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Narcissist Sees You As TWO WOMEN Reframing Mortifications, Exiting Shared Fantasy

Uploaded 9/29/2020, approx. 38 minute read

Oh, wrong country. Terribly sorry, Ochaps.

Today we are going to deal with several issues with regards to the way the narcissist sees you.

You see, he doesn't see you as a single person. He sees you as two women. If you were to assimilate, grasp and accept this insight, you will be able to make sense of everything that has happened in your relationship, and you'll be able to plan ahead much more wisely and perspicatiously.

Look it up.

Today's smogasbord buffet includes everything from cheating to mortification to, I mean, it's a beautiful concoction of every dish in the narcissistic cuisine.

Stay with me and you will not regret it. I promise.

And of course, a narcissist promise is something you can take to the bank. So here we go.

First of all, we must deal with a super crucial issue.

My shirt. You remember the blue shirt I wore in previous videos? You were speculating whether I actually have more than one shirt, but the blue shirt was the black shirt. I dyed it blue to fool all of you. And admittedly, I succeeded to fool most of you. You thought I had two shirts. Never. Only one.

Now having dispensed with this ultra critical issue, I want to alert you to three very important tenets or principles of the narcissist's inner economy, the economy of his mind.

First of all, the narcissist regards your love, your love for him as a weakness, a vulnerability that he can exploit, that he can leverage to obtain supply, to obtain sex, to obtain services.

If he is a sadist, he regards your love for him as an opportunity to hurt you.

At any rate, it's an intrusion point. It's an entry point. It's a chink in your armor. It's the crack in your defensive walls. It's the part of the firewall that's not working.

He's going to insinuate himself through your love into your heart and into your mind. Your love is your weakness, your vulnerability. Your love is the way he's going to harm you and hurt you. That's how he sees it.

Second point.

Many women had written to me, I've never cheated, I never considered cheating, live aside the veracity of such claims. I have my doubts.

But there's a process of escalation in a relationship with the narcissist at a certain stage.

He loses interest. He appears to be indifferent. He doesn't care. He doesn't mind. He is absent, if not physically, then emotionally. And it's very painful, especially after the love bombing or the grooming phase.

Intimate partners of narcissist, his insignificant others, they fail to grasp. They don't understand what had happened. What did they do wrong? Most of them think, what did I do wrong? And they flail all over the place. They thrash about, they try to get a rise out of the narcissist and still it's not working.

So they escalate. They start small. They go, they up the ante. They raise the stakes.

It's like in a poker game. And finally, some of them end up cheating on the narcissist just to get a rise of him, to get an acknowledgement that they still exist in his world, that they still matter, that they still, they can still move him to tears, to pain, to shouting and screaming, to hurt, to violence, to aggression. Anything is better. Anything is better than being ignored, than being transparent, than being, than not being seen by the narcissist.

Nasty drives his intimate partners to temporary insanity in a way with his constant non-being, with the emptiness that he is, with the void that he is. It's like, it's like you try to reach out, you try to touch the narcissist, you try to, and your hand goes through nothingness. And it looks like he's there. You know, it looks like he's tactile. You can touch him. You can smell him. You can have sex with him even, but there's nobody there.

This drives most people crazy.

And so many, many intimate partners of narcissists escalate. Some of them escalate sexually. They end up cheating ostentatiously, conspicuously to hurt the narcissist in his presence sometimes. And some of them end up doing other things, which are the equivalent of cheating or betrayal, you know, financial things or emotional affairs, non-physical but still affairs, or bad mouthing, bad mouthing the narcissist to his colleagues and friends and family or other forms of betrayal.

And in the majority of these cases, it's a cry for help. It's a cry for attention. It's an attempt to communicate to the narcissist and to signal to him, look, I'm still here. I'm still alive. You can't treat me as though I were an obstruction or a symbol or a snapshot or an inner representation or an internal object. I'm not. I have my life. I'm independent. I'm autonomous. I'm, I'm flesh and blood, flesh and blood.


The third point that's important to understand is the narcissist grieves, not you.

When there's a breakup, when there's betrayal, when there's cheating, when there's, you know, the farewells and goodbyes, the narcissist, because many of you have written to me, he was heartbroken. When I left him, he was heartbroken. He, he mourned me. He grieved the relationship. He, he became an alcoholic. He started to consume drugs. He was all over me. He was trying to hoover me. He really, really missed me. He felt bad. He felt horrible. Forget all this. Forget all this. This is all in your head.

