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Malignant Covert Narcissist Becomes Primary Psychopath to Compensate for Collapse

Uploaded 4/16/2024, approx. 29 minute read

There's no good without bad. And I propose good and bad.

Today we're going to discuss malignant covert narcissists. You've never heard this one before.

But it stands to reason that if there is a malignant version of the overt grandiose narcissist, there should be a malignant version of the covert fragile vulnerable shy narcissist.

And indeed there is.

My name is Sam Vachnin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love Narcissism Revisited, a former visiting professor of psychology and not so shy member of the faculty of CEOPS.

It is commonly accepted that there is a variant of overt grandiose narcissism known as malignant narcissism.

It's the unsavory combination of sadism, psychopathy and narcissism. The perfect trifecta, your dream partner.

Indeed, some scholars suggest that what we call overt grandiose narcissism is actually a form of psychopathy and that the only real narcissism is covert compensatory.

There's an innate bad object, an inferiority complex, feelings of inadequacy, of unworthiness, of being unlovable. The compensation is to appear to be godlike, to insist on one's affection and brilliance, omniscience and omnipotence.

So this is where the field is heading, focusing on the compensatory aspects of narcissism.

And apparently covert narcissism is irreconcilable, cannot be put together with malignant narcissism.

Because malignant narcissism is in your face. It's defiant. It's reckless. It's consummation, authority rejecting. It's in short grandiose. It's aggressive, even violent. It's sadistic.

These are not typical traits of a covert narcissist.

How can we put the two together?

This I will attempt to do in today's video because I firmly believe from my experience that there is such a thing as covert malignant narcissism.


Now malignant narcissism in the covert version is also compensatory.

In other words, we have two layers of compensation. The original covert narcissism compensates for inferiority and the bad object.

And then there is a second layer of compensation, which is the malignancy, malignant narcissism.

Why do we need or why does the covert narcissist need two layers of compensation? Because of the collapse.

Covert narcissists are in a permanent state of collapse. They are frustrated. They are inefficacious. They are losers. They never succeed to attract narcissistic supply, to accomplish things, to become famous, to draw attention to themselves, and so on and so forth.

This permanent state of collapse resonates with the bad object and reinforces it. It's as if constant failure repeated defeats.

They affirm and confirm and buttress and uphold the covert narcissist's innate or inner self-perception as a loser, as a nobody, as a no-good, as an unworthy and lovable person.

So the covert narcissist has a problem. Unlike the overt or grandiose narcissist, increasingly it becomes more difficult to lie to himself or to herself about the state of things, about his or her life.

As the covert narcissist keeps tumbling from one failure to another, from one defeat to another, from one frustrated stratagem to another, from one hair-brain scheme to another, from one failed attempt to attract attention to another.

As these reminders of collapse accumulate, the covert narcissist's constellation of self-defeating, self-destructive, self-rejecting and self-loathing inner voices, they become louder and they become much more convincing.

And the covert narcissist needs to compensate for this by adopting a posture of malignancy by becoming a malignant narcissist.

So whereas in the overt grandiose version of narcissism, the malignancy, malignant narcissism has to do with an emphasis or an exaggeration of antisocial traits and sadism in the covert narcissist, the malignant compensation has to do with a desperate attempt to somehow silence, repress the bad object inside the covert narcissist.

It's when the initial primary compensation fails, malignant compensation is a secondary compensation.

So in the overt grandiose narcissist, we have narcissism and when this narcissism is extrapolated, when this narcissism is emphasized and exaggerated and writ large, it becomes malignant.

In the covert narcissist, there's an initial posture, initial posture of inferiority, of failure, of defeat, of self-deprecation, of frustration, of self-directed aggression.

That's the initial posture. Then there is a compensatory layer, which is the covert narcissism, the belief, although this belief is rarely communicated or verbalized, but the belief in one's own superiority, one's own brilliance, one's own perfection.

So this is the first layer of compensation.

But when confronted with the vicissitudes and exigencies of life with constant failure and defeat, the covert narcissist can no longer maintain this self-deception, this facade.

And he resorts to malignant compensation, the second layer of compensation, second level of compensation.

And through the malignant compensation, he tries, the covert narcissist tries to somehow restore himself or herself, the gender pronouns are interchangeable, to restore themselves into a state of functioning.

