Narcissists see people as temporary

Narcissistic epidemic has broken out

For criminal psychiatrist Reinhard Haller, interpersonal brutality is one of the main reasons for the blatant increase in narcissistic personality disorder. Affected people are self-centered, lacking empathy, humiliating and sensitive.

The only thing that helps is to flee! "You should definitely steer clear of such people," advises Reinhard Haller when speaking of people with severe narcissistic personality disorders. The specialist in psychiatry and neurology, best known as an internationally renowned expert in criminal psychiatry, is very often confronted with evil and horror and has learned countless times: “There are often narcissistic elements behind great crimes. Narcissism is one of the mainsprings of serial killers, sex killers and people running amok. "

But: We do not escape them in everyday life, the narcissistic, very often dazzling personalities, the vain, very often successful egocentrics, the longing for praise, the ambitious, very often extremely hardworking ambitious people, the touched mimosas, we are surrounded by them. “The world is full of narcissists. The narcissistic epidemic is over and the age of narcissism has arrived. Narcissism stands on the threshold from the problematic and pathological disorder to the prevailing view of life ", writes Haller in his latest book" The Narcissism Trap. "" At every turn we encounter narcissistic personalities, at work, in politics, in partnerships, narcissism has become mainstream, has become a cult. We are in a time of interpersonal brutality, and for me that is one of the main reasons for the blatant increase in narcissism, ”he said in an interview with the“ Presse am Sonntag ”. What used to be flaws and illnesses has now become socially acceptable.

Normal or sick? Keyword illness: A pinch of narcissism in the personality portfolio is quite healthy to desirable and not detrimental to peaceful coexistence. "In a digestible measure it is food for the ego and promotes healthy self-esteem." However, if the healthy portion of egoism turns into an immensely increased need for recognition, one can no longer speak of healthy behavior. "When it becomes pathological, it is one of the most difficult to treat disorders and usually drives the therapist to despair."

A real narcissist is always unapologetic, only he is right, his view of things is the only real thing. “He'll never say I didn't like the food, he'll always say the food is lousy. There is no other taste. ”And of course: it's always the other's fault, not him. He, the good, the great, he knows everything better, he doesn't make any mistakes. Even the manager who pulls a woman down with his car and makes a need for nursing care is not aware of the slightest guilt. He's just annoyed that the annoying incident cost him time. Haller also knows about many women whose husbands have never found a word of apology or regret. Not in 20 or 30 years of marriage. It was always the wives to blame for everything, even if it was a hundred times different. “Narcissists often suck their partners out completely, a disaster,” says Haller.

No compassion. Relationship disasters that end in murder and manslaughter increase in line with the increase in narcissists. It is predominantly men who kill, stab, or strangle their wives when they want to leave. Because a narcissistic ego cannot accept being abandoned. And he cannot understand why a woman, after years of interpersonal coldness, constant blame and painful lack of empathy, finally wants to break out of this prison, he cannot anyway. Because compassion and understanding for others are extremely rare or even non-existent in narcissists.

Lack of empathy is another unmistakable characteristic of narcissism. And in terms of lack of empathy, one has the only biological explanation for the multifaceted nature of the narcissistic disorder: the region of the brain that is responsible for social thinking and empathy has less volume and substance in narcissists. Also, empathy is an expression of a confident, mature personality - and that is what narcissists can't come up with. If the inability to empathize with another person is very pronounced, one speaks of the psychopathic form of narcissism.

“The narcissist doesn't care how his fellow human beings, how his colleagues, wife or mother are.” It is possible that those affected received too little love and attention as babies and, for this reason, gradually killed any feelings for others. But it doesn't have to be, scientists, psychiatrists and psychologists don't agree. Just as little when it comes to the question of why a narcissist is so immensely dependent on constant admiration from his surroundings, so obsessed with constant adulation. Haller: "Admiration is his mother's milk." One of the reasons for this is the fact that many narcissists wear masks: behind gorilla-like power and limitless vanity, great uncertainty and inferiority complexes are very often hidden: inwardly fearful and insecure, outwardly self-confident and disparaging , a pathological form of attempted compensation. And who then exercises (justified) criticism of this mentally disturbed person is showered with insults, spite, contempt and cynicism.

Haller: “Narcissists are only strong when they distribute, they cannot take it.” Because criticism stirs up deepest fears, but not so great, not unique, not better than the others. So it has to be nipped in the bud, the person affected reacts with enormous sensitivity. “You find that extremely increased in neurotic narcissism. Even the attempt at objective reflection is qualified as malicious, devious and unforgivable. ”Such sick offensive tendencies are then again and again the root of rampage. "That often happens in schools because they are quasi a refuge for insults."

In addition to egocentricity, sensitivity and lack of empathy, there is a fourth E: devaluation and humiliation of the other. "If above all this element is superficial, if a person draws their self-worth from it and tries to enhance themselves by constantly humiliating and belittling other people, the worst kind is the malignant narcissism." Wife is verbally humiliated or beaten up just as much as the rapist, he expresses himself in blame, bullying, cynicism and culminates in his cruelest excesses in the craft of unscrupulous serial killers and violent sadists.

Why was it primarily about male narcissists? Because this disorder affects at least twice as many men as women. This is also because there are more men in positions of power. Haller: "And power always makes you narcissistic."

("Die Presse", print edition, April 21, 2013)