A mental health professional with over 20 years experience and an expert in human behaviour.
Is Trump a “Narcissist”
Say what you like about Donald Trump, because he will only hear the positives. He is a man who divides, not because he intends to, but because of his pathological need for adulation, praise and admiration from others. For reasons known only to him and his family (or those involved in his childhood) he is undoubtedly troubled and unable to appreciate his own self-worth; relying on others to do that for him. Or so it seems, perhaps he is as good as he tells us he is and just enjoys hearing other people, in his mind, confirm what he already knows; Donald Trump isn’t just great, he is the greatest, greater than anyone. Sounds delusional? That’s probably because it is.
Professional and clinically, he meets most of the criteria you’d look to examine in someone with a narcissistic personality disorder. He is not your quintessential narcissist though, far from it. He is a highly functioning and highly capable narcissist who made it to the top, quite literally to the “most powerful position in the world“ as the President of the United States. This creates a paradox, one which lets someone so seemingly delusional and personality disordered reach such a position of power.
The paradox is this; why do we empower such people into such positions of power? Because yes, it is us who put Donald where he is. For many, he says what “ordinary people are unwilling to say” according to some sources. While that might be true, and his words and speeches do echo the sentiments and feelings of many, they are not actually whats best for us. The problem is that politics, by its very nature, is narcissistic. Don’t believe me? Well, you don’t have to. I like that you have your own opinions and views. But there is a sad truth in politics and politicians operating in a similar way to narcissists. They require our vote, our adulation and support, and how many of us choose a political opinion based on what our parents and family have? The uniqueness of Donald Trump is that he lacks enough insight to know that while narcissism can help a politician, it is not a desirable personality trait and should be hidden. It’s why a smart politician tells us what we want to hear, or think we want to hear, but does what’s actually best (because ironically, that’s how they get adulation from their peers and the history books... you see where I’m going with this). Donald Trump is so fearful of losing the admiration he has that he lacks the ability to do what’s right, as opposed to what’“ he believes to be the most popular.
The real problem is how accepting we are of narcissists, from our bosses (famously our CEOs) to friends and family. It is a condition that requires treatment, not distain or impatience. It’s a mental disability that is just as unpleasant for them as it is to those who are on the receiving end. This is not an attempt at sympathy, but it is one of empathy. Narcissists don’t make it easy to accept help, but they need it non-the-less. When I look at Donald, I see a person who needs help, and a society that has yet to learn to provide it. I don’t refer to Donald the President, I refer to Donald the young man, barely past being a boy who would have displayed all the signs and symptoms of emerging personality disorder but sadly went beyond the point of realistically being able to receive help. To help ourselves, we really must learn to help people like him when they are young enough to be helped.
Perhaps we will be paradoxically as drawn to narcissists are we are repulsed by them forever, but perhaps Donald will be the catalyst that shakes the system and learns to provide better assessment and treatment of these individuals before they end up being in charge of the world‘s largest arsenal of nuclear, or some other equally paradoxical dangerous and influential position.
The lesson it seems, is do not vote for narcissists, because they may just give you what you want.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Tobias Smith