The narcissist does not grieve you. He does not mourn over you. You never existed. You're utterly replaceable, interchangeable, commoditized, commodified and fungible. Anyone would have done as well as you did. There's nothing special in you. As a source of supply, all sources of supply are interchangeable. All service providers, people who can, who can give the narcissist, the three S's, sex, supply, narcissistic and sadistic and services, anyone who can give him this package deal is equivalent and identical to anyone else. There's nothing special about you.

So therefore there's nothing to mourn specifically about you. There's nothing to grieve that is irreplaceable in you. You're not special. You're not unique.

What the narcissist grieves and mourns, and he does, he grieves and mourns, is the shared fantasy. He grieves and mourns his investment in the shared fantasy. We call it sunk cost.

He feels very bad. He feels heartbroken over how much he had invested, how much, how much the cost of the shared fantasy and the inconvenience of having to start all over again. It's about him. It's not about you.

He is mourning and grieving his own failure, the discomfort, the instability, the uncertainty that had been introduced into his life. He's grieving and mourning the change, the flux, not you. His mourning is also very different to the grieving and mourning and heartbreak of normal people.

When you closely scrutinize the way he mourns, the way he is heartbroken, his sadness, his tragic dramatic posturing, it's aggressive. It's much closer to fury and wrath and anger than it is to pain and to sadness.


And this leads me to one of the topics of this conversation.

Women are the only one who can modify the narcissist because the narcissist reframes their cheating, their betrayal as a total rejection of his entire being.

When a woman abandons a man, any man by the way, not only a narcissist, when a woman abandons a man, he feels that he had been rejected as a man, as a lover, as a companion, as a guru, as a husband, as a father, as a provider, as everything.

Romantic breakup is a total rejection. That's why it's ranked way up there as one of a major traumas. Divorce is the second worst possible trauma.

There's a trauma scale. And the first is the death of a loved one, parents, children. Second is divorce and breakup.

It has massive, massive, all pervasive, biological, physiological, neurological effects on the body and of course on the mind, because it is the only form of total rejection.

When the narcissist is rejected by a man, if he's heterosexual, when a narcissist is rejected by a man, that man is likely to have rejected specific functions and roles that the narcissist had failed to provide.

So a man can reject the narcissist as a business partner, or as a collaborator, or as a friend. Whenever a woman rejects the narcissist, the heterosexual narcissist, she rejects him as everything, in every capacity, in every dimension, in every aspect of his personality.

It is this total rejection that brings on mortification.


Now, I want to introduce somebody who is some order into the myriad videos that I had created on the various aspects of relationships with narcissists and so on and so forth. Before I go there, I want to reiterate the concept of narcissistic mortification, which is not mine, not invented. Narcissist mortification was first described in the 1950s and elaborated on recently actually by other scholars. I advise you to watch the videos on my channel specific to mortification. I think there are two or three of them.

Generally speaking, mortification is when the narcissist's defenses crumble, his grandiosity is challenged to such an extent, undermined so thoroughly that he can no longer maintain it, and he is forced to see himself in the mirror exactly as he is, warts, shortcomings, failings, inadequacies, deficiencies. He is forced, first time, to see it all in sharp relief, the contours, the contours of his invalidity, how crippled he is, how partial, a partial human or even non-human.

This is a harrowing experience. It leads to the disintegration of the false self, at least temporarily.

Then the narcissist is like a turtle without the shell, utterly defenseless, skinless.

In effect, after mortification, the narcissist regresses to a borderline state.

We know from various scholars that borderline personality disorder is failed narcissism. When the child tries to develop narcissism and fails, the child becomes borderline and co-dependent.

So when the narcissist loses his false self and his grandiosity, the firewall that protects him from the world by falsifying the world, by reframing the world, when he loses this, he is defenseless and he becomes a borderline. His emotions come to the surface.

For the first time in his life, he is in touch with his emotions. They're highly dysregulated, they go up and down, his moods the same, they're lay by and he is on the verge of utterly, utterly disintegrating. That's mortification.


Now there are two forms of mortification, external mortification and internal mortification.

External mortification is when the cause of the mortification is external, surprisingly. And that would be, for example, a cheating spouse.

A cheating spouse can cause external mortification.

Betrayal in business by a very loved and dear friend or partner, even that could cause mortification.

So when it comes from the outside and it challenges the totality of the narcissist, that's why in 99% of the cases it has to do with an intimate partner.

There's internal mortification. It's when the narcissist suddenly realizes how, as I said, deficient, inadequate, problematic, is crippled and so on.

And this creates mortification.

The sudden realization that he is not god-like, he is not omniscient, omnipotent, or knowing, or powerful, perfect, brilliant, good. This realization that he is evil, in effect, the narcissist cannot cope with this. It also creates mortification, but this time it comes from the inside.

So not surprisingly, it's cold mortification.

