Self-destruction as Narcissistic Supply: Narcissist's Self-denial and Self-defeat

Uploaded 8/28/2016, approx. 3 minute read

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

Narcissists often frustrate other people. Frustrating one's nearest and dearest has a double advantage. It has the dual advantage of simultaneously satisfying the narcissist's masochistic tendencies and his sadistic urges.

So, two birds with one stone frustrate your nearest and dearest, and you satisfy your masochism and your sadism.

How is that possible?

Well, by withholding love, withholding sex, avoiding intimacy, avoiding the fulfillment of other people's desires and needs, the narcissist torments these people. He taunts them, he tortures them, even as he obstructs his own gratification.

Think about it. If you don't have sex with your wife, you frustrate two people, your wife and yourself.

When you frustrate your wife, you are a sadist. When you frustrate yourself, you are a masochist.

Self-sabotage, self-defeat, self-denial and self-destruction, the martyred victim stance.

All these serve to prevent the forming of attachment and intimacy and the potential for ultimate hurt, ultimate pain as they dissolve.

But self-denial, self-destruction, self-defeat, self-sabotage, all these also buttress the narcissist's sense of superiority, of uniqueness, of omnipotence.

Why is that?

Because only the strongest, only those with a method can overcome and vanquish strong desires, powerful urges, needs, emotions that easily overwhelm lesser mortals.

So by overcoming and vanquishing these desires and urges and emotions, the narcissist proves to himself that he is the strongest, that he is unique.

The narcissist adheres to his idiosyncratic brand of ascetic religion in which he is both God and the worshiper.

The narcissist's inner monologue goes like this.

I reject everything that matters to other people. Everything that is deemed valuable, worthwhile, meaningful and desirable is nothing to me.

And I hold the weaklings who succumb to their emotions and drives. I hold these people in contempt.

Nothing they have or anything they can possess or attain, none of it is of value to me. It is all meaningless and worthless.

So the narcissist devalues the commoners, the hoi polloi, the great unwashed, the average joe, the pedestrian, the routine, the animalistic sex and the socially conformist.

And so self-defeating, self-denying and self-destructive behaviors and choices actually engender narcissistic supply.

Because when you self-deny, when you self-defeat, when you self-destruct, you uphold and demonstrate and prove the superhuman nature of the narcissist. This proves that the narcissist is a superman above humanity and humanity's needs and humanity's emotions and humanity's drives and humanity's desires and humanity's preferences and wishes and priorities is above the free.

He's a bubble. He doesn't need sex. He doesn't need intimacy. He doesn't need other people. He doesn't need society. He doesn't need.

He denies his needs. He denies his drives and urges and desires and wishes.

This self-denial proves to him, demonstrates to him and to others a kind of utter and titanic independence of society, even of nature, because it doesn't need sex, kind of independence of others in interpersonal relationships.

It's a form of counter-dependence. It's a defiance of the world, of the universe, of God, of nature, of himself.

This overcoming, this elevating oneself to a higher plateau, this is the essence of the narcissistic supply.

When narcissistic supply is a short supply, embarking on the path of self-negation is actually an efficacious way, an efficacious shortcut to obtaining and securing narcissistic supply.

At the very least, he draws astounded attention to the narcissist.

Look at him. He is without sex for decades. Look at him. He just turned down the best job imaginable. Look at him. He doesn't need other people.

He abuses and discards them.

There is some shock and awe in observing the narcissist, especially the psychopathic narcissist.

He inspires a kind of intimidation, not to say fear, in others that puts him over and above his audience, makes him a kind of malevolent entity, the type of alien that we all scream at in a good horror movie. The horror movie is the narcissist's life.

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How Narcissist's Victims Deceive Themselves

Narcissists cannot be cured and are a threat to those around them. Victims of narcissists often confuse shame with guilt and attribute remorsefulness to the narcissist when they are actually feeling shame for failing. Narcissists are attracted to vulnerable people who offer them a secure source of narcissistic supply. Healing is dependent on a sense of security in a relationship, but the narcissist is not interested in healing and would rather invest their energy in obtaining narcissistic supply. Narcissists lack empathy and cannot understand others, making them a danger to those around them.

