Dealing With A Malignant Narcissist

Posted by Dr. Carrie Barron on January 2, 2013

Recently I turned on the television and caught five minutes of an interview with a celebrity.  She, a divorcee, was asked why she fights with her husband in front of the children and was she not thinking about the impact.  She tried to explain that she did not want to fight but it was impossible not to because her ex provokes altercations, violates court agreements and sabotages every bit of joy she tries to build with the children and otherwise.  She can’t live with his transgressions, but if she protests or tries to protect what is important to her, the conversation escalates, the situation regresses and she is seen as equally base. 

Eventually she broke down and said all she wanted was peace.  It seems that this ex has been diagnosed with malignant narcissism, which is a personality disorder.  In short, this means that the person is grandiose, lacking conscience and enjoys cruelty and sadism.  Such persons can be charming, friendly, charismatic and kind about little things, so it can be hard to grasp their destructiveness. They make others suffer, do not suffer themselves and yet wear a persecuted game face.

Trying to hold back tears, she said,  “The courts need to be educated.” My heart went out to her.

Malignant narcissists do not need sympathy. This only encourages their transgressions.  Understanding that they have a drive to cause harm and addressing their manipulations is important for all concerned.