The Narcissist's Multiple Grandiosity
Frequently Asked Question # 35
Narcissists derive narcissistic supply from their prominent traits (the cerebral narcissist’s intellect or the somatic narcissist’s physique and sex appeal).
Narcissists hedge their bets by trying to excel in a variety of fields. Yet, this strategy fails as deficient narcissistic supply tends to impact the narcissist’s mood and ability to function on all fronts.
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Is the narcissist confined in his grandiose fantasies to one subject?
This apparently simple question is more complex than it sounds. The narcissist is bound to make use of his more pronounced traits and qualities in both the design of his False Self and the extraction of Narcissistic Supply from others. Thus, a cerebral narcissist is likely to emphasise his intellect, his brainpower, his analytical skills and his rich and varied fund of knowledge. A somatic narcissist accentuates his body, his physical strength, his appearance, his sex appeal and so on. But this is only one facet of the answer. It seems that narcissists engage in what could best be described as Narcissistic Hedges.
A Narcissistic Hedge is when a narcissist colours more than one field of activity with his narcissistic hues. He infuses the selected subjects with narcissistic investment. He prepares them as auxiliary Sources of Narcissistic Supply and as backup options in case of a major system failure. Another type of narcissistic hedge involves a charm offensive that it is intended to forestall or ameliorate the consequences of the disclosure of embarrassing, demeaning, or damaging information about the narcissist and his misconduct by “re-acquiring” the source of narcissistic supply that is most likely to be disenchanted and disillusioned by such revelations.
These ostensibly redundant activities and interests constitute a fallback option during a life crisis. In the majority of cases, the chosen subjects or fields all belong to the same "family". A cerebral narcissist might select mathematics and art, but not mountain climbing. A sportsman might choose to be a radio sports commentator but not a philosopher of science and so on. Still, the correlation between the various selections may not be very strong (which is why they can be used as hedges).
Experience shows that this hedging mechanism is not very effective. The narcissist responds to events in his life as a one rigid unit. His reactions are not differentiated or scaled. A failure (or a success) in one domain contagiously spreads to all the others. This narcissistic contagion effect dominates the narcissist's life.
The narcissist measures his personal history in terms of fluctuations in Narcissistic Supply. He is blind to all other aspects, angles and points of view. He is like a thermometer which reacts to human warmth, admiration, adoration, approval, applause and attention.
The narcissist perceives his life in gradations of narcissistic temperature. When a Source of Supply ceases to exist or is threatened or diminished, all the other parts of the narcissist's world (including his backup options) are affected. The dysphoric and euphoric moods, which are related to the absence or to the presence of Narcissistic Supply, engulf the entire personality and consume it.
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A case study to illustrate these economic principles of the narcissist's soul:
A narcissist has a successful career as an economic commentator in several mass media. As a result of his criticism of the policies of the government, he is threatened and there are signs that a book that he was about to publish, will not be published after all. The narcissist has other subjects from which he is able to derive Narcissistic Supply ("narcissistic hedges"). What would the likely reaction of such a narcissist be?
Being threatened endangers this narcissist's feelings of omnipotence and superiority. He is "reduced to size". The special treatment that he believed himself to be entitled to has all but evaporated. This is a narcissistic injury. Worse, it looks as if the very availability and existence of his main and "serious" Narcissistic Supply Sources (the media, the book) are at risk.
Dysphoria ensues. The narcissist counters hysterically and with paranoia. The paranoid streaks in his reaction serve to re-establish the perturbed balance of his own grandiosity. Only important people are persecuted, he soothes himself. The hysteria is the result of panic at the prospect of remaining bereft of Narcissistic Supply Sources. A drug addict would have reacted the same way.
In theory, this would be the perfect time to revert to the alternatives, to the hedges. But the narcissist's energy is too depleted to make this switch. He is depressed, dysphoric, anhedonic, in extreme cases even suicidal. He jumps to radical and sweeping conclusions ("If this happened to me once, it could well happen again"). His output and achievements deteriorate. As a result, his Narcissistic Supply is further reduced and a vicious circle is set in motion.
This is the absurdity of the narcissistic mental household: the hedges brought into play only when they are not needed. Once a crisis erupts, the violently reduced narcissist, a faltering shadow of his former False Self, is too depleted to make use of them.
Observations on the Many Faces of Grandiosity
By idealizing his sources of secondary narcissistic supply
("intimate partners"), the narcissist actually idealizes
himself. If his partner is unique and superior, so is he. Such mate selection
is also proof positive of good judgment.
Devaluing the partner is, therefore, a narcissistic injury. The narcissist has to recant and renounce his previous assessment of his partner, thereby acknowledging his fallibility and lack of omniscience: two pillars of his grandiosity.
How does the narcissist reconcile these conflicting needs (to discard and to preserve his inflated False Self)? By shifting the blame, of course: it is his partner who has changed beyond recognition, or had abused his good heart by faking it, or is acting maliciously owing to some ulterior motives and a hidden agenda (she wants his money or has found a lover). The narcissist then reacts with rage and immediately embarks on the "replace" phase: finding a new lifelong adulator-servant-sex toy.
The narcissist finds it
impossible to believe that people act for their own reasons unrelated to him:
to satisfy pressing and unmet emotional needs, for example. It challenges his
grandiosity to accept that he is not the Prime Mover of the universes of his
"nearest and dearest". He interprets every utterance and every action
as meant to manipulate or hurt him or as a reaction to something he had said or
Grandiosity is a cognitive deficit. It impairs the narcissist's reality test, ability to understand others, and, therefore, his self-efficacy. He is bound to reinterpret and reframe events, information, and people's conduct and choices in ways that flatter him and place him at the epicenter, for instance.
When he is confronted with the truth - that is was not all about him - he is devastated. He becomes enraged, vindictive, or avoidant.
To obtain narcissistic supply
(attention, sex, power, money), the narcissist
has to act, pretend, fake, supplicate, beg, and grovel. He has to groom and motivate potential sources -
people he considers immeasurably inferior to him - to part with time and other
resources in order provide an uninterrupted flow of fuel to the furnace of his
False Self grandiosity.
Such ineluctable and constant kowtowing and dependency are humiliating and amount to a massive, suppurating narcissistic injury. The narcissist feels entitled and firmly considers himself as worthy of special concessionary treatment incommensurate with his real-life circumstances and regardless of any investment or effort he opts to not make.
The pent up resentment and rage he feels at the structural, institutional, lopsided, and cosmic injustice of it all are the main reasons for the narcissist's virulent and rabid abuse. By egregiously mistreating his sources, the narcissist restores a semblance of balance and buttresses his shattered fantastic sense of superiority.
Another function of narcissistic abuse is - counterintuitively - assist in idealizing the intimate partner (and thus both ameliorating the narcissistic wound and enhancing the narcissist's grandiosity, being the mate of someone so special): if the partner survives the purgatory, it proves her mettle and resiliency as well has her dedicated commitment and faithfulness. It renders her unique and inordinately strong, worthy of the narcissist's godlike attributes.
Grandiosity is a cognitive
deficit founded on a psychological defense mechanism (fantasy). It hopelessly
impairs the narcissist's reality test, rendering him delusional and,
clinically, mildly psychotic (he confuses inner objects with external ones)
The narcissist is steadfastly and counterfactually convinced that his intimate partner will never let him go because he is such a unique treasure. She will cling to him relentlessly and forever, no matter how diligently he tries to discard her and regardless of how useless and dysfunctional she had become.
So, how to get rid of her if she stops providing 2 out of the 3Ss (supply, sex, services)? By pushing her to cheat on him or otherwise resort to other men. And by drilling into her mind that her unfaithfulness is both preordained and ineluctable - brainwashing and hypnotizing her into the ego-dystonic act. The narcissist often introduces his partner to men and actively pushes her to seek their company and bed them.
The narcissist says to himself, smugly: "Surely, after such a cataclysmic event (egregious misbehavior with another man), she will accept that I have no other choice but to dump her! Plus, she will be so shamefaced and guilt-ridden that she will not dare show her face again. I may continue to keep her around as a service provider or a sexless acolyte but now that she had strayed, I am morally justified to immediately embark on scouting for a full-fledged 3S substitute to cater to my needs"
So, from the inception of every new relationship, the narcissist informs his partner that if she as much as shows interest in another man or flirts with him - let alone do more - he will call off the relationship. The aim of this advance notice is not healthy boundary setting: the narcissist is letting his partner know that there is only one surefire way to extricate herself decisively from his surrealistic world and that is by misbehaving with another man. As his rejection and abuse of his mate proliferate exponentially, he fervently hopes she remembers the way out, her only exit - as well as his.
The narcissist is fully aware
that he is being gratuitously, cruelly, and, sometimes, sadistically abusive. He
fully expects his intimate partner to retaliate: cheat on him, abandon him, or
otherwise misbehave. This anticipatory loss-related anxiety is a form of
To avoid the debilitating hurt involved in being abandoned or cheated on (hurt aversion), the narcissist emotionally detaches from his partner preemptively: he becomes indifferent, tolerant of her misconduct, oblivious, preoccupied (workaholism), and absent.
The narcissist's partner is usually stunned by this sudden act of apathetic vanishing. She escalates her reckless and disrespectful escapades in a desperate attempt to elicit a reaction - any reaction! -from her distant, cold, uncaring, and reluctant narcissist. Triangulation and conspicuous cheating are common strategies. Of course, this just serves to confirm the narcissist's prognostications and worldview: all women are sluts.
The narcissist's anticipation and grandiose omniscience thus vindicated, the pain of having been abused and cheated on by his partner is mitigated and ameliorated, rendered manageable and transient. He feels justified and legitimized now to devalue his erstwhile wayward partner, discard her, and embark on finding her replacement and grooming his next source of secondary supply.
Grandiosity is a
cognitive deficit. Coupled with a lack of emotional empathy, it results in a
state of mind akin to an extreme autism disorder. Like autistic people, narcissists misread cues and people.
They may misinterpret being pitied with being loved or being feared or being hated with being popular. When people are repelled by his sordid sexual misconduct, the narcissist believes that they had found him irresistible.
The narcissist is gullible and when flattered and then exploited, he thinks that he is being adulated. He pays attention to what people say, not to what they do (he mislabels actions and trusts words blindly, even when in a paranoid mode). The narcissist filters information via a fantastic prism of self-inflation. Anything that contravenes or challenges his self-perception is either reframed or trashed.
On the rare occasion that the unvarnished truth seeps in, the narcissist reacts with heartbreak: shock, humiliation, anger, desperation, sadness, and pain. Anxious and disoriented he labors furiously to restore homeostasis, if not the compleat status quo ante.
In the wake of such awakening, the narcissist feels that he can no longer trust his grasp of reality and his judgment. And he is right, of course: he can't - and shouldn't. He is delusional. Unlike psychotics, he does not externalize internal objects - but he internalizes external ones which helps hopelessly blend the boundaries between his convoluted inner morass and the world and people out there.
Trauma victims or people with
certain mental health disorders tend to confuse fantasy with reality. They
inhabit a twilight zone where strongly felt wishes come true.
This confounding of dreamscape and the world represents a toxic amalgam of magical thinking, entitlement, grandiose delusional omnipotence, dissociation (ontological discontinuity), and psychosis (hyperreflexion, disturbances in the regulation of the Self, and a mixup of internal and external objects). When rejected, such persons react with immediate and powerful decompensation and act out
To an uninformed observer, their reckless and hurtful conduct may appear to be erratic, impulsive, irrational, self-destructive, or even insane. But, in truth, they are flailing and thrashing about in a desperate attempt to regulate overwhelming negative emotions.
Frequently, this takes the form of instantly substituting one fantasy with another of the same variety: rejected by the man of her dreams, a woman would lurch towards a stranger and have an instant fling with him, replete with an ersatz "friendship", faux intimacy. and sex. A man who fails to be promoted would sell the company's secrets to its competitor thus restoring his challenged fantastic grandiosity.
Why do abusive narcissists
feel rejected by their long-suffering partners who breakup with them? I am trying to recast grandiosity as a cognitive
deficit coupled with a variety of psychological defense mechanisms, most
Consider the following, very common, scenario: the narcissist virulently and aggressively rejects his mate, subjecting her to rabid abuse and the entire spectrum of withholding. When she bolts, he accuses her of having ... rejected and abused him!
Surely, there must be a limit even to the narcissist's delusional prowess? How could his reality test get so out of whack, so impaired?
Interlace grandiosity with entitlement and all is rendered clear: the narcissist feels slighted by his spouse's abandonment! He feels rejected because he considers himself worth fighting for and soldiering on. A unique treasure such as he is merits an endless stream of sacrifices and repeated attempts to win him over! She should have ignored his misbehavior.
That she reacted to it by walking out on him is nothing short of betrayal. The narcissist feels victimized, exploited, discarded, devalued, and humiliated by the ease with which his (in)significant other gave up on him. He fell prey to her abuse, he tells himself - and this, after everything he had done for her! How uncommonly ungrateful on her part.
