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10 Sadistic Cat-and-Mouse Games Narcissists And Psychopaths Play
“Some narcissistic and psychopathic individuals sadistically enjoy toying with and deliberately causing pain to others. This gives them a grandiose sense of power and control and a smug sense of satisfaction that they have “one-upped” you with their perpetual cat-and-mouse games. Researchers note that sadism is a key feature of malignant narcissism (narcissism with antisocial traits). Interestingly, other studies report that individuals high in narcissistic and psychopathic traits tend to experience positive emotions when they view sad faces.
Neuroscience research also indicates that when psychopathic individuals imagine others enduring pain, there is increased activation in areas of the brain related to anticipation of reward and decreased activation in areas related to empathy. Psychologists have suggested that this may mean that psychopaths not only lack empathy for the pain of others, but that they also take sadistic pleasure in witnessing or even causing the pain and distress of others.
As a researcher who has corresponded with thousands of people who have been in relationships with psychopathic and narcissistic individuals, I have found that there are certain sadistic patterns of behavior common among narcissists and psychopaths who take pleasure in causing pain to their partners. Here are some red flag behaviors and cat-and-mouse games to watch out for.” - Shahida Arabi, MA