Criminalize Narcissistic Abuse? (with Dr. Yana Greenberg, Be Honest Podcast)

Uploaded 5/3/2024, approx. 54 minute read

Would you introduce you as the author of Malignant Self-Love and a Visited Professor of Psychology of the Southern, I can't talk at six o'clock.

No, why don't you instead ask me to introduce myself that really faster?

That would be fantastic.

Okay. Okay. Okay.

So let me start recording.


Somehow I don't see myself when on this screen.

You don't see yourself on the screen?

Yes, somehow I don't see myself on the screen.

Hold on.

What is going on here?

If you go to view, you could choose gallery.

View is in the upper right side of the screen.

You have to get it out of here.

And then you choose gallery and you see both of us.

I see both of us on the screen, by the way.

Oh, you see both of us.

I'm recording both of us.

That's interesting. Okay.

Then I'm going to put both of us as well. All right. I got it.

And now I'll start recording.


We're both recording.

Fantastic. Well, good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

It's morning for me.

And afternoon for Dr. Sam Bakken.

You are with us on Be Honest for Dr. Jana on the United Public Radio Network.

107.7 FM.

And it is Friday.

And we have such a fantastic guest with us today.

Dr. Bakken is an author of Malignant Self-Loveand a Visited Professor of Psychology of the Southern, I can't talk at six o'clock.

No, why don't you instead ask me to introduce myself that really faster?

That would be fantastic.

Okay. Okay. Okay.

Well, today we would like to talk about narcissism and how to survive it.

Well, we know that narcissism is a psychological term, as most of us have heard it, that refers to personality trait, which can be a personality threat.

A disorder characterized by a heightened sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration and attention, and a lack of empathy for others and people with narcissistic tendencies, often exhibit a grandiose sense of their own abilities and achievements coupled with the belief that they are entitled to a special treatment and recognition.

Nowadays, we use this term all the time, all the time in our everyday life.

What we do is label people being narcissists immediately when they disagree with us, when they wrong us, or when they just say some unpleasant things that we don't like.

But what is narcissism in reality and how we can deal with it to protect ourselves from actually this malignant disorder?

Dr. Wacken, what is narcissism?

I know that we have beaten this topic to death over the past decade in the media, but not many of us know what it is exactly, what do we eat with and how do we protect ourselves?

So let's start on this topic.

Well, first of all, we should distinguish between narcissism as a clinical entity, as a diagnosis, and you have read some of the criteria needed in order to diagnose narcissistic personality disorder in people.

Very few people have narcissistic personality disorder.

It is estimated that around 1% of the population.

However, many more people, probably another 5% of the population at least, they have something called narcissistic style.

Narcissistic style is like narcissism-like.

It's a sub-centeredness, like of empathy, exploitativeness, and so on and so forth, but which do not reach a clinical level.

So these are subclinical narcissists.

And because so many people are narcissistic, we tend to label everyone a narcissist.

And this distinction is very important between narcissist and narcissistic.

Narcissistic is a style, personality style.

Narcissism, pathological narcissism, is a severe mental illness, one of the most severe known.

And so there's a huge difference between the two.

Second thing, we should distinguish between narcissism as a clinical construct, as a concept in psychiatry, and narcissism as an organizing principle of society, a way for us to make sense of life and of various actors in our immediate and not-indistant environment.

So we can make sense of politics, we can make sense of show business, of entertainment, using the principles of narcissism.

Narcissism helps us to organize life, to make sense of life, to imbue our own life with meaning.

So it's a philosophy, or even I would say an ideology.

And again, we must make a clear distinction between narcissism as a mental illness and the narcissism of collectives or societies or cultures or civilizations or groups of people.

So these distinctions are very relevant.

Now, narcissism can be defined in one of three ways, four ways actually.

We can adopt a list of diagnostic criteria from the diagnostic and statistical manual.

There are nine criteria, and if you meet five of them, you can be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder.

That's one way.

It's an antiquated way, not very recommended.

The second approach you can find in the diagnosis, in the fifth edition of the DSM, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, and it is known as the alternative model.

It's a descriptive model of narcissism.

How narcissists cannot do intimacy.

How they have problems with other people.

How they are antagonistic.

How they don't really care about you, et cetera, et cetera.

It's a descriptive literary model.

That's a second approach.

The third approach is actually the approach of the majority of humanity.

And that is to deny that there is such a thing as a pathological narcissism.

In a book known as the ICT, the International Classification of Diseases, which is a diagnostic manual of all of humanity, except the United States, some parts of Canada, some parts of the UK, the rest of the world, they use the ICT.

