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Dissolve YOUR Snapshot, Amplify Anxiety of Narcissist: Love Slaves No More!

Uploaded 2/18/2021, approx. 32 minute read

Good after Wednesday. Today, I am going to teach you two new techniques to get rid of the narcissist at least temporarily.

As you recall, during the Sheld fantasy, when you start to withdraw from the narcissist owing to his unrelenting abuse, many narcissists try to hoover you, get you back, reacquire you as a source of narcissistic supply, as an intimate partner, as an insignificant other, as a collaborator, a playmate, a fan, a mother figure within the Sheld fantasy. hoovering very easily devolves and degenerates into stalking and stalking can be dangerous.

So you would want to break this circuit at its inception. You don't want things to go too far. You don't want things to get out of hand and out of control.

And I'm going to discuss today two such circuit breakers.

I'm going to teach you how to dissolve the snapshot and I'm going to teach you how to amplify the narcissist's abandonment anxiety.

This would get the narcissist out of your hair for a while at least.

Many people tell me, I can't mortify my narcissist. It's too much to watch him melting down, disintegrating in front of my eyes and to know that I had caused it.

So while mortification is by far the nuclear weapon, the last resort, the most potent solution. There's no life after mortification. There's no hoovering after mortification.

The narcissist is out, out of your life for good. You'll never ever see him again if you were to mortify him.

Still to mortify someone requires a psychopathic streak. You need to be heartless. You need to have zero empathy. You need to be relentless and goal oriented. You need to be cruel and to some extent sadistic.

Mortification is the worst thing you can do to a narcissist. He literally falls apart at the seams. It's a harrowing sight and many people tell me, I simply can't do this.

So second best is dissolution of the snapshot and enhancing abandonment anxiety. This is likely to push the narcissist away for long periods of time.

Although he might try to hoover you again down the line in a few months or a few years.

Okay. A few service announcements.

The newest reprinting, revised printing of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited, the 10th edition, 2015. It's just been reprinted with revisions. So there's a revised printing. It's being delivered as I speak to our warehouse, Narcissus Publications Warehouse, and I'm very proud of it. And it's going to be available through Amazon. I encourage you to post reviews on the book's page if you can, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited by What's Left of Sam Vaknin.

Now, many of you asked me about specific videos which seem to have vanished from the channel. Well, they are available on the playlists. The channel is playlists. Visit the playlist. They are organized and arranged thematically for your convenience and you will find many of the disappearing videos in the playlists. You can't find videos deleted by YouTube. Regrettably YouTube deleted quite a few of my videos. So these videos are gone for good. But video lectures that I have unlisted would be still available in the playlists.

My active Instagram channel, people had asked, my active Instagram channel is Narcissism with Vaknin. And my archive, I have another Instagram channel, which is Archive Only and it's Sam Vaknin Narcissist. All one word. I have a new channel. It's a Nothingness channel.

Many of the videos which are playlisted on this channel and are not available unless you go to the playlist, unless you visit the playlist. Many of these videos are publicly available on my new Nothingness channel.

I went on my more veteran Vaknin Musings channel. Go down to the bottom of the main channels page. At the bottom, you will see all three channels listed. So just feel free.

Okay. Now this video is divided into two parts. The first part is the how-to part. Practical advice on how to get rid of a narcissist by using these two new techniques.

The second part is an in-depth explanation of the psychological mechanics and dynamics behind these two techniques. It's very deep. It's very academic. And many of you, I'm sure, would like to skip it. So I'm giving you heads up and fair warning.

The insights in this lecture are derived from and based upon Lacan, Sartre, Kohut, Winnicott, Fairbairn and the entire British School of Object Relations from Melanie Klein onwards. And additional insights from other sources which I will not go into right now.

I've made two special videos, two video lectures about Jean-Paul Sartre's work. These videos are available on the playlist or on my Nothingness channel. So I recommend that you watch these videos if you're interested in existentialist philosophy and above all existentialist psychology.


Okay. Onward Christian or in my case, Jewish soldiers. Let's start with dissolution to remind you.

Recently I've made a video about snapshotting. Make sure you watch this video to understand what is the process of snapshotting.

But in a nutshell, when the narcissist first sets eyes on you, when he targets you, when he decides that you are a great potential for narcissistic supply or a possible intimate partner in a shared fantasy or a great maternal figure is surrogate mother, or that you're a playmate. He can have adventures and sex with you for whatever reason.

