Now, know that my name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
Those of you who are seeing me for the first time, my name is Sam Vaknin, and I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
Okay, okay, so I'm not as funny as Richard Grannon, but I'm much better looking, you must admit. Don't answer that.
Today we're going to discuss the narcissist as a bumbling fool.
I just gave a demonstration. Is a narcissist incapable of learning?
Why do some narcissists appear to be idiots, morons?
Never mind how intelligent they are, never mind how erudite, how knowledgeable, they still appear to be stupid.
Well, there are eight reasons for that.
First of all, narcissists have no impulse control, no forefold, no foresight. They engage in counterproductive, self-defeating and self-destructive decisions and actions.
And we usually tend to attribute self-defeat and self-destruction to stupid people.
So we say, well, if he's self-defeating, if he's acting against his own interests, he must be stupid.
And the second thing is that narcissists act out.
When narcissistic supply is deficient or low, narcissists compensate, which is a very nice word for disintegrate. And they go haywire. We call this collapsed narcissist.
Not flamed narcissist, flamed narcissist is a borderline, but a collapsed narcissist.
And they also appear to be stupid because they're falling apart. And that's the issue of pseudo-stupidity.
Pseudo-stupidity is to avoid the consequences of their misdeeds.
Narcissists pretend that they have misunderstood something you have said or something you have done. And that you are the one who took advantage of their good nature and of their incomprehension.
So they pretend to be stupid. And this is called pseudo-stupidity.
Narcissists, as I said many years ago and in several videos, narcissists are gullible. Narcissists are grandiose that they are phantasts. So they misjudge reality. They have an impaired reality test.
Add to that their inability to read people because they have no empathy.
And you see that they don't realize their own limitations. They don't realize what they're good at and what they're bad at, what they should pursue and what they should avoid.
And they cannot read social cues and the intentions of others.
And in this sense, narcissists are a bit autistic or a lot autistic actually. That's why narcissism and autism are very frequently confused and misdiagnosed.
No empathy means that the narcissist disastrously misreads others and behaves in socially unacceptable and sometimes clownish ways.
The narcissist's sense of appointment renders the narcissist an over-winning buffoon, the butt of mockery and derision, rather than the awe that he believes that he inspires and the respect that he thinks that he deserves.
And then there's hyper-vigilance.
Hyper-vigilance is when the narcissist scans for insults and slides and it is not being treated fairly or justly, is not being respected and so on and so forth.
Hyper-vigilance leads to disproportionate aggression, directed at imaginary slides and insults. And it also leads to persecutory delusions, a kind of mild paranoia, paranoid ideation. And it's directed usually at totally innocent targets.
So the narcissist appears to be a bit insane sometimes, but insane in a stupid way.
Finally, the narcissist uses false modesty to fish for compliments. He would say, well, you know, I'm not that intelligent. And he would expect you to say, of course you're intelligent, you're a genius. Or he would say, I don't look good, I'm ugly. And you would say, you're not ugly, you're actually very handsome.
But his attempts, fishing for compliments, these attempts are so transparent, so inarticulate, so fake, so manipulative, that people react with repulsion and they actually hit the backfires and they seek to humiliate the narcissist.
The narcissist regards learning something new or getting advice as narcissistic injuries, because in both situations, when he learns something or when he needs advice, this implies that he is not perfect, not omniscient, not all-knowing.
To defend against this challenge to his grandiosity, the narcissist distorts reality. He uses reframing cognitive biases and emotional regulation.
Narcissist would react to new learning or to a piece of advice in various ways. He would say, for example, I knew that already, there's nothing new here, I knew it long time ago. Or he would say, you know what, this actually was my idea, you stole it from me, it's not yours. Or he would say, you're wrong, truth is relative, this is just your opinion, I have another opinion, and my opinion is preferable, because it's based on deep research and facts and so on. Or he would say, I'm far more qualified to make this call or to state this fact, because of my background, my education, my life experience. Or he would say, you're saying this because something is wrong with you, or because your research is sloppy, or because you are ignorant, devaluing, and this way the narcissist would devalue the source of the advice or the new information.
And, of course, if the narcissist is paranoid, he would assume that the learning of the advice are somehow manipulative, that there's a sort of a hidden agenda. A narcissist would say, I prefer to not hear from you again, I'm busy, please don't bother me, go away, fuck off aggression, or I listen to you carefully, and I will consider your views in due time. Of course, not.
So everything is in the mix. Paranoia, aggression, passive aggression, defenses, and so on and so forth.
But this constant fending off of new knowledge, this constant aggressive reaction to well-meaning advice renders the narcissist's credence, makes him appear really, really profoundly stupid.
And you know what? Coming to think of it, what's the difference between being really stupid and behaving constantly, 100% of the time, as a stupid person? Maybe there is none.
Maybe the narcissist is stupid. Maybe the narcissist is actually stupid.
Now there's a thought for you.