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10 Ways to Empower Yourself to Walk Away from a Narcissist

10 Ways to Empower Yourself to Walk Away from a

Walking away from a narcissist can be difficult but, if you can empower yourself, you can do it. The first step towards leaving is to acknowledge the situation for what it is.

Sometimes recognizing a narcissist isn’t as easy as you’d think, which could make you question yourself. Questioning yourself is what makes walking away tricky, so you must empower yourself and learn which characteristics to look for. It’s easier to walk away once you have learned to identify narcissistic behavior, luckily.

There are sure signs you can watch for that will let you know someone is a narcissist. These signs are generalized, so keep in mind that a narcissist may not exhibit all of them. To identify a narcissist, look for the following signs:

  • they think they are the single most important person
  • a sense of entitlement
  • require constant communication
  • they think they should be superior even when others have achieved more
  • exaggerate personal events, achievements, and talents
  • won’t associate with anyone they feel is beneath them
  • frequently take over conversations
  • belittling
  • they expect others to do whatever they say
  • take advantage of others to benefit themselves
  • an inability to recognize or acknowledge the feelings or needs of others, lack of empathy
  • arrogant and easily angered
  • they need the very best of everything, or they can’t be happy
  • can’t handle criticism and always has a problem with other people
  • easily offended and take innocent remarks as a slight
  • will begin to shout and insult to gain superiority
  • can’t regulate emotions or control explosive behavior
  • become moody or depressed when they don’t do something perfectly

Recognizing the signs may not be enough to get you to walk away for good, however. You must continue to empower yourself in other ways, too.

How to Empower Yourself to Walk Away from a Narcissist

You recognize the need to leave, but you must muster up the courage. Here are a few guidelines to help you make the transition.

1. Join a Support Group

When you first recognize that you are in this situation, it can be hard to overcome. You might feel as if you are a failure for not walking away sooner.

You aren’t a failure, however, as there are many narcissistic people in the United States. Encountering a narcissistic person is common, and you may be in too deep before you realize their real personality. This means that many other people have been in a situation similar to yours.

To overcome the situation, accept the way it is, and walk away for good, you may need support. This support is best when it comes to those who fully understand what it is like.

Joining a support group can be the perfect place for this. Make sure the support group is led by a therapist so that you can learn to move forward positively.

It’s crucial that you don’t turn to those who may judge the situation. Whether they will talk badly about the narcissist or they make you feel bad for staying, it can be counter-productive. This reason is why it is often best to turn to a third party for support.

2. Have a Life Separate from Them

Narcissists like to isolate you from other people who love you. This is one of the ways they gain control of you. They may also expect you to give up your hobbies or career so that your life only revolves around them.

This situation makes it harder to walk away, so you have to build a life separately from them. If you have gone out-of-touch with friends or family members, reach out and work to rebuild the relationships. Start spending time pursuing your old interests and hobbies, and find a job that makes you happy.

The relationships you rebuild should be separate from the narcissist’s friends and family. Likewise, the hobbies and job opportunities shouldn’t include them, either.

This attitude will give you a chance to start fresh and have people to support you and things to keep you busy. Plus, it will prevent you from returning due to loneliness or overthinking.

3. Learn Your Worth and Practice Self-Love

To successfully walk away, you have to learn to love yourself. Know your worth and work on building your self-esteem and confidence. Value your needs and wants and take the time to take care of yourself.

When you do this, you’ll begin to trust yourself more. You will be stronger and well-equipped to walk away. Then, you will notice that you no longer feel guilty, and you’ll stop doubting yourself.

4. Set Boundaries and be Assertive

When you have been affected by a narcissist, it can be hard to set boundaries and be assertive. It is possible, though, and you will be glad you did afterward. Typically, the first time you do this, you’ll feel powerful and in control. Each time you are assertive after that is only helping you gain strength.

Set boundaries by making it clear that you don’t like the behavior. You can also set boundaries by having an exit strategy when things go awry. Make sure you have a car, Uber, or a trustworthy person who can pick you up quickly.

This way, you can leave a situation when you are dealing with a narcissist. You won’t be stuck with them, and you won’t have to count on them for a ride. Use this same way of thinking for all situations you are in, and you’ll be able to walk away.

