It’s the malignant narcissism

Nancy LeTourneau explains why many journalists were suckered into thinking Trump had changed simply because he managed to pretend to be serious for a few minutes on Tuesday.

It is infuriating to watch political reporters get sucked into the nonsense delivered by this president over and over again. But David Roberts recently described why that happens.

Ask someone who’s been in an abusive relationship with a malignant narcissist. One reason they’re able to maintain appearances/jobs/etc. is that they are relatively rare & unusual & the normal people around them simply can’t absorb that they are what they are…They try again and again, thinking there must be normal human intentions & emotions in there somewhere. It’s just remarkable how far someone w/out shame or conscience can get by exploiting this cognitive/emotional blindspot.

I do it myself. I can’t help continuing to think – despite knowing better – that if someone sat him down and explained to him (there would have to be a gag in his mouth) what an evil monstrosity he is, he would get it. That’s ludicrous, but it seems to be deeply wedged into my thinking process.

When Roberts writes about how we keep trying to see normal human intentions and emotions in someone who has never exhibited them before, it is because projection isn’t merely a matter of assuming that others are capable of our worst instincts. In general, we tend to project all of our responses onto others in an attempt to understand their actions. Since most of us aren’t malignant narcissists, it is difficult for us to grasp the levels of depravity exhibited by those who are.

It is. I can’t seem to do it despite knowing it. I know it and I don’t know it. If I really knew it, knew it all the way down, I would just ignore him. I can’t just ignore him, so clearly I don’t know it in that way. I want him to realize what a shit he is, and I guess wanting that makes it impossible for me to internalize the awareness that he never will because he’s not made that way.

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