There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a ferocious heavy-hitter. He spent the majority of his life attempting to, and succeeding in, chewing up and spitting out his competition. Put simply, he wins. His fierce and predatory behaviour is an essential part of his business and is also an inseparable part of his psychological makeup. Here’s the thing: Sure, he wins, but it’s only because he is (at the subconscious level) tremendously desperate to protect his self-esteem and extremely fragile ego. This implies that, in basic interactions with people, he will do whatever it takes to “be on top.” Being successful is therefore not just a bonus for Trump, it is a matter of life and death. Winning and getting his way are fundamental defence mechanisms protecting Trump from his crippling fear of incompetence, worthlessness, weakness and failure. He is so psychologically desperate to win that bullying, belittling, discarding, stereotyping, discriminating, and manipulating (to name a few), are at the forefront of his strategies- exactly like the proud insecure teenager, still trying to discover himself. And what people need to understand is that, if he is elected, he will mistreat everyone and anyone who is seemingly threatening or oppositional. In the same way his employees, peers, opponents, and competitors are victims of his immaturity, selfishness, and injustice, so too will everyone he touches in the political sphere. He will attempt to manipulate world leaders and foreign (and homeland) dignitaries into doing what he desires, and when he is opposed: open-minded, thorough, critically-thoughtful, poised and respectful compromise will not be outcome. In short, he will single-handedly be responsible for the rupture of all healthy alliances the US has worked hard to forge this past decade. Trump’s behaviours come from such deep-rooted core beliefs and psychological wounds that they cannot be modified with simple pep talks or encouragement from campaign managers, colleagues, friends, or family. These behaviors can only be modified with long-term therapy that only he can initiate.
It’s time people start understanding the impact of Trump’s psychological wounds. I realize that policy should be the most important topic in the evaluation of presidential candidates, however policy cannot be discussed in a rational and organized way with a psychologically wounded person. My question to this audience is: would you have high expectations in a debate with an alcoholic, or grieving widower, or individual diagnosed with major depression, or someone in the middle of a divorce, or someone diagnosed with PTSD? Of course you would not. You would (hopefully) have compassion for the challenges these individuals face and hope they seek and receive the help they need. I am arguing that Trump’s psychological condition is just as profound as the ones I listed above. His psychological challenges do not make him fundamentally “bad” however, they are currently interfering with his ability to lead a country and are grounds for his disqualification from the presidential race. While I cannot responsibly diagnose anyone who is not my client, Trump meets the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). The American people, the American media, and the American politicos are shocked and frustrated daily with what they are getting from Donald Trump. Well, eliciting huge reactions are indicative of exactly what an individual with NPD does! As a professional, it is impossible, irresponsible, and unfair of me to diagnose someone from afar. So I won’t. However, as an FYI, here are the criteria needed to diagnose someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Hopefully this will ease some frustration and initiate psychological insight while watching anything related to the US presidential race. It eases a lot of the shock factor for me, I’ll tell you that. Unfortunately, if Donald Trumo is elected, the worst is yet to come.
Characteristics of individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
- Exaggerating your achievements and talents
- Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
- Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
- Requiring constant admiration
- Having a sense of entitlement
- Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
- Taking advantage of others to get what you want
- Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
- Being envious of others and believing others envy you
- Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
Disclaimer: The Sassy Psychologist does not and has never treated Donald Trump. For full disclaimer, click here.