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Are All Narcissists Also Sadists? (Compilation)

Uploaded 10/27/2023, approx. 1 hour 54 minute read

Warning. At some points during this video I'm going to take my glasses off. So, if I don't take a haircut soon I'm going to look like Clarence the cross-eyed lion from the television series "Dakhtari".

And now that you know which television series I used to consume as a child you can calculate my triple digit age.

But as alien reptiles go, or reptilians, I'm pretty youthful. My name is Sam Vaknin and I'm the author of "Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited".

And today we are going to discuss my favorite topic on Earth, inflicting pain on others, sadism, sadistic personality disorder, the narcissist as a sadist and why the narcissist actually loves to be hated in masks in the glory and cheer of hurting other people. Not always, their qualifications.

So, unfortunately you will have to listen to this video to its very end, which I hope is going to be easy on you.

Sadistic personality disorder made its last appearance in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 3, Edition 3, text revision. That was long before any of you were gone, I hope. It was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Edition 4 and from its text revision. And then it makes no appearance in the last 5th Edition, 2013.

Some scholars, notably Theodore Millon, regard the removal of sadistic personality disorder as a mistake. And of course all sadists are very pissed off about it. Millon and other scholars lobby for its reinstatement in future editions of the DSM, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. But I don't think they're going to be very successful because there is this perception that if you pathologize sadism, you somehow remove responsibility, you somehow justify it.

The sadist can say it's not my fault, I'm a sadist.

Sadistic personality disorder is characterized by a pattern of gratuitous cruelty, aggression and demeaning behavior, which indicate the existence of deep-seated contempt for other people and an utter lack of empathy.

Some sadists are utilitarian. They leverage their explosive violence to establish a position of unchallenged dominance within a relationship.

Unlike psychopaths, though, sadists rarely use physical force in the commission of crimes. Rather, their aggressiveness is embedded in an interpersonal context and is expressed in social settings, such as the family or the workplace. It's a very fancy and long way of saying that a sadist would prefer to humiliate you in public rather than, for example, to beat the shit out of you.

The narcissistic need for an audience manifests itself in other circumstances.

Sadists strive to humiliate people in front of witnesses, as I just said. This makes them feel omnipotent.

So there's an element of narcissism in all sadists, and we're going to discuss it, expound upon it a bit later.


Power plays are very important to sadists. They are likely to treat people under their control or entrusted to their care harshly. A subordinate, a child, a student, prisoner, a patient, or a spouse, they are all liable to suffer the consequences of the sadist's control, frictory, and exacting disciplinary measures.

My favorite psychologist of all time is a deceased woman, Karen. Here, I took off my glasses. I gave you fair warning.

A deceased psychologist, her name was Karen, Karen Horney. Horney was a psychoanalyst, but don't hold it against her. She was also a very common-sensical woman who very often went against Freud, actually.

In 1945, she suggested that there is a discontinuity between aggression and sadism. She said that sadism is an active, though unconscious, impulse to thwart others, to kill their joy, to disappoint their expectations.

By anticipating the desires of their partner, sadists are able to produce disappointment by bringing about the opposite, by being sensitive to the weaknesses and faults of others, what I call "empathy".

The sadist is able to point them out, these weaknesses and vulnerabilities and mistakes and failures. So the sadist points them out, makes them visible and explicit, often publicly for humiliating effects.

I'm actually quoting Theodore Millon paraphrasing Karen Honei.

"Sadist's interest in enslaving and controlling others, according to Honei, is often more captivating than their own quality of life."

So, for example, a sadist would prefer to sexually frustrate a woman who is eager to sleep with him, rather than actually sleep with her. He compromises his quality of life. He doesn't get laid, but he derives enormous pleasure and gratification from the fact that he had frustrated her, that he had humiliated her, that he had hurt her by rejecting her sexually. That's an extreme example, but very common.

This is a foundational reason for sexual withholding, by the way. Sadists may isolate their partners from others in order to restrict their independence and support.

Moreover, sadists play the emotions of others like an instrument. They make exploitation a passion.

Sadists hate life, according to Honei, and abuse others out of a grudging envy, feeling that their own life has been futile and meaningless.

Cruelty, Honei states, gives the sadist compensatory feelings of superiority and omnipotence, where the narcissism comes in.

Strength and pride, where the psychopathy comes in, express more sharply in the feeling of vindictive triumph.

This was Karen Honei.

Sadists like to inflict pain because they find suffering, both corporeal bodily suffering and psychological suffering, actually great fun, amusing. Sadists torture animals if they are psychopathic, and they torture people if they are run-of-the-mill sadists.

Because to them, to the sadists, the sights and sound of a creature, of an entity, of a human being, writhing in agony, being hurt to the quick. These sights and sounds are hilarious. They are pleasurable. They are funny, fun and funny.

Sadists go to great lengths to hurt others. They lie, they deceive, they commit crimes, they even make personal sacrifices, merely so as to enjoy the cathartic moment of witnessing someone else's misery.

The sadists are masters of abuse by proxy and ambient abuse. They terrorize and intimidate, even their nearest and dearest, into doing their bidding. They create an aura, an atmosphere of unmitigated, yet diffuse dread and consternation, ambient horror, ambient terror.

And they achieve this by promulgating complex rules of the house that restrict the autonomy of their dependents.

So their spouse, their children, their employees, their patients, their doctors, their clients, all of these have to conform to very rigid, obscurus, and usually very strange outlandish rules.

Sadists have the final word. They are the ultimate law in arbitrage. Sadists must be obeyed.

There was a famous British series of books, an attorney, and he had a wife, a bit sadistic, a faintly sadistic one, and he called her "she who must be obeyed". And no matter how arbitrary and senseless the rules are, no matter how crazy, irrational, counterfactual the rulings and decisions you must abide or else, most sadists are fascinated by war and violence. They are vicarious, serial killers. They channel their homicidal urges in socially acceptable ways by, for example, studying and admiring historical figures such as Stalin or Hitler. They love guns. They know everything about weapons. They're fascinated by wars, death, torture, martial arts, etc.

This is how they sublimate their cities. They convert it into socially acceptable pursuits.

There is something I call the monk sadist. In broad strokes, there are two types of sadists, the monster sadist and the monk sadist.

We are all acquainted with the first type. That's the monster sadist. I'm going to put my eyeglasses back. I put my eyeglasses back. So we are acquainted with the first type, the monster sadist, the habitué, protagonist of horror films, as described above.

Far less known and acknowledged is the monk sadist.

The monk sadist tortures people by confronting them with a personal example of unparalleled and unsurpassed morality, righteousness, rectitude, virtue, asceticism. So he behaves like a monk, he behaves like a saint. And by behaving like a saint, he actually is criticizing, he's saintly conduct. He's intended solely to criticize others by example, to inflict pain by allowing him to berate and chastise from a position of high moral ground.

The monk sadist's soapbox is his weapon, as he poses and imposes impossible demands and untenable standards of behavior, setting up his victims for failure and humiliation.

And I always say in an interpersonal relationship, if you are giving 100%, you're setting up your partner for failure, because no one can give 100% consistently. If you demand unconditional love, if you give everything of yourself, and when I say everything, I mean everything, 100%, not 99%, you're doing this because you're a sadist. You want your partner to fail in reciprocating. Your partner can't meet this high standard. It's inhuman standard.

And having thus secured their fall from grace, the fall from grace of other people, the monk sadist then proceeds to harp on their shortcomings, errors, pecadillos, vulnerabilities, he labels other people, other people's behavior, moral turpitude and decadence, corruptionand misconduct.

He dispenses punishment with relish, and he basks in the agony and writhing of his flock, charges, or interlocutors.

We know many judges, judges who are like that. We know many schoolmasters, teachers, deans in universities, policemen.

One of the most misunderstood types of sadists is the sexual sadists.

There is an almighty confusion, even among mental health practitioners and in diagnostic bibles, such as the ICD-10, the International Classification of DiseaseEdition 10. So there's a enormous confusion between the dominant in BDSM. It's called hyper-dominant, hyper-dominant sexual, hyper-dominant sexuality.

So the dom, and the sexual sadist.

The domalso known as tok, seeks to please his submissive bottom partner. His aim is to please by subjecting her to pain, humiliation, and degradation, because that's what she likes. She enjoys, she is aroused, she has orgasms only when she's subjected to pain, physical pain, or humiliation and degradation, psychological.

So he gives it to her because he wants to please her. He cares about her. His arousal crucially depends on the power that the dom exercises over his sub, and on the subs overt excitation at the wielding of his dominance.

It's not the same with the sadists. The sadist is turned on only by the evident suffering and repulsion of his counterparty during the sexual intercourse.

So where the actions may look identical from the outside, the motivation is utterly disparate. The dom wants to please, the sadist wants to hurt, the dom is aroused by his partner's pleasure, the sadist is aroused by his partner's anguish.

The DSM is consensual and often compassionate and considerate.

Sadism in bed is exercised either without consent, so does rape, or with coerced consent, which is extorted reluctantly and usually under explicit or implicit threat of abandonment.

So the sadist says, if you don't do this, it's the last you see of me, and you do this.

The sadist dehumanizes his partner, reduces her to body parts, to reduces her to her anatomy. And it's not the same like in pornography. Pornography also reduces people, especially women, to their body parts, to their anatomy.

But in pornography, it's all about pleasure, it's clear.

There is a niche of pornography, where pain is a prerequisite for pleasure. But even there, pain is a prerequisite for pleasure. It's not that the pain itself is the pleasure, that's extremely rare, even in pornography.

So the sadist dehumanizes his partner, reduces her to body parts in order to cause her pain. To him, she's not a human being. She's not a woman, she's not even a sexual entity. He's out to spoil her, to dismantle her, to corrupt her, to break her apart. He treats her as children treat sometimes toys when they break them.

