15. Financial abuse
Financial abuse might include controlling you through economic domination or draining your finances through extortion, theft, manipulation, or gambling, or by accruing debt in your name or selling your personal property.
Isolating you from friends, family, or access to outside services and support through control, manipulation, verbal abuse, character assassination, or other means of abuse.
Narcissism and the severity of abuse exist on a continuum. It may range from ignoring your feelings to violent aggression.
Typically, narcissists don’t take responsibility for their behavior and shift the blame to you or others; however, some do and are capable of feeling guilt and self-reflection.
Malignant Narcissism and Sociopathy
Someone with more narcissistic traits who behaves in a malicious, hostile manner is considered to have “malignant narcissism.” Malignant narcissists aren’t bothered by guilt.
They can be sadistic and take pleasure in inflicting pain. They can be so competitive and unprincipled that they engage in anti-social behavior. Paranoia puts them in a defensive-attack mode as a means of self-protection.
Malignant narcissism can resemble sociopathy. Sociopaths have malformed or damaged brains. They display narcissistic traits, but not all narcissists are sociopathic.
Their motivations differ. Whereas narcissists prop up an ideal persona to be admired, sociopaths change who they are in order to achieve their self-serving agenda.
They need to win at all costs and think nothing of breaking social norms and laws. They don’t attach to people as narcissists do. Narcissists don’t want to be abandoned. They’re codependent on others’ approval, but sociopaths can easily walk away from relationships that don’t serve them.
Although some narcissists will occasionally plot to obtain their objectives, they’re usually more reactive than sociopaths, who coldly calculate their plans.
©Darlene Lancer 2017