Aggressive narcissists are a special breed. They don’t just think highly of themselves. And they’re more than self-centered. Moreover, their lack of empathy goes beyond just not caring about you. I believe these folks are best categorized as aggressive personalities. That’s because their overall style of relating is more than just egomanical. It’s distinctively aggressive. (See: Beyond Mere Narcissism: The Aggressive Personalities.)
Sometimes, these personalities aggress openly, even violently. Other times, they aggress subtly, surreptitiously. And there are several major types of them, each having their own troubling characteristics. I’ve written about each type before. See, for example:
- Demeaning as a Lifestyle: The Sadistic Aggressive
- Powers To Be Reckoned With: The Channeled Aggressors
- Understanding The Psychopathy Spectrum
And, of course, my book In Sheep’s Clothing was the first to unmask the covert aggressors among us. These are the folks out to get the better of you while looking benign doing it. It’s unfortunate that some these days refer to these types as covert narcissists. They’re way more than narcissistic. They’re aggressors to be sure, out to win, sometimes at all costs. However, they are subtle, cunning, underhanded, and clever in the way they go about it.
Most aggressive personalities are also narcissistic. But not all narcissists are aggressor types. One example is the “amorous” type of narcissist. (See: Amorous Narcissists Can Charm Convincingly.) While some of these narcissists can be highly problematic, most are relatively benign. Amorous narcissists just want you to think highly of them. Sometimes, they want to be adulated or adored. That may be because they don’t think highly enough of themselves. (These are the classic “neurotic” or “compensatory” types.) And that makes them dependent on the approval of others. But other times they just can’t get enough love. Ant that’s problematic in itself.
Amorous narcissists can act in a manner that makes you think they really love you. Many have the gift of charm. And they can show great interest in you, which is inherently flattering. But as I’ve written before, someone’s sincere interest in you does not equate with genuine love. (See: Mistaking Interest for Regard in Relationships.) And sometimes their interest in you is much less about wanting to meet your needs and much more about seducing you into meeting theirs.
An amorous narcissist’s interest in you can be powerfully seductive, even addictive. (See: Narcissistic Infatuation Can Seem Like Love.) But usually, their interest in you is rooted in one of two things:
- Something about you reminds them of themselves. They really don’t love you for yourself. Rather, they love the reflection of themselves they see in you. (See also: Toxic Self-Love.)
- They actually see you for who you are and recognize your value. And to possess you or secure your affection makes them feel even more special. That’s why they try to charm their way into your heart.
More Dangerous Types
Aggressive narcissists are a more dangerous character type. And next week I’ll be revisiting all the aggressive personality types, focusing in particular on the sadistic type.