Narcissist Has No Friends

Uploaded 8/16/2010, approx. 4 minute read

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

Who is the fairest of them all? asks the bed-queen in the fairy tale, and having provided the wrong answer, the mirror is smashed to smithereens.

This is not a bad allegory for how the narcissist treats his friends.

Actually, literature helps us grasp the intricate interactions between the narcissist and members of his social circle.

Consider, for instance, Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. Holmes and Poirot are the world's most renowned fiction detectives, and both of them are quintessential narcissists. Poirot and Holmes are also schizoid. They have few friends, and they are largely confined to their homes, engaging in solitary activities.

Both detectives have fatuous, sluggish and anodyne sidekicks who slavishly cater to their whims and needs and provide them with an adulating gallery.

Holmes has Dr. Watson, and Poirot makes do with poor instincts. Both Holmes and Poirot assiduously avoid the competition. They avoid sharp minds who seek their company for a fertilizing intellectual exchange among equals.

They do not like equals. They feel threatened by the potential need to admit to ignorance and to confess to error. Both gumshoes are self-sufficient, and both consider themselves peerless and superior.

The Watons and Hastings of this world provide the narcissist with an obsequious, unthreatening audience, and with a kind of unconditional and unthinking obedience that confirms to him his own omnipotence.

Hastings and Watson are sufficiently vacuous to make the narcissist look sharp and omniscient, but on the other hand they are not so asinine as to be instantly discernible as idiots.

They are the perfect backdrop, never likely to attain certain center stage and never overshadowing their masters.

Moreover, both Holmes and Poirot sadistically and often publicly taunt and humiliate their central figures, explicitly chastising them for being dewitted in front of others in public.

Narcissism and sadism are psychodynamic cousins, and both Watson and Hastings are perfect victims of abuse. They are docile, they are understanding, they are malignantly optimistic, they are self-deluding, and they are idolizing.

Perfect friends for the narcissist.

Narcissists cannot empathize or love, and therefore have no friends, no real ones at least.

The narcissist is one-track minded. He is interested in securing narcissistic supply from narcissistic supply sources. That's it, period. He is not interested in people as such. He is incapable of empathizing, he is a solipsist, and he recognizes only himself as human.

To the narcissist, all other people are three-dimensional cartoons. They are tools, they are instruments in the tedious and sisyphean task of generating and consuming narcissistic supply.

The narcissist overvalues people when they are judged to be potential sources of supply, of attention, for instance. He uses them, and he devalues them when no longer able to supply him, and he discards them non-challenging.

This behavior pattern tends to alienate and distance people.

So the narcissist remains finally lonely and isolated.

Gradually, the social circle of the narcissist dwindles and ultimately vanishes.

People around the narcissist, who are not turned off by the ugly succession of his acts and attitudes, are rendered desperately fatigued by the turbulent nature of his life.

The narcissist especially resents his benefactors and sponsors because they remind him of his inferiority, his neediness, and his hurtlessness.

Diderot, the 18th century French encyclopedist, wrote, Rousseau is a monster. He said he hated all those he had risen to be grateful to, and he has proved it. Rousseau, of course, was a prime narcissist. He had a series of benefactors, mainly ladies, and without a single exception, he devalued them and discarded them when they reached the end of their useful life.

Those few who still remain loyal to the narcissist gradually abandon him because they can no longer withstand and tolerate the ups and downs of his careers, his moods, the confrontations and conflicts with authority, his chaotic financial state, and the dissolution of his emotional affairs.

This is very taxing and energy consuming. The narcissist is a human rollercoaster. Fun for a limited time, nauseating in the long run.

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

Narcissist Re-idealizes Discarded Sources of Narcissistic Supply

Narcissists keep discarded sources of supply in reserve and seek them out when they have no other supply source. They frantically try to recycle their old sources and re-idealize them without admitting to having been mistaken in the first place. To preserve their grandiosity, they come up with a narrative that accommodates both the devaluing content and the re-idealized image of the source. If you are an old source of narcissistic supply, simply ignore the narcissist as indifference is what they cannot stand.

