Narcissist's Sadistic Inner Judge and Critic

Uploaded 8/16/2010, approx. 4 minute read

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

The narcissist is besieged and tormented by a sadistic superego, which sits in constant judgment of a being.

The superego is an amalgamation of negative evaluations, criticisms, angry or disappointed voices and disparagement meted out in the narcissist's formative years and adolescence by parents, peers, role models and authority figures.

These harsh and repeated comments and criticisms reverberate throughout the narcissist's inner landscape, berating him constantly for failing to conform to his own unattainable ideals, fantastic goals and grandiose or impractical plans and schemes.

The narcissist's sense of self-worth is therefore catapulted from one pole to another, from an enflated view of himself, which is incommensurate with real-life accomplishments, to utter despair and self-denigration.

This is why the narcissist needs narcissistic supply. He needs it to regulate this wild pendulum.

People's adulation, admiration, affirmation and attention restore the narcissist's self-esteem and self-confidence time and again.

It is like a drug. The narcissist's sadistic and uncompromising superego, or contrast, affects three facets of his personality.

The narcissist's sense of self-worth and worthiness, the deeply ingrained conviction that one deserves love, compassion, care and empathy, regardless of what one achieves in life, this is affected by the sadistic superego.

The narcissist feels worthless without narcissistic supply.

The second facet or layer that is affected by the internalized inner judge of the narcissist is his self-esteem, his self-knowledge, the deeply ingrained and realistic appraisal of his own capacities, skills, limitations and shortcomings.

The narcissist lacks clear boundaries and therefore is not sure of his abilities and weaknesses, hence his grandiose compensatory fantasies.

Finally, the narcissist's self-confidence is heavily affected and adversely affected by these disparaging inner voices.

The deeply ingrained belief based on lifelong experience that one can set realistic goals and also accomplish them is ruined in the narcissist.

The narcissist knows the disease of faith and of fraud, that his self is false.

He therefore does not trust his own ability to manage his own affairs and to set practical aims and to realize them.

By becoming a success or at least by appearing to have become a success, the narcissist hopes to quell these voices inside him that constantly question his veracity and attitude.

The narcissist's whole life is a two-fold attempt to both satisfy the inexorable demands of his inner tribunal and to prove wrong its harsh and merciless criticism.

It is this dual and self-contradictory mission to conform to the edicts of his internal enemies and to prove them wrong. It is this constant battle that is at the root of the narcissist unresolved conflicts.

On the one hand, the narcissist accepts the authority of his interjected internalized critics and he disregards the fact that they hate him and they wish him ill or even dead. He sacrifices his life to these inner judges, to these sadistic voices, to these berating figures, to this constant criticism.

He hopes that his successes and accomplishments, whether real or perceived, will ameliorate their rage, silence these voices, restore a modicum of inner peace.

On the other hand, he confronts these very gods, these very divine annihilating entities with proofs of their own fallibility.

His inner dialogue goes something like that.

You claim that I'm worthless and incapable. Well, guess what? You are dead wrong. Look how famous I am. Look how rich I am. Look how powerful, how revered, how accomplished. You must be wrong. You must be wrong. Having accomplished all these things, or at least the perception of these things, I must be doing something right. I must be a worthy person and what you say about me is wrong.

But then much rehearsed self-doubt sets in and the narcissist feels yet again compelled to falsify the claims of his trenchant and indefatigable detractors by conquering another woman, by giving one more interview, by taking over yet another firm, by making an extra million, or by getting reelected one more time.

To no avail, the narcissist is his own worst foe and enemy.

Ironically, it is only when incapacitated that the narcissist gains a modicum of peace of mind. When terminally ill, when incarcerated, when inebriated, the narcissist can shift the blame for his failures and predicaments to outside agents and to objective forces over which he has no control.

His inner dialogue then goes, the failures and defeats that I've endured are not my fault.