So we have external and internal. Remember that.

Now let's go through the phases.

There's grooming and love-bombing.

During the grooming and love-bombing, the narcissist usually provides a fake image of himself, which is grandiose, good, perfect, loving, empathy, etc. And this is coupled with false promises, false promises. Simply put, the narcissist makes false promises. He promises to commit. He promises to have a long-term relationship. He promises to act in certain ways within the relationship. He promises to do certain things or to accomplish certain goals. These are all false.

The reason he makes these false promises, because had he not made them, no one would want to be with him. Because the narcissist is a taker. He just takes. He takes sex. He takes supply. He takes pain. He consumes your pain. He takes your services. He forces you to service him in a variety of ways. So he's a taker. The narcissist is almost a hundred percent taker. Even when he gives, he gives in order to be adulate, in order to be admired. There's never giving without ulterior motives or hidden agenda. No one would accept this kind of deal. No one would accept this kind of relationship or transaction.

So the narcissist has to lie to make false promises. That's the grooming and love-bombing.

And then there's shared fantasy. And within the shared fantasy, there's narcissistic abuse of type one.

You remember the previous video? I made a distinction between two types of abuse, the two phases of narcissistic abuse.

So during the shared fantasy, there is a type of narcissistic abuse that is intended to test, to test the partner, whether she can assume a maternal role or a parental role, whether she can become a good mother or father with unconditional love, unconditional acceptance.

So the narcissist abuse at this stage is very egregious and very hurtful. And it's intended to push the partner to the limit and to see how far the narcissist can go without being abandoned, abandoned and betrayed.

And there's a reenactment of early childhood conflicts.

At this stage, women make a choice. Some of them decide to give it up, to withdraw. And some of them decide to stay and bargain with the narcissist, reason with the narcissist, try to contract, try to talk, to talk it over.

It is at this stage that such people usually go to couple therapy, marital therapy.

So the first type of women, they give up on the narcissist and they give up on the relationship. They cheat. If they can take anything from the narcissist, like money or favors or whatever, they cheat discreetly. If not, they cheat openly. In any case, they withdraw. They absent themselves from the relationship.

The narcissist reacts to this sudden detachment with stalking. He begins to stalk. He feels that he's losing his intimate partner. He feels that she is drawing away from him, that she's drifting away from him. He guesses, usually very accurately because narcissists are possessed of cold empathy. They can scan you brilliantly.

So he guesses that she has someone else. He guesses that she's cheating on him. He feels that she's gradually vanishing from his life and he begins to stalk her, a persecutory stalking.

In the second case where the woman bargains, reasons, argues, debates, tries to convince, persuades, cajoles, begs, urges the couple to go to therapy, etc.

In the second case, so in the first case, the stalking, in this case, there is the second type of narcissistic abuse. If the woman cheats and withdraws, the narcissist stalks her. If the woman bargains and demands, the narcissist embarks on a second round of abuse, of narcissistic abuse. This is narcissistic abuse type two.

And this type of narcissistic abuse has one goal in mind, to jettison the demanding, nagging woman.

The intimate partner who makes demands, who insists, who wants to restructure the relationship, infuse it with life, spice it up or whatever, the intimate partner who consumes or threatens to consume the narcissist precious time or resources, she's gone. That's not part of the deal.

The narcissist never had any intention to make good on his promises, on his false promises.

So in the first case, the narcissist stalks the intimate partner because he thinks he could over her. He could over her, draw her back, even separate her from her new love interest.

And in the second case, he just wants her gone. He wants to get rid of her.

And so all these behaviors are intimately connected with mortification that I mentioned before, because the narcissist vacillates, oscillates, pendulates between internal and external mortification and back.

Internal, external, external, internal, external. Why? Why does the narcissist vacillate and how can you vacillate between external and internal?

Well, the narcissist refrains, he offers, he creates narratives where external mortifications becoming internal and internal mortifications become external. He vacillates and in a minute I will explain how he does that.

But the reason for vacillating is that the shared fantasy is egosyntonic. He loves the shared fantasy. He is in the fantasy. He is deluded and deceived by his own lies.

And so for him, it's a shock when the intimate partner exits the fantasy abruptly or cruelly or both.

When this happens, when she cheats on him, betrays him, badmouths him, whatever, when she wants him gunned, when she starts to withdraw and detach, he feels wronged. He feels that she's not okay, that she's bad, that she's malicious, that she's malevolent. He feels that he doesn't deserve what she's doing to him. He feels a victim.

And so if in shared fantasy, the intimate partner wants out, the narcissist feels an external mortification, experiences an external mortification, is he?

