This is how narcissists work - some of them of course are more skilled than others, some are more educated than others, but basically they all follow very basic and generic scheme. Their life purpose is to gratify their ego: they need to constantly feed the idea that they're superior, omnipotent, entitled, flawless, more immune than others and they will go any means to feed this idea. Keep this illusion alive is their life purpose. They will surround themselves with people they considered valuable, with material things they consider valuable, they will invest in their status, position, appearance, image, wealth. Some of them do this in a very blunt and obvious ways, such as some notorious celebrities, and some do this in a very refined and intellectual ways, appearing for example as a pillar of society, perhaps a Nobel Prize winner or the carrier of a great cause for humanity. However the scheme is always the same. How do they get all these things that feed their ego? They are incredibly skilled actors and excel at selling the idea that people who contribute to them contribute to the better good of society, that by supporting them people support a high cause, that by giving to them people give to positive impacting in the world. This is the narcissistic bait, an incredibly skilfully designed illusion so well crafted, that most people fall for it completely unconsciously.
They change their tactics depending on the specific people they target: the more blunt and openly confident ones target more gullible and less educated kinds of people, the more refined and intellectual ones target people who believe themselves to be highly rational and intelligent, yet are still victim to their emotions below their consciousness. What all these people that narcissists target have in common is that they have some degree codependency. Some may be very codependent, but for the majority it suffices that they have a little bit of codependency in their personality, that they are unaware of. This is by the way very commonly used in marketing strategy. Marketing experts know well how to craft their message in order to sell their product by tapping into people's unconscious emotional reactions and impulses. Often people who are more easily targeted by these marketing skills are precisely the ones who believe they are completely rational and aware of themselves, as these people do not question and dwell into their emotions.
It can take as little as a subtle belief that you need someone or something outside of yourself in order to make a change or an impact in this world, or to reach your full potential and achieve your highest desires. Or that you are less than a complete, powerful and capable human being, and that you need someone else to complete this 'lack' in you, to take on responsibility and make decisions in your behalf. Even this tiny degree of codependency is enough as a bait for a narcissistic leader. All they have to do is sell you the idea that they possess something more than you, the power, or ability, or skill that you believe you lack - and by handling them over your power they will use it for a greater good. That they can take your responsibility and make decisions on your behalf that are better than the ones you would make.
The reality is that no human being can truly take the responsibiltity of other people and make decisions on their behalf, because no human being can understand another better than themselves, and make better decisions for them then themselves. Only you know your life and yourself to the degree that you know what's best for you. Anyone who claims otherwise is using your lack of confidence in yourself to disemplower you for their personal interests. So how do we know when a leader is a true leader, not just a narcissist? Here are a few hints:
- A true leader never puts down, bashes or plays down another: a true leader does not need to put down others in order to feel good about themselves
- A true leader creates unity, not division - they help unify people
- They values what unites us more than what divides us
- Inspires people to become a better version of themselves
- Does not dominate, control or command people, a true leader serves people
- Lives outside his ego: does not care about being 'good', 'right', 'better', a true leader cares about love.
- Has empathy and compassion for all: a true leader feels for the suffering of others, they never use other people's weakness as a tool to rise up.
As you go through this list, you might be filtering out politicians, CEOs, etcetera, so who's left? You. Yes, a true leader is you, with the changes you make in your life, with the decisions you take and the way you impact others every day. The rest is an illusion: no-one can take this role for you, no-one can make those important decisions, changes and influences for you, only you can. Anyone who sells you the idea that they can take that responsibility for you is simply trying to take your power.