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Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited by Sam Vaknin
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Malignant Self-Love Quotes Showing 1-25 of 25
“Hate is the complement of fear and narcissists like being feared. It imbues them with an intoxicating sensation of omnipotence.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“Often the narcissist believes that other people are "faking it", leveraging emotional displays to achieve a goal. He is convinced that their ostensible "feelings" are grounded in ulterior, non-emotional motives. Faced with other people's genuine emotions, the narcissist becomes suspicious and embarrassed. He feels compelled to avoid emotion-tinged situations, or worse, experiences surges of almost uncontrollable aggression in the presence of expressed sentiments. They remind him how imperfect he is and how poorly equipped.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“Here lies the partner's salvation: if you, as his intimate, wish to sever your relationship with the narcissist, stop providing him with what he needs. Do not adore, admire, approve, applaud, or confirm anything he does or says. Disagree with his views belittle him, reduce him to size, compare him to others, tell him he is not unique, criticize him, give unsolicited advice, and offer him help. In short, deprive him of the grandiose and fantastic illusions, which holds his personality together.
The narcissist is a delicately attuned piece of equipment. At the first sign of danger to his inflated False Self, he will quit and disappear on you.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“In the narcissist's world being accepted or cared for (not to mention loved) is a foreign language. It is meaningless or even repellent. One might recite the most delicate haiku in Japanese and it would still remain utterly meaningless to a non-speaker of Japanese. This does not diminish the value of the haiku or of the Japanese language, needless to say. But it means nothing to the non-speaker.

Narcissists damage and hurt but they do so offhandedly and naturally, as an afterthought…

They are aware of what they are doing to others - but they do not care.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“The mythological Narcissus rejected the advances of the nymph Echo and was punished by the goddess Nemesis. He was consigned to pine away as he fell in love with his own reflection - exactly as Echo had pined away for him. How apt. Narcissists are punished by echoes and reflections of their problematic personalities up to this very day.
Narcissists are said to be in love with themselves.
But this is a fallacy. Narcissus is not in love with himself. He is in love with his reflection.
There is a major difference between one's True Self and reflected-self.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“Narcissists (and often, by contagion, their unfortunate victims) don't talk, or communicate: they fend off, hide and evade . . . [They] perfect the ability of saying nothing in lengthy Castro-like speeches. Their locution is impregnated with first person pronouns ("I", "me", "my", "mine" - aka "high pronoun density").

The ensuing convoluted sentences are .. a lack of commitment elevated to an ideology. The narcissist prefers to wait and see what procrastination brings: postponement of the inevitable leads to the inevitability of postponement as a strategy of survival.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“[Abusers] blame the world - circumstances, other people - for their defeats, misfortune, misconduct, and failures. The abuser firmly believes that his life is swayed by currents and persons over which he has no influence whatsoever (he has an external locus of control).

But there are even subtler variants of this psychological defense mechanism. Not infrequently an abuser will say: "I made a mistake because I am stupid", implying that his deficiencies and inadequacy are things he cannot help having and cannot change. This is also an alloplastic defense because it abrogates responsibility.

Many abusers exclaim: "I misbehaved because I completely lost my temper." On the surface, this appears to be an autoplastic defense with the abuser assuming responsibility for his misconduct. But it could be interpreted as an alloplastic defense, depending on whether the abuser believes that he can control his temper.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“The narcissist has to defend himself against his own premonitions, his internal sempiternal trial, his guilt, shame, and anxiety. One of the more efficacious defense mechanisms at his disposal is false modesty.
The narcissist publicly chastises himself for being unworthy, unfit, lacking, not trained and not (formally) schooled, not objective, cognizant of his own shortcomings, and vain. This way, if (or, rather, when) exposed for what he is, he can always say: "But I told you so in the first place, haven't I?" False modesty is, thus, an insurance policy. The narcissist "hedges his bets" by placing a side bet on his own fallibility…
Yet another function is to extract Narcissistic Supply from the listener. By contrasting his own self-deprecation with a brilliant, dazzling display of ingenuity, wit, intellect, knowledge, or beauty, the narcissist aims to secure .. protestation from the listener.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“Forcing a child into adult pursuits is one of the subtlest varieties of soul murder. Very often we find that the narcissist was deprived of his childhood. Consider the gifted child, the Wunderkind: the answer to his mother's prayers and the salve to her frustrations…

The Wunderkind narcissist refuses to grow up. In his mind, his tender age formed an integral part of the precocious miracle that he once was. One looks much less phenomenal and one's exploits and achievements are much less awe-inspiring at the age of 40 than the age of 4. Better stay young forever and thus secure an interminable stream of Narcissistic Supply.

So, the narcissist abjures all adult skills and chores: he never takes out a driver's license; he does not have children; he rarely has sex; he never settles down in one place; he rejects intimacy. In short, he renounces adulthood. Absent adult skills he assumes no adult responsibilities. He expects indulgence from others.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“But both the narcissist and his partner do not really consider each other. Trapped in the moves of an all-consuming dance macabre, they follow the motions morbidly - semiconscious, desensitized, exhausted, and concerned only with survival.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“Having invented himself, the narcissist sees no problem in recasting that which he had designed in the first place. The narcissist is his own repeated Creator - hence his grandiosity.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“The dysphorias - the bitter fruits of the narcissist's impossible demands of himself - are painful. Gradually the narcissist learns to avoid them by eschewing a structured narrative altogether…
The narcissist pays a heavy price for accommodating his dysfunctional narratives: emptiness; existential aloneness .. meaninglessness. This fuels his envy and the resulting rage.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“The narcissist cannot admit that he had toiled and sweated to achieve his goal and, with this confession, shatter his alleged omnipotence and grandiose False Self. He must belittle every accomplishment of his and make it appear to have been a routine triviality. This is intended to support the dreamland quality of his fragmented personality. But it also prevents him from deriving the psychological benefits which usually accrue to to goal attainment…
The narcissist is doomed to roam a circular labyrinth. When he does achieve something, he underestimates it in order to enhance his own sense of omnipotence, perfection, and brilliance. When he fails, he dare not face reality. He escapes to the land of no narratives where life is nothing but a meaningless wasteland. The narcissist whiles his life away.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“terrified of being abandoned and all narcissists need Narcissistic Supply Sources. These narcissists prefer to direct their furious rage at people who are meaningless to them and whose withdrawal will not constitute a threat to the narcissists' precariously-balanced personalities. They explode at an underling, yell at a waitress, or berate a taxi driver. Alternatively, they sulk (silent treatment). Many narcissists feel anhedonic, or pathologically bored, drink or do drugs - all forms of self-directed aggression. From time to time, no longer able to pretend and to suppress their rage, they have it out with the real source of their anger. Then they lose all vestiges of self-control and rave like lunatics. They shout incoherently, make absurd accusations, distort facts, and air long-suppressed grievances, allegations and suspicions. These episodes are followed by periods of saccharine sentimentality and excessive flattering and submissiveness towards the target of the latest rage attack. Driven by the mortal fear of being abandoned or ignored, the narcissist debases and demeans himself to the point of provoking repulsion in the beholder. These pendulum-like emotional swings make life with the narcissist exhausting.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited
“Children happen to be more attached to the female narcissist due to the way our society is still structured and to the fact that women are the ones to give birth and to serve as primary caretakers. It is much easier for a woman to think of her children as her extensions because they once indeed were her physical extensions and because her on-going interaction with them is both more intensive and more extensive.
[The] male narcissist is more likely to regard his children as a nuisance than as a Source of Narcissistic Supply - especially as they grow older and become autonomous.
With less alternatives than men, the narcissistic woman fights to maintain her most reliable Source of Supply: her children. Through insidious indoctrination, guilt-formation, emotional sanctions and blackmail, deprivation and other psychological mechanisms, she tries to induce in her offspring dependence which cannot easily be unraveled.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“The popular misconception is that narcissists love themselves. In reality, they direct their love at other people's impressions of them. He who loves only impressions is incapable of loving people, himself included.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited - The Essay
“Cognitive insight (knowing something) is not like emotional insight (feeling something). It has no psychodynamic effects. It does not affect the narcissist's behavior patterns, or his interpersonal interactions - the products of well entrenched and rigid defense mechanisms.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
“The narcissist has to condition his human environment to refrain from expressing criticism and disapproval of him, or of his actions and decisions. He has to teach people around him that any form of disagreement, however mild and minor, throws him into frightful fits of temper and rage attacks and turn him into a constantly cantankerous and irascible person.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited - The Essay
“(The envious narcissist's existence is) a constant hiss, a tangible malice, the piercing of a thousand eyes, the imminence and immanence of violence, the poisoned joy of depriving the other of that which you don't or cannot have.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited - The Essay
“Romantic jealousy is a narcissistic defence. It reflects the narcissistic traits and behaviours of possessiveness;”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited - The Essay
“Remembering this has a survival”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited
“narcissist hates you wholeheartedly and thoroughly simply because you are.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited
“Rage can easily convert to hatred. There is a wish to control the bad object in order to avoid persecution or fear. This control is achieved by the development of obsessive control mechanisms, which psychopathologically regulate the repression of aggression in such an individual.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited - The Essay
“Narcissists are said to be in love with themselves. But this is a fallacy. Narcissus is not in love with himself. He is in love with his reflection. There is a major difference between one's True Self and reflected-self.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited - The Essay
“The dynamic unconscious is made of basic mental experiences, which are really dyadic relations between self-representations and object representations in either of two contexts: elation or rage.”
Sam Vaknin, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited - The Essay