Trust in a relationship relies critically on clear enunciated values, agreed
upon rules of conduct and stated boundaries with promulgated sanctions if the
above are breached. These interpersonal compacts engender stability,
predictability, realistic expectations, and self-regulation.
Testing the trust fostered between the parties is a seriously bad idea. One should avoid placing oneself in temptation's way and in potentially compromising circumstances. The parties should not give in to the grandiose and counterfactual assumption that "nothing will happen if I do not allow it to happen. I've got everything firmly under control. It is safe to misbehave up to a certain point"
Why provoke insecurity and uncertainty in your partner by acting in ways and placing yourself in situations which could go awry despite the best intentions and pre-existing commitments? Human behavior is complex and, therefore, rarely predictable and controllable. Stay on the straight and narrow and where there is doubt or even a 1% chance of mishap and mischief - keep away. Think of your partner's peace of mind and of her trust in you and let go of your "freedom" just a little. After all: grandiosity, dysempathy, risk-taking, novelty seeking, reactance, and defiant autonomy are the hallmarks of ... psychopathy!
is a collective, not a person. He has
a hive mind: he aggregates input and feedback from other people, filters them
via his grandiosity, and recreates his ego on the fly, hundreds of times a day.
This hall of mirrors in his head stores the honey and wax of narcissistic
supply and ego discrepant information to be reframed.
Narcissism is a form of constitutive panpsychism or composite subjectivity: even inanimate objects, collectives, institutions, and abstract ideas and concepts play a role in the constant formation and mutation of the narcissist's reflexive psyche. His ego functions are all outsourced, so he imbues everything and everyone with a "soul". Social media are the technological reification of this inexorable process of grooming and harvesting.
Narcissists and Borderlines
compensate with hypervigilance, paranoid and persecutory ideation, and
hypermnesia for their all-pervasive dissociation and identity diffusion.
People with these disorders "lose time" (have biographical memory gaps), but recall to perfection and in the minutest details every slight, offense, transgression, threat, and challenge, real or imagined. They bear and hoard treasured grudges. The narcissist is attempting to avoid narcissistically injurious attacks on his grandiosity and the borderline is trying to anticipate and preempt abandonment and rejection, on the one hand, or engulfment and enmeshment, on the other hand.
It is possible that the discontinuities in memory and personal biographical data are the outcomes of such inordinate investment in fight or fight responses. When we focus on an outside menace, we tend to dissociate: this is the case even when we watch horror movies!
There are three types of
attention: 1. Synoptic: making connections between events and facts so as to
create an emergent logical and explanatory narrative (connecting the dots); 2.
Targeted: maintaining a laser focus on a few data to the exclusion of all else;
3. Inclusive: paying equal attention to people, happenings, and information
without committing to a single theory or filter (no confirmation bias).
The narcissist is an obsessive-compulsive junkie: he is addicted to narcissistic supply and seeks it out relentlessly. He, therefore, manifests the second type of attention-giving. Only when he can leverage the other two variants to secure supply, does he express them, too.
Even when the narcissist is hyper-analytical and extremely intelligent, he is blinded by his urge to garner attention. He often remains oblivious to most amazing, bothersome, or shocking occurrences and information around him even when it is relevant to his safety or wellbeing. Like the autistic patient, the narcissist fails to read even the most blatant cues: sexual, social, body language, or communicative.
The narcissist is utterly disinterested in other people, in memories, places, nature, emotions, or in daily life. He instantly dissociates (appears to be bored or distracted) when confronted with these: he goes through a "synoptic failure". His perception is impressionistic and linear (random lists with no organizing principle or the connective tissue of a storyline) - not analytic (what the data possibly mean). This environmental obliviousness is reinforced by his need to buttress his grandiosity via reframing or ignoring hurtful info (a cognitive deficit which leads to an impaired reality test). The narcissist also refrains from actions whose outcomes are uncertain and may expose his weaknesses, vulnerabilities, nescience, or impotence. So, he ignores all info that may necessitate such reactions.
Of course, a constitutional failure to appreciate other people's actions and intentions renders the narcissist gullible, even naive: he is always shocked by what transpires around him and by the fact that his deeds and words have untoward consequences.
