What Serial Killers And Narcissist Have In Common



I have had tons of my clients come to me with concerns that they are either dating or married to a narcissist.  They often describe to me some of the typical behaviors that are often observed in the relationship or marriage with their narcissistic partners.  Some of these behaviors include gaslighting, crazy-making, and love bombing all used as an effort to manipulate and create mind control over the relationship partner.  As I have studied personality disorders and had the opportunity to provide therapy to clients who have symptoms of personality disorders, I have noticed striking parallels in the behaviors of serial killers (also many times identified as sociopaths) and narcissists.

Though I have never counseled a known serial killer, the study of this personality type strongly resembles that of what I often see in the narcissist.  Apparently this is old news for many researchers who study these personality disorders.  I was so compelled by the parallels in their behaviors from my own studies and experience, that I decided to research this topic even deeper.  In this blog, I would like to share with you some of my observations and thoughts.


Narcissist And Serial Killers Can Both Be Dangerous

It’s obvious that a serial killer is dangerous, but many times I feel that the companions who are in relationships or marriage with narcissists are not completely aware of how dangerous a narcissist can be.  When I speak of danger I am speaking from a physical as well was emotional sense. I can’t tell you the number of clients that describe their narcissistic spouse to be controlling, physically abusive, sexually abusive, and very prone to “blackouts” when they are in rage.  Narcissists many times hoard rage and when rubbed the wrong way can be very violent.

It has been very commonplace for a client to tell me about how their narcissistic partner might place a gun on display as a subtle deterrent reminding their spouse or partner of the potential danger they may experience if they decide to leave.  These are also actions identified by sociopaths.  With both of these personality disorders, the individual may show patterns of being vengeful, controlling, obsessive and intimidating.

When a narcissist is violated to the core, the narcissist may act out with rage.  This rage is often identified to be a response to what is known as a narcissistic injury.  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders describes narcissistic injury to be: “… vulnerability in self-esteem which makes narcissistic people very sensitive to ‘injury’ from criticism or defeat. Although they may not show it outwardly, criticism may haunt these individuals and may leave them feeling humiliated, degraded, hollow and empty. They react with disdain, rage, or defiant counterattack.” The average sociopath has also been injured emotionally.  One of the primary differences I feel between the way the narcissist and the serial killer when it comes to injury, is how they compartmentalize the feelings, and how they act them out.  Both suffer greatly from vulnerabilities with self-esteem.

Sociopaths and Narcissist Pocket Emotions

Serial killers, narcissists, and many sociopaths appear to have poise and the ability to pocket much of their rage until they are in the appropriate setting to unleash it. A serial killer may pocket a great deal of their emotion until it is time to make the kill. The kill almost seems to feed their hunger for an emotional release, allowing them to unleash repressed anger, hurt and rage.  Many serial killers have been observed to have an ability to sustain their rage for long periods of time, but at some point, there has to be a release.  Murder many times is not punishment for a wrong that was done to them by a victim.  Murder for the serial killer is often a response interconnected with the wrongs that perceive have been done to them over a lifetime.  The narcissist holds similar measures of rage, but with most narcissist instead of mortally harming the body, the narcissist seeks to harm the souls of those who often care for them the most.  When the spiritual needs of the narcissist are not met, the rage of the narcissist is often only soothed by violent emotional attacks on those whom they love, and often those who choose to cross them.

Both the sociopath and the narcissist hoard and split off their negative emotions in a way very calculated way. They are many times so skilled at POCKETING emotion, that family friends and close loved ones will often never believe the storyline of the victim’s abuse in the relationship or marriage due to the fact that they truly have never seen this side of their personality. The sociopaths and the narcissist uncanny ability to repress true emotions experienced in relationships deviates so far from the norm that this is no doubt one of the reasons these disorders have been categorized under the term “personality disorders.”

Don’t Piss Them Off

There will be hell to pay if you piss off a serial killer or a narcissist. The serial killer or sociopath does not mind seeing its victim suffer.  This characteristic is very common with the narcissist as well, especially when the narcissist has been injured.  When the ego of a sociopath has been threatened in a relationship/marriage, somebody is going to have to pay.

