Narcissist: Irresistible Charmer

Uploaded 8/16/2010, approx. 2 minute read

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

The narcissist and the histrionic patient flaunt their sex appeal, their virility or femininity, their sexual prowess, their musculature, their physique, their training or athletic achievements.

The cerebral narcissist, on the other hand, seeks to enchant and entrance his audience with intellectual pyrotechnics.

Many narcissists of both types brag about their wealth, their health, possessions, collections, spouses, children, personal history, and family tree.

In short, the narcissist brags forth and drags about anything that would garner him attention and render him alluring.

Both types of narcissists, the somatic and the cerebral, firmly believe that being unique, they are entitled and deserve special treatment by others. They deploy their charm offensives in order to manipulate their nearest and nearest or even complete strangers.

And they use these people as instruments of gratification, as sources of narcissistic supply, tension, ejaculation, admiration. Exerting personal magnetism and charisma become ways of asserting control and ovulating other people's personal boundaries.

The pathological charmer feels superior to the person he captivates and fascinates. To him, charming someone means having power over her, controlling her, or even subjugating her. It is all a mind game intertwined with a power play.

The person to be thus enthralled and charmed is an object, a mere prop in the narcissist theater of life. He is of a dehumanized utility.

In some cases, pathological charm involves more than a grain of sadism. It provokes in the narcissist sexual arousal by inflicting the pain of subjugation on the beguiled who cannot help but be enchanted by him.

Counterintuitively, the pathological charmer engages in infantile magical thinking. He uses charm to help maintain object constancy and to fend off abandonment.

In other words, he uses charm to ensure that the person he has bewitched won't disappear on him suddenly.

Pathological charmers react with rage and aggression when their intended targets prove to be impervious and resistant to their lure.

This kind of narcissistic injury, being spurned and rebuffed, makes them feel threatened, rejected, and denuded. In other words, the rejected and denuded.

Being ignored amounts to a challenge to the narcissist uniqueness, entitlement, control, and superiority.

Narcissists wither without constant narcissistic supply. When their charm fails to elicit narcissistic supply, they feel announced, failures, non-existent, disintegrating, and even dead.

As is to be expected, they go to great lengths to secure narcissistic supply. It is only when their efforts are frustrated that the mask of civility and congeniality drops and reveals the true face of the narcissist, a predator on the prowl.

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Communal, Prosocial Narcissist as Compulsive Giver

Compulsive givers are a type of narcissist who feel superior to those they give to, and feel exploited when they have to pay for the needs of others. They are people pleasers and co-dependents who force themselves on others and have unrealistic expectations of gratitude. They have alloplastic defenses with an external locus of control, meaning they rely on others to regulate their self-worth and blame the world for their failures. They keep a mental ledger of what they give and receive and use false asceticism and fake modesty to prove their nearest and dearest are ingrates.

People-pleasers and Pathological Charmers

People pleasers are often dishonest and manipulative, seeking to foster dependence in their beneficiaries. They use a range of coping strategies, including infantilization and self-sacrifice. People pleasers are a subset of pathological charmers, who are mostly narcissists. Pathological charmers use their charm to manipulate others and exert control, and feel threatened when their charm fails to elicit narcissistic supply.

Narcissist Hates Happy People and Holidays

Holidays and birthdays are a difficult time for narcissists, as they provoke a stream of pathological envy. The narcissist is jealous of others for having a family, being able to celebrate lavishly, or being in the right mood. They hate humans because they are unable to be one and want to spoil it for those who can enjoy. Holidays remind the narcissist of their childhood, the supportive and loving family they never had, and what could have been.

Your Empathy as Narcissistic Injury: Narcissist Never Learns, No Insight

Narcissists reject empathy and intimacy because it challenges their grandiosity, and they become paranoid and aggressive when someone tries to be intimate with them. Narcissists lack empathy and access to positive emotions, leading to a truncated version of empathy called "cold empathy." Narcissists are self-aware but lack the incentive to get rid of their narcissism, and therapy is more focused on accommodating the needs of the narcissist's nearest and dearest. Cold Therapy is experimental and limited, as it removes the false self but does not develop empathy or improve the narcissist's interpersonal relationships.

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.

Narcissist No Toilet Paper: Aggressive and Brittle, Not Soft and Strong

Narcissists have restricted access to positive emotions and rampant negative emotions, leading them to compensate with dominance and abuse. They often call themselves alpha males but are actually bullies. Their mistreatment of others does not make them strong, but rather obnoxious and clownish. They are not capable of true intimacy or emoting, as they are empty inside.

Narcissist: Bumbling Fool, Incapable of Learning?

Narcissists can appear to be stupid for several reasons. They have no impulse control, act out, and engage in self-defeating actions. They also use pseudo-stupidity to avoid the consequences of their misdeeds. Narcissists are gullible, have an impaired reality test, and cannot read social cues or the intentions of others. They also use false modesty to fish for compliments, but their attempts are so transparent that people react with repulsion. Finally, the narcissist regards learning something new or getting advice as narcissistic injuries, which renders them appear profoundly stupid.

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.

Narcissist's Cult

Narcissists are like cult leaders who demand complete obedience and adulation from their followers. They impose a shared psychosis on their members, control every aspect of their lives, and punish severely those who fail to conform to their wishes. Narcissists act in a patronizing and condescending manner, criticize often, and expect constant attention and admiration. They are inflexible, intolerant of criticism, and demand complete trust and control over decision-making. Narcissists are always on the lookout for new recruits and feel entitled to special amenities and benefits not accorded to others.

The Signs of the Narcissist

Narcissists are difficult to spot, but there are subtle signs that can be picked up on, such as entitlement markers, idealization and devaluation, and a lack of empathy. Narcissists are often perceived as anti-social and are unable to secure the sympathy of others. They are also prone to projecting a false self and using primitive defense mechanisms such as splitting, projection, projective identification, and intellectualization.

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