Friday, August 25, 2006

Web War - Part 2

A commenter recently gave an example of something Sam Vaknin says that could indeed hurt the victims of narcissists. I quote:

At Vaknin's message board, he has written a description of the women who are targeted by narcissists. Among other "qualities," she should be submissive and not demanding, Neither "submissive" nor "not demanding" describe me.. In fact, I'm quite the opposite. What really struck me was how Vaknin stroked his own ego by stating that she should be "inferior to the narcissist." Any whole, emotionally healthy person is, in my opinion, superior to the narcissist. Remember, after we get away or are devalued and discarded (whatever it takes), we'll move on to healthier and happier pursuits. The narcissist, on the other hand, will always be seeking, grooming, trying to attract narcissist supply. Like a jungle animal, always in search of food, the narcissist will never know what it feels like to rest or what it feels like to be at peace with oneself. I don't call that superiority.

Exactly. Now here, people warning against swallowing everything he says whole are dead right!

If you are the spouse of a narcissist, that's the last thing you should hear. It adds to the abuse. It reinforces the devaluing judgement of you, telling you AGAIN (and this time with the voice of authority) that something's wrong with YOU, that you are inferior.

Now, perhaps if he'd taken the time to time to explain that a narcissist will target prey from a lower socio-economic class or people who are meek and easily hurt, it wouldn't be so bad. But he simply says that you are targeted because you're inferior to the narcissist.


I can't say that I think he's making this error on purpose. He IS a narcissist, so what else can we expect?

Notice how differently I describe the same thing on this website and blog. I put it this way: the narcissist targets "easy prey." I do explain that he targets the vulnerable, whom he REGARDS as inferior. And I go further in citing examples of easy prey to show that vulnerability is his trigger, not inferiority. They are not just the poor and the meek; they are also children, the dying (who are in great need of expressions of your love for them), BENEFACTORS, and altruists. This longer list of examples shows clearly that he is targeting the vulnerable, the least suspecting, those most easily deeply hurt, those who won't hit back, those who have every reason to expect love instead of abuse from him and who will therefore be pierced through by the narcisisst's shocking viciousness. In short, ANY species of easy prey will do.

Why is my account so different from Vaknin's? Because I'm not a narcissist, so my vision isn't clouded like his is. Does that mean people shouldn't read what he writes? No! I recommend reading it. I link to it. I just say, Read him, and everyone including me, with your brain on. Okay?

Which reminds me of one of my gripes about the way this disease is studied. Psychiatrists and other authorities need to hear the accounts of those victimized by narcissists. They're hearing one side of the story -- the narcissist's, a patholigical liar's. Only when they get both sides will they have any idea how reliable the narcissists' self reports on the couch are.

Similarly, he describes narcissists as usually highly intelligent. Baloney. I have known stupid narcissists. But stupid ones generally stay below society's radar, because they can't dominate a workplace, a whole neighborhood, or a nation like an intelligent one can. Does that mean they're harmless? No! Child abuse and domestic abuse are never "harmless." Ruining careers by slander and calumny is illegal and serious offense. Driving people to needing psychiatric care themselves is a serious offense.

No one is infallible on this subject. And the irony of regarding a narcissist himself as the infallible authority on it defies belief. We all must critically examine everything we read on NPD to see if it squares with logic and observation.

Here's a rule of thumb you can detect from the examples above: For the most part, when Vaknin talks about narcissism, what he says rings true to me. The moment he starts talking about OTHERS though, look out. In other words, his introspective writing can be very enlightening and helpful. But when he is making any sort of value judgement that compares the narcissist to others, look out. Hence, he views the narcissist as highly intelligent (compared to other people). Hence the narcissist seeks victims among "the inferior." I recently gave an example of how far off he (a European) goes in his talk about Americans. It seems that whenever he talks about OTHERS, the narcissist in him comes out.

But what else should we expect? If he didn't do this, he wouldn't BE a narcissist.
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At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you're updating your blog so frequently!

At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post! As a spouse who mysteriously became insane, incompetent, and oh so inferior before I knew it, it helps to be reminded that this is all part and parcel of the disorder.

Honestly, I think N's actually seek out people they see (rightly or wrongly) as *superior* because there is that much more NS is tearing down and posturing yourself as better than someone with "status." I know you make this point in reference to projection on your main site.

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous kathy k said...

anonymous 2,

I think that you are absolutely right. And that's an important point to make here.

Now, I know that Ns are cowards, like bullies, who pick on those who don't hit back.

But they can include those who WON'T hit back, not just those who can't hit back. Hence, some abusers are women abusing their husbands. Hence some nations abuse America ... they know they can do so with impunity because America won't blow them up. Oh how grand they are, right? Such little guys kicking the Great Satan in the shin. They act like it's so brave of them to do so, when in reality it's not brave at all.

