People with narcissistic personality disorder are simultaneously fragile and arrogant. It can be such an odd display to witness this blend of traits in action.
Their arrogance can come across as someone who is very strong, powerful in character, and hence would make a great leader. But the reality is, the reverse is usually true. Why?
Standing in the way of leading others well is their many social limitations. Narcissists are easily offended, protective of their false image, petty, and tend to lack firm deeply rooted beliefs (i.e., contradicting themselves; going with the opinion that has the strongest voice at that moment). Therefore, although they give the impression they would make a great leader (i.e., employer, manager, company CEO, parent), this is actually false!
Narcissists often make the worst leaders in roles such as CEO, manager, parent because of:
- Cognitive distortions (e.g., equating power & leadership with meanness, domination, rudeness, and hate).
- Inability to connect well with others
- Manipulation, Gaslighting, & Dishonesty
- Self-Contradictors (Frequent fluctuations in what they believe in OR their opinion of a matter
- Lust for drama, chaos, and conflict
- Competitive Interactors (“I’m better than you. – even if I stole your ideas, lied, or cheated. Who cares I would’ve thought of it anyway. And I can charm/ manipulate people better than you can, so no one will believe you.”)
- Values power displays that a young child or highly immature person would be impressed by.
- Cowardly (Will ‘talk big’ however no backbone to follow through, protect, or genuinely help someone, particularly if no one knows of their good deed.)
- Tendency to humiliate, shame, or smear others (even those who follow their lead and try to appease them).
Compromise is viewed to be a ‘loser’ move to many with narcissistic personality disorder. Speaking to you with compassion and understanding is not an ability they possess. Often, it is their way or no way. Many who have them as bosses or romantic mates view their conflict resolution tactics to be manipulative and immature.
Many narcissists (particularly malignant narcissists) value rudeness, arrogance, superficial peacocking a strength of character they lack.
Primitive level | Dichotomous thinking
Many have very primitive level thinking that does not allow for the reality of the complexities of the world (i.e., winner/ loser; good/bad). To appreciate complexities one must have the ability to incorporate social-based emotions (i.e., empathy, compassion, morality). Without those abilities you’re left with a overly simplified view of the world.
The impression of ‘strength‘ demonstrated by their confidence can easily fool most. When you get to understand the personality structure of the narcissist and look behind the ‘superficial show’, sadly you learn they are of weak character and should never be given lead or power when it concerns other living beings.