Narcissistic Function For a Person

Selfobjects refers to an object or it represents a person that served a narcissistic function for a person. They are the ones that the people with NDP used in order to fulfill his/her satisfaction in their daily lives. Just like what Kohut did for his patient, Miss F. He tried satisfying her and then she looked to him as a function of self-objects, she needed Kohut to respond empathically to her displaying abilities and to boost her self-esteem through approvals, echoing, appreciation, and reflection.

For Kohut, the importance of empathy went hand in hand with the self-object concept. In Kohut’s view, a primary goal of empathy is for the therapist to understand what self-object experiences the patients needed. He conceived that, because of the tendency to deal with frustration of self-objects needs by the self-protective measure or defense of disavowal, the narcissist wouldn’t be able to tell to his psychoanalyst directly his/her selfobject experience he/she needs.

Optimal Frustration

When a person with narcissistic personality disorder is need for selfobjects but are not accessible, this will create a problem for the themselves, which we call frustration as the traumatic frustration of the correct wish or need for parental acceptance, it is an severe narcissistic frustration. Optimal frustration occurs when a person experiences frustration that can lead to the development of new coping skills. For example, when a parent calms his/her who can no longer sleep with drinking milk, this enables the child to develop the ability to function without the milk.

Get quality help now

Proficient in: Narcissism

4.7 (657)

“ Really polite, and a great writer! Task done as described and better, responded to all my questions promptly too! ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

 Idealizing Transference

It is the reestablishment of the early state in which the child feels enhanced, usually calmed, soothed, or safe, by feeling connected to the idealized other. Kohut theorized that a child attempts to preserve the original sense of power, perfection, and unity with the mother by investing his or her basic self with a sense of perfection and power. A parent’s responses of echoing, reflecting, approving, and admiring in response to the child exhibitionistic display like “Look what can I do mom!” confirms and strengthens the child’s grandiose-exhibitionistic self.

 Alter Ego/Twinship selfobject transference

Kohut defined it as the reestablishment of the childhood need to see and understand, as well as be seen and understood by, someone like one self. Sometimes it is an evidence by the attempt to be like the therapist, the appearance, manner, or opinion are examples. Alter ego transference is connected to mirroring and idealizing narcissistic transference, to the grandiose self, and to the idealized parental imago. Kohut believed by patients understand the oedipal interpretations as being a recurrence of the parents’ disavowal of narcissistic needs, which means that such interpretations are implusive. Explanation of the narcissistic desires of the alter ego, when it is appropriate, because of this, memories to emerge that can be worked through.

 Psychoanalysis Theory ( Traditonal Psychoanalysis)

Psychoanalysis is a therapeutic method, originated by Sigmund Freud, for treating mental disorders by examining the interaction of both the conscious and unconscious elements in the patient’s mind and bringing repressed fears and conflicts into the conscious mind, using techniques such as dream interpretation and free association. Through the sub-theories, this could be very beneficial in understanding the behavioral traits of a narcissist.

Freud’s Concept of Narcissism: An application to his theories

Sigmund Freud concepts involve his theories on psychoanalysis, he had conceived of primary narcissism as a normal development phase. At that time Freud conceptualized narcissism, he was theorizing from the perspective of his topographic model, in which the central concepts were unconscious, pre-conscious, and conscious. He defined narcissism as the libidinal cathexis of the ego, that is, the investment if energy and focus on the ego. He formulated primary narcissism as an intermediate stage in development between auto-eroticism and object love. He formulated a single-axis conception of narcissism and object love, in which he postulated the developmental sequence of autoeroticism leading to narcissism and then to object love. He conceptualized an antithetical or see-saw relationship between the narcissist and object libido.

Therefore, narcissism involves the withdrawal of libido from others and the simultaneous redeployment of it toward the ego or the self. In other words, the more is involved with oneself, the less energy or resources are available for involvement with others.  Ego Defense Mechanisms on Narcissistic Personality Disorder Just like to any other people’s behavior may it be a person with normal mental health, or to those people with mental disorders, Sigmund Freud’s “Ego defense mechanisms” theory also took part to the behavior of a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. These defenses are those processed whereas the self are preserved by the idealized aspects, and denied its limitations. They are sometimes driven by feelings of shame and guilt, whether they are conscious or unconscious. Here are the following defense mechanisms that a narcissist possessed:

Unconscious Repression

Unconscious Repression defense mechanism in which it prevents disturbing or threatening thoughts from becoming conscious. It is the main concept of psychoanalysis theory which plays a vital role in different mental conditions. Narcissists use this as a defensive solution of denying the loss of an object (refers to a thing or a person) which he found very important for him in order for him to cope up with the feeling of sadness and not to show sympathy in order to protect his image.

Conscious Denial

Conscious denial is a defense mechanism that blocks the individual’s internal events from consciousness. If a person finds a certain situation is just too much to handle then he refuses it. This is one of the defense mechanisms that a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder used in order to refuse the reality of him having a mental disorder. Narcissist do not accept any information and feedbacks about their true selves, they believe that they have a normal mental health and nothing is going wrong with them.

Cite this page

Narcissistic Function For a Person. (2021, Dec 27). Retrieved from

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7