Sunday, April 08, 2007

Malignant Narcissism

If you are new to "What Makes Narcissists Tick," I urge you to see the Main Site, especially "The Essence of Narcissism" and "The Danger of NPD." otherwise it's easy to miss the forest for the trees.

The bottom line is that, to support their pain-killing delusions, malignant narcissists just pretend they are true. They also train everyone around them to play along. How? By simply making your world as obnoxious as a raging three-year-old throwing a temper tantrum makes it, if you say or do anything that reminds the narcissist that he isn't a god.

Narcissists play that part by pretending that THEY are all-important, just as a three-year-old does. This means that they must pretend they deserve all available attention.

Which means that you must get none. So, they pretend you should get none. No hearing. No affection. No consideration. No deference. No respect. No compassion. No praise. No thanks. No regard. - Let's just sum it up to say that you must get no form of ATTENTION.

Like a fly on the wall, compared to God Almighty.

Now, anyone who thinks it's no big deal to be treated like that deserves a daily dose of that treatment for awhile. Let's just say that it would be an "educational experience" for them.

This is where many people fail to think the next logical thought. What does it mean if you think no one else should get any of this stuff? that you must have it all?

It means that you fight to keep others from getting any and that you attack others to take it away from them.

That is malignance.

So, if a co-worker is getting praise for doing an excellent job, you must put a stop to that. You must bring him down.

That is malignance.

Or, if your child acts like she deserves your attention, you must give her the kind of attention she will never want again.

That is malignance.

That co-worker and that child have a right to what they have and want. They NEED the credit due them for their work and they NEED to be treated as worthy of attention. They NEED these things as much as people NEED the food they eat and the air they breathe.

But a narcissist doesn't want them to have these things they need. Is he any different then than someone who tries to keep another person from getting any food?

Why not be humane and use a gun? Why kill this cruel way?

Get it? NPD is just a thousand ways of doing this - a thousand ways of denying others their needs and due.

Because the narcissist is a pig who has just gotta have it all.

Hence NPD is inherently pathologically envious of others. It is inherently hostile to the needs, rights, feeling, and well being of others. It is fiercely competitive with others over every scrap of respect, credit, regard, sympathy, affection, and all other forms of ATTENTION.

Because NPD must have it all. Which is to say that NPD must deny or take away from others everything that makes people feel good about themselves.

That is malignance.

No, unless they happen to be President-for-Life, people with NPD don't dare treat everyone that way. They are like all predators: they target easy prey. So, ordinarilly, they don't go after their boss, for example. Like any predator they lay in the weeds watching the herd, looking for easy prey. Once a vulnerable prospect gets caught within range and in their sights, CHARGE!

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At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my n has been honing his acting skills. he has been acting like a normal person. today he turned in a stellar performance for the family. for a long time i've been dreading the Jeckyl/Hyde bit cuz i was afraid of the hurt, then i got to a point when i wanted to provoke him just to end the suspense, now i want him to strike out again just as a reminder cuz i tell ya- he's gonna win an Emmy! what really sucks is he might even win a people's choice.
i feel so alone. i can see that i have to because i can see that i need to prepare for exactly that. i need to identify resources and start truly planning for being alone again. i have 9 years til our youngest is 18. no one in the (extended) family is going to understand why i leave him. i won't be able to help them understand or be able to 'prove' or validate that it was the right decision. god, this is not how i wanted this all to go.but i know there are way more people today that are truly starting over from scratch because their lives have completely dropped away from where they thought they were, so i know there will be ways to get help. at least sympathy. i know i'm not going to get any from where i'm at. any directions would be appreciated. i never pictured myself being divorced and i have no clue where to begin. but i also want to keep getting help to stick this charade out for 9 more years for the practical and financial reasons. i'm in my late 40's already. i'm gonna need employment. what should i train for? i think what can keep all of us from getting depressed and overwhelmed by these folks is to be so realistic that our decisions are ruled by our intellect and not by our wounded feelings.have the guts to admit how truly hurt we are so that we don't get 'hung up' by that emotion. then find a way to keep on living healthy. jt

