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Narcissism's Loose Ends

Uploaded 11/15/2020, approx. 41 minute read

Okay, shovavim, 4K12.

This is my last video, so I'm going to tie loose ends pertaining to the previous 620 videos.

I'm going to start with the most burning question, the question that weighs on your mind as your relationships disintegrate, your children are involved in enmeshed and immersed in custody battles, you are impoverished, there is a pandemic, Donald Trump is no longer president. All this is swirling around the world, but none of this seems to bother you.

There's only one question, one question that torments you in nightmares and in waking hours, is glass really liquid?

As I had said in my previous video, I have received umpteen emails and comments, most of them from people who find it extremely challenging to spell, but were sufficiently knowledgeable about solid state physics to inform me that I'm wrong and glass is not liquid.

Well, if you want to get technical with me, glass has two phases, a supercooled liquid, and then through the glass transition temperature, it becomes what we call an amorphous solid.

An amorphous solid is actually a liquid, I'm sorry to inform you.

I advise you to go online and type if you are capable of typing, the keywords glass liquid scientific, sorry big word, American, that I'm sure you know how to spell, glass liquid scientific American.

Okay, did we dispense with this earth shattering pivotal question? I really, really hope so, because to remind you, these videos are not about liquid glass or not even about solid glass.

These videos, ladies and gentlemen, babies and bebets, these videos, kiddos, are about narcissism.

So, let's get straight to the point.

I want to read to you the narcissist universal transaction rules.

These rules pertain to all the narcissist relationships, romantic relationships, parental relationships, in business, in the workplace, in politics, you name it. Wherever there's a narcissist he adheres or she adheres to these four very simple rules.

Once you have this key, once you have this key, you can decode, decrypt and decipher the narcissist in your life, if you're that unlucky.

Rule number one, so, these are the narcissist universal transaction rules.

Rule number one, as long as you regularly provide me with at least two out of three assets, sex, sadistic or narcissistic, supply, services, money, power.

So, sex, supply, services. Services could mean money, could mean power, access, contacts, you name it, services. As long as you provide me with two out of these three, for example, sex and services, supply and services, supply and sex, as long as, you know, two out of three.

I am your unboundaried slavish doormat and you can walk all over me and otherwise misbehave as you please.

Rule number two, give me only one out of the three assets, give me none of the three assets and I will sadistically abuse you. I will test you to the breaking point. I will punish you for failing to gratify me and my needs.

Rule number three, threaten to abandon me or attempt to abandon me and I will either hoover you or failing that, I will stop you on condition that you did not mortify me.

Rule number four, try to bargain with me, try to change me, fix me, try to set rules and boundaries, try to insist on long term commitment on my part or some kind of investment and I'm gone. I'm gone long before you can finish the sentence. I'm gone as soon as I can find someone to take your place, which you may find harrowing to discover is more easy than you think.

You're all interchangeable, dispensable. Bear that in mind.

Okay, here's a comment on Instagram by Gummy Sprinkles.

Sorry about that. The comment is, dear Sam, the message in this video made me want to reread Lolita. After you read the letter the woman had sent in her narcissist husband being at heart a little girl. It provoked me to think that perhaps Lolita, the little girl that the narrator drew into a relationship with the within the novel might be his inner child, his inner little girl or at least she was able to reach his inner child in a trauma in a way that made it irresistible for him to become involved with her. It seemed that her irresistible to him was attributable to a healing quality that she had on him. He had a very wounded psyche.

The little girl for her part had been deprived of a father after he died while she was a young child. It seems that both the narrator and the little girl Lolita might have been projecting onto each other, onto one another, sorry, during their sexual relationship. Alternatively, the narrator may have been projecting his inner anima onto Lolita, as in the scenario you described, wherein men sometimes interact in sexual same-sex relationships. It seems that Nabokov could have been exploring many different potential scenarios.

There was homoeroticism woven into the story from start to finish.

Only since he may have also been exploring inner trauma that though the narrator describes attributable to his first love, a young girl might have actually been his mother. In any case, I just wanted to share my thoughts with you.

Do you like the novel, Lolita? I hope you read it. I hope you read it. If not, I apologize. Thanks so much for your provocative videos.

Nabokov, the bookies or the novelies, Lolita, the one and only, an amazing, amazing, amazing novel. Let me enlarge the font a bit because I'm so advanced in age and I can hardly see the computer. All right, much better, much better babes and bebets, guys and gayets.

Now I can continue to torment you with full impunity and with a much larger font.

Okay, let's talk a bit about rejection. I told you this video is about loose ends. It's a kind of a smorgasbord. It's a buffet or whatever you want to call it.

Right now, another issue is rejection and the way people actually, men and women, react to rejection.

