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How do you replace supply?

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Re: How do you replace supply?

Postby steerfield » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:58 am

MalvaBlue wrote:The trap to avoid is to feed your image over you.


Very well put :)

Jean33 wrote:NPD is incurable.


Did Sam Vaknin send you?

Arthur wrote:How do you avoid narcissistic thinking?
Through self awareness... becoming aware of your projections and negative beliefs and how they affect you.
Replacing your narcissistic fantasies with something more realistic or finding a more realistic way of going about achieving them.
Being honest with people about how you really feel, being vulnerable and learning to accept your feelings
Changing your environment

I find it works better for me to find a more healthy way of getting supply rather than just trying to avoid supply all together


Sounds like you've been learning about this stuff for a while. The bolded is the question I'm asking in the OP: How do you replace supply/What do you replace it with? And, how do you enable yourself to endure the change? Interested in what you think as you have a good sense of the cognitive elements.

What are your thoughts on mindfulness?

Arthur wrote:I think steerfield2017 is right when he suspects that he might not have the right mentality.
When I discovered I was NPD I also went a little too far in trying to change everything at once and I suspect that might not be the best way to go about it


Slight misunderstanding: if you note the follow-up posts, it was a devil's advocate comment: thinking laterally, improving oneself involves the reduction of ego and image. It's the weight-lifting mirror obsession-type stuff that's the problem. To improve ourselves sustainably, we need the kind of CBT mindset you described: shifting every narcissistic thought in a selfless direction, remaining realistic, etc.

We may differ on the definition of supply, if you're talking about different types. I see it as different shapes and expressions of the same trait: the inability to find life-thrust by any other means than ego validation.

It's absolutely possible to continue weight-lifting in a healthier way. I'm curious as to your method: mine is to enable the CBT mindset described by strengthening the faculty of awareness and checking my motivations. It's a tricky thing to condense so might write more about it later.
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Re: How do you replace supply?

Postby Arthur » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:48 pm

Do you have things about yourself that you want to change?
Do you feel like being a narcissist hurts you in some way?

I changed myself because I wanted more supply. I thought that if I improved my social skills then I would be more respected and admired by people.
I felt like I was very good at a lot of things but I couldn't rise to a position of prominence because my behavior was alienating people.

I knew that I had no success without willpower, no willpower without supply, and no supply without friends, so it's smart to be a more "normal" person and start valuing your relationships. (and even caring about people)

steerfield wrote:the inability to find life-thrust by any other means than ego validation.


I don't know if that has changed for me. I just believe that I'm going to get the things that I want by being a good person rather than being a narcissist.
I also had a realization that relationships make me happy in a way that success and ego validation does not. Everything I do is for my own benefit. (Though sometimes I have warm feelings for friends that I didn't have before that makes me want to help them.)

I had a lot of realizations. Like that people probably dislike me because of how I act rather than what I have going for me. That a lot of the feelings I had that caused me to attack people were just projections. That it's not people who are the best at everything who are popular or get girls but people who are a bit successful and know how treat people right.
I think about relationships as having a lot of value (even if just for supply) and being worth making sacrifices for.
I identified a lot of people around me as being narcissists and saw where they succeeded and failed and how being a narcissist hurt them.

Becoming aware of projections is a big deal and can be really hard...

I imagine for any narcissist, in any situation, there are probably a lot of things you can change about yourself and a lot of things you can't change, depending on how you feel. It takes a lot of willpower to change yourself (and willpower requires supply).


steerfield wrote: thinking laterally, improving oneself involves the reduction of ego and image. It's the weight-lifting mirror obsession-type stuff that's the problem. To improve ourselves sustainably, we need the kind of CBT mindset you described: shifting every narcissistic thought in a selfless direction, remaining realistic, etc.


I think it starts with beliefs. You have to start off by believing that being normal is going to make you more happy and successful, and remaining narcissistic is going to make you less happy and less successful.

What makes a narcissist want to talk about their insecurities rather than seek narcissistic supply?
I believed that it would make me happier and help me get more success (narcissistic supply) in the future.


Do you feel that being a narcissist is hurting you? Are you happy?
Maybe you should think about your behaviors that are the most self desctructive and start with that.

Sorry for the long reply. Wasn't sure how much detail you wanted....
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Re: How do you replace supply?

