JEAN M. TWENGE, PhD: “Is Donald Trump Actually Insecure Underneath?”

Circle of the Dolphins

I’m often asked how you can spot a narcissist. Here’s my standard list:

  • Brag or show off
  • Name-dropping
  • Name brands or flashy possessions
  • Look at themselves in the mirror a lot
  • Turn the conversation back to him/herself
  • Insults others
  • Declarations about being the “best” or “great” without details
  • Emphasizes his/her status

I wrote that list two years ago — long before Donald Trump started running for president. Yet it could have been written just for him. As others have pointed out, the Donald is a textbook case of narcissistic personality. He is clearly functioning well and thus can’t be classified as having narcissistic personality disorder, the clinical-level form, which by definition only describes someone whose traits are causing them difficulty. Trump, instead, displays narcissism as a personality trait — the type we focus on in The Narcissism Epidemic.

Here’s the question: Is Trump’s narcissism a cover for insecurity? This is…

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