He says to himself, we have a wonderful couple. We have a wonderful relationship. Why does she want out? She's really bad. She's malicious. She's malicious and I'm the victim. So this is external mortification.

In the bargaining phase, when the intimate partner tries to bargain, tries to restructure and revive the relationship, makes demands, insists that the promises may be kept at that stage, the narcissist feels bad. He feels trampled on. He feels egos, he feels that he realizes that he didn't keep his promises.

So he feels bad about himself. I'm sorry. He feels bad about himself. He feels that he is the abuser. He did something wrong. He didn't keep his promises. He knows deep inside that he had misled his intimate partner. He dreaded the moment when she would try to cash the check and he knew this moment is coming. So when she sits opposite him and says, but you promised, but you said, but you committed yourself, he knows that she's right. And he knows that he's wrong. He knows that he's the evil one. He knows that he's malicious, being malicious and malevolent and intentionally and deliberately hurtful. He knows this.

So in the bargaining phase, when he's trying to get rid of the demanding partner, he experiences internal mortification because he realizes that he is the cause of the separation and the breakup.

In the shared fantasy phase, when the intimate partner wants to break up with a narcissist, the narcissist feels that he's the victim and therefore experiences external mortification.

In the bargaining phase, when the intimate partner wants out of the relationship, after the bargaining had failed, the narcissist blames himself. He knows that he brought the relationship to this stage. He broke itup. He made this nightmare happen.

And so if he is very bad internally, he experiences internal modifications. So the narcissist oscillates more shifts between internal cognitive modification. I'm bad. I'm evil. I'm the one who rejected her. I'm the one who humiliated her. I'm the one who ignored her. I'm the one who made her feel unloved.

And he vacillates between this internal modification and an external emotional modification. The internal modification is always cognitive. The narcissist thinks these things, but he doesn't feel them.

He says to himself, I acted badly. It's wrong what I've done, but he doesn't feel it. He doesn't feel remorse or regret. There's no emotional correlate, no emotional resonance, just cognitive realization, analytical realization that he had done something wrong. And it's more like, wow, I failed. I should have dragged it longer. I should have made some gestures. I should have, you know, I should have managed it differently. I mismanaged the whole thing.

So it's a cognitive thing.

But the external modification is an emotional one, not a cognitive one. He experiences emotionally the source of the external modification, for example, the cheating spouse, as bad, even threatening, rejecting, malevolent, malicious, psychopathic, even.

So when he swings between internal and external, remember, internal modification is during the bargaining phase. External modification is during the shared fantasy phase.

When he, he also swings between cognitive and emotional states.

So let's summarize shared fantasy. The partner wants out. She cheats, she betrays, she bad mouths, she misbehaves. That leads to external modification, which is emotional in nature.

Narcissus feels, feels that he's wronged, that he's victimized.

Then bargaining phase, the partner wants to try again, restructure the relationship, insist that the narcissist keeps his promises.

At that stage, the narcissist gets rid of her, abuses her to get rid of her.

And when, when he does this, he experiences internal modification.

But the internal modification is cognitive, analytical only. There's no emotional, nothing emotional is happening. Got all this?

Okay. How does he move? How does he swing from external to internal and back? He reframes. He simply reframes. He talks to himself. He says, well, maybe she cheated on me, but it was my fault. I'm the one who rejected and humiliated and ignored her and caused her pain. So she cheated on it.

It's a way of reasserting control. It's not external. No one has power over me. No one has power to hurt me, except me. She cheated on me. It hurts like hell. It's a horrible feeling, but I did it to myself. So it's okay. Now I did it to myself. I'm still God-like. I'm still omnipotent.

That is reframing and it's conscious reframing.

The narcissist literally talks to himself sometimes aloud facing a mirror and says to himself, you know what? You did it. You did it to yourself.

So this is the motion from, this is when he moves from external to internal.

Similarly, when he wants to move from internal to external, he says to himself, I acted badly. I mismanaged the whole situation. I could have done better. I have difficulties with the way I handled things.

And then he says to himself, but actually, what could I have done? There was nothing much I could do.

She is an evil entity. There's nothing you can do with this kind of woman. She's promiscuous. She's drunk. She's horrible. She's neglectful. She's irresponsible. I mean, he convinces himself that she is at fault.

So he wants to swing from internal to external modification.

And so this pendulum is going on until the relationship is over.

In reality, the narcissist is able to convince himself of these things. We call this process reframing and actually we use reframing in therapy, in cognitive behavior therapy.

The narcissist is able to reframe because there is a kernel of truth in both versions.

Consider, for example, when the narcissist moves from internal to external, the narcissist himself starts. Narcissist starts his opening position, his gambit is, he says, I did it. I made it happen. I misbehaved. I tortured her. I caused her pain. I ignored her. I didn't love her properly. I didn't pay attention to her. So she cheated on me.

Okay. That's internal mortification.

But then he says, but wait a minute. She cheated on me. She is immoral. She's evil. She's incorrigible. She's promiscuous.

So he's convincing himself to move. He's pushing himself from the internal mortification position to the external mortification position, but he would have failed had there not been a kernel of truth, some element of truth in both versions of the events.

In reality, women do reject, do humiliate and do abandon the narcissist as a way to exit a shared fantasy or to end the bargaining phase.

And so this misbehavior, misconduct by women, the cheating, the betrayal, there, it renders the external mortification possible and plausible.

The truth, of course, is that intimate partners misbehave, his way reactively after the narcissist had rejected and abused them egregiously. So very often the position that is closer to reality, closer to the truth would be the internal mortification.

But had the intimate partner not been misbehaved, the narcissist would not have been able to swing to an external mortification. There must be something there to allow the narcissist to latch onto some kind of misconduct, some kind of wrongdoing that becomes the nucleus of an external mortification.

So the narcissist hunts for everything his intimate partner did wrong to be able to construct an external mortification.

Following the narcissist abuse and rejection during the shared fantasy, you know, narcissist abuses in the shared fantasy, narcissist abuses actually, I mean, this is the worst period peak, the apex, the epitome of the abuse. The abuse maxes out, reaches a maximum during the shared fantasy because the narcissist really needs to make sure that his intimate partner can function as a parent and needs to know that his unconditional love will not be rejected, will not be abandoned, etc.

I explained all these previous videos. So there's maximal maltreatment and mistreatment.

And when the intimate partner has had enough of it and exits the shared fantasy by cheating, by simply packing up her things and leaving, by stealing money, by badmouthing the narcissist, by having an emotional affair, by, I mean, there's a million ways to exit your shared fantasy.

When the narcissist realizes that he had lost her, that she's no longer his, she begins to stalk her during this phase.

In the bargaining phase, he abuses the women in order to push them away. He wants the woman to cheat on you, or strategically. He wants the woman to dump him so that he has a clean conscious, a clear conscious. I didn't do anything. She did it.

So in the shared fantasy, the abuse is intended to reenact the early conflict with the narcissist mother usually. And it helps him, the abuse helps him to revert to, from one type of mortification to another, because everything is, the abuse itself is grounded in, is the only real element, if you think about it, in the shared fantasy.

Shared fantasy is constructed about false things, fallacies, falsities, prevarications, confabulations. It's all fake. That's why it's called fantasy. It's all fantastic. There's nothing there. The only real thing, tangible thing, sometimes very tangible in the case of physical abuse, is the abuse.

So the abuse in a way helps the narcissist, grounds the narcissist, helps him revert to reality and allows him to swing between external and internal.

I wanted just to clarify this very important dynamic.


A few minor comments about other issues, and then we go to two other topics in today's buffet.

In today's, I'm receiving many comments from you and so on and so forth. I want to clarify. Today, who does the talking? Who is the one who is talking? Who is the personality? Who is the celebrity? That matters much more than what he or she has to say.

The content, when I was young, when I was young, you remember dinosaur was all this, when I was young, content talks. The slogan was content talks, generate good content and no one cares who you are. Today is not true. Content is utterly real.

Who you are matters. Celebrities are famous for being famous and nothing else.

The vacuous posts of the vacuous celebrities garner millions of views when the most amazing, groundbreaking thought by the world's leading philosophers are lucky to receive 200 views.

That's the world we live in today. So it's not my fault, so to speak, when people say you're not getting views because your content, it's not the content. I'm not a celebrity. Had I been Sam Vaknin, trust me, I would have had millions of views.

And the content makers and content creators who succeed to garner tens of millions of views and so on, they are very good at transforming themselves into celebrities. There is a celebrity element in them. The content is much less important.

Very frequently, the content is erroneous, mistaken, based on wrong information, faulty research, not updated, 50 years old, 50 years backward. I mean, most of the content online, including on narcissistic abuse, is an abomination, a travesty.

But the people purveying this content, they are mini celebrities or mega celebrities, and people flock to watch the videos, not for the content.

You can also see in the comments section, people are commenting on my hair, the comment on the bulk of the comments is actually on my hair, my shirt, mini, here she is.

And like one in 10 comments is about the content of the video. People are looking for entertainment, not for enlightenment or education on the contrary. They resent the truth. They don't want to hear the truth. They want to hear fuzzy things that support their view, support their view of themselves, which is called confirmation bias.

And I propose bias.

