Narcissism, Lonely Codependent "Love", Victimhood: Unholy Trinity (Mexico City Q&A)

Uploaded 1/28/2024, approx. 46 minute read

So the first question says, when you were talking about how a person perceives themselves as angelic and everything else as causing their pain, does that have to do with narcissism or is it specific a specific trait of addiction?

This is known as self-splitting. Self-splitting is a defense.

So self-splitting simply means that the person perceives himself either as all good or as all bad. Sometimes the person perceives himself as all good. Sometimes perceiving himself as all bad.

Now addicts typically self-perceive, perceive themselves as all bad. They have a bad object. And this makes them feel very uncomfortable, self-loathing, self-aching, self-rejecting, self-destructive, self-defeating, self-harming, self-trashing.

They are not good friends to themselves. Addicts are not good friends with themselves.

So in order to silence this bad object, in order to avoid self-destruction and harm and so on and so forth, they use addiction in order to self-split.

They use addiction in order to transition with an all bad self-image to an all good self-image.

The addiction helps them to self-split differently. Not I'm all bad, but I'm all good. And I'm all good with the help of my addiction.

It is my addiction that makes me all good.

For example, when I consume coke, I am much more self-confident, I'm much more energetic, I'm much more social. When I consume weed, I'm much more peaceful, I'm much more friendly. When I consume alcohol, I'm much less socially anxious, much less socially shy. When I take drugs, I'm more creative. So when I take hallucinogens or when I take psychedelics, I'm more creative and I'm more empathy.

The addiction is perceived as a way to transition from I am all bad to I am much better or I am all good.

And this is known as self-split.

The next question has to do with codependency.

The question is if there is a significant link between solitude and codependency or loneliness and codependency.

Codependency is not the clinical term. It's a colloquial term. The clinical term is dependent personality disorder.

So the first thing to understand is that codependency is a personality disorder. It's not a small thing. It's something that affects the entire personality.

Now codependents are not schizoid. People with schizoid personality disorder tend to be lonely. Or not lonely, but alone. Loners.

They tend to avoid other people. They don't even have sex. They find other people to be annoying, burdensome, embarrassing, they don't know how to behave and so on and so forth.

People with schizoid personality disorder avoid other people and they feel good about it. They're not socially shy. They're not socially anxious, but they feel good about it.

Now codependents are not schizoid.

So no, there is no connection between codependency and aloneness or loneliness.

However, being alone and feeling bad about it, in other words feeling lonely, can push you to adopt codependent behaviors. Can push you to become codependent.

There are many elements of course in codependency, but two important elements are, number one, you depend on your partner. You depend on your intimate partner to regulate your internal world. You depend on your partner to feel good. You depend on your partner to not be depressed. You depend on your partner to function. You depend on your partner to feel safe and secure.

So you develop a dependency on your partner in order to change how you feel about yourself.

This is element number one. And element number two in codependency, you control and manipulate your partner through your helplessness. You use helplessness, neediness, clinging in order to motivate your partner to do things for you.

So you would tell your partner, I don't know how to do this. Can you fix it? Can you fix it for me?

Or you would tell your partner, I cannot survive without you. I can't live without you. I need you to be here all the time. I need you to be present.

Or you would tell your partner, you need to take me with you on your trips because I'm jealous and I'm falling apart.

So the codependent manipulates her intimate partner to behave in highly specific ways, which will allow her to regulate her internal world, allow her to change how she perceives herself and to control her emotions.

And this is known as control from the bottom.

So codependents have something called learned helplessness. They're constantly helpless. They're constantly needy. They blackmail the partner, emotionally blackmail the partner.

So all these behaviors are typical of codependents and most codependents are not lonely. On the very contrary, by the way, codependents and borderlines always have a partner because they're afraid to stay without a partner.

They have abandoned what is called abandonment anxiety or separation insecurity. They're terrified to be alone. But lonely people can develop codependent behaviors as a way to make sure that they will have someone in their lives.

Because if you can blackmail your partner to never leave you, if you say, if you leave me, I will die. I can't live without you. Or if you leave me, I will do something bad to myself. I'll kill myself. These are codependent messages. This is codependent messaging.

So if you're lonely, you may wish to blackmail someone to be with you. And therefore you become clinically codependent in effect.

Thank you very much. You're welcome. Yeah, thank you. Thank you. We will move on to the next question, which is when you're dealing with a narcissistic person, and there is a child in between.

That is if the narcissist is your spouse, how which reservations have to be had in order to protect the child.

You cannot protect the child. I mean, you can protect the child legally if the narcissistic parent commits a crime, but otherwise you cannot protect the child.

