Narcissist: Confabulations, Lies

Uploaded 11/13/2010, approx. 4 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

We all indulge in confabulating from time to time.

Father's wartime heroism, mother's youthful good looks, one's oft-recounted exploits, erstwhile alleged brilliance, past purported sexual irresistibility. They are all typical examples of confabulations. White, fuzzy, heartwarming lies, wrapped around a shriveled kernel of truth.

But the distinction between reality and fantasy is never lost. Deep inside, the healthy confabulator knows where facts end and wishful thinking or a rewriting of history begin.

Father acknowledges he was not really a war hero, though he did his share of fighting. Mother understands she was no ravishing beauty, though she may have been attractive.

The confabulator realizes that his recounted exploits are overblown, his brilliance exaggerated, and his sexual irresistibility only a myth.

Such distinctions never rise to the surface because everyone, the confabulator and his audience, have a common interest to maintain the confabulation.

To challenge the integrity of the confabulator or the veracity of his confabulations is to threaten the very fabric of family or society.

Human intercourse is built around such entertaining deviations from the truth.

But this is where the narcissist differs from others, from normal people. The narcissist's very self is a piece of fiction, concocted to fend off hurt and pain and to nurture the narcissist's grandiosity.

The narcissist fails in his reality test. He is unable to distinguish the actual from the imagined, the real from the fantasized. The narcissist fervently believes in his own infallibility, brilliance, omnipotence, omniscience, heroism, and perfection. He doesn't dare confront the truth and admit it, not even to himself.

Moreover, the narcissist imposes his personal mythology on his nearest, dearest and closest. Spouse, children, colleagues, friends, neighbors and sometimes even perfect strangers must abide by the narcissist's narrative or face his rage and wrath.

The narcissist's countenance, no disagreement, no alternative points of view, no criticism. To him, his confabulation is reality.

The coherence of the narcissist's dysfunctional and precariously balanced personality depends on the plausibility of his stories and on their acceptance by his sources of narcissistic supply.

The narcissist invests an inordinate amount of time in substantiating his tales and lies, in collecting so-called evidence in defending his version of events and in reinterpreting reality to fit his scenario.

As a result, most narcissists are self-delusional, obstinate, opinionated, argumentative, and all of them have largely fake biographies.

The narcissist's lies are not goal-orienting.

This is what makes his constant dishonesty both disconcerting and incomprehensible. The narcissist lies at the drop of a hat, needlessly and almost ceaselessly. He lies in order to avoid the grandiosity gap, the abyss between fact, drab reality, shape, shabby pedestrian existence and the narcissistic fiction, the false self, the narrative that is the narcissist.

This gap, this abyss between the real and the imagined is too big and the narcissist's bridges it with his confabulations.

We are all conditioned to let others indulge in pet delusions and get away with it. White, non-egregious lies are utterly acceptable, socially speaking.

The narcissist makes use of our socialization. He makes use of these lies. He abuses it.

We dare not confront or expose the narcissist despite the outlandishness of his claims, the improbability of his stories, the implosibility of his alleged accomplishments and conquests.

We simply turn the other cheek or meekly avert our eyes, often embarrassed for him.

Moreover, the narcissist makes clear from the very beginning that it is his way or the highway. His aggression, even his violent streak, are close to the surface, under the veneer.

He may be charming in a first encounter, but even then, there are telltale signs of pent-up abuse. His interlocutors sense this impending threat, this lurking intimidation, and they avoid conflict by acquiescing with the narcissist fairy tales.

This way, the narcissist imposes his private universe, his virtual reality, on his milieu, sometimes with disastrous consequences, especially with the narcissist attains positions of authority.

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Narcissist: Confabulates, Gaslights, Or Lies?

Narcissists often make you doubt your sanity and perception of reality, but this is not gaslighting. Narcissists confabulate, creating false memories to bridge gaps in their memory, but they believe these fabrications are true and are not consciously trying to deceive others. Confabulation is a way for narcissists to maintain their grandiosity and protect themselves from the realization of their imperfections. It also helps them reconcile their internal and external worlds and allocate roles to people in their lives within the shared fantasy. Confabulation is a critical psychodynamic function in the economy of the narcissist's mind.

Victim of Narcissist: Move On!

The narcissist lives in a world of ideal beauty, achievements, wealth, and success, denying his reality. The partner is perceived as a source of narcissistic supply, and the narcissist pathologizes and devalues them to rid themselves of guilt and shame. Moving on from a narcissistic relationship involves acknowledging and accepting painful reality, educating oneself, and gaining emotional sustenance, knowledge, support, and confidence. Forgiving is important, but it should not be a universal behavior, and no one should stay with a narcissist.

