I am Sam Vaknin and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
This is the second in a series of videos about how to cope with a narcissist or a psychopath in an intimate relationship.
Be sure to watch the previous video.
Today we will discuss what I call the conflictive posture.
Contrary to its name, the conflictive posture is actually about avoiding conflict, by minimizing contact and by insisting on your boundaries. It is about refusal to accept abusive behavior by demanding from the abuser reasonably predictable and rational actions and reactions. It is about respect for you and for your predilections, emotions, needs, wishes and priorities.
A healthy relationship requires justice and proportionality. You should reject or ignore unjust and capricious behavior. Conflicts are inevitable, even in the most loving and mature bonds, but the rules of engagement are different in a liaison, in a relationship which involves abusive conduct.
There, in such a sick relationship, you must react in kind. You must let your abuser have a taste of some of his own medicine.
Abusers are predators. They are attuned to the subtlest emotional cues of their prey. You.
Never show your abuser that you are afraid or that you are less than resolute.
The willingness to negotiate is perceived by the abuser as a weakness.
Violent offenders and bullies are insatiable. Do not succumb to blackmail or to emotional extortion.
Once you start compromising, you won't see the end of it.
The abuser creates a shared psychosis, in French, a foliar duet, with his victim. It is a narrative, a confabulation, a story, an overwhelming feeling of the two of us against the whole hostile world out there.
Well, don't buy into it. Feel free to threaten him with legal measures. Feel free to disengage if things get rough or to involve law enforcement or officials, judges, friends, neighbors and colleagues.
The abused feel ashamed. They feel somehow responsible, guilty and blameworthy for their own maltreatment.
The abuser is adept at instilling these erroneous notions in his victims. He passes the buck. He makes them feel responsible for whatever has happened. He says openly, look what you made me do.
So above all, do not keep your abuse a secret. Secrecy is the abuser's weapon.
So you should share your story with friends, colleagues, neighbors, social workers, judges, the police, the media, the courts, your minister, anyone who would listen. Don't make excuses for him. Don't try to understand him. Do not empathize with him, for he surely does not empathize with you. He has no mercy on you.
You, in return, do not bother to have misplaced pity on him. Never give him a second chance. React with your full arsenal to the first transgression.
Teach him a lesson he is unlikely to forget. Make him go elsewhere for his sadistic pursuits or to offload his frustrations.
The abuser sometimes uses third parties, his family, his peers in order to torture and torment and taunt you.
Well, often the abuser's proxies, his long arms, are unaware of their role.
You should expose him to them. You should inform them.
Demonstrate to them how they are being abused, misused, and plain used by your abuser. Trap your abuser. Treat him as he treats you. Involve other people. Bring it into the open. There is nothing like sunshine to disinfect abuse.
There are a few techniques which work wonders with abusers.
Some psychologists recommend to treat repeat offenders as one would toddlers. The abuser is indeed a kind of immature brat. He is dangerous. He is endowed with privileges and capabilities of an adult, but he is still an immature brat with temper tantrums.
Sometimes ignoring these temper tantrums is a wise policy, but not always and actually not very often and actually definitely not as a rule.
In the next video, we will discuss specific techniques and strategies for dealing with narcissists and psychopaths.