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How Narcissist Perceives Narcissistic Abuse (with Charles Bowes-Taylor)

Uploaded 1/30/2022, approx. 56 minute read

Here we go. As you heard.

Well, good afternoon, Sam. And it's a Sunday afternoon, so I really appreciate it. Thank you. You know, as I mentioned, I've been working on a book for the last three years and there's so much of you in the book. You know, I've obviously read your...

Sounds like an obituary.

Your malignant self-love narcissism revisited. She had to smear you and say the way you say. But I've also watched, you know, so many of your seminars and so you're in my head a lot. So that's okay. We'll let you off this time.

But the author that I've been working with suggested that I do an interview with you. And I thought that would really be a really good idea. And you know what I didn't do in the other ones was ask you about what you've been doing. I mean, you're a pioneer in this field. You've been doing it a long time. You've written books. You know, you've had a YouTube channel for a long time. You've also, you know, write about the role in cronons in time asymmetry, which of course I helped you with. So maybe you can tell us about yourself.

Well, I'm a professor of psychology, author of the books. I don't think we should focus on me. Let's focus on my work. It's, I think, hopefully more interesting.

I mean, sort of in terms of all the, you know, for the lot, I think you started doing this in 1994, 95.

So, I was the first to own a website on narcissism in 1995. And I've been alone for nine years.

The second website opened in 2004. I also ran the first six support groups for victims of narcissistic abuse. Narcissistic abuse is a phrase that I coined in 1995. And at that time, I also coined the entire language that is in use today, or 99% of it that is in use today. So people don't even realize that I coined flying monkeys and this kind of things.

Yes. Cerebral narcissism, somatic narcissism, narcissistic abuse, etc.

And then I borrowed terms from the early psychoanalytic schools of thought in psychology. So for example, I borrowed the term narcissistic supply and I redefined it in the way that it is used today. Originally in the 1930s, narcissistic supply had meant the relationship between essentially selfish, unavailable parents and their children. But I redefined it completely. And the way it is used today is any form of external input, which a narcissist uses to regulate his internal environment, his cognition, his emotions, his moods, etc.

So that's a common. So I also borrowed many, many terms. I borrowed, for example, the true self and false self from Donald Winnicke's work. And again, I redefined them to apply specifically to narcissism because in Winnicke's work, they don't necessarily apply to narcissism.

Actually, they apply to developmental psychology.

I borrowed the cycle of the narcissist. So that's idealization, evaluation, and I added to it two phases, discard and replacement, etc.

So I had to single handedly come up with the whole discipline because there was nobody there and there was no language to communicate these highly idiosyncratic experiences, highly, highly personal. It's a little like a mystical experience.

How do you communicate a mystical experience? It's like, how do you communicate? How do you communicate an experience of narcissistic abuse in the absence of a language?

So there was simply no language. And then when I came up with the language, which took about two years, suddenly people had a way of sharing their experiences and actually sharing their experiences first and foremost with themselves.

In other words, becoming aware. And so they became aware and then they formed like-minded groups and they discussed these issues in these groups, etc.

And for nine years I was doing all this alone.

And then in 2004, people discovered there's money in it and the avalanche started as simple as that.

And then YouTube came, I had the first YouTube channel on narcissism. I still have and many others into the field.

I am not quite sure that it's been a beneficial process because the word narcissism had been debased and bandied around in all the wrong ways. It became a majority or a curse word.

And many, many people who had entered the field are totally unqualified about distributing misinformation and disinformation. And many of them, even with academic degrees, even with advanced academic degrees, and even with advanced academic degrees in psychology, are not experts in narcissism.

Psychology is a giant theme. And they are not. They simply are not.

So there's a commercial corruption of the whole thing which had reached monumental proportions. There are tens of millions of members of support groups for narcissistic abuse.

And what I'm hearing online is blood curdling, absolutely spine chilling.

I would say that for every one correct bit of information, precisely something that relies on studies and research. For every one, there's about 99 that are wrong. And some of them are dead wrong.

Some of them are dead wrong, like exactly the opposite of what.

But there is demonization of narcissism. So you need to demonize them.

And you have these stupid lists. You have these stupid lists, like 10 things you need to know about this and 10 things you need to know about that.

And you have, of course, all kinds of wild, wild outgrowth and a movement of essentially covert narcissists who call themselves empaths, super empaths. They are definitely narcissistic people. They're grandiose.

So like everything else, the internet had not been good, ultimately.

If I have to look, and I'm the oldest. I'm the oldest guy in the block. I invented the block.

If I look back, no, it's not been beneficial. It's not.

I think all in all, it had, there was more damage than him, in my view.

The vast majority of people get stuck in the victimhood phase. They adopt a victimhood as a form of identity.

And they can't progress, they can't break out.

Yeah. Sam, what is your own fascination with this subject? Because you obviously find it so fascinating. It's so interesting to you.

What is your interest?

Well, it started with the fact that I've been diagnosed with narcissistic personalities, or the twice.

But I've progressed a lot more since then in my perception of narcissism.

I think narcissism is an organizing principle of modern civilization. And also an explanatory, hermeneutic principle, a principle that allows us to make sense of life, and the environment, and so on.

I think narcissism is a form of religion, actually, a missionary religion.

I think narcissists are trying to convert non-narcissists to their religion, and very successfully so.

I think narcissism is embedded now inextricably in social institutions and structures, in careers, in dating, in relationships, intimate relationships.

So it had come to be modern civilization. So it's a much, much wider field, much wider field.

So we analyze politicians, we ask, are they narcissists? When we see all kinds, I am hardpressed to come across a movie or a book which doesn't include the word narcissism or narcissist.

Hardpressed, I'm serious. I watch movies, I read books, and there's always at the end or in the middle or the beginning somewhere, there's the word narcissism and so on.

So people make sense of the world through this.

There's been a serious television series called Intreatment. It's about a therapist, not a serious.

And I know it well, yes.

Yeah, it's a wonderful series. And it's three seasons. It's three seasons.

Now it may come as a shock to you, even though you had watched it, it may come as a shock to you. In the entire series, there's no mention of depression, no mention of borderline personality disorder, no mention of any clinical label except one narcissistic personality disorder. And it appears in the series eight times. NPD is mentioned eight times in Intreatment to the exclusion of all other labels.

I mean, you witness depression, you witness patients with borderline personality disorder, but no clinical label is used except NPD, and that's eight times.

That tells you a lot. This is a hot-button topic in academia.

It brings me to my next point.

I emailed one of the top universities in South Africa, the Head of Psychology, and I said, who specializes in narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse? No one. And you know, Sam, I, the person that I was involved with, who was a covert somatic narcissist, often accused me of being a narcissist. And in those days, I thought, well, okay, maybe she's trying to say I'm a little bit grandiose or self-centered. I didn't know what the word meant.

