Sam Vaknin’s Instagram Epigrams (archive only)
Narcissism with Vaknin on Instagram (active account)
The concept of “refrigerator mothers” has been long debunked. Autism is a brain disorder. It is not linked to bad parenting. But a dead, narcissistic mother can cause her autistic child to defend himself by developing narcissism.
ADHD has been
intimately linked to the precursors in children of adult narcissism and
psychopathy: conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).
A bad, dead, cold, mother fosters in the autistic child narcissistic defenses and in her other children attention deficits, hyperactivity, and antisocial behavior. These dysfunctions make it difficult for the child to translate his/her reflexive empathy into mentalizing a theory of mind. Early childhood abuse and trauma, therefore, inhibit the development of a mature form of empathy, with cognitive and emotional components.
Empathy is a
self-contained internal set of processes, triggered by the presence and
self-reporting of another person.
It involves two confabulated self-deceptions:
1. That the internal experience of empathy is actually external (has to do with the other person). This confusion between internal and external objects is called “psychosis”; and
2. That the experience of empathy is altruistic and focused on the other person when in reality it is solipsistic and revolves exclusively around self-centred emotional regulation and cognitive processing.
Empathy has all the hallmarks of – mostly healthy - narcissism.
Self-styled online "experts" who no one has heard of in academe, have made such a godawful mess with their nonsense online that narcissism, primary psychopathy, secondary psychopathy, dark triad, and dark tetrad are now hopelessly muddled in the minds of the helpless and disoriented victims of narcissistic abuse.
How am I whiling away my pandemic?
Accepting reality and who I am.
Getting rid of long held delusions about others, but especially about myself.
Realizing my limitations.
Healthy process, but it provokes mourning: I grieve for who I thought I was and for a life so pervadingly confabulated that it was never lived.
Defy the Absurd!
LIFE can LAUGH at us -
But only WE can SMILE back!
Our Public "Intellectuals": Avarice, Malice, Grandiosity
"The vibrant world of private empathy has been replaced by faceless state largesse. Pity, mercy, the elation of giving? They're all tax deductible. And generally speaking, it is a sorry sight. It's the demise of empathy.
We have been warning against this for ages and no one would listen. And no one would listen because the ethos of money, the ethos of power, the ethos of manipulating other people to obtain desirable goals and preferable outcomes - it's taken over.
Even public intellectuals who tell you how to live your lives, how to become better people - they're not telling you how to become BETTER people. They're teaching you how to become more EFFICIENT people - very often at the expense of others.
I'm sorry. I can't think of a single public intellectual who is not narcissistic, psychopathic, self-centered, egotistical, labile, dysregulated, sadistic to some extent...and all of them are telling you - all of them are teaching you - NOT how to develop empathy, compassion, and care, and love towards your fellow beings, but how to make maximal use of your natural endowments and to fake and to lie and to pretend - so as to obtain and to extricate whatever you can from others.
In other words, the view of public intellectuals today is that the world is a win-lose situation. And, in this sense, I'm terribly sorry to say that I can't see any difference in principle between Donald Trump's jungle, Darwinian view of the world and any public intellectual I know. They're all saying the same. But some of them are saying it in a highfalutin way - and some of them in a pub with a pint kind of way. But they are all saying the same: It's eat or be eaten, kill or be killed, manipulate or be manipulated. Don't be the sucker! Get ahead! Make the most!
And the hell with others."
Taken from https://youtu.be/nIefBSuvAGw
Sam Vaknin's Genius Bloopers and Show-stoppers Co-startling Minnie the Mug
"You were always somewhere else, she couldn't understand you, she didn't know what you wanted from her ... she used to cry ... you made her very unhappy ... didn't you know that?" ("Waiting for the Barbarians").
People - men and
women alike - are a burden and a drain on my energy. In crisis (such as
this pandemic), I prefer to be left entirely to my own devices. I ration my
resources to maximize ROI and anticipated ROI. Where I see no future benefits
or goals accomplished with certainty within a minimal timeframe, I go no
contact. Women should provide any 2 of the 3 Ss (sex, sadistic and narcissistic
supply, services), men 2 of 2 Ss - any fewer leads to effective withdrawal (or,
where inescapable, minimal transactional communication) or, the minute it is
feasible, actual no contact.
I am the one doing ALL the rejection, humiliation, abuse, refusal to commit, and abandonment. But I feel out of control: these acts are compulsive. I am furious at and resent myself for being so weak and for succumbing to my mental illness. So, I reframe with self-destructive and self-defeating counterfactual negative automatic thoughts so as to punish myself ("they abandoned me because I am unlovable").
My core failure is my delusional grandiose entitlement: like many others, I refuse to adopt any active roles because they involve commitment, investment, and familiarity or intimacy, however minimal. I do adopt
passive roles as a recipient. I frame this choice as a failure because I fail to maintain the loyalty and presence of my 3Ss providers (as all successful passive rolers do). My failure lies in my unwillingness to invest even in the bare maintenance of my sources and suppliers: my grandiose entitlement is so outlandishly delusional (unrealistic, fantastic) that I fail even as a totally passive consumer (eg, as a con artist).
During the pandemic, I want commoditized, one time, anonymous
narcissistic supply without (1) familiarity and/or (2) demands on any my
resources. Familiarity implies equality or contempt (rather than fear of
ultimate anticipated rejection) and to demand my attention without commensurate
return (sex or services) is an insolent imposition. In both cases, I reject the
supplier (having already garnered the narcissistic supply) and by doing so I
extract sadistic supply (by humiliating her/him) to add to the already
harvested narcissistic supply. I encourage familiarity and am responsive only
when ROI in the form of the 3 Ss is guaranteed.
I do not have the stamina and the emotional skill set required for any type of human intercourse. Nothing and no one has meaning for me, except as a diversion. I aspire to nothing and want nothing and no one. I prefer to masturbate not only sexually (autoerotic) but also psychologically/intellectually (autolibidinal).
"If we want nothing, then nothing stands in our way. This may lead to a life of monastic enlightenment -- or habitual evasion" (Corbett, "Art of Character"). Sterile pseudointellectual pursuits replace real life action.
Not everyone is a physicist but everyone is a psychologist.
Plus, Camus was not a Jew, I was just kidding.
Most of the advice given online – even by self-styled “experts” – is not only wrong but harmful and has detrimental consequences even in the long run.
12 examples of intuitive, commonsensical myths that are utterly wrong.
How the Cringe Stole Christmas
To describe sex
with a woman as "penetration" is counterfactual: no barrier is
breached (except when the hymen is broken in virgins). Up until recently, most
women were virgins when they got married, hence the widely used misnomer. To
properly describe the act, one should use words like "insertion" and
"engulfment" or "reception".
Penetration is of course the male's aggressive POV and aggressive: the amorous equivalent of laying siege to the woman.
But nowadays women are as assertive and dominant as men (if not more so). They often initiate the sex, aggressively when needs must. This is also reflected in the non-traditional positions that many women assume during sex and in the expanding use of toys and aides.
Sex is totally reciprocal in most cases and the woman's needs and predilections are fully catered to. As a minimum, the parties equally use each others's bodies to climax.
Still, there are objective differences:
Men are invited in: women maintain the exclusive function of gatekeeping. Men are guest, women hosts, anatomically speaking. It is the apex of corporeal intimacy to allow someone into your body.
Men deposit sperm (gametes) in the woman while women only contribute lubrication.
Male latency with same woman is way longer - but not with a different woman! So, psychosexually, man do regard women as "single use" partners and their physiology reflects it. On porn websites, this frame of mind is abundant and women are irredeemably objectified.
Women also secrete bonding and attachment hormones (such as oxytocin) way more than men do and men release copious amounts of conquering aggression hormones, such as testosterone.
There is no such thing as meaningless sex, however cursory and casual. But we have learned to deceive ourselves that such insignificant liaisons do exist. We are paying the ultimate price now, as a species: the complete breakdown in communication between men and women; gender vertigo and wars, fueled by misogyny and misandry; and a unigender world where women increasingly and vociferously emulate psychopathic men and men are lost like never before oscillating between toxic masculinity and effeminate self-negation.
excerpts of this lecture, given in Budapest, Hungary, February 2020:
8 strategies to co-exist with a narcissist and survive narcissistic abuse.
Halo Effect in a
The Halo Effect
Every film star is a political pundit. Every vacuous celebrity is a philosopher. Every athlete has solid views about economics. The cognitive bias known as the Halo Effect is a crucial pivot of malignant egalitarianism.
The Halo Effect is when we make implicit or explicit assumptions about the skills, talents, erudition, intelligence, experience, circumstances, and prospects of someone because of their looks or accomplishments in unrelated fields.
The internet created a universal Halo Effect: everyone now has access to information and is empowered to publish and broadcast, gang up with like-minded others, and act. Everyone now feels like an instant celebrity: a combination of Einstein and Aristotle, qualified to pass judgment, express opinions, and give advice, omniscient and even omnipotent. In other words: narcissistic.
In such an environment, where everyone is an expert, there are no experts, no facts, and no truth, no benchmarks, yardsticks, or absolutes. Everything is "relative" and up for grabs. Your version of reality is as good as mine and there is nothing I can ever teach you.
The mobs of aggressive retards, the majority of the denizens of cyberspace, deter true intellects and scholars from entering the fray. The yawning abyss between academe and the community is larger than ever. Misinformation, disinformation, sheer nonsense, and patent insanity have become indistinguishable from true knowledge. Discoverability has become a major problem.
How does the narcissist
experience your survival and coping strategies, such as no contact, grey rock,
mirroring, withholding, and background noise? How does he react to them?
Full lecture here:
Hungary, February 2020
questions and comments (see who gets the buffet pun):
1. How can you discuss empathy if you don't have it?
2. Nothingness: giving up rather than shaping up
3. Negativity is ego congruent
5. I watch him and not you because he cares about me
6. Sam Vaknin: Hot, sexy, handsome
7. Halo Effect in a Celebrity Cult
8. False self could be a sort of special interest in Autism
9. Albert Camus not a Jew
10. Universe and human stupidity
11. Sadistic supply vs sadistic sex vs narcissistic supply
12. Probability challenged professors (IQ tests)
13. Why blame mothers? (ACE Study)
As an abused and traumatized child, the narcissist creates a False Self: a godhead to shield and protect him. This divinity is everything the child is not: omnipotent, omniscient, perfect, and brilliant. But like erstwhile idols, it requires human sacrifice and the child surrenders its True Self at the altar of this newfangled Moloch. As an adult, he tries to convert everyone around him to the New Faith by coercing and cajoling them to admire his False Self. Every narcissist is, therefore, a one man missionary cult.
As a growing number of people become increasingly more narcissistic, we are witnessing the emergence of a new religion with every narcissist as both a god and a worshipper, a node in a network. It is the first polytheistic distributed networked major faith, with consequences as momentous as any other major creed has had.
Narcissists are bumbling fools and buffoons. Even when they are highly intelligent, they are often incredibly dumb. They may be erudite, but they are never wise.
People respect me for my intelligence and assume that I possess
corresponding traits of wisdom and maturity.
But, when they get to know me up close, they lose all respect for me.
When people - men and women - first make contact with me, they are even awed. But, all of them invariably end up regarding me as a pathetic and indolent doormat loser, a mentally ill and obnoxious, yet grandiose cripple. They feel deceived and are driven to hurt me, put me in my rightful place, and mock me. At best, they pity me and shun me.
I am pervasively disrespected because I thoroughly disrespect myself: I reject my life and everything and everyone in it as meaningless, I engage in self-defeating and irrational misconduct, I do as I please (my way or the highway), pay no heed to consequences, lack any ambition or motivation, just drift along randomly, giving up on assets, accomplishment, communities, places, language itself, and people without any regret or second thought. I never attach or bond to anyone, anything, any place, any vocation or pursuit. I am ephemeral.
I invest in nothing, never plan, and commit to nothing and to no one. I drift and am an itinerant slacker. The minimal work that I do - even my hobbies! - is shoddy, cluttered, and haphazard, everything looks ramshackle and improvised. I am absent and abusive in all my relationships, busy mostly in fending off encroaching intimacy.
Like Cleckley's patients, mine is a mere mask of sanity, and like them, I don't even bother to keep it on, so naturally no one fears my retribution or respects my boundaries. They trespass on me with impunity and glee, egregiously and ostentatiously.
I am self-destructive and often implore people - offline and online - to humiliate and to hate me (even to the extent of initiating self-directed smear campaigns or anonymously or via sock puppets!!!)
I never protect or value what's mine - from my women to my
intellectual property - so others openly take everything and everyone away from
me. I often give my ideas and goods for free and push my women to cheat on me
with other men.
Men pick up on my distress signals and despise me for my spinelessness. They openly flirt with my dates, lovers, and spouses in my presence and whisk them off into nights of good time and carnal pleasure, ignoring me completely. I never dare to protest these fathomless humiliations. I just await the return of my despoiled, drunk partners.
This also engenders disrespect: whether I am perceived as cowardly, or as defeated, or as a slacker flake, I merit and elicit only derision, revulsion, and contempt from others: men, women, intimate and business partners, colleagues, clients.
Coupled with their envy of my gifts and revolt at my obnoxious and pompous personality, it leads to virulent displays of public humiliation/shaming and passive-aggressive or punitive acts against me.
Such disrespect is communicable and contagious and the contagion is exacerbated by my own behaviors: I either feign indifference or reactance ("do your worst, see if I care" defiance).
My apathy is not perceived as a sign of strength, but on the contrary: it is the hallmark of a doormat's cowardice, weakness, and absence of enforceable boundaries. I open myself to contempt, abuse, and gleeful mockery.
Alternatively, people interpret my behaviors as passive-aggression.
My visible, public, and ostentatious disrespect for my intimate partners is coupled with overt disinterest in them and observers grasp it as a profound lack of self-dignity, strength, and self-respect (as abdicating, not caring for, and not protecting my "property").
Similarly, my reactance is not perceived as credible: I am about as intimidating and deterring as a weakling spoiled brat - and even more repulsive and antagonizing. People experience an irresistible impulse to slap me down to size.
My attempts to "man up", deter, and intimidate provoke the offending party to escalate into egregious territory and react with undisguised disdain whenever I try to set boundaries or enforce them.
When your best friend takes your new car for a spin with your
permission - you do not feel slighted, hurt, offended, or that your car had
been devalued or depreciated in any way.
But if s/he were to sleep with your spouse, even with your consent, you would instantly come to regard your intimate partner henceforth as "damaged goods".
Why the starkly disparate emotional reactions?
The car does not reciprocate, share, or feel anything. As opposed to most spouses, it is not conscious or sentient.
But what if the sex was utterly mechanical and therefore meaningless?
There is no such thing as "meaningless" sex. All sexual acts are intimate to a degree. By undressing and sleeping with your friend, your spouse had instantly created and shared with your friend a set of exclusive moments to which you are not privy and which you would never share. You are denied access to a time in your spouse's life which is unique to her and to her lover. It is an act of exclusion. It involves emotions, however basic.
But surely your spouse has had such moments with others before you had met?
True. But once you had teamed up, you had agreed, explicitly or implicitly, that all intimate moments will be exclusively shared by both of you and only by both of you. Granting access to your bodies reifies precisely such moments of exclusive mutuality, a declaration of the special place you have in each others's lives. Sleeping with someone else is a breach of this compact even when the whole event is orchestrated, impersonal, unsatisfying, and consensual.
Other forms of intimacy with another also constitute a violation of
the bond even if they do not end in bed. Some people regard an evening spent
talking as more intimate than even sex: a candlelit dinner, the sharing of
confidences, a nightlong bar crawl, a holiday, or a good time, fun evening
Why does exclusivity matters in a romantic intimate relationship?
Because it safeguards against instability, external shocks, threats, hurt, and abandonment. It guarantees the longevity of the union, thus encouraging and fostering commitment and investment in the bonded dyad.
Available here: @teasingkafka
Is the narcissist a deviant pervert, dangerous sexual predator, or just a fun-loving adventurous kink-oriented kind of guy or gal?
Who is he?
The narcissist is an absence
A howling wind
In the vacant corridors
Of his tortured mind.
He is the echoing cry
Of a wounded sepia child
A bleeding emptiness.
Mirror upon mirror
Reflects the nothingness
Where a person should have been.
Into his carnival attraction
You are solicited to fill
The bottomless pit
Around, a million times you
Beckon and seduce
To join his vanishing act
And to not be.
Poetry of Healing and Abuse
by Dr. Sam Vaknin
Dr. Sam Vaknin conducts public experiments on human subjects (aka students):
1. Internal vs. External Objects
2. Empathy? What’s That?
Full lecture available on my YouTube channel and titled: “Extremes of the Human Mind: The Most Terrifying Place of All”.
1. Shadow/dark side, complexes
2. Reaction formation
3. Projection, Projective Identification
4. Narcissism of small differences
Lidija Rangelovska has studied the dark side and the roles of guilt and shame in narcissism and in codependency http://www.facebook.com/lidijarangelovska
First keynote speaker in 3rd International Conference on Addiction and Psychiatry, September 29, 2020.
Speaker in Webinar on Addiction, Depression, and Suicidal Risk, September 30, 2020.
Speaker in International Webinar on Psychiatry, Alzheimer's, and Dementia, October 5, 2020.
Certificate of recognition for my presentation on Depression and Narcissistic
Disorders of the Self in the Webinar Addiction, Depression, and Suicidal
Chair of the 4th International Conference on Addiction Research and Therapy, October 5-6, 2020 (swipe left).
My presentation: “When Narcissists and Psychopaths Become Leaders”.
Certificate of Recognition for my presentation "Sensa, Emotions, and Cognitions: Three Sides of the Same Coin?" in the 3rd International Conference on Addiction and Psychiatry, September 2020.
Certificate of Recognition for my keynote presentation as "When Narcissists and Psychopaths Become Leaders" in the 4th International Conference on Addiction Research and Therapy, October 2020.
