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Lidija and Sam: The Tide of Narcissism (1st in Series "Fly on the Wall")

Uploaded 1/3/2019, approx. 48 minute read

Hello, everyone. This is the first in a series, we hope, and we would like to call it The Fly on the Wall. I am not quite sure who is the fly and who is the wall, but let's find out together.

My name is Sam Vaknin, and some of you may know that I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited.

Okay, okay, got it, sorry.

And sitting opposite me is my wife, long-suffering, as she is known, Lydia Rangelovska, and Lydia and I are just going to talk, simply talk as we do very frequently at home, and see how it comes, how it goes.

We're going to discuss, obviously, topics that are of interest to you, anything from narcissism in mental health settings, to narcissism in society, manifestations of narcissism, how it affects everything from media, to youth, to lessons, to marriages, to we're going to ramble, we're going to rant, and hopefully we'll find our ramblings and rants as interesting as we do.

And if you don't, this is YouTube, switch off, move to another channel.

Hello, Lydia. Okay, what would you like to discuss?

Yesterday, I met a few friends. One of them is like 26, 27, the other one was 39, and the third one was between. So I was able to see what is the gap from the youngest to the oldest me, that was me, almost half century life. I'm proud of it, frankly.

But the youngest one was absent, meaning like she had to divide, to be present and absent. The absence was when the phone was ringing, when there was a message from some social media or something, and she felt obliged to answer.

In my generation, it was impolite. You know, when you talk to someone or you're in a group or something to respond, you know, we wanted the spontaneity, the conversation to be spontaneous, there was some meaning while we were communicating at the time. But with younger generations, you know, they are constantly interrupted, and they were refocused, and wanted to gain start and all to continue, but they forgot where they were.

So I made a remark like, how come this is happening? Can't you at least focus, you know, at least to remember the last sentence of the conversation before? What was, so you forgot what was really important for you to hear. You asked the question, and she did before, and we should have, you know, just among us discussing the topic, you know, and solve some issue or suggest different views for her to be able to choose, let's say, to choose an option, how in which direction she would go and solve her own problem, or what we discussed, and matter to her so much.

And I was pulled back. I said, you are not oriented, not in space, not in the body, not in the mind, you know.

And I find that these generations, up to 30, they are in a mess. They need more organization.

So after that, I mean, we spoke and so on. It's due to some sick pathological attachment styles. I must say, we know what attachment styles are, but it comes from home. So I found out that she actually had not very good example at home. There was some latent abuse, and she was personally abused even physically by a parent. Look, I felt it on my own skin. So I had very pathological attachment with you. You are narcissist, right? You are diagnosed with narcissism.

But many people will say, what on earth are you doing with this person? But they don't understand my history, how I grew up. You know, maybe I found some solution or less painful for me personally, and found some value in you.

But she is too young. She doesn't still know what is right, what is wrong. So she attaches to everyone, and she can't make a difference, and she falls in problems all the time. And she doesn't know how to organize her life.

Is it?

I try to have a bit of a wider view. The smartphone is like a portal, portal to another universe.

It is through the smartphone or similar devices that you enter another world, cyberspace.

The problem of, I don't know if it's a problem, by the way, the thing that characterizes young people is that they are no longer able to make distinction between that reality and this reality, that universe and this universe.

So if someone calls on the phone, he is as real as someone you're sitting with. As real. It's exactly like that person would materialize mysteriously and talk. So of course she would pay attention.

So I think the distinction, the border between virtual reality and real reality is blurring, disappearing. And it all becomes one universe, one reality to the young people, not with older people, but with young people.

So that for them, a friend on Facebook is as real as a friend outside Facebook. Someone who calls on the phone is as real as someone who is talking to them, sitting with them, etc.

And this is part of even larger phenomenon, I think.

That is the phenomenon of merging of man and machine. Man and machine are going to merge. They are already merging. We already have people with artificial legs, artificial hearts, artificial knees. And we are already attached to our devices, sometimes more than we are attached to our children. So we are alreadydevices are part of us completely.

So I think in 50 years, man and machine would be totally merged, like cyborgs and artificial intelligence would be integral part of the body.

So I think this, what we are seeing is the beginning of this trend of living as much inside the machine as outside the machine.

She doesn't see any difference between whoever called.

But to be able to make a distinction, why?

For what?

Look, she was on social networks. She has friends there, friends.

In our society, you have friends with whom you discuss your problems, why would you make a distinction?

No, the thing was that they discussed some problem and she asked for validation of her emotions, how to some sort of help.

