During this pandemic, I have introduced you to many new concepts, concepts such as shared fantasy, mortification, dissociation, secondary psychopathy. All these concepts are relatively new. Shared fantasy was first described in 1989, the same year that covert narcissism had been first diagnosed.
So, what I will attempt to do in this video is to provide you with checklists, checklists, bullet points, signs, 1, 2, 3, 4, tests, tests that you can apply at home.
Just follow the algorithm, apply the tests, the list of signs, the list of behaviors, the list of symptoms, in order to reach a conclusion, what is it, which animal is it that you're dealing with?
And I'm going to dissect, disembowel, eviscerate and analyze all the typical behaviors of the narcissist within the cycle of the shared fantasy. And this is going to be in capsule form, so you're going to have a shortlist for mortification, a shortlist for shared fantasy, etc.
And I hope you find it helpful.
And this famous announcement, my name is Sam Vaknin and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited and a host of books, e-books, videos, etc., about pathological narcissism and personality disorders. I am also, I insist, a professor of psychology. So let's dive right in, scuba gear and all, shall we?
Let's start with a test for romantic jealousy.
How do you know if your narcissist is romantically jealous or not?
Now you remember that narcissists are actually rarely romantically jealous or possessive when they are faced with abandonment, they become possessive, but generally they're not.
Still, there are certain relationships, certain intimate relationships where the narcissist does actually become romantically jealous.
And here are the three signs.
When the narcissist is attached to his intimate partner in a way that he misperceives as love, when the narcissist tells himself that he is in love with his intimate partner, he socializes with her friends and family as well.
If he is not in love with her, he rejects her friends and family.
This is test number one. Does he agree to socialize with your friends and family?
Test number two, when the narcissist tells himself that he's in love with an intimate partner, he does react to triangulation.
If he does not love the intimate partner, he does not react at all with jealousy, with competitiveness, or with possessiveness. Never mind what you do with other men, even in his presence.
Test number three, women tend to conform.
Well, we are talking, I'm using the gender pronouns loosely. It applies vice versa. That means when I say he, it applies to a she. When I say she, it applies to a he.
So in the case of a heterosexual male narcissist, women tend to conform to the narcissist expectations. They tend to mold themselves in order to please the narcissist.
When the narcissist loves a woman, she would tend to play, and act, the slut. Narcissists are very attracted to this specific type of woman. We're going to discuss it a bit later.
So the changes in your own behavior, if you find yourself that you're more, shall we say, sluttish, more flirtatious, more seductive, more open to the advances, sexual and emotional advances of other men. It's an indicator that your narcissist actually considers himself to be in love with you.
Similarly, if your narcissist is not in love with you, you would tend to act as a homely service provider, a housekeeper, personal assistant, a housewife.
Let's recap the tests.
How do you know if your narcissist thinks that he's in love with you?
How do you know if your narcissist is romantically jealous?
One, he socializes with your friends and family.
Two, he reacts to your misbehavior with other men, including triangulation.
Number three, you change. You tend to become more and more open, not to say sluttish, with other men in his presence.
How do you know if the narcissist is mortified or is it only narcissistic injury?
What can you tell if the narcissist is in the throes of mortification or if he's just sulking because he had been narcissistically injured?
When the narcissist admits to being abusive, sadistic, crazy, his own worst enemy, when he says, I inflict unendurable pain on myself by knowingly hurting people and abusing them, if he owns up to his predatory behavior, that's sign of mortification.
Sign number two, if he begins to self-deprecate, if he says that even other men are vastly preferable to him, he would say, I'm not good for you. Go look for some other men. If he presents himself as irredeemably inferior, disabled, not superior, infantile, or not a man at all, that's sign number two.
Sign number three for mortification. If he feels disrespected, if he berates himself, if he feels that people fear him or hate him or are revolted by him, in other words, if he detects negative emotionality in other people, negative reactions in other people, that's a sign of mortification.
Number four, if he feels that he's not loved, that he's not safe, that his needs and his health are no one's priorities, that even his most profound need weighs less than the most trifling desire or wish of his nearest and dearest, that's a sign of mortification.
