Giving Narcissist Second Chance

Uploaded 8/28/2010, approx. 4 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

Relationships with narcissists peter out slowly, tortuously.

Narcissists do not provide closure. They stalk, they cajole, they beg, promise, persuade, and ultimately they succeed in doing the impossible yet again. They sweep you off your feet. You know better than to succumb to the spurious and superficial charms, and yet you cannot resist yourself.

So, you go back to your so-called relationship and hope for a better ending this time.

You walk on eggshells, you become the epitome of submissiveness, the perfect source of narcissistic supply, the ideal mate or spouse or partner or colleague.

You keep your fingers crossed.

But how does a narcissist react to the resurrection of the world?

Well, this depends on whether you have reentered yourself from a position of strength or from a position of vulnerability and weakness.

The narcissist casts all interactions with other people in terms of conflicts or competitions to be won.

He does not regard you as a partner but is an adversary to be subjugated and defeated.

Thus, as far as he is concerned, your return to the fold is a triumph, proof of his superiority, irresistibility and omnipotence.

If he perceives you as autonomous, dangerously independent and capable of bailing out and abandoning him, the narcissist acts the part of the sensitive, loving, compassionate and empathic counterpart.

Narcissists respect strength. They are all followed by it.

As long as you maintain a non-nonsense attitude, placing the narcissist on probation, he is likely to behave himself.

But if, on the other hand, you have resumed contact because you have capitulated to his threats or because you are manifestly dependent on him financially or emotionally, the narcissist will pounce on your frailty. He will exploit your fragility to the maximum.

Following a pro-factorial honeymoon, he will immediately seek to control you and to abuse you yet again.

In both cases, the narcissist's thespian acting reserves are exhausted and his true nature and feelings emerge willy-nilly. The facade crumbles and beneath it lurks the same old heartless forcity that is the narcissist.

His gleeful, smugness that having bent you to his wishes and rules, his all-consuming sense of entitlement, his sexual depravity, his aggression, his pathological envy and rage, they all erupt uncontrollably.

The prognosis for the renewed affair is far worse if it follows a lengthy separation in which you have made a life for yourself with your own interests, pursuits, sets of friends, needs, wishes, plans and obligations.

The more independent you are of your narcissistic ex, the more unrelated you are to him, the more furious he is and the more likely the new relationship will fade.

The narcissist cannot tolerate your separateness. To him you are a mere instrument of gratification or an extension of his bloated, false self.

He resents your pecuniary wherewithal. He is insanely jealous of your friends. He refuses to accept your preferences or compromise his own incentives, dismissive of your accomplishments.

Ultimately the very fact that you have survived without his constant presence seems to deny him his much-needed narcissistic supply.

He writes the inevitable cycle of idealization and devaluation.

Now he berates you, humiliates you publicly, threatens you, destabilizes you by behaving unpredictably, fosters ambient abuse, gaslighting and uses others to intimidate and humble you, abused by proxy.

At this stage of rampant devaluation, you are faced with a tough choice.

To live again, to give up all the emotional and financial investments that went into your attempt to resurrect the relationship or maybe to go on trying, subject to daily abuse and worse.

It's a tough choice.

It is a well-known landscape though. You have been there before.

But this familiarity doesn't make it less nightmarish. You are in Lalaland.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

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.

Cope with Narcissists: Abandon or Mirror

The best way to cope with a narcissist is to abandon them or threaten to abandon them. The narcissist is a binary person, and the carrot is also the stick in their case. If they get too close to someone emotionally, they fear abandonment and immediately distance themselves, acting cruelly and bringing about the very abandonment they feared. If one chooses to accept the narcissist, to live with them, to remain in an intimate relationship with them, it is a package deal. All their needs, demands, and requirements are included.

Interpersonal Narcissist: Family and Relationships (ENGLISH responses, with Nárcisz Coach)

Narcissists engage in a power play in relationships, which is a zero-sum game that doesn't allow for intimacy or building something long-term. The narcissist will leverage whatever happens and whatever attributes of the relationship for their own gain and control. The longer you live with a narcissist, the more narcissistic you become, and it alters your behavior, identity, and self-perception. The contagion effect is disorienting and dislocating to the point of depersonalization, derealization, and dissociation.

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.

Narcissist Uses Money to Enslave, Bribe Victim

Narcissists use money to manipulate and control their victims, who often equate money with love and become entangled in the narcissist's web. Victims may engage in self-deception and cognitive dissonance to justify their sacrifices and remain on the narcissist's good side. However, they may eventually rebel and become passive-aggressive, bitter, depressed, and paranoid. If they do not extricate themselves in time, they may acquire the traits and behavior patterns of their narcissistic abusers and form a shared psychosis mediated by money.

Paranoia, Narcissistic Mirroring, and Narcissistic Reflection

Narcissists tend to react with paranoia when they feel threatened, but these attacks tend to fade and the narcissist frequently homes in on new agents of persecution. The narcissist's paranoia is a grandiose fantasy aimed to regulate their sense of self-worth. The narcissist's partner tends to encourage their paranoid or threatening attention, and this is a game of two. Living with a narcissist can tilt one's mind toward abnormal reactions, and even after separation, the narcissist's partners typically still care for the narcissist greatly.

Does the Narcissist Envy YOU? (READ THE DESCRIPTION)

Narcissists do not envy your positive qualities or care about who you are as a person. They only value what you can provide to them, such as attention, services, and safety. Your kindness and empathy mean nothing to them, and they view your expressions of love and support as manipulative or fake. Ultimately, the narcissist sees you as either weak and deserving of contempt or as a threat to their control, leading to devaluation and discard.

Remain Friends with the Narcissist?

Narcissists are only friendly when they need something from you, such as narcissistic supply, help, support, votes, money, or sex. They also become friendly when they feel threatened and want to smother the threat with pleasantries. Narcissists are also over-friendly when they have just been infused with an overdose of narcissistic supply. Some people prefer to live with narcissists because they have been conditioned to treat narcissistic abuse as background noise and are compensated for the abuse by the thrills provided by living with a narcissist. However, inverted narcissists are typically unhappy and in need of help, which suggests that they are victims who experience the Stockholm Syndrome.

Cope with Vindictive Narcissists

Narcissists are often vindictive and can be dealt with by either frightening them or luring them. Frightening the narcissist is a powerful behavior modification tool, and one can identify the vulnerabilities and susceptibilities of the narcissist and strike repeated escalating blows at them. The alternative is to lure the vindictive narcissist by offering continued narcissistic supply until the war is over and won. Adulation, admiration, attention, sex, or subservience are the tools in coping with vindictive, dangerous stalkers and paranoia.

Narcissist: Normal People are Enigma

The narcissist feels that they cannot understand normal people and that they are often exploited in their relationships. They try hard not to offend others and give a lot, but it seems that they can do nothing right. The narcissist feels that they are a mental leper and that people only tolerate them because of what they can offer. They acquiesce in the asymmetry of their relationships and have known no differently since their early childhood.

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