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How a narcissist REALLY sees you

A world-renowned doctor of psychology has revealed how a narcissist really sees you in a relationship, and since being twice diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, he’s in a good position to know.

dr. Sam Vaknin, 61, from Israel has worked in journalism and medicine and is now a doctor and professor of psychology.

He is the author of one of the first in-depth books on narcissism – Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited, published in 1999, and compiled the world’s largest database on narcissists which is now used in studies worldwide.

In an exclusive interview with FEMAIL, Dr. Vaknin reveals what really fuels narcissistic behavior, but warns that the term is now “overused” online and that “self-proclaimed experts” are cashing in on the victims of abuse.

Here he tells FEMAIL why the narcissist, who can be both male and female, ‘child trapped in an adult body’ who has problems with their mother.

One of the world's leading experts on the condition Israeli professor Dr Sam Vaknin speaks candidly about NPD

One of the world’s leading experts on the condition Israeli professor Dr Sam Vaknin speaks candidly about NPD

dr.  Vankin is the author of Malignant Self Love: Narcissism revisited, published in 1999

dr. Vankin is the author of Malignant Self Love: Narcissism revisited, published in 1999

HE SEEES YOU AS A DIFFERENT VERSION OF HIS MOTHER

dr. Vaknin says narcissism usually has its origins in maternal problems dating back to childhood.

This can be men of anything, from a mother who can’t let go of the child, idolizes them or neglects them.

“This can be in the form of having the child act like a parent, or not allowing them to detach from them naturally as children should,” he explained.

“They can idolize or use the child for their own needs, when the child becomes an extension of the parent and they are not allowed to become individuals.

‘This causes anger, depression and sadness in the child. The child grieves that they are not seen by a selfish or depressed parent and they feel consumed and suffocated.

dr.  Vaknin appeared in a BBC documentary in the 1990s and revealed that he had been diagnosed.  He also claims that he is 'one of six or seven people in the world with an IQ of 190'

dr. Vaknin appeared in a BBC documentary in the 1990s and revealed that he had been diagnosed. He also claims that he is ‘one of six or seven people in the world with an IQ of 190’

dr.  Vaknin wants to dispel the 'dangerous lies' of online self-help gurus, who only serve to 'keep victims in an eternal state of victimization'

dr. Vaknin wants to dispel the ‘dangerous lies’ of online self-help gurus, who only serve to ‘keep victims in an eternal state of victimization’

‘So when someone goes out into the world with NPD, they are grandiose, like a toddler, but without the coping mechanisms that come with it. It’s like a two-year-old with a gun.

‘When looking for an intimate partner, they try to separate themselves from the mother figure, hence the frequent idealization, devaluation, discarding phases.

“The mother is ideal, so he idealizes you in the same way.

‘You are an empty form, to turn into the mother. He has to grow up to be with a partner, to be an adult.

They have to complete this unfinished process, but he can’t do it with the real mother – so he turns his partner into a mother so he can repeat the unfinished business.

“He or she has to degrade the partner to break away from the mother, so the narcissist continues to destroy you.

‘I always say mother and not father. Father issues also exist and they exist in men and women – but becoming an individual has to do with the mother.

“They have to break you down and separate you from the mother by getting rid of you.”

The content creator and psychology expert says that 'even if you're a snail, the narcissist will go for you, if you deliver certain things'

The content creator and psychology expert says that ‘even if you’re a snail, the narcissist will go for you, if you deliver certain things’

YOU MEAN NOTHING TO THEM

“Despite what self-selected experts say, the narcissist isn’t picky about who their partner is — they’re just there, just like an internet service provider,” says Dr. Vankin.

Recognizing the Warning Signs of NPD: The Character Traits Commonly Associated with Narcissism

Learning how to leave : a practical guide to distance yourself from toxic and narcissistic relationships by Michael Padraig Acton reveals common narcissistic traits. Not every trait below has to match for a person to be considered a narcissist.

  • A lack of humility. True narcissists are “never wrong” and never regret. While they may apologize for a situation, this is almost always accompanied by a thinly veiled excuse where the victim is somehow blamed.
  • Believing they are never wrong, narcissists often react angrily when criticized.
  • Narcissists are adept at commanding the attention and admiration of others, often bragging about their achievements.
  • Narcissists are so disconnected from themselves that they can’t even relate to others on an emotional level. Empathy and, by extension, love are foreign concepts to them, although they are often able to put on an act to cover up this shortcoming
  • Narcissists often call and/or text their partners excessively. This controlling behavior is often misinterpreted as a sign of love and commitment.
  • Narcissists without attention will become cranky, depressed, or angry.
  • Narcissists despise normality and see themselves as above all daily worries (which rarely give them the special attention they crave).
  • This can mean failing to keep a job or handle finances responsibly, often deliberately triggering crises to draw attention to them.

“They need the four S’s: Sex, Supply, Safety and Services. If you give two, it is enough.

One of the most dangerous concepts out there is that you are ‘somehow special’ or ‘talented’ because you were chosen by the narcissist.

Your hopes, dreams and figure mean nothing – you could be a raging psychopath, a serial killer, even a snail – the narcissist will go for you as long as you are willing and able to provide two of the four S’s.

“You’re just nothing to them – they don’t care. You are an interchangeable source of supply.

“As long as they feel special, the person will entertain you.”

THEY SEE YOU AS WEAK

dr. Vankin said that a long relationship with a narcissist does not equate to loyalty on their part.

“They know exactly what they’re doing and can stay with you for years, idealizing and devaluing you over and over,” he said.

“As long as you give them at least two of the four S’s, it doesn’t matter who you are — as long as you give these things.

“It starts with love bombing, which many are familiar with, and then moves to a stage of shared fantasy where the victim and the narcissist congratulate each other for being so special.

“It’s intoxicating for the victim – you see yourself like you’ve never seen yourself before, and that can be addictive.

‘Some people even want to stay with the narcissist for that reason – and others want to help them, while seeing the lost child inside. But underneath there is nothing, no empathy.

“Then the devaluation takes place – and this, which the narcissist is also aware, they have to do as part of their mental process.”

Although the devaluation phase is devastating for the victim, your emotions do not inspire empathy the narcissist, just like an atypical person.

In fact, Dr. Vankin that when you are emotional you are seen as ‘weak’ and this is a poor reflection of the person with NPD.

He said, “The narcissist feels that if you are weak and emotional, so are they, even if they made you that way on purpose.”

THEY WILL EASILY REPLACE YOU WITH SOMEONE ELSE

On his YouTube videos, where he has thousands of followers, Dr. Vankin explains how “no contact” is the only way to deal with someone diagnosed with NPD.

This is because they can ‘vacuum’ you once you’re thrown out and ‘idealize’ you all over again if they need a supply.

Hoovering is a term commonly used by psychologists to describe how a narcissist will try to suck you back in once they’ve thrown you out. This could be via text, phone, or other forms of love bombing.

“Once they’re done with you, they’ll find someone else — it doesn’t matter who that person is, they’re just a stock to use up, that’s all.

“It doesn’t mean they’re better than you — they’re just a form, a nothing, a void to fill with trauma.”

However, Dr. Vaknin makes it clear that there is a difference between a sociopath and a narcissist, who are often confused on internet forums for victims.

He said, ‘A narcissist needs people, they need supplies. Not a sociopath, they need everything but themselves. Their intimate partners are just toys.’

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