Tips: Narcissist Weaponizes Your Children Against You (Pop the Red Pill Podcast)

Uploaded 1/13/2022, approx. 33 minute read

New Year and welcome everyone to our first podcast of the Red Pill for 2022, The Inevitable Harm of the Alienating Parent.

Our is a podcast about truth and everything parental alienation. We are here to lift the veil.

My co-host, Karen Belcourt and I, Kim McCord, have an amazing line of the guests for you this season.

We begin our year with a world-renowned guest tonight. The author of multiple books, the most notable being Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited.

If you have ever googled the word narcissism, psychopath, or dark triad, you will know our guest as he has thousands of YouTube videos online, as well as millions of followers. He is a professor of psychology at the Southern Federal University in Russia, a professor of both finance and psychology at the Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies. His work is cited in hundreds of books and dozens of academic papers. He is known as the king of cluster B personality disorders.

Much of the vocabulary we use today describes, for example, narcissistic abuse was coined by our guest. He has lived a life of 10 men and this I do not exaggerate.

We welcome the incredibly educated, larger than life, humorous, and of course handsome, Dr. Sam Vaknin.

Yes, thank you for not forgetting handsome.

I knew you liked that.

King of Cluster B, I do my best to take it as a compliment.

Those are my words. I need to ponder on this.


Thank you.

Thank you for a very cogent introduction.

Sam, we're so honored to have you here with us today and you truly are my hero for educating me about what I was held hostage in and how to navigate my way out.

So thank you.

Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. Just let me put a recording device on so that we have a double.

Okay. We are set to go. Shoot as they say in Israel.

Thank you. You know, like Kim said, you know, thank you very much for the contribution that you make to the world because it really does create a difference and it creates a world for people who are going through this to have a place of understanding because, you know, as you know, we're in a world that is completely counterintuitive when we're dealing with relationships where we're exposed to narcissistic abuse and we are trying to make sense of something that doesn't make sense.

And so much of what you say gives us so much comfort. And I know for myself, you know, you don't realize how much time you spend in my world.

Thank you.

Thank you for all this narcissistic supply. And when I started my work in 1995, the main problem I faced was the fact that there was no language, no language to describe the experiences of victims of narcissistic abuse.

And the second problem I faced is that practitioners, professionals, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists refuse to acknowledge that narcissistic abuse is not just another garden variety of abuse, not just another form of abuse, but that it stands apart. It's utterly distinguishable from other types of pedestrian abuse.

So we have sexual abuse, we have financial abuse, we have legal abuse, we have elder abuse, we have multiple forms of abuse.

People seem to cherish the notion of abusing each other, but nothing compares to narcissistic abuse. Narcissistic abuse is about officiating and negating and attacking directly and modifying and taking over and assimilating your identity. It's about simultaneously attempting to disintegrate and deconstruct every dimension of your existence simultaneously and irreversibly.

And in this sense, narcissistic abuse definitely stands apart. It's a harrowing experience that is exceedingly difficult to communicate to other people, because when you try to communicate it to other people, they keep minimizing it somehow. They keep trying to translate it into day-to-day experiences.

They say, oh, well, it's like my uncle. They try to somehow make sense of it, but it's senseless. That's the problem.

Narcissistic abuse is no meaning, no sense. It's just there like a force of nature.

Okay, Nafz said, on to your question.

You know, that was beautiful because that was exactly my first question to you today. I was going to ask you, why is narcissistic abuse different than all other kinds of abuse?

And so you answered that beautifully. Thank you.

So in 2011, you posted a video titled, Abusive X Leverages Children Against You. Please help us understand the concepts of role reversal and how the alienating parent co-ops the system and the reason the alienating parent seeks custody of the children.

The narcissist, I'm going to confine myself to the narcissist because that's my area of expertise, possibly the psychopath as well, but mainly the narcissist.

