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Author Topic: The Malignant Narcissist  (Read 3703 times)
Hero Member
Posts: 1090

« on: September 21, 2008, 01:51:15 AM »

I was looking something up and came across the site officer.com.  I found this article and thought I would post it for people who are looking for information.  I did not know that....NPD is legally classified as a character disorder, disputing its classification as a personality disorder by mental health professionals. Usually a defendant with a personality disorder can use that as a defense. However, US law classes NPD as a character disorder, which is no defense.  You can read the rest on the article.  It was a good read and very scary. 1 to 3 of every 20 people you meet are malignant narcissists.

The Malignant Narcissist
Perverted Self-Love

Crisis Intervention Contributor

Narcissism as natural self-love is essential to survival. It is what makes us value ourselves, and find purpose in life. Essentially, self-love is necessary for one's self-preservation. Everyone has some narcissistic traits, however being conceited, argumentative, or selfish doesn't mean you have a nasty personality disorder.

The DSM-IV-TR, a manual that mental health professionals use to diagnose mental disorders classifies Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) as a psychological personality disorder. The disorder is characterized by grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy. NPD is not mere "narcissism" in the usual sense of the word. To distinguish it from healthy self-love, the term "malignant narcissism" has been coined for NPD. Don't confuse NPD (malignant narcissism) with what people usually mean when they say someone is "narcissistic." Despite the superficial similarities, one is benign, the other is malignant. Malignant narcissism is a deeply perverted self-love. A malignant narcissist doesn't just revere himself; he demands others revere him as well. If the victim of the narcissist fails to revere him, he/she will invariably be subjected to emotional, mental or even physical abuse.

Malignant narcissists are everywhere. 1 to 3 of every 20 people you meet are malignant narcissists. 75% of the pathologically narcissistic are male. You can find them in law enforcement, politics, business, the clergy, medical professionals, and in post offices. The smart ones easily move up the food chain. They know when to brown nose and suck-up to get ahead and further their grandiose sense of themselves.

Malignant narcissists seek omnipotence and total control, and will attempt to achieve those goals by any means. They will defy those in authority, challenge them, and attempt to demean them. Narcissists cast themselves as victims, justifying all of their feelings and actions. They blame all of their shortcomings on perceived enemies.

Narcissists often have an underlying paranoia. They invariably have an inferiority complex. However, they believe that they must be seen as perfect, superior, bigger than life, or god-like. They don't want others to like them; they want others to obey, fear, or admire them. Malignant narcissists are frequently suicidal. They are contemptuous of others. Narcissists are extremely sensitive to personal criticism while being very critical of other people. They are characteristically mentally and emotionally cruel towards others, and can resort to violence.

The narcissist’s fundamental problem is that he lacks empathy. He simply won't take other people's feelings into account. Additionally, narcissists are intrinsically grandiose. Their jobs, friends, families, homes, and possessions aren't good enough for them; they deserve better. They truly feel entitled to whatever they can take. If there is nothing in it for the narcissist, don’t bother bringing it to his attention, he could care less. Narcissists are very sneaky and extraordinarily manipulative. They are best noted for their negative, pessimistic, cynical, doomsday outlook on life. They whine, gripe, complain, and criticize about virtually everyone or every thing relentlessly. They are notoriously sarcastic, while believing they are witty. Narcissists invariably contradict themselves, often in the same sentence. The narcissist is incapable of seeing that they have a problem, it is always the other person's problem, and that person must change. If you try to confront a narcissist about the way he is treating you, the unfailing response you will receive is "You just have to accept me the way I am." Yet, narcissists need relationships, relationships they can control, they hate to live alone.

Narcissists lack a mature conscience and are only restrained by the fear of being punished or having their reputations damaged. However, they will do something illegal, immoral, or violent if they believe that they can get away with it without being stopped or punished. Most narcissists truly don't feel responsible for their actions. They have convinced themselves that they are the victims of injustice, discrimination or prejudice.

