virtuous victimhood correlated with dark triad personality

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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.
here's the thing-we're being honest with you. and i guess the only thing you keep saying is, "well this study actually is fine because (it's saying what i want to hear) they interviewed an intern and they're PhDs and you're not-" (you keep saying "i'm not"-but when you use this argument toward other people-repetitively-the meaning changes-or this is what i hear.)

especeally when paired with "oh well you don't buy it." like, no, she doesn't buy it. this is all an appeal to authority. it doesn't matter who's doing the study or who's saying the thing. an infallible study by a walmart greeter is going to be superior to a fallible study by a PhD. what matters is the data. and the data here is nonsense. it's saying that people are cluster b

(or more specifically, narcissitic personality disorder-that's the only disorder actually represented by the "dark triad")-

when they have zero contact with cluster b patients! they're going to say xyz makes you a narcissit without speaking to a single narcissist? it is nonsense. you may not have a good understand of psychology and trust the data. that isn't true of everybody here. i've heard many psychologists point blank say that people like me are hopeless and bad.

so no, i don't trust people just because they're psychologists or just because they have a degree.

i trust people who present and gather their data in objective manner.
 
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PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
do you? 🤷‍♂️ i don't know, here's the thing-we're being honest with you. and i guess the only thing you keep saying is, "well this study actually is fine because (it's saying what i want to hear) they interviewed an intern and they're PhDs and you're not-"

(you keep saying i'm not-but when you use this argument toward other people? like, i hear what you're really saying.)

it doesn't change anything. this is just an appeal to authority. it doesn't matter who's doing the study or who's saying the thing. an infallible study by a walmart greeter is going to be superior to an fallible study by a PhD. what matters is the data. and the data here is nonsense. it's saying that people are cluster b (or more specifically, narcissitic personality disorder-that's the only disorder represented by the "dark triad")-

when they have zero contact with cluster b patients! it is nonsense. you may not have a good understand of psychology and trust the data. that isn't true of everybody here. i've heard many psychologists point blank say that people like me are hopeless and bad. so no, i don't trust people just because they're psychologists or just because they have a degree.

i trust people who present and gather their data in objective manner.
I'm sorry that you had psychologists say that to you. Trust is such a profound thing that when violated is so horrible, especially when it comes to the state of our mental health. Another thing I've been reading about is Betrayal Trauma Theory. It states that even more primordial than the survival instinct is the ability to trust because as infants, our very survival depends upon caretakers. According to this theory, trauma to our nascent instinct to trust hits us at the core of our entire being and our very sense of reality. Caretakers act as a bridge and conduit to the external world. I've actually been focusing my attention for growth and healing solely on the area of trust. I used to think my inability to trust others, like my bf, was caused by my cptsd. But now I think that the inability to trust is at the core of all of the rest of my symptoms.

Appealing to authority is only fallacious when the authority is not credible. I have no reason to believe that these folks are not credible. When you study a topic intensely, for your living, for years, I tend to think you have more knowledge about it than I do even if I don't understand. When an article is peer-reviewed, typically three other Ph.D.s who have studied the topic intensely for years have vetted, critiqued, and ultimately approved of the article. Typically, the peer-review processed is "blind". The author does not know who the reviewers are. If it's double-blind, the reviewers also do not know who the author is. Additionally, their overall sentiment makes sense to me, so their authority is not the only thing. But we can agree to disagree.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
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.
So you're trying to be more empathetic?
(A narcissist wouldn't).

I'm confused by this thread.

I'm confused by the articles. Because I can pick so many holes in the "women are attracted to batman so women love "dark" personalities" as a research model.

