestion from Dr. Sam Vaknin regarding the possible solutions if the equations of the Geometric Chronon Field Theory were that they are related to Hypergeometric functions. He offered a book back in 2013, Theory of Hypergeometric Functions, Kazuhiko Aomoto, Michitake Kita, Sringer Monographs in Mathematics, ISSN 1439-7382, ISBN 978-4-431-53912- 4 e-ISBN 978-4-431-53938-4, DOI: 10.1007/978-4-431-53912-4, Springer Tokyo, Dordrecht, Heidelberg, London, New York. His idea was lately checked regarding the stable roots of third order polynomials of gravity and anti-gravity area ratio loss and gain.”

First day in Budapest, first business meetings in my old new career as a financial consultant and political analyst. Fingers crossed.



Parents (Primary Objects) and, more specifically, mothers are the first agents of socialisation. It is through his mother that the child explores the answers to the most important existential questions, which shape his entire life. How loved one is, how loveable, how independent one becomes, how guilty one should feel for wanting to become autonomous, how predictable is the world, how much abuse should one expect in life and so on.

To the infant, the mother is not only an object of dependence (as his survival is at stake), love and adoration. It is a representation of the "universe" itself. It is through her that the child first exercises his senses: the tactile, the olfactory, and the visual.

Later on, she becomes the subject of his nascent sexual cravings (if a male) – a diffuse sense of wanting to merge, physically, as well as spiritually. This object of love is idealised and internalised and becomes part of his conscience (Superego). For better or for worse, she is the yardstick, the benchmark against which everything in his future is measured. One forever compares oneself, one's identity, one's actions and omissions, one's achievements, one's fears and hopes and aspirations to this mythical figure.

Growing up entails the gradual separation from one's mother. At first, the child begins to shape a more realistic view of her and incorporates the mother's shortcomings and disadvantages in this modified version. The more ideal, less realistic and earlier picture of the mother is stored and becomes part of the child's psyche. The later, less cheerful, more realistic view enables the infant to define his own identity and gender identity and to "go out to the world".

From the book “The Developmental Psychology of Psychopathology” by Sam Vaknin.



( Watch it here: )

The more money we make, the less we appreciate its relative, respective, and proportional value to others. With very few exceptions, rich people, no matter how stingy, seem to lose touch with the pecuniary reality of the “99%” of the population who are poor(er). Indeed, to the wealthy, money is not a store of value as much as a token which allows them to participate in economic and non-economic games.

I call this process of desensitization to the value of money “
personal inflation” because, precisely like “classic” inflation, as far as these affluent persons are concerned, it thwarts the price signal and distorts the efficient allocation of economic resources. It also misinforms their decisions and adversely affects their motivation to work, save, and invest.

Rich people have an “inflationary mindset”: they prefer to spend their capital, but owing to the amounts involved, are forced to hold on to the bulk of it, tied down in assets, both tangible and financial. They wish to consume (inflationary effect), but end up saving (deflationary outcome.)

Poorer folks have a deflationary state of mind: they would like to hold on to their money, but are forced to spend most of it, or even all of it (not to mention avail themselves of additional credits and loans.) They wish to save (deflationary effect), but end up consuming (inflationary outcome.)

Thus, all economic players in the marketplace wind up acting irrationally: against their innermost as well as expressed wishes and preferences. This gulf between the desires and actions of all economic agents is the main source of instability and uncertainty in the capitalist system, based as it is on wealth transfer from the many to the few and its accumulation in the hands of the latter.



Prophets and scientists both are in the business of making predictions. Both resort to metaphysical frameworks as the source of their knowledge: God and the scientific method, respectively.

Both vehemently deny the role of
intuition in their output.

The prophet claims to possess privileged access to a transcendental being and to be merely serving as a conduit to the latter’s thoughts and intentions; the scientist insists that his work is objective and rational and can, in principle, be emulated by a computer.

Yet, both actually transform deep-set, unconscious processes into structural sentences, laws, and statements.

There are three types of intuition:


The twin theories of structural dissociation and betrayal trauma provide a profound insight into the formation of cluster B personality disorders.



Forgiving is an important capability. It does more for the forgiver than for the forgiven. But it should not be a universal, indiscriminate behaviour. It is legitimate not to forgive sometimes. It depends, of course, on the severity or duration of what was done to you.

In general, it is unwise and counter-productive to apply to life "universal" and "immutable" principles. Life is too chaotic to succumb to rigid edicts. Sentences which start with "I never" or "I always" are not very credible and often lead to self-defeating, self-restricting and self-destructive behaviours.

Conflicts are an important and integral part of life. One should never seek them out, but when confronted with a conflict, one should not avoid it. It is through conflicts and adversity as much as through care and love that we grow.

Human relationships are dynamic. We must assess our friendships, partnerships, even our marriages periodically. In and by itself, a common past is insufficient to sustain a healthy, nourishing, supportive, caring and compassionate relationship. Common memories are a necessary but not a sufficient condition. We must gain and regain our friendships on a daily basis. Human relationships are a constant test of allegiance and empathy.




The narcissist's entrained voice (introject) controls your mind long after he is gone from your life. Here is how to get rid of it.


Also watch "Deprogram the Narcissist in Your Mind"


Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: First Separate, Individuate


SECRET Reason Narcissist Devalues, Discards YOU


How Narcissist Steals Your Unconscious, Lures YOU into His Nightmare World



Cold Empathy evokes the concept of "Uncanny Valley", coined in 1970 by the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori. Mori suggested that people react positively to androids (humanlike robots) for as long as they differ from real humans in meaningful and discernible ways. But the minute these contraptions come to resemble humans uncannily, though imperfectly, human observers tend to experience repulsion, revulsion, and other negative emotions, including fear.

