The grandiose, deluded narcissist.

deluded

The website Sociopath World, a blog by and for sociopaths (and psychopaths), is full of intriguing articles and blog posts about sociopathy and related disorders, such as Narcissism.

Naturally, I clicked on the section on Narcissism and among many entries about remorseless criminals, sadistic murderers, and narcissistic psychopaths, I found this hilarious but sad little gem about Mary Roach, a long forgotten American Idol auditionee, a young woman who shows every trait of narcissism you can imagine and is pitifully deluded about her singing ability. If there was ever a poster child for NPD, Mary was it.

The 9 Psychiatrically Recognized Traits of NPD:

–Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
–Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
–Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
–Requires excessive admiration
–Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
–Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
–Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
–Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
–Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

It’s only necessary to have five of these traits to be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder; Mary appears to have more than five, if not all of them.

I decided to post about poor forgotten Mary Roach rather than another depressing article about a murderer, cult leader, or abusive parent, in part because the subject matter is lighter and even funny in its sad way, but to show just how deluded and out of touch with reality “normal” everyday non-criminal narcissists can be.

Given that reality shows are swarming with narcissists, Mary wasn’t that unusual on a show like this, but even in an environment where narcissistic traits are probably beneficial if not actually necessary, Mary’s particular brand of narcissism stands out for its complete disconnect from any semblance of reality.

I’m also posting the original write up from Sociopath World because it’s so spot on. (Some of the dialogue in the video is most likely scripted, but I have no doubt Mary is very high on the narcissist spectrum).

Famous narcissist? Mary Roach
A friend sent me this. Obviously it’s hilarious, but it’s also a really good example of what if feels like watching a narcissist at work (to all of your narcissist readers that this blog apparently attracts?). There’s something so blatantly ridiculous about the way they act and how disconnected they are from reality.

Mary is absolutely immune to criticism and when confronted with the truth about her singing, she immediately assumes that her critic has a personal issue with her that is driving the criticism as opposed to merely stating the obvious truth. One of the more obvious narcissist qualities is that when the judges start playing with her, she doesn’t fight it or immediately defend herself but plays along. She wants it to seem like she is in on any joke that they might be having and even if the joke is at her expense she would rather have the attention (even negative) than cede the spotlight. When they give her the goodbye, she keeps the conversation going, although it means rehashing their worst criticism of her. She also feels compelled to turn the tables and judge them for their appearances, as being smaller, thinner, prettier, and “hot.” She doesn’t need to criticize them necessarily — it is enough that they seem interested in her assessment of them. Of course they did not ask her for her opinions on them, but she manages to misunderstand a direct question and act as if she has some unique vision that warrants sharing.

It’s so funny to watch this because I know someone who acts exactly this way, even down to the little awkward mannerisms, especially the shrug at 4:50. The world is just not ready enough to appreciate their talents, but ain’t no thing. These people can’t be kept down for long by haters.

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16 thoughts on “The grandiose, deluded narcissist.

  1. I’m likely to believe she has schizophrenia (in addition to narcissism) and not just because of the “voices” she mentioned. I’ve met a few schizophrenics and they were very similar in their mannerisms to this.

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    • She could be schizophrenic. Or an actor. Someone in the comments even mentioned autism. I don’t think she’s autistic, but mild schizophrenia can mimic NPD. Either way, she does seem to be very narcissistic, even if it’s not her primary diagnosis.
      Narcissists sort of have voices in their heads though too–when they are as deluded as this, and some of them really are.
      I also noticed she has a very affected way of speaking, and I’ve noticed a lot of narcissists have that. Their speech is affected and sounds unnatural, like bad acting.

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  2. Fascinating! Yes, she could just be acting. I sure hope so! Otherwise, she is really really narcissistic. I’m wondering if people told her that she could sing just because she scared them and they were afraid of what she’d do if they said anything critical? This is interesting stuff!

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    • These shows are highly scripted, so it’s sometimes hard to tell what’s real and what isn’t. Calling them reality shows is kind of a misnomer, IMO.

      But I have known people like this; she probably really is like this (and definitely can’t sing and was insulted the judges didn’t think she was the next Celine Dion or something). I think the producers played it up even more with obvious scripting, especially at the end.
      She got the 15 minutes of fame she wanted anyway. I wonder if she had more luck becoming a hairdresser.

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  3. This is a bit unrelated (it would be more relevant so sociopathy) but I thought you’d like this; it’s from the old TV show To Catch A Predator. This exchange happens after an older man has entered a “sting house” thinking that he’s going to abuse a 13-year-old girl, but instead he finds the Dateline NBC host Chris Hansen waiting for him:

    Predator: Sir please…I’m not a real predator sir…
    Hansen: Not a real predator? Just a pretend predator?
    Predator : No…I’m just curious…
    Hansen: A curious predator?

    I laughed when I heard this, even though it’s so wrong!

    You might also like this video. Maybe it could be a subject for a future post 🙂

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  4. Wow, that was painful to watch. She reminded me of another woman who was on Britain’s got talent a few years ago who similarly made an absolute fool of herself (in front of an entire auditorium full of people). That women was also convinced that she was a tremendously gifted singer, a superstar just waiting to be discovered, destined for glory and fame and riches… It was hard to believe someone could be so out of touch with reality.

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    • I watched American Idol for a long time (mostly because of my kids, who got me into it) and you’d be surprised how many people were utterly convinced they were talented singers when they were anything but, but this Mary is one of the most indignant I’ve ever seen. Most of the deluded singers would just cry or take the news stoically and leave quietly. I do think a lot of the dialogue in these things is scripted though, but probably based on actual reactions. It is very embarrassing to watch. They really are out of touch with reality.

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      • “Out of touch with reality” is the most charitable way to put it. Watching it causes one to be overcome with fremdschämen (the vicarious humiliation you feel for someone who clearly has no clue what an embarrassing spectacle he/she is making of himself/herself).

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        • I agree completely but that’s part of what made it so popular I guess. I thought that emotion (you know, the horrifying satisfaction of watching a trainwreck or someone embarrassing themselves) is called schadenfreude.

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        • Schadenfreude is pleasure in the misfortune of another, generally someone you dislike or despise. Fremdschämen is a feeling of embarrassment on behalf of someone who lacks the good sense or self-awareness to be embarrassed when he/she is doing something embarrassing. The big difference with fremdschämen is that you can feel it for someone you don’t dislike, even someone you love — for example, when you see a friend behaving like an idiot, blissfully unaware that he/she is beclowning himself/herself, and you cringe in agony for them. I even feel it for myself sometimes, especially when I recall times in my misspent youth when I behaved like a fool, and felt no embarrassment at the time because I wasn’t aware of my own folly. I experienced this feeling many times before I learned that there was actually a word for it. 🙂

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