YOUR LOVE, Intimacy FEARED: Narcissist’s Perfectionism, Envy

Uploaded 1/25/2021, approx. 37 minute read

Good morning, students.

Good morning, students.

The narcissist hates your guts. He hates your guts virulently. He hates your guts viscerally. He hates your guts with all his heart.

The more he thinks he loves you, the more he is dependent on you, the more he hates you.

This condition is known as ambivalence, and one of the major protections against ambivalence is perfectionism, the topic of today's lecture.

You ask, why? Why can't he simply love me the way I love him?

Well, I'm here to help you with it. I'm here to take you by the hand and lead you through the maze, the labyrinth, dark, empty, long abandoned, vacated by its sole occupant. And I'm going to lead you to the secret door at the very end.

Are you sure you want me to open it?

You ask, how does it feel to be inside the mind of the narcissist?

Well, just look around you. Just look around you. The world is a horror show, a narcissistic horror show.

What you see is what you get inside the narcissist's mind. Gaslighting, unfabulation, extreme uncertainty, approach avoidance, false hopes dashed, deterioration in degeneration, extreme aggression, lack of communication.

These are all hallmarks of narcissism. You live right now. You inhabit, you reside inside the narcissist's mind rich arch. This is your world from now on. Welcome to my world.

And today, as promised, we are going to discuss the factionism and how it is intimately linked to the narcissist's hatred of you and what forces him, what causes him to inexorably, relentlessly, irresistibly gravitate towards these utterly dysfunctional solutions that deny him happiness, contentment, a life lived.

Why does the narcissist reject his life so vehemently? Why does he make you a part of his non-life only to reject you as an insignificant other?

All these enigmas will be answered. I give you my word. The lecture is divided into two parts, general, and then at the end, a review of some literature, very briefly.

The factionism has several elements.

Number one, grandiose infallibility. The perfectionist believes or claims to believe that he is infallible.

He cannot make mistakes. He doesn't commit errors. His judgment is supreme and not disputable.

So this is an element of grandiose. Of course, this grandiose, as everything is with a narcissist, it's compensatory. What does it compensate for?

It compensates for fear. No, fear is not the right word. Dread. No, dread is not the right word. Terror.

It compensates for a terror or failure. Narcissist to fail is to be annihilated, to not be loved, to not be seen, and therefore to not exist.

Because remember, the narcissist's existence, sense of existence, being crucially depends on being seen. The narcissist is an internal monologue that says, if you fail, if you are less than perfect, nobody will love you. That's a message, of course, that the narcissist had received from his mother, from his father, from peers, maybe role models, teachers. This is a message the narcissist had internalized and it had become the beacon that guides the lighthouse that lures his entire life.

Do not dare to fail for if you fail, you'll pay the ultimate price. Poof, you will evaporate.

So the narcissist considers himself perfect. It's part of his grandiosity.

The word perfection or perfect appears in the diagnostic and statistical manual criteria for narcissistic personality disorder. And perfectionism leads to avoidant behaviors.

If you're afraid of failure, you would be afraid to attempt anything. You would be afraid to try. You would be afraid to give it your best because maybe it will end in failure and your own self extermination. So you'd better not. You avoid. You avoid everything. You avoid assignments and tasks in the workplace. You avoid investing in an intimate relationship, committing yourself to love, to a family. You avoid simply life. Avoiding life guarantees that you will never fail. One hell of a strategy.

Wouldn't you agree?

So grandiose infallibility reflects a compensatory mechanism for fear of failure, which drives a narcissist to procrastinate, to procrastinate, to delay, to avoid, to not be. It's another strategy of absence.

Of course, perfectionism also goes hand in hand with passive aggressive sadism.

Because if I'm perfect, you are imperfect. If I keep telling you I'm a genius, the implied message is you are not geniuses. You are stupid by comparison to me. If I tell you I'm perfect, that means you are imperfect. Every such statement is an insult, a slight, an act of aggression.

But it's passive aggressive. It's covert.

Perfectionism is actually a covert strategy.

And finally, amazingly, perfectionism has to do with people pleasing. Remember the narcissist's underlying message? I can be loved only conditionally. I can be loved only if I perform. I can be loved only even when I'm perfect. I can never be loved as I am. I can never be accepted with my flaws, blemishes, imperfections, pecadios, etc. I need to be perfect. I need to be godlike. God is loved. People love God.

