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How Narcissist Is Mortified

Uploaded 3/2/2021, approx. 43 minute read

What can be done with narcissism? Certain behaviors can be modified. We call it behavior modification. Using certain treatment modalities, we can modify behaviors.

I recommend that you watch the video I've made about 12 ways, 12 treatment modalities, 12 therapies, which are applicable to narcissism and other personality disorders.

So we can modify behavior. We can also regulate moods. If there is an attendant, dual diagnosis of mood disorder, we can tackle the mood disorder, usually with medication. Same goes for obsessive copulsive features. Same goes for substance abuse and so on. So anything that is attendant upon the narcissism, anything that comes with the narcissism can be treated in the usual manner.

But narcissism, pathological narcissism, is there to stay untouchable immutable, unchangeable unto death until death, as due part says the narcissist to his disorder.

I hope I made this statement as loud and clear as it should be made because there are a lot of very, very irresponsible people online with and without academic degrees. People who have never heard of narcissism and suddenly became experts.

Okay. The only case when the narcissist comes face to face with himself, the only window of opportunity for anything that resembles normalcy and some glimmerings of healing is mortification.

In the case of mortification, and I've dealt with it in many other videos, I'm not going to repeat it here.

If you want to know what is mortification, please go and watch the previous video.


But generally speaking, mortification is when the grandiose perception of the narcissist crumbles and collapses because the narcissist is challenged from the outside in a humiliating, shaming manner.

So when the narcissist's grandiosity is undermined, when someone or something opposes the narcissist for what he really is, when he can no longer maintain his defenses in the face of bruising, hurtful, painful reality, when his ideal self-perception is inflated, view of himself, no longer can withstand the attack of countervailing information, mockery, derision, humiliation, insults, and at that point, there is decompensation.

All the narcissist defenses are deactivated. And then the narcissist crumbles to dust or breaks up like Humpty Dumpty falls from the wall, from the very high wall of his divinity, self-imputed divinity.

And now I have described mortification in many ways.


Today I would like to add two weapons to the arsenal.

I would like to discuss mortification in its connection to aphantasia. And I would like to discuss mortification as a form of misinformation effect.

Aphantasia, misinformation effect, are two clinical constructs, and we're going to discuss them now.

Aphantasia, a-P-H-A-N-T-A-S-I-A, aphantasia or aphantasia, depending on which country you are, is congenital. You're born with it.

But in some cases, you can acquire it. Aphantasia is the inability to conjure up mental imagery in the mind's eye.

When I tell you, for example, chair, somehow you see a chair, or at least chair-ness, the essence of a chair, in your mind. Usually you see actually a picture of a chair.

If I tell you a woman, it's the same. Anything I tell you, even non-objects, conjures up images.

This mental imagery is very important for processing cognitions, cognitions and emotions.

And so some people are born or develop an incapacity to access this library of mental images. They have no mind's eye, so to speak.

Aphantasic people can think of an object, can conceive of an object, but can never imagine it. It remains a word. It remains a concept. It remains a symbol, but never an image.

Narcissists, of course, are like this. They have people centered of aphantasia.

In other words, they cannot evoke, conjure up, access images of people. They have empathy, aphantasia.

They can analyze people, I do, for a living. They can understand other people, I do, for a living, but they can never visualize. They can never visualize them as multidimensional fellow human beings.

They have no mental imagery or no empathic imagery corresponding to the concept of a human being, while congenital aphantasia has to do with actual images.

In the narcissists, the aphantasia is limited to empathy. They don't have an empathic resonance or an empathic response. They cannot visualize other people in an empathic way or using empathy.

What they have is only called empathy. Called empathy is combination of reflexive and cognitive empathy.

You heard me? Called empathy is not cognitive empathy. It's not the same.

Cognitive empathy is a component of called empathy. There's another component, reflexive empathy.

But both of these, cognitive and reflexive, don't have the emotional component. They miss the emotional component.

So the narcissist cannot create an empathic map, an empathic representation, an empathic image of other people.

He is aphantastic when it comes to other people. He fails to construct a mentalist or mentalization theory of mind, a theory about how other minds operate.

Narcissists are not privy to the intersubjective agreement. The intersubjective agreement is the unspoken correspondence between sentient human consciousnesses.

All healthy people have parties to adhere to, collaborate in, creating and maintaining the intersubjective agreement. It's the agreement that informs people on what it is to be human, what it is, what it feels like, what are the likely effects and cognitions of a human being.

The intersubjective agreement is like a huge book of specifications coupled with a user's manual on how to be human. And when we internalize this huge manual, when we internalize this huge book, this intersubjective agreement, we develop empathy.