Can you clarify what it is you are asking and what discussion you are inviting? I've gone back to your original post, but I'm confused.
 

internal

Sponsor
Appealing to authority is only fallacious when the authority is not credible.
yeah, and this tends to be my big issue. it's not credible because they literally didn't talk to the people that they're referring to. half of their participents were off of mturk. the article is going on and on about women and batman. like all of this is nonsensical. i understand your impetus to trust that these people know what they're talking about due to their credentials.

but having credentials makes you good at a specific type of thing-it doesn't make you infallible. it doesn't make you good at logic. a lot of studies are irrelevent. a lot of phds and doctors used to think homosexuality was a mental illness, too. a lot of peer reviewed science used to be complete bullshit-and it still is. it's up to us, as the people reading this informetion, to understand how to read the data that's being presented to us.

if we don't collect the data our selfs it becomes our responsebility not to blindly except all the informetion we hear. because it's like you say, it's only fallacous when the authorety is not credible-but if you believe appeal to authority (which you do-because your next sentences clearly support this, because they were a long treatise on what the authority is)-

how exactly are you going to decide what is credible or not? by looking at informetion outside of your self. by waiting for someone to say, "wait, this isn't right." and i mean we can agree to disagree, but i think everyone here is telling you the same thing i'm telling you.

I'm sorry that you had psychologists say that to you. Trust is such a profound thing that when violated is so horrible, especially when it comes to the state of our mental health.
i guess that's true, although to be fair i never particulerly trusted any of these people to begin with-they proved them selfs untrustworthy from the start so that was never a real problem. but they are the type of person that is causing the damage that i am talking about. they seem credible, so people do trust them.

people like you, who don't know the psychology, who trust that they must know what they're talking about. but i have my own credible knowledge: i have the disorder. that is credible. i'm not lying for brownie points that i'm able to be helped. i know i'm able to be helped. ergo, they're wrong. all the degrees and all the kings men can't make them correct.

I've actually been focusing my attention for growth and healing solely on the area of trust. I used to think my inability to trust others, like my bf, was caused by my cptsd. But now I think that the inability to trust is at the core of all of the rest of my symptoms.
i am sorry that you're having so much diffeculty with this area your self precious. i think that you're on the money with this. the inabelity to trust is a very core component of cptsd and trauma in generel. it completely warps your world view from the expecetion of living in a world that is safe to living in a world that is profoundly unsafe.

i had an opposing problem where i grew up in a world that was so incredebly unsafe that the second any one showed me safety, i trusted them. this led to me getting with my ex who abused me in a lot of the same ways as my primary caregivers-because i didn't under sand that a person could be nice and also abusive. i thought it was that you could only be one or the other-because my primary abuser wasn't nice almost ever.

so after i left my ex i was like okay obviously this is wrong, everyone is complicated. everyone can be both nice and abusive at the same time. so i go from periods of trusting my husband (he's nice to me, consistently, and not abusive) to wondering if he's actually hurting me but i can't tell (i don't know enough, i have amnesia, blah blah.)

especeally when we have trama from child hood that it just warps our entire ability to really understand the nature of reality as it is, going forward. relationships, all that. it is all gets messed up and it is on us to try and sweep the pieces back into the pan. and that's where i under stand where you are coming from with these threads-and i don't think there is any thing wrong with examining it like this. especeally if you were abused by a narcissist.

but i would also just be cauteous that because a lot of what we do is trauma bonding-seeing our selfs as more like our abusers than not like them.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
I actually referred to Batman I think in early posts of my diary. But I wasn’t attracted to Batman - no, no no - I wanted to BE Batman. Do women really want men who keep secrets from them? Who have unresolved childhood trauma? Who are essentially vigilantes? I think we are conditioned often to want them but when we sit and address what we really want we want people we can trust. Who can communicate with us. For me that my dh is kind and nurturing is also valuable. I think the ‘Batman appeal’. is partly because avoidant attachment is confused with independence in our culture - and interdependence with codependent behaviour. An appeal of Batman is avoidance of emotional intimacy
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
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 think it's really bad to have chosen these ones as archetypes for good or bad or dark or light, as they're both superheroes and have a lot of things in common. And technically, Superman also has a f*cking double life and unresolved trauma. It’s just the universe of both series that are different. And to be honest, Batman’s franchises characters have a history of being treated with more depth than Superman characters. I can’t remember of anyone in Superman apart from Wonder Woman, while in Batman I really remember Bruce Wayne’s character, the Joker, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Robin, Poison Ivy, the style of Gotham city and so and on. Superman is very shallow in terms of writing. So having to choose between a character that is f*cked up but has kept at least the ability to talk and another one that seems brain dead, well, at least one is more entertaining.