Postby steerfield » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:16 pm

Arthur wrote:I had a lot of realizations. Like that people probably dislike me because of how I act rather than what I have going for me. That a lot of the feelings I had that caused me to attack people were just projections. That it's not people who are the best at everything who are popular or get girls but people who are a bit successful and know how treat people right.
I think about relationships as having a lot of value (even if just for supply) and being worth making sacrifices for.
I identified a lot of people around me as being narcissists and saw where they succeeded and failed and how being a narcissist hurt them.


I think it starts with beliefs. You have to start off by believing that being normal is going to make you more happy and successful, and remaining narcissistic is going to make you less happy and less successful.


Interesting insights Arthur. I think in your case, there may be in a clue in the manner you've described things: getting past your narcissism is very much an organic process; no magical cure involved. It's a head-down grind of personal vigilance on how you conduct yourself and think in each controllable moment. I can relate to this. It's a non-cognitive approach to self-betterment: broad principles of self-accountability and self-modulation driven and applied through willpower.

It's a journey-rather-than-the-destination kind of approach. The destination, in this case, being the discovery of an idea capable of fixing things to enable sustained happiness. The Holy Grail Solution to being a narcissist.

By keeping one's head down, not focusing on catch-all solutions and guru-given walkthroughs, as you are doing, it allows the proper education necessary for overcoming the disorder, to occur naturally. The lessons learnt from constant self-awareness are many, and over time, will become exponential in their applied effect.

This topic isn't about Holy Grail Solutions, it's to do with guidance and structure. What works for you can be used to inform the methodology of others, and vice versa.

Step-by-step cheat-sheets aren't helpful, but principled guidelines and routines that have worked for someone else can be. I'm interested in what works best for people trying to overcome their narcissism. The method-type is unimportant.
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Re: How do you replace supply?

Postby Philonoe » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:17 am

What activities serve you as a good substitute for narcissistic supply?


What do you mean by supply?
Is it something like love that can't reach the status of love?
Something like despicable love?
Is it that some loves are high quality, some loves are low quality?

Or maybe it's controlled love, the love that one takes control on?
But controlled love isn't love, it's control.

Is it that love exists without control?



Just some thoughts about love and supply
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Re: How do you replace supply?

Postby Arthur » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:24 am

steerfield wrote:By keeping one's head down, not focusing on catch-all solutions and guru-given walkthroughs, as you are doing, it allows the proper education necessary for overcoming the disorder, to occur naturally. The lessons learnt from constant self-awareness are many, and over time, will become exponential in their applied effect.


I'm not sure if there are any shortcuts. It can be overwhelming and you can feel rather lost when you are first diagnosed. I wish therapists could give us more direction.

steerfield wrote:Step-by-step cheat-sheets aren't helpful, but principled guidelines and routines that have worked for someone else can be. I'm interested in what works best for people trying to overcome their narcissism. The method-type is unimportant.


I think I started thinking about
1. Narcissistic Injury
2. Devaluing and discarding people
3. Projection

Maybe that could work as a step-by-step guide?

I find being aware of my own projections is one of the hardest and most rewarding things to do.
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Re: How do you replace supply?

Postby steerfield » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:15 pm

Philonoe wrote:What do you mean by supply?
Is it something like love that can't reach the status of love?
Something like despicable love?
Is it that some loves are high quality, some loves are low quality?

Or maybe it's controlled love, the love that one takes control on?
But controlled love isn't love, it's control.

Is it that love exists without control?


The same leaps could link supply with many things. I understand the point that you're making, and these are obviously rhetorical, but, in practical terms, it reads a bit like a logical fallacy.

Supply can be made simple or complex depending on the usefulness of doing so, and I'm not so sure adding that kind of complexity is really that useful here. It depends how you conceptualise things --- I just see supply as a satisfying validation of my ego.

Also, 'Despicable love' would make a damn fine song-title for an 80s rock ballad.

Arthur wrote:I think I started thinking about
1. Narcissistic Injury
2. Devaluing and discarding people
3. Projection

Maybe that could work as a step-by-step guide?

I find being aware of my own projections is one of the hardest and most rewarding things to do.


How did you start thinking about those things?
How has your thinking changed over time?

Could probably work as a guide, sure --- could you expand on each point, how best to consider them?

I've managed to somewhat curb those kinds of tendencies, but only because I'm more aware of the warning signs. Number 2 is a tough one...I can be cold a-hole when someone crosses the line, or pretentiously magnanimous, but generally if I discard someone for real, it's rationalised by thinking they'll benefit from the avoidance by being taught a serious lesson in decency. Pretty funny, actually. In most cases it's classic N-injury reactiveness driven by enough cause to remain indefinitely.

It hasn't happened in a few years now, so mindfulness seems to have helped.
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Re: How do you replace supply?

