Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

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Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Heaven Swan » Wed May 09, 2018 4:08 pm

Anyone interested in pathological narcissism?

A lot of problems in society seem to be caused by narcissists and psychopaths in positions of power. Could a society-wide heightening of consciousness about narcissism and us learning how to identify and stop them be a way to heal some of the seemingly intractable problems humanity faces?

I've been watching Youtube videos on narcissism by Sam Vaknin (self-proclaimed world's foremost expert on NPD) and others to explore the issue.
Any thoughts or ideas on this topic?

PS Vakin believes, based on extensive research, that both Trump and Obama (but not Hillary) are pathological narcissists.

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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Cordelia » Wed May 09, 2018 6:26 pm

Very complicated subject. Pathological narcissists have always thrived in positions of power, be it the highest levels of government/industry/religion to kindergarten teachers or advocates for abused children and animal rescue groups who feed on their power over the most vulnerable.

Vaknin is toxic; I won't waste limited internet gigabytes watching him.

A lot of problems in society seem to be caused by narcissists and psychopaths in positions of power.


That includes parenting. Particularly destructive are narcissistic mothers w/their children, imo; they can manipulate and destroy lives from birth through childhood, young adulthood and beyond.

The steady increase in narcissism is inevitable for children raised consuming the last 2+ decades of Facebook, taking selfies, posting on Instagram, social media etc..

Learning to recognize malignant narcissism should be regarded as an important life skill.
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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby peartreed » Wed May 09, 2018 8:05 pm

Vaknin does understand and define narcissism and pathological narcissists in power technically well, but his tendency to pre-emptively label and accuse political leaders as psychopathic narcissists is too subjective (versus psychoanalytically evidentiary).

I do agree with him, for example, that Trump fills the bill with ample, demonstrable evidence on a consistent basis. I do not agree that Obama also fits the definition. That perception is not political bias, it comes from working closely with two different pathological narcissists in my two separate careers, both top executives.

The first, in a corporate conglomerate, was so vain and ruthlessly vicious to opposition, real and imagined, that he slowly orchestrated his own demise. The second, in the film industry where vanity and self-absorption really proliferate, was so paranoid and jealous of other celebrity that he destroyed his support base. Both fit the standard psychological definition of psychopathic narcissism, like Trump.

Vaknin’s tendency in his videos to broadly apply his labels to leaders of all stripes that he obviously personally dislikes, tends to discredit his objective assessments. It’s also like a promoter seeking to sensationalize his story to sell his books – and maybe then afford to get his own teeth, biting criticism and appearance adjusted.
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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Elvis » Wed May 09, 2018 8:31 pm

This is about me, isn't it?


:wink

But seriously, I've read a ton of Vaknin's stuff on narcissism and found it generally useful.

Cordelia wrote:Vaknin is toxic


Cordelia, what about him is toxic? He says he's a narcissist himself, so there's always that. But I'm curious about your remark.

Narcissim is a big problem, I agree. About all we can do about it, as HeavenSwan suggests, is be aware of it and adjust expectations accordingly.
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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Heaven Swan » Wed May 09, 2018 9:23 pm

Vaknin toxic?
I find him quite entertaining.
And most of the Internet narcissism gurus talk exclusively about personal and family relationships and I want to look into the bigger societal picture.

Now you can’t tell me this video isn’t insightful and entertaining.

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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Heaven Swan » Wed May 09, 2018 9:32 pm

Peartreed wrote:
I do agree with him, for example, that Trump fills the bill with ample, demonstrable evidence on a consistent basis. I do not agree that Obama also fits the definition. That perception is not political bias, it comes from working closely with two different pathological narcissists in my two separate careers, both top executives.


Yea,Trump is obvious. I haven’t watched Vaknin’s videos on Obama yet so I’m not sure if I agree either.

There are so many narcissists around. Now that I’m learning how to spot them I’m realizing that most of the abusers I’ve had the misfortune to encounter, if they weren’t sociopaths, were narcissists. And apparently sociopath and psychopath are on the far end of the narcissism spectrum.

The fact that that they seek out positions of power seems like a huge problem.
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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Grizzly » Wed May 09, 2018 11:11 pm

but not Hillary ...


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Elvis » Wed May 09, 2018 11:44 pm

uh-oh...Grizzly said the "H bomb"

From what I can gather about her, I tend to see H.R. Clinton as a textbook example. Not sure about Obama, but most people striving for the U.S. presidency are going to exhibit some narcissistic qualities. Nixon was strangely cut off from people. Trump must be the absolute worst in the history of America.

The real 'clinical' narcissists have ways to keep you hooked in, beware! And there's almost nothing you can do about them except stay away.

Bernie Sanders keeps coming up as as exception to the 'rules', and once again, with Bernie I think we have an honest man.
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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Pele'sDaughter » Thu May 10, 2018 8:17 am

Another aspect that I find scary is that they will build AI in their image. That might just be my worst nightmare. :shock:

Neither narcissists nor psychopaths give one thought to anyone but themselves. If they appear to care, they're simply faking it to further their agenda. What is so dangerous is that they can pass for normal and insert themselves into aspects of society that will suffer for their participation; the wolf in sheep's clothing. Once in a position of power, they let down their guard a bit and we can see some of the motivating factors. Then, it's usually too late.

Anyone who can accept a millionaire salary sitting behind an executive desk while others toil in the trenches for peanuts exemplifies the feudal aspects of a society run by narcissists and psychopaths.
Don't believe anything they say.
And at the same time,
Don't believe that they say anything without a reason.
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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Cordelia » Thu May 10, 2018 6:17 pm

Elvis » Wed May 09, 2018 11:31 pm

Cordelia, what about him is toxic? He says he's a narcissist himself, so there's always that. But I'm curious about your remark.


