Hurt in Intimacy: Path to Self-love (with Mike Kim, Standup Comedian)

Uploaded 9/6/2022, approx. 50 minute read

I looked up Sex and Love Addiction because I was talking to my friend a couple of days ago and he goes to the Sex and Love Addiction Anonymous meetings.

When I looked up that on YouTube, yours was like in the top four videos that popped up about that topic and you said something interesting in there about how you feel that, well first of all, I think we should probably tell people what is self-sex and love addiction.

These are two separate issues actually.

Sex addiction is the compulsive need, just a second, sex addiction is the compulsive need to have sex, let me put my back up, sorry, I told you I'm compulsive, there you go, yeah.

So sex addiction is a compulsive need to have sex without any emotional attachment or interaction with the sex partners when the sex partner is essentially objectified and used as a glorified animated dildo or animated sex dildo.

It is very similar to other types of addiction.

We distinguish two big groups of addiction, one is called substance addictions and the other group is called process addictions, addictions to process.

So the sex addict is addicted to the process of obtaining the sex, not to the sex itself, that's something that few people know. He is addicted to the chase, he is addicted to the conquest, he is addicted to the aftermath, he is addicted to a variety of variables that accompany the sex and that's why a typical sex addict has very brief encounters, quickies in a way, he doesn't engage in real involved sex and so on.

Sex addiction has nothing to do with love addiction and conflating the two is very not useful.

Love addiction is also a process addiction but it is the attempt to regulate internal processes or to cater to psychological needs by believing oneself to be in love.

Now I'll break this down, there are internal processes, for example, you have emotions, these emotions can be very strong, too strong for you, they can overwhelm you, a process called dysregulation, you have a sense of self-worth, your sense of self-worth comprises your sense of self-esteem and self-confidence, you need to regulate this, you need to stabilize it, some people cannot, their sense of self-esteem goes up and down like a yo-yo, they can't control it.

You have cognitions, thoughts, some people cannot control their thoughts, they have intrusive thoughts, their thoughts intrude and they can't stop thinking specific thoughts.

So as you see anything internal can go haywire, anything internal can go awry or get out of control and there are some people who fall in love in order to regulate their internal environment.

When they fall in love they have a sense of inner peace, oceanic belonging and fitting in, they reduce their anxiety, it's a kind of anxiolytic like anti-anxiety medicine, they medicate, self-medicate with love, not with a partner, not with a partner, it's very important, they don't fall in love with other people, they fall in love with love, with love itself, they need to feel the process of falling in love because it regulates their internal environment and caters to some needs, for example, it raises their self-esteem, so many of them fall in love in order to regulate their self-esteem.

This also applies to sex addiction, many sex addicts engage in sex in order to regulate the sense of self-esteem.

So in both these cases it's not about anyone out there, the partner is totally irrelevant.

In the first case of sex addiction it is the process of obtaining sex that helps the sex addict to reduce his anxiety, to regulate his self-esteem, to feel good about himself, to avoid depression, etc, and in the case of the love addict it is a process of being in love that does the same things, caters to needs, caters to and regulates internal processes.

The partner is fungible, interchangeable, anonymous in effect, even in love addiction, the partner is essentially a commodity, like grains of rice.

And this reminds us very much of narcissism because the narcissist does exactly the same, the narcissist uses the intimate partner to cater to his emotional needs, the narcissist uses the intimate partner, example, to obtain narcissistic supply, attention, and uses the attention to regulate his sense of self-worth.

But the narcissist doesn't care who is the intimate partner, he just cares to have an intimate partner, it could be anyone and everyone.

The partner is totally interchangeable, that's why when the narcissist discards the partner, walks out on the partner, breaks up with the partner, the next day he has another partner, if not the next hour, because the partner doesn't matter, he's not there, it's a figment of fantasy in love addiction, in sex addiction, and in the addiction to narcissistic supply, addiction to attention, known as narcissism, they're all addictive disorders in a way.

And so it's very disorienting because when you're on the receiving end of love addiction, you feel as if you have never been loved before.

Love addiction is hugely intense, and so it's a laser focus, and you feel that your lover, your intimate partner, the one who loves you, loves you like you have never been loved before. And you will never be loved after.

It's the most extremely intense form of love.

And so it's very disorienting to realize at the end of the relationship that it could have been anyone.

You're not special, you've not been chosen, you just happen to be there.

And this is what victims reject, victims of love addiction, because love addiction victimizes, victimizes people.

Same with sex addiction, same with narcissism, which is attention addiction, addictions victimize, alcoholics victimize people all the time. Their nearest and dearest, their family members, you name it, junkies victimize everyone. They steal money from their mothers, I mean, addictions victimize people. They're not victimless crimes, because when you talk to addicts, they say, why do you care? It's my body, I'm doing to my body whatever I want. You have no right to tell me what to do with my body.

True, but you have no right to victimize other people, as you habitually do as an addict.

So what is very difficult for victims in narcissistic abuse relationship, in love addiction, in sex addiction, it's very difficult for them to accept that they are nobodies, nobodies, anyone could have been there in that bed, anyone could have been there in that so-called love relationship, and anyone could have been the last intimate partner.

They want to feel special, they want to feel chosen, they want to feel unique, they want to feel that there was sense and rhyme and reason in all that has happened.

But the reason, it's totally meaningless, it's accidental.

So of course the partner of the narcissist, the partner in the love addiction and the partner in the sex addiction, they make their own choices and they are responsible for their choices, and they should learn how to not make these choices in the future.

But as far as the narcissist or the sex addict or the love addict, the partner is Israel, and so we call this autoerotism, the love addict is invested in feeling love, the sex addict is invested in his own body actually, he uses someone else's body to masturbate with.

The narcissist is invested in his fantasy of grandiose, of grandeur and so on.

And so the partner is just there to uphold the fantasy, participate in it, but these people are inside their heads, they never exit their heads, as far as they're concerned there's nobody out there, they're just using people, they're users, love addiction is extremely difficult to change or to cure, because it's really a dopamine rush to be in love, it's probably the most profound addiction, the most difficult to disentangle, you can go cold turkey or many drugs, you can suffer a lot but you'll be over them, but love is everything, love has emotional dimension, cognitive dimension, social dimension, you know love is intimacy, love is all day in love, love is such a total solution, you know people say love cures all, which is another piece of nonsense, because they believe that love is a total solution, and so being in love all the time is dopamine rush, how would you give this up, why would you give this up, it's very difficult to convince the love addict that he's an addict or she's an addict, she should give it up, she says I would never give up being in love, it's the most amazing feeling in the world, when I'm in love the world is in color, when I'm not in love the world is black and white. I want to live, I feel alive when I'm in love, I feel dead when I'm not in love. Why would I choose to not be in love? I want to be in love.

