Narcissism and coldness

…narcissistic people anticipate that success and failure is generally less momentous and (a) assume others are less affected by most success and failure and (b) often feel less happy for successful others and less concerned for unsuccessful others. Findings across three studies were consistent with these propositions. Narcissistic people anticipated that both the self and others will be less reactive to successes and failures (Studies 1–3); moreover, although narcissistic people indicated less warmth toward successful and unsuccessful others, these relations were eliminated after controlling for narcissistic people’s assumptions that other people are less reactive to success and failure (Study 3). Hence, narcissistic coldness could, in part, have its origin in what we believe is reasonable disagreement about the momentous nature of events.

That is from Hart, Tortoriello, and Richardson, via the excellent Kevin Lewis.


General decrease in reactivity like psychopaths.

Psychology is pseudo science. Depressed people also have a general decrease in reactivity while anxious people have an increase, so what? There's evolutionary reasons for having a wide variance in responses in people (maybe the mellow caveman helps the group by 'staying the course', while the anxious caveman spots the leopard in the middle of the night).

Bonus trivia: that old school rapper singing "Me, myself & I" comes to mind about narcissism.

"Me, myself & I"
Reminds me of Obama speaking.

No kidding, that guy was a total narcissist. Sad.



That excellent Kevin Lewis... what makes his excellency so darned excellent anyhow!?

The word "anticipate" seems vague. How do they actually react to successes/failures?

Are they genuinely less sensitive to them, and thus they expect others to be roughly similar to them (don't we all, at least at first?)?

Or are they equally sensitive to them, but a) assume they're not because that sensitivity is seen as a form of weaknesses and they are, well, narcissists and b) have limited ability to learn how others around them react to things, due to an excessive inward focus?

If a person is generally not sensitive to successes/failures, it makes sense that they would initially assume the same of others, but most non-narcissists eventually learn this is not the case (just as I learned that my wife's threshold for a big problem is much, much lower than mine and I had better understand that without being told or risk showing an unacceptably low amount of empathy). A narcissist may just be someone who acts normally to start but doesn't learn and adapt to their external social environment like the rest of us.

One trouble with rotten writing like that is that, just for a moment, I wonder whether they are using "anticipate" in the sense that an educated person would. Then I think, "nah; not a chance!".

It might be a virtue for the "tribe".

Imagine some individuals are less affected by dramatic successes and failures. They just keep doing their things no matter rain, shine, war or peace. Some kind of human gyroscopes. Mr. Baker keeps baking fresh bread every morning while the city is bombed, someone helping out other people escape a fire while keeping calm, etc.

The issue is that our past as humans has been full of war, famine, plagues and all bad things. The traits developed to survive in that world, may not be optimal in our relatively peaceful modern world.

The trait may have a downside for the individual: feeling alone, no close relationships, but it might be good for the survival of the group. Indeed, I've met so many guys who are the right individuals to save the day every 1 out of 10K days and not so fit to succeed the rest of the time.

"narcissistic coldness could, in part, have its origin in what we believe is reasonable disagreement about the momentous nature of events."

So, if someone does not follow fads is selfish? There are dozens of examples of momentous nature of events: youtube influencers, sports fandom, bitcoiners, politics.......just because I say meh! when all others are excited, am I selfish?

When I read the lines from Tyler, I just thought about "people with convictions". People which a new piece of information may make them change opinion or act different, but 99% of times not =)

Does Adam Smith's elaboration of the Invisible Hand not meet your criteria? Or the most quoted of lines from Wealth of Nations, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest."

What do you make of the argument that there is no true altruism and that all good actions are in some subconscious way self-motivated, or signalling (a la Robin Hanson).

