Taken together, my last few posts make an important point:
If people suffering from NPD can keep themselves from abusing when there would be witnesses, they can keep themselves from abusing when there wouldn't be witnesses. They just don't.
By going to great lengths to abuse on the sly while portraying themselves to the outside world as the very antithesis of what they are, NPDs prove that they know that their behavior is wrong and shameful = something to hide.
Most children of narcissists do NOT choose to imitate the parent who hurts them so and therefore do NOT become narcissists themselves.
This is why the courts (in the US) don't regard NPD as a defense. That's because it isn't insanity. The insane
attack people in broad daylight, in front of God and everybody, like that tiger I mentioned in this previous post.
are NOT cunning; they don't do evil on the sly; they don't cover up their true character with an impressive facade; they don't plan (premeditate) how to sneak around and get away with wrongdoing on the sly.
The insane show by the way they go about a crime that (a) they don't know what they're doing, (b) that they don't know it's wrong, something to hide and be ashamed of, and (c) that they can't control themselves to keep from doing it.
Does any of that fit the NPD modus operandi? No.
This is why NPD is legally a CHARACTER disorder, not a mental disorder that leaves a person free of responsibility for what he or she does.
In other words, NPD is NOT insanity. NPDs are twisted, not insane.
Are they then just evil?
Nobody needs anyone to tell them the answer to that question. Just follow simple logic: Add 2+2 = ?
NPDs don't do evil to do evil: they do it because it makes them feel good = because doing evil is like a drug, a pain killer.
So, we cannot get on a high horse of moral superiority, because we aren't tempted as they are. We don't have their predatory urges.
But that doesn't mean that we should close our eyes to what they are. If hurting others makes you feel good, you like hurting others. Sorry, there's just no getting around that.
If you want to hurt others, you're malevolent. Sorry, there's just no getting around that.
It's DANGEROUS to be in denial of these facts. Dangerous to regard NPDs as people of goodwill, as suffering victims who can't help it.
That just plays right into their hands. That's what they want -- for you to be a sucker and feel sorry for them. To make excuses for them. To assign them a lower set of standards to live up to.
There's a sucker born every minute. Before you know it, they have you regarding THEM as the victim, feeling sorry for THEM instead of their victims. All hell must be laughing their heads off at this joke. What a travesty of justice. What a perversion of Truth.
It's a false choice -- that suggested choice between hating them and sympathizing with them. The sensible choice is simply to regard them as what they are: predators. In other words, STAY AWAY FROM THEM. NEVER TRUST THEM. AND DON'T GO INTO THEIR CAGE.
If you lie, you are a liar. If you kill, you are a killer. We are the sum total of what our CHOICES to date have made us. Narcissists too are the sum total of what their choices to date have made them. Adult narcissists have passed the point of no return long ago.
Perhaps some day psychiatrists will learn some way to help them pay the toll to that demon at the door, so narcissists can return to the human way of life. Let us hope for that day, but let us not, in the meantime, be dangerously naive.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2006
Are Narcissists Evil?
Some, including narcissists and politically correct social workers, protest plain talk about narcissists and claim that they are not evil. Even Sam Vaknin does this, and he makes no excuses for narcissists. In fact, in several of his writings, he admits in one breath that “some” are sadists and then tries to tell us that narcissists are not evil in the next breath.
I’m not afraid to know a lie when I hear one, but I see no reason to think that he is lying when he says this. I think he is just failing to be completely honest with himself. Which is perfectly understandable, because EVERY person’s most prized possession is their self concept of themselves as an essentially good person. No one can bear the thought of being inherently evil. Here I mention a narcissist who told me she contemplated suicide when confronted with the fear of being inherently evil, saying that she would have been one of those suicides “who doesn’t even leave a note.”
So, I don’t blame narcissists for denying that they are evil. No one must condemn himself. Ever. No matter what.
And though I disagree, I think Vaknin makes a valid and important point here – a distinction that we all should recognize.
First, where I disagree.
As I often say, I am convinced that the only rein on a narcissist’s behavior is what he thinks he can get away with. So he will be as sadistic as he can. All are sadistic then, but only some are sadistic all the time, and most are sadistic some of the time.
Also, if you hurt others because hurting others makes you feel good, youlike hurting others. Sorry, there’s just no getting around that. Trying to makes as much sense as trying to say that you don't like eating steak, you just eat steak because it tastes yummy. Sorry, that means you LIKE eating steak.
And, to LIKE hurting others is wickedness, malignance, malice, malevolence. No matter what other euphemistic name you prefer to cloak it with.
BUT, Vaknin is correct in viewing the narcissist as inconsistent with our image of “evil beings.” The mythology of the devil portrays him as a being who loves evil and does evil for it’s own sake. Just to do evil.
This is an understandable error, because the (truly) good love goodness for its own sake and do good just to do good, for its own sake. Naturally then, we just take the flip-side of that coin and apply to our image of the Evil One.
First, there is no such thing as the devil. It’s a symbol for something. Ill will. It is not some other kind of being from an eternal realm, a bodiless PERSON. It is the malevolence in some people.
Since it is the product of human nature gone awry, at bottom it is LIKE human nature. It differs ABOVE the root, not at its root.
Narcissists don’t love evil. They don’t do evil for its own sake. Which is why they don’t ALWAYS choose evil. Sometimes they advance their plan by choosing to do good for the wrong reasons. They do what they do because it makes them feel good. They are people in pain, and Narcissistic Supply (various forms of attention) are like a pain-killing drug to them. They must have it all. Like any addict who can’t get enough of his or her pain-killing drug, the narcissist will attack you and steal any you have.
That’s all. It may seem like splitting hairs, but there is a difference. They don’t hurt you just to hurt you: they hurt you because they like hurting you = hurting you makes them feel good.
The worse they hurt you, the better they feel, so they are sadistic.
I say that makes them evil. BUT, I also say that this should teach us an important lesson about evil.
Nobody does evil just to do evil. Nobody loves evil. Nobody does it for its own sake. Indeed, this is why the narcissist can’t face the facts about his conduct. He hates evil as much as anyone does. So he lives in denial of the evil he does, in deniel of the sickness/malignance within him. For, he too has brought up in the belief that the evil are inherently evil because they love evil and do it for its own sake. The dread of knowing himself as THAT is what compells him to malignantly narcissistic behavior.
But both he and we are WRONG. Narcissists are NOT inherently or essentially evil. No one is. They just make themselves evil by choosing to do evil, disregarding the consequences to others. Like selfish three-year-olds. Like us, they are the sum-total of all their life’s choices to date. So, they can become un-evil by making a 180-degree turn and living the other way.
Which will cost them each an arm and a leg, and Vaknin explains whyhere. Yet theoretically, it can be done. And perhaps the first step is to realize that this doesn't make them INHERENTLY evil. Not any more than stomping people makes them INHERENTLY superior.