Shall We Talk a Bit More About Psychological Abuse?

In a previous article, I introduced the idea there are several types of narcissists: “Many clinical psychologists are agreeing on the number seven. The most dangerous kind is the ‘malignant narcissist’. This one is a predator, very intentional in hunting their victims and causing harm. They feed on people’s suffering. They don’t feel remorse. For all the other six types, they don’t intentionally seek to do harm. All that they crave is to nurture their ‘false’ sense of self and don’t care if this means hurting others within the process.”

Noticing how many people are confused, and only familiar with the classic overt and arrogant narcissist whose origin is rooted in Narcissus, the Greek Mythology persona known for his beauty and self-admiration which killed him, I thought of giving a try to explore the different types in more details.

Narcissists different types

It is important to note all narcissists make use of the same abuse and manipulation techniques, more or less. The difference from one type to another is the explicit or covert/subtle attribute of the tactic depending of their level of intellectual & emotional intelligence in general, as well as the development process of their false self. Some of those techniques are; gaslighting, invalidation, projection, mirroring—the ability of copying and then simulating empathy for instance among other lovable virtues through first carefully observing them in the kind-hearted folks, constantly violating your emotional boundaries because they don’t have any, etc…

Here is a small example to explain the difference between ‘gaslighting’ and ‘invalidation’:

Let’s suppose you are sharing with me (the narcissist) that you are hurt:

  • Gaslighting: No, you don’t feel hurt! You don’t even have the right to feel hurt.
  • Invalidation: You feel hurt? Once again you feel hurt when I talk about your mother… I don’t know how to talk to you without you saying you are hurt!

In the latter situation, I am not doubting your feelings. Instead, I am criticizing them.

Please be aware that the traits I am going to share in relation to the classic narcissist are the basis. They are shared by all the seven types. What is making the overt one easy to be spot is his arrogance and taking responsibility for who s/he is. This is why this type is, to me, the least dangerous one of all.

The Classic Overt Grandiose Narcissist: They think they are great. They lack humility. They are full of themselves. They are the favorite topic of their conversations. They are self-absorbed, selfish, and arrogant. They have low levels of empathy. They feel entitled and superior to everybody else. They want constant attention and admiration. They don’t have a big problem taking advantage of others. They are interested in what they want, and usually, that’s just about it.

A simplistic way to explain the ‘entitlement’ could be done through the following example:

You are a contestant in a singing talent show and did such an incredibly outstanding performance being so passionate and vulnerable in your delivery; which moved the audience and resulted in a standing ovation. Ironically, your family members didn’t get that excited and cheer you up enthusiastically. Why? Because you— perceived as merely their own ‘extension’— must be granted all the favors. It doesn’t make much sense to be encouraged for what you ‘deserve’… Your parents would talk about your achievements with pride to others though; only because it is making them look good.

The malignant Narcissist: They believe they are gods. They are completely disconnected from their conscience. They do not feel guilt, remorse, and empathy. They do not feel bad for the horrible things they do. They have a very sadistic side. They take pleasure in the suffering of others. They view taking advantage, using and screwing other people over for their benefit as a very normal, natural, and necessary part of life. They are extremely cruel and dangerous.

The Covert/Vulnerable Narcissist: They tend to always portray themselves as a victim. They also believe they are superior to others, but underrecognized for this specialness. They feel slighted by life. They are usually very covert-aggressive and tend to devalue other people. Many times, they come across as constantly depressed. They feel very taken advantage of, so undervalued for how wonderful they truly are.

Their grandiose delusions are substantiated by those good deeds and this amazing ability they think they have to empathize and understand what is going on to make the world a better place.

The Communal Narcissist: They portray themselves as abnormally understanding and empathetic. They behave as if they have some nurturing superhuman powers. They would advertise loudly how much they give to charity and how little they spend on themselves. They use the fact that they are doing good deeds to validate the belief that they are better than the rest of humanity. They use them as a means of gaining narcissistic supply. Their grandiose delusions are substantiated by those good deeds and this amazing ability they think they have to empathize and understand what is going on to make the world a better place. None of what they do will be in private. The motivation for helping others is never genuine; rather always self-serving. They are very popular outside the household for this illusional image. Many of them are NGO leaders or cults leaders. When being at home though, they are cruel and abusive, especially to their spouse.

The Inverted/Codependent/Mirror Narcissist: They depend exclusively on a narcissistic supply from their narcissist to feel superior. They crave to be in a relationship with a narcissist regardless of any abuse inflicted on them. This person feels empty, unworthy, unhappy unless they are in a relationship with a narcissist. They are selfless, graveling, and even sacrificial when it comes to the narcissist in their life. They are terrified of losing them. They nearly behave as if they were their slave, putting up with horrific abuse. It is very disturbing to witness this dynamic of relationships.

The Somatic Narcissist: They are mainly obsessed with their body. They are consumed with their looks. They are, in general, the health nuts; extremely strict and measuring everything they are eating, always looking at the mirror to witness their body’s transformation. They are constantly having cosmetic surgeries. They get their narcissistic supply from the compliments they get on their looks. They are those social media slaves, continually posing with their shirts off or with the bikini on.

The Cerebral Narcissist: They think they are an intellectual genius. They get their narcissistic supply from their superior intellectual abilities whether real or perceived. They will be the ones throwing around words and language that ‘prove’ they are smarter than other people. They will make sure everyone knows which college they graduated from and all the accolades that they achieved. They show their superiority by trying to be the smartest, the most intellectual person in the room. They would not bear with anyone perceiving them as anything short of brilliant. They downplay others’ intellectual abilities as beneath them.


Myriam Ben Salem
Myriam Ben Salem
I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer. Writing has been my very favorite means to educate my audience, captivate their attention, talk to their emotions, and make them relate and take action. I have been honored by working as a columnist for BIZCATALYST 360°, an Award-Winning life, culture, and biz new media digest, serving as the global hub for enhanced performance and well-being, during 2020. Also, I am a contributing author in Mayhem to Miracles: True Stories of Courage, Triumph, and Peace. I am so in love with writing that I have a peaceful smile drawn on my face whenever I start visualizing the books I will be writing for whoever will be tempted to discover an inclusive philosophy breaking with all the stigmas! I was born in Tunisia, a small country in North Africa. I did pretty much everything earlier than the average: walking, talking, singing, dancing. Promoted throughout my entire education, I was also the leader of every end-of-year party. At some point, after working several years for multinational companies as an engineer, team leader, project coordinator, and product owner while always being a top performer, I figured out I was feeling miserable despite the 'perfect external image'. That marked the starting point of an existential crisis followed by an episode that triggered my re-birth and the beginning of the most rewarding adventure of my whole existence: re-writing my subconscious program and reconnecting with my true self. I was saved at the last moment through an out-of-body experience making me see all the lies, realize this gigantic Universe was not revolving around me. Most importantly, I was able to visualize I was here to leave a legacy like all of you, no matter how big or small! The butterfly took time to emerge though. Today, I identify myself as a Universal Citizen. Like-minded and light-hearted people are what I call home. I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer, and was granted the edutainer qualifier: a combination between education and entertainment! I educate on the importance of healing unsuspected traumas, seeing our limiting beliefs and biases with honest lenses, finding one's purpose and a principled mission that goes beyond the self, and unleashing the hidden potential so that to leave our legacy for the generations unborn. I have been using a panoply of means that could vary from explicit ones such as mentorship, speaking, and writing, a skill that emerged naturally during my self-actualization process to implicit mediums like storytelling, how I daily show up in the world and model servant leadership! Writing is my very favorite and most preferred tool deployed for my mission. The topics I explore are in the nexus of stoic philosophy, psychology, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, and pretty much any topic involving human behavior. Common denominator? The quality of the subconscious program. You may have a look at some of my works published on my website; Set Yourself Free.

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  1. Article. Interesting.
    Generally speaking of the narcissist only as a personality that collects people’s contempt, but harmless enough.
    In reality, the narcissistic personality disorder can compromise the professional, social and emotional life of the people who suffer from it: the narcissist, when he does not get the recognition he believes he deserves and in the face of any criticism, he can react with anger or shame . Furthermore, given that social status plays a fundamental role for its image, it often binds itself to famous or special people who give it importance by reflection, developing opportunistic and superficial relationships.
    When they do not receive answers to their constant requests for admiration, for favorable treatments and for the immediate satisfaction of their needs at the expense of the other, narcissists can become furious or show contempt and detachment and, lacking empathy, resort to manipulation to reach the own ends until the implementation of abusive behaviors to obtain the power they think is lost. Others may decide to move them away, feeling exploited, manipulated and not respected in their needs, with consequent periods characterized by severe anxiety and depression, often the only motivation that drives them to seek help from a professional.

    • Million thanks dear Aldo for such a valuable contribution to the discussion ! I’m truly delighted witnessing there are people who already made the effort to explore the critical topic and make themselves knowledgeable! I can’t emphasize enough on the importance of learning all the abuse and manipulation intentional tactics; simply because some narcissists are so smart and subtle in their game they can fool people for years– if not forever, and causing them some very serious psychological damage– worst case scenario pushing their victims to commit suicide (I was one of those); which I believe is extremely sad, and one of the most urgent problems to be addressed!

      When it comes to narcissists seeking some professional help, I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, this is so rare for two main reasons: 1. Their grandiosity pattern would almost always blind them to the effectiveness of any person to know better than them, 2. there is in general AT LEAST one person who would continue enabling them and providing them with their so needed narcissistic supply…

      Because of the extremely low number of narcissists seeking help or participarting in studies (implicitly admitting they have a problem in the first place), I have been recommending people NOT TO RELY on statistics for their education! We can easily be fooled because they are EVERYWHERE and ruling the world; some of them even globally recognized as kind-hearted ‘helpers’… This is truly serious and critical, and I hope more and more good people will start being aware of it!

  2. Myriam 🦋 Ben 🦋 Salem 🦋 .. so Good to spread the awareness. This hits home for me. Narcissists are extremely dangerous and damaging.. I refer to them as murders of the soul ( well my experience was like this)… and still question the thought if they have one any more. It’s like a type of possession to me .. thank you for this informative piece that many can learn from!

    Took me a few times to comment…phew!

    • Million thanks dear Paula for keeping trying several times! Your generosity is so lovely! And absolutely, I couldn’t agree more! Such an accurate and valuable adding to the discussion my friend! Thanks again!