The fundamental beliefs of the narcissist include:

"Since I am so superior, I am entitled to special treatment and privileges."
"I don't have to be bound by the rules that apply to other people."
"If others don't respect my status, they should be punished."
"Other people should satisfy my needs."
"Other people should recognize how special I am."
"Since I am so talented, people should go out of their way to promote my career."
"No one's needs should interfere with my own."

The Violent Malignant Narcissist

Malignant narcissists are predators who hunt easy prey. Being a predator puts the narcissist in the class of psychopathology; in fact all psychopaths are narcissists. Serial bullies, serial adulterers, gold-diggers, pedophiliac priests, rapists, child molesters, terrorists and serial killers are all examples of malignant narcissists. They prey on others simply for ego gratification. They are able to violate the rights of others because they are incapable of feeling empathy for anyone else. They tend to view others as objects or tools, to further exploit for their sense of entitlement.

Most narcissists won't engage in violent crime; that would be far too risky for them. However, they are pros in mental cruelty towards virtually anyone; family members, employees, classmates, etc. They will cross the line into physical or sexual violence only when they think they can get away with it.

The violence-prone narcissist is often preoccupied by control issues. He has a strong need to control, if not dominate, his environment and those around him. Additionally, he usually has very poor impulse control. When he feels attacked, he will lash out verbally, non-verbally, and can become physically explosive. The narcissist is also obsessively vindictive. He is certain that his feelings and actions are justified. He may hold smoldering rage related to previous perceptions of rejection or victimization. People who are constantly bullied and tormented may finally reach the state of "I'm not going to take it anymore", such as was the case at Columbine. When you add all these factors together, you have a strong candidate for sociopathic violence.

Legal Considerations

NPD is legally classified as a character disorder, disputing its classification as a personality disorder by mental health professionals. Usually a defendant with a personality disorder can use that as a defense. However, US law classes NPD as a character disorder, which is no defense. This is because a narcissist's behavior is premeditated and volitional. The narcissist is able to tell right from wrong and to distinguish between good and evil. You don't get off on a mental plea when you know what you're doing is wrong. Lacking empathy, the narcissist is rarely remorseful.


There has been no real success in treating people with NPD. Those who commit the most heinous offenses are frequently repeat offenders (rapists, pedophiles, serial killers). There is no magic medicine to cure a personality disorder, and talk therapy isn't the answer with predators.

As a law enforcement officer you will deal with more than your share of people with NPD. From the know-it-all, "I don't take paper" beat partner; to the command climber who will steal your ideas while belittling you on your evaluation. From the DV suspect who claims she deserved it; to the traffic stop with the guy telling you to catch a real criminal; to the male shooter holding hostages after a dispute with his employer. Recognizing malignant narcissistic traits will help allow you to prepare yourself accordingly. Malignant narcissists should be considered as potentially dangerous.

If you are married to a malignant narcissist, I send my condolences.


Hero Member
Posts: 2694

« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2008, 08:11:08 AM »

Good read Deb.  So now it is a character disorder not a personality disorder.........hmmmmm.  Whatever it is it is not FUN!


"The Best Way Out is Through........and try laughing at yourself"
Hero Member
Posts: 2916

It's better to travel than to arrive!

« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2008, 02:59:47 PM »


So we can be pretty sure that 5 to 15 of every hundred people we meet has a serious character disorder.

When I use the word recovery here, I mean the 'colapse' years as mentioned by OC in another thread, but during that time I had no energy to spend assessing the behaviors of anyone outside my FOO.   I would like to add that it was my own behavior that I needed to learn how to gee and haw and control.  When it's all over and done, producing recovery in myself was not nearly as much about changing them or  their behavior  as it was about changing me and my own. the abuse notwithstanding. 

After those years in the trenches, though, I am finally able to see past the dysfunctional dynamic of my FOO and observe other people.  The figures you give don't surprise me.   I attend a church with a very small congregation.  Less than a hundred people.  Of the ones I know relatively well, my guess is that two are decidedly N.   One a teenage male.  One a middle aged female.   



Every action, of every person who ever lived, contains a self-sustaining, self-generated history.  That history is merged endlessly into future generations with full expression of its consequences.
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