Shine and poverty of a narcissistic personality

In the fall of 2013-th year on the screens out the film, Joseph Gordon-Levitt "the passion of don Juan". The film tells about the life of a modern young man with a pornography addiction. For us, the film will serve as illustrative material for a talk about such prevalent issues as: dependence, feeling of inner emptiness, inability to experience pleasure from proximity, etc. the Whole spectrum of psychological queries are usually related to narcissistic issues, and the narcissism is called the "epidemic of the XXI century".

"Dorian grey" — feature film by Oliver Parker

The narcissistic scene of today

Socially oriented psychologists say that our century is the age of narcissism, aided by the global changes that humanity has undergone over the past few decades. We live in an age of massive communities and high speeds, everything is changing very fast, technology, things, values, ideas, people. In these conditions, instantly memorable vivid visual image may seem more attractive than integrity, depth and sincerity – qualities which can be completely appreciated only in a small community, with a long history of interpersonal interaction and close relationships.

Opening credits of the picture are accompanied by the standard of any modern video channel: flashing naked parts of the female body, glitter decorations, dazzling smiles, food and violence, the promise and temptation. The Director gives us to understand that the problem of the main character – a problem of modern society, choosing as the core values of the external criteria – beauty, success, immediate fulfillment of desires and sexuality. Especially sexuality, which has become a universal marketing tool.

He and She is without flaws and without problems

The woman in this narcissistic stage of modernity has a special role – the role of seductress, triggering an endless cycle of desire and dependency, but never brings full satisfaction. Women, in the apt expression of the doctor of philosophy Judith Butler, are "spectacular gender". Women have something to show, and they use it skillfully, making every step in performance, the act of seduction, whether it be news about the weather, party, family dinner or a Sunday service.

This is the girl main character, Barbara, Sugarman. Barbara, a representative of a very common today type of women. She knows exactly what she wants and how to achieve it. She has a clear plan "successful life" and she needs a man that this plan will fit perfectly. Entering into a relationship, Barbara already has a specific scenario of their development: after the first meeting, what will be the period of courtship, how long do you wait before the first sex, when to meet friends, and when parents will look like their family life, etc as a tool for relationship management Barbara uses her sexuality. Manipulating male desire, Barbara seeking man followed her "plan" and suppresses everything in this plan do not fit. So when her boyfriend said that he likes to do the cleaning at home and he needs to buy a special soft cloth for washing floors, Barbara is enraged – a man scrubbing the floors in the kitchen is not what she imagines as the "ideal" man, it's not "sexy".

Barbara sincerely believes that for the sake of intimacy with her man should be ready for anything, this is the essence of love. The essence of the love of man to woman, of course, because Barbara does not consider himself to have something to give in return except his body. And do I need something else? John met her just because she's a "ten", the girl with the most successful combination of sexy figure and beautiful face. And to all the conditions Barbara he would only agree to get you into bed "top ten", because "ten" is worth a little sweat.

Yes, it's our hero – John. A young man, handsome, confident, with a very specific set of values: "In this life I care about only a few things: my body, my house, my car, my family, my Church, my friends, my girls and my porn". Each of these values embedded in the seemingly very strong system of priorities in life, and all life John painted exactly such a way that confidently and smoothly move along this circle. Every week he goes to the gym, doing the cleaning at home, goes to his car to family dinners and the Sunday service meets with friends at a bar, meets a new girl, and at night watching porn. Externally, the John and Barbara look brilliant – perfect body, overwhelming self-confidence, unshakable faith in his innocence, total contentment with your life and self-sufficiency.

Narcissistic personality

Psychoanalyst Nancy McWilliams gives the following description of the narcissistic character: "People whose identity is organized around maintaining self-esteem by obtaining confirmation from the, psychoanalysts call narcissistic. They can constantly think about the advantages — beauty, fame, wealth — or the manifestation of political loyalty, but not about the more hidden aspects of their identity and integrity. Image replaces substance, and what Jung called person(representing itself to the outside world), it becomes more alive and robust than the actual person. Successful narcissistic personality (in terms of money, socially, politically, militarily, etc.) can cause the admiration and desire to compete with them. The domestic price of narcissistic hunger rarely available to the perception of the observer."

In the time of Freud most of the patients were suffering from excess internal comments about their own advantages and disadvantages. Their inner world was filled with content, and this was the basis of their mental conflicts. In contrast, today's customers often feel empty rather subjective, and based on their psychological difficulties is not a conflict, and scarcity. Narcissistic personalities always feel in the very depths of my soul this emptiness that they cannot fill, no matter how much they tried.

