Narcissists: Envy & Jealousy
Two Signs of a Faulty Morality System
Rhonda Freeman, PhD
Envy is one of the diagnostic criteria of narcissistic personality disorder. Many of you may have experienced envy from the narcissist in your life.
There are different types of envy, however, I want to touch on envy from an angle that is not frequently discussed. Narcissists often feel such intense envy and jealousy toward others that it drives them to ‘steal’ portions of that person (figuratively).
Let me explain:
What happens is, the narcissists sees a very special trait, elite skill, or ability within you and they take it as their own because they believe anything special should be theirs for the taking. Rather than work hard to get there, they take the instant route – theft.
I am not referencing taking on the characteristics of people we admire or feel inspired by. That is a different situation entirely. To mimic or take on the traits of our family, bosses, friends, role models, or celebrities is completely normal.
What I am references has a root in very dark place. It reflects personality malignancy and maliciousness. What I am referencing is sinister behavior.
It is all about the Gain, Status, and Manipulation
A narcissists fueled by envy will steal from you to gain something, such as status, respect, or sympathy. It usually harms the person they morally robbed.
This form of morphing or taking the traits, stories, or information of another person is often done because the narcissist feels in competition with that person. They cannot tolerate feeling second to anyone.
They have a strong need to feed their belief that they are superior to others, hence viewing something special in others leads them to take that thing or trait.
For example – let’s look at copyright infringement.
A narcissist will boldly plagiarize the work of an expert and place it within their blog posts, videos, social media, and programs with the belief that it is their right to do so. They want the instant status / information that expert has gained throughout their career in an instant.
As I’ve discussed before, narcissists are void of morals. If they see something they want, they will steal it.
By taking your special trait, skill, writing, creation, abuse story, mannerisms, way of speaking, etc, they have absorbed you.
Their belief is whatever it was that was special about you … they now possess.
Also, by absorbing you they have won. Now they can look like the superior person that they believe they are.
They have stolen the traits or work from you that they were envious of and now that trait or work belongs to them.
They have gained something from that theft.
It elevated them in some way. In some situations, such as with work (e.g., theft of your reports, articles, book, videos, copyrighted material) that comes with a price for the person they violated.
And it does not end there.
After the narcissists has stolen what is special about you, they actually believe it was a part of them all along. They may even turn on you and say you copied them.
Their envy, mixed with a delusional belief in their superiority, is a dangerous combination.
That means if you are simply out here working hard and trying to be your best self, you can easily ignite a narcissists’ envy. And without knowing you can become a target.
This type of envy can be seen across many different types of narcissistic relationships (work, schoolmate, acquaintances, or family members.)
The Take Home Message
Narcissists cannot tolerate the fact that you might be considered better than them at anything. Even if you worked hard for years to develop a certain skill. They will want to ‘own’ that because of their envy.
They will steal pieces of you to feed their delusion that they are superior to you.
If you have ever had this done to you by a narcissist, it is a very surreal experience.
It is a sickening experience to see someone else possess your work, show your mannerisms, speak your words, share your abuse story as their own, as if it all derived from them or reflects their journey.
For those who have gone through this, the feelings you have are probably disgust, anger, repulsion, anxiety, and emotional pain. Having a moral violation against you can ignite intense unpleasant emotions.
This is a tough spot to be. Try to get support from others. Journal about it to get clarity on your thoughts. If the person has violated you in an illegal way (copyright infringement), seek legal consultation.