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So, What Is Narcissistic Abuse, After All? (with Kelly Brogan, MD)

Uploaded 2/11/2024, approx. 40 minute read

And at some stage a good mother pushes the child away, pushes him away, pushes the child away, allows the child to separate from her and to become an individual and acquire a person who, a mother who doesn't let this process unfurl and unfold creates narcissism, potentially, not in all cases, because the child then is unable to extricate itself and sees itself from the outside, which is a precondition for the formation of herself.

So here you are, you have children, two to four years old, in adult bodies and they are still stuck in a stage where they don't feel being seen from the outside. They don't feel, they don't experience the existence of other people. They've never separated and so they don't know how to separate and they don't recognize the separateness of other people.

So they are still in this symbiotic kind of womb and yet there is this innate drive to separate an individual.

So what they do, they pick up an intimate partner and they convert the intimate partner into a mother figure, maternal function, and then they reenact the whole process of separation and individuation with this maternal figure.

So the shared fantasy, this is called shared fantasy, it's not my turn, it was first described by Sander in 1989.

So the shared fantasy is not about being together, it's about separating.

Shared fantasy leads its goal, its culmination, its separation and then becoming an individual.

People think that the shared fantasy is about being together forever, merging, fusing, becoming one.

No, it's exactly the opposite.

The shared fantasy is about becoming two.

The narcissist is always in a condition of being one with everyone.

He is always merged and fused.

He wants to become two, not one.

He wants finally to separate and this is the role of the fantasy.

But you need to capture someone to collaborate, to collude into fantasy.

You need to somehow, you know, so how to do that?

You have to lure them.

You have to lure them and so on.

So the narcissist comes to you and offers you a fantasy.

First of all, the narcissist identifies whether you can provide the four, what I call the four S's. The four S's are sex, supply, sadistic or narcissistic, safety, constant presence, object constancy, constant presence and services. If you can provide two of the four, two of the four S's, you're in. Okay, you qualify and then the narcissist needs to capture you, to captivate you. And so narcissist offers you a deal. The deal is two stages, two phases. The first phase is known colloquially as love bombing. During the first phase, the narcissist idealizes you and then he grants you access to your idealized image through his gaze.

And so you fall in love with your own idealized image.

I call it the whole of mirror effect.

You fall in love with your own, you don't fall in love with the narcissist, you fall in love with the way the narcissist sees you.

You fall in love with the way the narcissist loves you.

It's so intense.

It's so focused on you.

You're so idealized.

You're hyper intelligent.

You can do no wrong.

You're perfect.

You're drop dead gorgeous.

It's a wonderful feeling.

It's flattering.

It's in other words, narcissistic supply.

It triggers in you your own narcissism.

And because it triggers in you your own narcissism, it also regresses you.

You become more infantile and more dependent on the narcissist.

So this is the first ingredient in the deal.

The second ingredient in the deal.

The narcissist exposes to you his childlike aspects.

He allows you to see him as a child.

And this triggers in you maternal instincts or reflexes.

Even if you're men, even if you're male, men also like babies, not only women.

So you fall in love with a child, which the narcissist is.

One could even say that to some extent, the narcissist grants you access to his catatonic, ossified true self.

And this provokes in you not only a maternalistic or reflex, but also a protective reflex.

You want to cuddle this child.

You want to revive this child, resuscitate it.

It's a bit religious.

It's a bit like Jesus with the resurrection.

I claim generally that narcissism is a form of private religion.

Anyhow.

What's an example, Sam, of how that would be induced?

That, yeah, that caretaking response on the part.

Not initially.

Initially, it's exactly the opposite.

Initially the narcissist comes to you and acts as an eternal figure.

Right.

Initially, the narcissist offers you to be your mother.

He's going to idealize you.

He's going to love you unconditionally.

He's going to regard you as perfect.

He's going to give you access to this view of yourself and thereby you become addicted.

That's initially.

And then once you're hooked, the narcissist says, okay, he takes you for granted now.

He says, okay, now I need you to act as my mother.

And the narcissist exposes to you his childlike features.

For example, his learned helplessness.

His learned helplessness.

His dependency on you.

His neediness.

In short, the codependent aspects of narcissism, which are very often ignored.

