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Unforgiving Narcissist Hoovers to Revenge, Holds Grudges

Uploaded 3/5/2024, approx. 31 minute read

So, next time the narcissist tries to hover you, he may be doing it because he is holding a grudge against you.

How could you tell the difference?

First of all, resist hoovering in any case.

It's a bad idea to team up again with the narcissist.

No contact is the only solution.

But if you are wondering intellectually speaking, what's the difference between rail hoover when the narcissist is trying to re-idealize you and match you with the object, with the internal object inside his head.

This is rail hoover.

Narcissist wants you again in his life.

And vengeful hoover or grudge driven hoover when the narcissist wants to hover you in order to gain access to you, in order to somehow punish you for what you have done to him, in his mind, in reality or not, imaginary or actual.

In his mind, you have transgressed.

You have acted as a perpetrator, as an enemy, and you need to be punished.

And one of the ways to accomplishing this is to hover you.

How can you tell the difference?

So first of all, ask yourself, did the narcissist ever accuse you of having done something to him, of having transgressed against him, of having shamed him or humiliated him or criticized him or disagreed with him in a way that inflicted on him pain and hurt or rage or anger or whatever.

Has the narcissist repeatedly claimed this?

Was this a constant kind of complaint of the narcissist?

That's a warning sign.

If he has, then he's bearing a grudge.

He hasn't gone away.

He convinced himself that time heals all wounds.

Time heals all wounds in human beings, not in narcissists.

So that's the first question.

Second question, the transgression the narcissist accuses you of, the misbehavior, the misconduct he imputes to you, he attributes to you.

Are they real or imaginary?

If they've actually occurred, it's one thing.

If they're imaginary, it would indicate the existence of a grudge.

Be very careful.

Next thing, does the narcissist idealize you in the same way when he's trying to over you?

Does he put emphasis on the same things?

The first time he loved bond you, first time he's idealized you, the first time he's introduced you into his shared fantasy, he emphasized, for example, your good looks.

Is he emphasizing the very same things right now?

If he is not, it's an indication of the existence of a grudge, an attempt to change his perception of you and consequently his perception of himself.

The next thing, does the narcissist insist that he must win, he can't lose, he can't be outwitted, he is always right with you regarding a specific case?

So the narcissist holds in on a specific event, specific argument, specific fight, specific public shaming, specific something and then he insists that he must rectify the situation because he can't lose. He insists that he hasn't been outwitted, he was just biding his time. He insists that he has been right and you have been wrong.

If he keeps emphasizing this, he's trying to reconstruct his grandiosity by hovering you.

Stay away, it means he's holding a grudge.

Next is he righteous? Is he being sanctimonious and righteously indignant about it? Is he rigid? He won't consider any other point of view. Does he claim to have suffered a moral injury? Does he say or insist that he has attained the high moral ground where you have acted in a manner which is immoral and unethical? Does he try to blame you? Does he want you to own the blame? Does he insist that what you've done to him has caused such injury that is irreversible, irreversible, cannot be solved, cannot be healed, cannot be treated? These are signs of a major grudge.

Is he trying to restore justice in his own mind and equity?

Does he ask you or demand for some kind of confession, reparation, restitution, making amends?

Does he insist that you should alter his behavior, spoil him, cater to his needs, act obsequious and submissive, obey him in every shape or form because you owe it to him.

Having transgressed against him, you don't have to prove yourself.

These are all signs of a grudge.

Is the narcissist being punitive, vengeful?

Does he seek vindication from you?

Does he overtly and openly punish you in a variety of ways?

Silent treatment, verbal abuse, I don't know.

Is he trying to reassert control?

Does he begin to micro manage you?

Does he inject himself into every area of his life?

Is he trying to isolate you?

Does it amount to coercive control, tries to control your finances, going out?

And so, coercive control is a major sign of a grudge.

Does he demand that you modify your behavior?

Does he ask or insist on guarantees that you will never ever offend him, insult him, transgress against him, criticize him, disagree with him, humiliate him in public or in private, argue with him and so on?

Never ever.

These are taboos, not allowed, no-no's in the relationship.

Is he trying therefore to deter you and modify your behaviors?

Does he try to demonstrate to you how strong he is, how resilient he is, how invulnerable he is?

These are all signs of a grudge.

