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Dr Sam Vaknin

(14 Posts)
DoormatorDiva Mon 01-Apr-13 09:39:57


I'm trying to find out about Narcissism as am very concerned that someone I'm close to is getting into a relationship with a guy who might be one.

I'm not sure, it's a lot to level at someone I've even met! Though a lot of what she has told me has rung some pretty big alarm bells (probably needs a thread in itself). Anyway, in googling Narcissism - Vaknin's name comes up as a bit of an 'authority', and a self-confessed Narcissist himself. Which makes me wonder about the validity of his intentions (is it a load of bs??)

Have people here, who have experienced narcissistic relationships, actually found his advice accurate or helpful? Thanks

DoormatorDiva Mon 01-Apr-13 09:43:38

*never even met

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 01-Apr-13 11:12:16

Are you looking for advice for your yourself, or for her?

Because if it's for her, don't. She will only hear what she wants to hear, and she will only be able to take in information about narcissism if she is the one seeking it herself.

The best thing YOU can do as her friend is to keep her talking about what she wants in a relationship, how she feels about any twattish things her new man does, and see if she is willing to put two and two together. (ie. realize that if new man is not providing what she needs in a relationship, then he is not the right man.)

Sam Vaknin is a massive creep, imo.

Hissy Mon 01-Apr-13 11:25:20

Oh god, hotDAMN, I remember aLl those Sam Vaknin videos..

Iirc, the jury was out on him in the end.

Otherwise OP, Hot is right, this is not your journey, this is hers. All you can do is listen, and be there for her when she needs you.

seaofyou Mon 01-Apr-13 11:37:52

You know when Dracula puts the woman under a spell to allow him to suck the blood out of her until their is no life left....well this is what your DF will be going through and she will be under his charming spell and not listen to you.
Sadly it will be when he totally destroys her that she will learn for herself what a narc is.

Truely a real life horror esp if the narc is a psychopath too.

If she tells her BF you are saying these things he will destroy your relationship with your F.

springyhippychick Mon 01-Apr-13 11:43:07

Well, I have a different story to tell in that it was many moons ago that I was with a narc husband and there was no support anywhere. No-one knew or understood narcissism (including therapists) and, although I had read all the books (Women who love too much, Men Who Hate Women and Women Who Love Them etc etc), which were all helpful, they didn't entirely hit the spot. Then I found Sam Vaknin's stuff and, for the first time in my long search, what he had to say fit like a glove. It was a seminal moment for me and I will be eternally grateful for that man.

From what you're saying, maybe he did o/d on himself in the end. What do you expect, he's a narcissist.

YOur friend may want to hear only what she wants to hear but there's no harm giving it a go. You're risking your friendship but maybe that's the price to pay - you will lose it anyway if he's a narcissist. Or she may hear you somewhere in there underneath all his brainwashing. I'd say give it a go to be an alternative voice. I would (though of course each situation is different). When I was trying to make sense of the hell I was in, I remembered the few who had tried to warn me and those warnings were like a beacon in thick fog for me at that time.

seaofyou Mon 01-Apr-13 12:24:39

ooh he is a narc? Does he know he is a Narc Springy?
I am guessing he doesn't! Is it because his website is ME ME ME grin

I loved his stuff really understood what a Narc was and another MN told me about LoveFraud too that was fab to help me understand more.

janelikesjam Mon 01-Apr-13 12:25:01

Difficult dilemma.

Like Springhippy, I found his work useful and bang-on. I even watched a documentary about him and his wife (weird). His self-description is bizarrly honest and self-revealing. It reminds me of a psychopath being interviewed and whilst he flanneled his way through on various topics, when he was finally asked "Should society be protected from you and people like you" his answer was an unreserved "yes".

I am not sure of Vaknin's motives for his work (to warn people?) and this a slight puzzle for me. His self-knowledge is certainly extremely high. However, in true NPD-style, you could say he has managed to make a career and money out of his personality disorder hmm.