And then you're double hooked.

The narcissist becomes both your mother and your child.

And you become both mother and child to the narcissist.

And I call this the dual mothership.

It's a dual mothership structure.

And things proceed.

So now you idealize each other.

There's a process of co-idealization.

You idealize each other.

You are each other's mother and each other's child.

The bonding is tremendous.

There's nothing like it in a normal healthy relationship.

Nothing as intense and as profound as the bonding in a shared fantasy.

Do you think this is what's colloquially referred to as trauma bonding?

Do you think there's any utility in that phrase?

Trauma bonding is actually a self-harming reaction to this.

It's a self-harming reaction, but yes, it's an element.

Because this provokes self-harming later.

But it's an element, yes.

Trauma bonding is an element.

It's an addiction, actually.

But it's very intense, very profound.

Because it touches everything that is core.

It touches your narcissism.

It touches your childhood.

It touches your maternal instincts.

It touches your protective instincts.

It triggers everything in you.

And you're hooked.

Now that you are each other's mothers, the narcissist can proceed.

He doesn't do so consciously.

It's not premeditated.

It's not evil.

He's not wicked.

This is psychopaths.

People confuse psychopaths with narcissists.

Now the narcissist proceeds.

Because now you are his mother.

All the old childhood templates are re-invoked.

They come alive.

The narcissist has had a single experience of interacting with a mother.

So now he takes this experience and applies it to you.

Now you are his mother.

And he goes through the motions of being your child in a desperate attempt to separate from you.

Because that's what children do with mothers. They separate from you and become an individual.

But in this particular case, it's a problem because you've been idealized.

How do you separate from an ideal object that is irrational?

But there's another problem here. It's a challenge to grandiosity.

Because if I need to separate from you and you are an ideal object, it means I've been wrong about you somehow. I misjudge you somehow.

Otherwise, why would I want to be free of you?

Somebody's wrong.

So the narcissist needs therefore to convert you from an ideal object to a persecretary object, to an enemy.

And having done that, he can devalue you and discard you.

And that's the only way to separate from you.

You cannot remain an idealized object. You must become something lesser, a devalued version of yourself, to allow the narcissist to separate from you.

And that's the end of the Shetland fantasy, more or less in a nutshell.

It's much more complex than this.

But in a nutshell, that's the end of the Shetland fantasy.

Narcissist separates from you by discarding you and devaluing you and discarding you.

He remains stuck with a persecretary object of you in his mind.

And this leads much later to compulsion to regain you somehow, to re-idealize you.

And this is known as hoovering.

But these are the basic mechanisms.

And so the intimate partner typically is the one to end these relationships, I think, right?

Where you've seen that they are induced to become almost the abuser to facilitate the rupture of the relationship.

And I've heard you say that mourning that and of the shared fantasy is in its own way remaining in the shared fantasy.

So can you speak a little bit to how the denouement of this kind of relationship and how it typically -- Because the shared fantasy is such a profound, the word is profound.

It's a replay of early childhood processes, dynamics and mechanisms.

It's utterly, you know.

So because it's so profound and so on, the grief is equally profound.

And it's multiple grief.

In the wake of the shared fantasy, whether you were the one to dump the narcissist or vice versa.

The wake of the shared fantasy, you're mourning your child, which is a narcissist.

You're mourning yourself, of course.

You've been hurt.

You're in pain.

So you're mourning yourself.

You're mourning the child.

You're mourning the fantasy.

The fantasy is a narrative with future aspects or future elements.

You know, we're going to have a family.

We're going to have three children and this and that.

So you're mourning this vision of the future, which for a very long time energized you and gave meaning to your life and organized it.

And suddenly you find yourself in outer space, deep chaos, lacking direction and purpose.

So you're mourning this.

You're mourning what the relationship could have become, taking into account your investment and so on and so forth.

And the good aspects of the narcissism.

There's many things on narcissism that you do like.

So you're mourning this potential, this lost potential.

But I think above all, the fact that you're mourning a lost child combined with the fact that you're mourning a lost you, mourning yourself.

This is absent in other breakups.

In other breakups, usually mourn the division that you've had together, which may have been fantastic or not.

Usually it's realistic, but may have been fantastic.

And you're mourning what could have been.

