Objectification: making dehumanization okay.

antisocial_personality

In Trump’s post-PC America, it’s become okay to dehumanize people or groups of people you don’t like. Then they justify it by calling it “straight talk” or “honesty,” which of course it is anything but.

Dehumanization means objectifying a person or group in such a way that it becomes okay to treat them as second class citizens or even resort to abuse or torture.

“Gay people are all abominations.”

“Jews are vermin.”

“Women are all stupid c__ts.”

The trick is to make the target less than human.  Make them an object and it’s okay to do whatever you want with them.

It works on an individual level too, of course.  Narcissists and sociopaths dehumanize their victims all the time, which has a way of making them “feel better” about the abuse they proceed to dish out.  Serial killers and rapists use it; so do abusive parents and spouses.

“You’re a fat pig.”

“You’re a disgusting waste of air.”

“You’re a nothing.”

In David Pelzer’s autobiography, A Child Called It, the harrowing story of a boy who was scapegoated by his narcissistic, alcoholic mother until the age of 13 when a sympathetic teacher finally reported the abuse to authorities and he was removed from the home.   Pelzer describes how his mother went so far as to referring to him as an “it” before meting out her horrific “punishments” and abuse.    Making him eat off the floor with the dogs and not recognizing his humanness (by making him a thing, an “it”) was how she was able to justify the horrible things she did to him.

In the larger sphere, hate groups use dehumanization to “feel better” about abusing, ostracizing, torturing, or sometimes even killing members of the groups they target.     The Nazis dehumanized the Jews and others they deemed “unfit” in order to justify their killings and other atrocities. KKK members dehumanize their black victims in a similar manner.  This is how they are able to justify carrying out the crimes they commit.  Dehumanization is also used during wartime, and may in some cases be a necessary evil in order for a combat soldier to psychologically process the massive guilt over having to kill another human being, though I don’t think it ever justifies atrocities done to women and children, or innocent civilians.

We see it more than ever now, since we have a president who regularly dehumanizes and makes negative generalizations against those he doesn’t like, especially at his rallies.   His hostile rhetoric riles up his supporters, who then feel justified to mete out verbal abuse and even violence at Muslims, liberals, reporters, gay people, peaceful protesters, or whatever.

Dehumanization isn’t confined to the right though.  I’ve seen it on the left too.    Both sides are using objectification and dehumanization to justify abusive behavior toward those they disagree with.    It’s a national disease, and it’s contagious.  We are not living in normal times.

I want to share this story a friend of mine told me about a man she met through a dating site.   He sounds like a sociopath to me, but I’m also pretty sure he’s been indoctrinated by his “hero” that this sort of toxic rhetoric is okay.

This new man and I had met on a dating site, and we spent quite a while on the phone getting to know one another, before we met at a fancy French restaurant.

I overlooked one or two overly crude flirtatious comments, as I have a weakness for outgoing, A- type personality men, and we had tasted a lot of wine.

But somehow, at a bar, the subject came around to Trump and Muslims. I was saying that I didn’t like that Trump said we should target their women and children, because they target ours. I could understand that during war, some innocents will be killed – say if a terrorist purposely housed them in his compound, but terrorism doesn’t justify intentional revenge terrorism.

He said, “We should target them, because they’re all cockroaches. Muslims are all coakroaches, and criminal invaders.”

He then went on to call all Mexican illegal immigrants criminal invaders and human coakroaches as well, who by nature of their race, “like blacks”, were disproportionately “more criminal”.  When I compared his remarks to Hitler calling the Jews coakroaches, and said it was racist and fascist to dehumanize whole classes of people, his voice got louder and louder against me, and no one at the bar verbally came to my aid.  He called me an emotional liberal and mocked me, “Wah, wah, wah” as if I was crying while getting up to “walk me to my car.”

Gone was the charming man who had induced me to go out with him, and I had to follow behind him to find my car, while he mocked loudly passers-by for “being fat” and “farting” in his face.  When we were alone in the parking lot, I had had enough and my temper and voice rose in an attempt to stop him from talking over me.  He had said I hadn’t experienced trauma like his because I had never been shot.   I said, “I may not have been shot at, but my own mother attacked me when I was only five years old, and I can tell you one thing:  I would never dehumanize all of humanity by calling the mentally ill, the handicapped, or any human race ‘coakroaches'”.

He said he would have slit my mother’s throat.  I got in my car and got out of there as fast as I could, and reported the incident to the dating site.

This is what we’re up against.  Sociopaths like this man now feel perfectly justified to amp up their abuse and hatred, because of the political times we are living in.

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How DARVO could prove which of us is telling the truth (reblog)

darvo

This is a good article I reblogged from Nyssa’s Hobbit Hole.  I think this information about determining accountability is not only useful on a personal level for those of us who have had to deal with narcissists, but as a useful way to decipher who are the real liars and truth-tellers in the current political mess we’re in.   Narcissists and sociopaths use all kinds of tactics such as gaslighting, smear campaigns, and playing the victim while making the real victim the “enemy.”    Of course, in our current political situation, both sides accuse the other of the exact same things, so it can be hard to determine who are the real victims and perpetrators.    Personally I think a quick determination of who are the real liars and truth-tellers can be made by observing who protesteth too much and which side acts more aggressive.    This can also be applied to dealing with people on a personal level and is very effective if you’re paying attention.

I have left Nyssa’s links in place.  Her ongoing tale about narcissistic abuse by two former close friends who sunk to new lows by stalking her blog is riveting and educational.

How DARVO Could Prove Which of Us is Telling the Truth

By Nyssa McCanmore, Nyssa’s Hobbit Hole

DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior.

