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Simple Trick: Tell Apart Narcissist, Psychopath, Borderline

Uploaded 6/12/2020, approx. 33 minute read

La Liga is the football league in Spain. After three months of onerous lockdown, matches are going to resume, and for the benefit of those watching these matches online via streaming services, the league is going to add computer-generated spectators to the screen.

Now, finally, every Spaniard, or at least every football fan in Spain, is going to fully grasp and profoundly understand and comprehend the narcissist's inner experience. This is precisely how the narcissist feels. It's a perfect metaphor.

As far as the narcissist is concerned, he himself is a spectacle, akin or similar to a football match. Everyone around in the bleachers is watching him. He is the center of attention. There's an audience. There's always an audience, even when the narcissist is alone. And this audience, human beings, they are not perceived by the narcissist as flesh and blood. He perceives them as computer-generated spectators. Everyone around the narcissist is a figment of his own imagination, of his mind. It's a piece of fiction. It's a cardboard cutout. It's a function. It's an extension.

The narcissist streams the world, streams his life, and being watched, admired, adulated, observed, and dictated by numerous people, none of whom is real to him.

I just thought I'd alert you to this metaphor.

But today's topic is completely different. I'm going to teach you a simple trick to tell a narcissist from a psychopath in 10 seconds. You talk to someone, you want to know if he's a narcissist, a psychopath, you need to ask only one or two questions and you have your answer. But before we go there, I owe you something. In the last video, I've been informed. I forgot to add the introduction. My name is Sam Vaknin, and I'm the author of Malignant Saint Flub, Narcissism Revisited. Now, this one is for the previous video. And now for this video. My name is Sam Vaknin, and I'm the author of Malignant Saint Flub, Narcissism Revisited. I hope you noticed the similarities. And now let's get to the topic. How to tell a narcissist apart from a psychopath.

There's a very simple rule of thumb, heuristic.

The narcissist maintains one island of stability in his life, while all the other dimensions of his existence are a chaotic maelstrom, a total mess. Now this island of stability could be anything.

The narcissist remains married to the same woman for decades, even as he dizzyingly switches between careers or workplaces. Or Ocontrejo, he climbs the corporate ladder in the same company with the same enterprise for 35 years, having, in the meantime, divorced and remarried five different spouses.

So there's always an island of stability. It could be a domicile place of residence. He could remain in the same country for the entirety of his life, from cradle to grave. It could be friends. He could have a cornel, a core of childhood friends, which he maintains throughout life.

But he has one island of stability, never more. His marriage, his friendships, his domicile, his business, his children, his hobbies, charitable organizations, he belongs to his activism, whatever it is, his profession, his academic career, whatever it is, it's stable and it's very, very long term. And everything else in his life, everything else in his life is a bloody mess. Chaos, unmitigated disorder.

Now this leads to many misconceptions. Most of them, as usual, propagated by self-styled, newly found experts, whether academic or not.

They confuse, of course, as usual, narcissists and psychopaths.

So you can hear the, for example, the retort or the refrain, how can he be a narcissist? He has an excellent relationship with his wife and he's been married for 50 years. Or his children love him. He can't be a narcissist. Or he has been in the same workplace since he was 18. And now he's the chief executive officer of the company. That can't be a narcissist. It's too stable.

Narcissists are chaotic and that's, of course, a mistake because narcissists always have one island of stability.

Compare it to the psychopath. The psychopath has no such peaceable oasis.

Every single aspect of the psychopath's life, I repeat, every single aspect, dimension, field in the psychopath's life is mayhem and pandemonium. The psychopath's personal life is disordered beyond any timeline.

His kaleidoscopic range of vocations, his myriad on and on friendships, his antisocial or defiant pursuits, his numerous domiciles, hobbies, marriages, children in and out of wedlock.

Even the number of objects he possesses, number of cars he has changed, everything in the psychopath's life is disordered, discontinuous as opposed to the narcissist who displays an island of stability.

And so one could say that the psychopath is like a quadriplegic who, compelled by his delusional radiosity, has spent a nightmarish lifetime insisting to compete in track and field events.