The same reactive trajectory and emotional cascade apply to psychopathic narcissists: they are near-perfect imitations of humans, but, lacking empathy and emotions, they are not exactly there. Psychopaths and narcissists strike their interlocutors as being some kind of "alien life-forms" or "artificial intelligence", in short: akin to humanoid robots, or androids. When people come across narcissists or psychopaths the Uncanny Valley reaction kicks in: people feel revolted, scared, and repelled. They can't put the finger on what it is that provokes these negative reactions, but, after a few initial encounters, they tend to keep their distance.

Contrary to widely held views, Narcissists and Psychopaths may actually possess empathy. They may even be hyper-empathic, attuned to the minutest signals emitted by their victims and endowed with a penetrating "X-ray vision". They tend to abuse their empathic skills by employing them exclusively for personal gain, the extraction of narcissistic supply, or in the pursuit of antisocial and sadistic goals. They regard their ability to empathize as another weapon in their arsenal.

I suggest to label the narcissistic psychopath's version of empathy: "cold empathy", akin to the "cold emotions" felt by psychopaths. The cognitive element of empathy is there, but not so its emotional correlate. It is, consequently, a barren, detached, and cerebral kind of intrusive gaze, devoid of compassion and a feeling of affinity with one's fellow humans.



In the wake of narcissistic abuse, support is crucial. But some online groups offer bad advice and a perpetuation of your victim stance.



The Traveller and the Flower

Forty days and forty nights the journey lasted. Over mountains, across seas and lakes, traversing plane and prairie. Until the wearied traveller, famished, fatigued, and parched fell to the ground in a foreign land and stirred no more.

He didn't know how long his stupor lasted but, when he woke up at last, he beheld the most marvellous flower he had ever seen: at once fragile and strong, scented and beautiful, its petals colourful and shimmering in the sun.

The flower nodded gently in the breeze, brushing against the traveller's bristled cheeks. Invigorated, the journeyman got up, found a stream of water, drunk from it, and washed himself. He picked low-lying fruits for his meal and all the time he eyed the tiny flower with wonderment and gratitude: it gave him life and hope and beauty.

Weeks passed and the traveller decided to return to his home. He made preparations: packed his meagre possessions, scooped water into a basket made of bark, and assembled fruits of all kinds into a blanket he has tied to a stick he had improvised from a fallen branch.


Time came to depart, but the traveller could not leave without his flower. He gently and lovingly dug it out, wrapped it carefully in an earth-filled kerchief and embarked on his way.

When he reached his destination, his family and friends marvelled at the flower. He bought a plot of land, cultivated it meticulously, to make a new home for his flower, the saviour of his life.

But, as the days turned into weeks and the weeks to months, the flower withered. Its petals dimmed and fell, its proud stem stooped, its scent diminished and then vanished altogether.

Perplexed and saddened, the traveller called upon the greatest botanist of the land and asked him to inspect the flower and render his opinion.

"No need" - responded the botanist - "for I have seen these things before. Some plants can flourish and thrive only in their native soil, where the right admixture of sunlight and water is available, where insects indigenous to these parts help them reproduce. Only there these flowers giveaway their natural gifts: their beauty and their scent. If you really love this flower, take it back to where you found it. Give it its life back as it has given you yours!"

And the
traveller who loved the flower greatly did just that.



Only the external environment matters: it triggers the internal one (IntraPsychic Activation Model – IPAM).


Watch Why Narcissists Can't Think Straight (Constructs, Introjects, Memories, Defenses)


Watch Why People-pleasers Can't Think Straight (Self-states, Constructs, Introjects)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ found 1320 academic papers citing my work.



Alloplastic and autoplastic defenses often intermingle when mental illness is used as an excuse and cover to abuse others.



In relationships, borders are like membranes: they allow in only selective types of communication, they require protocols and rituals, and are policed by cultural and societal mores. Borders are, therefore, interpersonal and dyadic.

Boundaries are individual.

Personal boundaries are rules of conduct, red lines in the sand any infringement and breach of which you deem unacceptable behavior.

You need to set your boundaries clearly, unequivocally, and unambiguously firstly to yourself: how to protect your dignity, privacy, freedom, rights, and priorities.

You then need to communicate your boundaries to your partner replete with a "price list": the costs associated with ignoring or violating them.

Finally, you need to be firm and enforce your boundaries: your credibility depends on a consistent and fair application of these rules of engagement.

The ability to thrive in intimacy is inextricably linked to the capacity to maintain and enforce personal boundaries. In personality disordered patients, both are sorely compromised.

Intimacy, however fleeting and of whatever nature (even merely physical) is a tightrope act.

On the one hand, it involves the disclosure of vulnerabilities and the relaxation of firewalls intended to fend off unwarranted or coerced attention.

On the other hand, real intimacy entails the maintaining of personal autonomy, agency, and self-efficacy. In other words: of separateness.

To attain intimacy, one needs to feel sufficiently secure of one’s core identity, self-worth, self-esteem, internal regulation, and boundaries to invite another person in.

The mentally ill tend to enmesh, engulf, merge, or fuse with others - even as they push them away and flee (approach-avoidance repetition compulsion).

This dysfunctional attachment style is the outcome of twin contradictory anxieties: of abandonment and of engulfment.



There are four types of public intellectuals (interview dated 2013).



Watch Transgender, Transsexual: Biology or Society?


There are no rigorous studies of gender dysphoria. None. We know nothing about why adolescents (and even children) wish to transition and what happens to them after they do.



No one can define what love is - but we do know what love is not.




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