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The NPD Catechism - By Dr. Vaknin

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The Letter
Answer Part 1
Answer Part 2
Answer Part 3

 The NPD Catechism - Part 1
The Flagship of NPD

Written by Dr. Sam Vaknin

Question:

Would you feel that this fits a narcissist/misogynistic personality?

My husband and I got married a year ago. It is his 1st marriage at  39 years of age. In the two years we have been together, he has without warning physically and emotionally abandoned me six times, anywhere from overnight to more than two months. He says he aches he craves me so much, yet he abandons me repeatedly.

He says all women have 'thrown him to the curb with the garbage' when they are done with him. He says I am too good to be true, he's just waiting 'for the ax to fall'. He says he leaves before he gets kicked out. He kisses and nuzzles me in the morning, and then abandons me at the end of the work day.

He swings from overly sweet to verbally so angry it is shocking. He is the drama king, everything and everyone is stressful or frustrating.

Answer:

This behavior is typical of many personality disorders. It is called "Approach-Avoidance Repetition Complex". By behaving unpredictably and abandoning his mate, spouse, or partner, the narcissist maintains control over the situation and avoids emotional hurt and narcissistic injuries ("I abandoned her, not the other way around").

The abuser acts unpredictably, capriciously, inconsistently and irrationally. This serves to render others helpless and dependent upon the next twist and turn of the abuser, his next inexplicable whim, upon his next outburst, denial, or smile.

The abuser makes sure that HE is the only reliable element in the lives of his nearest and dearest  by shattering the rest of their world through his seemingly insane behavior. He perpetuates his stable presence in their lives by destabilizing their own.

Question:

He has humiliated me in public, reaching in my shirt to my breasts in a mall food court, lifting my skirt while crossing on a main street intersection

Answer:

The narcissist regards other people as objects, instruments of gratification, sources of narcissistic supply.

People have a need to believe in the empathic skills and basic good-heartedness of others. By dehumanizing and objectifying people the abuser attacks the very foundations of human interaction. This is the "alien" aspect of abusers they may be excellent imitations of fully formed adults but they are emotionally absent and immature.

Abuse is so horrid, so repulsive, so phantasmagoric that people recoil in terror. It is then, with their defenses absolutely down, that they are the most susceptible and vulnerable to the abuser's control. Physical, psychological, verbal and sexual abuse are all forms of dehumanization and objectification.

Question:

He seems to be overly sexed, at one point three times a night, constantly stating how important it is for him to know that I am available sexually.

Answer:

Broadly speaking, there are two types of narcissists loosely corresponding to the two categories mentioned in the question. Sex for the narcissist is an instrument designed to increase the number of Sources of Narcissistic Supply. If it happens to be the most efficient weapon in the narcissist's arsenal he makes profligate use of it. In other words: if the narcissist cannot obtain adoration, admiration, approval, applause, or any other kind of attention by other means (e.g., intellectually) he resorts to sex. He then become a satyr (or a nymphomaniac): indiscriminately engages in sex with multiple partners. His sex partners are considered by him to be objects not of desire but of Narcissistic Supply. It is through the processes of successful seduction and sexual conquest that the narcissist derives his badly needed narcissistic "fix". The narcissist is likely to perfect his techniques of courting and regard his sexual exploits as a form of art. He usually exposes this side of him in great detail to others, to an audience, expecting to win their approval and admiration. Because the Narcissistic Supply in his case resides in the act of conquest and (what he perceives to be) subordination the narcissist is forced to move on and to switch and bewitch partners very often.

Question:

He constantly states his self importance: "I'm so kind", "I'm so generous", "I'm so  ethical", "my work is so good", "I'm a well known public figure" type of comments. He constantly is begging for compliments, to a point where it is a turn off, almost childlike. He is emotionally immature and insecure.

Answer:

  • The Narcissist feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);
  • Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion;
  • Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions);
  • Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation - or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (Narcissistic Supply);
  • Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favorable priority treatment;
  • Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends;
  • Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others;
  • Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feel the same about him or her and are likely to act similarly;
  • Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, "above the law", and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy.

 

Continue to Answer: Part Two

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