Narcissist As Social Misfit

Uploaded 7/10/2023, approx. 46 minute read

Okay, "Bessal salim uvezal salot" Look it up.

I am the tinted abulation of your dawning day. Look that up too.

Do you know the difference between "toxin" with a "c" and "toxin" with an "x"? If you don't, hurry up to Google. Type the words. Learn the meanings. You will be rewarded.

You have my word as the blue former visiting professor of psychology, Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited.

Today we are going to discuss the Narcissist as a social misfit, a failure when it comes to social interactions, social roles, social scripts, functioning in society, socialization process, etc.

The Narcissist social failure is at the core and the heart of the very important process of collapse.

Narcissistic collapse is inexorable. It is intimately intertwined with other phenomena such as narcissistic mortification, another example of social inadequacy.

Indeed, I have been advocating for many years to consider narcissistic personality disorders, antisocial personality disorders, schizoid, paranoid, etc., to consider these personality disorders as relational disorders of interpersonal communication and interpersonal relations, or disorders of the individual as much as disorders of the ability to relate to other people and interact with them, relational disorders.

So today we are going to make use of insights from social learning theory and apply them to the Narcissist, his predicament, the conundrum of his existence and his existential condition.

I love 10 dollar words, don't you? The only thing I love more than 10 dollar words is 10 dollars, but that's because I'm a Jew.

Okay, enough with antisemitism for one video, let's proceed to the topic.

But before we do, a service announcement.

I installed antisem filters on my client facing server. And so the antisem filters take out messages from unwanted sources and then delete them directly on the server. So I don't get to see them. It's a delete from server instruction through my email client.

So if you don't get a response within 24 hours to a request for counseling that you have sent me by email, that's because your message has been deleted by the antisem filter and it's been deleted on the server so I never get to see it. It doesn't end up in my junk folder or spam folder or you name it. It doesn't reach my computer at all.

Now I've been assured by my web admin that you should be receiving kind of message telling you that your email has been deleted on the server.

But be the case as it may. If you haven't received a response, you ask for counseling, you ask for information about my counseling services, scheduled counseling, whatever, and you haven't received a response in 24 hours, there are two options.

Option number one, leave your email address here in the comments.

I do not recommend this option.

I do not recommend this option.

The other option is go to my Instagram. The link is in the description. The description is under the video.

So under the video, there's a description and the description is a link. Click on the link and then leave me a direct message, a DM, on my Instagram account with your email address.

So in your message, include your email address.

And what I will do then, I will white list your email address. I will include it in a white list so that the anti-spam filters allow you through.

If you don't, then the anti-spam filter may erroneously identify you as a blacklisted email address, delete your message from the server, and I will never ever get to see it in any way, shape or form.

You get that?


I hope you do because my livelihood depends on it and you do recall how much I love $10 and $10 words.

Narcissists, social misfits, social freaks, social failures, unable to properly interact with other people, partly because they lack the basic equipment. They have only called empathy. They don't have emotional empathy. So they are unable to read other people properly, social cues, sexual cues, and so on.

Additionally, they have no access to positive emotions. So they interact with other people only via negative emotions, negative affects such as envy or rage. That's not very conducive to a thriving social life.

And their inability to gauge reality properly, their impaired reality testing, reality is filtered through cognitive distortions such as grandiosity.

This inability to embed oneself in reality is again a handicap, an obstacle, an obstruction to being able to interact with other people.

In short, narcissists resemble people with autism spectrum disorder to such an extent that autism spectrum disorder is often misdiagnosed as narcissistic personality disorder when it's not the case, only and solely based on social dysfunctions.

Before we proceed to social learning theory and what it says about narcissists, I want to read to you something.

It's from the book, I hope the camera captures it, it's from the book How Democracies Die, a very interesting book, How Democracies Die. It's authored by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.

Sorry about that. And page 200 of the book, How Democracies Die, there's a quote, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who used to be New York's Democratic senator. In 1993, he was a social scientist, but in 1993, he made an observation.

Humans have a limited ability to cope with people behaving in ways that depart from shared standards.

When unwritten rules are violated over and over, societies have a tendency to define deviancy down, to shift the standard.

What once was seen as abnormal becomes normal, says Moynihan.

And as Moynihan observed, in the face of widespread deviance, we become overwhelmed and then desensitized. We grow accustomed to what we previously thought to be scandalous.

And this explains the rise of narcissism as the trend, as a fad in current modern or postmodern societies around the world. We got used to narcissism. We have become desensitized.

In Moynihan's phrase, we have defined deviancy down. We accept what used to be abnormal as the new normal.

Social learning theory is the general view that learning is largely or wholly due to modeling, imitation, other types of social interactions.

Now, what I'm going to do in this video, I'm going to give a brief overview of what we know about social interactions or social functioning and then apply it to the narcissist.

So it's going to be a while before I actually get to the narcissist, but it's worth it because I'm going to equip you with tools to understand the narcissist better.

Everyone puts an emphasis on the narcissist as an individual. Everyone analyzes the narcissist mindset, the narcissist's self-states, the narcissist's lack of ego or ego, dysfunctional ego, the narcissist, this and the narcissist's debt, as if the narcissist was some kind of atom, totally separated.

And here's the problem, narcissists never make it. They never attain separation from mother. They never become individuals.

Narcissism is a failure in separation, individuation.

Ironically, narcissists are more enmeshed in society than healthy normal people. Healthy normal people maintain boundaries. Healthy normal people know where they stop and the world begins, where the world ceases and they begin.

