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Coming to Grips with Your Narcissist (with Coach Eleanor Schuyffel, Coaching Comeback)

Uploaded 11/24/2021, approx. 1 hour 21 minute read

I'm glad to have you here. Is it okay for you to do that?

I'm recording and you can record now, if you want.

Okay. Is it okay for you that I introduce myself and then announce you?

Of course.

I would like to know as well.

Yeah. Okay. I'm Coach Eleanor. I'm a therapist, a licensed therapist, and my specialties are communication and relationships. And I just started a YouTube channel, Level Up with Eleanor, and also give online training and online sessions. So it's an honor for me to introduce you.

It's such a special thing for me, and I follow you for seven years. So if for me, it's like a celebrity, because I know your face so well. And yeah, it's very special, and I'm very grateful for it.

You're a professor in finance, but also in psychology in several universities like the Southern Federal University in Russia, and the Center for International Advanced and Professional Studies, CIAPS, it's called. And of course, the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited. How can you forget if you look for seven years?

Yes, indeed.

Yeah. If you're not familiar with Narcissism, this is called the Bible of Narcissism. And if you're familiar with Narcissism, it's a shame if you don't have it on your shelf.

Thank you.

It's a religious book. Yes. And of course, you write a lot of books and ebooks and everything.

So we will agree. We will agree on a commission on the sales later after the interview.

But you deserve it. And I'm going to welcome you and thank you for this opportunity.

Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. You're based in the Netherlands, I understand.

Yes.

Okay.

So yeah, it's a little bit of accent, but I hope it goes well.

It goes well.

So I have a lot of questions. Sure. And let's start with the beginning. When and how does narcissism develop?

In what age? And in what way?

Narcissistic personality disorder cannot be diagnosed before age 18. And some scholars say 21. However, it begins to develop. It can begin to develop.

Starting at age two, it's a phase that in healthy people is called separation individuation, where the child separates from the parent and begins to constellate a self, begins to form a self.

If the parent is good enough, as we say in psychology, then the parent, especially the mother, lets the child separate, encourages the child to separate, provides the child with a safe base so that the child can explore the world and return to mummy whenever the world becomes too threatening or frightening.

But if the mother is selfish, depressed, absent, narcissistic, etc., if the mother instrumentalizes the child, regards the child as a tool, for example, tool to realize her unfulfilled wishes and dreams. If she parentifies the child, if she forces the child to be the parent and she becomes like a child, in all these pathologies, and of course, if she abuses the child physically, verbally, sexually, in all these pathologies, the personal growth and development stops.

And what the child does instead, the child creates a false self, a fictitious sort of imaginary friend, which has all the attributes of God. This imaginary friend is all powerful, all knowing, brilliant, perfect, everything the child is not. The child is helpless and small and not so perfect, but the false self is God.

When the child begins to develop a private religion, the child sacrifices himself to this God, he sacrifices his true self.

And from that moment when the child had suspended himself, all that is left is the false self and we have a narcissist in effect.

So most commonly, narcissism begins to form between ages two and four.

So before that, they didn't experience love or empathy.

Before the age of two, you mean?

The earliest that narcissism can begin to form is age 18 months, because prior to 18 months, we have a situation called symbiosis or merger fusion, where the child does not regard himself as totally separate from his mother.

Only when separation is attempted and fails, only then narcissistic defense kicks in.

And that could happen earliest 18 months, but it's rare because it takes a few months for the child to realize that he is being frustrated, he's not allowed to separate, he's not allowed to become an individual.

And the child accumulates enormous rage, enormous anger and enormous shame.

The two engines of narcissism are anger and shame that could not be expressed properly because the child cannot be angry at mommy. Mommy is the source of life. Mommy gives food and shelter.

And so the child cannot legitimately be angry at mommy. The child is ashamed of himself.

And this go on throughout life.

And the narcissist is a time bomb of shame and rage.

And when that develops at two, four years, but after that experience, they have a better life, let's say that they get adopted.

Is it getting better then?

Yes. Up until early adolescence, essentially of the logical narcissistic defenses, because we don't have yet a personality disorder. We have defenses up until early adolescence, let's say 12, 11, 12, 13 maximum.

It is still possible to reverse the process and to begin to form a relatively healthy, constellated self. There will be problems with attachment in such people. So there will be insecure attachments, various forms of insecure attachment. There may be antisocial traits, a bit psychopathic, like defiance. There may be behavioral problems. Usually there are, there will be social sexual precocity.

In other words, the early sexual experiences and unusual sexual experiences, there will be depression and anxiety. And later in life, there will be substance abuse. So the damage, the damage done between two and four can be reversed in the sense that there will not be a full fledged narcissistic personality disorder, but the damage to the child is long lasting in a variety of other ways, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, sexual misbehavior, and so on.

Yeah, I used to think in the early days, there's maybe with the difficult people, they have a kind of wall around their hearts. But I learned from you, it's an empty shelf.

But is there anywhere like a morning child in the purse, in the narcissist? Is there a morning child or is it really an empty shelf?

Yeah, so I've just released a video and a dialogue with Richard Grannon on the narcissist as a grieving infant.


The narcissist, the true self remains inside the narcissist. And true self, of course, is a metaphor. No one captured the true self in the laboratory. It's a metaphor. It simply means the core, what we call the core, the outcome of introspection, even very primitive introspection, the boundaries that surround this introspection.

So the true self remains, but it is fossilized. It's ossified. It's stagnant. It's static. There's no dynamics there.

So in many respects, it's in a vegetative state. It's like in coma. But it's there. And the child mourns, the child grieves over what could have been. The child is frustrated and so on.

But he also starts a very early process of mourning and grieving of what could have been, the potential, the wasted potential, the life unlived.

And this grieving goes to this very day.

I just participated in a documentary by Mark Vicente. And in the middle of the documentary, I started to cry because I have narcissistic personality disorder.

Yes. Yes.

You know, yes.

You know, so the documentary was so triggering and I was forced to go into very many details.

Yeah. That at some point I started to cry uncontrollably. Theuncontrollably.

The grieving is there all the time. The mourning is there.

Yeah. And the narcissist is an infant. The emotional age of narcissist is at the most nine years old, but usually much more usually, much more typically, it's two to four.

And the majority I would say is two. So these are infants. These are toddlers in adult bodies with no adult equipment as far as mood regulation, emotional regulation with a lot of sadness, a lot of sadness and anger and shame.

Yeah.

So there's a form of sentimentally, and do you cry because you're a psychopathic narcissist.

I learned that.

But did you ever cry just for the end of the Titanic or something? Are you sentimental?

Yes, of course.

Narcissists and psychopaths are capable of crying. I cried at a movie, the movie in the notebook. And so Titanic didn't work for me, didn't work for me, but there were others.

Okay. So they're capable of crying.

But in the case of narcissists, it's mostly self-pity. So it's less about empathy, less about empathy. It's more about self-pity.

Okay. And with psychopaths, it could be a mechanism known as displacement.

Psychopath is unable to experience emotions at all, much worse than narcissist.

Narcissist is so.

And so the psychopath displaces his emotions to a safe environment. And a safe environment is a movie.

If you cry at a movie, it's okay. But if you cry with another human being, that human being can take advantage of you, can abuse you. So that's dangerous.

To show vulnerability to another person. It's very dangerous.

But to cry at a movie is safe.

So the answer is yes.

But there is a core of grieving with a narcissist.

By the way, not with a psychopath.

So many of the things I say apply only to narcissists, but not to psychopath.

Psychopathy is a totally different etiology, projectory, and so on.

But psychopath is born that way, like biology, or a narcissist is made.

Well, that's a simplification, but it has a kernel of truth.

Psychopaths have definitely brain abnormalities and physiological abnormalities.

Yeah.

They have structural, structurally, their brains are different.

The electrochemical conduction and activity in the brain, multi-unit activity, as it's known, is very different.

Skin conductance, skin conductance in psychopaths is not like, not like LC people, not like even narcissists.

And there's no fear reaction on a physiological level. Although there's a lot of anxiety today, we know that there's a lot of anxiety, but there's no, like the anxiety doesn't get true to the body.

There's a divorce with the body.

Okay. The body does not manifest or express internal states in psychopaths. It does in narcissists, but in psychopaths, a breakdown.

So yes, psychopathy has a very big component of brain and body.


Why narcissism is mostly the mind.

So if you are born with a psychopathic brain, and on top of that, you experience bad parents, then you get a narcissism easily, is more easy.

Well, first of all, we don't know, we don't know what came before what. We don't know if the psychopathy shaped the brain or the brain shaped the psychopathy because we don't do experiments on six months old people.

No, no.

So we have no idea what came before what.

In other words, this is correlation, not causation.

Yeah.

That's the first thing.

