How Victims Soothe Themselves After Narcissistic Abuse (NEW VIDEO + Compilation)

Uploaded 9/20/2023, approx. 48 minute read

Good After Morning Pil Pilonim and Pil Pilonot.

Now don't look it up, let me show you.

This is a Pil Pilon.

Okay Shoshanim and Shoshanot Pil Pilonim and Pil Pilonot.

Today we are going to discuss a very very tough, unnerving, unsettling, destabilizing, triggering, devastating, ruining topic.

You have my word on it. I know that now you will not be able to disengage from watching this video.

Indeed today we are going to discuss self-soothing.

How victims of narcissistic abuse soothe themselves, comfort themselves, and they do so by lying to themselves and deceiving themselves.

It is my favorite topic.

And who the heck am I?

My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited, the first book ever on narcissistic abuse. I am also a former visiting professor of psychology and currently on the faculty of CIAPS, Commonwealth for International Advanced Professional Studies, Toronto Canada, United Kingdom Cambridge, and Outreach Campus in Lagos, Nigeria.

Okay, enough chitty chatter and babble on. Let's get to the point.

Narcissistic abuse is the worst conceivable experience. There's nothing like it.

Victims of narcissistic abuse emerge at the other end, devastated, literally, on the point of vanishing, mentally eradicated.

And so in a desperate attempt to make sense of what has happened to them, they try to cope with a panoply of injuries that they've endured.

Narcissistic abuse comprises every possible form of maltreatment.

And so the victim of narcissistic abuse experiences a harrowing smorgasbord buffet of pain and hurt, including narcissistic injuries.

Because everyone experiences narcissistic injuries, even healthy people, even normal people.

How come?

Because everyone has narcissistic defenses against injurious, painful, hurtful reality.

How come?

Because everyone has healthy narcissism. Everyone has a dose of healthy narcissism.

It is the foundation of self-esteem, self-confidence, the regulation of one's sense of self-worth, and the evolution or development gradually of a realistic self-image and self-perception.

So the narcissist subjects his victims to such harrowing coercive experience that they react with narcissistic defenses.

The narcissistic defenses are triggered.

And so they endure multiple narcissistic injuries and they resort to fantasy, the famous fantasy defense.

And here are some of the things that victims of narcissistic abuse keep telling themselves in a desperate attempt to self soothe, self comfort, self recompose, recover somehow and move on.

All these narratives are fallacious. They're not true, but they're very, very common in communities of narcissistic abuse victims among unscrupulous or simply ignorant coaches, self-styled experts with and without academic degrees and so on and so forth.

They all mislead victims knowingly or unknowingly, unwittingly mislead them into believing the following statements.

Again, all of them untrue.

And number one, the narcissist has chosen me because of my qualities, because somehow I'm special, I stand out or simply because I'm empathetic and kind and a nice person.

That's bollocks in British slang, total nonsense.

The narcissist has chosen you because you could provide him with the four S's, two of the four S's, sex, supply, sadistic and narcissistic services and safety.

Any person who provides the narcissist with two out of the four S's qualifies as an intimate partner.

The narcissist couldn't care less how kind you are, how nice you are, how empathetic you are, how capable you are of intimacy, because narcissists don't do nice.

They don't do kind, they don't do empathy and they don't do intimacy.

So who cares?

Number two, myth, self soothing myth.

Number two, the narcissist was obsessed with me. He was really into me. Even if he's incapable of love, he was addicted to me.

Nope, he was not.

The narcissist was into the shared fantasy. He may have been obsessed with the shared fantasy. It's a very common reaction.

The shared fantasy is a script, a narrative, a piece of fiction, a movie, a theater production and you are nothing but an actor.

And so you were fungible. You were replaceable. You were dispensable. You were interchangeable. You were nothing but a thing. You were a commodity. You were a puff of smoke. You were utterly, utterly meaningless, except in your capacity as an actor or an actress in a shared fantasy.

That's how much you've metered.

In the minute your role was over, you were over.

The narcissist has never been obsessed with you. He couldn't care less about you. He never dedicated a second thought to you once your utility has been over.

Your expiry date off the shelf you go and another product takes your place.

You've been objectified. You've been dehumanized. You've been thingified.

Myth number three, self soothing, self comforting lie or deception.

Number three, the best revenge against the narcissist is to have a good life.

