Your Empathy as Narcissistic Injury: Narcissist Never Learns, No Insight

Uploaded 8/5/2020, approx. 37 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, and a professor of psychology in several universities.

Today, I will try to explain to you why narcissists hate empathy and why they resent and reject and abuse and torture empathic people.

But to do so, first I need to read your mind of a lot of toxic misinformation and rank nonsense that you have been exposed to online.

When a narcissist is looking for an intimate partner, they are looking for someone who can provide two or three SS, the three SS, SSS, secondary narcissistic supply, SSS, services. The secondary supply can come with SSS, but without services. The secondary supply can come with services and without SSS.

Two of the three conditions must hold, one of which is the secondary narcissistic supply.

Just to remind you, secondary narcissistic supply is simply recording and remembering and witnessing the narcissist's moments of glory, moments of victory and triumph over his adversaries, moments of excellence and mitigated brilliance, genius, etc. The narcissist partner is supposed to record all this. She is like an external hard disk. Her job is to memorize all this.

And when the narcissist is deficient, when the narcissist supply is deficient, when he fails to secure narcissistic supply on a regular basis, then she reminds him of these moments. That is her role. That's why it's secondary supply.

So in a way, the narcissist intimate partner regulates the narcissist flow of narcissistic supply. When he is unable to secure this supply from the outside, she provides it from the inside. That's her job. And these are the only job requirements. And the job interview revolves around these three requirements.

Are you going to adulate and admire me? Are you going to be my sex slave or sex toy? And are you going to service me as a personal assistant, a maid, a housekeeper, whatever? If the answer to any two of these three, if the answer to the supply plus one of the other two S's is positive, you're in, you got the job. If not, in the words of the eternal and immortal Donald Trump, you're fired.

Now, did I mention empathy? No. And I didn't mention empathy because narcissists couldn't care less if you have a high level of empathy, a low level of empathy, or no empathy at all.

How could a narcissist care? How could it be important to the narcissist if the narcissist does not experience empathy?

You can't really care about something if you have had no experience of it. If you have had no experience of sex, you don't care about sex. If you had no experience of being, of being rich, you can aspire to be rich, but you don't really, you haven't really gone through the experience. You don't know what it is and you don't know how to manage it once and if it happens.

Similarly with empathy, the narcissist doesn't have an experience of empathy. He has cold empathy, but it's a totally different animal. His emotions are not involved. So he doesn't really resonate with your empathy. Your empathy has nothing to contribute to him because it triggers nothing in him. There's nothing in him to be triggered by your empathy. He doesn't experience it. The warm glow of your empathy, your acceptance and your love are wasted on him because he doesn't have the sensors and the detectors and the radar to pick them up.

So narcissists don't care about it, but I would go even a step further.

Empathy is a narcissistic injury. Narcissistic injury.

Narcissists hate empathy and above all they hate, detest, resent, reject, abuse, torture, humiliate, degrade, despoil and I have many other words, people with empathy.

First of all, they consider empathy to be a weakness. If you're empathic, there are two possibilities. See you're faking it.

The narcissist doesn't have empathy and he thinks everyone is like him. So he doesn't have empathy. You don't have empathy.

And if you're fainting, if you're empathic, you're fainting it. You're faking it. It's not really. You're acting or you're seriously stupid. You're foolish. You are weak. You're vulnerable. You're even maybe damaged or broken. You allow intruders into your emotional life. You experience by proxy and vicariously other people's pain, other people's needs. You're prone to manipulation.

Your empathy renders you gullible. It renders you subservient, submissive. It's dangerous.

This perceived empathy is a dangerous chink in the armor and a serious vulnerability, which could be leveraged against you at any moment.

Consider, for example, elements of empathy, advice, help and support. When you're empathic, you want to help. You want to support your loved one. You want to give him advice. You want to prevent him from doing things which are self-defeating, self-destructive. You want to give him the support and providing with the safety net, the emotional safety net, which will help him to grow, help him to mature, help him to develop and help him to realize his potential to self-actualize.

Empathy is about fostering and engendering growth in the person you love and empathize with. So it's a reflex to help someone. It's a reflex to provide support. It's a reflex to give advice.

When you see someone in need, even a stranger, they don't have to be a loved one. You see someone crying. You're stupid and you ask, are you OK? You see someone stumble in the street. You pick them up. You see someone wondering how to fulfill a form in a government office. You help them to fulfill the form. Advice, help, support.

These are elements, crucial behavioral manifestations and emanations of empathy.

And yet a narcissist regards them as narcissistic injury. Think about it for a minute. If you give him advice, it means that he needs advice and he needs advice because there's something he hadn't considered, something he hadn't thought of, something he had missed. It means he is not omniscient. He is not all knowing.

It means he has a lot to learn or something to learn. It means that you know more than he does. You have more experience than he had. You are superior. Advice, giving advice is an act of hierarchy. It's a hierarchical act where there's one superior person and one inferior person. A superior person gives advice to the inferior person. That's how the narcissist perceives the process of counseling, the process of providing advice.

