Hostile Reaction to Attention or Credit Given Others
And then, of course, we get to the heart of malignant narcissism, Narcissistic Envy.
You will notice that, invariably, when anyone is given recognition before the group, a narcissist immediately starts showing dislike for, or animosity toward, that person. Immediately he sets out on a campaign of character assassination.
Envy is bitter, an extremely unpleasant emotion. It's normal only when some other party really has robbed us of our due.
A narcissist's unnatural envy is so universal and so strong that he cannot even stand being in a place where someone else gets attention. If he cannot keep that from happening, he will find some way to absent himself from the situation -- if only by turning away from others and staring at a corner of the ceiling. What Makes Narcissists Tick, pg. 84
I elaborated on the centrality of envy in the narcissist's personality structure in this post. I have observed before that the two driving forces in the narcissist's life are envy and fear. I believe their pathological envy is the fountain from which all their fears arise.
Their pathological envy is also the explanation for why they turn predatory. They don't want what they deserve. They want to steal from you what you deserve. They are professional moochers in the physical and moral realm. Thieves of accomplishment in every sphere. Their envy is what justifies to them all their thieving and murderous ways -- their very real cannabalism. Their sense of entitlement springs from their malignant envy. They believe that their lusts are to be fulfilled by absolute right -- not at their expense, but at yours. Hence, they are invariably parasitical in their existence.
When seeking to understand what moves the narcissist you must remember that primarily it is their envy. Pathological and unrelenting covetousness of what doesn't belong to them defines their existence. This one fact will help you untangle the web to see past the lies, bluster, obfuscation, projection, blame-shifting, and Do-gooder schtick into their true motives. They are constantly on the move to obtain by force or by lies that which is not theirs to take. It may be as subtle and spiritual as your personal integrity or virtue. Anything about you that takes the spotlight off of them or shows them up for being the shallow creatures they are will incite in them the desire to steal from you. Even your happiness is an object of their envy. You will only be allowed happiness if they can make you believe that they gave it to you. Every flavor and variety of attention is their object of insane desire. Any attention you receive is perceived as a diminution of what they believe is theirs. All of it. They are giant, black holes into which is consumed every ray of light. Take all and give nothing back is their motto.
I'll close with this quote from Atlas Shrugged. Supposedly it is bad form to quote from Atlas Shrugged on blogs because Ayn Rand can't say anything that doesn't require reams of pages for context, but I think this quote does stand on its own because of what we understand here about the nature of evil:
The last of my words will be addressed to those heroes who might still be hidden in the world, those who are held prisoner, not by their evasions, but by their virtues and their desperate courage. My brothers in spirit, check on your virtues and on the nature of the enemies you're serving. Your destroyers hold you by means of your endurance, your generosity, your innocence, your love --the endurance that carries their burdens-- the generosity that responds to their cries of despair--the innocence that is unable to conceive of their evil and gives them the benefit of every doubt, refusing to condemn them without understanding and incapable of understanding such motives as theirs...life is the object of their hatred. Leave them to the death they worship...don't exhaust the greatness of your soul on achieving the triumph of the evil of theirs...
...to win requires your total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man is a sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others. Fight for the value of your person...