However, like SeaofYou, I would be careful how you tell your friend of your concerns. If she is foolish enough to repeat them to him, it could be damaging for you and your friendship.

Also, when I went out with someone for 6 months who I finally (through the internet) found out clearly had a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I kept my knowledge to myself. Sharing it with him would have been giving him more power. Knowledge is power and I would have been sharing it with my abuser! But she may not realise that ...

So, I would tread carefully on that one. Perhaps a passing-remark might be helpful "sounds like something I read about people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder the other day" and leave it at that. Don't make any other negative comments or get involved. It may help her when she is ruminating on her abusive new boyfriend, and she may be motivated enough to do her own research. But, apart from that, I would be careful about saying more. What do you think, OP?

janelikesjam Mon 01-Apr-13 12:29:33

Just to reiterate, because of the dangers involved, I am torn. Like Hissy says, this is her journey, not yours. I am still a bit concerned about labelling someone's boyfriend as having a personality disorder and the unknown consequences of this. If she is not wise enough to keep quiet about her knowledge, it could cause alot more problems both in her relationship with you, as well as her relationship with him...

janelikesjam Mon 01-Apr-13 12:34:18

p.s.2. Regardless of the labels (though labels do give some insights, it is true) another way to look at supporting your friend, is just the way you would in supporting anyone being treated abusively, without going into your special "knowledge" on the subject? Though I think in a couple of decades knowledge about NPD will be fairly commonplace ...

springyhippychick Mon 01-Apr-13 12:43:47

It already is staggeringly more commonplace than it was when I was deep in the fog of a narc husband. I was amazed when I found MN and the relationships board was awash with knowledge about it.

Yes Sam Vaknin is a self-proclaimed narc. So he's made a mint out of his personality disorder, which is all about him him him. Like I said, what do you expect. He is completely upfront that he has it and his motives for putting the facts out there - to make him famous and rich.

seaofyou Mon 01-Apr-13 12:44:33

agree jane you infuriate a Narc they are extremely dangerous, hence why I live in a prison with CCTV after my charming Psychopathic Narcissist ex. It's playing with fire...literally in my case! You do not challenge them as they win every time as losing isn't an option for them.

OP leave it as F will be in more danger if the BF is exposed. Your own life could be in risk too. He will leave her when he is finished as long as she loves him he will not try to kill her. It is if a true Narc he is ignored and challenged he will up his game plan. I call it human chess keeping safe and alive trying to be a step ahead. Being a step ahead of a Psychopath is hard when we don't think the dark thoughts they have.

Just be their for her like Hissy says and hint on how to be safe whilst they are still together. But you need to protect yourself too.

seaofyou Mon 01-Apr-13 12:50:13

Springy that why he was the best at explaining truely walking in his own shoes and total insight grin he has helped me no end so I am grateful of his work he must have spent years analysisng and struggling with his disorder to get this far...truely impressive! Will go back to the website....I only skimmed over his stuff as just looking for how to protect myself at the time...and yes MN has a whole library full of knowledge on Narcs so glad I found it too as some of MNs sadly are experienced but saved my life and sanity well minus the PTSD!

DoormatorDiva Mon 01-Apr-13 13:27:59

I'm worried. She's like my sister - we've known each other since we were young kids and always told each other everything, been completely comfortable just saying what is on our minds etc. I'm not sure I can step away and watch it all unfold without at least warning her or pointing out some stuff to raise her awareness.

She is really vulnerable and alone in a different country. I know it's a huge risk to tell her what I think, in moments of clarity she seems to wonder herself, but then they spend some time together and everything is 'Amazing' again. I know she tells him what I say - if not all, then the salient points that she is concerned about herself. I know it's a big risk and if she choses to stay - he will dislike me and try to get her to distance herself from me. And if it doesn't work out, it may still damage our friendship anyway...because it's not that healthy if she even remotely feels I had a hand in the break-up. I'm willing to risk it, because I love her and can't stand by and watch her get deeper embroiled without at least trying to help her get some perspective.

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