If I have a good life, if I'm happy, if I'm healthy, if I'm in a new relationship, it will drive the narcissist insane.

Nope. It will not actually.

The overwhelming vast majority of narcissists couldn't care less about you, about your life, about your intimate relationships, about your state of mind, about your happiness or lack thereof, about your health or lack thereof, about anything about you.

The narcissist couldn't care less the minute your functioning is over, the minute you can no longer provide at least two of the aforementioned four S's.

You do not exist in the narcissist mind. You've never existed by the way. You've never existed as an external object. You were introjected. You were internalized by the narcissist, converted into an internal object, snapshotted. You were merely a representation of yourself. You were an excuse and very often a poor excuse.

So no, the narcissist doesn't care what happens to you after you're over, after you have expired.

The narcissist is concerned with other issues which I will come to, but this is not one of them and no, it's not a revenge.

The narcissist has moved on a minute after he has discarded you and has replaced you with a much better, newer version of you.

Next, the narcissist keeps obsessing about me, not true in 95% of the cases.

In 95% of the cases, the narcissist would have difficulty recalling your name or anything meaningful about your biography, your family, your friends, your history, things you've done together, common pursuits, common interests, common values, beliefs, anything.

You've been erased. You've been deleted from the narcissist's memory. You've been disabled and deactivated as an internal object.

The narcissist is so highly dissociative that he can't put together more than a few minutes of the time you've been a couple.

I once made an experiment and I could recall the equivalent of one hour out of my first marriage which lasted eight years.

This is how much you matter to the narcissist.

The narcissist doesn't keep obsessing about you in 95% of the cases, but in 5% of the cases, there are types of narcissists who are comorbid, narcissist with borderline, narcissist with psychopathy.

These kinds of narcissists might still be interested in you for revenge's sake. They would seek revenge on you.

Many narcissists would attempt to hoover you in the future because you could be of some use.

More commonly, narcissists would talk about you in a disparaging way, usually, in order to pose as a victim and attract new mothers, new sources of supply into the shared fantasy.

That's the extent of your usefulness to the narcissist.

Once you have been devalued and discarded, the narcissist raises you from his mind, out of sight, out of mind.

Now your introject is left behind, the snapshot, the hidden object, the internal object.

In due time, the narcissist reactivates it, re-idealizes it and tries to lure you back into a new shared fantasy, a process known as hoovering.

But in between these two points in time, the discard and the hoover, you might as well have never existed.

Next, the narcissist regrets having lost me.

You keep telling yourself.

No, he wasn't. He isn't. He is relieved. He is elated.

This was the aim of the whole exercise. This is the purpose of the shared fantasy, separation individuation.

The whole thing was aimed at devaluing and discarding you at the end. That's why you have no hope in any relationship with the narcissist because narcissists are hell-bent on re-enacting early conflicts with their mothers, the real mother, the biological mother and attempting to recreate the separation in divisuation phase.

They need, the narcissist needs to devalue you. He needs to discard you. He doesn't regret having lost you. He regrets having to hoover you. He regrets the fact that you've consumed and wasted so much of his time and scarce resources.

So you have become a per-secretary object.

How could anyone regret having lost an enemy?

Next myth, next sub-deceptive narrative or story which victims tell themselves and coaches and self-styled experts help them with this sub-deception because it pays.

Okay, next, I did nothing to deserve this and I've contributed nothing to this predicament happening.

Not true, of course. This is a form of splitting. The narcissist is all bad and I am all good and utterly innocent.

I enlarge upon it in the second part of this video.

This is a form of splitting. It's a defense mechanism, falsifies and refrains reality counterfactually.

It's not true. You have contributed to your predicament with your choices and your decisions and even with your personality structure and even with your family background and even with your flawed mate selection. You did nothing to deserve the abuse.

No one deserves abuse, period. This is not justification, no excuse for abuse.

I agree with this part but to claim that you have been an angel, that you have contributed nothing, that you have never reacted abusively to the narcissist's abuse, this is a lie in the overwhelming vast majority of cases, maybe in all cases.

And if you keep telling yourself that you are an empath, that you are an angel, that you are blemishless and impeccable and immaculate, well then you might as well tell yourself that you are the Virgin Mary. It's equally truthful.

Next I have learned so much and this experience has taught me a lesson.

Not true.

You're going to repeat, you're going to do it again and again. This is called repetition compulsion.