Many of you have written to me that I'm wrong to mention Donald Trump all the time. And they accuse me of bias.

Here's the deal. Wherever and whenever I see a narcissist, I'm going to point him or her out. And I don't care if it's a professor of psychology, the President of the United States, or anyone else. When I see a narcissist, I have to ring the alarm.

Narcissists are dangerous, destructive, deadly, poisonous, toxic. If I were to see a snake and the snake had orange hair, I would still alert you that there's a snake inching and angling towards your heel. And if I were to see a snake discussing rules for life, I would still indicate that it's a snake.

I hope I am irreverent when I see narcissists. They deserve no respect. You should never play by the rules with narcissists, ever.

Point at them, shame them publicly, reduce them to rubble, eliminate them, clean them away. It's the only way.

And the positions they hold, that's precisely the problem.

Because people like you don't protest, don't dare, or even support them. They are where they are, and the world is the way it is.

I'm accused of bias. I was the first to introduce narcissism to the discourse, to the discourse in American politics. I was the first to write an article in July 2008 suggesting that political candidates be analyzed in terms of narcissism. And I took Obama as an example. I published an essay which was replicated in well over 3 million websites and was titled Barack Obama, narcissist or merely narcissistic. That was July 2008 before we became president. Before we became president.

Similarly, before Trump became candidate, I published an essay. I gave an interview, I'm sorry, to the website, American Thinker. And I warned that Trump is a malignant narcissist, a grandiose narcissist, a dangerous man.

On my other channel, Vaknin Musings, you can find videos 3 and 4 years old predicting exactly what's happening today. Watch the video, Donald Trump, narcissist in the White House.

Trump, Obama, Democrat, Republican, I'm not biased. I'm not biased.

The only group of people I'm strongly biased against are narcissists and psychopaths, especially those masquerading as good, empathic, loving, supportive people.

The overwhelming vast majority of coaches, self-titled experts, public intellectuals and politicians.

Meaning is a very important issue and our world is infused with meaninglessness.

Viktor Frankl had invented a whole new therapy around meaning, logotherapy. And we have a pandemic now, a meaningless pandemic because a virus has no meaning. It does nothing ineffective. It enters cells and replicates just to enter more cells and replicate, just to enter more cells and replicate.

There's no other goal. There's no direction. There's no narrative. There's no nothing. There's no story behind it. A virus is the reification of meaninglessness.

And we are plagued with a pandemic of meaninglessness.

So narcissism is an organizing principle and it explains the world. And in this sense, you can understand the world. You can infuse it with meaning if you apply the narcissistic scalpel, if you ask yourself questions about the narcissists and psychopaths that surround you.

So today I want to read segments from two books in answer and in direct answer to many of the comments I had received.

Many of you protested that you never cheat, you never lie. Yeah. Or as we used to say when I was young.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Heard you. Okay.

Why We Cheat, a book by Farik F. C. Fang, Fang, like Fangs, and Auteur Cassadeval.

Forgive me. So the book is titled Why We Cheat, but it's a great book.

I want to read a quote from the book.

Not all people cheat, but it is astoundingly common and people are much more inclined to cheat if others around them are cheating.

Although it is comforting to think that most people are essentially honest, cheating defined as acting dishonestly to gain an advantage is actually astoundingly common.

In a 1997 survey, management professor Donald McKay of Rutgers University and Linda Klieb Trevino, a professor of organizational behavior at the Pennsylvania State University, they revealed that about three fourth, three fourth, you hear me, 75% of 1,800 students at nine state universities admitted to cheating on tests or written assignments.

In 2005, sociologist Brian Martinson of the Health Partners Research Foundation in Bloomington, Minnesota, and his colleagues reported that one third of scientists, one third of scientists, confess to engaging in questionable research practices during the previous three years.

It's a euphemism for plagiarism and falsifying lab results.

Humans are surprisingly quick to cheat when the circumstances are conducive.

In 2008, behavioral economist Dana Rielly of Duke University and his colleagues described what happened when they asked college students to solve math puzzles for cash rewards.

When the researchers changed the experimental conditions such that the students assumed the examiner could not detect cheating, the average self-reported test score rose significantly.

So when the student thought that he could get away with cheating, he cheated.

The researchers determined that the scores were not inflated by a few students who cheated, a lot, but rather by many students cheating a little.

If cheaters used a simple cost-benefit calculation, one might predict that people would cheat as much as possible, not just a little bit.

Yet in a Rielly study, students on average reported six correct answers when they got only four correct answers right, even though they could have raised their scores to a maximum of 20.

In addition, no simple relation exists between the magnitude of the reward and the likelihood of cheating. When Rielly's team increased the cash reward, the amount of cheating actually declined.