When you give yourself the power to decide when enough is enough, you’ll quickly build self-esteem. Plus, it’ll help get the point across that you aren’t going to be their victim anymore.

5. Leave When you Say You’re Going to Leave

If you keep threatening to leave only to stay every time, you’ll be going in circles. When you say that you are planning to leave, it’s time to leave. If you don’t walk away, you will stay trapped as a victim in this toxic cycle of narcissistic behavior.

Don’t let them convince you to come back, either. When you walk away, let it empower you. Embrace the freedom and the safety you feel when you are away.

Experts explain why narcissists have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships.

6. Identify the Role of a Victim

No person deserves to be a victim, and you might not even realize you have become one. If you begin feeling hopeless or powerless, it’s a sign that you have become a victim. These are signs of an unhealthy, toxic relationship.

When identified, you can use it to empower you to walk away. Choose to stop being a victim and put yourself, your happiness, and your mental health first.

7. Learn About Narcissism and Toxic Relationships

The more you know, then the more you will feel empowered. Learning is key to successfully walking away from a narcissist. As mentioned before, you have to learn the characteristics so that you can identify them at the moment.

You must also gather your inner-strength and remain assertive about your intent. Likewise, you have to learn how you can begin to detach yourself from this person.

It might help you to read about the effects a narcissist has on another person. This could help you understand why it is so important to walk away.

You can also learn how to safely walk away if you feel physical abuse might occur. There is a way out, and by learning all you can, you will feel stronger and more capable of leaving.

8. Take Steps to Do Things for Yourself

Don’t wait on this person to get things done for you. Usually, they are so busy thinking of themselves that they forget what you’ve asked of them. Learn to do something for yourself, and you will feel empowered.

It will make you healthier and help you realize that you don’t need them as much as you thought you did. If you cannot complete a task yourself, then hire someone, or find a handy neighbor to help you out. The sooner you realize how independent you can be, the sooner you will be ready to walk away.

This doesn’t just pertain to getting things done around the house, either. If you feel stuck because you have no education or work history, begin taking classes or signing up for training. Even if you can only pursue it at a slow pace, it will get you started and empower you.

Before you know it, you will embark on the journey to being more independent. With empowerment comes confidence, and that could lead to you landing the perfect job to help you walk away.

9. Take Control of Your Happiness

You are solely the person to ensure your happiness. When you are unhappy, remind yourself that you are responsible for that, too.

If you continually feel like something is causing you to be unhappy, think of how to change it.  Remember that you are 100% the only one who can make changes in your life. So, if you are unhappy with something, it is your responsibility to change it.

10. Cut Off Contact or Make it as Minimal as Possible

Once you have walked away, it is crucial to stay away. Narcissists have a way of making you believe they will change, but you can’t fall for that. It’s easier said than done, so cutting off contact is the best way to avoid the trap.

If you can’t cut off complete contact, make it as minimal as possible. Only discuss necessary topics, and set boundaries to ensure they don’t try to discuss anything else.

Final Thoughts on Ways to Empower Yourself to Walk Away from a Narcissist

Narcissists are manipulative and controlling, and their behavior can take a considerable toll on your mental health. Even so, it can be hard to walk away. If you can empower yourself, however, you will be able to do it.

Remember that you are tougher than you realize, and you deserve happiness and positivity. Remember these tips for empowerment the next time you are in a toxic situation, and think about your wellbeing.


Therapists Explain 10 Red Flags You’re Dating a Narcissist

Therapists Explain 10 Red Flags You're Dating a Narcissist

If you’ve been in the dating pool for a while, you know how difficult it is to find someone who is honest, genuine, and the best fit for you. Nobody is perfect, but you want to find a love interest who can own up to his mistakes just as well as you can. How do you know if you are dating a narcissist?

There’s a big difference between loving and respecting yourself and being chronically selfish. Narcissism is a broad mental health disorder that makes people believe they are the most important being on the planet, according to therapists. Some of the signs are a grossly inflated ego, refusal to accept responsibility or blame, constant cravings for attention and praise, and disregarding other people’s feelings.

The Myth of the Vain Narcissist

This uncommon personality disorder was named for Narcissus, a character from Greek mythology. According to the story, this child of the river god and a nymph was so beautiful; he fell in love with his reflection in a water pool.