At 4:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this last weekend did a lot of damage. which is totally twisted backwards because by anyone else's perspective it was all a 'pretty nice weekend.' they are all being fooled and may never realize it. it is sooo hard to watch. i just felt like i was going to implode.
i am so concerned for my daughters-the younger kids are at least still somewhat skeptical of him- but i think he's smoojin' it up with the older ones on purpose,though i don't know what is motivating him. i had an emotional conversation with one of them and i can tell by that that she is being used and taken advantage of.THAT'S why it is not possible for me to walk away yet. i'm afraid she is the lamb being stalked right now. i don't know HOW to save her. please help. jt

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy, I want to respond to the first post. I realize that this forum is less a support group than a place to try and understand the innerworkings of the narcissist, but I am a prime example of a person who has survived being victimized by narcissism.

I am 50. As I have mentioned before my whole life has been spent dealing with three major narcissists: my father, my now ex-wife and my now ex-business partner.

If someone were to ask me what is the ONE thing that narcissists do that cause the most trouble, it is what I would call the "emotional beat down." They beat you down and then when you stand up to them, they act like victims.

Let me be clear: You CANNOT have a viable relationship with a Narcissist. They are incapable.

The key to dealing with a narcissist is not dealing with one. However, I know that it is more complicated than that. Sometimes you have to stay int he relationship for a variety of reasons. If you stay, you must begin to take care of yourself. You must separate your resources. You must connect with other people who will can be supportive. You build your own life. You make yourself as bullet proof as you can. In other words, the key to surviving a narcissist is becoming as emotionally and financially independent as possible.

Remember, there is no point in arguing with these people. As the counselor told my daughter after the divorce. "Your mother is like a huge boulder in the river. You can't move her. Best to just go around her."

In short, the key to surviving a narcissist is to build up your own independent life and then whe you are ready for the jump, the divorce, you will be in a position to do it.

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous dandelion said...

A huge boulder in the river that you have to find a way to go around because you can't move it--so true.

My N-husband also has been very charming to our daughter lately--the same one that he deeply hurt by ignoring her for the last several years when she was going through a difficult phase. From her outward behavior, it looks like she's responding positively to his efforts, but from what she says to me, I can tell she doesn't fully trust him. She'll point out his contradictions and question his motives. As far as I'm concerned, as long as she keeps her emotional distance from him and keeps her wits about her regarding his credibility (or lack thereof), she can take all the advantage she wants of the positive interactions. She has earned it, along with my trust that she's absorbed the values I've taught her and has developed some resilience to others' narcissistic behavior.

I liken the situation to the "ring of fire" analogy in another blog referenced here (

"As my and others' relationships with him evolved over time, I came to see a kind of "ring of fire" around him. If you stayed on the outside, and some managed to keep a safe distance, you might limit the damage to just being expelled from their life because you did not succumb. But once you moved into the ring of fire, life changed forever. Sometimes, one person "keeping him occupied" allowed others to stay out of the ring and remain relatively safe."

My daughter was in the ring of fire when she was acting out--so needy for Dad's attention and getting burned. Now she is on the outside with me, and managing her interaction with him from a distance. I think this is part of the reason I haven't left earlier--so the kids can process their issues with him while they're young. (The processing certainly takes a lot longer if you have to revisit things through memory, like I had to do with N-mom.)

At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey dandelion- so do you think it's okay for me to just sit tight and let"nature takes its course?" maybe the kids won't have the same experiences with him that i have had- or maybe they won't feel as hurt by him (yea- right!!) but really- do you think it's okay for me to let them just decide for themselves what they think and feel for him?
i will take feedback from anyone who would like to comment. especially you kathy because we have been calling them predators and wolves and whatnot- it does feel like i am not protecting them by letting them possibly be so vulnerable.but we also know from experience how the N treats everyone differently.(this is so hard) jt


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