Money: Narcissist's License to Abuse

Uploaded 3/20/2015, approx. 5 minute read

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

Today we will discuss the complex relationship between the narcissist and his money.

When the narcissist has money, he can exercise his sadistic urges freely and with little fear of repercussions. Money shields the narcissist from life itself, from the inevitable outcomes of his own actions. Money insulates the narcissist warmly and safely like a benevolent blanket, like a mother's goodnight kiss.

Yes, money is undeniably a love substitute. Money allows the narcissist to be his ugly, corrupt and dilapidated self. Money buys him absolution, his own friendship, forgiveness and acceptance. Without money in the bank, the narcissist feels denuded.

But with money in the bank, he feels at ease with himself, free, arrogantly soaring supreme above the unwashed contemptible masses of people. The narcissist can always find people poorer than himself, a cause for great disdain, bumptiousness and inevitable arrogance.

The narcissist rarely uses money to buy, corrupt or intimidate, as opposed to common knowledge or common fiction.

Many narcissists wear tattered 15-year-old clothes. They have no car, no house, no property.

It is so even when they are wealthy. Money has nothing to do with the narcissist's physical needs or with his social interactions.

Narcissists rarely deploy money in order to acquire status or to impress others. Some narcissists even tighten their money. They hoard it. They accumulate it.

And like the proverbial miser, they count it daily and in the dark.

Yes, money can be translated into status. Yes, it can endow and bestow upon the narcissist's power.

All this is true.

But more importantly, money is a license to sin. It is a narcissistic permit, a promise, and its fulfillment all at once. Money unleashes the beast in the narcissist and with abandon encourages it, seduces it and seduces the narcissist as well to be himself, unmitigated self.

Some narcissists are not tight-fisted. Some are more generous, contributing to charitable donations, altruistically. Some narcissists spend money, lavishly. Conspicuous consumption, profligacy even, restaurants, trips abroad, five-star hotels, books, health products. Some narcissists buy gifts. Some narcissists speculate, lose and win hundreds of thousands of dollars, gamble, stock exchanges and in casinos.

But all of them, all narcissists, are insatiable. They always want more. They always lose the little that they have. They always grieve for it. They always seek to replenish it.

But they do all this not for the love of money, not for looker. They don't use money to gratify their selves or to cater to their own needs.

The narcissist does not crave money, nor does he care for money as money. The narcissist craves the power that money bestows on him. As I said, the license to dare, to flare, to conquer, to oppose, to resist, to taunt, to torment.

In all these relationships, the narcissist is either the vanquished or the vanquisher, either the haunting master or his abject slave, either the dominant or the submissive.

The narcissist interacts along the up and down axis rather than along the left and right one.

The narcissist's world is rigidly hierarchical and abusively stratified.

When the narcissist is submissive, he is contemptible. When he's domineering, he is contemptuous.

The narcissist's life is a pendulum swinging between being oppressed and being the oppressor.

To subjugate another person, one must be capricious, unscrupulous, ruthless, obsessive, hateful, vindictive and penetrating. One must spot the cracks of vulnerability, the crumbling foundations of susceptibility, the pains, the trigger mechanisms, the Pavlovian reactions of hate and fear and hope and anger. One must have what I call x-ray vision, called empathy.

Money liberates the mind of the narcissist. It endows the narcissist with the tranquility, detachment and incisiveness of a natural scientist.

With his mind free of the cotidia of the daily needs and worries, the narcissist can concentrate on attaining the desired position on top, dreaded, avoided, feared or adulated enough, yet in every case, deferred, obeyed.

Endowed with money, the narcissist proceeds with all disinterest to unscramble the human jigsaw puzzles around him, to manipulate their paths, to enjoy their arriving as he exposes their petty misbehaviors, harps on their failures, compares them to their betters, and mocks their competence, hypocrisy and cupidity.

The narcissist disguises these sadistic pursuits, in socially acceptable garb.

But once you get close to him, he draws the dagger, and in it goes.

He casts himself in the role of a brave, incorruptible, econoclast, for instance. A fighter for social justice, for a better future, for more efficiency, for good causes, a benevolent benefactor, an altruist, a charitable person, a delator.

But it is all about his sadistic urges, really. It's all about death, not light.

Still, antagonizing and alienating his potential benefactors is a pleasure that a narcissist cannot afford on an empty purse.

He cannot antagonize and alienate his sources of supply, unless he can buy, purchase alternatives.

When he is impoverished, a narcissist is a body, the best of friends, the most caring of tutors, a benevolent guy, a lover of humanity, and a fierce fighter against narcissism, sadism and abuse, in their myriad forms.

A narcissist adheres, he obeys, he succumbs, he agrees wholeheartedly, he praises, he condones, he idolizes and applauds. When he is poor, he is then the perfect audience, an admirer, an adulator, a woman, an amoeba, a zelig-like familiar, the spineless, adaptable form, slithery, flexibility itself.

To behave in this way is unbearable to the narcissist in the long run.

And this is why he is addicted to money, hence his addiction to money.

Money is the freedom, the freedom not to behave this way, the freedom not to be altruistic, not to succumb, not to be submissive, to disagree, to criticize, to humiliate, to taunt, to torment, to torture, to frighten.

The ability to say goodbye with the knowledge that your money will buy you the alternative sources of supply that you always need because you are a junkie.

It is the narcissist's evolutionary ladder, from slime to the sublime, and from there, a small step to mastery.

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Narcissists do not provide closure in relationships and will stalk, cajole, beg, promise, persuade, and ultimately succeed in doing the impossible to get you back. The narcissist will cast all interactions with you in terms of conflicts or competitions to be won. If you have resumed contact because you are manifestly dependent on the narcissist financially or emotionally, the narcissist will pounce on your frailty and exploit your fragility to the maximum. Ultimately, the narcissist will write the inevitable cycle of idealization and devaluation.

Cope with Vindictive Narcissists

Narcissists are often vindictive and can be dealt with by either frightening them or luring them. Frightening the narcissist is a powerful behavior modification tool, and one can identify the vulnerabilities and susceptibilities of the narcissist and strike repeated escalating blows at them. The alternative is to lure the vindictive narcissist by offering continued narcissistic supply until the war is over and won. Adulation, admiration, attention, sex, or subservience are the tools in coping with vindictive, dangerous stalkers and paranoia.

Narcissistic Abuse is Never Your Fault! (Sam Vaknin in Serbia)

In a relationship with a narcissist, there is nothing you can do to please them. The narcissist's behavior is determined from the inside, and you are not relevant to them. They try to convert you into an object and take away your independence and autonomy. Narcissistic abuse is about making you disappear.

Cope with Narcissists: Abandon or Mirror

The best way to cope with a narcissist is to abandon them or threaten to abandon them. The narcissist is a binary person, and the carrot is also the stick in their case. If they get too close to someone emotionally, they fear abandonment and immediately distance themselves, acting cruelly and bringing about the very abandonment they feared. If one chooses to accept the narcissist, to live with them, to remain in an intimate relationship with them, it is a package deal. All their needs, demands, and requirements are included.

Can Narcissist Truly Love?

Narcissists are incapable of true love, but they do experience some emotion which they insist is love. Narcissists love their significant others as long as they continue to provide them with attention, or narcissistic supply. There are two types of narcissistic love: one type loves others as one would get attached to objects, while the other type abhors monotony and constancy, seeking instability, chaos, upheaval, drama, and change. In the narcissist's world, mature love is nowhere to be seen, and their so-called love is fear of losing control and hatred of the very people on whom their personality depends.

Safe Surfing: Narcissist Invades Your Computer

Narcissists may use malware to log everything you type, discover your passwords, and break into your email and bank accounts. To protect yourself, never click on links or open attachments from unknown sources, and never enter personal details on unknown sites. Always check the lock icon and HTTPS address before entering personal information, and read emails in text format rather than HTML. Change your passwords frequently, update your operating system and antivirus software, and scan your computer for malware regularly. If you notice suspicious behavior, disconnect from the internet and scan your computer for malware.

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In a relationship with a narcissist, it is important to know what not to do and what to do to maintain the relationship. Avoid disagreeing, contradicting, or criticizing the narcissist, and never offer intimacy or challenge their self-image. To make the narcissist dependent on you, listen attentively, agree with everything they say, offer something unique, be patient, and be emotionally and financially independent. It is also crucial to know yourself and set personal boundaries, treating yourself with dignity and demanding respect from others. If the relationship becomes abusive, consider going no-contact and ending the relationship for your own well-being.

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Adulterous, Unfaithful Narcissists: Why Cheat and have Extramarital Affairs?

Narcissists cheat on their spouses for several reasons. Firstly, they require a constant supply of attention, admiration, and regulation to regulate their unstable sense of self-worth. Secondly, they are easily bored and require sexual conquests to alleviate this. Thirdly, they maintain an island of stability in their life surrounded by chaos and instability. Fourthly, they feel entitled to anything and everything and reject social conventions. Fifthly, they feel that being married reduces them to the lowest common denominator. Sixthly, they are control freaks and initiate other relationships to reassert control. Finally, they are terrified of intimacy and adultery is an excellent tool to suppress it.

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