Monday, April 16, 2007

Indifference is to Narcissists as Bug Repellent is to Mosquitoes

A frequently visited theme on my blog here is the need to cut off contact with the narcissist. There are several reasons for cutting off contact, but for those of us trying to rid ourselves of the parasitic narcissist the only reason that really matters is self-preservation. To stay with the narcissist is to be sucked dry. You stay with the narcissist, you will lose everything that makes life beautiful, if not life itself.

Today I think I'll address another reason to cut off contact. A little sweet revenge.

Come on. You know there is some part of you that wouldn't mind a little revenge. If you don't like that word, you can call it justice, because that is what it will be. Although it will only be a very small measure of justice. You'll have to leave the Big Justice for the Judgment Day. But it is a bit of justice which will bring you peace and the good life at the same time.

Let's go to the mouth of the most outspoken narcissist on the planet, Sam Vaknin. Face it, when he's right, he's right. In his homage to self titled, "Malignant Self-Love" on page 488 he answers the questions, "How does the narcissist treat his past Sources of Narcissistic Supply? Does he regard them as enemies?"

One should be careful not to romanticise the narcissist. His remorse and good behaviour are always linked to fears of losing his sources.

Narcissists have no enemies. They have only Sources of Narcissistic Supply. An enemy means attention means supply. One holds sway over one's enemy. If the narcissist has the power to provoke emotions in you, then you are still a Source of Supply to him, regardless of which emotions are provoked.

The narcissist seeks out his old sources of Narcissistic Supply when he has absolutely no other NS Sources at his disposal. Narcissists frantically try to recycle their old and wasted sources in such a situation. But the narcissist would not do even that had he not felt that he could still successfully extract a modicum of NS from the old source (even to attack the narcissist is to recognise his existence and to attend to him!!!).

If you are an old Source of Narcissistic Supply, first, get over the excitement of seeing him again. It may be flattering, perhaps sexually arousing. Try to overcome these feelings.

Then, simply ignore him. Don't bother to respond in any way to his offer to get together. If he talks to you – keep quiet, don't answer. If he calls you – listen politely and then say goodbye and hang up. Return his gifts unopened. Indifference is what the narcissist cannot stand. It indicates a lack of attention and interest that constitutes the kernel of negative NS to be avoided.

Did you get that? Attention in any form is considered to be supply. Even your provocation, anger or disgust feeds him or her. The only way to repel a narcissist is by complete and total indifference. The only way to really disturb their world is through indifference. What Vaknin outlines above is all the little ways you convey your absolute indifference. Do not allow for even a moment any shred of attention, or they will be back to making a living off of your life blood.

Cutting off all contact is the ultimate act which conveys indifference. It is the only act you can do which will stop the use of your person-hood to sustain evil, as well as dishing out a bit of satisfaction that you've gotten under the skin of a narcissist. Two major accomplishments achieved by doing nothing. How cool is that? Worried about hurting the "feelings" of the narcissist? Save it. They won't dwell on you long enough to feel anything resembling a hurt feeling. What they will feel is SCARED. Scared that they'll be forced to have a moment of introspection and have to confront the monster that dwells within. Their fear will simply drive them to seek out another warm body to feed on. You will no longer exist for them. Which works out well, since he will no longer exist for you. Even Stephen.

I learned this approach on my own. I finally figured out the beast well enough to realize that any and all attention was fine by the narcissist, so I was forced to realize that if I wanted to quit "feeding the bears" I needed to make a complete and total cut-off. I'll be damned if I continued to let my life-blood be used to keep the "bear" strong. I returned letters unopened. I stopped any and all communication. I was able to move away without them knowing where I went. When you are dealing with a narcissist the only way to do the right thing by them and for yourself is to leave them to themselves. I made this point early on in this blog: by sticking with him you are making him worse. By staying in their life, you make yourself worse. So the merciful and righteous thing to do for both of you is to walk away and never look back.

All that being said, I know there are situations where going "no contact" is not an option either because your conscience or circumstances won't allow you to. I respect that. It is often the case that people haven't chosen no contact because of vague feelings of guilt, societal pressures, or just the overall decency of their souls which makes them reluctant to hurt another human being. I want to give these folks some cold, hard rationales so they can reassess whether or not they can justify going NC. We all have to live with our consciences. But consciences need to be informed. It is possible to feel guilty where no guilt is involved. That is who I'm talking to.