The psychopathic female (and
to a lesser extent, narcissists of both genders) creates a crazymaking space, a
vortex into which she sucks, in ever-increasing concentric circles, everyone
around her. She abuses relationally: smears, cheats with your best friends or
colleagues or with the spouses of such, manipulates by flirting or by begging
for pity and sympathy (casting men in rescuer roles). She charms and beguiles,
always the long-sought soulmate, a perfect resonance and fit, the other,
long-lost half. Her sex is a fantasy in flesh. Demure and shy or extroverted
and histrionic, she somehow introduces even the most reluctant into her chaos,
without and within.
The role of the crazymaking space is to provide an optimal environment for the expression of the psychopath's grandiosity and sadism as well as for the attainment of her goals (power in all its forms). It is a theatre set, a stage upon which she enacts her antisocial amorality plays with everyone in her life as props. Without remorse or empathy, she mercilessly and relentlessly metes out just deserts: rewards and punishments. She acts mechanically, fearlessly, impulsively, and with determination, like an inexorable automaton, a force of nature.
In a way, culturally conditioned as we are to regard all women as weak and ineffectual, well-meaning and maternal, the female psychopath is far more nefarious, pernicious, subterranean, and dangerous than her male brother. She is subtle, passive-aggressive, and surreptitious. She stealthily undermines the foundations rather than overtly bombard the citadel. The male psychopath's thespian capacity is hampered by his narcissism: he feels humiliated by the very need to pretend and act, manipulate and supplicate. Not so the female of the species.
Before you know it, your life and health are gone, your mind is traumatized beyond repair, exposed as you were to the soft pulchritude of almost alien Evil reified.
Psychopathic narcissism is a constant state of tension, a tug of war, between
ferocious self-sufficiency and devout personal autonomy (lone wolf) on the one
hand - and prostrate addiction to narcissistic supply and dependence on the
people who provide it (sources), on the other hand.
Even the most rabid antisocial and the most grandiose fool end up succumbing to social pressures and pairing up to secure any 2 of the 3Ss: sex, supply, and services.
Often, the malignant narcissist strikes a compromise: to keep these unfortunate partners in his life, he turns a blind eye and allows them to engage in casual sex with others and to have love affairs (DADT - Don't Ask, Don't Tell). This way, he also maintains his leeway to act in any way he sees fit and prevents the partner from making demands and becoming a burden and a nuisance.
As long as 2 of the 3Ss are forthcoming, the partner is encourage to outsource her emotional and physical-sexual needs.
The psychopathic narcissist is never romantically jealous but he reacts badly to cheating that may or does lead to abandonment. Grooming a new source of supply is an onerous and uncertain task and losing such a fount of mental sustenance is akin to losing a job or your neighborhood trustworthy pusher.
B personality disorders
(narcissistic, borderline, and antisocial-psychopathy) may be mere
kaleidoscopic facets of an underlying dissociative process, amounting, in extreme
cases, to full-fledged DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as
Multiple Personality Disorder)
In other words: these personality types are self-states, "alters" of each other.
Having endured narcissistic injury or mortification, a trauma, or severe anxiety and stress, these patients decompensate and act out along predictable pathways: the borderline becomes a vicious secondary psychopath, the primary psychopath morphs into a rabid grandiose narcissist and the quavering narcissist shape-shifts into a codependent clinging borderline. These phase transitions are startling to behold and throw off even the most experienced clinician.
A lot of this has to do with the fact that cluster B disordered personalities find it near impossible to access, process, or regulate both emotions and cognitions. These gaping deficits interfere with the meanings that they attribute to the events in their lives and to people around them. The psychopath sees no meaning whatsoever in anything or anyone. The borderline regards herself as meaningless and everyone and everything else as mission critical to her personal autonomy and self-efficacious agency. The narcissist regards only himself as totally meaningful, draining all the rest of any significance.
When under radical pressure, these actors attempt to reframe the situation in a less injurious manner by reallocating and relocating the foci of meaning, thus seamlessly and smoothly transitioning between these extended and extensive role plays that we call "personality disorders"
The narcissist's misogyny
(hatred of and contempt for women) borders on gynophobia (fear of all things
female). This is because the very presence of a woman in his life, however
transient or brief - constitutes a permanent narcissistic injury.
Women usually recreate in the narcissist the original, unresolved and traumatic conflict with his mother. They trigger and unleash massive self-punitive and self-destructive forces.
