Narcissism is a zero-sum game

My guess is all overt narcissistic traits can be understood as zero-sum.

Even the narcissist’s painful inner vacuity is a minus-sum result of playing a zero-sum game of life.

This explains why narcissists often will attack even their own children. A child that displays pride or autonomy is seen as taking something away from the narcissist.

This also explains why narcissists typically are good at “impression management.” People that do not know them intimately frequently see narcissists as impressive, even admirable, people.

Narcissists manage social impressions—the impressions others have of them—because they are playing the game of zero-sum. That is how they understand life itself.

In the sense that everything is connected and all of us do “narcissistic” zero-sum behaviors sometimes, if you look closely you can see that it is precisely those behaviors that cause painful inner vacuity even in generally non-narcissistic people.

In a Buddhist sense, narcissistic thoughts and behaviors are the Second Noble Truth, the “origin of suffering.” Ceasing doing them is the Fourth Noble Truth, the “path leading to cessation of (the) suffering” they cause.

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