And so when you act in an advisory capacity, you are humiliating the narcissist. You're actually criticizing him. You're implying that he needs you. A need is weakness. Weakness is imperfection. The narcissist is godlike. He doesn't need anyone. He doesn't seek anyone. He obviously is not asking for anyone's help or advice. That's very presumptuous and arrogant of you to offer advice or help or to provide support. He doesn't need support. He supports everyone. He's omnipotent. He's all powerful. He's godlike. How sacrilegious it is. How blasphemous. Blasphemous.

Something short of it. How heretical to suggest that he might need anything from you. He's the found and the source of everything. He's the first cause, prima causa, and he's the primo movens. He's also the first object. He is the world. And here you come and imply that he needs something, that he wants something, that he lacks something, that he's deficient in some way, that you can set him right, that you can set him free, that you can better his life.

That is narcissistic injury. It's humiliating. It infuriates him. You provoke narcissistic rage in all the defenses.

He wants to eradicate you, to eliminate you, to demolish you, to destroy you, to reduce you to size, to put you back in your place where you belong.

Your presumption, your arrogance, your haughtiness is going to teach you a lesson. He's going to show you. He's going to show you who's the boss. He's going to show you who knows everything.

He's going to demonstrate to you how divine he is.

And these are just initial reactions to the most basic rudiments of empathy.

Now, imagine that you don't provide advice. No help. No support. Okay. You get the picture. You never volunteer. But you show interest in his life. You ask him questions such as, how are you? Is everything okay? How did it go in the meeting today?

Now, these expressions of interest are also an element of empathy. They are reflexive element in the sense that they help you to reflect, to be reflected in his eyes and help him to be reflected in your eyes. They are an exchange, a kind of calibration.

And also sharing. Sharing is caring, but sharing creates intimacy. And intimacy is an inevitable byproduct of empathy. Even empathy with a stranger creates a modicum of intimacy, an atom of intimacy, a molecule of intimacy.

That's why there's no such thing as meaningless sex. So, but when you express interest in the narcissist or in his life or in his vocation or in his hobbies or in his friends, he's asking himself, why is she asking this? What's in it for her? What's her ulterior motive and hidden agenda? What is she driving at? Why is she so nosy and inquisitive and busybody.

You trigger his paranoia. He develops instant conspiracy theories around your totally innocuous, loving, caring question, query. He casts you in the role of a potential villain, an adversary, and an unseen enemy. An occult figure, penobra in the dark, awaiting his downfall. Are you asking me this because you're about to criticize me, disagree, give me the benefit of your unsolicited opinion?

He says, who are you to ask? And why are you asking? And where is all this leading to? And why do you keep asking the same thing every single day? Are you doing this on purpose to provoke me? Are you trying to trigger me? Are you trying to frustrate me? Are you trying to defy me? I tried to defy me. I told you not to ask meaningless questions. My time is cosmically valuable. I don't waste it on small talk and chit chat and banter.

You do because you're inferior. All inferior people don't care about time, about life, about contributing to humanity, about their place in history. So they waste time in parties and bars and pubs and sex, mind you. But my time is a valuable commodity. And here you are squandering it, wasting it, even though I had told you a hundred times to not do this.

You're defying me. You're provoking me. You want me. You are the one who is driving me to abuse you and to reject you and to ignore you. How are you? How's your day been?

And that's a reaction.

So what about intimacy?

Empathy and intimacy are twins, identical twins. There's no intimacy without empathy. There's no empathy without intimacy.

What about intimacy?

The narcissist is incapable of intimacy for various, various reasons.

He discourages an intimacy. The other theory is that the narcissist is afraid of intimacy because his first intimate experience was with a rejecting figure, with the primary object, usually his mother, who had rejected him, abused him, humiliated him, bridged his boundaries, forced him, parentified him, forced him to merge with her, abused him sexually or psychologically, etc.

So the first experience of intimacy, first instance of intimacy in the narcissist's life hasn't been a resounding success, to use a British understatement.

So he's frightened of intimacy. He has very dysfunctional attachment styles.

I will dedicate a separate video to the narcissist attachment styles, not one.

But at any rate, all these dysfunctional attachment styles lead to an impairment of intimacy, to dis-intimacy.

The narcissist doesn't like intimacy because he associates intimacy with inevitable abandonment and hurt and pain. Got it.

But there are even deeper reasons which have to do with the narcissist's grandiosity.

The narcissist does reject intimacy because of abandonment anxiety.

He says to himself, if they see my true face, if I allow them to near me, too close to me, I'm going to be exposed as the fraud and imposter that I am. Or they're going to see how stringent and strident and harsh I am or whatever. And they're going to see my true face and they're going to just dump me and abandon me and walk away or even cause me horrible pain by cheating on me or something.

So there is a lot of abandonment anxiety and avoiding intimacy.

Intimacy is a way to forestall the abandonment and the pain attendant on the abandonment.

But the presumption of intimacy, the attempt at intimacy by the empathic partner, provokes in the narcissist enormous reservoirs of aggression.

He reacts with incredible violence to any hint, clue of ambient intimacy.

And he rejects very cruelly and sadistically love and caring when offered to him. He sadistically frustrates his partner. He withholds, he rejects, he avoids.

And of course, he actively abuses.

Why is that?

Because intimacy and love and care, but especially intimacy, challenge the foundations and the pillars of his grandiosity. The whole edifice comes crumbling down.

Intimacy equals equality. You can't be intimate with someone who is superior to you.

Intimacy means we are on the same plane. You know, you're intimate with me. I'm intimate with you. We're intimates. We're equal.

It's a major narcissistic injury.

When someone tries to be intimate with a narcissist, he's actually saying to the narcissist, you're my equal. We can engage in this type of egalitarian interaction. And it's a serious injury to the narcissist because the narcissist assumes that he is always superior, above everyone, far from the maddening crowd. Everyone is inferior to him. He is possessed of gifts and talents and skills and potentials that no one else has.

So intimacy equals equality, bad.

Intimacy equals commonness, commonality. Intimacy says, you're like everyone else. Everyone needs intimacy. Everyone craves for love. Everyone appreciates caring and acceptance and warmth. And you're like everyone.

No, no. The worst sentence you can say to a narcissist is you're like, you're common. You're average. You're like everyone. No, this is again a serious narcissistic injury.

Intimacy equal commonality equals you are the same, like everyone equals your average, bad messages, wrong messages, grandiosity, challenging messages.

No, no. The narcissist is likely to try to get rid of you because you're propagating these messages.

Intimacy also implies knowability. In other words, intimacy implies that your intimate partner can get to know you, can get to really, really grasp who you are, your essence, your quiddity.

Intimacy implies that in some ways you can become one and the same.

The extent of sharing in intimacy is such that you are beginning to identify big, overlapping regions of personality, of traits, of interests, of perception of time, personal biography, interpretation of personal biography, etc.

So intimacy is about having things in common. And having things in common means that someone, the person who is presuming to be intimate with a narcissist, knows the narcissist, or in principle can get to know the narcissist.

But the narcissist is God. He is so removed from normal human affairs and from other people, that there is no way on earth they can get to know him. Can you get to know God? Of course not. It's a being so different to you.

You share so little in common, if anything. There's no way for you to know God. There's a way for you to obey God. There's a way for you to pray to God. There's a way for you to argue with God even. There's a way for you to criticize or be very angry at God. There's a way for you to emotionally react to God. I mean, there are many, many ways to relate to God, but there's no way for you to truly know God, to grasp his essence because you are not God and never will be. And you are not a narcissist and never will be. He is a being so evolved, so superior, so futuristic, that you have nothing in common with him. And because you have nothing in common with him, you can never know him. And because you can never know him, you can never be truly intimate with him. And if you are claiming otherwise, you are humiliating him and you are narcissistically injuring him. And probably you're doing this on purpose because you want to hurt him and frustrate him and statistically punish him. You're being punitive, you're being persecretary, you are being evil, you're being malicious and malevolent.

And the narcissist becomes paranoid and aggressive and sometimes even violent.

Why is all this? Why is all this?

Yes. We have to regressive it to fundamentals.

Life, human life, human biography, human personal history is a process of becoming. We are like raw material. Our genes predispose us within a repertory, within a spectrum. And then environment acts upon our genes, environment plus genes help us to become. We are being formed as we go along and we are never the same from one minute to another, which is why psychology can never be a science.

And so life is a process of becoming. And the most crucial element in becoming is insight.

Insight, insight, I-N-S-I-G-H-T. Insight into who you are, insight into other people and what makes them tick. A theory of mind. A theory of mind, what makes all of us human and what do we share via empathy. It's a theory of how other people's minds work. And then how your mind works in relation to these minds. A theory of the world.

Insight is the way you, the aha moment where you suddenly deeply understand something, not here, but here, not in your head, but in your heart.

Insight is the moment where everything falls into place, where everything makes sense, where you can see the future as clearly as you can see the present and the past. Where suddenly everything interconnects, intermeshes, becomes one. A unity.

So life is a process of becoming via insight and it is insight that creates empathy.

This empathy crucially depends on having insight into yourself because who else is empathizing? If you don't know yourself, you cannot empathize. Someone has to do the empathizing.

Empathy is a full-time job. It happens 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour, 24-7. If7.

If you have empathy, you can't turn it off.

But empathy crucially depends on an eye, on a self that empathizes.

And such a self cannot constellate, cannot come together without a series of millions, I don't know, thousands, hundreds of thousands, not measured, of insights, cumulative insights that gradually form into your identity, into who you are.

Memories constitute a part of the insight, but emotions and cognitions as well.

So then when you have an insight as to who you are, you have an insight as to who other people are.

And that is called the theory of mind.

And then insight is the bridge that connects you to other people.

And when you have insight into other people, we call it empathy.

So empathy is just another name for other directed insight.

It's like in the beginning, the baby is focused on himself. He directs his life force, his libido, at himself. He is the locus of his libidinal investment.

The baby is the world, mother is part of the baby, everything is part of the baby, the universe is part of the baby, the baby inflates like the big bank and incorporates the whole universe.

So he needs a single insight into himself.

But then the world fractures and breaks, the most traumatic event in your life, everyone's life, it's when they realize that they have boundaries, that they stop somewhere and the world begins, that mother is not you.

So when this fracturing, this fragmentation, this schism, this enormous break, this fault line, this earthquake, when this happens, you need empathy to hold on to, to latch onto what used to be a part of you.

It's like we outsource the world. The world used to be inside us and then we let it go. We allow the world to separate and individually as we reciprocally separate an individual.

And the only tenuous bridge is empathy. And empathy is founded, is another word actually for insight.

When we have insight into ourselves, we call it insight. When we have insight into others, we call it empathy.

And empathy is the foundation of learning.

Learning is a derivative of comparison. We learn by comparison. We constantly compare.

We compare our past to our present. We compare this person to that person. We compare ourselves to other people. We compare other people to ourselves.

We compare, we compare, we compare.

Social media are founded, founded on this understanding that comparison and relative positioning are the foundation of learning, the foundation of conditioning.

So empathy leads to learning. When you want to compare yourself to someone else, you can do this only if you have empathy. If you don't have empathy, the comparison would be empty, meaningless, at most, at most cognitive analytical, but will not resonate and will not generate inside you any dynamics. We'll come to it a bit later.

Knowing has zero effect.

You need to emote, not only to know. You need to know and emote in order to induce dynamics and change.

But at the basis of all this is empathy.

Empathy is the bridge that leads to other people.

Empathy is the crossing. Empathy is the reaching out, the extended hand in Michelangelo's painting, the hand of God. That is empathy.

And it is only by comparing yourself to other people that you calibrate yourself, that you gain some realistic understanding about the world.

They are other people are your reality testing. They kind of focus you. They are the viewfinder. They tell you, listen, you're off. I mean, to the left of it, you know, when you're trying to park your car, someone outside the car is telling you, go a bit to the left, go a bit to the right.

These are social interactions.

Why do we socialize?

The main function of socializing is to become, socializing helps us to become, helps us to crystallize, to coalesce, to cohere. We become cohesive while we socialize because other people serve as external rigid boundaries and they don't let us stray. They help us to see ourselves from the outside.

And sometimes it's a very painful experience.

In the case of narcissists, they undergo notification. It's that bad. They disintegrate.

But still this information is crucial. Without this information, you'll be all over the place. You would be all over the place and you will never know ever when you're right or wrong.

So empathy, insight is empathy. Empathy is learning. Insight, empathy, comparison, socializing, learning.

And so if you don't have empathy, you can never learn. You can never learn.

And this is a narcissist problem. The narcissist has a truncated version of empathy, called empathy, which is only the reflexive and the cognitive element.

He does not possess the emotional component of empathy. So he cannot empathize. So he cannot learn.

Narciss never learns. Again, we'll come to it a bit later.

And the narcissist has another handicap, another disability. He has no access to his emotions. Nothing is possible. Not that insight, not empathy, not learning, not comparison, not calibration, not socializing. Nothing is possible without some access, however restricted to your emotions, all of your emotions, positive and negative.

If you have access like the narcissist, only to negative emotions, what you obtain is called empathy. And called empathy is about subsuming other people, digesting them, taking over them, like body snatching them, making them, denying them, depriving them of their autonomy, rendering them extensions, snapshots, constructs, inertial, immobile objects.

When you have only negative emotions, you want to suppress your instinct, your reflex, is to suppress, to destroy, to subsume, to control. Negative emotions are intolerable. They're unbearable.

And you must eliminate whoever is causing you these negative emotions, the source of their frustration. You must make them like you. There can be no light between you and them.

But if everyone is like you, if everyone is cloned, if everyone is a copy of you, there's no growth, no learning. Who will you learn from? How can you grow?

So, growth and learning are conditioned on positive and negative emotions, working together, helping you survive in an environment which is partly human, with humans and partly natural, helping you to interact in meaningful ways, helping you to exercise your empathy without too much risk, helping you to grow.

And so, narcissist doesn't have this. He doesn't have empathy. And he has no access to his positive emotions. He's utterly disabled. He's quadriplegic.

He has both his legs, a gun, both legs of this basic interaction, a gun.

And so, he never learns.

Where emotions are inaccessible, narcissists attempt to grasp other people and themselves analytically through the brain, intellectually.

They try to obstruct other people, to make them into obstructions. They try to generalize other people, to make them into categories or classes. They try to come up with rules, 12, 5, 7, never mind how many. They try to impose order on the world. They try to construct models, theories. They try desperately. They scramble, they flail in an attempt to introduce order instead of chaos into a world that they cannot decipher, that they cannot comprehend because they don't have the basic tools, empathy and positivity, emotional positivity.

So, they're like blind people trying to survive in the environment.

And what they're trying to do, they're trying to listen with their mind and trying to extrapolate, interpolate, analyze, synthesize, formulate, I mean all the tools that we commonly use in mathematics or physics or computer science, but never in human interaction. These are the only tools available to the narcissists.

But such knowledge gained via the mind analytically is like cramming for an exam. It's the kind of knowledge that is not assimilated, not integrated, not part of you.

When you cram for an exam, you cram and then you puke the knowledge on paper and having puked it, it's gone. It's no longer in your system.

This is knowledge that is vomited knowledge, not real. There's no effect except sometimes to poison you.

And because the narcissist is incapable of true learning, assimilating and integrating raw information into knowledge structures, converting information into knowledge, converting knowledge into insight, converting insight into wisdom, converting wisdom into lessons, converting lessons into avoidance of bad situations in the future, because narcissists are incapable of learning. They are doomed to repeat things. He who doesn't know history is doomed to repeat it. They are doomed to compulsive repetition.

Freud called it repetition compulsion. They are doomed to keep doing the same things again and again, like some demented or deranged person, like some crazy being or some badly programmed machine in a loop. They loop all the time.

The same lessons, the narcissist rediscovers the same lessons with every mortification, with every injury, with every mishap, with every defeat, with every failure. He keeps coming up with the right lessons, with the correct lessons, but they're forgotten. A minute later, a day later, a week later, a year later, they're forgotten. They're forgotten because they never make it inside the narcissist.

They reside here. Then they're gone. Entropy. They disintegrate and degenerate because they're not maintained. They're not maintained with emotions. They are not a part of some narrative or some story that makes sense of the world, that imbues the world with meaning. They're meaningless.

These lessons are rediscovered only to be lost and then rediscovered and then lost, like the cities in the Amazon forest or the Aztec and Inca cities in Latin America, Central America.

Even this very, very minimal version of learning, learning for a day, learning for a week, learning for a month, learning for a year, even this minimal version of learning requires the narcissist to pay a horrible price.

The narcissist must first decompensate, lose his defenses, deactivate. All his defenses are deactivated by some external, horrible shock, some public humiliation, having been cheated on by his spouse, having been robbed, having been mugged, having been deceived and defrauded, having been humiliated, having been, I mean, he must go through some really, really serious personal mishaps, which cause him irreparable damage to his grandiosity.

Narcissistic injuries that cannot be stitched and mortification and only then something penetrates, something penetrates.

And there is the faintest echo over resonant emotion, faintest and a lot, an avalanche of analytical, you know, lessons and sentences and statements and strings and, you know, a lot of analysis, a lot of cerebral intellectual analytical things and very few emotions.

And then it's gone. The narcissist is back to where he was, nothing had happened, about to repeat the very same mistakes and go through the very same mortification.

Access to positive emotions guarantees full-fledged empathy via insights. It guarantees learning, generates growth. Narcissists don't have positive emotions, or they have, but they are afraid to access the positive emotions.

Narcissists reject help and reject advice partly because of this. They know that they cannot be helped. They know that they are incorrigible. They know that they are refractory. They know that they are hopeless simply.

Narcissism is a hopeless condition. It's terminal, terminal cancer of the soul. Narcissists know that. Narcissists are self-aware. Ignore the nonsense online. They know this.

The next stage in evolution, etc.

Of course, they defend themselves. They defend themselves against the pain of this realization, against the utter despair, against the chaos. It's a protective mechanism, reframing, creating new narratives.

But they reject help and advice because they don't think, they don't believe in the efficacy of any help preferred and any advice given.

This, why waste time? Why listen to someone's advice if I can't implement it? Or if I implement it once, but in a year's time I'll forget why I had to implement it.

If I'm so dissociative that all my hard disk is wiped clean once a year, why would I bother to save files?

Imagine that you have a hard disk that self-erases, self-wipes every year. Would you bother to save files on that hard disk? No. The same with the narcissists. Why would you bother with advice, with help, with strategies, with coping, with therapy? Therapy even. Why would he bother with himself if there's no self, no emotions, no empathy, no ability to interact meaningfully with other people? Nothing there. Nothing there. Just in an enormous emptiness and void and deep space and howling winds in a hall of mirrors. Why would he bother with that?


The first person the narcissist gives up on is himself.

Narcissism is not a disease or a disorder of presence. It's a disorder of absence. The narcissist absented himself from his self.

Narcissist is gone, having left behind his skeleton, the shell, an empty, empty home, empty house, not a home.

Narcissist discourages intimacy, also for these reasons. You know.

And he finds displays of emotions fake and embarrassing because he has no emotions. And he can't imagine. He can't imagine because imagination has very little to do with intellect or analytical skills.

That's why many narcissists have IIQs, 190 for example, but they are total retards and idiots. They have zero wisdom and 190 IQ, believe me from personal experience.

So they regard emotions as fake and embarrassing because anything they hadn't experienced doesn't exist. It is the narcissist who is the yardstick and benchmark of creation.

He, everything emanates from him. He's the found of everything. So if something is alien to him, strange, never experienced before, it probably does not exist. And anyone who claims otherwise is a con artist. He's a fake and it's embarrassing to watch this.

Does the other person really think the narcissist is an idiot? His intimate partner, does she think the narcissist is deceived and manipulated by her displays of alleged or sensible love?

Narcissist knows there's no such thing as love. He knows she's faking it. He knows she wants something. She's about to ask for something. He knows it's goal oriented.

So this is why I find the whole movement of empaths online to be reasonable, ridiculous.

Empaths, super empath, and now supernova empath. These are self-aggrandizing labels used by covert narcissists online as they perpetuate and leverage the new file, newfound, eternal professional victim status.

And they do this to garner attention and some of them to make money.

Simple, not nice, but simple. There's no such thing as empath, first of all, because there's no such thing as empath. There's highly sensitive persons, but it's all the same as empath.

And it's a tiny minority of the population. But there's no such thing as empath because narcissists do not select for empathy. They don't understand empathy. They resent empathy. They are disgusted by empathy. They reject empathy as a challenge to their grandiosity. And they consider empathy to be fake. So if they don't select for empathy, not all the victims of narcissists would have been empaths.

Majority of sources of supply of the narcissists are not especially empathic or even not empathic at all. For example, narcissists very frequently have psychopaths as intimate partners, borderlines as intimate partners. These people have deficient empathy. The borderlines have functional empathy. Psychopaths have no empathy whatsoever, cold empathy.

And if you want to prove to yourself my point, and if you want to do it conclusively, here's my advice. Join the cesspits that pass for empath support forums. Dare to suggest that someone there is not really an empath, not too empathic, or dare to raise the possibility that she may have had a role to play in the dysfunctional relationship. Maybe her maid selection was flawed. Maybe it served some purpose for her to be a victim. Dare to suggest this. You will instantly become the recipient of every form of abuse and malevolence known to men or women.

Empaths are far more vicious, snipingly malevolent, and egregious than anything I have ever seen witnessed in 25 years offered by narcissists. The abuse you will experience in the cesspools and cesspits of empath support forums is far worse than anything you have endured from your narcissists. It is crystallized, unadulterated, narcissistic abuse. Nothing worse than the narcissistic rage or the passive aggression of covert empaths.

What about friendship?

Empathy leads very often to friendship. If you are repeatedly and continuously exposed to empathy, at the very least you can be friends. And many, many victims of narcissistic abuse keep saying this, well, you know, maybe we didn't work out as lovers, maybe we didn't work out as spouses, maybe we didn't work out this and that, but we can still be friends.

The problem is that narcissists are prone to sexual overperception. They misinterpret many female gestures and behaviors as invitations to copulate then and there. To be mere friends with a woman is perceived by the narcissist as a narcissistic injury.

When a man, a woman rejects a man sexually or romantically, and friendzones the man, it implies that she had judged him to be of inferior equality, defective, inadequate, lacking, and had rejected him as a potential lover or partner or spouse or father.

And so here's the thing. When you offer friendship to a narcissist, the narcissist doesn't say, oh, wonderful, we can be friends. Oh, wonderful, I have a new friend.

They say, why only friendship? Am I not good enough for you as a lover? Am I not good enough for you as your husband? Am I not good enough for you as your partner? In most, in all ways, am I not good enough to be the father of your children? Am I not good enough for this and for that?

For them, friendship is not the pinnacle and the culmination of empathy, but the lowest rank.

If you offer friendship to a narcissist, narcissists interpret it as having been rejected, having been fired, having been singled out for discrimination, bias, prejudice, and mistreatment, because you could have offered him so much more. Just friends. Everyone is friendly with everyone.

There's nothing special about this. And such injury can morph easily into a narcissistic mortification, especially if the woman offering friendship, the woman who is friendzoning the narcissist, used to be at one time the narcissist's date or spouse or intimate partner and had dumped him in favor of another man with whom she has had sex, sometimes while cheating, or with whom she had later created a family.

So it's not possible to remain friends with the narcissist, precisely because the narcissist lacks empathy, and precisely because the narcissist rejects and resents empathy and all its manifestations.

To be a mere friend is an injury to humiliation, its modification, and he will reject you and resent you for having made this offer.

One last comment about self-awareness.

The narcissist has severe emotional deficits, severe cognitive deficits, but most narcissists are self-aware. I repeat, most narcissists are self-aware. They are knowledgeable about their condition. They're knowledgeable about who they are.

They may not regard it as a condition, but they are absolutely knowledgeable about who they are. They're going to kid and say, I'm not liked because of my personality, which was a sentence that Donald Trump said a few days ago. I'm not liked because of my personality. He's aware of that.

Or they may say I'm an attention boy. I love attention. Or they may say, when I enter the room, I dominate and manipulate everyone. They are self-aware. Many of them don't regard it as a disorder. They regard it as something to be proud of and cultivate and nurture, but they are self-aware.

The thing is that this self-awareness does not lead to healing in the best, most optimal and optimistic scenario.

There's some minor modification of antisocial and abrasive behaviors, but otherwise it's Jeremiah 13.

Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? It's a rhetorical question. The answer is no. If the narcissist becomes self-aware, if he accepts that he is a narcissist, isn't this the first important step towards healing?

No, it's not.

Narcissism defines the narcissist's waking moments. Narcissism is ubiquitous or pervasive in every cell where other people have protoplasm.

Intracellular protoplasm. Narcissist has narcoplasm. Everything the narcissist does is motivated by narcissism. Everything he avoids is the outcome of narcissism to avoid injury and mortification.

Every utterance, every decision, his body language, everything, everything about the narcissist, the way he dresses, what he eats, everything.

Our ostentatious manifestations of pathological narcissism. It's a little like being abducted by an alien and ruthlessly indoctrinated ever since.

The alien is the narcissist's false ego. It's a defense mechanism constructed in order to shield the narcissist's true self from hurt and inevitable abandonment.

And in this sense, the false self works. It's a positive adaptation which enhances the narcissist's agency and self-efficacy.

To put it simply, the narcissist has no incentive to get rid of his narcissism. He may end up being president of the United States.

A cognitive understanding of the disorder, an analytical intellectual grasp of the disorder, even to be an expert on the disorder, does not constitute a transforming insight.

Remember insight? Knowing the disorder, however intimately, has no emotional correlate, no resonance, no echo, nothing happens inside, no dynamic process, no change.

The narcissist does not internalize what he understands and learns about his disorder.

And this new gained knowledge does not become a motivating part of the narcissist, not part of the mechanism. It remains an inert and indifferent piece of knowledge with minor influence for the narcissist's psyche.

Like I know that the Battle of Hastings happened in 1066 and I know that I'm a narcissist and both these fans have the same impact on me.

Moreover, the narcissist may grow aware of certain behaviors of his that are pathological, dysfunctional, self-defeating, counterproductive. He may even label these disorders as counterproductive, but he never grasps the psychodynamic significance of his conduct.

He never truly gets hold of the deeper layers of motivation and the relentless and inexorable engine at the convoluted and tormented core of his being. He never reaches the core for a very simple reason. There's no core.

So the narcissist may say, I really like attention or disparagingly or even self-deprecatingly, self-effacingly, I'm an attention whore. But he won't be able to fully account for why it is that he is addicted to narcissistic supply. What role the supply plays in his psychology, interpersonal relationships, life.

The narcissist may realize belatedly that he is ticking, but he never realizes what makes him tick. Sometimes, and I witness it, when the narcissist first learns about narcissistic personality disorder, he really believes that he could change. This is all. I found my disease, it's a question of time before I find the cure.

There's a moment of optimism, a spirit of hope, usually following a period of violent rejection and humiliation and mortification. But I've seen narcissists confronting the diagnosis, not with dejection and despondence, but with hope.

The narcissist really wants to change. He fervently wants to and hopes to.

At this moment, when he's most vulnerable, when he's broken, when his defenses are down, when he is in touch with his true self, I encourage you to watch the videos of mortification. And this is especially true when this whole world is in shambles, when he just deep time in prison, when there's a divorce, a bankruptcy, the death of a major source of narcissistic supply.

These are all transformative life crises.

The narcissist meets a problem only when he's abandoned, when he's destitute, when he's devastated. He feels that he doesn't want any more of this. He wants to change.

And there are often signs that he is changing and everyone is becoming very hopeful. And they say, you see, narcissists can change, they can heal. And then it's gone. It fades sometimes literally overnight.

The narcissist reverts to all form. The progress he had made evaporates.

Many narcissists report the same process of progression, progression followed by recidivist remission.

It's a little like in cancer, you know, you think you're cured, and then it comes again. You think you're cured, then it comes again. This remission, relapse like in alcoholism.

Many therapists refuse to treat narcissists because of this sisyphean frustration. I never said that narcissists cannot change, only that they cannot heal.

There is a huge difference between behavior modification and a permanent alteration of the psychodynamic internal landscape. Narcissistic behavior can be modified using a cocktail of top therapy, conditioning, sometimes medication.

But I've yet to encounter a healed narcissist. I don't use the phrase recovered narcissist because if you start to think about it for a second, you see how nonsensical it is, but healed, cured. I never came across them.

The emphasis in therapy is more on accommodating the needs of the narcissist nearest and dearest, spouse, children, colleagues, friends. The therapist is more busy trying to shield these people from the narcissist, to salt their wounds, to help them when he injures them and traumatize them than with treating the narcissist.

If the narcissist's abrasiveness, abrasiveness, rage, mood swings, reckless and impulsive behaviors, if these are modified, those around the narcissist benefit most.

It's a form of social engineering, behavior modification, but it's the best we can do at this stage. Cold Therapy, which is a treatment modality that I've come up with, this form of psychotherapy that I've come up with, is experimental at this stage. There's not enough data to say how efficacious it is, but even cold therapy is very limited. It removes the false self and therefore negates the narcissist's need for grandiose fantasies. That's where it stops.

It does not develop empathy, does not improve the narcissist's interpersonal relationships, does not provide him with insight or the ability to interact with other human beings as a human being, does not humanize the narcissist.

It's too late for this. It's too late for this because in therapy you have to work with someone, with someone, with a self, with a person.

And as I keep saying, because of the narcissist, there's nobody there. The therapist is left to work with the absence, with the void, with the emptiness, and that's not conducive to success.

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Narcissists: Alien Life-forms, Lack Empathy!

Narcissists lack the ability to empathize, which is what makes them seem like alien lifeforms, robots, automata, or machines. Empathy is what binds humans together and is the essence of what it means to be human. Narcissists cannot truly communicate with other people, including their family, friends, colleagues, and even therapists. They possess a form of empathy called cold empathy, which allows them to exploit, manipulate, and humiliate others.

Narcissist's Sadism, Masochism, and Self-Destructiveness (ENGLISH responses)

Narcissists are not masochistic because they do not love themselves, and masochism is a form of self-love. Narcissists are self-destructive, and their sadism and masochism are instrumental and functional, used to control people and obtain results. Self-destructiveness is a way for the narcissist to prove to themselves that they are alive when they cannot obtain narcissistic supply. BDSM can be a safe environment for the narcissist to transfer control and rest, knowing that nothing bad will happen.

Narcissist No Toilet Paper: Aggressive and Brittle, Not Soft and Strong

Narcissists have restricted access to positive emotions and rampant negative emotions, leading them to compensate with dominance and abuse. They often call themselves alpha males but are actually bullies. Their mistreatment of others does not make them strong, but rather obnoxious and clownish. They are not capable of true intimacy or emoting, as they are empty inside.

Narcissists Have Emotions

Narcissists do have emotions, but they tend to repress them so deeply that they play no conscious role in their lives or conduct. The narcissist's positive emotions come bundled with very negative ones, and they become phobic of feeling anything lest it be accompanied by negative emotions. The narcissist is reduced to experiencing down-steerings in their soul that they identify to themselves and to others as emotions. Narcissists are not envious of others for having emotions, they disdain feelings and sentimental people because they find them to be weak and vulnerable.

Narcissist's Reactions to Abandonment, Separation, and Divorce

Narcissistic abusers often resort to self-delusion when faced with the dissolution of a meaningful relationship. They may adopt a masochistic avoidance solution, punishing themselves for their failure, or construct a delusional narrative in which they are the hero. Some may become antisocial psychopaths, while others develop persecutory delusions and withdraw completely from social contact, becoming schizoids. Finally, some abusers resort to an aggressive stance, becoming verbally, psychologically, and sometimes physically abusive towards loved ones.

Sadistic Narcissist

Narcissists are sadistic in their pursuit of narcissistic supply, and they enjoy inflicting pain on others who they perceive as intentionally frustrating and withholding. They are not full-fledged sadists in the psychosexual sense, but they are adept at finding the vulnerabilities and frailties of their victims. The narcissist's sadistic acts are often disguised as an enlightened interest in the welfare of their victim, and they are so subtle and poisonous that they might be regarded as the most dangerous of all variants of sadism. However, the narcissist's attention span is short, and they usually let their victims go before they suffer irreversible damage.

Narcissist's Fantasy Sex Life

Narcissists and psychopaths often have a fantasy-based sex life that reflects their psychodynamic inner landscape, including fear of intimacy, misogyny, control-freak tendencies, auto-eroticism, latent sadism and masochism, problems of gender identity, and various sexual deviances or failures. Their fantasies often involve the aggressive or violent objectification of a faceless, nameless, and sometimes even sexless person, and they are always in unmitigated control of their environment and the people in it. The narcissist's self-exposure to their intimate partner often elicits reactions of horror, repulsion, and estrangement.

Savior/Rescuer as Entitled Narcissist (Excerpt)

Narcissistic saviors, healers, fixers, and rescuers are often predators who hide behind a facade of empathy, compassion, and altruism. They are grandiose, covert, and often move around in couples with someone who is honest and straightforward. They prey on vulnerable, heartbroken, sad, crying women and label someone as an abuser to pose as a savior or rescuer. They are fake friends who engage in perfidy, betrayal, and backstabbing. They are dangerous, sadistic predators who are much more dangerous than overt, open abusers.

Empath and Gaslighting: Setting the Record Straight

Self-proclaimed empaths are actually narcissistic individuals seeking attention and victimhood. Highly sensitive persons (HSPs) are extremely few and far between and are unlikely to expose themselves in cyberspace. Gaslighting is often confused and conflated with dissociation, confabulation, and dissonances. Narcissists rarely engage in gaslighting, which is a psychopathic tactic. Narcissists' desperate attempt to restore continuity, introduce some glue into the disjointed parts of their personality, and dissonances are very common but have nothing to do with gaslighting.

Predator Narcissist: YOU are the Prey! (Part 2)

Narcissists and psychopaths may possess empathy, but they use it as a weapon to extract narcissistic supply or in the pursuit of antisocial and sadistic goals. They empathize with their possessions, objects, pets, and other sources of narcissistic supply or material benefits. However, this is not real empathy, but a mere projection of their own insecurities and fears onto others. People tend to feel revolted, repelled, and scared when they come across narcissists or psychopaths, as they strike their interlocutors as being some kind of alien lifeforms or artificial intelligence.

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