He's not interested in the children. He doesn't care about the children. The children are pawns, they're instrumentalities, they're tools. He cares a lot about his ex-spouse or current spouse. He cares about hurting her. He cares about modifying and controlling her behavior.

If he's a psychopathic narcissist or a psychopath, then he's goal-oriented. He wants to accomplish goals or aims.

The children just happen to be there, but he's going to use the children and a monopoly of other tools available to him, including, for example, confidential information, intimate information, divulge during the heyday and the honeymoon phase of the relationship.

He's going to use your family, he's going to use your friends, he's going to use another phrase I coined, flying monkeys. He's going to co-opt the totality of the environment. He's going to turn your world against you. Every element in your world, the potted plant behind you is going to be used against you. Everything and everyone suddenly becomes an enemy.

That's a bit reminiscent of COVID. During the COVID pandemic, friends and family had become potential sources of death. They had become potential enemies.

You have to cover yourself, you have to socially distance, you have to avoid them. It's the same with the narcissist. He renders everything and everyone around you a tool, a menace, a figment of a horror film.

So your children are just one of these elements.

As distinct from the typical alienating parent who is not narcissistic, the narcissist uses children in a way that is laser guided and usually ceases and deceases when the goal had been accomplished.

So other abusers, for example, they can be, for example, obsessive, impulsive. They can be paranoid. They can be vengeful. They can be sadistic.

So other abusers have long-term agendas which essentially never stop.

The good news about the narcissist is that if you give him what he wants, he stops.

The only problem is what he wants is your destruction. So it's a bit of a conundrum, a bit of a catch-22. What the narcissist does, he turns the children against you, which is classical parental alienation strategy.

Although parental alienation, I want to clarify, is not a clinically recognized syndrome. It had been rejected repeatedly by multiple committees of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual by all the professionals in the field. We don't teach it at university, etc.

So I want to make clear. I still do believe, however, that there are alienating behaviors, that parents do turn children against each other, that this is a strategy and that this strategy is implemented incrementally and with forethought, deliberately and intentionally.

So we might as well use the term parental alienation. Why not?

It has a ring to it.

So the narcissist alienates the children in a variety of ways, many of them indistinguishable from the classical alienate.

For example, they would tend to cast the opposite parent or the spouse. He would tend to cast her as bad, the secretary object. He would say she's bad. She destroyed the family. She brought this on. She can't be trusted. She's dangerous. She's stupid. She's crazy. He would devalue. He would continue the process of devaluation after the discard.

Now, that's a very novel clinical observation, that it's not true that devaluation stops with the discard.

Devaluation continues forever. It continues through your children and it continues in your mind.

The narcissist embeds in your mind a voice, and this voice continues to devalue throughout your life.

This process is called introjection.

So the children are used this way. This is one technique of alienation.

The other technique of alienation is spying. The children are asked to spy on the other parent and bring information to the narcissist.

The third technique is hurting the children, hurting the children in order to hurt the other parent.

So, for example, behaving irresponsibly with the child, not catering to the child's medical needs and so on and so forth, and making sure the other parent knows about it and is helpless to do anything. So that's very hurtful and it creates anxiety disorder and so on.

The fourth technique is rendering the children flying monkeys, converting the children to the cause, rendering the children worshippers of the narcissist.

So the narcissist becomes the good parent, the fun parent, is the parent with whom you go on trips and you can smoke a joint and you can drink together and you can do crazy things. And then this is the fun parent, automatically casting the other parent as the non-fun parent, the disciplinarian, the harsh, the tough love parent, which no child wants.

And then narcissists co-opt adolescent rebellion. Adolescents tend to define their identity in opposition to others and in comparison to peers.

So what the narcissist does, he co-ops the process. He acts as a peer of the child. He becomes the child's best friend. His peer, he goes out with the child to do crazy adolescent things and so on and so forth. And so the child bonds with the narcissistic parent on a peer level.

And finally, the narcissist sometimes tries to emotionally blackmail the child into parentifying. So the narcissist tries to force the child to become the narcissist's parent so that the child feels a responsibility, a parental responsibility for the narcissist and it becomes very protective of the narcissist. So then the other parent is perceived as a threat to the narcissist and then the child is very defensive and protective of the narcissist and attacks the other parent.

These are essentially the five techniques that narcissists use to alienate children.

Thank you.

In part two of the YouTube video you just spoke about was entitled, Tell Your Children the Truth.

Sam, can you please speak about why as targeted parents, we think we're doing the right thing by keeping the harmful behaviors of the alienating parent from our children?

It is a common and horrendous mistake reinforced by many mental health practitioners.

The abuser's secret nuclear weapon is silence. The abuser isolates you from friends and family and later on from your children and expects you to remain silent about it, to not launder the dirty laundry in full view, to not be ostentatious about your suffering. He expects you to suffer silently, in other words.

And when you do the child is denied critical information. Not critical information in the sense that you're the good guy and your ex is the bad guy. That would be counter-alienating. That's not a strategy I recommend.

But the child is denied critical information about the dangers of exceeding and colluding with the narcissist agenda and about what the narcissistic parent might do to the child.

Would that include definitely, for example, sexual abuse?

When the narcissist disengages from his spouse, he mentally disengages from the extensions of his spouse. Narcissists are incapable of perceiving children, or anyone else for that matter, as separate entities. They perceive them as extensions.

And the children are extensions of the other parent.

So when they divorce the other parent or dump or break up with the other parent, they simultaneously, emotionally break up with the children. And the children are perceived as extensions of the other parent to be tempered with, to be modified, to be worked on, like raw material.

And then the narcissist feels that he's perfectly entitled to have sex with his children. The incidents of incest after breakup are sky high. And it's because the narcissist cannot perceive the child as anything but the mother's, for example, extension.

So there is this risk. The child should be educated to understand everything about setting boundaries, about being firm, about not being afraid to hurt the other parent's emotions, about spotting and detecting warning signs, red flags, inappropriate behaviors, about reporting if necessary, about being true to a set of values and beliefs.

So the child needs to be alerted to the danger without vilifying the other parent, of course.

Just telling him this, that's the way it is. And, you know, daddy is like that and you should be like that and you should have your own boundaries. If you don't like to do something, don't do it. And if you feel uncomfortable, walk away and stand firm and so on and so forth.

Educating the child is a critical part of countering both parental alienation and ongoing abuse via the child. And regrettably, the vast majority of parents don't do that, and they come up with these nonsensical sentences like, yeah, but the child needs a father in his life. Or I don't want him to think badly of his father or his mother.

But these are the wrong motivations because that means sacrificing the child, sacrificing the child's welfare and well-being and mental health in favor of a social ideal, which is essentially, honestly, male chauvinistic, patriarchal idea, basically. Like the family is a shared psychotic disorder. It's a unit. It's we against the world. It's a cultish perception of the family. The family is a cult.

And so you're in the cult, and the rest of the world is against the cult, and you have to protect the secrets of the cult. It's a very sick perception of family dynamics, regrettably, the prevalent one, the dominant one.

And so the alienated parent feels very bad, very ashamed and very egodystonic and very uncomfortable, you know, exposing the truth, especially to the child, remains silent. And by doing so, sacrifices the child. That's a selfish act. Not telling the child is a selfish act. Don't kid yourself. It's nothing to do with the child's welfare and well-being. It's you're trying to avoid conflict. You're trying to avoid conflict and you're trying to maintain appearances, and you're trying to conform to societal values that most definitely favor abusers who happen to be in the majority men.

Wow, Sam. Oh, are you still here?

I don't know. I'm here for you again. Oh, no, I'm here. I have this impact on some women, you know.

So that is a lot to process.

Wow. Unfortunately, we go through parental alienation, we do not comprehend what is going on at the time. Unfortunately, it takes us some time to process. And by the time we've figured out what's going on, most of the time, you're already alienated from your children. So I would have loved to educate my children, but I did not have the experience of what I was going through at the time. So I couldn't.

