Everyone knows by now how irrational and unpredictable Trump is. But seeing the blatant denial and diversion tactics of Kellyanne Conway when she referred to Spicer’s outrageous lies as “alternative facts”, it’s extremely disconcerting. It’s as if the American people have entered a toxic relationship with an emotionally abusive narcissist, and if you aren’t vigilant about the effects of constant gaslighting and abuse has on the collective psyche, this presidency may very well damage America beyond repair. Let it be clear: Trump’s sole aim is the systematic dismantling of the people’s self-agency and empowerment.
Many are holding on to the naïve hope that his antics in the past 2 years are just a phase, and that in the wake of the biggest cause of polarity in America somehow peace and prosperity will sprout. This denial may keep the horror of a dystopian reality in the realm of fiction and movies, but it also weakens the very power Trump et al are gunning for: self-agency.
As someone who’s dealt with narcissists , I know how difficult it is to deal with someone who feels justified in hurting you. Knowing that convincing and giving Trump chances is futile is actually a helpful thing, because then effort isn’t squandered. Below I’ll outline general tactics¹ used by Trump and his goons. Hopefully it can steer the conversation away from Trump, and starve him off emotional energy because he is an emotional vampire. Twitter is his fix.
*Gaslighting: The practice of brainwashing or convincing a mentally healthy individual that they are going insane or that their understanding of reality is mistaken or false. The term “Gaslighting” is based on the 1944 MGM movie “Gaslight”.
* Diversion/evasion : Shifting focus elsewhere when asked
*Invalidation: The creation or promotion of an environment which encourages an individual to believe that their thoughts, beliefs, values or physical presence are inferior, flawed, problematic or worthless.
*Proxy recruitment: A way of controlling or abusing another person by manipulating other people into unwittingly backing “doing the dirty work”
*Circular Conversations – Arguments which go on almost endlessly, repeating the same patterns with no resolution.
*Scapegoating – Singling out one child, employee or member of a group of peers for unmerited negative treatment or blame.
*Triangulation : Gaining an advantage over perceived rivals by manipulating them into conflicts with each other.
*Moments of clarity: Spontaneous periods when a person with a Personality Disorder becomes more objective and tries to make amends.
*Magical Thinking – Looking for supernatural connections between external events and one’s own thoughts, words and actions.
¹ Curated from Out of the Fog