Postby Akuma » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:54 pm

steerfield2017 wrote:Once you've become self-aware and can recognise your narcissism functioning in real-time, how do you avoid narcissistic thinking?

What activities serve you as a good substitute for narcissistic supply?


I dont think this question makes much sense in the context of NPD. NPD is a personality disorder, not a behavioral or cognitive disorder and there is no "real-time recognition", because defensive functioning and what is defended against is per definition unconscious. So basically if you are conscious of something that is not the real problem, because you are conscious of it. So it follows that you are trying to fix a either non-problem or not the real problem. It looks liek you are an obsessive or a perfectionist, not a narcissist.

Has anyone here totally replaced their supply need?


Narcissistic supply is not a medical term in the context of NPD, it describes the overall need in humans for egosyntonic gratification, so trying to get rid of the need for "supply" is akin to trying to become unhuman. If you are trying to get rid of this, you sound like you are pursuing selflessness, not insight or the absence of a PD. In a PD there is a basic lack which creates the necessity for compensatory mental functioning. Getting rid of the compensation would just make it jump up in another way, because the basic lack isnt addressed. In addition the pursuit of egolessness in a disorder that would already be defined by an absence of neurotic [aka high-level] structural integrity would either not work, or make the mental system further deteriorate.
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Re: How do you replace supply?

Postby Philonoe » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:03 pm

Akuma wrote:Narcissistic supply is not a medical term in the context of NPD, it describes the overall need in humans for egosyntonic gratification, so trying to get rid of the need for "supply" is akin to trying to become unhuman.

I very much agree with this

steerfield wrote:
Philonoe wrote:What do you mean by supply?
Is it something like love that can't reach the status of love?
Something like despicable love?
Is it that some loves are high quality, some loves are low quality?

Or maybe it's controlled love, the love that one takes control on?
But controlled love isn't love, it's control.

Is it that love exists without control?


The same leaps could link supply with many things. I understand the point that you're making, and these are obviously rhetorical, but, in practical terms, it reads a bit like a logical fallacy.

I didn't understand well what you mean.

Let's try to explain what i mean :

It seems to me that narcissism in its negative sense tends to consider all needs, including the need for love, as negative, and trying to suppress them.

It seems to me that an other route is to accept own needs, and consider positively the people who fulfill them.

I just see supply as a satisfying validation of my ego.

Which is not so easy to define either

Also, 'Despicable love' would make a damn fine song-title for an 80s rock ballad.

Haha, yes
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Re: How do you replace supply?

Postby steerfield » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:52 am

Akuma wrote:
steerfield2017 wrote:Once you've become self-aware and can recognise your narcissism functioning in real-time, how do you avoid narcissistic thinking?

What activities serve you as a good substitute for narcissistic supply?


I dont think this question makes much sense in the context of NPD. NPD is a personality disorder, not a behavioral or cognitive disorder and there is no "real-time recognition", because defensive functioning and what is defended against is per definition unconscious. So basically if you are conscious of something that is not the real problem, because you are conscious of it. So it follows that you are trying to fix a either non-problem or not the real problem. It looks liek you are an obsessive or a perfectionist, not a narcissist.


Can you elaborate on the logic between "personality disorder" and "not being able to recognise disorder traits in real-time" ? It sounds like something you may have assumed, because I can't see a link between the separate concepts --- "personality" doesn't contradict "consciousness of one's personality".

I think we disagree on the fundamentals of human changeability. In all honesty, given how counter-productive that viewpoint is, it reads like a kind of contrarianism or unusually intellectual defeatism. Inject the psychology of placebos into the situation for a moment: having an optimistic viewpoint, no matter the accuracy, has objective benefit to your outcomes; a negative viewpoint, the opposite.

So even if you're wrong, you'll always be right.

Has anyone here totally replaced their supply need?


Narcissistic supply is not a medical term in the context of NPD, it describes the overall need in humans for egosyntonic gratification, so trying to get rid of the need for "supply" is akin to trying to become unhuman. If you are trying to get rid of this, you sound like you are pursuing selflessness, not insight or the absence of a PD. In a PD there is a basic lack which creates the necessity for compensatory mental functioning. Getting rid of the compensation would just make it jump up in another way, because the basic lack isnt addressed. In addition the pursuit of egolessness in a disorder that would already be defined by an absence of neurotic [aka high-level] structural integrity would either not work, or make the mental system further deteriorate.


You appear to have an aptitude with language that has you forming a position based on a literal interplay between definitions. If you observe something behaving contradictory to its definition, it's the thing, not the definition, that needs adjusting.

