Working For A Narcissist: Lies And The Human Need To Tell The Truth

Josh Marshall notes that the Trump White House is incredibly leaky (boldface mine):

We are three days into the administration and the Trump White House leaks not so much like a sieve as a bucket with no bottom.

The Trump White House not only leaks like crazy. It casually leaks the most intimate and humiliating details about the President – hurt feelings, ego injury, childlike behavior, self-destructive rages over tweets, media failure to credit his own grandiosity. We have simply never seen this level of leaking, with this little respect for the President’s dignity or reputation, this early….

There is, to put it mildly, a rather clearly recurring theme: a torqued up man-child, alternatively rageful and fragile, both grandiose and profoundly insecure. To a degree it is difficult to maintain perspective since the contrast between the departed and incoming Presidents could simply not be any greater – either in the composure and steadiness of the man in question or in his associates’ willingness to share his secrets with the press. Would it even be possible to mount a leak investigation when everyone seems to be leaking?

It is a bracing picture, chilling and hilarious. But don’t lose the point: no White House leaks like this, leaks this much or leaks this casually about the President’s emotional weakness.

There’s a reason–when you have a narcissist as a boss, you live in a constant environment of lies:

Just like the addict’s primary goal is to get that fix, the narcissist’s primary goal is to maintain the fantasy. They will construct elaborate mechanisms to deny unpleasant realities. Plainly put, they turn everyone around them into liars. You have to lie as a self-defense mechanism in order to fend off and manage the impulsiveness, the bouts of inadequacy, the hare-brained ideas, and the laziness and ineptitude. If you are a reasonably honest person, this is soul-crushing.

When you work in such an environment, you have the desperate need to tell the truth to maintain your own humanity. To survive emotionally in such an environment requires you tell someone the truth. If doing so harms the person who is making you miserable, that’s another benefit.

As long as Republicans think they can get away with it, they’re going to keep leaking. The cost of not doing so is too high.

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1 Response to Working For A Narcissist: Lies And The Human Need To Tell The Truth

  1. Chris G says:

    I think Cowen is onto it with his “Why Trump’s Staff is Lying” piece – It’s like a gang tattoo. It’s a declaration of loyalty which also makes it really really hard for them to exit. We should try to create opportunities for face-saving exits. Give people living on The Dark Side an opportunity to tell the truth without them having to risk having their heads lopped off. No, they may not deserve the opportunity but give them one anyway.

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