Sometimes the difference between a narcissist and a psychopath gets blurred, and most of the time people tend to confuse one with the other. But if you look very minutely and carefully, you will see that they are indeed different.
As I have written in previous posts, narcissists, in my experience, are noteworthy for their principal trait of overvaluing themselves at the expense of devaluing others. They think of themselves as special, privileged, entitled, and void of flaws—in other words, they give themselves plenty of latitudes, while giving others little to none. In their mind, they are always right, and the rules don’t really apply to them. They are incapable of admitting mistakes and taking responsibility. If things work, they believe it is thanks to them. If things fail, it’s the fault of others.
Most of all, narcissists (as defined by and meeting the criteria in Dangerous Personalities, Rodale 2014) cannot bring themselves to see anyone else as their equal. So they put others down (co-workers, subordinates, family members), crush their aspirations, criticize them, or treat them with indifference, disdain, or contempt. If challenged, narcissists will react not with anger, but with rage. They are incapable of true empathy or understanding, and in all ways, they see themselves as perfect, even though they are, according to Dr. Stuart C. Yudofsky, author of Fatal Flaws: Navigating Destructive Relationships With People With Disorders of Personality and Character, severely flawed of character.
Here is a reminder of how narcissists view themselves. These specifics may seem breathtaking in their arrogance and haughtiness—but then, those are traits that define the narcissist.
Here Are The Traits Of A Narcissist
1. I love myself and I know you do, too.
In fact, everyone does—I can’t imagine anyone that doesn’t.
2. I have no need to apologize.
You, however, must understand, accept, and tolerate me no matter what I do or say.
3. I have few equals in this world, and so far, I have yet to meet one.
I am the best … (manager, businessman, lover, student, etc.).
4. Most people don’t measure up.
Without me to lead, others would flounder.
5. I appreciate that there are rules and obligations, but those apply mostly to you because I don’t have the time or the inclination to abide by them.
Besides, rules are for the average person, and I am far above average.
6. I hope you appreciate all that I am and everything that I have achieved for you—because I am wonderful and faultless.
7. I do wish we could be equals, but we are not and never will be.
I will remind you with an unapologetic frequency that I am the smartest person in the room and how well I did in school, in business, as a parent, etc., and you must be grateful.
Related: 7 Signs of A Female Narcissist
8. I may seem arrogant and haughty, and that’s OK with me—I just don’t want to be seen as being like you.
9. I expect you to be loyal to me at all times, no matter what I do; however, don’t expect me to be loyal to you in any way.
10. I will criticize you, and I expect you to accept it, but if you criticize me, especially in public, I will come at you with rage.
One more thing: I will never forget or forgive. I will pay you back one way or another—because I am a “wound collector.”
11. I expect you to be interested in what I have achieved and in what I have to say.
I, on the other hand, am not at all interested in you or in what you have achieved, so don’t expect much curiosity or interest from me about your life. I just don’t care.
12. I am not manipulative; I just like to have things done my way, no matter how much it inconveniences others or how it makes them feel.
I actually don’t care how others feel—feelings are for the weak.
13. I expect gratitude at all times, for even the smallest things I do.
As for you, I expect you to do as I demand.
14. I only associate with the best people, and frankly, most of your friends don’t measure up.
15. If you would just do what I say and obey, things would be better.
As you can imagine, the narcissist is quite the pill to take if you live with one, work for one, or are governed by one. But don’t take my word for it. Talk to anyone who has been victimized by a narcissist. It is a graduate-level lesson in humiliation and indifference.