Does he claim that what you've done to him has borne severe consequences, was part of a pattern, was inexcusable, immoral, gratuitous, mean, nasty, cruel?

Does he pose as a victim and claims that he has suffered much more than you have gained?

Your actions have been disproportional.

Does he ruminate and obsess about his victimhood status and how you have victimized him and abused him?

In all these cases, cut your losses, walk away.

This is not over.

This is an attempt to reintroduce you into the fantastic space in order to inflict punishment and vengeance upon you.

Don't let him.

No contact.

Narcissists find it nearly impossible to forgive, to forget and to move on.

Why is that?

What is so special with narcissists?

What is so unique?

What predisposes them to holding grudges seemingly forever?

To never overlooking insights, slides, humiliation, criticism, disagreement.

Why are they so fragile and brittle?

Why are they incapable of transitioning to another phase in life?

In other words, why are narcissists deficient when it comes to forming neutral or not neutral memories?

Why they can convert perceived transgressions into memories?

Perhaps because transgressions, as far as the narcissist is concerned, are mostly arbitrary, inconsistent and imaginary.

It is the narcissist who decides when you have transgressed.

It is the narcissist who is calling the shots.

The narcissist is a law unto himself or herself.

The narcissist one day decides that a certain action constitutes a violation, a breach of contract or of boundaries and the next day it takes the very same action in stride as if nothing has happened.

This shape-shifting, capricious definition, redefinition and redefinition of transgressions within a shared fantasy space.

This is what destabilizes the victim on the one hand and doesn't allow the narcissist to move on on the other hand.

The inconstant nature of what the narcissist perceives to be an offense against him, what he perceives to have been offensive.

This inconstant nature makes it impossible for the narcissist to take a stand, to defend values, to declare convictions, boundaries and beliefs.

The fact that the narcissist has no core identity, no fixed Archimedean point, a self, an ego, the fact that the narcissist exactly at the borderline is subject to identity disturbance makes it very difficult for the narcissist to be the same person the next day after the transgression and only the same person can forgive.

When you forgive someone for having transgressed against you, it's because you are the same person with the same memories, with the same identity, with the same continuity.

You are you, you have a self, you have a core, you have a pivot.

The narcissist doesn't have any of this.

It's narcissism is smoke and mirrors. It's an absence masquerading as a presence.

Who is there to forgive? Who would be there to move on if the narcissist is not the same person from one day to the next?

This video is based on grudge theory first suggested by Roy Baumeister, Julie Exelheim and Kristine Sonner in the 1990s.

My name is Sam Vachnin.

I'm the gradual thing.

Author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, the unforgiving former visiting professor of psychology and the constant or inconstant member of the faculty of CIAPs, Commonwealth Institute for Advanced Professional Studies.

Okay, Shoshanim, Shifanbanim, stay with us for the continuation of this video.

A grudge, it's important to understand that a grudge is a relationship management tool.

People use grudges in order to communicate hurt and pain and expectations.

Grudges reflect changes in the perception of the perpetrator or alleged perpetrator and change in the perception of oneself.

The grudge redefines the dyadic space or the relationship space.

In a way, the grudge converts reality into a form of fantasy.

It doesn't have to be a revenge fantasy, although this is the most common fantasy.

It's a fantasy of victimhood.

It's a fantasy of injustice.

It's a fantasy of retribution, but it's a fantasy.

It is the use of fantasy in the form of a grudge to redefine the role of the perpetrator, the role of oneself within a relationship that either continues or is no more.

So it's a management tool. It serves to terminate the relationship. It serves to perpetuate the relationship and the new terms and conditions redefine the relationship. But in any case, it's a relationship management tool. In other words, a grudge is relational. It's never individual. You cannot hold a grudge in empty space, deep space. You have to hold a grudge against someone. The minute you hold a grudge against someone, you're in a relationship with someone, if only in your imagination and your mind that someone has occupied your mind. The grudge is a way to obtain internal closure, to communicate your offense and hurt to the perpetrator, to force the perpetrator, at least again in the imaginary space between your two ears, to force the perpetrator to make amends. So it's a relationship management tool. Whether the relationship is still ongoing and external or whether the relationship is totally internal between internal objects.

In the case of the narcissist, the grudge fulfills numerous other functions, which explains why the narcissist finds it extremely difficult to not hold grudges.

