Background

Why Narcissist Happy, Depressed, Remorseful? Plus Boredom

Uploaded 1/30/2021, approx. 32 minute read

Welcome to the Sam Vaknin Borrow Show.

There's one question that keeps you awake at night, one question that nearly drives you insane, one query, the answer to which you must have whatever the cost may be. Even if it takes watching one of my videos, so be it. You need the answer and you need the answer now.

And the question is, is the SOB happy? Is the narcissist content, satisfied, gratified, happy-go-lucky? Or is he depressed, karmically?

The karma got him. Is he sad? Is he downcast? Is he disabled by his own internal dynamics, grief, narcissistic injuries and mortification? So which is it? Happy or depressed?

And I'll give you a typical Jewish answer, both, you know, two Jews, three opinions.

And so here we are. The narcissist is both happy and depressed at the very same moment, simultaneously, concurrently happy.

How is this possible?

You ask, how can anyone be happy and depressed at the very same moment? Aren't these two mutually exclusive states of mind moods?

You're forgetting that the narcissist is God. He's all powerful. Everything is within his remit and ambit. He can accomplish and do anything he wants. He can even decide to be happy and depressed at the same time and no one can prevent him from accomplishing this counterintuitive task.

So because narcissists can do anything, know everything, are perfect, they are the only subspecies of humans who have something which I call effective ambivalence.

And if you're wondering what is effective ambivalence, you're not the only ones because hitherto we knew of emotional ambivalence. Emotional ambivalence is when you hold simultaneously two conflicting emotions directed at the same person or situation or place.

So you hate your narcissist, but you also love him, love, hate relationships with mommy, with daddy, with your narcissist. This is an example of emotional ambivalence, but what on earth is effective ambivalence?

Don't bother to look online. Don't ask anyone because I've just come up with it.

Effective ambivalence is when you simultaneously hold two moods, two effects, simultaneously happy and depressed, simultaneously you're up and down.

Effective ambivalence is when you have two conditions of affect, conditions of mood which subsist or coexist at the same time towards the same target.

Now this sounds an impossibility, but before Freud came with emotional ambivalence, people thought that emotional ambivalence was impossible.

They said, how can you hate and love the same person at the same time? And now we know it's extremely common.

I think effective ambivalence might gain this status in due time, but let us go back to a favorite topic, the narcissist, or at least my favorite topic, the narcissist.

First of all, let it be clear. Effective ambivalence is not typical only of narcissists. It's actually I would say typical of most personality disorders.

For example, avoidant personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and of course, antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic, schizotypal, paranoid. They all have, they all display effective ambivalence. They all harbor, entertain, contain mutually exclusive, mutually contradictory moods at the very same time.

In many personality disorders, we have approach avoidant behavior, approach avoidance behavior. These people with cluster B and other personality disorder approach you. And then when you respond favorably to the approach, they avoid you. And then they approach you again, approach avoidance. They are repetition compulsions. They keep repeating the same set of behaviors, the same speech acts, nevermind how counterproductive, self-defeating or even self-destructive this pattern is. They keep repeating it.

And this is what Freud called repetition compulsion. They have identity disturbance. They don't have a clear core of identity. They shift between identities and the shifts can be mind boggling. They shift between values. They shift between convictions and preferences. They shift between moods and effects. They shift between emotions and cognitions.

And so they have something which we call alternating self-stays.

You're beginning to see that these people are highly unstable. Their internal landscape, internal environment is very, very organized and chaotic. And this internal chaos is fully reflected in their behaviors, in their conduct, in their choices, in their decisions, in their relationships. And it is this chaos that leads to affective ambivalence.

To remind you, affective ambivalence is two concurrently experienced moods or effects which contradict each other and are usually mutually exclusive.

Healthy, normal people experience one mood at a time.

But what if you don't have an identity? What if you don't have a core? What if your identity is very disturbed? What if you're fractured and fragmented? What if you have self-states, several self-states, not only one?

Well, each of these fragments and each of these self-states can have its own mood. And because they all coexist, you can have multiple moods simultaneously because there's no you. There's nobody there. Each fragment continues its own internal process. Each self-stays, awaits the moment to take over and manifest. And each one of them harbors specific affect, emotion, cognition, etc.

Bromberg calls it narrative.

Take, for example, the avoidant or the schizoid narcissist, or actually don't take them, but consider them.

