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Loser Narcissist: Failure as Success

Uploaded 7/4/2018, approx. 2 minute read

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

We all try to replicate and reenact our successes. We feel comfortable and confident doing what we do best and what we do most often. We enshrine our oft-repeated tasks and our cumulative experiences as habits.

When we are asked to adopt new skills and confront unprecedented tasks, we recoil, procrastinate or delegate, in other words, pass the buck.

Performance anxiety is common, but mostly so among narcissists.

Narcissists need to defend their grandiosity, they are hypervigilant, they expect the world to be hostile, they expect attacks on their claims for magnificence, unificence, perfection and brilliance. They feel like frauds, and they suspect that they can pull the wool over most people's eyes most of the time, but not all the time, so they are constantly anxious to be found out.

But there is a deeper issue at stake.

Someone who keeps failing, as most narcissists do, is rendered very good at it. He becomes adept at the art of floundering, an expert on fissile and blunder and artist of the sleep.

The more dismal the defeats, the more familiar the terrain of losses and botched attempts.

Failure is the loser's comfort zone, and most narcissists are losers.

The narcissist uses projective identification to coerce people around him to help him revert to form, to fail. Such a loser will aim to recreate time and again his only accomplishment, his spectacular downfalls, his thwarted skins, and his harebrained strategists.

A slave to a repetition compulsion, the narcissistic loser finds the terror incognito of success intimidating. He raps his precious aborted flops in a mantle of an ideology.

Narcissist is likely to say that success is an evil, and that all successful people are crooks or the beneficiaries of some quirky fortune.

Of the narcissistic loser, his miscarriages and deterioration are a warm blanket, underneath which he hides himself from a hostile world.

Fear is a powerful and addictive organizing principle, which imbues life itself with meaning and predictability, and allows the loser to make sense of his personal history.

Being a loser is an identity, and losers are proud of it as they recount with honor their mishaps with fortune and with institutes.

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Narcissist's Language as Weapon

Narcissists use language as a weapon of self-defense, to obscure, not to communicate, and to obtain narcissistic supply. They talk at others or lecture them, exchange subtexts, and spawn private languages, prejudices, superstitions, conspiracy theories, rumors, phobias, and hysterias. The rules that govern the narcissist universe are loopholeed, incomprehensible, open to interpretation so wide and so self-contradictory that it renders them meaningless. The narcissist, in this respect, is a great social menace, undermining language itself.


Narcissist: Your Pain is his Healing, Your Crucifixion - His Resurrection

Narcissists need their victims to suffer to regulate their own emotions and feel a sense of control. They keep a mental ledger of positive and negative behaviors, with negative behaviors weighing more heavily. Narcissists need counterfactual statements to maintain their delusion of being special and superior. The grandiosity gap is the major vulnerability of the narcissist, and they are often in denial about their limitations and failures.


Narcissist's Routines

Narcissists have a series of routines that are developed through rote learning and repetitive patterns of experience. These routines are used to reduce anxiety and transform the world into a manageable and controllable one. The narcissist is a creature of habit and finds change unsettling. The narcissist's routines are often broken down when they are breached or can no longer be defended, leading to a narcissistic injury.


Narcissist: Loser and Failure

Narcissists have three traits that make them fail and become losers: a sense of entitlement, arrogance, and aversion to routine. Their sense of entitlement makes them lazy and believe that they should be spoon-fed. They are under-qualified and lack skills because they believe they are above mundane chores. Their arrogance and belief that they are superior to others hampers their ability to function in society. They become outcasts and are shunned by colleagues, employers, and family members.


Why Narcissists Love Borderline Women and Why They Hate Them Back

Narcissistic mortification is a challenge to the false self, which crumbles and is unable to maintain defenses and pretensions. Narcissists use two strategies to restore some cohesiveness to the self: deflated and inflated narcissist. Narcissists engage in mortification, a form of self-mutilation, to feel alive and free from commitment to their false self. Narcissists seek out borderline women to mortify them and experience the unresolved primary conflict with their mother.


Narcissist Hates Happy People and Holidays

Holidays and birthdays are a difficult time for narcissists, as they provoke a stream of pathological envy. The narcissist is jealous of others for having a family, being able to celebrate lavishly, or being in the right mood. They hate humans because they are unable to be one and want to spoil it for those who can enjoy. Holidays remind the narcissist of their childhood, the supportive and loving family they never had, and what could have been.


Narcissist: Confabulations, Lies

Confabulation is a common human trait, but the distinction between reality and fantasy is never lost. However, the narcissist's very self is a piece of fiction, concocted to fend off hurt and pain and to nurture the narcissist's grandiosity. The narcissist fails in his reality test and is unable to distinguish the actual from the imagined, the real from the fantasized. The narcissist's countenance, no disagreement, no alternative points of view, no criticism. To him, his confabulation is reality.


Narcissist Has No Friends

Narcissists treat their friends like Watson and Hastings, who are obsequious and unthreatening, and provide them with an adulating gallery. Narcissists cannot empathize or love, and therefore have no real friends. They are interested in securing narcissistic supply from narcissistic supply sources. The narcissist overvalues people when they are judged to be potential sources of supply, and devalues them when no longer able to supply him, ultimately leading to the alienation and distancing of people.


Narcissist's Wonderboy Mask

Narcissists have a conflicted relationship with their emotions, investing in things they feel they have full control over, such as themselves. To protect themselves from emotional contamination, they construct a false self, which insulates them from the risks of intimacy. The narcissist also creates a second mask, the wunderkind mask, which broadcasts to the world that they are both a child and a genius, making them less emotionally vulnerable. However, the indiscriminate use of these two masks can be detrimental to the narcissist's well-being, leading to emotional devastation and abandonment.


Narcissist in Court and Litigation

Narcissists are skilled at distorting reality and presenting plausible alternative scenarios, making it difficult to expose their lies in court. However, it is possible to break a narcissist by finding their weak spots and using them to inflict pain. The narcissist is likely to react with rage to any statement that contradicts their inflated perception of themselves or suggests they are not special. They feel entitled to be treated differently from others and cannot tolerate criticism or being told they are not as intelligent or successful as they think they are.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2023, under license to William DeGraaf
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