Challenging behaviour


Narcissists and psychopaths present us with some of the most challenging behaviour we might experience.  

There are all kinds of reasons why someone might display challenging behaviour; they might not necessarily be a narcissist or psychopath.  Somebody might be overly concerned with their own needs because their own needs are great and pressing; they may be damaged, wounded, seeking to replay a story so that it finally turns out right.  They might just be a spoilt brat, or have poor social skills.  Fear or threat can lead to long term anger, a state of high arousal and vigilance, and a high sensitivity to perceived threat.  

Not all narcissists are unpleasant, and there are many psychopaths who never show anti-social behaviour.  


Narcissists and psychopaths – a genetic hypothesis

Observe this diagram, which shows the two dimensions of social life: competition and cooperation.  All social species are both competitive and cooperative, but humans depend upon cooperation much more heavily than any other species except for the social insects (e.g. bees, ants, termites).  

One of the central proposals in this philosophy is that the native abilities of humans in cooperation, and the native human morality based on cooperation, are a result of evolution (i.e. random genetic mutation, and natural selection, over generations).  

From this, it follows that humans have extra genes for cooperation that other animals do not have.  Genes are transmitted from parents to offspring.  

The current hypothesis is that narcissists and psychopaths are essentially lacking in the genes for cooperation that most people have.  Crudely speaking, this means that social life for narcissists and psychopaths is self-interested rather than cooperative.  




Abuse and control