What Malignant Narcissism is and is not

From https://www.operationdoubles.com/narc/

Malignant narcissists have an inferiority complex. So, their narcissism is a COMPENSATORY egomania. It is caused by shame and is low esteem in disguise. Quite the opposite of someone who just has a big head…

That underlying shame and self loathing is what makes a malignant narcissist malignant. Whereas narcissistic-but-normal people have big heads, malignant narcissists actually think little of themselves. They have no self confidence. They don’t think they can win fair and square. They don’t think they can achieve anything or live up to moral standards. They have no self respect, despite their elaborate play-acting to the contrary. In fact, the thicker they put it on, the less they think of themselves.

Consider the consequences of these attitudes.

  • Form birth, the malignant narcissist has had indelibly stamped into his brain the impression that he is somehow defective, a reject, a kind of Quasimodo. So, throughout his life he finds himself surrounded in a world of people who aren’t. 
  • Since narcissists don’t think they can measure-up the legitimate way — through effort and excellence — they must cheat. That is, to be greater than others, they don’t strive to be: they must tear their betters down.  
  • Their lack of self respect is even more damning. Because of it, nothing is beneath them. No lie is too mean to tell. No trick is too lowdown, dirty and rotten to play. Things you or I couldn’t stoop to, because sinking to that level would make us feel like we are wallowing naked on our bellies in sewage, narcissists glory in like mud-wallowing hogs. Ironic, isn’t it? that such deep, unbearable shame makes one shameless? But it does.  
  • This is why every malignant narcissist has two middle names: one is “Abuser” and the other is “Slanderer.”  

A mere (non-malignant) narcissist isn’t like that. He is just someone with a big head. Fame and fortune have probably gone to his head. So, he may be arrogant and haughty, but he doesn’t go around tearing people down off pedestals by slandering and calumniating others to make himself look better than them. Or by raping them for being purer than him. A mere narcissist may be obnoxious and disappointing, but he is not a predator hostile to the happiness, well being, and success of others. Hurting people doesn’t make him feel good. He has human feelings and can form human relationships. He loves his own children at least and wouldn’t dream of hurting them. A malignant narcissist is a far different animal.

So, don’t confuse NPD (malignant narcissism) with what people usually mean when they say someone is “narcissistic.” Despite the superficial similarities, there’s a world of difference! One is benign; the other is malignant.

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