Malignant Narcissists Use and Abuse Remorselessly

Use and Abuse of Others

All narcissistic individuals use and abuse others to some extent. But malignant narcissists will use and abuse you without compunction or remorse. And often, there’s no limit to the degree that they’ll do so. That’s because they lack empathy. (See also:  Narcissism and Empathy Capacity.) And their lack of empathy makes an already bad situation worse.

Disturbed characters of all types might experience regret for some of their actions. But regret is always about what someone’s decisions might have cost them personally. Remorse is something quite different. It’s about feeling bad for hurting someone else. A person can regret something they’ve done (especially if they’ve had to pay a hefty price for it) but still have no remorse. (See also: Shame, Guilt, Regret, Remorse, and Contrition.)

The use and abuse of others has become chillingly common these days. And that’s because there’s so much character dysfunction in the world. Too many folks these days have failed to outgrow the natural tendency we all have toward self-centeredness, egoism, and self-serving ambition. To put it more succinctly, there are too many folks out there with underdeveloped consciences. And such folks inevitably treat others poorly. They use and abuse others in a variety of ways. And the more lacking in conscience a person is, the more serious their abusive ways are likely to be. Moreover, a person lacking in both conscience and empathy is capable of all manner of victimization.

When It’s Subtle

Subtle use and abuse can be as simple as striking up a relationship with someone because they have money, the connections that can help advance a career, or the physical or social “looks” to boost one’s own image. People establish relationships for many reasons. And in our character-impaired times, too often the reasons are other than genuine positive regard for the other person.

There is a spectrum of use and abuse when it comes to relationships. And that spectrum mirrors the spectrum of character disturbance. Mildly disturbed characters tend to subtly and sparingly use and abuse. Severely disordered characters, on the other hand, maliciously and egregiously victimize. And predator types establish relationships primarily to exploit and victimize. I discuss predator types extensively in all my books. And I’ll be talking about that more on the next installment of the “New” Character Matters.

See also:

Protecting Yourself

Conscientious folks hate to judge harshly or wrongly. They tend to see the best in others and want to assume the best. Unfortunately, that’s risky in modern times. It’s arguably easier than ever to acquire the skills fundamental to practically navigating the world. But it’s harder than ever to forge good character and to find a partner with the qualities essential to forging a healthy and lasting relationship. That’s why I’ve written my books. And I’ll be talking more about use and abuse on Character Matters, as I wrap up the series on malignant narcissists. Access the most recent podcast here.

Another Online Interview

I’ve recently given another online interview. You can access my interview with Pi Venus Winslow of Trusting After Trauma here (but you’ll have to register with the host’s blogsite).

 

5 thoughts on “Malignant Narcissists Use and Abuse Remorselessly

  1. “Subtle use and abuse can be as simple as striking up a relationship with someone because they have money, the connections that can help advance a career, or the physical or social “looks” to boost one’s own image.”

    This is what I still struggle to understand: How are these narcissists able to tolerate being around someone they despise year after year, just to get what they want?

    For me, I don’t want anything from someone I can’t stand. I may not have a choice but to be around someone and be civil, if they are family, co-workers, neighbors, etc. But I would not go out of my way to get close to them; I would not communicate with them beyond that which is absolutely necessary.

    But these narcissists, they constantly seek to be in contact with you, even when they have a choice not to, just to get what they want. But their hatred for you eventually leaks through.

    It seems that getting things is more important to them than being true to themselves and establishing genuine relationships.

    1. To E,

      “This is what I still struggle to understand: How are these narcissists able to tolerate being around someone they despise year after year, just to get what they want?”

      I think they get what they really want somewhere else but they need to attach themselves to someone respectable. Someone who boosts their image. I realized it years after my first marriage broke down, I was non compliant so that wasn’t going to work for him. He found a more malleable personality until boredom set in. Behind the scenes he’d be with anything and anyone to boost his ego. I’ve witnessed it in our family too. It’s horrible to watch the duplicity, but most people have to realize what’s going on for themselves. Narcissists have the ability to tear families apart without a backward glance, just to make themselves look good? They manage to make the victim look like the one to blame. It is so mentally destructive and I wish they taught this in schools to teenagers who are so easily manipulated in their first relationships.

      1. E,
        To address your question, they are not normal. I couldn’t be in an intimate relationship, share my life, have children with someone I didn’t love but somehow they manage to convince themselves on some level that they do love us? I don’t know. It is so mind boggling.

  2. E,
    To address your question, they are not normal. I couldn’t be in an intimate relationship, share my life, have children with someone I didn’t love but somehow they manage to convince themselves on some level that they do love us? I don’t know. It is so mind boggling.

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