But she ended up talking to some elder women that have different values and she turned and she preferred a few hours in reality.

You understand?

So there was disturbance. She was disturbed. She was like hooked. She had to respond.

I think young people are getting much more relevant information to them from the smartphone than from outside the smartphone.

Here's the failure of society. Families disintegrated, communities disappeared.

Today, the young person is getting much more relevant and important and critical information via the smartphone than from example, from mother or neighbor.

But let's be frank, who really have time to be on social media, then the children who avoid studying or writing the homework for tomorrow, they are much younger. Or some, I call them desperate women who found themselves alone divorced without husbands on social welfare.

Because this is what I see. But they are bored. In effect, most of them are bored. They don't have what to do.

And this girl that really has a problem is asking for some validation from who exactly? What is the relevancy?

I mean, what they can say? A child from, I mean, a teenager?

I think we should ask teenagers. What is the information they deem relevant and important?

And you will discover, I think, that the only information they consider relevant and important is their position relative to others, their relative ranking.

And the designers of social media knew that. So that's why they put likes to addict the teenager, to addict the teenager to this.

So she, for example, if she has a choice between you and your wisdom of the years and so on, and to check how many likes she received or how is she compared to Bojana, her girlfriend, she would prefer this much more relevant information to her because she learned, all the young generations learned that the real world has nothing to offer to them. And really, it has less and less to offer. It's a major problem, the disappointment of the new generation.

I asked her, I asked her, how come after years, years, after years there, she explained that the, she didn't see the problem as, I mean, her problem that she described as how I see it from outside. I said, of course you can't because you're in it. And she wanted to prove her theory, her narrative, to be okay, right, that she has to live with it.

So she went on social media trying to be or to express herself and to explain herself with others that actually she knew in reality as well, which is she noticed that they behave completely different.

In a group commenting on her post, for example, commenting different than the advice, for example, she got them personally in reality.

She meant the same people.

Yes.

The same people who were in the...

Yes. The response in a group from the very same person was diametrically opposite than what that person told her in reality. So she even get more confused. And that confusion, she adopted that kind of life all the time to be confused. And that was also very interesting, why she chose, she wanted to leave herself in this uncertainty.

When we all know that it's our basic fear that we cannot predict the future, and we try to solve the problems to feel safe and more grounded, more in reality, when there is this very basic need, and we can't live, and we are trying to avoid the fear of uncertainty.

So it's like a challenge for the young. This is something I can't understand. Is it a challenge? What is there behind all this?

I think cyberspace and more specifically social media are designed to entrap the young by offering...

By confusing them?

By offering a self-enclosed informational environment so you don't need ever to exit, for example, Facebook. You've got news, you've got friends, you've got Instagram. But even more importantly, by offering artificial measures of certainty.

So they introduce certainty and safety artificially via quantitative measures, how many likes, how many shares, how many friends you have, and so on. When you go to Facebook, you have numbers. I have 5,000 friends I received 186 likes, etc. And numbers are always certainty, always. When you exit Facebook and you go to Instagram and you go to real life, things become much more fuzzy, much more unclear, much more ambiguous. Youngsters cannot cope anymore with ambiguity, with equivalent.

These generations of young people were able to cope with ambiguity, and clarity, uncertainty, equivocation. Youngsters today cannot do that because they have no other sources of certainty.

As a youngster 50 years ago, your mother was a source of certainty, your father, the village, your neighbors, your teachers. There were many sources of the state. There were many sources of certainty.

Today, if you're a youngster today, you're 16, who? Your divorced parents, your non-existent community, your cheating politicians, who?

So which is escaping?

So only two sources of certainty, celebrities and social media. And they are linked, usually. They're together. These are the only two sources left.

So young people are addicted to sources of certainty, celebrities and social media.

But the effect, as this girl claims, is opposite. It's more uncertainty.

Because she met these people in reality, vast majority of teenagers don't do that. Actually, according to studies, 80 percent of teenagers make it a point never to meet the people they are on the same social network. 80 percent. That's research we did for them.

Okay, she met few.

That's greater than certainty. The contrast.

I don't think this is what I'm trying to help her getting out to distinct social media from a reality.

Because even when she's in reality, she behaves as though she is in the social media. Her reactions are such. And it's confusing.

And you can see the immediate, the instant answers. They expect from the other instant answers now, if not now, they never...