And that's bad enough.

Broken Heart Syndrome is real.

That's bad enough.

But imagine adding to that, mourning a child that you love with all your heart, the maternal experience and so on, and then mourning a lost identity, your identity.

Is what the narcissist does.

Is a process known as entraining.

The narcissist actually invades your mind, infiltrates your mind and installs there an app.

Think of yourself as a smartphone, installs an app.

And the app is the narcissist's voice, the introject of the narcissist.

And this app remains with you after the physical separation.

This voice remains in your head.

You keep talking to the narcissist and worse, worse still, the narcissist keeps talking to you.

This dialogue continues long after the breakup.

And so there is this to contend with.

It is this form of grief is potentially self negating and self annihilating.

So they've seriously bad outcomes.

It involves almost automatically complex trauma, emotional dysregulation, it provokes in many, in many victims.

It provokes narcissistic and psychopathic behaviors.

You change.

You feel that you've changed.

You feel that you're no longer the same and would never ever be the same, which is not true.

The prognosis is actually very good, especially with professional help.

But in the meantime, you have the feeling that you are damaged for good.

Or at the very least that you've changed forever.

And it's terrifying in a way because you are estranged.

There's a process called estrangement.

You're estranged.

You're alienated.

You don't feel good with yourself.

You don't feel that you know yourself, that you're comfortable with yourself.

You're ego, this tonic, you, you know, it's a horrible feeling.

You are not even sure who is doing the morning.

Who is, who's the one who's grieving?

Is it really you or is it the narcissist compelling you to grieve for him?

You feel a total externalized locus of control.

You feel that it all emanates from the outside.

You feel like a puppet, a puppet on a string.

You feel there's a puppet master regardless of his physical presence or absence.

He's still there.

And so you can never be sure what part is you and which part is him.

And which part is the fantasy, which may be still unfurling or unfolding in your head.

It's a total disorientation.

And I would compare it as far as experience goes, subjective experience.

I think I can compare it only to psychosis.

It's because in psychosis we have something called hyper-reflexivity.

It's kind of expansion of the self to include the world.

And here I think it's the same, the victim's self, so to speak, it's these are all metaphors.

Yes.

No one has ever captured a self in the laboratory, but the victim's self or sense of self expands to include the narcissist and to include the fantasy.

And when the narcissist is gone, the, the, the result is psychotic because the reality element is gone.

And what is left is the perception and the perception is definitely counterfactual, unrealistic.

That's a great definition of psychosis.

So what I'm trying to say is this in the wake of a relationship involving a narcissist and narcissistic abuse, I don't think you can overcome this by yourself.

I think you need help.

And another thing is you need to separate from the narcissist because you have been regressed to infancy.

You're an infant.

And so you need now, you need now to separate from the maternal figure, which is a narcissist and to individually, it's like back to back to square one.

It's like starting from scratch.

So learning to walk again after a horrible accident.

And it takes years.

The aftermath is horrible.

Takes years.

But the prognosis is good.

And I've heard you say that you feel it's an opportunity to learn self-love, to learn self-reclamation and to really develop self-relational intimacy that may not have otherwise been available absent the abusive experience in the romantic relationship.

So that there is this opportunity that is conferred by the challenges of that kind of dynamic should you have the right kind of support and will, interests, wherewithal, readiness that is unique.

It sounds like there is a lot of hope.

Why is that not the case for the identified narcissist?

Why is there not, in your opinion, this hope for redemption courtesy of the individuation opportunity that was created in the romantic experience, do you think?

Because the narcissist has nothing to go back to.

You have existed prior to the narcissist.

You have an institutional memory of your selfhood.

You have experienced how it feels to be you.

You have memory of how you conducted yourself when you were you.

And the support you get is simply to kind of regress you back to who you were before there.

So there's somewhere to go back to.

It's like refugees, war refugees.

The country is still there.

The war will end one day.

And you can go back.

The narcissist has nowhere to go back to and nothing to go back to.

To use the metaphors of truth and false.

The narcissist's trajectory of personal development as a child has been disrupted.

Consequently, the narcissist never formed a sense of selfhood and identity and some stable core.

So the narcissist can separate from the mother or from the maternal figure, but can never individuate.