Anonymous said...

I have read alot of Sam Vaknin's stuff, and thought it helped until I realised, wait...the guy isn't even a psychologist, and yet he is constantly quoted as an expert(by himself as much as others). It finally occurred to me...a self-confessed narcissist (is there such an animal?) writing books about his own special dysfunction....and getting attention from an internet audience of millions...quite a coup. Why am I giving him the time if day? I am trying to escape from narcissists...Yeuchhhh.

Anna Valerious said...

Sam Vaknin is utterly devoted to himself, but in order to gain enough credibility to garner the attention he wants he does hit the nail on the head with some regularity. It is easy enough to discern when he is being self-serving and making excuses for himself in his descriptions of narcissism. I am not a psychologist either, but I use my own experience to "test" Vaknin. If what he says doesn't line up with what I know from my own observation and experience, I believe my own opinion or experience before I believe his. Narcissists are liars. Which is why I don't believe anything he says unless I have outside confirmation. In the instance of this post he was simply stating a reality that I had independently learned about myself. Which is the only reason I would quote him. There are more than 80 posts so far on this blog. This post is the only one where I quote Vaknin. Obviously, I'm very selective where he is concerned. I'm not a "throw the baby out with the bath water" type of person. I rely on my ability to verify when someone is describing something accurately or blowing smoke up my ass.

Unknown said...

Thank you for everything you've written. As I ended a relationship with someone whose behaviors I found to be intolerable, by reading your blog and others, I've realized what I was dealing with. I am completely convinced I made the best possible decision to leave and stay away.


Unknown said...

sadly i am stuck in one of the precarious situations in which it is almost implausible for me to escape entirely. unfortunately, i have a child with a high profile narcissist who uses his power and money to draw us in legally. i have left the state where we lived together, filed for soul custody and even cut my daughter off from him, nothing seems to work. on the other hand, as you well know speaking to him is absolutely useless.
i know this man is supremely monstrous and potentially even dangerous but he charms even my daughters shrink. he no longer has the ability to deceive, hurt or punish me, i'm always one step ahead,his illness is completely predictable to me. but i want him gone at all cost to my daughter regardless of his influence and power. my biggest problem with his relationship to my daughter is that she has been completely compartmentalized. he controls which of his family members can meet her and when. he even lets lovers dictate his role in her life. its so odd that a boorish, self serving, snob would allow women in his life (of which he doesn't seem to care about) control him when it comes to his child. any advice would be appreciated. i no longer care how either of them respond to her since i have a court order, but watching him turn on his kid is still hard to take. for now i've cut him off and he's in teary eye mode. i'm just waiting for the ax to fall when he comes at my jugular.
my attorney used a great line the other day. he said your man is either at your heels or at your neck (meaning begging or choking ) which is true there is nothing in between. oh yes lies and hubris. help please??

Unknown said...

Set the captives free......

Unknown said...

I've been practicing indifference for a couple of years, they are so predicable once you find the explanation of NPD. Mine Is a psychopath who cannot be alone, juggles women. I ran away after a horrific ambush,cold deliberate prolonged rage.
I didn't imagine he would do the hoovering, he followed the pattern, new soulmate all over social media designed to punish me etc.
Despite this he began hoovering, post, emails any two dimensional method of contact,. I have him down to only virtual form of contact now.
I never respond immediately, if at all, the excuses are all of those outlined by blogs. They have no imagination or original thinking, a person who knows me should know how to keep me.
I'm no longer filled with fear when I see his name, I feel sorry fir him he's a shrivelled up dull man, not attractive on any level.
Whilst his rages were terrifying, his manipulations make no sense, I don't have any feelings for him at all now.
My thought when his name in my vision is Ugggg what now !
These are small tiny little people, they live within small mundane worlds which suit their control grid..
Stepping back is the hardest part, only then do you know how pathetic narcissists really are. No creative exists in them, not a drop of originality. Mine adopted my jokes & he is still using them with new partners. I was annoyed however his repotoire is very limited.