How To Love the Narcissist AND Keep Him?

Uploaded 3/23/2022, approx. 10 minute read

The title of this video is How to Love the Narcissist and Keep Him. But it actually should be Why to Love the Narcissist and Keep Him.

What's wrong with you people? Why would you want to keep the narcissist? Why would you want to love the narcissist?

There are like 3 billion, 4 billion potentials out there and you focus on the 1% of the population who have narcissistic personality disorder. That's masochistic. It's something's wrong with you. I'm serious.

So I'm going to answer your question because that's what I do. And of course, like everything to do with narcissism, there are two answers to the question in the title. There are two answers and they contradict each other.

Who says I'm not helpful? Oh, yes. Name yourself. Reveal yourself.

So there are two answers.

The first answer is be like his mother.

The second answer is be the opposite of his mother.

Got it? Thank you very much for listening.

Kidding, kidding. Don't go away. Where are you going? Come back.


My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Surf Love: Narcissism Revisited, which was the first book ever on narcissistic abuse published in the late 90s. And I'm a professor of psychology and professor of finance in various universities, which are mentioned in other videos to try to repeat the list.

Okay. Let's settle in.

Let's review the first solution.

The first solution is if you want to love the narcissist, if you want to keep him in your life, for some reason, maybe you didn't have the right kind of therapy yet, but if you insist, the first answer, first solution is be like his dead mother.

Now you remember dead mother is a concept originating with Andrei Green in 1978. He described rejecting absent, selfish mothers, mothers who are unsafe. They don't provide the child the safe, insecure base mothers who created the child and avoidant attachment style, problematic attachment style for life, mothers who are approach avoidant and to a very large extent fake because they're trying to overcompensate sometimes.

So this kind of mothers create co-dependence. They create borderlines and they create also narcissists. You could be like his dead mother. You could be called detached, aloof, rejecting, neglecting, selfish, absent, unsafe. You could triangulate or cheat on him. You could betray him, ostentatiously, let him know about it. You can be approach avoidant, very much like the borderline. Borderline is afraid of engulfment. She has engulfment anxiety. She approaches and then she avoids. You could be fake and let him realize it. By recreating his dead mother, you traumatize, you re-traumatize the narcissist and this creates a reverse trauma bonding.

Now, typically when you go online and you watch all the self-styled experts and so forth, they tell you the trauma bonding is one way. You bond with a narcissist via trauma bonding.

Well, this is partly true, half true as with most YouTubers. The narcissist also bonds with you via trauma.

Trauma bonding is two ways. The narcissist bonds with you because he wants to reenact, replay the early childhood conflicts he has had with his original biological primary object, mother usually, a caregiver.

If you play the dead mother, you trigger in the narcissist his childhood. You trigger in him all the responses, all the behaviors, all the cognitions, all the emotions that had been repressed, that had been firewalled, that had been dissociated in him and you force him to compulsively seek you out, to pursue you, to chase you because he wants to replay with you like a role play. He wants to replay with you what he has had with his mother. He wants you to be his bad mother, rejecting mother, dead mother and he wants to be the child and he hopes for a different outcome this time. He hopes to resolve the conflict through you.

Of course, the only way to resolve the conflict is to get rid of you, to separate from you, to finally become an individual.

The narcissist had failed to separate from his original mother and never individuated. He never became an individual. He doesn't have a self-integrated, constellated self. So he is hoping to accomplish this through your agency, through you.

So he needs to devalue you, then he needs to discard you, then he needs to replace you and these are symbolic acts that allow him to separate from you as a maternal figure and finally to become an individual.

So you say, Vaknin, you're supposed to have a 190 IQ and it's not showing in this video because the title is How to Love the Narcissist and Keep Him. And if we emulate his dead mother, if we imitate his dead mother's simulator, it seems that we're going to lose him, not keep him. He's going to devalue, discard and replace us. It's a bad answer. No, it's not a bad answer because after the devaluation, discard and replacement phase, when the narcissist had separated, individuated, he had devalued and discarded you, the external object, but he did not devalue, he failed to devalue, he failed to discard the internal object, your representation in his mind.

I have a video dedicated to it. So your introject, your snapshot remains in his mind, vivid, alive, energetic and demanding sooner or later is going to return to you if you did not modify him. If he did not undergo narcissistic mortification, if you did not humiliate him in public in front of significant others, he's going to hoover you. Hoover, it's a term I coined in 1995 to describe the process of returning to original sources, discarded sources of supply.

If you were to act like the narcissist's dead mother, his original biological mother, dead, not really dead, like dead emotionally. If you were to imitate this mother, if you were to emulate her, he would, the narcissist would attempt to get rid of you. He would attempt to separate from you and to become an individual by separating from you, but he would fail and he would fail. He would devalue, he would discard you, he would even replace you, but he would forever come back to you. He would always try to hoover you because this unresolved business, there are unsettled accounts. The conflict had not reached its conclusion in a satisfactory manner. We call this repetition compulsion.

The narcissist is going to repeat his compulsion with you.

So acting as his dead mother means that you're going to be with a narcissist on and off. They are going to be interludes, pauses, entering periods where he's going to devalue you and discard you, but then he's always going to come back, always going to come back to you on your own terms.

