The Intermittent Explosive Narcissist

Written by Sam Vaknin


Narcissists invariably react with narcissistic rage to narcissistic injury.

These two terms bear clarification:

Narcissistic injury

Any threat (real or imagined) torepparttar narcissist's grandiose and fantastic self-perception (False Self) as perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and entitled to special treatment and recognition, regardless of his actual accomplishments (or lack thereof).

The narcissist actively solicits narcissistic supply - adulation, compliments, admiration, subservience, attention, being feared - from others in order to sustain his fragile and dysfunctional ego. Thus, he constantly courts possible rejection, criticism, disagreement, and even mockery.

The narcissist is, therefore, dependent on other people. He is aware ofrepparttar 126064 risks associated with such all-pervasive and essential dependence. He resents his weakness and dreads possible disruptions inrepparttar 126065 flow of his drug - narcissistic supply. He is caught betweenrepparttar 126066 rock of his habit andrepparttar 126067 hard place of his frustration. No wonder he is prone to raging, lashing and acting out, and to pathological, all-consuming envy (all expressions of pent-up aggression).

The narcissist is constantly onrepparttar 126068 lookout for slights. He is hypervigilant. He perceives every disagreement as criticism and every critical remark as complete and humiliating rejection nothing short of a threat. Gradually, his mind turns into a chaotic battlefield of paranoia and ideas of reference.

Most narcissists react defensively. They become conspicuously indignant, aggressive, and cold. They detach emotionally for fear of yet another (narcissistic) injury. They devaluerepparttar 126069 person who maderepparttar 126070 disparaging remark,repparttar 126071 critical comment,repparttar 126072 unflattering observation,repparttar 126073 innocuous joke atrepparttar 126074 narcissist's expense.

By holdingrepparttar 126075 critic in contempt, by diminishingrepparttar 126076 stature ofrepparttar 126077 discordant conversant repparttar 126078 narcissist minimisesrepparttar 126079 impact ofrepparttar 126080 disagreement or criticism on himself. This is a defence mechanism known as cognitive dissonance.

Narcissistic Rage

Narcissists can be imperturbable, resilient to stress, and sangfroid. Narcissistic rage is not a reaction to stress - it is a reaction to a perceived slight, insult, criticism, or disagreement (in other words, to narcissistic injury). It is intense and disproportional torepparttar 126081 "offence". Raging narcissists usually perceive their reaction to have been triggered by an intentional provocation with a hostile purpose. Their targets, onrepparttar 126082 other hand, invariably regard raging narcissists as incoherent, unjust, and arbitrary.

Narcissistic rage should not be confused with anger, though they have many things in common.

It is not clear whether action diminishes anger or anger is used up in action - but anger in healthy persons is diminished through action and expression. It is an aversive, unpleasant emotion. It is intended to generate action in order to reduce frustration. Anger is coupled with physiological arousal.

Another enigma is:

Do we become angry because we say that we are angry, thus identifyingrepparttar 126083 anger and capturing it or do we say that we are angry because we are angry to begin with?

Anger is provoked by adverse treatment, deliberately or unintentionally inflicted. Such treatment must violate either prevailing conventions regarding social interactions or some otherwise a deeply ingrained sense of what is fair and what is just. The judgment of fairness or justice is a cognitive function impaired inrepparttar 126084 narcissist.

Anger is induced by numerous factors. It is almost a universal reaction. Any threat to one's welfare (physical, emotional, social, financial, or mental) is met with anger. So are threats to one's affiliates, nearest, dearest, nation, favourite football club, pet and so on. The territory of anger includes not onlyrepparttar 126085 angry person himself, but also his real and perceived environment and social milieu.

Threats are notrepparttar 126086 only situations to incite anger. Anger is alsorepparttar 126087 reaction to injustice (perceived or real), to disagreements, and to inconvenience (discomfort) caused by dysfunction.

The Roots of Pedophilia

Written by Sam Vaknin


Pedophiles are attracted to prepubescent children and act on their sexual fantasies. It is a startling fact thatrepparttar etiology of this paraphilia is unknown. Pedophiles comes from all walks of life and have no common socio-economic background. Contrary to media-propagated myths, most of them had not been sexually abused in childhood andrepparttar 105765 vast majority of pedophiles are also drawn to adults ofrepparttar 105766 opposite sex (are heterosexuals).

Only a few belong torepparttar 105767 Exclusive Type -repparttar 105768 ones who are tempted solely by kids. Nine tenths of all pedophiles are male. They are fascinated by preteen females, teenage males, or (more rarely) both.

Moreover, at least one fifth (and probably more) ofrepparttar 105769 population have pedophiliac fantasies. The prevalence of child pornography and child prostitution prove it. Pedophiles start out as "normal" people and are profoundly shocked and distressed to discover their illicit sexual preference forrepparttar 105770 prepubertal. The process and mechanisms of transition from socially acceptable sexuality to much-condemned (and criminal) pedophilia are still largely mysterious.

Pedophiles seem to have narcissistic and antisocial (psychopathic) traits. They lack empathy for their victims and express no remorse for their actions. They are in denial and, being pathological confabulators, they rationalize their transgressions, claiming thatrepparttar 105771 children were merely being educated for their own good and, anyhow, derived great pleasure from it.

The pedophile's ego-syntony rests on his alloplastic defenses. He generally tends to blame others (orrepparttar 105772 world orrepparttar 105773 "system") for his misfortunes, failures, and deficiencies. Pedophiles frequently accuse their victims of acting promiscuously, of "coming on to them", of actively tempting, provoking, and luring (or even trapping) them.

The pedophile - similar torepparttar 105774 autistic patient - misinterpretsrepparttar 105775 child's body language and inter-personal cues. His social communication skills are impaired and he fails to adjust information gained torepparttar 105776 surrounding circumstances (for instance, torepparttar 105777 kid's age and maturity).

Coupled with his lack of empathy, this recurrent inability to truly comprehend others causerepparttar 105778 pedophile to objectifyrepparttar 105779 targets of his lasciviousness. Pedophilia is, in essence, auto-erotic. The pedophile uses children's bodies to masturbate with. Hencerepparttar 105780 success ofrepparttar 105781 Internet among pedophiles: it offers disembodied, anonymous, masturbatory sex. Children in cyberspace are mere representations - often nothing more than erotic photos and screen names.

It is crucial to realize that pedophiles are not enticed byrepparttar 105782 children themselves, by their bodies, or by their budding and nubile sexuality (remember Nabokov's Lolita?). Rather, pedophiles are drawn to what children symbolize, to what preadolescents stand for and represent.

Torepparttar 105783 pedophile ...

I. Sex with children is "free" and "daring"

Sex with subteens implies freedom of action with impunity. It enhancesrepparttar 105784 pedophile's magical sense of omnipotence and immunity. By defyingrepparttar 105785 authority ofrepparttar 105786 state andrepparttar 105787 edicts of his culture and society,repparttar 105788 pedophile experiences an adrenaline rush to which he gradually becomes addicted. Illicit sex becomesrepparttar 105789 outlet for his urgent need to live dangerously and recklessly.

The pedophile is on a quest to reassert control over his life. Studies have consistently shown that pedophilia is associated with anomic states (war, famine, epidemics) and with major life crises (failure, relocation, infidelity of spouse, separation, divorce, unemployment, bankruptcy, illness, death ofrepparttar 105790 offender's nearest and dearest).

It is likely - though hitherto unsubstantiated by research - thatrepparttar 105791 typical pedophile is depressive and with a borderline personality (low organization and fuzzy personal boundaries). Pedophiles are reckless and emotionally labile. The pedophile's sense of self-worth is volatile and dysregulated. He is likely to suffer from abandonment anxiety and be a codependent or counterdependent.

Paradoxically, it is by seemingly losing control in one aspect of his life (sex) thatrepparttar 105792 pedophile re-acquires a sense of mastery. The same mechanism is at work inrepparttar 105793 development of eating disorders. An inhibitory deficit is somehow magically perceived as omnipotence.

II. Sex with children is corrupt and decadent

The pedophile makes frequent (though unconscious) use of projection and projective identification in his relationships with children. He makes his victims treat himrepparttar 105794 way he views himself - or attributes to them traits and behaviors that are truly his.

The pedophile is aware of society's view of his actions as vile, corrupt, forbidden, evil, and decadent (especially ifrepparttar 105795 pedophiliac act involves incest). He derives pleasure fromrepparttar 105796 sleazy nature of his pursuits because it tends to sustain his view of himself as "bad", "a failure", "deserving of punishment", and "guilty".

In extreme (mercifully uncommon) cases,repparttar 105797 pedophile projects these torturous feelings and self-perceptions onto his victims. The children defiled and abused by his sexual attentions thus become "rotten", "bad objects", guilty and punishable. This leads to sexual sadism, lust rape, and snuff murders.

III. Sex with children is a reenactment of a painful past

Many pedophile truly bond with their prey. To them, children arerepparttar 105798 reification of innocence, genuineness, trust, and faithfulness - qualities thatrepparttar 105799 pedophile wishes to nostalgically recapture.

The relationship withrepparttar 105800 child providesrepparttar 105801 pedophile with a "safe passage" to his own, repressed and fearful, inner child. Through his victim,repparttar 105802 pedophile gains access to his suppressed and thwarted emotions. It is a fantasy-like second chance to reenact his childhood, this time benignly. The pedophile's dream to make peace with his past comes true transformingrepparttar 105803 interaction withrepparttar 105804 child to an exercise in wish fulfillment.

IV. Sex with children is a shared psychosis

The pedophile treats "his" chosen child as an object, an extension of himself, devoid of a separate existence and denuded of distinct needs. He findsrepparttar 105805 child's submissiveness and gullibility gratifying. He frowns on any sign of personal autonomy and regards it as a threat. By intimidating, cajoling, charming, and making false promises,repparttar 105806 abuser isolates his prey from his family, school, peers, and fromrepparttar 105807 rest of society and, thus, makesrepparttar 105808 child's dependence on him total.

Torepparttar 105809 pedophile,repparttar 105810 child is a "transitional object" - a training ground on which to exercise his adult relationship skills. The pedophile erroneously feels thatrepparttar 105811 child will never betray and abandon him, therefore guaranteeing "object constancy".

The pedophile stealthily but unfailingly exploitsrepparttar 105812 vulnerabilities inrepparttar 105813 psychological makeup of his victim. The child may have low self-esteem, a fluctuating sense of self-worth, primitive defence mechanisms, phobias, mental health problems, a disability, a history of failure, bad relations with parents, siblings, teachers, or peers, or a tendency to blame herself, or to feel inadequate (autoplastic neurosis). The kid may come from an abusive family or environment which conditioned her or him to expect abuse as inevitable and "normal". In extreme and rare cases repparttar 105814 victim is a masochist, possessed of an urge to seek ill-treatment and pain.

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