His main desire is to witness her unbelieving horror at what is being done to her, at her psychological or physical mutilation, and at the cheer and gratification on her tormentor's face as he proceeds with his gruesome business.

Her nauseating disgust, her extreme discomfort, her palpable hurt, her debasement, her agony, her humiliation. These are the sadists of sadomas.

And so when you offer it to a sadist to have vanilla sex, it actually turns him off.

So BDSM bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, masochism, it's a sexual preference, it's a lifestyle.

And many monogamous couples are into BDSM. It requires a lot of trust in the partner, good communication skills to negotiate pitfalls and preferences. And above all, a lot of compassion and empathy.

And one common mistake is that the submissive or bottom partner is a masochist. It is utter nonsense. It's engendered by grossly inaccurate renditions of the scene by the likes of Fifty Shades of Grey and other such nonsense.

BDSM is actually a very, very companionable and very intimate experience. In reality, many submissive also dominate this process called switching. They're dominant with other people, different circumstances.

So this is not sadism in a classic sense, in the sense that Kraft Ebbing defined it in the late 19th century.

Masochism revolves around self-sabotage, self-destruction. This doesn't exist in BDSM.


What about the narcissist? Is the narcissist a sadist?

Let us refer to an authority. I can't see the camera, so I hope it's getting the book.

This is my favorite introduction to personality disorders. It's called personality disorders in modern life. It was offered mainly by the granddaddy of the profession, Theodore Millon, together with Roger Davis.

And by the way, by far, still by far, the best book about personality disorders. Millon describes the confluence between sadism and narcissism. Before I delve into it, I would like to give him to give you his overview because he is incomparable. He is even better than me.

The last personality with which the narcissist shares some resemblance is the sadistic.

The passive exploitation of the narcissist is often mistaken for the active exploitation of the sadist.

In the narcissist, however, exploitation is incidental to egocentricity. "I am, therefore, thou shalt honor me with thioral," says the narcissist.

In contrast, the sadist dominates others self-consciously and deliberately, and he constructs scenarios that demean others in order to force their inferior status to consciousness.

The narcissist wants your worship. The sadist wants to inflict importance on others and to be hated thereby.

We'll come to this issue of loving to be hated.

Further, says Millon, whereas the sadistic personality is characteristically destructive and cruel and enjoys watching others suffer, narcissists become rageful only when their sense of specialness has been slighted.

You remember the mortification of an narcissistic injury?

Otherwise, says Millon, narcissists are content to go forth with benign insusients surveying their dominion and soaking up the tribute and comfort their regal majesty inspires among the common people.

So, this is a very important distinction between narcissists and sadists.

As usual, online there's a lot of misinformation, disinformation, especially by numerous self-imputed experts whose acquaintance with narcissism started with their first YouTube video.


So, let's clarify a bit this picture.

First, let me quote the narcissist's own words.

The narcissist writes, "Whenever I mean a nasty, which is often, someone writes with an air of knowing sympathy. What did you expect? He's a narcissist.

And this nonsensical type of commentary just serves to show to what extent the field has been corrupted by a tsunami of trashy misinformation promulgated by self-styled narcissistic abuse experts flying by the seat of their badly frayed pants.

I'm nasty and mean, not because I'm a narcissist, but because I'm a sadist. I enjoy it orgasmically when I make other people squirm and writhe in extreme discomfort bordering on agony. I am brutally unflinchingly honest and I give my interlocutors no hope and no crut.

Words are my favorite torture implements. I hone words religiously.

This is also why I'm into non-violent BDSM, sadomasochism and group sex. I derive sexual gratification from mildly hurting my intimate partner ritualistically and from humiliating and objectifying or watching her being violated by others.

By and large, narcissists are not sadists. Though, of course, some narcissists are sadists and some sadists are narcissists.

But as Millon says, exactly, most narcissists are actually not sadists at all. They do not derive pleasure from the pain and discomfort that they cause others. They cause pain. They cause anguish. They hurt people all the time, but that's not their aim. It's a by-product. It's a side effect.

They do not attempt to torture or hurt anyone for the sake of doing so. They're goal-oriented like psychopaths.

They seek narcissistic supply. Whoever gets in the way and frustrates or obstructs them in this sempiternal quest gets trampled on.

But they don't trample on people with glee. They don't gloat. There's no joy there or cheer. They destroy people with rage or more likely absentmindedly and offhandedly as an afterthought.

So pain and the infliction of pain are not very important in the narcissist's psychology, in the constellation that is his mind.


And so that narcissist continues.

I get the highlight crush from rejecting the sexual advances of women or from teasing them to the point of agonizing distraction. Shocking women this way is so potent that I prefer it to actual sex. The gratification I get from frustrating women, wounding them to the quick, disempowering them, and hurtfully undermining their self-esteem is more than orgasmic.

Richard Gratz von Ebing was the first to suggest in his seminal tome, "Sikopatia Sexualis." It was published in 1886.

So he suggested in that book that sadism amounts to deviant sexuality. There is sadomasochism as a sexual practice, he said.

But as I've explained earlier in the video, that's wrong.

These narcissists continue.

In actual sex, I'm mostly a sadist, though I avoid any physical injury to my female part. I just force her to perform humiliating and disgusting acts, thus objectifying her maximally.

But sadism can also be a form of sublimated, socially acceptable, diverted and channeled psychosexuality. Devastating women by rejecting them is both sadistic and erotic, and on the surface, at least conforms to social behavioral conventions and mores.

The sadists can say, "What do you want, Don't you have a right to reject? I don't have to be attracted to everyone."

According to a recent megastudy titled "A Billion Wicked Thoughts," a book I cannot recommend enough, according to this megastudy, women with one billion data points, women cannot resist men who find them irresistible, and they cannot resist men who treat them with affection, regardless of any other quality in the man or lack of quality.

A man can be an ugly, junky, loser, a dimwit, and still bed a woman, still go to bed to sleep with her, if he treats her as a princess and perseveres in passionate coaching.

So this analysis continues.

I make sure to deny women precisely these elements, and then I observe the disintegration, decomensation and acting out with unmitigated sex-like pleasure.

And this is very important, that the sadist derives two types of pleasure from his sadism, sex-like pleasure, which was identified originally by Croft Ebing 150 years ago, but also narcissistic pleasure, because it's a power trick, it's an ego trick.

And this analysis continues.

I do the same to men, and I get the same hype out of it, but being heterosexual with men, it is merely a power trick.

My ability to deny these men's most fervent wishes and humiliate them in the process, it buttresses my grandiose omnipotence.

It is true that all narcissists are formed by not good enough mother, to invert Winnicott's term. It's a mother who is selfish, immature, rigidly mature, narcissistic, and sometimes sadistic.

So narcissists are the products of sadism, products of abuse, and the male narcissist seeks to recreate this nefarious maternal presence in all these future relationships. He coerces his women to become these pernicious mother figures, but the narcissist doesn't seek unconditional love from the women in his life.

He is not trying to resolve childhood conflicts with them or to fix their brokenness and ameliorate their pains. He is not intent on saving up to a point.

When he starts the process, he enters a shared fantasy, as you remember. He enters a shared fantasy with a woman, and he wants her as a fan, as an admirer, a source of narcissistic supply, and then he wants her as a playmate, someone to have adventures with, someone to have fun with, someone to play with, a very, very infantile.

And so at the beginning, he wants to do to women what his mother did to him. He wants to abuse them sadistically. He wants to reject them by absenting himself and by withholding in every manner conceivable.

And when he does have sex with his female partner, it is exceedingly humiliating and excruciatingly painful to her. Even when the sex is good, it's painful because the narcissist uses her body to masturbate. I'm talking about the first two phases, the shared fantasy, the first phase, I'm sorry, the shared fantasy.

Aware of his maltreatment and of his transgressions, the narcissist fully expects his women to hurt him and to abandon him, usually by cheating on him with other men, egregiously, inconspicuously.

Incidentally, this also cements his view that all women are innately sluggish and cruel. So there's a combination of psychodynamic motivations that is very powerful and hard to resist in the narcissist.

But as you see, it is not real sadism. The pain in the heart that the narcissist inflicts on the woman, usually in the shared fantasy phase, they are not for the sake of hurting her. He doesn't derive pleasure from the pain, from her anguish. That's not the main thing. He hurts her, he tortures her, humiliates her, he abuses her, I don't know, to get back at his mother, to test her.

Or because he anticipates abandonment and is preemptively abandoning. It's all very functional, very functional.

And in some respects psychopathic. There's no sadism there.

When he anticipates the ineluctable punitive backlash from his partner, when he realizes that his abuse and misbehavior and torture and pain, and they're going to push her away and she's going to abandon him. It renders him anxious.

And he wants to avoid the unbearable agony in store. So he withdraws, he withdraws coldly, he detaches emotionally from this one. Or he pushes his women to cheat, so as to get it over with, and let the other should draw.

But none of this has to do with sadism. These are painful acts. These are hurtful acts. They cause a lot of anguish and agony. But they're not sadistic.

Narcissists rarely enjoy inflicting pain for no reason, as sexual sadists do. Narcissists act sadistically, when behaving sadistically, generates or yields narcissistic supply, and only then, or in order to punish sources of narcissistic supply, who are perceived by the narcissist to be intentionally frustrating or withholding at any rate, it's all around narcissistic supply.


And so people ask me, you mentioned three different types of victims of narcissists. What things would cause a narcissist to victimize a significant other sadistically versus just discarding them when no longer useful?

In other words, in which case will the narcissist linger on to punish and torture a significant other once he had already devalued them and before the discard? And in which cases, he would simply smoothly transition from devaluation to discard.

So the narcissist simply discards people when he becomes convinced that they can no longer provide him with narcissistic supply. It's a simple truth.

