Background

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

Uploaded 6/9/2020, approx. 30 minute read

What goes through the narcissist mind when he idealizes you? What goes through the psychopath's mind when he discards you? And what goes through the borderline mind when she alternates and vacillates and oscillates and every other lates between her various dysregulated labile self-states? How does it feel to be inside the abuser's mind?


Now, there are quite a few self-proclaimed narcissists who try to verbalize their inner experience. Some of them even do it honestly. And there are quite a few victims, real ones, self-styled, professional ones, and covert narcissists posing as victims. And all of them try somehow to get a handle, to grasp the inner landscape of the narcissist, the psychopath, and to a lesser extent the borderline. I'm saying to a lesser extent the borderline because the borderline is much more human than the narcissist, let alone the psychopath.

The thing is that in the absence of empathy and access to emotions, narcissists and psychopaths are not fully human in any true sense of the word. No amount of empathy can help you. What is needed is scholarship.

And so this video is based on studies, published papers, academic journals, articles, and the decades-long work of luminaries from, let's say, Kerenberg, Kohut, Theo Domilan, all the way down to Twenge, or all the way up, if you wish, to Twenge and Campbell.

To this I can add my own personal experience and the fact that I have a database of 1,783true to this morning, diagnosed narcissists and psychopaths, people diagnosed officially with narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder by professionals and diagnosticians, not by their own spouses or angry neighbors or colleagues.

And in this database of 1,783 individuals, they responded to a structured questionnaire with 683 questions. If you multiply the two, you get an overwhelming database regarding what it means, how does it feel to be a narcissist?


So today I'm going to discuss the narcissist, how does he experience you, not the other way.

So first of all, it's critical to make a distinction between narcissists and psychopaths. This distinction is often lost online by self-styled experts and others. And they often confuse, are irredeemably confused, narcissists and psychopaths. They attribute to narcissists many things which are actually the domain of psychopathy and they very often attribute to psychopaths many behaviors which are exclusive to narcissists.

It is true that every psychopath has a pronounced streak of grandiosity and it is true that some narcissists, the small minority, are psychopathic narcissists. They are antisocial, defiant, lack impulse control and so on. But that's a tiny group. They used to be known as malignant narcissists.

In today's video, I'm going to discuss the classic narcissist, the overt classic narcissist, not the covert, not the malignant, which are tiny minorities, but the run of the mill pedestrian narcissist that you're very likely to come across because anywhere between 1%, 1.5% and 6% of the population, depending on which study you believe, which study you trust, are narcissists.

People with pronounced narcissistic traits, behaviors, style and personality. So these are the narcissists you're going to come across.

Similarly, when I will discuss psychopaths a bit later, I'm going to discuss the typical psychopath, not the serial killer. Most serial killers are sexual sadists and also psychopaths, but they're rare. Luckily, there are few of them. So it's a bit pointless to create this melange or cocktail of all these types because it's very misleading and very confusing.

So let's start with the narcissist.

For you as a victim or a potential victim or a survivor or someone who might come across a narcissist in your daily life, in the workplace, in a romantic setting, on a dating app, it's critical to understand that as far as the narcissist is concerned, there is no distinction between his fantasy life and real life. He has impaired reality testing. He has cognitive deficits.

And the very essence and definition of pathological narcissism is a grandiose fantasy.

Narcissism is a fantasy defense mechanism. Fantasy is a psychological defense mechanism writ large.

Narcissists cannot make the distinction between fantasy and reality.

Also, because they interact with inner objects, they confuse exactly like psychotics. They confuse inner objects with outer external objects. You're all acquainted by now, I hope, with the famous mechanism of snapshotting, where they interact with a snapshot of you.

They take a snapshot of you and then they interact with it, with your representation, with your avatar, with your introject, not with you.

And so what they do, they internalize external objects, especially significant objects, and especially objects that can cause them pain by abandoning them.

So they internalize these objects and then they continue to interact with the internal representations within a shared fantastic space.

And they can't tell the difference. This is why they mislabel emotions.

Narcissists feel intense emotions. Many, many scholars speculated that perhaps narcissism and psychopathy are reactions, defensive reactions, defensive attempts to avoid very, very deep emotionality.