Your next partner is nine times more likely to be another narcissist than a non-narcissist.

If you don't take care of your own issues, if you don't own the situation, if you don't accept your responsibility, if you don't hold yourself accountable, you're going to repeat this. It's going to happen to you again. You're going to make the same bad choices, flawed decisions. You're going to end up exactly in the same place that you have started. This is known as repetition compulsion.

Your cognition is improved.

Now you know things. Your knowledge is improved. Your experience has taught you things.

But in the absence of an overall emotional overall, in the absence of therapy, in the absence of healing, in the absence of transforming yourself, all the knowledge in the world is not going to help you. And you're going to find yourself time and again, exactly in the same quagmire and conundrum and swamp and predicament that you're here, that you're in right now.

Last thing.

Go to therapy, attend therapy.

It will empower you, it will heal you, and it will set you free.

The truth is that taking action of any kind would improve your state of mind and induce recovery and healing.

Going to therapy is taking action.

So not against it, of course.

But if you don't do some self-work before the therapy starts, before you attend therapy, it will be all wasted on you.

It will have zero impact. It may even regress you and make your condition worse.

You need to work on yourself before you attend therapy.

So don't listen to those who tell you therapy is the solution. Therapy is a superpower. Therapy is equivalent to healing. Therapy is recovery. Therapy is guaranteed to work.

Mysteriously, these are the very people who are selling courses, provide coaching and therapy.

Isn't it a bit suspicious? Isn't it a bit self-interested? Isn't it a bit fraudulent and deceptive to make this claim?

Because studies have shown conclusively that therapy is effective only in certain situations and only if certain conditions are met.

So it's not a panacea. It's not a silver bullet or a magic bullet.

These are the lies, pre-varications, false narratives and deceptions that victims of narcissistic abuse use, deploy to salvage themselves and solve their wounds, to somehow self-soothe and self-comfort.

It's like the kind of stories children tell themselves in the dark.

But there's an army of coaches and self-styled experts who, for lack of a better word, are worried malevolently, tell victims that these are not lies and not deceptions. These things are true. That they are blameless and they should look no further. They've been victimized.

And this is what they should do, that they have been special, that they've been chosen, that they've been targeted and so on and so forth. These are all grandiose defenses, grandiose lies.

You have never been special to the narcissist. You have been instrumentalized, objectified. You've been used and then discarded.

It's a simple estate. You've meant nothing to the narcissist. And you mean nothing to the narcissist right now.

And no, you have not been blameless. You have contributed to your own situation and predicament.

And no, therapy is not going to help you unless you prepare yourself and acquire the right state of mind.

And if you don't do anything about your own involvement in what had happened to you, you're going to repeat. You're going to find yourself going through identical cycles with people who resemble your ex to an uncanny degree.

What do victims of narcissistic abuse really want?

But first, before I answer this question, what qualifies me to discuss it at all?

Well, I'm the guy who first described narcissistic abuse in the early 90s, coined almost all the language in use today. I've spent 28 years studying narcissistic abuse. I've had the first website on narcissistic abuse, published the first book on narcissistic abuse and moderated and owned the first six support groups for victims of narcissistic abuse. For 10 years, for 10 years until 2004, I've been the lone voice online until people discovered the money element, the money potential, and there was a flood of gold diggers.

So these are my qualifications. I feel pretty comfortable to answer these questions.

What do victims of narcissistic abuse, especially those online, want?

Here's what they want.

They want to be told that they are angels, that they have had no contribution to their predicament, that they are not responsible and should not be held responsible for their choices and decisions they've made, for their mate selection, that in general, they are blameless, guiltless, blemishless, impeccable and perfect, immaculate in effect.

They want to be told that the narcissist is demonic.

Narcissist is evil.

The narcissist is wicked, skimming, cunning, monstrous, reptilian, horrible, non-entity, that they have fallen prey to a supernatural force, that they have just been innocent bystanders who were swept away by a malevolent, malicious person.

They want to be told that narcissists are all bad and they are all good.

And this is a pathological, I repeat, defense mechanism known as splitting.

Who else does splitting?

Narcissists do.

Borderlines do.

Splitting is a hallmark of cluster B personality disorders.

Narcissists online, the vast majority of them, engage constantly in splitting.

I am all good. The narcissist is all bad. I am not responsible for anything that has happened. It's all the narcissist's fault. He is 100% to blame and so on.

The next thing victims of narcissists want is to learn how to destroy the narcissist, capture the narcissist, kill the narcissist, ruin the narcissist.

They are seething with vengeance and vindictiveness.

And if I've ever seen evil, this is it.

This precisely is it.

The overwhelming wish to destroy another person's life is evil, period, regardless of who that other person is.

Well, except in cases where grave crimes have been committed and so on and so forth.

But generally, among normal people, among people in daily life, vengeance and vindictiveness of this caliber are indicative of serious mental health problems and a modicum of evil.

So this is also what they want to hear.

Then there's a crop of coaches and self-styled experts with and without academic degrees who cater to these needs.

They cater to the victim's newfound victimhood status.

The victim's engaged in signaling. They signal to each other, "I'm a victim. I am entitled to special treatment because oh, I'm so fragile and so vulnerable. And so damaged and so broken and so mistreated and so subjected to injustice that I now have rights. I now am entitled.

Entitlement is a hallmark of narcissism.

And these coaches and self-styled experts cater to this victimhood signaling, often deceptive signaling, by the way, manipulative signaling, competitive victimhood. It's a phenomenon recently described in literature.

And these coaches and self-styled experts, they tell victims what they want to hear and they laugh all the way to the bank and they make frequent trips to the bank.

Believe me.

One last thing.

What is it that victims don't want to do?

They do not want to learn. They do not want to study. They do not want to go deep. They do not want to understand what's wrong with the narcissist, of course, but also what is wrong with them. They do not want to soul search. They do not want to assume responsibility. They do not want to be held accountable. They do not want to acknowledge their contributions to what had happened to them. They do not want any of this.

They want to be told, "You're all good. The narcissist is all bad. It's not your fault, none of it, you're victims."

And I will teach you how to get back at the narcissist, how to torture and destroy and ruin and take revenge on him.

That's what they want and that's what they are getting online.

Not a pretty picture, either with a narcissist or with other ostensible victims.


So hello, everyone. We have a special guest today. Some of you may know him. If not, I would like to introduce him. It's a professor, Sam Vaknin, the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited and professor of finance and psychology in SIAS, CIAPS Center for International Advanced and Professional Studies.

Hello, Sam.

Hello, just two corrections. I'm a former visiting professor of psychology and now I resign my post as a professor of psychology. I'm only a professor of finance.

So psychology is in my past, but still on my mind.

Okay, then.

So today I would like to ask you some questions about how narcissists are affected us and how narcissist voice becomes ours.

I think it's really important thing to understand in the healing journey for everyone who was affected by narcissists.

So yes, maybe let's start by describing a typical profile of a victim of narcissist abuse.

Narcissists team up, they create couples. We are talking only about intimate relationships, but actually everything we're about to say applies to friendships, the workplace, studies. All relationships with narcissists are structured the same way because narcissists don't recognize or experience intimacy.

As far as the narcissist is concerned, there is no such thing as intimate relationship. All relationships are the same and the goal of all relationships is narcissistic supply.

The intimate partner provides also services, sometimes sex, sometimes other things, but generally the narcissist doesn't have a preference for any specific type.

If you provide the narcissist with what he needs, then you're good to go.

So many narcissists team up with psychopaths, for example, many narcissists have border lines as partners, co-dependence, or just normal, healthy, regular people.

It is a myth. It's not true that narcissists have a preferred type.

Narcissists couldn't care less if you have empathy because I go online and I see many victims and self-start victims, so-called empaths, I don't know what else. They keep saying, "The narcissist chose me because I'm a good person, because I have empathy."

Narcissists couldn't care less if you have empathy. He doesn't have empathy. He doesn't need empathy. He needs supply and services.

So the narcissist is indiscriminate, is promiscuous, but it is true that certain types of people are more attracted to narcissists.

So for example, borderline, people with borderline personality disorder would be more attracted to narcissists, and the same goes for dependent personality disorder, also known as co-dependency.

Bodies and borderline are the most attracted to narcissists because narcissists provide them with the illusion of safety and external regulation.

The borderline cannot regulate her emotions. She cannot control her moods. She has lability. She has dysregulation. She outsources her mind, her internal processes, to the narcissist.

So he becomes a part of her mind. This is known as external regulation.

The co-dependent teams up with the narcissist because the narcissist is delighted to take over all the daily functions to control the life of the co-dependent because the narcissist feels grandiose. He feels like he's godlike.

So the co-dependent allows the narcissist to feel godlike, and the borderline allows the narcissist to feel like her best friend, her rock, the one who calms her down, the one who gives her inner peace, the one who reduces her anxiety, the one around which she feels stable and safe and wonderful.

So that's why they are attracted to narcissists.

Okay, I understand.

So how has it come that narcissist's voice is becoming ours? How would these processes look like?

The narcissist does what Josef Goebbels said.

Josef Goebbels said, if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it's true.

The narcissist's secret source, his secret technique, is repetition.

The narcissist simply repeats.

He has a limited repertory of sentences. Some of these sentences are highly positive. They are sentences of idealization.

So in the love bombing phase, the narcissist would repeat the same sentences, but they would be positive sentences. They would idealize.

And also has a repertory of negative sentences.

And when he abuses you, he will repeat these negative sentences.

Now we have known since 2006 that if you repeat the same sentences again and again, they have an impact on the brain. They somehow affect the brain.

It's very similar with music. It's the same with music.

But we didn't know how it's done. And now we know how it's done. It's a process called entraining.

It seems that if you repeat the same sentence again and again and again, and if you are a figure of authority, if there's an asymmetry of authority or perceived as an authoritative figure or if the other person is dependent on you, so there is an asymmetry of power or asymmetry of trust, then these sentences would synchronize your brainwaves with the abuser's brainwaves. There will be a synchronization of brainwaves.

Literally, physical brainwaves.

So your brain would become a replica of the abuser's brain.

It's terrifying. It's much more than brainwashing. Much more than brainwashing.

It's simply taking over your brain and making your brain an extension of the abuser's brain.

And that is known as entraining.

Now we discovered entraining in music. We found out in experiments conducted 10 years ago that when people play music together, their brains become one brain. All the brains of the members of a rock band or a folk group, all the brains of all the members, the drummer, the bassist, the singer, all the brains begin to emit somewhat tenuously identical wave patterns. They become essentially a single brain, like a colony, like a hive, a single brain.

And this is what happens in abuse.

The abuser creates a single brain with you.

So effectively this is merger and fusion.

From that moment on, the only voice is the abuser's voice. You don't have a voice anymore.

Because the abuser has taken over your brain, his voice is the only voice, of course. His voice synchronizes your brain with his brain.

And so gradually his voice silences all the other voices in your mind.

Now, just to be clear, all people, including healthy people, have internal voices. These internal voices are known as introjects. These internal voices belong to very significant people in your life.

So you have an internal voice of your mother, an internal voice of your father, an important teacher, peers, influential peers, even media figures, even role models, even politicians, even influencers.

They create inside you an introject, a voice.

When you are exposed to narcissistic abuse, via the process of entraining, all these voices, without exception, they are silenced. And the only voice in your head that resonates in your head is the abuser's voice.

Now sometimes the voice of the abuser will collaborate with other voices inside your mind in order to accomplish some manipulative goal.

So for example, if you have a voice of a mother, an introject of your mother, and this voice is telling you, you are not good, you are bad, you are failure, you are unworthy. So the abuser will collaborate with his voice. His voice will create a coalition with your mother's voice and will amplify it.

So ultimately what is left in your mind are only the negative introjects, only the introjects that put you down, only the introjects associated with what we call a bad object.

The abuser convinces you gradually that you are bad, inadequate, insufficient, a failure, a loser, ugly, stupid, and so on and so forth.

And he does this by creating these alliances of similar voices inside your mind.

And this is why when the abuser is done, his voice remains inside your mind.

So after this, this process, and when we are, you know, yeah, after relationship, any kind, with a narcissist, can we become NPD then after this kind of abuse?

It's well documented that people who suffered from complex trauma, CPTSD, begin to display narcissistic and even psychopathic behaviors. They acquire some superficial psychopathic and narcissistic traits. Their empathy is reduced dramatically. The capacity to empathize is dramatically reduced. This is common to all trauma victims, have difficulties with empathy.

And so for a little while, a few months, up to a few years, your behavior is a victim of abuse, prolonged abuse, could become indistinguishable from the behavior of a narcissist or even a psychopath.

But luckily this is reversible as the effects of the trauma were off, as you go, as you're exposed to therapy, which you should, if you're a victim of narcissistic abuse, you should attend therapy.

