Pathological pride is vanity on steroids. It’s more than just being enamored of one’s appearance or qualities. It’s over-valuing oneself to the point of ugly self-aggrandizement.Pathologically prideful people can barely conceive of a “higher power.” And they rarely find it in their hearts to serve one. (See: Narcissists Can’t Recognize a Higher Power.) (See also: Egotists: Above the Need for a Governing Higher Power.)
The Heart of Narcissistic Character Pathology
I always make one crucial point about narcissistic character pathology in my training workshops. And I use an analogy from the real estate world to make the point. Realtors will tell you that only 3 things really matter: location, location, and location. That adage emphasizes that when it comes to a property’s value, nothing matters as much as location. Accordingly, I remind my audience that the 3 things that really matter to narcissistic characters are: position, position, and position.” (See also: p. 103 in Character Disturbance, p. 63 in In Sheep’s Clothing.) In other words, the pathologically vain among us hold only one value dear: the position they hold over others. And, of course, the position they ardently seek and feel entitled to hold is the superior one.
Rejecting and Blocking the Light
An infinitely loving energy grants us all life and breath. But we have a choice about recognizing this and returning love. And while we have the power to honor the source, we also have the power to ignore or reject it. But why would we do such a thing? Pride.
It’s easy to become full of ourselves. It can happen insidiuously as we build our egos. And this is perhaps life’s greatest paradox, because we need our egos to navigate this broken, often toxic world. Still, it’s easy for our egos to get bent out of shape. We can come to think too little of ourselves, often at the hands of nefarious characters who gaslight. (See also: How Manipulative Characters Gaslight.) But we can also come to think too much of ourselves. And that pathological pride happens when we become so impressed with who we are and what we’ve done that there isn’t any room left in our hearts for the Source that made it all possible. (See: The Judas Syndrome.)
Ignoring and rejecting the loving energy within is a decision. Blocking the light capable of flowing from it is a decision, too. And pathological pride prompts these decisions. Malignantly narcissistic characters have a massive sense of entitlement. They readily forget to whom and to what they are inherently indebted. Moreover, they have a stubborn, prideful determination to kneel to nothing or no one. Remember, only three things matter to them: position, position, and position. And the pathologically prideful person simply abhors the notion of subordination.
(Some still believe fear and trauma lie at the root of the narcissist’s choice. And some still believe the choice is mostly unconscious. But there’s ample evidence that while these notions are sometimes valid, most of the time, these days, they are not!)
Shining the Light on Character and its Importance
I’ve spent most of my professional life talking about the importance of character. And as many of you know, I’ve been laboring over one final book on the topic. I hope to have some announcements soon on both the new podcasts of Character Matters and the upcoming book.