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Secret of Narcissist's Romantic Attraction: How YOU Self-destruct

Uploaded 1/2/2024, approx. 27 minute read

You look too cheerful.

I have to restore your reality testing and take you down a peg.

You think this is going to be a good year?

Not if you keep watching my videos.


So today we are going to discuss romantic attraction.

Why do you want to be intimate with the narcissist?

Why do we want to create a couple or a dyad with the narcissist?

In a previous video we discussed sexual attraction, not romantic attraction.

Now first of all before we proceed, there is a big difference between sexual attraction and romantic attraction.

Sexual attraction is usually premised on sexual differentiation, sexual orientation and sexual preference.

So for example, you could be bisexual sexually but hetero-romantic.

In other words, you could sleep with both sexes but you would have love affairs only with a member of the opposite sex.

The combinations, the permutations are endless.

You could be homosexual and hetero-romantic.

You could be asexual and hetero-romantic etc.

So sexual attraction and romantic attraction have different manifestations and different etiologies.

Etymology means reasons, psychological reasons.

The psychodynamic processes involved in sexual attraction and romantic attractions are very very different.

That's why I divided it into two videos.

Why are you attracted to the narcissist sexually?

And now this video, why are you attracted to the narcissist romantically?


And I'm not sure at all.

You're going to like the answers.

And a proper romantic attraction to the narcissist, my name is Sam Baknin.

I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

I'm a former visiting professor of psychology and currently on the faculty of CEAPs, which stands for Commonwealth Institute for Advanced Professional Studies, Cambridge United Kingdom, Toronto Canada, Outreach Campus in Lagos, Nigeria, where else?


First of all, before we enter the topic, remember that the narcissist has two major instruments, two major tools to get you involved in his life and in his shared fantasy to render you in a co-place, in a collaborator, in an element of the shared fantasy.

The first tool is called empathy.

The narcissist is able to scan you, to spot your vulnerabilities and weaknesses and frailties and needs.

So the narcissist does possess empathy, but it is only reflexive and cognitive.

The emotional component of empathy is missing in narcissism, as well as in other disorders, such as psychopathy and to some extent borderline.

So the narcissist's cold empathy allows him to map you, to create a map of you, the terrain, the topology, the hidden treasures, the streams, the forests, the hills, the valleys, and the narcissist gets acquainted with your topography, psychological topography, to the very minutest detail.

This, of course, allows the narcissist to manipulate you, to leverage this knowledge, this intimate knowledge, I would say, to his benefit.

He presents to you a set of enticing incentives which you cannot resist.

For example, the Hall of Mirrors.

The narcissist broadcasts to you, "Come and see yourself idealized, perfect through my gaze."

Another element is the dual mothership.

"I will be your mother," says the narcissist.

"I will love you unconditionally.

All you have to do is regress to infancy, infantilize.

All you have to do is give up on your personal autonomy and independence and agency and become a dependent, a surrogate of me, an extension."

So this is the dual mothership.

And then there's, of course, the shared fantasy which includes strong elements of evading, avoiding, and withdrawing from reality.

On the one hand, an promised, rosy, pink future, a future that is blemishless and embodies and reifies the perfection of the narcissist and of yourself, your newly acquired perfection through the narcissist's gaze.

So the shared fantasy includes an element of a present.

It's a fantasy.

It's not a reality.

So it's not bruising.

It's not painful.

It's not hurtful.

It's not challenging.

And an element of the future which is going to be perfect.

You will live happily ever after.

All your wishes and dreams and aspirations will come true within the shared fantasy which would render you even more perfect, if possible.

So these are the transmissions and messages of the narcissist.

And he tailors them to fit your profile.

He uses his cold empathy to delineate your contours, to peruse and study in depth your content, so to speak, your essence, your quiddity, who you truly are.

And then he generates sometimes on the fly a shared fantasy that fits you like hand in glove.

So this is mechanism number one, the cold empathy.

The second mechanism is in training the narcissist's ability by repeating structured sounds known as speech.

The narcissist's ability to condition you, to reshape literally, physically your brain, rewire it, create new pathways and generate waves which tally, which clone, which replicate the waves of the narcissist's brain.

This phenomenon is known as in training and it's been recently discovered in music, in the field of music, but don't mind.

The narcissist uses speech, especially verbal abuse, to render your brain an exact copy of his.

He clones you, he entrains you, he installs in your mind, introjects his own voice and his own voice in your mind, his introject, collaborates with other voices in your mind which are not friendly to you.

This is a coalition, a hostile coalition, an axis of evil operating inside your mind, the serpent's voice.

So these are the basic tools of the narcissist.

But why would you, why would you gravitate towards something like this?

