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Narcissism: Silence of the Introjects, Including You (Multitasking to Infantilism)

Uploaded 3/15/2024, approx. 31 minute read

Could argue that the main role of the false self in pathological narcissism is to silence inner voices, to silence the introjects.

The false self acts as what Freud at the time called the censor.

It banishes free speech, putting like and exactly like putting, introjects that conflict with the false self refuse to obey and lie down and pretend to be dead, play dead.

These introjects are exiled to the Arctic and die mysteriously.

This is a topic of today's video.

The inner war between the false self and the voices inside the narcissist mind.

And a proof of voices inside the narcissist mind.


My name is Sam Baknin.

I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, a former visiting professor of psychology currently on the faculty of CEAPs.

Brief answers to two questions and we move on to the topic of today's video.

Question number one, why do I react differently to the narcissist's speech acts of the narcissist?

Same sentence uttered by someone I know and spoken by the narcissist.

My reactions are completely different.

Well think of it this way.

Imagine someone who loves you, looks at you and says, "You are my dear." And imagine a tiger looks at you and says, "You are my dear, D-E-E-R.

You are likely to react very differently, I assure you.

Second question, I keep saying that psychopaths are goal oriented and in this sense premeditated, skimming, cunning and so on and so forth, while narcissists and even more so borderlines are impulsive.

They lack impulse control and several readers and viewers wrote to me to remind me the psychopaths are also impulsive.

Well, yes and no.

I'm Jewish, yes and no.

Secondary psychopaths, factor two psychopaths are indeed impulsive and that is why when the borderline decompensates and acts out, she becomes a secondary psychopath.

She becomes impulsive, reckless and so on and so forth.

Primary psychopaths and these are the psychopaths we all refer to normally.

Very few people when they say psychopaths mean a secondary psychopath.

They mean a primary psychopath.

Primary psychopaths are usually not impulsive actually.

They are cold blooded, they are cold hearted, they are callous, they are ruthless, they are skimming, they are cunning, they are Machiavellian, they are goal oriented.

They won't take no for an answer and they will trample over you if you dare to oppose them.

The same way in the fourth self tramples over inner voices, introjects inside the narcissist mind.

Don't you just admire the way I segued from one topic to another?

I really, really like myself.

Okay, Shoshanim, silence of the introjects.

Yesterday, I watched together with my long suffering wife, Lydia Rangelovska, who is an expert on narcissistic abuse in her own right, actually technically the first one.

I watched with her a film, Spacemen with Adam Sandler in the improbable role of a Czech cosmonaut or astronaut.

To add improbability to impossibility, there's a spider inside the spaceship nicknamed Hanush.

The spider and Adam Sandler have long winded philosophical conversations about life, about psychology, about relationships and so on and so forth.

It's a fascinating film, actually.

It reminded me of a much neglected aspect or angle of the false self in narcissism.

Before we go there, let us again remind you, those of you who have nothing better to do in life than to watch my videos may recall that I keep referring to a bad object.

An internal object is to simplify matters a bit.

An internal object is a voice.

It's a voice which spews forth, produces, generates all kinds of messages and signals and injunctions.

And so the voice could be friendly and positive and supportive or the voice could be negative, hostile, demeaning and critical.

When we have a constellation or group, a coalition of voices that collude or collaborate in order to produce a coherent, cohesive, negative message, you're unlovable, you're ugly, you're stupid, you're a loser, you're inadequate, that would be a bad object.

When you have a group of voices that keep generating positive messaging, you're lovable, you're good looking, you can do it, you're talented, you're skilled, etc., that would be a good object.

Now normal healthy people have a good object.

They possess a good object.

Essentially they consider themselves lovable and capable of accomplishments within certain limitations of course, self-aware.

Most people with mental illness, especially personality disorders, usually have a bad object.

They usually have these voices that keep informing them how inferior they are, how likely to fail, how unworthy of love and incapable of it, how unlikely they are to succeed, etc., etc.

