JEAN M. TWENGE, PhD: “Is Donald Trump Actually Insecure Underneath?”

I’m often asked how you can spot a narcissist. Here’s my standard list:

  • Brag or show off
  • Name-dropping
  • Name brands or flashy possessions
  • Look at themselves in the mirror a lot
  • Turn the conversation back to him/herself
  • Insults others
  • Declarations about being the “best” or “great” without details
  • Emphasizes his/her status

I wrote that list two years ago — long before Donald Trump started running for president. Yet it could have been written just for him. As others have pointed out, the Donald is a textbook case of narcissistic personality. He is clearly functioning well and thus can’t be classified as having narcissistic personality disorder, the clinical-level form, which by definition only describes someone whose traits are causing them difficulty. Trump, instead, displays narcissism as a personality trait — the type we focus on in The Narcissism Epidemic.

Here’s the question: Is Trump’s narcissism a cover for insecurity? This is known as the “mask model” — the idea that grandiose narcissism is a show to distract people from the deep psychic pain underneath. A recent piece in Time made this claim, arguing that Trump is trying to cover for a “profound insecurity and lack of self-esteem.”

Here’s the problem: At least for grandiose narcissism like Trump’s, there’s no evidence that the mask model is true. Narcissists have high self-esteem on average, not low, and the most aggressive people are those with both high narcissism and high self-esteem. Children who become narcissistic are not those shamed by their parents, but those told they are special.

Perhaps the best evidence comes from studies measuring self-esteem in a subtle way, such as with an implicit self-esteem measure recording people’s reaction time in pairing words like “I” and “me” with words like “bad” and “good.” People who score high on grandiose narcissism also score high on implicit self-esteem. In other words, deep down inside, narcissists think they are awesome.

This is also just plain common sense: Does Trump really seem like he is insecure underneath? Does he seem to be in a state of psychic pain, or even covering for one? No — he’s having the time of his life. So why does he seem to crave all of the attention and adulation? The Time article argues that Trump is trying to fill a deep “psychic hole.”

I have a more straightforward explanation: He likes all of the attention because he thinks he deserves it. It’s never enough not because of psychic pain, but because he thinks everyone should pay attention to him. Attention is fun and gratifying; it has nothing to do with insecurity.

Why the Mask Model of Narcissism Is Dangerous

I will go further: I think it’s dangerous to believe that narcissists are insecure underneath. Not only is it not supported by empirical evidence, but it promotes the idea that the way to deal with narcissists is to boost their self-esteem and heal their “wounds” through more love and affection. This is like suggesting that the way to cure obesity is by giving everyone more doughnuts. The narcissistic person who ruins relationships through his self-centeredness does not need more love or attention — he needs to get kicked to the curb. The young adult who takes advantage of everyone around her does not need her self-esteem boosted — she needs to learn responsibility.

Narcissism is known as the “disease that hurts other people,” and the cure for it is real life — losing a relationship because of selfishness, losing a job because you’ve alienated people. Yes, we should try to understand narcissists and realize that their behavior is explained by this personality trait. But that does not mean we should believe that they are actually insecure — that myth undermines our understanding of narcissism because it presumes that it’s only skin-deep.

Many, many people have been hurt in relationships with narcissists by believing that they can change the person with more love. If only that were true — but sadly, most of the time, it’s not. We can have empathy for people with narcissistic traits, but that does not mean we have to believe they are suffering underneath. Most of the time, they are making other people suffer. They won’t suffer themselves until bad things start happening to them, often as a consequence of their narcissism. It is sad, but it is not due to insecurity.

Trump is not insecure. We should not be looking for the source of his “psychic pain” or expect that someday he will break down and show his true, doubting self. He really does think that he’s that great, and that his ideas are that great. If we believe otherwise — about him or anyone else with these traits — we risk underestimating the true power of the narcissist.

 

~via PsychologyToday.com

“THE ART OF THE ORDEAL” ~ Tony Schwartz on ‘Sociopath’ President Donald Trump

“Trump is not only willing to lie, but he doesn’t get bothered by it, doesn’t feel guilty about it, isn’t preoccupied by it. There’s an emptiness inside Trump. There’s an absence of a soul. There’s an absence of a heart. Because he has no conscience, he has no guilt. All he wants to do is make the case that he would like to be true. And while I do think he is probably aware that more walls are closing around him than ever before, he does not experience the world in the way an ordinary human being would.”

~Tony Schwartz – Ghostwriter who penned Donald Trump’s 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal”

 

~via ‘Blood Money’: Donald Trump’s ‘Art of the Deal’ Ghostwriter Says He Wants to Atone for Helping President’s Rise

PHILOSOPHY FOR THE DAY ~ Eric Raines on Toxic People

“It is about you and your healing after all. We have the ability to create boundaries for those with none and in this process we find our self-worth… we begin to value ourselves.”

~Eric Raines

 

~via Unleashing Natural Humanity

LIVE BOLD & BLOOM: “What Is Your Personality Type?”