Søren Abaye Kierkegaard on Self, Love, and Self-love (Text in Description)
Speaker at the Webinar on Stress and Depression Management, October 2020. My presentation: "Signs that you are the Victim of Narcissistic Abuse" (Certificate of Recognition).
Certificate of Recognition and Certificate of Membership in the
Organizing Committee for my keynote presentation "Narcissistic
Mortification, Shame, and Fear" in the 32nd Edition of the
International Conference on Psychiatry and Mental Health, October 2020.
The lectures are also available on my YouTube channel.
Speaker in other international conferences on psychology, psychiatry, mental health, and neuroscience:
There is no (emotional) partner or mate, who typically
"binds" with a narcissist. They come in all shapes & sizes. The
initial phases of attraction, infatuation & falling in love are pretty
normal. The narcissist puts on his best face – the other party is blinded by
budding love. A natural selection process occurs only much later, as the
relationship develops & is put to the test.
Living with a narcissist can be exhilarating, is always onerous, often harrowing. Surviving a relationship with a narcissist indicates, therefore, the parameters of the personality of the survivor. She (or, more rarely, he) is moulded by the relationship into The Typical Narcissistic Mate/Partner/Spouse.
First and foremost, the narcissist's partner must have a deficient or a distorted grasp of her self & of reality. Otherwise, she (or he) is bound to abandon the narcissist's ship early on. The cognitive distortion is likely to consist of belittling & demeaning herself – while aggrandising & adoring the narcissist.
The partner is, thus, placing herself in the position of the eternal victim: undeserving, punishable, a scapegoat. Sometimes, it is very important to the partner to appear moral, sacrificial & victimised. At other times, she is not even aware of this predicament. The narcissist is perceived by the partner to be a person in the position to demand these sacrifices from her because he is superior in many ways (intellectually, emotionally, morally, professionally, or financially).
The status of professional victim sits well with the partner's tendency to punish herself, namely: with her masochistic streak. The tormented life with the narcissist is just what she deserves.
In this respect, the partner is the mirror image of the narcissist. By maintaining a symbiotic relationship with him, by being totally dependent upon her source of masochistic supply (which the narcissist most reliably constitutes and most amply provides) the partner enhances certain traits and encourages certain behaviours, which are at the very core of narcissism.
More here: https://samvak.tripod.com/faq6.html
Author with Locked-in Syndrome Writes a Book
Determination, perseverance, ingenuity. Resilience. Iron will. Watch the Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
A central pillar in my thinking is unraveling as I age. My intellect is not enough. Not only is it not half as rare or as refined as I imagined it to be - it is simply insufficient. It cannot secure my happiness, or safety, or longevity, or health. It cannot buy me love or friendship. I eke out a living - but that is it. I don't have what it takes. And what it takes is a combination of intelligence with many other things: with empathy, with team work, perseverance, honesty, integrity, stamina, a modicum of optimism, true assessment of reality, sense of proportion, the ability to love, selflessness in measure. Intelligence without these is cold and sterile. It gives birth to nothing but recursive exercises.
To be fully human, it takes much more than memory and analytic skills. In the absence of emotions and empathy, there is only artificial intelligence - a lame and pitiable simulation of the real thing. Artificial intelligence can beat chess masters and memorize entire encyclopaedias. It can blaze a trail of written articles. It can add, subtract, and multiply.
But it can never enjoy another person. It can never intertwine, or care, or warm its heart, or hope. It can produce some poems but never poetry. It is even deprived of the ability to feel lonely. And though it may fully grasp its own deficiencies - try as it may, it can never change. For it is artificial and synthetic - a fiction, a two-dimensional creation, a part and not a whole. It is a narcissist.
Why Do We Love
The presence of pets activates in us two primitive psychological defense mechanisms: projection and narcissism.
Projection is a defense mechanism intended to cope with internal or external stressors and emotional conflict by attributing to another person or object (such as a pet) - usually falsely - thoughts, feelings, wishes, impulses, needs, and hopes deemed forbidden or unacceptable by the projecting party.
In the case of pets, projection works through anthropomorphism: we attribute to animals our traits, behavior patterns, needs, wishes, emotions, and cognitive processes. This perceived similarity endears them to us and motivates us to care for our pets and cherish them.
But, why do people become pet-owners in the first place?
Caring for pets comprises equal measures of satisfaction and frustration. Pet-owners often employ a psychological defense mechanism - known as "cognitive dissonance" - to suppress the negative aspects of having pets and to deny the unpalatable fact that raising pets and caring for them may be time consuming, exhausting, and strains otherwise pleasurable and tranquil relationships to their limits.
Pet-ownership is possibly an irrational vocation, but humanity keeps keeping pets. It may well be the call of nature. All living species reproduce and most of them parent. Pets sometimes serve as surrogate children and friends. Is this maternity (and paternity) by proxy proof that, beneath the ephemeral veneer of civilization, we are still merely a kind of beast, subject to the impulses and hard-wired behavior that permeate the rest of the animal kingdom? Is our existential loneliness so extreme that it crosses the species barrier?
There is no denying that most people want their pets and love them. They are attached to them and experience grief and bereavement when they die, depart, or are sick. Most pet-owners find keeping pets emotionally fulfilling, happiness-inducing, and highly satisfying. This pertains even to unplanned and initially unwanted new arrivals.
Continue here: https://samvak.tripod.com/animal.html
Up until the early Renaissance, trading and craftsmanship were the
only forms of business.
Finance in its modern rudiments was added later.
The industrial revolution coupled with puritan Protestantism gave rise to a class of grandiose, entitled, egotistical, and often antisocial practitioners in banking, finance, and manufacturing.
Society walled these people off, partitioned and firewalled their communities and activities, and regarded them as somewhat unwholesome. It kept them and their pernicious impact away from the provision of public, familial, or communal goods such as education, entertainment, medicine, health, and law enforcement.
In the second half of the 20th century as millennia old institutions such as the family crumbled, these activities were outsourced to the private sector ("privatization") and became big enterprises. The values and ethos of the business and finance enclaves now infested and permeated every single societal and cultural dimension. We became a civilization founded on egregious narcissism and psychopathic values that infuse the marketplace.
Some couples are romantic, others are transactional (for example: in
a parenting marriage, or a power couple, involved in business together).
The dynamics of a dyad can be analyzed using six axes:
1. Cultural and social backgrounds of the members: from compatibility to conflict;
2. Communication: style, effective protocols, trigger points, and context-independent content;
3. Expectations: from congruity to mismatch, level of fulfillment;
4. Goal-setting, decision-making, and execution: from equality to asymmetry, efficacy;
5. Cooperation: from synergy to cancelling out or conflict; and
6. Reflexivity: from visibility to transparency.
The narcissist rates people around him according to whether they can
provide him with Narcissistic Supply or not. As far as the narcissist is
concerned, those who fail this simple test do not exist. They are two-dimensional
cartoon figures. Their feelings, needs and fears are of no interest or
Those identified as potential Sources of Narcissistic Supply are then subjected to a meticulous examination and probing of the volume and quality of the Narcissistic Supply that they are likely to provide. The narcissist nurtures and cultivates these people. He caters to their needs, desires, and wishes. He considers their emotions. He encourages those aspects of their personality that are likely to enhance their ability to provide him with his much needed supply.
In this very restricted sense, he regards and treats them as "human". This is be his way of "maintaining and servicing" his Supply Sources. Needless to say that he loses any and all interest in them and in their needs once he decides that they are no longer able to supply him with what he needs: an audience, attention, and witnessing his accomplishments and moments of glory (to serve as his external memory). The same reaction is provoked by any behaviour judged by the narcissist to be narcissistically injurious.
Continue here: https://samvak.tripod.com/narcissistexploitation.html
patients typically react by undulating between emotional numbing &
increased arousal: insomnia, irritability, restlessness, & attention
deficits. Recollections of the traumatic events intrude in the form of dreams,
night terrors, flashbacks, & distressing associations.
The sick develop compulsive rituals to fend off obsessive thoughts. Other psychological sequelae reported include cognitive impairment, reduced capacity to learn, memory disorders, sexual dysfunction, social withdrawal, inability to maintain long-term relationships, or even mere intimacy, phobias, ideas of reference and superstitions, delusions, hallucinations, psychotic microepisodes, & emotional flatness.
Depression & anxiety are very common. These are forms and manifestations of self-directed aggression. The sufferer rages at his own victimhood & resultant multiple dysfunctions. He feels shamed by his new disabilities & responsible, or even guilty, somehow, for his predicament & the dire consequences borne by his nearest & dearest. His sense of self-worth & self-esteem are crippled.
In a nutshell, the terminally & chronically ill suffer from Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Their strong feelings of anxiety, guilt, & shame are also typical of victims of childhood abuse, torture, domestic violence, & rape. They feel anxious because the disease's “behaviour”, progression, & trajectory are seemingly arbitrary & unpredictable – or mechanically and inhumanly regular.
They feel guilty and disgraced because, to restore a semblance of order to their shattered world and a modicum of dominion over their chaotic life, they need to transform themselves into the cause of their own degradation and the accomplices of their torment.
Inevitably, in the aftermath of bodily trauma and protracted illness, the victims feel helpless and powerless. This loss of control over one's life and body is manifested physically in impotence, attention deficits, and insomnia. This is often exacerbated by the disbelief many patients encounter when they try to share their experiences.
The irony is that narcissists, who consider
themselves worldly, discerning, knowledgeable, shrewd, erudite, and astute -
are actually more gullible than the average person. This is because they are
fake. Their self is false, their life a confabulation, their reality test gone.
They live in a fantasy land all their own in which they are the center of the
universe, admired, feared, held in awe, and respected for their omnipotence and
Narcissists are prone to magical thinking. They hold themselves immune to the consequences of their actions (or inaction) and, therefore, beyond punishment and the laws of Man. Narcissists are easily persuaded to assume unreasonable risks and expect miracles to happen. They often find themselves on the receiving end of investment scams, for instance.
Narcissists feel entitled to money, power, and honors incommensurate with their accomplishments or toil. The world, or God, or the nation, or society, or their families, co-workers, employers, even neighbors owe them a trouble-free, exalted, and luxurious existence. They are rudely shocked when they are penalized for their misconduct or when their fantasies remain just that.
The narcissist believes that he is destined to greatness - or at least the easy life. He wakes up every morning fully ready for a fortuitous stroke of luck. That explains the narcissist's reckless behaviors and his lazed lack of self-discipline. It also explains why is so easily duped.
By playing on the narcissist's grandiosity and paranoia, it is possible to deceive and manipulate him effortlessly. Just offer him Narcissistic Supply - admiration, affirmation, adulation - and he is yours. Harp on his insecurities and his persecutory delusions - and he is likely to trust only you and cling to you for dear life. Both paranoia and grandiosity impair the narcissist’s reality test and lead to the erection of complex and wasteful defences against non-existent threats.
Watch the video in my channel on the narcissist as a buffoon and bumbling fool. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Narcissist regards your love as a weakness, a vulnerability he can exploit and leverage to obtain supply, sex, and services and, if he is a sadist, to hurt you.
Women escalate and fail to get a rise out of him: he doesn't mind or care.
The narcissist grieves the shared fantasy not you: his sunk cost (investment) and the inconvenience of having to start all over again. His mourning is aggressive and closer to fury that to pain and sadness.
Women are the only ones who can mortify the narcissist because he reframes their cheating and betrayal as total rejection of his entire being in every possible role (man, lover, companion, guru, husband, father, even provider). Men reject only specific functions and roles that the narcissist fails in (business partner, collaborator, friend).
Grooming and love bombing (including false promises)
Shared fantasy leads to narcissistic abuse type 1, intended to test the parental capacity of the partner and reenact early childhood conflicts with the narcissist's parents.
Women cheat or betray discreetly, withdraw leads to the narcissist stalking them OR Women bargain and demand leads to narcissistic abuse type 2 (aimed at jettisoning the partner).
Women cheat ostentatiously, abandon The narcissist reframes from internal to external mortification and back (vacillating mortification).
Reason for vacillation: shared fantasy is ego syntonic and he feels wronged while the bargaining phase is ego dystonic and he feel that he is in the wrong.
The narcissist vacillates between an internal cognitive mortification (I am bad, evil, and rejecting) and an external emotional one (I experience my partner or others as bad, evil, and rejecting).
There is a kernel of truth in both mortifications.
In reality, women do reject, humiliate, and abandon the narcissist as a way to exit the shared fantasy or end the bargaining. It renders the external mortification plausible. But the truth is that women misbehave this way reactively, after he had rejected and abused them egregiously.
Following his abuse and rejection during the shared fantasy, the narcissist stalks women.
During the bargaining phase he continues to abuse them in order to push them to cheat on him or betray him ostentatiously and thus dump him. This allows him to: (shared fantasy) 1. Re-enact the early conflict with my mother; 2. Help him revert to external mortification by rendering it somewhat more grounded in reality; (bargaining) 3. Get rid of his partner.
Keynote speech to 3rd
International Conference on Addiction and Psychiatry
A voluminous literature notwithstanding, there is little convincing empirical research about the correlation between personality traits and addictive behaviors. Substance abuse and dependence (alcoholism, drug addiction) is only one form of recurrent and self-defeating pattern of misconduct. People are addicted to all kinds of things: gambling, shopping, the Internet, reckless and life-endangering pursuits. Adrenaline junkies abound.
The connection between chronic anxiety, pathological narcissism, depression, obsessive-compulsive traits and alcoholism and drug abuse is well established and common in clinical practice. But not all narcissists, compulsives, depressives, and anxious people turn to the bottle or the needle. Frequent claims of finding a gene complex responsible for alcoholism have been consistently cast in doubt.
In 1993, Berman and Noble suggested that addictive and reckless behaviors are mere emergent phenomena and may be linked to other, more fundamental traits, such as novelty seeking or risk taking (“Childhood Antecedents of Substance Misuse”, Current Opinion in Psychiatry, Volume 6, Issue 3, June 1993).
Psychopaths (patients with Antisocial Personality Disorder) have both qualities in ample quantities. We would expect them, therefore, to heavily abuse alcohol and drugs. Indeed, as Lewis and Bucholz convincingly demonstrated in 1991, they do (“Alcoholism, Antisocial Behavior and family History”, British Journal of Addiction, Volume 86, Issue 2, February 1991, pp. 139-244). Still, only a negligible minority of alcoholics and drug addicts are psychopaths.
Those scarred by economic
and financial traumas let money dictate their lives. In the pursuit of
safety and luxury they sacrifice love, happiness, and self-actualization. Money
also provides an escape hatch akin to the oblivion afforded by drugs. In time,
profligacy becomes an addiction.
For some people money makes life meaningful and reifies its sense: moneymaking provides a reason to get up in the morning. Money is an explanatory and organizing principle which renders the world and human actions comprehensible. Money helps regulate one's sense of self-worth: it is a measure of how much one is appreciated and loved.
Possessing money is a shorthand testament to one's natural endowments, acquired skills, sagacious and perspicacious choices, Darwinian fitness, and even moral righteousness.
People feel that they deserve to have earned their money. If they end up wealthy by some coincidence or stroke of luck, it is proof that both the gods and the Universe favor them, that they have been singled out. Money is, therefore, a form of quantifiable narcissistic supply and an utterly bias-free ranking algorithm: alpha makes make more money than their beta brethren.
experience 5 types of depression:
I. Loss Induced Dysphoria
This is the narcissist's depressive reaction to the loss of one or more Sources of Narcissistic Supply – or to the disintegration of a Pathological Narcissistic Space (stalking or hunting grounds, the social unit whose members lavish him with attention).
II. Deficiency Induced Dysphoria
Deep and acute depression which follows the aforementioned losses of Supply Sources or a PN Space. Having mourned these losses, the narcissist now grieves their inevitable outcome: the absence or deficiency of Narcissistic Supply. Paradoxically, this dysphoria energises the narcissist, moves him to find new Sources of Supply to replenish his dilapidated stock (thus initiating a Narcissistic Cycle).
III. Self-Worth Dysregulation Dysphoria
The narcissist reacts with depression to criticism or disagreement, especially from a trusted & long-term Source of Narcissistic Supply. He fears the imminent loss of the source & the damage to his own, fragile, mental balance. The narcissist also resents his vulnerability & his extreme dependence on feedback from others. This type of depressive reaction is, therefore, a mutation of self-directed aggression.
IV. Grandiosity Gap Dysphoria
The narcissist's firmly, though counterfactually, perceives himself as omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, brilliant, accomplished, irresistible, immune, and invincible. Any data to the contrary is usually filtered, altered, or discarded altogether. Still, sometimes reality intrudes and creates a Grandiosity Gap. The narcissist is forced to face his mortality, limitations, ignorance, and relative inferiority. He sulks and sinks into an incapacitating but short-lived dysphoria.
V. Self-Punishing Dysphoria
Deep inside, the narcissist hates himself and doubts his own worth. He deplores his desperate addiction to Narcissistic Supply. He judges his actions and intentions harshly and sadistically. He may be unaware of these dynamics, but they are at the heart of the narcissistic disorder and the reason the narcissist had to resort to narcissism as a defence mechanism in the first place.
Most patients with Histrionic
Personality Disorder are women. This immediately raises the question: Is
this a real mental health disorder or a culture-bound syndrome which reflects
the values of a patriarchal and misogynistic society? A man with similar traits
is bound to be admired as a "macho" or, at worst, labelled a
Histrionics resemble narcissists: both seek attention compulsively and are markedly dysphoric and uncomfortable when not at the center of attention. They have to be the life of the party. If they fail in achieving this pivotal role, they act out, create hysterical scenes, or confabulate.
Like the somatic narcissist, the histrionic is preoccupied with physical appearance, sexual conquests, her health, and her body. The typical histrionic spends huge dollops of money and expend inordinate amounts of time on grooming. Histrionics fish for compliments and are upset when confronted with criticism or proof that they are not as glamorous or alluring as they thought they are.
Unlike narcissists, though, histrionics are genuinely enthusiastic, open, emotional, warm, and empathic, up to the point of being maudlin and sentimental. They also strive to "fit in", mingle, blend, and "become a part of" groups, collectives, and social institutions.