So it's very difficult to cure this, but the love addict doesn't love, it's not love, it's exploitation and usage, it's not love, love is about accepting that the other party is separate from you and that together you can enrich each other's lives by allowing each other to develop independently and to grow independent, this is not love, this is annexation, this is invasion, this is the partner in the sex addiction or the love addiction is an object, absolute object, there's no love there, it's a drug, a drug to regulate your mood, your self-esteem, your whatever.

I feel like that's a definite issue that I have that I didn't really realize until recently, even when I was having sex with this one person, she said that I feel like you're not here, I feel like I'm having sex with a robot and that at first hit my ego and I'm like, what do you mean, you think I'm not good enough.

But then recently I realized I have massive intimacy issues, like massive intimacy issues and I'm essentially kind of doing or I am doing what you spoke of. I don't think consciously or I'm just going to use them but that is kind of what I'm doing but also I feel like I get into these relationships with people who are either codependent and they're feeding my, they're being like the sex doll in a sense or we're both each other's dildo, sex doll thingy at the same time because my last relationship she used to, I don't know if this is just like a weird crazy thing or if this is correlated but she would have conversations with my penis and then I felt she was kind of using my body in a sense but then she would talk to my penis, have conversations, like whisper to it and I would say what are you saying and she'd go it's just between me and him and I thought she was joking and she was dead serious and she would do it all the time.

So yeah this phenomenon is called reduction, it's when we reduce the partner into a single organ, a single heart.

And of course you know fetishism, fetishism is when we interact sexually with a specific part of the body for example a foot, foot fetishism or a breast or ass or whatever.

So fetishism is a form of reduction

And so when you want to avoid intimacy with the totality of the partner you isolate a part of the partner, an organ you know and then you interact mostly with that organ, it's in extreme forms it's fetishism otherwise it's reductionism and that's common when both partners have trouble with intimacy.

Now intimacy, we are like to you know going back to the beginning of our conversation where we spoke about self-help and everything, we are like to about this too, we are like to, we are being told starting at a very early age, adolescence and the latest, we are being told that nothing is more wonderful than intimacy, then we should pursue intimacy.

That intimacy is the total solution and the total cure, the panacea if we will only be, if we will only find intimacy we will find happiness, we will find gratification and tranquility for life, we will have, we will become better people, we will grow and develop and accomplish goals, intimacy is the cure all.

This is of course a distorted view of intimacy, intimacy is hard work, intimacy is hard work and it's an extremely frightening proposition, it's very threatening.

To be intimate, to be truly intimate, you need to expose yourself totally, you need to be 100,000 million percent vulnerable, because if you're only 99% vulnerable you're not intimate, you need to be totally vulnerable and exposed to attack.

And here's the breaking news in a majority of cases you will be attacked, people will take advantage and abuse your vulnerability in an overwhelming majority of cases.

So intimacy is a seriously terrifying proposition, instead of telling us as children or adolescents, listen, intimacy is risky, in intimacy you need to be 100% vulnerable, intimacy is very hard work, day in and day out, 24, 7, 60 minutes an hour, you need to invest yourself in intimacy, you need to commit to intimacy, otherwise it won't work and so on, instead of telling us the bad news about intimacy, we are sold a Disneyland fantasy variant of intimacy which does not exist anywhere, like ever.

So people go and search for intimacy and they get disappointed and heartbroken time and again and then they have two options, they can say the hell with that, I'm not looking for intimacy anymore, it sucks, or they say much more commonly, something is wrong with me, presumably everyone else is having a grand time with intimacy and only I can't do intimacy, so something is wrong with me, I need therapy and the truth is nothing is wrong with you, intimacy rarely works, it is a convoluted mechanism, you need a user's manual of 1000 pages long in the best case, intimacy extremely rarely works and in a majority of cases you will experience loss and heartbreak and hurt and pain and you will be badly damaged and broken and you will have to work extremely hard and then you will be badly damaged and broken, so this is the truth about intimacy, so why do I advocate intimacy, why do I think you should pursue it despite everything, because it's good for you to be vulnerable, this is the path to self-love and self-acceptance and self-awareness.

Intimacy is the ultimate form of therapy, ultimate and it's relatively cheap compared to therapy, it is true intimacy that you are forced to face yourself, you're pushed to the limits, you look at yourself in the mirror and you're naked in every possible way, physically, emotionally, mentally, you're naked, you're vulnerable, you open yourself up to true information about who you are, which is very often not favorable.

It's a great exercise at healing and becoming complete, not perfect, no one is but becoming complete, there's no other pathway, not therapy, not sex, not infatuation and limerence, there is no other pathway, none except intimacy.

It is through the agency of the intimate partner, the partner who is in you in this mess, it is through the agency of this partner that you become you. It's a process of becoming and it's your only chance to become, if you never experience real intimacy, you are never you.

That's not me, that's eric rome, you're never you. Do you want to be you?

Now some people say I don't want to be me because I strongly suspect that I suck, so I don't want to be me. I want to be someone else. I want to be Donald Trump, I want to be rich, I want to be billionaire, I want to be a playboy. I don't want to be me and that's legitimate, that's another thing we should accept, that many many people don't want to be themselves, they want to be someone else, they want to play a game, they want to live in fantasy, they want to pretend, fake it till you make it, lie, confabulate, what have you.

We have to accept this, we can't fight all these battles all the time and win them all. We have to accept that there are such people and stay away if we can.

But I think a majority, maybe not a big majority, but I think a majority of people do want to come face to face with themselves at some point. They do want to know, they do want to know who they are and they do want to become Maslow, Abraham Maslow called it self-actualization.

They want to actualize themselves, they want to see where would my potential take me, what else can I do, what can I be good at and who am I and there is no way to answer this question.

There are many questions for you, except if you are intimate with another person, not therapy, forget it, therapy is over-solved, it's over-hyped. It's kind of like an echo chamber as well, isn't that therapy?

Yes, in many ways, not only echo chamber but the therapist imposes her own values and beliefs and there's a million schools and if you don't conform to that school, you are shape-shifted and I'm not a fan of psychology and of therapy, strangely because I'm a professor of psychology but I'm not a fan of either.

Therapy has its uses, we're not going to eat right now, but intimacy far outweighs therapy when it comes to realizing who you are and becoming who you are and actualizing yourself, far outweighs and yes of course you have to pay a price, what the heck, do you know anything that's free? It's not very large, of course you have to pay a price, the price you pay is a potential to be heard.

