He hated getting his ass kissed. He was actually a pretty humble guy in private. He wore the same soft Caucasian boots his whole life until his death in 1953. Never liked fancy things. Sometimes he would offer rides for people who were stuck on bus stops. He would read the newspaper and everywhere he looked he would be getting praised and it would piss him off. At the same time he knew that it was the only way he could maintain power and rule his people without ever getting questioned. You can blame his paranoia on the Tsarist secret police who use to play games with the revolutionaries, trying to get them to turn on one another. Somebody who wants to survive unconditionally will assume everyone is a potential enemy and keep friendships at bay for ones own security. What can I say, he was a weird bullied half cripple. Naturally, a social outcast is a target by people, so Stalin had his paranoia founded by society before it was honed and sharpened by the Marxist underground that marked him in his later years. Unlike what we are told, like all people, he was not all evil. He was in many ways a good person, but he was heavily corrupted by his fanatic belief in a Marxist utopia and his dreams of achieving it (which had an Islamic fervor to it). He had a messiah complex because of his machine like memory and sharp street smarts, which in his mind placed him above others. Naturally he would be a dick to inferior people trying to tell him what's what, even if they were right. He is the perfect example of a victim becoming the victimizer.
Fascinating. I always enjoy reading about people like him. When I was in high school about 10 years ago most of my free time that wasn't spent looking for new music, playing games or getting high was spent reading about Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and the like. I always found communists leaders to be more fascinating than fascists. Don't know why.