The Histrionic woman does not like sex at all - she likes the POWER that her sexuality gives her over men. So when the man is hers, when she had won, conquered, mastered, and subjugated her man, she loses all sexual interest in him and begins to pay sexual attention to other men. She reframes her extinguished flame (discarded lover) and the now dead relationship or infatuation: instead of a much desired lover he is now a good friend, a sadistic enemy, or a much-needed interlude.
Histrionics sexualize everyone and every situation. They constantly act flirtatious, provocative, and seductive, even when such behavior is not warranted by circumstances or, worse still, is proscribed and highly inappropriate (for instance in professional and occupational settings).
narcissist is a one trick insufferably haughty, delusional, and entitled
The cerebral offers a front row seat to the pyrotechnics of his Fortean intellect, but nothing else besides: no sex, commitment, investment, warmth, family, home, children, empathy, attentiveness, attention, succor, support, friendship, intimacy, no socializing, good time, leisure activities, or positive emotions, most notably love. He is invariably abusive and contemptuous of everyone, sometimes sadistically so.
He honestly and firmly believes that it is an extreme privilege just to witness and admire his intelligence in action.
He is mortified when his intimate partners cheat on him with other men who are considerably less endowed than him intellectually, or when people shun him and label him a failure and a loser (despite his self-imputed genius), or when he fails to get the job he was angling for.
He cannot grasp that for intelligence to be meaningful to others, it must be embedded in emotions, empathy, and come replete with social skills and the capacity for teamwork.
Moreover, as far as his spouse or partner are concerned, to make any lasting sense and impression, cognitive-analytical prowess must be passed on to off-spring or else it ends up being a one-off, ephemeral, and increasingly more tedious to behold blip or glitch.
Yet, sometimes, the childless cerebral narcissist hoards his gift so jealously that he refuses to share it even by having progeny!
Why the PANIC?
There is a not so subtle difference between self-preservation and a reasoned and measured public health response on the one hand - and mass hysteria and collective panic attack on the other hand.
Why are we so discombobulated this pandemic around?
Because we are considerably more narcissistic.
Irony: is our self awareness too late in the game?
Mass or collective narcissistic injury:
As a species Nature uses virus to humble us, small, interdependent, defiance and contumaciousness punished
Omnipotence. Limits to our growth, helplessness headless chicken
Omniscience Failure of grandiose medicine
Vulnerability We are all fallible and dead
Fragility Our social institutions broken
Anxiety No future, economic or otherwise
Failure. Ask the young: we ruined it all for them, we bequeath them desolation
COVID-19 videos here: https://www.youtube.com/vakninmusings
Spectator Australia: “Is This the Narcissism Pandemic?”
Social isolation with the narcissist is a hostage situation: intermittent reinforcement leads to trauma bonding and the Stockholm Syndrome.
The pandemic challenges the narcissist's grandiosity. The narcissist displaces his need for control onto his spouse or intimate partner.
It is difficult to obtain scarce narcissistic supply in a pandemic, so the narcissist reverts to his partner and when she frustrates his insatiable appetite, he becomes aggressive: sexually demanding or withholding, physically violent, verbally and psychologically abusive, gives her the silent treatment and even threatens her.
"Background Noise" is the only technique that works in these circumstances.
Abuse and abusive relationships with narcissists and psychopaths
In the case of the cerebral
narcissist, there are several triggers that facilitate the transition from
the dominant to the recessive type (to somatic narcissism) and back:
I. A life crisis that causes the narcissist to hit rock bottom and to exhaust all his options. In need of a quick fix of narcissistic supply, the cerebral resorts to sex with its immediate gratification and palpable, measurable outcomes (“conquests”). Sex is also the narcissist’s way of roping in a new intimate partner and of maintaining her presence and loyalty to him;
II. Deficient narcissistic supply: When the cerebral’s source of secondary supply (his intimate partner) “quits” and no longer fulfils her function as a repository of and a voluble witness to the narcissist’s past triumphs and accomplishments, when she becomes critical of him or disagrees with him, no longer follows his leadership and ignores his commands - the narcissist switches from somatic to cerebral. In the narcissist, narcissistic supply is intimately linked and directly proportional to his libido (and more particularly to his sex drive): the dwindling of the former results in the abolition of the latter and in depression;
III. When the narcissist’s partner refuses to partake in his sexual fantasies and to collaborate in their execution, he experiences it as rejection, the most extreme form of narcissistic injury and he withdraws and becomes cerebral.
The somatic narcissist's shared fantasy: admirer (of body functionality, especially sexual prowess and irresistibility), playmate (mainly sexual and in kink), mother (the somatic turned ON by incest - not like cerebral who is turned OFF).
Brainwashing in relationships with narcissists is real and starts with grooming and lovebombing.
The narcissist engenders in his victim a dissociative state, like akin to a hypnotic trance.
This is especially easy to accomplish with Borderlines and Codependents who relegate the regulation of their emotions and moods to their intimate partner.
The narcissist is able to entrain (“brainwash into a hypnotic
trance) the codependent because they share common roots.
There are two possible pathological reactions to childhood abuse and trauma: codependence and narcissism. They both involve fantasy as a defense mechanism: the codependent has a pretty realistic assessment of herself, but her view of others is fantastic; the narcissist’s self-image and self-perception are delusional and grandiose, but his penetrating view of others is bloodcurdlingly accurate ("cold empathy"). Pathological narcissism is a form of addiction to narcissistic supply.
The narcissist is caught in a conundrum of his own making: on the one hand he considers himself superior and godlike. On the other hand, to maintain his inflated, grandiose, and fantastic sense of self-worth, the narcissist is abjectly and humiliatingly dependent on constant input from people whom he considers vastly inferior to him. He clings to them but hates and resents them and himself for his dependence. This leads to bouts of approach followed by avoidance, a repetition complex.
It takes two to tango and to sustain a long-term abusive relationship.
The abuser and the abused form a bond, a dynamic, a dependence. Expressions
such as folie a deux, trauma bonding, and Stockholm Syndrome capture facets –
two of a myriad – of this danse macabre. It often ends fatally. It is always an
excruciatingly painful affair.
Abuse is closely correlated with alcoholism, drug consumption, intimate-partner homicide, teen pregnancy, infant and child mortality, spontaneous abortion, reckless behaviours, suicide, and the onset of mental health disorders.
People – overwhelmingly women – remain in an abusive household for a variety of reasons: economic, parental (to protect the children), and psychological. But the objective obstacles facing the battered spouse cannot be overstated.
The abuser treats his spouse as an object, an extension of himself, devoid of a separate existence and denuded of distinct needs. Thus, typically, the couple's assets are on his name – from real estate to medical insurance policies. The victim has no family or friends because her abusive partner or husband frowns on her initial independence and regards it as a threat. By intimidating, cajoling, charming, and making false promises, the abuser isolates his prey from the rest of society and, thus, makes her dependence on him total. She is often also denied the option to study and acquire marketable skills or augment them.
Abandoning the abusive spouse frequently leads to a prolonged period of destitution and peregrination. Custody is usually denied to parents without a permanent address, a job, income security, and, therefore, stability. Thus, the victim stands to lose not only her mate and nest – but also her off-spring. There is the added menace of violent retribution by the abuser or his proxies – coupled with emphatic contrition on his part and a protracted and irresistible "charm offensive".
Gradually, she is convinced to put up with her spouse's cruelty in order to avoid this harrowing predicament.
Chair, 4th International Conference on Addiction Research and
Therapy, October 2020
Narcissistic leadership often poses as a rebellion against the "old ways": against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the corrupt order.
Narcissistic movements are puerile, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon a narcissistic (and rather psychopathic) toddler nation-state, or group, or upon the leader.
Minorities or "others" - often arbitrarily selected - constitute a perfect, easily identifiable, embodiment of all that is "wrong". They are accused of being old, of being eerily disembodied, cosmopolitan, a part of the establishment, of being "decadent". They are hated on religious and socio-economic grounds, or because of their race, sexual orientation, or origin. They are castigated as different, narcissistic (they feel and act as morally superior), they are everywhere, they are defenceless, they are credulous, they are adaptable (and thus can be co-opted to collaborate in their own destruction). They are the perfect hate figure, a foil. Narcissists thrive on hatred and pathological envy.
Narcissistic and Psychopathic leaders reify the pathologies of their culture and society. They foster and propagate a personality cult and when things go sour, they turn on their followers and acolytes. The narcissistic or psychopathic leader is the culmination and reification of his period, culture, and civilization. He is likely to rise to prominence in narcissistic societies. The leader’s mental health pathologies resonate with the anomies of his society and culture (“psychopathological resonance”.)
The leader and the led form a self-enhancing and self-reinforcing feedback loop, a dyad of mirrored adoration and reflected love. By elevating and idealizing their “Fuehrer”, the mob actually elevates and idealizes itself and the leader’s harnessed ochlocracy; in the “Duce’s” ascendance they find hope, in his manifest illness – curative solace and a legitimation of their own collective insanity.
The dictator himself equates being elected – however patently unfairly – with being chosen by the transcendental forces of the gods and history. His is a manifest destiny, his exceptionalism - the nation’s own. The leader’s personal-intimate life and persona may be utterly different to his political-public ones. It is an unsettling Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde effect. In private, the narcissistic-psychopathic leader may be avuncular, empathic, sentimental, helpful, dull, bourgeois, mediocre, middling, sickly, fussy, aloof, or friendly. But, he is at great pains to conceal these attributes from the public.
The narcissist's personality is so precariously balanced that he cannot tolerate even a hint of criticism and disagreement. Most narcissists are paranoid and suffer from ideas of reference (the delusion that they are being mocked or discussed when they are not). Thus, narcissists often regard themselves as "victims of persecution".
The narcissistic leader fosters and encourages a personality cult with all the hallmarks of an institutional religion: priesthood, rites, rituals, temples, worship, catechism, mythology. The leader is this religion's ascetic saint. He monastically denies himself earthly pleasures (or so he claims) in order to be able to dedicate himself fully to his calling. The narcissistic leader is a monstrously inverted Jesus, sacrificing his life and denying himself so that his people - or humanity at large - should benefit. By surpassing and suppressing his humanity, the narcissistic leader became a distorted version of Nietzsche's "superman".
Many narcissistic and psychopathic leaders are the hostages of self-imposed rigid ideologies. They fancy themselves Platonic "philosopher-kings". Lacking empathy, they regard their subjects as a manufacturer does his raw materials, or as the abstracted collateral damage in vast historical processes (to prepare an omelette, one must break eggs, as their favorite saying goes). ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Presentation to the International Webinar on Psychiatry, Alzheimer's
and Dementia, October 2020
The pandemic rendered us all helpless, hopeless, insecure (it is a state of total uncertainty which cannot be mitigated), anxious (cannot be ameliorated), and subject to identity disturbance or diffusion. In short: the typical borderline reaction to narcissistic mortification.
What is the role of shame in all this? Lidija Rangelovska's theory of shame is applied.
The narcissist equates love with giving and giving goes hand with
hand with an entitlement and license to abuse.
Why, when women replace the narcissist as a man (lover, husband), does it cause him mortification? Only women possess this power.
1. The narcissist interacts with women in two roles: child and father. Their rejection recreates the family dynamics (dead mother maternal abandonment).
When women reject the narcissist and betray him, they are also doing it as a mother would reject her child, as his mother had rejected and abandoned him.
When women prefer another man to the narcissist, he perceives it as adopting another child to take his place. This is life-threatening, it is about survival.
It also reaffirms and confirms his essential unlovability as a defective, inadequate, unworthy, bad, and failing object.
When women swap him for a substitute man ostentatiously or inform the narcissist about their cheating in detail, it is impossible to interpret their misconduct in any other way.
2. The narcissist reframes women’s cheating and betrayal as total rejection of his entire being and in every possible role (child, man, lover, companion, guru, husband, father, even provider).
Men reject only specific adult functions and roles that he fails in (as a business partner, collaborator, friend).
And why do the narcissist feel that he is the rejected party if he is the one who is doing all the rejecting at first?
There is a qualitative difference between his rejection and theirs: the narcissist’s rejection is a mere test, posturing, "not serious", a bluff, and a facade.
The etiology is different as is the motivation: his rejection is tentative, intermittent, targeted, and prospective ("Will my needs be met? Am I too crippled to be worthy of their investment, commitment, and unconditional love? "), their rejection is final, total, and retroactive ("my needs are not met ... Sam is not worth wasting time on").
In short, there is no equivalency or symmetry between his rejection of his intimate partners and their rejection of him:
He rejects his women as a child would reject his mother: harmless though unpleasant temper tantrums coupled with understandable sexlessness. The cerebral never cheats on them (replaces them with other women or harm them).
The narcissist’s women reject him as a mother would reject her son: life threatening, harrowing, hurtful, coupled with understandable sexlessness. They cheat on him and betray him (replace him with other men and harm him).
Their response is the nuclear option, totally disproportionate to his provocations. They are reacting to the breakdown and the dysfunction of the idealized version of him, not to the real him: to their broken dreams, frustrated fantasies, and thwarted wishes. The narcissist bears the brunt of their dissonance.
He ends up being mortified because, during the grooming/lovebombing/honeymoon phase, he colludes in conjuring up the idealized him. He comes to believe in it as they both enter the shared fantasy. The women's abrupt and cruel exits force the narcissist to "wake up" and contrast the idealized, embraced, beloved him and the real, rejected, abandoned him.
The narcissist feels deceived and bitter because early on in the shared fantasy he had exposed the women to the child who served as a lure (to establish object constancy and forestall abandonment). They chose to ignore it at their peril. The narcissist thought it was an integral and essential part of the deal they had struck. When they cheated on the child and betrayed it, he felt that they had breached a contract. He doesn't deserve it. Plus, the child is narcissistic, sick, which renders the abandonment and betrayal even more egregious and heartless.
During the grooming phase, the narcissist trots out the Father. The woman has daddy issues and constructs her idealized version of him around it. He colludes in this process in order to transition as smoothly and seamlessly as possible to the shared fantasy.
Once in the shared fantasy, the narcissist reveals the child. It is a shocking revelation which causes resentment: the woman feels that she had been deceived. The child's narcissistic abuse type 1 and sexlessness is interpreted as humiliating rejection, withholding and abandonment. She withdraws and cheats or tries to bargain the child away and replace him with the idealized version. This results in narcissistic abuse type 2.
Narcissistic abuse type 2 is adult and carried out by the Father, the core of the idealized version of me. This confluence renders it traumatic and hurtful.
Yet, it is the narcissist’s self-assumed dual role that makes it easier and safer for his intimate partners to cheat in the first place:
The father role makes it feel safe for them to misbehave: they expected unconditional acceptance from the narcissits, regardless of their misconduct.
They also did not perceive their actions as cheating or betrayal. One cannot cheat on a child or a father, both wouldn't mind or care. It is also common and accepted practice to carp regarding one's son or "old man". It does not constitute a betrayal.
The narcissist wants a sexless transactional relationship and end up having it. Why does he feel enraged and unhappy? Because repeated mortifications and losses have estranged him from his False Self. He feels imposed upon, at the service of an alien entity, a badly mistreated plaything. There is a part of him that has awakened and disagrees with the agenda, preferences, and priorities of the False Self. This is the narcissist’s experience in Cold Therapy.
Similar to latent or closet homosexual and to asexuals, the cerebral narcissist gets married as an alibi to avoid women and sex and to maintain an appearance of normalcy. His sadistic ore kinky sexuality is unconventional and turns women off. The few women who share his psychosexuality or acquiesce are mentally ill, hurtful, and even dangerous. The rational path is to go celibate and thus avoid the risks of rejection, cheating, betrayal, stalking, and blackmail.
as a Death Cult
Our civilization - West and East - is a Thanatic death cult: in consumerism and materialism, we worship the inanimate and cathect (emotionally invest) in it and we dysempathically objectify people and treat them as dispensable and interchangeable.
A distinction must be made between social interactions and social
relationships. The schizoid,
the narcissist and the inverted narcissist – all interact socially. But they
fail to form human and social relationships (bonds). The schizoid is
uninterested and the narcissist is both uninterested and incapable to due to
his lack of empathy and pervasive sense of grandiosity.
The psychologist H. Deutsch first suggested the construct of "as-if personality" in the context of schizoid patients (in an article, published in 1942 and titled "Some forms of emotional disturbance and their relationship to schizophrenia"). A decade later, Winnicott named the very same idea as the "False-self Personality". The False Self has thus been established as the driving engine of both pathological narcissism and pathological schizoid states.
Both C. R. Cloninger and N. McWilliams (in "Psychoanalytic Diagnosis", 1994) observed the "faintly contemptuous (attitude) ... (and) isolated superiority" of the schizoid - clearly narcissistic traits.
Theodore Millon and Roger Davis summed it up in their seminal tome, "Personality Disorders in Modern Life" (2000):
"Where withdrawal has an arrogant or oppositional quality, fantasy in a schizoidlike person sometimes betrays the presence of a secret grandiose self that longs for respect and recognition while offsetting fears that the person is really an iconoclastic freak. These individuals combine aspects of the compensating narcissist with the autistic isolation of the schizoid, while lacking the asocial and anhedonic qualities of the pure prototype." (p. 328)
Don't Be a
Lobster! Clarifying Nothingness: Choose Happiness, Not Dominance.
Nothingness is not about being a nobody and doing nothing.
It is about choosing to be human, not a lobster.
It is about putting firm boundaries between you and the world.
It is about choosing happiness - not dominance.
It is accomplishing from within, not from without.
It is about not letting others regulate your emotions, moods, and thinking.
It is about being an authentic YOU.
The full video is available on my other channel https://www.youtube.com/vakninmusings
My natural state
is schizoid: when I am successful, I feel empowered, self-sufficient, and
sadistic ("fuck off factor") and when I fail, I withdraw in order to
avoid narcissistic injuries and mortifications.