Oh you know what, let me think, let me amend this, the certainty that you will be heard, the near certainty that you'll be heard, you're a big boy, go get hurt, go experience loss, loss is the engine and driver of growth and development and becoming, loss, when you gain, when you win, Donald Trump loses and winners, yes when you gain, when you win, you're not yourself because you conform to societal expectations, you're a winner in the eyes of society but you're a loser in your eyes, loss is individual, pain is social.

So if you want to be an individual, you want to be you, you need to experience loss and pain and suffering and harm and damage and you need to be broken so that we can set your bones properly, because your bones right now are not set properly, you need to break yourself, you know the military knows this, you go to boot camp, what do they do in boot camp?

Do you think they train you to use rifles?

I know, I've served three and a half years in the military, they don't train you on how to use rifles.

You learn in two weeks, they break you, they break you, they break you because they want to put you together the way they want, which is not something I support but they are right about the process, you have to break yourself to put yourself correctly together, there's no shortcut, no shortcut, if you love yourself you inflict on yourself pain and loss and harm, self-love is about vulnerability to loss, that's self-love, it's a great definition of self-love, not the bullshit that coaches are selling you online, that self-love is about being great again, you know if you're just the giant within all this nonsense, that's not self-love, self-love is about saying I'm imperfect, I'm incomplete and very often I'm helpless and hopeless and I can fix myself only through the agency of another person's presence and gaze and to benefit from this gaze and presence, I need to be me, otherwise what's the deal, what's the benefit of this?

I need to be me really and to get proper input as to who I am and what I am and this input is painful, of course it's painful because you started the journey being imperfect, so the input from your partner would be you are imperfect and that hurts, that hurts, it's a narcissistic injury.

But at the end of this road you will be so at peace with yourself and so one with yourself that you will be the giant, this is to become a giant, a real giant doesn't have many cars and many beautiful blondes and many you know and access to coke unlimited amounts of coke, that's not a real giant, a real giant is someone who is one with himself, at utter peace with who he is, consequently he needs no one, he chooses to have people in his life, he doesn't need them, there's a big difference, when you introduce people into your life you can either need them so you're inadequate, you're dependent, you're nobody if you need people or you can be in a position where you don't need people at all, not one, ever, nothing, no people but you choose to have them in your life, when you choose to have them in your life it's from a position of strength, how can you be strong by being you, there's no other source of strength, everything else can be taken away from you, when we study torture victims, I did time in prison, in one of the worst prisons in the world, not a white collar thing, I was punished by the Supreme Court, judge, I humiliated and he sent me to one of the worst prisons in the world, I went there and I spent almost a year in that prison.

And so what is the source of strength, what are you left with when you are in such a prison, they took away from me a business empire, 40 million dollars, they took away my wife, she divorced me, I lost everything, everything, I had holes in my shoes, nothing, I was left with nothing but I had me, that's what you're left with ultimately, you, your memories, your identity, who you are, everything else you think you have, you don't have, everything else you think you're, you don't have, the woman who loves you, you don't have, your apartment, you don't have, nothing, your reputation, nothing is bullshit, you have nothing, you have nothing, I have nothing, no one has anything, except themselves.

And if you don't have even that then I pit you, all I have to do is pit you, if you don't have even that, like I know you.

Anyhow, you have nothing. I have nothing, but I have myself. If you don't have yourself even, then you're worse off than me. Worse off than me, you know? I'm feeling it.

The whole thing about intimacy...

See, that would explain why my leg fetish is a form of reductionism, which...

Oh, if they don't have that, then they're not...

Damn. That's a problem, probably, right? That's not a good thing?

It's a problem because you're terrified of focusing on the person. So you're reducing the person to parts. And you're terrified of being you with that person. So you are you with the leg. With the leg, you feel safe.

I'm safe with the leg, you know?

Regrettably, it's attached to other parts, you know? So you have to face the whole thing.

Okay, that and then the...

There was a term that I learned from the SLAA. Emotional anorexia? Is that an actual...

It's not an actual clinical term, but yeah, it's used.

But it's not wrong, right? Emotional anorexia, like the idea of it?

Yes, the idea is okay. It's not a clinical term, but yeah.

Yeah, because that's something I realized...

Oh, that's something that I struggle with heavily as well, which is kind of ironic because I do stand-up comedy, which I feel safe on a stage. I'm so vulnerable, but I'm not really being vulnerable.

You're not being you. You're not being you. That's why you don't feel vulnerable. When you do stand-up comedy, I watch a few of you. When you do... I mean, all stand-up comedy, it's not only... All actors, all public persona, public figures in a way. That's why we say public figure. That's your figure in the public. That's what we call persona. It's a mask kind of.

So whatever... If they pelt you with rotten tomatoes, they're not pelting you with rotten tomatoes. They're pelting him, the guy who tells the jokes.

You're one step removed. You're one step removed all the time, not only when you do stand-up comedy.

From the little that you've told me, you're one step removed in sex, you're one step removed in stand-up comedy. You're kind of an observer. You kind of stand aside. You don't take the risk. You don't take the plunge. All the time, you're reserved. There's always something in reserve, always a refuge, a sanctuary, a place to run away to inside your mind.

And so you're never truly involved or truly committed to anything or anyone. You do things and you may do things for decades, but that's not like being committed.

I'm talking about emotions. There is a cognitive commitment, a professional commitment, a sexual commitment, but it's superficial. It's a provision because it never involves who you are and your emotions.

This, you, for some reason, which I don't know, you are not comfortable, not to say terrified. You crave intimacy. I don't think you don't. I think you actually crave intimacy, but at the same time, you're afraid of it.

It's like kryptonite, you know? It's your kryptonite. It's your kryptonite. And I think the particular line of work you've chosen, which is stand-up comedy, allows you to be you by not being you.

It's like now I'm going to tell jokes. I'm going to be politically incorrect. I'm going to provoke you and tantalize you and taunt you.

But if there are any adverse reactions or something, I'm pretty protected because it's not me doing this. I'm not playing the part of a stand-up comedian.

I think that's the issue with you and with many actors. You're playing the part. You're playing the part of a stand-up comedian.

Now, that's a very important distinction. You can be a stand-up comedian and you can play the part of a stand-up comedian.

It's like you're participating in a movie about you where you play the stand-up comedian. I don't know if I'm getting through.

Oh, no, it makes sense. Yeah.

It's like your life is a movie. And now in this movie, you're an actor and your role in the movie is a stand-up comedian.

So you do a stand-up comedian in the movie. This movie happens to be your life. Your life is a movie, like a movie.

So you're a bit of a director, film director. You're a bit of an observer. You're an actor.

But the whole thing doesn't feel real. I think the sense of reality is missing in your life a lot.