Perhaps narcissists and psychopaths, or at least narcissists, emote too much, too strongly, too intensely. They are about to be overwhelmed by their emotions.

So they isolate themselves from their emotions. They put a firewall, they put a moat and a fence and a fortress, a fortification to avoid their emotions.

And this is why Rothstein and other scholars suggest that borderlines, people with borderline personality disorders are people who had tried to become narcissists and faked. These people are overwhelmed by dysregulated emotions. These people drown in their emotions, like COVID-19, emotional COVID-19. They drown in their own emotions because they can't control these emotions. These emotions are much stronger than they are. And they don't have a narcissistic defense.

So narcissists are capable of intense emotions. The thing is that they feel them, they experience the emotion, but they don't know what it is.

Because they are divorced from reality, they have this cognitive deficit, impaired reality testing.

They ask themselves, what am I feeling now? What is it that I'm feeling now? Oh, must be love.

So they say, well, I love you.

They mislabel, or they say I must be angry.

Narcissists experience their emotions through a cognitive analytical filter. They have to ask themselves what they're feeling. And then they compare their experiences, their reactions, their moods, their affect, their behaviors. They compare all this to an internal database, a database where they have entries and listings for how people behave when they are sad. They cry, I cry, therefore I'm sad. How people behave when they're happy? They smile, I'm smiling now, therefore I must be happy. How people behave when they're in love? They crave the presence of the loved one. I crave the presence of my intimate partner, so probably I love her.

Of course, a narcissist craves the presence of his intimate partner because she gives him supply. But even if he's aware of what supply is, and most narcissists, by the way, are self-aware. It's another idiotic myth online that they are not. Most of them are. They're just proud of their disorder, but they are self-aware. Self-aware but mislabel. Self-aware but get it wrong. Self-aware but don't understand what they are aware of.

So very often they think they're in love, and they embed this love, this perception of love, misperception of love, in a shared fantasy. It's fantastic love because everything in a narcissist's life has to be bigger than life, has to be fantastic, has to be amazing, has to be perfect, has to be brilliant, has to be everything is grandiose. So the love must be grandiose.

And there is a difference between the shared fantasy of a narcissist and the shared fantasy of a psychopath.

I'm reading books where there is God almighty confusion between the two.

The shared fantasy of a narcissist involves imperfect mirroring. In other words, the shared fantasy of a narcissist survives differences between the parties, survives friction, survives disagreement and criticism and so on. There's punishment, but it survives these things.

The shared fantasy of a psychopath is perfect mirroring. The psychopath doesn't leave daylight between himself and his target. The psychopath emulates and imitates the target to perfection so that the target feels that she had found her soulmate, her twin, her doppelganger, her other, the one she's been searching for all her life, in other words herself.

So while narcissistic mirroring idealizes the partner, allowing her to fall in love with her idealized image, psychopathic mirroring includes idealization, of course, plus the added element of identity between the psychopath and his newfound so-called love or intimate partner.

And the victims of psychopaths fall for it. They feel that they had found the perfect resonance that they had been looking for all their lives.

This is rare with a narcissist. What the victims of narcissism feel is that they had found someone who makes them feel good about themselves, at the beginning at least, when the shared fantasy is established.


Both types love bomb, but usually only the psychopath grooms. And when the shared fantasy is a psychopathic shared fantasy and it reaches its natural end, its expiry, many psychopaths become long-term stalkers before they finally let go if they do, contra to information online.

It is the narcissist who would let go of a shared fantasy and move on to another target.

The famous idealize, devalue, discard, replace is a narcissistic strategy because the narcissist is in need of a shared fantasy all the time. He cannot survive a minute without a shared fantasy.

So he immediately replaces a defunct, a dead and expired shared fantasy with a new one.

The psychopath is different. The psychopath is goal-oriented. We'll come to it in a minute.

And when his shared fantasy goes down the drain, he won't accept it. He won't accept it.

And many of them become long-term stalkers. And this is regardless of whether the fantasy was active or not. In other words, regardless if there was a relationship at all or whether it was all in the psychopath's head.