But again, one of these stupid intrinsic questions that don’t allow you to really choose. Like, do you prefer to cut your leg or your arm? Do you prefer beetroots or cauliflowers? Twix or Mars? Plus, what everyone knows about Batman and Superman, given it has had so many franchises and variations, you’re gonna get a lot of generational and time bias (which film is more recent? which one is more impactful? were the films good or bad? who likes to read comics as opposed to watch films?) and they didn’t test female dark triad characters (let’s say, to be symmetrical, Cat Woman or Wonder Woman?) So really in a cultural sense, it doesn’t make sense. One character is perceived as Dark Triad and the other one not, this by the team, I honestly don’t see why apart if you resolve that grey is more darktriadic than blue and red. I don’t find the unquestioning way Superman uses his superpowers to enforce whatever he thinks society thinks is bad, true that it’s less bloody but still, both are varieties of cops and if it was to be a war with some dictatorship around, Superman would denounce me and Batman finish the killing. I also don’t like muscles, but appreciate zentai suits, and both of them have both. Thinking this, what do I answer to this question then? Beetroots? KFC? Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez? A minivan? Honestly, just wtf!

They didn’t test a variety of characters. And this would work only if provided that everyone knows them and has the same perception of them, which is in itself impossible to quantize and therefore, absolutely useless as demonstrating anything. The data is invalid not only because of its sampling but question already is more than biased, it doesn’t make any sense. I also find it worrying, even in a heteronormative frame, that they didn’t test it against, let’s say, Wonder Woman or Catwoman, for men. It therefore suggests that women are attracted to the darkness, without seeing if men would be attracted to it too.

So placing this question without even trying to get a control and sweep towards "women are more attracted to dark triadic traits" without even noticing that the immensity of male models do have these traits represented as positive in many many books and films. Flat heroism of someone killing dozens? depicted as attractive. Planning a war without a tear? Attractive. Not feeling remorse for having done the right thing against the law? Attractive. Being tortured and confused? Attractive. Then saythat these traits are attractive when in fact they’re represented as attractive, it’s just too much. It’s really part of what some call toxic masculinity (and what is actually, hegemonic masculinity, aka one version of masculinity that is considered, presented and enforced as being the only possible, hierarchically superior to any other kind, it’s no better than the myths woman have to face). A study that tries to examine if traits are attractive without examining the cultural frame of it, it just starts badly. Not only it’s heteronormative, it is also blatantly sexist and ignorant.

And for people who say they want to examine deception, effects of trauma and mechanisms of real or fake victimhood, this very bizarre prerequisite really announces that they don’t know what they’re talking about, PhD or not PhD. The hypothesis is nebulous, the methodology is flawed, the sourcing of the sampling is unethical (MTurk really isn’t okay at all as a work provider!) and unreliable (it’s not because you’re paid that you will answer something accurate, I believe many just fill in whatever or even troll, and perhaps there are also anchoring bias and so in the forms, there are many many places you can screw up something like this. I had to work for that kind of jobs sometimes and I can guarantee you you have 0 motivations to think, you get pissed at the questions, and you troll the questionnaire. Because you have no involvement or sympathy towards it. It’s just your clicks and time. This is a risk in any paid respondents or random phone polls, but in MTurk the margin of error might be much more elevated to the point data collected might be irrelevant.

That this isn’t addressed as a problem by the study is a problem.

And yes, these folks have PhDs and I’m happy the actual study is available so anyone can check and you aren’t forced to just adhere to an authority argument. They can have as many credentials they want, they screwed up. And the magazine article is even worse than the study itself.

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.
Yep, but it doesn’t impede it to be vague, and judging. Because these dark triad concepts, they’re qualities that can be desirable in certain situations and undesirable in others, depending on how you present them. Saying "dark triad" already implies pejorative connotations and therefore, it’s biased. I’m not saying there are traits that don’t make people more dangerous than others, but it’s so complex that just resuming it as that specific concept of dark triad is, it simply stops to make sense. Or if it does, it does as a mythology. Why a triad? Why dark? It’s just too convenient and sweeps over any intricacy or clinical reality.

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
I don’t think it’s possible to compare dark matter with the dark triad. Dark matter is something physicists suspect it exists because it explains certain observations that otherwise don’t make sense. And it’s called "dark" precisely because we don’t know what it is. It’s not something we "believe in". It’s something you might use as a placeholder and a hypothesis and try to verify. In the absence of a better and/or more elaborate explanation, you use that because it works to start to explain certain phenomena.

But the dark triad is something that is more of a preexisting idea that is forced on clinical reality. It’s incomplete, and probably plain wrong in many aspects. And in any case, not very helpful at detecting anything. Also the tree traits blend in each other and are conceptually of little use.

--

But, apart from that, I understand the angst of feeling like oh gosh, are we bad people when we don’t care enough about others? I, personally, have been labelled antisocial so many times, and it’s easy to score high on a dark triad test as being secretive, prudent, scared and somewhat pissed will make your score explode. But many victims have very good reasons to feel that way. And if you’re honest with yourself, you tend to depict yourself as worse than you are. That you have machiavellanism high because you don’t want people to find out you’ve been beaten or raped since it’s seen as something bad. That you score high on lack on empathy if you’re a first respondent or dissociate when faced with too much stress. That you score high on narcissism if your profession does require you to be that way, meet important people and all. You can have a terrible dark triad score just because you happen to be private, avoidant of conflicts because you never know and live in a situation where you cannot afford any friction, and have to show that you have something special, like in art. Many people would give a very false positive in being dangerous if dark triad criteria were the only ones to take into account. So really for me this thing doesn’t have much sense because the scope is too broad and the situations too diverse. You can’t just arbitrarily decide traits out of context. This is the real problem of psychometrics in general. Now that if it lasts for years before it’s invalidated, it will. There are many theories that are terrible or are wrongly perceived by general public. And I have the impression that "dark triad" really is affected by both problems. It’s problematic in itself because we’re unsure of what we’re measuring exactly, and it’s interpreted by the general public as being the signs someone is Bad big time.
 

LoriLuck

New Here
For the general population who aren't victims of complex trauma? Yeah, it's probably interesting to psychologists why someone who isn't a victim of something decides to invest a whole lot of energy in telling anyone who will listen "I'm such a victim of...". Why are they doing that if they're not really a victim?

I think my problem in taking generic studies, then applying...

For the general population who aren't victims of complex trauma? Yeah, it's probably interesting to psychologists why someone who isn't a victim of something decides to invest a whole lot of energy in telling anyone who will listen "I'm such a victim of...". Why are they doing that if they're not really a victim?
My grown child was molested at her elementary school by an employee. She won't talk about it yet claims her entire childhood was horrible and manipulates people by telling crazy fake stories of an awful childhood. Could this be easier on her to tell a lie than to discuss what really happened?
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
I think much of this is generalized and bs.
We all have to take our own inventory.
Even though I was part of childhood neglect and abuse, I had counseling early and didn't feel like a victim. I felt like a survivor and a thriver based on where I came from. I felt very grateful. I felt more virtuous then, energetic, helpful, honest, charitable, compassionate, etc.

I actually had trouble admitting I was a victim of our marriage counselor when everyone else was telling me I was. I know its just a word, but I dont like using it so much.

There can be personal beliefs and there can be legal strategies as well. I was involved in an accident and had bad effects. For legal purposes, are they exaggerated? I have to say "yes", though not lies. Its just that the lawyer has to pound away at all effects for a fair settlement, because the defendants are going to minimize everything. Maybe I am justifying, but I can honestly say 15 yrs post accident, still having the problems, I didn't get a good deal, but I dont feel like I got screwed either. It was an accident.

I mean really, what is the article saying? If you have been a victim, and you believe you are virtuous, you have this dark side?
Seems like nonsense to me. I take my own inventory and know the role I have played when bad things have happened as an adult.
If anything, I think most of us try to hide our short comings. I have health issues because I smoked for so many years. Therefore lack energy, and cant get things done as I would like to. Silently I criticize with words like lazy.

I just cant wrap my head around this article, except to say that I know sociopaths and they often use victim stories, real or imagined. They suck people in and drain them. Do they have ptsd, maybe some.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
I think what bothers me with this, is not the conecept of virtuous victimhood associated with 'dark' personality traits or tendencies, or cluster B personality disorders but generalizations or conclusions that offer an alternative but are not (at least in the article summary) shown as well supported scientifically. Fot example, the concept of playing the victim, doesn't acknowledge that the same person wouldn't play a different role where it might behoove them; that is, in positions of power or wealth, that stance would likely be unmet favorably by wealthy +/or powerful peers. And so, 'playing' may be a loaded but better word, it's chosen based on intent and audience. Hence, it may be self-beneficial to do that where sympathy or empathy may be more forthcoming, but the real honed ability would be to switch as necessary. Similarly, one does not know if a person is telling the truth, or telling the truth that they feel others were treating them badly- that is, did they actually believe that or simply want to agree with those who said that is what they observed? Or conversely, feel they cannot be wrong, and therefore yes, treated 'insufficiently'? Equally, there is no actual mentioned control of what kind of exposure to carttoon characters people had, and to be frank, they are not real. They do mention these were women motivated to get married; the logical obvious thought to me or possible conclusion would not be to me to say they were attracted to those qualities, as much as not turned sufficiently away from what (if these were real people) would signify emotional unavailabilty and disinterest. (Which I can't believe I'm typing about a Superhero, lol. ) But seriously, how can one call associations to fantasy indicative of irl experiences? So for those and many other examples I think the issues come where they extrapolate to unsupported conclusions. Does someone who wants to manipulate choose what and how to do so? I think so. Is it restricted to virtuous victimhood? I don't think so, if it's not useful, only if it is.

I remember in criminology the experts there saying the majority of people committing quite horrific crimes were not considered insane, just mean. Even Ted Bundy used a fake cast/ broken arm, but not because he would be soliciting help from men. He also said at the end of his life that 'he' believed his proclivity began with watching porn and disacssociating the person in to an object. he never mentioned actually thinking he was a victim- perhaps at some point he should have. Needless to say, for the average person exposing their victimhood, I think it's less gratifying or manupulative as showing one's weakness and shamefulness, and despair. It's ugly, unattractive, and not empathy-invoking, as a feeling. I think many people if and when they can even use the term feel pretty disgusted or gross about it or themselves. And that might be the biggest difference- 'la belle indifference'- not being as self-disgusted or worried or hesitant as one should or would be.

I do believe studying people is very different than hands on 1st hand, front-line or lived experiences.

I think the word here omitted is 'contrived' (behaviours). And at best, the study sounds biased to supporting their own conclusions in the absence of many, many scientific controls. I would choose Batman as it was on when I did my homework, Superman wasn't even on our channels. But just as equally, like James Bond, how many actors played the part? And none were comparable to the books, written by a spy. (And just as a side note, the only non-fictional book Fleming wrote, was more bizarre than any of the gadgets or plot lines portrayed. So I would pick Bond, knowing the character portrayed in books, yet he's a chauvinistic disrespecting renegade, if you warched any of the old cheesy movies. Etc. The baggage and bias inherent in the questions would negate the ability to draw more than hypotheses, IMHO.) So can it be helpful? Idk. For one thing, they sound they're also basing it on what they know, not what has not been discovered yet. And that's fitting a theory in to what's avialable with knowledge atm- but may or may not be correct, or complete.

Just my 0.02 cents.
 
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Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
ETA (sorry I missed the time limit), I did have one great Psych Prof who taught, wrote several books, did prison counselling, marital counselling, and spoke of his own marrital dynamic, who said, "Remember some of the things I'm teaching you will be found to be incorrect one day. It's inevitable. So take everything with a grain of salt and knowing that, and be prepared to realize what was wrong". And he said he was horrified, that he had been taught (and belived) that Autism was caused by cold, aloof parenting. Particularly when many parents of Autistic children were struggling, trying and giving more than most parents ever needed to, just the opposite. Or similarly, one could think of AD(H)D (Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) disorder )originally called minimal brain damage, and now with greater understanding potentially being renamed as VAST (Variable Attention Stimuls Trait). Or the emotional dysregulation of ADD (removed from the DSM yet reported with nearly 100% of subjects, at some level) being difficult to discriminate from Bipolar Disorder, or even Narcicism. Yet parents of children with Bipolar will often say they feel fear (such as needing to lock up knives overnight). And yet, others with Bipolar may have BIpolar 2, or be very gentle souls. But that is considered a discriminating factor for Bipolar, because it's been expressed by many parents living through it. And yet, people/ children too could have both.
 
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scout86

MyPTSD Pro
I mean really, what is the article saying? If you have been a victim, and you believe you are virtuous, you have this dark side?
No, that's not at all what it's saying.

First, just to clarify things because I was getting totally confused, I went back and reread the Psychology Today article and looked at the articles it's referring to. It refers to two, very different articles. One dealing with "virtuous victims" and the other deals with super heroes. (I'm sure the researchers of that second article don't see it that way but....)

If you read the first article, what you find they're saying (IMO) is that we are at a point in time where "western society" is feeling bad on behalf of perceived victims and is willing to expend resources to help them. Notice I said "perceived" victims. The perception doesn't have to be accurate. It may or may not be accurate. It just has to exist. They are looking at the effects of CLAIMING victim status, not the effects of being a victim. Then they go on to wonder if differently perceived victims might be treated differently. And, it turns out they apparently are. Someone who is perceived to be "virtuous" is treated differently than someone who isn't seen that way. In other words, if you're raped while wearing conservative dress on your way home from Sunday school, you'll be perceived differently than if you are raped while staggering home from a night of wild partying, while wearing some kind of stripper costume. THEN they go on to wonder if some people might decide to exploit that trend. Turns out the answer to that is probably "yes" and THOSE people exhibit traits of what's being called the "dark triad" these days.

I don't know how worthwhile that study was, I really don't. I guess because I have enough personal experience dealing with people PLAYING "The Victim" to know that it's real and a potential problem on several levels. I suppose "science" has to prove everything before going on the the "what are we going to DO about this?" step.

The other study? I've taken enough "psychological tests" where I've been asked to choose between two things neither of which I'd really choose that I didn't even read on. Batman and Superman? SERIOUSLY?! But, there apparently ARE studies out there that show some people are, in some way, attracted to people with high scores on the psychopath/ narcissist scales. Which sort of makes sense. There's some survival advantages to being a psychopath. For the psychopath, that is, NOT for the people around them.

Now, a word about those "dark triad" tests. You guys realize there's a LOT of traits covered on those tests, right? It's a LOT more than do you or don't you have an average amount of empathy. As it happens, I score really high on a couple parts of those tests. But, my T says I couldn't be further from a narcissist/ psychopath. Because I score spectacularly far on the opposite end of the scale on even more traits. There are a lot of different people who don't exhibit much empathy. Only some of them are psychopaths. In fact, a "good" psychopath might be really good at "behaving as if" they were empathetic. (There are studies on that too.)
 

PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
No, that's not at all what it's saying.

First, just to clarify things because I was getting totally confused, I went back and reread the Psychology Today article and looked at the articles it's referring to. It refers to two, very different articles. One dealing with "virtuous victims" and the other deals with super heroes. (I'm sure the researchers of that second article don't see it that way but....)

If you read the first article, what you find they're saying (IMO) is that we are at a point in time where "western society" is feeling bad on behalf of perceived victims and is willing to expend resources to help them. Notice I said "perceived" victims. The perception doesn't have to be accurate. It may or may not be accurate. It just has to exist. They are looking at the effects of CLAIMING victim status, not the effects of being a victim. Then they go on to wonder if differently perceived victims might be treated differently. And, it turns out they apparently are. Someone who is perceived to be "virtuous" is treated differently than someone who isn't seen that way. In other words, if you're raped while wearing conservative dress on your way home from Sunday school, you'll be perceived differently than if you are raped while staggering home from a night of wild partying, while wearing some kind of stripper costume. THEN they go on to wonder if some people might decide to exploit that trend. Turns out the answer to that is probably "yes" and THOSE people exhibit traits of what's being called the "dark triad" these days.

I don't know how worthwhile that study was, I really don't. I guess because I have enough personal experience dealing with people PLAYING "The Victim" to know that it's real and a potential problem on several levels. I suppose "science" has to prove everything before going on the the "what are we going to DO about this?" step.

The other study? I've taken enough "psychological tests" where I've been asked to choose between two things neither of which I'd really choose that I didn't even read on. Batman and Superman? SERIOUSLY?! But, there apparently ARE studies out there that show some people are, in some way, attracted to people with high scores on the psychopath/ narcissist scales. Which sort of makes sense. There's some survival advantages to being a psychopath. For the psychopath, that is, NOT for the people around them.

Now, a word about those "dark triad" tests. You guys realize there's a LOT of traits covered on those tests, right? It's a LOT more than do you or don't you have an average amount of empathy. As it happens, I score really high on a couple parts of those tests. But, my T says I couldn't be further from a narcissist/ psychopath. Because I score spectacularly far on the opposite end of the scale on even more traits. There are a lot of different people who don't exhibit much empathy. Only some of them are psychopaths. In fact, a "good" psychopath might be really good at "behaving as if" they were empathetic. (There are studies on that too.)
Thanks @scout86 . Well said and clarified! I think there were moments when I starting riffing without going back to read, so thanks for doing that.

There's been a lot written since I last signed on, so please forgive me if I miss addressing any of your points. I'm actually quite busy getting my son ready to go off to college. He got a scholarship to a top-rated school and I'm over the moon about it. He's excited to try out independent living, but I'm super nervous.

i had an opposing problem where i grew up in a world that was so incredebly unsafe that the second any one showed me safety, i trusted them. this led to me getting with my ex who abused me in a lot of the same ways as my primary caregivers-because i didn't under sand that a person could be nice and also abusive.
From what I understand, being "too trusting" is about having our boundaries eroded and allowing those who would abuse that into our lives because that's what we're familiar with. From my understanding, trust requires us to have an intact self in the first place, which then allows us to safely invest in other people and things. It's hard though because trust means feeling vulnerable, and that's a scary thing for a lot of us.

is partly because avoidant attachment is confused with independence in our culture - and interdependence with codependent behaviour. An appeal of Batman is avoidance of emotional intimacy
That's awesome. I agree.

I, personally, have been labelled antisocial so many times, and it’s easy to score high on a dark triad test as being secretive, prudent, scared and somewhat pissed will make your score explode. But many victims have very good reasons to feel that way.
I think I'm writing mostly from the perspective of a parent. I totally agree that if the cptsd person does maneuver in this way, she may have very good reasons that deserve understanding and compassion. A therapist and strong enough partner should probably give him ample support and wiggle room. But the sheer fact is that these affects and behaviors that are inspired by fear and hurt, etc. can sometimes affect others in life-altering ways. I'm thinking of children in particular. I know that even on a very low scale, my trauma makes me a worse mum. When a child needs a parent to tell her she did a 'good job' and the parent is zoned out because they're triggered, that can be as devastating to a child over time as any form of abuse. I tell myself that my best is not good enough. The standard I use is that only what is good enough for my child is good enough. You can say that I'm being hard on myself, but that mentality helped me to pause, think outside the box, helped me to look up and look deeply into my child's eyes and really see what he needs; not just do whatever I could cope with at the moment. But without therapy and healing, none of this was possible. You can't just will yourself to do better, I understand that.

I do believe studying people is very different than hands on 1st hand, front-line or lived experiences.
We don't know what is the background of the researchers. They could be sufferers or be close to sufferers. In fact, I think many Ph.D.s are people who obsessively study the thing that they could not control when they were kids. I think academics try not to interject their personal stories into their writing because they want the research to be assessed of its own accord.

Fot example, the concept of playing the victim, doesn't acknowledge that the same person wouldn't play a different role where it might behoove them;
I think that victimhood in particular persists because it is effective. They may once have been victimized, but in living life and having to do the hustle of that, I think the victimhood personality understands that such a narrative framework gets them what they want.

But seriously, how can one call associations to fantasy indicative of irl experiences?
Children start out with magical thinking and imagination. Reality is formed from shaping those initial schemes and imagos. Our fantasy life is rife with primordial impulses, wishes, and fears. These sometimes latch on to cultural icons and schemes, and can be shared en masse by similarly dispositioned people. But it cannot necessarily be quantified or measured exactly, nor can an exact reality correlate be found. There's interpretation and speculation involved.

@Movingforward10 , I've read some interesting posts here, so maybe that was my main motive. Thanks for being thoughtful about your responses.
 

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