Narcissist discard people not because they hate them. Narcissist discard his spouse or his intimate partner not because he wants to hurt her, not because he's demonic, not because he's sadistic, but simply she is no longer useful. She's not functioning anymore. She doesn't provide him with the three S's, supply, sex and the needs that supply and sex and services provide.

So this conviction, subjective and emotionally charged, the conviction that his partner is no longer useful. He doesn't have to be grounded in reality. Suddenly, because I don't know, he's bored or because there's been a disagreement or because she criticizes it. There's been some disillusionment, there's a fight. She did something that he considers to be misconduct or violation of rules or she did not do something that he had expected her to do or he has a mood, a mood disorder.

Suddenly, the narcissist wildly swings from idealization to devaluation to discard to replacement. The narcissist then detaches immediately. He needs all the energy he can master to obtain new sources of narcissistic supply and he would rather not spend these scarce resources over what he regards as human refuse, the waste left after the extraction of narcissistic supply in the shell.

A narcissist would tend to display the sadistic aspect of his personality in one of two cases actually.

Case number one, if the acts, the very acts of sadism generate narcissistic supply that he can consume, in other words, I inflict pain, therefore I am superior, therefore I'm all powerful, therefore it gives me supply. So then he will inflict pain.

Some narcissists can't get supply any other way. They can't get laid. They are not sufficiently intelligent to be cerebral and so on. So the only way they can get obtained supply is by hurting other people, by becoming bullies, by becoming debt collectors, criminals, I know one.

So here is a kind of enhancement of the antisocial and psychopathic aspects of narcissism.

And the second case where a narcissist would become a career sadist is that the victims of his sadism are still his only or major sources of narcissistic supply but are perceived by him to be intentionally frustrating and withholding.

So here she is, she's my source of supply but she won't give it to me. And then sadistic acts are his way of punishing this wayward, this obstructive, this passive aggressive sources of supply. The sources who own the supply and won't give it to him and he needs to punish her for not being docile, obedient, admiring and adoring as he expects them to be in view of his, of course, glamorous uniqueness, cosmic significance and special entitlement.

Then he can become a sadist. The narcissist is not a full-fledged sadist, masochisto-paranoiac.

Theodore Millan makes it very clear in his books, others, he does not, masochist doesn't enjoy hurting his victims. He doesn't believe firmly that he is the focal point of persecution and the target of conspiracies like the paranoia. But the narcissist does enjoy punishing himself when he provides him with a sense of relief, exoneration, validation and this is his masochistic strength.

Because of his lack of empathy and his rigid personality, the narcissist often inflicts great physical or mental pain on meaningful others in his life and he enjoys the arriving and suffering and in this restricted sense he's a sadist.

But this happens very rarely, this happens rarely, as I said. He is much more likely to inflict pain in order to manipulate, in order to obtain favorable outcomes.

Sadism in the case of the narcissist is a self-efficacious strategy. It's a part of his agency and personal autonomy. He acts upon the world, he acts upon the world with a variety of tools in his arsenal, with a toolkit.

One tool is pain.

The sadist acts upon the world as an artist would. Sadist paints with pain. He is a canvas, which is other people, and he paints these other people with agony, with excruciating anguish.

And he enjoys his work, he's proud of his oeuvre, of his creations, of his opera, of his, he delights in the works of art that he generates, in the destruction that he wreaks upon other people.

To support his sense of uniqueness, greatness and cosmic significance, the narcissist is often hypervigilant. If he falls from grace, he attributes it to dark forces out to destroy him, because he has an external locus of control. If his sense of entitlement is not satisfied and he's ignored by others, he attributes this to the fear and inferiority that he provokes in other people. They say they are jealous, they are envious of me. That's why they're ignoring.

So to some extent he is a paranoid.

You see in narcissism you have, narcissism is a smoggersboard, it's everything.

The narcissist is a paranoid, he's a sadist, he's a, but it's all instrumental.

Whereas the paranoid is paranoid, because that's the way he conceived of the world. And then he sets rigid boundaries to protect himself.

The narcissist is paranoid, reactively and as a way, as a way to obtain better favorable outcomes.

Whereas the sadist uses pain as his form of creativity. The narcissist uses pain instrumentally to punish, to motivate, to manipulate. The narcissist is as much an artist of pain as any sadist of course.

When he does inflict pain, he does it creatively.

But the difference between them lies in their motivation.

The narcissist tortures and abuses as means to an end in order to punish, to reassert superiority, omnipotence, grandiosity, buttress grandiosity. The sadist inflicts pain for pure, usually sexually tinged pleasure.

Both sadist and narcissist are adept at finding the chinks in people's armors, vulnerabilities, weaknesses, penetration and inclusion points. They know how to get you, they know how to push your balance. Both are ruthless, venomous in the pursuit of their prey. Both have cold empathy. Both are unable to empathize with their victims since they are self-centered. Both are rigid.

The narcissist abuses his victim verbally, mentally or physically, often in all three ways.

Narcissist infiltrates the victim's defenses, shatters her self-confidence and self-esteem, confuses and confounds her, demeans and debases her.

Or true, he invades her territory, he abuses her confidence, he exhausts her resources, he hurts her loved ones, he threatens her stability and security, he isolates her from her social support network, and meshes her in his shared psychosis, in his paranoid state of mind, in a cult-like setting or in a shared fantasy. He frightens her out of the weeds, he withholds love and sex from her, he prevents satisfaction and causes frustration, he humiliates and insults her privately and in public, he points out her shortcomings, he criticizes her profusely and in a kind of scientific and objective manner it's for your own good, I'm just trying to help you.

And this is a partial list, there's no end to the ways that the narcissist acts sadistically.

But to act sadistically does not a sadist make.

Very often the narcissist's sadistic acts are disguised as an enlightened interest in the welfare of his victim, he plays the psychiatrist to her psychopathology totally dreamt up by him, he acts the guru, the avantila of other figure, the teacher, the only true friend, the old and the experienced, and all this charade in order to weaken her defenses and to lay siege to her disintegrating nerves. So subtle and poisonous is the narcissistic variant of sadism that it might well be regarded as the most dangerous wannabe, but still it's not sadism in any sense because it's not focused on the pain, it's focused on manipulation.

In this sense, the narcissist's sadism is psychopathic and is very very close to the psychopathic sadist.

Luckily the narcissist's attention span is short, his resources and energy limited. In constant effort consuming and attention-diverting pursuit of narcissistic supply, the narcissist lets his victims go, usually before the victim had suffered irreversible damage. The victim is then free to rebuild her life, albeit from ruins. It's not an easy undertaking this, but it's far better than the total obliteration which awaits the victims of a true sadist.

Again to that narcissist and what he had written, I'm quoting, "If I had to distill my quotidian existence in two pithy sentences, I would say, 'I love to be hated, I hate to be loved.' Hate is a complement of fear and I like being feared. It imbues me with an intoxicating sensation of omnipotence. I am invariably inebriated by the looks of horror or repulsion on people's faces. They know that I am capable of anything, godlike, I am ruthless, devoid of scribbles, I am capricious, unfathomable, motionless, asexual, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, plague, a devastation, an inescapable verdict. I nurture my ill repute, stoking it and fanning the flames of gossip. It is an enduring asset.

And this is of course a description of a sadist. It's a narcissist who is also a sadist as he had admitted in the beginning of the text.

It's not a pure narcissist. It's not even a narcissist with other comorbidities. It's a narcissist who also has sadism.

The English pediatrician, psychoanalyst Donald Winnik, suggested that abused children need to hate and to be hated. It's a defense against the false hope of ever being loved.

The English child says, 'I've never been loved, I will never be loved. I'm unlovable. There's no way anyone will ever love me. So at least I need to let me be hated. If I cannot be loved, let me be hated. And let me hate and return.'

Such abused children not only act out antisocially, but also seek to provoke hatred in parents, caregivers and authority figures.

At least in this comfort zone of mutual antagonism, there is no risk of being shattered by the disappointment and frustration that are the ineluctable outcomes of hope.

Of course, he who loves to be hated and hates to be loved also loves to hate and hates to love.

In other words, he's afraid of intimacy.

The narcissist's emotional complexity, his ambivalence towards significant others is notorious. Hate love. His love often comes laced with bouts of vitriolic or even violent diatribes, abuse and aggression. That's not the way to love. Let's hate.

So narcissists cannot love without hate. Cannot hate without love. And it's not really love actually. It's a form of dependence. There's a lot of mislabelling going on.

But the narcissist's hatred is atypical.

Ramboll and Burries suggested in 2005 that hate is a stable experiential state, that it is an emotion and that it involves a goal-driven motivation to diminish or utterly eradicate the well-being of the target of hate.

In contrary distinction, the narcissist's hatred is not stable. It is a transformation of resentment, therefore an aggressive reaction to frustration.

And the narcissist does not care about his victim's well-being one way or the other. He just wishes to remove the fount of frustration altogether and expediently. Out of sight, out of mind, no object consistency.

So by the lights of Ramboll and Burries, the narcissist's hatred doesn't qualify as hate at all. It's more like scratching a wound, an irritation that you won't grieve.

The narcissist resents his object dependence on his sources of narcissistic supply.

And by reading himself of their constant presence, he seeks to ameliorate the irritation that they're causing.

Of course, even as the narcissist's hate fully acts against his sources of supply, he's terrified of losing them. And so he attempts to placate and bribe these sources into staying and fulfilling their functions.


So we call this approach avoidance, repetition, compulsion, approaching the source of supply. Please be mine. Please be here. Please function. Please provide me with the three S's, sex, supply services.

And then I'm dependent on you. I hate you for being dependent on you. I'm avoiding, I'm withdrawing, I'm upsetting myself and punishing. Hate and fear are also sure generators of attention.

