Can One Narcissist Control Another Narcissist
Can One Narcissist Control Another Narcissist

Welcome to an insightful exploration of narcissism and its intricate power dynamics. Have you ever wondered about the dynamics between two narcissists and whether one can truly control the other?

In this article, we delve into the depths of narcissistic personality traits to uncover the likelihood of one narcissist successfully exerting control over another.

Join us as we navigate the fascinating world of narcissism, examining the battle for dominance, manipulation tactics, and the quest for external validation. Let’s explore the captivating question: Can one narcissist control another narcissist?

Understanding Narcissistic Personality Traits

What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a psychological condition characterized by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.

Individuals with NPD often have an inflated sense of self-importance, a preoccupation with fantasies of success and power, and a belief in their own uniqueness. They seek constant admiration and validation from others to maintain their fragile self-esteem.

Key Traits and Behaviors Exhibited by Narcissists

Narcissists display a range of traits and behaviors that distinguish them from individuals with healthier self-esteem. These traits include:

  1. Sense of Superiority: Narcissists believe they are special and unique, often considering themselves above others.
  2. Need for Constant Admiration: They crave attention, validation, and praise from others to reinforce their self-worth.
  3. Lack of Empathy: Narcissists struggle to understand or empathize with the feelings and perspectives of others.
  4. Controlling and Manipulative Behavior: They use various tactics to exert control over others and manipulate situations to their advantage.
  5. Shallow and Superficial Relationships: Narcissists often engage in relationships that primarily serve to boost their ego and enhance their social standing.

Why Narcissists Have The Need For Control and Dominance

The need for control and dominance is inherent in narcissistic individuals. They view themselves as superior and entitled to special treatment, which drives their desire for power over others.

This control helps maintain their external self-esteem, as they rely heavily on external sources of validation and admiration to bolster their fragile sense of self-worth. By exerting control, narcissists ensure a continuous narcissistic supply—a constant stream of attention and admiration that feeds their ego.

The Battle for Control: Two Narcissists Collide

When two narcissists come together, their power couple dynamic can be both fascinating and tumultuous. Let’s explore the power dynamics, scenarios, and outcomes that may arise when two narcissists clash.

The power dynamics when two narcissists interact

When two narcissists interact, an intense struggle for dominance typically ensues. Both individuals have a deep-rooted need to be in control and assert their superiority over the other. Their constant quest for external validation often intensifies in the presence of another narcissist, as they perceive it as a threat to their own self-image.

In this power struggle, various tactics may be employed, such as:

  • Competitive Behavior: Each narcissist will strive to outshine the other, whether through accomplishments, possessions, or social standing.
  • Manipulation and Gaslighting: Narcissists may engage in manipulative tactics, such as gaslighting, to confuse and control their partner.
  • Withholding Affection: They may withhold affection or validation to gain the upper hand and exert control over the other narcissist.
  • Undermining and Criticism: Narcissists may resort to criticizing and undermining each other’s achievements or qualities to assert their own superiority.

Possible scenarios and outcomes when two narcissists clash

When two narcissists clash, several scenarios and outcomes are possible, each with its own dynamics and consequences:

  1. Power Struggle Intensification: The clash between two narcissists can escalate the power struggle, leading to an unhealthy and toxic relationship where control and manipulation dominate.
  2. Mutual Destruction: In some cases, the clash of two narcissists may result in a relationship that is plagued by constant conflict, as neither is willing to yield or compromise.
  3. Shift in Power Dynamics: Occasionally, one narcissist may overpower the other, establishing a dominant role within the relationship. This may occur if one narcissist possesses stronger manipulative skills or a more forceful personality.
  4. Temporary Alliance: On rare occasions, two narcissists may form a temporary alliance based on shared interests, lifestyles, or public image. This alliance serves their individual goals, allowing them to gain social value and standing while maintaining a semblance of control.

The struggle for dominance and attempts at control

Within the context of a narcissistic relationship, the struggle for dominance becomes a central theme. Both narcissists vie for control, seeking to assert their superiority and maintain their inflated self-image.

However, it is crucial to note that narcissists have a deep-seated aversion to submission and a reluctance to compromise, making it challenging for either party to gain complete control over the other.

Narcissists may employ various strategies to maintain their control:

  • Ego Boosting: Each narcissist strives to continuously boost their own ego while undermining the other’s self-esteem.
  • Emotional Manipulation: They use emotional manipulation techniques, such as guilt-tripping, to elicit compliance from their partner.
  • Isolating the Partner: Narcissists may attempt to isolate their partner from friends and family, limiting their support network and increasing dependency on the narcissist.
  • Exploiting Weaknesses: They exploit any vulnerabilities or weaknesses of their partner to exert control and dominance.

Despite their efforts, the power struggle between two narcissists is often characterized by a constant push and pull, with neither narcissist fully succeeding in controlling the other.

Can One Narcissist Control Another Narcissist?

The question of whether one narcissist can control another is a complex one. While the inherent need for superiority and reluctance to submit make it difficult for a narcissist to fully control another, there are factors that can influence the power balance within such a relationship.

The likelihood of a narcissist successfully controlling another narcissist

Successfully controlling another narcissist is challenging since both individuals possess a strong desire for dominance. The competitive nature of narcissism and the need for external validation make it unlikely for one narcissist to fully subjugate another.

However, certain circumstances can influence the power dynamics. Factors such as the strength of narcissistic traits and external resources or social status may tilt the balance in favor of one narcissist.

A narcissist with a more pronounced sense of superiority and dominance, along with advantageous resources, may manipulate and exploit vulnerabilities to establish control. Yet, it’s important to recognize that power struggles persist within narcissistic relationships, with neither narcissist willingly submitting.

The inherent need for control and dominance remains a primary obstacle, making complete control over another narcissist challenging to achieve.

Factors that may influence the power balance between narcissists

  1. Superiority Complex: If one narcissist has a more pronounced superiority complex, they may be more skilled in manipulation and exerting control over the other.
  2. Advantageous Relationship: If one narcissist brings more social or financial advantages to the relationship, they may wield more influence and control.
  3. Similar Tastes, Interests, and Lifestyles: Shared interests and lifestyle choices can create a sense of compatibility, potentially leading one narcissist to willingly cede some control to the other.

However, it is important to note that even if one narcissist appears to have more control, the power dynamics can shift over time as the other narcissist becomes more aware of the manipulation and attempts to regain control.

Understanding the inherent need for superiority and reluctance to submit

The fundamental need for superiority and the reluctance to submit are core characteristics of narcissistic individuals. For a narcissist to fully control another narcissist, they would need to overcome their own deeply ingrained desire for dominance and power. This is a challenging feat, as it goes against the very essence of narcissistic personality traits.


In the intricate world of narcissism, the battle for control between two narcissists is a complex and tumultuous power struggle. While one narcissist may exert some level of control over the other, the inherent need for superiority and the reluctance to submit make it unlikely for one narcissist to fully control another.

The power dynamics between narcissists can be highly competitive and toxic, leading to a shallow and superficial relationship filled with manipulation and emotional abuse.

Understanding the dynamics of narcissistic relationships is crucial for individuals who find themselves entangled in such relationships. Recognizing the signs of narcissistic abuse and prioritizing self-care and emotional well-being are essential steps toward breaking free from the cycle of control and establishing healthier connections with others.

By shedding light on the complexities of narcissism and the power struggles within narcissistic relationships, we can empower individuals to navigate these challenging dynamics and seek healthier, more fulfilling relationships built on mutual respect, empathy, and genuine emotional connection.