Then these traits and behaviors gradually disappear.

So this is artificial. This is superficial. This is not life form.


So after this, when we decided that we are going to the therapy any kind, what we should do first before we start any kind, like, you know, gushed out or internal family system or, you know, psychodynamic doesn't matter.

But what is the most important thing to do with this, especially, you know, with this voice, because if this voice is affected us, then this voice can take any method and, you know, any experiment, any exercise that we can learn to use this against us. Isn't it?

Yes. Very true.

That's very true.

This voice co-ops. It uses anything you learn, anything you learn, especially anything you learn about yourself and then uses it against you.

It's like, you know, when you're arrested in the United States, they tell you anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. So it's the same.

The first thing you need to do as a victim is stop considering yourself a victim. You have been victimized. It doesn't make you a victim. In other words, don't adopt victimhood as an identity. Don't become a victim as a definition of who you are. You're not a victim. You have been victimized.

That's the first thing.

The second thing, you must recognize your contribution to what had happened.

If you deny that you have had any contribution, if you say, "I was a perfect angel, I was a perfect angel and my abuser is a perfect demon, he's the devil," you know, and so it was an accident. It could have happened to anyone. I did nothing wrong. I did not contribute anything to it.

Then you will never heal. You will never heal and you will repeat the same mistake again and again and again.

All people who are victimized by abusers, especially by narcissists and so on, do contribute to their own abuse and they need to ask themselves, "What did I do wrong?" For example, maybe the way I'm selecting intimate partners is wrong. Maybe I had psychological needs and the narcissist fulfilled his needs in the wrong way. Maybe I wanted to be abused in some way. This is known as projective identification because I consider myself a bad object which should be punished. Maybe I have self-destructiveness and self-defeat and the urge to self-punish because I don't love myself enough. Maybe there is a self-love deficit.

So the first stage, I am not a victim. That's not my identity. I have been victimized.

The second stage, I contributed to my predicament. I contributed to the situation that I find myself now.

How did I do that and how not to do this again?

The third phase, and this is before going to therapy, the third phase is to say, "I have voices talking to me inside my head," which is totally normal by the way, every human being. I have voices, for example. If you have a conscience, whenever you want to do something, your conscience tells you, "Don't do this. This is wrong. It's not okay to do this." So your conscience is a voice inside your head that tells you what is right and what is wrong. It's an example of an introject.

So the third thing you need to do, the third step, is to ask yourself, "Which of these voices are mine and which of these voices are not mine? Which of these voices are authentic and which of these voices are inauthentic?"

How would you identify? How would you know?

You have the voice of your head. That was another question, how to recognize which voice is which.

There's actually a very simple way.

You have a voice of a mother inside your head.

To prevent egodystony, to prevent discomfort, to prevent inconvenience, you lie to yourself and you say, "This is not my mother's voice. This is my voice."

So very often we adopt the introjects as us. We identify with the introjects.

The process is called identification. We identify with the introjects.

In order to prevent egodystony, to prevent extreme dissonance, to prevent anxiety, we say, "These voices are my voices. These are authentic voices.

Actually they're not. They're your mother's voice. They're your abuser's voice. They're not your voice.

How do you know? How can you tell?

I'm going to give you one simple rule.

If the voice is negative most of the time about you, if the voice puts you down, criticizes you all the time, never gives you a compliment, tells you that you're bad, inadequate, insufficient, unworthy, failure, stupid, ugly and so on. If these are the messages of the introject, if these are the automatic thoughts generated by the voice, this voice is not yours.

Simple. A voice that is yours will be reality-based, reality-tested and balanced. It would be a balanced voice.

So this kind of voice sometimes will tell you, "Bravo, you did a good thing. You should congratulate yourself. You deserve a glass of wine or a new handbag. Or this kind of voice will tell you, "You see how he's looking at you? Your hands, you're beautiful. Or this voice will tell you, "Look at how much you've accomplished, you've done." And sometimes this voice will tell you, "You really screwed up. You didn't think to the end. Next time think to the end."

So a voice that is yours is like the voice of a good friend or like the voice of a truly loving mother or a truly loving father. It's a voice that is reality-based and balanced. A voice that is 95% of the time negative and wants to pull you down and put you down and destroy you and criticize you harshly and so on is sadistic voice that is never, ever your voice.