The very emotional or sexual need for a woman humiliates the narcissist as it renders him inferior in his own eyes: as common as the next man who desires the company and the body of a female.
The narcissist envies women for their emotional literacy and for the power they possess to inflict pain by criticizing or abandoning him or by seeing right through his fantasies, undermining his belabored grandiosity.
Women judge the narcissist from a superior perch, able to vet, accept, or reject and replace him with another man who is not an affective or sexual invalid. The narcissist - a poor and derisive simulation of his gender - is envious of such full-fledged specimen of functioning virility.
This Damocles sword of impending infidelity or worse challenges his deepset conviction of omnipotence. The narcissist rebels and seeks to frustrate and hurt women just for who they are and for what they invoke in him, for upsetting his delusional apple cart.
Women's potential lack of exclusivity provokes in the narcissist unbearable abandonment anxiety and anticipation of harrowing, mortifying loss. To guarantee the presence and conditional love of "his" women, the narcissist must perform at top form which renders him anxious and enraged.
Some victims emulate the
misconduct of their abusers: they guilt trip, aggress, confabulate, manipulate,
act entitled and grandiose, show a marked decline in empathy.
Consider the latest riots. Black Lives do Matter, no one is disputing that. There is systemic discrimination and institutional animus towards black. Racism is rampant. Slavery was a horrendous, near-genocidal process that lasted for centuries and decimated blacks on four continents.
The whites feel justified collective guilt for all these atrocities.
But, blacks guilt trip the whites: manipulate them by leveraging their guilt to obtain desired economic and political outcomes.
There is no question that individual whites egregiously misbehave and should be punished for their heinous crimes.
But by rioting destructively and indiscriminately blacks are punishing all whites as a collective - exactly what the whites did to them!
In the sadistic narcissist,
both grandiosity and entitlement are at the service of the pleasurable urge to
humiliate and torment other people.
Haughtily holding people in contempt for their ostensible inferiority makes it easier to dehumanize and objectify them. Feeling entitled to instant gratification and special dispensation legitimizes even the most egregious misconduct.
His sadistic impulses go hand in hand with the narcissist's unforgiving ideal inner critic and with the masochism of ineluctably frustrated unrealistic expectations and tortuous perfectionism.
In time, as people retaliate, sadistic narcissists become avoidant and schizoid. They reach out to others only to extract narcissistic supply or, if they are also antisocial (psychopathic) and, therefore, goal-focused, they seek to secure money, sex, or power.
But regardless what else motivates the sadistic narcissist, inflicting pain to him is the supreme drive. It is what socializing and sex are to healthier folks: a source of succor and an intoxicating sensation of omnipotence. To hurt, abuse, mortify, and sexually despoil are an irresistible twofer: elixir and aphrodisiac.
The narcissist’s grandiosity
crucially depends on co-idealization: he idealizes his partner so that he can
feel idealized. If his partner is the most drop-dead gorgeous super-genius,
what does it say about him that she is his and no one else’s?
Co-idealization occurs simultaneously in two spaces, one real and one imaginary. The narcissist’s pathological narcissistic space is his stomping ground: his home, church, neighborhood pub, volunteer organization, or workplace. In short: the location in which his sources of supply habitually congregate and interact to provide him with adulation and affirmation. Concurrent with this physical site, the narcissist maintains a shared fantasy space within which he idealizes both himself and his intimate mate.
When the narcissist is forced to return to reality, when he is brutally awakened and decompensates (his defenses crumble), he usually does so by having been narcissistically injured or even mortified. He then devalues the fount of hurt and frustration. He uses the infantile splitting defense mechanism to render his partner the polar opposite of her erstwhile idealized version.
But, exactly as idealizing the partner resulted in self-idealization, devaluing her results in self-devaluation (“how could I have been so stupid and blind and gullible and wrong and fallible to not see how inferior she is”). To avoid this excruciating outcome, the narcissist engenders an external mortification (“she is an evil, dumb, psychopathic bitch and I must punish her”) and immediately embarks on a new round of co-idealization with the next available and willing victim.
The abuse of substances such
as alcohol and drugs provides the addict with much more than a fuzzy feeling or
a high. This is why it is nearly impossible to eradicate or to reverse and
recidivism rates are stratospheric.
Their daily consumption is ritualized and involves special implements. The day is structured around securing them and imbibing, injecting, smoking, or sniffing them at regular intervals. In this sense, they are much like an institutionalized religion: an exoskeleton that prevents the addict from disintegrating.
