Malignant narcissists disdain all the qualities most of us think make us decent human beings. They see them as signs of weakness. And they see them as proof of other’s inferiority. That’s what enables them to feel superior. And that’s what leads them to feel entitled to prey.
When we live in love and act in love we have the power to change the world. That’s because we ourselves have been transformed.
Grandiose narcissists so wantonly use and abuse because they have little heart. They lack empathy. And they have little shame. And the more lacking they are in these things, the more easily they exploit.
Grandiose narcissists will use and abuse you. And they’ll do so without compunction. They lack two important capacities: shame and empathy.
Vulnerable narcissists haven’t fashioned a balanced or well-grounded view of their own worth. Pay attention to them and revere them, and all is fine. Ask anything of them, and you’ll quickly learn how “shallow” they are. This makes true intimacy impossible. They may do all sorts of things to “prove” they’re love-worthy. But they don’t know their true worth. And they neither know how to love nor how to be loved.
Narcissists come in two main varieties, each posing very different challenges for relationships. The two types also pose very different prospects for change. Telling the diffference between these egotistical characters can be difficult at times, so it’s important to know the signs that can help you distinguish betwen the two.
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.
The concepts of shame, guilt, regret, remorse, and contrition have been the subject of great debate within the professional community for some time. And even though these terms are not strictly psychological in nature, because they have such importance to matters of character, they’re worth a closer look.
There are literally hundreds of reasons why someone would disguise their real personality or intentions besides feeling ashamed of themselves. And the fact that people who actually have the capacity for shame and guilt have a hard time imagining what those hundreds of other possibilities might be is a testament to their own good character.
Our preconceptions about human nature, most of which have been endorsed or promoted by traditional psychological schools of thought, are actually our worst enemies when it comes to understanding the disturbed characters among us.