it’s interesting. i do think that looking at the mannerisms of gaslighting, manipulations, etc. — can be a valuable tool for hindsight. but looking for all the toxic traits in another, because you are unhappy with them — can be very problematic and ultimately feed paranoia.
while there are many individuals that plot and scheme, a large many are just trying to figure things out, same as you. and in figuring things out, perhaps copying some attitudes or reactions they’ve seen in a favorite movie, for instance — and then you are translating that as deliberate aggression and manipulation, a plotting and undermining where little or none may exist. the problem is then in the person who sees themselves as a victim, becomes more afraid and hyper-aware of possible manipulations. analogy to that would be a jumpy cat. and if others are in fact, manipulating — the mapping of every point only places you in a greater state of predictive behavior: you are predictively fearful.
so i find it becomes this round-robin of accusations, and truth is, nobody is perfect. there IS such a thing as lack of empathy, or those who are more self-centered. but a doctor performing surgery, cannot allow themselves to mentally “hurt” for the patient, so is that a wrong thing? and so the problem exists, when attempting to apply absolutes to human feelings and behavior. there are so many exceptions to the rules, that there needs to be a question made, of whether rules are appropriate.
the thing i am noting, is that every few years we have a new demonized mental “type” — that is then described in detail according to someone’s standard of people they hate.
and i have said this before — “mental illness” is just a very complicated way of saying you don’t like somebody. and i would propose, that the “actual” problem, lies in the inability to simply say, “i don’t like you.” or “i don’t like them.” and not feel the NEED TO JUSTIFY THE REASONING FOR DISLIKE.
but aside from that, i feel that labeling others and considering this or that action part of the narcissist umbrella, and therefore you are justified in disliking them and their actions — not only does that feed fear and paranoia, it feeds isolation. “all are queer but thee and me, and even thee is a little queer at times.” and that then feeds the wish to see oneself as ‘perfect’ and the committed ideal. it is a very real symptom of the isolationist approach to life. believe me, i’ve studied that extensively.
and fact is — you feel much better inside, when can just say that people are pretty much all good, and all are trying. the sweeping generalizations — and the generalization that manipulators are evil — well, i don’t know how i’m supposed to look at that. when every poet, IS a manipulator. that is the point………
i know i can fit under that toxic description (from an article on 20 ways to identify a narcissist). the popularity of claiming someone is a narcissist, has me a little ticked off that i need to learn how to spell that, now. ugh! but i don’t really mind that the herd has moved away from yelling at someone they’re bipolar, to screaming at someone that they are a narcissist. but at some point, would be really nice if folk would practice saying “i don’t like you.” and remember that they have that choice. you HAVE the choice to not like someone, with NO justification. ok? alright? that does not need justification. or classification.
fact is, i have felt better when deciding most people are good and just trying. it is a relief to tear down that wall, and kind of let the demonization of others go. you are always going to be able to find something. this is fact. always always always.
i have investigated the isolationist tendency to demonize others and mark certain actions as inherent. it comes down to classification and generalization. is actually a function of sociology, and we could probably blame national geographic magazine for this whole trend. but i’ve felt better, when i classify all as part of a changing, volatile solution. in other words, you find somewhere inside yourself, to create a largest common denominator for every single person. and then label it “not perfect, humans, the ones i love.”
setting a subset APART from yourself can feel good for awhile. it can even seem to reinforce your own “good” behaviors. or your “good” state of being — white, black, brown skin; or formally educated; or tall or short; or female or male. once you create a subset APART — then there is no longer ANY lowest common denominator set.
that’s the thing. and the other thing …….. is that humans will often and predominately react in the way that is expected. if you believe someone is crazy, then your actions TOWARD them, will engender the reactions FROM them, that reinforce your belief that they are crazy. and then at that point, everyone needs to be asking, “who is manipulating who?”
emotional abuse is a real thing, but the important thing to look at is the ways you yourself fell into that — not the signs of toxic people or abusers. because you will be labeling all day, afraid of your own shadow. and the only one you ultimately can change, is yourself. you can banish the narcissist, determining some “types” are toxic. but by the 10th or so description of the “bad people” — i’m going, come on, now! give me a break. it’s too much. and the problem in BEGINNING that, is the process just grows and grows to include more and more infractions. like the ten commandments on steroids. and i don’t know how to support something like that, without going , well … that’s crazy too.
the thing about the wide world, and beauty, and surprises. it happens when fear does not take over to make exact things–expected things–happen. and part of that is putting up with “toxic” people … or if you decide you don’t like someone, just don’t like them. you don’t need a reason. are allowed to like some and not like others. if it’s an individual, rather than a group … then think how many you’ve saved from unfair classification.
and it comes down to that. even the classification of organisms in biology. i’m not sure anybody addressed the philosophical impact before they started doing that. anyway … no, there are not “toxic” people. only bad ways of interacting with each other. at some level, there is monkey see, monkey do. and at another level, thought is given to the doing. sometimes it’s a process.
look how many bipolar people appeared, once you started looking for them! lol … gotta love how this is all about math. teaching sets and subsets. and the one goal, of classifying OURSELVES AS WORTHY …………lol, well — when it comes to saints and sinners, i have always made clear that i would gladly party with any sinners … and never worship saints. life is too short. and much too short to take all the “signs of narcissism ” seriously. i do hope this fad goes away before i have to learn how to spell that word indefinitely.
beyond that, i’m not sure how to address my own proclivities to classify and determine nature. or earth, of people, of things. part of the problem, is my own tendency to rely on generalizations. and i don’t know what to do about that. i think it has something to do with degree of brain activity, but on the other hand it might be something fueled more by instinct and needs for survival. hard to say.
the thing about “hating” on something or some group of somethings — is that the closer you are as a subset TO that group of the somethings — the MORE you will hate that subset, to set it apart from yourself.
i guess that comes under quitting smoking 101. the person that is the ex-smoker will be miles more of a pain in their idealism to look at smokers as evil.
i think if we took sociology, and psychology — and mapped them in sets and subsets as functions in math, maybe some sense could be made of it. or some solutions. because listing more things wrong with people we don’t like, is going nowhere.