Imagine that you are disabled from the neck down and you insist, that is your obsession, to compete in track and field events.

So relationships with women, attempted friendships, doing business, accomplishing anything long term. These are all doomed.

The psychopath is incapable of maintaining continuity, long-term planning, anticipating the consequences of his own actions. He acts on whims. He has zero impulse control.

So these are all doomed and these lead to debilitating frustrations, self-loathing, innate rage and life-threatening, profound hurt every time the psychopath faces inevitable failure and defeat owing to his own invalidity, every time he is cheated on, every time he is rebuffed, every instance of confronting the ruins of his enterprises, his initiatives, his broken dreams and so on and so forth.

Now this is particularly true, particularly true of the collective psychopath.

You remember last video I made a distinction between the hair psychopath or the primary psychopath and the collective psychopath.

Some psychopaths are capable of empathy and emotion. They are known emotions. They are known as secondary psychopaths and these are the psychopaths whose lives are utterly disordered.

Female secondary psychopaths probably what we call today border lines.

Primary psychopaths are much more goal-oriented and some of them are career-oriented.

So about three to five percent of chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies have been diagnosed a psychopath by the team of hair and baby arc.

As an example, while secondary psychopaths would tend to end up in prison for example, they're over-represented among prisoners, primary psychopaths would tend to become pillars of the community or to reach the top of their profession.

So there's a distinction between primary and secondary psychopaths and there is a big debate what is the majority.

I think if we take into account all the parameters, emotional dysregulation, mood-lability, dysregulated grandiosity, impairment in reality testing, etc, and of course the over-representation of secondary psychopaths among a big segment of a population, the majority of population, women, I think it's safe to say that most psychopaths are actually secondary, not primary.

And the primary psychopaths are much more rare, much more goal-oriented, much more machine-like, much more device-like and unhampered by empathy and by emotions.


Let's revert to the narcissist.

The narcissist is dependent on and addicted to fluctuating narcissistic supply.

The narcissist's life is mood, a volatile.

The classic narcissist maintains an island of stability, as I said, while all other dimensions of his existence wallow in chaos and unpredictability.

And the borderline narcissist reacts to instability in one area of his life by introducing actually chaos and instability into all the others.

Now let's expound a bit about these counterintuitive notions.

First of all, we need to debunk yet another myth, which is propagated online by academics who discovered yesterday that there are experts on narcissism because there's a lot of money in the field, and by victims who decided that they are experts on narcissism because they were married to a narcissist for a while.

So let's ignore these characters and their misinformation, and let's look at academic literature, scholarly literature, written and compiled by real experts who are never to be found on YouTube.

So is the narcissist characterized by simultaneous instabilities in all the important aspects of his life?

And the answer is that the narcissist is a person who derives his ego and his ego functions from other people's reactions to an image that he invents and that he projects.

By now, all of you know this, and this image is called the false self. The false self is a contraption. It's a mechanism to extract narcissistic supply from other people.

And since no absolute control of the quantity and quality of narcissistic supply is possible, narcissistic supply fluctuates. It's exactly like the supply of drugs. You can never really regulate it. It's a bit illicit. It's a bit unadmitted. It's a bit under the radar.

So the narcissist cannot really control, does not force it. He cannot turn on and off narcissistic supply. He is totally dependent on his sources.

In the narcissist's view of himself and of his world, they are correspondingly and equally volatile. They fluctuate together with the supply up and down.

As public opinion ebbs and flows, so do the narcissist's self-confidence. He is utterly dependent for his self-esteem. Sense of self-worth is utterly dependent on other people to regulate.

So he cannot regulate his sense of self-worth and self-esteem from inside.

In other words, the very self of the narcissist is, to use a Jungian term, not constellated.

Even the narcissist's convictions are subject to a never-ending process of vetting by others.

And the most recent work on narcissism in academia, in the university and so on, is that the processes of ego congruence and ego discrepancy actually control the narcissist.

The narcissist strives to achieve ego congruence. He strives to become what used to be called egosyntonic. He attempts to feel comfortable with himself, to feel good with himself, to wake up in the morning and say, oh, I like myself.

