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When Hidden Narcissist Takes Over Narcissistic Tunneling ( Empaths , Coverts, Somatic, Cerebral)

Uploaded 8/13/2023, approx. 22 minute read

Bokeh o Sheh Shanim Sabah El Nuh Dovah Dan O Dovah Yutro

And of course, not to forget, Guten Malgen, which sounds like I'm going to execute you in your entire family.

Something like that.

OK, having proven to you that I know and speak many languages, let us proceed to the next piece of bragging online.

My name is Sam Vaknin and I'm the author of Malignant Surf Lab, Narcissism Revisited. I am a former visiting professor of psychology and still currently on the faculty of SIAS-CIAPS, International Advanced Professional Studies in several countries all over this thriving, cool globe.

Cooler by the day, may I add.


And today we are going to discuss a new phenomenon, which I dub narcissistic tunneling.

It's a fascinating phenomenon, narcissistic tunneling.

I will not say anything further before we get to it, but you're well advised to listen to the entire video and try to make it as short as possible.

But before I go there, a comment about yesterday's video, peer rejection and how peer rejection creates narcissists, covert narcissists.

Well, of course, not all rejected idiosyncratic children, not all children who are rejected by their peers become covert narcissists, obese children, autistic children, gifted children, immigrant children, generally children who are shunned and mocked and ridiculed and avoided by their peers.

Only a small minority of them become covert narcissists.

Similarly, only a small percentage of children who are abused and traumatized by their parents become overt narcissists.

Generally, only a tiny percentage of children who are abused and traumatized in a variety of ways by parents, role models, teachers, peers, you name it, only a small, a tiny percentage end up having or suffering from narcissistic personality disorder.

I hope I've cleared this up and I apologize for any misunderstanding owing to yesterday's hasty video after having traveled all night.


Okay, today we're going to discuss, as I said, tunneling.

Now, this video borrows concepts from biology or precisely genetics and from computer science and from physics.

I know you like these salads and they are not word salads. They are what is called multidisciplinarity.

We need to borrow concepts from other fields sometimes in order to elucidate or throw light on some issue in our own field.

This is a very, very useful practice.

Start with recessive and dominant.

An allele of a gene is said to be dominant when it effectively overrules a recessive allele.

So, every gene in the human body, every gene period has two alleles. One of them dominates and one of them is dominated, submissive, recessive.

Remember this, recessive, dominant.

Eye color, for example, and blood groups are both examples of dominant alleles and recessive alleles within genes.

So you could have a recessive eye color or a recessive blood group or a dominant one. Dominant is not good, recessive is not bad, it's just a matter of statistics.

Okay, that's concept number one. Bear it in mind as we proceed to discuss narcissism.

Concept number two, tunneling, also known as quantum tunneling in physics.

It's a penetration of a barrier. It's a mechanical phenomenon in which an object such as an electron or an atom passes through a potential barrier, potential energy barrier or even real barrier.

According to classical mechanics, the object does not have sufficient energy to enter the barrier, penetrate it and exit the other side or even to surmount it somehow.

And yet, it happens, atomic particles, especially atomic particles, disappear in one location and appear in another, having crossed a barrier inexplicably. And this is known as quantum tunneling.

Now tunneling is also a concept in computer networking, in network theory. It's a way to move packets, packets of information, packets of data from one network to another network.

And tunneling works through encapsulation. A packet is wrapped inside another packet. So there's a disguise here. One packet is disguised by another packet, inhabits it, colonizes it, is parasitic on another packet. And this way, it crosses the network and appears on another network.

So remember these three concepts, recessive and dominant.

Tunneling in quantum physics, surmounting a barrier and appearing mysteriously where you should not have appeared and tunneling in computer networks, where packets are disguised inside other packets and that way they cross networks.


Now to narcissism.

Each and every narcissist is alive, probably many dead ones.

I'm not quite sure what's the difference.

Each and every narcissist has a dominant type and a recessive type.

So for example, a cerebral narcissist would have a dominant type, cerebral and recessive type somatic.

A covert narcissist would have a dominant type, covert, shy, vulnerable, fragile.

And a recessive type overt.

Each and every narcissist has a hidden type, a suppressed type, a recessive type, a submissive type, but there is no type constancy.