Here's an example for you. So I must be a god. And this is the false self. The false self is, of course, godlike. Its attributes include perfection.

Now, we'll discuss literature about perfectionism a bit later, but it's not critical for the presentation in this lecture. I would just like you to regard the latter part of the lecture as a reading assignment.

Okay, where does all this mess come from? Why does the narcissist adhere to perfection as the gold standard?

Well, we have to go a long way back. You remember from previous lectures that narcissists can idealize only internal objects. They can never idealize an external object because if they idealize an external object, they have competition. And narcissists don't like competition. It injures them narcissistically. It mortifies them. It drives them to narcissistic rage.

So one way of eliminating the competition is saying this person, who is more perfect than I am, more accomplished, more beautiful, more handsome, more everything, is actually not a separate entity. This so-called person, it's an illusion. He's actually a part of me. He's an extension of me. He's inside me. His perfection is my perfection. His beauty is my beauty. His accomplishments are my accomplishments.

So by internalizing external objects, the narcissist eliminates competition and he can idealize only internal objects.

Remember the process of snapshotting? The minute the narcissist sees someone who he considers to be a potential source of supply, he snapshots that person.

Because if someone is a potential source of supply, it means that he has something narcissistic supply that the narcissist needs, desires, is without. That other person has an advantage over the narcissist. Sources of narcissistic supply are superior to the narcissist because they have something the narcissist wants.

This cannot be the state of affairs. It's egodystonic. The narcissist cannot tolerate being in need of something, being inferior to someone.

So what he does, he snapshots the potential source of supply, internalizes the snapshot and keeps it in a library of internal objects within the landscape of his demented mind.

So the narcissist's grandiosity requires that he idealizes only himself and internalizes the external objects.

So when he internalizes the external objects, he renders these objects a part of himself, his extensions.

From that moment on, even when he idealizes external objects, he's actually idealizing himself. And this process is called co-idealization.

There's no idealization of the intimate partner, which is not essentially an idealization of the narcissist himself.

So now we have idealized internal objects and these internal objects must be perfect.

You cannot idealize an object that is not perfect. If the object has flaws, deficiencies, deformities, inadequacies, lacks something, it can be perfect. It can be idealized.

Process of idealization is fantastic. It's a fantasy defense.

So the narcissist needs to be a perfectionist in order to idealize himself actually via the internalized, external objects. This is your role in his life. Your role in the narcissist's life is an intimate partner, friend, a business associate, an audience, anyone who crosses his path. Your role is to help him idealize himself by allowing him to internalize you and idealize you as a perfect object.

So the narcissist regards every person, every external object as a promise and a threat.

If the external object is amenable to being internalized, if she agrees to collaborate in the emerging shared fantasy, if she responds well to love bombing and grooming, which I remind you is not only in intimate relationships, the narcissist love bombs his friends, love bombs his business associates. So if these people react positively to the narcissist advances and attempts to internalize them, to snapshot them, they are sources of supply. The narcissist is in love with them, infatuated with them.

But if they don't, they are enemies. Remember that the narcissist has a splitting defense mechanism. Everyone is friend or foe. Everyone is good, all good or bad. Everyone is all friendly or all hostile. There's no middle ground.

So either you are a source of supply immersed in the narcissist, engulfed by the narcissist, merged with the narcissist, fused with the narcissist, become an internal object, deny your own self autonomy, agency and ability to act independently.

Well, in which case you are the narcissist best friend, or if you don't, you're his worst enemy.

So the narcissist would tend to have persecretary delusions regarding the vast majority of humanity. He believes that other people out of envy, spite, malice, or self-interested ulterior motives, conspire to render the internal objects less than perfect. He regards this as a form of aggression. He thinks that people are trying to expose the imperfections of his perfect internal objects, which he regards as passive aggression.

Anyhow, back to the topic.

How do you idealize?

I mean, most external objects, most external objects, except of course my intimate partners, most external objects are not perfect. They are not perfect.

How do you render them perfect? You Photoshop them. You take a snapshot and you Photoshop the snapshot.

The narcissist has Photoshop in his head and he photoshops, he retouches the photographs, the snapshots, and he keeps them in a library.

But here's the problem.

The minute you say, I'm perfect because my internal objects are perfect and everyone in my life is an internal object, so they are perfect. That's a tall order. That's very hard. It's very hard to defend these claims, these statements against encroaching reality. Reality defies such a claim. Reality challenges the assumption that you are perfect or your internal objects are perfect.