Malignant narcissism, therefore, is compensatory in covert narcissism and it's a lost resort.

I'd like to read to you something from the amazing poem, the rhyme of the ancient mariner.

Like one that on a lonesome road, Doth walk in fear and dread, and having once turned around, walks on and turns no more, he said, because he knows a frightful fiend Doth close behind him tread.

This is a perfect encapsulation of the covert narcissist dread of his or her own shame, the truth of his or her own inferiority and inadequacy and incompetence, incompatibility with the world, inability to exact and extricate positive outcomes from the environment, a lack of self-efficacy.

The narcissist, the covert narcissist knows a frightful fiend Doth close behind him tread.

And so he never turns around, he never turns around because of the terror of coming face to face with himself because the fiend is the covert narcissist himself or herself.

So this is the background to understand how malignant narcissism compensates for problems and issues in covert narcissism.

I need to introduce it to the concept of externalization.

Now externalization is a defense mechanism where one's thoughts and feelings and perceptions are attributed to the external world, not internally.

They're perceived as if they're coming from the outside, independent of oneself, independent of one's experiences.

And projection is a private case of externalization is when we attribute to other people elements of ourselves, traits of ourselves that we're ashamed of, that we reject in ourselves that we would not like to have.

So if we're weak, we would say that, oh, someone else is weak.

This is projection.

And it's again, a case, private case of externalization.

Externalization is the process of learning to distinguish between self and the environment and usually occurs during childhood.

Again, a private case of externalization is othering, realizing that other people exist, that they are external to yourself and that they're separate from you and have their own life, preferences, priorities, emotions, cognizance. Wishes, dreams.

This is a form of externalization, othering.

I dedicate several videos of this channel to othering.

But there is another manifestation of externalization which is more relevant to our video today.

It is the process by which a drive, some drive, is aroused by external stimuli, not by internal stimuli.

So while a normal person would feel hunger and seek food, someone with an externalization problem would come across food and they would be able to feel hunger.

And this would arouse him or her hunger.

So internal states are triggered by external stimuli in externalization.

Similarly, the psychopath, for example, is bound to become aggressive when confronted with other people.

So this aggression is a form of externalization.

It's not that the psychopath was angry and then he met people.

He meets people and this makes him angry.

Externalization is a crucial dynamic and process in narcissism.

Narcissists are incapable of perceiving the externality of objects.

They are incapable of grasping that, for example, other people are out there, separate from them.

What narcissists do? They internalize everything.

So narcissists have the opposite externalization problem. Rather than react to external stimuli and then develop an internal state, an inner process, the narcissist develops an inner process, an internal state of mind, based on the conversion of external objects into internal objects.

That's in a nutshell.

Now, what I'm going to do, I'm going to read to you the traits and behaviors of covert narcissists.

I'm going to use Cooper, the late Cooper and Akhtar's table dated 1989, the cornerstone of covert narcissism studies.

I'm going to read from this table and then I'm going to demonstrate to you how the covert narcissist develops malignant narcissism as a compensation for the problems and issues and commandments that are presented by Cooper and Akhtar's table.

Start with self-concept.

Cooper and Akhtar say that the covert narcissist is in a state of inferiority.

Morose self-doubts mark propensity toward feeling ashamed, fragility, relentless search for glory and power, mark sensitivity to criticism, hypervigilance and realistic setbacks.

So this is the background. This is the psychological background of the covert narcissist. This is the land the covert narcissist inhabits. That's his constant state of mind.

And it's intolerable. It's unbearable. It's difficult to live with.

And so the covert narcissist compensates for this by developing malignancy. He becomes a malignant narcissist. It's a form of malignant compensation, but unique to the covert narcissist.

Whereas the malignant compensation in overt grandiose narcissist is to be more overt and more grandiose and more antisocial and more psychopathic and more of everything.

In the covert narcissist, the malignancy is more nuanced.

So the covert narcissist problem with self-concept is solved via several mechanisms.

Number one, grandiosity. But this is the type of grandiosity. I would call it latent grandiosity. It's an inner conviction that the covert narcissist has that he is superior, that he is brilliant, that he is perfect, that he is godlike, but he never verbalizes it. He never communicates it. It's not ostentatious, as is the case with narcissist, classic narcissist, psychopaths.