And the last sign of mortification is when he feels that he is gullible, that he is being gaslighted, or that he is an easy mark, when he feels that other people are malevolent and malicious and conspire against him and target himand that he is easy prey.
And he explains it because of the shared fantasy, he says, I'm like that because of the shared fantasy, I live in fantasy, or I'm in a post-traumatic state, or I'm dissociating, I can't remember things, or my reality testing is short, I don't gauge reality properly, or I'm grandiose, or I'm dysempathic, I don't have enough empathy, I can't read people, I can't read social cues, or sexual cues, or body language, if he admits to any of these things, there's a sure sign of modification.
Narcissists behave in these five ways, only, only and exclusively, when they are mortified, not when they are narcissistically injured, not when they go through a life crisis, not in any other circumstance.
These are the five signs of mortification.
Okay, why does this cerebral schizoid narcissist accept cheating within his shared fantasy?
Narcissists are terrified and nauseated by the perfidy deceptiveness and promiscuity of women, precisely because they have a preference for this potentially-mortifying profile in mate selection.
I'm going to increase the font because I'm exceedingly old and I can't see anything.
Right, so they're attracted to this kind of women, and they're terrified of their own attraction, and so to survive, the narcissist needs either to avoid women altogether, which makes him infinitely sad, or to accept that in order to persevere and survive within his increasingly more sexless shared fantasy, his intimate partner has to meet her or his sexual needs and emotional needs with other men.
Within the shared fantasy, the narcissist is a child or a father, but never an adult man, and he accepts that while his partner should have the liberty and the will to outsource her sexual and emotional needs, to team up, to find love and intimacy and sex with other men, he doesn't have, he's not allowed to do the same, he's prohibited from doing the same, and he acquiesces, he accepts this glaring asymmetry, this bizarre arrangement for various reasons.
Number one, as long as there are no indications of imminent abandonment, he doesn't care if she is with other men, but he knows that she would be hurt, and she would feel insecure, were he to have any interaction with other women.
Of course, remember the gender pronouns are interchangeable. He she, she he.
Reason number two, he should be grateful to his intimate partner for any time spent with him and on his knees. He is so broken, so damaged, so mentally ill, irredeemably mentally ill, that her presence in his life is a sacrifice on her part. She's doing him a huge favor.
He has no right and is in no position to establish boundaries or rules and to enforce them. He needs to become unboundaried, otherwise she would just walk away.
Number three, she is an adult. He is not. She needs mature, conventional, reciprocated, and regular sex and intimacy. He does not.
So he has to compromise. He has to sacrifice in order to allow her to secure her needs and to make sure that she's present in his life, to secure her commitment to the relationship. He needs to let her go. He needs to free her.
The cerebral narcissist intimate partners are virtual singles. That's when a married woman behaves as a single. She's a virtual single. She's married to, or she's in a relationship with, a petulant child or a stern father at home.
Dating others is the only outlet and the only escape. And it's easily provable that the cerebral schizoid narcissist is an infantile and immature state of mind, not that of an adult man.
Only during an active shared fantasy, such a narcissist experiences fear of loss and abandonment, separation, anxiety. So only during a shared fantasy, he is capable of experiencing romantic jealousy when he's faced with abandonment, but he never experiences competition with other men as all males do.
The cerebral schizoid has only the first typical of a pre-edible child, only the first attribute, abandonment, anxiety. He rarely has romantic jealousy when he's faced with abandonment, actual abandonment, and he never competes with other males. He gives up.
If a male approaches his intimate partner, he would just give up. He would not protest. He would not stand up to his rights. He would not challenge, nothing. He would just walk away.
The fourth reason he can have sex only within a shared fantasy, a new relationship.
So cerebral schizoid narcissist to have sex needs to abandon his intimate partner and find a new one.
His intimate partner on the other hand, can compartmentalize. She can have sex and love and intimacy with other men and she can still stay or remain in his life within the shared fantasy and mother him and service him.
The next reason, any new shared fantasy will end the same way with sexlessness and acrimony.
So why bother? As long as he is getting supply and services, however meager, better stay put and forget about sex. He moves on to a new shared fantasy only when two of the three S's are missing.
