Malignant Narcissism: Definition, Traits, And How To Deal With A Malignant Narcissist
Published in Jul 2020 / Updated in Aug 2021
While narcissism is terrible in all its forms, malignant narcissism is without a doubt the worst of the worst as far as this personality disorder goes. That’s probably why many people wonder if they are still dealing with a narcissist or a heartless psychopath or sociopath.
Folks afflicted with this disorder can make you feel like you have met the devil himself with their sadism, aggression, antisocial behavior, or even paranoia.
In relationships, the malignant narcissist is the very personification of horror. Covert narcissists have nothing on these flawed individuals because they at least hold back their toxicity. That said, covert malignant narcissists still exist, and they are still a force to reckon with.
So, you can imagine what a special kind of hell it must be to be raised by a malignant narcissist mother or relative.
Traits Of A Malignant Narcissist
Malignant narcissists stand out in the narcissistic spectrum for many reasons. For instance, the malignant narcissist will often be obsessed with thoughts of personal power, sex appeal, success, or attractiveness.
Other symptoms of narcissism common to malignant narcissists include little or nonexistent feelings of empathy and an overwhelming desire for attention and approval.
A superiority complex and a sense of entitlement are also other narcissistic traits found among malignant narcissists.
The malignant narcissist also revels in taking advantage of others for personal gain, and they often experience lots of envy towards others.
Another telltale sign you are dealing with malignant narcissism is that the person will have lots of trouble managing their emotions and behaviors. Vulnerability is not something they can handle. Explosive anger is often the reaction they give to situations that make them feel humiliated or less than perfect.
What Is The Difference Between A Malignant Narcissist And A Sociopath?
Although the word sociopath is pretty common in regular conversations, it does not accurately describe a malignant narcissist. Sure, like malignant narcissists, sociopaths exploit others ruthlessly for personal gain.
However, a sociopath simply suffers from antisocial traits, but that’s just part of what a malignant narcissist is all about. So, the definition of narcissism is not synonymous with the description of a sociopath.
Are You dealing With A Malignant Narcissist? How To Know The Truth
If you agree with the following statements, then yes, you are dealing with a malignant narcissist.
One, you have a problem establishing a lasting relationship with the person. They always look out for themselves at your expense, or manipulate you and hurt you with no feelings of remorse.
A malignant narcissist will undoubtedly abuse you, physically or emotionally. This includes gaslighting and possibly even physical abuse.
The malignant narcissist also enjoys making you feel discouraged, humiliated, threatened, upset, or conscious about your shortcomings.
How To Expose A Malignant Narcissist
Although no one prays and hopes to be a malignant narcissist one day, a malignant narcissist's issues should not be you or another person’s undoing.
That is why you might need to expose a malignant narcissist to save yourself and others from the suffocating toxicity of having this person in your life.
The best way to do that is to know all the signs a malignant narcissist shows when in relationships. So, look out for the signs above and you will know for sure if you are dealing with a narcissist or someone with fairly typical personality flaws.
How To Overcome A Malignant Narcissist
All narcissists, despite their types, thrive on attention. It does not matter if it’s negative or positive. They live for the feedback they get for their awful actions.
Therein lies the secret to dealing with them.
Using “gray rocking”, you can become a difficult target for a malignant narcissist and make them focus their ill intentions elsewhere. When this person tries to drive you up the wall, you can seem clueless or uninterested.
While this can bring about a full-blown malignant narcissist collapse, it’s one of the best ways to break the hold the person has over you.
You see, as long as you are not giving them the reactions they expect, they will move on and leave you be. That is the only way you can win with people who suffer from this personality disorder.
Can Malignant Narcissism Be Cured?
While there are lots of remedies for many disorders in existence, narcissism of any form is very hard to treat.
By nature, narcissists don’t typically accept they can be flawed in any way, which is what recovery would entail.
Malignant narcissists, in particular, believe themselves to be superior to every other person they have ever met. That means everyone and not them have a problem as far as they are concerned.
However, while seeking help for depression or anger management issues, they might come to terms with their narcissism and get assistance for that as well.
Being in a relationship with a malignant narcissist feels like you are trapped in prison by an evil person who won't let you go. This kind of life can destroy you since it’s one of the most toxic relationships you can experience in this life. It does not matter if the narcissist is a relative or a romantic partner.
As far as malignant narcissism goes, the best solution is to escape. Trying to fix these people is a losing battle, even for seasoned mental health experts. Powerful malignant narcissists in history turned into dictators like Hitler and Stalin. So, stay out of their way if you can, they have nothing to offer their victims but pain and suffering.