When You Mix Tainted Genius And Narcissism

When You Mix Tainted Genius And Narcissism

Learning how to spot narcissist, psychopath, sociopath, and megalomaniac might save your life.  It might save a lot more, like a whole nation.

What could go wrong when a con-man with a personality disorder attains a position of power?

“The sadistic narcissist perceives himself as Godlike, ruthless and devoid of scruples, capricious and unfathomable, emotion-less and non-sexual, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, a plague, a devastation, an inescapable verdict.”  ― Sam Vaknin

Genius And Narcissism

Many things can go wrong if someone with a personality disorder—the more extensive their sphere of influence, the greater the damage. Let’s look at how you can spot the signs of some of the most destructive types. But, first, let’s talk about intelligence.

Intelligence is the ability to gain knowledge, we can measure it in several ways. The Stanford-Binet  Intelligence test (1) is an example.  The IQ test is another popular method for measuring intelligence (2), it uses the formula IQ = mental  age ÷ chronological age × 100.  Average Intelligence is in the range from 115 to 129.  People with mental disabilities measure around 1-24 with the gifted are at the other end, scoring 130 to 144.

Mental health also runs on a continuum, from healthy to unhealthy.  Those on the healthy side of the continuum are absent any indicators any mental disorders.  Healthy people exhibit traits like kindness and compassion.  They care about others. At the other end of the scale, are those who exhibit one or more mental health disorders.  Mental health and intelligence are two different things.

Genius and narcissism don’t go together either.  If you are a narcissist, you most likely are not a genius.  Intelligence is not a barrier for the narcissist who hones the tactics outlined below.  They only have to be as smart as the people they manipulate.

The Tactics of Narcissism

Narcissism is one of ten main personality disorders.  The DSM (3) is the bible of psychology, which describes personality disorders. Narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths, and megalomaniacs share many of the same behaviors.  Clinicians use these terms interchangeably.  Whatever you call them, they have a lack of conscience and empathy.

Here are their eight favorite tactics. See if anyone you know exhibits these.   Need a hint.  If you watched the news at all since 2015, you will see all eight of these used by one prominent political candidate.

1) Gaslighting is to constantly misrepresent things and mislead people to cause indecision and doubt.   The term gaslighting comes from the film Gaslight (1944).  Here, a husband convinces his wife she’s insane.  He sets up situations and then denies they exist, continually telling her she imagines things, naturally, it causes her to question her sanity.

2) Frequently lies, exaggerates, and misrepresents facts.  Narcissists try to elicit negative emotional responses.  They know when you are upset; you are more susceptible to manipulation.   It can be a part of the gaslighting technique, but it is most often used in groups or crowds where they have an audience to incite with emotional rhetoric.

Groups are susceptible to groupthink manipulation tactics of self-hypnosis and group hypnosis, which are the main tools of religion and religious based politics.  The strategy is simple. Cause controversies, use lies to create problem, then provide a scapegoat as a target.  Repeat as necessary. The more you repeat it, the better it works. Narcissists need to be the center of everything.  No matter what you have done, they have done it better.  Outlandish conspiracy theories are the trademark of this tactic.

3) Projects a false image of success.  False self-image is the central shield or defense, which is why it is common for people with this disorder to exaggerate their finances and intelligence.  They proclaim themselves experts in many things.  They often demand admiration and acceptance.  They see themselves as invincible, above the law.  Genius and narcissism are a deadly combination.

“Narcissists are consumed with maintaining a shallow false self to others. They’re emotionally crippled souls that are addicted to attention. Because of this, they use a multitude of games, in order to receive adoration. Sadly, they are the most ungodly of God’s creations because they don’t show remorse for their actions, take steps to make amends, or have empathy for others. They are morally bankrupt.” ― Shannon L. Alder

4) Refuse to accept responsibility. Their inflated Ego never allows them to accept the responsibility for their deeds, instead, they blame others for their incompetence and poor decisions.  Narcissists are quick to become defensive, aggressive if criticized, and are good at playing the role of the victim to sidestep accountability.

5) Enjoys causing harm, emotional turmoil, and controversy. Making fun of others is a way to bolster their Ego. But, conversely, they use shame and ridicule to inflict emotional distress.  Emotional attacks are meant as much for the audience as the victim, they set the stage for other tactics to be employed.  