Narcissists Hate Women, Misogynists

Narcissists view women as objects and use them for both primary and secondary narcissistic supply. They fear emotional intimacy and treat women as property, similar to the mindset of European males in the 18th century. Narcissists frustrate women by teasing them and then leaving them, and they hold women in contempt, choosing submissive partners whom they disdain for being below their intellectual level. The narcissist projects his own behavior and traits onto women.

Can You Love the Narcissist and Rescue Him?

Victims of narcissists often resort to fantasies and self-delusions to cope with their pain, believing that they can rescue the narcissist from their misery and misfortune. However, loving a narcissist is difficult, and any attempt to relate to them emotionally is doomed to failure. Narcissists are addicts in pursuit of gratification through the drug known as narcissistic supply, and they hone in on potential suppliers like cruise missiles. Victims of narcissists can become bitter and self-centered, lacking in empathy, and become more like the narcissist over time.

Your Empathy as Narcissistic Injury: Narcissist Never Learns, No Insight

Narcissists reject empathy and intimacy because it challenges their grandiosity, and they become paranoid and aggressive when someone tries to be intimate with them. Narcissists lack empathy and access to positive emotions, leading to a truncated version of empathy called "cold empathy." Narcissists are self-aware but lack the incentive to get rid of their narcissism, and therapy is more focused on accommodating the needs of the narcissist's nearest and dearest. Cold Therapy is experimental and limited, as it removes the false self but does not develop empathy or improve the narcissist's interpersonal relationships.

Narcissist: Women as Sluttish Huntresses or Sexless Saints

Heterosexual narcissists desire women but are frustrated by their inability to interact with them meaningfully. They hate women virulently, passionately, and uncompromisingly, and their hate is primal, irrational, and the progeny of mortal fear and sustained abuse in early childhood. Narcissists are infinitely pessimistic, bare-tempered, paranoid, and sadistic, and their daily routine is a rigmarole of threats, complaints, hurts, eruptions, moodiness, and rage. They are their own worst enemy and cannot conceive of life in one place with one set of people, doing the same thing in the same field with one goal within a decades-old game plan or career path or relationship.

Sadistic Narcissist

Narcissists are sadistic in their pursuit of narcissistic supply, and they enjoy inflicting pain on others who they perceive as intentionally frustrating and withholding. They are not full-fledged sadists in the psychosexual sense, but they are adept at finding the vulnerabilities and frailties of their victims. The narcissist's sadistic acts are often disguised as an enlightened interest in the welfare of their victim, and they are so subtle and poisonous that they might be regarded as the most dangerous of all variants of sadism. However, the narcissist's attention span is short, and they usually let their victims go before they suffer irreversible damage.

Narcissists: Alien Life-forms, Lack Empathy!

Narcissists lack the ability to empathize, which is what makes them seem like alien lifeforms, robots, automata, or machines. Empathy is what binds humans together and is the essence of what it means to be human. Narcissists cannot truly communicate with other people, including their family, friends, colleagues, and even therapists. They possess a form of empathy called cold empathy, which allows them to exploit, manipulate, and humiliate others.

Narcissist No Toilet Paper: Aggressive and Brittle, Not Soft and Strong

Narcissists have restricted access to positive emotions and rampant negative emotions, leading them to compensate with dominance and abuse. They often call themselves alpha males but are actually bullies. Their mistreatment of others does not make them strong, but rather obnoxious and clownish. They are not capable of true intimacy or emoting, as they are empty inside.

Narcissist's Romantic Jealousy and Possessiveness

Narcissists experience anxiety when they become aware of their possessive and jealous tendencies. Anxiety characterizes all their interactions with the opposite sex, especially in situations where there is a possibility of rejection or abandonment. The narcissist's envy of their female mate is a result of an unconscious conflict, and they exercise their imagination to justify their negative emotions. Narcissists often strike an unhealthy balance by being emotionally and physically absent, which drives their partner to find emotional and physical gratification outside the relationship.

Can Narcissist Truly Love?

Narcissists are incapable of true love, but they do experience some emotion which they insist is love. Narcissists love their significant others as long as they continue to provide them with attention, or narcissistic supply. There are two types of narcissistic love: one type loves others as one would get attached to objects, while the other type abhors monotony and constancy, seeking instability, chaos, upheaval, drama, and change. In the narcissist's world, mature love is nowhere to be seen, and their so-called love is fear of losing control and hatred of the very people on whom their personality depends.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
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