To remind you, the three S's are supply, sadistic and narcissistic, sex and services. When two of the three are missing, the woman, the intimate partner had come to replicate his bad, dead mother. She had become his dead mother and she had failed in her role as a good enough mother, which he perceives as betrayal.
The next reason for the asymmetric arrangement where the intimate partner can cheat and the cerebral schizoid narcissist cannot, only mentally ill, broken, damaged and traumatized women succumb to the narcissist psychosexuality. Only such women enter the shared fantasy and this poses of course serious risks, exposure, blackmail, suicide, criminal liability.
So scouting for a new shared fantasy is an absolute desperate last resort.
Next reason is that the cerebral schizoid narcissist successfully sublimates his autoerotic, sadistic, kinky sex drive. He really prefers solitary activities such as, I don't know, reading books, watching movies, to sex. And he is far more gratified by these activities as well.
The biological drive of this schizoid cerebral narcissist is entirely satisfied with pornography. His psychosexual, kink and sadism require a compliant, live body, but the prize is not worth the price. So he suppresses his urges. He suppresses his drive. Exactly the same way, for example, practitioners of pedophilia or other paraphilias suppress their drive, their sex drive, in order not to harm children or latent homosexuals who are not out, did not out. They also suppress their drive.
Rejecting women, frustrating and humiliating them when he cannot have them for his sadistic pleasures. Sometimes this kind of causing pain is preferable to sex, that's good as sex, feels as good as sex.
And finally, allowing the partner to cheat on him restores the narcissist's delusion of being in control. I made her do it. She had my blessing and she had my permission and it restores his status as the morally upright victim.
Okay, that's the bullet list for unilateral cheating or legitimized cheating in relationships with cerebral schizoid narcissists.
That the narcissist, cerebral or somatic, ends up with dependent, codependent, immature women, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, or psychopathic features is totally understandable. Only broken, damaged, traumatized women would be attracted to the narcissist emanations and his magic spell during the love bombing or rooming phase.
But narcissists also end up conjuring shared fantasies with totally healthy women, women with a healthy sex drive, women who are boundaries, women who are self-sufficient in the best sense of the word.
Why at all? Why do they seek the company of women at all? And again, genders are interchangeable. Got it? If I say he, you can replace it with she.
Why does the narcissist seek to have a shared fantasy at all? If he is so averse to intimacy, if he regards emotions as a form of weakness, if he is incapable of maintaining regular sexuality, regular sexual relationships, relations in the long term, why team up with women at all?
Even the somatic narcissist becomes asexual after a while with the same woman. That's why he needs to change them so often.
So the narcissist enjoys sex only when he is grooming a new partner for an emerging shared fantasy. Once the partner is acquired and secured, the narcissist becomes essentially celibate, loses all interest in sex.
So why go through the inevitable deception? The acrimony in the wake of ineluctable sexlessness.
There are 10 good reasons. I promised you bullet lists.
So here's another one.
Number one, choosing an asexual woman, a woman who is sex averse either because of her traumatic experiences or because she has a very low sex drive, a hypo sexual woman, that would defeat the purpose.
The purpose is to create an illusion, a delusion and a self delusion of normalcy.
The narcissist tries to broadcast to the world and to convince himself that nothing's wrong with him. That he is actually normal. It's the same motivation that drives latent homosexuals to get married.
It's a form of virtue signaling. I'm not homosexual. Everything is okay with me. Not that anything is wrong with homosexuality. Don't misunderstand me. But many homosexuals who are latent didn't out, do think that homosexuality is a problem until 1973, by the way. Homosexuality used to be a mental health diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
Anyhow, narcissists are trying to tell everyone, look at me, I have a normal wife, I have normal kids, I have a normal life.
So choosing an asexual woman defeats the purpose.
Number two, sex, even the memory of sex guarantees addiction. Sex and the memories of sex guarantee addiction. And addiction guarantees no abandonment. If the woman gets addicted to the narcissist, she will not abandon him even when the sex stops.
It is a continuing delusional hope that things will get better. The narcissist binds the woman powerfully and this reduces the risk of abandonment. And he does this via sparkling, scintillating sex at the beginning. Technicolor, fireworks.
Reason number three, to convert his partner into a bad, persecutory object, thereby justifying and perpetuating the narcissist's moral superiority and victim stance. I'm a victim, I'm morally superior. She is cheating on me. She is not having sex with me.
Number four, to reenact early childhood traumas with his rejecting, absent, dead mother.
Number five, to test his partner's unconditional love and allegiance. I'm going to be asexual or sexless. Let's see how long you're going to love me. Let's see how long you're going to remain faithful. Let's see how long it will take you to betray me, stab me in the back and cheat on me. It's a test.
Number six, to control his partner via her guilt and shame over her inevitable misbehavior with men as she seeks to cater to her most fundamental and basic needs of love, intimacy and sex.
Number seven, sexlessness. Legitimizes sexlessness and the inevitable, ineluctable betrayal or cheating or abandonment. Legitimizes defiance and contempt for the partner, restores a sense of grandiosity.
She has to answer for her misdeeds. She has to deceive and pretend and act. She has to be scared and walk on eggshells while the cerebral narcissist or the narcissist observes her, observes her pitiful squirming. And he does this, smugly, and then he forgives her, magnanimously, in a theatrical dramatic act.
Reason number eight, allowing the partner total freedom, including the freedom to cheat and misbehave with others. This total freedom guarantees that she will stay out of the narcissist affairs. She will let him be.
And the narcissist delights in solitary pursuits within his solipsistic black hole.
All narcissists, even somatic ones, even gregarious ones, even pro-social and communal ones, all of them have a schizoid core.
Gregariousness comes at a cost. Narcissists have to pretend and act. It's energy depleting. They want to be left alone most of the time.
Number nine, pushing the partner to cheat, collusive infidelity, masochistically, is an act of masochism. It is intended to masochistically punish the narcissist for his own self-loathing and self-hatred, owing to his disabling mental illness.
The narcissist perceives himself as bad, unworthy object in such machinations, driving his intimate partners to misbehave, this guarantees extreme pain and finally, mortification.
And number 10, sadistic narcissist, a small minority of narcissists, use sex withdrawal to punish and control their partners.
Why remain in an abusive, dead relationship? Why we constantly betray, humiliated and reduced?
Because multiple relationships had failed in the past. Multiple relationship failures in the past had convinced the narcissist that he can do no better.
So why bother to try again with someone else? And this applies equally well to codependents, borderlines, anyone honestly, anyone with mental illness. Anyone with bipolar disorder, anyone with depression, anyone with schizoid personality disorder, anyone who is a paranoid, anyone with a schizophrenic, anyone with mental illness has come through this.
Multiple, multiple string, uninterrupted, uninterrupted stream of failed, painful, hurtful, damaging, destructive, mortifying relationships.
So why go through it again?
If you have a personality disorder, for example, such gloomy self-disparagement is fully justified and realistic. All future liaisons are doomed and they're doomed to end in acrimony, in cheating, in hurt and pain.
Why not remain single then? Isn't remaining single preferable to the hell of a dysfunctional dyad, couple?
Well, remaining single is of course preferable to engaging in an endless stream of failed relationships. It is, and most mentally ill people, most people with mental health problems, indeed end life all alone in a schizoid state.
But some narcissists require a shared fantasy, shared fantasy with an insignificant other, with an intimate, so-called intimate partner.
And they need the shared fantasy in order to avoid decompensation and depression. They settle for anything on the table, however lurid, however degrading, however humiliating.
They realize that no one is going to agree to be with them unless they make massive concessions.
And so they render themselves unboundaried doormats.
And ironically, this very prostration, this very submissiveness and obedience and doormatness, this obsequiousness, it is exactly the thing that drives their partners away.
Their partners are disgusted with the desperation of the narcissist.
The partner is disappointed. The partner is angry at herself for having settled for a spineless womb rather than a man, having been repeatedly damaged. These partners recoil from any attempt by the errant narcissist to hover, lovebomb, or groom them into a new round of approach avoidance.
Sooner or later, narcissists end up the same way, abandoned time and again until it is too late for the narcissist to find the next willing collaborator in his charade of a life unlived.