Articles, Blog

How Narcissists Took Over the World

December 20, 2019

This is Donald Trump, a popular American
presidential candidate. And this is Donald
Trump’s penis, a small glandular organ at
the base of his pelvis. There’s a certain
compensation thing going I know many would
say he’s an out and out narcissist. Others have added,
in fact dubbing Trump a narcissist has become
something of a cottage industry in
modern America. With multiple US
publications lining up to suggest he’s suffering
from something called narcissistic personality
disorder. We are going to
make America so great again, maybe
greater than ever before! And they do seem
suddenly everywhere. Beyond Trump’s
towering cockery, narcissism itself has become something
of a cottage industry. In a world increasingly
colored through the Yellows of
an Instagram filter, it’s our new
pop-psych magic wand. A label that has replaced
psychopath as the thing we now dub everyone, from
Kanye to a moody ex or needy mom. All of which is a far cry
from the ancient Greek myth of Narcissus, who
drowned after falling in love with his
own reflection. Or even from Sigmund
Freud’s invention of narcissism as an illness
100 years ago. I’m about to wade
into this cultural clusterfuck. See if I can figure out
where actual narcissism begins and just being
a bit of a dick ends. I’ll be seeking out real
world narcissist and their victims. Talking to the new
breed of experts. In short holding up
a mirror to narcissism itself. And given the nature
of the disorder, that’s probably the most
dangerous thing you can do to it. A quick Google suggested
they didn’t seem to hold their own band dances or
rent themselves out for children’s parties, so
I began to look for a proxy. is
a dating site that only accepts
one in five applicants solely on the basis
of their hotness. Would this be the place
to find the well varnished exterior
of a narcissist? So what are we
gonna do today? We’re gonna sign you up
to Beautiful Hopefully you’ll
get through. If I wanted to
sign up though, first I’d have to
leverage my own genetic. And given that most of
my ancestors were spoon faced Irish folk, there
was still a few hurdles. Are you a member of
the beautiful people? I am. Yeah I got in. Did you?
Yeah. Two diversion process,
I got in. Positive votes. Did you say some
of these people are narcissistic? There is an element of
narcissism in everyone. Yeah.
I mean what sort of photo do you think would work
for someone like me? Do you want to
find that map? Yeah, sign me up. Yeah, have you got
photos we can access. I mean there are photos
on the electric internet that we could access. Yeah, okay wait wait
wait, that’s scary. If I’m honest, I don’t think that’s
gonna get through. Right
This is the best of a bad bunch of photos. Okay so
I need to add some text. You need to add
some description. I’m looking for
a love couple with sexual intercourse not
necessarily in that order and do they have
success on here? Do you have many hookups. We’ve had lots of
beautiful marriages. We had over thousand
marriages and babies. Do you worry
your creating some kind of Aryan
master race? I think that’s kind of
what people are looking to do anyway when they
walk into a bar or are walking down
the street. Look, okay, Honey, you’re currently
being voted out. Uh-oh. Okay, we can swing
this, I think, if we tweak your
profile a bit. Emergency measures. The public verdict
stunned way more than I’d imagined. Can you smile? Can I, though? Try.
I did wonder whether this would be
the trigger for my circling the
narcissistic plughole, the opening act of
a new life of burpees, of skin peels and
joylessly mechanical sex. You had a huge
turnaround! Really? That’s an enormous
turn around. Wow, I should
be paid for this. Does that mean
I’m really, really, really hot? You’re getting better
votes than me. I know. In two days you’ll get
an email saying you’ve been accepted or
rejected. Okay, well thank you so
much for your help in making a new
beautiful man of me. Pleasure, good luck. Eh-eh or Eh-eh? I definitely
vote you eh-eh. I double Fonz you
in a nonsexual way. So maybe I was
hot after all. I like that. Did I like it
enough to be pathologically
narcissistic? It was all still
very confusing. To get a clearer
breakdown on the topic, I went to see
Phillipa Perry. Hi Gavin, hi. Come on in.
Hi. A well known
psychotherapist and author of
How To Stay Sane. What does
a narcissist’s bathroom look like? Is it just
one big mirror? It could be one big
mirror, couldn’t it? So a narcissist bathroom, well trying make you
think of a certain way, I’m trying to control the
way you see me by what you see in the bathroom. Extraordinary. A normal person
wouldn’t care what impression that
bastard made but a narcissist would. Well the bathroom is
certainly a nice touch. More usefully, she offered to run me
through a few narcissism diagnostic questions as
used by psychologists. Do people often fail
to appreciate your very special talents or
accomplishments? Of course. They do. Yeah.
Tick. Have people told you
that you have a too high opinion of yourself? From time to time. How often are we
talking here? Just have they,
