8 Ways To Deal With A Malignant Narcissist — The Most Evil Type Of Narcissist

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Everyone exhibits narcissistic traits, but the word "narcissist" is often used to reference personality traits that are found to be unfavorable.

In reality, only 1 in 200 people are diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, 75% of which are men.

People with narcissistic personality disorder tend to be selfish and inconsiderate, and are known for their lack of empathy. Dealing with a narcissist in your life, especially a family member, can be daunting.

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Some other symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder are an inflated sense of self-worth and entitlement, an insatiable need for attention, taking advantage of others, an obsession with power, and a need to save face when shown in a negative light.

But there's one specific type of narcissism that is more toxic than the rest, and that is the malignant narcissist.

What is malignant narcissism?

There are different types of narcissism, but malignant narcissism is thought to be the most dangerous of all. People with this form of the disorder usually have an evil side to their self-obsession.

Campbell's Psychiatric Dictionary defines malignant narcissism as a "psychological syndrome comprising an extreme mix of narcissism, antisocial behavior, aggression, and sadism."

This subset contains the generic narcissistic traits, but they also exhibit characteristics of antisocial personality disorder. Some of those are an internal desire to do sadistic things, a poor sense of self, paranoia, and a lack of communication skills. Some experts associate malignant narcissism with psychopathy.

Studies have shown that malignant narcissists are impulsive due to their inability to properly plan, and can become irritated and violent. They have a disregard for the safety of themselves and others.

If you believe someone close to you is suffering from this disorder, learn the signs so you can protect yourself and get them the help they need.

Signs of Malignant Narcissism

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize the signs of a malignant narcissist. The American Psychiatric Association does not list malignant narcissism at a diagnosis in its diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders.

However, mental health professionals have deemed it a form of psychopathy. In particular, they associate it with antisocial personality disorder.

Some of the signs of malignant narcissism are:

  • Having an unnatural obsession with power
  • Inability to handle any criticism
  • Blaming others for their failures
  • Superiority complex
  • Need to be the center of attention
  • Show a lack of empathy and remorse
  • Tendency to lash out when they feel rejected
  • Taking advantage of other people
  • Only apologizing when it benefits them
  • Finding joy in the pain of others
  • Jealousy toward everybody, even their partners or family members
  • Paranoia

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How to Deal with a Malignant Narcissist

Malignant narcissism is more than a behavior issue — it could become life-threatening to those in close proximity. However, there are ways to handle this type of narcissist.

1. Place the blame where it belongs.

If you have dealt with a malignant narcissist for a long time, you have been conditioned to take responsibility for their actions. It’s important to understand that none of this is your fault.

The nature of narcissism is to make the victim feel like they have done something to deserve the mistreatment inflicted on them. Know that their bad behavior has nothing to do with you.

2. Take care of yourself.

Leaving a relationship with a malignant narcissist is no picnic. Once you have decided to separate, they will do everything they can to guilt you or damage your reputation.

Make yourself the first priority in your life. Don’t do any favors or extend yourself in any way for your abuser. Save all of the love and support you have inside you for yourself.

3. Cut off contact.

If possible, the best way to heal from narcissistic abuse is to cut off all contact with the offender. As you make the necessary adjustments and remove them from your life, they will try and suck you back in.

The malignant narcissist can play nice when it suits them. Don’t believe the hype. The moment you let them back into your life, you will fall back into the same dysfunctional patterns. Set boundaries and stick to them.

4. Stop trying to fix them.

There are times when you will think that you can help your malignant narcissist with their sickness. You cannot. They need medical advice and psychiatric treatment, and still will never fully be cured of the disorder.

Your efforts are more about you than them. You want to be in a healthy, thriving relationship and think that if you can just do this or that, they will get better. They won’t and you’re wasting your time trying.

RELATED: How Narcissists, Sociopaths, & Psychopaths Manipulate You Into Emotionally Abusive Relationships

5. Recognize the narcissist in yourself.

It’s easy to see the narcissistic traits in other people, but have you considered that you may have some of your own? If you’re like most people, you absolutely do.

There are times when every human being is a little narcissistic. You could be holding on to a stressful relationship because you want to save face and uphold your image.

Make sure you haven’t been hanging on for the wrong reasons. Your narcissistic traits could be a contributing factor in the relationship dynamics. If that is the case, get the help you need.

6. See them through honest eyes.

Malignant narcissists change moods and personas with the wind. One moment you’re certain they are the evilest person in the world, and the next minute they are pouring on the charm.

There will be small glimpses into what you believe is their good side. You will be attracted to them and lower your walls, allowing them to wreak havoc in your life once.

7. Make your decision and stick to it.

It’s up to you to decide whether or not you are able to deal with having a malignant narcissist in your life. If you can stomach the chaos and instability and decide to stay, more power to you. You will need it.

But if you have finally had enough and are ready to move on, let them go. Don’t continue to go back and forth because they will come to understand that you aren’t going anywhere. You will put up with whatever they decide to dish out.

8. Practice self-love.

Narcissists are drawn to people they believe they can take advantage of. Perhaps you were lonely, had suffered a loss, or were treated poorly in a prior relationship.

They pick up on your need for a partner to "complete" you or make you happy. Happiness comes from within. Love yourself and be happy alone before entering your next relationship.

The next time you decide to connect with a romantic partner, you should be whole and healed. They should be an enhancement to an already happy life, not a distraction from your loneliness and misery.

RELATED: Why Leaving A Narcissist Is So Hard — And How To Get Away In 7 Steps

NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues