Do You Recognize Barack Obama in These Texts? - First Series

By: Dr. Sam Vaknin

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Firewall Obama's Narcissism: On the Path to Decompensation and Acting Out  HD Version iPod Version

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Obama's Narcissism Made Worse in First Year in Office

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You should read this text with a few grains of salt. Scroll to the bottom to review the disclaimers.

I also recommend that you get acquainted my previous articles:

Barack Obama: A Narcissist, or Merely Narcissistic?

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/obama.html

Obama's Nobel Prize will Exacerbate His Narcissistic Tendencies

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/obama2.html

By now, the world has had two years of exposure to Barack Obama. We all have followed his exploits and antics; have watched him on television; have heard his speeches; have witnessed his scripted and spontaneous interactions with family, subordinates, co-workers, and friends.

This is the first in a series of articles examining Obama's psychological makeup in minute detail.

Following are descriptions of narcissistic and psychopathic traits. They are common among people diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) (http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/npdglance.html) and Antisocial Personality Disorder (psychopaths).

Read these texts.

Do you recognize Barack Obama in them?

Narcissists are self-sufficient and consider themselves peerless. The Narcissist's "friends",  companions, and acolytes provide the narcissist with an obsequious, unthreatening, audience and with the kind of unconditional and unthinking obedience that confirms to him his omnipotence. They are sufficiently vacuous to make the narcissist look sharp and omniscient – but not so asinine as to be instantly discernible as such. They are the perfect backdrop, never likely to attain centre stage and overshadow their master.

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

The Narcissist and His Friends

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal85.html

In the narcissist's surrealistic world, even language is pathologized. It mutates into a weapon of self-defence, a verbal fortification, a medium without a message, replacing words with duplicitous and ambiguous vocables.

Narcissists (and, often, by contagion, their unfortunate victims) don't talk, or communicate. They fend off. They hide and evade and avoid and disguise. In their planet of capricious and arbitrary unpredictability, of shifting semiotic and semantic dunes - they perfect the ability to say nothing in lengthy, Castro-like speeches.

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

The Weapon of Language

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal34.html

The narcissist is the guru at the centre of a cult. Like other gurus, he demands complete obedience from his flock: his spouse, his offspring, other family members, friends, and colleagues. He feels entitled to adulation and special treatment by his followers. He punishes the wayward and the straying lambs. He enforces discipline, adherence to his teachings, and common goals. The less accomplished he is in reality – the more stringent his mastery and the more pervasive the brainwashing.

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

The Cult of the Narcissist

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal79.html

The "modesty" displayed by narcissists is false. It is mostly and merely verbal. It is couched in flourishing phrases, emphasised to absurdity, repeated unnecessarily – usually to the point of causing gross inconvenience to the listener. The real aim of such behaviour and its subtext are exactly the opposite of common modesty.

It is intended to either aggrandise the narcissist or to protect his grandiosity from scrutiny and possible erosion. Such modest outbursts precede inflated, grandiosity-laden statements made by the narcissist and pertaining to fields of human knowledge and activity in which he is sorely lacking.

Narcissistic leadership often poses as a rebellion against the "old ways": against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the corrupt order. Narcissistic movements are puerile, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon a narcissistic (and rather psychopathic) toddler nation-state, or group, or upon the leader.

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

The False Modesty and Fake Folksiness of the Narcissist

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq36.html

Narcissistic and Psychopathic Leaders

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/15.html

The narcissist's lies are not goal-orientated. This is what makes his constant dishonesty both disconcerting and incomprehensible. The narcissist lies at the drop of a hat, needlessly, and almost ceaselessly. He lies in order to avoid the Grandiosity Gap - when the abyss between fact and (narcissistic) fiction becomes too gaping to ignore.

The narcissist lies in order to preserve appearances, uphold fantasies, support the tall (and impossible) tales of his False Self and extract Narcissistic Supply from unsuspecting sources, who are not yet on to him. To the narcissist, confabulation is not merely a way of life - but life itself.

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

The Confabulated Life and Biography of the Narcissist

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal75.html

The narcissist is confident that people find him irresistible. His unfailing charm is part of his self-imputed omnipotence. This inane conviction is what makes the narcissist a "pathological charmer". The somatic narcissist and the histrionic flaunt their sex appeal, virility or femininity, sexual prowess, musculature, physique, training, or athletic achievements.

The cerebral narcissist seeks to enchant and entrance his audience with intellectual pyrotechnics. Many narcissists brag about their wealth, health, possessions, collections, spouses, children, personal history, family tree – in short: anything that garners them attention and renders them alluring.

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

The Narcissist as a Pathological Charmer

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/case05.html


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The narcissist has a complicated relationship with his parents (mainly with his mother, but, at times, also with his father). As Primary Objects, the narcissist's parents are often a source of frustration which leads to repressed or to self-directed aggression. They traumatise the narcissist during his infancy and childhood and thwart his healthy development well into his late adolescence.

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

The Narcissist's Dead Parents

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq54.html

The narcissist perceives every disagreement – let alone criticism – coming from people whom he does not consider to be his "peers" (e.g., the media) as nothing short of a threat. He reacts defensively. He becomes indignant, aggressive and cold. He detaches emotionally for fear of yet another (narcissistic) injury. He devalues the person who made the disparaging remark.

By holding the critic in contempt, by diminishing the stature of the discordant conversant – the narcissist minimises the impact of the disagreement or criticism on himself. This is a defence mechanism known as cognitive dissonance.

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

Narcissists, Disagreement and Criticism

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq73.html

The narcissist constantly consumes (really, preys upon) adoration, admiration, approval, applause, attention and other forms of Narcissistic Supply.

