Our brain is a good strategist: it seeks to suffer the least possible. To achieve this, it uses specific defense mechanisms, essentially echoing our lives as children. When these mechanisms are used flexibly, there is no problem. In contrast, beware of when everything crystallizes. In this article we will discuss “omnipotence”, the feeling of superiority.
Definition of “Omnipotence”
Omnipotence is to manage your emotional conflicts by developing, through self-allocation, an exaggerated self-image that is all-powerful and superior to others.
Why This Need to Feel Superior?
This defense mechanism protects against a decline in self-esteem, which leads to feelings of helplessness and worthlessness.
Michael suffered personal injury. He was the black sheep of the family (the intellectual child in a family of mostly physical pursuits). His parents told him that he was weird and that he would not produce anything in life. As he had behavioral problems in class, his parents were all the more brutal.
Psychologically speaking, to stay alive, his psyche opted for an abnormal swelling of his esteem of himself and to try to counteract painful feelings of shame, humiliation, and feelings of inferiority.
What Might Michael Turn Out to Be?
What would happen if he connects to one of his weaknesses that are so brutal? Given his personality structure, his identity could collapse, because though it looks solid, it actually is very precarious. Michael could shift from “I am special, superior to others, I am entitled to privileges, I am above the law” to “I am nothing, I’m terrible, I missed out on everything.” Michael does not immediately access a nuanced view of himself – or others for that matter.
Relations: Michael and Others
Michael believes that others are at his service; they must serve him according to his standards. True, from personality traits, he is an attractive person, but his entourage may suffer.
If they go through a difficult period, he does not support them, because he has a strong tendency to operate in the mode of “my needs come before those of others.” At work, his subordinates and colleagues may well feel little or no consideration for him.
Thanks to his vision of himself – overly good – Michael was able to get ahead in life and still make things interesting. Indeed, Michael will, perhaps, one of the great men of our time. However, it is time he gets back into question because his risk of an impoverished emotional life (from loved ones).
Therapy for Michael
How a therapist could help Michael develop an ability to judge in more nuanced manner: “Michael, I regret to tell you that you’re not fantastic, but I am happy to tell you that you are far from negligible. In short, you are a being with strengths and weaknesses.” He can also be helped to recognize and respect the feelings of others more, “Michael, you cannot pretend that your wife does not exist too, or feels nothing.”