The Narcissist & The Internet

Sam Vaknin: To the narcissist, the internet is an alluring playground and hunting ground. It is a gathering place for numerous potential sources for narcissistic supply. It is beyond the strictures of civilized conduct. It’s true paradise.

Narcissists end up at the instantly gratifying epicenter of a cult of fans, stalkers, erotomaniacs and nuts. The quasi-celebrity feed the grandiose fantasies of the narcissist.

Narcissists are prone to internet addiction.

He is not keen on expanding his horizons, developing real relationships. He filters everything through his narrow lens of addiction to narcissistic supply. He values people depending on how useful they can be sources of narcissistic supply.

The narcissist will either try to monopolize a discussion or, if failing that, disrupt a discussion.

But the internet may be the closest the narcissist gets to psychodynamic therapy. By interacting with these unpredictable entities, the narcissist is compelled to project on to others his own experiences and hopes. He uses other people to look in the mirror and be reflective. Transference and counter-transference are common.

The therapeutic process is set in motion by the brutally honest reactions to the narcissist’s repertory. People give feedback to the narcissist when he parades his delusions. No matter how painful this feedback, it provokes the narcissist into thinking, it gives him insight. The narcissist is not accustomed to such resistance.

Some narcissists confine themselves to the company of adoring sycophants, but a long exposure to the culture of the net, which is irreverent, usually exerts a beneficial effect on the staunchest narcissist. Some narcissists mellow and begin to listen to others.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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