Continuing in our case study of Haman. Even though Haman had achieved “everything”, he was obsessed with the one thing he didn’t have – Mordecai’s recognition of Haman’s “glory”. That is typical of narcissists* – they can have everything going “right” in their world, but in the middle of that will obsess about one little slight that they think they have received from someone.
3 After these events King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and established his authority over all the princes who were with him. All the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman; for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage……….When Haman saw that Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage to him, Haman was filled with rage.
This happened more than once.
9 Then Haman went out that day glad and pleased of heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate and that he did not stand up or[tremble before him, Haman was filled with anger against Mordecai. Haman controlled himsef, however, went to his house and sent for his friends and his wife Zeresh.
Then Haman recounted to them the glory of his riches, and the number of his sons, and every instance where the king had magnified him and how he had promoted him above the princes and servants of the king. Haman also said, “Even Esther the queen let no one but me come with the king to the banquet which she had prepared; and tomorrow also I am invited by her with the king.
Yet all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.”
By his own words, even though the king promoted Haman to 2nd in command in the kingdom, Haman said, “yet all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate”.
One prime characteristic of one with insolent pride (narcissists) is that they want it ALL, they are never completely satisfied, they want to be unquestionably #1 with no exceptions, they want everyone’s love and admiration. This drive is so entrenched in their hearts that they obsess over any “slight” that challenges it.
A story circulated a years ago about a famous, obviously narcissistic politician who could be in a room of admirers, but would spend an entire evening trying to win over the one person in the room whom he sensed had less than complete admiration. He could not tolerate less than complete admiration.
When they are slighted it can lead to anger, and even retribution, as Haman’s case study shows.
* Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” please see here for an explanation