The second thing, psychopathy can be diagnosed very early. It is known as conduct disorder. Conduct disorder is psychopathy for children, psychopathy light.

So it can be diagnosed early.

Narcissism cannot. Narcissism is much more complex phenomenon than psychopathy. So it cannot.

And grossly speaking, I would agree with you that narcissism is a dynamic and psychopathy is a state.

So psychopaths, probably psychopaths, by the way, like borderlines, borderlines have exactly the same etiology. They have brain abnormalities. They have brain abnormalities and so on. And that's why today we are thinking more and more in academia, at least we are thinking to that borderline personality disorder is psychopathy for women is female psychopathy.

Okay.

Over specific type. It's known as factor two psychopathy. So we think it's secondary psychopathy of women and all these conditions have one thing definitely in common trauma. So if the psychopathy is born with a abnormal brain, the trauma will trigger this brain and shape the personality.

If you just leave the brain as it is, and there is no trauma, the person is very unlikely to become a psycho. It's not destiny. Same with the narcissist. Same with the borderline.

So we find trauma in all the case histories of these people. And so we're beginning to think that maybe all these are post-traumatic conditions, not personality disorders, but post-traumatic conditions.

There is a big revolution going on now in academia. Big change in thinking.

Okay. So maybe there's a solution somewhere or a better help.

Yes. That's very hopeful message because we know very well how to treat trauma. We have big success with trauma therapies, especially body centered trauma therapies.

Okay. And we are taught that we fail totally to treat personality disorders. It's total failure.

So if we switch our focus in our view and we say, wait a minute, we should treat these people with trauma therapy, not with CBT or with trauma therapy. I think there will be a lot more success.

And I have developed my own treatment modality, which is trauma center, trauma based.

Yeah. And so I think that's the right approach to these disorders, to treat the underlying trauma.

And then there is a process of maturation. Once you get rid of the trauma, each treatment modality has its own way of getting rid of the trauma. But once you get rid of the trauma, what you're left with is a baby, a child. And you need to help this child grow into the adult body where it is residing right now.

So there are two steps. In all these treatments, there will be two steps, trauma- related treatment and then child psychology, actually.

One of the huge mistakes, one of the big mistakes is that we are trying to treat narcissists and borderlines and psychopaths as though they were adults. We negotiate with the narcissists. We make contracts for reliance. There are poetic aligns with the borderline. We talk reason. We try to reason with the psychopath. In other words, we treat these people as though they were adults, but they're not adults. They are children.

We must use techniques from child psychology, not from adult psychology. That's a huge mistake. That's why it's not working. Nothing is working.

Yeah, it seems that it's better to understand it for them if they get another kind of...

But I don't think it's a good idea to say this is a kind of psychology for children, and now we're going to put that on you. So yeah, that's a little bit for, especially for the kids.

Narcissist, we have to call it another name, a special name for...

Yeah, it's a little bit of this.

I called it cold therapy. My therapy is cold therapy. Cold therapy is actually child psychology.

It's based 90% on child psychology and 10% on a process called re-traumatization, which I did not invent. This process was invented in 1985 by four others. So I re-traumatize the narcissist. I make the narcissist go through trauma again, and then the grandiosity is destroyed, the false self is destroyed, and then the narcissist is a child.

Yeah, and the cold empathy also has the autistic people. Do they have also cold empathy?

We don't believe so, but here's the problem. Autism is exceedingly ill-defined. Autism spectrum disorder today, the clinical term is autism spectrum disorder. There's no more Asperger and all this. We don't use this anymore. Autism spectrum disorders, we don't even know what causes them. We don't know the cause. We don't know if it's genetic, if it's brain, if it's upbringing.

There was a theory once of refrigerator mothers, mothers who are very cold and detached, which is nonsensical nonsense. It's not true.

Then there's a theory about genetics, but no one found the gene, any gene. Then there's a theory about the brain, but we cannot find brain abnormalities so much in autism. Although clearly it's neurodevelopmental disorder. It has something to do with the nervous system, but we can't locate it.

But we distinguish two types. We distinguish high-functioning Ottis, people with high-functioning autism and regular conventional Ottis. High-functioning Ottis are very, very similar to narcissists or even psychopaths in behavior, in inability to understand social cues, in social interactions and so on.

One of the elements appears to be lack of empathy. High-functioning Ottis appear to lack empathy, but when we study them in depth with psychological tests and so on, we discover that they do have empathy and that they have full-fledged empathy, not like narcissists.

So the answer after this long introduction, the answer is no. People with autism spectrum disorder have full-fledged empathy like healthy normal people. They have severe problems expressing empathy, very severe, but this has to do with social deficiencies, social deficits, much more than with psychological ones.

We talk a lot about narcissism, lack of empathy, and especially lack of love.

But when I think about the borderliners and codependents, they, as you say, the supernova empathetic, they say, oh, I feel ultimate love and it's so special, but isn't that just an addiction instead of love? Because it's so tough. It's like overwhelming. It's an overwhelming kind of addiction more, and it's not like a Buddhist, let go.

I wonder if borderline and codependents really love or and say, oh, the narcissist doesn't feel love, but I think, do you feel love or are you just addicted?

It's tricky.

Again, I come from academia and my original degree is physics, actually. I am a physicist. My PhD, my first PhD is in physics, so I'm a bit of a physicist in my mind.

And so we hate in physics to discuss words that are fuzzy, undefined.

Yeah, like love.

It's very difficult to tell what is love, but I think operationally or behaviorally, if you really love someone, you accept them as separate from you.

If a mother really loves the child, she will push the child away, not push the child towards her, but away from her.

If you really love another person, you will give that person the space and time to be himself or herself.

Any situation where you are trying to prevent the other person from separating and individuating, you are replaying maternal dynamics which are sick and healthy. You are being that bad mother.

If I love a woman and I don't allow her to be separate from me, I don't allow her to be herself, an individual, then I'm like a bad mother. I'm not allowing her to separate an individual.

And this is very common in codependency, or the clinical term is dependent personality disorder, and very common in borderline personality disorder, where these people, when they so-called love, they actually use the intimate partner. They use the intimate partner to regulate their internal states.

So the intimate partner becomes an external regulator. The intimate partner becomes responsible for the emotions and the moods of the borderline, for the well-being of the codependent.

And this creates what we call merger or fusion. They become one.

Yeah. It used to be called symbiosis. They become one entity, one organism.

Now that is the exact opposite of love.

Yeah, it sounds romantic. To become one together, no.

It's about destroying the person, the other person.

Yeah. Because you need to destroy the other person in order to assimilate him, it's like eating food. You can have a loving relationship with caviar. But when you eat the caviar, and you love caviar, yeah, but when you eat the caviar, you are destroying it.

No? That's what you're doing.

Yeah.

It's the same. You love this intimate partner, but when you eat your intimate partner, you are digesting him, you're destroying him.

Yeah.

And the borderline needs to internalize her intimate partner, because he fulfills for her many critical functions.

For example, the regulation of sense of self-worth. That's why she has a huge abandonment anxiety, because she outsources, she outsources many things to him. He should make her feel happy. He should regulate her mood. He should make her feel stable. He should make her feel self-esteem and self-worth and self-confident. It's his responsibility. It's his job.

And so if he abandons her or rejects her, or she thinks he is, she is in panic. She's an absolute state of panic.

And this is known as separation insecurity. That's a clinical term, separation insecurity. Popularly, it's known as abandonment anxiety.

So borderline have this abandonment anxiety.

Now co-dependence are even worse because they blackmail. Co-dependence, in many ways Machiavellian, they blackmail. They use emotional blackmail to obtain outcomes from the intimate partner.

That's not love. There's anything but love. The other person becomes a slave through emotional extortion.

So the codependent and the borderline very frequently would threaten suicide or fall apart visibly so that you can see them falling apart. I will tell you, I can't live without you, which is a horrible sentence to say to anyone. I will tell you, I can't function without you. I must do this for me. This is not love. This is use and abuse.

And is the fear of abandonment, is that almost the same as the narcissist has?

Because borderline and narcissists are having that both. So it's a difference in it.

Yeah, the separation insecurity, that's a clinical term, is the diagnostic criterion only in borderline, not in narcissism. But both of them have abandoned this. Both of them have it. Both of them have abandonment anxiety.

Why?

The borderline needs her intimate partner to keep herself stable, to stabilize herself. In a variety of ways, emotionally, mood, sense of self-worth, she uses the intimate partner to stabilize.

The narcissist needs the intimate partner to feel that he exists. Narcissists feel that they exist only when they have supply.

So the main role of the intimate partner is to provide secondary supply, a type of supply. And this supply makes the narcissist feel alive. And so the narcissist is in total panic when the intimate partner threatens to leave, or seems to be abandoning or rejecting, the narcissist falls apart because he doesn't exist without someone's gaze.

