If you follow the study of Cluster B personality types because you are a mental health professional, legal eagle, or the victim of Narcissistic Abuse, you might be wondering about a new term that has risen in self-help circles referring to people classified as Narcopaths. Here’s more about what the term means (from a psychological and social standpoint) as well as why the term is gaining popularity to describe the types of personalities capable of some of the most inhumane treatment of other people human culture has ever known.
Narcopaths come in all shapes, ages, and all three genders. If the word Narcopath has come into play, understand it is pervasive — meaning one should resist the urge to “out” a person by claiming they are a Narcopath or some other malignant deviation of a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder simply because they act in ways that are less than agreeable on occasion.
Narcissism — as a mental health issue — is a noun. A quick Schoolhouse Rock style vocabulary lesson is in order. The definition of Narcissism is a noun, not an adjective. It’s a thing — while the word “narcissistic” is an adjective used to describe character or as an adverb used to describe behavior.
The dictionary definition of Narcissism can be read here –> What does the word Narcissism mean?
A person who is a Narcissist, by clinical definition according to the terms of the DSM — a diagnostic manual used by mental health care providers who treat patients worldwide — meets diagnostic criteria pervasively and persistently for having something called NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER. We say that phrase in all caps here because yes — we’re yelling it!
To call someone a Narcissist in anger is like shouting at a person for being tall or having diabetes.
It reflects a lack of social education in an academic sense, something that disempowers Narcissistic Abuse victims. When people use the term to make AD HOMINEM style attacks on a person’s character, even the Narcissist’s themselves should roll their eyes and stop taking their accuser seriously.
It’s a silly habit to engage in name calling. It demeans the speaker and abuses the listener.
Same thing for words like Psychopath or Sociopath — and yes, we’re getting to our point here.
People who legitimately ARE Psychopaths and Sociopaths belong to a classification of people who — like true Narcissists — fall under the umbrella classification term of Anti-Social. People who have Anti-Social Personality Disorder have a personality type in the same way Narcissists or Diabetics have a type.
It’s that flatline simplistic. A Narcopath is nothing more than a Narcissistic Sociopath, noting that a Narcissistic Psychopath tends to be referred to as a DARK TRIAD online for the sake of brevity and classification distinction.
It is nothing antagonistic to point out in “appropriate social conversations” when discussing a personality type or a person confirmed or suspected of having the disorder. To use it like an antagonistic and accusatory judgment call term gives some sort of mythical importance to the quality.
To name-call a person a Psycho, then, is to glorify and empower a being who struggles with a compulsive need to dominate and control other people’s emotions while they manufacture chaos and attention seek.
Here’s the deal.
A Narcopath typically displays all the character hallmarks and personality traits of a person who has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and, at least, shows signs of having ASPD (Antisocial Personality Disorder) as a comorbid condition.
Comorbidity means there is more than one personality disorder influencing the person’s behavior. It can also mean that there are other issues going on that manifest as secondary conditions, such as when a Narcissist is also a drug addict, problem drinker, sex addict, serial cheater, has a physical illness that affects mood or cognition, has a head injury that causes impaired brain function, or is an alcoholic by nature or nurture.
A Narcissist with a comorbid streak of anti-social behavior, then, is nothing more than a Narcissist with a second disorder.
The reason defining Narcopathy as a specific type of comorbid personality disorder is because they tend to manufacture chaos for their friends, family, co-workers, and society in general in a very specific set of ways. The Narcopath can be counted on to pathologically lie on a whim, knows the difference between right and wrong, and could care less who he or she hurts, uses, offends, maligns, or abuses on any given day.
Narcissists are pervasively egocentric. Each time they have a thought — no matter how small — their first and only instinct is to think about how something will benefit, please, or net themselves gain as a result.
Every conversation and social interaction are perceived as a competition. People who were raised by Narcissists tend to hold narcissistic attitudes and reflect narcissistic perspectives that disenfranchise others when they grow up.
The most significant psychological and emotional handicap they have is both lack the physical ability to feel or process rationally the emotion most humans collectively call Empathy.
Empathy, as a feeling, is something necessary for the success of a group. On a pure level of Darwinian social evolution, empathy bonds — rather than trauma bonds — are what move culture forward. Thanks to empathy bonding and pair bonding rituals, the more loving and socially respectful humans behave, the more likely they are to take care of one another.
Empathy bonds help save humans. Empathy bonds reflect a social and emotional capacity to survive as a group.
Humans who are empathetic — rather than Narcissistic, Psychopathic, or Sociopathic — realize that behavior matters. They realize that things like self-promotion at the expense of others damages the whole, thereby weakening the collective whole’s chance for survival.
Narcopaths, on the other hand, care only about the success of themselves in this lifetime. They could care less about the group or species. They want what they want, when they want — leaving a massive mess for other people to clean up after them wherever they go.
They are the spiritual pig-pen purveyors of psychological poop they fling at other people like angry and socially unevolved circus monkeys all the time.
If you suspect you might be in a relationship with a Narcopath, are related to one by blood, or know someone who is, the first step is to get really clear about what the signs and symptoms of the personality type are before jumping to condemn a person.
All humans act selfishly at certain times.
They lie, make mistakes, make bad judgment calls on occasion, or get super mad at kids and hoot and holler at both them and our romantic interests on occasion.
If the word Narcopath has come into play, understand it is pervasive — meaning one should resist the urge to “out” a person by claiming they are a Narcopath or some other malignant deviation of a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder simply because they act in ways that are less than agreeable on occasion.
What we are talking about is using the term “Narcopath” if and only if a person displays as a constant or nearly constant temperament that includes but is not limited to the following character trait attributes:
- common disregard for the law or society in general with ease and showing little to no signs of remorse
- understands the difference between right and wrong but will choose whichever on a whim without care or regard for consequences
- Boredom following rules
- impulse control issues
- persistent “Me, Me, Me” or “Mine, Mine, Mine” attitudes that all seem to involve taking time, attention, material goods from or at the expense of others
- will lie for self-gain
- compulsive lying (pathological lying) to alleviate boredom by manufacturing chaos, misleading to con, or to otherwise dupe to impress
- road rage issues
- able to control temper and lie convincingly in front of or to friends, family members, bosses, court officials, and legal authority figures in an effort to blame shift and victimize while striving to self-promote
- difficulty being kind to or showing appreciation for customer service professionals
- lack of introspective insight
- studies others and mirrors their behavior intentionally in order to gain their trust and subsequently manipulate
- treats others like sheep, furniture, or chattel (especially family members, loved ones, and children)
Notice what we did not add to this list?
“Assholery” in general should probably be listed or in some way defined on it, but since it borders making an ad hominem attack against Narcopaths… and we would not want to do that no, would we…
[BOOM — drops mic…]
Click here to read more about politically correct ways to describe narcissistic people — folks who behave poorly either willfully or by negligent habit.
As for the term Narcopath?
It is still not a term recognized by medical professionals, but those on the front line working day in and day out with Narcissistic Abuse survivors on recovery are actively striving to define the classification.
As an emergent field of research study that can greatly benefit all human cultures, Narcopaths and the traits of Narcopathy should both be medically defined, the information shared, and the people who exhibit signs of being one should be both monitored socially and empirically studied.