Narcissists Eventually Turn On Everyone

Greg Sargent observes (boldface mine):

But it turns out that Trump’s anger at the Justice Department has a deeper source: rage at Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The New York Times reports on what’s at the root of it:

He has intermittently fumed for months over Mr. Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election, according to people close to Mr. Trump who insisted on anonymity to describe internal conversations. In Mr. Trump’s view, they said, it was that recusal that eventually led to the appointment of a special counsel who took over the investigation.

…note this: Trump’s seething anger at Sessions is disconcertingly similar to the anger that led him to fire Comey. As the Times previously reported, Trump privately “burned” as he watched Comey testify to Congress about Russia’s efforts to tip the election to Trump, and was “particularly irked” when Comey conceded his own intervention, via a letter about Clinton’s emails, may have influenced the outcome, which Trump “took to demean his own role in history.” The Post added that Trump was “infuriated” at the FBI’s failure to investigate and stop leaks, which have led to news accounts detailing what the Russia probe was finding.

Both Comey and Sessions enraged Trump because in some manner or other, they failed to show a level of loyalty to Trump that would have trumped (as it were) legitimate processes. Comey kept publicly validating the Russia investigation (which Trump dismisses as nothing but “Fake News”) and would not make it disappear by stopping leaks about it. Sessions recused himself to display (nominal) independence, which Trump somehow interpreted as a lapse into weakness that led to the special counsel, further affirming the probe’s weightiness.

It’s worth remembering a key point about a narcissist:

…he is essentially a full-tilt diva, with the rest of us either as bit, cameo players, or else the audience (or both). One day the script might be ‘hard-charging businessman’, the next ‘compassionate philanthropist’, followed by ‘competent manager’ and so on. Regardless, the show must go on. Ideally, his entire life is a fantasy, unmoored from reality. Anyone who challenges this fantasy causes extreme psychological distress.

Trump isn’t stupid and he has been in enough courtrooms to have learned that pressuring Comey was wrong. Despite Republican bleatings to the contrary, this is not a mistake born of inexperience. Nor is he just a self-absorbed asshole: he is ill. Attacks on his actions are a serious blow to his all-encompassing fantasy life. He simply can’t accept that this is a crisis of his own making: it must be someone else’s fault (Jarvanka, Comey, Sessions, LIBTURDS!…)

If that sounds delusional, that’s because he is delusional. He is unwell.

In my experience, narcissists are at their most dangerous and vicious when the fantasy is about to shatter. And there’s no one around him who is either willing or able to confront him. He will turn on anyone in order to get that buzz back, no matter how despicable his actions might become (after all, it’s not his fault).

This is a lot more dangerous than many people seem to realize.

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