Sam Vaknin: Malignant Self Love

16 October 2019

The narcissist cruises through his life as a tourist would through an exotic island. He observes events and people, his own experiences and loved ones – as a spectator would a movie that at times is mildly exciting and at others mildly boring. He is never fully there, entirely present, irreversibly committed. He is constantly with one hand on his emotional escape hatch, ready to bail out, to absent himself, to re-invent his life in another place, with other people. The narcissist is a coward, terrified of his True Self and protective of the deceit that is his new existence. He feels no pain. He feels no love. He feels no life.


  1. I imagined pain at real or imagined slights but perhaps that’s just anger? Or no feelings except a desire to punish?

    1. Or maybe that's just fear.
      I've experienced that as well :)

  2. Anonymous22.10.19

    "He feels no pain. He feels no love. He feels no life"

    As a father of a 17yo who is not yet diagnosed (too young, according to the specialists) but clearly has some of the traits of a narcissist (according to the same specialists), reading this truly breaks my heart

  3. Diagnosed with BPD high on the narcissistic side of the spectrum here. I'll agree with alot of whats said. I dont mind being a spectator or being able to bail when I want. However I do feel deep emotional pain especially if I feel rejected. My heart can be broken. I experience/feel love and life. It's not like I exist in some sort of emotionless void. I will say I dont think my emotions are the same or on the same level, long lasting as most of the people around me but I do have emotions. Not just negative ones either.


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