But now, as you say that, that completely makes sense.

Going back to what you had said a little bit earlier about the discard, when the narcissist discards you, the ex-spouse, what happens when you, the healthy-minded parent or the target parent divorces or discards or abandons the narcissist first.

Can you tell us what happens in their brain when that happens?


If you do it in an amicable, largely private way, just you and the narcissist, the narcissist is going to go through a process known as narcissistic injury. It's a challenge or the undermining of his grandiose self-perception. And his grandiose self-perception is that he is irresistible, that he is addictive, that he will never be abandoned by you because you can't live without him, because he's perfect, and he is omniscient, and he is omniscient.

In short, he's godlike. He's godlike. It's a one-man religion, and you are the worshiper. And it's exactly like converting from one religion to another. The original religion feels betrayed.

So the narcissist would feel betrayed and humiliated, would immediately cast it in terms of a morality play, where you are evil and he's good. He would try to cast himself as a victim. He would adopt a victimhood stance, and he would claim to have been victimized by you all along, using words very similar to what you would use. He would say, I wasn't aware of what she was doing. She was so surreptitious and so subtle and so cunning and malevolent that I couldn't imagine that she would do this, et cetera, et cetera.

So he reacts to narcissistic abuse with two, essentially, strategies.

One is to devalue you, to reframe you as an evil, kind, cunning, skimming person.

The other strategy is rage, narcissistic rage. So he would tend to become very, very aggressive. So the aggression could be sublimated. In other words, he could use his aggression, channel his aggression in socially acceptable ways, or the aggression can be overt and could escalate in extreme cases to violence and even, you know, killing.

So it's a dangerous game to play with the narcissist. If he's a psychopathic narcissist, which is about 3% of narcissists, then you are definitely gambling with your life. They are unforgiving. They're vengeful. They want long-term grudges, and they do not refrain from overt violence.

But the majority of narcissists simply would be aggressive in a variety of ways. If they're covert narcissists, they would become passive aggressive. So they would drag the divorce for 20 years. They would make your life ill. They would undermine and sabotage. If they have to sign something, they will not sign it, etc.

These are passive aggressive strategies.

This is, if you do it, if you discard the narcissist, if you divorce the narcissist, privately and amicably, imagine that's the good, that's a good kind of outcome.

Now let's talk about the bad outcome. If you divorce the narcissist in an ostentatious public shaming and humiliating manner, for example, if you make known to his social circle, admirers, so-called friends, family, if you out the process, if you render the process public, then the narcissist experiences something much deeper than injury. It's a process known as narcissistic mortification. And mortification dismantles the narcissist defenses, especially his grandiosity.

And he simply goes crazy. He becomes clinically indistinguishable from a psychotic. And he may do seriously crazy things. This is, this is a seriously dangerous situation which involves all narcissists without exception.

So a piece of advice I would give to people who consider kind of dismantling the bond, exiting the inferno that is narcissistic abuse.

A piece of advice I would give, inform your close circle, inform your social safety net, inform your family and your friends. Do not seek to humiliate the narcissist publicly or to shame him or to render the whole process public affair or to ostentatiously challenge him, for example, by going on social media.

Don't do that because you will have mortified the narcissist and then he will lose control over himself.

And then these people are dangerous simply, and they can take it out on the children.

Definitely. They can hurt the children to hurt you.

kidnap them, sexually molest them, hurt them physically, not give them medical care, beat them up, you know, they can use the children to get to you if they're mortified.

Okay. Karen, I'm going to get you to take the next question because I'm so sorry. My little dog Bella is barking at me and I need to let her out.

Excuse me. She doesn't like zoom issues.

So, so Sam, when you've said is just, it just is so impactful. What would you say when somebody is already, when they've already, a narcissistic partner has been abusive, like physically abusive, not just, you know, psychologically, verbally, when they are physically abusive, what is that a sign of, you know, in that the narcissist, narcissistic abuse realm?