Women and to a lesser degree, men who are truly rejected by their loved ones and intimate partners, sometimes go through two phases.

Phase number one, acting out. Phase number two, sublimation. Phase two, amazingly follows phase one.

The first phase involves reckless and self-destructive self-trashing, punishing oneself for one's failure to hold on to one's relationship or marriage.

For example, women rejected by men they love, often consort with low life scum. The temporary boost to their self-esteem and the gratification of both sexual and emotional needs typically come replete with a very high price tag.

Rape is common and so are sexually transmitted diseases. Promiscuity and dissolution are followed by almost schizoid withdrawal.

So first, the rejected party becomes promiscuous, dissolute, reckless, loses control over herself and her conduct.

And then there's a second phase of total withdrawal, reclusiveness, the schizoid phase, the schizoid withdrawal and an obsessive compulsive focus on something.

Religion, children, career, activism, food, hobbies, I don't know what. During this phase, sex aversion is very common. There is sex avoidance, sexual avoidance, celibacy.

In this second phase, celibacy is coupled with growing addictive and self-soothing behaviors.

Many remain stuck in this limbo in this second phase for life, unable and unwilling to risk a repeat of the harrowing cycle in a new liaison. Look it up.

Okay.

I want to alert you to a new episode in the BBC Podcast Witness History Podcast. The BBC has a Witness History Podcast, Google, and they just released a new episode and it's about, believe it or not, the good enough mother, something I've been discussing in my last few videos.

I'll propose this before we proceed.

Many of you have written to me, why don't you make videos about narcissistic parents, co-parenting with a narcissist? Why don't you search a channel?

There are, hold your breath, 82 videos, including 12 videos in the past six months, which deal with parenting, dead mothers, the role of the father, co-parenting.

I think I have a co-parenting video with Richard Renner. I mean, there's a wealth of information about narcissistic parenting and co-parenting.

82 videos, do you really need an 83rd one?

Guys, go to the upper part of the page on your screen. Look if you're capable of reading and find the word about. Next to the word about, there's a magnifying glass, this long obscure forgotten object. Click on this magnifying glass and lo and behold, a search box will open. Type the word you're looking for, example, parenting, mother, father, co-parenting, type it, just type it, you do it with a finger if you don't know how to do it. Type the word in this open search dialogue box and YouTube will help you to find these 82 aforementioned videos. And you will not be asking me questions that waste my time unnecessarily. Good. I'm glad we agree.

Back to the BBC, Witness History podcast, the latest episode, The Good Enough Mother. Here's what they say, psychoanalyst and pediatrician, actually reverse order. He was a pediatrician much, much later. He became a psychoanalyst.

Donald Winnicott helped shape childcare in Britain and throughout the world, mind you, through a series of BBC radio broadcasts in the 1940s and 1950s.

Bet you didn't know that. He suggested mothers did best when they followed their instincts, got to know their babies and ignored prescribed rules.

The same message as the famous Benjamin Spock, Dr. Spock.

Winnicott became most famous for developing the idea of what he called the good enough mother. He also introduced the term transitional object to describe the favorite teddy bear that babies cling to.

He suggested that the teddy bear represented an important phase of development, helping babies develop a sense of self separate from their mothers. The teddy bear also represents other people, so it helps to develop object relations.

Claire Beaulieu has been speaking to retired psychoanalyst Jennifer Jones, who knew David Winnicott personally.

Absolute must listen to this podcast episode.

Okay. I want to read the poem. No, no. Don't get alarmed. Don't leave. Come back.

It's not my poem. It's not the poem I wrote.

For a minute there, I thought I'd lost all of you. I know my poems are a pain in the whatever part you use to listen to them.

Despite the fact that my poems had won international, numerous international prizes. But this time I'm not going to torture you with my poem. I'm going to torture you with someone else's poem.

Torturing is fun. You should try it once.

The poem is The Valuable Time of Maturity by Mario de Andrade, a Brazilian, of course. And it is courtesy, I mean, Lydia, my wife.

Draw my attention to it.

So here's the poem, The Valuable Time of Maturity.

I counted my years and discovered that I have less time to live going forward than I have lived until now.

I have more past than future.

I feel like the boy who received a bowl of candies.

The first ones he ate ungraciously, but when he realized that there were only a few left, he began to taste them deeply.

I do not have time to deal with mediocrity. I do not want to be in meetings where parade inflamed egos.

I'm bothered by the envy who seek to discredit the most able to usurp their places, coveting their seats, talent, achievements and luck.

I do not have time for endless conversations, useless to discuss about the lives of others who are not part of mine. I do not have time to manage sensitivities of people who, despite their chronological age, are immature.

I cannot stand the result that generates from those struggling for power. People do not discuss content, only the labels.

My time has become scarce to discuss labels. I want the essence. My soul is in a hurry.

