Haunted Minds of Narcissist, Borderline: Schizoid Empty Core

Uploaded 3/9/2024, approx. 35 minute read

I just got my grubby hands on Otto Könberg's latest tome.

And as usual, it is a delight.

It is titled "Hatred, Emptiness and Hope, Transference-Focused Psychotherapy and Personality Disorders" by Otto F. Könberg, M.D.

In his book, he continues to explore the concept of emptiness, the void, the black hole, the deep space at the heart of borderline and narcissistic personality disorders.

Otto Könberg may have been a pioneer of this concept, but others have contributed to it.

And I especially refer you to a book by Jeffrey Seinfeld, "The Empty Core and Object Relations Approach to Psychotherapy of the Schizoid Personality" and a book by Harry Guntrip of Object Relations fame, "Schizoid Phenomena, Object Relations and Thisself." All these books and many others, numerous articles and so on and so forth, try to grapple with this intuition, counterintuitive reality-defying thing.

What is this emptiness?

What is this void?

How does one capture and describe an absence?

In terms of what?

So this is what makes borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder such an alien experience or even an alien concept.

And it is very difficult to convey and to communicate to other people, not only what it feels like to be an absence, but how could an absence be?

Isn't the very idea of being or becoming the antithesis, the antonym of absence and emptiness and void and black hole?

How can one's existence consist of one's non-existence?

It seems like a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron.

I will try, I've dealt already with these issues in various other videos, but I'll try to delve a bit deeper today into this really unprecedented phenomenon.

It exists mostly in borderline and narcissistic disorders of the self.

We and perhaps in some psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, we don't come across this howling void, this all-consuming emptiness.

We don't come across these clinical features in other mental illnesses or mental disorders.

So I'll try to somehow use metaphors or similes or models borrowed mainly from physics somehow to elucidate what it is that is happening.

I think the closest we could get to gaining an initial handle on this phenomenon is supernova.

Supernova is an explosion of a supermassive star, usually, could be a galaxy, a supermassive star which leaves behind, the explosion leaves behind remnants scattered all over space and a very dense core which becomes either a neutron star or a black hole.

A similar process occurs within the psyche of the borderline and the narcissist.

There is a kind of explosion and the explosion or implosion if you wish, it is as if the star of the narcissist or the galaxy of the borderline collapses inwards on itself by sheer force of the gravity of mental illness.

And then there is a cloud of remnants circling an emptiness.

So we have these remnants of the explosion or the implosion, remnants all over the place.

They are discernible, they're observable, they're visible and they evidently gravitate towards but kept at a distance from some kind of supermassive body.

But this supermassive body is not observable, exactly like a black hole.

Light cannot escape a black hole.

That's why it's called a black hole.

Some radiation does but light doesn't.

So there is this emptiness that on the one hand we know nothing about because it's not discernible, it's not observable, we cannot inspect it, cannot study it, there is this emptiness that on the one hand is not accessible to us.

But on the other hand it has massive impacts on everything else in the borderline and narcissist life.

This emptiness at the heart of the borderline and the core of the narcissist, this emptiness defines them, becomes who they are.

This emptiness is in lieu of identity, it's a substitute identity.

It is known as the empty schizoid core and it is the seat of all the pathologies and all the addictions which put together substitute for a core identity.

So the narcissist and the borderline do not possess a stable, immutable identity.

That's because, mainly because they are highly dissociative, they are unable to form continuous memories and then put these memories together so that an identity emerges.

So there's no core, no identity.

The question who are you cannot be properly answered by a borderline or a narcissist because there's nobody there to answer it.

Where a self should have been, where an ego should have been, where a personhood or person should have been, where a personality should have been, there is nothing.

There's nothing but a cratered, a cratered, unconstipated, unintegrated cloud of circling remnants of debris, of detritus.

It's like a wasteland in the wake of an apocalypse or a massive natural disaster or days and months of intensive aerial bombardment.

Clearly some explosive or implosive process devastated, decimated, eradicated any possibility at putting things together cohesively and coherently and functionally.

And this something, this process, this explosive or implosive process is known as early childhood trauma and abuse.

And I recommend that you watch the videos in the From Child to Narcissist playlist on this YouTube channel.

So the pathologies and the addictions of the borderline and the narcissist are persistent.

And it is because they are persistent, they are lifelong, they survive across the lifespan, the very chaotic and tumultuous lifespan of the borderline and the narcissist.

