Legends in Their Own Minds
A pioneering researcher labeled grandiose narcissists “legends in their own minds.” I’ve written about this type of narcissist before. They differ greatly from vulnerable, compensatory narcissistic types. And the ways they differ generally make them more problematic characters. Those ways also make them less amenable to change.
The grandiosity of some narcissists borders on delusionality. (See: When Narcissistic Grandiosity Crosses the Line.) Some folks don’t just boast of greatness. They actually believe in their superiority. And they rarely waver in that conviction even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
The Underpinnings of Grandiosity
Some narcissists are not quite what they appear. Vulnerable, compensatory, more “neurotic” types are an example. Underneath their pompous facade, these folks struggle with insecurity and self-doubt. And they inwardly know the image they project is a pretense. Such narcissists are generally less toxic and a bit easier to tolerate. They’re easier to work with in therapy, too. But in a culture of rampant entitlement and indulgence, they are increasingly rare. Our times have spawned much non-neurotic character disturbance. So, we have too many folks who don’t just act like they’re great, superior, important – but rather know they are.
Folks convinced of their special status expect others to recognize the fact, too. Some even demand it! These legends in their own minds aren’t seeking love. In fact, they neither understand nor embrace that concept. (See: Most Narcissists Cannot Really Love.) What they actually want is your adulation, adoration – even worship. (See also: 4 A-Words Are Red Flags for Narcissism.) And make no mistake, there is no pretense in that.
Grandiose narcissists are a distinct and troubling breed. Convinced of their own greatness, they can’t even imagine anything or anyone greater. And they are loathe to even consider serving something greater. That would put them in a position they vehemently detest: the susbordinate position. (See also: (Pathological Pride Rejects and Blocks the Light.)
Unsustainable: The Age and Culture of Narcissism
I’ve been saying for years that the age of narcissism is coming to a close. And that’s one of the reasons I wrote Essentials for the Journey. I wanted folks to know how things things must turn around.
How can I be so optimistic? Because present socio-cultural structures are simply unsustainable. They have fostered too much character dysfunction. As a result, relationships routinely crumble. Marriages fail, often multiple times. Families, businesses, and other enterprises suffer. Inevitably, societies suffer, too. And that, in a nutshell, is why character matters, and matters so much. That’s also why things simply must turn around. The course we’ve been on is simply unsustainable.
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