Not many candies are left in the bowl. I want to live close to human people, very human, who laugh of their own stumbles and away from those turned smug and overconfident with their triumphs, away from those filled with self-importance who does not run away from their responsibilities.

People who defend human dignity and who only want to walk on the side of truth and honesty, the essential is what makes life worthwhile.

I want to surround myself with people who know how to touch the hearts of people, people to whom the hard knocks of life taught them to grow with softness in their soul.

Yes, I'm in a hurry to live with intensity that only maturity can bring.

I intend not to waste any part of the goodies I've left. I'm sure they will be more exquisite, the more of which so far I have eaten.

My goal is to arrive to the end, satisfied and in peace with my loved ones and with my conscience.

I hope that your goal is the same, because either way, you will get there too.

Mario Vazquez.

Wonderful.

Okay, let's talk a bit about gold diggers and I want to give you a perspective of someone who looks at the narcissist from a gold digger's point of view.

She's not a gold digger, she's not a gold digger, but she had placed herself in the shoes of a gold digger.

How would a gold digger look at a narcissist, at a potential sugar daddy?

A gold digger, to remind you, is a partner, male or female, more commonly female, but could be a male, a gigolo, for example.

So a partner who aims to extort money and monetary benefits from a vulnerable old man, intimate partner and so on, leveraging inadequacies and flaws in the other person.

So a gold digger is a really harsh label and this is how this woman tried to put herself in a gold digger's shoes and look at a narcissist, in this case, me.

Dr. Vaknin, if I was looking for a sugar daddy, you would be the top of my list.

Why?

Because if you regard your only option to be partaking in a doomed relationship, regardless of whomever it's with, all I'd have to do is bide my time and wait for an opening.

It wouldn't matter if it was me who was with you or any other woman since, according to you, it will play out the same way regardless.

So I would be interchangeable, but this interchangeability would give me the upper hand.

Being interchangeable should be a source of insecurity, but it wouldn't be with you. You would be more motivated to sustain the relationship than I would, because there aren't any better options for you, according to you.

As long as I don't so-called abandon you, this relationship would persist.

What would that mean for me?

I would get two walls into your life. I would get to set all the turns. I'd use you for a place to stay and as a meal ticket. And then I would go on living some kind of parallel life with you, with other men.

You would get to feel bad about yourself all the time if you're prone to doing so. And maybe I could even play the victim if you resent me for the way I behave. And if you need me to tell you who you are, you might even believe me. Even though I'd be having my cake and eating it too, while you sit there hoping things would work out this time.

So please, consider whether this belief is what's best for you or what's best for whoever is exploiting you.


And so there are many, many studies of gold diggers and I refer you especially to psychology today.

Psychology today is a prominent journal of psychology. It's not precisely academic, it's more popular, but it's really, really good level.

And I refer, for example, to an article published in August 2019, Why many young women may prefer older men.

The assumption that every young woman who is attracted to an older man is attracted to him because of his money or position or status, or the fact that he's about to expire soon and live a rich widow. That assumption seems to pertain to a tiny sliver, minority.

The vast majority of women who are attracted to older men are really, really attracted. They are attracted. And they're attracted because in most cases, because they are highly insecure, highly codependent, and possibly all of them have daddy issues. They have issues with father figures. They feel safe. They feel ensconced. They feel protected. They feel led. They feel guided. They feel understood. They cherish and value what older men have to offer. And that's not an advertisement. That's a fact of psychological research.

Numerous psychological studies have demonstrated conclusively that there is a group, not a big one, but there is a group of young and even very young women who find older men severely attractive, irresistibly attractive.

Is this healthy? Honestly, I doubt it. I think it's a pathology, but this pathology exists. It's undeniable.

There is, of course, a group of gold diggers. Like every vocation and every avocation, there are psychopaths who infiltrate the field and leverage the attributes of the field in their favor. They are goal oriented.

So gold diggers leverage romantic relationships and emotions in their favor to obtain gold. They dig for gold.

But this is not the general rule. Absolutely not.

Psychology does not support the belief that this is the majority of the cases.

I would even go further.

Gold digging is a form of faking.

And first of all, there's the open question. I mean, people are attracted to each other because of how they look, but looks fade. People are attracted to each other because of intelligence, but you could develop dementia. Everything passes. Money is transitory.

And the fact that someone had made money is a prime indicator of his character, his ability to persevere, his commitment, his investment, his intelligence, his wits, his cunning. Money is a proxy. Money is like a psychological test.

When you're attracted to someone with money, there's nothing wrong with it. It's not only the money that you're attracted to, but it's that person's capability, capacity to make money, which tells you a hell of a lot about who he is and what he is and what are his prospects. Nothing wrong with that.

I see no distinction between no difference between being attracted to someone because of his money, being attracted to someone because of his mind, being attracted to someone because of his academic authority or being attracted to someone because he looks good.

Only body builds. I see no rigorous philosophical or ethical distinction between these points of attraction, but there's still this perception, possibly this perception, that there is faking involved.

The gold digger fakes it.

And I'm mentioning gold digging in this video because gold diggers tend to team up with narcissists, especially somatic narcissists, and tend to abuse and exploit narcissists. Not psychopaths, by the way. Psychopaths, he threw them.

Psychopaths are themselves gold diggers. They're gold oriented.

So gold diggers kind of avoid shunned psychopaths, but they target definitely gullible narcissists. And narcissists are very easy to manipulate, give them supply, services. We mentioned this. And they're yours. They're yours. They're your dormites.

You can do anything you want. And there's a lot of faking. But here's what I think. Faking is a form of virtue signaling. Faking requires sustained efforts, commitment and investment in the relationship, however full it may be.

Moreover, faking is predictable behavior. It conforms to social norms of conduct and mores. It is communal. It is pro-social.

We fake. We tell white lies, for example. We pretend because it greases the wheels of society and commerce. If we were totally honest with each other all the time, we would be at each other's throats within the hour.

If you're aware of what's happening, you can even enjoy the ardent courtship, the attention, the decor, the time together with the faker. You get to decide when and where to grant the thespian desperado his most fervent wishes.

The flip side is true as well. People who refuse to fake will not fake. My way or the highway. That's who I am. Take it or leave it.

People who refuse to play along, refuse to tell white lies, they are actually narcissists. They are sadists. Or they are, at the minimum, rabid misanthropes, haters of humanity. They're bad news in any way.

People who refuse to fake, refuse to faint, refuse to pretend, refuse to play along, they hold you in such contempt that they see nothing in you or in yours that is of the slightest interest of them. Nothing in you. Nothing of you. Nothing that is yours justifies the effort that should go into faking. You're beneath faking even. I mean, give me a break.

To fake? For your sake? No way. Refusing to partake in the social game of hide and seek is a form of grandiose hotiness and a resounding slap in the collective or individual face and in your face as well.

He who declines to even fake it when he's with you, he's sending you a message. Funny. No money. Your sex, your company, your mind, your love, your companionship, your friendship, even your money. They're not worthy of the effort that I have to make to feign the slightest interest in you and they're not worthy of the sunk capital that I will have to invest on my part. You're not worthy of faking. Someone who refuses to fake is rejecting you. Lock, stalk and barrel and probably enjoying your humiliation to boot.

As an interlude, I would like to read to you a fragment from Robert Audrey's book, African Genesis. We were born of risen apes, not fallen angels. And the apes were armed killers besides.

And so what shall we wonder, it? Our murders and massacres and missiles and irreconcilable regiments? Or should we wonder at our treaties, whatever they may be worth? Our symphonies, however seldom they may be played. Our peaceful acres, however frequently they may be converted into battlefields. Our dreams, however rarely they may be accomplished.

The miracle of man is not how far he has sunk, but how magnificently he has risen.

So it is rational to prefer to be with someone who feigns empathy and caring, fakes attentiveness and interest in you, pretends to have no ulterior motives, goals or an agenda. Even when you know for fact that the other party is attempting to manipulate you in order to secure sex for the night, gain access to your money, pick your brain or leverage your skills or power, it is irrational to turn them down just because they are acting the part.

Loneliness is a pernicious toxin with a high price tag, far greater than any alternatives.

Anyhow, that's my unusual take on the issue. I received a thought-provoking comment, or was it an email? I think it's an email.

Hi Sam, some indecipherable emoji. Love your work. If a narcissist makes his mate his mother, then could it be said that he creates siblings instead of children with her?

What an amazing thought. If the narcissist's romantic partner is his mother, then the children he makes with his romantic partner are not his children, they are his siblings.

Jamie continues, does he create playmates as a cruel older brother, giving him the freedom to feel no responsibility in raising them, instead the drive to compete with them? So he's like the older brother and he's creating playmates and these are his siblings, so he has no responsibility to raise them.

On the contrary, he competes with them, sibling rivalry.

Jamie continues, if so, would the way he embarrasses and degrades his children be experienced as mere sibling rivalry within the narcissist, instead of abusive acts of a parent?

Way to go. Fascinating thoughts.


I want to talk a little about ego.

Every self-styled expert online, and listen, let's get it, let's get it correct once and for all. No real expert is online.

Real experts on narcissism, I don't know, the likes of Twenge, of Kimbo, of Lachkar, of Akhtar, and there are many other names. The real experts, they're not online, they're not on YouTube. The ones on YouTube are not experts. They claim to be experts, they use the title Doctor, sometimes very misleadingly, sometimes they even fake it, but they are not experts, whichever way you look at it. There are no experts online, get it in your head.

