Most people don’t know this about narcissism:
There are four different kinds of narcissist. They are all different “degrees” of self-centered. In my opinion, if you were looking for one adjective to describe, narcissists, and narcissism, I would say it is “self-centeredness“.
On a related, but very important note, there are also people who are known as “sociopaths“ and they are damaged or born, in such a way that they do not have a conscience. Any “empathy“ that they may display is just learned, and parroted like a monkey setting a table in a tux.
People are objects to them. And when they are motivated, practically exclusively by self service… You can imagine how that goes. Many of you have lived it.
The overlap is only in one place. There is a kind of narcissist that is also a sociopath. So it is a person who is extremely self-centered, and to whom all people are simply objects or things to be used.
That is not, I repeat not, all narcissists.
So, while all narcissists are self-centered by degrees, many of them, have empathy, kindness, generosity, all under the “super big top” of self-centeredness. Can be “the most generous selfish person” you’ve ever met.
The malignant narcissist, is entirely self-centered, but also has no empathy and sees people as “things“.
While the majority of narcissists are merely grandiose, chronic over-talkers, know-it-all’s, and shameless ”Look at me! My car! My things!” Annoying.
I’ve known some malignant narcissists. Nicest most relatable folks you ever wanna meet. But it doesn’t take you long to realize that their use for other people is just that. A use.
This one old guy, (I was married to his ruined, stone-cold-Machiavellian daughter). This guy used to brag about how he could “get anyone to do whatever he wanted”, just by making friends with them. I don’t think he knew the definition of the word ‘malignant narcissist’. Or he wouldn’t have said that about himself..