In the case of the narcissists, some narcissists become stalkers, but they become stalkers within an active shared fantasy. In other words, narcissists stalk only as long as the partner gives them hope.

For example, as long as the partner remains physically, cohabits with them, doesn't live home. As long as the partner keeps calling them, communicating with them. As long as the partner keeps dropping hints that, you know, so as long as the shared fantasy is active, the narcissist will stalk, will stalk the target.

That is the process of hoovering in effect.

The psychopath will stalk even after the shared fantasy is dead as far as the other, as far as the partner is concerned.

The psychopaths are defiant. It's my way or the highway. I will decide when the shared fantasy is over, not you.

Narcissist is different. Narcissist says, as long as you give me hope, I will be after you. I'll keep coming, keep coming back for more, keep trying to coerce you to convince you to return to the shared fantasy.

But the minute the narcissist is truly mortified, gets through his thick skull that it's over, he has to move on with alacrity, with speed, because he cannot survive a second without a shared fantasy.

Within the shared fantasy, there's another difference.

The narcissist in the shared fantasy, because the fantasy for him is a reality, he misjudges the nature of the relationship.

Exactly like the histrionic, he misjudges the intensity, the depth, the intimacy, the commitment of the other party, the motives of the other party, lies that he's being told he believes because he becomes pseudo-stupid, he becomes gullible within the shared fantasy.

So, he misjudges the nature of the relationship, the nature of the shared fantasy, but he never misjudges the existence of the shared fantasy.

In other words, after mortification becomes clear to him, the fantasy is dead.

The psychopath is exactly the opposite.

Psychopath never misjudges the nature of the shared fantasy because he creates it as a tool to manipulate. He's goal oriented, or she's goal oriented. He creates a shared fantasy because within the shared fantasy, he can get what he wants. Sex, power, money, contacts, this, that, access.

Psychopath does everything, creates a simulation, creates a matrix within which his victims react exactly as they want them to react and further his aims and goals.

So, he never mistakes the nature of what's happening, but he sometimes mistakes the existence of the fantasy, exactly opposite to the narcissist. He won't take no for an answer.

And this is why psychopaths are very, very dangerous, much more dangerous as intimate partners than narcissists.

The narcissist operates on kind of two tracks. He has a two-track mind. It's easier for the narcissist to operate to two tracks because the narcissist essentially is a broken personality.

I even suggested many times. The narcissist has multiple personality. He has a true self and a false self by definition. So, it's a form of dissociative identity disorder.

Narcissists dissociate a lot. They depersonalize. They realize they have dissociative amnesia, exactly like borderlines. It's easier for narcissists to work on two tracks.

And within the shared fantasy, the narcissist works on two tracks.

There is this guy, if you wish, this entity, this locus, which is rarely wrong, clear eyed, insightful, intuitive, analytical, prognostic. It's almost, I would say, supernatural, telepathic.

The narcissist knows at every given moment when he's about to be betrayed, for example. And at the same time, at the very same time concurrently, there is a child there, deluded, caught in the fantasy, erotomaniac, kind of dependent with an impaired reality test, with a confirmation bias, filters out information that is hurtful, countervailing.

This second entity is always short when he's cheated or betrayed in another way. The former entity communicates with his partners. The latter entity, the deluded child, communicates with him. The former entity is the one that interfaces with the women, but the latter entity is the one that captivates the partner.

So even in the partner, there's a similar duality, a similar break, which explains the unease when you're with a narcissist. You feel that sometimes you're communicating with a very hurt, very small child, and at other times with a pretty sharp cookie, with a tough as nails lawyer type, who is, you know, won't take bullshit, won't buy your stories and lies and everything, see through you. It's very penetrating in every way.

So this is the duality of the narcissist. There's no such thing with a psychopath. With a psychopath, what you see is who you are. There is no one there. The psychopath is a perfect mirror.

The narcissist provides you with a whole of mirrors, which reflect, these mirrors reflect you wrongly by idealizing. The narcissist provides you with a whole of mirrors, which reflects you totally.

The emphasis is on totally, not so much on idealizing you, but on being like you, being identical to you. So while the narcissist will tell you, for example, that you're good hearted, because it's part of the idealization, the psychopath may tell you that you're actually pretty vicious, exactly like him. You're vicious and vicious. We're one and the same. We're the same person.

The psychopath's message is we are one organism, we are one entity with two heads. It's a merger infusion message. That's why it works wonderfully with co-dependence and with borderlines.

The psychopath's message is your strong points, your weak points, your shortcomings, your advantages, your talents, your skills, your wishes, your fears, your needs, your preferences, your priorities, your values, your hopes, your dreams, everything. It's exactly me, the psychopath says. How did you find me? I'm you. You, positive and negative.

This is not the narcissist message. The narcissist message is there's nothing negative in you. You are perfection reified. You are, wow, if you're beautiful, you're drop dead gorgeous. If you are intelligent, you're a genius. The narcissist flatters you counterfactually. Psychopath never does this. Psychopath just tells you, I'm like you.

And so there's an issue of co-idealization, which doesn't happen with the psychopath.

The narcissist's grandiosity crucially depends on co-idealization. The only reason the narcissist idealizes his partner is so that he can feel idealized himself. If the narcissist partner is the most drop dead gorgeous super genius, what does it say about the narcissist that she is his partner and no one else's?

Imagine if your partner is bigger than life, you're bigger than life. If your partner is a genius, you must be a genius. Otherwise, why would she be with you? If your partner is drop dead gorgeous, you must be irresistibly attractive.

Idealizing your partner reflects on you. It's a way to idealize yourself as a narcissist, a way to buttress your grandiosity.

This process is called co-idealization. It does not happen with psychopaths.

Psychopaths are not interested at all in narcissistic supply. Their grandiosity, the psychopath's grandiosity, is inward looking. It's self-sufficient. It's self-contained.

The psychopath knows that he's superior. End of story, doesn't he then want to confirm it to him?

He just knows it. It's a fact, indisputable fact. Who can argue with that? Who can argue with it?

Whoever argues with it is an idiot. Narcissist is not the same. Narcissist is compensatory. He needs other people to tell him that he's superior. And if people don't do that, if they don't tell him that he's superior or they challenge his superiority, he's very easy to destabilize. He's very uncertain. He has an external locus of control.

And so the psychopath does not co-idealize. When and if the psychopath idealizes you, it's part of a process of manipulating you, subjugating you, rendering you addicted to his praise. It's goal oriented. It's a tool. It's an instrument. It has no reflection on you. The psychopath is utterly unaffected by his idealization of you. I mean, who cares what you are, really? And who you are, really? What is all matter? It's like, you know, me and me.

Co-idealization. The narcissist is co-idealization occurs simultaneously in two spaces.

One space is real. One is imaginary. This is not the case with the psychopath.

The narcissistpathological narcissistic space is his stomping ground. It's a real space. It's a physical space. Could be his home, church, neighborhood pub, volunteer organization or workplace. It's a location. It's a location in which his sources of supply habitually congregate and interact to provide the narcissist with adulation and affirmation. Applause.

No, it's working. Get applause. So it could be a concert hall. And concurrent with this physical site, the narcissist maintains a shared fantasy space here in his mind. And within this shared fantasy space, he idealizes both himself and his intimate mate.

Co-idealization.


Psychopath doesn't have this. Psychopath has only a single space and it's a totally physical psychopath does not have a shared fantasy with you. He creates a fantasy for you.

Psychopath is a little like Disneyland. Disneyland, they don't think that Mickey Mouse is real or Minnie Mouse is real, but they give you Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse because you want it. Makes you feel good.

So it's the same as a psychopath. He creates a fantasy space for you, a Disneyland, mental Disneyland, but he never, never makes the mistake of confusing this space that he had created.

His work of art with reality, like the narcissist does.

So the psychopath is only physical locations or digital communication, which is also physical because you have to hold a smartphone.

The psychopath is very reality-based. He doesn't have an impaired reality test. He doesn't give a shit about reality. He doesn't care. He doesn't mind. He's whimsical. He's prone to satisfy his impulses. Never mind what. Never mind who. Never mind what's the cost.

