virtuous victimhood correlated with dark triad personality

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I strongly believe that the objectivity of the "science" in social and behavioral sciences is different from the hard "science" of physics and chemistry.
objective is objective. it may look different then physics and chemestry but that doesn't mean it's less objective. when something is purporting itself to be a scientific marker of the behavier of all human beings, individual, social, and cultural mores need to stay either neutral or be very well acknowledged. they weren't.

in edetion this was a response given to your desire to address this issue it self:

I wanted to address the notion that we should dismiss these articles because of its "heteronormativity" / Feel free to respond, but I'm not debating this point any further.
i elected to respond from the prespective of both some one who is gay and impacted by a disorder of this nature, as well as some one who is invested in preserving the scientific process with regards to both elements.

it is not necessery for you to engage in debates that you are uncomfertable with. but you did invite this response (in both instences).
 
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scout86

MyPTSD Pro
I THINK, but am not totally sure, that what they mean by "virtuous victim" is something pretty specific and a bit different. I THINK what they're talking about is a sort of role some people place, and it seems like they play it rather deliberately. I'm going to use a couple people I know or knew as examples. Neither of them had an actual diagnosis. That's common with people who have narcissistic personality disorder because, from their perspective, there's no problem with THEM, so they never seek out any help. (My T tells me they're also quite hard to help, because they see any problems as being with other people, not them.)

So, according to my T, both my mother and my brother had/have NPD. Slightly different versions. My mom, was what he calls a "passive aggressive narcissist". As a part of that, she used variations on the theme "Oh poor me....." to get her way. Or to punish people for not doing what she wanted. In her narrative, she was always "a victim". (Also virtuous" LOL) Now, in actual fact? She wasn't a "victim" at all. She just went on about how you'd let her down by failing to do exactly what she wanted, when she wanted, and the WAY she wanted. Even if it was a totally unreasonable expectation. My brother does the same thing, in a more aggressive way. (My T says he's "not passive aggressive, he's just aggressive." LOL) Any time anything goes a way other than how he wants, it's a huge problem and it's always someone else's fault. ALWAYS. Because he's perfect (virtuous) don't you know?
 

PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
I THINK, but am not totally sure, that what they mean by "virtuous victim" is something pretty specific and a bit different. I THINK what they're talking about is a sort of role some people place, and it seems like they play it rather deliberately. I'm going to use a couple people I know or knew as examples. Neither of them had an actual diagnosis. That's common with people who have narcissistic personality disorder because, from their perspective, there's no problem with THEM, so they never seek out any help. (My T tells me they're also quite hard to help, because they see any problems as being with other people, not them.)

So, according to my T, both my mother and my brother had/have NPD. Slightly different versions. My mom, was what he calls a "passive aggressive narcissist". As a part of that, she used variations on the theme "Oh poor me....." to get her way. Or to punish people for not doing what she wanted. In her narrative, she was always "a victim". (Also virtuous" LOL) Now, in actual fact? She wasn't a "victim" at all. She just went on about how you'd let her down by failing to do exactly what she wanted, when she wanted, and the WAY she wanted. Even if it was a totally unreasonable expectation. My brother does the same thing, in a more aggressive way. (My T says he's "not passive aggressive, he's just aggressive." LOL) Any time anything goes a way other than how he wants, it's a huge problem and it's always someone else's fault. ALWAYS. Because he's perfect (virtuous) don't you know?
I think that describing virtuous victimhood as playing a kind of role does fit in with what the authors were saying. They talk about the difference between being victimized (by a crime or abuse, for example) as an action in the world that has internal consequences that we have to sort out and identifying as a victim as an identity or personality. Personality is when certain patterns of behavior persist in different situations consistently over time. I think your mother and brother are good examples of how victimhood can lead to self-centered behaviors, but they of course don't think so.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I wanted to address the notion that we should dismiss these articles because of its "heteronormativity". As I said, I'm not a psychologist, but doesn't all object relations theory commit this "bias"? From what I understand, object relations is conditioned on social and cultural considerations, so it would reflect the prevailing heteronormativity. What would the alternative be? Am I missing something?
As a lesbian, I am whole heartedly satisfied in dismissing articles if they only focus on heterosexual people. Because they exclude me. I'm not saying heterosexual people should dismiss those articles. They are prob highly relevent for them. But they ignore me, are not about me, exclude me, and aren't made for me. So why would I consider them as valuable for me? I can take bits from them if I want to, and I can dismiss them too.
(To be fair , I was prob more dismissing the superhero element of it as I found that so freaking bizarre, and added in the exclusion of lesbians when it mentioned gay men......)

I think victimhood, like narcissism, is compensatory. I think the danger is that if your attitude is that the world owes you for the unfairness of your life, you will feel entitled to more than others, and you will feel that you deserve greater leniency than others. I think that can lead to some of the "darker" traits that these articles talk about.
I think there are two things at play here.
Victimhood and then this notion of "the world owes me because crap happened". One doesn't lead to the other.

I think if you are worried you have narcissistic traits, doesn't that mean you don't? As a narcissist would never be worried about something like that? Are you being too hard on yourself?
 

PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
As a lesbian, I am whole heartedly satisfied in dismissing articles if they only focus on heterosexual people. Because they exclude me. I'm not saying heterosexual people should dismiss those articles. They are prob highly relevent for them. But they ignore me, are not about me, exclude me, and aren't made for me. So why would I consider them as valuable for me? I can take bits from them if I want to, and I can dismiss them too.
(To be fair , I was prob more dismissing the superhero element of it as I found that so freaking bizarre, and added in the exclusion of lesbians when it mentioned gay men......)


I think there are two things at play here.
Victimhood and then this notion of "the world owes me because crap happened". One doesn't lead to the other.

I think if you are worried you have narcissistic traits, doesn't that mean you don't? As a narcissist would never be worried about something like that? Are you being too hard on yourself?
I'm going to go back to my position that I'm not a psychologist, so I'm not sure how to interpret the ways psychologist describe object relations. I know it's crucial to identity formation, the failure of which leads to narcissism. I think we would all agree that gender matters in the way a child will relate to mom and dad. From experience, I saw in my son, my nephews and nieces, and my friends' children that they related very specifically and differentially to the opposite gendered parent. When psychologists describe how mom and dad function in a child's development, they use broad strokes, and does seem to me stereotypical. I think they do make an attempt to account for lgbtq folks as well. But in any case, I don't really tend to take those interpretations at face value. Mom and dad symbolize different dynamics in how the child relates to others/reality in the earliest stages. I think that even if you have two moms, they could symbolize the requisite dynamics the infant needs to develop an identity. But again, I don't really know. But I myself would not throw out a study because of this issue.

You may be right that victimhood does not always go together with the world owing me. I do think that it makes it more likely in contrast to someone who does not see themselves as victims.

I think if you are worried you have narcissistic traits, doesn't that mean you don't? As a narcissist would never be worried about something like that? Are you being too hard on yourself?
Thanks for asking. I think you're right. As I said a few times, I don't think I meet the criteria for NPD. But when I started to relate to the things I was hearing about narcissism rather than seeing those traits as always belonging to someone else, it was revelatory. I said in an earlier post that it's helping me to erode the dichotomy of good / bad, black / white in some sort of way. Van der Kolk believes that healing from trauma is about integration of the things inside us that get dissociated. In my life, I've pointed to my dad, my bf's ex, my ex, etc. and said that they're narcissistic and they go around hurting me and others. But I'm seeing that I can have bad motivations and harm others too. I want to be able to acknowledge that without crumbling. It's not the case that if I am not all white, that I'm black. And actually, far from being hard on myself, I've been feeling stronger and more forgiving of myself and others.