So all of them, and in this I found no exception, all of them use the word ego completely wrongly.

They confuse ego with selfishness or something like that, and it's of course nonsense because ego is a clinical term, it's part of the tripartite model of Sigmund Freud.

Nature arranges itself in ecosystems. Humans have an ego system, like ecosystem, ego system, at least according to Freud. The word ego is egregiously misused by almost all so-called coaches and self-styled experts online.

Let's talk a bit about the ego.

The ego is of course an abstraction, it's not a real thing. You can't cut out the ego from someone's brain because it's not physical, it's not hardware. It's a way to describe things, it's a model, it's a concept.

So the ego is a group of functions, is another name for a group of functions.

The ego remembers, evaluates, plans, responds to the world, and acts in the world and on the world. It is a locus of the executive functions of the personality.

The ego integrates the inner world with the outer world, with reality. It also integrates the id with the superego.

Now the id is kind of the seat of all the primordial drives, hungers, like sex. And the superego is your conscience. These are the voices, the interjects of meaningful others who tell you what's wrong and what's right through the process of socialization. Your conscience, essentially, or your inner critic.

So the ego has another role to mediate between the id. The id is a savage.

You know, he wants sex now in the middle of a restaurant. He's a savage. The superego is the one who chastises you and criticizes you and humiliates you if he's sadistic and tells you he did wrong. What's wrong with you to have done this?

The ego tries to survive somehow in the middle. Also, he mediates between all the internal structures, internal objects, interjects, and so on, and reality.

Ego is a very busy body. Narcissists don't have an ego. That's why they are absolutely compulsive about obtaining narcissistic supply.

They use narcissistic supply to construct an ego on the fly all the time. Their ego is kaleidoscopic. All the time, their ego is kaleidoscopic because it is composed of numerous voices from the outside.

So the ego acts under what Freud called the reality principle rather than the pleasure principle.

And this means that the ego is in charge of delaying gratification. It postpones pleasurable acts until they can be carried out both safely and successfully. It contributes to self efficaciousness. It is an integral part of one's agency.

The ego, therefore, is in a very ungrateful position. Unfulfilled desires, urges, drives, they produce unease. They produce anxiety, you know, frustration, right meaning.

But reckless fulfillment of desires, urges, and drives is diametrically opposed to self-reservation. You do whatever you want. You'll end up in jail. You'll end up dead. You have to put, you know, limits to your behavior. You can't be impulsive. You can't be defiant. You can't have reactants.

This is for psychopaths and the psychopaths. And badly.

The ego has to mediate these tensions. In an effort to thwart anxiety, to reduce it, to ameliorate it, the ego invents psychological defense mechanisms.

On the one hand, the ego channels fundamental drives like sex. It has to speak the language of these drives. It must have a primitive, infantile component.

On the other hand, the ego is in charge of negotiating with the outside world with reality to maintain reality testing. He's in charge of securing a realistic and optimal bargain for the client, you.

Your ego is your chief negotiator, or shall I say, hostage negotiator. He is negotiating with reality to kind of optimize your outcomes, your favorable outcomes.

And he's also doing this on behalf of the id. The id is implacable, will not be turned down. The id insists on having sex, on eating, on breeding. The id is an animal, savage. No rules, no boundaries, no nothing. No society, no socialization, no mores, no norms, no rules, no laws, no values, nothing.

And it's the ego who has to kind of keep this savage at bay by throwing him a piece of meat from time to time. Some of these pieces of meat, are you?

These intellectual and perceptual functions supervised by the exceptionally strict court of the superego.

So people with a strong ego can objectively comprehend both the world and themselves.

And that's why narcissists actually do not have an ego. They have total, they are, they totally fail reality testing. They have extreme and severe cognitive deficits and they have no access to the vast majority of their emotions.

They are exactly the opposite of someone with a strong ego. In other words, people with a strong ego are possessed of insight, insight into themselves, insight into their place in the world, an insight into what they can do and accomplish and achieve in the world without endangering themselves.

They're able to contemplate longer time spans. They're able to plan, to focus, to schedule. These are all ego functions. They choose decisively among alternatives. They follow their resolve.

This kind of people are aware of the existence of their drives, but they control these drives. They channel them in socially acceptable ways. This is called sublimation. These people resist pressures, social or otherwise.

They choose their course and they pursue it. But this course is always self-beneficial. It's always, always realistic, always in full awareness of one's limitations, one's strengths.

And Narcissus doesn't have any of this. The weaker the ego is, the more infantile and impulsive the owner, the more distorted his or her perception of self and reality.

A weak ego is incapable of productive work. Sounds familiar?


But what's happening to us? All of us? Aren't we all becoming more and more narcissistic?

