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

Uploaded 1/15/2014, approx. 4 minute read

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

I love to be hated and I hate to be loved. If I had to distill my quotidian existence in two pithy sentences, these would be they.

I love to be hated and I hate to be loved.

Being feared imbues me with an intoxicating sensation of omnipotence. I am veritably inebriated by the looks of horror or repulsion on people's faces.

They know that I am capable of anything. They know that I am godlike, ruthless, devoid of scribbles, capricious, unfathomable, emotionless, asexual, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.

I am like a plague, a devastation, an inescapable verdict.

I nurture my ill repute, stoking it and fanning the flames of gossip. My notoriety is an enduring asset.

Hate and fear are sure generators of attention.

It is all about narcissistic supply, of course, the drug which we the narcissists consume and which consumes us in turn.

So I attack sadistically. I make sure everyone knows about my eruptions. I purvey only the truth and nothing but the truth, but I tell it bluntly in an orgy of evocative Baroque English sadistically.

The blind rage that this induces in the targets of my vitriolic diatribes provokes in me a surge of satisfaction, an inner tranquility not obtainable by any other means.

I like to think about their pain, of course, but that is the lesser part of the equation, the pleasure that I derive from inflicting pain.

The other part of the equation, equally important, is my horrid future, an inescapable punishment.

It carries an irresistible appeal like some strain of alien virus. It infects my better judgment and I succumb.

In general, my weapon is the truth and human propensity to avoid it and deny it and suppress it.

Intactless bridging of every etiquette and netiquette, my chest eyes and haught and snub and shun and offer opprobrium, a self-proclaimed Jeremiah, my hector and harangue from my many self-made outfits.

I understand the prophets of the Bible. I understand Tokwemada.

I bask in the incomparable pleasure of being right. I derive my grandiose superiority from the contrast between my righteousness and the human fallibility of others.

I attain the high moral ground, but it is not even that simple.

It never is with narcissism.

Fostering public revolt and the inevitable ensuing social sanctions fulfills two other psychodynamic goals.

The first one I alluded to.

It is the burning desire, my need to be punished.

In the grotesque mind of the narcissist, his punishment is equally his vindication.

By being permanently on trial, the narcissist claims the high moral ground in the position of the market.

He is understood, discriminated against, unjustly roughed, outcast by his very towering genius or other outstanding qualities.

To conform to the cultural stereotype of the tormented artist, the narcissist provokes his own suffering.

He is thus validated.

His grandiose fantasies acquire a modicum of substance.

He says, if I were not so special, they wouldn't have persecuted me so.

My own persecution is proof of my own uniqueness.

The persecution of the narcissist is his uniqueness.

He must be different for better or for worse. The streak of paranoia embedded in the narcissist makes the outcome inevitable.

He is in constant conflict with lesser beings, with his spouse, his shrink, his boss, his colleagues, his neighbors.

He is forced to stoop to their intellectual level.

He feels like a gulliver, a giant, strapped by lily cushions.

His life is a constant struggle against the self-contented mediocrity of his surroundings.

This is his fate, which he accepts, though never stoically.

It is the narcissist's calling, a mission and a recurrence in his stormy life.

Deeper still, the narcissist has an image of himself as a worthless, bad and dysfunctional extension of others.

In constant need of narcissistic supply, the narcissist feels humiliated by his addiction.

Contrast between his cosmic fantasies and the reality of his dependence, neediness, clinging and often failure.

This discrepancy, which I call the grandiosity gap, is an emotionally harrowing experience. It is a constant background noise of devilish, demeaning laughter. The voices in his head say, you are a fraud, you are a zero, you are nothing and you deserve nothing.

If only they knew how worthless you were, who you are.

The narcissist attempts to silence these tormenting voices, not by fighting them, but actually by agreeing with them, unconsciously and sometimes consciously.

He says to them, I do agree with you. I'm bad, I'm worthless, I'm deserving of the most severe punishment for my rotten character, bad habits, addiction and constant fraud. That is my life. I will go out, I will seek my doom. Now that I have complied, will you leave me be? Will you leave me alone? Will you let me leave?

And of course, the voices never do.

