A megalomaniac has a delusional sense of self-awareness, believing they’re better than those around them. They boast about the things they’ve done or will do and brag about things they have. These people have a personality disorder, causing an exaggerated sense of self-worth.
Everyone evaluates their abilities, but megalomaniacs go overboard. They’re often unsympathetic and tend to be dishonest. A megalomaniac overestimates their abilities, importance, popularity, power, and influence.
It’s okay to be proud of yourself and your accomplishments. Having a positive self-image and maintaining confidence is essential to your well-being. However, it can cross a line into something sinister and detrimental.
You’ll notice that a megalomaniac has a huge ego, but there are other ways to identify them. Figuring out if you have someone like this in your life can help you limit your time with them. It’ll also help you identify the people who might make you feel bad about yourself.
What is Megalomania?
The DSM-V includes megalomania as a psychological condition or narcissistic personality disorder symptom. It is associated with delusional ideas and fantasies of power or relevance. They believe they’re the only person capable of doing things and won’t believe in anyone else.
People with megalomania have an obsession with power and will do anything to gain it. They have delusions of grandeur and can’t see their faults or shortcomings. Additionally, they don’t always realize that their view doesn’t correspond to reality.
These people often use insults and narcissism to cover their subconscious fears. Deep down, they are self-conscious and want people to like them. Their fear of inferiority makes them want to hurt others with ridicule and threats because it makes them feel good about themselves.
Causes of the Megalomania Personality Disorder
Sometimes progressive paralysis or craniocerebral injury can contribute to megalomania. This condition also often occurs with the following conditions:
- Manic-depressive psychosis
- Inferiority complex
- Paranoid disorders
There are a few other things that can cause the condition. Some of the risk factors include:
- Hereditary predisposition
- Alcohol or drug dependency
- Having syphilis at any point in your life
- Childhood moral trauma
Some historical figures were megalomaniacs, making them think they could rule the world. They wanted to make rules for everyone else to promote their ideas. These figures include:
- Napoleon Bonaparte
- Mao Zedong
- Benito Mussolini
These leaders all believed they were the only people capable of making decisions. They used this mindset to control people and conquer the lands. Their false belief that they could conquer the world led them to seek infinite power through dangerous means.
Thirteen Behaviors of a Megalomaniac
A megalomanic is sometimes hard to identify. These people hide their true intentions to manipulate people. Their megalomanic behaviors don’t always surface until they’ve gained control.
1. A Megalomaniac Forces Their Truths on Others
This person will force their truths on others, even when it’s not initially accepted. They will reword their explanations or ideas until their target agrees.
If you try to give them facts that disprove their truth, they’ll do what they can to make you look incorrect. They try to manipulate your reality so that you question what you know. If all else fails, they sometimes turn to violence to make you see things their way.
2. Fixation with Fantasy
A megalomanic becomes obsessed with fantasies of overwhelming success, control, beauty, or love. They think they are essential and feel the world can’t go on without their ideas. Their fixation goes so far as to assume everything will work out the way they have in mind.
When things don’t go their way, they might get angry and try to manipulate those around them. They’ll do whatever they can to make it look like their fantasy is playing out in real life.
3. A Megalomaniac Might Experience Sleep Disturbances
These people experience high levels of nervous excitement, resulting in sleep disturbances. Their increased activity causes them to feel mentally and physically depleted, even if they don’t mention it. They also experience mental health issues, further hindering their sleep health.
If they feel like losing their sense of being the best, they can experience severe depression. These people need to feel like their fantasies are playing out, or they’ll struggle to take care of their needs. When they can’t sleep, it only worsens the condition.
4. They Isolate Themselves from Many People
Someone with this condition might isolate themselves from people they consider inferior. They’ll also avoid people they think will call them out or show them up.
Their arrogance can make them feel lonely because they won’t spend time with specific people. It creates an emotional void that disrupts their well-being, but they won’t admit the issue.
5. Episodes of Increased Activity
When the megalomania stems from bipolar disorder, you will notice increased activity. Episodes of mania cause them to experience confidence in their false ideals. They’ll be overly energetic, doing more than usual, and seeming full of strength without feeling tired.
These episodes of increased activity won’t last. Eventually, they’ll revert to a depressive state, not getting much done or socializing with others.
6. Emotional Instability
A person with this condition experiences emotional instability ranging from violent activity to passivity. They can quickly switch from a joyful mood to feeling depressed or overly anxious. This person can’t control their mood swings, even when trying to hide them.
7. Those Who Have This Personality Disorder Often Lack Empathy
These toxic people don’t care about others and won’t consider other opinions or feelings. They’ll pretend to care so that they can manipulate a situation, but the false appearance won’t last long.
If you don’t do what this person wants you to, they’ll quickly discard you and move on. When you must be around them, they’ll mistreat you and make you feel bad.
8. Acting as Nothing Can Phase Them
Megalomaniacs feel indestructible, even when the situation is out of their control. They believe they can solve any problem and force things to work out. Of course, this doesn’t always go as planned, but they still act like it doesn’t phase them.
9. Favoring People with a Lower Intellectual Level
This type of person prefers spending time with people of a lower intellectual level. A narcissist thinks they can manipulate these people because they are more likely to accept any request or statement.
A megalomaniac can easily impose their ideas on those with lower intellectual levels. Plus, they can take a leadership role with these people because they need more help. They think they’re less likely to be rejected by others in this situation, making them feel superior.
10. The Megalomaniac Experiences Hyperawareness
These toxic people are hyperaware of how other people react to them. They notice how people take their actions or statements and become obsessed with what other people think.
If someone rejects them, they believe the other person is the problem. Even when the things they do and say entice negativity, the narcissist doesn’t accept responsibility. They see the reaction and choose to justify that the other person is wrong.
11. They’re Judgmental
Someone with this disorder judges others based on intellectual knowledge, situations, and events. Even if they have no grounds for judging, they’ll have a negative opinion and aren’t afraid to voice it. They assume they know more and can do better, even when there’s no evidence of that idea.
12. The Megalomaniac Experiences Intense Envy of Others
The toxic people experience intense envy of others. If you ask them about it, they’ll deny feeling jealous, but you can usually tell. They’ll also assume other people are equally envious of them because they view themselves highly.
13. They Don’t Admit Their Mistakes
These people often blame others for their mistakes and convince themselves that it’s not their fault. They won’t admit when they did something wrong. This situation means they never learn from their mistakes because they don’t take a chance to reflect.
How to Handle a Megalomaniac
If you know someone with this condition, you must learn how to deal with it. The megalomaniac’s behavior will negatively impact your life if you don’t know how to handle it.
Remember that you don’t owe them anything and deserve to surround yourself with positive people. Some of the ways to handle a megalomaniac include:
- Avoiding them whenever possible
- Remembering that fighting makes it worse
- Knowing that they won’t play fair
- Not buying into their promises
- Telling them that their behavior will make them look bad to others
- Interacting with them only in the presence of other people
- Documenting your agreements and conversations
- Setting and enforcing boundaries
- Protecting yourself by being ready for their manipulation
- Not telling them personal information
Final Thoughts on Behaviors of a Megalomaniac, a Personality Disorder
The behaviors of a megalomaniac can help you understand the person you’re dealing with. Once you know what to expect, it’s easier to determine your next course of action. You can’t let this type of person control your life, so you must plan how to deal with it.
You’ll get caught in their games if you don’t protect yourself from a megalomaniac. They’ll continue controlling you and using you to their advantage.
No matter who the toxic person is, you deserve to be treated well. Limit your time with people who have this personality disorder to maintain your well-being.