Remember with the narcissist, there's only narcissistic supply. Believe nothing else you read, not all or hear or watch. Narcissist have to do, are concerned with only with narcissistic supply.

The drug which narcissists consume and which consumes the narcissist in return.

So narcissists attack, statistically, authority figures, institutions, their hosts. They make sure that everyone knows about their eruptions.

I will continue to quote from these narcissists. I purvey, but remember that that's not an unadulterated narcissist. That's a hybrid narcissist sadist.

And he says, I purvey only the truth and nothing but the truth, but I tell it bluntly in an orgy of evocative Baroque English.

The blind rage that this induces in the targets of my vitriolic diatribes provokes in me a surge of satisfaction and inner tranquility, not obtainable by any other means.

In other words, he uses brutal honesty as a form of sadism.

He says, I like to think about their pain, of course, but that is the lesser part of the equation. It is my horrid future and inescapable punishment that carries the irresistible appeal.

It's like some strain of alien virus. It infects my better judgment and I succumb.

In general, he says, my weapon is the truth and human propensity to avoid it. In tactless bridging of every etiquette, I chastise and berate and snuff and offer opprobrium. A self-proclaimed Jeremiah, I hector and haram from my many self-made puppets.

I understand the prophets. I understand to talk with mother the inquisitive. I bask in the incomparable pleasure of being right. I derive my grandiose superiority from the contrast between my righteousness and the feeble humanness of others.

But it is not that simple. It never is with narcissists.

Forstering public revolt and the inevitable ensuing social sanctions fulfill two other psychodynamic goals.

The first one I alluded to is the burning desire I would say we need to be punished. It's a masochistic streak there.

In the protest mind of a narcissist, his punishment is equally his vindication. By being permanently on trial, like in Kafka's book, the narcissist claims high moral ground and the position of the martyr. He is a martyr, misunderstood, discriminated against, unjustly roughed, outcast by his very towering genius or other outstanding qualities.

To conform to the cultural stereotype of the tormented artist, the romantic stereotype, the narcissist provokes his own suffering. He is thus validated. He is proud of his own self-destruction. His self-destruction becomes his modus vivendi and his work of art. His grandiose fantasies acquire a modicum of substance.

If I were not so special, they wouldn't have persecuted me.

In this sense, of course, paranoid ideation is narcissistic ideation because if you're worthy of persecution, you're worthy. End of story. Something in you provokes other people, his power over other people.

The persecution of the narcissist is his uniqueness. He must be different, for better or worse. The streak of paranoia embedded in the narcissist makes the outcome inevitable.

He is in constant conflict with lesser beings, mortal beings, his mouths, his shrink, his boss, his colleagues. He is forced to stoop to their intellectual level.

The narcissist feels like Galiver, a giant strapped by lilypushens. His life is a constant struggle against the self-contented mediocrity of his surroundings, not to say idiocy. This is his fate, which he accepts, though never stoically. It is a calling, a mission, and a recurrence in his stormy life.

Indeed, the vast majority of prophets who established religions were raging, raging grandiose narcissists, some of them psychotic. Deeper still, deeper still, the narcissist has an image of himself as a worthless, bad and dysfunctional extension of others. That's what his mother told him when he was a child.

So he is in constant need of narcissistic supply in order to counter this feeling of void and worthlessness. And he feels humiliated by this need, by this dependence.

The contrast between his cosmic fantasies, grandiose, inflated view of himself, and the reality of his dependence, neediness, and often failure, this contrast, I call it the grandiosity gap, and it is an emotionally harrowing experience. It is a constant reminder and background noise of devilish demeaning laughter. It's like in hell, you know, where the demons are laughing. The voices say, "You are fraud. You are zero. You deserve nothing. If only they knew who you are, how worthless you are."

And the narcissist attempts to silence these tormenting voices, not by fighting them, but actually by agreeing with them, and consciously, and sometimes consciously, the narcissist says to these voices, "I do agree with you. I'm bad. I'm worthless. I'm deserving of the most severe punishment for my rotten character, my bad habits, my addiction, the constant fraud that is my life. So I will go out. I will seek my doom. I will trash myself. I will destroy myself. Now that I've complied, will you leave me be? Will you let me be alone? Will you leave me alone?"

And of course, they never do these voices. They're always there, inner critics, sadistic superego.

So most narcissists enjoy an irrational and brief burst of relief after having suffered emotionally, after having sustained an narcissistic injury, or a mortification. I mentioned it in my previous videos, how mortification brings a normal, puss-on- the- one- hand, but also a huge sense of liberation. Having sustained a loss, the narcissist feels relieved. It is a sense of freedom, which comes with being unshackled. Having lost everything, the narcissist often feels that he has found himself, that he has been reborn, that he has been charged with "natal energy," able to take on new challenges and to explore new territories.

And this elation is so addictive that the narcissist often seeks pain. He wants to be humiliated, punished, scorned. He wants to be subjected to contempt as long as they are public, as long as they involve the attention of peers and superiors. Being punished this way accords with the tormenting inner voices of the narcissist, which keep telling him that he is bad, corrupt, and worthy of penalty, as you remember.

And so, as I said in my previous videos, narcissists inexorably lead to and actually initiate mortification.

And this is the masochistic streak of the narcissist.


But the narcissist also has a sadistic streak, albeit an unusual one. The narcissist inflicts pain and abuse on others. We all agree. He devalues sources of supply, callously and offendedly abandons them, discards people, places, partnerships, friendships, and this is a taintingly.

Some narcissists, though by no means the majority, actually enjoy abusing, taunting, tormenting, and freakishly controlling others, gaslighting.

But the majority, vast majority of narcissists, they do all these things absentmindedly, automatically, often without good reason.

Collectively in his book, The Mask of Sanity, he keeps being amazed, he keeps saying, "Why are they doing this? There's no reason for this, not even pleasure."

What is unusual about the narcissist's sadistic behaviors, premeditated acts of tormenting others while enjoying their anguish reactions, is that his sadistic measures are goal-oriented.

Pure sadists have no goal in mind except the pursuit of pleasure. Pain is enough for remember the Maki Desai in his books. He elevated pain to an art form.

God-literature man is a great writer.

The narcissist on the other hand, holds and hunts his victims for a reason. He wants them to reflect his inner state. He wants them to give him supply or search or services.

And in this sense, this goal orientation is highly psychopathic. It is all part of the mechanism called "projective identification" where he forces and coerces people.

He sadism is part of "projective identification." He forces people, coerces them to behave in a certain way.

And 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 weakness, his neediness.

He deplores, narcissist deplores, his own humanity. He hates the fact that he has emotions, vulnerabilities, susceptibility, gullibility, inadequacies, failures.

So he makes use of other people to express his pain and frustration, his pent-up anger and aggression. This is called "projection" and then "projective identification."

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 an outlet, closure and sometimes revenge.

He forces people to lose their own character traits. He diffuses their identity and instead they adopt his identity, his character traits.

In other words, his narcissism.

Narcissism in this sense is like a virus. He invades the other human, takes over the other human and then uses the other human to replicate within that other human. It's a pandemic.

In reaction to his constant and well-targeted abuse, his victims become abusive, vengeful, ruthless, like any member, obsessed, aggressive, exactly like him. The victims mirror the narcissist faithfully and thus relieve the narcissist of the need to express himself directly.

They become, truly become his extensions.

Having constructed this writhing hole of human mirrors, the narcissist withdraws. The goal had been achieved and he lets go.

As opposed to the sadist, he is not in it indefinitely for the pleasure of it. He abuses and traumatizes, he leads and abandons, discards and ignores, insults and provokes, but only for the purpose of purging his inner demons.

By processing others, he purifies himself cathartically. He exercises his demented full self.

This accomplished, the narcissist acts almost with remorse and contrition.

An episode of extreme abuse is followed by an act of great care and by maleficious apologies.

The narcissistic pendulum swings between the extremes of torturing others and empathically soothing the resulting wounds.

The incongruous, disincoveryous behavior. These sudden shifts between sadism and altruism, abuse and love, ignoring and caring, abandoning and clinking, viciousness and remorse, harsh and tender, withholding and providing.

These swings are perhaps the most difficult to comprehend and to accept. They produce in people around the narcissist emotional insecurity, intermittent reinforcement.

Their sense of self-worth is eroded. They experience fear, stress, anxiety. They walk on eggshells. Gradually, emotional paralysis sets in and soothes and the victims come to occupy the same emotional wasteland inhabited by the narcissist.

They become his prisoners, his hostages in more ways than one.

And even when he's long out of their lives, you can take the narcissist out of your life, but you can't take your life out of the narcissist.


by saying, "I find it difficult to accept that I'm irredeemably evil, that I ecstatically, almost orgasmically, enjoy hurting people, and that I actively seek to inflict pain on others."

I remind you it's a hybrid narcissist, sadist. Only a tiny minority of narcissists are like these narcissists.

And he continues, "It runs so culturally to my long-cultivated and tenderly nurtured self-image as a benefactor, sensitive intellectual, a harmless hermit.

In truth, my sadism meshes well and synergistically with two other behavior patterns.

My relentless pursuit of narcissistic supply, and my self-destructive self-defeating and therefore masochistic strength.

The process of torturing, humiliating and offending people, provides proof of my omnipotence, nourishes my grandiose fantasies, buttresses my false self.

The victims' distress and dismay constitute narcissist-explain for purest great. It also alienates them and turns them into hostile witnesses or even enemies and stalkers.

Thus, through the agency of my hapless and helpless victims, I bring upon my head recurring torrents of wrath and punishment.

This animosity guarantees my irreveille, my failure, outcomes which I avidly seek in order to placate my inner chastising, incastigating voices, which Freud called sadistic superego.