Many things don't feel real to you, I think. You go through them, but they don't feel real because you have this observer stance.

You keep your distance. It's a protective wall. It's like a firewall.

That's very accurate because I felt I was talking to my friend and I told him I feel kind of like a zombie walking through life now because the high of the stand-up.

I need bigger things, bigger stages to feel that.

But now it's kind of just going through the motions. It's just, you know, I don't feel.

And that's why you're absolutely right. I'm not. I'm trying to change that because I crave intimacy. I'm terrified of it.

And I keep protecting myself by avoiding it, doing monk mode, celibacy moments. And then, you know, it's like, oh, I'm going to learn something. I don't learn shit. I'm just like I'm protecting myself.

And that's the thing I just was able to admit two days ago.

I watch you and you're funny. You make me laugh. But you will be you will be a hell of a lot better stand-up comedian the minute you become you.

The minute you don't play the stand-up comedian, the minute you are the stand-up comedian, the minute you fully engage your life, the minute you own your life, the minute you are in it, really in it, not observing it, not managing it, not directing it, not avoiding it in it.

And this can be achieved only through intimacy, not even therapy, intimacy.

You need to find someone with whom you would not be afraid to be hurt. I guarantee you hurt and loss guaranteed money back.

But you need to find someone with whom you will not be afraid to experience loss and pain and then expose yourself, become vulnerable, totally intimate and experience the loss and heartbreak and pain.

You need to go through this process.

Otherwise, you will never live your life. You're not living your life. You're living a scripted life kind of need to live your life.

You have potential because I want you to make someone laugh. You need to really access them. It's a sublime art, art form in ancient Greece, stand-up comedians in a way. They were the ultimate art form, comedians.

So you need to really touch people. So you know how to really touch people, obviously.

Maybe laugh.

But you could be a hell of a better just by becoming you, just by becoming you. But you need to go through a lot of pain and hurt and harm and loss and everything with someone you can trust, someone you know who will not destroy you just for the heck of it, just for the fun of it. Someone you say, okay, it may end badly, but if it does end badly, she will be my friend in these difficult roles. She will not jump all over me.

It's funny you say that because I was thinking along those lines, I'm trying to experience things more now. I wasn't letting myself experience anything except just the comedian, just comedy. And I'm trying to be a more, I guess, well-rounded human being or just somebody that experiences experience, a human experience because I felt like I was living but not living the past few years.

So I will give you the clinical term for this because we're about to wrap up. The clinical term for this is called constriction.

When we are terrified of something, for example intimacy or losing control somehow or I don't know, addiction, whatever, we tend to narrow life. We tend to begin to rule out certain things, certain activities, certain exposures, certain vulnerabilities. So we narrow. Life becomes more and more and more narrow.

And so we tend to become one-track minded. We do only comedy. We do only business. We do only politics. We do only sex. We do only love, addictions.

So this is called constriction. And it's very typical.

In your case, there's a process of constriction. You focus on the professional side and you're terrified to confront the privacy.

Again, I don't know why I don't want to be really intrusive as far as private. This is going to be online. So I don't want to be too intrusive.

But the advice I gave you, I think, is valid. You need to experience a relationship with someone you trust. You need to be you in this relationship, totally vulnerable. You need to anticipate loss and pain because they will come. But when they do come, you need to trust that woman or that person that she would be there for you as a friend, want leverage, this to hurt you even more.

But we try to mitigate and ameliorate the hurt. And there are such people. I'm 62 years old, I can tell you, there are such. It's not a myth. There are definitely such people.

They hurt you and so on, but then they're there for you. They carry you through somehow, like in Vietnam, in the war. They carry you through on their shoulders somehow.

They have your back.

I wish you well. It's been good to talk to you.

Professor Vecton, thank you very much for being on the podcast. I'm definitely taking your advice to heart. Thank you for your time.

And guys, I gave you permission.

Okay, so we are both recording each other.

Oh, yeah. Essentially.

Two FBI snitches.

I know, right?

We're just both Benedict Arnold's.

Yes, exactly. Exactly.


Let us jovially betray each other.

Oh, yeah. Yes.

That's the best form of betrayal.

Reciprocity is everything.

I agree.

Yes, yes, very much.

Thank you again for giving me your time. I appreciate you being on the podcast.

Okay, so I'll do a little introduction and then we'll just get into it.

Would you like me to introduce myself?

Save you the heartache?

Yeah, because I'm worried I'm going to introduce you in a very horrible way.

All right, I want I don't want to do you injustice.

Well, my name is Sam Vaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, and many other books.

And I'm a professor of psychology in several universities. I suspect that's what we are talking. We supposedly will focus on psychological issues or socio psychological issues, I assume.

So I think by way of introduction, we can dispense with this and just get on with business.

Yes, yeah, absolutely.


Thank you again for giving meseven or eight years ago, saved me from being in a horrible, horrible, extremely narcissistic friendship that none of us saw in the friend group. And we always felt something was kind of off. And then I just decided to look into narcissism and your videos popped up. And I did a deep dive into like a heavy deep deep dive of what it was a covert narcissism and like the dangers of it and how to approach these things. And you made me aware of what was actually going on with this friendship.

Yeah, yeah. And after that, the friendship because you said the only real way to deal with somebody at that level of narcissism is to basically run away. Like you can't really do much about it. No contact.

And then after that happened, because he would do like just the weirdest things and he would do a lot of things where he would hang out with each one of us separately, which brought us into his world.

But then the few times we would hang out in a group, he would say his grandiose things and talk about like Chinese history for no reason and weird, strange stuff. And we'd look at each other and we'd go like, do you hear what he's saying? But alone, we couldn't see it. We couldn't see it at all.

And then once we ended the friendship, we just became a lot happier.

And then the thing that stood out to me too was when you were talking about that you yourself are a narcissist as well. And that was like all I needed to hear. I was like, oh, okay, let's hear it. We have to see what he has to say. Should we just say or not?

No contact. No contact is a very difficult strategy to implement, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries and more specifically in the United States.

Because in the United States, there's a series of mass delusions which permeate all the self-help industry and the therapeutic industry.

So one of these delusions is every problem has a solution. There's another delusion. You never give up on people. People are redeemable, you know.

Another solution is if you just want it badly enough, you can change yourself. And by changing yourself, you will have changed other people.

These are all delusions. They are counterfactual. They're not true.

Not every problem has a solution. Some people are irredeemable and incorrigible. There's nothing you can do about them anymore. You just need to give up on them.

And of course, you may be able to change yourself. It doesn't happen too often, by the way, contrary to the hype. You may be able to change yourself, probably tangentially, you know, fringe, in fringe ways.