It won't come as a surprise that Norman Vincent Peale was the Trump family minister and close friend and greatly influenced Donald Trump. Peale is the guru of the power of positive thinking. His message would later be the basis for the prosperity gospel, the most recognizable guru of that message being Joel Osteen. Narcissism as religion. Of course the adherents aren't overly concerned by either success or failure, the former ordained and the latter denied. Today's highly prosperous evangelical Protestant churches teach some form of prosperity gospel. Is it any wonder evangelicals are Trump's strongest supporters: he is one of them! [An aside, the appeal of Peale and the prosperity gospel is understandable: each of us is our own harshest critic, the positive message a relief from a lifetime of criticism, failure, and disappointment. How the Christian message of sin and unworthiness ever caught on is a mystery.]

And the winner of today's "Trump Lives Rent-Free In My Head 24/7/365" Award goes to.... rayward!!!!!

Let's give him a round of applause, everyone. It only took him 3 hours and 2 minutes to post about Trump in a non-political conversation.

(Don't clap too loudly, we don't wanna trigger the boy.)

He also posts as “r”, not just as “rayward”, because you can never have enough rambling posts that work Trump into the mix.

Bringing up Trump in a thread about narcissism is almost too on the nose.

You may be right about how we came to this pretty Prosperity Gospel pass - I do not know, though I would likely search farther back, to the loony 19th-century, for its origins ... But I think Peale's association, however bogus, with "psychology," itself bogus, was seen, as very modern and up-to-date at the time - even cosmopolitan to urbanizing and improving middle America. The deplorables probably missed it.

I remember once my grandmother and I were walking along and as an elderly gentleman passed us, she paused and greeted him with a certain deferential formality: "Good evening, Dr. Peale." I was pretty in tune with her and could tell she was pleased by the encounter.

That - even though she liked to think of herself as having a "classy," ecumenically broadened Christian faith, away from its former binding simplicity. She was reared in the Baptist church (from whose rolls you can never really be stricken), even attended a Baptist women's college; but sloughed it off when she married and moved to the big city, joined a really beautiful Presbyterian church; filled her shelves with tomes of Bible history and commentary and C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'engle, the odd Thomas Merton volume, Walking the Bible, etc.; loved best the sermons and Sunday school lessons that had a veneer of scholarship (however scrupulous) about them. In much the same way her Book of the Month Club selections affirmed her tolerant and hopeful worldview, and "Be Thou My Vision" [the hymn listed first on a scrap of paper outlining her funeral preferences, that I found tucked in her bedside Bible in Four Translations] her slightly-lofty theology. The controversy over Peale would not have filtered down to her via the Reader's Digest.

So I'm not inclined to peg Trump to Peale, to Prosperity Gospel, or trends in Protestantism, or the fact that churches around here now advertise on their kiosks their "DivorceCare" classes.

Norman Vincent Peale was a thoughtful person, and “The Power of Positive Thinking” is a good down to earth perspective on reality that is well worth reading today. There is no trace of prosperity gospel in Peale’s work – and he wrote a great deal on many subjects. The way people have started linking Peale with Joel Osteen recently is ridiculous.

“The Power of Positive Thinking” is a lot like Andrew Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. You’ve always heard about both books and are tempted to dismiss them as middle-brow pap. But then you read them, and realize that they are full of common sense, and serve as useful correctives to passing fads and follies of thought.

I can readily believe that, as I can that the earliest self-help books were probably better than anything that came later, though I've not seen the inside of one.

Yup, that's me! :-)

One of my secretaries had a Masters degree in psychology and would analyze my partners (she described me as a stable genius).

One of my partners she described as a narcissist, and he clearly was, but she pointed out something that I had never known:

That in addition to a large ego, the narcissist will claim credit for any group success,

But, more importantly,

Will blame failure on subordinates.

Sure enough, no associate ever became a partner who was trained or associated with that partner. He blamed them for every failure he ever had. And also lobbied for pushing some perfectly fine partner candidates out of the firm, only to be saved by others.

Ask yourself: Has Trump ever accepted blame for any failure? Is it always someone else's failure? If there is a problem or failure, does he say: I barely knew that person.

Goodluck Rudi.

Which recent President(s) provide examples of accepting personal blame for failures?