Physically abusive to the spouse, you mean? To the spouse, to the children.

No, there's a difference.

The etiology, the psychological background to being sexually abusive to the spouse has nothing to do with the etiology of being sexually abusive to the child.

In other words, the narcissist is sexually abusive, is physically abusive, I'm sorry, to children for reasons which are entirely different to the reasons why he's sexually, why he's physically abusive to his intimate partner.

The narcissist can be physically, and by the way, sexually abusive to his partner, for example, a raper, because it's essentially a control strategy.

Having escalated other strategies at his disposal, for example, verbal abuse, intermittent reinforcement, going hot and cold, these strategies fail, the partner is too autonomous, too independent, too free thinking, too agentic.

Narcissists cannot bear that because it challenges the inner, the internal object that represents the partner.

Narcissists have abandonment anxiety. They are afraid to be abandoned, exactly like borderline.

So they want you to freeze. They want you to freeze. They want you to become an Egyptian mummy. They want you to not show any signs of life, let alone independence and autonomy and agency.

So when you do, they escalate their control strategies. So that first they would reprimand you, then they would verbally abuse you, then they would threaten you, etc.

And if none of this works, none of this works, they would resort to physical force as a form of intimidation and control strategy.

Essentially it's a psychopathic elemental aspect of narcissism, the antisocial aspect.

Narcissists physically and sexually abuse children for completely other reasons, which have nothing to do with the reasons to abuse the spouse or the intimate partner.

They physically and sexually abuse children as a form of appropriation, annexation, merging with the child, fusing with the child, guaranteeing that the child will be utterly obedient, subservient, submissive, adoring, fawning, and obsequious.

So the narcissist trains, housebreaks the child, trains the child to become essentially a pet, an unconditionally loving and obedient pet, which then constitutes a source of narcissistic supply.

And we see this, for example, when the child is very young, the narcissist is very loving, or at least imitates loving. So he's very loving, he's very caring, he's very holding, he's very attentive, he's very because the child gives him unconditional love and narcissistic supply, admires him, adores him, adulates him.

But then the child becomes an adolescent. Most children tend to become adolescent, so they become an adolescent. Adolescents and adolescents are rebellious. Adolescents are developing their own identity, they separate and individually, they become individuals. They begin to criticize the narcissist. Adolescents, they begin to disagree with the narcissist, they suddenly have their own opinions, they have their own friends, their own pastimes, the narcissist feels neglected and abandoned by his children, because they had become independent.

And so it is during adolescence that narcissists begin to physically and otherwise abuse their children the most, because they're trying to reacquire the children, to regain them, to reclaim them, to regain them.

And so this dynamic is very pernicious, because the narcissistic parent is signaling to the child, by becoming separate from me, by becoming your own person, by becoming an individual, you're hurting me. It's painful to me what you're doing.

So please stop growing. Don't grow anymore. Just stop here and remain my little child who is fawning and adulating and always loves me, and has nothing bad to say about me, and always agrees with me, and always adulates me, because that's the way I want you for the rest of your life. I don't want you to become your own person, because it hurts. That's a very, very toxic and poisonous message.

And many children do exactly this. They do just this. They stop growing. They stop growing to gratify the narcissistic parent.

This is especially true for when we come to parentifying children, children who had become parents of their own parents.

So some children parentify the narcissistic parent, as I said, they become protective of the narcissistic parent. They become like the mothers of the narcissistic parent.

And so these children definitely cannot walk away because they feel they are abandoning a child.

So there's an inverse dynamic. The narcissistic parent becomes the child, and the child, the offspring of the narcissistic parent becomes the parent and can't walk away because you don't abandon a child.

So these are very sick, pathological dynamics within the family system. And the narcissist leverages each and every one of them gleefully, willingly, knowingly. And if he's psychopath, he does it cunningly and deliberately and intentionally with planning premeditated, premeditated way.