Ok nobody or most of us are not trying to get into relationships with sociopaths and serial killers, but there are a few folks out there who don’t mind.  The sociopath and the narcissist are often known for their charisma.  They can often be the life of the party.  They stand out in the crowd.  They often the ability to get their way because of their skilled use of words and charm.   The male narcissist is often popular with the ladies.  Both narcissistic men and women commonly choose infidelity in marriages and relationships.  It is a mistake to think that one could identify a serial killer or narcissist by their looks or dispositions.  The sociopath, serial killers and narcissist as well many times understand how to mirror the behaviors of their relationship or marriage partners to fit the mold of their liking.

One of the key components that identifies both of these sets of personalities is that they often have an extreme absence of empathy in relationships or just life in general. Sociopaths and narcissist are all very hurt self-centered individuals who are often obsessed with ruminating both consciously and unconsciously about the respect that they experience or lack in relationships. They are so obsessed with this type of thinking that they are completely tuned out or nearly oblivious to the pain and hurt of others.

Many times the narcissist and the sociopath seem to be unconcerned with others’ emotions in relationships. It is my belief that the lack of empathy that narcissists and sociopaths experience in relationships has less to do with them being unconcerned about others’ feelings and more to do with an obsession for their own feelings and well being. These are survival defense mechanisms that have less to do with harming others and more to do with protecting themselves for personal gain. Both the narcissist and the sociopath will hurt, wound or destroy their relationship or marriage partner in order to preserve their own emotional state.

No Proven Cure for the Sociopath or Narcissist

There is only one cure I am aware of if you are in a relationship with a narcissist or sociopath. Get Out!!! (if you’re not married).  In all sincerity, this is a situation for much fasting and praying.  Here’s why! There is currently no evidence-based cure to correct the narcissist or sociopath’s behaviors.

In my opinion, the primary reason why there is no cure is that the narcissist and the sociopath are unrepentant. They have been so mortally wounded in relationships (many times through childhood trauma), that they will not allow themselves to reflectively evaluate change. In relationships, they often have to be rewarded for change. They often have persistently recorded and replayed so much hurt that they take on a false sense of self.  Fear of rejection, abandonment, and disappointments in relationships are so acute that they are unable to be vulnerable.

Serial killers and narcissists’ insecurities shut themselves out from positive changes in their marriage and relationships. Their insecurities make true intimacy in relationships a near impossibility because they have little to no emotional commitment. Being wrong means an emotional death to the narcissist and the sociopath. They often interpret being wrong to mean that they are bad, unaccomplished, monsters, incompetent, incapable of being loved, fraudulent, and wide open to the risk of receiving rejection and/or abandonment. In order for the narcissist and the sociopath to live and breathe in relationships, they often feel that it is necessary to take the oxygen out of the room. They will take your oxygen because from their perspective it’s a life or death situation for them. There is no in-between.

Is There Any Hope For The Sociopath or Narcissist?

The only true hope outside of prayer is that the narcissist and sociopath is changing their approach to coping with hurt and anger. If they can view anger in relationships as being a secondary emotion that covers uncomfortable feelings, relationships would greatly be improved.  This is not an impossible task. The healing for these two groups involves a spiritual force that can not be activated without support from The Most High God.

About Choya

LICSW Social Work Licensure Supervisor and Mental Health Counselor in Huntsville, AL 35806

Choya Wise, LICSW, PIP is the owner of Aspire Counseling and Consulting Services a mental health clinic in the Huntsville, Al area.  As a licensed mental health professional Choya specializes in individual counselingmarriage counseling, and anger management counseling.  He also offers Social Work Supervision in Alabama.

If you have been having issues with building intimacy in your marriage or relationship, it may be time to seek a professional relationship counselor.  If you are a couple looking for a counselor in Huntsville, Alabama, allow us to support you with steps to build your relationship.

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