The words below did hit me as I was reading it, as I saw this for myself with the the Narcissistic Adult Bullies I have, especially the words, if you let them!
That’s the trick, isn’t it? Not letting them divide families, friends, co-workers, and nations with their triangulation and spitting one group with another.
Maybe, one day, when the word has been spread far and wide on how these types of personalities work. we may get to the point where they can’t hurt others anymore, as no one will let them! I always have hope!
How Narcissists Can Drive Polarization
They can divide families, friends, co-workers, and nations, if you let them.
- In families, narcissists can start tribal warfare over the children, especially in divorce.
- In the workplace, narcissists can divide teams over “winners” and “losers.”
- In health care, narcissists can drive “staff splitting,” by turning staff against each other.
- In politics, narcissists can make repeated comments about “losers” making it hard to work together and compromise.
Narcissists are well-known for being self-centered and arrogant. But they also can be extremely divisive. The DSM-5-TR lists “fantasies of unlimited success, power,” “interpersonally exploitative,” and “lack of empathy” as some of the possible factors for those with a narcissistic personality disorder.1 These characteristics can lead to what mental health professionals call “splitting.” This occurs when a person sees others as all-bad or all-good, or as very superior or very inferior, or as winners or losers, with no gray areas in between.
The impact of this splitting can be contagious so that others near the narcissist may start seeing the world this way as well, and a whole group may become polarized within itself.
Polarization in the workplace
In the workplace, a narcissist may repeatedly disparage or even bully one worker and praise others, which is often called mobbing or group bullying. Sooner or later, the group may become split between those who believe and favor the bully and those who believe and defend the target of the bullying. Usually, this is led by a narcissist, who enjoys disparaging someone who they deem a loser while claiming to be quite superior in comparison.
A narcissist will often actively recruit others to agree with him and take his side. Since this is primarily an emotional process, each side may start to feel intense dislike or resentment toward the other side as the group becomes intensely “split” and increasingly dysfunctional.
What is to be done?
By recognizing these patterns of behavior, we may be more able to tune out those who would polarize us for their own narcissistic purposes. Speaking respectfully one-to-one seems to be much more effective as a way to overcome polarization rather than listening to and believing what aggressive personalities are telling us about others, our so-called enemies. So often, the “issue” is not the issue; the personality is the issue.