But he always fails. He always fails because there are massive ego discrepancies built into the narcissist's psychology. Massive gaps, what I call the grandiosity gap, massive gaps between the narcissist's view of himself as ideal, perfect, brilliant, etc.

In other words, the narcissist's grandiosity or what Freud called the ego ideal and the reality of the narcissist where he is very often perceived to be a buffoon or a fool, fool of himself, fool, something.

So the narcissistic personality is unstable in each and every one of its dimensions. It is the ultimate hybrid. It's rigidly amorphous, devoutly flexible, reliant for its sustenance on the opinion of people.

And the worst thing is the narcissist devalues these people. He considers himself superior to the very sources, to the very people who regulate his internal environment. He is crucially dependent on people in order to feel alive, to feel good with himself, to function. He's crucially dependent on people, but he hates them. He hates them. He detests them. He holds them in content.

And this is a dissonance that the narcissist can never resolve. And a large part of this instability is subsumed under the narcissist's emotional involvement prevention measures.

These are a set of behaviors and traits and psychodynamics that prevent the narcissist from getting emotionally involved with anyone or anything.

Narcissist is like a tourist, like a computer generated spectator if you wish. He is watching the movie of his life. He is both the actor and the director, but you know, it's a movie and he knows it's a movie.

The narcissist's liability is so ubiquitous, so dominant, that it might as well be described as the only stable feature of the narcissist's personality.

In other words, if you want to be a bit cute, we could say that the narcissist's only stable feature is his instability. This only predictable facet is his unpredictability.

But we will come to a caveat, a caveat that we mentioned before. The narcissist does everything with one goal in mind, to attract, to obtain, to secure a constant flow of narcissistic supply.

Narcissistic supply is essentially attention. It could be positive attention, admiration, adulation, applause, affirmation. It could be negative attention. To be feared is much better than to be ignored.

And an example of this kind of behavior, the narcissist may study a given subject diligently in great depth in order to impress people later with this newly acquired irreducible.

But having served its purpose, the narcissist lets this knowledge that he had acquired with great effort and labor and toil, he lets this knowledge evaporate. The narcissist maintains a sort of short-term cell or warehouse just in time manufacturing where he stores whatever may come handy in the pursuit of narcissistic supply.

But he is almost never really interested in what he does, never really invested in what he studies, never really there or present in his own experiences.

We say, where's the word, cathexis?

The narcissist is never cathexed. There's no cathexis. He's not, he's much more of an observer. From the outside, this might be perceived as instability.

But think about it this way. The narcissist is constantly preparing for some kind of exam. Life hands him exams all the time. And he feels that he's on a permanent trial. Anyone who has read Dasein, the trial by Franz Kafka understands what I'm talking about. It's like you're always on trial. You just don't know who is the tribunal, who are the judges and what is the charge, but you're on trial.

And this is the narcissist's sadistic super ego or inner critic or whatever you want to call it. So it is common to forget materials studied only in preparation for an exam or for a court appearance. We all do this.

And this is how the narcissist views his life. There's a series of disconnected episodes, which are temporary and transient in nature and have nothing in common. There's no connecting thread. There's no continuity.

It has a lot to do with the fact that the narcissist is highly dissociative. Short term memory is perfectly normal, even in healthy people.

But what sets the narcissist apart is the fact that with the narcissist, this short termism, this shortness is a constant state of affairs. He has only short term memory and he has only short term goals. And he thinks only, I mean, he thinks only in the shorter, everything is short. It's like life ends at his nose, the point of his nose. I mean, there's no horizon and it affects all these functions, not only the functions directly related to learning or to emotions or to experience or to any single dimension of his life or to love.

How can you love someone if she can disappear any minute? If there is no object constancy, if there is no perpetuity, if there is no continuity, if everything is disconnected and kaleidoscopic and nightmarish and, you know, how can you attach? How can you bond? How can you love? How can you experience anything meaningful? How can you have meaning in your life?

And so the narcissist learns, remembers, forgets, not in line with his real interests or hobbies, because he has none.

