We have already discussed how the symptoms of narcissism are a combination of the self-centeredness and the lack of empathy, or lack of a conscience. If you haven't already read it, you can catch up here...
The lack of empathy and other socializing emotions, compassion, caring for others, pity etc means that the narcissist is not limited by these emotions. They often notice as young children that they are different to those around them in some way.
As they grow older, they realize that others have emotions that they themselves do not. This gives them a certain power over others and fuels their sense of being superior, one of the classic symptoms of narcissism. They look down on normal humans as weak and pitiful creatures who are dominated by emotions, while they are free of any such constraints.
This does indeed allow them to dominate, by simply controlling the emotions of their victims. While they do not experience the emotions, they learn to mimic the emotions, often very well. And as they grow up and gain more experience, all the time learning and practicing their skill at manipulation, they can become destructive and deadly.
And they don't even have to hide the fact that they don't have emotions. Normal people never suspect that the person in front of them might not have a conscience and is capable of doing real evil, so the narcissists have a huge advantage in this regard.
They do experience anger and frustration, and if they perceive a threat to their dominance or they are criticized, they may react with narcissistic rage.
Narcissists can do things that normal people would never dream of doing because their conscience would not allow them. Stealing, lying, physically abusing wife, husband and kids, deliberately getting coworkers into trouble, stealing others work and passing it off as their own, isolating victims from their family and friends by deception and cheating, multiple extramarital affairs, stripping a spouse or friend of all their assets and disappearing, literally.
Another one of the important symptoms of narcissism is the sadistic aspect. They take pleasure in watching their victims suffer. They may draw their victim into arguments, knowing that the victim has no chance of winning and will just end up confused, frustrated and helpless.
While a malignant narcissist may start out a relationship acting like the perfect partner, when they realize that their victim is now sufficiently influenced by their mind control methods, they change and begin showing their true nature. They delight in torturing their victims mentally and emotionally and even physically.
They get pleasure and satisfaction, called narcissistic supply, from taking from others. And if the person willingly gives it up because the narcissist has befriended the victim, all the better!!
Although the malignant narcissist appears grandiose, superior, independent, fearless and haughty, it is thought that they may actually be jealous and covetous of normal folk. Jealous that their emotional world is flat and grey and that they cannot feel love for others. Jealous of the possessions of others. Envious of the skills and abilities of others.
This, along with their sense of entitlement, means they want to take from others, they want to take it all. But unfortunately they are never satisfied. They can never have enough. So if they have taken all they can from one person and there is no more, they discard that person like an object and move onto the next victim.
And although the symptoms of narcissism all point to the fact that the narcissist does not need anyone, they do have a desperate need for other people. After all, where is their narcissistic supply (praise, admiration etc.) going to come from?
The more they need someone, the more they will control that person using mind control and manipulation. And the more they will act as if they are independent of that person. Perhaps threatening to leave the relationship if the person does not change their ways. Or threatening suicide, which they rarely carry out.
The malignant narcissist needs others around but when they look at others, they see a reflection of themselves, and what they want to see is admiration from their victims, dependency of their victims on themselves. This is particularly evident in narcissistic parents.
Psychologists believe that the narcissist is not even aware of this sense of inferiority and therapy is often directed at getting the narcissist to understand this aspect of him or herself in order to regulate their behaviors.
Malignant narcissists don't care about people. Period. They pretend to, and sometimes they pretend very well. But underneath the facade, people are objects to the narcissist. Objects to be used, controlled, manipulated and put into service.
The narcissist will consider your needs and wants as information that they can use to manipulate you. Your needs and wants are not of concern, and they are never as important as their needs and wants.
They will use your needs and wants initially to fool you into building a relationship with them. But once they think they have control, there is a drastic change in their behavior and then you become a pawn in their game. You are simply another thing in their life that they use however they please.
This realization can be devastating. Finding out that the person you loved and admired has actually been abusing you is very hard to understand at first. Then comes the rage, the upset, the grief etc.
Another of the symptoms of narcissism is that of excessive risk taking. And it shows up in many ways. They drive recklessly, they have extra-marital affairs, even after they have been caught. They take drugs or drink a lot. They risk their money with little thought for the considerations. Just look at the state of the financial system today in 2013 for evidence that there are narcissists at work.
They will repeatedly do stupid things even though they know they will be caught out. They do not seem to learn from past mistakes, one of the common symptoms of narcissism.
They will even lie when they know there is a high probability of being found out.
They frequently have run-ins with the law. If they are not actually breaking the law, they are on the very edge of it.
Their sex life invariably is abnormal. Whether it's multiple affairs, sexually abusing children, sexually abusing spouses, incest, obsession with pornography, homosexual relationships when they claim to be, or have led people to believe that they are heterosexuals, etc.
Remember that one of the symptoms of narcissism is that other people are there to be used. This applies in the sexual domain, too.
The narcissist has a big ego, and a grandiose sense of entitlement. So they make big plans for the future. Which they never seem to quite reach, but it's ok, they always have excuses and someone else to blame for their misfortune. And they are quite happy to change these plans at a moments notice.
In the workplace, they use those around them to take power and control for themselves. They will manipulate, cajole, bully and blackmail colleagues to do their work for them so that they appear good in the eyes of the bosses.
Other common symptoms of narcissism include blaming others for failures, as well as using scapegoats so as not to tarnish their own reputation. They will abuse the power of their position to steal, avoid work, disarm and isolate any potential competition and generally make themselves out to be better than they really are.
When there is trouble they will often fight viciously to keep their power, or disappear leaving chaos behind them.
One of the classic symptoms of narcissism occurs when they are caught out or revealed for who they really are. They accuse those around them of doing exactly what they are doing themselves. If they are accused of using mind control, they will accuse the accuser of using manipulation. If accused of stealing, they will say others have stolen from them. If someone claims the narcissist is taking advantage of them, the narcissist will accuse that person of doing the same thing.
It's incredible how they do it, but they invariably make themselves out to be the victim!
If you recognize these symptoms of narcissism in someone close to you, it's important to distance yourself from them. They will destroy your life, if they haven't done so already. Learning about narcissism and mind control is an important step in dealing with a narcissist so that you can undo the damage.
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If you think you are or have been in a cult or a destructive relationship, or a friend or family member might be in a cult and you want to talk to someone, send me a message on the Contact page and we can arrange to talk. All communication will be treated in the strictest confidence.
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