Narcissist's Insignificant Other: Typical Spouse or Intimate Partner

Living with a narcissist can be exhilarating, but it is always onerous and often harrowing. Surviving a relationship with a narcissist, maintaining a relationship, preserving it, insisting on remaining with a narcissist, indicates therefore the parameters of the personality of the victim, of the partner, of the spouse. The partner, the spouse, and the mate of a narcissist who insists on remaining in the relationship and preserving it is molded by it into the typical narcissistic mate, spouse, or partner. The two, the narcissist and his spouse, collaborate in this dance macabre.

Money: Narcissist's License to Abuse

Money is a love substitute for the narcissist, allowing them to be their corrupt selves and buy absolution, forgiveness, and acceptance. It is a license to sin and a permit to be unmitigated self. Money liberates the mind of the narcissist, allowing them to concentrate on attaining the desired position on top. The narcissist is addicted to money because it is the freedom not to behave in a way that is unbearable to them in the long run.

Narcissistic Abuse: From Victim to Survivor in 6 Steps

To move on from being a victim of narcissistic abuse, one must abandon the narcissist and move on. Moving on is a process that involves acknowledging and accepting painful reality, learning from the experience, and deciding to act. It is important to grieve and mourn the loss of trust and love, but perpetual grieving is counterproductive. Forgiveness is important, but it should not be a universal behavior. Human relationships are dynamic and require constant assessment. It is not advisable to remain friends with narcissists, as they are only nice and friendly when they want something. Inverted narcissists who remain in relationships with narcissists are victims who deny their own torment and fail to make the transition to survivors.

Shame, Guilt, Codependents, Narcissists, and Normal Folks

Shame motivates normal people and those suffering from cluster B personality disorders, but it motivates them differently. Shame constitutes a threat to normal people's true self, and it constitutes a threat to the false self of narcissism. There are two varieties of shame when we talk about narcissists in effect. There is narcissistic shame, which is the narcissist's experience of the grandiosity gap and its affective correlate. The greater the conflict between grandiosity and reality, the bigger the gap and the greater the narcissist's feelings of shame and guilt.

Forgive the Narcissist?

To preserve one's mental health, one must abandon the narcissist and move on. Moving on is a process that involves acknowledging and accepting painful reality, learning, grieving, and forgiving. All stages of grieving are necessary, but it is equally bad to get fixated on rage. Forgiving is an important capability, but it should not be a universal indiscriminate believer. Human relationships are dynamic, and we must reassess and reassess our relationships on a daily basis.

Love Your Narcissist? Make Him Stay, Depend on You (Tips, Resolutions)

In a relationship with a narcissist, it is important to know what not to do and what to do to maintain the relationship. Avoid disagreeing, contradicting, or criticizing the narcissist, and never offer intimacy or challenge their self-image. To make the narcissist dependent on you, listen attentively, agree with everything they say, offer something unique, be patient, and be emotionally and financially independent. It is also crucial to know yourself and set personal boundaries, treating yourself with dignity and demanding respect from others. If the relationship becomes abusive, consider going no-contact and ending the relationship for your own well-being.

How Narcissist LOVES YOU To ( YOUR) DEATH!

The concept of libido has evolved from being narrowly sexual to encompassing all expressions of love, pleasure, and self-preservation. In psychoanalytic theory, libido is the psychic energy of the life instinct, especially the sexual instinct. Healthy, normal human beings love others through the life instinct, while narcissists love through the death instinct, seeking to control and disable their love objects. Narcissists are incapable of true love due to their lack of a fully formed ego and inability to access positive emotions. Love involves passion, intimacy, and commitment, and is a complex state with various forms and scales. Freud and Jung both believed in psychic energy, with Freud suggesting that it is directed at finding pleasure and Jung emphasizing its role in the development of personality and expression of cultural and spiritual values.

Mourning the Narcissist

Victims of narcissistic abuse often struggle to let go of the idealized figure they fell in love with at the beginning of the relationship. When the relationship ends, they experience a cycle of bereavement and grief, including denial, rage, sadness, and acceptance. Denial can take many forms, including pretending the narcissist is still part of their lives or developing persecutory delusions. Rage can be directed at the narcissist, other facilitators of the loss, oneself, or be pervasive. Sadness is a paralyzing sensation that slows one down and enshrouds everything in the grave veil of randomness and chance. Gradual acceptance leads to renewed energy and the narcissist being transformed into a narrative, another life experience, or even a tedious cliché.

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