And in the ICT, there is no narcissistic personality disorder.

There isn't.

There is simply a list of traits, for example, dissociality and so on.

And if you have some of these traits, you could be described as a narcissist, but it's not a mental health diagnosis in the ICT.

So actually the majority of the world don't accept, do not agree that there is narcissistic personality disorder or pathological narcissism.

Why is it so?

Because there is a huge debate whether some things we call mental illness are actually not mental illness at all.

Consider, for example, psychopathy.

The psychopath is someone who rejects society, rejects rules and laws and mores and conventions and norms.

Someone who is defiant, someone who is reckless, someone who couldn't care less about other people, is callous, is ruthless, is ambitious.

Not a nice person, not someone you would like to marry, not someone you would like to have a partnership with.

But is this a mental illness?

I doubt it.

I don't think it's a mental illness at all.

That could be a part of narcissism and also the borderline personality disorder.

Psychopathy or antisocial traits appear in narcissism and borderline.

But I'm talking about the extreme form of antisocial personality disorder known as psychopathy.

I think the very phrase, the very word, antisocial immediately demonstrates that this is not a mental illness.

This is a problem of society.

It's society's problem. It's not individual's problem.

So similarly, narcissism, is it really a mental illness?

Or are these simply abones, jerks?

People are not nice, not pleasant.

But if you're not nice and not pleasant, it doesn't mean you're mentally ill. It's a problem, our tendency to pathologize and medicalize, behaviors that used to be absolutely normative or common in the past.

It's a major problem.

The DSM has grown from 100 pages in 1952 to 1,000 pages today.

We love pathologize. Everything can now be even the PMS.

PMS in women, now it's a mental disorder. It's a category and... And coffee drinking, believe it or not.

What is this?

I knew you were mentally coffee drinking and internet, overusing the internet and gambling.

So we pathologize behaviors, and that is wrong. We should never pathologize behaviors. We should pathologize motivations and intentions and psychological processes.

Yes, that's legitimate.

And this is the behavior that has the consequences. That is why, in my understanding.

It is not the role of psychologists and psychiatrists to take care of society. That is the role of the courts and the police and politicians. That's not the role of psychiatrists.

Psychiatrists shouldn't say, "The psychopaths are bad for society, so they are mentally ill." That is what the communists used to do in the USSR. They pathologize dissent. And dissidents went to mental asylum because dissidents were declared mentally ill.

If you oppose the communist regime in USSR, you must be mentally ill. But also they were sent out of the country, and this is the most interesting thing that when they were sent out of the country, they would go to the West. And that was always been my question why they would be allowed to go to the West because they would spread their ideas there.

So why do you think that happened? Why do you think that they were allowed to leave? That's a political debate.

But it is never good when what is supposed to be a science is put at the disposal of society, social control, conformity, and politics. It's never good when we politicize a science.

And so if someone is against society, if someone breaks the law on a habitual basis, if someone is against laws and rules and regulations and so on and so forth, that someone perhaps should be in prison, or that someone should have a difficult life, but that someone should not be diagnosed with a mental illness. It has nothing to do with mental illness.

So there's a huge problem here. Even borderline personality disorder, which is one of the oldest diagnoses, even this today is contested by luminaries, by very important scholars such as Judith Herman.

Even this is contested because if you have a problem with emotional regulation, if you're emotionally dysregulated, if you're overwhelmed by your emotions, and so on and so forth, does this mean that all your personality is problematic, or does this mean that you're mentally ill?

If you are the victim of prolonged, complex trauma known as CPTSD, and you behave in an abnormal or dysregulated manner because you are reacting to the trauma, it's a post-traumatic condition, does that mean that you're mentally ill?

I think we tend to medicalize and pathologize way too much. Way too much.

That also gives the loophole to the political system to excuse the behavior and probably, if not punishing, the criminals like psychopaths for killing their victims or then giving them in mental institutions.

Psychiatry is a tool of social control, unfortunately.

That's not me. That's Foucault, Michel Foucault, said it. It's a tool of social control, and it is abused by politicians, definitely.

So that's bad. That's a bad situation.

Narcissistic personality disorder is a social problem.

Narcissists harm and hurt other people. They damage people. They damage institutions and collectives. They damage society. They're bad. Many of them are bad people. They don't mean to be bad people. They're not psychopaths, they're still bad, and so on and so forth.

But what does any of this have to do with psychology?

I don't understand. What does any of this have to do with psychology?