But even then, other people are not guaranteed to adapt to your change. They are much more likely to walk out on you or break up with you or something.

So there are these foundational myths, the mythology of the self-help industry, because people make a lot of money off the self-help industry.

So it became excruciatingly fallacious and misleading, very dangerous development.

It started in the 60s and 70s, and it's full force now, with all this magical thinking of the law of attraction and the secret and awaken the giant within and all this BS. It's really bad out there. It's really bad out there.

If you're looking for real help, you're extremely unlikely to find it.

YouTube, for example, which is a platform where 63% of people go looking for help. YouTube is infested, utterly infested, with self-styled experts who have no credentials, no experience and no knowledge about what they're talking.

It's a terrifying state of things to my mind.

Yeah, and even on TikTok, that's where it got even worse, I've noticed, where everybody's like a master of this self-help thing and even psychology.

But all they are doing is regurgitating things they've heard. And then the audience who was watching says, oh, that's exactly how I feel.

Oh, you know everything. But what's really happening is it is just like an echo chamber.

Everybody's just agreeing with each other to continue this propaganda of this bullshit, essentially.

Well, mind you, that's a social phenomenon that permeates or invades other fields of life. You have this in politics, you have this in debates about rights. Should you have this right or you shouldn't have this right? Is abortion a right? LGBT, transgender? I mean, polarisation and echo chambers, that's a new discourse.

There's no real exchange of information, opinions and views, no real respect for other people and so on and so forth.

So you ended up with like-minded people and they echo and reflect you and you feel comfortable and cosy and warm and familiar.

Yeah, everybody just...

It's not only in the self-help industry, it's everywhere. It's absolutely everywhere.

So I'm curious a little bit more about your opinions on the self-help industry because it's helped me to a certain degree, right?

At least for whatever bottom pit that I was in years ago.

But, you know, because I kind of needed that kind of ignorance, you know, to move forward to just like hope and believe in something.

But there is a point where it's like, how much is it helping and what's the truth?

So I'd like to hear a little bit more about your opinions on that.

The vast majority of self-help texts are ill-founded in the sense that they contradict findings in psychology.

Psychology is very counterintuitive. It's not a science, it's an aspiration to science, but it's still very good at documenting the human mind.

And what we are finding out in psychology contradicts something like 90% of the self-help advice and self-help pseudo-information out there.

However, the self-help industry provides you with a sense of belonging, a sense of community, a sense of shared misery, commiseration kind of. A sense that there is hope, a fantasy in effect. It's a fantasy world where there is hope because everything ultimately turns out for the better. Everything can be fixed if you only put your mind to it. It's magical thinking. It's very infantile. Children have this.

Children believe that if they think about something hard enough, it's going to happen. Or conversely, if they think bad thoughts, these bad thoughts are going to manifest somehow.

So it's a very infantile thing.

But you know, after abuse, in the aftermath or the wake of abuse and trauma, you are reduced to a childlike state. You are so hurt, so broken, so damaged that effectively you are a child. You regress.

Clinical term is regression. There is infantile regression following trauma and abuse.

So you are a child and maybe the self-help industry caters to this phase in recovery, where you're so helpless and so hopeless and so infantile that you need parental figures to tell you that everything is going to be okay.

Pat you on the back, promise you, the horizon and so on and so forth.

The problem is that it's addictive. The problem with the self-help industry is addictive.

You can't extricate yourself. Even when you have transversed, even when you have matured or graduated the infantile phase and you are ready to take on life with its challenges and everything, you still remain addicted to the self-help industry.

The self-help industry perpetuates, for example, the victim's stance. It keeps telling you that it wasn't your fault, that you had contributed nothing to the predicament you found yourself in, that it's all a morality play between good and evil and you were the good side. And you are all good. It's what we call a splitting defense.

So the messaging of the self-help industry is that you are essentially a passive object. You have been the recipient of a force of nature of some kind, a natural disaster.

The masses is, for example, this demonized and compared to tornadoes and viruses. It's as if you bear no responsibility whatsoever for the choices you've made, decisions you've taken, your emotions and cognitions. You are just a magnet, a passive thing.

Now, this is an extremely bad mindset because at some point you need to grow up and you need to take responsibility for your actions and contributions in order to not repeat the cycle, in order to not re-enter the same trap again.

And this is where the self-help industry fails you because for monetary reasons, for pecuniary reasons, for profit, they want you to remain a victim for as long as possible because victims consume. They consume books, they consume self-help courses, they consume retreats and seminars and workshops. They're good consumers.

So they want to freeze you in this state of mind. And if at all possible, to keep you this way, till the day you die.

So it's pernicious. I think the disadvantages far outweigh the benefits, in my view, overall, looking at it overall.

Yes, they cater to your needs in the first six months of the trauma and abuse when you're really down on the floor and, you know, you need someone to lift you up. They cater to this need. They place you within communities of like-minded people, like experienced people, and it's very helpful.

But after that, they fixate you in a seriously bad state of mind as a victim, as a child, and they never let you go. They have their clothes in you. That's the end of it. They're like pushers. It's a drug industry.

So drugs have benefits. I mean, if you've done drugs, you know, they initially, they're very uplifting, and they're wonderful, and, you know, but you get addicted, and then you end up homeless and worse.

Yeah, that, I can relate to that because, well, not the homeless part, but I can relate to that because when I wasn't doing anything with my life, really, I consumed so much content of self-help, of just belief and anything's possible, and I'd read these books and just read other people's stories about how they were homeless and then became millionaires and just achieved everything. And I'm still sitting there, just like, with my dick in my hand, not doing anything, just going nowhere, right?

And then it wasn't until I actually started doing, putting myself accountable, I started doing things and taking action that I started consuming less and less of it.

And then the magic of these self-help things started to lose its power as I started to kind of, I feel like that's when I started to enter the real world, in a sense, in my mind, right?

Exactly, it's a fantasy, as I said, it's a fantasy. They create a fantastic space for you where you are blameless and blemishless and flawless and perfect and angelic and the reification of good and you're a helpless victim. It was never your fault and never your contribution, and you made all the right choices and you couldn't have known.

And, you know, this is what a mother would do to a two-year-old or a six-month-old. I mean, she would corset him and protect him.

A bad mother, by the way. A bad mother. A mother who denies her child access to reality is a seriously bad mother.

So that's what a bad mother would do.

And beyond a certain point, it's counterproductive, it's debilitating. It renders you dysfunctional and leery of reality, wary of reality.

And, you know, because it's a catastrophizing narrative. It's a narrative which says basically it can happen to you again any minute because you have done nothing to deserve this. There's nothing you can do in the future to avoid it.