When the narcissist first catches a glimpse of you, he snapshots you. He takes a literal almost snapshot, like in a camera, and then he internalizes the snapshot and he gets to work.

And what he does to this snapshot, he photoshops it. He retouches it. He changes it. We call this process idealization. He idealizes your snapshot, not you.

He does not idealize you. It's a very critical distinction. He idealizes your snapshot.

Now, because he idealizes your snapshot, inevitably they're going to be discrepancies, mismatches, divergences between you, the real you, and the idealized snapshot of you.

And this is the source of tension and friction and conflict in all relationships with narcissists.

When you don't match up exactly precisely 1000% to the idealized snapshot, it pisses the narcissist off. It provokes his frustration and his aggression, because you can never ever be your idealized snapshot.

All relationships with narcissists are doomed to failure.

And if you want to get rid of a narcissist, one of the most powerful tools you have is to dissolve your idealized snapshot.

Now, gray rock, the gray rock technique, is a hint of a shadow of this, of dissolving the snapshot.

Because what happens in gray rock, you behave in ways which are frustrating to the narcissists. You behave in ways which negate, vitiate, counter contradict the internalized idealized snapshot of you.

Gray rock is about not being, not being the idealized version. It's about refusing to be responsive, to be adulating, to be available, to be admiring, to be refusing, simply refusing to play the game.

And when you refuse to play the game, this conflicts dramatically with your idealized snapshot in the narcissist's mind, this internal object.

And it creates dissonance. Dissonance is very unpleasant, because all dissonance in healthy people and in narcissists, all dissonance creates anxiety.

And narcissists, exactly like healthy people, don't like anxiety. They don't like to be anxious. And they seek out ways to ameliorate and reduce the anxiety.

The difference between healthy people and narcissists, the narcissist reduces anxiety via dysfunctional strategies. Strategies which are not good for either himself or for others.

Self-defeating, self-destructive, reckless, defiant, contumacious strategies. Strategies which hurt people, abuse them.

So this is the narcissist's way. Healthy people reduce and ameliorate anxiety in other ways which we will not go into right now. Gray Rock enhances the narcissist's anxiety, makes it very unpleasant for him to interact with you.

And so it is a glimmer of the dissolving technique.

The dissolving technique is a frontal, all-out attack on the snapshot. It negates the internal object. It negates this idealized snapshot of you. And it destroys it. It ruins it. It reduces it to smithereens.

And this way, the narcissist is left without an internal object which corresponds to you. So he is forced to see you.

The minute he sees you, there's an immediate process of devalue and discard. He gets rid of you.

Because he can't stand to interact with external objects. If you take away this firewall of an internal object, he must interact with you, with a real you, with a non-idealized external object.

And this, he cannot countenance, is not equipped to do this, actually.

So how do you dissolve the snapshot?

Like putting it in acid and watching it melt away. How do you do that?

The first thing you should do, you should write down, literally write down all the sentences that the narcissist says about you, everything he says about you.

Now, the narcissist continuously talks, discusses, dissects, and analyzes his intimate partner. He does this because he needs to engage actually in an internal monologue intended to preserve the integrity, cohesion, and coherence of the internal object.

The internal object is a very difficult thing to maintain because there's a lot of information coming from the outside, coming from reality, coming from you. And this information is countervailing. This information challenges the veracity of the internal object. This information is non-idealized. This information is boring. It's very problematic information.

The narcissist perceives this information as aggression. The narcissist regards any attempt to penetrate his grandiosity, his co-idealization, any attempt to alter, interfere with, intervene in his world of internal objects, this internal sacred space. He regards this as aggression.

And so what he does, he fends off, he protects against, he defends against, he pushes away, he ignores, he represses, and he denies any information that can do this.

So in his attempt to maintain the purity and unadulterated nature of his inner objects, internal objects, and the space for these internal objects, let's call it the internalized pathological narcissistic space.

In his attempt to prevent these spaces from being invaded by reality, the narcissist engages in a constant monologue. He's trying, in other words, to convince himself.

For example, he has an idealized snapshot of you and then you behave in a way or you say something that clashes head-on, challenges, undermines the idealized snapshot.