Drugs and alcohol provide goals and therefore render life itself comprehensible: obtain the cash or bitcoins to purchase the illicit goods, set up the utensils, interrupt the day to drink or get stoned, repeat the cycle.
The interactions with these substances amount to an organizing and hermeneutic principle: they introduce order into existence and imbue it with meaning and direction.
Finally, alcoholics and drug addicts congregate: getting intoxicated, wasted, or high is a social activity.
Consider alcohol (social drinking) and sex:
Alcohol encourages its habitués to socialize: it makes them more outgoing and self-confident. But, it does not alter choices. Rather, it affects goal-seeking behaviors by increasing confidence (grandiosity), eliminating empathy, and elevating short-term gratification of impulses, urges, and desires over the consideration of long-term consequences. It also enhances the perception of attractiveness of potential mates. So, it often results in reckless casual sex.
Alcohol’s effects include:
1. Reduces empathy
2. Disinhibition: act on pre-existing wishes
3. Beer goggles (affects the perception of symmetry)
4. Disguise hesitancy
5. Alloplastic defense (drink's fault)
6. Long-term memory
7. Stereotypical grandiosity (alcohol myopia)
The covert borderline is a new subtype of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) more common among men. It is different to the classic and to the shy or quiet subtypes. Both the Covert and the Classic act out while the shy or quiet acts in. The covert borderline borrows features from the classic narcissist and from the primary psychopath. The classic variant is grandiose and reacts as a secondary psychopath would to stress and ego dystony.
Old Testament God is a malignant narcissist: entitled, vindictive, dysempathic, defiant,
malevolent, grandiose (demands to be worshipped)
God the Father absent in New Testament but his Son is all the above and, like most other self-styled prophets of religion, psychotic. See vid.
Evil is an attribute of God. Satan is God the same way Jekyll and Hide are facets of the same person: multiple personality, self-state. Gnostic duality demiurge.
If god is everywhere and includes everything then Evil must also be a part of Him.
The scriptures are chronicles of God's struggles with own imperfections and character flaws - with the Evil side - via agency of flawed Creation.
Humans are products of god's dissociation, carriers of his broken memories, repositories of his dissociative states.
Their task is to help God heal by reintegrating with him, by bringing him back to full awareness and enlightenment, by embracing their own nothingness as a part of Him (kabbalah).
Available here: https://www.youtube.com/vakninmusings
The narcissist hates you because you make him feel like himself – and human.
Narcissism is breakdown in communication, both internal, among the constructs (internal objects) owing to dissociation, estrangement and external, with other people (external objects).
Lack of empathy, no access to emotions, primitive defenses, and cognitive deficits and biases (grandiosity, Dunning-Kruger, confirmation) render the narcissist only partly human: the experience of being human is alien to him.
When in an active shared fantasy with an adulating woman (intimate partner who provides 2 of 3 Ss), I experience maximal grandiosity backed by unconstrained magical thinking: I feel invincible, omnipotent, capable of anything and everything, miraculously perfect and accomplished.
This perfect grandiose state is a regression to an infantile state under the auspices of a safe base good enough (not dead - Andre Green, depressive, emotionally unavailable) mother. It allows me to separate and individuate and to experience totally a constellated, functioning self (albeit a false one) or, in Jungian paralance, successful introversion..
The intimate partner can provide a full experience of the False Self (in the active shared fantasy) and a direct experience of the true self (via mortification). This is not real object relations because the libidinal investment is still in the self (and reflected in the sex: self-soothing masturbatory auto-eroticism coupled with sadism aimed at destroying the intruding object omnipotently).
The narcissist gives up on meaningful communication: he convinces himself that he is too intelligent and idiosyncratic. In an active shared fantasy, the intimate partner facilitates communication with the False Self, the only interlocutor acceptable to the narcissist. She also obliquely provides access to emotional and other modes of non-goal oriented communication thereby encouraging non-sublimatory libidinal investment and cathexis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
react with rage, envy, and possessiveness when they are
abandoned or betrayed - but only when their locus of grandiosity is directly
challenged and undermined in the process.
The cerebral narcissist is largely asexual. His grandiosity is vested in his spectacular intellect, not in his non-existent maturity or virility. He is, therefore, utterly indifferent to his intimate partner's affairs or sex hookups with other men (which, typically, he is fully apprised of) - unless they indicate imminent abandonment.