The covert narcissist grandiosity is an inner dialogue, an internal dialogue between the covert narcissist and himself. And yet it forms a part of the malignant compensation in the covert narcissist because the covert narcissist uses this inner conviction of his inflated, fantastic self-image. He uses it to offset, to somehow defray or somehow ameliorate and mitigate the sense of inferiority, the self-doubts, the shame, the fragility, the vulnerability.

And this grandiosity drives the covert narcissist to what Akhtar and Cooper called a relentless search for glory and power.

The covert narcissist under the radar, under the cover, is very driven, very ambitious, I would say, insidiously, invariably so. His ambition is toxic, all-consuming, obsessive, compulsive, virtually insane.

This is the only way he can survive somehow against the waves of shame that sweep over him time and again.

Whereas the grandiose overt narcissist is able to isolate himself from the shame. There's a barrier, there's a firewall between the grandiose narcissist and the reservoir of life-threatening shame at the core of the narcissist.

The covert narcissist has failed in doing this. It's another form of collapse.

The covert narcissist is in constant contact with this ominous menacing shame that threatens to overwhelm him, overpower him and drown him.

In short, this shame threatens to disregard the covert narcissist, reduce the covert narcissist into a state akin or reminiscent of borderline personality.

So to fight this off, the covert narcissist inhabits a paracosm, a fantasy, an internal, not shared, but internal fantasy, idiosyncratic, unique, individual fantasy, where he is godlike. He is the god of that fantasy. He is the godhead of that fantasy.

This grandioseity is a bulwark, a defense against the shame, the self-doubt, the sense of inferiority and so on and so forth.

Another element in the malignant compensation for the self-concept problem is psychopathy.

The covert narcissist, when exposed to stress, anxiety, environmental challenges, utter collapse, modification, the covert narcissist becomes a primary psychopath.

I have a video dedicated to this. I encourage you to look for it in the comorbidities playlist on this channel.

He becomes a primary psychopath. The same way a borderline, someone with borderline personality disorder, becomes a secondary psychopath when exposed to abandonment, rejection and humiliation, the covert narcissist becomes a primary psychopath when exposed to the same ambient or environmental cues and circumstances.


So the primary psychopath is callous, exploitative, manipulative, Machiavellian, and the covert narcissist suddenly transforms, adopts, another self-state, and transitions from a doormat to a bully in an instant, and then he becomes psychopathic.

There's a sense of immunity to the consequences of his actions, recklessness, a lot of projection of the parts that the covert narcissist is ashamed of or cannot tolerate.

He attributes them to other people and overwhelming sadism.

The sadism in malignant covert narcissist is much more pronounced, much more pervasive, much more dangerous, much more cruel than the sadism in malignant overt narcissism.

The overt narcissist, the malignant overt narcissist is much less sadistic than the malignant covert narcissist.

And the reason is that the covert narcissist is sadistic to start with.

The covert narcissist is constantly frustrated and this frustration is converted and transformed and transmutes into aggression.

So the covert narcissist constantly accumulates aggression and this aggression is coupled with envy, with hatred, what we call negative effects.

And when you put all this together, this seething cauldron, this cauldron, when you put it together, it's a witch's brew.

And when the covert narcissist transitions to a psychopathic malignant self state, his sadism shines through.

It's as if this new self state legitimizes the sadism.

The covert narcissist is going to design ingenious ways to torment you and torture you and undermine you and humiliate you, especially in public and somehow inflict on you enormous pain, which he is going to enjoy tremendously as an affirmation of his omnipotence and godlike qualities.

So this is the malignant compensation for self concept issues in covert narcissism.


Next on the Cooper and Akhtar table of covert narcissism, 1989, is interpersonal relationships.

They say covert narcissist is unable to genuinely depend on others and trust them.

This chronic envy of others talents, possessions and capacity for deep object relations.

There's a lack of regard for generational boundaries. There's a disregard for other people's time in a refusal to be responsive and react reactive. They give example that the covert narcissist refuses to answer letters.