This is a social problem, not a psychological one.

Then how do we approach narcissism in order to protect ourselves?

As long as we mislabel and misclassify narcissism as a mental illness, we're in trouble. We need to begin to regard narcissism the way we regard crime, the way we regard substance abuse, the way we regard illegal immigration, the way we regard multiple other social, cultural phenomena.

It's a social dysfunction. Narcissism is a social dysfunction.

It's relational. It's behavioral. It's context dependent.

So we need to stop thinking about it as mental illness and begin to regard narcissism as a problem.

And so, for example, we need to criminalize narcissistic abuse, absolutely criminalize, because it's criminal behavior.

If you say narcissistic abuse is not criminal behavior, it's a form of mental illness, then you're legitimizing narcissism, in effect. You're giving narcissists a free pass. You're saying they can't help themselves. They're mentally ill, you know?

So they abuse people. Yeah, it's very bad. No, no, no. You should keep away from narcissists. It's not good for you. But, you know, they're mentally ill. You should keep away from them because they're mentally ill.

Rather than saying you should keep away from narcissists because they do bad things, and we should punish narcissists because they do bad things, including in prison, by imprisoning them. We rarely have this approach, and all you hear in the West exactly is that it is a form of mental illness, and a lot of people, when they come into contact with severe forms of narcissism, sometimes they flee the person. They run away.

However, a lot of them, and the people who come to me as well, they say that they can't help themselves.

And I love them, but they cannot help themselves.

So that is why I'm there for them. So I am so glad that you're speaking of narcissism in these terms because that changes the rules of the game.

I want to make, with your permission, a very important distinction, which confuses me. This problem confuses me.

It is true that most narcissistic behaviors are driven by unconscious processes. It is true that the narcissist is not aware of his or her true motivations. That part is true.

The narcissist is driven by early childhood conflicts, by early childhood abuse and trauma, by the need to obtain narcissistic supply, and all this is submerged in the unconscious.

All this is submerged.

So narcissist, as opposed to a psychopath, the psychopath knows exactly what he's doing. Psychopath is premeditated, cunning, skimming, and truly evil.

A narcissist, as opposed to a psychopath, is essentially a psychopath, but without any premeditation, without any planning, without just an automatic psychopath, kind of robotic psychopath.

So it is true that in a way, you cannot blame the narcissist for what he's doing, what she's doing, because they're driven. They are, if you wish, possessed. They are not in full control and with zero awareness of what makes them tick, what is driving them.

However, it is not true that they cannot control their behaviors. That's a myth.

So these are two separate issues, two distinct issues.

You could be not aware of why you are behaving the way that you are behaving and still be able to control your behavior. Even if you don't know why you are behaving in a certain way, you could still choose to not behave that way.

Now, I can prove to you easily that narcissists are fully in control of what they're doing. When you put a narcissist in prison, their behavior changes dramatically. They cease to be narcissists.

Absolutely. There's no hint of narcissism.

They're not grandiose.

They're not abrasive.

They're not offensive.

They're aggressive.

Everything vanishes.

They're not exploitative.

When you put them in prison or in the army, in environments where there is a threat, a threat of retaliation, when they are afraid, when they're intimidated, when they know that if they misbehave, there will be deadly consequences, suddenly all these behaviors vanish overnight.



Not one of them.

All of them.

So it means a narcissist is in full control, full control.

They know exactly what they're doing.

They don't know why they're doing it.

I agree.

Well, nevertheless, they do know the consequences of their behavior.

Yes, they know what they're doing.

They know the consequences and simply don't care.

They simply don't care.

It's as simple as that.

And when they do care, they modify their behavior.

Now, do you think that the narcissists are really capable of love?

Now, you said that they can care for somebody and probably in their own way, they do.

They're capable of loving someone, a partner, a spouse.

So how do their love differ from the love of other people?

No, narcissists are incapable of any positive emotion, especially love, but they are capable of cathaxis.

Cathaxis is a term borrowed from psychoanalysis.

It means emotional investment.

So narcissists are able to affect.

They're able to emotionally invest in another person because that other person caters to their needs.

That other person is useful to them in some way.

That other person gives them sex or services or a sense of safety, object constancy or supply, narcissistic supply, sadistic supply.

So as long as the narcissist is getting something out of someone, as long as the narcissist can take something from someone, they would be emotionally invested in that someone.

The same way you're emotionally invested in an expensive car or emotionally invested in your new laptop or your new smartphone.

You're very attached to your smartphone.

If I were to take away your smartphone from you, you'd be devastated.