Because by internalizing it and assimilating it and experiencing it, we know what it means to be human. We experience our humanness.

Narcissists don't have this. They're like extraterrestrial observers who had crashed our planet, dazed and been used by the native variety of intelligence.

Aphantasia or Empathic Aphantasia, a new coinage, if you wish.


Empathic Aphantasia, the inability to evoke empathic imagery, is a core issue leading to a mortification.

Because of Empathic Aphantasia, the narcissist is unable to decipher cues, social cues, sexual cues, language cues, lingual cues, even body language.

The narcissist is not human in this sense, because he's not human, because he shares, he has nothing in common with other human beings. He's not partied to this agreement, intersubjective agreement. It's like a hidden code, some conspiracy.

So human beings baffle him. And because he cannot predict, he cannot understand, he cannot foresee, he cannot theorize on what to be human is, on the experience of being human.

He is also often shocked and surprised by other people's behavior and reactions. It is this shock that triggers mortification in extreme cases.

The narcissist develops unrealistic, not reality grounded expectations. He develops, he misreads other people's intentions, motivations, emotions, moods, cognitions. He's lost, he's baffled, he's puzzled, he's perplexed.

And then suddenly something happens. Suddenly someone behaves in ways which affect the narcissist. And it's totally, totally out of the blue, totally discombobulating and shocking.

And the narcissist falls apart. He was not ready. He had his army somewhere else, like the Germans on D-Day.

So the narcissist can engage in a social interaction and suddenly someone humiliates him or shames him or insults him or criticizes him heavily or cheats on him ostentatiously or betrays him horribly.

And then the narcissist falls apart. It is this process of falling disintegrating, slow motion disintegrating, which we call mortification.

As his defenses shut down one after the other, like a nuclear reactor in trouble, one defense after another shuts down. Compartments are sealed. His essence, his psyche is compartmentalized.

In a desperate attempt to contain the damage, he closes, he shuts down cell after cell, compartment after compartment, drawer after drawer, category after category, narrowing his world, constricting his existence to the point of vanishing. He becomes a black hole.

At that point, this black wholeness is mortification when nothing else is left, when all the defenses are gone and when suddenly nothing, nothing that he thought he knew makes sense anymore, which leads me to the misinformation effect.


Now, before we apply the misinformation effect to mortification, misinformation effect is when someone's recall, someone's recollection of memories, especially episodic memories, becomes less accurate or even totally wrong because of information after the event.

Let me explain.

You experience something, you have an adventure, you have sex, something happened, you bought something, you sold something, an event. And you have a memory of this event and the memory includes your cognitions of the time, your emotions at the time, environmental data like smells and tastes.

I mean, all these put together create a scheme, create a kind of a coherent memory and this memory is deposited for later, for later retrieval when and if needed.

But misinformation effect is when unrelated information or related information later on changes the content of the original memory.

So you went through something, you created a memory, then something else happened and then something else changed the original memory.

Now, this was discovered by Elizabeth Loftus and it shocked the psychological community because everyone had assumed until about 1978 when Loftus published her works, everyone had assumed that memory was kind of a fixed thing.

People were even saying that memories are proteins in the brain. They're like pathways filled with proteins.

They tried to find physical, physiological equivalents to memory. They were discussing memory storage, like you would be shocked if the memory, your hard disk or your USB, your flash drive would suddenly contain files that you've never put there or the contents of files there would change. It would be shocking, wouldn't it?

So there was this metaphor of human memory as a hard disk or hard drive or flash drive.

But of course, Loftus discovered that it's utterly wrong. There's no such thing as a fixed memory. Everything is flowing. Everything is fluid.

There was a study in 1994 where students were shown a series of slides and there were objects in these slides. And then they were shown other slides and then they were subjected to narratives, they were subjected to speech, which misinformed them about the objects that they had actually seen with their own eyes in the slides.

Later, in a third stage of the trial, they adhered to the narrative. In other words, if they saw, for example, a screwdriver and then they were told later, you did not see a screwdriver.

They saw a screwdriver and someone told them, for example, the professor, you did not see a screwdriver.

At a later stage when they were asked, did you see a screwdriver, they would deny it. They said, no, we did not see it.

So post event information, the professor's injunction, you did not see a screwdriver, affected the actual memory of having seen a screwdriver. That's how bad it is.

In other experiments, Loftus and others had created out of thin air, out of whole cloth events, childhood events that had never happened. So they had convinced people, a big number of people, like about 35, 40 percent of the participants, they had convinced them that they had experienced an event in childhood that actually had never happened, was totally invented. A lie.

