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.