It creates, it gives a little bit of profile over... I mean, they are more aggressive, more paranoid. I mean, so now I'm not talking only about her, but all those who I met and treated in between, from 13 to... Actually, from 12 to 35. So it's obvious that they have some dependency on social media. They know and they are aware that they don't get the positive or their emotions are not validated because they don't really know what are the values of those people who are on social media. And they can change their minds depending on what is discussed there. I mean, on the post or whatever the reason is, the comments. And they're pretty contradictory. The same person can... I noticed that. I also had private letters. I was on Facebook. I opened it much later, like four years ago. But I really don't know when was the last time I visited my Facebook page.

What I was repelled by is that people there responded on what they heard last. And they were not even thinking that they were actually contradicting themselves.

And this is the confusion. And that person is still there.

Why? I'm asking why she wants to be confused all the time. That is the point that I don't understand.

What do you suggest that she leaves the social media or she leaves reality?

When I was actually putting the reason why I went out, I said, this person is not... Something is... There were too many glitches in the correspondence.

So it actually few, nevermind. But it was too different of how she represented herself, how she commented on...

Why would you suggest to the youngster to leave social media?

It's not only youngster.

To whoever, to leave social media.

There are people that they are becoming dependent on the confusion by actually confusion. They get information from social media, from who knows who. We don't even know. Maybe they are 62, but actually they are in reality, they are 18 years old. And they play clever.

Everyone plays clever, but they don't really know. I don't know. It's the informations that are passing. It's really confusing for the other. We are different. We are coming from different places. We have different backgrounds, families, different attachment styles, different traditions, whatever. We are different. Differently, they want to unify it.

And most of the young people that I met here, they want to leave. What? They think that the life there is better.

Some of them really went and worked abroad for summertime, summer camp, studies. And they all comment that they feel like two personalities.

If you know, I showed you the quantum test of a person who lives abroad and here, and her behavior is completely different. Really like she had two personalities. No wonder she said, can you help me integrate the two?

The effect is enormous. The environment.

So you are comparing it to social media? I didn't know.

Social media is environment. It's global environment. This country is this country. The other countries, but when you go and visit, you read about it.

First you have some reserve. You go, you meet people. You see how it is. Can you adapt or not?

There is nothing like that in social media. You instantly belong.

I think social media has very important characteristics that separates it from, for example, immigration or finding yourself in your environment.

Social media is a private case of online multiplayer games. Online multiplayer games started long before social media. These are games where you play online with thousands of other people, millions, sometimes millions of other people. There is a territory that looks physical territory. So when you log into the game, you find yourself in a country. The country has rules and flag and coins and it's absolute real country. You can use the money that you make in that country to buy goods in that country. Some of these goods have real life equivalents. So if you buy something in that country online, you get it by mail. Some real thing. So it is interfaced with reality. But it's a whole continent or environment or country where you live. And many, many, many people became so addicted to it that they actually spent much more time in that imaginary country than in reality. In those imaginary, in these online multiplayer games, you can't be yourself. You have to choose something called avatar. The avatar, you buy it in a store usually. The avatar is an image figure that is you. So you can be a man and choose avatar of a woman and so on.

Why am I mentioning all this?

Because in my view, Facebook for an Instagram, for example, they are multiplayer games, online multiplayer games.

Like who will pretend more?

You are not yourself on Facebook and you present a synthetic version of yourself. Sterilized version of yourself. You obviously don't share your real emotions. Some people do. Very few.

Confess, admit to having a love affair. It's very sterilized version.

What you are saying is that everyone is fake there.

But I know also that some people are very honest there.

Everyone is an avatar. They're not honest. They choose to expose private information that enhances their avatar. So for example, if the avatar is I'm a victim, they will reveal information that will support the victimhood. But they will not, for example, reveal information where they are abusive.

I know a psychopath. You will cry on the stories that she publishes.

Yes. But she's in reality, she is a psychopath.

So that's it.

That's what I'm saying. Everyone chooses an avatar. When they open Facebook account, they choose an avatar. Unconsciously, they choose avatar. I did not.

So for example, if I try to open an account, it will be the genius account. So I would show how clever I am, how amazing I am. But I would not talk, for example, about my sexuality. But you did.

For example, so I think Facebook and Instagram are forms of multiplayer games. I think that's precisely the source of the confusion. Because they are multiplayer games pretending to be reality. This is the source of the confusion. It's a game. But when you enter it, you are forced to, and that's why, for example, they are called friends, Facebook friends. Friend is something that comes only in reality.

And yet, total strangers, in Facebook, they're called friends, to deceive you. It's a very deceitful environment. It is.

