The pathological narcissist is empty inside. That’s the difference from the “borderline” response to childhood trauma, the “borderline” is chaotic inside, the pathological narcissist is empty, completely and entirely vacant, inside. There is no there there (except the sadistic gratification in causing suffering… because they suffer).
Otto Kernberg literally wrote the book on the narcissistic and borderline personality – he did psychoanalysis with this pathology type, that’s the field known as “depth-psychology” – psychoanalysis is the deep-core stuff. Otto Kernberg is a god of psychoanalysis with the narcissistic-borderline pathology.
Here is how he describes the pathology of the narcissistic personality:
From Kernberg: “These patients present an unusual degree of self-reference in their interactions with other people, a great need to be loved and admired by others, and a curious apparent contradiction between a very inflated concept of themselves and an inordinate need for tribute from others. Their emotional life is shallow. They experience little empathy for the feelings of others, they obtain very little enjoyment from life other than from the tributes they receive from others or from their own grandiose fantasies, and they feel restless and bored when external glitter wears off and no new sources feed their self regard. They envy others, tend to idealize some people from whom they expect narcissistic supplies, and to depreciate and treat with contempt those from whom they do not expect anything (often their former idols). In general, their relationships with other people are clearly exploitative and sometimes parasitic. It is as if they feel they have the right to control and possess others and to exploit them without guilt feelings – and behind a surface which very often is charming and engaging, one senses coldness and ruthlessness.” (Kernberg, 197p. 17)
I am attending to Eastern Europe, there is activity there.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857
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