Or the same way we're invested, for example, in pets.

Most of us, not everyone, but most of us are invested in pets.

But I think it's closer to the smartphone allegory.

Smartphone is extremely useful.

Smartphone organizes our lives, caters to most of our intellectual and other needs, keeps us aware of reality.

Smartphone is very essential.

And also tends to our narcissistic tendencies as a social validation.

Yes, if we are social media.

So if I were to take the smartphone away from you, you would be devastated.

I'm sure.

I know I would be.

And it's the same with the narcissist.

The narcissist is emotionally invested not in any person, but in the benefits of being in touch with that person, of being in a relationship with that person.

That's very far from love.

Narcissists are incapable of any positive emotion, not only love, because in early childhood, the narcissist has learned to associate positive emotions with pain.

Narcissists learned that to love mommy is to be in pain, to be hurt.

For example, so narcissists are terrified of emotions.

They have negative emotions.

This is known as negative affectivity.

They have negative emotions.

So they are capable of anger.

They're capable of envy.

Envy is a dominant feature of narcissism.

So all the negative emotions are safe because when you have negative emotions, you inflict pain on other people.

Negative emotions mean you're in charge.

You can hurt other people.

You can damage other people.

Positive emotions mean other people can hurt you.

Other people can damage you.

Other people can cause you pain.

Love is vulnerability.

So narcissists don't do that.

Inside the narcissist, there is a reservoir of shame and guilt and rage.

And the narcissist is terrified of getting in touch with this reservoir.

The narcissist builds fortresses and firewalls, and constructions around the shame contains the shame, so that he never has to be in touch with these emotions or life threatening.

When the narcissist defenses collapse, this is a process known as decompensation.

When the narcissist decompensates, his defenses collapse, he is unable to obtain supply, he is humiliated in public, he is shamed in some way, he fails, he collapses, he is defeated in all these situations.

When there are no defenses, the narcissist gets in direct contact with his shame and with his anger and so on, and then the narcissist falls apart, clinically becomes a borderline, emotionally dysregulated, and with a heightened risk of suicide.

That is so important to point this out, and I'm so happy that you did, Sam, because this is also a part of borderline and psychopathy, and we're hoping to discuss it for the next several episodes.

And I know just recently you mentioned, and that has just gotten to the core of mind, and I was thinking that that is so profound.

You said that narcissist needs to deanimate you, right, in order not to be exposed to the threat of abandonment, rejection, and humiliation, which can lead to narcissistic mortification.

They do deanimate you, because for them, at the very beginning, for example, you can be an object, that animate object, somewhat like a human, but then they deanimate you in order not to fall for that narcissistic mortification.

Now, what is that narcissistic mortification exactly?

What I just mentioned, narcissistic mortification is when you are humiliated in public, when a narcissist is humiliated in public, in front of meaningful others, people that he values for some reason, people who, his peers, his colleagues, his family, whatever.

When he's humiliated in public, the narcissistic defences collapse, and the narcissist is again a child, again a child in touch with enormous tsunamis of shame that sweep over him. He cannot control his emotions anymore, so he becomes emotionally dysregulated, a borderline in essence, and exactly like a typical borderline, he develops suicidal ideation, he wants to die.

So this is mortification.

The narcissist needs to deanimate you for several reasons actually, and first maybe it's good to explain what does it mean, deanimate you.

Deanimate you means to kill you, at least symbolically, and then to embalm you, to convert you into an Egyptian mummy.

And the best example of this process is in the movie Psycho, Hitchcock's movie Psycho, where Norman Bates mummified his mother and continues to interact with the mummy that used to be his mother.

He puts her up to bed, he washes her, he talks to her, he argues with her, they have huge arguments, and she's dead.

It's a dead body, a dead mummified body.

That's the narcissist's ideal partner.

Narcissist wants you inanimate.

There are several reasons for that.

One, the narcissist is dead inside.

He is a mummy, he is an ancient Egyptian mummy, he's dead inside completely.

And so he needs you to be dead also in order to resonate with you, in order to have something in common if you wish.

The second thing is he needs to fit you into what is known as a shared fantasy.

Shared fantasy is a narrative.

We know, maybe we're not going into it right now, but it's a kind of a story, and you both need to fit into the story, you and the narcissist.

But for you to fit into the narcissist's fantasy, shared fantasy, this narrative, this story, you need to not have a will of your own.

You need to be devoid of a will.

You need to be perfect.

And so he needs to deanimate you in order for you to be totally compliant, totally obedient and submissive and fit into the shared fantasy.