Where a game, multiplayer games are called multiplayer games. You know you're playing a game. You're not an idiot. You don't think you are the avatar. You invest a lot of intellectual effort and imagination in becoming the avatar. But it's a game. It's like acting in a movie. When you act in a movie, you don't think you are the character. You still know you're a George Clooney. You don't think, you don't confuse and say, am I George Clooney?

But when you are acting on Facebook, you do get confused. You're saying, am I Sam Vaknin? Or am I the Sam Vaknin of Facebook?

It's very disorienting, because they pretend to be reality.


Okay. I tried to be honest. I mean, I posted everything what I felt like posting. It was me, actually. I didn't choose an avatar.

Andno one chooses an avatar. I'm saying, you behave like an avatar. You become an avatar.

But I tried to be as honest as possible. How did the others perceive me?

I don't think you were honest. And I don't think you were dishonest. I think you were totally.

Totally impersonal. You posted some.

So this is another choice, but it's also an avatar.

But look, what is the impact of it?

I'm not there anymore. I'm disgusted.

Okay.

It's not only that I lost the trust in those people.

Because, because I saw the discrepancy what they were writing, what they were commenting, how they behaved, you know, for people of your age, I spent four hours. I had some people there. Really, they presented themselves that they were, you know, in a very situation.

So trying to help understand, you know, give them another perspective for them to understand, but it was a waste of time, complete waste of time.

So I concluded, I mean, there are only few that they are genuine and they are, you know, stable. They're stable. I mean, they're values.

Still they have a filter.

I mean, it's not possible.

But there were some comments they didn't publish on the post that I posted, but they send me a private message. They send me a private message and then we discussed for real, but it wasn't on the wall.

So the, they are people limit themselves in, even expressing, their real views, their real values, you know, yes.

Then I got a message. Oh, I saw somelast video. How come he isputting just live up?

I said, what about the content? Who cares? I didn't even notice. I was listening what he had to say. I did not, I didn't even notice that he did that.

We all have, but so the other day you told me that, context doesn't matter anymore. And when you make a clever comment, people start actually to abuse you. They attack you. You think you are clever, that you know everything. It's not about that.

I'm open to communication. Let's talk about it.

But let's find some common understanding. Let's help each other.

But they continue to curse, to humiliate, you know, they're fighting withsomeone else.

I said, I didn't want to enter a battlefield.

The social media, Facebook, especially turn for me, a battlefield.

You know, people threaten just out of blue. They don't know me. They don't live with me.

So people, that's what I'm going to say. I understand why.

So what I'm trying to say, it's abuse. These behaviors, you open yourself to abuse. That's why I'm not there.

The real people would never engage in these behaviors.

Yes, avatars can do anything. That's precisely it. Avatars can do anything.

It's a little like the Truman show or the matrix.

Okay.

Truman believed fully that he was living a real life. He believed he was really a real life. He didn't realize that his wife was an actress. It was on a show. He believed that he was a teenager who has an Instagram account. It's very easy for her to confuse the Instagram account with real life and to render herself an avatar because she will filter what she's posting.

Sometimes the peer pressure will filter it for her, but always there will be filter.

The second there is a filter. It's not you. It's an avatar acting. Avatars can do anything. They can be aggressive. They can threaten. They can really abuse.

The impression that they're good is the social media is a perfect tool for really people who can't stand themselves in reality. It's delusional way out.

Yes. True.

It's their full self. Being not you.

The avatars, what you are describing is their full self. True.

I agree.

So this is what I felt, that they are all too grandiose or too narcissistic. Not necessarily.

Thus, very abusive.

Sam, you know that I have the sense for that.

Full self yes, but it doesn't have to be grandiose full self, but it's false. I agree.

I'm just putting comma and this and this. Okay.


So you went from the sentence, they're right. You know, I am like, wow, not this person.

So I didn't know that in 2014, but later, you know, I said, these people don't have sense for the other.

They abuse your time. They abuse. They use you to express the dark side, my dark side. I mean what I mean about. So they express their sadism to others.

It's not only that what I hated, what I, it's not hate. I don't hate. I despise is that they like it. It's because of you. You don't know me. What do you know? What is me?

It is all in your head. What is because of you?

Because, uh, some behavior or stupid comment or you are brainwashed me. Andbecause they are such, they are such, if you go to some forums, you know, you can read comments of people, they attack each other and you can see what's going on there. It's frightening.

They accuse, they threaten.

Look, there are cases that from social media, something stupid happened in reality. I mean something bad, you know, they meet in social media, they fall in love. Then, they meet in reality and she is raped.

For example, most of the kids, kids, take it for granted, they become paranoid. You had such a case. Isn't it pity not to sleep, not to eat, to be depressed when you are what, 13, 14?