I identify more as co-dependent, but I'm finding that the causes and motivations of my codependency can be similar to that of a narcissist. I think it makes sense that we would share attributes as we are so often drawn to each other.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I think we would all agree that gender matters in the way a child will relate to mom and dad
Actually, no. Because that is making assumptions about a whole host of things.

I think that even if you have two moms, they could symbolize the requisite dynamics the infant needs to develop an identity. But again, I don't really know
Lots of research on same sex parenting and outcomes for children. All positive.

But I myself would not throw out a study because of this issue.
You don't need to if you are heterosexual, as it speaks to you, you identify with it, it is about you. If the study was about a different sex to you and you were told to accept it as about you, surely you would be saying 'but I'm not that sex? I can't see me in this? This is helpful to people of that sex, but not to me'. Same thing I'm saying.

But I'm seeing that I can have bad motivations and harm others too. I want to be able to acknowledge that without crumbling. It's not the case that if I am not all white, that I'm black. And actually, far from being hard on myself, I've been feeling stronger and more forgiving of myself and others.
We all have unattractive elements of our personality, for sure. We are human and flawed.
And if using narcissism as a way of helping you understand that parts of you that aren't as positive as the other parts helps you, then great. But: I wonder, still, if it is being too negative about yourself and is that actually helpful? A narrissist is someone who is abusive, immoveable from that abuse, totally without empathy, and utter self righteousness. Could you be flogging yourself with this term and/or diminishing the term?
Are there other words that are better to desrlcribe yourself with?
We can all be a bit self centered at times. We can all be a bit dramatic or seeking drama at times if we get caught up in something. We can all be feeling superior at times and act on that. But without a disorder that prevents us from addressing this: we can acknowledge and learn and grow and behave differently.

Idk: you can label yourself as you wish! But, for me, I find language important and if I were to label myself as something that will never change (as a narcissist won't), I think I would feel quite low about that.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
As a side note, the study don't take bisexual or trans folks into account.

And anyway, why Batman and Superman?? To be frank, both dudes seem deeply unattractive as they enforce their own laws with brutality. One is dressed like a bat, the other one with national colours. Honestly both are good for the tinfoil hats lol.

But more seriously, there is a lot of psychoanalytic lingo when it comes to narcissism and borderline, that isn't the same as the clinical one. With people like Otto Kernberg. I did read Kernberg because D (my ex who had borderline) was trying to make sense of himself reading that guy and he got super aggravated by it. So I did read it too and I found it was full of sweeping, heteronormative statements about couples, attachment and childhood. The idea that you reproduce the model you had with the parent of the opposite sex, with series of case studies with people who seem quite dissociated and in terrible situations. His presentations were long, confusing and, to my experience, of little therapeutic use. At best, it's a bunch of theories with little rooting in cognitive reality. At worst, it's an avenue to guilt tripping and finding you're incomplete as an adult because you can't fill the heteronormative frame (both of us are bisexual by the way, so we didn't have a chance to begin with) of a couple, and anything that doesn't fill that dyadic frame is deemed as being some kind of developmental retardation or childish behaviour. I tend to find that for us faced with real traumatic challenges, some of us being cluster b of lining around it, starting to dive in The Past big P and creating a mythology is exactly what can result in a sense of aggravated victimhood, obsession and resentment. Past the knowledge to know okay, this happened to me and it was this and that and not my fault, you don't need to dive into the details and think you reproduce stuff your parents or caretakers or whatever was next to you, did. Sometimes you do, but what I find is that we reproduce sort of "inverse prints" of what they were, in a complementary way of what we experienced. And trying to force that into a psychoanalytic narrative, I don't think it makes much sense, at least for me. And also, I really have the impression that "the narcissist" isn't the same as "someone with NPD". The former being less aggravated than the latter. But I don't know if we're going anywhere by giving these labels outside of a clinical frame. For us, it's the behaviour that was harmful, not the way they understood things for themselves.