Perfection is unreal. It's fantastic. Reality disagrees with you vehemently, constantly. You have to defend all the time. You have to be defensive and protective.

Perfectionism sets up the narcissist for constant failure. It is a self-defeating strategy. It is egodystonic.

But then why adopt it? Why evolution, psychological evolution, allow the narcissist to settle on such a solution if the solution is self-defeating? If it creates constant anxiety because it generates constant dissonance, if it takes away the narcissist energy because he needs to defend his grandiosity and his perfection, his delusions, why choose such a bizarre solution? I mean, after all, I can come up with 10 other solutions which will be devoid of these deficiencies and wrong features, bad features. It sounds like a badly designed act or software.

Why does the narcissist settle on this solution?

Because it's intended to prevent something even worse. It's intended to prevent self-destructive suicidal envy. It protects the narcissist's life.

And now we have to delve a lot deeper. Take a deep breath, put on your snorkels, and let's scuba dive into the inner darkest resources of the narcissist's fault lines at the bottom of the ocean where earthquakes happen and tsunamis conspire.

The narcissist has no core identity. See my previous lecture.

The narcissist experiences as his internal objects as ego-alien.

Now this is a very, very profound sentence. Why?

Because I said it. No, because it's unique to cluster B personality disorder. Actually, it's unique to people with personality disorders.

Normal, healthy people have very good relationships with their internal objects. Their internal objects are not ego-discrepant. They don't feel estranged from their internal world. They don't feel that they had been bodysnatched or invaded or that they are bizarre life forms, parasitic life forms roaming their minds. They don't have this feeling.

Normal, healthy people.

The narcissist feels estranged from, separated from, divided from his internal objects.

And not only that, they are ego-alien. In other words, when the narcissist asks himself, is this internal object me?

He doesn't feel that it's him. He feels that it's an adversary, potentially an enemy.

Many of the narcissist's introjects hate the narcissist. They are sadistic. They want the narcissist dead. They want to punish the narcissist.

Same with borderline, of course.

So many of these introjects are not friendly.

And so the narcissist can't feel an affinity with his introjects. He can't strike an alliance with his introjects, with his internal objects.

So he's a bit wary. He's removed. He's cautious.

There's hypervigilance, which is directed not only outward, but inward.

Actually, the narcissist's hypervigilance is a projection of his internal hypervigilance.

Remember, he doesn't interact with external objects. When he's hypervigilant with you, it's because he's hypervigilant with your representation inside his mind. It's ego-alien.

The narcissist is like a hive, an ant colony, a beehive, a coalition, an alliance. He's not unitary. He's fragmented. His internal environment is regulated exclusively with negative emotions and affects.

If you were to enter the narcissist's mind, you would be flooded with, just let me increase the font. You can hardly see what's going on here. If you were to enter the narcissist's mind and experience as strongly recommend against, you would be flooded with shame, with guilt, with envy, with anger, with hatred. This is a narcissist's inner landscape.

The narcissist doesn't only hate himself, but he's also angry at himself. He's ashamed of himself and, bizarrely, he envies himself, which I'm about to explain.

To understand how come the narcissist envies himself, which is intimately connected with the narcissist's perfectionist and the narcissist's hatred of you, to understand this whole extremely counterintuitive process, we need to go back to Melanie Klein.

Melanie Klein may not have been drop dead gorgeous, but her mind was.

So Melanie Klein suggested that when the baby is born, the baby is frustrated by the mother. He sometimes gets what he wants, and sometimes she's absent or refuses to give him what he wants. So what the baby does, he has two mothers. He has a bad mother and a good mother.

Melanie Klein called it, pornographically, the bad breast and the good breasts. I cannot imagine.

So the baby divides the mother into a bad object and a good object. And according to Melanie Klein, the baby regards himself internalizes the good object and externalizes, projects the bad object onto the mother. So there's a mother who is all bad and the baby who is all good. And this is called the schizoid paranoid solution.

And then the baby grows up.

Well, some babies grow up. Some of them become professors of psychology. So the baby grows up and suddenly he realizes that mother is not all bad. Mother has good sides and that he is not all good. He has bad sides. He's sometimes naughty. And he begins to notice the existence of other people who are telling him the same.