Consider the avoidant or the schizoid narcissist. They endure simultaneous dissonant egosyntonic happiness, gratification, and satisfaction, and egodystonic depression and regret.

Let's break this down because these are very big words. At the same time, they're happy. They're gratified. They're satisfied. And so they're egosyntonic. They feel good. They feel comfortable. They want to go on in this state of mind.

But at the same time, concurrently, they're depressed. And that is, of course, egodystonic. That's bad. It's a bad feeling. It's an uncomfortable feeling. Or they regret things. And that's also an uncomfortable feeling.

So at the same time, they're happy, egosyntonic, gratified, satisfied, and depressed, sad, down, angry, regretful.

And this creates a dissonance. This creates a clash, an inner conflict between the competing moods.

Basically, a civil war between the self-states with the moods and effects as proxies.

But why would someone who is happy, gratified, satisfied? Why would someone like that be depressed? What regrets would someone like that have?

Why would you regret becoming happy or gratified or satisfied?

Well, it's because the cost of becoming happy, the cost of attaining contentment, gratification, and satisfaction, happiness, the cost that these people pay are very high.

Healthy people, when they become happy, when they attain happiness and contentment, they pay a cost, of course, everything has an opportunity cost. But these costs are minimal. And they are well, I mean, they're well compensated for by the state of happiness.

In other words, the price of happiness is worth the price, whatever it is, in healthy people, normal people.

But with personality disordered people, the costs sometimes frequently actually far outweigh the price of happiness, gratification, and satisfaction.

Consider, for example, the schizoid narcissist. In order for him to be happy, he needs to cut off all human contact and all interactions with everyone around him, including his so-called intimate partner. He needs to isolate himself to be totally solipsistically alone, a single atom in a totally empty universe.

So he pays a horrendous cost because we are all social animals. Even schizoid narcissists, even schizoids are essentially social. But they internalize their social impulses, their social urges, and they internalize them and they redirect them into fantasy. They have a fantasy social life.

But that's a huge price to pay, to not talk to anyone, to not sleep with anyone, to not be intimate with anyone, to not be friends with anyone, to not trust and confide in anyone. This is a horrendous price.

It's like solitary confinement. Ask any prisoner and they will tell you they don't dread weapons in prison. They don't dread anything. The thing they fear most is solitary confinement.

So the schizoid narcissist willingly, voluntarily submits himself to solitary confinement in order to satisfy his schizoid style or his schizoid personality disorder and be happy. The schizoid is happy only when he is alone.

But in order to be alone and to be happy, he pays a horrendous, terrifying price in social isolation.

So simultaneously he is happy that he is alone and he is unhappy that he has had to pay this price. He is depressed. He is depressed at how disabled he is, how abnormally he is, what he misses out in life. It depresses him. He is unhappy about this.

But these are the costs of being alone and he can be happy only if he is alone.

Consider, for example, the borderline. She is happy and unhappy at the same time. She is happy only when she is with an intimate partner. This intimate partner regulates many of her psychological functions, provides, caters to many of her needs. It's the same with the codependent.

But the price the borderline pays is enormous. Self-annihilating. The price she pays is emotional dysregulation, which is the outcome of extreme, radicalized, catastrophized abandonment and separation anxiety. So it's an approach avoidance. She can be happy. The borderline can be happy only with an intimate partner.

But the minute she is with an intimate partner, the costs of being happy are gigantic, mind-wracking, destructive. They lead her. These costs lead her to become a secondary psychopath and to engage in reckless self-endangering behaviors and worse.

So the schizoid pays the price of social isolation in order to be happy when he is alone. The borderline pays the price of emotional dysregulation in order to be with a partner because only when she is with an intimate partner, she is happy.

You see, these people are forced to pay such a price for their happiness that it renders them unhappy. They are unhappy with who they are. They are unhappy with the price they have to pay just in order to obtain and attain what other people, healthy people take for granted. They pay a psychosexual price as well.

People with personality disorders typically immature psychosexually. They have relationship failures, very harrowing, very agonizing failures which involve triangulation, cheating. They go through the most devastating consequences in their relationships because their psychosexuality is infantile.

And yet they need a relationship in order to be happy except the schizoid. All the others need to be in a relationship. The narcissist needs to be in a shared fantasy, for example. The borderline needs an external regulator of her emotions, which is her intimate partner.

They need relationships. They are dependent, of course. The avoidant even needs relationships.

So relationships are sine qua non. They are absolute necessity.