Really?

And it's, what I'm trying to say, ifthe reason, and this generation, certain generations, I don't know where their mothers are. They didn't teach them to make the difference of, to make the difference between what is good, what is bad. It's new.

An analysis to pass some experience, you know, it's new.

Social media is new. No one knows how to deal with it. Even the inventors of social media don't know how to do it. Mark Zuckerberg until today isstruggling what to do, what not to do. It's very new.

It's a tool. So it's very new.

But, I think, social media is disinhibitory. In other words, it's an environment where inhibitions go down. In this sense, it's like alcohol. Alcohol is the same effect. It's disinhibitory.

The interesting question in my view.

Two, one, why inhibitions go down in social media?

One explanation is because it's not you. You're an avatar. So it's not you.

As you, there are many behaviors you will not engage in because you have inhibitions. As you.

But if it's not you, if it's an avatar of you, the avatar can do anything. That's, and especially true where you can be anonymous. Where anonymity is allowed.

For example, Instagram. Then everything is possible because as anonymous person, definitely it's not you, no shame, no guilt, no conscience, no control. That's the first question.

Why, by definition, social media is disinhibitory. It's not unnecessary outcome. It could have been different.

Why is it inhibitory?

For example, I was a member of things that preceded social media, likeforums, a portfolio. There was aggression and so on, but nothing remotely close to social media.

So what in social media disinhibits?

That's one thing.

What is it?

I think my personal speculation has to be studied, has to be studied in research, not just to speculate.

My speculation is it's a ranking algorithm.

In other words, the more disinhibited you are, the more likes you get, the more shares you get. I call it escalation.

So you start by saying asshole, you get 400 likes. Then you say, something much worse, some much worse expletive. You get a thousand likes. Then you put a photo of yourself naked from here, you get 2000 likes. And then you show that part and you get 2 million likes.

It's so it's encouraging.

It's reinforcement. It's a positive rewarding system, positive reward system that encourages escalation.

But values are changed. That's not nice.

That's one thing.

And second thing question, I think is how to redesign it to avoid disinhibition.

So now social media are trying to do that. They are banning some content. They are closing down accounts. They are just starting to do this, but I think it's too late in my view, too late because if they cross a certain point, they will lose all the subscribers and this they cannot do it for me.

This signifies how, I mean, it's a proof in effect of letting someone be him himself and expresses himself as avatar, right?

Here it is a social media.

Look what they are liking. The bad words, the, you know, this part and then this part. So they are rewarding the bad.

True. Extreme. I don't know bad, but extreme, the more extreme you are.

I don't think it's extreme.

There are some extreme sports, but they are also rewarded on YouTube.

Some of the biggest bananas, for hours every day.

It's pointless. It's pointless, but not bad. So it doesn't have to be bad. It has to be extreme radical, could be bad radical, could be good radical by the way.

They arevideos.

I don't think so.

Yes. There's not so much, uh, support for videos on YouTube, altruistic videos that get millions of views. No, just extreme radical.

So if you donate your kidney to your brother, you will get 20 million views. And if you massacre your brother on camera, you will get 20 million views has to be extreme. And, uh, this radicalization is built into the system.

Can't they make the system, build the system, changing theparameters?

Like they can support more.

What is good. They can, but they don't want to encourage the abuse. They encourage abuse.

They encourage views. They need the views.

The model is wrong. The business model, the business model of social media is advertising.

Uh, for example, Facebook didn't come to you and say, listen, if you want to have an account, you have to pay $5 a month, which is what they're making on you. By the way, $5 a month. You don't want to know what I think if they made this instead of 2 billion, they would have 60 million, 60 million, but still would make a fortune. 60 million is $300 million a month, but they want more. $300 million is not enough. They want $7 billion a month. So they opened it to advertising. And because it's advertising, they must show the advertiser, the company that is advertising, they must show how many views and how to get views radicalization, extremism. If they could get away with it, they would post terrorismvideos where people kill each other. I mean, they would post, you name it, they would post it if they could get away with it. But of course it's illegal. But if it were legal, trust me, they would put it.

And very long time, by the way, very long time. And mysteriously YouTube did not remove terrorism videos. It was not a big problem.

You type terrorism. I mean, there were terrorism videos all over millions of them and YouTube didn't do anything for well over 10 years. YouTube didn't do anything.

So views. So the youngsters can no longer make the difference between identity and self, identity, self, and avatar reality and virtual or hyper or augmented reality, inhibition, inhibitions and disinhibition and so on. So they are disoriented completely because for them, social media is as real as reality.