yes or no? Yeah. Yeah, okay. When you have
a problem do you always insist on seeing
the top person? No, I’m happy
with mediocrity. Do you expect people to
do what you ask without question because
of who you are? Because of what
I tell them, not because of who I am. So, you do. Put me down as a maybe. Do you feel you deserve
special treatment? No.
Not in airport lounges. Okay, let’s see
how you’re doing. You’re still
a narcissist. You’re like
the rest of us. You’re on the scale. What is a narcissist? What is a narcissist? Well, we all have various
narcissistic traits, but you have to have an awful
lot of them before you’re defined as
a narcissist per se. No what are the traits? You think you’re
extraordinary. You think you’re unique. Grandiosity, arrogant. You manipulate other
people for your own ends, and that leads into
a lack of empathy, excessive need of
admiration from others, and very controlling
about how others see you. So there’s about
nine traits. And in order to
be diagnosed as a narcissist,
you need five of them. So if you just got one or two of them, you won’t
be diagnosed as having narcissistic personality
disorder. You need some sort of
self belief in order to get out of bed
in the morning, I believe I
can do my job. But it’s when you
think that only you could present
this program. No one else could do it. Yeah.
Because you’re super, super special. Are narcissists born or
made? Do you do not choose
to be a narcissist? Yeah.
Narcissists are made. You put the child
on a pedestal and you say he’s great. Because he’s got the
family name, because he can recite Latin verse,
because he does stuff. Not for who he is,
not for just being,
because he does stuff. Another way you can make
a narcissist Is that you can diss your
child completely. You can not give
them any praise. You don’t light up when
they come into the room. That is very hurtful
to the child, so they build up this
shell of I’m the best in order not to
feel the hurt. You have to have James
that predisposed to be a narcissist or
a psychopath but those genes require
certain conditions in the environment in
order to turn them on. She laid it all
out neatly but within psychiatry
narcissism remains a relatively new,
controversial phenomenon. It was only in
1994 that the term was first recognized
by the DSM psychiatric handbook and it’s only
been three years since that definition was
changed to include a list of nine key traits. Grandiosity,
preoccupation with success and power,
a belief in being unique, a sense of entitlement
to special treatment, requiring excessive
admiration, being envious of others,
lacking empathy, exploiting others to
achieve personal gain, being arrogant and
domineering. I had my list of traits and
had finally turfed up a fellow hottie
mchotface called Dawn. So I wrote the bullet
points down on my palm and headed out for my first ever
beauty based date. Hello Dawn, I’m Gavin. Hi Gavin, nice to
meet you, how are you? Hi. Do you think they
drug them here? It’s possible. Yeah, is this an unusual
date for you? This would go, be up there on fairly
unusual dates, yes. Dawn didn’t seem to like
cats anymore than I did. And yet again, I found myself cursing my
date organizing technique of skimming through
‘Timeout’ magazine. To salvage something, I decided to double-down
on the narcissist angle. Do you think I’m hot? That’s a bit blunt to go straight
in there isn’t it? I just want to know
if you think I’m hot. I think you have
a certain charm. Okay do you think there
are more narcissists on a site like I think that it may
attract people that have narcissistic tendencies
in terms of looks, in terms of
appearance yeah but then I would say that’s
all of us anyway. Well I really don’t
wanna date any more narcissists, but the problem is you never
see those buggers coming. So where do you go to find out
about narcissism? What’s the-
Internet of course. There’s an amazing guy
who I absolutely love. He’s called-
What’s his name? Richard Grannon. Okay.
And he does a project called
The Spartan Life Coach, and the guy is amazing. Do you like
YouTube videos? I’m into them, yeah. It seemed that instead of
finding the narcissist I was after, I’d drawn a
girl who was as obsessed with nar-counting
as I was. I decided not to share
this irony with Dawn. But instead, to check out
the man she’d mentioned. Richard Grannon. A former martial
arts expert turns narcissism guru. What narcissists do is
they chip away at your sense of self, and at
the core of your sense of what is real and
what’s not. Your whole reality
goes dark. Grannon had begun life as a bouncer on the
Liverpool security scene. Gradually his website
about martial arts had mutated into him
talking on YouTube about the mental aspects
of self defense. It’s about looking at
how you you feel in the present moment, inside
your body here and now. This body, this moment. One day he decided to
talk about narcissism, his views spiked then
went off the charts. Now, victims of
narcissistic abuse flock to his channel
I’ve got 42,000 subscribers at the moment
in the last six months it’s grown exponentially. And I think the explosion
of interest has come from people who have seen that