So great was his love that he pined away until he died, leaving a trail of beautiful flowers that still bear his name. Although this is a fictional story, mental health disorder is real.

Types of Narcissism

Psychologists recognize six different types of narcissism, ranging from closeted to psychopathic. This research suggests that a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) may stem from a combination of heredity and environment. While therapy can help this condition, there is no cure.

  • Seductive Narcissist: These narcissists try to win your heart to display it as a trophy.
  • Bully Narcissist: To boost their ego, the bully narcissist puts others down and steps on people to get to the top.
  • Exhibition Narcissist: There’s no guessing about this guy because he proclaims his egocentric tendencies to the world.
  • Secret Narcissist: He may not push his selfish agenda on others, but he secretly believes he is superior and entitled.
  • Toxic Narcissist: The ranges of this narcissistic personality are characterized by chronic drama and a long history of abusive relationships.
  • Psychopathic Narcissist: Not only can this narcissist break your heart, but he could also take your life. Most mass murderers are also psychopathic narcissists without remorse.

Are You Dating a Narcissist?

At first, you may not see that your new love interest has a psychological problem. However, warning signs will soon be evident if he is a narcissist. Here are ten red flags of narcissistic behavior that you shouldn’t ignore.

1. He isn’t Honest About His Marital Status

A narcissist can’t admit a failed relationship, even if he is still in it. Before you get attached to someone, be sure that he is free and not committed to somebody else. Take warning if your new love interest’s social media relationship profile says that he is separated or “it’s complicated.”

Do you want to be the third person in a cheater’s marriage? What does it say about a man or woman who is dating while still married? Regardless of the excuses, this person is lying and cheating. A selfish person doesn’t have the honesty and integrity to be part of a healthy relationship, so run while you can.

2. She Lies and Hides Things

A fulfilling relationship must be based on mutual honesty and trust. If it’s not there, then you’re headed for heartache. You can often tell if you are dating a narcissist if you are constantly catching her in lies. Often, narcissistic people will lie and stretch the truth about insignificant things, like where they bought their car or the fabulous job they had back when.

Sure, everybody has made mistakes and done things in the past that doesn’t make them proud. However, an honest person will have no qualms about being truthful about her past, where she grew up, former marriages, etc. Pay attention if she gets defensive and turns it around on you as if you have trust issues.

3. He Can’t Follow the Rules

There’s nothing wrong with individuality, but the typical narcissist expects the world to run by his rules. He has such a high opinion that he believes he is above the laws and rules of society. If you are dating a narcissist, you may see him ignoring simple laws and mandates “just because he can.”

A person who ignores laws is also apt to disregard morality. Perhaps he thinks it’s nothing to cheat on his taxes or his mate. He may think he is good enough to get away with it but refuse to let him get away with your heart.

4. His Romance is Not Genuine

When you first start dating a narcissist, one thing that gets your attention quickly is his air of romance. He knows precisely what you want to hear and uses a lot of smooth-talking to charm you. In the beginning, he may be generous with gifts and treat you like a queen.

The catch is that when he has captured your heart, the narcissist often loses interest. It’s a game of hunt and chase for him, not a seriously committed relationship. He will soon be on to the next conquest, so nip this selfish game in the bud.

These ten signs unmask an abusive narcissist.

5. She Can’t Respect Boundaries

The celebrated poet, Robert Frost, said it best when he wrote that “good fences make good neighbors.” Boundaries are essential for any relationship, be it family, friends, professional, or social. We all have lines drawn in the sand, and we show mutual respect by not crossing them.

You can often tell if you are dating a narcissist if she refuses to respect yours or anybody else’s boundaries. She may continuously push you beyond your set boundaries for her own selfish needs. If dating is this bad, what would marriage or living together be?

6. He Can’t Show Empathy

Do you have a narcissistic friend or relative who can’t put himself aside for one minute to be concerned about your problems? Therapists concur that people with NPD lack empathy skills. So if you are dating a narcissist, take a hint if he can’t relate to your feelings and tries to push your opinions aside.

This cynical personality not only can’t empathize with others, but he will often try to vie for attention by “one-upping” any of your situations or experiences. He is too busy promoting himself to think about your feelings.

7. She Uses People

How does your new love interest interact with her friends and coworkers? Is her friendship and professional relationships mutually respectful, or are they one-sided? A narcissist is always there when she needs you and is seldom seen rushing to help anyone else, not even her beau.

Does she only react with those who feed her ego and discard people who have no more energy or substance to offer her? Be assured that her intentions aren’t any different for you. Please don’t get caught in her web of selfishness.

8. He Takes No Responsibility for Past Relationships

Nobody can defend a narcissist better than himself, especially in past relationships. In many broken connections, the fault can usually be shared. Of course, this isn’t the case for those who’ve endured an abusive or cheating partner.

When you are dating a narcissist, he may fake honesty about his past relationships. If you believe his narratives, he was always the victim, and past partners were “unstable,” and single-handedly destroyed him. Be even more suspicious of him if he doesn’t want you to talk to his ex-partners to find the truth.

9. He Just Wants a Reputation

Narcissistic people spend a lot of time and energy cultivating a false image. He brags up every aspect of his life to impress others and create a bigger-than-life reputation. He usually isn’t worried about character building, because he will often do what it takes to make himself look good, even if it’s immoral.

If you are dating a narcissist, his chronic boasting should be a red flag. He invents big job titles and unbelievable salaries for every job he’s worked. You name it, he’s done it or owned it. Remember the saying that things that are too good to be true usually aren’t?

10. Your Relationship Is Chronically Unstable

Like everything in life, even the best relationships have their ups and downs. However, you shouldn’t feel like you are always on an emotional roller coaster. When you are dating a narcissist, everything will seem unbalanced.

At first, he may pretend to be all about you, then suddenly he is a ghost for days at a time. It’s easy for him to turn his feelings on and off toward you. Please resist the urge to stay in the relationship to change him, because the chances are that he or she will remain a selfish narcissist.

Final Thoughts on Recognizing a Narcissist

Unfortunately, the narcissistic person will never find someone who he loves more than himself. Consider these tell-tale signs that you are dating someone with unhealthy views of themselves, and walk away with your dignity. You deserve to have someone who will love and care for you as an equal. Meanwhile, the narcissist will be left with the only person in his life who loves him: himself.


10 Signs The Person You’re With Is an Abusive Narcissist

10 Signs The Person You're With Is an Abusive Narcissist

If you find yourself wondering if your new love may be an abusive narcissist, these signs can help. Even if you don’t think they are an abusive narcissist, it’s a good idea to read these signs just to be sure. Either way, knowing these signs could help you or someone else you know.

Narcissists tend to have an unusually high sense of importance and a severe need for attention and admiration. They often have problems in their relationships, including family, friends, and romantic relationships.

Being in a relationship with an abusive narcissist isn’t just demeaning and emotionally draining for you. According to studies, it will cause brain damage over time. It can cause PTSD and C-PTSD, a shrinking hippocampus, and a swelling amygdala.

The hippocampus is essential in learning and development, and the amygdala plays a role in shame, guilt, envy, and fear. With a shrinking hippocampus and a swelling amygdala, you will experience those negative emotions instead of learning and developing. Because of this, it’s essential to recognize the signs of an abusive narcissist so you can end the relationship.

Ten Warning Signs That Your New Love is an Abusive Narcissist

Do you believe you might be falling in love with someone who is not quite as they seemed at first? Now is the time to become brutally honest with yourself–look for these ten red flags.

1. Narcissists Always Turn the Conversation to Themselves

If your new significant other continually talks about themselves, even when the conversation is unrelated, they may be a narcissist. They will love to talk about what they have accomplished so that they can feel better than those around them.

This need is because they want others to think that they are smarter than they are. Not only will they always talk about their accomplishments, but they’ll also exaggerate them. They want to feel superior, so they will make it sound like they have done much more than they have.

If your partner has ever made a conversation about you into one about them, it’s a sign. This habit will show if they don’t ask questions when you tell them something about yourself or your life.

2. They Don’t Show Any Empathy

They may not be able to understand how other people are feeling. If this is the case, it’s a sign of a narcissist. You’ll find yourself feeling invalidated and misunderstood. They won’t accept your feelings, as they can’t understand them or even acknowledge the way you’re feeling.

This could be evident if they don’t care if you’ve had a bad day or had a fight with a friend. If your parents or siblings hurt your feelings, they won’t pay attention. They may say they don’t want to hear about it, change the subject, or just ignore you as you’re speaking.

