Why narcissists are more hated than psychopaths.


All four Cluster B disorders are vilified, especially on the Internet, but for a long time I wondered why NPD seemed to be even more demonized than ASPD (antisocial personality disorder) and psychopathy and seemed to be regarded as the most “evil” disorder to have.   After all, most narcissists are not going around breaking the law, murdering people (not physically, anyway), and most at least pretend to be nice to you, at least if your relationship is only casual.  They make a good impression and most have families and respectable jobs.  They go to church, teach second grade, and volunteer at the food pantry. If you’re just acquaintances or casual friends with a narcissist, they can even be a lot of fun.    They also provide a lot of our entertainment, as narcissism (including NPD) is over-represented  among celebrities, and what would we do without our movie, sports, and pop stars?   Antisocial people are far more likely to be in prison and most aren’t making a mark in the creative arts.   So why is it that narcissists are hated more than anyone else, at least on the Internet?  I think I finally figured out the answer to this, and there are a few reasons.

1. Narcissists are more likely to have raised us.

Not too many people with antisocial personality disorder become parents, or are allowed to keep their children for very long of they do.   They don’t need to have children for narcissistic supply since they don’t require that, and if they do have kids, their bad behavior is so obvious that their kids are usually taken away from them at a young age.   They don’t pretend to be good parents but secretly abuse their child the ways narcissists do.  They may even voluntarily give up a child because raising it is too much bother and gets in the way of their antisocial activities.

2.  Narcissists are more likely to have been a lover or a spouse.

Psychopaths and people with antisocial personality disorder tend to be loners, or run in packs (gangs).   They tend to dislike commitment and because they don’t require supply from other people, they usually have no use for a close relationship.   If they marry, it could be for financial reasons since all they care about is what works and what is practical. As a result, while they can’t really love, they may not really be that emotionally abusive.

3.  Psychopaths and people with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) seem like rare, exotic (and often caged) creatures.


There’s a common perception of antisocial and psychopathic types being somehow apart from the rest of humanity, maybe not even quite human.   As a society, we are drawn to and fascinated by serial killers (though technically, a few, like Ted Bundy, have had an NPD diagnosis)  and a sort of cult has grown around psychopathic mass murderers, bank robbers, and serial killers.  They make good entertainment.   They’re also cool (something narcs are not).  In the movies, TV, and novels, the anti-hero is a “rebel without a cause” who usually fits the criteria for ASPD or psychopathy.   Even if they’re not committing crimes, they seem like exotic free agents who do whatever they want, whenever they want, and don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks.  Think of Ferris Bueller.  Ferris was more antisocial than narcissistic but he became a role model for millions of teenagers in the 1980s because he was just so cool.   If he was a narc he would have been cast as the villain.   Compare Ferris with Nellie Olson,  the spoiled, bratty rich girl in Little House on the Prairie.  Any questions? 

4.  What you see is what you get.

While psychopaths and people with ASPD lie well and often, it’s usually to avoid getting in trouble.  They can be manipulative, but only to get what they want from you (and what they want isn’t narcissistic supply but more practical things that help them achieve their goals).   They don’t lie just for the sake of lying.  Gaslighting, triangulation, and other types of emotional abuse that involve vicious lies about another person’s character aren’t really their thing.

5.  Narcissists are sneaky.


Related to the above, narcissists are always trying to undermine or even destroy you behind your back.  Essentially, they are huge cowards.  Psychopaths and antisocial people don’t care about such “niceties” and tell you what they really think of you right to your face. No, they don’t have any empathy either and they don’t give a damn if they hurt your feelings, but they usually won’t be pretending to be your best friend either (unless you can be of practical use to them in some way) .

6.  Narcissists wallow in self pity.

Psychopaths and antisocials don’t feel sorry for themselves or waste other people’s time whimpering about how everyone hates them or how they never get any breaks.   That’s because they don’t care what you think of them and they make their own breaks, even if they have to break the law to do it.   Narcissists are not only hypersensitive, they are very dependent on other people.  People with ASPD pretty much operate alone.  They’re too cool for such narcissistic shenanigans as wanting to be liked and admired.

7.  Narcissists are  high maintenance.


Psychopaths and antisocial people do not require narcissistic supply, therefore they don’t demand too much emotional sustenance from other people.  Narcissists constantly require being blown up like a punching clown doll (and make you want to punch them).

8.  People assume most psychopaths are in prison.

It’s not true, of course (some are running huge multinational corporations or running for political office), but most people assume anyone with ASPD/psychopathy is in prison and therefore no danger to the rest of us.    In contrast, narcissists seem to be lurking behind every tree and lamp post and hiding under every bed.

23 thoughts on “Why narcissists are more hated than psychopaths.

  1. Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    “Narcissists wallow in self pity.

    Psychopaths and antisocials don’t feel sorry for themselves or waste other people’s time whimpering about how everyone hates them or how they never get any breaks. That’s because they don’t care what you think of them and they make their own breaks, even if they have to break the law to do it. Narcissists are not only hypersensitive, they are very dependent on other people. People with ASPD pretty much operate alone. They’re too cool for such narcissistic shenanigans as wanting to be liked and admired.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Brilliant. I think you are definitely onto something.

    My only disagreement with this is where you said “we all love our serial killers.” Really? I sure don’t! Especially not after my own mother tried to gas us all to death. Maybe I don’t understand how you meant that statement about loving serial killers? It kinda freaked me out, to be totally honest.

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  3. I get now why N’s are the least popular, like they’re more likely to have children that they keep, so therefore the number would go up, a higher percentage. My N mo is a P and the harm done was so unbelievably bad that I might put it in another category beyond psychopathy, if there is one, I would call it possessed. But as you said, a lot of P’s don’t bother with kids and in my opinion they get away with their wrongdoings more than the straight N. Sometimes a P’s damage inflicted, well, it can be hard to identify the source/person it came from, therefore another reason they are less hated.

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    • You made some good points. I agree with you that Psychopaths are less likely to get caught, but the damage narcissists do is more emotional and more subtle and therefore harder to detect in some cases. Sounds like your mom was a Malignant Narcissist (which is basically a combination of high-spectrum NPD and psychopathy/sociopathy or ASPD) My ex was the same way — a malignant narc with a lot of antisocial traits. Cluster B disorders tend to occur together a lot.


  4. Thanks. It seems to boil down to the fact that narcs are more in your life or underfoot. Psychopaths are really more subtle. Our “superficial charm” make us pleasant company. We often get what we want with a minimum of harm to those who are useful. We are good in bed and can be heartbreakers. But that’s because we’re so loveable. Lots of psychopaths despise narcs. But needy people are rarely well liked.


  5. I appreciate the list and identifying the fact that by the time a Narc is done with you they’ve created hatred. It is reassuring to know hatred is the inevitable result if you want to save your life from NARC destruction. It is almost as if they can’t be content until they’ve crossed every line of decency. I resisted hating my narc sister for decades. I worked hard at tolerance and second chances, attempts at compassion for her self-pity and it seemed no matter how selfless I might attempt to be she upped the ante. By the time I went no contact I understood she was like bull in a bullfight, my happiness was the red flag she was determined to shred and if she couldn’t shred it she’d turn her horns on me and gore me.

    Here are some of the gifts narcs give contrasted with psychopaths
    1. A narc destroys your ability to trust people because in time you learn every action or word has an agenda and the agenda is going to cost you and hurt you, Psychopaths don’t invest the time in a the carefully orchestrated multilevel destructive master plan. They want instant gratification while the NARC is willing to do a set up for years
    2. They want LONG term victims, they want you to stay in their orbit and do all sorts of things to get you stuck in that orbit, promising a future they have no intent on carrying out but use as a lure to keep you enthralled while the kick your head in with their steel toed boots. Psychopaths may rob you but they aren’t going to keep coming back for years to the scene of the crime to repeat it over and over again
    3. Narcissists ability to enlist allies among the “good people” by appearing the hapless victim of their scapegoat is renowned — they can convince psychologists, MD.s teachers, relatives, clergy that their bad seed child or other intimate should essentially be executed. The flying monkeys will then perform an execution of 1000 papercuts. Psychopaths get no sympathy and allies for doing something criminal to you.
    4. A narcs victim looks positively crazy after their mind has been screwed with enough by the insanity producing Narc strategies. The Narc knows this and its a strategy/ Victims of psychopaths by contrast will get some compassion as a crime victims. Its clear whom the actual victim is
    5. Psychopaths don’t do the famous never say what you actually mean that a NARC does.
    6. Lastly if I were to summarize whey I hate the Narcs in my life, I would say this…. they wanted destruction in my life. They wanted an atomic bomb drop wasteland in which I was utterly destroyed when I finally had the sense to leave. I wondered “why weren’t you content with a divorce, when it was obvious a sociopathic narc ex wanted me to pay with my blood everytime he had effort out my direction. Rather than just have an affair, the thing has to be flaunted, use as a tool of degradation, shame and humiliation and wounding, to his joy and satisfaction. So the apparently joy they get out of creating havoc, pain and suffering the “getting off in some sadistic satisfaction for making people really suffer is the difference. A psychopath will create suffering in his quest for his weird fetish or gratification its a by product, In a narc, the suffering is what they are after in the first place

    Lastly, I remember countless ways, times opportunities in which my mother’s entire existence seemed bent on sticking it to her scapegoat daughter. I was clueless for decades that those conversations in which I’d share happiness about something, anything to which she tell me “oh you are wrong, those people don’t like you they are just tolerating you” or that job will end badly, or the guy isn’t interested in you it is your dad’s money he wants…., She stomping on every dream I ever had and explained it with the statement ” I just don’t want you to be disappointed”

    So her ripping to shreds of my dreams was her being a good mother, sparing me from disappointment when in fact, I tended toward depression and any little hope I got was a good thing. The expression of any hope was going to be annihilated by her because hope wasn’t allowed. This is the mild stuff, she did far worse to me over time. But like many people here I was clueless for a very long time that hope crushing was intentional. Later I learned that she got pleasure out of doing it, she gloated when she screwed people over while they said “she is just the sweetest thing”

    It is crazy making and you do not trust human goodness at all after growing up in that. We hate what they did to us, and the damage caused all of it with plausible deniability, calculated, planned, block by block like a lego creation years in the making carnage.

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    • Katie, these are fantastic! I should add them to the list. Or do a “part 2”
      I suppose you have heard of the Dark Triad of traits which Malignatn narcissists have all 3 of: Narcissism, Psychopathy and Machiavellianism. One alone is not going to make you malignant–you have to have 2 or 3. Of the 3, I think the worst is the narcissism (Machiavllianism is really a part of the narcissism in my opinion).
      The only “benefit of the doubt” I’ll give is that the narc is sometimes not aware of what they are doing. But that doesn’t make it any less evil or damaging to their prey. Even if it was called to their attention what they’re doing, they would still keep doing it, using denial and lies and gaslighting to make THEM right and YOU wrong.
      Thank you for your comments. I’m sorry you had to grow up with such a toxic mother.

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  6. Could it be that most of the haters are daft Bible bashing Americans? If I and a Normal American (if there is such a thing) walked around any European city; me wearing a tee shirt saying “British Narcissist” and the other wearing one with “Normal American” on it … who would get the most mud slung at them?

    Most pathological narcissists are actually Borderlines who only have relationships with other Borderlines. Most are just a minor pain in the arse.

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