So the first function of a grudge is to reconstitute grandiosity.

Narcissists perceive transgressions as narcissistic injuries.

And in extreme cases, when there's public shame and humiliation, narcissistic modification ensues.

In both cases, narcissistic injury and narcissistic modification, there's a challenge to grandiosity.

There's an undermining of the cognitive distortion that misinforms the narcissist about reality and his place in reality.

A cognitive distortion that allows the narcissist to maintain an inflated, fantastic, outlandish sense of self or substitute sense of self known as the false self.

The narcissist has maintained the self-image and self-perception that have extremely little to do with the world out there with external objects.

The narcissist is hell-bent on maintaining, preserving, protecting, defending and perpetuating narrative which casts him in the role of God.

He's God-like within this narrative.

So any infringement, any impingement, any breach, any challenge that somehow dares to hint that the narcissist's grandiosity is misconstrued or perhaps fantastic or perhaps counterfactual.

This results in narcissistic injury and the narcissist then desperately needs to reconstitute his or her grandiosity.

Two elements especially, omnipotence or being all powerful.

The narcissist is unable to countenance loss.

There's an inadmissibility of losing or of being or having been outwitted.

The narcissist is the cleverest, the smartest, the sharpest, the most cunning, the most super hyper intelligent.

Therefore never gullible, never naive, never anyone's fool.

He can never be outwitted and he can never lose a match.

Narcissist perceives the world in terms of an ongoing battle, a warfare, urban warfare zone.

And so losing would be to acknowledge the narcissist in fear.

However localized and limited in time, but still in fearity.

Gods don't lose.

Gods are never outwitted.

Well modern gods in Greek mythology and Indian mythology, that's not true.

That doesn't apply.

But modern gods, Yahweh in the Bible, Allah, these modern gods are highly grandiose and highly narcissistic and they are never outwitted and they never lose and they're omnipotent and they're omniscient and so on and so forth.

Subjects for the narcissist's emulation.

And so the narcissist needs in the wake of a transgression, the narcissist needs to reestablish his sense of omnipotence.

He needs to prove to himself that he hasn't lost, that he hasn't been vanquished, that he hasn't been outwitted, that he's still the smartest, that he's still a winner, not a loser.

And the second element in gradiosity that has to be reconfirmed is omniscient or more precisely omniscient infallibility.

The narcissist is always right.

He's never wrong.

And so having been transgressed against usually implies some kind of poor judgment, making friends with the wrong person who has proven to be a snake in the grass and a fake friend, getting married with the wrong spouse who emerged as a borderline or a covert narcissist.

At any rate, there's poor judgment involved.

And poor judgment is the antithesis, the antonym of omniscience.

You can't be omniscient, you can't be all-knowing and have poor judgment because if you know everything you're never wrong and if you're never wrong, your judgment is always right.

Being always right is critical to the narcissist.

So any injury, any transgression, any hurt, any, they're all indicative that he's not omniscient and he has to somehow restore the balance, recalibrate the scales and settle the accounts, hence the grudge.

Now this is all embedded in righteous indignation, a kind of self-imputed moral injury. Narcissist always assumes, especially covert narcissists, always assume the high moral ground. The past life, the view life is a kind of morality play, good against even with the narcissist, of course, the epitome and reification of the good and everyone else is even. It's a splitting mechanism, a primitive splitting mechanism. Narcissists are all bad, victims are all good, or narcissist are all good, victims are all bad and so on and so forth.

So there's righteous indignation involved.

And it's righteous indignation which is an encastic.

In other words, it's a kind of righteous indignation, kind of moral ostentatious morality, a kind of virtue signaling that is subject to very rigid laws and regulations and rules and norms and mores.

This rigidity is known as an encastia.

It's a trait domain.

And an encastia is perfectionism which is basically obsessive compulsive and adheres, this perfectionism adheres to some rigid sets of rules.

So it's like being very stringent, very strict, very, very unforgiving.

The Rogers are the outcomes of these alleged moral injuries.

The narcissist becomes invested in this morality play as the good guy or the good girl.

He seeks to apportion blame, to allocate blame, to establish who is guilty, to force the other party to admit, to confess, to accept responsibility.