The problem is not a separation.

Narcissists separate dozens of times in a lifetime.

They can never individuate.

Because to individuate, you need a relation with yourself.

Individuation is essentially defined, is an environmentally defined process.

So you individuate by internalizing the gaze of others.

Other people see you because they see you, you realize that you are being seen, that there is a you that is being seen.

So and this is a crucial facet.

So other people see you.

This creates a boundary and within the boundary you emerge, you become.

This is Lacan, by the way.

So but the narcissist doesn't have any element of this process, not a single one.

He cannot relate to other people as separate or external.

So their gaze is meaningless.

It's an internal gaze.

And he doesn't have a self.

Nothing can emerge.

He doesn't do object relations.

So he has no relationships.

He has no relational experience.

Narcissists don't have it.

They are all existing.

And so the narcissist is doomed to remain stuck in this emptiness, in this black hole and to desperately attempt time and again to separate an individual, to separate an individual and accumulate a library of idealized and devalued introjects, snapshots of his intimate partners and friends and so on.

Just to be clear, the shared fantasy is applicable to all the narcissist's relationships, not on the internet, not only romantic.

The narcissist does exactly the same thing with a good friend or with a boss or with a role model or with a teacher.

It's the same.

It's all shared fantasy.

And you see, even your question includes the implication or the underlying assumption that there is somebody there.

Why can't he?

There's no he.

Language breaks in the face of narcissism.

Simply breaks.

We have so few of us have had the experience of not being, perhaps with the exception of some gurus in India or something.

And ironically, this is considered to be something to aspire to in certain mystical and religious traditions.

Nothingness, the not being.

Well, narcissists are there already and it sucks.

So you may wish to reconsider some mystical teachings.

Is it the case that you have identified with this kind of a label personally?

And if that's true, how has that informed your perspective that there isn't a maturational road, there isn't an evolution, there isn't a dimension of self insight that can develop?

I've been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder twice.

It's pretty safe to assume that I am a narcissist.

However, I spent the last 30 years studying the topic and working with well over 2000 people with an NPD, narcissistic personality disorder.

And all these people had to prove to me that they're not comorbid.

So these are people who have only narcissistic personality disorder.

They're not borderline or antisocial or whatever.

So these are the pure unadulterated cases of narcissism diagnosed by diagnostician.

And so I work with well over 2000 of these, 2200 by now.

And so I think everything I'm saying is not based on personal experience.

Actually I'm an adulterated type because I have narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.

So it would be bad practice as far as I'm concerned to look to introspect and derive anyinsight.

No, everything I'm saying is based on essentially research.

I'm not aware of any study which comprises 2000 narcissists.

I think it's the biggest database in the world as far as I know.

So I feel pretty confident in saying what I'm saying.

Now I've used, I'm also eclectic.

I'm accused of trying to revive psychoanalysis with what?

Object relations.

That is expressly untrue.

I use tools wherever they come handy.

So I use internal family system.

I use transactional analysis.

I use psychoanalysis.

I use object relations course.

So I use, I don't see.

I think it's idiotic to prescribe and to say psychoanalysis.

No, you should never ever mention psychoanalysis.

There's absolutely nothing to learn to psychoanalysis, which is what they teach in Harvard and this kind of school.

If you dare to mention psychoanalysis, you're done.

You're dead.

It's idiotic.

Simply idiotic.

And it all has to do with the pretension to science.

We are scientists.

We don't do psychoanalysis.

We do laboratories.

We do white coats.

We do statistics.

We don't do psychoanalysis.

There's a minor problem with psychology.

The raw material, the raw material is mutable, unstable.

You can never replicate and experiment in psychology.

Period.

The replication crisis in psychology is not incidental.

And not the outcome of bad practice.

It's the raw materials to be.

You simply cannot replicate experiments with the same person, let alone with, you know, because the experiment changes the person.

It's exactly like quantum mechanics.

We cannot observe an electron because when we try to observe an electron, the light particle that we send in order to observe the electron deflects the electron.

So it's no longer the same electron.

So but I think we can generalize.

We can observe.

We can describe.

We can capture in the equivalent of literature many insights about human existence.

Because we do have a lot in common.

I think human beings have a lot in common.

And we can try to somehow nail down this commonality.

