Embarrassing Narcissist

Uploaded 9/23/2010, approx. 3 minute read

I am Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

The narcissist is convinced that he possesses an unerring sense of rhythm until his wife tells him that he has none.

He thinks that his comments, observations and insights are original and pithy until he discovers that he is numbingly verbose, repetitive and coarse.

He attributes to himself a great sense of humor until he rereads some of his writings and finds how convoluted and dull his pitiful efforts at being witty are.

In his mind, the narcissist poses arabesque and lucid and incisive, but he often learns that it is not.

This utter lack of self-awareness is typical of the narcissist. He is intimate only with his false self, and the false self is constructed meticulously from years of lying and deceit.

The narcissist's true self is stashed, dilapidated and dysfunctional in the furthest recesses of the narcissist mind. The false self is omnipotent, all-powerful, omniscient, all-knowing, omnipresent, everywhere, creative, genius, irresistible, perfect, brilliant and glowing.

But this is the false self.

The narcissist often is none of these things.

Adcombustible paranoia to the narcissist divorced from himself and his constant and recurrent failure to assess reality fairly is more understandable.

The narcissist's overpowering sense of entitlement is rarely commensurate with his accomplishments in his real life or with his traits.

And when the world fails to comply with the narcissist's demands and to support his grandiose fantasies, the narcissist suspects a plot against him by his inferiors.

The narcissist rarely admits to a weakness, an ignorance or an efficiency. He filters out information to the contrary. It's a cognitive impairment with serious consequences.

Narcissists are likely to unflinchingly make inflated and inane claims about their sexual prowess, their wealth, their connections, their history or their achievements. All these confabulations are embarrassing to the narcissist's nearest, dearest, colleagues, friends, neighbors and even to onlookers.

The narcissist's tales are so pathetically absurd that he often catches people off guard.

Unbeknownst to the narcissist, he is derided and he is mockingly imitated. He fast makes a nuisance and an imposition of himself in every company.

But the narcissist's failure of the reality test can have more serious and irreversible consequences than public mockery.

Narcissists are academically unqualified to make life and death decisions, often insist on rendering. A narcissist would treat someone medically. He would interfere in engineering decisions. He would commit errors based on his inflated sense of self and grandiose fantasies, which may cost lives.

Narcissists pretend to be economists, engineers or medical doctors when they are not.

But they are not con-artists in the classic premeditated sense. They, for instance, don't do it usually for money. They firmly believe that though self-taught, self-educated and auto-deducts, they are more qualified than even the properly accredited sort.

Narcissists believe in magic and in fantasy. They are no longer with us in effect.

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Narcissist's Cognitive Deficits

Narcissists lack empathy and are unable to relate to others, instead withdrawing into a universe populated by avatars. They are incapable of holding an external dialogue and all their dialogues are completely internal. The narcissist attributes their failures and mistakes to circumstances and external causes, while regarding their successes and achievements as proofs of their own omnipotence and omniscience. The narcissist pays a dear price for these distortions of perception, developing paranoid ideation and fading the reality test.

Narcissist's Romantic Jealousy and Possessiveness

Narcissists experience anxiety when they become aware of their possessive and jealous tendencies. Anxiety characterizes all their interactions with the opposite sex, especially in situations where there is a possibility of rejection or abandonment. The narcissist's envy of their female mate is a result of an unconscious conflict, and they exercise their imagination to justify their negative emotions. Narcissists often strike an unhealthy balance by being emotionally and physically absent, which drives their partner to find emotional and physical gratification outside the relationship.

Self-destruction as Narcissistic Supply: Narcissist's Self-denial and Self-defeat

Narcissists frustrate others to satisfy their masochistic tendencies and sadistic urges. By withholding love, sex, and intimacy, they torment those around them while obstructing their own gratification. Self-denial, self-destruction, and self-defeat buttress the narcissist's sense of superiority and uniqueness, as they prove to themselves that they are the strongest and can overcome powerful desires and emotions. These behaviors and choices engender narcissistic supply, as they demonstrate the narcissist's independence from society, nature, and even themselves.

Narcissist: Your Pain is his Healing, Your Crucifixion - His Resurrection

Narcissists need their victims to suffer to regulate their own emotions and feel a sense of control. They keep a mental ledger of positive and negative behaviors, with negative behaviors weighing more heavily. Narcissists need counterfactual statements to maintain their delusion of being special and superior. The grandiosity gap is the major vulnerability of the narcissist, and they are often in denial about their limitations and failures.

Do Narcissists Truly Hate?

Narcissists are often adult versions of abused children who fear intimacy and seek to provoke hatred in parents, caregivers, and authority figures. They act out antisocially and seek to destroy the source of frustration. The narcissist's hatred is not a stable experiential state, but rather a transformation of resentment and an aggressive reaction to frustration. The narcissist is heavily dependent on other people for the regulation of their sense of self-worth, and they resent this dependence.

Narcissist's Routines

Narcissists have a series of routines that are developed through rote learning and repetitive patterns of experience. These routines are used to reduce anxiety and transform the world into a manageable and controllable one. The narcissist is a creature of habit and finds change unsettling. The narcissist's routines are often broken down when they are breached or can no longer be defended, leading to a narcissistic injury.

Can Narcissist Truly Love?

Narcissists are incapable of true love, but they do experience some emotion which they insist is love. Narcissists love their significant others as long as they continue to provide them with attention, or narcissistic supply. There are two types of narcissistic love: one type loves others as one would get attached to objects, while the other type abhors monotony and constancy, seeking instability, chaos, upheaval, drama, and change. In the narcissist's world, mature love is nowhere to be seen, and their so-called love is fear of losing control and hatred of the very people on whom their personality depends.

Narcissist Has No Friends

Narcissists treat their friends like Watson and Hastings, who are obsequious and unthreatening, and provide them with an adulating gallery. Narcissists cannot empathize or love, and therefore have no real friends. They are interested in securing narcissistic supply from narcissistic supply sources. The narcissist overvalues people when they are judged to be potential sources of supply, and devalues them when no longer able to supply him, ultimately leading to the alienation and distancing of people.

Narcissist Reacts to Criticism, Disagreement, Disapproval

Narcissists are hypervigilant and perceive every disagreement as criticism and every critical comment as complete and humiliating rejection. They react defensively, becoming indignant, aggressive, and cold. The narcissist minimizes the impact of the disagreement and criticism on himself by holding the critic in contempt, by diminishing the stature of the discordant conversant. When the disagreement or criticism or disapproval or approbation become public, the narcissist tends to regard them as narcissistic supply.

Narcissist Never Sorry

Narcissists sometimes feel bad and experience depressive episodes and dysphoric moods, but they have a diminished capacity to empathize and rarely feel sorry for what they have done or for their victims. They often project their own emotions and actions onto others and attribute to others what they hate in themselves. When confronted with major crises, the narcissist experiences real excruciating pain, but this is only a fleeting moment, and they recover their former self and embark on a new hunt for narcissistic supply. They are hunters, predators, and their victims are prey.

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