And I think if we look at, for example, the concept of Alcoholics Anonymous, it's been around since 1935, everybody knows if you have a drinking problem, that's the place to go. But here is a different story. It's only come to the fore in the last 20, 30 years.

So what this means is, and this is my own experience, and with many people that I've spoken to, is there's nowhere to go. And that when the victim, and I use the word victim in a virtual commerce, because I know what you're saying about becoming a victim, I get it, is further traumatized by the therapist who often misdiagnoses the narcissist, and the narcissist probably has manipulated the therapist too.

So that was also my experience.

So, you know, the, when you say, has your work not been beneficial, but to me, it has been. And you are forever in my head, I can't get you out of my head. So it's been very beneficial to me.

That's why I said, I wanted to do this, because I thought having it straight from you, you quoted quite a lot of times in the book.

But I think that if we go back to the basics, and we say, there is a difference between narcissistic traits, narcissistic style, narcissistic personality disorder, the disorders on a spectrum, most benign form of narcissism to malignant narcissism and interpsychopathy.

So maybe you can tell us about the difference between the traits, the style and the disorder itself.

First of all, we are in a period of transition. There are powerful voices in academe and outside academe, which dispute the very existence of narcissism as a clinical entity or a clinical construct.

Indeed, the book that defines mental health for the rest of the world, with the exception of North America, it's known as ICD edition 11, the 11th edition of ICD, which is international classification of diseases. So the ICD, for example, had eliminated this. It actually eliminated all personality disorders and had come instead with a single personality disorder with different emphasis, which had been, which is what I had been advocating since 1997.

Absolutely. I agree. I don't think there should be different. I think people switch and oscillate between a variety of what today's are considered to be separate diagnosis.

And I think narcissists as well gravitate and oscillate and vacillate between being an overt narcissist, and then suddenly we become covert and then go back to being overt and they're somatic one day and cerebral the next. There's no type constancy. There's no type constancy because narcissists collapse. They fail.

So if you are cerebral andconstancy because narcissists collapse. They fail.

So if you are cerebral and you fail, for example, you fail to impress people with your intellectual prowess and pyrotechnic intelligence, you fail and you become somatic because you need supply and you don't care where you get it. So we become somatic and you use sex and whatever is left of your body to try to obtain supply.

It's the same with overt and covert. If you fail as an overt, if no one pays attention to you or they ridicule you when you try to, then you become covert. You become a seething, passive-aggressive, envious creature.

So we already know that there's no type constancy and we're beginning to think that we have completely misconstrued the whole field.

We believe, increasingly believe today, that what we used to call overt narcissists, the in your face, daring do Donald Trump type narcissists, is actually a psychopath. We are increasingly, we increasingly consider borderline personality disorder to be a form of psychopathy.

So it all seems to kind of gravitate towards a mega-concept of psychopathy.

Covert narcissists, on the other hand, are compensatory. So we begin to think that narcissism is a compensatory style.

At the core of the narcissist, there is insecurity, a sense of inferiority, a perception of inadequacy, feeling as a bit unworthy object.

And so to cover up for this, to compensate for this, and develop grandiose fantasies, and whether you can accomplish these fantasies or not, is immaterial because you inhabit these fantasies. You live within the fantasy. You had renounced reality even when you're overt. Narcissist renounced reality. Otto Kernberg was the first to suggest in 1975 that narcissism and borderline are actually forms of psychosis.

And so narcissism in many ways are psychotic. Absolutely. They confuse external reality with internal reality in many ways. And so they live in fantasy land. The only problem there is that as opposed to psychotics, they try to bring you into the fantasy. They are coercive. Psychotics are not coercive. Psychotics just confuse internal with the external.

But the narcissist insists that you confirm and affirm that his fantasy is not a fantasy, that it's a reality. If he considers himself to be a genius, he wants you to tell him that he's a genius. And this is called narcissistic supply.

And when the narcissist is frustrated, he definitely becomes aggressive. And if he's overt, he switches to psychopathy. So he becomes antisocial.

And so we're beginning to see a melding of all these.


Now there are powerful voices such as Judith Herman and less powerful voices such as Sam Vaknin. Who suggest that all these disorders are actually post-traumatic conditions. They are forms of complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

These had been used to be mutilated, abused children. And they adopted a series of strategies to cope with the abuse and the trauma in early childhood.

And one of these strategies is known as narcissism.

So narcissism can be easily reconceived as a stunted, frozen child who is in a post-traumatic state.

And then if this is the case, it's good news because we know how to treat trauma very effectively. But we don't know how to treat personality disorders at all. We fail repeatedly and consistently with most of them, if not all of them.

But we do know to treat trauma. So if we just change the way we look at narcissism, maybe there's hope, maybe there's healing.

My work on cold therapy is a harbinger, but I don't believe on the last word.

And so it's very difficult when you talk about victims.

First of all, as you know, I make a distinction between having been victimized and being a victim. Being a victim is an identity. Being a victim is identity politics.

Having been victimized is a fact.

And so when we talk about victims, it becomes very, very fraught and problematic because if you perceive narcissists as people who are in a post-traumatic condition, then they are victims.

It's just one type of abuse.

So it's just one type of victim, victimizing another type of victim. It changes the whole mental picture. It's like hurt people, hurt people.

But Sam, here's the thing. When I left this person, I didn't know who and what she was. I had 20 years of psychotherapy behind me, luckily, and I'd studied, so I got most of the psychodynamics. I saw the victim mentality. I saw the COVID aggression, the lack of responsibility, the thinking that was so odd to me. I thought there was brain damage. I honestly thought there was some because it didn't make any sense.

So I left the person and then I figured out, then it led me to narcissism.

But what I realized was that, and it made me very uncomfortable in the beginning, I shared so much with her. I realized we come from the same place which supports what you are saying. So much of our stuff was the same that made me think, am I a narcissist? Is this possible?

So it's like coming from the same place, flip sides of the same coin. I went one way and the other person went in a different trajectory. And her mother and aunt are narcissists and her grandmother's a narcissist. So there's the genetic component and then there's the environment part as well.

And I think getting to the victim thing, that certainly when I came out of it, I was very broken. I couldn't remember things. I couldn't sleep. All of those you've heard this a lot, I'm sure, from.

But then I realized that I was in control of what I was going to do to keep away from the person. And I can still hear you saying no contact. If they send you gifts, return them unopened. If they come to your door, call the police. I can hear you saying that.

So I really implemented that and I shut the person down. So I took back control.

And what I often hear from people is the narcissist hypnotized me and I was powerless. And I thought that's not right because each of us has the power to say no to whatever it is. And that often it was kind of almost like that there was nothing that the victim could do. And I found that to be a problem.

Whereas I felt, well, I can take back my power. And the empath thing that you mentioned and this I got from you years ago.

