I recently read that a particular world leader receives folders twice a day ‘full of positive news stories, tweets praising him and sometimes pictures’ of himself on TV ‘looking powerful’. It is a level of narcissism uneasily reminiscent of the evil queen in Snow White and her mirror on the wall.
As I watch current developments around the world, it reminds me of an article published in the February 2016 Australian Human Resources Institute magazine, HR Daily. The article refers to ‘The Narcissist Test’ written by Clinical Psychologist Dr Craig Makin, whereby he describes ‘overconfident leadership can be disastrous for business’. This is a worrying thought when many key leaders of business are also in positions of great power, determining what is happening economically and politically in the world. It goes on to say that we are in the ‘midst of a narcissism epidemic fuelled by the influence of celebrity culture and social media’. Now I am starting to get even more concerned. Especially when you consider the prolific amount of ‘reality’ television shows and that one high profile individual is purported to have over 40 million followers on Twitter.
Dr Malkin was said to challenge the idea that narcissism is a disease. He instead asserts that narcissism is created by the ‘drive to feel special’. Although we all want to feel special in some way, it is the ‘degree to which we need to feel special that narcissism is healthy or unhealthy’. Furthermore the article espouses that ‘when people grow dependent on feeling special’ that they ‘lose the capacity to see the world from any point of view other than their own’, display a ‘complete lack of remorse and a penchant for manipulation’.
He writes that extreme narcissism often ‘manifests itself in displays of bullying and disrespect’. This is starting to sound all too familiar when thinking about the frequent recent accusations, used to undermine journalists, that they are publishing ‘fake news’ and the name calling and personal insults to other high profile figures.
The fact that prominent world leaders and high profile individuals could be operating so unreasonably is clearly unsettling. This book is on my ‘to read’ list as I am always fascinated with psychopathology and personality. If you are interested in more, you can even do the narcissism test on his website. It’s okay….I didn’t rate as a narcissist!