Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Identifying malignant narcissism

In 1964, well-known psychoanalyst Erich Fromm first coined the term “malignant narcissism”. He described it as a “severe mental sickness” which embodied “the quintessence of evil”. Other clinicians agreed. Psychoanalyst Otto Kernberg defined malignant narcissism as “an extreme form of antisocial personality disorder that is manifested in a person who is pathologically grandiose, lacking in conscience and behavioural regulation, and with characteristic demonstrations of joyful cruelty and sadism.”

These clinicians agree that while narcissistic personality disorders are quite common, malignant narcissists are an unusual variant. What differentiates a malignant narcissist from a benign one is the pattern of sadism, their gratuitous enjoyment of the pain of others. Their lack of empathy is a defining feature. While garden-variety narcissists may purposefully damage other people in pursuit of their own selfish desires (but may regret doing so), a malignant narcissist will harm others while having little or no regret for the damage they may have caused.

Their behaviour has a vindictive, demeaning quality. They have little or no conscience. And while they may acknowledge the difference between what society considers “right” and “wrong”, the real meaning of these distinctions is lost to them. They don’t possess the socialising emotions like love, anguish, joy, disgust, shame and guilt to guide their relationships with others. Whatever their transgressions, they experience no remorse and are unable to feel pity or compassion for others.


Currently studying Psychotherapy , Cognitive psychology, Biological psychology, Counselling psychology and CBT. I believe in truth, honesty and integrity! ≧◔◡◔≦

Leave a Reply, All comments will be moderated - Many thanks for your contribution

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.