But narcissists can't tell the difference between external and internal. They internalize the world. They convert external objects to internal objects and they become very dependent on input from the outside, narcissistic supply from narcissistic supply sources in order to regulate their internal environment, most notably their sense of self-worth.

This is called external regulation. That's why I keep saying that narcissism is a form of codependency and that narcissist is distinct from psychopaths.

Narcissists are pro-social. They are communal. They just don't know how to act properly in society and how to take into account the interests and dynamics of the communities they are embedded in.

But the psychopath can survive without anyone.

Psychopath needs no one, he's a lone wolf.

Psychopath cannot survive for five minutes without other people.

He needs other people to define him, to provide him with external boundaries because he has never learned to separate and has never become an individual.

And so it's ridiculous to discuss pathological narcissism and narcissists in terms of individuals because they are not adults and they are not individuals. They are mummies' boys or girls. They are still tied to mummies' apron strings. They have never let go. Mummy wouldn't let them. Mummy was not a secure base on the one hand, but on the other hand, she did not allow the child to move away, to explore the world, to develop a sense of core identity. She insisted on merging and fusing with the child.

Even as a dead mother, an emotionally absent mother, depressed or narcissistic or self-centered or parentalizing or instrumentalizing, an abusive mother, even then the child became an extension, a platform and a playground.

So narcissists can never be fully captured and fully understood unless we study their social interactions or actually lack of social interactions.

And here social learning theory is the main tool.

Now behavior in social learning theory is assumed to be developed and regulated by external stimuli, events that stimulate the individual.

For example, the influence of peers.

So there's external stimuli.

In the case of the narcissist, this would be narcissistic supply.

And there is external reinforcement such as praise or blame or reward, positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. I discussed it in my video on conditioning.

Time to minify. Don't ask what I'm drinking. Don't ask stupid questions and you won't get lies in return.


So social learning theory suggests that there are various processes that allow us to be exposed to stimuli, external stimuli and seek reinforcement, usually positive.

And of course, if we fail, negative.

This totally encapsulates and permeates and penetrates the narcissist's way of existing, the narcissist being in the world.

The narcissist seeks constantly, addictively external stimuli is a junkie of narcissistic supply.

On the other hand, he seeks reinforcement. He wants to be told that his false self is anything but false. I'm a genius.

Yes, you are a genius. I'm handsome. You're drunk dead gorgeous.

Okay. Yes, I am talking about myself.

Now, social learning theory suggested that there are various mechanisms and processes, modeling, imitation and others, which we will discuss.

We start with modeling.

Modeling is by far the most pervasive and powerful means of transmitting patterns of behavior.

Observers extract rules and structure underlying the model activities. Observers generate new patterns of behavior that conform to these properties, but they go beyond what they have heard and seen. They expand their knowledge and skills and they don't all the time go through the process of learning by response consequences.

In short, modeling is like a launch pad or even better a catalyst.

You watch people around you, you observe how they react, how they behave, and then you use them as a model.

But the model is just a part of it because you superimpose on the model who you are, your essence, your identity, your character, your temperament, your personality, and other experiences, life experiences and so on.

And so finally you diverge and deviate from the model to a large degree, but it's still kind of the nucleus of who you become.

The narcissist has a problem with this because the narcissist does not perceive separateness.

The narcissist cannot be modeled. The narcissist cannot enjoy the benefits of modeling.

In order to experience modeling, in order to use modeling to shape your behavior, you need to recognize that there is a distinct entity out there, an external object that is your model.

Narcissists cannot do this. Narcissists remain stuck in the symbiotic phase. They remain enmeshed, infused, and merged with "mummy."

We don't use the phrase "symbiotic phase" anymore, but I love it because I think it captures the essence of what's happening to the narcissist in early childhood.

So "mummy" and later "father" cannot be a model, cannot be models.

How can you be your own model?

If the child is one with a mother, then it is the child who is his or her own model.

If "mummy" equals "child," then "child" equals "mummy." There's no one out there to emulate, to imitate, to copy, to observe. No one out there who can serve as a model.

The term "modeling" is associated with the work of Albert Bandougin and Julian Rotter, for those of you who want to learn more.

Bandouin came up with a variant of social learning theory known as social-cognitive theory. It is an extension of the original theory, and it includes the effects of cognitive processes, such as conceptions, judgment, motivation, ideas, even to some extent values and beliefs, anything that can be translated or is experienced as cognition, as distinct from emotions.

Now, there are schools that say that emotions are types of cognition, but put it aside. Cognitions as we know them classically.

So cognitions affect the individual's behavior and the environment that influences the individual.

So cognitive processes change not only the individual, but also the environment in which the individual operates and the way this environment acts upon the individual, in other words, the interaction.

I refer you to my video on IPAN, intrapsychic activation model.

Also there were some academic articles published on my new theory. It's a new theory I came up with and incorporates actually social-cognitive theory.

Anyway, coming back to Bandura.

So according to Bandura, you don't absorb knowledge passively for environmental inputs. You actively influence the process of learning by interpreting the outcomes of actions.

And then this affects the environment.

So your actions affect the environment and you learn from this via cognition. You learn how to influence the environment.

This leads to what we will later discuss, something called self-efficacy.

And so you're not a passive container or a passive recipient or a sponge of knowledge from environmental input.

Individuals actively influence their learning by interpreting the outcomes of their actions.

