From hoarding toilet paper to spreading disinformation, this pandemic is riddled with narcissism. Note that not all narcissism is a narcissistic personality disorder. We all have narcissistic traits as it is a human experience. I mean, we don’t all “need” new clothes but we often buy new clothing that is on-trend, or we repaint a room to suit an aesthetic desire.
These might be considered tame doses of narcissism that are part of our survival, evolutionary speaking. We want to know that we are attractive and that our homes are considered safe and comforting.
When there is a crisis, some people who might not be as resilient will either fight, flight, freeze, or fawn in ways that are not healthy, such as fighting against science, leaving others to fend in dangerous situations without support, doing nothing or being overly loyal in spite of growing scientific evidence. This might go the other way though.
The other side of this is those that condemn those who are on the fence or are trying to make a choice that suits them without hurting others. Not every anti-vaccine person is ranting and raving. Not every anti-mask person refuses to follow policy in say, a store that requires a mask.
When we lump people into groups and label them “good or bad” we are falling into a fawning as then we see anyone who, for instance (if you are pro-vaccine) is also pro-vaccine as a “good” person and those who are not as “bad”.
Here’s where narcissism comes into play, as a trait that surfaces in an unhealthy way. We begin judging others, hold our own beliefs as the only belief, are tunnel-visioned, and begin to express hate language. We begin nit-picking and fighting.
We might create inference and twist words, which is a form of gaslighting.
We might actually tell people what to do as opposed to letting them decide on their own and we might disrespect others and push our agenda and disrespect in that way.
We might feel abusive emotions, words and behaviors are justified because we stand on the side of science or freedom, not noticing that the two are interconnected. We have freedom because of science, and we can honor science because of freedom. They are not mutually exclusive.
If we can’t see that, we might be digging into some traumatic narcissistic traits to cope with the overwhelming feeling of a loss of control that is the pandemic, not the science to stop the pandemic.
There’s more I could say but it would look political and that is not the purpose of this post – this was meant to give you food for thought and some ideas to springboard where you or your loved ones stand, and how to create unity vs divide. Divides tend to create problems so regardless of where you stand on this topic, finding common ground is ultimately the only way to solve the problem(s) associated with the pandemic.
If nothing else, I hope you can see the “other side” more clearly, and be a little more compassionate as these are people you normally love and respect, if they are close to home.