Psychology is a new science, still formative in scientific-linguistic representation, and personality disorders are newer still --- terms are subject to relentless modification. The axioms necessary for the kind of negative certainty you're advocating won't exist until neuroscience burrows in from the other side of the problem; going by the literal definition of a formative psychological construct is pragmatically unwise. And I'm not sure where you're getting you're information from anyway, because I doubt many psychiatrists would agree with you.

"Overall need for egosyntonic gratification" describes the need the same as I did; the question is on the variety --- the 'narcissistic' prefix distinguishes the type of supply being discussed. No-one said anything about getting rid of anything. I used the word "replace" intentionally.

But, I think the actual difference between us is a difference between all people: To what extent we believe a personality can be changed; whether we think someone can change themselves or not. (Interestingly, the side you fall on likely determines how willing you are to apologise).

Are you a dualist, or materialist? I'm more interested in exploring the underlying philosophy than the topical differences it's resulted in, to be honest.
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Re: How do you replace supply?

Postby Akuma » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:28 am

steerfield wrote:Can you elaborate on the logic between "personality disorder" and "not being able to recognise disorder traits in real-time" ? It sounds like something you may have assumed, because I can't see a link between the separate concepts --- "personality" doesn't contradict "consciousness of one's personality".


Personality is a data-structure, not an object of consciousness, so there is a clear distinction and contradiction. But that was not what I'm getting at. What I meant is that personality disorders are characterized by unusually wide areas of defensive functioning. And psychological defenses are unconscious and defend against things that by their functioning are meant to be [kept] unconscious. Example, alcoholic."No I dont have a problem". The denial is unconscious, the problem, too.
In addition PDs of the borderline or psychotic variants are also characterized by these thought and emotional process levels, which further complicates stuff. For example a borderline patient will come to treatment and in the next session has forgotten all about what was talked about before. Differences like this dictate differences in the therapeutic approach.

I think we disagree on the fundamentals of human changeability. In all honesty, given how counter-productive that viewpoint is, it reads like a kind of contrarianism or unusually intellectual defeatism. Inject the psychology of placebos into the situation for a moment: having an optimistic viewpoint, no matter the accuracy, has objective benefit to your outcomes; a negative viewpoint, the opposite.

So even if you're wrong, you'll always be right.


I would rather think we have different views as to the method and the necessary depth of change. CBT for example is not the therapy of choice for PDs - one reason is that the amount of problems that need to be addressed are many, CBT is rather oriented at very specific issues for which then homework is given, increasing exposure is used etc. In addition, and I have only skimemd thru the thread so maybe I have misunderstood this, it seemed to me like what you are proposing is more akin to a drug addiction, namely creating a few layers of [obsessive] activity to get your mind of your "bad" "narcissistic" stuff. While that per definition is of course also change, I am personally not convinced that such change is very useful for a person who actually has a PD.

You appear to have an aptitude with language that has you forming a position based on a literal interplay between definitions. If you observe something behaving contradictory to its definition, it's the thing, not the definition, that needs adjusting.

Psychology is a new science, still formative in scientific-linguistic representation, and personality disorders are newer still --- terms are subject to relentless modification. The axioms necessary for the kind of negative certainty you're advocating won't exist until neuroscience burrows in from the other side of the problem; going by the literal definition of a formative psychological construct is pragmatically unwise. And I'm not sure where you're getting you're information from anyway, because I doubt many psychiatrists would agree with you.


The list of psychological litrature I've read in the past years would be too long to give you a reference. I do orient mainly towards the depth-psychological field, though.

"Overall need for egosyntonic gratification" describes the need the same as I did; the question is on the variety --- the 'narcissistic' prefix distinguishes the type of supply being discussed. No-one said anything about getting rid of anything. I used the word "replace" intentionally.


The term originates in a book by Otto Fenichel from 1946 and hasnt been used in the literature on NPD. Narcissistic in this context just means "pertaining to the ego"; in a bit of a more detailed way things thta you do that are in accord with your ideals will raise self-esteem and be supply, things that are not will lower self-esteem and will be narcissistic injury.

Are you a dualist, or materialist? I'm more interested in exploring the underlying philosophy than the topical differences it's resulted in, to be honest.


In terms of philosophy I have studied authors like Vasubandhu, Nagarjuna and Shantarakshita so my definition of dualist and materialist will differ from yours. At this point, primarily due to my chronic depression I would assume most people would call me a nihilist or an annihilationist >_>.
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