If he is, how could that impact his Presidency?
Is Trump really a narcissist or does he just have a big ego? Fortunately there has been extensive writing on the subject by individuals much more qualified on the subject than I am. Many of those writings point out that those with narcissistic traits often feel they are special and can change the world, and many have. So, there are obviously positive aspects of narcissistic traits. I have included a link below that provides excellent information regarding this subject – It’s a very interesting read. This post will focus on the darker side of true narcissism (Pathological Narcissism or Narcissistic Personality Disorder).
Most (if not all of us) have some negative narcissistic traits. These traits are often balanced with more positive traits or overcome through education, maturity, and common sense. Those suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), on the other hand, often lack the ability to change their behavior. They usually require the services of a mental professional, and even then change is anything but certain. After all, what is the motivation to change, when they feel as though they are always right?
Take a look at this excerpt below from an article written by Veronica Pamoukaghlian, posted on the Brain Blogger site: Narcissism in High-Functioning Individuals – Big Ego or Severe Disorder?
NPD is present when at least five of the following criteria are met:
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
- Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
- Requires excessive admiration
- Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
- Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
- Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
- Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
Trump not only appears to meet five of the above criteria, he may meet them all. It is, therefore no surprise that his campaign, and now his Presidency, is rife with controversy and chaos. Let’s take a look at each of the criteria in comparison to Trump’s behaviors.
- His grandiose opinion of himself negates the need for input from others. That is why his Muslim Ban was a surprise to many in his administration, and why it lacked the specifics and directions those leaders and agencies could have provided. He has celebrated himself throughout the campaign and even now continues to talk about crowd sizes and applause levels. This isn’t normal for a leader at any level.
- He does appear to be preoccupied with fantasies of success and power, and the paranoia that comes with it. He seems driven not by what is best for the nation, but what makes him appear the most successful.
- He absolutely believes he is special and unique and he simply can’t accept anyone thinking otherwise. He certainly can’t accept anyone attacking him publicly. He makes sure everyone knows he is a “counter puncher” and will personally attack those who would dare question him.
- Trump absolutely requires excessive and constant admiration. If those in his inner circle are not telling him how great he is often enough, he literally tells them to do so. He uses Twitter and his speeches to praise himself, something uniquely narcissistic.
- Does Trump have a sense of entitlement? Does the sun rise in the east? He absolutely does not think the rules apply to him. Much like Richard Nixon, another paranoid narcissist, Trump not only feels the rules don’t apply to him, he feels that if he says it or does it, that alone makes it true and correct. He truly believes his lies and requires those around him share in those beliefs.
- Exploitation has been a part of Trump’s life since he was a child. Like his father, Trump values people only for what they can do for him or for the challenges they pose. If you are neither a victor nor villain to his cause, you are of no value and he could not care less about you or your plight. That is why the uneducated, that Trump so famously said he loved, are likely to be hurt the worse by his Administration.
- If one easily exploits and uses people, it follows that they usually lack the ability to be empathetic or sympathetic towards others. Remember Trump’s attack on the disabled reporter?
- Does Trump envy others? Does he believe others envy him? He has lo admitted to both. He has envied Vladimir Putin to the point of risking his Presidency and he consistently sites envy as the reason his enemies (his word) challenge him.
- Donald J. Trump is the embodiment of arrogance. His disregard for established governmental routines, norms, and systems are alarming. He proceeds without any concerns about unintended consequences.
The fact that Trump appears to meet all of these criteria should have been concerning enough to have disqualified him during the election process. The fact that he is now the President of the United States in charge of our nuclear arsenal, while possibly suffering from a severe mental disorder . . . is terrifying.
What Does the Future Hold?
More of the same, but with exaggerated consequences. There were calls, by many in the GOP and otherwise, for Trump to “Pivot” to a more Presidential demeanor throughout the election. Many said then, and I believe it remains true today, that he is incapable of making lasting change. Even if he were, how could he justify doing so? He would be pivoting away from those very things and behaviors that have made him so successful.
I believe the future of this Presidency will include unprecedented levels of corruption, crisis, and chaos. I believe these events could destabilize our nation and will cause a disruption to the current world order, (causing severe global unrest). I believe we are closer to a global conflict, a world war, than we have been in years, and we are less than 2 weeks into Trump’s Administration.
I just don’t see how this ends well.