From Libya to Hollywood……. What do Charlie Sheen and Qaddafi have in common?

Thank god for narcissists – without them, there would be no news.

Because they are our world leaders, our movie stars, our sports heroes and our reality stars.

I am beginning to wonder if it is even possible to make it on a large stage without being one.

As I read about the rants of Charlie Sheen and the madness of Qaddafi – the commonalities are clear – a complete and utter lack of empathy and insight, an unprecedented level of entitlement, and a blazing trail of self-destruction.

The characters change, but the story remains the same.

In the case of Charlie Sheen – we watch with the same fascination that a child watches another child having a temper tantrum – “wow, is he really going to get away with that?”

And there’s the rub. He is.

Sadly – in his case, the substance abuse is a red herring. It is obviously causing some of his wackier behavior, but at the end of the day, it can be managed (though I am not sure there is a rehab center that will help him detox from the drug called “Charlie Sheen”). Until the underlying personality disorder is addressed, his drug addiction becomes an almost unfixable problem – because like most narcissists he is made of Teflon and views this “as the other guy’s problem.”

His narcissism is a whole different animal – because that is not going anywhere until he gets some VERY good mental health services. It is who he is, and he was wise enough to fall into an industry where not only is his narcissism rewarded, it is celebrated. Much like being the dictator of a Northern African nation.

Because narcissists have little insight into their actions, often don’t care what others think, and feel the rules do not apply to them – they can easily waltz through porn stars, ex-wives, current wives, crumbling nations, and public rants – with little concern about the impact. And they can surround themselves with handlers – producers, advisors, therapists, psychics, girlfriends, nurses – who play into their delusions of grandeur.

Sheen, Qaddafi, real housewives from all the major metros – they are our modern vaudevilleans – and we can’t wait to catch the second act. Watching their lack of insight and brazen entitlement is a way for us to channel our own frustrations – us suckers who play by the rules, care what others think, and actually censor ourselves.

Sadly, while Sheen’s rants are only making him look bad, the narcissistic sociopathy of folks like Qaddafi result in tragic consequences. There is a cautionary tale in there somewhere.

But until we stop allowing narcissistic traits to become a fast track to success and actually start valuing things like consistency, empathy, public deportment, and common sense – plan on more madness filling the airwaves, and changing the course of histories.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 at 1:45 pm and is filed under Media and Mental Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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