Underneath it all, there's a hidden assumption that harm and damage and transgressions are irreversible.

Like you cannot undo the transgression.

As far as the narcissist is concerned, there's zero tolerance.

One strike and you're out.

Having infringed or challenged or undermined the narcissist's grandiosity in any way, shape or form, privately or in public, you're out.

You're out because the harm you've done, the damage you've inflicted are irreversible.

Therefore, by definition, unforgettable, unforgettable, unforgivable, morally wrong.

And the narcissist has an obligation, an ethical obligation to restore the moral balance of the entire universe, in effect.

It's a cosmic task, a cosmic assignment.

It involves, of course, restorative justice, equity, reparations, restitution, making amendments.

The narcissist wishes to see the transgressor, wishes to witness the transgressor humiliated, confessing, begging, crying, supplicating.

So there needs to be a symbolic, but yet conspicuous and ostentatious and totally visible act of remorse and regret on behalf of the transgressor.

The transgressor needs to offer restitution, reparations and amendments, only to be rejected by the narcissist.

Because the narcissist is not interested in restitution, narcissist is interested in retribution.

But still, it's great fun to witness your enemy, cow-towing, begging, supplicating, crying and so on.

It's fun.

It's the fun part.

It's the grandiosity reconstruction part.

All this leads to punitive vengeance.

The narcissist's vengeance has less to do with the transgressor than with the narcissist himself.

The narcissist wishes to avenge himself, wishes to punish the other party, not in order to accomplish any change in the other party or to educate the other party or to bring about a new constellation in which the other party won't be able to transgress again or to reform and educate the other party or any of these altruistic, noble sounding words or attitudes.

No way.

The narcissist seeks vengeance and revenge, wants to avenge himself for one reason only.

He wants to prove himself vindicated.

It's about self vindication.

I've always been right.

I've always been in the right.

I've always been the moral party.

I've always sought justice.

I've always acted well and okay.

And according to standards, I have done nothing wrong.

It is the other parties, the other parties, punishment.

It is the other parties, other parties suffering that proves me right, that proves me just, that proves me moral.

It is a form of reasserting control over a situation that is perceived as out of control.

The narcissist creates a shared fantasy and introduces other people into the shared fantasy, friends, family, spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, his own children, colleagues, bosses, everyone is somehow embedded and incorporated and assigned roles within a shared fantasy.

And it's a script.

It's a script.

It's rigid.

One has to adhere to the script and the outcome is a narcissist movie of his life.

When someone confronts the narcissist, criticizes the narcissist, disagrees with him, humiliates the narcissist, mocks the narcissist, radicalizes the narcissist, exposes the narcissist, that's a breach, a violation that's ripping the script apart.

That's ignoring the shared fantasy.

That's ruining the movie.

It's unforgivable.

And the narcissist has a panic attack.

He reacts with an extreme anxiety known as panic and he tries to reassert control.

He tries to reestablish the set, the movie set.

He tries to reintroduce the actors into their appropriate location in the script, appropriate role in the script.

He tries to re-impose the script somehow.

The grudge is a control and manipulation strategy.

It's an instrument.

It's a tool guaranteeing that other people would not stray, would toe the line, would obey, would be submissive, would observe the narcissist demands, would fulfill or meet the narcissist expectations because they don't want to be subjected to the narcissist's vengeful fury within his grudge.

Of course, one of the main roles of grudges is deterrence.

The idea of a grudge is to induce behavior modification in the offender, in the perpetrator, in the transgressor.

Holding a grudge is like saying, "I expect you to change your behavior.

Otherwise, I will never forgive you." That's a grudge.

So there's an element of deterrence.

There's an element of education, a missionary element of education, and there's an element of behavior modification.

In a typical healthy grudge, which usually self-expired, there's an expiry date, it's self-limiting, there's a shelf life.

But with a narcissist, the grudge is infinite.

It never goes away.

The narcissist never forgives.

He keeps revisiting his own humiliation and shaming, his own sense of injury, including moral injury.

He keeps revisiting it.

He keeps ruminating.

He keeps obsessing.

So there's not much deterrence accomplished.

And the narcissist is totally not interested in the alleged perpetrator or offender's behavior and its modification.

It's not external.

I keep explaining to you.

The narcissist's grudge is not external.