But they enter the relationship fully anticipating loss and failure because they know that they are not adults. They are not sufficiently mature to maintain the relationship and keep it going.

And there's an impairment of reality testing, cognitive deficits and biases.


So in the thrust, in the drive towards happiness, they lose touch with reality. They engage in delusions, in fantasies, in grandiosity. It's bad to lose touch with reality. It's frightening. It's threatening. It's dangerous. And they know it. They take huge risks just to be happy.

And so they keep asking themselves, why was I dealt such a bad hand when I was born? Or when I've had these kind of dysfunctional parents, dead mothers, why me?

There is a snagging question. Why me? It hurts. It's a problem.

So even the most egosyntonic overt, classic, self-assured, self-confident, etc., grandiose narcissist, there's this snagging thing like, why me? Why do I have to pay this price?

So the narcissist lies to himself. He says, well, it's because I'm special. I'm unique. I'm super intelligent. People are stupid. People are envious. That's why I have to pay this price.

The borderline says to herself, he was about to abandon me. He was about to re he's rejecting me. He's an abuser. He's horrible. And so that's why I have to pay this price.

They invent narratives. That's why Bromberg insists the personality disorders are actually narratives.

So they invent narratives, which in order to explicate, to somehow make sense of why they have to pay this tremendous costs, why they have to give up such huge parts of themselves in, just in order to be happy.

And so they're simultaneously happy and unhappy about it.

And some of them, not always, and not about everything, but some of them regret. Some of them have regrets.

Talk to any borderline. She will tell you, she has many regrets.


Paranoid personalities, avoidant, of course, have regrets.

So as you see, it's not limited to narcissism to be a narcissist, a classic overt narcissist would deny that he regrets anything or that he has remorse of any kind. And so would a psychopath, someone with antisocial personality disorder, but it's not true. It's not true. When they are alone at night, looking in the mirror, they have regrets. They have regrets. They feel they've missed out on things. They feel life could have been different. They feel there's so much they have no access to, so much they hadn't benefited from, so much they have never enjoyed, pleasured in, pleasures denied, pleasure of, I don't know, intimacy, love, proper sex, adult reciprocal. They are punished by their own disorder and no one can ignore such a punishment, not for long anyhow.

Narcissists are very powerful defenses, psychopaths even more.

And so in order to cope with these constant, all-consuming, all-pervasive losses, the strategy of these people, strategy of these patients with personality disorders is to lose even more.

So for example, the narcissist, in order to cope with his failures and defeats and broken relationships and broken heart to cope with all this, he loses yet more. He loses access to his emotions. He denies his emotions. He does not emote. He feels nothing. He converts himself into an android robot just in order not to feel because he feels threatened by emotions. He is afraid to become a borderline in effect.

So here you are a narcissist. You've lost so much. You've lost loved ones. You've lost businesses. You've lost friends. You never had intimacy or love or proper sex or anything. Your whole life is one ginormous loss.

And how do you react? You lose even more. You lose your emotions.

Here's a psychopath in and out of jail or in and out of relationships or in and out of infatuations or in and out of business schemes which never work out, in and out of exploiting and abusing people and stealing from them and leveraging the vulnerabilities and weaknesses in and out.

And how does he cope with all this? He copes with all this by denying all his emotions except anger and resentment and vindictiveness.

So the solutions render the dysfunction more egregious, more extreme.

And so finally, regret.

But of course regret in the case of the narcissist, for example, in the case of people with personality disorders, regret is irrational. They should not actually regret anything.

I'll try to explain why. It's not a value judgment. It's not a moral judgment. It's not that they have done nothing wrong. Most of what they've done is wrong. Most of what they've done is evil and wicked or hurtful and painful to others or self-interested or egotistical or whatever.

So there's a lot to regret, but they should not regret because in their case it's irrational.

And I'd like to try to explain why is it irrational? Why is it illogical? Why is it unreasonable for, for example, a narcissist to regret what he had done?

Stay with me. It's a bit of a complex argument.

Regret makes sense only if there is personal continuity, an immutable, unchangeable core identity.

I repeat this.

regret, remorse, feeling bad about what you've done makes sense. Only if you have personal continuity, you're one and the same person all the time. Only if you have unchangeable, immutable core identity.

But people with personality disorders don't have this. They are discontinuous. They're not the same person from one year to another, from one week to another.

In some cases, like the borderline from one hour into another, they're not the same person. These are separate self-states. They share memories, these self-states. They have a common repository of memories.

