Is Sam Vaknin honest or negative
Can a narcissist really not feel anything?
For most, it is almost unimaginable that there can be people who feel nothing and cannot show authentic emotions. The narcissistic person unconsciously separates between himself and his ego and thus moves away from his roots. Instead, he builds an ideal of himself, according to which he would like to live and for which he would like to be admired. However, to do this he has to give up his true self.
Image: © ASjack - Fotolia.com
The self reflects the unconscious deep layers of the body that are already given through birth. The conscious ego - or rather: the spiritual consciousness - only develops gradually in childhood. With increasing age, people then get a conscious feeling for their physical impulses such as urges, instincts and feelings. The more a person remains connected to his unconscious impulses, the self, the more he can develop a sense of self and from this a sense of self-worth.
The I basically stands for all conscious and mental processes and can therefore be steered and influenced by one's own will. The self stands for the unconscious and physical processes that are largely controlled by the vegetative nervous system and therefore cannot be controlled with one's own will. Therefore, basically everyone is exposed to the danger of turning more towards the ego, because it can be shaped, while the self is a fixed quantity that cannot be changed and functions even without voluntary control.
The narcissist splits his personality
The narcissistic person feels safest when he is in control of everything and not overwhelmed by his feelings. Involuntary body sensations are incalculable and therefore difficult to integrate into a narcissist's self-image. Thus he begins to split his consciousness from the subconscious and to concentrate only on what he can influence and control at will.
Since he believes he has no control over the physical impulses, he does not devote himself to these forces and suppresses them as well as possible. Instead of accepting the personality as a unit, the narcissist splits off the uncontrollable part and from then on only identifies with the observing and evaluating self.
The narcissist can observe his self and in this way reintegrates it into his ego, but he usually does not draw the right conclusions from the observations and sensations. If he z. B. perceives a nervousness in itself, he can try to suppress this expression of weakness, which is undesirable in his eyes, by z. B. hides his nervous hands or moves so that the uncontrollable body impulses are not noticed.
In this way the self becomes conscious, but it is dominated by the ego. The self doesn't get a chance to really be accepted and accepted. In the narcissist's eyes, it shouldn't even be there, because if it were uncontrolled, it could behave contrary to their self-image.
The unconscious self cannot be controlled
Most of the self is below the level of consciousness. All physical functions such as blood circulation, digestion, breathing and nervous impulses - e.g. B. a sudden itch on the skin - run automatically in the body and usually do not need to be considered. But ultimately they determine the state of the organism and are responsible for whether the body feels healthy or sick, excited or depressed, happy or depressed. So what is being felt depends largely on what is happening in the body.
Since a narcissist only directs his gaze to external things, he loses his feeling for the unconscious processes inside the body. B. Feelings or physical sensations that do not correspond to his ideal appear as obstructive. Rather, they trigger insecurity in him because he is afraid that the body could gain control over his consciousness (his self).
But feelings cannot be controlled with will and consciousness. Anger or fear, sexual desire or a feeling of sadness cannot be created willfully, even if all of these feelings can be suppressed. If such feelings do not arise of their own accord, and if they are not embraced and accepted the moment they arise, they can only be imitated. They can be imitated and copied with the mind at any time, but without actually being felt.
Without self-acceptance, there is no sense of self
It is up to your own decision whether you perceive your body through direct feeling and loving attention or whether you just develop an idea of your body. As a rule, in a healthy person, the idea of self coincides with direct self-experience. The basic requirement for this, however, is self-acceptance. You have to be ready to accept yourself as you are. You have to be ready to accept your body and your feelings and give them a space.
The narcissist has separated his self-awareness from the body and invests all his strength exclusively in building a gigantic ego. Just as he wants to control his entire outside world, he also wants to control and control his own body and its unconscious functions. The body must not be as it is, it must submit to the will of the narcissist.
As little as the narcissist has empathy for his body and its unconscious processes, just as little can he muster empathy for his outside world and his fellow human beings. To the extent that he cannot accept himself, he cannot accept other people either. Not only can he not love others, but he is not even able to love himself.
He can only fall in love with the image that he has built for himself through his consciousness. It is an artificially created image that exists completely disconnected from the physical impulses (the self). What does not fit into this picture must not be and is fought passionately, whether it comes from outside or inside.
The narcissist was born with a self, but has turned against himself in the course of his life and consequently no longer perceives it. As a substitute he then needs other people who give him a feeling for his imaginary self through the influx of admiration. In this way, however, the true self is not nourished, only the idea of the self, i.e. of how it should be, but not how it actually is. The self, to which the narcissist gives all his care, is inflated from the outside in this way, while the true self withers away.
The body is just an object
The narcissistic person focuses his attention solely on the idea of the self. He paints an ideal picture of himself without coupling it with the true, inner impulses. The physical self is disregarded and strong feelings are not even let into consciousness. The narcissistic person sees his body as an object that lives separate from him and that he must control. He thinks: If the body is already there, then it should at least be useful for something!
On the other hand, the outside world can only be perceived through one's own body. But if the narcissist cuts himself off from his own body and he no longer wants to feel, then he cannot properly grasp and understand his environment either. The narcissist then understands his body more as a machine that is supposed to help him to achieve his goals and to build a perfect image.
The narcissist is then only busy taking care of his ego and taking in everything that can strengthen and enlarge his ego. Gaining power, success or money can provide self-satisfaction, but only promotes one's own self-image and does not strengthen self-esteem. If only the account of the ego is continually paid into, a normal body feeling cannot develop and the person can only develop a vague idea of how a healthy body feels and how it should look.
Do narcissists have no feelings at all?
Are narcissists now numb beings who are incapable of any true and deep human emotion? Is there no feeling in them at all? Sometimes narcissists do indeed give the impression of a machine that functions without any feeling or consciousness and acts according to a permanently installed program - nimble and skillful, but without any empathic understanding, but only with cool efficiency.
But even with narcissists you can definitely perceive feelings, but in a less differentiated form. Usually their feelings are only expressed as anger or sentimentality. Anger is mostly a substitute for the anger or hatred that rises in them. The extent of the anger is usually disproportionate to the circumstance that triggered the anger and shows the high sensitivity of the narcissist when his self-image is attacked.
Sentimentality, on the other hand, is the substitute for love. Narcissistic husbands often boast about how much they sacrifice themselves for their families and how much they care about their wives and children. But if one observes their actions and their dealings with loved ones, it is difficult to come to the conclusion that they are all about love. In such moments of affection, the narcissist may feel a certain sentimentality, but it can also quickly subside.
Narcissists cannot allow true feelings
They suppress their emotional world because they want absolute control over their body and all of its functions. Therefore, they often appear stiffened in the area of the upper body and as if concreted. Their excessive self-control forces them into a rigid defensive stance. This looks as if she had an armored vest around her body, which protects her, but also constricts her. The movements of the upper body then often appear bumpy, abrupt and angular, almost like the movements of a robot.
Since narcissists only have insufficient access to their innermost impulses, they cannot perceive their feelings in a differentiated manner. They are more likely to have a vague feeling of discomfort that they are trying to get rid of in some way. However, narcissists are excellent actors who specialize in getting a precise and detailed idea of feelings in order to be able to play them at the crucial moment - without really feeling these feelings inside. They only imitate the feeling because in that moment it serves their self.
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