The other side of narcissistic sexual aggression

Sexually aggressive, narcissistic men destroy male rivals whom they perceive as threats.

Example: potential male rivals of Matt Lauer were “killed off” by the deposed star.

Matt killed off, in their infancy, every man who could succeed him at the time that he was ready to hang it up — so there’s nobody to take his place. And now NBC is paying the price. (Source)

Narcissistic women are the same. Anyone who threatens a narcissist’s “supply” is in danger of being  destroyed.

Malignant aggression is a core feature of narcissistic behavior. It can range from career sabotage to murder, from gaslighting to poison.

It is not likely you have never dealt with a narcissist. The worst kinds are called malignant narcissists, but all narcissists exhibit aggression against rivals or former friends who have seen through their game.

Don’t be fooled by their popularity. As Lauer shows, popularity is their drug and they often are very good at “impression management” which keeps them center stage.

An example of how serious anxiety can be

The following video illustrates how serious anxiety can be, causing more problems than what prompted it.

Fast forward to where the woman gets out of her car.

Due to holding public office, she was forced to apologize. She is also being publicly ridiculed for her anxiety attack which is being interpreted as fake and/or outrageous.

I am reasonably sure the woman, Ulster County Legislator Jennifer Schwartz Berky, is not faking.

If that is so, her behavior illustrates:

  • how serious anxiety can be
  • how little can cause it
  • how easily it can be misinterpreted
  • how it causes more harm than good

Recently, I have been reading about anxiety and narcissism, particularly the significant harm narcissistic parents cause their children.

During her lamentations, Berky claims PTSD, which can result from a childhood spent with narcissistic parents. The other common bad outcomes are depression, anxiety or both together.

If I had not been doing so much thinking about these conditions, I probably would have laughed at Berky and moved on. Instead, I feel sorry for her.

I got my first traffic ticket when I had been an adult for many years. I did not act like Berky, but I did feel upset and thought about the incident for days after. All Berky did was have a more severe version of that same reaction, which most us have experienced at one time or another.

Too often in America we find a bully and then bully them through media. Rather than laugh at Berky, I think we should thank her for providing an excellent example of how serious anxiety can be.

Identity as simplification of sentience

Most identities are fundamentally category headings that simplify and organize consciousness.

In Buddhist terms, identity is empty.

Being empty does not mean identity does not arouse strong instincts.

Strong instincts arising based on identity are the poison fruits of delusion.

In this world where so many strive to have fierce identities, you have to be careful.

Though you do not need an identity yourself, you do have to be mindful of what others may do with their identities.

Identity politics is an inevitable result of many people striving to take on the same identity. Like identity itself, identity politics simplifies consciousness and arouses strong feeling.

Many people who have strong identities—be they individual or group oriented—conceal motives based on their identities, which they may also conceal in whole or in part.

This is the very nature of delusion and a major basis for understanding the First Noble Truth, the truth of suffering.

Why psychometrics and general ideas about personality inhibit psychological optimization

The short answer: psychometrics invariably yield bell curves.

The medium answer: general ideas about personality are derived from psychometrics.

The long answer: probably no one has ever been in the middle of all psychometric bell curves—curves for empathy, perseverance, intelligence, musical talent, athleticism, sexual satisfaction, “extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, or neuroticism.”

If you are on either side of the bell curve for anything that is significant to you, you will be measuring yourself against a standard that is not right for you.

And even if you are in the middle for everything, no one else is.

It’s fine to have a look at what some researchers find on some test, but it would be close-minded, not conscientious. probably neurotic, and highly disagreeable (to you and others) to do more than use those data as a mildly interesting sociological marker that doesn’t tell you all that much.

Without question psychometric data will inhibit your psychological optimization if you take them too seriously.

If you are to the left of any “good” metric, knowing the center of the curve might inspire you to try harder but it might also inspire you to try too hard at something you will never be able to do well. If you are to the right of any “good” metric, the center of the curve may cause you to hold back.

And who gets to say what is a “good” metric? At best some other metric. At worst a soft consensus among experts who have been acculturated into thinking that way.

Psychometrics are helpful for general classifications of individuals who cannot care for themselves or who have no one to turn to or who cannot achieve any happiness on their own.

For individuals who are self-reliant, understanding how your mind actually functions in real-time real-life situations is the only way to optimize your psychology.

Psychology is warped by too much reliance on patterns and types rather than how people actually function

You will never figure yourself out by answering questionnaires or trying to match yourself with a psychological metric or type.

Beyond that, you will absolutely never optimize your psychology and life using those methods.