So he ignores reality because of his grandiosity, but he never mistakes it for a fantasy.

He does not solve a narcissist. A narcissist is much more psychotic, much more psychotic, than the psychopath.

And I beg to differ with Kernberg and others, much more psychotic than the borderline.

When the narcissist is forced to return to reality, when he's brutally awakened and decompensates, when his defenses crumble, fall apart, he usually does it, comes back to reality, wakes up by having been narcissistically injured or even mortified. It's a precondition.

The narcissist never abandons the fantasy because it's his reality. When he is expelled from the Garden of Eden, there should be an angel there with a flaming sword, or else he will try to re-enter the garden and eat another apple with a naked eave.

I love this imagery.

Okay.

So the narcissist is not statistically injured. He's mortified.


And then what he does, he devalues the fount of hurt and frustration. He devalues the source. He devalues the person who hurt him, who frustrated him.

Usually it's the intimate bubble, but doesn't have to be.

What he uses is the infantile splitting defense mechanism. You remember what he's splitting? Black and white, good and bad, good and evil, right and wrong. Everything is 100% good, 100% bad, 100% evil, 100% good, 100% gratifying, 100% frustrating, but it's always 100%. We call it dichotomous thinking. Black or white thinking, all or nothing, all or nothing thinking.

So he uses this infantile splitting defense to render his partner the polar opposite of her erstwhile idealized version.

So if she were in the idealized version, drop dead gorgeous, now she's getting old. If she were a genius, now she's either a genius only in certain things or really very stupid.

But exactly as idealizing the partner resulted in self-idealization, you remember, co-idealization, like he idealized the partner, he idealized himself.

So it stands to reason that devaluing the partner should result in self-devaluation.


And now citizens go through these phases. They ask themselves, how could I have been so stupid and blind and gullible and wrong and fallible to not see how inferior she is? And this is a phase that is common to narcissists and to victims of narcissists, ironically.

Don't forget, narcissists are the outcome of narcissistic abuse in early childhood. They are post traumatized. They're in a post-traumatic condition.

I even suggest that narcissism is not a personality disorder, but a post-traumatic state. So they have exactly the same reactions like the victim of narcissistic abuse, but infused, tinged, imbued, painted over with grandiosity.

And to avoid this excruciating outcome of saying to himself, I've been stupid, I've been wrong, I've been, to avoid this excruciating outcome, to avoid this either internally generated challenge to his grandiosity, the narcissist engenders an external modification.

You remember when in the four videos where we analyzed, where I analyzed modification, I told you that modification, one of the ways to cope with modification is to replace it with another modification, which is much more acceptable.

So the narcissist creates another modification, which is more acceptable to him. This modification says she is evil, she's dumb, she's a psychopathic bitch and I must punish her.

And immediately he embarks on a new round of co-idealization with the next available and willing target or victim or prey, because he can't live a second without a shared fantasy. Remember, fantasy is his reality. When he's taken out of the fantasy, he feels the same way you feel when you are caught in a nightmare.

It's exactly, narcissist world is a mirror image of your world. What to you is reality to him is fantasy and what to you is fantasy to him is reality.

So when he's forced to confront reality as it is, he feels he's caught in a nightmare from which he cannot wake up except through the good services of a new intimate part.

Now let's transition to the psychopath.

Contrary to the narcissist, the psychopath has no emotions. None. End of story. Narcissists have emotions. They're terrified of their own emotions. So they isolate themselves from their emotions.

There are a few videos on my channel which deal with this.

Psychopaths have no emotions. They were born, we now know, with abnormalities in the brain. Extremely simple.

Psychopathy, very similar to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism is a brain disorder. It's lumped together for some utterly oblivious and incomprehensible reason. It's lumped together with, for example, narcissism just because both of them are grandiose. It's wrong.

Psychopaths is collectively observed in 1942. Psychopaths are actually a form, they are very difficult to distinguish between them and let's say crazy people because they have a brain problem.

