Narcissism FAQ: Responsibility and Other Matters

13_0099_Layer 1

Question:

The Narcissist is not entirely responsible for his actions. Should we judge him, get angry at him, be upset by him? Above all, should we communicate our displeasure with him – to him?

Answer:

The narcissist knows to tell right from wrong. He is perfectly capable of anticipating the results of his actions and their influence on his human environment. The narcissist is very perceptive and sensitive to the subtlest nuances. He has to be: the very integrity of his personality depends upon input from others.

But the narcissist does not care. Unable to empathise, he does not fully experience the outcomes of his deeds and decision. For him, humans are dispensable, rechargeable, reusable. They are there to fulfil a function: to supply him with Narcissistic Supply (adoration, admiration, approval, affirmation, etc.) They do not have an existence apart from the carrying out of their duty.

True: it is the disposition of the narcissist to treat humans in the inhuman way that he does. However, this propensity is absolutely controllable. The narcissist has a choice – he just doesn’t think anyone is worth making it.

It is a fact that the narcissist can behave completely differently (under identical circumstances) – depending who is involved. He not likely to be enraged by the behaviour of an important person (=with a potential to supply him narcissistically). But, he might become absolutely violent with his nearest and dearest under the same circumstances. This is because they are captives, they do not have to be won over, the Narcissistic Supply coming from them is taken for granted.

Being a narcissist does not exempt the patient from being a human being.

A person suffering from NPD must be subjected to the same moral treatment and judgement as the rest of us, less privileged ones. The courts do not recognise NPD as a mitigating circumstance – why should we? Providing the Narcissist with special treatment will only exacerbate the condition by supporting the grandiose, fantastic image the narcissist has of his self.

By all means: be angry, be upset (for good and just reasons) – and don’t hesitate to communicate your displeasure. The narcissist needs guidance (he is disoriented) and this is one of the best ways of providing him with one.

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love, and runs the website Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited.Sam has served as the author of the Personality Disorders topic, Narcissistic Personality Disorder topic, the Verbal and Emotional Abuse topic, and the Spousal Abuse and Domestic Violence topic, Suite101.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Narcissism FAQ #20: The Guilt of Others - Mental Health Matters

  2. Pingback: Narcissism FAQ: The Guilt of Others - Mental Health Matters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *