Thursday, April 03, 2008

Are Narcissists Unhappy?

The discussion at the post Cruel and Unusual Punishment took an ironic turn that you might like to check out.

To briefly summarize:

The post pointed out how narcissists suffer when they are alone. This happens when their sources of narcissistic supply dry up and they can't find another host. No mirrors, no mirage of a false self to identify with . . . they cannot keep unwanted knowledge and feelings suppressed. So, the normally rare and easily re-repressed moments of unwanted self-awareness become frequent and virtually assail them. These are the times when they look in the mirror, see their true selves, and think of suicide.

This is why you can punish a narcissist by simply locking her alone in a room as the post Cruel and Unusual Punishment says.

Some commenters took this post as supportive of their idea that narcissists are unhappy people who suffer greatly inside. But the post doesn't support that idea at all.

It says that to cause the narcissist to suffer, you must LOCK her in that room ALONE. In other words, you must deprive her of mirrors.

Otherwise she will make her life hunky-dory again by simply finding new hosts to con and parasitize = new mirrors.

Yes, deep down inside the narcissist is wretched and miserable, but you are committing an egregious error in logic if you fail to distinguish the level of this "suffering." Any suffering the narcissist experiences is repressed to the unconscious. So, is he really "suffering" at all?

No, he keeps getting high on his drug to kill that pain. He feels fine. In fact, he feels great.

Only in those rare moments when something happens to remind him of the truth about himself, so that the truth rises to consciousness, does he experience a twinge now and then. But what does he then do at the speed of thought? He represses it again!

Bingo! He's happy, happy, happy again.

In other words, he's happy 99.99% of the time. Wouldn't we all wish to be so happy 99.99% of the time?

Normally, narcissists have no trouble repressing the unwanted moments of self-awareness that would make them see themselves for what they are and feel bad about themselves. They think they are grand and perfect. It's great to be them. The VICTIMS they bleed are the ones who are miserable.

That's the power of self-delusion.

Some say, "Well then, why not be like a narcissist then, if being one is so wonderful?"

Precisely!

That's it! That's why psychopaths and other narcissists choose to be the way they are. FOR THE REWARDS IN IT. That's why treatment does no good. That's why you can never get through to them to change them.

Indeed, why should they change, abandon their delusions, and be miserable? As it says in scripture, "The wicked prosper."

They laugh up their sleeve at therapists and others who ASSUME that they must want to change. They think we're the crazy ones for choosing to burden ourselves with a conscience and empathy.

I think this is a crucial fact to face about them.

More on this subject later.

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17 Comments:

At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy, thank you for drilling this into my head...although now that I know this, I am almost at a crisis in my life. Yuck.

At the ripe old age of 45, I am learning that there is no Santa Claus. No Tooth Fairy. No Easter Bunny.

All at once, everything I believed in, good over evil... heaven over hell... God is watching and keeping score...do you mean to tell me none of it was real? It shatters my life foundation.

Unfortunately, it is probably all true. I feel like a narcissist who is locked in a room by myself, forcing me to see the reality around me.

I have a seven-year-old son. I am trying to teach him right from wrong. One of those ways, as I was taught, is that if we live as good people, we will be rewarded with heaven, which is whatever will make us happy. In my son's heaven, he will be able to fly.

He is a good, pure human being. He has more empathy than most people I know, for humans, animals, and even bugs. I used to believe he would fly. Now I feel like I am lying to him.

Do you want me now to believe that as a good, pure human being he will be used, bullied, abused and left to sit as I do right now? My life is a mess. Will his be too?

The good person I've tried to be has no rewards. I have fooled myself. I feel about as low as someone can feel.

In the past week, my best "friend" purposely ruined my birthday just because I trusted her (and now I am thinking SHE is an N), a stupid doctor charged me $170 for 5 minutes with him after I waited 3 hours to see him, and as I look around, I am all alone here in Goodland.

Just me and my son. The N is off developing hotels, making money hand over fist. He has party invitations and dinners at four-star restaurants. He is rewarded hourly. Honestly, I have never once seen him suffer. Not once.

Suffering is an hourly part of my life.

Ok, warning, temper tantrum coming - IT'S NOT FAIR!!!

Once I read a chapter in Martha Stout's book regarding conscience vs no conscience, and I had a little glimmer of hope.

Now I feel like Tinkerbell and need everyone to believe in fairies and clap as loud as they can.

