Warning Signs of Malignant Narcissism and What to Do

Are you struggling to identify the toxic traits of a malignant narcissist? Do you know how to deal with their malignant manipulative behavior? Look no further, as we uncover everything you need to know about the causes, signs, and traits of malignant narcissism, and offer tips on how to deal with malignant narcissists in this blog post.

 One subtype of narcissism that has gained attention in recent years is malignant narcissism. This article will define and explain what a malignant narcissist is, including their traits and behavior. We’ll also look at the negative impact malignant narcissists can have on the lives of their loved ones and those around them, and discuss the psychological and emotional impact of dealing with a malignant narcissist.

What is Malignant Narcissism? 

Malignant narcissism is a term used to describe a severe form of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) that is characterized by a combination of narcissistic, antisocial, and paranoid personality traits. 

Who is a Malignant Narcissist? 

Who is a Malignant Narcissist? 

A malignant narcissist is a term used to describe an individual who has a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and also exhibits traits of aggression, paranoia, and sadism. 

Signs of Malignant Narcissist 

Here are following signs of Malignant narcissists and malignant narcissism: 

1. Grandiosity

 Malignant narcissists usually have an inflated sense of self-importance and superiority over others. They frequently exaggerate their talents, achievements, and physical attractiveness. For example, they might insist they’re the greatest expert in their field, despite having little to back up this claim.

2. Manipulation

 One of the most damaging and toxic traits of malignant narcissists is their ability to manipulate others for their personal gain. They excel at exploiting the emotions and vulnerabilities of others to get what they want, guilt-tripping or gaslighting their targets to create doubt, insecurity or confusion.

3. Black and white thinking

 Malignant narcissists tend to see things in black and white terms, with little room for nuance or complexity. They may struggle to see the perspective of others, and may view anyone who disagrees with them as an enemy

4. They Hold Grudges and Take Revenge

 Malignant narcissists may hold grudges for years and may seek revenge against those who they feel have wronged them. They may use any means necessary to get their revenge, even if it means hurting others in the process.

5. Refusal to take responsibility

 Malignant narcissists often struggle to take responsibility for their actions and may deflect blame onto others. They may deny or minimize their mistakes, and may refuse to apologize or make amends.

6. Exploitative Relationships

 Malignant narcissists often use their relationships as a means to maintain control, dominance, and admiration. They will emotionally or financially exploit others without feeling any remorse or guilt for their actions.

7. Arrogance

With their grandiose self-image, malignant narcissists are typically arrogant, displaying haughty and condescending attitudes toward others, making it difficult for people to engage or reason with them.

8. Aggression

 When their grandiose self-presentation or control is threatened, malignant narcissists can become aggressive, prone to fits of anger, verbal abuse or even physical violence.

9. Sense of entitlement

 Believing that they are special and deserve preferential treatment, malignant narcissists may exhibit unreasonable expectations of others, demanding constant attention, admiration, or service.

10. Fantasies of success

Malignant narcissists may have grandiose fantasies of success, power, and wealth. They may believe they are destined for greatness and may become angry or bitter if they feel they are not receiving the recognition they deserve.

11. Paranoia

 Malignant narcissists may be highly suspicious of others and may see threats where none exist. They may believe that others are conspiring against them and may take extreme measures to protect themselves from perceived threats.

12. They lack objectivity

These People also lack objectivity in their relationships, often taking everything personally, even if it has nothing to do with them. They may become easily defensive and lash out in response to minor criticisms or perceived slights.

13. They exploit and use everyone 

Malignant narcissists are known to have a toxic way of interacting with the world around them. One of their most prominent traits is their tendency to use and exploit others for their own benefit. They view other people as objects to be manipulated and discarded once they are no longer useful.

14. They enjoy when other suffers

What’s particularly concerning is that these people may derive pleasure from the pain and suffering of others. They may enjoy causing others to feel upset, anxious, or afraid, and may take pleasure in their own ability to control others.

15. They lose friends and make enemies

They may view anyone who disagrees with them as a threat, and will quickly retaliate against those they see as enemies. Ultimately, the behavior of malignant narcissists can be highly destructive and damaging to the people around them.

