On Thursday, President Obama used the first person singular ("I," "me," or "my") nearly 200 times in a single speech. He used a first person singular, on average, every 12 seconds.
Think about that for a moment.
Narcissism is defined as "the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, that derive from arrogant pride." Individuals who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder are "excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity, mentally unable to see the destructive damage they are causing to themselves and to others in the process." Another term for narcissist is megalomaniac.
Some of the traits commonly displayed by narcissists include haughty body language, difficulty with empathy, hypersensitivity to insults (real or imagined), hatred towards those who do not express admiration, using other people without consideration of their feelings, bragging, exaggerating, self-importance, shamelessness, magical thinking, arrogance, envy, entitlement, exploitation, and selfishness.
Sound like anyone you know of?
So what causes someone to become a narcissist? A leading theory suggests that pathological narcissism develops from an impairment in the quality of a person's relationship with their primary caregivers (usually their parents). Barack Obama, remember, had essentially no relationship with his biological father, and was basically abandoned to the care of his maternal grandparents by his mother, who apparently greatly preferred academics and anthropological fieldwork to motherhood.
This lack of a healthy attachment causes the child to view himself as unimportant and unconnected to others. In order to protect their self-image, narcissists will utilize various strategies, such as blaming or devaluing others. Their inability to tolerate setbacks, disagreements, or criticism, along with their lack of empathy, makes it difficult for them to work cooperatively with others.
And thus, the Obama presidency.