Aggressive narcissism defines the most problematic style relating to other humans. It’s a particularly virulent form of narcissism. But unfortunately, after decades of self-indulgence and egocentrism in modern culture, all forms of narcissism have become very common – a character pandemic of sorts. Moreover, we’re so used to it we barely notice it until we’ve been significantly victimized by it. (See also: Narcissism Desensitization Impairs Recognition.)
Aggressive narcissism finds expression in many forms. Some of those forms are so subtle or concealed that they defy detection until it’s too late. Other forms are more obvious, yet still almost impossible to avoid.
In my books and other writings, I describe aggressive narcissists as aggressive personalities. And I also explain the unique modi operandi of each of the major sub-types. In In Sheep’s Clothing, I was the first to unmask one of these types, the covert-aggressive. These days, many refer to such folks as covert-narcissists. But the problem with that label is that it hinders a proper understanding of narcissism. Narcissists are bad actors, all right. But aggressive personalities are very different, although they’re most often inherently narcissistic, too.
The Aggressive Personalities
I’ve written extensively on aggressive narcissists and how they operate. Here is just a sampling of the many articles on the topic that you can access on the blog:
- Aggressive Personalities: Part 1
- The Aggressive Personalities: An Upcoming Refresher Course
- Aggressive Personalities: The Sub-Types
But in the coming weeks I’m going to be revisiting these personalities in a way that will hopefully help folks understand why and how some character disturbances go well beyond narcissism. I’ll also be exploring personality and character disturbances and disorders in greater depth. And I’ll be highlighting how narcissism plays a role in a variety of character disturbances.
Some Important Announcements
The Spanish Language Edition of In Sheep’s Clothing is arriving at distributors and is ready for pre-purchase on Amazon. Lobos Con Piel De Cordero has been a long time in the making. And as more Spanish speakers discover my work and this blog, we’ll be posting some supplementary content in Spanish from time to time.
Editing is nearing completion for the first new podcasts of Character Matters. Look for an announcement in mid-February about how to access them on YouTube or other platforms. You’ll also be able to access them by going to the Character Matters page.
8 thoughts on “Aggressive Narcissism Has Many Forms”
Really looking forward to the upcoming segments. If you could also suggest effective strategies for responding to these folks at the same time, that would be very helpful. Often I find that I can recognize them, but sometimes wonder if I’m responding in the most effective way.
Looking back on my experiences with narcissism; one ex husband who manipulated me into a marriage at a very young age (the first week was ok), two SILs, a disowned brother, and a DIL that beats all DILs proves I’ve only known covertly aggressive narcissists.
The father of the bride toasted his daughter at her wedding and said,
“She will do anything to get what she wants.”
To us they became validating words. It encompassed her personality from tearing down relationships to cheating at miniature golf. Narcissist’s do nothing unless it’s to their benefit.
Mindful, in my early days of researching narcissism I scoured and read anything I could find on how to react in the moment to comments that are outright lies, that blame, deflect and so forth. The consistent advice has always been to not engage, walk away, stay calm, go no contact if possible. We’ve had to do all of these to rid ourselves of sleepless nights and get healthy again.
I would’ve loved to have had a phrase to stop them in their tracks but they don’t hear us.
I don’t think there is any way you can speak to a narc. about what they are doing or even “I” statements regarding how it makes you feel. I think the only alternative is to disconnect. They are so good at turning things around and blaming you so they don’t take responsibility. I’m glad I don’t have a narc co-worker, I would need to learn how to protect myself, that would be very stressful.
Oh how I’d like all that time back I’ve spent ruminating, questioning what I did or said, instead of questioning what the narcs in my life said and did.
Wouldn’t it be great if basic phycology was taught in school, and the soul sucking traits of narcissism were identified?
The plus is that we are aware and we know what we need to do. With all the manipulators in the world, it’s a continuous lesson. I am not to the point where I can identify someone quickly, but if my gut tells me something is wrong, I really need to be on high alert. It took a couple months with my last manipulative person I was in contact with. I didn’t want my assessment to be about my own stuff and I tend to doubt myself too much, but once I figured it out that narc was out of my life. No point in sticking around because all they do is damage and their manipulations just eventually tear you down.
Has anyone thought about the psychopathy and evil behind those who cooked up some of the conspiracy theories which are patently false? To be sure, there is plenty of conspiring that goes on in this world, but I’m thinking of the guys who create spectacle by promoting the beliefs such as the the earth is flat, the vaccines are actually made to microchip people, or the people who invaded the Capital a month ago, some of whom truly believed select public figures were eating babies and running child sex trafficking rings.
How many will sit in prison because they were deeply deceived by such lies on the internet? Some of those who were picked up by the FBI genuinely believed they were doing good and that Congressmen were baby-eaters and child sex traffickers. One arrested individual had previously financed a billboard ad to try and spread awareness about the child sex trafficking.
I guess the origin of one of these conspiracy theory fringe groups traces to some guy on the East Coast who wanted to write novels. Real world consequences to him and his life? Nope.
What about pornographers? Aggressive narcissism and sociopathy is what I see.
In the end, it’s all demons doing demonic things. Wicked people being evil.
Fundamentally, it comes down to whether or not a person fears God. If a person has no fear of God in their heart, what is there to keep them from being a savage in life, aside from fear of prison?
Happy Birthday Dr. Simon!
Hope you enjoyed your special day!
Yes, Happy Birthday to Dr. Simon! The man who has equipped victims with information and validation and empowered them to give themselves better chances in changed circumstances and to benefit their lives as best as possible!