The narcissist needs to be seen. If he's not seen, he is not.

So the main function of the intimate partner is to see the narcissist all the time, to see the narcissist and to communicate to the narcissist that he is seen in the grandiose way that he sees himself. So that's the main role.

And if the intimate partner doesn't do that, the narcissist falls apart. So both of them have abandonment anxiety, definitely.


Okay.

That's, yeah, they have it all, both, but it's not the same. I have, most narcissists like to be called the biggest jerk. But if you say you're just a friendly face in the crowd, that's for me, I rather be a friendly face in the crowd. I rather have, yeah, someone say that to me, then I feel good, but someone says bad names and it's not so good.

So I heard you say lately, but this is all for me. It's all for me. It's all for me.

This is also because if they are a loser, the biggest loser or the biggest victim or the failure. And that's what's a little bit surprised for me because, so it's all about standing out of the crowd.

Yes.

Before I answer this question with your permission, there's something I want to add to the previous question.

Both borderlines and narcissists have something called object in constancy or object impermanence. It means that if the intimate partner is not present physically, they have difficulty to maintain a representation of the inner partner in their minds.

So the borderline out of sight, out of mind, when she is not with her intimate partner, she has difficulty to remember him. If borderlines, some borderlines cannot remember his face. That's as bad as that.

And narcissists are the same. They have object in constancy. So when the intimate partner is not there, they're terrified like little children that have been abandoned by mommy.

Okay. So that's about the previous question.


Now about this question.

The narcissist wants to be unique.

Sui generis, special, unprecedented, one of a kind. That's what he wants to be. One of a kind, anything. One of a kind, rich, one of a kind, powerful, one of a kind, intelligent, one of a kind, handsome, like me, one of a kind.

But if he cannot be any of this, it's okay to be one of a kind loser, unprecedented failure, amazing victim. And that's what you see online today. Nonsense, nonsensical concepts, which have no bearing on psychology, like empath, like emotional flashbacks, like shy borderline. These are actually narcissistic people who want to feel special. So they feel special as victims.

Yeah.

They feel special. I'm not a regular borderline. I'm a special borderline. I'm a shy, quiet borderline. I'm not just any victim. I'm an amazing victim. I'm the victim. There's never been a victim like me and my abuser is the worst abuser that has ever abused on this planet. And that makes me a galactic supernova empath. I'm not kidding you. There is a supernova in empath.

Yeah. And similarly, emotional flashbacks, which are nonsensical, absolutely nonsensical term propagated by non-academics like Pete Walker and others, they make you feel special. It's about feeling special.

And one of the main functions of feeling special is to get rid of personal responsibility, which is why narcissists are never personally responsible. Because if you're special, you can't help it. If you are unique, that means special rules apply to you because, and then you are not responsible, you're not accountable. You can't be expected to be like everyone else, to obey the same rules and regulations, to follow the same procedures and to yield the same outcomes because you are very special. You're an empath. You have emotional flashbacks for you. You are a shy, quiet borderline and so on.

So the position of uniqueness, one of the main functions, the position of uniqueness is to get rid of personal responsibility and accountability. And the other function is of course to sustain a grandiose defense.

But it had penetrated. And now you see whole movements of so-called victims and self-styled victims who present themselves as angels, have no fault, come to wrong, have been 100% victims of a force of nature known as the narcissist, you know, and so on. This is self-aggrandizement.

These people are covert narcissists, actually. They just don't like it. And that's why a lot of people want to stay in the victim role.

If you want to help people with therapy and they resist, they resist, they become furious, they become aggressive. Yeah, they don't want, they just like it in the victim role and they don't want to get out.

So, and then it's a therapy fault if they don't succeed. But that's, that's difficult.

Recently, last year there was a study published by GABAI, G-A-B-A-Y, and 20 others, a series of studies, actually three studies, and they suggested a new personality construct. They call it the T-I-V construct, the interpersonal victimhood construct.

So they say that some people would defend their victimhood aggressively, would refuse to exit from victimhood, because they make sense of the world through victimhood.

Victimhood imbues their life with meaning, direction, goal, victimhood, make them special and noticeable. These people were nobodies, but then they went online and they have 20,000 followers. So, they had to make sense of the 20,000 followers, you know, now there's somebody, and there's somebody by virtue of being a victim.

If they were to announce tomorrow, I'm no longer a victim, I take responsibility for my contributions to the relationship, for my bad choices, for my mental health problems, if they declare this tomorrow, they will be left with 20 followers, not 20,000.

So they have a vested interest to perpetuate and regrettably this applies to many self-styled experts online with and without academic degrees.

They malevolently, in my view, perpetuate the victim myth and the victim's stance with the aim of making money, simply. Not to mention that the vast majority of them have no clue what they're talking about, never published a paper on the topic, never participated in any conference, never studied the issue, and they declared themselves experts.

But the big ones, the ones with hundreds of thousands of followers, they are the ones who perpetuate deliberately, deliberately, a victim's stance in perpetuity forever. And they keep selling to these victims retreats and books and, you know, and counseling and so on, because it pays, it's very profitable.

These people are criminals in con parties. They are. And I don't care if they have a doctor in front of the name.

Yeah, if the clients go away, because you say this is also your responsibility, you you can get out earlier, then you can work with someone. But if you, you can write a book, or you can give therapy, and you can change it around. And you can, if you take another kind of approach, they stay longer. Just say, oh, yeah, you're such a good person. Yeah. And then they stay longer. I can do that. But I can't.

But I know, I know.

Yeah, the people stay, because it's also on the internet, it's more sensational to have pretty stories and oh, look what he did.

Look what he did. And poor me.

But if you say, oh, I take responsibility, and that's boring.

That's not a story in it.

True. And it's manipulative.

It's a manipulative technique. This is all outcome or integrated with very important social trends. Victim, victimhood had become a bone tone, become a very dominant organizing and explanatory principle

in modern life. Everyone is a victim. Because of sex, because of race, because of where you live, because of circumstance, everyone is a victim. People define themselves more and more as victims. It was shameful when I was born. When I was growing up, this was shameful to be a victim. People were hiding it. They were hiding it. They never told anyone that they are victims. Today, it's a badge of honor. Everyone goes online. They just discovered wonderful news of a victim. So there is this. There is also hatred, hatred of intellect, expertise, knowledge and science. Absolute hatred.

And if there is some idiot who claims to be an expert on narcissism and spews utter unmitigated rubbish and nonsense. And on the other hand, there is one of the world's leading experts on narcissism, academic expert.

People will not listen to the academic expert.

I will tell you a small story.

In one of my videos, I refer to Otto Kernberg. Otto Kernberg is the father of our modern understanding of borderline personality disorder. Definitely.

I mean, Otto Kernberg is 80% of everything we know about borderline personality disorder.

So I refer to him in some video and I said to people, go to this channel and watch his video.

So people were writing to me. He has no idea what he's talking about. It's total nonsense.

Mrs. Munch Dogg or some other idiot online, she knows borderline. He doesn't know borderline.

Some idiot who declared herself expert on borderline. So no credentials, no degree, no studies, no papers, nothing. Just came out of the blue and declared herself an expert.

And so people, when they compare the real expert Otto Kernberg to her, they mock Kernberg. There is a hatred of academe.

So people would get medical advice from the neighbor, but not from Dr. Fauci. Because he's a doctor.

There's a hatred of this anti-intellectualism, anti-expertise, which builds in with populism. And people, the minute you say you're from academe, no one would listen to you.

Yeah, that's strange. That's very interesting.

But I can't understand because maybe they are stuck with the normal kind of people with their own level.

No, grandioseity. Can we later?

No, grandioseity. You know as much as Dr. Fauci. You know as much as Sandaknin about narcissism. You know as much as Kernberg about borderline.

I mean, who is both?

Kernberg has his view and you have your view. You're equal. You're just equal.

Actually, you know better than Kernberg because you have two friends with borderline. So that makes you an expert.

Or you read a book by some guy who invented a nonsensical concept of emotional flashbacks and that makes you an expert on emotional flashbacks. And you make a fortune from selling on this nonsense. Everyone's making a fortune.

So there's money corruption and grandioseity involved. It's an irresistible combination. Some people get to the White House on this combination. Money and grandioseity.

Like Donald Trump.

Yeah, that's what you say about Trump because I think about it now. The biggest loser.

It's a bridge. It's a bridge to Trump.

If you say the biggest jerk, I can imagine. But if you are okay with calling the biggest loser, is that only with a go-fart or also with a grandiose or have grandiose narcissism don't like to be called a biggest loser?

No, they don't mind. As long as they're unique.

It's not just any loser. It's the loser of all time.

So Bernie Madoff would be proud that he pulled the greatest con artistry in human history. He wouldn't mind that you call him a con artist, a criminal, a horrible person. He wouldn't mind that at all.