So this is solution number one.

Solution number two is, be the opposite of his mother, the opposite of his mother, conform to the snapshot. He has a snapshot of you, to remind you, a snapshot is a snapshot like a photo, an image of you, a representation of you in the narcissist's mind and the narcissist is interacting only with the snapshot, never with you.

And so you need to conform to the snapshot. That's a second solution.

The second solution is never deviate from the snapshot, never diverge, never disappoint the narcissist's expectations, never contradict, never attack, never challenge, never undermine the snapshot. A snapshot is your hold on the narcissist.

And I refer you to two practical videos or how-to videos that I've made. One is titled cope with abuse, background noise technique line. And the other one is titled if you love a narcissist, this is for you.

And I described there how to conform to the snapshot. Act as a background noise, ask no questions, never criticize, never disagree. When addressed, confine your response to the issues broached and do not introduce new topics into the conversation.

In short, never initiate, never be proactive. Always react meekly, compliantly and subserviently.

But conforming to the snapshot means suspending your life. You can't initiate anything. You can't have new friends. You can't work. You can't go out. You can't meet anyone. You can't be in touch with family and friends.

Narcissist feels threatened by any of these.

Any personal growth, evolution, development is perceived by the narcissist as direct contradiction, directly contradicting the snapshot. It's an attack on the snapshot.

Now look here, all year pining borderlines. Listen well. The narcissist is maybe handsome. The narcissist may be debonair, for example, me. So he's handsome, he's debonair, but he's dead. He's dead. Look in his eyes. There are twin infinite dark tunnels leading to the netherworld of his void. The twinkle in his irises is a reflection of your tears. His smile ruptures his face and tears your heart apart. You're reduced by him to smithereens, a frozen grimaced scream in a surrealistic nightmare that once used to be a loving dream.

Why do you need all this?

The narcissist is an absence. He is chaos and unadulterated anguish and shattered fantasy and shattered lives. The narcissist craves love and intimacy. It's heartbreaking, but he pushes you away, enraged by your presumptuousness in offering him both love and intimacy.

The narcissist fears hurt. He dreads pain and rejection and abandonment, exactly like the borderline. So he hurts you first. He hurts you first before you hurt him. He basks in your agony and in your writhing as he preemptively rejects and abandons you, renders you transparent, ethereal, unreal. You dissolve in the narcissist's distracted, faraway gaze as it contemplates your insignificance, your heartbroken, your mind splintered. You shrivel as you inhale the toxic fumes of his non-being, his despondent and hopeless darkness, a miasmic emanation, a life rejected, a night without dawn in his sunless arctic days.

So frozen, you shiver involuntarily in his presence. That is an absence. The relationship with the narcissist is a form of self-harm. It's self-mutilation. The narcissist is death by a thousand invisible paper cuts. You are become eruptive, infuriated scar tissue.

Sometimes the narcissist is an ephemeral child peering like remorse from behind the wall of torment it passes for his own. Sometimes the narcissist is all hugs and tender need and cuddling and tucking in and cheeks and laughs and the good times of apparent love. And then it's all gone like a mirage, recedes, remits, relapses, reverts, a shape-shifting and pregnant cloud beyond the event horizon of his devouring black hole.

The narcissist is penumbral, a shadow fleeting in operation, a remembrance of things past and the crumbling sepia dust of what could have been. The promise, unkempt, unkempt. The narcissist is an eerie and the relationship with him is an eerie disembodied dance. The music wafting, your former selves entwined dissolving into each other until you are no more.

I want to read to you a message I have received from one of the viewers. She writes, you're covering so much at the moment that I'm having trouble keeping up. I'll try very hard to take this as a compliment here. She continues, I was interested in the parallel between God requiring us to be perfect in order to be acceptable to him with the expectations a narcissist has of their children and others that they feed the snapshot.

And so I was interested in today's video that you described the narcissist as a codependent. I hope the people who get to attend the six hour seminar in Budapest realize how fortunate they are to be there and fully appreciate the experience.

So do I. I would have said that I wish I was going because there are a few things I can think of that I would rather do, but I'm actually worried now, anything that might bring this journey to an end.

Anyhow, she continues, I think those determined to prove their loved devotion to the narcissist are also trying to meet psychological needs within themselves.

One to love themselves by proxy, to be the mother they had never had. Number two, to prove to themselves and to others, including their internal objects, that they are doing all that they possibly can to be worthy of love, to mitigate the intolerably painful self-blame which originated in the abusive relationship with the parental narcissist, who when they had deviated from her snapshot of them, deemed them unacceptable, disloyal, bad, no good, abnormal, unworthy of her love and good opinion, having betrayed her.

I think at some level they feel that they had failed to meet the narcissistic parents' needs and wonder whether if they had managed to do so, they would have been loved and all would have been well.

I remember having to attend and so she goes into some personal reminiscent and then she proceeds to point number three, to feel that they are being true to themselves, to what is most meaningful to them, and perhaps there is nothing for which the heart longs more than the opportunity to turn back the clock, replay the scenes and make everything right this time.

Don't you ever, has to be us, unless it's never.

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