Rielly suggested the students felt guilty when they cheated more or when they received larger amount of cash through dishonest behavior.

Another possibility is that the students thought they would be less likely to attract attention if they cheated only a little. That's my favorite explanation.

I'm continuing from the book.

In 2011, a Rielly and behavioral economist Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School reported that people who score higher on psychological tests of creativity are more apt to engage in dishonesty, a connection that is perhaps not surprising, considering that creativity and tactical deception are both products of the neocortex.

These scholars submit that creative individuals are better at self-deception. They come up with more inventive rationalizations for cheating as a way of making themselves feel better about doing it.

As Proust observed in Remembrance of Things Past, his famous book, by the way, the longest book ever written, it is not only by dint of lying to others, but also of lying to ourselves that we cease to notice that we are lying.

Or as George told Jerry in Seinfeld, 75 years later, it's not a lie if you believe it.

Ironically, the creativity and intelligence that we regard as instinctively human might have arisen alongside our ability to deceive. We are who we are because we cheat. Unchecked dishonesty can promote the perception that one must cheat to remain competitive, and certain observations have led Rielly to refer to cheating as infectious.

Social contagion may help explain the high prevalence of cheating in relatively small groups of people. For example, 125 Harvard students were recently under investigation for cheating on the final examination in an introductory government course. More than half of these students were told to withdraw from school for up to a year as punishment. It is statistically unlikely that nearly half, then 279 students in that class, are sociopaths, given the low prevalence of sociopathy, about 3% in males and 1% in females.

A more plausible explanation is contagion, infection. A widespread bending of the rules probably led students to conclude that collaborating with other students was okay. A class was called Introduction to Congress, so perhaps the students were simply identifying too much with the material.

One of our book, Why We Cheat, authors, Farrick, C. Fang and Arturo Casadeval, published by Scientific American Mind in 2013.

Actually, this particular quote is from an article in Scientific American Mind in the May-June issue, and I want to end with a quote from another book, This is Your Brain on Parasites by Kathleen McAuliffe.

Revulsion and disgust at physical things such as overflowing toilets shares much of the brain circuitry with moral outrage. Both physical disgust and moral outrage are associated with the brain's anterior insula and amygdala.

This may explain why moral judgments are so often coupled with disgust. Visceral disgust, that part of you that wants to scream yuck when you see an overflowing toilet or think about eating cockroaches. Visceral disgust typically engages the anterior insula, an ancient part of the brain that governs the vomiting response.

Yet the very same part of the brain also fires up in revulsion when subjects are outraged by the cruel or unusually unjust treatment of others. That's not to say that visceral and moral disgust perfectly overlap in the brain, but they use enough of the same circuitry that the feelings that they evoke can sometimes bleed together, warping judgment.

While there are shortcomings in the design of the neural hardware that supports our moral sentiments, there's still much to admire about it.

In one notable study by a group of psychiatrists and political scientists led by Christopher T. Dose, PhD, subjects had their brains imaged as they played games that required them to divide monetary gains among the group.

The anterior insula was activated when a participant decided to forfeit his own earnings so as to reallocate money from players with the highest income to those with the lowest, a phenomenon aptly dubbed the Robin Hood impulse.

The anterior insula, other research has shown, also glows bright when a player feels that he has been made an unfair offer during an ultimatum game. In addition, it's activated when a person chooses to punish selfish or greedy partners.

We have a part of the brain that reacts to injustice and to selfishness. These kinds of studies have led neuroscientists to characterize the anterior insula as a fountainhead of pro-social emotions. It is credited for giving rise to compassion, generosity and reciprocity, or if an individual harms others, remorse, shame and atonement.


By no means, however, is the insula the only neural area involved in processing both visceral and moral disgust. Some scientists think the greatest overlap in the two types of revulsion may occur in the amygdala, another ancient part of the brain.

Psychopaths, whose ranks swell with remorseless cold-blooded killers, are notorious for their lack of empathy, and they typically have smaller than normal amygdalae and insulae along with other areas involved in the processing of emotion.

Psychopaths are also less bothered than most people by foul odors, smells, feces, and bodily fluids, tolerating them, as one scientific article put it, with equanimity.

I would like to add here that psychopaths are much more likely to play with body excretions, feces urine, in sex.

Coming back to the book, people with Huntington's disease, a hereditary disorder that causes neurological degeneration, are similar to psychopaths in having shrunken insulae, and they too lack empathy, though they don't exhibit the same predatory behavior.

Possibly owing to damage to additional circuits involved in disgust, however, they are afflicted unremarkable in showing no aversion whatsoever to contaminants, for example, they think nothing of picking feces up with their bare hands. This is Huntington's disease.