How do you reconcile it Kathy? How does someone keep going in the face of all this perversion?

Lilygirl

 
At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A sock puppet is the best mirror for an N. A stupid sock puppet.

 
At 1:32 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Lilygirl, No. Think it through. Though it blasts a cherished myth, there is good, liberating news in it too.

Do read the linked post and comments following it to see what I mean.

I don't believe in a God, but this doesn't mean you can't if you choose to. You are simply failing to distinguish between life and afterlife.

Did your Jesus come to a happy end? No! The bad guys won.

It amazes me how many Christians miss that.

And, no, it isn't fair. But your outraged sense of fairness is just an outraged sense of fairness, not a temper tantrum.

 
At 2:33 PM, Anonymous holy water salt said...

Kathy-
Yes- he was also killed by psychos
but while I respect your position, the story "ends" with resurrection.

I do believe- I have sincere reason to. There is love- Kathy's work right here is proof of it.
She has empathy and shares without demand for reciprocity. Many people do, in fact MOST people do.

Realizing psychos exists SUCKs- I used to think soul crushing-but I won't give them that power- nope- the psychos in my life refined my "if we all try harder" attitude, but they didn't destroy my belief in Good. For one they are the polar opposite of good.

All is not lost. You live and learn. I have to say I am 165 degrees better than I was this time last year. And though I was emotionally tortured- I learned a lot and matured.I have a greater appreciation of good because I know evil.

I will pray for you.

ps

Yes,I agree the slimey beast are full of self-satisfaction most times, but its not contenment that comes from living a good life. It's a satisfaction that comes from evil, and evil demands to be fed constantly.

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

"the story "ends" with resurrection"

Yes, but that was an afterlife, wasn't it? He died a convicted criminal and was regarded by the whole world as one afterwards.

He didn't even come back to normal life. The gospels make a point of saying that he just secretly "appeared" to a handful of people several times before he disappeared forever. That's all.

He was in no way vindicated. No trace of any claim about this resurrection appears until decades later when the gospels were written. I don't believe this story, but I see no reason why Christians can't. But many, it seems, read far more into it than is there.

 
At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am wondering about the other religions - is there one that fits?

Buddism? Maybe Jewish - I heard tonight on the news that in the Jewish faith, when there is a wrong, there is restitution -

I WANT THAT!

Do N's come back in the next life as bugs we can squish?

Kathy, I posted back on the Cruel and Unusual Punishment blog, hoping that Vaknin was right, that eventually these nuts drive themselves into LaLa Land and eventually self-destruct.

I have been hoping for a better afterlife because right now presentlife sucks.

Please, somewhere, tell me there is justice. I want to skip to the end of the story and see what happens to the bad guy.

You are right Kathy, I have a hugely outraged sense of fairness.

Now, where can I put it?

Lilygirl

 
At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Barbara said...

The one thing that everyone misses which Kathy GETS PERFECTLY is that Narcs are NOT LIKE US.

They are soul-less. We WANT to feel sorry for them, have some empathy - that's natural - but THEY HAVE NONE. ZERO. ZILCH. NADA.

They are NOT suffering. Everything is a lie. False. IMHO they are evil, dark souls. I am Jewish and believe me even my religion fails all this. They are GOLUM - not real. Humanoid but not human.

To feel that religion or faith would even make a dent im these people is magical thinking. Like believing that animals "think like humans" or "PERSONIFYING" an inanimate object. We do this in order to understand. But these creatures are BEYOND our understanding.

They aren't us. We are objects to them. We are like paper dolls in their 2 dimensional world. The closest they get to "feeling" anything is either an orgasm or the GLEE they feel with they DESTROY a DECENT HUMAN BEING.

You cannot, I repeat CAN NOT listen to their words. Ever. No matter what they SAY about how the feel, blah blah blah - "LISTEN" to their actions... and run like HELL.

They are poison. Doesn't MATTER what kind of poison or how much poison. You'd STILL BE DEAD if you took it.

Pray for them - fine.... FROM A SAFE DISTANCE

 
At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Barbara said...

Lilygirl -

to get restitution from a narc, you have to get the narc to admit they did something wrong. NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

Judaism is like this: if you wrong someone you are supposed to go to them 3x to ask for their forgiveness and TOTALLY OWN WHAT YOU DID. And ONLY if they give you the forgiveness and you make amends would you be able to go to Shul and ask Hashem (God) to forgive you too.