So and then the child is deformed, is deformed for life, is scarred, scarred for life. This kind of child grows up with a very dysfunctional attachment style.

When he teams up with an intimate partner, all he knows to do is parentify. So he tries to become the intimate partner's parent or the intimate partner's child. He doesn't know better. He doesn't know. He never became an adult in the full sense of the word. He's a simulated parent or simulated child. He was never allowed to be a child as well. He's an extension.

Now, the other parent is there watching all these dynamics.

But the problem is, for example, law enforcement, mental health practitioners, they don't recognize these dynamics. You can't go to a police station and say, I want to file a complaint against my husband. He's parentifying my child. You can't do that. You can't even explain it to the vast, overwhelming majority of therapies. They don't know what the hell is parentifying. They never heard of it. You can't complain to a judge or to an evaluator or to court appointed psychologist. You can't complain to them that the narcissist is subverting the child's ability to associate with his peers because every time the child associates with his peers, he's punished one way or another, aggressive or aggressively. You can't do that. There's no way for anyone to really wrap his head around this. Even psychologists will tell you, well, he's just being careful. The world is very dangerous. So he's just being protective. And maybe, yeah, he's a bit overprotective. It's impossible to communicate the reality inside the bubble of narcissistic abuse. And that is, I think, the victim's most horrendous predicament, not the abuse itself, because we can withstand, as human beings, we are resilient. We can withstand the most horrible circumstances. We expect to be mistreated.

Many of us, we believe in a hostile world, essentially. So that's not what breaks people. What breaks people is the inability to communicate the feeling of infinite existential solitude because no one gets what's happening to you. Not even people on forums of narcissistic abuse.

Each dysfunctional family is writing its own rules. And these are idiosyncratic. They're unique to that family or to that unit, household. They're unique.

Each narcissist is very creative at constructing a virtual reality, an alternative universe where there is inverted logic, where things which might horrify outside observers become the norm.

And so you start to feel yourself as a victim being co-opted into the delusion, into the fantasy. You start to support the fantasy. You start to be very defensive and protective.

So sometimes I come across victims who reject when they're confronted with the incontrovertible evidence that the narcissist is doing bad things to their common children. They reject it. They say, well, I think you're exaggerating. No, it's not that bad. It's not that bad.

They defend the dysfunctional, utterly sick unit, household, family against outsiders because they have been conditioned to do so by the narcissist.

Oh, yes. We can completely understand what you're saying because I've lived that. So let's move on to your video from 2013, which dealt with your opinion that narcissistic personality disorder parents should be denied custody. I believe you said such a parent should be granted supervised visitation only. Does that opinion still stand in 2022 on that issue? Yes, of course it stands.

Narcissistic personality disorder is an extremely severe mental health disorder. As we would not grant visitation rights, for example, to a parent with active psychosis. Someone who is psychotic disorder is a strong anti-psychotic medication. Normally, the courts would not grant custody to someone like that. Not even visitation. Usually supervised visitation is supervised not by the other parents, by court appointed guardians.

Karen Barrett, who is the forefather, the grandfather of the field, Karen Barrett was the one who had suggested first, and I follow in his footsteps, that narcissistic personality disorder is a form of psychosis. Exactly like borderline personality disorder. These are attenuated forms of psychosis. So it's a very, very serious, dangerous mental health disorder. It's not just an arrogant prick, an asshole, or a jerk. It's not reducing narcissist to this is kind of a collective defense. We don't want to believe that such people exist.

So we say, oh, come on, you're exaggerating. It's just being an asshole, you know, because we don't dare. We don't dare confront the alternative that there are people who are subversive, who are evil, who conspire and collude to hurt, manipulateand control other people. We just deny that. We want to believe in the essential goodness of mankind. We deny this.

But narcissist should be denied unbridled access to their children, and they should most definitely be denied custody.

