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Church of the Self

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What Borderlines and Narcissists Fear Most: Part A
Borderlines fear you abandoning them; Narcissists fear losing your "supply"
Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited, has NPD himself: for that and other aspects of his personality he gets much criticism on the Internet. I don’t agree with everything he says, and he is not a therapist. But I find his work to be revealing and accurate because as a narcissist who studies other narcissists, he has a flair getting his point across. He writes:

"The narcissist actively solicits narcissistic supply–adulation, compliments, admiration, subservience, attention, and 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 of the risks associated with such all-pervasive and essential dependence. He resents his weakness and dreads possible disruptions in the flow of his drug–narcissistic supply. He is caught between the rock of his habit and the 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).

By playing on the narcissist’s grandiosity and paranoia, it is possible to deceive and manipulate him effortlessly. Just offer him supply and he is yours. Harp on his insecurities and his persecutory delusions and he is likely to trust only you and cling to you for dear life.

Being deprived of narcissistic supply is like being hollowed out, mentally disemboweled or watching oneself die. It is a cosmic evaporation, disintegrating into molecules of terrified anguish, helplessly and inexorably. It is disintegrating like the zombies or the vampires in horror movies. It is terrifying and the narcissist will do anything to avoid it."

In her book, The Object of My Affection Is In My Reflection, Rokelle Lerner explains that the desperation for narcissistic supply is linked to the narcissist’s lack of a true identity apart from the “false self” –a type of costume they create to cover up wounds they may have experienced as a child. She writes (p. 56, 57, 58):

People are objects who exist for their satisfaction…[They] focus on potential sources of supply (people) and engulf them with charm, concentrated attention, and contrived deep emotions….If a narcissist must be liked to secure a supply, he does all he can to be liked. If he needs to be feared to be admired, he makes sure he is feared….

Entrapping and maintaining a source of supply is a full time job for the narcissist. The level of manipulation, seduction, and political shrewedness it takes to cultivate and maintain a supply is honed to absolute perfection. This makes sense if you consider that his supply is as important as oxygen…a matter of emotional life or death. The problem is that there is never, ever enough.

Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy

Buy 16 books and video lectures on 3 DVDs about narcissists, psychopaths, and abusive relationships
Sep/17/2015, 2:10 pm Link to this post  

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