The third element is what you mentioned, the fear of abandonment and rejection.

And the fourth element is that the narcissist is incapable of interacting with external objects.

He does not recognize the externality and separateness of other people.

Instead what he does, he converts other people into internal objects.

He converts, for example, his intimate partner into an avatar or a snapshot or what is known as an introject.

And then continues to interact with this representation of the intimate partner in his mind.

So his entire interactions are interiorized.

Everything happens inside his mind.

Nothing happens outside him.

Everything is internal.

Now, it's very important that you should not deviate from this snapshot, that you should not diverge from the avatar, that you should be in full compliance and in full conformity with your representation in the narcissist's mind.

In short, it's very important that you lose your personal autonomy, your independence, your ability to make decisions and choices, your mobility, so the narcissist restricts your mobility, your social network, because social network can provide you with feedback.

And this feedback can change you.

The narcissist is terrified of change.

He wants you to never change.

And of course, only dead bodies, even dead bodies change, but okay, only mummified bodies never change.

Death is the essence of narcissism.

Narcissism is an absence masquerading, pretending to be a presence.

It is non-existence.

It's not a form of existence.

It's a form of non-existence.

It's totally nihilistic.

So it's a death cult.

The narcissist is at the center of a death cult.

And to join the death cult you need first to die, it's a rite of passage.

Death cult.

This is so profound, Sam, because that reflects the reality.

And like you mentioned that the narcissistic behavior needs to be criminalized, and I am so with you on that.

However, with the common current tendencies of our society, we tend to excuse a lot of the things, including the recent trends with pedophile that are being almost legalized here in California, for example, where I live.

So this is the pathology of the society as a whole.

So as a society being pathological, for example, at its core, we tend to excuse other behaviors, like in the sense, in the case of narcissism, instead of criminalizing it, because otherwise it would also point fingers at the society as a whole, and for the government as well.

I don't think we only excuse, I think we glorify.

We glorify narcissistic behaviors.

You know, fake it till you make it, or awaken the giant within, or you can be anything you decide to be.

Or if you only think hard enough, everything will happen, you know, the law of attraction and all this nonsense.

These are all forms of magical thinking, and all forms of grandiosity, and all forms of narcissism.

We glorify narcissism.

We make it the centerpiece of Western civilization.

And it started a long time ago, not now.

It started three, four hundred years ago.

With this form of magical thinking, that is one also of the tendencies of the narcissists, also to impose on their victims, as well as the magical thinking, and ensnare the victim, and totally subdue the personal willpower, and then, yes, to turn the person into that avatar, and to keep the person this way.

And a lot of the times we don't understand it, and it is so important for you, for us to have this conversation, for you to point this out, because there is a huge difference between the narcissistic behavior and pathological narcissism, because with a pathological narcissism, we need to be able to protect ourselves, and have our own mind open and think critically, and be able to recognize it, and not to excuse it, and not to fall prey for the society, to be devoured, and to understand the traits, and to be able to protect ourselves. So, Sam, how do we, on our own personal level, defend ourselves?

Not in the beginning, for example, not to fall prey for malignant narcissistic abuse, because I know that even the closet narcissists, they have this malignancy in them.

How do we protect ourselves in the beginning, before we even gotten into a relationship with them?

Studies have demonstrated, conclusively, that we spot narcissists within minutes.

This is known as the uncanny valley reaction.

In 1970, there was a Japanese roboticist, Masahiro Mori.

Masahiro Mori suggested that when robots become very human-like, when robots become android, we're going to react badly.

We're going to react, we're going to be ill at ease.

We're going to feel uncomfortable around these robots.

The more robots resemble humans, the higher the uncanny valley reaction.

So, it's not true that when robots will look exactly like humans, we're going to feel comfortable around them.

It's exactly the opposite.

When robots are going to look exactly like humans, we're going to be totally paranoid.

We're going to feel very bad.

This is known as uncanny valley.

There is uncanny valley reaction to the presence of narcissists and psychopaths.

We spot them and we react this way with discomfort.

Something doesn't fit.

There's a false note.

Something is off key.

It's as if these are human beings, but they look like human beings, but they were put together wrongly.

Or it's a simulation that is not 100% accurate.

This is why a few decades ago, we didn't use the term "psychopath" and "narcissists" and so on.

We used the term "as if personalities".

They look fake.

They look, yeah, it's a great simulation of a person, of a human being, but it's not a human being.

Something is missing.

Something is wrong.

And of course, many, many things are missing.