Interestingly, women rarely become psychopaths. The disorder affects 10 males for every one female, and they have larger insulae than men relative to total brain size.

This anatomical distinction may explain why women are the sex most sensitive to disgust. It may also have bearing on yet another traditionally female characteristic, feminine characteristic.

As befits women's role as primary caretakers, women score higher than men on tests of empathy, a very useful trait for gauging when a cranky baby has a fever or needs a nap.

Why moral and visceral disgust became entangled in our brain in the first place is hard to explain, but British discustologist Valerie Curtis puts forward a scenario that, while impossible to verify, certainly sounds plausible.

Evidence from prehistoric campsites, she notes, suggests that our ancient ancestors may have been more concerned about hygiene and sanitation than commonly assumed. Some of the earliest artifacts from these sites include combs and middens. Designated dump sites for animal bones, shells, plant remnants, human excrement, and other waste that might attract verminant predators are common in all these campsites. Early humans, she strongly suspects, would have taken a dim view of peers who were sloths about disposing their garbage, people who specked, people who defecated wherever they pleased or made no effort to comb the lice out of their hair. These inconsiderate acts exposed the group to bad odors, smells, bodily waste, an infection, triggered revulsion, and so by association, the offenders themselves became disgusting. To bring their behavior into line, Curtis thinks, they were shamed and ostracized, and if that failed, they were shunned, which is exactly how we react to contaminants.

We want nothing to do with them.

Since similar responses were required to counter both types of threat, the neural circuitry that evolved to limit exposure to parasites could easily be adopted to serve the broader function of avoiding people whose behavior engendered health.

Complementing this view, Curtis' team found that people who are the most repulsed by unhygienic behavior score higher than average on a test of orientation towards punishment. That is, these kind of people are the most likely to endorse throwing criminals into jail and imposing stiff penalties on those who break society's rules.

From this point in human development, it took just a tad more rejiggery of the same circuitry to bring our species to a momentous place. We became disgusted by people who behaved immorally.

This development, Curtis argues, is central to understanding how we became an extraordinarily social and cooperative speciescapable of putting our minds together to solve problems, create new inventions, exploit natural resources with unprecedented efficiency, and ultimately lay the foundations of civilization.

It's the book, This is Your Brain on Parasites, How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society. The author is Kathleen McAuliffe. It was published in 2016, again, highly recommended.

I dedicated this video to morticians, trying to put it in the context of evolution and human history, and the interaction with the narcissists.

These reactions we have to immoral people who don't give promises, who are unjust, who abuse people, who are selfish. These reactions are visceral and moral. They come from the most ancient reptilian parts of our brain in effect.

We can't control them, and they're likely to accrue and accumulate in a relationship with the narcissist and psychopath.

Gradually, you become sensitized. You begin to be repelled by your partner.

This is another dynamic that a narcissist with this cold empathy spots. He picks up your signals. He realizes the revulsion that you're experiencing every time that he is himself.

He tries to act. He tries to not be himself.

But how long and how often can you do that?

There are glimpses, the musk slips, snippets, shards of his true personality, penetrate and emerge.

And the more you are exposed to the real being or entity inside the narcissist, the more terrified and repelled and revolted and disgusted viscerally and morally you are.

Gradually and incrementally, you come to the point of not redoubting the narcissist as human at all. That's why many people use metaphors like demons or machines or non-human or non-men.

The language breaks down. Language fails when we attempt to describe one category of objects, human beings, in terms of others.

The narcissist gives the perfect appearance of a human being, but he's not in any meaningful sense of the word. And you pick up on it.

You fall in love. You enter the shared fantasy with a similar crew, with a disguise, with a projection of a full-fledged, highly attractive, irresistible human being.

But then you discover it's a hologram. Discover it's a hologram. It's a Truman Show. It's a theater production. It's fake. It's a movie.

But by then it's too late. You have been reduced to two dimensions. You remember the movie? I shrank the kids.

That's what happens to you. To extricate yourself from a shared fantasy is far more difficult than to enter it.

And no bargaining will help you. You need to escalate. You need to do something drastic. Cheating is one option.

Other things. Narcissist will not let you go as long as he thinks that you can fit into his shared fantasy. You need to convince him otherwise. You need to modify him. There's no other way for you out. You're hostage. You need to absorb and release yourself from the camp where you're being held.

You have fallen in love with Stockholm Syndrome with your abuser, trauma body, with your kidnapper. You need to wake up. You need to wake up. And you need to do harm to the man who had enslaved you. And then you need to walk away and restart your life.

Much wiser, I should hope.

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