So these pathologies and addictions, because they're always there, because they're stable, they resemble a core and they often misidentified with identity.

Their persistence is mistaken for an identity.

So we tend to conceive of the borderline and the narcissist in terms of their pathologies and addictions as if it's as if a side or apart from the pathologies and addictions, there's nothing there, which is quite true, by the way.

So there's a core, an empty-speed-speed core populated with pathologies and addictions, which substitute for core identity and are often mistaken for it.

What about the rest?

What about, I don't know, beliefs, values, traits, cognitions, emotions, choices, decisions?

What about all these things?

What about the elements that comprise in healthy people an identity, constitute in healthy people a personality?

What happens to all these ingredients and constituents of a personality or an identity?

Well, they are in the periphery of the void.

They're like the remnants of the supernova, like the remnants of the explosion.

They're like the gas surrounding a black hole.

They're in the periphery of the void.

And I call it the "hollow personality."

The narcissist has a hive mind, as I suggested well over 15 years ago.

The borderline of the narcissist have a "hollow personality," a personality that is very diffuse, fuzzy, cloud-like.

And that's why Ericsson used the term, which we'll discuss a bit later, identity diffusion.

The hollow personality is the outside envelope, which is like a shell surrounding the inner void or the inner emptiness.

And the hollow personality also elicits external regulation.

The narcissist and the borderline use the hollow personality and its elements to solicit and extract input from other people, mainly from intimate partners, but not only.

This input in the case of the narcissist is what is known as narcissistic supply and consists of all forms of attention and admiration and adulation, but also negative attention, like being feared.

And in the case of the borderline, this input from the outside, this externally sourced input and feedback, this external regulation consists of a series of interactions with the intimate partner or best friend in order to stabilize moods and dysregulated emotions.

These are last-ditch attempts.

External regulation is a last-ditch attempt to become by proxy via someone else, to exist throughsomeoneto become by proxy via someone else, to exist through someone else's mind, to put Humpty Dumpty back together, to reconstitute the shattered being, to somehow coalesce elements into a self or a pseudo-self or a wannabe ego, a simulation of an ego.

It's pretty pitiful.

It's pitiful to observe this.

The neediness and dependency of the borderline and the narcissist on input and feedback from other people is literally insatiable.

It's infinite.

But behaviors are determined by core identity, not by the periphery.

Andbecausethe narcissist and the psychopath, emptiness, the void, has supplanted, have supplanted the core identity, where other people have core identity, continuous and contiguous memories, the narcissist and the borderline have a black hole.

But because behaviors are dictated and determined and emanate from the core, in the case of the narcissist and the borderline, behaviors emanate, are derived from the void, the emptiness.

It is the black hole that dictates how the narcissist and the borderline behave.

The hallow personality does not dictate behavior, but is determined by behavior.

So the core, which is absent in the case of narcissist and psychopath, the void, initiates behaviors.

These behaviors have an impact on the hallow personality.

But because there is no core, it's not stable kernel, it's very kaleidoscopic. It's very shape shifting. It's very unpredictable. It's dysregulated. It's crazy making.

So the generation of behaviors within the void is similar to the generation of elementary particles in the vacuum of deep space.

All kinds of potentials become fleeting realities and then vanish again.

The void or the emptiness inside the narcissist and the borderline are capable of anything because they are nothing.

Anything may happen. It's a field of potentials without any reality to constrain it somehow, to mold it, to channel it.

Because the emptiness is so diffuse, so ill-defined, so non-existent, the borderline of the narcissist can become anything at any given moment.

And this modifies the hallow personality.

So there's a potential for a pseudo identity within the void, within the emptiness, a kind of nascent self-state.

It comes about and the environment triggers the emergence of the pseudo identity from the void, from the emptiness.

And this pseudo identity, this self-state, changes the elements of the way the hallow personality is manifested.

This self-state, this pseudo identity, this swamp thing that emerges from the emptiness and from the void is reactive to the environment and shapes the behaviors, the beliefs, the values, the choices and the decisions of the borderline and the narcissist temporarily.

Because next thing you know, the emptiness or the void produce another exhalation, another emanation, another miasma and it is diametrically opposed to the previous one.

There's no constancy.

The hallow personality is reactive to the void via the agency and the intermediation of the self-states that emerge from the void, exactly like elementary particles materialized in vacuum, in deep space, in empty deep space.

And so it's an intricate dance.

