Gaslighting and FOG: Narcissism in the Pandemic

Sunday morning thoughts (okay not random this time, inspired from a conversation I had with a loved one recently xoxo ).

Have you had a toxic narcissist in your life? If so, you know the signs to watch for and you can spot them a mile away.

And you will stay as far as possible from that person.

Because there’s one thing you’ve learned through that painful part of your life: the only way to emotionally, mentally, and in some cases physically survive from the affronts of a toxic narcissist is to extirpate yourself entirely from their lives.

The reason I am bringing this up is because in such uncertain times of covid-19, I’m thinking that toxic narcissists are going to act out, weaponize the situation to manipulate, lie, accuse, gaslight. Don’t let them throw you off.

More specifically, observe the leaders in charge of managing and communicating covid-19 pandemic public health policies. What behaviors are you witnessing? If the leader makes you feel confused, unsure of your own capacity to understand the situation…dig further…what else are you noticing.

The article below did a great job itemizing the range of tactics the toxic narcissist will use. There are many checklists out there but this particular one really resonated with me (I wish it didn’t but I hope my experience will at least help any of you currently confused by the FOG of covid-19).

Important note: those behaviors need to be consistent day after day. We all have our low moments of self absorption: those incidental lapses of judgement do not count.

So here goes. Source of article is provided below but summary right here for your review:

Verbal abuse: includes belittling, bullying, accusing, blaming, shaming, demanding, ordering, threatening, criticizing, sarcasm, raging, opposing, undermining, interrupting, blocking, and name-calling. Consider the context, malice, and frequency of the behavior before labeling it narcissistic abuse.

Manipulation: Generally, manipulation is indirect influence on someone to behave in a way that furthers the goals of the manipulator.

Emotional blackmail: Emotional blackmail may include threats, anger, warnings, intimidation, or punishment. It’s a form of manipulation that provokes doubt in you. You feel fear, obligation, and or guilt, sometimes referred to as “FOG”

Gaslighting: Intentionally making you distrust your perceptions of reality or believe that you’re mentally incompetent.

Competition: Competing and one-upping to always be on top, sometimes through unethical means. E.g. cheating in a game.

Negative contrasting: Unnecessarily making comparisons to negatively contrast you with the narcissist or other people.

Sabotage: Disruptive interference with your endeavors or relationships for the purpose of revenge or personal advantage.

Lying: Persistent deception to avoid responsibility or to achieve the narcissist’s own ends.

Withholding: Withholding such things as money, sex, communication or affection from you.

Neglect: Ignoring the needs of a child for whom the abuser is responsible. Includes child endangerment; i.e., placing or leaving a child in a dangerous situation.

Privacy invasion: Ignoring your boundaries by looking through your things, phone, mail; denying your physical privacy or stalking or following you; ignoring privacy you’ve requested.

Character assassination or slander: Spreading malicious gossip or lies about you to other people.

Violence:This includes blocking your movement, pulling hair, throwing things, or destroying your property.

Financial abuse: Financial abuse might include controlling you through economic domination or draining your finances through extortion, theft, manipulation, or gambling, or by accruing debt in your name or selling your personal property.

Isolation: Isolating you from friends, family, or access to outside services and support through control, manipulation, verbal abuse, character assassination, or other means of abuse.

Re Imagining and re-tooling the office format: practical ideas and thoughts

Random hopeful thoughts for the post-surge-yet-no-cure-or-vaccine re-entry world (from my limited lense of working in an office).

1 – Marissa Mayer: 0 / covid19: 1

This whole trend of banning telecommuting was a fail from day one (sorry Marissa, I’m blaming you) and my hope is to see that artificial corporate diktat fade away. How about adopting hybrid models where folks can work from home a couple times a week. Trains and elevators won’t be so overloaded, there will be less co2 emissions, and people will be more productive and have a better work life balance.

2 – No more ‘martyrs’ who come to work when they are as sick as a dog

This other corporate trend of coming to work even when the person is depositing droplets and spaying aerosols everywhere, especially in an open floor plan era where you cannot hide away from said martyr, will hopefully be over.

There’s nothing noble about not staying home when you are sick!

Although I can predict the uber zealous martyrs will come to work with a mask on to elevate their martyrdom to new levels…eye roll…

3 – Speaking of the open floor plan…

I have ambivalent feelings about that one.

On one hand I like the creative environment it creates. Many great discussions have ensued from that format. Friendships have formed.

But all of us have watched those cool simulations that show that even the six foot distancing rule is archaic at best and makes up for some funny Facebook memes…

Constantly breathing Clorox wipes is not exactly sustainable in my opinion.

What to do? This is a time to shine for office plan designers! I’m sure cool concepts will emerge because that’s what we do humans. We constantly evolve and create new designs.

What about cocoon-desks? You could open and close as needed, to either signal you are available for discussion or you need some social distancing.

Bottom line is: it’s time for humility and for dropping unpractical trends, but also time for creativity to shine.

Be well!

Time to retool. Immediately. Factories. Society.

The Sanguine Root blog has been officially commandeered and is currently being retooled to manage the current coronavirus crisis. While under “normal” circumstances we are discussing issues of native plants, ecology global warming, and all things genetic and beautiful, truly basking in the beauty of nature for all of us to enjoy and appreciate as well as meditating on the discordant aspects of our ecological situation.

But now things have changed and we are retooling to accommodate the current crisis. We are going to be discussing the issues that are related to this current situation and when the time allows it would be wonderful to start discussing life after this crisis in a practical manner. So let’s get down to business:As ecologists we are also humanitarians. Both are intrinsically linked. A humanitarian crisis is an ecological crisis. And it can be said that an ecological crisis is a humanitarian crisis. it is definitely a fact that humanity has created this crisis. Our species has created this crisis. There are actual multiple crises happening at once: There is the animal holocaust. The chicken factories and truckloads of tightly caged birds we see on the highways should be a warning sign of a serious problem. (Viruses that promulgate in these conditions and then suddenly jump species.) The chicken reality is just one example of the ongoing mis treatment of animals in America.

The American crisis in healthcare. The inequality, and the insecurity of millions of people. In the current Coronavirus Pandemic which is showing no signs of subsiding, is revealing even more brutally how vulnerable Americans are to death and disease.

We as Americans need to retool immediately! Factories need to make ventilators, n 95 masks, disinfectants, gloves, all sorts of protective gear and Anything that will help our frontline healthcare workers do their jobs safely now. We need to rise to the Occasion as Americans. Anything that gets in the way of saving lives needs to be totally ignored. Everyone that is sewing masks at home or donating their time and their lives, health care workers, supermarket employees, public transit workers and all essentials are true Heroes, it is an absolute must that your employers are issuing you masks and making sure that everything that you do has a layer of protection.

I know that we are behind the eight ball on this one. Probably by a few weeks to a couple of months. I put the blame squarely on all Autocratic authoritarian regimes, including our own American political crisis.

Please dear readers, you are on your own and please use your best judgment, practical knowledge and your most common sense approach to deal with this crisis!