Despite our understanding of the psychopathology that produced the narcissistic personality disorder, we turn our attention to the sociopathic narcissist, a disorder that is growing in numbers in our current societal climate.
Pathological narcissism is a continuum. At it farthest reach we are dealing with individuals who are more closely aligned with the anti-social personality----those who eclipse and even destroy the lives of others.
There is a dark persistence to the narcissist's attempt to control and manipulate others. If you are a family member and share their private lives (out of the glare of their public image) you face the ugliness of their ongoing perverse intimidations, enraged outbursts, and damning humiliations very day. If you were to tell those who work for and with him/her, that this person is simply dreadful in private, these individuals would label you as highly delusional and a candidate for intense psychotherapy, psychotropic drugs, even psychiatric hospitalization. The narcissist's seamless facade is so convincing that they often fool the most psychologically sophisticated people.
Sociopathic narcissists are chameleons who change their colors and stripes, their facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures, even their walking gaits as they smoothly transform into the person everyone wants to talk to, swap stories and eventually do a business deal. The narcissist himself is so convinced by his act that he can make it real as it is occurring. He has been in the wings rehearsing his lines since babyhood.
There is a point at which the repeated treacherous acts of the sociopathic narcissist becomes evil. This is particularly the case when they throw away their children if they don't fit the bill of perfectly mirroring the narcissistic parent. Some children of narcissists, if they are chosen early to be the successful golden ones, go along with the grandiose delusion and become budding narcissists. They are so impressed with what dad has achieved, regardless of his unethical and illegal means, that they want to become just like him. Their model from early childhood has been a person of no conscience who has succeeded with irresistible charm, overwhelming pressure, limitless control over others, constant intimidations and threats and extraordinary feats of cruelty that prey on the vulnerabilities and weakness of their own family members in an attempt to break them. In many cases these sociopathic narcissists succeed in dissembling the lives of their siblings psychologically, emotionally and financially. This poison that they spray that penetrates the lives of those close to them repeatedly-----is evil. I don't believe in the devil but I have felt evil around me many times, smelled its foul breath and felt the gravitational pull of the dark whirlpool and undertow of its dynamic.
These human devils wear many wardrobes--they are articulate and charming, seductive and gifted in their lies and manipulations. They know exactly how and where to press our need and vulnerability buttons. They plot on how they will corner us like a lion on the Serengeti stalking the tall grasses for the gazelle who is faltering. In the case of animals, this is inborn nature. In the case of sociopathic narcissists, this is psychopathology which adds evil to the mix.
To protect yourself and prevail over the sociopathic narcissist, take the time and delve deeply into knowing yourself and all of your own dark corners. Study and learn about the childhood beginnings, psychodynamics, common games and malicious plots of the sociopathic narcissist. Work on your psychological boundaries, bolster your intuition, stay in touch with your solid self that cannot be put off track or mesmerized by anyone. Visit my website; www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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