My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
Narcissists are clustered, concentrated in certain professions. We find them in the teaching professions, among the clergy, in show business, corporate management, in the medical professions, in the military, in law enforcement agencies, in politics, in sports.
In these professions, narcissists are over-represented, way and above the representation of the general population, which is estimated to be around 1%.
But why is that? Why do narcissists gravitate to these things?
The short and the long of it is narcissistic supply. Narcissists are addicted to a drug called narcissistic supply. They seek attention, adulation, affirmation, applause, obedience, or even notoriety, in being feared. They need this input from their human environment, from other people, in order to regulate their sense of self-worth, in order to build their self-confidence, in order to restore a shattered self-esteem.
Narcissists seek to interact with people from a position of superiority, from a position of advantage, from a position of authority. They are not interested in interactions with their equals because they don't believe they have any equals.
The cerebral narcissist is likely to emphasize intellectual prowess and accomplishments, whether real or imaginary. This is in an attempt to solicit supply from all-studded students, devoted parishioners, admiring voters of sequacious subordinates, or dependent patients.
The somatic narcissist derives his sense of self-worth from bodybuilding, athletic achievements, tests of resilience, or endurance, and of course, sexual conquest.
So, for instance, the narcissistic medical doctor or psychiatrist, mental health professional, and his patients, the narcissistic guide, teacher, or mentor, and his students, the narcissistic leader, guru, pundit, or psychic, and his followers, or admirers, and the narcissistic business tycoon, boss, or employer, and his underlings and subordinates, they are all instances of what is called the pathological narcissistic space.
Narcissists gravitate and migrate toward certain professions in order to construct these self-enclosed spaces where they are divine, god-like figures, and they have a coterie of fans, admirers, followers, devotees.
This is a very worrisome state of affairs. Narcissists are liars. They misrepresent their credentials, their knowledge, their talents, their achievements. You can't trust a narcissist. A narcissist medical doctor would rather let patients die than expose his ignorance. A narcissistic therapist often traumatizes his clients with his acting out, with rage, his exploitativeness, and lack of empathy.
Narcissistic businessmen bring ruin on their firms, their employees, and are often engaged in scams.
Moreover, even when all is well, so to speak, the narcissist's relationship with his psychophants is abusive. He perceives others as objects, mere instruments of gratification. He treats them as dispensable and interchangeable implements.
Being an addict, the narcissist tends to pursue an ever larger dose of narcissistic supply. He seeks more adoration, ever bigger fix of attention, while gradually losing what's left of his moral constraints.
Narcissists in these professions are dangerous. When the narcissist's sources become wary, rebellious, tired, bored, disgusted, repelled, or plainly amused by his incessant dependence, his childish cravings for attention, and his antiques, and when they get deterred or frightened by his exaggerated or even paranoid fears and by his obsessive compulsive behaviors, when the narcissist is a drama queen and his followers, his fans, his acolytes leave him, abandon him, the narcissist resorts to emotional extortion, straight blackmail, abuse or misuse of his authority, and criminal antisocial conduct.
If these fail, the narcissist devalues and discards the very people he so idealized and cherished only a short while before.
As opposed to their normal colleagues or peers in the same profession, narcissists in authority lack empathy, they have no ethical standards, thus they are prone to immorally, cynically, callously, and consistently abuse and misuse their position.
Their socialization process, usually the problem of a problematic early relationship with their parents, is often disturbed, perturbed, and this results in social dysfunctioning.
Narcissists don't know how to be social, they know how to control, they know how to manipulate, they know how to exploit, but they don't know how to work together, collaborate, teamwork, and accept their place in a well-structured society or hierarchy.
Nor is the narcissist deterred by possible punishment or regards himself subject to man-made laws. His sense of entitlement coupled with the conviction of his own superiority lead the narcissist to believe that he is invincible, invulnerable, immune, and divine, almost.
The narcissist holds human edicts, rules, and regulations in disdain and human penalties in contempt. He regards human needs and emotions as weaknesses to be predatorily exploited, to place narcissistic predators in these professions, the clergy, medicine, law enforcement, the judiciary is asking for trouble.