First of all, they are not responsible as parents. They are dangerous. They generate very sick dynamics interpersonally with the child and in the child, intra-psychically in the child. So they should be able to meet the child, to have time with the child, of course, because they are parental figures, but this time should be definitely supervised.

I see no reason to change that. On the very contrary, recent studies, 2020, 2021, we are beginning to realize that what we used to call overt narcissists are actually psychopaths. And so we are beginning to redefine narcissism and to say that a small minority or a minority of narcissists, known as covert narcissists or compensatory narcissists, they are the real narcissists. They are the real narcissists.

But covert narcissists have their own poison. They are passive aggressive. They don't communicate openly. They're underhanded. The child has to guess all the time, to walk on eggshells, as to, you know, they have their own kind of...

So no, no kind of narcissist should have custody.

End of story. No kind of psychopath should have custody.

I would go even further. No one with borderline personality should have custody. These are dangerous mental health disorders. End of story.

As we would not give the child to the care of someone with psychotic disorder or schizophrenia, schizophrenia, for example, paranoia, schizophrenia. We would never dream of giving a child to somebody.

And yet, paranoia, schizophrenia, psychotic disorder, is fully controllable with drugs.

You take one pill a day, you're perfectly okay. And yet we don't allow these people to have custody.

Narcissism doesn't have a pill. There's no pill to cure narcissism. There's no pill to reverse narcissism or ameliorate or mitigate the dysfunctional and antisocial behaviors of narcissism.

There's also a thing. We can help the psychotic. We cannot help the narcissist.

So I would say that personality disorders, cluster B personality disorders, are now in a category which is far more sick and dangerous than psychotic disorders, because we know how to treat psychotic disorders with very good results.

Unfortunately, how do you get the narcissistic or the psychopathic parent diagnosed to know and to be able to prove that that that is indeed what they are? That's the problem.

Only through the courts. But you know, it wouldn't help you much.

For example, most courts pay very little heed or very little attention to personality disorders as a diagnosis. If you were to come and say, my husband is psychotic, he is schizophrenic, paranoid, he sees people talking to him with their none. He hears voices. The judge would nod and say, well, that's very dangerous to the child. Yeah, I'm going.

But if you come and say to the judge, my husband is a narcissist. Well, who isn't? It's like a socially acceptable norm. Society itself is narcissistic and becoming increasingly more psychopathic. It's becoming entrenched as a dimension of modernity to be a narcissist, to be selfish, to be egotistical, to consider other people as objects and instruments. There are even scholars who glorify and glamorize narcissism. There are serious scholars like Dutton, like Mokobi, who say that narcissism and psychopathy are positive evolutionary adaptations. We should put them in charge. They're good leaders. We should make them, we should channel them or render them socially useful in professions like medicine.

So there's a whole industry around high functioning narcissists, productive narcissists. In 2016, the prestigious British magazine, New Scientists, came up with a cover story. Parents teach your children to be narcissists. I'm kidding you're not.

I remember that.

But basically, the Cluster B personality disordered parent is going to cause your child inevitable harm. Is what you're saying. Yes.

That's the shortest answer you're going to get.

Okay. I'm not going even to elaborate. Anyone who contests this doesn't know the first thing about Cluster B. The damage will be severe to all the critical dimension of social functioning and interpersonal relationships in the future. And unfortunately, a lot of it will be irreversible. For example, attachment styles are irreversible. There's no way to change them once they become entrenched.

So the narcissistic parent teaches the child what we call insecure attachment style. It teaches the child to avoid intimacy, to suspect people, to regard the world as hostile, to be hypervigilant, and so on and so forth. The child grows up is unable to love or to have intimacy or any kind of functional relationship with another person. And that regrettably is not change. It's not mutable. Cannot be changed.

Cannot be reversed.

So Sam, what are your recommendations for?

I think we limited ourselves to 45 minutes. Shall we make this the last question? Yes.

Thank you. Thank you.

