But disordered personalities are exceedingly patient while plotting. In an effort to destroy a target, they'll wait a long time for the right opportunity. Because they're playing to win, they won't attack unless they're virtually guaranteed success. A female malignant narcissist works by subtly manipulating everyone in her vicinity. If she's bent on destroying someone, she knows her target must first be left with no support or defenses. So the narcissist systematically begins to sway people to her side. This takes time.
Winning people over is done incrementally. At first, some people may be cool to her overtures. But she persists, until they warm up. She may even set up specific situations to facilitate loyalty. Say, for instance, someone she wants to draw into her camp likes to ski. She finds out about this passion for hitting the slopes in August. Over the fall, she makes elaborate plans to host a late January ski party in the mountains. Everyone is invited, except her target, because that's the person she intends to exclude.
Under normal circumstances, the skier may not attend an event where a friend or a colleague is systematically left out. But not this time, because the narcissist zeroed in on the skier's wants and needs, and came up with an offer that was hard to refuse.
Arranging to totally marginalize someone else take time and effort. A malignant narcissist takes all the time in the world to bring her plan to fruition.