What Type of Narcissist is Donald Trump - classic or compensatory?
In my mind, it’s pretty obvious that the Donald is a narcissist. This article talks more about that. Read it if you need to know more about that.
This article talks mentions his childhood. A few gems:
Along with his four siblings, he was raised in a 23 room house.
Donald was inspecting building sites with dad when he was 5 and driving a bulldozer at 13.
OK, so if he’s raised in a 23 room house and doted on by his Dad and regarded as bright and doing impressive things at a young age, it seems unlikely he was neglected or abused. This makes him more likely to be a classic narcissist. See prior posts for info on types of narcissism.
However, he’s also obsessed with whether something is “good” or “great” and seems to think that anything he touches is “great.” He talks about being influenced as a young kid by a guy who built a bridge but who later got no recognition for it. So it’s also possible that for whatever reason he could be obsessed with not getting appropriate recognition and compensating for that in some way. Still, because he got tons of attention as a kid, it’s more likely he’s a classic narcissist.
I like how this divides the two main types of narcissists
I actually view an inverted narcissist as more of a codependent. Anyway…
The classic narcissist is overly self-confident and sees themselves as superior than other people. Think of a child who has always been told by mom and dad that they would be great, and then that child takes and internally distorts that message into superiority.
The compensatory narcissist covers up with their grandiose behavior, a deep-seated deficit in self-esteem. Think of a child who felt devalued but instead of giving up on life, resorts to fantasies of grandeur and greatness. This person will either live in that fantasy world or decide to create that fantasy world in real life.
So yeah, one thinks they are the shit, and the other lives in a fantasy world. So the first is deluded about themselves. The second is deluded about the world around them. It’s an interesting and important distinction.
More on Narcissism - and the idea of a false self
So a narcissist usually has a gap between how the world sees him/her and how he sees himself. Another way to think about that is that he has a false self - some sort of idealized version of himself - something that he or she’d like to be….
What is the false self? The simple answer is it’s whatever the Narcissist wants it to be. In essence whatever mask they can use to hide the insecure and damaged part of themselves to obtain the narcissistic supplies they need to support an inflated view of themselves. The more complex answer is that the false Self is a protection mechanism against attack from the outside world. The Narcissist may suspect that something is wrong in their make up but they choose not to investigate the source of their insecurities and fears, they deny their feelings because it would mean they are not perfect. They don’t want others to see their defects because if they are pointed out it casts doubt on the grandiose image they have of themselves. Hence the development of a false Self that they and others can respect, admire and “love”. This is what their childhood has taught them, if they always behave as expected people will perceive them as special. If they show them their faults they are not special and others will deny them their respect, admiration and “love”.
The idea that narcissists use others as a “narcissistic supply source” in order to feel special is interesting.
Narcissistic people will do whatever they can to ensure people see them as they see themselves i.e. special. Some focus on materialistic things ensuring they are seen in the best clothes at the right places and driving new or expensive cars etc. even if they can’t afford to live that way. Some Narcissists in particular will focus on the perfection of their bodies.They will want to impress others with stories of their accomplishments; new jobs, wage rises, expensive holidays, their sexual conquests etc.
On a personal interaction level they may offer to put themselves out to help you in your work, treat you like a Princess/Prince, taking you out and buying you gifts, complimenting you, making seemingly creative one off gestures to show they care or have thought about what you would like, treating you as a valued friend, spending lots of time with you etc. They make you feel special and at this point you are special to them, not for who you are but because they see you as an extension of themselves. This view of you is known as “Inflation”.
Narcissistic people do not make these gestures selflessly; they behave this way to feel good about themselves which is accomplished through how you feel about them. The positive feelings (and at times negative ones) that they are in essence trying to extract from you are a bid to confirm that they are important or special. These feelings they extract from you are known as narcissistic supplies.
In any relationship where people spend a lot of time together it is normal for the parties involved to notice the others bad habits and behaviours. To some degree it is normal behaviour for people to point these bad habits and behaviours out to the other person in order to try and improve the relationship. Narcissists do not react kindly to this, they see it as an attack on their perfection. As a result of this their behaviour starts to change. The lovely person you know will start to disappear as the damaged part of them emerges, the things they do to impress you will become fewer and farther between, you will start to feel less and less special to them as they start to treat you badly and show their frustrations (overtly or covertly) at your inability to meet their needs more frequently. This is known as your “Devaluation”.
Vaknin maintains that this process of devaluation can occur when the Narcissist becomes bored or used to the way you function as a NSS.[narcissistic supply source].
Why Do People Become Narcissistic? What Causes Narcissism?
There are two main reasons
The first one suggests that the child has been overindulged, idealized, and not held responsible for his actions. Specifically, this school of thought implies extreme behaviour wherein the “…parents come to view their child as ‘God’s gift to mankind.’ …
The other camp of thought … emphasizes that … Narcissism often also occurs as a defensive reaction to abuse or neglect … which creates trauma in the area of attachment and disables the growth of a healthy sense of self.
In our clinical experience, we have seen narcissistic character traits created from both scenarios—with some clients having been way overindulged and some having experienced abuse and or neglect.”
Another way to think about it…
caused by a gap between the ideal self (standards set by others, for example, parents) and the real self. This results in threatening situations (real or perceived), which lead to anxiety, which in turn lead to the development of defense mechanisms to defend the individual’s ego.
The hallmark of a narcissist is the development of a superiority complex as a response to feeling inferior. This involves exaggerating his own achievements and putting down anyone that he perceives as a threat.
It’s interesting this idea of a gap between idealized self and actual self can stem from both loving parents and unkind parents. In the case of loving parents, it’s :
Permissive parents who give excessive praise to the child, thus fostering an unrealistic view of themselves Overindulgence and spoiling by parents Failing to impose adequate discipline Idealization of the child
This gap is really the issue
Narcissists are concerned with their image rather than their selves. They often act to promote their image at the expense of their self.
Narcissism has strong genetic components
Of the eighteen personality dimensions, narcissism was found to have the highest heritability (0.64), indicating that the concordance of this trait in the identical twins was significantly influenced by genetics. Of the other dimensions of personality, only four were found to have heritability coefficients of greater than 0.5: callousness, identity problems, oppositionality and social avoidance.
It’s tied to other personality traits - namely perfectionism and aggression.
How to Spot a Narcissist
analyses suggest that narcissism is associated with a neat, organised appearance, flashy, revealing clothing, greater adornment like make-up, and expensive, stylish clothes.
These results suggest that narcissists do seem to alter their appearance, consciously or unconsciously, in a way that reflects their appearance-oriented motives.
For women, key markers included showing cleavage, having plucked eyebrows and wearing make-up. For men, a muscular physique was rated as a key indicator, whereas wearing glasses was a sign of not being narcissistic.
“Narcissism is associated with vanity, exhibitionism, and status-seeking.
Ha, makes me want to dress down.