It was no surprise to see I’m an ‘Idealist’… 🐬

“Knowing your personality type helps you understand yourself, your interests, your motivations, and your relationships. Although your personality type doesn’t completely define who you are, it helps you have much more awareness about yourself and gives you tools for making important decisions in your life.”

~Barrie Davenport @ Live Bold & Bloom

 

Take the quiz here:

https://liveboldandbloom.com/01/self-improvement/quiz-what-is-your-personality-type

 

~via LiveBoldAndBloom.com

NIKKI SAPP: “How To Be Confident While Remaining Humble”

“There’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance… it’s called humility. Confidence smiles, arrogance smirks.”

~Unknown

 

Somewhere along the line what we recognized as confidence may have been misconstrued a little. We started associating traits like aggressive, loud, opinionated and arrogant with being a confident person. You’ve probably seen the type, or maybe you are the type.

They know FOR SURE that what they believe is the unequivocal truth. Therefore they need to tell everyone about it… constantly.

When they aren’t able to convince someone to believe exactly as they believe they may be caught calling others, “asleep” or a “sheep” or any other plethora of derogatory names that I probably can’t mention here. We also may have misconstrued what it means to be humble a little bit too. Being Humble is associated with weak, shy, meek, and someone who cowers to others.

Someone who is so unsure of themselves or their beliefs that they keep them to themselves and are too insecure to tell everyone they meet their opinion on everything. Is there a way to be both? Can a confident person also be a humble person? In order to answer that question we must dissect what it means to be truly confident, and how does “artificial confidence” come about.

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself the whole world accepts him or her”

~Lao Tzu

 

There are many reasons a person may develop artificial/arrogant confidence. One may be cognitive dissonance, which means they may be holding on to a belief so tightly that when evidence is presented that contradicts this belief they may be completely unwilling to look at the new evidence. They may have become so attached to this belief that it has become a part of their sense of self.

Since they are completely attached to who they think they are it may be a painful experience for them to open their mind up and see things from a different perspective. The actual energy behind holding on to a belief so tightly that you are unwilling to let it go is fear.

The human ego is always afraid to be found out, so to speak, therefore, any threat of someone or something coming along and debunking one of its belief attachments may bring about a negative emotional reaction such as anger. Anytime anger is involved we can be assured that fear is the culprit behind it.

Genuine confidence doesn’t need to get angry because there is no part that fears being wrong or that others aren’t believing them. Another reason a person may develop artificial confidence is because they are insecure.

An insecure person may not truly believe in their theory or themselves so they feel if they can convince others that they are absolutely the right one they can at the same time convince themselves.

This is often done in an aggressive manner, because they are attached to the outcome of people believing them. Again, the fear behind not achieving the outcome they desire is causing them to act in a rude or aggressive manner. Genuine confidence can remain quiet, kind and humble because there is no underlying fear that needs other people to believe exactly what they are saying.

Genuine confidence is humble. It kind of realizes that most people are operating from their own level of understanding and trying to convince them that they are “stupid” or “wrong” usually won’t work anyway. The humble part of them realizes that LIVING and BEING their truth is always more effective than incessant talking or convincing ever will be.

Also, humble confidence isn’t attached to being right. In fact, it happily welcomes new ideas and beliefs because it knows that only when it opens itself up to seeing things from all perspectives is it able to perhaps learn something new.

“The time which people spend in convincing others, even half of this time if they spend on themselves, they can achieve a lot in life.”

~Arvind Katoch

 

In order to maintain humble confidence about our beliefs we must do two things. One is question ourselves….constantly. You may ask yourself, “Do I know absolutely without a doubt that this belief is true?” Meaning, “Did I see it with my own eyes”- normally the answer to this will be no.

So not to say that you won’t have some beliefs about things that involve situations that you weren’t physically there, but it just means that you always maintain a healthy sense of doubt about your beliefs.

This doesn’t mean that you’re unsure of yourself, it means you are wise, because it means you are open to hearing new evidence. Or you can ask yourself, “Is it possible that I am so attached to this belief that it has become a part of who I think I am?” Or even, “Does it matter if the person I am telling about my belief believes me or not? In this present moment does the fact that they are convinced or not convinced change anything in this exact moment in time?”

“Confidence is silent.

Insecurity is loud.”

~Unknown

 

You may find that most of the time, the answer to that is “no.” The other thing a person can do in order to remain humbly confident in their beliefs is to realize that every person they come in contact with can only understand things from their own level of understanding. Which means they are only operating from their own personal programming which may or may not be completely different than yours.

So yes, there may be times when you tell someone something and you enlighten them to something that they hadn’t thought of before but there will also be times where any effort to convince will fall on deaf ears.

When you are unattached to the outcome, you will be fine with either without getting frustrated or angered. Once we realize that our “truth” may not be someone else’s “truth” we can completely relax into interpersonal relationships and take every interaction with a human being as a potential learning experience, which will allow us to always be learning and growing as a person.

 

~via FractalEnlightenment.com