I know I might pass for a horrible behaviourist. But I really think it's about that, habits and mechanisms and parts of yourself that aren't necessarily very well jointed. And I don't believe full integration is necessary neither. We can have a degree of contradiction and cognitive or emotional dissonance. And you can suffer big time and still be okay and caring with other people. Being self centered can be annoying but it's not necessarily harmful. I do distinguish hurtful from harmful. My self centeredness has been hurtful many times. But harmful? No. I think this is important to be able to see of ourselves. And that in the case we've been harmful, then correct from there.

And as @Movingforward10 said, if it's helping you, that's fine. But I think we should take care into examining studies that are prejudiced, even if you're not the object of the prejudice. Because many assumptions about gender and dynamics will be distorted for heterosexual perspectives too. Like a self reinforced myth. In fact, reality is much more fluid and strange than what is presented here.

But overall, I think that what is the worst in this study is the repeated assertion that "our Western society" is sensitive to virtue signalling. They don't say anything about non Western places, letting think that it might not be the case there. But also, the article suggests that this sensitivity might be something bad, a kind of perversion of our own values. Which I find incorrect, and very dangerous. Rape victims still are ashamed, domestic violence and incest victims still are massively dismissed, the legal frame to prevent and repress this is incredibly badly equipped, and people still don't get that the statistics of abuse, rape, incest and sex trafficking leave you dizzy and don't match current social mythology where it's rare. Victims still mostly are blamed, even when they went to court and won their case.

And also the article manages to go even further in that deformation and sweeping statement, more than the original study. Which I find is a dangerous interpretation to make the findings more sensational than they are, and presenting it as hard science while the sample they picked is frankly bad. MTurk really shouldn't be used for anything of that, the structure itself already is totally unethical and exploitative, it's a horrible place to be and work.

And I really find that there is a sweep towards invalidating movements such as metoo and the general voicing up that people have been doing about abuse since recently. Like, true victims don't signal. And the virtue is to shut the f*ck up. This is what the article seems to conclude between the lines and this is what really annoys me, on the top of the study and the article playing with concepts as vague and judging as "dark triad".
 

PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
Actually, no. Because that is making assumptions about a whole host of things.


Lots of research on same sex parenting and outcomes for children. All positive.


You don't need to if you are heterosexual, as it speaks to you, you identify with it, it is about you. If the study was about a different sex to you and you were told to accept it as about you, surely you would be saying 'but I'm not that sex? I can't see me in this? This is helpful to people of that sex, but not to me'. Same thing I'm saying.


We all have unattractive elements of our personality, for sure. We are human and flawed.
And if using narcissism as a way of helping you understand that parts of you that aren't as positive as the other parts helps you, then great. But: I wonder, still, if it is being too negative about yourself and is that actually helpful? A narrissist is someone who is abusive, immoveable from that abuse, totally without empathy, and utter self righteousness. Could you be flogging yourself with this term and/or diminishing the term?
Are there other words that are better to desrlcribe yourself with?
We can all be a bit self centered at times. We can all be a bit dramatic or seeking drama at times if we get caught up in something. We can all be feeling superior at times and act on that. But without a disorder that prevents us from addressing this: we can acknowledge and learn and grow and behave differently.

Idk: you can label yourself as you wish! But, for me, I find language important and if I were to label myself as something that will never change (as a narcissist won't), I think I would feel quite low about that.
The articles don't speak to parenting by heterosexual and homosexual parents at all. Object relations are theoretical constructs. I 100% believe that children have good outcomes with same sexed parents, and know some great families in which that is true. These articles do not weigh in on that issue.

Yeah, if you look at my posts, the specific narcissistic traits that I found helpful in thinking through would not be true of the average population. I do find it helpful to identify with them, specifically because they have been to me the villainized "other" which I'm seeing might have inadvertently enabled my black and white thinking about good and bad. I have not been "flogging" myself, though yeah, it doesn't feel good to think that I can potentially harm others. Ii want to reiterate that I was definitely going down the narcissistic path when I was younger, so in my 20s, it would not have been a question that I had narcissistic traits.
 

PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
Rape victims still are ashamed, domestic violence and incest victims still are massively dismissed, the legal frame to prevent and repress this is incredibly badly equipped, and people still don't get that the statistics of abuse, rape, incest and sex trafficking leave you dizzy and don't match current social mythology where it's rare. Victims still mostly are blamed, even when they went to court and won their case.
I think this is true in many parts of the world and in America too. I think it's really sad that girls and women are still made to feel that they are to blame for sexual victimization. Sometimes even their families can make them believe that it was their fault.

I think what you're talking about is about real victimization and requires a whole host of responses - legal, political, psychological, social etc. I totally agree that victims of rape and abuse should not be shamed. They also need real help, and I think everything should be done to alleviate their pain and suffering. The authors talk about something else entirely - persistent and virtuous identification of victimhood as a style which if any has only an indirect connection to a happening in the world. Also even if that's the case, I still feel sympathy for those people who might relate to victimhood. That still sucks to have been a victim once no matter how long it's been. But I still think it's valuable to explore whether it blinds us.

I don't know psychology well enough, but I do know that one style of narcissistic ideation has to do with being a super hero / "saviour" delusions. Superman and Batman are archetypes that have "light" and "dark" features to them, so it would speak to whether the women were libidinally drawn to more "good" or "bad" sides. When it comes to the ways we symbolize and fantasize about cultural phenomena, it does require a level of interpretation. You don't seem to buy it. I tend to think that people with Ph.D.s who are published in peer review journals probably have a deeper theoretical background than I do in making their claims.

Okay, maybe you think the concept of the dark triad is vague, but it's something that has been seen as a valid description of some people in psychological circles for 10 years. Unless I have a compelling reason, I tend to suspend my gut reaction about what researchers say given that I assume they have a greater understanding than I do. I don't fully understand what dark matter is, for example, and find it counterintuitive. Physicists still believe in its existence despite not having positive proof. Nonetheless, I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

Are there other words that are better to desrlcribe yourself with?
I'm sure there are. Maybe I'm being harsh on myself as you say. But one of the things I read about narcissism is that narcissists will harm others in serious ways, but in their minds, their deeds are quite innocuous and forgivable. For example, if they deceive you about something important or leave you hanging at a significant time in your life, they can't believe that you would make a mountain out of a molehill. They might say, "oh that, that was no big deal" or "I was joking" or "I wasn't feeling good that day, why are you going to call me out for that?" But if someone did the same thing to them, they would consider it world war 3 or a 911 emergency. I'm reflecting on whether the things I dismiss as "are you kidding me that you're going to make a big deal of that" would be more serious if I took the other's perspective.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
This is a good one or it will be if I ever look at it again? The questions raised are difficult and interesting and worthy of more than an offhand comment and I should read the article . The stuff like this from the same source I’ve read in the past has been right on target . It usually hurts when you’re the bullseye. I’d rather be the hammer than the nail, but where’d we be without nails? Thanks for this. : ).
 

PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
All genders.
Thanks for that reminder. Yes, all genders. Being objectified in that way is a horror and should be treated as such. I think that men have the particular sting of not getting the recognition they deserve due to societal baises.

This is a good one or it will be if I ever look at it again? The questions raised are difficult and interesting and worthy of more than an offhand comment and I should read the article . The stuff like this from the same source I’ve read in the past has been right on target . It usually hurts when you’re the bullseye. I’d rather be the hammer than the nail, but where’d we be without nails? Thanks for this. : ).
Thanks @Mach123. These are not easy thoughts, and I think we have developed defense mechanisms to avoid and deflect such thoughts. I like your analogy of the hammer and nail.
 

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