Why would you consent to such a pernicious, nefarious deal?

Why would you, in a way, subject yourself to mistreatment and torture and abuse more than willingly?

I would even say addictively.

I've mentioned some of the reasons.

Maybe you're not happy with reality and so you want to escape reality, avoid it, run away from it.

The narcissist offers you a paracosm, an alternative or virtual reality, a metaverse where you can ensconce yourself, cocoon yourself under the narcissist auspices in firewall, in protection, and within this shared fantasy, which is essentially kind of matrix, within the shared fantasy, it's a womb.

Within the shared fantasy, you feel reborn.

It's the experience of a second childhood being loved unconditionally by a mother figure, a maternal figure, which is a narcissist, something perhaps you have never had the chance to experience, unmitigated self-love for a perfect being that you had become through the narcissist gaze, a maternal, maternal love.

Which is your chance at a second childhood, which maybe this time would end much better.

So these are strong motivations to collude with the narcissist, to conspire with the narcissist, to create together a space which would cater to these deep psychological needs, pathologies, deformities and deficiencies in you, to the outcome of an autobiography, which is suboptimal, less than optimal.

So it's also a question of modeling.

In early childhood, you're exposed to the examples of role models, role models such as parental figures, but also influential peers and maybe teachers, mass media, actors, singers and so on and so forth.

So you're exposed to role models in childhood, especially early childhood, deformative years, up to age six.

And then later on, well into the end of adolescence.

And modeling creates something called typing.

You become a type, you become you, but you usually conform to some type.

Now Jung came up with the idea of archetypes.

That's not what I'm talking about.

I've talked about the type of personality, the five factor personality model tries to capture some of these elements to some extent, the MBTI and so on and so forth.

So you become a type, modeling, which is social learning theory, Mandura and others starting in 1985, modelingwhich is social learning theory, Mandura and others starting in 1985, modeling leads to typing.

And so these are your formative years.

There are two periods, zero to six and then adolescence.

And maybe you've learned during this period that abuse is a normal, acceptable mode of communication.

It's a way to manipulate other people and regulate them, control them and accomplish favorable outcomes.

You come, you have come to identify abuse with self-efficacy.

Abuse becomes your comfort zone.

You feel good when you are being abused because you know the rules of the game.

You know the ropes.

You don't feel lost.

You know you can anticipate and predict behavior of people around you.

Abuse becomes a preferable mode of existence, existential mode.

So modeling and typing could lead you to become a perfect example, a perfect sample or specimen of an abused victim.

And you would be attracted to abusers because only abusers could provide you with this ambience where you feel safe and stable and secure and protected.

This is one reason you would gravitate towards the narcissist and find him romantically irresistible, resonate with him powerfully, twin flames, soulmates and so on and so forth.

Don't forget that the narcissist has an advantage.

He comes from the very same environment, typically, not always.

He comes from the very same environment as you do.

He has had his own share of early childhood conflicts and trauma and abuse.

So he understands you on a profound level.

He can engineer himself and reverse engineer you so that you click into each other like so many Lego blocks and become a single symbiotic entity.

Merger infusion, the worst sense of the word.

This is a reasonable one.

Reason number two, you may have a bad object inside you.

Maybe inside you there are voices that keep informing you how unworthy you are, how unlovable you are, how inadequate you are, failure, stupid, ugly, sluttish, you name it.

Voices inside you that are harsh, sadistic, inner critic, superego, call it what you will and they keep chastising you, putting you down, criticizing you, demeaning you, debasing and degrading you, challenging you, doubting you.

This is known as a bad object.

And then the narcissist feels familiar.

It's as if the narcissist is your bad object externalized, outsourced.

It's as if the narcissist resonates extremely powerfully with a bad object inside you, concurs with the voices that keep telling you how unlovable you are or how imperfect you are or what a failure you are and so on and so forth.

Even in the love bombing phase, even in the love bombing phase, when you are being idealized, totally idealized, even then it is a bad object strategy.

What does love bombing mean?

Idealization.

It means the narcissist rejects you as you are.

The narcissist doesn't want you as you are, imperfect, sometimes ornery, unlovable, atro-bilius, look it up, traculent.

I don't know.

The narcissist doesn't argumentative, opinionated.

The narcissist teams up with you, but then he doesn't see you.

He rejects you as you are.

The narcissist, from the first second, from the love bombing phase, keeps broadcasting to you.

I don't want you as you are.

I want the idealized version of you.

I'm falling in love with your idealized version.

I'm internalizing your idealized version.

I'm going to continue to interact with your idealized version because you are not ideal.

You are imperfect.

You are not good enough.

You are inadequate.

