Recognizing the Abuse of a Malignant Narcissist Like President Donald Trump

Excerpted from: Unpacking Malignant Narcissism (Last Visited: October 18, 2020).

If you’re close to someone living with malignant narcissism, it’s important to take care of yourself and watch for signs of abuse. There are many different types of abusive behavior, and some may not seem as clearly abusive as others. Common signs can include:

  • pointing out “flaws” and seeming to enjoy making you feel discouraged or upset, or saying they’re doing it for your own good
  • lying or manipulating you to achieve their own goals, and justifying their behavior and showing no guilt or regret if you call them out on it
  • putting you down, humiliating you, or threatening you, in public or private
  • appearing to enjoy inflicting physical harm
  • showing no interest in your needs or feelings
  • behaving in risky or dangerous ways, without caring if you or other people get hurt in the process (e.g., driving dangerously and laughing when you express fear)
  • saying or doing unkind or cruel things and appearing to enjoy your distress
  • behaving aggressively toward you and other people or things

Someone’s mental health isn’t an excuse for abusive behavior. It’s also important to remember that abusive behavior isn’t always the result of a mental health condition.