Narcissism in government may not lead to good outcomes

Narcissism in government may not lead to good outcomes

At the end of June, Woonsocket residents will be informed of which candidates will be running for office in the November election. Hence, the active political season will begin! Last year, I researched and wrote an article about narcissism, which is a personality disorder – a mental health disease. It’s very sad to say, but most, not all, politicians are narcissistic.

Some of the following narrative encompasses the outcome of my research. The cause of personality disorders isn’t known. Most research points to a combination of biological, social and psychological causes. For those who are not familiar with this mental health disease, people with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they are more important than others. They tend to exaggerate their achievements and may brag about their attractiveness or success. If you want to communicate effectively with narcissists, you have to admire them, their achievements, and their toys as much as they do. Typically, this won’t require any great effort. They’ll be more than happy to come up with reasons to congratulate themselves. All you have to do is listen and look interested.

Reject them and they’ll freak out. Act weak and they’ll try to victimize you. Expose them and they’ll hate you forever. It doesn’t take too long to detect a narcissist. Dealing with a narcissist regularly is like having a pet tiger: You always have to be careful that one day he’s gonna see you as dinner. But if you don’t have a choice, negotiate hard. This is nobody to be win-win with.

As denoted by the above descriptions, Woonsocket has its own issues regarding narcissistic politicians. Of course, none of them would admit to their being narcissistic because they probably don’t truly recognize that they have this personal issue, or would be too proud to admit it.

Narcissists love to have complete control and if they don’t, they resist communication and cooperation with others. Does this sound familiar to the Woonsocket citizens? Successful people work together to be as effective as possible in order to accomplish whatever task is at-hand; they don’t truly care about who gets the credit!

In closing, a pastor once wrote, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” In order for the Woonsocket citizens to make the right choices, they must try to assure that the candidates represent these same characteristics, so that Woonsocket’s future goals will be positive ones. The individuals who will be running for office are to be commended! Amen!

Pauline M. Demers

Woonsocket