And these outcomes, these affect the environment and also personal factors are involved, which ultimately inform and alter subsequent behaviors.

So it's much more complex than just sitting there and waiting for the environment to tell you what to do. It's much more complex than just observing a model and becoming that model.

No, numerous other factors are at play. All of them mediated cognitively.

The emphasis on this interaction of behavioral, environmental and personal factors is a major development, a breakthrough.

Julian Rother, which is an Austrian born, US now personality psychologist, another psychologist, Walter Mission, many others, they propose alternatives.

But Bandura's work, 1986, is the main social cognitive theory.

So to recap, people seek to develop a sense of agency. They seek to exert control over important events in their lives.

And this sense is affected by factors such as self-efficacy, outcome expectations, goals and self-evaluation.

I'll define self-efficacy and then I will apply all this to the narcissist.

Self-efficacy, which I kept kept using this phrase in many videos, people were complaining that that's not a $10 word, it's a $100 word, it's too much.

So let me define self-efficacy finally. It's a subjective perception. So it's not an objective thing, cannot be measured. It's a subjective thing. And it's when you gauge, when you evaluate, appraise your capability to perform in any given setting or any given environment and to attain desired results.

Again, Albert Bandura came with this idea and he said it's the primary determinant of emotional and motivational states and behavioral change. He called it perceived self-efficacy. It's more accurate.

So you ask yourself, am I able to perform or to what degree am I able to perform in this environment in this setting? And what will happen to my performance if I were to be dislocated or relocate to another environment or other settings?

Question number one.

Question number two, can I obtain favorable outcomes, desired results by acting in and on this environment in these settings?

And then you kind of calibrate the answers and you get your sense or your perception of your own self-efficacy, subjective thing.


Again, narcissists are totally disabled when it comes to all these, totally disabled.

Narcissists are passive containers. They are recipients. They are not active.

This is why narcissists have an external locus of control and cannot learn. They're incapable of learning. They have an external locus of control because they just sit there and they are totally regulated via and through external inputs, inputs from the outside.

Narcissists are passive recipients of inputs from the outside, which then these inputs define them. These inputs regulate them. These inputs motivate them. These inputs modify their behaviors. They're like substrates. They're like platforms. They're like nothing. They're like raw material.

And so they are incapable of learning. They're incapable of learning because they are passive absorbers. They're sponges.

They don't interpret the outcomes of their actions. They are also highly dissociative. So they fail to see the connection between actions and consequences. They have no personal identity or core or ego, if you wish.

So there are no personal factors at play. They don't even have an identity disturbance like borderlines because they don't have an identity. They are chameleons.

Those of you who have watched the wonderful, who've seen the wonderful film, Zellick, Woody Allen's film. Zellick is the perfect reification of what's going on, what goes on inside the narcissist.

In short, the narcissist is passive and reactive and static.

So he develops an external locus of control.

The narcissist justly believes that his life is determined from the outside.

If he's so inclined, he develops paranoia. He says, there's a malevolent conspiracy against me. He's the center of malign attention.

It's also a form of narcissism.

So in all these cases, the narcissist perceives himself as a plaything, as a toy, as an object. He self-objectifies and he defines himself through the gaze of other people.

Ironically, the narcissist tries to do this to his intimate partners.

Everything that happens to the narcissist, the narcissist tries to impose on his intimate partner.

He couldn't separate from money. He doesn't want her to separate from him. He has abandonment anxiety. He wants her to develop one.

He cannot learn. He wants her to not learn. He depends on external inputs for self-regulation. He wants her to become dependent on him. He defines himself through other people's gaze. He wants her to define herself through his gaze as an ideal object, etc.

In short, he wants her to become an extension of him, another narcissist.

So narcissists do not learn, are incapable of personal growth, development, evolution and learning. They're stuck at an early age.

Most narcissists are anywhere between two and nine years old. A nine-year-old narcissist is seriously mature and adult. Most narcissists are two years old.

And so it's very difficult to apply social learning theory to narcissists because they don't have most of the requisites.

Nasties also don't feel very self-efficacious. Narcissists pretend to be dominant, pretend to be self-efficacious, pretend to be dangerous, pretend to be efficient, pretend to be everything. But actually they're not. This is all make-believe. It's all fake it till you make it. It's all facade. It's all a compensatory layer intended to hide the reality of shame, inadequacy, anxiety, terror inside.

Now this is true for covert narcissists mostly and for some overt narcissists.

And this is one of the main reasons why there's a debate nowadays in the profession, whether the only true narcissists are actually covert narcissists because overt narcissists don't have, they're less motivated by shame and so on. They feel less inadequate. They are less compensatory.

And so they're much closer to psychopaths.

Okay, we'll leave this aside.

Now, social learning is learning that is facilitated through social interactions with other individuals. This includes local enhancement, emulation, imitation, mimicry. These are the mechanisms involved in social learning.

The narcissist is exactly like someone with autism. The narcissist has serious difficulties with other people, is unable to develop long-term relationships, anything from intimate relationships to friendships. He goes through cycles of separation, individuation that push people away and he's subject to approach avoidance, repetition, compulsion.

So all the social interactions and so-called pseudo relationships of the narcissist are insufficiently deep, insufficiently intense and insufficiently prolonged to induce or to be conducive to learning.

Narcissists cannot learn from others because they don't have others in their lives. Whoever enters the narcissist's life is immediately converted to an internal object, which is static, immutable and can teach you nothing.

Learning is about change, the observation of change, the experience of change and the lessons we derive from change.