Avoidance and withdrawal from others is also a punitive measure: I deny them access to my mind and body because they had failed to appreciate me properly or had transgressed against me in some way. Among the mementoes of long dead relationships and the wreckage of broken dreams, I self-soothe, binging on my own fantasies.
I have always been solitary, introverted, and have generated a constant stream of intellectual arousal and self-stimulation (probably out of necessity), alone with my books, in the library, or in my study.
Nothing terrifies me more than becoming the center of a cult. As many of you can attest, I brutally, resolutely, and rudely reject any attempt to become my fan or follower. I barely tolerate even comments on my video. A cult would be a veritable nightmare.
People forgive aggressiveness,
abrasiveness, and rudeness on three conditions:
1. That these are the untoward aspects of someone who get things done - not a wannabe loser.
The loser's contemptuous grandiosity is incommensurate with his drab circumstances and meagre accomplishments. It is this gap between pretension and reality, ersatz and echt, that grates and provokes derision, rejection, disdain, disrespect, and abuse.
2. That these are the flaws of an otherwise normal or average person, just like everyone else - or of a genius of a transformative and revolutionary nature. Again, the indolent slacker and delusional underachiever who claims to be a genius, but is actually even less than mediocre, will not be forgiven for such misconduct.
3. That the transgressions were committed during a creative or a transformational undertaking, mission, or enterprise - or during a time of great crisis. Drama queens and fakes fare badly when they try to poorly imitate or render these environments and constraints.
Three authors on
empathy, love, and fear.
Find and Buy MOST of my BOOKS and eBOOKS in my Amazon Store:
"The simple fact is that when faced with a living, breathing opponent instead of a target, a significant majority of the soldiers revert to a posturing mode in which they fire over their enemy's heads."
On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
"Agape is more than romantic love, agape is more than friendship. Agape is understanding, creative, redemptive, good will to all men. It is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. Theo¬logians would say that it is the love of God operating in the human heart. So that when one rises to love on this level, he loves men not be¬cause he likes them, not because their ways appeal to him, but he loves every man because God loves him. And he rises to the point of loving the person who does an evil deed while hating the deed that the person does. I think this is what Jesus meant when he said 'love your enemies.'"
A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The short answer to why Americans harbor so many misbegotten fears is that immense power and money await those who tap into our moral insecurities and supply us with symbolic substitutes."
The Culture of Fear by Barry Glassner
Narcissist uses narcissistic
supply to regulate his internal environment and seek equilibrium among the
communicating vessels of his psychodynamic needs and processes.
Lidija Rangelovska’s Collapsed Source of Narcissistic Supply (CSNS)
Collapsed Pathological Narcissistic Space
Collapsed primary Narcissistic Supply
Auto or self-supply
Collapsed Source of Narcissistic Supply – narcissist seeks more Primary Narcissistic Supply and Auto- or self-supply
Collapsed Primary Narcissistic Supply – offset by more Secondary Narcissistic Supply and Auto- or self-supply
Collapsed Pathological Narcissistic Space – balanced by more Primary Narcissistic Supply
Auto- or self-supply is a regulator tied to schizoid states and involves paranoid/persecutory ideation and delusions
One therapeutic technique would be “anchoring”: re-orienting the narcissist towards self-supply. Rather than resort to fickle and ephemeral external sources of narcissistic supply, the narcissist is taught and encouraged to resort to himself for same: to look forward with excited anticipation to the structured pursuit of hobbies, vocation, traits, skills, and reward-eliciting behaviors. This approach leverages the narcissist’s grandiose solipsism and fantasy of omnipotence to render him emotionally self-sufficient.
The narcissist then resorts to self-delusion. Unable to completely ignore contrarian opinion and data - he transmutes them. Unable to face the dismal failure that he is, the narcissist partially withdraws from reality. To soothe and salve the pain of disillusionment, he administers to his aching soul a mixture of lies, distortions, half-truths and outlandish interpretations of events around him. These solutions can be classified thus:
The Delusional Narrative Solution
The Antisocial Solution
The Paranoid Schizoid Solution
The Paranoid Aggressive (Explosive) Solution
The Masochistic Avoidant Solution
How does the narcissist react when he fails to obtain enough Narcissistic Supply?
Very much as a drug addict would react to the absence of his particular drug. The dwindling or absence of supply is a trauma and the narcissist experiences post-traumatic stress.
In 1995, I coined the phrase “narcissistic abuse”.
In 1997, my wife, Lidija Rangelovska (@reframingtheself) gave me a website on Geocities as a birthday gift. I uploaded my book and made it free.
In 1998, I established the first ever narcissistic abuse support group for narcissistic abuse victims on the now shuttered platform Listbot.
When Listbot closed its virtual gates, I migrated the group to Yahoo Groups, Google Groups, and MSN Groups. I also created 4 topics on Suite101.
By 2004, mine was the only website on narcissism and I owned and moderated all 6 forums available online, with well over 250,000 members in total.
Yahoo Groups is closing now. I am the last person active from that first generation. We struggled hard to get the message across, to educate, to help. We did not even have a proper language to communicate with: I had to come up with most of the words and phrases in use today and borrow from other branches of psychology.
This is the end of an era. I am proud of what we, the pioneers of this field , have accomplished. As we bow out, one by one, we leave this world a better place than we had found it.
Any behavior, however antisocial or even psychopathic, can be
publicly shaming Jews in Nazi Germany or hookup casual sex in the West are two
examples of misbehaviors which were considered unthinkable and engendered the
most powerful psychological resistance until they were legitimized.
Mores and conventions reflect this shift and imbue it with ersatz social and individual meaning, context, and emotions - or their equally feigned and fallacious absence. Persecuting Jews was described as a historical Manichean mission and one night stands are nowadays untruthfully cast as meaningless, emotionless, and ahistorical (not a part of the participants's biographies).
Adultery is one such example. It is now largely socially tolerated, if not accepted: at worst, it is considered an embarrassing - but not always regrettable - incidental aberration that is irrelevant to the rest of the couple's life together. Multidecadal sexual exclusivity and monogamy are unnatural, the thinking goes, cheating helps to let off steam and spice up the dyad.
Such justifications and rationales are invariably counterfactual. Faithfulness is a test of character, resisting temptation is an aerobic exercise for the mental muscles and moral sinews that set us apart from other animals. And cheating reveals inordinate and crucial amounts of information about the character - or lack thereof - of the offender (especially where deception and coverup ensue). It is a litmus test of the resilience, reality, and feasibility of the relationship - and the dark side, the shadow of everyone involved. It is nothing short of cataclysmic, regardless of the particular circumstances.
The DSM V re-defines personality disorders thus:
"The essential features of a personality disorder are impairments in personality (self and interpersonal) functioning and the presence of pathological personality traits."
According to the Alternative DSM V Model for Personality Disorders (p.767), the following criteria must be met to diagnose Narcissistic Personality Disorder (in parentheses my comments):
Moderate or greater impairment in personality functioning in either identity, or self-direction (should be: in both.)
The narcissist keeps referring to others excessively in order to regulate his self-esteem (really, sense of self-worth) and for "self-definition" (to define his identity.) His self-appraisal is exaggerated, whether it is inflated, deflated, or fluctuating between these two poles and his emotional regulation reflects these vacillations.
(Finally, the DSM V accepted what I have been saying for decades: that narcissists can have an "inferiority complex" and feel worthless and bad; that they go through cycles of ups and downs in their self-evaluation; and that this cycling influences their mood and affect).
The narcissist sets goals in order to gain approval from others (narcissistic supply; the DSM V ignores the fact that the narcissist finds disapproval equally rewarding as long as it places him firmly in the limelight.) The narcissist lacks self-awareness as far as his motivation goes (and as far as everything else besides.)
The narcissist's personal standards and benchmarks are either too high (which supports his grandiosity), or too low (buttresses his sense of entitlement, which is incommensurate with his real-life performance.)
Impairments in interpersonal functioning in either empathy or intimacy (should be: in both.)
The narcissist finds it difficult to identify with the emotions and needs of others, but is very attuned to their reactions when they are relevant to himself (cold empathy.)
At no time in living memory had mental health been a more pressing concern. The COVID-19 pandemic and its calamitous economic consequences threaten us with a tsunami wave of psychological dysfunctions the likes of which we had never encountered before: mood disorders (especially depression), anxiety disorders, exacerbated personality disorders, and, in extremis, psychotic disorders. And this is not to mention the crests of addictions, substance abuse, child abuse, aggression, and domestic violence.
We are ill prepared for this challenge: we lack the capacity, the funding, the training, the manpower, the institutions, the cultural sensitivity, and the resilience (because mental health practitioners are also human).
Conferences like "13th Worldwide Forum on Mental Health and Psychiatry" in Berlin, April 2021, rush to the breach, to selflessly fill in the gap. It allows us, who are in the front lines of this impending doom, to regroup, exchange ideas, and be exposed to cutting edge research. We feel that we are not alone in our predicament and this gives us the strength to persevere.
I wish you all an edifying and transformative day.
Prof. Sam Vaknin, Member of the Organizing Committee
lacks empathy. He is, therefore, unable to meaningfully relate to other
people and to truly appreciate what it is to be human. Instead, he withdraws
inside, into a universe populated by avatars – simple or complex
representations of parents, peers, role models, authority figures, and other
members of his social milieu. There, in this twilight zone of simulacra, he
develops "relationships" and maintains an on-going internal dialog
All of us generate such representations of meaningful others and internalise these objects. In a process called introjection, we adopt, assimilate, and, later, manifest their traits and attitudes (the introjects).
But the narcissist is different. He is incapable of holding an external dialog. Even when he seems to be interacting with someone else – the narcissist is actually engaged in a self-referential discourse. To the narcissist, all other people are cardboard cut-outs, two dimensional animated cartoon characters, or symbols. They exist only in his mind. He is startled when they deviate from the script and prove to be complex and autonomous.
But this is not the narcissist's sole cognitive deficit.
The narcissist attributes his failures and mistakes to circumstances and external causes. This propensity to blame the world for one's mishaps and misfortunes is called "alloplastic defence". At the same time, the narcissist regards his successes and achievements (some of which are imaginary) as proofs of his omnipotence and omniscience. This is known in attribution theory as "defensive attribution".
Conversely, the narcissist traces other people's errors and defeats to their inherent inferiority, stupidity, and weakness. Their successes he dismisses as "being in the right place at the right time" – i.e., the outcome of luck and circumstance.
Cue or prayer card or cheat sheet or scorecard
Keep it in your shirt pocket, or in that pocket in back of those tight jeans, print it out, tape it on the fridge, make copies and distribute them, print on t-shirts and big mugs (unlike Minnie), on leaflets, upload to your social media, share with family, friends, and therapists.
Read the text only, no interpretations: distillation of everything we know about ...
Phases of Intimate Relationship with the Narcissist
Grooming and love bombing ( false promises, kinky sex, GURU FATHER)
Shared fantasy (GENIUS CHILD, sexless, abuse type 1 intended to test partner as parent+reenact early childhood conflicts)
Intimate partner: 1. Withdraws-avoids (some cheat); or 2. Bargains-approaches (some cheat); or 3. Bargains, then withdraws (many cheat).
Withdrawal leads to erotomanic stalking
Bargaining leads to abuse type 2 (to jettison the partner)
Stalked or abused, intimate partner: 1. Abandons if she can; or 2. Cheats and betrays ostentatiously, mortifies, and then abandons, or is discarded.
Swipe left for other colors. Download links:
Coping with Abuse Tips Sheet
Phases of Intimate Relationship with the Narcissist
No one respects
me even minimally. I am held in universal contempt & derision &
people repeatedly ignore my boundaries & violate my rights disdainfully
& with impunity. They humiliate me deliberately, mock & ridicule me,
& help themselves to everything that's mine: my intimate partners & my
All my women had cheated on me or betrayed me. The men who took them from me were frequently my "friends" or colleagues: they adopted my women’s disrespect towards me as their own & misinterpreted my equanimity as submissiveness. Hundreds of coaches, self-styled "experts", & scholars pilfer my work habitually, steal my ideas, & plagiarize me openly & unabashedly. All these acts reify extreme disrespect.
I am disrespected so profoundly by everyone, near & far, for 3 reasons:
1. I disrespect people, humiliate & abuse them gleefully, sadistically, automatically, publicly, & relentlessly. They hit back at their tormentor where it hurts: by denying me recognition, depriving me of sources of narcissistic supply, flaunting their misbehavior & my impotence to stop them, punish them, or do anything about it.
2. The Salieri Effect: people envy me for my undeniable gifts & prodigious output. It is unjust that someone as hideous as me is so endowed while they wallow in sterile mediocrity! By stealing my work, they are restoring justice, not usurping it.
They feel self-righteous when they save & salve my broken, hurting women; justified when they abscond with my intellectual property: the proceeds of crime are forfeited to the victims.
I should own nothing, should die alone, should not enjoy the fruits of my labor because my very existence constitutes an affront & a crime against humanity.
They are self-styled crusaders in a morality play, a Manichean battle against Evil. This grandiose campaign to right the wrong that is me also renders them fearless & immune to any of my objections & penalties.
3. I disrespect myself. Why else would I need a False Self & my grandiose fantasies? Without them I deem myself inferior, an impostor, corrupt, & an inefficacious failure. Moreover, I made a public spectacle of my own deformities & disabilities, a wicked doormat, rendering myself wide open to abuse.
persecutory objects, and internalized voices (introjects): misidentifying them
as external, not internal and so actually psychosis and we need to reframe
The voice of absence and counterfactuals (what if)
Colludes with sadistic superego or inner critic: guilt, shame, doubt, self-loathing, self-destructiveness
Success of hoovering is in order to silence these voices
In external mortification as well
Introjection is defense mechanism against neglect, abuse, trauma, abandonment: identification, incorporation, internalization
YTP of the inimitable and eminently irresistible Sam Vaknin doing his droll
self nonchalantly, effortlessly, unthinkingly, empathically, and charmingly, of
course. What is there to not love about this wannabe man and towering intellect?
(5 ft 8 in or 173 cm in socks). Wow! You could really look up to him!
He’s got the nose for all things narcissistic (one anatomic feature that no woman had ever disparaged). He’s got the brains (when he is not ranting and raving like the narcissist that he is). And if the eyes are the windows to the soul - well, in his case, the shades and drapes and curtains are firmly drawn.
Watch Sam Vaknin's Genius Bloopers and Show-stoppers Co-startling Minnie the Mug (link in the description of the video).
and betrayal trauma blindness (Jennifer Freyd et al.) in BTT (Betrayal
When you cannot or are not allowed to express your experience of trauma and abuse, breach of trust, negative emotions, and profound betrayal by someone you depend on in any crucial way.
Such denial and repression lead to dissociation and a host of long-term mental health disorders.
Tests and treatments are reviewed.
Life moves in
three concentric circles:
1. One's current life
2. Alternatives to one's current life (other intimate partners, new careers)
3. The space of potential alternatives (right now non-existent, owing to pandemic).
The secret to a successful life is to wait for at least 1 of these circles to turn to a success and then focus on it exclusively and exclude the 2 other circled, ignore them as counterproductive distractions.
It is a cardinal mistake to focus on more than 1 circle at a time, even when 2 or 3 of them are going well.
It is also self-defeating to try to simultaneously convert more than 1 circle from failure to success.
As they say in the Big Book of AA: dwell on and commit yourself exclusively to one of the three circles at any given time and invest your all only in that circle for as long as it is working for you.
Life progresses one circle at a time.
figures, however minor, have a base: a constituency of fans, supporters,
disciples, acolytes, and sycophants.
All other people - outside the base - constitute a reserve. These are the members of the public who - subject to exposure and persuasion - can, in principle, be converted into loyal, fawning, and steadfast adherents.
Narcissists have only a base, never a reserve. Their reserve is zero. No matter how hard the narcissist's diehard admirers and followers try to "sell" him to others, they invariably fail. Most personality cults revolve around psychopathic narcissists and comprise a hard core of believers, besieged by an ocean of derision and critics.
The size of the narcissist's base depends on the lengths to which he goes in faking empathy, feigning emotions, caring, and sincerity and how forthcoming he is about his alleged flaws, vulnerabilities, fallibility, and altruism (how human he appears to be). The more faux and ersatz the performance and the public persona, the greater the number of the brainwashed and the trapped (base rate fallacy).
As long as they are successful and seen to be ethical and empathic, healthy or normal public figures enjoy high rates of conversion from reserve to base. Narcissists don't: as their true obnoxious, predatory, and negative nature "shines" through, they are abandoned by everyone and the flow is solely from base to reserve.
According to Harvard Business School and autobiographical
testimonials by the rich and mighty, successful people have
these four elements in common:
1. Luck: being in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. By far the most important factor and determinant of making it.
2. The ability to identify opportunities, almost instinctually and intuitively: what do people want but lack, need but miss, offer but unable to sell, manifest, or produce. Most importantly: to identify correctly what lurks beyond people's awareness and consciousness and to render such content overt and much sought after.
3. The impulsive proclivity to take immediate action to capitalize on opportunities, almost recklessly, careful analysis and risks be damned.
4. Self-love: to persevere in the pursuit of one's best self-interests in the face of hurdles and haters and critics and doubters. To not engage in self-defeating, self-destructive, or self-trashing behaviors.
A phobic fear of
intimacy betrays a deep distrust of the world as a benevolent place and of
the future as an agreeable time. This hurt-aversion apprehension results in
reticence: a reluctance to expose one’s vulnerabilities lest they be leveraged
and abused and a refusal to commit to any long-term relationship owing to a
catastrophising mindset (“it is all going to end badly anyhow, so why risk the
The inner dialog, inner script, of people who fear intimacy is comprised of several strands:
This (potential) intimate partner will destroy my life. I will be left with nothing and no one;
I am no good. I am crazy. I will hurt this (potential) intimate partner and destroy his or her life. I must get away from him/her for his/her own good;
Devaluing the (potential) intimate partner: focusing on his weaknesses, shortcomings, mistakes, misjudgements, and failures;
Imagining the future with the (potential) intimate partner as bleak, unpleasant, with bad, painful outcomes (“He will anyhow leave me, hurt me, or living with him will be dull and oppressive”);
Distrusting the (potential) intimate partner to make one happy, disbelieving his/her intentions, feeling that (s)he is manipulating and imprisoning one;
Doubting one’s own judgement, one’s ability to choose right and appraise the situation correctly;
Diffuse anxiety, an uncomfortable but fuzzy sensation that something real bad is happening or about to happen and one needs to get away before the catastrophe hits.
