Narcissist Hedges His Bets

Uploaded 4/25/2013, approx. 5 minute read

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

Is the narcissist confined in his grandiose fantasies to one subject, one topic, one area or field of life?

The answer is more complex than you would imagine.

The narcissist is bound to make use of his more pronounced traits and qualities in both the design of his false self and in the extraction of narcissistic supply from other people.

So much is true.

A cerebral narcissist is likely to emphasize his intelligence, his brain power, his analytical skills and his reach, and very fond of knowledge.

The somatic narcissist accentuates his body, his physical strength, his appearance, his sex appeal or sexual prowess, and so on and so forth.

But this concentration on forties is only one facet of the answer.

It seems that narcissists engage in what could best be described as narcissistic hedges.

They hedge their best.

The narcissistic hedge is when a narcissist colors more than one field of activity with his narcissistic hues.

A narcissist infuses selected subjects, topics, areas, people with narcissistic investments. We call it cathexis.

He prepares these fields, areas, topics and people as auxiliary sources of narcissistic supply and as backup options in case of a systems failure.

Another type of narcissistic hedge involves a charm offensive that is intended to forestall or ameliorate the consequences of the disclosure of embarrassing, demeaning or damaging information about the narcissist and his misconduct.

This charm offensive reacquires the source of narcissistic supply that is most likely to be disenchanted and disillusioned by such revelations.

These ostensibly redundant activities and interests constitute a fallback option during a life crisis.

The majority of cases, the chosen subjects or fields all belong to the same family.

A cerebral narcissist might select mathematics in art, but not mountain climbing. A sportsman might choose to be a radio sports commentator, but not a philosopher of science and so on.

Still, the correlation between the various selections the narcissist makes may not be very strong, which is why they can be used as hedges.

Experience shows that this hedging mechanism is not very effective.

Narcissists' response to events in his life is one single rigid unit. His reactions are not differentiated or scaled or graduated. A failure or a success in one domain contagiously spreads to all the other fields of activity.

The narcissistic contagion effect dominates the narcissist's life in its entirety.

The narcissist measures his personal history in terms of fluctuations in narcissistic supply.

He is blind to all other aspects, angles and points of view. He is like a thermometer which reacts to human warmth, admiration, adoration, approval, applause, affirmation and attention.

The narcissist perceives his life in gradations of narcissistic temperature, therefore.

When a source of supply ceases to exist or is threatened or is diminished, all the other parts of the narcissist's world, including these backup options, are affected.

The chill sets in. The dysphoric and euphoric moods which are related to the absence or the presence of narcissistic supply engulf the entire personality and consume the narcissist's life.

A case study to illustrate these economic principles of the narcissist's soul might be helpful.

Imagine a narcissist who has a successful career as an economic commentator in several mass media.

As a result of his criticism of the policies of the government, he is threatened and there are signs that a book that he is about to publish will not be published after all.

A narcissist has other subjects from which he is able to derive narcissistic supply and these are, of course, the narcissistic hedges aforementioned.

What would the likely reaction of such a narcissist be, therefore?

Being threatened, in this case by the government, endangers these narcissist's feelings of omnipotence and superiority. He is reduced to size or cut down to size.

The special treatment that he believed himself to be entitled to is all but an operating.

And this is a major narcissistic injury. Worse, it looks as if the very availability and existence of its main and serious narcissistic supply sources, in this case, the mass media, the publishing of the book, these sources are at risk.

And so, dysphoria, kind of mild depression ensues.

The narcissist counters the situation hysterically and with paranoia.

The paranoid straits in his reaction serve to re-establish the perturbed balance of his own grandiosity.

Only important people are persecuted. He soothes himself.

The hysteria is the result of panic at the prospect of remaining bereft of narcissistic supply sources and drag addict would have reacted the same way to the arrest of his pusher.

In theory, this would be the perfect time to revert to the alternatives, to the hedges.

But the narcissist energy is too depleted to make this switch.