Similarly, this narcissist continues, "I am fiercely, a fiercely independent person." And this is known in psychological jargon as counterdependent.

But my independence is a pathological variant of personal autonomy.

I want to be free to frustrate myself by inflicting mental havoc on my human environment, including and especially, my nearest and dearest, in this way securing and incurring their inevitable ire.

Getting attached to or becoming dependent on someone, in any way, emotionally, financially, hierarchically, politically, religiously or intellectually. This means surrendering my ability to indulge my own consuming urges.

And my own consuming urges are to torment, to feel like God, to be ruined by the consequences of my own evil actions.

So this is a glimpse into the inner world and inner landscape of a sadistic narcissist.


And now I want to read to you notes from a therapy session with Jared pseudonym, Jared, male 43, diagnosed with sadistic personality disorder.

He says, Jared says, "A little discipline never hurt anybody." He says it clearly amused. "Beating a three-year-old and letting her freeze to near death on your doorstep in sub-zero temperatures? Is this his idea of discipline?" I ask. "Well," he says, "it's one way of getting the message across." He laughs heartily and then composes himself. "Listen, Doc, I am as merciful and compassionate as they come. Believe you me, but what I cannot stand is cry babies, weaklings and whining bitches.

Besides, it's fun to see how a little ice does wonders to their sirens."

Why did Jared force the mother to dumb her by now limp and profusely bleeding infant daughter outside the door? If she were a proper caretaker, none of this would have happened, he says.

He blames her. He says she was not a proper caretaker.

He says, "I just wanted to show her wretched family who is the only boss in the house. They were getting on my nerves," he says, her mother, her sister.

"They needed some re-education, like in the Chinese camps," he chuckles.

The family member all claimed to be terrified of him and intimidated by his capricious and violent behavior.

I tell him that. He says, "I sure hope so," and smirks. "The three-year-old kid said that you pinched her repeatedly and that's why she cried."

"Are you just kidding with her?" he says.

But pinching hurts. "Well, it sure does," he roars and slaps my shoulder across the neck.

"I like you, dog." The slap hurt too.

I ask him, "Could you please refrain from doing it in the future?" And he accepts my interdict jovially. "Whatever turns you on," I shrink.

The mother of the child says that about a year ago you beat the same child up and you caused her grave injuries because she wouldn't cry when you pinched her and kicked her around. You kept yelling at the child, "Cry, you bitch, cry." Then you mauled her because she wouldn't cry. And now I don't understand. I respect her and left her to die in the cold because she did cry.

"Well," he says, Jara dances, "she has to make up her mind and stick to it. I respect that, but she can't change her behavior every time I pinch her. That's why I discipline her.

I wanted to have a spine. I wanted to have a spine.

It's a common sadist refrain. As a psychologist, it seems to me that he is the one who keeps changing the rules.

His face darkens when I say this. He leans forward and he whispers hoarsely, "Listen, Doc, I like you at all, but don't cross the line here or you may get a taste of the same medicine yourself. Is this a threat, I'm asking him?"

He merely glorifies me malevolently. He asks, I ask him, "Don't you like me anymore?" Then he says, "F of expletive deleted." "Allo, madam."


Pashoshim, look it up. I coined the phrase "statistic supply" to describe a form of empowerment that caters to a highly specific type of grandiosity.

Sadistic personality disorder has been removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Edition 4 to the great chagrin and resentment of the likes of Theodore Millon and to a much lesser extent myself.

Yes, I think there is such a thing as sadistic personality disorder and there are sadists. Sadists are people who derive pleasure from the pain, discomfort and humiliation of others.

And when sadism is coupled with narcissism, for example, in dark tetrad personalities, this pain, discomfort, humiliation, shame of other people serves as narcissistic gratification. It serves a narcissistic purpose.

But introducing the concept of sadistic supply created a bit of a confusion.

Exactly like narcissistic supply, sadistic supply upholds a self-image.

Grandiose, inflated, fantastic self-perception. The sadistic, the sadist perceives himself as godlike with power over others.

Sometimes sadists are moralizing and so they say, "I'm not being a sadist. I justly punish the wayward. I am on a crusade. I'm on a campaign."

Many social activists and many people in victimhood movements are actually sadists. They like to inflict pain and discomfort and humiliation and shame on their opponents under the guise of attaining the high moral ground, promoting some social cause or writing some wrong.

We should distinguish, however, between sadistic supply and narcissistic supply.

And this is the topic of today's mini lecture.


My name is Sam Vaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, and I'm a former visiting professor of psychology.

So let's delve right in.

There are two forms of supply, narcissistic and sadistic. They both serve to buttress, uphold, support, affirm and confirm grandiosity.

Grandiosity is a cognitive distortion and any attention that comes from the outside, from external sources, regulates the sense of self-worth so that it conforms to the fantastic grandiose self-image of the narcissist.

So sadistic supply and narcissistic supply are two types of supply consumed by narcissists in order to regulate their internal environment.

And in this sense, supply is a form of external regulation.

In any given set of circumstances, in any given environment, with any given set of people, the narcissist feeds off either narcissistic supply or sadistic supply.


And this is a very important point, never both, never both.

If the narcissist is addicted to narcissistic supply, he will rarely, if ever, resort to sadistic supply.

And if the narcissist is also a sadist and he feeds off sadistic supply, he's going to shun, he's likely to shun, narcissistic supply.

When you see a narcissist who is overt in your face, grandiose or self-aggrandizing, bragging, boastful, delusional, an initiator of shared fantasies and so on and so forth, this is a narcissist who is addicted to narcissistic supply.

It's not, it's not a sadistic narcissist and he does not feed off sadistic supply.

When the locus of grandiosity is narcissistic, when the locus of grandiosity is histrionic, sadistic supply is actually perceived as negative and results very often in narcissistic injury.

I'm going to explain this because it's very counterintuitive.

Imagine a narcissist who says, "I'm the best father ever. I'm an amazing husband. I'm a great boss. I manage people well. I make them loyal to me. I make them love me."

These are of course grandiose statements and these statements require doses and influx of narcissistic supply in order to be sustained in the face of countervailing contradictory reality, the grandiosity gap.

So this kind of narcissist who considers himself to be the best ever, the best ever anything, especially morally, you know, I'm the most honest person I know.

Justice means everything to me. I never commit crimes. I am pro-social and communal, not anti-social.

These kind of narcissists, they would never resort to sadistic supply because sadistic supply would create dissonance in them, unable to deny what the reactions of their victims, unable to ignore the pushback and sometimes the reactive abuse emanating from their victims. This would create dissonance and anxiety.

If I say, if the overt grandiose narcissist says, "I'm the best husband ever," and then he egregiously, sadistically, horribly abuses his wife, she's likely to push back, she's likely to resist, argue, criticize, attack him, abuse him reactively.

So this would constitute a conflicting message. Internally, the narcissist's message is, the narcissist's self-message is, "I'm the best husband ever," but all the information coming from the environment, from his wife, says otherwise, and this creates internal dissonance, which is a very uncomfortable situation and generates anxiety.

So grandiose narcissists would never be sadistic. They would never torture, humiliate, shame, attack, abuse, coerce, they would never do this because they would be terrified of being exposed to signals and messages from their victims, which would undermine their own grandiose self-perception and self-image. In short, with the grandiose overt narcissist, sadistic supply expands the grandiose gap, and the grandiose gap creates dissonance in a conflict and anxiety, which the overt grandiose narcissist, the classic narcissist, wants to avoid. These narcissists are likely to be fake, pretending, unctuous. They are likely to play act. They're likely to have thespian skills. They're likely to manage everything. There's a theater play or a movie within which they are the virtuous, sanctimonious protagonist, and they're likely to abstain from overt, in your face, hurtful abuse because this would generate information. This would generate reactions from their victims, which would undermine the entire edifice of their grandiosity. Similarly, histrionics. Histrionics are after attention. These are people who are addicted to attention, men and women. Histrionics would never engage in sadism. They would never seek sadistic supply because both the overt grandiose narcissist and the histrionic have an image of themselves, a perception of themselves, as essentially good people. This is a compensatory perception. Internally, they have a bad object. Internally, they feel inferior. They feel unworthy, bad, stupid, ugly, failures, losers, etc.

And they compensate for this by generating, creating a false self, which is the exact opposite. Perfectly good as well.

Sadistic behavior and the ensuing sadistic supply.

However, uplifting, because sadistic supply to the sadist is uplifting.

But with the classic overt narcissists, the narcissist who is after narcissistic supply, sadistic supply is precluded.

That is not to say, of course, that narcissists don't abuse. They're highly abusing. I was the first to say this in 1995. I coined the phrase narcissistic abuse.

But their abuse is not sadistic. The narcissist abuse is instrumental. It is intended to accomplish certain goals.

For example, to separate from the partner, to test the partner, etc, etc.

The narcissist abuse, the overt grandiose narcissist abuse has nothing to do with inflicting pain or hurt on his victims. It has everything to do with regulating the narcissist's internal environment.

He uses abuse, he mistreats his insignificant others, everyone around him, friends, intimate partners, you name it. He mistreats people, not because he wants them to be uncomfortable or humiliated or ashamed or disgraced. That has nothing to do with it.

The narcissist misbehaves this way, because he needs to obtain certain signals and messages from the environment, which will allow him to keep his house in order internally to maintain the precarious balance of his chaotic personality.

In short, the narcissist abuse, however egregious, is a regulatory function. It's a form of external regulation.

They say this abuse is a form of gratification. That is a giant difference between these two types.

And one should not conflate or confuse them, as all or most self-styled experts do. They attribute to the narcissist malevolence.

They mistake the narcissist for a sadist, when actually he is not in the remotest.

Of course, there are some narcissists who are sadists, and there are sadists who are narcissists.

But the vast majority of narcissists hurt people because this is the way for them to regulate themselves.