So this is a bad object.

The narcissist, as usual, is a bit of an exception because narcissists are divided to two groups.

One group of narcissists have a bad object and they compensate for the bad object.

They try to subdue the bad object by pretending to be the opposite of the bad object.

The bad object says you are a failure, the narcissist says I'm perfect, the bad object says you're unlovable, the narcissist says I'm irresistible.

So narcissism, the message of narcissism, the cognitive distortion known as grandiosity, this inflated fantastic self-image or self-imputed self-perception is actually a compensation for a nagging, sadistic, harsh, critical bad object.

But there's a group of narcissists who actually have an idealized object, not a bad object, but an idealized object.

An idealized object is essentially a false self.

It's a false self fostered in childhood, whereas a typical narcissist is abused and traumatized in childhood and has to compensate for his or her helplessness as a child by inventing a god-like figure.

So the typical narcissist as a child is mistreated, maltreated, experiences adverse childhood experiences and compensates for this by pretending to be god-like.

So a typical narcissist has a bad object and a compensatory idealized object, which is known as the false self.

Eventually the narcissist comes to identify himself or herself with the idealized object.

Gradually the narcissist becomes the false self.

But there is a group of narcissists who do not possess a bad object.

They possess only an idealized object, only a false self.


That's because the parents of such narcissists idolized them, spoiled them, pampered them, told them they can do no wrong as children.

So as children, these kids were not exposed to adversity, had no friction with reality, were not subjected to peer pressure and peer ridicule and peer criticism.

They were accosted, they were bubbled, they subsisted within a bubble, the protective bubble of an overprotective parental figure, usually the mother.

So these narcissists don't have a bad object, but they actually don't have a good object either.

They have a fantasy-based idealized object.

So now we understand that there are two types of narcissists, compensatory, whose idealized object is a compensation for a bad object, and narcissists who are overt and grandiose to start with, do not possess a bad object, have nothing to compensate for, and fully believe that they are godlike and the false self.

Today there's a debate, as I've informed you in previous videos over the past five or six years, we're beginning to think that overt or grandiose narcissists are actually psychopaths and the only pure form of narcissism is the compensatory kind, but I will not go into it right now.

Where a bad object exists, where the narcissist possesses an active, interventional intrusive bad object, the false self silences this bad object.

The false self is intended, its main purpose, is to silence the introjects of the bad object.

Where a bad object is a constellation of voices, a coalition of voices, these voices are known as introjects, and the role of the false self is to silence these voices, to silence the introjects so that the bad object becomes dormant, inactive, kind of hibernation.

The false self then takes over, the false self becomes the only active voice and is confused and conflated by the narcissist with an authentic self.

So the narcissist mistakes the false self as his or her authentic self, authentic voice, because there are no other voices which oppose the false self, expose the false self, undermine and challenge the false self. There's no competition there, there's no opposition party, there's only Putin, if you get my meaning.

It's a dictatorship of the false self.

The inner experience of the narcissist is therefore the experience of a citizen in a highly dictatorial country.

So the dictator is the false self.

The false self expects the admiration, adulation, submission, obeisance, obedience of the narcissist exactly as a cult leader would or a real life dictator would.

The narcissist of course exports this internal experience, this inner experience.

He imposes it on people around him.

He becomes other people's dictator because internally he's been subjugated and dominated and humiliated and shamed by a dictator of his own making, the false self.

The false self having silenced all competing voices, all opposition parties, it's a one-party state.

The interjects within the bad object are utterly stifled, utterly turned off, deactivated.

Now the compensatory success of the false self is measured by how silent these interjects are.

If the false self succeeds to reach a stage where the bad object interjects these voices, these negative voices, these demeaning voices, these ridiculing and shaming voices, these voices that keep informing him that he's unlovable and a zero and a loser, adequate and nobody.

So if the false self succeeds to silence them permanently, then this is compensatory success.

The measure of the success of the compensatory mechanism of the compensation is how silent the bad object interjects are.

How often do they erupt?

Even in many narcissists, the answer is never.

The false self has been so successful that there is no internal dialogue or polylog.

There are no other voices, absolutely no other voices, and the narcissist therefore is very proud because he believes that he has reached authenticity.

There's only one voice in his head.

It must be him.

It must be her.

The narcissist misidentifies, mislabels his voice as a self, when actually the narcissist is selfless, egoless.

Narcissism is a disruption in the formation of the ego and the constellation and integration of the self.

There's nothing and nobody there.

The false self usurps the place of a personality or a self or an ego.

And so it's easy for the narcissist to mistake the false self and regard it as true, as veritable.

That's why narcissists can't tell you the difference between fantasy and reality because there are no voices inside them which would somehow restore reality testing, somehow confront the narcissist with reality.

Narcissist is fully embedded in a fantasy because the false self, the only voice inside his mind is a fantastic voice.

It's the voice, the false self is the voice of fantasy and all vestiges of reality and the representatives and emissaries of reality are suppressed beyond reactivation and reconstruction.

Silence prevails.

The silence of deep space howling winds in the corridors of what once has been a palatial abode of a nascent personality.

When the narcissist collapses or even more so when the narcissist is mortified, the interjects within the bed object are revived. The false self is enfeebled, weakened by the modification to the point of being completely disabled.

With the false self gone or inaccessible, the voices are suddenly heard. Suddenly the narcissist regains access to these voices, listens to them.

And although these voices are as fantastic as the false self, they are as wrong about reality.

The bed object is wrong about reality.

The idealized object, also known as false self, is wrong about reality.

Both of them are fantasy based.

The bed object is based on a fantasy of inferiority, negation, self-destruction, self-annihilation, self-hatred and self-loathing, but it's still a fantasy because it provides a misperception of the narcissist.

The narcissist mispercieves himself as unworthy and unlovable and so on.

It's a fantasy.

But the bed object is often much closer to reality than the idealized object.

As a bed object emanated from the outside, remember that the bed object is the outcome of the cumulative voices of people like mother, father, teachers, peers.

So the bed object is always generated from the outside and therefore has a tenuous connection to reality somehow, much closer to reality.

Whereas the idealized object, the false self, is generated by the child.

It has nothing to do with reality.

Even when the parents collude with the child, collaborate with the child in the formation of the false self, the parents do this by denying the child access to reality, by isolating the child, co-setting the child, over-protecting the child so that the child cannot learn from reality, anything.

The idealized self is 100% fantasy.

It's utterly divorced from reality.

It subverts reality.

It suborts any possibility to gain relatively objective, neutral information about what's happening out there.

Whereas the bed object is 60% divorce from reality.

It's 40% real.

So ironically, clinically speaking, a narcissist would be much better off with a bed object than with an idealized object, much less harmful to himself and to others.

But leave that aside for a minute.

In a state of modification or state of collapse, the voices embedded in the bed object, the voices that comprise the bed object wake up.

Wake up, they start to talk.

They start to speak.

They start to inform the narcissist.

They start to signal.

They start to message the narcissist.

And the narcissist is defenseless.

He's only defense.

The false self is deactivated by the modification or the collapse.

So it's extremely difficult.

The narcissist becomes borderline, becomes dysregulated and suicidal.

Here's the problem.

The false self is a machinery.

It's a device.

It regards all other introjects as adversaries, competitors, enemies.

The false self reflexively, instinctively, but reflexively, I would say, acts to destroy other introjects.

It's like Pac-Man.

You remember this very old video game?

It's like Pac-Man, Pac-Pac, Pac-Man, the false self, sports introjects alone or in groups, for example, in a bed object and then pounces upon them like a tiger, the aforementioned tiger, pounces upon them and makes mincemeat out of them and silences them for good.

The false self is an introject, eradication piece of machinery, internal machinery.

And here starts the problem.

The narcissist regards you as an introject.

You remember the narcissist is incapable of perceiving you as an external object.

He immediately converts you into an internal object.

He snaps you.

This is a process of snap shotting, also known clinically as introjection.

When the narcissist comes across someone who might serve as a source of supply or an intimate partner or a friend or so-called friend and so on and so forth, the narcissist immediately converts this potentially beneficial person into an internal object in order to gain control, manipulate the internal object and sustain the fantasy, the godlike fantasy, "I'm omnipotent. I'm all powerful."

So in the narcissist world, there are no extrajects. There are no external entities. There are no beings or creatures or creations separate from the narcissist.

Everything is contained within the narcissist mind, the big playground, cosmic playground.

So the minute the narcissist comes across you, you become an introject.

The minute you become an introject, you become the enemy of the false self.

The false self is built to destroy introjects.

The false self will seek to destroy you.

The false self regards your personality as an introject and this is what I call othering failure.

The narcissist is unable to perceive people as others, as separate, as external.

He internalizes them and they become prey to the false self.

The false self is a predator, an internal predator on the prowl looking for food and the food of the introjects.

He needs to silence them because they constitute competition.

They can undermine the grandiosity.

They can challenge the false self.

They can expose the false self as happens in modification.

And the false self is the only thing separating the narcissist from the reservoir of life-threatening shame.

The false self believes firmly that it is the only thing separating the narcissist from suicide and the false self has a point.

The false self is right, actually.

So it's about self-reservation.

It's about survival.

And the false self eliminates automatically, thoughtlessly, any introject, any intrusion from the outside, any hint of destabilizing the precarious balance which the false self creates within the narcissist.

And so this othering failure, this inability to perceive other people as external, only as internal, leads the false self to become hyperactive and to attack you as a new introject.

He needs to deactivate you, to eradicate you, to demolish you, to devastate you, to kill you, to destroy you.

Somehow he seeks to silence you.

He does this partly by dissociating you.

He relegates you to a nook and cranny within the narcissist's mind that is inaccessible to the narcissist.

He isolates you.

It's like an isolation cell or deprivation tank.

He keeps you there, semi-suspended, in animation.

And then once you're gone, he replaces your introject with itself.

The minute you're deactivated, the minute your representation in the narcissist's mind is rendered inactive by the false self, the false self takes over and becomes you.

So whenever the narcissist tries to access you in his mind, your representation in his mind, your avatar in his mind, he has to go through the mediation and the agency of the false self.

False self is the gatekeeper and of course the false self is false and falsifies you as an introject.

He idealizes you.

It is the false self that idealizes you.

The false self idealizes you in order to sustain the fantasy and it is the false self that later devalues you in order to bring about or bring on the separation and invigoration so solely sought and needed by the narcissist.

Now I recommend that you watch a video I've made when I was much younger, so were you, 2020 at the very beginning of the pandemic.

But no, this video did not bring on the pandemic.

There was a real virus out there.

So the video is titled "Narcissist and Trains Codependent Borderline.

Brainwash, regulate, rinse, repeat."

So this is the video and in a nutshell, the description of the video says "brainwashing relationships with narcissist is real.

It starts with grooming and love bombing.

The narcissist engenders in his victim a dissociative state akin to hypnotic trance.

This is especially easy to accomplish with borderlines and codependence.

Relegate the regulation of their emotions and moods to their intimate partner."

I recommend that you watch this video because it complements the video that you're watching today.


Now, the problem with the false self, the problem with this whole scheme, with this whole construction is that even though the interjects are silenced, they are not, they are active.

Freud was the first to observe this.

He suggested that when information, when data, when memories are suppressed or repressed, technically speaking, when they are repressed, they take with them energy.

They're coupled with energy and this energy under the surface, in the unconscious, is in a constant state of seething.

It's like magma or lava within the bowels of a volcano about to erupt.

There's a lot of energy there.

The interjects carry this energy with them.

They're coupled with energy.

So there's a lot of volcanic activity going on, owing to the repression imposed by the false self.

And this means that the narcissist has to multitask.

Task number one, maintain the authority of the public facing false self.

Sustain the shared fantasy, convince people of grandiosity, interact with potential sources of supply.

There's a lot of management here, a lot of work.

False self is a theater production or film production.

It's a set, film set, and so there's a lot of work here.

At the same time, a part of the narcissist's mind is busy keeping the interjects down.

It's like having a minority, like the gladiators or the slaves in the Roman Empire and the Spartacus who then rebelled against the Empire.

So the interjects are like slaves or like gladiators or like a suppressed minority and they want to erupt.

They're like potential terrorists.

And so it's a police state.

So even as the narcissist dedicates inordinate amounts of energy to the maintenance and the verification of the false self, it needs an equal amount of energy to keep the interjects down, to keep them suppressed, to keep them silent, to prevent them from erupting into consciousness.

So it's multitasking and it's very depleting.

Being a narcissist is very exhausting, but there is a major problem with multitasking.

And rather than give you my own version, I'm going to read to you, as had become our tradition, I'm going to read to you an excerpt from an excellent book that I recommend.

Your Brain at Work, Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long.

The author is David Rock and he was published by Harper Business in 2009, but most of it is still valid as far as the neuroscience goes.

And I want to read to you an excerpt about multitasking.


Why am I reading to you an excerpt about multitasking?

I am reminding you because the narcissist is constantly multitasks.

He doesn't model tasks.

He multitasks.

He's engaging multitasking.

Task number one, false self, public facing, shared fantasy, narcissistic supply, you know, impression management, grandiosity, cognitive distortion, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Task number two, keeping the introjects, obedient, silent, inaccessible, non-intrusive, non-interfering, and so on.

Two tasks, two tasks all the time.

And so what happens to the brain when you multitask regularly?

The thing is that neuroscience has taught us that you can't do two things that require concentration at once.

Not very well at any rate.

Doing too much, even not all at once, has a debilitating effect.

And here is the excerpt from the book.

The idea that conscious processes need to be done one at a time has been studied in hundreds of experiments since the 1980s.

Today it's more like thousands.

For example, the scientist Harold Pashler showed that when people do two cognitive tasks at once, their cognitive capacity can drop from that of a Harvard MBA to that of an eight-year-old world.

In other words, very interesting, multitasking causes regression, age regression, infantilization.

The need of the narcissist to constantly multitask this consumption of resources, which is endless, drives the narcissist to infancy, regresses the narcissist.

It's one of the main sources of the narcissist infantilism.

Let's continue with the book.

It's a phenomenon called dual-tusks interference.

In one experiment, Pashler had volunteers press one of two keys on a pad in response to whether a light flashed on the left or the right side of a window.

One group only did this task over and over.

Another group had to define the color of an object at the same time, choosing from among three colors.

So the second group was faced with multitasking, two tasks.

These are simple variables, continuous of both left or right, and only three colors.

And yet doing two tasks took twice as long, leading to no time saving.

This finding held up whether the experiment involved sight or sound, and no matter how much participants practice.

If it didn't matter whether they got the answers right, they could go faster.

And the lesson is clear.

If accuracy is important, don't divide your attention.

Another experiment had volunteers rapidly pressing one of two foot pedals to represent when a high or low tone sounded.

This exercise took a lot of attention.

When researchers added one more physical task, such as putting a washer on a screw, people could still do it, sort of, with around a 20% decrease in performance.

Yet when the researchers added a simple mental task to the foot pedal exercise, such as adding up just two single digit numbers, five plus three, performance fell 50%.

This experiment revealed that the problem isn't doing two things at once, so much as doing two conscious mental tasks at once, unless you're okay with a significant drop of performance, in performance, of course.

Despite 30 years of consistent findings about dual task interference, many people still try to do several things at once.

Workers of the world have been told to multitask for years.

Linda Stone, a former vice president at Microsoft, coined the term "continuous partial attention" in 1998.

It's what happens when people's focus is split continuously.

The effect is constant and intense mental exhaustion.

As Stone explains it, to pay continuous partial attention is to keep a top level item in focus and constantly scan the periphery in case something more important emerges.

This captures wonderfully the essence of narcissism, by the way.

The introject is a threat, a looming threat, and the false self is the only defensive wall against them.

I continue with the book.

A study done at the University of London found that constant emailing and text messaging reduces mental capacity by an average of 10 points on any IQ test.

It was 5 points for women and 15 points for men.

This effect is similar to missing a night's sleep.

For men, it's around 3 times more than the effect of smoking cannabis.

While this fact might make an interesting dinner party topic, it's really not that amusing that one of the most common productivity tools can make one as done as a stoner.

Apologies to technology, says the author, and to technology manufacturers.

There are good ways to use this technology, specifically being able to switch off for hours at a time.

Anyhow, always on may not be the most productive way to work.

One of the reasons for this will become clearer in the chapter on staying cool under pressure.

However, in summary, the brain is being forced to be on alert far too much.

This is precisely the condition of a narcissist.

The narcissist is internally hyper-vigilant against internal enemies, the introjects of the bad object.

He is constantly anxious.

It's an anxiety reaction.

Indeed, we are finding recently that psychopathy is possibly an extended anxiety reaction or stress response.

There are videos on this channel about this topic, about these discoveries.

The brain, says the book, is being forced to be on alert far too much.

This increases what is known as allostatic load, which is reading of stress hormones and other factors relating to a sense of threat.

The wear and tear from this has an impact.

As Stone says, this always on anywhere, anytime, anyplace era has created an artificial sense of constant crisis.

What happens to mammals in a state of constant crisis is the adrenalized fight or flight mechanism.

IT KICKS IN.

IT'S GREAT WHEN TIGERS ARE CHASING YOU.

BUT HOW MANY OF THOSE 500 EMAILS A DAY ARE TIGERS?

GOOD QUESTION.

SO THIS IS THE SITUATION.

AS YOU CAN SEE, ANOTHER LAYER OF NARCISSISM.

NARCISSISM IS LIKE THE ARCHEOLOGY OF A SITE WHICH IS LIKE 400,000 YEARS OLD.

THE DEEPER YOU GO, THE MORE YOU DISCOVER.

IT'S NOT AS SIMPLE AS IT LOOKS.

NARCISSISTS ARE NOT JUST A-HOLES.

THEY ARE A-HOLES, DEFINITELY, BUT NOT JUST A-HOLES.

There's a whole intricate machinery, amazing machinery, behind problems with personality, dysfunctions of personality.

Narcissism is the tip of an iceberg and it is this iceberg that I'm perusing and I've been studying for well over 30 years.

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The psyche is a battlefield between instinctual urges and drives, the id, the constraints imposed by reality on the gratification of his impulses, ego, and the norms of society, the superego. Narcissism is a defense mechanism, and narcissists have a monopoly of other defense mechanisms. There are dozens of defense mechanisms, including acting out, denial, devaluation, displacement, dissociation, fantasy, idealization, isolation of affect, omnipotence, projection, projective identification, rationalization, cognitive dissonance, reaction formation, repression, splitting, sublimation, and undoing. All these defense mechanisms operate within the narcissist.


Narcissist: You Should Read My Mind!

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the narcissist's belief that others should be able to read their mind. He explains that narcissists expect mind reading due to their view of others as maternal figures and their desire for symbiosis. He delves into the narcissist's internal world, including their need for extensionality and intentionality of external objects. Vaknin also explores the impact of failing to read the narcissist's mind on their perception of external objects and their own existence. He emphasizes the deep-rooted nature of narcissistic behaviors and the challenges in understanding and working with narcissists.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
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