And yet the messages are conflicting.

For example, in reality, if you seek too much attention, you're a narcissist. It's considered bad. But on Facebook, if you don't seek too much attention, you're an idiot. You're a loser.

So the messages are conflicting completely.

And because both of them are very real to the teenager, it'screates what I called in the movie, the reality dissonance. It creates a clash.

And this is exactly what I witnessed.

The only thing is that, if she was conscious about the impact, why she was still addicted to it, it was addiction.

Yeah. You have to give up on it.

I should help her overcome her addiction.

It is addiction.

I saw her and she was actually, she showed science of obsessive compulsiveness.

Yes. I'm working on a detox program for social media.

Social. This, when I started to work with you, they all say I found you onthe social media. I don't have, I don't haveany commercial. I didn't say what I'm doing, what I'm working. I did not even mention the program.

I'm me, but, where did they get this from, you know, what is the, so I saw you were living with a narcissist. So you can, you know, okay. I will buy it.

You're living with narcissist.

Okay. But, I will buy it.

Many people come with that approach so I can, but, they are, you know, um, I also received like, you are like this, you are like that.

They, when you have a Facebook page and they know everything about you, but even if they start from themselves, you know, knowing that they choose avatar default, they created a full self. How they can convince someone else about me, you, or anyone else.

Uh, for one group of people, you will be considered gold. For another group of people, you will be considered demon. You know, why they have to label. They don't know you. I live with you. I should tell them more.

Okay. I was brainwashed. Even that I heard nevermind, but, see the problem with social media is that you, see the words, you believe the words, not the actions.

My father taught me, you don't believe words. You believe facts, what was done.

So this is the problem as I see, because you are present and you know, you are talking, and there is some effect because you act and you have, you know, conferences, you have seminars, you have captures. There is something that they can connect.

So if I connected, I would say, I will label you as educator, not like gold, not like that one, you know, that would be realistic.

But because social media is, you know, extreme. So you are extremely good, good or extremely bad, the demon, you know, polarization.

And this actually, this is the confusing thing, which group to believe while in reality and if judging by what you are doing, and it's very good old philosophical advice, you know, right there.

Just a second. Why do you don't see what other people do? Judge them? It's okay. Judge them. I will judge also. You judge me. I will judge you.

We all have the inner critic, right? We have to value somehow, the situations, ourto be, you know, toin order to learn a lesson and adopt to reality, not to some abstract world.

I connected to an issue ofthat I would discuss in a minute. But the irony is that social media were created so that to allow you to feel special, because there's 7.6 billion people on the planet. Everyone wants to feel, everyone wants to feel, no, that's not necessary. That's actually part of identity formation.

Identity formation, separation, individuation is about becoming individual. So today is very difficult to become individual.

Yes. A number of people is enormous. So you need to separate yourself somehow.

So some people dress in a crazy way. Some people paint their hair green. It's not working anymore. Too many people with green hair.

So they radicalize. So they put piercing in crazy place. Even that is not work. So we see radicalization of attempts to become unique and social media is part of this trend.

I want to be unique. The irony is that on social media, you can't be you.

So it's not you who is unique. It's your false self that is unique.

Yes. And that's the irony.

But coming back to your question, I think the problem is there's too much information. We have a glut of information.

Someone calculated that in a typical day, in today's environment, or hour even, I don't remember. No more than day, but I think it was even hour. We get more information than our grandfather's grandparents in a lifetime.

So too much information.

Now how people react to too much information, usually generalize. That's the natural defense for too much information.

You know, so you have stereotypes for people. You can'tif you have 25 million blacks, you can't interview 25 million blacks and form separate opinion on each of them. You have a general opinion of blacks and that is called stereotype. You have general opinion of Macedonians, of Russians, of Israelis, of Palestinians. I mean, this is stereotyping.

And the same, you have general opinion of narcissists, general opinion of wives of narcissists, general opinion of youngsters. We generalize as a defense against a glut of information, against too much information.

And we try to stand out, try to be unique.

Again, the irony is that you should be unique as yourself.

And instead the vast majority of people are unique as not themselves, as not they. It's bizarre.

In a way, sometimes I think that I'm much more authentic as a narcissist than most people, because as a narcissist, my false self is indeed me. There is nothing else except the false.

That's really me.

But this is exactly the sick part, what I'm referring to.

You know, I know people in real life, I make friends with them. They went through whatever some crisis. And then I read their posts and suddenly the victims and in reality, they indeed behave like victims. They failed because of their grandiosity.

