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Are The Unvaxxed Actually Narcissistic?
There is a belief circulating that anyone who refuses to wear a mask, get vaccinated, or comply with lockdown regulations is narcissistic, self-centred, and psychopathic. According to this belief, they are essentially people that disregard the needs of others and do not consider the impact of their actions.
Those who are following all the suggested health measures often say they are doing so to keep themselves, their families, and society as a whole safe.
That being said, as a journalist when I speak to those not following the health measures, they also say it is to keep themselves and their families safe, and to stand up for the society as a whole.
Neither of these thought processes lean towards self-centred narcissistic behaviours. No matter where you stand on this issue, I ask you to suspend the idea that you are right, and just recognize that people on either side truly think that they are doing what is best, based on their current perspective.
The reason why empathizing with either side is important is because it will help reconnect the division, heal broken relationships and encourage the discovery of truth. Without empathy and the ability to see another perspective we stay broken as a society.
One perspective is that COVID is a dangerous illness and the measures implemented by the government and healthcare officials are the best way to protect the well-being of others.
The other perspective is that COVID is a dangerous illness for some people, the vulnerable should be protected, and that the measures implemented by the government have caused more long term health problems than they have helped the well being of others.
Aside from what media has tried to push as a narrative, the only thing these two groups don't agree on is that COVID isn't dangerous to everyone, and these measures have done a ton of collateral damage.
Now, from this point of chosen neutrality and empathy for both perspectives, let us dive into the signs and symptoms of narcissistic behaviours.
Signs and Symptoms of Narcissistic Behaviour:
A need for validation from others and a reliance on feedback from your environment to know you're right.
Being unwilling or unable to empathize with the needs, wants and feelings of others.
Thinking you're superior to others and you may become rude or abusive when they don't treat you how you wish.
Wanting others to obey you and do what you want them to.
Looking at these signs, I am sure no matter what "side" you fall on you can recognize you know someone on the “other side” that acts like this. If you are honest, you'll be able to find someone on “your side” that acts like this as well. And if you are really honest you might be able to explore whether you've embodied some of these traits at times yourself.
So if this is happening on either “side” this cancels out the idea that it is a "sides" issue. It seems that people that act like this come from all sides, beliefs, and walks of life.
The foundation to create a breeding ground for narcissistic behaviour is paranoia, distrust of others, and high levels of fear. Creating an 'us vs. them' environment helps eliminate empathy and connection - two important antidotes to a narcissistic society.
Narcissists benefit from those around them being divided and unable to truly connect. It gives them the upper hand of control, because no one is sharing "notes" and able to catch on to the narcissistic abuse taking place.
Signs of narcissistic abuse:
You feel you're walking on eggshells.
Fear around saying what you think or feel.
Made to feel mistaken, wrong or paranoid.
Made to feel like if you question the actions of the abuser you don't care about them.
Dr. Les Carter, a narcissism expert, talks about how the one thing narcissists most demand is your deference. They need you to submit to their power in order to feel good about themselves. This is rooted in deep self-esteem issues that are covered by a need to control others.
“When you get to the place that you don't defer they will discard you, they will defame you, they will scold you, they will criticize you. You will be the object of their rage. You'll be assigned the role as the disruptor or you'll be called a loser. Or you will be the object of their smear campaign or they punish you. That is they way they operate and that is their way of saying that you're supposed to defer to me."
Sound familiar? Right now, those not deferring their power to the government, which has a literal history of disregarding human life for profits and power, are the “trouble child.”
So are the all the unvaxxed narcissistic? Or have some done their research and are just not willing to listen and submit to authoritarian behaviour? (the actual narcissists)
I'm not suggesting we KNOW the answer for sure, I'm merely asking us to think about it differently than we've been told to think about it.
The cure of narcissistic behaviour is boundaries, increasing mindfulness, self-reflection, forgiveness, connection, and letting go of controlling the action of others. While fear, distrust, secretiveness, controlling the actions of others, defensiveness are all fuel to fire up narcissistic behaviours.
Ask yourself what is being reflected by the leadership in the world right now?
Perhaps you are thinking “well the science says that these regulations need to happen to keep people alive, and you are ignorant for not just listening.”
Maybe some science does say that. But what about the science that shows the opposite? Why are we not hearing about it? If those creating public policies are narcissistic, or in a system built by narcissists, please remember that these kinds of people are very skilled at manipulation.
If the foundation of our society is built on unhealthy behaviours, how can you trust the information that is being shared as the best outcome for well-being?
Finally, looking at the above psychological science around the signs and symptoms of narcissistic behaviours, which of the scenarios below embodies more narcissistic thinking?
Expecting others to take an experimental medical intervention and if they don't:
Telling them they're crazy and that they don't care about you.
Believing you are superior in your intelligence and anyone who disagrees is an idiot.
Wanting people to obey government mandates that validate your belief system even though they weren't voted on, because if they don't you're going to die from a virus with a 99.7 survivability rate?
And then if anyone pushes back on this or questions this thought process you are allowed to be justifiably rude to them and call them names and disregard them?
Wanting everyone to make the choices that are right for them and their family, while protecting the vulnerable as best we can, including with available treatment.