Both the lines do the same, in effect. We'll come to it in a minute.

And the vast majority of sadists, or all sadists, hurt people because it's bloody fun.

Okay.

Psychopaths also damage people, hurt people, harm people. They do it with premeditation, and intention, the goal-oriented.

Some psychopaths are sadistic. Psychopaths who are also sadistic, and sadists, people with the now discarded diagnosis of sadistic personality, is what.

So these two types, the sadistic psychopath and the sadist, they seek only sadistic supply. They are not interested in narcissistic supply. They actually want to fly under the radar. They want to remain hidden.

These people derive sustenance for their own grandiosity from the very fact that they have the power to hurt other people, that they are in the position to cause other people to disintegrate, to make them ashamed, make them feel ashamed, or humiliate them, especially in public.

But this is not a narcissistic thing. That's where the confusion online is enormous, and you are being misled. This is not a narcissistic thing. This is a psychopathic, a sadistic psychopathic thing, or a sadistic thing.

Narcissists generally are interested only in one thing, and that is narcissistic supply. They couldn't care less if when obtaining narcissistic supply, while obtaining narcissistic supply, they're hurting other people. Hurting other people is a byproduct. It's a side effect with narcissists. It's not a goal. It's not an aim. It's not what the narcissist strives for. The narcissist doesn't derive any gratification and is not invested emotionally. It's not affected in sadism, in hurting people, in damaging people, in ruining people. Narcissists don't care about any of this because they don't care about people.

Sadistic psychopaths and sadists regard people as raw material. They play with people. They weigh children, disassemble toys, dismantle them. They want to see the inner workings of people. It's a pastime. It's a hobby. It's an avocation for the sadistic psychopath and the sadist.

The narcissist would have none of this. If you see someone in pursuit of fame and glory and recognition and so on and so forth, that's a narcissist. That's a narcissist who is very unlikely to engage in sadistic behaviors. He is likely because he's a narcissist to hurt people, but that's an afterthought. It's done absentmindedly and offhandedly.


And finally, borderlines alternate between these two types of supply, narcissistic and sadistic. They are capable of both and they pursue both types of supply depending on the self-state.

When the borderline is in a secondary psychopathic self-state, she is usually, or he is usually, very cruel to the point of sadism. The borderline enjoys inflicting pain because she regards it as retribution, redressing evil, restoring justice. That is how she mislabels her sadism.

You remember the previous video I explained to you that the borderline is goal-oriented, but she dresses up her goals with emotions. She mislabels her goals. She mistakes her goals for emotional states. That is a form of resolving cognitive dissonance.

The borderline feels uncomfortable with what she's doing. So by relabeling it or mislabeling it, she restores her equilibrium and her anxiety level is reduced.

The borderline is capable of great sadism. Any partner of borderline will tell you that.

Many borderlines are vindictive and aggressive to the point of violence that is in the secondary psychopathic self-state, in their normal state, in the classic borderline state.

Borderlines seek supply, which is narcissistic, but from a particular source, usually an intimate partner. So like narcissists, borderlines are fantasy pro. They are grandiose. They seek narcissistic supply, but unlike narcissists, they are capable of switching to another sub-state where they could become exceedingly sadistic and dangerous.


My name is Sam Vaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

Most narcissists enjoy an irrational and brief burst of relief after having suffered emotionally, after having endured a narcissistic injury, or after having sustained a loss. It's a strange reaction. One doesn't usually react with relief or with elation, but narcissists do. It is a sense of freedom which comes with being unshackled.

Having lost everything, the narcissist often feels that he has found himself, that he has been reborn, that he has been charged with natal energy, able to take on new challenges and to explore new territories.

This elation is so addictive that the narcissist often seeks pain, humiliation, punishment, scorn, and contempt, as long as they are public and involve the attention of peers and superiors.

Being punished are cathedrals with the tormenting inner voices of the narcissist, which keep telling him that he is bad, corrupt, and worthy of penalty.

And this is a masochistic streak in the narcissist.

But the narcissist, as we well know, is also a sadist, albeit a bit of an unusual sadist. The narcissist inflicts pain and abuse on others. He devalues sources of supply callously and offendedly. He abandons them, discards people, places, partnerships, and friendships, unhesitatingly.


Some narcissists, though by no means a majority, actually enjoy abusing, taunting, tormenting, and freakishly controlling others, a phenomenon known as gaslighting.

But most of the narcissists, most of them, do these things absentmindedly, offhandedly, automatically, and often even without good reason.

What is unusual about the narcissist's sadistic behaviors, premeditated acts of tormenting others while enjoying their anguished reactions, is that they are goal-oriented.

Pure sadists, non-narcissists, have no goal in mind except the pursuit of pleasure. Pain to them is an art form.

Remember the maquil design?

The narcissist, on the other hand, haunts and hunts his victims for a reason. He wants them to reflect his inner state. It is a part of a mechanism called projective identifications.

Narcissists torture and torment in order to yield results. Once these results are secure, the narcissist usually sees us, not so the classic sadist.

When the narcissist is angry, unhappy, disappointed, injured, or hurt, he feels unable to express his emotions sincerely, directly, and openly, since to do so would be to admit his frailty, his neediness, and his weakness, which he would never do.

He deplores, narcissist deplores his own humanity. He hates the fact that he has emotions, that he has vulnerabilities, that he is susceptible, gullible. He resents and rejects his own inadequacies and failures.

So what he does, 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 well-targeted abuse, his victims become abusive, vengeful, ruthless, lacking in empathy, obsessed, and aggressive. They, in other words, mirror the narcissist faithfully and thus relieve him of the need to express himself directly.

Having constructed this writhing hole of human mirrors, the narcissist withdraws.

The goal achieved, he lets go.

As opposed to the classical sadist, the narcissist is not in it indefinitely for the pleasure of it. He abuses and traumatizes, humiliates and abandons, discards and ignores, insults and provokes only for the purpose of purging his inner demons.

By possessing others, the narcissist purifies himself cathartically and exercises his demented self. Yet, when this is accomplished, the narcissist acts almost with remorse.

An episode of extreme abuse is usually followed by an act of great care and by mellifluous apologies.

The narcissist's pendulum swings between the extremes of torturing others and then empathically soothing the resulting pain.

This incongruous behavior, these sudden shifts between sadism and altruism, abuse and love, ignoring and caring, abandoning and clinging, viciousness and remorse, the harsh and the tender, these are perhaps the most difficult to comprehend and to accept.

These swings producing people around the narcissist emotional insecurity, an eroded sense of self-worth, fear, stress and anxiety. This is called "walking on eggshells".

You never know when the next eruption will occur. Gradually, emotional paralysis ensues and the narcissist's victims come to occupy the same emotional wasteland inhabited by the narcissist himself.

They become his prisoners and hostages in more than one way.

And even when he is long, out of their lives.


People often confuse masochism with self-destructiveness.

Masochism is not self-destructiveness.

Masochism is opposite of self-destructiveness.

Masochism is self-love.

Masochism causes you pleasure because you love yourself.

You're masochistic. It's the way to get pleasure.

So, masochism is a form of self-love.

Narcissist doesn't love himself because first of all there's no self. And he had been taught from early age that he is not lovable. He doesn't deserve to be loved. So he also doesn't love himself. And therefore by definition the narcissist can never be a masochist.

Masochists are people who seek pleasure via pain.

But they seek pleasure. They want to have fun.

And the narcissist hates himself or at least doesn't love himself enough to seek pleasure in any way.

Narcissists sadism and masochism appear from the outside are actually instrumental and functional. One of them is to control people, motivate them, control them and so on. It's nothing to do with classic sadism. There's no joy from the pain. The pain doesn't give pleasure. It's just a way of asserting control, establishing social order, obtaining results and in sexual settings the sadism is part of the power play that the narcissist plays in every field of his life.

And it's therefore not sadism. Sadism must have a component of emotion. The sadist loves to hurt people. He loves to cause pain. It gives him pleasure to cause pain. That's not the case with narcissists. Narcissist doesn't derive pleasure from causing pain. He derives pleasure with what he can make people do using pain. Pain is an instrument and he derives pleasure with what he can make people do with his money also. He doesn't love money. Narcissists don't love money. They love what money can allow them to do to people and they don't love pain or enjoy pain or inflict pain. They love how they can use pain to motivate people.

So it's about the narcissistic supply. These are tools. Sadism is a tool. Money is a tool. Being famous is a tool. Being feared is a tool. So these are all tools to obtain narcissistic supply.

So he's not sadist in any psychological definition and he's not a masochist. But he's self-destructive.

Not all narcissists but vast majority are self-destructive. And it appears from outside like masochism.

When the narcissist will seek masochism in sex or in discipline or when the narcissist will seek pain or hurt, wherever it is, it has nothing to do with masochism. It has to do again with obtaining goals or fulfilling functions. So discipline will remind him of love and intimacy. If he's masochistic in a relationship with a woman, it will fulfill other functions. Maybe the woman wants it. It's always goal-oriented or functional or instrumental. It's never pleasure for the sake of pleasure. There's no such thing with a narcissist.

By the way, in anything, not only sex. So I think the correct terms for the narcissist are instrumental pain and self-destructiveness.

And they move between these. When are they this and when are they this?

They are self-destructive when they are collapsed. When they cannot obtain narcissistic supply, they want to self-destruct.

And the main reason they want to self-destruct has to do something with punishment, of course, because it confirms that they are bad and unworthy and so on. So they deserve to be destroyed.

But I think on a much deeper level, when the narcissist does not obtain supply, he feels that he does not exist. And self-destructiveness is exactly like self-mutilation, like cutting. It's a way to prove to himself that he's alive.