Just remember his crime was the biggest. The losses were the biggest. The victimhood was the biggest. Just to be the biggest, the unique, the special, the unprecedented. This is grandiose. We call it locus of grandiose.

So grandiose can be located. It has a locus. The location doesn't have to be that I'm the best, I'm the most, but it could be I'm the least, I'm the worst.

Some narcissists say I am the worst criminal. I am a monster. I am amazing. Amazingly evil. There are narcissists even online with YouTube channels who are saying this. I'm the most evil person you will ever meet.

So this is a grandiose thing.

You also heard about the narcissistic cycle, the cycle that starts with love bombing. Can you explain something about it?

Yeah, I was actually the first to describe the narcissistic cycle in 1995.

I borrowed, I borrowed a few concepts, put them together. The cycle starts with idealization or actually co-idealization.

The narcissist needs to feel that he is special and ideal in any way. And so he chooses a partner. He chooses a potential source of narcissistic supply, which he calls an intimate partner. And then he idealizes her.

Now, why would he idealize her?

Because if she's ideal and she is in his life, then he's ideal.

For example, if his partner is the most intelligent woman on earth and she chose to be with him, that means that he is the most intelligent man on earth. So it's a process of co-idealization.

The co-idealization is done through love bombing and grooming. And love bombing and grooming involve a very, very poisonous and nefarious tactic.

The narcissist shows the intimate partner her idealized image. He exposes her to her idealized image. And the partner falls in love with her idealized image.

Many women, if you talk to them, many victims and so on, they would say, I love the way that he loved me. Or I love the way that he saw me. Or I love the way that he talked about me.

So the target of the victim, which would become the intimate partner, she falls in love actually not with a narcissist, but with herself as seen through the eyes of the narcissist.

In other words, the narcissist infects the intimate partner with narcissism. She falls in love with herself with her idealized image.

And then following this stage, the idealization persists.

Now, the problem with the idealization is that the narcissist cannot relate to external objects exactly like the psychotic. He has difficulty to relate to external objects.

And that's why Otto Kamber in 1975 suggested that borderline disorders and narcissistic disorders are forms of psychosis. That's why it's called borderline.

It's on the border with psychosis.

Oh, okay.

So he said they're forms of psychosis. And he was right.

The narcissist cannot interact with external objects because of abandonment, anxiety, grandiosity, and so on. So he takes these objects and he converts them into internal objects in a process that I call snapshotting.

The clinical term is introjection. He introjects external objects. He puts them in his mind.

So if I were to interact with you on an intimate basis, let's say, I would take a photograph of you, a snapshot. I would put it in my mind. And from that moment on, I will continue to interact with your snapshot, not with you, your gun. I continue to interact with my internal object because then I feel safe. My internal object will not abandon me, will not criticize me, will not challenge me. It's a safe object. So I will go into my mind and continue to interact with Ilianor in my mind only because the Ilianor out there is dangerous. It's threatening to my balance, to my stability.

But this creates a problem because the snapshot doesn't change. It is a static representation. It is an avatar, like an icon on a smartphone screen. It never changes.

But you, you change. You travel, you meet new people, you grow, you develop, you disagree. You change all the time.

So gradually there is a gap opening between the real you and your representation in my mind. There's a big gap opening.

And when you diverge from your representation in the narcissist mind, the narcissist gets frustrated, angry at you, and aggressive because you refuse to be static. You refuse to be the snapshot. You insist to be autonomous, agentic with agency, you know, and it infuriates the narcissist.

He's rageful. He wants to destroy you. And he really wants to destroy you. He converts you to a persecretary object. You're like an object that is persecuting him, like an enemy.

And then there is a process called devaluation. The narcissist needs to get rid of you because you become a source of pain and you become a threat. So he needs to get rid of you.

But how to get rid of you?

He idealized you. So how can he explain to himself that he made a mistake?

I mean, narcissists never make mistakes. They're infallible. They're perfect. They're good-like. They never make mistakes.

But now he wants to devalue you. And that means that he was wrong.

So what he says, I was right then. She had changed. It's not the same woman. It's another. She changed so dramatically. I don't recognize her. It's not the same woman that I had idealized. And this is called devaluation.

And then after the devaluation, the narcissist gets rid of you. And this is called discard. This is the cycle that I first described in 1995, more or less.

So it's a good trick to say, OK, I'm internalizing the woman. But it's not a good trick because, yeah, they wake up and they see, oh, she has an own opinion. She's changed. And so they are not aware that they internalize it.

No, they're not aware.

They're not aware.

Interjection is an unconscious process.

Yeah.

They're not aware.

And even if they went over and over again, they don't.

I didn't go into all the details because, for example, there is something called projective interjection and projective identification.

So the narcissist, when you start to deviate, when there's a sunlight, when there's a gap opening between you and the snapshots, the narcissist tries to force you back into the snapshot. And he's doing it using two mechanisms.

One is known as projective identification. And the other is known as projective interjection. So he tries to force you to behave in a way that conforms to the snapshot. And then he tries to make you believe it. He tries to.

And this is what we call gaslighting. He tries to change your behavior by changing your perception of reality.

This is projective identification. And then he tries to make you believe it, to make you feel that it came from you, not from him. And this is called projective interjection.

But I didn't go into all this. It's much more complex than I described.

But in a nutshell, this is it. These are the more or less the dynamics.

Yeah.

And in a way, it's like that, that he, in his perception, you changed.

Yes. So in his perception, it's a truth.

So yeah, I cannot change, but you change malevolently. You did it on purpose. You change on purpose to frustrate him and to attack him and to, because narcissists have paranoid ideation. They're hypervigilant. They are what we call hypervigilant. They scan all the time. Are you insulting me? Are you attacking me? Are you challenging me? Are you, all the time they're scanning all the time to see who is attacking them, who is insulting them, who, and this is called hypervigilance.

So if you disagree with the narcissist or if you just go to work and come late, return late or whatever, you are doing this on purpose. You're doing this to destroy the snapshot. You're doing this to destabilize his internal system, because here's the problem. If one snapshot is destroyed, the whole concept of snapshot is destroyed. It's like the black swan. You can say all swans are white, but then there's one black swan and the sentence all swans are white is wrong. So if one snapshot collapses, the very idea of snapshot, the very concept or mechanism of snapshot is in doubt. And then all his mind disintegrates, falls apart. That's why narcissists react disproportionately, because you are not threatening. It's not just a small misunderstanding or for them, even the smallest misunderstanding threatens the totality of the internal space, the mind, which is populated with snapshots, with internal objects. Everything you do threatens the narcissist existence. If you withhold supply, if you disagree with it, everything you do.

So devaluation is inevitable. There's no way to avoid it.

Is it like they wake up, really wake up in shock, and they want to change it?

By this kind of situations, after the cycle is round, then they wake up.

It's not a bad metaphor. The shared fantasy is a dream state.

It's a dream state. That's why narcissists do not future fake. Future faking means to promise a future and then to lie about it. Narcissists believe that the fantasy is real.

So they're in a dream state.

And the devaluation phase is a good analogy, what you just said. The devaluation state is a little like waking up and realizing that it's not becoming a nightmare. Everything collapses. Everything falls apart. The shared fantasy, the internal objects, everything falls apart.

And so the narcissist must get rid of you. You become really threatening.

Yeah.

And if it happens all over again in his life, waking up, dreaming, waking up, don't they think, Oh, maybe it's me because it's always the same with me. Maybe I do something wrong.

The narcissist has what we call alloplastic defenses. That means they tend to blame other people for anything wrong, mishaps, misfortunes, failures, defeats, everything is someone else's fault. Someone is envious of the narcissist.

So this creates with the narcissist, ironically, it creates an external locus of control.

The narcissist feels that his life is controlled from the outside. That's why he is so furious. That's why he has narcissistic rage because he feels that you control his life and you are then abusing your control by diverging or deviating from the snapshot. He gave you control of his life. That's a responsibility. You should remain static. You should remain frozen forever. You should be a mummy, Egyptian mummy, you know? So and a mummy, a mummy like a mother and Egyptian one. So these are the elements of the shared fantasy.

The shared fantasy is a space of suspension. It's a space of absence. It's a space where both the narcissist and you become emptiness, become non-existent and are replaced by narratives. Both of you are replaced by narratives.

And if you undermine your sabotage on narrative, that's a really, really evil thing to do. You must be evil to do this.

And the narcissist has these alloplastic defenses, so you're always guilty.

But there is another issue. Even, for example, someone like me, I'm not only fully self-aware, but I established most of the field. I invented the language, right? So no one can be more self-aware than me. I think no narcissist can be more aware than me.

