"A person who gives too much importance to himself, to the extent that he does not think about the feelings and sentiments of other people is said to be a narcissist. People who are narcissists consider themselves to be perfectionists who can never do anything wrong. They are governed by their false ego which requires ample amounts of admiration and praise to survive. It is said that narcissists live in a world of their own where they can think only about their problems and issues regarding power, prestige and personal adequacy. This makes them selfish individuals who do not have the ability to understand the problems of people around them. Such people are said to suffer from the problem of narcissistic personality disorder. As their egos are very fragile, a slight disrespect or challenge can lead to the development of fury which can cause harm to the person who was the reason for such provocation..." --Deepa Kartha
Joanna M. Ashmun, a well-known author on the topic of narcissism, writes:
[The narcissist's] moral intelligence is about at the level of a bright five- or six-year-old; the only rules they recognize are things that have been specifically required, permitted, prohibited, or disapproved of by authority figures they know personally.
Ashmun lists the major traits of narcissism, listed as bullet-points below:
• Contemptuous, Lack of Empathy:
How I became George Obama's 'brother':
A few days ago I received a call from a man I recently met named George. He was a bit flustered, and soon informed me that his young son was sick with a chest condition. He pleaded with me to send him $1,000 to cover the medical bills. Since George was at the hospital I asked him to let me speak to a nurse, and she confirmed that George’s son was indeed ill. So I agreed to send George the money through Western Union. He was profusely grateful. But before I hung up I asked George, “Why are you coming to me?” He said, “I have no one else to ask.” Then he said something that astounded me, “Dinesh, you are like a brother to me.”
Actually, George has a real life brother who just happens to be the president of the United States. (George Obama is the youngest of eight children sired by Barack Obama Sr.) George’s brother is a multimillionaire and the most powerful man in the world. Moreover, George’s brother has framed his re-election campaign around the “fair share” theme that we owe obligations to those who are less fortunate.
One of Obama’s favorite phrases comes right out of the Bible: “We are our brother’s keeper.” Yet he has not contributed a penny to help his own brother. And evidently George does not believe, even in times of emergency, that he can turn to his brother in the White House for help.
Obama Went to Bed While Consulate was Under Siege:
There is no doubt that Obama knew that the attacks involved AK-47s, along with Rocket propelled grenades.
He knew that his ambassador was in grave danger and yet knowing all of this, and not knowing the status of Ambassador Stevens, Obama allegedly went quietly to bed.
• Envious and competitive - According to The New York Times, Obama spends extraordinary amounts of time and energy to compete in — trivialities:
For someone dealing with the world’s weightiest matters, Mr. Obama spends surprising energy perfecting even less consequential pursuits.
His idea of birthday relaxation is competing in an Olympic-style athletic tournament with friends, keeping close score. The 2009 version ended with a bowling event. Guess who won, despite his history of embarrassingly low scores? The president, it turned out, had been practicing in the White House alley...
Kantor’s piece is full of examples of Obama’s odd need to dominate his peers in everything from bowling, cards, golf, basketball, and golf (104 times in his presidency). Bear in mind, Obama doesn’t just robustly compete. The leader of the free world spends many hours practicing these trivial pursuits behind the scenes...
• Grandiose - Again, according to the Times, "he vastly overrates his capabilities":
“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Mr. Obama told Patrick Gaspard, his political director, at the start of the 2008 campaign, according to The New Yorker. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
• Oddly unaware of the passage of time:
Narcissists often look, or think they look, significantly younger than they are; this youthful appearance is a point of pride to them, and some will emphasize it by either preserving the styles of their golden youth or following the styles of people the age they feel they "really" are. That their faces don't show their chronological age is a good sign that they haven't been living real lives with real life's wear and tear...
Remember the president's odd statement when he appeared on The View last month?
"I told folks I'm just supposed to be eye candy here for you guys," President Obama said during a back-and-forth about him being the only man on the program. The show's five co-hosts are women.
• Disappointing Gift-Givers:
Barack Obama's gift for the Queen: an iPod, your Majesty:
To my special friend Gordon, 25 DVDs:
As he headed back home from Washington, Gordon Brown must have rummaged through his party bag with disappointment. Because all he got was a set of DVDs. Barack Obama, the leader of the world's richest country, gave the Prime Minister a box set of 25 classic American films - a gift about as exciting as a pair of socks... The Prime Minister gave Mr Obama an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet.
Obama only began donating to charities once he decided to run for President:
Does it not bother you that a guy like Obama can serve a poor district and give away a paltry $1000 to charity? He only stepped up his giving when he decided to run for President and he knew his charitable giving would be made public. How could anyone see that much misery and not try to personally do something about it?
Barack Obama only started making substantial donations to charity when he became a public figure.:
From 2000 through 2004, before being elected to the United States Senate, Obama gave less than 2% of his earnings to charity even though he made $250,000 a year (In the two previous years, Obama gave less than 1% of his income to charity). Since becoming a national figure, that amount has jumped to about 6%.
• Hyper-sensitive to criticism:
Press Corps Increasingly Aggravated at Thin-skinned, Aggressive White House:
The White House has adopted a pugilistic attitude towards the press, lashing out at journalists who criticize the president, shutting others out, and adopting a deferential attitude towards the press corps that has some journalists reminiscing about the openness of -- gasp -- the George W. Bush presidency... One of the most irritating practices of the Obama White House is when aides ignore inquiries or explicitly refuse to cooperate with an unwelcome story—only to come out with both guns blazing when it takes a skeptical view of their motives or success...
• Lack of a sense of humor:
"Obama’s no-humor zone: what does it say about him?":
Obama’s angry reaction to the New Yorker cover has highlighted a fact that has been obvious for some time: the man has no sense of humor.
Oh, I know, every now and then he tries a little quip. But his heart’s not in it. It seems to me that most of these “jokes” have had the same theme: mocking himself for his tendency to be a bit too “perfect,” and the extremity of the adulation he inspires in his supporters. They fall flat, in part perhaps because he believes he is rather perfect and deserves the worship.
"Obama's silence exposes lack of moral character":
...Obama's absence of moral character, though, has never been in doubt. Rewind to the Illinois state senate in 2001, 2002 and 2003 when Obama thrice opposed the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act that would have required doctors to care for babies born alive after failed abortions.
• Self-imposed, self-invented eccentric dietary regime:
Foods That Barack Obama Eats:
Obama's eating habits are notoriously disciplined. He favors salmon for dinner and trail mix for snacks. His build is lean and muscular with no excess body fat. He might have even less fat now, because he seemed to get thinner the longer he spent on the road.
Forever SixFrom the age of five to six, Barack Obama -- who had never known his birth father -- was temporarily abandoned by his step-father Lolo Soetero, who returned to Indonesia:
[Lolo] Soetoro and Dunham met at the East-West Center while both were students at the University of Hawaii. Soetoro and Dunham married in Hawaii in 1965. Soetoro, a geographer, returned to Indonesia in 1966, to help map Western New Guinea for the Indonesian government, while Dunham and her son moved into her parents' house in Honolulu to complete her studies at the University of Hawaii... In 1967, Dunham and her six-year-old son moved to Jakarta to rejoin Soetoro.
Why is the age of six so important to a child's self-esteem? Because, as Ashmun explains, trauma or arrested development around the age of six can be mapped directly to the traits of narcissism.
She writes that, "some psychologists trace NPD to early infantile neglect or abuse..."
...The items below are not intended to be a comprehensive description of six-year-olds, but only the selected bits that seem to be related to adult narcissists' traits discussed elsewhere... My interest here is in pointing out that many of the narcissistic characteristics that are abnormal in adults are completely normal at six years of age and that the survival of these childish characteristics into adulthood is, essentially, immaturity rather than bad intentions. But bear in mind that, while everyone who grows up passes through this stage of development, most of us spend only a few months this way before moving on to more integrated behavior. Narcissists, on the other hand, apparently spend the rest of their lives in this state of highly volatile ambivalence and uncertainty.
...• "The child is now the center of his own universe." (p. 2, 15) [Emphasis in original]
• delighted by any silly thing that calls attention to himself; may do silly, show-offy things to call attention to himself when he feels neglected or shut out (pp. 71-72)
• arrogant (p. 7)
• self-important ("extremely aware of the importance of being Six") (p. 22)
• demands rather than asks (twice on p. 6, 16)
• thinks own way is always right (p. 7)
• once started, will stick to a course of bad behavior or bad judgment regardless of the inevitability of being punished for it (p. 7)
• asks to be flattered and praised as "good," even ("rather sadly and touchingly") following his worst behavior (p. 6)
• can't accept criticism (p. 7)
• feelings are hurt over very small criticisms, comments, failures (p. 6)
• "He is so extremely anxious to do well, to be the best, to be loved and praised, that any failure is very hard for him." (p. 6)
• wants to win every time (p. 4, 21, 45)
• poor sport, can't stand to lose (p. 7, 16)
• argumentative and quarrelsome (p. 21)
• defiant, pert, fresh, snippy (p. 6, 17)
• competitive, combative (p. 20)
• belligerent, verbally and physically aggressive (p. 21)
• threatens, calls names, gets physically violent (p. 21)
• violent temper tantrums may require physical restraint because of striking out (p. 29)
• jealous, envious (p. 7, 21)
• to make sure of winning, will cheat or make up own rules (pp. 21-22, 45)
• complains that others are cheating and not following the rules (p. 45)
• some are very cruel to younger children (p. 22)
• does not always tell the truth (p. 16)
• will not admit to wrongdoing (p. 41) [Note: A technique is given for getting the facts out of kids that also works with narcissists: instead of asking if they did it, ask how they did it.]
• goodness means the things explicitly required or allowed by parents or other authority figures; badness means the things explicitly disapproved of or forbidden (p. 66)
• little forgiveness (p. 22)
• very critical of others' conduct (p. 22)
• expects friendships to be resumed immediately following tremendous complaint and conflict (p. 22)
• wants to boss (p. 21)
• "Many children think their father knows everything -- even what goes on at home while he is at work."(p. 16)
• thinks his teacher knows the best and only right way of doing things; may not know which rules to follow when school rules differ from home rules (p. 18)
• "highly undifferentiated -- everything is everywhere" (p. 7)
• can't always tell the difference between "yours" and "mine," and so often steals (pp. 39-41)
• "random and unconstructive expenditure of energy" (p. 31)
• more interested in merely handling or using tools than in what is accomplished with them (pp. 53-54)
• less interested in actual final products than in whatever he may be doing at the moment(p. 56)...
To be sure, I'm no psychologist, but the traits are the traits. Whether or not they apply to this president is left as an exercise for the reader.