Intimacy is such a primordial and basic need that, when deprived of it for prolonged periods of time, people are driven to despondence and seek substitutes, even in small doses.
In early childhood, borderlines and narcissists fail to split the
“dead mother” into good and bad objects or “breasts” (because she is all bad),
so they split themselves instead (into a true self which is all bad, and a
false self which is all good).
The narcissist tries to complete the early failed maternal splitting with his intimate partner (repetition compulsion) in three stages: 1. She is all good (idealization), he is all bad; 2. Co-idealization (if she is good, he must be good, too); and 3. Introjection (internalization/incorporation of the partner) which render him all good 3.
The narcissist constantly tests his intimate partner in order to make sure that she is, indeed, all good (an outcome of post-traumatic hypervigilance).
When she invariably and inevitably fails his tests, he reverses course: she is now all bad. To avoid narcissistic injury to his grandiose false self and to avoid co-devaluation – he discards her promptly.
Speaker in the Webinar on Psychosomatic Medicine, Pharmacovigilance,
and Clinical Trials and Drug Safety, October 2020
My topic: "Narcissism and Autism".
There are three problems with raising awareness and educating people about Autism Spectrum Disorders:
1. We don't know the aetiology of autism (what causes it) and whether the brain abnormalities often observed in autistic patients cause it, are caused by it, or are merely correlated (effectuated by a third, common factor);
2. Autism is a family of disorders which have little in common with each other. Some autistic persons are high-functioning and accomplished, others self-harm, are hypersensitive to stimuli, and noncommumicative; and
3. The long-discredited, "refrigerator mother" theory blamed emotionally unavailable, "dead", or "frigid" mothers for the pathogenesis of autism in their children. This deterred parents from seeking help.
The ignorance, taboos, stigma, biases, prejudices, and lack of evidence-based theories and practices that pervade mental health apply even more so to autism.
Disorder (renamed in the DSM V Autistic Spectrum Disorder Level 1) is often
misdiagnosed as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), though evident as
early as age 3 (while pathological narcissism cannot be safely diagnosed prior
to early adolescence).
In both cases, the patient is self-centered and engrossed in a narrow range of interests and activities. Social and occupational interactions are severely hampered and conversational skills (the give and take of verbal intercourse) are primitive. The Asperger's patient body language - eye to eye gaze, body posture, facial expressions - is constricted and artificial, akin to the narcissist's. Nonverbal cues are virtually absent and their interpretation in others lacking.
Yet, the gulf between Asperger's and pathological narcissism is vast.
Speaker in other international conferences on psychology, psychiatry, mental health, and neuroscience:
The narcissist inflicts pain and abuse on others. He devalues
Sources of Supply, callously and off-handedly abandons them, and discards
people, places, partnerships, and friendships unhesitatingly. Some narcissists
- though by no means the majority - actually ENJOY abusing, taunting,
tormenting, and freakishly controlling others ("gaslighting"). But
most of them do these things absentmindedly, automatically, and, often, even
without good reason.
What is unusual about the narcissist's sadistic behaviours - premeditated acts of tormenting others while enjoying their anguished reactions - is that they are goal orientated. "Pure" sadists have no goal in mind except the pursuit of pleasure - pain as an art form (remember the Marquis de Sade?). The narcissist, on the other hand, haunts and hunts his victims for a reason - he wants them to reflect his inner state. It is all part of a mechanism called "Projective Identification".
When the narcissist is angry, unhappy, disappointed, injured, or hurt - he feels unable to express his emotions sincerely and openly since to do so would be to admit his frailty, his neediness, and his weaknesses. He deplores his own humanity - his emotions, his vulnerability, his susceptibility, his gullibility, his inadequacies, and his failures. So, he makes use of other people to express his pain and his frustration, his pent up anger and his aggression. He achieves this by mentally torturing other people to the point of madness, by driving them to violence, by reducing them to scar tissue in search of outlet, closure, and, sometimes, revenge. He forces people to lose their own character traits - and adopt his own instead. In reaction to his constant and well-targeted abuse, they become abusive, vengeful, ruthless, lacking empathy, obsessed, and aggressive. They mirror him faithfully and thus relieve him of the need to express himself directly.
Having constructed this writhing hall of human mirrors, the narcissist withdraws.
A narcissist with extreme object inconstancy and abandonment anxiety
(esp. a compensatory narcissist whose grandiosity masks an inordinately low
sense of self-worth) reacts all the time with romantic jealousy to his intimate
partner's infidelity. But most narcissists turn a blind eye to adultery and
betrayal and go about their business of securing plentiful and regular
Still: ALL narcissists feel humiliated owing to their inability to lead normal lives in which they are not compelled to share their women or give them up to other men (unavoidable outcomes of the narcissist's disability and ubiquitous dysfunction).
Narcissists switch from internal to external mortification real fast but they do first experience agonizing trepidation and mayhem. Such pain should be distinguished from romantic jealousy.
Being cheated on is only the tip of an iceberg.
Imagine a constant state of humiliation: women cheat on you and abandon you, businesses you create go bankrupt, projects you initiate fall apart, zero long-term self-efficacy, an impostor syndrome, a sense of lost agency and external locus of control.
Faced with such trenchant failure, the narcissist has two options: 1. Grandiosity (reverting to external mortification, casting everyone as malicious or envious); or 2. Suicide (opting for an internal mortification: "I am so impaired that I better put an end to it all"). It is a no-brainer. Of course, having to defend one's fantastically inflated view of oneself bring with it its own set of humiliations, betrayals, abandonments, derision, slights, challenges, and put downs.
sick and addicts become their illnesses: their disorders displace them and
they transmogrify into their dysfunctions.
From individual to dysfunction.
Only the disease is left behind, having consumed and spat out the person.
The narcissist and psychopath have contempt for: weakness;
perceived inferiority (moral, intellectual) and this contempt often masquerades
as altruism and sanctimonious self-righteousness; for inadequacy: win-lose zero
sum failure, loser; emotions (especially on display); vulnerability; neediness,
clinging; attachment/bonding/love; empathy; altruism;
The narcissist inflicts pain and abuse on others. He devalues Sources of Supply, callously and off-handedly abandons them, and discards people, places, partnerships, and friendships unhesitatingly. Some narcissists - though by no means the majority - actually ENJOY abusing, taunting, tormenting, and freakishly controlling others ("gaslighting"). But most of them do these things absentmindedly, automatically, and, often, even without good reason.
What is unusual about the narcissist's sadistic behaviours - premeditated acts of tormenting others while enjoying their anguished reactions - is that they are goal orientated. "Pure" sadists have no goal in mind except the pursuit of pleasure - pain as an art form (remember the Marquis de Sade?). The narcissist, on the other hand, haunts and hunts his victims for a reason - he wants them to reflect his inner state. It is all part of a mechanism called "Projective Identification".
When the narcissist is angry, unhappy, disappointed, injured, or hurt - he feels unable to express his emotions sincerely and openly since to do so would be to admit his frailty, his neediness, and his weaknesses. He deplores his own humanity - his emotions, his vulnerability, his susceptibility, his gullibility, his inadequacies, and his failures. So, he makes use of other people to express his pain and his frustration, his pent up anger and his aggression.
Self-states of the psychopathic
cyberapth (con artist, Internet fraudster). Do psychopaths have a
conscience? Do they know they are lying? Do they believe their own lies? Are
they delusional? Do they multiple personalities or merely a brain disorder?
RESEARCH INTO THE VOICES OF THE PSYCHOPATHIC PREDATOR: AN ANALYTICAL CASE STUDY
Kreuter, Eric Anton. International Journal of Psychology Research 7.2 (2012): 109-141.
It is not a dynamic between two adults, but between an adult and a child.
Yet, the child has the expectations of an adult and pretends to be one. You are trapped with a deranged infant who firmly believes that he is a grown-up.
Then one day, he wakes up, looks in the mirror and sees a kid there. It is a bad LSD trip, a psychedelic experience, terrifying.
Mental map of the narcissist (from my book, "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited").
Facebook Live Event Link: https://fb.me/e/1zVI4K00a
Sam Vaknin on narcissism and narcissistic abuse
Saturday, 15:00 CET/CEST time zone.
Nothingness? Not Eckhart
Eckhart Tolle’s thinly disguised teachings of Ego Death and No Self (Eastern mystical traditions) have nothing to do with my proposed Nothingness. Listen to this excerpt to learn in which ways we differ profoundly and substantially.
Additional videos on Nothingness as an antidote to narcissism in my private channel: https://www.youtube.com/vakninmusings
Video Presentation Webinar on Addiction Psychiatry and Human
Resilience, October 2020
Twins have an early childhood symbiotic relationship with both the primary object caregiver (mother) and with the each other. Does this predisposes them to develop pathological narcissism in later life?
Certificate of Recognition as Speaker in the Webinar on Addiction,
Psychiatry, and Human Resilience, October 2020
My topic: "What can Twins Teach Us about Narcissism".
Twins have an early childhood symbiotic relationship with both the primary object caregiver (mother) and with the each other. Does this predisposes them to develop pathological narcissism in later life?
January 2021 sole speaker in Psychiatry Grand Rounds.
The title of my presentation
Predicting a Covert Borderline: Narcissistic mortification as a post-traumatic dissociative bridge between overt and covert Cluster B personality disorders
Two learning objectives
Suggested unifying framework for all cluster B personality disorders
Overt and covert expressions of cluster B personality disorders and transmission mechanisms ("switching" between post-traumatic self-states).
It Hurts, is
Humiliating to be a Narcissist
The experience of being a narcissist is actually humiliating and hurtful. The narcissist uses grandiosity to fend off the constant pain and to reframe it in ego-syntonic ways.
What is the Difference between Healthy Narcissism and the Pathological Kind?
In my book "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited", I define pathological narcissism as:
"(A) life-long pattern of traits and behaviors which signify infatuation and obsession with one's self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one's gratification, dominance and ambition."
Luckily for us, we are all narcissists to some degree. But healthy narcissism is adaptive, flexible, empathic, causes elation and joy (happiness), and help us to function. Pathological narcissism is maladaptive, rigid, persisting, and causes significant distress, and functional impairment.
Prevalence and Age and Gender Features
According to the DSM IV-TR, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is diagnosed in between 2% and 16% of the population in clinical settings (between 0.5-1% of the general population). The DSM-IV-TR proceeds to tell us that most narcissists (50-75% of all patients) are men.
In the honeymoon phase you self-gaslight by idealizing
the narcissist. Then you self-gaslight by totally devaluing him. In both cases,
you have lost touch with reality.
Auto- or self-gaslighting: when you hear only what you want to hear, what you expect to hear, and not what was actually said. Confirmation bias.
Resistance to change and learning coupled with impaired reality testing.
Future faking is not lovebombing or grooming in pre-shared fantasy phase: narcissist is not predatory, but acquisitive.
Healthy adults in intimate relationships have a fear of loss and abandonment + possessiveness + competition. The cerebral narcissist has only separation anxiety (which is typical of a pre-Oedipal child), though some narcissists have all three, esp. psychopathic and somatic.
Intimate partners of narcissists are virtual singles with a petulant child or a stern father at home: dating is their only outlet and escape.
The only two faux adult roles the narcissist is willing to play (in order to secure the shared fantasy) are brief and devoid of any responsibilities, chores, or commitment. The narcissist's investment is proportional to his expectations and to benefits derived.
This is only a small part of the manipulative ploy which also includes delusional role playing by everyone involved.
A narcissist with extreme object inconstancy and abandonment anxiety (esp. a compensatory narcissist whose grandiosity masks an inordinately low sense of self-worth) reacts all the time with romantic jealousy to his intimate partner's infidelity. But most narcissists turn a blind eye to adultery and betrayal and go about their business of securing plentiful and regular narcissistic supply.
Still: ALL narcissists feel humiliated owing to their inability to lead normal lives in which they are not compelled to share their women or give them up to other men (unavoidable outcomes of the narcissist's disability and ubiquitous dysfunction). Narcissists switch from internal to external mortification real fast but they do first experience agonizing trepidation and mayhem. Such pain should be distinguished from romantic jealousy.
Being cheated on is only the tip of an iceberg.
Imagine a constant state of humiliation: women cheat on you and abandon you, businesses you create go bankrupt, projects you initiate fall apart, zero long-term self-efficacy, an impostor syndrome, a sense of lost agency and external locus of control.
Faced with such trenchant failure, the narcissist has two options: 1. Grandiosity (reverting to external mortification, casting everyone as malicious or envious); or 2. Suicide (opting for an internal mortification: "I am so impaired that I better put an end to it all"). It is a no-brainer.
Of course, having to defend one's fantastically inflated view of oneself bring with it its own set of humiliations, betrayals, abandonments, derision, slights, challenges, and put downs.
The chronically sick and addicts become their illnesses: their disorders displace them and they transmogrify into their dysfunctions.
From individual to dysfunction. Only the disease is left behind, having consumed and spat out the person.
My narcissist is not self-aware, he is possessive and jealous, and he does the cheating! These are all anecdotal myths about narcissism.
The narcissist regards sex as the antithesis of intimacy.
Emotions have nothing to do with having a self. They are autonomic functions determined by a combination of biology and socialization.
Idealization as self-gaslighting, false and grandiose.
The narcissist is reduced to choosing damaged, broken, traumatized, or mentally ill women as partners. Such mate selection negates and undermines his grandiosity, so he idealizes them. But even in the throes of the shared fantasy, he has no intention to commit or to invest. Ultimately, he absents himself or pushes away his partner.
Being who she is - damaged goods rendered even more dilapidated, decrepit, and dysfunctional by her sojourn with the narcissist - her choice in men is confined to lowlife scum predators who further use her sexually and abuse her verbally or even physically.
Ironically, her time with the narcissist may have been the high point in an otherwise impoverished and drab life - which makes being discarded a devastating and momentous watershed event and makes it difficult for her to let go emotionally. The narcissist may also have been the most qualitative, intelligent, handsome, and accomplished mate she could ever hope for.
If hurts so much to be a narcissist, why don’t they change? Narcissism as a religion or ideology, the narcissist is a fanatic fundamentalist: like a Christian martyr, Muslim shahid, kidush hashem. Will sacrifice his life to defend his superiority/grandiosity.
Dasein is a forerunner of mindfulness and some existentialist concepts and a Cartesian concept, in essence: how we experience BEING and EXISTENCE. My principle of Nothingness takes Dasein for granted. It is the next stage: what you DO with YOUR being, how to not let others appropriate it. Universe couldn't care less, no part is connected to all other parts (recipe for dysfunction), a finite mind can know nothing about an infinite mind, and if it is unconscious - it is not be known and all statements derived from these fallacies are false.
I recommend to start from video number 7 and work your way up. But, frankly, there is no specific order. You can watch any of them individually.
At first - during the 50s and 60s - an artificial distinction was
drawn between cybernetic
systems (such as biological ones) and programmable computers (or universal
Turing machines). The former were considered limited by the rigidity of the
repertoire of their responses to their feedback loops. Computers, on the other
hand, were considered infinitely flexible by virtue of their programmability.
This view was shattered by the unexpected enormous complexity of biological
organisms and even automata. Gradually, cybernetics was subsumed under
computing (rather, vice versa) and computers were considered to be a class of
cybernetic systems. I recommend to you to read "Cybernetics and the
Philosophy of Mind" by Sayre published in London in 1976).
They all contain information stored, a set of rules to regulate behaviour and feedback loops. Yet, few people - if any - noticed how politically subversive this model was. If the "center's" behaviour is potentially profoundly alterable by feedback from the "periphery" - then centre and periphery become equipotent. More accurately, the very notions of centre and periphery disintegrate and are replaced by a decentralized, loosely interacting system of information processing and information storage "nodes". The Internet, to regurgitate the obvious, is an example of such a decentralized system. The simultaneous emergence of mathematical theories (fractals, recursiveness) that de-emphasized centrality helped to give birth to the inevitably necessary formalism - the language of networks (neural, computers, social and other).
Continued here: https://samvak.tripod.com/lawtech.html
Why would a narcissist choose to renounce sex and the pleasures of
intimacy and succor with a partner? Why would he transform such a decision into
an ideology of superiority akin to a religious tenet?
There are two etiologies to cerebral narcissism:
1. When there is overwhelming efficacy in extracting narcissistic supply via intellectual pyrotechnics (when the narcissist is truly astoundingly gifted); and
2. Avoidance in the wake of repeated failures in relationships: sex invariably leads to the formation of a shared fantasy which results in betrayal and cheating by the disgruntled partner and life-threatening mortification. Cerebral narcissism is the strategic outcome of pain- or hurt-aversion.
Every few years - or decades - the cerebral narcissist tries again to become somatic. Such attempts are based on mistaken and counterfactual beliefs that he or the world had changed, or that he had finally found the right partner. So, he boldly ventures forth only to rediscover long-forgotten facts and lessons:
1. His body is far inferior to his mind as a tool for extracting supply (he is unattractive); and
2. Sex still leads inexorably to failure, betrayal, cheating, and mortification because he is a child, not a man and cannot meet a woman's emotional needs.
Reminded of why he chose to withdraw in the first place, so many years or decades ago, the cerebral narcissist then reverts to his dominant mode as a cerebral and again eschews sex and intimacy. Until the next round, if any.
Confession: Swap Emptiness for Nothingness (Excerpt)
Listen to the testimony of a desperate narcissist. The solution is to swap nothingness for inner emptiness.