And the key is language, not statistics.

Many many psychologists think that if they do statistics, they are scientists.

I have a PhD in physics.

That is science.

Psychology is not.

But physics cannot capture the commonality of pain and love and grief and the emptiness inside a narcissist or a borderline language can.

And so we need to.

Reconcieve of psychology is literature.

I think then we'll be much more useful to our patients and our colleagues and the community at large.

Yeah, I couldn't agree more.

So, I wonder in closing, Sam, if there are any red flags that you think are worth paying attention to, learning in terms of the dynamic relationships that, you know, individuals might engage with those expressing a narcissistic pattern.

Not because I believe in, you know, victims per se, but because I believe that it could generate even more self-awareness when we recognize we're a match for this kind of experience.

And I think so much of what you've articulated today has it.

I know that it will serve in this self-awareness and self-discovery process for those who have otherwise identified as victims of narcissistic abuse.

And I like to say that suffering ends where meaning begins.

So if you can find meaning in these experiences, you're necessarily learning more about yourself.

So what might be, you know, Cosmopolitan magazine red flags, you know, like 10 red flags or this kind of dynamic and looking out for it.

You've described some, including the nature of the love bombing in the beginning that is to be distinguished from just run of the mill, falling in love.

What else might you suggest?

Before I go Cosmopolitan on you, victimhood, identity victimhood is a form of narcissism.

Right.

I've heard you say that.

That is not somebody.

These are studies by Gabay and others in Israel, studies in British Columbia.

There's a growing body of studies that shows that victimhood can be used as a manipulative tool.

It's a form of entitlement and it involves covert narcissism at the very least.

It's a form of virtual signaling and so on.

Okay.

That aside, because I have many videos dedicated to this.

Just ask yourself, who is the narcissist?

Narcissists subsist in fantasy.

They reject reality.

So in your initial interactions with the narcissist, is he down to earth? Is he grounded or is he a dreamer? Is he a fantasizer? Is it?

That's a warning sign.

Narcissists have no object constancy. They fear abandonment and separation.

So is he being controlling? Does he micromanage you? And I'm not talking about two years into the relationship. I'm talking about the first date.

The first date, does he take the keys from you and locks your door? Does he drive the car? Does he decide which restaurant to go to? Does he interrogate you after you've powdered your nose? Does he select the food and so on and so forth?

Control, signals of control.

First, narcissist idealizes you, but at the same time he holds everyone else in contempt.

If you see a discrepancy between the way the narcissist is treating you and the narcissist is treating other people, on a first date he shouts at the waiter, he humiliates the cab driver or the Uber driver. They're not, but he treats you as a queen or as a princess.

It's a serious warning sign.

This is known as splitting.

It's a serious warning sign.

The alacrity, the speed is unusual.

Narcissists would offer you cohabitation on the first date if he's slow.

Family of the second date and you would have three children by the third.

The speed is outlandish and indicative of a pathology because he needs to secure.

He's compulsive.

You feel the compulsion.

It's not desperation.

It's compulsion.

It's utterly, you know, so there's a lot of energy, too much energy.

Next are the speech patterns.

Does he talk about himself incessantly and shuts you down whenever you try to speak? Or it's one variant and the other variant, does he keep utterly silent and kind of sponges information off you as if he were constructing some criminal file, some police, as if this were some kind of police interrogation.

So either too voluble and too verbose or totally silent.

These are two warning signs.

The typical conversation is 50/50.

These are warning signs.

Next, how intense is he? He's interested in you.

It's normal on a date, but does he go too deep, too soon? Does he try to somehow fulfill a role like a guru, a teacher, a father, an insightful genius, all this on the first date?

Now, why do I keep saying all this on the first date? Because people lie to themselves and they say the narcissist is a great actor.

And so he pulled the wall over my eyes. He deceived me.

It took me months to realize who he truly is.

The mask fell only after two years.

That's utter nonsense.

All the warning signs and red alerts are there within the first five minutes.

It even has a name.

This is called the uncanny valley reaction.

In 1970, there was a roboticist.

A Japanese, of course.

How else?

The roboticist's name was Masahiro Mori.

Masahiro Mori described a very interesting phenomenon.

The more a robot resembles a human being, the more android a robot is, the less comfortable people feel in the robot's presence.

And this is known as uncanny valley reaction.

And can it was a phrase coined by Freud, actually.

So when you are with a narcissist, you have an uncanny valley reaction because a narcissist is exactly this.

It's a programmed robot, which is very android.

Is a great simulation of a human being.

But there's something off key.

There's something off note.

There's something wrong.

It's not put together to perfection.

And you react with an uncanny valley reaction.

But you suppress the reaction.

You deny it.

Because I don't know, you're lonely.

And finally, you're dating after two years.

And you want it to be a success.

Or because you doubt yourself.

You have what we call autoplastic defenses.

You fail with so many guys in terms of, it's probably my fault.

I'm too something.

I'm too critical.

I'm too this.

I'm too that.

This is wrong.

Pay attention to your intuition and gut instinct.

They are right 90% of the time when it comes to other people.

By the way, the rate of intuition is right only 50% of the time, generally speaking.

But when it comes to people, it's right 90% of the time.

Believe, trust yourself.

If you feel that something's wrong, if you feel that something is off key, if you feel that this guy or this girl, they are like a simulation.

They are put together well.

They resemble people, human beings.

But there's something wrong there.

Just go away.

Run.

Cut it out and just walk away.

You have to trust yourself.

You have all the information you need within minutes.

When two people meet, they exchange a molecule, a smell, it's equivalent to a smell molecule, not exactly a smell molecule, it's equivalent to a smell molecule.

The molecule contains well over 100 elements of information about the genetic makeup of the other person, the immunological system of the other person, and many other things, about 100.

Stress when you first time that you meet, and if you're separated by 100 meters or shorter.

Imagine how much information is exchanged once you have had a conversation, or once you've been able to observe the behavior of the person, the way he interacts with other people.

Unexpected situations stresses something goes wrong, something goes right.

Is he too illate and grandiose when something goes right?

Attribute takes the credit, attributed to himself.

Or is he rageful?

Is he frustrated visibly and volubly when something goes wrong?

Does he take it out on other people?

Does he constantly blame other people?

When he talks about his job, does he complain of being discriminated against, overlooked, and so on?

Pay attention, simply.

All the information you need is on the first date.

Anything that happens afterwards is your choice and decisions.

You're an adult, and you should pay the price for your choices and decisions.

The consequences of your actions are yours, and yours only.

No one else is to blame, and if you do blame others, and if you split the narcissist is demonic and you're an age-old, you'll become a narcissist, because that's what narcissists do.

Right.

So profound.

Thank you so much for this handed hour, and so such a clear framework for us to work with not only, again, just the point that you just made, for understanding patterns of human behavior that we see all over, whether that's clinically or socioculturally, but also as a call and invitation to take personal responsibility for our relational experiences as we might otherwise identify as victims and engage in the self-same psychology.

That's the main takeaway.

Yeah, the mirroring.

The main takeaway is this.

Yeah, and you've depicted that with tremendous clarity.

So thank you.

Thank you very much.

And I'd love for you to share any resources or support that you offer to people who are finding themselves in this realm.

I have a YouTube channel.

Now, in the description part of each and every video, there's literature, a literature section, so you may wish to proceed on your own.

There are well over 1,400 videos.

They're divided into playlists.

So each playlist is thematic.

And that's the most I could do to help you to navigate your way around this resource.

So I think a big resource.

I mean, one day in the morning.

Absolutely.

I would absolutely agree.

It's about 1,000 hours a video.

So I don't think there's much more I can say than I have in Sidorain.

That's perfect.

Well, I appreciate you so much.

Thank you for being in this conversation with me.

Thank you for being with me.

Take care.

Bye.

And I will see you later and I will see you again.

