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Narcissism and victimhood

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Narcissism and victimhood: A deadly combination?
By Helen Smith | Apr 5, 2009
Apparently, America was not such a great place for rampage killer Jiverly Wong:

Jiverly Wong was upset over losing his job at a vacuum plant, didn't like people picking on him for his limited English and once angrily told a co-worker, "America sucks."

It remains unclear exactly why the Vietnamese immigrant strapped on a bulletproof vest, barged in on a citizenship class and killed 13 people and himself, but the police chief says he knows one thing for sure: "He must have been a coward."

Jiverly Wong had apparently been preparing for a gun battle with police but changed course and decided to turn the gun on himself when he heard sirens approaching, Chief Joseph Zikuski said Saturday.

"He had a lot of ammunition on him, so thank God before more lives were lost, he decided to do that," the chief said.

Police and Wong's acquaintances portrayed him as an angry, troubled 41-year-old man who struggled with drugs and job loss and perhaps blamed his adopted country for his troubles. His rampage "was not a surprise" to those who knew him, Zikuski said. …

Back in New York, he worked at the Shop-Vac plant in Binghamton. Former co-worker Kevin Greene told the Daily News of New York that Wong once said, in answer to whether he liked the New York Yankees, "No, I don't like that team. I don't like America. America sucks."
Other reports (via Michelle Malkin) say he wanted to assassinate the President–Bush or Obama? No one knows at this point.

I do wonder how much a sense of entitlement (these types of killers often display a sense of narcissism) combined with continued coverage of how bad America is played a part in contributing to this killer's distorted thinking process? Psychologists and experts often find that in mass killers:

…"the central role of narcissism plainly connects them. Only a narcissist could decide that his alienation should be underlined in the blood of strangers…"

Psychologists from South Africa to Chicago have begun to recognize that extreme self-centeredness is the forest in these stories, and all the other things– guns, games, lyrics, pornography–are just trees. To list the traits of the narcissist is enough to prove the point: grandiosity, numbness to the needs and pain of others, emotional isolation, resentment and envy…

Freud explained narcissism as a failure to grow up. All infants are narcissists, he pointed out, but as we grow, we ought to learn that other people have lives independent of our own. It's not their job to please us, applaud for us or even notice us–let alone die because we're unhappy…

A generation ago, the social critic Christopher Lasch diagnosed narcissism as the signal disorder of contemporary American culture. The cult of celebrity, the marketing of instant gratification, skepticism toward moral codes and the politics of victimhood were signs of a society regressing toward the infant stage.
In America, we continue to teach people to be more and more reliant on government and in a sense, never grow up. How will a nation of victims play out over the coming years? Will we see more of this type of violence? Mass killings are rare but what are the other repercussions that a lack of personal responsibility combined with a sense of entitlement will bring?

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Apr/7/2009, 10:02 pm Link to this post  
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Re: Narcissism and victimhood

When Victims Become Narcissists

The interaction between the narcissist (or psychopath) and his victim is not clear-cut. Many victims deploy narcissistic defenses, are narcissistically injured, and rage, exactly as narcissists do. They are drawn to their abusers, in the first place, precisely because they like to be the center of attention and to be assured of their self-imputed uniqueness. The narcissist is good at making his prey feel this way. Then, when the victims are devalued and discarded, they endure a scarring narcissistic injury and react with unmitigated wrath.

Some people adopt the role of a professional victim. In doing so, they become self-centred, devoid of empathy, abusive, and exploitative. In other words, they become narcissists. The role of "professional victims" - people whose existence and very identity rests solely and entirely on their victimhood - is well researched in victimology. It doesn't make for a nice reading.

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Apr/14/2009, 10:22 am Link to this post  

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