Narcissism Evolving: 3 Disturbing Trends

Uploaded 9/9/2018, approx. 5 minute read

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

But, of course, by now you know that. I have spent the last 22 years of my life observing, recording and witnessing developments among narcissists and their victims. I initiated the field of narcissistic abuse 22 years ago. I even coined the phrase narcissistic abuse.

But lately, I am witnessing three very disturbing, very terrifying trends. And I want to share them with you.

The first trend is that women have become at least as narcissistic as men, if not more so.

You see, when pathological narcissism was first described and well into the 1980s, it was the common wisdom that about 75% of all people diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder are male. And that was true. It was attributed to cultural and social factors. Society rewards narcissistic men. Narcissistic men are ambitious, they are greedy, they lack empathy to some extent, they are even a bit sociopathic. These are helpful things in business, in politics, law enforcement, clergy, judiciary and so on. Medicine.

So narcissistic men became pillars of the community. They became at the forefront of their professions.

Recently, it was believed that the majority of narcissists are men. I don't think that's the case anymore. Few women are as malignant and as psychopathic as men. This is still the preserve of men, the enclave.

But in terms of raging grandiosity, in terms of hyper-vigilance, referential ideation, delusional fantasies, impulsive behavior, confabulating and lack of empathy, women now, in my view, best men.

There are more than many. The diagnostic and statistical manual and textbooks require some major revisions. And theories about the genetic or hormonal etiology of pathological narcissism ought to be revisited. Narcissism is evidently a socio-cultural and interpersonal impairment, though of course it reflects a highly deleterious psychodynamics in our detrimental childhood and personal history.

Now, in an environment of egalitarianism, everything from equal pay to equal standing to equal vote, when women are equal to men, and sometimes indistinguishable from men, and have the opportunities of men, women become men. And in many respects, this is what's happening with narcissism.

Women are becoming more and more narcissistic in their frenzied attempt to emulate men, to reach the same alleged pinnacle of virility, to recapture bastions captured long ago by the opposite sex. This is militant feminism speaking, admittedly, but it's sieved down by osmosis, and it had contaminated the discourse between genders.

As gender roles shift, and both men and women are disoriented, they tend to become more and more narcissistic. They tend to develop narcissistic defenses.

The second trend is that more and more narcissists are becoming psychopathic or antisocial.

The majority of narcissists 20 years ago were merely grandiose. They had fantasies about themselves, misperceptions of themselves, and they tried to uphold and buttress these fantasies by projecting a false self and expecting people to tell them that the false self is actually not false. They are really geniuses, really perfect, brilliant, infallible, omnipotent and omniscient. There was all there was to it, to narcissism.

Narcissism was a social phenomenon. Narcissists depended on other people to obtain feedback and input, which helped them to regulate their sense of self-worth. That was 20 years ago, 20 years later, narcissists have become pernicious and dangerous.

Now narcissists leverage their cold empathy more sinisterly. They are more goal-oriented, they are more malignantly grandiose, and even criminalized.

I explored this doomsday scenario in depth in my part of the second interview with Richard Grannon, which was released yesterday and is available on both our YouTube channels, Cold Therapy YouTube channel and my YouTube channel.

The last and perhaps most disturbing trend is that until about 10 years ago, people, even narcissists, had role models. They had people they sought to learn from, they had people they sought to emulate, and they had ideas which they aspired to.

There was something higher. Even as far as the narcissists, there was always something higher, could have been gold, could have been an admired figure, but there was always something higher.

And today, everyone, never mind how unintelligent or how ignorant or unaccomplished, everyone claimed superiority, everyone claimed to be at least equal to everyone else.

Armed with egalitarian, equal access technology like social media, they, everyone, virulently detest and seek to destroy or to reduce to their level, their betters.

We all have people who know more than we do. We all have people who are more successful than we are. And we definitely all have people who look better than we do.

I mean, compare Richard Brennan to me. But we ought to acknowledge it. It's a part of the reality test.

And then if we can, we owe it to ourselves to try to become better, to know more, to learn more, to try more, to achieve more. And this is a very healthy process.

It's not pathological envy. It's constructive envy.

But today, envy is pathological. We don't seek to emulate or imitate or learn from. We seek to destroy. We seek to drag people down to our level, not to go up to their level.

And so that which cannot be attained, that which we cannot equal, we seek to ruin. We seek to eradicate and devastate.

Pathological envy had fully substituted for learning and self-improvement.

