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Opening Arguments

Love me, scum

Anbody who has followed politics even marginally will not find this at all surprising:

When a group is without a leader, you can often count on a narcissist to take charge, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that people who score high in narcissism tend to take control of leaderless groups.  Narcissism is a trait in which people are self-centered, exaggerate their talents and abilities, and lack empathy for others.

I've spent the last few weeks interviewing candidates for local and state office. And I must say . . . well, I don't really need to say, do I? And while narcissists lack empathy for others, they also have a desperate need to be validated by the opinion of others. Just think about that if you have the stomach to watch the third (finally!) McCain-Obama debate. We are generally led by people whose main qualification is that they have always wanted to lead.

I have to say, though, that when I'm in a group that has no clear direction, I tend to drift into taking over. Usually, though, it's just because I want the meeting to get over with as soon as possible.


Pete C
Fri, 10/10/2008 - 6:47am

In other words, couldn't you say that in the group that has no clear direction, you "seek the power" to clarify the direction, or to direct? I don't know if psychologists have fine-tuned the definition of narcissism. The news article starts out by saying narcissists "take charge," but the details mentioned about the studies show that the leaders were "given" charge by the other group members. I wonder if there's a sub-category of narcissist who recognizes that power is given.