My last N relationship? Was with a "supposedly" devout Jewish man. Did he ask my forgiveness after putting me in the hospital? raping me emotionally & spiritually? NOOOOO. I am the bad one for saying "OUCH"!! I am committing "Loshen Hara" (evil gossip) and should shut up about it. Guess what. I no longer give a **** what he thinks or what the rabbis think. I will continue to tell my truth, with conviction - not revenge - in my heart. He can say whatever he likes about me. But my story will never change. And he will account for it one day - to a power higher than me; because he will never ever say "I am sorry" to me. Ever.

As Kathy says, its ME; as far as he's concerned; who's the bad one for speaking out. And I am waaaaay past caring what comes out of his evil, sociopathic mouth (or keyboard). I finally took out a cease & desist order on him too.

Here's some links for you Lilygirl. I hope that Kathy's blog and some of these help you. Understanding your own pain takes time. Stop looking to him for explanation. He's an alien life form who is incapable.

http://howtospotadangerousman.blogspot.com/2007/08/grieving-pathological-loss.html

http://howtospotadangerousman.blogspot.com/2007/08/predictibility-of-pathology.html

http://howtospotadangerousman.blogspot.com/2007/12/hate-and-your-potential-for-relapse.html

http://narc-attack.blogspot.com/2006/09/dealing-with-anger.html

 
At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lilygirl,

I think the catch is in the nature of one's motivations.

You say, "I was taught [..] if we live as good people, we will be rewarded with heaven, which is whatever will make us happy".

In other words, you have been conditioned by religion to be good not because of its intrinsic value, but for reasons external to you -- because you expect a reward for it.

To put it bluntly, it is in the end just as selfish as being a narcissist. The only difference is that the narcissist choose to reap his\her reward right here and now.

And yet, there is a fundamental difference between a narcissist and you\me\others here, so what is it?

I think that we all basically have only one choice: to BE or NOT to be. Either, at the end of it all, we come back to the Source\God\one as a photon of pure Light and Knowledge. Or, we come back to it from the other side -- the other face of God -- as dumb little molecules of primordial soup, whose selfishness had finally lead them to implode on themselves. Neither of these two ways is "good" or "bad" in simplistic moral terms -- they just ARE, it is a law of nature.

This also means that there is no "God" as a separate entity who is watching and keeping score. That entity -- the observer -- is YOU.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU ARE, and the narcissist is what he is. It seems that modern culture robs many people of the intrinsic motivation to be good and empathetic. This makes them vulnerable for predators, who after all are much better at reaping rewards (never mind that entails sawing destruction around them).

Yet, by recognizing your immutable nature and acting in accordance with it -- just BEING, not expecting any rewards from it, singing your heart out, fighting for what is right -- that's what will make the Universe open up to you. And THAT'S what eventually will bring a feeling of happiness. Come to think of it, you can start being happy NOW -- happy because you SEE, happy because you UNDERSTAND.

IMO it is better that the happiness and reward of narcissism -- just as a chocolate Sunday with a cherry on top is better than plain ice cream.

Hang in there,

thelegalalien

 
At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is impossible to know for sure how anyone else feels, we all have our own private existence in our heads. Communicating with another person can give you an idea of what they feel in terms of your own experience. Communicating with an N is totally pointless so you will never be able to get the truth of what he/she feels. However, I agree with you that it makes sense that they are happy nearly all the time. They think that they are the greatest, so why should they not be happy? There is no point in trying to make them unhappy, as if that would make you feel happier ( it might for a short period of time and then you would be back to where you were ). As long as you feel that way about them then they still have a hold on you and are controlling your feelings. It is not easy, but you just have to accept that they will do what they need to do to make them happy, and you have to start doing what is going to make you happy which will certainly involve getting them out of our life. No, it's not fair and the desire for revenge is totally understandable. But you are never going to change an N, and so don't waste your time trying to.

 
At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a sister that seems to be quite "n"-ish, but she has always been very unhappy. Problems with depression her whole adult life, panic attacks, fear of driving, very "nervous" in various situations. Of course, she doesn't take responsibility for her unhappiness. She is always angry with someone about something and calls all who will listen to her to tell her tale of whatever offense she is angry about. The tale usually includes the last 20 years of offenses that she can drudge up about the person. If you don't agree with everything that she says, you are accused of thinking she is lieing or thinking she is crazy. Most conversations with her, even if they start out on a positive note, end up with her complaining about someone or something.

