Unmasking narcissists and stalking risk
Nowadays it seems to be a common practice for people to label their former partners as narcissists. This may serve as a way to better understand the ending of a relationship. Worryingly, however, studies indicate that narcissism is on the rise and that a greater variety of narcissistic personalities have emerged. In this article we will discuss in detail the various categories of narcissists and their specific behavioral characteristics within the context of relationships and stalking risk. I will try to keep it as understandable as possible. You can write books about this subject in combination with stalking. That's a bit too much for this website.
Note: In this article, for convenience, we will refer to people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) as "narcissists" and refer to them with masculine pronouns. According to official figures, more men are diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder than women. However, it is important to remember that narcissism can affect both men and women.
Types of narcissists
People with narcissism generally exhibit a pattern of grandiosity, a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. Although some have described different “types” of narcissists, such as the persuasive narcissist, the undermining narcissist, and the malignant narcissist, these categorizations are not scientifically proven and cannot be used for a formal sentence. Yet we notice that narcissists are increasingly classified into different categories, as confirmed by various authors, therapists, psychologists and narcissism coaches.
Shared characteristics of narcissists
Before we delve deeper into the different types of narcissists, it's important to understand some shared characteristics. Although narcissists can be divided into six different categories, they all share the following traits:
- A discrepancy between self-image and behavior:
Narcissists often have a distorted view of themselves and behave differently than they see themselves.
- Delusions of grandeur:
They consider themselves superior, more interesting and better than others.
Narcissists are self-centered and often take advantage of others.
- Lack of real or long-term friendships:
This stems from their constant search for a love partner.
- Lack of performance or success:
They often have few tangible achievements, but have numerous excuses to justify it.
- Laxity with the truth:
Narcissists treat the truth nonchalantly.
- Manipulative behavior:
They manipulate and play on others.
- Entanglement and isolation:
In relationships, they suck in their partner and try to isolate them from family and friends.
It is important to realize that there is often an overlap between the different types of narcissists. For example, a person may have both somatic characteristics and characteristics of the overt narcissist. In most cases you will recognize some characteristics of all types in one person, but one type of narcissist will usually predominate.
Six types of narcissists in brief
Now let's delve deeper into the different types of narcissists:
- Somatic Narcissist (Somatic Narcissist)
This type of narcissist uses his appearance and sexual appeal to manipulate others. They are often vain, pay a lot of attention to their appearance and have multiple sexual partners.
- Overt Narcissist (Grand Narcissist)
These narcissists know they are narcissistic and make little effort to hide it. They have an exaggerated sense of self-worth, fantasies of fame and success, and exaggerate their abilities.
- Covert Narcissist (Covert Narcissist)
Covert narcissists present themselves as modest and vulnerable, but use these qualities to manipulate others. They are often oversensitive to criticism and project their own insecurities onto others.
- Antagonistic Narcissist
This is an extreme form of narcissism where rivalry and competition are central. They have a great need for admiration, are arrogant and selfish, and do not shy away from exploiting others.
- Altruistic Narcissist (Communal Narcissist)
These narcissists see themselves as do-gooders and are dedicated to causes and helping others. They want to be seen as altruistic and are often convinced of their superiority.
- Malignant Narcissist (Malignant Narcissist)
This is the most serious and dangerous form of narcissism. Malignant narcissists exhibit destructive behavior and often show no feelings of guilt. They are impulsive, vindictive and can be both verbally and physically violent.
1. Somatic narcissists
This type of narcissist places significant value on his appearance, which he uses to attract people. He pays great attention to his appearance, is vain and spends a lot of time on physical training. Moreover, he places great importance on his clothes and hairstyle, and he has a specific style that matches the image he has created of himself.
He strives to appear youthful and often seeks validation from younger women. They are very active sexually and strive to make their partner feel like the best bed partner ever, without necessarily being selfish in bed. They have therefore often had numerous sex partners and are open to casual sexual encounters, whereby they attach little importance to the use of contraceptives. They often want sex during the first or second date and rarely get satisfaction from sex with just one partner, which is why they often have multiple partners at the same time. Some of them may lean toward porn addiction.
They often seek sexual challenges and "forbidden" sexual experiences, such as seducing married women, virgins, their partner's best friends, relatives, or women with significant age differences, whether younger or older.
Sex and drugs often go hand in hand, as people with narcissistic personality disorder show an increased risk of addiction. These addictions can vary and the disorder itself is often considered an addiction to admiration. Certain drugs can affect the sexual experience, prolonging sexual desire, experiencing more intense orgasms and increasing sexual satisfaction. The somatic narcissist tends to push boundaries and may exhibit reckless behavior. This includes not only adultery, but also the risk of being caught during sex, exploring BDSM and fetishes, with an emphasis on dominance and sadism, as well as experiencing erotic pleasure from painful acts.
