Jeff posed this interesting question, so thought I'd post it for discussion:
Regarding the alignment in several comments here of NPD with sociopathy, I wondered what anyone might think about the possibility that their N relative's apparent lack of empathy and need to lay on guilt trips was both a mask for and projection of an underlying and intolerable burden of guilt?
Funny you ask this, Jeff, because I was just discussing my dad's particular brand of narcissism with my husband. My husband said he's always been struck by my father's total lack of empathy...and total lack of self-awareness in general. In the case of my parent, I suspect he didn't feel guilty. He felt incredibly victimized and conducted his life as an angry victim...demanding compensation for what he did not receive as a child.
However, I wouldn't classify him in the malignant narcissist category...even though he left a long trail of destruction! I've been shocked by some of the stories shared here and elsewhere where narcissism is bound up with intentionally malicious actions.
If you are better qualified to take a stab at Jeff's question, please do!