Do you think that maybe she isn't a true N since she is so unhappy? Would she be able to bury her unhappiness in fantasy if she were truly an N? I feel like maybe she gets her NS by getting affirmation that everyone else is bad and she is the poor "good" victim. And she has to be miserable in order to be a victim.

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

N's always blame someone else and
paint themselves as the victims of others misdeeds. They pound on your sympathy buttons with a sledgehammer. aww poor N .
Because of these misdeeds then they are justified ( in their minds ) in being abusive and nasty towards you.
Best thing to do is end the poor me convesation as quickly as possible and move on.

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

"Best thing to do is end the poor me convesation as quickly as possible and move on."

This simple advice is actually important and effective. It may be hard to do in a family or work situation where you are trapped near a narcissist you can't get away from. But it is always effective and often easy. In fact, I learned it from a narcissist.

Don't let the narcissist entangle you in a wrangle. Block it. For example, I once had a narcissist excusing himself for having visitors parking in my driveway. Did I want those visitors to get hit by cars coming over the tracks?

See what he's doing? He's making other people's problem my problem to solve. I can't use my driveway so that they can. I must get him to let me use my driveway. He has some sort of claim on it.

Don't even reply to that shit. I just said, "That's not my problem. (Pointing) Your driveway. (Pointing) My driveway. Now get your truck out of my drivway, immediately."

He was totally speechless and I was already headed back into my house. So, cut off the conversation with a conversation stopper like that - WHAM, a slammed door. It DOES work.

Your rights are your rights by right and you needn't justify them.

 
At 6:37 AM, Blogger Lynn said...

After the "Bingo, happy, happy, happy, happy again." You could add, "And out searching again as a predator, because they've seen something ugly flash within themselves and they have a hunger and insatiable desire to pull someone down, project that internal ugliness out into the world, pour it on someone else, let it be their burden, and voila! The N is happy, happy,happier!!!! Until the next cycle.

Lilygirl, ripe old age of 45 huh? Well, I'm 45 and I have a 4 year old, and since leaving my N late last year, my life has started to soar. Yours can too. Forget what he's doing. So what about 4-star restaurants they are over-rated anyway, forget fancy cars and money. You have you and you have your son. You have an opportunity to rebuild your life.

My X lives in the house that all my money paid as a downpayment. My X earns top money, I'm forced to live in a 3bdroom rented house, which is basic. No aircon, no dishwasher, lower neighborhood, but you know what? Who cares? Not me. Life is what you make of it.

Forget about him. Work on being the best mother to your son. You've witnessed evil in this world, let that thought empower you to being a better person, a better mother, you can show your son hot NOT to be evil, that is an asset, and it's more than many other people have.

Check out my blog, the link should be available on my posts and you'll see how positive I am about my life right now.

Take care, lady, you are special and you are the only mother you'll son ever have, make the most of it.

 
At 6:44 AM, Blogger Lynn said...

as I read further down the comments, I see that thelegalalien has a good point. Conditioned to expect good things if we are good.

But this is not true of the world. Bad things happen to good people! All the time. And if our expectations were different, we'd have a heart heavy with disappointment, right?

Lilygirl, you've been given a lesson to learn, acknowledge it and use it to make you stronger.

 
At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thelegalalien talked about them imploding in on themselves. I find this interesting, because a black hole is a good analogy for them.

A description of a black hole:

Instead of real stars, which give out energy, they suck the energy of anything that gets too close to it. The point at which this happens is called the black hole's event horizon. Not only is energy sucked in, but time, space and light. The space around a black hole is extremely distorted and information, on its way to being lost forever from the universe is twisted and distorted. Indeed the core of a back hole is called "the singularity," where space-time is thought to be infinitely curved in on itself, but anything beyond the event horizon is impervious to investigation. Also, when they were first discovered, other astronomers were extremely skeptical and thought that such entities were impossible.

The only information one can gather about them is their mass and apart from that, they are all identical.

Keep away from their event horizons!

-Cassandra

 
At 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barbara said:

The closest they get to "feeling" anything is either an orgasm..(snip)

I wonder if they are even capable of an orgasm. That is, something that requires surrender and induces gratitude?

-Cassandra

 

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