Update: I'm moving this post up so it'll show on the front page. It seems a good idea to have it front and center for those who are new to this blog and/or the subject of malignant narcissism.
What is narcissism? Is it a simple case of being kinda self-involved? Is it just the human condition? This post will focus on the big picture of what this blog is about. Consider it orientation for people who are new to the subject and new to this blog.
This blog is about malignant narcissism which is another name for NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder as its called in the bible of psychiatry, the DSM-IV.) This isn't a blog about people who have a few narcissistic traits because that would mean talking about everyone on the planet. I'm not interested in throwing the whole planet into one box because it would render it a useless classification.
It is understandable that people who are unfamiliar with the terms "malignant narcissism" or "NPD" to not really know how completely different of an animal is being discussed here than the average human being. This blog isn't about assholes or debutantes. It is very possible to be a jerk or to be a self-focused princess and not have the disorder of NPD. If you label anyone who irritates or annoys you as a narcissist then you don't have a grasp of what this character disorder really is.
Every human being is bent to one degree or other toward selfishness. So to define NPD as "being selfish" is not a definition that makes any sense because it would just be statement about the whole human race that wouldn't help anyone identify the problem of human evil. Some people say that all humans struggle against being selfish and so are quick to state that we are all narcissists. Not so fast. The label is important because we are trying to identify a certain sub-set. There is a specific definition here that is important to grasp if you're going to be able to deal with the problems that proceed from calculated and predatory human evil which is at the root of the definition of malignant narcissism.
Let's look at the statement above, "...all humans struggle against being selfish." No, they don't. THAT is what this blog is about. The ones who don't struggle against their selfish urges. It is about those human beings who long ago gave up any struggle against their lusts, their selfish entitlement attitude, their demands, their need to control others. Some, I believe, have never put up a real fight against their own selfish demands. Malignant narcissism usually manifests at a very young age even though it never becomes an official diagnosis until adulthood because this is how the grand poo-bahs of psychology play the game of labeling.
There is a creature that exists in human form that has become distinctly different than those of us who do struggle against selfishness. In a very deliberate and conscious way these people have made a decision to not fight against their selfish impulses. They have embraced them. They have found ways to completely justify them. They are quite proud of their freedom to do anything they want to anyone they want. They may be quietly smug about it or openly boastful; nevertheless, they're proud of their ability to get their way.
They see themselves as set apart from mere humanity. They distance themselves from the human race by setting themselves apart from and above them. They do this by word and by action. They even usurp the very throne of God Himself as they position themselves as god over all they survey. They reserve to themselves the right to define reality to all in their domain. All this results in the train of woe that follows from the human embodiment of evil.
I make no apologies for referring to malignant narcissists as a "creature" or any other dehumanizing term I may use from time to time. I didn't dehumanize them. They do it to themselves. I'm just agreeing with them that they aren't like the rest of us...only, when I say it, I mean it in the most disparaging way unlike the narcissist who pretends himself apart from all the rest of humanity as proof of his superiority.
The outgrowth of the mental state of malignant narcissists as described above are very predictable and legion but it can be boiled down to some consistent traits seen among all who've dedicated themselves to human evil. I have covered these traits at length on this blog. I'll try to revisit some of these predictable behaviors and attitudes of the malignant narcissist in brief.
All malignant narcissists are cases of arrested development.
They are perpetually living in a mindset of a young child. The age when a child is old enough to know the difference between right and wrong but very willing to do wrong if they think they won't get caught. Like a child, they feel entitled to whatever they want. Like a child, they recreate reality to suit their fantasy about themselves and the world around them. Like a child, they want all attention focused on them. But, unlike a child, the narcissist is not subject to being molded and shaped by authority figures or reality. The narcissist is determined (read here, conscious choice) to remain a child whereas most children are driven by a desire to grow up. Children are childish and there is no crime in that. I'm not pathologizing childhood. I'm highlighting that malignant narcissists are pathological children.
This state of being leads to the other realities about malignant narcissists which are all characterized by being pathological excess of whatever we're talking about:
The narcissist has a pathological need for all attention in every context he finds himself in.
It is so pathological that if you get any attention he is obsessed by the need to take it away from you because he imagines that if you get any that it is an unsurvivable diminution of this precious commodity for him.
This is attached to his transcendent sense of entitlement.
If he wants something then, in his mind, it belongs by native right to him. And because he wants every shred of human attention, warmth, regard, consideration, that means you can't have any. This is at the very bedrock of the narcissist's motivations. The need to have it all means he must take what you have. It makes you a target of his malevolent intent. It is the fountainhead of his ill will toward all others.
The malignant narcissist's pathological need to have it all leads to his existence of being pathologically envious.
In other words, the most pernicious, pervasive and all-consuming state of being covetous. This translates to him envying anything you have or are. So, picture a human being utterly possessed of a pathological need for all the attention and all good things which flow from human relationships and you have the framework for understanding the next identifying feature of the Malignant Narcissist Creature...
The malignant narcissist is a predatory animal.
He stalks his prey. He must do so because his malevolent intent is absolute and would frighten away any source of his supply if the target could easily discern his implacable nature and insatiable lusts and his intent to feed. So the narcissist transforms himself. He is an adept at making and wearing masks. He thrives on appearances. He is short on substance. People who are easily taken in by appearances and short on wisdom to discern substance are easy targets.
The malignant narcissist is a chameleon.
This is why so many people have a problem identifying what a narcissist is. To the superficial view malignant narcissists can appear to widely differ from each other. This narcissist here is a sophisticate with excellent worldly tastes, vast charm and a following of admirers. That narcissist over there is an unemployed alcoholic who lives off his wife or parents, abuses animals and his children, and hasn't amounted to more than a pile of shit his whole life. But both of these widely disparate appearances are adaptations to environment, I.Q., accident of birth such as physical beauty, advantages such as education, sex, etc. It is important to understand the chameleon-like adaptations all narcissists are capable of and not be fooled by these adaptations to miss the substance of what they are: a pathological mess of predatory urges that feeds off of the people around them.
How an individual narcissist presents himself or herself can cause huge variations in how a malignant narcissist appears to others, but make no mistake, these basic characteristics will be found in any of them. Both the charming sophisticate narcissist and the alcoholic loser are pursuing their favored forms of "narcissistic supply.", another term for the attention "drug" that every malignant narcissist junkie is pursuing his every waking moment. How they go about it looks very different, but in principle they are after the same thing.
All malignant narcissists are parasitical.
They need people around them from whom they can steal what they need. Their need for people is desperate, yet their desperate need presents a conundrum for them. Their need for people runs counter to their even more desperate need to not appear like they need anything from anyone, especially you! Never forget, they are gods in their own estimation which means that even while they steal, demand or extort what they need from you they will trash you for giving it. The more they need you the more you will be subjected to their loathing. It is paradoxical unless you understand what the hell is really going on. Which is what I'm describing for you now.
Stay focused on the narcissist as parasite. Because the malignant narcissist is a complete failure in the moral realm they must attach to sources of virtue. This is because no lie can exist without the truth. Evil can't exist without some appearance of good. How does the narcissist wear an appearance of virtue? Most commonly he surrounds himself with those who possess real virtue. The close proximity makes it easy for the malignant narcissist to steal virtue for his own image. Does the narcissist need to feel powerful? He may prop himself up or feed on those who have real power if he is lucky enough to sidle up to them, or he will surround himself with people who are weak so he can feel powerful by controlling them.
OR the narcissist can steal virtue and substance from her profession or from belonging to certain clubs or organizations or charities. Service professions are very attractive to malignant narcissists. So is religion. As is Motherhood. An example: the narcissist can get herself close to her prey of choice by her choice of profession. Does she like to seduce young boys? She may decide to become a teacher. She attaches herself parasitically to the profession's high claim of being concerned about the education of young people. Who would suspect she is not a teacher because of the usual reasons? By association everyone assumes a certain amount of goodwill and character due to her choice of job. This is her cover to then commence her predation of her favorite flavor of attention. She has parasitically attached herself to the good name of teacher. She is stealing virtue she doesn't possess so as to better reach her prey.
In every situation the parasitical narcissist is preening himself.