They, since they're narcissists, they were self-destructive.

You said something about grandiosity the other day. What was it?

Grandiosity is what?

Grandiosity is self-destruction. Is self-destruction.

Would you care to elaborate a bit on this?

This is exactly what I started to say.

Okay. So many people that were narcissistic, but of course narcissism is on the scale, right?

Depending on the circumstances. So they used to be abused, abused in the family, rejection by the mother and so on.

Then there were, you know, here, there, some unpleasant events, death of a parent and a failed relationship and so on.

And with each abuse, we teach after each event, the person became more and more and more narcissistic.

Okay. Okay.

Yes.

That person was a victim, but every time her as a situation, I mean, the death happens in life. You know, we all will die one day.

It's not, but the paranoia, the catastrophizing, that is more borderline or right thing. And it's good to think that way.

Also a little bit paranoid. It's not so bad to be a little paranoid after having such experience before.

Okay. Okay. But sustaining the fear, the uncertainty, it's a, actually it's a very needed to support your grandiosity.


This is, then how is it going to self-destruction?

I still don't understand.

Okay.

Because when you're grandiose, you have your narrative delusions. It's not realistic.

In reality, other things happen. True. You think differently, not realistically. You don't have realistic assessment. I mean, you don't have reality tests, you know, you narcissists don't have it.

Simply they think how to, their grandiose is pushing them to think this way, but in reality they are really wrong. It's not so.

And this leads to self-destruction or negative outcomes.

Because they are switched off. They miss this click, what I'm saying, the click that translates the facts, the rationality, you know, they can't translate it properly.

So they are not really realistic. They don't have realistic assessment. They don't have assessment to own reality.

And then they make a mistake.

Can I tell the story what happened with the leg? With my leg, because it supports.

Let me, let me, yeah, as an example, it's good.

And then there, because of the lack of, lack of informations and because of not having the knowledge, no, they have the knowledge, but not the implementation of it.

Like they didn't learn the lesson and they repeat it and they make even worse mistake.

And they said, no, now I will clench to it and I will finish with it. And I, you know, and this is the devil for sure. They're going to lose something, money, friends, families, whatever they are going to lose. They are doomed.

This is the self destructiveness.


And my lately, my latest example of people, I said, wow, because of this, she, he, whatever will flip.

I was telling you, wow, this is happening. He's going to flip soon. It took what mom to, you know, and the bad act, the, I will mention what exactly the product that person made was to self destruct the reputation.

And now I have to change, you know, I am now a victim. I have to change my, you know, what I was doing, please. It's only excuse.

And he can see that it's that he really failed. He was not good enough for what he was doing because he was false because he didn't know.

This is one of the enigmas of narcissism that I haven't, that I hadn't solved. I dedicated 23 years to the topic. I think I covered pretty much everything and solved, I think pretty much most of everything.

But this I couldn't solve.

If narcissists are grandiose, that means they believe they are omnipotent.

How can we explain that they have alloplastic defenses? How can we explain that they blame others for what is happening to them? How can we explain that they give power to others?

If I feel that I'm God-like, I can't say that something bad happened to me because of you, because that means you have the power to do something bad to me. And that means I am not all powerful.

How can I have an external locus of control? How can I say that my life is determined from the outside? That would mean that I am not God-like.

There is a discrepancy. How can I be dependent on other people for narcissistic supply?

There is an inbuilt contradiction, inbuilt discrepancy, in narcissism.

Yeah. The narcissist on the one hand feels that he is God, but on the other hand, he feels that he is utterly helpless child victim.

Yes. And he constantly shifts. And this contradiction I couldn't solve exactly. I can't see how it can live together in the same organism. How this can, so I think narcissists are in constant state of dissonance.

Yes.

Constant state. And they need constant validation and they need constant. Even that doesn't help.

And they need a source, secondary source.

Even that doesn't help.

I don't think, I don't think anything resolves the narcissist's dissonance.

I think narcissist is the only kind of personality that is in a hundred percent of a time in dissonance.

Yes. And nothing helps.

Not cognitive dissonance tools, not learning new information, not using people's opinions, not love. Nothing helps to resolve this dissonance because you can't on the one hand claim that you're God and on the other be utterly dependent on other people to regulate even your tiniest internal processes that a child age nine is doing.

Yes. Be so helpless and so victim, so much victim.

So I think this dissonance in narcissism is permanent. Permanent state of dissonance. This constant permanent dissonance is something we can discuss next time because I think it leads to very many contradictory behaviors.