Because he has none. He loves and hates not the real subjects of his emotions because he has none.

There's only one dimension, utilitarian, cartoons constructed by him, Potemkin villages. Everything is a facade. There's no three dimensions, only two. It's a painting.

Narcissist life is a painting, not a sculpture, let alone an organism. Narcissist judges, praises, condense, expresses opinions, opinionates, whatever, all from the narrowest possible point of view, the potential to extract narcissistic supply.

So the narcissist doesn't ask what I can do with the world or what I can do in the world. But he asks, what can the world do for him as far as narcissistic supply?

Narcissist falls in and out of love with people, with workplaces, with residences, with vocations, with hobbies, with interests, because they all seem to be able to provide more or less narcissistic supply for no other reason. If they can provide supply, he's in love. They can't provide supply. They don't exist. They don't exist.

And so this lack of object constancy, which is internal is also externalized. Any partner, any intimate partner of a narcissist would tell you that this is absolutely mind-bending, how the narcissist can intensely focus and love, seem to love his spouse or his children, only within the span of five minutes or five hours or five days, absolutely lose all interest in them, as though they were less than strangers, non-entities, transparent.


See, it's important to understand that as opposed to psychopaths, because what I've described until now applies also to psychopaths for different reasons.

Psychopaths are not interested in narcissistic supply.

Primary psychopaths are goal-oriented. And secondary psychopaths are motivated by negative emotionality, such as envy or vengefulness or rage, externalizing rage or anger, etc.

But both these categories, the narcissist and the secondary psychopaths, at this stage of the description, fit. That's how the psychopath experiences his, the secondary psychopath, experiences his or her world.

But here they diverge. Here, I'm going to delineate the differences between the secondary psychopath and the narcissist, between the borderline and the narcissist.

Narcissists as opposed to psychopaths belong to two broad categories, compensatory stability and the enhancing stability types.

Let's start with the classic narcissist.

Classic narcissists are all display compensatory stability. What do I mean?

These narcissists, the classic narcissist, the overt narcissist, they concentrate on one or more, but never most aspects of their lives. And they make these aspects stable. They stabilize these aspects, but they do not really invest themselves. Don't misunderstand. It's not like they are committed. There's no commitment in the narcissist's life. There's no commitment, of course, in the psychopath's life. They may imitate and emulate commitment. They may even persevere for very long periods of time, but there's no real emotional commitment. There's no emotions.

But then they stabilize. They make certain things stable and this stability is maintained by and both with artificial means.

So they bribe people around them to stay with them money or they become famous and celebrity buys them some stability or they acquire power. And then of course they have a coterie of psychophants and so on around them.

Celebrity has fans or they pursue dreams or they use fear to want to intimidate people and to deter them or to. So whatever the means are, the end result is that the narcissist creates stable islands, stable ambience, stable environments, not so the psychopath by the way, only the narcissist.

And these classic narcissists also believe that their oft demonstrated uniqueness and superiority guarantee the unwavering loyalty and longevity of their sources of supply.

A typical example is a narcissist who changes numerous workplaces, switches between workplaces all the time. He has a few careers, myriad hobbies, value systems. He is a Marxist one year. The next year is a liberal. The next year is a conservative. I mean, president of the United States comes to mind. He changes faiths. I don't know. He converts to Islam. At the same time, this narcissist maintains, preserves a relationship with a single woman and even remains faithful to her.

It's another myth online that narcissists are necessarily adulterous, that they necessarily cheat.

If the island of stability is the woman, the spouse, the intimate partner, cheating is actually very rare, owing to abandonment, anxiety. She is this island of stability and to fulfill this role, she just needs to be there for him physically, not to abandon him within the shared fantasy.

I encourage you to watch my previous videos where I described the whole process of shared fantasy, mothering, and so on and so forth. The narcissist is dependent upon his woman to maintain the stability which he lacks in all other areas of his life.

And so he uses his spouse or intimate partner in this example to compensate for the instability, for example, in his career. Or he can use his career to compensate for the instability in his private life.