The only thing you can do is to show the child an alternative model.

In psychology, we believe that children grow up, evolve, develop, become more mature, become adults by imitating the parents.

And after that, imitating peers and role models. So this is called modeling. And the theory is called social learning theory.

So when one of the parents is a narcissist and the other parent is not a narcissist, the non narcissistic parent can only give the child an example to imitate, can only provide the child with another option.

So that the child can say, this is one option. I can be like daddy, that is a narcissist and I can be like him, or I can be like mommy and mommy is not a narcissist.

So the child when he grows up has two options, two models, and he can choose from one of them.

Now, the good news is that the vast majority of children, not all, but the vast majority of children choose the healthy model, not the narcissistic model.

As they grow up, they become critical of the narcissistic parent. They become, they disagree with the narcissistic parent, they fight with the narcissistic parent, they begin to see the narcissistic parent as he really is, as a narcissist.

And they reject it. So the majority of children end up being like the healthy parent.

All you can do is behave in healthy ways, provide boundaries, control your impulses and moods, not misbehave, not be exploitative, be empathic, and so on.

And so not be abusive. This is, and then the child will have to make up, you can't control the child's life. A good mother, a good parent, but especially a good mother. Her job is to push the child away. The good mother doesn't keep the child protected, doesn't isolate the child from reality, doesn't, doesn't defend the child against narcissists. Or psychopaths, or a good mother pushes the child to reality.

And reality is difficult. Reality is harsh. The child is going to suffer. Child is going to have bad experiences, come across bad people, evil people.

But the child needs it. Reality is the engine of growth. Reality guarantees development.

If you isolate your child from reality, if you don't allow the child to separate from you, you're not a good mother. You're not, you're selfish.

So the fact that your child is exposed to a narcissistic parent, that's not bad. That's not bad. It's a learning opportunity. The child can learn about narcissists.

Because there are many narcissists out there in the world, and a child who has been exposed to narcissists is more likely to identify narcissists and to avoid being harmed than a child that has never been exposed to a narcissist.

So don't regard it as entirely negative. Of course, some children will choose to emulate or imitate the narcissistic parent.

And that's it. It's the child's life, not yours. You don't own the child's life. A child is not some kind of raw material or party that you shape and sculpt.

The child is not yours. The minute the child has left your body, he's not yours. He's not your possession. You don't own the child.

All you can do is be there for the child, support the child, love the child, and provide the child with a model to imitate.

Thank you so much.

So the next question is, you mentioned that love itself is an addiction.

So what would be... Can you hear me? Here's one angry mother living the whole life. Sorry, sorry. Can you hear me? Yes, I can hear you. Okay, so the next question is, what would be the difference between a healthy form of love and a pathological form of love?

In a pathological form of love, the two lovers try to become one. They try to merge. They try to fuse. They abolish the boundaries between them, and they become a single unit.

This is very unhealthy. This is what happens in cults, for example.

The losing your individuality and your identity in another person, allowing another person to take over you, to become you. That's suicide. Smell down suicide.

Healthy love is when the two parties maintain their boundaries. They are separate entities. They have their own lives, their own friends, their own activities, their own preferences, their own dreams, their own projects.

So they maintain most of their existence in their individual life.

So there are two lives there, and something shared. You know this famous Venn diagram. Venn diagram, you have two circles, and the circles overlap each other. There's an area in the middle which is common. This is healthy love.

Healthy love is when 80% of your life is not with your partner. Only 20% is with your partner. And you bring the 80% into the 20%. That's your gift. You bring new experiences, new discoveries, new friends, new people, new dreams, new wishes, new projects, new priorities, new. You bring new. You contribute. You contribute to the shared life because you have your own life. You have something to bring to the shared life.

Unhealthy love is when 80% of your life is also your partner's life. This is an impoverished life because you have nothing to bring into this commonality. You don't have anything outside the common space.

By becoming one, you become zero. You annihilate yourself. You negate yourself.

So any love that is possessive, any love that requires you to be available 24 hours a day, you know, 60 minutes an hour, any love that is always on call, any love that doesn't allow you to have your own interests and your own hobbies and your own activities and your own friends and your own family, any love that doesn't allow you to exist outside the love that's sick, pathological, and it's not love.

It's not love at all.

What is there to love if your partner is you? If you're one with the partner, who is it that you're loving? You're loving yourself.

This is narcissism.

So unfortunately, the media, the mass media, show business, they promote the sick kind of love.

You know, twin flames, soul mates, the love is a sudden discovery of your other half, your other half that's seriously sick.

What have you been until then? Half a person?

So the mass media encourages this, the sick versions of love.

Never, by the way, the healthy versions.

