The psychopath’s narcissism and self-centeredness are legendary. We pull everyone into our vortex and few leave unscathed. Even if the intention is not to harm, our narcissistic proclivities can leave those around us drained and depleted. That is, simply by maintaining the focus on our grandiose sense of selves and our own wants and desires, we leech others dry. Combine this with our grandiose (if existent) goals, and we are often stuck spinning our wheels: demanding self-evident respect and worship but only attaining such through force.
Psychopathy is much more than narcissistic tendencies, or else diagnoses of Narcissistic Personality Disorder would be in order (and are usually in order in combination with Antisocial Personality Disorder by most governing bodies). However, it is often the narcissistic ways that neurotypicals notice first when interacting with a psychopath. Psychopaths tend to ignore conventions of speech, interrupting conversations and ignoring the turn-taking that dominates most conversations, and tend to ignore the needs of others. Sprinkle in a callous nature that not only results in ignoring others needs, but sabotaging others to better meet the psychopath’s needs, and others can often see through the mask before we know it.
Ultimately it is that callousness that differentiates the psychopath from a typical narcissist. Everything must be relevant to the psychopath’s wants and needs and everything else is discarded regardless of worth or merit. Ultimately such self-centeredness destroyed my former marriage, and ultimately such narcissistic tendencies may not be in the best interest of the psychopath.
Granted, this is all relative. For the psychopath that sabotages the interpersonal relationships he carries due to his callous narcissism yet does not care about such losses, there is no need to change. For those that want to be in better standing with others – often for purely selfish reasons – a level of mindfulness is needed. The most dangerous psychopaths are the ones that learn to mask their latent states in the best way possible. They hide their narcissism while manipulating those around them into serving their needs anyway. They use their charm in order to distract targets from their self-centered intentions. They leave the callousness out of sight just long enough to hook another person in. They are mindful enough to keep their pets close even as they neglect them secretly.
The narcissistic individual who is not psychopathic is usually not as callous or clever. They simply want the world to revolve around them, even if they aren’t actively harming others to see that goal through. They often are disturbed when others flee, considering themselves to be generally good people and showing confusion at the end result. The psychopath, with his amoral bent and self-centered personality, cares not so long as his needs are met.
The snake does not care what his next meal will be; he sees and smells his target and goes in for the kill. Likewise the psychopath is not concerned if there is a revolving door of people that serve him. I believe that on some level he knows that his targets will not be around for long. I suspect that he knows that his narcissism and callousness will drive others away; ultimately he does not care as, just like the snake, the next “meal” will be coming from somewhere. Someone will be suffering snakebite and it matters not who.