Recently, Anderson Cooper had a segment on Anderson Cooper 360 pointing out President Trump’s use of illeism or speaking in the third person. The third person is where someone refers to themselves by their own name. For example, Trump has spoken in the third person for years. He even gives himself nicknames. He tweeted in November 2018, “So great that oil prices are falling (thank you President T).”
According to Bill Gates, Trump refers to himself in the third person in one-on-one meetings, not just at rallies and press conferences. So why do gaslighters/narcissists tend to speak in the third person?
First, speaking in the third person distances you from your actions. Posting in the third person on social media may be more common if you have post-traumatic stress disorder because it helps you to emotionally distance yourself from trauma. However, if you are a world leader, using the third person takes on an ominous tone.
When a gaslighter/narcissist speaks in the third person, his statement is said as if it is coming from a supporter. When his quote is published in the media, readers scanning the news may see just the quote and assume it is attributable to someone else. This then gives the quote more credibility. It then becomes apocryphal. It is a form of spreading propaganda. Gaslighters/narcissists speak with the intention that a lie will be heard so many times that it will become the truth and that their use of the third person gives their quotes more clout.
If gaslighters/narcissists feel that not enough people are praising them (they commonly and unrealistically feel this way), they praise themselves. It can be a form of self-soothing, a reassurance to the gaslighter/narcissist that he is worthy of adoration.