Narcissistic Personality

Narcissistic Wounds: Trump’s Coping Mechanisms, Especially on NBC’s Town Hall, Part 2


The explanation of a narcissism is almost as big as their fat bloated egos. It usually takes several posts to go through it all. Lately, we’ve been focused on the role of narcissistic wounds in driving the seemingly inexplicable behavior of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber. In part 1, we explained the origins of the narcissistic wound both in general and specifically to Trump. Here, we look at the psychological mechanisms that narcissists use in general and Trump in specific use to distract themselves from the gaping narcissistic wound that sits where their hearts ought to be.

Brief Re-Cap

The bleeding heart of any narcissist is the narcissistic wound. It is the injury that results whenever they are humiliated by having an error pointed out to them. Or, they think an error has been pointed out to them. Narcissists project this image of being perfect, but deep down inside they (a) know they are not and (b) fear that if imperfections are found, no one will love them and they’ll have to sit in the corner forever.

They experience the same humiliation that we all do when we blunder badly, but they experience it all of the time. They use the same coping mechanisms that we all do when we are humiliated, but they use them all of the time. That is what a mental illness is, a normal reaction that dominates your life making it completely dysfunctional.

Narcissistic Wound Coping Mechanisms

Coping mechanisms are psychological strategies that help individuals manage emotions and impulses. Because the term originated with Freud, and Freudians have originated many of the most well-known coping mechanisms, they are usually strategies that will help us hide socially unacceptable behavior. However, it is possible for coping mechanisms to be a positive thing by helping us deal with unpleasant emotions and maintain our well being.

Without going through the town hall minute by minute or coping mechanism by coping mechanism, let’s just list the most prominent ones, define them, and give an example from the town hall and other behaviors of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber.

Lying and Self-Serving Bias

Both of these tendencies have been covered in other posts. We all know what lying is and that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is the most prolific liar in the country. So, on to self-serving bias

Self-serving bias is the deliberate promotion of some quality of an action, behavior, or event that benefits ourselves whether that is by taking credit for positive outcomes or events or blaming others for negative.

We can see where this is going, right? “Banning” travel from China is probably the most obvious example of self-serving bias from the town hall. It is a ban that wasn’t a ban because of all the exceptions and work-arounds available to travelers from China. The China travel ban was ineffective or had a negligible effect, but it is promoted as the most insightful and decisive action possible and saved 2 million lives. Guthrie tried to push back on those claims but was shouted down.

Fantasy, Wishful Thinking, and Splitting

I think we all know what is meant by fantasy and wishful thinking but are less familiar with this use of splitting. Usually splitting means separating two authority figures like parents or teachers in order to get away with something. In this case, splitting refers to using black-and-white all-or-nothing thinking to resolve conflicting rationales or impulses.

We’ve seen this with regard to #COVID19 when the Ol’ Pussy Grabber makes claims about a vaccine being imminent or that the virus will just go away all on its own. Those two claims are so clearly a fantasy and wishful thinking that it needs no further explanation. But, it also is a way of reconciling the conflicting urge to address the pandemic and fearing the results of trying and failing. The narcissists biggest nightmare is trying to do something, failing, and the world seeing the lack of perfection. To reconcile the two, it is better to just wish the virus away, thus, the claims that we’ve turned the corner even as Wisconsin sets up a field hospital and other communities see their healthcare systems stretched beyond capacity.

Identification

It is one of my favorites because it explains his affection for authoritarian dictators like Putin and Duterte. He brags about the extra-judicial killing of Aaron Danielson by US Marshals stating that they didn’t want to arrest him. Indeed, witnesses describe the Marshals racing up to his car, leaping out, and shooting him through the windshield with out warning or attempt to arrest him. If he didn’t order the murder, he certainly sounds pleased about it, even boastful. It sounds a lot like Duterte’s extra-judicial killings of drug dealers and users.

Identification is the process by which a victim adopts the characteristics of the abuser. More than likely — to be all Freudian about it — the original abuser was Papa Fred. To protect himself from the malignant bastards abuse, he became just like him aping his judgmentalness, racism, and cruelty. The Ol’ Pussy Grabber just transfers his worship of his strong-armed father to all the other assholes ruling countries in the world hoping to be accepted by them. Jokes on him, though. They don’t accept him any more than his father did. They just use him.

Intellectualization

Intellectualization is the process of trying to observe an emotionally difficult situation “objectively” and thoughtfully to avoid the anxiety provoked by an event. It is similar to rationalization, but it is less excuse making and more emotional distancing. You can see the Ol’ Pussy Grabber use intellectualization to cope with his failed #COVID19 response when he talks about herd immunity and children not suffering from the infection. If he were to confront his failure, he would have to accept that he caused the deaths of over 200,000 people and the suffering of more than eight million. Since he can’t do that, he intellectualizes his response by saying he is trying to achieve herd immunity and that children don’t suffer from the disease. Both are bullshit, but it helps him sleep at night.

Reaction Formation

Reaction formation is the coping mechanism in which you behave the opposite of how you think or feel. This one explains his misogyny. He needs love and affection, but especially that of women. He is so needy that if he doesn’t get it, he fears he will die. Instead of experiencing his neediness and desperation directly, he compensates by hating women.

Congratulations! You were right. He really is a disgusting needy prick.

Social Comparison and Victimhood

Social comparison is a way of defending the self from denigration by comparing themselves to those who are worse off. It is the old, I may be poor, but at least I’m not black! defense that many a white racist has used to help themselves feel better about their situation. The Ol’ Pussy Grabber is using it when he calls people losers and suckers. Since his inner core is that of being completely undeserving, his only way of coping is by comparing himself to others who are even less deserving, losers and suckers. How fucked up is that?

It is close to victimhood. Playing the victim is the practice of pretending to be the target of the scorn of others. We saw this when he was accusing Guthrie and the media in general of always asking the white supremacy question when they don’t ask Biden and he’s answered it so many times before. He is elevating himself by pushing the questioner down similar to social comparison. I’m so good and pure and innocent and you just keep coming for me making unjust and unfair accusations.

There you have it, y’all, just a small sampling of the ways that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber defends his core of self-loathing and maintains his bloated facade of perfection. If he weren’t such a sadistic bastard literally killing and maiming people with his actions, I might could feel sorry for him. But, when you come from the wealth and privilege that he came from and you didn’t seek treatment for your mental illnesses, it is difficult to feel anything but scorn.

I’d love to hear from y’all about defense mechanism and coping mechanisms that you think the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is using or examples of one of them that you’ve seen him use. The better we understand all of this, the better we can cope with and resist his gaslighting.

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9 replies »

  1. I’m sure you know the story about the frog and the scorpion with the punch line, “I can’t help it. It’s my nature.” Well, it is in the coping mechanisms that we find the core of Trump’s gaslighting. He can’t help it. It is not a strategy or even a tactic, but his coping mechanisms in their constant operation. In a sense, he is gaslighting others by first gaslighting himself in the chaos of bouncing from one CM to another as the demons of potential and actual humiliation chase him, and the shadows of worse lurk under the bed and in the dark at the back of the closet. If he were not so dangerous, one could pity a terrified little boy in a man’s body.

    BTW, here’s a song I ran across by a band I used to know well in California: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOo1nQo2KYc
    I think you’ll enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

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