GRANDIOSITY: Is the belief that you are superior to others even when the evidence demonstrates that this is clearly not true. Since you are better than everyone else, you have the right to decide which rules of society apply to you and which ones you can disregard. You are right and should never be questioned by others. Life should be easy for you. To be considered to be like other people is a huge narcissistic injury (i.e., a major blow to your self esteem).
Example: My parents (boss, friends, etc.) are so stupid. They think just because they had problems with alcohol that I will. Well I’ve been drinking for a year and the only problem I’ve got with my drinking is my parents.
Payoff: You do not have to doubt yourself. You know that you are better than other people. You get to do what you want.
Consequence: You lack empathy for yourself and others. You continually make the same mistakes because you refuse to accept that you could be doing something wrong. You often find yourself feeling worthless (that is another TE called "zero state").
People who are grandiose are usually overcompensating for their feelings of low self-worth but are usually not aware of their motives. Some extremely grandiose people are probably on an anti-social or narcissist personality disorder continuum. People with a bi-polar disorder often have grandiose episodes. Beware of grandiosity—it can be dangerous.
People who are grandiose usually have difficult and dysfunctional relationships and, therefore, few true friends. Their methods of trying to compensate for this situation often includes power and control tactics, secretiveness, and over-achievement to garner the honors and accolades of others.
The levels of grandiosity in leaders, bosses, politicians, and famous people are usually high, according to research studies. As a result of their dysfunction, they depend on others to feel good about themselves, though they usually vehemently deny they have this need. They seem to have an inordinate need for power over others and can be ruthless in their efforts to get it, due to their lack of empathy.
If treated, grandiosity can be minimized or eliminated. Treatment is also important because people who are grandiose often abuse substances that only serve to temporarily inflate their grandiose tendencies. In fact, grandiosity in people can be explained as a cover-up for deep unconscious pain. Hence, they often vacillate extremely between feelings of worthlessness and feeling like an Ubermensch.
Can we be grandiose at times but not be mentally ill? Of course. We all use thinking errors and, at times, may exhibit them as a result of denial, self-protection, and as a dysfunctional way to meet our personal needs.
SEE OTHER POSTS ON THINKING ERRORS