And a narcissistic personality are really trying to fill that void. This is often incredibly hard-working, dedicated people who strive to be first and best in everything they do. Their internal hunger often leads them up the career and social ladder, they have everything you can only dream of, but they are ashamed to admit to ourselves that they are still little, they still feel empty and unable to enjoy life and be happy. This inner emptiness makes them very vulnerable to criticism by and dependent on external approval and acceptance. They continually need confirmation of their significance, and therefore often captured by their fantasies and people who manipulated.

Obvious the image yourself

Barbara manipulates John, arguing that this would be the perfect relationship. John has no choice but to agree, because he has no idea what a real relationship is and how they should look. He always used other people, building your own perfect image. This is a very characteristic feature of the narcissistic personality is the inability to love and real intimacy, unconscious, sometimes sophisticated and subtle, but often very naive and unsophisticated use other people for their own purposes. They need other people, but not as individuals and to meet their subjective needs, receive support, nourish self-esteem, building their ideals and values. Thus, narcissistic people send their family and friends mixed messages: their need for other large, but the love for him is superficial and character of the consumer.

Relationships with narcissistic personalities always leave feeling emotional benenati, despite the fact that they can be very intense on the event level. Their emotions are superficial, primitive, range is quite narrow, as a rule, it is only black and white, good or bad, communicate and talk, they most often "in fact" and do not have access neither to your feelings, especially the feelings of other people.

View John – with friends he only talks about girls and only in the evaluative sense, family dinners are held in empty, meaningless and has already become a habit disputes. The first date John and Barbara gives the impression memorize dialogue, consisting of stereotypes and cliches, played out impatient with actors who can't wait for the end of the replica partner and start talking, without waiting until the end. Weekly confession John is a superficial transfer of "sins", without any hint of contrition. He prays also mindlessly: counts the appropriate number of "Ave Maria" during the workout in the gym.

Typically, the narcissistic personality themselves and avoid those situations where they can take the manifestation of deep emotion and participation. When John first meets the weeping Esther's classmate in College – he is confused in front of her alive, spontaneous and sincere emotions. He doesn't know how to behave in such a situation and would prefer to retire.

Unmourned loss

No matter how superficial was the relationship of narcissistic personalities, they are always very hard to survive any break with the object of attachment. At parting, they lose not just another person, and the part of you that shatters their fantasy of the "Ideal-I", they face a frightening reality and their own vulnerability and emptiness that they so diligently tried to escape. John began to meet with Barbara to sleep with "ten", but when she left him, he sank into a depression so severe as if we have lost the closest person in the world. He is not just lost Barbara, he lost his view of himself as he would like to see myself – strong, invulnerable, self-sufficient.

After leaving John completely immersed in the viewing porn sites. It is very common for people with addictions. They are not capable of experiencing real pain because real pain is the work of grief. Pain is a reaction to loss of object. Grief work is carried out through memories, memories of a lost object. But to lose an object of attachment, you first need to locate his presence. If the presence of the object was the basis of relations, and these relations were accompanied by love, there is pain about the loss of the object.

Narcissistic patients build relationships based on no true attachment to an object, the object performs a compensatory function is a mirror, through which a narcissistic person can see the reflection of his Grand life of the project. As a result, a narcissistic personality can't mourn the loss, instead of pain they are experiencing anxiety or somatic equivalent of anxiety: breathing problems, dizziness, or obsessive Masturbation, as in the case of John. These symptoms are automatic. Dependent cannot withstand the intensity of this anxiety, it is just those moments when he enlists the aid of addictive behavior, refers to "drugs" to cope with this unbearable anxiety.

Addiction and compulsive repetition

Dependence – here is the Achilles heel of a narcissistic personality. In this case dependencies can be very diverse: dependence on caffeine and cigarettes, alcohol and drugs, Internet and video games, compulsive Masturbation and food addiction, etc... the emptiness around which to build their full brilliance, success and achievements of life, greedy requires sacrifice again and again and again ad infinitum. Some narcissistic person trying to deny his dependence, especially if it contributes to social success, such as reliance on the work and the obsessive pursuit of self-improvement. Others are aware of their dependence, but are ashamed to ask for help, as trying to build a positive sense of themselves based on the illusion about the absence of failures and invulnerability.

