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Narcissist and Psychopath Coping Strategies: Submissive Posture

Uploaded 10/8/2010, approx. 5 minute read

I am Sam Vakninand I am the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited.

This is the first in a series of ten videos about how to survive a relationship with a narcissist and how to cope with a psychopath.


First, it is important to understand that there is nothing special about the body language or behavior patterns of abusers who are not narcissists and psychopaths. Not all abusers suffer from a personality disorder.

Regrettably, most victims find themselves trapped long before they have become aware of any meaningful warning sign.

Also important to remember is that abuse is a multifaceted phenomenon. It is a poisonous cocktail of controlled, cathected conforming to social and cultural norms, and it includes latent sadism.

The abuser seeks to subjugate his victims, but also to look good and save face in front of family and peers.

Many abusers simply enjoy inflicting pain on helpless victims.

My advice to you is to disengage, detach, terminate the relationship, get as far away as you can, but assuming that you want to stay on with your abuser, assuming that you want to maintain this sick relationship, maltreatment can, to some extent, be mitigated, ameliorated, and even avoided.

Abusers react to the slightest provocation, real or imagined, and they react with disproportionate wrath and rage and often violence.

It is therefore important never to openly and repeatedly disagree with your abuser or contradict him. If you do, your abuser is bound to walk away, but only after he has vilified and harmed you in every which way he can.

Abusers feel threatened by real sharing and by common decision making, so never offer your abuser any intimacy. It is a sure way of turning him off and his aggression on.

Abusers perceive intimacy or the offer of intimacy as a prelude to manipulation. Internally, they have a dialogue that says, actually a monologue that says, what is she getting at? What does she really want? What is a hidden agenda?

Abusers are, to some extent, narcissistic. They have narcissistic traits, so admire and adore them openly, but do not lie to them or exaggerate. This would be perceived by them as cunning and will provoke your abuser to feats of paranoia and jealousy.

Look awed by whatever matters to your abuser, for instance by his professional achievements, or by his good looks, or even by his success with other women, but do not overdo it.

The abuser tries to transform his personal space into the exact opposite of his real life. At home, he is the master of a fantasy, of perfection and harmony, and the undisputed recipient of adulation and obeisance.

Any reminder that, in reality, his life is a drab, dead end, subject to a routine, that he is a failure, or a tyrant, or a swindler, or a wannabe, sometimes hated by his own oppressed family, any such reminder, he is likely to be met with unbridled hostility and worse.

Never remind your abuser of life out there, and if you do, connect it somehow to his sense of grandiosity.

Reassure him of the permanence of your obedient and self-sacrificial love to him. Do not make any comment which might directly or indirectly impinge on his self-image, on his omnipotence, judgment, omniscience, skills, capabilities, professional record, or even omnipresence.

He wishes to be godlike. Treat him as such.

Listen attentively to his words, and never disagree or contradict him, or offer your point of view. You are there merely to witness the abuser's train of thought, not to derail it with reminders of your separate and autonomous existence.

Be saintly, be patient, be accommodating, and endlessly giving, with nothing in return. Never let your energy be depleted. Never let your guard down.

Your abuser is likely to be provoked to extremes by signs of your personal autonomy and independence.

So you should conceal your thoughts and plans, make no overt choices, and express no preferences. Never mention your emotions, your needs, your earnings, your wages, your profits, your trust money. Tell him how much you rely on him to reach the right decisions for both of you.

Stay dumb, but not too dumb, or it may provoke his suspicions. It is a thin line between pleasing the abuser and rendering the abuser a raving paranoid. Never give your abuser cause to doubt or suspect you. Surrender all control to him. Deny yourself access to property and funds. Do not socialize. Drop all your friends and hobbies. Quit your job and your studies and confine yourself to your abode.

Your abuser is bound to be virulently jealous and suspect illicit liaisons between you and the least likely persons, your family included.

He is likely to accuse you even of incest. He envies the attention you give to others, even to your common children.

Place him on a pedestal and make sure he notices how you ignore, spurn, and neglect everyone else.

To your abuser, you are an object, no matter how ostensibly revered and cherished one.

Hence, the battering. He monopolizes your time and your mind as well as your body.

Beating upon you is his way of saying, I possess you, your mind. He makes for you even the minutest choices.

What to wear? What to cook for dinner? When and where to go out? And with whom?

In extreme cases, your abuser regards even your body as his to share with others if he sees fit.

It is an honorous existence, consistently tiptoeing on eggshells.

Neither is it invariably successful. The submissive posture delays the more egregious manifestations of abuse but cannot prevent them altogether.

Choosing to live with an abuser is like opting to share a cage with a predator or a nest with a snake.

No matter how domesticated, nature is bound to prevail. You are more likely than not to end up as the abuser's next meal.

Bear that in mind. Remember my advice.

The only way to treat an abuser is not to treat him at all, to disengage, to go away.


And this is the topic of our next video.

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

Signs You are Victim of Narcissistic Abuse, Not Common Abuse (Stress, Depression Management Webinar)

Narcissistic abuse is a subtype of abusive behavior that is pervasive, sophisticated, and can be practiced either covertly or overtly. Victims of narcissistic abuse often experience depression, anxiety, disorientation, and dissociative symptoms. This type of abuse can lead to complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) and even elements of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The way individuals process and react to trauma can lead to either regression into infantile behaviors or personal growth and maturation, depending on their emotional regulation and maturity.


Narcissist's Victim: NO CONTACT Rules

Professor Sam Vaknin advises victims of narcissism and psychopathy to maintain as much contact with their abuser as the courts, counselors, evaluators, mediators, guardians, or law enforcement officials mandate. However, with the exception of this minimum mandated by the courts, decline any and all gratuitous contact with the narcissist or psychopath. Avoiding contact with the abuser is a form of setting boundaries, and setting boundaries is a form of healing. Be firm, be resolute, but be polite and civil.


Narcissist and Psychopath Coping Techniques

The video discusses techniques for coping with narcissistic and psychopathic abusers, including mirroring their behavior, frightening them, luring them, and threatening to abandon them. The most recommended technique is to refuse all contact with the abuser, except for the minimum mandated by the courts. The video also advises watching another video in the series that deals with warning signs and identifying marks to avoid abusive relationships. All techniques should be pursued legally and with caution, as they can backfire and provoke the abuser into violence and aggression.


Why Childhood Abuse Victims Hate And Are Hated

Victims of childhood abuse tend to hate themselves and provoke others to hate them as well, as they feel more comfortable when despised and rejected. This self-destructive behavior is influenced by the reactions of adults in their environment, shaping their self-states and molding their brains. Abused children develop trauma and post-traumatic conditions due to the reactions of the adults around them. Narcissists, in particular, love to be hated and hate to be loved, fearing intimacy and seeking punishment through provoking negative reactions from others.


Coping Styles: Narcissist Abuses "Loved" Ones Despite Abandonment Anxiety

Narcissists abuse their loved ones to decrease their abandonment anxiety, restore their sense of grandiosity, and test their partner's loyalty. Abuse also serves as a form of behavior modification, as it signals to the partner that they need to modify their behavior to avoid abuse. Coping styles for dealing with abuse include submissiveness, conflicting, mirroring, collusion, and displacement, but some of these styles can be harmful and should be avoided.


Body Language of Narcissistic and Psychopathic Abuser

Abusers emit subtle signals in their body language that can be observed and discerned. They adopt a posture of superiority and entitlement, and they idealize or devalue their interlocutors. Abusers are shallow and prefer show-off to substance, and they are serious about themselves. They lack empathy, are sadistic, and have inappropriate affect. They are adept at casting a veil of secrecy over their dysfunction and misbehavior, and they succeed in deceiving the entire world.


Narcissist's Reactions to Abandonment, Separation, and Divorce

Narcissistic abusers often resort to self-delusion when faced with the dissolution of a meaningful relationship. They may adopt a masochistic avoidance solution, punishing themselves for their failure, or construct a delusional narrative in which they are the hero. Some may become antisocial psychopaths, while others develop persecutory delusions and withdraw completely from social contact, becoming schizoids. Finally, some abusers resort to an aggressive stance, becoming verbally, psychologically, and sometimes physically abusive towards loved ones.


Victim! System is Against You? Tips and Advice

The system is stacked against abuse victims, who are often re-abused by law enforcement officers, judges, guardians, evaluators, and therapists. Therapists are conditioned to respond favorably to specific verbal cues and behaviors, and the paradigm is that abuse is rarely one-sided. Victims are often labeled uncooperative, resistant, and even abusers if they refuse to participate in a treatment plan or communicate with their abuser. To navigate the system, victims should adopt the slick mannerisms of their abuser, use key phrases, attend every session, participate in a long-term treatment plan, and emphasize the welfare and well-being of their children.


How Narcissist Disables Your Alarm System ( Zombies, Zimbos, Contagion)

Victims of narcissistic abuse experience complex trauma, CPTSD, complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Narcissistic contagion leads to victims developing narcissistic traits and behaviors. The concept of "Zimbos" is introduced, referring to individuals who are behaviorally indistinguishable from humans but lack an inner experience. The lecture delves into philosophy of mind, discussing zombies, qualia, and the uncanny valley, and explores the impaired affect, cognition, and conation in narcissists. The tripartite model of attitudes is used to explain how narcissists are unable to develop appropriate attitudes towards attitude objects. The lecture concludes by warning about the contagious nature of narcissistic abuse and its long-term effects on victims.


The Abuser's Mind

Abusers suffer from dissociation, a mild form of multiple personality, and often have a dichotomy between their behavior at home and in public. They view their victims as two-dimensional representations, devoid of emotions and needs, and convert them into their own worldview. Abusers are often narcissists with low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence, and abuse is bred by fear of being mocked or betrayed. There are various forms of manipulation that constitute verbal and emotional abuse, including withholding, countering, discounting, blocking, blaming, and accusing.

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