So the covert narcissist interpersonal relationships are the reification and manifestation and embodiment of the covert narcissist steaming, seething, volcanic inner space where he is constantly in pain, constantly hurt by life's slings and arrows, by his negativistic attitude, by the belief that he's constantly discriminated against, overlooked, unappreciated, demoted, hated, criticized. He is the covert narcissist spends an inordinate amount of time hunting for slides and insults and imagining in his sick mind payback retribution. He cannot therefore depend on other people to trust them because he attributes to them his state of mind. He projects because he is vengeful. He thinks people are vengeful because he is hateful. He thinks people are hateful because he is resentful. He thinks people are resentful because he envies everyone. He thinks everyone is he or her.

Okay, all gender pronouns interchangeable. So he is unable to incorporate himself into any social unit or structure to engage in any form of social intercourse or discourse. He constantly envies others. Everything they have and everything they are. And he is, as I said, he's a bit psychopath, anti-social, not psychopath, anti-social. He's abrasive. He's rude. He's humiliating. Or he's sulking. He gives you the silent treatment. He's frustrating on purpose, sabotaging.

And in short, the covert narcissist is passive aggressive, passive aggression or negativism, negative, negativistic personality.

And passive aggression is an element of malignant compensation together with fantasy, introjection and sadism.

When the covert narcissist encounters and experiences difficulties in interpersonal relationships, which make it almost impossible for him to obtain secure regular narcissistic supply from the environment.

So this leads inexorably and invariably to a state of collapse. To compensate for this, the covert narcissist creates a fantastic internal space, a paracosm. We mentioned it before and inhabits this space and only this space.

Covert narcissists are nearly psychotic. They are more psychotic than overt narcissists. They are more withdrawn. Their reality testing is much more impaired. They introject much more. They convert the external objects, other people, separate people, external people. They convert them into internal objects. And they are sadistic and passive aggressive within this fantastic space.

And in reality, actually, and this is the malignant version of covert narcissism.


The next part of the table has to do deals with social adaptation.

Cooper and Akhtar described the covert in these terms, nagging aimlessness, shallow vocational commitment, dilettante-like attitudes, multiple but superficial interests, chronic boredom, aesthetic taste of an ill-informed and imitative.

And of course, this is an excellent encapsulation of the psychopath. Psychopaths are exactly like this. This characterizes psychopath 100%.

So here the malignant compensation sits well, coheres with who the covert narcissist anyhow is, with who the covert narcissist is at all times.

In short, what I'm trying to say is that covert narcissism includes a pronounced element or pronounced elements of psychopathy.

Covert narcissists are much closer to primary psychopathy in this respect when it comes to social functioning and social adaptation and interpersonal relationships and so on and so forth.

So there is an interesting mirror image here. The covert narcissist is much more narcissistic than the overt narcissist when it comes to internal processes, the inner landscape, the psychology.

Then the covert narcissist is more narcissistic than the overt narcissist. But when it comes to the environment, circumstances, other people, interpersonal relationships, social functioning and so on and so forth, the covert actually is usually more psychopathic than the overt.

For example, the overt of grandiose narcissist is more likely to collaborate with other people to work in teams to obtain a goal. Yes, there will be a lot of friction, a lot of infighting, a lot of ego traits and power plays and mind games, all true.

But at least the covert grandiose narcissist is capable in principle of mobilizing multiple people and creating unhooked coalitions and alliances to attain goals.

The covert narcissist is utterly incapable of this. That's why covert narcissists are loners, majority of them are loners.

Now, even when the covert narcissist pretends to be someone he is not, a wolf in sheep's clothing, when the covert narcissist pretends to be a victim of narcissistic abuse or when he pretends to be empathic or when he pretends to be kind and nice and compassionate and helpful.

And even when the covert narcissist plays acts, adopts a role that is divorced from reality, the reality of who he is, even then it devolves very fast into a loner position.

Even when the covert narcissist becomes a cult leader, there's only one cult leader. The members of the cult are interjects, they're extensions, they don't really exist.

Even when the covert narcissist becomes a politician, he aspires to work alone and to be sui generis, to be a unique case.

Covert narcissists are really bad at working with other people because it triggers their insecurities, their self doubts, their sense of inferiority, they become envious, then they destroy everything. They're very self-defeating and self-destructive.