Because all of us in the modern world are very insecure. Many of us are romantically jealous. We are so terrified of being abandoned.

This is known clinically as separation insecurity. We are so terrified of being abandoned that we think the only solution is to control our partner, to limit her or him, to imprison them, imprison our partners so they will never leave us. They never run away. They will never find someone else.

The greatest of healthy love is the ability to give freedom to your partner.

How much freedom? Unlimited freedom.

This is not to do with boundaries. Boundaries are behaviors that you're willing to accept and behaviors that you're not willing to accept and should be punished somehow.

That's something else. But subject to boundaries, the freedom should be unlimited. You have no right to limit your partner's freedom. You don't own them. You didn't buy them. They're not your slaves.

If your partner chooses to be with someone else, you have to respect this.

And this is also love.

If you love your partner and she's happier with someone else, you would be happy for her. It hurts. It's painful. But it's a kind of test of love, in my view.

But this is not the version of love promoted by Hollywood and so on and so forth.

Thank you so much.

I think we have yet another question, which is, yeah, you mentioned that how addiction impacts on anxiety is a good measure to determine whether it's unhealthy or healthy.

So if you could go deeper into that, if anxiety is a measure to determine if an addiction is healthy or unhealthy?

Healthy addiction is an addiction that helps you to function in society in ways that promote your well-being and growth.

And usually it involves other people, healthy addiction involves other people, usually. It starts with a baby and a mother, for example.

Usually it involves other people.

So healthy addictions are addictions which, number one, society accepts. But not all addictions that society accepts are healthy addictions.

All healthy addictions are accepted by society, but not the other way. Not all addictions accepted by society are healthy.

So there must be several tests.

One, social acceptance. Number two, promotion of growth and development. Number three, involvement of other people who find the addiction, who find the addiction, good, helpful, useful, acceptable.

Number four, this kind of addiction does not cause trauma. It's not self-harming, not self-destructive, not self-defeating. It's a trauma that loves you, not an addiction that hates you.

In bad addictions, you suffer. Suffer the consequences of the addiction. You lie to yourself about some consequences. For example, you tell yourself, the addiction makes me more creative. But in reality, bad addictions make you suffer. You end up in prison or you end up destroying your body. They always make you suffer.

Good addictions never do this. You never suffer with a good addiction. And you don't have to lie to yourself.

A good addiction is not a fantasy. And that is the fifth test.

The fifth test, is it a fantasy or is it grounded in reality?

An addiction that is grounded in reality is a good addiction. An addiction that necessitates, demands a fantasy is a bad addiction.

And so if you apply all these tests, you'll be able to tell the difference between good and bad addiction.

Now, anxiety is an interesting animal. Good addiction can actually create anxiety.

While bad addiction can actually reduce anxiety. And it's one of the main functions of a bad addiction, to reduce anxiety.

The alcoholic, for example, is typically an anxious person, someone with anxiety disorders.

And she drinks or he drinks in order to reduce anxiety.

We also know today that people who are psychopaths or subclinical psychopaths, which most addicts are, we know that these people typically have anxiety disorders.

That's a new discovery. So addiction tends to reduce anxiety. It's anxiolytic.

I would even say that if the addiction reduces anxiety, it's a bad addiction. I would go that far.

And the reason is that reality induces anxiety. If you are in reality, if you're embedded in reality, if you're not in fantasy, then you will be anxious a lot.

Reality always creates anxiety. If you are in a state that you are never anxious, you're not in reality. You're in fantasy and very likely in an addiction-induced fantasy.

So here's a simple test. If you're anxious from time to time, it's a good sign. If you reduce anxiety or your anxiety is reduced when you consume, when you behave in a certain way, or you consume some substances, that's a bad addiction.

Because bad addiction reduces anxiety and access to reality.

Thank you very much. We still have one more question.

Sure, take it on.

Thank you so much, Sam, for all the answers in the conference. If we could ask you another question.

Sure, you can ask me more.

If you could provide us with a series of traits that create narcissistic personality, which traits should we look for?

Before I give you traits, I want to explain the two most important facets of narcissistic personality disorder, and they are not mentioned in diagnostic manuals, like the DSM.

So the first thing is that the narcissist doesn't have a self. He doesn't have an ego.

When he was a child, the narcissist was in the process of developing a self, and then bad things happened.

Trauma, abuse, instrumental, the child was instrumentalized, the parent used the child to realize the parents' unfulfilled dreams, for example.

The child was parentified, or the child was forced to act as a parent to the parent, or the child was spoiled, pampered, idolized, pedestalized.

And this is bad, because that means the parent prevented the child from having access to reality, from interacting with reality.

So all these forms of abuse and trauma and mistreatment and bad upbringing, all these create the narcissist.

But they interfere with the narcissist's ability to form as a child, to form a self.

Because the self is formed only when you're in touch with reality, and only when you consider your parents, especially your mother, to be safe.

The mother must be perceived as safe. We call it secure base.

If the mother is perceived as not safe, because she's depressed, because she's selfish, because she's rageful, angry all the time, because she's paranoid, because she's absent, emotionally absent, because she doesn't like the child, she doesn't love the child, for whatever reason, we call this dead mother.

When the mother is like this, the child doesn't feel safe. And when the child doesn't feel safe, the child doesn't dare to separate from mommy, doesn't dare to go away from mommy, because he's afraid to be punished.

So if you don't go away from mommy, and if you don't interact with reality, you never become a person, you never develop a self.

And that is the beginning of narcissism.

The second problem with narcissists is they're unable to perceive other people as separate from them, as external, we call it external object.

The narcissists cannot perceive other people as external objects.

What they do, they convert other people into internal objects.

They take a snapshot of other people, they convert this photograph into an internal object.

And they interact with the internal object that represents the external object in the narcissist's mind.

But they're not able to perceive other people as external, because of that, they're not empathic.

They cannot empathize with other people, because there's no one there.

As far as the narcissist is concerned, he's the only human alive.

This is known in philosophy as solipsism.

So, a narcissist would be de-sympathic.

That's the first sign.

He would have no empathy for you.

He would realize, for example, that you are sad.

But he would have no emotional reaction to it.

He would just note the fact that you are sad.

You are short or tall and you are sad.

Okay, no emotions.

That's the first thing.

A narcissist would also be highly exploitative.

He would, he, a narcissist wants from you what I call the four S's.

A narcissist wants from his intimate partner.

Sex, services, supply, sadistic or narcissistic, and safety.

He wants you to be there all the time.

So, these are the four S's.

A narcissist therefore doesn't care who you are.

He doesn't choose you.

Your qualities, your traits, advantages, you mean nothing to the narcissist.

He doesn't care if you're kind or empathic or nice.

He doesn't care about any of this.

This is a myth. You're not chosen. You're not special.

The narcissist cares what you could give him.

Can you give him the four S's or at least two of them?

So, he's very exploitative.

The narcissist is very envious.

He's envious not of who you are, but he's envious of everything you possess.

Your youth, your wealth, your friends, your family.

He hates the fact that you have some things he doesn't have.

If you look good, he envies you for that.

If you are rich, he envies you for that.

If you're successful, he envies your success.

And so, he's very, very envious.

It's another sign.

He's incapable of intimacy.

He can fake interest in you and in your needs and so on, but he will begin to notice that he displays interest in you only when he needs something.

So, usually, he will be interested in what's happening to you and how do you feel and so on, only when he wants something from you.

Gradually, you begin to discern the patterns.

You begin to see the patterns and you begin to notice all these things.

So, he's incapable of intimacy.

Narcissists don't have a core.

They don't have a self.

There's nobody there.

It's an emptiness pretending to be a presence.

So, the narcissist needs other people to tell him who he is because he has no idea who he is because he's not.

There's nobody there.

So, the narcissist constantly solicits, asks other people to give him attention.

This is called Narcissistic Supply.

The narcissist uses this attention to regulate his sense of self-worth, self-esteem, self-perception, self-image, self-confidence, and generally to create an equivalent of a self in a healthy person.

Narcissist has no sense of self except the sense of self that he gets from other people.

So, narcissists define who they are and the direction their life should take by input from other people, by feedback from other people, on the one hand.

On the other hand, they have what is called a cognitive distortion.

They perceive reality wrongly.

They compensate for their emptiness, for the absence that they are.

They compensate by pretending that they are god-like.

This is known as grandiosity.

They have an inflated, unrealistic self-image.

So, when they ask you for feedback or input, they don't want any honest feedback.

They don't want any criticism, constructive or not.

They want you to tell them what they want to hear.

They want you to confirm their grandiosity.

So, if a narcissist thinks he's a genius, he wants you to tell him that he's a genius.

He doesn't want you to tell him, "I'm not a genius. You're average." No. He's not interested in calibrating himself in reality because he has no perception of reality.

He is embedded in a fantastic bubble and he doesn't want you to pierce his bubble.

He wants to continue to exist in the bubble.

He just wants you to tell him that the fantastic bubble is reality.

He wants you to lie to him, in effect, and tell him that his delusions, his false self, we call it, is not false.

And his delusions are not delusions. They're real. And his fantasy is very true.

He wants you to lie to him.