Victims of narcissistic abuse get many things wrong and need special guidance by qualified people. They are not getting it. Talk with Dr. Hema Bajaj.
What is really going on behind closed doors between the narcissist and his codependent or borderline intimate partner? Daria Żukowska is a clinical psychologist and a therapist.
I had been offered full time job as a resident psychiatrist in the
UK's most prestigious private hospital. They must be really desperate. I
remember one of the first pandemics I had lived through: AIDS.
Chron.com reported that, in late October 2009, terrified AIDS experts pleaded with Russian officials to dump Russia’s abstinence strategy for curbing the spread of HIV, a “strategy” that is yet another example of the pernicious wishful and magical thinking common there. Russia is enduring a silent but veritable epidemic, which is in the throes of spiraling out of control. The physicians urged Russia to adopt evidence-based successful strategies like needle-exchange programs and heroin substitutes such as methadone for drug addicts.
The region which brought you the Black Death, communism and all-pervasive kleptocracy now presents: AIDS. The process of enlargement to the east may, unwittingly, open the European Union's doors to the two scourges of inordinately brutal organized crime and exceptionally lethal disease. As Newsweek noted, the threat is greater and nearer than any hysterically conjured act of terrorism.
The effective measure of quarantining the HIV-positive inhabitants of the blighted region to prevent a calamity of medieval proportions is proscribed by the latest vintage of politically correct liberalism. The West can only help them improve detection and treatment. But this is a tall order.
When we come across someone who refuses to grow up, rejects adult
chores, roles, skills, and responsibilities, assumes the mantle of a petulant
child, and would not invest or commit in any undertaking or relationship - our
reflexive reaction is revulsion coupled with disrespectful contempt.
Women feel deceived and fooled and they respond this way to a Peter Pan type: they shame and humiliate him in public, sometimes by openly and ostentatiously cheating on him with ripe adult males.
Men abscond with the Puer’s women and with his property, both material and intellectual. They ostracize him and subject him to a toxic mix of ritualized aggression and acidulous derision. If he is rich or famous or powerful, they await his downfall with glee or precipitate it maliciously and enviously.
These reactive behavior patterns are ancient and in big part biological. The stunted personal growth and arrested development of the eternal adolescent threaten the survival of the species by inhibiting procreation and child-rearing, for example.
The Puer Aeternus is also essentially a free-rider: he enjoys goods and services produced by others but evades rendering a productive contribution to the collective effort. His conspicuous absenteeism - often cloaked in a self-justifying ideology - undermines the survival and the welfare of the many by wasting scarce resources and potentials and by shirking the proportionate sharing of the communal burden.
Refusing to grow up is, therefore, an antisocial act and elicits the same attitudes and responses reserved to egregious criminal behavior.
A paracosm is a detailed imaginary world. A shared fantasy is a paracosm of sorts. The shared fantasy is a paracosm with two imaginary friends: Father (false self)-Mother (YOU, the intimate partner)-Son (narcissist) = holy family = trinity (in the Kabbalah where many attributes of god and of creation are feminine; Jung’s archetypes).
The intimate partner as a mother allows narcissist to SAFELY explore femininity in general and his femininity (auto-eroticism and in some cases, latent homosexuality) in particular (without the threat of sex).
Shared fantasy is always antisocial because it rejects real life, adulthood, and is paranoid (shared psychosis: “We against the World”).
Idealization as self-gaslighting because it is false and grandiose.
The narcissist will sacrifice his life to defend his superiority/grandiosity.
Why would a narcissist choose to renounce sex and the pleasures of intimacy and succor with a partner? Why would he transform such a decision into an ideology of superiority akin to a religious tenet?
But is narcissism a CHOICE?
Narcissist in prison: prosocial, communal, submissive, obedient, conforming – proof that narcissism is choice+self-efficacious reaction to incentives.
But in reality he is an impotent infantile loser with zero self-efficacy - and, deep inside, he knows it. Hence his avoidance of all true commitment and investment: he dreads yet another proof of his disability and failure.
Did you contribute to your breakup and to the dysfunction of your relationship? Undoubtedly.
Whenever two people who are profoundly mismatched and incompatible insist on having a relationship - let alone a shared fantasy - they BOTH generate a dynamic which leads inexorably to the dissolution of the liaison. It is natural, common, and healthy to seek to undermine the sick dyad and free yourself to pursue self-actualization and happiness.
The intimate partner as a mother allows narcissist to SAFELY explore
femininity in general and his femininity (auto-eroticism and latent
homosexuality) in particular (without the threat of sex).
This is one example of how the intimate partner is indispensable in regulating the narcissist’s internal mental space: she is his ego AND self!!!
Both the covert
borderline and the overt or classic borderline are gregarious and crave
social interactions as well as long-lasting, intimate, meaningful
relationships. The narcissist misinterprets and reframes his need for various
types of narcissistic supply as a desire for the same.
All three fail in their quests.
The overt borderline is hampered by her abandonment anxiety which inexorably pushes her to act out and destroy herself as well as any intimacy and trust she may have garnered with her wounded partner.
The covert borderline fails owing to his grandiosity and paranoia.
The narcissist loses his partners because he coerces them into participating in his shared fantasy and to renounce reality and life itself. They rebel, betray him, and walk out on him.
(starts 18:30) is a proposed evidence-based diagnosis - watch previous video on
This video describes the differential diagnoses between the covert borderline, the overt (classic) narcissist, and the two varieties of psychopaths: primary and secondary.
Why do some narcissists
rise to the top, are accomplished and successful while others, with an
identical personality cast, fail miserably in every thing they attempt and in
every dimension of their thwarted lives?
Any combination of two out of these three things distinguish the high-functioning productive narcissist from his loser brethren:
1. He is unusually gifted, endowed, skilled, or talented to the point that his unique contributions are indispensable or irreplaceable. His character flaws are attributed to his genius.
2. He tolerates people and interacts with them, even if only as passive acolytes, fans, and admirers. He somehow succeeds to collaborate with others or lead them and even inspire loyalty. He fakes normalcy and empathy and hides his cynical and misanthropic contempt or his strictly self-interested agenda.
3. He is persistent, goal-oriented, focused, one track minded, committed, invested, and a hard worker. He is as self-destructive as any narcissistic slacker - but he first builds and only then demolishes.
Sex is an
irresistible, primordial, largely reflexive and autonomous language. Like
every other tongue, it can be used to express many things: I love you (or like
you) and desire you within our growing intimacy (healthy), I want to render you
an extension of myself and then make love to my own, extended being
(auto-eroticism), or I want to humiliate you and hurt you (sadism).
The sexual sadist is actually asexual: he can go celibate and abstain from sex for years at a time. His psychosexuality is more like a rapist’s: it is a power play, not a mode of communication.
The sadist uses conventional sex to masturbate with the partner's body. But when she, his ostensibly intimate partner, tries to revert to sadism-free exclusively conventional sex, he becomes hyposexual: no arousal and frequent bouts of erectile dysfunction (ED).
To regain his erstwhile drive and prowess, he transitions from sexual sadism to exhibitionism and voyeurism: he masturbates to his partner’s gaze and in her presence, he initiates threesomes or group sex to vicariously enjoy the proceedings, or he watches her gratify herself, etc.
Take my Shadow - Give Me Love
The narcissist and his borderline partner swap their projected Shadows, seeking to legitimize them and to experience these forbidden aspects of themselves by merging and fusing with the intimate partner. This dynamic involves porous personal boundaries and the mourning of a bad, dead object.
The narcissist’s experience of his life is best described by resorting to a conveyance metaphor: movie, car, train, bus, boat. He suffers from object inconstancy: both internal and external. This leads to ego incongruency (internal) and discrepancy (external). He is in flux among self states. Finally, he resorts to hyperrealism or hyperreflexion.
There may be some kind of projection of the feminine onto the partner and its later introjection. At the same time, the other partner is similarly projecting the masculine and then introjecting it. Homo-erotic homosexuality is best described as a projective-introjective symbiotic swap of anima and animus.
Why don't I change?
1. Defiance, reactance, rebelliousness, non-conformity ("no one will tell me what to do"); 2. Grandiosity ("my way or the highway", fuck off factor); 3. Too late to change, my life is over ("at his age, 60, it is a problem"); 4. I like who I am (ego syntony): carefree, playful, noncommittal, adventurous, childlike, true to myself, proud; 5. I feel liberated, unshackled, with an infinite horizon of unlimited options, possibilities, opportunities and potentials, unbridled; 6. I preempt anticipated failures and thus regain ostensible control (I don't have a following or clients because I reject everyone and am a unflinching truthteller, women cheat on me and abandon me because I abuse them first); 7. Indolent, bored, slacker: I hoard and mummify - devices, books, videos, women - but can't be bothered to make use of or maintain them (so, my objects rot and my women flee).
1. The narcissist invites you into his hall of distorting carnival
mirrors where you see yourself idealized and amplified a thousand times.
Infatuation with oneself is one of the two pillars of trauma bonding, the other
being intermittent reinforcement: the threat of expelling you from this
newfound reflective Eden.
2. If you know the potential consequences of your misconduct and still you opt to misbehave, it means that you want to make these outcomes happen.
3. If you have a choice between an outright abuser and someone who feigns empathy, concern for you, and kindness because he wants something from you - choose the latter: at least you matter to him enough to invest in faking it.
4. Observe actions, ignore words. If someone keeps commiserating with your victimhood, he wants you to remain a victim. Try being happy for a change and watch his "friendship" and "succor" evaporate.
When the significant women in my life get intimate with me and witness my range of debilitating mental illnesses and my infantilism, they become averse and cut off all sex with me.
At that point, to forestall abandonment, I let them find other intimate partners even as we remain involved in a committed relationship. With the risk of a breakup always in the air, it is excruciatingly agonizing to witness their dalliances with other men, but I have no other sensible choice.
My only expectation is to not be abandoned even as my partner strays with multiple men and even when her involvement with other men is emotional and deep.
While my partner is free to have affairs and sex with other men, I remain celibate because I can have my kind of sex only within an intimate shared fantasy.
Forming a new shared fantasy with another woman would precipitate my worst fear (abandonment by my current intimate partner) and would lead ineluctably to precisely the same situation with the next partner, it would result in identical inexorable outcomes: a sexless relationship with her and institutionalized cheating by my new mate. She, too, will cut off the sex, totally repelled by me, and she, too, will end up being with other men.
In the past 36 years, I have tried it 26 times with women from 13 countries on 4 continents, ranging in age from 20 to 50, their backgrounds disparate. All ended up behaving exactly the same way. I drove them away and they remained marooned in the relationship for my money and because they pitied me, all the while resorting to other men for intimacy, fun, succor, and sex: adult functions way out of my repertory.
So, why bother to insanely start all over time and again? It is far more rational to preserve the current shared fantasy by giving up on my partner's sexual exclusivity and by letting her meet all her needs with men outside the dyad - even as I remain celibate through and through.
My only hope is that she will not abandon me altogether: a crippled child in need of a surrogate mother. But, of course, ultimately, they all do.
It is rational to prefer to be with someone who feigns
empathy and caring, fakes attentiveness and interest in you, and pretends to
have no ulterior motives, goals, or an agenda.
Even when you know for a fact that the other party is attempting to manipulate you in order to secure sex for the night, gain access to your money, pick your brain, or leverage your skills or power, it is irrational to turn them down just because they are acting the part. Loneliness is a pernicious toxin with a high price tag, far greater than any alternative’s.
Faking it is a form of virtue signaling: it requires sustained efforts, commitment, and investment in the relationship, however faux it may be.
Moreover: it is a predictable behavior and conforms to social norms of conduct and mores (it is communal and prosocial). If you are aware of what’s happening, you can even enjoy the ardent courtship, the attention, succor, and time together with the faker: you get to decide on when and where to grant the thespian desperado his most fervent wishes.
The flip side is true as well: people who refuse to fake, pretend, play along, and white lie are either sadists or rabid misanthropes: bad news in either case. They hold you in such contempt that they see nothing in you and of yours that is of the slightest interest to them.
Refusing to partake in the social game of hide and seek is a form of grandiose haughtiness and a resounding slap in the collective face - and in yours as well. He who declines to even fake it when with you is sending you this message: “Your sex, your company, your mind, your love, companionship, or friendship, even your money are not worthy of even feigning the slightest interest in you or sunk capital on my part.”
Someone who refuses to fake is rejecting you lock, stock, and barrel and, probably, enjoying your humiliation to boot.
Women - and
to a lesser degree, men - who are cruelly rejected by their
loved ones and intimate partners, sometimes go through
two phases: 1. Acting out, followed by 2. Sublimation.
The first phase involves reckless and self-destructive self-trashing: punishing oneself for one’s failure to hold on to one’s relationship or marriage. For example: women rejected by men they love often consort with lowlife scum. The temporary boost to self-esteem and the gratification of both sexual and emotional needs typically come replete with a high price tag: from rape to STDs.
Promiscuity and dissolution are followed by almost schizoid withdrawal and an obsessive-compulsive focus on religion, children, career, or activism. Sex aversion is common.
In this second phase, celibacy is coupled with growing addictive and self-soothing behaviors. Many remain stuck in this limbo for life, unable and unwilling to risk a repeat of the harrowing cycle in a new liaison.
arranges itself in ecosystems. Humans have an Egosystem - at least according to Freud.
The word Ego is egregiously misused by almost all “coaches” and “experts” online.
The Ego remembers, evaluates, plans, responds to the world and acts in it and on it. It is the locus of the "executive functions" of the personality. It integrates the inner world with the outer world, the Id with the Superego. It acts under a "reality principle" rather than a "pleasure principle".
This means that the Ego is in charge of delaying gratification. It postpones pleasurable acts until they can be carried out both safely and successfully. The Ego is, therefore, in an ungrateful position. Unfulfilled desires produce unease and anxiety. Reckless fulfilment of desires is diametrically opposed to self-preservation. The Ego has to mediate these tensions.
In an effort to thwart anxiety, the Ego invents psychological defence mechanisms. On the one hand the Ego channels fundamental drives. It has to "speak their language". It must have a primitive, infantile, component. On the other hand, the Ego is in charge of negotiating with the outside world and of securing a realistic and optimal "bargains" for its "client", the Id. These intellectual and perceptual functions are supervised by the exceptionally strict court of the Superego.
Persons with a strong Ego can objectively comprehend both the world and themselves. In other words, they are possessed of insight. They are able to contemplate longer time spans, plan, forecast and schedule. They choose decisively among alternatives and follow their resolve. They are aware of the existence of their drives, but control them and channel them in socially acceptable ways. They resist pressures – social or otherwise. They choose their course and pursue it.
The weaker the Ego is, the more infantile and impulsive its owner, the more distorted his or her perception of self and reality. A weak Ego is incapable of productive work.
(universal) Transaction Rules
As long as you regularly provide me with at least 2 out of 3 Ss (Sex, sadistic or narcissistic Supply, Services/money/power), I am your unboundaried doormat and you can walk all over me and otherwise misbehave as you please.
Give me only 1 of the 3 Ss or none and I will sadistically abuse you, test you to the breaking point, and punish you for failing.
Threaten to abandon me or attempt it and I will either hoover you or, failing that, stalk you.
Try to bargain with me, change or fix me, set rules and boundaries, or insist on long-term commitment or investment and I am gone as soon as I can find someone to take your place.
The Internet is the Kingdom of Heaven for narcissists and spawns narcissism. It caters to our deepest emotional-psychological needs and cravings. This is an irreversible process.
Psychologists pre-assume universal human nature. There is affinity between humans and computers (naturally): Turing universal machines.
Narcissist fallen, inauthentic “One” (=they) condition.
Choice between world and self: mutually exclusive Individuation is a rejection of the world at the service of the self False. self (narcissism) is a rejection of the self in favor of the world: true ego death, no self.
Will is an illusion, akin to time, grandiose attempt to negate mortality.
Thinking is a subspecies of Nietzschean Will, not the Heideggerian Turn.
It is also Will’s precursor and necessary though insufficient condition: Will needs the World.
Malignant egalitarianism as ressentiment. Last man turns revenge against himself and the Ubermensch leads humanity to its essence.
Age of Spartacus: revolt of inferior slaves against elites with the aid of technology and democracy gone awry (both intended originally to prevent true empowerment via objectification, thanatic simulacra, spectacle, reification, fetishism, and fantasy). They went awry owing to rogue members of the elites, traitors and because it evolved into a Platonic narcissistic religion.
Sartre bad faith and inauthentic life: alloplastic defenses, external locus of control, abrogating personal responsibility, Cleckley’s rejection of life. Nihilism debased, like narcissism. It is dissent: heresy in the Middle Ages, skepticism in Russia, anti-reincarnation in Buddha (a true nihilist himself).
Internet and social media infantile and ahistorical which Nietzsche would have lauded. He advocated dissociation, child-beast ahistoricity.
My work on chronon influenced by the temporality of Dasein (coming from the past go realize future potentials in the present).
Being is no-thing. Death is the arbiter among potential futures: defines life. Death of the planet forces us to alter choices.
Cyberspace as a Medieval heaven, afterlife, paracosm (kingdom). It is digital Platonism. Not appearances, but ideal forms: hence silos and vehemence. Meaning, morality forms of pareidolia.
I will not be making additional videos for my YouTube channel. I will be adding in the future only service announcements, interviews, and video presentations in professional conferences.
Minnie and I wish you all good night and good luck, wherever you may be.
The Narcissist's Psychosexuality: From Fantasy to Deviance and Beyond (ENGLISH responses) - Part 19 of 22 QUESTIONS (translated from Hungarian)
23. Sam, sometimes I have these thoughts that Cold Therapy may be a specific type of mental BDSM. In this sense, could BDSM be used as a treatment for narcissists? I mean, if someone punished them from time to time, for all the things they had done to others? Or, is it nonsense? Of course I don’t mean that from now on, psychiatrists should be equipped with whips. But if say, a narcissist attended a session twice a year and experienced physical pain, could that reduce his desire for abusing others? For example, if a wife beater got beaten up by someone else every now and then. I know it’s not quite an empathetic solution, but the things they do to others can be really outrageous. So, would that affect them in any way?
