The Malignance and the Narcissism
Most people find out nothing about narcissists until they get destroyed by one and go searching for answers on the bizarre incident. Before they learn more, their idea of a narcissist is of a person with a sky-high opinion of themselves, period.
They associate narcissism with self-love (which never made sense to me) and with grandiosity, haughtiness, snobbishness, megalomania, thinking you're just IT – God's gift to the world.
But most narcissists don't inhabit an environment in which they can let that all hang out. In fact, most of the narcissists I have known did not come off that way at all. Therefore, you usually won't notice the grandiosity in a casual acquaintance who is a narcissist.
That's because narcissists have subtle ways of sending their subliminal messages through their behavior and treatment of you.
For example, I'd hate to admit how old I was before I realized why my father threw his road rages. Duh! How could I have been so dense for so long? I suddenly realized that he was doing that to make us stop talking to each other in the car and pay attention to him. He couldn't stand our paying attention to each other, so he had to stop us and silence our conversation and make us focus our attention on him (and whatever his yanking the car around was liable to crash us into).
It wasn't till I'd caught on to a few of these tricks that I noticed the common denominator – that these were attention-getting behaviors. Behaviors designed to deny anyone else any available attention.
He wasn't even smart and he had a dozen sneaky ways to routinely get attention without you realizing what he was up to. But he was just being more subtle about it than than the blathering female narcissist who just yaks at you at 90-miles-an-hour for 3 hours without pausing for a breath. We can't help but see that she is a glutton for attention, but he, just as big a glutton for attention, flies beneath our radar.
And you can see why a man devises sneaky tricks to command all available attention and deny you any: being a jabberbox would get a man laughed in most worlds. But a woman can get away with it.
It's the same with narcissists' grandiosity. Most use sneaky, subtle ways to aggrandize themselves.
Therefore, the average person's idea of a narcissist is very misleading.
I am always somewhat puzzled when authorities on the subject and others talk as though that is what bothers people about malignant narcissists.
I suppose that if you're somewhat narcissistic yourself (and I don't mean that in a bad way – I just mean that if your personality is toward that end of the spectrum), you are going to be irritated by a narcissist hogging all attention and denying you any.
But, first, I don't think that most people are like that. And second, I doubt any normal person (narcissistic or not) is bothered that much by the grandiosity. It's silly, pathetic, so how can it make you angry? I bet people with narcissistic tendencies just immediately dislike and avoid malignant narcissists.
I can't say when, but it was at a very young age – probably around the age of 8 or 9 -- that I began to view my father as pathetic. It was like I was the adult, and he was the child: I had to cut him some slack, because he just wasn't strong enough to quit bolstering his ego at our expense. He needed a lower set of standards, poor thing. I viewed his Big Man act as silly folly.
I bet this is generally true – that children catch on to the essentials much sooner than we adults realize.
All I know is that I didn't mind him paying no attention to us. I know it cheated and hurt me in many ways, but his negative attention was so offensive that I was just glad to be left alone by him.
What bothered me was him picking a fight with my mother every single day. That and all the other malignant stuff.
I bet that's generally true too. People who have had to take a narcissist mind the malignance in malignant narcissism, not so much the narcissism.
If you marry a malignant narcissist, and he or she can get others into the sack, your narcissistic spouse WILL be a serial cheater. He must prove that you have no control over him. That you and your marriage mean nothing to him. He fears relationships as ropes that tie him and therefore must betray every bond of good faith.
That's a lot worse than putting up with his grandiosity.
If you work with a narcissist and do a better job than him, he must get you fired and ruin your career so that he is better than you.
That's a lot worse sin than grandiosity.
In fact, Pathological Envy is his middle name. I knew a narcissist once who looked at others with hatred for being well when he was sick. How's that for malignant?
Narcissists will hate you for just being happy, because happiness is something they cannot have. So, they will make you unhappy, as unhappy as they can.
Narcissists will hate you for your virtues, especially the ones that stand out in contrast to their own flaws. And they will have to fix that by spreading vicious calumny about you.
Grandiosity is nothing compared to the malevolence in that.
Just look at that list of things they do so far. All are ways of destroying someone or something. That's the common denominator. That's what malignant narcissists are – destroyers. (Which reminds me of the cry of the Apocalypse to "Destroy the destroyers!")
THAT'S what's important about malignant narcissists. What they do to people is no minor matter.
narcissistic personality disorder narcissism