The hallow personality is malleable, totally reactive.

It has no, it has no constancy.

And so you can never come to know the borderline, can never get to know the narcissist.

There's nobody there except as I said, the kaleidoscope of apparitions emerging into the sunlight and then vanishing again.

And then someone else takes the place of the previous repertory.

Asking the question, who is this void? What is this emptiness? Who is the false self? Who does the observing?

When you talk about the false self, who is doing the talking?

These questions are a remain.

It's like asking, who is my smartphone? Who is my AI, artificial intelligence bot?

There's nothing there.

Your smartphone doesn't have a personality. Your artificial intelligence doesn't have a core identity. It is reactive. It is programmed. There's nothing there but programmed reactive routines.

Yeah, but who has written these programs?


We are as biological entities.

We are a substrate.

We react to the environment.

We shape shift in accordance to input from the environment, stimuli, cues.

And we are destined to react identically, almost identically, to the same set of environmental cues and stimuli.

So this is the template.

And this is the template.

And when the template is programmed in a highly specific way via trauma, via abuse, via in training, via brainwashing, via coercion, when such programming takes place, the reactions are utterly predictable.

The narcissist and the borderline's unpredictability is utterly predictable.

The fact that they fail to become, they fail to constantly to integrate, to coalesce.

They were not given the chance to separate and therefore become individuals.

This fact is indisputable.

And this is the void.

This is the emptiness.

This is the black hole at the core of the borderline and the narcissist.

And it is just an interplay of potentials, possibilities, scenarios, narratives.

There's nothing to inhibit certain options.

There's nothing to delimit or demarcate.

There's nothing to channel.

There's nothing to roll out.

There are no rules.

It's not rule-based.

Anything goes.

Everything is possible.

Ben Tripp, which I mentioned before, said that the schizoid has several characteristics.

Introversion, withdrawnness tends to withdraw its avoidant, narcissism, self-sufficiency, a sense of superiority, a loss of effect, loneliness, depersonalization, and regression.

And if this sounds like narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder, it's because it is.

Gantri wrote this about the schizoids in a world.

He said, "By the very meaning of the term, the schizoid is described as cut off from the world of outer reality in an emotional sense.

All this libidinal desire and striving is directed inward toward internal objects, and the schizoid leaves an intense internal inner life, often revealed in an astonishing wealth and richness of fantasy and imaginative life whenever that becomes accessible to observation.

Though mostly his varied fantasy life is carried on in secret, hidden way."

So these are the elements of narcissism being cut off from reality in a rich fantasy life, a detachment from the outer world, a kind of exaggerated introversion, which is, I would say, even ideological introversion.

Schizoid are not only timid or reluctant.

They don't only avoid the external world because of discomfort.

They make an ideology out of it.

They avoid interpersonal relationships because they value their own egosyntony.

And even when they are charming and they can be engaging, or even when they interact, it's with reserve, internal reserve.

They could appear to be available, interested, engaged, involved, but in reality, emotionally, deep inside, they are withdrawn.

They are sequestered.

They maintain a safe place in their internal world, a sanctuary to which they can withdraw at any minute.

What they don't realize, schizoid people, is that this sanctuary is indistinguishable from the borderline's emptiness, from the narcissist's black hole and void.

It is a sanctuary of unbecoming.

There is no meaning to the word being or to the word becoming without relationships with others.

We are relational creatures.

We are the sum total of our relationships.

And if we don't exist relationally, we don't exist, period.

Fantasy is not reality.

And the schizoid tends to confuse fantasy and reality.

And the schizoid tends to confuse absenting himself from reality with existing.

These are mutually exclusive.

And the schizoid is wrong.

It's a pathology.

So the schizoid's observable behavior usually does not accurately reflect the schizoid's internal state of mind.

And this divorce between external facade, acting, thespian, theater production, and so this divorce between this and the reality inside, the way the schizoid really feels, his self-denial, this is self-negation and self-annihilation.

Usually the schizoid, like the Cheshire cat, vanishes, leaving behind his smile.

It disappears.

Introversion is not indifference.

And the misinterpretationschizoid is the mother disorder.

Gantri defined it as a characteristic that arises out of the predominantly interior life of the schizoid.

Gantri regarded narcissism as an interior feature, an artifact of an interior, interiorized life.

Gantri said the narcissist's love objects are all inside him and moreover he is greatly identified with them so that his libidinal attachments appear to be within himself.

The question however is whether the intense inner life of the schizoid is due to a desire for hungry incorporation of external objects or due to withdrawal from the outer to a presumed safer inner world.

The need for attachment is a primary motivational force.

It exists in everyone.

Even in people whose growth has been stunted, whose development has been arrested, whose life as children in early childhood has been a traumatic horror show, a nightmare.

Even people who failed to constellate a self, to integrate an ego, to create a sense of personhood, even these people still crave attachment, also known as love in many circles.

It's a motivational force and it is as powerful in the schizoid landscape, as powerful within the void, within the emptiness, within the black hole.

It's as if the black hole aspires to consume everything and everyone as a form of love, as an expression of love.

The only way the black hole knows how to attach, how to bond, how to love, how to interact, the only method available to the black hole is the hungry gains, consuming, subsuming, digesting, making others vanish into the black hole.

It is by merging and fusing, by becoming one with a love object, that the anxiety of love is ameliorated or assuaged.

Love is a very anxiety inducing, angiogenic endeavor, abandonment, separation, their critical features in the mental landscape, especially of the borderline, but also of the narcissist.

Because the schizoid love objects are internal, schizoid finds safety in connecting with internal objects and not with external objects out there in the real world.

This is a form of narcissistic defense and it renders the schizoid.

When I say schizoid, schizoid is the mother disorder.

Narcissism and borderline are just private cases of schizoid.

So schizoid becomes self-sufficient.

If all your mental, emotional energy is directed inward, if you affect only inward, then you're self-sufficient, you need no one.

Gantri observed that a sense of superiority accompanies self-sufficiency.

He wrote, "One has no need of other people.

They can be dispensed with.

They often go with it a feeling of being different from other people." This has nothing to do with grandiosity.

Grandiosity is a cognitive distortion.

Grandiosity is a falsification or reframing of reality in order to buttress and support a fantastic self-perception or self-image.

As grandiose, superiority, which is constructed on self-sufficiency, is not the same as the grandiose self of narcissistic disorder.

It is not expressed.

There's no need to devalue or annihilate others who are perceived as offending or criticizing, shaming or humiliating.

It is not outwardly directed.

Grandiosity is motivational.

When grandiosity is challenged or undermined, the narcissist becomes aggressive towards himself or towards others.

Not so the schizoid disorder.

The sense of superiority is innate and is not motivational.

I know I'm superior because I'm self-sufficient.

Because I need no one.

Gantri quotes a young schizoid man who says, "If I am superior to others, if I'm above others, then I do not need others.

When I say that I'm above others, it does not mean that I feel better than them.

It means that I'm at a distance from them, a safe distance.

It's about security.

By withdrawing inward, the schizoid creates an internalized, say, secure base.

All schizoid disorders, including narcissism, including borderline, emerge from early childhood when the parents, especially the mother, did not act and did not serve a secure base.

The child did not feel safe with the parent, the parental figure, did not feel safe with the mother.

The schizoid, and of course the narcissist and so on, they learn to create a secure base internally.

They become their own secure bases and also their own sexual objects, autoerotism.

Everything is inwardly cofected, self-directed.

The narcissist and the schizoid, they are their own universe.

They are their own world.

This is solipsism, 100% solipsism.

The country suggested that when someone reaches this level of isolation, internal isolation from reality, from others, there is a loss of effect.

There is such huge investment, huge kafexis in the self that no energy is left for other people.

This interferes with the desire and the ability to be empathic or sensitive towards other people's experience.

Empathy depletes, empathy demands energy.

Empathy often is motivational, causes action.

Schizoid and narcissism, borderline are depleted, they are exhausted.

They're exhausted by their own self-investment.

It's hard to love yourself to that extent when actually you hate yourself, when actually there is more self.

See how many layers there are.

There's no self, there's nobody there.

It's an absence masquerading as a being, an entity.

And then because you are aware of this lie, of this fallacy, of this falsehood, you know that you don't exist and you know that you're pretending to exist.

So you self-loathe, you self-reject, you hate yourself.

And then to compensate for this, you exaggerate your investment in yourself.

You become your love object, your sex object, the target for your emotions, target for your katexis.

This is the third layer, a compensatory layer.

But in reality, there's nothing there.

There are no emotions because there's nobody there.

There's nobody to emote.

The loss of effect becomes, is translated in more cerebral types, intellectual types, is translated into cynicism, callousness, cruelty, brutal humor, and so on, in short, into aggression.