So if you do something really self-destructive and you end up in prison, trust me, you feel very alive in prison. If you do something and you contract, if you have unprotected sex and you contract AIDS, from that moment you're very alive. It's this threat, this challenge, this horror, this destruction that wakes you up.

Nasties needs to wake up when he doesn't have supply. He is gradually, he is like the battery is running down. He's gradually all the functions are, you know, like this and he's like, like these dolls that run out of battery. And he needs to charge the battery and the way to charge the battery is self-destructiveness.

Because he failed, he cannot get supply. There's only other way left, self-destructiveness. He self-destructs, he feels sufficiently animated and he feels again alive.

Ironically, after self-destruction is when the narcissist is most productive. I wrote eight books in prison in 11 months.

First I went to prison. When I went to, when I felt dead, I needed prison to wake me up. When I was in prison, I wrote eight books. I wrote Maligna's SelfI wrote Malignant Self-Love in prison, among other books. This was my period of my maximal productivity, never before, never after.

And it's very common with narcissists.

I think that's why I think that the most important thing is the dominance of the people.

It's not because the people who are the greatest, but the people who are the greatest, the people who are the greatest.

People who are the greatest, the people who are the most important, the people who are the most important.

I think that's why I think that's why we are the most dominant, most artistic, it is important to find it along a long way.

You can do it in Iran but you might want to do it on an average basis or by having quite many people come together.

They perform the music, the music, the records, the shows, everything they do, everything at once you can do it with your hands which makes you feel better.

You are happy, you are excited, you are happy and you think "oh my God this is the best place" you are happy, you are happy, you are happy, you are happy to be here with you.

The truth is that he is the best person in Iran and he is the best person in Iran but he is happy that he is the best person in Iran and he is the best person in Iran.

The narcissist experiences a part of himself that he has no access to and that he denies and that he represses via someone else in a safe environment, ultimately, it is safe.

By not existing in these settings, the narcissist stops to exist. Someone else has the will. Someone else dictates, someone else decides the narcissist finally can rest.

The narcissist is very energy depleting, very energy consuming, and you need to control everything, especially yourself, but also the world and everyone around you, everything is a threat, everything is frightening. It is very tiring at some point.

You want to rest, but to rest, to really rest, you need to have trust.

The narcissist is paranoid, he doesn't have trust. So he needs a second in command, he needs a co-pilot. He needs to say, listen, I have to have a shot, I have to sleep for 20 minutes in these 20 minutes would you mind to take control of the airplane?

You know so he transfers the control, he transfers the will, and he can now relax, he can rest, he can sleep in a way, mentally sleep for these 20 minutes.

But if he doesn't transfer total control then the whole exercise is undermined. It is sabotaged.

He needs to really sleep mentally. When we sleep, we don't exist, we don't control the environment, we don't make decisions, we don'tmake decisions when we sleep it is a state very similar to sleep.

And in order to sleep, he needs to transfer all functions, all decision making powers. If he transfers only some functions and some decisions make power, then he needs to stay awake to control the rest.

It is a binary state, it is total, it is either or zero or hero, nothing in between.

And so when he finds someone he can trust, I mean, not to exo anyone that he can trust, he engineers a situation with zero risk in effect. The situation is safe, it is a zero risk situation, but still allows him to go to sleep.

He cannot go to sleep in the corporate headquarters when he is with the board of directors. He cannot go to sleep he cannot say, for example, in the board of directors, "John would you mind taking over?" I want to sleep for 20 minutes. He cannot do this with his wife. He needs to control all the time what she is doing, what she is not doing. He is a threat, threat is paranoia. So he needs all the time to be in control all the time to be monitoring. Is she cheating on me, is she stealing from me and then he needs to manipulate her and then he needs to supply from her and then he needs to sleep. he cannot sleep.

And indeed narcissists suffer majority of them suffer from extreme insomnia and so on. They have sleep disorders. It is very well known.

So he cannot really sleep. So he needs a space where there will be an activity, life will go on, but in a totally safe secure manner and something that doesn't matter to him really much. He is not going to lose a lot of money, like in the board of directors. He is not going to lose his wife, you know, what can he lose?

Nothing. So he comes to the dominatrix and he says "I want to sleep."

Now, you take over, take over the world for 20 minutes and he knows that when he wakes up after 20 minutes, nothing has happened, there is no damage, no race, no cost, it is cost free, except a few euros. It is cost free. It is a cost free situation that allows him to...

So he creates this haven, this enclave. Now, many people do that, not only narcissists, healthy people. So you have, for example, in very busy cities, people who suddenly go to a temple, a Buddhist temple, and all they do is they sit on the floor and meditate for 20 minutes. And that is their safe environment. And these people run mega corporations, major banks, government agencies and so on. But they need these 20 minutes of going to a safe space where they can hand over control, rest, sleep, relax knowing that nothing bad will happen and then 20 minutes later they go back to being whatever the tyrants as you call them. This is essentially this part is a kind of meditation yoga, relaxation technique.


Today I am going to discuss my two favorite topics: cruelty and... you got it right.

Sadism, why?

Because my name is Sam Vaknin and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited. I am a former visiting professor of psychology in Southern Federal University in Russia and I am on the faculty of CIAPS Commonwealth for International Advanced Professional Studies, Cambridge United Kingdom, Toronto Canada Outreach Campus in Lagos, Nigeria.

So let's delve right into these delightful topics.

Hamas has committed blood curdling, spine-chilling atrocities when it entered the territory of Israel on October 7th. I will not go into details, they are available online, the Israeli government has provided the foreign press with a 43 minute video of some of these indescribable acts and bragging about the acts by the perpetrators.

However, Hamas is only the latest in an uninterrupted series of atrocities in the modern age. In the last 100 years, we don't need to mention, of course, the Nazis everywhere, especially in concentration camps, but also in the Soviet Union, the USSR, the Allies in the Second World War, need I say Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the wars in Yugoslavia marked by the inhuman cruelty of the Croats and the no less murderous strays of Serbs. Kosovo, Rwanda, in 1994, Ukraine, currently, atrocities against civilians are an inevitable part of what is known as total warfare. In total warfare, there is no distinction between civilians and fighters. Because the civilian population can become a fighting force on the spur of the moment.

Reservists and so on and so forth are civilians when they are not in the army.

And so this distinction has been eroded to the point that today it is considered acceptable and legitimate, albeit criminal, it's a crime against humanity and a crime according to the law of war.

But still it's totally done. The United States has committed such crimes in Vietnam, in Iraq, numerous other locations, recentl this is done. And we need to live with it. This is a fact of life.

And all these acts, all these atrocities are cruel, but other is sadistic.

And here I am your favorite blue professor of psychology to the rescue and to the bridge, no cruelty is not the same as sadism.

Sadism is the art of pain. It is the art of pain. It involves creativity, it involves premeditation, imagining the acts before they are committed, gratification, pleasure in inflicting exquisite pain on another human being or group of human beings.

Sadism is often coupled with masochism, which is self- punitive. It is a way to purge a bad object or inner demons.

If you wish, sadism or masochism.

So sadism or masochism is a mental pathology. Mental health pathology. It's been first described at the end of the 19th century.

Sadism has to do with conflating pain, hurt, blood, body parts, torture with pleasure, deriving pleasure by denying someone else pleasure, deriving pleasure also by humiliating and shaming someone else, deriving pleasure by hurting someone else.

Not necessarily only physically. Sadism can be physical.

And as we came to understand in the second half of the 20th century, sadism definitely can be also emotional, social, social shunning and ostracism or a form of sadism.

Sadism is perpetrated today via social media networks.

And so sadism is about designing a stratagem, a plan of action, that drives another person to experience intolerable, unbearable, torturous pain, and then witnessing this pain with gratification, satisfaction, pleasure.

In other words, sadism is a form of hedonism. It's hedonic, not unhedonic.

Cruelty is something completely different.

Cruelty is self-regulatory.

Crility is a figment of narcissism.

Crility is the infliction of excessive pain on another person.

The pain could be again, psychological, could be social, could be physical.

And so superficially, cruelty looks a lot like sadism.

And we often say this guy is sadistic when actually this guy is not sadistic. He's just being cruel.

Because cruelty is internal.

Cruelty is for internal consumption.

While sadism is about pleasure, and similar to, for example, eating good food or drinking good wine or watching a great movie or great performance.

It's performative.

While sadism is performative, therefore outward- oriented.

The sadist definitely perceives the other person as an external object, and intends to annihilate the other person, to eliminate the other person's capacity to survive.

That's sadism.

The recognition of externality and separateness, cruelty on the other hand, involves internalization of external objects.

And this sense is highly narcissistic.

Let me explain.

Most acts of cruelty follow mortification. They are in the wake of some public shaming or public humiliation.

We become very cruel, having been humiliated and shamed and mortified and disgraced and shunned and attacked and criticized in public.

Not all of us, of course, but many of us. And the vast majority of us engage in revenge fantasies, which, coming to the bottom of it, is a form of cruelty. It's imagined cruelty. It's fantastic cruelty. It's cruelty that's never carried out, never translated into actions in real life, but still a form of cruelty.

And so revenge fantasies are very very common. I would say that, possibly, everyone has experienced revenge fantasies, having been humiliated and shamed and attacked and criticized and so on.

So here's the first linkage: cruelty is reactive cruelty is an external solution to mortification.

And I encourage you to watch my videos on mortification, especially the work of Libby, because cruelty is a reaction to mortification. It could be described as a translation, a transformation of a narcissistic defense.

The sequence is this. You're mortified. You're attacked. You're criticized. You're shamed. You're disgraced. You're exposed. You're mortified.

And then your narcissistic defenses kick in. And your narcissistic defenses push you to become cruel.

Cruelly, cruelty is intended to restore the grandiose, inflated self-perception that the narcissist, for example, has with the psychopath, same with the borderline.