Narcissists don't change, not externally and not internally.

Narcissism is a grief reaction, frozen in time. Narcissist is a stalactite or a stalagmite, depending where you come from, and therefore is a fossil, is fossilized.

There has been life there once, but it's long gone. The false self is a kind of entity that is all devouring and all consuming because it's very much like a black hole. There's no life inside a black hole. Even light cannot escape, only tiny amounts of deadly radiation.

So social learning, there are many mechanisms.

Social enhancement is the first mechanism. It's when one or more individuals engage in behavior with an object or a particular location.

So this draws your attention. You see other people doing something somewhere, it draws your attention to this location or to this object, and then you acquire similar behavior.

If they play with the ball, you join the game. If they are all focused on a specific thing in the ground, you join them and look down.

So you emulate the behavior, you imitate the behavior because you have been locally enhanced. Your attention has been attracted to a particular place in the environment or to a particular object.

It's not specific social interaction. There's not social interaction between the demonstrators, if you wish, and the observer, but it leads to learning.

Leadership is a different thing. It's the ability to comprehend the goals of a model.

So first, in order to emulate, you need to have a wrong model. It could be mother, could be father, could be an older brother or sister, sibling, could be your peers, could be teacher, could be someone from the media or show business or sports, doesn't matter.

The ability to comprehend the goals of your model and to engage in similar behavior in order to achieve similar goals.

You don't necessarily replicate the actions of the model, but you adopt the values of the model. You adopt the aims and purposes of the model. You adopt what gives the model's life meaning.

In short, you enter the same meaning space. You share the same space of meaning with the model and this facilitates social learning.

Emulation is not the same as imitation.

Imitation is a process of actually copying behaviors.

So emulation is sharing the same values, beliefs, goals, aims, purposes, and so on and so forth.

But not the same actions in emulation.

In imitation, you copy the behavior. You copy the actions of another person or group or object and you do it intentionally and sometimes unintentionally or even unconsciously.

It's a very basic primitive form of learning.

But it accounts for most human skills, gestures, interests, attitudes, raw behaviors, social customs, sexual scripts, verbal expressions. They are all the outcomes of imitation which starts very early in life.

Some theories, some scholars propose that true imitation requires that an observer is able to take the perspective of the model and that calls for empathy.

Imitation actually calls for a rudimentary form of empathy known as reflexive empathy, later on cognitive and then emotional. These are the three layers of empathy.

The narcissist has reflexive empathy. He has cognitive empathy, but he has no emotional empathy. So he has what I call empathy.

Called empathy is cognitive plus reflexive plus cognitive.

So according to these scholars, if you don't have empathy, you're unable to put yourself in the model's shoes. You're unable to take the perspective of the model and you are unable to imitate the model, at least not efficiently.

So you're unable to learn.

It's a debate, it's a disagreement, controversy, whether true imitation occurs in animals also or whether animals just emulate the actions of others or just attracted to location or we let it aside.

In humans, it definitely exists. And it should be again, emulation and imitation should be distinguished from mimicry.

Now I have a whole video dedicated to mimicry on this channel because mimicry is the only form of social learning that the narcissist engages in, but he abuses it.

He abuses mimicry in order to deceive people, coerce them and then mistreat them, abuse them.

So the only mechanism of learning via social interactions available to the narcissist is mimicry and the narcissist thwarts it, corrupts it, defigures it, deforms it into, weaponizes it into a tool of subjugation, subjection, psychopathic coercion and so on and so forth.

Here is a form of social learning in which people without conscious awareness or intent automatically copy other people's physical movements, postures, gestures, mannerisms, facial expressions, speech patterns and emotions during personal interactions. This is called behavioral mimicry and it probably arises out of the need to belong or to be affiliated. It facilitates a way to establish rapport with others.

Masters abuse this. They pretend to be someone they are not. They pretend to be you. They pretend to be like you. And then they penetrate your defenses. They invade, they colonize, they take over, they entrain and they coercively force you to regress to infancy and to adopt a view of you which is unrealistic, is fantastic.

And all this is done via mimicry. I will not go into details. There's a whole video dedicated to it. Watch it.

Now social motive is any motive acquired as a result of interacting with other people. It could be a universal motive, for example, to belong, to be affiliated. It could be culture specific.

The need for accomplishments or achievements doesn't matter. When you associate with other people, when you interact with other people, you acquire motives. And these motives motivate you to behave in specific ways.

There's a breakdown here. There's a problem here with the narcissist as well. The narcissist's only goal, purpose, aim, meaning in life is narcissistic supply.

So the narcissist, when he interacts with other people, his only motive is to extract supply. And this motivates him to behave in ways that generate or engender supply in sources of supply.

This is exceedingly narrow, robotic, constricted. This is why I keep saying that in many, many respects, the narcissist is not a full fledged human, is much closer to an expert system or a highly specific type of artificial intelligence, not even general intelligence.

So narcissists have no social motives except the obtaining of supply.

And this leads the narcissist inexorably to collapse.

I have at least 20 videos on this show, which describe and analyze the various aspects of collapse. And so I recommend that you search the channel and find them.

But collapse leads to something known as social breakdown syndrome. It is a symptom, a pattern of symptoms observed.

Originally there were this breakdown syndrome was observed in institutionalized individuals, individuals in what we call total institutions, in hospitals, mental asylum, the army, and so on and so forth, because they have a chronic mental illness. They would be in prisons, they are denied freedom and all the people incapable of moving. Whenever freedom is taken away, capacity is taken away, self-efficacy is reduced, agency is annihilated, independence and autonomy, a compromise. Whenever this happens, there's a social breakdown syndrome.