So this is stage three.

Stage three is to identify the voices that are not your voices.

And stage four, and the last one before you go to therapy, is to silence these voices.

Whenever the voices which are not you, the inauthentic voices, begin to criticize you or use bad object characterization of you, you silence them.

How do you silence them?

You say, "Shut up." So you say, "Shut up now."

Okay. If it's not working, just shut up. It does work. If you intervene early in the voice, you don't let it speak.

You use your voice to silence it.

You say, "Shut up. I don't want to listen to you. I know you don't want. I know you're my enemy. I know you don't like me. I know you don't want." So you don't let the voice speak. You flog it with your own messaging.

At the beginning, it's not going to work.

But after a while, these voices will be silenced because they will not be able to express themselves.

We have a principle in psychology. It's called the principle of mental economy. Anything that cannot be used will atrophy and die.

So if there is something inside you that you cannot use, you will lose it. It's called use it or lose it.

If you have voices inside you and you keep silencing them all the time, finally they will die because they are not needed anymore.

This is the principle of mental economy.

And this is what we do in CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy.

We identify negative automatic thoughts. Automatic thoughts such as, "I will always fail," or "I'm very fat," or "I'm ugly." No one would want to date me. These are negative automatic thoughts.

And then what we do in cognitive behavioral therapy, we demonstrate to you that these voices are wrong. And how do we do that?

We force you to use other voices. We force you to use other information. This other information contradicts the voice. And whenever the voice comes up, you use that information.

So, for example, if the voice says, "You're ugly. No one would ever date you." You say, "But it's not true. I dated five men in the last 10 years." And this is a voice. This replica, this response to the negative voice is like another voice.

So gradually the automatic negative voice shuts up and disappears.

CBT is the most successful treatment modality in the world. It's the most efficacious, most efficient treatment there is. And this is exactly what it does. It silences automatic negative thoughts.

So you should apply self-CBT to some extent.

Then when you're finished with these four phases, you're ready for therapy.

If you go to therapy before you finish these four phases, the narcissist inside your mind will take over the therapy, will dominate the therapy, and will abuse the therapy against you.

And this is why victims, or people who consider themselves to be victimized, they completely complain that the therapist becomes a friend of the narcissist. The therapist is compromised by the narcissist.

And it is quite true. It's true when the narcissist is there because the narcissist is charming and manipulative and so on. But it's also true when the narcissist is not there. The therapist will react very strongly to the narcissist's voice.

And so the therapist needs your help also. The therapist also needs your help because if you come to the therapist and you're still contaminated, adulterated, infected with the narcissist's voice, it will make it very difficult for the therapist as well.

And very often the therapist will make a mistake and believe that voice, not you, and begin to collaborate with that voice against you, even a well-trained therapist.

Everyone knows in the field, in the profession, everyone knows that the most difficult patients to treat are narcissists and borderlines. Everyone knows this.

And the reason it's very difficult to treat them is that very often they corrupt the therapy, they contaminate the therapy, they infect the process of therapy.

And so the process is destroyed from the inside because the narcissist corrupted the therapy, corrupted the therapy, and it's no longer helpful.

So, I'm sorry, don't bring the narcissist with you to the therapy.

Even if the narcissist is inside your head, don't bring him with you to the therapy.

That's all I'm saying.

Now I'll put my glasses back.

Yeah, I do agree, especially what you said before that what I can see when I'm working with people, that the main problem is a lot of them, they don't want to take their responsibility for what was their impact there.

And this is the main point where they stuck.

They cannot move when they will not take this responsibility.

I can tell even in my own therapy, the first thing that I made was like, yes, I'm taking my part and I'm taking responsibility.

And I can say that that was the most important thing on the beginning.

I think there are two problems.

Because then people, yeah.

Yeah, please go ahead.

I'm sorry.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, go ahead.

I think there are two problems if you don't admit your role, if you don't admit your contribution.

Maybe it's not responsibility, but if you don't admit your contribution to the abuse, there are two problems with it.

First of all, it means that you are an object.

Your objectify user.

If you didn't do anything, if you didn't contribute anything, then you are like an object.

The narcissist comes and he uses you like an object and he goes.

So you are objectifying yourself.

You are taking away your autonomy. You are taking away your agency. You are, you don't have.

So this is the first outcome.

The narcissist wants to objectify.

