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  • Writer's pictureDr. Michael Caparrelli

What Lies Behind Narcissism?

“Look,” Pharoah said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us” Exodus 1:9

Behind every superiority complex, deep-seated inferiority plagues the soul. In his 229-page report, “Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler” (1943), Harvard professor Dr. Henry Murray conjectures that Hitler camouflaged before the masses a profound self-loathing that stemmed from being a frail, sickly child with severe academic handicaps. Recently, New York University conducted a survey amongst 300 participants that showed narcissism is not driven by a grandiose sense of self but just the opposite – a fragile psyche working hard to protect itself from seeing its own “despicable” reflection (Kowalchyk, 2020). All of the boasting and self-congratulations are overcompensating feelings of inadequacy. As farmers say in the Deep South, “the Hen that crows the loudest lays the smallest eggs.”

At some point in your life, you might be targeted by a narcissist – a bullying spouse, a browbeating supervisor or a belittling sibling. Every chance they get to make you feel small is seized as swiftly as taking free money. Hanging around a Narcissist long enough takes its toll on your self-esteem. A sure indication you need space from such a person is when their harassing voice mutates into your own thoughts about yourself. (If you suppose its unchristian for me to talk this way, do yourself a favor by reading II Timothy 3:1-17 with special attention to the phrase, “avoid such people”). If you’ve been targeted by a narcissist, it’s essential for you to know what you’re really dealing with.

On the surface, Pharoah is a maniacal tyrant scouting for opportunity to flaunt his dominance over the defenseless Jews. Read through Exodus 5, and you’ll encounter a Monster who gleans satisfaction from stomping upon the souls of God’s people. But, behind the scenes, Pharoah is petrified of the very people he oppresses. Exodus 1:9 allows us access into Pharoah’s circle of intimate confidants where he utters his true feelings. Essentially, he says, “These people scare the wits out of me!” If you’ve been browbeaten by a narcissist, understand that you’ve been targeted, NOT because of how pathetic you are, but how intimidating your intellect, talent, virtue or whatever else comes across to them. Be not afraid of the narcissist; at the heart of every bully is a baby.

Dr. Michael Caparrelli


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