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Can You Mortify Borderline, Psychopath

Uploaded 6/2/2022, approx. 15 minute read

Just informed me that my viewership has declined so precipitously that I have to pay them for placing advertising on my videos. Gotcha! Was just kidding.

But, had it been real, had it been true, I would have suffered a massive narcissistic injury on narcissistic mortification.

This is the topic of today's video.

Can you modify a psychopath? Can you modify a borderline? And most importantly, do you want to do that?

If your life expectancy is anything to go by, you may wish to reconsider.


Okay, Shoshanim, my name is Sam Vaknin. I am still a professor of psychology, despite everything and I'm the eternal author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited.

Let us get to the point after two brief service announcements.

First one is I may be visiting Budapest in Hungary at the beginning of July. There's a link in the description to a Facebook event. If you're interested to attend, please register.

Number two, I'm providing counselling services. There's a link in the description. Click on it and follow the instruction to make me richer.

Not richer, Grannon, just richer.

Let's get straight to the pleasure of modifying, injuring, devastating, ruining in Geschlimfe, which is an old German word I just invented, a psychopath or a borderline.

Let me find my notes. Here they are.

We all know by now, at least those of you who have been unfortunate enough to watch my videos, you all know that there is something called narcissistic modification.

Narcissistic modification is not like being insulted or being slighted. It's not just about narcissistic injury, which we are going to discuss a bit later.

Narcissistic mortification is the total disintegration of the narcissist defenses, including his false self.

This process is clinically known as decompensation.

When the narcissist is shamed and humiliated in public, in front of sources of supply or people he looks up to, then he's mortified.

The public element is very important and the shaming and humiliation are critical to obtain mortification.

Narcissists react with narcissistic injury to any loss of supply.

I encourage you to go to my channel or what's left of it and to find the video that I've made about deficient narcissistic supply.

The recent video, about a few days ago, that I've made about what happens to the narcissist.

How does the experience collapse?

Narcissistic injury is coupled with a loss of supply.

Narcissistic mortification is the outcome of public shaming and naming and humiliation.

Later in the video, those of you who survive will be able to listen to my expounding upon what is exactly narcissistic injury.

How is it distinct from narcissistic wound and narcissistic scar?

But before we go into this finally academic terrain, let us ask a more basic question.

Can you do this to a borderline? If you shame a borderline and humiliate her in public, in front of people who matter to her, people whom she values, can you induce narcissistic modification in a borderline?

And another question, how can you do the same to a psychopath?

And of course, the third question, why would you want to do this?

Well, there are good reasons to induce modification in a narcissist.

When you mortify the narcissist, he's never ever going to hoover you again. He's going to be so scolded, so terrified of you, so traumatized by you, so near suicide.

Because mortification leads to a profound major depression, which very often results in suicidal ideation.

So narcissist is going to be very wary of you. You're going to represent a life threat.

So mortification leads to utter no contact initiated, this time by the narcissist, no hoovering.

It's very useful with narcissists.

Why would you mortify a borderline? Why would you mortify a psychopath?

And are these wise things to do?

Before I answer these questions, I need to explain what constitutes mortification in a borderline and in a psychopath.

It's distinct from the narcissist.

The borderline starts with injury or mortification to abandonment, rejection, and ironically, to engulfment.

When the borderline's intimate partner gets too close to her, she feels a threat. She feels that he's about to assimilate her.

The enmeshment, the merger infusion, threatens the borderline. And this is known as engulfment anxiety.

Much more strongly, the borderline reacts to any threat, real or imaginary, of rejection and abandonment.

Now, the thing with borderline is because they have dysregulated emotions, because their emotions overwhelm them, drown them. They are not firewalled against emotions and they cannot regulate the intensity or the occurrence of emotions. That is the inner landscape of the borderline's psyche and world.

So, because of this, any injury, what would have constituted injury with a narcissist, rapidly escalates into mortification in a borderline.

We can generalize and say that borderlines are only mortified. They are very, very rarely merely injured. They go from zero to hero or from zero to 60 in no time.

And so, borderlines react with mortification to abandonment, rejection, humiliation, and on the other hand, to engulfment.

What happens to the borderline when she's mortified? All her defenses collapse.

