Many people laughed at his jokes, his outlandish Twitter posts, at the manner in which he almost seemed unstoppable and continued to unabashedly say just about whatever he wanted. There was that sense of entertainment watching him, his charisma, and his unpredictability. It was all very exciting…and all too familiar. I never thought he was being funny, I didn’t laugh.
No matter where anyone lies on the political spectrum, this election has been beyond those party and political lines when one is familiar with the defining signs of a narcissist. Donald Trump is someone who embodies the lot of the characteristics of someone with NPD. He says whatever he can to gain the spotlight, uses manipulative tactics such a lying to get his way, attacks anybody who is a real or perceived threat to his grandiose image, gaslights events and situations, and uses projections to dispel his own words and actions onto others. Narcissists live in their own reality and distort others in order to constantly be in control of a person or situation.
A narcissist’s world can appear to be complete and utter chaos. This is what it appears to be to anyone who is not privy to a narcissist’s personality and character. There is actually a sort of controlled environment in which they operate. There are two definite consistencies among all narcissists: they are motivated completely by themselves and lack an emotional world. Donald Trump has personified both of these elements of NPD. It got to the point that many psychiatrists and psychologists spoke out and publicly diagnosed him with NPD as an effort to spread the word about this mental disorder and bring some light to Donald Trump’s personality.
In this case, knowing what we know about narcissists, it is not easy to not think of worst case scenarios.
Politically speaking, many world leaders who exhibit, or have shown to be the NPD personality types have also ruled their governments through totalitarian regimes. Many world leaders who run their governments in this type of manner have called Donald Trump to congratulate him on his victory. The thirst for power can override any means of checks and balances in government, as well as take away the rights and voices of the people. Donald Trump has joked about these kinds of matters, claiming he would eradicate publications and shows that have “distorted” his image. Will the combination of his volatility and for now, support of his party and voters, be able to bring those claims to fruition?
Politics aside, what does this mean about our society? One of my friends said that people voted for Donald Trump because they are exactly like Trump. I have stated before that I believe that narcissism is growing in our society and this may very well be an indicator of that. It is possible that since everyone has some sort of narcissism inside of them that those characteristics of that personality disorder are appealing to people with those same characteristics inside of them, even if they might not be full-fledged narcissists.
Another reason could be ignorance. How many times have we or others around us fallen for the charismatic outspoken “confident” figure in the room only to later realize they are a total fraud. Many people may also be looking for their knight in shining armor and a narcissist will play on people’s emotions in order to validate their grandiose image of themselves and gain popularity.
Despite the cause of this is I also question which of his behaviors will now be normalized in our society. I worry about people using others for their own gain, crossing boundaries, as well as a breakdown of respect and general kindness. Will it be a justification of the “I am better than you” mentality as well as any feelings of entitlement? Again, it does not matter which political side one is on, we generally disagree on many issues, but in which way these issues will now be handled is the question.
So what can we personally do? Besides continuing to take care of ourselves and the ones we love, stay in the moment. Keep on fighting the effects of narcissistic in your own world. Practice, show and teach empathy without losing your boundaries, of course. Be the change you want to see. I always say it is better to at least know what you are working with and who you are up against. We cannot change the fact that Donald Trump is narcissist and that many people support him but to knowledge is power, and we can start with that.
As far as society goes, I am hoping that the goodness of people will prevail. In typical narcissistic fashion, they have a tendency to idealize, devalue, and then discard. As soon as his supporters find issue with him and not totally support his image, opinions, or decisions he will turn on them. People may surely begin to realize that not all that glitters is gold. In that scenario, I am hoping that we can all reach out to each other from opposite sides and if things do get bad realize that we will be the ones to lift each other up, there is no magic man to come to the rescue. I hope that we rise up against authoritarian rule and no matter what side of the political spectrum we lie, know that free speech and free will is more important than money and power.
Narcissists are not all stupid; they are deeply flawed, but not stupid. I’m sure Donald Trump has the capacity to do some good things and bring changes. We can only hope for the best, for the longstanding ideals and practices of the American constitution and law of the land have a chance to prevail again. But don’t forget the reality of the times, and be prepared for the worst. Cautiously optimistic, one could say.
This blog has been a journey for me of understanding with each post being cathartic and hopeful as well as bringing closure. This post feels really different. A deep fear has been realized. I was inspired to write because I did, and do, feel triggered. There is hope though, but it will entail going through the fire, again. We can come out of this stronger. Maybe this is what we need to move past narcissism in our lives and society.
Please, I encourage you; leave your thoughts and comments below. How can we make sense of the fact that a narcissist will be our next president?