So I know I'm going into a shared fantasy. I popularize the concept of shared fantasy. I explained it to the world. I mean, I know I'm, and I can't help myself. I keep, if I meet an intimate partner, I will immediately descend into fantasy. I will immediately trigger a fantasy and I will then inhabit the fantasy and believe in it as though it were reality. And no amount of telling myself, this cannot be, this cannot happen. This is not true. This is delusional. You are lying. You're confabulating. This is nonsense. No amount of such that's internal dialogue will help, because this is, because early on, in my case around age four, I have learned that the only safe existence is true fantasy. The reality was life threatening. In my case, it's not a meta, it's not just a phrase. In my case, my life was threatened repeatedly as a four-year-old.

So the only safe place was a fantasy. So it's the only way I relate to the world when I want to feel safe.

And of course, with my intimate partner, I want to feel safe. So fantasy.

Yeah, that's interesting. Very interesting that you know it rationally, but when you feel it, you take it on.

Sigmund Freud said that insight without emotion does not create the cognitive insight without emotions, does not create dynamic. He said it doesn't create dynamic.

You need an emotional compliment to the cognitive realization. So if I realized what I realized, but this doesn't provoke me any emotions, an emotional response, I don't internalize it.

Similarly, memories cannot be formed coherently and cohesively without emotions, which is why the narcissist has no memories. That's why the narcissist is highly dissociative, because he doesn't have emotions that allow him to form memories.

The lack of access to emotions, especially positive emotions, because the narcissist has negative affectivity. He has anger, he has envy, but he has no access to positive emotions.

So the lack of access means that the narcissist has no identity. Narcissist has no continuity, no memories, no ability to relate to reality.

Nothing. All these processes and the insight is meaningless, doesn't create dynamic.

Memories of the lubricant, memories of the lubricant.

And narcissist has no lubrication. The friction stops the system. It's a frozen system.

So they are confabulating, I heard you say a lot of times about confabulating.

But if you point out to a narcissist, look, this and that that that happens, can you give them the memory back?

No.

First of all, psychopaths lie a lot. Narcissists rarely lie, because to lie means to make an effort for someone. It's a negative effort, but it's still an investment.

You have to think about the lie, you then have to tell the lie, then you have to defend the lie.

So there's a lot of investment. And narcissists don't think anyone deserves this investment. So it's like they are God. I mean, why would they bother what you think?

So they're not lying. But they do confabulate. And confabulation and lies, they look very much the same, but they're not the same because they have different technology.

There's different reason and motivation for confabulating.

The narcissist has enormous memory gaps. Depending on the narcissist, anywhere between 60 and 90% of the narcissist's life is unremembered.

In my case, I made a test once with myself. I wrote down everything I remember about my first marriage. My first marriage lasted eight years. I wrote down everything I remembered from my first marriage and then took each thing I remembered, I assigned the time.

So for example, I remember walking together, so that would be 10 minutes.

Okay. So to each item, I assigned the time it takes to fulfill this item. And I remembered about 24 hours.

Oh, that's not long now.

Yeah, that's surprising.

Yeah, that's surprising.

So narcissists remember between 40 and 10% of their lives.

Now this is very difficult and very problematic because when you talk to other people, when you interact with other people, when we do that, we present, I mean, when people, healthy people, normal people talk to each other, they present a continuous facade of continuity.

There is an assumption of personal continuity, what we call identity continuity. So the opposite of identity continuity is identity disturbance.

So narcissists and borderlines have identity disturbance because they're not continuous.

Now the narcissist tries to compensate for the memory gaps. By the way, the borderline doesn't strangely. The borderline has a lot of dissociation in stressful events, for example, but she just says, I don't remember. She doesn't bother to invent, but the narcissist is grandiose any, but the narcissist is grandiose. He cannot say, I don't remember. That means he is not omniscient. The narcissist is all knowing. He knows everything like God. So what do you mean?

I don't remember miss. I don't know.

Narcissists can never say, I don't know. Narcissists know everything. Physics, biology, politics, history. Every narcissist knows everything. Even if he didn't graduate primary school, he's the world's leading expert on everything. So he cannot admit that he doesn't know.

So because he cannot admit, he invents stories to bridge the memory gap.

He remembers A and then he remembers C and he says, what could have happened between A and C?

How did I end up in C when I started in A?

Ah, most likely it was B.

That's the most logical, plausible, reasonable explanation.

To get from A to C, probably I went through B. And then he says, actually I went through B. And then he says, it's true that I went through B. And then if you attack him and you say, but you couldn't have gone through B, you couldn't.

He says, he becomes aggressive. He becomes very defensive. He says, not true. I remember clearly going through B.

Yeah. Clearly.

And he believes it as a fact.

Yes.

He believes that's why narcissists don't lie. They don't perceive it as a lie. They perceive it as a fact.

Yeah. They protect, defend it as a fact.

And so this is a collaboration. These are bridges connecting memory islands.

Because the narcissist's memory is like many, many small islands, archipelago.

While a healthy person's memory is like a continent, a contiguous continent.

So the narcissist's bridges, these are bridges.

And the confabulation must be plausible. So the narcissist's confabulation makes sense.

And very often they mislead people. People believe the narcissist because the confabulation makes sense.

But then if you begin to do research and investigate and study, you find out that, wait a minute, this part of the story cannot have been true. Cannot have been true.

But if you tell the narcissist this, it really comes crazy. It goes crazy.

And that's also something to do with gaslighting.

Because they say something and they think it's true. And then they gave it back to you as their perception of reality.

Precisely.

So psychopaths and narcissists gaslight for totally different reasons.

The narcissist gaslights defensively. He is defending his personal integrity, continuity, self-image, and so on. He gaslights you because he wants you to tell him, okay, that's not a confabulation. It really happens. You're right. Nothing's wrong with your memory. Everything is okay. What you remember is true. So it's defensive.

The psychopath gaslights manipulatively. It's in order to obtain a goal, to take your money, to have sex with you.

So he would gaslight for a purpose. It's going to be called a goal focus, a goal-oriented gaslight.

Okay.

And what you said about your memory, is that also a result of how you look back at your childhood. Like you only remember a little bit about your childhood, but also about your marriage.

The minute you use some mechanism in childhood, for example, fantasy defense, dissociation, forgetting, the minute you use some mechanism in childhood, it becomes entrenched. It goes well into adulthood.

That's the essence of psychology. I mean, that's what we think in psychology. The developmental stage is critical.

And so attachment style, for example, it's almost impossible to change attachment style. Nevermind all the nonsense online. It's almost impossible because attachment style is created very early on with what is called the internal working model. It is created very early on.

Same with dissociation as a defense. Dissociation is simply, some things are so intolerable, so horrible, so frightening, that it's better to not remember them.

So this becomes automatic. It becomes a habit. It's habit habituation.

And you continue to dissociate on your life.

Same with fantasy. Fantasy feels good, feels safe.

So you continue to fantasy.

How to get rid of these things? How to get rid of these things without providing an alternative? And what is the alternative?

Because if I take away the confabulation, you're left with the dissociation.

Take away the fantasy, and you're left with the narcissist's broken, damaged mental illness. Fantasy allows the narcissist to believe that he's normal, not common, not average, but functional. The fantasy allows the narcissist to believe that he is self efficacious, that he is agency, that he can make things happen, and so on.

Take this away from him. What do you leave him with?

The realization that he's utterly broken, damaged, deficient, deficient, and hopeless.

Take this away from him, and you make him a borderline, actually.


Okay. So if there's therapy, if there's therapy like you said it, are you getting to the point to open their eyes?

Because if you have to give therapy like that, they become a borderline, and then you have to give borderline therapy.

So yeah.

It's much easier to treat borderline than narcissism, because borderlines have empathy, and they have emotions.

Disregulated, overwhelming emotions, but they have emotions.

So it's much easier, and therapy with borderlines is much more successful.

DBT, for example, the electrical behavior therapy, is 50% successful with the borderlines within a year. In other words, 50% of people who receive DBT lose the diagnosis of borderline personality.

Borderline personality disorder also heals spontaneously, the spontaneous healing. 81% of borderlines by age 45 don't have borderline anymore. It's a totally different animal, and so it's preferable to transition the narcissist to a borderline state.

Now, this is not me, this is a scholar by the name of Grotstein. By the way, the shared fantasy was first described by Sander in 1989, SANDER.

I like to give credit to people that I invented. And similarly, the idea that you can transition a narcissist to a borderline state is not mine, it's Grotstein.

Grotstein was a major scholar of personality disorder, and he said that when the child is confronted with trauma and abuse, the child tries to become a narcissist. Jung said the same and Freud said the same in different ways, never mind. He tries to become a narcissist, but then if the child fails to become a narcissist, for example, if the parent keeps challenging the child's grandiosity and does not allow the child to become a narcissist, then the child remains stuck at the borderline level.