Experts, scholars and intellectuals, for example, are scorned, derided or even threatened. Equality is now malignant, exactly as individualism was malignant until about 10 years ago.

We live in a society where no one can be better than anyone else. And everyone thinks that everyone else is inferior to them, that they are the pinnacle and the combination of creation.

This is narcissism, rich, large. And it's going to kill all of us and destroy all of us as a species.

You have been warned.

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

Women Narcissists

Male and female narcissists differ in the way they manifest their narcissism, with women focusing on their body and traditional gender roles. However, both genders are chauvinistic and conservative, as they depend on the opinions of those around them to maintain their false self. Women are more likely to seek therapy and use their children as a source of narcissistic supply, while men may view their children as a nuisance. Ultimately, there is no psychodynamic difference between male and female narcissists, as they both choose different sources of supply but are otherwise identical.

Old-age Narcissist

Narcissists age without grace, unable to accept their fallibility and mortality. They suffer from mental progeria, aging prematurely and finding themselves in a time warp. The longer they live, the more average they become, and the wider the gulf between their pretensions and accomplishments. Few narcissists save for rainy days, and those who succeed in their vocation end up bitterly alone, having squandered the love of family, offspring, and mates.

Narcissists: Homosexual and Transsexual

Research has found no significant difference between the psychological makeup of a narcissist with homosexual preferences and a heterosexual narcissist. However, the self-definition of homosexuals is often based on their sexual identity, which can lead to somatic narcissism. Homosexual relations are highly narcissistic and autoerotic affairs, with the somatic narcissist directing their libido at their own body. Transsexuals may also exhibit narcissistic tendencies, with some seeking sex reassignment due to an idealized overvaluation of themselves and a sense of entitlement.

Narcissist's Constant Midlife Crisis

The midlife crisis is a much-discussed but little understood phenomenon. There is no link between physiological and hormonal developments and the mythical midlife crisis. The narcissist is best equipped to tackle this problem as they suffer from mental progeria and are in a constant mid-life crisis. The narcissist's personality is rigid, but their life is not. It is changeable, mutable, and tumultuous. The narcissist does not go through a midlife crisis because they are forever the child, forever dreaming and fantasizing, forever enamored with themselves.

Narcissism? Not What You Think! (An El-Nadi-Vaknin Convo)

Narcissism is not a mental illness but a personality style, and narcissists can be self-aware and proud of their disorder. They can be manipulated if they are convinced that certain behaviors are counterproductive and harmful to themselves. Women who fall for narcissists often do so because of their own psychological reasons, and unless they address these issues, they are likely to fall into the same trap repeatedly.

The “Lone Wolf” Narcissist and His Prey

Narcissists require constant validation and attention, and their sense of entitlement clashes with their dependence on others for self-worth. Lone wolf narcissists who withdraw from society can become dangerous due to their unquenched hunger for narcissistic supply. Schizoids, on the other hand, are indifferent to social relationships and have a limited range of emotions and affect. Psychopaths lack empathy and disregard others as instruments of gratification, and they are often criminals. When narcissism, schizoid disorder, and psychopathy converge, it can result in extremely dangerous individuals.

Narcissist's Fantasy Sex Life

Narcissists and psychopaths often have a fantasy-based sex life that reflects their psychodynamic inner landscape, including fear of intimacy, misogyny, control-freak tendencies, auto-eroticism, latent sadism and masochism, problems of gender identity, and various sexual deviances or failures. Their fantasies often involve the aggressive or violent objectification of a faceless, nameless, and sometimes even sexless person, and they are always in unmitigated control of their environment and the people in it. The narcissist's self-exposure to their intimate partner often elicits reactions of horror, repulsion, and estrangement.

Narcissists: Masculine and Feminine

Narcissism is a defining trait of our world and its people, with self-absorption, greed, and exploitation being commonplace. Narcissistic personality disorder is three times more prevalent among men than women, and this is due to the social mores and values of macho-capitalism. Women with narcissistic personality disorder tend to focus on their bodies and femininity, while men emphasize intellect, power, aggression, money, or social status. Narcissists conform to traditional gender roles and are chauvinistically conservative, depending on the opinions of those around them to maintain their false self.

The Signs of the Narcissist

Narcissists are difficult to spot, but there are subtle signs that can be picked up on, such as entitlement markers, idealization and devaluation, and a lack of empathy. Narcissists are often perceived as anti-social and are unable to secure the sympathy of others. They are also prone to projecting a false self and using primitive defense mechanisms such as splitting, projection, projective identification, and intellectualization.

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.

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