It's a very catastrophizing and disabling narrative.

That's at the core of the self-help industry. It didn't used to be the case, by the way.

The first ones who came out with self-help books were very, very serious psychologists, such as Carl Rogers.

So the first self-help authors were heavyweight psychologists, and all they tried to do was popularize the lessons they have learned in psychology.

But then there was this avalanche of democratized discourse. Anyone in his dog can publish a book on Amazon Kindle, KDP, you know. Anyone can declare himself or reserve an expert by virtue of having had a single abusive relationship. Anyone can justify credentials or lie about credentials. There are no gatekeepers. There is a process of disintermediation in the sense that no one is protecting you from bad content, from wrong content.

You know, in the 60s and 70s and 80s, we had editors. We had curators. When the Internet started, we had moderators. Today, there's nobody there. You're on your own. There's a tsunami of nonsense, misinformation, disinformation, and malicious information. It's a tsunami, and you're on your own. No one is kind of…

At the beginning of the Internet, there were curatorial projects. There was, for example, the Open Directory Project and so on, where editors used to choose prime content on the Internet. There's nothing like it anymore. It's… You know, ranking is by popularity, and their commercial interests that push bad content just because the authors of content pay. And that includes YouTube, by the way. YouTube has sponsorship agreements with specific channel content creators and so on, regardless of the quality of the content.

So it's really, really bad out there. If you are…


And people lost trust in experts. They lost trust in scholars and experts and academics, so there's no one to go to. They don't trust the mainstream media. There's no one left. You look to your peers. You try to, you know, somehow fit into other people's experiences.

But you fail to realize that other people's experiences have very little to do with you, actually, because you are so fundamentally different to other people. Every one of us is a unique creation. I sound like an evangelist, but that's the truth. Every one of us, psychologically, is a unique creation, extremely so unique that it's like we share 1% psychological DNA.

You can learn very little from other people's experience, which is my beef with psychology. I think psychology will never be a science. We can learn very little from other people's experience.

Some warning signs, maybe, you know, but even that is highly idiosyncratic, highly individual.

So you need experts. You need experts, but people lost trust in medical doctors and psychiatrists and psychologists and physicists. No one trusts anyone for anything.

And there is this wave of egalitarianism. I have my facts. You have your facts. And if you have a PhD in biology, it doesn't make any difference because my ideas about biology are equal to your ideas, despite your education.

And so I've been on a forum a few years ago, and there's a guy. A guy said the Battle of Hastings was in 1066. It's a battle in the United Kingdom. It was in 1066.

And the other guy said, no, it was in 1038. And the first guy said, well, here's a link to an encyclopedia article. And the second guy said, that's your opinion, my opinion that it was in 1038.

And I'm sorry. Truth is, you know, there's my truth and your truth. And you see, you see this poisonous phenomenon had penetrated politics where the spokesman for Donald Trump said this, my facts. There's our facts and your facts and facts are fungible. They are malleable. They are like, you know, can play with them.

So it's a shape. We are living in a global earthquake. We are constantly in the epicenter of an earthquake. An earthquake in terms of certainties. There are no certainties left. Not even facts.

No one agrees with anyone about anything because everyone is a godlike figure. Why is a godlike figure?

Because he has a smartphone and he can serve those who know how to type. And that's a diminishing minority, mind you.

Of course, the education system is largely to blame. What's left of it is largely to blame.

We are regressing so dramatically to, you know, hundreds of years back. It's shocking to behold.

And yes, of course, I'm an old codger. And every old generation says, you know, the new, the young generations suck. We've been the best, cetera, cetera. And I'm no exception. But I'm also a trained observer and I'm very, very committed to the truth.

Extremely committed to the truth.

And what I see is mind boggling. Mind boggling in many, many respects has been a regression of decades.

Now it's being acknowledged. Now it's being acknowledged.

But in many respects, intellectual, I mean, there's been regression of decades, in some cases, hundreds of years.

For example, the spread of the occult, esoteric, esoteric, esoteric thinking, conspiracy theories, magical thinking.

This was typical in the 15th century or 14th century before, before the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. People were thinking this way, you know, in the 13th and 14th century when there was the Black Death, magical thinking vanished after the 17th century.

The occult, esoteric, I mean, people were doing astrology and this kind of things.

The latest of the 16th century, Newton, Isaac Newton was still an astrologer and an alchemist. But he was the last in the life.

No serious scientist after that, no serious person after that did astrology for 300 years until the 1960s.

It was again, a big thing. And I find it absolutely shocking. I have no other words to describe it.

That anyone should contemplate astrology and energy and all this bullshit as serious, serious things is regressive in the extreme and threatening, absolutely threatening.

People are going to fix the bridges 50 years from now, who's going to run the computers, computers are going to be much wiser, much more intelligent than we are, who's going to control them. People hardly literate has never been worse in the last 50 or 60 years.

Literacy, functional illiteracy has never been worse. People don't know how to read. People have an attention span of what? 10 seconds, 30 seconds, sound bites and snippets.

Who's going to cure? Who's going to administer medication? Who is going to do all this? Who's going to fix things?

I don't see anyone able to do anything. People don't know how to calculate without the aid of a calculator or a computer. They don't know how to multiply, let alone logarithms, this advanced stuff. They don't know how to do it if they were left to their own devices. And they don't know how to tell the difference between bad information and good information.

There is what we call discoverability issues. How to discover good content? What are the wmarks of good content?

It's not critical thinking left. People don't know how to think critically.

There is what we call the base rate fallacy where today people believe 90, that's nine zero percent of what they are told at the gate without further verification, regardless of the source.

I'm extremely happy that I'm 62 years old. I'm not interested in physicians. I'm happy I'm about to say to depart. This place sucks. I don't want to be here anymore.

No, but you're absolutely right about that. They're taking everything for face value immediately and just believing it as fact. It's insane, because especially like TikTok, TikTok has made so many pseudo famous people, like celebrities. And people trust what they say based off of likability.

If they like you, someone froze us.

Oh, someone froze?

We were frozen for a minute. There's a whole conspiracy theory here why we were frozen.

Oh, yeah, okay.

Big brother, big brother. They froze us.

The Illuminati probably or something.

Okay, that's right.

The only way it is one person now, so just saying that.

Yeah, he they.

Yeah, yeah.

Oh yeah, popularity, likability. Google started by ranking content according to popularity. Link backs and this kind of thing.

They started this revolution of replacing quality with likability and popularity, like an opinion poll.

Information and knowledge cannot be subject to an opinion poll.

You want real information and real knowledge. It can't be, you can't judge it by popularity. You need to judge it by veracity, by truthfulness.