And so immediately the narcissist defenses kick in and he tries to convince himself that what he had just seen, what he had just witnessed, what he just heard, is not true or should be refrained or he should think about it differently.

Or he tries to, so he engages in a monologue trying to preserve the internal object from any harm, from any alteration, to keep it as it is.

And so he keeps engaging in this monologue and this monologue contains sentences about you.

Now, these sentences are divided to positive and negative. Some sentences will reflect his attempt to re-idealize you and some sentences will reflect his disappointment and his desperate endeavor to deal with information that is problematic, information that is subversive, information that threatens the integrity of the internal object or the internal space of objects.

So positive sentences are idealization sentences. They're intended to buttress and augment the idealized snapshot of you, this internal object. They have nothing to do with you.

So the narcissist can tell you, wow, you are drop-dead gorgeous or amazing how intelligent you are or I can't believe how practical you are or you keep astounding me. I mean, he's gonna kind of flood you with ideal descriptions of ideal traits and behaviors. It's going to sound a lot.

These sentences sound a lot like love bombing or grooming and they continue throughout the shared fantasy, throughout the relationship.

Love bombing in effect never stops.

But the function of love bombing changes.

The initial function of love bombing is to acquire you, to possess you, to incorporate you into the internal world, to render you an accomplice in the shared fantasy.

Fang, adulator, a playmate, a mother.

So love bombing at first is goal-oriented.

The second function of love, I mean, the function of love bombing within the shared fantasy.

Once the narcissist's head acquired you, once you belong to the narcissist, once you are already is property, love bombing continues because it has another function.

And the function of love bombing get this second stage within the shared fantasy is to uphold, verify your ideal nature, not your ideal nature. The ideal nature of your idealized snapshot.

So when the narcissist tells you, you're gorgeous, you're super intelligent, you're amazingly insightful and perspicacious and and you're practical. I can rely on you. You're my best friend, etc.

When he says these things, none of this has anything to do with you. These are attempts to kind of refurbish and renovate your, the bruised and damaged idealized snapshot of you.

The narcissist interacts only with internal objects, never with external objects like you.

So if he tells you, you're beautiful, he's actually saying there's a problem with the internal object. There's a problem with the snapshot of Julia.

Today Julia looks, you know, not so good. She is not dread, drop dead gorgeous.

I must take care of the internal objects.

This creates dissonance. This creates a conflict.

Or if you say something or if you say something stupid, the narcissist has immediately to idealize you.

Because when you say something stupid, you damage, you inflict damage on the idealized snapshot and he needs to repair the damage. He's like a handyman and to repair the damage he needs to convince himself above all that you're intelligent.

So you say something stupid and moments later or hours later he will tell you that you are the most intelligent, amazingly intelligent woman he has ever come across, he's ever met.

This is intended to repair the damaged snapshot, the damaged idealized snapshot.

So positive sentences. There are also negative sentences. Negative sentences is, I can't believe you're so stupid. I thought you were intelligent. Look what you've done. Or you are not taking care of yourself. You're neglecting yourself.

Or these are sentences that reflect the narcissist's mounting frustration with the discrepancies between who you really are is an external object and the idealized snapshot of you.

The more, the greater the number of contradictions, the more profound the gap between idealized internal snapshot-object and you, the more you draw away, the more you drift away from the idealized internal object, the more frustrated and aggressive the narcissist becomes.

And this is going to, he's going to express this frustration and this aggression with a torrent of negative sentences.

So you should pay attention to the positive sentences and to the negative sentences. You should write them down.

And then what you do, you engage in defiance. You negate every positive sentence and you uphold every negative sentence.

If he told you that you're intelligent, act dumb. If he had complained that you are neglected, neglect yourself even further. If he says you are drop dead gorgeous, drop dead, but don't be gorgeous. Dress against his express wishes because the narcissist in his mind molds you like a doll, like patty, like so much clay, like so much raw material.

He very often tries to dictate to you what you should, how you should dress, how you should look, how you should comport yourself, how you should interact with other people and which and who you should interact with and who you shouldn't. He's trying to micromanage and control every minute, microscopic infinitesimal part of your life.

So act against these positive sentences. Whatever turns him on, whatever constitutes an integral dimension and vector of the idealized snapshot of you, act against it. Just behave in ways which are so far removed from the idealized snapshot that it would make it impossible for the narcissist to sustain the snapshot. The snapshot will dissolve. The more, the more you withdraw from the idealized snapshot, the more threatened the snapshot is.

