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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You are just an object to a narcissist.

objectification

I saw this post in the NPD forum at Psychforums. The discussion was about narcissists who seem to care more about animals than people. “StupidPig,” a poster with NPD wrote an interesting post, which I think is a great explanation of what “love” means to a narcissist. In a nutshell: it’s not love. It’s not even really attachment. Everything is an object to them. A narcissist can be as “attached” to an object or an animal as a person, sometimes more so. It all depends whatever is giving the narcissist more pleasure/supply at a given time and whatever requires less maintenance or emotional input from them. The “love object” can change from one day to the next. People and animals are just objects to a narcissist.

I did not edit StupidPig’s post or correct his spelling errors.

http://www.psychforums.com/narcissistic-personality/topic47260-10.html

I am a narcissist with NPD, and I used to like to “own” animals as a kid. However, I never liked to “care” for them.

Someone with NPD cares only for his image, or what the books call the “Glorified Self Image”. Anything else other than his Glorified Self Image is considered an object to him (be it his mother, his children, his spouce, his boss, his car, his own body, or his pet snake or whatever) , and the value of such object will be defined only on basis of how much narcissistic supply it would give him. I.e. how much it enhances his Glorified Self Image.
So, if owning a dog (or a car or a pretty girlfriend) would make me look better, then I would enjoy it, but I would never do any effort to maintain the car, walk the dog, or be nice to the girlfriend, because, as someone with NPD, I have an exagerrated sense of entitlement. this means that I strongly belive that I “deserve” to have the objects that make me look good, and I do not need to do any effort to “keep” those objects.

A pet is no different from a spouce or a car or a friend or a watch or a parent to a Narc. It is just an object that gains value when it makes him look better or feel superior and loses value immidiatly if it doesn’t give him such supply. Based on this, if your car does a 18/20 job in making you look better and feel superior, while your dog does a 10/20 at that job, and your spouce or son does a 5/20, then you would love your care more than your dog and your dog more than your family. But, if on the next day your son wins the world championship in swiming and tells the world on TV that you, his father, is the reason behind this victory, you would shift into loving your son more than your dog and your car, and if three days latter your son makes a fight with you because he wants the car, and the car gets dented in an accident, you will love your dog more than your car and your son, and so on.

In all cases, the narc will never do much to maintain those “objects” and will never really hold any of them dear to his heart because they are all just objects to him.

Only in the light of this should one talk a comparitive view at the different objects in a narc ‘s life and their different merrits and drawbacks. using myself as an example, the advantages and dissadvantages go as follows:

– Pet-objects: They are submissive ( do not need much effort to do as told) and not judgemental (and so do not pose a threat to the Narc’s ego), but they do have several drawbacks, the most important of which is that they need feeding, cleaning, medical care, etc. Narcs hate objects that require lots of maintenance.
Another drawback concerning pet-objects is that they sometimes require “feelings” from you. Not as much as human-objects do of course, but it is still a nagging requirement.

– Human-objects: They can offer much more supply than a pet-object ( e.g. a woman-object who adores you gives more types and quantities of narcissistic supply than a dog) but the drawbacks are that human-objetcs require much more maintenance than other objects and are apt to judge you (and hence are a threat to the ego, or the glorified self image) and they need scary amounts of feelings in order to function properly and, worst of all, they might have “opinions” about your actions and would try to aplly measures that restrict your freedom. They are great objects but they come with a great price..in most cases, this makes them not worth the Narc’s effort(in his twisted opinion of course).

-Inanimate objects (like watches, cars, computers, etc) : They do what they are expected to do, they are never judgemental, and they do not require any emotional input to function properly and they hardly limit your freedom in anyway.

Give me robots at work, at home and in bed and I’ll be a very happy narcissist! ( oh, but please make them cheap, efficient, self maintaining and guranteed for life.)

But, once again, you are never really attached to any of those “things”. You can, as a narc, always kick your dog away for a better looking and more submissive dog, and never regret it. You will never feel any remorse for having sex a billion times outside your marriage, and you will never remember how your old battered car which served you for 10 years looked like after the first week of driving your new BMW around.
A narc may have a preference for one of those posessions over the other for one day (cat over son, girlfriend over dog), but don’t let that fool you, because it is only ephemeral and can very easily change on the next day.