Anyhow, I'm sure you had other things you wish to discuss. So you got on a rant here.

No, no, I loved it. I felt the passion. I mean, I agree. I agree with everything you're saying.

And it is kind of terrifying to think about that future.

But I did have a question about you were talking about conspiracies, conspiracy theorists and stuff.

Is there a correlation between that and narcissism at all? Because I was talking to my friend yesterday and he brought that up.

And I was wondering your thoughts on that.

Yes, we have a recent study published two weeks ago, about two weeks ago, a relatively robust, rigorous study that links very strongly narcissism to conspiracism.

Conspiracism is a psychological trait that predisposes you to believe in conspiracy theories. There is such a thing, believe it or not.

So conspiracism is strongly linked to correlated with narcissism. So it seems that people who are narcissists are much more prone to believe in conspiracy theories.

And one of the reasons is that narcissists have an external locus of control. I'll explain it in a minute.

The narcissist blames you for everything that happens to him. His failures, his defeats, his miscalculations, his bad choices, his F up decisions. It's all your fault because he is infallible. He's perfect. He's godlike. He doesn't make mistakes. You foul data. You're responsible for everything that's happening.

But by doing this, by having alloplastic defenses, by tending to blame the outside for everything that's happening to him, the narcissist is actually handing over control because he says everything bad that's happening to me is happening to me because of other people.

So they control my life in a way. He has an external locus of control.

And that, of course, is the essence of a conspiracy theory. A conspiracy theory is the belief that some cabal, some group of people, some unnamed force is controlling your life and is responsible for everything bad that's happening.

You're not responsible. They are responsible. That's typical narcissistic defense.

So, yes, there's a correlation. But there's also a correlation between conspiracies and the tendency to believe in conspiracy theories and many other mental health disorders.

For example, paranoid personality disorder.

So the tendency to organize your life and to make sense of your life via conspiracy theories is a form of mental illness, actually. It is so powerfully correlated with multiple mental problems that it would seem to be a form of mental illness.

And it is not an accident in my view that the seeker, the more pathologized our civilization becomes, the more we believe in conspiracy theories.

Because everything around us is falling apart. We can trust nothing. Institutions have crumbled, anything from the family to the nation state.

And so everything is so pathologized and so sick that it infects us. Our environment renders us mentally ill.

So it's much easier for us to believe in conspiracies because mentally ill people believe in conspiracies.

Yeah, that would make my friend very happy because he felt that and that just confirms.

And the fact that an article just came out just recently about that is very interesting.

Real quick, I apologize. So it looks like that Zoom is saying that I have to.

Yeah, we have eight minutes left. But what we can do, we can click on the same link and shoot another part and then we can kind of combine it or you can combine it.

Oh, yeah, we could do that. That's true.

That's true. Just click on the same thing.

I mean, you can go. OK. 10 times 40 minutes.

OK. Perfect.

Are we still there?

So, sorry about that.

All right.

So I feel like can a narcissist who is like that, can they ever be forever a narcissist? Can they change? Is it like inherently just a part of them when you're at that level of narcissism?

That's what I get curious about.

Depends. If you have narcissistic personality disorder, which is the most extreme form of narcissism, pathological narcissism, because there is healthy narcissism. Every human being has healthy narcissism. The self-esteem and self-confidence rely on narcissism that you had developed as a child.

And this is called healthy narcissism.

But there are pathological forms of narcissism. If your narcissism doesn't mature along with you, if it remains infantile and you become an adult, then there is a discrepancy between your narcissism and you.

And this is a pathology.

So if you have a narcissistic style, in other words, if you're in a role, you can change and modify your behavior.

But if you have a disorder, it affects the entire personality and every field of your life. And it's incurable, essentially incurable.

What we can do to some extent is modify the behaviors of the narcissist.

We can kind of teach or condition the narcissist to become less antisocial, less psychopathic, less abrasive, less abusive. We can do that very successfully.

But the core of the pathology of the sickness remains and is untouchable.

So this is when it comes to the extreme.

And then within the extreme form of narcissistic personality disorder, you have two or three percent of these people who are psychopathic narcissists.

They combine the best of both worlds. They are narcissists and at the same time they're psychopaths.

In other words, they are going to cater to their narcissistic needs in a psychopathic way. They're going to be defined. They're going to be criminalized. They're going to be reckless. So these are psychopathic narcissists.

And so psychopathic, even behavior modification is impossible with these people. You can't reach them. They're no longer with us. They are there. It's my way or the highway. Take it a little bit. If you in your face, you know, define contumaciousness, authority hating, reckless, crazy making MFS.

That's it. No way to get to it.

You have beneath that, you have the layer of people with narcissistic personality disorder whose behaviors can be modified. And beneath that, it's like a glacier. It's like an iceberg.

Beneath that, you have the people with narcissistic style, about 10 to 15 percent of the population.

And these are simply people who are jerks, you know, and you learn to live with them and they learn to live with you. They're adaptable. They're much more flexible. And they do change. They can change.

So but unfortunately online, there's a huge confusion between all these.

I mean, numerous disgruntled, discarded women point to their exes and say, he's a narcissist. Well, actually, we're talking about the neighbor. Or they confuse psychopaths with narcissists. They attribute to narcissist behaviors, which are actually exclusively psychopathic.

For example, gaslighting. Gaslighting is totally psychopathic or lying. Narcissists rarely lie. Psychopaths lie.

So there's a humongous confusion online. I mean, there's a bloody mess and and everyone lost their footing and swimming in the murky, murky season.

But narcissism, narcissists are not good people. So what I'm trying to say, narcissists have no empathy. They're exploitative. They have very strong fantasy defenses.

In other words, they create a fantasy and then they lure you into the fantasy and then never let you go. They have a very bad impact on your own ability to discern reality and live in it. Your reality testing. They make you distrust yourself. They very often bully you, etc.

They're not nice people, but they're not psychopaths. Psychopaths are premeditated. Psychopaths use manipulative techniques like lying and gaslighting to obtain outcomes, to secure outcomes.

Psychopaths are goal oriented. They're seriously dangerous. They're antisocial. When pushed to the limit, they become aggressive, violent, reckless.

So psychopaths are like narcissists on steroids plus, plus violence and recklessness and defiance and reactance. And so that's like narcissists plus.

And then you have borderlines, of course. And again, everyone confuses borderline with narcissists. Borderlines have psychopathic phases, what is called psychopathic sub-state.

They become psychopaths if they are subjected to stress, humiliation, abandonment and rejection. So it's very easy to confuse a borderline with a psychopath.

