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Gullible Narcissist Victimized and Abused

Uploaded 9/3/2010, approx. 6 minute read

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

The irony is that narcissists, who invariably consider themselves worldly, discerning, knowledgeable, shrewd, iridite, astute, and generally street-smart and clever, narcissists are actually more gullible than the average person.

This gullibility is because they are fake. Narcissists are false, their self is false, their life is a confabulation and a sham, their reality test is long gone.

Narcissists live in a fantasy land, all of their own making, in which they are at the center of the universe, admired, feared, held in awe and respected for their omnipotence and omniscience.

None of this, of course, is real. Narcissists are prone to magical thinking. They hold themselves immune to the consequences of their actions or their inaction.

Therefore, they consider themselves to be beyond punishment and the laws of men.

Narcissists are easily persuaded to assume unreasonable risks and expect miracles to happen.

They often find themselves on the receiving end of investments camps, for instance.

Narcissists feel entitled to everything, to money, to power, to honors, incommensurate with their accomplishments or toys, to love, to perfection, to beauty. The world or God or the nation or society or their families, co-workers, employers, even neighbors owe them the trouble-free exalted and luxurious existence.

They are rudely shocked when they are penalized for their misconduct or when their fantasies remain just fantasies.

The narcissist believes that he is destined to greatness or at least that he is entitled to the easy life.

He wakes up every morning fully ready for a fortuitous stroke of luck.

That explains the narcissist's reckless behaviors and his lazed lack of self-discipline. It also explains why the narcissist is so easily duped, cheated and deceived.

By playing on the narcissist's grandiosity and paranoia, it is possible to deceive and manipulate the narcissist effortlessly.

Just offer the narcissist's narcissistic supply, give him admiration, a modicum of affirmation, some dollop of adulation, and he is all yours.

Harp on the narcissist's insecurities and his persecutory delusions and he is likely to trust you and only you and cling for you for their life.

Narcissists therefore attract abuse. They are haughty, exploitive, demanding, sensitive and quarrelsome. They tend to draw hatred and ill-will.

They tend to provoke anger, sorely lacking in interpersonal skills, devoid of empathy and steeped in irksome grandiose fantasies.

Narcissists invariably fail to mitigate the irritation and revolt that they induce in others.

Successful narcissists are frequently targeted by stalkers and persecutors, usually mentally ill people who develop a fixation of a sexual and emotional nature on the narcissist.

When they are rebuffed, these kind of people become vindictive and even violent.

Less prominent narcissists end up sharing life with co-dependence and inverted narcissists, equally clinging and needing.

The narcissist's situation is exacerbated by the fact that often the narcissist himself is an abuser.

Like the boy who cried wolf, people do not believe that the perpetrator of egregious deeds can himself fall prey to maltreatment.

Abusers are not supposed to be victims of abuse, although often they are.

People tend to ignore and discard the narcissist's cries for help and disbelieve his protestations even when he is truly a victim.

The narcissist reacts to abuse as does any other victim.

Traumatized, he goes through the phases of denial, helplessness, rage, depression and finally acceptance.

But the narcissist's reactions are amplified by his shattered sense of omnipotence.

The abuse proves to him that he is not all powerful and not all knowing.

Abuse breeds humiliation and humiliation is difficult for the narcissist more than to other people.

As far as the narcissist is concerned, helplessness is a novel and unwelcome experience.

The narcissistic defense mechanisms and their behavior are manifestations.

If you use rage, idealization, devaluation, exploitation, all these defenses are useless when confronted with a determined, vindictive or delusional stalker or with a con artist or with a scammer, that the narcissist is flattered by the attention he receives from the abuser, renders him even more vulnerable to the abuser's manipulation.

The narcissist can also not come to terms with his need for help or acknowledge that wrongful behavior on his part may have contributed somehow to the situation, may have exacerbated it.

His self-image is as an infallible, mighty, all-knowing person, far superior to others. And this self-image is like chains. He's shackled. It won't let him admit to shortfalls or mistakes.

As the abuse progresses, the narcissist feels increasingly cornered. His conflicting emotional needs to preserve the integrity of his grandiose self, even as he seeks much-needed support, places an unbearable strain on the precarious balance of his immature personality.

I repeat, for the one hand, he feels that he is all-powerful, he is a grandiose false self. On the other hand, he is helpless, he needs help, and finally he asks for help.

This contradiction creates a enormous inner tension, destructive, explosive.

The compensating leads to acting out. The narcissist disintegrates, the defense mechanisms disintegrate. He lashes out, he acts out, and if the abuse is protracted, the narcissist withdraws from any interpersonal and social contact. It can even reach the situation of psychosis or psychotic micro-evicence.

Abusive acts in themselves are rarely dangerous, but not so the reactions to abuse.

Above all, the overwhelming sense of violation and humiliation.

So, narcissist reactions put his personality, his defense mechanism, his integrity as a person, as a self, put all these at risk.

And the gullible narcissist is therefore in the throes of disintegrating, of being transformed.

Few narcissists come out of this tunnel and see the light. The vast majority of them remain buried deep within.

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

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 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.


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.


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.


Narcissist Re-idealizes Discarded Sources of Narcissistic Supply

Narcissists keep discarded sources of supply in reserve and seek them out when they have no other supply source. They frantically try to recycle their old sources and re-idealize them without admitting to having been mistaken in the first place. To preserve their grandiosity, they come up with a narrative that accommodates both the devaluing content and the re-idealized image of the source. If you are an old source of narcissistic supply, simply ignore the narcissist as indifference is what they cannot stand.


Narcissist: Loser and Failure

Narcissists have three traits that make them fail and become losers: a sense of entitlement, arrogance, and aversion to routine. Their sense of entitlement makes them lazy and believe that they should be spoon-fed. They are under-qualified and lack skills because they believe they are above mundane chores. Their arrogance and belief that they are superior to others hampers their ability to function in society. They become outcasts and are shunned by colleagues, employers, and family members.


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.


Narcissistic Boss or Employer: Coping and Survival Tactics

Narcissistic bosses or employers view their staff as sources of narcissistic supply and nothing else. They expect their employees to serve as an audience, adulate, and affirm their grandiose self-image. Any hint of equality, disagreement, or criticism threatens the narcissist profoundly. Narcissists feel suffocated by intimacy or routine and forever shift the blame, pass the buck, and engage in cognitive dissonance. Manipulating the narcissist is the only way an employee can survive in such a workplace.


Embarrassing Narcissist

Narcissists lack self-awareness and are only intimate with their false self, which is constructed from years of lying and deceit. Their overpowering sense of entitlement is rarely commensurate with their accomplishments in real life or with their traits. They often make inflated and inane claims about their sexual prowess, wealth, connections, history, or achievements. This failure of the reality test can have serious and irreversible consequences, as narcissists may make life and death decisions in fields they are academically unqualified for.


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.

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