This type of narcissist often uses sex as a weapon. They consciously use sex to quickly bond with him. But the opposite also happens; he denies or takes sex away from you and uses it as a means of control, making you feel like you're not good enough or that you have to 'earn' sex.
2. Overt narcissists
This type of narcissist openly admits that he is a narcissist. They are extroverted, arrogant, feel justified and show little empathy for others.
They always harbor grand plans, believe that they are more advanced than others and think they know everything better. There are no real competitors for them; others may have been “lucky” to get to a certain point, but in the end they will conquer the world, and no one else. They often fantasize about fame and success, and these fantasies often come true. They exaggerate their own skills, achievements and intelligence.
This type of narcissist has numerous excuses ready as to why he has not achieved success or fame thus far; he attributes it to his youth, his parents, his ex-partner, his previous employer – in short, to everything but himself. They talk a lot, especially about themselves, and may even openly admit that they are narcissistic and are proud of it.
For any form of relationship with an overt narcissist, admiration, affirmation and praise are essential conditions. The overt narcissist will strongly emphasize the need to be admired in a relationship and will even give you clues as to how he prefers to be admired.
Verbal and emotional abuse are often used by the overt narcissist to establish and maintain relationships.
Attraction and repulsion are common features of relationships with this type of narcissist. In the beginning of the relationship, there is often “lovebombing,” in which the partner is showered with praise. You are considered soul mates or experience a deep soul connection, and the relationship seems to be meant to be. However, once the narcissist has you completely under his control, the “devaluation phase” begins in which he rejects you. This exhausting cycle repeats itself again and again until eventually the “final discard” occurs, where you are no longer needed because the narcissist sees a new partner as an “upgrade.”
3. Covert narcissists
The covert narcissist exhibits a devious, manipulative attitude by often appearing vulnerable or as a victim. The covert narcissist may initially appear shy, modest, and extremely charming. In many ways he resembles the overt narcissist, but he keeps many of his narcissistic traits hidden. He silently harbors resentment about everything that has not worked out in his life, such as the lack of status, financial success and recognition.
He also longs for admiration, fame and confirmation. Deep down, all narcissists are insecure and lonely, and NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) often arises as a result of attachment trauma. However, the covert narcissist has even lower self-esteem compared to other types of narcissists. They experience more intense mood swings, anxiety, depression and shame.
They are very focused on themselves, but struggle with the feeling of not being good enough. Criticism affects them deeply and they have difficulty dealing with stress, which can lead to irritation, outbursts of anger, or even (verbal) violent behavior.
They often hop from job to job because they are constantly trying to impress others instead of following their own passion or talents. Super adept at projecting their own insecurities, fears and frustrations onto their partner. Are very familiar with using lies and gaslighting to manipulate their partner.
This leads to confusing situations in which the covert narcissist can be alternately loving and contemptuous. When you point this out, he often cites his traumatic childhood as justification. Within the relationship, the covert narcissist presents himself as a victim, thinking he can get away with many things and expecting to be taken care of.
Sometimes he pretends to do nice things for you, but in reality it's mostly for his own needs. They are masterful at manipulating situations to achieve their own goals. Suddenly there is a new car at the door, there are all kinds of modern gadgets in the house, or even cryptocurrency has been purchased. Maybe an exotic vacation is suddenly booked, but this often happens with your money, all because of his own “needs.”
4. Antagonistic narcissists
This is one of the most intense forms of narcissism. Be extra careful when dealing with an antagonistic narcissist. They have many similarities to the overt narcissist, but are even more extreme and emphasize rivalry and competition. They always have the urge to be the center of attention and will do anything for this. Extremely arrogant and quite selfish, they have no qualms about exploiting others because they think they “deserve” it.
These are often big scammers. They deliberately take advantage of others, ranging from misleading advertisements and gaining money through deception to even theft and financial fraud. Are easily irritated and often get involved in arguments, from minor altercations to verbally aggressive confrontations.
Have difficulty with trust and are distrustful of others. A relationship with an antagonistic narcissist is anything but pleasant because they take advantage of their partner in different ways. Often with financial gain or status as motivation. They may want to use your job, your home, your relationships, or your finances for their own benefit.
Constantly criticize and belittle their partner, but only after being overly loving in the beginning (the lovebombing phase). They demand constant attention and control, especially when you want to do something for yourself. If you want to have a night out with friends or even plan a vacation alone, you are almost guaranteed to encounter problems. They manipulate and exploit others for their personal gain. In the relationship, they abuse their partner on a physical, mental, emotional and sometimes even spiritual level.
5. Altruistic narcissists
This type of narcissist can sometimes be difficult to understand, because they are convinced of their role as do-gooders, wimps or a god. However, you should think of them as “wolves in sheep's clothing”. Describe themselves as empathetic and generous. See themselves as altruistic and want to be recognized as trustworthy and supportive. They get their self-esteem from the idea that they are the most generous person.
Are extremely dedicated to specific charities or helping people, and believe that through their efforts they can improve the world. Often talk about their mission or calling, viewing everything else as unimportant or selfish. They sometimes act like martyrs and may look down on people who do not share their commitment to "good causes" (for example, if they are vegan, they may mock people who eat meat). Believing that they excel at something, although they often have no evidence to support this claim, and others may strongly disagree.
React strongly to things they consider unfair. Ironically, they are often quite hypocritical, as they primarily pursue their own needs.
In a relationship with this type of narcissist, you are rarely the only one. This type of narcissist is sometimes called a “cult leader” because they gather around them women who all believe they are superior to others. They consider themselves smarter, more spiritual, or richer than the rest. These women don't even have to know each other personally, but each woman in this group feels a special bond and shares a common mission. However, this connection is often presented in such a way that each woman is seen as a threat to the narcissist's partner.
Although these narcissists may act kind in public, they are often selfish and insensitive in personal relationships. They seem to be a completely different person at home than in public, which leads to painful situations for the people close to them. This narcissist wants to take you along on his mission to save humanity or the world. If this doesn't work, he will judge and belittle you. In his eyes, your achievements so far mean nothing because they have not made the world a better place or contributed to the well-being of humanity.
6. Malignant narcissists
If you are ever confronted with this type of narcissist, it is best to run as far away as possible. This is the most extreme and dangerous form of narcissism, and it can be destructive to all relationships in the area. Malignant narcissism can even be associated with serial killers in some cases. Which often meet the criteria for this disorder. Also feel no remorse when performing destructive acts towards others.
Malignant narcissism can also manifest as paranoid behavior. This narcissist views himself as superior to others and has an intense need for admiration and the desire to be above everyone else. He exhibits a complete lack of empathy for others and exploits people without hesitation to suit his own needs.
In addition, he is impulsive, easily irritated, reckless and has a tendency towards vengeful behavior. It is crucial to distance yourself from this dangerous personality as quickly as possible. Extremely dangerous and many strike cases with wrong outcomes were caused by a malignant narcissist.
Which narcissists are at risk of becoming stalkers?
Each type of narcissist has different characteristics and behaviors, which can also affect them risk of becoming a stalker to become. Here is an overview of each type of narcissist in relation to the risk of stalker behavior.
- Somatic narcissists
- Risk of stalker behavior: Mediocre
- Somatic narcissists are often focused on sexual conquests.
- They may have a tendency to continue contacting former partners or objects of their interest. This can lead to stalker behavior if they feel rejected.
- Overt narcissists
- Risk of stalker behavior: Mediocre
- Overt narcissists are usually too focused on themselves and their need for admiration to engage in stalker behavior.
- They would rather be admired than spend their energy chasing others.
- Hidden narcissists
- Risk of stalker behavior: Low
- Covert narcissists are more concerned with their own needs and problems than with stalking others.
- They are often too insecure to exhibit stalker behavior.
- Antagonistic narcissists
- Risk of stalker behavior: High
- Antagonistic narcissists can be very manipulative and vindictive.
- They may exhibit stalker behavior if they believe they need to get revenge on someone who has antagonized or hurt them.
- Altruistic narcissists
- Risk of stalker behavior: Low
- Altruistic narcissists usually focus on their own sense of superiority and seek admiration by performing good deeds.
- They usually don't have the same level of obsession with others as stalkers.
- Malignant narcissists
- Risk of stalker behavior: Very high
- Malignant narcissists can be very destructive and vengeful.
- They have little empathy and can exhibit stalker behavior if they see someone as a target.
It is important to note that stalker behavior is complex and depends on multiple factors. Including personality disorders and personal history. Not all people with narcissistic traits will become stalkers. But some narcissists, especially the antagonistic and malignant types. Often have an increased risk of exhibiting stalking behavior when they feel rejected, hurt or threatened. It is always important to to take stalking seriously and report it to protect yourself.
Each type of narcissist exhibits specific characteristics within relationships, ranging from manipulation and abuse to physical and emotional damage. A relationship with a narcissist can be extremely complex and damaging. Understanding the specific characteristics of the type of narcissist in question can help recognize and deal with narcissistic behavior.