The main problem John – the inability to experience pleasure from real intimacy and a compulsion to watch pornography. In General, the whole life of John, like all of modern culture, are permeated through and through obsessive repetition of what is clear and the film's Director. Advertising, TV shows, movies are played at one and the same templates. If a successful TV show on a few seasons, if a successful movie with a bunch of sequels and prequels, if the rating of the show with endless repeats. John is smart enough to notice it when he says that does not like going to the movies, as there is always one and the same. But it lacks insight and awareness to see that his life is also moving on the same circle.

What does the dynamics of addictive behavior? Just this movement in a circle without the ability to achieve a discharge, satisfaction. For example, video and computer games differ from other games of chess, say, the fact that they have no end as such. Need to overcome the difficulties that are growing, and when the obstacle is overcome – it all disappears and appears again (a new level). Frustration, the lack of discharge makes you repeat and repeat this game. The game itself is not the end, just a player in some point out of the game because izmeryaetsya. In a normal game – you can win or lose, the game ends and you can get satisfaction. If the players and play again, it's not the same game, this new party, which is unpredictable and not like the previous one, unlike computer games that you can predict or see on the forum the algorithm of passing a difficult level.

Similar trend we find, depending on viewing pornography. Real sexual relationships end in orgasm and satisfaction the partner, if the act is repeated, it is the other sexual intercourse. In porn movies and Internet videos there is no beginning, no end: the acts of growing, complicated, and then happen on a new circle. It is impossible to differentiate the acts ended the previous or started a new. This frustration discharge leads to the fact that these relations again and again. Dependent gets an illusory satisfaction from the object of their addiction, the act always ends in nothing, loss and makes coming back to circle again to try to achieve satisfaction.

What meet looking for John? He describes it this way: "I don't like to go too fast, from the first frame, I prefer to proceed slowly. So I start with a few pictures, then when you get the taste for a few minutes and other crap fades. I don't need to say anything, to think about anything, I just dissolved" (lose myself).

The desire, which is not

Sigmund Freud wrote about the narcissism: "for such patients, however, do not lost an erotic relation to people and objects, stored them in the realm of fantasy, i.e. real objects are replaced by and mixed them with imaginary images." John admits – real sexy otnosheniyami is not as sexy as porn. John naively believes that they're not pretending, and really experience the pleasure that depict. Only in the embrace of this fancy John at least temporarily able to "lose themselves, to dissolve, to go beyond my limits".

When John has sex with another girl, he literally runs to realize that their fantasy about the "perfect sex". But new attempts do not bring the desired pleasure, because in these attempts is not the main thing – there is no Desire, but only an obsessive repetition. After breaking up with Barbara, being depressed, John would masturbate ten times a day, but so what? A sad record, ascertaining only the fact that the desire of John, it is impossible to satisfy, because it is not there. John faithfully performs the ritual, not understanding its meaning: confession without repentance, prayer without faith, a relationship without intimacy, sex without desire, orgasm without pleasure.

Lose myself

The Director brings John out of the circle of its dependencies the same way, which was pointed out Freud: "the higher phase of the development of object-libido appears to us the state of love, which draws us as a rejection of the self as a result of attachment to the object." To dissolve, to lose yourself not only in dependency, but in love with another person. The dependency object can not lose, he is always on hand to relieve anxiety. And love can pass an object of attachment can be lost, so not everyone, and certainly not every narcissistic personality willing to trade my addiction for an attachment – it could be too dangerous and too painful for their fragile identity. But those who decided on this bold move understand that the game was worth the candle, because in contrast to dependence, which only temporarily relieves anxiety, love enriches the inner world of man.

After meeting John and Esther – an open, emotional and natural in its manifestations a woman in his life, there were many subtle but very important changes. In the Church he first wanted to speak with the Holy father, became interested in his personality, hidden behind shiromi, became interested in the meaning and essence of religious rituals. However the Holy father was not configured to sincere dialogue, and is disappointed and angered John. He first noticed surrounding his insensitive, one-sidedness and superficiality, which he suffered from before. He first talks with the family without the TV on in the background. He is willing to abandon the brutal father's image as the ideal man, if this image is contrary to his sense of self. He heard his sister, who before all time was hiding behind the screen of the phone from bombastic and loud behavior of his brother and father.

John comes to the gym, but first decides not to do alone at the gym and go play basketball with other guys. And most importantly, for the first time John wanted to talk to a woman about their feelings. He tells Esther about her pain, and she told him about her. Unlike Barbara, Esther don't condemn him for watching porn, she treats him with understanding and sympathy.

Everything changed and began to bring pleasure. John runs forward, not thinking about what will be their with Esther's relationship and what they will bring. He looks her in the eye and dissolves, to be freed and to become someone else, someone better than he ever imagined – to become themselves.

P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©



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