Examples of Malignant Narcissism

Here are some examples of how this may manifest itself:

  • Belittling or degrading others in order to feel superior 
  • Insulting or belittling those who don’t agree with them 
  • Taking credit for someone else’s work 
  • Refusing to take responsibility for their own mistakes 
  • Using charm and flattery, then turning cold and hostile when their needs aren’t met.
  • Lying, manipulating, or withholding information in order to gain the upper hand. 
  • Exploiting and taking advantage of people financially, emotionally, physically, or sexually. 
  • Shaming or attacking those who challenge them or don’t fit into their vision of perfection. 
  • Refusing to accept criticism from others without becoming defensive or aggre

Causes of Malignant Narcissist

Causes of Malignant Narcissist

Malignant narcissism is subtype of narcissism,The causes of malignant narcissism are same as narcissism. But in this field a lot of research work is need to be done .

You can read causes of Narcissism here.

One of the primary contributing factors is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Studies have shown that personality disorders, including narcissistic personality disorder, often have a genetic component.

Additionally, childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect, and trauma can contribute to the development of personality disorders later in life.

Another potential contributing factor is a lack of positive reinforcement during childhood. Individuals with malignant narcissism often have a deep-seated need for validation and approval from others, and a lack of positive reinforcement during childhood can lead to a sense of inadequacy and insecurity.

Finally, some experts believe that societal factors may also contribute to the development of malignant narcissism. In a society that places a high value on success, wealth, and power, individuals with narcissistic traits may be more likely to develop malignant narcissism in order to achieve these goals.

It is important to note, however, that the exact causes of narcissism are still being studied and understood, and that there is no one single cause that can explain why someone may develop this personality disorder.

Difference between Malignant Narcissism and other types of Narcissism 

There are other sub types of narcissism like vulnerable narcissism and covert narcissism. The primary difference between malignant narcissism and these other subtypes is the presence of antisocial and paranoid traits in the former.

Malignant narcissists may engage in criminal or deviant behavior, disregard the rights of others, and show little remorse or guilt for their actions. They may also be prone to rage or aggression when they feel threatened or challenged.

Impacts of Malignant Narcissism on Relationships

Impacts of Malignant Narcissism on Relationships

Malignant narcissists can have a devastating impact on the lives of their loved ones and those around them. They may violate social norms and boundaries, exploit others to satisfy their own needs, and engage in harmful or abusive behavior. They may also struggle to maintain healthy relationships, as their lack of empathy and emotional regulation can make it difficult for them to connect with others on a meaningful level.

Here are some impacts of malignant narcissism on relationships

  • Manipulating Loved ones in order to gain control or power 
  • Constantly seeking validation from loved ones 
  • Intentionally hurting someone’s feelings or manipulating them emotionally those who care about them 
  • Exploiting loved one for personal gains and satisfactions
  •  Creating a one-sided relationship where only their needs are met
  • Refusing to take responsibility in relationships 
  • Blaming or shaming their loved ones when things don’t go their way
  • Their loved ones feel like they are walking on eggshells or constantly trying to appease the malignant narcissist’s demands

Psychological Impacts of Dealing With a Malignant Narcissist

Dealing with a malignant narcissist can have a profound and lasting impact on an individual’s psychological wellbeing. Some of the common psychological effects include:

  •  Feeling isolated and alone, even when in a relationship with the narcissist.
  • Developing extreme anxiety or depression due to constant criticism and emotional abuse.
  • Low self-esteem due to feeling constantly put down by the narcissist.
  • Feeling guilt or shame for not meeting unrealistic expectations set by the narcissist.
  • Difficulty expressing emotions openly as they may be used against you by the narcissist.
  • Fear of speaking up or disagreeing with the narcissist out of fear of retribution or criticism

Malignant Narcissism and Antisocial Personality Disorder

Malignant narcissism and Antisocial Personality Disorder are two distinct types of mental health conditions, yet they share a few similarities. Most notably, both conditions involve a disregard for the feelings and well-being of others. However, there are some important differences between these two disorders as well.


  • Lack of empathy for others 
  • Unconcern or disregard for rules or social norms 
  • Manipulative or controlling behavior towards others
  • Use of aggression to get their way
  • A general lack of remorse or guilt after wronging someone else


  • Malignant narcissists tend to be overly dramatic or grandiose in nature, while those with ASPD may demonstrate more covert or subtle behavior.
  • Malignant narcissists can often display an excessive need for admiration from others, while those with ASPD are not typically motivated by this need.
  • Those with ASPD tend to display reckless behavior without regard for consequences, whereas malignant narcissists will more likely act out of calculated manipulation than impulsivity.

Malignant Narcissists Vs. Psychopaths Vs. Sociopaths

Malignant narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths are all personality disorders that are characterized by a lack of empathy and disregard for the rights and feelings of others. However, there are some key differences between these disorders.

Malignant narcissists are People who exhibit narcissistic personality disorder in its most extreme form, with a combination of traits such as grandiosity, lack of empathy, and a willingness to exploit others for personal gain. They often see themselves as superior to others and believe that they are entitled to special treatment and admiration.

Psychopaths, on the other hand, are people who exhibit a pervasive pattern of disregard for the rights and feelings of others. They often engage in impulsive and irresponsible behavior and may be prone to criminal or violent behavior. Psychopaths tend to lack empathy and have difficulty forming close relationships with others.

Sociopaths are individuals who exhibit a similar pattern of disregard for the rights and feelings of others, but tend to be more impulsive and erratic in their behavior. They may be prone to outbursts of anger or violence and may have difficulty maintaining stable relationships with others.

While there are some similarities between these three personality disorders, there are also some important differences.

 Malignant narcissism is characterized by a combination of narcissistic and antisocial traits, while psychopathy and sociopathy are primarily characterized by antisocial traits. Additionally, psychopathy and sociopathy tend to be more closely associated with criminal or violent behavior than malignant narcissism.

Dealing With a Malignant Narcissist

Dealing With a Malignant Narcissist

Dealing with a malignant narcissist can be difficult and emotionally draining. However, it is possible to cope with the challenges posed by these individuals if you are armed with the right tools and strategies. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to deal with a malignant narcissist:

1. Establish Clear Boundaries

 Setting clear boundaries is essential when dealing with a malignant narcissist. Let them know what kind of behavior you won’t tolerate, and make sure they understand that crossing those boundaries will have consequences. Download free worksheet to enforce boundaries in your life.

2. Keep Your Emotions in Check

 It’s important to stay calm when interacting with a malignant narcissist, as they are likely to try and provoke an emotional response in order to gain control. Take deep breaths and keep conversations focused on facts rather than feelings whenever possible.

3. Don’t Engage In Arguments

 As tempting as it may be to try and win an argument against the narcissist, this rarely works out for your benefit in the long-term. Remember that any time spent engaging in meaningless arguments or debates is time taken away from more productive pursuits.

4. Look Out For Manipulation Tactics

 Malignant narcissists often attempt to manipulate their victims into doing things that aren’t beneficial for themselves or their loved ones. Be vigilant for signs of manipulation and call out their tactics if necessary.

5. Seek Professional Help If Necessary

 If the stress of dealing with a malignant narcissist becomes too overwhelming, reach out for help from mental health professionals who can offer guidance on how best to cope with such challenging individuals

6. Stay Safe

Malignant narcissists can be unpredictable and may become violent or aggressive if they feel threatened. If you feel that your safety is at risk, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself, including seeking a restraining order or involving law enforcement if necessary.

7. Consider cutting ties

 In some cases, the best way to deal with a malignant narcissist is to cut ties with them altogether. This may be necessary if the person is causing significant harm to your mental or physical health, or if they are unwilling or unable to change their behavior.


Malignant narcissism is a severe subtype of narcissistic personality disorder that combines narcissistic, antisocial, and paranoid traits. Malignant narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, and may engage in manipulative or exploitative behavior. 

They can have a negative impact on the lives of their loved ones and those around them, and may struggle to maintain healthy relationships. 

Victims of malignant narcissists may experience emotional abuse, manipulation, and gaslighting, and may suffer from anxiety, depression, and PTSD. It is important to seek professional help if you suspect that you or someone you know may be dealing with malignant narcissism or a related personality disorder.

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