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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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The Signs of the Narcissist

Narcissists are difficult to spot, but there are subtle signs that can be picked up on, such as entitlement markers, idealization and devaluation, and a lack of empathy. Narcissists are often perceived as anti-social and are unable to secure the sympathy of others. They are also prone to projecting a false self and using primitive defense mechanisms such as splitting, projection, projective identification, and intellectualization.


How Narcissist Experiences/Reacts to No Contact, Grey Rock, Mirroring, Coping, Survival Techniques

Narcissists are victims of post-traumatic conditions caused by their parents, leading to ontological insecurity, dissociation, and confabulation. They have no core identity and construct their sense of self by reflecting themselves from other people. Narcissists have empathy, but it is cold empathy, which is goal-oriented and used to find vulnerabilities to obtain goals. Narcissism becomes a religion when a child is abused by their parents, particularly their mother, and not allowed to develop their own boundaries. The false self demands human sacrifice, and the narcissist must sacrifice others to the false self to gratify and satisfy it.


How Narcissist's Victims Deceive Themselves

Narcissists cannot be cured and are a threat to those around them. Victims of narcissists often confuse shame with guilt and attribute remorsefulness to the narcissist when they are actually feeling shame for failing. Narcissists are attracted to vulnerable people who offer them a secure source of narcissistic supply. Healing is dependent on a sense of security in a relationship, but the narcissist is not interested in healing and would rather invest their energy in obtaining narcissistic supply. Narcissists lack empathy and cannot understand others, making them a danger to those around them.


Recluse Narcissist

Narcissists do not have friends in the usual sense of the word, as they are only interested in securing the provision of narcissistic supply from others. They overvalue people when they are judged to be potential sources of supply, but discard them nonchalantly when they are no longer able or willing to supply them. The narcissist's behavior, choices, acts, attitudes, beliefs, interests, and life are curtailed by their sensitivity to outside opinion, and they avoid situations where they are likely to encounter opposition, criticism, or competition. The fear of flying is at the heart of narcissism.


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 in Court and Litigation

Narcissists are skilled at distorting reality and presenting plausible alternative scenarios, making it difficult to expose their lies in court. However, it is possible to break a narcissist by finding their weak spots and using them to inflict pain. The narcissist is likely to react with rage to any statement that contradicts their inflated perception of themselves or suggests they are not special. They feel entitled to be treated differently from others and cannot tolerate criticism or being told they are not as intelligent or successful as they think they are.


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 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.


Narcissist's Beloved Paranoia

Narcissists feel victimized by those who fail to appreciate their talents and accomplishments, and project their negative emotions onto others. Their paranoid streak is likeliest to erupt when they lack narcissistic supply. Paranoia is used by the narcissist to ward off intimacy, which they dread because it exposes their weaknesses and shortcomings. The narcissist's paranoia, exacerbated by repeated rejections and aging, pervades their entire life and diminishes their creativity, adaptability, and functioning.


Predator Narcissist: YOU are the Prey!

Narcissists have the ability to see through other people's emotional shields and know when they are deviating from the truth. They can intuitively grasp other people's self-interested goals and accurately predict their strategies and tactics. Narcissists can't stand self-important, self-inflated, pompous, vigorous, self-righteous, sanctimonious, and hypocritical people because they recognize themselves in them. They expose people's vulnerabilities and force them to confront their true selves, their dead-end careers, their mundane lives, the death of their hopes and dreams and wishes, their shattered illusions.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2023, under license to William DeGraaf
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