Narcissist Grooms Sources of Narcissistic Supply: Exploits Tragedy, Crisis, and Misfortune

Narcissists are callous and ruthless enough to exploit the tragedy of others. They are obsessed with the maintenance of their delicate inner balance through the ever-increasing consumption of narcissistic supply. The narcissist regards and treats his sources of narcissistic supply as full-fledged human beings, but only as long as they can provide him with what he needs. The narcissist always evaluates the victims of tragedies to see if they can become sources of supply or can be used as props in the theater of his life.

Recluse Narcissist

Narcissists do not have friends in the usual sense of the word, as they are only interested in securing the provision of narcissistic supply from others. They overvalue people when they are judged to be potential sources of supply, but discard them nonchalantly when they are no longer able or willing to supply them. The narcissist's behavior, choices, acts, attitudes, beliefs, interests, and life are curtailed by their sensitivity to outside opinion, and they avoid situations where they are likely to encounter opposition, criticism, or competition. The fear of flying is at the heart of narcissism.

Narcissist's Certain Losses

Narcissists are obsessed with securing sources of supply, but once they have them, they lose interest and take them for granted. Many sources of supply eventually break free from the narcissist's grip, causing the narcissist to feel abandoned and lose control. However, when the loss is tangible, the narcissist regains his former zeal and embarks on a charm offensive to reacquire what was lost. Once the targets are reacquired, the narcissist reverts to his abusive and indifferent behavior until another round of losses and reanimation.

Does the Narcissist Envy YOU? (READ THE DESCRIPTION)

Narcissists do not envy your positive qualities or care about who you are as a person. They only value what you can provide to them, such as attention, services, and safety. Your kindness and empathy mean nothing to them, and they view your expressions of love and support as manipulative or fake. Ultimately, the narcissist sees you as either weak and deserving of contempt or as a threat to their control, leading to devaluation and discard.

Narcissistic Boss or Employer: Coping and Survival Tactics

Narcissistic bosses or employers view their staff as sources of narcissistic supply and nothing else. They expect their employees to serve as an audience, adulate, and affirm their grandiose self-image. Any hint of equality, disagreement, or criticism threatens the narcissist profoundly. Narcissists feel suffocated by intimacy or routine and forever shift the blame, pass the buck, and engage in cognitive dissonance. Manipulating the narcissist is the only way an employee can survive in such a workplace.

Remain Friends with the Narcissist?

Narcissists are only friendly when they need something from you, such as narcissistic supply, help, support, votes, money, or sex. They also become friendly when they feel threatened and want to smother the threat with pleasantries. Narcissists are also over-friendly when they have just been infused with an overdose of narcissistic supply. Some people prefer to live with narcissists because they have been conditioned to treat narcissistic abuse as background noise and are compensated for the abuse by the thrills provided by living with a narcissist. However, inverted narcissists are typically unhappy and in need of help, which suggests that they are victims who experience the Stockholm Syndrome.

Narcissist: I Love to be Hated and I Hate to be Loved

The author describes their love for being hated and their hatred for being loved. They enjoy the feeling of being feared and the attention that comes with their notoriety. They attack others sadistically and derive pleasure from inflicting pain. They also have a desire to be punished and feel that their persecution is proof of their uniqueness. The author also discusses the grandiosity gap and the constant background noise of demeaning laughter that the narcissist experiences.

Issues in Narcissistic Supply

Narcissists devalue their sources of supply for the very qualities that make them sources of supply in the first place. The narcissist resents his dependency on narcissistic supply and perceives intimacy and sex as a threat to his uniqueness. Narcissistic supply includes all forms of attention, both positive and negative, fame, notoriety, adulation, fear, applause, approval. Narcissists frantically try to recycle their old and wasted sources when they have absolutely no other sources of supply at their disposal.

Narcissist: Normal People are Enigma

The narcissist feels that they cannot understand normal people and that they are often exploited in their relationships. They try hard not to offend others and give a lot, but it seems that they can do nothing right. The narcissist feels that they are a mental leper and that people only tolerate them because of what they can offer. They acquiesce in the asymmetry of their relationships and have known no differently since their early childhood.

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