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Narcissist's False Narrative and False Self

Uploaded 8/9/2014, approx. 2 minute read

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

The narcissist has no private life, no true self, no domain reserved exclusively for his nearest and dearest.

The narcissist's life is a spectacle, with free access to all, constantly on display, garnering narcissistic supply from his ever-changing audience.

In the theatre that is the narcissist's life, the actor is irrelevant, only the show goes on.

The false self is everything the narcissist would like to be, but alas, cannot. It is omnipotent, omniscient, invulnerable, impregnable, brilliant, perfect and in short, it is godlike.

Its most important role is to elicit narcissistic supply from others, admiration, adulation or obedience and in general, unceasing attention.

The narcissist constructs a narrative of his life that is partly confabulated and whose purpose is to buttress, demonstrate and prove the veracity of the fantastically grandiose and often impossible claims made by the false self.

This narrative allocates roles to significant others in the narcissist's personal history.

Inevitably, such a narrative is hard to credibly sustain for long. Reality intrudes, and a yawning abyss opens between the narcissist's self-imputed divinity and his drab, pedestrian existence and attributes, and I call this the grandiosity gap.

Additionally, meaningful figures around the narcissist often refuse to play the parts allotted to them by him. They rebel. They get exhausted. They abandon the narcissist and move away.

The narcissist copes with this painful and ineluctable realization of the divorce between his self-perception and this less-than-stellar state of affairs by first denying reality, by delusionally ignoring and filtering out all inconvenient truths that contravene and contradict his narrative.

Then, if this coping strategy of denying reality fails, the narcissist invents a new narrative, which accommodates and incorporates the very intrusive data that served to undermine the previous, now discarded narrative.

The narcissist even goes to the extent of denying that he ever had another narrative at all, except the current modified one.

That is the narcissist power of self-delusion.

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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.


Narcissist: Confabulations, Lies

Confabulation is a common human trait, but the distinction between reality and fantasy is never lost. However, the narcissist's very self is a piece of fiction, concocted to fend off hurt and pain and to nurture the narcissist's grandiosity. The narcissist fails in his reality test and is unable to distinguish the actual from the imagined, the real from the fantasized. The narcissist's countenance, no disagreement, no alternative points of view, no criticism. To him, his confabulation is reality.


Narcissist's False Self vs. True Self: Soul-snatching

The narcissist's life is a spectacle, with free access to all, constantly on display. The narcissist flaunts a false self to solicit narcissistic supply, attention, and admiration from his audience. The false self is an adaptive reaction to pathological circumstances, but its dynamics make it predominate. The false self is far more important to the narcissist than his dilapidated, dysfunctional, shameful true self.


Narcissist: You All Exist Only in My Mind (Hive or Swarm False Self and Ego Functions)

Narcissists have a dysfunctional true self, which is introverted and comatose. The ego, which performs certain functions in healthy people, is dormant in narcissists. Narcissists need feedback from the outside world to perform basic ego functions, which is what is called narcissistic supply. The false self is a collage of reflections, a patchwork of outsourced information, and is a kind of hive self.


Why Narcissists Love Borderline Women and Why They Hate Them Back

Narcissistic mortification is a challenge to the false self, which crumbles and is unable to maintain defenses and pretensions. Narcissists use two strategies to restore some cohesiveness to the self: deflated and inflated narcissist. Narcissists engage in mortification, a form of self-mutilation, to feel alive and free from commitment to their false self. Narcissists seek out borderline women to mortify them and experience the unresolved primary conflict with their mother.


Why Narcissists Laugh in Funerals?

Narcissists fake emotions to manipulate their environment and lack true feelings. They have emotional resonance tables but no real emotions, and they defensively distort facts and circumstances to preserve their delusions of grandeur. Narcissists use emotional delegation to defend themselves against past hurts, delegating their emotions to a fictitious self, the false self. This duality is fundamental to the narcissistic personality and is evident in every interaction with them.


Narcissists: Achievers and Failures

Narcissists are either compulsively driven overachievers or chronic underachieving wastrels. The disparity between the accomplishments of the narcissist and his grandiose fantasies and inflated self-image is what is called the grandiosity gap. It is a staggering abyss and in the long run, it is insupportable and unsustainable. The narcissist's false self is so unrealistic and his expectations of himself are so way out there, his superego is so sadistic, these inner voices that criticize him, that there is nothing the narcissist can do to extricate himself from the Kafkaesque trial that is his life.


Narcissist Has No Friends

Narcissists treat their friends like Watson and Hastings, who are obsequious and unthreatening, and provide them with an adulating gallery. Narcissists cannot empathize or love, and therefore have no real friends. They are interested in securing narcissistic supply from narcissistic supply sources. The narcissist overvalues people when they are judged to be potential sources of supply, and devalues them when no longer able to supply him, ultimately leading to the alienation and distancing of people.


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.

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