And of course, the malignant compensation for this is grandiosity.

So ironically, covert narcissist, although their grandiosity is non-expressed, is not manifested, is unobservable, is not ostentatious, is hidden, is latent, and covert narcissist are very good at deceiving people by pretending to be humble.

This is known as pseudo humility in clinical terms. They play humble.

But actually, the grandiosity of covert narcissists far exceeds the grandiosity of the overt grandiose narcissist.

And that's the irony. The covert narcissist needs to triple, quadruple and contuple his grandiosity just in order to compensate for the gaping hole that is left in him by constant collapse and failure and defeat and the admonitions and injunctions of the bad object.

So while the overt grandiose narcissist grandiosity is a cognitive distortion, the covert narcissist grandiosity is actually a malignant compensation.

And in this sense, the covert narcissist grandiosity is identical to the grandiosity of the psychopath because psychopaths also have grandiosity.

Grandiosity is not unique to narcissism, by the way. It's a common mistake online where people confuse grandiosity with narcissism.

So I've heard self styled experts say that all psychopaths are narcissists, which is complete, unmitigated, utter, ignorant, shockingly ignorant nonsense.

All psychopaths are grandiose. All narcissists are grandiose, but grandioseity is a common denominator. It doesn't mean that they are one and the same.

Same goes for covert narcissism. But in covert narcissism, the grandiose is so outlandish, so all-consuming, so fantastic, so aggressive, so demanding, so shocking, so I would say so realistic that the covert narcissist grandiosity is very reminiscent of the psychopaths grandiosity.


The next part of the table, Cooper and Acton's table of covert narcissism, the next part is ethics, standards and ideals.

They say that the covert narcissist possesses a readiness to shift values in order to gain favor.

Pathological lying, materialistic lifestyle, delinquent tendencies, inordinate ethnic and moral relativism, irreverence toward authority, and again coming to the same conclusion.

This is a perfect description of the psychopath. This is exactly what the psychopath is.

So it would seem that Cooper and Acton are describing the malignant compensation of the covert narcissist.

This is how the covert narcissist compensates for his innate insecurity, uncertainty, doubt, fears, anxiety, sense of being less than good, less than sufficient, inadequate, failure, and so on and so forth.

He compensates for this by actually becoming a primary psychopath.

So whereas the malignant transformation of the ordinary narcissist, the classic covert, the overt, the grandiose narcissist, the malignant transformation has to do with a combination of sadism and psychopathy, but with pronounced narcissistic aspects and traits.

In the covert narcissist, the malignant transformation or the malignant compensation is psychopathy coupled with sadism.

It's as if the narcissism is suspended because it keeps failing as a compensatory mechanism. It's as if the covert says, look here, I've tried to be a narcissist, but I'm not doing this well. I keep failing. I keep collapsing. I don't want to be a narcissist anymore. I want to be a psychopath. I want to be a sadist.

So the covert narcissist, when his narcissism fails, when he collapses, transitions to a self state which is essentially sadistic and psychopathic in pure terms without narcissism or whether narcissism is not a main component, not a major component.

Let me summarize this for you because it's a very important clinical distinction.

The ordinary classical run of the mill overt grandiose narcissist, develop some of them, develop malignancy and then they become narcissists who are also psychopaths and sadists.

The narcissism is very, very dominant. The psychopathy is at the surface of narcissism. The sadism is a way to extract sadistic supply, which is a form of narcissistic supply. It's all about narcissism.

The overt grandiose narcissist does not cease to be a narcissist when he becomes malignant. On the very contrary, his malignancy emphasizes his narcissism. This is the overt.

The overt narcissist is exactly the opposite. The covert narcissist discards his narcissism because his narcissism has failed, led him to constant pain and collapse and self-recrimination and humiliation. He doesn't want to be a narcissist anymore. It's not working. Instead, he is transitioning to a self-state of psychopathy, pure psychopathy and sadism, pure sadism.

So the covert narcissist spends a lot of time as a narcissist and sometimes as a pure primary psychopath who is also a sadist.

And this is the dichotomy of the covert narcissist.

This is what we don't see in overt narcissism. The overt narcissist is always a narcissist. The overt narcissist is a narcissist when he is a psychopath. The overt narcissist is a narcissist when he is a sadist.

But the covert narcissist is not a narcissist when he is a psychopath. He is not a narcissist, not primarily when he is a sadist.

And this is a very important distinction.


What about love and sexuality?

According to Oktar and Cooper, the covert narcissist has an inability to remain in love, an impaired capacity for viewing the romantic partner as a separate individual with his or her own interests, rights and values, an inability to genuinely comprehend the incest taboo and occasional sexual perversions.

The malignant compensation here is psychopathy, sadism, but above all, auto-erotism.

The covert narcissist, and this is common also to the overt, but less pronounced and the frequency is reduced in overt narcissism.

There is an overt narcissism, there is a process called sublimation.

The sex drive is converted into socially acceptable behaviors and goals and accomplishments.

The covert narcissist is unable to accomplish anything, unable to realize anything. It's a true loser and failure.

And so the covert narcissist, when the covert narcissist tries to convert his emotions, erotic emotions, romantic emotions, sexual drive, when he tries to convert them, he doesn't convert them into socially acceptable goals because he's unable to accomplish goals.

The covert narcissist converts them into auto-erotism. Auto-erotism means the covert narcissist regards himself or herself as the sexual object.

The covert narcissist is attracted sexually to himself. The covert narcissist arouses himself by looking at his body, touching his body and so on and so forth.

But he does this by sadistically humiliating and degrading, willingly, consenting partners, for example, submissive partners.

So the sadism here is at the service of auto-erotism. It's a sexual sadist.

And this is coupled with psychopathy in the sense that the covert narcissist would not hesitate to prey on vulnerable people in order to convert them or to use them as submissive, albeit willing and consenting, fully partners.

So as to uphold his auto-erotism.

Again, the solutions are very different here.

When the overt narcissist becomes malignant, his sexuality is other directed. It may be a sexuality that we would find abhorrent or unacceptable, for example, extreme types of kink or sadomasochism, or whatever, but it would still be other directed. It would be auto-erotic, but it would be collaborative, shall we say.

While the covert narcissist, unable to convert sex, love into socially acceptable modes, what he would do, he would pray, he would become a predator and pray on vulnerable potential partners, convert them to the cause, of degradation, humiliation, submissiveness, thereby satisfying or slaking his, sating his own sadism.

And this would arouse him sexually in his attraction to himself.

So the covert narcissist would be attracted, would arouse himself by perceiving himself as irresistible through other people, through his partner's gaze. Through his degraded and humiliated partner's gaze, the covert narcissist convinces himself that he is irresistible, finds himself irresistible and makes love to himself auto-erotically.

The humiliation and the degradation of the partner has to be not only consensual, but enthusiastic as far as the partner is concerned, because of the element of irresistible.

So he is not guilty, covert narcissist needs to feel that he is amazing, unique, top performer, irresistible, drop dead gorgeous, you name it.

And he can obtain this kind of sensation or feeling, only if the partner indeed finds him this way, or at least communicates this way.

And finally, cognitive style.

Akhtar and Cooper say that the covert narcissist's knowledge is limited to trivia, headline intelligence.

The covert narcissist is forgetful of details, especially names, impaired in the capacity for learning new skills, as a tendency to change meanings of reality when facing a threat to self-esteem.

Language and speaking are used for regulating self-esteem.

The malignant compensation in this case is grandiosity.

But it is grandiosity that is coupled with kind of intellectual laziness, if you wish, entitlement.

The covert narcissist, because his grandiosity is much bigger than the overt narcissist, albeit never expressed, his entitlement is much bigger.

The covert narcissist appears to be lazy or indolent, appears to be laid back.

But actually, it's because the covert narcissist believes that he is entitled to everything and everyone's attention and property and reputation and accomplishments and so on without any commensurate effort, without any investment, without any study, without any work.

This is the malignant compensation for the problems with cognitive style that the covert narcissist possesses.

In short, covert narcissism is a much more complex condition than overt narcissism, because covert narcissism is a state of collapse.

It's when overt narcissism failed and failed.

And in this sense, covert narcissists are comparable psychodynamically to borderline, people with borderline, because borderline is also a failure of overt narcissism.

