Two Faces of Narcissistic Abuse: Disrespect From Shared Fantasy to Bargaining (starts at 20:35)

Key Takeaways

  1. Self-Reflection on Longevity: The speaker reflects on their long career which began in 1995 and notes how today's online narcissism experts were likely still young when their work began. They express mixed feelings about being a kind of intellectual ancestor to current practitioners of narcissism theory.

  2. Narcissist Characteristics:

    • Stupidity and Unchanging Nature: Narcissists are depicted as incapable of learning from life experiences, leading to repetitive and unchanging behaviors.
    • Distorted Perception of Reality: Narcissists see life in a dim, shadowy manner, similar to living in a "shadow land" where they are blind to the dynamic aspects of life.
  3. Narcissistic vs. Sadistic Supply:

    • Narcissistic Supply: Any external validation that upholds and enhances the narcissist's grandiosity.
    • Sadistic Supply: Deriving pleasure from causing pain and humiliation to others, which supports their sense of power and omnipotence. It is considered purer and more addictive compared to narcissistic supply.
  4. Differences Between Narcissists and Psychopaths:

    • Not all psychopaths are narcissists, though most are grandiose.
    • Psychopaths do not need narcissistic supply to maintain their self-worth and operate with different motivations such as money, power, and sex.
    • Psychopaths lack a false self, unlike narcissists, and do not need people as narcissists do.
  5. William Blake's Poetic Representation of Narcissism:

    • Blake’s poems, "A Little Boy Lost" and "A Little Boy Found", illustrate the dynamics of narcissism, focusing on parental mistreatment and societal reactions.
  6. Phases of Narcissistic Abuse:

    • In the Shared Fantasy Phase: Narcissists reenact their unresolved childhood conflicts by parentifying their partners. This leads to compulsive and unconscious abusive behaviors meant to test the partner’s ability to fulfill parental roles.
    • In the Bargaining Phase: Abuse becomes calculated and intentional as narcissists try to push partners away once their needs for idealized parental figures are unmet. This phase often results in the narcissist ultimately ending up alone.
  7. Repetitive and Symptomatic Behaviors:

    • Approach-Avoidance Cycles: The narcissist’s relationships are characterized by a cycle of intense involvement followed by pushing people away through abuse.
    • Behavior Inconsistency: Identical behaviors by narcissists can stem from vastly different internal processes and motivations at different times.
  8. Response of Victims in the Bargaining Phase:

    • Partners may engage in deceitful behaviors, such as cheating or betrayal, as reactions to narcissistic abuse.
    • Partners often oscillate between attempting to cope with the narcissist’s behavior and ultimately seeking to leave the relationship or hurt the narcissist in return.
  9. Narcissists' Inability to Maintain Relationships:

    • Narcissists cannot sustain long-term relational commitments due to their need to parentify their partners and their simultaneous urge to be alone and unencumbered.
    • They often sabotage their own success to maintain a sense of freedom and avoid intimacy and commitment.
  10. Public Perception and Self-Destruction:

    • Over time, people lose respect for narcissists as they recognize the narcissist’s superficiality and instability.
    • Narcissists’ lives often follow a pattern of constructing and deconstructing relationships and endeavors, leading to a cycle of perceived success followed by self-destruction.
  11. Critical View on Online Experts:

    • The speaker criticizes many online figures who claim expertise in narcissism without having conducted substantial research or having a deep understanding of the complexities of narcissistic behavior.

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