In fact, little spoiled brats actually "bully" their parents with their temper tantrums, don't they?

There's no reason why the target couldn't be someone widely regarded as the narcissist's superior. You are right. Why shouldn't he be even more eager to take someone like that down off that pedestal?

Actually, he or she is ALWAYS bringing a superior down. What I mean here is that he or she will prefer to take down somebody big and important in the world's eyes. So, when the N has a chance to do so, look out. The N may attack his boss, a wealthy and powerful person, or even a world leader.

Lee Harvey Oswald was a perfect example of this. He was almost certainly NPD. (He abused his family.) The conspiracy theories always haunted me till I learned more abore about Oswald and what kind of man he was. It's undeniable. Incredibly, the Leader of the Free World was assassinated just because this piss ant couldn't resist the opportunity to take down somebody big. Period.

He was there in Dallas, had a gun, and a vantage point. Boom. He was desperate by then to make the world see how grand he was. So he just HAD to take advantage of a chance to bring down somebody big.

He would just as eagerly have assassanted the Soviet leader to make a big name for himself. Or the Pope. Or any big name.

In fact, the Soviets knew what he was, that he was a Communist sympathizer just as a ploy to get attention and make a big name for himself (rather like a little Hitler or Stalin whose plan failed to win him notoriety and catapult him to glory) = just a pathetic shit trying to make a big man out of himself. That's why they had blown him off and had nothing to do with him.

The evidence for this was overwhelming, which is why our suspicions of the Soviets were quelled almost immediately.

In a way, we often see this preference for tearing superiors down off that pedestal in the relish with which people love to see someone high and famous or mighty brought low.

At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if they never actually *believe* you are superior in some way, they certainly like to set that up during the courtship, make you think they see you as amazing -- to the point that, at least in my case, there's always something at the back of your mind feeling just a little uncomforatable, knowing it's a little overdone. Maybe that's part of setting up their fantasy of ideal love or something. But sure enough when "ideal love" suddenly become a day in, day out, ordinary relationship requiring lots of ordinary effort, showering you with adoration doesn't provide enough NS. Much more fun to kick you in the teeth

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Kathy K said...

anonymous 3,

That's another good point. The children of narcissists tend to misbelieve all compliments, because criticism is all they ever got at home.

But others should beware their misgivings when they sense flattery. It's a sign that the flatterer is up to no good.

The N is setting you up by doing that.

The higher you fly, the farther you fall then when the N lets Mr. Hyde out at you.

At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have such empathic insight and I am grateful for your website; reading here acts as an antibiotic for the virus I've caught being the spouse of an N. It literally clears my head. Thank you for confirming that often lovers and spouses of N's are indeed superior to them. After all since one of the hallmarks of the disorder is their envy, they also want to provoke envy in others. Having a trophy wife you can display publicly should provide much NS in the supposed envy of the N's milieu.

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy, people love you. Your website has helped me enormously. It's a little like a favorite sweet, strange as that may sound. When I am feeling physically weak (my health was severely, severely compromised by the narcissist(S) in my life) from the biological aftershocks of regaining...well, everything...I curl up in bed with a few downloaded pages and a cuppa and remember that I matter/mattered/shall matter again.

You know friends, something I have heard MANY TIMES from the mouths of decent and lovely people, not necessarily victims of narcissistic abuse or even aware of the disorder is, "Is this all there is?" referring to life here in Earth School at this time in history. We are at war. Make no mistake; the battleground is your psyche. "Is this all there is?" is a fair question when narcissists deliberately and sadistically go about destroying joy and love the way I would create it. Please Great Creator, show us the Magic again...and you, young lady...Keep Writing!!! Peace, GG

At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


* Are you or someone you know suffering from Narcissistic Personality
Disorder or Antisocial Personality Disorder (aka psychopathy)?

* Are you familiar with the work of Sam Vaknin - his book/websites/
online forums?

* How has Sam Vaknin affected your understanding of NPD and impacted
on your life?

We are making a documentary about Narcissistic Personality Disorder
for Australian, German and Canadian television. The documentary
explores the contribution made by Sam Vaknin
through his book and his websites, and we are looking for people whose
life he has touched
(positively or negatively) to share their experiences with us.

At this stage we are seeking testimonials for research purposes but
we are also looking for contributions to be included in the
documentary (anonymously or otherwise).

Directed by Ian Walker, the film is being made in Australia by
independent production
company Magic Real Picture Company (

Many thanks,
Danielle Brigham
Researcher, Magic Real Picture Company

At 11:51 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

As a precaution, before publishing the previous comment I Googled "magic real" and came up with the website at

I surfed it a little, and it seems legitimate, but this is no endorsement.


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