And if you don't, he's very punitive. He punishes you in a variety of ways.

Silent treatment, other ways. So, he's abusing.

Nasties are always abusing. They're verbally abusive and so on. They're also very controlling.

So, they would micromanage you. They would tell you what to do at any given moment. They would would supervise you. They behave more like a boss, a very demanding boss, very nasty, nasty boss.

And this starts on the first date. The first date was a narcissist. He would take your keys and lock your door. He would tell you which restaurant you're going to, and then he would order for you from the menu.

And when you go to the toilet, he would interrogate you. Where did you go and who did you see on the way and why did it take so long?

That's the first date.

Also, a narcissist on the first date would have a fantasy space with you, and all other people are excluded from the fantasy space. So, he would treat you well. He would treat you wonderfully.

This is called love bombing. He would idealize you. He would tell you how great you are, how amazing, how drop-dead gorgeous, how intelligent. And he's never met someone like you.

And at the same time, as he's treating you like a queen, he would treat everyone outside the fantasy as garbage. He would mistreat. He would verbally abuse the waiter, the driver, the car driver.

So, you can compare how he's treating you and how he's treating others, and begin to see the discrepancies.

And finally, a narcissist typically goes through phases which are rigid. They're like algorithms. They're like a computer algorithm.

And he cannot deviate from these phases. He starts by love bombing you. He idealizes you. He makes you appear. He makes you into a perfect entity. And you fall in love with this. It's very flattering. You can't resist it. You want to see yourself as perfect, as idealized, through the narcissist's gaze, through the narcissist's narcissistic gaze, through the narcissist's eyes.

And he becomes addictive. You become addicted to the way he loves you.

Most people don't fall in love with the narcissist. They fall in love with the way that the narcissist loves them. Because they've never been loved like this before. They've never been the focus of laser attention. They've never been idealized with perfect and brilliant and gorgeous and so on. It's never happened before.

So, it's addictive. And that's the love bombing phase.

And then there's the idealization phase, where you can do no wrong in your perfection.

And he's so happy that he's found you.

And then there's the devaluation phase, where you can do no right.

And you're totally stupid and crazy and you name it.

And then there's the discard.

And in some cases, there's the hoover, when the narcissist re-idealizes you, tries to take you back.

It's much more complex than this.

My work is dedicated to this, what is called shared fantasy.

And I encourage you to go on my YouTube channel, those of you who speak English, and to watch the shared fantasy playlist.

It's a very complicated process.

But the narcissist doesn't offer you intimacy.

He offers you the illusion of intimacy.

He doesn't offer you a relationship.

He offers you a fantasy.

He doesn't see you.

When he love bombs you, when he idealizes you, it's clear that he's in love not with you.

Not with the real you, because the real you is not perfect.

The real you is not ideal. You make mistakes.

Maybe you're not that gorgeous, and maybe you're not that intelligent, you know?

So he doesn't love you. He loves an image. He loves an avatar. He loves something that has nothing to do with you.

He uses your name, but he's not in love with you.

And he causes you to fall in love with this very thing.

So both of you, you and the narcissist, you're in love with a third entity, the fantastic version of you.

The idealized version of you.

And I'm mentioning this because this happens within the first few minutes.

The speed of the narcissist is amazing, a lack-rity, the enormous speed.

On the first date, he will tell you that you are perfect.

On the second date, he would offer you marriage.

On the third date, he already plans to have three children with you.

On the fourth date, you're invited to move to his apartment, which happens to be on the other side of the country.

And on the fifth date, I don't know what.

So within days, literally within days, the narcissist offers to build a whole new life with you.

And he hardly knows you. He often gets your name wrong.

And this speed is a major warning sign.

Major warning sign.

If he moves too fast, walk away.

It's not going to end well.

To use a British understatement.

All right, Sam, thank you so much for this answer. We still have another question.

If you could provide a similar portrait of which traits constitute victimization or a state of victimhood.

Thank you so much.

Thank you.

There is no--first of all, there is a branch of psychology.

It's known as victimology, where we study victims and so on and so forth.

There have been a few major discoveries in the past three years.

Started in Israel, where else?

Where there would have been four studies of victimhood by Gabay and others.

And then there were other studies conducted mainly in British Columbia. Don't ask me why.

And the picture that is emerging from these modern studies in victimology is that some people feel very good when they're victims. They prefer to be victims. Their identity is that of a victim. They're invested emotionally in being a victim. They will interpret any situation to prove that they're victims.

And when they're not victims, they will create victimhood. They will force other people to victimize them.

This is known as projective identification.

So victimhood in interpersonal relationships is now a psychological construct.