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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.

Narcissist's Cycles of Ups and Downs

Narcissists go through cycles of mania and depression, which are caused by external events or circumstances known as triggers. The cycles are different from manic depressive cycles in bipolar disorder, which are endogenous. The narcissist is addicted to narcissistic supply and seeks admiration, adoration, approval, attention, and so on. The narcissist goes through ups and downs, including a depressive phase, a hibernation phase, and a manic phase, which are all part of the process of obtaining and securing narcissistic supply.

Narcissists Have Emotions

Narcissists do have emotions, but they tend to repress them so deeply that they play no conscious role in their lives or conduct. The narcissist's positive emotions come bundled with very negative ones, and they become phobic of feeling anything lest it be accompanied by negative emotions. The narcissist is reduced to experiencing down-steerings in their soul that they identify to themselves and to others as emotions. Narcissists are not envious of others for having emotions, they disdain feelings and sentimental people because they find them to be weak and vulnerable.

Inverted Narcissist (Narcissist Codependent)

Inverted narcissists are a type of codependent who exclusively depend on a narcissist. They are self-effacing, sensitive, emotionally fragile, and sometimes socially phobic. They derive all their self-esteem and sense of self-worth from the outside and are pathologically envious. Inverted narcissists are narcissists, and it is possible to compose a set of criteria for them by translating the criteria available in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for the classical narcissist.

Why Narcissist Devalues YOU (Hint: Wants YOU "Dead")

Narcissists devalue their partners as a form of self-defense and control. There are two types of devaluation: preemptive and reactive. Preemptive devaluation occurs when a narcissist is in a transitional state between overt and covert narcissism, and they devalue potential sources of supply to prevent the overt side from using them against the covert side. Reactive devaluation is a response to a perceived threat to the narcissist's grandiosity or control. Both types of devaluation are harmful to the victim and serve to maintain the narcissist's sense of power and control.

Narcissist Never Sorry

Narcissists sometimes feel bad and experience depressive episodes and dysphoric moods, but they have a diminished capacity to empathize and rarely feel sorry for what they have done or for their victims. They often project their own emotions and actions onto others and attribute to others what they hate in themselves. When confronted with major crises, the narcissist experiences real excruciating pain, but this is only a fleeting moment, and they recover their former self and embark on a new hunt for narcissistic supply. They are hunters, predators, and their victims are prey.

Negative, Fake, Low-grade Narcissistic Supply

Narcissists crave attention, both positive and negative, and use it to regulate their sense of self-worth. They construct a false self and project it onto others to elicit admiration, adulation, and fear. Negative supply can become narcissistic supply when positive supply is scarce. Narcissists also crave punishment, which confirms their view of themselves as worthless and relieves them of the inner conflict they endure when they are successful.

Why Narcissists Cry at the Movies: Self-pity, not Empathy

Narcissists and psychopaths cry at movies due to a complex interplay of psychological factors. While there is a distinction between the two personality types, both can experience emotional reactions while watching films. For narcissists, the experience of watching a movie triggers a regression to infancy, leading to feelings of shame, grief, and a sense of loss of control. These emotions are not genuine empathy, but rather a form of self-pity and manipulation. The act of crying at movies serves as a way for narcissists to signal distress and seek validation from others.

Old-age Narcissist

Narcissists age without grace, unable to accept their fallibility and mortality. They suffer from mental progeria, aging prematurely and finding themselves in a time warp. The longer they live, the more average they become, and the wider the gulf between their pretensions and accomplishments. Few narcissists save for rainy days, and those who succeed in their vocation end up bitterly alone, having squandered the love of family, offspring, and mates.

Two Narcissists in a Couple

Two narcissists of the same type cannot maintain a stable, long-term, full-fledged and functional relationship. Two narcissists of different types or opposing types can, often do, maintain long-term, stable and rather happy relationships. There are two main types of narcissists, somatic and cerebral. The somatic type of narcissist relies on his body and sexuality to generate attention, adulation and admiration, while the cerebral narcissist leverages his intellect, his intelligence and his professional achievements to obtain the same. Stable and enduring relationships can and often do develop between dissimilar narcissists.

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