He needs a mirror to accomplish his acts of preening. That mirror is you. He plays to his mirrors. He poses in front of his mirrors to get the desired reflection back. When you show looks of interest, admiration, fear, concern, he is basking in his reflected self. His insubstantial self. A construct of reality he has created out of thin air. But see? He needs YOU to accomplish this. He needs you to hold up the mirror for him. But he isn't looking at you. He is only interested in his own reflection in your face. You don't exist as a person to him. You're a means to his end. The parasite takes what he needs with no thought or benefit going to the host. If you cease giving him what he wants he will move on to a better host. He is completely heedless of his tremendous and all-consuming need of people to accomplish this act of reflection. His preening is an extension of his parasitical lifestyle, yet he is unable to comprehend this.
We are only objects to the narcissist.
He can't comprehend it because he has transmogrified all the rest of us into objects. We have no needs that he must enter into his consideration. He is first and only in everything. He refuses (again, conscious choice) to see your humanity and the basic rights that come along with that humanity. You are nothing more than a tool in his hand, a pawn in his game, an object for his use. When done, he casts you aside as so much used toilet paper. People who believe the narcissist loves them are tragically naive and deceived. The narcissist has vast reservoirs of love, compassion and concern, but not one tiny bit of those things can be diverted from himself. He loves himself so utterly and completely there is no room for anyone else in his affections. The malignant narcissist is absolutely incapable of the true emotion of love for any other human being. Period. If you doubt me you will continue to suffer under the heartless tyranny of these blood-suckers. You can never successfully deal with a narcissist if you believe he loves you in any real way. He NEEDS you. But need is not love. His need is the need that will take and take and take with no concern as to whether his taking is killing you.
Even if you've not been in close contact with a malignant narcissist, with a little imagination you can follow these descriptions to some of their outcomes. All of those outcomes are attended with ill will. Not one motivation of the narcissist is concerned with anyone else's well-being. This is what makes them dangerous and evil. They are unsafe for human interaction. Do they see themselves as dangerous and evil? Very unlikely. Some do. Most don't. Remember that they have justified themselves on every point. The evil they perpetrate is most times seen by them as their righteous cause. They have turned evil into good and black into white. This is easy enough to accomplish for someone who has for a lifetime tinkered with reality as much as those around them have allowed.
As you can hopefully see by now, malignant narcissism isn't about everyday variety selfishness. I'll use the word again here, it is pathological selfishness. It is a selfishness that will destroy anything that gets in its way.
When I decided to start a blog and needed to pick a name for it I chose Narcissists Suck for a reason. It wasn't a flippancy. My nom de plume is that of a vampire slayer. Again, not a flippant choice. The primary meaning of this blog's title is a succinct statement of truth about all narcissists -- they suck the life out of their victims. Plus, I did really like the dual meaning of the title. The other meaning being the more casual statement of, "damn, these people SUCK."
Human evil is not of recent advent. It has been a part of human existence for as long as humans have existed. Some of the evidence of this fact is found in the many legends of evil of which the Vampire bears some startling correlations to what we know about malignant narcissism. Of course, there is no one definition or legend of vampires but there are some persistent themes. I'll list a few for your perusal.
The ability to hypnotize and/or charm their potential victims.
Light destroys them. (Light is analogous to truth.)
They are shape-shifters.
They are predatory. Especially of family and neighbors where they lived before they became "undead."
They can only exist by draining the blood, life-force, of their prey.
Despite their human appearance they aren't really human.
They can infect others with their vampirism.
Great powers of persuasion.
Hard to kill. Even starvation won't kill it though it will render them somewhat insane. (Think here of the narcissist deprived of sources of supply. It won't end up in a converted narcissist; crazy, yes, converted, no. They will survive until they find a fresh victim.)
This isn't an exhaustive list, but it is enough to supply the point that legends of vampirism find their close counterpart in the malignant narcissist. This blog is intended to be the sunlight that destroys these vampiric blood-suckers. Shine the light of truth on who they are and what they do and find them scattering to the dark corners of their lairs. At the very least, the sunlight dispels the hypnotic hold of the vampire on his victims and helps them get free.
Thus concludes my attempt at an overview of malignant narcissism which is the focus of this blog. There are plenty of annoying and petty people out there. That isn't what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about those humans who've embraced evil that stalks its own kind as prey. The most scary aspect of this kind of evil is that is will suck the life blood out of its own young. The children of narcissists are the ones who've seen what evil really is. The narcissist disguises himself when in public view. It is behind closed doors that the fangs come out. Pity the children. Save them if you can.