And the symptoms include withdrawal, apathy, submissiveness, progressive social and vocational incompetence and so on and so forth. I call it the schizoid phase in the narcissistic cycle.

Narcissists go through numerous schizoid phases in their lives, following in some cases narcissistic injury, in other cases narcissistic mortification and so on and so forth.

Again, there are videos on the channel which describe the schizoid phase.

Originally social breakdown syndrome was considered a sign of mental illness, symptomatic of some kind of mental disorder.

But now we realize that it is the outcome of internalized negative stereotypes.

So when you are sick, you identify with the role of being sick. This is known as labeling theory.

When you're a prisoner, you adopt the role of a prisoner. Sarto mentioned it in his famous example of the waiter. So the waiter is not an authentic person, it's a person playing a waiter.

Similarly, narcissism involves a lot of acting based on expectations, based on cumulative experience. The narcissist expects certain outcomes from the environment because he has learned, well to the extent that he's capable of learning, he's been conditioned more precisely to expect these outcomes.

And so he knows that if he does A, he's going to obtain B. If he acts in a certain way, he's going to get supplied. If he acts in a different way, he's going to be shunned and shamed and ostracized and punished.

And so he's like a binary system, binary machine or device. I feel good, I feel bad.

Psychopaths are exactly the same.

In short, what I'm trying to say, and I have said it in earlier videos, pathological narcissism and psychopathy and to a large degree, mental illness is role playing. People play roles.

Now I'm not talking about schizophrenia, for example, which is the logical foundation, but I'm talking about personality disorders. Personality disorders are play acting. They require thespian skills. That's why people keep saying, he deceived me. I didn't see through him until much later because there is a consummate skill at pretending to be someone else. There is an absence of social support because narcissists are very bad at creating social networks and so on.

And there is in the narcissist's life, there's a lack of stimulation. There's largely an unchanged routine of obtaining supply.

The best simile would be a junkie. The narcissist is a junkie, a junkie of narcissistic supply. The drug is narcissistic supply.

So he's like a junkie. His life is very structured by the need to obtain supply. His behaviors are constricted, minimal, stereotypical, all geared towards securing supply from sources and from the environment. His expectations are minimal to obtain supply. If he fails, he collapses because he has no alternative resources. He's not resilient. He is not embedded in society. He has no social learning and no social interactions and no social fabric and no social network.

And so he falls apart.

Nasties interact with other people to obtain supply.

Therefore, all other people are pushers.

Are you intimate with your pusher? Not really. I mean, you do keep your distance. Even if you sleep with your pusher, you keep your distance.

It's the same with the narcissist. That's why he develops paranoia, paranoid ideation over the lifetime.

By the end of his life, the narcissist is highly paranoid because he has learned that he is incapable of intimacy and securing the loyalty of people around him.

The social age of the narcissist.

Social age is a numerical scale unit. It expresses how mature a person is in terms of his or her interpersonal skills and the ability to fulfill the norms and expectations associated with particular social roles as compared to others of the same chronological age.

So we have something called social age. If you are 62 years old, hint, hint, and you function very similar to a two year old in terms of social functioning, social roles, social acting, then your social age is two divided by 62. Not a good number. Trust me.

So the social age of a narcissist is always a fraction, a very low fraction. Even when the narcissist reaches very advanced age, socially, as far as social competencies, social skills, social capacities and abilities, the narcissist is stuck at a very early age.

So the older he grows, the older he becomes, the smaller the fraction.

Social age of the narcissist goes down and that's the only case in all other people, healthy, normal people. Social age goes up.

In the narcissist goes down because he ages, but he remains the same as far as his social skill is.

Social age is similar to mental age is derived from ratings gathered from the individual or from parents, caregivers, friends, etc.

There's actually a scale. It's called the Vineland adaptive behavior scale scales. It's a group of scales and they give you a picture. If you apply the Vineland adaptive behavior scales to narcissists, you receive results which are beyond mind boggling, out of this world.

There's something called the social clock. In any given culture, the social clock is the set of norms that govern the ages at which particular life events are expected to occur.

At a certain age, you begin school, at a certain age you leave home, then you get married, you have children, you retire, etc. All these are clocked more or less.

And of course the clock changes. We get married nowadays much later. We have children, if at all, much later and so on. The social clock is amenable to change and reflects changing more age, changing values and so on.

But with the narcissist, there is no social clock. Social clock is frozen like everything else in the narcissist life.

The narcissist may begin school, he may leave home, he may get married and he may have children, but this is all external. It does not reflect any form of social functioning and definitely doesn't resonate with the narcissist inside.

It's again an act, a theater play, a movie, a production. The narcissist does all these things because he's expected to do them. And because doing these things signal to the outside world that he is normal.

Narcissist never attains social maturity. It's a level of behavior in accordance with the social standards that are the norm for individuals of a particular age, he never makes it.

His social competence is very low. Social competence is the effectiveness or skill in interpersonal relations and social situations.

And so it's an important component of mental health. Social competence involves the ability to evaluate social situations and determine what is expected, what is required, how to behave, to recognize the feelings and intentions of others, to select social behaviors that are most appropriate for any given context, to have appropriate effect, not inappropriate effect.

It is important to note that what is required and appropriate, of course, changes across cultures and societies and settings and so on, but the narcissist fails. He has zero social competence. He has social deficit. He has an inability, unwillingness sometimes, poor judgment definitely in the performance of social activities commensurate with his chronological age, intelligence, physical condition, position.

And so this social deficit reduces his ability to obtain social support.

And in behavior therapy, we try to deal with social deficits, but behavior therapy has minimal impact on the narcissist because of his massive grandiosity defenses.

And so narcissists are doomed. They're doomed to something that amounts almost to social imperception disorder.

Yes, it's a clinical term. Social imperception disorder is a condition characterized by a lack of awareness of common social interaction processes and interpersonal behaviors.

There's a difficulty in recognizing and understanding other people's feelings and emotions.

And this is typical of autism spectrum disorder and of narcissists.

Narcissists are socially maladjusted. They're incapable of developing relationships that satisfy affiliative needs.

Constantly, no one is loyal to the narcissist. No one remains faithful. Everyone betrays the narcissist time and again, and he is like shocked.

And he says, why do people betray me? Why do women cheat on me? Why do my friends stab me in the back and act like snakes in the grass?

Well, that's because you didn't engender in them. You didn't foster loyalty, faithfulness, affiliation, and belonging.

There's no, there's a lack of social finesse or tact in narcissists.

There's a breakdown of the process of maintaining constructive social relationships. Narcissists even fail with basic social roles. Social roles are the set of attitudes and characteristic behaviors expected of an individual who occupies a specific position or performs a particular function in a social context.

A spouse, a therapist, a medical doctor, a caregiver. These are functions, social functions, and together with them, there's a social role.

You could think of a social role as a manual that tells you how to behave when you are acting in a certain capacity. For example, a teacher. You have like a social role of a teacher.

The mental age of the narcissist is very, very low.

And so what the narcissist does, he resorts to something known as anchoring. He is unmoored. The narcissist is unmoored, is floating, he's adrift. He doesn't have a compass.

Moral, cognitive, definitely no emotional compass. He cannot direct himself because he doesn't understand people. He doesn't emotionally resonate with them and he has no empathy.

It's a terrifying situation, like finding yourself on an alien planet with no communication skills and no common language.

And so what the narcissist does, he uses anchoring. Anchoring is a value. It's like a number, a reference number, a benchmark. It's a reference point or a benchmark for the narcissist and it allows him to make judgments, to form opinions, to reach the end point of analytical processes.

So what he does, he chooses abruptly, he chooses, I would say arbitrarily, he chooses something or he chooses someone. And he uses that something or someone is a yardstick or a benchmark.

Sometimes this involves idealizing or idolizing the other person or the group or the group or a concept or an ideal or an idea or whatever or a period in history. So this is the anchor.

And then the narcissist goes through a process known as social anchoring. He bases his attitudes, values, actions on positions taken by others, usually to an extreme degree.

So contrary to psychopaths, psychopaths are defiant. They're contumacious. They hate authority. They're in your face. They never emulate or imitate others. They never go through social anchoring.

Narcissist is exactly the opposite. He's a chameleon. He's in a way the narcissist is a people pleaser because pleasing people is a way to extract supply.

The narcissist's way of anchoring himself is coercive. So he anchors himself by coercion. In other words, where healthy normal people may anchor themselves willingly by negotiation in a compromised way, the narcissist would coerce the anchor somehow.

So, for example, if a healthy person wants to emulate or imitate the behavior of an anchor, the healthy person would approach the anchor or observe the anchor or somehow affiliate with the anchor and negotiate with the anchor, compromise with the anchor. The narcissist would try to take over the anchor, would try to subsume, digest the anchor and mesh with it. Fuse and merge with it, but in a coercive way, force the anchor to become a part of the shared fantasy or part of the grandiosity of the narcissist.

So anchoring is an inability to make independent judgments, but the narcissist rapes in a way the yardsticks or the benchmarks. I mean, rapes metaphorically, the yardstick and benchmarks. He sort of takes over them.

There's a hostile take-off. Narcissist is therefore capable of social anchoring, but never of social comparison. Social comparison theory is very interesting. And intuitively, you would say that narcissists compare themselves to other people all the time. They are engaged in virulent and ambitious relative positioning.

I am better than, I am more than, I'm the best, I'm the worst ever. I'm unique. I'm special. This is the outcome of comparison.

So we would assume exactly the opposite that narcissists are into social comparison rather than social anchoring.

But the truth is exactly the opposite. So social comparison theory is a proposition that people evaluate their abilities and attitudes in relation to others. It's a process. People choose others and then compare themselves to these other people. And this builds up a self-image that is conducive or helpful to subjective sense of well-being.

So there are three types of social comparison. Upward social comparison, where you compare yourself with someone that you judge to be better than yourself. Downward social comparison, compare yourself with someone you judge to be not as good as you. And lateral social comparison, comparing yourself with your peers, anyone that is considered more or less your equal.

Social comparison theory holds that upward comparisons promote a sense of inferiority, and they are associated with negative changes in self-concept. And this is known as the contrast effect.

If you compare yourself to someone who is richer than you, more intelligent than you, you're likely to develop envy and your self-esteem is likely to suffer. You're likely to develop a more negative self-image via the contrast effect.

That's what the theory says.

Studies show that in some cases comparing yourself to people who are your bettors, your superiors, is inspiring and is actually associated with positive changes in self-concept. And this is known as the assimilation effect.

And so the narcissist has a problem with social comparison because the narcissist doesn't have a comparison group, a reference group.

This was first described by Leon Festinger in 1954.

The narcissist is incapable of putting together in his mind a group of people and then dividing them into, "These people are better than me. These people are my level. These people are less than me.

He's incapable of doing this. He's incapable of doing this because he has cognitive distortion known as grandiosity.

The narcissist needs to consider everyone as his inferior in order to buttress and support an unrealistic, fantastic, inflated self-image and self-perception as always superior.

And of course, if you do this, there's no comparison. You compare yourself to people who are less than you, but it doesn't generate any dynamics.

If everyone is your inferior, if everyone is more stupid and you're more ugly, less muscular than you, I don't know what, if everyone is less than you, why would you learn anything from them? Why would you imitate them? Why would you change yourself? I mean, you are already superior. There's no, in short, the narcissist's inability to form a comparison or reference group demotivates it, prevents him from developing motives to learn and to change.

There's no inspiration.

Narcissist is never inspired.

This is why many narcissists resort to self-supply. They inspire themselves.

There's no contrast effect and there's no assimilation effect.

The contrast effect to remind you is the perception of an intensified or heightened difference between two stimuli or sensations.

You juxtapose the two and then one immediately follows the other and you see the difference.

So when your judgment shifts away from an anchor then you compare yourself to the anchor and there's a comparison, a contrast effect.

Similarly, an assimilation effect is the effect when participants' judgment shifts towards the anchor after the anchor is introduced.

So your judgment is skewed in both cases.

In the contrast effect it pulls you away, pushes you away from the anchor and in the assimilation effect it pushes you towards the anchor.

But the narcissist is incapable of these effects and of this kind of social learning because the narcissist uses the anchor in a highly static way.

The narcissist takes over the anchor. The narcissist becomes the anchor. The narcissist coerces the anchor, assimilates, subsumes the anchor.

Narcissist wants the anchor dead. Narcissist operates on the death instinct.

Watch my video yesterday. So he wants to demobilize, to deanimate, to mummify the anchor. He wants the anchor to become an internal dead object, immutable, utterly controllable.

Sarnassus don't interact with anchors dynamically. They don't compare themselves to the anchor and then say, okay, I want to be like the anchor, the assimilation effect, or I don't want to be like the anchor, the contrast effect.

No, they don't do this. They zero in on an anchor and they hold on an anchorand then they say, I want this anchor dead because only when this anchor vanishes can I become this anchor.

It is the effect of malicious envy and narcissistic rivalry.

There's a video I've made about how covert narcissists envy someone and then they want this someone dead. They want to destroy that someone.


Because they want to become this someone. They want to steal the life of the someone. They want to take over this someone's life. They want to take over the anchor's life and become the anchor.

And this is impossible, impossible unless you eliminate the anchor and you destroy it.

Sarnassus is incapable of social comparison as a form of learning. And they have no reference group and none of these effects. They have no aspirational group and so on. Narcissists have no aspirational group. They've only a dissociative group.

I will explain the difference.

An aspirational group is a reference group that an individual aspires to join. It's maybe an actual group, maybe an imaginary group. There's interaction, interpersonal structures, professional association, football club, I don't know what, but this a group of individuals, an aggregate of individuals, and you want to belong to them. You want to share the similarities. It's a membership, a type of a kind of membership group, social body organization that people belong to or want to belong to.

Narcissists don't have this because they are unique. They're sui generis. They're one of a kind. They're infinitely superior. They're god-like.

They can't have a reference group. They can't have an aspirational group. They can't have a membership group. Everyone is in the dissociative group. It's a group with which one wishes to not be associated, to not belong because if the narcissists were to belong to a group, it would have meant that it is like the other members of the group. Equal to them, narcissists are never equal to anyone.

Narcissists don't do belonging. They don't do acceptance. They don't do society. They don't do social interaction. They don't do positive emotion. They don't do any of this.

Narcissist sees you, envies you, wants to take over you, steal your life, scavenge. It's a scavenger. It's a parasite.

He wants to become you by destroying you. He wants to become you by taking everything you have, everything you own, everything you work for, every idea you ever come up with, every person who's ever entered your life, every location you've ever been to. He wants to become you.

The only way to become you is for you to not be anymore, to disappear. He wants to kill you.

Narcissist wants to kill you, metaphorically or really in some cases, so that he can become you. That's anchoring the narcissist's style.

There's no other way. The narcissist knows how to interact with people. If he comes across an intimate path, she becomes the anchor and he wants to convert her into a totally imaginary figment in his shared fantasy. He wants to denude her of her humanity, separateness, individuality, independence, autonomy, agency, self-efficacy. He wants her dead.

The narcissist is focused on death. He reifies the death instinct where all other human beings subsist on libido, on the force of life, on Elon Vital, on Eros.

The narcissist is the embodiment, reification of the death instinct.

Narcissist is walking, talking, death. He spreads death around him. He doesn't have to be physical death. Often he's not, but he kills people. He kills things. He kills relationships. He kills even his own fantasies and ultimately he kills himself.

Actually, it all starts by having killed himself. A child exposed to abuse and trauma in early childhood kills himself as a true self and is reborn as a narrative, as a piece of fiction. In other words, as a piece of art.

The narcissist from an early age has rendered himself dead so as not to experience hurt, shame, and pain and rejection. And then proceeds through life as the walking dead.

And he infects you with his own death. He introduces you into his cycle of grieving.

And you're there shriveling, withering, losing drip by drip and drop by drop.

Any hint of life that may have ever occupied you. You're dying together with a narcissist and he sees it as if he is giving you life. His life. The vampiric sort, I would say.

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

Why Narcissists Love Borderline Women and Why They Hate Them Back

Narcissistic mortification is a challenge to the false self, which crumbles and is unable to maintain defenses and pretensions. Narcissists use two strategies to restore some cohesiveness to the self: deflated and inflated narcissist. Narcissists engage in mortification, a form of self-mutilation, to feel alive and free from commitment to their false self. Narcissists seek out borderline women to mortify them and experience the unresolved primary conflict with their mother.

Narcissist's Pathological Space: His Kingdom

The pathological narcissistic space is a geographical area, group of people, or an abstract field of knowledge in which the narcissistic pathology reaches its full expression and effectiveness. It is a territorially expanded false self that is achieved via sources of narcissistic supply. The existence of the pathological narcissistic space is independent of the existence of sources of narcissistic supply. The pathological narcissistic space constantly consumes and drains narcissistic supply, and it generates negative narcissistic accumulation.

Mortification in Borderline Women, Narcissistic Men: Let Me Go, Give Me Life

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses mortification in borderline women and how it differs from mortification in narcissistic men. Both narcissists and borderlines have a false self, but the functions of the false self differ between the two. In narcissists, the false self serves as a decoy and a manipulative tool, while in borderlines, the false self functions as a host personality, moderating and switching between self-states. Mortification in borderlines is self-inflicted and serves as a way to feel alive, create drama, and experience transformation. When mortified, borderlines either disappear through dissociation or make others disappear through psychopathic behavior. In contrast, narcissists seek mortification to temporarily get rid of their false self and feel liberated.

Shameful Core of Covert Narcissist: Inferior Vulnerability Compensated

The text discusses the role of shame in narcissism, distinguishing between grandiose overt narcissism and covert vulnerable narcissism. It explores shame's impact on behavior and the differences between the two types of narcissism. The author references various studies and theories to support the idea that shame is a central feature of vulnerable narcissism and its association with mental illness and addictive behaviors. The text also highlights the need for a more nuanced understanding of narcissism and its relationship with shame.

When Narcissist Says "I Love You" - What Does It Mean To Him?

Narcissists and borderlines often mislabel and misidentify their internal processes as love and intimacy, despite being incapable of experiencing true love or intimacy. They confuse dependency, limerence, exhibitionism, masochism, defiance, competitiveness, possessiveness, neediness, and people-pleasing with love and intimacy. This mislabeling is an attempt at self-restoration and bridging confabulation, as they have a diminished self-insight and inability to introspect. Their constant attempt to explain or describe their internal processes is an effort to restore their being, relationship with the world, and ultimately their identity.

Narcissists Uses You In Unfinished Mommy Splitting

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of splitting in psychology, specifically ego splitting and object splitting. Narcissists and borderlines use splitting as a defense mechanism, but when faced with a mother who is all bad, splitting becomes inverted and the child splits themselves into a true self and a false self. Narcissists have no ego and outsource ego functions, leading to a dissociative and dysfunctional state. They also use projective identification to gain an illusion of control over objects and gain vicarious satisfaction from their activities.

Narcissist’s Partner: Womb, Fetish (Schizoid Undead Reborn, Borderline, Codependent)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the evolution of the ego and how it is molded through external object relations. He explains that bad object relations with caregivers can lead to a child becoming schizoid or creating a false self to maintain external object relations while shielding the schizoid inner absence. Individuals with personality disorders, such as narcissism, paranoia, depression, borderline, and codependency, use different solutions to cope with their inner emptiness and lack of object relations. The role of the intimate partner in the life of a narcissist is regulatory and life-sustaining, and they serve as the safe zone where the narcissist can be himself and experience the schizoid state. Ultimately, all narcissists, borderlines, and codependents end up losing the battle and becoming full-fledged

Narcissist Can't Feel Lovable, Good, Worthy, Self-rejects

Negative identity in narcissism involves defining oneself in contrast or contradiction to others, either positively or negatively. This can lead to self-rejection, self-loathing, and the creation of a false self to compensate for the perceived inadequacy of the true self. This process is further complicated by the narcissist's autoplastic and alloplastic defenses, as well as their external and internal locus of control. Ultimately, the narcissist's pursuit of goals and accomplishments to satisfy their false self serves as a form of self-rejection, as they are constantly reminded of their inadequacy and worthlessness in comparison to the false self.

When Narcissist Is Rejected By Peers

The text discusses the etiology of pathological narcissism, focusing on the impact of peer rejection on children who are already facing challenges such as autism, obesity, or gender dysphoria. It explains how peer rejection triggers cognitive dissonance and leads to the development of narcissistic defenses, such as fantasy, dissociation, and displaced passive aggression. The author also delves into the impact of conflicting parental messaging and the role of intimate partners in the narcissist's life. Ultimately, the text highlights the inner battle within the narcissist's soul and the crisis they face when they have to shed their perceived divinity.

When the Narcissist's Parents Die

The death of a narcissist's parents can be a complicated experience. The narcissist has a mixed reaction to their passing, feeling both elation and grief. The parents are often the source of the narcissist's trauma and continue to haunt them long after they die. The death of the parents also represents a loss of a reliable source of narcissistic supply, which can lead to severe depression. Additionally, the narcissist's unfinished business with their parents can lead to unresolved conflicts and pressure that deforms their personality.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy