Relationships with Abusive Narcissists - Part II

Written by Sam Vaknin

Moreover,repparttar narcissist is a man for all seasons, forever adaptable, constantly imitating and emulating, a human sponge, a perfect mirror, a chameleon, a non-entity that is, atrepparttar 131117 same time, all entities combined. The narcissist is best described by Heidegger's phrase: "Being and Nothingness". Into this reflective vacuum, this sucking black hole,repparttar 131118 narcissist attractsrepparttar 131119 Sources of his Narcissistic Supply.

To an observer,repparttar 131120 narcissist appears to be fractured or discontinuous.

Pathological narcissism has been compared torepparttar 131121 Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerlyrepparttar 131122 Multiple Personality Disorder). By definition,repparttar 131123 narcissist has at least two selves,repparttar 131124 True and False ones. His personality is very primitive and disorganised. Living with a narcissist is a nauseating experience not only because of what he is – but because of what he is NOT. He is not a fully formed human – but a dizzyingly kaleidoscopic gallery of ephemeral images, which melt into each other seamlessly. It is incredibly disorienting.

It is also exceedingly problematic. Promises made byrepparttar 131125 narcissist are easily disowned by him. His plans are transient. His emotional ties – a simulacrum. Most narcissists have one island of stability in their life (spouse, family, their career, a hobby, their religion, country, or idol) – pounded byrepparttar 131126 turbulent currents of a dishevelled existence.

The narcissist does not keep agreements, does not adhere to laws or social norms, and regards consistency and predictability as demeaning traits.

Thus, to invest in a narcissist is a purposeless, futile and meaningless activity. Torepparttar 131127 narcissist, every day is a new beginning, a hunt, a new cycle of idealisation or devaluation, a newly invented self. There is no accumulation of credits or goodwill becauserepparttar 131128 narcissist has no past and no future. He occupies an eternal and timeless present. He is a fossil caught inrepparttar 131129 frozen ashes of a volcanic childhood.


Refuse to accept such behaviour. Demand reasonably predictable and rational actions and reactions. Insist on respect for your boundaries, predilections, preferences, and priorities.

Disproportional Reactions

One ofrepparttar 131130 favourite tools of manipulation inrepparttar 131131 narcissist's arsenal isrepparttar 131132 disproportionality of his reactions. He reacts with supreme rage torepparttar 131133 slightest slight. He punishes severely for what he perceives to be an offence against him, no matter how minor. He throws a temper tantrum over any discord or disagreement, however gently and considerately expressed. Or he may act attentive, charming and seductive (even over-sexed, if need be). This ever-shifting emotional landscape ("affective dunes") coupled with an inordinately harsh and arbitrarily applied “penal code” are both promulgated byrepparttar 131134 narcissist. Neediness and dependence onrepparttar 131135 source of all justice meted – onrepparttar 131136 narcissist – are thus guaranteed.


Demand a just and proportional treatment. Reject or ignore unjust and capricious behaviour.

If you are up torepparttar 131137 inevitable confrontation, react in kind. Let him taste some of his own medicine.

Dehumanization and Objectification

People have a need to believe inrepparttar 131138 empathic skills and basic good-heartedness of others. By dehumanising and objectifying people –repparttar 131139 narcissist attacksrepparttar 131140 very foundations ofrepparttar 131141 social treaty. This isrepparttar 131142 "alien" aspect of narcissists – they may be excellent imitations of fully formed adults but they are emotionally non-existent, or, at best, immature.

This is so horrid, so repulsive, so phantasmagoric – that people recoil in terror. It is then, with their defences absolutely down, that they arerepparttar 131143 most susceptible and vulnerable torepparttar 131144 narcissist's control. Physical, psychological, verbal and sexual abuse are all forms of dehumanisation and objectification.


Never show your abuser that you are afraid of him. Do not negotiate with bullies. They are insatiable. Do not succumb to blackmail.

If things get rough- disengage, involve law enforcement officers, friends and colleagues, or threaten him (legally).

Do not keep your abuse a secret. Secrecy isrepparttar 131145 abuser's weapon.

Never give him a second chance. React with your full arsenal torepparttar 131146 first transgression.

Abuse of Information

Fromrepparttar 131147 first moments of an encounter with another person,repparttar 131148 narcissist is onrepparttar 131149 prowl. He collects information withrepparttar 131150 intention of applying it later to extract Narcissistic Supply. The more he knows about his potential Source of Supply –repparttar 131151 better able he is to coerce, manipulate, charm, extort or convert it "torepparttar 131152 cause". The narcissist does not hesitate to abuserepparttar 131153 information he gleaned, regardless of its intimate nature orrepparttar 131154 circumstances in which he obtained it. This is a powerful tool in his armoury.


Be guarded. Don't be too forthcoming in a first or casual meeting. Gather intelligence.

Be yourself. Don't misrepresent your wishes, boundaries, preferences, priorities, and red lines.

Women in Transition From Post Feminism to Past Femininity - Part II

Written by Sam Vaknin

Women witnessedrepparttar resurgence of nostalgic nationalism, neo traditionalism and religious revival - social forces which sought to confine them to home, hearth, spouse and children and to "liberate" them fromrepparttar 131115 "forced labour" of communism. Negative demographic trends (declining life expectancy and birth rate, numerous abortions, late marriage, a high divorce rate, increasing suicide rate) conspired to provoke a "we are a dying nation" outcry andrepparttar 131116 inevitable re-emphasis ofrepparttar 131117 woman's reproductive functions.

Fierce debates aboutrepparttar 131118 morality of abortion erupted in bastions of Catholic fundamentalism (such as Poland and, to a lesser degree, Lithuania) as well as in citadels of rational agnosticism, such asrepparttar 131119 Czech Republic. Curiously, prostitution and women trafficking were accepted as inevitable. Perhaps because they catered to masculine needs.

Indeed, in feminist lore and theory, both nationalism and capitalism are "patriarchal". Nationalism allocates distinct and mutually exclusive roles to men and women. The latter are supposed to act as homemakers and have babies. Capitalism encouragesrepparttar 131120 formation of impregnable male elites, disseminates new technologies mainly to male monopolies, eliminates menial and low skilled (women's) jobs and puts emphasis on masculine traits such as aggression and competitiveness. No wonder female political representation in parliaments and governments diminished dramatically since 1989. When powerless, under communism, CEE parliaments were stacked with women. Now that they are more potent elected bodies, they are almost nowhere to be seen. The few that infiltrated these august institutions are relegated to "soft" committees (social issues, usually) devoid of budgets and of influence. It is very much like under communism whenrepparttar 131121 decision making party echelons were predominantly male. The only influential women then were dissidents but they seem to have rejectedrepparttar 131122 fruit of their labour, democracy, in favour of tranquility and peace of mind - or to have been usurped by an emerging male establishment. Despite an education in economics, they are under-represented among business executives,repparttar 131123 owners of privatized enterprises andrepparttar 131124 beneficiaries of favourable pay regulations and tax systems.

This erosion of their economic base coupled withrepparttar 131125 drastic decreases in child benefits, inrepparttar 131126 length of maternal leave, inrepparttar 131127 number of public and, thus, affordable child care facilities and in other support networks led to a swift deterioration inrepparttar 131128 social status and leverage of women. With their only effective contraceptive - abortion - restricted, maternal mortality exploded. So did teenage pregnancy - a result ofrepparttar 131129 curtailing or absence of sex education. The rate of sexually transmitted diseases went throughrepparttar 131130 roof. Violence against women - rape, spousal abuse, date rape - became epidemic. So did skyrocketing street prostitution. Widowed women - an ever more common phenomenon in CEE - are destitute and reduced to begging asrepparttar 131131 pensions ofrepparttar 131132 lucky ones are ground to nil by a rising cost of living and IMF prodded stinginess. There are also more quotidian problems (often neglected byrepparttar 131133 media hungry and soundbite craving feminists) like pitiful divorce maintenance payments or decrepit maternity wards in crumbling hospitals.

Yet, women's reaction to all this was notable in its absence. After decades of forced activism and imposed altruism,repparttar 131134 imported Western individualism mutated in CEE to malignant egotism. A sliver ofrepparttar 131135 female population did well in local government and as entrepreneurs. The rest (especiallyrepparttar 131136 old,repparttar 131137 rural,repparttar 131138 less educated) stayed at home and seemed to fancy this novel experience of dependence. A generational divide emerged. Younger women discoveredrepparttar 131139 joys of conspicuous consumption and mind numbing pop "culture". They constitutedrepparttar 131140 masses of career opportunists,repparttar 131141 new managerial class, shareholders and professionals - a pale imitation ofrepparttar 131142 yuppies of America. Older women retreated - heaving a sigh of relief - into home and family, seeking refuge fromrepparttar 131143 intrusion of tedious public matters. Economic realities still forced them to seek a job and steady income (often in a family business or inrepparttar 131144 informal economy, with no job security or regulated labour conditions) but their activism vanished into newfound and demonstrative reclusiveness.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use