The NPD illusion of superiority is a facet of a generalized disdain for reality. These individuals feel unconstrained by rules, customs, limits, and discipline. Their world is filled with self-fiction in which conflicts are dismissed, failures redeemed, and self-pride is effortlessly maintained. They easily devise plausible reasons to justify self-centered and inconsiderate behavior. Their memories of past relationships are often illusory and changing. If rationalizations and self-deception fail, individuals with NPD are vulnerable to dejection, shame, and a sense of emptiness. Then they have little recourse other than fantasy. They have an uninhibited imagination and engage in self-glorifying fantasies. What is unmanageable through fantasy is repressed and kept from awareness. As they consistently devalue others, they do not question the correctness of their own beliefs; they assume that others are wrong. The characteristic difficulties of individuals with NPD almost all stem from their lack of solid contact with reality. If the false image of self becomes substantive enough, their thinking will become peculiar and deviant. Then their defensive maneuvers become increasingly transparent to others (Millon & Davis, 1996, pp. 405-423). Sharon C. Ekleberry, Dual Diagnosis and the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
This is a packed paragraph. Read it through several times to absorb it. The sentence that sums it all up well is, "The characteristic difficulties of individuals with NPD almost all stem from their lack of solid contact with reality." Remember that the word reality is interchangeable with the word truth. Notice how in the description above of the narcissist's 'disdain for reality' what follows is a description of all the ways than narcissists avoid the truth. The truth about the world, about themselves, about their past, about you. This professional person managed to find all the ways to describe the narcissist's love affair with lies without ever actually using the word 'lie'. But lies they are, nonetheless.
They are "people of the lie" as Scott M. Peck so aptly describes them. The narcissist fabricates at every juncture to the point that the narcissist himself becomes a lie. They don't just tell lies...they are, at their most basic, a lie in and of themselves.
The narcissist disarms you by causing you to buy into the lie(s). The more you accede to their version of reality (which is lie-based) the less you are able to resist their control, their abuse, their sucking the life blood from you.
If believing their lies is how the narcissist disarms you then, obviously, re-arming means learning what truth is. There are truths that are universal and immutable. Moral truths fall into this category of universal and objective truth. No matter who you are, no matter what country or culture you live in, no matter what sex, creed or religion you belong to there are certain things that are wrong to do to others. Those who deny there is a universal and objective morality are capable of the basest of crimes against humanity. Be they a cruel dictator like Mao Tse Tung or a serial killer like Ted Bundy or a malignant narcissist in your family, church or workplace.
And, yes, I think the malignant narcissist belongs in the same list with Mao and Bundy. They shouldn't be taken off the list simply because they lack the power (Mao) or the motivation (Bundy) to murder in order to slake their lusts. The root of malignant narcissism infects them all so they should all stand in the same Hall of Shame. If the malignant narcissist you know had the lack of accountability that a dictator has or had lost her fear of the law then you know what they would be capable of. Murder and torture would be standard fare for those under their power. I'm not engaging in hyperbole. I'm being a realist. I recognize cause and effect. I acknowledge the little tyrant and murderer that lives in the heart of every malignant narcissist. Only the constraints of their circumstances and their fear of the law have power to restrain them. When you can believe this to be true then you will never want anything to do with them ever again. The malignant narcissist is dangerous. Period.
All malignant narcissists deny there is a moral law that stands outside themselves and judges them. They just pretend away this reality. This means they are free to make up morality as they go which is exactly what they do. This results in a moral code which has all the human resources of kindness, attention, valuation, and regard going towards them and away from you. They turn you into a big, fat Zero. They turn themselves into gods. Because you are nothing you deserve nothing. Because they are god they deserve it all. They work diligently to make you believe the lie that they deserve it all. If they succeed they're in Fat City and you will be lucky to stay out of the asylum or an early grave.
Salvation from the affliction and torment of narcissists depends on whether or not you love truth-- whether you are dedicated to reality even if reality is ugly. The narcissist "loves and practices lies". (See Revelation 22:14-15) His doom is sure. The question is, do you love the truth enough to embrace truth when the truth hurts? That is the true test of anyones love for truth. It is the test the narcissist has failed time and again. Keep in mind that he doesn't hate all truth. He only hates the truths which are inconvenient to him at any particular moment. The test of your character, the test that tries whether or not you really do love truth is when truth threatens to slice through your dreams and fantasies about life, about yourself, about what you've done and who you are. These are the very truths the narcissist is always working to escape from.
The test for love of the truth isn't whether or not you are willing to believe ugly truths about others. That comes easy for all of us. No, the test is whether or not you are willing to face truth when it comes knocking at your door to talk about who you are and what you've done. The more honest you're willing to be with yourself about who you are and what you've done then the more likely you are to believe the truth when it tells you that someone else is good...or bad. Your lens that you look through is less skewed. When you can be honest about who you are then you are much more likely to be honest about who someone else is.
Occasionally people wonder aloud in the comments about themselves...are they, too, a narcissist? The test is above. Do you love the truth even when the truth tells you something other than what you want to hear?? You know the answer to that question. No one here can answer that question for you. You don't need anyone else to answer that question because you know the answer. The degree to which any of us will deny, obscure or push away truth is the degree to which you are narcissistic. Narcissism is a continuum. Where you fall on that line is easily measured by how much you love the truth or, conversely, how much you have "disdain for reality".
"The characteristic difficulties of individuals with NPD almost all stem from their lack of solid contact with reality."
Anna's paraphrase: The very things that make dealing with malignant narcissists so difficult can be traced back to their constant state of living in lies. Their disregard for truth affects everything and everyone around them.
Love for the truth or love of lies. These two concepts sift all of humanity.