But if I demonize narcissists and I say they're all good, all bad and I'm all good, I'm the same.

Yeah, exactly. And I realized that in my relationship with this person, was I all good?

Sam, was I? Of course I wasn't. But I have to take responsibility for.

So that's what I see is that the power is handed over to the narcissistic abuser and the person is helpless. And that is the victim dynamic that you are referring to.

And also the addiction. The fellowship of it's called the SLAA, Sex and Lab Tech Anonymous was formed, I think, in about 40 years ago since Augustine Fellowship. And that's when people came to realize that there is something that was made aware of that 20 years ago.

So I knew that wasn't just the somatic narcissist addicting me. I also have that addiction. So it was taking two again, not just the other person.

I think we can go to the mental level and see the dynamic between the narcissist and his typical victim, because they are atypical victims, but the typical victim. It'svictim.

It's a Faustian deal. The narcissist offers you a chance to experience maternal, unconditional love. And that is the love bombing and grooming phase.

And so there the narcissist says, he idealizes you. He says, you're perfect, you're amazing. You're the most intelligent thing. The best thing that ever happened to me, I've never come across someone like you. You're changing me, you're changing me, you're omnipotent.

He talks to you as a mother would to her child, mothers idealize their children. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to suffer them. Children are insufferable unless you idealize them. Nature endowed mothers with the ability to overlook the nuisance that children are and to idealize them.

The narcissist does the same to you. He idealizes you. By idealizing you, by idealizing you, the narcissist idealizes himself. So his core idealization, but you experience it as unconditional maternal love, which that's the elixir of life. That's the holy grail. That's what we all seek in all our relationships.

The mother bond with the child.

Sorry to interrupt the mother bond with the child.

It's a second chance. It's a second chance because the vast majority of us grew up with mothers who are less than perfect, not good enough mothers, mothers who are absent, who are selfish, who are tired, who are angry, or we all have this baggage of not good enough mothering.

And his analysis comes and says, I'm going to give you a childhood back and this time it's going to work. This time it's going to be perfect. And now I'm going to be your mother and I'm going to love you unconditionally and going to idealize you. And moreover, I'm going to grant you access to your own idealized image in my eyes, through my gaze. So you can see yourself idealized through the narcissist gaze that's extremely addictive because it's the first time you experience unadulterated self-love.

The narcissist's gift to you is the ability to self-love but an idea, a false self. The narcissist creates for you an impromptu false self, a small false self, who tells you, you can fall in love with this false self of yours. I'm granting you access to this false self of yours. And you can finally self-love safely in my ambit because I'm your mother. I love you unconditionally.

And then what happens once he got you addicted, he simply withdraws. He insists then that you do the same for him. He wants you to serve as a mother figure.

And by the way, this is regardless of gender. He wants you then to mother him.

But then of course, if you mother him and he mothers you, a concept which I call dual mothership. And if he gives you access to this hole of mirrors where you see multiple reflections of your idealized self and you fall in love with these reflections, you get addicted to them.

Then he has infinite power over you. He is infinite. He can withdraw your self-love by denying you access to this hole of mirrors, by blocking this idealizer. And he can become a bad mother. He can withdraw his maternal, unconditional love and acceptance, which will be excruciatingly painful.

So he strikes a deal with you. You're going to suspend yourself. You're going to kill yourself mentally. You're going to die.

And on this condition that you agree to die mentally, he will guarantee you access to all these goodies.

And the vast majority of people accept the deal. They die. And they become an internal object. They become what we call in psychology an introject.

The narcissist takes a snapshot of you, photoshops the snapshot, that's the process of idealization, and then proceeds to interact with the snapshot.

Why?

Because the snapshot is safe. The snapshot will never abandon the narcissist, will never challenge, disagree, criticize, whatever. In other words, the snapshot provides total control.

But you, your part of the deal is to never deviate from the snapshot.

But how can you never deviate from the snapshot if you cease to exist? To never deviate, to never deviate from a static representation of you, you must become static. You must die in effect.

So when you begin to show signs of independence, autonomy, agency, self-efficacy, when you make decisions, when you have new friends, when you travel, when you study, you are threatening the snapshot, and you are breaching the contract with the narcissist, because you gradually diverge from the snapshot.

And so the narcissist regards you as a threat to the internal balance in his mind. You become a threat, you become a persecutory object. In short, you become an enemy.

Hence, hence the devaluation and discard phase. This is a relationship with the narcissist in the nutshell.


Now, one more comment, and I'll let you go.

I tend to hold the limelight, of course.

Well, it's fascinating. So it's not a problem, Sam. It's fascinating.

You mentioned hypnosis of being hypnotized. People are reporting this. Actually, yeah, actually, they have a point, ironically, paradoxically, they do have a point.

There has been recent discoveries in neuroscience about a phenomenon called entraining. This is a phenomenon studied over the last 15 years or 20, but had come to the forefront in the last 10 years.

And we discovered, for example, that using music, we can create in your brain a replica of my brain. So when two people play the same music, their brains become utterly synchronized. When I say utterly synchronized, the EEGs are indistinguishable. You can't tell whose brain is it. They become one brain.

Now, the narcissist is used to this because of narcissistic supply.

What the narcissist does, he takes your input, his input, her input, and he creates his mind. He recreates his mind on the fly. He uses this constant input to recreate his mind, and I call it the hive mind, the swarm mind. It's a kaleidoscope. It's a collage.

So the narcissist is used to the environment having a determining effect on his mind. His mind is formed and shaped by the environment on the fly. So he's used to that.

So what he does, he entrains you. He actually replicates his mind in yours, literally, literally. He synchronizes the brain waves through entrainment.

But then the question is, how does he do it?

Not all couples play music together. So how does he succeed to do that?

Well, there is a form of music that the narcissist uses to accomplish this. It's called verbal abuse. Verbal abuse has all the characteristics of music. It has repetitive refrains. It has cadence. It has tempo. It has rhythm. It has harmony. It has melody. Verbal abuse is music. It's exactly like rap. It's music. It's a musical style.

I can actually take a verbal abuse session, put it online, and people will think it's music.

And so he uses verbal abuse to entrain you, to create in your mind, literally and physically, physiologically, a replica of the brain waves in his mind. In this sense, it's very close to dissociative, suggestive states, such as hypnosis.

Now, the reason I agree with you, that it doesn't justify victim passivity, is that entraining takes place only during the abusive session. Once the session is over, you are deentrained. You are no longer entrained.

So there you regain. You regain self-control, autonomy, and you can make decisions.

But during these intermittent reinforcement bullying sessions, you are actually passive and without almost any control. And in this sense, you're hypnosis during this series.

Yeah.

So Sam, if we go back to the difference between narcissistic traits style and what's currently called the disorder.