A cerebral canon does become somatic.

A somatic attempts to become cerebral, laughably, as we will see a bit later.

A overt sometimes becomes overt or grandiose and overt, having been injured, for example, or mortified, tends to become covert and schizoid.

So there's no type constancy. It's all in flux and the various types are reactive to the environment. They're cured by the environment. That's why I describe types of narcissists as self-states triggered by circumstances, cues from the environment, social cues, sexual cues and so on.

The recessive type in the narcissist, the traits of the recessive type are expressed, in manifest, only obliquely, only indirectly, only in disguised and camouflaged form.

And this is the equivalent of what is called a hidden text.

You know a palimpsest? A palimpsest is a piece of parchment used to write on repeatedly different texts. Each time the palimpsest is scratched clean, scrubbed and a new text is written on it.

But the previous text is still somehow visible, for example, with x-rays.

So the narcissist is a palimpsest.

There is a hidden previous text which is suppressed, invisible and there is a dominant text which is overt text, readable, visible to the naked eye.

But the underlying text, the hidden text is a dynamic of its own.

And this recessive type, this hidden type, this captured type, it's like a hostage, it's like someone held in a cell like the men in the iron mask.

This hidden type manifests itself, expresses itself via the process of narcissistic tunneling. It crosses the barrier of the dominant type disguised.

So it is disguised, it disguises itself and then crosses the barrier of the dominant type.

Suddenly we see the narcissist doing something which is atypical to his type.

We see a cerebral narcissist, I don't know, exercising.

We see a somatic narcissist reading a book or talking about philosophy.

We see a covert narcissist suddenly becoming assertive and demanding narcissistic supply coercively.

We see an overt or grandiose narcissist suddenly being subdued and shy.

And so the hidden type, the repressed type, the suppressed, the recessive type of the narcissist erupts from time to time, explodes, gets out of control, but very briefly, the only glimpses of the hidden type via the process of narcissistic tunneling.


Now let me give you examples, private cases of this larger phenomenon, which I doubt narcissistic tunneling, and I hope it will make things clear or clear rare.

Take for example, covert narcissists.

Covert narcissists are passive aggressive. They're envious. They're a bit malicious, inadvertently at least.

Covert narcissists see them with fury at their own collapse, at their inability to secure narcissistic supply.

And yet some covert narcissists are people pleasers. They are YouTubers who are self-styled, moral crusaders, heroes, rescuers, savers, healers, and fixers. These are examples of covert narcissists or essentially people pleasers.

Now people pleasing is a codependent trait. These are covert narcissists whose dominant type is covert narcissism and latent type, hidden type, recessive type is codependent.

That's why many covert narcissists masquerade as codependents, are easily mistaken for codependents or in a misdiagnose with dependent personality disorder. It's because of the latent type, the hidden, the repressed type.

So that's one example.

Another example.

Some covert narcissists are perennial and competitive victims. They can never do wrong. They are always wronged. They're always victimized, always tortured. They are always put upon. They are always in the right. They're always right.

And that is an expression of their covert narcissism because narcissists are always right.

But they are right by attaining the high moral ground. They are right by becoming victims.

So these are YouTubers who self-identify as victims in codependency.

Indeed, these covert narcissists, the dominant type is covert narcissists. The latent type is codependent.

I've given you two examples now of covert narcissists.

There's the exact opposite, the flip side of this coin.

These are YouTubers who out themselves as narcissists.

By the way, for the historical record, I was the first person ever to out himself as a narcissist in 1995.

So now there's a new crop of YouTubers who out themselves as narcissists.

But these narcissists claim to be on a healing trajectory, recovering or recovered in treatment.

These are, of course, either lies, manipulative lies or forms of extreme self-deception.

So the dominant type here is overt grandiose narcissists. And the hidden type would be psychopathic narcissists, manipulative lies in order to accomplish goals, for example, views or to make money on YouTube via advertising. These are narcissists who claim to be healing and changing and recovering and transforming and give false hope to their viewers.

So this is completely psychopathic.

So the latent type here is psychopath.

The alternative is that they really believe their own BS. They really believe this fantasy, that they are somehow being transformed from narcissists to moral agents, healers, helpers, rescuers, and so on and so forth.

