Sept 25, 2020 | By Finn Mott | Illustration by Patil Khakhamian
According to the Mayo Clinic, narcissism is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy. This illness is plaguing our nation, and modern society more broadly. Narcissism hinders the Black Lives Matter movement, increases racism, and normalizes sexism through toxic masculinity. Moreover, millions are negatively influenced by narcissists in their daily lives.
Why is narcissism so hard to prevent? The primary challenge is that narcissists are not able to recognize their condition. Narcissists are in a constant state of denial about their egocentric lifestyle; they are unable to see the way their words and actions damage other people because they are solely focused on themselves and their reputation. Hence, relationships of any kind with a narcissist often devolve into abusive treatment. Narcissists rarely provide the compassion required for a healthy relationship. It is a one-way street; if you try to turn around or ask for reciprocation, you will face a head-on collision.
The fact that some of our world leaders are narcissists is a pressing issue with widespread consequences. The Independent states, “A leading psychoanalyst and clinical professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine has claimed that President Donald Trump suffers from ‘narcissistic personality disorder.’” The corrupt nature of our government, politics, and society is partially fueled by the presence of narcissists in positions of power.
Having a possible narcissist as the President of the United States is terrifying. Selfishness and ego inflammation can damage the progress of the U.S. as President Trump uses his position for greed and personal gain. It is important for us to recognize and rectify the issue of having narcissists in power.
If you are in a close relationship with a narcissist, the damage may be long-lasting and painful. It is extremely difficult to get a narcissist to change their ways; the first step is understanding the condition. Once you understand that narcissism is an illness, and not controllable by the narcissist, then you can recognize it is not your fault. The way you are treated and the pain you feel is real and should be validated. The narcissist will not validate your adversity, so you need to do it on your own or find somebody else who will.
No matter how narcissism plays a role in your life, know that there are people here for you. We can get through this together. We may cry, and we will hurt, but we will survive. Let us rise stronger and more determined in our personal lives and our political ones. Let us elect leaders who are compassionate and representative of marginalized groups. It is time to change who rules this nation. It is time to remove the male narcissists who have taken over politics and personal relationships. It is time to spread awareness on how to love yourself. You deserve to be loved and accepted for who you are. No narcissist should ever take that away from you.