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Remain Friends with the Narcissist?

Uploaded 1/18/2011, approx. 4 minute read

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

Can't we just act civilized? Can't we remain on friendly terms with the narcissist? The relationship having broken down, separation having taken place, the divorce having been enacted, can't we simply stay on as friends?

Well, never forget that narcissists, at least the full-fledged ones, are nice and friendly only when they need something, only when they want something from you.

Narcissistic supply, help, support, votes, money, or the perennial goody sex.

The narcissist prepares the ground, manipulates you, and then comes out with a small favor he needs, or asks you blatantly or surreptitiously for narcissistic supply, with sentences such as, what did you think about my performance, or do you really think I deserve the Nobel Prize, and so on.

Narcissists also seek out your friendship when they feel threatened, and they want to neuter the threat by smothering it with oozing pleasantries.

So, for instance, if you threaten the narcissist with abandonment, the narcissist will try to regain your friendship as a way of countering your threat.

Narcissists also become friendly or over-friendly when they have just been infused with an overdose of narcissistic supply, and they feel magnanimous and magnificent and ideal and perfect and brilliant.

To show magnanimity is a way of flaunting one's impeccable divine credentials. It is an act of grandiosity on the part of the narcissist. You are not really there. You are a prop in a spectacle. You are a mere receptacle of the narcissist's overflowing, self-contented infatuation with his own false self and its achievements.

This beneficence is transient. Perpetual victims often tend to thank the narcissist for little graces. This is the Stockholm Syndrome. Hostages tend to emotionally identify with their captors rather than with the police.

We are grateful to our abusers and tormentors for easing their hideous activities and allowing us to catch our breath for any small break in their routine.

Some people say that they prefer to live with narcissists, to cater to their needs and to succumb to their whims because this is the way they have been conditioned in early childhood and have been brought up.

It is only with narcissists that they feel alive, stimulated, excited. The world glows in technicolor in the presence of a narcissist and decays into black and white or sepia colors in the presence of everyone else.

When the narcissist is absent, the world is colorless. I see nothing inherently wrong with this kind of approach.

The test is this. If someone were to constantly humiliate and abuse you verbally using archaic Chinese, would you have felt humiliated and abused? Probably not. Simply because you don't know archaic Chinese. You don't speak it.

Some people have been conditioned by the narcissistic primary objects in their lives, by their parents, to treat narcissistic abuse as archaic Chinese, to turn a deaf ear. These people don't hear the abuse. They are not even aware of its existence. To them it's a kind of background noise and they can survive very nicely with it.

They are compensated for this abuse by the thrills provided by living with a narcissist. Living with a narcissist is exhilarating. It's a roller coaster. There are ups, there are downs, adrenaline rushes and colorful touches and tints.

This, as far as these people are concerned, this compensates for the background abuse.

This technique of telling a deaf ear is effective in that it allows the inverted narcissist, the narcissist's willing mate, to experience only the good aspects of living with a narcissist.

His sparkling intelligence, the constant drama and excitement, the lack of intimacy and emotional attachment, which many inverted narcissists actually prefer.

Every now and then the narcissist breaks into abuse, but that is, as you recall, archaic Chinese. This abuse is not even noticed by the willing spouse of the narcissist.

So what? Who understands archaic Chinese anyway, says the inverted narcissist to theirself.

Having said all that, I have only one nagging doubt. If the relationship with the narcissist is so rewarding, why are inverted narcissists so typically unhappy? Why are they so egodystonic, ill at ease with themselves? Why are there so much in need of help, professional or otherwise? Why do they seek support to start with? Aren't they victims who simply experience the Stockholm Syndrome? Aren't they hostages who identify with a kidnapper rather than with the police? Aren't they people who deny their own torment in order to endure it? In other words, aren't they merely con artist lies?.

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Communal, Prosocial Narcissist: Misanthropic Altruist

Narcissists can be generous and donate to charity, but this is often a way to enhance their sense of grandiosity and control over others. They use their giving as a bait to lure people into their lair and manipulate them into subservient compliance. Narcissistic altruism is an abusive defense mechanism that avoids real intimacy and renders all relationships business-like, using the currency of money. Even the narcissist's benevolence is spiteful, sadistic, punitive, and distancing.


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Narcissists are incapable of empathizing and view humans as only a means to supply them with narcissistic supply. They are prone to emotional extortion, blackmail, abuse, and misuse of authority to secure their supply. Narcissists lack a moral dimension and are atavistically responsive to fear, resembling an alien on drugs.


Narcissist: Accountable for His Actions?

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Narcissist Uses Money to Enslave, Bribe Victim

Narcissists use money to manipulate and control their victims, who often equate money with love and become entangled in the narcissist's web. Victims may engage in self-deception and cognitive dissonance to justify their sacrifices and remain on the narcissist's good side. However, they may eventually rebel and become passive-aggressive, bitter, depressed, and paranoid. If they do not extricate themselves in time, they may acquire the traits and behavior patterns of their narcissistic abusers and form a shared psychosis mediated by money.


Recluse Narcissist

Narcissists do not have friends in the usual sense of the word, as they are only interested in securing the provision of narcissistic supply from others. They overvalue people when they are judged to be potential sources of supply, but discard them nonchalantly when they are no longer able or willing to supply them. The narcissist's behavior, choices, acts, attitudes, beliefs, interests, and life are curtailed by their sensitivity to outside opinion, and they avoid situations where they are likely to encounter opposition, criticism, or competition. The fear of flying is at the heart of narcissism.


Does the Narcissist Envy YOU? (READ THE DESCRIPTION)

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Money: Narcissist's License to Abuse

Money is a love substitute for the narcissist, allowing them to be their corrupt selves and buy absolution, forgiveness, and acceptance. It is a license to sin and a permit to be unmitigated self. Money liberates the mind of the narcissist, allowing them to concentrate on attaining the desired position on top. The narcissist is addicted to money because it is the freedom not to behave in a way that is unbearable to them in the long run.


Narcissist: Bumbling Fool, Incapable of Learning?

Narcissists can appear to be stupid for several reasons. They have no impulse control, act out, and engage in self-defeating actions. They also use pseudo-stupidity to avoid the consequences of their misdeeds. Narcissists are gullible, have an impaired reality test, and cannot read social cues or the intentions of others. They also use false modesty to fish for compliments, but their attempts are so transparent that people react with repulsion. Finally, the narcissist regards learning something new or getting advice as narcissistic injuries, which renders them appear profoundly stupid.


Narcissist Hates Happy People and Holidays

Holidays and birthdays are a difficult time for narcissists, as they provoke a stream of pathological envy. The narcissist is jealous of others for having a family, being able to celebrate lavishly, or being in the right mood. They hate humans because they are unable to be one and want to spoil it for those who can enjoy. Holidays remind the narcissist of their childhood, the supportive and loving family they never had, and what could have been.

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