So cruel people most likely have exaggerated narcissistic defenses and they would tend to be anti-social.

Another type of cruel person is the labile. The dysregulated cruel person borderlines can be very cruel when they act out. When they decompensate. Some of them become violent and aggressive.

All these forms of cruelty are intended to restore grandiosity to its rightful place.

The cruel person has an inflated self-image, regards himself as god-like or at least as chosen special, with exclusive access to the truth.

So we find many cruel people who are moral, righteous, religious, or ideological, because they believe they're firmly convinced that they possess the monopoly on the truth.

Morality is a weapon. It can be weaponized by narcissists and psychopaths. That's why narcissists and psychopaths are overrepresented in social justice, activism, and so-called woke movements and so on.

Because morality is a wonderful opportunity for the narcissist and psychopath to act or to misbehave with impunity. And so moral people are the mentalist, religious people, idealists, people who are committed to ideologies such as I don't know, Marxism, Nazism, these kind of people are grandiose because they consider themselves to be members of a select group, a chosen group, a group which is privy to some arcane, unique, amazing key to the universe. They are masters of the universe.

In this sense, same goes for example, for certain professions, medical doctors, psychiatrists, people in finance. They're the same.

Dynamic, exactly. There is grandiose that is the derivative of being a member of a collective, a club, being chosen, being selected. Being again privy to information that no one else shares.

We find the same attitude among conspiracy theorists.


And so when this grandiosity is undermined, challenged, let alone destroyed in the process of mortification, there is an urgent need to restore it because this grandiosity becomes intertwined with identity, belonging, affiliation, to certain pursuits, certain ideologies, certain religions, certain values, certain types of morality, certain codes of conduct.

This becomes your identity.

And when you're mortified, it takes your identity away from you to restore this grandiose identity.

You become cruel.

Cruelly, cruelty is unnecessary. It involves excess. It's going beyond the pay, beyond the call of duty, beyond justice. That's what makes it cruel.

And so it is a choice. It is a decision. It is a selection. You choose to be cruel. You don't have to.

There's no need to be so.

By exercising your capacity to be cruel, you're expressing dominance and control. You're being coercive. It causes what Gruenberger called elation, narcissistic elation, but not pleasure.

Do not conflate and confuse narcissistic elation with pleasure. I'm sorry, narcissistic elation is what you feel when you passed an exam with flying colors, when you went to a job interview and got the job, when your girlfriend agreed to marry you. That's narcissistic elation. It's triumphal, it's victorious, it's restorative, it restores you pleasure.

Is something completely different? As we all experience pleasure. Pleasure has nothing to do with who you are, with your identity. Pleasure is external, it's added. It's a veneer. It's not your essence. Narcissistic elation is essential because it starts in childhood, according to Gruenberger, the famous psychoanalyst.

So cruelty causes elation because it restores, previous grandiose identity and this identity relied on a sense of superiority, which is the derivative of the belief that you are somehow chosen, privileged, with access.

At the denial to others.

So for example, if you are religious, you are likely to believe that your religion and only your religion is the truth. All other religions are either partial or mistaken. If you adhere to an ideology, your ideology is the final solution to the problems of humanity, and all other ideologies, standing the way, and need to be eradicated and exterminated.

If you are a racist, you believe that other races are inferior, and so on and so forth, and you would engage in cruelty to demonstrate your hegemony, your dominance, your superiority, coercion is a way to communicate your privileged position in the hierarchy of being in the chain of being.


And so cruelty sustains a narrative, the narrative is twofold.

One, I am in a moral position to exact retribution, to restore justice, retributive justice. I am endowed with the kind of values, information and language that empower me and legitimate my decision-making as to your fate, your life and your well-being. I am in charge of you because I am superior to you and I am superior to you because I know the truth. And you don't. You are misguided, you are misled, you are evil.

consequence, it is my role to either wake you up, elevate you, enlighten you somehow to punish you, or to exterminate and eradicate you because you are an obstacle on the way to progress.

And it is retributive retributive justice. Your very being is an affront to me, an obstacle, a hindrance. I suffer because of you.

The cruel person says I suffer because of my victims. My victims make me suffer. They damage me, they hurt me, they destroy me or they seek to destroy me. There's a lot of conspiracy, paranoid ideation going on here.

Conspiracism, so they are my enemies. They are my secretary objects. I owe it to myself, I owe it to cosmic justice, I owe it to my moral and moral adherence to my religion to my ideology to my value system. I owe it to humanity, to confront, to confront my victimizes my abusers, the perpetrators, and to right the wrong, to rectify, to rectify the structure and order of the universe as I know it should be.

And how do I know how the universe should be?

Because I've been told by God, I've been told by prophets, I've been told by philosophers. I know. You don't know.

Says the cruel person.

My cruelty is justified. All I'm doing is for the greater good. I'm making the world a better place.

And yes, it involves, cretinous, prokofo, an eye for an eye, lechislon. So victimhood is a narrative that is not only about retributive justice. It's not only about competitive, grandiose, entitled victimhood. It's about restoration of the world as the Kabbalah says, fixing the broken vessels.

It's an act of redemption.

Cruelty is a form of absolution. It's good for the cruel person, for the soul of the cruel person.

But it's also good for the soul of the victim.

Members of the Inquisition, the witch trials in Salem in the 17th century, these people believed that they were redeeming and salvaging the souls of the poor witches or the poor converted Jews. That they have executed and tortured in indescribable ways. So it's about helping everyone.

Cruelly it's about helping everyone, and about making the universe a better place by reverting it to its pristine virginal primary state. It's a cleansing.

Cruelly it's about cleansing.

You can immediately say that it has very little to do with sadism because very often the cruel person suffers along with the victim. I know this sounds crazy but this is a fact.

Many cruel people, not all sadistic cruel people don't, but many cruel people do what they do because they feel compelled to do it. They feel there's no other choice. The alternative is decay and decadence and decomposition and degeneration. They feel that they need to save the world to save others, to save even their own victims. And above all, to save themselves. It's an act of salvation.

Salvatore.

So the cruel person may even experience guilt and shame over his cruel actions, may even feel egodystonic about it. This uncomfortable tormented, we have the famous speech by Haneir Himmler, the head of the Gestapo, the ice-fear of the SS telling his subordinates what you're doing is horrible. I know it torments you and haunts you I know it's but it is a sacrifice. You're making for humanity, because we need to cleanse the Jews. We need to cleanse humanity. We need to save humanity from the Jews. It's a holy work for which it's a thankless work because it will never become public. Never be known.

And you are in effect, crusaders, you're saviors and rescuers of humanity.

Similarly, we have confessions of executioners throughout the ages including very modern executioners using the electric chair or drip injections. We have confessions of executioners who are like haunted and tormented and traumatized for life. But they say it's my obligation to execute people. It's my obligation to sanitize this wound. It's my duty to destroy and kill. It's like necrotic tissue that needs to be removed.

Similarly, if you were to talk to Hamas activists or to form a Nazis or to... they all justify their actions using the argument of the greater good. They are all what we know in philosophy as utilitarian. And they all employ the Lechstalianis. They all say, you started it first, you provoked me to do it. This is reactive abuse. But of course there's no excuse for abuse.

Reactive abuse is abuse, period. It is as reprehensible as reprehensible as condemnable as horrible as any type of abuse. Who started first means nothing. Your decision and choice to engage in abuse renders you an abuser as bad morally as evil morally as your abuser.


And finally, cruelty requires the cooperation of the victim, an admission of vulnerability, of failure, of defeat, of hurt, of damage, of pain.

In this sense, cruelty is a form of shared fantasy. If you are cruel to someone and they are indifferent, they couldn't care less.

The cruelty fails, for cruelty to succeed, and be recognized as cruelty. It is the victim that should ascertain that it is feeling bad. The victim should say I am feeling subject to cruel and inhuman treatment. If the victim says what? No I didn't notice this I don't care. I haven't been paying attention.

Then there's no cruelty involved.

Cruely, it's a symbiosis, symbiotic state of mind. The cruel inflictor of punishment and the victim of the cruelty. They collude and collaborate and they agree upon the cruelty.

They say the cruel person, the tormentor, the punisher, says yes I have been cruel because I have had no choice. I have been cruel because it's payback time. I have been cruel because I'm committed to justice and retribution. I have been cruel because it's a way to make the world a better place.

And the victim of cruelty says I have been subjected to cruelty. I recognize this as cruelty. And it has had effects on me. It has had an impact on me. I'm devastated. I'm traumatized. I feel.

And so cruelty often provokes counter cruelty. It's an arms race of cruelty, who would prevail ultimately.

This doesn't happen in sadism, sadism doesn't provoke counter sadism, sadism doesn't depend on the other person's collusion, admission, confession or collaboration.

Sadism is focused 100% on pleasure. On it's a form. Sadism is a form of self gratification via an external object, whose externality and separateness are the source of the pleasure.

Cruelty on the other hand is an internalized construct. Something internal.

The cruel person feels that something is amiss. Amiss something is gone or right. Something is wrong. And he feels compelled or she feels compelled to rectify it, to set it right, to restore it, to redeem it.

It's almost a religious experience. Cruelty and so in matters of public affairs and politics, we usually witness cruelty, not sadism. And that's why it's easy to stop it.

Sadism can never be stopped. Sadism is a character trait. You're a sadist until the day you die.

But cruelty is situational. And when the situation is perceived to have been resolved either via defeat or via triumph, then the cruelty stops.

And the cruel person and his victim can then coexist, co-survive, and even collaborate. This would never happen between the sadist and his victim.

His victim is an eternal victim. The sadist is an eternal sadist.

Okay, I hope I succeeded to cruelly clarify the distinctions between cruelty and sadism and I wish you non-sadistic, not cruel. Day wherever you may be.

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