One option is that she becomes a secondary psychopath. I have a video about this. Of course, I have a video about everything. It's a video about the secondary psychopathic self-state of the borderline. It's a defensive, protective posture, but it involves very dangerous behaviors, collectively known as acting out.

These behaviors are reckless, self-destructive and other destructive.

Mortification in a borderline leads to very, very risky outcomes to everyone involved, not least the borderline herself.

The only positive aspect of mortification as far as the borderline's intimate partner is concerned is that it tends, in the long run, to tamp down her aggressiveness and even to offer a modicum of self-regulation.

When the borderline is mortified, to cut a long story short, it becomes pseudo-normal, almost normal, even though this phase of normalcy is limited a bit in time.

So, here's the sequence.

Abandonment, rejection, humiliation or engulfment, mortification, decompensation, losing all the defenses, acting out risky, reckless, defiant actions, including aggression and violence, cheating, drinking, shopping, you name it.

So, acting out, but then the acting out abates, the secondary psychopathic state reverts to borderline.

The borderline besieged by shame and guilt and other negative effects is mortified and for a while she quiets down. She's at peace with herself and with others. She's contemplative, she's ponderous, she just sits back and kind of reviews her actions and her life, attempting at least to derive some lessons.

So, there is a phase of normalcy that follows mortification.

Sometimes there is no other choice in intimate relationships with the borderline or even in therapy with the borderline. There is no other choice but to induce mortification knowingly. It's a very risky proposition. It's playing with fire, but sometimes there's no other way, exactly as there is no other way with a narcissist.

With a narcissist, my cold therapy, the treatment modality that I had invented actually induces a state of mortification in the narcissist by re-traumatizing him. There's no other way to get to him.

So, while mortification with the borderline does have some positive outcomes, I strongly recommend against trying to modify a psychopath because psychopaths are likely to react with aggression, violence, vengefulness and phenomena like stalking.

So, the psychopath reacts with narcissistic injury.

Psychopaths and borderlines have grandiose defenses. They have grandiose cognitive distortions, very similar to the narcissist.

And this is why all the self-styled experts online confuse narcissists and psychopaths because narcissists and psychopaths share the commonality of grandiose, but little else actually.

So, psychopaths are grandiose and anyone who is grandiose, including for example someone with the bipolar disorder, there's a manic phase which involves grandiosity. In psychosis, there is a lot of grandiosity in psychotic states. There's a lot of grandiosity as any founder of any major religion. So, grandiosity is everywhere. It's not unique or limited to overt narcissism or to narcissism, pathological narcissism. It exists in psychopaths.

So, you can then injure, narcissistically injure or narcissistically modify anyone with grandiosity, psychopaths included, and they react with injury to frustration. The psychopath is goal-oriented but unable to delay gratification. He is impulsive. He is reckless. He is defiant. He is contumacious. He hates authority. He wants everything now. So, he is goal-oriented but impatient to obtain his goals in the majority of cases. Any hindrance, any obstacle, any setback, any defeat, any failure, induce into psychopath enormous frustration and as Dollard and his collaborators in 1939 had taught us frustration often leads to aggression.

Indeed, the psychopath tends to become aggressive, potentially violent, definitely always vengeful when he is confronted with frustration.

But there are two other situations when psychopaths endure narcissistic injury and even mortification.


Allow me to frustrate you by drinking some water and make a pint glass of water.

Psychopaths react with injury and mortification to frustration but they also react this way to losing out.

Psychopaths are heavily invested in winning. It's all about winning. Even in romantic relationships, it's about winning the partner from other potential partners.

The psychopath competes with other potential partners for the so-called intimate partner because psychopaths are not capable of intimacy. It's all a power play. It's all a mind game. That's why psychopaths gaslighting, not narcissists. It's all a mind game and a power play and it's all about scoring points, being on top, winning. It's a competition. Life is a competition and everything in it is a competition.

So the psychopath is heavily emotionally invested, affected in winning the race, being on top, being the boss, calling the shots, determining the outcomes my way or the highway.

So when the psychopath loses or perceives himself as having lost, he becomes very, very angry. There's a lot of aggression there and he endures, loses his injury and even mortification.

