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Narcissist Is Your Dark Side You Envy Him, Want To Be Like Him

Uploaded 9/24/2020, approx. 58 minute read

Kiddos and Kiddies, Babes and Babettes. Welcome to Professor Vaknin's horror show.

Have you seen the latest video where I conduct mind-warping experiments on a subspecies of humans known as students? It was put together by the inimitable Dorkas, Dorkas, D-O-R-C-A-S. She has her own Instagram channel, and it's called Teasing Kafka. And she creates compilations, mine and others, highly recommended.

And so Apropos Dorkas, one of the compilations she had created, is a juxtaposition of what Jordan Peterson has to say about life, and what I have to say about life. I call it Jordan Vaknin and Sam Vaknin. And you can watch the video on her IGTV, on her Instagram, again, Teasing Kafka.

Today, I'm going to discuss a topic that for a change is going to provoke you to fury, an uncontrollable rage.

Many of you are going to break your laptops, stamp on your smartphones, spit on my face and never wipe it. Yes, this is today's topic, and that is what it is going to do to you, inevitably.


I'm going to discuss, are you envious of the narcissists? Are you scared to see yourself in the narcissist? Is the narcissist actually a part of you? Your dark side?

When you want to grow up, would you like to be the narcissist? Hated narcissist, scared to see yourself in him, envy him, he is your shadow, dark side.

That's the title of today's video. Stay with me and let me provoke you to the point of temporary insanity.

Ask yourself this question. Why all the celebrities, all leaders, all heroes are at best narcissistic and usually full fledged narcissists?

If you hate narcissists so much, why do you elevate them? Why do you make them pillars of the community? Why do you follow them? Why do you love them?

Yes, many of the public intellectuals online, coaches, experts and so on, they're narcissists, if you didn't realize. Some of them are covert narcissists, but some of them are very, very overt narcissists, and you love them. You love to listen to them. You love to follow them, and you let them deceive you into thinking that they care about you, that they are empathic.

Why do you do that? Why do you follow leaders who are manifestly, openly brag about being narcissistic?

How come, how come if narcissists are so evil, and if you hate narcissists so much, how come all your role models are actually narcissists?

Question to ponder, isn't it?

Before we go there, I would like to torture you with my latest poem. It's short, I promise.

Those of you who survived after the poem can proceed to the video. In the video, I'm going to introduce you to four concepts from psychology.

The first one is the shadow, or the dark self, or complexes. It's a Jungian concept. It comes from Jung.

The second concept is reaction formation. It's a psychological defense mechanism, first described by, of course, ineluctably, Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud also described the next topic in this video, was the first to analyze it, and that's projection, or in German, Projektion, yeah.

And we're going to discuss projection and introduction. Finally, we're going to discuss yet another Freudian concept, the narcissism of small differences.

There's no way to escape from Freud. There's no way to avoid him. He's all over the place. He's seen every nook and cranny peering behind every corner.

If you're a psychologist, even if you hate Freud, and detest psychoanalysis as a form of literary art pretending to be a science, if you think that psychoanalysis is a scam, utter sheer rank nonsense, as many psychologists do, especially experimental psychologists, you still have to use Freud's language. You still have to use his thinking.

He is the father. His genes are in each and every psychologist who had ever lived, in many of them who are already dead, and in many of them who are yet to be born.

And yes, it does remind me of someone.


Now, today's poem, my apologies and condolences in advance, but you, this is the price you have to pay, my poetry.

By the way, award-winning poetry.

And this is what I wrote yesterday.

The narcissist is an absence, a howling wind in the vacant corridors of his tortured mind. He is the echoing cry of a wounded sepia child faded into a bleeding emptiness. He is a void.

Mirror upon mirror reflects the nothingness where a person should have been. Into his carnival attraction, you are solicited to feel the bottomless pit of him.

Around a million times you beckon and seduce to join his vanishing act and to not be.

So this was the poem.

Some of you found it touching on Instagram. I hope some of you would liked it in my rendition here.

And without further ado, let's dive into the question of, are you envious of narcissists? Do you actually want to become narcissists or even much worse? Is each and every one of you actually a suppressed narcissist? Is the narcissist merely an expression of your own dark side, your own shadow?

Now, the concepts of shadow, dark side, complexes, failed narcissism, failed introversion, all these concepts actually come from C.G. Jung. C.G. Jung was a student of Sigmund Freud for quite a long time. As opposed to Freud, he was a psychologist. Freud was a neurologist. And he had adopted Freud as a father figure.

Inevitably, they had a fallout. He rebelled against this father figure. He was contumacious. He hated authority figures. And he was quite a bit of an adolescent.

A narcissist, of course. Jung went also through a period of at least five years of psychotic disorder. He was a psychotic, a little like Joker in the movie.

And so he's a person who had experienced firsthand what it is to lose your mental health and what it is to experience mental illness, which only adds depth, depth and emotions to his work. And it's a very, very amazing, amazing oeuvre, amazing opera of insights into human nature.

Later in life, he again deteriorated into the occult, UFOs, witchcraft, the task. And he joined luminaries, other luminaries in history, such as Arthur Conan Doyle, in investigating spiritualism. He coined, he coined, I mean, he invented concepts, which I find ludicrous and rank nonsensical, such as the collective unconscious. That's besides the point.


Today, we want to discuss his insights into what he called the shadow.

And I want to encourage you to watch a video I have placed in this channel, how Jung viewed narcissism.

Jung's view of narcissism is diametrically opposed to Freud's view of narcissism.

Freud considered adult narcissism or secondary narcissism as a pathology, as a failure in the process of growing up and being able to relate to people. Jung regarded narcissism as a crucial element in introversion and the creation of the self.

Jung also made a distinction between self and ego, which Freud didn't.

So I encourage you to watch that video about the differences in the perception of narcissism between the two grandfathers of psychology, Jung and Freud.

But again, let us delve into the issue of shadow, because here's the question.

If each and every one of you has a shadow, if each and every one of you has a dark side that you had repressed, that you deny, that you're ashamed of, that you feel guilty about, then each and every one of you is not different to the narcissist in any meaningful way.

Perhaps this is exactly why you hate the narcissist. You resent the narcissist. You want to punish the narcissist. You want the narcissist dead. Not because he is unlike you, but because he is very much you.

So the famous, although controversial, psychoanalyst C.G. Jung wrote the following.

Now everything I'm quoting in this video is from his collected works edited by Adler, Fordham and Reed. It's 21 volumes a morning. It was published by Princeton University Press over 23 years, between 1960, a year before I was born in 1983.

So here's the first quote from his collected works, Jung.

Complexes are psychic fragments which have split off owing to traumatic influences or certain incompatible tendencies.

As the association experiments prove, complexes interfere with the intentions of the will. They disturb the conscious performance. They produce disturbances of memory and blockages in the flow of associations. They appear and disappear according to their own laws. They can temporarily obsess consciousness or influence speech and action in an unconscious way.

In a word, complexes behave like independent beings, a fact especially evident in abnormal states of mind.

In the voices heard by the insane, they even take on a personal ego character like that of the spirits who manifest themselves through automatic writing and similar techniques.

And this quote is borrowed from the structure and dynamics of the psyche, monument.

He then proceeds to write, I use the term individuation to denote the process by which a person becomes a psychological individual, that is a separate, indivisible unity or whole.

And this quote is taken from the archetypes and the collective unconscious.

He elaborates on individuation and as you will see, individuation is critical to the issue of the dark side.

Individuation means becoming a single, homogenous being and insofar as individuality embraces our innermost, lost and incomparable uniqueness. It also implies becoming one's own self.

We could therefore translate individuation as coming to selfhood or self-realization.

This quote is taken from two essays on analytical psychology.

Another quote, but again and again, says Jung, again and again I note that the individuation process is confused with the coming of the ego into consciousness and that the ego is in consequence identified with the self, which naturally produces a hopeless conceptual model.

I fully agree with him by the way.

Jung continues, individuation is then nothing but ego-centeredness and auto-eroticism, but the self comprises infinitely more than a mere ego. It is as much oneself and all other selves as the ego.

Individuation does not shut out from the world. Individuation gathers the world into oneself, the structure and dynamic of the psyche.

So to Jung, the self is an archetype, the archetype. It is the archetype of order, borrowing from Jordan Peterson. It's the archetype of order as manifested in the totality of the personality and as symbolized by a circle, a square or the famous quaternity.

Stay with me. I know it's complicated. I know it's highly academic, but it's leading somewhere. It's leading to an insight, a discovery about yourself.

Sometimes, so stay with me and follow Jung's argument because he leads to the darkest corners of your soul.

Sometimes Jung uses other symbols instead of the self. He uses the child, he uses the mandala, etc.

In two essays on analytical psychology, he says, the self is a quantity that is superordinate to the conscious ego. It embraces not only the conscious but also the unconscious psyche. It is therefore, so to speak, a personality which we also are.

There is little hope of our ever being to reach even approximate consciousness of the self.

Listen what I say, it's shocking. There is little hope, there's no hope, of our ever being able to reach even approximate consciousness of the self.

We are not conscious of our selves since however much we may make conscious, there will always exist an indeterminate and indeterminable amount of unconscious material which belongs to the totality of the self.

And today, having measured data input, we know how many bits we process per second. We now were able to measure input of data into the brain via bits of information. And today we know the exact number. 95% is in the unconscious, only 5% is in the conscious.

Jung intuited it. He said, the self is not only the center but also the whole circumference which embraces both conscious and unconscious. The self is the center of this totality just as the ego is the center of consciousness.

And this is in the essay Psychology and Alchemy.

He proceeds to say in two essays on analytical psychology, the self is our life's goal for it is the completest expression of that faithful combination that we call individuality.

So let's see, Jung postulated the existence of two personalities, actually two selves, one of them being the shadow.

Technically, the shadow is a part, though it is an inferior part of the overarching personality, one's chosen conscious attitude.

How does a shadow develop? Why do we have a shadow? And what's the connection between shadow and narcissism?

And if we have a shadow inside us and a narcissist outside us, who is communicating with the narcissist? Is it our ego, egos, ourselves? Who is communicating with your narcissist, your ego, yourself? Or is it perhaps your shadow that is communicating with the narcissist? Maybe that's what the narcissist does to you.

He brings up your shadow. He reveals your dark side. He provokes you to become a penumbra. He makes you different.

The narcissist has the ability to tap into that part of your unconscious that is forbidden. He walks brazenly into your forbidden city and exposes all the deities and the divinities that rule your mind. It is a narcissist who unlocks you, who unlocks the Pandora box that is you. And once the Pandora's box is unlocked, all your demons come out.

This is your interaction with the narcissist.

The shadow develops this way. Inevitably, some personal and collective psychic elements are found wanting, inadequate, or incompatible with one's personality, one's narrative.

And the expression of these personal and collective psychic elements, which are uncomfortable, rejected, not working, dysfunctional, the expression of these elements is suppressed. And they coalesce into an almost autonomous, splinter personality.

Jung actually was the first to suggest, not in so many words, that all of us, via dissociation of the shadow, become multiple personalities.

And this second personality is contrarian. It negates the official chosen personality, though it is totally relegated to their conscience.

Jung believes, therefore, in a system of checks and balances, the shadow balances the ego. The ego is the consciousness. The shadow is the unconscious. You put together conscious and unconscious, you get the self.

This is not necessarily negative. The behavioral and attitudinal compensation offered by the shadow can and often are, is positive.

Jung says, the shadow personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself.

And yet, the shadow is always thrusting itself upon the person, directly or indirectly.

For instance, and he gives an example, inferior traits of character, and other incompatible tendencies, this is the shadow.

So what Jung says is, there's a part of you that you reject, a part of you that you refuse to acknowledge when you repress it, but you can't repress it.

It's like an insurrection. It's like an insurgency. It's like a rebel movement, a freedom movement. It's a terrorist organization. It's all the time in operation.

And he wrote this in the Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious.

The shadow is that hidden, repressed, for the most part inferior in guilt-laden personality, whose ultimate ramifications reach back into the realm of our animal ancestors, and so comprise the whole historical aspect of the unconscious.

If it has been believed hitherto that the human shadow was the source of all evil, it can now be ascertained on closer investigation that the unconscious man, that is, his shadow, does not consist only of morally reprehensible tendencies, but also displays a number of good qualities, such as normal instincts, appropriate reactions, realistic insights, creative impulses.

It would seem fair to conclude that there is a close affinity between the complexes, which are split off materials, and the shadows.

Perhaps the complexes, which are also the result of incompatibility with a conscious personality, perhaps they are a negative part of the shadow, perhaps they reside in the shadow, closely collaborate with the shadow in a kind of feedback mechanism.

Perhaps whenever the shadow manifests itself in a manner obstructive, destructive, or destructive to the ego, we call it complex.

Complexes may really be one and the same, the result of a negative split of material and its relegation to the realm of the unconscious.

This is the duality of the narcissist. The narcissist is not all negative.

Narcissists, exactly as Jung suggests, narcissists reify instincts, drives, and urges. They sometimes act upon them and gain our admiration. We ascribe to narcissists bravery, courage, defiance, go-getters, ambition.

As Jung suggests, the shadow contains also realistic insights. That's called empathy.

The narcissist's ability to scan you, to spot your vulnerabilities, and creative impulses.

Many narcissists are highly creative.

Narcissists, I think, narcissism is a condition where the shadow did not become unconscious, but somehow intruded on consciousness.

The firewall, the partition, the separation between conscious and unconscious in the narcissist has collapsed under constant stress and strain of trauma and childhood abuse.

And so the conscious and the unconscious mixed together in a melange, in a salad, in a primordial soup of urges and drives and wishes and impulses.

And so the narcissist experiences shadow exactly as in the opening poem.

The narcissist experiences shadow and therefore denies himself because shadow goes with denial.

Shadow is about denial.

But if you experience a shadow, you experience your own self-denial. You feel non-existent. You feel empty.

So whenever there's a person whose conscious is mixed with his unconscious, so that parts of his unconscious, the shadow, the complexes, become actually conscious, that's a rarity. That happens very rarely.

And we call these people narcissists.


But even so, we recognize ourselves in them.

There's a distant echo, a kind of resonance, the guns of August. There is this thundering far away. We hear our voice in the maelstrom of the narcissist existence.

We suddenly see our face appearing and disappearing for a split second, for a splitting micro and a fleeting microsecond.

But we are there. And it is this self-reflection that draws us to the narcissist.

Inexorably, we are drawn actually to our own shadow.

The narcissist is our way to vicariously, by proxy as it were, experience the risky and dangerous, disavowed, repressed, hated, disgraced part of ourselves, which each and every one of us has.

The narcissist allows us to experience ourselves fully, as we have never done before.

And in this sense, the narcissist affords you a kind of therapy.

All therapy is painful. All therapy is agonizing.

So you could say the therapy is abusing. Therapy leverages techniques which are also used in abuse.

Narcissistic abuse in most modalities, most treatment modalities, most psychotherapies are indistinguishable from narcissistic abuse.

If I were to observe a psychotherapy session, well done, when the therapist knows what he or she is doing, rare, unfortunately.

But if I were to observe such a session, I wouldn't know if this is therapy or an abusive exchange.

This is what the narcissist does. It dredges up buried materials, pet cemetery. It revives your dead pets. It revives all these walking dead inside you.

And that's the sense of horror that you have.

And also the sense of inexorable attraction.

How do we react to a horror movie? We can't stop watching it. It's horrifying. We want to throw up. We want to avert our eyes, but we can't.

Why can't we?

Because it's about us. It's about a part of us that is black and dark and hidden and repressed.

The narcissist produces and directs a horror movie in which we are the protagonists.

And this leads me to defense mechanism, because of course we would tend to defend against this. We would tend to react in a way that will preserve our conscious, separate it from the unconscious and not allow intrusion.

And this is one of the roles of defense mechanisms.


The second role is to reframe and interpret reality.

Two defense mechanisms that I would like to discuss are reaction formation and projection.

And both of them indicate that we hate the narcissist. We're angry at the narcissist. We want to destroy the narcissist because the narcissist is uncomfortably like us.

It is not the narcissist that we hate. It's the part of us that is identical to the narcissist. It is not the narcissist that we want to destroy.

It's that unconscious realm, that kingdom inside our heads, inside our minds, that resembles the narcissist too uncomfortably.

And this is called reaction formation.

You remember the line from Hamlet by William Shakespeare, not a Jew, by the way. The line from Hamlet, the lady doth protest too much methinks.

Queen Gertrude, when there is a character in the play, there's a play within the play. Hamlet is, as usual, an amazing work of art. And Prince Hamlet creates a play within the play. And there's a character there. And that character is overacting, overdoing it, exaggerating. And it appears immediately to be fake and insincere.

And Queen, because Hamlet is trying to prove his uncle's guilt in the murder of his father, the king of Denmark. Nevermind.

So Queen Gertrude looks at this character in the play and says, the lady doth protest too much methinks. You protest too much. You have something to hide.

Reaction formation is exactly this. When your consciousness is fixated, stuck, like, you know, full gas in neutral, you're stuck on an idea, effect, emotion, desire. But these are opposite to your unconscious impulse.

So consciously, openly, you communicate one idea, one belief, one effect, one emotion, one desire, one wish, one cause, one drive, one plan.

But, really, in your unconscious, you hold exactly the opposite views and beliefs and tendencies and proclivities and inclinations.

So, for example, a mother could have a child that she did not want, an unwanted child, an accident, something. And she feels guilty that she hates the child that is about to come. She feels guilty.

So because she feels guilty, she becomes overprotective. She becomes solicitous. She becomes, she pimples the child. She smothers the child. She spoils the child. She feels guilty. Really, deep inside, she can't stand the child. She hates the child for having ruined her life, for having obstructed her career, for having come, for having barged and invaded unexpectedly.

And so she will try to compensate for it.

And consciously, if you ask her, do you love, do you love your child? Wow, I adored this child. I never thought I could love a child that much.

Reaction formation is when you have a tendency, when you have something inside you that you reject, a part of you, an element of you, an aspect of you, that you can't stand, a dimension of you, that you find totally contra to everything you trust and believe.

And so you turn into the opposite.

For example, if you are really, really into money, you are greedy, you are avaricious, you will act charitably and generously and altruistically.

Your real tendons, your real character, you're a money lover, overt behavior, open behavior, ostentatious behavior, conspicuous behavior, opposite, you give away your money.

Similarly, for example, if you are latent homosexual, if you're gay, in effect, if you're attracted to same sex to men or women, you know, you will become a homophobe. You will attack homosexuals, you will deride them, you will decry them. You will demand legal protections against homosexual influence in schools. You will be all over. You will be, you will be, you know, in most extreme cases, you may kill, you may assassinate homosexuals.

It has happened. It's a defense against your own homosexuality. You find your latent homosexuality threatening, reprehensible, alien. You're estranged from yourself whenever you consider your true sexual, your true sexual orientation.

So you show the world and especially yourself. There's no way you could be a homosexual. No way.

The basic conflict between drives and control processes. This is what creates reaction formation.

Freud called this neurosis. When there's a conflict between what you really want, who you really are, your true identity, and how you behave, your conscious control, your declared speech acts, you know, when there's a serious conflict, there's an abyss, there's a war, enormous dissonance. That's neurosis.

So reaction formation is adopting a position. I'm quoting from a dictionary of mental health that I authored a few years ago.

Adopting a position and mode of conduct that defy personally unacceptable thoughts or impulses by expressing diametrically opposed sentiments and convictions.

Example, a latent, closet homosexual finds his sexual preference deplorable and acutely shameful, egodystonic, and he resorts to homophobia. He publicly berates, taunts, and baits homosexuals.

Additionally, he may flaunt his heterosexuality by emphasizing his sexual prowess and conquest or by prowling singles bars for easy pickups. This way he contains and avoids his own unwelcome homosexuality.

That's from my dictionary of mental health.


Back to the original conception of reaction formation.

Reaction formation in German was Reaktionbildung, for those of you who want to read it in the original. I know many of you speak perfect, Hochdeutsch, and really, really resent the fact that I'm using English when I could actually read all the quotes in German.

So my apologies. In German, it's called Reaktionbildung.

Okay, go and search for it right now.

So reaction formation is, in psychoanalytic theory, a defense mechanism.

It's when emotions and impulses create anxiety. And they create anxiety, as I said, because they are perceived as unacceptable.

And so we reduce anxiety by acting totally the opposite of our, of truly who we truly are.

Reaction formation is a neurotic defense mechanism, of course, and it's part of a family which includes dissociation, displacement, intellectualization or rationalization and repression.

You are beginning to see where I'm leading. The more you rail against narcissists, the more you hate narcissists, the more you want narcissists dead. The more you protest against narcissists, the more, the more I believe you are narcissists.

It's precisely why I keep saying that empaths are covert narcissists. Majority, not everyone, but an overwhelming majority of empaths are absolutely covert narcissists. They protest too much. They are too anti-narcissistic. It's like homophobes who are actually homosexuals. They are narcissists who attack narcissists to prove that they are not narcissists. They are narcissists who cannot live with their own narcissism, cannot countenance, cannot accept it, reject it, hate it.

But they're still narcissists. And so they show the world and themselves that they are not narcissists.

Here, you see, how can I be a narcissist if I hate narcissists? You know, give me a break.

Wagner, he has no idea what he's talking about because he lacks empathy like me. I'm a supernova empath. I hate narcissists. I hate narcissists.

If I see a narcissist, I will step on his neck until he dies or place my foot on his neck until he dies. It's very empathic, by the way.

So reaction formation is very common and indicates the more voluble you are, the more vociferous, the more convinced, the more dedicated, the more I believe that you are what you're protesting against.

I believe that, and most psychologists do, actually. There's something called counterphobic attitude. It's a response to anxiety where instead of fleeing, you remember flight, fight, freeze, form.

Counterphobic attitude is the fighting. You don't freeze, you don't fly, you don't flee, but you fight. You attack the source of the fear. It's kind of reverse phobia.

You actively seek the fear. And you say to yourself, if I confront my fear, if I engage with my fear, if I destroy the source of my fear, if I appear to be fearless, then I will get rid of my fear. I will have become indeed fearless.

And this is what many people do with narcissists. They kind of play with fire. They poke the snake. They play games, mind games, power plays. They tease. They flirt. They are like circling the wagon. You know, they're like touching and not touching.

And this is their way of exposure therapy. They're exposing themselves to the source of the terror, which is the narcissist, thereby believing that this would render them immune to the narcissist.

It's a little like vaccination. You know, what do you do in vaccination? In vaccination, you take a weakened, a weakened bacterium or an organism and you inject it into the body to generate an immune response.

The organism that you inject into the body, the bacteria, bacteria in the vaccine, they're weakened, they're destroyed or they're partial. And the immune response makes you resist the real thing when you come across it.

So many people do it with narcissists. They vaccinate. They inject themselves with weakened versions of the narcissist, temporary versions of the narcissist, I don't know, partial versions of the narcissist. They surround themselves with normal people plus one narcissist.

Like, you know, if I expose myself, but in a modulated, regulated way, I'm going to acquire immunity. I'm going to join the herd and have herd immunity or to use Donald Trump's immortal phrase, herd mentality.

Contrary to avoidant personality disorder, the counterphobic represents another solution. It's not very common, but it's there. And it is seeking, seeking what is feared, associating with dangerous people, risky people.

You see this groupies and fans of narcissists and psychopaths and so on. This is one of the reasons they want to acquire immunity. And many of them are co-dependence. Many of them are co-dependence because actually what happens is the co-dependent is afraid to attach.

Afraid to attach, by the way, afraid to attach generally co-dependence have insecure attachment styles, several of them, but they're definitely afraid to attach to narcissists, the psychopaths.

And so what they do, they disguise this fear of attachment and they convert it via reaction formation, counterphobic reaction formation into over dependence.

Let me repeat this. It's an important insight.

Codependents are afraid to get attached to narcissists and psychopaths because they anticipate the pain and hurt and rejection and humiliation and abandonment, exactly like borderlines. They're afraid of what's about to happen and what's about to happen inexorably and assuredly. They know it's going to happen. They're terrified.

But to cope with this fear, to cope with this reluctance to attach, modern reluctance, terror of attachment, what they do, they disguise it and they become exactly the opposite, over attached.

They are afraid to become dependent, so they become over dependent. That is precisely reaction formation.

The best book about reaction formation has been written many, many years ago. It's called The Primer of Freudian Psychology by Calvin Hall. It's published in 1954 in New York. And here is what he has to say among many other things.

It's a wonderful book by the way. The instincts, you notice before I proceed, you notice that I rely a lot on old books. I find new books to be very shallow and very how-to oriented.

Everyone is obsessed with money and they know that if they write profound, deep texts, no one is going to buy them. So they write shallow, dumb, how-to manuals and then they sell millions of copies.

An example in point is Jordan Peterson. His first book, Maps of Meaning, is Borders on a Masterpiece, an amazing in-depth dive and analysis of numerous disciplines arranged together. A work of genius. It sold 500 copies. And then he wrote The Twelve Rules of Life, which is replete literally on every page with factual errors, statements which I personally consider nonsensical, arrogance and hubris of telling you how to live based on faulty, faulty research such as Caddis, Elizabeth Caddis studies, etc. And this book sold 3 million copies. That's why I go back.

If you want to find good psychological literature, go back 40, 50, even 100 years.

Okay, Dietribe and Rand finished.

A primer of Freudian psychology in 1954, Calvin Hall writes, the instincts and their derivatives may be arranged as pairs of opposites, life versus death, construction versus destruction, action versus passivity, dominance versus submission, and so forth.

When one of the instincts produces anxiety by exerting pressure on the ego, either directly or by way of the superego, the ego may try to sidetrack the offending impulse by concentrating upon its opposite.

For example, if feelings of hate towards another person make one anxious, the ego can facilitate the flow of love to conceal the hostility.

So, reaction formation is a rejected impulse. It's a rejected impulse, and you camouflage and you disguise the rejected impulse by displaying the exact opposite behavior.

But the impulse doesn't vanish, of course.

And this is where I'm saying that by rejecting the narcissist and hating the narcissist, you are not rejecting, you're not successfully eliminating the narcissist in you. It's not a solution.

There's a part of you that is dark, shadow, complex, complicated, not healthy, repressed, eruptive, you know, pent up energy, pent up negative energy, imbued with negative emotionality. That part of you resembles the narcissist to the point of discomfort.

And you think if you reject the narcissist or you hate the narcissist or you even kill the narcissist, you think this way you will have gotten rid of this part inside you? No way it persists.

It's in the unconscious. It's infantile. It refuses to go away. It throws temper tantrums.

Where love is experienced as a reaction formation against hate, you can't say that the hate is gone. It's not gone because the original aggression is still there.

Under the affectionate displays of love for humanity, there is actually misanthrope. You're using love to hide hate. You're using generosity to hide stinginess. You are using good neighborliness to hide hostility. You're all lying all the time.