The loss of effect becomes externalized in the form of aggression, pushing people away because people have the power to make the schizoid and the narcissist and the borderline feel something that terrifies them, something that threatens them.

So gradually, this rigid carapace or armor diminishes both self-awareness, introspective capacity and other awareness.

Narcissists and borderline schizoid are reduced to a zombie-like state.

They're dimly aware of their own existence and the existence of others, but even so, others are perceived as totally internalized.

It's a genuine confusion, a sense of something missing, emotionally or otherwise, as if there are the narcissists and the borderline schizoid that are incomplete somehow, not full-fledged, half-baked, in the making.

Guntrip suggested that this results in existential, tremendous loneliness.

He wrote, "Loneliness is an inescapable result of introversion and abolition of external relationships.

It reveals itself in the intense longing for friendship and love, which repeatedly breaks through.

Loneliness, in the midst of a crowd, is the experience of the schizoid cut off from affective rapport." And that's the central experience, this profound, cosmic, all-consuming loneliness.

And externally, these people appear to be called robotic, uncaring, but when you get deeper, even with narcissists, definitely with borderlines, schizoid, but even with narcissists, when you really create intimacy, however fake, they come out. They out themselves. They confess. They admit how much they miss, how much they look for friendship and love and caring to be held.

That's why narcissists and borderlines don't infantilize themselves, regress.

That's my principle of the dual mothership, where the narcissist seeks to be loved by a mother figure, as if he were still a child, because he cannot be loved. He's unlovable as an adult.

It is not.

This longing doesn't often break through, because there is this compensatory thing, this defiance, this in-your-face, "I don't need anyone.

See if I care.

You don't mean, you mean nothing to me.

I am self-sufficient.

I'm a lone wolf." There is this.

It's psychomorphic.

It's the antisocial element.

But it's not true.

Narcissism and borderline, schizoid phenomena, they're heartbreaking.

They're heartbreaking because these are people captured in glass bubbles, reaching out, but can never break the bubble they're in, can never break through, can never make contact, can never elicit other people's emotions, help, succor, care, compassion, affection, warmth, nothing reaches them.

They even trap themselves, and then it's too late.

The hope of establishing proper functioning relationships for all these is minimal.

I would even say extinct.

There's a longing for closeness and attachment, but it's so subdued, it's so subliminal, I would even say, it's so under the radar, that others can't spot it and definitely can't react to it in any meaningful way.

No one volunteers gladly to become a narcissist or a borderline or a schizoid.

This is a post-traumatic condition.

These are hurt children, in bad shape and horrible shape, and hurt people and hurt people.

We know this.

And I'm not condoning or justifying what narcissists do.

I've been the first, actually, historically, in the late '80s and early '90s, I've been the first to describe narcissistic abuse.

It's horrible what these people do to other people.

But we would be amiss morally and functionally, operationally, if we were to misunderstand these people.

We would just design the wrong strategies, we would get the wrong outcomes.

We need to understand them.

The predators, yes, but you need to understand the predator if you wish to not become prey at some point.

These people believe that some type of connection and attachment is possible because they are self-deluding, self-deceiving.

Within their fantasy, they believe, they convince themselves, that contact has been made.

That's why they resort to fantasy all the time, because they are incapable of accomplishing the same in reality.

Gantre described many phenomena which are very common in borderline, for example, like depersonalization.

He said that it is a loss of sense of identity and individuality.

There's no loss.

There's no loss here.

Depersonalization is the rare situation when the borderline becomes aware of the fact that she has no identity and has never individuated, has never become an individual.

So it's a moment of introspection and self-awareness.

It's not a loss.

It's just learning about a very early loss.

Depersonalization is a dissociative defense and it is often described by schizoid patients as tuning out, turning off, going on autopilot.

It's experience of separation between observing and participating ego, if you wish.

Please overwhelm these characters.

Wouldn't you feel anxious?

Had you known somewhere in the deepest recesses of your mind that you don't actually exist?

Can you imagine this?

No, you can't.

Narcissism, borderline, can't either.

No one can.

It's inhuman to ask anyone to imagine their own vanishing, their own non-existence, their own absence.

It's cruel.

It's cruel and unusual punishment.

When anxieties become overwhelming, they further reduce effect of the ability to experience emotions.

The loss of effect becomes chronic.

Depersonalization is an acute defense against these experiences of danger or anxiety and so on and so forth.