So they have no emotions. What they have instead of emotions is stirrings, quims. They're like zombies who receive tiny electrical shocks. It's like a frog in the biology lab. The dead frog that you inject electricity and it jumps or it flexes its legs. It's dead legs.

Psychopath is dead. Dead inside, dead outside. It's a walking talking simulation of a human being. It's a brilliant, wonderful, amazing simulation. So it can convince you that it has empathy, his emotions, his healing, his changing. It's a wonderful rendition of a perfect human being and it is this perfection that is the first sign of trouble.

If he's too good to be true, he's a psychopath.

And there are two types of psychopaths essentially. There's the mischievous psychopath. I call it the Cletley psychopath after Harvey Cletley, the father of the study of psychopathy together with Kauffman.

So the mischievous psychopath I think has affinity with the secondary psychopath. The secondary psychopath is capable of some rudimentary conscience, empathy and emotions. Some, a little. And the secondary psychopath is about entertainment. He is focused on having fun, entertaining himself. He's bored all the time. He's bored and he's converting his own life into a big theme park, into a show, an interminable show, stand-up comedy show.

And other people are props. So he uses you, is likely to use you, likely to compromise you, to co-opt you, brainwash you, condition you, idealize you, addict you, groom you, you name it.

But he's doing all this in order to toy with you. He likes to play with you. And once he's done, he's like a child in this sense, he's not childish.

Psychopaths are never childish, unlike the narcissists. But he behaves like a child.

So once he's done with you, done, I don't know, dismantling you, disassembling you, breaking your power, putting you back together, you know, what is, you know, toy with you, essentially, could be sex, could be just sex. But once he's done with you, he discards you, exactly like a child discards an old toy in favor of a new one. And it's all been about entertainment.

This kind of mischievous.

Psychopath realizes that he cannot, I mean, he won't agree, he rarely agreed to participate in such a thing.

So he tells you stories exactly like the narcissist, exactly like the narcissist wants to engender a shared fantasy.

Psychopath also would lie to you, I don't know, promise you love a romantic affair, marriage, a business partnership.

The second type of psychopath is goal oriented, I call it the hair psychopath or the baby psychopath after the two scholars who dedicated their lives to studying this kind of self.

The goal oriented psychopath, also known as the primary psychopath, his role is his goal oriented, the name implies, so he wants something. I don't know, sex, he wants money, wants access, he wants your contacts, he wants your address book, he wants to have, he wants to team up with your friend, not with you, but he needs to go through you. He wants to get something from your father, but he needs to pretend that he's your lover, so that your father gives you money, and he has something in mind. He always has something in mind, he's manipulative, and he's going through all this exercise with you to captivate you, so that he's able to manipulate.

So the first type, the mischievous type, wants to play with you, he's a playmate psychopath.

And the second type is a goal oriented psychopath, he wants to use you, he wants to exploit you.


And now we come to the borderline.

Borderline is a very complex disorder. It's a complex disorder because it has elements borrowed from other cluster B personality disorders, it has tenacious grandiosity, it has the psychopath's defiance and lack of impulse control, it has object inconstancy, it has defense mechanisms which are typical of narcissists, it has histrionic behavior, for example hyperemotionality, misjudging the nature and depth of intimacy and relationships.

So borderline is a kind of amalgam, cocktail, proceed, dictionary, encyclopedia of all other cluster B personality disorders, but coupled with elements which are typical of other clusters, for example seriously dysregulated emotions, mood lability which very often imitates bipolar disorder. It's not but imitates bipolar disorder. Erasability and range which are typical of some schizophrenics and parenoids.

The borderline in this sense is not a real clinical entity. That's why when we look at borderlines we can divide them into types and subtypes and sub subtypes and species and sub species endlessly to doomsday because each borderline has their own disorder. It's a little like you take a woman, most borderlines are women, you take a woman and tell her okay go through the DSM and pick up as many traits, characters, characteristics and behaviors as you wish from any disorder that you want. So no borderline is identical to the other. Not one is identical to the other. It's like if there's for example a hundred million borderlines then there's a hundred million types of borderline personality disorder. Makes it extremely difficult for their intimate partners to cope with them, to live with them, to anticipate them, to manage them, to manage their relationship, to communicate with them. Very difficult.

