Malignant Narcissist: 10 Signs You’re Dealing with One

Malignant Narcissist Image

A narcissist is a person with an exaggerated sense of self-importance. They are self-centered and ignorant of the needs of those around them. On the other hand, a malignant narcissist is on the extreme end with a combination of multiple vices. They take pleasure in bringing others down.

Let’s discuss this narcissist type in detail.

What Defines a Malignant Narcissist? 

A malignant narcissist is a psychological syndrome comprising an extreme mix of narcissism, antisocial behavior, aggression, and sadism. Such a person has symptoms of both narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Combined, these disorders can show up as arrogance, a need for power and recognition, and tendencies to use or exploit others for selfish reasons.

Simply put, a malignant narcissist is a type with an extreme combination of aggression, narcissism, sadism, and anti-social behavior. These traits make them a threat to those around them.

The 10 Signs You’re Dealing with One

Narcissistic Abuse Image

Here are 10 signs of a malignant narcissist:

#1: Overly Sensitive

Even in the face of constructive criticism, this group of narcissists tends to put up self-defense. They always feel chronically victimized. Often they will also accuse other people of being against them or out to get them. With all kinds of unfounded accusations about other people’s unloyalty towards them, you will hear them, for example, accusing a partner of cheating. 

However, if you do a little research, they are actually the ones engaging in these shady and unethical behaviors. And to protect their image, they have all sorts of back-end security measures installed in their gadgets and homes.   

#2: Very Aggressive

Some manifest this trait through physical violence, while others manifest it through anger, insults, and interpersonal cruelty towards other people. Their paranoia often fuels their rage. Like when they ‘imagine’ you’re against any of their decisions, they will get very aggressive towards you. So, if you find your relative, partner (including business associates), or boss excessively cruel, they could be malignant narcissists.   

#3: Interpersonal Disturbances – Vulnerability

These individuals have very vulnerable self-esteem. You’ll hear them say, “Make them believe I am intelligent and beautiful. I won’t accept anything less.” Because of their nature of crossing bad lines with people, sometimes it’s true they have a long list of enemies after them. However, instead of cleaning up their mess, they will make others do it. They project these personal frustrations to other people.  

#4: An Exaggerated Sense of Talent and Achievement 

It could be a red flag when you meet someone who is always boasting about how smart they are, even quoting their IQ levels. Malignant narcissists have a sense of self-enhancement. They believe they are unique and better than everyone else, hence the need to prove themselves constantly. And if you try to challenge these achievements, the narcissist will go into self-defense and critique whichever measures you’re using to challenge them. 

#5: Extremely Manipulative

Malignant narcissists are led by their need for power, profit, and pleasure, which they mostly get by controlling and depressing people. For example, through bad leadership. Whichever way they can hold power, they will grab it even if this means endangering the safety of others.  

#6: Coercive Control

In their chase for pleasure, these narcissists will pursue multiple sexual partners. You can think of them as perverts because it’s like a numbers game for them. Similarly, you will find them drawn to other addictive behaviors, including drug abuse and gambling. They have an obsessive focus on the things that bring them power and pleasure. 

#7: Deceitful

99% of malignant narcissists are very deceptive. They lie about anything and everything to anyone to suit their purposes and protect their interests and fragile egos. 

#8: Psychopathy (Anti-Social Personality Disorder)

These are individuals with a willful disregard for the needs and safety of other people. They manifest a willingness to take advantage of others and tend to be ethically sketchy. In addition, they manipulate and bully people and break the laws for their benefit. 

#9: They are Calculating Victims

Unlike other narcissists, the malignant types like playing the hero and rarely the victims. However, in situations where the latter would favor them, they play a calculating victim very well. For example, an aspiring leader will play the victim to win the support of his followers. 

#10: Most are Successful in Life

Well, this shouldn’t shock you. From the above traits, you can see that these people are focused on winning. They put all their efforts into activities that bring them power and pleasure. They become so focused on making money that that’s their everything.

If Malignant Narcissists Are So Dangerous, Why Are We Attracted to Them? 

What is Malignant Narcissist Image

Just like any other narcissist, malignant narcissists are so bold and fearless. They are willing to do what everyone else wouldn’t. And we all love bold, don’t we? That’s how become local leaders, world leaders, and key decision-makers. 

How to Deal With a Malignant Narcissist?

Unfortunately, the traits and symptoms of malignant narcissism often directly impact those around them. When dealing with a narcissist, many people become victims of narcissistic abuse. Therefore, often, it becomes necessary to distance yourself from a malignant narcissist, especially if they’ve become abusive or toxic.

If for whatever reason it’s impossible, here are some other ways to deal with a malignant narcissist:

  • Avoid being too vulnerable or open with them;
  • Manage your expectations and don’t expect honesty, love, or loyalty from them;
  • Keep your interactions with a malignant narcissist brief and task-focused;
  • Maintain your boundaries;
  • Understand what they want from you and decide ahead of time if you will say yes;
  • Let them talk about themselves and be supportive – this will feed their need for validation and will keep them from using aggressive tactics against you;
  • Understand and avoid their triggers. Do not cause a narcissistic injury – this can make you their target!

The Bottom Line

Malignant narcissists tend to feel superior to others, need excessive praise and validation, exhibit grandiose attitudes, and respond very poorly to even the slightest criticism. They lack empathy and disregard the feelings and needs of other people. These traits and behaviors keep them from forming healthy relationships.

A malignant narcissist threatens a peaceful and harmonious co-existence. Therefore, it’s highly advisable to distance yourself from a malignant narcissist, especially if they’ve become violent, abusive, or toxic. If this is not an option, use the above tips to deal with a malignant narcissist in your life.