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One of the top news stories that came out over the weekend was that Donald Trump has been diagnosed by leading psychiatrists as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder. (Check this out for more information: Top U.S. Psychiatrists Confirm Trump’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder, ‘Textbook Case’)
Last November, I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I wrote an entire (and entirely horrible) novel wherein the main antagonist has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I’d tell you more about the book, or even consider publishing it one day, but it’s so crappy I’d have to be a narcissist to show it to anyone. Anyway, because of that book, I did a tremendous amount of research on narcissism.
When the stories starting coming out about Donald Trump having a “textbook case” of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it made me think about how prior to that research, I didn’t really understand what exactly qualified someone as a narcissist. I’d always thought that it was probably just vanity and selfishness, and too hard to really diagnose.
As it turns out, it’s actually incredibly easy.
If you’re not already familiar with what traits are present in order for someone to be diagnosed as having narcissist personality disorder, this list below, taken from www.bpdcentral.com should help:
- Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
- 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
- Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
- Requires excessive admiration
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
- 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)
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
Not only is it easy to diagnose, but narcissists already know they have it, and they don’t care.
In this article, Do Narcissists Know What They Are Doing?, the author explains that most narcissists are aware of their own narcissism. They’re aware of the fact that they hold themselves to an elevated position, at least in their minds, and that they have different sets of rules for their lives. They also know that they use people, that they’re brash and sometimes offensive, but they’re not particularly concerned. A narcissist typically believes that anyone who doesn’t like them just fails to recognize how amazing they are.
Donald Trump has been called a narcissist his entire life. He wears it with a badge of honor to be sure. In the same way that Kanye West does (who is also under the delusion that he’s got what it takes to be the President of the free world), and Steve Jobs did.
Here’s an article about some of the most famous celebrities with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, though not one name on this list will surprise you.
Now, I’m not sure what America would do should Donald Trump become our President, but, a little closer to home, we all have narcissists in our lives. You may not have known there was a name for it other than “that idiot in Marketing I have to deal with”.
How do you handle the narcissist in your life?
This is honestly a tough question, and somewhat disheartening. In all the research I’ve done on this topic, what I’ve found is that most people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder will not change. All you can really do is find coping mechanisms to deal with them. This article has some great advice about how to handle a narcissist without losing yourself.