The narcissist doesn't have empathy.

He doesn't have positive emotions.

He's incapable of recognizing people as external objects or separate objects.

I mean, in many respects, the narcissist is not fully human.

I'm sorry to say it's politically incorrect to say this, but he's not fully human.

It's a half-baked human.

I love being politically incorrect because that reveals the truth.

Yes, it's a half-baked human.

It's a human in process, and the process failed.

So we feel that within minutes.

But we deny it.

We deny it to ourselves because, for example, we are lonely.

And we say, "Hey, it's a bit weird, but, you know, it's funny.

It's weird, but it's funny." So I'm going to try.

So people date narcissists and they date psychopaths, and they go on dating them, even though they felt uncomfortable in the first five minutes.

But they deny it, and they lie to themselves because they're lonely, because they are at an age where they feel they have to.

They have to have children or be in a couple or whatever.

So the first thing is, do not ignore your gut instincts and your intuition.

If you feel something is wrong, it is very likely wrong.

Walk away.

Lesson number two, narcissists invariably test your boundaries.

They push the envelope.

The first encounters with the narcissists involve constant testing.

The narcissist gathers information about you, constructs a profile of you, scans your vulnerabilities and weaknesses, a process known as called empathy, and then tests you behaviorally.

He pushes your boundaries, he breaches them, he breaks them, and so on.

Do not let that happen.

You could compromise on minor issues that have no bearing on who you are, on your identity.

But if you are confronted with a demand to suspend who you are or to behave in ways which contradict your values, for example, your beliefs, your convictions, the way you were brought up, who you consider yourself to be, self-image, self-perception, I mean, walk away.

It's a bed sign.

Number three, ignore completely how the narcissist behaves with you because that's an act.

He's acting, he's manipulating.

So the way he behaves with you can teach you nothing about the narcissism.

Observe how the narcissist behaves with other people, with a waitress, with a cab driver, with a friend who happens to pass, with a stranger.

The narcissist bothers to act in front of you, he bothers to invest in you, but with other people he's going to be his real self.

With other people you're going to see the true face of the narcissist.

So he's going to be very nice to you, very kind to you, amazingly attentive, compassionate, empathic, the most stunning person, a dream come true, and then he's going to shout at the waitress because she was two minutes late, or he's going to humiliate the cab driver.

And that is his true face.

So pay attention to this.

Next, if there are any discrepancies in the alleged biography of the narcissist, narcissist tells you about himself, if things seem to contradict each other, and the contradiction doesn't have to be factual, it could be, for example, a contradiction in terms of who the narcissist is.

But if you feel that things don't fit, walk away.

The biographies of healthy, normal people are concurrent.

They're cohesive, they're coherent, they make sense.

The biography of the narcissist is largely fictitious.

Not because the narcissist is a liar, but because he lives in fantasy.

He has a strong fantasy defense.

So they're largely fictitious and very impossible, improbable.

If it's too good to be true or too bad to be true, or the parts don't fit, walk away.

You notice that I'm saying walk away.

Don't bother.

Don't try to make sense of things.

Don't invest any work or effort or thinking or just walk away.

With narcissist, the only solution is not contact an immediate number.

And finally, if the narcissist takes over, appropriates you.

For example, he takes the keys from your hand and locks your own door.

Or he decides to which restaurant you're going to go.

He orders food for you without consulting you.

He asks you to give him a detailed report as to what you have been doing in the bathroom. When you went to the bathroom in a restaurant.

He chooses the movie you're going to watch.

If he takes over, if he suspends your ability or your right to make decisions and choices, that's a very bad sign. Walk away.

If there is no consensus, if there is no compromise, if there's no negotiation, if there is no reciprocity, if there's no equality from the get-go, that's an exceedingly bad sign.

Normally, a healthy normal person would see you as a separate entity with your own wishes and dreams and emotions and cognitions and fears and memories.

And a healthy normal person would bother to consult you, would seek a consensus with you, would compromise with you, would seek your opinion, you would agree together on what to do, where to do and how to do it.

Not the narcissist.

The narcissist is immediately the boss.

You're not even an employee, you're an extension, you're an object.

You have no mind of your own.

You're not allowed to make decisions or choices on anything whatsoever.

This kind of dominance is very, very sick, very problematic.

Another thing that I forgot, alacrity, the speed.

The narcissist would offer you marriage on a second date if he is very slow.

And he would plan to have three children with you, including the names, he would agree on the names, on the third date.

The speed, there's something wrong about the speed.

Alacrity is called.

