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Folks who thrive on chaos

['Perspectives with Shirley Hallee']
['Perspectives with Shirley Hallee']

Perspectives with Shirley Hallee

Some people are interesting to observe and study. While their behaviour might appear unpredictable – it actually might be very predictable. This past week marked one year since Donald Trump took office and CNN presented a program - the Reign of Chaos. That title seems quite appropriate.

For those of us observing the antics of Trump we can only shake our heads and feel real sympathy for our neighbours to the south. It still seems hard to believe but there were enough votes to put Donald Trump into the residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It seems that at least some of the American citizens got what they wanted.

While still in the campaign mode the media brought to light a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape in which Donald Trump bragged to the program's host about kissing and grabbing women. Trump first apologized for his words - then denied he had ever said them.

Billy Bush lost his job over the incident but he indicates that Trump did indeed say those things. There has been more than a dozen claims of inappropriate touching, and there are also accounts by young women – former beauty contestants – who indicate that Trump walked in on them when they were half nude...because he “can sort of get away with things like that.”

Recently there was a report of a payoff to a porn star made by Trump's lawyer on behalf of Trump. The payment was made during the campaign but only recently came to light. Is it any wonder that thousands upon thousands of women marched in major cities on the first anniversary of Trump's Reign of Chaos?

There have been many who believe Trump is a narcissist, and some who believe that are from his own political party. They also have noted he has very little impulse control and has a very short attention span. Truth is told when convenient...and logic may not be a strength.

When questioned about possible sexual misdeeds, Trump indicated it never happened and stated he had witnesses who would say that it never happened. It seems that logic would indicate there would be no witnesses to something that never occurred. How do you witness something that didn't happen?

Psychology was one of the areas I studied while earning a fairly recent degree. I had courses in Abnormal Psychology and in Social Psychology. A brief description of a narcissist as cited by the American Psychiatric Association is someone who feels superior to other people, someone who seeks admiration and lacks empathy.

They also feel less commitment to a relationship, which could account for inappropriate sexual behaviour while married.

Studies by researchers Bush and Baumeister indicate that narcissists believe that if they ruled the world it would be a better place and they see themselves as more capable than other people. At the same time, they react in very aggressive ways to slights. In fact, they perceive even mild criticism as strong attacks on their inflated self-image.

Interestingly, the higher an individual scores in narcissism the greater number of times they report others disrespecting them.

As for the chaos in Trump's reign, impulsivity tends to be part of narcissism and impulsive people tend to get bored easily, so they stir things up. They may even incite aggression and anger in others just to make life exciting. This seems counterproductive to their constant need for admiration, but maybe it is part of being a winner. If the narcissist can make others back down - or if they are in a position to say, “You're fired,” they are assured of their power.

Hmmm, who was it that used those two words consistently on his realty show?

Shirley Hallee’s column appears weekly in the Amherst News.

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