Narcissists abhor intimacy.
Why is that? It is an instinctive and necessary response. Intimacy creates attachment. As I have explained in Attachment Is The Seat Of Misery we attach our victims to us, but we do not attach to you. If we became attached to our victims we would not thrive and survive because our fuel needs would not be met as fully as they must be. We must be in a position to move forwards, unhindered, unfettered and unleashed. We must be free of anything which slows us down and prevents us from achieving The Prime Aims.
Our necessity of being able to jettison our appliances in one guillotine action drives this rejection of attachment and thus it follows, we have to reject intimacy. Intimacy creates bonds, it creates links, bridges and couplings – that is all very well when it is done to bind you to us, that is permissible but it must not and cannot be reciprocated.
Take for example a failing Intimate Primary Partner Source (“IPPS”) (a spouse, partner, boyfriend/girlfriend) who is no longer providing us with the requisite fuel, character traits and residual benefits which are necessary to our survival. This person has been idealised, they have been devalued and there has now been a disengagement trigger. We must reject them wholesale, we cannot dally about the task, holding on and keeping them as the IPPS when they are not functioning properly. That is highly likely to cause in all narcissists (save the Greater and even then to us it will still cause problems) a fuel crisis. A fuel crisis would arise because the narcissist would continue to engage with an appliance which is not delivering and the narcissist, if attached in some way, would be dedicating too much time for too little reward. Time would not be available to draw fuel from the secondary and tertiary sources to compensate for the shortcomings of this IPPS. The result would be a fuel crisis or at the least, a reduction in fuel levels which would cause the narcissist to function less effectively and feel the presence more fully of that ever present chasm of oblivion.
The narcissist may have a Candidate IPSS (“Intimate Partner Secondary Source”) waiting in the wings, ready to be crowned IPPS, but because the incumbent IPPS remains, this fresh, functioning appliance cannot yet be locked-on to the narcissist. Thus the narcissist finds themselves in a position of malfunctioning IPPS without being able to draw fully on the bountiful fuel (and other benefits ) of the IPPS-In-Waiting. A terrible state of affairs.
This is the scenario that intimacy threatens to generate. If intimacy is allowed then it will create tendrils that bind us to you and make it all the harder to jettison you at the flick of a switch or push of a button. By rejecting intimacy, the threat of attachment is countered. Intimacy, genuine intimacy can never happen, we are incapable of it and that is why there must be a wholesale rejection of it. Our narcissism means that genuine intimacy never gains a foothold.
Yet, what then of those narcissists that DO exhibit intimacy in the heady days of the seduction, those tender touches burnished with the fiery tinge of the golden period, those hugs, those delicate brushes of skin on skin, the gentle embrace of parted lips upon parted lips? I know many of you will have experienced that and indeed I have exercised such behaviour myself on many occasions – is that not then going to create intimacy and thus risk attachment which will prejudice our existence?
Not all narcissists will exhibit such intimacy. That is a preliminary point. It is far less likely to occur within the Lesser school of narcissist. It will be evident amongst Mid Range and Greater Narcissists. Why does it appear if intimacy is abhorrent to us? Simply, as with all matters ‘narc’, our narcissism causes us to do whatever is necessary to acquire what is required for our existence and supremacy. If that means mirroring your delight in rescuing puppies then we will do it, if that means demonstrating an enthusiasm for Asian fusion cuisine then we will do it, if that means singing along to Celine Dion then… well maybe there are some places we will not go. However, if intimacy is a necessary device (and it invariably is) to securing the seduction of a target then our narcissism drives down and supresses our innate abhorrence of intimacy for the purposes of the greater gain ; namely your seduction and ensnarement.
All well and good so far in using intimacy to ensnare, but where does that then leave us with regard to the risk of attachment and the consequential impact on our needs? Intimacy often appears through seduction. It is not felt, but rather it is administered as a consequence of understanding how the victim desires this, how it is so useful at supporting the illusion and enabling us to bring that victim under control. Of course its application is entirely instinctive (save with added calculation where a Greater is involved) and is achieved through copying what has gone before and is seen elsewhere – between other people, in books, in film, what is spoken of by other people in various forms. The intimacy is manufactured and applied with a skill which causes this counterfeit tenderness to appear genuine – but it is not.
It is superficial and merely a gloss. Yes, it appears to all intents and purposes to be something genuine. It is certainly real because you do not imagine it, but it is not genuine and because, as your emotional thinking surges owing to your repeated and sustained entanglement with us, you do not scratch beneath the surface and accept that what you see is what you are truly getting. Thus, since it is not an emotional response, but a learned one, this renders attachment unlikely to occur. However, our narcissism is not done yet. It must ensure that there is no risk whatsoever of attachment. Accordingly, Stage One is the process of preventing attachment through the application of intimacy in an entirely shallow manner. Stage Two is the process of devaluation.
The application of devaluation means that intimacy is withdrawn. Gone are the hugs either in their entirety or they are replaced by brief, card-board stiff interactions. The long, lingering kiss is taken from you and either has no replacement or is substituted with a brief peck on the lips, the cheek or the forehead. No longer will we hold your hand, no longer will we gaze into your eyes, no longer will we allow our fingers to trace the contours of your body making your skin tingle.
The application of devaluation and with it the removal of the false intimacy is a further safeguard to ensure that even IF there was a slight possibility of intimacy creating attachment, it is totally removed. Devaluation paves the way for an eventual disengagement (if there is a trigger) so that the disengagement is swift, effective and in one fell swoop.
Imagine if you will an escape chute. For this to be effective it must be clear and uncluttered. If vegetation (intimacy) grows across this chute it might block it altogether and prevent a prompt escape or it might be partial and slow and hinder the escape. Thus the false intimacy means that the growth of this vegetation across the chute is minimal, slow and far less likely. Devaluation is the flame thrower which comes along to burn away any encroaching vegetation, so come the point of escape (disengagement) this is totally effective.
Thus, our narcissism rejects true intimacy and applies false intimacy and then removes this false intimacy through devaluation. Accordingly, the rejection of intimacy means that attachment will not happen. Therefore, when our needs dictate you go and are replaced by another or just let go and existing appliances are relied on, the disengagement is swift, absolute and effective. We waste neither time or energy, allowing our resources to be wholly directed towards those prime aims and especially the acquisition of fuel.
Intimacy must be rejected to facilitate our existence and success.