So he develops a depressive position. The depressive position is actually an act of healthy maturation, healthy personal growth, because the baby learns to integrate totally bad objects, totally good objects. And when he puts them together, he gets a nuanced shades of gray view of humanity. He understands that people are sometimes good, sometimes bad, partly good, partly bad. And he learns to accept.

Of course, this depresses him a lot because he would have liked to maintain that he's all good. Who doesn't?

But, you know, it's part of growing up. Loss is an integral part of life. We grow up via losses. Loss is the engine that drives personal growth and maturation. And this is a loss. He loses the all good object.

So this is the depressive position.

And then the third stage is when he internalizes the bad object, right? And he merges it with the all good object.

Remember the baby at the very beginning was all good. So now he internalizes the bad object and he merges it in a process called reparation.

We will not go into the reasons why reparation happens and so on. That's not the point of this lecture.

So he merges them. And then he has an integrated single ego, which has bad aspects, good aspects, etc.

Okay. This is Klein.

Now to Wachnin, who is drop dead gorgeous.

Wachnin disagrees with Melanie Klein. Wachnin believes that what happens is exactly the opposite. And you, I mean, it's up to you to choose Melanie Klein or some Wachnin.

So Wachnin believes that what happens is the baby does split the mother into good and bad. Obviously, I agree with Melanie Klein that the baby is frustrated by the mother. Sometimes she's absent. Sometimes she doesn't give him what he wants. Nevermind how much he cries and he's very angry. He's frustrated and he becomes aggressive.

According to Dalot in 1939, frustration, aggression, hypothesis. So baby wants something, breast milk, whatever. Mommy doesn't give it. Baby becomes angry and makes mommy regards the situation as all bad.

So now what happens is there is all bad and all good and he has to make a choice.

Klein says that the baby internalizes the good object and externalizes, projects the bad object, makes mommy all bad. I think exactly the opposite. I think the baby internalizes the bad object and considers mommy as all good. Exactly the opposite of Melanie Klein.

Why? Why do I disagree with Melanie Klein? I mean, after all, we are both Jews. Why would one Jew disagree with the other?

Well, there's a good reason. I think the baby cannot afford to think about mother as a totally bad object. It is very frightening. It is very threatening. Remember that the baby's life, existence crucially depends on mommy. Mommy gives him food. Mommy provides him with shelter. And above all, mommy sees him. Her gaze defines him. He emerges as an individual via mommy's attention.

If mommy were to go away to disappear somehow, to absent herself, for example, if the baby is all bad and she doesn't love him anymore, the baby will die, literally die.

So, the baby cannot afford to think about mother as an all bad object because that's a terrifying way to consider someone who makes your life possible.

So, I think it's exactly the opposite. The baby internalizes the bad object.

The baby says, I'm bad. Mommy is all good. I'm bad.

So, now I can feel safe. I can feel secure. I can feel content. My life is not threatened because mommy is all bad. She will never harm me. She will never abandon me. She will never abandon me. She will never discard me because she's all good.

Exactly opposite to Klein, the baby becomes all bad. Mommy becomes all good.

And I agree with Klein that the next stage is when the baby realizes that mommy, who is all good, has her bad sides. And he, who is all bad, he has his good side.

And so, he goes through the depressive position.

The first position is paranoid schizoid position. And then he goes through the depressive position.

And then what happens, he internalizes the good object. He internalizes the good object that his mother and he becomes one.

He generates a single integrated ego from these aspects.

Now, something goes seriously wrong with a narcissist. When something goes wrong in this process of schizoid, paranoid position, depressive position, ego integration, reparation, when something goes wrong, we get a narcissist.

What goes wrong? What happens? What happens is in stage three, instead of reparation, when the narcissistic child, the child who is about to become a narcissist, when he's supposed to integrate the good object and the bad object into a single ego, he fails. He can't integrate.

And so, he tries very hard. He tries very hard.

And some of these babies become borderline personality disorder, disordered. And in borderline personality disorder, this attempt to integrate the bad and the good continues throughout, through decades, usually until 40s or 50s.

So, borderline personality disorder patients are stuck at the reparation phase. They can't perform or complete the integration. That's why borderline switch so fast between borderline and secondary psychopathy, because they can't integrate. Suddenly, you're all bad. Suddenly, you're all good. They can't get their act together. They can't regard you as partly bad and public good. You're either all good or either all bad.

The narcissist, what happens when the reparation fails? He goes back to stage one.

Do you remember the old records, vinyl records? When the needle got stuck, so the same track would play again and again and again and again. That's the narcissist.

The narcissist goes through stage one. He internalizes the bad object, he projects the good object to mommy.

He then realizes that mommy is partly bad, partly good. He is partly bad, partly good.

The next stage is to integrate these insights and create a single ego. He fails. He fails. He gets stuck.

So, he says, okay, let's try again.

So, he goes back to stage one. Again, mommy is all good and he is all bad. Again, he tries to integrate.

And he's stuck in stage one, in effect. He loops through stages one and two.

So, I'm not the first to suggest this, actually.

Shockingly, I'm not the first.

The first was another non-Jew, Jung. Jung was closest when he described pathological narcissism as a failure of narcissistic investment in introversion. It's another way of saying what I've just said.

So, the narcissist gets stuck at a shockingly young age. You could safely describe the vast majority of narcissists as stuck between ages six months and two years, the first phase of formative years before separation and individuation.

Their basic primitive mind is stuck there.

You have layers of skills and learning and, you know, some narcissists even become handsome professors of psychology and teach narcissism.

But when push comes to shove, when you dig deep down, when you drill, when you get to the core and the essence of the narcissist, whoever it is, whatever position he occupies, you get a maximum two-year-old child as far as certain issues.

With other issues, the narcissist can be nine years old, six years old.

But when it comes to the core, the narcissist is about to two years old in the best case.

There are many narcissists who are stuck at six months old. It's a shockingly, shockingly disorganized structure ofof personality.

And again, that's not my observation. It's the observation of Otto Könberg.

Into all this mess, into all this mess, negative emotionality intrudes. You can't survive in such a chaotic environment without beginning to feel seriously bad about what's happening to you and without beginning to resent yourself for your constant failure, for being stuck in the loop.

And one of the most critical negative emotions is envy.

Envy is the hallmark of narcissism. It's the prime source of what is known as narcissistic rage.

The schizoid-paranoid phase, stage one in Melonic Line, stage one in my case as well.

This schizoid itself is intimately connected with narcissism through envy.

The dominant effect is envy.

Narcissists prefer to destroy themselves and to deny themselves rather than to endure someone else's happiness, wholeness and triumph.

The narcissist, for example, would fail his exams in order to frustrate the teacher that he adores.

And because he adores, he envies. The narcissist would abort his therapy in order to not give the therapist a reason to feel gratified or be proud of his accomplishments.

By self-defeating and self-destructing, narcissists deny the worth of other people. They deny other people happiness, contentment, gratitude, pride.

If the narcissist fails in therapy, his therapist must be inept.

The narcissist is happy. If the narcissist destroys himself by consuming drugs, his parents are blameworthy and should feel guilty and should feel bad.

One cannot exaggerate the importance of envy as a motivating power in the narcissist's life.

And the psychodynamic connection is obvious. Envy is a rage reaction to something, to what?

It's a rage reaction to not controlling, to not owning, possessing, having or engulfing the good desired object.

Remember, the narcissist can't get through stage three. He cannot integrate the good object inside his emerging single ego. That's why he doesn't have an ego.

So, he can never own or possess the good object. He is forced, like Sisyphus, he is forced in a Sisyphian effort to go back to stage one and start all over again.

And again, and again, it's like Groundhog Day. I don't know how many of you have watched the movies where the protagonist of the movie, the main character in the movie, has to relive the same day over and over again and there's no resolution inside.

That's the narcissist.

So, he cannot have the desired object. And he is envious because he wants to have the desired object.

Because if he were to internalize the desired object, he would be the desired object.

If the narcissist internalizes a good object, he becomes a good object.

And if he fails to internalize a good object, what remains?

Yes, the bad object.

And the narcissist is envious of the good object.

Narcissists defend themselves against this assiduous, corroding sensation that they can't get it, they can't assimilate, they can't digest, they can't engulf, they can't enmesh, they can't merge and fuse with a good object.

It's a horrible feeling and this sensation, and so they pretend that they do control, they do possess, and they do engulf the good object.

They lie to whom? To themselves.

They generate a delusional, fantastic space, a confabulation where they did succeed, they did succeed to complete stage three.

It's like someone who would fail in college and would lie to his parents and tell them that he had succeeded marvelously with flying colors.

These are the narcissists' grandiose fantasies of omniscience and omnipotence. There's omniscience and omnipotence and everything else, perfect love, brilliance, they all emanate from a good object, god-like object, god is good.

But in doing so, by doing this, by lying, by confabulating above all to himself, the narcissist must deny the existence of anything good outside himself.

You, for example.

Because think about it for a minute. If there is something good outside himself, then perhaps he did not succeed. Perhaps he did not, perhaps he had failed to integrate with a good object.

It destabilizes the narcissist. Whenever he comes across someone who is a good object, it challenges him. It destabilizes the whole confabulation. It undermines the whole edifice, the precarious house of cards constructed on the quicksand of lies.

So he denies the existence of anything good, any good object outside himself. He defends himself against raging or consuming envy by solipsistically claiming to be the only good object in the world.

I want you to understand this, really understand this, because this is so out of normal human experience.

The narcissist claims, believes, had convinced himself, had self-deluded that he, and only he, is the single only good object in the world. There is no other.

And this is an object that cannot be heard by anyone. He cannot let anyone else possess this object. Only the narcissist can possess the single most precious treasure, the only good object in the world, himself.

So this is the source of auto-eroticism. That's why the narcissist directs his life force, Freud called it libido, onto himself, because he is the only good object in the world. Only the narcissist is allowed to possess himself, his good object, this only good object, this sole good object, this exclusive good object can be head, can be owned only by the narcissist.

This is why the narcissist is infatuated, including sexually infatuated with himself. It's an object that no one else can have except the narcissist.

Let me try to recap this. If there is a single good object somewhere out there in the world and the narcissist had internalized this object and became this object, then only the narcissist has access to this object, only the narcissist possesses this object, only the narcissist owns this object, and so the narcissist doesn't need to envy this object.

And because this object is the narcissist, the narcissist becomes immune, it's like his vaccinated against this possibly self-directed envy.

The narcissist talks to his envy and says, envy, envy, don't direct yourself at me because I am the good object. It's okay. You don't need to be envious of the good object.

In order to refrain from being owned by anyone else, because this is crucial, the good object cannot be owned by anyone else.

And that's why the narcissist is ambivalent and approach avoidant.

Because when the narcissist finds you as a potential intimate partner, source of supply, he believes that he loves you. He believes he's in love with you, but that's very threatening because if he's in love with you and if you love him back, you will gain access to the good object. The access to the good object has to be exclusive, and only the narcissist can have the key.

Intimacy means duplicating the key and giving you the duplicate. Intimacy means giving you the password to the vault, to the safe. Intimacy means allowing you access, transformative access to the narcissist's inner core of sealing lava formations of negative emotions. You can kill the narcissist inadvertently with your love. You are a death threat. The narcissist cannot allow you to own the good object, to tap the good object, to touch the good object.

Because if the narcissist lets you do this, this is invariably wrapped. The moment you have access to the good object, the moment you touch the good object, the narcissist's core, the moment you interact with the good object, the good object is no longer the narcissist, only. It's also yours.

And if the good object is also yours, the narcissist will envy you because you have access to a good object. His envy will erupt, but who is the good object? It's the narcissist.

So the minute the narcissist grants you access to the good object, he will envy you and the good object because the good object is no longer 100% his. And because the good object is the narcissist, he will destroy himself.

Very often you see this. When the narcissist believes that he fell in love, when the narcissist develops any modicum of intimacy, when the narcissist becomes dependent on an intimate partner, he becomes enormously self-destructive. He begins to abuse substances. He sabotages and undermines his work. He destroys everything around him, including his family and his marriage and his love and everything. It's an orgy of self-destruction.


Because the minute he shares his good object with you, his envy erupts. He envies the good object. He envies you. And he envies a good object because a good object has access to you, which he does not have.

So he wants both of you destroyed. He wants both of you gone. He wants to destroy you. He hates your guts for having provoked all this, for having initiated this process that he cannot control. And he hates the good object because the good object has access to you. The good object can experience your love, your intimacy, your empathy, everything you have to give, your compassion. And he hates the good object for this. He envies the good object. He wants a good object destroyed, but who is the good object?

The narcissist. That's the source of self-destructiveness in intimate relationships with narcissists. The narcissist reduces everyone to non-entities. It's a narcissistic solution because the narcissist doesn't exist because he is an absence.

Yes, the howling winds in the empty corridors in my metaphor, the hall of mirrors, because he reduces you to non-existence.

Many people describe the experience of living with the narcissist, interacting with the narcissist, and loving the narcissist as a process of becoming non-existent. They feel that their existence is being wiped and erased and deleted. They feel that they're disappearing, getting annihilated gradually, tremendously, because the narcissist reduces everyone to non-entities.


Because if you are an entity, if you exist, if you're independent, if you're autonomous, if you have agency, if you're self-efficacious, if you're goal-oriented, you can and will gain access to the good object because the narcissist believes that he loves you. He will be forced to give you, grant you this access, and he knows what's going to happen. The minute he grants you this access, he will begin to envy you for gaining this access, and he will begin to envy the good object because the good object now is non-exclusive and has access to you, which the narcissist doesn't have.

So he will want to destroy you, and he will want to destroy the good object. The good object himself is terrified. You're pushing him to suicide. Well, mental suicide, at least, mortification.

So the narcissist says, well, actually, she doesn't exist. He reduces you to non-entity. He erases you like wipers on a windshield, you know? You are like so many raindrops, and he's wiping you away, and he's internalizing you. He's internalizing you with internal objects and merges you with a good object. He's internalizing you. He's idealizing you. You're all good, but you're part of the good object. You no longer exist independently. You no longer threaten him by provoking his envy, and so gradually he's avoiding all meaningful contact with you. He degenerates into the schizoid solution, and I encourage you to watch the three videos I've made about the schizoid narcissist.

The suppression of envy. Envy is so threatening. Envy is more threatening than anger in the narcissist's psychology. Envy and shame. Masterson described the dynamics of shame in narcissistic personalities. Lidio Angelovska did some work on this as well, and Klein and others, Kernberg, described the process of envy and its role.

The suppression of envy is at the core of the narcissist being. If the narcissist fails to convince himself that he is the only good object in the universe, he is bound to be exposed to his own murderous envy. If there are others out there who are good objects, they are better than him. He envies these objects. He lashes out these objects ferociously, uncontrollably, madly, hatefully, spitefully. He tries to eliminate these objects. He needs to be the only one, the only good object. Otherwise, his envy will self-consume. He will self-consume with envy.

If someone tries to get emotionally intimate with the narcissist, you, for example, she threatens the grandiose belief that no one but the narcissist can possess the good object. That is the narcissist himself.

When you say to the narcissist, I love you, his mind, his sick mind interprets it as, I'm about to possess you. I'm about to gain access to your innermost treasure, to your solely owned good objects. I'm about to become a shareholder in your sole proprietorship company. I'm going to share with you everything you own, everything you have, and above all, everything you are. It's a threat. It's a hostile takeover.

Only the narcissist can own himself. Only the narcissist can have access to himself. Only the narcissist can possess himself because he is the only good object in the world. This is the only way to avoid seething envy and certain self-annihilation.

Perhaps it is clear now why narcissists react as raving madmen to anything, however small, however minute, however remote, anything that seems to threaten their grandiose fantasies because their grandiose fantasies are the only protective barriers between themselves and their lethal, lethal, all-consuming envy.

Affectionism is a defense against envy because of course, if you are the only good object in the universe and you're also perfect, there's no reason to envy the good object. The good object is you and there's no reason to doubt that it is you because the good object is perfect and of course, you are perfect. That's your grandiosity. You become God in effect and remember God is all inclusive. God is inside everyone and everyone is inside God. It's a mutually mutual ownership arrangement, merger and acquisition arrangement. I don't know what's with this business metaphors in today's lectures, my past as financial advisor. So you're Godlike, you're the only good object and you include everyone inside you and so it's a perfect solution, perfectionism.

Literature assignment. I will give you four articles from four periods in the history of psychology and how each period regarded perfectionism.

So the first article is from April 1965. I was four years old. Can you imagine how ancient I am?

So it was published in volume six of Comprehensive Psychiatry, April 1965. It's titled Perfectionism amazingly and it was authored by Hollander, Mark Hollander.

I will read to you a segment apart from the perfectionism says Hollander was defined as demanding of oneself or of others a higher quality of performance than is required by the situation. The judgment as to what constitutes a higher quality of performance than is required was made by the patient and would be in concordance with the opinion of most psychiatrists.

Perfectionism says Hollander most commonly develops in an insecure child who needs approval, acceptance and affection from parents who are difficult to please. The child assumes that if he performs perfectly he will receive the succor he seeks. Later perfectionism represents an effort also to combat self-belittlement.

Perfectionism was differentiated from compulsiveness, the former perfectionism being a means of obtaining interpersonal supplies and of seeking a better self-image and the latter compulsiveness being a mechanism for fending off unacceptable feelings and impulses.

Although admixtures of perfectionism and compulsiveness occur, it is essential in clinical practice to deal with each trait separately.

Fast forward to 1990 and to the article The Dimensions of Perfectionism authored by Frost, Martin, Layhart and Rosenblatt. It was published in Cognitive Therapy and Research volume 14, 1990.

They say perfectionism is a major diagnostic criterion for one DSM-III diagnostics and it has been hypothesized to play a major role in a wide variety of psychopathologies.

Yet there is no precise definition of and there is a paucity of research on this construct.

The major dimension of this measure was excessive concern over making mistakes. Five other dimensions were identified including high personal standards, the perception of high parental expectations, the perception of high parental criticism, the doubting of the quality of one's actions and a preference for order and organization.

John Alpeter.

Perfectionism and certain of its subscales were correlated with a wide variety of psychopathological symptoms. There was also an association between perfectionism and procrastination. Several subscales of multidimensional perfectionism scale, MPS, personal standards and organization were associated with positive achievements, striving and work habits. The MPS was highly correlated with one of the existing measures of perfectionism.

Two other existing measures were only moderately correlated with the MPS and with each other.

Future studies of perfectionism should take into account the multidimensional nature of the construct.

Fast forward to 2002. Don't you just love this time travel?

2002, an article titled Perfectionism: Theory, Research, and Treatment published by the American Psychological Association and authored by Flet, Flet, Hewitt and others. It's actually a book published by the American Psychological Association and these are the editors, Flet and Hewitt and they write, role of social, motivational, emotional and cognitive factors in perfectionism is important.

The next part of the book focuses primarily on the important association between perfectionism and life stress and how the two combine to produce adjustment difficulties.

And then there's an article, I think 2004. Is perfectionism good, bad or both?

Examining models of the perfectionism construct. It was authored by Billing, Bielefeld, and Israeli and McCanton. So they write, perfectionism has been conceptualized as a personality variable that underlies a variety of psychological difficulties.

Recently, however, theorists and researchers have begun to distinguish between two distinct types of perfectionism.

One is maladaptive form that results in emotional distress and a second form that is relatively benign, perhaps even adaptive.

Maladaptive evaluative concerns, maladaptive perfectionism was more strongly associated with depression, anxiety, stress and test-taking anxiety.

Overall, this study supports the validity of a distinction between two types of perfectionism and points to the importance of this duality for measurement and research on perfectionism.

And finally, 2019, an article titled Perfectionism and the Five Factotum Model of Personality and Meta-Analytic Review was authored by Smith, Sherry, and McCanton. And they say over 25 years of research suggests an important link between perfectionism and personality traits included in the five-factotum model, FFM.

However, inconsistent findings underpowered studies and a plethora of perfectionism scales have obscured understanding of how perfectionism fits within the FFM.

We address these limitations by conducting the first meta-analytic review of the relationships between perfectionism dimensions and FFM traits.

Meta-analysis with random effects revealed perfectionistic concerns, socially prescribed perfectionism, concern over mistakes, doubts about actions, discrepancy. These were characterized by neuroticism, low agreeableness and low extroversion, perfectionistic strivings, self-oriented perfectionism, personal standards and high standards were characterized by conscientiousness.

Additionally, several gender, age, and the perfectionism sub-scale we used.

Findings complement theories suggesting that perfectionism has neurotic and non-neurotic dimensions. Results also underscore that the maladaptiveness of perfectionistic strivings hinges on instrumentation.

So this is your reading assignment.

Perfectionism is intended to counter envy. Envy is balanced by subsuming and assimilating the good object.

Your attempt to love the narcissist, to be intimate with the narcissist, to work with the narcissist, to befriend the narcissist is perceived as a challenge to grandiosity, even I would say presumptuous of you, because you claim to have an equal status to the narcissist and therefore you demand to share the narcissist's good object.

Only the narcissist is the good object. There's a single good object in the whole universe. That's a narcissist and only the narcissist should have access to this good object.

If you gain access, the narcissist is going to envy you. He's going to envy you. He's going to hate you. He's going to destroy you.

Isn't this a great summary of a relationship with the narcissist? Have fun.

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