My response was based on years ago, when I watched some videos of him and bought his book. At that time, I was researching the subject for personal reasons. I found his book incomprehensible and even threw it out because I just didn’t want it hanging around.

Image

I posted my impression of him on a thread Blue started years ago...... The Narcissism Epidemic http://rigorousintuition.ca/board2/view ... =8&t=26932 where Vaknin is discussed. Maybe he’s cleaned up his act, mellowed w/age since then, but I'd treat the sincerity of any 'malignant' narcissist, self-described or not, w/caution.

Heaven Swan » Thu May 10, 2018 12:23 am

Vaknin toxic?
I find him quite entertaining.


Extreme narcissists often are entertaining (and charismatic) but now that's a red flag for me not to go down their rabbit hole. :scaredhide:
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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Heaven Swan » Fri May 11, 2018 7:39 am

Elvis » Wed May 09, 2018 8:31 pm[/url]"Narcissim is a big problem, I agree. About all we can do about it, as HeavenSwan suggests, is be aware of it and adjust expectations accordingly.


I didn't say that.

In fact I'd like to brainstorm ideas for solving the problem. If pathological narcissists are abusive, and wreck relationships, families, countries and the planet, what could be done to stop them?

Identifying them and going no contact can work for individuals, but it doesn't solve the problem of narcissists and psychopaths in positions of power. There seems to be a brain scan that can identify psychopathy. If there were a reliable test for pathological narcissism, they could be restricted from certain jobs and positions or quarantined. A scarlet letter or therapy/re-education camps in this case could go a long way. I know this sounds extreme but the problems they cause are also extreme. Any thoughts or ideas?
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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Pele'sDaughter » Fri May 11, 2018 7:50 am

First, wouldn't we have to get rid of "politically correct" policies? That seems to me to be more of the current enabling force that permits them go on wreaking havoc on society.
Don't believe anything they say.
And at the same time,
Don't believe that they say anything without a reason.
---Immanuel Kant
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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Heaven Swan » Fri May 11, 2018 7:58 am

Thanks Cordelia.

I'll have to look at that thread.

True that many narcissists are charismatic (or stand out due to all their focus being turned back on themselves) but the insights of a narcissist like Vaknin might be very helpful to our understanding. And he can't jump out of the book or computer screen to hurt others. The narcissists we encounter in our lives, in coherence with their pathology, are using all their life energy to scam, deceive and manipulate to get what they want from us, at least he's putting energy into enlightening others about the problem.

Maybe capitalism and communism would have worked fine if it weren't for these SOBs seizing the reigns of power. It's certainly worth some consideration, I think.



My response was based on years ago, when I watched some videos of him and bought his book. At that time, I was researching the subject for personal reasons. I found his book incomprehensible and even threw it out because I just didn’t want it hanging around.

Image

I posted my impression of him on a thread Blue started years ago...... The Narcissism Epidemic viewtopic.php?f=8&t=26932 where Vaknin is discussed. Maybe he’s cleaned up his act, mellowed w/age since then, but I'd treat the sincerity of any 'malignant' narcissist, self-described or not, w/caution.

Heaven Swan » Thu May 10, 2018 12:23 am

Vaknin toxic?
I find him quite entertaining.


Extreme narcissists often are entertaining (and charismatic) but now that's a red flag for me not to go down their rabbit hole. :scaredhide:
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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Heaven Swan » Fri May 11, 2018 8:00 am

Pele'sDaughter » Fri May 11, 2018 7:50 am wrote:First, wouldn't we have to get rid of "politically correct" policies? That seems to me to be more of the current enabling force that permits them go on wreaking havoc on society.


Interesting thought. You may be on to something here. Can you give some examples?
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Re: Narcissists are attracted to positions of power

Postby Pele'sDaughter » Fri May 11, 2018 8:28 am

Until recently, it's been taboo to even mention their crimes and atrocities. That seems to be changing regarding sexual assault by persons in power but needs to go much farther. Perhaps that is a start. It's quite the task considering they have legions of people protecting them and enabling what they do. Are those people psychos, too?

How do we create the awareness in others that will prevent these predators from getting such a firm grip on things? How do we encourage integrity when people are struggling with basic living? To me, the entire environment that the predators operate in needs to be made unsuitable for them to thrive, and that's going to take more than regulations and tests. People aren't really used to thinking in terms of predator and prey even though that would be incredibly helpful. What we've been conditioned to do is think in terms of differences such as culture, race, skin color, status, etc. Shit that doesn't matter that we can fight over while the predators continue unchecked. So, I'm thinking in general terms of how our society is functioning today and not specific instances that I might point out.

I'm also to the point that I wouldn't feel a moment of regret if they were all swept off the planet never to be seen again, but that isn't PC at all. Over and over I've tried to imagine, say, a relatively small colony of humans trying to live organically and peacefully and what would they do if they discovered a predator in their midst. As a person of integrity, how would I want that handled. Should they be expelled? Executed? Counseled?

When compared to indigenous peoples, we're almost a different species as we're so far removed from organic living. No wonder there's such a flood of seekers going on those spiritual retreats. Of course, now we've infect those places with our sickness. How did we get to this sad point in our existence?
Don't believe anything they say.
And at the same time,
Don't believe that they say anything without a reason.
---Immanuel Kant
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