Malignant narcissists don’t really need anyone nor do they particularly care about anyone other than themselves.
Misperceptions abound about why people commit serious crimes and eventually find their way into prison. Some of the misconceptions have been around a long time and persist despite mounds of evidence to the contrary.
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.
The “smoothness” or social facility psychopaths display is generally not matched by congruent and concomitant emotion. They may have a very easy “way with words” (sometimes accompanied by equally charming nonverbal gestures), but usually their smooth talk is not accompanied by any emotion that matches what they’re saying or that can be sensed and felt by others as genuine.
In the absence of empathy, it’s impossible to form a functional, mature conscience, and in the absence of conscience, civilization cannot be sustained.
Psychopaths are the most extremely disordered characters on the spectrum of character disturbance, and are the most ardent and skilled manipulators. And they lie for many hard to understand reasons, and sometimes they lie for reasons that don’t seem to make any sense at all. That’s just one feature of their makeup that led early researchers to conjecture that psychopathy is really a form of insanity. But psychopaths are, for the most part, in their right mind. And when you look more deeply, there’s actually method to their apparent madness.
In addition to their other unusual characteristics, psychopaths can sometimes have genuine feelings for another person while also being chillingly able to completely mentally wall-off or “compartmentalize” those feelings when the urge to prey strikes.
To simply blame guns and to not be outraged by the mindset (e.g., entitlement, no empathy, mindless sensation-seeking, disregard for the value of life) that prompted the senseless murder of an innocent tourist is not only the epitome of denial but a stark reflection of our society’s seemingly steadfast refusal to reckon with the defining social issue of our times.
It’s the senseless and remorseless use and abuse of others that defines psychopathic predators.
The jury’s verdict in the Arias case demonstrates that public awareness of serious character disturbance, especially psychopathy and it’s hallmark features, has finally reached the point that despite how hard it is for normal, rational folks to fully understand why or how severely disturbed characters behave as they do, they have certainly accepted the realities about such characters and are willing to hold them to account.