I think this is exactly what confuses narcissistic abuse victims. Not the abuse because abuse is predictable and constant.

You develop coping strategies, you somehow survive or you exit.

Yeah. It is exactly this contradictory.

As opposed to someone like the psychopath, the narcissist's contradictory behavior is not premeditated, intentional, planned. The psychopath is doing it as intermittent reinforcement. The psychopath is nice to you, abuses you, hot, cold, approach, avoidance.

And this is to condition you, to make your slave.

Yes. That is intentional.

Emotional, but no.

Yes, it's intentional. It's a narcissist doing it automatically because it reflects his inner state.

Exactly.

He is pendulating between extremes and he cannot find the balance.

And what I see from outside, I got used to that.

Yeah. Each morning is different. Depends what he was dreaming about.

I mean, you, whoever from my past, but we call it in a very, you know, old people are saying, oh, he has inner conflict. This is the first thing, you know, what babas, the old wise women here would have said about such person.

And when I read and work on the subject, it is unsolved conflicts, mostly.

And as I see from others, but it has many more other components and to develop the very stronger dissonance.

Now it's like, I see it. So it's my opinion only. I haven't read it anywhere. It depends on the very basic needs for that person as a child. What were the basic needs that were not fulfilled?

So when I made the program that I made, it's not for a group of people or for, I can't make a seminar out of it and teach someone about it. Okay. It's very personal. It's very extremely personal.

And because it's a very sensitive for the other person, that person from that small thing, however, maybe sometimes, you know, and for example, there was a very good example. I was so abused. I felt very bad that my mother did not buy me the shoes that I liked, you know, even though they were not expensive and this and from that hurt or rejection or whatever, there is a whole philosophy.

The person today buys shoes whenever has money. You understand? And it became obsession, obsession, compulsion. It became addiction.

You should ask for her number.

Sometimes, sometimes there are very simple things, but after years, decades after abuse, it's enormous.

I think we're confusing two issues.

What I'm trying to say is I'm not talking about what you said before specifically. I'm telling you that you never know.

And I don't think that narcissists are very courageous to look behind.

So maybe cold therapy is good for re-traumatization, but because that is the only thing that makes them up.

I had an example like that and the awakening has to be another trauma that maybe, or I think shakes him to that extent, that really learns something, not everything.

There are many, many after that, many very small things, as I mentioned before, the very needs, corrections, red definitions, to correct what the mother had to validate for the narcissist.

So actually, coming back to social media, this is why there are more narcissists, in my view, on social media, because they need validation for what their mothers didn't do at the time.

So it's like an addiction, why they are addicted is the challenge, actually, to prove to themselves that they were right.

Or that they are lovable, that they are worthy, or they are not bad objects.

And they deserve, and they belong, and blah, blah, blah, and so on.

This is what Freud called unresolved conflicts.

But I was referring to something completely different. I said that narcissism is a solution, because it's a solution chosen by the child. Narcissism as a solution is an inbuilt conflict.

You cannot claim that you are God, you cannot ask other people, you cannot be dependent on other people to tell you that you are God. The narcissist is dependent on other people to tell him that he is independent. The narcissist claims that he is in control of everything, but anything bad that happens to him is because of someone else. So that someone else controls.

There is inbuilt contradiction in narcissism. The minute you adopt narcissism, in other words, the minute you become narcissist, you choose a life of constant dissonance that can never be resolved, can never be resolved in any way.

If you depend on others to tell you that you are God, you are not a God. If your life is controlled by your boss, by your wife, by your child, you are zero.

And of course, that contradicts with the main feature of narcissism, grandiosity.

So all the time there is humiliating information, information that causes resentment and hatred and aggression and anger, rage.

But if this does not exist, then the narcissist is dead.

And this is the addiction to social media coming from narcissism. I mean, narcissists use social media because otherwise they will disintegrate.

Yes, of course. Without grandiosity, they will.

Okay.

That's it for today, folks.

Let's hear the comments.

If some of you survived, some of you survived, write your comments.

We are very curious to know everything you have to say about the fall, but if I'm as handsome as I think I am, the content of what we have discussed, other topics you want us to discuss in the future, and so on and so forth.

Any comment you may have. I will of course delete all the comments which I don't like, but I will read them before I delete them.

So it's something, you know, you can't have everything in life.

I would just say that they should be honest.

Yeah, be honest. Be honest. Okay. Be honest.

At least they should try.

Give me all the compliments I deserve.

Yeah.

Be absolutely honest. And see you next time. Fly on the wall. Still not clear. Who is the flying? Who is the world?.

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