And then we are talking about manipulative codependency, also known as control from the bottom.

And then we would have an overt narcissist as a dominant type and a codependent as a latent type.

Actually recently, there has been a study published which tends to substantiate my claim that empaths, people who claim to be empaths, may well be covert narcissists.

You can go to the description and look for the link to this study.

I just want to read to you something, a kind of summary of the study.

And then you can go and find the study all on your own and read it and form your own opinion.

The study is titled Signaling High Sensitivity to Influence Others: Initial Evidence for the Roles of Reinforcement Sensitivity, Sensory Processing Sensitivity, and the Dark Triad.

It was authored by Maautina Kajic and Maochen Mowon. And they are not morons, trust me.

The study is very fascinating, it's constructed very well in my view.

They found, among other things, I must say, this is not the only conclusion nor is it the dominant conclusion, but they found among other things, that individuals with higher scores on dark personality traits, specifically narcissism and psychopathy, are more likely to engage in signaling high sensitivity.

Empaths, yes, empaths have been saying for years that empaths are covert narcissists.

The authors continue, they signal high sensitivity in order to influence others, these narcissists and psychopaths.

And this finding supports the deceptive signaling hypotheses indicating that the expression of high sensitivity can be a manipulative interpersonal strategy employed by grandiose and callous individuals to gain advantage in social interactions.

Again, empaths.

So empaths are perfect examples of covert narcissists as the dominant type, but with a recessive type of codependent or psychopathy.

Now these people disguise themselves, of course, and this leads me to think that they are more psychopathic than codependent.

Similarly, a borderline would have a dominant type as a borderline and a covert, sorry, a latent type or a hidden type or a recessive type as a secondary psychopath, but that's only in extreme stress related situations.

The borderline is abandoned, rejected, and she compensates and acts out as a secondary psychopath.


Let's proceed.

A cerebral narcissist.

Cerebral narcissists are divorced from their own bodies.

They hate their bodies.

They don't want to invest anything in their bodies.

They don't exercise, they're not fit.

They rarely take care of their medical problems, they neglect themselves and so on and so forth because cerebrals value only their brains.

They obtain and secure narcissistic supply by deploying their intellectual gifts.

But there are cerebrals who enjoy food.

The enjoyment of food being a gourmet, dedicating a lot of time to cooking and eating and savoring the various tastes, that's not only a form of self-soothing. That is a manifestation and an expression of the latent, hidden, recessive type of somatic.

So the dominant type is cerebral narcissist.

The cerebral narcissist rejects and loathes and hates his body.

But then there is a recessive type, a hidden type, a latent type of somatic.

And the somatic enjoys food, which is essentially a sensory experience involving almost exclusively the body.

Similarly, cerebral narcissists may have somatoform disorders. They may have a distorted body image, negative or positive. They may develop hypochondriasis, anxiety related to illness. They may have an eating disorder or they may be autoerotic. Autoerotic and masturbate compulsively. They derive pleasure from masturbating and from redirecting the sex drive at themselves as a sex object. That is a somatic thing. That's not a cerebral thing.

So a cerebral who masturbates compulsively has a dominant type cerebral and a somatic type.

And the somatic type, which is latent and hidden and recessive erupts, comes to the surfaces by masturbating or by eating or by having an imperfect body image or an eating disorder. So it's an example of narcissistic tunneling.

Another example of narcissistic tunneling is a somatic narcissist.

Now somatic narcissists have become somatic because they are not very endowed intellectually. They may be eloquent. They may be able to put words together in a very impressive way, but they are not original and they are not creative and they are not truly very intelligent. They are just mimics. They know how to imitate intelligent people effectively and efficaciously.

So a somatic is someone who gave up on his intellect as a way to secure narcissistic supply and has cultivated and nurtured his body and his body functions as ways to obtain supply.

And yet every somatic has a recessive latent hidden type as a cerebral. Every cerebral is a somatic. Every somatic is a cerebral. It's a dominant type and a recessive type.

A somatic recessive, somatic recessive type is the cerebral.

So we can find, we find these somatic narcissists or covert somatic narcissists philosophizing, engaging in philosophy or creating an ideology around sexual conquest, around dating, around gender issues, around relationships, around martial arts, around bodybuilding, building, around exercise.

We can find these covert somatics or somatics becoming health nuts or amateur medical doctors or wannabes therapy or coaches or what have you.

These are all cerebral pursuits.

This is the way the cerebral recessive latent hidden type expresses or manifests itself via the barrier of the somatic dominant type.

This is the way the cerebral latent hidden type tunnels through the somatic barrier, the somatic dominant type.

Similarly, a covert may volunteer in high visibility projects or campaigns, virtue signaling in victimhood movements. He may initiate personal heroic morality crusades. He may join narcissistic overtly grandiose narcissistic institutions or collectives.

These are all acts which are far more typical of the grandiose overt narcissist.

And so the dominant type is a grandiose overt narcissist, but the covert expresses itself manifest through the layer of dominant grandiosity by acting in ways which signal morality, virtue and victimhood.


Another last example, an overt, an overt narcissist, a grandiose narcissist may suddenly act shy or insecure or passive aggressive rather than in your face aggressive and defiant or pseudo humble in certain situations and is always envious.

All these are typical covert attributes.

They're not typical of covert, they're not typical of overt grandiose narcissist.

These are covert attributes.

The covert is shy, insecure, passive aggressive, pseudo humble, always envious and so on. It's a covert thing, but the covert expresses manifest itself via narcissistic tunneling.

And so suddenly the overt or grandiose narcissist appears for a day or an hour or a month or a week to be covert.

We narcissistic tunneling teaches us that there is an ongoing power play in competition between the dominant type and the recessive type.

And it's sometimes a recessive type as the upper hand and manifest and expresses itself via narcissistic tunneling.

So we can never look at the narcissist and say that's a pure case of covert narcissism or overt narcissism or somatic narcissism or cerebral narcissism. We can never say this.

This must always surprise us by displaying behaviors and traits which are much more typical of the recessive type.

Somatic becomes suddenly cerebral.

It's laughable of course.

Somatics cannot be effective of efficacious cerebrals. They are one of these cerebrals.

They look like clowns, but still they do attempt to become cerebral.

Usually cerebral narcissism suddenly becomes somatic.

They regard themselves sexually irresistible and what have you.

And that's equally laughable.

And the same goes for covert narcissist and overt narcissist and so on and so forth.

Narcissistic tunneling in my view is a very important concept because it describes dynamic pathways between hidden strata, hidden layers of narcissism that have been suppressed owing to circumstances, environments and the expectations of society, parental figures, the socialization process and peer rejection.


So the narcissist is a hidden layer, a buried layer, a denied layer, a repressed layer, but it never goes to sleep.

As Freud had predicted with his abreaction, these layers have energy. They possess energy. They have a dynamic of their own. They're like hidden volcanoes, magma, lava.

And so the magma there erupts and becomes lava.

There are always these volcanic eruptions of the recessive type within the dominant barrier or firewall.

One could even conceive of the dominant type to be a kind of protective barrier, a kind of defense against the recessive type.

Very often in the etiology or the pathoetiology of narcissism, in the developmental trajectory of narcissism, the narcissist develops a protective layer, a protective set of functions to deny and to repress and to ignore the recessive type.

Something in the recessive type threatens the narcissist, challenges the narcissist, cognitive distortions and grandiosity, the narcissist narrative, something there doesn't fit.

For example, if the narcissist has a self-image as a good, moral, helpful, loving, compassionate, caring, empathic person, this kind of narcissist would try to deny his covert narcissism. He would try to pretend to be a codependent or a victim of narcissistic abuse or an empath, but he would try to deny his covert narcissism.

Similarly, an overt, grandiose narcissist would try to deny his codependency because it's humiliating to be dependent on other people. It flies in the face of his self-perception as godlike and omnipotent and omniscient.

The dominant type definitely can be conceptualized as a massive rigid defense against the true type which had become suppressed, latent, hidden and recessive until it is brought to light, surfaces and erupts when the right circumstances and the appropriate environment provide for it.

This is an ongoing dissonance, it's an ongoing battle between dominant type and recessive type.

Everything we see online, all those YouTubers and coaches and victims and you name it, an act for us, this inner conflict between recessive and dominant type. They are all narcissists, no exception in my opinion, but they are just an acting, this amazing process of narcissistic tunneling.

Thank you.

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