3. They Try to Gaslight You

As a form of manipulation, an abusive narcissist will try to gaslight you. Narcissists are good at this, so they may succeed if you don’t recognize what is happening. They’ll lie even when caught red-handed, accuse others, exaggerate the truth, and try to convince you along the way.

Even when they have been caught red-handed, they’ll still try to lie. They will stick to their story even when you have proof, and try to convince you that you are wrong.

Eventually, if they are successful at gaslighting you, you’ll start experiencing many negative feelings. You’ll feel anxious and less confident, and you’ll often wonder if you are too sensitive. Additionally, you may feel like the things you do are wrong, and you’ll blame yourself when things don’t work out.

When you’ve been gaslighted enough times, you’ll find yourself apologizing for things that aren’t your fault. You’ll always feel like something is wrong, even if there is no evidence that there is a problem. Plus, you’ll find yourself secretly questioning the behavior of your partner while making excuses for them at the same time.

4. They Were Charming at First but Quickly Changed

At the beginning of the relationship, they may have been super sweet and charming. Frequently, they communicated with you often and were quick to tell you that they love you. Then, suddenly, they became a person who criticized you and made you feel bad about yourself.

Always use caution when entering a relationship because if it moves too quickly, it’s a bad sign. They may not even know enough about you to love you but will say it anyway.

5. They Don’t Have Long-Term Friendships

Most people have a friend from their past that they keep in touch with and continue their relationship for years. They’ll keep in touch even when life has changed, someone has moved, or they don’t see each other often. Narcissists, however, don’t have this.

They also won’t have a best friend that they have known for a long time. You may notice that they talk about their friends behind their backs, too.

Another sign of this is that they’ll start wanting to hang out with you and your friends all the time. They’ll make you feel bad for wanting to hang out with them alone, and they will criticize your friends, too.

The lack of long-term friendships could stem from a narcissist trait of only treating people well when they want something. Once they have received what they wanted from the person, they begin to distance themselves. If they don’t distance themselves first, the other person will begin to notice the signs and end the friendship.

6. Abusive Narcissists Think They are Always Right and Never Apologize

It’s bad enough when someone thinks they are always right, but add in the inability to apologize, and you have a toxic mix. You won’t be able to effectively argue or debate with them, and they definitely won’t compromise.

They will not be able to let it go if you disagree with them, either. They will keep at it until they think you changed your mind. You may often feel like your partner doesn’t hear or understand you and that they won’t take responsibility.

Their inability to apologize will appear in everyday situations. If they show up for dinner late or don’t call when they said they would, they won’t apologize. They may cancel at the last minute for plans that are important to you, and they still won’t apologize.

7. They are Always Looking for Compliments

Narcissists tend to appear confident in themselves, but they aren’t. Most narcissists lack self-esteem and constantly look for compliments to make them feel better.

They often need compliments to make them feel powerful and to give them a sense of self-worth. It’s also worth noting that when someone criticizes them, narcissists don’t take it very well. Then, they’ll need ever more compliments to make them feel better about themselves.

8. Abusive Narcissists Often Criticize Others

To feel better about themselves, narcissists put other people down. They will go out of their way to make someone feel or look bad. In this way, their lack of self-confidence pushes them to make others feel as bad as they do.

9. They Pick on You and Criticize You Often

At the beginning of a relationship with a narcissist, they will make it seem like teasing. They’ll put a cute twist on it and laugh about it, making it seem like a joke. Further into the relationship, however, that could suddenly change.

Narcissists tend to criticize and poke fun at things that those close to them do. It could be about what you wear, eat, drink, read, or your friends. They might have a problem with your favorite shows or your hobby.

What may begin as playful comments about these things will become much worse. They will start insulting you by calling you names or making mean comments. Jokes that aren’t funny will become normal, all because it makes them feel more powerful than you.

10. They Don’t Take a Break-Up Well

While it’s true that most people don’t take break-ups well, narcissists take it to the next level. They may have spent time being mean, ignoring, or gaslighting you, but then panic when you end the relationship. This is simply because they have to feel powerful, so they will do and say whatever it takes to keep you.

They may cry, tell you over and over again how much they love you, and say all the right things. Promises of change are sure to come, and they may seem sincere. Just remember how suddenly things changed before, however, because it will happen again.