The covert borderline compensates for this failure and the feelings of shame that this failure induces.

It compensates for this, by becoming a primary psychopath.

And this gives rise to malignant covert narcissism.

It's a primary psychopath who is also sadistic to a large extent and operates through a variety of defense mechanisms, cognitive distortions and behavioral strategies that I've described in this video.

It is time to explore the malignant version, malignant variant of covert narcissism.

I suspect that it's much more common among covert narcissists than among overt narcissists.

We believe that 3% of overt narcissists are also malignant.

I would not be shocked to find that something like 15 to 20% of covert narcissists are actually malignant.

And the malignancy of covert narcissism is far, far more accentuated and a lot more dangerous to society than the malignancy of the overt narcissist.

While the overt narcissist malignancy is socially disruptive, hurts people, undermines situations and projects and so on so forth, the covert narcissist malignancy is covert and therefore it's rich and it's infiltration and it's invasiveness is comparable to cancer.

It's much bigger. It aggressively multiplies and aggressively infiltrates and invades healthy tissue, healthy social tissue.

So even if we were to accept that overt narcissists are actually primary psychopaths and that the malignant version of overt narcissism is just the addition of sadism, we would still have to somehow tackle the fact, the indisputable fact that covert narcissists act psychopathically very, very often.

And when they do, they're literally indistinguishable from psychopaths, primary psychopaths.

This is a major problem because you can't see them coming. They're great at camouflage and disguise, as I mentioned, pseudo humility.

And so it's a topic that bears a focus on. I think it should be the next hot button topic in narcissism, in the study of narcissism.

Thank you for listening.

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Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concepts of anti-narcissism, masochism, and sexual self-trashing, and how they interrelate. Anti-narcissism is not about being altruistic or nice, but rather a form of narcissism that involves externalizing one's emotional investment, leading to self-generated narcissistic supply. This can manifest in behaviors that appear benevolent but are actually self-serving. Anti-narcissists are often masochistic, engaging in self-trashing behaviors, especially sexual ones, to generate a sense of supply from within. They may appear to give and help others, but their actions are driven by an internal need for self-sufficiency and self-supply, rather than genuine empathy or connection with others.


YOUR LOVE, Intimacy FEARED: Narcissist’s Perfectionism, Envy

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the narcissist's hatred towards others and how it is linked to perfectionism. The narcissist's fear of failure drives them to be perfect, and they believe they are infallible. The narcissist idealizes only internal objects and internalizes external objects to eliminate competition. In this section, Professor Sam Vaknin explains that the narcissist believes they are the only good object in the world and that they have internalized this object. Therefore, they do not need to envy anyone else. The narcissist becomes immune to envy and talks to their envy, telling it not to direct itself at them because they are the good object.


Magnetic Narcissists: Pathological Charisma

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of the charismatic magnetic narcissist, a type of narcissism that combines post-traumatic, reactive, and societal elements. He explains how the charismatic magnetic narcissist uses trauma, attention-seeking behavior, and conformity to societal norms to bond with and influence others. He also delves into the connection between narcissism and charisma, and how charisma can be compensatory for the narcissist's sense of absence. Additionally, he explores the group dynamics and practical outcomes of charisma, ultimately linking charisma to narcissism.


Covert Narcissist’s Sadistic Envy Fantasy

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of malicious envy and its connection to narcissism and sadism. He delves into the distinction between malicious envy and benign envy, and explores how malicious envy drives individuals to destroy those they envy. Vaknin also discusses the connection between sadism and narcissism, particularly covert narcissism, and how sadism is related to power and control. He references a recent study that explores the relationship between sadism, narcissism, rivalry, and envy, and discusses the implications of these findings. Additionally, he examines the role of envy and rivalry in narcissistic behavior and the association between narcissism and sadism.


Shameful Core of Covert Narcissist: Inferior Vulnerability Compensated

The text discusses the role of shame in narcissism, distinguishing between grandiose overt narcissism and covert vulnerable narcissism. It explores shame's impact on behavior and the differences between the two types of narcissism. The author references various studies and theories to support the idea that shame is a central feature of vulnerable narcissism and its association with mental illness and addictive behaviors. The text also highlights the need for a more nuanced understanding of narcissism and its relationship with shame.

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