Would you be able to identify a malignant narcissist? We’re often so confident in our ability to label someone a narcissist, even when we’re wrong.
You don’t want to be someone who falls into this person’s trap, because you’re scared of what it could do to your mental health. You don’t want to carry this burden with you, even after you were able to move on from him.
That’s why it’s so important for you to understand the signs that you’re talking to a malignant narcissist before it’s too late. It’s better to be safe than sorry. That’s why we’re here to give you a little heads-up before things escalate beyond repair.
What is a malignant narcissist?
Before we talk about the ways you can identify him, maybe it’s better to start with a little explanation of what a malignant narcissist actually is.
It’s just as bad as it sounds. This type of narcissist is someone who enjoys manipulating and abusing others. He lies to get his way, he thrives on someone else’s discomfort, and he doesn’t feel any remorse while doing so.
However, you catch yourself at times wondering if you’re dealing with someone with a disorder, or if he is simply a bad person at his core. At times, you’re fascinated with his confidence, but in the end, it looks more like arrogance than anything.
This disorder is characterized by an inflated sense of self, and the individual experiences this by putting themselves above anyone else with their need for power and admiration. Does this seem like the man you’re talking to right now?
11 ways to identify a malignant narcissist
1. He doesn’t handle criticism well
Considering everything that you know about narcissists and everything that you’ve read about up until this point, you’re able to understand that narcissists believe that they can’t do anything wrong.
A malignant narcissist believes that criticism doesn’t apply to him. So, whenever you bring up an issue with this man, all that he does is turn the entire story around to make you feel bad for even thinking that he could do something wrong.
He genuinely doesn’t understand why you’d even think that he’s able to do something wrong. A malignant narcissist can’t comprehend that, not because he doesn’t want to, but because his disorder won’t allow him to.
2. He lashes out easily
If a malignant narcissist feels like he’s being attacked, he’ll lash out immediately. He won’t even try to understand your point of view or understand that his actions have consequences.
He’ll lash out and even become aggressive if that means that he’ll get his way at the end of the day.
This man will start throwing things around, he’ll raise his voice, the veins on his forehead will pop out, and he won’t be able to stop himself from wanting to inflict pain on you. All of this happens in a matter of seconds. You probably weren’t even able to see this coming.
3. He cares about his appearance a bit too much
Everyone cares about their appearance. Everyone wants to look their best in certain situations, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Wanting to look good doesn’t make you a narcissist!
However, this man takes it to a whole new level. He’s always trying to look his best. He takes care of his beard, his hair, his clothes, and even his shoes. A malignant narcissist will spend more money than he ever has just to look the best that he can.
He gets a lot of compliments for his looks, so why would he stop? This is very specific for a malignant narcissist, simply because he doesn’t go a day without making sure that he looks his best.
4. He perceives others as inferior
A malignant narcissist has a huge ego. He doesn’t believe that someone could find him to be inferior to anyone, so he believes that he’s above anyone and anything.
Whenever your opinion is different from his, even if you have facts on your side, he couldn’t care less. He believes that he’s right and that you’re stupid for disagreeing with him.
You probably feel like he’s always looking down on you even when you know that you’re smarter in certain aspects.
5. He lacks empathy
“My grandma passed away… She was like a second mother to me. I don’t know how I’m going to get over it.”
When something like this happens, you’d expect someone to be there for you. You’d expect them to hold you and to comfort you, but what does a malignant narcissist do instead?
“Boo-hoo, we’ll all die eventually. Stop whining about it, it’s not like you didn’t expect that to happen.”
That’s what a narcissist would say in this situation. He may pretend to care for a moment, but when you turn your attention to your family instead of him, he’ll start being a complete douchebag instead of comforting you because you’re going through a traumatic experience.
I mean, a narcissist only has self-loathing up his sleeve. He probably never felt empathy for anyone.
6. He manipulates conversations to go in his favor
Even if you’re completely distraught about something that happened, even if you’re trying to be as understanding and respectful as possible, he’ll turn the conversation around.
Normally, you’d want parts of his behavior to change for the better. You’d want your relationship to rise to another level, but he’ll only do it on his terms. Why would he care about your feelings?
When the conversation is over, you’ll feel empty and confused. You have no tears left to cry, but you know that something isn’t right. He was able to manipulate your words in a way that benefits his needs, and you even agreed to things that you thought you never would.
That’s how a narcissist is able to manipulate conversations in his favor.
7. He blames you for his awful actions
“I only did it because you made me!”
“Do you really believe that I’d do that if it wasn’t for the way you treated me?!”
Do those sentences sound familiar? This man made sure to turn the entire story around just to make you seem like the villain. He’s not able to take accountability for his actions, because, in his mind, he’s perfect.
If there’s a slight chance that he might be in the wrong, then he’ll turn the entire thing around and make you the villain of his story.
8. He easily takes advantage of others to get his way
A malignant narcissist doesn’t shy away from lying and manipulating people just to get what he wants. He’ll even lie on a job application if that means he’ll get the position.
This also means that he’ll lie to people about the things that he’s been through just to get some sympathy, or to make himself seem like the victim. However, he’s just doing that to take advantage of the people around him. He won’t bat an eye when it comes to deceiving people and making them believe that he’s the hero of a story if that means that he’ll get the desired admiration from them.
9. He constantly craves validation and admiration
A malignant narcissist can’t live without the praise of others. Whatever he does, he wants to know that others see him for the person that he’s trying to be.
He wants everyone to know how amazing he is. A narcissist can’t live without the validation of others, even if he seems so confident at times, that confidence only comes from the affirmations of other people.
That’s why he’ll post everything he does on social media, and he’ll always brag about his achievements, to make sure that everyone gives him a pat on the back and talks about him as such a big inspiration.
10. He takes revenge on people
When someone does something bad to a normal person, they usually let it go. They move on with their lives! However, a malignant narcissist isn’t able to let go of things that easily. He holds grudges for a very long time.
So, even if you break up with him because he was too much for you to handle, he’ll find a way to take revenge on you. Even if a coworker deserves a position more than him, he’ll make sure to sabotage them so that he can get that promotion.
He sees everything as a personal attack, and he’ll make sure that you regret it.
11. He’s happy when you’re upset
A malignant narcissist lives for praise, but he also lives for the moments when he’s able to make someone cry. For example, he’ll go to extreme lengths just to make you upset. He doesn’t care that you’re crying, in fact, he’s happy that he got that reaction out of you.
This tells him that he has full control over you and that he can do whatever he pleases. If he didn’t have that power, then you wouldn’t react in such a manner.
That’s why your tears are a sign of his power to him.