Self-esteem or self-evaluation has to do with our perception of ourselves. It’s a matter of how we evaluate ourselves based on what others have told us, and/or on our internal voice and dialogue – both verbal and non-verbal. It also has to do with how we treat ourselves in general. We can be honest and objective about our self-evaluation or self-talk. narcissists, however, cannot be truthful and objective.
Narcissistic and right-wing authoritarian leaders are not only willing to disregard the social norms and beliefs of those around them, but they also have a grandiose sense of their own importance. When we are involved in a conflict or crisis, they see themselves as being “the solution” and seek to use their power and authority to get people to look to them for the answers, rather than looking to the government or other groups that might be more interested in solving the problem. They are not interested in building their self-esteem or self-image. Rather, they are interested in using their power and authority to get the job done – regardless of the costs to others. This is not something that we should wish to see in government or business leaders, because it’s a recipe for disaster.
In order for us to understand narcissistic and right-wing authoritarian leader behavior, we need to be aware of the self-help/self-discipline tools that these personality types always use. These tools are designed to create an aura of self-confidence and self-esteem. If you ask someone who is involved with this type of leadership style, they will tell you that there is nothing more powerful than knowing that you are correct and no one else is correct. This creates a sense of control and superiority. The goal is always to build up this aura of self-confidence and self-esteem. When they see others falling down, rather than working to resolve the situation, they simply respond with criticism instead of trying to help.
An “effective” narcissist will seek to control the environment and make sure that they are in charge. They may have a conference room where all the members of the group meet each week or they may fly by private plane to meet with a select few. No matter where they are, they will set the tone for everyone else by creating a climate where they are the only person who can speak and set the rules. This makes them feel important and special and makes them want to be in charge.
A normal good leader has a healthy self-esteem and self-image. They work well with others and take feedback positively. They don’t need to constantly control the atmosphere in the group or tell people what to do or how to act. They are able to get things done through self-evaluation, intuition, and experience. A true leader knows their own worth and value and has nothing to hide.
However, a self-absorbed narcissist believes that they are entitled to control everything in their life, including other people’s thoughts and feelings. They need constant reassurance that they are right and can get away with any wrong-doing. They cannot self-evaluate properly because everything about them is a reflection of themselves. They lack compassion and a desire to make the world a better place.
A truly effective leader works with people from all backgrounds and experiences, but they view everyone in their group as their equal. They look on each individual as an individual with their own needs and wants. They understand that everyone has flaws and share those with their group. They understand that people can fall back into bad habits, but they do not allow it to control or define them. Instead, they work on overcoming the weaknesses and continue to build their self-esteem.
It is important for an individual to recognize when they are behaving in a narcissistic way. If you notice that you are trying to control everyone around you, or acting like a victim, you may be displaying self-esteem vs. narcissism in your actions and speech. This will not get you anywhere fast, but it can be corrected. The best way to correct it is to recognize yourself for who you really are, and work on changing your behavior to be more in alignment with that authentic you.