Malignant narcissism traits are when narcissism becomes dangerous. It is a combination of narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder and is the most severe form of narcissism.
Malignant narcissism traits include having little or no conscience, very little capacity for experiencing shame or guilt, and reduced concern for following societal demands and norms. They truly have no remorse. These traits are signs of a severe character disorder.
Character Disordered Versus Neurotic Personalities
It is important not to be fooled by these character disordered narcissistic people. Malignant narsissism traits include having an inflated sense of their own skills and importance. This is NOT like a typically neurotic person who might consciously try to pretend they have it together in order to mask deeper feelings of inadequacy, or ‘fake it until you make it’.
Narcissists are not pretending. They truly think they have it all together. In fact, they think they are more together than anyone else.
Your character reflects your sense of right and wrong. Character refers to your moral strength and integrity. So if you have a character disorder, such as narcissism, this means you have a disordered, or disturbance in your character. Narcissists do not have a healthy sense of integrity or morality. This causes them to be able to do things that benefit themselves, but not others.
If you are a normal neurotic, you don’t feel right hurting someone else. Your own moral code of ethics won’t allow you to feel okay being cruel or uncaring towards others, just for your own person gain. Not so for the character disordered narcissist. It’s important to realize this when you are dealing with them. They do not operate the same way you do!
The Role of Conscience In Malignant Narcissism Traits
If you are a neurotic person, you struggle with getting your own needs met versus an over-developed conscience. Your conscience makes you feel guilty and shameful for pursuing what you want, rather than taking care of others.
Some neurotics will too often put other peoples needs first over their own. You discount and invalidate what you want, doing what you think you ‘should’ do, instead.
This is a perfect match for a narcissist. Malignant narcissism traits include the belief that his needs should come first. So, he is more than happy to let you put his needs over your own. Even if this is not in your best interest.
If you are the type that already has an inner voice that invalidates and discounts your own needs, beware. Then along comes the narcissist, telling you that he is more important, disregarding what is best for you.
This puts you on a dangerous road. The narcissist will use your over active conscience against you, bending it to his own will. He manipulates you into thinking you’re wrong and he is right.
You have too much conscience and the narcissist has little or no conscience at all. His under developed conscience and your over developed conscience become a perfect match for disaster.
He has no qualms about manipulating you to his own needs, displaying a disregard for your well being. Another malignant narcissism trait is that he does not have a value system, a sense of right and wrong. This makes it difficult for the malignant narcissist to feel a healthy amount of shame and guilt.
Healthy Versus Unhealthy Shame and Guilt
When you grow up, you hopefully internalize a healthy sense of right and wrong from your parents, care givers and society. This part of you is called the super ego, or the parent part of yourself.
For instance, the inner parent keeps you from murdering someone or stealing. If you do steal something, you will feel guilty about your behavior. You are afraid of the consequences, such as social rejection for being a bad person. Healthy guilt keeps you from doing something that goes against your own morality, value system and ethics.
Feeling shameful for doing something like speaking up is where you cross the line into unhealthy shame and guilt. Speaking up for your self is not a moral issue, it is a choice you make to take care of yourself. You haven’t done anything wrong.
Malignant Narcissism Traits You Don’t Want To Ignore
Everyone Gets Insecure, Right?
It is a mistake to think that a malignant narcissist is insecure or feels inadequate. Instead, they are consciously and deliberately doing anything they can to win, dominate and control through almost any means necessary. Their inflated self-esteem remains intact despite the consequences. Even if they are criminally prosecuted.
Neurotics have inner emotional conflicts, like feeling bad for speaking up, that helps you benefit from in-sight oriented therapy. It helps you understand your insecurities so you don’t let them dominate your life where they don’t serve you.
This is just not true for a character disordered malignant narcissist. They do not respond to insight or awareness. Instead, they need you to set limits with them. Let them know what you are not willing to put up with.
Find a Win Win Solution
A malignant narcissism trait is that he prefers that he win and you lose. A neurotic person will look for a solution where both people win. And, no one wants both people to lose, especially a narcissist.
It will benefit you when you have to deal with a narcissist if you can find a solution where you both win. They don’t like compromising, so explain to them how they will be able to win. If necessary, assert how you will win, as well.
Entitlement Is One Of the Most Important of Malignant Narcissism Traits
A malignant narcissism trait of believing he is special and entitled to special treatment makes him incapable of seeing when he hurts others. The malignant narcissist will violate others physical and emotional boundaries in order to win. They have a real lack of empathy and remorse.
Malignant narcissists will even put other lives in danger if it meet their needs. Showing off and getting attention comes first.
They are not concerned with your needs and feelings. They feel entitled to your admiration and favors. Even if they have to lie, manipulate or get physically aggressive. If you know this from the start of a negotiation, you can make sure they know how they are going to win. And make sure that you will win, too.
Malignant Narcissism Traits to Look for: How They Treat Their Partners
Another malignant narcissism trait has to do with how they treat their partners. They will try to hold power over you, even finding joy in harming you. Gaslighting and blaming you for their own mistakes and problems is typical.
They can exploit and take advantage of you, displaying callousness and a real lack of concern for your well being. They might even plot against you, enjoy harming and humiliating you for the smallest of infractions.
A malignant narcissist wants to win and have power. They pretend to be altruistic in order to get what they want. Their sense of superiority makes them seek revenge against anyone who criticizes them.
Obtaining Power and Dominance Is One Of A Few Malignant Narcissism Traits
A malignant narcissism trait is to try to obtain more power and dominance over others, even if they have to be cruel and aggressive. They can even take pleasure in the pain and humiliation of others.
Distrust and Disrespect Towards Experts
Another malignant narcissism trait is mistrust of other people. They do not respect experts. If someone is an expert in their field, the malignant narcissist will just dismiss them if the expert isn’t aligned with the narcissists self-centered goals.
Plus, malignant narcissists think they are experts themselves, despite little or no training in the subject matter. They feel entitled to their opinion, despite no actual knowledge or study. They even feel that others are out to get them.
Refusing to Consult Other Opinions
The malignant narcissist will act without consulting others’ opinions. Their own inflated sense of themselves makes them feel entitled to whatever they want. They don’t care about the opinions of others. If you don’t agree with everything he says, then you don’t value him at all. Their inflated sense of their own accomplishments makes them think they are the expert. Therefore, they don’t need any one else’s opinion.
If you recognize some of these malignant narcissism traits in someone you know, you might want to privately talk this over with a qualified therapist. This type of emotional abuse can really take a toll on you. Honest self-reflection that comes with therapy involves introspection that can uncover flaws, mistakes, and insecurities that malignant narcissists are unable to deal with.
Neurofeedback and EMDR can be very helpful treatments along the path of recovery. If you think I can help you navigate this difficult journey, feel free to call me at 310-314-6933 or email email@example.com.