Wednesday, August 1, 2018

PSYCHOPATH or NARCISSIST???

                                              “Am I dealing with a Narcissist or a Psychopath?”
                                    Professor Craig Neumann sheds light on a difficult question

 Psychopathy is a pathological personality disorder that reflects interpersonal deceptiveness, manipulation, callous and remorseless use of others, along with impulsive behavioral style and overt antisocial behavior (ranging from aggression to violent criminal acts). Only a few features of psychopathy (glib, grandiose interpersonal style) overlap with narcissism… the psychopath is about taking advantage of people for their own selfish interests, or sometimes just to hurt people because they find that amuses them.

 A grandiose (or malignant) narcissist may end up hurting others, but not because they find it enjoyable but more as a byproduct of thinking they are so great and whatever path they may choose, even if it involves rolling over people, so to speak, is OK given their ‘greatness’

 DSM-based narcissistic personality disorder (which mostly refers to grandiose narcissism and is somewhat limited in capturing vulnerable narcissism), also involves personality pathology but involves an interpersonal style and way of thinking that revolves around maintaining an elevated sense of self-esteem and getting attention from others to keep their self-esteem afloat, so to speak… paradoxically, the narcissist is fundamentally dependent on others attention for self-esteem maintenance, while they also think they are far better than everyone else.  While most people develop a healthy sense of self-worth, the narcissist requires other peoples’ admiration to have a sense of self-esteem (and thus the pathology and essence of their disturbed way of relating to others).  The (vulnerable primarily) narcissist most definitely has a grandiose sense of self, like the psychopath, and they can have shallow empathy for others (because everything revolves around them), but they are not generally impulsive and aggressive like the psychopath.

 The psychopath is completely dissocial, whereas the narcissist(s) will be social, but for their own self-esteem ‘boost’. The psychopath will be ‘social’ to take advantage of others in many more ways than the narcissist would ever do
 
The critical difference could be said to involve their differing ‘world views’.  The psychopath doesn’t care what others think about them and operates solely to use people for whatever they please. The narcissist(s) is (are) solely focused on their elevated self-importance and demands (required for the vulnerable narcissist) people to pay attention to them.
 
The vulnerable narcissist (VN) has a fragile sense of self-esteem, and without the attention from others is prone to depression, suicide, and various erratic behaviors, even aggression, in an attempt to get admiration from others because without the attention from others they are empty inside, given they have no healthy means of positive self-evaluation… as you can see VN is not a good thing. Turns out, grandiose narcissism also has some considerable down sides, but these folks tend not to have negative emotion, and often are very extroverted.

Dr. Craig Neumann: Professor of Clinical Psychology, Associate Director of Clinical Training, University of North Texas; Member of the Board of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy
 
     For more information about the psychopath, see Born to Destroy at winisbooks.com

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