The cerebral couldn't care less when his wife, girlfriend, or lover is whiling night or even years with other - likely predatory - men: he is incapable of attachment, bonding, or love. He is not bound to his partner - but to the services that she affords him. As long as these are guaranteed, he is content with her frequent absences.
But when his partner gravitates towards another guru or father figure, he erupts with extreme jealousy and hurt. If he fails to reclaim her exclusive admiration and awe, he discards her.
Like his cerebral brethren, the somatic often maintains a sexless household with his insignificant other - but, unlike the cerebral, he expects her to remain sexually exclusive. He perceives her straying with other men as an implied criticism of his sexual prowess - the very core of his grandiosity.
The somatic doesn't mind when his spouse falls in love or is emotionally intimate with another man. Nor does he pay attention if she admires someone as intellectually superior or as a father figure. All he cares about is to make sure that she does not share her body and her sex with others. Having experienced his orgasmic pyrotechnics, she should be inured to the seductive allure of any and all other contestants.
from reality by his grandiose view of himself as perfect and
irresistibly desirable, the narcissist fails to realize how embarrassed people
in his orbit are with his personality and misconduct.
If his intimate partner has daddy issues, she would feel ashamed being seen with a old man, often self-neglected and past his prime, if he ever had any.
If he is easy on the eyes and her peer, he tends to lack an operable neocortex.
If he is capable of thinking, he misses the curiosity needed to exercise this faculty.
If he is gregarious, he is obnoxious. When he is reclusive, he is abusive.
When he is smart, he is never wise.
When he is knowledgeable, he is asexual and incapable of any form of romance or attachment.
If he is into sex, he prefers porn and masturbation, even with his partners’s bodies.
He ostentatiously oscillates between a jejune wimp and a macho caricature, convincingly in neither.
His jokes fall flat or excel in their brutality, his commentary inane or paranoid, his gestures overdone, his honesty sadistic, his succor rife with conditional toxicity, his assertiveness defiant and ill-times, his swagger cartoonish. A buffoon with regal airs.
People around him cringe in shocked amazement at his antics and wish they were somewhere else, or could bury their way into invisibility.
There are two
developmental paths to pathological (secondary) narcissism, replete with a parasitic False Self:
1. Obviating the child's separation and individuation by constantly breaching boundaries and undermining the child's reality test. The parent treats the child as an extension or instrument of gratification and raises the child in a bubble of grandiosity and entitlement.
This has the effect of rewarding a false, inauthentic, thespian self-construct over the True Self. Positive reinforcement and operant conditioning conspire to elevate the former and inactivate the latter.
2. Invading the child's body and mind disruptively and repeatedly via classical forms of abuse (sexual, verbal, physical, psychological). The child concocts a godlike figurehead defense (the False Self) and learns to rely on it for protection and shielding from hurt. Gradually, as a consequence of use it or lose it, the hapless True Self atrophies and is rendered non-functional.
The narcissist needs to
hand over to you his own suffering and this way regain his inner peace and
sense of control. Your pain is his healing, your crucifixion - his
Narcissism is a delusional disorder but with 2 peculiarities:
1. The delusions are self-centred. Even idealization is co-idealization.
2. The narcissist is self-aware but attributes the discrepancies that inevitably and invariably arise not to impaired reality testing but to the inferiority, malice, envy, etc. of others. He uses devaluation to bridge the gap between perception and reality (the grandiosity gap).
Narcissist is emotionless and is uninterested in people. He is a spectacle: good for an hour or two, but dull and excruciatingly boring with his interminable monologues. He is a one trick pony. He is internally dead (destrudo, Thanatos).
Yet, the narcissist is convinced that he is awe-inspiring and fascinating.
Narcissist is hateful, aggressive, and destructive to both self and others, even significant others. But realizing these qualities lead to ego-dystony. So the narcissist project them. But he is dimly aware of his projection, so he uses projective identification to coerce people to act hateful, aggressively, and destructively.
Narcissism feels special. But he is cast in a mold, cloned stereotype or archetype (Jung’s divine child). So, he needs counterfactual narcissistic supply to buttress his sense of uniqueness. Healthy people have a sense of self-worth and idiosyncrasy. The narcissist has a sense of superior idiosyncrasy.
Grandiosity and Intimacy - The Roots of Paranoia
Grandiosity Hangover and Narcissistic Baiting
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