Classic, Despicable or Comic? 4 Narcissists from G-Rated Movies
oo often these days we hear people confusing the psychopath and the narcissist.
While I understand it is tempting to call someone who callously broke your heart the worst name you can possibly think of, I wonder if comparing selfish marriage partners to serial killers is really going to help us recognise and understand the narcissistic personality better?
Let’s see if we can end the confusion . . .
Gilderoy Lockhart from “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”. Gilderoy’s character (played by Kenneth Branagh), authored numerous books (all about himself and his own adventures) and also entertained hoards of adoring female fans.
While his lies and eventual cowardice did put lives at risk and he did wipe people’s memory (if their memories did not serve his fantasy portrayal of himself) showing no empathy or remorse for his actions, his main motivation was to be loved (rather than feared) and his only sadism, perhaps his bad habit of relentlessly boring people.
Baroness Rodmill De Ghent in Andy Tennant’s 1998 movie “Ever After”.
Anjelica Huston brought to life a sensational portrayal of the female narcissistic character. More sadistic than Gilderoy certainly, while also more abusive, controlling and conniving – but still not a psychopathic killer like Joran van der Sloot (who journalists also dubbed a narcissist) or Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs.
“Ever After” is a moving version of Cinderella (which I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it).
Another gem of a movie you really shouldn’t miss, particularly to watch as his wife learns to stand up to him.
This is a fairytale style story – but the cheating and exploitative side of Hunter’s narcissistic personality is all too close to reality. “Just visiting” is also a side splitting comedy that is suitable for children.
For comic relief, Steve’s choice is always Miss Piggy – but before you laugh – how about those karate chops and the depth and breadth of her put-downs (when anyone comes between her royal pigginess and what she is after)!
We have all wondered for years why Kermit puts up with her, but then she can be so sweet and does have star quality . . .
But Miss Piggy a psychopath? . . . I don’t think so.
Lazy Criminal Profiling Only Benefits Criminals
It was Sam Vaknin (whose credentials have been discredited) that first confused Narcissistic Personality Disorder and psychopathy (now called anti-social personality disorder).
These are in fact quite different.
The psychopath tends to be a powerless and socially isolated individual whose motivation is getting people to fear them so they can feel they have some power in their life.
A person with NPD on the other hand primarily wants to be loved – but doesn’t know how to express or deal with their own guilt and shame, and so projects these onto other people. Psychopathy is so rare that it is hard to even measure as a percentage of the population; in comparison NPD is very common.
Every kind of hurtful or evil behaviour tends to be blamed on psychopaths these days, for instance; I often hear politicians and bureaucrats labelled psychopaths in the media, when in reality they are usually narcissists or pedophiles (alarmingly estimated to be up to 10% of the population).
If you are living with a selfish marriage partner who is making your life hell, we truly sympathise and want to help, but confused criminal profiling only benefits criminals.
If you are interested our definition is here :) . . .