Yes, please. Thank you.

What are your recommendations for target parents who are desperately wanting to reconnect with their children?

You know, what do you recommend to them?


There's very little you can do. As long as the child is exposed to the other parents, the poisoning process will continue. The inoculation against you will continue. And there's very little you can do about it. And you will not get any support from institutions. If you become too adamant and insistent, you will not even get support from friends and family. They'll give up on you. They will think you're obsessed and crazy. They will begin to believe the narcissist over you.

So the only thing, in my view, at least, although online, you can find strategies for coping with parental alienation, many of them, by the way, counterproductive. But the only thing in my view is to show, to demonstrate to the child that the narcissistic parent is not the only kind of parent around, that there is an alternative, that narcissists are not the only type of person you that the child must have must be exposed to a healthy alternative of parenting.

And then in due time, the child makes a choice when it grows up, becomes adolescent, let alone adult. The child makes a choice.

If the child is exposed to a narcissistic parent and to a healthy parent, in the vast majority of cases, around the age of 18 to 21, the child chooses the healthy parent in the vast majority.

However, if you allow the narcissist to convert you into a narcissist, to render you manipulative, to force you to adopt underhanded tactics, to collude in this, he said, she said, narratives and behavior patterns. If you, in other words, get infected with narcissism, then the child has to choose between two narcissistic parents.

And that's a bad choice. You need to stay centered, boundaried, focused. You need to adhere to your values and respect yourself and you need to act with dignity and you need to foster in the child the realization that, yeah, you can be like, for example, daddy, but you can also be like me. And now you choose.

It also shows the child, it also respects the child. It's a way of respecting the child, not forcing on the child or imposing on the child any model of personhood, but giving the child the menu to choose from.

And the good news is the overwhelming vast majority of children, when they grow up, they understand what had happened and they usually choose the right side.

So you're saying the child is on their own journey to figure this out.

Yes. All children are on their own journey to figure this out. Even with two healthy parents, even when the parents are totally healthy, it's an illusion, a total hallucination to believe that you are shaping your child, that you're molding him or her, that you are showing her the way.

It's a parental delusion. It's very comforting and so on. Children experiment and many of their experiments are exceedingly dangerous and risky. And many of their experiments are going to end up in a lot of pain and hurt, sexual experiments, social experiments, romantic experiments.

Children have to endure life. You can't protect your child. And if you do, you're a bad parent.

The main role of a good parent is to push the child away, not to embrace the child, but to push the child away. That's a good enough parent, because only by pushing the child away, you are forcing the child and legitimizing the attempt to become his or her own person.

The child says, well, I'm going to become my own person and my mother is okay with that. Actually, she encourages me to do this.

Separation individuation comes in two ways.

When the child is 18 months to two years, and when the child is another lesson, and many parents fail in these two phases.

They don't know the art of separation. They're too protective. They isolate the child, they isolate the child, they blackmail the child overtly or covertly.

You need to have a modicum. Of course, if you see your child doing drugs, I'm not talking about extreme situations. If you see the child doing drugs, I mean, of course, you should intervene.

Parent, you should have hands-on parenting. But hands-on parenting is not the equivalent of control, not the equivalent of solitary confinement for the child. Hand-on parenting is the vigilant monetary of the child's experimentation with life.

And then when real danger rears its head, you intervene. If the child stands to experience pain, you do not intervene. Pain is the greatest teacher. The child needs to experience pain. And the child needs to experience some danger. These are great teachers.

And to deny the child this education renders a child an eternal child, which is a very good way of describing a narcissist.

Sam, that's it for Pop the Red Pill tonight. Thank you very much. Your information has been unbelievable. Thank you for having me.

My name is Kim McCord, and we hope you have learned something valuable tonight and enjoyed your time with us.

Apologies to you, dog. I didn't mean to do it to him, to her. I'm sorry.

Okay. 10 minutes. Take care. Thank you. And stopping the recording.


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