Narcissist's Grandiosity: Omnipotence, Omniscience, Omnipresence, Perfection

Uploaded 9/27/2010, approx. 5 minute read

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

It is healthy to daydream and fantasize. Fantasies are the anti-chamber of life. They often anticipate its circumstances.

Daydreaming is a process of preparing for eventualities.

But healthy daydreaming is different to grandiosity. Narcissistic grandiosity has four components.

First of which is omnipotence. The narcissist believes in his own power, powerfulness, his omnipotence.

Believe in this complex is a weak word. The narcissist knows that he is omnipotent. It is a cellular certainty, almost biological. It flows in his blood, permeates every niche of his being.

The narcissist knows that he can do anything he chooses to do and excel in it.

What the narcissist does, what he excels at, what he achieves, depends only on his volition, he thinks.

To his mind, there is no other determinant of success.

Hence the narcissist's rage when confronted with disagreement and opposition. Not only because of the audacity of his evidently inferior adversaries, but because it threatens his world view. It endangers his feeling of omnipotence.

The narcissist is often fatuously daring, adventurous, experimentative and curious, precisely owing to this hidden assumption of can do and dare do.

He is genuinely surprised and devastated when he fails, when the universe does not arrange itself magically to accommodate the narcissist's unbounded fantasies. When the world and people in it do not comply with his whims and wishes, the narcissist often denies away discrepancies, from his memory.

As a result, he remembers his life as a patchy quilt of unrelated events and people.

Another strand of grandiosity is omniscience.

The narcissist often pretends to know everything in every field of human knowledge and endeavor. He lies and prevaricates in order to avoid the exposure of his ignorance. He resorts to numerous subterfuges to support his god-like omniscience.

Where his knowledge fails him, the narcissist feigns authority, fakes superiority, quotes from non-existent sources, embeds threads of truth in a canvas of falsehoods.

The narcissist transforms himself into an artist of intellectual prestige. As he gets older, this invidious quality may recede or rather metamorphose. He may now claim more confined expertise, but still he claims expertise.

The old age narcissist may no longer be ashamed to admit his ignorance and his need to learn things outside the fields of his real or self-proclaimed and self-imputed expertise.

But this so-called improvement is merely optical. Within his territory, the narcissist is still as fiercely defensive and possessive as ever. He still claims superior knowledge and superior authority with no commensurate achievements, accomplishments or academic record.

Many narcissists are avowed auto-deducts, self-learners. They are unwilling to subject their knowledge and insights to peer scrutiny, or for that matter, to any scrutiny.

The narcissist keeps reinventing himself, adding new fields of knowledge as he goes along. This creeping intellectual relaxation is a roundabout way of reverting to his erstwhile image as the erudite Renaissance man.

A third element in the narcissist's grandiosity is an omnipresence.

Even the narcissist cannot pretend to actually be everywhere at once in the physical sense. Instead, he feels that he is the center and the axis of his universe, and that all things and happenstances revolve around him, and that cosmic disintegration would ensue if he were to disappear or to lose interest in someone or something.

He is convinced, for instance, that he is the main, if not the only, topic of discussion in his absence. This is called the ideas of reference. He is often surprised and offended to learn that he was not even mentioned. When invited to a meeting with many participants or a party, he assumes the position of the sage, the guru, or the teacher-guide whose words carry a special weight.

His creations, his books, his articles, his works of art are extensions of his presence, and in this restricted sense, he does seem to exist everywhere.

In other words, he stamps his mark, puts his mark upon his environment.

He stigmatizes his environment with his fame, his celebrity, and his works.

Finally, there is a much more elective strand of grandiosity, which is narcissist's the omnivore, perfection and completeness.

This is another only element in grandiosity.

The narcissist is an omnivore. He devours and digests experiences and people, sights and smells, bodies and words, books and forms, sounds and achievements, his work and his leisure, his pleasure and his possessions.

The narcissist is incapable of enjoying anything because he is in constant pursuit of perfection and completeness.

Classic narcissists interact with the world as predators do with prey. They want to own it all, to be everywhere, to experience everything. They cannot delay gratification. They do not take no for another, and they settle for nothing less than the ideal, the sublime, the perfect, the brilliant, the all-inclusive, all-encompassing, the engulfing, the all-pervasive, the most beautiful, the cleverest, the richest.

The narcissist is shattered when he discovers that a collection he possesses is incomplete, that his colleague's wife is more glamorous than his, that his son is better than his in math, that his neighbor has a new flashy car, that his roommate got promoted, that the love of his life signed the recording contract.

It is not plain jealousy. It's not even pathological envy, though this is definitely a part of the psychological makeup of the narcissist.

It is the discovery that the narcissist is not perfect, not ideal, superior, or complete.

