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Narcissist: Normal People are Enigma

Uploaded 2/23/2011, approx. 3 minute read

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

Here is the narcissist's monologue, inner and sometimes outer.

The narcissist says, I cannot understand so-called normal people. I don't know what makes them think.

To me, the narcissist, they're an enigma wrapped in a mystery.

I try hard not to offend them, to act civil, to be helpful and forthcoming. I give so much in my relationships that I often feel exploited. I make it a point not to strain my contacts, not to demand too much, not to impose, says the narcissist.

But it's not working. Forks I consider friends vanish suddenly without as much as a goodbye.

The more I help someone insist the narcissist, the less grateful he or she seems to be and the more repelled by me.

The narcissist continues, I find jobs for people, lend a hand with various chores, make valuable introductions, give advice and charge nothing for my services, which in some cases I have rendered over many years, day in and day out.

Yet it seems that I can do nothing right. They accept my aid and succor grudgingly and then disengage until the next time I'm needed.

I'm not the victim of a group of callous and ruthless people. Some of these ingratiators are otherwise most warm and empathic towards others.

It just seems that they cannot find in them warmth and empathy enough for me, no matter how much I try to make myself both useful and agreeable.

The narcissist wanders to himself, perhaps I try too hard. Maybe my efforts show. Am I transparent?

Well, the narcissist concludes, of course I am. What comes to normal people naturally, social interaction to me is an excruciating effort that involves analysis, pretense and thespian skills.

I misread the ubiquitous language of social cues. I'm awkward and unpleasant, but I rarely ask for anything in return for my favors except to be somewhat tolerated.

Maybe the recipients of my recurrent magnanimity feed humiliated and inferior to me and consequently hate me for it.

I don't know what to think anymore, says the narcissist, exasperated.

Though the narcissist continues, my social milieu resembles bubbles in the stream. People pop up, make my acquaintance, avail themselves of anything I have to offer them and disappear courteously.

Inevitably, I trust no one and avoid hurt by remaining emotionally aloof and absent.

But this tactic only exacerbates the situation.

When I try to press the points, says the narcissist, when I ask, is anything wrong with me or how can I improve, my interlocutors impatiently detach, seldom to reappear.

When I try to balance the equation by very rarely asking for a commendatory service or a favor in return, I am utterly ignored or my request is curtly and monosyllabically declined.

It's like people are saying you are such a loathsome being that merely keeping your company is a sacrifice. You should bribe us to associate with you however coolly. You should buy our icy friendship and unlimited willingness to listen. You deserve no better than these concessions that we are granting you reluctantly.

You should feel grateful that we agree to take that which you have to give us. Expect nothing in return but our truncated attention.

And I, says the narcissist, I am a mental leper. I endorse these terms of dubious endearment. I dole out gifts, my knowledge, my contacts, my services, my political influence, my skills such as they are.

All I ask in return is not to be abandoned easily. A few moments would make believe. A few moments of feign grace, that's all I ask.

I acquiesce in the asymmetry of my relationships for I deserve no better than have known no differently since my early tortured childhood.

This is the narcissist's monologue and this is how he sees himself and the world around him.

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

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.


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.


How Narcissist's Victims Deceive Themselves

Narcissists cannot be cured and are a threat to those around them. Victims of narcissists often confuse shame with guilt and attribute remorsefulness to the narcissist when they are actually feeling shame for failing. Narcissists are attracted to vulnerable people who offer them a secure source of narcissistic supply. Healing is dependent on a sense of security in a relationship, but the narcissist is not interested in healing and would rather invest their energy in obtaining narcissistic supply. Narcissists lack empathy and cannot understand others, making them a danger to those around 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 in Court and Litigation

Narcissists are skilled at distorting reality and presenting plausible alternative scenarios, making it difficult to expose their lies in court. However, it is possible to break a narcissist by finding their weak spots and using them to inflict pain. The narcissist is likely to react with rage to any statement that contradicts their inflated perception of themselves or suggests they are not special. They feel entitled to be treated differently from others and cannot tolerate criticism or being told they are not as intelligent or successful as they think they are.


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.


Recluse Narcissist

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


Can You Love the Narcissist and Rescue Him?

Victims of narcissists often resort to fantasies and self-delusions to cope with their pain, believing that they can rescue the narcissist from their misery and misfortune. However, loving a narcissist is difficult, and any attempt to relate to them emotionally is doomed to failure. Narcissists are addicts in pursuit of gratification through the drug known as narcissistic supply, and they hone in on potential suppliers like cruise missiles. Victims of narcissists can become bitter and self-centered, lacking in empathy, and become more like the narcissist over time.


Narcissist Re-idealizes Discarded Sources of Narcissistic Supply

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


Narcissist's Beloved Paranoia

Narcissists feel victimized by those who fail to appreciate their talents and accomplishments, and project their negative emotions onto others. Their paranoid streak is likeliest to erupt when they lack narcissistic supply. Paranoia is used by the narcissist to ward off intimacy, which they dread because it exposes their weaknesses and shortcomings. The narcissist's paranoia, exacerbated by repeated rejections and aging, pervades their entire life and diminishes their creativity, adaptability, and functioning.

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