6) Manipulate through exploitation or domination. Boasting is another common way they reinforce their self-image.  Here, they use deception, pressuring, and target emotional or physical defects to cause pain.  It is important for them to feel feared.  They enjoy dominating everything including people and conversations.

7) Break rules and laws. Flaunt their authority frequently overstepping the personal boundaries of others. As a result, they feel entitled to cut in line and take advantage of people.

8) Learn to Mimic outward the desired emotional affect.  The narcissist does not feel compassion or empathy. However, they become adept at learning to mimic the outward affect of normal emotions.  This skill set is something they practice in front of a mirror for hours, mimicking  facial expressions of emotions so they can be more convincing.

The con-man uses this skill set to mask their outward emotional affect. These skills fall under the umbrella of psychological manipulation, but renaming or rebranding makes them highly marketable skills in corporate America. 
 
These skills are the executives suite main psychological tools.  Today, they are known as Emotional Intelligence.   Corporate American is fully on board the use of these con-man manipulation tactics because they bolster employee production and make companies more profitable.  They do not care about the health or long term effects of promoting these types of unhealthy behaviors.  

How These Traits Manifest In Behavior

A narcissist exhibits several predictable thought and behavior patterns.  They are masters at denying and simultaneously justifying abnormal behavior.  Learn how to spot this type of thinking.  It goes something like this:

No, I don’t think bad thing happen at all.  But if it happened, it didn’t happen the way you describe it.  Even if it happen, it was not really that bad when you compare it to what other people have done.  If I contributed, it was not my intent. If I did something intentionally, someone must have made me do it.  No matter what, be assured it was not my fault.

To the narcissist, there are a variety of truths to any situation.   They are proud to boast their own facts, which obviously contradict the real facts, but they can sell these blatant fabrications even when caught in lies.  They, hold steadfast in denial and justification.  They do not accept responsibility for any of their actions.

Narcissism is a personality disorder revolving around self-centered, arrogant behavior, people with this disorder often see themselves as geniuses and victims simultaneously. As a result, they have a lack of empathy for others.  However, they crave the center of attention and need admiration. Therefore, people describe them as manipulative, cocky, and selfish.

The Slippery Slope

Narcissism is a slippery slope.  It may start out exhibiting one trait but add more over time. Drugs and alcohol expedite abnormal or violent social behavior. Many serial rapists are psychopaths or sociopaths.

“A sociopath is one who sees others as impersonal objects to be manipulated to fulfill their own narcissistic needs.  They have no regard for the hurtful consequences of their selfish actions.” ― R. Alan Woods, The Journey Is the Destination: A Book of Quotes With Commentaries

These mental disorders culminate in megalomania when someone has delusions of grandeur and an obsession with power, they use their narcissism to cover up their megalomania.

Remember, genius and narcissism are deadly combinations.  A narcissist does not need to be a genius to cause damage.  Even someone with borderline intelligence can be problematic.  The larger their sphere of influence, the more harmful they can be to others.

For example, a psychopath doesn’t feel emotion, and they learn to mimic the proper emotional responses. It’s the reason many corporate leaders are psychopaths.   The psychopath has limited empathy and so they can make decisions which harm people or the environment without remorse. Sociopaths are the more violent version of narcissism.  Sociopaths not only perpetuate violence but also receive enjoyment from doing it.

Tainted Genius and the Con-Man

An intelligent narcissist is likely also a psychopath.  They can use and abuse people with little or no remorse.  They often gravitate to the profession of the Con-man.  They are adept at gaining the confidence of the people they swindle.

Sadly, a con-man needs to be slightly more intelligent than the person they target.  They tell lies convincingly because they will do and say anything and everything without remorse.  They use the tools of greed and fear to manipulate others.

The con-man role became the focal point for the spiritualist movement of the 1900s.  They became fortune tellers and palm readers.  This parlor game moved to North America in the late 1800s and created the Christian Faith Movement.  Today, it is the home of the televangelist.

When genius and narcissism come together, we have the most dangerous and cunning kind of con-man. As criminals, they can destroy many lives.  Worse yet, is when they coerce their way into a leadership role.  Narcissists and psychopaths develop skills to bully others. It is how they expand their corruption into a criminal enterprise.

The Perfect Storm

The worst-case scenario would be for a megalomaniac to coerce their way into a leadership role.  The greater their sphere of influence, the more people they will elicit to support their selfishness and greed, unfortunately this happens more often than we would like.

History gives us some examples. Pol Pot was the Prime Minister in Cambodian from 1975 to 1979. He led the nationalist party of the Khmer Rouge in the genocide of 1.5 to 2 million people in Cambodia.   Similarly, Adolph Hilter became the Chancellor of Germany in 1920.  He led a patriotic and nationalist ideology leading to World War II.  He and all his followers were either directly or indirectly responsible for genocide and the deaths resulting from the war.  Donald Trump is only the last in the line of megalomaniacs to work their way into a position of power.

What do these leaders have in common other than personality disorders?  They all champion nationalism and religious or ethnic superiority, or all three.

These leaders did not achieve their positions of influence alone.  They use their manipulation skills to get others to join with their schemes to share in the spoils.  Those who follow narcissists will say, I was just following orders. Others go along because they hate the same people.  And the vast majority are silent enablers, and they said nothing until it was them they became targets themselves.

They often use common threads of patriotism and nationalism to garner support to marginalize and persecute.  It is common to find a scapegoat for civil or financial problems.  They use their power to skim resources from the government for their use. It’s the reason we need to learn from the past.  If you do not bring the perpetrators to justice, they will attempt to gain power again.

What Can You Do?

If you are even halfway aware, you should be able to see what is going on.  We are also social beings that depend on our planet, so we should take care of each other and the earth.

Anyone who exhibits these traits needs help. But, unfortunately, people with narcissistic personality disorder rarely want help. Instead, they build a world to protect their mental illness.

If you are awake, you will see these behaviors. You will see corruption and unfairness and feel obligated to react.  You should feel uncomfortable when you observe negative bias and prejudice.  Healthy people feel empathy.  It should motivate you to help change these situations.  Everyone has their sphere of influence.

If you have to deal with someone like this, take prudent steps to ensure your mental and physical health. However, this doesn’t mean you should allow them to take advantage of you. History shows nothing can quench the narcissist, psychopath, sociopath, or megalomaniac thrust.  These personality types always want more. Their thirst for power allows them to achieve at the cost of others.

They are often skilled orators and manipulators. Don’t let someone like this knock you off your spiritual path. The survivors of World War II are good examples. People lost everything but learned to survive and eventually thrive.

Here are our recommendations:

1) Remove yourself from their influence as much as possible.  If you cannot remove yourself physically, try to ignore the mental tactics they employ. For example, imagine them wearing a clown outfit and blowing bubbles as they speak.  Keep telling yourself you are onto their tricks. 

2) Take time to be alone.  Go some place calming.  When possible, spend time outdoors in nature.  A place untouched by the hand of man is the ideal. It will ground you. Do this before you act out of emotion.  Staying grounded is one of the best defenses against their manipulation.

3) Observe your inner thought life. Minimize brooding on negative what if scenarios.

4) Meditate.  Engage yourself and (and others) in spiritual exploration. Re-focus your practice on the techniques you have learned (Japa, TM, Yoga, etc.)

5) Avoid negative social media, news, and religion on TV, radio.  It is especially true if the megalomaniac uses these tools to spread fear and hate.  Unfortunately, most learn this is a medium ripe for misuse.

6) Study the Enneagram and enhance your observational skills.

7) Take action.  Inaction only encourages people with this disorder.  Be prudent in your response since people with these disorders will retaliate if unmasked.

Genius and Narcissism

We hope this discussion will help you spot these tactics.  Speak up and expose these type of behaviors when it is safe to do so.  Minimize your exposure to toxic people who use these methods.

If you use social media to any extent to you see people trying to spin what they said last week, which was found to be false.   You will blatant racism, and religious superiority used to undermine progress.   You will see how people justify social, economic, and racial injustice.   Hopefully, you will learn to spot those who exhibit many of the signs of the mental disorders described above and help expose these tactics.

If you see these things, it means you are awake enough to see through the propaganda.  You are aware of the threats these people pose to our society, and you are now in the position to do something positive within your sphere of influence.

References

(1)The Stanford-Binet Intelligence test: https://stanfordbinettest.com/
(2) The Classical IQ Test: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/tests/iq/classical-iq-test
(3) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR): https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm

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