So the phases are trauma and abuse, borderline state, narcissistic state, and each of these phases you can get stuck. You can get stuck in the trauma phase forever, so you have a post-traumatic condition, complex trauma for life. You can get stuck in the borderline phase and then your borderline, or you can graduate to narcissism and then your narcissist.

When I re-traumatize the patient, I take away the false self, the grandiosity, what is left is most definitely a borderline, but then it's much easier to work, especially with a young borderline.

So when I take away the narcissism, I have a four-year-old or nine-year-old or a six-year-old or a two-year-old with borderline features and that's relatively easy to work with.

I think it's very painful for a narcissist to be broken like that.

In level one, which is first phase, there is suicidal ideation. Because as you realize, borderlines, they have a lot of suicidal ideations and self-mutilation and so on, and 11% of borderlines commit suicide.

And that's how 11% of them end.

So when I transition the narcissist by re-traumatizing it, by breaking it, I'm simply breaking it.

When I transition him to borderline, immediately of course, there is suicidal ideation and which to commit suicide, attempted suicide.

So level one in cold therapy is one-on-one, 24-7. I'm with the patient, literally in the same, sometimes in the same hotel or apartment. And I never leave the side of the patient for 24 hours for seven days. After seven days, it disappears.

But there is a risk. In 40% of cases, there's a risk.

Yeah. Well, that's very intense. And in a narcissist, so the borderline is 11% and for a normal narcissist, is there also?

No, narcissism is an adaptation.

It's a positive adaptation. It works very well against pain, ego, destiny, shame, guilt.

So narcissism works.

Why we cannot cure narcissism, why we cannot heal narcissism is because it works. It's a positive adaptation. It creates problems with interpersonal relationships, at work, in society, but for the individual, it protects the individual from a lot of damage.

And many narcissists would say, if the alternative is borderline, I want to be a narcissist. And many borderlines would say, many borderlines say, I wish I were a narcissist. They don't feel pain.

Yeah.

That's maybe, it would be a good metaphor to wake up.

And when you are a narcissist, suddenly are normal or did you ever think about it to be, to how it is to be not a narcissist?

Are you okay with it? Or are you?

Yeah.

I'm grieving and I'm said that 90% of life has been denied to me. Hervick Leekli in 1942 wrote the masterpiece, Mask of Sanity. And he was describing narcissists. He just didn't know it.

So he called them psychopaths. And he wrote, it's a life unlived.

Jeffrey Seinfeld used the same phrase. He said, it's a life wasted, a wasteland and a life unlived. It's a waste.

It's a feeling of waste. I don't have children. I never experienced love. I was never happy. It's not a pleasant thing to be a narcissist.

And that's why we have grandiosity as a compensation. Most overt narcissists, covert narcissists are much closer to the baseline. They experience this state. They are much more egodystonic. They're much less happy, much less comfortable with their narcissism.

Overt narcissists are actually, according to Hervick Leekli and many, many others, overt narcissists actually are kind of borderlines. They have very powerful emotions and so on. And to suppress this and to compensate, they have this grandiosity.

So they say, I'm happy with who I am. I'm the best. I am happy, go lucky. Nothing can touch me. My way or the highway, you know, they are this kind of bravado and braggadaccio and swagger. This is compensatory.

Today we know it's compensatory.


The recent thinking in the last two years is that narcissism is compensatory.

There was a huge debate which lasted, easily lasted 50 years in psychology.

Whether narcissism is a compensation for inferiority complex, whether the narcissist internally feels inadequate, does the narcissist feel internally that is inferior, that is a failure, that is defective, that is deficient, and then trying to compensate for it by putting a facade.

I'm God. This would be the compensatory approach.

And the other approach was in the debate, the other approach, no, narcissists are really like that. They're really happy with who they are.

And today, gradually, we reached the conclusion definitely that narcissists are compensatory.

This debate is decided.

But if narcissists have lots of and many times narcissistic supply, are they most of the time happy?

Because all the supply, not happy, but it's superficial.

Yes, not happy, but egosyntonic. Egosyntonic means they feel good, comfortable, elated, so on. Like a high. Narcissistic supply is a drug. It's a drug.

These people are junkies. Narcissists are junkies. We consume narcissistic supply in the same way other people consume cocaine. And with the same effects. We are elated. We are in the air. We're high.

Yeah. And real junkies are not happy along the line. So yeah.

There is an underlying.

Yeah. Only at the moment. And then, yeah, you have to search for another shot.

It's compulsive. It's compulsive.

Yeah. The search for narcissistic supply is compulsive. It's compulsive.

And the patterns in the narcissist's life are what is known as repetition compulsion.

Narcissist repeats the same patterns, same mistakes, same outcomes, same pattern, same mistakes, same outcome, etc.

At infinity. Until he dies.

Yeah.

And what about border liners? Are there more female border liners and more men and narcissists?

Not anymore. Not anymore.

It used to be, definitely used to be, but with cultural and social changes today, the narcissist of 50-50 men and women used to be 75-25.

So even in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Edition 4, text revision, it was the year 2000, it was still written that 75% of narcissists are men.

But most recent studies show that there is equality. Women are becoming more and more narcissistic, much faster than men. A bigger number of women are becoming narcissistic than men.

There is even a school that thinks that shortly, and I can see the reason, that shortly majority will be women, not men.

Also a growing number of women are developing psychopathic traits and defenses. So they're becoming more psychopathic.

Presumably the outcome of centuries and millennials mistreatment and suppression and abuse and so on, it's very common for victims to adopt the point of view of the abuser.

So if you're in an abusive relationship, it's very common for the victim to try to become the abuser in some way, to emulate the abuser, to imitate the abuser, to adopt the values of the abuser, to begin to behave like the abuser, because it's like, if I become the abuser, I cannot be abused.

So women are becoming the abusers now. They are imitating abusive men. Not men, not men, but abusive men.

This is narcissist. Both the lines are still majority women. Yes.


Okay.

And do you think there's a possibility that that is a reason because of their childhood?

Because a girl is treated differently, so you can cry and you can be soft and a boy needs to be tough. And it's the different kind of style of growing up.

There's scholars like Lisa Wade, Gary Couvak and others, and they use the term the stalled revolution, stalled, S-T-A-L-L-E-D, revolution that's stalled.

In various tests, in various questionnaires and so on, women are defining themselves today in classical stereotypical traditional male adjectives.

So today, a woman of every eight adjectives that a woman used to describe herself, seven, used to be exclusively masculine.

This is called the stalled revolution. The same thing is not happening with men. Men are not becoming more feminine. They still use the same words to describe themselves. Their self-reception is still masculine, but women are becoming more masculine.

Now, the problem is that women have adopted role models of masculinity, which are unhealthy role models, essentially role models that used to be narcissistic men or bullies, narcissistic, I mean, bullying men or psychopathic men. Women did not adopt the totality of masculinity. They actually adopted toxic masculinity as a model.

And this is across the board. It's absolutely across the board. I'll give you one example if you wish. 81% of college students, female college students, now agree that the only kind of legitimate sex is a one-night stand, which used to be 100% men's perspective, but not every man, the wrong kind of man. So they adopted the chauvinistic men point of view, the stereotypical men point of view.

It's one example. I can give you many others.

So there is a very bad process going on, very bad process where everyone is converging on psychopathy and narcissism as the solutions for modern civilization as the organizing and explanatory principles and as the right motivation.

So in July, 2016, new scientists, which is a major science magazine, had a cover story. And the cover story was parents teach your children to be narcissists. And we have academics like Kevin and others, they are glorifying and glamorizing narcissism and psychopathy.

They say that psychopaths are very good for humanity. They are the next stage in evolution. They make excellent leaders and excellent surgeons and excellent military commanders. And we should have psychopaths and narcissists are very good in companies because they have vision. They see the big picture. They motivate people with fantasy.

These are academics. There's a whole movement now, not small, glorifying, glamorizing, legitimizing, and codifying narcissistic and psychopathic behaviors and traits as very good adaptations, positive adaptations that should be not only tolerated, but encourage and inculcated in the next generations.

Of course, mass media is also broadcasting this because you see in mass media, narcissists are successful. Psychopathy and politics, someone like Donald Trump, what can I say? Imagine Donald Trump comes to me for therapy. Imagine we can all always fantasize. He comes to me for therapy.

And I say, Mr. Trump, I have very bad news for you. I've tested you with MMPI and MPI. You are malignant narcissists. And I can help you. I can cure you. I can heal you or treat you. And we say, what for? Why would you treat me?

I'm rich.

I'm powerful. I had the most beautiful women in the world. I have a private jet. I was the president of the United States. Why do I need treatment? He doesn't need treatment.