This happens a lot with policemen, for example, cops. Cops have this. Their career is pretty stable, but, you know, their marriages disintegrate. Same with medical doctors.

And yet emotional closeness is bound to threaten the narcissist. And so he's actually likely to distance himself from the intimate partner to remain a kind of detached and indifferent to most of her basic needs.

And in some cases, the narcissist realizes this. And in order to not lose this island of stability, he makes arrangements which allow his intimate partner to outsource her sexual and emotional needs from other men, from other people. So we have open relationships, polyamory, open marriages. They have increased dramatically over the past two decades.

Today, for example, three and a half percent of all household arrangements are open marriages where the partners are allowed to seek other six other six partners. So is this a coincidence that the rise in such arrangements, the rise in the number and frequency in incidents and prevalence of such arrangements went hand in hand with the rise in incidents and prevalence of narcissism?

I don't think it's a coincidence. I think as narcissists grew up, because, you know, narcissism erupted and exploded with the baby boomers as they aged and so on, arrangements such as open relationships and open marriages became much more common.

At any rate, there's always a stable island and surrounded by a vertigo, by a vortex, by a maelstrom, by a storm, perfect storm in all other fields of life.

And despite this cruel emotional treatment of the narcissist, he considers for example, with intimate partner, he considers her to be a point of exit, a form of sustenance, exit strategy, a fountain of empowerment.

And this mismatch between what he wishes to receive, what he's able to give, the narcissist prefers to deny, repress and bury deep in his conscious, unconscious.

And by the way, this is why a narcissist is always shocked and devastated to learn of his wife's estrangement in fidelity or intentions to divorce. He's possessed of no emotional depth. He is completely one track-minded. He cannot fathom the needs of others. He cannot empathize. Even when he does reach, when he does make arrangements to allow his intimate partner to cater to his needs outside the dyad, he still doesn't really grasp it emotionally.

It's more like a business or transaction. And of course, I'm focusing on this type of island of stability, but the workplace could be an island of stability. The country could be an island of stability. A political party could be an island of stability, the church, charitable organization, one's siblings, one's children, one's parents, whatever it is.

And when I mentioned the workplace, this may be even more common. It's the career narcissist.

Most narcissists actually marry, divorce and remarry with dizzying speed. Everything in the narcissist's life is in constant flux, friends, emotions, judgments, values, beliefs, places of residence, affiliations, hobbies. When it's taken to extreme, for example, in borderline, in secondary psychopaths, this is known as identity diffusion. There's no clear core of identity.

But in the case of the career narcissist, the only thing that is stable, predictable, is his work, his career, his work, his workplace, his career path, his professional horizon, his commitment to his profession, his erudition, the depth of his knowledge, skills acquired. All these are, they comprise an island of compensating stability in his otherwise mercurial existence.

And this kind of narcissist is dogged by unmitigated ambition and devotion. He's absolutely compulsive and obsessive. He perseveres in one workplace or one job, patiently, persistently. He blindly climbs up the corporate ladder and he treads the career path. He would also tend to be callous and relentless and indecent a bit psychopathic. And he would hurt other people on the way to the top.

In his pursuit of job fulfillment and achievements, this kind of narcissist is ruthless, unscrupulous, very often successful.

It's an open question whether what baby I can hear and others identify as a primary psychopath is not actually a narcissist who is a career narcissist, a goal-oriented narcissist. It's an open question because with primary psychopaths, grandiosity is so massively emphasized. It's such an important determinant of the disorder that perhaps there's this place to consider fusing or merging these two and perhaps making a single personality disorder with a psychopathic emphasis and narcissistic emphasis or psychopathic style, narcissistic style or psychopathic overlay and narcissistic overlay.


So this is the first kind of narcissist. The narcissist with compensatory stability, instability everywhere and one island of stability.

And then there's another type and that's the borderline narcissist first described by Kernberg actually. The borderline narcissist displays a different kind of behavior and I call it enhancing instability. This other kind of narcissist, the borderline narcissist, which I think would merge and fuse with the secondary psychopath.

