Narcissist: Re-Parent Yourself!

Uploaded 11/15/2010, approx. 4 minute read

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

No one knows whether therapy works in the long-term when narcissists are concerned.

What is known is that therapists find narcissists repulsive, overbearing and unnerving. It is also known that narcissists try to co-opt, idolize, intimidate or humiliate their therapists.

They regard therapeutic session as a competition, mind game, or a power play.

But what if a narcissist really wants to improve? Even if complete healing is out of the question, behavior modification is a distinct possibility.

To a narcissist, I would recommend a functional approach with the following stages.

First of all, know and accept yourself. This is who you are. You have good traits and bad traits, and you are a narcissist.

These are the facts.

Narcissism is an adaptive mechanism. It is dysfunctional now, but once, when you were a child, it saved you from a lot more dysfunction or even non-functionality.

Make a list. What does it mean to be a narcissist in your specific case? What are your typical behavior patterns? Which types of conduct do you find to be counterproductive, irritating, self-defeating, or self-destructive? And which types of behavior are actually productive, constructive, and should be enhanced and encouraged despite their pathological origin?

And so once you've constructed these lists, decide to suppress the first type of behaviors and to promote the second type, the constructive ones.

So build a list, compile a list of self-punishments, negative feedback, and negative reinforcements. Use these upon yourself when you have behaved badly.

Make a list of prizes, little indulgences, positive feedbacks, and positive reinforcements, and use these to reward yourself when you have adopted a behavior of the second kind, a constructive attitude, a behavior that promoted your interests.

Keep doing this with the express intent of conditioning yourself. In other words, keep rewarding yourself for constructive, positive, self-promoting behavior. Keep punishing yourself for negative, socially unacceptable, irritating behaviors. Keep these reinforcements coming negative and positive with the express intent of conditioning yourself.

Try to be objective, predictable, and just in the administration of both punishments and rewards, positive and negative reinforcements and feedback.

Learn to trust your inner court, your instincts.

Constrain the sadistic, immature, and ideal parts of your personality by applying a uniform cortex, a set of immutable and invariably applicable rules.

Once you feel sufficiently conditioned, monitor yourself incessantly.

Narcissism is sneaky and it possesses all of your resources because narcissism is you. Your disorder is intelligent because you are intelligent.

Beware and never lose control. With time, this onerous regime will become a second habit and supplant the narcissistic, pathological superstructures.

You might have noticed that all the above can be amply summed up by suggesting to you to become your own parent, to re-parent yourself.

This is what parents do and the process is called education or socialization.

Re-parent yourself. Be your own parent.

If therapy is helpful or needed, go ahead.

The heart of the beast is the inability of the narcissist to distinguish truth or false, appearance from reality, posing from being, narcissistic supply from genuine relationships, and compulsive drives from true interests and avocations.

Narcissism is about deceit. It blurs the distinction between authentic actions, true motives, real desires, original emotions, and the malignant forms.

Narcissists are no longer capable of knowing themselves. They are terrified by their internal operations, paralyzed by their lack of authenticity, suppressed by the weight of their repressed emotions. They occupy a whole of mirrors.

At what moonlight their alligator figures stare at them on the verge of a scream, it's somehow soundless.

Help yourself. Grab yourself out of the abyss. Make yourself a better, more functional person by getting rid of some of this baggage.

Not all of it, because some of it is still adaptive, but the rest of it is holding you back. Have your best interests in mind.

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

Narcissist's Routines

Narcissists have a series of routines that are developed through rote learning and repetitive patterns of experience. These routines are used to reduce anxiety and transform the world into a manageable and controllable one. The narcissist is a creature of habit and finds change unsettling. The narcissist's routines are often broken down when they are breached or can no longer be defended, leading to a narcissistic injury.

How Narcissist Experiences/Reacts to No Contact, Grey Rock, Mirroring, Coping, Survival Techniques

Narcissists are victims of post-traumatic conditions caused by their parents, leading to ontological insecurity, dissociation, and confabulation. They have no core identity and construct their sense of self by reflecting themselves from other people. Narcissists have empathy, but it is cold empathy, which is goal-oriented and used to find vulnerabilities to obtain goals. Narcissism becomes a religion when a child is abused by their parents, particularly their mother, and not allowed to develop their own boundaries. The false self demands human sacrifice, and the narcissist must sacrifice others to the false self to gratify and satisfy it.

Discontinuous Narcissist's Multiple Personas

Narcissists do not have criminal intent, but they do victimize, plunder, terrorize, and abuse others as a manifestation of their genuine character. The narcissist is a walking compilation of personalities, and each of these personalities has its personal history. The narcissist is unable to link his past acts or inaction with their outcomes in the present. The slicing of the narcissist's life is what stands behind the narcissist's apparent inability to predict the inevitable outcomes of his actions.

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.

Narcissist as Spoiled Brat

Narcissists require attention and narcissistic supply, and when they cannot obtain it, they may experience decompensation, which can lead to acting out in various ways. Narcissists may resort to several adaptive solutions, including delusional narratives, antisocial behavior, passive-aggressive behavior, paranoid narratives, and masochistic avoidance. These behaviors are all self-generated sources of narcissistic supply. Masochistic narcissists may direct their fury inwards, punishing themselves for their failure to elicit supply, and this behavior has the added benefit of forcing those closest to them to pay attention to them.

How Narcissist Is Mortified

Narcissistic behavior can be modified through treatment, but pathological narcissism is unchangeable. Narcissists have empathic aphantasia, meaning they cannot visualize other people in an empathic way. The misinformation effect is a bigger problem for narcissists than for normal people because they have severe problems with their memory and are dissociative. The longer the delay between the presentation of the original event and the post-event information, the more likely it is that individuals will incorporate the misinformation into the new memory.

Self-Aware Narcissist: Still a Narcissist

Narcissism is pervasive and defines the narcissist's waking moments, infiltrating and permeating their dreams. Narcissists only admit to a problem when they are abandoned, destitute, and devastated. Narcissistic behaviors can be modified using talk therapy and pinpointed medication conditioning, but there is a huge difference between behavior modification and a permanent alteration of a psychodynamic landscape. Narcissism may improve with age, but it is rare.

Narcissist's Revenge: Signs YOU are in DANGER

The text discusses the life of a narcissist, their response to frustration, and their transition to borderline and psychopathic states. It also delves into the narcissist's use of revenge and aggression, and the different types of revenge, including punitive, narcissistic, and pragmatic restorative. The text emphasizes the narcissist's perception of frustration as narcissistic injury and their use of aggression to eliminate the source of frustration. It also highlights the dangerous potential for violence in some narcissists.

Narcissist: Your Pain is his Healing, Your Crucifixion - His Resurrection

Narcissists need their victims to suffer to regulate their own emotions and feel a sense of control. They keep a mental ledger of positive and negative behaviors, with negative behaviors weighing more heavily. Narcissists need counterfactual statements to maintain their delusion of being special and superior. The grandiosity gap is the major vulnerability of the narcissist, and they are often in denial about their limitations and failures.

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.

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