“Trump acts like a child who hasn’t yet developed enough to consider anyone else’s opinion”
There are few situations where hanging up on someone mid-phone call is considered acceptable, least of all an important call between two national leaders.
And yet that is reportedly what Donald Trump did just 25 minutes into what was meant to be an hour-long conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
According to the Washington Post, the US President abruptly ended the call with Turnbull over his demand that the US honour the refugee deal agreed with former President Barack Obama.
It is behaviour largely associated with stroppy teenagers who can’t deal with not getting their way, but does acting like this suggest yet another worrying red flag when it comes to the new POTUS?
Behavioural and celebrity psychologist Jo Hemmings believes Trump’s behaviour on the phone is another large indicator of his malignant narcissism.
“He has a messiah complex, no conscience, and lacks complete empathy,” she told The Independent, adding that hanging up the phone is “just like a child having a tantrum.”
According to Hemmings, most people grow out of this behaviour by the age of three or four, although there’s sometimes a reappearance during adolescence due to hormones.
“Trump acts like a child who hasn’t yet developed enough to consider anyone else’s opinion,” Hemmings says.
She believes that the President’s behaviour further suggests he’s never wanted for anything in his life or had to modify his behaviour, which has fueled his narcissism.
“Trump is clearly used to getting his own way and is very hot-headed,” she says. “He won’t see things from anyone else’s perspective and gets very annoyed when challenged.”
The President’s malignant narcissism results in a desperate need and entitlement for power, according to Hemmings, and she says Trump is likely to see no point in continuing a conversation after someone disagrees with him because he’s “massively bloody-minded.”
But as we have already seen, not all the world leaders will play his game and Trump will fall out with anyone who doesn’t agree with him, which is likely to lead to problems down the line.
“Trump thinks he’s invincible,” says Hemmings, who doubts whether his advisors will ever question or criticise him.
“Usually leaders choose the people around them to keep them in check, and Trump needs people to temper his hotheadedness and aggression. Instead, he’s picked advisors who worship him.”
It remains to be seen how other leaders will react.