So the first to suggest, the first to suggest that there's a difference was a guy called Lynn Sperry. And he suggested that there should be a distinction between people who have narcissistic style, also known as assholes, and people who have narcissistic personality disorder.

Then Theodor Millon came into the scene, adopted Lynn Sperry's work. He cites Lynn Sperry in his seminal book, Personality Disorders in Modern Life. And so he adopted his work and he added another layer, the narcissistic personality.

So now we have three layers. We have style, personality, and disorder. And the difference between them is quantitative, literally, but quantity to the point that it becomes quality. So for example, traits would be exaggerated, lack of empathy would be more extreme, behaviors would be escalated, exploitation would be emphasized, envy would be much stronger in the disorder. Antisocial behaviors are almost exclusive to the disorder, etc.

So it's a matter of quantity. It's these exaggerated forms of each other.

The disorder though, when you cross into the disorder, you're beginning to have several psychological and psychodynamic features which are absent from the style and from the personality.

For example, you are no longer able to relate to other people as external. What you tend to do is a narcissist with a disorder. You tend to internalize other people. You tend to create internal objects which represent these people. And then you regard other people as figments of your mind, as extensions, which explains a lot of the abuse. If I abuse you as a narcissist, it's self-inflicted because you're not there, you're in my mind, you're an internal object. So I subject you to all the dynamics in my mind because you're a part of my mind.

For example, my mother taught me to not have boundaries. I abuse means when the parent, parental figures, or caregivers breach the child's boundaries, don't allow the child to separate.

Okay, so I am used to not having boundaries, but because you're part of my mind, I have no problem to breach your boundaries. I do to you that which was done to me because you are me, you are me. That is something victims can contract their heads around.

And that's one example of a psychodynamic feature or psychological feature which clearly distinguishes the disorder from all.

I would say that perhaps the second thing with your permission, perhaps the second thing is where a lack of empathy crosses into sadism, antisocial behavior, the tendency to abuse in a way which is negating and vitiating of the victim. And that's why I coined the phrase narcissistic abuse to distinguish it from other types of abuse.

Other types of abuse leverage some dimensions of your existence, financial abuse, legal abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, you name it, all of them leverage some aspect of you.

Sexual abuse leverages usually your genitalia, you know, so it's a limited type of abuse.

Narcissistic abuse is all pervasive, ubiquitous, and above all, the main goal and the only goal of narcissistic abuse is for you to cease to exist because your separateness constitutes a threat and narcissists are not equipped to deal with separateness, they were never allowed to separate.

So this is where a lack of empathy in the disorder becomes extreme.

I mean, I think that the word narcissist and narcissism that it's used very freely today, and I think I got this from you as well, that adolescence, for example, is a naturally narcissistic phase where the child is individuating, becomes God and saying to parents, or if you go, I'm becoming my own person, it is healthy.

Without some modicum of narcissism, you're not going to survive.

Yeah, but I've always thought of it the way I see it is, it's exactly what you're saying that really what distinguishes the disorder from traits with style is that lack of emotional empathy. There is cognitive, as you've called it, cold empathy, and interpersonal exploitation. And we've spoken about narcissistic abuse, but so we have really four phases, which are not linear.

So we have idealization, as you've said, discard, sorry, devaluation, discard, and then the Hoover.

So do you want to take us through those phases, sir?

Seeing as you can say it's so much better than I can.

Hoovering is another term that I coined, by the way.

Was that yours as well? I was wondering.

People don't realize it's another term.

Before I go there, you see the language breaks down, even for someone like you who is well versed in narcissism. The language breaks down because you use the term exploitation. Narcissist never exploits. I can't exploit you, you don't exist. You're part of me. Who am I exploiting?

I'm taking what's mine, I'm taking what's mine.

I mean, right.

So from my perspective, not from a narcissist perspective, I get that. I didn't see that a few years ago, but now I do.

It breaks the mind. I mean, it's mind-boggling. The mind can't function anymore because it's so alien.

Narcissists are so alien in the way they perceive others.

Oh, don't perceive others. That's the core problem, by the way. Narcissists have no, what we call object relations.

The narcissist is stuck in a phase of development called self-relation, but he doesn't progress to object relation.

Object relation simply means relating to others.

And as a joke, it's very telling that in psychology, the word objects means people, just for your information. So object relations means relations with people.

Yes. Yes. So psychology is very, very narcissistic for him, because if I regard it as funny, it's funny, you should say that. I was just thinking.

Yeah. Okay.


Coming back to your question, which you asked me, we were both a lot younger about idealization and so on and so forth.

As I said, there's no, I've modified the concept of idealization and now it should be called core idealization, because the narcissist, by idealizing you, idealizes himself.

If you are the most intelligent person on earth and I'm with you, it says something about me. If someone is the most beautiful woman on earth and she chooses me or she is with me, it says something about me. So there's no separate idealization. It's always core idealization.

And actually, the main reason for idealization is the narcissist's part. The narcissist wants to aggrandize and idealize himself.

And the only way to do this is to aggrandize and idealize everyone around him. That's why he does that. That's the first motivation.

Second motivation.

When I idealize, it's irresistible to you, because as I said, it's a form of maternal unconditional love and so on, but also who doesn't want to be thought of as super intelligent, amazingly beautiful. It's irresistible. It's addictive.

So one of the second main function of core idealization is to get the victim or the prey or the target or the potential intimate partner addicted. So it creates addiction.

Idealization lasts for as long as you don't diverge or deviate from the snapshot, from the introject.

Because in the process of idealization, the narcissist creates an image of you, which is photoshopped. That's idealization. And then as long as you don't deviate or diverge from this image, everything is okay. And you will continue to be idealized.

As long as we behave.

As long as you're dead.

Let's call a spade a spade, as long as you're dead.

Right. Because if I tell you, let's eat in this restaurant and you say, no, let's eat in that restaurant, you had diverged from the snapshot. You had disagreed with me.

It also implies some form of criticism. Your choice of restaurant is wrong. It implies that you know something. It implies that you know something that I don't know. So you're challenging my omniscience.

If you tell me, listen, let me help you. I don't interpret it as an indication or expression of love. I interpret it as an attempt to humiliate, to imply that I'm not omnipotent, that I need you, that you have something I don't have.

So even the most innocuous comments, most loving or will be perceived as challenging or undermining the snapshot. You can't do anything right. Whatever you do will be perceived as an attempt to unsettle the precarious balance of the narcissist in a universe, and therefore will render you a persecutory object, an enemy.

In other words, in other words, devaluation is inevitable.

As long as you show signs of life, it's inevitable.

Victims should stop asking themselves, what did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? Should I have done this? Should I have done that? Should I not have said this? You would have been devalued, period.

If you eat and drink and breathe, it's sufficient for the narcissist to switch to the devaluation mode.

