Amiable Narcissists Are Still Narcissists and Not Lovers

Amiable Narcissists

Amiable narcissists are unique characters. They make positive impressions readily and easily. And they can be particularly charming and likable. They make connections as easily as they curry others’ favor. And their generally congenial manner suggests much warmth. They come across as lovers. But they’re not. Genuine lovers care about you. Narcissists can only really care about themselves.

Amiable narcissists often have incredible seduction power. They can capture your heart without half trying. But will they genuinely respect or care for that heart? More importantly, can they?

Most amiable narcissists are of the “vulnerable” major variety. (See also: Two Main Varieties of Narcissists.) That makes them relatively more benign than Grandiose Narcissists. And some are of the “amorous” subtype. Others are the archetypal “thief of hearts.” But whatever type they are, they’re still narcissists. And that means they’ll inevitably use and exploit you.

Like all narcissists, amiable narcissists want your adulation and attention. That bolsters their desire to feel important and powerful. They know how to make you feel good about yourself, too. And they generally do that through ego massage. (See also: The Amorous Vulnerable Covert Narcissist.)

Respecting the Spectrum

Character Disturbance was groundbreaking because it exposed the broadness of the character pathology spectrum. Character disturbance is truly the phenomenon of our times. But few still recognize it as a true spectrum phenomenon. Disturbed characters are plentiful. But they vary as to both type and degree. Some types are obvious trouble. Their manner of relating is unabashedly offensive. So most folks stay away from such types. It’s the not so obvious types you have to be particularly careful of. They’ll charm and seduce you, for sure. But in the end, they’ll take you for everything you’re worth.

It seems everyone these days is an expert on character dysfunction. That’s particularly true when it comes to narcissism. But when it comes to character dysfunction one size (or description) does not fit all. And as broad as the character disturbance spectrum is, the narcissistic spectrum is even broader.

There are many folks out there with narcissism in their character. But only a handful are so egregiously offensive that it’s obvious you should beware. That’s partly why I wrote How Did We End Up Here?

I’ll have more to say on the narcissism spectrum in the coming weeks. And I’ll be linking the topic to the “commandments” I’ve been talking about on Character Matters. Follow this link to the latest podcast.

2 thoughts on “Amiable Narcissists Are Still Narcissists and Not Lovers

  1. I appreciate this post. It does seems that everyone and their brother is an expert on narcissism these days. Your work was pivotal to my recovery a few years back in that when I saw that the genesis of my abuser’s treatment of me was a character problem, my decision tree became apparent.

    The vogueness of the topic of narcissism has spawned a whole cottage industry that, at first glance, appears to be totally altruistic and helping, but (in my opinion) doesn’t always pass a gut check.

    If you call abuse what is it (a character problem) there’s less need for all those special self appointed gurus selling all their books, programs, and ‘insider’ information.

    King Solomon said it best, ‘ There’s nothing new under the sun.’

    There’s always been people lacking in character. People without character have always done bad things to others. But anyone (including academia) labeling bad behavior as pathology or minimizing the heinousness of it by referring to it as primarily a personality issue does a great disservice to the victims of abuse. Evil is evil.

  2. I find that with the current cult of humanistic philosophy that theres an excuse for everything. Good is evil and evil is good. How can one understand right vs wrong if wrong is defined as right? I’m not talking about black and white thinking but rather a foundation of truth. If the foundation of truth is whatever the current culture says it is then anything goes.

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