Trump and his impressionistic speech: HPD or NPD?


I’m engaged in an interesting conversation in a Facebook group about Cluster B disorders. Someone raised an interesting point about Trump possibly having HPD instead of, or in addition to, NPD.   His “impressionistic speech,” which is a symptom of HPD, is a clue, but based on his inability to accept blame or criticism (and not just projecting it onto others), that seems a lot more NPD.

I’ll just let the actual conversation speak for itself because it raises some interesting points.  (There were more replies, but I’m leaving out the ones not relevant to the topic raised, which is Trump).

Someone in the group posted this question (who I will call Participant A) :

Random thought: Donald Trump initially appears NPD. But that fucking hair… the orange tan, and the impressionistic speech…makes me wonder if he’s not HPD, or at least comorbid. The one HPD I’ve known was basically a narc in a series of crazy outfits. And she sounded JUST like him with her wild lack of details, inappropriate sex talk and constant attention seeking behavior. Thoughts?  

Participant B:

I think a person with HPD might respond to all of the criticism a little differently than he does. He seems to hold tight to his grandiosity, a person with HPD would be more wounded and emotional. He ignores the fact that nobody wants to join his inauguration and even lies and pretends It’s sold out, inauguration dresses are sold out, etc. That looks like NPD to me.

Participant A:

The HPD I know did this exact thing though. I worked for her and while planning a conference she made me send out an email to supporters saying we had this amazing star studded line up (we had no one) and the tickets would soon be sold out (we had like 10 people signed up so far). As an NPD I personally would be too nervous to publicly fail, so I would opt to undersell the event, in case no one showed up, to save myself embarassment. If people show up, bonus points, because I look humble. She just threw wild shit out there with seemingly no concept of reality. Constantly contradicted herself too.

Participant B:

People with HPD are supposed to be more uncomfortable with criticism and more uncomfortable not being the center of attention. I think people with NPD have mental blocks up that sometimes don’t allow them to see when they’re disliked or unpopular. Maybe on a subconscious level they get it. I think a person with NPD might be better able to answer this though


I think it’s easier to have ASPD than NPD — NPDs and BPDs care very much what you think (even if they never admit it) while psychopaths and ASPDs generally don’t give a shit.

Participant B:

People with HPD are more easily influenced, they typically blame failure on others. He doesn’t even admit to any failure existing.  Superficial emotional displays or a little more agreement with the majority might be more HPD too…


That’s a good point. He could also be a somatic narc — with extremely tacky taste! Cluster B disorders often appear together, so it’s entirely possible he could be both NPD and HPD too. But no way is he *just* HPD — like Participant B said, he doesn’t admit to failure — ever.

Me (replying to Participant A):

I’ve heard that HPDs have “impressionistic speech” but I never understood exactly what that means. Can you give an example of Trump using this kind of speech? I’m not doubting you, but I’m just not sure what it is. Sort of a vagueness? Because he talks and talks and never actually says anything. Or it’s like word salad and makes no sense. Is that what you mean?

Participant A:

Earlier today, “It’s going to be Huge! We’re going to turn things around”. Ok, Donald, how are we going to do that? ” We will make America great again!” Lol. Literally just now: “My cabinet is so smart. We have the highest IQ of any cabinet ever assembled.” Oh ok, based on what fucking data? No explanation.

Definition and example of impressionistic speech: “A term used to describe a person’s speech when it consistently lacks in detail and emphasizes emotions. For example, if you asked someone what they thought of something, and they said that the thing was “just wonderful, fabulous”.”

Does he not consistently fit the bill, or what?


Ah, I see. My NPD mother (who I always suspected was HPD too) talked that way. “Everything was fabulous!” “Oh, I feel marvelous!” A lot of hyperbole, but no substance. At all. Yes, Trump does talk exactly like that and never can back up his grandiose claims. And people think he’s pissing gold.

HPD doesn’t seem to be that common for some reason. Or it gets diagnosed as BPD or NPD.