Narcissism is pathological self-love. And noble character is largely about healthy self-love. Getting the balance right is what the third commandment of sound character formation is all about.
The most severely disordered characters among us are not the “hot-headed” types who sometimes let their passions get the better of them and do things they might sometimes later regret but rather the “cold-hearted” sorts who chronically and ruthelessly try to get the better of others.
Malignant narcissists don’t really need anyone nor do they particularly care about anyone other than themselves.
Some individuals’ disregard for others goes far beyond simply not caring very much about them to purposely wanting to hurt, exploit, manipulate, and most especially, to dominate them, and that makes them capable of the most serious kinds of relational abuse.
People use and abuse others with alarming frequency these days. It’s an outgrowth of the culture of narcissism – a culture that promotes at least indifference to if not outright disregard for the welfare of others.
Psychopaths are predatory aggressors who often prey on others merely for the pure pleasure of it.