And of course, all these characters are stuck in childhood.

Puer Aeternus.

Eternal Adolescence is an optimistic phrase.

These are eternal children, not eternal adolescents.

They're stuck at age four, six, nine at the maximum.

Gantrip himself described what he called regression in these words, representing the fact that the schizoid person at bottom feels overwhelmed by their external world and is in flight from it, both inwards and as it were, backwards, to the safety of the metaphorical womb.

That's regression for you.

That's the matrix.

And regression encompasses, therefore, two mechanisms.

Inward regression and backward regression.

So there's a reliance on primitive forms of fantasy and self-containment, auto-erotism, and objectless state, objectless space or nature.

And regression backwards is, as Gantrip put it, towards the safety of the womb.

It's schizoid phenomenon.

It's the most intense schizoid withdrawal and therefore it's most common in narcissism.

Common is the most extreme form of schizoid disorder.

And so withdrawing into the womb is, of course, defensive.

It's an effort to find safety and to avoid destruction by external reality, which is perceived as threatening, absolutely hostile.

And this is conflated with all kinds of parental issues and so on and so forth.

I will not go into this here, although I did go into it at great length in the videos contained in the "From Child to Narcissist" playlist.

The fantasy of regressing back to the womb is a fantasy of regressing back to safety.

It's a fantasy of subsuming, digesting the secure base, becoming your own secure base.

Again, totally self-sufficient.

Just to remind you to end this video, what is identity?

Eric Ericsson, there's a video dedicated to Ericsson's eight stages of psychosocial development on this channel.

Ericsson was the first to discuss at length the issue of identity and formation of identity and the questions of identity versus role confusion and identity crisis that mostly occurs during adolescence.

So during this stage, the individual experiences what is called a psychosocial moratorium.

It's a period of time that permits the individual to experiment with a variety of social roles and sexual roles, by the way.

Many people go through same-sex experiences during this period.

The individual tries on different roles, different orientations, different preferences, and then he ends up identifying with a specific group.

He goes through different groups and he ends up locating himself, positioning himself in a specific group, forming a cohesive, positive identity that allows the individual to contribute to society.

Alternatively, individuals whose development and growth, personal growth, have been disrupted may identify without groups in order to form a negative identity or may remain confused about their sense of identity.

Ericsson called this identity diffusion, lack of stability or focus in the view of one's self or in any of the elements of the individual's identity.

It is common, especially, as I mentioned, in borderline personality disorder.

So in the ego psychology of Ericsson, the possible outcome of the identity versus identity confusion stage is identity diffusion, where the individual emerges with an uncertain sense of identity and confusion about their wishes, attitudes, and goals.

This follows the moratorium phase, which I mentioned.

Moratorium is kind of embarking on a voyage of self-discovery, the task of finding out who one is as an individual, separate from family of origin, neighborhood, and peers and so on.

There's a broader social context.

Young people try all kinds of alternative roles before they make permanent commitments to an identity.

Adolescents who are unsuccessful at negotiating this stage risk confusion over their role.


Finally, I mentioned the identity status model.

The identity status model is an expansion on the fifth stage in Eric Ericsson's eight stages.

That's identity versus identity confusion.

The model says, or posits, that there are four possible identity statuses that an individual might assume, particularly during adolescence.

And each of these statuses is characterized by a different level of exploration and commitment to specific identity.

So ideally, development moves towards identity achievement status characterized by evidence of both identity exploration and commitment.

And this status is related to stable self-esteem and healthy psychological function.

Then there are other three identity statuses.

They're all known as kind of moratorium status.

So there's moratorium status.

There's evidence of identity exploration, but lack of commitment.

There is foreclosure status, which is commitment to an identity that adults have set forth for an individual, but failure to explore different options before the commitment is made.

And there is diffusion status, lack of both identity exploration and commitment.

So the Canadian psychologist, James Marschier, M-A-R-C-I-A, yes, was the first to suggest and expound upon the identity status more.

This is in a nutshell what's happening inside the non-existent core of the narcissist and the borderline, a desperate attempt to explore who they are without any tools available to them.

How can you find out who you are when you're not?

How can you introspect when you have up-scented yourself from your non-existent self?

It's a vicious circle.

And the narcissist's solution is to pretend that he's someone else, the false self.

The borderline solution is to pretend that she's someone else, her intimate partner or special friend.