So you're beginning to see that one type, the compensatory stability narcissist is very, very similar to the psychopath and the primary psychopath and the borderline, the enhancing instability narcissist would be very similar to the secondary psychopath.

What am I talking about? So this kind of narcissist, the borderline narcissist, the enhancing instability narcissist, he enhances instability in one aspect or dimension of his life by introducing unpredictability and chaos in others.

And so for example, if such analysis, resigns or made redundant, fired. So he would immediately also relocate to another city or move out of the country. It's like, I lost my job. There's an island of instability here, instability.

Yes. This part is not stable. I'm going to chaos. I'm going to disorder. I'm going to destabilize, destabilize all other dimensions of my life. I lost my job. I'm going to divorce my wife and I'm going to move out of the country or to another state. I divorced my wife. I'm going to leave my position with the company. I'm going to find, I'm going to, I'm going to, I'm going to go fishing for two years or to a monastery in Tibet.

So when they experience instability in one dimension or realm or field or area of their lives, it has a ripple effect and they initiate instability in other parts of their lives. And this added instability gives this type of narcissist the feeling that all the dimensions of his life are changing simultaneously, that he's being unshackled, free, free spirit, that your transformation is in progress. And most importantly, that he's in control of this transformation. It's of course an illusion. Those who know the narcissist no longer trust his frequent conversions, decisions, crises, transformations, developments and periods, his schemes, his plans, his he's a big manic at this stage. Theymost people see through the pretensions of such a narcissist, his protestations, his solemn declarations. They see into the core of his instability. They know that he is not to be relied upon. They know that they know that with narcissists, transience is the only permanence.

But enhancing instability, narcissists, which are essentially borderline because they have dysregulated emotions, they have a mood liability, they lack of impulse control, they're very frequently defiant.

So they're like secondary psychopaths. They say if change, then total change. If one thing changes, I want everything to change.

They, and this narcissist hate routine, they hate the pedestrian, they hate, they hate the mundane, they hate their repetitive.

They, when an asset like this finds himself doing the same things over and over again, he gets bored and depressed. He has a low boredom threshold, which is also typical of psychopaths. This kind of narcissist oversleeps, over eats, over drinks, in general engages in addictive, impulsive, reckless and compulsive behaviors. And this is his way of reintroducing risk, thrills and excitement into what he emotionally perceives to be a barren life.

He seeks adventures.

The problem is that even the most exciting and varied existence becomes routine after a while, living in the same country, in the same apartment, social distancing, living in the same apartment, meeting the same people, doing essentially the same things, even if the content changes, sleeping with the same person, all these qualify the eye of a narcissist as incarceration, start defying rote, rote, something that drags him down, that shackles him, that prevents him from expressing himself, constricts his life.

He hates constriction, he hates restrictions, he hates constraints, he hates rules, he hates all these things. And he feels entitled, he feels it is his right, due to his intellectual, physical superiority, he has the right to lead a thrilling, rewarding, kaleidoscopic life. He wants to force life itself, or at least people in his life, to yield to his wishes and his needs.

And supreme among these needs is stimulation, variety, diversity.

So these are kind of narcissists who are likely to cheat on their wives or husbands, just because it's fun, just because they want to taste something else, something new, just because of the variety.

Even if a relationship is wonderful, and the sex in the relationship, in the primary relationship, is wonderful. Even if the wife has the most amazing sex with the husband, still most amazing sex with the husband, and love flourishes there, and he adores her, she would still sleep with other men. She would sleep with other men, just to taste, to sample the menu.

And this rejection of habit is part of a larger pattern of aggressive entitlement.

The narcissist feels, this narcissist, this kind of narcissist, the borderline narcissist, feels that the very existence of a sublime intellect or a gorgeous body, such as his or hers, they warrant concessions, they warrant allowances by others.

And so a woman would tend to be histrionic, hyper-emotional and seductive, and a man would tend to be grandiose and cerebral, in some cases. Or, I don't know, bodybuilding, muscle-bound, brawn machine, in other cases.

So standing in line, standing in line, for example, is a waste of time. It is better spent pursuing knowledge, inventing great and benefiting humanity.