If the narcissist is fast forward, he is like, you know, speed 16 rather than 1.

And this is intended to overwhelm you, to disorient you so that you can't think straight.

Because you're flooded with demands and expectations and a change in perspective and new scenarios.

So it's absolutely intended to disorient and dislocate you so that your ability to reason rationally is suspended.

So if the person you're dating or talking to or working with is moving too fast, on anything, by the way, not only romantically, but on a job offer or a partnership offer, whatever it is, this speed is a major, major alarm, major red sign.

What about then of different kinds of narcissism?

So is this the pattern of all the types or just a malignant narcissism or perhaps something like a closet the narcissist can also do as well?

The covert narcissist is also known as shy or vulnerable or fragile narcissist.

The covert narcissist does exactly the same, behaves exactly the same, but he does this under the guise of being someone else.

So he would, for example, be overly modest.

He would be very modest, but ostentatiously modest.

Like, look at me how modest I am.

This is known as pseudo humility.

He would be passive aggressive.

So he would not aggress against the cab driver or against the waitress, but he would sabotage them somehow.

He would still damage them.

He would be, he would be covert. He would be hidden.

So, for example, the overt narcissist would seek compliments openly, while the covert narcissist would seek compliments by underestimating himself.

He would say, for example, I know I'm very stupid, and he would expect you to say you're not stupid at all. You're a genius.

It's a way of fishing for compliments.

So while the covert and the overt narcissist seek the same outcomes and essentially engage in the same behavioral goals, the way they get there is different.

The covert narcissist gets there by manipulating you, by sabotaging, by acting under the radar, and so on and so forth, while the overt narcissist doesn't bother.

He simply gets what he wants. He simply does what he wants.

He's what we say that the overt narcissist is disinhibited, while the covert narcissist is inhibited mainly because of shame and a sense of inferiority.

But they're both very pernicious, and they're both, as I said, they're exactly the same.

There's no difference between aggression and passive aggression, because in both cases, the other party is harmed and hurt.

There's no difference between an overt narcissist who tells you which movie we're going to see today.

Isn't that a consult you?

Is that going to ask you, do you have a movie in mind?

Today we're going to see this movie.

So that's the overt, and the covert would say, "Listen, we have a few options, but I really, really think that this one is the best.

I'm dying to see this movie.

I've been waiting for months to see this movie." He would manipulate you into the same outcome.

But ultimately, both of them decide which movie you're going to see. Period. You have nothing to say. Nothing to say.

And that is a covert manipulation.

Of course, sometimes it is so not in the open, and that can confuse us.

Now, is it possible for the person to behave as a covert narcissist in order to be a full-blown, malignant narcissist later in the relationship?

And does it have to be a long relationship?

It could be short, a few days old, or even several months into the relationship.

I noticed, and now I learned something very profound from you, that the history, the storyline of the narcissist does not make sense.

And because I have common contact, and for me, that was a huge revelation, that the narcissist can possibly turn from a very innocent lamp into the malignant wolf.

And by the way, I love wolves as animals, because they can be sometimes more noble than humans.

But at the beginning of a covert narcissist, we may not even notice their behavior.

The red flags may not be out there in the air.

We can confuse the modest behavior, the shyness for the niceness of the person.

And later, when we are already ensnared into the trap of the narcissist, then the narcissist would open up and show their real face.

Because even, and I don't want people to get confused even about the age, because the narcissism continues into the older age.

And I have seen older people behaving in such malignant ways that you would not even expect them to be.

Because a lot of the times when people tell me, "How can you talk like that about older people?" Oh yes, that's exactly the same way as the Nazis that were not caught, that fled Germany and settled somewhere in South America.

And later on, in their 70s and their 80s, that they were brought to trial, and somehow the whole world had to feel very compassionate for them, because they were old and could not move their limbs, for example, that were sitting in the wheelchair.

And somehow we had to be compassionate as humanity, but nevertheless, those crimes should not be forgotten or forgiven, because even the older people that behaved malignantly their entire life and damaging human lives, they can continue to be as such later in their lives.

And if I came across one gentleman, he was 78 years old, and at the beginning he was a nice, just a fluffy bunny, and he would never recognize any signs of malignant narcissism.

And only later, in a few months, I realized that the person was a profound narcissist.

Malignancy was overpowering out of that person.

And the poison that was spreading around him on all of the human beings was so dark, and I found that I walked away.

It is absolutely impossible to deal with this kind of a behavior.

So I think it is very important to recognize that that malignancy, that nasty behavior does not go away.