And yet these people had recalled the event, described the event and defended the veracity of the event. So, yeah, of course I went through this. Of course it happened to me.

You're wrong because they were told after that, listen, it's all invented. It's all bullshit. It never happened.

And they said, not true. It did happen. I remember it clearly, every detail.

So you see that the misinformation effect is what we call a retroactive interference.

Retroactive interference. There's new information, new event, new circumstances, new something that goes back, boomerangs, catapults back and changes memories that preceded the information of the event.

So later information interferes with the ability to retain previously encoded information.

The new information works backwards and distort memories of original events.

And the misinformation effect had been studied at length. I mentioned Elizabeth Loftus, but there were numerous others.

There were studies about the connection between misinformation event and suggestibility. Suggestibility is your tendency to react to the influence of other people's expectations by changing your memory or by changing your beliefs or by changing your knowledge, your cognitions.

So some people are essentially kind of people pleasers and they would go the whole nine yards. They would change what they remember. They would change what they think. They would change what they feel. They would change their moods, everything.

And this is suggestibility. It's reaction to other people's influence, which is heightened and unusual.

There's also misattribution, information attributed to an incorrect source, incorrect place, incorrect date, incorrect set of circumstances, preceding circumstances.

So there's a lot of research on the misinformation effect and this research cast huge doubt on the permanence and reliability of memory.


Before I continue with the work of Loftus, Miller, Burns, many others, I want to tie it in to the narcissist.

The misinformation effect is a huge problem for the narcissist, much bigger than for normal people.

And you have seen that even normal people react to the misinformation effect by falsifying their memories.

Simply falsifying their memories big time, big percentage of the people falsify big time.

With the narcissist, it's even bigger problem because the narcissist you remember is dissociative.

The narcissist has severe problems with his memory. In other words, the narcissist doesn't remember what he remembers. He's never sure. He's never certain what had really happened and what was only his fantasy or his imagination. Everything is mixed. It's a God awful chaos in his mind. And he needs all the time to breach the memory gaps, the missing time.

So he creates narratives and stories which are essentially fictitious. The works of fiction, they're confabulated and the idea is to kind of present a plausible, normal, probable facade to the world.

Yeah, my memory is intact here. I remember, but these are not memories. These are inventions.

So the narcissist has islands of memory, islands of memory, bridged, bridged with confabulations and outright lies sometimes. Very rare, but definitely fantasies.

So when the narcissist is confronted with an event or a person or a speech act statement that challenge his memory, he is much more likely to believe the outside source than his own memory. He is much more likely to go outside for veracity and truth and fact than inside.

The narcissist knows that he cannot trust his mind, that there are memory, this abyss where memory should have been, the memory gaps, there's lost time, dissociation, amnesia. He knows it's a mess. It's a mess over there in his mind. He knows his mind is a mess.

So what he does instead, he relies on other people to provide him with reality testing, with facts, with analysis, with judgments and opinions.

And this is, of course, the process of narcissistic supply.

Now, he filters all this information via his grandiosity, but that's topic for another video, another lecture.


What is important to understand that the narcissist is an external locus of control, also in the sense that he positions himself in the world.

He gauges his coordinates. He gains reality, feeling for reality from other people.

It doesn't come from inside. There's nothing inside. Just an empty schizoid core fumbling in the dark, trying to recall what the hell has happened yesterday or two years ago.

What did I do wrong? What did I say?

I mean, it's total, total, the narcissist is in a state of total confusion all the time.

And so he needs other people to calibrate him, to channel him, to contain him, to provide him with truth and fact and opinions he can trust.

And when these external inputs are humiliating, shameful, hurtful, challenging, undermining, the narcissist tends to adopt the emotional content of the input.

Because the narcissist cannot trust himself. He doesn't have a benchmark. He doesn't have a standard. He doesn't have a yardstick. He cannot vet or analyze the input that he is getting from the outside.

He cannot say, well, she thinks I'm stupid, but I know I'm not stupid.

He cannot say this because the second part of the sentence, I know I'm not stupid doesn't exist. There's nothing there.

So if someone says he's stupid, he is forced to adopt her point of view.

Any input that he gets, positive or negative, impacts the narcissist extremely disproportionately, catastrophically, I would say, precisely because there's no counterbalance inside his mind.

The narcissist doesn't balance his self-knowledge and self-awareness and memories and identity against input from the outside because he has none of these.

He has no identity, at least not core identity. He has no memories, only dissociative states and self-states. He has nothing to fight back any negative input. There's no balance there.

So anything and everything, this balances him, unbalances him, and he falls off the wall like empty dumpty, and he breaks up, mortification.

