ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Narcissism: what Donald Trump can teach us

Updated on July 5, 2016

Dealing with narcissists isn’t always easy, but perhaps we can learn something through the phenomenon that is ‘Donald Trump’.

Psychological disorder?

It is quite striking to see how self-absorbed the late Republican presidential candidate really is; it was almost remarkable to see how quickly he was labeled a “narcissist” by not only the American people, but the European people as well before and during the US presidential elections. While Donald Trump has never been diagnosed with a disorder, a handful of psychologists seem to agree that his behavior aligns with certain traits of narcissism, more specifically that of the ‘mask model narcissism’.

As the name suggests, these narcissists use their behavior to disguise exactly the opposite, namely a deep sense of uncertainty and lack of confidence. In fact, it is the most painful form of narcissism. There is an extreme need for approval from other individuals in daily situations; for the person suffering from said psychological disorder, the amount of admirers will never be enough.

Would you describe Donald Trump as narcissistic?

See results

Is narcissism genetic?

After all, narcissists are everywhere and interaction with one isn’t convenient or easy. Certain studies indicate that narcissism is approximately 64 to 77% hereditary, but there is also the necessity of the "right" environment for narccissism to manifest itself. However, this does not imply there is such a thing as a “narcissism gene”, a so-called locus of DNA transmitted from generation to generation. Frankly, narcissism is but a small flame fueled by experiences, burning in each and one of us.

On the other hand, more recent studies indicate that narcissistic personality disorders stems from a combination of factors, such as social interactions with caregivers (from birth), biological vulnerability and psychological factors that involve temperament.

Youth without empathy

However, the ‘mask model narcissism’ is a completely different matter. This particular disorder was described in the early 30s by Austrian psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut, who attributes the aforementioned form of narcissism to a neglected childhood, in which parents show little empathy towards their children. “This individual will constantly seek confirmation of an idealized image of itself”, says Kohut.

In a 2008 study in the journal Social and Personality Psychology Compass, lead by psychologist Jennifer Bosson from the University of South Florida, the ‘power’ aspect as well as the ‘painful’ aspect of the mask model. “The mask provides an answer t the question why narcissists behave the way they behave”, says Bosson. “Narcissists glorify themselves, manipulate and minimize, because deep down, they have an aversion to himself.”

As with addiction, psychologists oftentimes cooperate with the patient’s family as opposed to solely the patient. Both addicts as narcissists generally don’t recognize their individual problems; if they do, however, it could dramatically improve their lives.

Give compliments

In the majority of cases, partners, colleagues and family of the individual suffering from mask model narcissism must find a way to deal with the condition. The first step is empathy: one should understand that the person who seems to feel better than anyone else at first sight, actually feels inferior.

Secondly, try to praise whenever possible, but also openly criticize when appropriate. This responds to the needs of the narcissist. Balancing both facets of this 'treatment' will simultaneously urge the narcissist to display more reasonable behavior.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)