He is depressed. He is dysphoric. He is unhand only.

In extreme cases, he even entertains through his civil ideation. He jumps to radical and sweeping conclusions.

He says to himself, if this happened to me once, it could well happen again.

His output and achievements deteriorate. As a result, his narcissistic supply is further reduced and a vicious circle is set in motion.

And this is the absurdity of the narcissistic mental household.

The hedges brought into play only when they are not needed.

Once a crisis erupts, the violently reduced narcissist, a faltering shadow of his former false self, is too depleted to make use of the narcissistic hedges that he has created in the first place for exactly such a situation of emergency.

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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.

Can Narcissist Truly Love?

Narcissists are incapable of true love, but they do experience some emotion which they insist is love. Narcissists love their significant others as long as they continue to provide them with attention, or narcissistic supply. There are two types of narcissistic love: one type loves others as one would get attached to objects, while the other type abhors monotony and constancy, seeking instability, chaos, upheaval, drama, and change. In the narcissist's world, mature love is nowhere to be seen, and their so-called love is fear of losing control and hatred of the very people on whom their personality depends.

Narcissist Has No Friends

Narcissists treat their friends like Watson and Hastings, who are obsequious and unthreatening, and provide them with an adulating gallery. Narcissists cannot empathize or love, and therefore have no real friends. They are interested in securing narcissistic supply from narcissistic supply sources. The narcissist overvalues people when they are judged to be potential sources of supply, and devalues them when no longer able to supply him, ultimately leading to the alienation and distancing of people.

Narcissists Hate Women, Misogynists

Narcissists view women as objects and use them for both primary and secondary narcissistic supply. They fear emotional intimacy and treat women as property, similar to the mindset of European males in the 18th century. Narcissists frustrate women by teasing them and then leaving them, and they hold women in contempt, choosing submissive partners whom they disdain for being below their intellectual level. The narcissist projects his own behavior and traits onto women.

Narcissist: Women as Sluttish Huntresses or Sexless Saints

Heterosexual narcissists desire women but are frustrated by their inability to interact with them meaningfully. They hate women virulently, passionately, and uncompromisingly, and their hate is primal, irrational, and the progeny of mortal fear and sustained abuse in early childhood. Narcissists are infinitely pessimistic, bare-tempered, paranoid, and sadistic, and their daily routine is a rigmarole of threats, complaints, hurts, eruptions, moodiness, and rage. They are their own worst enemy and cannot conceive of life in one place with one set of people, doing the same thing in the same field with one goal within a decades-old game plan or career path or relationship.

Narcissist Frustrates Women with Ostentatious Fidelity

Narcissists, particularly cerebral narcissists, often frustrate women who are attracted to them by withholding sex or teasing them. This is because they are misogynists who hold women in contempt and fear them. They divide women into saints and whores, and view sex and intimacy as mutually exclusive. The narcissist's frustrating behavior serves to secure a narcissistic supply and reenact unresolved conflicts with their mother. They pathologize women to control them and project their own parasitic behavior onto them.

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's Romantic Jealousy and Possessiveness

Narcissists experience anxiety when they become aware of their possessive and jealous tendencies. Anxiety characterizes all their interactions with the opposite sex, especially in situations where there is a possibility of rejection or abandonment. The narcissist's envy of their female mate is a result of an unconscious conflict, and they exercise their imagination to justify their negative emotions. Narcissists often strike an unhealthy balance by being emotionally and physically absent, which drives their partner to find emotional and physical gratification outside the relationship.

Giving Narcissist Second Chance

Narcissists do not provide closure in relationships and will stalk, cajole, beg, promise, persuade, and ultimately succeed in doing the impossible to get you back. The narcissist will cast all interactions with you in terms of conflicts or competitions to be won. If you have resumed contact because you are manifestly dependent on the narcissist financially or emotionally, the narcissist will pounce on your frailty and exploit your fragility to the maximum. Ultimately, the narcissist will write the inevitable cycle of idealization and devaluation.

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.

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