there is actually now a way of describing
abusive and exploitative patterns of behavior by
extremely entitled and arrogant people that
they found useful and empowering, so that’s
why they’re using it. But how different is
that to just really sucky relationships. This is a Vice thing so
I can swear, can I? Yeah, go ahead. Yeah, somebody being
an asshole is not a personality disorder. If somebody’s being
an asshole consistently, every moment of the day
through multiple contacts and multiple scenarios,
even when you’re saying please stop being
an asshole, it hurts and you’re ruining my life, that’s a personality
disorder. How does it manifest
itself in our culture on a day
to day basis? We’ve never seen
technology like what the scenario we’re
in right now. This little black mirror that we carry
around in our pockets, the smartphones,
that’s all you. That’s all about you and
your preferences and the websites you
want to look at. And we become insular, we become very
intolerant of others. This is a personality
disorder of broken boundaries. This is a personality
disorder of entitlement. The technology that
we carry with us and that we are consuming at
record rates right now encourages entitlement. And encourages a lack of
respect of other people’s boundaries. So we are all player
one in the video game of our lives. Absolutely, that’s a
great way of putting it. So, I mean, tell me
about narcissists that you meet in your work. Do they ever come
to your courses? Yes, they do.
There’s actually another personality disorder
called the inverted narcissist. And that is a person who has narcissistic
personality disorder, but their narcissism
manifests as an obsession with being
narcissistically abused. Right. So, it’s-
I mean, that’s terrifying. That is utterly
terrifying. It’s Hitchcockian. It is Hitchcockian. Hitchcock would
love that. Grannon wasn’t the only
one who felt this world had a dab of
the Hitchcock’s. There were now dozens of
YouTube gurus out there, each offering victims
psychic pepper sprays, mental rape alarms, or
emotional hand grenades. These people
are dangerous. They’re destructive. You start questioned
your own reality, you start questioning
your own self worth. His very self
contained online world, was now so advanced, it had developed its own
long list of jargon. Words like gaslighting, where a narcissist
manipulates someone into doubting their
own sanity. Lovebombing, where
a narcissist uses irrational quantities
of affection to manipulate someone’s
behavior, or flying monkeys, the
people narcissists use to attack their
chief target. Back in IRL, the London
Narcissistic Support Group offered victims
a three-month course. To rebuild their self
esteem after narcissistic relationships. So all of you,
I assume, have had a key relationship that’s been
really challenging and really difficult
in your lives. They’re probably
a narcissist. What I want you to do is
think about a time where that relationship has
been particularly difficult. And write about that. Okay, so if everyone
puts their pens down. And how did you
all find that? It made me feel
absolutely exhausted writing it down. All I felt was there’s
this huge rage coming from him? How do I spot
a narcissist? They’re very good at
zoning in on what your particular vulnerability
is, cuz when you first meet them they ask you so
many questions about yourself, which is one of
the reasons they seem so appealing, they seem so
interested in you. But it is the stages,
isn’t it, of the first lovebombing? You’re the best,
you’re an amazing person. And then, devalue. Cycles. Mind control. Cuz the lovebombing
period is then what you are constantly,
just trying to get back. If I just do this. Chasing that dragon. You’re not used to
dealing with somebody who will tell you
in one breath You are perfect for me-
Yes- And then within a matter of half
an hour, they will then say something which
completely throws you. There’s just something
about the person that doesn’t really add up. The stories
were endless. The group were clearly
delighted to have found others who spoke
their language. And the trauma
of the incidents it describes
couldn’t be denied. He was pushing me to
kill myself because he would have got such
a huge buzz from that. These people all seem
to see narcissists as characters sulfurous
evil with stray tentacles slipping from
their sleeves. But when I did find one,
he was mainly human. Can anyone diagnose
a narcissist? Can you diagnose
your narcissist? His name was
Sam Vaknin. An abusive environment.
Physical abuse, Diagnosed as a clinical
narcissist, he did time in an Israeli jail for
securities fraud. Since then, he’s moved
to Macedonia, and bent his own condition
into an online business, as an expert on
the subject. Not all abusers, or
jerks, are narcissists. Although all narcissists
are abusers and jerks. Yet as we corresponded
over bringing him to the UK. I began to realize that his being self aware
definitely wasn’t the same as saying
he was cured. So we managed to
track down an actual narcissist. And already it seems
the narcissistic abuse has begun, over email. And it’s spread to our
production coordinator, who received