In modern civilization, his narcissism brought him very far. And you have all these Tony Robbins and coaches, and they tell you, you have a giant inside. Everyone has a giant inside. Even someone with 60 IQ, he has a giant inside, presumably giant with 60 IQ. And if you just think about it, it will happen. This is magical thinking. It's a pathological thing that is common with infants, with children under the age of two. Magical thinking.

So magical thinking became very, very widespread in society. You have coaches, and they tell you, just think very hard what you want, and the universe will arrange itself to cater to your needs. You don't need to work. You don't need to study. You don't need to learn. You don't need to fight. You just think. You just need to think what you really want. This is totally sick message. And what is a giant within? Who is a giant within? Most people are victims. Monkeys. What giant?

So you can say that to everyone, but it sells.

So we have a narcissistic and psychopathic culture.

And of course, narcissists and psychopaths. Narcissism and psychopathy is a positive adaptation in narcissistic and psychopathic cultures. It pays by crime.

You hear it now around that. You used to have narcissism as it was a bad word. And now people say, nah, but you need to be a little bit narcissistic to be successful. But that's how they look around. And they see Trump and they think, oh, I have to be narcissistic to be successful. That's hearing you everywhere now. So that's not a good thing.

Not a good thing, because narcissism is the opposite of success.

No narcissist succeeds.

See how Donald Trump ended his presidency.

Donald Trump went bankrupt eight times in his life. I think it's a world record. He got divorced. He's a total failure. Donald Trump is an enormous failure because he destroyed every accomplishment he ever had, even though he had an enormous starting advantage.

So narcissists always end badly. They destroy everything and everyone around them. End of story. There's no case in human history of a narcissist who succeeded. No such thing.

From Alexander McDonald, to Donald Trump, not one narcissist succeeded.

Jaiya Bolsonaro in Brazil. Wherever you look, they make a mess. They make a mess because they're children. They're children tasked with adult chores and responsibilities, which they cannot handle.

So they're not stable.

And that's the main reason because, yeah, and the confabulation, it's not doing a good thing if you are that high.

So Donald Trump, if you say he's the biggest failure, I hear you say, but he wouldn't mind if you say he's the biggest failure. So it's okay for him.

Yeah. First he's the best and then it's the worst. And if he has attention, it's good.

He presented himself during the campaign. He presented himself as the guy who is going to destroy, not the guy who is going to build, but the guy who's going to destroy. He's going to destroy Washington. He's going to destroy the establishment. He was going to be a destructive force. So he didn't mind being the big destroyer, as long as it's the big destroyer, not just average destroyer.

Yeah. It's also like President Obama has also narcissistic traits, but if you compare it with Trump, everybody sees Trump as a narcissist, but Obama comes a little bit like, oh, he's soft. He has empathy.

And how can you explain that the difference?

I was the first to write articles about both of them. I wrote article in 2008 before Obama became presidential candidate. And I warned that he's a narcissist and we'll take over the White House. That was a joke at the time. He was just, you know, a congressman. And then I wrote an article in 2016 before Donald Trump decided to run for, and I said, he's going to decide to run and he's a narcissist and he will destroy the United States. So I'm the first who pointed both of them out.

Barack Obama is much more sophisticated, much more intelligent. So he's much better at hiding his grandiosity, but I agree with you fully is at least as narcissistic as Donald Trump, at least.

Yeah. I think a lot of people fall for it because he has a sense of humor and he seems very social.

They are social. We have pro-social and communal narcissists. It's a phrase that I coined in 2000. I wanted to describe narcissists whose locus of grandiosity is in working for the community in being charitable and altruistic, in being moral, morally upright. That's also grandiosity.

Yeah. In giving a lot. That's also grandiosity. So I described the pro-social communal narcissist. It's an Obama is like that is a pro-social communal narcissist.

Okay.

It's like also like charity and people who do a lot of charity, but also brag about it.

Yeah. Also for the attention. Or for power.

They can maybe not brag about it, but they will use it for power. They will manipulate other people or something.

Okay. But they will then, for example, these are the people who are morally perfect. You're always wrong. You're always the sinner. You're always there. So many religious figures are pro-social communal narcissists. They, you know, they have direct line to God and they communicate daily. I mean, God consults them how to manage humanity.

So.

Yeah. That's, um, um, I have a question about, uh, receiving applause, receiving admiration, validation, and, uh, we all like that. All people would like to have a good, uh, meaningful, uh, yeah, response, but is the way of how a narcissist receives applause very different than we receive applause is because it feels good for me. It feels good also.

So I, oh, thank you. Thank you very much.

But a narcissist is the difference. Narcissist needs it. And, uh, I'm not necessarily needing it, but if I have it, I'm very happy.

Or what's the difference?

We all need to, uh, only admiration sometimes.

Quite a few differences.

I hope for you.

First of all, the narcissist compulsively pursues this. He forces his environment to give it to him and he becomes very aggressive and frustrated and angry and so on if he doesn't get it.

Second thing, the narcissist uses narcissistic supply to regulate his internal environment. So without supply, he doesn't feel that he exists. He needs the supply. You don't need the supply.

He needs the supply.

And the third thing is you always maintain your reality testing.

Um, if I were to give you a compliment, you immediately assess it. You immediately ask yourself, does it sound real? Do what I know about myself. Sit well with, with a compliment. And if it doesn't, if the compliment is counterfactual, if it doesn't, if it violates your reality testing, you reject the compliment. You will not, and it will have no impact on you. On the contrary, it can make you even a bit angry or this guy can't do it. Disgusted or it will have a narcissist doesn't have this. He doesn't compare the narcissistic supply with any reality principle, with anything real. And because his grandiosity is infinite, has no limit, anything goes. You can tell him anything and he will accept anything. It's extremely easy to manipulate narcissists. They're very gullible.

They, their need for supply means that you can do anything you want to them as long as you flatter them and tell them what they want to hear.

Yeah.

I heard you say something about the narcissistic cycle. I don't know if I, because it was one or two sentences you, you put on it. It was about, in a, in a class it was, it's a narcissistic cycle, what you explained.

And then you said, if you want to manipulate a narcissist, you go backwards. You go backwards in the cycle.

And I, it was, it wasn't in a workshop or something, but a lot of people, I thought, oh, that's very interesting. So how does that work to go back?

Well, the last, the last thing from the cycle is the value discard. And then you go back. So if, and you're getting hovered, you're getting hovered again.

So if you, as, as the victim get hovered, you turn it around. Okay. You, you push it around, you get this card and then, yeah, I have to devalue and then go backwards. And then love bombing comes.

So narcissist reacts much more strongly. If he feels that he had converted you, that you were not a believer. And then he made you a believer because that strikes him as more real.

So if you think, if you thought that I'm an idiot and then we talk for two hours, then you say I'm a genius. That is much more valuable for me than if you came and said from the beginning that I'm a genius because I had converted you.

So it must be real. I must have done something that, so this is a reverse cycle.

You start with devaluation. You're an idiot. And then gradually you give me the chance through actually essentially kind of love bombing and grooming and shared fantasy. And I bring you full circle to say that I'm a genius. That has higher value.

But narcissistic supply, there is high grade supply, low grade supply, fake supply. Not every supply is treated the same by the narcissist.

If someone with 60 IQ tells me that I'm a genius, and if a professor from Harvard tells me that I'm a genius, theoretically both of them are saying the same words.

But of course, the Harvard professor's words, they are much higher grade supply. They will have much more effect on me, much more long lasting effect as well. I will keep replaying it and I will use my intimate partner as a witness to this conversation so that she can replay it for me.

But in this transaction where the Harvard professor says you're a genius, it's also reverse engineering. Because when I first meet the Harvard professor, he doesn't know if I'm a genius. And by not saying that I'm a genius immediately, he's devaluing me. I perceive it as devaluation.

And then I talk to him and after one hour he says, you know what, you're a genius. That's it.

Conversion. It's religious, I told you. Narcissism is a religion. Like missionaries converting the natives in Africa. They're very proud. And this converts in some ways, they are more valuable than the people who were born into the religion. Because they showed the power of the religion. Conversion shows the power of the religion.

Because if you're born as a Catholic, you're born. Nothing you can do about it. But if I convince you to become a Catholic, it shows that Catholicism is true. It has power or Islam or whatever. So it's a grandiose thing.

Yeah.

So I hear you say 60 IQ or a professor. That's a distinguish. The professor is more special.

But I also heard you say people are not special. But is that referred to a relationship?

That's because I heard you say it in class and a woman gets very sad about it. And because you told her, you're not special, you're not special for me. Everybody is the same. But if you have a woman as a partner, and she's dropped that gorgeous fairy, or someone who's not attractive, 60 IQ, one is special. I think how can no one can be special?

It's not that she's special.

She's representative of her class. So I would replace one gorgeous woman with another gorgeous woman. But both of them are not special. They are representative of their class. So all gorgeous women are interchangeable, like grains of rice. You will not say that rice is coffee. Yes, not say rice is coffee. But you will also not say that the grain of rice is special.

So there is commodification, conversion to commodities.

But the conversion depends on the class. So all gorgeous women are interchangeable, replaceable, dispensable, within their class. All Harvard professors are interchangeable within their class.

But in between classes, there are preferences, of course, in between classes.

Yeah, because if you have 10 women, and one is, they're all gorgeous, but some are very intelligent. Some are not. And some have the same interests like you. And yeah, or like to do things together with you, then someone has to be more special because of their interests.

It's not special.

You keep using healthy language. It's not that they're special. They're representative of their class.

So I have a preference. I have a preference for gorgeous intelligent women, of course, who doesn't, by the way, have a preference who goes into, but not because of who she is. She's not special.

Yeah, he represents her class. Yeah, he is a highly prized commodity. So caviar is more expensive than rice. But so I would prefer caviar.

But that particular, it's not that a particular woman who is gorgeous and intelligent is special to me. She is not her class. Her group is all intelligent, gorgeous women are special to me.

But within this group, they're all the same to me.

Okay. So yeah, so they can be different. But special is another thing.

Yeah, special because it's special is personally, especially exactly.

It's not that she is so that I will meet someone and say, wow, this is the one. She's amazing. She's intelligent. She's gorgeous. I love her personality. I'm going to be no, I'm going to say, wow, that's a great sample. It's a great representative of the class of all gorgeous, intelligent women.

Okay.

Yeah, I understand it. Yeah.

Yeah, that's another way of thinking because I always say, because I'm like that. I'm like, oh, that one is different. So it's special. Somebody has to be another.

We all, in my opinion, everybody is special. You know, everybody is different. And everybody is unique. And that is my perception. It's everybody is unique in their own way.

But it's a different kind of perception for me, of course.

So but thank you for clearing that out.


I want to ask you about a cerebral narcissist and a cerebral narcissist and a somatic narcissist.

Yeah. So what's the kind of, what's the biggest difference?

Again, in between 95 and 2000, I had to invent many words because there was no language to describe the experience of the narcissist and of the victims. It was absolutely no language. It was nothing.

And so I keep saying, this is a word I coined. This is a word I invented. This is where the, because the process of inventing these words reflects my thinking at the time. I wanted to express something. I didn't have words. So I had to invent it.

Same in hoovering. It's also something I did fly monkeys all day. So somatic and cerebral narcissist. I noticed because of that, by that time I was already, already developing a database. Today I have 1000, almost 900 cases of people diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder in my database.

But in that time I didn't have so many. I have maybe a few dozen. I don't remember 40, 50 small number, but I noticed that some of them got the narcissistic supply from their mind, from their brain, their intellect, their knowledge, their learning, their erudition, intellectual pyrotechnics. They were impressing others with their intellectual capabilities and intelligence and brain and mind. And they were utterly, these people, these narcissists were totally uninterested in the body. They were actually usually very neglected with bad teeth and fat and flabby. They never exercised. They never, and all of them were not having sex, which was because when they joined the database, I administer a questionnaire based on the MMPI questionnaire of about 700 questions, 680.

So one of many of the questions was about sex. And I noticed these men were not, these narcissists were not having sex.

And then I noticed on second group, this group was emphasizing the body, bodybuilding, dressing well, titivating, um, courting women, conquest, sexual conquest, sexual prowess. I noticed that everything was focused and centered around the body, how tall they are, how muscular they are.

And I noticed that this second group had no interest whatsoever in reading, studying, learning, I mean, not.

So I realized that there are two types of narcissists, somatic, the narcissist who uses, leverages his body to obtain narcissistic supply and his body and what his body can do. It could be athletics, sports, to obtain supply. And the narcissist who used their mind and couldn't care less about the body and about what the body does.

And these are actually become asexual in effect, sexless or celibate.

So, and why do you, and are the somatic more sexual or, yeah, yeah.

Somatics are, somatics derive narcissistic supply from using their bodies.

So one of the main and easiest way to use the body is sex. And so they derive supply from conquest, from conquering women.

It's also to take control that they use their sexuality, but why doesn't the cerebral narcissist use their sexuality to get control?

Because they can't, they don't feel good.

They don't need it because they have their brain.

No, they, their main advantage is the brain. So it's more efficacious, more self efficacious to use the brain to obtain supply.

But also majority of these people don't look good simply. They're not attractive. No, not attractive. They don't look good. They don't have the bodies that it takes to be somatic.

So they evolved as children to become cerebral. They were fat as children. They were fat. They were slow. They didn't, they didn't, were not selected for sports by other peers. They were rejected by girls later on as adolescents and so on.

So they came to the conclusion that the only way to obtain supply is with a mind.

But I want to emphasize there is no tight constancy.

So a cerebral, the ribbon has periods of somatic and somatic, no somatic is usually constant because it doesn't have the brain, but the cerebral can and does become somatic sometimes for years.

So cerebral has somatic fields.

Okay. And that is when he's under stress or when he fails, you know, to obtain supply or when others get more supply than him intellectually via the intellect or when he sees example of someone who is both somatic and cerebrum for a time.

So in these cases, they become somatic and, but there is no tight constancy, but there is tight dominance. So after he's somatic for two weeks or two years, he will go back to being cerebral.

Yeah. So it's also with an overt and covert narcissist, they also can change.

So they are not the, the cerebral, for example, becomes somatic when he wants to capture an intimate partner for the shared fantasy.

So hebecomes hypersexed and the partner says, wow, I found the man of my life. He's so sexy, so much into sex and so on.

But then when he had acquired the intimate partner, he goes back to his original type, which is cerebral. And suddenly the sex stops, is very common description of intimate partners of narcissists that to the beginning he was very sexual. And then he suddenly stopped because he used the sex somatic face to obtain intimate partner covert and overt also fluctuate also transition.

Iin general, I'm developing a model that explains that all these types and other disorders such as borderline and so on, all of them are in the same table, like periodic table, the same table. And they transition through collapse, through a process of collapse.

So the original type collapses, overt, covert, there's a collapse in the sense that there's a failure to obtain supply. And then they transition to the other state.

So if there's a constant flux, that's why narcissists are very disorienting. One year they are super sexual. They can think of nothing but sex. The next year they're totally celibate. They're not interested in sex. One year they are modest and humble and pleasant and nice and kind and caring and so-called empathetic and sympathetic. And then they become monsters and animals and abusive.

And so this exceedingly disoriented.

And this has to do with identity disturbance. They don't have a core identity. So they can be anything. They can shape shift. They're like Zillig, the famous movie by Woody Allen. They shape shift. Yeah.

Yeah.

So it's always difficult to say, yeah, if you say it, they can be sensitive and good with a year. That's a long time to don't see if it's a narcissist.

So most of the time, most of the time, three months, if they are in the narcissistic circle, then most of the time, three months, you can see that that's a circle happening. But yeah, maybe if you meet them in your normal life as just a neighbor or a working colleague, then you see maybe a kind of stable personality. And you also had something about a narcissist always has one safe haven, has one safe place or it's a relationship or it's the working place. And how does that work?

Well, I mentioned these two examples, but it could be the church, it could be a local pub. The narcissist has what is called pathological narcissistic space. It's usually a physical space, but doesn't have to be, could be a digital space. It's a space where he finds multiple sources of supply.

So he goes to a pub, he has friends in the pub and his friends tell him how great he is, what an amazing person. He's in a political party. He's in a church. He's in a club. He's in his family with his family or the workplace or whatever.

The pathological narcissistic space is the island of stability.

So he needs one island of stability. So there are many narcissists who have been married for 30 years or 40 years to the same person. And yet in the same period, they had changed 20 jobs, they had changed jobs 20 times. And there are narcissists who stay with the same company for 40 years. They become chief executive officer of the company.

But in the meantime, they divorced six times. And you can see this area of stability and area of instability.

We are getting close to two hours and people get very impatient.

Oh, really? Okay. Thank you so much.

I know for the years, they get very impatient after that.

Yeah, I understand. I have a lot of questions answered. Thank you so much for it and for this opportunity. I was very, very excited because, yeah, for me, it's very special.

Thank you very much.

And we can do it again.

So your remaining questions.

Yeah, I always have questions. So maybe after a while, I can send you an email and then we can do it again. I shall make a good way of good questions. And then maybe I'm a little bit more quiet because I'm now a little bit nervous. And then my English is not so usually I talk better English. My words are not so I'm looking for words sometimes because I'm a little bit nervous. So the next time I will be better. And thank you.

Yeah, thank you for the invitation for that.

I appreciate your time. Thank you very much. I'm going to upload this to YouTube with your permission.

Yes, yes. Thank you.

Thank you.

Okay.

Take care. Bye.

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