So there is continuity in the biographical sense as when it comes to personal history.

But there's no emotional, not even cognitive, continuity. It's like these people are populated, inhabited by a multitude. These are all cases of effectively multiple personality disorder with permeable dissociation, with no dissociation in many cases.

And so consider, for example, the narcissist. One day on Wednesday, he's person A. On Thursday, he's person B.

Person A did something wrong. Should person B feel bad about it? Why?

Person B is not person A. Why should person B feel bad about something person A had done the day before?

And when you talk to narcissists, they will tell you, I didn't do anything wrong. I shouldn't be punished. It's unjust. It's unfair. Why are you punishing me? I was a different person.

Narcissist war criminals often use this argument. I was a different person than they say. I'm all entirely changed now. I'm reformed.

Alcoholics who went through AA use the same argument. I was a different person. I should go on parole. I should be paroled because now I'm not the same person who had committed the crime.

So regret makes sense only if there is personal continuity.

Person A can regret having acted in a certain way or having chosen inaction over action, but person A can regret or have remorse only if he had remained, if he has remained largely person A.

It would make no sense for person B to regret anything person A had done, even if both inhabit the same body.

Indeed, dissociative identity disorder, multiple personality disorder and recently narcissistic personality disorder in the case of Brian Blackmore are beginning to be considered to be considered and taken as insanity defenses.

In identity disturbance, which is very common in many personality disorders and in many other mental illnesses, not personality disorders.

So in identity disturbance, we have self-states. Each self-state is distinct. One self-state is very empathic, warm, loving, emotional.

Another self-state in the same person, in the same person, in the same body. The other self-state is a secondary psychopath, defined, contumacious, impulsive, aggressive and reckless, callous, novelty-seeking and risk-taking.

Nothing to do with the first person.

And yet they both inhabit the same body.

We have this erroneous notion that we should judge people as the same just because they share a body. A body can be inhabited by many people. Possession, demon possession was founded on this realization and observation that different entities can inhabit a single shrine, a single temple, the shrine of the body.

And so identity disturbance means that you have self-states. And self-states are far apart.

The transformations over time, the transitions, switching between self-states, they are startling. Anyone who had witnessed a rejected, humiliated, abandoned borderline, becoming a secondary psychopath, switching to a secondary psychopath, would understand what I'm saying, would immediately understand what I mean.

It's not the same person, end of story. Person A effectively becomes an almost unrelated person B. The transition is seamless and instantaneous, flick of the thumb or a switch or something. There is no constancy of traits, behaviors, values, affect, cognitions, emotions, any parameter of identity. And there is no constancy of these parameters because there's no core identity. There's no negotiator. There's no coordinator. There's no stable kind of weight which holds everything. There's no glue. And it makes no sense for person B to regret the behaviors or the choices or the decisions of person A. Although, of course, person B can disagree with person A. Person B can criticize person A. Person B can even be angry at person A if he has to suffer the consequences of person A's actions.

But they're not the same. There are two self-states.

You can say, I regret that person A had chosen to not have sex for 15 years. I regret that. It was a very bad decision, deprivation, depriving me of pleasure, of intimacy, of love. I regret that person A is like that. I criticize him. I think he's an idiot. I would never do what person A had done. Had I been in control of the body instead of person A, I would have never reached this decision. I would have never implemented this choice. I'm angry at person A because person A denied himself of love and sex and intimacy. And now I'm person B and I'm to all. So I'm angry at person A. He had put me, person B, in this situation. I have to pay the consequences, suffer the consequences and pay the price for person A's inanity, idiocy, stupidity, insanity.

Yes, there could be a civil war between person A and person B. But there could be no regret and no remorse.

Person B is not responsible, doesn't feel responsible for person A's actions or inaction.

It's like there is an external locus of control. Person B was controlled by person A while person A was in control.

Like choosing a wrong leader, a wrong president, a wrong prime minister. As long as he's president or prime minister, you're a hostage. Voted out of office, you're beginning to pay the price and you're angry.

But you're not the president. You couldn't have done anything. Person B could not have done anything.

Person B can regret not having coalesced, not having emerged earlier than he did. He did.

So person B can say, why did I wait for so long? Why didn't I just fight it out with person A, duel at noon, let the best one win? Why didn't I have it out with person A? Why didn't I take over this body? Why did I allow person A to control all the resources, hitherto?