24. “Water sports” (sex acts that involve urine) is another popular fetish among narcissists. Although less common, but coprophilia (interest and pleasure in feces and defecation) occurs, too. Where do these fetishes originate from? Can it be related to a disruption between the age of 1 and 4? Do they try to regress to that age? Coprophilia is even more weird. It is sexual arousal related to defecation and/or the look or smell of feces. A coprophile is a person who eats feces or is sexually attracted to pollution. I had a narcissistic patient who had this fetish. By his own account he needed this because nothing else could give him the feeling of humiliation but a woman who defecated on his mouth, and he ate it. The lady who was doing this by profession was a misandrist, borderline dominatrix. My only assumption is that this may also be traced back to neglect or abuse suffered during the age of potty training. His mother might have left him in dirty diapers for too long or whatever. This perversion is sometimes combined with masochism in the most twisted ways.
The ancient Romans felt no shame if they had to use the bathroom. Moreover, some of them found it pleasurable to watch other people unload. To that end, some brothels had glass floors. So, this is not a recent fetish at all. My question is: how are the masochistic needs and desires of narcissists or psychopaths related to coprophilia or water sports?
My way or the
highway! Take it or leave it! That’s the way I am and I am not going to change.
The narcissist’s favorite stock phrases.
One reason for such rigid and defensive intransigence is the narcissist’s inability to access positive emotions or otherwise process them. Everything is filtered via the narcissist’s cognitive deficits.
When the narcissist comes across a beautiful woman, he gauges her endowments using comparative statistics and aesthetic judgment (very much the way neurotypicals do with an inanimate work of art). He immediately reduces her to the set of potential benefits and outcomes that she reifies: sex, money, power, access as forms of narcissistic supply.
If she - a
goddess even - cannot provide him with 2 of 3 Ss (autoerotic sex, sadistic or
narcissistic supply, services/income/power), he instantly loses all interest in
her and finds her about as alluring as a used spittoon - gorgeous, intelligent
and enigmatic as she may be to all other men. Even more astounding: he sees
nothing abnormal or infantile in his (lack of) reaction.
Similarly, when a narcissist comes across a broken, sad, grieving man, she notes his vulnerability using her cold empathy scanning radar. Her first thought would be: What’s in it for me? How can I leverage his state of mind to obtain sex or money as forms of narcissistic supply?
narcissist's "romantic jealousy" has little to do with the adult
variety and is actually a close kin of sibling rivalry.
The emotional age of the narcissist is between 4 and 11: a child trapped in an adult body, terrified and disoriented by the adult world. Like all children in this range of ages, the narcissist is incapable of reciprocal intimacy, has access only to negative emotions, resorts to fantasy, and his empathy is mainly cognitive (cold).
The narcissist's sex drive is undifferentiated and not yet correlated with his object relations (not directional): he is autoerotic and tends to objectify his sex partner as a toy, playmate, or aide to masturbating with her body, often in a kinky or even sadistic manner.
So, the narcissist is not possessive in the masculine sense of the word: he is not a man, so he does not feel threatened by men, nor does he compete with them for his partner. He parentifies his mate: she becomes his mother - and a mother would never abandon her child for a man.
Incapable of meeting his partner's emotional and sexual needs, he may even experience relief that she is being gratified elsewhere, taking the inexorable pressure to perform off of him: Now he can play in his sandbox unperturbed!
Still, even a good enough mother may
suddenly prefer another child. This is exactly what happens when the narcissist
acquires siblings: they garner his mother's hitherto exclusive love and
The narcissist becomes clinging, needy, possessive, and "jealous" only when he anticipates abandonment: losing his "mother" to another "child" (her lover). His behavior uncannily resembles adult romantic jealousy because it, too, is the outcome of a fear of losing the partner.
But this is misleading. It is a child's existential terror-informed anxiety reaction to being left alone and unloved in a world beyond his grasp and comprehension.
Three Risks: On the Way to Extinction
Three witches of Macbeth push us inexorably to extinction:
The pursuit of meaning
The addiction to hope
The aversion to risk
Will lead our species to extinction
Just when I think that I have seen it all, I come across ignorant nonsense by self-styled “experts” and “coaches”: statements so stupendously stupid that they literally take my breath away. Consider this early morning’s crop of two inanities (minutes from waking up):
1. The narcissist keeps his triangulation a secret, self-importantly says a leading “narcissistic abuse coach”.
Triangulation is when the narcissist or borderline attempts to get a rise out of you, render you jealous, modify your behavior, or manipulate you by introducing a third party into your relationship.
For triangulation to work, its target needs to witness it! The act of triangulation is always conducted ostentatiously and overtly, in full view, in the open! Secrecy would defeat the purpose!
2. Breathtakingly ill-informed “info” by yet another self-discovered “expert”: the narcissist has a boundless ego.
Ego is the part of the personality that controls impulses, maintains reality testing, regulates one’s sense of self-worth, and mediates between other constructs of the personality. The narcissist has an atrophied ego or even no ego. Narcissism is a disorder of the (constellated) self. Narcissist are children, stuck at an early developmental stage.
This is why narcissists resort to other people and compulsively seek narcissistic supply: they outsource these ego functions!
So, why do people flock to these shoddy and sometimes shady characters who lack any credentials in the field (such as papers published in academic journals or studies conducted)?
People told me openly: we don’t care how knowledgeable or ignorant these “experts” and “coaches” are. We are not looking for a university-level education: we need HELP. When you drown, you are not interested in the chemical properties of water or in the resume of the lifesaver.
We are in search of someone to hold our hand (validation and succor), tell us how to cope (solutions), and give us hope. We don’t even care if these “coaches” and “experts” are actually narcissists and psychopaths as long as they deliver these goods.
No one is listening to Sam Vaknin, these victims and survivors told me, because you shame and blame victims, provide no solutions, and your message is bleak, nihilistic, and hopeless.
People used to pay a therapist in order to obtain transformative insights regarding their personality, choices, mate selection, their relationships, and, in general, life. Yet, nowadays, such insights (=the truth) are deemed hostile acts and the professional who provides them is castigated as s sadist or worse.
People have never been more alone or lonely than in our atomized, anomic, dying, and materialistic civilization. The majority are single or divorced and lead secluded, reclusive lives, averse to sex, intimacy, and socializing. Many are estranged from their life partners and family and have few, if any, friends. Everyone is defiant ("assertive"), petulant, entitled, and grandiose.
In such a toxic environment, the therapist is expected to function as the client's Best Friend and provide unwavering and uncritical "validation" as well as counterfactual and delusional "hope".
Many unscrupulous practitioners - especially online - collude with such egregious malpractice, laughing all the way to the bank. Woe unto the precious few who try to remain faithful to the life-altering mission of treatment: they are shunned and badmouthed widely by their erstwhile clients.
Some people lead a vertical life: they focus on narrow slivers of existence and experience and delve deep into them, fostering intimacy and deriving comfort from the familiar. These are the ants.
horizontalists: they sample the riches that reality has on offer, never
committing or investing themselves for long or thoroughly to anything or
anyone. These are the grasshoppers or butterflies.
What is the good or right life (eudemonia)? There is no definitive answer: to each his own. Both paths are pursued by virtuous and mature adults and yield happiness.
Yet, the verticalists have a tendency to claim the high moral ground, castigate the horizontalists, and try to impose their values and choices on everyone. They may secretly envy the carefree life of their nemeses.
Some horizontalists internalize these criticisms and experience shame, guilt, and malignant nostalgia for places, people, and periods they had put behind them in their pursuit of novelty and risk.
The vertical majority condemn the hapless members of the horizontal minority unless they conform to vertical values like making money, creating a family, pursuing a career, or becoming famous and powerful.
To maintain social control and guarantee adherence, they slap labels such as "narcissistic" or "antisocial" on any alternative lifestyle.
To fully grasp the narcissist's mind, all you need to know is one word: CHILD. The narcissist's personal development and growth had been arrested between ages 2-3 (an extreme pathology, like mine) and 11 (high-functioning). This is also the range of his emotional age.
Here is a description of a quintessential CHILD between the ages of 2 and 3 years old. It reads like a flawless, insightful, and comprehensive encapsulation of the narcissist (and the grandiose borderline):
Flippant, fickle, not committed or invested, no long-term horizon or planning, unable to link consequences to actions
Curious, but gets bored easily (low boredom threshold and tolerance)
Playful with toys both animate and inanimate, alternating between solitary and gregarious
Tries to impress adults and convert them into parental figures, insecure attachment style, hesitant object relations
Sexually immature, undifferentiated, experimental, and autoerotic
Socially awkward, hypervigilant
Impulsive, reckless, defiant, demanding, emotionally dysregulated
Dysempathic, aggressive, mildly cruel
Fantast, poor reality testing, delusional
Unreliable, irresponsible, reckless
Unskilled, autodidact, shallow
Petulant (low frustration threshold and tolerance, temper tantrums), entitled, labile
The narcissist wants his intimate partner to “love” (admire)
his False Self, not HIM.
True intimacy (loving the real person) challenges the veracity of the false self and undermines the narcissist’s grandiosity by exposing him for the empty fake that he is or believes himself to be (“impostor syndrome”).
The narcissist feels threatened and nakedly transparent and vulnerable when his mate loves him for his essence, for the quiddity of who he is. He reacts to such authentic emotions with panic, extreme abuse, and flailing rage which borders on hatred.
There is a rare type of narcissist whose misanthropy and
misogyny are so extreme that he gives up on both human society and intimate
But, what about the narcissist’s much vaunted addiction to narcissistic supply and his much touted dependence on its sources: his mates, fans, students, co-workers?
The answer is: self-supply. It is the most radical form of auto-libidinal cathected self-sufficient contemptuous grandiosity.
The cerebral narcissist values his intellect as so superior to everyone else’s that he much prefers to resort only to his own judgment and garner self-administered adulating accolades in his own mind.
Technology is a metaphor: it is designed to reify psychological transformations, both social and individuals and to cater to the needs that arise out of these increasingly more frequent and potent upheavals. Social media is intimately correlated with the tsunami of grandiose narcissism, for instance.
Similarly, the cloud reflects the new organizational principle of our society: a stable core (the server) surrounded with immanently transient elements (the digital content).
In our personal lives, most of us maintain a long-term partner and multiple affairs, emotional or sexual, or both. Monogamy and exclusivity had perished under the multidimensional onslaught of modernity.
The arrangement with the life partner is transactional: building a home or a family together or co-owning a business. We resort to other people intermittently and temporarily for fun, novelty, thrills, intimacy, succor, sex, and adventures.
We invest in our brands, updating our skillset, continuously learning and networking. This is the kernel of stability. But we change several jobs and even careers in a typical lifespan.
People - even
"friends" and collaborators of mine - hold me in profound contempt as an unboundaried, cowardly, weak, and
grandiloquent bully. They disrespect and humiliate me in the most egregious
ways, ostentatiously and gleefully, conspicuously and publicly breaching every
conceivable code of conduct and etiquette.
With me, people allow themselves liberties that they would never dream or dare adopt with the lowliest of others: openly dating my partners (who are equally contemptuous), both parties then bragging to me in detail about their sexual exploits and emotional affairs; absconding with my property; and stealing my ideas - to mention but a few examples of such violations.
On the rare occasions that I do set boundaries, everyone mock me. Then, when I enforce my boundaries and act as I had said that I would if they are breached, people feel somehow deceived, angered, and disappointed: perennial doormats are not supposed to do that!
repetition compulsion was first described by Freud and was initially
applied mostly to mate selection and other life choices. It is now considered
more widely as any behavior that seeks a goal and then, when it is within
reach, undermines it by withdrawing and absenting oneself.
In victims and survivors of abuse, avoidance is a post-traumatic reaction triggered by memories of agonizing abuse. Any approach to a potential intimate partner causes panic and rage, some of it self-directed. Abrupt and incomprehensible withdrawal follows, intended to avoid these ego-dystonic negative emotions.
Avoidance is multifarious: cheating, addictions, itinerancy, numbing, dissociation, passive-aggression, reactance (defiance), impulsivity, recklessness, or lying are all manifestations of the terror of intimacy and the pain that it often brings. Avoidance is closely associated with mood lability and dysregulated emotions.
In a way, avoidance is a form of signalling, a cry for help, a way of begging the partner: please let me go! I am so broken and weak that I cannot even leave and extricate myself!
Whenever a mental health diagnosis
gets a profoundly, awfully bad rep and is stigmatizes and demonized,
unscrupulous, third rate "scholars", bordering on con artists, rush
to enrich themselves by catering to the grievances of the diagnosed clients.
They conjure up, out of whole cloth, flattering "diagnoses" and offer
them as aggrandizing consolations to the aggrieved patients.
Three recent examples: shy or quiet borderline (as distinct from the pernicious and destructive disorder), empath (read: glorified, angelic covert narcissist), and high-functioning, “recovered”, or productive narcissist and psychopath (not the devastating actual dysfunctions).
Let it be crystal clear: there are no such things as shy borderline, empath, or high-functioning narcissist. These are not clinical entities, you cannot find them in any college or university textbook, and they do not form a part of any academic curriculum or syllabus. There are no studies which support any of these much hyped, exclusively YouTube constructs.
These faux "diagnoses" are proffered to the gullible and to the grandiose by callous, self-styled, avaricious "experts" and "coaches": snake oil salesmen and women with zero real world credentials or track records.
People with debilitating mental illnesses lap these fig leaves up - and pay hand over foot for the privilege - in order to convert themselves from perpetrators to victims and from antisocial to prosocial. It makes them feel good and the purveyors of these shoddy counterfeit wares are laughing all the way to the bank.
Just try to contest or even question these "diagnoses" where they congregate in cyberspace and witness the vicious sniping and backlash by "empaths", the shrill and violent defiance by "shy" and "quiet" borderlines, and the destructive orgies of decompensation and acting out by "productive" and "high-functioning" narcissists.
dysfunctions, attachment styles and wounds of the narcissist and his partner converse, interact, and feed on each other.
The narcissist recreates for the partner the sort of emotional ambience that
led to his own formation in the first place: capriciousness, fickleness,
arbitrariness, emotional (and physical or sexual) abandonment (trauma bonding).
The world becomes hostile and ominous and the partner has only one thing left
to cling to: the narcissist.
And cling she does. If there is anything which can safely be said about those who emotionally team up with narcissists, it is that they are overtly and overly dependent.
The partner doesn't know what to do – and this is only too natural in the mayhem that is the relationship with the narcissist. But the typical partner also does not know what she wants and, to a large extent, who she is and what she wishes to become.
These unanswered questions hamper the partner's ability to gauge reality. Her primordial sin is that she fell in love with an image, not with a real person. It is the voiding of the image that is mourned when the relationship ends.
The break-up of a relationship with a narcissist is, therefore, very emotionally charged. It is the culmination of a long chain of humiliations and of subjugation. It is the rebellion of the functioning and healthy parts of the partner's personality against the tyranny of the narcissist.
The partner is likely to have totally misread and misinterpreted the whole interaction (I hesitate to call it a relationship). This lack of proper interface with reality might be (erroneously) labelled "pathological".
Why is it that the partner seeks to prolong her pain? What is the source and purpose of this masochistic streak? Upon the break-up of the relationship, the partner (but not the narcissist, who usually refuses to provide closure) engages in a tortuous and drawn out post mortem.
Nature imitating art?
I am sure the owl is offended at the comparison! Owls are wise!
Won’t be at all surprised if it lodges a complaint with Instagram and sues me for defamation!
Courtesy Nancy Drew on Facebook (if that is her real name).
films involve a protagonist who poignantly fails to realise that he is a ghost.
It is a perfect metaphor for the life-threatening but inevitable process of narcissistic mortification:
when the narcissist’s grandiose defenses crumble under a sustained attack.
Stripped of his reified ideal ego (False Self), the narcissist is then reduced to an obnoxious, but terrified child, rendered a veritable zero from an imagined hero. He can no longer sustain his delusional view of himself as irresistible, a winner, or a genius. Instead, he comes face to face with his own weird creepiness, gaping inadequacies, and history of failures. He realizes he is a ghost: a long dead and unrequited apparition of a howling void.
Moreover: finally face to face with reality, he becomes aware that, ultimately, he has fooled no one and everyone sees right through his pathetic facade: abandonment - his overwhelming horror - is imminent.
Mortification occurs most commonly - though not exclusively - when the narcissist’s intimate partner abruptly or cruelly bails out of their shared fantasy: the only illusory space which lets the narcissist maintain his counterfactual paracosm.
On rare occasions, moved by his evident distress and disintegration, the narcissist’s intimate partner is reduced to such profound pity that she may even sacrifice herself and remain by his crippled side.
Social media present a contradiction and, therefore, are engines of dissonance: they are mortification by a thousand paper cuts. They constitute perfect sources of narcissistic supply but amount to constant generators of narcissistic injuries. Long exposure to these platforms makes it difficult for the narcissist to idealize his False Self and may lead to recurrent mortification.
narcissist’s only way out of
a narcissistic mortification is to forcefully re-establish his grandiosity
and revive the False Self. He accomplishes this resurrection by reframing the
mortifying events and by fleeing the scene.
At first, the narcissist constructs a narrative that absolves him of guilt and shame. He attributes his disgrace and downfall either to the envious malevolence of others - or to his own cunning and iron will (cognitive dissonance: “I actually wanted all this to happen”).
He then proceeds to discard his erstwhile Pathological Narcissistic Space (his physical hunting grounds) as well as everyone in it, now all indelibly imprinted with the unbearable memories of the traumatic mortification and are, therefore, transmogrified into triggers.
Unable to subsist and survive for long without narcissistic supply, he lovebombs and grooms his way into new sources in a new location only to restart the cycle of idealization-devaluation or mortification-discard-and replace.