And this, of course, doesn't go too far and leads to enormous difficulties in interpersonal relationships, difficulties which I dwell upon in my various playlists on this channel.

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Professor Sam Vaknin discusses how self-sufficiency is often mistaken for pathological behaviors and traits. He explains that true self-sufficiency is self-sustaining, involves firm personal boundaries, and a stable sense of self-worth. However, people often confuse self-sufficiency with behaviors exhibited by narcissists, psychopaths, and individuals with borderline personality disorder, who are actually dependent on others and exhibit counter-dependency. Vaknin emphasizes that these individuals are not self-sufficient, but rather empty and devoid of a true sense of self.

How Borderlines, Narcissists Destroy Their Intimacy

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the dynamics of intimacy in relationships involving narcissists and borderlines. He explains how both parties fear intimacy for different reasons and engage in behaviors that undermine it. The discussion delves into the ways in which borderlines cope with abandonment and rejection, including avoidance and self-trashing. Additionally, Vaknin explores how both narcissists and borderlines push each other to abuse them, providing an excuse to break up and start over.

How Narcissist, Borderline Morph Into Each Other

Professor Sam Vaknin announces his extended appointment as a professor at CEOPS and his new role teaching management studies. He then delves into the debate on the relationship between narcissism and borderline personality disorder, discussing the views of prominent scholars and offering his own perspective. He explains how narcissism is a defense mechanism against the core problem of emotional dysregulation, and how both narcissism and borderline personality disorder involve dependency on others. He concludes that both disorders are on the same spectrum, with different solutions and defenses for the same core issue of emotional regulation.

How Narcissist/Psychopath Sees YOU, his Victim, and Why Borderlines Adore Them

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the inner experiences of narcissists, psychopaths, and borderlines. He explains how narcissists idealize their partners to reinforce their own grandiosity, while psychopaths manipulate and discard their partners for entertainment or personal gain. Borderlines exhibit a complex mix of traits from other personality disorders and may transition between narcissistic and psychopathic behaviors in response to frustration. Vaknin also clarifies that cheating is just one example of a behavior that can mortify a narcissist.

Simple Trick: Tell Apart Narcissist, Psychopath, Borderline

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of stability and instability in narcissistic personalities. He distinguishes between two types of narcissists: compensatory stability and enhancing instability. He also explores the role of appearance and substance in the narcissistic pathology, and the differences between celebrity narcissists and career narcissists. Vaknin emphasizes the complexity of human behavior and warns against oversimplifying generalizations about narcissists.

Pandemics: COVID19 and Daddy Issues in Borderline-Narcissist Couples

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and borderline narcissistic couples. He addresses misconceptions and misunderstandings about COVID-19, such as confusing case fatality rate with mortality. He then delves into the dynamics of borderline narcissistic couples, where one partner is a narcissist and the other is a borderline. These relationships are characterized by power struggles, punishment, and emotional turmoil, with both partners fulfilling critical functions for each other, but ultimately being better off without each other.

Why Narcissist Can't Love (with Daria Żukowska, Clinical Psychologist)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of love in relationships involving individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). He explains that narcissists are incapable of genuine love due to their cognitive style, fear of vulnerability, and internalized negative self-image. Vaknin also delves into the emotional impact of being in a relationship with a narcissist, highlighting the complex grief and trauma experienced by victims. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing early warning signs and maintaining assertiveness and boundaries to avoid entering such relationships.

Borderlines: No Win Relationships, BPD Enigmas Decoded

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the complex dynamics between individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) in intimate relationships. He explains that people with BPD experience two types of anxiety: abandonment anxiety and engulfment anxiety. These anxieties lead to approach-avoidance behaviors, which can be disorienting and confusing for their partners. Vaknin also highlights the concept of dual mothering in narcissist-borderline relationships, where the narcissist provides unconditional love to the borderline, while the borderline becomes the narcissist's "dead mother," allowing the narcissist to attempt to heal and fix their original mother through the borderline partner. This dynamic creates a strong bond between the two, making it difficult for them to separate.

Covert Narcissist = Borderline+Psychopath+Passive-Aggressive

Sam Vaknin discusses various aspects of narcissistic personality disorder, including the difference between covert and overt narcissists, the lack of empathy in narcissists, and the formation of empathy in early life. He also explains the characteristics of cerebral and somatic narcissists and the impact of narcissistic behavior on intimate partners. Additionally, he delves into the concept of covert somatic narcissists and their views on sex and intimate partners.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
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