Those of us who pointed out what a malignant narcissist Donald Trump is were not wrong. So much of his seeming puzzling behavior is readily explained once we understand this is a very rigid, limiting behavior pattern his disorder has him trapped in.
Authoritarian leaders seek total control. He believes he has the power to define truth and reality. “Truth is whatever I say it is! My assertion makes it so!” followed by “If I don’t admit it’s real, it’s not!” Magic belief in the power of denial.
Intensely narcissistic personalities select their inner circle on the basis of blind loyalty to him (or her); that is, “yes-men” who will never disagree or doubt his wisdom. This is a mistake that can be fatal to his ambitions.
Narcissists are obsessed with image, appearance, and given to dramatic gestures, grandiose claims and pronouncements. Lot s of “positioning,” posturing and posing. “It’s all about the façade,” as someone said. There is often little real substance underneath the self-dramatizing performance he puts on.
They feel entitled to lie. Their emotional need to to appear perfect leads them to lie a lot. Their lying is conscious and intentionally chosen. They feel entitled to life and do so without any guilt or shame.
They also believe they have a “right” to demand to be believed in their lies, even when spouting transparent falsehoods. They either “double down,” repeating and extending the lie, hoping to pound the square peg into the round hole, or they may suddenly drop the lie and adopt another one that blatantly contradicts the first one, without blinking.
They feel misunderstood, attached, persecuted, and/or victimized when their lies are not believed. Anyone not taken in by the lies is an enemy, a persecutor out to ruin him. There are no dissenters, only malicious enemies.
He may flee from those who see through him. He cannot relate to them or engage them in any way except to attack them. Narcissists are full-time salesmen. What they are selling of course, is a (false) image of themselves. If they can’t make a sale they move on.
How sensibly they face unpleasant reality, how they handle frustration or defeat, and how flexible they can be, determines a lot. Their detachment from and denial of reality is what often makes them their own worst enemy and sets them up for self-destruction.
If such a leader has a strong circle of shrewd supporters who expect to profit greatly by propping him up he can keep up the act indefinitely. But if not, such leaders are vulnerable to sudden collapse when the act doesn’t fly anymore. Once the balloon is burst the fall can be sudden and swift.
I’m not predicting, just sayian’