an email from Mr. Sam Vaknin saying,
I know it is none of my business, and I apologize
for butting in, but I simply cannot
contain myself. I checked with Wizz Air,
and the cost of two
flights is 160 pounds. I have no idea how you
could possibly have ended up being charged
690 pounds. It sure looks like
you’re being overcharged egregiously. Additionally, it’s
just the sheer, I guess the grandiosity
and self-centeredness of the fact that he’s double
starred this email. He’s flagged it up as a
super high priority with two exclamation marks. You know someone’s
got a personality disorder when they
start double starring their emails as
high priority. And the grandiosity
then continues in the last email
I got from him. Modesty aside, making
a film about narcissism without my participation,
is like making a feature about the 2016 elections,
without mentioning Trump. Brackets, laughing. After many more emails in
which I was ultimately Sub and Dom in this low
wattage, BDSM business battle, we finally
got him to London. At the pub,
I asked him to explain the roots
of his condition. First time I was
diagnosed with narcissistic personality
disorder was in Canada, when my fiancee wisely
broke up with me. Tell me a bit more
about your prehistory with all of this. I mean,
you were a child once. Were you aware that you
were different in some unknowable way? I was a very
disruptive kid at school and at home. And I was subject to seriously horrendous
abuse. Really? Inside the home? Yeah, at home. It is the common
perception today that narcissism is a reaction
to prolonged, protracted and traumatic
abuse in early childhood. And I had this in
ample quantities. I was sent to
the psychiatrist and he measured my IQ. And it was, at the time, 185, which is
considered pretty rare. Yes.
So at age nine I was plucked
out of elementary school. And I was sent
to university. So I had abuse at home,
I was an idol outside. So it messed up my mind, it messed up my
mind completely. And I believe
my narcissism has developed as
a reaction to all this. Did you have any
friends as a child? No.
Why’s that? That’s an easy one. I don’t think I could
be a true friend to anyone in the sense
that I don’t think I would have an emotional
correlation. If I become friends with
you, there will always be the question of
what’s in it for me? How can I leverage you
to obtain certain goals? Those become some
kind of comeuppance. Like I would always try
to compete with you and establish a hierarchy. It would be a contaminated
version of friendship. So contaminated that I
sincerely doubt whether it complies with
the definition. Sam seemed quite
charming for a narcissist, but then,
as he’d reminded me earlier, that was just
another weapon deployed in the narc’s endless
social gamesmanship. Many others seemed
to presuppose it, but did Sam think we were
living through a golden age of narcissism? Is the trend line
upwards for narcissists? I think we are at
the tipping point. On the one hand we will have
Pathological narcissism. Diagnosable, treatable. And on the other hand, we will have socially
condoned, accepted and encouraged type
of narcissism. Including values such as
ambition and drive, and ruthlessness and lack
of empathy, and so on. And these behaviour
patterns will be rewarded by society. So it will pay to
be a narcissist. Crime pays,
narcissism pays. And this is being
fanned by social media? I think it’s quite
the opposite actually. I think it was the rising
wave of narcissism that lead to the development
of social media. Does that scare you or delight you that you may
have many thousands more narcissistic brothers and
sisters soon? Narcissists
are absolutely the stuff horror
movies are made of. They are ominous. They are self
destructive, they are self defeating. You can’t build
anything solid on a narcissistic
society in collective. And so you are
essentially uncurable? All narcissists are
essentially uncurable. And being a narcissist,
I am of course incurable. Ominous, the stuff horror
movies are made of. It’s easy to blame the
narcissist, but meeting both Sam and the victims
had given me a sense of the obvious codependency
between the two. The more we crave their
strength to balance our weakness, the more we
salivate before the bell of their certainty,
the more we lock our culture into narcissism’s
track-lines. In an ever more atomized
world, that hunger to belong becomes
increasingly dangerous. Experts say social
media doesn’t create more narcissists,
but it does give them
an arena to flourish. Increasingly, these
are the people we’re giving the keys
to the car. And they could easily
drive us all off a cliff. At least the Greek
Narcissus only took himself down. Finally, beautiful
people got back to me about my application. Okay.
So, my hotness has been up in the air for
48 hours. Unfortunately I got
an email this morning with regrets. Your application
was not successful. It goes on to suggest
some reasons why my application might
not be successful. None of which
apply to my photo. Meaning that ugliness is
the only valid point area here. So, screw you guys,
you sinister cabal of narcissists who
won’t let me join you. Can we have a recount?