If you don’t cave to their pleas and promises of change, they’ll try to hurt you even more. They will feel abandoned by you and feel rage or hatred. This is because they can’t take responsibility for the problems in your relationship, so they place the blame on you.

Don’t be surprised if you hear about them saying bad things about you to make themselves look good. They may likely begin dating someone new right away, too. Sometimes, they may even try to steal your friends to save their reputation.

Final Thoughts on Recognizing the Warning Signs That Your New Love Is An Abusive Narcissist

If your new love is an abusive narcissist, you have more to worry about than just having your feelings hurt. As explained before, continued narcissistic abuse can cause PTSD or brain damage.

Your mental health is more worthy of your energy than the feelings of your new partner, so put yourself first in this instance. Keep in mind that showing you are upset will only fuel the narcissist. They love to get an emotional rise out of the person they are abusing.

Instead, end the relationship firmly and don’t give in to their pleas and empty promises. Don’t stick around for an argument, because you can’t win against a narcissist. Instead, say what you must say to the abusive narcissist and remove yourself from the situation.


5 Red Flags That Reveal a Malignant Narcissist

5 Red Flags That Reveal a Malignant Narcissist

A malignant narcissist is a term applied to the most severe form of narcissistic personality disorder. This person feels an absolute need for full power. Couple that compulsive need to control others with a demand to be the center of attention. The combination makes this person intolerable to those around him or her.

The Meaning Behind the Term “Narcissism”

For those who are curious about where the term narcissism comes from, it is derived from Greek mythology. Furthermore, it is an interpolation of the name Narkissos, a young Greek man who was quite enamored with himself.

According to the mythical tale, Narkissos was the object of affection for Echo, a nymph who repeatedly professed her love. He rejected her adorations. Narkissos was so taken with himself that he would often spend hours and even days admiring his handsome reflection in various lakes. He believed that nobody, including Echo, was worthy of him.

While this is a fascinating story in Greek mythology, narcissism is, in fact, a real personality disorder. More than that, it is one that can quickly spiral out of control if an individual doesn’t seek treatment from a licensed mental health professional.

malignant narcissist

What Is a Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Now that we have a little more background relative to where the term narcissism came from let’s take a moment to learn more about what it means to have a narcissistic personality disorder. First and foremost, narcissism is classified as a cluster B personality disorder.

Individuals with this disorder often seek admiration from others but will seldom offer it in return. Further, they tend to prioritize self-importance above the needs and wants of others, including their friends and family.

Another hallmark of those with this particular disorder is a lack of empathy. Something else to note when it comes to narcissistic personality disorders is that they are surprisingly common in America, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The same study published by the National Institutes of Health also revealed that narcissistic personality disorders account for 20.2 percent of all mental health disorders in America.

The Primary Signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

That said, it is abundantly clear that there is a significant difference between having high self-esteem and equally high self-confidence and having a narcissistic personality disorder. Along with a preoccupation with one’s self and a constant need for admiration and validation, individuals with a narcissistic personality disorder will also exhibit behaviors that are in line with the diagnostic criteria 301.81 per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). These behaviors often include the following:

  • Jealousy
  • Arrogance
  • A tendency to exaggerate one’s talents, achievements, or both
  • Remaining in a perpetual state of fantasy in terms of achieving or maintaining success and power
  • A tendency to be interpersonally exploitative

Indeed, narcissism, as a mental health disorder, can quickly push away friends and family while turning an individual’s life on its head. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent these things from happening if one can recognize the signs of the disorder and also seek treatment from a licensed therapist.

malignant narcissistThe Different Types of Narcissistic Personality Disorders

Studies show that there are three subtypes when it comes to narcissistic personality disorders. And they include overt, covert, and exhibitionist. To better understand how each of these subtypes can impact an individual’s life, it helps to take a look at each of them individually:

The Overt or Malignant Narcissist

Also known as a “malignant narcissist,” this type of narcissistic personality disorder is one that often coexists with other psychological comorbidities, such as avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

It is important to note that overt narcissistic personality disorders are also quite common among those who engage in substance abuse. While there are many others, constant feelings of anger and hostility are two of the more notable signs that an individual might be struggling with an overt narcissistic personality disorder.

You may also hear this described as “grandiose” narcissism.

Covert Narcissism

Individuals with an overt narcissistic personality disorder are also struggling with comorbidities that make matters worse, some of which include anxiety and depression. Further, many also have low self-esteem. And to combat these feelings of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, they are often very critical of others. In essence, they build themselves up while subtly berating and tearing others down.


An exhibitionist narcissistic personality disorder is generally not accompanied by psychological comorbidities.

However, there is one exception. In times of crisis, such as a failed relationship or losing a job, for example, individuals with an exhibitionist narcissistic personality disorder may display signs of entitlement issues. It is also not uncommon for them to become self-centered and less empathetic toward others as they go through these crises.

What Is the Worst Type of Narcissism?

Any variation of a narcissistic personality disorder can have a profound impact on one’s life. The NPD diagnosis also impacts to mention the lives of those around them. Some are worse than others. And this is especially the case when it comes to malignant narcissists in that they are very anti-social and extremely paranoid.

What’s more, they derive a perverse pleasure in acting out aggressively and engaging in acts of sadism, especially when it comes to sexual gratification, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, one of the oldest monthly peer-reviewed medical journals. That said, most psychologists and psychiatrists will agree that malignant narcissists are not only a danger to themselves but also to other people in their life.

toxic people meme

How to Tell If You’re Dealing With a Malignant Narcissist

Having established that malignant narcissism is the worst out of the three narcissistic personality disorders, let’s take a moment to recap the five signs that could reveal someone you know might have such a disorder:

1. Extreme Anti-Social Behavior

Although anti-social behavior is often associated with shyness, malignant narcissists are known to take things a step further. Their behavior is a peculiar mix of anti-social and narcissistic traits.

They will often isolate themselves because they believe that others are not worthy of their time, friendship, or attention. And in those rare instances when they do allow others into their life, they will try to manipulate or exploit them for their own gratification, according to Dr. Daniel Fox, a licensed psychologist, international speaker, and author located in Texas.

2. Sadism

Arguably one of the most identifiable signs of a malignant narcissist is sadism. Most people will feel and display some degree of empathy when someone they know is depressed or going through a difficult time in their life. On the other hand, a malignant narcissist is the opposite in that they feel more powerful when others struggle. And this is especially true if they played a role in the person’s misery.

Undoubtedly, most people will perceive this type of behavior as mean-spirited. It is akin to kicking someone while they are down. However, it is part and parcel when it comes to malignant narcissism, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, a quarterly academic journal providing information on topics related to psychiatry in America.

3. Malicious Plotting Against Friends and Family

Malicious plotting against an enemy is not unusual. Let’s be honest. A large percentage of people will look for ways to get back at someone who has wronged them.

However, those who engage in malignant narcissism will adopt the same mindset when it comes to friends and family. This behavior occurs even if the loved one didn’t do anything to justify such actions. Some of the more common forms of malicious plotting include lying and manipulation, which are both carried out with a high degree of sophistication.

4. Aggressive Behavior

Although aggressive behavior, for some people, commonly associates with anger. However, it is also another telling sign that you might be dealing with a malignant narcissist. Along with verbal altercations, individuals with this disorder will also engage in acts of physical violence without provocation. This behavior further explains why most psychiatrists consider this variation of narcissistic personality disorder the worst.

According to Craig Malkin, a clinical psychologist and lecturer at the famed Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, the aggressive behavior of individuals with a malignant-based narcissistic personality disorder is often a blend of the following:

  • Sadism
  • Psychopathy
  • Machiavellianism

5. Psychopathy

In some cases, a malignant narcissist might behave in such a way that blends seemingly innocuous narcissism with dangerous psychopathy. And this unique combination removes the guilt that they would otherwise feel when they harm or manipulate others.

This same combination of psychopathy and narcissism can also give way to verbal and physical altercations. And when things get to this point, most individuals with this disorder tend to be very cold and calculating when it comes to their verbal or physical attacks.

malignant narcissistFinal Thoughts on Malignant Narcissists

In summary, there is a world of difference between having a healthy, positive self-image and having a narcissistic personality disorder. Of course, any variation of the mental disorder is troubling. However, it is reasonably safe to say that the malignant narcissist is the most dangerous type. After all, it is as close as someone can get to being a psychopath without officially being diagnosed as one.