Please Don’t Feed the Narcissist

Even as young children, we are taught that when we go into bear country that we should be very careful not to feed the bears.

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After all, feeding bears is dangerous for humans and can also harm bears. It is a simple rule, although unfortunately many people disobey the rule in order to get pictures of bears. Of course, they do so at great risk to themselves.

During the presidential election, I urged my fellow Americans to Ignore the NarcissistUnfortunately, my advice was not heeded, and we now have a Narcissist in Chief as our President. However, how we deal with a leader who feeds on attention is still a matter of grave concern. Clearly, now that he is President, we can no longer ignore him. But, we can take care not to feed his insatiable narcissism.

The media, politicians of all stripes and advocates seem unable to resist giving the Narcissist in Chief all the attention he craves. It is worth remembering that narcissists crave all attention that is focused on them, regardless of whether it is positive or negative, so even those who poke fun at his tweets or other inanities are actually feeding his narcissism when they do so publicly.

This hit a new peak with the viral attention that his idiotic covfefe tweet received earlier this week. Sure, the tweet was idiotic and no leader of any nation should tweet idiotic nonsense as our Narcissist in Chief does on an all too regular basis. But, the better tactic would have been to privately notice how idiotic it was and then publicly take action against any one or more of the horrific policies which he and his administration are proposing.

Another example is the regular observation and critique that the Narcissist in Chief has failed to fulfill his promises and has left hundreds of positions in government open. From any reasonable opponent of this administration, this is not actually a critique. It should be noticed, smiled about, and then ignored, because the last things those of us who are resisting this administration want is for it to fulfill its promises and have full staffing to implement horrific policies.

The Narcissist in Chief may be the world’s greatest expert in utilizing social and other mass media to feed his insatiable need for attention of any kind. The best method of resistance is to deny him the attention he craves so badly and focus advocacy efforts on electing new and better leaders. As I have done here, he does not even deserve being identified by name.

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For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.

Ignore the Narcissist

Much has been written about the rise of he who shall not be named (no, I’m not talking about Voldemort), and whether or not Republican leaders should support him. It really should not be complicated. Anyone who cannot call him what he is–a pathologically lying narcissist that espouses fascist, racist and sexist policies, is simply a coward, regardless of political stripe.

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Despite his obvious downsides, he has secured the Republican Presidential nomination and his popularity amongst his fans, who have difficulty discerning reality TV from reality, keeps growing. What needs to be understood is that he is the ultimate narcissist. The best thing we can do to deflate the narcissist is ignore him (hence, my refusal to include his name in this post).

I understand that there are those in the media who may find this impossible to do. After all, how can the media fail to cover the Republican nominee? While that is certainly a challenge, commercial media does not need to extend the broad coverage it freely grants him and social media feeds his ego by spreading his vile hate every time a story about him is shared (no matter how negative).

The best antidote for a narcissist is to ignore him.

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It is pretty clear that he has a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) which is defined as:

a personality disorder, characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. People with the disorder often come across as a combination of arrogant, callous, and envious. They also tend to be exploitative in their interpersonal relationships and can be excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. Those with NPD generally have poor insight into their condition and may not acknowledge that their behavior causes problems for others or for themselves.

The challenge we face is that periodically criticizing or ignoring a narcissist will not succeed. It must be consistent. If we truly want to eliminate this negative influence from our lives, we must do our best to completely ignore him. The narcissist feeds on attention, whether positive or negative. We must resist the temptation to give him exactly what he wants.

What Republicans do with their gigantic narcissist is their problem. While starting a 3rd party may not help them win the presidency, it may salvage the morality of Republicans who rightfully loathe their presumptive nominee. It will allow them to start over after their nominee loses and moves on to his next reality TV show or failed business venture.

But, for the rest of us, let us pledge to ignore the narcissist and focus on the opportunity his destruction of the Republican party presents us. Just as Johnson’s landslide victory over Goldwater led to momentous civil rights legislation, we should be planning for the next round of major civil rights legislation that our next President and Congress will pass. Perhaps our nation will finally be ready to pass the long moribund Equal Rights Amendment. After all, now that we live in a nation that has marriage equality, why not live in a nation that enshrines equal rights for all in its Constitution?

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For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.