This is what the narcissist wants to do. He wants you to feel like an object and you're helping him.

When you say, I'm an angel, he's a demon, this was an accident, you're helping him because that means you are not a human being.

Human beings make choices. Human beings make decisions. Human beings are responsible for their actions. Human beings are responsible for their inaction. Human beings are not just there. Things don't just happen to human beings. That's why I don't like the phrase in magnet.

You are not a magnet.

Magnets are passive. Magnets do nothing. They're just there. You're not a magnet.

You're a human being. You're an agent.

So don't collaborate with the narcissist to convert you from a full fledged human being to a magnet.

The second problem, if you don't admit your contribution, your role, the second problem is learned helplessness.

If you were abused to this extent and you could do nothing about it and you did do nothing, then you're helpless. You're absolutely totally helpless. You're impotent.

So this is called learned helplessness.

So if you are helpless, you're helpless means you can be abused again and again and again. It will happen to you endlessly until you die because you're helpless.

There's nothing you could do. There's nothing you did do. You were just there waiting and the abuse came from nowhere. You had nothing to do with it.

So if this happened to you once, maybe it can happen to you again.

When we interview survivors of car crashes, airplane crashes and natural disasters, this is the biggest problem.

There is nothing you can do when you are in an airplane and the airplane crashes. Nothing you could do.

So these people learn that they are totally helpless.

And so at that moment, they develop PTSD. Most traumatic stress disorder happens only when you feel that you are a thousand percent helpless.

If you believe that you can do something, if you believe that you have agency, you will never develop PTSD. Never.

As long as you believe that you can still do something, still affect your destiny, still make choices that will determine your life. As long as you believe this, you will not be traumatized.

Trauma is when you are a helpless object, like a baby, like a six months old baby.

So the narcissist infantilizes you, he regresses you, he makes you like a baby.

And then when I go to forums of victims and so on, they all sound like big babies. There's nothing they would do. They were just like a baby.

And someone came in rather, slapped them or beat them up. I don't know. It's not true. These people are not babies. There's a lot they could have done. Many choices they could have taken, many decisions they could have made, they did not make them. And they made other wrong choices and decisions and they refused to face this fact.

How will they ever heal? How will they ever get rid of a trauma? And how will they ever avoid making the same mistake again?

Yes, thank you for this. And thank you some for these four steps before therapy, what people should do before they will start looking for a professional or whoever they want working with.

Because I think it's really important to understand that this is different kind of abuse than the other ones.

So thank you so much for this. Have you got any advice or would you like to say something to people?

Because I don't have any question about that.

Yeah, narcissistic abuse is a unique experience. And that is the reason that I coined the phrase narcissistic abuse because people ask me immediately, why do you need a special type of abuse? Why don't you just say abuse? Why do you say narcissistic abuse? What's so special? What is special is this typical abuser, they want something from you.

They want to take your money. They want to have sex with you. They want to humiliate you. They like to humiliate. They enjoy causing you pain.

But they are very goal oriented and highly focused.

Abuse is highly specific. That's why we have financial abuse, legal abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, because abuse is narrow.

Abuse is narrow. It is like unique, like a tunnel.

Narcissistic abuse is total, total. The aim of narcissistic abuse is to kill you mentally, to deprive you of autonomy, agency, independence, to take over your mind, to inject into you powerful introjects that you will mistake and you will think they are you, to prevent you from diverging or deviating from an idealized image inside the mind of the narcissist, to cut you off family and friends and support networks, to deny you the opportunity to travel, work or gain any form of independence.

And so it's a total attack.

I compare other forms of abuse to conventional war, while narcissistic abuse is nuclear war.

No one survives. No one survives except the narcissist.

So this is why you cannot think of narcissistic abuses just another type of abuse.

The damage is total to your body, to your mind, to your ability to think, to your ability to feel, to empathize, to survive, to function. Everything is damaged completely, massively.

You need, in other words, to rebuild. You need reconstruction.

While other forms of abuse, not narcissistic abuse, you need recovery. After narcissistic abuse, you need reconstruction.

Not recovery.

Recovery is not enough.

You need reconstruction.

Because you can recover from some effects, from all lines of, but you will still be destroyed, demolished. You need to rebuild yourself.

Thank you. That's true.

Thank you so much for the phrase that you coined.

Thank you for your knowledge because it's priceless. And thank you for your time. It was good to see you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

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