In the wake of recent U.S. events, I've been thinking a lot about extreme narcissists. Whether they're a boss, a colleague or an employee, a parent or a sibling, a lover or a spouse, the CEO of a corporation or the president of a country, all extreme narcissists have the same reaction to being questioned, challenged or opposed.
That reaction is rage.
U.S. President Donald Trump. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
At best, they'll attempt to silence the other person. At worst, they'll attempt to destroy them.
There are six personality traits which all extreme narcissists share. These traits compel them to shut down and punish those who question or challenge them:
- Extreme narcissists see themselves as superior to everyone else.
- They believe themselves entitled to do whatever they want without having to face any consequences.
- They have absolutely no ability to tolerate anyone questioning or challenging them.
- They're incapable of taking responsibility for their actions.
- They have a complete and utter disregard for the law, the rules, and the truth.
- They have "narcissistic rage," becoming infuriated with anyone who "dares" to "defy" them.
For the above reasons, the extreme narcissist is compelled to shut down and punish the people who question them or who want to hold them accountable. The more powerful the extreme narcissist is, the easier it is for them to use this power to silence their "opposition."
Anyone who has an appropriate reaction to their bad behaviour is "attacking" them.
These toxic individuals will take advantage of their position and make use of the courts, the media, any political sway they have and anyone they can pay off in order to shut down those who enrage them by questioning or opposing them.
The extreme narcissist will attempt to discredit the other person, using all their available resources to convince everyone that this person is lying, misinformed, has an ulterior motive or is just plain crazy. They'll do their best to ruin the other person's reputation, so that what they're saying about the extreme narcissist is less likely to be believed by anyone else.
Interestingly, it's the narcissist who's doing all the lying, but they have no trouble projecting this trait onto those whom they intend to discredit.
In the mind of the extreme narcissist, anyone who has an appropriate reaction to their bad behaviour is "attacking" them. They will attempt to turn the tables on the person challenging them by accusing this person of being abusive.
(Photo: Wavebreak Media Ltd.)
The extreme narcissist will try to bully their opponent into submission by using veiled or more overt threats. They will do everything they can to scare the other person into backing down and shutting up.
If the person questioning or challenging the extreme narcissist doesn't shut up, the narcissist will ratchet up their attacks, attempting to destroy their opponent's marriage, credibility, business or livelihood.
The powerful narcissist will not hesitate to make use of the legal system. They'll accuse their opponent of slander or libel. They'll sue their adversary, trying to strip them of everything they own. Powerful extreme narcissists invariably have multiple court cases going on at any given time. They'd much rather spend their money on legal fees than tell the truth, apologize or do the right thing.
In some cases, the extreme narcissist will take more violent, oppressive measures against those who challenge or question them. Even today, around the world, journalists, political dissidents, protesters and bloggers "disappear" or are mysteriously poisoned. Opponents of the extreme narcissists are attacked, imprisoned, even tortured. The way things are going, it's not outside the realm of possibility that this could become our new reality in North America, and we can't let that happen.
We must not allow them to take away our voice.
Extreme narcissists will continue to silence and punish their opponents so that they can keep on doing exactly what they're doing. Shutting down and scaring off all opposition allows them to continue unchallenged. Those of us who don't want this must gather our courage and stand up to the narcissists, even in the face of their brutal measures to silence us. We must not allow them to take away our voice.
We must unite, as there's strength in numbers. We must continue to speak truth to power, even when we're insulted, threatened, or worse. We must reject the lies, acts of misdirection and blatant distortions of these extreme narcissists. We must keep on challenging their false assertions, rejecting their "alternative facts" and questioning their motives and their actions, even when they puff themselves up and bellow more loudly at us.
We must stand strong and refuse to allow these bullies to intimidate us or shut us down. By banding together, our voices join as one and we gain more power. When we join together and support each-other this decreases the amount of power the extreme narcissists have over us. The more united we are in speaking out against injustice, unfairness, dishonesty and corruption, the more we win.
(Photo: Izusek via Getty Images)
The extreme narcissist will try to divide and conquer by pitting people against each other who ought to be allies. We mustn't allow these toxic narcissists to turn us against each-other or split us up. Our greatest power against the narcissists is through presenting a united front.
Some of us might be inclined to back down in the face of the extreme narcissist's relentless bullying, but we can't allow them to intimidate us. We can't afford to be polite, quiet or "nice," and allow these toxic individuals to go forward, unchecked. We need to get loud, rude, obnoxious. The narcissist will see us that way if we even try to speak out against them, so we might as well go for it and tell it like it is.
The powerful extreme narcissist will never stop trying to silence those who question or oppose them but when we unite, we become equally powerful, if not more so. When we stand together and stand up up for what's right, we become empowered to create positive change in our own lives and in the world.
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