Now, many of you had written to me to say it's not true. I lie only 5% of the time. Congratulations. You are an honest person 95% of the time. Good to hear. You don't understand the concept of lying. Lying is not only when you sit back at home and say tomorrow I'm going to tell John a lie. It's going to be a lie because it's not going to reflect the facts as I know them.

These are rare lies. We lie in numerous ways. We lie without beliefs, without convictions, without pretensions, without behavior in a million ways.

The concept of lying, confabulation, is at the heart of modern psychology.

What is psychoanalysis, which was the first school, first modern school of psychology?

Psychoanalysis says we lie all the time about everything.

Now, let's find out the truth. Let's go back to childhood and find out the truth.

And when you exaggerate, when you're compulsive about something, when you're inflexible, that's reaction formation.

You're trying to hide something. You're trying to hide a part of yourself that you truly detest, that you abhor. You're trying to hide the narcissist inside you.

Carl Bynnholm. Reactive love protests too much. It is overdone, extravagant, showy and affected. It is counterfeit and usually easily detected.

Another feature of a reaction formation is its compulsiveness. A person who is defending himself against anxiety cannot deviate from expressing the opposite of what he really feels.

His love, for instance, is not flexible. It cannot adapt itself to changing circumstances, as genuine emotions do. Rather, it might not be able to change the circumstances. Rather, it must be constantly on display, as if any failure to exhibit it would cause the contrary feeling to come to the surface.

Solicitude may be a reaction formation against cruelty. Cleanliness against being dirty. Unconditional pacifism is a reaction formation against sadism. High ideals of virtue and goodness may be reaction formations against primitive object cathexes, primitive investment of emotions in primitive objects.

So these ideals are not realistic values that are capable of being lived up to.

Romantic notions of chastity and purity may mask crude sexual desires from insecurity. Altruism may hide selfishness. Piety may conceal sinfulness, apropos all the evangelical high priests who were exposed with prostitutes, group sex, and worse.

Even more counterintuitively, according to this model, phobia is an example of a reaction formation.

The person wants the very thing that he fears. He is not afraid of the object. He is afraid of his wish for the object.

The reactive fear prevents the dreaded wish from becoming fulfilled.

You want the narcissist. You wish the narcissist, but you're afraid. And your fear is a way to not be with the narcissist. It's self-preservation.

Do you remember the Stockholm syndrome? Stockholm syndrome is when a hostage or a kidnap victim falls in love with a very person who had kidnapped him, who is holding him hostage.

Her, in this case, Stockholm syndrome is based on a real story. In the 70s, there was a bank robbery in Stockholm. Yes, bank robberies happened in Stockholm, believe it or not. And one of the bank clerks, a woman, fell in love with one of the hostage takers, the most violent of them. She fell in love with him, literally fell in love. I mean, like she called her mother and told her, I'm going to get married after all this. I mean, don't ask. She was on television denouncing the police, denouncing the police as being over violent and that the police is not taking the best interest of the of the hostages in consideration. She became a hostage taker, in effect.

So this is reaction formation. It's when you love the fear than the hated person. You actually hate the person, of course. That person took your hostage, restricts your freedom, kidnapped you, tortured you. You're afraid of that person. You hate this person, but you can't allow yourself to feel the fear and the hate because that person has complete power over you.

So you say, okay, I love him. I love him.

It's a resolution of cognitive and emotional dissonance.

And there's many reports of paradoxical behavior like that. There are reports of people in Nazi concentration camps in Auschwitz, for example, who fell in love in a way or became admirers and fans of some of the SS offices and guards. They collected objects that were discarded by the SS offices and guards. Jewish Nazi concentration camp inmates idolized, admired Nazi SS offices and collected their personal belongings.

That's the absolute manifestation of reaction formation.

Let's talk about another defense mechanism, projection.

The port calling the kettle black is projection.

By the way, this proverb is Spanish originally, and the English borrowed it in the 17th century. It's when you accuse another person of the very thing that they accuse you of. It's a kind of projection, hypocrisy.

Projection is a defense. It's when you have unwanted feelings, unwanted urges, unwanted wishes, when you hate who you are or elements of who you are.

So one way is reaction formation, where you pretend to be exactly the opposite of who you are.

But there's another way you can attribute everything you hate about yourself to someone else. You say it's not me who is like that. He is like that. It's not me. I'm an empath. I'm not a narcissist. He's a narcissist. I'm an empath. I'm not sadistic. I'm not aggressive. He's sadistic and aggressive. And I'm going to kill him just to prove that I'm not sadistic and aggressive. I'm not kidding you by the way. I've been on empath forums where they have expressed pure, unadulterated, sadistic, violent, aggressive sentiments against Nazis claiming in the same breath that they are highly empathic and wouldn't hurt a fly. It's an example of projection. It's when you take the part of you that you disown, the part of you you can't accept, and you throw it, you project it onto someone else, hoping that it will stick somehow. And then you say it's not me. It's him. I'm not abusing. He's abusive. He's abusive. I'm not a narcissist. He's a narcissist. I'm very generous. He's stingy.

It's an individual that is threatened by something and externalizes the trait. For example, when you're angry, then you would say, well, he's angry at me. He's hostile to me. I'm not angry. I'm not hostile. I'm okay. He's the one from my mental health dictionary, according.

We all have an image of how we should be. Freud called it the ego ideal.

But sometimes we experience emotions and drives, or we have personal qualities which don't sit well with this idealized construct.

Projection is when we attribute to other people these unacceptable, discomforting, and ill-fitting feelings and rejected traits that we possess.

This way, by attributing all these to other people, we disown these discordant features and secure the right to criticize and chastise other people for having or displaying these traits and behaviors.

When entire collectives, nations, groups, organizations, corporate structures, when entire collectives project, this is narcissism of small differences, which we are going to discuss shortly.

So, projection is a defense mechanism.

The German Proyektione, yeah. Takes me five minutes to recover every time I speak. I say something in German. Okay. Projection is a defense mechanism. It's when the ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or unconscious qualities.

By the way, you can have a projection of a positive quality.

Not many people realize this. You deny who you are, good and bad. You deny your impulses, your drives, your urges, and your qualities.

Sometimes, for example, you feel threatened by success. You don't want to succeed because you identify success with commitment, never mind now.

Some people are threatened by success, so they will tend to project onto others their positive traits, the traits that could lead them to success.

They would say, for example, I'm not intelligent. I'm not really intelligent. See, this guy is intelligent. Or I'm not really hardworking. This guy works twice as hard as I do.

This is projection. Denying the existence of some things, some qualities, some impulses, some urges, some drives, some behaviors, some beliefs, some denying all this in yourself and attributing it to someone else.

So, if you're a bully, it's a vulnerability. Bullies are vulnerable people. They're trying to cover up for their vulnerability by becoming bully. That's reaction formation.

But at the same time, the bullies would say, everyone here is vulnerable. They're projecting their own vulnerability onto other people.

Or you could shift blame or shame dump. It's called shame dumping.

These all the victim shaming, these are all processes of projection. And projection is intimately linked with another process called interjection.

Never mind all that right now. There's been a voluminous correspondence between Sigmund Freud and everyone in the universe, but Sigmund Freud and Wilhelm Fliess.

And later, there was Carl Abraham and Sigmund Freud's own daughter, which was a brilliant psychoanalyst and child psychologist.

Unafraid. All these people were debating how to fine tune projection, how to exactly understand it. For example, does it apply only to faults, motivations, desires and feelings? Does it apply only to things that the person cannot accept as one's own? Only to things that are rejected by the person?

Do you have to place these things in the outside world and to someone else? Or can you have internal projection when the ego repudiates something? It's split off and then you can take it and project it onto another.

But is it possible to split it off and leave it inside somehow and still call it projection?

There were many debates. It seems that in the case of narcissism, there's a lot of projection going on. People are projecting their own narcissism and their own abusive traits and behaviors onto narcissists.

I am not saying, I am not invalidating the experience of falling prey to a psychopath or falling victim to a narcissist.

Ladies and gentlemen, I coined the phrase narcissistic abuse in 1995. So don't tell me that I don't recognize the victim suffering. I invented the victim suffering. I gave it a language.

Still, I'm saying, many victims project. People resent and reject the narcissist because they are narcissists or narcissistic. Projection doesn't take place arbitrarily. Freud himself said it. He said that what happens is we scan and we find someone who resonates with us and then we take the part we reject in ourselves and we project it onto him.

There has to be some resonance between you as a projector and the recipient of your projection, which is the projectee. If you're projecting your narcissism onto the narcissist, you have to be narcissistic.

And that leads to projective identification, where you actually force the person to behave in a way that you accept.

Melanie Klein regarded idealization as projection, which is a brilliant insight. She said, there's no difference, she said, between idealization, devaluation and projection. They're all the same family.

What is idealization is when you take the positive traits in yourself, things you would like to see in other people, and then you attribute them to other people.

You want to feel that you're empathic, that you're caring, that you're compassionate, that you're a good person. You want to see this in people around you, so you idealize them. You want to believe that you're a genius, but it's haughty and arrogant to say this, so you reject it.

Instead, you would tend to convert someone into a genius in your own eyes. You tend to idealize someone as a genius.

Your own conscience is projected. Conscious is a very nagging, unpleasant, discomforting, sometimes painful thing, sometimes ominous, threatening.

And so what you do, you project your conscience, for example, onto an authority figure, a policeman, a judge. We outsource our conscience. The law is a form of projected conscience.

To avoid painful contradictions with reality or cognitive dissonances, and also to ameliorate raging abandonment or separation anxiety, the narcissist aims to micromanage and control his human environment by subsuming it, or by merging and fusing with it.

This is not different to what you are doing as co-dependence. You're doing exactly the same. Co-dependence are almost indistinguishable from narcissists, as far as the coping strategies are evolved.


Etiology is different. The psychodynamic landscape is very different, but not a behavior. The narcissist's nearest and dearest are reduced to mere representations, avatars, extensions of himself, internalized objects.

This is where projective identification comes into play. It's like the simpler projecting projection defense mechanism, projective identification consists of the attribution of the narcissist's own psychology, all urges, desires, and processes to other people.

So the first stage in projective identification is of course projective projection. You attribute to others things that are inside yourself, but then projective identification involves forcing the target of the projection to conform to the contents of the projection.

To actually become someone else, to behave in ways that are prescribed by the projection, to undergo introjective identification.

So if I want you to be an abuser, because I'm actually abusive, I'm a sadistic abuser deep inside, I would like to torture, taunt and torment everyone around me, but I hate it in myself. I don't want to be a sadist, I don't want to be an abuser, so I'm going to project it. I'm going to say my partner is a sadist, my partner is the abuser, I'm okay. That's projection.

But then projecting it into someone who is not an abuser, who is not a sadist, is not going to work.

So I have to force my partner to act the part. I have to convince and cajole and coerce a black man my partner to become a sadistic abuser so that my projection is rendered successful. I'm a sadist, I can't take it, I can't accept that I'm a sadist.

So I'm saying I'm not a sadist, my partner is a sadist. And then I force my partner to behave like a sadist so that my projection will have been validated.


Are you beginning to identify some of the dynamics you've had with your narcissistic abuser?

In the idealization phase, the narcissist cajoles, coerces, extorts, incentivizes his chosen source of supply to transform herself into the kind of person that the narcissist projects.

For example, intelligent or strong.

This is the process of co-idealization.

Narcissist idealizes you to enable him to idealize himself. He cannot idealize himself if he's surrounded by novices, if he's surrounded by failures and losers, he must idealize you. He cannot see you as you are, as if he sees you as you are, he cannot idealize himself.

And similarly, in the devaluation stage, the target is manipulated to assume, to adopt, to exhibit the narcissist's own shortcomings and unmanageable, chaotic and dysregulated emotions and behaviors.

So if the narcissist wants to rage, is envious, contemptuous, abusive, full of shame, he wants you, he wants you to reflect all this. He projects all this onto you.

He says, it's shameful, she's shameful. She's an abuser. She's contemptible. She's envious of me. She rages at me. I mean, everything is reversed. It's like a mirror. It's Alice through the looking glass. It's you become the mirror to the interior of the narcissist. You become his externalized interior.

The narcissist rejects these parts of himself. He refuses to own these parts because they challenge his self-perception, his grandiose, inflated false self, his fantasies, his ability to regulate his sense of self-worth and the way he misperceives reality.

The challenge is enormous. If the narcissist were to accept himself as he is, for example, pretty dumb, a buffoon, that results in mortification. Mortification is life-free.


So instead what the narcissist does, he takes these parts of himself and he farms them out. He outsources them to other people around you while also pressuring them to play act these roles, to comply with the roles in the screenplay that is his life and to affirm what he knows about the world, about himself and about others.

In other words, to reconstruct his comfort zone.

People, the narcissist's life is a theater production and other people, they're not other actors. There's only one actor, the narcissist. Other people are props. Props like an armchair or a sofa or chandelier. That's other people. They are containers of unwanted beasts of the narcissist's persona and psyche. They are constant reminders of his superiority and magnanimity because what he had done, he had taken all the inferior things, all the rejected things, all the dark things, all the disgusting things, all the unacceptable things and he sliced them off and he threw them away and now he's perfect. Now he's unadulterated. He's pure. Now he's amazing. Now he's perfection.

His grandiosity is no charge. Still, it is important to realize that the material that the narcissist cast off in the process of projective identification. As I said before, this material doesn't disappear. It remains a part of the narcissist and the problem, the narcissist is a double problem.

When a healthy person projects or when there is reaction formation in a healthy person, the original impulse, the original drive or wish or belief or a trait remains. It remains hidden. It remains repressed, remains denied and disowned, but it's still there.

But with the narcissist, there's a problem. The healthy person can convince herself that these traits and behaviors and urges and beliefs and so on and intentions, they're not hers. They belong to other people and that's okay. It works. It can't work with the narcissist because other people are also internalized. They're also part of him.

Ironically, when the narcissist projects anything onto other people, he actually projects it internally, not onto other people, but onto the internal objects that represent these people.

So, you remember Snapshotty? When the narcissist meets someone, he takes a snapshot and he interacts with this snapshot in the future. So, he interacts with this snapshot. Anything he projects, anything he attributes to an external person, he actually is not attributing to the external person. He's attributing it to the snapshot. He's attributing it to an internal object, but this object is part of him. Even his projection is self-contained. Never leaves the premises unlike Elvis. He cannot get out of himself. He cannot even use other people to get rid of parts of himself that he hates. He doesn't have operational, functional defense mechanisms, even the most primitive and infantile that other people do.

With the narcissist, projection and projection don't work because in his mental world, there are no other people. There's no outside. There's no external. There's no reality. You need to project something. You need to have someone outside yourself.

But what if there's nobody outside yourself? Everyone is inside you. You can project.

The narcissist's solipsistic worldview prevents him from successfully getting rid of what bothers him the most. His own imperfections, deficiencies, inadequacies.

Carl Jung considered that when the personality has unacceptable parts, every personality has unacceptable parts, that's the shadow archetype. And he said that it is the shadow that is likely to give rise to projection.

And remember Maggie Louise von Fann, the love of my life could have been had we met. She wrote Puegravi et.


And she view of projection is a bit different. It's wherever known reality stops where we touch the unknown, where we project an archetypal image.

Jung wrote, all projections provoke counter projection. When the object is unconscious of the quality projected upon it by the subject, so there's a resonance of unconsciousness.

There's projection and then there's a recipient or the target of the projection. And the unconscious of that target, the unconscious of the recipient will project it back to the projector.

It's a kind of mutual projection or mutual acting out.

And there was Harry Stack Sullivan, who discussed counter projection, and he tied it into compulsion and to psychological trauma and to obsession. And it's a very interesting topic, projection and counter projection.

In the context of narcissism, you keep saying, for example, I saw online self-styled experts and so on, keep saying the narcissist projects, no such thing. You project together. He projects and you counter project, exactly like idealization. It's not only the narcissist.

I mean, there's co-idealization. The narcissist idealizes you and himself simultaneously. He projects onto you and you project back to him. It takes two to tango. You are part of this.

Psychological projection is common, as I said, in victim blaming. It's common in many, many situations where there's suspicion of infidelity to actually projection. You know, you're the one who's cheating or wants to cheat. So you suspect your spouse, general guilt, even hope, even false memories, memories that were induced in therapy by an unscrupulous therapist and never really happened. It's also a form of projection.

When you shame victims, when you blame victims, you project it.

There was a guy called Gordon Allport and he said that projective techniques can help express the self.

So tests like Rorschach, ink blood tests, thematic appreciation tests, they're actually projectivities.

So you see, it's a whole enormous field, but it's important to understand that projection is used by the ego to reduce anxiety.

But when you project, what do you do? You take a part of yourself and you throw it out, get rid of it.

What's another name for this? Yes, dissociation.

Projection is actually a form of dissociation. When you project things, you dissociate them. You forget about them in yourself because you see them in others.

If you are the one who wants to cheat on your wife and you suspect her of cheating, that's projection.

But at that very second that you suspect her of cheating, you forget, you dissociate your own urge to cheat.

And so in some cases, especially when we tend to believe that other people are like us, this is called the false consensus effect. When there is a false consensus effect, when there is a belief that everyone is like us, it's much easier to project.

If you meet someone who is really seriously not like you, you know, anything from skin color to culture to age to wealth, too much separates you, the two of you, you can't project. It's a problem.

And this raises a very interesting question.

The narcissist projects on you, but it's not possible to project unless there's an enormous similarity between the person who projects and the recipient of the projection.

In other words, the narcissist judges you to be very similar to himself.

The narcissist is very good at treating people. It's called empathy.

So is the narcissist wrong? Why does the narcissist commit such a catastrophic mistake?

He projects onto you because he thinks you are a narcissist as well.

Is this a mistake? Or does he tap into something that you have no access to? Does he actually resonate with your shadow, with your dark side, with your own narcissistic pathology?

Is not the very fact that the narcissist is able to project proof that there is a part of you open to this projection, part of you that resembles the narcissist uncannily?

I know you don't want to admit it because you're projecting.

If you're saying right now Sandvaknin is a narcissist, of course, he would say this, you're projecting.

It's a defense.

Neumann, Nettle, Daff and Baumeister. Baumeister is one of my favorite psychologists, by the way.

In 1997, they came up with a model of defensive projection.

They say that repressors, people who repress, try to suppress thoughts of their own undesirable traits.

And these efforts make the trait categories highly accessible so that they are then used all the more often when forming impressions of others.

The projection is only a byproduct of the real defensive mechanism.

Let me explain this again. It's an amazing revolutionary thought.

They're saying like this, there are people who are not comfortable with who they are.

So they're trying to suppress their undesirable traits, cognitions that they're not comfortable with, beliefs, emotions. They're busy repressing and suppressing all the time.

Because they're busy repressing and suppressing all the time, they become aware of what it is that they're trying to suppress and repress.

And because they are becoming more and more intimate with these parts that they are trying to suppress, repress and deny, and disown, they become intimate with these parts.

So it's easier for them to use these parts to project onto others.

In other words, there's a process of natural selection.

The more we try to suppress or repress or deny or disown certain parts of ourselves, the easier it is for us to attribute these parts to other people.

This would indicate that victims of narcissistic abuse, probably, are somewhat more narcissistic than usual, we need to study this possibility.

And of course, ultimately, narcissism of small differences.

It is common to believe that the more marked the differences between people, the more pronounced the resultant hatred.

So if you are very different to someone, you're much more likely to hate that someone, to resent and to reject that someone.

So Freud gives an example that when there are big differences between immigrants and citizens, there is a resultant anti-immigration or racism.

So white Frenchmen, Americans, Dutch hotheads, they all attack black people, different.

The self-proclaimed liberal white often harbors implicit racism, implicit bias, unconscious racist attitudes.

But this is only half the truth.

The amlious manifestations of racism, up to genocide, are actually reserved to immigrants who look, act and talk like us.

The more these immigrants try to emulate us and imitate us, the harder they attempt to belong to us. The more ferocious a rejection of them.

Let me repeat this.

Immigrants who are like us, who are like us, look like us, share our values and try to belong successfully, provoke us much more than immigrants who have nothing in common with us, who are totally different to us, visibly or otherwise.

Freud coined the phrase, narcissism of small differences, in a paper titled, The taboo of virginity, that he published in 1917.

Referring to earlier work by British anthropologist, Eysenck, Freud said that we reserve our most virulent emotions, our aggression, our hatred, our envy towards people who resemble us the most. We feel threatened not by the other with whom we have little in common. We feel threatened by the nearly we, the people who mirror, reflect us and are exactly like us.