And we believe that victimhood both provides an identity to people with what we call identity disturbance. People whose identity is in flux, is not stable, is not fixed.

Victimhood provides them with this identity, on the one hand.

And we also believe that large number of people, especially people with dark personalities, for example, covert narcissists, use victimhood to manipulate people, to manipulate other people.

So victimhood pays. Victimhood is useful.

You see, when you're a victim, you're entitled. You're entitled to special treatment. People should be nice to you. They should help you.

You can manipulate people to help you. Victimhood confers rights. And these rights demand commensurate obligations in others.

You can use competitive victimhood to manipulate people, and many do, especially online, and especially in what is known as victimhood movements.

Now, we live in a world where victimhood is the identity of many people.

There's a sociologist by the name of Bradley Campbell, and he said that we have transitioned from the age of dignity to the age of victimhood.

We no longer care about reputation, about dignity. We sacrifice reputation and dignity just to claim that we're victims.

Because to be a victim means to have a lot of money, to have power, to manipulate people. It's great.

And so many people do this.

There are genuine victims of abuse and worse, and these victims go through phases of recovery and healing, and sometimes they share their stories with others and so on, but they always move on.

How to tell a healthy victim from a pathological victim?

A healthy victim moves on. A pathological victim doesn't.

A pathological victim continues to be a victim forever, and Bragg's boast is proud of her victimhood.

The first thing she tells you about herself is her victimhood. I'm a victim.

So this becomes an identity. It's long-term, and it's manipulative in nature, and it's competitive.

You see these victims competing. They say, "My abuse was much worse than your abuse." "You suffer? You don't know what you're talking about. I suffered much more than you." There's competition there. This is also a sign of pathology in victimhood.

And of course, unfortunately, the overwhelming vast majority of YouTubers, people with YouTube channels, actually, unfortunately, I cannot remember any single exception, with and without academic degrees, they encourage this victimhood. They perpetuate it. They incentivize it. They reinforce it. They tell the victim, "It's good to be a victim. You're an angel. You did nothing wrong. You're not responsible. You did not contribute to your situation, to your conundrum. You are not at fault. You're not to blame. You're not guilty. You should not be ashamed. You should not think about what has happened. You should not analyze it. You're a victim."

So they place the victim in a passive situation. The victim is like an object. An object is not guilty. This bottle of water is not guilty of what I do to it. You know? It's an object.

They objectify the victim. But they objectify the victim and idealize the victim at the same time. They say, "Not only are you an object, you're an ideal object. You're an empath." An nonsensical term that has no clinical meaning whatsoever. Total nonsense. You're an empath.

As an empath, you're superior. They're aggrandizing the victim. They're idealizing the victim.

This is exactly what the narcissist does to the victim.

These self-styled experts online, they are continuing the narcissistic abuse by idealizing the victim.

And they are, in many cases, covert narcissists themselves.

And so victims go online. They share with others. And then they feel good. They get attention. Maybe for the first time in life they get attention. And they say, "Wow. This thing works. Maybe I should stay a victim forever. Maybe I should increase my victimhood. Maybe I should exaggerate it. Maybe I should emphasize it. Maybe I should never give up on it."

And so they demonize the abuser. They make the abuser inhuman. Sometimes demon. In some channels they talk about demons. Because they need to do the contrast. This is a morality play. They're all good. The abuser is all bad.

How do we call this? Splitting. It's a splitting defense.

I, the victim, am all good. The abuser is all bad.

Who engages in splitting? Narcissists.

Splitting defense is narcissistic. So the victims become narcissists. They say, "I'm all good. The abuser is all bad." That's what narcissists do.

And narcissists say, "I'm all good. You're all bad." Gradually, victims who refuse to give up on their victimhood become narcissists.

Clinically, behaviorally, they are indistinguishable from narcissism. From narcissism and borderlines.

So it's a bad, bad situation out there. Bad situation. Where victims are not encouraged to heal and to recover.

On the very contrary. They're encouraged to become abusive. And grandiose. And this is not going to end well for them. I'm afraid.

Thank you so much, Sam.

The next question would be, "At which point does self-love become malignant? And if that is related to social media? And if it is encouraged by social media today?" Self-love is never malignant. The narcissist doesn't love himself. The narcissist hates himself. He rejects himself. He loathes himself. Narcissist is a bad object. He considers himself inferior. To cover up for it, to compensate for it, for this, he comes up with narcissism. The narcissist creates a facade, a mask, known as the false self. And the false self is everything the narcissist is not. The false self is all-knowing. The false self is all-powerful. The false self is godlike. The false self is perfect. The false self is brilliant. Because the narcissist is not. Narcissists don't love themselves. Narcissism has nothing to do with self-love. It's not an exaggeration of self-love. It's not a malignancy of self-love. It's simply a totally different phenomenon.

Narcissism is compensatory. It compensates for its internal problems. Self-love is something else. To have self-love, healthy self-love, first of all, you must have a self. It's love of the self, so you must have a self.

The narcissist doesn't have a self. There's nothing to love there. Healthy people have a self. And they love themselves. They accept themselves. They're protective of themselves. They are accepting of themselves. And above all, they get to know themselves. They are their own best friends. That's very healthy.

The difference between narcissism and self-love is that narcissism is always at the expense of other people. While self-love essentially has nothing to do with other people. Not negative, not positive. You love yourself not because of other people. And you continue to love yourself even if you don't interact with anyone whatsoever. It's not dependent on other people.

While narcissism is 100% dependent on other people, the narcissist is addicted to feedback and input from other people. And in the process, the narcissist typically, not always, the narcissist harms other people, hurts other people, damages other people.

So narcissism is always other destructive, self-destructive and destructive to others. Self-love is never self-destructive, of course, and never destructive to others. It's a positive phenomenon. And it has nothing to do with narcissism. Don't confuse it.

Ah, social media, I'm sorry. Yeah, social media. Technology doesn't drive changes in psychology. And changes in the psychology of the individual and changes in mass psychology are not driven by technology. Changes in individual psychology and changes in social psychology drive technology. Technology is the outcome of changes in society and in individuals.

What has happened is that the rise in narcissism preceded social media. There's been a documented rise in rates of pathological narcissism, especially among young people, about a decade or two before social media, studies by Twenge, Campbell, many others.

So when people became more and more and more narcissistic, they demanded technologies that would empower their narcissismwould allow them to be visible, visible, to be seen.

They demanded technologies that would aggregate admiration and adulation.

So there is a mechanism of the like.

They demanded exposure, access to broadcasting and publishing.

So you have the social media platforms where you can have millions of followers by doing nothing, essentially.

They demanded instant gratification.

They demanded grandiosity, demanded everything narcissists demand, but they demanded this.

And only then technology responded, reacted.

Very rarely technology shapes consciousness. It's usually the other way around.

Now, does social media enhance existing narcissism?

There are no studies that support this.

So I cannot rely on studies. I cannot say, yeah, there are studies that show that social media enhances narcissism.

We have studies that show that social media encourages competitiveness between people, something known as relative positioning.

There are studies that show that social media encourages envy between people and other negative emotions.

For example, anger. They're encouraged by social media. They're amplified, magnified by social media.

There are studies that show that social media increases dramatically rates of anxiety, rates of depression and rates of suicide, especially among the very young and the old, young and old people.

So people under age 25 and people over age 65.

So there are studies to show this, but there are no studies that demonstrate social media somehow amplifies or magnifies narcissism.

If anything, I would gamble, I would speculate that social media amplifies psychopathy, not narcissism.

Social media amplifies aggression, defiance, recklessness, hatred of authority, rejection of authority, consummation.

Social media, if anything, pushes people to become more psychopathic, not more narcissistic, but more psychopathic.

So this is the situation. Social media is very dangerous, of course.

Anything from spreading fake news and disinformation to creating a whole new breed of psychopaths, including psychopaths in politics.

It's a very dangerous instrument and tool. Equivalent of drugs creates addiction and conditioning, should be heavily regulated and possibly banned in some circumstances and among certain populations.

But we are very far from it because we live in a world where money talks.

And there's a lot of money in high tech and these tech industries. They finance politicians, they bribe, they lie, they mismanage, they hide and conceal. There's no conspiracy. There's no document. They design their products to create addiction, conditioning, envy, anger, rage. That's not me.

So it's not Dachni. These are testimonies by the engineers that created Google and Facebook. They designed the products to create exactly this.

The like, the famous like, is intended to create competitiveness, competition and anger and envy, designed to do this.

So these are evil companies. These are evil companies, absolutely. I'm saying this without any reservation.

Evil companies ought to do evil things by playing with people's minds. As simple as that.

Here's a summary of social media.

Why are we doing, why are we accepting this?

Because you remember what I told you about the narcissist?

The narcissist shows you an image of yourself, an idealized image of yourself, and then you fall in love with yourself.

You fall in love with yourself through the narcissist's eyes, through the narcissist's gaze.

That's what social media does do to you. You fall in love with yourself through social media.

Because you're in love with yourself. It's addictive. It's irresistible. And you don't want it to end. Simple.


Okay, Sam, thank you so much. We know the session is scheduled to finish at in 10 minutes. Could you take up one more question?


