Are you a narcissist?
When the world revolves only around the “I” He only loves himself, overestimates his own person and devalues others. He lacks empathy, but at the same time he is deeply hurt himself and can even become violent from this insult: For some, narcissism is considered the epitome of evil. Conversely, hardly a person goes through life completely without narcissistic fits. And even if it sounds unlikely: Narcissism is curable. By Sigrun Saunderson
Since the day Donald Trump was nominated for presidential election, anyone who reads newspapers knows the typical features of narcissism by heart. Above all, Trump’s critics never tire of portraying the new US president as narcissist-like from the textbook. Not without reason – he shows typical characteristics.
Excessive self-esteem: “I will be the greatest job president God has ever created.” Self-realization: “I alone can judge it.” Increased vulnerability and devaluation of his opponents: “Meryl Streep is one of the most-overrated actresses,” Angela Merkel is mentally ill “.
Whether this behavior really suggests a narcissistic personality disorder, or whether Trump’s narcissistic behaviors are more pronounced than the average, the experts are not as united as it seems in the media reports. Because we do them all, the narcissistic fits. “Narcissistic behavior shows every person from time to time,” explains the psychiatrist and neurologist Prim. Univ. Prof. Dr. Reinhard Haller, author of “The Narcissism Trap”.
Especially if you suddenly gain power, but also under the influence of alcohol you can temporarily react narcissistic. “One speaks of a narcissistic personality disorder when this behavior is permanent and remains constant for years. Narcissism becomes dangerous only when a criminal element is added. ”
Remote diagnostics are unethical
It is precisely this criminal element that American psychology professor John D. Gardner believes he can diagnose in Trump when he publicly calls him “malignant narcissist” and “sociopath”. The Viennese psychiatrist and neurologist Univ. Doz. DDr. Raphael M. Bonelli considers such remote diagnoses unethical. “A malignant narcissist would be a sadist. Someone who torments and often kills his victims, “says Bonelli. “There are narcissistic signs with Trump, but you can not exaggerate that just because you do not agree with his policies.” Too often, psychiatry would have been abused by totalitarian regimes. “The psychiatric diagnosis must not become a club in political dealings with each other, because that makes relationships impossible.”
Scene of the narcissists
Politics has always seemed to be a stage on which self-satisfied narcissists can live out their inclination wonderfully, but also dangerously. And not just the big ones. This is also confirmed by Volker Plass, former federal spokesman for the green economy and longtime political observer. “There is a wide field of characters in politics, but I believe that it tends to attract people with narcissistic inclinations. By the way, you can find them in every party. They then see politics as a power game, building a personality cult around them, working on their media presence … These people are not particularly known for their team orientation and they also go over corpses internally to promote their careers. “And they come too more often to the decision-making positions. “The stating, the foam brawl in politics often has more than substantive expertise and thoughtfulness.”
Narcissistic behavior thus works, even among voters. Plass even suggests that people’s expectations often meet narcissists. “Many voters tend to be strong types, they want to be led, their responsibilities. But that also means that often problematic characters come to power. ”
The narcissist in us
Trump undoubtedly presents himself as a problematic character. Why he was nevertheless elected president is simply explained from a psychological point of view: “The ideals of the whole society have already become very narcissistic. That’s why Trump was chosen – not though, but because he’s narcissistic “, Haller is convinced, drawing attention to socio-psychological issues. Because as I said, we all have narcissistic tendencies. And they seem to be widespread.
In any case, in the eyes of Bonelli, narcissistic devaluation has long since become socially acceptable, namely in the form of indignant culture. “People are increasingly outraged by the other’s political views and no longer accept them: ‘You do not talk to them’, ‘You can not make a coalition with them’, etc.” This exclusion is relatively new. Also the political correctness belong in it. “I call this moral narcissism because one puts oneself morally above the one who thinks differently and denies the other the democratic rights. That goes “left to right” as well as “right to left”. Even the dubious remote diagnostics of Trump critics have even a narcissistic impact, because they devalue him personally, “says Bonelli.
The way out
Tackling narcissistic behavior with arguments is inherently difficult. For in his world the narcissist is of course always right. It is even more difficult to cure a pathological narcissist. In his book “Male Narcissism” Bonelli points out a possible way out of the narcissistic fetters. What must be clear from the outset: You can not change a narcissist, only he can change. And that’s not quite as unthinkable as it seems at first glance. Because not always leads this extreme self-centeredness to great success – much more often to great personal suffering, and therefore sometimes even in the practice of the psychiatrist.
This suffering is mainly caused by the fact that the ideal image that the narcissist carries in his imagination does not correspond to reality. Problems in dealing with others are thus programmed. “Narcissists, for example, are disappointed with the world, which they do not want to perceive and admire with their incredible talent. If the roaring applause does not come, they’re pissed off. In fact, they are not able to assess themselves as they really are, “says Bonelli.
Out of this “narcissistic insult” the person harms not only others, but also himself in the long term, as this prevents his own sense of community and his integration into the group. If it were the purely narcissistic person who only perceives himself, he would not care. But that does not exist, according to Bonelli. Even those who show strong narcissistic behavior, at the same time contributes a healthy share in itself. “The healthy proportion suffers from the narcissistic share. And narcissists can be reached via this healthy proportion. ”
But it is not easy. Rather, dealing with a narcissist resembles a tightrope act. On the one hand, his counterpart has to point out to him how hurtful his actions can be. On the other hand, that should not degenerate into frontal criticism. Because the narcissist reacts to these deeply hurt with a knee-jerk and with a – guaranteed painful – counterattack.
According to Bonelli, the key to successful therapy lies in self-knowledge combined with the narcissist’s desire to give up his problematic behavior. In order to stimulate this self-knowledge in the narcissistic counterpart, Bonelli advises to make themselves on the search for their own narcissistic shares. “It’s healthy if you recognize them in yourself. And if I then admit my own narcissistic parts to the great narcissist, then he can easily recognize and admit them. ”
Normal or morbid? Typically narcissistic
- The narcissist feels terribly important or unique, demands accordingly for excessive admiration and constantly expects to be treated preferentially.
- Arrogance and arrogance are part of his attitude towards life.
- Envy is his constant companion: either because he is jealous of others, or because he is convinced that others are jealous of him.
- He cultivates fantasies of unlimited success, energy, brilliance, beauty or ideal love.
- In interpersonal relationships, he behaves exploitively and uses others for his goals.
- He does not show empathy.
- Criticism humiliates the narcissist deeply and leaves a feeling of emptiness. He reacts with anger or counterattack.
Source: Medizin Populaer