What Is Antagonistic Narcissism? Understanding This Narcissistic Type 

What Is Antagonistic Narcissism? Understanding This Narcissistic Type 

There are different types of narcissism, and one of the most difficult to deal with is antagonistic narcissism. People with this type of narcissism are often manipulative and aggressive. 

They may try to control others and may be quick to anger. It can be difficult to have a relationship with someone with this personality type, but it is important to understand what drives their behavior.

What Is Antagonism? 

Antagonistic Narcissism

Antagonism is the relationship between two characters who conflict with each other. The conflict can be physical, psychological, or emotional. 

Antagonism is a necessary element of drama to create tension and conflict in a story. Without antagonism, there would be no story.

This is quite poetic, as toxic people and narcissists love being in the stories of other people’s lives. 

The Dark Triad: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy

Antagonistic Narcissism

The Dark Triad is a term used to describe three personality traits considered dark or negative. The three traits are narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. 

What is Narcissism?

Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and they have no empathy. People with this disorder often have difficulty in relationships and in their work life.

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

People with NPD require excessive attention and approval and often engage in grandiose behaviors and fantasies. NPD can lead to problems in relationships, work, and school. People with NPD often have difficulty handling criticism or rejection.

NPD is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It is estimated that about 1% of the population has NPD. The disorder is more common in men than women.

What is Grandiose Narcissism Personality

Grandiose narcissism personality is a personality disorder that is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and have no empathy for others.

People with a grandiose narcissism personality disorder often believe they are better than others and have a sense of entitlement. They may take advantage of others and lack empathy.

Grandiose narcissism personality disorder can be challenging to treat because people with it often do not believe they have a problem.

What Is Vulnerable Narcissism?

Vulnerable narcissists have many of the same qualities as regular narcissists but also have a deep insecurity and need for approval; they are also quite cowardice,

People who have vulnerable narcissism may be more sensitive to criticism and more likely to experience anxiety and depression. 

Because of their insecurity, they may try to compensate by putting others down or bragging about their accomplishments.

What is antagonistic narcissism?

Antagonistic narcissism is characterized by grandiose behavior, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration.

Traits of antagonistic narcissists include: 

People with antagonistic narcissism often feel they’re better than others and deserve special treatment. They may take advantage of others or manipulate them to get what they want. They may also lash out angrily if they don’t get their way.

While not all narcissists are antagonistic, those with this personality disorder can cause a lot of harm to both themselves and others. If you think you may be dealing with someone with antagonistic narcissism, it’s important to seek professional help. 

What is Machiavellianism?

Machiavellianism is a political theory and philosophy that holds that the ends always justify the means. In other words, it is better to be ruthless and cunning than honorable and honest. 

The term “Machiavellian” comes from the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer Niccolo Machiavelli, who wrote a treatise called The Prince, in which he advised rulers to be more like lions than lambs.

The theory of Machiavellianism has been used to explain the actions of many famous dictators and tyrants, such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Saddam Hussein. 

Some believe that Machiavellianism is necessary to achieve power, while others argue that it leads to corruption and abuse of power.

What is Psychopathy?

Psychopathy is a mental disorder characterized by a lack of empathy and remorse, predatory behavior, and grandiose sense of self-worth. 

Psychopaths are often charming and charismatic, but their lack of empathy and ability to manipulate make them dangerous people. 

Though there is no cure for psychopathy, some psychopaths can learn to control their impulses and live relatively normal lives.

The Antagonistic Narcissist in the Workplace

Antagonistic Narcissism

The antagonistic narcissist is a personality type that can be found in any workplace. An inflated sense of self-importance characterizes this individual, with a need for constant attention and approval and a lack of empathy for others. They often view themselves as the center of the universe and can be competitive, manipulative, and hostile toward others.

What you have to deal with in an antagonistic workplace is: 

  • Workplace incivility sadism – There are many forms of workplace incivility, but bullying is the most common. This type of behavior includes things like verbal abuse, threats, and intimidation. It can make going to work daily a nightmare for those targeted. In some cases, it can even lead to physical violence. 
  • Workplace incivility paranoia – There’s a constant fear of being on the receiving end of an unprofessional outburst or caught in the crossfire of someone else’s bad behavior. This paranoia can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety, which can make the problem worse. If you’re constantly on edge, you’re more likely to lash out at yourself or to misinterpret someone else’s actions as being deliberately rude.
  • Workplace incivility emotional – You might feel disrespected, unappreciated, or even threatened when colleagues are rude. This type of behavior can make it hard to concentrate on your work and enjoy your job.

Take the workplace incivility scale test

The Antagonistic Narcissist in Relationships

Antagonistic Narcissism

The antagonistic narcissist is arrogant and self-absorbed but also hostile and manipulative. They’re the type of person who will do anything to get their way, including playing mind games, spreading rumors, and making false accusations. And because they’re so charming and convincing, it can be hard to see through their facade.

In an antagonistic narcissist, you’ll likely feel constantly on edge. You may oftentimes feel like you’re walking around on eggshells, unsure of what will set them off.

How to Deal with an Antagonistic Narcissist

Antagonistic Narcissism

Narcissists are known for being antagonistic and challenging to deal with. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to deal with a narcissist, there are some things you can do to make the situation easier for yourself.

  1. First, try to avoid taking anything the narcissist says or does personally. Narcissists are often critical and dismissive of others; it is not about you. 
  2. Second, keep your cool and remain calm when dealing with a narcissist. They thrive on making people react emotionally, so if you can stay calm, it will throw them off balance.
  3. Finally, don’t hesitate to set boundaries with a narcissist. They often try to take advantage of people and push their buttons, so it is essential to be assertive and let them know what you will and will not tolerate from them.

Avoid These People For Your Health Sake

You should avoid certain types of people for your health and well-being. 

These include:

  1. People who are always negative – Surrounding yourself with negativity will only bring you down. Avoid people who are always complaining or seem unhappy with everything.
  2. Toxic people – You know the type – they’re always drama, manipulative, and just not good for your mental health. Steer clear of these types of people if you want to stay sane.
  3. People who drain your energy – Some people have a way of making you feel exhausted after being around them. If you feel this way more often than not, it might be time to cut ties with that person.


Understanding what antagonistic narcissism is and how it can impact relationships is essential. Individuals with this disorder tend to be manipulative and lack empathy, making them difficult to get along with. If you think you may be in a relationship with someone with this disorder, it is important to leave them ASAP.

If you found this article helpful, why not share it with someone who may be dealing with a narcissistic person. 

Want To Learn More About Narcissism?

Give these resources a read. These books will better elucidate the behavior of narcissists and how you can learn to heal. If speaking with a therapist is too expensive, then reading their works may be a good alternative to give you a bit more clarity on the psychology of narcissistic people.

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