To the narcissist, the Internet is an alluring and irresistible assortment of resort area and blood sport grounds, the congregation lodge of numerous latent Sources of Narcissistic Supply, a world where mendacious identities are the criterion and think about games the bon ton. And it is beyond the limit of the law, the faded of municipal norms, the strictures of industrial doings.
The physical finds cyber-sex and cyber-relationships aplenty. The cerebral claims hoax accomplishments, bastard skills, eruditeness and talents. Both, if minimally communicative, end up at the forthwith suitable epicenter of a religion of fans, followers, stalkers, erotomaniacs, denigrators, and valley cracked. The uniform concentration and associated quasi-celebrity nurture and uphold their grandiose fantasies and inflated self-image.
The Internet is an delay of the real-life Narcissistic Pathological Space but lacking its risks, injuries, and disappointments. In the practical cosmos of the Web, the narcissist vanishes and reappears next to ease, ofttimes adopting a unnumerable aliases and nicknames. He (or she) can gum make do off criticism, abuse, disagreement, and disapproval effectively and in genuine event - and, simultaneously, area the uneasy symmetry of his immature sense of self. Narcissists are, therefore, unerect to Internet dependency.
The sympathetic characteristics of the Net are largely straying on the selfish person. He is not raring to go on expanding his horizons, fostering correct relationships, or deed in definite interaction beside another individuals. The selfish person is eternally the territorial division because he filters everything done the rigid lens of his dependence. He measures others - and idealizes or devalues them - reported to one pattern only: how utilitarian they power be as Sources of Narcissistic Supply.
The Internet is an free average wherever relatives are judged by the reason and aspect of their contributions rather than by the in high spirits or grandiosity of their claims. But the narcissist is involuntary to distracting discomposure by a famine of definite and commonly recognized ranking (with himself at the pinnacle). He fervidly and aggressively tries to pass off the "natural order" - any by monopolizing the relationship or, if that fails, by seemly a prima obstreperous arguments.
But the Internet may besides be the nighest many narcissists get to psychodynamic dream therapy. Because it is yet mostly text-based, the Web is populated by disembodied entities. By interacting with these intermittent, unpredictable, at last unknowable, ephemeral, and wraithlike voices - the selfish person is duty-bound to work unto them his own experiences, fears, hopes, and prejudices.
Transference (and counter-transference) are reasonably prevailing on the Net and the narcissist's armour mechanisms - eminently anticipation and projective authorization - are recurrently aroused. The sanative system is set in natural event by the - unbridled, uncensored, and viciously genuine - reactions to the narcissist's repository of antics, pretensions, delusions, and fantasies.
The narcist - of all time the discouraging peachy - is not wont to to specified disagreement. Initially, it may rise and grind his psychosis and organize him to even out by extending and deepening his rhetoric. Some narcissists retreat altogether, returning to the schizoid position. Others get sympathetically antisocial and desire to subvert, sabotage, and devastate the online sources of their disappointment. A few retreat and minify themselves to the business of worshipful sycophants and mindless groupies.
But a durable revelation to the culture of the Net - irreverent, skeptical, and democrat - frequently exerts a advantageous consequence even on the staunchest and record authoritarian narcissist. Far less convinced of his own authority and infallibility, the online narcissist mellows and begins - nervously - to perceive to others and to join forces next to them.
First published in my
"Narcissistic Personality Disorder"
Topic Page on Suite 101