Everyone can be bit narcissist at times
However, having a few narcissist traits occasionally, or even all the time, does not make you a Narcissist with a capital "N"– a person that is (or can be) diagnosed with Narcissist Personality Disorder.
Narcissism presents on a spectrum and is not characterized as a disorder until it causes regular disruption in your life. It ranges from occasional, healthy narcissistic traits to full-blown malignant narcissism (a combination of narcissistic and antisocial personality disorder with sadism).
If you are being regularly abused, you are probably dealing with someone near the extreme, malignant end of the spectrum.
Highly manipulative–They will do whatever it takes to get their way. This includes hurting people for a small, trivial "win" on their part.
Cannot handle criticism – The slightest bit a criticism will cause them to break down, either with pathetic, tearful accusations that they are under attack and are victims, or they will go into a full-blown rage.
They're sadistic – Not only do they not care if they cause harm to get their way, they actually get a thrill out of it.
Anti-social, psycopathic behavior – Rules don't apply to them...they are for average schmucks. Breaking rules or even laws are not a problem for them. Lying and cheating are like breathing to them.
Little or no empathy – Malignant narcissist only feel basic emotions (typically negative): fear, anger, shame. They view others as either objects or extensions of self. They mimic emotions they are supposed to express, but its just going through the motions.
Unable to take responsibility – They just can't do it. They will project behavior onto others, blame shift, gas light or do anything to get out of the hot seat. Taking responsibility means admitting they've done something wrong, destroying their delusion that they are perfect. That is a big no-no to a narcissist.
Huge sense of entitlement – Many descriptions for NPD simply say they have delusions of grandeur. But it goes a bit deeper than that with malignant narcs. Because they have delusions of grandeur, they a absolutely certain they deserve special treatment. When they are not treated the way think they deserve, things get ugly. Expect to experience major temper tantrums or pouting...maybe even some quiet, sneaky vindictiveness .
Be very careful dealing with a malignant narcissist. They enjoy causing confusion, creating drama (then blaming said drama on you) and inflicting maximum emotional pain.
If you are in an intimate relationship with a malignant, get help for YOURSELF. Don't go to couples counseling or try to get help for them. They will turn it against you. To date, there is no cure for Narcissist Personality Disorder, especially once it has progressed to malignancy.
If you have contact with a malignant narc, keep communications to a minimum and low emotion. Click here to learn about grey rock techniques.