We hear the word ‘narcissist’ a lot these days in articles and media. It has become a popular buzzword used to describe manipulative, controlling people who have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration, a sense of entitlement, and a lack of empathy for others. According to psychcentral.com, in order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must have five or more of the following symptoms:
- 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
Most experts agree that narcissism exists on a continuum, with some people naturally being more narcissistic than others, such that the defining line between who has a full blown narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) versus who exhibits highly narcissistic traits is not distinct. Essentially, to some degree, all of us have behaved narcissistically at one point or another. Regardless whether we are dealing with full blown NPD or a highly narcissistic person, such individuals can cause a lot of pain and chaos in the lives of those they cross paths with.
Psychologists and therapists say, watch out if you suspect you are dealing with a highly narcissistic person as their personality is typically fixed, and no amount of pleading, explaining or appealing to their non-existent empathy will change their behaviour unless something is in it for them. Your best bet is to run far away and never look back if you can. If you are forced to deal with them on a regular basis, for example if such a person is your boss or your parent or your spouse, there are ways to make life less chaotic in terms of how you relate to them, but never forget that they are who they are, and will always be who they are.
Is the USA behaving like a narcissist with regards to its ‘US persons’ living outside USA?
Is USA’s insistence on unique to the world, citizenship based taxation (Eritrea doesn’t count), indicative of a grandiose sense of self-importance?
Is USA preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, and does it believe it is ‘special’ and unique, to the degree that it can justify taxation on people who neither live nor work within the geographical boundaries of the United States of America?
Does the USA require excessive admiration by insisting that people who have lived entire lives outside the USA pay tribute to the USA in the form of taxation and the revealing of their so-called ‘foreign’ bank accounts, simply because they were born on ‘special’ US soil?
Does the USA reveal a strong sense of entitlement by insisting that all other countries in the world, at their own expense, hunt down their own citizens living in their own countries, just because USA says these people are its ‘US persons’?
Is the USA being exploitative of other countries by threatening them with economic sanctions if they do not hand over their US born citizens (and other ‘US persons’ as defined by the USA) to the USA?
Does the USA lack empathy for those it deems ‘US persons’ who are typically citizens of other countries living in those other countries, paying taxes already in those other countries, and who cannot live normal financial lives, cannot save adequately for retirement, and are burdened by having to marry two incompatible tax systems?
Does the USA show arrogant, haughty behaviour or attitude by presuming it is OK for it to be the ONLY country in the world(Eritrea doesn’t count) to impose citizenship based taxation, knowing full well that if ALL countries did this, the world would be a financial mess?
Even if FATCA and CBT are struck down, is it safe to remain a ‘US person’ living outside USA, or is your best bet to run to the nearest US consulate and renounce US citizenship to get the narcissist out of your life forever?
America suffers from Wizard of Oz megalomania…
Yes- that “moral high ground” irks me to no end too. Especially seeing that they are the biggest tax haven of all.
This cause (our cause) brings together very different people. The struggling artist in Brussels, the big lawyer in Singapore. Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians. People who are OK with 53% taxation in an EU social democracy, people who are allergic to taxation and government. People who agree with FATCA ideas, but not the application and not CBT.
What being entangled in the US person abroad mess has taught me is that all these people have interesting ideas and experiences upon which they build their opinions. We do not need to agree. But respect is important. And when analyzing what appear to be contradictory opinions, one often finds a surprising amount of common ground. Anti-welfare folks and social democrats may in fact be in agreement on certain aspects of a social safety net.
We can retain our ideological differences here, but build on common ground that is rejection of citizen-based taxation, and current applications and consequences of FATCA.
I’d like to go back to USCAbroad’s questions: “Why are some people so much more emotionally affected by all this BS from the USA than others are? A very large number of people are periphally aware of all this and just don’t care. Yet others have allowed to to become a major part of their lives? What accounts for the differences among those on the receiving end of all this?”
Perhaps it’s because some people naturally look at the bigger picture and see their individual lives in the context of a continuum of human experience. These people know instinctively that the situation they find themselves in and the policies that put them there are far bigger than *they* are. They have a sense of history; they feel part of it and have learned, from the lessons of the past, that it is *people* who change its direction. Such individuals will not rest until they see justice done and the course of history changed.
@Dash, I like your analogy of Canada as an enabler. When I wrote this post, I was thinking about how Canada fits into the concept of USA as narcissist, and pictured Canada as a co-dependent. Co-dependents are enablers, so your suggestion makes sense to me.
@Muzzled, I think there are many varying reasons people are so emotionally involved in this particular battle, and not all of them are so altruistic, but certainly for some, ‘the bigger picture’ is THE driving force – particularly for people who have no obvious, direct skin in the game. How many of us would be fighting this particular injustice if we did not see ourselves as victims of it (or for those who have escaped already – as survivors of it)? IMHO, there are so many other pressing issues in the world (worse than FATCA and CBT); its enough to make your head spin, and can make one feel guilty for spending so much energy on this particular one. It gets quite depressing actually. I hate to sound like Debbie Downer, but I fear the days are numbered for this beautiful blue planet.