The only way for you to have avoided devaluation is to have rendered yourself an ancient Egyptian mummy, about as lively and as attractive.

Too uncommon.

Yes. The narcissist also suffers from extreme separation insecurity, also known colloquially as abandonment. So the moment you show a sign of independence and autonomy, any, the slightest, a new friend going out for coffee, doing something without the narcissist or without his permission, anything, using the smartphone.

Because when you're with your smartphone, you have a private enclave, a private world. It's very threatening. Anything you do would provoke devaluation.

Now, why did the narcissist need to devalue you?

Because you are a source of threat. And because you are proof positive that his judgment had been wrong. I mean, if he needs to devalue, then he judged you wrongly, didn't he? So he needs to eliminate you. And he eliminates you by claiming that you had changed this new information. You had changed somehow, or he found out new things about you, or you went crazy, or you became insufferable, or something. There's been a transformation in you that does not vitiate, does not negate his initial judgment. You had changed, not the narcissist.

That's the first thing. And the second thing is, now that you have changed, he can create a negative introjective view. He can create the opposite of the snapshot. He can create a snapshot that is ugly, that is stupid, that is fantastic and then this justifies discarding you.

And that's the last phase. He needs to discard you because your very existence is a threat. And this is what people fail to understand.

Now, statistic abuse is not about something you do, or something you don't do, or choices, or decisions, or lifestyle.

Yeah. Statistic abuse is about getting rid of your existence, killing you, in effect. If possible, physically, but usually mentally, killing you.

Then the discard.

Following the discard, there's another phase, which is replacement.

The narcissist tries to find an alternative to you and go through the whole process again.

The narcissist creates something called shared fantasy. Shared fantasy was first described by Sanger in 1989, not by Wachner. And the shared fantasy is a fantastic space where the narcissist can maintain his grandiosity and where he can exert full control over you and negate your agency.

So that's the shared fantasy. Shared fantasy also includes fantastic elements, like dreams, aspirations, a brilliant rosy future. It could be children, it could be family, it could be money, it could be whatever. So that's the shared fantasy.

He drags you into the shared fantasy.

And the replacement is simply finding another partner for the shared fantasy.

If he fails at the replacement phase, then he switches to phase four, four B. And four B would be hovering. The hovering is a lost result, actually. People think that narcissists move habitually. They try to avoid it as much as they can. It's a lost result. It's indicative of the narcissist's failure to find a replacement for you.

But there is one case where the narcissist will never, ever over you. And that's if you had mortified the narcissist.

In 1957, a group of scholars described a phenomenon in the study of narcissism known as narcissistic mortification. Narcissistic mortification is when someone, an intimate partner, or shames you and humiliates you in public, in front of people you care for, people whose opinions you value.

So if I were to create a situation where you are, for example, sitting with your colleagues or with your peers, and then I were to shame you and humiliate you horribly in front of all of them, I will have mortified you.

And then narcissists never hover after mortification.

Mortification is a fascinating process because what happens is the false self and all the defenses break down. They're inactivated.

And the narcissist is faced with his own internal void, known as the empty schizoid core. The narcissist is faced with a black hole at his own center.

And that's, of course, a harrowing traumatizing experience. So he will never come near you again.

You have the capacity to traumatize.

Is that the same as narcissistic decompensation, Sam?

Decompensation is an element in multifamily. Decompensation is an element, yes. Decompensation is a clinical term for when defense mechanisms, psychological defense mechanisms, are disabled. Are disabled. So they're no longer able to filter and reframe reality in a way which will conform to the narcissist's self-image. So his self-image is assaulted and assailed by numerous countervailing data from reality. And he can't stand that.

And his false self falls apart. Borderlines, by the way, go through decompensation as well. The disabling of these defenses creates a very interesting phenomenon. And that's the crux of my work nowadays. And it's becoming widely accepted in academia. I just gave lectures in McGill University about this. And I'm going to give lectures in Cambridge and so on.

I suggested that actually we should consider all personality disorders as an assemblage of self-states. So people with personality disorders don't have a single self. They have multiple self-states.

And then what happens is under stress, under duress, under humiliation, rejection, abandonment, etc., or when challenged and undermined, for example, by your independent behavior, people with personality disorders switch between self-states.

So for example, the borderline, if she perceives rejection and abandonment, which is her greatest fear, if she perceives them, then she decompensates. Her defense mechanisms switch off. And she switches from one self-state, the borderline self-state, to a psychopathic self-state. She becomes a psychopath, more precisely a secondary psychopath.

So the self-state's argument of the self-state's model is a fascinating model in effect.

Because first of all, it allows us to unify all personality disorders. We just say, okay, there is a limited set of self-states. And these apply to borderline, these apply to narcissism.

And also it means that when the narcissist switches to another self-state, he can easily become covert or a borderline, or he can become a psychopath. A psychopath can become a narcissist, or he can become a borderline. It opens up the field. It allows for all these transitions that have been observed in therapy and in clinical settings, but were not accounted for by the DSM and other categorical effects.

So it's much more fluid.


Getting back to the Hoover San, the last time I spoke, I'd never received a Hoover before. And I got one, I think, a year and a half after I left the relationship. And it was the most bizarre, disturbing experience. And I think it's really important for people to hear is that as the person just arrived at my house, I firstly was very nervous. And secondly, I felt as if there were walls of steel around me. And I kept having to remind myself of who and what was in front of me. And all the charm was switched on, you know, and right at the end, I saw a reptilian intelligence there, a sly intelligence. And I thought of a black mamba striking a mouse or a king cobra striking a mouse, which is very primal. And the snake doesn't do it because there's anything wrong with the snake. That is the design of the snake. There's no empathy for that poor mouse that's going to suffer. And that's what I felt right at the end. It was this sly intelligence. And she knew exactly what she was doing.

That was the other thing that horrified me. And, you know, when people experience the Hoover, it's very hard to resist from my perspective, because I love the person. And because it looked, it was a fantastic show. But I hadn't experienced it the last time we spoke. And now I have, and all I can say is it was difficult to resist, but I'm very glad that I did. I did not allow myself to be drawn back in.

And I think that's very important that people can be, you know.

And also, I was thinking that when I left the person, I joined a group for narcissistic abuse survivors. And the person that I started speaking to, he had to plan his exit over a year. He planned it because he was married, they shed money, etc. I didn't do that. I could just leave this person. I just packed up and I left. I didn't know who she was. I just left. But he had to plan it.

And you've said this before many times, Sam. It's very hard to leave. Very hard to leave.

Covering involves two mechanisms. One is triggering. The very presence of the narcissist triggers you.

You had been traumatized by the narcissist on the one hand, so it triggers a trauma. But it also triggers the good memories. It's not only the bad memories. It's a triggering of the entire panopoly of memories and emotions that are involved in the relationship.