Similarly, when the psychopath is played or conned, when he's cheated and scammed, he reacts extremely badly because the psychopath is grandiose. He's the cleverest of them all. He's the smartest man in the room. He can never ever be gullible or cheatable. No one can deceive him. No one can put the wall over his eyes. I mean, he knows everything exactly like the narcissist and when he is played or conned or cheated by someone, he goes haywire. He becomes very dangerous.

Ironically and strangely, the narcissist reacts with injury or mortification only in highly specific situation, loss of supply, public humiliation, but not when he's played or conned and not when he loses because he has no conception of loss.

Narcissists are heavily dependent on other people.

So this landscape of power plays, mind games, gaslighting, competition, winning, being on top, cheating others and deceiving them, but never being at the butt of receiving your own medicine, frustration.

This is all psychopathic. It's not narcissistic.

The self-styled experts who teach you otherwise online are misleading you with extreme misinformation because they don't have a clue what they're talking about in the vast majority of cases.


Okay, time to clarify some terminology.

What is narcissistic injury and what's the difference between injury and wound, narcissistic wound and narcissistic scar, which is my coinage.

Narcissistic injury is an occasional or circumstantial threat, real or imagined, to the narcissist's grandiose and fantastic self-perception, to his false self.

Narcissist believes himself to be perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, brilliant, entitled to special treatment and recognition, regardless of his actual accomplishments or lack thereof. Any challenge to this is of information that undermines this grandiose filter, this cognitive distortion, is narcissistic injury.

So what's the difference between injury and wound?

Narcissistic wound is a repeated or recurrent, identical or similar threat, real or imagined, to the narcissist's grandiose and fantastic self-perception, to his false self.

In other words, a narcissistic wound is a repeated narcissistic injury, which is of the same nature.

If the narcissist endures a series of injuries, all of them around a specific topic, a specific person, a specific circumstance or event, a specific failure or defeat, but all of them thematically connected, all the injuries share the same theme, then there is narcissistic wound.

It's like the injuries accumulate and create a wound.

What is a narcissistic scar? A narcissistic scar is a repeated or recurrent psychological defense against a narcissistic wound.

Such a narcissistic defense is intended to sustain and preserve the narcissist's grandiose and fantastic self-perception, his false self.

It's perfect, omnipotent, omniscient and entitled to special treatment.

Now, it is because of the narcissistic scar that once you had modified the narcissist, thereby causing a life-threatening narcissistic wound, he is not likely to return to you. He's not likely to try to over you or ever make any further contact with you because the wound cannot be covered by a scar. There's no scar tissue that can cover this deep and profound wound as mortification is.

All three types, the narcissist, the borderline and the psychopath, react with rage to narcissistic injury and narcissistic mortification. The rage has two forms, two variants.

One is explosive. Cluster B personalities flare up. They attack everyone in their immediate vicinity. They cause damage to objects and people and they are verbally and psychologically abusive. They can also maintain a high level of arousal, high level of anger and rage for prolonged periods of time and then plot vengeance against the source of frustration.

The second type of rage is pernicious or passive-aggressive rage. That's more common in covert narcissism, for example, or in type one, factor one, psychopathy. So pernicious, passive aggressive rage is when the cluster B personalities who had been subjected to injury and mortification, Salk, they gave the silent treatment. They plot how to punish the transgressor and put her in her proper place.

There is a lot of vindictiveness involved. This type of people often become stalkers, dangerous stalkers, they harass and haunt the objects of their frustration. They sabotage and damage the working positions of people whom they regard to be the sources of their mounting wrath.

As you begin to see, cluster B have so many commonalities that the new approach in psychology is to unify all of them, to consider all of them as facets of a single underlying personality disorder.

This is something I've been advocating since 1995. It's a long time ago. It's overdue in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, but it had been incorporated, this approach had been incorporated in the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases, the World's DSM.

So we are beginning to find confluences, congruences and conflations of various aspects of personality, Cluster B personality disorders.

And in this case, there's the question of injury and mortification, which lead to almost identical reactions of rage, explosive and passive aggressive.

Thank you for listening. I hope I didn't frustrate you too much. Actually, I'm lying. I hope I did. And don't rage back at me. I am not the one placing ads on the videos. I fought it for 13 years and I failed.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Narcissistic Mortification: From Shame to Healing via Trauma, Fear, and Guilt

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