  • Reply Swathi September 17, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    1. Grandiosity
    2. preoccupation with success and power
    3. belief in being unique
    4. sense of entitlement to special treatment
    4. envious of others
    5. requires excessive admiration
    6. lack of empathy
    7. exploiting others to achieve personal gain
    8. Narcissistic Characteristics
    1. Grandiosity
    2. preoccupation with success and power
    3. belief in being unique
    4. sense of entitlement to special treatment
    4. envious of others
    5. requires excessive admiration
    6. lack of empathy
    7. exploiting others to achieve personal gain
    8. Arrogant
    9. Domineering
    Mind controlling techniques used by narcissist:
    1. Gaslighting: making other person question their self worth/sanity
    2. Love bombing and devaluing:
    3. Flying Monkey : to attack the chief target
    9. Domineering

  • Reply Amrita Ramesh September 21, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    … Those terms, "gaslighting", "lovebombing", and "flying monkeys", didn't just originate from discussing the fallout of narcissistic personality disorder online. Lovebombing is a cult thing, first I heard of it, and gaslighting is more a general manipulation thing… I guess what I'm saying is we, as people, have an infinite capacity for dickishness that doesn't restrict itself to actual personality disorders… and a similarly infinite capacity for compassion, thanks be to God 🙂

  • Reply Itistabaccobro September 21, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    I have 88 tabs open to porn .. so i don't think I'm a narcissist.. probably just addicted to porn ?

  • Reply moon ruby September 21, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    Wow, Trump has all nine traites, not so shocking there but should be an embarrassing thing for any intelligent person who voted for it.

  • Reply Patricia Crawford September 23, 2019 at 2:53 am

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  • Reply No Labels October 6, 2019 at 8:06 am

    Late stage Capitalism brings out the worst in humans.

  • Reply Joe Gazaway October 14, 2019 at 5:07 am

    Donald Trump is a billionaire plus he has empathy for his children's health, so I don't think he's real narcissist with npd but just using his successfully separated persona from his shadow and use it as his powerful asset, he's a master, not just professional businessman.
    But he is old, so maybe he might becoming more tyrant but that I'm not sure.

  • Reply fernando torrera November 13, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    When it comes to mental disorders you never can be cured you just manage it to be able to function in society. However your particular disorder will always flavor your interactions to a certain degree. That guy has a form of social retardation we learn how to interact with people when we are young sounds like his parents fucked him up pretty good, of course as an adult he can manage the learned abuse but it’s an everyday struggles. I’m not a narcissist myself I have my own quirks, and I defend even the ugly disorders.

  • Reply Patriche Will November 18, 2019 at 1:26 am

    And when you guys are trying to stop Trump from winning 2020 yet you are promoting him to win.???

  • Reply Muse California November 30, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Everyone should be fully aware of npd, it's common and it should be taught in school. Everyone has narcissistic behavior, but it becomes a disorder when it's unhealthy.

  • Reply Muse California November 30, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    It's not a trend to be a narcissist, it's a trend to know what npd is, which is freaking awesome.

  • Reply Emokiriemi Abednego December 4, 2019 at 6:01 am

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  • Reply Kool Tony December 12, 2019 at 8:00 pm


  • Reply Kool Tony December 12, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    13:30 I love that he said that?

  • Reply Kool Tony December 12, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    So the ppl bragging bout their high following are actually the highest narcissists?

  • Reply NoBody December 17, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    If that lady was accepted into beautiful
    then it should not be called beautiful people .com

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