==== Yes, please.

Thank you.

Okay, Sam, if you could please, you mentioned earlier that you consider loneliness and solitude as a great sickness of the modern day.

If you could please elaborate on that.

Solitude is not a sickness. Being alone is not a sickness. It's a lifestyle choice.

And sometimes it's the outcome of certain mental health conditions such as schizoid personality disorder.

But being alone is definitely not a sickness. Actually, it's very healthy to be alone from time to time. And it's extremely unhealthy to never be alone.

We see mental health impacts in prisons where people either can never be alone or they're always alone in solitary confinement.

And we can see that both situations create mental health problems, severe mental health problems.

Overexposure to people is not healthy, which is one of the reasons social media encourage depression and anxiety because it's overexposure to people.

But underexposure is also no exposure. It's also not healthy. Alone is a choice. Loneliness is feeling bad about being alone. It's an emotional reaction to being alone.

Not all people who are alone are lonely. Many people like to be alone. I, for example, I love to be alone. I much prefer to be alone than with people.

So there's no loneliness here. And when there's no loneliness, there's no pathology.

To choose to be alone all your life is not a pathology. Otherwise, many nuns and monks should be in mental asylum.

But loneliness is something else. Loneliness is a combination of depression, anxiety, ego-dystonia, feeling not good with yourself, feeling bad with yourself.

And loneliness tends to aggravate other mental health conditions. So it's a catalyst for mental illness.

When someone feels loneliness, you should take steps to not be alone anymore, even artificial steps. Talking to strangers, talking to a hotline, doing something about it, being in human touch, go to the grocery store, buy something you don't need, go to a shopping mall, look at people.

So you need to fight loneliness because it's an indicator that you're reacting very badly to the condition of being alone.

Society today encourages a loneness. People who are single are encouraged to remain single because singles consume more than families, more than people in intimate relationships.

If you have an intimate relationship, you need to pay attention to your boyfriend or girlfriend, and this attention is taken away from Facebook. Facebook makes money on your attention. This is the attention economy.

And so singlehood is encouraged, a loneness is encouraged by society because it's good for consumption, it's good for the economy.

Consequently, according to Pew Center in the United States, in the preceding year, 63% of men and 34% of women never interacted with another person in the preceding year. This is known as atomization. You stay at home, you have two cats and one Netflix. Or if you're lucky, you have two Netflix and one cat. And this is your life. Technology made us self-sufficient to the point that we don't need other people.

And here's the problem. Other people are difficult. They require patience, investment, tolerance. They need listening to. To be with other people takes energy. It's a task. It's work, hard work.

And so if you are self-sufficient and you don't need other people, why would you be with other people? Why would you be with other people?

The easy way, the path of least resistance is to be alone. Technology, society structured around technology, they allow you to permit you, they enable you, they empower you to be alone.

Today, you can do everything from home with your smartphone. You don't need anyone. And there's no incentive and no reason to be with anyone. What for? Even the frequency of sex has declined dramatically. But I mean dramatically in the past 20 years. People today are having 40% less sex than people in my generation. And that says a lot. Because I'm as old as a dinosaur, some of them at least.

So, aloneness is encouraged because it's good for the economy, good for technology and so on and so forth. People get used to it. People get used to anything.

Robinson Crusoe finally was pretty happy with Friday and the dog. That's how people are. Habituation is called. People get habituated to being alone, to loneliness. They convert objects and pets into emotional sources.

So, they get emotional sustenance from a pet, from a dog, from a cat, from a goldfish. And they convert some objects into friends, imaginary friends. They become friends with the smartphone, friends with the television, friends with the mug in the kitchen. They talk to objects. They talk to themselves. They develop ways to cope with aloneness.

But the critical test is, do you feel okay with it? Does it affect your functioning somehow? If you feel okay with it and you function perfectly well, no need to worry. If however you feel bad about it and/or your functioning is affected, then you should seek help.

And I don't mean necessarily professionals. You should talk to the neighbour finally. You should go to the grocery store rather than order by phone or through the internet. You should go to a bookstore, not to Amazon. You should see human faces. Hear people speak. Talk to a waitress in a restaurant. You know? Give an interaction. Pick up the phone. Talk to a hotline. That's... You need to do something if you feel bad about your aloneness.

This is a warning sign. If you don't take care of your aloneness, it will become loneliness and it will become mental illness. This is a progression.

Well, Sam, thank you so much. We really appreciated the conference. It was... Yes, it was amazing to listen to it. So we will keep in touch for any further communication. Thank you so much. It was a pleasure.

Thank you for your help and translation and thank the audience on my behalf. Thank you for having me.

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