The Spectrum of Manipulators
Manipulators come in several varieties. That’s because character disturbance exists along a spectrum. Some people manipulate relatively unwittingly. (They have some degree of conscience. So, their unconscious defenses keep them in the dark.) But some manipulators know exactly what they’re doing and why. These folks are more purely character-impaired. They lack conscience, and they lack heart. And while most folks manipulate for practical purposes, some do it for pure enjoyment. Some characters simply like toying with you.
Malignant narcissists lack empathy. Empathy deficiency lies at the core of psychopathy (alt: sociopathy). (See also: Malignant Narcissism: At the Core of Psychopathy.) And manipulators with psychopathic characteristics can manipulate for sport. For such folks, toying with others is fun. It also makes them feel powerful. And it makes them feel superior. It can also give them a “rush”
When it Gets Truly Sick
Some psychopaths have sadistic features as well. Such folks enjoy making people suffer. They especially like to watch others grovel. It makes them feel powerful. And it makes them feel superior. Their adrenaline peaks. They experience a sense of elation. Some can even experience a type of sexual excitement.
A Person’s Empathy Level Says it All
Psychopathy exists along a spectrum. So, you know how malignantly narcissistic someone is by how heartlessly they behave. When decent people know they’ve hurt you, they feel bad. But some folks have no heart. To such folks, you can be merely an object of desire or gratification. The way they see it, you exist for their satisfaction. So, they expect you to take whatever they dish out. And if you complain, they only see you as a weakling who can’t take it.
Folks devoid of empathy will hurt you without compunction. While they might possibly have regrets over consequences, they rarely display genuine remorse or contrition. They lack the conscience. And they lack the capacity for shame and guilt. Your partner’s empathy capacity reliably bespeaks the toxicity of your relationship. So, how they act when they’ve hurt you tells all you really need to know about their character. (See also: Shame, Guilt, Regret, Remorse, and Contrition).
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