And by the way, that is common for healthy relationships. I mean, if you were to divorce a perfectly healthy person, and she would see her again, you would be triggered. But in the case of the narcissist, in the case of the narcissist, the triggering disables you because it also triggers the trauma.

So you have a post-traumatic response, you know, freeze, freeze, fight, fight, flight, form, all this. It's panoply, post-traumatic responses. This is the triggering.

And the second thing that hoovering does, it entices you, it entices you because you see what happens typically with typical victims of narcissists, what happens is a process called merger infusion.

Merger infusion when you either willingly surrender your boundaries, or you never had boundaries to start with, you're codependent, for example. And so you merge, you become one organism with a narcissist, you become a single unit, a cerebrose with two heads, you know.

And so when the narcissist, you abandon the narcissist, it's the equivalent of an amputation. And you have a phantom limb left behind. It's like I would amputate your leg, but you would still feel your leg. You'd still feel the narcissist there. There's a phantom narcissist left behind, because you were one, you were a single entity.

And leaving the narcissist made you half. And you will always be half without her. She will always be there as a phantom. She will be there more clinically as an introject. She is in your mind, she's in your head, she talks to you. Even if you don't realize it, even if you are not aware, she is there. She had penetrated, she had mind snatched you, and then body snatched you. And she had merged with you. It's like the alien movies when the alien enters a body, you know. And then from the outside, it looks like Saint Vaknin, but actually it's an alien from, you know. So, hoovering, hoovering seems to be like this kind of trivial, trivial pursuit, if you wish.

You know, someone, an ex, tries to pick you up.

No way. It's an exceedingly complex psychodynamic or psychological process, exceedingly. It involves multiple disciplines in psychology. It's one of the most understudied and amazing phenomena in psychology.

And you as a codependent, or you as someone with four boundaries, or you as a boundary person who has surrendered your boundaries, or you who had struck the fall steel deal, yeah, give me a second chance. And in return, I will kill myself for a while, or suspend myself for a while. If you had done any of this, and you had, because you had a relationship with another, if you had done any of this, you would be sorely tempted.

And here's another reason. It's much easier to be dead than to be alive. It's anxiety reducing. We all live in a state of anxiety. And anxiety is provoked by life.

But when you suspend your existence, when you're no longer alive, there is a sense of calm. I know it sounds bizarre, because victims are always traumatized, and they're anxious, and they're depressed on the one hand.

But on the other hand, handing control to the narcissist has, has merits in terms of being, feeling safe, feeling in a way that you're in good hands.

So this is the dynamic that works with dictators, dictators like Adolf Hitler, you know, his message was, let me manage everything. Don't worry, you have no responsibility, and no accountability. I become the external locus of control.

And that leads us to the concept. This leads us to the concept of external locus of control.

In a relationship with the narcissist, your life is controlled from the outside, you have an external locus. And so you are never to blame, you're never guilty, you're never responsible, never accountable, as long as you play the game with the narcissist, as long as you conform.

I remember all those feelings, Sam, exactly what you're describing. There was a great sense of safety and peace in being with the person. I get you completely, you know.


Maybe another concern, another concern to inject here would be the comfort zone. People who end up with narcissists usually default to a comfort zone. This comfort zone reflects something in childhood. So maybe they were not allowed to separate in childhood and to become individuals. The parent emotionally blackmailed them, whether it was emotional, ambient, incest, or I don't know what, and they couldn't separate individually.

So here's an opportunity to again not separate. So this is a comfort zone.

Maybe they've been abused with children and so they gravitate to the narcissist because she is an abuser. I mean that's the job qualification, she's an abuser.

And so you need to recreate the comfort zone of having been abused.

Now what is a comfort zone? Comfort zone is not positive or negative. Actually most comfort zones are negative. Comfort zone is simply a way of existence where you feel that you know the rules, you know the ropes, everything is predictable and you can control the process. That's a comfort zone.

Now we have studies that show that women who had been abused, battered, beaten up in childhood by for example their fathers tend overwhelmingly to select abusers, because they know how to cope with an abuser. They know how to predict his reactions.

It's familiar. You know Sam, in my book I describe being with somebody who does not exist. All that existed was a mask that danced and gleamed with portrayals of authenticity, kindness and personality. And I got that from you because you said that there is actually nobody there. And so when I think about her now, I think I shared so many special moments.

We've traveled to a lot of countries and so on, but there was nothing from her side and I think that's a difficulty for us as I call myself a survivor of narcissistic abuse.

And you actually said this in one of your lectures in London, I think with Richard, you said the most difficult thing for you to understand is that none of you are special to us. That's what you said, I remember. Most difficult thing.

Yeah, but in her mind, I'm just a different make of toaster or a different make of car or a different make of cell phone. There's nothing special about me at all to her.

You're interchangeable, yes.

Interchangeable units, those were the terms that you used.

And I think also saying that in the beginning, and we did touch on this a little bit earlier, is that I would say if I was this person, I wouldn't have behaved in that way. And then I realized that was a fatal error. I had to look at it from the perspective of the narcissist and you were talking about the breakdown of language earlier.

Adolf Hitler thought that what he was doing was right. So that's his perspective. In my perspective, you shouldn't go and kill people like that. But that's his perspective. I've just been busy reading a book about Jonestan, about Jim Jones, and listening to how he killed all those people from his perspective. It was what he was doing was okay. It was same.

So I think if we look at it from, if I look at it from my perspective, it doesn't make any sense. But if I look at it from the perspective of the narcissist, it makes complete sense. Who's right and who's wrong? Maybe it isn't the question of that. It's a question of what's okay for me and what's not okay for me as each person.

It is definitely wrong to convert the discourse on narcissism to a morality play, good versus evil, good versus evil, right versus wrong. It's very wrong and it leads people astray because they become angels and the narcissist is a devil and it becomes highly religious.

Do you think I'm an angel?

Do you think I'm an angel, Sam? Do I look like an angel?

Of course you're not an angel. No one is. And it's not about being the devil. Remember the simple principle. The narcissist knows no better. He wants to do to you what had been done to him because he considers himself superior. He wants to elevate you to his level. I'm doing your favor to be in my company, to share my life with me, to make love to me. It's enormous privilege because I'm a unique being. I'm a superior, I'm a light being, you know, a superior creature. And I want to do to you what had been done to me because that way you will become me. And I'm elevating you to my level.

When I'm making you me, when I'm making you a clone of me, a replica of me, I'm doing you a favor and a once in a lifetime favor.

Now what had been done to me?

First of all, I was not about to separate. So I will not allow you to separate. I will not allow you to make this horrible mistake of becoming an individual.

Second thing, I was hollowed out. I was rendered into an avoid, an emptiness. It's called the empty schizoid core in clinical terms. I became an emptiness.

But I don't consider this a disadvantage. I consider this the next step in the evolutionary ladder. This is what renders me superior.

