How can you tell if someone is narcissistic?: A narcissist is addicted to attention and praise, but cannot empathize with other people. If something goes wrong, he freaks out. That sounds like Narcissistic Behavior (Donald Trump). Although the future president of the USA, Joe Biden has significantly more electoral votes than Donald Trump – the incumbent simply does not want to admit his defeat.
Trump declared himself the election winner early and has been tweeting his fingers off ever since. He alleges electoral fraud, threatens and stirs up fear and hatred among his supporters with his words. Trump’s behavior is increasingly characterized by lies and a loss of reality – does Donald Trump suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)?
A group of US psychiatrists concluded that he does suffer from NPD. In a book published in 2017, they warned Americans about Donald Trump’s behavior. They diagnosed “unbridled and extreme hedonism”, “sociopathy” and called him “a presumably incapacitated person”.
Table of contents | Narcissistic Behavior
What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Narcissistic personality disorder is a pervasive personality disorder that involves poor self-esteem and a high degree of sensitivity to criticism. Those affected tend to present themselves to the outside world as no less than perfect.
Narcissistic personality disorder is believed to affect less than one percent of the population. Of these, 75 percent are men and 25 percent women. The disorder begins in adolescence or early adulthood and is often comorbid with other personality disorders. For example, borderline personality disorder – when people are unable to regulate their feelings, both with themselves and with others – or depression.
Between Overconfidence and Vindictiveness
Professor Stefan Röpke from the Charité University Medical Center distinguishes between two types of a narcissistic personality disorder: Grandiosity and vulnerable narcissism.
A healthy self-esteem is something positive because people want to achieve their own goals. A narcissistic person is concerned with the impression that others might have of him. He aims to create an image of a winner, or even an extraordinary person.
Fantasies of power also play a role. Röpke describes this as the grandiose phase – where everything is going great.
But when a plan goes wrong, the narcissists enter the vulnerable phase. However, they don’t take responsibility for their supposed mistakes, simply because they don’t make them.
Narcissists tend not to acknowledge responsibility when they make mistakes, instead they react with self-devaluation and shame. But this is so unbearable for them that they resort to anger, vindictiveness and aggressiveness.
This Is How You Know You’re Facing Narcissism
- Those affected overestimate their own talents and importance
- They need excessive praise and admiration
- Are usually arrogant and haughty
- Tend to fantasize about limitless power, beauty, success, love
- Their expectations have to be met; there are no compromises
- Narcissists take advantage of others to achieve their own goals
- Often eaten up by the envy of others
- They devalue the achievements of others
- Cannot empathize with other people
- Overly sensitive to criticism
Psychotherapy is often used to treat NPD. The personality disorder is not curable, but its symptoms can be well managed.
First and foremost, the patient should learn to recognize the feelings of other people. Further goals are to calm oneself down when upset instead of lashing out aggressively, and to enter into an equal relationship with other people. Group therapy can help to understand other people’s point of view in role-play and thereby improve empathy.
What Is the Greatest Fear of a Narcissist?
A Narcissist fears the power of another person. He is afraid of being open and vulnerable, worried that he may be hurt and injured. Because of the carefully concealed low self-esteem, the narcissist must wear a mask and continuously play a role. They are afraid to show their real face.