It's absolutely a bad object, extension of the bad object, externalization of the bad object.

So, the narcissist is your bad object come alive.

You find this irresistible, you find the attraction inexorable, cannot stop yourself from gravitating towards the narcissist and then becoming his plaything, his instrument, his tool, his extension, an object.

You can't help being objectified by the narcissist because it feels like you are being understood so fully that it's unique.

It will never happen again.

And you are understood so fully because the narcissist brings to the open, to the surface, surfaces your bad object, your inner arts, this extra vision of the narcissist and say, "Oh my God, he really glomps me.

He really digs me.

He really understands me.

No one has ever understood me the way he does." And that's quite true.

But the narcissist's aim, the narcissist's purpose in getting to know you so well is in order to devalue and discard you.

It is an integral part of the shared fantasy.

It's an ineluctable and inexorable outcome.

Devalluation and discard are the equivalents of separation and divisionation in the narcissist's relationship with his mother of origin, with his biological mother.

So whatever you do and whoever you may be, narcissist is going to discard you and devalue you.

And to do so, he needs to understand how to hurt you the most.

He's converting you and his mind at the latest stages of the shared fantasy into an enemy, a persecretary object, and he wants to eradicate you, obliterate you, evaporate you, vaporize you, ruin you.

Not because he's malevolent, not because he's evil, because he has to.

You stand in for his mother who had abused him and traumatized him and abandoned him or instrumentalized him, parentified him, did something bad to him.

And he inflicts his aggression and punishment on you, thereby allowing him to separate from you and become his own person, acquire personhood and a semblance of self and ego which he lacks.

So this bad object validation, the narcissist validates your bad object.

This bad object validation feels like having found your perfect resonance.

This is where all these legends of twin flames and soulmates and other what else emerge from.

Next, the narcissist offers you external regulation.

Most partners of narcissists suffer from regulatory problems, self-regulatory problems.

Either they are emotionally dysregulated, like borderlines, or they have problems with control, like co-dependence, or they can't regulate themselves for a variety of reasons.

Maybe they're in a vulnerable moment in time, or they've just broken up with someone, some bad things have happened to them.

I don't know if their parents have died or whatever, so they are in a vulnerable moment.

But for whatever the reason may be, the partners of a narcissist have a self-regulatory deficit.

And this creates in them anxiety, because in the absence of self-regulation, there is dissonance.

There are internal conflicts that erupt, including cognitive dissonances, and this creates anxiety.

They don't want to be dysregulated.

Dysregulation means you're losing control of yourself, of your life, and of course, it is very terrifying.

It creates anxiety.

So here comes a narcissist, and he offers you external regulation.

He is so self-confident, so self-assured, displays such a high self-esteem, or if he is overt and grandiose, or on the very contrary, he is so humble, he is so modest, he presents as a safe pair of hands, he is stable.

That's the covert narcissist.

Either way, you feel that he is trustworthy.

You feel that you can deposit yourself, hand over yourself in his hands.

You feel that you're in good hands.

So he can then regulate you externally.

He can stabilize your moods.

He can regulate your emotions.

He is a rock.

He is a safe place and a safe space.

This is particularly appealing to borderlines, but not only also to codependence and other types and also to healthy people.

Sometimes healthy people are tired of being so strong all the time.

They need to be weak for a while.

They need to be dependent and clinging for a while.

They need to let go of the need to control and master others.

Even healthy, strong, resilient people need a break from time to time.

And here comes a narcissist and says, "Leave it to me.

I will bear all the responsibility.

You will not be responsible anymore.

You will not pay the consequences of your actions.

It will be on me." And so this is very anxiolytic.

This surrender of control mitigates, ameliorates and modulates anxiety.

The narcissist becomes your anti-anxiety or anxiolytic medication.

You begin to self-medicate with the narcissist.

You begin to rely on him more and more, refer to him more and more, defer to his opinions more and more, and perceive reality as mediated through him.

In other words, the narcissist impairs your reality testing.

But it's a very attractive package deal.

If you're with me, says the narcissist, you need to worry no more.


The next reason you are attracted to the narcissist romantically is because you hate yourself.

Not all partners of narcissists hate themselves.

I want to emphasize there is no type of partner.

Everyone is attracted to the narcissist.

Borderlines and co-dependence and other mentally disordered and mentally ill people, of course, but also healthy people in a bad period in their lives.

But some people are attracted to the narcissist because the narcissist guarantees punishment.

Punishment is punitive and they are self-punitive.

The bad object inside them informs them that they're deserving of penalty or punishment or sanctions because whatever they do is wrong, insufficient, misbehavior or misconduct and so on.

These are usually parental voices.

