The Therapy is Dandy’s Guidebook to having a Narcissist for a Parent (and Potential President). Chapter 26.
If my calendar is right, it has been since November of 2014 since I have added a new “chapter” to the guidebook. Happy to be back in it. Sit down and buckle up. We will make up for lost time.
Honestly I did not think this update needed to be written back in 2015 when Trump announced his intention to run for president. There would be so many articles critiquing him, attacking him, just dismissing him as (just) another entitled white male with incredibly thin skin. And there have been hundreds of articles about just all that. Thousands even? But he is still winning despite everything. So here I am, back in the guidebook business.
On one hand, the last thing I think the world needs is another article about him. It doesn’t stop the rollercoaster he and the United States seem to be on. If anything the attention—negative, condescending or shaming—just seems to keep him going.
So let’s refresh ourselves with some narcissistic traits:
INFLATED SENSE OF SELF
According to this research, narcissists are not necessarily unaware of their grandiose behavior—they may actually revel in it. With that acceptance of their grandiosity is also their belief that other people are less important than they are. So not only would Trump be flattered that there is yet another article being written about him, he would also assume those of you reading such an article are less intelligent, less successful—just less than he believes himself to be.
And this is perhaps why he seems so unflappable to criticism up to this point. His point of view could very well be: oh, these peasants, they just don’t understand. How simple they are. I can’t make myself understood by them. That’s why I surround myself with only the best people.
This speaks to the experience we all may have in trying to address our grievances to a narcissist. They just don’t see other people as on the same page as themselves.
INORDINATELY HIGH SELF ESTEEM:
I don’t need to give an example of this for him, do I? I mean this characteristic probably deserves its own new Oxford dictionary endorsed adjective: trump-like. The guy is only ever talking about how amazing, incredible, how beautiful everything about his life is.
Earlier in the year, I had an exchange online and the issue that came up for me was that Trump is more like a caricature of a narcissist. An uber narcissist. A narcissist in an anime film about real estate developers—he is just so over the top in his character, that unfortunately the perception of the public may turn to assuming that all narcissists have to act and look like a Donald Trump.
You know that is not true. It isn’t even close. But the word narcissism is being linked to Trump the way the New York Times links hipsters and Portland, Oregon
The danger here is having him represent the entire spectrum of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or even the gray area of narcissistic enough.
Trump can’t be the poster boy for narcissism for the very reason it would give almost every other narcissist alive a way to duck the accusation: What, I am not a narcissist—I am nothing like Donald Trump, you know that!
ENTERTAINS UNREALISTIC FANTASIES ABOUT SUCCESS AND POWER
He likes to tell us he is great at winning. He is also making ridiculous promises. Promises he just keeps repeating with no realistic attempt at explaining. And when that wall (or whatever) doesn’t get built, he will surely have a scapegoat to blame rather than his own unrealistic expectations. All that anger he is going to redirect to whatever he wants to point it at—the muslims, politicians, liberals, the media, Congress, single mothers, whoever.
So why is he winning? Great question. Why am I even trying to answer that question? With apologies to Game of Thrones, I drink and I know things about narcissism.
He is promising an unattainable reality, and speaking in simple, basic repetitive mantras that only a frightened child could believe to be true. He is himself a fiction selling a fiction to a population that is overly frightened and ripe to be manipulated. We live in a frightening, violent, unkind world whatever your race, gender, or affiliation is. And we seem to have hit a wall where it comes to believing that the powers that be can fix things for us. Life is complicated and the answers to those complicated problems involve complicated solutions. But the people on main street don’t feel like they can wait for that. They are hungry, they are poor, and they are tired. So here comes a confident, successful man selling a fiction to a scared, tired, overworked population looking for salvation and peace. And like a child who knows no better, the downtrodden people believe what the narcissist promises. Because the child also believes that they themselves have no power to affect real change.
But you know that’s not true.
All right. It might be a good place to stop for now. More in the next installment. I seem to be back up to posting twice a month.
Thank you for being here.