As I've been saying for well over a decade, well over two decades now.

I want to read to you a transcript from a recent PBS report.

Paul Sommon reports on Putnam's new book, The Upswing. This book was co-authored with Shailene Romney Garrett, The Upswing.

So it's a transcript of an interview.

Shailene says, I will never forget the moment when we were sitting at the dinner table with Bob Putnam and Rosemary, his wife.

Bob starts telling me about these obscure data sets that he has been tinkering with on Google. These data sets are called N-Gram data.

Robert Putnam says, the N-Gram program can tell you how often a given word has appeared in any book published in any year.

Paul Stroop says, so Putnam typed in the words, I and we. Putnam went to Google's N-Gram, which is essentially a frequency engine, frequency generator, and he typed I and he typed we.

Robert Putnam says, it was exactly the same curve as all these other curves we've been studying.

Solomon, the data punch line is that in the late 19th century, it was I, I, I. It then became more we, we, we until the 1960s.

And then in all the literature that's assembled, it becomes more and more I, I, I again.

So until the end of the 19th century, we've had a rise in gender pronoun density of the words I, my, myself, mine. It was a very narcissistic grandiose age.

Then we were humbled by the Spanish flu, a global pandemic which dwarfs COVID-19. And we were humbled by two world wars. And by the nutcases that took over, like Adolf Hitler. And by the clowns, like Mussolini, etc, we were humbled, discovered how deficient we are as a species.

And starting in the 1960s, up until the 1960s, this first six decades, we started to be much more prosocial and communal. And the language changed. We were using we, we, we much more than I, I, I.

And then in the 1960s, with the sexual revolution, with the youth revolution, we started to be again, I, I, I, oriented.

We, our narcissism is growing. Twench and Campbell discovered a long time ago that narcissism has never been higher. It's, I mean, the 19th century is child's play compared to today.

Social media is helping. But social media is a manifestation of the underlying tsunami of narcissism. It didn't create it.

Okay, but says, yes, it didn't hope or happen overnight. Of course, it's a gradual trend.

Shailene, you see a real shift, not just away from using the first person pronoun to the we pronoun, but in asking Americans to rethink what this nation is really about in terms of our core values.

She's talking about the first six decades of the 20th century.

And we saw a shift away from the social Darwinism, that sort of dog eat dog mindset of the time, into what historians call the social gospel, which was a movement that tried to get us to think more about what we owe each other, what responsibilities do we have to each other in society, rather than simply the idea that a society is one giant competition.

And she's of course referring to the New Deal during the Depression to the Great Society, LBJ, Johnson, etc. Someone says, that's where we are today. Society is a giant competition.

Putnam, we're even more polarized now. I'm talking about the data, even more polarized now than during the Civil War.

Solomon, the purpose of Putnam and Romney's book to depolarize, spur a new upswing to bring us back together.

Shailene, sometimes we look at the political polarization today and say, oh, well, that was nice that they did that back then. But we can never do that today, because nobody can agree on anything.

Well, the lesson of this book is we have been in that exact same place before.

This group of determined reformers managed to put us, pull us up out of it by immigrant activism, by worker activism, by muckrakers.

One of the most under-recognized at home is Ida B. Wells, a Black American engaging in a moral outcry against lynching.

Okay, so we live in a non-sucistic age, we live in a narcissistic age, and people are faking it. They're focused on themselves, and they're faking it. We're coming full circle back to the issue of gold diggers.

You see, the demonization of narcissists, which I am the father of, I started it in 1995. I was the first to write about narcissism online, and for nine years, I've been the only one. The only one. There was no one else.

You must understand this. It was the only voice.

And of course, I define the agenda. And I'm the one who demonized narcissists first, probably an act of self-hatred.

But the demonization of narcissists led to the point that you feel comfortable to behave with narcissists the way you would never behave with anyone else. You feel comfortable to tell narcissists everything they want to hear. In other words, to lie to them. You feel comfortable to egg on and foster and engender their fantasies and their grandiosity to manipulate them. You feel comfortable to take advantage of their gallibility.

You have not problems whatsoever to abuse narcissists.

You say to yourself, they deserve a taste of their own medicine. You hurt narcissists, you betray them, you cheat on them. You say to yourself, he doesn't mind. He doesn't care.

I can do anything I want. He's a narcissist. In any case, he has no human rights because he's not human.

This degrades you, not a narcissist. This kind of behavior reduces and impacts your humanity. You're becoming less human.

The more you treat others, including narcissists, inhumanly, the more inhuman you become, the more narcissistic.

Narcissists infect you by forcing you to behave in narcissistic ways.

Don't you understand that? You're playing into their hands. You're playing their game when you cheat on them, when you betray them, when you hurt them, when you argue with them, when you manipulate them, when you lie to them, you're playing into their hands. They're winning.


One topic I've seriously neglected in my videos, mea culpa, is emotional charisma. There is a video I've made lately where I explained the distinction between emotions and cognitions. It's a very old one and no longer accepted in psychology.

We today think that emotions are a subspecies of cognition. Emotional reasoning is a very interesting concept. It's a cognitive deficit in effect. It's a disrupted cognitive process. It's a logical fallacy.

It's to say, if I'm feeling this way, it proves that something is true, that my emotions tell me everything I need to know about reality. If I'm feeling jealous, it means my partner is cheating. Never mind if he's a quadriplegic and doesn't move from his bed. He's still cheating.

Why? Because I'm feeling jealous. When emotions become judgment, when emotions become the bedrock of opinions, when emotions substitute for reality testing, when all the empirical evidence is contrary and yet you trust your emotions rather than the empirical evidence, that's not the same like trusting your gut reaction. It's not the same like trusting your intuition because gut reaction and intuition are not emotional. They are cognitive. They are fast, ultra-fast reasoning processes.

I'm talking now about emotions, envy, hatred, jealousy, love. Positive emotions as well.

Oh, I feel good with him. He must be a good person. I feel jealous. He must be cheating on me. I feel angry. He mistreated me. He abused me. Why? He didn't do anything.

Yeah, but I feel bad. He caused me. He made me feel bad.

It's when you go from emotions to reality rather than from reality to emotions. This is emotional reason. It creates kind of emotional truth.

Of course, emotional truth very often is in direct conflict with real truth, with reality, and it's also in conflict with your perceptions, what is called perception of truth. And so it's dissonant. It's dissonant.

Emotional reasoning leads to dissonance because you have to reconcile conflicting bits of information.

You have your emotions, which is a bit of information. You have information from reality. You have perceptions. You have to put them all together.

Within narrative that is self-consistent, has internal consistency, the parts fit each other, and has external consistency. The narrative must fit reality and be able to predict it like a scientific theory.

So this dissonance creates feelings of anxiety, fear, apprehension, even panic, stressful situations, and anxiety disorders often founded on emotional reasoning. So emotional reasoning is very, very common in people with personality disorders, especially cluster B, because they are incapable. They don't have access to reality. Their access to reality is not direct. It's indirect. It's mediated.

The narcissist's access to reality is via other people. The borderline's access to reality is via her emotions. She is the queen of emotional reasoning. Consequently, she is also a drama queen. So emotional reasoning substitutes for an inability to extract or extricate information, proper, vetted, reasoned information, data actually, impartial, unemotional data, big data like computers do.


Okay. Some people ask me why some narcissists are successful and accomplished, and some are not.

Why do some narcissists rise to the top, become pillars of the community, while others, they have identical personality cast, maybe even identical history, and they fail miserably in every single thing they attempt, in every dimension of their thwarted lives, in every relationship.

Why some narcissists make it and some narcissists break it?

Well, any combination of two or three things distinguish the high-functioning productive narcissist from his loser brother.

Number one, the successful narcissist is unusually gifted and endowed, skilled or talented to the point that his unique contributions are indispensable or irreplaceable.

Think Einstein, think Mozart, think Beethoven. His character flaws are attributed to his genius, quirky genius, mad genius. He's not a bad person, he's just genius.

Number two, the successful narcissist tolerates people, tolerates them. He hates their guts, he holds them in contempt, he's the world's number one misanthrope, but he hides it, he fakes, he fakes. The successful narcissist fakes, faints, pretends, play acts. The loser, the failure, the defeated, the collapse narcissist doesn't aim to do this. He's above this, he's above it all.

His grandiosity is so toxic, all pervasive, ubiquitous, that he doesn't even allow him to make the minimal efforts needed to participate in social interactions.

So the successful, high-functioning, productive narcissist tolerates people, interacts with people. Even if these people are only passive acolytes, fans, admirers, he somehow succeeds to collaborate with other people, to lead other people, and even to inspire loyalty. He fakes normalcy and empathy, and he hides his cynical and misanthropic content of other people, or his strictly self-interested agenda.

Important difference.

Number three, the successful narcissist is persistent, goal-oriented, focused, one-track-minded, committed, invested, and hard worker. He is as self-destructive as any narcissistic slacker, but first he builds, and then he demolishes.

First he builds, the failure narcissist, the collapse narcissist, never succeeds even to build on it. He just daydreams. He's in a park or something. He remains stuck in the shared fantasy. There's no bridge, no drawbridge between the castle of his fantasy, the Disney World castle.

Remember the Disney 1960s? The Disney castle and reality. Miguel de Una Mono was an author, I think he died in the 30s, and he said we can choose happiness and turn away from suffering, or we can choose suffering and love.

Only suffering allows us to love other suffering human beings.

And Walter Benjamin said the only way to know a person is to love them hopelessly.

These two maxims are wasted on the collapse narcissist. The collapse narcissist refuses to suffer. He thinks he has a right to go through life without suffering, investment, commitment, nuisance, demands, chores, and responsibilities.

The successful narcissist, the productive narcissist agrees to suffer, agrees to sacrifice, accepts as a quid pro quo that there's a price to cost, there's price and cost to reward ratio. He realizes it's a give and take, and so he chooses suffering and love, love from the universe, love by intimate partners, and loving the form of making money, or being successful, or becoming well known. These are all forms of love.

The world loves you back when you invest, when you commit, when you're present, the world loves you back. When you stand aloof, when you're detached, when you're haughty, the nose in the sky, I mean, the world hates you. People hate you. Ask me.

Herbert Rosenfeld is a psychologist, and he played the leading part in the work of followers of Melanie Klein. He was actually the first to describe the destructive aspects of narcissism.

As far as Rosenfeld was concerned, he wrote, destructive narcissism is directed against the libidinal ties or bonds of the self to the object.

Rosenfeld placed the emphasis on relationships. He said, destructive narcissism is not a self-contained phenomenon. It's not like the narcissist self combusts, or self emulates, or disappears in a puff of smoke.

No, he said. Let me read to you again. Destructive narcissism is directed against the libidinal ties or bonds of the self to other people, to the object.

The concept that Rosenfeld came up with is narcissistic omnipotent object relations.

Rosenfeld didn't think that narcissism was mostly an internal process. He thought it was a failure in relationships. It's state of mind, dominated by internal objects rather than external objects.

It's when the ego, according to Rosenfeld, merges with, for example, what I call the shared fantasy and Sigmund Freud used to call the ego ideal.

And there's insane mad omnipotence.

Kernberg, Otto Kernberg borrowed these concepts from Rosenfeld. It was Kernberg who first came with the notion of a grandiose self.

But Kernberg took us away, all of us, because we're all his children, intellectual children, but he took all of us away from Rosenfeld's relational emphasis.

And he took us away into the mind of the narcissist.

It's a lot more solipsistic, a lot more Cartesian, the cart.


Let's study the mind. As though the mind is in a vat or in an aquarium, isolated from the environment, can be kind of studied scientifically just by observing slansets.

The narcissist is embedded. Other people have an effect on the narcissist, even if he is like me, a total introvert, a recluse. Sometimes I go years without seeing a human face. And yet I'm impacted, of course.

And it would be useless to try to describe the narcissist's mind without the narcissist's abysmal failure in relating to other people.

In general, Kernberg's misstep is a part of a larger grandiose phenomenon.

Psychologists pre-assume a universal human nature. It's a part of an attempt to scientific psychology, to make it the equivalent of physics.

Like there is a universal human nature, exactly like there's a theory of everything in physics. And if we discover this universal human nature, we can measure it, we can test it, it's like an object. This causes complete masses.

Unmitigated masses on philosophical grounds. I mean, I can go now into a harangue tirade or a diatribe of two hours, well-substantiated diatribe.

Philosophically, it's impossible. This assumption that there's a universal human nature is a philosophical, logical fallacyIt's wrong.

Now, there is affinity between humans and computers. I mentioned it in my interview with Guy. And they're both universal Turing machines, universal machines, Turing's universal machines.

And so what we did, we took computers and we use them as metaphors. So we don't need to study humans. We study computers deeply enough, we will gain insights about humans.

Again, it's a fallacy. It's a fallacy on so many levels, I don't know where to start. It's anti-scientific.

We never do this in science. We never study one entity with the assumption that this way we can totally decipher the higher functions of another entity.

If you learn everything there is to learn about computers, including artificial intelligence, including artificial intelligence that behaves unpredictably, has emergent phenomena, epiphenomena, then you learn everything there is to learn about computers and artificial intelligence and extremely little about the higher functions of humans.

And so we need to regain, regain humility. We need to regain humility.

We need to begin to understand that psychology is a more rigorous form of literature that cannot provide us with insights which are deeper or better than literature.

Um, we imbue psychology with meaning and with direction and we go, and this is a classic mistake in science. It's called teleology because we cannot contemplate a meaningless world.

We've discussed, I've discussed this in my nothingness videos. So we form our own meaning, we invent all kinds of things, or we become the meaning, that's narcissism, and in the process we sacrifice everything and everyone around us.

The pursuit of meaning and the addiction to hope and the aversion to risk are the three greatest curses of the previous century in this one. They lead us to extinction, these three witches, Macbeth witches, they lead us to extinction as a species.

Okay, Mina and I wish you good night and good luck wherever you are, or maybe.

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