So the narcissist is actually extremely suggestible, extremely suggestible, and he has problems with attribution.

Input from the outside, he feels that input from the outside is actually coming from the inside.

Why?

Because the narcissist is not interacting with external objects. He's interacting with internal objects.

Remember snapshotting? He internalizes external objects and he continues to interact only with the internal objects, never with the external objects.

So when there is input from an external object, it is perceived, misperceived by the narcissist as coming from inside.

And that could be utterly shocking.

If the narcissist comes across someone who hates him, derides him, decries him, shames him, humiliates him in public, cheats on him, betrays him, someone who destroys his grandiosity, not only that, there's a problem in countering this hateful input.

The narcissist doesn't have any weapons against this kind of negating, vitiating, vicious malevolent input. He has no tools against it because he has no memory. He has no identity. He has nothing. He's not there. There's nobody there.

So he cannot fight it, not only there, but he feels that it's coming from inside.

Now, don't forget, many of the narcissist's introjects, the internal objects in his head, the voices of mother, the voices of the voice of father, the voices of teachers, peers, society, many of these internal objects are sadistic, they're malevolent, they're vicious.

The narcissist's parents conditioned their love on performance, or they told him that he's bad and unworthy when he had failed, or they tortured and abused him in more classical ways.

So the internal objects in his head all the time generate negating input, humiliating input, all the time putting down, all the time criticizing sadistically, cruelly, pushing him in effect to commit suicide, which he never does.

He's not a borderline, but still.

So he has many enemies inside.

And when someone from the outside says something bad, humiliates him, disgraces him, puts him down, sadistically tramples on him, this outsider is working hand in hand with the same input from the internal objects.

So if someone tells the narcissist, you're ugly, there is an internal object in the narcissist's head that is saying the same.

And there's a resonance.

The narcissist, anyhow, has an internal object that keeps telling him, you're ugly.

And then a woman comes and tells him, you're ugly.

And this resonates powerfully with the already existing internal object.

So negative input is multiplied and amplified in the echo chamber of internal objects that is the narcissist's mind.

And such amplification can reach a crescendo, which results in mortification.

A point where the vibrations of negativity are such that they crack open, destroy the metal of the narcissist's mind and psyche.

That's very important to understand.

The misinformation effect in the case of the narcissist is doubly and triply and contoupled, and I know what exponential, stronger, much stronger.

It drives the narcissist to distrust himself even more.

It enhances and patrices and amplifies and magnifies his own internal negativity as manifested and expressed by his own internal objects.

It undermines his grandiosity, self-perception and self-image, his fantasy of himself.

It devalues him, countering his co-idealization.

It reduces him to smithereens.

It's utterly destructive.

It's like a nuclear bomb exploding within the empty schizoid core.

And the narcissist is all over the place, in shattered, in shards.

And can he be put together like humpty-dumpty?

Mortification is the closest that a narcissist gets to his true self.

It's a glimpse of what he is without all the defenses that he had constructed over the many years, without his grandiosity, without his omnipotence, without his omniscience, without anything, is suddenly reduced by mortification, back regresses to a childhood state when he was a helpless, tormented, wounded, injured, abused, traumatized child, whipping in the corner, bleeding sometimes.

So the misinformation effect colludes in creating the mortification.

For example, let's take the example of someone telling the narcissist, you are ugly and unattractive and no one will have sex with you. You're repulsive.

So the first thing that happens is this external input is immediately perceived as valid because there's no balance inside the narcissist.

There are no structures inside the narcissist that would oppose this assessment that would say, I'm not ugly, I am attractive.

Even his rationality is disabled where he could have told himself, wait a minute, but I've had many women.

I mean, that's not true. It's factually untrue.

No, the external input is immediately validated as 100%, 1,000%, true.

And that's it.

Now, this external input colludes, collaborates with similar input from other internal objects because the narcissist may have been told by his mother the very same thing.

You're ugly, you're unlovable, you're unattractive, no one will ever want to be with you.

And so the introject of the mother is saying the same things from inside that the external object, the external source, is saying from the outside.

And there's a confluence, there's a combination.

The two inputs congeal and become one, much bigger, much harder to resist, if at all.

So at that point, the narcissist had internalized the negative input and had attributed it to an internal object.

He had already snapshotted the external source, and now he takes this input and puts it, amalgamates it with the internal representation of the external source.

And now he has two voices that keep telling him you're unattractive, you're not lovable, you're not sexy, you're disgusting, you're impulsive, no one will want to be with you, etc., etc.

There are two voices, the same is.

Given a multiplicity of such voices, it can become a fixture.

In other words, what we call in cognitive behavior therapy, it can become a negative automatic thought, a kind of sentence that defines the narcissist's self-awareness and cognition and dictates behaviors and moods.

So this is the first process.

Now, having created an internal object for the external source, having taken the negative input of the external source and amalgamated it with the internal object, at that point, the narcissist has to reassess, reevaluate, revisit, revise and reframe all his history, because it's kind of a new input.

Admittedly, his mother told him this, but his mother is his mother. He is a woman telling him the same, a woman he's interested in, a woman he wants, telling him the very same.

So that's new information.

And he has to rewrite all his memories, such as they are, and there are not many, but he has to rewrite them in view of this new information, which remember, he considers 100% correct.

So here's new information, you're ugly, you're unattractive, you're not sexy, no woman would ever want to sleep with you or to be with you, and he has to take this information.

And now what he does, he goes back in time and he revisits all the previous occasions that he had interacted with the woman, let's say, all previous occasions that women looked at him, paid some attention to him or whatever, and then he rewrites these memories. He revises them, he revises them to conform to the new negative information.

So even if he had slept with a woman, he would try to find moments in the encounter where she might have looked repelled or she might have been disgusted or she might have found him unattractive or she might have criticized his sexual performance or the fact that she left immediately thereafter and didn't want to be in touch with him anymore.

So he is kind of gathering incriminating material. He is revisiting each event, each encounter, each circumstance, each moment in time and rewriting it in a way that will conform to the new negative input by isolating incriminating material and amplifying it.

So if he tried in the past to court a woman and she said no, that's added fuel to the conflagration, confirms the new negative input.

If she said yes, but, you know, it was just a date and nothing happened, that proves that he's not sexy and not attractive. If they did go to bed, he did not perform, she was disgusted, she left, she criticized him.

He would utterly revamp his view of himself because the two, up until the moment that he had received the negative input, he thought of himself as irresistible, as sexy, as attractive, as handsome, as amazing.

This new input forces him to dismantle his grandiosity and rewrite his history, create effectively new fake memories. He creates fake memories to conform to and support the new negative information about his attractiveness or lack of attractiveness.

And what happens to the previous grandiose defense? I'm irresistible, I'm handsome and so on. It's gone, it's dead.

So if a sufficient number, if there is a critical threshold of negative inputs, all the memories are revised and all the grandiosity defenses are dismantled and he's left naked, skinless, in direct touch with reality, abrasive and bruising as it is.


Now back to misinformation effect.

I said that misinformation effect has been studied for at least four or five decades and they discovered that certain things precondition people to the misinformation effect.

In other words, some people react very strongly to the misinformation effect.

So when they receive new information, they revise previous memories, they fake them, they dismantle them and reassemble them in wrong ways, they deny their own memory and so on.

And this is mortification.


Now back to misinformation effect.

I said that misinformation effect has been studied for at least four or five decades and they discovered that certain traits predispose people to do this.

Susceptibility, not everyone reacts the same to the misinformation effect.

Some traits and some qualities increase or decrease one's susceptibility to recalling misinformation.

And so age, for example, working memory capacity, personality traits and the ability to conjure and deal with imagery.

You remember how we started this lecture when we were both much younger?

Aphantasia, inability to process imagery.

So inability to process imagery is intimately connected to the misinformation effect, which leads essentially to mortification.

Narcissists cannot process imagery, empathic imagery. He has no imagery of people.

The Myers-Briggs type indicator is a kind of test that assesses personalities.

I personally like it a lot. It's frowned upon in academia.

If you talk to stodgy professors, they will tell you, no, it's bullshit. I disagree completely. It is one of the hugest databases of personality tests in the world. And it was among the first to suggest a dimensional approach. So it was much ahead of its time.

I am all for the MBTI, Myers-Briggs type indicator.

So when the MBTI was applied to people who were exposed to the misinformation effect, they discovered that introvert intuitive participants were more likely to accept both accurate and inaccurate post-event information.

Extrovert-sensate participants were much less likely to accept both accurate and inaccurate post-event information.

Introverts are more likely to have lower confidence in their memory, more likely to accept misinformation.

In this sense, never mind how gregarious, how sociable, how outgoing, how life of the party the narcissist is, the narcissist is an introvert. That's not Sam Vaknin. That's Carl Jung. Carl Jung was the first to link introversion with narcissism.

I recommend that you watch the video I've made about Jung's perception of narcissism.

Narcissists are introverts. They're introverted because they are schizoid. And schizoids by definition are introverted.

Schizoids are not sociable. They don't like people. They don't want people. People give them no pleasure. They don't want even sex.

And all narcissists have a schizoid core, and they're introverted. They go out of their way to socialize and so on because they need constant narcissistic supply. It's a compulsion, but at the core, they're introverted.

And yes, they do not trust. They do not have confidence in their memory, and they're more likely to accept misinformation.

Individual personality characteristics, including empathy, absorption, self-monetary, have also been linked to greater susceptibility.

And here, both heightened empathy and no empathy are actually linked to the same results.

If you had watched my previous videos, I cited many studies, several studies, that had demonstrated that if you have very high empathy, you misjudge people badly. The higher your empathy, the less well you read people, the less well you understand people. It's counterintuitive, and I explain it in these videos.

These are the recent studies.

I'm sorry to rain on your parade, but these are the recent studies.

So heightened empathy and no empathy are the same.

In both conditions, you cannot read people properly.

Self-absorption is, of course, narcissistic.

Self-monitoring is definitely narcissistic.

Narcissist self-monitors all the time, positions himself, sculpts himself. He is an actor. He's like in a theater play.

Maximum self-monetary.

That's the irony. Narcissists are actually hyper when it comes to self-awareness. They have too much self-awareness, which in itself is a fascinating topic.

One could describe narcissism very well and derive it from excess or pathological self-awareness.

Again, it's a topic for another lecture.

At any rate, these traits, disturbances in empathy, fluctuations in empathy, dysregulated empathy, no empathy, self-absorption and self-monetary were linked in studies to the misinformation effect.

There's also evidence that the misinformation effect is much bigger in social groups when people are together, probably because they influence each other's memories and probably because of peer pressure of some kind.

There is a phenomenon which is like a hive mind.

Memories blend.

Misinformation diffuses.

It seems that when we're in a group or when another person, for example, in an intimate setting, we derive part of our memories or we reframe and reshape our memories according to input from the other person, which is pretty amazing because it means that our minds melt, become one when it comes to memory, and we process memory together.

When you're with an intimate partner on a date, you process memories together. That's why I'm dead set against the concept of individual.

I don't think there's such a thing. What we call individual is a node. A node in a network is a hub in intrasite. It's interconnected.

To define a person, you need a relational approach, even something highly intimate, highly special, highly idiosyncratic, highly personal like memory is manipulated, influenced by other people in the room. You shape your memories according to input from these people, and they shape theirs simultaneously the same way.

First of all, when you have experienced an event or something, you store it. You don't rehearse it. You don't actively rehash it and go through it.

If you do, it's a problem. It's called rumination, and it's considered a pathology. It's a problem.

The longer the delay between the presentation of the original event and the post-event information, the more likely it is that individuals will incorporate the misinformation into the new memory, the longer.

So this is the narcissist problem.

There's usually a huge delay between the countervailing, negative, humiliating, shaming information, and the original memories that he's revising.

So he has memories from childhood, for example. And then 40 years later, someone tells him something, which is very humiliating and disturbing and so on. And because it's such an enormous delay, the misinformation effect is almost total.

I repeat, the longer the gap in time between the original memory and the misinformation provided later, the longer the gap, the more the original memory is revised. More time to study the original event, if you dedicate more time to study the original event, leads to lower susceptibility to the misinformation effect because of increased rehearsal time.

Loftus coined a phrase called discrepancy detection principle. She said that a person's recollections are more likely to change if they do not immediately detect the discrepancies between misinformation and the original event.

Sometimes people recognize some discrepancy between the memory and what they're being told.

But not always, this doesn't always have effect. And if the discrepancy is spotted much later, people tend to doubt their memory. People might recollect, I thought I saw something. I saw this and this.

But the new information mentions another thing. So I guess I must have been wrong. It was that other thing.

People generally don't trust their memories. People in about half the cases actually, people would adopt later information which contradicts their memories. They would adopt the later information and drop their memories.

Now imagine the narcissist who has no intact memory, has no continuity in memory.

Imagine how frightened he is, how terrified he is, that his memories may be completely wrong.

The dissociation renders the narcissist totally doubtful. He doubts his own memory. He can't trust himself at all.

And so whenever there are discrepancies, the narcissist would adopt the new information as real and would attribute what we call source reliability. Source reliability, in other words, healthy people, they grade sources of information according to reliability.

They say, well, the mainstream media is not reliable, Fox News is reliable or something. So people grade sources of information.

The narcissist has a problem with source reliability. The narcissist grades everyone on the same level of reliability.

There are differences in the quality of narcissistic supply. That's true, but not in the reliability, and we should not confuse the two issues.

When the narcissist receives input from the outside, he analyzes two things, reliability and quality.

So as far as reliability, everyone is the same. Everyone is the same, the chambermaid and the hotel manager, the same. They're both reliable, 100% reliable.

Why?

Because the narcissist is 0% reliable.

Because the narcissist considers himself as totally unreliable. He trusts everyone is totally reliable.

However, the quality, of course, is different.

Information coming from the chambermaid would be weighted differently to information coming from the hotel manager.

Dodd and Bradshaw, in 1980, they conducted an experiment and they demonstrated that this misinformation was rejected by those who received information from the unreliable source and adopted by those who received information from reliable sources.

But that's not a defense in the case of the narcissist, because as far as it is concerned, everyone is equally reliable.

So what the narcissist does, the minute he's exposed to mortifying information he begins to conduct a furious debate, a furious conversation within himself, inside his mind.

And all the internal objects participate and all the fragments of memory are thrown into the cauldron, you know, like the Four Witches of Macbeth.

And it's a bloody mess immediately after exposure to such triggers.

What goes on in the narcissist's mind can be described as some kind of cataclysmic earthquake, tsunami and volcano eruption at once.

And there's a conversation going on.

And the conversation is actually not helpful, because the core of the conversation is this.

I've just received information that challenges everything I knew about myself.

But because I'm an unreliable source and the information came from a reliable source, I am bound to trust this information and not to trust myself.

I cannot trust myself.

My view of myself is fantastic, is wrong. I must revise it urgently.

Someone just told me that I'm completely wrong about myself. Someone forced me to look in the mirror. And what I saw in the mirror was, it had nothing to do with what I had thought about myself until right now, until recently.

So this conversation actually is detrimental to the integrity of the narcissist's remaining memory. It challenges everything, his self-perception, his self-image, his ideal image, his grandiosity, his defenses, his memories of his childhood, his everything, simply everything. It's like remembrance of things passed garbled in a shredder. It's a huge mess.

And this discussion, this inner discussion, results in a rewriting of the narcissist's personal history and self-perception in ways that mortify him. It reduces, it goes back to childhood because he cannot trust any memory from childhood onwards.

So he finds himself suddenly a child again, but without all the defenses that he had developed and abused and traumatized as he had been when he was a child.

This is the misinformation effect.


Now, there are many, many factors that affect the misinformation effect and have nothing to do with narcissism.

For example, substance abuse, alcoholism, hypnosis, all these increase the misinformation effect.

I refer you to studies by Asefi and Gary about 20 years ago.

Eating questions, narrative accounts, falsified memory, arousal immediately after learning.

If you're aroused immediately after you learn something, there is less source confusion.

Memories that are created after arousal are more difficult to falsify, more difficult to tamper with, they tamper proof because of the arousal.

It's like imprinting, it's like everyone remembers where they were on 9-11 or when JFK was assassinated because there was arousal, which was connected to the memory.

Still, by the way, studies have shown that a year later, half the people misremembered, remembered wrongly where they were at the moment that the towers collapsed on 9-11. Half remembered wrongly.

When I say wrongly, I mean totally wrongly. Every detail was wrong. Memory is extremely unreliable.

Anticipation of misinformation can reduce the efficacy of misinformation, but the narcissist here is a hostage. He doesn't anticipate misinformation. He gives reliability, veracity and credibility to every bit of information. They're all of equal measure.

Sleep, psychotropic medication, etc.

So the misinformation effect is amenable and sensitive to many other influences.

But this kind of misinformation effect doesn't interest us because it has to do with other population groups, other cohorts.

We're interested, of course, in narcissism.


One of the problems that we deal with in the misinformation effect is the very complexity of human memory.

It's the influence of information, whether the information is legitimate or falsified.

And now we are faced with the problem of fake news, for example, conspiracy theories. The influence of information generally would support false information.

Now, this is something that we kind of sweep under the carpet because it's a bit politically incorrect to say that most people are not the brightest stars in the galaxy. They have baserate fallacy. They trust 95% of what they hear without confirming or checking.

And one of the problems is, again, information, fake information, falsified information, is very powerful, especially if the messages are confirmed and validated in a variety of ways from various sources.

Never mind that all these sources are allied. Never mind they're all in collaboration.

But if you get exposed to the same message several times, it becomes much more difficult to find their false information.


Mortification in narcissism occurs after multiple exposures, multiple exposures to the same person who had assaulted the narcissist in various ways or multiple exposures to multiple people or in multiple circumstances.

But at some point, there's a critical mass, like in a nuclear bomb. There's a critical mass.

So, when the critical mass is reached, then the modification takes place.

And it's very difficult to reverse misinformation and it's very difficult to reverse mortification.

Although the narcissist's defenses are gradually, are rebuilt gradually, this narcissist simply cannot survive exposed to reality as it is. He doesn't have the tools. He doesn't have a self. Self is an organizing principle. He doesn't have reality testing. He cannot make sense of the world. He cannot make sense of other people because he lacks empathy. So, he's not privy to the human condition. And he suffers grievously from the misinformation effect.

And he's sufficiently confident in the misinformation that he restructures, rewrites, rephrases his memories and even acts on the misinformation.

So, ironically, it's his grandiosity and his narcissism that push him to stick to his guns and refuse any contrary input after that.

The misinformation sets in, poisons his system, alters his memories and becomes the new status quo, the new consensus among the internal objects in his mind.

And he's emotionally invested in it.

He has sunk costs. He has invested so much in it.


Now to revise everything?

No way.

Plus, he can never be wrong. He's never wrong. He's infallible. He never makes mistakes.

So, now that he had rewritten everything, that's the new gospel. It's the new truth. It's the new Bible.

That's why it's very difficult.

When the narcissist had devalued you, initially it's very difficult to change his mind because he's invested in the new status quo. He's invested in the newfound knowledge, or actually wrong knowledge, but it doesn't matter.

So, there's a problem because narcissism feeds the narcissist's investment in wrong data, in misinformation. And it works against him because the misinformation coming from outside, in the case of mortification, is self-negating. It's humiliating. It's shaming.

But his narcissism won't allow the narcissist to cast this information aside. His narcissism is grandiosity.

Inform the narcissist. Tell the narcissist, your processing of the negative information was right. You're always right. You're never wrong. Even when you had adopted a shaming, humiliating, inferior view of yourself, you are still superior in your ability to get it right. So, you got it right. You're inferior. You got it right. You're shameful. You got it right. You're an idiot. You got it right. You're disgusting. You got it right. You're repulsive. You got it right. You got it right. You're evil. You got it right. And this is called external mortification.

In order to revive these defenses, to resuscitate them, reactivate them and reboot the whole narcissistic process, the narcissist transitions from external mortification to internal mortification.

And I described this process in previous videos.

The problem with narcissism and with the narcissist is that his false information is what we call rich false memories. Rich false memories is when entire segments of personal biography and personal history are false, are written from scratch, are inventions, a fiction never happened.

The narcissist reacts to misinformation by creating rich false memories, not regular false memories, but rich false memories.

Because he has a victim's stance and he has a view of himself, which is grandiose, is very limited, is very rigid in his ability to rewrite or reframe his memories. So he must adhere to very strict rules on how to rewrite his memories.

And these rules mean that sometimes, very often actually, he has to invent, totally invent, confabulate. I don't know what word to use. Simply conjure up out of thin air whole segments of biography and personal history.

And this is where the narcissist's resistance kicks in.

This is where the problem is, is once he had invented these segments of an unlived life, he experiences them as memories.

And so he will fight tooth and nail to defend the veracity of these memories, fake memories.

So first he creates a fake memory of something that had never happened. And then he experiences it as a real memory. And then he defends it as a real memory. He's going to become very aggressive if you dare to tell him, listen, honey, this never happened, you know? It's all in your head. It's never happened.

If you don't attack you, he's going to project, he's going to become aggressive.

And this is why mortification is very trenchant.

And the only way to reverse mortification is to ignore all the question of memory and actually to assimilate the guilt and the shame and the humiliation as integral components of the personality.

In other words, the narcissist's only way to cope with the mortification is not to preserve the integrity of his original memories. It's not to reverse the falsification of memories.

He is incapable of both these things.

His only way to fight the mortification is to adopt it, to assimilate it, to say, yes, I am, I am evil and ugly and shameful and stupid and I don't know what.

But having said that, I am the one who makes everything happen.

Because I'm evil, these people humiliated me and shamed me because I made them humiliate me and shame me.

My girlfriend cheated on me because I abused her, I made her cheat on me.

So it restores the narcissist's grandiosity.

When the narcissist says I'm evil, I'm corrupt, I'm a misfit, he's proud of it because his viciousness, his evilness, his abuse, his misconduct makes the world go around.

Everyone is reactive to him.

He's in control of everything.

So bad things that people do to him, bad things that people say to him, he made them do it. He made them say these things. He controls, they're his puppets, they're his pawns.

He convinces him, such that he wanted them to do these things and he wanted them to say these things to him.

And that's the extent of the narcissistic insanity.

He's never winning with a narcissist.

He will always find a way for a stratagem to put himself at the center, the controller, the mover, the shaker, the prima causa and God in effect.

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