And finally, under severe torsion and stress of discrepancies, the snapshot snaps and dissolves. So enhance, uphold the negative sentences.

If he tells you you're not practical, don't be. If he tells you you're stupid, be. If he tells you, I mean, just go along with the negative sentences, amplify them, increase them, emphasize them, repeat them, make sure he notices them and negate the positive sentences. Whenever, whenever you think of one positive sentence, act the opposite.

But I mean dramatically the opposite.

Okay, it's a simple tactic, simple technique. Finally, the narcissist will be forced to let go of the internal objects, and then he will be forced to confront you, and then he will inevitably, 100% of the time, discard you, which is what you wanted to start with.

For example, many, many intimate partners of narcissists just want him to go away, and they don't care what the price is. So this is a great technique to accomplish this.


The second technique is to amplify and play on the narcissist's abandonment anxiety.

Now, there are numerous ways to do this. I'll give you one, for example.

Physical weakness, illness, disability, they are perceived by the narcissist as abandonment. Why? Because the narcissist catastrophizes. You cough, the narcissist already, in his mind, attributes to you, COVID, and then you're going to die, and then he's going to be alone, left alone.

Narcissist is like a child, he catastrophizes.

And so if you display signs of weakness, physical weakness, infirmity, malaise, illness, disease, the narcissist will automatically, automatically and immediately, instantly catastrophize it. In his mind, he will assume that you're dying, and this will trigger enormous abandonment anxiety. That's precisely the reason that narcissists abandon. Go away when you become sick. When you become sick, even when you're giving birth, when you're pregnant, giving birth, narcissist don't want to witness such displays of physical dependence, and physical infirmity, and physical disability, and so on, because it threatens them with abandonment.

So if you get sick, you can be sure the narcissist will vanish from your life. You will not see him again.

If you are physically weak and unable to perform your functions as ascribed to you and dictated to you by the narcissist, same result. Narcissists cannot tolerate these hints of death, the shadows of death, the possibilities of death.

For them, it's immediately abandonment.

Similarly, you can play on the narcissist's abandonment anxiety and amplify it by triangulating, by talking positively about other men, by dressing up unexpectedly and going out without explanation.

But I mean, there are numerous ways to enhance the narcissist's abandonment anxiety by dropping hints, by dropping hints that you're contemplating a breakup or a divorce, by having a circle of intimate friends and spending most of the time with them, not with the narcissist, by having great relationships with your family, by preferring other people's judgments and opinions to the narcissist, by not adulating the narcissist and not admiring him, by criticizing him and disagreeing with him, by neglecting him, by acting indifferent to his welfare and to his triumphs and victories, and victories, by refusing to provide secondary narcissistic supply. All these are perceived as harbingers, signs of imminent looming, impending abandonment.


And one thing the narcissist cannot tolerate is abandonment, because exactly like the borderline, the narcissist have very well developed separation anxiety and low tolerance for abandonment.

So with any hint of abandonment, the narcissist is likely to bail out and abandon sheep. This is called preemptive abandonment.

Now I would like to go to the psychological analysis of of this psychological analysis of the role of the snapshot, role of abandonment in the narcissist's life and how they integrate, how they yield, how they give rise to these techniques.

I'll start with a quote from who else? Donald Winnicott. He wrote a paper in 1971 and it's titled Mirror role, Mirror role of mother and family in child development. And Winnicott says, what does the infant see when he or she looks into the mother's face?

I'm suggesting that ordinarily what the infant sees is himself or herself. In other words, the mother is looking at the baby and what she looks like is related to what she sees there.

Jeffrey Seinfeld in his book, the empty core or empty core, it was published, I think in 1991, had written the following.

It is imperative for the infant to find himself, his own true nature, reflected in the mother's look and not her own troubled mood, her own image of who he should be instead of who he is, or worse yet, no sign of him at all.

The caregiver provides supportive mirroring by responding to the infant's gestures rather than by imposing her own gestures and cues and forcing the infant to respond to them. The caregiver also responds by recognizing the child's gesture, but not stealing this gesture for herself.

So this mirroring is very critical.

We start with the fact that everyone has a schizoid core in the early stages of development, around six months to one year. We all start with a schizoid core.

The schizoid core is self-sufficient. The baby manages the world by essentially internalizing the world, including mother. He is beginning to develop a zoo, a collection of internal objects and he plays with these objects and he manages these objects and he revels and he is joyful among these objects. This is his secret garden.

So the schizoid core is populated with internal objects, merging ones, old ones, congenital ones, possibly as some scholars have suggested, the ego maybe.

So there are many, many internal objects, but we say that the schizoid core is empty.

How can the schizoid core be empty if it has so many internal objects?

Schizoid core is empty.

So the child misses being alive. The child wants to feel that he or she exists. And there is only one source of sustenance, one source of authority, one source of input and feedback that the child can turn to, and that's mother.

So the infant turns to his mother or his caregiver. Most caregivers are mothers. So the child, the infant turns to his mother and elicits from her, provokes her to respond. So the baby smiles and the baby cries and the baby moves his hands and feet, chubby feet, you know, these are cues. They're social cues actually. They're intended to elicit, to generate in the mother responsiveness. And the mother's responses are collected like so many treasures by the baby. The baby collects these responses.

Then gradually, out of these responses, he constructs an identity. He begins, core begins to emerge. A feeling of being, a feeling of existence. We become alive when we are seen. If we were to be invisible, and no one were to notice us, we would feel dead.

It is a fact that what we call ego and self are not individual enterprises. They are collaborative efforts. Everyone around us contributes to ourself even when we are adults. Everyone around us modifies ourselves. Ourselves are fluid. They are processes, not entities.

So the infant lets the mother create his self. And what is this self? It is the totality of the mother's responses.

The first self, the primordial self, the nuclear self, which later is constellated and becomes much more complex.

But to start with, to start with, the baby has no other input, no other feedback, no other information except the mother's responses, the mother's way of looking at him, mother's smiles, mother's admonitions, mother's absences and mother's presences. And the baby collects all these and he puts them together in a framework and it glues, you know, it glues the parts and it becomes a basic Frankenstein-like self.

At some stage, the baby's dependence on mother becomes a bit frightening. The baby depends on mother not only for his life, but for his being, for his existence, for his selfhood. So that's frightening. Imagine, imagine this is the state of the narcissist throughout his life. Imagine how terrifying this is to be so dramatically, so all-pervasively dependent on other people.

So the baby, when he realizes this dependency, when he senses it, it terrifies him. And he reacts by trying to internalize mother, because if mother becomes an internal object, he can then control her. She will never abandon him. He can become, gradually, dependent on himself or at least on her internal object, the introject.

But the introject or the internal object or the inner representation of mother is a part of baby.

So the baby, in a way, regains, recoupes, takes back the locus of control.

At first, it was external. Mother was the locus of control. And now, by internalizing mother, the locus of control becomes internal.

But regardless of whether mother is an external object or later an internal object, the infant wants to be desired by mother. He wants to be his mother's object of desire.

And yes, the infant tries to seduce mother. There's even a hint of eroticism in this, which gave rise to the Oedipus complex, according to Freud.

But any mother would tell you that babies are somewhat erotic, that sometimes they are more reminiscent of demanding husbands than of babies. There is this interplay between entities, which is essentially somewhat sexual and somewhat erotic.

But at any rate, the baby wants to secure his mother's presence and he wants to feel wanted and he wants to feel loved and desired. So he's trying to seduce her by presenting himself to mother as irresistible, cutie pie, admirable, exciting.

The baby recasts himself as a baby. He discovers his power of a mother.

Teenagers go through an identical phase when they discover their sexuality, for example.

Girls, teenage girls, report repeatedly how they are astounded by the power of their sexuality over teenage boys. So the baby discovers his power of a mother whenever he smiles, whenever he moves his feet and hands, whenever he cries, mommy reacts instantly if she is a good enough mother.

And so the baby's irresistibility is a core element of the baby's interaction with mother.

But the baby doesn't want mother to react as a robot automatically, unthinkingly. The baby wants mother to freely choose him. He wants to be chosen. He wants mother to bond with him and to choose him, not because she has no other choice, but because she loves him, because she does find him irresistible, admirable, exciting, amazing.

Love object. He wants mother to freely choose, but he wants her to freely choose to become what?

A love slave, in the language of Jeffrey Seinfeld, a love slave. Remember, let's go back one step.