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Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the cycle of relationships with a narcissist, which follows a pattern of five phases: grooming, shared fantasy, interstitial one with two options, mortification or anti-fantasy, and interstitial two. The narcissist creates a shared fantasy to extract sex, supply, and services from their partner, and the shared fantasy allows them to avoid true intimacy and commitment. Cheating is an option for women who want to escape the shared fantasy and create an alternative sanctuary with another man. The fourth phase, the anti-fantasy phase, occurs when the partner tries to transition from the shared fantasy to reality, and the narcissist becomes indecisive and approach avoidant. Mortification is crucial to end the shared fantasy, and the narcissist switches to internal or external mortification


Two Faces Of Narcissistic Abuse Disrespect From Shared Fantasy To Bargaining

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the dynamics of narcissistic abuse, including the two phases of the shared fantasy and bargaining phase. He explains how narcissists use stickiness to create a shared fantasy with their targets and then extract adulation, abuse, sex, and services. Vaknin also highlights the differences between narcissists and psychopaths and concludes that narcissistic abuse is a choice and a stupid one at that.


Loving the Narcissist: Shared Fantasy to Discard

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the phases of a narcissist's relationships, including the shared fantasy, interstitial, and anti-fantasy phases. He explains the narcissist's behavior and the impact on their partners, focusing on topics such as cognitive dissonance, cheating, and the narcissist's emotional detachment. He also delves into the concept of object constancy and the narcissist's use of defense mechanisms.


Get Parasite Narcissist Out of Your Colonized Mind

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of shared fantasy as a form of paracosm, an alternative reality constructed by narcissists to manipulate and control their intimate partners. He delves into the intricate mechanisms of how narcissists hijack the minds of their victims through processes such as entraining and dissociation. Vaknin emphasizes the importance of memory recovery and the distinction between authentic emotions and those implanted by the abuser. He also explores the role of trauma and dissociation in perpetuating the effects of abuse.


7 Phases of Shared Fantasy: Narcissist Needs YOU to Make Him Great Again

Professor Sam Vaknin's conceptual framework for understanding narcissists' interpersonal relationships is based on the idea of a shared fantasy. The process begins with co-idealization, where the narcissist idealizes their partner and themselves. This is followed by dual mothership, where the narcissist and their partner take on maternal roles for each other. The narcissist then mentally discards their partner, leading to devaluation and splitting. Finally, the narcissist may attempt to re-idealize their partner to resolve anxiety caused by the devalued internal representation of their partner.


Are YOU The Narcissists Fantasy

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of shared fantasy in narcissism, which is a form of paracosm, an imaginary world that is very detailed and often originates in childhood. The shared fantasy is a form of mysticism that is founded on femininity, and it involves the exploration of forbidden psychosexual realms, such as homosexuality. Narcissists create shared fantasies and paracosms as a creative effort, which is an indicator of high intelligence and creativity. Narcissists create shared fantasies with their partners, which invariably lead to betrayal, cheating, and heartbreak.


How Narcissist Sees YOU

In this transcript, Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the narcissist's point of view and how they perceive their significant other. The narcissist takes a snapshot of their partner and idealizes them, but as reality sets in, they begin to change the way they see their partner. The narcissist sees themselves as a victim and their partner as an abuser, constantly blaming them for things and accusing them of being manipulative. The narcissist also accuses their partner of being self-destructive and lacking self-awareness, and may plot revenge if they feel humiliated or shamed.


From Idealization To Discard, It Is All Abuse!

The text discusses the concept of the shared fantasy in narcissistic abuse. It explains how the shared fantasy triggers abusive behavior and why narcissistic abuse ceases only when the shared fantasy is definitively over. The narcissist's abuse is reframed as tough love or a reaction to the partner's behavior, and it is driven by the need to idealize the partner and avoid love, which is associated with negative outcomes. The abuse is intended to mold the partner to fit the narcissist's idealized image, and it is emotionally infused with paternal or maternal feelings. The text also explains that the abuse stops when the shared fantasy is truly over and the partner's internal representation in the narcissist's mind loses its power. The cycle of abuse can be reactivated if the partner is re-idealized by


Is It YOUR Fantasy - or Theirs (Narcissists, Psychopaths, Borderlines)?

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of the shared fantasy in relationships, particularly in the context of narcissism and psychopathy. He explains that while the psychopath customizes the fantasy to fit the partner, the narcissist coerces the partner to fit the fantasy. Vaknin emphasizes the differences in motivations, goals, and outcomes between the psychopath's, narcissist's, and borderline's fantasies, highlighting the manipulative and exploitative nature of these dynamics. He also delves into the psychological underpinnings of these behaviors, linking them to a quest for unconditional love and entitlement.

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