DARVO stands for “Deny,, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim into an alleged offender.

This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility or even blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.  –Jennifer J. Freyd, What is DARVO?

While re-reading this article on Shrink4Men, I came upon a section which hit me as proof to my readers (who can read Tracy and Richard‘s bizarre, intimidating and remorseless e-mail to me in the “Now I’m Being Stalked” post, and how they’ve been trying to stalk and intimidate me online and off for the past few weeks) of which of us is telling the truth:

Of course, not everyone who denies wrong doing is engaging in DARVO. Many partners and exes of abusive women are accused of things they didn’t do or of things that never happened.

Naturally, when this happens, you deny the accusation and perhaps feel a little (or a lot) bewildered. How do you know if an individual’s denial is the truth or an instance of DARVO? Freyd (1997, pp. 23-24) proposes:

“It is important to distinguish types of denial, for an innocent person will probably deny a false accusation. Thus denial is not evidence of guilt. However, I propose that a certain kind of indignant self-righteousness, and overly stated denial, may in fact relate to guilt.

I hypothesize that if an accusation is true, and the accused person is abusive, the denial is more indignant, self-righteous and manipulative, as compared with denial in other cases.

Similarly, I have observed that actual abusers threaten, bully and make a nightmare for anyone who holds them accountable or asks them to change their abusive behavior.

This attack, intended to chill and terrify, typically includes threats of lawsuits, overt and covert attacks, on the whistle-blower’s credibility and so on.

The attack will often take the form of focusing on ridiculing the person who attempts to hold the offender accountable. The attack will also likely focus on ad hominem instead of intellectual/evidential issues.

Finally, I propose that the offender rapidly creates the impression that the abuser is the wronged one, while the victim or concerned observer is the offender. Figure and ground are completely reversed. The more the offender is held accountable, the more wronged the offender claims to be.”

Please click on this link to read the full article.

Whatever happened to the Golden Rule?

golden_rule

I remember as a child, always hearing the Golden Rule–“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” It’s a staple of kindergarten life, and it’s a good lesson in how we should treat others. It teaches children the concept of empathy. It would be a much nicer world if more adults followed it.

Some religious people are so quick to judge others and they pull out Bible quotes to justify giving those they disagree with a hard time. This leads to discord and disharmony and walls of hate between individuals. In the larger world, the same attitude leads to wars and killing. Many narcissists hide behind a cloak of piety. It’s possible to find quotes in the Bible to justify abusive behavior and narcs do it all the time (I am not referring to any specific individuals here, it’s just something I’ve noticed a lot). Do they forget the Golden Rule is itself from the Bible?*

Matthew 7:12
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do
to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Luke 6:31:
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

Galatians 5:14
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Leviticus 19:18
Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:34
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

* King James Version.

When your boundaries are being violated.

boundaries

One of the most pernicious things our narcissists do is violate our boundaries. This can take a number of forms, ranging from physical violations (such as rummaging through your things or physically attacking you) to more subtle mental or emotional violations.

So I’ve devised a checklist of some of the ways narcissists violate our boundaries. They do this to give us less power or make us feel diminished. Don’t allow it. If you see any of these behaviors from your narcissist, if you can’t cut contact with them, be very firm and tell them you will not tolerate it. Do not back down or make excuses. You have every right to protect your boundaries. Your reasons why are really none of their business.

Physical boundary violations:

1. Physical abuse — hitting, pushing, punching, getting “in your face,” cornering you.

2. Forcing you to have sex when you do not want to.

3. Rummaging or going through your personal possessions.

4. Stealing from you. A lock box (these can be cheaply purchased form stores like Walmart) is a good idea. Get one with a combination, not a key.

5. Touching you or sitting/standing too close during conversation, when this is not desired by you.

6. Some somatic narcissists can violate your boundaries by dressing immodestly in front of you. If you object to your narcissist sitting around in his threadbare boxers (or nothing at all), tell him it makes you uncomfortable and that you won’t tolerate it.

7. Making a lot of noise, talking loud, playing loud music, slamming things around to get your attention (my ex was infamous for all these things, especially the loud music).

8. Excessive use of language you disapprove of.

9. Staring at you in a predatory way.

10. Making unreasonable demands (spending money on them, doing favors, running errands for them that go beyond what’s reasonable).

internal_boundaries
Click to make larger.

Emotional/Mental boundary violations:

1. Telling you how you feel or accusing you of feeling or thinking something you do not. Taking your inventory.

2. Gaslighting and triangulating against you.

3. Telling you you have no right to feel the way you do, that it’s wrong, stupid, etc.

4. Insults and namecalling.

5. Grilling you about your activities when you are not with them.

6. Spying on you; stalking you online.

7. Not allowing or making it difficult for you to see your friends, family members, etc.

8. Telling you how you should dress, look, etc.

9. Dismissing or putting down your accomplishments or interests

10. Telling you what you feel is crazy, that you are being over-sensitive, etc. (really a form of gaslighting).

11. Interrupting you or not allowing you to speak.

12. Doing other things while you are trying to talk to them, or continually changing the subject.

13. Lying to you.

14. Trying to make you do something illegal or that goes against your morals.

If your narc does any of these things, be firm and tell them you will NOT tolerate these behaviors. Do not be nice about it. Narcissists can only be handled with tough love, if you can’t disconnect. Do not back down no matter how much they object.

They will react with rage, of course–at first. Without narcissistic supply from you, they will eventually stop being mad and either sulk or leave.

Obviously, leaving or going No Contact is the best thing you can do for yourself, but in some situations this isn’t always possible, especially if there are children involved.