It is always there.

And like you said, first five minutes, regardless, whether you know you see it overtly or not, there's going to be something in you inside as a normal human being.

And of course, a normalcy is such a vast concept, but you will know.

So I'm so glad that you mentioned this.

Five minutes, exactly.

The five-minute rule, right? Five-minute rule.

That's exactly it.

First of all, we, uncanny valley reactions, have been documented with overt narcissists and with covert narcissists.

So we react badly.

We react with discomfort.

We feel ill at ease with covert as well as with overt.

So this alarm mechanism, this intuition, this gut instinct is our friend.

And it is helpful with covert and with overt.

However, it is true that once we have denied the uncanny valley, once we have suppressed it, once we have said, "I'm going to ignore my gut instinct. I'm going to ignore my intuition."

At that moment, the covert narcissist has an advantage because the covert narcissist is a much better actor.

Covert narcissist learn to act because covert narcissist is a failed, failed overt narcissist.

It's what we call collapsed.

It's a collapsed overt narcissist.

The covert narcissist is someone who wanted to obtain supply and fail.

Cannot obtain supply.

So he's collapsed.

And so this kind of person has learned to act, to pretend, to fake, to lie.

So once we have decided to ignore our intuition, to ignore our gut instinct, which tells us to run away, once we've decided to ignore that, the covert has an advantage because the covert is a much better actor.

And then it's very difficult to tell that it is a narcissist.

Cognitively, it's difficult.

Our cognition doesn't help us.

It's very atavistic.

Narcissism is a very atavistic thing, very primitive.

It's animal to animal.

It's not mind to mind or brain to brain.

It's animal to animal.

There is no type of constancy.

In other words, a covert can become overt.

No, a covert can become covert.

Somatic can become cerebral.

Cerebral can become somatic.

There's no type of constancy.

It's a myth.

It's not true that the narcissist is one and the same all his life.

It's absolutely not true.

A typical narcissist has experienced all the various subtypes of narcissism in his life.

And it is true that narcissism doesn't abate and doesn't disappear until the end of life.

It's a life long lifespan.

We call it lifespan.

It's a lifespan disorder.

It's lifelong.

In some people... It's inturable.

It's even untreatable.

You can modify some behaviors of narcissists in the short term, only in the short term.

They relapse.

It's a lot like alcoholism.

They relapse.

Teach them to change some behaviors for three months.

They're okay, six months.

And then they go back to who they used to be.

But it is true, however, that in some narcissists, the antisocial behavior, the antisocial aspects of narcissism, become better with age, ameliorate with age.

So only the antisocial part.

While with other narcissists, actually the condition becomes much worse, because it's much more difficult for them to obtain supply.

They're less good looking.

There is cognitive decline.

They don't have as many assets as they used to have in order to attract prey.

They're predators.

Now they are old predators.

Old predators find it very difficult to hunt.

The hunting becomes more difficult.

It creates a lot of aggression, frustration, aggression.

It creates, so they become worse.

Many narcissists become worse with age.

And some narcissists become more gentle with age.

They're less antisocial, less psychopathic.

One last comment.

Malignant narcissism is a combination of narcissism, psychopathy, and sadism.

So not all narcissists are malignant.

Actually only three percent are malignant.

Malignant narcissism today is known as psychopathic narcissism.

And it's a very, very, very bad combination.

It's a kind of dark personality, but not subclinical, fully clinical.

It's a narcissist who uses the psychopath's methods to obtain narcissistic supply.

And in doing that, he is hurting people because it gives him pleasure.

Imagine the combination.

So three percent of narcissists are malignant narcissists.

And these people, as they age, the psychopathic side becomes less pronounced.

They are less, for example, they break the law less often.

They're more normative.

They're more prosocial as they age.

But they become more sadistic.

It's a kind of compensatory mechanism.

I am less psychopathic, but I'm more sadistic.

And so they're more narcissistic and more sadistic when they age, but less psychopathic.

That is so profound.

That is so profound.

And we have had the conversation that normally people don't have on this type of conversations and podcasts.

And I'm so grateful to you for bringing this up and also being politically incorrect because in our culture, of course, we're being killed, but it's being politically correct.

And political correctness was born here in the United States in the 1990s.

And it was spread as cancer all over the world.

So in order to be truthful, in order to change something in the world, we must be politically incorrect.

And in fact, we are being truthful and correct, but we're deemed as incorrect.

And we're banished for that. And we excluded, excommunicated from the society.

So I thank you.

I thank you for your marvelous approach.

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