Whole Object Relations and Object Constancy
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder lack Object Constancy and Whole Object Relations. Whole Object Relations is the capacity to see oneself and others in a stable and integrated way that acknowledges both the person’s good and bad qualities. Object Constancy refers to the ability to maintain, in real-time, a positive emotional connection to someone (partner, friend, etc) while you are feeling anger, hurt or disappointed by them. Because they lack these two very important traits, Narcissists can only see themselves and their Targets in one of two ways: either they are special, unique, and perfect (High Status); or they are defective and worthless (Low Status). This means that the Narcissist cannot hold onto their positive regard for their Target once they notice, inevitably, the Target is a Human Being, with all of the normal strengths and flaws. The Target goes from being special and put on a pedestal to being devalued as “garbage.” Narcissists often see-saw back and forth between these two as they intermittently reinforce their Idealization.