And this harsh inner critic pushes people towards the narcissist because abuse is guaranteed.

Teaming up with the narcissist is a form of self-harming.

Trauma bonding is a form of self-arming, self-trashing, self-defeat and self-destruction.

It's like committing suicide by narcissist, you know, like suicide by cop, suicide by narcissist.

I have been told that I should never use the word suicide.

That's one of the reasons I'm being shadow banned on YouTube because I don't use the idiotic word and alive.

Suicide, unease and bunnies, suicide.


When you team up with the narcissist is because you are spiraling down, you're out of control, you're dysregulated.

Perhaps you have suicidal ideation, you hate yourself, you loathe yourself, you abuse substances, you're going nowhere, your life seems bleak and destitute and hopeless and you just want to die.

And the narcissist is the agent of your self-destruction.

He is the grim reaper of your own.

He rips your own self-loathing.

He harvests your self-hatred.

So he amplifies it, he magnifies it and he hurls it back at you and he becomes the perfect fountain source of your disintegration.

It's a good reason to choose a narcissist.

And finally, there's the issue of projective identification.

Sometimes you choose a narcissist because the narcissist is a child and is an infant, the narcissist uses or deploys infantile primitive defense mechanisms such as splitting, projection, projective identification and others.

Now, this is very useful.

If you're the manipulative type, if you're the controlling type, for example, if you're a codependent, codependents control from the bottom.

Codependents control their partners with their self-sacrificial helplessness and with their clinging and neediness, it's a form of emotional blackmail.

It's much easier to emotionally blackmail the narcissist, for example, because the narcissist is so invested, perfected in the shared fantasy that he would assume any role you want him to assume just in order to actualize the fantasy.

It's easy to project on the narcissist and then to force him to behave the way you want him to behave.

And equally, at the same time, the narcissist does this to you.

He splits you so you become all good, perfect, godlike, a goddess, a princess, if you're a woman or a star or whatever, if you're a man.

So the narcissist splits you and at the initial phases, love bombing and so on.

You're perfect because you're all good.

And narcissist projects on you.

So initially he would project on you only his good qualities.

The narcissist then uses projective identification.

This is what I call coercive snapshotting.

He takes a snapshot of you, he then idealizes photoshops the snapshot and then he forces you to conform to the snapshot, to become the snapshot.

He doesn't want to see daylight between you and the snapshot.

Any divergence or deviance from the snapshot provoke aggression.

So many partners like this game.

They want to feel transformed at the same time they want to feel in control.

It's like owning the latest smartphone or the latest car or something.

They perceive unconsciously, they perceive the narcissist as a kind of instrument of self-transformation, a ladder to climb, someone who can bring them places, make them self-actualize or realize their potential or simply someone who is going to be at their beck and call, service them somehow.

So this is a minority of people who are attracted to narcissist and these are usually other narcissist or psychopaths and similarly dark personalities, personalities who are Machiavellian and sub clinically psychopathic and sub clinically narcissist.

So narcissist very often end up with dark personalities and with borderlines and with codependence, I agree.

But narcissist also end up with healthy people, resilient people, otherwise normal people.

And only the combination of all the reasons that I've just explained can account for this fact.

The attraction, the romantic attraction to the narcissist is a very complex process because it involves self-infatuation, self-attraction, auto-erotism, self-love, self-discovery, self-exploration, self-rejection of some parts on the one hand.

And on the other hand, a fantasy pseudo-aquasi-psychotic space where it is the diode, the combination with the narcissist that becomes a separate entity.

So the members of the couple, the narcissist and his intimate partner are emotionally invested not in each other, but in this joint creation, the shared fantasy and the grieving process is a grieving process of the shared fantasy.

The partners of narcissists never see the narcissist for who he is or at least until very late in their relationship.

And the narcissist never sees the intimate partners for who they are.

Both parties idealize each other and both parties enter the twilight zone of the shared fantasy and there both parties pursue their own agendas, actually interacting with internal objects and figments in their own minds.

This is the amazing quality of their relationship with the narcissist.

It's a hallucination, it's self-delusion.

It is a dream or a nightmare.

It is a dream state or a dreamscape.

The narcissist is not really there.

You're talking to yourself, you're loving yourself, you end up hating yourself, you're arguing with voices in your head, including his voice or the narcissist's voice.

And similarly, the narcissist doesn't see you.

He sees an internal object that represents you in his mind, which is totally divorced from reality and from you.

And yet he's able to grant you access to his mind and to this object in his mind.

That's the reason you mistakenly believe that you're having a relationship with another person.

You're not.

You're resonating with and interacting with an inner internal object in the mind of another person.

But this internal object is not that other person.

It's actually you.

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