Personality Disorder Tips
Pathological Narcissism, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), the
Relationships with Abusive Narcissists and Psychopaths
Dr. Sam Vaknin
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To victims of abuse, my advice is
LEAVE NOW. Leave before the effects of abuse -
(Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) - become entrenched. Leave before your children begin to pay the
price as well.
But, if you insist on staying (always
against the best interests of yourself and your nearest and dearest) - here is
a survival manual:
FIVE DON'T DO'S
How to Avoid the Wrath of
- Never disagree with the
narcissist or contradict him;
- Never offer him any
- Look awed by whatever attribute
matters to him (for instance: by his professional achievements or by his
good looks, or by his success with women and so on);
- Never remind him of life
out there and if you do, connect it somehow to his sense of grandiosity;
- Do not make any comment,
which might directly or indirectly impinge on his self-image, omnipotence,
judgment, omniscience, skills, capabilities, professional record, or even
omnipresence. Bad sentences start with: "I think you overlooked ...
made a mistake here ... you don't know ... do you know ... you were not
here yesterday so ... you cannot ... you should ... (perceived as rude
imposition, narcissists react very badly to restrictions placed on their
freedom) ... I (never mention the fact that you are a separate, independent
entity, narcissists regard others as extensions of their selves, their
internalization processes were screwed up and they did not differentiate
properly) ..." You get the gist of it.
The TEN DO'S
How to Make your
Narcissist Dependent on You
If you INSIST on Staying
- Listen attentively to
everything the narcissist says and agree with it all. Don't believe a word
of it but let it slide as if everything is just fine, business as usual.
- Personally offer something
absolutely unique to the narcissist which they cannot obtain anywhere
else. Also be prepared to line up future sources of primary NS for your
narcissist because you will not be IT for very long, if at all. If you
take over the procuring function for
the narcissist, they become that much more dependent on you which makes it
a bit tougher for them to pull their
haughty stuff - an inevitability, in any case.
- Be endlessly patient and go
way out of your way to be accommodating, thus keeping the narcissistic
supply flowing liberally, and keeping the peace (relatively speaking).
- Be endlessly giving. This
one may not be attractive to you, but it is a take it or leave it
- Be absolutely emotionally
and financially independent of the narcissist. Take what you need: the
excitement and engulfment and refuse to get upset or hurt when the
narcissist does or says something dumb, rude, or insensitive. Yelling back
works really well but should be reserved for special occasions when you
fear your narcissist may be on the verge of leaving you; the silent
treatment is better as an ordinary response, but it must be carried out
without any emotional content, more with the air of boredom and "I'll
talk to you later, when I am good and ready, and when you are behaving in
a more reasonable fashion".
- If your narcissist is
cerebral and NOT interested in having much sex - then give yourself ample
permission to have "hidden" sex with other people. Your cerebral
narcissist will not be indifferent to infidelity so discretion and secrecy
is of paramount importance.
- If your narcissist is
somatic and you don't mind, join in on endlessly interesting group sex
encounters but make sure that you choose properly for your narcissist.
They are heedless and very undiscriminating in respect of sexual partners
and that can get very problematic
(STDs and blackmail come to mind).
- If you are a
"fixer", then focus on fixing situations, preferably before they
become "situations". Don't for one moment delude yourself that
you can FIX the narcissist - it simply will not happen. Not because they
are being stubborn - they just simply can't be fixed.
- If there is any fixing that
can be done, it is to help your narcissist become aware of their
condition, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, with no negative implications or
accusations in the process at all. It is like living with a physically
handicapped person and being able to discuss, calmly, unemotionally, what
the limitations and benefits of the handicap are and how the two of you
can work with these factors, rather than trying to change them.
- FINALLY, and most important
of all: KNOW YOURSELF.
are you getting from the relationship? Are you actually a masochist? A
codependent perhaps? Why is this relationship attractive and interesting?
Define for yourself what good and beneficial
things you believe you are receiving in this relationship.
the things that you find harmful TO YOU. Develop strategies to minimize the
harm to yourself. Don't expect that you will cognitively be able to
reason with the narcissist to change who they are. You may have some limited
success in getting your narcissist to tone down on the really harmful
behaviours THAT AFFECT YOU which emanate from the unchangeable WHAT the
narcissist is. This can only be accomplished
in a very trusting, frank and open relationship.
Abuse Victim's New Year
to Watch the Video
New Year resolutions are
notoriously fragile and ephemeral. But victims of abuse cannot afford this
cavalier attitude: their mental - and too often physical - health depends on
strictly observing the following promises to themselves:
1. I will treat myself with dignity
and demand respect from others. I will not allow anyone to disrespect me.
2. I will set clear boundaries and
make known to others what I regard as permissible and acceptable behavior and
what is out of bounds.
3. I will not tolerate abuse and
aggression in any form or guise. I will seek to terminate such misconduct
instantly and unequivocally.
4. I will be assertive and
unambiguous about my needs, wishes, and expectations from others. I will not be
arrogant - but I will be confident. I will not be selfish and narcissistic -
but I will love and care for myself.
5. I will get to know myself better.
6. I will treat others as I want
them to treat me. I will try to lead by way of self-example.
7. If I am habitually disrespected,
abused, or if my boundaries are ignored and breached I will terminate the
relationship with the abuser forthwith. Zero tolerance and no second chance
will be my maxims of self-preservation.
The Inverted Narcissist
The Mate / Spouse / Partner of the
Cope with Your Abuser
Coping with Various Types of
Divorcing the Narcissist and the
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