And it's a kin. Person B's reaction, I should have fought person A off. I should have taken the body earlier. I should have controlled the situation and allocate the resources to myself. I, person B, should have been in charge, not person A, and I should have never allowed him to be in charge.

This is like resenting our mortality, because our mortality limits the number of possible experiences that we could ever have.

And we are angry at this. We resent this. We deny our mortality. We ignore it. We live every day as though there's no tomorrow. We live every day as though we're going to live forever.

And we behave this way because we can't accept that the set of all possible experiences is limited by our longevity.

It's the same with person B.

Person B is angry at person A because person A had absconded with, stolen from him, many years of his life.

In this sense, person A is person's B mortality because person A had stolen time from person B.

There is a problem of time. I've dealt with it in a previous video.

Kernberg had written about it. I had written about it years before Kernberg.

There is a problem of the perception of time, the allocation of time, because there are so many self-states.

There is a problem to manage time, to manage time constructively, productively, self-efficaciously, but also to experience time.

The self-states share memories, but they can't share time.

So many of them have a very distorted perception of time. When does it start? When does it end? Where does it lead?

They don't have these concepts. They are time discontinuous. It's kind of malignant mindfulness. They're constantly in the present.

The only regret person B can have is that he hadn't dumped person A, disposed of him, and seated him much earlier.

But what person B should understand is that person B could not have emerged, could not have exited earlier, could not have taken over the body earlier, because if he could have, he would have.

The fact that person B took so long to emerge, the fact that person B emerged only under given circumstances, proves that it could not have emerged earlier or under different circumstances.

The thing is, if you can, you do in psychology. If a process can manifest, it does. If something can happen, it does. If an emotion has to erupt, it erupts. If anything can happen, it does.

And if things don't happen, they die. They're discarded. It's called the economy of the psyche, of the economy, psychological economy.

So person B didn't come forth, didn't manifest, didn't express itself earlier, because he could not have. He could not have had, if he were able to, he would have.

Pseudo-entities are sub-optimal, but they are egosyntonic narrative strategies, and they are asymptotic to the optimal. They are therefore mutually exclusive.

Wow, that was a mouthful. Let me explain this.

Pseudo-entities, sub-states, they are not optimal. They don't give you the best possible result as a narcissist or as a psychopath or as a borderline.

Just look at where these people end, how they end their lives. You know, discarded, broken, damaged goods.

Personality disorders is not a good recipe for running your life. It's bad management strategy.

So pseudo-entities, pseudo-identities, these are very bad, very wrong, very inefficient methods of allocating resources. They are not optimal. They are sub-optimal, but they're egosyntonic.

The person feels good with the solution chosen, with a self-state which had exited or emerged.

So the person, the narcissist, for example, would be happy with person A. The borderline would be happy with the secondary psychopath as long as they are in control, as long as they are the ones who are manifest and expressed.

The narrative strategy is egosyntonic. The narrative strategy of these various competing sub-states, each of these sub-states makes the personality-disordered person happy. Happy.

It's important to understand. The function of these self-states is egosyntonic, is to keep the personality-disordered patient happy, content, gratified, satisfied, and therefore functional.

Could it have been done differently? Of course. These are bad strategies, inefficient, not self-affiliations, but they are the only ones the patient has. So they are sub-optimal. You could come up with better solutions, strategies, ideas, maneuvers, but that's it. That's what you have. Take it or leave it.

And these strategies, these narratives are asymptotic to the optimum. In other words, they try to obtain or attain a state of optimum. They try to do their best. They try to secure the best possible outcomes in a given environment or under given circumstances, but they never make it. They never make it.

And so these self-states are mutually exclusive. They are mutually exclusive because one of them is in control. When one of them manifests, when one of them is expressed, when one of them is in charge, when one of them is observable, is externalized, the person, the patient, is egosyntonic, is happy, gratified, satisfied.

Why would the patient want to transition to another state? Only when circumstances, environmental circumstances change in the human environment or the natural environment, only when certain internal processes go awry, only then there is egosyntonic and the person switches to another personhood state.

And in that new state, the patient is again happy and sees no need to change.

So this is the inner landscape of people with personality disorders.


Now, about yesterday's video, I had to do with boredom. I bored you to death and reduced you to nothingness, which gave me enormous egosyntony.

Right. Some of you asked me, what about psychopaths?

The literature says that psychopaths have a low threshold, low tolerance of boredom. So boredom is not good, because easily I said the boredom is good. I said boredom is good for you.

So you see, boredom is not good.

Because for example, psychopaths, they have a low tolerance of boredom.

Well, that's precisely it. It's not the boredom that's the problem. It's the low tolerance of the boredom.

When you don't tolerate boredom, you act out, you self-defeat, you self-destruct, you fake, you lie to yourself, you delude yourself in fantasies, you have a multitude of dysfunctional solutions to not tolerating boredom.

Let me put it this way, the less you tolerate boredom, the more psychopathic you are.

Reverse this sentence, the more you tolerate boredom, the healthier you are. Tolerating boredom is healthy.

And a person who seeks boredom, aspires to boredom, is the healthiest of all.

And a person who cannot stand boredom, a person who disintegrates, acts out impulsively, crazily, aggressively, because he cannot stand one minute of boredom.

That's a good description of a psychopath.


Let me reiterate very briefly the message of yesterday's video without the nothingness part, without the philosophy, just the psychology.

Here, too, the literature says that boredom is a condition where there's insufficient stimulation. And I beg to differ. I think boredom is a reaction to overstimulation.

The more stimuli, the more signals, the more symbols, more information, more data you're exposed to, the more likely you are to be bored.

I gave the example of an action thriller. You watch one action thriller, you're excited, you're thrilled, you're interested, you're bored. Too much, not too little. Overstimulation, hyperstimulation.

Direct exposure to life without filtering, without firewalling, without categorical arrangement and classification, direct exposure to the tsunami wave of information and data that life throws at you, this leads to boredom. It leads to boredom through a process called desensitization. Desensitization means you need higher and higher level, higher and higher excitatory levels, higher and higher, more and more stimuli. You need more and more to maintain the same level of interest and thrill and excitement. So this is desensitization.

At some point, you know, it's too much. You shut off.

And this shutting off is boredom.

But boredom is a strong indicator that you're in direct connection, direct contact, direct interaction with life itself, with reality itself, with the universe as it is. That's healthy. Boredom is the meaning of an authentic life, because authenticity means to be in direct contact with reality and the world, not fake, not to falsify, not to put makeup, not to paint over, not to impose a veneer, not to pretend, but to bravely face reality, confront the world. This is healthy. Boredom, which is the result of such an interaction, is therefore healthy and imbues everything with meaning. It leads to an authentic life.

So boredom leads to self-awareness.

Try to remember when you're bored, you're aware of everything that's happening to you. You're aware of every tick and blip in your body. You're aware of your environment acutely. You're like, oh, you can't breathe. You can't breathe because you're inundated. You're flooded with life itself, with information.

This is the most extreme form of self-awareness. So boredom is not worthlessness. And boredom is definitely not depression, because depression pushes you to inaction. Depression forces you to not act, not act. When you're depressed, you don't want to talk to anyone. You don't want to do anything. You just want to sleep all day. You want to avoid life.

Depression is about withdrawal, about avoidance, about inaction. Boredom pushes you to act. Isn't it so?

When you're bored, don't you look for something to do? Don't you look for some entertainment?

Boredom is a motivator. It's an engine. It's the exact opposite.

If I were asked, what's the opposite of depression? Boredom. That's the opposite of depression. One is demotivator. One is motivator.

And the problem of Western civilization is that it is intolerant to boredom, exactly like psychopaths. Western civilization is psychopathic, because it has a very low tolerance of boredom and anything that is reminiscent of boredom, like death. And Western civilization developed four strategies, four coping strategies, four defenses, four ameliorating defenses.

Boredom reducing, boredom erasing defenses and

strategies.

Number one, the unconscious. If you are flooded with information, if you're inundated, if you get in touch with reality without the skin, without the skin, without the firewall, without any filter, it's bad for you.

So there's the unconscious. Pretend that everything you see, everything you hear, everything you're learning, everything does not exist. Push it down. Suppress it. That's the unconscious, isn't it?

Studies have revealed that 95% of all the information provided by life and the world is relegated to the unconscious immediately, without any processing.

Number two, fantasy, including religion, love, the nation state, your favorite football club, you name it. Fantasy is an escape route away from boredom. Western civilization cannot tolerate boredom.

Number three, mastery, master the world, control the world, act upon the world and in the world. This way you will not be bored.

And number four, entertainment, diversion, destruction. Keep busy, keep busy, keep busy. Busyness is the recipe to avoid boredom because boredom is so threatening. It's like dying, dying a little and we don't want to admit death. We don't accept death. We don't acknowledge that we're going to die. We're never going to die.

It's a narcissistic psychopathic civilization. If you want one surefire sign of a narcissistic, psychopathic narcissist, it's the way he relates to boredom and to action and the way he implements these four defenses, including foremost, fantasy and entertainment or distraction.

And we confuse these dysfunctional defenses with meaning. We think these defenses make life meaningful. You act, so you create meaning. Your action is the meaning.

But you see, these defenses are counterproductive, self-defeating and dysfunctional because the more you deploy them, the more you use these defenses, the more bored you become.

These defenses actually generate boredom. Why they generate boredom? Because they force you to be exposed to even more information. If you entertain yourself by watching movies and reading books, you're exposed to much more information than had you not done this. If you engage in fantasy, the information is internalized, but it's still a vast amount of information.

So these defenses push you to be exposed actually to more information, irrelevant information, true, addictive information, true, but still information. So these defenses actually generate boredom and they do not generate meaning. They do not generate meaning because meaning is an external thing.

And if you rely on other people for meaning, you have to ask yourself, where did they get their sense of meaning?

They are telling me that what I'm doing is meaningful, but how do they know? How do they know what's meaningful?

Ah, someone told them. And who told that person who told them? And there's no end to this. Where did meaning begin?

So the defenses of Western culture and civilization against boredom, they're not meaningful. They're not meaningful because they are derivative, imitative, dependent on other people. And other people can never be a source of meaning ever.

Because if you rely on other people for meaning, you're equal to them as a source of meaning. Why would you rely on them?

And the second question is, where did they get their allegedly privileged knowledge? How do they know what's meaningful?

Meaning can never come from other people. It can come from the outside, but never from other people.

And Western culture solution to boredom is critically dependent on other people. Even fantasy incorporates other people in it.

Of course, civilization, culture, these are pro-social experiments, pro-social models of organization. So ipso facto by definition, they will include other people.

When these defenses fail, we are again bored. When they succeed, when they work well, we are bored. When they fail, we are bored.

These defenses have nothing to do with boredom. They are nothing defenses. They're wrong. They are dysfunctional to the maximum. They don't generate meaning and they don't alleviate boredom.

And boredom is where you want to be because boredom is a healthy state because boredom generates action.

Boredom even generates fantasy, if that's your thing, if you're an author of fiction or whatever. Boredom drives you, drives you to action, drives you to a rich inner life, brings enlightenment, especially if you don't try to fight it. If you leave it untouched, inert, if you let it do its thing, if you don't get scared, if you don't panic, if you don't try to fill the gap and the void, we are so terrified of empty things, emptiness, gaps, voids. We pathologize it.

And so we should seek boredom. We should aspire to it as a crucial step to enlightenment.

And those of you who want to watch yesterday's video, it has a lot more in terms of philosophy.

Okay, I regret to inform you that I'm happy. I'm depressed to regret to, I'm depressed that I have to inform you that I regret to inform you that I'm happy. And I'm depressed and happy at the same time. And I regret that I'm bored with my depression and happiness.

And so I regret that I, what the hell am I talking about? Bye-bye.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Insecure Attachment Styles In Cluster B Personalities ( YOU, The Dead Mother)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses attachment styles and disorders in various personality disorders, including narcissism, psychopathy, and borderline personality disorder. He emphasizes the impact of childhood experiences on attachment styles and the role of relational schemas in guiding behaviors and relationships. Vaknin also introduces the concept of "flat attachment" and highlights the dysfunctional coping mechanisms and distress associated with psychopathic and narcissistic behaviors. He argues that these behaviors are rooted in attachment issues and the fear of being loved or loving.


How To Recognize Collapsed/Covert Personality Disorders

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of Occam's Razor in science and proposes that all personality disorders are a single clinical entity. He delves into the covert states of various personality disorders, such as covert narcissism, covert histrionic, and covert borderline, and their characteristics and behaviors. He also touches on the collapsed states and the transition between different states in each overlay. Additionally, he mentions the collapsed histrionic and the covert antisocial personality disorder.


From Borderline to Psychopath to Narcissist: Abuse of Language and Self States

Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of personality disorders, particularly cluster B disorders, as facets of an underlying dissociative process. He suggests that these disorders may be self-states or alters of each other, all stemming from a common dissociation. Vaknin also explores the role of language and speech in these disorders, as well as the development of false selves and the transition between different personality disorders. He proposes that all known personality disorders, especially cluster B disorders, are forms of malignant self-love, and that ultimately there is only one cluster B personality disorder.


Borderline Lies, Narcissism Myths

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the misconceptions and myths surrounding lying in individuals with cluster B personality disorders, such as narcissism, borderline, and antisocial personality disorders. He explains that these individuals often confabulate, or create plausible narratives to fill memory gaps, rather than intentionally lying. Vaknin also highlights the different types of lies and their functions, emphasizing the importance of understanding the reasons behind the lies and creating a safe environment for individuals with cluster B disorders to share the truth.


NPD CANCELLED in ICD-11: Narcissism=Dissociality+Anankastia+Negative Affectivity (Starts 07:54)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the differences between the DSM and the ICD diagnostic manuals, focusing on the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. He explains that the ICD takes a more flexible and organic approach to diagnosing personality disorders, using trait domains and severity levels to capture the essence of narcissism without using the specific term "narcissistic personality disorder." Vaknin also delves into the clinical manifestations and origins of narcissism, as well as the debate surrounding covert versus overt narcissism and the potential removal of narcissistic personality disorder from future editions of the DSM.


Are Autistic People Narcissists? (READ DESCRIPTION) ( Webinar on Psychosomatic Medicine, Oct 2020)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the differences between autism spectrum disorder and certain personality disorders, particularly narcissistic personality disorder. He explains that autism spectrum disorders are often misdiagnosed as personality disorders, and provides pointers for differential diagnosis. While the Asperger's disordered patient is self-centered, like the narcissist, the autistic patient is not anti-social, but rather a-social. The use of language is another differentiating factor, with the narcissist being a skilled communicator and manipulator of language, while the autistic patient has a complicated relationship with language. A good diagnostician should never misdiagnose autism spectrum disorders as personality disorders, and vice versa.


Personality Disorders: Not What They Seem! (ENGLISH): BOOTLEG Lecture, Corvinus University, Budapest

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the nature of personality disorders, focusing on Cluster B disorders, which include narcissistic, borderline, histrionic, and antisocial personality disorders. He explains that personality disorders are rigid patterns of dysfunction and are difficult to treat. Vaknin criticizes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) for its categorical approach and highlights the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) for considering personality disorders on a spectrum. He suggests that narcissistic and borderline personality disorders are post-traumatic conditions and emphasizes the importance of understanding trauma in treating these disorders. Vaknin also touches on the concepts of object constancy, introject constancy, and the challenges of attachment in these disorders. He discusses his own models for understanding personality disorders and the difficulty of changing the core issues of narcissism. Vaknin concludes by addressing questions about living with and overcoming narcissism, stating that narcissism is pervasive and essentially a life sentence, with the only real solution being to walk away from relationships with narcissists.


Narcissist vs. Borderline On Autopilot: Depersonalization Derealization Disorder

The text is an excerpt from a book discussing depersonalization and derealization. It describes the experiences and symptoms of these conditions, and compares their manifestation in narcissistic and borderline personality disorders. The author, Sam Vaknin, explains the differences in how these disorders present and how they relate to reality testing and dissociation. He also discusses the impact of depersonalization and derealization on memory, emotions, and self-perception in both disorders.


Borderline Mislabels Her Emotions (as do Narcissist, Psychopath)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the emotional and cognitive deficits in individuals with Cluster B personality disorders, such as narcissists, borderlines, psychopaths, histrionics, and codependents. These individuals have deformed, mutated forms of empathy, and their emotional regulation is not healthy. They do not have the basic tools to understand and label emotions in themselves and others, and instead, they use cognitive emotion, analyzing their emotions rather than experiencing them wholeheartedly. Coping strategies in all these personality disorders involve self-soothing, which is dysfunctional. Many of them switch from self-soothing to repetition compulsions.


Is Narcissism Like Bipolar or Depression, Mood Disorder? (Addiction, Depression, Suicide, Webinar)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the relationship between narcissism and depression, particularly in the context of the pandemic. He delves into the distinctions between bipolar disorder and narcissistic personality disorder, highlighting their differences in symptoms and behaviors. Vaknin also explores various types of dysphoria experienced by narcissists, and the complex interplay between depression, anxiety, and narcissistic traits. He emphasizes the need for accurate diagnosis and understanding of these conditions.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy