Of Narcissism, Violent Tendencies And Death Threats
Let me sit down in my armchair and attempt some psychology.
I used to be in a relationship with a clinical narcissist. He was never diagnosed but please understand; it’s not like he fit a few of the standard narc behaviors. It is so much more like the psychiatric world came to our house, observed him, made a list of his behaviors and then slapped a “This Is What A Narc looks Like,” label on it. He exhibited all of the behaviors in that link. All of them. It was super fun, let me tell you, except, you know, not even a little bit fun.
What is the point of this information? The point is, this Witch knows a narc when she sees one, which leads me to the subject I’m really writing about.
Chris Brown showed his ass again, which can’t be a huge surprise to anyone.
I’m not going to re-litigate his original crime or the bullshit he’s pulled since then. I’m not even going to give a run down of his latest idiocy. You can read it for yourself here.
If your initial reaction isn’t some variation of “what a fuckwit,” you are wrong. Stop reading right now. Look at your life, Look at you choices. Are you back? Good.
There is an argument to be made that @JennyJohnsonHi5 started it, thereby justifying Mr. Brown’s response. It’s not a good argument and if you make it I will rhetorically destroy you but it could be made, you know, if you really want to.
Here’s the thing, I think Ms. Johnson is probably a big girl who can take care of herself so, even though she was mostly in the right and Mr. Brown was totally in the wrong, she doesn’t really need me to defend her. Given that she is significantly wittier than I am, I’m pretty sure she’s got her own back on this one. Further, people who pick fights with the famous either understand the concept of consequences or they learn that concept quickly.
The problem, as I see it, isn’t that he got into a Twitter slap fight with someone. She baited him. Was he stupid to take that bait? Sure, but she did bait the hell out of him and has been doing so for a while. The problem is really that he is not able to engage with a woman in any way without showing his fundamental misogyny, a trait which is also common to male narcs. Mr. Brown appears to have no mechanism wherein he can express dislike or disagreement with a female without resorting to a sexist diatribe. There are no excuses to be found for that sad lack.
There are also three extremely interesting things about this situation that are getting buried under the noise of opinion. Yes, I know that this blog is just another opportunity for someone to air their own opinion but if you haven’t figured out by now that I am smart and generally know what I’m talking about I suggest you go back and reread from the beginning. Also, you’re here and reading so either admit, at least to yourself, that you care a touch about my particular opinion or click away.
Interesting Thing, The First:
Chris Brown looks to be a raging narcissist. The longer list above requires knowledge of his private life in order to be truly determinative but the basic list?
- Preoccupation with hiding real or perceived flaws. (OMG I can’t believe you are criticizing me for that horrible thing I did!)
- Overestimation of importance, achievements, talents and skills (Do we need examples? I thought not.)
- Maladaptive attention seeking behavior (Let me count the ways.)
- Inability to empathize with others (The problem, as he sees it, is not that he beat his girlfriend but that he is being held responsible for beating his girlfriend.)
- Excessive anger and shame in response to criticism often resulting in rage. (I have no more witty. Just click.)
- (I’m adding this one from experience.) Equates apology with atonement and uses apology as a gaslighting tool. (I apologized! Why can’t you just let it go?)
All of them.
Look, I’m not mocking the guy. OK, yes I am because I honestly can’t help it, but he does appear to be genuinely mentally unstable. That said, he is still an adult and responsible for his behavior. What saddens me is that he is clearly surrounded by people who not only fail to hold him responsible but encourage said behavior for their own ends.
Interesting Thing, The Second
Watching people be emotionally manipulated. All those people defending Mr. Brown? They are acting as his emotional supply. In emulating and excusing his behavior they are not only serving to normalize the sexism and violent threats, they are assuring Mr. Brown that he is not responsible. They are feeding the beat of “it’s not my fault,” in Mr. Brown and in others. Moreover, they shield him from consequences. When he returns to Twitter (which he is totally going to do, don’t kid yourself) he will point to his defenders as evidence that he is blameless, possibly mention the size of the number of his list of followers and return to the exact same behavior as before. He will also allow himself to be convinced that Ms. Johnson “asked for it,” and he is the victim. This is the danger of narcs. In feeding from others they justify the basest behavior in the people they contact. Which leads to…
Interesting Thing, The Third
How narcissism spreads, not only feeding itself but growing twisted, corrupt versions of itself in others. If you can justify rape threats from someone else you can justify death threats from yourself.
Most people incorrectly equate narcissism with egotism. this is not the case. They are in fact, the opposite of each other. Narcs don’t have enough ego to support their psyche, which is why they require narcissistic supply. If Mr. Brown were actually confident or secure in himself, he would shut up. He isn’t, so he can’t. What he can and will do is get worse and worse while he uses others and builds up their tolerance for what is, frankly, gutless, pathetic behavior out of someone who, at 23 is supposed to be a grown up human.