Is it reasonable to blame Trump for his twitter rages?

Most people struggle accepting criticism, but Trump refuses to accept it at all. This grandiose view of oneself and aggressive attacking of critics fits under the umbrella of a disorder classified as narcissism. While many people believe narcissism stems from an effort to hide insecurities, it is actually a psychological disorder. Narcissists understand what they’re doing and how they influence others. It is less about hiding insecurities and more about a conscious effort to make peers realize how truly captivating the narcissist believes himself to be.

​One man in particular created this elevated ego disorder: Narcissus. Greek myth tells a story of a man named Narcissus. This man searched for someone to love. One day, the world presented Narcissus with a nymph named Echo, and he rejected her. However, later Narcissus caught glimpse of himself in a river and fell in love with it. Quite ironically, he literally fell into his own image and drowned. This myth brewed a word for elevated, detrimental self involvement: narcissism. Now, social psychologists have analyzed the true meaning of the word and have further classified three types of narcissism: grandiose, vulnerable, and personality disorder.

​Keith Campbell, a psychologist specializing in narcissism, describes grandiose narcissism as the most common type. Grandiose narcissists show traits of “extroversion, dominance, and attention seeking.” This tends to be dictators and “politicians” like Donald Trump. The second type of narcissist, vulnerable, shows quiet and reserved traits with a strong sense of entitlement. The vulnerable narcissists are easily threatened by others success. The last form is the full on narcissistic personality disorder. The American Psychiatric Assocation describes the narcissistic personality disorder as, “A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood…” In their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the association also declares traits of the disorder as grandiosity, attention seeking, lack of empathy, and superficial relationships existing to further boost narcissists esteem. With all three of those definitions, narcissistic disorder can officially be declassified as an insecurity issue. Now, as people search for reasoning, they can only assume narcissists must not understand their detrimental traits. Right? Well, no.

​Erika Carlson, a personality psychologist, dissolved the belief that narcissists lack awareness of their disorder with an in-depth research report. In this report, she and her colleagues analyzed the self perceptions, meta perceptions, and others perceptions.

Administering ‘subclinical narcissism measures’ to 201 young people (71 men and 130 women), Carlson detected and diagnosed narcissists then analyzed their self perceptions. Then, they were asked to express meta-perceptions or how they think others view them. Finally, they surveyed and measured the perceptions of other people. This perception measured how other people actually view narcissists.

In Carlson’s finding, her and her colleagues discovered accuracy within the ‘Narcissistic Awareness View.’ Rating themselves, the narcissists held true to the grandiose view of oneself. However, when the narcissists considered how others viewed them — the meta perceptions — they displayed an awareness of how new friends as well as old friends viewed them. The narcissist recognized that new friends viewed them positively, and the old friends viewed them negatively. These meta perceptions aligned perfectly with the survey of others perceptions of narcissists. Other people perceived narcissists negatively. With this study, Carlson revealed that narcissists are aware that other people view them less positively than they view themselves.

​This research study of Erika Carlson gives reason to why narcissists, like Mr. Trump, surround themselves with people who view them positively. Although it doesn’t make outbursts reasonable, the study also gives reason to Mr. Trumps frequent aggressive outburst towards anyone or anything that criticizes him.

The world views his actions as irregular, but Trump lives among a vast amount of undiagnosed narcissists.

Although outsiders view narcissistic personality disorder as originating from a place of insecurity and lack of awareness, narcissism actually originates from an inflated, grandiose view of ones self image.