The nearly he, the nearly we, they imperil the narcissist selfhood. They challenge the narcissist sense of uniqueness, perfection, superiority, the fundamental, the fundamental, the fundamental of the narcissist sense of self-worth.

If the narcissist is confronted with someone who is very different to him, he can always claim, safely claim superiority, difference, distinction.

But what if he's confronted with someone who is a carbon copy, a clone of the narcissist?

It's very difficult to claim to be different or to be superior.

When the narcissist comes across someone who is like him, it provokes in him primitive narcissistic defenses. It leads him to adopt desperate measures to protect, preserve and restore his balance.

This is the Gulliver array of defense mechanisms, if you wish.

There are lily push-ins, there's Gulliver. Gulliver is unlikely to react badly to lily push-ins, to midgets, to dwarfs.

But Gulliver will react very badly if he were to encounter another giant on his turf.

The very existence of the nearly he, the similar, constitutes a narcissistic injury. The narcissist feels humiliated, shamed and embarrassed to not be special, after all.

And he reacts with envy and aggression towards this source of frustration.

In doing so, in attacking the person who looks like him, who acts like him, who shares his values, who has the same intelligence, so in attacking this kind of people, the narcissist resorts to splitting, projection, projective identification.

He attributes to other people traits that he dislikes in himself. He forces other people to behave in conformity with his expectations.

In other words, the narcissist sees in other people those part of himself that he cannot countenance and that he denies. He forces people around him to become him, to become narcissistic, to become himself. He forces other people around him to reflect to him his shameful behaviors, hidden fears, forbidden wishes.

But how does a narcissist avoid the realization that what he loudly decries and derives in other people is actually a part of himself by exaggerating or by dreaming up and creatively inventing differences between his qualities and conduct and other people's qualities and conduct.

The more hostile the narcissist becomes towards people who are similar to him, the easier it is for him to distinguish himself from the other by lying and confabulating.

Simple.

When you see a narcissist lying and confabulating, one of the main reasons is to preserve his uniqueness because he's surrounded by people who challenge him.

And they challenge him because they're exactly like him. He has no advantage. On the contrary, he's often very inferior.

To maintain this center differentiating aggression, the narcissist stokes the fires of hostility by obsessively and eventually nurturing grudges and hurts, many of them imagined.

The narcissist dwells on injustice, on pain inflicted on him by these stereotypically bad people, unworthy people. He devalues and dehumanizes other people. He plots revenge to achieve closure.

And in the process, the narcissist indulges in grandiose fantasies aimed at boosting his feelings of omnipotence and magical immunity.

In the process of acquiring an enemy, an adversary, the narcissist blocks out information that threatens to undermine his emerging self-perception as righteous and offended.

The narcissist begins to base his entire identity on the brewing conflict, which is by now a major preoccupation, a rumination, an obsession, and a defining or even all pervasive dimension of his existence.

Narcissists thrive, flourish in conflict, and with an identifiable enemy.

Very much the same dynamic applies to coping with major differences between the narcissist and other people.

The narcissist emphasizes the large disparities while transforming even the most minor ones into decisive and unbridgeable differences.

Deep inside, the narcissist wants to be different. He is continuously subject to a knowing suspicion that his self-perception is wrong, that he is not omnipotent, not omniscient, not irresistible, that he is flawed, that his narrative is confabulated and unrealistic.

Narcissist is, he is foremost the doubter. He doubts himself all the time. When he is criticized, the narcissist actually agrees with the critic.

That's the problem. In other words, the only minor differences between the narcissist and his detractors and critics, but this threatens the narcissist in terminal cohesion.

And so the narcissist erupts with wild rage at any hint of disagreement, resistance, debate, or criticism. And similarly, intimacy. Intimacy brings people closer together. It makes them more similar. They share something. They have something in common.

There are only minor differences between intimate partners. The narcissist perceives this intimacy as a threat to his sense of uniqueness. He reacts by devaluing the source of his fears.

The maid, the spouse, the lover, the partner, whoever tries to get close to him, getting close to the narcissist is making the narcissist common and average and knowable. The narcissist is divine, cannot be known, cannot be approached. The narcissist reestablishes the boundaries and the distinctions that were removed by intimacy by destroying the intimacy.

And so restored, he is emotionally ready to embark on another round of idealization. And this is what Freud called the approach avoidance repetition complex, compulsion.

In a study titled War and Relativeness published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the authors, Enrico Spolaore, who are main focus, concluded, I'm quoting, the degree of genealogical relatedness between populations has a positive effect on their conflict propensities because more closely related populations on average tend to interact more and develop more disputes over sets of common issues.

The populations that are genetically closer are more prone to go to war with each other, even after controlling for a wide set of measures of geographic distance and other factors that affect conflict, including measures of trading and democracy.

None of what had happened to you with the narcissist would have happened had you not been really, really similar. Sorry to break the bad news.

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Professor Sam Vaknin discusses how narcissists use conditioning techniques to shape and control the behavior of their victims. He explains concepts such as operant conditioning, aversion conditioning, and reciprocal inhibition, and how they are used to modify behavior and reinforce desired responses. He also touches on the use of modeling and secondary reinforcement in this process.


Narcissists False Self Primates, Perverts, Serpents, God

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of the false self in narcissism, drawing from various sources such as mythology, religion, and psychology. He delves into the intertwined nature of the false self and the true self, and the impact of the false self on the narcissist's psyche. Vaknin also explores the historical and cultural perspectives on narcissism, emphasizing the importance of understanding narcissism for survival in a world where narcissists are prevalent.


Simple Trick: Tell Apart Narcissist, Psychopath, Borderline

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of stability and instability in narcissistic personalities. He distinguishes between two types of narcissists: compensatory stability and enhancing instability. He also explores the role of appearance and substance in the narcissistic pathology, and the differences between celebrity narcissists and career narcissists. Vaknin emphasizes the complexity of human behavior and warns against oversimplifying generalizations about narcissists.


Narcissist: Traumatized Child Invents God, Then Abuses (with Charles Bowes-Taylor)

Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of narcissism and how it is a product of childhood trauma and abuse. He explains that narcissists have no self or ego and must outsource functions such as feedback and input from others to form an opinion of themselves and the world around them. Sam also suggests that narcissism is a metaphor for our times and captures perfectly our civilization. He argues that narcissism is a positive adaptation that helps individuals obtain favorable outcomes in the world, and that very few narcissists feel shame or have an incentive to change.


Narcissist’s 8 Life Failures (Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of ego in psychoanalytic theory and its role in interfacing with reality. He explains the eight stages of psychosocial development proposed by Erik Erikson and applies them to narcissism, highlighting how narcissists fail to develop a cohesive identity and struggle with intimacy, creativity, and self-actualization. Ultimately, narcissists approach old age with despair, mourning their unfulfilled potential.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
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