And so I want to empty you. I want to follow you out also.

Because I want to bring you to the tribe. I want you to share my superiority. I love you. This is love, isn't it? Love is about elevating the partner, allowing the partner to grow and to develop.

So this is self-development. This is self-growth, what I'm doing to you.

So I'm empty. You should be empty. I have no boundaries. You should have no boundaries.

I have been abused. I will abuse you.

Because abuse had been proven to be a methodology which had led to superiority. I will call it probably tough love or something.

So this is what the narcissist's intentions are. And that's the irony. The narcissist, first of all, is selfless. He has no self. Literally has no self. That's why he needs input from the outside. He has no functioning self. That's one thing.

And the second thing is the narcissist is well-intentioned, not evil. That's the psychopath. The psychopath is evil. The narcissist is well-intentioned. He believes, he believes that together you can become this amazing single unit that is by definition far more advanced than the rest of humanity.

But unfortunately, you are not at this step of evolution. He needs to bring you up to him. That's a good summary of relationships with the narcissist. They try to educate you, edify you, improve you, change you, transform you, help you. I mean, they try all the time to make you who you are not, to take away your identity because it sucks your identity.

Better to adopt the narcissist.

You know, it's easy for me to care all of this now, Sam, but not in the beginning of my journey.

So in the beginning, I hated the person and I hated what I'd become, a shell of my former self. And only a long time, many years later, can I discuss it like this with you because there's distance from it now.

But the people, I started speaking to so many people about it, some of my clients. I mean, my travel agent planned her own suicide. An old friend of mine goes into a clinic for depression once a year because her husband is a narcissist.

So from our side, it's so inconceivable in the beginning. I think, well, because I have emotional empathy, but everyone else is going to have it. I didn't realize that some people just don't have it. So it's very difficult for us to understand and achieve distance, to say, I understand how the narcissist works, but it really destroys us. It's so dangerous for us.

I mean, an ex-girlfriend of mine from 30 years ago was married to a psychopath. And she said to me recently that she had planned.

Oops, you froze, Charles. I don't know if you can hear me. Sam, you there? Yes, I can hear you now. You froze. You said a friend of mine had planned and then you punished.

Yeah.

So she was married to a psychopath who I think maybe about 10 years and then she was so unhappy that she had asked somebody to kill her, take a hit out on it.

So you know this better than I do, Sam, the damage that it does.

So that's the only reason I can speak about it now with a sense of humor and more distance.

What would you say to people who are in a relationship with a narcissist? What would your advice be, Sam?

Don't be dry.

Honestly, all the rest is bullshit. There's a lot of bullshit on that.

Do this, do that. I invented most of these bullshit, but I came up with mirroring and you name it. I came up with seven of eight techniques.

The only technique I did not come up with is gray rock. So gray rock is not my invention, but all the rest, what you hear about, I mean, I invented and yet I'm telling you they're all bullshit. They're the only viable solution.

Save your life, get away, no contact and no contact means no contact, no texts, no social media stalking, no gifts, no third party introductions, no flying monkey, no contact, no attempts because the brain plays tricks on you. It would come up with a million reasons why yes, to be in contact only once for a few minutes. It's just once for a few minutes and there's excellent reason for it. There's an excellent reason.

And one of the main, of course, alibis is having common children or common property or it's my mother. How could I give up on her or it's my child? It's my son. How can I give up on him? You know, these are all excuses and I don't have money. I don't have money. It's an excuse. You don't have money. It's an excuse. You have common children. It's an excuse. It's your mother. It's an excuse. They're all excuses.

Now, of course, some departures are much more complex than others, but departure is it must be one way or another. You have common children. Let your attorneys communicate. It has to pick them up. Don't be there. Ask your cousin to be there. There is visitation. Make them supervised or ask someone to be there. I mean, find a solution, no contact. He wants to talk to you. He cannot talk to you. You have a lawyer or you have a neighbor. I don't know. Or you have a good friend. It's your mother walk away. She is your enemy. She threatens your life. Walk away.

Why do people not consider narcissists as life threatening? They are. It's not that narcissists are life threatening because of their practices. Narcissists are life threatening because it's you or them. If you're alive, the narcissist's life is threatened, at least mental life. If he is alive, he needs you to be dead. He will offer you a lot for this. I mean, it's a bargain. It's a bargain. He will offer you a lot to stop to exist, but he needs you to stop to exist. It's you or him. You or her.

The final invoice, and I think I got this from you too, Sam, the final invoice is for our life. That's you. That's in my book too. The final invoice from the narcissist is for our life. My own no contact has been in place ever since I discovered who and what she was. Completely blocked. Never looked for her on Facebook. I speak to nobody. Just completely no contact. Because apart from the risk of getting back together again, I would like to believe I'm strong enough now. It's also like as an alcoholic having one drink, it's not okay. It's the same principle.

The other thing, Sam, if I talk to my abuser, I'm giving the signal to myself that what the person did is okay and it's not okay. It's the same as if I come to your house and you open the door, you please just see me and I start punching you. What are you going to do? Hit me back, close the door. That's what you should do. The message is if I'm in contact with my abuser, I'm saying to me, it's not okay.

The other thing, Sam, when I left the person, I thought I got the better of her but I didn't. I got the better of myself. That's what I did. I beat myself because that was the war which is what you've been speaking about is that battle to leave.

The difficulty in leaving. Sam, is there anything, any other advice? I mean, just before you answer, again, I'm not saying it probably for the third time but people that I know, whether they're clients, friends, etc., the majority of them do not leave.

I know I did and I know that this friend of mine, he left the one who planned his exit over a year. Is that in your experience too that most people don't leave?

They not only do not leave but they re-victimize. They keep selecting mates which are replicas of the narcissist.

So we have like serial victimhood.


My third husband is as narcissistic as my second husband who was even worse than my first husband.

Why do you keep choosing these people?

But it's conditioning. We know childhood conditioning and so on.

Yes, there was one more piece of advice.

The narcissist is a wily enemy. He picks up on your body language. He picks up on your facial micro-expressions. He picks up on words you say but much more importantly he picks up on words that you do not say.

Anything can and will be used against you in due time. Confidences you shared, emotions witnessed, facial expressions, hunched, a hunched shoulder, a twitching leg, a tick. Anything and everything is catalogued, observed, catalogued for future use and future abuse.

That's the main reason for no contact because every minute you spend with a narcissist is providing, is equivalent to providing the narcissist with ammunition for a future battle. You are giving ammunition to your enemy and he is going to use it.

Don't kid yourself. It's like the United States equipped the mujahideen at the time. It came back to bite them in the ass at 9-11. You are giving weapons to your enemy and trust me and I happen to be a narcissist. I decided to victimize you.

You've been in my crosshairs. In this session alone I have enough ammunition to ruin you for good.