Mother used to be an external object. By the time the baby tries to seduce mother, by the time he tries to render himself irresistible, the mother is no longer an external object. It's been internalized. It's now an internal object.

So he wants mother to conform to the internal object. In other words, to become his slave.

Any mother will tell you that babies are tyrannical. And that's the meaning of terrible tools.

In the terrible tools, in the tyrannical phase, this is the phase of separation, individuation. At that point, the baby, when he separates from mommy, when he becomes an individual, wants to take mommy with him. He wants to separate from her without separating.

And how to accomplish this? He internalizes her. Even as he walks away, walks away, she is in his head. She is forever with him. So he has no anxiety.

But to accomplish this successfully, mother needs to conform. Mother needs to accept her internalization. Mother needs to behave in ways which do not conflict and do not contradict the internal object.

If mother were to contradict the internal object, to confront it, to subvert it, to undermine it, this would create intolerable anxiety in the separating, individuating child. And he would not be able to complete the separation, individuation phase. He is likely to become a co-dependent or a narcissist.

So a good mother actually complies with and colludes and collaborates in the process of converting him herself from an external, external, demanding, exciting object, an object of desire, into an internal, manageable, controllable object. A good mother doesn't place, doesn't require the child to continue to see her as an external object and never leave her, never leave her aside because she's external. She allows the child to separate by internalizing.

And so the baby ends up internalizing the mother, converting her into a love slave in his mind, but this is accomplished by turning himself into an object. When the baby plays the role of the irresistible, exciting, amazing, cutie pie package of joy, when he plays this role, this socially allocated role in a way, a biologically allocated role, when he plays this role, he renders himself, he converts himself into the object of his mother's love, the object of his mother's desire.

Even as the child is internalizing the mother as an internal object, even when the child is engaged in the unbelievable undertaking of converting the mother from external object to internal object, he is converting himself into an external object. It's a very crucial insight.

But simultaneously, there are two processes.

Process number one, the child tries to condition the mother, to get the mother to become addicted to it, to behave in ways which the mother would find irresistible, to render himself the object of love and desire of the mother. That's process number one.

And in this process, the child converts himself into an object, an external object, of his mother's love and desire. This is the first inkling of self, of existence, of being.

And at the same time, in order to separate and really become an individual, the child converts mother from an external object to an internal object.

But as the child objectifies itself, the child loses its own subjectivity. So there's a problem here. It's a conflicted process.

For the child to secure and garner his mother's love and desire and attention and presence, the child needs to become an object, her object of love and desire.

But when the child becomes an object, where is the child?

The child needs to suspend itself to become, to disappear and reappear as an object. He disappears as a subjectivity, as a subject, as a mind, as a consciousness, as an ego, whatever. He disappears and reappears as an external object.

And he is then an external object of desire.

And the only solution, of course, is to rebuild his subjectivity as an object by adopting his mother's view of him as an object. It's very complex.

Let me reiterate this.

Follow me. The child converts himself into an object because he wants mother to love him and to be present and to never abandon him. So he converts himself into an irresistible, cute, amazingly adorable packet of joy.

But when he does this, he loses whatever self he may have had or may have started to develop. He loses his sense of subjectivity, of who he is.

And so to reacquire this sense of identity and subjectivity, to answer this question of who am I, he adopts his mother's point of view. He becomes what his mother sees. His mother's gaze, his mother's look, his mother's responses become him.

He becomes the totality of the feedback and input and information that the mother gives him.

When the mother observes the child, when she interacts with the child, when she responds to the child, she provides the child with information about how she sees the child, how she perceives the child.

And the child takes this information and molds it into his self.

The child's initial self, the primordial self, the not so constellated self, is ego, perhaps congenital ego.

The first steps in selfhood involve suspending the self and adopting another person's point of view of who you are.

The mother is telling the baby that's who you are. That's who you are because that's how I see you. And I'm the only source of information out there. So you better trust me and believe me and rely on me and you better become what I see you as the way I see you.

If you become the way I see you, there will be no discrepancy. There will be no anxiety. There will be no conflict.

So better become what I see.

And of course, when the baby adopts this point, this mother's point of view, when he becomes what his mother sees in him, when he transforms himself into the messages that his mother is sending him about himself, there's alienation. The baby's self is the totality of the look and the gaze of the other. It's otherness. The baby's self is founded on otherness. And it gives rise. This otherness, the otherness of mother, because mother is other, yeah. This otherness gives rise to the baby's self, but from the outside.

