The inverted narcissist (IN) is a narcissist who "projects" his narcissism onto another narcissist. The mechanism of projective identification allows the IN to experience his own narcissism vicariously, through the agency of a classic narcissist. But the IN is no less a narcissist than the classical one. He is no less socially reclusive. A distinction must be made between social interactions and social relationships. The schizoid, the narcissist and the inverted narcissist
all interact socially. But they fail to form human and social relationships (bonds). The schizoid is uninterested and the narcissist is both uninterested and incapable to due to his lack of empathy and pervasive sense of grandiosity.
The psychologist H. Deutsch first suggested the construct of "as-if personality" in the context of schizoid patients (in an article, published in 1942 and titled "Some forms of emotional disturbance and their relationship to schizophrenia"). A decade later, Winnicott named the very same idea as the "False-self Personality". The False Self has thus been established as the driving engine of both pathological narcissism and pathological schizoid states. Both C. R. Cloninger and N. McWilliams (in "Psychoanalytic Diagnosis", 1994) observed the "faintly contemptuous (attitude) ... (and) isolated superiority" of the schizoid - clearly narcissistic traits. Theodore Millon and Roger Davis summed it up in their seminal tome, "Personality Disorders in Modern Life" (2000):
"Where withdrawal has an arrogant or oppositional quality, fantasy in a schizoidlike person sometimes betrays the presence of a secret grandiose self that longs for respect and recognition while offsetting fears that the person is really an iconoclastic freak. These individuals combine aspects of the compensating narcissist with the autistic isolation of the schizoid, while lacking the asocial and anhedonic qualities of the pure prototype."
II. Cultural Considerations in Narcissistic and Schizoid Disorders
The ethno-psychologist George Devereux [Basic Problems of Ethno-Psychiatry, University of Chicago Press, 1980] proposed to divide the unconscious into the Id (the part that is instinctual and unconscious) and the "ethnic unconscious" (repressed material that was once conscious). The latter includes all the defence mechanisms and most of the Superego. Culture dictates what is to be repressed. Mental illness is either idiosyncratic (cultural
directives are not followed and the individual is unique, eccentric, and schizophrenic)
or conformist, abiding by the cultural dictates of what is allowed and disallowed. Our culture, according to Christopher Lasch, teaches us to withdraw inwards when
confronted with stressful situations. It is a vicious circle. One of the main stressors of modern society is alienation and a pervasive sense of isolation. The solution our culture offers
to further withdraw
only exacerbates the problem. Richard Sennett expounded on this theme in "The Fall of Public Man: On the Social Psychology of Capitalism" [Vintage Books, 1978]. One of the chapters in Devereux's aforementioned tome is entitled "Schizophrenia: An Ethnic Psychosis, or Schizophrenia without Tears". To him, the United States is afflicted by what came later to be called a "schizoid disorder".