Entry Level Shout Radio Job Openings: Only Malignant Narcissists Need Apply?

In the Wikipedia article on “malignant narcissism” (a phrase coined by Erich Fromm in 1964), the list of symptoms associated with it struck me as rather parallel to the traits that you tend to encounter when dialing into right-wing shout radio:

  • Grandiose sense of self-worth
  • Impulsiveness, doesn’t finish projects, or attempts to finish a project too quickly to move onto something else
  • Reckless tendencies
  • Pathological lying or exaggeration of the truth
  • Shallow affect
  • Creates illusions of superiority
  • Strives for constant recognition or prestige
  • Exaggerates and boasts about accomplishments
  • Feels ashamed or attacked by negative judgments from others
  • Preoccupation with fantasies of a perfect partner or future
  • Lack of empathy or selective empathy
  • Pulls attention from everyone else onto themselves to feel unique
  • Tendency to idealize their own superiority, devalue other people’s worth or accomplishments
  • Sensitivity to how others react to him/her
  • Inability to tolerate boredom
  • Manipulativeness
  • Indifference to or rationalizes having hurt or mistreated others (underdeveloped conscience)
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Narcissistic rage

Also in the article was this kicker:

[Malignant narcissism consists of] a cross breed of the narcissistic personality disorder, the antisocial personality disorder, as well as paranoid traits. The malignant narcissist differs from narcissistic personality disorder in that the malignant narcissist derives higher levels of psychological gratification from accomplishments over time (thus worsening the disorder). Because the malignant narcissist becomes more involved in this psychological gratification, they are apt to develop the antisocial, the paranoid, and the schizoid personality disorders.


About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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