You are absolutely correct, Dash, and so is EmBee.
It is our issue (that not many Canadians are aware of, unfortunately) and many other things that are at stake for Canadians as we lose sight of this country’s sovereignty and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that must be for all Canadians. The election in Alberta (and I wish Rachel Notley and her team godspeed in their enormous job ahead) is a good indication that people are waking up to what was happening for too many years in Alberta and with the same PCs in Ottawa. There was never a more important time for real leadership, right now shown with the significance of Bill C-51.
**Would Mulcair unwind all the damage done by Harper? Not sure. Would Trudeau? Not a chance**
Not sure about Mulcair… but Trudeau has shown his true colours… instead of getting a back bone & taking a stance of No… loudly… he whines… well… I don’t want to appear soft on terrorism and C-51 was going to pass anyways…. I can picture him standing there now… with these words coming out of his mouth…. Congress has spoken or Yes, Sir, Mr President… all that info will be at the main office in DC today by the end of the day… nahh… we can skip getting a warrant for it… we are buds… So called terrorists our gov’t fears are disgrunted Canadians who have an axe to grind with the gov’t… we are sticking our noses into things that are US issues not Canadian issues.. we are slowly being viewed in the world as the same as the US…. I don’t want that crap at all….
As a start — most of all Bill C-31 omnibus bill that implemented US FATCA law over Canadian laws and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and now Bill C-51 that is also shredding the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. All Canadians should be protected.
@Dash & WhiteKat
Re: The psychological role of Harper’s Canada to the U.S. abuser:
Canada’s Bill C-31 Part 5 isn’t called “enabling legislation” for nothing.
@Muzzled, more on “I’d like to go back to USCAbroad’s questions: “Why are some people so much more emotionally affected by all this BS from the USA than others are?””.
One reason could be that some people are more reactionary, versus others who are planners and tend to think of the ‘what ifs’. For example, when I found out about FATCA and CBT, I had a total freak attack and knew right away that this was bad news and NOT something to slough off as no big deal to be handled when/if it becomes an issue. On the other hand, my spouse’s reaction to my freak out was to get angry with me and tell me that FATCA would never be allowed by the Canadian government, and that I was totally overreacting as per usual. I have had a tendency to be a ‘worry wart’ in the past, although much less so now that I am older. In fact now, I think I have calmed down to a point where I think I am much more realistic about what I should fear, whereas he is way too mellow to the point of not having enough foresight – just my opinion of course as he is not here to defend himself – and since he doesn’t read here (FATCA is not a big threat as per the moment) I can write whatever I want…lol. Some people don’t see the storm until it is tearing the roof off. Others see the dark sky off in the distance, and batten down the hatches just in case it heads their way.
That being said, I really am not that worried (I don’t think) about the IRS as I am confident I can hide my Canadian assets here in Canada, even though I will someday have assets in the USA that I will need to move to Canada. OK, maybe this does worry me somewhat, but the way I figure it is that I never earned it anyway, so if they are dicks about it and keep if for themselves, then, well whatever.
I am WAY more concerned about the fact that I cannot count on the Canadian government to have my back. Obviously Canadian citizenship means F-ALL if you were born in the USA regardless the circumstances. That is MIND BLOWING to me, and the one and only one thing that really drives me freakin nuts! I am so not looking forward to another miserable Canada Day this year, where everyone around me will be happy and doing the ‘RAH RAH Canada is so great’ dance, while I will be the only one who knows the truth.
This is a great article! It really hits the nail on the head about America’s jingoistic behavior — pure collective narcissism.
The best way to deal with narcissists is to remove them from your life. They can never be trusted and will always be scheming about how they can manipulate, exploit and control you for their own benefit.
In other words, pleading to the Uncle Sam for empathy and understanding is a waste of time. Non-Resident Americans are better off renouncing US citizenship and getting on with their lives.
I agree with you that “Non-Resident Americans are better off renouncing US citizenship and getting on with their lives”, but USA has made this difficult to do for those of us who are non-compliant and can not claim relinquishment. If there was a simple form to fill out (Do you want to be a US citizen – yes or no?), and we could just ditch the curse without having to jump through expensive hoops, no doubt MANY would. Of course this will NEVER happen, because narcissists never let their victims go unless they become too much of a threat.
This is where the ball-less governments of the countries we actually LIVE in and are CITIZENS of already, come in – we can’t fix the narcissist, but we can demand that our home governments (which we pay taxes to) live up to their end of the deal and protect us from a foreign thug.
USA is not capable to protect data of us people inside of America. Hovv to protect personal FATCA data of people outside of USA. see today link.
vvill pay a poossible damige to anyone.
probbably these is for nevv blog.