The right way to grasp and optimize your psychology is to understand how it functions in real-time real-life situations.

To do this you have to take control of your own life and use a technique like FIML that allows you to observe yourself in real-time real-life situations.

I honestly do not think there is any other way.

Anxiety and default brain states

Our brains/minds have default states (plural) that we tend toward for a variety of reasons—pleasure, boredom, habit, even a systems checkup.

Default states are generally based on instincts like hunger, sex, fear, love, anger, disgust, humor, aesthetic joy, etc.

Humans tend to dress default states up. Instead of just eating something when hungry, most of us take time to prepare something good or pay someone to do that for us.

Everybody knows what we do with sex. Love, anger, hate, humor, disgust, fear, curiosity, thoughtfulness and so on are not very different in the many ways we dress them up.

Anxiety can be usefully understood as one of the default states of the brain/mind/body.

Anxiety is based on fear. We need this state in its basic form. If we are attacked by a wild dog, we need to be able to dump adrenaline and cortisol into our system quickly.

In many cases, though, anxiety takes on a life of its own and arises even when we are not in real danger. I think this indicates a default state that we can become habituated to in much the same way that we can become habituated to overeating, drunkenness, hate, anger, or unreasonable trust, love, or desire. Additionally, some bouts of anxiety can be understood as the system simply running a checkup.

People watch horror films because we like feeling afraid. It focuses the mind. We take risks because risks make us feel alive. Like horror films or danger sports, risk-taking focuses the mind.

Anxiety also focuses the mind. I think we like this aspect of it in many cases. It stimulates the brain and body, providing a level of clarity that feels very good, especially if we are hanging from a rock 500 ft above the ground.

Sometimes when we feel anxiety we can go out and do something, go running, ride a motorcycle, go surfing. When we do something that requires high levels of mental focus, we use our anxious state for what nature “intended.”

For myself, I notice that thinking about anxiety helps me put it in its proper place. I also notice that something unexpected—a health scare or good news—can immediately change my mental priorities, greatly demoting anxieties that had seemed so real just moments before.

Anxiety and desire

There are many similarities between anxiety and desire.

  • Anxiety is the strong word for something we do not want. Desire is a general word for something we do want.
  • Anxiety is based on fear, desire on pleasure.
  • Both are forward-leaning mental and emotional states involving planning, imagination, and expectation.
  • In their basic states, neither is a problem until it becomes excessive.
  • Most of the time most people know when a desire is excessive.
  • It is harder to know when anxieties are excessive, probably because they are fear-based and we instinctively use more resources to avoid danger.
  • If a desire is excessive, we can often reduce it by doing the Contemplation on Uncleanness, by contemplating what’s bad about it.
  • Anxieties can be reduced by contemplating how many of them have been wrong in the past and how little good it does to feel anxious.
  • A main job of the conscious mind is to scan the world for danger. All animals do this.
  • As semiotic, social animals, humans experience many fears in the semiotic and/or social realms.
  • We cannot avoid scanning for danger because real dangers do exist.
  • Anxieties occur when the perception of danger is disproportionate.
  • If possible, it is best not to use drugs to control anxiety.
  • Anxiety stimulates the brain and nervous system and within reasonable ranges is probably good for both. Anti-anxiety drugs dull us, though occasional usage in some situations is probably a good idea.
  • Anxiety can be rewarding when it is relieved. It feels wonderful when it goes away.
  • The far side of anxiety—when you see the oven was not on—feels good and may be a major reason many people subconsciously indulge in anxiety. Its resolution fulfills the desire to not feel that way.
  • Anxiety focuses the mind. When one anxiety is removed, another often appears.
  • As an instinct (that consciously scans for danger), anxiety when excessive can be understood as being an indulgence or “fetshization” of an instinct.
  • In this, it is somewhat similar to over indulgence in other instincts—gluttony, drunkenness, sex addiction, greed, laziness, and so on.
  • We probably fetishize instincts because it is a fairly easy thing for us to do. As semiotic animals, that is how we play, that’s what we know how to do.
  • Definitely best to avoid identifying with anything but especially fetishized instincts.
  • In Buddhist terms, identifying your transient sentience with anything is the basis of forming a self.
  • A good deal of anxiety involves fears pertaining to the self, to its stories, identity, instincts, memories, desires, and so on.
  • It is good to pay close attention to whatever is making you feel anxious and also to mildly stimulate anxious feelings when you are not anxious. This helps you see what anxiety is and how it functions in you, how it becomes excessive and why.
  • It is also good to discuss this topic with a friend because this helps us become more objective about it.
  • When we can expand the semiotic context of anything, we change it.