The pandemic has rendered all this maneuvering impossible. Forced into immobility and a virtual existence, many narcissists are driven to psychotic decompensation and life threatening, potentially suicidal acting out. Attempts to compensate via social media and a cyber presence only backfire as the narcissist is exposed to multiple repeated narcissistic injuries every minute of every day.
confuse mood LABILITY and emotional DYSREGULATION with INTENSITY. Some people need intensity because
they cannot feel anything otherwise. They conflate and confuse the intense and
the sentimental with the emotional, mistaking drama with feelings.
Real, true POSITIVE emotions are NOT dramatic OR sentimental OR intense. Positive emotions are just THERE: deep, rooted, profound, all-pervasive.
Pain is dramatic, sentimental, and intense. PAIN. ANGER. ENVY. HATRED. Negative emotions. Positive emotions don't require intense dramatics. They are cheapened by such theatrics.
Relationships with narcissists are founded on NEGATIVE emotions: fear, anxiety, envy, anger, control, etc. The pain is caused by withdrawal, rejection, and betrayal. Both parties experience it.
When the relationship is founded only on negative emotions, it gives rise to anxieties and insecurities.
Often, victims set boundaries long after the abuser had moved on and
out, having plundered and pillaged everything they had, having lost all
interest in them anyhow, and having traumatized his hapless prey for life.
Examples of shutting firmly the doors of an empty stable: "I will never again date this guy who had raped me while I was drunk" or "After 20 years of his abuse, I moved out".
For boundaries to be effective, they must meet four conditions:
1. They should be firm and rigid, never fuzzy or negotiable;
2. They must be clear and unequivocal and communicated unambiguously;
3. They must come replete with carrots and sticks applied to everyone automatically and equally - including to oneself: rewards for behaviors that conform to the boundaries and punishments for any violation. The deterrent inherent in them must be credible and just - not knee-jerk and arbitrary.
4. Zero tolerance: first strike and you are out, first breach and you are gone, first offense or incident of maltreatment and the offending perpetrator is history.
When the narcissist truly needs and wants something or someone, it is experienced by him as a challenge to his omnipotent self-sufficiency, unbridled freedom of action, and entitlement, and, consequently, as a profound narcissistic injury.
The narcissist then rejects and abuses the very things and people he so craves and, inevitably, ends up experiencing recurrent losses and mortifications. He convinces himself that people are evil and envious and that the world is a hostile jungle, undeserving of him.
The narcissist's reactions are misperceived as self-destructive and self-defeating when in effect they are meant to preserve his grandiosity, anarchic liberty, sadistic superiority, and nihilistic cynicism as well as the inner equilibrium that these afford him: "I need no one and nothing! Look how I willingly discard and trash everything you, my inferior mediocres, hold dear and essential! I am a free man!"
Such overt humiliating contempt is tinged with a form of mild, taunting sadism: "Easy come, easy go! I accomplish all things effortlessly and this facility renders everyone and everything worthless, dispensable, and interchangeable: intimacy, sex, money, career, family, or celebrity. I just couldn't care less about what you care most! I am burning it all to the ground to communicate to you that you are slaves to society while I am a master of my life! I am my best source of self-supply! You have no hold over me because I do not need or want anything you can possibly possess or wish to share with me! I do it my way!"
Of course, these are mere defensive and compensatory projections and a desperate attempt by the narcissist to pretend that he is in control of his own inexorable decline, collapse, and defeat.
But it is also a rigid, immutable ideology, akin to the mores of the hereditary aristocracies in times bygone. Noblemen in previous centuries held in abiding disdain commoners and their existence: their labor, thrift, sexual exclusivity, and commitment to family and church. Leisurely hedonistic idleness (slacking) was elevated and normative. The ideal among these grandiose and entitled circles was to become a childless bachelor "gentleman of leisure", or "gifted amateur".
To NOT act as a man, as an adult, or prosocially - these are choices.
I am perfectly capable of NOT making these choices.
My misbehavior is not who I AM - but who I CHOOSE TO BE to satisfy my contemptuous sadism and to maintain my unbridled, defiant freedom.
At the beginning of every relationship, I emulate a man both emotionally and sexually. My imitation of a man is so skillful and accomplished that I had never been turned down by any woman I had targetted.
Similarly, in business, I am very "worldly".
I know how to charm and enthrall, make friends and maintain long-term loyalties. I have done it all before, many times. I can fake empathy and care very convincingly.
I can refrain from any abusive or sadistic behaviors for long stretches of time when I am afraid of retribution (in the army or in prison) or when I am in pursuit of a goal (like a source of income).
I can invest and commit in both business and intimate relationships.
But none of these prizes is worth the price.
Choices entail costs and tradeoffs which I invariably end up paying. Yet, here, the twin prizes of contemptuous self-sufficiency and godlike liberties are definitely worth any sacrifice.
I prefer ...
Novelty and diversity over depth and focus
Adventurous fun and play over committed work and investment
Big picture over details
Short-term with exit strategy over long-term annuity
Improvising over learning
Impressing and inspiring awe over communicating or educating
Solitary pursuits over any company
Hoarding over consuming
Hurting others over pleasing myself
Minimum necessary over maximum attainable
Unconstrained freedom and self-determination over any obligation or ambition
Inducing fear and hatred over engendering love and attraction
Celibacy over conventional, adult, emotion-laden, reciprocated sex
Fantasy over reality
Being superior and alone over being average and getting laid
Being my obnoxious self over pleasing people empathically
Commoditized, anonymized, crowd interactions over personal exchanges and relationships
No one can enslave me, tie me down, or tell me what to do, my way is the only way: seize the day, keep moving, reinvent yourself often (contumacious defiance)
No one has anything I cannot survive without, so no one has power over me or deserves anything from me, I owe nothing to anyone (unbridled freedom)
I abuse and reject anyone who presumes to be superior to me intellectually or to possess something s/he thinks that I need or desire (sex, love, money, power)
I never change, commit, invest, or make an effort because no one and nothing merit such a sacrifice
No one has the right to reciprocate my mistreatment because I am inherently superior and therefore entitled.
The narcissist is the primordial homo ludens: he does nothing else but play games. His entire life is a gigantic chess board or a mega screen. Now he pretends the part of a hypersexed lover, tomorrow he is thespian a man of god, an impostor, a mock psychologist, a fake guru, ersatz public intellectual, or a wannabe father. It’s fun, this protean constant self-reinvention!
Other people are either playmates - or
toys. When he tires of playing the same game with the same animate and
inanimate props - he discards the lot unceremoniously and moves on to another
location, a new vocation, replete with a set of new characters.
Sometimes he breaks or dismantles his toys and abuses or rejects his playmates. He always switches abruptly and unexpectedly: an ephemeral apparition where a solid imitative rendition of a human being existed hitherto.
Finally, of course, like every bully, he is left with no one to play with but the Grim Reaper. He resents this sudden constriction of his playpen, this inexplicable impoverishment of his sandbox: he has done nothing to deserve this winding down! It was all just a game, you see, just innocent fun!
The narcissist grooms potential sources of
sadistic or narcissistic supply and proceeds to extract it from them in a
well-demarcated and boundaried ecosystem called “pathological narcissistic
The PNS could be a physical location (neighborhood pub, church, or workplace, for example), a system (e.g. the narcissist’s family, or a group of fans), or a virtual environment online (a support group, a YouTube channel, a social media account, a MMORPG multiplayer game, a MOOC class).
Sooner or later, the PNS collapses as the narcissist alienates, disappoints, and enrages everyone. He is then forced to devalue, discard, and replace the hitherto idealized niche (his current PNS) and scout for alternatives.
When circumstances - such as a pandemic or a war or a recession - conspire to restrict the narcissist’s mobility, access, or ability to conjure up a substitute PNS, it can lead to personal collapse, mood lability, emotional dysregulation, and even to mortification.
Interview granted to Samantha Cleaver for YourTango.com
Q. What are some common ways that a mother's narcissism can affect her daughter's relationships?
A. Depends on how narcissistic the mother is. Narcissistic parents fail to recognize and accept the personal autonomy and boundaries of their offspring. They treat them as instruments of gratification or extensions of themselves. Their love is conditioned on the "performance" of their children and on how well they cater to the needs, wishes, and priorities of the parent.
Consequently, narcissistic parents oscillate between clingy emotional blackmail when they seek the child's attention, adulation, and compliance (known as "narcissistic supply") and steely devaluation and silent treatment when they wish to punish the child for refusing to toe the line.
Such inconstancy and unpredictability render the child insecure and codependent. When in relationships as adults, these children feel that they have to "earn" each and every morsel of love; that they will be instantly and facilely abandoned if they "underperform"; that their primary role is to "take care" of their spouse, mate, partner, or friend; and that they are less important, less endowed, less skilled, and less deserving than their significant others.
Q. What are the top concerns when daughters of narcissistic mothers start relationships? When their relationships move forward? When their relationships end?
A. Children of narcissistic parents are ill-adapted; their personality is rigid and they are prone to deploy psychological defense mechanisms. Consequently, they display the same behaviors throughout the relationship, from start to finish and irrespective of changing circumstances.
As adults, offspring of narcissists tend to perpetuate the pathological primary relationship (with their narcissistic parents).
We all strive to default to an
ego-syntonic comfort zone outside of which we experience dissonances and
anxieties. Our comfort zones are narratives that fulfill several requirements
and cater to crucial psychological needs:
1. The comfort zone comprises a coherent and cohesive library of theories of mind (mentalism) and of the world (Umwelt). It allows us to predict the future choices and behaviors of people and thus sustain a sense of personal safety;
2. The comfort zone is a set of principles that provide our lives and the world around us with organization and structure (both endoskeleton);
3. The comfort zone imbues everything we experience or do with meaning and helps to make sense of an otherwise chaotic reality;
4. The comfort zone generates directions and goals to pursue (exoskeleton).
5. Finally, the comfort zone seamlessly incorporates our values and beliefs, our Weltanschauung (is axiological and normative), typically acquired via the twin processes of socialization and acculturation. Our conscience (superego, inner critic) is an integral part of our comfort zone.
Personal boundaries firewall the comfort zone: a form of signalling as to which behaviors and communication (messages) are permitted and which are actionable, out of bound, and will trigger reprisals and sanctions.
The comfort zone is such a critically utilitarian piece of psychological equipment that people ferociously resist any attempt to alter, modify, or challenge it even when they come to accept that it is manifestly and patently counterproductive, self-destructive, and self-defeating.
The narcissist goes through vacillating mortifications (both counterfactual): from internal to external and back.
Narcissistic abuse type 1 (in the shared fantasy) revolves around externalized negativity: pessimism, ostentatious disappointment and disapproval, criticism, intermittent reinforcement, and rejections. Type 2 (during the bargaining phase) includes verbal, psychological, sexual, financial, and legal abuse, often in the forms of withdrawal and avoidance.
“Women reject me first and only then do I react with abuse and negativity”
“I abuse women first and exude negativity and only then do they react with abusive misbehavior, cheating, and abandonment.”
Women reject and abuse the narcissist concurrent with his type 1 low-grade ambient abuse. He then escalates it, becomes proactive, and varies his maltreatment, coupling it with both externalized and internalized negativity. This then leads to cheating and abandonment: mutual hostilities culminate in MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction).
Type 2 abuse sets in as an integral part of the devaluation-discard-replace phases of the relationship cycle.
The narcissist escalates his type 1 abuse when he detects imminent abandonment or anticipates it as he tests the boundaries, loyalty, and parental qualifications of the straying errant partner.
Originally posted here, as a part of the
Trusting After Trauma
event with Pi Venus Winslow: https://trustingaftertraumasummit.com/
Whether you know you're the survivor of childhood narcissistic abuse or need more information to verify that you are, the experts on this event will provide the answers you've been looking for - and give you a clear path forward.
How do narcissists view their victims?
What are they thinking and what makes them tick?
Why do we stay with them?
Does narcissism rule the world?
Sam Vaknin has answers for these questions and more.
Watch this video for the inside scoop!
Hosted by Shayel Naava http://www.emotionalabusetoeuphoria.com/
Disclaimer: This is a version of the interview edited by the host. Certain parts had been removed.
My first winter semester
lecture in Faculty of Psychology, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don,
New role of therapists
Pathological Narcissistic Space
Anomic Societies and Cluster B Pandemic
Narcissism is compensatory. In the deepest recesses of his tortured mind, the narcissist realizes his inadequacies. In intimate relationships, he is a petulant child, not an adult man. He knows that, sooner or later, deprived of her most basic needs, his partner will either cheat on him or abandon him.
This anticipatory loss gives rise to extreme abandonment anxiety and fear of separation, experienced as “romantic” jealousy. The more labile, dysregulated, promiscuous, exploitative (“gold-digger”), and approach-avoidant (intermittent reinforcer) his mate is, the more constant, all-consuming, and manifest the narcissist’s angst and possessiveness are. But, when breakup is not imminent, the narcissist is neither anxious, nor jealous, even if his partner spends most of her time with other men. As long as object constancy is preserved, I welcome my partner's absence and even the gratification and succor afforded her by her lovers which render her a kinder, more patient "mommy" (ludic time "home alone syndrome").
The narcissist’s every behavior in his intimate relationships is aimed at forestalling abandonment. Consider his sexual practices: his sadistic autoerotic sex reduces his partner to an objectified – and, therefore, utterly controllable and inert – plaything, a toy.
Conventional sex is out of the question because, at the emotional and psychosexual age of a child, the narcissist is incapable of perceiving his counterparty as a desirable, gendered, full-fledged person. Moreover, having parentified his spouse, the narcissist renders reciprocal, mature sex all but incestuous. His partner’s conventional sex with other men is, therefore, not perceived as threatening as long as it is decoupled from object inconstancy (bears no risk of abandonment).
Contrary to online myths, the narcissist is not possessive of his partner, protective of her, or jealous. Nor does the narcissist compete with other males who lay claim to “his” female – as long as her dalliances, affairs, hookups, and liaisons do not threaten the integrity and the longevity of the shared fantasy. “Mommy” can do as she pleases with real men as long as she loves unconditionally and in perpetuity her “child” back at home.
When the narcissist decides to devalue and discard his partner, his separation anxiety dissipates and he wants her gone. During this terminal phase of bargaining and discard, the narcissist actually actively pushes his partner towards other men in the hope of ridding himself of her nagging presence.
We all cope
the best we can
with what little we are given.
Happiness is this doomed struggle that we call "life".
The world always overwhelms us.
Yet, in such defeat lies our humanity,
not in the swagger of illusory triumph.
Here is a surefire recipe
for a failed life: PIN.
Procrastinate until it is too little, too late;
Ignore until things get too egregious and unfixable;
Neglect until you are rendered non-competitive and irrelevant.
Certificate of recognition for my
keynote presentation on “Narcissism
and Autism” in the 26th International Webinar on Psychiatry, Mental
Disorders, and Psychosomatic Medicine, October 2020.
My lectures and presentations are also made available on my YouTube channel. Watch the latest ones there.
Speaker in other international conferences on psychology, psychiatry, mental health, and neuroscience:
The fourth quarter of the twentieth
century and the first two decades of the twenty-first herald a period akin, in
some respects, to certain stretches of the Middle Ages.
The High Middle Ages – especially after the conquest of Spain by the Arabs (Moors) - was characterized by rapid technological and scientific progress. The very organizing principles, the foundations of society were revolutionized by advances in commerce, travel, and scholarship. It was a post-ideological, pragmatic, and materialistic age concerned with money, power, and, yes, sex.
Yet, these superficial similarities rested on shift at the state and individual levels - continue reading here: https://samvak.tripod.com/middleages.html
The narcissist does not allow anyone to
love him: he reacts with abuse to any attempt at intimacy because
he equates attachment with looming and binding commitment, the loss of
freedoms, and, thereby, personal stagnation.
Deep inside, the narcissist also realizes that he has to bribe his partner into staying with him and tolerating his mental illness and sadistic abuse. This exigency causes him constant shame and narcissistic injury. Mortification awaits when he is abandoned or ostentatiously cheated on - or both.
The narcissist also feels that “love” is merely self-interested faking, liable to end in betrayal and hurt and, therefore, best avoided. He fends it off preemptively.
Tellingly, the narcissist has no problem to bond with pets or with partners to repeated casual sex precisely because they let him be in full control and expect little in return for their devotion and loyalty.
"Emotional flashbacks" is NOT an accepted construct in clinical psychology. Flashbacks are dissociative (cut us off from the world), they are like time travel: they recreate fully and faithfully all the sensa of a part traumatic event. To experience a flashback is to be transported into another time and another place in the fullest way. Emotions and memories never recreate or even represent the past accurately: they reimagine it creatively, on the fly, and never in the same way each and every time they are evoked. Flashbacks sever us from the present reality - emotions and cognitions do exactly the opposite: help us to connect with reality (external and internal) and make sense of it.
Differentiating terminology: ‘‘involuntary autobiographical memories’’ (an everyday memory phenomenon), ‘‘intrusive memories’’ (involuntary memories with repeated and usually distressing content, generally associated with psychological disorders), and ‘‘flashbacks’’ (involuntary memories involving re-experiencing distressing events in the present, thought to be specific to PTSD). These are not used interchangeably (Kvavilashvili, 2014).
I propose that, from an early age we relate to the world (external objects) and regulate internal objects using three processes, not two: dissociation (to cope with traumas), cognitions, and emotions are arranged in contextualized narrative memories: traumas overwrite cognitions and emotions with new content (Schnider’s silencing).
Traumas and dissociation are as frequent as emotions and cognitions.
Traumas and the language of dissociation comprise the unconscious. Psychological defenses are associated with cognitions (rationalization), emotions (denial, projection), trauma (repression). That children dissociate and can be traumatized proves that these are fundamental features of the mind: not acquired but congenital.
"In Norse mythology the goats slain
in Valhalla by the warriors for their feasts were always alive again the next
In a similar way, the narcissist emerges from every honeymoon a bachelor."
Paraphrased from "Villa and Zapata: A History of the Mexican Revolution" by Frank Mclynn, Basic Books, 2000, pages: 127-128