For good and I mean for good. To render you utterly discombobulating psychotic in a mental world for the rest of your life and that's in 45 minutes.

Now I happen to be a super intelligent narcissist. This is the most dangerous kind, the most psychopathic narcissist but even a run-of-the-mill pedestrian narcissist would do a job 50% as good as mine.

That's also exceedingly dangerous.

I'd like to add to that, Sam, that the person that I was with was not bright but boy was she good at what she did. With my background in psychology and being in therapy, I thought I was losing my mind.

I heard that most tigers score very low on IQ tests. I heard so but you wouldn't think there is good you with a tiger.

Narcissists are optimized predatory systems. Each word counts here optimized, predatory, systems. They are not a human being. They are a hive mind. They are a collage of hundreds of minds. It's like a colony.

Narcissist, the narcissist is like a colony. It's like a killer bee colony and you're feeding it with information.

Things you say, things you don't say, body language, this that you're feeding it with information and it's coming at you. Make no mistake, it's coming at you and it's going to devour you and leave nothing behind. It has nothing to do with intelligence. It has to do with reflexes and instincts. It's primordial. It's primordial. It's primitive. It's not on the level of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer and Hegel. It's tooth and claw. It's nail and claw and tooth. It's red and nail and claw and tooth. It's nature. It's a predator.

It's interesting, Sam, because I've watched a lot of documentaries on black mumbers and the black mumber is obviously extremely venomous but it is also highly unpredictable. It's a very skittish defensive snake.

So when I watch snake handlers swim with king cobras, which are also very deadly, they're fine. But when you watch a snake handler dealing with the black mumber, they're sweet because they know that this attack can come out of nowhere.

Now, that's not the fault of the black mumber. That is the design.

And if we look at Maslow's hierarchical theory of needs, that's right down at the bottom. That black mumber is not self-actualizing. That's what it's designed to do.

And I see that the same way with the narcissist that it's a primal, it's a very primal level. And with the black mumber, the only thing to do comes into your no contact is to keep away from them. Keep away from them because they're dangerous.

I'll give you one concluding line.

Narcissists are predators who feed on other people's autonomy. Other people separate this. Hold on for a second, I'll open the door.

I'm sorry.

No problem.

So narcissists suck other people's autonomy. Other people's separateness. I think that's the main feeding mechanism of narcissists. They are kind of supernatural being, if you wish, animals that go around. And when they see that you're autonomous and separate, they suck it out of you.

And narcissists are very good at creating crowds and mobs and masses. Throughout history, the great leaders of mobs and crowds, or collocracies, yes, ruled by mob worlds, were narcissists, of course. Adolf Hitler comes to mind and much less malevolent and pernicious, Donald Trump. These are narcissists.

What they do is they suck the autonomy and separateness of people and render them into a mass, indistinguishable mass. That's what the narcissist does to you. It renders you protoplasmic. It takes you back to the beginning of life, in effect, and you're fighting for your life.

That's what it felt like, Sam.

So basically, what you're saying is, when I said, what's your advice if you're involved with one, get away. No context. It's my only advice.

Get away. Don't bother with all these techniques. These techniques are just ways for you to stay. You're trying to convince yourself to stay.

Well, there's a way to manage it. It's manageable. Don't worry. Oh, great. Yeah, sure. I can manage.

This is nonsense. You can't fight the narcissists. Narcissists is a superior apex predator. There's no way you can survive this.

Who doesn't care about what he or she has to do to win? Doesn't care.

Predators don't care.

Last time I spoke to a COVID-19 virus, he didn't seem to care.

It didn't have too much compassion, did it?

It didn't have compassion and so on. Also, it was not highly intelligent, as far as I could see. But it's efficacious. It killed six million people. Like another virus. Exactly.

I really want to thank you again for your time on a Sunday afternoon and just to acknowledge, I know I've said this in emails, but I'm going to say it again that when the book is finally out, you will obviously get mailed a copy. And I'm afraid you're going to find yourself all over it. So thank you for all of your contributions.

Narcissists win dreams. Thank you.

Well, precisely. Thank you, Sam.

Charles, always good to see you.

Yeah, likewise. Cheers for now, Sam.

Don't be a stranger. Take care. Bye. All right. Bye.

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Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the global war on narcissism and the need for security measures. He explains how boundary violations in childhood can lead to abuse and objectification. He delves into mind control techniques used by narcissists and the concept of projective identification. He also addresses the dynamics of relationships with narcissists and the concept of the dual mothership in the narcissist's shared fantasy.


Fight Narcissism – Or Channel It? (IAI.TV)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the rise of narcissism and suggests that it is comparable to climate change and the shift in gender roles. He proposes that we harness the energy of narcissism and channel it in socially acceptable ways, sublimated. He also suggests that we put in place checks, balances, and institutions to prevent the more destructive, insidious, and pernicious outcomes and aspects of narcissism. Finally, he warns that narcissism is a form of religion and that it is aggressive, intolerant, and dysempathic, and can result in self-defeat and self-destruction.


How Narcissist Others YOU, Himself

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of "othering" in psychology, particularly in the context of narcissism. He explains how the narcissist's perception of others evolves throughout the relationship, from initially not perceiving the other as separate, to devaluing and discarding them. He delves into the philosophical and psychological aspects of othering, emphasizing its role in the formation of the self and the internal world. Vaknin also explores the impact of othering on mental health and the development of psychopathologies. He references various philosophers and their perspectives on otherness, as well as the relevance of othering in neuroscience and Eastern philosophy.


Narcissist: Private God, Missionary Religion, Global Faith

Professor Sam Vaknin argues that narcissism is a new religion that will overtake traditional religions in the future. He believes that narcissism is a spectrum, with healthy narcissism being necessary for personal growth and development. However, when narcissism remains infantile and does not mature, it becomes pathological. Vaknin also claims that the rise of social media and the internet has created a networked, post-modern religion of narcissism, where individuals create their own gods and worship themselves.


Narcissist: Til Uniqueness Do Us Part

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of uniqueness and its relation to narcissism. He explains how narcissists struggle with their own sense of uniqueness and seek external validation to confirm it. He also delves into the distinction between the basic and complex components of uniqueness, as well as the role of societal judgment in determining an individual's uniqueness. Additionally, he explores the narcissist's reliance on external feedback to maintain their sense of uniqueness and their tendency to compare themselves to historical figures to bolster their self-worth.


Two Inner Children Parentified In Narcissist’s Shared Fantasy

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of the inner child in the context of narcissistic relationships. He explains how narcissists regress their partners to a childlike state and then coerce them to parent the narcissist. This dynamic leads to dysfunctional behaviors and mental illness. The professor also criticizes psychology as a pseudoscience and emphasizes the importance of maintaining a connection with the inner child while avoiding regression.

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