Recently defeated presidential candidates (cough, Clinton)?

Major leaders outside politics? Perhaps a few Japanese CEOs?

Clinton for sex after being caught; Reagan for Contras. Although neither fired people or blamed subordinates.

How many people are shown the door by Trump or left? Mattis, Kelley?

Not Nikki Haley. Some are sycophants and take abuse well or have no compass to guide them.

"Clinton for sex after being caught" He got disbarred for lying about it, and is kind of famous for 'what's the definition of 'is''.

He's not that huge of a narcissist though, even for his oversized ego. He's a pretty smart guy. Unlike Obama, who's the definition of narcissist. Can't think of any President, including Trump, who has so completely overestimated himself as Obama has.

Yeah, those do-gooder community organizers only are thinking of themselves.

Hmm ... move back to Chicago and use his unique standing to do community work, or move to a $14 million beach house on Martha’s Vinyard?

Yeah, it's disgusting that he put his wife to work writing a best selling .book.

When do you think Trump's wife's(wives) book or books will be coming out. I hear that Stormy Daniels also has one but I don't think she will sharing the proceeds.

The only thing he tried that was possibly valuable and he failed even that low bar.

TDS is not an indicator of being stable, let alone a genius at psychological analysis.

You must be a True Believer and Follower.

Kneel before your King. Cast your critical thinking skills to the side.

One need not be a true believer to observe that you are doing nothing more than using superficial psychological analysis to fit your ideological priors.

Dispute any of the facts.

Here are some of the features of a narcissistic personality disorder:

"An insatiable appetite for the attention of others
Extreme feelings of jealousy
An expectation of special treatment
Exaggerating achievements, talents, and importance
Extreme sensitivity and a tendency to be easily hurt and to feel rejected with little provocation
Difficulty maintaining healthful relationships
Fantasizing about their own intelligence, success, power, and appearance
An ability to take advantage of others to achieve a goal, without regret or conscience
A lack empathy, or ability to understand and share the feelings of others, and a tendency to disregard others' feelings
A belief that only certain people can understand their uniqueness
A tendency to consider themselves as skilled in romance
Responding to criticism with anger, humiliation, and shame
Seeking out praise and positive reinforcement from others
An expectation that others will agree with them and go along with what they want
Whatever they crave or yearn for must be "the best"
Others may see narcissists' goals as selfish ones. They may describe the person as self-obsessed, arrogant, tough-minded, and lacking emotion."

Here's a link.

Even Trump supporters have to know that he is literally, not figuratively, the apotheosis of narcissism. He is the very essence of it. If you had to describe him in one word, that's the word you have to use.

It's perfectly fine to support Trump, people can do what they want. But if you cannot see that he is a quintessential narcissist, you have disqualified yourself from talking to grownups. You are a clown.

do you even google

Whenever a partisan is cornered, they always fall back on whataboutism.

Tim Cook at Apple is still my hero. He is ugly, strange, has no real degree and just damn lucky. But he is still my hero.

Social network--any internet platform that: promotes rancor and social division; extends the chronological range of the infantile, the puerile, and the juvenile; or invites subscriber solipsists and narcissists to maintain steady focus.

Thank you for the compliment.

American-backed terrorists immolated patriotic Chinese citizen to the imperialist Moloch.

Civil war is an unpleasant business. Hopefully we can learn from the Chinese before we start our second one.

The Chinese people is under foreign attack. That so-called "civil war" was plotter in Washington by malefactors of great wealth.

Plotting against other countries is an unpleasant business. Maybe we can learn from the Chinese and do it better next time.

There won't be a next time. China's revolutionary masses will crush the imperialist plotter like a hammer sqahses a ripe jackfruit.

Getting crushed by socialists is an unpleasant business. Maybe we can do it better next time.

There can not be a next time. Being crushed is a definitive affair. As Mao pointed out, the revolution is not a dinner party.

And it looks like it is, I'm impressed by the heel turn to Chinese nationalism.

How is that again?

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