The normal person is likely to welcome a moderate amount of attention – verbal and non-verbal – in the form of affirmation, approval, or admiration. Too much attention, though, is perceived as onerous and is avoided. Destructive and negative criticism is avoided altogether.

The narcissist, in contrast, is the mental equivalent of an alcoholic. He is insatiable. He directs his whole behaviour, in fact his life, to obtain these pleasurable titbits of attention. He embeds them in a coherent, completely biased, picture of himself. He uses them to regulates his labile sense of self-worth and self-esteem.

To elicit constant interest, he projects to others a confabulated, fictitious version of himself, known as the False Self. The False Self is everything the narcissist is not: omniscient, omnipotent, charming, intelligent, rich, or well-connected.

The narcissist then proceeds to harvest reactions to this projected image from family members, friends, co-workers, neighbours, business partners and from colleagues. If these – the adulation, admiration, attention, fear, respect, applause, affirmation – are not forthcoming, the narcissist demands them, or extorts them. Money, compliments, a favourable critique, an appearance in the media, a sexual conquest are all converted into the same currency in the narcissist's mind.

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

Narcissists, Narcissistic Supply and Sources of Supply

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq76.html

"Haughty" body language – The narcissist adopts a physical posture which implies and exudes an air of superiority, seniority, hidden powers, mysteriousness, amused indifference, etc. Though the narcissist usually maintains sustained and piercing eye contact, he often refrains from physical proximity (he is "territorial").

The narcissist takes part in social interactions – even mere banter – condescendingly, from a position of supremacy and faux "magnanimity and largesse". But he rarely mingles socially and prefers to remain the "observer", or the "lone wolf".

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

How to Recognise a Narcissist?

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq58.html

Two narcissists of the same type (somatic, cerebral, classic, compensatory, inverted, etc.) cannot maintain a stable, long-term full-fledged, and functional relationship.

There are two types of narcissists: the somatic narcissist and the cerebral narcissist. The somatic type relies on his body and sexuality as Sources of Narcissistic Supply. The cerebral narcissist uses his intellect, his intelligence and his professional achievements to obtain the same. The cerebral narcissist is a know-it-all, haughty and intelligent "computer". He uses his awesome intellect, or knowledge (real or pretended) to secure adoration, adulation and admiration. To him, his body and its maintenance are a burden and a distraction.

Thus, if both members of the couple are cerebral narcissists, for instance if both of them are scholars – the resulting competition prevents them from serving as ample Sources of Narcissistic Supply to each other. Finally the mutual admiration society crumbles.

Consumed by the pursuit of their own narcissistic gratification, they have no time or energy or will left to cater to the narcissistic needs of their partner. Moreover, the partner is perceived as a dangerous and vicious contender for a scarce resource: Sources of Narcissistic Supply. This may be less true if the two narcissists work in totally unrelated academic or intellectual fields.

But if the narcissists involved are of different types, if one of them is cerebral and the other one somatic, a long-term partnership based on the mutual provision of Narcissistic Supply can definitely survive.

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

Narcissistic Couples and Narcissistic Types

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq60.html

The Cerebral vs. the Somatic Narcissist

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq60.html

God is everything the narcissist ever wants to be: omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, admired, much discussed, and awe inspiring. God is the narcissist's wet dream, his ultimate grandiose fantasy. But God comes handy in other ways as well.

The narcissist alternately idealizes and devalues figures of authority.

In the idealization phase, he strives to emulate them, he admires them, imitate them (often ludicrously), and defends them. They cannot go wrong, or be wrong. The narcissist regards them as bigger than life, infallible, perfect, whole, and brilliant. But as the narcissist's unrealistic and inflated expectations are inevitably frustrated, he begins to devalue his former idols.

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

For the Love of God: Narcissists and Religion

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal45.html

The narcissist is not really interested in publicity per se. Narcissists are misleading. The narcissist appears to love himself – and, really, he abhors himself. Similarly, he appears to be interested in becoming a celebrity – and, in reality, he is concerned with the REACTIONS to his fame: people watch him, notice him, talk about him, debate his actions – therefore he exists.

The narcissist goes around "hunting and collecting" the way the expressions on people's faces change when they notice him. He places himself at the centre of attention, or even as a figure of controversy. He constantly and recurrently pesters those nearest and dearest to him in a bid to reassure himself that he is not losing his fame, his magic touch, the attention of his social milieu.

Truly, the narcissist is not choosy. If he can become famous as a writer – he writes, if as a businessman – he conducts business. He switches from one field to the other with ease and without remorse because in all of them he is present without conviction, bar the conviction that he must (and deserves to) get famous.

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

The Narcissist's Addiction to Fame and Celebrity

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq19.html

Psychopaths are said to be fearless, imperturbable, and sang-froid. Their pain tolerance is very high. Still, contrary to popular perceptions and psychiatric orthodoxy, some psychopaths are actually anxious and fearful. Their psychopathy is a defense against an underlying and all-pervasive anxiety, either hereditary, or brought on by early childhood abuse.

Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here:

The Psychopath and Antisocial

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/personalitydisorders16.html

DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a mental health professional. Still, I have dedicated the last 12 years to the study of personality disorders in general and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) in particular. I have authored nine (9) books about these topics, one of which is a Barnes and Noble best-seller ("Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited"). My work is widely cited in scholarly tomes and publications and in the media. My books and the content of my Web site are based on correspondence since 1996 with hundreds of people suffering from the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (narcissists) and with thousands of their family members, friends, therapists, and colleagues.

2. Only a qualified mental health diagnostician can determine whether someone suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and this, following lengthy tests and personal interviews. But, in the absence of access to Barack Obama, one has to rely on his overt performance and on testimonies by his closest, nearest and dearest.