If there’s one thing the church is known for is a diversity of people and personalities. But it seems that wherever you go and no matter how many churches you’ve been in or pastored, the same sorts of troublesome personalities always seem to be there. After taking a call to a new congregation or losing a trouble some member, we might breathe a sigh of relief. But, before we relish the relief, there’s another one right there. The grass isn’t greener on the other side because there’s troublesome people on both sides.
One troublesome personality is the “Narcissist.” If the pastor’s not the narcissist, the next most likely place to find one is among antagonists. Here’s what a narcissist looks like*
- Requires ongoing, excessive admiration;
- Lack empathy for others;
- Expresses grandiose fantasy-based notions about his/her greatness (based on relationships with the authority figures);
- Pre-occupied with unlimited success;
- Believes he or she is “special” and can only associate with “the elite” class;
- Develops a “facade” of possessions, clothes, cars, etc. to reflect “elite-ness’;
- Have a sense that their entitled to special privileges, powers, treatment, etc.;
- Takes advantage of others to achieve their own ends (with or without their consent);
- Unwilling to recognize that others have needs, too;
- Is jealous of others and thinks that others are jealous of them;
- Displays arrogance and haughtiness.
* see DSM-IV 301.81 for the technical description.
Thomas F. Fischer