Is American society narcissistic?

psychologyWhy it is dangerous to forgive Donald Trump

"The whole talk of 'if in doubt, yes', 'give him another chance' or 'he doesn't mean it' leads to people questioning their own judgment and their experience being almost devalued. I should him give a second chance? For what? To hurt myself again? "

Ramani Durvasula speaks from many years of experience as a family therapist. When dealing with family members with narcissistic disorders, no discussion and no "turning a blind eye" help. It only makes them more reckless. Often those who suffer are then asked to forgive them again.

"Forgiving is a very personal process. I have to put it this way: An important means of social oppression comes from societal pressure to forgive others. As if it made you a more moral person. I don't think forgiveness is essential to human relationships. Some don't get that far, because forgiving someone is basically forgiving them of their sins, and the problem is that narcissistic people think that if they forgive me I can do it again, so forgiveness becomes their permission . "

Epidemic of schadenfreude

In many therapeutic processes, forgiveness is of great importance, especially for those who forgive. In the Christian religions, too, being able to forgive and receiving forgiveness is considered liberating. But for Ramani Durvasula, the danger of ongoing trauma in relationships with a narcissist calls into question the usefulness of forgiveness. The one who forgives changes, but the one who is forgiven stays the same. Purification, conversion, repentance - no narcissists do. The events of the past few days in Washington are a prime example for her:

"The German expression 'Schadenfreude' recently became the most popular expression overnight in the United States. You have to allow the Germans to be able to express such a complicated human experience in one word: the pleasure of someone else's suffering. Trump's Covid-19 -Diagnosis triggered an epidemic of glee all over the US, and many people thought, what a terrible person I am, to be happy about someone else's suffering. I felt the same way not my philosophy. "

Dr. Ramani Durvasula is Professor of Psychology at the University of California and Practicing Psychotherapist (private)

Two days later, two security officers had to drive the highly contagious president around town in a car so he could wave to his fans.

"Three days later he leaves the hospital and trivializes the pandemic. The irresponsibility of these words guarantees that we will now have a huge spike of people saying, 'The president had it and it was like mild flu. I never will wear a mask again. ' These people have no access to his medical care, many are not even insured. Can that be forgiven? I don't think so, because many are now getting sick and maybe dying because of him. "

"No more forgiving"

And Ramani Durvasula has clear words for his supporters: "This whole 'Forgive him, he just wants to win the election'. No more forgiving. That's why we are in this situation now. Forgiving is encouraging here. "

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When Ramani Durvasula follows the pictures of Donald Trump after his return from the hospital, she also sees the suffering of a mentally disturbed person. Because even if narcissists are admired in American society for their energy, assertiveness and ruthlessness, she believes that one must not forget the enormous suffering that is hidden behind the grandiose facade.

"In the case of the president, it is very evident that his psychological need is to appear invulnerable like Superman. In order to maintain such a grand facade, someone with such a weak ego is even willing to sacrifice the lives of others. Everyone watch Right now in his life he wonders how I can get people to admire me. Because otherwise I can't breathe. He's so obsessed with it. It's hard to have to live your life like this. "

(picture alliance / Wolfram Steinberg)