He informs his mental tormentors, there was nothing I could do about it. I could do about it.

Now go away and leave me be, leave me alone. I can't help it. I'm a prisoner. I'm terminally ill. I am not in control of the situation.

So how can you expect me to achieve anything and to falsify your claims that I'm worthless?

And then with the narcissist defeated and broken, sometimes these voices do go away and he is free at last.

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Zombie Narcissist: Deficient Narcissistic Supply

Narcissists are constantly seeking praise, adoration, admiration, approval, applause, attention, and other forms of narcissistic supply. When they fail to obtain sufficient supply, they react much like a drug addict would. They become dysphoric, depressed, and may resort to alternative addictions. In extreme cases of deprivation, they may even entertain suicidal thoughts. Narcissists also have a sense of magical thinking, believing that they will always prevail and that good things will always happen to them, rendering them fearless and cloaked in divine and cosmic immunity.

Narcissist: Drama Queen in Pathological Narcissistic Space

Narcissists have a deep-seated need for excitement and drama to alleviate their boredom and melancholy. They create an imaginary environment called the pathological narcissistic space, where they seek admiration, adoration, approval, applause, or attention. Narcissistic supply substitutes for having a real vocation or avocation and actual achievements. The narcissist's two mechanisms of establishing a morphological narcissistic space and the urge to move continuously are completely incompatible, leading to the narcissistic condition.

Do Narcissists Truly Hate?

Narcissists are often adult versions of abused children who fear intimacy and seek to provoke hatred in parents, caregivers, and authority figures. They act out antisocially and seek to destroy the source of frustration. The narcissist's hatred is not a stable experiential state, but rather a transformation of resentment and an aggressive reaction to frustration. The narcissist is heavily dependent on other people for the regulation of their sense of self-worth, and they resent this dependence.

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'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's Cycles of Ups and Downs

Narcissists go through cycles of mania and depression, which are caused by external events or circumstances known as triggers. The cycles are different from manic depressive cycles in bipolar disorder, which are endogenous. The narcissist is addicted to narcissistic supply and seeks admiration, adoration, approval, attention, and so on. The narcissist goes through ups and downs, including a depressive phase, a hibernation phase, and a manic phase, which are all part of the process of obtaining and securing narcissistic supply.

How Narcissist Man Child Self Supplies

The narcissist is a ghoulish and sinister hybrid, an adult grafted onto a child. The narcissist is often described as a "man child", but he is actually neither. The narcissist juxtaposes wrongly, becoming an adult where he should have been childlike and vice versa. This misappropriation and misallocation of roles render him monstrous and freakish. The narcissist resorts to self-supply when external sources are depleted, using techniques such as reframing reality, creating an inflated self-perception, and converting negative supply to positive. Self-supply is a crucial maintenance phase in the narcissist's cycle of existence and is a mechanism of self-regulation that appears to be external regulation. It involves elements of hyper-reflexivity and magical thinking, reminiscent of certain dynamics in childhood

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.

Narcissist: Your Pain is his Healing, Your Crucifixion - His Resurrection

Narcissists need their victims to suffer to regulate their own emotions and feel a sense of control. They keep a mental ledger of positive and negative behaviors, with negative behaviors weighing more heavily. Narcissists need counterfactual statements to maintain their delusion of being special and superior. The grandiosity gap is the major vulnerability of the narcissist, and they are often in denial about their limitations and failures.

Narcissist: The Impulse to Be Perfect (Fear of Failure and Success)

Narcissists fear failure and therefore opt for mediocrity, as success means they have more to lose and more ways to fail. Deliberately not succeeding also supports the narcissist's sense of omnipotence and grandiose conviction that they are perfect. Many narcissistic defenses, traits, and behaviors revolve around this compulsive need to sustain a grandiose self-image of perfection, colloquially known as perfectionism. Deficient impulse control helps achieve this crucial goal, as impulsive actions and addictive behaviors render failure impossible.

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