The baby in a way outsources his self. He imports his self from his mother and it doesn't feel good. It doesn't feel good because never mind how good the mother is, how loving and how present she would still, she would still impose on the baby her own point of view, her own prejudices, her own biases, her own insecurities, her own mental health problems, issues. So it doesn't feel real. It doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel good.

And the baby wants to disappear. He wants to become invisible in order to avoid this objectification.

When he's faced with the option to have a self which is dictated by his mother's look, by his mother's judgment, by his mother's preferences, by his mother's responses, this is one option.

And the other option is to not be. Sometimes he chooses to not be, to disappear, to become invisible, to avoid this objectification. And he reverts, he regresses to the empty schizoid space, the schizoid core. And he rejects the exciting object of desire, his mother in this case, aggressively.

And of course, this is what we call approach avoidance. The baby approaches mother. Mother provides him with, with his self. The baby doesn't feel comfortable with this new self that he had acquired from mommy.

So he retreats, he withdraws. He may withdraw all the way back into the womb, become unborn. That's the schizoid core.

But he withdraws in any case.

So he approaches mommy and then he withdraws for mommy. And of course, anyone who's been married to a narcissist would confirm. Anyone who has had a relationship with a narcissist is very, very acquainted with his approach avoidance cycles because a narcissist is two years old, forever.


I want to finish by reading to you a segment from a book.

When you dissolve the snapshot, and when you amplify the narcissist's abandonment anxiety, the narcissist is disoriented. He feels totally confused. Things are happening and he cannot explain them.

In his mind, your only existence is an idealized, snapshotted internal object.

And suddenly this internal object is autonomous, defiant, independent. His agency and self-efficacy defies him, disagrees with him, acts in ways which undermine and challenge the internal object.

And this is extremely disorienting. In extreme cases, it can lead to mortification and psychosis.

There's a confusion between internal and external, can wreak havoc on the narcissist's mind.


And I want to read to you an excerpt from a book.

The book is called Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert.

I want to read you this excerpt because it describes how we cope with experience that is unexpected and unpredictable. How do we cope in case of disorientation?

Explanations says Daniel Gilbert, explanations allow us to make full use of our experiences, but they also change the nature of these experiences.

As we have seen when experiences are unpleasant, we quickly move to explain these experiences in ways that make us feel better.

And indeed, studies show that the mere act of explaining an unpleasant event can help defend it.

But just as explanations ameliorate the impact of unpleasant events, so too do they ameliorate the impact of pleasant events.

For example, college students volunteered for a study in which they believed they were interacting in an online chat room with students from other universities. In fact, these students were actually interacting with a sophisticated computer program that simulated the presence of other students. After the simulated students had provided the real students with information about themselves, the researcher pretended to ask the simulated students to decide which of the people in the chat room they liked most.

In just a few minutes, something remarkable happened. Each real student received an email message from every one of the simulated students indicating they liked that student best.

Now here's the catch. Some real students, the informed group, received emails that allowed them to know which simulated student wrote each of the messages. And other real students, the uninformed group, received email messages that had been stripped of that identifying information. Hence, real students in the informed group were able to generate explanations for their good fortune having been selected.

So they said, for example, Eva, a simulated student, Eva appreciates my values because we are both involved in Habitat for Humanity.

The real students in the uninformed group were unable to generate explanations. Someone appreciates my values, but I wonder who and why.

Although real students in both groups were initially delighted to have been chosen as everyone's best friend, only the real students in the uninformed group remained delighted 15 minutes longer.

If you have ever had a secret admirer, you understand why. The reason why unexplained events have a disproportionate emotional impact is that we are especially likely to keep thinking about them.

People spontaneously try to explain events and studies show that when people do not complete the things that they set out to do, they're especially likely to think about and remember their unfinished business.

Once we explain an event, we can fold it up like fresh laundry, put it away in memory's drawer and move on to the next one.

But if an event defies explanation, it becomes a mystery and refuses to stay in the back of our minds. Explanation robs events of their emotional impact because it makes them seem likely and allows us to stop thinking about them.

I may add, in other words, to reduce anxiety.

Okay, get to work. Negate, vitiate and dissolve your idealized snapshot and amplify the narcissist abandonment anxiety. Good luck with it.

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