The narcissist's grudge doesn't even have to do with reputation, although there is a component, a reputational component in the narcissist's grudge.

A typical grudge, a grudge with a healthy person, has to do with the reputational cause of forgiving.

When you forgive, you may appear weak and vulnerable to others, and then they may be misunderstand and think that you are ready and available prey.

You attract predators by forgiving.

You attract predators.

So it's much better to maintain a grudge, thereby enhancing or sustaining your reputation and deterring other potential predators, other potential offenders and perpetrators and so on.

The narcissist is interested in this component of reputation in as far as it is an integral element of his grandiosity, but not otherwise.

Because the narcissist is incapable of perceiving other people as external objects, the narcissist doesn't really care about his or her reputation.

The narcissist wants to be known, wants to be famous, wants to be celebrated and adulated and admired and so on, but all these have nothing to do with reputation.

Reputation is about dignity, self-respect, integrity.

Narcissists don't do these things.

They don't manage reputations.

They don't care about reputational cause, but they do care about appearing weak, appearing vulnerable. They want to appear strong. They want to be feared or they want to be respected or they want to be both feared and respected.

So grudge in the case of the narcissist is less about other people and more about himself.

He is in a form of impression management. He wants to impress people with his inability to forgive and to forget. He wants to be true with me because I never forgive and I never forget.

It's kind of a mafia thing, an immature mafia thing.

Mafias are generally immature. There's a lot of infantilism among organized crime.

Now one last comment.

Those of you who have watched were unfortunate enough to watch my videos about narcissistic modification.

One of the solutions to narcissistic modification is known as the external solution.

To remind you, narcissistic modification is when the narcissist is shamed in public in front of meaningful others or significant others.

That creates a kind of snowball effect and the compensation and total disintegration of the narcissist personality and so on and so forth.

I'm not going into this.

Please watch my videos on the notification.

There are two solutions to modification.

One of them is known as the external solution, blaming others, assigning guilt to others, saying other people are evil.

Other people are malicious.

Other people have conspired against me.

It's a bit of a paranoid solution, but not entirely.

So the external solution to narcissistic modification demands or requires the perpetuation and nourishment of an eternal grudge.

Because other people, there's a mechanism of splitting.

Other people are evil.

Other people with malevolent, malign intent have conspired against me to humiliate me in public and so on and so forth.

I can never forgive these people because this is their essence. Their wickedness is who they are.

How can I forgive them?

It would be an irrational thing to do, to forgive them.


And within the external solution to narcissistic modification, the narcissist generates or creates a narrative whereby he's the victim.

It's a victimhood narrative.

He is the victim of people who are unscrupulous, callous, ruthless, in other words, psychopathic.

The narcissist emphasizes the severe consequences, the modification in his head.

He insists that it's a part of a pattern.

People have been conspiring against him all the time, and especially these people, these wicked lot.

He claims that what has been done to him is inexcusable, immoral, gratuitous, unnecessarily mean, nasty and cruel.

He emphasizes that as a victim, he has lost much more than the perpetrator has gained.

This is known as magnitude gap.

And finally, he claims that what has been done to him has been disproportional.

The victimhood stance of the narcissist is so crucial to the management of his own internal world, and I've explained it in numerous other videos, so crucial that he chooses to make and maintain long term grudges because these long term grudges provide the proof, the evidence and justification for his self perception as an eternal victim.

A victim that is innocent, a victim that bears no responsibility or contribution to what is being done to him, didn't have it coming, and so on and so forth.

Again, of course, we are dealing with a splitting mechanism.

As you can see, the narcissist has excellent psychodynamic reasons, psychological reasons to maintain a grudge, not to get rid of it, to, on the very contrary, nourish it, make it flourish and thrive, make it take over the personality, because a grudge is an organizing principle.

A grudge makes sense of the narcissist's life. It explains to the narcissist what's happening to him and what has happened to him. It also puts the narcissist firmly in the camp of good against evil. It fulfills so many functions, it allows the narcissist to constitute or reconstitute his grandiosity.

But revenge, payback, justice, equity, vindication, restoring a sense of control over his life, too many good reasons to hold a grudge and literally no reason to give up on the grudge.

And this is why narcissists.

So have a grudge-less day, have fun, forgive, forget and move on.

Unless, of course, you're a narcissist.

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