This discovery does him in.

As anyone who shared a life with a narcissist or a new one, they're likely to say, what a waste, waste of potential, waste of opportunities, waste of emotions, a wasteland of arid addiction, a futile pursuit.

After the narcissist's impossible grandiose fantasies.

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When the Narcissist's Parents Die

The death of a narcissist's parents can be a complicated experience. The narcissist has a mixed reaction to their passing, feeling both elation and grief. The parents are often the source of the narcissist's trauma and continue to haunt them long after they die. The death of the parents also represents a loss of a reliable source of narcissistic supply, which can lead to severe depression. Additionally, the narcissist's unfinished business with their parents can lead to unresolved conflicts and pressure that deforms their personality.

Narcissist's Pathological Grandiosity

Daydreaming and fantasizing are healthy activities that prepare individuals for eventualities and planning. However, pathological grandiosity is different and has four components: omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, and perfectionism and completeness. The narcissist believes in his own omnipotence and is convinced that he can do anything he chooses to do and excel in it. The narcissist is shattered when he discovers that the collection he possesses is incomplete, that his colleague's wife is more glamorous, that his son is better than he is in math, that his neighbor has a new flashy car, that his roommate got promoted, or that the love of his life signed a recording contract.

Narcissist's Pathological Space: His Kingdom

The pathological narcissistic space is a geographical area, group of people, or an abstract field of knowledge in which the narcissistic pathology reaches its full expression and effectiveness. It is a territorially expanded false self that is achieved via sources of narcissistic supply. The existence of the pathological narcissistic space is independent of the existence of sources of narcissistic supply. The pathological narcissistic space constantly consumes and drains narcissistic supply, and it generates negative narcissistic accumulation.

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.

When Narcissist Says "I Love You" - What Does It Mean To Him?

Narcissists and borderlines often mislabel and misidentify their internal processes as love and intimacy, despite being incapable of experiencing true love or intimacy. They confuse dependency, limerence, exhibitionism, masochism, defiance, competitiveness, possessiveness, neediness, and people-pleasing with love and intimacy. This mislabeling is an attempt at self-restoration and bridging confabulation, as they have a diminished self-insight and inability to introspect. Their constant attempt to explain or describe their internal processes is an effort to restore their being, relationship with the world, and ultimately their identity.

Narcissist: Destructive Envy and Romantic Jealousy

Envy is a compounded emotion brought on by the realization of some lack or deficiency in oneself. Narcissists cope with their pathological envy by either subsuming the object of envy via imitation or destroying it. The most dangerous species of narcissists are those who derive contentment from their own humiliation and end up driving the objects of their own devotion and accumulation to destruction and decrepititude. Romantic jealousy is a narcissistic defense that reflects the narcissistic traits and behaviors of possessiveness, objectification, and treating the spouse as an extension of oneself.

Confessions of Inverted Narcissists - Part 1 of 3

Inverted narcissists are codependents who depend exclusively on narcissism and crave to be in a relationship with a narcissist regardless of any abuse inflicted on them. Narcissists react to competition with pathological envy, and inverted narcissists tend to feel envious and resentful towards their partners. Narcissistic personality disorder is the inability to love oneself, and it is about having a profoundly negative self-image. Survivors of child abuse may develop a kind of codependence or narcissism, and they may experience intense envy and competition towards others.

Narcissist: Mother Looms Large

The success or failure of a child's separation from their mother determines their personal history, autonomy, and sense of self. The mother is the benchmark against which everything in the child's future is measured. If the mother does not let go, the child does not go, and if the mother is a dependent narcissistic type, the child's growth prospects are doomed. The death of the mother is a devastating shock and a deliverance, and with the death of his mother, the narcissist embarks on a process of healing.

Inverted Narcissist (Narcissist Codependent)

Inverted narcissists are a type of codependent who exclusively depend on a narcissist. They are self-effacing, sensitive, emotionally fragile, and sometimes socially phobic. They derive all their self-esteem and sense of self-worth from the outside and are pathologically envious. Inverted narcissists are narcissists, and it is possible to compose a set of criteria for them by translating the criteria available in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for the classical narcissist.

Grandiosity as Cognitive Bias (Kruger-Dunning Effect)

Grandiosity in narcissism is an inflated self-image that is divorced from reality and self-perception. It is a set of cognitive biases constructed on a foundation of cognitive deficits that emanate from a flawed reality test. The narcissist perceives reality wrongly and lacks empathy, making it impossible for them to anticipate others' reactions, needs, and preferences. The narcissist's grandiosity is a derivative phenomenon that relies on cognitive biases, such as the Dunning-Kruger effect, where they overestimate themselves and underestimate others.

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