Borderlines are also very grandiose. So it's easy to confuse a borderline with a narcissist because a narcissist is also grandiose.

And borderlines, now we know, also have a deficiency in empathy and resemble very much the narcissist in certain cases.

All in all, the new approach in Europe, not in the United States because of money. Money corrupted completely the establishment in the United States.

But Europe is not corrupted by money. So in Europe, we see the new approach.

It's unfortunate that it's new because I and many other voices, much more prominent than me, have been advocating this for three decades.

But all is well that ends well. In Europe, they eliminated all these counterfactual distinctions between narcissists and psychopaths and borderline.

And they created a single personality disorder with emphasis.

So you can start your life as a borderline and then become a narcissist for a while and then act as a psychopath and then revert to borderline and then become a narcissist.

And there is a psychopath and then revert to borderline and then become a narcissist.

And there is a dominant feature. So you would mostly be a borderline, but you can easily transition to other personality disorders because there's a single personality disorder, only one.

And that's reality. Reality is either you have a personality disorder or you don't. And if you have a personality disorder, there will be days that you'll be a narcissist and other days when you'll be a psychopath. And other days when you'll be a borderline and then a schizoid and then a paranoid, the personality is disrupted.

Now, many of these conditions are actually post-traumatic conditions. Narcissists and borderlines, they grew up in dysfunctional households. And so they were traumatized and abused as children and they developed their personality disorder as an adaptation, as an attempt to avoid the abuse or the consequences of the abuse.

And the trauma. So it's a post-traumatic condition.

I think we should take a break. And if you wish, click again on the link and we'll see each other.

Oh, yeah. Let's let's do this again right now.

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

Why Do You Trust Learn To Trust Again! ( Bonus Rant)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses various topics in these sections, including malignant egalitarianism, lying, the psychology of trust, and the importance of trust in relationships. He argues that people today think they are experts on everything without bothering to educate themselves or research properly, which undermines expertise and intellectual authority. He also warns that people should be cautious of those who claim to be empathic and selfless but ask for payment for their services. Additionally, he emphasizes the need to be alert and vigilant but not hypervigilant in relationships, and provides markers to distinguish true friends from fake friends.

How Narcissist Defeminizes You: Answering Your Questions

Sam Vaknin responds to questions from his audience, addressing topics such as narcissistic withdrawal, hoovering after modification, his decision not to have children, and his relationships with women. He explains his refusal to grow up and his acceptance of asymmetry in his relationships. Vaknin also discusses his views on mental illness and the challenges he faces in finding suitable partners.

Warning Young Folks: Silence When We Are All Gone

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses his concerns about the younger generation, noting their lack of emotions, meaningful relationships, and intellectual pursuits. He believes that the focus on action over emotion and cognition is leading to a culture of nihilism and disconnection. Vaknin argues that positive emotions should drive actions, as negative emotions lead to destructive outcomes. He concludes that the current state of the younger generation is a mental suicide, and that a shift in focus towards emotions, cognition, and meaningful connections is necessary for a better future.

Narcissists, Empaths, Viking Fantasies (Q&As with Eve Tawfik)

British journalist Eve Torfic interviews Dr. Sam Vaknin about narcissism. Vaknin explains that a relationship with a narcissist can work if one suspends their autonomy and serves the narcissist's needs, which he summarizes as the four S's: sex, supply, safety, and services. He also discusses the allure of narcissists, the concept of shared fantasy, and the potential for self-awareness in narcissists. They touch on topics like victimhood, the future of society with the rise of the metaverse, and the decline of traditional values and community. Vaknin expresses concern about the sustainability of life as society becomes more fragmented and atomized.

Narcissism's Loose Ends

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses various topics in different sections. In the first section, he talks about the technicality of glass being an amorphous solid, which is actually a liquid. In the second section, he discusses gold diggers and their relationship with narcissists, arguing that faking is a form of virtue signaling and that narcissists do not have an ego. In the third section, he talks about the rise and fall of narcissism in American society and emotional reasoning. In the fourth section, he discusses why some narcissists are successful while others are not, destructive narcissism, and the fallacy of assuming a universal human nature. Finally, he warns about the pursuit of meaning, addiction to hope, and aversion to risk leading to extinction as a species.

Privatized Empathy and Cowardly Public "Intellectuals"

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the decline of empathy in society, particularly among public intellectuals who prioritize self-interest, power, and manipulation over compassion and care for others. He identifies four groups of intellectuals in Macedonia, including the fearful, the self-interested, the territorial, and the malignantly romantic. He attributes the behavior of intellectuals in the Balkans, including Macedonia, to the influence of Marxism, socialism, and communism, which redefined the role of intellectuals as leaders and co-opted them into the power machine. Ultimately, he argues that intellectuals in Macedonia have betrayed their role in invigorating the nation and integrating society and culture into global trends.

Don't Let Loneliness Define or Guide You! (Excerpt)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the impact of loneliness on people's decision-making, particularly in relationships with narcissists. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing warning signs and gut instincts early on in dating, rather than denying them due to loneliness. Vaknin highlights the prevalence of loneliness in society and encourages individuals to embrace their own company and practice self-love, as no one else will do it for them.

Gurus, Geniuses, Mystics: Madmen and Con-artists

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the rise of narcissism and grandiosity in society, fueled by self-proclaimed gurus, life coaches, and mystics who prey on people's insecurities and desires for success. He argues that the education system and social media have contributed to the belief that everyone is special and unique, leading to a generation of underachievers with unrealistic expectations. Vaknin also touches on the challenges faced by child prodigies as they grow up, often becoming narcissistic and struggling to maintain their achievements. In summary, Vaknin believes that society is heading towards a narcissistic and psychopathic civilization where appearance and self-promotion matter more than knowledge and genuine accomplishment.

Sam Vaknin: Through My Poetry (link in description)

In this video, Professor Sam Vaknin takes the viewer on a tour of his narcissism through his poetry. He warns that the imagery may be disturbing and triggering, and that his experiences are typical of narcissists. He discusses his childhood abuse, his protective instincts towards his siblings, his private religion, and his relationships with women. He also reflects on his age and his life, and ends with a poem about loneliness and beauty.

Privacy, Opposite of Narcissism

In this video, Professor Sam Vaknin discusses privacy and its relationship with narcissism. He explains that privacy is the opposite of narcissism, as narcissists do not have a private life and overshare everything. The erosion of privacy has massive implications for the rise of narcissism, and the encroachment of the public is inexorable. The successful defense of one's privacy sustains one's self-esteem, and the invasion of privacy provokes an upwelling of shame, indignation, and a diminished sense of self-worth. Ultimately, the real coinage of the realm is our mental health.

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