The narcissist should avail himself of the best medical treatment, preferred by the most prominent medical authorities, lest the precious asset that is the narcissist, this narcissist, is lost to mankind. He should not be bothered with trivial pursuits, with details. Details are lowly functions, and lowly functions are best assigned to the less gifted, to the inferior sheep, the devil is in paying precious attention to detail.

Entitlement is sometimes justified, if you are a Picasso or an Einstein. But few narcissists are a Picasso or an Einstein.

Most narcissists' achievements are grotesquely incommensurate with their overwhelming sense of entitlement and with their grandiose self-image.

And of course, this overpowering sense of superiority often serves to mask and compensate for a cancerous complex of inferiority.

Moreover, the narcissist infects others, is contagious, infects others, with his projected grandiosity. And their feedback constitutes the edifice on which he constructs his self-esteem.

Narcissist, this not-narcissist, regulates his sense of self-worth by rigidly insisting that he is above the madding crowd while deriving his narcissistic supply from the very madding crowd, from the very people he holds in deep content, as I said before.

And so this abhorrence of the predictable has to do with emotional involvement prevention measures that I mentioned before. Despising routine, avoiding the day-to-day, the quotidian. It's one of these mechanisms.

If you avoid routine, if you avoid the repetitive and the rotten, and you're avoiding life, this is life. Life is made of these things, of rituals. Life is made of rituals, the morning coffee, the first phone call, the kiss to your spouse. I mean, these are all repetitive, routine rituals, but they're the foundations upon which we build our sense of well-being.

Their function is important, and the narcissist is trying to prevent himself from getting emotionally involved in these things.

And so narcissists commonly have an approach, avoidance, repetition, compulsion.

At first, the narcissist fears and loathes the day-to-day reality, routine, intimacy, stability, security.

But at the same time, he craves them. Everyone does, everyone, everyone does, even psychopaths. Everyone wants once in a while to put his head on a pillow and just to relax, to be able to relax.

But there's a dissonance there. So the narcissist approaches and then avoids significant others or important tasks or places or institutions in a rapid succession of apparently inconsistent and disconnected styles.


So to summarize this part, there's a narcissist, there's one type of narcissist who has one island of stability, marriage, career, whatever, friends, church, one island, a place of residence, one island of stability, everything around is a mess, chaos, mainstream.

And there's another type of narcissist who, when any part of his life is destabilized, teetering, changing, transformed, he immediately introduces instability, unpredictability and chaos into all other parts of his life.

These are the two types.

Now, substance and appearance play a crucial role in the narcissistic pathology.

And many people say that, many scholars say that psychopathy is a form of narcissistic pathology and that borderline definitely is a form of narcissistic pathology.

So all cluster B, including histrionic, they all seem to be essentially narcissistic pathologies.

And so what is narcissism?

It's the tension, the dissonance, the contrast, the war between appearance and reality, substance and spectacle.

And so why do some narcissists end up being overachievers, pillars of the community, accomplished professionals, especially psychopathic narcissists, while their brethren, other narcissists, fade into obscurity, having done little of note with their lives.

Why is there, what determines whether a narcissist is a success story, and many of them are, and or a collapsed narcissist, a failure, or even a covert narcissist. A covert narcissist, a narcissist who anticipates failure.

There seems to be two types of narcissists. Those who derive ample narcissistic supply from near appearances, from facades, from visage, from pulling the wool over people's eyes. They are con artists, they're fraudsters at heart.

And there are those whose narcissistic supply consists of doing really substantial deeds, of acting agent, of making a difference, and of creating and producing things of value. Yes, narcissists do that.

The former aim appearances, facade, Potemkin village, you know, this, this kind of narcissist, he aims for celebrity. You know, the famous definition is celebrity is being famous for being famous.

And the other kind of narcissist, he aims for careers, preferably in the limelight. One of them is concerned with impression management, and the other is concerned with making an impression.