Still of course all borderlines have a few things they share in common and within today's presentation what is important to understand it is that the borderline transitions, cycles, there's a borderline cycle. She encounters some problem, a frustration, a real rejection, and you imagine rejection, a humiliation, an abuse. She's been abused or she thinks she has been abused. A lot of the borderline, exactly like the narcissist, has an impaired reality test and magical thinking so everything that happens in her head is actually reality. I mean if you think it must be solved and so whenever I say rejection or humiliation or abuse or withholding or it could be real and could be imaginary or anticipated even she predicts it's going to happen and so she reacts to frustration not with aggression.

There is a classic hypothesis in 1939 by Dolan that frustration breeds aggression. It's true generally.

The borderline is a bit different. Initially she reacts to aggression by becoming a narcissist. She has grabbed you by becoming simultaneously I'm sorry a narcissist and a secondary cycle simultaneously. It's extremely unsettling to watch. I've had the privilege or the misfortune of watching quite a few borderlines go through this. It resembles to a very high degree the switching between personalities in someone with multiple personality disorder and that's why many scholars suggest that borderline personality disorder is a dissociative identity disorder.

Is a dissociative state so that the borderline has many self-states. They are not personalities. They are not that well developed but they are distinguishable and if you ever saw borderline faced with frustration for example rejection or withholding or being ignored or being abused you can see when you watch her you can see her changing metamorphosizing shape-shifting and then she kind of splits. There's a part of her that becomes a narcissist and the second part becomes a secondary cycle.

So as a narcissist she would suddenly become very grandiose with impaired reality testing. Disempathic.

Borderlines are usually empathic but she would become then disempathic viciously and then as a secondary psychopath she would be called and calculated. She would think how to hurt, how to harm, how to cause pain. She would become even a bit sadistic. She would be defiant. She would have no impulse control. She would not consider the consequences of her actions. She would have zero object constancy out of sight out of mind and she would split. You would become when she's a secondary psychopath and a narcissist simultaneously you become all bad. A persecutory object to be eliminated, to be destroyed, to be devastated, to be ruined, to be smashed. She kind of runs herself into a frenzy and this frenzy is psychopathic frenzy. Anyone who has witnessed a psychopathic rage attack knows what I'm talking about.

At the same time she insists on her grandiosity as a defense against the frustration. It's her way of defending, exactly like the narcissist, and so she is irresistible to both the narcissist and the psychopath.

The psychopath sees in her a perfect vessel for manipulation, a container of his tactics. She's so easy, so easy to manipulate. All you need to do is press a few buttons.

Kernberg and others suggested that it's a very disorganized personality, very low level of organization, very chaotic. It's very too manipulated and what a narcissist is in her is a soulmate. She's equally grandiose and she knows how to gratify him because she is also a narcissist in some ways and so a borderline is very likely, exactly like the codependent by the way.

These two types are very likely to agree willingly and lovingly and eagerly to participate in the narcissist's shared fantasy and to submit themselves to a psychopath, a primary psychopath.

The borderline feels safe with a primary psychopath because she has the personal experience of what it means to be a psychopath.

As a secondary psychopath, she feels strong, she feels empowered, she feels in control, she feels that she has the power to inflict pain rather than experience pain. She feels she can dysregulate other people, situations.

So the primary psychopath is like her, is what she wants to be when she grows up, is like an idol, a rock star.

The ideal that she aspires to in many ways makes her feel safe and protected and understood and taken to a new extreme or a new level, elevated.

Very often we find among for example couples who are serial killers, we find one borderline and one's primary psychopath and on the other hand she's also open to participate in the shared fantasy of the narcissist because the narcissist idealizes his intimate partner and caters to the borderline's grandiosity which is her main and only defense against dysregulation, lability and utterly intolerable pain which drives close to 11% of borderlines to commit suicide.

So borderline finds both of them irresistible because both of them truly are her soulmates.


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

One last comment, many of you women of course wrote to me, I never cheated on my husband, I never dreamt of cheating on my husband, the thought never crossed my mind, allow me to disbelieve a lot of this but let's assume I believe you, you should really really watch videos much more carefully.

I made very clear in my previous video that I'm giving cheating as an example of a cause for notification. I even mentioned explicitly that it doesn't have to be cheating, it can be absconding with the family's money, it can be other reckless behaviors, I don't know, unbridling shopping, gambling, pathological gambling or just packing up your things and disappearing which is an aggressive, aggressive, dysregulated act.

I mean there are many ways to mortify a narcissist, one of the most common ways is cheating.

And because narcissists profess to be maximally mortified by cheating, I took that as an example, an idealized example.

But ladies please listen well before you make comments, thank you.

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

Narcissist's Revenge: Signs YOU are in DANGER

The text discusses the life of a narcissist, their response to frustration, and their transition to borderline and psychopathic states. It also delves into the narcissist's use of revenge and aggression, and the different types of revenge, including punitive, narcissistic, and pragmatic restorative. The text emphasizes the narcissist's perception of frustration as narcissistic injury and their use of aggression to eliminate the source of frustration. It also highlights the dangerous potential for violence in some narcissists.


Borderline’s Partner: Enters Healthy, Exits Mentally Ill

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the impact of individuals with borderline personality disorder on their partners, suggesting that they can induce narcissistic behaviors in them. He also addresses misconceptions about Freud's theories and delves into the psychological dynamics at play in relationships with individuals with borderline personality disorder. The borderline's need for object constancy and the partner's response to it are explored, leading to the development of narcissistic and borderline behaviors in the partner. The complex and challenging dynamics of these relationships are thoroughly analyzed.


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

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


Borderline Demonizes Partner, Pathologizes Narcissist (Or Herself)

The text discusses the dynamics of borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder in relationships. It delves into the borderline's paranoid ideation and the need to justify withdrawing from a partner. It also explores the concept of persecutory dynamics and the interplay between the borderline and narcissistic partner. Additionally, it touches on the narcissist's devaluation and discard phases and the impact on the internal object.


Borderlines: No Win Relationships, BPD Enigmas Decoded

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


YOU: Dead Inside or Self-sufficient?

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


Borderline: Narcissist’s Mirror (and Avoidant Personality Disorder)

The text discusses the relationship between borderline personality disorder and narcissism, suggesting that the borderline is a mirror image of the narcissist. It delves into the behaviors and reactions of both, highlighting the differences and similarities between the two disorders. The text also explores avoidant personality disorder and its distinct characteristics.


Borderline or Covert Narcissist? (7th Intl. Conference on Psychiatry & Psychological Disorders)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the differential diagnosis between borderline and covert narcissism. He explains that high-functioning borderlines can be misdiagnosed as covert narcissists due to their ability to regulate their emotions and control mood lability. However, he provides critical differences between the two disorders, including how they externalize aggression, experience separation insecurity, maintain object constancy, and view themselves. He also notes that paranoid ideation is common to both disorders but has different etiologies. Finally, he emphasizes the importance of uncovering all presenting signs and symptoms to make an accurate diagnosis.


Goals of Narcissists, Borderlines, Psychopaths

In this video, Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the differences in goal orientation between cluster B personality disorders, including narcissists, psychopaths, and borderlines. Narcissists are not interested in anything except for obtaining narcissistic supply, while psychopaths are goal-oriented and pursue their goals with conviction and investment. Borderlines are also goal-oriented, but they mislabel their goals as emotional states and construct a fantastic narrative to explain their behavior. It is important to differentiate between these disorders to avoid confusion and mislabeling.


Borderline vs. Narcissist Idealization Fantasies

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the differences between the borderline's shared fantasy and the narcissist's shared fantasy. He explains that both borderline and narcissist have similarities, but their internal psychodynamics are very different. The borderline has empathy and overwhelming emotions, while the narcissist lacks emotional empathy and experiences only negative emotions. The shared fantasies of the borderline and the narcissist are also different, with the borderline having a variety of shared fantasies and the narcissist having a simpler, maternal-based shared fantasy. Both types of individuals end up in a victim role, leading to a cycle of idealization and demonization in their relationships.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2023, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy