We throw around the term narcissist fairly easily. We liken it to less serious things (though just as annoying) like someone who is rude, unpleasant to be around, or simply a jerk. While a narcissist can also be those things, not everyone we don’t like falls under that umbrella.
But if we were to dive deeper, there’s something known as a malignant narcissist. This is thought to be a mix of narcissism, antisocial personality disorder, aggression and sadism. The term might sound familiar because John D. Gartner, psychotherapist from John Hopkins University, recently expressed his feelings that President Donald Trump fits the description.
But we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to figure out if that asshole (you know someone immediately popped into your head!) is a malignant narcissist.
Let’s go over the signs, shall we?
1. Lack of empathy for others.
Being able to practice compassion is both a learned skill and something some are naturally inclined to. By the time you’re a full fledged adult, and hopefully before, you should feel for other people. It’s one of the staples of humanity. Malignant narcissists lack this ability. They cannot see beyond what immediately impacts them.
2. Lying or twisting reality to make themselves appear better.
Not only are they pathological liars, but they lie in a way that alters the reality they live in. Which is to say, they believe their own lies.
3. A delusion of grandeur.
According to Psych Central, “delusions of grandeur are the fixed, false belief that one possesses superior qualities such as genius, fame, omnipotence, or wealth.” In layman’s terms, individuals who are malignant narcissists think they are THE SHIT when, truth be told, they aren’t.
4. Masters of gaslighting.
One of the more dangerous aspect to malignant narcissists, they can manipulate people or entire situations. They’ll twist things to make them appear like either a victim or a hero, but never the wrongdoer. Even if they are.
5. Taking unnecessary risks.
We’re all prone to bad decisions. But the malignant narcissist makes irrational and ill-advised risks often. They can’t think about consequences or who might be hurt as a result. They just go, go, go!
6. Obsessed with image.
Think Instagram on steroids. It’s not just about filtering, it’s about being the undeniable BEST. They thrive on praise and outside validation.
7. Feeling entitled.
They deserve everything, obviously. It doesn’t even matter if they worked for something. This is a 24/7 mentality. They feel it’s just a given. They should get whatever they want.
8. Enjoying the misfortune of others.
Highly disturbing, malignant narcissists derive pleasure from the suffering from others. This is also referred to as sadism. It can be large scale (think serial killer) or much smaller, like seeing a classmate get a failing grade.
Malignant narcissists think everyone is out to get them. They form paranoid thoughts and have a tendency to be conspiracy theorists. They see danger or enemies that do not actually exist.