This making an impression with real achievements, real accomplishments, the celebrity narcissist has a short attention span. He rapidly cycles between idealization and devaluation of ideas, ventures, places, people. And this renders the celebrity narcissist unfit for teamwork, though energetic, manic, very often. This kind of narcissist is a slacker, is indolent, lazy. He prefers the path of least resistance and adheres to shoddy standards of production. His lack of work ethic can partly be attributed to his overpowering sense of entitlement, and to his magical thinking, both of which give rise to unrealistic expectations of effortless outcomes.

The life of the celebrity narcissist is chaotic, characterized by inconsistency, and by a dire lack of long term planning and commitment. He's not really interested in people, except in their roles as instruments of instant gratification, sources of narcissistic supply.

The celebrity narcissist is learning and he's a trend they're designed solely to impress, and therefore shallow and anecdotal. He's a pawn pretending to be a notion.

The actions of the celebrity narcissist are not geared toward creating works of lasting value. He's not interested in affecting change or making a difference.

All the celebrity narcissist cares about is attention, provoking and garnering attention, attention, attention in as copious quantities as possible.

Celebrity narcissist is therefore not above, lying, confabulating, plagiarizing and otherwise using shortcuts to obtain his fix.

Shortcuts, it's a narcissist.

The other strain of narcissist, the career narcissist, is conscientious, actually, is very concerned with leaving his mark and stamp on the world. He feels that he has a calling. Of course, like every narcissist, he believes that his calling is of cosmic significance. He aggrandizes, he inflates his calling, but he's busy reforming his environment, transforming his milieu, making a difference, producing and creating an oval opera of standing value. He's a grandiose idéphix, which he cathexes. He's emotionally invested in what he does.

To scale these lofty, self-infused peaks and to realize his pretty unrealistic goals, the career narcissist acts with unswirling passion and commitment. He plans and then he inexorably and ruthlessly implements his schemes and strategies. He's a workaholic in pursuit of glory and fame.

The career narcissist does not recoil from cutting the odd corner, preferring the occasional confabulation or absconding with the fruits of someone else's labor, exactly like the celebrity narcissist.

But while these amount to the entire history, biography, arsenal, modus operandi, exclusive modus operandi with the celebrity narcissist, all this plagiarism, confabulation, lying, all the celebrity narcissist does.

But in the case of the career narcissist, these are fringe activities, marginal auxiliary activities. The main weapon of the career narcissist is toil, investment, seriousness. The career narcissist is a natural-born leader.

When he is not a guru at the center of attention, he operates as first among equals in a team.

And this is where the difference between the celebrity narcissist and the career narcissist, these differences are most pronounced.

The career narcissist is pro-social. The relationships maintained by the celebrity narcissist are manipulative, exploitative, and ephemeral, passing, temporary.

The career narcissist, by contrast and comparison, by contradiction, is willing and able to negotiate, to compromise, to give and take, to motivate other people, to induce loyalty, to forge alliances, to create coalitions, to benefit from these teams or coalitions or alliances in the long term.

The long term, celebrity narcissist, short term, career narcissist, long term.

And it is this capacity to network that guarantees the career narcissist a place in common memory and an abiding reputation among his peers.


And so, you see, instability plays a role in the narcissist's life, in the psychopath's life, but it's not that simpleto generalize, as most people do online, by saying that narcissists are not stable, they cannot be trusted, they're not reliable, etc., etc. They're nuances, nuances and cues and distinctions to say otherwise, to say that all narcissists are unstable is black and white thinking. It's splitting. It's a narcissistic statement. Narcissists split. They have this infantile defense mechanism.

And all the victims, self-styled, real, imputed, fake, many of them fake, all the victims who paint the narcissist with a demonic black brush, they are acting narcissistically. They're doing exactly what narcissists do. Narcissists think of other people in terms of all good, all bad, all useful, all useless, all black, all white, dichotomous thinking.

So be careful there. Narcissists are human beings, very deficient, very deformed, very partial human beings, but they're still human beings. And human beings are by far the most complex creations ever, dwarfing the complexity of the universe.

To throw around generalizations, as people do, including self-styled experts, is not only irresponsible and misleading. It could be simply dangerous.

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